Co-writer, Mariko Munro
INT. OLD FASHIONED STAGE
A white man in a top hat introduces the final act of a black
TOP HAT MAN
In the spirit of true minstrelsy,
you have again shown that laughter
is the wine of life.
Some 50 performers stand and break out into song.
Roll credits to the music.
An average American teenage boy begins to speak. His name is
All my life, my parents have told
me I'm smart and talented. That I
can be anything I wanna be when I
grow up. Getting into the West
Branch Magnet Program was supposed
to be some kinda honor. They probly
thought I'd grow up to be a doctor,
or a lawyer, or scientist that
cures cancer and junk. I mean for
me school has always been a breeze.
EXT. SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL - CIRCA 1990
Now in the mid-90s, for our story present day.
But when I look around, I just feel
surrounded by dorks.
Angle on an old school hoop on the horizon. A kid silouettes
against the sky lays the ball in.
All I want, is to be like the kids
on varisty, who live in the Maple
EXT. MAPLE AVE TOWERS - DAY
A part of a suburban neighborhood lines with huge apartment
The maple ave kids are coming up
from nothing. I mean, their only
shot at college is balling. And
they've got girls blowing up their
pagers twenty-four seven.
Black kids play ball apartment buildings towering over them.
INT. BASKETBALL GYM
The young naive face of Jolie in the midst of tryout.
I pray to God I make varsity. I'd
do anything to be like the Maple
Montage of tryout - Jolie the olny white kid among them.
Suicide drills. Push ups. Machine gun defensive stand
exercises. Scrimmaging. Jolie is just a breath behind
everyone at pretty much all of them.
And now Jolie is at the line. A classic american basketball
tryout drill. Miss and you run.
All the players but Jolie watch from the baseline.
Jolie lines up his shot carefully.
He glaces at the coach who holds a clipboard.
Jolie fires. For a split second it's dead on but then it
The kids take off running.
That was terrible.
INT. HENRIETTA'S GOLDEN BEDROOM - MORNING
Sounds of a high pace video game begin.
JOLIE, in his tighty-whities, plays Sonic on a Sega Genesis.
Also on the bed, black girl HENRIETTA AARONSON tries to do
Do you think you're gonna make
Jolie drops his controller and tears up.
School is so wack.
Jolie composes himself.
I support you no matter what. But I
can't be changin' no diapers.
Henrietta looks defeated.
Jolie pauses Sonic. Curls up with her.
(voice over, whisper)
I've been fucking Henrietta for a
while. She's the best. She's
pregnant with someone else's baby
but I'm cool with that. In fact, I
think that's why I like her so
much. She's kinda thugged out.
Jolie rubs her stomach.
Your stomach's smooth.
Henrietta pops up.
Not now Jolie.
I think you look more beautiful
like this than anything. I wish you
could be this way forever. We'd be
so happy like this.
A drop of sweat runs down Henrietta's face and lands on a
sheet of paper full of algebra equations.
I love you.
INT. HENRIETTA'S LIVING ROOM - LATER
Jolie, now clothed, bounds down the stairs with bookbag and
Hey, Mr. Aaronson.
(emerging from kitchen)
You got my check?
Shit man, those hours really add
Mr. Aaronson grabs his checkbook off the top of the TV and
heads to the kitchen.
Jolie flips on the TV and catchs a little of the OJ Simpson
Henrietta's adopted. She lives in a
big house like me. Her parents pay
me to tutor her in geometry. She's
kind of an outcast. I think that's
why we click. Plus, our moms both
work for the same law firm. They
fly all over the country doing
Mr. Aaronson flips off the TV.
What a mess... So, how do you think
she's doing? Is she gonna pass?
Uh, I don't know. Maybe.
Mr. Aaronson tenses up, then relaxes again and hands over the
I don't get it. She was always a
(searching for word)
...you know... Geometry's a hard
thing. Algebra leads to it and if
you dont get that then-
Yeah yeah I guess so. Well, you do
what you can.
EXT. WEST BRANCH HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
The bells RINGS. Ethnic murals line some of the walls, others
are just the old school red brick.
My great great grandfather was a
famous black face performer.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Changing classes. Kids of all shapes, sizes and colors. Jolie
emerges among them.
They used to call him the greatest
performer of all time. But now.
Kids at school have never even
heard of him. I mean not even
magnet kids in AP history have
heard of him.
INT. AP ENGLISH CLASSROOM
Jolie and his best friend HAROON are in the back. Haroon's a
scrawny Afghan boy with glasses.
Haroon glances at his bulky calculator watch and raises his
Hey, can I be excused for the
Million Man March?
Hey, can I use the bathroom?
The teacher MR. MCCARTY already has the passes raised.
INT. YELLOW HALLWAY
Empty except Jolie and Haroon.
Dude, don't they post who made the
Naw, not till Monday they said.
Alright man, have a good day at
They smack a secret handshake and Haroon exits.
Alone, Jolie looks longingly out the window.
EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT
Haroon waves good-bye to Jolie.
Minority kids are hopping into cars with their march signs,
psyched to be getting out of school.
(voice over, whisper)
This sucks. All the minorities get
an excused absence for the Million
An almost white looking kid enters the frame.
But me, I'm stuck in school like a
Haroon waves a last goodbye from his Nissan Saturn.
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY
Jolie - still looking enviously out the window.
I wish I was one of them. I wish I
was one of them. I wish I was one
of them. Fuck.
INT. HENRIETTA'S GOLDEN BEDROOM - DAY
Henrietta rocks out to her walk-man while jamming on some
Jolie's in his underwear again playing Sonic.
I'm supposed to tutor Henrietta
every Sunday. She's getting an F in
math. She knows how to do it
though. She's flunking on purpose.
Jolie looks back at Henrietta and smiles to himself.
She's so gangster.
INT. HENRIETTA'S LIVINGROOM - LATER
Jolie, clothed, bounds down the steps again, this time two at
EXT. TOWN ESTABLISHING SHOTS
Suburban homes with large apartments towers in the
background. The school is in the more urban part of town.
EXT. WESTBRANCH SCHOOL GYM
The doors spray-painted "thug life."
EXT. WEST BRANCH HS TRACK AND FIELD
Jolie and Haroon sit on the hill doing homework.
Hey you heard Fransisco got
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. BLAIR BLAZER GYM
FRANCISCO, bare chested, struggles against a security guard.
He looks directly into the camera.
I'm innocent, this is bull shit!
EXT. CRUMBLING CONCRETE BLEACHERS - THAT MOMENT
Over some pictures on the Internet.
Jolie looks confused.
Oh you mean like netscape?
Haroon gets up to leave.
Yo dont forget I need my computer
homework back by Monday.
I got you. Dont forget to get me my
bio homework back.
The walk into the distance.
(voice over, whisper)
My great great grandfather had a
song, Hallelujah I'm a Bum. Tupac
had a song, I'd Rather Be an
N.I.G.G.A., so we can get drunk and
smoke weed all day. I always
thought they were really similar.
INT. WEST BRANCH BIO CLASS - LATER
Haroon and Jolie in identical poses.
Yo. I gotta take a massive dump,
will you guard the door while I'm
They raise their hands - again in identical positions.
Haroon in the stall taking a dump.
Jolie at the urinal - simultaneously pounding a Sunkist and
taking a whiz.
I'm taking the most epic shit. Oh!
Dude! Don't they post who made the
Jolie looks suddenly worried. It dawns on him. He rushes off.
Don't forget I need my computer
homework back? Jolie!?
INT. D HALL
Jolie rushes toward the camera.
As a white boy at West Branch I'm
just not cool.
He's zeroing in on a wall full of sports posters - at it's
center a golden piece of paper labled "THE TEAM."
But making the team would change my
Jolie looks down the list.
It's my one shot to fit in with the
Maple Ave kids. To actually be
Jolie's face brightens.
Jolie walks past it and does a double take.
It's the list.
CLOSE ON JOLIE'S EYES: pure intensity.
He stands motionless, holding his breath, reading.
Then leans back, covering his dropped jaw.
(voice over, whisper)
Making the team, felt like the most
important thing in my life.
Jolie takes off running down the hall past a mop leaning
against the wall.
(voice over, whisper)
As a white boy I just didn't fit
in, not in Takoma Park. But now...
Jolie becomes a black silhouette against a row of windows.
(voice over, whisper)
I was practically black.
EXT. SPARSE WOODS - DAY
Jolie, in his gold Webber jersey, hops in the woods. He wears
large purple ankle weights, and "Jump Soles" (clunky and
clumsy looking work out shoes).
(voice over, whisper)
I even ditched class to work on my
Exhausted, Jolie gathers his basketball and backpack and
A metro train roars past in the background.
INT. JOLIE'S JUNKY BASEMENT - NO WINDOWS
Jolie is bench pressing and Haroon is spotting.
A single florescent fixture hangs overhead.
Man, I can't believe you made the
Jolie finishes his set. Pops up.
I was the last bama on the list! If
Francisco hadn't been arrested I'd
still be a loser! I'd be just
another Joe Shmoe Lame-oh geek in
the Blair High School Magnet.
CLOSE ON HAROON: his face slowly falls.
Oh hey, can your mom give you a
ride home later. There's something
I gotta do.
Oh... Yeah. Yeah. That's cool.
They rotate positions - we see that Jolie has only been
lifting 5 lb. weights.
Jolie leans down on the bar and grins to himself - still on
EXT. STREETS OF TAKOMA PARK - DAY
A shiny cherry-red '93 Nissan Quest approaches.
(voice over, whispering)
Tupac. Biggie. Snoop Dog. Easy-E.
Dr. Dre. Suge Knight. Mr. T.
The Quest pulls to the curb - Jolie and his Dad inside.
Alright bye. No injuries.
Jolie hops out in black and red basketball gear - black
headband, black Jordans, even black socks.
Alright, bye Dad.
A clunker 90s cell phone rings. Jolie's Dad answers.
Hey, you back from the hill? What
EXT. SMALL CLEARING IN THE WOODS
Henrietta sits alone on a stump listening to her Walkman.
Jolie bounds down a path startling her.
It smells like dog shit in these
woods, Jolie. Why'd you want to
meet out here anyway?
Jolie chokes up.
Wow. That is pretty bad. It smells
like a dead mouse or something.
You dont want to be seen with me do
you? Cus I'm pregnant.
You wanna make out with me?
