Modern Nature: A Screenplay (closed)

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by April Showers, Mar 8, 2015.

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  1. Modern Nature
    A story about twenty-somethings in the 21st Century

    [​IMG]
    Name: Sam Porter
    Gender: Male
    Age: 26
    Apt: The Whitman - #3A
    Job: Trainee zookeeper
    Length of in-state residence: 3 years
    Hometown: Honolulu, HI



    EXT. GEEN LAKE. DAY

    A young man, Sam – thick-framed glasses, scruffy, dressed in his nicest gingham button-up – walks briskly down a crowded sidewalk.

    He passes young families, college students, and other singletons like him. They’re all dressed for the height of spring, in bright colors and light fabrics. Sam smiles at them all.

    SAM
    (to various people)
    Hi! How’s it going? Hello there. Nice day, bit nippy though. That smells delicious. What is that?
    He has stopped at a café table outside a restaurant, and bends low to take a deep whiff of a prettily plated dish. The couple seated at the table looks at him like he’s crazy.

    SAM
    I’ve never seen scallops prepared like this before. May I try some?

    MAN
    Are you kidding?

    SAM
    (innocently)
    No.

    WOMAN
    (to MAN)
    Let’s go. I’m not even hungry anymore.

    SAM
    Does that mean you guys aren’t going to finish this?

    MAN
    Get lost.
    The couple stands, picks up their plates, and disappears into the restaurant.

    SAM
    What an odd couple.
    CUT TO:

    A trendy brick building, all angles and edges. It’s a restaurant, but it looks more like an eccentric house. Segments of wall jut out or are sunken in, each made of a different material – wood, stone, glass. An enormous picture window by the front door has loopy, cursive decals printed directly on the glass. A swinging wooden sign above the door has the same loopy cursive carved into it.

    Sam comes to the front of this building and looks at the sign for a moment, uncertain he has the right place. But he does. So he shrugs and enters.


    INT. MARKET & VINE. DAY

    High ceilings and various lofted platforms make Market & Vine a deceptively spacious restaurant. At its center is a circular bar made of highly polished wood, full of natural imperfections. An enormous sea glass chandelier hangs above it. Along one side of the room is a curved staircase, leading up to a mezzanine dining area. On the ground floor are tall round tables surrounded by sleek leather chairs.

    Two handsome men, Dillon and Lyle, sit at a table in a secluded but well-lit corner. Lyle is tailored and polished, like he stepped out of a GQ campaign. His partner Dillon is more casually fashionable, like a Banana Republic model.

    DILLON
    There he is. We were just talking about you.
    Sam takes a seat. He notices there are four chairs at their table.

    SAM
    Are we expecting someone else?

    DILLON -------------------- LYLE
    Yes. -------------------- No.
    Dillon and Lyle look at each other. Jig’s up. Delicately, Dillon says,

    DILLON
    Sam, you know how sometimes you do something, and then people act… strangely around you?

    SAM
    Absolutely yes. Like the scallop couple.

    LYLE
    Come again?

    SAM
    Just this couple who wouldn’t let me eat their scallops.
    Dillon and Lyle look at each other again, somewhat concerned.

    SAM
    I asked them first.

    LYLE
    Did you know them?

    SAM
    No.


    DILLON
    Right. That’s exactly what I mean. Listen, we love you. You’re like –

    DILLON -------------------- LYLE
    A little brother. -------------------- A puppy.

    LYLE
    (concededly)
    A little brother we adore like a puppy.

    DILLON
    What I’m trying to say is we care about you and your happiness. So today you need to not… be… you.
    Dillon and Lyle wait for the information to sink in. Sam regards them both thoughtfully. Eventually, he takes a deep breath and stares at his lap, like he’s hurt. Then, slowly, he looks back up.

    SAM
    You’re trying to set me up, aren’t you?

