INT./EXT. VALUE VILLAGE DEPARTMENT STORE—ANGLE ON A JAR OF JELLYBEANS—SUNSET
Alive with colors…then WIDER to reveal, ANT—15, wearing a faded blue jumpsuit, rocking it like a pair of pants with the arms tied around the waist. A tank top covers his skinny-ass chest, as he works a buffer on the floor.
ANGLE ON A “CLOSED” SIGN
Dangling across the glass front of the doors of the outside of the store. The door is clouded with fog from the breath of the person who stands there with his forehead pressed against the glass, bouncing impatiently.
We can’t really see him until he quickly scribbles a cartoon-like self-portrait on the glass.
This is Ant’s older brother, RASHAD—17. His mustache and beard struggle for survival on his youthful face…but his age betrays him. In his eyes…responsibility, an old spirit, and a heavy heart.
He also wears a blue jumpsuit, damp with sweat. Buckets of cleaning supplies sit at his feet. Then—
These look real?
Ant poses. A pair of ridiculously large, fake diamond earrings sit in his ears.
Yo, put those back.
Ant bops to him, puts his head real close.
How about now? You know, like if you was one of them breezes all up on me?
Ant licks his lips.
Rashad looks at the glass earrings, then gives a bottle of Windex to Ant.
...You ain’t got no breezes.
Ant pulls the earrings off.
Why you gotta bring up my personal business out in public?
Rashad looks around the deserted store, frowns, then backs out the door again. He sees an old van with “Swann Cleaning” peeling off on the side pull into the parking lot and park next to a clean ‘81 EL CAMINO.
Rashad quickly wipes the glass where his forehead left a smudge.
EXT. VALUE VILLAGE DEPARTMENT STORE—SUNSET
UNCLE GEORGE—41—approaches. His clean blue jumpsuit needs an iron and his low haircut needs an edging. Rashad speaks through the glass as George unlocks the door.
If you always gon be late, you can’t keep lockin’ us in here.
Uncle George looks over the inside.
Quit moanin’...I told you, security reasons…
Rashad rolls his eyes as he and Ant Exit. George follows. Locks the door.
EXT. VALUE VILLAGE—SUNSET
George follows the boys to the van.
Speaking on child labor, when is a brother going to see a paycheck.
Paycheck? You got a roof over your head, don’t you?
Then as Ant and Rashad load the supplies and equipment into the van…
C’mon Uncle G. These pockets is tired of being on Jenny Craig.
What are we talking?
Ten-Fifteen. Just a little something to take a female out.
George smirks—pulls out a FAT KNOT and hands Ant a Twenty. Then turns to Rashad and holds out another one.
How about you? One of them little hotties of yours need feeding?
Nah. What you need to do is put that on the red gas bill that came this morning.
Rashad turns, heads for the El Camino. George gives him a look as he and his brother climb into the ride.
Rashad turns UP the RADIO and speeds off as we PULL OUT FROM the driver side window, CLIMBING INTO the night sky to reveal…
EXT. ATLANTA—SUNSET/MAGIC HOUR
BEGIN CREDIT SEQUENCE:
MUSIC BEGINS and we hear a poem by Big Rube.
The Atlanta skyline…night…skyscrapers jutting up from the pavement like jagged afro-pick teeth…
An iron statue of Martin Luther King Jr. looms…the city as its b.g…
INT. ESQUIRE’S ROOM—SUNSET
Articles from Forbes magazines blanket the wall as ESQUIRE—17—a million-dollar smile, sits at his desk reading an acceptance letter from STANFORD UNIVERSITY.
Esquire goes to the window and we see BROOKLYN—17—New York written all over him, standing outside. His arm is in a cast. In the street is TEDDY—19. A pretty boy with gold fronts, getting into Rashad’s El Camino.
EXT. ATLANTA SKYLINE—DUSK/NIGHT
We FLOAT PAST the Georgia Dome…PUSHING LOWER…FALLING UPON the EL CAMINO…gliding along the 75/85 freeway…
INT. VEDA AND STAR’S HOUSE—MAGIC HOUR
GAYLE—36, lies asleep on the sofa…her long, eggplant-purple fingernails propped up on a cushion so that they won’t get chipped…
While her daughters…VEDA AND STAR—17. Twins. Country-fabulous in short-shorts, glossed lipstick, and weaved hair…stand over her.
Who’s going into titty city?
I ain’t finnin to put my hands between those skyscrapers.
Veda and Star stare at their mother’s ample bosom.
Look, we need some new gear…Now come on. There’s gold in them hills.
Veda laughs too loudly, causing Gayle to suddenly wake up. Spotting them, she eyes the girls suspiciously.
What y’all doing?
Veda and Star are frozen.
I don’t want to have to bust y’all out.
Your bust is already out.
Veda and Star crack up laughing. But Gayle is not amused.
I’m just kidding, Ma. We were just going to tell you that we need a ride to Cascade’s.
Veda and Star smile sweetly as we…
EXT. ATLANTA STREET—NIGHT
The El Camino pulls off an exit onto a tree-lined roadway.
CLOSEUP—WHEEL OF THE EL CAMINO.
EXT. ATLANTA STREET_—NIGHT
The doors of a stopped bus open. NEW-NEW—17, steps out as she blows a huge bubble that covers her face. When it pops, we see HER, pretty and very ghetto. She wears huge DOOR-KNOCKER EARRINGS that read “New-New” in the middle.
WIDE SIDE ANGLE
AS THE EL CAMINO DRIVES BY THE BUS/ENTERING THE PARKING LOT.
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—NIGHT
THE LOT…is filled with an ocean of tricked-out CARS and TRUCKS…parked in every direction…their paint jobs so candy, they still look wet…with their RIMS sparkling through the dusty night air…It’s a party!
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—HIGH ANGLE CRANE SHOT—NIGHT
We BOOM DOWN TO the El Camino as Rashad, Esquire, Teddy, Brooklyn, and Ant hop out, heading toward the entrance.
Clusters of PEOPLE chill amidst the wave of motor vehicles…talking…smoking…laughing…some dancing to the crunk…SOUTHERN RAP…flowing from the open CAR DOORS, TRUNKS, and WINDOWS…
WE FOLLOW THE GUYS MOVING THROUGH the masses…TOWARDS the hangar-like BUILDING at the far end of the lot. They walk towards the door in SLO-MO, holding anvil cases containing skates.
CAMERA TILTS UP TO the sign above the building. It reads:
CASCADE SKATING RINK.
END CREDIT SEQUENCE.
Outside the front doors…a line of TEENAGERS wait to get in…each of them carrying their own SKATES…
PUSHING PAST then we hear snippets of their conversations…CAMERA STILL FOLLOWING our Boys.
You think he really like me?
Yeah, girl…He always be starin’ at you…
MOVING FURTHER DOWN the line.
He keeps moving. In the line TWO TEENAGE CATS, RAY and DANTE, watch on.
Damn. Don’t he know fine chocolate melt in the heat.
(flattered; calling out)
I’m glad somebody recognize.
Rashad and his crew passing through the front door to the PAY WINDOW…a muffled THUMP…coming from beyond a second set of DOORS inside.
A YOUNG GIRL getting frisked by Security.
Don’t be tryin’ ta get no feel either…
CASCADE SECURITY GUARD
Girl, I got grand kids older than you…
The Guard finishes and swings open the doors for her…a rush of HIP HOP filling our ears as he does…
INT. CASCADE—SAME TIME
INSIDE—the place is huge and the shit is jumping! People are everywhere…the MUSIC is making everybody move…
A DJ in a glass booth sits above a well-worn RINK…watching the rink floor, thick with skaters.
AWWWWWW, YEAH! HERE WE GO AGAIN! CASCADE’S ON A SUNDAY NIGHT!...IF YOU CAN’T SKATE, GET OFF THE FLOOR AND IF YOU GOT SKILLS…PROVE IT!
Onlookers circle the rink, pressed up against a wooden rail. The joint is nothing fancy…it’s the people that make it pop.
We CONTINUE TRAVELING, FOLLOWING OUR GUYS…Ant is feeling the MUSIC. He does the A-town Stomp and gets some admiration from a group of onlookers until he’s put to shame by a 7-YEAR-OLD GIRL.
Rashad and our guys PASS…the SKATE RENTAL COUNTER…TWO TEENAGE GIRLS, renting skates, eye a cute Roughneck…
...something wrong with these wheels…
Ain’t nothing wrong with those wheels girl. You can’t skate.
Rashad nods “whassup” to Veda and Star who are in the middle of some ghetto drama. Star ANSWERS HER CELL PHONE.
She hangs up.
Who was it?
They keep hanging up.
Star 69 him.
Excuse me. I am not a ho.
No, fool. Star 69 him on the phone.
WHIP PAN OUT.
WHIP PAN IN.
CASCADE ROLLER RINK—LATER
A TEENAGE BOY eyes out, mesmerized, at a crew of SKATERS approaching at light speed on the floor.
Damn, they crazy out there!
In his sights…Rashad and his crew—the SOUTHSIDE BOYS—consisting of his buddies Teddy, Brooklyn, and Esquire—whizz by, clapping in unison…spinning…jumping…bobbing…together…perfectly in rhythm…This is our crew, the best out there, and everybody knows it.
Behind them, New-New, Star, and Veda make their way seductively around the rink.
Other CREWS skate by as well, but none are more impressive than the first…
In the center of the floor, the beginners…some barely able to stand on their skates…hold onto each other for dear life.
Then from there, outward, the skaters’ speed, skill, and complexity of moves steadily increase. And then there is the outer edge. This is where the best skaters and OUR CREWS dwell. It’s impossible to even step onto the rink here because of the speed at which they move: PREPS, DANTE (!7) and his WARRIORS and DOLOS (all-female).
We RAMP UP INTO SLOW MOTION as Rashad and the Southside Boys skate by. The boys, having a great time together, do an intricate dance move especially for the RINK PHOTOGRAPHER who snaps on the sidelines. The moment is captured and framed ONSCREEN to look like a POLAROID.
The sound of a BELL RINGING, as we…
CUT TO BLACK.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—EARLY MORNING
The RINGING BELL continues as—
Rashad opens his eyes.
OVERHEAD MED. SHOT
Rashad slams his hand down on his alarm clock.
EXT. SWANN HOUSE (MECHANICSVILLE)—SAME TIME
A working-class neighborhood of single-story homes. Most need a new coat of paint, others, a lawn mower, but there are no bars on the windows.
Tricked-out CARS in front of some of the houses look more expensive than the houses themselves…
In front of the Swann house is a motorcycle…
It’s early. A garbage truck rolls down the block, scaring away a stray dog. AN ELDERLY BLACK MAN already sits on his porch having a cigarette. Sage old neighbor.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—HALLWAY—SAME TIME
Rashad moves through the hallway with purpose. On the move he shouts…As he bangs on the bathroom door.
Ant! Hurry up. If you wanna ride you better act like it.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BATHROOM—SAME TIME
Ant reaches into his pocket and slips on the fake diamond earrings from Value Village.
He lifts a HIP HOP MAGAZINE to look at for comparison. On the cover, a RAPPER meanmugs, draped in diamonds.
His concentration broken by—
YOU HEAR ME IN THERE!
INT. SWANN HOUSE—KITCHEN—SECONDS LATER
A CALENDAR with “Value Village” and “Constitution” marked on various days hangs on the wall.
Rashad tries to pour a bowl of cereal, but only crumbs fall out. He sighs.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—HALLWAY—SECONDS LATER
Rashad stands in front of yet another door. This one closed with a padlock hanging on it and a “KEEP OUT” sign tacked dead center. He knocks.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Uncle George. We ran out of cereal.
Silence…then suddenly the door opens…and Rashad’s Uncle George is not happy about being awoken, stares him down…George’s low haircut needs an edging, and he has sleep in his eye.
He turns, heading over to a shelf stocked with a bounty of CEREAL BOXES, SODAS, TOILET PAPER, and other GOODIES…
Rashad salivating…eyeing it all through the doorway…as George grabs a box of Fruity Pebbles and brings it back to him.
One bowl each…And I know how much is in there, too.
Rashad takes the box, without response. The door closes.
EXT. RASHAD’S CAR—SHORT TIME LATER
The El Camino rolls from the hoody-hood to the suburbs…passing over a set of TRAIN TRACKS that separate the nicer parts of Atlanta from Mechanicsville…
Liquor stores, check-cashing spots, and YOUNG BROTHERS on street corners give way to green grass, gates, and pristine grocery stores.