Yea but, I can't. Not no more. We
can't be hanging out any more. You
understand though right?
Henrietta, I told you. I made the
basketball team. I'm a Blazer now.
Henrietta looks crest fallen.
Jolie hacks up some spit.
Look. If I make the NBA I'm gonna
take care of you and your baby.
We're gonna live in a big house in
Potomac. Be rich, have maids.
That's the reason I'm doing this.
Can't you see that? Can't you be
happy for me?
Henrietta shakes her head in utter disappointment.
She drops Jolie's basketball and walks off.
Pregnant, her ass might be a little bigger than before.
Then she stops and turns.
Jolie spins his basketball on one finger.
Do you need a token for the bus or
Crushed, Henrietta leaves.
Jolie watches her descend through a romantic archway of brush
- a blacktop and basketball hoop in the distance.
I felt bad but,
Jolie darts up the hill - basketball in hand.
Henrietta had rich white parents.
And after I made the team
CLOSE ON: his black shoes and socks.
I realized, compared to me she
wasn't thugged out at all. She was
just bad at Algebra.
Jolie disappears into the woods.
For a while I was worried her Dad,
Mr. Aaronson, would be mad.
Jolie runs past a jungle gym with a little boy hanging from
the monkey bars.
But he was cool. He even offered me
20 bucks to mow the lawn. So,
everything worked out.
Jolie jogs past a pregnant woman.
INT. LOCKER ROOM - NIGHT (BUT NO WINDOWS)
The blazers dress after practice, everyone chatting among the
many aisles. But Jolie is all alone in an aisle by himself.
Jolie slams the locker door.
INT. BASKETBALL GYM - NIGHT
Jolie is deep on the bench.
The acoustics are bad. The semi full bleachers fill the space
The crowd is various shades of black. A lot of them have
their feet kicked up.
Classic red versus blue.
The action on the court is fast paced. The players are
disciplined, setting screens and running concrete plays.
WENDEL, a guard, pulls up for a shot - swish.
The cheerleaders get excited.
The home score flashes red and reappears as 86 to 52. A blow
The team of Blair Blazers sit together, their heads moving in
unison, following the action.
At the end of the bench are ARIUS and Jolie. ARIUS, covered
in sweat, is a tall thin, care-free, light-skinned black kid.
He has a huge scar on his head, a thick red headband and band-
aids over his earrings.
Jolie is bone dry and still in his warm up suit.
Now it comes with two free
controllers and the game.
(not paying attention)
Yeah. We were playing that joint at
my place and one of the
cheerleaders was all confessing how
cute she thinks you are.
(points to the cheerleader
Jolie focuses in on a particularly cute Panamanian
cheerleader - CHRISTINE ORTANYEZ.
JOLIE POV: slow motion of Christine - taps her palms and does
a leg kick then looks directly at us.
Coach Dale - in afine suit and gold rimmed glasses - glares.
Jolie rips off his warm-ups in a panic. The shirt gets stuck
over his head, then he trips over his pants.
His teammates look on with various expressions of concern and
A cheerleader from the opposing team points and giggles.
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
Struggling, Jolie frees himself.
Coach Dale shakes his head and so does the fat black man
directly behind him. Their expressions match exactly.
The old white referee blows his whistle hard - game over.
All the Blazers start high-fiving each other but Jolie.
INT. JOLIE'S MESSY ROOM - NIGHT
A six foot long poster of a '91 Lamborghini Countach covers
the wall. A Nerf basketball hoop hangs on the closed door.
Haroon is dressed up as a woman, using a wig, socks as
breasts, and a sheet as a skirt.
Come on man, we've gotta nail the
Marion Barry skit tomorrow or I'm
gonna get a B in English.
I don't feel like it. I told you.
Jolie throws an African hat and tap shoes off his bed and
they smash against the wall.
Dude, it's was just a preseason
game, come on.
Man, if I can't get in when we're
up thirty in the preseason then I'm
never gonna play.
Jolie pulls off his jersey and throws it down. He picks up a
switch blade and looks at his warped reflection.
He tried to put you in the game.
Yeah, for thirty seconds.
There's a knock on the door.
Jolie wipes a teary eye and straights up.
ELLIOTT, Jolie's oddly old dad - enters with a bright orange
Nerf ball off the bedside table.
Elliott dunks and freezes in mid air.
He makes the sounds of a sold out crowd, animatedly, in a
The kids smile.
Come on, Haroon. Let's get you
Haroon follows him down the steps.
Elliott, will you go over this skit
with me. I think you'll really like
it and I need to practice or I'm
gonna get a B in...
There voices fade into silence.
Jolie stands alone, grabs a dumb bell and does a few curls.
He pushes it up his bicpt with his hand so that it looks
INT. HENRIETTA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Jolie climbs in through the window.
The only light in the room comes from the Sega on pause.
I knew you'd be back.
Because you know I love you.
Jolie kissed her with lots of tongue.
You're the best. I love you forever
I promise to God.
Are you gonna help take care of my
I'd do anything for you.
Jolie turns off the TV, and in the near darkness of just a
night light quietnly mounts her.
Wait. I want you to know... There's
some stuff. I feel like you're the
only one I can trust, the only one
I can talk too. Like about when I
ran away, and let those kids take
photos of me. I couldn't tell
anyone but you. You know that
I know. They were just photos.
Everyone makes mistakes.
Henrietta caresses his face and they kiss.
Jolie's stupid. He'll believe
anything. But I like him. I've been
failing algebra just so he can
EXT. HENRIETTA'S MOONLIT HOME
The automatic sprinkler goes off.
The thing is. He's not like other
guys. I mean, he's on the team, but
he's not really a cool kid. I've
always hated the cool kids.
Jolie steps off the porch and trips on a crack in the
INT. DIMLY LIT GIGANTIC AUDITORIUM - DAY
The theater class is spread out, bored and chatty. In the
distance a girl is practicing dance steps on stage.
Christine walks down the aisle and sits next to Jolie.
Hey Jolie. Have you seen this
Jolie is dressed in basketball attire - it's a game day.
Christine is in her hot cheerleader uniform.
What? No. Lemme see.
She hands Jolie a newspaper. Their hands touch briefly, they
lock eyes - a moment passes between them.
Wow. I heard Francisco got arrested
but I didn't know he made the
I heard he got arrested because him
and a bunch of other kids banged
that pregnant girl Henrietta for a
dollar or something.
A REDHEAD dude with an orange hoody turns around with a
spnoonful of green Jell-O, eating from his Tupperware bowl.
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
A dollar total. Or a dollar each?
Each, I hope.
That's a rumor, duh. They just took
How do you know? Were you there?
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
Believe what you want man. That
chick got gang banged! Turned out
by mad dudes like a straight porno
Jolie, lost in thought. The bell rings.
INT. HISPANIC HALL
Dim. No windows.
Hispanic kids line the lockers.
Pants sag and Spanish is heard.
One black kid from the team, Arius, looks in a locker mirror
and puts on cologne. He has a gold cross and greasy hair.
Jolie. I heard your old girl is a
You haven't heard?
That Maple Ave shit. You haven't
seen the porn video with your girl
I'm not with that girl man. I just
tutor her in Algebra.
Chill brother. I'm just saying...
MR. APPLEBAUM overhears this.
What are you boys buzzing about?
Maple Ave this.. Maple Ave that..
You can take the niggas out the
ghetto but you can't take the
ghetto out the niggas.
Come on Arius. I know you've got
somewhere to be.
Still stunned by the rumor, Jolie follows the steady flow of
kids out a single door to the:
EXT. EAST SIDE OF THE SCHOOL - DAY
The sun backlights the school.
Jolie emerges from the school. Christine catches up to him.
Jolie, aren't you headed to
Is everything alright? You look
kind of stunned or something.
What? No. I just. The sun was in my
I am totally struggling with my
program this month, do you think I
could look at your code?
My programming skills aren't that
good. But we can copy Haroon's code
and just change the variable names.
Christine gives Jolie a hug.
Henrietta walks past and gives Jolie an eye. Jolie pretends
not to notice.
From afar the kids look like ants walking in lines to and
from the portables (trailer classrooms).
A school bell rings.
EXT. CONVENIENT STORE
Henrietta approaches the Redhead Grunge Kid. They're both
Hey, can I bum a cigarette?
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
Aren't you pregnant?
Henrietta rolls her eyes and starts to walk away.
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
Hold up. Here.
Henrietta lights up.
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
Fuck it, right?
Yea. I guess so.
INT. BACK OF CLASSROOM
Working in groups.
Dude, Christine's been jocking your
nuts lately. What's up with that?
I don't know man. I think she's
She's probably just using you for
It happens to me all the time.
Even if she does like you dude,
you'd have to be loco to get with
Jolie looks over at Christine on the other side of the
classroom. Christine smiles back.
Her last boyfriend Raymond -
EXT. STUDENT PARKING LOT - SUN SET
Raymond, a cool Hispanic boy perched on a metal railing,
cranes his head around and we see he's got a black eye and
smokes a Camel.
Has been having sex since junior
Ray hops off the railing, puts his arm around a girl and
kicks over a trash can as they walk into the sunset.
INT. DIM BASEMENT CLASSROOM - THAT MOMENT
That's nothing. Ray's been
suspended three times. They found a
gun in his locker. And he has no
blood parents. You don't want that
kind of sloppy seconds. It's big
You would be the man, though. I'd
give you that.
Yea, that's true. You would be the
Why? What does that have to do with
All the boys roll there eyes.
IN SLOW MOTION Jolie turns to look at Christine, this time
with his hoody up. Turning back he knocks his notebook off
the table - papers scattering, a can of Sour Cream Pringles
Christine notices the commotion, laughs kindly. He smiles
EXT. DUSTY MULTIPURPOSE FIELD - SUNSET
CRACK - the sound of softball being hit.
The girls team warming up.
Jolie and Christine sit on small metal bleachers.
You guys have the late practice
Well Coach Dale asked me to tape
the next game - you wanna see the
camera we're using? It's in the
Oh yeah. All the way past C hall.
Come on. I know a short cut through
Through parenting class? Let's just
go the long way.
Come on. Don't be such a goody
goody. The teacher doesn't care.
Trust me. She's like a hundred
years old, she gets it. It's just
an excuse to have free baby sitters
for all the teen moms. And that's a
She grabs his hand and leads him.
