Let us give thanks for the hometown bar.
By Ben Joseph
NARRATOR (V.O.) This is you. It's YOU again. A LOWER THIRD indicates as much. NARRATOR (V.O.) This is you visiting your family for the holidays. EXTERIOR of a SUBURBAN HOUSE. At the FRONT DOOR, your PARENTS gives you a BIG HUG. NARRATOR (V.O.) This is you ten minutes later. SAME EXTERIOR SHOT. LOUD FAMILY ARGUMENT NOISES from inside. NARRATOR (V.O.) It's time to go out for a bit. You come out the front door in a hurry. TITLE CARD: THE SIX GIRLS YOU'LL SEE BACK HOME TITLE CARD: THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY You're in a HOMETOWN BAR. You spot RACHEL, a former cheerleader, across the room. NARRATOR (V.O.) She always thought you were a little creepy in high school. You don't know why. QUICK CUTS: THREE PHOTOS of YOUNGER RACHEL. In each, YOUNGER YOU stands in the background, staring at her. NARRATOR (V.O.) But, happy ending, turns out minors can't actually request restraining orders. (beat) Things will be different this time. Rachel talks with a friend. You enter the BG. It's almost a replica of the earlier creepy photos. NARRATOR (V.O.) You'll finally admit your true feelings for her. Or at least maintain eye contact. You can't get her attention, so you TAP HER ON THE SHOULDER. She FREAKS OUT, spilling her beer on you, which causes you to spill your beer on her. NARRATOR (V.O.) OK. Not a great start. TITLE CARD: THE ONE YOU GOT AWAY FROM You're still mourning Rachel's departure when... MEGAN HEY! I figured you'd be here! NARRATOR (V.O.) Oh no. You're trapped. A metal CLANK. You look down. Your foot's in a BEAR TRAP. MEGAN, crazy eyes, punches you in the shoulder too hard. MEGAN I left a you voicemail. You get it? You idly check your phone. YOU Heh, I guess not. ANGLE ON: Your PHONE. We zoom around the touchscreen, seeing notifications for the following: NARRATOR (V.O.) Six voicemails, actually. Also, 17 text messages, 26 Facebook chats, 4 Tweets, 2 comments on your blog, and one kitten-themed eCard just to say "Hi." She's still talking. NARRATOR (V.O.) Five minutes in, you know what a coyote feels like the second before it chews through its leg. Nodding and smiling, you casually SAW YOUR OWN LEG OFF with a hacksaw. You excuse yourself and hop off on one leg. TITLE CARD: THE ONE WITH KIDS You step OUTSIDE for a cigarette. CINDY (O.S.) Hey! As you turn, before we see her, we FLASHBACK TO: A FRAT PARTY. CINDY, young, drunk, drinks from an ICE LUGE. NARRATOR (V.O.) Last time you saw her, a Sigma was pouring Jager down an ice luge into her throat. Cindy, finished, throws her arms around two FRAT GUYS. NARRATOR (V.O.) Now somebody has put her in charge of tiny people. MATCH CUT TO: The PRESENT. Cindy holds CHILDREN in her arms. She's a little heavier, older. NARRATOR (V.O.) How did this happen? Your friends shouldn't have kids until the future. It's not the future yet! We don't even have hoverboards! As you talk to her, CHILD #2, now on the ground, walks over and spreads snot on your pants leg. NARRATOR (V.O.) You try to make small talk, but she seems... preoccupied. IMPROV SMALL TALK until Cindy notices something O.C. CINDY (to O.S.) Brantley, do NOT climb down that storm drain! There are RATS and POOP down there! She exits. TITLE CARD: THE ADULT You stare across the bar at CARA, mid-30s. Behind crossing patrons, her OUTFIT CHANGES with each job you mention. NARRATOR (V.O.) Maybe she was your babysitter. Or your 7th grade science teacher. Or just a really hot mail-lady. Age kept you apart, but no more! You get the courage to approach her. Everything SLOWS DOWN. NARRATOR (V.O.) She won't believe how much you've grown. She'll marvel at how you handsome you are without acne or headgear or that thing on your neck that wouldn't heal. Still in SLOW MOTION, you casually push MEGAN out of the way and walk up to Cara. You're now wearing a SUIT. You smile at each other, handsome, mature adults. You start making out. NARRATOR (V.O.) She definitely won't remember that time you drank too much Blue Gatorade and puked all over her new skirt. Back to REAL TIME. You, nervous, reach Cara. Everything that just happened was your fantasy. CARA (spotting you) Oh my God! Pukesy, is that you? She gives you a BIG HUG and tousles your hair. NARRATOR (V.O.) This is not going as planned. TITLE CARD: THE UGLY DUCKLING You take SHOTS at the bar. NARRATOR (V.O.) It's possible this is a coping mechanism. Your spot LISA, pretty and well put together. NARRATOR (V.O.) Whoa, is that who you think it is? CUT TO: A YEAR BOOK. LISA, a band geek, holds a TUBA. NARRATOR (V.O.) She was a band geek. You almost made JV soccer. By the laws of high school, this should be as easy as having sex with a fish in a barrel. IMPROV DRUNK RAMBLE to a continually less impressed LISA. LISA Things are going great, actually. I'm, uh, here on a date with Chuck. CUT TO: The same YEAR BOOK PHOTO. PAN TO Chuck, also geeky. NARRATOR (V.O.) Chuck? Please. In high school, Chuck fulfilled his athletic requirement by managing the track team. You can take Chuck. CHUCK, now 6'2", solid as a rock, enters. Stares you down. NARRATOR (V.O.) Maybe it's time to call it a night. TITLE CARD: THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU INT. DARK KITCHEN - NIGHT NARRATOR (V.O.) You just went 0 for 5. Not that anybody's counting. You enter, drunk. Keys and phone are dropped haphazardly. NARRATOR (V.O.) You decide you were wrong to run out on your family. Coming home isn't about cheap flings. It's about catching up with the people you really care about. There's a PIE left out with a note: "HOPE YOU HAD FUN TONIGHT! XOXO." You smile and sit down to eat it. NARRATOR (V.O.) Of the girls you see at home, the most important one is your m- LIGHTS ON. An ASIAN FAMILY stares at you. NARRATOR (V.O.) Hm. It's possible this isn't your house. END.