INT. RASHAD’S CAR—DAY
Ant is squeezed in the front seat, wedged between Rashad and Esquire as…
Esquire leafs through a STANFORD UNIVERSITY CATALOGUE, celebrating every time he comes across a Black face.
Hold up, that’s three.
He flips through more pages, and more, until finally—
Four. And check out this brother, just’a grinnin’, jogging through campus wit’ a white girl.
Probably running from that crowd’a white boys on the other page.
They crack up, then…
It ain’t paid for yet.
Off Ant’s comment, both Esquire and Rashad turn simultaneously.
ESQUIRE AND RASHAD
...I added it all up and I’m going to need grants, loans, a scholarship, a job, and a dream to pay this off.
It’ll be alright. It’s already written.
Well, I can’t stay here and live off your rep forever.
Rashad then grows quiet, reflecting on Esquire going off to school…with a hint of sadness…
EXT. ACADEMY MT. PARAN—DAY
The El Camino pulls up to the curb. Up a long, red stairway is a red brick building, grass lawns, and columns—very old money.
Esquire climbs out, Ant taking his place, sliding over.
A’ight, see y’all later. Peace!
Ant sticks his BLACK FIST out the window…
A few students turning as Esquire delves into a sea of WHITE FACES on campus, the lone drop of color, as we—
EXT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—CLOSE ON SCHOOL SIGN—DAY
with school in b.g.
INT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—HALLWAY—DAY
A worn, inner-city high school. Graffiti, missing tiles, tired teachers. Not the most conducive environment for learning.
STUDENTS weave their way through the crowded halls as Rashad and Ant step through the METAL DETECTOR at the door——then stop at a GROUP OF STUDENTS chilling in front of the school TROPHY CASE. Teddy and Brooklyn are among them. Brooklyn gets his cast signed by a female—
Rashad, surprised to see Teddy.
You lose yo’ job or something?
(holding a ticket)
Had to get my breakfast on. Brotha gotta eat.
Get it how you live, shorty.
TONDIE—17, a curvy young thing who ain’t afraid to flaunt it, walks by. Ant quickly turns.
What up, Tondie? Can we talk right quick?
We just did. Bye.
She just looks at him and keeps walking. And so does Rashad. Brooklyn hustles up next to him. Putting an earphone from his DISCMAN in Rashad’s ear to listen. Rashad bobs his head…as the BELL RINGS and everyone starts towards class…
INT. RASHAD’S HOMEROOM—DAY
Rashad sits in back…waiting for the PA ANNOUNCEMENT to finish.
On a PIECE OF PAPER on his desk, he effortlessly sketches what looks like a rough COMIC STRIP. And we quickly realize his real talent…
PA ANNOUNCEMENT (V.O.)
Seniors, it’s almost graduation…If you haven’t done it, get your caps and gowns ordered.
...Also last night our track team won yet again. If a member of the team is in your room, please give him a “Panther” round of applause.
Mocking HOWLS, SCREAMS, and APPLAUSE suddenly ECHO through the walls and hallways…as we…
INT. ANT’S HOMEROOM—DAY
Ant, Brooklyn, and about TWENTY OTHER UNDERACHIEVING STUDENTS. All dripping wet with sweat from the heat outside…many fanning themselves.
Others howling as the PA announcement continues…
P.A. ANNOUNCEMENT (V.O.)
They know they bad…Well y’all have a good day.
The announcement ends. A SIGN on top of the blackboard reads, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it,” but MS. JACKSON, their stern-looking teacher, sits at her desk near the front of the room, reading a JET magazine.
A beat passes, then, still reading…
Year’s almost over…Y’all slackers better figure out what y’all gon do for the summer.
“Slackers…” That ain’t right.
Why ain’t it? It’s true.
I know what I’mmo be doin’. I’mmo be gettin’ paid.
Doin’ what I do.
Used to Ant’s mouth, Ms. Jackson finally looks up.
And what is that?
Ant thinks hard. He comes up blank.
The class laughs, but the look in his eyes gets to her.
Everybody has got something they’re good at, Anthony.
(thinks again, comes up blank)
I’m sorry, Ms. Jackson.
The students LAUGH at the OutKast reference.
The class laughs some more, then Austin, listening to his headphones, raises his hand—
Can you please put the air conditioning on? It’s like a slave ship in here.
Take those earphones out your ears! Air conditioning is for honors classes…Kids that want to make something of themselves…
...Was you in honors classes? ‘Cause you ain’t got no A-C either.
The class cracks up again, as we…
EXT. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE—DAY
We see Ant THROUGH the window.
INT. EDDIE’S GOLD TEETH—DAY
The counter and walls, covered with Polaroids and books filled with pictures of satisfied customers sporting their new grills.
Brooklyn and Rashad walk through the door nodding to EDDIE and the other Cats chilling in the spot.
IN BACK—Teddy slides a casting mold into a CUSTOMER’S mouth. Hearing Brooklyn he turns, glancing up at the clock then walks out, leaving the mold still in the man’s mouth.
Passing Eddie with the Crew.
Yo, I’m out! Get yo’ customer, man.
EXT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—PARKING LOT—DAY
An exclusive country club, tucked in the affluent Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead. Mercedes, Lexus, Cadillac…not a car here under eighty grand.
EXT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—THE GREEN—DAY
Esquire dressed in a polo shirt, long shorts, and a curled “Shady Tree Country Club” baseball cap, sizes up a long putt…taps it…it falls…
While DEREK, white, 17, and TWO OTHER PREPPY WHITE MALES, watch on in awe…WHIP PAN PAST their REACTIONS…ENDING ON ESQUIRE…who smiles…
Yesss…You guys are gettin’ better.
Still a little stiff in the wrists.
Esquire walks over and pulls the ball out of the cup.
Consider yourself lucky. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces people into thinking they can’t lose.”
(off the Boys’ bewilderment)
Now pay up.
Derek and the other two each reluctantly hand Esquire TWENTIES.
INT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—LOCKER ROOM—DAY
Esquire moves down a carpeted corridor, lined with member portraits, all of them WHITE MEN.
He carries a handful of dirty golf shoes to a window where a SHOE SHINER waits to clean up members’ shoes.
Esquire shares a nod with a FELLOW BLACK EMPLOYEE, then walks through a swinging door marked “EMPLOYEES ONLY.”
INT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—KITCHEN—DAY
Esquire walks past some kitchen staff stopping at THREE SUSHI CHEFS.
Mr. Nakimoto hands Esquire a small container, as we…
EXT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—PARKING LOT—DAY
Esquire exits the CLUBHOUSE and sees Rashad’s El Camino. Rashad sits inside waiting…while…
Teddy and Brooklyn lean against the El Camino talking to TWO PREPPY FEMALES in tennis clothing.
Esquire seeing this, is less than pleased. He rushes over.
(to Female #1)
You into poetry? Lemme kick a little something to you.
Teddy flashes his gold smile to Preppy Female #2 as Esquire quickly hops in the car.
Can we bounce, please…
Rashad STARTS the CAR. Brooklyn and Teddy jump on back. Brooklyn never misses a beat of his freestyle as they drive off.
INT. RASHAD’S EL CAMINO—DAY
The crew rides…a real camaraderie and friendship between them. Esquire takes off his Shady Grove button up shirt. A crisp Polo is underneath.
You get some dough today?
Sixty on the greens, and I sold an old history paper for forty-five to some cat from Forrest Prep.
(leans thru the window)
You just a little black Trump, huh?
What can I say? Simple economics. I see a need. I supply a service.
Esquire opens the food container, revealing several pieces of sushi. Pulls one out and takes a bite.
I had me some good yellow tail last night. It ain’t look like that.
What it look like?
Like Tawanna Sims.
Everyone laughs, except Esquire whose good taste is insulted.
Teddy eyes the sushi.
What’s the green Playdough-looking stuff?
It’s like Japanese ketchup.
Tomatoes are green before they’re red fool.
Makes sense. Teddy reaches in and scoops up too much WASABI on a piece of sushi and puts it in his mouth.
EXT. SIDE OF ROAD—DAY
Teddy falls back as the packed El Camino travels down the street.
I CAN’T SEE!
EXT. SKATE ESCAPE STORE—PARKING LOT—DAY
Rashad, Esquire, Teddy, and Brooklyn walk through the parking lot of the skate store. Brooklyn sees DGK—DIRTY GHETTO KIDS skateboarding. A black male teenager flies by Brooklyn, cutting him off.
Hey! ‘I’m walkin’ here, son.’
INT. SKATE ESCAPE STORE—SKATE AISLE—EARLY EVENING
A roller skater’s heaven…any and everything you could ever want…on four little wheels.
The boys browse…in awe of the abundant selection.
Rashad, stopping at the counter, eyes the newest top of the line skates.
So you gotta work tonight?
Yeah. At the newspaper.
(then re: skates)
This is hot. I would definitely cop these.
Thought you was makin’ money cleanin’?
And why don’t you just cop yourself some?
‘Cause some of us obviously got other shit to spend money on…
Brooklyn drops the subject…as he and Teddy lean forward, into the counter and slyly slide packs of new wheels into their pants.
Rashad and Esquire shake their heads.
INT. THE WAFFLE HOUSE—EVENING
Think Denny’s with all Black Employees.
The boys sit together in a booth, each changing out the WHEELS on his SKATES. The remnants of hash browns and waffles on the table.
An exceptionally-round woman passes the table.
Good lord. Fatter than a swamp possum with the mumps.
You country as hell, man.
As the day is long, playa…
Brooklyn struggling with his cast, tries to eat. Rashad notices.
You need somebody to feed you?
Yeah, tell Tonya to come over here.
...Y’all get y’all cap and gowns yet?
You sure you graduating?
The table cracks up.
Yeah, ain’t you in the about the 14th grade now, dog?
More laughter as New-New enters the front with Star and Veda.
(eyeing the ladies)
Anybody know where New-New go to school? Seem like she only be around when everybody’s kickin’ it.
Just how I like ‘em.
Boy, you better back up. You know she like Rashad.
How you figure that?
Shut up, fool, you like her too.
We don’t even be checking for each other like that.
Just then, New-New waves.
ALL THE GUYS
Brooklyn, your 5-minute break was over twenty minutes ago.
Brooklyn sucks his teeth.
You only worked at K and K two days?
They wasn’t giving me my respect so I had to bounce.
Respect? You dropped fries.
Brooklyn stands revealing his uniform and heads off.
Five dollars he doesn’t make it the rest of his shift.
Nobody’s taking that bet.
EXT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING—DUSK
We hear the classic “Summertime” by ELLA FITZGERALD. Rashad’s El Camino pulls into the parking lot, just as Ant rides up on his BMX with no seat and the Swann Cleaning VAN turns OFF its ENGINE.
Uncle George climbs out of the van, opens the back and removes three buckets of cleaning supplies and sets of overalls.
As Rashad and Ant approach, he nods to the boys.
Ready to work?
They aren’t, but they nod back anyway.
INT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING—NIGHT
The building is quiet, only the HUM of FLUORESCENTS, and the toil…MOPPING AND CLEANING…of the Swann men can be heard. Rashad and Ant, already spent from their day, work tirelessly…
Uncle George on the other hand is clearly half-assing it…This is nothing new…so the Boys keep quiet about it…
INT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING—NIGHT
Finally finished. The building is immaculate. Glass cases sparkle. Offices are free of dust. The floor is freshly-polished.
Rashad and Ant drag towards the exit behind George…
INT. ACADEMY MT. PARAN—GUIDANCE OFFICE – NEXT DAY
Esquire sits anxiously and Guidance Counselor, MR. SAPP, looks over his transcript and Scholarship application.
GPA is over four-oh, test scores are high. Essay is strong. All you need is a good letter of recommendation and you’re in great shape.
Yeah, I was wondering if you could write that for me.
Uh…I’m really flattered, Ben, but I’m not really the right person. I’m sure your parents know someone, a judge, a businessman.
Esquire tries to mask his distress. It doesn’t work.
People expect to be asked, Ben. It’s not that big of a deal. The Falcon scholarship is one of the most prestigious in the country. It’s not based on a student’s need…and in these situations…
You want some real guidance?
Sometimes, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
Esquire sits back in his seat—overwhelmed.
