"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"NURSE BETTY"

Screenplay by

John C. Richards and James Flamberg

Based on a story by

John C. Richards

Shooting Script (FINAL)

3/9/99



FADE IN:

INT. OPERATING ROOM - DAY

A tense surgery in progress. Meters flicker, instruments
flash in the bright overhead light. In the midst of it all
stands DR. DAVID RAVELL, 35. The master of his domain. Ravell
leans forward so a NURSE can mop the sweat from his brow as
he completes a last, delicate procedure. His co workers sigh
collectively with relief.

DAVID
(to Asst. Surgeon)
Close her up, will you?

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - DAY

Dr. Ravell comes out of surgery, clearly exhausted. Without
his surgical mask he is ruggedly handsome. TWO NURSES follow,
attending him like a fighter fresh from the ring: CHLOE, 25,
Raven-haired and striking, and JASMINE, 24, an exotic mix of
African-American and Asian.

BLAKE DANIELS, 58, the silver-haired Chief Surgeon, rushes
up the corridor. On his heels is DR. LONNIE WALSH, 33. Lonnie
is also conspicuously handsome, but he'll always be second
to David. In everything. The look on Blake's face stops David
in his tracks.

BLAKE
There's been a train crash near Santa
Barbara. They're flying an aortal
trauma here now. How can I ask you
this, David...

David rubs his eyes. Thinks about it.

DAVID
I can do it, Blake.

His bravery isn't lost on the two nurses, although Chloe
exchanges a quick, covert glance with Lonnie.

CHLOE
Is he crazy, Jasmine? He's been on
his feet for fourteen hours.

JASMINE
Chloe, it's been this way since Leslie
died. Losing himself in his work,
poor thing...

YOUNGER MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
...I'll give you something to lose
yourself in...

OLDER MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Excuse me, miss?

PULL BACK TO REVEAL: WE ARE LOOKING AT A TELEVISION SCREEN
BEHIND THE COUNTER OF A SMALL-TOWN DINER.

INSERT: FAIR OAKS, KANSAS

INT. TIP TOP DINER - DAY

Quaint, Midwestern eatery. Knick-knacks and photos abound.
The booths and counter are packed with LOCALS. A family dining
section off in one corner.

TWO GUYS sitting at the counter in team jackets. The older
of the two holds up his empty coffee cup. But his WAITRESS,
standing a couple seats down from him, doesn't move. She's
completely absorbed in watching the soap opera that plays on
two battered, fuzzy TV sets. BETTY SIZEMORE, 30, has a
wholesome attractiveness that competes with a bit too much
makeup and a cheesy white waitress uniform. TWO OTHER
WAITRESSES attend to customers behind her. The younger of
the two guys is involved in the soap opera. But the older
one, still wants coffee. He gestures toward Betty.

OLDER MAN
Miss?

Betty leans forward, grabs the coffee pot and moves in front
of him. Without taking her eyes from the TV, she pours the
java, which somehow lands in his cup without spilling a drop.

OLDER MAN
Very impressive. That is very...
(turning to others)
Did anybody see that?

The LOCAL GUYS around him don't even bother to look up. Of
course, they've seen it before. Betty smiles.

OLDER MAN
Thank you. Could I bother you for a
little more...?

Before he can even finish, Betty is topping him off with
milk.

BETTY
Skim, right?
(tears open an Equal)
And half a pack, if I remember
correct...

The older gentleman's mouth works a bit but nothing comes
out. He is flabbergasted by her attention to detail. She
looks at the younger man, who is still following the show
and gobbling down a huge bacon burger.

BETTY
You know, you're never too young to
start on a lean meat substitute...
(BEAT)
You wanna try some turkey bacon on
that?

YOUNGER MAN
You want a tip when I'm through?

BETTY
It's your body...

Betty turns back to change pots. The older man watches her
intently as the younger of the two mumbles to himself.

YOUNGER MAN
(to himself)
That's right, so why don't you get
up off it...

OLDER MAN
Wesley...
(to Betty)
I've told him the same thing. Thanks
for the suggestion.

BETTY
No problem.

Betty flashes the men a winning smile and moves off, one eye
always on the TV as she approaches two local types.

SHERIFF ELDEN BALLARD, 32, a short, tightly wound little
man, sitting at his own booth. Ballard is spit and polish
all the way: creases in his shirt, a glossy shine on his
shoes. Badge proudly displayed. He sits with ROY OSTREY, 31,
a gangly, bookish local reporter. Betty drops five ketchup
packets and four mayonnaise packets on the table for him.
Another smile.

ROY
Hi, Betty. You're looking good...

BETTY
Thanks, Roy, you're sweet... a big
liar, but sweet. I liked your
editorial this morning...

ROY
Oh, appreciate it. I was trying to,
ahh, give a sense of history to...

BALLARD
(interrupting)
Yeah, it was great. Really put the
whole idea of "church bake sales" in
perspective...

ROY
You know, Elden, some people actually
read more than just the Classifieds...

BALLARD
Why don't you go back to doing
something you're good at... like
that Lonelyhearts column?
(chuckles to himself)
I'll take a refill there, Betty...

His cup is full before he can even finish the sentence.

BETTY
Hey, Sheriff. How's everything?

BALLARD
Oh, you know, the usual... keeping
the world safe.

BETTY
...I meant your food.

BALLARD
Oh, right... 's fine. Thanks.

ROY
I thought you said the eggs weren't...

BALLARD
It's fine. Mind your own meal...

ROY
You should get the order you want.

BALLARD
And you should keep your nose out of
another man's omelette...
(to Betty)
It's no big deal, Betty.

BETTY
There's yolks in there, huh? It's no
prob'... gotta keep you on track.

Betty grabs Ballard's plate without another word, gives him
a reassuring rub on the shoulders and moves off. He smiles
appreciatively after her, then turns on Roy.

BALLARD
Why you always gotta embarrass me? I
been eating lunch with you since
grade school and you always gotta
embarrass me!

ROY
They're just eggs, Elden, how
embarrassing can eggs be?

BALLARD
...plenty

ROY
Who eats eggs for lunch, anyhow?

BALLARD
Mind your own business. You just
said that shit so you could look at
her a little longer, anyway...

Still carrying Ballard's plate, she returns to the counter.

BETTY
Come on, guys, I told you it's egg
whites only for the Sheriff...
(quietly)
...I put him in that 'zone' thing.

COOK #1
Well, it better be a pretty good
size zone if he's in it...

Betty and the cooks share a quick laugh. They move to change
his order while Betty glances up at the TV.

INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - RETURN TO TV SCREEN

Lonnie catches up to Blake in the corridor.

LONNIE
Blake, I can handle that transplant!

BLAKE
We need someone with the right kind
of experience, Lonnie.

LONNIE
Even if he's falling asleep on his
feet?

BLAKE
Lonnie, it's a complex procedure.
Why don't you observe?

LONNIE
I'm not some snot-nosed resident
fresh out of medical school, Blake.

BLAKE
No, you're not. You're a good doctor,
Lonnie, but you're not David Ravell.
I've made my decision. Now, if you'll
excuse me...

Blake exits. The camera moves in to hold on a CLOSEUP of
Lonnie's face as he simmers in anger. Music soars.

INT. TIP TOP DINER - DAY

Plates of food are piling up on the shelf in front of the
COOKS. One of them turns the TV off by remote.

BETTY
Hey! We were watching that!

COOK #1
The other girls've got orders up...
we're not one 'a them goddamn Nelson
families, y'know.

Betty snatches up several plates to help out. Ballard's food
appears with A CLATTER of porcelain.

BETTY
It's "Nielson"...

COOK #1
Yeah, well, we ain't one 'a them,
neither.
(BEAT)
Go on now...

DARLENE
When you gonna get those things fixed,
anyhow?

COOK #1
When you all quit watching 'em for a
living...

Frustrated, Betty delivers several plates and drops them at
tables where the people know her by name. She moves off toward
FOUR LOCAL GUYS in a booth jangling their empty cups. Betty
weaves her way over to them and pours refills. When a hand
strays around to touch her ass, she pushes it away with her
foot and keeps right on pouring. Absently, Betty takes a
look around the restaurant. The other waitresses are gone
and no one is behind the grill. Alarmed, she pushes through
the double doors into the kitchen.

INT. TIP TOP DINER - KITCHEN - SAME TIME

THREE WAITRESSES, along with the DISHWASHER and TWO COOKS
are standing in a row waiting for her.

BETTY
...alright, I get it, no more TV.
Sorry.

No one moves, then DARLENE leads them in a huge SURPRISE!
They produce a life-size cardboard cut-out of Dr. David
Ravell, who looks dashing in his green hospital scrubs. Betty
backs up in disbelief.

BETTY
Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing!
Where did you ever find this?

DARLENE
On the goddamn internet, where else?

BETTY
You're joking...

WAITRESS #1
...nope, got him at "T.V. Hunks with
Sweet Little Asses.Com."

WAITRESS #2
Seventy-five dollars...

COOK #1
...Seventy-eight fifty.
(everyone looks at
him)
Well, I paid for the damn thing, I
oughta know.

WAITRESS #2
C'mon, Betty! Pose with him!

Betty laughs and puts her arm around the cardboard man. A
flash photo is taken. A cupcake with a single candle is placed
in her hands.

DARLENE
One candle... uh-oh, you're getting
up there! Doesn't David like 'em
young?

BETTY
I'm over the hill, what can I say?

Darlene gives Betty an envelope with cash showing.

WAITRESS #1
A little something for those nursing
classes you've been wanting to take...

DARLENE
...but keep putting off thanks to a
certain husband we won't mention...

BETTY
Oh, guys, you didn't have to do that!

DARLENE
So how you gonna celebrate? Del takin'
you into Wichita for a big fancy
dinner?

The others laugh; they know better. So does Betty.

BETTY
Yeah, Dairy Queen, maybe... Oh, I
should probably call him. Thanks,
you guys...

COOK #1
Alright, alright, come on... I'm not
running no bed & breakfast, we got
customers. Let's go...

Smiling, Betty grabs a wall phone as the others mingle about.

INT. SIZEMORE MOTORS - DEL'S OFFICE - DAY

The trailer/office of a small-time car dealership. As the
PHONE RINGS, the CAMERA PANS across pictures of DEL SIZEMORE,
35, dressed as Napoleon, Caesar and Abe Lincoln, arms raised
in a high-energy sales pitch.

The PHONE RINGS again. We see a framed certificate of
achievement from General Motors, dated 1986.

After the THIRD RING an ANSWERING MACHINE clicks on. It's
loud.

ANSWERING MACHINE
(Del's voice)
Hello there! You've reached Sizemore
Motors, home of the best selection
of used General Motors cars in the
Big Springs -- Fair Oaks area. We
can't come to the phone right now
'cause we're out making a sale, so
leave us a message; better yet, come
on down and steal one 'a these
beauties right out from under us!
Coffee's always on!

BETTY (V.O.)
Hi Del, it's me. I guess you're busy.

INT. SIZEMORE MOTORS - TRAILER/OFFICE - DAY

Del's very busy. He's on the rented sofa in the trailer's
lounge, screwing his secretary, JOYCE. But as he rocks the
couch, he's listening to Betty's message.

BETTY (V.O.)
I know you want the Oldsmobile back
tonight, so... I was wondering if I
could take one of the new Buicks.

Del pulls out and lurches across the room. He reaches for
the desk phone but misses, spilling down onto the carpet. He
gathers himself and his pants up in disgust, pawing around
the desktop until he finds the phone.

BETTY (V.O.)
So, call me when you --

DEL
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hang on a second
there, baby. Why do you need one of
the new Buicks?

BETTY (V.O.)
Oh, you're there. You sound out of
breath.

DEL
I ran back in to get the phone.

The answering machine is on, so their VOICES are BOOMING.
The phone cord is stretched across the trailer as he tries
to get back to Joyce. He motions for her to join him but she
remains where she is, fuming.

BETTY (V.O.)
I don't need one, but it's kind of a
special night, and --

DEL
What's so special about it?

LONG PAUSE. Joyce looks at Del, incredulous. Then pissed
off. He signals to hold on.

BETTY (V.O.)
Sue Ann's taking me out and I thought
it might be fun to go in a nice car...

Joyce wriggles to a sitting position and begins to pull up
her panties. Del shoots her a look that says 'I'm not finished
yet!' They pantomime frantically back and forth until Joyce
throws him the finger and SLAMS out the door.

BETTY (V.O.)
What was that?

DEL
Nothing... it's, ahh, busy here.
Look, you don't need a LeSabre to go
out with Sue Ann. Take the blue
Corsica. I'll see you when I get
home.

He throws the phone onto the cradle, then bangs on a window
to get Joyce's attention as she fires up a smoke.

DEL
(through the pane)
Shit! Joyce, open the damn gate,
will you?!

As Del zips up his pants Joyce trudges across the lot to
bring in the "Closed For Lunch" sign and open the gate. Del
silently studies the much nicer car lot next door for a
moment. He takes in the banners, the signs, etc.

DEL
...that's what we need, some goddamn
flags.

INT. OFFICE/TRAILER - LATER

Betty enters the office. Joyce is on the phone. She looks
up, irritated, and says something under her breath to the
caller.

JOYCE
Uhh, no, we haven't picked a date
yet... well, once he dumps her we
will.
(to Betty)
He's out pricing banners... I don't
expect him back.

BETTY
"Banners?"

JOYCE
You know, flags and shit... he said
"for a livelier look" or something.

Betty nods and swaps her car keys for a set Joyce gives her.

JOYCE
'S too bad about the LeSabres...
they're a really sweet ride.

As Joyce prattles on, Betty notices the Buick LeSabre keys
on a rack behind her. She sidles around Joyce, deftly removes
a set from the hook and drops them in her purse. She smiles
and starts to wave goodbye as Joyce puts her call on hold.

JOYCE
Need something else?

BETTY
No, I was just... How you doing?

JOYCE
Great. Good. Content...

BETTY
Oh. How come?

JOYCE
I dunno. Job satisfaction, I guess...
(BEAT)
How's things at the Tip Top?

BETTY
They're fine... you miss it?

JOYCE
You must be joking.

BETTY
Hmm.
(BEAT)
So, Del get that car he sold you up
and running yet?

JOYCE
Oh, yeah, he's got things up and
running, alright...

BETTY
'Kay, good. Bye, then...

JOYCE
Uh-huh.
(back to phone)
Anyway, I'm thinking Easter, 'cause
I just fucking love pastels.

She whispers, then laughs loudly as Betty leaves.

EXT. SIZEMORE MOTORS - DAY

The cardboard doctor is standing next to Betty's Olds. She
thinks about leaving him, but picks him up and tosses him
into a blue Corsica. He lands with his face against the
passenger window.

She stands for a moment by the Corsica, dangling the LeSabre
keys before her eyes. Suddenly, she jumps inside the Chevrolet
and slams the door.

EXT. SIZEMORE MOTORS/TRAILER PARK - DAY

The blue Corsica leaves the parking lot and pulls onto the
street. The car makes an abrupt turn into a trailer park
directly behind the car lot and glides to a halt behind a
row of battered airstreams.

Betty gets outs of the Chevy and looks back: the handsome
face of Doctor David Ravell is staring at her from the car.

BETTY
Oh, Christ, what am I gonna do with
you?

She goes back to pick him up, then starts off.

EXT. TRAILER PARK - SAME TIME

A row of cheap trailers on both sides of a crumbling driveway.
Betty appears with her cardboard man tucked under one arm
and then disappears behind a pickup truck.

EXT. SIZEMORE MOTORS - SAME TIME

She tosses the cardboard "David" over a concrete slab wall,
climbs over herself and walks straight to the LeSabres. Her
key opens the last one -- maroon. She puts the doctor on the
passenger seat, gets in the car and inhales the new car smell.

Joyce can be seen inside the trailer, still talking on the
phone. She misses the whole scene as she works on her nails.

BETTY
We deserve this.

INT. LESABRE - DRIVING - DAY

Betty has the car at 75 m.p.h., on the rural Kansas roads,
wheat fields for miles on both sides of her. The RADIO is
blasting Bonnie Raitt and she's singing along.

She sees her speed and punches the accelerator... 80 m.p.h....
85... 90 m.p.h. She turns the radio up louder.

When she approaches a sign saying "You are leaving Kansas"
Betty suddenly becomes self-conscious. She eases up on the
gas... slows down... does a U-turn and heads back toward
Fair Oaks. She glances wistfully in her rear view mirror at
the billboard that quickly fades into the distance.

EXT. BETTY'S NEIGHBORHOOD - LATER

Betty enters a modest residential neighborhood and pulls
into a driveway. She parks in a detached garage and looks
over at the cardboard David. There's no way he's going in
the house. She puts him in the trunk and closes the garage
door.

EXT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

She walks several houses down. On her way to the door we
hear a DOG BARKING, CHILDREN and GENERAL COMMOTION from
inside. SUE ANN ROGERS answers Betty's knock. Her hair is
matted with sweat as she struggles with CHILDREN, ages 4, 3
and 6 months. Suddenly, Sue Ann is hit by an errant rubber
ball.

SUE ANN
Hey, darling... oww! Sorry, got my
own little Gulf War going on here.

Betty takes the baby as Sue Ann pulls a videotape from a
shelf. It's all one move; they do this every day.

BETTY
Did you watch it yet?

SUE ANN
Sure did. I'll tell you, if that man
was any better looking it'd be a
crime 'a some sort...

BETTY
Yep. Hey, I got a surprise for
tonight. We're going to the Starlite
in style!

SUE ANN
Oh, Betty --

BETTY
I'll give you a hint. If you scrunch
up your eyes a bit it looks just
like a Jaguar...

SUE ANN
Honey, I'm really sorry, I was gonna
call you about tonight. Larry's got
a lodge meeting. There's no way I
can get a sitter this fast.

BETTY
(disappointed)
No... what about your sister?

SUE ANN
I can't ask her again -- Nathan,
stop it! Jesse, don't take that, hit
back! -- I feel terrible, hon.

After a beat...

BETTY
It's all right.

SUE ANN
You sure? Maybe next week we could...

BETTY
Uh-huh. No, we'll do it later. 'S
only a birthday, right? I'll have
another one next year...

Betty forces a smile, kisses the baby and hands it back to
Sue Ann, who hands her the videotape.

SUE ANN
Aahhh...
(BEAT)
So what color is it?

BETTY
What?

SUE ANN
The LeSabre!

BETTY
Maroon.
(BEAT)
I stole it.

SUE ANN
What?

BETTY
He wasn't going to let us use it, so
I just took it.

SUE ANN
Oh, I wish we could just get in it
and drive, and drive, and drive!

BETTY
Yeah, me too.

SUE ANN
Sorry, hon. Happy Birthday...

BETTY
I gotta go make dinner.

Betty throws her a look as Sue Ann closes the door. Betty
turns around, frustrated. She starts yanking her apron off
as she crosses the street.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DAY

A low-end ranch. A worn-out sofa and loveseat form an 'L'
that dominates the living room. Romance novels line a small
bookcase. SIX CANARIES in cages chatter away in the kitchen.

Del sits at the dining room table, agitated. He is presently
attacking a pork chop, baked beans and a loaf of Wonderbread.
All we hear is A FORK CLICKING and BIRDS CHIRPING. Betty
stands at the breakfast counter, barefoot, still in her
uniform and quietly eating a salad.

BETTY
Sure you don't want any salad?

DEL
No, I do not want any goddamn...
what was all that shit on the phone
about the new Buicks?

BETTY
I told you. Sue Ann was gonna take
me out tonight, but...

DEL
She's not comfortable in a Corsica?
'S got air and leather...

BETTY
I took the blue Corsica, Del. Relax.

DEL
All right, then. Actually, I'm glad
you're going out. I got something
going on tonight. Some serious
clients, with real potential.

Del BELCHES, smiles, then CLUCKS at the birds nearby.

BETTY
...like the water purifiers?

DEL
What?

BETTY
Or the vitamins? Or the...?

Del almost comes out of his chair, pointing his finger at
her.

DEL
Hey, the FDA screwed me on that when
they changed the law, and you know
it!
(BEAT)
Anyway, 'least I try shit, still got
some dreams left... you're a goddamn
waitress, what do you got?

BETTY
I got you, Del...

DEL
...well, then you ain't got much.

BETTY
Oh, I know.
(BEAT)
So, who're these clients?

DEL
Couple 'a guys in from outta town.
They want to see the new LeSabres.

Betty hides her reaction.

DEL
And I don't need Sue Ann's fat ass
around to fuck it up...

BETTY
Just knock it off, 'kay? Anyhow,
they're 97's, they're not even new.

DEL
They're new to us...

Truce for a moment. Del plucks a copy of Soap Opera Guide
from Betty's purse while absently taking a bite from Betty's
cupcake. He narrowly misses the candle.

DEL
Jesus... you know these actors are
mainly models, which are mainly fags.
They've done studies. The rest're
assholes. But you know what bugs me
most about these soaps?

She silently mimics him as he says...

DEL
It's people with no lives watching
other people's fake lives.

BETTY
Yeah, I guess there's nothing like
watching those tenpins fall, huh,
Del?

DEL
That is a skill!

Del lurches to his feet and crosses to the bird cages as the
canaries CHIRP and SING EXCITEDLY at his approach.