    DILLON -------------------- LYLE
    No. -------------------- Yes.
    Dillon and Lyle glare at each other. Seriously? Dillon looks away first.

    DILLON
    (defeated)
    Okay, yes.

    SAM
    Then I’m going to need a drink.

    LYLE
    Good man. But only one. We don’t want you plastered when she gets here.
     
    #1 April Showers, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  2. [​IMG]
    Name: Jules Allan
    Gender: Female
    Age: 25
    Apt: The Whitman - #6A
    Job: Graphic Designer
    Length of time in-state: 25 years
    Hometown: Aberdeen, WA
    --
    INT. JULES' APARTMENT – DAY

    A young woman, dressed in a matching, lavender bra and panty set frantically digs through a closet. The sound of clattering hangers can be heard, along with a mumbled swear word every time she comes up empty handed.

    JULES
    (sighing, annoyed)
    I'm going to be late.
    I'm going to be late, and they'll never invite me anywhere—ever again.​


    A small victory. Jules finds the exact sundress that she was looking for. It's a lightweight, cotton fabric, perfect for the new spring, and dressy enough to gain Dillon and Lyle's approval for brunch.

    Fully dressed, Jules moves with purpose through the small apartment and toward the front door. The sound of snoring can be heard as she approaches the living room, and soon after, the source of the sound if revealed. On the couch, a slightly overweight man is sleeping on his stomach, his pants are very much absent, revealing a pair of checker-patterned boxers and his face is pressed against a decorative throw pillow. His snoring gets louder as Jules approaches.

    JULES
    (sarcastically)
    Lovely.​


    Without disturbing him, Jules leaves her apartment.

    EXT. GROVE STREET – DAY

    The sidewalk is crowded with people moving in just about every direction. Many families are out in groups, dressed in bright, happy colors and light fabrics for a day at the park, or down by the water. Women are going to yoga classes, college students are meeting their friends for a hangover brunch only after seeing them hours before and Jules offers a polite smile to everyone who looks her way. Mostly, she keeps her attention on her cell phone—one text to Dillon to let he and his partner know she's on her way, another text to a friend with relationship problems and more emails from work.

    Jules works too much.

    CUT TO:
    A trendy, brick building that seems to pride itself on raw materials. Market & Vine is the type of restaurant that suburban hipsters fall over every weekend. With its spacious interior and cozy décor, it's incredibly easy to lose hours at a table, eating, drinking and catching up. This isn't the first time that Jules has been to the restaurant, and she's happy to be there.

    From the outside, the smell of butter-rich treats and breakfast foods wafts out into the air from the constantly opening and closing door. For the first time that day, Jules smiles and real smile and doesn't hesitate before entering the building.


    INT. MARKET & VINE – DAY

    The restaurant is crowded, full of hungry and slightly boozy chatter that all melts into one dull roar. Standing on her toes, Jules looks around for Lyle and Dillon but doesn't spot them until her eyes move upwards. She spots Lyle's perfectly coiffed hair first, he's straight in posture, although visibly relaxed next to another familiar face. It isn't until after Jules climbs the entresol stairs does she notice a third person at the table, and realization hits her almost immediately.

    JULES
    ...Sam?​


    LYLE
    (looking from Sam to Jules as she apprehensively sits down)
    You two know each other?


    JULES
    What's going on? (laughing) How do you know Dillon and Lyle?


    A waiter comes by, having noticed a new addition to the party and Jules orders a Mojito. If her friends have done what she suspects, she's going to need a drink.

    JULES
    (to Dillon and Lyle, her legs crossed as she looks away from Sam and gets more comfortable)
    He and I are neighbors. We live in the same building.​


    LYLE
    (smiling brightly, overly amused by the situation)
    Well then.
    (turning to his partner with the same grin)
    Nice job.


    Jules looks over at Sam, a soft smile on her lips. She's hardly angry, just a little thrown. She doesn't know Sam very well, despite having lived across the hall from him for the last several years, but she wants to. He seems nervous, which also makes her a little anxious as well.
     
