True Love does Exist

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

A beautiful girl, Denise, has had many bad experiences with guys and friends since childhood. And, as she gets older, the problems get worse. Lies and betrayal are very common in her circle of friends and men she associates with. She eventually gives birth to a beautiful precious baby, but the dad turns out to be the same as the rest. She deals with these issues for years. Friends are lost, boyfriends come and go, and the baby's father drops out of his childs life. But, one day she meets a man, who seems totally different from the rest, but, as she has been through a lot, trust issues come into effect. But, that doesn't stop him. He tries and tries to show her that he is different. Will he succeed? and will Denise be able to take victory over her trust issues?

Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

The screen is black.

DENISE(V.O)

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had bad luck with men. Shit, women too! After bad relationships, screwed up friendships, how can you trust anybody, when they always seem to screw you over? But, now I’m twenty five, and I say forget everybody. I’m not going through no more drama. I refuse too. Well, before I go into the details of today, let’s look at my childhood, and move on from there.

Black screen reads, “twenty one years ago.”

EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – DAY

The class is in recess. They play at the school park.

Denise, BILLY, LISA, and CHARLES stand by the swing.

Lisa points at Denise, and gloats.

LISA

Denise likes Billy!

DENISE

No, I don’t, Lisa! Stop!

LISA

Yes, you do! Charles, you’re girlfriend likes Billy!

Charles looks at Lisa, walks to Denise, and pushes her on the ground. MS. JACOBS immediately intervenes.

Ms. Jacobs moves Charles away from Denise.

MS. JACOBS

Hey, hey, hey! Charles, that’s not how we play with our friends.

CHARLES

Ms. Jacobs, that’s my girlfriend, and she likes Billy!

MS. JACOBS

Charles, go play somewhere else.

She points to the Slides.

MS. JACOBS(CONT’D)

The slides are free. Go over there!

Charles walks to the slides. Ms. Jacobs bends down to tend to Denise.

MS. JACOBS(cont’d)

Are you okay?

BACK TO

INT. DENISE’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUED

Twenty five year old Denise sits on the couch.

DENISE

You see? Now, I’ll say that was the first time I realized I would have trouble with boys. Oh, yeah! And don’t forget Lisa. She was supposedly my best friend in all of Pre K. But, I guess that changed.

She sighs.

DENISE(CONT’D)

Let’s move on.

Black screen reads, “fOURTEEN years old.”

INT. MIDDLE SCHOOL – LUNCH ROOM – DAY

TISHA, TRAVIS, and ZACH sit at a table.

TISHA

So, guess what? I hear that Denise likes you, Travis.

TRAVIS

She does?

TISHA

Yeah, she does.

Back to

INT. DENISE’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUED

DENISE

You see that? Can’t trust these bitches. It just can’t be done. Bitches, niggas, they all the same. Only thing different, is the part between the legs. But, that’s it! But, it get’s worse! Now, let’s go to when I was sixteen. When my first real relationship started. Let me go and get a glass of wine. This’ll take a minute to explain.

She rises.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – day

It’s the first day of school. Denise starts her first day of tenth grade.

CUT TO

INT. MR. PALMER’S CLASS – DAY

The STUDENTS pack up to go to their next period. MIKE, who is two seats down from Denise, notices her, and stares.

MR. PALMER

Okay, students. Tomorrow, we will study what format we use when writing. Tonight, I want you guys to just look on the internet, and see what information you can find on writing. Have a good day!

He sits at his desk.

Mike approaches Denise.

MIKE

Um, excuse me? How you doin’? My name’s Mike.

DENISE

Hi. My name’s Denise!

MIKE

Well, Denise, do you mind if I walk you to lunch?

DENISE

I mean, I guess so. I don’t see why not.

They exit the class, and walk to the cafeteria.

MIKE

So, Denise. How you doing?

DENISE

I’m doing okay. How about yourself?

MIKE

I’m doing good. Just happy to meet you. You’re very beautiful!

DENISE

Well, thanks.

MIKE

So, how’s your first day going?

DENISE

It’s going good. I like all my teachers. So far, anyway.

MIKE

Well, hopefully it stays that way! I hear most of these teachers suck once you get to know em!

DENISE

Well, I guess I’ll find out.

They arrive to the cafeteria.

Denise notices her friends sit at a table in the back.

They spot Denise, wave, and smile at her, as she waves back.

DENISE(CONT’D)

Oh, Mike, there my friends go. It was nice to meet you!

MIKE

You too!

She walks to her friends, and he walks to his.

CUT TO

INT. HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA - day – CONTINUED

Mike approaches his table. George sits. He eats lunch.

GEORGE

Yo, Mike!

He stands up, and gives Mike dapp.

GEORGE(cont’d)

What’s poppin’? I seen you talking to that bad bitch. You got her?

MIKE

Nah. I’m a get her, though. Little pretty ass! She too bad for me to let her slide.

GEORGE

You ain’t gunna get that bitch, nigga! She too bad!

MIKE

You gunna see.

CUT TO

INT. HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA - Day – CONTINUED

Denise walks to her table. Gina sits.

GINA

Girl, don’t mess with him! He be talking to all the girls.

DENISE

Gina, we just met. I’m not taking it that far. So, relax!

