Writer's Guide
                   THE FUTURE LIFE OF RYAN HADLEY - “Pilot”



A pair of sensible brown work heels sit empty on a deep pile carpet.  Next to
them, ten neatly painted toes wriggle into the carpet as though digging into a
patch of grass.

The toes belong to a young woman, RYAN HADLEY (25), sitting on a bench.  Her long
brown hair is pulled back in a sensible work ponytail, the ponytail, in turn, is
draped over a sensible work dress.  Beside her on the bench is a cardboard box;
office supplies and knickknacks spill out over the edge.

Anselm Kiefer’s massive work “Bohemia Lies by the Sea” is on the wall before her
-- so big that she seems to be sitting in the field of poppies and waiting, with
her box, for someone to happen by on the dirt road and pick her up.

A cell phone RINGS.

A MET SECURITY OFFICER gives Ryan a dirty look.
              Oh, God.  I know.  I’m sorry!

Ryan slips on her shoes, grabs her box of stuff, and rushes out of the gallery.


Ryan plods through the Great Hall, dodges tourists while desperately trying to
silence her cell phone -- somewhere in the very deepest recesses of the cardboard


Ryan bursts out into the NOISE and bustle of a bright, beautiful day in
Manhattan.  She finds her cell phone.

                        (to phone)
              Hi...I’m two blocks away.  Get a
              pitcher, I got fired today.

PULL BACK to reveal how small Ryan is against the facade of this massive museum,
this symbol of New York.

                          ACT ONE


It’s a real, old-fashioned New York dive -- small, dark, and homey.  The bar’s
most modern feature is a jukebox.  

A dainty, prim, adorable little blonde, AUDREY COULSON (25) stands at the bar.  
Behind the bar is the bedraggled BILL (mid-60’s), a Dublin native with thick
brogue. Between them is a pitcher of beer.

              Don’t give me that, Bill.

              Come on, Audrey, I just hired two
              new guys.

              Which means that you’re busy.


              Five dollars, and that’s my last offer.

Bill stares at Audrey, appraising her.  She doesn’t flinch.


Audrey smiles in victory, slaps a five dollar bill on the bar, and walks away with
her pitcher and a stack of glasses.

Audrey sits at a table with Ryan and a beautiful redhead in a skin-tight -- yet
oddly conservative -- gray suit, VERONICA WHEATLEY (25).

I really should have seen it coming.  Last week the CFO asked me to proofread his

              I don’t understand what happened.

              It’s an internet dog food company.  
              Apparently dogs have stopped shopping
              online in these tense economic times.
              You know what bothers me the most?  
              It’s not so much the getting laid off.  
              As I walked out of that stupid cubicle
              I realized that I’d been working in that
              place for four years.  Four years!

              It’s not that long.

Ryan grabs a slim, rusty metal object from her cardboard box and slaps it on the

              My business card holder.

Veronica tries to open it.  It won’t budge.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Rusted shut.  And to top it all off I
              have rent due in two weeks and about
              ten dollars and sixty cents in the bank.  
              How do I even withdraw sixty cents?

              You have to go to the teller.

              That’s going to be embarrassing.

A dark, handsome WILL MONROE (25) enters the bar while taking off his tie.  He
sits next to Veronica, across from Ryan and Audrey.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Hey, don’t I know you?  Will...
              something?  Didn’t we used to work

              Oh, yeah, Ryan Hadley, right?  Wasn’t
              that this morning?  In fact, I know it
              was, because since you left I had to
              start doing actual work.
              How are you?  You going to be okay?

              Did you know I was there for four years?  
              Four years!
                      (changes subject)
              How bad was it?  Did they finally get rid
              of that guy in customer service who
              smells like patchouli and passes out the
              Rasta flyers at Christmas?

Will suddenly looks nervous.  He focuses on pouring himself a beer.  He can’t
quite look Ryan in the eye.


              Come on, give me all the dirty details.  
              Oh, no.  You didn’t get a pink slip, too?

Will studies the graffiti on the table.

              Will?  What’s wrong?  Who else got laid
              off?  Somebody we like?

