The Monitors

December 4, 2012
Milo and his dad sit at the piano, they were in the middle of a discussion.
DAD: Well how are things at school?
MILO: They’re fine. Just sort of keep my head down.
DAD: Why do that?
MILO: I just, can’t seem to connect with the people. Guys trying to pick fights constantly, they seem to have no care for the people around them, and all the girls going after them, the most beautiful ones. Just as thoughtlessly, too.
DAD: Those sorts of girls take their beauty for granted, won’t know what they had until it’s gone. That sort of thing. They’re not inherently bad people Milo, they just see the world in an entirely different way. Everyone’s nice to them. They’re nasty to each other. It’s not really their fault they haven’t noticed how people really feel, when everyone puts on a show when they’re around.
MILO: I don’t.
DAD: Oh, sure you do. We all do.
MILO: What if I were to ask one of them out?
DAD: One of the ‘beautiful people’?
MILO: Yeah.
DAD: (Sarcastically) You would ask me that? The only thing I know is that they’re people too. As hard as it may be to believe, they’re just like you and me. They’re individuals. You only see them at school anyway, everyone’s different there.
MILO: Why is it so terrifying?
DAD: Because they’re glorified, and we’re pushed off to the side. Just a social thing. I’m sure they’re not that bad.
MILO: It’s just, I used to be able to brush it off. Control myself. But I’m a junior now. I think it’s time I started trying to actually go out into the world.
DAD: The high school world? And you want women, huh?
MILO: I had always been waiting for one that I knew in an instant was most important to me, you know something meaningful, that would last. There are way too many week-long, fake relationships.
DAD: Oh of course.
MILO: But it’s getting harder and harder to just ignore and refrain.
DAD: Then you’ll break and overcompensate.
MILO: You mean go out looking for too many girls?
DAD: (nods and chuckles) so when one of them asks to be in a relationship, everything you’ve been waiting to have with a girl can’t be.
MILO: Because there are a bunch of other girls I’ve started talking to as well.
DAD: (nods) exactly, it’s very complicated.
DAD: My brain’s telling me to do something about it though, making it worse.
JOE: Your brain, how so?
DAD: The other night I had a dream; we were in a public pool. A bunch of people in the deep end messing around or whatever, I was in the middle, there was a beautiful, sweet looking girl in a two-piece near the steps. She grabbed my hand gently, brought me over to the steps and she sat down there, I knelled in front of her, put my arms around her, she put hers around me, and I rested my head on her bare stomach. I know it sounds pointless, but you know how dreams sort of amplify all your senses, all your emotions?
DAD: Yeah, definitely.
MILO: Well it was the most incredible feeling in the world. I closed my eyes. Just her accepting me, and me being able to lay there in peace, with her. I felt safe, content. Not safe, untouchable. I can’t shake the feeling. And I have to have it again. I never thought women would be such a big focus in my life.
DAD: It’s the focus, for everyone. Sex, love. Biologically. It’s our most essential function, there’s nothing to be done about it. But there’s nothing bad about it either. And all that depression and hatred we feel is just supposed to be more drive to get it.
MILO: That’s disgusting though.
DAD: (weakly) nothing to be done about it. Any, let’s get back to it.
MOM enters and sits down.
DAD: The first chords here are very interesting, starting on B diminished, moving down to G but the final chord E minor, somehow it works. Moving back to B major from G’s going to be tricky, but I think finishing this last segment, we can mend it back without it sounding too strange.
MILO: It ends on E minor though.
DAD: You’ll need to repeat that first melody.
MILO: You really think so?
DAD: Absolutely, go for it. Bringing it back will make the piece so much more compelling.
MOM: I want to hear it when it’s done!
MILO: (to MOM) Almost.
DAD: (to MOM) it’s coming along; it’s really going to be wonderful.
MILO: (to DAD) Thanks.
DAD: (to MILO) Of course, I’m so proud of you.
Lunch. JOE is sitting eating bagged food. MILO stands in front of him.
MILO: I just want to make sure she’s okay; that’s all this is.
JOE: I don’t understand, is she in trouble?
MILO: It’s not about that.
JOE: When did you meet her?
MILO: I haven’t actually met her yet.
JOE: So why are you telling me this?
MILO: I need your eyes.
JOE: Does Ned know about this?
JOE: I don’t know... Maybe I could do something for you. You want to ask her out?
MILO: No. She’s a respectable and beautiful person. I don’t want to mess things up.
JOE: How would that be messing things up? She’s better off with you than just about anyone else I can think of. In fact you could be protecting her from stupidity, by getting to know her; her getting to know you.
MILO: It wouldn’t be right.
JOE: Then how do you know she won’t be going out with anyone else in the future?
MILO: She’s too smart for that; for people.
JOE: Not everyone’s a dumbass, Milo.
MILO: More than half though, just rounding the odds.
JOE: Yeah, so you say. What exactly do you want to do about this?
MILO: Like I said. I’ll check things out over there. I have the basics: phone number, address, license plate. You have a car right?
JOE: Yeah, my mom’s.
MILO: Then if things get bad we can head over there.
JOE: How bad do you think it’ll get?
MILO: I don’t know yet.
JOE: Are you talking gangs?

MILO: Something like that. I can ask Ned for help if things get hot.
JOE: I’m sure it’s not going to escalate to mortal danger Milo. And obviously you like this girl a lot, so do you really think it’s smart to be feeding the flame if you don’t want to pursue?
MILO: Joe, come on. I don’t like her like that, I already told you. She’s a friend.
JOE: A ‘beautiful’ friend that you’re obviously very attracted to.
MILO: I can control this if I just monitor from third person.
JOE: Aha, so you do like her! And tell me, what happens if it does escalate, and you do have to go over there?
MILO: You said yourself it won’t.
JOE: But you seem to think it might.
MILO: I don’t know.
JOE: Then what are we doing this for?
MILO: I just want to make sure she’s okay.
JOE: Why? (sighs) Whatever. I could get my mom’s car if you really need it.
MILO: Thanks. I’m going to go grab lunch. (Exit)
RACHEL enters.
RACHEL: You still hanging out with Milo?
JOE: Yeah. I know some kids got a bone to pick with him but he’s a good guy.
RACHEL: I’ve heard: Eats lunch by himself, talks to no one.
JOE: He talks to me.
RACHEL: Only when he needs something.
JOE: I respect him. He’s a lot better than most of the guys around here.
RACHEL: He sounds like a creep.
JOE: He’s smart, he’s talented and he has a big heart. That’s hard to come by nowadays.
RACHEL: He has Cs and Ds in his classes.
JOE: God, these kids told you his grades?
RACHEL: My friend’s a TA for his class, is all.
JOE: Well, probably because he has more important things to do.
RACHEL: You could say that just to make him look better. I heard he’s like a stalker.
JOE: And for a good reason.
RACHEL: What do you mean?
JOE: He’s keeping tabs on good people, and making sure they don’t get into trouble.
RACHEL: Yeah, that’s just creepy.
JOE: It’s a better use of time than most.
RACHEL: I don’t get it; why does he do that?
JOE: Like I said he has a big heart. He genuinely cares about people. And when he’s lucky enough to come across someone he admires he makes sure they don’t get into any trouble, or fall subject to the wrong people.
