AARON
                                Sez me!

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (angry)
                                Well, we're not!  We made a deal and now you're
                                going back on it, and that's bullshit!

                                                                 AARON
                                Kate, this isn't a deal; it's our fucking lives!  And
                                somebody else's life, too, now!  It's time to stop
                                playing games.

                                                                 KATE
                                Exactly!  That's why I think we shouldn't see each
                                other for a while.

Aaron is floored.

                                                                 AARON
                                What?

                                                                 KATE
                                I'm not crazy, okay?  This is my plan, and my baby.
                                I appreciate your help, but whether it was you or the
                                sperm bank, this was going to happen.  I decided.
                                This wasn't a mistake and I'm not going to treat it like
                                one.  Besides, I've stopped getting smashed now, for
                                the baby, and that's all we ever do anyway.

Aaron stands.

                                                                 AARON
                                Is that all we ever do?  I thought it was more than
                                that.

He starts to leave.  Kate goes after him.

                                                                 KATE
                                Aaron, please, can't you try to understand?

                                                                 AARON
                                I understand completely, Kate.  You are crazy!

                                                                 KATE
                                I am not!

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (hurt)
                                See ya.

Aaron leaves.

Kate turns around looking confused and perturbed, but determined nevertheless.  She stomps her foot.

                                                                 KATE
                                I will not be deterred . . . And I'm not crazy!

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. I-75 FREEWAY - DAY           57

Aaron's blue Eldorado cruises past on I-75, one of the major highways of Detroit.  As the car passes, our view stays on a five-story billboard for General Tire shaped like a giant tire.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                Kate and I didn't talk for a week.  This was the first
                                time in eleven years that we'd ever done this.

INT. AARON'S CAR - DAY           58

Aaron glances over at his phone sitting on the passenger seat, and frowns.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                I somehow got through the week without calling her.

Aaron points at the telephone.


                                                                 AARON
                                Grow up!

INT. KATE'S HOUSE - DAY           59

Kate, meanwhile, is going through the early phases of pregnancy.  Morning sickness, afternoon sickness, and evening sickness.  Not only that, she has to quit smoking.  Kate takes the cigarettes, puts them in the desk drawer, then turns back to the computer.

JUMP CUT: Kate finds herself mysteriously in front of her computer with a burning cigarette in her hand and smoke coming out of her mouth.

Kate hides the cigarettes in a drawer in the kitchen.

JUMP CUT: There she is at her computer smoking a cigarette again.

Finally, Kate flushes the cigarettes down the toilet.  She takes a stop-smoking concoction out of a plastic drugstore bag.  It's some kind of candy-looking stuff.  Kate shrugs, it doesn't look too bad, and eats some.  She barfs it up, too.

The mail arrives containing a six-inch thick, letter-size box.  In the box is an 800-page cookbook for her to edit.  Every recipe makes her sick.

Kate returns home with another drugstore bag.  This one contains every kind of anti-nausea compound and device presently available.  Kate puts on a plastic wristband, then another, then patches behind her ears.

There's a knock at the door.  It's Beth - Kate's former best friend, and Aaron's old girlfriend.  The one that got married, moved to New Zealand, and had two kids.  She, too, has gotten older, but still looks very good.

                                                                 BETH
                                Hello, Kate.

Kate's bowled over.

                                                                 KATE
                                Beth?  What on Earth are you doing here?

                                                                 BETH
                                Aren't you happy to see me?

                                                                 KATE
                                Of course.
                                                           (they hug and kiss.  Kate
                                                           realizes she's wearing all
                                                           of these wristbands and patches)
                                But what are you doing here?

                                                                 BETH
                                 I did call, remember?

                                                                 KATE
                                Sure, and you said you were on the brink of divorce.
                                You didn't get divorced, did you?

                                                                 BETH
                                It's not possible to get divorced that quickly, Kate.
                                But I did leave Lawrence.

                                                                 KATE
                                And your kids?

                                                                 BETH
                                Them, too, for the moment.  Gotta joint?

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (astounded)
                                In that drawer there.  You left your kids?

Beth goes to the drawer and takes out a change tray and paraphernalia.  As soon as Beth turns around, Kate tears the patches from behind her ears.  They seat themselves and Beth rolls a joint.