              No one.

              I’m sorry?

              Nobody else got laid off.

              I don’t understand.
              It was just you.  You were the only one.

Ryan is stunned, humiliated, and confused.  Her face reddens, her breathing
becomes a bit more rapid.  She struggles to control her emotions, plasters on a
fake smile.
              You know more.  Tell me.

              After you left I went and flirted with
              Laurie Sims in HR.  They needed to save
              thirty-grand.  That’s how much the
              budget was off in our department.  They
              had to get thirty-grand off the books

              I’m the thirty they cut?

Ryan struggles to keep her emotions in check.  She’s about to cry, but instead
makes a sort of whimpering, choking noise then tries to cover it with a laugh.

              Are you all right?

              Oh, sure.  Sure.
              Why me?

              Laurie said that it came down to you
              and some girl named Renee.  The boss
              thought Renee contributed more or
              something ridiculous.  I’ve never even
              heard of Renee--
              I’m Renee.

They don’t understand.  Ryan stares off into space.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              When I wear my hair down he calls me
              Renee.  When it’s in a ponytail he calls
              me Ryan.

Ryan’s breathing becomes erratic.

              Your boss didn’t know your name?

              It never came up.

Ryan’s voice cracks, she’s having trouble holding herself together.  
Audrey scoots out of the booth and forces Ryan to stand near the open front door.  

                        (to Will)
              A tip for the future, when in doubt
              treat “why me” as a rhetorical question.

Ryan fans herself with a soggy paper coaster and paces.

              I mean... but, it’s just... they didn’t
              ask us to print on both sides of the
              copy paper first?  They didn’t cancel
              free bagel Fridays?  

Ryan goes stock still.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Wait, this morning there were cupcakes
              and donuts for that receptionist -- Hannah.  
              For her birthday.  

Ryan’s face goes slack as the full meaning of this hits her.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Oh my God, they cut me before they cut

Ryan finds it hard to catch her breath.  She trembles.

              Calm down, Ryan.  Why don’t you sit?

              Sit?  Do you understand what happened
              today?  Today I got fired from my job
              of four years... in IT at an internet
              dog food company.  Dog food!  

The few customers in the bar not previously in on the conversation now are --
including Bill who watches intently.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              I am a twenty-five year old jobless
              person who, on a list of all the
              important things in the world, ranks
              somewhere below copy paper and cupcakes!
              I am less valuable to the team than an
              imaginary person!

Ryan sinks into a nearby chair, though she seems as surprised by this turn of
events as her friends are.  They pop up and surround her.  

Veronica takes up the fanning.  Will motions to Bill for help of some kind.  
Audrey smooths the hair from Ryan’s now glistening face.

Ryan can’t help it now, her emotions spill out all over the place willy-nilly.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              I go from my apartment, which -- I
              looked it up -- prisoners are actually
              required to have more square footage.  
              To that cubicle, to the subway and back
              to the apartment.  The same thing, everyday
              for four years.  Four years!  I have these
              brown shoes and that stupid bag with a pile
              of meaningless work papers and a magazine
              with pictures of places I’ll never go.
              This is not what I wanted to be.   

Bill rushes over with a drink and a handful of little packets.

              What is that?

              Harvey Wallbanger.

              And those?

              Moist towelettes.

Veronica goes for the Harvey Wallbanger and force-feeds it to Ryan.

              I wanted to be savvy and sophisticated.  
              When I came to New York I was going to be
              that girl, you know?  The one with the great
              job, and the amazing apartment.
              But look at me!  I’m still paying off my
              college degree and I’m not even good enough
              to fix computers that sell dog food!  I am
              less important than pink frosting!

              It’s not too late.  Since forty became the
              new thirty and thirty became the new twenty...
              that makes us the new fetus.  We’ve got
              plenty of time.

Audrey looks up, does the math in her head.

              Doesn’t that make us the new fifteen?

              Work with me here.
                      (to Ryan)
              Think of this as a clean slate.  A fresh
              start.  What do you want to do instead of
              dog food?