EXT. MAZZOLINI’S PIZZA—PARKING LOT—AFTERNOON
Rashad, Teddy, and Esquire…work out a new dance/skate maneuvers…without skates on…
While off to the side, ANT loiters about…having nothing better to do. His eyes, fishing the surroundings for anything interesting going on…
He leans on a dusty car and writes the words “WASH ME” on it…
Then suddenly he blinks…captured by a THICK CURVY THANG, crossing towards him from a LIQUOR STORE across the street.
The woman’s car is the dusty one he’s leaning on. As she arrives, he steps forward…poking out his chest…
‘Scuse me, gorgeous…Can I get at you for a second?
But the Sexy Woman, miffed at the mere suggestion, doesn’t even look his way. Hopping in her car, she turns the ignition.
The BUCKET RATTLES, then DIES. Quickly, she turns it again. This time with success, then drops the car into gear.
Be that way, then…That’s why you need a timing belt, bitch!
The car takes off and Ant turns back towards the Boys.
Where RASHAD teaches the others new steps. Teddy and Brooklyn pick them up quickly…but Esquire seems out of time…Eyeing them, Ant shakes his head.
We’ve identified the weakest link!
Ant turns back to the liquor store…something else catching his eye…
It’s a SHINY BLACK FORD on SPINNERS. The car pulls to a stop at the curb and Ant almost faints when a buddy of his, AUSTIN, climbs out of the back.
Then driver door opens and MARCUS—19, steps out. Good-looking, friendly, and a serious doughboy. His ice-cold eyes betray his smile, and his bling, as always, is minimal. Everybody in the neighborhood already knows he’s paid.
Marcus and Austin move toward the store entrance as Ant watches spellbound.
Then suddenly Brooklyn storms out of Mazzolini’s ripping off his pizza uniform.
The Boys turn, looking for answers.
I can’t take him no more, son!
MR. MAZZOLINI, an Indian Man with a thick accent, comes out after him,
Brooklyn! If you don’t leave the uniform, I will take it out of your check.
Brooklyn throws his uniform at him,
TAKE THIS SHIT!
Then turns to the crew…spent…
Yo, son….I need a vacation….
EXT. PUBLIC POOL—HIGH ANGLE ABOVE THE POOL—DAY
CLOSE ON BROOKLYN. A lone drifter. Smiling broadly, coasting peacefully on a floatie in an aqua pool.
His cast is wrapped in clear plastic. It looks like he made it to the Caribbean, then…A SPLASH. BOOM OUT to reveal…
BLACK YOUTH of every shade and age overrun the decks and crowd the water of this outdoor facility. It’s hot.
CAMERA SKIMS OVER the top of the water to find Rashad, Teddy, Esquire, and Brooklyn, trying to stay cool, watching as groups of TEEN GIRLS walk by in BIKINIS.
For them, it doesn’t get any better than this.
I love it out here.
(looking at Esquire’s arm)
Damn, you ashy.
(eyes over finding Brooklyn looks the same)
I don’t see what y’all worried about…Ain’t a person at this pool that ain’t ashy right now.
Esquire shoots Brooklyn a “there you go” look, before spotting someone approaching over his shoulder.
He lets out a discontent sigh…before…
...Hide your wallets…here come ghetto-ghetto and her two twins.
The other Boys look up to see—NEW-NEW, VEDA, and STAR—-
As they approach New-New smiles at Rashad. He smiles back. A connection there.
What y’all doin’?
What it look like?
New-New rolls her eyes, unfazed.
We ain’t doin’ nothing. What about y’all.
Walkin’ around…Looking good.
The Girls laugh. High-five.
I’m saying, when—
Why won’t you let me finish what I’m trying to say?
‘Cause I already know you, Teddy, and I know what you gonna say. I seen you skate. AND dance.
So, that tells me everything I need to know about a man.
Well, then you should know ain’t nobody quicker than me. I pump it out there, baby.
Exactly. A quick pumper.
Rashad cracks up. Teddy knows he just played himself.
...Whatever. You want me.
We just came over here to see if y’all goin’ to Judy’s graduation party.
The Boys seem surprised.
Big Bootie Judy’s having a graduation party?
Word? Her momma gonna let her have a party after last time?
A’ight. Good lookin’ out.
....oh yeah, them Warriors boys been goin’ around talkin’ about they gon’ win Roll Out this year…
See! That’s why you gotta destroy cats…
Eqsuire, off Brooklyn and Teddy’s reaction, turns to New-New—-
Rashad pushes New-New in the pool. She laughs and screams. He cannonballs in behind her.
EXT. DIVING BOARD—SAME TIME
Where Ant stands on the edge…eyeing across the POOL…suddenly spots AUSTIN, the friend he saw with Marcus outside of the liquor store, again—
The Young Man seems in a hurry. Climbing out of the water, he scurries towards the RESTROOM.
Ant suddenly turns back. A FAT GIRL stands behind him waiting to go.
Brooklyn instead elbows by her as we…
INT. BOYS’ RESTROOM—MOMENTS LATER
Ant steps through the door, finding Austin hunched over a sink fidgeting with several PAPER TOWELS. Edging closer, Ant startles him.
What you doin’, nigga?
Austin jumps, then turns, his eyes frustrated…In the sink we discover the paper towels and several ONE DOLLAR BILLS and a FIVE.
What it look like, dryin’ my money out…
I forgot I had it in my pockets when I jumped in the pool.
Why you ain’t been coming to school no more?
Too busy makin’ money.
I saw you the other day gettin’ out of Marcus’ car.
That’s my cousin.
We gets paper.
Good information for Ant to know, as we:
ANGLE ON POOL
Several kids swim after floating ONE DOLLAR BILLS as we…
INT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—BALLROOM—CLOSE ON A TRUMPET PLAYER—EVENING
Then PULL BACK to reveal a SWING BAND playing standards from the center stage, as men in tuxedoes and women in ball gowns work to keep up. THE CROWD IS OLD WHITE MONEY, with the exception of a few BLACK FACES to keep the ACLU off their back.
Entering our FRAME, wearing a tux. He carries a tray with TWO DRINKS. Esquire approaches a table with an ELDERLY WHITE COUPLE. Hands them the drinks.
They smile as Esquire crosses to the BAR.
(turning to Esquire)
Take this Scotch and soda to John Garnett.
The John Garnett?
He’s by the piano in the rotunda.
INT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—ROTUNDA—ANGLE ON JOHN GARNETT—NIGHT
Mid-40s, African American, chatting with a group of WHITE BUSINESSMEN at the table. A CIGAR ATTENDANT holds out a glass case filled with cigars for him to peruse.
The Montecristo, please.
The Attendant hands John the cigar and crosses away.
Good choice. You celebrating?
JOHN turns to find Esquire standing next to him. He looks at him, bemused as Esquire hands him his Scotch.
What makes you think that?
Since you took over United Express, the company’s had six consecutive quarters in the black—no pun intended. I’d say you have a lot to celebrate, sir.
Esquire extends his hand.
Garnett. I know.
John searches his suit jacket for a light, but Ben beats him to it…holding out a LIGHTER…sparking it…as we…
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—SUNDAY NIGHT
Tricked-out, classic Caddies, Chevys, Pontiacs, and motorcycles sit parked in cliques. BASS LINES PUMPING from every car STEREO, competing for attention…
TEENAGE BOYS lean against their rides…profiling…while TEENAGE GIRLS floss for their eye.
GROUPS of FRIENDS wearing the same hats and shirts…with the same afros with one-half of their hair cornrowed…gravitating towards the entrance.
ON A BEAT-UP RAGGEDY STATION WAGON—CONTINUOUS ACTION
Pulling right up front. Inside—- GAYLE—36, pops the trunk door, before checking over her intricate hairstyle in the rearview.
The door is quickly pushed open from the inside—then crawling out from the very back we see—Star and Veda.
Smoothing out their hair, they walk to the driver door.
Dang, Ma, it’s hot as hell back there.
I sweated my edges out.
When you gon get the doors fixed?
When you get a job.
Gayle looks down at Veda and Star’s matching Coach bags.
Those better be knockoffs, too.
I already told you.
Can we have some money for food?
Gayle reaches between her breasts and pulls out a ten.
If I hear y’all been up to no good at the mall, it’s gonna be on, understand?
Gayle rolls her eyes as a SECURITY GUARD smiles at her.
CASCADE SECURITY GUARD
Good evening, Gayle.
Then she muscles off.
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—THE SIDELINES—SAME TIME
Rashad, Esquire, Teddy, and Brooklyn sit on several carpeted boxes, lacing up their skates…taking in the vibe, as folks move around them.
BIG SIGNS announcing the “ROLL OUT SUMMER SKATE COMPETITION” are posted everywhere.
THE DJ—Spotting them, quickly grabs his mic.
Ohh shit! Rashad Swann and the Southside Boys is in the house! You know it’s gon get crazy in here tonight now!
What up, Dirty?!
OTHER CREWS also lace up—“THE WARRIOR CREW” (Dante and Ray), dressed in camouflage pants and tank tops, “THE PREPS,” unified by Polo Phat Farm Vests, and the DOLO FEMALE CREW, all dressed like boys with baggy pants and White Ts.
A tension stirs as they all eye each other. Folks walking by asking Rashad if he’s going to skate…he nods…
Just a friendly reminder. Roll Out…in five weeks…Clear your calendars…Bragging rights for the year…is on the line.
Hearing this, Brooklyn stands up on his box…hoisting THREE FINGERS into the air.
The other crews frown—the Warriors in particular—before Teddy pulls him down.
Man, get yo’ butt out of my face…
Rashad having problems with one of his WHEELS, stands…as we…
FOOD COUNTER—CLOSE ON FEMALE HANDS—SAME TIME
Gripping a large plastic cup. The cup moves down the soda machine—three-second push of Coke, two-second push of Sprite, four-second push of Dr. Pepper, and two quick hits of root beet.
As the TEEN GIRL hands the concoction to gum-popping New-New. New-New holds out money.
Girl, you know you got the hook-up.
I ain’t trying to get you fired, girl. Take it.
The Girl smiles. Takes the cash.
INT. SKATE RENTAL COUNTER—LATER
Rashad hands his skate over to BIG RONNIE—old school.
Something wrong wit’ my wheel, Big Ronnie.
Ronnie takes the skate.
Watch the counter.
Rashad hops over and takes Ronnie’s seat as…
BEHIND THE COUNTER—Ronnie places the skate on a work station and begins to repair the wheel.
A SEXY YOUNG GIRL comes to the counter. Rashad eyes her.
What you need?
SEXY YOUNG GIRL
Size seven. I lost it.
Rashad turns to Ronnie.
She lost her ticket.
Sorry, no ticket. No skates.
Rashad turns back to the Girl, sliding a pair of size sevens on the counter.
(shhhing her with his finger)
Sorry. No ticket. No skates.
She smiles and walks away as New-New rolls by with her drink. Rashad leans forward.
Can I get a sip?
I don’t know where you mouth been. You might have cooties.
Rashad takes the cup. New-New smiles…while across the rink TONYA watches them…enviously…
You know, your boy Esquire sucks.
You’d be better off wit’ me on your line.
Why? Give me one good reason?
Rashad looks down at her chest.
I’ll give you two.
You ain’t cute.
ANGLE ON AIR HOCKEY
Where Ant pays up. The Young Teen smiles as he turns, defeated, spotting Austin waving him over from near the front.
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—THE RINK—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad and the other lead skaters from each crew hit the rink. They speed skate around, getting a feel for the floor. Teddy starts matching Rashad’s arm swing and the cross-over movement of his legs as they gain speed.
Chanting, “Move to the outside! To the outside!”
After one rotation, Brooklyn grabs the back of Teddy’s shirt and does the same thing. Their leg and arm swings become one.
The other crews have joined their lead skater, too. The skaters clogging up the center of the rink look trapped as the dizzying speedway of crews whirl around them.
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—DJ BOOTH—ON THE DJ—CONTINUOUS ACTION
A’ight now, I know some of y’all got pride and all, but things is about to get real ugly out there. So I’m gon give y’all two minutes to get any no-skating-ass folks off the floor. You know who you are…Don’t make me come out there…Men’s skate!...Men’s skate!
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—BACK ON THE FLOOR—VEDA AND STAR—CONTINUOUS ACTION
Get nicked by a passing crew as they make their way to the perimeter.
Star and Veda! Get y’all matching ‘badunk-a-dunks’ to the rail.
As folks laugh, Star turns her butt up to the DJ BOOTH and slaps it. The motion causes her to lose her balance and she and Veda fall to the floor.
