EXT. O'MALLEY FRONT YARD - MORNING
MARGARET O'MALLEY, an auburn haired, sunburned 38-year old
mother of eight, stands outside next to the running station
wagon. Two children sit in the front seat while three are
crammed into the back seat.
Margaret is waiting on her two youngest boys to fill the two
way back seats that face backwards. KATIE, 4 years old, with
strawberry blond hair, rosy cheeks, and a pot belly, sticks
her head out the window.
Mom, I told them to be ready by nine
twenty. They just donít listen.
Margaret ignores Katie. Katie pops back into the car.
INT. PETE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
PETE, 7 years old, who looks like a poster boy for Ireland,
lays on his stomach in front of the board game "All Star
Baseball". He spins the dial. The dial lands on nine, which
is the number that coincides with a strikeout. SEAMUS, nine
years old, blondish brown hair, white skin, crystal blue
eyes, angelic smile, jumps to the air in celebration.
Another comeback stopped.
Reggie Jackson stinks!
We gotta get going. Mom's gonna freak.
Seamus heads for the door.
What should we tell her?
Seamus looks back at Pete. Pete's hand me down plaid pants
barely fit him and fall as he stands up.
You couldn't find your belt.
Seamus takes off down the stairs. Pete, with one hand holding
up his pants, follows him down the stairs. Seamus runs out
the front door and past his mom.
Why are you late?
Seamus, never breaking stride, climbs into the station wagon
through the back window.
Pete couldn't find his belt.
Pete runs past his mother.
Why are you late?
Seamus lost my belt.
Pete never breaks stride. He jumps into the back of the
station wagon. Margaret turns and walks to the car with the
kind of steam that only eight kids in 18 years can produce.
She opens the car door, sits down, calmly puts the car in
reverse, and turns her head for the reverse shoulder check.
And then all hell breaks loose. Margaret screams at the top
of her lungs.
God gives you 168 hours in a week.
Can you not give him one full hour
back? Is that too much to ask?
Katie at four years doesn't understand rhetorical questions.
I've been ready for three hours.
EDDIE, 14, brown curly hair, brown eyes, athletic, is at the
point in his life when he realizes he has more answers than
Shut up you kiss ass.
Margaret, with no hesitation, stops the car and smacks Eddie
across the face. Eddie winces while TOMMY, 17, also dark
haired and dark eyed, laughs. Margaret puts the car in drive
and cruises down the street like one big, happy family. WE
FOLLOW the camera through the front of the car to the back.
PATRICK, 18, blondish brown curly hair and green eyes, holds
MOLLY, six months old, in the front seat. Car seats have yet
to be invented.
MARY, 17, auburn haired like her mother and Tommy's twin,
sits behind the driver seat because she has learned the long
hand of Margaret's wrath cannot reach her in that seat. Tommy
reads Eddie the Bazooka Joe joke from his gum wrapper and
the two laugh. In the back seat facing out, Pete and Seamus
sit. Seamus holds electronic football in his hand and the
electronic sound of electronic football players running
reverberates throughout the car. WE GO TIGHT on PETE.
My dad is a fireman.
WE PULL BACK and see all of the kids hang out the window and
wave at JOE, 40, who is Dark Irish, handsomely weathered,
and happy to be at work when his wife takes the kids to
church. WE GO TIGHT on JOE as he waves back to the kids.
(sarcastic to fellow
I wish I could be with them more.
And my mom?
WE GO TIGHT on MARGARET.
And my mom? She's a part time cook,
maid, and nurse. But her full time
job? She's a front line sergeant in
Pete screams as Seamus scores another touchdown on electronic
Goddammit, would you two shut up
with that game!
Katie puts her hand over her mouth with the sound of the
Tommy prepares for battle by holding back his laughter.
The lord's name in vain? Son of a
At forty miles an hour in front of the firehouse Margaret
lunges her open fist into the backseat and starts swinging
like a tornado.
Kids scurry, hoping to avoid the path of the tornado. The
wagon swerves into the other lane. Joe and his buddies watch
from their lounge chairs outside the firehouse. He takes a
swig from a plastic cup.
Dying in a fire sometimes doesn't
sound so bad.
The station wagon pulls up to church and the children jump
out like clowns from a small car. Margaret drives off as the
children exit the station wagon. Patrick lifts Katie up to
the basin of holy water.
Katie splashes water on her forehead and makes a sign of the
Patrick, annoyed, puts her down and points his finger at
her. He gently touches the water with his index and middle
finger and slowly makes the sign of the cross. Katie shakes
her head in agreement.
Seamus dips his hand in the water and fake sneezes on Pete.
Pete punches him in the shoulder. Margaret walks in and
proceeds to lead her ducklings down the aisle as the heads
in church turn to watch.
Each kid genuflects, some better than others, and sit. Pete
sits between Seamus and Patrick. He looks at Margaret. She
smiles and winks at him. Pete looks up to the life-size Jesus
hanging high behind the altar. WE SLOWLY go TIGHT on JESUS
hanging on the cross.
My cousins' families are similar to
mine. Except some of the dads are
cops. In my world, there's Irish
Catholics, and then there's everybody
else. The only part of this picture
that doesn't fit for me is Jesus.
From what I've learned, and according
to my brother Seamus I've learned
shit, that's why I'm in second grade,
but from what I've learned, Jesus is
not Irish Catholic. My dad says that's
only a technicality, like Knute
Rockne, but, still, Jesus is not
Irish Catholic. He is Jewish. I don't
know any Jewish people, they don't
go to Holy Cross, but if I ever meet
a Jewish person, my mom says my job
would be to convert them to
Catholicism. So they could go to
heaven. I have decided this summer,
the summer of 1976, I will help a
Jewish person get to heaven. It will
be my holy quest.
INT. KEENEY/JONES FUNERAL HOME - A FEW DAYS LATER
REVERSE CAM - Looking out through Jesus's eyes. A WAKE. An
Irish wake. Two little boys approach the casket. They kneel
in front of the casket. Seamus looks at Pete. Pete's eyes
are wide in anticipation. Seamus nudges Pete. Pete nudges
Seamus back. Seamus makes the sign of the cross and Pete
copies him. The two stand and walk away. WE FOLLOW them
through the crowd. The boys continue to walk through the
crowd but WE STOP at a circle of men holding drinks.
JOE, holding a Rum and Coke, is talking out the side of his
So? What do I do? Go up to Aunt
Maggie. Hey Aunt Maggie, did I mention
Uncle Jim owed me a nickel?
The other men laugh. Joe's fat brother, ROGER, answers as if
he's Jim's wife. He pulls out a coin
I know things are tight, Joe, but
this is cheap. Even for you.
Roger hands Joe the nickel.
Well, we'll call it even. That idiot.
You know if he was up a nickel with
the book, he would have lived to
The men laugh heartily.
A new way to fend off death. Be up
money with your bookie.
May old Uncle Jim be in heaven thirty
minutes before the devil knows he's
He might need more time. What if the
devil has extradition rights?
All of the men laugh. A man hands Joe a drink. He finishes
the drink in his right hand as he accepts the fresh drink in
his left hand.
Seamus and Pete come running back through the crowd. Margaret,
standing with four women and smoking, calls them over.
Did you pray for your great uncle's
Pete looks at Seamus. Seamus looks down at Pete. Pete looks
up at his mom.
We didn't know his soul.
The women laugh.
Cause he didn't have one.
Go back up there and pray to Jesus
for the soul of your Uncle Jim. He
needs your prayers.
So I've heard. But Mom, how do we
know our prayers will help Old Uncle
Jim get to heaven?
Faith. Now go ahead.
Mom, we can't go back up there. We
already prayed to Jesus for his soul.
Mom looks at Pete for affirmation. Pete looks up to Seamus.
He looks back up to Mom.
Did you pray to Jesus?
Pete looks at Seamus. Seamus gives him that scared look of
having to look at that dead body up close again. Pete looks
at the dead body.
He looks back at his mom. He nods his head in the affirmative.
Well, nobody can have too many
prayers. Go again.
Pete and Seamus head toward the casket.
How did she know I was lying?
You weren't convincing. And she's
got some kinda built in lie detector.
How many lies do we get till we go
I don't think I have many left. And
I got my whole life ahead of me.
That one doesn't count. You just
nodded. Nodding up and down in China
is like saying no.
Things are upside down in China.
Seamus begins to nod yes but changes it to a shake. Margaret
watches the boys as they approach the casket. The boys
approach the dead body.
Seamus's eyes are bugging out.
A word grown ups use when they don't
have the answer.
INT. CLASSROOM - NEXT DAY
WE GO TIGHT on an ELECTRONIC FOOTBALL GAME. WE HEAR the noises
of the game. WE PULL BACK to see Pete playing the game in
the back of the room. A nun stands at the front of the class
and is talking to the class.
This summer, take time to reflect on
your past year in the second grade.
And how you can make third grade
The electronic defense tackles Pete and makes a double click
Mr. O'Malley? Do you disagree with
No, Sister Leonora Mary. I agree.
The bell rings. The kids scream with happiness. School's out
for the summer.
See you at church. And next year in
The boys run for the door.
Mr. O'Malley, may I speak to you for
The boys stop. Pete looks at them. The guys don't hesitate.
They run out of the room. Sister Leonora Mary and Pete are
Yes, Sister Leonora Mary.
How many times did I have to pull
you by your ears to the front of the
class and give you the ruler?
Pete looks around for the answer.
Probably too many times, don't you
I don't enjoy having to do that, you
Pete looks at the ground and scratches the back of his neck.
I think this is an important summer
for you. This is the summer that you
can choose to keep following the
devil's way, or create a new path
toward Jesus. Which path do you want
The Jesus path.
Good. I expect to see a difference
in you next year.
You will, Sister Leonora Mary. I've
got a plan. A quest!
Good! You may go. Enjoy your summer,
I know you will.
You too Sister Leonora Mary.
Pete heads toward the door. He turns around.
Do you know where I can find a
INT. SYNAGOGUE - LATE AFTERNOON
Pete stops his bike outside the synagogue. He looks to the
top to see if there is a cross. No cross. A small family
walks out of the synagogue. The men wear yarmukles. Pete
stares at the yarmukles. He walks his bike to the door. He
tries to open the door and maneuver the bike through the
door. He is unsuccessful. A bearded, tiny gray man with
glasses opens the door. Rabbi Kenny Jacobsen smiles at the
May I help you, son of Saint Patrick?
Pete looks at him weird but shrugs off the name calling. He
notices the rabbi wears a yarmukle also.
Whadaya got on the top of your head?
It's a yarmukle.
Doesn't really block the sun.
No but it covers bald spots.
The rabbi leans over, takes off the yarmukle, and shows Pete
his bald spot.
It does cover the bald spot. My old
Uncle Jim could have used that.