              I want to do something I like.  And not
              in fluorescent lighting.  There are things
              I can do, right?  Things that don’t involve
              animal digestion?

Audrey and Veronica nod “yes” to her.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              You know what I want?  I want to be bold!  
              I want to be the kind of girl who knows
              manicures and the Mets.  I want to be the
              girl who knows the guy who can get advanced
              tickets to Shakespeare in the Park.

              That’s just impossible.

              I want a doorman.  And when I have a
              doorman I want him to like me so much that
              he does me extra favors.  I want to read
              the New York Times every day.

Will signals to Bill for something to write on.  Bill gets a flattened beer box
and hands it to Audrey who manages to dig a pen out of her purse.  She immediately
begins taking notes.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              I want to see every piece of art at The Met.  
              I want to own a pair of diamond earrings --
              that I buy myself.  I want to kiss a movie
              star.  I want to learn how to ride a horse
              and paint a painting.

Audrey writes frenetically as Ryan dictates.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              I want to...

Ryan continues to list off her dreams.
                         ACT TWO


It’s your classic New York City starter apartment -- a charming prewar closet
furnished entirely with multi-purpose furniture.  Ryan, Audrey, and Veronica
finish up egg sandwiches at the dining table-slash-desk.

Above the table is a girly pin-board covered in little slips of paper and
pictures.  At the top is a piece of cardboard with the words “The Future Life of
Ryan Hadley” scrawled on it.

              Thanks for bringing breakfast over guys,
              but I’m really okay.  These last three
              days have been amazing.  Do you know how
              it feels to actually like the direction
              your life is headed?  

Audrey and Veronica self-consciously nod “yes”.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Why didn’t you tell me about this before?

              Are you sure you don’t want me to call in
              sick?  We could spend all afternoon at
              the Met --

              Actually, I was hoping Ryan could come
              over later and help me move.



              I’m moving back in with my parents.  I
              can’t afford the loft anymore.  No
              bonuses on Wall Street this year --
              unless you personally destroy the company.  
              Unfortunately, I’ve discovered a huge gap
              in my education.  I only learned how to
              make companies succeed... not as profitable
              as it used to be.

              Your loft was my vacation home.  Where are
              we going to have movie night?

              And laundry night?

              And pretend we’re rich night?

              Thanks for the concern, but I’ll be fine.  
              Except for the humiliation, my brother, and
              my mother I should be just fine.


Audrey and Ryan hug Veronica.

              Count me in for anything you need.

Audrey, Veronica, and Ryan head out of the apartment.


Ryan, Audrey, and Veronica descend the last few steps into the lobby.

              It’s only temporary.  I’m not even
              redecorating my old room.

A CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY (late 20’s) passes them on his way up the stairs.  He carries
a newspaper folded under his arm.

Cute Neighbor Guy and Ryan lock eyes.  He silently flirts with her, and she does
her best to respond appropriately -- while blushing.

Audrey looks to Ryan and mouths, “He’s Cute!”  Ryan nods in agreement.  Veronica
shrugs her shoulders like “not bad, I guess.”  

              Oh, my God.  It’s not here again!


Ryan points down at a bench where a half-dozen New York Times newspapers lay in a
neat little row.  There’s a conspicuous empty space where one other paper should

              My New York Times.

              You know you can get the movie listings
              online for free.

              No, it’s on my list.  It’s about
              personal growth.  I want to stay
              apprised of world events.  Like, do you
              know what’s going on in Albania right now?


              Well, either do I, my paper hasn’t come
              yet.  I called them yesterday and they
              said they’ve been delivering it.  But it’s
              not here... again.

              It’s probably being stolen.


Audrey peers around and over her shoulders, revels in the possibility of a mystery.

                          AUDREY (CONT’D)
              Maybe you could get that cute guy to
              protect you from the thief.

              Who steals newspaper?


Ryan and Veronica can only stare at her, bemused.  Audrey nods like she’s just
divulged something of major importance.


Ryan and Veronica carry boxes through the hall.

              You know, before she made irritating
              people a full-time job, my mom was a
              headhunter.  She could probably help you
              find a new job.