INT. PARENTING CLASSROOM
Jolie and Christine cut through the chaotic after school
Henrietta is there, looking bored, and playing with a toy
Henrietta gives Jolie a suspicious look.
Jolie waves nervously.
Are you friends with her? That's
the girl I was telling you about.
I just tutor her in Algebra. You
know how we need community service
hours to graduate, well...
INT. BLAZER GYMNASIUM
A mural of fire emblazons the walls.
A second floor balcony - overlooking the court. A space for
storing of moldy old trampolines and gymnastic junk.
It's hot as a mug in here.
Christine flips on a giant standing fan.
Stand in front of this. God that
Her hair and cheerleader skirt blowing back. Jolie stands
next to her.
Christine gracefully gets on her knees. Beat.
The camera's under here. Come on.
She crawls under the trampoline, through the glittery tassels
hanging around it's edges.
Jolie hesitates then follows but we stay behind. A pom-pom
and a basketball rest in the foreground.
The season hadn't even started and
my life had changed forever.
Just below the tassels Christine's top lands on the floor.
I swear, exactly when we kissed
someone yelled score.
Kids of all shapes and sizes rush the court below with hockey
sticks. Haroon and Vlad and Benjamin and Anya, and the
Redhead Grunge Kid and Ray among them.
REDHEAD GRUNGE KID
Score! Score! Score!
Shut your hole!
It felt like a million bucks.
Haroon pumps his fist yes as someone gets a shot past the
goalie in warm ups.
Christine fixes her hair and walks out with a VHS camcorder.
I felt guilty cuz of Henrietta, but
as Tu Pac says, "Only God can judge
Jolie stands behind, in the doorway, fixing his belt and
getting a touch of wind from the fan.
I did wonder if Henrietta's Dad,
Mr. Aaronson, even knew she was
Jolie takes a last glimpse of the intermural floor hockey
game below them.
But for some reason it just never
Jolie ducks into the stairwell.
Then all the lights go out.
Haroon walks into a small shaft of light that goes unseen
until it has his face to land on.
Would someone please stop messing
around and put the lights on. This
league is for serious players only.
Haroon puts on his RoboCop goalie mask. BAM! He is body
checked to the floor.
Boom! Step aside, nigga.
Haroon slouched against the wall - blood dripping from his
(cringing in pain, almost
Oww, man. I think you broke my
Tell your boy Jolie to lay off my
girl Christine. Every time he makes
a move on her I'm gonna eat your
ass for lunch.
(beginging to cry)
What? Why me?
INT. HAROON'S HOME - AFTER-SCHOOL DAY
Haroon, and Haroon's older brother ZEKE are rummaging the
kitchen cabinets for snacks. Haroon's arm is in a cast for
the rest of the movie.
Hey, are there anymore Handi-Snacks
or did you take the last one?
The doorbell rings.
EXT. HAROON'S HOME
Jolie and Haroon smack their secret handshake.
They cross the lawn with Zeke.
Dude, before I show you this
internet stuff at my Mom's place we
gotta talk about this Raymond
situation. Ray said he's gonna eat
my ass for lunch every time you
mess with Christine.
Haroon grabs a key from under the doormat of the second home.
Yea he's just afraid to step to me
directly because he knows varsity
has my back. Don't stress though.
He's just a bully.
Haroon open the door to:
INT. HAROON'S DIMLY LIT SECOND HOME - DAY
Thick curtains are drawn, most of the place empty but a small
computer station is in the corner.
Don't stress? He broke my arm man.
How is anything under control?
Ray is just a bully. All you have
to do is hold your ground a little
Jolie fakes like he gonna punch Haroon and Haroon flinches.
He'll back off.
What? Are you serious? He blind
sided me. How am I supposed to hold
Come on dude, isn't that why you
always carry that Batman figure
Because Batman's the only superhero
that is just a regular guy.
Batman is a cartoon. This TOY is
for inspiration. We're talking
about real life. Are you loco?
Fine, then just stay close to me
and the team will get your back, I
Pinky swear. No leaving me behind
at lunch now that you're all tight
with the team or nothing.
Haroon has fires up a video game on the PC.
Cool. Now let's conquor titen
again. I think we can break the
INT. RUSTY OLD HIGH SCHOOL WEIGHT ROOM - DAY
Every kid on the team but Jolie is wearing light tan, suède
What's up Jolie.
What's up? What's up with you?
Jolie pauses for a second then half smiles.
Haroon's face turns red as a cherry as he "maxes" on the
See man. Ray can't mess with us
now. We're rolling too deep.
Haroon looks around, the whole basketball team is working
MERLY leg presses a massive amount of weight.
(dons his sombrero,
spreading a genuine
Yea. I guess your right. Junior
year's actually gonna be cool. And
I love spirit week. Merly, did you
bring a hat for hat day?
Merly stops his leg presses - pulls on a black ski-mask.
Hey, Jolie. Want to give us a lift
to Taco Bell for lunch?
Yea. No prob.
EXT. STUDENT PARKING LOT - DAY
Kids from the team pile into Jolie's Toyota Camry.
Six are already in the ride, Haroon tries to squeeze in.
You want my spot?
Ummm. Naw. Naw. I'm cool.
Jump in the trunk dude. It's not
You think so?
That's rediculous. Let's just bring
you back something? What do you
Uh. Just like a couple burritos.
Here's a ten?
No worries. I got you.
Oh thanks man.
Marly closes the door. Haroon stands alone in the parking lot
in his sombrero.
Jolie waves as they drive off.
I'll bring you some cinnamon twists
Haroon looks around and sees Ray staring at him from the top
of some steps.
Haroon looks scared, tips his sombrero to hide his face.
INT. TOYOTA CAMRY - DAY
Jolie drives his teammates, all eating Taco Bell.
Go-go music blasting.
In the rearview mirror a Cop emerges.
The cops just followed us from the
left turn only lane.
I knew it. Did you see his face?
That dude is always messing with
EXT. STEEP STREET
The kids hang out outside the car with one of the cops.
Merly with the other Cop by the cop car.
The argument between Merly and the Cops escalates. Merly
prevents the cops from grabbing his empty looking bookbag.
Merly takes off sprinting between two of the houses.
The cops hustle after him, their large belts bouncing.
Jolie and the other kids stunned.
He's still dealing nickel bags I
Naw man. It's because of that
video. The Maple Ave thing...the
one with Jolie's girl Henrietta.
She's not my girl.
That's not what she said before she
started sucking everyone's dicks...
Don't believe me. Y'all can see the
Arius pulls out his gold cain.
Jolie looks intensely shocked by this offer.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL-- MAIN OFFICE
The kids that were out to lunch are waiting in line getting
slips for being late.
The Administrator returns with PRINCIPAL GANUS, a 350 pound
black man who looks like an ex-football player.
Arius. This is your fifth detention
this semester. That means in-school
suspension for the week. Starting
What!? Did you hear what happened
to us? We got harrassed by the cops
Arius follows Ganus into the bowels of the main office. The
Administrator takes another call, and the coast is suddenly
Jolie and Wendel scope out an escape route - the security
guard no longer at the door.
Come on man. Coast is clear.
They peek into the hallway and see security round a bend.
Jolie and Wendel run as quietly as possible in the opposite
Wendel! Get your ass over hear.
What? What about Jolie?
He's in the magnet program. His
teacher will handle it.
Jolie doesn't dare look back.
And just like that, with Marley
arrested and Arius doing in-school,
I might just get some playing time?
INT. TRIG CLASS
Haroon enters and sits next to Jolie.
Haroon has double fresh black eyes.
The teacher and classroom is quite and dont even pay any
attention to Jolie entering.
I thought you said Ray wasn't gonna
mess with me man?
Woah. Dude. Are you alright?
Do I look alright?
I'm sorry man.
That's all you got?
No. Come on man.
YOu said I just had to hold my
Well at least you've still got your
You're an asshole.
Let me get you back. Come to the
movies with me tonight dude. The
new Ice Tea flick is out. The
tickets on me. Coke, popcorn, the
Haroon rolls his eyes and shakes his head.
The whole nine? It's a movie.
It's an Ice Tea flick and it's
gonna be tight as a mug.
Haroon looks disgusted and offended.
INT. DARK GHETTO MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT
Henrietta leans in close to Jolie's ear. They whisper to each
We had an early game today against
Paint Branch. And I scored 3
You know I saw you with that
Come on. Enough with that. I washed
my hands already. So I can please
Just tell me yall are hooking up.
It's OK if you are. I just want the
You want the truth. How is this?
Jolie reveals a plastic case meant for baseball cards. Out of
it he slides a small newspaper cut out.
A picture of Francisco getting arrested with the headline
`Sex Video Arrest.'
Yeah. Francisco got arrested. What
I thought you said you didn't fuck
any of them.
Did you suck their dicks?
Jolie. It's none of your fucking
Well everyone at school says you
did. And now they're saying there's
a video and that's why Francisco
and Merly got arrested.
They're not arrested. They got
questioned and shit and then they
How do you know?
Because I hear all the Maple Ave
Haroon pretends to watch the movie but is obviously
Shhh. It's getting good you know.
Henrietta and Jolie whisper more quietly.
Look, that's all beside the point.
Whatever you heard about me at
school, they don't know shit. It's
a lie. I already told you. I ran
away from home. That's it. Now
leave me alone.
Why did you let them take pictures?
I told you. I needed money.
Duh, an abortion. Does that make
you feel better. But I decided I
want this baby Jolie. I want a real
family. So I went to Pizza Hut for
dinner instead. The one on
University Boulevard, do you want a
receipt or something?
Where did you sleep that night?
I told you. I slept at the ATM
machine. Now stop it.
Henrietta is on the verge of tears and it cracks Jolie.
Dang. I know. I'm sorry. I'm such
But I love you. I just want to be
with you now. And put all that in
Why didn't you come to me then?
We had just met.
I know. Damn it. You could have
slept on my couch, easy. My parents
wouldn't have even cared.
We hear a killing on the screen.
The color cast on them shifts from a blue to a red. Jolie
reaches under the starter jacket that lies across her lap.
You lied to me.
I didn't. I would never.
How do I know?
Henrietta guides his hand up between her legs and she closes
her eyes, succumbing to his fingers.
Don't you trust me?
From behind them they are silhouettes against the Ice-T
action pic "Surviving the Game."
A baby is crying somewhere in the theater.