                                                                 BETH
                                For the moment.  They'll be fine with Lawrence.
                                None of them will miss me for a second, I assure
                                you.

                                                                 KATE
                                What do you mean?

Beth lights the joint, takes a big hit and hands it to Kate.  Kate waves it off and Beth looks surprised.

                                                                 BETH
                                Lawrence hasn't worked in two years.  He's become
                                the mom and I've become the dad.  At first I was
                                doing a day or two a week at a law firm in Auckland.
                                Lawrence lost his job, the next thing you know I'm
                                full time, and that's how it's stayed.  Let him be an
                                unemployed, single mom for a while and see how he
                                likes that.  And beyond all of that shit, we don't sleep
                                together anymore.
                                                           (Beth starts to cry.  Kate goes over
                                                           and comforts her.  Beth looks up at
                                                           Kate with tear-stained eyes)
                                It's not fair!  None of it's fair!  And on top of everything
                                else, I'm so horny I could scream.  How could he do this
                                to me?
                                                           (Beth sits up straight, wipes
                                                           her eyes, and hits the joint)
                                I'll tell you one thing; before I go back, I'm getting laid.
                                                           (Beth takes another
                                                           big hit of the joint)
                                So, how are you?

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (nods)
                                Fine.

                                                                 BETH
                                You look like shit.  What's with the patches and
                                wristbands?

                                                                 KATE
                                I'm, uh, trying to quite smoking.

                                                                 BETH
                                                           (nods)
                                Yeah.  Good luck.  I quit when I was pregnant the
                                first time, started again, quit when I got pregnant
                                again, then started again.  It was the very worst part
                                about being pregnant; not smoking.

Kate nods, and suddenly blurts:

                                                                 KATE
                                I'm pregnant!

Kate is shocked that she said it.  Beth is even more shocked.

                                                                 BETH
                                You're what?

                                                                 KATE
                                I'm pregnant.

                                                                 BETH
                                How?

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (exasperated)
                                Immaculate conception.  I got knocked up.  It
                                happens.

                                                                 BETH
                                Not to you, Kate.

                                                                 KATE
                                What does that mean?

                                                                 BETH
                                You had condoms and some kind of contraceptive
                                foam you stole from your sister with you everyday
                                for two years before you had sex the first time, just
                                in case
.  I'm afraid I don't believe you.

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Nevertheless.

                                                                 BETH
                                You're hiding something, Kate.  You can't keep
                                a secret from me, you never could.  What's up?


                                                                 KATE
                                Hmmmmm . . . ?

                                                                 BETH
                                Come on.

                                                                 KATE
                                Well . . . I was artificially inseminated.

Beth is impressed.

                                                                 BETH
                                No kidding?  How futuristic.  Couldn't you get
                                anyone to sleep with you?

                                                                 KATE
                                I could've.  I didn't want to.  This is going to be
                                my baby.

                                                                 BETH
                                Okay.  That's great.  I wouldn't expect you to do
                                anything like anyone else anyway.  But, if this is
                                what makes you happy, congratulations.

Beth hugs Kate.

                                                                 KATE
                                Thank you, Beth.  I knew you'd understand.

                                                                 BETH
                                What are best friend's for?  Look, I've got to take off.
                                I'm staying at my mom's house.
                                                           (Beth stands)
                                Thanks for the joint.

                                                                 KATE
                                Sure.  What's the rush?

                                                                 BETH
                                I've got some things I've got to do.  Let's have lunch
                                tomorrow, okay?  Noon?
                                                           (Kate nods)
                                See ya.

Kate raises her eyebrows as she watches Beth dash out.

INT. AARON'S HOUSE - DAY           60

Aaron is sitting in his house listening to the cool strains of Oscar Peterson's jazz piano, and reading Sneetches on the Beaches by Dr. Suess, when there's a knock at the door.  His heart leaps a little bit and he grins.

                                                                 AARON
                                Ah ha!  Kate.  At last.

Aaron opens the door and there stands Beth.  Aaron is shocked to see her.

                                                                 BETH
                                                           (smiles)
                                Long time, no see.

Aaron smiles back and hugs her.