DEL
Daddy's here, babies... daddy's here.
(to Betty)
Be back later... clean up.

He exits. She collects his dirty dishes, puts them in the
sink and starts to wash them. Then she stops.

BETTY
What the hell am I doing?

She drops the dishes with a clatter, pours herself a glass
of wine, lights the candle on her deflowered cupcake and
opens the one card on the table.

CLOSE ON

a traditional greeting from her grandparents. Red hearts and
lace. A color photo of them enclosed.

Betty smiles at this. After moment, she quietly sings a quick
refrain of "Happy Birthday" to herself.

INT. LONNIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT (ON TV SCREEN)

Standing wrapped only in a towel, Lonnie speaks into the
phone.

LONNIE
Tell me something good, Sugar.

INT. CHLOE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT (ON TV SCREEN)

The beautiful nurse Chloe is curled up seductively on her
sofa with her phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

CHLOE
We're all set. I told him my car's
in the shop. He said he'd be happy
to give me a ride home.

LONNIE (V.O.)
You're beautiful.

CHLOE
Tell me something I don't know...

Betty hits FAST FORWARD. Characters flit on and off the screen
at top speed until David Ravell appears.

INT. WOODED ROADSIDE - NIGHT (ON TV SCREEN)

Chloe's magnificent legs are folded into the seat of David's
560 SL. She struggles with her seatbelt, so he helps her.
She makes sure their hands touch.

CHLOE
Thanks for pulling over, David... I
can't go that fast without taking a
breather.

DAVID
Sorry... it's nice to see what this
little beauty can do, though. I guess,
somehow, all that speed helps me
forget the past...

CHLOE
I'm sure it does...
(touching the seats)
Mmm, leather. How far do they recline?

David smiles, a little uncomfortable.

CHLOE
Listen, David, I know I've said it
before, but I want to tell you again
how sorry I am about your wife.
(BEAT)
It must make you scared to get close
to someone again.

She puts her hand over his on the gear shift. A moment.
Finally, he has to move her fingers to start the car.

CHLOE
Let's not go... not yet.

BETTY sits on an old couch in the den and watches, eyes glued
to the screen. Suddenly, she hears the sound of TIRES ON
GRAVEL. HEADLIGHTS sweep across the window.

BETTY
Damn!

She hits PAUSE and crosses to look out.

EXT. BETTY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Del gets out of a black Lincoln Town Car, followed by CHARLIE
and WESLEY -- the guys in the team jackets from the diner.
Charlie is 63 years old. He wears a dress shirt, slacks and
docksiders. The suburban father look.

Wesley is 28. He's in jeans, T-shirt and white Reeboks. Clean
cut; the kid who used to mow your parents' lawn.

Betty quickly snaps out the light and closes the door until
it is open only a crack.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Del swaggers into the house. The two men follow politely.

DEL
...you can have the best damn running
backs in the world, somebody's still
gotta block for 'em.

CHARLIE
You're a hundred percent right. They
rely on what's-his-name's arm too
much...

Del stops and looks around, deflated by the mess.

The den is only a short flight of steps from the living room
and the kitchen. Betty has a clean view of both from where
she sits on the couch.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DEN - NIGHT

She hears Del come in, but doesn't take her eyes off the TV
screen.

DEL (O.S.)
My apologies, gentlemen. I asked my
wife to straighten this shit up before
she went out.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Del crosses to an old stereo and puts on an LP. He smiles as
the music overtakes the room. Charlie and Wesley stand nearby,
appreciating the quaintness of the surroundings.

DEL
Now, what can I get you gentlemen to
drink?

Del crosses to the cupboard. Charlie and Wesley stand
leisurely in the living room.

CHARLIE
Bourbon, little water, thank you.

WESLEY
Beer, please.

DEL
You got it.

Wesley looks at a wedding portrait of Del and Betty.

WESLEY
Hey... you got a fine one right here!

CHARLIE
Wesley...
(to Del)
Your wife's a very lovely woman.
Have I seen her before?

DEL
If you ate at the Tip Top you did.

CHARLIE
Oh, yes, with the coffee...

DEL
Yep, Betty pours a pretty mean cup.

Del reaches into the fridge and produces a Miller for Wesley,
then mixes two drinks and walks into the dining room and
Charlie and Wesley follow to the table and sit down.

CHARLIE
I like this. I like doing business
in the home. It's cozy...
(noticing the card
and cupcake)
Who's birthday?

DEL
Ahh... my wife's.

WESLEY
What'd you get her?

DEL
Huh? Oh, umm, a car.
(BEAT)
So, to a successful transaction...

They raise their glasses and drink. Del tosses back his drink
in one gulp.

INT. DAVID'S CAR - WOODED ROADSIDE - (ON TV SCREEN)

Chloe is on top of David, kissing him on the mouth as he
resists. He finally has to push her away forcibly, and we
hear a TEARING SOUND. Chloe's blouse has been ripped.

DAVID
I'm sorry, Chloe.

She starts to cry. David reaches out to comfort her.

DAVID
It's not that I don't find you
attractive. I'm just not ready...

David looks up to find her lips on his. In spite of himself,
he gives in to the warmth of her kiss and responds hungrily.

Betty is mesmerized.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

The men have retired into the dining room, sitting or standing
around a worn wooded table. Charlie and Wesley are just
finishing their drinks.

DEL
All right gentlemen, let's get down
to it. I need to know if you're for
real.

CHARLIE
If we're for real?

DEL
You don't exactly look like drug
dealers.

WESLEY
Isn't that the point?

DEL
Yeah, well, I don't have time to
screw around. I got buyers in Dallas,
Houston and Vegas who are ready to
snap this stuff up.

CHARLIE
We appreciate that. But you just
poured me a drink, I'd like to enjoy
your hospitality for a few minutes.

DEL
Fine. You got five...

CHARLIE
It's a nice place you got here. Real
comfortable. Sweet little town, Fair
Oaks. You like it here?

DEL
(laughs)
Are you kidding me? What's to like?

WESLEY
Seems like a nice place.

DEL
It is, if you like idiots...

CHARLIE
What do you mean?

DEL
It's a small town, man. I never should
have left Omaha. People here think
small. They act small. They're a
bunch of dumb fucks.

WESLEY
Really?

DEL
You better believe it.

CHARLIE
Could you give us an example?

DEL
Of what?

CHARLIE
I'm asking you for an example of one
of these dumb fucks being a dumb
fuck.

DEL
I don't follow...

CHARLIE
You're not a dumb fuck, are you,
Del?

DEL
(warily)
No...

CHARLIE
I didn't think so. So, give me an
example of a stupid person doing a
stupid thing. Not being stupid, you're
equipped to recognize it.

DEL
Are we gonna do business here, or
not?

WESLEY
Relax, we brought the cash.

CHARLIE
I'm just curious. Can't you give me
an example?

DEL
(annoyed)
All right... lemme see... okay, new
Burger King opens up. These assholes
get excited and start lining up.
Like it's some five star restaurant.
The place is mobbed. Right?

CHARLIE
Hmmmm. "Five Stars," huh?
(BEAT)
Is that stupid, Wesley?

WESLEY
No, that's ignorant. They just don't
know any better.

CHARLIE
That's what I thought.
(to Del)
You better give me another example.

DEL
This is bullshit, can we get down to
business here, please?

Off a look from Charlie, Wesley produces a pistol and gently
nudges the barrel into Del's ear.

DEL
Jesus Christ!

WESLEY
He's waiting...

DEL
Okay, uh... the, umm, Injuns're
stupid.

WESLEY
"Injuns?"

CHARLIE
You did not just say "Injuns," Del.

DEL
The Indians, Injuns, whatever. They're
always drunk and doing stupid things.

CHARLIE
Like what?

DEL
Driving their cars into trees...
puking on the sidewalk... stupid
shit!

CHARLIE
Let's see... around here that would
be Kiowa, Kickapoo or Osage, if I'm
not mistaken.

DEL
I... I don't know...

CHARLIE
Well, my idea of stupid is very
different from yours.
(BEAT)
So here's how this is gonna work.
Would you take your socks off, please?

DEL
My socks?

WESLEY
You heard the man.

Del slowly takes his shoes and socks off. He's sweating,
trembling.

CHARLIE
I'm gonna talk to you and when I'm
finished, you can answer. But I don't
like being interrupted. Now roll
them into a ball...

Del does it.

DEL
Oh, Jesus, please... Please, God.

CHARLIE
...and put them in your mouth.

At a sharp look from Charlie, Del obediently stuffs the socks
into his mouth and starts to cry. Wesley produces a roll of
duct tape and fastens Del's hands to the back of his chair.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DEN - NIGHT

Betty is glued to the TV, oblivious to the men. Chloe and
David are still talking in his car. She continues to cry.

DAVID (V.O.)
You're wonderful, Chloe, you are...
But I just know there's something
special out there for me.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

CHARLIE
Now I'm gonna tell you what stupid
is. Stupid is taking something that
doesn't belong to you. Right Wesley?

WESLEY
That's right.

CHARLIE
Stupid is trying to sell it to other
people who are, by their very nature,
untrustworthy.

WESLEY
That is so right.

CHARLIE
Stupid is calling people in Kansas
City who are affiliated with the
rightful owners of the thing you
stole, and trying to sell it to them.
Right Wesley?

WESLEY
Now, that's really stupid.

CHARLIE
So you see, we have totally different
ideas of what's stupid and what's
not. Don't we?

Del nods; crying, sweating.

CHARLIE
Good. Now we're getting somewhere.
You agree that you were stupid?

Del nods again. Wesley collects Charlie's glass and mixes
him another drink. He gets a beer for himself and stands
behind Del. Charlie sips his drink slowly, savoring it.

CHARLIE
You know, a hundred and fifty years
ago you'd have been scalped for that
remark about Native Americans. Right
here where your house is -- you'd
have been scalped.

WESLEY
Hell of a way to die.

CHARLIE
It wasn't always fatal, Wesley. We
could scalp Del right now, and he'd
be plenty alive to tell us how it
feels.

Del's eyes get huge.

CHARLIE
It's pretty simple, too.
(BEAT)
First you take a knife and just draw
a mark right across the hairline.

Wesley produces a long knife and traces a line across the
very top of Del's forehead. Trickles of blood wind their way
down his brow. Del is MOANING and PANTING through his socks.

CHARLIE
Hold still, Del, we're just talking
here...
(pointing to a spot)
Then you grab a big handful of hair
and pull as you cut. It's amazing
how easily the scalp comes off.

WESLEY
A mark, huh?

Wesley takes a jab at Del's forehead with his knife, leaving
a small cut.

Del starts twitching, rocking back and forth as Wesley grabs
a fistful of his hair.

WESLEY
Shut the fuck up! I bleed more than
that when I shave...

Del stops moving. He breathes furiously through his nostrils.

CHARLIE
Now. I want to know the particulars
of your stupid act: how you got what
doesn't belong to you, who helped
you get it, and of course, where it
is now.

Charlie pulls the socks out of Del's mouth. Del splutters,
gasping for air.

DEL
It's in the Buick! I swear to God
it's all there!

INT. BLAKE DANIELS' OFFICE - DAY (ON TV SCREEN)

David enters. Blake nods to him grimly.

DAVID
You wanted to see me, Blake?

BLAKE
I wish I could say I had good news.
(off David's look)
David, I'll get right to the point.
Chloe Jensen has filed charges of
sexual assault against you.
(BEAT)
You can continue to practice at L.A.
County, but I'm afraid I have to
revoke your privileges here at Loma
Vista until this is resolved.

HOLD on David's shocked expression... MUSIC UP AS

DEL (O.S.)
PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!!

Betty's not sure what Del said, but the panic in his voice
got through. She hits PAUSE and takes a look.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Del is facing her, tiny rivulets of blood running into his
terrified eyes. Wesley stands at his shoulder, still holding
a handful of his hair, still poised with the knife.

DEL
I got it from a truck driver named
Duane Cooley, out of Amarillo. He
brings my cars down from Detroit.
But I haven't touched it, I swear to
you... Please! Please! Please!

Annoyed, Charlie stuffs the socks back in Del's mouth.

Betty stares. Her gaze shifts from Del to Wesley, drawn by
Wesley's demonic expression.

CHARLIE
Consider yourself lucky. Luckier
than those 'Injuns' you have such
contempt for.

Wesley stares at the top of Del's head. Betty stares at
Wesley. Charlie walks into the kitchen for another drink.

CHARLIE
I'll tell you, if anyone got a raw
deal it's the American Indian. This
country has a black mark on its soul
for what was done to them.

Wesley's nostrils flare. Betty leans forward.

CHARLIE
I'm all for them owning casinos,
getting rich off the white man's
greed. It's a beautiful piece of
irony, isn't it, Wesley?

WESLEY
IT SURE IS!!

And with a long SCREAM, Wesley rips Del's scalp from his
head. It makes a sickening sound like fabric tearing. For a
long moment, there is only silence. An eerie silence.

Suddenly, Del SCREAMS into his socks and thrashes in his
seat, blood pouring down his head on all sides.

Somehow, he manages to get to his feet, the chair still taped
to him, and begins smashing into whatever is near. Blood
flies and curios shatter as Del thunders through the room. A
dying bull, only messier. It's quite a show.

CHARLIE
JESUS CHRIST!!!

Wesley steps back, staring at the dripping scalp in his hand,
as if wondering how it got there. Betty is transfixed,
horrified.

Charlie re-enters. The two men look at each other over Del's
MUFFLED SCREAMS as he plows headlong into wooden paneling, a
china cabinet, and finally, back toward them near the
breakfast counter. Del bashes blindly into it.

CHARLIE
(to Wesley)
What the fuck is the matter with
you?!

Wesley is practically foaming at the mouth, still rushing on
what he did. Charlie draws a silenced pistol and mercifully
SHOOTS Del through the head. The big man stops suddenly,
blinks once or twice, topples over.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DEN - NIGHT

Betty points her remote at the dining room and clicks it, as
if trying to make the image disappear. Finally, she gives
up, slowly turning away from the carnage and aims at the TV.
"A Reason to Love" pauses on the face of David Ravell and
Betty sits in absolute silence.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Charlie quickly begins to hide their tracks, producing a
plastic baggie and collecting the beer cans and his own glass.
He also wipes down the fridge as Wesley watches.

CHARLIE
Are you out of your mind? You scalped
him!

WESLEY
You told me how to do it!

CHARLIE
That was to get him to talk!
(BEAT)
Get rid of that thing, will you?

Wesley crosses to the garbage can, steps on the lever. He
looks at the scalp one more time before dropping it in.

CHARLIE
This is great -- just great! Now we
don't know where the goddamn stuff
is.

WESLEY
He told us it's in the Buick.

CHARLIE
We don't know which Buick, do we?

WESLEY
Well, why'd you shoot him?

CHARLIE
I had to shoot him! It was the only
decent thing to do.

They exit the house.

CHARLIE
This is very unprofessional, Wesley.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DEN - NIGHT

Betty is still in the family room, staring at the TV. She
pushes 'play' again and David Ravell begins to speak.

EXT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - STREET - LATER

Sue Ann comes out of her house, balancing a homemade cake in
front of her. The candles give off an unearthly glow as she
picks her way up the Sizemore's gravel drive.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DEN - SAME TIME

Betty is catatonic, staring at the frozen image of David
Ravell on her TV. Downstairs, Sue Ann comes in.

SUE ANN (O.S.)
Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday
to you! Happy Birthday, dear --

A terrified SCREAM as the cake lands unceremoniously on the
entryway.

ON BETTY

As she hits 'Play':

DAVID
...you're wonderful, Chloe, you are...
But I just know there's something
special out there for me.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - FOYER - LATER THAT NIGHT

Roy enters the foyer and looks around, carrying a pad and
pen in hand. He hears VOICES from the kitchen, sees FLASHBULBS
going off. He sneaks down the hall when A VOICE stops him.

DEPUTY
Hang on there, Roy. Nobody comes in.

ROY
Elden called me. He wants to, ahh,
make a statement for the paper...

The deputy nods him through and Roy moves off toward the
sewing room where he has spotted Betty.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - SEWING ROOM - SAME TIME

Betty is packing an overnight bag on her bed when Roy enters
and quietly closes the door behind him. She is working with
a purpose, almost like a different person from the woman we
first met. Still bright and cheerful, but with a willful
glint in her eye. Determined.

ROY
Hey, Betty. Are you okay?

BETTY
I'm great, good, content.
(stopping)
What happened to your arm, Roy?

ROY
Oh, nothing, it's fine. I just need
to keep it wrapped for a few...

BETTY
Make sure it's elevated...

ROY
Uh-huh.

BETTY
You want me to make you a sling?
It's no problem...

Betty starts whipping a T-shirt into place but stops abruptly.
She turns curiously to Roy.

BETTY
What're you doing here, Roy?

ROY
Well, I was worried about you and I
wanted to make sure you were
alright... and I guess I was sort of
hoping I could ask you about what
happened...

BETTY
Oh, that... Sure, I saw the whole
thing. It was disgusting!

ROY
My God... did you get a look at who
did it?

BETTY
Yes.

ROY
You did? Was it anyone that you...?

BETTY
It was Chloe...

Sheriff Ballard enters the house, surveys the scene of the
crime where one deputy wipes blood off his boot with a paper
towel, and erupts when he sees Roy.

BALLARD
Hey, you guys wanna try not stepping
directly in the evidence, please?
(to Roy)
Ostrey, you and your goddamn police
scanner! I leave for ten minutes
and... Betty, I'm sorry about this.

He motions to a female officer.

BALLARD
Why don't you take her down to the
station? We'll be along in a bit...

She leads Betty out the kitchen door.

BETTY
'Night, guys...

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

As Ballard leads Roy into the next room...

BALLARD
Okay, let's go... I got nothing for
the record yet.

ROY
Oww! My arm, careful!

BALLARD
Ahh, what'd you do now... fall off
your bike again?

ROY
No, it's nothing, I... my piranha
just mauled me a little when I layed
their food out.

BALLARD
Good God... they're meat eaters,
Roy, just drop the shit in there!

ROY
I can't... they prefer a more formal
presentation. I don't usually go so
close to the surface, but I was...

BALLARD
...you are so goddamn weird.
(BEAT)
Oh, and by the way, get the hell
outta here!

ROY
No, Elden, I need to...

BALLARD
You need to get yourself gone from
my crime scene. And leave Betty alone,
she's...

ROY
She knows who killed Del. Elden, she
said it was a woman.

BALLARD
It wasn't a woman.

ROY
Yes it was. Betty saw the whole thing!
Your killer's name is Chloe...

BALLARD
I'm tellin' you it wasn't no woman,
Roy!

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Ballard drags Roy into the living room, where he sees Del.
He has been turned upright and is being carefully examined.

ROY
Jesus...

BALLARD
You think a woman did that?!

Roy runs into the kitchen, covering his mouth.

INT. BETTY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Ballard and his cronies delight in watching Roy struggle
with the dry heaves. Roy runs to the kitchen sink, almost
loses it, then wipes his mouth with a paper towel.

BALLARD
Kinda' looks like a burnt out roman
candle, don't he?
(BEAT)
Del must've sold a lemon to the wrong
Indian, and got paid back the old
fashioned way. Them Kickapoos get
pretty mean when they drink...

Roy sees Del's scalp in the garbage can as he goes to drop
his crumpled towel inside.

ROY
So, you think you're gonna find his
scalp hanging in some tepee?

BALLARD
They no longer live in tepees, Mr.
College Graduate.

ROY
Did you send anyone out there?

BALLARD
You bet I did. I got a squad car on
the way to the reservation right
now.

ROY
Bad idea...

BALLARD
You just go write your little story,
Roy. I'll handle the police work...

ROY
You better handle what's in this
garbage can first.

EXT. SIZEMORE MOTORS - NIGHT

Every car on the lot has its trunk open and spare tire on
the ground behind it. Charlie and Wesley are at the last
car.

WESLEY
I still don't understand how you
knew Del was telling the truth.

CHARLIE
I saw his soul Wesley. He was face
to face with his God, and no one
lies in that situation. But your
Geronimo act rattled me, and I
abandoned my instincts.
(BEAT)
Never abandon you instincts.

WESLEY
I didn't. You gave me a look!

CHARLIE
What 'look'?

WESLEY
That one look you got! I thought you
were done, so I took him out...

CHARLIE
I wasn't done, I was just sick of
hearing him whine. And you didn't
take him out, you scalped him. Christ,
I almost puked, did I tell you that?

WESLEY
Well, why'd you have to tell that
Indian story?

CHARLIE
What the hell does that mean? If I'd
told a Ty Cobb story would you have
clubbed him to death with a bat?

Wesley is stung. Charlie slams the last trunk in disgust.
The rest remain where they are; open.

CHARLIE
It's not here. Let's go.

WESLEY
You just gonna leave these cars
sitting here like this?

CHARLIE
Why not, it'll confuse 'em... gotta
do something, now that you fucked it
up.

WESLEY
I wanted to make a statement.

CHARLIE
Let me tell you something. In our
business you can't put food on the
table if your phone doesn't ring.
The guys who get the calls are good --
not flashy, just good. They get in,
they get out. Nobody knows a goddamn
thing. Understand? Boom, boom, boom.
Three in the head and you know they're
dead.