We hear the DJ’s LAUGHTER BOOM from the SPEAKERS as Skateman glides up, dancing in front of them to cheer them up.
Skateman says, get back up and try again, Baby Girls. Get back up.
ANGLE ON NEW-NEW
Skating up to Esquire who nervously waits for Rashad and the Crew to circle back so he can join them.
Why don’t you cut across the middle to get your speed up.
It’s your takeoff. It’s weak. You starting to make Rashad look bad.
Why don’t you go roll your neck at somebody and let me handle mine.
Fine. Suit yourself then, stupid.
New-New skates off just as Rashad and the Crew approach. Esquire takes off to grab on, but is too slow and misses them. New-New shakes her head in disgust. Skates off.
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—SAME TIME
ANGLE ON MARCUS’ BLACK FORD TRUCK
Where Ant stands with Austin. Marcus climbs out, giving Austin love. Ant swallowing nervously as Austin motions towards him.
This is my nigga, Ant.
As Marcus weighs them…
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—SAME TIME
ON THE FLOOR—A HARD-DRIVING SOUTHERN CUT BANGS from the SPEAKERS as the real skaters go!
The Warriors skate aggressively…their movements full of acrobatics and speed….the Preps…full of synchronized, precise moves…and the Dolos…suggestive and sexy…
Then there’s Rashad and his Crew…
Time to put the kids to bed, folks! I’ts gon get hot!
Rashad takes off, skating coolly…New-New staring at him, rapt. Then Teddy appears, then Brooklyn, and finally Esquire. Unlike the other crews who start off in a single line, they skate alone in different parts of the rink.
They periodically stop at the same time, always in front of a hot female, and hit the same move. The girls love it.
One by one, the guys fall behind Rashad. As they skate, the guys imitate every move Rashad makes a beat after he does. Other times he starts a move and it flows to completion through the rest of them. It is hot. But as good as their routine is, it is Rashad we can’t keep our eyes off of. His moves are so smooth and effortless. HE IS THE STAR—HIS BOYS ARE “THE PIPS.”
All the crews skate around the rink at top speed. As Rashad’s crew comes around…
LOW ANGLE ON THE FLOOR
From a LOW ANGLE on the floor we see a few drops of water glistening on the wood. BIG TROUBLE…
We see a skater hit the water, going down on the floor, skaters behind him fall, bodies sprawled out everywhere.
(a la Cosell)
Down goes Frazier, down goes Frazier!
Rashad and his crew come around, no time to react. Rashad jumps over the wreckage, barely making it out…
The other Boys unfortunately aren’t as lucky…they hit the pile, falling like dominoes…
ON THE SIDELINES—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad and his crew sit, sulking.
...That was humiliating. Shorties aren’t checking for a player with a limp.
But Rashad’s attention is elsewhere…he eyes across the rink at the Warriors…laughing at them…as we…
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—EARLY MORNING
Stolen street signs, comic book covers, and music posters representing the Dirty South clutter the walls. ‘
On a dressers is a small, framed picture of Rashad and Ant’s MOM AND DAD.
Rashad lies on a twin bed…passed out to the world…when suddenly Ant appears over him…and begins shaking his arm…
Jarred awake, Rashad rolls over…not happy.
What?! Why you waking me up so early?
...’Cause Uncle George stayed out last night.
Rashad, knowing what this means, brightens up, immediately. He sits forward, as we—
INT. SWANN HOUSE—HALLWAY—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad reaches underneath a curled-up CORNER OF CARPET and slips out a single hidden KEY…smiles at Ant, then opens the padlock on George’s door.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—UNCLE GEORGE’S ROOM—MOMENTS LATER
Edging the door open slowly, the Boys eye their plunder…George’s stash of goodies…the walls are covered with motorcycle posters.
They hustle over…their arm soon filled with cereal boxes, snack cakes, candy bars, sodas, and girlie magazines.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—KITCHEN—LATER
Gorging themselves…leafing through nudie books…Rashad and Ant grin at each other…
(eyes pop over nudie)
Oh my God this is my wife.
INT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—HALLWAY—DAY
Students fill the hallway. Rashad stands at his open locker unloading some books. We see various comics that he has drawn taped up against the walls.
Tonya walks up.
Guess you don’t know nobody no more?
I didn’t mean what I said.
Tonya starts to get up on Rashad, nice and playful.
My Momma ain’t home.
Rashad sizes her up.
Yo momma ain’t neva home.
C’mon. Let’s go then.
Nah. I pass.
ANGLE FROM INSIDE THE LOCKER AS IT SHUTS.
EXT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—LATE DAY
Ant leans against a wall with a COUPLE YOUNG WANNA-BE HOODS…trying to hit on every female that passes…
School is just about out so the street is flooded with buses and cars.
After a moment Ant notices Marcus’ black Ford truck approaching. The flossy ride pulls to the curb in front of them and a FINE-ASS SENIOR climbs out of the passenger side.
Nodding bye, Marcus spots Ant and leans over…calling out to him through the open car door…
Ain’t you supposed to be in class?
Ant plays it cool.
Bell’s ‘bout to ring right now.
Then as if on cue…it does…RING!!!...Ant couldn’t have planned it better or been more lucky. Marcus smiles.
Come, take a ride wit’ me.
Ant nods, climbing in…his homies in awe.
EXT. TRAP HOUSE—DAY
Outside a dilapidated home with a dirt driveway…bunch of “not-to-be-fucked-wit”-looking BROTHAS with pristine white sneakers with colorful outfits…stand around chilling…
The black Ford truck pulls up in front.
Marcus and Ant climb out. The cats in the yard nod as they pass along the side of the house…heading for the backyard…
You scared of dogs?
IN THE BACK—they approach a gated fence…where several “BEWARE OF DOG” signs are posted. Marcus turns.
You sure you ain’t scared of dogs?
Naw…I mean yeah, I’m sure.
INT. MARCUS’S KENNEL—DAY
Marcus, locking the gate behind them…walks with Ant at his side…
Inside is no less than ten PIT BULLS…many scarred up from fighting…all of them hungry…
Allowing the dogs to roam free, Marcus fills up food and water bowls as he ant Ant talk…
Ant, fighting fear with everything he has…refuses to look down…
You got a broad?
Ant shakes “no.”
They walk some more.
Ant shakes again.
I don’t…but each to his own.
Marcus nods, impressed, filling up the last bowl.
Then as the PITS ravenously devour the food…Marcus looks Ant dead in his eyes.
...You know, this grown man business…right?
Marcus, liking Ant’s response, smiles…
INT. SWANN HOUSE—KITCHEN—NIGHT
MUSIC BUMPS, LOW. Rashad sits at a table drawing an intricate COMIC STRIP. We see the title. It reads—JELLYBEANS.
After a beat, Ant shoulders through the front door. Rashad looks up at the clock on the wall.
Yo, where you been?
(not good enough)
Yo, come here.
Ant sits, in the back of his mind, wondering if Rashad already knows about Marcus—
(still drawing, looks up)
Don’t ‘what’ me…What’s up wit’ you missin’ history class?
Probably caught me on a bathroom break.
I look stupid to you?
I’m saying though, I just don’t see how ‘The Great Wall of China’ supposed to help me clean the floor at Value Village.
Ant sighs, not trying to hear that. Rashad stares at him for a beat. Then—
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad, followed by Ant, walks down the steps and over to Rashad’s CD player. Ant watches as he unscrews the battery compartment. Then to his shock, a THICK ROLL OF BILLS falls out.
(holding money up)
I been saving since the accident. Been three years now.
Saving for what?
So you can go to college. Get the hell outta here.
Ant is blown away by this. Softly—
Man, you need to spend that on some rims or skates or something. Don’t be wasting that on me.
It ain’t a waste. I believe in you, even if you’re too dumb to believe in yourself.
Daddy used to say that.
The Boys reflect as…
EXT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—GOLF CARTS—DAY
Esquire unplugs a fully-charged ELECTRIC CART, then looks up finding John Garnett.
Mr. Garnett…Need a cart?
Hi, Ben. Actually me and a couple buddies need a fourth. You play?
From the smile on Esquire’s face, Garnett knows his answer.
EXT. GOLF COURSE—LATER
Esquire plays with John and his TWO BUDDIES…one White, one Indian…both business types…The Men, impressed by Esquire’s skills…
EXT. SHADY GROVE COUNTRY CLUB—PARKING LOT—LATER
Esquire walks with John carrying his golf bag to John’s car. Esquire drops the clubs inside. John is elated over his victory and extends his a crisp HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL.
Hell of a game. We whipped their asses.
Oh. No, sir. It was my pleasure.
Don’t be silly. Take it. You earned it. If there’s ever anything you need, young man, let me know…
Esquire pauses, knowing this is his chance…he musters his courage, then…
Actually, there is something you could help me out with…
From John’s curious face, we—
INT. CHANGING ROOM—SAME TIME
Star walks out, wearing a nice new pair of jeans.
Oh, this da bomb. I’m wearing this to Judy’s tonight.
Veda holds up a designer dress.
This is me right here. Oh, yes.
Give them here.
Veda and Star hand New-New their dresses. She adds the clothes to a few items that she has.
(in a whisper)
Hold up. Slip those under another one.
They don’t count what you bring in the dressing room here.
Ain’t that something?
I’m telling you, rich people got it made. They can even steal easier than us.
A STORE ATTENDANT enters the changing area.
HARVEY CHRISTOPHER ATTENDANT
Can I help you with any of that?
Star and Veda look frozen.
The store attendant walks out of the changing area.
Wait for me outside.
INT. HARVEY CHRISTOPHER—SHORT TIME LATER
Star and Veda nervously look through a rack of clothing. A CASHIER from behind the register eyes them. Star gives her back a look.
Star and Veda see New-New walk out of the changing room.
ANGLE BEHIND NEW-NEW’S FEET
She walks casually toward the glass front doors, a Harvey Christopher bag in hand. She smiles slyly at Veda and Star, who immediately turn and head for the door.
EXT. HARVEY CHRISTOPHER (MALL)—CONTINUOUS ACTION
As soon as New-New crosses the threshold, Star and Veda rush her, giddy with repressed excitement.
Oh, we gonna be so fly.
Suddenly the Store Attendant and a SECURITY GUARD exit behind New-New.
All of you.
All the girls freeze in their tracks…Busted.
Don’t say nothing, let me handle it.
INT. HARVEY CHRISTOPHER—MANAGER’S OFFICE—LATER
Star and Veda sit outside the closed door of the office, chewing their nails and jiggling their legs with nervous energy.
Ma is gonna kill us.
At the same time. Twice.
New-New is all attitude as the door opens. Veda and Star look up fearfully. A MALE MANAGER stoops apologetically.
Sorry for the inconvenience, ma’am. You’ll never have a problem in Harvey Christopher again. I assure you.
Let’s hope not.
New-New strolls out, followed by a shocked Star and Veda. They follow her like two groupies.
(yelling after them)
Please come again, ladies.
EXT. JUDY’S SHOTGUN SHAKE HOUSE PARTY—NIGHT
SOUTHERN RAP rattles the house’s withered frame…its windows sweating…Big Bootie Judy standing out front and her name ain’t no lie…
INT. JUDY’S SHOTGUN SHAKE HOUSE PARTY—NIGHT
Girls drop down and do The Eagle…like there’s money on the floor…while wanna-be Players profile and rub up against everything they can…
ANGLE ON NEW-NEW, VEDA, AND STAR
Sauntering through…New-New looking real good…All of them sporting gear they stole…
New-New’s eyes search the crowd…only one person on her mind. Other Cats try to holler. She ignores them.
Y’all see Rashad here?
Don’t trip, there’s plenty of sexy chocolate in here!
Veda slaps hands with Star. New-New not feeling it…then to add to her frustration, someone pinches her ass. She jumps.
Turning around, very pissed.
In her sights—is DANTE, the Warriors leaders. He’s drunk. Smiling.
Girl, you know you didn’t mind that…Wasn’t nothin’ but a little touch.
I’m fittin’ to get out here.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
New-New spots Rashad. The looks says she’s staying.
INT. PARTY—DANCE FLOOR—MOMENTS LATER
New-New, dancing with Rashad…her knight in shining armor…can’t stop smiling. Rashad notices.
Why you smilin’ so much?
New-New smirks…not gonna answer that.
What took you so long, anyway?
Ah, you was looking for me?
No, not really, I—
It’s okay. It’s a perfectly natural reaction.
