by Summer Laurick
Everything is dark, except for several faint white lights which pulse gently as they slowly move about. For a few seconds, everything is silent.
Here we are again.
QUICK CUT TO:
INT. – ANGLIC HOME – MIDDAY
A baby cries on a blanket as shouting from outside can be heard. A woman rushes in and wraps the baby in the blanket, clutching it to her chest. She looks around in aimless fear before quickly leaving the hut.
When I’m here, I think about when we met.
Everything is chaos. People scream and run, and men on horseback are looting homes, burning things, and snatching up women. The woman watches in horror before turning her back and running for the open hills. She doesn’t get far before her path is cut short by a horse; she screams and tries to run back the other way, but the rider grabs her hair and yanks her back.
INT. – NORDIC HOME – NIGHT
The same woman from before cooks at a fireside. The rider who grabbed her sits across the room, the baby in his lap. She gives a begrudging look to him.
You took me away from everything I ever knew. For years I hated you.
The woman picks up a basket and crosses in front of the camera; the scene changes with her passing.
INT. – WWI RECRUITING STATION – DAY
Many men wait in line to enlist. One taller man catches the eye of a shorter, skinny man. They smile.
There was something between us right away, some spark that lingered long after it was struck.
Both men put their names down, one after the other, and are directed by a nurse to a door.
We were scared, though.
They walk through the door together, which opens onto a battlefield.
EXT. – BATTLEFIELD – NIGHT
Both men run through mud, bullets flying past. They make it to a foxhole and huddle against each other in fear.
So scared of someone finding out. We never let ourselves get closer, and we died wishing.
A bomb drops on the area, illuminating everything with a bright flash; with it, the scene changes.
INT. – AIRPLANE – DAY
Airplane in the 1970s. It is calm, in contrast to the scene before.
A man of about 29 turns his head to look at the 22 year old woman sitting next to him.
You were catching a connecting flight to Rhode Island.
The girl turns her head away from the window to meet his eyes; they both smile.
I was visiting my aunt. You were a good seven years older than my young self—that happened sometimes.
The two of them begin talking inaudibly, laughing. Time passes, and the plane lands; as other passengers stand up to retrieve bags, the man passes a napkin with his number to the girl. She looks at him, then takes it.
I was too nervous to call, and my life went on. Years later, at eighty-two, I died and woke up full of regret. It seems I can’t ever put the pieces together quickly enough.
The next scenes are briefer and follow each other quickly.
EXT. – DOWNTOWN CITY – MIDDAY
A man approaches someone at a flower cart and strikes up an inaudible conversation. He pays for a bouquet of flowers, then leaves.
EXT. – PRIDE PARADE – MIDDAY
There is a large, energetic crowd at a pride parade. Everything is bright and out of focus, with distorted shouts and cheers faintly heard. Two people grab each other and kiss as confetti rains down.
INT. – OPERATING ROOM – NIGHT
A doctor works on a patient during an operation.
EXT. – ELLIS ISLAND – MIDDAY
At the docks of Ellis Island in the 1920s, a nervous woman pushes her way through the crowds; someone knocks her suitcase to the ground and it bursts open. As she scrambles to put things back inside, a man kneels beside her to help. She watches him.
EXT. – DARK ALLEYWAY – NIGHT
Two anonymous figures meet and exchange money and a small package. One leaves quickly but is attacked by two figures hidden in the shadows, and the other just lights a cigarette.
EXT. – RIVER – MORNING
A young man kneels in the water, his hands clasped and his head bowed as the sun shines behind him. An older man stands over him, speaking or praying inaudibly, before submerging the younger man. When he comes up he and the older man hold each other and laugh happily.
INT. – HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY
A teenager walking down the hall is grabbed and shoved into a locker, and she cowers from her attacker. Another girl in the hallway watches as if she wants to intervene, but eventually turns and leaves.
CUT TO BLACK.
SLOW FADE IN:
EXT. – DOWNTOWN – MIDDAY
Dozens of people mill about, absorbed in their own lives. A woman stands to the side of the sidewalk, looking at her phone. Someone passes her and bumps into her; she turns to look at them as they walk away, then looks back at her phone and continues walking in the opposite direction.
Sometimes we never meet at all. We might come close, or we might be born in different continents. When this happens, I can’t help but wonder what the point is.
INT. – HOSPITAL – EVENING
An old woman lies on a hospital bed. Her husband is speaking to her, and younger relatives look on.
I cherish most the times when we grow old together.
The husband lifts his wife’s hand to kiss it, then gently places it on her lap.
Those don’t happen as often.
FADE TO BLACK.
I wish I’d known this morning what was coming.
SLOW FADE IN:
INT. – BEDROOM – MORNING
The room is bright and slightly out of focus. From the first-person point of view of the narrator we see a woman with auburn hair lying next to them in the bed. She smiles and reaches for them.
I learned many lifetimes ago that you can’t postpone death, but I still would have tried.
As the Narrator continues speaking, the woman and the protagonist interact: talking, laughing, running fingers through hair. Everything is peaceful.
I’ll miss you. I always miss all of you, but it’s hardest to let go of what I just had. By the time it’s over it’s too late to tell you everything I ever wanted to.
The woman takes the protagonist’s hand, kissing it as she looks at them.
I never know I’m supposed to look for you, but I keep finding you anyway. I don’t know if it’s Fate or our own stubbornness, but we do all right.
The protagonist gets up and gets dressed; as a shirt comes down over their head, the scene changes to them leaving the house and crossing the street. There is a sudden screech of brakes.
CUT TO BLACK.
Here we are again.
The woman has almost fallen asleep again, but frantic knocking on the door wakes her up. She answers the door to a distraught man who inaudibly says something and points to the street. The woman reacts in disbelief, horror, and devastation.
This is how it has always been. This is how it always will be.
The woman rushes past the man. The street is crowded with people shouting, and a siren is heard in the distance. Slowly, the sounds of the world around her fade away and are replaced with a heartbeat. The woman stares in numb shock with tears trailing down her face.
I’ll see you in another life, my darling.
CUT TO BLACK.
The heartbeat stops.
Even if I won’t know it’s you.
Author: Summer Laurick
Major: English & History