WESLEY
...that's a good motto.

CHARLIE
Fine, I'll get you a bumpersticker,
but you better start believing it!
It's the only statement you need to
make.

INT. POLICE STATION / OBSERVATION ROOM - NIGHT

Betty is questioned in a holding room by a POLICE OFFICER
and a DOCTOR. Ballard and Roy watch through a window.

DOCTOR
And did your husband know these
people?

BETTY
Sort of... but he ignored them.

DOCTOR
And how did that make you feel, Betty?

BETTY
I felt all cold inside. And angry.

Ballard looks both ways to make sure he won't be overheard.

BALLARD
I questioned Joyce about all this...

ROY
Yeah?

BALLARD
Seems she was pretty familiar with
'ol Del. On a regular basis, if you
get my drift...

ROY
...and half the other guys in this
town. Including you, I believe...

BALLARD
Junior year!

ROY
Anyway, so what?

BALLARD
So? ...Suppose Betty found out about
them?

ROY
You said a woman couldn't have done
it.

BALLARD
A woman can write a check.

ROY
So you're saying Betty Sizemore --
our Betty Sizemore -- who you were
in swing choir with -- has now hired
somebody to scalp her husband in her
own kitchen while she watched? You're
amazing.

BALLARD
'S just a theory... just 'cause I'm
thinking it don't mean I like it.

The doctor comes out of the holding room.

BALLARD
How is she?

DOCTOR
She's in a kind of shock. I see all
the signs of a post-traumatic reaction
with possible dissociative symptoms.

BALLARD
Could I have that in American?

DOCTOR
It's a type of altered state... it
allows a traumatized person to
continue functioning.

BALLARD
So she did witness it?

ROY
Oh, you're sharp as a tack, Elden.

BALLARD
That's it! YOU'RE GONE!

He spins Roy around and marches him toward the door, one arm
bent behind his back.

ROY
Oww, the arm, the arm!

BALLARD
You just don't know when to quit,
Roy! You were jealous of me when I
got hall monitor in seventh grade,
and you're still jealous now!!!

ROY
One question, Doctor, please!
(outside the door)
You can't do this! I'm the press, I
have rights!!

BALLARD
That's right, you have the right to
remain silent.

Ballard pushes Roy out the door. As he returns, Roy reappears
behind him, leaning in to listen. Ballard doesn't see him.

BALLARD
Sorry you had to see that. You were
saying?

DOCTOR
I was saying that it seems probable
that she witnessed the murder, but
her memory of it is gone, at least
for the time being. I also think you
ought to have her stay with someone
tonight.
(BEAT)
Any idea who Chloe or Lonnie are?

BALLARD
No... Friends from the diner maybe?

DOCTOR
Well, you should find out. She keeps
talking about them...

Ballard nods, sure he's got a clue here. He looks in at Betty
again, just as she begins repacking her travel bag. He frowns
at this, his suspicions fueled all the more.

EXT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

A police car pulls up to Sue Ann's house. Betty gets out,
carrying her overnight bag. Sue Ann appears, embraces her
and leads her inside.

INT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - LATER

Betty lies down in a bright red race car bed. Sue Ann tucks
her in and turns out the light.

SUE ANN
Let me know if you need anything,
okay?

BETTY
Are you and Larry happy?

SUE ANN
Oh, I dunno... enough, I s'pose.

BETTY
Then you should treasure that... you
gotta hold on to whatever you got
that's any good, even if it's only a
little bit.

SUE ANN
All you been through... I ever tell
you what a good friend you are?

BETTY
All the time...

SUE ANN
Well, you are.

After a beat...

BETTY
Something bad happened to Del and
me, didn't it?

SUE ANN
Yeah, hon. Real bad. You just get
some sleep, everything's gonna be
fine.

BETTY
Sue Ann, I'm sorry about all this,
but I just know there's something
special out there for me...

Sue Ann looks down at her friend, troubled. She strokes
Betty's hair gently and kisses her. After she leaves, Betty
lies awake, staring at the ceiling. A mobile dangles
overhead.

LATER

The Mickey Mouse clock on the wall reads 3:30. Beneath it,
Betty is sitting up in bed, wide awake.

INT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Betty comes down the stairs without a sound. She finds a pen
and paper near the phone and writes a note.

INSERT: Dear Del: This is the hardest thing I've ever done
and I can't even face you. But I need to be honest. We haven't
been happy for a long time. You always say people need their
space, and now you'll have some. I'm sorry.

BETTY

She takes off her wedding band and puts it on the table.

EXT. BETTY'S HOUSE/GARAGE - NIGHT

Betty raises the garage door, tosses her overnight bag and
birthday money envelope into the LeSabre, and gets in. She
drives through Fair Oaks, past the town limits. She keeps on
driving until her car recedes into the moonlit prairie
horizon.

EXT./INT. LESABRE - DRIVING - NIGHT

She comes to a sudden halt in front of the "You are Leaving
Kansas" billboard. She stares hard at it through the
windshield. Suddenly, she hits the gas and bolts off along
the Oklahoma blacktop. She never looks back.

INT. BETTY'S LESABRE - THE NEXT DAY

Betty yawns, looks at her watch and increases her speed.
When she sees a sign for a MOTEL ahead, she pulls off the
highway.

EXT. TRUCK STOP/MOTEL - DAY

She parks at a truck stop/restaurant/motel complex, hops out
and runs to the motel office window.

INT. TRUCK STOP - MOTEL ROOM - DAY

Betty enters her room, immediately turns on the TV, and plops
down on the bed.

VOICE (V.O.)
And now we return to "A Reason to
Love."

EXT. TRUCK STOP/MOTEL PARKING LOT - SAME TIME

A crowded truck stop in the Texas flatlands. THREE TRUCK
DRIVERS in jeans, flannel shirts and denim jackets walk across
the parking lot.

One is an old, grizzled veteran with a salt-and-pepper stubble
and a greasy CAT cap on his head. It's CHARLIE. Next to him
is DUANE, a burly young driver in fancy cowboy boots.
Flanking Duane is WESLEY.

WESLEY
So you got Asian women?

DUANE
(Southern accent)
Sure, I got Asian. Got black, white,
any color you like, video and
magazine. Got fat chicks and animals
too, if you want 'em. They're extra...

CHARLIE
Mmmm. Well, it was a piece of luck
running into you, Duane. I thought I
was gonna have to take Wesley out
and hose him down. All he talks about
is those Japanese gals.

WESLEY
I like 'em small. When you're inside
a little Asian chick, it's like your
dick is the axle that holds her body
together.

DUANE
That's nicely put. You outta get
yourself to Thailand...

They reach Duane's truck, an empty car-carrier with Michigan
plates, and climb up into the cab.

INT. DUANE'S TRUCK - DAY

Two Confederate flags criss-cross over Duane's CB unit. On
the dashboard is a Rebel flag pin, a bumper sticker that
says "The South Will Rise Again" and a dozen country music
tapes.

Duane gets in the sleeper cab, where stacks of porno tapes
and magazines reach the ceiling. Wesley takes the driver's
seat, Charlie, the passenger seat.

CHARLIE
What part of Dixie are you from,
Duane?

DUANE
Georgia. In case I didn't tell you,
it's cash only, gentlemen.

WESLEY
We can live with that.

CHARLIE
I'm a Yankee, myself. Massachusetts.

Duane passes two videos to Wesley.

DUANE
Here's Ghengis Kunt and The
Demilitarized Zone. Get it?
(laughs)
They're Korean, so they're pretty
hot.

CHARLIE
You know, it's interesting. The South
lost the Civil War, but they still
seem to get all the glory.

DUANE
Huh?

CHARLIE
Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson,
Jefferson Davis -- they're all losers
in my book.

Charlie smiles. Duane stops digging through the videotapes.

DUANE
The fuck you talking about?

CHARLIE
Even Robert E. Lee was a loser.

DUANE
(to Wesley)
He goin' crazy on us, or what?

CHARLIE
Did you know the most brutal, inhumane
prison of the entire war was in
Georgia?

DUANE
Really. And where was that, old man?

CHARLIE
Andersonville.
(BEAT)
They did horrible things to men
there...

INT. CHLOE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - (ON TV SCREEN)

Chloe is curled up on her white leather sofa, cowering as
Lonnie hovers over her accusingly.

LONNIE
I think you better tell me what's
going on here, Chloe.

CHLOE
I just feel... funny about what we
did.

LONNIE
(laughs)
You feel guilty? Let me remind you
of something, sweetheart. You're in
this up to those fabulous eyes of
yours. Understand?

The camera holds on her face for a melodramatic beat...
Chloe's trapped, and she knows it.

PULL BACK to reveal Betty lying on the bed in her motel room,
out cold.

INT. DUANE'S TRUCK - LATER

The flag poles over the CB unit are bare. Duane is in the
sleeper cab, his forearms bound to his thighs with duct tape.
A telltale piece of Confederate red fabric hangs out of his
mouth. There is a purplish bruise on his forehead. He's quiet,
but glowering at his captors.

CHARLIE
...So, at a rest stop outside
Logansport you noticed that two guys
were slipping something extra in one
of your cars, and you decided to see
what it was. Then you figured you'd
take this valuable commodity and go
into business yourself, even though
it didn't belong to you. But you
needed a crackerjack salesman to
move it, so you made the biggest
mistake of your short life and chose
Del. Sound right so far?

Duane nods.

CHARLIE
Del's dead, by the way. I sent him
to the Great Beyond.

WESLEY
Actually, I scalped him, and then
you killed him.

Duane narrows his eyes in disbelief.

CHARLIE
Exactly.
(BEAT)
Now, the one thing I don't get is
that we checked all the Buicks on
that lot. Four '97 LeSabres and
nothing in 'em.

Duane smiles mockingly.

CHARLIE
Ohhh... There weren't four, were
there?

Charlie reaches up above the visor and pulls down a rumpled
manifest. He leafs through it.

CHARLIE
There were five, damn it! I should
have known!! Goddamn...
(BEAT)
So, what happened to the fifth car?

Duane shrugs his shoulders.

CHARLIE
You know you're going to die, don't
you, Duane?
(Duane nods)
And you really don't know where that
other LeSabre is, do you?

Duane shakes his head. Charlie sighs, resigned.

CHARLIE
He's telling the truth. He doesn't
know.

WESLEY
Should I kill him now?

CHARLIE
Wait. Any last words, General Lee?

Duane nods emphatically. Wesley pulls the Confederate flags
out of his mouth.

DUANE
Suck my dick, you Yankee piece of
shit.

He spits in Wesley's face. Charlie has to restrain Wesley.

CHARLIE
God, I admire that. Ya see that,
Wesley? That's why they get all the
glory.

Charlie climbs down from the big rig and heads across the
parking lot. The Town Car is parked near the adjacent motel,
just a few spaces away from Betty's LeSabre.

With a furious calm Wesley wipes his face, then takes out a
can of lighter fluid, sets it on the dash and looks at Duane.

WESLEY
...why'd you spit on me?

EXT. TRUCK STOP/MOTEL PARKING LOT - DUSK

Charlie pulls the Town Car alongside Duane's rig and drums
the steering wheel impatiently. It begins to rain. There are
flashes of LIGHTNING in the distance.

CHARLIE
Come on, Wesley, three shots.

A FLASH OF ORANGE FLAME ignites inside Duane's cab. Charlie
sighs. Finally, THREE DULL THUDS reverberate from inside.
Wesley climbs down clutching a videotape and gets in the
car.

CHARLIE
What the hell was that, another
statement?

WESLEY
Well, no one ever spit in my face
before. Especially some cracker fuck.

CHARLIE
You have to rise above it. The
professionals rise above that kind
of thing...

As they drive away FLAMES are beginning to dance inside the
cab.

INT. TRUCK STOP/MOTEL ROOM - EVENING

The FLICKERING LIGHT of the TV screen is the only light.
Betty lies asleep on the bed. The NEWS comes on and she starts
to stir as ...

NEWSCASTER
...small town of Fair Oaks... has
left people shaken... owner-manager
of Sizemore Motors...

Betty sits up. On the TV screen is a shot of Del as Julius
Caesar from one of his commercials.

NEWSCASTER
...police are still investigating.

She blinks at the screen, confused, as the next story comes
on. Betty reaches for the phone.

INT. POLICE STATION - EVENING

Ballard is doing paperwork. Roy is asleep on a nearby bench.
A DEPUTY picks up a ringing phone and hands it to Ballard.

DEPUTY
Sheriff, it's Betty Sizemore, on
two!

BALLARD
SHHH!...
(Whispering)
BETTY? WHERE ARE YOU?

INT. TRUCK STOP/MOTEL ROOM - ON BETTY

BETTY
I'm in a motel. Has something happened
to Del? Did he do something stupid?

BALLARD (V.O.)
BETTY, I NEED TO TALK TO YOU... IN
PERSON! WHERE'RE YOU AT?

BETTY
IF THIS IS ABOUT DEL, FORGET IT! I'M
NOT COMING BACK!

BALLARD (V.O.)
GODAMMIT, BETTY!... WHO'S CHLOE?

BETTY
I'M THROUGH TALKING NOW! GOODBYE!

She hangs up. HEADLIGHTS sweep across the curtains, startling
her.

INT. BETTY'S LESABRE - MOVING - DAY

Betty crosses the border from Texas into New Mexico. She
grips the wheel intently, driving for all she's worth.

EXT. FAIR OAKS TRAILER PARK - LATE AFTERNOON

Betty's blue Corsica sits surrounded by yellow police tape.
Half a dozen COPS mill around. To one side are several
REPORTERS and PHOTOGRAPHERS, Roy included. A FEW RESIDENTS
mill around in the background.

A stack of pictures of Betty sit on a makeshift table.

REPORTER #1
Who witnessed Ms. Sizemore driving
here?

BALLARD
The Assistant Manager, Mr. Wylie.

REPORTER #2
But he couldn't identify the male
passenger?

BALLARD
Only to say he was wearing green.

ROY
What if the killers didn't see her?
You published her picture -- you're
gonna get her killed!

BALLARD
No, we're bringing the community
into the effort to find her.

ROY
You're lying!

BALLARD
I spoke to Betty Sizemore yesterday.
(the reporters hush)
That's right. There's no doubt in my
mind, folks... she's on the run.
Whether or not she's mixed up in all
this remains to be seen...

ROY
That's bullshit, Sheriff! You think
she's a suspect!

BALLARD
I'd like to apologize for our local
boy. He's been in love with Betty
since the fifth grade, y'see. He
means well, but he's in over his
head on this.

INT. TIP TOP DINER - NEXT MORNING

CLOSE SHOT of a headline in the Wichita Eagle: "EYE WITNESS
TO BRUTAL MURDER MISSING" over a picture of Betty. Charlie
is one of MANY CUSTOMERS reading a copy. Wesley is plowing
through a stack of pancakes.

WESLEY
So how do we know that car's still
in Fair Oaks?

CHARLIE
We don't. But a '97 Le Sabre'll be
easy to find if it's here, town this
size...
(BEAT)
He said he gave his wife some car as
a gift, remember?

Charlie turns the page for emphasis and studies Betty's
features.

CHARLIE
This is bad, Wesley. Very, very bad.

Wesley happily adds three strips of bacon brought by A
WAITRESS, who wears a button with the word "Missing" over
Betty's face.

CHARLIE
...extremely bad.

Wesley finally looks up, directly at the picture of Betty.

CHARLIE
Did you hear what I said?

Wesley nods, his mouth stuffed with food.

CHARLIE
Maybe you don't appreciate the gravity
of this situation. It's bad enough
that we don't have what we came here
for. It's worse that we don't know
where it is. And now this.
(points at the headline)
This was supposed to be my last job.
I already put the deposit down on my
boat.
(BEAT)
How can you eat at a time like this?
I get nauseous just watching you...

WESLEY
I can eat because I know we didn't
kidnap that woman. I can eat because
they aren't looking for us. And I
can eat 'cause I'm fucking hungry...
(off Charlie's look)
...relax. She's gonna end up on a
milk carton and that's about it.

CHARLIE
I hope you're right...

WESLEY
...I know I am. Let's just do what
we gotta do here, and get the fuck
gone.

They sit for a moment in silence. Wesley swallowing without
chewing and Charlie studying Betty's photo.

CHARLIE
She got out of town awfully fast.
And wasn't she quiet in that house?
I think most women would have
screamed, don't you? I know they
would've...
(BEAT)
We could be dealing with a cunning,
ruthless woman...

INT./EXT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - DAY

Sue Ann opens her front door to find Wesley standing before
her. It's a new Wesley: glasses, conservative suit, and a
convincingly humble manner.

WESLEY
Mrs. Rogers? I'm Dwight Campbell,
with Neighborly Life Insurance. I'm
looking for Betty Sizemore.

SUE ANN
I wish I could help you, but I can't.

Wesley is hit by a flying action figure. He doesn't flinch.
Kids run by.

WESLEY
Aren't they precious?
(BEAT)
Ma'am, she has a substantial death
benefit coming to her from the tragic
loss of her husband. Does she have
any relatives in the area?

SUE ANN
No.
(BEAT)
Well, her grandparents are down in
Oklahoma, but that's it...

WESLEY
I see. And are you in touch with
Mrs. Sizemore?

SUE ANN
No. But I'm taping her show every
day so she can watch it when she
comes back.

WESLEY
Her show?

SUE ANN
"A Reason to Love."

Wesley's eyes light up. He can't help himself.

WESLEY
I see.
(BEAT)
Did Chloe testify?

SUE ANN
(reassuring)
I don't think she will. She's a slut,
but I just don't think she's that
mean. Jasmine'll bring her around...

WESLEY
Jasmine... Do you have yesterday's
show on tape, by any chance?

Sue Ann holds the door open, smiling, and Wesley enters.

INT. TIP TOP DINER - KANSAS - DAY

Charlie nurses a cup of coffee at the counter while talking
to Darlene. His Federal Marshall's badge rests on the counter.
Shehands him two photos of Betty taken at her birthday
celebration. In one she's holding the cardboard David Ravell.
The other, a closeup shot.

CHARLIE
...and how long did she work here?

DARLENE
Oh, five years, give or take.

CHARLIE
Hmm... you two in high school
together?

DARLENE
Aren't you a sweetheart... no, not
quite. Anyway, she's been with us
awhile.

CHARLIE
But she wanted more out of life,
right?

DARLENE
No... she just wanted something outta
life. Anything. And with Del, she
wasn't getting nothing. That's her
husband, Del. I'm sorry about what
happened and all, but that's the way
I feel about all of this...

CHARLIE
I see.
(holding up photos)
May I?

DARLENE
If it helps bring her back, be my
guest...

CHARLIE
Thank you for your cooperation.
(BEAT)
Just one more thing... did she ever
talk about getting rich?

DARLENE
...who doesn't?

Darlene tries to smile and returns to the kitchen. Charlie
studies the snapshots, comparing them.

INT. APARTMENT/BEDROOM - DAY

Wesley is in bed on top of Joyce, humping her slowly.

WESLEY
...and what kind of car does she
drive?

JOYCE
Well, she wanted a LeSabre, but Del
made her use that blue Corsica...
(BEAT)
So, is this what you boys'd call
'pumping me for information?'

Joyce GIGGLES as Wesley stops moving.

WESLEY
Did you say LeSabre?

JOYCE
Look, she didn't kill Del over no
car if that's what you're thinking.

WESLEY
But she could have taken one, right?

With her knees, Joyce prods him into humping her again.

JOYCE
Maybe, but I don't think she had the
nerve. I know her. And I'm a pretty
good judge of character...

Joyce reaches for a cigarette on the nightstand and takes a
deep drag. Wesley closes his eyes and turns away, offended.

WESLEY
...yeah, I can see that.

EXT. DESERT ROAD - WILLIAMS, ARIZONA - DAY

Betty drives along a lonely stretch of highway that slowly
reveals a desert town in the distance.

INT. CANYON RANCH BAR - DAY

Big ol' place. Lots of wood and red leather. Betty rushes in
as the clock on the wall reads 2:58. The Town Drunk, MERLE,
is alone at the bar watching "Bass Masters" on a huge TV
screen. In front of him is a remote control. A FEW OTHERS at
tables.

Betty sidles up to the bar and sits down. She looks at Merle,
at the clock, at the remote.

BETTY
Would you mind very much if I changed
the channel at three o'clock?

MERLE
Yes.

He BURPS, then finally looks at her with bleary eyes.

BETTY
Please? It's very important to me.
"A Reason to Love" comes on at three
around here.

He ignores her. Betty puts her wallet on the bar.

BETTY
I'll give you money.

Merle SLAMS his hand down on the bar, scaring her.

MERLE
ARE YOU DEAF?!!

It's 3:01. ELLEN DRABER, 40's, appears behind the bar, looks
at the clock and takes the remote from Merle. She changes
the channel to "A Reason to Love" as the opening titles end.

Betty can't believe it. Merle smiles at her wickedly.

MERLE
Please keep it down, it's time for
"A Reason to Love..."

BETTY
That's real funny. Why don't you
have another drink?

ELLEN
What's the matter here?

BETTY
I begged him to let me put that on!

ELLEN
He's a prick. Merle?... You're a
prick.

MERLE grunts in reply. Ellen turns back to Betty.