They dance some more, then—
Shut up. Who you come with?
New-New smiles again as Tonya comes up behind Rashad, grabbing him by the shoulder.
Is this the bitch that’s got you trippin’?
Who you callin’ a bitch?
You need to stop eye-balling me.
New-New lurches forward. Rashad steps in between.
Don’t get hurt.
I’m standing right here!
Get your girl ‘cause she’s trippin’.
What’s are you slow? We’ve been through this already. It’s done.
I don’t believe that.
Rashad grabs New-New’s arm as he takes her off the dance floor.
EXT. PARTY—FRONT PORCH—CONTINUOUS ACTION
Rashad and New-New walk out together to get some air and find Star and Veda—eyeing the street, looking very afraid.
Sorry about that.
Whatever. Them your groupies.
Star’s on the phone.
Yes, ma’am…Yes, ma’am…
What’s wrong wit’ y’all?
Veda, almost in tears.
Our mama found some of my Gucci stuff in the washer.
Told her ass to dry clean it.
Anyway, she’s comin’ to get us right now…So, if you still want a ride you better stay out here wit’ us.
But we just got here.
I can take her home.
New-New and the Twins turn. New-New’s knight, at it again.
Just then…an ANGRY MUFFLER is heard approaching…and Gayle’s monster of a STATION WAGON pulls up. Gayle, pissed off, leans out her window.
Get ya’ll asses in now!
EXT. KRYSTAL RESTAURANT—DRIVE-THRU—LATER
The El Camino pulls out.
INT. RASHAD’S EL CAMINO—CONTINUOUS ACTION
Rashad drives with that comfortable lean as the car moves through the hood. New-New sits in the passenger seat, pulling out small burgers…looking out the window, almost studying her surroundings. He laughs to himself.
What’s so funny?
What kind of name is New-New?
It’s my name.
So, it’s on your birth certificate?
I’m New-New…’cause I always rock the ‘New-New’ shit…
(shakes his head)
Yeah, I heard about you and your girls. Heard y’all don’t BUY none’a that ‘New-New’ shit…
He gives her a sideways glance.
Yo’ parents gon be pissed you out this late?
Boy, I’m grown. Yo’ parents gon be pissed you out late?
Rashad quiets, then takes a beat, before…
...Oh your parents don’t care about you, lil’ baby Rashad.
Nah…They died in a car accident about three years ago.
New-New suddenly feels terrible.
I’m so sorry. I didn’t…
An uncomfortable silence passes. Then…
Pull over right here.
EXT. BUS STOP—CONTINUOUS ACTION
The El Camino pulls to the side of the road in front of the deserted station.
INT. RASHAD’S EL CAMINO—SAME TIME
Rashad puts the car in park.
Why we stop here?
My bus comes in about an hour.
What? You scared I’mmo stalk you or something, if I take you home?
You ain’t gotta hide nuthin’ from me. I ain’t no Donald Trump or nuthin’.
New-New looks uncomfortable.
Thanks for the ride.
Then starts to open the door. Rashad reaches over and holds it closed.
Look, my mother raised me better than that. We’ll just wait then.
Rashad turns UP the RADIO and leans back. We HEAR a sweet soulful tune. Stacy Lattisaw’s “Let Me Be Your Angel.” New-New turns it UP and starts singing—heartfelt, but off-key. Rashad is amused, but it’s hurting his ears.
You like that song?
I love that song.
Who sings it?
You should let her sing it then.
Now see that’s unnecessary.
She hums a few more bars. Then after a beat…
...So how do I skate?
What do you mean?
You said, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they skate.
She drifts off, embarrassed, then…
I don’t know. You’re real confident. Effortless. People are drawn to you. It’s like…you’re special.
Rashad is taken aback.
I don’t know about all that.
New-New stares at him, feeling so much for him.
I wish you could see what I see.
Rashad stares back. The moment is perfect. He leans in and kisses her.
EXT. BUS STOP—SAME TIME
The car waiting, a Bronner Brother’s Billboard in the b.g.
Packed. All of our CHARACTERS and their FAMILIES…except for New-New…are in attendance.
The Pastor, speaking with passion, works hard to keep the younger generation’s attention…unsuccessfully for the most part…
Life, as the book will tell you…is about making choices…Do I sell that dope?...Do I give up my virginity to that boy?...Do I stay out all night partying when I know I got to go to church the next morning?
Rashad nodding off, gets nudged by Ant…as we…
Rashad, Teddy, Ant, Brooklyn, and Esquire stand together in the parking lot. Word has already gotten around about Rashad and New-New.
So what happened?
I don’t see what you see in her, personally.
I do. Can she kiss?
Not as good as your momma.
You think that’s funny?
I heard she spent the night?
—No she didn’t.
Rashad cuts Ant a look, then—
I dropped her off at the bus stop.
Damn, you lucky…Anybody got a cigarette?
Nigga, you crazy? Yo mama right over there.
Teddy glances over his shoulder where a HEAVY-SET WOMAN, the spitting image of him, gold-teeth and all, stands. He sighs, as we—-
HIP-HOP BLASTS. The floor is thick with skaters partying.
INT. WOMEN’S BATHROOM—SAME TIME
Under a stall, we see New-New finishing up…pulling up her thong.
—Had the nerve to step to me.
The stall opens and New-New rolls out where Star and Veda wait for her.
Forget her, the question is what happened between you and Rashad nasty?
Mmmmm-hmmmm. You lying!
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—SAME TIME
Rashad and the Crew lean on the rail, watching Skateman do his thing…out on the floor..
The Boys chuckle.
Man, yo’ daddy need to quit it out there…
That nigga is crazy….
Hell yeah, son…
You think he got a chin strap on that thing, it never falls off?
He been here since me and Rashad was kids…wearing that same shit.
ESQUIRE AND RASHAD
A captain’s hat…and knee pads…
They chuckle, then Rashad pauses…
...Fo’real though, that cat’s a legend.
The Boys reflect, as we…
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad, Esquire, Teddy, and Brooklyn skate onto the floor…weaving their way through…just as…
New-New, Veda and Star skate our of the bathroom…Rashad and New-New share a quick, private smile as New-New skates onto the floor. Star notices, nudges Veda.
I’ll be back.
—Then before the twins can say anything, New-New takes off, zigzagging her way across.
A’ight, y’all, men, grab your ladies. Ladies, grab your weaves. It’s about to be on. Y’all got three minutes ‘til couple skate and four weeks ‘til Roll Out! But until then…hold this…
Suddenly a CLASSIC ATL JOINT—drops in—
The bass rocks the speakers and the whole place goes bananas and the boys skate by New-New again. She smiles mischievously then falls in line behind them and starts to do their routine alone with them.
None of the Crew notice, but the crowd does because…THE GIRL CAN SKATE!
The SONG brings everyone to a frenzy…the floor is crowded with people skating…and the sidelines with people dancing…
It’s the true sights and sounds of the ATL…the artistic expression…driven by music…
...that makes this place so special. The best dancers and skaters show their soul…as we…
Ant in the car with a CUSTOMER.
I got the good. The bad. And the super ugly.
I get the super folk.
Ant reaches in his pocket.
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—SECONDS LATER
Ant gets out of the Customers’ car. It pulls off. The lights of Cascade come on and people file out. It’s closing time.
Ant walks past Tondie with a swagger provided by his new baller status. She’s about to get in her car.
What’s up, gorgeous?
And to his surprise, she speaks this time.
You tell me. You the one shining.
Ant looks around to make sure she’s talking to him. Tondie fingers ANT’S NEW EARRINGS. These are flashy, real diamonds. She’s so close, his eyes flutter, excited.
You want to hook up or what?
(voice breaks, excited)
I mean, cool.
INT. RASHAD’S CAR—LATER
Esquire slides in front with New-New…Teddy and Brooklyn climbing in back…
...I’m sayin’ though, in New York, we don’t do it that way…you call shotgun you get that respect…
(then to Brooklyn)
Man, just get in the back…It’s already like a damn Negro clown car in here.
Rashad STARTS the ENGINE, surprising Esquire.
Ain’t you gon wait for Ant?
Rashad scans the crowd, not very hard…his eyes falling back on New-New…
I ain’t seen him all night. He probably already got a ride home.
Esquire can’t believe it. He sits back as they pull out.
EXT. TONDIE’S CAR—NIGHT
The windows are thick with steam. We hear SOUNDS OF PLEASURE coming from inside.
That’s my hip bone, baby.
(struggling for confidence)
Yeah, yeah, I know that.
Good, baby, you’re getting closer.
The CAR SHAKES suddenly with a LOUD THUD.
That’s strong, baby.
Ant’s head pops up, looking out the steamed-out window. He sees Marcus leaning over one of his guys who is curled up in a ball.
Yeah, you got my money now.
Marcus pulls some cash out of the guy’s pocket.
Not so smart, boy.
And swallows hard. This could be him.
We see a girl’s head RISE IN FRAME, we realize that it’s Tondie.
Come on, baby.
She pulls Ant back down.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—LATE NIGHT
Uncle George is asleep in his chair. A lit cigarette nearly falls from between his fingers. Rashad takes it and puts it out. Then grabs New-New’s hand and guides her through the darkness.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad’s room is dimly lit. He sits on his bed watching New-New look around. She eyes TWO POSTERS from previous Roll Out Competitions. Rashad points to an empty space on the wall next to them.
That’s for this year’s.
Oh, confident, aren’t we…
New-New then spots a NOTEBOOK covered in DRAWINGS sitting on Rashad’s CD Player. She picks it up and opens it.
New-New walks to the bed. It’s filled with JELLYBEANS COMICS containing CARICATURES of Rashad’s life: his uncle, Ant, the Southside Boys, School, Value Village, Cascade, Star, Veda…
New-New is amazed at his talent.
These are fly. You did this?
They ain’t nothing. Just me fooling around.
This ain’t somebody just fooling around. These are good, Rashad.
Then NEW-NEW SPOTS HERSELF in the pages of his book. The sketch has a huge mouth and the caption below it reads “New-New.” Star and Veda are drawn next to her, but smaller, New-New towering over them, trying to be seen.
Is this me?
Rashad nods, embarrassed.
My mouth is not that big.
It’s artistic interpretation.
I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit so just be careful.
Then joins her on the bed.
That’s cute. But fo’real, Rashad. You’re really talented.
Rashad shrugs her comment off. New-New eyes him.
Don’t be tryin’ to act all hard. Be real with me.
Rashad pauses. No one has ever talked to him this way. She cares about his dream. He breathes deep, then…
...When I was a kid, I used to have this dream that I would be the person who drew comics for the paper every Sunday…
Whatever…it’s no big deal.
It’s quiet for a moment. New-New leans in slowly and gives him a reassuring peck on the cheek, then…
It is a big deal.
Rashad, eyeing her, can tell she is serious…and just for a second, he thinks seriously about it, too.
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. BASEMENT BEDROOM—MORNING
Rashad wakes up, a smile on his face, clutching his pillow. Then turns looking for New-New…
She’s gone. A STICK FIGURE DRAWING of a MAN with a BIG HEAD sits on the pillow next to him. The caption below it reads: “This is you. See you at Cascade.”
Rashad grins, feeling good, as we…
Uncle George, still in pajamas, sits at the table eating a bowl of cold cereal. Rashad enters HUMMING, in a great mood from last night. Ant bops in—still on cloud nine from having sex with Tondie.
Good morning, brother. Uncle George.
Uncle George has not been as lucky. He eyes Rashad who sits down at the table and pours some juice.
What you so happy about? Grinning like you a new man or something.
Ant looks in the cabinet for a box of Cocoa Puffs.
No, he’s a New-New man. He got some cutty last night.
One bowl rule. In effect.
No problem, Uncle George. One bowl.
Ant pulls out a big mixing bowl.
Now I don’t want no females in this house. Those are the rules.
Yes, I can see you stick to that rule.
And what’s with you?
Well, I ain’t gonna lie. I got some.
Rashad is shocked. George flies off the handle with jealousy.
I know you ain’t get no cutty with your scrawny li’l ass.
George gets up and throws his bowl in the sink. Snatches “property of George” Cocoa Puffs from Ant. He rants to himself as he exits with the cereal.
UNCLE GEORGE (O.S.)
If anybody gonna get some cut in this house it’s gonna be Uncle George…
Well I guess we know who didn’t get none last night.
Ant and Rashad laugh.