              You don’t think she’d mind?

              Are you kidding?  She’d love it.  And it
              might just keep her off my back.

              Come on, she’s not that bad.

              She made a swear jar.  I already owe her
              twelve dollars and thirty-five cents.

              My God, how much is a swear?

              Ten cents, but if you put a ‘mother’ in
              front of it it’s twenty-five.



The front door to the apartment swings open and a joyously plump woman in a
diaphanous brightly-colored kaftan, MRS. WHEATLEY (late 50’s) immediately embraces
Ryan.  A moving box gets wedged between them.

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              Ryan!  What a delight!  Would you care
              for some milk and cookies, dear?

Veronica pushes her way in, carrying a massive moving box.

              No, she wouldn’t.


Mrs. Wheatley floats out of the room.

Veronica drops her box and notices a STRANGE GUY (mid-20’s) dressed in all black.  
He stands.

                        STRANGE GUY
              You must be Veronica.        

              Yes.  And who might you be?

                        STRANGE GUY
              I’m West.  Your mother thought you
              and I--

Veronica silences him with a wave of her hand.

              West, what is it you do?  For a living?

He smiles a wide, proud grin.  Then, he mimes that he’s trapped in a box.

Veronica can only stare in exasperation.

West mimes that he’s climbing a rope.

Ryan is stupefied.

West mimes that he’s pulling something heavy.


It looks as though Barbie’s Dreamhouse exploded and all of the flowery, ruffly,
pink shrapnel were pasted all over the walls.
Veronica unpacks and talks to herself.

              It’s only temporary, right?  She has to
              learn that I’m an adult and I have to
              not kill her.  Simple.

Ryan sets down her chocolate chip cookie and milk.

              So, where you going on your date?

Ryan mimes the universal charades symbol for “movie”.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              And then maybe...

She mimes drinking and getting tipsy.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              And if you’re lucky a little...

She turns around and mimes a make-out session.

              Oh, shut up.  

Ryan mimes locking her lips shut and throwing away the key.


Ryan and Mrs. Wheatley sit on the deep, cozy sofa.  Mrs. Wheatley takes notes.

              Well, I’m trying to be more... bold.

Ryan sinks deep into the sofa, and with her little cup of tea balanced on her
knees she looks like a little girl.

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              Uh, huh.

              And I’ve come to the decision that I
              don’t really want a job that involves
              fluorescent lighting... or cubicles.

Mrs. Wheatley writes this down.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Or an office.

Mrs. Wheatley continues to jot.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Or anything like free bagel Fridays.

Mrs. Wheatley stops writing.

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              Prior to this though, dear, was it your
              goal to be the head of the IT department,
              or the head of the whole dog food company?

              Well, actually my goal was to... well,
              pay my rent.  And then there was food,
              which was also important.  And--

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              Oh, I see.

Mrs. Wheatley puts her note pad down and puts a motherly hand on Ryan’s knee.

                      MRS. WHEATLEY (CONT’D)
              I’m going to tell you something I have
              always told my children and my clients.  
              Your dreams don’t get delivered by UPS.  
              You have to go out and pick them up.  
              That means you have to assert yourself,
              believe in yourself, and most importantly
              you have to know what you want.  You seem
              to have a good handle on what you don’t
              want, dear, but...  
              Do you know what you do want?

Ryan’s only answer is a glazed over look of confusion with just a dash of panic.


Ryan enters the building, still a bit dazed and confused from her conversation
with Mrs. Wheatley.

She bumps into Cute Neighbor Guy as he’s folding a newspaper and dropping it on
the top of the building's recycling bin.

              Oh, sorry.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              No problem.  You’re 5B right?

Ryan blushes and involuntarily bats her eyelashes.

              Yep, that’s me.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              I’m 2B, nice to meet you.
They shake hands.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY (CONT’D)
              See you around?

Ryan nervously shuffles her feet and looks down.  As she does, she spots the label
on the paper Cute Neighbor Guy dropped in the bin.  It reads “Ryan Hadley, 207 E.
85th St., Apt 5B”.