So what can I do you for?
Pete looks around.
Jewish people go here?
The rabbi nods.
I'm looking to see if I can help
Jewish people get to heaven.
A noble endeavor.
A noble quest! What can I do to assist
Well, I just wanted to check out the
synagogue. But there's no bike rack.
Don't kids go here?
Yes. But not for school. How 'bout I
hold onto your bike in the back of
the Temple as you look around?
Pete enters the temple with Rabbi Jacobsen following him
with the bike. The place is round and expansive. Pete looks
around. After looking, Pete heads to the back of the temple
where the rabbi waits for him with his bike.
I find the cross fun to look at.
Sometimes I think about climbing the
wall at Holy Cross and unscrewing
the nails, and letting him go. Makes
mass go faster. You should think
about putting in a cross.
I'll look into that. So what are you
That this is where the quest starts.
Well, if I can be of service, you
let me know. My office is just over
there. I've got to get home to my
family. I have a boy around your
age. How old are you?
Seven. Almost eight.
He's six. Almost seven.
You can have a family?
Then what do they call you?
Well, my boys call me father. But my
congregation calls me Rabbi. Rabbi
Rabbi Jacobsen puts his hand out. Pete shakes it.
I'm Pete. Pete O'Malley. Nice to
meet you Rabbi Jacobsen.
Nice to meet you.
The rabbi and Pete head out of the temple.
INT. KITCHEN TABLE - LATER THAT NIGHT
The O'Malley's sit at the dinner table. Three things are a
constant at the dinner table. Meat, potatoes, and chaos.
Katie starts to yelp.
Can I have your attention? Please. I
got something to say. Please!
Everyone at the table slowly quiets down.
Better make this good Katie.
The room is quiet. Katie looks at everyone.
Today. I was on my bike. And I pedaled
my bike to the O'Connors. And I
pedaled back. And it was sunny.
Everyone stares at her.
Eddie shakes his head in amazement and grins.
Katie, you need to come up with a
more exciting story.
You know, like maybe crash your bike,
and get really bloody and do the
wounded soldier back to the house.
The older kids laugh.
Anyone know what a yarmukle is?
Patrick looks at Pete.
Jewish people wear them. It's
Like feathers for an Indian?
What's it for?
To hide their horns.
The older kids laugh. Margaret winces.
They got horns?
No. They do not have horns. Joe,
please. The young ones don't need
this. Let's change the subject.
Patrick, your Uncle Charlie says he
could get you an interview over at
the city planners office.
What about the fire department?
That's always there. Well, kid, what
the hell are you going to do?
The kids react to the word hell.
I've applied for some scholarships.
I should hear about them soon. Until
then, I can keep life guarding. Saving
Life guarding? I've raised a
professional lifeguarder. In Chicago.
Work three months a year.
And he doesn't even look like Sheila
Moran in his suit.
Sheila! Oh Sheila. Save me!
Don't let her old man catch her saving
Eddie doesn't know what he's talking
about. I don't like her.
Mary speaks matter of factly.
Francis Demos told me Sheila likes
you so all you need to do is ask her
Patrick gets up from the table as Tommy, Mary, and Eddie
continue to talk about Sheila Moran. Seamus is bent over
showing Pete where the horns protrude from the head. Katie
feeds the cocker spaniel her mashed potatoes under the table
while Molly drinks from the bottle in Nancy's arms. Joe
watches Patrick walk out of the room. He looks at Margaret
for some answer. Margaret shrugs her shoulders.
EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET - NEXT DAY
Pete and Seamus walk down the tree lined city block in their
neighborhood. The two sip milkshakes.
There's nothing better than a bubble
gum milk shake. How come that girl
looks at us so funny when we order
I mean, it's a two for one. Ice cream
shake, and then the bubble gum sinks
to the bottom, and when the shake's
done, you got a whole pack of bubble
gum to chew. All for the price of
Seamus takes the lid off the cup and tries to finish the
shake in one big gulp. He succeeds. Seamus now chews on a
wad of gum. Pete and Seamus pass a lemonade stand.
Ten cents a cup. Pete motions to the lemonade entrepreneurs
that his shake has bankrupt him for the day.
You ever feel that there's more out
there? Like there's more for you to
do than just play ball and eat ice
Seamus shakes his head. He blows a bubble. Pete blows a
You gonna play baseball at 11?
Pete shakes his head.
You heading over to the synagogue?
Pete nods. Seamus blows a bubble.
You know, this whole thing's kinda
weird. You going there, the quest.
Well, at least you know it's weird.
Pete and Seamus walk down the street in silence. Enjoying
another day without responsibility.
INT. SYNAGOGUE - LATER THAT MORNING
Pete knocks on the door of Rabbi Jacobsen's office.
Hey Rabbi Jacobsen, Pete O'Malley.
We met the other day.
The rabbi stands up from his desk. He puts his hand out.
Pete shakes it.
Mr. O'Malley. How are you today?
I'm good thanks. Ready to start my
quest. But I thought I might ask you
for your permission first.
What are your plans?
Sort of a "lemonade-free trip to
The rabbi chuckles. He stops.
Pete shrugs off that word.
Yep. Jewish people gotta like
Very much so. I believe Moses set
one up at Mount Sinai.
Again Pete shrugs off that statement.
I figured I might set up the stand
right at the door. And I'm not going
A future car salesman.
Right. OK then. Thanks. I'll let you
know how it goes.
You know, Jewish people believe in
heaven. It's just that we believe
it's not open yet.
Well, maybe I can get the people
that don't want to wait.
The rabbi laughs.
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - MINUTES LATER
The rabbi walks back to the door. He turns back to look at
Pete taping the poster to the wall. FREE LEMONADE. FREE TRIP
The rabbi laughs. He opens the door and heads into the
Pete takes a seat at his stand.
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - HOURS LATER
The rabbi watches Pete through a window in the synagogue.
Pete looks around. No business. He looks around again. He
pours himself a cup of lemonade and gulps it. He puts the
lemonade back in its place.
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - END OF THE DAY
The rabbi walks out to the stand. Pete looks dejected.
Rome wasn't built in a day, Pete.
Pete doesn't understand.
How do you make any money here? I'm
free, and still nobody.
The rabbi pats Pete on the top of the head.
I envy your youth. Come back tomorrow.
Pete looks at all of his stuff.
I'll store your office right here
inside the front door. For free.
You and I seem to be the only two on
this block that care about free stuff.
Because we're the only two that
realize that you can't buy what we
have to offer. It's free.
Pete and the rabbi place the desk, chair, and poster inside
the synagogue. Pete shakes the rabbi's hand and rides his
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - NEXT DAY
Pete sits at his stand. The rabbi parks his car on the street
100 feet from Pete's stand. The rabbi doesn't want to block
Pete's storefront billboard. The rabbi steps out of his car.
His secretary, Julie, a pretty, voluptuous, middle aged woman
who obviously was waiting for the rabbi, walks out the door
and greets the rabbi. Pete watches her.
Rabbi Jacobsen, you've received six
Door to door service. Julie, I don't
pay you enough.
Julie hands the rabbi his telephone messages. The rabbi reads
them and laughs.
Members of the congregation don't
seem to think this stand is a laughing
matter. It's against Judaism.
Most of the members don't seem to
notice this temple, except during
the high holidays or when they need
something. Pete's giving us free
But he's advertising Christianity.
No, he's advertising thought. He's
asking people to have a cup of free
lemonade with him and maybe get some
insight into how to get to heaven.
Doesn't seem like this neighborhood
cares about that. I wish a thousand
Pete's opened up stands on this
Seamus rides his bike up to the stand.
Seamus gets off his bike and pours himself a cup of lemonade.
Don't pour it all.
Seamus looks around. As if there was a public stampede for
Pete's lemonade. Seamus waves to Rabbi Jacobsen. The rabbi
walks toward the stand.
Rabbi Jacobsen, this is my older
brother Seamus. He's nine.
The rabbi shakes Seamus's hand.
I'm Rabbi Jacobsen. I'm forty-four.
How many are there?
Eight. But my oldest brother might
go to college, so then there will be
seven. And maybe we'll get his room.
Quite a flock.
Got a dog too. Wanna cup of lemonade
No thank you.
Well, you keep up the...
A young boy comes running full speed around the corner.
The rabbi's face turns white.
What is it Steven?
The sounds of fire engines roaring fill the air. A huge fire
engine turns the corner and races past.
Rabbi, your house is on fire. Big
The Rabbi doesn't hear the last line. He takes off in a full
sprint back the way Steven came. Another fire engine races
past. WE FOLLOW the fire engine. WE PASS OVER THE TOP of the
FIRE ENGINE to the other side where JOE O'MALLEY hangs on.
WE FOLLOW THE FIRE ENGINE up the block where people stand
outside watching a house burn. The rabbi reaches the house
at the same time the fire engine does.
My boys! Where are my boys? David?
The rabbi furiously searches the crowd. Joe O'Malley reaches
the rabbi. A quick exchange between the two. The rabbi takes
off toward the stairs of his house. Two other firemen catch
him and hold him back. Joe motions to the firemen to pull
him back and the rest of the crowd to the other side of the
street. He grabs a couple of other firemen who aim the hoses
at the front door. Joe runs into the house and disappears
into the smoke.
A CLOSE SHOT on Pete and Seamus, who have been watching from
the corner. Mrs. Jacobsen arrives. The rabbi grabs her. Mrs.
Jacobsen starts to cry. Everyone watches for Joe to reappear
with two boys in hands. The firemen hose the flames. The
rabbi makes another run for the house, but this time policemen
hold him back. The rabbi goes limp as the two policemen hold
him up. The rabbi's eyes are fixated on the front door. Where
there is just smoke, the outline of Joe O'Malley appears. He
has a child, Danny, wrapped in a blanket in his arms. He
runs down the stairs and across the street. He hands the boy
off to the paramedics. Danny is suffering from smoke
inhalation but is OK. His parents surround him.
The rabbi screams at Joe. Joe can only read his lips. David!
David! My other boy! David!
Joe looks back at the house. The flames rage uncontrollably
and the other houses are now in danger of catching fire. The
rabbi grabs Joe by the shoulders and screams. This time Joe's
eyes are only on the fire. Joe takes off toward the house. A
firemen tries to stop him but Joe bounces off him like a
running back. As he reaches the front steps, an explosion
knocks him back ten feet and flames roar out the front door.
Firemen trample Joe as his coat catches on fire. They stamp
out the fire while they hold him down. Joe rolls over and
stares at the Jacobsens. Mrs. Jacobsen is hysterically crying
as the rabbi stares aimlessly. The rabbi turns slowly and
buries his wife's head in his chest. Danny, his youngest
son, stares over his oxygen mask and up at his parents. Joe
stands up and is escorted toward the ambulance as other
firemen storm the house with more hoses. A CLOSE SHOT of
PETE. His face is void of any emotion other than a look that
says he thought his dad was dead. A CLOSE SHOT of SEAMUS.
