She Fights

Sometimes the scribbles are going to honestly be more like scraps. I've got so many unfinished script ideas kicking around.

INT. OFFICE - DAY
CASSIE sits at her desk, headset on. She has a fresh bruise under her left eye. DONNA, her boss, walks up behind her and taps her on the shoulder.

DONNA
Could you put yourself offline for a second?

CASSIE reaches for the phone at her desk and clicks a button. A red light turns on and she removes her headset.

CASSIE
How can I help?

Donna taps a finger to her eyes.

DONNA
Care to explain this?

CASSIE smiles.

CASSIE
Ducked when I should have blocked, caught an uppercut in the noggin'.

DONNA
I don't want to know how it happened. Why is it showing?

CASSIE
What do you mean?

DONNA
There's a client visit today.

CASSIE sighs.

DONNA (CONT'D)
And you need to look presentable.

CASSIE
I'm sorry Donna, I forgot.

DONNA gives a haughty purse of the lips.

DONNA
You should go touch up.

CASSIE grabs her purse and stands.

CASSIE
Right.

DONNA starts walking off and calls over her shoulder.

DONNA
And maybe you should reevaluate your after-work activities.

INT. BATHROOM - DAY
CUT TO CASSIE staring herself down in the mirror. There's tension in her shoulders, and she's gripping the sink so hard it might crack. Her bruise is covered up. She extracts makeup remover from her purse and starts using it. As she does, her shoulders start to relax; her posture improves. As she finishes, she gives herself a quick smile before exiting the bathroom.

((This next scene would come much later in the script, because I've never really written things chronologically.))

INT. DINER - NIGHT
RYAN sits, silent. He pokes at untouched hash browns. CASSIE is voraciously devouring her plate. Fresh stitches are on her eyebrow. She notices how quiet RYAN is being.

CASSIE
Hey, you ok baby?

RYAN nods, a million miles away. CASSIE puts down her fork and takes RYAN's hand. His hand stays limp.

CASSIE
You're a shit liar. Don't shut me out.

RYAN
And spoil your big win?

CASSIE
It wasn't that big a fight.

CASSIE draws back a bit.

CASSIE (CONT'D)
What's eating you up?

RYAN looks at CASSIE, drilling with his stare. The bruises around his eye have started to heal, but are still very visible. CASSIE'S face tightens.

CASSIE
Really?

RYAN
I didn't say anything.

CASSIE brings her hand back to herself, leaving RYAN's behind.

CASSIE
You didn't have to. Should i have let them finish?

RYAN
Of course not.

CASSIE
Then what should I have done?

RYAN
I don't know!

The outburst surprises both of them. RYAN forces himself to relax. It's not very effective.

RYAN
I've never been anything. I've always lived in a shadow,
no matter how hard I try to step out. I've never had anything
going for me; I always managed to just cruise along.

RYAN comes closer and takes CASSIE's hand. She doesn't resist.

RYAN
And now the person I care the most about is a big shot fighter.
I've still got nothing.

CASSIE tenses like she's about to dodge a counterpunch.

CASSIE
Is that all I am to you?

RYAN
No!

RYAN sighs heavily; nothing's coming out right.

RYAN (CONT'D)
I started that fight. They called me out, but I started it.
I wanted to feel tough, like you, for once in my life. I
started that fight but I couldn't finish it. You did.
There's no way I'll feel what you feel, that strength,
the resilience around you.

CASSIE
Would you rather I was meek? That I wouldn't have
been able to defend you?

RYAN
That's not what I said!

CASSIE takes her hand back and stands.

CASSIE
Maybe, but you've said enough.

She drops a 20 on the table.

CASSIE (CONT'D)
Figure it out. Because I'm not going to stop.

She leaves RYAN at the diner.