Her jaw drops.  She stares after him as he exits the building.

                          ACT THREE


Ryan stands outside Cute Neighbor Guy’s door.  

                        (to self)
              This is a test.  A test of your new
              resolve!  Be bold!

She writes a note on a pink pad shaped like a high heel.  It reads, “Dear 2B,
Please stop taking my New York Times.  Thank you very much, Ryan Hadley (5B)”.  As
she’s about to tape the note to his apartment door, it opens.  

Cute Neighbor Guy and Ryan stare at each other in surprise.

                           RYAN (CONT’D)
              Oh, hi.

Cute Neighbor Guy smiles charmingly.  Ryan crumples the little paper behind her

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY

Ryan opens her mouth to confront him about her newspaper but the words don’t come.

              Um, have you, uh, seen a red umbrella
              anywhere?  I left it in the hallway to
              dry and it’s not there.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              A red umbrella?  No.  It’s raining pretty
              hard out, huh?  I don’t know about your
              umbrella, but I might have something...

He slips back into his apartment and comes back with two sections of the New York
Times.  He hands Ryan the classified section, and keeps the Style section for
himself.  He holds it over his head to demonstrate how to use it.

Ryan is speechless.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY (CONT’D)
              Well, good luck out there.  See you around.

Cute Neighbor Guy stands silently, awkwardly waiting for some response from Ryan.  
She’s like a statue -- stunned.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY (CONT’D)
              Gotta’ go.  So...

He heads down the steps, and leaves Ryan standing there befuddled.


Ryan enters the bar dripping wet.  She stomps over to join Audrey and Veronica in
their usual booth.  As she sits, she slams the now wet section of the New York
Times on the table.

              Thank you, I’ve been needing a...
              (reads from paper)
              ...vintage, gently used back massager.

A screech from the sidewalk draws the girls’ attention.  Through the windows and
the open font door they see a white cargo van with no windows lurch to a stop
outside the bar.

The van’s sliding door opens violently.  Will tumbles out with a guitar case.  The
van zooms off before the door is completely shut again.

                         VERONICA (CONT’D)
              Looks like somebody paid the ransom.

Will, dressed for a gig with his band, shakes the rain off and settles in at the
table with the girls.

              Where’s the rest of the band?

              They’re all going to bed... with

              You’re the lead singer.

              How do you not score?

              Morals.  Ethics.

              Pesky little bastards, aren’t they?

Will nods in agreement.  

                         VERONICA (CONT’D)

              That bad at home, huh?

              Yesterday, she packed my lunch.  There
              was a heart-shaped bologna sandwich
              and a card that played her singing “You
              are My Sunshine.”

The table is silent, unsure how to respond.  Will spots the wet Times classified

              Ooh, I could use a back massager.  And
              it’s only gently used.

The three girls look at him like he’s crazy.

                           WILL (CONT’D)

              Okay, I have a question for you guys.  
              What would you do if someone in your
              building was stealing your newspaper?

              I knew it.

              Yeah, the cute guy in 2B.

              Oh!  I’d definitely call the proper

              Where do we live, Mayberry?

              I’d probably write him a nasty note.

Ryan produces her pink high-heel note.

                           WILL (CONT’D)
              I don’t even need to read this.  
              Anything written on a pink high heel is
              not nasty enough.

              You know him pretty well?

              We’ve flirted a couple of times.

              You liked him?

              Yeah, he seemed sort of sweet and cute...

              Taze his ass.

Will and Audrey nod like, “Oh, yeah.  Do that.”

              No, you know what?  I don’t need to
              resort to violence.  I should handle
              this civilly.  I am going to tell him
              who’s boss.  

              You’re bold!

              That’s right.  I am going to request an
              The next time I run into him.


Ryan shuffles through the lobby in her bathrobe and slippers, with a ponytail
mussed and matted from a night of sleep.

She checks for her paper, and again there’s nothing but a sad little space where
it should be.

She’s disappointed, but not so much about the paper.  By the anxious glances up
the stairs it appears that she’s mostly upset that she has to do something about
it.  Still, she tightens the belt on her bathrobe and stomps her little slippers
up the steps.