Tears stream down his face. As his dad clears the crowd and
reaches the ambulance on his own two feet, Seamus takes off
in a full sprint and covers the fifty yards in seconds. Pete
Dad! Dad! Dad!
Joe looks up and before he knows it Seamus is jumping into
Joe puts Seamus down instantly and starts to scream.
What the hell are you doing here?
Jesus Christ Seamus! Jesus Christ!
Seamus's face turns white. Joe looks up and sees Pete standing
on the corner frozen.
And you brought your brother?
Joe slaps Seamus across the face.
How many times have I told you not
to chase fire engines! It's dangerous.
You could have killed yourself and
your brother. Go home! And wait for
me in your room!
Seamus turns around and walks toward Pete. Seamus reaches
Pete, who is still frozen. Seamus never looks up from the
Pete looks at his dad, who now sits on the back of the
ambulance as paramedics care for him. Pete looks further at
Rabbi Jacobsen. Danny Jacobsen, six years old and bald,
catches Pete's eye. They look at each other. Pete turns and
INT. FAMILY ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
The O'Malley family sits around the TV and watches the news,
which is reporting live from the fire, which still simmers
in the background.
WE GO UP THE STAIRS AND DOWN THE HALLWAY to Pete and Seamus's
They both sit on their beds staring quietly at the ceiling.
Seamus throws a tennis ball to himself. The front door opens
and screams of DAD fill the house. Pete turns and looks at
Seamus. Seamus fixates on the rotation of the ball as it
leaves his hand. He repeats this over and over. Joe enters
the bedroom and closes the door behind him.
Pete and Seamus sit up. Joe grabs a chair and flips it around
so he's leaning forward on the back of the chair.
How many times have I told you boys?
Seamus begins to speak. Joe cuts him off.
People die in fires. You don't chase
fires, you run away from them. That
family lost a ten year old boy in
that fire today.
Rabbi Jacobsen's son died?
What were you two doing in that
Pete and Seamus stay silent.
You're both grounded. You can't leave
this block. If I find either one of
you outside this block or hear that
either one of you left this block,
you will get a whooping that you
will still feel on your sixteenth
But the baseball field...
Joe stands up and exits the room. Seamus gets off his bed
and grabs his glove. He starts to pound the ball into his
I'm sorry. It's my fault.
Seamus stares out the window.
EXT. BACKYARD - HOUR LATER
Joe sits in the backyard alone on a lounge chair drinking an
Old Style beer. A floodlight illuminates the backyard. The
backdoor opens and shuts. Joe continues to stare out. Pete
grabs a chair, spins it around like his dad, and leans forward
on the back of the chair.
Nothing is said for a few seconds as Pete stares out. Joe
doesn't look at Pete.
What are you doing up?
Dad, Seamus was only in the area
because he was checking up on me.
Joe takes a big sip from his beer.
I'm on a quest. To meet a Jewish
person and help them get to heaven.
Joe takes another sip from his beer.
Jewish people can't go to heaven.
Mom says they can be converted.
Through Jesus. I asked Father Kelly
and he said that is the role of a
Joe takes another sip.
So I've been going over to the temple
on Oakley. Looking for Jewish people.
I met Rabbi Jacobsen. He's like a
priest over at the synagogue. He's
been real nice. And I feel really
bad for him now that his son has
How old are you?
Seven. And a half. You know.
You should be playing baseball and
going to the pool. And asleep by
Seamus was just seeing how things
Don't go to that synagogue anymore.
You go to church. Let the Jewish
people take care of themselves.
But I'm on a quest.
Not anymore. The Jews will be Jews.
And Christians will be Christians.
Don't try to change things at seven
and a half.
Pete stares out at the backyard.
Get to bed.
INT. JOE'S BEDROOM - LATER
Margaret lays in bed watching "The Tonight Show" when Joe
walks out of the bathroom. He jumps into bed and watches TV
How bad was it?
Joe shakes his head.
Joe, I can't raise these kids alone
and I've gained too much weight to
find a new husband.
Joe laughs and squeezes her stomach.
Too much weight? You're skinnier and
more beautiful than the first day I
Your charm worked on me when I was a
teenager. I see what I see. Tell me
about the fire.
It was a fire. They're never good.
Margaret knocks on the wall that the bed lays against. She
turns her head and faces the wall.
(sarcastic to the
Tell me about your day.
Well, it was a day like any other
day. I stood firm, attached to the
Whaddaya want from me?
Not the tough guy I'm being
interviewed I did my job routine.
Joe touches Margaret's stomach and rubs it.
If you were skinnier when we met, I
don't remember. And there's no way I
Margaret pushes his hand away and rolls over. Joe twists the
pillow in half and stares at the ceiling.
Did you know Pete was going to a
synagogue to convert Jewish people?
I'm not finding that as funny.
Margaret rolls over and faces Joe.
Pete is searching for meaning in his
He's seven. Baseball is the only
meaning in a seven year old's life.
Some kids are destined for greater
things than baseball.
I don't know honey. Sounds like Pete's
looking for a recipe to get beat up.
I told him to leave those people
alone. Don't let him go over there.
I can't watch these kid's every move.
Molly needs my constant attention.
All I know is he walks out of the
house in the morning, and when he
comes back, he's clean and nobody's
calling to say he was trouble.
Now that's parenting 101. My kid's
clean and nobody says he's trouble.
Am I going to have to work and raise
Don 't start with me Joe.
Margaret rolls over. Joe spoons up against her.
Maybe we should bring another kid
into the world who's clean and doesn't
cause any trouble?
Well, if you're looking for my womb,
I think it fell out over there when
I was dusting. Have at it.
Joe rolls back over and watches "The Tonight Show".
EXT. FIREHOUSE - A FEW DAYS LATER
Joe sits on a lounge chair outside of the firehouse with a
few other firemen playing cards. Roger, his brother and fellow
fireman, is studying the sports page.
The Sox hit lefties hard. Zisk loves
I think you gotta take the Sox tonight
plus one fifty. They're a good bet.
A buck to win a buck fifty.
Why you try to convince us? You never
bet against the Sox. Ever.
I like their lineup. It's explosive.
You ever think about betting the
other team. When you're betting,
don't let your heart get in the way
of a good decision.
Yeah, but when your heart and mind
are in together, it's a sure bet.
Funny how your heart and mind always
Joe throws his cards down.
Shut the hell up Roger. Jack's
crushing me cause of you.
You should be a garbage man the way
you pick up every card I throw. You
do that to piss me off, Jack?
Jack adds the score.
I do it to win. Five hundred to two
twenty. At a nickel a point. Fourteen
bucks you owe me.
Joe goes into his pocket and fishes out fourteen dollars.
Rabbi Jacobsen walks up the driveway with his son Danny. The
rabbi has two tinfoiled trays and Danny carries two bottles
of red wine.
The men get quiet. Joe walks over to help the rabbi with the
Roger takes the wine from Danny.
My wife, my son, and I wanted to
thank you for your bravery and
The rabbi looks down at Danny. Danny's White Sox hat covers
his bald head.
The men, still quiet, nod. Jack takes a tray from Joe and
the other tray from the rabbi. Joe puts out his hand.
Rabbi, Joe O'Malley. I'm sorry for
The men nod in agreement.
Thank you. My son David was a good
The rabbi looks at the shiny red fire trucks.
He loved you firemen. Never understood
why I couldn't be a fireman on the
side and park the firetruck outside
The men laugh. Danny smiles. Joe nudges Roger and points to
his head. Roger nods knowingly and walks into the firehouse.
My wife figures the best way to thank
a man is through his stomach. She
baked some lasagna for all of you in
It's real good.
Joe looks at Danny.
I bet it is.
My guys love a good meal, but I wish
your wife wouldn't have. We were
just doing our job.
A heroic job you do. My wife wanted
to thank you personally. My synagogue
will want to thank you formally.
Joe looks down. Not heroic enough to save your other son,
I don't know if you're allowed to
drink red wine on the job, but lasagna
just isn't as good without a fine
Nothing is as good without a fine
Roger comes back with a plastic firehat and button.
This is for you. A deputy fire chief.
Danny takes off his White Sox hat and hands it to his dad.
He puts on the firehat.
You're welcome. You a big Sox fan?
Huge. Zisk crushes the ball.
Especially against lefties. You wanna
check out the firetruck?
Danny looks at his dad excitedly, His dad nods. Roger takes
Danny by the hand and walks back into the firehouse. The
other men follow.
Joe stays out with Rabbi Jacobsen. The rabbi breaks the
It is Jewish custom to sit chiva at
the house of the deceased. It is a
sign of support to the family of the
Like a wake.
Yes, like a wake. I know you are a
busy man, but if you have time, I
would be honored if you could stop
by and sit for a few minutes with my
family and friends.
Obviously, it is not at my home. But
at my brothers on 2243 Damen.
Anytime after seven PM all week.
Danny is on the back of the truck.
Dad! Check me out!
Children realize life is about living.
And death is about life. Do you have
any children of your own?
Yep. I've got children all right.
Eight? A blessed man.
Joe rolls his eyes as if the blessing isn't always so.
The O'Malley clan? By any chance, is
a beautiful young redhead named Pete
Joe nods in embarrassment.
Your bravery has been passed on.
He's the most earnest, delightful
young man I have ever met.
I found out he's been a nuisance at
your temple and I've reprimanded
him. He won't be bothering you
Your son is a welcome sight at the
Danny screams as he sits in the rear driving seat. Joe and
the rabbi look at Danny.
Do you mind if I ask?
Joe points to his head.
I'm sorry. So sorry.
God has a plan. A mysterious plan
for my family.
Joe and the rabbi watch Danny.
If you can find time, we would love
to have you at my brother's house.
Bring Pete. It would be good for
everyone spirits to see a child so
full of life like your son.
He's full of something.
INT. O'MALLEY FAMILY ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Pete and Seamus lay on the floor playing "All Star Baseball".
Katie dances around to music from the record player. Baby
Molly sleeps in the crib. Patrick walks in the door with the
day's mail. Katie runs over and grabs the mail from him.
Getting the mail is my job.
She punches him, hands over the mail to Katie, who takes it
over to the table. She rifles through the mail. Katie can't
Bill! Bill! Bill! Looks like all
Katie gets up and starts to dance. Patrick sits down and
looks at the mail. A few pieces of official mail are addressed
to him. Patrick opens them up and reads them. Patrick crumples
the paper and leaves it on the table. He walks away from the
INT. O'MALLEY KITCHEN - EARLY NIGHT
The family sits at the dinner table. Tommy and Eddie are
missing from the table. The kids eat pot roast and roasted
The boys game started at six?