  3. (Continued)

    Lyle is suddenly fidgety and checks his watch.

    LYLE
    Is that the time? Dillon, we’ve got to go.

    DILLON
    We do?

    LYLE
    Yes, we do. There’s that thing at Randall’s at noon, remember?

    DILLON
    (catching on)
    Oh, right. Randall’s. Well, we better not keep him waiting.

    LYLE
    (to Sam and Jules)
    He’s sensitive. We made these plans so long ago.

    DILLON
    So long ago I can’t even remember making them.

    LYLE
    Please excuse us. But order whatever you like. The meal is on me.

    SAM
    I can’t let you pay –

    LYLE
    Yes, you can.
    Dillon and Lyle give him a pointed look before leaving. Sam turns back to the table and stares at his place settings, somewhat shocked. After a pause, he laughs, loudly and unapologetically. Some nearby patrons stare. Sam settles down when a waiter serves him and Jules their drinks.

    WAITER
    Are you ready to order?
    Sam looks at Jules and smiles.

    SAM
    The most expensive items on your menu. And, if you could, box it up, please. It’s a nice day for a picnic.


    EXT. GREEN LAKE. DAY

    Sam has taken his shoes off and reclines on the grass, propped up on one elbow as he polishes off the last of his smoked salmon. The picked-over remains of brunch is scattered between him and Jules. She is sitting up with her legs tucked under her dress, her shoes also discarded. Lots of people are sunbathing on the lawn around them, but they aren't crowded. The air is pleasantly filled with the distant sounds of laughter, chirping birds, and barking dogs.

    SAM
    …They are unbelievable! I met Lyle at a wedding. There were a lot of attractive, single women there and I thought, maybe I’ll get someone’s number. The only number I went home with was Lyle’s. I thought he was hitting on me! Turns out he just wanted to know where I bought my shoes.
    Sam’s laughter carries, but in the open air no one minds.

    SAM
    So, what about you, Jules from across the hall? How did you meet our crafty friends?
     
  4. EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK – DAY

    Jules runs her fingers through the cool grass, digesting both brunch and Sam's words. He's a stranger to her, just someone who happens to live across the hall, and the most interaction she's had with him up until this point was running into one another outside of a building after a late night. Although this is hardly the way Jules thought that she would spend her afternoon, she has to give credit where credit is due—Lyle and Dillon are hardly horrible at match-making, and she's having a lovely time.

    JULES
    (laughing softly, sighing)
    That sounds like Lyle. Did you ever tell him where you got your shoes?​


    Jules stretched her legs out in front of her, ankles crossed as she leans back on her hands. The park is full of people that afternoon; mothers and fathers playing with young children, dogs fetching both frisbees and squeaky toys, teenagers and young adults alike lying out in the warm spring sun. It's a gorgeous day.

    Turning her head, Jules squints into the sun, dark eyes still managing to fall on Sam. She reaches a hand up, covering her line of vision from the strong rays.

    JULES
    I met Dillon first. You know about his company right? I designed the logo for him. That's what I do; graphic design. He really liked my work, so he invited me over for dinner one night and that's how I met Lyle. (smiling) It's not as glamorous as a wedding, but they both liked my shoes.​


    Jules reaches for a plastic cup that had once been filled with iced tea. It's now more ice than tea, but she drinks from the straw anyway, something to keep her cool in the sun. All around her, people are moving, but all she cares to focus on is Sam.

    JULES
    You never told me what you do, Sam from across the hall.​
     
  5. EXT. GREEN LAKE. DAY.

    A secluded knoll behind some large, leafy bushes and skinny trees. The grass is parched and sparse. Some trash litters the ground – a soda can, a paper bag, an unidentifiable suspicious food item. Dillon and Lyle sit in reclining lawn chairs. Dillon makes a grab for the one set of binoculars.