                                                                 AARON
                                Beth, it's great to see you.  What's up?  What are
                                you doing here?

                                                                 BETH
                                Oh, I just wanted to see how you were doing.

                                                                 AARON
                                How did you find me?

                                                                 BETH
                                My mom's friends with your mom, remember?

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (nods)
                                Oh, yeah.


                                                                 BETH
                                Mind if I come in?
                                                           (she's already in so
                                                           it doesn't matter)
                                Hey, what a nice place.  You still collect your
                                empty cigarette packs?

                                                                 AARON
                                No.  Did I ever?

                                                                 BETH
                                Yeah, you did.

                                                                 AARON
                                Maybe they had coupons or something.

Beth seats herself on the couch.

                                                                 BETH
                                You taped the empty packages to your closet
                                door.  I don't remember why.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (nods; remembering)
                                Oh, yeah.  It was a very minor act of rebellion.
                                I remember now.

                                                                 BETH
                                Gotta cigarette?

                                                                 AARON
                                Sure.
                                                           (Aaron hands them to her.
                                                           Beth lights one.  Aaron looks
                                                           confused)
                                So, aren't you, like, married and have kids and,
                                all that kinda shit?

                                                                 BETH
                                                           (nods)
                                All that kinda shit.

                                                                 AARON
                                Where are they?

                                                                 BETH
                                New Zealand.

                                                                 AARON
                                Huh, I thought you lived in Australia.  So, what
                                happened?

                                                                 BETH
                                I left them.

                                                                 AARON
                                Wow.  That's pretty intense.

                                                                 BETH
                                                           (nods)
                                Uh-huh.  Know why I did it?

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (shakes his head)
                                Uh-uh.

Beth gets up, walks over to Aaron and looks down at him.

                                                                 BETH
                                I did it all for one reason . . .

                                                                 AARON
                                . . . And what's that?

Beth grins mischievously.  She hikes up her skirt, swings a stockinged leg over Aaron's legs, and sits down.

                                                                 BETH
                                To fuck your brains out.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (grins)
                                Get outta here.

                                                                 BETH
                                It's true.  My husband and I haven't had sex in
                                two years.  I've done a lot of thinking about sex,
                                and who I had the best, most enjoyable sex with.
                                And it was with you, Aaron.
                                                           (Beth moves around a bit
                                                           and puts her nose against
                                                           Aaron's, who wears a very;
                                                           quizzical expression)
                                It was pretty damn good, wasn't it?  Don't tell me
                                my memory's shot, too.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (smiles)
                                Yes, Beth, it was good.

                                                                 BETH
                                Exceptional?

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (considers; nods)
                                Exceptional.  Except that we couldn't talk.

                                                                 BETH
                                Looks like we can talk now.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (nods)
                                Yeah, it does.

                                                                 BETH
                                So, what do you say?

Aaron starts to laugh.

                                                                 AARON
                                This is ridiculous.

                                                                 BETH
                                You're not into it?


                                                                 AARON
                                Get real.  I'm totally into it.  You're not going to
                                tell your husband who you're messing around with,
                                will you?  I don't need any enraged New Zealanders
                                coming half-way around the world to get me.

Beth crosses her heart.

                                                                 BETH
                                Never.

Beth touches the end of Aaron's nose with the tip of her tongue.  Aaron really looks like he's thinking.  Beth is amused.

                                                                 BETH
                                Is there that much to think about?

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (shrugs; smiles)
                                No.  No there isn't.  Fuck it, what have I got to
                                lose?  I'm thirty-six, single, and nobody gives a
                                shit about me.

                                                                 BETH
                                I do.

                                                                 AARON
                                Really?

                                                                 BETH
                                I told you, I haven't stopped thinking about you
                                in eleven years.

Aaron nods and smiles, falling back on top of Beth.  They kiss hungrily.

FADE OUT& IN:

INT. AARON'S HOUSE/BEDROOM - DAY           61

Aaron wakes up in the morning with Beth asleep beside him.  As our view widens we see that the bedroom is destroyed.  Furniture is knocked over, clothes are everywhere, some are even torn, and Aaron's weightbench is on it's side.

Aaron sticks out his tongue.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (slurs)
                                My tongue's got a hernia.