ELLEN
So you're into "Reason," too?
Finally, someone civilized! I'm Ellen,
what can I get you?

BETTY
Hi, I'm Betty. I'll take a Miller,
if you got it...

INT. CHLOE'S APARTMENT - DAY (ON TV SCREEN)

Chloe paces in front of her white sofa, a matching white
telephone in her hand. She looks worried.

ELLEN (O.S.)
What's that bitch up to now?

We hear the BEEP TONE of an answering machine.

CHLOE
Lonnie? It's Chloe. We need to talk...
I don't think I can go through with
this.

She hangs up. The camera stays on her for a melodramatic
beat of introspection as we GO TO COMMERCIAL.

INT. CANYON RANCH BAR - RETURN TO BAR

BETTY
Do you have a phone?

Ellen swings a phone up onto the bar.

ELLEN
If it's long distance you can leave
me a buck when you're done.

Betty dials...

BETTY
Sue Ann? It's Betty. I just wanted
to let you know I'm okay... Huh? I'm
at the Canyon Ranch Bar in...
(looks at Ellen)

MERLE
Phoenix...

ELLEN
Shut up, Merle... Williams.

BETTY
Williams, Arizona. About halfway
there, I guess.

INT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - DAY

Sue Ann is in her kitchen, ignoring the pleas of all three
children.

SUE ANN
Halfway where? You've gotta come
home. We've been worried sick about
you. Are you alright?

BETTY (V.O.)
Sue Ann, I thought you of all people
would back me up on this, you know
what Del's like. How did he take my
note?

SUE ANN
Betty, honey, listen to me. A man
came by from Mutual Life Insurance.
He says you've got money comin' to
you from Del's policy.
(BEAT)
Del's life insurance policy -- Are
you with me?

BETTY (V.O.)
What are you talking about?

INT. CANYON RANCH BAR - DAY

"A REASON TO LOVE" comes back on the TV.

BETTY
Tell Del I'm sorry. I left so quick,
but I need to do this.

SUE ANN (V.O.)
Do what?

BETTY
I gotta go.

SUE ANN (V.O.)
Betty! Listen to me! Del is ...

Betty hangs up.

INT. COCKTAIL LOUNGE - NIGHT (ON TV SCREEN)

David is at a bar staring into his drink. Lonnie is with
him.

LONNIE
How you holding up, amigo?

DAVID
I just wish I knew why she's doing
it.

LONNIE
Yeah. Women are an unsolved mystery.

ELLEN (O.S.)
If that little weasel ever walked in
here I wouldn't serve him.

BETTY (O.S.)
I'd slap his face.

ELLEN (O.S.)
I'd kick him in the nuts, if I thought
he had any.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CANYON RANCH BAR - LATER

There are two empty beer bottles in front of Betty. The THEME
MUSIC and CLOSING CREDITS of "A Reason to Love" are playing.
Betty pushes the phone back across the bar.

ELLEN
Where you headed, Betty?

BETTY
Los Angeles, California.

ELLEN
And you called your friend, and she's
telling you not to go?
(Betty nods)
When I went to Europe my friends
told me I was crazy.

BETTY
Europe? The Europe?
(laughs)
This is my first time out of Kansas.

ELLEN
I should call you Dorothy.
(BEAT)
When I left here I went straight to
Italy. Everybody told me not to go.
But I wanted to go to Rome ever since
I saw Audrey Hepburn in "Roman
Holiday," and goddamnit, I went.

BETTY
Did you love it?

ELLEN
Sure I loved it! It was great.

Ellen rinses a few glasses as she talks to Betty.

ELLEN
Let me tell you something. I got
groped by these Tunisian guys who
thought I was a slut for wearing
shorts, it was hotter than stink the
whole time, and I got some kind of
weird gum disease from the water.
Plus, it ended my marriage --

BETTY
That's horrible!

ELLEN
No, he was a toad. Even more of a
toad than Merle... I just wear the
ring to keep the flies away. Rome
was the best thing I ever did, because
I DID IT! And I swear to you, it
changed me. I've been to Rome, Italy!
I sat every morning at the Cafe
Sistina and had my cappuccino, and
watched the pilgrims walk to mass,
and no one can ever take that away
from me.

Betty leans across the bar conspiratorially. She looks at
Merle to make sure he won't hear her.

BETTY
I left my husband two days ago.

ELLEN
Really?

BETTY
I'm getting back with my ex-fianc.
He proposed to me right around here,
so I guess this is just sort of a
sentimental stop...

ELLEN
Wait, I thought you said you'd never
been outta Kansas...

BETTY
Oh. I mean, except for that.
(BEAT)
Yep. I'm trading in a car dealer for
a heart specialist, so that's pretty
good...

ELLEN
Nice move. Cedars Sinai?

BETTY
No. Loma Vista.

ELLEN
(laughs)
I s'pose his name's David Ravell.

BETTY
(truly shocked)
How did you know?

ELLEN
What's his real name?

BETTY
Dr. David Ravell.

ELLEN
You mean... George McCord, the actor?

BETTY
No, I mean David Ravell. He's a
surgeon.

Ellen looks at Betty.

ELLEN
Yeah, I know, we just watched him
together, remember? Up there on the
TV.
(off Betty's earnest
look)
Good God Almighty... You're serious.
I've heard about people like you.

Ellen whistles, wipes the bar down to buy a few seconds.
Merle looks over at Betty, then catches Ellen's eye.

ELLEN
Piss off, Merle.
(to Betty)
So how you gonna find him, Betty?

BETTY
I'll go to the Hospital.

ELLEN
What if you can't find him? What if
you get out there, and nothing's the
way you thought it was gonna be?

BETTY
Like Rome?

ELLEN
Worse.

BETTY
You made out alright.

ELLEN
Yeah, but at least I knew Rome was
gonna be there when I arrived...

Ellen walks to the end of the bar and starts rinsing glasses.
After a beat, Betty gets up and moves down close to her.

BETTY
Ellen, this is the biggest thing
I've ever done, but I've gotta do
it.

ELLEN
You take care of yourself then, Betty,
and don't let anybody stop you...

BETTY
To tell you the truth, I can't believe
I've made it this far. It may not be
Europe, but I just know there's
something special out there for me...

Ellen looks into Betty's eyes -- sees the innocence, the
hope and enthusiasm -- and has to look away. Betty takes it
as her cue to leave. She smiles, puts two dollars on the bar
near the phone and leaves. Ellen stands perfectly still,
watching the door.

MERLE
What planet is she from?

INT. BETTY'S LESABRE - GRAND CANYON - MOVING - DAY

Betty approaches the GRAND CANYON, driving slowly along the
South Rim, searching for a specific spot. Finally, she pulls
over abruptly. This is it. We can tell by the joy in her
expression.

EXT. GRAND CANYON - DAY

Betty walks to the rail and gazes out at the canyon. Turning
her head slowly, as if expecting it, she sees DAVID RAVELL
leaning on the rail about twenty feet away, clutching a
bouquet of roses.

Betty starts toward him... he starts toward her... A magic
moment... Shattered when a black sedan appears, inching its
way along. She freezes. David vanishes, and... An ELDERLY
MAN helps his wife out of the car and snaps her picture in
front of the canyon. Betty moves away.

INT. LINCOLN TOWN CAR - KANSAS - MOVING - NIGHT

Charlie and Wesley drive across Kansas farm country.

CHARLIE
So she gets rid of the asshole and
is set for life in the same day.

WESLEY
You think so? Joyce says she's timid.

CHARLIE
Joyce was screwing Del.

WESLEY
...among others.

CHARLIE
I'd say that about torches her
credibility, wouldn't you?

WESLEY
Yeah, well, if the wife's trying to
sell it she'll fuck up. She's an
amateur, just like Del was.

The CAR PHONE RINGS. Charlie answers.

CHARLIE
Maybe...
(into phone)
Yes?

SUE ANN (V.O.)
Is this Neighborly Life Insurance?

CHARLIE
Sorry, you've got the wrong number.

He hangs up.

CHARLIE
No, I see Betty as a Midwestern Stoic
type. Ice water in her veins. A clear
thinker. Probably a Swede or a Finn.

WESLEY
A 'Finn?' What is a Finn?

CHARLIE
You should read more. Listen to me.
I think this woman was waiting for a
chance to do this, and we gave it to
her. She kept to herself for years,
living with a pompous asshole. Then
she sees her opportunity, and BOOM! --
she leaves that little mudpatch in
the dust. These heartlanders can't
figure it out, 'cause that's not
their sweet little Betty. Hah! We've
been tracking her for, what, three
days and I already understand her
better'n most the people in that
shitty little burg.

Charlie pulls out the close-up photo and studies it.

CHARLIE
Betty, Betty, Betty...

WESLEY
So what the fuck's a Finn?

CHARLIE
Oh, for Chrissakes. It just means
the kind of person who can eat shit
for a long time without complaining,
then cut their momma's throat and go
dancing the same night.

WESLEY
Like... us?

CHARLIE
No,... like a worthy adversary,
Wesley. Like a very worthy adversary.

INT. ROY'S APARTMENT - DAY

Roy approaches his fish tank cautiously. He leans down and
looks at the piranha as a TV commercial ends and "A Reason
to Love" comes on.

He then returns to his computer, struggling to find the right
words and to type them with only one hand. He types a little,
stares at the screen, then deletes an entire sentence one
character at a time, hammering on the 'Delete' key. He glances
up at the television as the words 'Chloe' and 'Lonnie' are
repeated.

INT. POLICE STATION - BALLARD'S OFFICE - THE NEXT DAY

Roy and Sue Ann go straight to Ballard's office, where they
find him at his desk eating lunch out of tupperware
containers. He wears a napkin tucked into his shirt-top.

BALLARD
What the hell do you want?... Hey,
Sue Ann, what's up?

ROY
We think we know where Betty is.

BALLARD
Ah, shit... Do I have to hear this
now?

SUE ANN
What's with the tupperware, Elden,
did Meredith run outta baggies?

BALLARD
No reason to get a plate dirty.

ROY
I see you're sticking to the diet
Betty put you on...

BALLARD
Worry about your own goddamn lunch!

ROY
(excited; to Sue Ann)
Tell him what you told me.

SUE ANN
Betty is a big, big fan of the soap
opera, "A Reason to Love." Look...

She tosses a copy of "Soap Opera Digest" on the desk. Ballard
ignores it and keeps eating.

BALLARD
Why do I need to see this? Did he
ask you to...?

ROY
Listen! I saw 'Chloe' and 'Lonnie'
on T.V. They're television characters.

SUE ANN
Betty's in love with Dr. David Ravell,
from the show. What if she's out in
Los Angeles looking for him? The
actor, I mean...

BALLARD
That's the dumbest thing I've ever
heard.

ROY
Yeah? Well, she called Sue Ann
yesterday from Arizona.

BALLARD
She said she was in Arizona, did
she?

ROY & SUE ANN
Yes!!

BALLARD
You people are even more stupid than
I thought. The woman's on the run
and she's gonna just phone in her
location?

SUE ANN
Come on, Elden, she's not on the
run. Couldn't you at least call the
Los Angeles Police Department?

ROY
You gotta do that much.

BALLARD
Hey, I'm the law. I don't gotta do
nothing...

EXT. FARMHOUSE - OKLAHOMA - DAY

The Lincoln pulls into the dusty, overgrown driveway and
front yard of a derelict farm.

INT. FARMHOUSE / KITCHEN - DAY

The remains of pie and coffee on the table, Charlie and Wesley
kick back with JERROLD BLAINE and his wife ELIZABETH, both
in their 80's. Photos of Betty at various ages lie scattered
in front of them.

Charlie holds up a picture of a young Betty in ballerina
costume posing at the barre. He studies it intently.

ELIZABETH
This is Betty at twelve.

CHARLIE
Very graceful. Perfect form.

ELIZABETH
Betty was a lovely child.

JERROLD
And she always had such spirit! But,
after her mother died...

WESLEY
Would you say she was ambitious?

JERROLD
Oh, there's no tellin' what that
girl could've accomplished, and she
never had it easy. Never really had
a childhood... caring for her father,
going to school.

Charlie admires a photo of Betty, around 18 years old. He
continues to rummage through a box of collectibles, pocketing
a small child's diary when it is convenient.

CHARLIE
Wise beyond her years, I'm sure, and
such poise, too.
(quietly)
Very, very impressive...

WESLEY
Well, then, did you ever get any
indication that she wanted to leave
her husband?

ELIZABETH
I don't like talking bad about the
dead, but now that he's gone I can
tell you she put up with things in
that marriage I wouldn't have. And
yes, she, of all people, was the one
who defended him. And that's why
what that sheriff said makes me so
angry.

CHARLIE
What do you mean?

ELIZABETH
If anyone had paid to have that
husband of hers killed, it would
have been me.

CHARLIE
(taking her hand)
Mrs. Blaine? I can tell you right
now, without a doubt, that your
granddaughter is alive, and did not
kill Del Sizemore.

JERROLD
You've got to be missing a piece of
your soul to kill someone. That's
not our Betty...

WESLEY
(defensive)
...why do you think you have to be
missing a piece of your soul to kill
somebody?

JERROLD
Because it ain't natural, young man.

WESLEY
What are you talking about? Killing's
totally natural. It's dying that
isn't natural...

CHARLIE
(covering)
My partner's still young, Mr. Blaine,
and he loves his job.
(laughs)
He'd like to kill all the criminals
himself!
(BEAT)
Now, if Betty was running from
someone, where do you think she'd
go?

INT. BETTY'S LESABRE/ EXT. COUNTY USC HOSPITAL - MOVING -
AFTERNOON

Betty drives through Boyle Heights -- East L.A., holding a
map and checking street signs. She is wearing a brand new
Nurse's uniform. Up ahead, she sees the hillside complex of
L.A. County/USC Hospital. Hurriedly, she pulls over and checks
herself in the visor mirror. She is underwhelmed.

BETTY
God... I still look like a waitress.

INT. HOSPITAL - CHIEF NURSE'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON

The CHIEF NURSE, a large, dynamic woman in her 50's, faces
Betty across her desk.

CHIEF NURSE
Of course, I don't know every doctor
who works here...

BETTY
Dr. Ravell's the finest surgeon on
the staff. You must know him. He's
incredibly handsome, gentle,
considerate. He's being sued for
sexual assault right now, but --
(Off Chief Nurse's
look)
It's not true. He was set up.

CHIEF NURSE
Well, I certainly would have heard
about that.

BETTY
Of course, he's only here two days a
week. He's also on staff over at
Loma Vista.

CHIEF NURSE
...I don't think I know that hospital.

BETTY
It's in a very pretty area that gets
a lot of sun, has palm trees out
front, mountains in the background...

CHIEF NURSE
Really? You've just described all of
Southern California.

The Chief Nurse looks at Betty for a moment, then stands
abruptly, signaling the end of the interview.

CHIEF NURSE
Well, I'm sorry, but I can't even
consider you without references or a
resume. And frankly, I don't know
how you could have forgotten them.

INT. HOSPITAL / HALLWAY - LATER

On her way down the hall Betty passes a patient's room when
the sound of A PERSON MOANING stops her. She can't help but
go inside. A TV plays commercials.

AN OLDER WOMAN lies in bed, alone and staring at the ceiling.
Betty looks around and notices several arrangements of flowers
on a deserted nightstand. She brings them over to the older
woman's bedside, positions them, then gently strokes her
head.

BETTY
There... you rest now.

The woman's eyes flutter. She is disoriented at first, then
calms as she adjusts to the comforting sight of Betty. Betty
takes her hand.

OLDER WOMAN
Who... who're you?

BETTY
I'm... I'm Nurse Betty.

The woman smiles serenely at this and begins to drift off.
Betty checks her monitors as the opening credits of "A Reason
to Love" begin to play.

She glances up at the doorway at the same moment and sees
Dr. David Ravell standing at the entrance. He checks the
chart on the door, smiles warmly at Betty and then moves
off. In a flash, Betty is up and after him.

The THEME MUSIC is her private soundtrack as she checks out
every man in surgical scrubs, looking for David Ravell.
Then... She sees him. In all his glory at the end of a
corridor walking away from her. Betty gives chase. She gains
steadily on him, her heart racing. As they near Emergency
the NOISE LEVEL picks up. He stops at the nurses' station.
Betty closes the gap. She starts to run.

BETTY
DAVID!!!

He turns to face her... It's not David Ravell.

BETTY
Sorry, I thought you were someone
else.
(BEAT)
Do you know Dr. David Ravell?

The man shakes his head. Betty keeps going, looking around:
it's incredible -- the size, the activity, the intensity.

INT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY AREA - SAME TIME

DOZENS OF PATIENTS lie on gurneys awaiting treatment in a
holding area. It's still more intense at the entrance: VOICES
talking back and forth urgently, POLICE OFFICERS, CIVILIANS,
DOCTORS AND NURSES converging.

EXT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY AREA - LATE AFTERNOON

FIVE AMBULANCES unload patients at the same time. At that
moment a group of TWENTY JAPANESE HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATORS
reaches the E.R. portion of their tour.

A WHITE MERCEDES tears up the ramp and SCREECHES to a stop.
A YOUNG MAN in gang colors is pushed out, bleeding heavily.
A DOCTOR runs at the Mercedes to head it off, yelling
indignantly. The car plows right into him and takes off.
Another ambulance crests the ramp, lights flashing. The
Mercedes SLAMS into it head-on. NURSES AND DOCTORS run into
the parking lot. A GANGBANGER gets out of the Mercedes, dazed
and wobbly. He pulls a pistol. Everyone dives for cover.

The Mercedes driver is unconscious. The driver of the smashed
up ambulance is slumped over the wheel. The rear doors fly
open, and a young Hispanic woman, ROSA HERRERA, leaps out.

ROSA
SOMEBODY HELP US! PLEASE, SOMEBODY!

Doctors and nurses work on patients and try to get to the
injured doctor, but the kid with the gun keeps them away.
SECURITY GUARDS draw their guns and scream at him to drop
it.

ROSA
WHY ISN'T ANYBODY HELPING US?!!
(to gunman in Spanish)
Hey, you little shit! If I had a gun
I'd shoot you right now!

The loading area is jammed with panicked people. Doctors and
nurses creep out of the hospital on all fours, trying to
stay low. No one is getting to Rosa, whose frantic eyes find
Betty. They look right at each other.

ROSA
What are you standing there for?!

Betty walks toward her calmly, indifferent to the danger as
Rosa pulls the gurney out of the ambulance herself. A
PARAMEDIC lies unconscious inside.

ROSA
You gotta help him, he's hurt bad!!

On the gurney is a YOUNG MAN with a chest wound, nearly dead
from blood loss. A DOCTOR appears and quickly examines him
while keeping one eye on the gunman. He looks up at Betty.

DOCTOR #1
Forget it! He doesn't have a chance.
Help us over here.

The doctor takes off. Rosa looks at Betty, crying.

ROSA
Please!

Betty hesitates, then checks his pulse -- he has none. She
peels back the bandages over a huge chest wound.

ROSA
Danny, it's gonna be all right!

Betty looks at Rosa again; looks around for help -- there's
no one. She plunges her fingers into the wound.

ROSA
(panic)
What are you doing?

BETTY
He has no heartbeat!

ROSA
You're hurting him!!

BETTY
I'm massaging his heart. I saw it
done once.

ROSA
ARE YOU CRAZY?!! STOP IT!!!

BETTY
LISTEN TO ME! IF I DON'T DO THIS,
HE'S DEAD!

She keeps working on him. We hear a GUNSHOT, and the kid
with the pistol falls to the pavement. The loading area
immediately fills with DOCTORS, NURSES and COPS.

BETTY
All right, we're moving him inside!
Give me a hand!

Rosa is shocked into motion. Together they wheel Danny toward
the entrance. A DOCTOR and TWO NURSES come out to take over.
Betty, her white uniform now covered in blood, steps aside.

INT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM - LATER

The DOCTOR tries to calm Rosa and keep her from entering the
treatment area.

ROSA
Is he gonna live?

DOCTOR
He's got a chance. Thanks to what
that nurse did.

They exit together as AN ADMINISTRATOR and several Japanese
officials approach. The Chief Nurse hovers nearby.

ADMINISTRATOR
(to Chief Nurse)
Harriet? Who is that remarkable nurse?

CHIEF NURSE
That's Betty Sagamore. I hired her
today.

INT. CHEAP HOTEL - NIGHT

SEVERAL LOW LIFES are hanging out in the lobby. When Betty
comes in with a bag of groceries they look up, ready to hassle
her as she approaches the DESK CLERK.

BETTY
May I have my key, please?

She puts the bag on the counter, revealing that the front of
her white uniform is covered with blood. She smiles at the
low lifes, stopping them in their tracks.

INT./EXT. MOTEL ROOM - HOUSTON, TEXAS - DAY

The Town Car's looking a little muddy around the rims.
Charlie and Wesley look tired as they wait in a seedy motel
room. Charlie sits near a window, reading diary entries aloud.
Wesley kicks back on the bed, fast-forwarding through "Genghis
Kunt" and talking back to the screen.

WESLEY
Thas' it, thas' it... conquer that
bitch.
(BEAT)
What time're they coming?