    DILLON
    (defeated)
    At least tell me what’s going on. Are they still talking?
    He slurps loudly from his venti, light ice, sugar-free, hazelnut macchiato with an extra shot. He wipes the condensations from his hand onto his grey chinos, and pouts.


    EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK. DAY

    Sam sits up and looks out over the lake. For a second, he gazes intently at some point across the water, but at nothing in particular. Then he smiles and shakes his head.

    SAM
    Well… I suppose I do a lot of things. On Thursdays I have pizza and beer with Lucas. Normally I go to his place, but he’s been over a few times. Tall, Costa Rican with curly hair and dimples? We go way back. So, there’s that.

    Not far away a baby starts to cry. Its mother makes cooing noises. Sam watches for a couple seconds before turning back to Jules. He pops a piece of nicely charred bacon into his mouth, and continues talking after a few chews.

    SAM
    I also play the guitar and read occasionally. I don’t really do sports, but I do do practically all outdoor activities – biking, climbing, hiking, you name it. And… on Monday through Thursday I have a standing brunch date with a lovely girl named Bailey. She’s a bit wild. She goes skinny dipping daily and loves to play with her food, but she’s got a great personality.
    Dogs bark in the distance. Sam isn’t distracted this time. He looks at Jules, dark eyebrows raised and an enormous smile plastered on his face.

    SAM
    Baily is an elephant.
    He eats another slice of bacon, grinning.

    SAM
    What do you do?
     
  6. EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK – DAY

    Through the long-range lenses of a pair of very expensive binoculars, Lyle is able to see both Jules and Sam, spread out on their picnic blanket. Indeed, they are still talking, and this fact alone pleases him greatly.

    LYLE
    They are. It looks like they're having a good time. She's smiling a lot, and he's...well, he hasn't spilled anything on her. I'll take that as a good sign.​


    Lowering the binoculars, Lyle passes them off to his pouting partner with a toothy smile before reaching for the man's iced coffee. He takes a long drink, much longer than Dillon will appreciate and sets the plastic cup back down without a fuss. After flicking the condensation from his fingers, he turns back to the man in the other lawn chair.

    LYLE
    One to ten—how mad at us do you think Jules is?​


    CUT TO:
    EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK – STILL DAY


    Jules' focus remains on Sam as he talks about Lucas. She can't put a face to the name in her head, and suddenly realizes that it's not just Sam she knows nothing about—it's her entire building. She nods along anyway, interested in his life. In the distance, some noisy baby starts to make a fuss and Jules does her best not to bristle at the sound. She loathes children, but that hardly seems like an appropriate topic for first date conversation.

    The mention of Bailey has her body language changing, and Jules curls her legs back up, more closed off as Sam talks of skinny dipping and whatever else. She can't help but feel a bit silly when the truth is revealed. Her shoulders relax.

    JULES
    Oh.
    (laughing)
    I thought... Never mind.​


    Jules collects herself, happy that she hasn't been set up with someone who has a girlfriend.

    JULES
    Besides work? I like to run, and cook, see my friends, go to shows. I like baseball a lot, and football, sports in general, I guess.​


    Compared to Sam, Jules feels boring.

    JULES
    Do you work for the zoo, or are you a vet? It's got to be exciting working with elephants.​
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK. DAY

    Dillon greedily snatches up the binoculars, and focuses on Sam and Jules.

    DILLON
    Well, she doesn’t look mad…
    (excitedly slaps Lyle’s arm)
    Oh my god, Lyle, she’s laughing! And doth my eye deceive me? I believe Sammy boy is blushing. Ugh, are we good or what? Also, stop drinking my coffee.
    A rustle and some plastic-y clattering behind them.

    PASTY WOMAN
    Um, what are you guys doing?
    Dillon drops the binoculars and spins around. A woman wearing flip-flops, an oversized hat, and a too-tight sundress stares at them. Dillon exchanges a panicked look with Lyle, and turns back to the woman.