GINA

Alright!

Denise looks at Mike.

INT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – day – LATER

Denise walks in.

DARANTE prepares dinner. He hears the front door open.

DARANTE

Denise, is that you?

DENISE

Yes, dad!

She walks in the kitchen.

DENISE(CONT’D)

School was good.

DARANTE

Now, hold on!

He kisses Denise on the forehead.

DARANTE(cont’d)

You can tell me when we sit down to have dinner. It’ll be awhile, though. You got any homework?

DENISE

Not really. But, I do have some things for you to sign.

DARANTE

Okay, baby girl. Let me finish cooking. Just leave ’em on my dresser. I’ll get to ’em a little later.

He smiles, and hugs Denise.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

My little girl made it to the tenth grade. I’ll be damned. Your mom would be so proud!

DENISE

I know, dad. Y’all raised me right.

Darante releases her.

DARANTE

You’re right about that one. Now, go ahead. Get that done.

DENISE

Yes, sir.

She walks to Darante’s room.

DARANTE

(Smiles at Denise)

My baby girl!

(Looks to the sky)

Thank you, God.

INT. DARANTE’S DINING ROOM – night – NEXT

Darante and Denise eat dinner.

DARANTE

So, how was school?

DENISE

It was pretty good. Gina still goes there.

DARANTE

Oh, she does? Well, that’s good. How was her summer?

DENISE

It was good. She said she took a trip to Orlando!

DARANTE

Well, that’s good! She’s a good friend. I like Gina.

DENISE

Yeah, she is.

DARANTE

So, what else happened today?

DENISE

(Blushes)

I met this guy.

DARANTE

Why are you blushing?

DENISE

No reason.

DARANTE

No, no, no, no, no. You are to only have friends, young lady! And I don’t want you being too much of a friend to these boys. You need to focus on school, and keep them grades up.

She puts her head down.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

I love you, Denise, and I love your mom to death! If I could bring her back, I would in a heart beat. But, I don’t want you to experience what we had to go through, when we decided to have a baby at a young age. Going to college can be done, but, it’s hard to do. Working a job can be done, but, it’s hard to do. You understand? That’s why you shouldn’t worry about boys until you’re mentally and financially stable. Do you understand me?

DENISE

Yes, sir. I do.

DARANTE

Good! Now, clean this table up, and then come get these papers.

DENISE

Okay, dad.

INT. DARANTE’S DINING ROOM – NIGHT – NEXT

Denise finishes cleaning the table.

DARANTE(O.S)

(From bedroom)

Denise, come here!

DENISE

Coming!

She walks to his room.

DENISE(cont’d)

Yes, dad?

He hands her the papers.

DARANTE

I finished. Go put these in your bag, and then come back.

She takes the papers, goes to put them in her bag, and returns to Darante’s room.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

Sit down.

She sits on the bed.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

I love you, Denise, and I’m so proud of you. I just wanted to tell you, you make me feel like the greatest father in the world.

Denise smiles.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

And I don’t want you to think that I was being hard on you because I wasn’t. I just want to see you get the best out of life. And I believe I went through some doors in my life, so, I can help you refrain from going through them same doors.

DENISE

And dad, I thank you for that. I love you!

DARANTE

I love you, too.

He looks at his alarm clock.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

It’s getting late, Denise. I think it’s about time that we call it a night.

DENISE

Yes, sir!

DARANTE

I love you!

DENISE

I love you too, dad.

She walks to her room.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – DAY

Denise is at her locker. Mike approaches.

MIKE

Hey, beautiful!

DENISE

Oh. Hey, Mike.

MIKE

How you doin’, today?

DENISE

I’m good. Got my rest last night, so, I feel great!

She chuckles.

MIKE

Cool! I’m happy for you. So, who you sitting with at lunch?

DENISE

Gina.

MIKE

You think Gina will be mad if you sit with me for the day?

DENISE

I’m sure she won’t. I’ll sit with you.

MIKE

Okay, cool. I’ll be at the first table, as soon as you walk in the cafeteria. The one by the door.

DENISE

Okay. Sounds good.

He smiles at Denise, and walks away.

Gina approaches Denise, staring at Mike.

GINA

Denise? What the hell did he want?

DENISE

Just to talk.

GINA

About what?

DENISE

He wants me to sit with him at lunch.

GINA

You told him no, right?

DENISE

(Smiles nervously)

I said yes.

GINA

Why you tell him that?

DENISE

He said he just wanted to talk, Gina.

GINA

Okay, Denise! You trust him if you want. That’s you’re decision to make!

She walks away.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL - CAFETERIA – DAY – LATER

Denise and Mike sit at the first table. Gina sits at her usual table in the back.

MIKE

So… Denise, you single?

DENISE

Yeah. I’m not really looking, though.

MIKE

Nah, I hear that. I know I keep telling you this, but, you really are beautiful.

Denise smiles.

MIKE(cont’d)

I know you’re not looking, but, I get paid this Friday. I was wondering, if you wanted to maybe go see a movie? My treat.

DENISE

Yeah, I guess so. I don’t see why not.

She looks at Gina. Gina’s ashamed.

INT. DARANTE’S LIVING ROOM – DAY – NEXT

Darante and Denise watch TV.