Beth opens an eye, sees Aaron, and grins.  She rolls over onto her back.

                                                                 BETH
                                I feel like I swam the English Channel.

                                                                 AARON
                                In choppy water.  How about a cup of espresso?

                                                                 BETH
                                                           (grins)
                                When did you start drinking espresso?  You always
                                hated things like that.

                                                                 AARON
                                Kate lent me her machine.  She's not drinking coffee
                                anymore.

                                                                 BETH
                                You know why, don't you?

                                                                 AARON
                                'Cause she's pregnant, that's why.

                                                                 BETH
                                So, she told you, eh?

                                                                 AARON
                                Yeah, she told me.

                                                                 BETH
                                Artificial insemination.  Only Kate would do that
                                kinda thing.

                                                                 AARON
                                You're tellin' me.

Aaron gets up to make the espresso.  Beth follows along.

                                                                 BETH
                                Isn't it interesting how you and I went out all
                                those years ago, then broke up, and how you
                                and Kate became friends?

                                                                 AARON
                                Yeah, I guess.

                                                                 BETH
                                It shows some kind of cosmic connection, I
                                think.

                                                                 AARON
                                Honey?

Beth hugs Aaron from behind.

                                                                 BETH
                                Yes, sweetheart?

Aaron holds up a plastic container of honey.

                                                                 AARON
                                Would you like some honey in your coffee?

                                                                 BETH
                                Oh.
                                                           (she shakes her head)
                                No thanks.  So, Kate's pregnant.  How weird.
                                Well, I've done it twice and, quite frankly, she
                                can have it.

INT. KATE'S HOUSE/BEDROOM - DAY           62

Kate has the covers over her head and moans, totally nauseous.  She rolls over and lowers the covers and we see that she is covered with anti-nausea patches.

                                                                 KATE
                                I knew this wouldn't be easy, but I had no idea.
                                                           (she sits up slowly)
                                Maybe I've made a mistake.  A big mistake.
                                                           (Kate frowns)
                                I could still fix it.
                                                           (she dials the telephone)
                                . . . Hello, mom?

EXT. KATE'S PARENTS' HOUSE/BACKYARD - DAY           63

Kate's mom speaks on a cordless phone, on her hands and knees in her garden, ripping out dead plants.

                                                                 MOM
                                Hi, Kate.  What gets you up so early?

Kate glances at the clock. It's 6:55.

                                                                 KATE
                                Uh . . . That's what I want to talk to you about.

                                                                 MOM
                                Well, you know what I say, you never can get up
                                early enough to catch that pesky old worm.  Speaking
                                of worms, I just dug up the longest worm I've ever
                                seen.  It was as thick as your finger and foot long and
                                all gooey and squiggly and looked ferocious.

Kate is turning green.

                                                                 KATE
                                What did you do?

                                                                 MOM
                                I befriended it and put it under my Delphinium.
                                Worms are a very good thing to have in the soil -

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (abrupt)
                                - Enough with worms, mom, okay?

                                                                 MOM
                                If you insist.  How's work?

Kate puts her head between her knees.

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (hyperventilating)
                                Work's fine.

                                                                 MOM
                                You know what I think, Kate.  I think you need
                                to be out amongst people.  Staying in all the
                                time isn't good for you.

                                                                 KATE
                                Uh . . . You think Karen's home, or has she
                                left for work?

                                                                 MOM
                                She doesn't have to be to work until nine.  I'm
                                sure she's still home.

                                                                 KATE
                                Thanks, mom.  I'll call her.

                                                                 MOM
                                What did you want to talk about, dear?

                                                                 KATE
                                Oh . . . nothing.  Talk to you later.

                                                                 MOM
                                Happy Fourth of July, dear.

                                                                 KATE
                                Is it really?

                                                                 MOM
                                Yes, are you celebrating?

                                                                 KATE
                                Yeah, I'm gonna set myself on fire.  Talk to
                                you later, mom.

                                                                 MOM
                                Bye, bye.

INT. KATE'S HOUSE/BEDROOM - DAY           62A

Kate hangs up.  She quickly redials the phone.  It rings twice, then a machine cuts in with a recording of a FOUR YEAR OLD's voice.