INT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—STAIRWAY—AFTERNOON
Ant is with a COUPLE OF HIS BOYS, walking slowly, in no hurry. We notice Ant has small DIAMONDS in his ears now and new SNEAKERS on his feet.
A cat named JAY—16, approaches them…pulling Ant to the side.
You got the ‘dro?
Who told you that?
You holding or what?
Jay doesn’t believe him.
Man, I been knowing you since the third grade.
Yeah, but you been gone for four weeks.
I had Mono…
Come on, boy. Whassup?
Jay storms off. Ant looks back at his boys, scoffs—
EXT. PAWN SHOP—AFTERNOON
Rashad and Esquire emerge right next to the Waffle House…Rashad holding a SMALL NECKLACE.
Man, that thing gon make her neck green.
Shut up. It’s got the fourteen carat stamp on it.
I can’t believe you bought that. You ain’t never bought nothing for no girl.
Be careful, I believe your nose is wide open.
Nah, man, she real…
They arrive at the El Camino. Teddy and Brooklyn—who now sports a STEAK AND SHAKE uniform—lean against the car.
Now we gotta go…
(pops his collar)
Steak and Shake.
The guys give Brooklyn a look.
INT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING—ART DEPT.—NIGHT
Rashad sits on the floor, locked in, waiting for George.
Then, bored, stands and goes over to a desk…slides some paper out of the copier and begins drawing a JELLYBEANS COMIC of himself cleaning the building and waiting afterwards.
The swiftness and skill at which he works is amazing…He looks like he belongs in this environment.
INT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BLDG—ART DEPT—LATER
Rashad has fallen asleep. Sketches to pass the time are on the desk. Uncle George startles him, kicking his foot.
C’mon. Time to go home.
Leaving the comic, Rashad climbs to his feet and hurries out.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—RASHAD’S BEDROOM
Rashad lays in bed resting. A sketchbook at his side. The PHONE RINGS.
INT. ESQUIRE’S ROOM
Esquire scans a ROW OF COLORFUL POLO SHIRTS AND IZODS in his closet as he speaks.
What you want, man?
You got my green Phat Farm shirt?
I gave it back.
Uh-huh. Yo, I need a ride tomorrow.
I got you. You got gas money?
You got my shirt?
Suddenly, Rashad’s PHONE BLEEPS.
Rashad clicks over and cuts Esquire off.
INT. TEDDY’S KITCHEN
A mess. Teddy eats Ramen noodles at the table. His gold fronts sitting on the table like dentures.
Y’all ain’t funny. What’s up?
Nothing. What you doin’?
Nothing. Talkin’ to Esquire.
You give her the necklace?
Naw. Hold on.
Rashad clicks back over to Esquire.
INT. RASHAD’S ROOM
5…4…’Bout time. You was gettin’ the countdown.
Who was that?
What he want?
—but before Rashad can respond, his PHONE BEEPS.
Hold on a second.
Esquire clicks over.
INT. BROOKLYN’S ROOM
MUSIC POSTERS cover the walls. In the corner are a drum machine, a low-grade double CD player, and a crate of blank CDs. Brooklyn lays in bed.
You on the phone wit’ Esquire?
And Teddy. Why?
‘Cause I just tried to call him and his line is busy.
Well, what you want?
Nothing. I was just tryin’ to see what y’all was up to.
Hold on, man.
Nah, I gotta bounce. Peace.
Rashad clicks back over to Teddy.
TEDDY’S MOTHER is in the middle of YELLING at him. The sound causes Rashad to pull the phone away from his ear.
INT. TEDDY’S KITCHEN
Teddy, eating a sandwich, is suddenly startled by his MOTHER’S VOICE from the other room.
TEDDY’S MOM (O.S.)
Teddy, you start on that filthy kitchen in there?!
YEAH, MA! I’M ALMOST DONE!
(then nonchalantly, into the phone)
Y’all going to the pool tomorrow?
INTERCUT WITH RASHAD:
I gotta give Esquire a ride to Sandy Springs.
I gotta work, anyway.
Why you ask me then?
Suddenly, someone picks up the line. It’s Teddy’s mother.
TEDDY’S MOM (O.S.)
Teddy! If you don’t get yo’ ass off this phone and wash them dishes!!
Ma! I had to find something out about my homework—
TEDDY’S MOM (O.S.)
I gotta go, man.
‘Bye, Miss Rutherford.
TEDDY’S MOM (O.S.)
Teddy hangs up.
INT. RASHAD’S BEDROOM
Rashad talks to himself as he clicks over to Esquire.
Only 25 year-old I know that’s gotta get off the phone by 10:30.
Clicks over to Esquire.
Nothing. Rashad hangs up. He cuts off his lamp leaving us in TOTAL DARKNESS. Then, in the black, we hear Esquire still holding.
Hello. Hello? A’ight, Rashad, you getting the countdown. 5…4…
EXT. UPSCALE NEIGHBORHOOD—LATER
The El Camino rolls through an affluent gated community surrounding a pristine golf course.
INT. RASHAD’S EL CAMINO—DAY
Rashad and Esquire stare through their windows, taking in the million-dollar estates and the neighborhood.
A WHITE WOMAN walking her dog, GARDENERS tending to grass, a GROUP OF CAREFREE WHITE TEENAGERS jumping into an Audi convertible, a MAID taking in groceries.
They eyes never waver as they talk—
I never feel comfortable in this part of town.
...Kind of how I feel about our neighborhood.
I don’t see why this cat’s making you come all the way up here anyway.
He invited me to dinner, fool. It’s John Garnett…the millionaire…If he wants me to cook dinner, I’m wit’ it.
That’s it. Thirty-one Canterbury.
Rashad drives down a long driveway to an imposing estate. They look up at it in awe. Silent for a beat—
Be careful. It might be Neverland Ranch up in there.
Rashad and Esquire stare up at the house a beat, contemplating.
Alright, I have to go in.
A’ight, but if you see monkeys and llamas and shit get the hell out.
EXT. GARNETT HOUSE—DAY
Esquire walks up to the house, the cars in the driveway match the status of the house. Beemers and Benzes…
We NOTICE the Georgia Vanity Plate on one of the Beemers reads: 4ERIN.
Esquire straightens his clothes, then RINGS the DOORBELL. After a beat, John Garnett answers.
Ben. Right on time.
John’s wife, PRISCILLA—45, African-American, steps INTO VIEW, smiling. Shakes Esquire’s hand.
So this is Ben.
My wife Priscilla.
Nice to meet you, ma’am.
Esquire glances back at Rashad’s car, giving him the “all-clear” sign, then heads inside.
INT. RASHAD’S CAR—DAY
Rashad glances up at the imposing house one more time, shakes his head, then hits the gas.
On the end table is an ENVELOPE. John picks it up. Hands it to Esquire.
I talked to a couple of my friends at the Falcon society. This should help.
You’re welcome. Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
I could eat.
Dinner’s almost ready.
INT. LIVING ROOM—DAY
Esquire and Garnett walk in together.
I want you to meet my daughter. She’s going to Stanford, too.
ERIN! COME DOWN FOR DINNER!
A beat passes, then—
DID YOU HEAR ME?
Then we SEE THE FEET OF HIS DAUGHTER descending the huge spiral staircase in the foyer.
TEEN VOICE (O.S.)
Yeah. I’m coming!
A second later—down the stairs—strolls—of all people—- NEW-NEW—
Walking with her best friend HOLLY, white and 17. Gone is the ghetto gold jewelry and street vibe. Now New-New is dressed in a pretty Izod shirt and shorts.
I’m not even hung…
Erin, I’d like you to meet Ben.
Esquire turns and, both he and New-New stand in utter shock to see each other.
‘Erin’...Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too.
And this is Erin’s friend Holly.
Hi. I gotta go. Bye.
Holly quickly pushes out the door.
Erin, guess what? Ben’s heading to Stanford next year, too.
(the surprises keep coming)
You’re going to Stanford?
New-New wishes she could just die and be put out of her misery.
As well as being an exceptional student Erin is an All-state swimmer, Ben. She’s good at every sport really…ice skating…softball…
Yeah, I don’t know about theater, but maybe.
(a thought, then turning)
Okay. I’m gonna go help your mother with dinner. Maybe you two could set the table.
John crosses out as we…
INT. GARNETT HOUSE—DINING ROOM—EVENING
Posh. Southern traditional. New-New and Esquire set the table in silence…Eyeing each other across. Both are determined to do damage control.
...You’re not telling Rashad.
The hell I’m not.
You’re not saying anything to him, and I’m not telling my dad about you.
Is that a threat?
Call it what you want. I have to tell him in my own way.
Man, he was talking about New-New so real…
I am real.
Esquire is so frustrated he doesn’t know what to say—
What?! How did you even find Cascade? You buy a 99 cent ghetto handbook to help you ‘keep it real?’
I’m from the trey.
Off Esquire’s look.
Well, my Dad is, he just never talks about it.
The salad fork goes on the other side. I don’t blame him.
Are you kidding me? He’s a sell-out.
Trust me. You can have the piss in the hallway, I’ll take the Picasso.
PULL OUT WIDE to reveal a real Picasso hanging from the wall.
You got a Picasso in your house!!
I bet you won’t be at Stanford rolling your neck, acting all ghetto.
I’m not going to Stanford, I’m going to Spellman.
Oh. Your Daddy seems a little confused.
He just don’t know yet.
—as—chipper Priscilla walks in carrying a roast.
Alright, guys, time to eat.
EXT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—NEXT DAY
Ant stands under a yellow sign that reads “Drug Free Zone” nonetheless conducting business…eating a Zinger…
Furtively, he exchanges a sack with a passing BROTHA for twenty bucks…then spots Jay approaching him again.
Ay, yo! Ant!
Ant sighs, turning away, but Jay is already up on him.
Look, man, I been askin’ around…Come on, I know you holdin’. Hook me up?
Ant eyes around, then against his better judgement.
What you need?
It’ll be twenty.
INT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—HALLWAY—DAY
Principal walks with TWO POLICEMEN. One plain-clothed, the other with a German Shepherd.
Bolt cutters remove a lock.
Ant sits sweating…filling out the dots on a multiple choice test…when the Principal opens the door and approaches Ms. Jackson. In the hallway we see the OFFICERS standing, as…
INT. WAFFLE HOUSE—AFTERNOON
Rashad, Teddy and Brooklyn sit in their booth having fries and sodas. Teddy, and Brooklyn watching bootie.
Nah, son…that’s just a stereotype…
How many brothers and sisters you got?
And how many different Daddies?
It takes Brooklyn a second, then he gets it.
Teddy and Rashad crack up. Waitress Tionne drops off their check and gives Brooklyn a look. He gives her the hand.
Whatever. I was over-qualified.
Tionne shakes her head and walks away.
I dunno. I ain’t seen him since yesterday when I dropped him off.
VEDA AND STAR (O.S.)
PAN TO—STAR AND VEDA rushing over.
VEDA AND STAR
(in a panic)
Ant just got arrested!
PAN BACK TO the booth—FINDING Rashad already gone, heading for the door.
INT. HOLDING CELL—LATER
Ant sits hemmed in a corner…amidst the “wolves”...real thugs…career criminals…and hardened grown men.
Petrified, he avoids any eye contact…until a DEPUTY approaches the cell door.
Relieved, he stands.
INT. CAR—DRIVER’S POV—EVENING
Pulling up to Swann House.
It’s all part of the game, little man.
Suddenly—IN MARCUS’ SIDE MIRROR—Rashad’s EL CAMINO SKIDS to a stop. Rashad hops out, seeing Marcus’ truck and flips. As he races over…
You better go on in the house before yo’ brother hurt himself.
Rashad BANGS on the window.
YO! WHAT YOU DOING WITH MY LITTLE BROTHER? GET OUT THE CAR!!
Marcus reaches under his seat with one hand, waving his finger at Rashad with the other.
Ant, seeing all of this, hurriedly jumps out of the truck—bringing Rashad around—
Rashad, relax, man…
Rashad and Marcus share a last stare before Rashad turns, pushing Ant—
What the hell is wrong with you?! Get in the house!
Ant heads across followed by Rashad, who shoves him again as they go.
Then turns to see Marcus pull off.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—CONTINUOUS ACTION
As Rashad slams the door open, with Ant behind him.
Go to your room.
You ain’t my daddy.
George, realizing something’s wrong, climbs to his feet.
You heard what I said! And don’t even think about leavin’!
I’ll leave if I want to.
Rashad, barely holding his temper, a fury building behind his eyes…
Go ahead then…See what happens.
