Skeletons In Each Other's Closet
At Rise: Hallway in Edwin’s high school outside the office of the Guidance Counselor in contemporary time. Edwyn and his parents, Arthur and Marissa are waiting for the Counselor to come out of the office. Edwyn’s older brother, Mike, is also waiting with them. A random couple comes out of the office. The random couple recognizes Arthur and Marissa. Arthur and Marissa appear a little uncomfortable with the couple.
Random Father: Hey, don't you remember me?
Arthur: Hey... buddy (looking surprised in a really bad, awful way). Of course I remember you. You are the water boy, I mean Andrew. How is everything?!
Andrew: Well, better now that I saw you.
Arthur: That's really... sweet?
Edwyn: How do you know my dad?
Andrew: The question is how does HE know me.
Edwyn: Well, I could ask that question, but I would rather not. Aside: He is too self-centered to know what or how to answer.
Andrew: Before he became a big shot sports agent, your father and I went to high school together!
Arthur: Yeah. (stuttering) I was a magnificent football player.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, you did have a little help. And the cat? Don't forget the cat!
Mike: What cat?
Random Mother: He saved a cat from a burning tree. You saved nine lives! You sir, will go to heaven. And Marissa. So good to see you!
Edwyn: Really? You guys know mom too?
Jessica: We also were in high school together. I am Jessica. We met at the school musical. Oh, my God, your mother is really good at impersonating Marilyn Monroe. They both played the leads with her impersonating skills and his great and beautiful singing voice.
Andrew: Yes! He also knows all of the moves for Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
Marissa: Thanks for remembering all our achievements, not to mention I was queen of the prom and a cheerleader.
Jessica: Quick! What was I wearing on my 15th birthday? What? She used to have a photographic memory!
Marissa: Black skirt, dark stockings and a pink puffy top.
Jessica: Is it possible? She still has it! I could die and go to heaven. No, seriously, you can try it.
Andrew: Anyway, You were #1 at science class. Why didn't you follow a career in science?
Marissa: I wanted a change. Now, I am a businesswoman. I have my own clothing line.
Jessica: Great! So good you were able to produce your newest clothing line.
Marissa: (nervously) What are you talking about?!
Jessica: I heard you were having trouble with employees at your American factory.
Marissa: Oh, Shut up! (to herself) Seriously, shut up. That reminds me: (to Edwyn and Mike) I have a package waiting at home. If you guys happen to find it before I do, don't open it! Don't touch it, don't breath on it, don't even smell it! And that goes to all of you!
Mike: Ok, mom, calm down. So we are, like, the perfect family?
Marissa: Totally! We are... used to hearing nice things about us.
Andrew and Jessica: That's because you are perfect!
Arthur: Thank you, it's really nice that people remember that God blessed this world with us.
(Enter Guidance Counselor)
Guidance Counselor: Good evening, Collins! It's so nice to see you four again! Michael.
Mike: (Takes one step) Hello, sir.
Guidance Counselor: You are back from Yale!
Mike: Yeah! Spring break.
Guidance Counselor: Well, good for you. (Turns to Marissa and Arthur) Sorry to keep you waiting, but I won’t be able to talk with you today I’m kind of in a hurry. Here is your son's report card. I would like to schedule a meeting with you A.S.A.P.!
(Arthur looks angry while reading the report card)
Andrew: (To Arthur and Marissa) You don't have to say that your son is a disappointment.
Jessica: Everyone Knows!
Arthur: Edwyn Argenis Collins! (hands the report card to Marissa)
Marissa: We are really upset at how horrible this looks!
Arthur: This shouldn't be news for us!
Marissa: You are never going to change!
Arthur: YOU are a DISGRACE to the Collins Family!!
Edwyn: You know what?! I’m tired of listening to this! This is the last time I let you embarrass me in front of strangers! I am 17 so I can emancipate, even though I can't afford a place to drop myself dead!
At Rise: In Edwyn’s home; in the family room. He is furious.
Edwyn: Where is that suitcase!? Seriously, when I really want something, you don' t give it to me?! (He inhales and exhales.) I am so angry at those nutlogs. (He notices a pile of mail on the table.) Now, what do we have here? Bills for mom, magazine I'll take from Dad and for Mike from Yale University. I know what it’s going to say (opens letter and begins to read): "We congratulate you for all of your...” Wait. What?
