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"Looking Down From Above" By Stewart Wadwell EXT. BRIDGE - DAY A TALL BRIDGE spans a passageway into a busy city port. Cars and trucks cross over every few moments. On either sides of the bridge are small LEDGES used by engineers and city workers when working on construction. One of these small ledges, huddled into a corner is a silhouette that does not look like a worker from the city... EXT. LEDGE - CONTINUOUS A WOMAN moves over to the corner of the ledge and PEERS over. She is in her mid thirties, attractive but sophisticated looking. Her long brownish hair blows in the wind as she holds a handkerchief to her teary eyed face. RALPH (O.S.) Hi there. STUNNED, the woman stumbles back into the corner. A middle-aged man stands on the adjacent ledge. SHORT, ROUNDISH with RUFFLED HAIR, he wears a TRENCH COAT which is obviously one size to big and ROUND glasses that sit incorrectly on his nose. RALPH (CONT'D) Nice day out. He looks up to the sky. Not a cloud to be seen. RALPH (CONT'D) A bit windy though. The woman is in AWE. WOMAN (stuttering) w-w-w-what? RALPH (louder) I said Nice...Day...Out He covers his mouth trying to be heard over the traffic. WOMAN I...I guess so. Tears continue to flow down her cheek. RALPH So what brings you here... WOMAN Leave me alone! RALPH Right, sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt you. He waves her on to whatever she was going to do, and turns around. He has a CLUMSY, SMILING face on him as he looks up to the heavens. The woman continues to stare across at this stranger with a PUZZLED look on her face. She finally turns back to the job in hand. RALPH (CONT'D) (O.S.) (CONT'D) Do you come here often? She steps back again. WOMAN What? RALPH Do you.. WOMAN (interrupting) I heard you! What kind of question is that? RALPH Sorry! Sorry! I have a problem with my inner monologue. I tend to just blurt things out. I swear people must think I have Teretes Syndrome. WOMAN Who are you? RALPH Oh my! I apologize...my name is Ralph. He extends his hand over the gab between the ledges. The woman quickly backs away. WOMAN Why are you here! I swear, if you make one move towards me, I'll jump. WOMAN (CONT'D) Are you a cop? RALPH (ignoring her last question) It's not that bad is it? WOMAN I promise I'll do it. Ralph chuckles to himself. RALPH It's okay. I'm not coming over there. He SIGHS to himself. RALPH (CONT'D) It's days like this, I'd love to be out fishing with my boy or sitting in my backyard reading a good book. The woman continues to dab at her face. RALPH (CONT'D) I mean, it makes life worth it when you can leave all the troubles behind you and spend an evening watching the sunset with the ones you love. Am I right, or am I right? No answer. Ralph starts SHUFFLING through his pockets. RALPH (CONT'D) (quietly) It's a pity I can't enjoy that anymore...Oh well. WOMAN What? Ralph takes a small crumpled CANDY WRAPPER from his trench coat pocket. RALPH Lifesaver? He pops one into his mouth and offers one over to the lady. RALPH (CONT'D) These things are great. Everybody loves a Lifesaver. The woman shakes her head. With a SHRUG, he places the candy back into his pocket. RALPH (CONT'D) Gotta love the smell of summer. He peers over the edge and gives out a short WHISTLE. RALPH (CONT'D) Phew, that's a fair drop. A truck drives by overhead. WOMAN What did you say? RALPH (shouting) I said it's a fair drop. He's pointing down. WOMAN No. What you said a second ago, about not being able to enjoy it anymore. RALPH Oh...that. He scratches his ruffled head. RALPH (CONT'D) It might take a while to explain. You got time? He winces with that question. RALPH (CONT'D) Sorry. The woman backs away and slouches down shaking her head in disbelief. RALPH (CONT'D) Tell you what...under the circumstances...for both of us, I'll give you the breakfast bar version. He pauses. RALPH (CONT'D) You see, over the last week I have lost my wife, my job, my house and my best friend...and the kicker? My goldfish died. He sighs. RALPH (CONT'D) I'll give you the pieces, you put it together...My wife cheated on me, my best friend betrayed me, his brother fired me, and no one fed my fish. It was like a sick twisted version of Three's Company. RALPH (CONT'D) I'm not boring you am I? WOMAN No...you're not. RALPH Dare I ask? She starts crying again. RALPH (CONT'D) Why do I have