RACHEL: Well, does he ever even talk to these ‘people he admires’?
JOE: No, he thinks he’ll be wasting their time. And he’s afraid.
RACHEL: He sounds just, unhealthy.
JOE: I think he’s doing good for good people is all.
RACHEL: Sounds to me like he should focus more on his school work. What does he want to do when he gets older?
JOE: Probably the same thing.
RACHEL: What do you even talk about?
JOE: With him? Nothing you should hear. You’ll just ridicule it.
RACHEL: Come on seriously now. I won’t.
JOE: He thinks this girl’s in trouble and wants to help her out of it.
RACHEL: What kind of trouble?
JOE: Not sure yet.
RACHEL: Milo’s insane.
JOE: He’s dedicated… (looks at MILO) And there he is now.
RACHEL: (look at MILO) too dedicated. You should say something.
JOE: I don’t know.
RACHEL: You said he does good for good people. You’ll be doing the same for him. This time it sounds like he’s going too far.
JOE: You’re probably right. Maybe I’ll say something.
RACHEL: If you don’t I will.
JOE: Why are you so protective all of the sudden?
RACHEL: I don’t know… Maybe I was talking about him too harshly. And he’s a friend of yours right? So he must be a cool guy.
JOE: And you think he’s attractive.
RACHEL: I gotta go.
RACHEL exits. MILO enters and walks to JOE.
MILO: Who was that?
JOE: Just a friend.
MILO: What’s her name?
JOE: Rachel.
MILO: Does she have any connections we could use?
JOE: No I don’t think so (chuckles). You should probably calm down with this whole thing.
MILO: This is important.
JOE: I still don’t know why.
MILO: I can count on you for transportation right?
JOE: Yeah I guess. Where’s her place?
MILO: Brightwood and 40th St.
JOE: That’s right by school.
MILO: Yep.
JOE: (Takes a breath) How far are we going to take this thing MILO?
MILO: Not far if we lay low and play it safe. I just want to make sure she’s okay.
JOE: So you say. Your monitoring jobs are usually based more on fact and observation than this. Are you sure she’s in trouble?
MILO: I have a hunch.
JOE: That’s not going to help us.
MILO: We’ll see.
JOE: You have a bad record man; in all honesty I don’t even want to be seen with you. You say you have a hunch? You’re playing me. You know something.
MILO: You want the full scoop? That’s not going to help you on this one. This job you’re just working transport because I’m out a car. Mickey and Katie Matthews are involved. They’re other targets. That’s all I can say now. They’re at Casper and Fernhill Road, close by.
JOE: MILO, I respect your intentions and I’m glad to help when I can and if there’s something in it for me from Ned. Otherwise, we don’t know each other. Principal Pallister likes me, thinks you’re a thug. I’d rather stay away to be honest.
MILO: We don’t have to meet out in the open any more. Look, I do need you for this. It will benefit you I just can’t tell you everything now. It’s too personal. I happen to have emotional investments in the case, but that’s just a coincidence. If you want to play lapdog for Ned then that’s fine with me; not my problem, either way you’re needed for this legitimate case. End of story. You in or not?
JOE: You promise full closure afterwards?
MILO: Usually it’d be standard and necessary. For this job though it actually doesn’t matter, so I don’t have to tell you. But you’re my friend. For that you get it if you want.
JOE: I’m sorry.
MILO: Its fine, are you in?
JOE: Yeah I’m in.
MILO: Thank you.
MILO exits.
Milo’s apartment is always scarcely lit. He’s sitting on his bed and making a call. The phone rings a few times and MICKEY picks up.
MICKEY: Hey! How’ve you been?
MILO: It’s you guys we’re worrying about here. I have Joe and Ned with me on the job now, so if you’re in trouble we can just head on over.
MICKEY: Whoa, Milo, slow down. Are you serious? This is not your problem, we’ll get out ourselves.
MILO: It’s at least a two-man job running from people like this.
MICKEY: And Kendall?
MILO: It’s unclear now. The thing is you and Katie are in trouble. I care about you guys.
MICKEY: If you cared you’d listen: we’ll be fine.
MILO: I can’t afford to lose you two. You’re the only people I love.
MICKEY: That’s stupid; your standards are too high!
MILO: I can’t control who I care for, Mickey. You’re the only people I’ve ever met who understand a depth to life that has otherwise been completely, disregarded. Everyone else is playing blind and dumb.
MICKEY: Just keep them out of mind. You’ve got to stop hating everyone.
MILO: I can’t just keep them out of my mind.
MICKEY: You should try.
MILO: There’s a difference between sustaining aggravation and releasing it. If I try to just forget them, I’ll be bottling up the anger.
MICKEY: Well I’m sorry. We’re here for you, you know that. And it sounds like JOE and Ned care about you just as much as we do.
MILO: Ned’s in it for the connections and Joe’s in it for money. Then there’s this other, Rachel. She’s been hanging with Joe. I don’t know anything about her yet. I don’t like it.
MICKEY: Give her a chance. You’ve got to stop thinking in terms of emotionless logic.
MILO: Why?
MICKEY: Because the world doesn’t work like that at all. It’s about the farthest thing from it.
MILO: I’m hiding them because I don’t want to grow affection towards them. Even though in our eyes they are repulsive, I’m sure it’s human nature to grow bonds, no matter what.
MICKEY: Well I’m gone for now, so you best make new friends.
MILO: Who’s worth it? And the ones that are, I’m not worth speaking to.
MICKEY: Are you saying they’re too good for you?
MILO: I guess.
MICKEY: I think you’re just afraid.
MILO: I’m just playing it safe.
MICKEY: Too safe.
MILO: …How’s Katie?
MICKEY: She’s pretty well. Misses you a lot. Might even come over she said.
MILO: I miss her too. (pause) You mean she’s coming here?
MICKEY: Not tonight, we’re kind of busy. Soon though.
MILO: Tomorrow night? Please. I’m sorry, I just… I miss you both so much.
MICKEY: Sure man, that’ll do. You know I got to stay here but yeah, she could come over. Oh, I got my FaceBook account back too! Phone’s getting expensive you know, and I decided this’ll work just as well.
MILO: Great! When will you be on?
MICKEY: Well, any time after school gets out.
MILO: You’re still in school?
MICKEY: No but you are. When I got out of high school I was done. School is such a terrible idea now. Even in like, Honors English and Creative writing for god’s sake, creativity is downcast. The way they teach it all makes you over think. It’s explained so badly, and the work they make you do is just tedious, it doesn’t work your mind. It just made me stressed, being around all those untouchable people. And by that I mean there’s no way to connect with them. It’s like they’re operating on a different frequency.
MILO: That’s how I feel.
MICKEY: Good. I’m sorry; it’s just been really making me mad lately. Anyway yeah, FaceBook: I’ll be on after school. The only reason I have to log on there is you, really.
MILO: Well, thank you. Everything’s just seemed so complicated and stressful since last year.
MICKEY: We’re here man. And after we get free of these jerks maybe I’ll come down there too.
MILO: God I’d love that. I would really love to see you again.
MICKEY: Then you got it man.
MILO: Thanks. Take care Mickey, I love you.
MICKEY: You too buddy.
JOE sits cross-legged, RACHEL enters flustered and walks up to him.
RACHEL: Okay, so yeah, I like him a lot.