                        (to self)
              It’s my paper!  It’s the principle!  
              It’s about personal growth!


Ryan knocks on Cute Neighbor Guy’s door.

He opens the door and, for an instant, his face is flush with panic.  He quickly
covers with charm.

Ryan takes a deep breath and prepares to let him have it.  He cuts her off.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              Hey, if it isn’t 5B!  What can I do
              for you?  Oh, guess what... I think
              I accidentally got your paper this

              You did?

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              Yeah, I can’t believe it.  I’m so sorry.

              You are?

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              Yeah, I’d love to make it up to you.  
              Are you free for a drink later?

Ryan self-consciously straightens her robe, and finger-combs her hair behind her

              I... okay.  Sure.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              Excellent.  I’ll meet you in the lobby
              at eight.


                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              Great, see you then.

He shuts his door and leaves Ryan in the hallway a bit confused as to what just

              My paper.

She puts her hand up to knock on the door, but can’t go through with it.

She chastises herself as she pads back up the stairs.


Ryan, Audrey, and Veronica huddle around a coffee table and a giant bowl of
popcorn.  A romantic movie plays on the Wheatley’s big screen TV.

                      (to Veronica)
              Will’s got his music.  Audrey’s got
              advertising.  You’ve got money... and
              making people cry.  I’ve got internet
              dog food.

              No, you’ve got something else.  You may
              not know it yet, but you’ve got something.

Ryan looks doubtful.  Audrey pats her hand.

              Everybody has something.  And nobody has
              dog food.  You just have to find out what
              your thing is.

Mrs. Wheatley walks in and delivers fancy beers on a fancy tray.

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              Here girls, thought you might be thirsty!

Audrey and Ryan leap for the drinks, excited.

                      MRS. WHEATLEY (CONT’D)
              Now, Veronica.  About that subject we

Veronica stops her mother with a sharp wave of the hand.

              Okay.  Fine!  I’ll do it.  But only
              because I can’t stand to hear about
              it anymore!

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              It is not wonderful!

                      MRS. WHEATLEY
              You don’t have to be so hostile.

              Whatever!  Can’t you see we’re watching
              a movie here?

Mrs. Wheatley slips out of the room.

                   (whispers - to Ryan)
              I don’t think I like movie night anymore.


Live big band music fills the warm summer air outside Lincoln Center.  Veronica
and the mime, West, finish up a swing dance.  West guides her away from the crowd.

              No offense, but I’m surprised.  I’m
              actually having a good time.  I thought
              because of the... you know...
              (mimes being stuck in a box)
              I’d have to do all the talking.

West smiles sweetly at her.  She briefly smiles back, then goes stern.

                         VERONICA (CONT’D)
              But if you tell my mother about this...

She mimes tying a noose and hanging herself.


Cute Neighbor Guy and Ryan stand on the stoop having clearly come from their
date.  They look awkwardly at each other, smiling.

              Thanks for the drink.  It was nice.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY

              So, how do we do this since we both
              live in the same building?

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              There’s only one way -- I walk you to
              your door.

              That’s three flights out of your way.  

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              I want to.

Ryan grins shyly and shrugs her shoulders.  She opens the main door to the


Ryan turns the key in her door, and turns back to Cute Neighbor Guy.

              I have a bit of a confession to make.  
              When I first found out about the newspaper
              thing, the mix-up... I mean, I sort of
              thought you might be, well...

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              A jerk?

Ryan shrugs her shoulders.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY (CONT’D)
              I hope you think differently now.

Ryan shrugs her shoulders again, this time while batting her eyelashes.

Cute Neighbor Guy leans in and gives her a soft, sweet kiss good night.

With a goofy grin on her face, Ryan slips into her apartment.


Ryan peeks through the peephole and watches Cute Neighbor Guy walk away.  She
smiles, pleasantly surprised.


Ryan is in her old bathrobe and slippers, but her ponytail is slick and groomed.  
She looks in the mirror and pinches some color into her cheeks, then applies a
thin coat of lip gloss.  She admires her reflection and exits the apartment.  


