Monday, January 23, 2017

a true story.


FADE IN:

1. EXT. GROCERY STORE PARKING STRUCTURE – DAY.

January 2nd. TWO SISTERS wait for the elevator to the store. They enter, along with a WOMAN and her SON, and a MAN.

MAN
                                                      Happy New Year!

SISTER #1
                                                     Oh, Happy New Year!

MAN
                                                             (He looks at the sisters)
                                                      Well, not for you two yet!

The sisters exchange a glance.

MAN (CONT'D)
                                                     ..."Asian New Year," right?

The woman and her son look nervous. The elevator ride to the grocery store feels long.

SISTER #2
                                                     Oh. Well...it's still a new year...right...now.

MAN
                                                     No! Your new year is later, right? Next month, huh? Mooncake!

SISTER #1
                                                             (Laughing nervously)
                                                     Ha, ha...different holiday...but yeah. Lunar New Year is the end of the month.

The elevator doors open.

CUT TO:

2. INT. GROCERY STORE – DAY

The sisters walk immediately to the deli counter. Their looks toward each other communicate how uncomfortable the elevator ride was. Behind them, the man follows. The three arrive at the deli counter and draw numbers to wait their turn to be called.

The man approaches the sisters.

MAN

                                                     I wasn't trying to be racist, you know? I didn't mean to offend you.

SISTER #1
                                                     It's fine.

MAN
                                                     I'm part Native American, you know? So I'm not racist.

SISTER #1
                                                             (Trying to be polite, but clear about ending the conversation)
                                                     We don't think you are. It's fine.

MAN
                                                     I used to live in Hong Kong, so I know mooncakes.

The sisters nod.

MAN (CONT'D)
                                                     I'm not racist.

SISTER #1
                                                             (Exasperated)
                                                     OK. We don't think you are.

There's silence and the sisters begin to move slowly away from the man. He follows.

MAN
                                                     So what's your nationality?

It's another way of asking "Where are you from?"

SISTER #2
                                                     We're Chinese American.

MAN
                                                     Chinese! So I was right!

The sisters aren't sure when he was "right."

SISTER #1
                                                             (Turning to her sister, in a whisper)
                                                     I'm going to grab our other groceries.

She leaves to pick up the rest of their shopping list so they can leave the store quickly. The sister remaining at the deli counter moves further away, pretending to examine cheeses. A few seconds pass before her number is called and she quickly selects her lunch meat and cheese for the BUTCHER to slice.

As she waits for her food, the man approaches again.

MAN
                                                     So, are you from Hong Kong?

SISTER #2
                                                     No.

MAN
                                                     China?

SISTER #2
                                                     No.

MAN
                                                     Oh! Your parents must be. Have you ever been?

Silence. Another customer glances at the man, bewildered.

MAN (CONT'D)
                                                     You should go! I've got great recommendations.

BUTCHER
                                                             (Calling out, with sliced meats and cheese in hand)
                                                     Here you go, ma'am.

The sister grabs her food quickly and walks away while the man stares at her.

FADE OUT.

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