CHARLIE
It's not an exact science, Wesley.
He said they'll be here... My Houston
contact has always been very reliable.

WESLEY
And then we're gonna do her right
here. Right?

CHARLIE
You're always so coarse... "Do her
right here." Let's just see what
happens, okay?
(reading)
"I wish that I could find a way; To
speak my thoughts on Mother's Day.
There are no words that quite express;
My gratitude or happiness. A pleasant
smile perhaps a kiss; I would not
fail to give her this. I'd make her
glad the whole day through; By sayin'
'Mother', I love you!' P.S. I wish I
could say this to my mother's face,
but I can't anymore."

Wesley rolls his eyes and turns up the volume. Finally a car
pulls up outside and Charlie snaps the book closed. He makes
a quick attempt to arrange himself and motions to Wesley,
who turns off the tape.

A WOMAN with greasy blonde hair and skinny legs shown off by
a short skirt comes in with another MAN. Charlie looks her
over disgustedly as his face falls.

CHARLIE
Who are you?!
(to the man)
What the... Who the hell is this?

MAN #1
Easy, Charlie! She's exactly who you
said you were looking for.

CHARLIE
Wait, wait a minute. We have a major
miscommunication here. This not Betty.
This is not even close to Betty...

WOMAN
What the fuck're you talking about?
My name's Betty...

CHARLIE
Then I'm sorry... Wrong Betty.

WESLEY
Let's get out of here. We got another
long drive ahead of us.
(BEAT)
...the fuck where I do not know, but
I know it's gonna be long.

CHARLIE
(gathering his things)
Betty would never dress like that.
She's not some trailer park slut!

WOMAN
Fuck you!

CHARLIE
And she doesn't have a sewer for a
mouth...

WESLEY
Okay, thank you, goodbye... Keep in
touch...

CHARLIE
...She's got class, and poise. Lots
of poise...

The man looks at Charlie, then at Wesley, who shrugs in reply
as he steers them out the door.

WESLEY
Will you ease off on the 'poise'
shit, you're spooking me here...

INT. HOSPITAL - CHIEF NURSE'S OFFICE - DAY

The Chief Nurse sits behind her desk. Betty faces her like a
student in the principal's office, now dressed in her white
waitress uniform. She hopes no one notices.

CHIEF NURSE
What you did yesterday was reckless
at best. You are not an employee of
this hospital! If that boy dies I
don't even want to think of the
lawsuit that'll follow. Are we
communicating here?

BETTY
Yes, ma'am.

CHIEF NURSE
Good. I'm prepared to offer you a
job. You can help out in the pharmacy
until your California certification
and references arrive, but you are
not to touch anyone. Is that totally
clear?
(Betty nods)
Fine...

The Chief Nurse gets up, and Betty follows suit.

CHIEF NURSE
You can start tomorrow. And don't
say a word about this to anyone.
(studying Betty's
uniform)
Is that issue?

BETTY
Umm... yes. Back home.

CHIEF NURSE
Alright. Oh, and one more thing about
what you did yesterday... Well done.

INT. HOSPITAL - INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - DAY

Danny Herrera is in bed unconscious. Rosa and her MOTHER are
keeping vigil when Betty enters. Rosa jumps to her feet.

ROSA
Hey, it's Supernurse! Betty, right?

Rosa hugs her and tells her mother in Spanish who Betty is.

ROSA
My mother doesn't speak English.

Sra. Herrera smiles at Betty and starts to cry. As she steps
forward, Rosa stands aside. The short, stocky woman envelops
Betty in a bearhug.

MOTHER
No podremos olvidar lo que hizo ayer.

ROSA
(translating)
We can't forget what you did
yesterday... How can my family ever
repay you?

BETTY
Tell her I was just --

MOTHER
Yo s que es su empleo, pero...

ROSA
She doesn't care if it was just your
job... Danny would be dead now but
for you.

Sra. Herrera kisses Betty's hands and smiles through her
tears. Then she motions to Rosa to take her place as she
goes to Danny's bedside. Betty picks up Danny's chart and
reads it.

ROSA
You don't sound like you're from
here.

BETTY
I'm not. I just drove in from Kansas.

ROSA
So why'd you come to L.A.?

BETTY
I came for love. My fiancÚ is here.

MOTHER
Bravo! Mi hija no hace nada para
amor...

ROSA
You're making me look bad... My mother
says I wouldn't move across the street
for love.

BETTY
It's something I had to do. For David.

ROSA
'David.' That's your guy. So, you
staying with him?

THE ICU NURSE enters and adjusts the bank of machines feeding,
medicating and monitoring Danny. Betty watches with interest.

BETTY
No... I don't really know where he
is yet. I'm at a hotel around the
corner.

ROSA
Man, that is love.

MOTHER
Ella debe quedar contigo.

ROSA
What? Ahh, Mom says you should stay
with me... Okay, yeah, why not?

Betty looks at Sra. Herrera curiously.

ROSA
You can go get your stuff right now.
I'll walk you down.

BETTY
No, that's not, I couldn't...

ROSA
Listen, when someone does the kind
of thing you did, you gotta do
something in return. So, you stay
with me until you find your David
and live happily ever after. Okay?

Rosa follows Betty out the door.

EXT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Betty and Rosa make their way up the stairs of a Silverlake
apartment house.

At the sound of SCREECHING TIRES they both look down as a
black Lincoln Town Car drives by. Betty shudders.

ROSA
You okay? This neighborhood, you get
used to it...

She nods. Rosa continues to talk as they climb the many stairs
that lead to her door.

ROSA
I got this apartment with a guy.

BETTY
The one you were telling me about?

ROSA
No, this one was worse... I had to
have the place sprayed when he left.
Twice... He was two guys before the
last one -- not counting a little
office thing in there, which I'm
trusting you with, 'cause if it gets
out, I'm on the street...

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - SAME TIME

The place is neat. As well furnished as a legal assistant's
salary will allow. The living room is dominated by a large
glass tank filled with tropical fish. Betty checks out the
space.

BETTY
It's lovely... I really like your
aquarium.

ROSA
Yeah, well, at least fish don't use
your razor or pee on the seat...

BETTY
Hmmm. Sounds like you've had a pretty
tough go of it with men...

ROSA
Oh, I dunno... but just once I wish
I'd run into a guy who noticed the
Koi before my tits.

Betty smiles, a little embarrassed.

ROSA
...come on, I'll show you your room.

EXT. TEXAS HIGHWAY - THE NEXT DAY

The black Lincoln Town Car is parked on a lonely stretch of
prairie highway. Wesley sits in the passenger seat with the
door open. The RADIO is on. Charlie is on his cell phone
nearby.

CHARLIE
(into phone)
No, we don't know where she is... I
understand... No, we'll find her...
(BEAT)
I understand.

He hangs up and looks out at the horizon, where huge black
storm clouds are gathering. Then he walks slowly to the hood
of the car, staring at the ground in front of his feet.

WESLEY
What'd they say? Can we go back to
Detroit?

Charlie rests his hands gently on the hood, as if considering
buying the car. Wesley's MUSIC BANGS from the radio.

CHARLIE
They said find it. Find her, find
it. Finish the job you were paid to
do.

WESLEY
Half.

CHARLIE
What?

WESLEY
They paid us half. They still owe us
half...

CHARLIE
(disappointed)
There it is again. That lousy attitude
that got us here in the first place.
That "make a statement," do an end
zone dance, shake your ass and sue
everybody in sight attitude that's
dragging this whole country down the
drain.
(BEAT)
They don't owe us shit, Wesley! WHEN
YOU FINISH THE JOB, YOU GET PAID!!
WE HAVEN'T FINISHED THE GODDAMN JOB!!

Charlie POUNDS on the hood of the car, scaring Wesley.

CHARLIE
That woman could be in any one of
four states. Four big states where
the deer and the antelope play,
Wesley! We're not in Rhode Island!

WESLEY
I know that.

CHARLIE
AND TURN THAT FUCKING MUSIC OFF!

Wesley switches it off. Charlie turns his back to the car
and addresses the angry clouds on the horizon.

CHARLIE
Do I deserve this? In the twilight
of my career, do I deserve this? I
don't think so! I've always tried to
do what's right. I never took out
anybody who didn't have it coming.
I'm a professional!
(BEAT)
AND WHERE THE FUCK AM I? I'M IN
PURGATORY!

WESLEY
Worse... you're in Texas.

CHARLIE
Well, I should be in FLORIDA now! If
Carl hadn't gone in to get those
stones removed, you wouldn't be here
and I'd be on my way to the Keys. On
my boat, RELAXING WITH A GLASS OF
PORT!! Re-ti red!

The first raindrops begin to fall.

CHARLIE
I'm very tired, Wesley! I've worked
hard, and the work should be over,
but IT'S NOT! This job is just
beginning.
(he turns around)
GET IN THE CAR!

Wesley is in the car, but he's too scared to tell Charlie,
whose eyes are blazing. Charlie silently walks around to the
driver's side and gets in. He and Wesley stare at each other
over a photo of Betty, which is between them on the dash.
Charlie starts the engine and snatches up the picture.

CHARLIE
What're you thinking, girl? What's
going on in that pretty little mind
of yours? Huh? You can tell me...

He paws at the picture, imploringly. He mutters to himself.
Wesley shakes his head and stares out.

INT. HOSPITAL - PHARMACY - DAY

Betty sits in an office along with a CLERK who taps away at
a computer keyboard while she studies a printed list of names.

BETTY
I can't find Loma Vista Hospital...

CLERK
I never heard of Loma Vista Hospital.

BETTY
I don't believe this! You're the
second person here who's told me
that. That's like Ford saying they
never heard of GM!

CLERK
Try another county...

He exits.

INT. LAW FIRM - LATER

Rosa is on the phone at her desk in a law office.

BETTY (V.O.)
Hey, Rosa... it's Betty. How do you
get to this town called 'Tustin?'
It's in Orange County...

ROSA
Tustin? Take the Hollywood Freeway
to the Five...

BETTY (V.O.)
The Five?

ROSA
Just look for the really crowded
road and follow that.

BETTY (V.O.)
Okay... oh, umm, would you mind if I
borrowed some clothes?

ROSA
Huh? Sure, look in my closet, take
any dress you want!
(BEAT)
We're still on for tonight, right?

INT. EXAMINING ROOM - LATER

Betty stands in a sexy pink dress, trying to decide if she
should put on a hospital gown and waits, tensing each time
she hears a voice from the hallway. Finally, the DOORKNOB
BEGINS TO TURN.

A man's hand and the bottom of a white sleeve appear. The
door swings open and a silver-haired, bespectacled DOCTOR in
his mid-60's enters. The nametag on his white coat reads
"DAVID RAVELL, M.D."

INT. NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT

Tasteful jazz, plenty of red leather booths. Betty winds her
way through a PACKED CROWD, passing out small white cards.
Rosa spots her and goes over to meet her.

ROSA
You made it! Hey, that looks great
on you. 'S classy...
(BEAT)
So, how'd it go today? You find him?

BETTY
Ummm... no, no. Different 'Ravell.'

Rosa starts to lead her to the bar.

BETTY
You know, the more I think about it,
this really isn't David's kind of
place.

ROSA
What are you talking about? This bar
is packed with professional people!
(BEAT)
Everybody says if you're going to
get married, this is the spot to
meet someone... Luckily, I'm currently
off men, so I've got the luxury of
not giving a shit.

BETTY
I know what you mean, I recently had
some trouble with a man, a different
man... and David's still getting
over Leslie.
(off Rosa's look)
His wife.

ROSA
He has a wife?!

BETTY
Had. She died in a car accident last
year. She was decapitated.

ROSA
God, that's awful!

BETTY
It may not have been an accident.
They never did find her head...

ROSA
Her 'head'?! You're making this up...

BETTY
No, no! Well, see, she was having an
affair with a Russian diplomat who I
believe was mixed up with the Mafia...

ROSA
Jesus, I thought my love life was
crazy...

LATER

Rosa and Betty are sitting in a booth, talking over drinks.
The place is a little quieter now.

ROSA
...so, we'll hit the library first
and fan out from there. They've got
all the L.A. phone books, plus medical
directories...
(BEAT)
We're not gonna let him hide from
you any more, okay? I'm making this
my personal mission.

BETTY
David isn't hiding from me, I left
him standing at the altar six years
ago and now I'm...

ROSA
Fuck the details, they're always to
blame... Look, too many of these
guys duck out on us, especially after
they become doctors or lawyers. I
see it at my company all day long!
So I'm just gonna make sure you get
your, you know, fairy tale ending or
whatever...
(BEAT)
One of us should.

BETTY
Rosa, I can't believe you're doing
all this for me... thank you.

Rosa glances over to see Betty pass a business card to A
WAITER who checks on them. When he is safely gone, Rosa
touches Betty on the sleeve.

ROSA
Hey, how 'bout a card for me? What
is that?
(takes one, reads)
"Please call if you have any
information on David Ravell." This
is my phone number! How many of these
have you given out?

BETTY
How many men have I talked to?

ROSA
Jesus! They're all gonna be calling
me!

BETTY
You said in L.A., anything goes.

ROSA
I was talking about what you could
wear!

EXT. DESERT HIGHWAY - THE NEXT DAY

The Town Car's parked on a barren stretch of desert highway,
white smoke billowing from the hood. Half a mile ahead Charlie
and Wesley are walking in the sweltering heat.

They're in their shirtsleeves, drenched in sweat as the sun
beats down on them.

CHARLIE
See, in a LeSabre Betty's probably
getting twenty-two, maybe twenty-
five miles to the gallon, where we're
topping out at fifteen.
(BEAT)
She's probably all cool and fresh,
and comfortable in that nice air-
conditioned car right now.

Wesley wipes the sweat from his eyes and trudges on in
silence. Charlie takes out a photo of Betty and speaks to
it.

CHARLIE
You don't look comfortable here.
That's 'cause you don't like being
the center of attention, do you?
Nah. You're like me.

WESLEY
What the hell's the matter with you?

Wesley grabs the photo, tears it in half and tosses it. Then
he starts walking. Charlie is stunned for a moment, but
recovers quickly. He finds the pieces and stuffs them in his
pocket, then catches up to Wesley.

CHARLIE
That was a really shitty thing to
do.

WESLEY
I'm sick of looking at her mother-
fucking face.

A beat... they walk for a moment.

CHARLIE
Don't talk like that. She's my last
one, Wesley, my final target.
(to photo)
Don't you realize your special, that
you represent something?

This is too much. Wesley explodes.

WESLEY
What? What does she represent?! What
could some cornbread white bitch
from Kansas who's dragging our sorry
asses up and down the Louisiana
Purchase possibly mean to you?!! I'd
just love to know...

CHARLIE
I dunno... something.
(BEAT)
Why is she doing this to me? Why?...

WESLEY
I don't know, but when we find her
she's gonna die for it.

INT. ROADSIDE GARAGE - LATE AFTERNOON

The Lincoln Town Car is raised up high on the hydraulic jack.
Wesley is at a pay phone out front.

WESLEY
Can you describe her to me?... Okay...
Yeah, that sounds like her... Thanks.

He hangs up and goes into the garage, where he addresses the
Town Car above him.

WESLEY
They found her in Vegas.

No answer.

WESLEY
Perfect match on the description.

ON CHARLIE

Lying across the front seat taping the reassembled photo of
Betty to the dash. Charlie's beginning to come apart. His
hair is uncombed and his clothes are wrinkled. His eyes have
a thousand-yard stare.

WESLEY (O.S.)
Sounds like she's with the buyer Del
lined up.

Charlie pulls himself up on the door and looks down.

CHARLIE
How'd they describe her?

WESLEY
You know, blonde, thin, whatever...

CHARLIE
Not so fast! Slower... 'blonde, thin',
yes... Did they say she had style? A
kind of grace or anything?

Wesley rolls his eyes, then goes straight to the levers
controlling the hydraulic jack.

WESLEY
(to mechanic)
How do I get this fucking thing down?

MECHANIC
I wouldn't if I were you. He got
pretty upset when I tried it...

INT. LAW OFFICE - A DIFFERENT DAY

MERCEDES LOPEZ, early 40's, impeccably dressed, enters her
office loaded down with a bulging briefcase and a stack of
files under her arms.

(The entire scene is in Spanish.)

MERCEDES
What do you think my father would do
if I told him I didn't want to be a
lawyer anymore?

ROSA
Probably the same thing my mom would
do if I got engaged... have a heart
attack.

MERCEDES
So how's it going with your new
roomie? What's her name?

ROSA
Betty. It's O.K. except I'm worn
out. We spent all weekend looking
for her doctor-boy. How can a big
time heart guy leave no trace of
himself?

MERCEDES
So tell her to settle for the old
one in Orange County.

ROSA
She's gonna have to 'cause I'm out
of ideas.

MERCEDES
Maybe we're suing him for malpractice.
What's his name again?

ROSA
David Ravell.

MERCEDES
God, that sounds so familiar. Ravell,
Ravell... where's he out of?

ROSA
I'm not sure now. She said he used
to be over at Loma Vista. I never
heard of it.

MERCEDES
Loma Vista?
(laughs)
You mean like the guy on "A Reason
to Love?"

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - LATER

Rosa enters, tosses her purse on the table and goes straight
to the VCR. Written in magic marker on a video is "A Reason
to Love, Apr. 23." The tape Sue Ann gave to Betty. She pops
it in and turns it on. The OPENING TITLES start... The
characters appear... one is an impossibly handsome man over
the title "DOCTOR DAVID RAVELL."

INT. HOSPITAL PHARMACY - LATER STILL

Betty working at a desk in the pharmacy. The same clerk as
before busies himself at another counter. Rosa appears at
the glass partition and raps urgently on it.

ROSA
Guess who I saw today.

BETTY
Who?

ROSA
Doctor David Ravell.

BETTY
What? Where was he?!

ROSA
ON TELEVISION!!
(off Betty's puzzled
look)
Cut the shit, will you!

A BEAT. Rosa SLAMS the videotape down on the counter.

ROSA
Either you're making a fool out of
me because you get off on it, or you
got serious problems. Which one is
it?!

BETTY
I have no idea what you're talking
about.

ROSA
I'M TALKING ABOUT DAVID RAVELL!!

BETTY
Shhh! I heard you the first time.

ROSA
(suddenly calm)
I spent my weekend looking for someone
who does -- not -- exist. I should
have been here at the hospital with
my brother, but I was with you.

BETTY
If you didn't want to do it, you
should have said so! Is this about
gas money?

ROSA
IT'S NOT ABOUT GAS MONEY!!
(BEAT)
You have a thing for an actor on a
stupid white soap opera, and we
searched all over town for his
character! Not the actor -- whose
name is George, by the way. His
character!

Rosa stands over Betty, fuming.

BETTY
Are you having a nervous breakdown?

Rosa SCREAMS and smacks her hand on the glass as Betty
watches. SEVERAL PEOPLE in a nearby lounge look up. Rosa
stares at them until they look away.

BETTY
Why'd you help me in the first place?

ROSA
I helped you because I'm an idiot!
Ask my mother, I love it when people
take advantage of me! I TRUSTED YOU!!
I THOUGHT HE WAS REAL!

BETTY
HE IS REAL!!

Betty tries to return to her work but Rosa confronts her
loudly. The nearby VISITORS and STAFF pretend to be busy.

ROSA
You need help, Betty! Even if this
is your idea of a joke, you need
SERIOUS HELP!!
(walking away -- to
herself)
Necesitas un mdico! Pront simo!

ON BETTY

fuming in her humiliation. After a moment, Rosa reappears at
the window.

ROSA
I'm not going back on our arrangement.
My word is good, and my family owes
you. But I think it's best for both
of us if you get your own place as
soon as you can.

BETTY
Fine.

EXT. SIZEMORE MOTORS - KANSAS - NIGHT

Roy and Joyce approach the door to the trailer/office. She
takes out her key, then stops. It's been padlocked and barred
with yellow police tape, as is the whole lot. Roy pulls hard
on the lock, then starts looking around.

JOYCE
You're wastin' your time, Roy.

ROY
Look Joyce, I need your key to the
files, not advice, okay? This is a
complex case.

Roy works on opening a side window.

JOYCE
Nothin' complex about it. Del's dead,
Betty's gone. She's probably dead,
too.

ROY
You'd like that wouldn't you? You've
hated Betty since you were in Pep
Squad together...

JOYCE
No... before that.

ROY
Ahh, I hate this town! Places like
this just make you small...
(BEAT)
I should have never come back here
after college.

JOYCE
Blah -- blah -- blah... Hurry up,
will ya, I got a date tonight...

Roy forces the glass open and starts to squirm through the
window as Joyce watches.

JOYCE
I don't know what you think you'll
find, anyway.

ROY (O.S.)
Names, a phone number, something...
(BEAT)
Listen, Ballard told me that the guy
who brought the missing car down
from Detroit was murdered, but do
you see him doing anything about it?
If Ballard wasn't such a stubborn
ass, I wouldn't have to be breaking
in here...

The color drains from Joyce's face.

JOYCE
What did you say?

ROY (O.S.)
The driver was killed. I think there's
a connection --

JOYCE
(starting to cry)
No, about... Are you talking about
Duane Cooley?

ROY (O.S.)
Yeah. Why, you know him?

