INT. ANGELA’S BEDROOM - MORNING
An expensive young girl’s bedroom on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The windows look out onto Central Park. Posters of Pop Idols line the pink walls.
An alarm clock starts up an UPBEAT ROCK TUNE that blares into the room.
The small body beneath a bed of pink sheets stirs. The sheets come down and a head of messy hair covers a GIRL’S face as she slumbers out of bed in Nick and Nora Breakfast Food pajamas.
INT. BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER
A luxurious bathroom with high-end fixtures. The mirror reflects the top of the girls head bobbing to the music.
SOUND OF TEETH BRUSHING. SPIT.
A hand reaches up and opens the mirror door. The back of her head comes up as the hand reaches for a bottle of face wash, then ducks under again.
The faucet turns on.
SOUND OF SPLASHING.
ANGELA’S MOM (O.S.)
Angela, honey. Don’t be late okay?
I don’t want you missing it again
like last year.
I said, I know. I’m getting read
Faucet turns off.
ANGELA, 12, closes the mirror door as she wipes down her face with a towel. She checks herself out in the mirror. A severe cleft lip runs from her lip all the way up to her cheek, giving her the appearance of one whose face had once been split in half and put back together unevenly.
She pats down her hair, smoothing it out only slightly, and heads out.
INT. KITCHEN - LATER
A tasteful and luxurious kitchen with a marble breakfast area. Angela, dressed in her schoolgirl’s uniform of a plaid pleated skirt, collared shirt, and blazer, eats a bowl of cereal at the table.
ANGELA’S MOM, 40’s, Upper East Manhattan Socialite-type, elegant and radiant, sorts through her designer purse at the counter. She looks like she’s had some serious facial work done.
A MAID, in uniform, cleans silverware by the sink.
It’s not till after lunch anyway.
You said it was in the morning last
year. That’s why you missed it.
What? Yeah... Well last year it was,
this year it’s not.
Angela’s Mom studies her daughter inquisitively. She scorns at her slightly.
Sweetheart, couldn’t you have done
something with your hair? It’s so-
Angela pushes the cereal around in her bowl, no longer interested in eating.
Just don’t break daddy’s heart okay?
Grandmother and Grandfather were
so disappointed last year when you
Okay! I said I would, and I will. Just
leave me alone okay?
Angela gets up and puts her backpack on.
All right. There’s no reason to be
Angela’s Mom, feeling suddenly guilty, makes an attempt at being playful and winks at her daughter.
Angela sighs, exasperated, and pushes open the front door.
Don’t forget to smile...
INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
A posh, private school hallway, semi-crowded. Angela, at her locker, takes some books out and closes the locker door.
AYAKO, 12, Japanese and slight, jumps out from behind the door. She speaks with a slight Japanese accent.
Oh, hey Ayako.
You were scared.
Yeah, cuz I really thought a killer
was behind my locker.
You’re just good at hiding it but
you were scared.
A couple of ADOLESCENT BOYS,12, in their school uniforms with their ties loose and messy come at them across the hall.
(cliche Chinese tune)
Dah dah dah dah dun dun, dun
Boys laugh their way down the hall.
I hate them so much...
Yeah, but... You should be happy.
Why should I be happy? That they
Because... They’re not scared of you.
Ayako looks down, suddenly ashamed. These words hit hard.
And because your hair’s so straight.
Angela nudges Ayako playfully.
And you’re Asian, so you never have
to deal with waxing or shaving...
Ayako pushes her back, feigning annoyance.
And you’re naturally good at mat
And of course the violin...
They shove each other in jest as they stumble down the hall.
INT. SCHOOL CAFETERIA - DAY
Angela stands, holding a tray with a turkey sandwich, and searches the room. All around, perfect-looking and prematurely trendy kids chat and laugh at tables.
Angela heads to the garbage bin near the end of the room. She drops her Turkey Sandwich in her backpack and places the tray on top of others above the trash.
INT. SCHOOL BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Angela, on the window sill, takes a bite out of her sandwich while peering out the window.
Two girls, 12, come in.
Angela throws the rest of the sandwich in the trash at lightning speed, hops off the sill, and starts washing her hands. She tries to subtly chew her mouthful of sandwich.
Oh, hi Angela.
The girls go straight to the mirror.
Girl 1 brushes then flips her hair to one side.
(to Girl 2)
She flips it to the other side.
Or this side?
Definitely that side.
Girl 2 puts on lipstick in front of the mirror. She frowns at herself.
Oh... I wish I didn’t have all those
fries. I’m gonna be so bloated. My
face already looks all pudgilicious.
Angela finishes washing her hands and searches through her bag.
You’re such a dunce, it doesn’t
happen that fast.
Wanna bet? Last night I ate, like,
6 chips and my mom told me my face
looked like the Marshmallow Man.
Girl 1 laughs.
Angela smiles at them as she pulls out a hair brush from her own bag and brushes through her hair.
It’s not funny! I’m gonna have like
the ugliest picture in the whole
school. Everyone’s gonna look at it
and be like-
Girl 1 flashes Girl 2 a look of disdain.
Girl 2 looks confused, then immensely sorry.
I’m sorry, Angela.
Angela keeps her eyes on herself in the mirror and her hands pushing the brush through her locks.
(trying to be casual)
The Girls suddenly stash their grooming appliances into their purses and head off.
See you later.
The door closes behind the girls.
Angela flips her hair in front of the mirror. She flips to the other side. She throws the brush into her bag. The corners of her mouth begin to turn down and her chin quivers.
The bathroom door swings open and Ayako comes in.
I thought you’d be in here.
Where were you?!
What? I told you, I have that makeup
test at 1. I had to get my picture taken
Well you could’ve told me this morning.
I’m sorry. I thought you knew. I
told you yesterday in Math, remember?
Well maybe I couldn’t understand you.
Maybe if you’d pronounced words
What did you say?
Forget it. I gotta go.
Angela rushes past her, on the verge of tears.
INT. SCHOOL GYM - LATER
Students stand in a line that leads to the photographer’s station at the front of the room.
Angela, near the front of the line, holds her head down allowing her center-parted hair to cover much of her face.
BOY 1, several places behind Angela, imitates her by lifting his upper lip to one side of his mouth and lowering his lower lip to another.
Boy 2 giggles quietly.
Girl 1, nearby, flashes them a venomous look.
Angela turns towards the commotion. The Boys wear a stonefaced look and Girl 1 smiles politely.
The PHOTOGRAPHER, early 30’s, handsome and hip makes a quick adjustment on his camera.
Angela steps forward and takes a seat on the stool. All eyes are on her.
Okay now, gorgeous. Let’s move
some of that hair out of the way.
Angela doesn’t stir.
Come on, off your face. Let’s see
whatcha got hiding under there.
Angela stays still.
Photographer comes over to her and puts his hand towards her hair.
I got it, I got it.