The red light cast on them begins to flash rapidly. In and
out of blackness.
Jolie peaks at a boy one seat away. (Jolie's basketball is in
the seat between them, with Haroon's Batman toy sitting atop
Henrietta breathes hard.
Jolie bites his lower lip.
(O.C. yelling at the
Don't mess with his boy? You're
gonna get it now! Un-hun!
EXT. MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT
Haroon and I better get going. We
gotta finish our Magnet project for
Jolie, my Dad is picking us up. I
thought you were gonna help me
I would but I can't. This is like
the biggest project of the year.
I have a huge test tomorrow and if
I don't pass this class I have to
go to summer school.
I know but Mr. Donaldson just
assigned a huge thing-
Haroon. Would you mind letting me
talk to Jolie in private?
EXT. BEHIND THE MALL DUMPSTERS
The only time we go out is to the
movies, and you're always late, and
it's always the late show.
What are you talking about?
Henrietta rolls her eyes and looks upset.
Jolie. I saw Christine was all over
you at school.
She's just like that. She's a
Tell me something. What do you
really want to do with your life?
What do I want to do?
Why do you repeat everything I say?
What do I wanna do? I mean, you
know that, right?
Spud Web was five seven.
Henrietta's father Mr. Aaronson, rolls up in a VW van and
speaks from the window.
So what's happening kids? Haroon
said you guys were talking about
Dad, we're fucking studying here!
Do you mind?
In the parking lot? I just wanted
to see if you guys needed anything.
I made Rice Krispy treats. They're
He showcases a saran wrapped tray.
Dad, have you seen how fucking fat
Henrietta. Just because you don't
want any doesn't mean Jolie
doesn't. Tutoring is hard work,
I tutored high school kids in
Oakland in the 60's, and -
Dad, we all know the story of you
saving kids in the ghetto, ok?
Jolie, are you hungry?
Jolie's bailing, Dad. Come on.
Henrietta hops into the Van.
Oh. Well. That's cool. That's cool.
Henrietta looks bummed. She cups her stomach and looks at it.
Then scowls at Jolie.
I'm really sorry, Mr. Aaronson, but-
Dad. Just drive please.
No worries, Jolie. Catch you later.
Mr. Aaronson makes the West coast gang sign as a friendly
gesture as a good-bye as he drives off.
Jolie and Haroon watch them leave.
INT. METRO - NIGHT
The train rumbles along.
So you've been tutoring her in
Algebra and that's it?
I was sitting right there.
So man. I saw what was going on.
I'm not an idiot.
Jolie is silent.
You're ridiculous. I gotta jump
What? I thought we were gonna play
I can play dune at home on my PC.
What are you scared I'm gonna smoke
you like a blunt again?
You wish. You can't touch my
I'd turn you into a straight
What the hell is a dikfor?
You don't know what a dick's for!?
You fucking homo-thug!
Jolie jumps on the seat and shoves his crotch in Haroon's
face - thrusting hard. Several passengers laugh.
Oww! Dude, you're pealing off my
scab. Get off me! You know you've
been a real jerk lately.
Damn, Ray really smashed your face
I think you're an asshole for lying
to Henrietta and Christine.
I never lied to them.
The metro rumbles to a stop.
I love them both.
Jolie looks longingly out of the window as the train pulls
INT. GYMNASIUM - LATE AFTERNOON
Kiss! Can anyone tell me what KISS
Coach Dale underlines "KISS" on the blackboard.
All the bleachers are pushed in. The team gathered on the
floor in practice jerseys. Five starters in white. The rest
in red. All downtrodden.
Wendel wipes sweat off his chin.
Coach Dale eyes them down. Two dishevelled white assistant
coaches flank Dale. A fat black man in a sweat-suit also
hangs around, an unofficial assistant coach.
ASSISTANT #1 wears a gray sweat suit. ASSISTANT #2 sports a
wrinkled dress shirt and tie. Both don clip boards and red
No one moves.
Jolie hesitantly gestures.
Coach Dale nods.
Uh, Keep it simple stupid.
Why are you mumbling? Speak up.
Keep it simple stupid.
That's right. Keep it simple
The team stares blankly.
Ya'll screw up and say, "But I
Keep it simple. You guys are
thinking too much on the court.
Stay aggressive and maybe we'll
have a chance of beating
Springbrook without Francisco and
Merly. We're short handed,
especially at guard positions, so
everyone has to be ready to play,
especially you Jolie. You're as
good as anybody on this team. I've
seen you play great when we
scrimmaged with JV.
And everyone, no more bringing your
stuff in a plastic bag. Get a real
bag. Something canvas. Use an old
backpack if you have to.
EXT. GYMNASIUM - DUSK
A few boys from the team and a few girls from the cheerleader
squad are hanging around a track and field practice visible
in the distance.
Arius, man. When can I see the VHS
tape you mentioned?
What? Oh, it got erased. Didn't you
hear the cops are on to the whole
Man, Francisco is in the papers.
You haven't seen?
(turns and tugs at a
Come here, girl. Sit on my lap.
Wendel lights a cig.
Jolie lays a towel over his head and turns to Wendel.
Henrietta didn't really fuck any of
them, did she? I mean she was just
posing nude for some photos, right?
Well, they just paid her to do a
little strip tease or whatever but
How can it just escalate?
How did World War 2 escalate? It
just did. Someone pulled out his
junk teasing her, and then she
started messing around with her
tongue on his balls, just laughing
and stuff. And it just went from
Dude? If this is a psych, you got
me. OK? Just tell me the truth.
I'm not lying. I'm dead serious.
You can see for yourself.
It got erased I thought.
The original did. But Arius has a
Jolie tugs on his underarm hair, worried.
They look over at Arius who is daydreaming.
Arius snaps out of it.
What happened to your head man?
The doctors said I was crazy so
they took a little piece of my
No they didn't.
Yes they did. Look.
Arius shows off the top of his head
CLOSE ON: Arius's brutal scar in his head. Arius pushes at it
with his fingers.
See how soft it is?
Arius laughs. Looks around to make sure no one's listening
Come by Coach Dales office tomorrow
at 3 o'clock.
While he's gone opening up the
weight-room I'm showing the tape
for five bucks a head. You have
never seen anything like this, I
A yellow Geo Jeep with 5 very thugged out kids rolls up.
Arius gives them the finger from the packed with 6 Jeep as it
speeds off (Geo's are equipt with only 4 seats)
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
Everyone working away - Haroon and Jolie seated in the back
with a giant stand alone magnifying glass.
The teacher MR. APPLEBAUM puts a paper on Jolie's desk
labeled B+, then Haroon's, labeled B-.
B minus!? Are you serious?
Watch the language Mister
Did you even read this shit?
Thin ice Haroon.
Come on Mr. Applebaum? The whole
undercover hooker bust opening in
this thing is genius.
It's not accurate Haroon. The OJ
trial didn't begin until long after
the Marion Barry bust.
Duh. Everybody knows that. It's not
an Encyclopedia. It's a story.
Haroon. This is a current events
history class. I think you missed
the point of the assignment.
I think you missed the point of the
story! The events were mixed up
because the character is mixed up.
You think I don't know -
Stunned, Haroon walks back to his desk.
(under his breath)
The bell rings. The clock shows 3 o'clock sharp.
Fucking dick-face man, it's not
Haroon brushes his notebook and pencils onto the floor in
Shit man. I'm sorry dude. You
deserved an A. It was tight as a
Don't placate me asshole. You
didn't even read it like you said
Haroon holds up his cast.
It's just a broken arm and a couple
black eye. Nothing to worry about
right? Go hang with your stupid
Jolie looks at the clock as the room empties.
Jolie sheepishly leaves Haroon alone with Mr. Applebaum.
Jolie walks down a packed hallway and ducks into an office
As Coach Dale leaves his office Arius catches the door. The
team slips in one by one. All hanging out nearby.
INT. BASKETBALL COACH OFFICE - DAY
Pictures and trophies are all over the cramped room, spanning
The team and a group of cheerleaders are hanging out waiting
for the video.
Arius pops the tape in.
Look, look, look. Look. Right here,
I told you.
I told you she was turned out.
Hold up, I gotta rewind to the
What a slut! That's that girl you
Yea. ...Henrietta Aaronson.
I told you! I told you! I told you!
Jolie looks devastated. The picture in a backwards blur -
rewinding, we can make out Henrietta.
Shhhhhh. Shhhhh. This is it.
On the television is Henrietta.
GUY BEHIND THE CAMERA
What's the password?
Lemme see them shits again.
When he grabs her tits it looks
like he's assessing a race horse.
He's like - lemme check out this
Everyone laughs but Jolie.
GUY BEHIND THE CAMERA
What would your daddy say if he saw
(affecting a sexy voice)
He'd knock me out for the rest of
The kids in the room break out into ad-lib excitement.
Pause it. Pause it. Pause it. Look.
Right there. That's Francisco in
In the background of the video is a doorway to a hallway, and
crouched on the floor as if waiting for a long time, is
Coach Dale is coming. I'm serious.
He's coming now.
Wendel flips on the Sega Genesis. John Madden '95 appears on
Christine and Wendel each grab a controller.
Coach Dale enters.
No weightroom today guys, we got
some studying to do. This is a copy
of last years Springbrook game. Get
comfortable, this could be a while.
The cheerleaders gather themselves.
Coach Dale tries to insert the game tape but the VHS of
Henrietta is still inside. He ejects the mystery tape, looks
at it, unlabeled, and puts it in his bag.
Girls, you are welcome to watch but
please keep it down, we have our
work cut out for us.
The cheerleaders leave, Christine the last to straggle along,
grabs Jolie's hand briefly on the way out.
Coach Dale turn off the lights and presses play on the game
Arius considers swiping the VHS. So does Jolie. But there's
The low quality recording of a game plays: one pixilated,
The blue team scores. The white team - THE BLAZERS - in-bound
the ball, and the camera pans following the action. The video
as primitive as it gets.
Jolie is in a daze about what has seen with Henrietta.
Coach Dale pauses the tape.
Now what was wrong with that shot?
He shot on the first pass of a half
Are you Jolie?
(scowling at the coach)
Do I look like white to you?
Coach Dale assails Arius, wrestling him into a hold on the
How does it feel?
Owwww. My arm.
The other players stand back feeling awkward about the semi-
How does it feel?
Ah. Ah. Ah.