JOYCE
(crying)
Know him? We were gonna get married!
He was gonna leave his wife for me!
Fuck!!...

Joyce begins to sob at the side of the trailer as Roy shimmies
through the window frame.

Suddenly, Ballard is there, weapon cocked and placed roughly
into Roy's privates. Joyce backs away.

BALLARD
I know you don't use them, but if
you wanna keep 'em you'll back out
of there slowly...

INT. SQUADCAR - MOVING - NIGHT

Roy is in the rear of the car, handcuffed to the screen
dividing the front seat from the back. Ballard is driving.

ROY
Come on, Elden, think about it. The
driver, all them trunks standing
open like that... something's going
on here!

BALLARD
I know that...

ROY
Well, do something, then, damnit!

BALLARD
You watch your mouth when you're in
a goddamn county vehicle... You don't
think I see what's going on? Del,
now this Cooley fella, both of 'em
mixed up with Joyce... 'S not no
conspiracy, not some episode off the
X-Files... 's just a crime of passion,
plain and simple. Betty's on some
kind'a pre-minstral rampage, that's
what is going on here.

A moment of silence as they drive.

ROY
Oww... Did you have to make these
things so tight?

BALLARD
No, I didn't have to.

He grins at Roy in the rearview mirror.

INT. LAW FIRM - ANOTHER DAY

Mercedes Lopez arrives at the office and stops at Rosa's
desk.

(The entire scene is in Spanish)

MERCEDES
Hey... Is Betty still trying to find
that soap opera guy?

ROSA
Oh, yeah... Man, I'd love to find
that actor just to see the look on
her face, watch her bubble burst in
mid-air.

Mercedes hands her two tickets to a benefit.

MERCEDES
Here's your needle... He's supposed
to make an appearance here tonight.

INT. BETTY'S BEDROOM - LATER

Betty's lying on her bed reading "Modern Nurse". The L.A.
Times Classifieds are open on the bed. Rosa looks in.

BETTY
Don't worry, I'm looking... just
taking a tiny break.

ROSA
This is crazy. I come home, you go
to your room. You go in the kitchen,
I go to my room. It's stupid.

Betty nods in agreement.

ROSA
So what do you say? Can we be friends?

BETTY
...okay.

Rosa smiles and starts looking at the tickets in her hand.

BETTY
What are those for?

ROSA
Oh, it's a charity dinner. The money
goes to a good cause, but I don't
have anybody to go with...

BETTY
Umm...

Rosa exits for a moment, then reappears in the doorway.

ROSA
...you hungry at all?

INT. LINCOLN TOWN CAR - MOVING - LATE AFTERNOON

The car is covered in dust and mud from the road. It's worse
inside: food wrappers, empty bottles, pieces of clothing,
filthy windows. They've been living in it.

Wesley's driving now. Charlie's almost unrecognizable: a six
day beard, uncombed greasy hair, bloodshot eyes, rumpled
clothes and an exhausted, faraway look. The photo of Betty
faces him, taped to the glove box. He is reading from the
diary, which he clutches like the Bible. They roar along a
desert highway, passing a sign that says "Grand Canyon, This
Exit. 74 Miles." Charlie looks up, marking his place.

CHARLIE
We should go.

WESLEY
We don't have time to look at a hole
in the ground. We can make Vegas in
four hours. This one's got to be
her.

CHARLIE
It's a very moving experience, trust
me.

WESLEY
No.

CHARLIE
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of
the World.

WESLEY
No... be dark before we get there.
You wanna see the Grand Canyon at
night?

CHARLIE
What difference does it make? She
wasn't in Kansas City, or Houston,
or Dallas. We went to every goddamn
place Del mentioned and no Betty. So
what the hell makes you think she's
in Vegas? You think she's waiting
for us with tassles on her titties?
Vegas is too crass for Betty.

WESLEY
I said, 'No.' N-O.

Charlie turns to a passage and reads aloud.

CHARLIE
"When I grow up I'm going to become
a nurse or a veterinarian. I always
want to help people and value all
life, be it animal, plant or
mineral..."
(to Wesley)
Does that sound like a goddamn
showgirl to you?

WESLEY
Do you hear yourself right now...?
Like a fucking madman...

Wesley drives on stoically. The Exit comes and goes.

CHARLIE
Every American should see the Grand
Canyon. Are you an American?

WESLEY
Yes, I am and we're not going. Act
professional.

Charlie stares at him, hate rising from just below the
surface. He draws a nickel-plated pistol and points it at
Wesley's head. Wesley looks at it and keeps on driving.

Charlie knows this isn't the way to handle it. He lowers the
pistol.

CHARLIE
If you don't take the next turn for
the canyon, I'm blowing my goddamn
brains all over this car.

He puts the pistol in his mouth and cocks it. Wesley looks
over, not so sure this time.

LONG SHOT of the black Town Car as the turn signal comes on,
and it eases onto a lonely dirt road. Their headlights pick
out a sign that says: "Grand Canyon Fire Trail. Forestry
Personnel Only."

EXT. BEVERLY HILTON - EVENING

Rosa and Betty approach the hotel entrance. Ahead of them a
black Lincoln Town Car pulls up. Headlights glint on the
chrome, hitting Betty in the eye. She freezes, and Rosa bumps
into her.

ROSA
Sorry.

Betty stares at the car, unable to remember what it should
mean. Then a MAN in a tuxedo gets out. Betty moves on.

INT. BEVERLY HILTON - LOBBY - EVENING

A sign on an easel reads "Save the Children." Betty and Rosa
present their tickets at the door to a ballroom.

Several times there is a stir near the entrance and a
scattering of flashbulbs. Rosa scans the crowd.

BETTY
Looking for someone?

ROSA
You never know who you'll see.

Rosa keeps looking. Finally, GEORGE McCORD -- the actor who
plays DAVID RAVELL -- enters.

He comes in with LYLA BRANCH, late 40's, and TWO OTHER MEN.
Several women approach George, some starry-eyed, for quick,
polite greetings. He's doing his job of being a soap star.

Rosa waits for an opening, then puts her hands on Betty's
shoulders and points her at George.

ROSA
Look who's here!

Betty's jaw drops. She freezes.

ROSA
What are you waiting for? Talk to
him! You came fifteen hundred miles
for this.

Rosa prods her, then Betty makes her way unsteadily toward
George. When she's a few feet away he looks up.

He can't help but notice her -- she's beautiful. She's also
looking right into his eyes. The conversation stops as he
does a double take in Betty's direction.

GEORGE
Do I know you from...?

His friends watch as George studies her face.

BETTY
...of course you do.
(hurt)
You don't remember me?

GEORGE
I take it I should. I'm sorry.

BETTY
We were engaged.

LYLA
Oh good, another one...

George's friends look at each other. A few heads turn.

GEORGE
I beg your pardon?

BETTY
But I'm the one who's sorry. Letting
you go was the biggest mistake of my
life.
(to his friends)
We were thirteen days away from
getting married and... I just got
scared. It's a mistake I've had to
live with for six years. But it's
behind me now...
(to George)
And I hope you can put it behind
you. I've missed you... David.

George sighs with relief. His friends smile. The tension
evaporates. They can handle a fanatical fan.

GEORGE
That's very kind of you.

BETTY
The day I left you I just drove and
drove. I drove all day and all that
night, and I didn't go anywhere. I
just kept driving. I stopped at a
little country church, and the pastor
let me in, and I sat --

LYLA
...in the very first pew, where we
would have sat on our wedding day.

Betty looks at her. So does George.

LYLA
I can't believe I remembered that,
although I suppose I should. I wrote
it...
(to Betty)
But that was seven years ago, and
you're quoting it verbatim. I'm
flattered... I think. Or frightened.
What's your name?

BETTY
Betty Sizemore. What do you mean you
wrote it?

LYLA
I'm Lyla Branch. I'm the Producer.

They shake hands. ACROSS THE ROOM Rosa watches expectantly.

LYLA
Alright, I admit it, you had me there.
You're better than most of them,
anyway... do you have a headshot?

GEORGE
No, wait... what happened next, Betty?

LYLA
Are you sure you want to encourage
this?
(BEAT)
No, you're right, let's have some
fun. So, what did happened next,
"Betty"?

BETTY
Well, David moved out here and started
his residency. Then he met Leslie --

LYLA
No, no, no. We know all that. What
happened with you?

BETTY
I married a car salesman.

The friends laugh. Rosa watches, confused. So is Betty.

FRIEND #1
You were dumped for a car salesman,
George!

BETTY
Why are you calling him George?

FRIEND #2
Yeah -- David -- tell us about this
car salesman.

George likes the challenge. This party isn't so boring after
all.

GEORGE
Oh, you mean Fred.

BETTY
No, Del.

GEORGE
Right, Del. Del was one hot salesman.
Of cars. He could talk anyone into
anything.

BETTY
You knew Del?!

GEORGE
Honey, I didn't want to tell you at
the time, but Del and I go way back.
We went to school together. In fact,
he saved my life. Two more minutes
in that icy water and I would have
drowned. But Del jumped in and grabbed
me. We fell out of touch eventually,
but I still owe him one.

BETTY
He never told me anything about...
that's unbelievable!

LYLA
Funny, that's just what I was
thinking...

GEORGE
I can't tell you how much it hurts
me to hear that you married him.

His friends snicker. Rosa stares. Betty is oblivious to
everything but George.

BETTY
I'm so sorry. Life makes us do awful
things sometimes.

She's ready to cry. Which only inspires him all the more.

GEORGE
I tried to tell myself it was for
the best, that there was a reason
behind it. But... Del?

BETTY
There was no plan! I was just young
and stupid and scared!

GEORGE
You never gave us a chance...

BETTY
I know that. I can't tell you how
many times I've said that to myself
in those exact words.

Betty wipes her tears away as they flow freely now. George
doesn't like seeing her cry; he tries to say something but
his friends interrupt.

GEORGE
Hey, don't... come on, I was just...
you're not really crying, are you?...
I was just playing along...

FRIEND #1
Now, look what you've done, George.

BETTY
Why do they keep calling you George?

GEORGE
I don't know. Why do you keep calling
me George?

LYLA
Listen -- David -- It's getting late.

George hesitates; Lyla sees it.

GEORGE
(to Betty)
Right, uhh... I feel terrible about
this, we have a prior engagement at
another party.
(BEAT)
But... I'd be honored if you'd come.

LYLA
Yeah, bring your friend along. I'm
sure you got a lot of catching up to
do...

Rosa watches, stunned, as Betty waves to her as she leaves
arm-in-arm with the man of her dreams.

EXT. GRAND CANYON - NIGHT

The Town Car is parked near one of the viewing stops at the
rim. Charlie stands in the darkness, but Wesley stays in the
car.

CHARLIE
You don't know what you're missing,
asshole.

Charlie walks toward the canyon rim. Suddenly, Betty appears
in the headlights standing at the rail -- her back to Charlie --
with a bouquet of flowers.

ON WESLEY

Just as he closes his eyes to rest, the CAR PHONE RINGS.

WESLEY
Yeah?

SUE ANN (V.O.)
Mr. Campbell?

WESLEY
Huh?

SUE ANN (V.O.)
Is this Neighborly Life Insurance?

WESLEY
(recovering)
Oh, umm, yes, this is Dwight Campbell.

SUE ANN (V.O.)
It's Sue Ann Rogers, Betty Sizemore's
friend? I heard from her.

ON CHARLIE

walking toward the rail. As he nears her, they kiss.

Suddenly, REPEATED BLASTS from the car horn.

The image of Betty shudders, then blurs, then fades away
entirely. Charlie rubs at his eyes tiredly, then slowly
trudges back toward the car.

Charlie returns and gets into the car. Silence. Wesley stares
at him.

WESLEY
...you have a good time? You make a
little wish?

Silence from Charlie.

WESLEY
Well, guess what? I found Betty...
where she's been, anyway.

CHARLIE
Where? Where is she?

WESLEY
I'm not telling.

CHARLIE
What?

WESLEY
I'm not telling 'til you straighten
up. You been acting like fucking
Jerry Lewis on me and this shit's
gotta stop or you can forget about
your Betty... I mean it.

A slow transformation comes over Charlie.

CHARLIE
Wesley, I'm fine... just tell me
where she is.

EXT. BEVERLY HILTON - NIGHT

George, Betty, Lyla and the two friends are waiting outside
the hotel for their cars.

FRIEND #2
I bought a car from Del, too. He
sold me a lemon.

LYLA
Really? I put a hundred and thirty
thousand miles on mine.

BETTY
Huh. I had no idea our little lot
was so popular...

FRIEND #1
I never bought a car from Del. But I
loved him. In my own way.

GEORGE
I guess we all did.
(to Betty)
You know, I didn't marry Leslie
because I loved her. I married her
to forget you...

BETTY
Oh, David... I'm sorry I caused you
that much pain.

A black jeep 4x4 pulls up and ERIC AUGUSTINO, the actor who
plays LONNIE, gets out.

BETTY
Oh my God! What's Lonnie doing here?

GEORGE
You're late, Eric.

ERIC
I know. Why are you guys leaving?

LYLA
We did our twenty minutes.

Before Eric can take another step Betty SLAPS him across the
face. FLASHBULBS go off as PHOTOGRAPHERS capture the moment.

BETTY
You bastard! How can you even show
your face around here? Do you think
we're not onto you?

ERIC
Who the hell is this?

GEORGE
Sorry. She thinks you're someone
else.

George hustles Betty to his car as photographers continue to
shoot.

BETTY
I know exactly who you are!

EXT. CANYON RANCH BAR - NIGHT

The Lincoln Town Car rumbles into the dusty parking lot and
parks.

CHARLIE
This doesn't look like the kind of
place Betty would go to.

WESLEY
Maybe she had to use the bathroom.
She pees, doesn't she?!...

Wesley tears the photo of Betty from the glove box.

CHARLIE
Be careful with that!

Charlie takes it back and gingerly secures the tape.

INT. CANYON RANCH BAR - NIGHT

Merle is at the bar, drunk, the only customer on a slow night.
Ellen drops two coasters in front of Charlie and Wesley as
they sit down.

ELLEN
What can I get you?

WESLEY
We're Federal Marshals, ma'am.

Ellen looks dubiously at their unshaven faces and rumpled
clothes.

CHARLIE
We're looking for this young lady.

He slides the photo of Betty across the bar. Ellen's gaze
drops to the picture for a second, and Charlie sees what he
was looking for -- a flicker of recognition. He allows himself
a satisfied grin.

Wesley shows Ellen his badge as Merle checks out the photo.

ELLEN
I haven't seen her.

MERLE
Sure you have! That's...

ELLEN
Shut up, Merle.

Charlie continues to grin at Ellen...

WESLEY
Ma'am, if you've seen this woman --

MERLE
Betty! That's her name -- Betty.

Charlie takes the photo and puts it back in his pocket.

ELLEN
I never saw that woman before, and
neither has Merle. He drinks too
much. And don't try to tell me you're
cops. I was married to a cop for
nine years, and you're not cops.
Now get out of here.

Wesley steps behind Merle, takes a handful of his hair and
SLAMS his head into the popcorn machine on the bar. Merle
staggers away, stunned. Wesley removes the tin popcorn scoop
from a nearby hook.

Ellen reaches for something under the bar, but Charlie's
faster. He pins her arm with one hand.

CHARLIE
You haven't been very forthcoming
with us.

They watch Wesley follow Merle at a slow walk around the
pool table, CLOBBERING him over the head about every five
steps with the popcorn scoop.

Merle wobbles with every shot, but won't go down. They begin
a torturous second lap around the table, punctuated by the
CLANG of the scoop against Merle's head.

CHARLIE
What's your name, dear?

ELLEN
Ellen.

CHARLIE
That's a nice name.

After one more CLANGING shot Merle staggers, then falls.
Wesley walks over to Charlie and Ellen, drawing his knife.

WESLEY
That's a really nice name...

INT. GEORGE'S RANGE ROVER - MOVING - LATER - NIGHT

George and Betty are alone.

BETTY
Lyla's very nice.

GEORGE
Yes, she is.

BETTY
She told me I was charming and
relentless, and would go far in this
town. And she said that unlike the
other charming, relentless people
she knew, she liked me.

GEORGE
She's a good person to know.
(BEAT)
So where did you study again?

BETTY
Carleton School of Nursing. Two
semesters, but Del made me give it
up...

GEORGE
Alright, okay... I think you broke
the record for staying in character
about three hours ago.

BETTY
You told me that two hours ago.

He pulls up in front of Rosa's apartment and parks.

BETTY
I haven't been this happy since I
was twelve years old.

GEORGE
What happened when you were twelve?

BETTY
For Mother's Day, I used all my
allowance that I'd been saving to
take my mother to Kansas City. We
got our nails done and had lunch at
"Skies," a restaurant at the top of
a building from where you can see
the whole city. It was the last outing
we took together. She died the
following year.

GEORGE
Wow... You just gave me goosebumps,
you know that? You make it all sound
so real. Great improv...

BETTY
I just want everything to be perfect
between us.

GEORGE
I know. Listen, we need to take a
time out here. Can we talk seriously
for a minute?

BETTY
Of course.

GEORGE
At last! I know how much you want
this. You're gifted and extremely
determined, but... it's not up to
me.

BETTY
I know. It's up to us.

Betty leans over and kisses George -- so deeply that he's
too surprised to react. She pulls away abruptly and gets
out.

BETTY
I love you, David. And I want to see
you tomorrow, and the next day, and
the next day.

Still surprised, and now a little intrigued, he watches her
go inside.

INT. ROSA'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Betty comes in and pours a drink from the fridge. Rosa appears
in a nightshirt behind her, framed in the doorway.

ROSA
Were you with him this whole time?

BETTY
Oh, God! You scared me! Yes...

ROSA
You still in love?

Betty nods.

ROSA
Does he know you think he's real?

BETTY
He is real.

ROSA
Uh-huh... So, what'd you talk about?

BETTY
Oh, my gosh, everything! My trip out
here, what we've both been doing,
you know...

ROSA
No, I'm not sure I could begin to
imagine... So, where'd you go?

BETTY
To a party in the Hollywood Hills.

ROSA
Was it a huge place? With a view of
the whole world?

BETTY
Yes. I'd never been in a place like
that before.

ROSA
I have, lots of times. My mother
used to clean them. I used to piss
in their pools.

Rosa gets up and starts for her bedroom. She stops.

ROSA
This isn't fair, you know. Do you
always get what you want?

BETTY
No, almost never.

ROSA
But, you're in love with someone who
doesn't exist. You come here, you
meet this guy, who should laugh in
your face, and instead you leave
with him!
(BEAT)
Betty, you are one-of-a-kind...

Rosa goes into her bedroom and closes the door. Betty smiles
and nods, sipping at her drink as she retires to her room.

INT. POLICE STATION - JAIL CELL - THE NEXT DAY

From his cell Roy Ostrey hears a door open, then the sound
of approaching footsteps. It's Ballard.

ROY
Elden, let me out of here. Now! This
is ridiculous, I need medical
attention!

BALLARD
That's a nice name for what you
need...

ROY
Come on, I have to get this dressing
off... it itches! And what about my
fish? Who is taking care of them?

Ballard doesn't say anything. He's very grim, subdued. Roy
has never seen him like this.

BALLARD
Just shut up a second and listen...
That, uh... that bar in Arizona?
Where you said Betty was?

ROY
What about it?

BALLARD
Any idea where it is?

ROY
Little place called "Williams," why?

BALLARD
I just got something off the wire.
The woman who owns it was murdered
last night.
(BEAT)
Now, I'm not saying I agree with you
or nothing, but... what else do you
know?

ROY
I know plenty.

EXT. LYLA'S HOUSE - DAY

Palatial, spartan. Lyla is sitting in the inner court of her
Lloyd Wright home with George at one knee.

GEORGE
She makes me stretch! I got inside
my character last night like I haven't
done in six years on "Reason". It
was a totally rejuvenating experience.

LYLA
I know, George, I was there. I'm not
denying that she's good.

GEORGE
She's even taken a job as a nurse!
(BEAT)
David Ravell's getting boring, Lyla.

LYLA
We know that...

GEORGE
Can I have an evil twin?

LYLA
No, George, we've already done that
with Lonnie. The blind one last year,
remember?

GEORGE
Oh, of course. Who can forget the
Emmy?
(BEAT)
Then let me bring Betty to the set
and see what happens.

LYLA
I don't know, George...

GEORGE
I'll tell the cast ahead of time.
What do you say?

LYLA
I'll think about it.

GEORGE
It'll be like live television! Let's
live on the edge a little. You and I
can break the mold here!

LYLA
I said I'll think about it.

GEORGE
Fine, but promise me one thing. If
we use her, I want to direct those
episodes. She's my discovery.

LYLA
Actually, she was my discovery...
just like you.

GEORGE
Hmm?

LYLA
"Would you like ground pepper on
that salad, Ms. Branch?" Remember?

GEORGE
...yeah.

EXT. L.A. FREEWAY - NIGHT

The black Lincoln Town car hurdles along the 10 Freeway, a
revitalized Charlie back at the wheel. Surrounded by traffic,
the lights of the city in the distance, the two men push on
toward their new destination.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD MOTEL - THE NEXT DAY

The black Lincoln Town Car -- now washed and gleaming -- is
parked in front of a modest motel.