DENISE

(After ten seconds)

So, dad? Can I go to the movies this weekend?

DARANTE

With who?

DENISE

A couple of friends from school!

DARANTE

On one condition. I drop you off, and pick you up! I don’t want my daughter in the car with strangers.

DENISE

Dad, they’re not strangers.

DARANTE

I don’t know ’em! Their strangers to me. So, I’ll give you a ride.

DENISE

Okay, dad.

Darante and Denise watch TV.

INT. STUDY HALL – DAY

Music plays.

Denise and Mike sit. They talk, smile, and Denise does her homework. She’s not focused.

CUT TO

INT. High school - DAY – NEXT

Denise and Mike laugh and talk at Denise’s locker. Mike gets close to Denise. She doesn’t mind. All of the students rush to class, but, Denise and Mike don’t. After nearly all of the students are in class, Denise realizes that the bell has rung. She waves goodbye to Mike, and walks to her class.

Music ends.

CUT TO

EXT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – DAY – LATER

Denise and Mike approach the house.

DENISE

Mike, thank you for walking me home.

MIKE

Oh. Sure thing, Denise. You meeting me at the mall tomorrow, right?

DENISE

Yeah, I’ll be there.

MIKE

Okay! I’ll see you, then.

EXT. MALL – NIGHT

Denise waits for Mike. She looks at her watch.

DENISE

Damn, Mike! Where are you?

Mike pulls in the parking lot, turns his car off, exits, and walks to Denise.

MIKE

Hey, Denise! I’m sorry I’m late.

He hugs her.

DENISE

It’s okay. Let’s just get to the movie.

They walk in the mall.

CUT TO

INT. MOVIE THEATRE – NIGHT – CONTINUED

Denise and Mike sit in the back of the theater.

Denise and Mike have a bag of popcorn, and two drinks. Mike goes to grab her hand, and she pulls away. Mike’s troubled.

MIKE

What’s wrong?

DENISE

I’m just trying to watch the movie.

MIKE

Girl, my hands cold. I don’t mean to violate. I just thought ya hands might be, too.

DENISE

No, they’re fine.

MIKE

O - Okay.

CUT TO

EXT. MALL – NIGHT – CONTINUED

Mike and Denise walk to Mike’s car.

MIKE

Did you enjoy the movie?

DENISE

Yeah, it was good. Thank you for paying for me!

MIKE

Oh, yeah! It’s nothing. Don’t mention it. And I’m sorry for trying to hold your hand. I didn’t mean to move too fast.

DENISE

It’s not that. I’m just really trying to stay focused on school.

MIKE

Nah, I get that. It’s just you’re so pretty!

He caresses her hair.

DENISE

Well, thank you, Mike. You’re really sweet.

MIKE

It’s cause you give me a reason to be. I like you, Denise. I want you to know that.

She smiles.

She notices Darante pull in the parking lot.

DENISE

Oh, Mike. My dad’s here.

MIKE

(Looks at Darante)

Oh, that’s your pops? Well, all right. I’ll see you on Monday.

DARANTE

(Yells from car)

Denise, it’s time to go!

DENISE

I’m coming, dad! I’ll see you later, Mike.

She walks to Darante’s car, and gets in.

INT. DARANTE’S CAR – NIGHT – NEXT

Darante drives from the mall.

DARANTE

So, Denise. Where were your other friends?

DENISE

They left.

DARANTE

They left? Why did he stick around?

DENISE

He just wanted to see me off.

DARANTE

Oh, is that it?

(Pauses)

Denise, don’t forget what I said to you. School comes before boys. Worry about boys after you graduate.

DENISE

You don’t have to worry, dad. I’m focused on school. I know I need my education.

DARANTE

Just making sure.

INT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – NIGHT – NEXT

Darante unlocks the back door, and walks to the living room, followed by Denise. Denise walks to the kitchen.

DARANTE

Denise, come here for a second.

He sits on the couch.

She walks in the living room.

DENISE

Yes?

DARANTE

Sit down, sweetie.

She sits beside Darante.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

...I want you to tell me the truth! Who was at the mall with you?

DENISE

Dad, I told you. It was me and a couple of friends.

DARANTE

...I know, sweetie. I need you to go get ready for dinner.

DENISE

Yes, sir.

CUT TO

INT. DARANTE’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – Next

Darante is on the phone with AUNT SOPHIA.

DARANTE

I know, sis. But, she’s the same age that me and Victoria were, when we had her.

Aunt Sophia’s voice can be heard on the other end.

AUNT SOPHIA

Darante, you have to relax. Just because you had a child at an early age, does not mean she will do the same thing.

DARANTE

Sis, you weren’t there. The way she was smiling at that boy, just made me uncomfortable. I was once his age, and I know what it means when a girl smiles like that.

AUNT SOPHIA

Darante, if it’s bothering you so much, just ask her about it.

DARANTE

Sis, I don’t know how to talk to her about boys. I never really planned on that.

AUNT SOPHIA

I’m coming over, big bro. I’ll talk to her. You cooked?

DARANTE

Yeah. You want me to put you up a plate?

AUNT SOPHIA

Yeah. I’ll see you in a minute.