JOE: Aha!
RACHEL: Who’s this girl?
JOE: Kendall?
RACHEL: Yeah, is he like, going out with her?
JOE: Apparently not.
RACHEL: Then what’s their situation?
JOE: To be honest I have no idea.
RACHEL: Right. Is she attractive?
JOE: I don’t know. I’ve never actually seen her.
RACHEL: What? Seriously?
JOE: Seriously.
RACHEL: What about the friend?
JOE: Same story. You’ve really looked into this huh? You want to ask him out don’t you?
RACHEL: (Nods)
JOE: I don’t know. He doesn’t work well with others… I mean, he generally hates everyone.
RACHEL: Maybe if I help him with this whole deal, then I can gain his trust at least?
JOE: Maybe, yeah.
RACHEL: So how does all this work?
JOE: The jobs?
RACHEL: Yeah, I guess.
JOE: Well, I guess him and this guy Ned do the same thing. You know, target people they admire and defend them from like, the third-person.
RACHEL: So why do you help them?
JOE: I live near school, and I have a car, so I guess those are two conveniences they’re looking for. Ned pays me if I do something for them too. And usually he tells me everything about the job we’re doing, you know. But not this one… And that’s why I’m pretty uneasy about it.
RACHEL: How much do you get paid?
JOE: A decent amount.
RACHEL: Have you ever worked closely with Ned?
JOE: Not really, no. Just get jobs from him through MILO.
RACHEL: Alright. Then maybe I’ll ask if I can help them out.
JOE: Go for it. Just be careful.
RACHEL exits, and MILO enters and walks up to JOE.
MILO: Slight change of plan: Katie’s coming over here. I guess it’s safer to be with me then out there with Mickey, in case something happens.
JOE: Wow, alright. So we’re done. You know now she’s okay. That’s what you wanted, right?
MILO: Mickey’s still out there, and Kendall needs help.
JOE: Mickey, right. Okay. Listen, I have a friend that lives right by Kendall. Brightwood and 40th? I could ask him to keep an eye out. And my car’s still available if and when you need it.
MILO: I appreciate that. I’d like to meet the friend tomorrow. Oh, and if you need anything directly from Mickey, he got a FaceBook account. Search for “Mickey Matthews”. He’s on my friends list.
JOE: Okay, will-do.
All exit.
Principal PALLISTER sits at his desk, MILO sits across.
PALLISTER: Do you know why you’re here?
MILO: Past truancies?
MILO: Then no sir.
PALLISTER: Where were you last night, Milo?
MILO: My house, with a dear friend.
MILO: Katie.
PALLISTER: Katie who?
MILO: Does it matter?
PALLISTER: Look, Milo, a girl was raped and killed last night near school. There was a black car near too, we can’t identify the make, but an eye witness got the license plate: AB15039. We can’t identify the victim, but the same eye witness described you almost exactly, as the assaulter.
MILO: That’s ridiculous. I was in my home. With Katie.
PALLISTER: (Sigh) Okay. This is serious, you do know that?
MILO: Yes sir, but I know I had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry she’s dead. But she probably deserved it… the guy would too though.
PALLISTER: Where’d you get that dangerous attitude?
MILO: This school, I don’t know.
PALLISTER: Do you have any friends here, Milo?
MILO: I’ve made acquaintance with a few people.
MILO: Sure, yeah.
PALLISTER: That’s not what they tell me.
MILO: What? Who have you been talking to?
PALLISTER: Your ‘friend’ Joe.
MILO: What did he tell you?
PALLISTER: About the situation with your friend Mickey, Katie, and our student Kendall. I don’t like it Milo, and I want some answers.
MILO: When did this happen?
PALLISTER: Yesterday, after school.
MILO: Stay out of it, it’s all under control.
PALLISTER: You haven’t been getting enough sleep lately.
MILO: You don’t know that.
PALLISTER: I can tell.
MILO: That doesn’t justify your accusation.
PALLISTER: No, but I have to ask: with Katie, did you engage in sexual intercourse?
MILO: What? How does that have anything to do with this?
PALLISTER: Answer the question.
MILO: This is out of line; you can’t ask me questions like that.
PALLISTER: I very well can if I have any suspicions.
MILO: And you shouldn’t. I love her.
MILO: Yes.
PALLISER: So you did?
MILO: (Pause) Yes. I did. But I love her. I would never do anything to harm her. Katie is alive and well. I’d know. But I don’t know anything about this other girl. I’m sorry to hear about it. That’s it.
PALLISTER: Thank you for your time.
MILO: Whatever. And don’t go asking around for me anymore. Everything’s fine, I just need some time. I could help you target this case if it makes you feel better, but I need you off my back in return, deal?
PALLISTER: That’s reasonable. Alright.
JOE sits by the wall eating lunch. MILO walks up.
MILO: The principal talked to you?
JOE: Yeah.
MILO: And you told him about Mickey?
JOE: (sarcastic) Yeah.
MILO: You don’t tell them about monitor activity you idiot! This was your responsibility! I told you I’d let you in on this in confidence! (Coughs)
JOE: Hey, calm down man.
MILO: Do you realize what charges they’re trying to place against me? Rape. The rape and murder of some girl by here, that happened last night. I don’t need the cops in on this job anymore than that.
JOE: Whoa, wait, they accused you of rape?
MILO: Yeah, he said an eye witness’ description fit me.
JOE: Well, what do we do now?
MILO: I’ve got to lay low fast, but I can’t just wait around. I have to speed up the tension.
JOE: How?
MILO: I’ll need your car. I have to go to Mickey’s.
JOE: What are you going to do there?
MILO: I don’t know yet, but I can’t stay here. If I end up getting the charge then obviously I won’t be able to help Katie out of Mickey’s corner.
JOE: Where is Katie?
MILO: My house. I’ll take her back to Mickey’s with me. (Motion for JOE’s pocket) keys.
JOE: (throw them up to MILO)
MILO: And keep tabs on Kendall for me, let me know if anything comes up. I still want to meet your friend. (Exits)
JOE: Wait! You’re leaving now?
RACHEL enters.
RACHEL: JOE, what’s going on?
JOE: MILO’s split. Headed to Mickey’s. (Stands up)
JOE: We have to push things. You, stay out.
RACHEL: I want to help you.
JOE: You can help by leaving me alone. (To self) I have to get to Casper and Fernhill Road.
RACHEL: But he took your car?
JOE: Yes, yes he did.
RACHEL: Come on.
JOE: You got one?
JOE: Fine. I’m sorry; I’m just a little flustered right now.
RACHEL: It’s okay. I aim to find out why.
JOE: Yeah, good luck.
RACHEL: Or you could just tell me?
JOE: No chance in hell, he’d get pissed.
MILO sits in the car on his laptop, RACHEL and JOE pull up.
JOE: (Knocks on his car’s window)
MILO: (Rolls the window down)
JOE: What’s up?
MILO: He’s alright. What are you guys doing here, I told you to stay and watch Kendall.
JOE: I told you ERIC’s on it.
MILO: And you: Rachel. You drove him?
RACHEL: (Walks up) Yeah.
MILO: You’re an honor student right?
MILO: Don’t you have something else to be doing right now?
RACHEL: I want to help you.
MILO: We don’t need your help; you’ll just get in the way.