Ant, defiantly, takes a step towards the door and Rashad suddenly charges him.
Tackling him against a wall, they tumble to the floor…Ant unable to do anything but cover his face and duck Rashad’s blows as they come.
You tough now, huh?! You a drug dealer?!
Suddenly, George shoulders from his room, in boxers and a wife beater.
He rushes over to pull Rashad off. Rashad struggling against him.
Tears filling Ant’s eyes…
Rashad yanks free from George…as…
What the hell is going on?
Dumb ass right there got arrested for selling weed!
George, stunned, looks to Ant.
You sellin’ drugs, boy?
Ant won’t answer…
Go to your room like he said—
(then to Rashad)
Let’s talk in the living room.
Rashad is reluctant to leave Ant by himself but does.
INT. LIVING ROOM—CONTINUOUS ACTION
Okay, look here now, I know you may be upset, but let’s be grown folks about this…You may not wanna hear this but the boy is gonna do what he’s gonna do…
(then an uneasy pause)
...And a little extra money in this house ain’t gonna hurt.
Rashad can’t believe what he’s hearing. He just stares.
I have a mortgage to pay every month…And, as you know, the hot water heater cracked…Shit.
What kind of man would let his nephew ruin his life over some little bit’a money?
Same kind that would take in his sister’s two kids so they could stay together.
Rashad begins to see red.
Let’s be clear…This is my Daddy’s house! We took you in! I take care of this family!
George steps back.
Oh, that’s how you see it?
That’s how it is! I been running things here since I was fifteen—You just been getting over!
I never wanted any of this shit. Pushing a goddamn mop the rest of my life? I’m forty-one years old. You see a decent ride in that driveway? You see all kinds of women rolling through here? What woman wants a man with two kids and no money? Shit, with no future? Maybe I should have let y’all asses go to foster care, then I wouldn’t be in this mess…
OFF Rashad’s reaction.
INT. BASEMENT BEDROOM—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad paces…trying to cool off…hurting inside…throws things…then finally grabs his phone…dialing the only person he can think to call…
Can you meet me somewhere?
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—DUST
Rashad stands waiting as New-New walks over. Certain he knows about her…
Rashad gives her a hug.
Why we here on old people’s night?
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—DUSK
Rashad and New-New leaning over the railing, watching other skaters. Only a handful of skaters out on the rink. But you see the flavor in their old-school flow. These are true skaters that love it.
Rashad points out a couple skaters.
See that. They are from College Park.
How do you know?
Every side of town skates different.
Pointing to another crew of skaters.
They’re from Decatur. They got that bounce.
The skaters indeed have a distinct bounce to their moves.
That’s Chicago, that’s Detroit, all day right here.
New-New looks at Rashad. She’s bursting inside. She really wants him to know her secret.
Have you talked to Esquire?
Naw, ain’t seem him all day. Why?
I have something I need to tell you.
If it’s bad I don’t want to hear it. I’ve had enough shitty news today.
Ant got arrested.
New-New is dazed…This being the last thing she expected to hear.
I keep tryin’ to think of what my dad would do right now, but I can’t come up with nothin’.
Rashad needs her. She leans over. Holds him.
Everything’s gon be alright. We’re too young for it not to be.
Rashad grins. Just then, the DJ PLAYS the old-school cut. STACY LATTISAW’S “Let Me Be Your Angel.”
I’m starting to get the feeling this is our song. Too bad we didn’t bring our skates.
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—THE RINK—DUSK
Two sets of rental skates roll by. WIDER, we reveal Rashad and New-New skating with the old-timers.
Rashad then surprises her pulling out the NECKLACE from the pawn shop.
I was gon wait ‘til Sunday, but…this is for you…
It’s beautiful. Thank you.
Rashad slides the necklace around her neck. She wants to tell him the truth about her but she can’t risk hurting him anymore. Not now, not this night. They kiss…
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—LATER
Where Rashad and New-New make love.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—LIVING ROOM—SUNDAY MORNING
Ant watches TV.
Uncle George enters, sitting down on his chair, the Sunday paper on an end table next to him.
Rashad walks in, grabs the comic section from Uncle George’s paper, and sits down on the couch. The tension still sits in the air from everything that has happened to the family.
Then finally, Rashad looks over to Ant and Ant looks back…then both of them, back to the TV, before…
...I got some homework I need help wit’. You gon be around?
George cracks a small grin, as we…
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—FLOOR—NIGHT
A sign is put up announcing, “ROLL OUT—TWO SUNDAYS AWAY.”
On the floor several CREWS go hard…practicing for the competition.
Rashad hits the floor with his squad. They go low, as they fly through the legs of another crew of skaters. Then start to work on dance/skate MOVES…
Keeping her distance, New-New skates with Veda and Star…the tension between her and Esquire, thick…
Skaters go by as we PUSH INTO THE DJ.
Oh, oh. Here we go. It’s gonna be a long night for some of y’all. The Southside Boyz, the Warriors, and The Preps is here tonight.
INT. BUCKHEAD MANSION—KITCHEN—SAME TIME
Expansive and extravagant…
...a WHITE HAND reaches for the PHONE—lifting it to the ear of—JANICE RAWLINS, 42, the mother of New-New’s best friend Holly.
Janice doesn’t seem happy. She dials as the faint sounds of SOBBING can be heard coming from behind her.
Across the room…Holly sits terrified in tears as Janice speaks…
Hello, Priscilla. I have some disturbing news to share with you.
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—NIGHT
As always, the lot is as bumping as the joint inside—MUSIC, laughter, tension. But suddenly, the energy changes…it grows quiet as all bodies turn and all eyes focus on one thing…
John Garnett’s STEEL GREY MAYBACH BENZ moving slowly through the crowd of frozen teenagers. No car this fly has ever blessed Cascade’s lot.
Damn, who is that?
The crowd stares almost unconsciously at the Maybach. John climbs out, eyes the teenagers surrounding his ride. His demeanor is different than we have previously seen—harder-edged.
You a retired rapper or something?
John ignores her as he hits his alarm and strides toward the entrance.
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—CONCESSIONS AREA—NIGHT
Rashad, New-New, Ant, Teddy, and Brooklyn sit at a table, sipping on soft drinks. Rashad with a comfortable arm around New-New.
While at the entrance to the Men’s bathroom, on his way out, Esquire freezes, spotting—
Moving through the crowd, a grimace across his face, as he eyes the baggy jeans, tight clothes, gold, and posturing. He finally spots his daughter.
New-New glances up and her smile fades.
Dad. How did—
Embarrassed, New-New quickly stands. Rashad looks at her, confused. Then stands as well…
Rashad extends his hand, but John doesn’t take it. Instead he begins to pull New-New towards the door.
Rashad and the rest of the crew follow…Esquire meeting them at the exit.
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—NIGHT
Rashad stops abruptly at the rink’s threshold when he sees John put New-New into the passenger side of the Maybach.
As the Maybach rolls PAST, we MATCH SLOW MOTION SHOTS of Rashad and New-New as they stare at each other. She finally looks away.
From the threshold of Cascades, still wearing his skates, Rashad stares after the Maybach as it disappears into the night…Esquire standing right beside him…silently…
INT. GARNETT HOUSE—FOYER—LATER
New-New slams through the front door, heads for the stairs. John storms in behind her.
Get back here!
She stops, turns.
How could you humiliate me like that?
Priscilla enters, drawn by loud voices.
I walk in there and find you dressed like that, sitting with some thug with his arm around you!
He’s not a thug!
You were supposed to be at Holly’s getting some sleep for swim practice!
You’ve been lying to us this whole time, Erin. What if something happened to you?
I’m sorry, Ma, but why can’t I pick my own friends and choose things in my life for myself?!
You have plenty of opportunities to choose, Erin.
What? Like going to Stanford?
Both Priscilla and John sigh, then…
No one’s saying Spellman isn’t a good school, honey—bu—
(finishing for her)
John looks at his wife incredulously. Then, to Erin—
Do you know how lucky you are?
Yes, Daddy, I do know I’m very fortunate. Thank you for being a great parent and providing for me. But I know you wouldn’t let me go anywhere near the Southside—
You damn right…I was that kid. I know what he wants from you. I will not let you be dragged down by what’s on the Southside of those damn tracks…
Maybe we should talk in the morning.
There’s nothing else to talk about.
John walks away.
EXT. SWANN HOUSE—PORCH—DAY
Rashad, Teddy, Brooklyn, and Esquire sit together.
Rashad can’t seem to pick his head off his chest…The Boys doing their best to try and cheer him up.
Look at it this way, if her Pops is some kind of big drug dealer cat, you got lucky…At least he didn’t try to take you out for datin’ his daughter.
I heard he was Big Daddy Kane.
He wasn’t Big Daddy Kane.
Where do you think she even lives?
A mansion, I bet.
I can’t believe she didn’t tell me.
Maybe he was her pimp, and she couldn’t tell you.
RASHAD, TEDDY, AND ESQUIRE
Brooklyn shrugs, as—
She should have just told me. Instead of having me walking around here like a fool.
—Can’t trust ‘em.
You can trust us though, son.
Esquire sinks in his seat at this notion—just as the BEEMER we saw at the Garnett’s with the Vanity Plate reading “4ERIN”—pulls to the curb in front of the house. The Boys turn to look as NEW-NEW climbs out.
She approaches as Rashad walks down the porch to meet her.
That your Beemer, huh?
He nods, then.
So you got maids, huh?
It’s Erin, right?
Why you acting like this?
Like you don’t know me.
Rashad looks around.
I don’t know this girl.
He sees the necklace around her neck. The necklace he gave her. Before she can react, he reaches over, pulls it off.
Guess you had a good laugh about this lil’ cheap thing, huh?
She is crushed as he turns and walks back towards the house. New-New steps in his path—
Give me back my necklace.
He tries again. She grabs his arm.
Give ‘my damn necklace.
(tears fill her eyes)
‘Cause it means something to me.
His eyes soften just a hint.
Why you actin’ like you care?
The only thing I lied about was having money.
I didn’t want you or anybody else judging me.
You never even gave me a chance—
It’s not even my money, it’s my dad’s money.
So now that it’s been flipped, I’m just supposed to be like, ‘okay cool’? What am I suppose to say?
Rashad, I’m just asking for you to forgive me. And say that you still care.
Well, I don’t.
Hurt, New-New turns and walks away. Rashad watches her pull off, then heads up the porch past the Boys and into the door.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—KITCHEN—MOMENTS LATER
Rashad leans against the counter pissed—then Esquire comes in concerned about his best friend.
You a’right, dog?
Esquire can’t look Rashad in the eye.
You knew. That’s the car from Garnett’s house. I recognize the plates.
Esquire’s mouth is so dry, he can’t respond…then finally…
I’m sorry, man.
Don’t call me or even look at me no more! I don’t want to see you—kick it wit’ you—skate wit’ you—nothin’—!
EXT. SWANN HOUSE—PORCH—CONTINUOUS ACTION
Esquire pushes out the door—followed by Rashad—He eyes all the Boys with disdain—
—All y’all get the hell off my porch!
Puzzled, Teddy and Brooklyn stand as Esquire heads down the steps.
What did we do?
INT. ESQUIRE’S ROOM—LATE NIGHT
Esquire reads over the LETTER of recommendation John Garnett gave him…remorse in his eyes…
EXT. GARNETT HOUSE—DAY
A tennis court, vast swimming pool with a waterfall, a putting green. Priscilla walks Esquire back to the tennis court where John hits balls being fired from a machine.
Sullenly, eyeing his dream, he approaches John. John sees Esquire and steps on a pedal stopping the ball machine. Esquire extends the envelope containing his letter of recommendation.
I came here to give you this back.
Did I make an error somewhere?
No. I made the mistake…not being honest with you before. I live five blocks away from Cascade’s on the Southside.
I thought you went to school at Mt. Paran.
I do. I use the address of the club to go to school in a better district.
Well, my dad can’t really afford private school on a garbageman’s salary.
So, you knew Erin, even before we met.
I knew her, but I didn’t know you were her father.
I get your game, Ben.
I don’t have time to play games, Mr. Garnett. I’m too busy trying to make it out.
I just thought the letter might give me a better shot.
We’ll never know, will we?
Esquire’s shoulders slump as John turns his back to him.
You know, I read this article where you said, ‘Being a CEO didn’t make you a proud man. Being a proud man made you a CEO.’ But a proud man doesn’t hide where he comes from. See, whether you write me a letter or not, I’m going to make it. And when I do, I won’t forget that being from the hood made me who I am. And with all due respect, sir, it made you who you are.