DARANTE

All right.

INT. DARANTE’S DINING ROOM – NIGHT – NEXT

Darante, Denise, and aunt Sophia eat.

AUNT SOPHIA

So, how’s school going, Denise?

DENISE

It’s going good.

AUNT SOPHIA

That’s good. So, you meet any boys, yet?

Denise laughs.

Darante looks at Denise.

DARANTE

What you laughing about?

DENISE

(Looks down)

Nothing, sir.

Darante stands.

DARANTE

I’m going to watch tv. When you and Sophia get done, clean up, k?

DENISE

Yes, sir!

Darante exits the dining room.

Aunt Sophia stares at Denise.

DENISE(CONT’D)

(Lightly laughs)

What?

AUNT SOPHIA

Your dad told me about that boy at the mall.

DENISE

Auntie, he’s just a friend. I don’t know why dad’s making a big deal out of this.

AUNT SOPHIA

Denise, you know I was your age before. So, that don’t work with me. When your dad came to pick you up, he said, ’you were smiling hard. Now, what’s going on with you and this boy?

DENISE

He’s just a friend.

AUNT SOPHIA

What kind of friend is he? A friend? Or a close friend?

DENISE

He’s a good friend.

AUNT SOPHIA

Okay. Well, you need to tell your dad that. He’s worried that you may slip into the wrong path with this boy.

DENISE

What kind of path?

AUNT SOPHIA

The same kind of path that him and your mom slipped into.

DENISE

What? Aunty, I’m focused on school! I’m not worried about sex, nor, am I curious!

AUNT SOPHIA

Okay. I believe you. Just make sure you explain that to him.

INT. DARANTE’S ROOM – NIGHT – NEXT

Darante watches TV.

Denise walks in.

DENISE

Dad?

DARANTE

Yeah, sweetie?

DENISE

There’s nothing going on between me and Mike.

DARANTE

Okay. I believe you. I just want the best for you. I want you to get your education, get a good job, live nice, and have everything that you desire. Because, it is obtainable. But, you got to be smart!

DENISE

Dad, you don’t have to worry. I want the best for myself, too.

Darante hugs Denise.

DARANTE

I love you.

DENISE

I love you too, dad.

CUT TO

INT. DARANTE’s LIVING ROOM – DAY

Darante’s on the phone with Denise’s principal, MRS. BLACKMON.

Mrs. Blackmon’s voice can be heard on the other end.

MRS. BLACKMON

Mr. Williams, I noticed Denise hasn’t come to school today. Is everything okay?

DARANTE

She’s not at school? She left out this morning. She should be.

MRS. BLACKMON

Well, sir, she hasn’t been seen all day.

Darante sighs, while putting a hand on his head.

DARANTE

Have you seen her hanging out with this Mike kid?

MRS. BLACKMON

Yes, I have.

DARANTE

I know it’s inappropriate to ask about another student. But, does he like to skip class?

MRS. BLACKMON

I can not release information about another child unless he is related to you.

DARANTE

Mrs. Blackmon, please? This relates to Denise.

MRS. BLACKMON

Okay. Well, yes, he does skip class.

DARANTE

I know where she is.

MRS. BLACKMON

Where?

DARANTE

She’s with Mike. Thank you for informing me about this. Have a good day.

He hangs up.

INT. DARANTE’S LIVING ROOM – DAY – next

Darante is on the phone with BILLY.

Billy’s voice can be heard on the other end.

BILLY

Darante, calm down!

DARANTE

(High tone)

Billy, we just talked about this! She said she was focused! This Mike kid is nothing but trouble!

BILLY

Cuz, you need to tell her, she’s not allowed to hang out with him no more.

DARANTE

I see that.

Denise walks in the front door.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

(Looks toward the front door)

She just got home, cuz. I’ll call you back.

BILLY

Be easy, cuz. We all experienced skipping school. I’ll holla!

They hang up.

Darante walks to the living room.

DARANTE(Furious)

How was school, Denise?

DENISE

School was fine. What’s wrong?

DARANTE

I got a call today from your principal. You know what she told me? She told me that you weren’t in school! Where were you?

DENISE

...Okay, dad. There was a math test. And I didn’t study for it. So, I left.

DARANTE

Oh, is that what happened?

DENISE

Yes, sir.

DARANTE

And where did you go?

DENISE

To Gina’s house.

DARANTE

Oh, so, Gina was skipping school, too?

Darante pulls out his cell phone.

DARANTE

Well, why don’t I call Gina’s mother, and let her know, that Gina was skipping school today?

Darante dials VALERIE’S number.

She answers.

DARANTE

Hello? How you doin’, Valerie?

Valerie’s voice can be heard on the other end.

Valerie

Hey, Darante! I’m okay.

DARANTE

That’s excellent. I’m calling to inform you that Gina was skipping school today with Denise.

CUT TO

INT. VALERIE’S LIVING ROOM - DAY – SAME TIME

VALERIE

Oh, she was?

(Calls to Gina’s room)

Gina, get out here!

She walks to the living room to Valerie.

VALERIE(Cont’d)

Were you skipping school today with Denise?

GINA

No!

VALERIE

Don’t lie to me, young lady!

Gina

No, mom! I swear, I wasn’t.