RACHEL: I have a friend who knows Kendall really well. You could use my help.
MILO: Really? Who?
RACHEL: Emily Pedersen.
MILO: Are they recent friends?
RACHEL: She met Kendall a couple months ago, yes.
MILO: Because Emily’s unworthy. These are exactly the kind of people we want to stay away from her.
RACHEL: What? Emily? She’s harmless.
MILO: Yeah, that’s what you think. That’s what everyone thinks, because everyone’s got the disease. Listen, you can help actually. You can help by telling Emily to stay away from her. Now we really have to push things. I don’t want to lose her like I lost those others.
RACHEL: Joe, do you know what he’s talking about?
JOE: Sort of.
MILO: Rachel, go home. Joe, thanks for your car. (Moves to the passenger’s seat) You can drop me at school.
JOE: (Gets in) Maybe it’d be best to play it cool Rachel. Things could get bad.
Car pulls up at school; MILO opens the door to get out.
JOE: Wait, man. Wait a minute.
MILO: What?
JOE: Rachel’s right. You sit alone, rushing constantly to protect the people you admire, when eventually all these jobs go bad, because you can never work up the courage to actually talk to any of them. That’s why we’ve lost all the last subjects. You have to make that final step. And Kendall’s going to be it.
MILO: I can’t Joe.
JOE: Why not?
MILO: I think I love her.
JOE: I told you.
MILO: (Coughs)
JOE: And what’s happening to you, are you getting sick?
MILO: I look these kids in the eye, and it feels like there’s something missing. I can’t place it. It’s horrifying. Let me show you something (pulls a pill from his pocket) this world, is dead. Anyone who can’t see that is dead with it. I’ve been working on a pill that can bring paradise to life. I’ve been trying to lucid dream since I was five. I can’t get it right. Maybe for a mind blowing split second I can, and then I wake up. I’ve been working on this pill… This pill is the key to lucidity in dreams. Total lucidity. I just can’t seem to get it exactly right. Every time I modify it it’s somewhat off.
JOE: And this is why you’re coughing?
MILO: Yes, but I’m so close now.
JOE: How long have you been working on this?
MILO: Four years. I need an escape Joe. More than most people. This world is overwhelming. It’s scary, and it’s depressing. I try to help people I see potential in, but eventually I see they don’t have the willpower to push through as a good person. They fall to hatred, apathy and darkness.
JOE: And maybe if you make the slightest effort to talk to Kendall, you can help her pull through.
MILO: Her presence makes my knees weak. I tried to talk to her once, and I broke down. Cried forever. I can’t talk to her.
JOE: I will.
MILO: What would you say?
JOE: I’d tell her how amazing you are.
MILO: ‘Amazing’ I’m a mess. I can barely walk straight anymore.
JOE: Because of this obsession to escape. You need to get off these pills.
MILO: I need to get off this world, Joe. A good man’s heart and mind begin to tear each other apart at the sight of beauty and stupidity incarnate; living as one, unfair. It’s the most infuriating outcome of a human being, and its everywhere. It’s all I’ve ever encountered. What’s happening to these people? What’s killing us?
JOE: I don’t know.
MILO: Me neither. And so with no source, and nothing to be done about it, we need to leave this place. It’s that simple.
JOE: Milo, I-
MILO: Tomorrow I’ll meet Eric. We’ll go from there. Thanks for the ride. I might need your car again sometime soon. (Get out)
JOE: Will do.
Scene 9 – INT. MILO’S ROOM
MILO: (voice over) this is a very dark and stressful time, for all of us. And you have to make a decision about what you’re going to do. You can do what most do, you can shut your eyes and hope it’ll get better; live like nothing was ever the matter, or you can be that hero that everyone’s been waiting for. You can fight what everyone’s too afraid to even admit is there.
A computer Monitor is shown. “Facebook” is up and a chatbox is open. On our end, the person is listed as “Katie Matthews” talking to “Alice GARTNER.”
KATIE: I might not be able to get on that much this week :P
ALICE: Really? Well when can you get on?
KATIE: Maybe just like, now I guess. You know nights, after I get back from school. I’ve been kinda busy.
ALICE: But it’s really late here for me.
KATIE: I know, I’m sorry ?
ALICE: But I’ll wait for you.
KATIE: Oh no, I don’t want you to have to wait for me! We can talk later when I’m not so busy and stuff!
ALICE: But I love talking to you. I love you so much.
KATIE: I love you too! And I will talk to you! I’m really sorry! But I think you should just go to bed when it gets late for you because you shouldn’t be up so late on school nights, right? ?
ALICE: Ya, but you’re more important. I have sleep insomnia so sometimes I can’t get to bed anyway.
KATIE: Aw, really? I’m so sorry :’(
ALICE: It’s okay. And school’s easy anyway, I don’t really like it but I do well.
KATIE: Really? That’s really good! =D
ALICE: Ya. I get straight As but still I don’t really like it :P
KATIE: :O Seriously? And you don’t even try?
ALICE: I have a good memory I guess XP
KATIE: lol I guess you do ^.^ and you must have a lot of friends!
ALICE: Not really, people there scare me, and they’re kinda mean.
KATIE: ? I’m sorry about that. You said you’re moving right?
ALICE: Ya in the next couple of days.
KATIE: Maybe there will be some nice people at your new school! =D
ALICE: Hopefully >.< I’m going to be looking for a job soon too. I feel bad living with my mom for so long and kind of just doing nothing :/ she does so much for me. And I try to help her out like cook for her and clean up the house and stuff but I don’t think it’s enough. And she drives me to school every day so I want to get a license and everything but I’m scared.
KATIE: You’re so nice ^.^ And I bet she feels really grateful to have you as a daughter! XD
ALICE: She says she does ? I just wish I could see you in real life. You’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met ? My mom doesn’t even know I have a facebook though :P
KATIE: Aw, I’m sorry. I bet you’ll make a lot of friends at this new school though!
ALICE: Well Brennan Samuels is a really nice guy, he’s on my friends list, you should add him, but he knows I consider you my best friend.
KATIE: (pauses) really?
ALICE: Yes!!!!!!! =D
KATIE: I’m sitting here now, and I don’t even know what to say… thank you so much.
ALICE: Of course ? I love you soo much and I hope we can always talk ? you’re the only person I’ve ever met that’s so sweet and nice and smart XD You’re my bestest friend I really mean it ^///^ I miss you so much even after just one day of not talking to you. I hope I’m not too annoying or anything, and I’m sorry if I am :P I just love you so much =D
Shot of MILO at his laptop in his apartment, staring at the monitor, silently in tears.
JOE and RACHEL talk before school.
RACHEL: The principal wants you.
JOE: What? Why? I need to go talk to Milo.
RACHEL: Is he going to talk to Emily?
JOE: Have you?
JOE: Look Rachel, things have gone bad, you should stay away.
RACHEL: I’m not going to leave that easy. What happened?
JOE: A girl was raped and killed two nights ago. He’s been accused.
RACHEL: Oh Jesus, well, what are we supposed to do?
JOE: We don’t do anything right now. We can’t. I just hope he doesn’t wreck my mom’s car at some point, and you just don’t worry about it. I guess I’ll go see what the principal wants. (Motion away)
RACHEL: I’m concerned, Joe.