Ryan passes Cute Neighbor Guy’s door on her way down the stairs.  She pauses and


Ryan’s giddy mood is obliterated the moment she gets a look at the bench with the
newspapers.  The little space where her paper should be is, once again, empty.

She is livid.  She stomps up the steps.


Ryan pounds on Cute Neighbor Guy’s door like she’s trying to make a hole in it.
He answers.

              Accidentally take my paper again?  
              What is wrong with you?

                         CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              Don’t be mad.  I took it so you would
              have to come here and get it.

Ryan looks at him askance.  She wants to believe him.

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY (CONT’D)
              But, it was a silly thing to do.  I’m
              sorry I upset you.  Here...

He hands her the paper.  She takes it, and for a second looks grateful and

Then, she notices something about the paper.  Just above the fold on the front
page is a big, rectangular hole where an article used to be.

She holds it up and glares at him through the hole in the paper.

              I can’t believe you!  You have been
              stealing my paper!  Even after you knew
              that I knew.
              You walked me all the way up to my door!

                      CUTE NEIGHBOR GUY
              I didn’t think I’d have to come back down
              till morning.

Ryan is amazed at his audacity.  

              Have you escaped from some asylum?

He stifles laughter.

                             RYAN (CONT’D)
              Oh, my God.  You picked me.  You picked me
              on purpose because you thought I was a
              pushover.  Didn’t you?  Answer me!

He shrugs his shoulders, looks a bit smug.

                             RYAN (CONT’D)
              Of course you thought I was a pushover!   
              I was a pushover!  I’ve been a pushover for
              most of my life.  I just let these things
              happen to me.

Ryan rolls up the newspaper in frustration.

                             RYAN (CONT’D)
              Well, let me tell you something, I am not a
              pushover anymore.  I have a list.  And,
              damnit, I’m a freaking New Yorker!

She winds up, swings, and whacks him with the newspaper square on the shoulder --
knocks him into the door frame.

                             RYAN (CONT’D)
              If you so much as think about taking my
              paper again I’ll come back here with a
              baseball bat.  And if you take a second
              glance at my paper in the lobby I’ll come
              back here with a crowbar.  And if you ever
              actually touch my paper again...

Ryan shoves the end of the rolled-up paper under his chin.

                             RYAN (CONT’D)
              ...may God help you.

Cute Neighbor Guy is petrified.

Ryan turns, smooths the paper out.  She folds it neatly in half and tucks it under
her arm.

She tightens the belt on her bathrobe, holds her head high, and marches up the


Audrey and Veronica struggle, pulling at something on the ground below them off

              Are you sure about this?

                             RYAN (O.S.)
              It’s just...
              (struggles to speak)
              (groans a bit)
              I don’t know what I want to do.  I don’t
              know what my ‘thing’ is but I know that
              it’s somewhere on that list, and I’m going
              to find it.

Ryan’s hands appear.  Veronica and Audrey each grab one and pull.


Ryan stands before them in a rubberized Statue of Liberty costume.  One arm is
full of flyers, her other hand holds a big light-up plastic torch.

Audrey and Veronica wave to Ryan as she waddles toward the Liberty Island Ferry.

              She seems happy.

              She sort of does, doesn’t she?

Ryan approaches a group of tourists.

                        (to tourists)
              Come on you huddled masses!  Yearning to
              breathe free?  Take the ferry to Liberty

Ryan sits with her morning coffee on the grand front steps of the Met.  She
blissfully soaks in the sun and reads a section of the New York Times.  The
remainder of the paper sits beside her.

Harried New Yorkers in their suits and sensible brown shoes pass by.

Just as a look of triumph and joy spreads across Ryan’s face, a gust of wind
blows.  The rest of Ryan’s paper floats into the air and right under the tires of
a yellow cab barrelling down Fifth Avenue.

Ryan nods with a sideways grin that says, “Yep, this is what it is to be Ryan


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Happiness Sold Separately - Libby Street
Happiness Sold Separately - Libby Street