INT. HOLLYWOOD MOTEL / BATHROOM - DAY

Charlie looks like a new man -- showered, clear-eyed and
energized -- he's at the sink shaving as Wesley watches from
his seat on the edge of the bathtub.

CHARLIE
So you believed the bartender. Why?

WESLEY
Well... I think I saw her soul.

CHARLIE
That's good. You're learning. But
let me tell you why I know she was
lying.
(BEAT)
First off, Betty would never fall
for a soap star. It's beneath her.

WESLEY
I dunno, that lady sounded pretty
sure...

CHARLIE
No, no, Betty came here strictly for
business, 'cause it's the biggest
market for what she's selling. I
should have known it all along. I'm
kicking myself as I shave here. So,
first thing we...

WESLEY
Wait, wait, wait a minute... that
doesn't make sense.

CHARLIE
What doesn't?

WESLEY
You gimme this bullshit Psychic
Friends theory, you believe that
dumbshit trucker, you believe this
woman...

CHARLIE
I never said that I believed...

WESLEY
No, you believed her, we drove all
the way to L.A. so that means you
trusted her that much... so why's
the rest of her story suddenly so
kooky? Huh?

CHARLIE
'Cause I just don't buy it. Call it
instinct. Call it 35 years of
professional know-how...

WESLEY
I call it 'nutty' as my shit after I
eat Almond Roca...

CHARLIE
You need to remember who you're
talking to...

WESLEY
I need to get my goddamn head
examined.
(BEAT)
You can't rule something out on a
whim. Or because she's cute. I've
been following your whims all across
the U.S. of A. and now I'm tired!
Me!

CHARLIE
Wesley...

WESLEY
"It's beneath her..." She's a mother
fucking housewife... nothing's beneath
her!

Wesley stands up for emphasis, pointing a finger in Charlie's
personal space. Charlie reacts at this, throwing his razor
into the sink and turning on Wesley.

CHARLIE
Boy, you need to get outta my face...
now! You got a feeling, then you do
what you gotta do, but don't you
ever try to tell me my job. Not ever.

It's a standoff. Wesley blinks first. He stalks off and out
of sight. In a moment, he returns.

WESLEY
Fine. Just fine... I'll go check
some shit on my own then. And don't
call me 'boy...'

He turns and slams into the door frame. He glares at Charlie,
then exits. When the front door BANGS SHUT allows himself to
go back to his shaving.

EXT. STUDIO BUILDINGS - DAY

Map in hand, Wesley stand near A GUARD and discreetly asks
questions.

WESLEY
...what kinda car's Jasmine drive?

GUARD
Ahh, Mercedes, I think. Black.

WESLEY
Yeah? The sport utility?

GUARD
Uh-huh.

WESLEY
Damn, that's sweet...
(BEAT)
She really that good-looking in
person?

GUARD
Better.

WESLEY
Oh fuck...

Wesley looks around covertly, then produces a fifty.

WESLEY
Hey, can you sneak me on the lot?

GUARD
Sure.

Wesley smiles and wanders off, headed toward a series of
studio buildings in the distance. The guard watches him go.

GUARD
...it's Sunday, I can sneak anybody
on the lot.

INT. HOLLYWOOD MOTEL ROOM - DAY

Charlie toys with matches from the Canyon Ranch Bar. Working
off a list of names and phone numbers from his Zaurus, he
makes calls from his room.

CHARLIE
Betty Sizemore, she's got ten kilos...
Blonde hair, a great figure... sort
of a whole Doris Day thing going on.
That's what I said -- Doris Day. You
could see her working at the U.N.,
or something. 'The U.N.' "United
Nations." Forget it...
(BEAT)
Nobody like that? You're sure? Yeah,
Detroit by way of Kansas... Alright,
let me know if you hear anything,
okay?

He hangs up. Deletes another one off the list and looks out
the window. Checks the now well-worn photo of Betty. He's
starting to doubt himself.

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT / BATHROOM - EVENING

Rosa stands in the doorway as Betty, wearing one of Rosa's
hotter outfits, puts on her makeup.

BETTY
Are you sure I can borrow this?

ROSA
No, please. Go ahead, it's your
funeral...

BETTY
Rosa...

ROSA
Well, what if this guy's just playing
with you? What if he's lying about
who he is?

BETTY
You should have a little faith in
people.

ROSA
Does he ever talk about medicine?
His patients, the hospital?

BETTY
All the time. It's always "Loma Vista"
this, "Loma Vista" that.

The DOORBELL RINGS. Rosa goes to the front door and looks
through the peephole, then opens the door. George McCord,
flowers in hand, gives his best leading man smile.

GEORGE
You must be Rosa. I've heard so much
about you... I'm George McCord.

ROSA
Not as much as I've heard about you.
She's a very nice girl and you better
not hurt her.

GEORGE
What?

Betty appears.

BETTY
Rosa, so you've met David?

ROSA
Sure did! And a funny thing, Betty,
he introduced himself to me as George!

BETTY
Oh, he does that.
(hugging him)
It's this silly game he plays. Half
the people who know him call him
George.

EXT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

GEORGE
I don't think your friend likes me.

BETTY
She's a little jealous, I think. And
confused when it comes to men...
(BEAT)
So where are we going?

GEORGE
Well, first I thought Patina, and
then the Ivy, but then I thought of
somewhere a little more romantic.
Like my place.

INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Modern glass and steel structure in the hills. Austere. Betty
and George sit on the sofa with the lights low and SOFT MUSIC
playing.

GEORGE
God, I haven't felt like this since
I was with Stella Adler in New York.
You're so... real.

He leans forward slowly to kiss her, but Betty pulls back.

BETTY
You never mentioned a 'Stella' to
me.

GEORGE
Didn't I?

BETTY
No, I would have remembered that
name. The only Stella I ever knew
was a parrot.
(BEAT)
Was this before Leslie? Before us?...

George takes her face in his hands and looks at her.

GEORGE
I've never met anyone like you, Betty.

BETTY
I know, that's why we were meant to
be together...

GEORGE
No, I mean your dedication scares
me...

BETTY
It's easy to be dedicated, when you
care about something...

GEORGE
Yeah, I felt that way, too, when I
first started, but now... the hours,
the repetition... it's not all glamour
and mall openings anymore. Maybe I
should've listened to my people and
tried to make the crossover to nights
earlier, I don't know...
(BEAT)
...I just hope it's not too late for
me. God! Listen to me, "Me, me, me."
It's so easy to get caught up in the
whole ego cycle of this business and
make it all about yourself. Stop,
right? That's it, no more about me
tonight, I promise... Let's talk
about you... what do you think about
me? I'm kidding... Seriously, Betty,
I'm doing all the talking here...

BETTY
...but I love listening to you, so
that's okay...

GEORGE
Thanks. But I'd like to hear what
you're feeling...

BETTY
Well, I just feel that life'll be
much sweeter for you now with me
around. I promise...

GEORGE
You know, I almost believe that...
you're like a warm breeze that's
suddenly blown into my life...
(laughs)
I said that to Leslie, once, at her
funeral, remember?...

BETTY
I remember. You said it to her, but
it was meant for me, wasn't it?

GEORGE
Yes... maybe it was.

She kisses him deeply, then allows herself to fall back on
the sofa, pulling George down on top of her and kissing him
passionately.

INT. HOLLYWOOD MOTEL - THE NEXT DAY

Wesley hands Charlie a newspaper folded open to the
Entertainment section, where there is a picture of Betty
slapping the actor Eric Augustino. George is in b.g.

WESLEY
...so I'm standing there, minding my
own business on Hollywood Blvd.,
checking out Gladys Knight's star-
thing there, I look up at this little
souvenir shop dude, Chinese dude,
reading a paper... and who do I see?
(holding up paper)
That's Lonnie. He's the show's Main
Prick. And that is definitely Betty.
Now, that ain't no coincidence...
(BEAT)
I found out where they shoot it, and
where the dressing rooms are.

Charlie studies the photo, troubled by something.

CHARLIE
Who's this?

WESLEY
A doctor on the show... why?

Charlie thinks about it, then reaches into his pocket and
takes out the photo of Betty with the cardboard David. As he
compares the photos, Wesley peeks over his shoulder.

WESLEY
What in the...
(simmering)
What the hell is this? You've been
holding out on me. All this fucking
time!

CHARLIE
It just didn't fit her profile...

WESLEY
Fuck the profile! That's the same
guy!!

CHARLIE
She can't be here because of a... a
soap opera. Not a soap opera. That'd
make her...

WESLEY
...crazy! No shit, Shaft!! And you
ain't far behind...

CHARLIE
...but she's, no, Betty's smarter
than that. She wouldn't be here for
a...

WESLEY
I do not know how the fuck you lasted
an hour in this job! Dragging our
asses around with the answer to our
prayers in your motherfucking
jacket... a picture of that cunt
right next to the...

Charlie cuts Wesley short by grabbing his shirt and pulling
him close.

CHARLIE
Don't Don't you talk about Betty
like that. I don't care who she ends
up being, you never use that word
again. Got it?

WESLEY
Man, you have got to get some therapy.

CHARLIE
I said 'got it?'

WESLEY
...yeah, I got it.
(struggling)
Come on, you're stretching out my
vest...

CHARLIE
You made your point...
(drops him)
I was wrong.

He carefully folds the paper, pockets the photo and
straightens his clothing. He straps on his holster and checks
his weapon for emphasis.

CHARLIE
Now, get yourself ready.

INT. MOTEL BATHROOM - DAY

Wesley gathering his gear through the open door. Charlie
stands looking at himself in the mirror. Touches at the gray
in his hair. As an afterthought, he tosses on a splash of
cologne.

INT. SOUNDSTAGE - DAY

George leads Betty past several standing sets and into the
'operating room' as CREW MEMBERS buzz around. Betty walks
with her eyes closed and holding George's hand.

GEORGE
Just a little further... come on...

George stops and puts both hands over Betty's eyes. He looks
about expectantly and then uncovers them with a flourish.

GEORGE
Surprise!

Betty stares, slowly trying to take in her new surroundings.
It looks like Loma Vista, but something is different. Odd.
Cameras, lights, etc. -- all the apparatus of a TV show --
are in plain sight... And very disorienting.

BETTY
Oh my gosh...I didn't know I was
going to meet your friends today...
I dressed a little casual.

He leads her to a taped mark on the floor as CAST MEMBERS
appear, including JASMINE and BLAKE DANIELS.

GEORGE
That's cute...listen, you got the
part, and I'm directing. You've only
got four lines today, so I thought
I'd just spring it on you. No blocking
or anything, just stand near the
nurse's station... we're gonna do a
quick walk-through. Alright?

He kisses her cheek and walks off toward the waiting Lyla
before she can respond.

VOICE (O.S.)
Quiet on the set!

GEORGE
Traffic was terrible...

LYLA
No, that's fine, we've only got
seventy pages to shoot... take your
time.

A STAGE MANAGER hands Betty a set of sides and an on-set
COSTUMER tries to fit her.

BETTY
Excuse me. What are you doing?

STAGE MANAGER
We'll get you into hair and make-up
after this, just put this on...

The other actors take their positions. Lyla watches from
behind the cameras as David readies himself. Chloe enters
the set with Kleenex tucked into the neck of her costume.

CHLOE
(to Betty)
Hi. I hear you're great. Good luck...

BETTY
What are you doing here? David...

GEORGE
Your lines are in the script, but
you can ad lib.

BETTY
Ad lib?

GEORGE
In fact, I want you to ad lib, that's
the magic I'm after. I wanna give a
whole new feel to the show.

She's sliding toward a complete meltdown.

VOICE
Slate it!

George steps back behind the cameras. Betty's still frozen
to her spot, overwhelmed.

GEORGE
Just do what you've been doing. Watch
the scene and on your cue take off
from there.

VOICE
5-4-3-2...

Chloe and Blake run through their lines lifelessly, then
stop when they get to Betty's cue. Their faces loom around
her menacingly. Staring. The lights are impossibly bright.
People begin to shuffle and stare at one another. Lyla clears
her throat as George bounds on stage, still smiling.

GEORGE
Betty?

CHLOE
Are you all right?

BLAKE
(to Chloe)
I think you stepped on my first
line...

CHLOE
...I was talking to her.
(to Betty)
Do you need anything...?

She's freezing up. George approaches her.

GEORGE
Betty, I thought this would be the
best way. You know, throw you into
it...

LYLA
What the hell's going on?

GEORGE
If you need a minute, that's okay.
But I thought you'd want to --

BETTY
David, I don't... Can we talk
privately for a second?

GEORGE
Stop calling me David. We're on set,
for Christ's sake, you don't have to
call me David here.

As he pulls away Betty grabs his arm.

BETTY
Why are you doing this to me?

GEORGE
Why am I doing this to you? Isn't
this what you wanted?

Lyla approaches.

LYLA
Is there a problem, George?

GEORGE
No! No problem, there is no...
(to Betty, sotto)
What is the problem? Just do that...
thing... you do! Come on! You drove
me nuts with this for three days,
now do it!

George steps back behind the cameras as if nothing's wrong.
Betty still hasn't moved. She's shaking with fear. The cast
and crew members find it hard to look at her.

LYLA
All right, everybody! That's ten
minutes!

GEORGE
No! Let me try this!

JASMINE
(storming off)
This is bullshit!

LYLA
Forget it, George. It was a gamble,
it didn't work. Nice try.

GEORGE
Let me try this, goddamnit! SHE'S
BEEN DOING IT ALL WEEK, SHE CAN DO
IT NOW!

LYLA
I SAID FORGET IT!

George throws down his script and rushes up to Betty, who
reaches out to him. He brushes her hands away.

GEORGE
Well, I don't know what you had in
mind, but I hope you're happy. I put
myself on the line for you, my
reputation, and you're making me
look like an idiot.

BETTY
What do you mean? What did I do to
you...

GEORGE
Who put you up to this? Did my ex-
wife ask you to...?

BETTY
David, please --

GEORGE
STOP CALLING ME THAT! MY NAME IS NOT
DAVID, AND IF YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW
THE DIFFERENCE, YOU'RE MORE FUCKED
UP THAN I THOUGHT YOU WERE!

Betty begins to cry.

STAGEHAND
Leave her alone, George!

GEORGE
SHUT THE FUCK UP!! You're a fucking
grip, go grip something!!!
(to Betty)
And you're not an actress, you're
nothing but a soap opera groupie,
aren't you? YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER
TO DO! DO YOU?? Well, why don't you
get a fucking life, and stop ruining
mine!

Betty stands dead still as George continues to berate her.
ALL SOUND slowly starts to drop out, then comes back abruptly
with a RUSH. Suddenly a light snaps on for her and she stares
at him.

BETTY
I'm sorry... Oh my gosh, are you
George McCord?!

GEORGE
...What? What did you call me?
George... McCord. You're my favorite
actor on...

LYLA
She called you 'George,' George.

BETTY
...did I win some contest?

GEORGE
But I'm David... I mean, I'm not
David, but she thinks I am! You heard
her...
(looking around the
group)
Stop staring at me... I'm not crazy,
she is!

BETTY
Why are you screaming at me? I mean,
what am I... why am I here? I don't...

GEORGE
You're doing this now? After all
the... are you sick? Are you going
to kill me now?

BETTY
No, I... I'll leave. Forgive me if I
caused you all any trouble... I just,
I don't know how I...
(to George)
...I'm sorry.

George watches Betty walk off the set. The cast and crew try
to pretend this scene didn't happen, except for Lyla, who
burns a hole into George's back. Their eyes meet.

GEORGE
What?!

INT. TV STUDIOS / RECEPTION AREA - DAY

George McCord, wearing sunglasses and still angry, strides
into the lobby. Charlie and Wesley stand quickly and take
out their badges as he approaches.

GEORGE
What can I do for you, gentlemen?

CHARLIE
How do you do, Mr. McCord. We're
trying to locate a deranged fan of
yours,... a Ms. Betty...

GEORGE
Deranged. That would be the right
word.

Wesley takes out the photo of Betty.

GEORGE
That won't be necessary. She's staying
with a Rosa something... Hernandez,
Herrera. I know it's an 'H' sound...
in Silverlake.

CHARLIE
Thanks so much. You must get bothered
by this kind of thing a lot.

GEORGE
More than you know. Is there anything
else?

CHARLIE
No, that should be more than --

GEORGE
Good.

George turns to leave.

WESLEY
Actually, there is one more thing.

George stops. Wesley is suddenly shy, hesitant.

WESLEY
It's just... well... I watch the
show too, and you being Dr. Ravell
and all, I thought you could maybe
get Jasmine to come out here.

GEORGE
You thought wrong.

George pulls away. Wesley grabs his sleeve.

WESLEY
It's just for an autograph. It's not
for me...

GEORGE
It never is.

George wrenches free of Wesley's grip and takes off.

Wesley is furious. He catches George in two strides, spins
him around and SLAPS him across the face. George's glasses
go skittering across the floor. PEOPLE stare.

WESLEY
You need to learn some manners,
friend... reach out to your goddamn
fan base a little more.

Charlie pulls Wesley away. George is frozen to the spot,
humiliated, a pink handprint emerging on his cheek.

WESLEY
...and I saw your movie-of-the-week.
It sucked dick!

EXT. HOLLYWOOD BLVD. - DAY

Betty walks aimlessly along a busy street. She moves without
direction, in a daze until a glint of bright light hits her,
causing her to turn. She is staring at a black Lincoln sitting
in a car lot, sunlight dancing off its chrome. She shudders
involuntarily at it. Suddenly, she hears a familiar voice.

DEL (O.S.)
What the hell are you doing here?

It's Del. He's in a pastel version of his usual shirt, slacks,
and tie.

DEL
Well, are you gonna answer me? What'd
you come here for?

BETTY
I came for love...

DEL
You're not on that soap opera thing
again, are you? 'Cause you know what
that is?

BETTY
It's people with no lives watching
other people's fake lives.

DEL
That's right. So, if you know it,
why are you in trouble?

BETTY
I don't know.

DEL
You sure don't. Who do you think you
are coming to Hollywood, anyway? You
should remember where you came from.
And who you really are.

Del looks up at the sun for a moment, shading his eye from
it.

DEL
I gotta run. Got some serious clients
to meet, with real potential.
(BEAT)
Goddamn, it's hot!

He wipes the sweat from his brow. Betty looks at his
handkerchief and sees that it's soaked in blood. Then back
at his face, now obscured by blood pouring down from his
head. She stares, horrified, and in that moment Del becomes...
a MAN, staring back at her as he wipes the sweat from his
brow.

MAN
Who are you talking to? Are you crazy?

Betty backs away and melts into the flow of PEDESTRIANS.

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - LATER

Rosa comes home from work and tosses her purse and jacket on
the chair. No Betty in her room.

ROSA
Bet-ty!? Did the pizza guy show up
yet?

She emerges from Rosa's bedroom with toiletries and moves to
an open suitcase in her room. She barely acknowledges Rosa.

ROSA
Are you all right?
(no answer)
What happened?
(BEAT)
He dumped you, didn't he? I KNEW IT
WHEN I MET HIM!! He's a loser, like
the rest of them. Mother-fucker!

Rosa now notices Betty packing.

ROSA
What are you doing?

BETTY
I'm going back to... I need to... I
don't know.

Rosa tries to stop Betty for a moment to talk. Betty grabs a
pile of Rosa's clothes and heads for her room.

BETTY
...this is your sweater, right?

ROSA
Where are you going?

BETTY
I have to leave now.

She tries to put Betty's suitcase away.

ROSA
What? No, I'm not gonna let you just
run out of here... You need to talk
about what's going on...

BETTY
You think I'm crazy, Rosa, but you
don't know the half of it. My husband
was, ahh...

ROSA
Your husband?!

BETTY
Yes, I had a husband and he was killed
two weeks ago in my kitchen. I was
right there...

Rosa stops.

ROSA
Jesus!... What are you saying?

They stare at each other for a beat.

ROSA
What?! That you had something to do
with it?

BETTY
I don't know. I'm just starting to
remember it now. I don't...

ROSA
Yeah, but your running away isn't
going to help you with all this...

BETTY
There was blood everywhere, Rosa. I
saw it, I think I watched the whole
thing happen... Oh my God...

ROSA
Okay, okay, look, ummm... Let's just
talk a little first and you'll feel
better, I promise.

The doorbell rings.

ROSA
That's our pizza... You can't go
yet.

EXT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - DAY

Charlie watches Betty undress from a nearby fire escape. He
stares at the object of his desperate search with relief and
some fascination.

Betty's movements are unhurried, mindless. Charlie stares,
mesmerized, until she steps into the shower.

EXT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - STREET - SAME TIME

Wesley gently nudges open the trunk to Betty's LeSabre. The
cardboard cut-out of David Ravell pops out at him.

WESLEY
Whoa! What the fuck're you doing
here?

He breaks it over his knee and throws it in the gutter, then
quickly removes the wing nut holding the spare tire. He
removes the tire, then raises the panel on the floor of the
trunk as Charlie joins him.

WESLEY
It's all here. It hasn't been touched.

The bottom of the trunk is lined with brown paper-wrapped
bricks of cocaine. Charlie stares at it, shaking his head.

WESLEY
You were right. Del wasn't lying.

