Salient points in ‘Here and Now’

I didn’t think this was the script I’m most excited about, but evidently it is, because I keep thinking about it…

The story begins at a grief and loss and support group where we meet KATE SHIELDS, “an angry young woman.” She leaves the meeting in a huff, feeling her court-ordered presence there to be worthless. The meeting’s coordinator ALAN MARTELL tells her she needs to open up more. Though she didn’t tell anyone why she was there, Alan does know. He gives her his phone number, and tells her to call when she wants to talk.

Kate heads home, a den of obvious criminal activity. Her abusive boyfriend VINCE PARKER uses her for sex. The next morning, Kate’s parole officer, informed by Kate’s ankle monitor that she is not at work, shows up and takes her there. Feeling down and out, she calls Alan after her work shift ends and they have a fun night together.

Returning home, she and Alan are ambushed by Vince, who viciously assaults them both. Alan stays in the hospital overnight, at which point Kate learns that he has inoperable cancer.

Kate attends further meetings, softening a little, but the life she leads is no less perilously criminal. She makes drug deals, steals from her employer, and buys a gun that she keeps by her bed.

She sees Alan more, and learns that he was given six months to live over a year ago, and views every page he turns in the calendar as a matchless treasure. The two bond, and become intimate.

Kat divulges to the group why she’s ordered to attend — two years earlier, she committed vehicular homicide while under the influence of drugs. She spent two years in jail but never really took full responsibility for her crime until meeting Alan and the others in the group. One of the members of the support group, who heretofore had not said why he was present either, reveals that he is related to the man Kate killed. He nearly comes to blows with her, but cooler heads prevail.

Her parole fulfilled, Kate’s ankle monitor is removed, much to her glee. Alan becomes sicker, but is not yet bedridden and wants to spend more time with Kate.

But at this point Vince re-enters Kate’s life, demanding she help him with a holdup. Still horribly intimidated by him, Kate agrees. They perform the holdup, and appear to make a clean getaway. They return to the apartment building, when Alan unexpectedly shows up to see Kate. The police raid the apartment, but Kate slips away. They take Alan into custody, believing him to be the holdup’s second perpetrator.

Kate visits Alan as he is detained pending jail. She wants to tell the truth and take his place, but Alan, knowing he has not much longer to live, believing Kate to be a changed woman, and believing her safe without Vince in her life, implores her not to. The story ends with her standing outside and before the police station, contemplating turning herself in.

So the biggest problem I see is making it believable that Alan would implore Kate not turn herself in. But that’s something to worry about in drafting. I think this is a fairly decent story arc.

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