JOE: He’ll be fine; he knows how to take care of himself. (Head away) Just stay out of this, please. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any smoother from here. (Walk off)
PALLISTER sits at his desk, JOE sits across.
JOE: What’s this about?
PALLISTER: I’m sure you know even by now already, what this is about.
JOE: Yeah, okay. So what do you want me to do about it?
PALLISTER: You don’t understand this full situation, do you?
JOE: No, I don’t. But Milo even told me he’d give me the full scoop when we’re done, Then I can tell you if you want.
PALLISTER: No, nothing like that. I mean, in total reality. Do you realize you might be the closest thing this poor boy has to a friend?
JOE: Sounds to me like Mickey and KatieE are. They’re the only ones he cares about.
PALLISTER: Have you ever seen or spoken to either of them?
Joe: Yeah, actually I talked to Mickey on FaceBook last night.
PALLISTER: What did he say?
JOE: How he appreciates my help.
PALLISTER: Anything else?
JOE: Yeah, he started talking about how he hates this school. Put up a pretty good argument.
PALLISTER: Honestly.
JOE: Honestly. It’s what Milo talks about all the time too. How everyone’s not worth anything. And how school has become a terrible idea… I forget exactly what he said. Something about how it discourages creativity... Why are you asking these things?
JOE: What are you trying to get at here?
PALLISTER: The school Milo claims Mickey and Katie are from, have no record of them. No one else has ever seen them, or talked to them directly. A man’s received over six hundred calls from Milo’s phone, asking for Mickey Matthews, starting shortly after Christmas of last year. Milo might be delusional; schizophrenic. Now he says he had sex with this woman, ‘Katie’ and at the same time a student’s wound up raped and killed?
JOE: This isn’t good.
PALLISTER: No. Bring him to my office when you can. He wants me off his back but I can’t ignore this.
JOE: But I spoke to him on FaceBook. Mickey. He was a totally different person.
PALLISTER: Then Milo could have a severe problem. The account was created December the 26th of last year, that’s not too long ago, and about the same time as the first call placed to that random number. Now we just need to figure out what triggered this. The results from the body will be here tomorrow. If it’s his, we’ll have to take him away.
MILO, JOE and ERIC sit at lunch.
MILO: Do you know how hard it’s been trying to live? Just in general, as a respectable person. Other guys mindlessly throw themselves at the next girl, while I hold it together and refrain. Constantly. Do you know how hard that is? And no one notices of course. But I’m not doing it to get applauded I’m doing it so I can respect myself, but even so. And school, such a waste. Mickey’s right. It’s more psychologically damaging than helpful in any sort of way. We’re going to do this last job, and we’re going to do it right gentlemen, I promise you. After that I can escape.
JOE: To your paradise?
MILO: Precisely.
JOE: Where do we start?
MILO: ERIC, how close do you live to Kendall?
ERIC: Two blocks. I see her every day on the way to and from school.
MILO: Walk?
ERIC: Yeah.
MILO: Perfect. Try and monitor her house; see what cars come in, their routines. Any shady figures passing by. And let us know, okay?
ERIC: Alright I will. And this, Ned: he’s going to pay us?
MILO: One hundred a week for each of you.
JOE: That’s double the usual.
MILO: Seeing as this is the last shot we got, I want to make its importance extra clear.
JOE: Yes you do.
MILO: Maybe there is hope for her.
JOE: It’s up to you friend.
MILO: We start with Emily Pedersen. We have to get her away from Kendall, at all times. She’s a terrible influence. Who’s she with?
JOE: Connor Pallister, nice guy
MILO: Not if he’s with her. He’s that punk right?
ERIC: You’re not thinking of confronting him?
MILO: Where’s Emily hang?
JOE: I don’t know.
ERIC: Me neither.
MILO: Connor’s at the field. (Stands and leaves)
JOE: Wait, Milo!
MILO walks up to CONNOR, surrounded by friends.
MILO: I need to talk to Emily.
CONNOR: What? Why?
MILO: Something you might not understand.
CONNOR: You want to get out of here?
MILO: Can you put in a word for me?
CONNOR: No, she doesn’t even know you.
MILO: She knows a friend.
MILO: Kendall.
CONNOR: What about her?
MILO: They can’t speak to each other.
CONNOR: Why not?
MILO: Long story; I told you, you wouldn’t understand.
CONNOR: I think you should leave.
MILO: Guess I should. You gonna tell her?
MILO: She’ll get the message somehow. (Walks away)
CONNOR: You better watch yourself!
MILO: (turns) Should I?
MILO closes his locker, JOE waits next to him.
JOE: Why can’t you just ask Rachel to talk to Emily?
MILO: Not close enough. For a demand like this I need the highest social status.
JOE: We should tell Kendall ourselves.
MILO: Definitely not, we need her head clear of these people first if she’s to understand our reasoning.
JOE: I don’t see any other way to Emily.
MILO: There always is. Does Eric have any connections?
JOE: ERIC doesn’t have any friends at all, except me I guess.
MILO: Good, that means he’s probably a respectable person. I’m glad he’s with us.
JOE: Yeah me too. So what are we going to do?
MILO: Just give me some time to think. Get some rest Joe, you’ve been helpful.
JOE: Alright, thanks. (Walks away)
MILO: (puts on backpack)
ERIC enters.
ERIC: I want to show you something. Can your parents pick you up at my house later?
ERIC: Why not?
MILO: They’re gone.
ERIC: For how long?
MILO: Forever.
ERIC: Oh, I’m sorry.
MILO: Don’t worry about it.
ERIC: What…
MILO: Christmas Eve last year. Some drunk drivers. I can get home myself anyway, what did you want to show me?
ERIC: Let’s go.
Two leave.
MILO and ERIC sit atop ERIC’s tree house.
ERIC: There’s a clear point to her house from here. Now wait a minute… Look there (point to her house)
A car drives up to her house, she comes out, gets inside and they drive away.
ERIC: That’s Connor’s car. They’re headed to a rave. Almost every Wednesday.
MILO: Is Emily with them?
ERIC: She’s a raver, I’d guess so.
MILO: This is excellent. Next Wednesday we’ll follow that car and get into the Party, find contacts through it. Did you get the license on the car?
ERIC: Right here. (Hands him a paper)
MILO: Oh, this is perfect, thanks Eric.
ERIC: Of course. You sure you’ll get home alright?
MILO: Yep. Thanks again. (Heads down the tree house)
MILO’s walking in a bike lane that dips under a road, turning into a tunnel, gets to that underground section and stumbles upon CONNOR and his gang.
CONNOR: Look here.
MILO: Weren’t you going someplace?
CONNOR: Decided not to tonight, Emily’s taking the car… Are you stalking us?
MILO: I told you I’d get to her.
CONNOR: How you gonna know where it’s at?
MILO: Follow her.
MILO: AB15039.
CONNOR: Son of a- (punches him in the face) you gonna stay away?
MILO: Not ‘til Kendall’s safe. (Coughs)
CONNOR and the gang jump him.
MILO wakes up in the dark of the tunnel the next morning and heads to school. He trips, falls and gets up again multiple times.