CHARLIE
Well, you were right about what that
bartender said.

Wesley looks at him. He appreciates the compliment.

WESLEY
But you were right first. You gotta
follow your instincts.

Charlie takes a long look at Wesley and smiles proudly.

CHARLIE
What do your instincts tell you to
do now, kid?

WESLEY
Leave. Take this shit back to Detroit
and get the rest of our money.

CHARLIE
We could do that. I could be on my
way to Florida, and you could go to
Thailand and fuck your brains out.

WESLEY
...but that's not what we're gonna
do, is it?

CHARLIE
No... if we don't finish this job,
how are we gonna look at ourselves
in the mirror? This is it for me,
Wesley, she's the last one. My
instinct says I gotta see this through
with her, and if there's one thing
I've tried to teach you here --

WESLEY
It's to follow my instincts. And my
instincts say get the fuck out of
Dodge.

CHARLIE
No, I said to follow 'my' instincts.
Now, we go up there and conclude our
business. Case closed.

Charlie walks off. Wesley closes the trunk up and prepares
to follow him.

WESLEY
...oh, that's fucking democratic.

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT / HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

At the sound of the BUZZER Rosa goes to the door. She looks
through the peephole and sees Charlie holding up a badge.

CHARLIE
I'm Detective Jefferson --

ROSA
Oh... Did Betty call you?

Charlie nods. Rosa opens the door, and he enters with Wesley.

ROSA
She's got problems, but she's no
killer. I hope you guys can straighten
this out...

Charlie and Wesley exchange a puzzled look.

CHARLIE
We'll do what we can. Where is she?

ROSA
Bet-ty!
(to the men)
Please, go easy on her. She's had a
really rough day.

Betty appears. She recognizes the men instantly and freezes.
Charlie's eyes wander over her... slowly. Wesley notices.

ROSA
These guys are here to help you,
Betty.

BETTY
I don't think so.
(BEAT)
Rosa, I didn't kill Del... they did.

Wesley produces a pistol, sitting Rosa forcibly on the sofa
and tapes her mouth and hands. Charlie walks over to Betty.

CHARLIE
We meet again.

He moves closer to her... almost whispers. Wesley steps in
and quickly tapes her hands. Charlie stops him.

CHARLIE
Not her mouth...
(to Betty)
I've spent many long hours in a car
with your face staring back at me.
I've seen it painted on the horizon.

WESLEY
(to Charlie)
What's wrong with you?

A KNOCK at the door ruins Charlie's moment.

ROSA
That's our pizza.

Wesley hustles Rosa out of the room.

CHARLIE
Get rid of them. You understand?

Betty nods, scared, and looks through the peephole. She stares
with disbelief at ROY OSTREY. He KNOCKS again. She opens the
door a crack.

ROY
Betty! Boy, am I glad to see you!

BETTY
Roy! What are you doing here?

ROY
You're in serious danger!

BETTY
Ahh, look, right now's not very...

ROY
I woulda' been here sooner, but
Ballard put me in jail. He still
thinks you had Del scalped.

BALLARD
I never said that! Open the door,
Betty.

BALLARD shoves Roy aside; Charlie's getting edgy ...

BETTY
Sheriff, I don't...

BALLARD
C'mon, Betty, open up! I got some
questions for you about...

ROY
Have you checked the trunk of that
car you're driving, Betty? I think
there might be...

BETTY
It's not really a good time, guys...

BALLARD
Don't give me that. I've come two
thousand miles for this!

Charlie has been listening quietly on the other side of the
door and finally snaps.

CHARLIE
Two thousand miles? That's nothing!

He flings the door open, sticks a pistol in Ballard's face
and yanks them both inside.

CHARLIE
Hah! You probably flew! I've crossed
the river Styx looking for her, pal!
I travelled the fucking country to
be here!

Charlie slams the door and frisks them, taking a gun and
handcuffs from Ballard. Wesley returns with Rosa.

CHARLIE
(to Betty)
Who are these idiots?

BETTY
This is Roy Ostrey, he's a reporter.
And this is Sheriff Ballard. We all
went to Fair Oaks High together...

CHARLIE
Oh, this is wonderful...

Wesley takes over. He sits Rosa down on the sofa, then pushes
Betty down next to her and beckons to Roy.

WESLEY
Come here.

He breaks Roy's nose with his pistol. Roy crumples to the
floor, holding his face. Betty starts to scream, but Charlie
puts his hand over her mouth.

Wesley tapes Roy's hands together, then beckons to Ballard.

WESLEY
Your turn.

Ballard drops to his knees in a prayer-like position near
the aquarium.

BALLARD
I got two kids and a dog...

Wesley grabs his shirtfront and slams him to the floor, then
with a foot on his neck, he loops Ballard's arms around one
leg of the steel aquarium stand and handcuffs him.

Charlie does nothing but stare at Betty, his eyes locked
with hers. Wesley sees it.

WESLEY
Act professional, remember?

Charlie pulls her to her feet.

WESLEY
What are you doing?

Charlie leads Betty out of the room.

WESLEY
No way! This is not professional!

INT. BEDROOM - SAME TIME

Silence. Then Charlie takes out a knife and cuts the tape
from Betty's wrists, touching her hair. Gently. He leaves
her standing in the corner while he sits on the edge of the
bed.

BETTY
...I s'pose you did that so I could
take my sweater off or something.

CHARLIE
No, just stand there... lemme look
at you a minute.

She does. Charlie stares intently at her.

CHARLIE
Do you know who I am?

BETTY
...I... I know what you are.

CHARLIE
Do you know why I'm here?

BETTY
I've got a pretty good idea. You're
here to kill me, so kill me. You
want me to be afraid, but I'm not. I
don't care who you are, or why you
two killed my husband...

Charlie studies her, then sets his gun down on the bed.

CHARLIE
You really... didn't have anything
to do with what Del was doing, did
you?

BETTY
I have no idea what he was mixed up
in... it was always something.

CHARLIE
So you weren't involved with him in
his pathetic attempt to diversify?
(off her blank look)
Were you mixed up in the drugs, Betty?

BETTY
Drugs? God, no! I'm totally against
drugs.

CHARLIE
Damn, life is strange. I had you
figured for this cold-blooded,
calculating bitch -- Not that I didn't
admire you for it.

Charlie slowly folds his knife and pockets it.

BETTY
...well, if you're not going to slit
my throat, why'd you come up here?

CHARLIE
...to see you.

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

Wesley stands over Ballard, about to tape his mouth. Rosa
and Roy are sitting in chairs opposite them, their mouths
and wrists already taped.

BALLARD
You killed that bartender in Arizona
and the trucker in Texas, didn't
you?

WESLEY
How did you find Betty?

BALLARD
I just put it all together. I knew
David, Lonnie and Chloe were from
that show.

Roy starts freaking out, trying to talk through the tape.

BALLARD
Betty thinks they're real people.
It sounded crazy, but it was worth a
shot.

Roy is apoplectic...

WESLEY
What do you want?!

Wesley tears his tape off.

ROY
That's a lie! I figured it out! I've
been trying to tell this dumbass --

BALLARD
Fuck you, Roy Ostrey!

ROY
-- small-time, pissant, Barney Fife --

WESLEY
SHUT UP! Shut the fuck up, both of
you, before I kill you!

ROY
I'm the one who watched the show...
I was...

WESLEY
Did Chloe crack?

ROY
Totally. She came apart like a house
of cards. They dropped the charges...

WESLEY
Goddamn... how 'bout Jasmine?

ROY
She's a lesbian.

Wesley immediately pulls his gun and points it at Roy's head.

WESLEY
You lie, motherfucker...

ROY
I swear to God!

Rosa STAMPS her feet, drawing Wesley's attention. She tries
to talk through the duct tape; gestures for him to come to
her.

WESLEY
What?! You scream, you die.

He yanks the tape off. Rosa winces.

ROSA
I have a tape of today's show.

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - SAME TIME

Betty is sitting on the bed. Charlie leans against the wall,
facing her. He has trouble starting this.

CHARLIE
...I never meet people like you. I'm
a garbageman of the human condition.
I deal with trash, mostly, people
willing to trade any part of
themselves for a few more minutes of
their rotten lives. But you... you're
different.

BETTY
I am?

CHARLIE
Sure. You could probably have any
thing you wanted... somebody as
beautiful and stylish as yourself,
and you don't even realize it.

Betty looks curiously over at Charlie.

CHARLIE
I'm appreciably older than you, but
my health is good. I take care of
myself, and I got some money socked
away. You'd never have to work again,
that's for sure. I'd treat you like
a queen.

BETTY
Umm, I don't think that...

CHARLIE
Wait. Let me get this out.
(clears his throat)
I like the symphony, walks in the
rain, sunsets, animals and children.
I read passionately, and I like to
discuss things. I'm basically
conservative, but flexible. I've
been involved in the death of thirty-
two people, but I can live with that
because the world is lighter by thirty-
two pieces of shit, excuse my
language.

BETTY
"Thirty-two?"

CHARLIE
Well, thirty-three, but I'm not
counting Del, on account of you...
so, what do you think?
(BEAT)
You probably feel I'm flattering
myself to see us together.

BETTY
I don't feel that, no. I just... I'm
not really who you think I am.

CHARLIE
No one is, honey. Here, listen to
this... "If who I am and who I hope
to be should meet one day, I know
they will be friends." Now that's
beautiful.

Betty is stunned.

BETTY
I wrote that when I was twelve...
where'd you get that?!

CHARLIE
(he pulls out the
diary)
I know. I borrowed it from your
grandparents because I... I... it
doesn't matter. Don't worry, they're
fine...
(he gives the diary
back)
Look, I used to feel that same way,
said practically those same words,
sitting at night in a foxhole in
Korea...
(BEAT)
I've chased you across the country,
Betty, and I come to find out we're
a lot more alike than you'd think.

BETTY
I thought you were a garbageman of
humanity, or something.

CHARLIE
Yes, but I'd sort of like to put
that behind me now...

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

Wesley is engrossed in watching "A Reason to Love." Behind
him, Ballard quietly walks his feet up the wall until he's
completely upside down. He rubs one foot against the other
until one pantleg is above his cowboy boot. Rosa and Roy
watch. He finally lifts the boot off. It falls soundlessly
onto his chest. A small pistol is revealed, holstered above
his ankle. He works the holster open using the edge of the
fishtank.

Roy and Rosa COUGH LOUDLY at the same time to cover the noise.
Wesley glares at them.

Ballard gets the pistol free. But it falls into the fishtank.
The air goes out of Roy's sails. Ballard has fucked up again.

On screen, Chloe and Jasmine kiss and embrace. Wesley reacts
as if he was slapped.

WESLEY
...goddamn!

Wesley immediately runs the sequence back to view it again.

Ballard KICKS the wall of the fishtank with his cowboy boot.
Roy and Rosa cover the sound again with COUGHING. Wesley
pauses the T.V. and looks around.

WESLEY
What's your problem?

Ballard KICKS at the tank again. But he can't break the glass.
Roy can't take it any more. He launches himself at the tank,
grabs it by the rim and pulls it down on top of himself. A
torrent of water, fish, plants and gravel pours down upon
him.

WESLEY
You stupid piece of fuck!

He leaps at Roy and starts kicking him savagely. Rosa throws
herself onto Wesley's back, knocking him to the floor. Ballard
paws through the muck, scattering fish and gravel everywhere.
He spots a glint of metal in the sand.

Wesley struggles out from under Rosa. Just as he gets free,
Ballard FIRES, hitting him TWICE into his chest. Wesley stares
in disbelief at the blood rushing out of him. Then at Ballard,
as if trying to link the two.

He slumps to the floor and opens his mouth to scream...

WESLEY
D-A-A-A-D-D-D-Y-Y-!!!!

Charlie opens the bedroom door.

CHARLIE
Wesley??!

Charlie sees Wesley turn to him as Ballard FIRES again.
Wesley's face explodes. The flying lead drives Charlie back
to the bedroom.

Crawling through the muck, Roy notices a fish flopping
helplessly on the carpet inches from his face.

ROY
Those're Japanese koi!

ROSA
Yes! How'd you know that?

ROY
You gotta get 'em in water right
away!

BALLARD
We're in a shootout, Roy! Shut up
about the damn fish!

ROY
YOU shut up!
(to Rosa)
They're beautiful, but get them some
water.

He gently hands her the fish, then picks up Wesley's nearby
gun. Rosa nods; she's amazed that he knew what it was. She
looks at Roy in a slightly different way before crawling
away toward the kitchen.

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - SAME TIME

Charlie FIRES back from the doorway.

CHARLIE
Oh, Christ, they shot my boy!

Enraged, he empties his pistol at the living room. Ballard
and Roy return fire, and Charlie ducks back in.

CHARLIE
(reloading)
How the hell did this happen? I'm in
a goddamn shoot-out! Wesley? What
the fuck happened out there?!

He opens the door, and a bullet slams into the doorjamb near
his head. He ducks back in.

Charlie sags against the wall, looking toward Betty.

CHARLIE
That's my son! My son is dead!

BETTY
I'm sorry.

CHARLIE
You're sorry? YOU'RE THE REASON WE'RE
HERE!

BETTY
WAIT A SECOND! I AM NOT THE REASON
YOU'RE HERE! I WAS MINDING MY OWN
BUSINESS, LIVING A PERFECTLY BORING
LIFE UNTIL YOU CAME ALONG!

Charlie fights back his grief.

BETTY
What do you want from me?

Charlie can't handle the moment. He breaks for the door, and
BLASTS away. This time he's nicked in the shoulder. He
stumbles back, losing his balance. His gun falls and slides
right into Betty's hand. Equally surprised they stare at one
another.

Charlie slumps over in his defeat as Betty holds a shaky
pistol on him.

CHARLIE
Oh shit...

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

Rosa crawls to a flower vase and dumps a second koi into the
water inside. Roy and Ballard crouch behind the open archway,
using the hanging beads as protection.

BALLARD
(checks his gun)
We need ammo... Go check his jacket,
I'll cover you.

ROY
I'm not going out there! Let's wait
for the real police...

BALLARD
You gotta go, we're pinned down!

ROSA
So why can't we just sneak outside?
Huh?

BALLARD
Lady, you don't just run away from
crime... besides, Betty's in there.

ROY
(checking)
You wanna see if he has more shells,
go ahead. I say we wait...

BALLARD
No, no, no... you don't know shit
about procedure! You don't send your
best...

ROY
I've got the working gun, Elden, me!
You wasted all your bullets so you
crawl out there.

Ballard stares at him in disbelief, then back at the closed
bedroom door. Ballard starts off on his belly.

BALLARD
Goddammit...

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - SAME TIME

A LONG BEAT passes. POLICE SIRENS wail in the distance. Betty
moves close to Charlie to look at his shoulder. He watches
her intently.

CHARLIE
If we went out that window right now
we'd have a chance...

BETTY
I better go check on them.

CHARLIE
Wait, Betty... you still haven't
answered me.

BETTY
This is really awkward...

The SIRENS are coming closer. He waves her off.

CHARLIE
Ahh, it's too late, anyway. It's too
late.
(BEAT)
Listen, I could shoot my way out,
maybe take one of them with me... If
you'd gimme my gun back.

BETTY
I'd rather not...

CHARLIE
Betty, I don't wanna shrivel up alone
in some stinking prison. No way.
I've got some professional pride.
And I don't want anybody else to get
the credit for taking me out.

BETTY
...what're you saying?

CHARLIE
When a Roman general knew a battle
was lost, he'd throw himself on his
sword.

Charlie fumbles in his pocket, then pulls out the photo of
Betty with the cardboard David Ravell.

CHARLIE
Did... did you really come here
because you love this guy?

BETTY
Yes... Not the actor, though, the
doctor. I think.

Charlie's sinks slowly to the floor.

CHARLIE
So all this... really was because of
that soap opera? My son is dead
because you came out here to be with
that doctor? A fake doctor?

BETTY
I wouldn't have put it quite that
way, but...

CHARLIE
Wesley didn't even want to come up
here. He warned me, but I insisted...
(BEAT)
I have to ask you, Betty...are you
crazy?

BETTY
I don't think I am.

Charlie remains sitting pensively for a long beat.

CHARLIE
I want you to listen to me, Betty.
People don't lie when they're about
to die.
(BEAT)
You don't need that doctor. You don't
need that actor. You don't need any
man. It's not the forties, honey.
You don't need anybody. You've got
yourself... and that's more than
most people can say.

Charlie reaches out slowly and takes the gun from Betty. She
doesn't fight him. He kisses her hand and steps into the
bathroom and closes the door. A single GUNBLAST sends a shiver
through Betty.

INT. LYLA'S HOUSE - NIGHT

TV Newscast CLOSE SHOT of an ANCHORMAN.

ANCHORMAN
In a story that police say is bizarre,
even for Hollywood, a father-son
team of killers tracked a Kansas
soap opera fan halfway across the
country, only to find themselves the
victims in a final, bloody
confrontation...

The Anchorman continues as the CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal
Lyla and George watching television in a plush living room.

LYLA
This story is beyond belief, which
is perfect for us. It's free
advertising and it's gonna run for
months.

GEORGE
I don't think she can do it. You saw
what happened.

LYLA
You fucked it up. Who wouldn't freeze
in those circumstances? And I don't
care what her problems are. She
wouldn't be the first one in that
cast with problems. We have nothing
to lose by making her an offer.

GEORGE
What about me? Don't you wanna know
how I feel about it? I'm the one
who...

LYLA
Why would I give a shit how you feel.
And I got news for you. I loved your
'icy water' idea the other day...
I'm toying with the idea of killing
David Ravell off in a boating
accident.

GEORGE
That's not a bad idea. How many
episodes before he comes back?

Lyla shakes her head "no."

GEORGE
Jesus, don't do that! If it gets
around that you fired me, I'll never
land a pilot.

LYLA
Then do as you're told. Get her back.

INT. TIP TOP DINER - DAY

George and Betty sit across from one another in a booth.
Betty listens patiently. Her former co-workers try to remain
busy but can't help gawking.

GEORGE
I'm sorry for what I did. It was
inexcusable. I'm sorry for the things
I said, and for not respecting you,
and for all the stupid things that...

Darlene approaches, puts a piece of paper on the table.

DARLENE
When you have a minute...

GEORGE
Look, I don't really like the whole
idea of autographs, and I'm kind of
in the middle of...

DARLENE
Don't flatter yourself. It's the
check.

She walks off.

GEORGE
Oh. Of course... sorry.

BETTY
(grabbing it up)
My treat. You were saying... something
about how stupid you've been?

GEORGE
Right... I was. I was an idiot, plain
and simple, and I hope you can find
it in your heart to forgive me. How's
that?

BETTY
Kinda like you'd been saying it since
you got on the plane...

GEORGE
I have... did it sound that bad?

BETTY
Mmm-hmm. Listen, I forgive you, Mr.
McCord...

GEORGE
George...

BETTY
...George. I do.
(BEAT)
My best friend once said if you were
any handsomer it would be a crime...

GEORGE
Thanks...

BETTY
...it's too bad you're such an
asshole. 'S the only thing that Del
was ever right about.

George winces... accepts it.

GEORGE
No, that's... okay. Fair enough.
(BEAT)
So, now that we've sort of settled
the 'asshole' thing, is there any
chance you'll come back to the show?
At all?

INT. TV DINER - DAY

Dr. David Ravell sits with Nurse Betty in a diner, catching
a bite to eat before going back on shift. They smile at one
another over their meals.

BETTY
...there's always a chance, David.

DAVID
Right. But will there be a tomorrow,
and the next day, and the next?

BETTY
(whispering to him)
Doctor, if you were any handsomer
it'd be a crime...

DAVID
I guess that means you're free
tonight. Of course, it's up to you...

BETTY
No, it's up to us. I love you, David.
And I want to see you tomorrow, and
the next day, and the next day...
(they kiss)

INT. TIP TOP DINER - DAY

Darlene, the other waitresses, the cooks and assorted
customers gather at the counter to watch Betty on television.
Sheriff Ballard beams from a nearby stool.

INT. SUE ANN'S HOUSE - DAY

The kids are out of control, but Sue Ann's oblivious. She
leaps from her chair.

SUE ANN
That's my best friend!

INT. ROSA'S APARTMENT - DAY

Roy, Rosa, Danny and Sra. Herrera watch Betty lean across
the table, take David's face in her hands and move into a
romantic kiss.

On the sofa, Rosa takes Roy's hand in hers.

POSTSCRIPT:

Rosa Herrera received 11 phone calls off the business cards
Betty handed out. But she fell in love with Roy Ostrey,
married him and moved to Kansas.

EXT. CAFE SISTINA - ROME - DAY

Betty watches the pilgrims on their way to St. Peter's as
she sips a cup of coffee. HER WAITER stands nearby with one
eye on a TV set that broadcasts "A Reason to Love" in Italian.

BETTY
Could I get some service here, please?

Without looking, the waiter approaches, tops off her cup and
moves back to watching the show. Betty smiles knowingly at
this, takes a sip and settles back in her seat. Slowly, the
world passes by.

POSTSCRIPT:

Betty Sizemore appeared in 63 episodes of "A Reason to Love."
She is using her earnings to pay for a nursing degree and is
currently on vacation in Europe. The Europe.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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