Doubleheader. Uncle Roger, Billy,
and Roger junior are going.
Joe looks at Margaret. She nods.
You finish your chores?
Joe nods. Pete looks at his dad.
Rabbi Jacobsen invited you and me to
a... a... chivas at his house.
Rabbi Jacobsen? Chivas?
Yep. Like a wake. I told him we would
Joe looks at Margaret. She smiles.
How's he doing?
It's gotta be tough.
We'll go and then catch the second
Yeah. We'll do that.
Tell Rabbi Jacobsen I'm sorry for
You know he's got a boy your age. I
met him today. He'll be there.
INT. O'MALLEY KITCHEN - AFTER DINNER
Joe and Margaret still sit at the table. Joe drinks a beer
while Margaret drinks coffee. Mary rocks Molly. Seamus stands
at the sink scraping food and washing dishes. He hands them
to Pete, who stands on a stool and rinses the dishes. Pete
hands the dishes to Katie, who places the dishes in the
The rabbi's other kid has leukemia.
We've been blessed. I don't know how
we've been so lucky, but I'm not to
Stupid electrical wiring. Those damn
old houses weren't built for modern
Patrick walks by.
Hey, lifesaver, why don't you sit
Patrick takes a seat.
So, your mother thinks you got some
Patrick plays with his fork.
Maybe I'll take a look at the job
over at the city planners office.
It's a good job with nice benefits.
I'll talk to Alderman McManus about
Patrick stays silent.
Well, don't go there with that
attitude. The alderman's doing us a
favor. So don't go acting like a
From the kitchen, Katie mimics her dad.
Yeah, don't go acting like a punk.
Patrick stays silent.
A lot of kids your age don't have a
chance like this.
A lot of kids my age go to college.
Not to work.
Yeah, and when they graduate, they're
four years behind you in the working
world. All they've learned from
college is how to smoke pot and sleep.
The good jobs nowadays require a
A city job is a good job, and all it
requires is hard work and a good
The Irish way. Get a city job, work
hard, have forty kids, retire on a
crap pension in the same house you
lived in all your life.
You wanna be some hotshot bigshot,
have one point two kids, live in the
suburbs in a big house with no love
to fill a closet, and retire to
Florida to die like a raisin?
Yeah, what if do?
Then go ahead. Be like the Jews.
Have no more than two kids because
it's not economical to have more.
Make every decision based on money.
Raise your kids to base their life
on the size of their wallet. Raise
them to worship the almighty dollar,
No, Dad, I shouldn't raise my kids
to base their worth on the size of
their wallet when I can teach them
to base it on how much booze they
can handle without puking.
Joe gets up and cracks Patrick. The kids run to their mom.
You ungrateful, smartass prick. You
got all the answers at eighteen,
No, but maybe if I work a city fucking
job, I'll have all the answers at
Joe cracks Patrick upside the head and knocks him over. The
kids scream. Patrick gets up. He thinks about charging his
dad, but decides to walk out of the kitchen and out of the
house. The kids cry. Margaret shakes her head. Joe finishes
INT. O'MALLEY STATION WAGON - AN HOUR LATER
Pete and Joe drive in the wagon. The White Sox broadcast
blares from the radio. They drive in silence.
INT. RABBI JACOBSEN'S BROTHER'S HOUSE - MINUTES LATER
Pete and Joe enter the house. A lot of people sit quietly.
The rabbi's brother greets them.
I'm Jeffrey Jacobsen, Kenny's brother.
We're glad you could make it.
Pete hands Jeffrey some flowers. The room is void of any
Jeffrey looks around for a place to put the flowers.
I'll bring this in the kitchen.
Thanks. Can I get you anything to drink?
I'll check to see if I have any
scotch. If not?
I'll check to see if I have any beer.
You know what, I'm fine.
Yeah, I'm sure. Thanks.
Jeffrey looks at Pete.
People sit on the couch. A picture of David sits prominently
on the table. A handsome young boy. Joe works his way over
to Mrs. Jacobsen, who sits on the couch. Mrs. Jacobsen, a
pretty but plain dark haired woman, shakes Joe's hand.
I am sorry for your loss, Mrs.
Pete stands quietly next to his dad. A gentlemen gets up
from the couch facing Mrs. Jacobsen and motions for Pete and
Joe to sit. They sit. Small, quiet conversations take place
around them. Pete and Joe sit quietly. Rabbi Jacobsen enters
the room with Danny. He walks over to Joe, who has stood up
to greet the rabbi. Joe puts out his hand. The rabbi shakes
his hand, but also moves in to hug Joe. Joe moves in
unexpectedly for the hug. The rabbi picks up Pete and hugs
him. Pete laughs.
My family is grateful to you.
Joe nods. Danny waves to Joe. Joe waves to him. Danny looks
You wanna check out my room that I'm
sharing with my cousin?
Pete looks at his dad. Joe gives him the OK. Pete and Danny
INT. DANNY'S ROOM - SECONDS LATER
Danny shows Pete his autographed glove. Sandy Koufax!
My dad says it's rare cause Mr. Koufax
rarely signed things.
Yeah. Was he good?
I think so.
Danny hands Pete another glove.
This was my brothers. You wanna play
In the house?
Danny grabs a tennis ball.
Yeah. It's just a tennis ball.
Danny fires a strike.
How'd you lose your hair?
Leukemia. It's cancer. I take this
medicine that makes me lose my hair.
Does it hurt?
No. The hair just fell out. I used
to have black hair.
I've got red hair.
My friend Charlie's got red hair.
They throw the ball back and forth.
I'm sorry about your brother.
Thanks. You know, since my cancer,
he didn't beat me up as much. We had
fun together. Do you have any
Four older brothers.
Wow. You must get your butt kicked?
My older sister's worse. My brothers
just punch me in the gut. She pulls
my hair. That hurts. I wish I were
Was the fire scary?
I don't know what happened. David
was watching cartoons in the TV room.
I was upstairs playing baseball. And
then I noticed a lot of smoke. I
opened my door but there was a lot
of fire. I tried to open my window,
but I couldn't. I couldn't see the
fire anymore because the smoke got
so thick. And then your dad came in.
He saved my life, I think. It was
nothing like the fire drills you do
Where do you go to school?
Briarwood. How 'bout you?
Holy Cross. Going into third grade.
I'm going into second. I missed a
lot of first grade with all of the
chemotherapy. That's what they call
the cancer medicine.
The boys throw the ball back and forth.
What's it like to be Jewish?
I don't know. Good.
What's that like?
Things are usually noisier around
here. But everyone's really sad.
My Uncle Jim died a few weeks ago.
He was old. He was really my
grandfather's brother, but we still
called him Uncle Jim.
I got an uncle like that. Harvey.
You would have thought my uncle's
funeral was a birthday party.
Sounds like fun.
Yeah it is. My mom says that people
are sad because they love the person,
but are happy cause they get to go
to heaven. Jewish people can't go to
Cause they're Jewish. God doesn't
let Jewish people in heaven.
If you're interested, I think I can
show you how to get to heaven.
Yep. I would just have to convert
How do you do that?
I don't know. I haven't converted
What can I do in heaven?
Anything you want. They call it
Sounds good. When can we start?
I got my last chemotherapy treatment
on Friday. So that gives us all week.
Fine. Let's meet at your dad's
The boys toss the ball back and forth.
INT. O'MALLEY STATION WAGON - LATER
Pete and Joe sit in the wagon.
Danny's a good kid, huh?
Yeah. His medicine makes him bald.
But it doesn't hurt. I'm gonna convert
Joe shakes his head.
Leave him alone.
He wants to.
But his parents don't. Look, he's
Jewish. His family's Jewish. If they
wanted to be Christian, his parents
But it's a quest.
The quest has been called off.
I promised Danny. We're meeting at
Well, I'm breaking that promise. You
can't go converting Jewish kids the
same way they don't go converting
But he wants to.
I said no. No more lip from you. Do
not go to that synagogue and do not
bother Danny or his family anymore.
Do you understand me?
Pete doesn't answer.
Do you understand me? If I find out
you've been going over there, you
will get the spanking of a lifetime
and be grounded until you're sixteen.
Do you understand?
The lights of the local baseball field illuminate the night.
Joe turns into the parking lot.
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - NEXT DAY
Danny, with his White Sox hat covering his bald head, stands
outside the synagogue. DIFFERENT SHOTS of Danny waiting.
Danny finally decides Pete is not showing up. He gets on his
bike and turns the corner back toward his uncle's house. As
he passes an alley, Pete pops out and almost scares Danny
off his bike. Pete sneaks back into the alley.
What are you doing?
Our quest has to be done in secret.
Our mission is now undercover.
What's our mission?
To get you to heaven.
Right. How we gonna know I got to
We'll just know.
So what are we gonna do?
We got to set up some tests.
Yeah. But those tests aren't fun.
What's the purpose of making it to
heaven if the tests aren't fun?
Have you taken any of these tests?
Since I'm Catholic, I don't think I
have to. It's just automatic.
Yeah. But you know what. For my first
communion next year, I have to
complete first communion training.
This piece of bread that is Jesus.
And you eat it?
I watch people eat it and they don't
gross out. And my brothers say it
tastes like wheat bread.
Not as good as white. So I should do
the first communion training.
I haven't done it yet, so I don't
know what it is.
But we can make up our own.
The kids think.
How about something like Bruce Jenner
and a decathlon? Win the decathlon,
go to heaven.
Yeah, something like that.
And then we should have a gold medal
ceremony. Gotta have a medal.
Communion can be your medal.
The Jesus wheat bread?
I'd rather have a medal.
We can talk about it later. Let's
go, we can't be spotted.
Why can't we spotted?
INT. ELEVATED TRAIN - MINUTES LATER
Pete and Danny sit on the Elevated Train that runs from
Chicago's north side to its south side. Pete looks out the
window. They pass a car wash. Danny looks up and down the
My parents don't let me on the El
Father Kelly always talks about a
risk reward. I think you'll be OK if
your parents find out. We'll just
explain the risk was worth the reward.
EXT. OAK STREET BEACH - MINUTES LATER
The beach is pretty full. Lake Michigan's waves crash weakly
against the rocks. Gymnastic rings are set up at the north
side of the beach along with an area filled with weights.
Elevated five feet above the beach is a paved area for runners
If we see my sister, just start
How am I gonna know it's your sister?
I'll be running.
The boys look around. Two teenage girls in bikinis walk past
The boys smile. The girls smile back. Danny does his best
Fonz impression. Pete laughs.
Bruce Jenner is faster, stronger,
and can jump higher than anyone else.
So that's how we should do this.
OK. I'm fast.
But first, you need to be baptized.
My baby sister just got baptized. We
all got baptized. I don't remember
mine, but I've seen pictures.