Look in my eyes. How does it feel?
If I ever see you back away from a
rebound again I'm gonna bench you
for the season. You wont play one
second the whole year. You got that
Arius pinned and cringing squirms, eyes tearing, shirt
bunching up and revealing a tatoo on his back for "Maple
While everyone's distracted Jolie eyes the bag with the VHS,
inching closer. Just as he's about to make his move the coach
release Arius and sits back down.
Then he pounces on Arius again and Jolie quickly grab the
EXT. WOODS - NIGHT
Jolie sits on a stump, drenched and pounding a can of Coca-
Cola and holding a basketball.
Henrietta comes timidly down the path with an umbrella and
flashlight, removing her Walkman headphones.
Jolie, you are soaking wet. What's
going on? Why did you want to meet
here in the middle of the night?
This. This tape is going on. I saw
it. The whole team saw it.
Henrietta is silent.
You lied to me. Why?
Jolie puts the VHS on the stump and smashes it violently with
his basketball. Then he pulls the tape out of the VHS
cassette and throws it into the air dramatically.
Don't you have anything to say?!
What the fuck?
How could you lie to me like this?
How could you make a fool of me
How could I tell you when you never
Why? Why not? I love you.
Jolie hugs her.
Sometimes love is not enough.
Jolie just looks at her.
Jolie is dumb struck.
Henrietta hugs him.
I just couldn't tell you about
Maple Ave., Jolie. I just couldn't
let you down. Your a Magnet kid.
Your smart. Your excellent at
computer, math and science. You
don't understand where I'm coming
from. What's important to me.
Henrietta hides her face in his shoulder.
I think we shouldn't see each other
I think you're right.
Yeah. This time I think you're
Kiss me one last time.
A beautiful silhouette kiss against the dark blue sky in the
rain. Jolie's basketball in a glistening puddle. Magnetic
tape from the VHS strewn about.
I never meant any of that to
happen. Things just got out of
I'll tell your Dad I'm not your
Thanks. Oh, and here. I want you to
have this back.
Henrietta ejects her tape from her Walkman.
It's Milkshake. The 95 R&B mix you
gave me at our second tutoring
Oh. One of those tracks isn't even
out yet though.
Yea, I know. And some are older.
It's kind of fucked up.
Just like us I guess.
Just like everyone.
Jolie looks at the mixtape and Henrietta leaves him standing
alone in the rain in the woods.
As Chris Rock would say, Jolie, Christine and Haroon are in
the mall `white people used to go to.'
Jolie takes a suede Timberland boot off the shelf.
Dude, I was thinking about getting
So you haven't noticed all the kids
on the team wear them?
Man, with sandals you never have to
tie your shoes. That's all I'm
Jolie sizes up the boot next to his foot and looks in the
Do you have these in a size ten.
And bring a what -
(looks to Haroon)
Size 7? Yeah size seven for Haroon.
Footlocker kid nods and goes.
I told you, man, I don't want Tims.
I'm a sandals guy. Like Jesus. And
Haroon sits down defeated and looks in the mirror.
You'd look good in them, Haroon.
You should try them on. Come on. Be
Haroon looks at his toes, wiggles them.
Christine and Jolie french kiss as the Footlocker Kid returns
with three boxes of shoes, stopping short to watch Jolie and
Christine make-out. Haroon looks away sheepishly.
Begin the make out montage:
EXT. BLAZERS GYM PARKING LOT - DUSK
Run down gravel plot built to fit fifteen cars. Empty except
for Jolie and Christine.
Wendel and Arius driving off in a bright yellow Geo jeep
packed with 7 other kids.
Christine and Jolie are french kissing. Both wearing their
EXT. BEAUTIFUL CEMETERY - NIGHT
On the bank of a stream.
Jolie unzips Christine's daisy dukes under the moonlight and
traces her exposed skin with the tips of his fingers.
EXT. EMPTY "SAFEWAY" GROCERY STORE PARKING LOT - NIGHT
Jolie's Toyota Camry is fogged up, and there are feet in the
INT. TACO BELL - NIGHT
Jolie and Christine are kissing.
Anything else with that?
We see Christine slip Jolie a lot of tongue.
EXT. TACO BELL PARKING LOT - DAY
Jolie and Christine walk out of the bell.
Jolie turns to see Mr. Aaronson and Henrietta in their VW
van. Henrietta sits all the way in the back wearing
What's up? You kids want anything
from the Bell.
We just ate. But thanks.
OK, well. We're on for this Sunday
Oh. Uh, Henrietta didn't tell you?
I, uh, can't tutor anymore.
What? Uh, why not? Your Dad hasn't
No, it's just, the team. Basketball
is taking up so much time now is
all. Getting ready for the playoffs
and everything. Honestly, I'd be so
tired I wouldn't even be any good.
Dang, Well are you still gonna mow
the lawn at least?
I could probably recommend someone.
My buddy Haroon's older brother
The car behind them in line honks loudly.
What's his number? Lemme grab a
(shuffling through the
You sure you don't want a bean
burrito or anything?
No. I'm good. It's-.
I'll get it from your dad.
Henrietta glares at Jolie as they drive off.
Wow. She really hates you or
What do you mean?
Don't pretend like you didn't see
that evil eye she gave you.
What evil eye?
INT. TOYOTA CAMRY
You know their's a rumor going
around that you were hooking up
The engine roars to life.
Jolie blasts the AC - blowing their hair back.
Christine kills it.
Some people even say you're still
Jolie notches up the AC a touch.
I tutored her in algebra. Her dad
is a long time friend of the
Jolie leans over and kisses Christine.
I was gonna say. Because she's
I know, right. You'd have to be
twisted to get down with that.
Jolie bites into a bean burrito, some beans spilling down his
INT. JOLIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Redman's Whatever Man is playing.
Jolie makes out with Christine.
Do you have a jimmy?
Jolie searches through his sloppy dresser drawers.
I never had to use a condom with
Dang. I don't see one here.
Well maybe we can just do it a
Christine rolls over.
Jolie is still for a moment.
I won't even do it. I'll just feel
Jolie nestles close to her.
The sheets move.
Christine lightly moans.
The covers begin to shuffle
CLOSE ON: Jolie's closed eyes.
INT. FANTASY SMOKE FILLED BASKETBALL COURT
A spotlit Jolie dribbling down a seemingly endless court.
Faint roars of an unseen sell-out crowd cheer him on.
In my head I kept thinking about
dribbling a basketball down an
endless basketball court, playing
point guard in the biggest game of
the year. The Springbrook game.
A spotlit Christine does a cartwheel followed by a split.
That kept me focused so I wouldn't
bust in about two seconds.
Jolie looks down at his soiled pants, forgetting his
basketball that bounces off into darkness.
I was gonna pull out but...
Three old white referees, also spotlit, are blowing their
whistles and pointing furiously at Jolie as they charge
closer, revealing they all have the face of Mr. Aaronson.
INT. JOLIE'S BEDROOM - THAT MOMENT
Jolie's face of extreme worry.
Uh, I better not keep going.
(under her breath)
Christine takes a few second to cool off.
Have any music we can listen to?
Jolie grabs some sheets around him and walks over to desk
with CDs and junk. In a sneeky manor he grabs a tissue and
wipes himself clean, then grabs a Handi-Snacks wrapper and
throws them in the trash together.
Then he pulls out an All Eyes on Me CD. We get a long close
up of the cover.
The music begins to play.
Jolie and Christine cuddle.
Do you ever wish you were Tu Pac?
No. Do you?
Actually yeah. Sometimes.
Really? Shit, so do I. All the
I can't believe he shot those drunk
cops and then the cops' guns turned
out to be-
JOLIE AND CHRISTINE
Yeah. So cool right.
So SO cool.
Jolie and Christine kiss.
EXT. TACO HUT AT FOUR CORNERS - DUSK
The crossroads. Two huge four lane roads cross to form a
massive intersection. Behind it, a Taco Bell parking lot full
A short line at the 'Drive-Thru.'
Kids from the team are hanging out by Jolie's Toyota Camry.
As the season rolled on, the Taco
Hut became the spot to be. Some
days I would just look around and
soak it in. I couldn't believe I
was even here.
That looks like one of them locks
you can just bust with your hands.
They eye a girly looking chain that locks a new forest green
girls mountain bike to a bike rack.
I don't think so. The rack thing's
not, like, stuck down.
Arius contemplates breaking the lock. He sips the last of his
huge soda, the cup still heavy from ice, and launches it over
a few parked cars. It crashes loudly in a dumpster.
Arius walks away toward the rack.
He yanks the new shiny green mountain bike with two arms up
toward his chest. The entire bike rack jerks off the ground
but the lock doesn't break.
Arius walks on like nothing has happened. Disappears among
the parked cars - the sun setting behind them.
INT. BLAIR BLAZERS HIGH SCHOOL FOYER
A large entrance-way with drop ceilings, a black floor, and
The Blazers Emblem is mounted high. A giant copper shield
divided into four, like something out of a gladiator movie.
It's lunch period and kids from the team are hanging out.
Jolie, Haroon, Vlad and Christine are nearby.
Jolie. I have to tell you
something. Wanna go outside for a
(eyes on Ray approaching)
Ray, walking past, intentionally brushes Haroon with his
shoulder. Haroon drops his Handisnacks - his crackers
crumbling across the floor.
You're not gonna do shit.
This aint about you.
Man just chill out.
You're just rude. That's why your
Mom beat your ass growing up.
Keep talking about my Mom nigga.
I'll smash your fucking nigga lips
In a flash Arius wrenches Ray by the collar, swings him
around into the tall windows and they slam into them.
Say it again.
Ray throws a punch and a fight breaks out. Kids come running
to watch from different classrooms.
Arius gets Ray by the collar again and swing him around into
the window but this time they fall through the glass.
Ray lands on his back outside. Arius falls forward hanging
half out of the window and glass punctures his gut.
My fucking gut. I'm bleeding all
over my fucking Guess. My Guess
Ah fuck man. I'm OK. I think I'm
A large crowd has gathered around the blood and broken window
in the aftermath of a fight.
Ah shit, man! Ahhh! My fucking gut
Holly shit. You need help. Someone
call an ambulance.
Whoa dude. That is a lot of blood.
Where is he going?
Arius hobbles around leaving a trail of blood on the linoleum
tiles as Principal Ganus and Mr. Applebaum appear on the
scene and hold him up.