    DILLON
    (automatically)
    Birdwatching.

    PASTY WOMAN
    You are so not birdwatching. Are you guys, like, perverts or peeping toms or something?
    Dillon blinks and shoots a sassy look at the woman.

    DILLON
    Absolutely not! We are neither of those things. Do we honestly look like perverts to you?
    The woman raises her eyebrow, but Dillon holds up his hand abruptly and says:

    DILLON
    Don’t answer that.

    PASTY WOMAN
    (pause)
    Are you guys stalkers? Are you stalking someone? That’s creepy.

    DILLON
    (to Lyle)
    I can’t. Your turn.


    EXT. GREEN LAKE LAWN. DAY

    Sam faces Jules, all smiles. He adjusts his glasses, though he doesn’t need to. His palms start to sweat and his chest tightens a little.

    SAM
    (under his breath)
    Get a grip.

    BEGIN FLASHBACK:

    INT. LOBBY. NIGHT

    A building for young people – The Whitman, despite its posh name, is full of asymmetrical lines and exaggerated curves. The lobby is open and airy, mostly decorated with distressed, reclaimed wood. The floor is stone. Tall glass windows let in natural light.

    Sam emerges from around the mailbox bank, with bills and magazines in hand. He’s wearing sweat pants and a Woodland Park Zoo T-shirt. He’s not trying to impress anyone and unselfconsciously scratches the hair behind his ear, not unlike a dog. He enters the first elevator to arrive. Just before the doors close, someone squeezes in. It’s a young woman. An attractive young woman. It’s Jules. Sam hastily combs his fingers through his hair and adjusts his glasses. He tries to smooth the wrinkles in his T-shirt. Briefly, Sam makes eye contact with her, but quickly turns away.

    The doors open on the third floor. Jules steps out, and Sam follows. They turn down the same direction. Sam tries to keep a few steps behind, but feels like he’s following her. It’s weird. He shuffles to one side, then to the other. Dancing like an idiot. Eventually she stops… in front of his door. Sam freezes. But then Jules turns the other way, to the door across the hall.

    As she opens her door, she glances up once more. Sam smiles, not realizing he’d been staring at her. She smiles back, then enters her apartment, and she’s gone. For a moment Sam stares at Jules’ door.


    INT. SAM’s APARTMENT. NIGHT

    The moment Sam closes his door, he slumps back against it.

    SAM
    I’m in trouble.

    END FLASHBACK.


    EXT. GREEN LAKE LAWN. DAY

    Sam looks up at Jules.

    SAM
    I’m an animal handler. Glorified janitor, really, but it’s worth it to hang out with Bailey.
    He takes a breath like he’s going to say something else, but hesitates. He grins, then goes for it:

    SAM
    Would you like to meet her?
     
    #7 April Showers, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2015
  8. EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK – DAY

    Lyle has a quick rebuttal poised at the tip of his tongue, something in regard to Dillon not needing that much caffeine, and that it's polite to share; a typical comment that is more than likely to get them into a small fight. The rustling noise from behind them doesn't warrant any of Lyle's concern, but the expensive binoculars that have just been dropped to the ground certainly do. He hisses, as if physically pained himself and quickly reaches for them. He still hasn't given any attention to the pushy mayonnaise-monster behind them and doesn't until Dillon asks for back up.

    LYLE
    (sighing)
    Can't two well-dressed men watch a few birds in the park without being called perverts by some nosy PTA mom in an, ill-fitting, irregular, TJ Maxx sundress?​


    Lyle brushes a bit of dirt and a wet clump of grass off of the edge of the binoculars while the pasty stranger gasps and sputters, looking very much like a trout out of water. He has half a mind to throw her back in the nearby lake where she belongs.