EXT. LAKE MICHIGAN - MINUTES LATER
Pete is trying to pick up Danny by his ankles. He lifts Danny
up and they both fall into the water. Pete, determined to do
it right, then grabs Danny by the ankles and lifts. Danny's
head, along with his shoulders, wade back and forth in the
Pete lets go of Danny's legs and Danny crashes completely
into the water. Pete falls in also. They both wipe away the
water from their faces.
I think it would have been easier if
you were a baby.
Let's get started. What should we do
EXT. OAK STREET BEACH - LATER
A SERIES OF SHOTS. Pete counting as Danny runs toward him.
Danny hanging from a ring as Pete counts him down. Pete and
Danny talking to a man with weights. Danny trying to lift
the weight. He can't.
Pete tries. He can't. They take off some of the weight. Danny
lifts the weight over his head. Danny climbs a small hill of
rocks. Pete waits for him at the bottom, about six feet below.
Danny jumps, hits the sand, and rolls.
EXT. OAK STREET BEACH - LATER
Pete and Danny alternating turns drinking from a thermos.
Nine down. One to go.
This one's gotta be tough.
Some of those were tough.
Yeah, but the last one's gotta be
real tough. Something that takes
strength, speed, and courage.
I don't know.
What can't you do well?
I'm not a strong swimmer.
Pete looks out to Lake Michigan. A buoy signals the spot
where the lifeguards don't want you to swim past.
Swim out to the buoy.
Danny looks for the buoy.
I can't even see the buoy.
Pete points to it.
I can't get there.
You're going to have to if you wanna
win the decathlon.
Pete and Danny head toward the water.
Look, I'm not asking you to do
something I can't. When I was your
age, I could swim to the buoy.
Do I have to get to the buoy and
back under a certain amount of time.
Pete looks at the buoy. He looks at Danny.
What do you think?
Getting there and back is enough.
Don't worry. I'm here. And there are
Danny starts swimming. He dips his head in the water and
slowly one arm dives in the water while one arm raises out
of the water. He brings his whole head out of the water to
breathe, dips his head in the water, and repeats the process.
Halfway to the buoy, he tries to pick his head up to see
where the buoy is. He begins to sink and panics. His arms
start to flail. Pete dives into the water as Danny turns his
body so he can float on his back. Pete reaches Danny and
I couldn't make it. And then I
remembered what my swim teacher taught
me about floating. But I don't think
I could float there and back.
No, I don't think so either. Can you
make it back?
Danny nods and rolls over to his front. Danny starts swimming
in and Pete follows him.
INT. EL TRAIN - MINUTES LATER
Pete and Danny sit on the El. Danny's dejected.
In one day you passed nine tests.
God's gotta be happy with you.
Yeah, but I don't know how I'm gonna
pass the last one. That's tough.
Look, we got all week. Trust me. You
can do it.
I hope so. I really want to go to
You will. Do kids die from what you
The first time I took chemotherapy,
two other boys and a girl took it
with me. When they started me on it
a second time, I was the only one.
The others died.
How do you know?
I asked. The nurses got all quiet.
Grown ups always get quiet when they
talk about death.
Not at my uncle's funeral.
Sometimes I hear my parents talk
about it late at night and they cry.
I feel so bad. And now with my
brother, my mom cries all day and
night. I don't want her to be so sad
if I die.
No, I wouldn't want that either.
So if I can convince her that I'm
going to paradise, maybe she won't
be so sad.
Pete nods. The boys look out the window.
EXT. LAKE MICHIGAN - THE NEXT DAY
Danny swims out toward the buoy. He doesn't make it. He floats
and waits for Pete. He follows Pete back to the shore.
I don't understand. You look like
you're going to get there, and then
I don't know.
But you swim back to shore fine with
So what is it?
I look up to see where the buoy is,
and I can't see it. And then I start
to realize how far out I am and...
What if I go with you?
No. I gotta do it alone.
Well maybe if you don't look up.
But then I don't know where I am.
We'll figure this out.
EXT. LAKE MICHIGAN - NEXT DAY
Danny puts on the goggles. But he still can't do it.
EXT. OAK STREET BEACH - MINUTES LATER
Pete puts on the goggles. He looks out toward the buoy.
I can see fine.
Pete hands the goggles to Danny. Danny puts them on and looks
toward the buoy.
I can see it from here. But when I
get in the water, I can't see it and
then everything starts getting really
fast and I can't go any further.
Pete plays with the sand. Danny scoops sand and throws it.
Danny stands. Pete raises Danny's hands over his head. Pete
then raises his hands over his head. He measures the
You stay here and watch me swim to
the buoy. I'll be right back.
Pete swims out to the buoy.
EXT. LAKE MICHIGAN - MINUTES LATER
Pete swims ashore.
It took me fifty strokes there, and
fifty five strokes back. One hundred
and five strokes.
Your problem is when you look up and
you can't see the buoy, you get scared
I don't get scared.
Yeah you do.
No I don't.
Listen. All you have to do is count
your strokes. You don't need to look
up. Can you count to fifty?
Well, I'm a little bigger so it's
going to take you a few more strokes.
Can you count to sixty?
Well then, just count to sixty strokes
and then swim back. It might take
you a few more strokes on the way
I can do that. But I'm real tired
and I need to get back for my
treatment this afternoon.
Right. Tomorrow. Tomorrow you complete
INT. HOSPITAL - THAT AFTERNOON
Danny sitting in a chair with IV's stuck in him. He's watching
the White Sox. Through the door window, a doctor speaks to
Rabbi Jacobsen and his wife.
This last treatment will weaken his
immune system greatly. The red blood
cells don't seem to be responding,
so we upped the dosage.
What's the prognosis?
I don't know. If this treatment
doesn't work, I don't think there's
anymore we can do.
Why? Isn't there a stronger dosage
or more intensive treatment?
This is the most intensive treatment.
And a stronger dosage would kill
Mrs. Jacobsen goes to speak but the rabbi grabs her hand. He
squeezes it. The Jacobsen's enter the room.
The Sox are getting clobbered Dad.
They've been getting clobbered all
The rabbi squeezes his wife's hand.
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - NEXT MORNING
Pete sits in the a doorway hidden from plain sight. The rabbi
walks up to Pete.
Danny told me I might find you here.
I don't know how he knew I would be
The rabbi smiles.
Danny wanted me to tell you that he
wouldn't be able to complete the
Pete stares at the Rabbi, hoping to be able to figure out
how much the rabbi knows.
You see, the medicine Danny's
Yep. Chemotherapy. It zaps him of
his strength. And weakens his ability
to fight off disease.
Sounds like bad medicine.
Yes it does. But that's how doctors
My oldest brother wants to become a
doctor. My mom always tells me to do
my homework so I can be smart and
become a doctor.
It's a noble profession.
My dad thinks they play too much
golf. And they charge like assholes.
I hate to disagree with your dad,
but he probably wouldn't want you
using that word.
Seamus says you can use swear words
if you're quoting someone.
Seamus sounds like a fine journalist.
Is your oldest brother going to
college to study medicine?
No. He can't afford college.
Higher education is expensive. But
worth it if you work hard.
Rabbi, when do you think Danny will
I did not study medicine in college,
but even if I did, I don't think I
could answer that. It's in God's
Well, you're close with God. Hopefully
that rubs off a little on Danny. I
hope he gets better, we've got some
I hope so too. Praying for Danny is
all we can do now.
OK. I'll pray to Jesus, you pray to
God, and hopefully somebody listens.
That's a deal.
Pete jumps on his bike.
See ya later Rabbi Jacobsen.
INT. HOLY CROSS CHURCH - MINUTES LATER
Pete sits by himself in a pew at church. Father Kelly, 71,
snow white hair, skin cancered face, cantankerous old man,
notices Pete and walks over.
Mr. O'Malley? Are you lost?
Hey Father. No, I promised a friend
I'd pray for him. He's sick.
Well, maybe I can say a prayer for
Father Kelly sits down next to Pete.
His name's Danny. He's got cancer.
Father Kelly does the sign of the cross. He closes his eyes.
Pete stares at him. Father Kelly opens one eye at Pete.
You finish your prayer?
Well, let me finish my prayers without
you bothering me.
Pete stands up and walks toward the altar. Father Kelly
Where are you going?
Just checking out how this place
looks from your seat.
Pete takes a seat in a chair to the left of the altar. Father
Kelly stands and walks toward the altar.
That's my seat. Don't mess it up.
You get nervous with everyone looking
I'm used to being looked at.
You ever get nervous that you won't
know what to say or you'll forget
what you wanted to say?
How do you get paid?
That's between me and the IRS.
Do you get the collection money?
No. Someone tell you I did?
Pete shakes his head.
Do you need to get home?
Pete shakes his head.
Your job's to help people to get to
Father Kelly nods.
How do you know if you've done your
Well. I pray that I do it well. Why?
You have any complaints?
You ever actually seen someone in
Father Kelly shakes his head.
Then how do you know if the people
you're helping made it to heaven?
Yep. Believing in something completely
without actually having proof of it.
Faith. I don't have any proof of
heaven, but I have faith it exists.
What's the best way to get to heaven?
By believing in Jesus and doing as
he taught us.
How do we know if we're doing that?
Is there some test?
Life is a test.
But then you need to die to figure
out how you did on the test?
Father Kelly laughs. He nods. He opens the altar and fills
the chalice with hosts.
Don't you just once want to know if
one of the people you prayed for
made it to heaven?
In due time.
Father Kelly finishes filling the chalice with bread.
What's the purpose of communion?
To have a piece of Jesus be a part
Why do I have to wait till third
grade for that? Wouldn't that help
The Church believes that Catholics
should fulfill a few requirements
before they earn communion.
Like passing a few tests?
So if I pass all the tests, I get to
Thanks Father. You've cleared up a
few things for me.
Pete runs off the altar.
Good, glad the grilling is over.
INT. O'MALLEY KITCHEN TABLE - THAT NIGHT
The family sits around the table.
Rabbi Jacobsen wanted to see if he
could stop by after work. I said
Pete's eyes light up but he doesn't want to say anything
that would get him in trouble.
This gratitude stuff is becoming
If the only fault you can find with
a person is that they go overboard
with kindness and gratitude, I can
live with that.
(To Patrick's chair)
He said he'd be home late for dinner.
Oh yeah. Did he say why?
He told me to mind my own business.
He's probably sitting on his ass
reading a book in that lifeguard
tower. Where the others?
Tommy and Eddie have a game up north.
Another doubleheader. And Mary's
eating at a friends.
The doorbell rings. Pete and Katie run to get it. Pete lets
Katie open the door. Rabbi Jacobsen stands with a tray of
rugala, a Jewish pastry.
Hello. I know Pete, and whom may I
ask are you?
Katie puts her hand out. The rabbi goes to shake her hand
but she put her hand out to take the tray.