An ambulance is on the way.
Arius is hobbled out. Ray is shepparded off by Mr.
A trail of small spats of blood across the linoleum floor.
Principal Ganus is surveying the scene with a few of the kids
who were present.
INT. PACKED BLAZER GYM - NIGHT
The crowd is filled with energy.
Brightly lit. A home game. Everything is red, white, and
The glossy floor shines like it has just been polished.
Go-go music, blasting over the sub-par audio system, fades
The fifteen Blair Blazers in their red and white warm ups
have taken center court for a ritual.
Huddled in a pack, hunched over and jumbled together with
their arms around each other, swaying back and forth, they
get pumped up:
Ad-lib hollers in excitement as the huddle breaks and they
head for the bench.
Players wipe the soles of their shoes on the way over.
OK, starting five. Let's go.
Five players shed their warm ups and gather on the bench.
Jolie is one of the starters.
OK, we're gonna come out in a
twenty-two going black on made
buckets. Wendel and Jolie up front.
Everyone puts their hands in together in a circle.
Defense on three.
Defense on three. One! Two! Three!
The bench players have formed an entry way for the starters
to take the court.
On a crappy microphone:
Starting at point guard. Number
twenty two. Joel "Jolie" Jolson.
Jolie trots the isle of his teammates. Wendel stoically slaps
fives and gives pounds as he takes center floor.
He takes in the experience - looking at the huge crowd in the
stands around him. All applauding.
Jolie's smile fades, and we see he has spotted Henrietta in
the crowd, and not far from her - Christine.
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. BLAZERS GYM - GAME TIME
The noises of the game and crowd are very frantic and
everything is fast paced.
Coach Dale looks at the clock - 30 second left, Blair is down
1 with the ball.
Jolie! Get back in the game! Take
Jolie barrels toward check-in ripping off his warm-ups (top
and bottom), squats at mid court - the buzzer sounds - he
taps Pistol an underhand five.
Who you got?
Pistol points at a huge BLOND DUDE who pounds his chest
A buzzer indicating a substitution.
Jolie is passed the ball - he puts a quick move on his man,
jab step and cross, slicing through the lane. He fakes a pass
behind his back and goes up for a lay up when his shot is
blocked and he is slammed violently by a help-side defender.
The ref blows his whistle hard and gestures - calls a foul.
Jolie is on the ground in pain, holding his hand, wincing.
INT. JOLSON'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
Jolie still in his basketball attire, looks down over a large
bandage on his thumb.
The microwave buzzes.
That was a great move you made. You
would have been on the line for two
if that guy didn't injure you.
Jolie pushes his food away.
Owwwww! My thumb. Sharp pain just
shot all the way threw my neck.
Are you alright?
More ravioli or anything. I could
microwave some more.
No, I'm good.
INT. HENRIETTA'S HOME - DAY -- STAIRWELL
I don't care if I go to Summer
Crumpled on the steps, Henrietta shrieks again.
This shit is meaningless! Who gives
A paper on the floor is marked with a big fat red F with a
circle around it.
A note is paper-clipped to the corner of the page.
Henrietta shrieks again - launches her TI-81 Calculator at
Mr. Aaronson, who dodges and it breaks a few plates that were
Mr. Aaronson acts fast.
You're gonna break this thing.
He checks the calculator and bee lines for the phone.
(genuinely amazed by her
He dials - in the background kitchen Henrietta's STEP-MOM
rises and comes to check out the commotion.
Did Henrietta just break my
(grabbing the phone)
Henrietta's shriek carries over into:
Jolie and Elliott eat ice cream - they both look very tired.
Jolie lies on the couch, still in uniform.
The late nights lurid news plays on a small white television.
MALE NEWS ANCHOR
(on the television)
They said 'had they known it was
Jordan's Dad they never would have
FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR
If only they had seen the license
plate... Airness, they might have
On the TV: Jordan's Dad's Red Lexus 400, parked, now with a
smashed back window as well. The shot zooms into the license
plate - AIRNESS.
The phone rings.
Elliott checks the circa 90's caller ID - a separate box
wired to the phone.
The Aaronsons? At this hour? Should
I get it?
I don't know?
EXT. JOLIE'S HOME - NIGHT
Jolie in his uniform and Timberland boots, and his Dad
Elliott in boxers, a T-shirt and barefoot, run to the
They think only you can talk her
off the ledge.
Jolie looks like a deer in headlights.
That's what she said.
Well she's not literally on a
ledge. Figuratively. Do you know
what figuratively means?
Duh. Come on, Dad. Just drive.
They hop in the van.
EXT. STREETS OF TAKOMA PARK
The drive past a sign that symbolizes `Caution, Kids at
INT. HENRIETTA'S LIVINGROOM
Jolie, still in his pajamas, walks up the steps then stops to
look down them with frightened hesitation in his eyes.
The four parents look up - some give a few encouraging nods.
You don't have to do this.
Don't worry, I know how to help
Henrietta get her shit together.
Dad. Come on. You know what I mean.
INT. HENRIETTA'S BEDROOM
Total darkness. No TV. No overhead light. Both kids are
Henrietta's stands in front of a mirror, face wet and red
Jolie hugs her from behind.
Henrietta, your Dad showed me the
test. It was bad, but if you get an
A on your last exam you'll still
He flicks on a soft warm lamp and kisses her neck.
You just gotta learn to distribute.
You really think I don't know how
to do that shit?
That test isn't why I was so mad.
What is it then? You can talk to
me. You can tell me anything.
I wasn't invited with you guys to
the Tyson fight tomorrow. The one
on pay TV. I heard everyone was
going and I just flipped out. I
mean what's the deal?
What? You mean the Bowe fight?
Yeah. Bowe, Tyson, whatever. The
point is the whole team's going.
Yeah. It's pretty much just a team
No it's not. Wendel, Arius, and
Codroy are all bringing girls.
Oh. I didn't know that. Well, why
don't I just call you when I figure
out what time we're going.
Well the fight is at eight, right?
Henrietta puts her hand on his leg.
Yeah. And everyone's going to
Muhammad Ali's Rotiserie Chicken at
She slides her hand up.
Well, I don't know. You have a lot
Uneasy with her advances, Jolie plucks a Cliff Livingston
basketball card off the wall.
Cliff Livingston. I forgot about
Henrietta goes for a kiss.
Henrietta. Come on? We're not
You know Spud Web only gets a
roster spot because he's a circus
freak. He shouldn't be there, and
that's why he sells tickets. Don't
you get it. He's not good, he's
just a draw. Is that what you want
to be, a circus freak?
He won the dunk contest. The guy's
a beast. You're way out of your
The league is about making money.
Jolie, the only reason you even got
on varsity is because your Dad paid
for the new uniforms. You never
would have made it even with
Francisco getting arrested. Don't
you realize that?
No he didn't.
Yes he did. They cost over two
thousand dollars. How could you not
know that? I mean you made Varsity
at Blair after being cut from JV
last year. When have you ever seen
The news hits Jolie hard.
That's not true. Where did you hear
My Dad talking to your dad on the
phone in the kitchen.
Jolie looks at his bandaged hand - lost in deep depressing
Henrietta leans into Jolie. Strokes his leg. Jolie, defeated,
leans into her comforting arms.
I still love you, though. None of
that matters to me.
Henrietta kisses him.
He kisses her back.
Henrietta's father knocks.
Dad, we're studying here! Do you
Sorry. I just wanted to see if you
guys needed anything.
Silence for a moment as the kids are frozen, then we hear him
head down stairs.
Jolie lies down and Henrietta spoons him. They cuddle.
EXT. HENRIETTA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
A full moon illuminates: Jolie leaves with his Dad and a big
fat rice crispy treat in his mouth.
They pass a Black Volvo and an old Red Volkswagen Bug and
Golden Retriever sleeping in the yard.
They hop into the Minivan. Jolie takes a big bite of the rice
crispy treat as they drive past a "speed hump" sign.
It must have been good for
Henrietta too, because afterwords,
she didn't mention joining the team
to the Bowe fight, she didn't
mention Christine, she didnt
As they drive off Jolie looks back at Henrietta's home
getting smaller and smaller. A speed hump sign in the
foreground, and a basketball hoop set up on the street.
Still though, I was worried she'd
show anyway. If she did, I didn't
know what I was gonna do.
EXT. CITY PLACE MALL - NIGHT
Wide, dark, empty streets, lit up by pools of light from
Haroon and Jolie cross to: Muhammad Ali's Chicken, a
restaurant with TV's in the windows, and a color scheme of
red, black, and white.
So she was just pissed because you
didn't invite her to this?
But it sounds like she was really
freaking out. I mean you said she
smashed their PC.
Yeah, when I first got there she
didn't even have any clothes on.
She threw her pajamas into the
fireplace. I swear to God.
I don't know. I mean maybe
something more is going on?
They pass a BLIND BLACK MAN in a black suit poking around a
seeing-eye stick, trying to orient himself.
I mean, she's pregnant and it
sounds like she's keeping the baby.
Like she's fulfilling some need or
Yeah - the need for something.
You wear a condom right?
I don't have to. She's pregnant.
They laugh harder.
Ah man. Ah man. That is crazy.
INT. CITY PLACE MALL
They enter and their demeanors shift - they both affect
Have you ever been here?
Not for a fight?
INT. MUHAMMAD ALI'S CHICKEN
Haroon and Jolie walk threw looking for their friends; we
take in the setting as they do.
An old dude finishes a coke through a straw; we hear the loud
bubbling noise. The giant plastic cup has a picture of
Muhammad Ali in his prime.
B & W Muhammad Ali posters fill the walls. Ali stands in
glory over his unconscious opponents, or lays blows to their
faces, sweat frozen in the air as it flies from their bodies.
The food is laid out cafeteria style. The tables and booths
are a step above any fast food joint. Televisions hang from
every angle, some even face the streets to attract
On every television, without exception: a boxing match. Bowe
versus a large white guy, Golota.
Watching are about a hundred and fifty black people of all
ages, mostly male, packing the restaurant.
The crowd subdued by the early rounds.
Jolie finds his friends from the team and their girlfriends
lining the shinny metal railing that guides people along the
buffet style assortment of chicken and biscuits.
Jolie is the only white person in the whole spot.
Did you see those guys who killed
Jordan's Dad got life?
Yeah. I did.