(Reading out loud)
"Greetings, Michael Phillip Joseph Collins. We regret to inform you that since you were expelled from Yale University, you will need to completely move out of your student housing. This is due to the fact that you are failing all your classes and you will not successfully complete the semester. Nevertheless, we hope you have a good life.
Best Wishes, Dean of Students David Waldorf, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut”
Unbelievable! So mister perfect is not so perfect after all. I can't believe that actually makes me feel better. I should celebrate with The Honey Drippers' "Rockin' At Midnight". (He plays the song on his cell phone and dances to the chorus. He turns the song off at end of chorus). Perhaps I should tell on him to Mom and Dad before emancipating. That reminds me, I don't know what to do to emancipate. I should do research on that topic. (He goes to the computer.) Let's see. What do I need to know about emancipation? Oh, Dad! Why don't you ever sign out from your E-mail account? And he wonders why he doesn't have privacy. Andrew? That's the guy we met at the parents conference. Why is he...?
Starts reading out loud:
"Hey, Dude. It was great running into you today. I hope you are having a good life with your family. Listen, I need a favor from you. I know that you juiced in the past to help your college football career. My son got injured badly. I was wondering if you still had connections to get those anabolics? It’s to help him recover faster and be more competitive. Sincerely, Andrew Kenneth Cooper”
(He looks Shocked and confused)
Anabolics? Juice? (He enters words into the search engine.) This stuff produces Brain Cancer, Violent Behavior, Liver Tumors! This is horrible. And this man is asking for them for his son, steroids? Oh, the humanity!
(He hears the door bell and goes to open the door.)
What can be worse than this? Hello! (There is no one, just a package.) This must be the package mom was so paranoid about. From India? That's weird. Well, you know what I say: Only Google has the answers to weird stuff!
(He returns to the computer and enters the return address from the package. He stands up with eyes wide open. Takes a deep breath and starts reading out loud)
"This factory in Northern Gujarat, India exploits child cotton and textile workers. Women and girls, some no more than 10 or 11, feed machines with raw cotton picked from the nearby fields. It is a process known as ginning - one end of a commercial supply chain that ends up as clothes and textiles in high street shops around the world. Globally, annual revenues from the industry are measured in the trillions of dollars."
So let me see if I get this straight: Mike got kicked out of college, Dad used steroids to help him in his college football career and Mom sent her most recent clothing line production to India to a factory that uses child labor. So the Collins family is a total facade? I knew those guys were such hypocrites, but what do I do now? I should talk about this with someone else, someone who can give me advice. (He picks up his cell phone and dials a number.) Hey, Chuck!
At Rise: We see Edwyn at the park waiting on a chair for Chuck. He stands up and starts walking up and down anxiously. Chuck enters.
Edwyn: Where the heck were you?
Chuck: It’s nice to see you too! What was that? Yes, I am fine. Thanks for asking.
Edwyn: This is not the moment to be sarcastic!
Chuck: Wow! This must be really serious. What's going on?
Edwyn: I just found out about... things that I never thought would happen.
Chuck: What is it?
Edwyn: It has to do with my family. What do you think I should do?
Chuck: Well… I have no idea what’s going on but… you can consider the pros and cons about the situation.
Edwyn: Ok, that seems reasonable. What should we start with?
Chuck: Whatever you want. Remember, I am just playing your shrink here.
Edwyn: So the pros. If I confront them with the "Secrets", they would see how their reputation is based on lies. They would also feel horrible.
Chuck: And how would that make you feel?
Edwyn: I guess... good.
Chuck: Now, how about the cons? Do you think that feeling good about the fact that they are feeling "horrible" would make YOU a better person than them?
Chuck: Please, go on.
Edwyn: I also think that by not saying the secrets I would still look bad in front of society and them. But I still love them.
Edwyn: Are you saying that if I love them, I should make a sacrifice for them?
Chuck: What? Heck no. YOU said it.
Edwyn: I know. I am confused. I don't want to leave things like this with them.
Chuck: So what are you going to do?
Edwyn: What my heart tells me to do.
Chuck: Wait. (he hugs him) Whatever you do, I will very proud of it and you. Now, go.
At Rise: We see Arthur, Mike and Marissa enter through the front door. Everything is dark. Edwyn is sitting on a chair. He turns on the lamp, freaking them out. Perhaps there should be psycho theme music playing while they are screaming and he is caressing a skull.