This might be too big for you.
I handle bigger trays than that in
the kitchen. How do you think I feed
The Rabbi nods and hands the dish to Katie. She carries it
into the kitchen.
How's Danny doing?
He's doing better. Still not ready
to play but he said to say hi and
he'll stop by to see you when he can
Pete looks back to see if his dad heard that. He didn't.
Come on in. We're just eating dinner.
The rabbi follows Pete into the kitchen. Seamus sits eating
his potatoes. He stands up and shakes the rabbi's hand.
Seamus. Nice to see you.
Joe stands up and shakes the rabbi's hand. The rabbi walks
over and says hello to Margaret and pats little Molly on the
Would you like some dinner? There's
The rabbi looks at the well sliced pieces of ham and huge
bowl of mashed potatoes.
No thank you. My wife knows when
I've been eating other people's
dinner. She considers it a form of
How 'bout some coffee?
Katie stands up and walks toward the coffee pot.
Black? Cream? Sugar?
Two sugars. Thank you.
The rabbi takes a seat at the table.
How's your little boy?
Hanging in there, thank you. He just
finished more treatment and hopefully
We hope so too.
Margaret comes back with the rugala on a plate. Katie hands
the rabbi his coffee. Margaret takes a bite of the rugala.
It's absolutely delicious.
The rabbi takes a little.
She can't get mad at me if I'm eating
her own stuff. Rugala, a Jewish
pastry. My favorite.
Margaret hands the rugala out to the boys and Joe. They're
all very happy.
So what's going on?
Well, remember when I told you that
my congregation will want to formally
thank you for your bravery.
There's no need, Rabbi. And that's
the end of that.
Well, maybe Margaret and you would
like to talk about it more in private?
Joe looks at the boys. Seamus's busy eating his rugala and
Pete stares at the rabbi.
Well, you personally showed bravery
beyond the call of duty when you
saved Danny, and if it weren't for
the gas pipe blowing up, you were
going back in against the wishes of
Joe is embarrassed and quiet.
The firemen saved the fire from
spreading and many of the people
from my temple live in that
Patrick enters the front door. He walks into the kitchen.
Patrick, I would like you to meet
Patrick, your brother Peter has told
me much about you. Nice to meet you.
They shake hands.
Nice to meet you, Rabbi. I'm sorry
for your loss.
Thank you. Well, Patrick, I was just
telling your father that my temple
would like to say thank you to him.
And it might interest you.
Patrick sits down.
Pete has told me of your wish to go
to college and study medicine.
Patrick looks at Pete. Joe looks at Pete. Pete knows his
dad's look is not the same as Patrick's and Pete looks down.
My temple gives educational
scholarships to deserving students,
and the scholarship board has
recommended Patrick for a full
scholarship to a state university.
Patrick's jaw drops. Margaret sits shocked and Joe stands
Rabbi Jacobsen, that is an extremely
kind offer, but one that we cannot
Patrick looks at Joe and tears form in his eyes.
It would mean a lot to our
congregation and personally to my
family if you would accept it.
Other men risked their lives that
day and every other day.
We understand that. But, to be frank,
it's more personal than say giving
the fire department a sculpture in
gratitude. Your fire chief approved
You spoke to my boss?
Yes. We wanted to make sure it was
within the rules. The scholarship
board can only grant one scholarship,
and when Pete told me of Patrick's
desire, I recommended Patrick.
I imagine they want to give it to
him in a big ceremony?
Yes, I would imagine so. I think it
would be a good public gesture.
Free publicity for the temple.
Patrick stands up at that last comment.
Rabbi, thank you for stopping over.
My son Pete has a big mouth, and my
family doesn't need your handouts.
We thank you for your kindness.
You can't do this to me.
You will shut your mouth.
The rabbi stands from the table. He thanks Margaret and Katie
for the coffee.
I did not mean to cause any harm.
Rabbi, you have been anything but
harmful. Thank you.
The rabbi pats Pete and Seamus on the head. He heads for the
Mr. O'Malley. I did not intend for
this to be thought of as a handout
or a payout. But I did hope it would
serve as a steppingstone for our two
communities to come together. Have a
The rabbi walks out the front door.
You're so proud that you won't let
me accept it.
You have done nothing to deserve it.
It's a publicity stunt.
It is not a publicity stunt. It is
returning an act of kindness with an
act of kindness.
Dad, the rabbi is the nicest man in
Joe looks at Pete furiously.
You have a big mouth. You tell the
rabbi that we don't have enough food
to eat? Maybe he'll set up a food
drive for our family?
I never said that. We talk a lot.
I thought I told you to leave those
Pete stays quiet.
You've been going to the temple?
Pete puts his head down.
You disobeyed my orders.
I was on a quest. To get Danny to
heaven. And we're almost there.
On a quest for heaven? By disobeying
me, all you have done is put yourself
on the road to hell. Go to your room
and don't come out 'till I tell you
Pete starts to cry.
I was just trying to do the right
He disobeyed my word.
The right thing? You're not even
eight. You don't know what the right
thing is. You know what I tell you,
and what your mother tells you. Jewish
people believe in their own thing.
They do not go to heaven. And neither
do Christians who disobey their
fathers. Now get upstairs. Now!
Pete walks up the stairs. Joe walks into the kitchen and
grabs a beer. Patrick follows him.
I'm going to see the rabbi myself
and work out a deal.
Over my dead body. Do you understand
it's not about you? It's not about
kindness. It's about good publicity.
The Jews help out a poor Irish
Catholic family and they get on the
news and the people think, how nice
is it that the Jews share their money.
Why are you so cynical? You're too
proud to take a handout?
Too proud? Maybe a little pride
wouldn't hurt you. Instead of sitting
there with your hand out, maybe if
you took pride in a little hard work,
There you go again. I work hard. My
dad worked hard. You will work hard.
I will work hard. At school. To get
a good job.
Bullshit! We are not discussing this
anymore tonight. I didn't spend my
day at the beach. I'm tired!
Patrick begins to speak. Joe gets in his face and puts his
finger in Patrick's face.
No more! No more!
Patrick storms out of the kitchen. He stops to look at his
mother, who holds Molly in her arms.
How can you just stand there? You're
married to an asshole and you just
stand there like this innocent
Joe rushes into the living room.
You will not speak to your mother
like that. Get the hell out of my
Your house? Who wants your house? Or
your bullshit rules.
Joe holds his ground though he wants to whack Patrick. Patrick
walks out the front door. Seamus still sits at the table
Joe walks out of the living room. Margaret, with tears
beginning to form in her eyes, looks at Seamus. Seamus shrugs
his shoulders, takes a bite of his pastry, and stands up. He
puts his arms out to take Molly from her arms.
Mom. You know how after you send me
to my room, you come into my bedroom
and we talk? I think Dad needs you
to talk to him.
Margaret hands Molly to Seamus and kisses him on the forehead.
She enters the kitchen.
EXT. BACKYARD - CONTINUOUS
Joe sits in his lounge chair drinking a beer and looks out
at the sun setting. Margaret pulls up a chair next to him.
Honey, I know what you're going to
say. And my decision about the
scholarship is final.
Margaret stares at the sunset.
You know, when Father Murphy married
Don't start with this crap.
Father Murphy said...
Father Murphy was an idiot.
Margaret grabs the beer right out of Joe's hand. She throws
it against the fence.
I have got something to say and you
will not interrupt me until I am
Joe shrugs but realizes this isn't the time to fight her.
We agreed on a partnership. And our
partnership has been for you to
provide for the family while I raise
the family. But somewhere along the
line, this partnership has gotten
out of whack. You come home, the
house is clean, your food is hot,
and your kids are behaved. You then
bark orders at these children like a
Cause they need discipline.
I am not finished. Trust me, these
kids are disciplined. You think I
run this house without discipline?
Joseph, the older ones, they need
more guidance than sterness. We've
done our work with them, they now
need to feel they can bounce things
That's a bunch of crap. You think I
bounced things off my dad? Hell no.
You hated your dad growing up.
Yeah, he was an asshole, but I
respected him. And looking back, he
did a great job.
But looking back is too late. It
would be nice for Patrick to feel
close enough to you so that he could
tell you his dreams, tell you that
even though he doesn't want to grow
up to be you, that you are still his
Everything is not bullshit. I will
not allow you to take away the chance
for Patrick to pursue his dream. The
rabbi is being generous and you think
it reflects poorly on you.
Yes it is. You can't afford to put
your children through college, so
you've decided that college is bad.
You know what, I agree college is a
waste of time for most kids. But not
Patrick. He wasted his first few
years of high school, but the last
two years he has worked his butt off
and he generally loves to learn.
That's what college is all about.
How do you know what college is about?
Just because I didn't go doesn't
mean I didn't think about it. But I
fell in love, had babies, and haven't
regretted one thing about the last
nineteen years. Until now! You will
not squash your children's dreams
because they aren't your dreams.
It's not about dreams, it's about
what's right. If Patrick really wanted
college, he could have gotten better
grades and earned a scholarship.
He didn't take school seriously.
Why? Cause he thought it was a waste
of time because he would work for
the city whether he got A's or C's.
But one day he woke up and decided
that not doing his best was not the
O'Malley way. And he learned that
from his father. And he's got nothing
but A's that day forward. And he
will do the same in college. From a
scholarship that he accepts from
Rabbi Jacobsen, or so help me God,
Joe, the only thing colder than your
food when you get home will be your
Margaret stands up and walks back into the house. Joe is
alone looking at a sun that has set in the sky.
INT. BEDROOM - NEXT DAY
Pete sits on the floor alone playing the board game "All
Star Baseball". He's busy spinning when Seamus enters.
You can't play that game alone.
You wanna play?
So I gotta play alone. I'm crushing
How can you be crushing me?
I picked one team for me and one
team for you.
Seamus grabs the circular cards and looks at the teams.
You've got Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig,
and Reggie Jackson. I've got nobody.
I gave you Harmon Killebrew. And
Reggie strikes out all the time
These teams are unfair.
Then we can redraft.
Seamus grabs his bat and glove.
How long do you think Dad will ground
Who knows. Today's only the first
day. Definitely longer than one day.
Seamus walks out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Katie
is dancing in the living room. Seamus walks out the front
door. Danny is standing at the door. He's sweaty and his
White Sox hat is cockeyed.
Hey. How you doing?
Good thanks. Is Pete home?
Yep. Upstairs. First room on the
right. Take it easy.
Danny enters the house.
INT. PETE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
Pete spins. The spinner lands on nine, which indicates a
Pete laughs. Pete talks as if he's announcing the game.
Another strikeout for Seamus's team.