MILO: (voice over) how do you relate to a man that can’t be reasoned with? One that lacks the most basic understanding you thought everyone knew and felt. Is this what it takes to tear a man’s soul from himself? Turn him into something so inhuman he doesn’t feel natural compassion and doesn’t love truth, and goodness. These people can’t be reasoned with. And they’re everywhere. So what do you do? I don’t care about social status, grades or any of that. I hate that. I just want to meet a truly empathetic human being. And it’s scary how hard that is.
MILO catches JOE and ERIC on their way.
JOE: MILO, you look terrible, what happened?
MILO: Connor’s on to us. The rave is out of the question. This was my fault, but we still have the license plate number that I’m going to show to Pallister.
JOE: The principal? Why?
MILO: When he brought me to his office he said the license plate number on the car was AB15039.
ERIC: Oh Jesus.
JOE: Pallister was sure you did it.
MILO: This turns the tables then. I told him I’d get him what he wanted.
JOE: I almost believed him.
MILO: Joe come on. I have problems, but I’m not insane. I’m probably the least insane person you know.
JOE: I believe that too.
MILO: Let’s go get Connor out of the picture.
MILO enters PALLISTER’s office alone.
MILO: AB15039.
MILO: I told you I’d help you out. This is your son’s license plate number you idiot. Didn’t you think to check the school parking lot?
PALLISTER: Connor, my boy? He would never do such a thing.
MILO: Only you would think that.
PALLISTER: Milo, get a hold of yourself.
MILO: I didn’t rape anyone. (Cough)
PALLISTER: I believe you, I believe you. But you are having problems. Sit down.
MILO: (Sits and calms his cough)
PALLISTER: You coming down with something?
MILO: What? Yeah. Now listen, I want you to bring Emily Pedersen into your office; let her know about CONNOR, to keep her safe. In addition, I want you to tell her to stay away from Kendall.
PALLISTER: Alright, I can do that.
MILO: What’ll happen to Connor?
PALLISTER: I suppose I will have to transfer him to begin with, I still don’t believe you about this though.
MILO: Good. (Stand up)One last thing: stay away from Joe; you have a terrible influence on him.
PALLISTER: Alright, that seems fair. Now I need one last thing from you.
MILO: What?
PALLISTER: Where do Mickey and Katie Matthews live?
MILO: Why?
PALLISTER: I have a police friend. He can make sure they’re safe.
MILO: That’s not the kind of protection I’m looking for. It’s not that kind of people that are after them. Everyone’s after them.
PALLSITER: Not everyone’s evil, Milo.
MILO: These days it’s safe to assume.
PALLISTER: Could you give me the address? I’d like to have it.
MILO: They’re at Casper and Fernhill Road. That’s all I’m saying. If you really need them you can find them there.
JOE Enters.
JOE: Connor’s gone. Ditched class, no one can find him.
MILO: He was onto me. And he’s smarter than I thought. (Turn to PALLISTER) You better get Emily in here before she gets hurt. Same thing could happen to her that happened to that girl.
PALLISTER: I will. You guys get back to class, I’ll deal with this.
MILO: Don’t mess it up, I took a beating getting in here today.
PALLISTER: This is my concern now Milo, you held your end of the bargain now I’ll hold mine. Do what you have to do, I’ll deal with Connor, understand? Don’t go looking for him.
MILO: No sir, I won’t.
PALLISTER: Good. Now both of you, back to class.
MILO, JOE, ERIC and RACHEL sit at lunch tables.
MILO: This doesn’t make sense; Pallister told me an eye-witness got the license plate number but not the make of the car, and described me as the rapist. I look nothing like Connor. If I hadn’t confirmed Connor’s license plate number and got it in to him, he’d have me in juvie for sure. Eric, you saved me from prison. I can’t thank you enough. I can’t touch Connor though, not through the school, not with this protection. I need to update Mickey… (Stand up and call MICKEY, wait and hang up)
JOE: He didn’t pick up did he?
MILO: No. I’ll head over there.
JOE: Wait.
MILO: What?
JOE: He never picks up, does he?
MILO: Sometimes he does.
JOE: Pallister told me, Milo.
MILO: About what?
JOE: Don’t worry about Mickey and Katie right now, okay? We need to be worrying about you if someone’s really out to get you, for whatever reason.
MILO: But why? Why would someone want to target me?
JOE: Maybe thinks you’ll give them a bad rap.
MILO: I’m going to go home and figure this out.
RACHEL: Let me come with you.
MILO: Could you give me a ride?
RACHEL: Of course.
MILO: ERIC, keep up on Kendall, you’ve done a great job so far but now we have to make real sure CONNOR doesn’t stop by. If you see any unusual cars over there, call me, you have my number right?
ERIC: Got it from Joe, yeah. Will do.
MILO: Good. Alright, let’s go.
RACHEL comes to sit down next to MILO.
RACHEL: This is a nice place, where are your folks? (Sits next to him)
MILO: Not here.
RACHEL: Where are they then?
MILO: They died last Christmas, got in a car crash the night before. I live alone.
RACHEL: (flustered) How do you…
MILO: I have two jobs. It’s hard but, there’s not much else I can do. When they died I ran from home. Got a new life; a new name. Started forging signatures, whatever I have to do to keep by. It’s tough, but it’s better than a foster home.
RACHEL: A new name?
MILO: Yeah. I met Mickey and Katie the day after my parents died, at a new school. They helped me get through it all. I owe them everything, and I’m going to protect them.
RACHEL: I’m still not even sure who’s after them, and Kendall…
MILO: Everyone, and everything. Out to conform them. Rid them of ambition and compassion…
RACHEL: Do you really think so? I know so many great people.
MILO: Maybe you’re not judging them well enough.
RACHEL: I don’t want to judge anyone.
MILO: That’s stupid! You should be. But maybe you’re not good enough to be judging. You seem decent. But, don’t you understand, these people have no thoughts of their own, they don’t value morality, they don’t truly care for one another as I care for Mickey and Katie Matthews. They don’t care about anything worth caring for. And it’s scary. That’s why I want out. That’s why I’m getting out, after I know Kendall and the Matthews’ are okay. Did Joe tell you about the Lucidity Pill?
RACHEL: I think he mentioned it, yeah.
MILO: I upped the dosage last night. I’m getting worse. I only have one shot left at it, and I think I got it. I’m varying the chemicals so that as long as you take one, and you stay in a sleeping state, it’ll work forever. So one a night. But they take hours to kick in so I’ll have to take it in the morning.
RACHEL: What was it before?
MILO: One every two hours, throughout the night.
RACHEL: That’s terrible.
MILO: But I got it now. I don’t have the modification finished yet but I know what it’ll be, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to work.
RACHEL: This is what you do with your free time?
MILO: Protect the worthy, and look for an escape. It’s what any good man should be doing now. And with this pill, I can take all the good with me.
RACHEL: You’ll get lost in it. Obsessed.
MILO: Good. Thanks for the ride. If you want anything from the fridge, go for it. I’ll see you tomorrow.
RACHEL: You’re welcome Milo, (stand up) be careful.
MILO: I’ll try.
RACHEL exits the apartment.
MILO: (Calls KATIE, she picks up) Katie?
KATIE: Milo?
MILO: Yeah.
KATIE: How are you?
MILO: I’m okay, how are you and Mickey?
KATIE: We’re doing really good thanks, you?
MILO: Good, I’ve almost finished the pill.
KATIE: I’m really excited about that, but are you sure you’ll be okay with school if you keep on focusing on us?