VALERIE

I’m sorry, Darante. She said she wasn’t.

BACK TO

INT. DARANTE’S LIVING ROOM – DAY – CONTINUED

DARANTE

Well, apparently, they came to your house.

Valerie’s voice can be heard on the other end.

VALERIE

To my house? Oh, yeah, I know that’s not true. I was here all day. I had the day off.

DARANTE

Oh, you did?

(Laughs)

Okay, thank you.

He hangs up.

DARANTE(Ashamed)(cont’d)

Gina’s mom said, ’she had the day off today, and she was home all day. So, do you want to tell me the truth, now?

DENISE

Um… I…

DARANTE

I can already tell you’re going to lie to me again, so, why don’t I just tell you what I know. You were skipping school with Mike.

DENISE

Dad, what does Mike have to do with anything?

DARANTE

(Raises voice)

Your principal told me that he likes to skip class, and before you met this kid, you never did that. so, I know it was him! I don’t want you seeing this kid no more!

DENISE

But, dad, it’s not like that...

DARANTE

Did I stutter, Denise? You heard what I said. I don’t want you seeing this kid anymore! End of discussion!

She sighs, and walks to her room.

Darante sits with his hands covering his mouth.

INT. DARANTE’S BEDROOM – NIGHT – NEXT

Denise walks in, and approaches Darante.

DENISE

Dad, can we talk?

Darante turns off his TV.

DARANTE

Yeah, Denise. What is it?

DENISE

I just want to say, I’m sorry. I did skip with Mike, and I lied to you. I’m sorry.

DARANTE

...It’s okay. I just don’t want it to happen again. I didn’t raise you to be a girl who skips school. I raised a smart girl. I only want the best for you. But, in order for you to receive the best, you got to be the best.

DENISE

You’re right, dad. And it won’t happen, again.

DARANTE

Okay, baby. I believe you.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – DAY

Music plays.

Denise is at her locker. Mike approaches. She closes her locker, and puts her hand out in front of him, in a, ’I got to go manner, and walks away.

INT. DENISE’S ROOM – DAY

Denise does her homework. Her cell phone is to the side of her homework.

Mike calls her phone, and she lets it go to voice mail, as she looks at her phone as it rings.

Music volume lowers.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL – DAY

As Denise exits school, Mike approaches.

MIKE

Denise!

She stops.

MIKE(CONT’D)

What’s up? I’ve been calling your phone like crazy. Is everything okay?

DENISE

Yeah, everything’s okay. I’m just really focusing on school.

MIKE

Okay. Well, can I walk you home?

DENISE

I don’t think that’ll be a good idea.

MIKE

Did I do something wrong?

DENISE

No, it’s not you! I just really have to stay focused on school.

She walks away.

Music ends.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – Day

Denise and Gina sit together during lunch.

They finish up their lunches.

Denise is quiet, and looks down.

GINA

Denise, are you okay?

DENISE

...Huh?

GINA

Are you okay?

DENISE

Yeah, I’m fine.

GINA

You don’t seem it.

DENISE

It’s Mike!

GINA

What happened?

DENISE

The other day, we talked, and I just been thinking about em.

GINA

I told you, Denise, you’re wasting your time messing with that guy.

DENISE

I know you told me…

INT. HIGH SCHOOL – CONTINUED

Denise is at her locker. She gets her books out for her next class. Mike approaches.

MIKE

Denise, why you been avoidin’ me?

DENISE

Like I told you, Mike. My studies come before anything.

MIKE

And I respect that. But, we don’t spend no time together. I thought we was on good terms. What happened?

Denise closes her locker.

DENISE

I never skipped school in my life until I met you. Skipping school, skipping class, even just one time for a girl like me, is unacceptable. There’s something about you that brings out the crazy in me.

MIKE

I wouldn’t say skipping school is crazy.

DENISE

For a girl like me, it is. I’ve always been a good student. No skipping classes, no talking back to teachers, and no missing homework. Mike, since we’ve met, I’ve been late to class numerous times.

MIKE

Okay, look. I like you a lot. What if I can promise to not be a distraction? Then, can we hang out?

He takes her hands.

MIKE(CONT’D)

Cause I miss my best friend, and I want her back!

DENISE

...I guess. But, I need you to meet my dad, first.

MIKE

Of course! Whatever you need, I’m down for.

INT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – DAY

Denise and Mike walk in the front door.

DENISE

Mike, just have a seat. I’ll go get my dad.

Mike walks into the living room, and sits.

Denise walks to Darante’s room.

Darante reads a newspaper.

DENISE(CONT’D)

Dad?

DARANTE

Yes, honey?

DENISE

I hope you don’t mind. But, I have company.

DARANTE

Who is it?

DENISE

Mike!

DARANTE

Mike? Isn’t that the kid who had you skipping school?

DENISE

Yes, sir.

DARANTE

Okay.

He stands.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

Let me meet him. Where’s he at?

DENISE

In the living room.

Darante walks to his bedroom door.

DARANTE

Let’s go!

DENISE

Yes, sir.

They walk to the living room.

DARANTE

Mike?

Mike turns to Darante.

MIKE

Oh, hello, sir!

He shake Darante’s hand.