They said, if only they had seen
the license plate, Airness. They --
JOLIE AND CHRISTINE
Never would have done it.
Dude, my dad just 911-ed me.
When did you get a pager?! That is
Last week. You just haven't been
around that much.
Haroon peels off as the crowd ad-libs excitement. Jolie looks
to the match.
We see the fight itself, close up on the television:
Bowe has Golota cornered.
A couple of blows are deflected and Golota, the lug, clinches
Bowe in a bear hug.
Disappointment from the crowd.
A sucker move.
The crowd roars again, but this time they rush to the windows
- jostle for a view of the street where:
INT/EXT. MUHAMMAD ALI'S CHICKEN
Two black kids wrestle on the sidewalk.
We see Haroon behind them on the pay-phone, watching.
The kids fighting have jeans that are falling off and one of
them has lost a gym shoe.
In the windows everyone cheers them on, pounding the
Plexiglas. Including Jolie and Christine.
Above them in the windows are two televisions of the fight,
that face the street. In the TV, the boxers and the referee
shuffle aimlessly around the ring.
The kids on the sidewalk are scrappy; they grab and stretch
at shirts; neither can escape the others' grasp.
They reach a stalemate, knotted awkwardly and exhausted; fury
replaced by heavy breathing; one has a bloody nose and a huge
scratch on the cheek
FIGHT KID 1
You ripped my Polo shit,
motherfucker! You ripped my Polo
FIGHT KID 2
You scratched my face, nigger!
The crowd watches the stalemate and the cheering and pounding
mellows, slowly they bore, returning to their seats.
Suddenly on the television there is a whirlwind of action and
punches are chaotically thrown by both fighters.
The crowd erupts at the televisions.
The kids on the sidewalk remain tangled, breathing hard.
On television Golota throws a combo of blows below the belt
and Bowe tumbles to the mat. The referee jumps and waves
furiously at the penalty which he reports to the judges in a
series of arm waves and animated hand signals.
We see the people in the front rows at the boxing match,
almost all white, and wearing glamorous suits and dresses.
The patrons go berserk.
Extreme close-up on the replay: Golota pounding Bowe in the
nuts; Bowe's face distorted in pain.
Ad-lib excitement from everyone but Jolie who is looking over
at the entrance.
Strangely Henrietta never showed. I
should have been relieved, but
instead I felt awful. It was like
yesterday we were in love and today
she didn't even care I was with
They all look at the TV - Golota has won - his arm is raised,
he's the new champion of the boxing world.
EXT. BLAIR BLAZERS GYMNASIUM - NIGHT
The little gravel parking lot is filled to the brim. Kids of
all shapes and sizes are gathering. Some carry signs. Most
are wearing red and white.
The opposing school kids wear blue.
This is what it all comes down to.
EXT. NEARBY SUBURBAN STREETS
The streets lined with cars.
Kids and parents walk in droves.
This is where we find out what
we're made of.
EXT. TICKET BOOTH WINDOW IN GYMNASIUM
The line spirals around the corner and down the steps.
What we have trained for, not just
this season, but for you seniors,
the last four years.
CLOSE ON: A ticket torn at the door. One in a long line.
INT. BLAZERS WEIGHT ROOM
Coach Dale is directly in front of a stand alone chalk board.
Is it unfair that we drew
Springbrook in the first round?
Yes. Random seeding is only because
the sorry white schools complained
to the school board about always
losing in the first round. When I
was younger the regular season
meant something around here.
Coach Dale begins diagraming the board.
COACH DALE (CONT'D)
But that means nothing now. We
gotta go out and play no matter
what. We're gonna open in a one-
twenty-two. Wendel on the ball,
Pistol on the two. Falling back
into the half court, we go one-
twenty FIVE. Forcing left. Trap and
take the throwback.
He's such a goof ball, man. This is
the playoffs. Where is he at?!
Who's seen Jolie?!
INT. LOCKERROOM SHOWERS
Three Cheerleaders drag Jolie, with his bandaged thumb, to
the showers. Jolie looks genuinely scared.
Ms. Bart. I know you're the
cheerleading coach and all, but
this really better be important.
I'm supposed to be in the weight-
room by now.
You're injured. And like I said,
this is more important than any
basketball game. This is life or
They arrive at the last shower stall - Christine on her knees
Jolie steps into the shower.
The Coach leaves them alone.
Jolie. I haven't had my period in
Jolie gets on his knees.
Well, maybe you should get one of
those things and check it out.
A pregnancy test?
I'm pregnant with your baby.
She cries and shivers.
No worries. My Dad will let me put
it on his credit card. Trust me.
Suddenly Jolie has a face of determination. He unwraps his
bandaged thumb and throws it on the floor.
Oh God. I'm sorry.
No. It's not your fault. I gotta
run though. Let's talk about this
after the game, OK? The team needs
Christine nods but clearly wants to refuse.
What for? You're injured anyway.
I'm ok though. I can play through
it. do you understand. I just gotta
What? I just told you I'm pregnant
with your baby. Doesn't that mean
Tonight I'm gonna play for you and
Jolie kisses her and runs off.
INT. WEIGHTROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Jolie sneaks in.
Coach Dale notices.
Jolie! Where the hell have you
I got stuck with no toilet paper,
Damn man. This is the biggest game
of the year.
I know. It wasn't my fault. I gotta
be light on my feet.
You make me sick.
Bring it in.
My hand is all better. Look.
Jolie takes a ball from an assistant coach and pounds it
showing no sign of pain. Then palms it in his bad hand.
Dale stares at him like he's a fool.
Let's go baby! Bring it in.
The coaches exit, and the players quiet down for a quick
Hail Mary Full of Grace, the lord
is with you, blessed are you among
women, and blessed is the fruit of
your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother
of God, pray for us sinners, now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Domination baby! Domination!
The team snaps into game mode forming a single file line.
The two assistant coaches scramble in with game balls and
hand them off to the first and second players in line. Jolie
ditches his practice ball and files in.
The players start clapping in rhythm. One. One, two. One.
That night. I never played. None of
us did. Because there never was a
game. Before the opening tip even
kicked it off a fight between
schools broke out in the crowd.
Some fired a gun twice, and all
hell broke loose.
EXT. GYMNASIUM - NIGHT
All of Wayne Avenue fills with police cars.
Mobs of kids and parents and players flee the scene. Among
them are all the characters we know.
WENDEL and WENDELS MOM duck into their old Buick.
Christine's and CHRISTINE'S MOM run for their Lexus.
Mr. Aaronson and Henrietta run for their VW van.
HAROON'S DAD and ZEKE and Haroon sneaks him off to the gold
80's Nissan hatchback.
Jolie and Elliott run and duck behind the red Nissan Quest
Jolie, are you OK?
Yeah. Was that gun shots?
I don't know. Stay down just in
From the van, Jolie and Elliott see Francisco, Arius and
Hunio all running into the woods among the chaos.
INT. MAIN OFFICE
Lined with windows, yields a view to an empty hall.
Jolie sits, waiting...sees Christine and a couple other
cheerleaders, no longer in uniform, pass by. Jolie waves and
Christine holds up both hands as if to say "come on" and
Suddenly a group of black girls come barreling down the
hallway like they are possessed.
They are followed in droves by other minorities.
Black girls bounce up and down and cry and paw at each other.
Black boys and kids of other races, not quite as ecstatic but
still amazed join the celebration.
A couple of kids are slammed loudly against the window in the
Through the glass Jolie can hear:
We won! We won! We won!
SUPERIMPOSE in the top left corner in white letters: OJ
Simpson was just found not guilty.
The hallway is growing into total commotion and chaos.
Jolie walks through the doorway into the hall and the camera
follows without a cut.
Jolie looks out of place as he takes it all in.
The wild scene rages.
Jolie looks back into the main office.
Ray comes out of Principal Ganus's door. His eyes red from
tears, he curses to himself.
Principal Ganus emerges, acknowledges the commotion in the
What the hell is going on out
OJ Simpson....not guilt.
Principal Ganus is stone faced. He gestures Jolie into his
Ray brushes shoulders with Jolie.
Look who you're stepping to, Ray. A
little white boy?
Ray blows it off.
Jolie. Come with me.
INT. PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE
Look. I'm not proud of what
happened in that gym.
Surrounded by proud school ornaments and paraphernalia.
Jolie sits alone in a chair, an empty chair adjacent him.
Everyone who was caught fighting is
being suspended for a minimum of
three days. And that includes most
of the team. But a suspension for
you would only tarnish the
reputation of the Magnet program.
Principal Ganus thumbs through a manila envelope.
You're going to do this school a
at the international math meet.
He hands Jolie a form.
You were great your freshman year.
Your calculus teacher tells me your
still great, but for some reason
I made JV that year.
Well, there's going to be no
rematch of the Springbrook playoff
game. Both teams are forfeiting. So
now you've got plenty of time,
that's for damn sure.
They're not rescheduling our game?
The math team needs you Jolie.
We're on the verge of nationals.
PRINCIPAL GANUS (cont'd)
This year we settles for nothing
less than number one, second to
In whole numbers.
The principal laughs at his own joke.
You can go now.
Stunned, Jolie grabs his bag and heads for the door.
Oh, one more thing. You will also
join the team for an additional 40
hours of community service, as part
of the new "Adopt a Highway"
Program. It's part of the team
INT. BALZERS HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
It's not fair man. I mean everyone
got suspended on the team but me.
Just because I'm in the Magnet.
Wake up dude. Life's not fair. Who
ever said it was.
Are you sure you wanna do that?
We're in the middle of C hall.
I told you. I don't give a fuck.
Really? On Mr. Applebaum's door?
Yall have been warring. He's gonna
know it was you.
Haroon pulls out a spray-paint can and writes the words
'Thugg Life' over Mr. Applebaum's classroom door and wall.
Jesus Christ, man.
You just sprayed painted `thugg
life' on Mr. Applebaum's door.
I know. Duh.
They admire the work for a moment. Then run for cover.
They burst through an exit and out into the blinding light.
EXT. SCHOOL ZONE
Haroon and Jolie run into the teachers' parking lot ducking
between cars as they catch their breath.
You could get suspended for that.
Who cares? What does school even
What's gotten into you?
I don't know.
Maybe my parents are getting
divorced and you don't even know
Are you serious?
Haroon draws the spray can like he's about to go to work on
the cars, but Jolie fights him for it.