that affect on women? WOMAN It's not you...I don't know exactly. Ralph looks shocked. RALPH You don't know! She looks up abruptly RALPH (CONT'D) Go on... WOMAN I don't know. I mean, I'm not happy, that's for sure. I'm finding every day is a struggle for me. I just can't keep doing it anymore. She wipes her face with the back of her hand. WOMAN (CONT'D) I guess, I guess I'm scared. RALPH Of what? WOMAN Are you a religious man? RALPH Some say so, yes. WOMAN Well...I don't have the energy to live anymore, but I'm so scared of death. I'm just so confused. RALPH Well...why don't you start at the beginning. Ralph sits down. RALPH (CONT'D) Why are you so sad? Have you lost something you love? What about your family? WOMAN My husband loves me, my two great kids love me. I couldn't of asked for anything more. RALPH But...are you? WOMAN No! I'm the luckiest woman in the world. RALPH Okay then. You're job. Let me guess, you're a lawyer? She laughs a little. WOMAN Well, yes and no. I work at a law firm. A huge one. Something I have spent my whole life to do. It's important to me, but really...I wonder if I'd be missed if I was gone. I've always wondered how long it would take before they noticed. I've always guessed around six or seven days. RALPH Sounds like that firm from that movie...what was it called. You know, the one with that Cruise fellow... He shakes his head... RALPH (CONT'D) Anyhow. I'd think you would be surprised. WOMAN Have you ever wondered if you have chosen the right path in life? RALPH (smiling) I think at one point, everyone has. WOMAN I have so many questions that I can't answer. Am I a good mother? A good wife? RALPH Have you ever cheated? WOMAN No! RALPH Well, you're one up on my ex. WOMAN I turn on the TV, and it's all doom and gloom. Red this, Yellow that. Don't be afraid. Be afraid. Be vigilant...but carry a first aid kit. Be strong, but expect the worst. Be prepared, but we can never be ready. It just doesn't make sense. I worry about my kids. Their future? How can I protect them? From themselves? RALPH The best thing a mother can do, is be a good mother to them...and I know you are. Both pause and look out over the bay. RALPH (CONT'D) You can't change the world, but you can help the next generation understand what we are doing wrong. RALPH (CONT'D) Have you talked to your husband about this? WOMAN No...I can't. RALPH Can't? WOMAN He's got a lot more to worry about. RALPH Have you thought about tomorrow? What will your family do without you? WOMAN It will be hard to start with, but in the long run it will be easier for them. RALPH You know...I wish I was back in your position. Back when things could be fixed, or come to a better solution for everyone... He looks up. RALPH (CONT'D) You have a chance...a choice to make. Here, another fork in the road lies. You can take the shortcut, jump, and all your worries will be gone like that. He SNAPS his fingers. RALPH (CONT'D) Or you can go the scenic route, discover more about who you are, more about the love in your family. Talk it through...you may be surprised what your husband has to say. WOMAN I...I don't know. RALPH Look, you have a great husband and fantastic kids with a great future. If you jump, your family is jumping with you. WOMAN You...think so. RALPH I know so. He gives her a WARM smile. RALPH (CONT'D) You've made this decision before, and you've always made the right decision. Why change now. She gives him a puzzled look. RALPH (CONT'D) Lucky guess. She finally gets up. WOMAN Well...I can't swim anyway. She pauses. WOMAN (CONT'D) You think it can get better? RALPH If you let it... Everyday is a chosen road along the path of life. Everyone is allowed a pit stop once and awhile. He gives her a WINK. WOMAN What about you? RALPH Who knows...I like to take things, well one...step at a time. He turns back to her. RALPH (CONT'D) I think I've just made another decision. The woman laughs, and turns to pick up her purse from the corner. WOMAN Thank you... She turns back to find the ledge EMPTY. She draws her hand to her mouth in a GASP. Slowly, she peers over the edge... Nothing but some passing DOVES. She looks up at the empty ladder leading away from the ledge. She grabs the fist ring of the ladder and starts climbing. FADE OUT: THE END. Original Idea, sometime in 2002. Rewritten March 18th/19th 2004.
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