Garnett hits the pedal. The balls start flying past again. Esquire not backing down.
It might help your daughter to know that, too.
Show yourself out.
John goes back to hitting balls.
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—SIDELINES—NIGHT
The posted SIGN now reads, “ROLL OUT—NEXT SUNDAY.”
Brooklyn, Teddy, and Esquire sit on carpeted boxes, watching, heartbroken…as the WARRIORS kill it on the floor…gearing up for next week…
Noticing the Boys are minus Rashad, the Warriors move with more confidence…mocking them with some of their own moves…
(re: their step)
Did you just see that?! That was our shit right there!
Can’t believe this.
A beat passes, then both Teddy and Brooklyn turn to Esquire at the same time.
Man, you gotta fix this.
I called him like a hundred times already…
This shit is messed up.
You was his best friend. Who betrayed him for selfish means. Et tu, Brute.
Esquire looks at him shocked at the Shakespeare reference.
What? I had to take lit. Twice.
Another move by the Warriors. The crowd loves it. Brooklyn can’t take any more—
I gotta skate, yo. Y’all comin’?!
Both Esquire and Teddy shake—taking the wind out of his sails.
‘If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.’ Jack Welch.
Brooklyn, a sour look, then…
‘Don’t get high off your own supply.’ Biggie Smalls.
Esquire returns the look, as the Boys slump in their seats further, and we…
EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE—NIGHT
Ant steps out the store with a quart of chocolate milk. Drinking, as he walks…he spots a TRUCK riding slowly beside him…
He looks over, and it’s Marcus. Terrified, he spills some of the milk on his white T-shirt.
Marcus leans out the window…
What up, Ant? Ain’t heard from you, soldier.
Nah, nah, I’m cool…
(then off Marcus’ look)
I mean…I’m cool…It’s just taken me a minute…that’s all…But I’mmo straighten it out as soon as I get all the money…’Cause I…
Marcus puts his hand up stopping him.
Relax. We square. Talk to you big brother.
(off Ant’s stunned look)
Remember, this grown man business.
Ant nods, dazed and grateful as Marcus pulls off…
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—NIGHT
Ant looks in the back of Rashad’s CD player. The money he was saving is gone…used to pay Marcus.
INT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING—EVENING
Vacuuming, Rashad spots a shelf of CATALOGS containing copies of the newspapers’ OLD COMICS. He stops the vacuum and leafs through them, as we…
EXT. SWANN HOUSE—DAY
Esquire knocks on the door with no answer. Then turns to Teddy and Brooklyn who stand at the street and throws his hands up.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—NIGHT
Rashad, alone…sadly draws a JELLYBEANS COMIC of him heartbroken…without his lady…he misses her.
FADE TO BLACK.
FADING BACK IN:
EXT. VALUE VILLAGE DEPARTMENT STORE—NIGHT
Rashad, Uncle George, and Ant exit after work. Finding Esquire, Teddy, and Brooklyn waiting for them. Esquire isn’t taking no for an answer this time. The Boys approach.
I made them come…so you wouldn’t kick my ass.
Rashad isn’t amused…he tries to get past, but the Boys block his way.
Come on, dog?
We friends, man…Hear him out…
Rashad stops resisting, but won’t look at Esquire.
...I just wanted to say sorry, man…and that I did know I was wrong to do what I did.
...If it means anything, I gave the letter back…
It does. Rashad cuts him a glance.
What you do that for? I hope that wasn’t for me.
It was for me.
...We going to Cascade’s tonight. You know it’s Roll Out…
Yeah…We gotta defend our crown. We like The Yankees…The Bulls in the 90s. The Lakers…We a dynasty.
The Boys all eye Rashad hoping he’ll say he’ll go, but it’s not going to be that easy.
Naw, I’m cool, man. I ain’t skating no more…
I gotta go.
Rashad passes them, heading to the El Camino and climbs inside. The Boys, utterly defeated, watch as Rashad and Ant pull off.
INT. SWANN HOUSE—BASEMENT BEDROOM—LATER
Rashad lies alone…eyeing up at the ceiling…lost in thought.
As George leans in the doorway…eating sunflower seeds.
You a’ight down there?
George takes a step further inside.
Looks like your knucklehead friends really pissed you off.
Don’t wanna talk about it.
George nods and starts to walk away…then stops…turns back…
I ain’t trying to get in your business…I just know a couple things about being pissed. It’s all feelings, man…from women to when you die…
Rashad looks at him a little confused.
What I mean is there’s a lot of things I would have done different in my life, Rashad…but I can’t go back now.
That’s why you gotta be sure you’re living now…so you don’t find yourself looking back on a life of regrets…
George smiles then walks out leaving Rashad to ponder his words.
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—PARKING LOT—LATER
The lot is so jammed with cars that they spill out onto the main street. A BANNER reads, “2006 ROLL OUT SKATE COMPETITION.”
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—SAME TIME
The spot is packed, ten times more than usual. Spectators, both young and old, jostle for real estate. Crews from every corner of Atlanta wear their game faces as they warm up.
There must be a lot of empty schools in the ‘A-T-L’ ‘cause we got every hood in the city representin’ tonight…
ANGLE ON ESQUIRE, BROOKLYN, AND TEDDY
Walking in anguish, past the outer railing…looking out onto the floor. The WARRIORS rip around the rink in their tight formation. Their leader raising his hand, signaling that they are NUMBER ONE.
The other crews come by close to the edge, almost taunting them to take the Rink. The Warriors, the boldest of the crews, land a trick right in front of them.
C’mon, son. You gotta be kidding me, these dudes.
The boys take seats, moping, on the carpeted boxes, as…
A’ight, this is what y’all been waiting for…
EXT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—POV—SAME TIME
of a PERSON walking up. People reaching out to greet him…as he pushes inside…
INT. CASCADE ROLLER RINK—CONTINUOUS ACTION
The POV continues—It’s Rashad. He showed up.
Y’all gon have ten minutes to make it do…what it do…SKATERS TO THE FLOOR!
The Boys sit dejected as Rashad approaches…taking his familiar seat in the middle as if nothing ever happened.
Stunned, the crew just stares.
Oh snap! This is just like a movie, son!
The crew all hurriedly slip on their skates.
Oh these suckers is about to catch it!
Esquire nodding to Rashad…
(eyes him then)
I got you.
Rashad and the Southside Boys take the floor and start picking up speed. All the other crews is around…going for their crown…everyone is representing…The Preps…The Warriors…The VW Boys…even Dolo and her crew…trying to put it down.
All women and kids make it off the rink. Leaving the floor open for hardcore crews.
The DJ drops the needle on a bass-heavy crunk track, and—
The Warrior Leader throws up a three as they start their routine. They grab each other, the first and the third man in line reaches back, grabbing their partner, throwing them forward through the air. They land with their footwork in perfect unison. The crowd reacts approvingly.
The Southside Boys hit the straightaway as they clap and throw their arms to the beat. In perfect formation they lean back and pause, as the musical track dips. As they pass an open part of the rink, our crew leaps up and skates on the carpet for a second, getting closer to the crowd. As they hit the wooden floor again, the crowd erupts insanely.
They pick up speed as they come around the turn, the wind pulling back against their shirts. Their speed apparent to everyone as they go by.
They catch up to the Warriors and skate right through their formations, as if they’ve sliced them in half.
The Warriors re-group, coming around with an acrobatic trick. One of the skaters does a handstand off another Crew member’s skate, dancing around, forming the letter X.
The other two members of the Warriors skate around them and take the lead.
Dolo and her Crew make a good show of it even though it’s men’s skate. They barrel down the middle of the floor.
As the Southside Boys come around, Dolo’s crew attempts to skate in-between them. Just as they slice the formation, each guy grabs a girl around her waist, bends her over, and slaps her on the ass. This was Dolo showing love, because the choreography was just too perfect. The crowd goes wild.
As the bass from the speakers continues to resonate, we see fatigue starting to wear on the Warrior Crew. By contrast, the Southside Boys appear to be getting stronger. Each step as precise as the one before.
The Southside Boys come around the rink again, picking up speed as they go. Coming around the bend as if they are on the last stretch of the Indy 500. Our world moves in SLO-MO.
In perfect unison, they raise their leg high, slamming the skate down onto the wooden floor, completing a series of intricate steps, seemingly impossible on wheels.
They lean back into a pimped-out pose, turning toward the crowd, giving them the Peace sign, then turning it down displaying the A for A-town (ATL-Georgia). The crowd goes crazy.
Our image is back to NORMAL SPEED. A CLOSEUP OF Rashad’s hand tells the story as the turned-down A turns up to our familiar number “one.” The Southside Boys are back and this is their rink, their moment.
There it is! My dirties and yours! The Southside Boys for the third year in a row…Winners of the roll out! Y’all bad! Too bad fo’ words!
The DJ covers his mouth with his hands as the Boys skate over in front of the Booth to receive their TROPHY from the OWNER of the rink.
Brooklyn carries it as they skate off to the side. A little winded, but satisfied in the victory that pulses through the cheers of the crowd.
AT THE CARPETED BOXES—People come over, showing them love…Brooklyn and Teddy walking around with their chests poked out with three fingers in the air.
Rashad slaps hands with Esquire who goes over to take a picture with a LITTLE GIRL as Tonya walks up.
You look good out there.
I heard your girl turned out to be too high class for you.
Rashad doesn’t respond.
Well, if you want this back, you got the number. I know people make mistakes.
Rashad looks up at her, just as the DJ slows the music down.
Y’all got your cardio and your floor show, so let’s slow it down a little bit…
Then as if a sign…New-New and Rashad’s song comes on. STACY LATTISAW’S “Let Me Be Your Angel.” Rashad smiles to himself, then…
Scorned, Tonya frowns.
Then walks away.
Rashad, listening, sits contemplating…thinking about everything that’s gone on…New-New the most prevalent thing on his mind.
He unties his skates, slipping his feet out. We see his face as he reaches down and puts on his sneakers. He looks out at the rink floor, seeing different couples moving with perfect fluidity.
Brooklyn is hugged up with a girl near the skate lockers.
Teddy leans over the concession counter talking to the girl by the soda machine, while Esquire sits a few boxes away from Rashad talking to Star and Veda.
For a second, nostalgia fills his eyes as he stands up…shares a nod with Esquire and heads out the door…Leaving his skates sitting there…
EXT. GARNETT HOUSE—FRONT DOOR—NIGHT
We hear the sound of a DOORBELL. John Garnett opens the door with a friendly smile. His expression fades when he sees…
I’m here to see Erin, Mr. Garnett. If that’s okay?
This is the first time he’s ever called New-New by her real name.
Mr. Garnett looks Rashad in the eyes and weighs him. Then turns, calling out…
Erin! There is someone here to see you!
Dressed in sweat pants and a T-shirt, Erin comes around the corner, towards the front door.
She sees Rashad. Her reaction is a combination of surprise and hesitation.
We see Rashad’s face, a slight smile, he’s happy to see her, too. He grabs her hand and pulls it to him, placing the NECKLACE back in her palm.
EXT. GARNETT HOUSE—FRONT PORCH—NIGHT
New-New comes out, and her and Rashad sit down next to each other on the steps…as we…
FADE TO BLACK.
FADING BACK IN TO:
OVER a poem by Big Rube:
INT. EDDIE’S GOLD TEETH—DAY
Teddy showing a famous customer through one of their photo books, flashes his own, now PLATINUM FRONTS…
INT. STEAK AND SHAKE—NIGHT
A GROUP OF STEAK AND SHAKE EMPLOYEES gathers around the big wall plaque celebrating the “Employee of the Month.” Brooklyn’s name goes up. He smiles broadly.
INT. MECHANICSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL—CLASSROOM—DAY
Ant sits in class, paying attention.
EXT. STANFORD CAMPUS—AFTERNOON
Esquire jogs, grinning like the brother in the catalog he and Rashad looked through…except he’s jogging with a SISTA.
EXT. SPELLMAN CAMPUS—DAY
New-New arrives with her BAGS.
EXT. SWANN HOUSE—DAY
George mounts a motorcycle wearing a helmet, pulling out.
INT. ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING—EVENING
Rashad cleans, as a Newspaper Employee, holding the JELLYBEANS COMIC he left there…approaches…
Is this yours?
Rashad smiles, nodding as we…