MIKE(CONT’D)

Nice to meet you.

DARANTE

Nice to meet you, as well.

CUT TO

INT. DARANTE’S LIVING ROOM – DAY – CONTINUED

Darante, Denise, and Mike sit.

DARANTE

So, Mike. How you doing in school?

MIKE

I’m doing good.

DARANTE

Oh, you are? Okay, well, that’s good. You know, what makes a man is success! I always tell Denise, in order to become a real woman, you have to strive for excellence. School plays a huge role in your life.

MIKE

Well, that’s what I strive for.

DARANTE

...Is that right?

MIKE

Yes, sir, it is!

DARANTE

Okay, well, that’s good. So, what grade you in?

MIKE

Eleventh.

DARANTE

So, you got one year left! You ready for graduation?

MIKE

I mean, not really. It’s not till next year. So, I’m just patiently waiting, before I start to worry.

He laughs.

DARANTE

I don’t think you should joke about your education, son! It’s really important that you graduate. You understand that, right?

MIKE

(Stumbles on words)

Yes, sir, I do.

DARANTE

Okay! You know I talked to the principal a couple of weeks ago? About you actually. We had a good talk. She told me, ’that you like to skip class. Frequently, too.

MIKE

Sir, that’s in the past.

DARANTE

(To Denise)

Should you tell him? Or do you want me to? You know what, I’ll tell him. I know that you had my daughter skipping school.

MIKE

Well, sir. I didn’t actually have your daughter skipping school. It was by her choice.

DARANTE

By her choice? Okay. You know, my daughter has never skipped school in her life, until she met you. So, what does that tell me? That tells me, you’re a bad influence on my daughter.

MIKE

I’m not trying to be a bad influence.

DENISE

Dad, he’s not a bad influence. That was by my choice, and it’s not going to happen, again.

DARANTE

I know, baby. Especially, because I don’t want you hanging with him no more. Mike, it was good to meet you.

He stands, and turns to Denise.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

Denise, you can walk him to the door.

Denise and Mike are troubled.

CUT TO

INT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – DAY – continued

Denise and Mike stand by the front door.

MIKE

Denise, your pops is trippin’!

DENISE

I know. I’ll talk to him. I’ll see you tomorrow at school.

MIKE

Alright, cool.

He hugs her.

INT. DARANTE’S bedroom – DAY – NEXT

Denise walks in. Darante sits on the bed, facing the door.

DENISE

He’s gone.

DARANTE

Good! He’s the wrong kind of friend for you.

DENISE

You didn’t even give him a chance, dad.

DARANTE

No need. I’ve been his age before. I know when a boy is nothing but trouble, and honey, he’s nothing but trouble! Trust me!

DENISE

(Low toned)

Okay, dad.

She exits.

INT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – Day

Darante’s on the phone with aunt Sophia.

DARANTE

Sis, I don’t know what to do.

Aunt Sophia’s voice can be heard on the other end.

AUNT SOPHIA

Darante, just relax. Everything’s going to be fine!

DARANTE

Sophia, you weren’t there! That boy is nothing but trouble. He lied, and he got disrespectful with me! He’s no good for my daughter!

AUNT SOPHIA

Just be easy. The more you fight her about him, the more she’ll want to talk to him. I’ve been there, Darante. Trust me!

DARANTE

Seems I have no choice.

INT./EXT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – Day – LATER

Darante’s in his room, sleep, with the door closed. Denise watches TV. A knock comes on the front door. Denise walks to the door.

DENISE

(As she approaches)

Who is it?

MIKE

It’s Mike!

DENISE

Who is it?

MIKE

It’s Mike, Denise!

She opens the door, and walks outside, closing the door behind her.

DENISE

Mike, what are you doing here?

MIKE

I can’t stop thinking ’bout you, Denise. I don’t care what your dad say. I like you!

DENISE

Mike, I like you, too. But, you can’t be here, right now. My dad’ll blow the roof, if he finds out you’re here.

MIKE

I just needed to see you.

He takes her hands.

MIKE(CONT’D)

Look, I’m going to get out of here, but, I want you to come with me.

DENISE

Come with you? Come with you where?

MIKE

Come stay with me.

DENISE

Mike, I can’t do that.

MIKE

Why not? Your pops won’t let you see me. So, you mines well blow this spot, and come crash at my place.

DENISE

Mike, you’re crazy!

MIKE

I’m serious, Denise. Go pack a bag, and be outside in thirty minutes. I want to be that dude for you, and I don’t want nobody getting in my way.

He kisses her forehead.

MIKE(CONT’D)

I’ll be back in thirty minutes. Be ready.

He walks to his car, and pulls off.

Denise walks in the house, closing the door behind her. She leans on it with her arms folded.

She thinks, and walks to her room.

CUT TO

INT. DENISE’S ROOM – day – CONTinued

Denise gets clothes out of her dresser drawer, and places them into a trash bag.

DENISE

Okay, Denise. you’re making the right choice. I’m in love with Mike, and I have to do anything I can to make sure that we can be together.

She finishes packing the bag with clothes. She walks to the bathroom, puts her toothbrush in the bag, and exits the house, being very quiet.