    PASTY WOMAN
    (indignant)
    You can't talk to me that way! What you're doing is illegal!​


    Laughing, Lyle raises the binoculars to his blue eyes and is treated with an up close and personal view of the woman's fleshy face—something he could have lived without.

    LYLE
    It's illegal to watch birds? I can hear one squawking, but I can't seem to find it.
    (pause)
    Dill, honey, a little help? Can you point me in the direction of a very loud, judgmental bird?​


    CUT TO:
    EXT. GREEN LAKE LAWN – DAY


    Jules is hardly the type to take off on unplanned adventures, or rather, she isn't the type to take off anymore. College-Jules would already be on her feet, not thinking twice about heading to the zoo to hang out with an elephant, and the cute guy from across the hall. Hell, college-Jules would have spent time with Sam a long time ago, but adult-Jules, boring-Jules is always hesitating.

    Adult-Jules is such a damn downer.

    JULES
    Right now? Is that allowed?
    (shaking her head at herself, laughing)
    Don't answer that. Let's go!​


    She wastes no time in cleaning up their picnic, always responsible and trying to be kind to the planet. Once everything is either thrown away or recycled, Jules folds up the blanket and grabs her purse, letting both items dangle off of her arm as she loops her other one with Sam's.

    Together, they leave the park.

    CUT TO:
    EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK – DAY


    Lyle turns his binoculars back to Jules and Sam, the pasty woman still stammering angrily behind him. He immediately notices that his friends aren't where they were only moments before, and he quickly looks around the rest of the area, hoping to spot them, but there's only strangers—boring ones that he didn't set up.

    LYLE
    Great! We lost them.
    (turning back to the woman)
    This is all your fault. I hope you're pleased with yourself!​
     
  9. EXT. GREEN LAKE PARK. DAY

    Pasty Woman storms off in a determined rage.

    DILLON
    One problem gives way to the next… Let’s think, where could they have gone? We can rule out fooling around – first date hanky-panky isn’t their style, is it?
    (gasps dramatically)
    Maybe they’re on to us. See, didn’t I tell you we needed disguises?
    Lyle is distracted by something. He watches Pasty Woman stomp away toward an overweight policeman. She’s gesturing angrily toward Dillon and Lyle. The policeman squints in their direction.

    LYLE
    Dillon…

    DILLON
    I think I have an old Sherlock get-up somewhere…
    Pasty Woman starts leading the policeman back to Dillon and Lyle’s hideout.

    LYLE
    (frantically picks up their things)
    Dill, we need to go.

    DILLON
    What? Why? Have you figured out where they’ve gone?

    LYLE
    No.

    DILLON
    So what’s your hurry?
    Lyle grabs Dillon’s face and turns him toward Pasty Woman and the policeman.

    LYLE
    That is.

    DILLON
    Yeah, we need to go.
    Dillon and Lyle quickly exit the hollow.

    PASTY WOMAN
    Stop, you perverts!
    She and the cop give chase, clumsily. Pasty Woman’s hat flies off and she loses one of her flip-flops. She doubles back to retrieve them. The cop is huffing in a matter of seconds. Nearby families and pedestrians watch the scene idly.


    CUT TO:

    EXT. ZOO. DAY

    It’s midday madness – crowds swarm the paths and areas nearest the elephant enclosure. Two of the zoo’s Asian elephants are out sunbathing. The third is inside the barn.

    Sam weaves through the masses to a door artfully camouflaged in a bamboo forest. He punches in a code, and the door swings open. He beckons Jules to follow, and leads the way down a narrow, but windowed hall:


    INT. ELEPHANT VIEWING ROOM. DAY

    SAM
    It’s all right, you can come in here. We use this viewing room for private tours and field trips.
    The hall opens up to a much wider corridor, full of sunshine. The walls are entirely made of glass. One side looks out into the enclosure, the other into the elephant barn.

    An elephant, Bailey, is resting in a spacious stall. If it weren’t for the glass and railings, Sam and Jules could reach out and touch her.