Gimmie my spray-paint! Owww. Fuck
It's for your own good. This car
belongs to Principal Ganus.
They stair each other down.
I swear, of all the things you have
to worry about.
What's that supposed to mean.
Come on dude.
Come on what?
Are you numb? The whole school
knows Christine is pregnant with
Dude. It's not like that. She's
gonna get an abortion. She comes
from a wealthy family.
So what if she does. Doesn't it
mean anything to you?
I don't know. I don't know what it
means. It just happened.
Jolie ponders the situation. Haroon shakes his head.
Jolie pulls out a magic marker and begins to write on the
Magic marker? That is so lame.
Don't get me started.
Haroon pops the top of his spray can and begins to shake it.
INT. JOLIE'S BASEMENT - NIGHT
Lit by a TV, the room could be it's own apartment.
Wendel sleeps with a Super Nintendo controllers in his laps,
on a futon. Arius, Codroy and a few kids from the team are
asleep all around the room.
Once everyone heard that I got
Christine pregnant, it was like I
was the coolest kid in school.
All the kids from the team wanted
to hang at my place while my
parents were gone. And even some
cheerleaders came too.
Christine and Jolie make-out, lying on the floor/power pad.
I told them all it was Haroon who
spray-painted `Free Mike Tyson,'
and even he was cool too.
Haroon, half asleep, sparking the tail end of a blunt.
We even smoked a blunt. It was our
first time gettng blazed and drunk.
Soda cans, crumbs, bags of chips, and other treats and
wrappers are scattered around.
On the television: the audience laughs wildly at a Monkey
doing sign language on the Carson show.
What's he saying now? What's he
The guest interprets.
He wants to say he loves you all,
and he wishes he could hang onto
these people a little longer,
connect with them a little deeper,
before it's all over.
The Carson crowd laughs wildly.
Jolie's hand slides up Christine's skirt.
Jolie! No way. Not until you know
When? You've been saying you're
gonna get your Dad's credit card
for like a month. Time is of the
essence here, duh.
I told you I'm on it. First thing
when my parents get back. But this
is the best time to do it because
we dont have to wear a condom. Come
on, let's go upstairs. Trust me.
He reaches back up her skirt.
No means no, Jolie.
Christine pushes him away.
Haroon comes out of the bathroom.
Dude. I am blazed out of my mind
right now, but I think someone's
hiding in your shower?
Yeah, dude. Check it.
Jolie grabs a portable phone, bracing himself for battle.
Damn Henrietta. You scared the shit
out of me.
How could you?
She opens the curtains.
What? What are you doing in my
I'm catching you cheating with
Christine! You asshole!
Shhh. People are sleeping.
Don't lie to me. You think I dont
know shit. She's pregnant with your
You think the Maple Ave. kids don't
hear mad junk about the Magnet
I know about all that stuff, how
y'all hooked up during floor hockey
intramurals under the trampoline.
Everything. You think I don't have
friends? I have friends!
Henrietta starts crying.
Come on, I know you have friends
You think I'm a fool? I watched you
make out with her on the Power-pad
two second ago!
Crying, Henrietta exits.
The basketball team and cheerleaders have woken up from the
argument, and are now enraptured by the drama.
Jolie and Haroon looks like dear in headlights.
All this time you've been hooking
up with some pregnant girl failing
out of school. I am so fucking
humiliated right now. Don't you
ever, ever, ever so much as speak
to me again. Come on girls.
Christine and three other cheerleaders leave the party.
Damn Jolie, all the girls just
Yea, let's get out of here.
The kids from the team leave and Jolie and Haroon stand
Damn man. I better go too. This
shit is too fucked up right now.
Jolie stands all alone.
EXT. MAPLE AVE - NIGHT
The street sign reads Maple Ave.
It is lined with tall apartment buildings. Government
housing. Bus stops. And cheap liquor stores and sub shops.
Jolie walks down the street.
The next day I found out Christine
had the abortion on her own. She
said she asked the doctor to see
Jolie approached one of the apartment buildings.
The doctor said she wasn't supposed
to showed it, but did anyway.
Jolie buzzes up to an apartment.
INT. MAPLE AVE APARTMENTS - NIGHT
Christine said the dead fetus
looked like a baby squirrel. Like
the ones that fall out of the nest
and are on the sidewalk dead with
no fur yet. I guess it went well
The living room of a small dim one bedroom.
Sensual R&B tunes play softly from a small radio.
After that Arius said not to worry
about anything. That Christine
would be cool, and Henrietta was
just fucked up anyway.
A gold cross hangs on the fake wood paneling with some framed
family photos at a summer bar-b-que, a wedding, and the
He even invited me back to his
place. It was the first time I had
ever been to Maple ave.
Four kids from the team are playing cards around a coffee
table for one dollar bills siting mostly on a puffy floral
patterned couch covered in shinny plastic.
Everybody played this ghetto
version of Jin Rummy called `Tunk.'
They all wear Addidas flip flops with socks and name brand
sweatpants (Hillfiger, Nautica, Polo, etc.). Some of the kids
have on athletic shorts on under their sweatpants,
In the background, Jolie has a gray ratty hoody on, and is
hunched over and old PC computer with Arius, a beer-bellied,
balding black dude who is smoking a cigarette and has no
Jolie, you want in?
Everyone else, other than Jolie, is also shirtless. The kids
have exquisite ABS, the kind you see on television.
Naw. I gotta see this.
Ok. Here it goes.
An arrow clicks on the play button, but the image stays
frozen: a low res picture of a bare ass black man mounted
miliary style on a black girl.
The image moves for a brief moment. We hear a grown with half
a thrust, and the image freezes again.
Then it reverts to the beginning image.
Yeah. This is the future right
Why wont it go play or whatever?
Jolie tokes a blunt.
Arius takes a last puff and puts it out.
A little cute six year old girl comes out of the bedroom with
a sheet of paper and pencil.
Arius. Who was the first president
of the United States?
Uh, George Washington.
She runs back into the bedroom.
So. That's what it's all about. I'm
a capital venturist man. Internet
porn is the future of sexual
healing. Henrietta was just the
first of many. It's big business.
Dollar bills man.
Jolie looks on, stoned. Not sure what to make of it all.
EXT. THE BELTWAY - DAWN
A six lane highway banks a sharp curve. It's raining lightly.
On the shoulder of the highway are kids from the Blair
Basketball team picking up trash with pokers. They are spread
out - a kid every 25 yards or so - and together they extend
clear around the curve and out of sight.
Jolie pokes a Coke can.
Jolie plucks the can off the end metal nail and realizes he
also stabbed the tape liner notes of MC Hammer's "Please
Hammer Don't Hurt'em." There is a picture of Hammer on the
The coach sits in a nearby van with its lights on, parked in
the shoulder. He sips hot coffee, watching.
Jolie looks closely at the tape insert.
It's a picture of Hammer but someone has scratched out his
eyes with a pen. And the poker has put a hole through his
I wasn't sure what to make of it
all. Why Henrietta's parents never
know she was pregant until too
late? Or why I never said something
myself? It was like none of it
really mattered, or was even real
at all, until it was too late.
CLOSE ON: An old PC monitor. A picture slowly emerging from a
blurry pixilated square of colors.
After that I used the internet to
find a bunch of places that would
take Henrietta's baby up for
adoption. It wasn't easy, but I
found all the information right
from Haroon's basement, using
The picture of a couple materializes: hopeful parents and
INT. HAROON'S SECOND HOME - DAY
This couple looks good.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. They're perfect.
All I have to do is convince
Are you guys still on good terms?
I don't know. Our sessions are in
the kitchen now.
We got the trampoline set-up. Come
They make their way to the back yard.
EXT. HAROON'S BACKYARD - DAY
Haroon's brothers have set up a trampoline to dunk on an
adjustable rim lowered to 8 ft.
The younger brothers do an awesome array of dunks. Jolie and
Haroon sit on the side.
It's weird, I don't really care if
I make the NBA anymore.
Really? What do you care about
I don't know.
Haroon's youngest brother runs, bounces, and does a 360 jam.
Haroon's Dad emerges from the house.
Good one, Adreseis!!
I've made some grill cheeses! Come
and get it!
Sweet! Now that Mom moved out we
always eat American. You wanna eat
I do but there's something I gotta
Oh yeah. That's right. Well, good
luck with it all.
INT. HENRIETTA'S BEDROOM - DAY
Henrietta lies on the bed studying.
Mr. Aaronson enter.
Hey Henrietta. Jolie is here. He
brought over a gift.
Oh yeah. Let him in.
Hey. What's up? Uh. I brought over
my Super Nintendo. I thought the
baby might want it.
Did Jaguar 64 finally come out?
No. Come on. I'm just trying to
show you I actually care.
Mr. Aaronson smiles and leaves, closing the door lightly
Jolie hands over the Nintendo.
And I brought this too.
Jolie pulls a jersey out of a paper bag.
Your practice Jersey!
Yeah. I'm not gonna need it anymore
Really? Why not?
I'm not playing next year. I want
to focus on my studies.
Jolie. Thank you.
It smells like you. Someday little
Benny will wear it. That's what
I've decided to name him, Benny.
Oh. Wow. Well. Uh, before you name
him, I was kinda thinking maybe we
could discuss, uh,
(Jolie sits next to her)
I was also thinking maybe we could
talk about the possibility of you
giving up your baby for adoption?
Jolie. How could you even say that?
I've wanted a family of my own, a
real family, since as long as I can
remember. There is no way I could
ever give little Benny away. Ever.
In a million years. Do you
Well. Yeah. I guess so. But at the
same time, it just doesn't seem
like the smartest thing. I've
already found a really wealthy,
well educated, good meaning couple
who'd like to meet up with you
Never. No way Jolie. End of
Don't you even want to think it
over for a few days? I mean, look
how lucky your parents are to have
you. You'd be making some couple
just as happy. And your child would
have more opportunities. I mean
you're still in High School, know
what I mean?
Jolie, I can't even believe you're
suggesting that? Dont you see how
racist that is?
Jolie is silent.
Now do something to cheer me up. I
am totally offended you wanted to
give away my baby.
Jolie sits in silence for a moment, pondering his situation.
He stands up and heads to the door, demoralized.
Then he turns and looks at Henrietta on the bed.
Jolie looks at her bulging belly, much of it exposed.
Credits roll to Micheal Jackson's Billy Jean.