Edwyn: Hello, Collins.
Marissa: Edwyn what's wrong with you?!
Arthur: Yeah! You scared our souls to death.
Edwyn: Really? Imagine how I am feeling.
Mike: What on earth are you talking about?
Edwyn: Don't play innocent, Michael. Operation "Destruction of the Collins" is now in progress. Does this sound familiar? (Gives the letter to Arthur about him being expelled from Yale)
Arthur: Michael Joseph Phillip Collins! Why?!
Marissa: Where did we go wrong?!
Mike: I... I can explain. This with the job and everything else was too much for me. It’s called pressure and I couldn't take it!
Edwyn: Oh, save the crocodile tears for later. I am not done "destroying" you.
Arthur: There is more?
Edwyn: Yes! But not for brother. I am done with him. Dad, you used steroids to help you in college during football season. Here is the e-mail Andrew sent you.
Mike: Dad, you were a fake? How could you?
Arthur: I know, but I had to do it. My efforts were not enough for the coach. He said I could get expelled. So I did it.
Marissa: I am so disappointed in all of you.
(Arthur and Mike look at her with anger)
Edwyn: And last but not least, Marissa Serena Celia Collins uses child labor in India to help her produce her Spring clothing line.
(Mike and Arthur gasp loudly.)
Marissa: It.. it.. it was just one time. My employees were abandoning me. I didn't want to be out of business. I had the opportunity to do my clothing line in India and, yes, with child labor. But I am sorry.
Edwyn: It doesn't matter. You still did it!
The three of them: Please don't say anything!
Arthur: I will buy you two cars!
Marissa: I will buy all of the clothes you ever wanted!
Mike: I will do your chores for 5 years!
Edwyn: Wait. Hold the phone. Are you bribing me?
All: We thought it was obvious.
Edwyn: That's low. Even for you.
Edwyn: Haven't you considered, instead of bribes... I don't know. (Yelling) A sincere apology?!
Arthur: We are trying to protect our reputations!
Edwyn: What is happening?! You know what? Shame on all of you.
Mike: Why?! Look, we know this looks bad, but...
Edwyn: No! You don't! What do you mean “why”? You made me feel bad about myself and embarrassed me for not being “perfect” like you!
Marissa: Come on, Edwyn. We can think this through.
Edwyn: When? Now? Right after you humiliated me in front of those people? You are sick! Not "like me" sick; I can sabotage a whole party just for the fun of it, but you guys are worse.
Arthur: Where are you going?
Edwyn: My room. I need to be alone to think.
Marissa: About what?
Edwyn: Everything! Including the bribes!
Edwin exits leaving Arthur, Marissa and Mike worried in the living room.
At Rise: It is morning. Arthur, Mike and Marissa are waiting anxiously for Edwyn. They are eating breakfast at the kitchen table. Edwyn enters.
Arthur: Did you make up your mind?
Edwyn: If that's your way of asking me if I thought about last night, then yes, indeed.
Marissa: So? What did you decide?
Edwyn: Do you remember when you guys said I was never going to change? Well, I am about to prove you wrong.
Mike: What are you saying?
Edwyn: I am saying that I will do something different. I am not accepting the bribe.
Arthur: Does that mean that...?
Edwyn: No. It doesn't mean I am going to tell the secrets.
Marissa: So what are you going to do?
Edwyn: Nothing. I just won't tell anyone.
Mike: That doesn't make sense.
Edwyn: Why is it so hard for you to admit that I am a better person than all of you?
Arthur: Wow. That's impressive.
Edwyn: And it gets better. I am going to do better in school. After graduation, I am going to college out of state.
Marissa: Why don't you just stay here?
Edwyn: Because I would like to make a new life for myself! I can't rely on you guys forever. I need to become my own person.
Mike: Why are you being so nice to us? We treated you like a piece garbage.
Edwyn: That's true. But I still love you. That's why I am still nice to you.
Arthur: Is this the very first time you ever said that to us?
Marissa: I think that's the very first time that word was ever used in this house.
Edwyn: Well, what can I say? When you care about someone you have to think about them first. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go to school. Bye.
Mike: Wait. You forgot something.
(They hug Edwyn. He is surprised.)
All: We love you, too.
(He hugs them back.)