                                                                 FOUR YEAR OLD
                                                           (O.S.; recorded)
                                Mommy and Daddy aren't home now, so . . .

We hear the voice of Kate's sister, KAREN, whispering:

                                                                 KAREN
                                                           (O.S.; recorded)
                                . . . Leave a message.

                                                                 FOUR YEAR OLD
                                . . . Leave a message.

                                                                 KAREN
                                . . . At the tone.

                                                                 FOUR YEAR OLD
                                . . . At the -

Kate hangs up.

                                                                 KATE
                                I really hate long messages.
                                                           (Kate drops her face
                                                           in her hands and sobs)
                                What have I done?

Just then the doorbell rings and it's a FEDERAL EXPRESS MAN.  He hands Kate a package, which she signs for.  Kate unzips the envelope, revealing a thick book entitled, Slugs, Grubs, and Snails: An Illustarted History.  The cover photo is a human hand holding a softball-sized slug.  Kate gulps.

INT. AARON'S HOUSE/KITCHEN - DAY           64

Aaron and Beth drink their espresso.

                                                                 BETH
                                Mind if I use your phone?

                                                                 AARON
                                No, not at all.

Beth goes to the wall phone in the kitchen and begins to punch buttons.  She pauses and pushes a slew more numbers.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (confused)
                                Where are you calling?  Bora Bora?

                                                                 BETH
                                No, New Zealand.  It's actually further than
                                Bora Bora.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (surprised)
                                New Zealand?

                                                                 BETH
                                It's okay, I'm charging it to my credit card.

                                                                 AARON
                                What's the time difference?

                                                                 BETH
                                It's six hours earlier, tomorrow.

                                                                 AARON
                                Oh . . .
                                                           (calculating)
                                That makes it one in the morning . . . tomorrow?


                                                                 BETH
                                                           (smiles)
                                I know . . . Hello, Lawrence?  Yes, it's Beth.  Your
                                wife, remember?  Guess what I did last night?  I fucked
                                my brains out, what do you think of that?  . . . Good on
                                me?  Did you say, "Good-on-ya?"  That's such a stupid,
                                Kiwi thing to say.
                                                           (Beth harumphs)
                                And Aaron thought he might have an enraged New
                                Zealander on his hands . . .
                                                           (Aaron can't believe it.  He uses his
                                                           finger to cut his throat.  Beth waves
                                                           her hand)
                                Oh, it doesn't matter.  Lawrence hasn't got the balls.
                                Did you here that, Lawrence -?
                                                           (the call-waiting starts to beep)
                                - Hold on, the call-waiting's beeping.
                                                           (Beth hands the phone to Aaron)
                                Here.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (points at the phone)
                                What about him?

                                                                 BETH
                                Fuck him, he'll wait.

Aaron switches lines.

                                                                 AARON
                                Hello?

                                                                 KATE
                                                           (In a sheepish voice)
                                Hi, Aaron.

Aaron doesn't recognize the voice.

                                                                 AARON
                                Who is this?


                                                                 KATE
                                It's Kate.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (sarcastic)
                                Kate who?

                                                                 KATE
                                I think we need to talk.

                                                                 AARON
                                Uh . . . Can I call you back?

                                                                 KATE
                                I think we need to talk now.

                                                                 AARON
                                Now?  Right now?  Well, I can't talk right now.

                                                                 KATE
                                Why not?

                                                                 AARON
                                'Cause I can't, all right.  Can we talk later?

                                                                 KATE
                                No.  I'm gonna come there now.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (shrugs)
                                I don't think you should come here now.
                                                           (Beth shakes her head
                                                           emphatically "No!")
                                It's not a good idea . . . Kate?  Are you there?
                                                           (she's not there.  Aaron
                                                           pushes the hang-up button)
                                Hello?

Aaron has switched lines and now has Beth's husband, Lawrence.

                                                                 LAWRENCE
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Hello?  Who's this?

Aaron frowns, covering the mouthpiece with his hand.

                                                                 AARON
                                Shit!  Here.

He hands the phone to Beth.

                                                                 BETH
                                Yes, that was him.  Look, Lawrence, I've gotta
                                go.

Beth hangs up.  Aaron shakes his head.

                                                                 AARON
                                Kate's coming here.

 

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