MILO: You two are my world. I’ll be okay.
KATIE: Well I’m looking forward to it. How is school?
MILO: The same.
KATIE: Well you’ve made some new friends, haven’t you?
MILO: Yeah, but no one worth keeping a friendship with.
KATIE: Well maybe we should meet them.
MILO: No. Just Kendall, if I can manage to ask her out. She’ll probably say no.
KATIE: I’m sure she’ll say yes, there’s no one better I can think of for any woman, than you.
MILO: Well thank you, I’m sure she doesn’t feel the same. She started as a sweet, modest, quiet person. That’s all I ask for. That’s why, I think, I love her. And now I can feel her slipping away into darkness. Emily pulling her into the world. We’re going to find our own, and we’re going to take her with us.
KATIE: Is it really healthy to try and escape all the time? Shouldn’t we try and fight this, apathy?
MILO: We’ve already lost. I still can’t even fully explain what it is we’d be fighting, for, and why it’s gone But I know it’s in you and me.
KATIE: Well, if we can find salvation I want to spend it with you and Mickey.
MILO: It will be done, I promise.
KATIE: Thanks so much. I’ll talk to you soon Milo!
MILO: I love you so much. Take care.
KATIE: I love you too buddy! Goodnight.
Milo’s computer monitor is shown, talking as “Katie Matthews” to “Alice Gartner.”
ALICE: Katie!! I haven’t talked to you in forever it feels like XP How have you been?
KATIE: I’ve been really good, thank you :)
ALICE: Did you ever add Brennan? I told him about you and he thinks you’re really cool and he wants to be friends with you! There’s a girl he really likes and he wants some advice about it too XP
KATIE: Aw, that’s cute, what’s her name?
ALICE: Sarah. I don’t know her last name, he never told me.
KATIE: Okie doke, well I will definitely add him!
ALICE: Awesome! Guess what!
KATIE: What? :P
ALICE: I got a job at Victoria’s Secret like I wanted, and school I’m only going the first 2 classes, lunch, then I sign out for work and I got my license like a couple days ago so I drive myself everywhere and I work around 3:30 – 4pm my time and I still get weekends off and at school I’m in these AP honors classes and I actually made a lot of friends! =D
KATIE: That’s wonderful, I’m so glad for you ?
ALICE: All thanks to you too XD
KATIE: It’s the least I could do ;) but I really shouldn’t take any credit, I knew you could do it =D
MILO: (voice over) suddenly picking her life up, she’s now more of a success than myself. Real friends; doing well in school; has a car and a job. A good person excelling in this world. It gives me some hope, and now she doesn’t need me anymore. She’ll miss her ‘best friend’ but I know she’ll understand and realize maybe someday, why I stumbled upon her, and why I leave now (pause) I will miss her.
MILO falls asleep at the computer, then wakes up and moves to deactivate the account, as the final screen before the confirmation pops up, a display of friends is shown with the caption “they will miss you.” Alice Gartner is one of them, and MILO notices her picture doesn’t look like her.
He pulls up a file of her photos he has already stored on his computer to compare, and they definitely don’t match up. He then searches for “Brennan Samuels” whose profile is set to private, he sends a request, and Brennan quickly accepts. MILO goes through his friends list and finds a girl with a face matching the new Alice Gartner profile picture. Her name is SARAH Levine. He copies the URL to her page, switches to his real (MILO) account, pastes the URL and goes to it, then sends SARAH a message.
MILO: (Facebook message to SARAH Levine) : I'm honestly very sorry for bothering you, but there's a very touchy situation that you may or may not be aware of. Please call or text me: (XXX) XXX-XXXX. And please try and keep this confidential. Again, I'm sorry. It’s serious though.
SARAH: what's up?
MILO: Does the name Alice Gartner mean anything to you?
SARAH: maybe? why?
MILO: I have a friend that's friends with her via Facebook, but an odd discrepancy came up. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? (Pauses) Please respond, I'm sorry to rush this but if what I think is true, and at this point it seems very likely, then my friend has been very hurt, emotionally. I just want to set it down as softly as possible and be done.
SARAH: what do i have to do with this.
MILO: We will get there soon, just one more question. Again, I'm sorry. But you'll probably want to know about it, if you don't already. Have you ever seen her in person, or only heard about her?
SARAH: i'm not talking to you anymore if you don't tell me what i have to do with this.
MILO: Alice Gartner's profile picture on Facebook is of you:
AliceGartnerAsSARAHComfort.bmp (link)
Try not to do anything harsh, please. Just talk to me. It would be easier if we spoke by phone? (Pauses) Sarah.
SARAH: okay, how did you know it was me?
MILO: My friend was speaking with Brennan’s friend, and she was talking about a girl he likes named Sarah. My friend looked through his friends list to find her, and found you. Just a dead giveaway.
SARAH: oh my god. what can i do about it?
MILO: You can report the profile, of course. If you choose to do that I'll back you up and get others to as well, which should forcefully shut it down.
SARAH: I think she blocked me though, I can't find her profile. Could you send me the link to her profile? Thank you so much for helping me.
MILO: Of course.
But it would make sense that you'd be blocked:
SARAH: Yep, she blocked me. Can you report the account? thank you so, so so much.
MILO: Will do. You are very welcome. I'm sorry about all this.
Milo reports the ‘Alice Gartner’ account.
SARAH: Not your fault at all!! thank you for letting me know about it.
MILO: You’re welcome. The boy seems to care for you immensely. He's the kindest and shiest person I've ever known. I read some of the conversation between him and my friend. I don't want to make it too personal, that's obviously not my place. But I felt you should know.
SARAH: thank you soo much. You're great.
ALICE (to MILO): Did I do something wrong?
MILO (to ALICE): I felt so guilty all the way through. Honestly, I felt terrible. But the evidence adds up. I’m sorry. Really. I am so sorry.
Message pops up: You can no longer message Alice Gartner.
MILO (to SARAH): You're very welcome, and thank you too. There is one more thing. For the first half of the duration of the Alice Gartner account, another girl was being impersonated. I'd like to send you a couple pictures, tell me if you know her. It'd be a great help.
SARAH: go ahead! i'll let you know.

MILO sends two of the photos he’d had saved on his computer that he used to compare.
SARAH: The second girl looks familiar, but i can't place her.

MILO: (sends another) This one?
SARAH: not really.

MILO: Okay. Thank you. The account appears to be down. Brennan's a relatively unstable kid, emotionally. You know him, right? Keep an eye on him.

SARAH: thank you for all your help. yes, i know brennan.

MILO: (voice over) so there are others doing the same thing I do, feeling the same way I do. I think its right to force him away from it though. What we do is unhealthy. And I wish him the best of luck with Sarah. I will miss Alice though. I will miss her so much.

MILO picks up the modified pill off his desk, and takes it.

MILO CON’T: It’ll take time for the chemicals to activate in my head, and by sundown when I fall asleep next, I’ll find salvation.
JOE and RACHEL sit with PALLISTER in his office.
JOE: Milo doesn’t want me talking to you, you know that. What’s this about?
PALLISTER: The boy needs our help. I looked up Casper and Fernhill Road. It’s where a Mr. and Mrs. Matthews got in a car crash last Christmas eve, and died Christmas day. Milo’s remade his parents’ souls in the form of brother and sister. His best friends. Maybe he didn’t rape that girl, and that’s good. My son ran away last night. I think he’s after Milo.