Pete's team, trying to be the first team ever in the history
of baseball to go undefeated, comes to bat with a thirteen
run lead. (other announcer voice) Jack, they're not only
undefeated, but they've ten run ruled every team they've
played. (back to original announcer voice) Good point,
Danny enters the bedroom. Pete looks at him. He runs to the
door, looks out in the hallway, pushes Danny inside the room,
and shuts the door.
What are you doing here?
We've got to complete the decathlon.
We can't. You gotta get outta here.
We have to. I know I can do it.
I'm grounded forever because of you.
If my dad saw me with you, I'd be
grounded to infinity.
I'd be grounded to infinity if my
parents knew I was here. They think
I might not have another chance for
awhile. I heard my mom talking to
the doctor this morning. I think
they're going to put me back in the
Listen. I'm not going to disobey my
You told me about risk/reward. The
risk is worth it.
No it's not.
Yes it is. I gotta be able to tell
my parents I'm going to heaven. They
need to know I'm happy in paradise.
You wanna know the truth?
You can't go to heaven. It's out of
bounds, off limits, to Jews. There's
nothing you can do.
Danny shakes his head.
But you said.
I was wrong. The only thing that I
did was put myself on the road to
hell with you.
No, you said if I finish the
decathlon, I'm going to heaven.
Pete grabs Danny.
You gotta go home. You're going to
get me into trouble, and then I'm
going to hell for sure.
Danny opens the door and leaves the bedroom. Pete lays down
on the floor.
That was a brief rain delay. Pete's
team comes to bat.
Pete places a circular card into the spinner. He can't
position the card into the spinner. He throws the game across
EXT. OAK STREET BEACH - AN HOUR LATER
It is overcast at the beach with the usual Chicago wind
whipping off the waves of Lake Michigan. The beach is quiet,
with just a few people running and biking. Danny puts on his
goggles. The waves are a little rougher today. He walks into
the water. He dives in. Like a windmill, his arms splash in
and out of the water.
One. Two. Three. Four.
Danny continues to count his strokes. He breaks through the
initial group of waves, but beyond the waves the water is
choppy. The lifeguard in the tower looks out toward the lake.
From his view, Danny is not visible. Danny's head barely
bobs out of the water as he swims.
Fifty five. Fifty six. Fifty seven.
Fifty eight. Fifty nine. Sixty.
Danny looks up to see where the buoy is. He takes in some
water. He thinks he sees the buoy but takes in more water.
He flips to his back and floats. He coughs up what water he
can. When he calms down, he turns his head slowly to check
for the buoy. He sees it not too far off in the distance. He
flips himself over, takes a little water, and begins to swim
toward the buoy. He counts his strokes.
Sixty one. Sixty two. Sixty three.
Sixty four. Sixty five. Sixty six.
Sixty seven. Sixty eight. Sixty nine.
Seventy. Seventy one.
Danny's hands grasp the buoy. He looks up at the buoy. The
water splashes off the buoy onto Danny. Danny flips over and
floats on his back. A big smile crosses his face.
Seventy one strokes. And a little
more on the way back. I can do it.
Danny floats on his back. He turns over and begins to swim
toward the shore.
INT. O'MALLEY HOUSE - A FEW NIGHTS LATER
Pete walks down the stairs. Joe passes the stairs on the way
to the front door. He looks at Pete but doesn't say anything.
Joe walks out the front door. Pete heads toward the kitchen.
Patrick runs past Pete and also heads out the front door.
Mary takes a crying Molly out of the kitchen. Margaret cleans
off Molly's high chair.
Where are Dad and going?
They have some business to take care
Patrick's getting a job?
Margaret bends down and fixes Pete's hair.
Always so busy worrying about everyone
else's business. That's from my side
of the family, you know?
Yeah. Dad tells me I get a lot from
your side of the family.
That's right. Your sweetness, your
humor, and definitely your nose.
So you think Dad will end my
Are you sorry for disobeying your
dad? And lying to your mom?
It wasn't really a lie. I told you I
was going out to play.
But you forgot to mention you were
going to Lake Michigan and swimming
I'm sorry. It's just... it was a
quest... and on a quest you have to
Lying to your mother is not a risk.
I know. Can you talk to Dad and put
a good word in for me?
Margaret nods. Pete slowly heads out of the kitchen.
How did your quest end up?
Not good. I had to give it up.
You know, the way you went about
your quest was wrong, sneaking to
the beach and such, but the quest
itself, it was good.
But Dad said...
Sometimes, even dad's are wrong.
Easy for you to say. He can't ground
Don't give up your quest.
How do you know the quest is good?
I have faith.
Pete nods and walks out of the kitchen.
INT. SYNAGOGUE - MINUTES LATER
Rabbi Jacobsen sits at his desk. He is hurriedly shuffling
papers when he hears a knock at his door.
Come on in.
Joe and Patrick enter the rabbi's office. The rabbi stands
up but is not his usual effusive self.
I'm glad you came to see me but when
we spoke before, I thought I would
have time to talk. My wife called
and told me I am needed at the
Is everything OK?
The rabbi shakes his head.
Danny's not doing well.
I am sorry.
I assume you want to talk about the
It seems. I think. It's an opportunity
for my son.
It will open doors for Patrick that
would be closed in today's society
without a degree.
I just can't...
We know it will and if the offer is
still there, I would love a chance
The rabbi grabs his briefcase.
Patrick, the scholarship is yours.
You will make us all proud.
Thanks. Thank you.
You better get going. We better get
going. I hope everything gets better
The rabbi shows Joe and Patrick the door. The three exit the
office and then the synagogue. They talk for a few more
seconds and then part ways.
INT. O'MALLEY STATION WAGON - MINUTES LATER
Joe and Patrick listen to the White Sox game on the radio.
Luckily, the Cubs stink, or else a
lot of White Sox fans would be
Never. There will be peace in Ireland
before a Sox fan becomes a Cub fan.
You're probably right. And that's
the way it should be.
They listen to the game. A White Sox batter strikes out with
the bases loaded.
But they sure do test our loyalty.
I'm gonna work my ass off, Dad. I'm
not going to be some pot smoking,
sleep 'till noon college slacker.
I'm gonna do it right.
The two sit in silence as they drive home.
INT. BEDROOM - NEXT MORNING
Pete is sitting on his bed tossing a tennis ball to himself.
Joe walks in.
Joe motions for the ball. Pete tosses it to him. Joe throws
Seamus said there's a big game over
at Holy Cross and they could probably
use another player.
So can I go?
Pete jumps up from the bed.
Sorry Dad. I won't disobey you again.
Joe puts out his hand and Pete shakes it.
I saw Rabbi Jacobsen last night. I
guess Danny's back in the hospital.
Yeah, Danny thought they might put
him back in there. I hope he's doing
It's tough. What he's got. It's tough
on a kid. And the family.
I'll pray for him.
That would be nice.
I'll see you later Dad.
Pete walks out of the room.
Pete pops his head back in.
The rabbi also told me to tell you
that Danny completed the decathlon.
Seventy-one strokes there, eighty-
Pete's face lights up with a smile.
I do it in fifty-five strokes.
Yeah, but for his age and size,
seventy-one strokes is great. He
finished the decathlon!
Pete walks out.
EXT. CHURCH STREET - MINUTES LATER
Pete rides his bike down the street toward the park. Holy
Cross Church is attached to Holy Cross Elementary which is
attached to Holy Cross Field, where the baseball field is
located. Pete rides by the church and looks up at the big
cross at the top of church. He rides toward the field and
sees some of the boys playing catch while others sit on the
bench and eat sandwiches. Seamus screams to Pete.
Pete waves to the guys. He gets to the field and hops off
He walks over to the bench where some guys are eating lunch.
The corners of Jimmy Burns's lips are covered with jelly.
Pete, you missed the first game.
Your brother's team won again. Are
you going to start playing with us
The quest over?
Pete nods. Kevin Muldoon pulls out a ham sandwich on wheat.
Trade you my ham and cheese sandwich
for your other peanut butter and
What's your ham sandwich on?
Wheat. Got extra mayo.
I hate wheat. Tastes like a sandwich
on communion bread. Gross.
Pete ears perk up at the sound of communion. He looks up at
the cross hanging high above the church. He takes off in a
full sprint for his bike. He jumps on it and heads toward
Where you going?
To finish the quest!
Pete doesn't look back. He rides to the church, jumps off
his bike, and runs into the church. The church is empty.
Pete runs to the altar and grabs the communion chalice. He
takes one, looks at it, and puts it in his pocket. He then
takes another one just in case something happens to the first.
He puts the second communion host in his other pocket. Father
Kelly enters the altar from the hallway attached to the altar.
Mr. O'Malley? Stealing communion?
Pete stops dead in his tracks. He slowly turns and faces
What are you doing? Tell me you're
No Father, I'm not hungry. I hear
this stuff isn't good anyway.
I wish we'd change bread distributors,
but that's neither here nor there.
What are you doing?
I've got a friend who really needs a
piece of Jesus.
Father Kelly looks perplexed.
Ya see, he's really sick and in the
We have people that give communion
to the sick in the hospital.
But they can't give it to him.
He's not Catholic and he's only six.
Well, that poses a problem. Communion
is for Christians who have earned
the right to receive Jesus and are
He's earned the right. He passed the
Tests we made up to see if he's worthy
of Jesus. And he is Father Kelly,
he's as worthy as any Catholic I
know. And just because he's not old
enough, well that's not fair, because
he may not live long enough to be
old enough, and if Jesus didn't want
him to have a piece of him only
because he wasn't old enough, well,
that doesn't seem like anything that
sounds like the Jesus I know.
Father Kelly stands speechless.
Go give your friend the host. May
God bless him. And you.
Thanks Father. You too.
Pete runs out of the church and onto his bike. WE FOLLOW him
as he rides a few blocks to the hospital. He enters the
hospital and goes to the front desk.
Room 4104. Fourth floor.
Pete runs to the elevator, jumps in, and gets off on the
He looks at the sign that points rooms 100-115 is to the
right. Pete turns the corner toward room 104. The hallway is
empty. Room 115 on the right. Room 114 on the left. And the
rooms descend in order as you walk the hallway. The hallway
turns into another hallway to the left. Pete turns the corner
and sees Rabbi Jacobsen in the hallway with many friends and
relatives. Pete walks closer and the sound of crying fills
the hallway. Pete starts to run. Rabbi Jacobsen sees Pete as
Pete pushes through the crowd. The rabbi makes his way to
Pete. Pete stops before the Rabbi, who's eyes are red and
cheeks are tear stained.
Rabbi? Rabbi? I need to see Danny.
The rabbi starts to cry. He opens his arms for Pete.
Rabbi! No! Rabbi! I need to see him.
I've got his communion. Right here.
Pete pulls out the communion from his pocket.
See! Danny earned it! He passed the
Danny passed on. He's no longer in
No! No! He didn't get his medal!
The rabbi hugs Pete. Pete starts to cry. Harder. And harder.