CUT TO

EXT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – day – CONTINUED

Mike pulls up, parks his car in Darante’s driveway, exits, and walks to Denise. Denise stands on the front lawn.

MIKE

You ready?

DENISE

Yeah, I’m ready. You sure this a good idea?

Mike takes her hand.

MIKE

Denise, as long as I’m with you, it’s a perfect idea!

INT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – Day

Darante exits Denise’s room in a panic, while on his phone with aunt Sophia.

DARANTE

Sis, she’s not in there!

Aunt Sophia’s voice can be heard on the other end.

AUNT SOPHIA

Did y’all get into an argument, last night?

DARANTE

No! All that happened last night, was we talked about Mike. I told her ’that he was a bad friend, and that’s it! Wasn’t no screaming, arguing, or nothing like that.

AUNT SOPHIA

She probably just went somewhere, Darante. Did you try calling her phone, yet?

DARANTE

Yeah, I did. No answer. I’m going to try her phone, again. Let me call you right back.

He hangs up, and calls Denise. No answer.

He calls aunt Sophia.

She answers.

Aunt Sophia’s voice can be heard on the other end.

AUNT SOPHIA

What happened?

DARANTE

No answer.

AUNT SOPHIA

You said she was at the house last night, right?

DARANTE

Yeah.

AUNT SOPHIA

She couldn’t of gone far, then. Maybe she just had to clear her mind. Just sit at home, and wait. I’m sure she’ll be there by the next hour or two.

DARANTE

All right, sis. I’ll call you later.

INT. MIKE’S HOUSE – day – LATER

Denise watches TV, as Mike is in his bedroom, sleep.

Denise is troubled.

Mike awakes, and walks in the living room. He sits beside Denise.

MIKE

What’s wrong, Denise?

DENISE

Nothing.

MIKE

Denise, stop lying to me! I know when something’s bothering you.

DENISE

It’s my dad. I keep thinking about him.

MIKE

What about him?

DENISE

I ran away. I know he’s got to be worried.

MIKE

Denise, I told you. Everything’s going to be okay. Your dad’ll be all right.

DENISE

I know.

MIKE

Look, go get into something comfortable, and I’ll order us a movie and some food.

DENISE

Okay.

She rises, and walks to Mike’s bedroom.

MIKE

What you hungry for?

DENISE

Pizza and wings sound good.

MIKE

All right!

He calls the pizza shop.

CUT TO

INT. DARANTE’S LIVING ROOM – Day – NEXT

Darante sits on his couch, with everything off.

Darante has his hands on his forehead, as he thinks. He’s stressed.

A knock comes to the front door.

Darante walks to the door.

DARANTE

(As he approaches)

Denise?

He opens the door.

It’s Billy.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

Oh, it’s you.

He turns, disappointed, and walks to the couch.

BILLY

What’s wrong, cousin? You want me to come back, later?

DARANTE

Nah, man. come on in.

Billy walks in, closes the door, and sits.

BILLY

What’s wrong, cuz?

DARANTE

Man, I think Denise done ran away.

BILLY

What? Everything was good between y’all, though!

DARANTE

I know, cuz. We had a little disagreement the other day, though. I’m thinking that might of played a part.

BILLY

Was it that bad?

DARANTE

Man, you tell me. She met this kid at school, and this dude is trouble! And she keeps trying to pursue a friendship with this cat. Me and him done argued, she tried to have his back, it’s been crazy! Sophia told me to not butt in, but it’s hard when you have a daughter whose been doing good in school her whole life, get off track because of some boy. Now, you tell me, is it that bad?

BILLY

Damn, cuz! I ain’t know. Well, look, just stay cool. She’ll be back, man. I’m sure of it.

DARANTE

I know. Patience is virtue.

INT. MIKE’S HOUSE – NIGHT – NEXT

Mike and Denise watch TV.

The doorbell rings. Mike answers it.

It’s the PIZZA MAN.

MIKE

Hey, what’s up, man? How much?

PIZZA MAN

(Looks at receipt)

Fifteen dollars.

Mike hands the pizza man the money, and takes the pizza.

Mike walks into the living room, and sets the pizza in front of Denise on the coffee table.

He opens the pizza box. Denise takes her slice, Mike takes his, and sits next to Denise.

CUT TO

INT. MIKE’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUED

Mike and Denise eat their pizza.

MIKE

(Looks at Denise)

It’s good?

DENISE(Sad)

Yeah, it’s good.

Mike sets his pizza down.

MIKE

Denise, what’s wrong?

DENISE

I’m still thinking about my dad.

MIKE

Denise, I told you. You got to let that go!

DENISE

I know. It’s just hard. It’s always been me and him.

MIKE

Don’t worry about it. Ya pops is good. Just chill, and enjoy this pizza. It’ll hit the spot.

Denise smiles, eats, and watches the movie.

CUT TO

INT. MIKE’S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT – CONTINUED

Mike looks at Denise, as she watches a movie. He places his hand onto hers, and smiles.

MIKE

You look real pretty, tonight!

DENISE

Thank you, Mike!

He smiles at her, and leans in for a kiss. She kisses him. He places his hand on her chin. He kisses her neck.

DENISE(cont’d)

Mike, what are you doing?