JOE: Why? Why would he?
PALLISTER: He knows Milo’s got info on him the cops would like to have. And Milo’s given this school a bad name. With a dedication to the school like Connor has, he has a right to be angry with Milo, putting Connor in front of the gun here, pointing him out, making him look bad.
JOE: Has a right? What does that mean? Milo’s done nothing but good.
PALLISTER: Or at least tried. We’ve all had it with him here. We’ve gotten multiple thorough complaints each year since he was a freshman about a student following so and so home, making everyone nervous, annoyed.
JOE: He’s just trying to help.
PALLISTER: We’ve got to get him a life and rid him of his obsessive nature.
JOE: He doesn’t have to change at all. It’s everyone else. Everyone else is the problem here.
PALLISTER: He’s really gotten to you, hasn’t he?
JOE: He makes sense.
PALLISTER: We’re not going to tolerate any sort of rebellion at this school do you understand?
JOE: A stand for justice?
PALLISTER: A stand for justice? Come back to reality Joseph, don’t run away like Milo. Your grades are slipping, bring them back up.
JOE: There are more important things that need to be done right now.
PALLISTER: Help yourself first, and then think about a stand for justice.
JOE: Milo’s selfless. He’s just trying to help people. Pull them through all this meaninglessness they’re put under.
PALLISTER: Pull them through… Joe this is ridiculous. Rachel, I hope you haven’t fallen to Milo’s perhaps intriguing yet misguided philosophies.
RACHEL: I agree with Milo one hundred percent. But I do want to help him out of this mess he’s in with himself.
PALLISTER: He’s a paranoid schizophrenic.
JOE: He’s been right about everything so far.
PALLISTER: Right about Mickey and Katie’s existence?
JOE: (Sigh) and Ned’s probably fake too.
JOE: The one who’s been paying me to help out with these, jobs.
PALLISTER: So Milo’s really been paying you?
JOE: Seems so.
PALLISTER: This is worse than I thought.
JOE: What are you going to do to him?
PALLISTER: Run him through some psychological exercises. I’m only trying to help the poor soul, you two do realize that?
JOE: I guess.
RACHEL: If these exercises don’t work?
PALLISTER: We’ll take more drastic measures.
RACHEL: Don’t lobotomize him.
PALLISTER: You have an overactive imagination, another one of his influences on you I’m sure.
RACHEL: Don’t.
PALLISTER: I’m not the one to make those calls.
JOE: What do you want to do about this?
PALLISTER: Bring him to my office and we’ll talk the four of us. And Rachel, I’m very disappointed you didn’t let me know immediately that he’s living on his own.
JOE: (To Rachel) what?
RACHEL: He’s doing perfectly fine.
PALLISTER: It’s insane.
JOE and RACHEL step outside, JOE calls MILO.
JOE: Where are you?
MILO: I’m at Eric’s. Said he saw Emily by Kendall’s about half an hour ago.
JOE: You need to come back to school.
MILO: I’m not going anywhere.
JOE: Pallister wants you.
MILO: I told you to stay away from him.
JOE: He called us in, I had no choice.
MILO: ‘Us’?
JOE: Me and Rachel.
MILO: What did he want?
JOE: All sorts of things.
MILO: Just get over here. Don’t blow our cover.
MILO, ERIC, RACHEL and JOE sit atop ERIC’s rooftop.
JOE: It’s getting late; I’m going to have to go home soon.
RACHEL: Me too. Look Milo, Pallister really wants to talk to you.
MILO: Whatever it is it can wait. If we catch Connor here Kendall will be safe, because it’ll be our socially acceptable bridge to talk to her. We just happen to be there when Connor pulls up, and we pin him down and call the cops. It’ll be so heroic. On the other hand he might have his friends with him. We should call in advance. (Pulls out phone)
911 (female officer): What’s your emergency?
MILO: I have reason to believe a black Toyota Camry, 2007 license plate AB15039 we’ll be nearing the intersection of Brightwood and 40th St. within the hour, driven by Connor Pallister, and who knows who else.
911: Our office has been trying to trace him since yesterday, how do you know this?
MILO: He goes to my school.
911: We’re on our way; do you want to stay on the line?
MILO: No. I’ll be here when you arrive.
911: Keep out of sight of the intersection.
MILO: Will do ma’am. (Hang up) All done. Now we wait.
The four see Kendall walk out of her house, and wait at the intersection.
MILO: There she is. Eric, you’ve done good.
JOE: Milo, Pallister gave us irrefutable evidence of Mickey and Katie Matthews’s nonexistence. So Ned must be fake too, where were you getting the money?
MILO: My jobs.
JOE: You need that money; I’m prepared to give it all back.
MILO: No, you’ve both helped, you both deserve what I told you you’d get. Ned and I are glad to pay.
JOE: Wish I could say he were real.
MILO: We’re real. We did this.
RACHEL: And we’ll listen to your problems. You don’t need made up characters to lean on when you have us.
MILO: I don’t need someone to listen, I need someone to understand! I just want to make sure she’s okay! The best achievement in the world is being able to say you’ve helped people. In reality there’s no one worth helping. But in my world, I can so easily say I’ve helped. But now, maybe even in reality I can say I’ve helped.
JOE: Helped Kendall?
MILO: Exactly.
RACHEL: Pallister says they’ll need to perform exercises on you.
MILO: Yeah I know: Otherwise I’ll relapse within months. I do my homework when it matters. I can’t trust Pallister though, obviously. He’ll just do whatever to make Connor look clean. But you know what? I don’t care anymore. I’d rather stay with Mickey and Katie Matthews. I can dump stress and responsibility on them too. I’ve been doing that a lot lately.
JOE: Reality is far more interesting.
MILO: Definitely not.
RACHEL: They’ll go to more drastic procedures if they can’t nurse you back to sanity, Pallister said. Put you in a home.
MILO: Good, I could dream in peace forever there.
JOE: You’re too ambitious for that; you’d never last.
MILO: I don’t care what happens to me anymore.
RACHEL: Then you’ve lost just as you say all the others have. Then you’ve fallen into this darkness you always talk about.
MILO: The world was in an unstoppable decay before I was born. Effort to bring morality, compassion, modesty and dignity back is useless. The masses are all equally unrespectable and now so am I, but at least I’m conscious of it.
JOE: Pallister said Connor might be the one after you. Are you sure this is safe?
MILO: Oh I’m sure he knows it. If we get Connor now, they’ll both be out of the school.
Sirens roar in the distance, and CONNOR’s car comes skidding down 40th street. MILO sprints to the intersection, RACHEL, JOE and ERIC behind him. The car slides in front of Kendall, MILO pushes her out of the way before it hits her and the car hits him. He falls to the ground unconscious, CONNOR runs out the driver’s seat; JOE and ERIC bring him to the ground. RACHEL helps Kendall up and the police cars arrive.
MILO wakes up in his family’s Home; a radio’s on, reporting the pleasant weather for Christmas Eve. MILO walks to the living room, and sees Kendall there. MILO approaches slowly, stares and the two hug. MILO looks out the window as he continues hugging her, and he watches a car park in the driveway, and his parents step out.
The End

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