In the rabbi's arms. The rabbi holds Pete tight. Pete breaks
away and runs into the room. Nurses attend to the equipment
in the room.
Danny lays on the bed with a sheet over his body. The rabbi
comes into the room.
I promised Danny, rabbi. I promised
He told me.
The prize for finishing the decathlon
was a piece of Jesus. So he could go
He told me. He wanted to thank you.
He told me that he'll see you in
heaven some day.
But he can't go without eating this.
Rabbi! He can't go!
Pete moves toward the bed. A nurse blocks him. The rabbi
gently grabs Pete. Pete starts to cry. The rabbi carries
Pete out of the room. The rabbi whispers in Pete's ears.
God will let him into heaven, Pete.
Danny has a good soul, and God will
let him into heaven.
The rabbi holds Pete in his arms outside of the room.
EXT. BASEBALL FIELD - TWO WEEKS LATER
Pete takes a stick and cleans out the dirt in his cleats
while he sits on the bench.
All right, guys, we need baserunners.
Three runs to tie, four to win. Let's
go get 'em.
The players scream. Jimmy Burns pulls his hat backwards.
Rally cap! Rally cap!
The players turn their caps inside out and backwards. In the
stands behind the players, the fans, mainly parents, cheer.
Joe sits with Margaret.
Last chance. I can't believe their
not beating this team.
Rabbi Jacobsen and his wife spot Joe in the stands. They
wave to him and climb the stands. Joe and Margaret move down
to make room for the Jacobsens. Joe shakes the rabbi's hand
and Mrs. Jacobsen.
We're down three runs.
The rabbi nods.
We're very sorry for your loss.
Thank you. The flowers you sent were
A player comes to the plate.
I called your house and your daughter
Mary said you'd be here.
Yep. Can't miss a game.
A base hit. The fans cheer. Another player walks to the plate.
How's Pete doing?
Joe shrugs his shoulders.
He loved Danny. But he's a kid. They
move on better than we do.
We can learn a lot from our children.
The next batter pops out to second base. Another batter steps
to the plate.
We sent the check for the University
of Illinois. This is the receipt.
The rabbi hands Joe the receipt. The batter singles to left
The rabbi pulls out another document.
And this is the legal document that
explains our legal responsibility.
Thirty pages to pretty much say we
pay room, board, and tuition as long
Patrick maintains a three point oh
grade point average.
Joe accepts the document and shakes the rabbi's hand. The
batter grounds out. Two out. Another batter walks to the
plate. Pete puts on a helmet and stands on deck.
Patrick will meet every requirement.
This I know.
Thank you. Are you sure you don't
want to do this in front of cameras?
You didn't rush my burning house so
you could get your picture on the
I looked around for the cameraman. I
couldn't find him.
A selfless act deserves a selfless
act in return.
Ball four! The batter walks to first base as the other base
runners advance one base. Bases loaded. Down three runs. Two
outs. Last inning. Pete pops the weight off of his bat and
heads toward the plate. He looks into the stands and sees
the Jacobsens sitting with his parents. He smiles. Before he
steps to the plate, Pete closes his eyes. He opens his eyes
and steps to the plate. The pitcher winds up and throws the
ball. Pete swings with all of his might and connects. The
runners are off with the crack of the bat. The ball sails in
the air and toward center field. Deep center field. The crowd
stands as Pete puts his head down and runs toward first base.
The center fielder speeds after the sailing ball. Pete rounds
first base and looks up. The center fielder dives as the
ball looks like it is out of his reach. The ball hits the
outer web of his glove and stays there miraculously like a
snowcone. Out! The center fielder caught the ball and the
visiting crowd erupts. Pete falls between first and second
base and the home crowd lets out an audible groan.
The visiting team runs out to center field to congratulate
the center fielder, who stands, shows the ball, and smiles
wildly as his teammates tackle him. Jimmy Burns walks over
to Pete and helps him up.
Joe watches wide eyed from the stands a Margaret covers her
face in disbelief. The rabbi pats Joe on the back. Pete walks
back to the bench as his teammates and coaches console him.
Pete looks up into the stands quietly.
EXT. BALLPARK - MINUTES LATER
Pete walks out to the stands where his parents and the
Jacobsens wait for him. Margaret wants to hug him but knows
that a hug from Mom in public is not what he wants. He looks
to her wide eyed and she smiles.
You gave it your best shot.
Joe pats him on the back.
You gave that ball a ride, son. I've
never seen you hit a ball so well.
Pete nods. Rabbi Jacobsen puts his hand out. Pete shakes it.
Nice try, Pete. Nice try.
Thanks Rabbi. Hi, Mrs. Jacobsen.
Mrs. Jacobsen smiles and hugs Pete. Pete looks at his mom
and she gives him the OK sign. Pete hugs Mrs. Jacobsen.
I baked you some of that rugala you
liked so much. It's in the car.
I'll come with you to get it. I'd
love to know your recipe.
Margaret and Mrs. Jacobsen walk toward the parking lot.
Another parent walks over to talk to Joe. Pete stands alone
with the rabbi.
How's everything going?
Well. And with you?
I really thought I hit that one over
his head for a grand slam.
You know how you said Danny was in
The rabbi nods.
The comment staggers the rabbi. Joe looks over.
I prayed to Danny before I hit that
ball. I prayed to him in heaven to
help me hit a grandslam.
The rabbi nods.
He's not in heaven to answer my
prayers, rabbi. I thought you should
Peter, our prayers are not answered
in our time, but in God's time.
No. Rabbi. Danny said he would answer
my prayers to let me know he was in
heaven. I gave him two weeks till I
prayed. He didn't answer my prayer.
The rabbi is visibly hurt. Joe walks over.
The rabbi nods.
Yes. I better get going. I have temple
in a few hours. It was nice to see
The rabbi turns and walks toward the parking lot. Joe looks
Pete turns and walks toward the bench where some of the
players are still sitting. Joe watches the rabbi walk to the
EXT, O'MALLEY BACKYARD - LATER
Pete stands in the backyard throwing the ball to the dog. In
the background, in the kitchen, Joe hands Patrick the legal
document stating the rules of the scholarship. Patrick hugs
his dad. Joe pats Patrick on the back. He lets go and Patrick
bear hugs Margaret. The dog returns the ball and drops it at
Pete's feet. He bends down to pick up the ball and throws it
again. The dog chases after the ball.
Joe walks outside. Pete turns.
The dog returns the ball. Pete picks it up.
Let's see your arm.
Pete tosses the ball. The dog chases after it. Joe catches
Joe looks at the rubber ball.
What'd you say to Rabbi Jacobsen?
Joe tosses the ball. Pete catches it.
You must have said something.
I told him Danny wasn't in heaven.
Pete throws Joe the ball.
How do you know?
I prayed to Danny to let me hit a
grandslam. I didn't.
Joe hands the dog the ball and walks closer to Pete. He sits
down in the lounge chair and motions for Pete to sit down
next to him.
Your brother Patrick is going to
I know. He's so excited.
I never went to college.
Cause I couldn't afford it. And I
got a good job. And then I started a
family. And I had to take care of my
That sounds good.
It is good. And you know what I've
The dog drops the ball at Joe's feet. Joe picks it up and
tosses it softly in the air to Pete.
I've learned that you take care of
family. No matter what your
differences are. You're family. And
taking care of them is a dad's job.
Pete nods. He tosses the ball and the dog chases it.
You know Jesus is Jewish?
And you know God is Jesus' father?
So God's probably Jewish too.
What I'm getting at, and I'm just
thinking aloud, but if God is any
kind of father, do you think he would
turn his back on his own people, the
Jewish people, and not let them back
into his house?
Pete shakes his head.
Of course he wouldn't. Just like I
wouldn't turn my back on you or any
of your brothers or sisters. Dads
take care of their family.
So what are you saying?
I'm saying, maybe Danny is in heaven.
Even though he's Jewish. I'm saying
maybe when they say the kingdom of
heaven can only be reached through
Jesus, maybe what they really mean
is heaven can be reached through
being a good person just like Jesus.
An Eskimo at the North Pole, who
never heard of Jesus, who's been a
good person all his life, shouldn't
he be allowed into heaven?
But then there's no need for me to
listen to the nuns at school anymore.
You're not going to get out of
Catholic school that easily. You
still have to listen to them.
But they're wrong.
They're not wrong. They're just
teaching one way to get to heaven.
Sister Leonora Mary says there is
only one way.
Well then, you and I will have to
keep a secret from Sister Leonora
Pete laughs. The dogs brings back the ball and drops it at
EXT. SYNAGOGUE - LATER
Joe and Pete enter the synagogue. Rabbi Jacobsen stands at
the pulpit and he is speaking to a quarter full audience.
Pete grabs a yarmukle and puts it on his head. He looks at
his dad to do the same thing.
His dad, reluctantly, puts on a yarmukle. The two take a
seat in the back row. The rabbi finishes speaking and the
people disperse. Pete waits for them all to pass the last
row when he stands up. Rabbi Jacobsen has his back to Pete
as he gives instructions to his assistant. Pete heads toward
the altar as Joe stays in the pew.
The rabbi turns. He smiles at Pete. He notices Joe in the
back and waves to him. Joe gestures back.
You cleaned up well from your game.
What can I do for you?
Do you have a moment to talk?
You know how I had my quest to get a
Jewish person to heaven?
The rabbi nods.
Did you realize that my quest is
just like your quest as a rabbi,
it's just that I called mine a quest
and you call yours a job.
I didn't realize that but it seems
to be true.
Well, my quest ended with Danny.
The rabbi nods.
But your quest never ends cause it's
I think you're right.
Well I learned something on my quest
that might help you on your quest.
What did you learn?
I learned that just saying you believe
or just praying to Jesus isn't how
you get to heaven.
Nope. Jesus is only a symbol, like a
letter or a number. You could really
use anyone's name just so long that
the person's name symbolized being
That is interesting.
Yeah. I thought you might think so.
My dad says I better stick to praying
and acting like Jesus because the
nuns wouldn't understand as well as
you and him do.
The rabbi looks up and smiles at Joe. Joe waves back.
But, my dad and I think if the Jewish
people don't want to copy the
Christians by praying to Jesus, you
guys can make up your own name to
Do you have a suggestion for a name
that I can bring to my congregation?
The rabbi's eyes fill with tears and he puts his arms out
Pete hugs him. And the rabbi squeezes tight. Pete lets go.
I thought that might help you in
your job. On your quest.
Thank you. It will.
I'll see you later.
Pete turns and walks toward his dad, who stands at the back
of the temple. Pete turns back to the rabbi.
I almost forgot to tell you the most
That Danny is in heaven.
How do you know?
Pete smiles and turns around. He walks to his dad and Pete
and his dad walk out of the temple together.
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