He kisses her neck, as she closes her eyes, and takes a breath. He takes her shirt off. He kisses from her neck to her belly button. He unbuttons her pants, and pulls them down, as she lifts her bottom. He kisses her.

CUT TO

INT. MIKE’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT – CONTINUED

Mike and Denise get intimate. Mike grinds on top of her.

CUT TO

INT. MIKE’S HOUSE – NIGHT – CONTINUED

Music plays.

Denise lies in bed, as Mike gets out of bed, and walks into the living room.

DENISE

Where you going?

MIKE

To watch TV.

DENISE

That’s cool! But, don’t you want to spend a little bit of time together?

MIKE

Denise, you crazy. We just spent time together!

He laughs, as he shakes his head, and exits.

Denise is surprised by Mike’s rudeness.

INT. MIKE’S DINING ROOM – DAY

Music plays.

Mike and Denise play a game of checkers, as they laugh and conversate.

INT. ICE CREAM SHOP – DAY

Mike and Denise sit at a table by the window.

Mike has a vanilla ice cream on a cone, and Denise has a chocolate ice cream in a cup. As they eat their ice creams, they conversate, and smile.

INT. MIKE’S HOUSE – DAY

Denise walks in, and notices Mike on the phone. He laughs as he talks to the other person on the line.

Denise walks to Mike.

DENISE

(With a two second stare)

Hey, Mike! I’m back!

After three seconds, Mike stares at Denise. He smiles.

MIKE

Oh! Hey, Denise.

He turns his attention to the phone conversation.

Denise looks at Mike in disbelief.

INT. MIKE’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Denise lays on the couch, as Mike walks past the TV, on the phone. She notices him walk by. She’s bothered by the phone call. Mike walks to his room.

Music ends.

INT. MIKE’S Living room – Day

Denise lays on the couch. She’s tired.

Mike walks in the living room to Denise.

MIKE

Denise, I’m ordering Chinese. You want something?

DENISE

No, I’m okay. Thank you, though.

MIKE

All right, cool.

Mike walks to his room.

INT. MIKE’S HOUSE – DAY

Mike and Denise watch TV.

Denise has pains in her stomach.

MIKE

Denise? You okay?

DENISE

I don’t know. My stomach is killing me!

She quickly walks to the toilet, and vomits.

Mike stands.

MIKE

Denise, are you all right?

She walks to Mike.

DENISE

I think I’m sick.

MIKE

What’s wrong?

DENISE

I don’t know. I’ve just been feeling real funny, lately. I’m going to schedule an appointment.

She pulls out her phone, and dials DR. POISE’S number. She pulls out a notebook and a pen.

DENISE

Hello...Yes, my name’s Denise Williams... I’m a patient of Dr. Poise... I’d like to schedule an appointment... Can we shoot for in the morning?... Uhh, Eight or nine?... Okay, yes, that works... All right, thank you.

She hangs up.

INT. DOCTORS OFFICE WAITING ROOM – DAY

Denise sits, patiently.

NURSE CYNTHIA walks to Denise from the doctors office.

NURSE CYNTHIA

Denise Williams?

DENISE

Oh, that’s me!

She rises, and follows nurse Cynthia into the doctors office.

CUT TO

INT. ROOM 132 – DAY – CONTINUED

Denise sits on a bed. Nurse Cynthia sits in a chair.

NURSE CYNTHIA

So, Denise, how are things going?

DENISE

Not good. I was feeling all right, until about a week ago.

NURSE CYNTHIA

Well, what’s been bothering you?

DENISE

I’ve just been fatigued, lately, and been feeling some stomach pains.

NURSE CYNTHIA

Okay. Well, lets check you out!

INT. ROOM 132 - DAY – next

Doctor Poise walks in. Denise sits on the bed.

DOCTOR POISE

Well, Denise, I looked at the notes, and everything looks good. But, you say that you’re experiencing fatigue, and stomach pains?

DENISE

Yes. I threw up the other day, as well.

DOCTOR POISE

Well…

She closes the door, and sits directly in front of Denise.

DOCTOR POISE(cont’d)

Denise?

DENISE

Yes?

DOCTOR POISE

Have you been sexually active in the last month?

Denise is silent.

DOCTOR POISE(CONT’D)

You can tell me, Denise. It’s under confidentiality.

DENISE

...Yes, I have. But, I’m sure that’s not what it is.

DOCTOR POISE

Denise, do you mind taking a pregnancy test?

DENISE

A pregnancy test? I’m not pregnant!

DOCTOR POISE

It’s best to be sure.

DENISE

Okay. I’ll take it. But, I’m sure you won’t find anything.

DOCTOR POISE

(Smiles)

I’m sure I won’t.

INT. DOCTORS OFFICE - BATHROOM – DAY – NEXT

Denise sits on the toilet. Nothing can be seen, but Denise. Denise cries. Surrounding Denise is a black background.

EXT. DARANTE’S HOUSE – DAY

Denise knocks on the front door. She’s very emotional.

Darante opens the door.

DARANTE(Surprised)

Denise!

He grabs her.

DARANTE(CONT’D)

What’s wrong?

DENISE

Dad, he left me.

DARANTE

Who left you?

DENISE

Mike… dad.

(Sniffles)

I’m pregnant!

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