    Suddenly, the door on the opposite end of the corridor opens. A tiny, older woman with wispy white hair and a smiling, wrinkled face enters. She’s wearing a khaki zookeeper’s uniform and boots. She’s holding a bucket full of suds and a squeegee on a long pole. She is Vera.

    VERA
    (to Sam)
    Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes! Give me some sugar, handsome.
    Sam gives her a great bear hug and a peck on the cheek.

    SAM
    (to Jules)
    This is Vera, my – well, I guess technically she’s my boss. She’s the head of our animal husbandry unit. Bit of an institution around here.

    VERA
    (proudly)
    I’ve been here since 1955. Seen a lot of animals come and go. Made some wonderful friends. Such beautiful beasts…
    Vera lovingly pats the glass near Bailey, looking misty-eyed, but quickly snaps out of her reverie. Her watery blue eyes settle on Jules.

    VERA
    I’m sorry, dear, I’m having trouble remembering your name. Is it Ellie?

    SAM
    (nervously)
    Uh, no. No, this isn’t Ellie, V.

    VERA
    Helen?

    SAM
    No –

    VERA
    Oh, you must be Grace then!

    SAM
    You’ve never met her before! Um… V, this is Jules. She lives across the hall from me.

    VERA
    What happened to Grace?

    SAM
    (in hushed tones)
    We split up a while ago.

    VERA
    That’s a shame. She was so sweet.

    SAM
    Don’t you have some windows to clean, Vera?

    VERA
    Oh! You’re right, I do.
    Vera shuffles along with her bucket in hand and begins washing down the panes at the end of the corridor.

    Sam bashfully looks back at Jules, and fidgets. He readjusts his glasses.

    SAM
    She’s got a wicked memory for animals... Not so much for people. Sorry about that...
    (pause)
    Anyway, this is Bailey.
     
  10. EXT. GREEN LAKE PARKING LOT – DAY

    Lyle is a fantastic multi-tasker. He runs alongside Dillon, managing to keep a wide distance between himself, the fat cop chasing after him and the pasty woman waddling along behind them all, sans flip-flop, all the while keeping hold of the binoculars and lawn chairs. It's a good day for him, even though he's on the verge of being arrested for alleged bird watching, and he wastes no time unlocking the silver Prius yards before he and Dillon reach the car. He's much less graceful about packing their items away before jumping into the driver's side and tearing out of the parking lot.

    LYLE
    (breathing heavily)
    That was exciting!


    It's hardly the first time that he's had to outrun the cops. Rigid as he is, college was one hell of a time.

    LYLE
    Where do you think Jules and Sam got off to? I can't believe they gave us the slip.


    CUT TO:
    INT. ELEPHANT VIEWING ROOM – DAY


    It isn't often that Jules comes to the zoo, but she's happy to be there and so close to the elephants. She looks out through the glass and into the enclosure, seeing Bailey resting comfortably in her stall, full of hay and toys that animals her size would love to play with. Jules smiles, so focused on the sight in front of her, even though Bailey isn't doing much of anything, that she barely notices the new company.

    Jules is polite through Sam's non-introduction and Vera's disappointment over her not being Grace. She gets the sense that Sam brings all of his dates to the zoo, and it doesn't sit right with her that some innocent and adorable animal is being used for such a cheap ploy. Vera wanders away to clean the windows before Jules' patience wanes completely.

    Too bad she's not Helen, Grace or Ellie. Things would have been much less awkward.

    Tight-lipped and holding back a scoff, Jules raises her eyebrows as Sam returns his attention to her. Settling has never been an option for her, and she doesn't plan to start now just because Lyle and Dillon thought that this was a good idea. She tells herself that a bad first (and last) date isn't the end of the world. There will be plenty more before she finds a good guy.

    Jules leans against the railing and looks back out into the enclosure.

    JULES
    How old is she?


    Because at least they can talk about the elephants.
     
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