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What Harm in a Kiss, Part II
by Robert Johnson
05/26/11
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if this makes no sense to you, Read Part I of Elijah Hayes continuing Saga on his road to a feature film, and please feel free to share your thoughts! And now - Part II:


INT. ELIJAH'S TRUCK - DAY
Elijah stares at himself in the rearview mirror for a moment. He sets the letter back down and starts his truck.

INT. COLLEGE STAFF OFFICES - DAY
Dr. Tinsley walks in past the office secretary, LISA.

DR. TINSLEY
Good morning!

LISA
Good morning, Professor. How was class? Oh, your wife called. I offered to put her in voicemail, but she just wanted me to tell you she called.

DR. TINSLEY
Thanks.

Dr. Tinsley walks into his office and closes the door.

INT. DR. TINSLEY'S OFFICE - DAY
Dr. Tinsley sits his briefcase down on his desk, opens it and pulls out a student roster.
On the roster is Elijah Haye's name circled in pen. Dr. Tinsley sets the list down for a moment, picks up his phone and dials Lisa, the secretary sitting right outside the door.

DR. TINSLEY
Lisa, can you call my wife back please, and tell her I'll be late tonight, I've got a meeting.

He clicks the receiver button on the phone and re-dials.

INT. ADMISSIONS OFFICE - DAY
In the admissions office, DORIS, an average looking, middle-aged woman with a pleasant smile picks up the phone.

DORIS
Admissions, this is Doris!

DR. TINSLEY (O.C.)
Doris, can you look up a student for me?

DORIS
What, no hello..., What's the name?

Doris cradles the phone between her ear and shoulder and starts typing on her computer.

DR. TINSLEY (O.C.)
Elijah Hayes. His student number is 377-41-2193.

Doris punches in the numbers and almost immediately Elijah's information comes up on the computer screen.

DORIS
What do you need?

BACK TO: TINSLEY'S OFFICE

DR. TINSLEY
Just some general background on him. He got a little smart with me in class this morning. Seemed real intelligent though. Didn't seem like your typical student.

BACK TO: ADMISSIONS OFFICE

DORIS
Well, lets see. He's a 19 year old freshman, undeclared major. Nearly maxed his SATs. All of his entrance scores are top block. Wow!

DR. TINSLEY (O.C.)
What?

DORIS
He speaks Arabic and Swahili. And he's on a Science Foundation scholarship.

DR. TINSLEY (O.C.)
Where did he go to high school?

DORIS
Hold on let me back up here.

Doris scrolls back through a couple of screens.

DORIS (CONT'D)
Hold on a second, I don't see it. Okay, here it is. Home-Schooled in Africa. His parents are missionaries.

BACK TO: TINSLEY'S OFFICE

DR. TINSLEY
Figures...,Okay, thanks.

DORIS (O.C.)
Wait. Where you going so fast?

DR. TINSLEY
I got a meeting.

BACK TO: ADMISSIONS OFFICE

Doris quiets down and covers her mouth as she looks around the office as if to see if anyone is listening to her conversation.

DORIS
Well, when can I see you again?

DR. TINSLEY (O.C.)
Soon, I'll call you.

EXT. SORORITY HOUSE - DAY
In the early morning, a late model car pulls up in front of a Sorority house and stops.
Two people are visible in it, but you cannot make out who they are until the passenger door opens up and Mary steps out.

INT. SORORITY HOUSE - DAY
JULIE, a Sorority Sister, watches Mary get out of the car through her second floor bedroom window.

EXT. SORORITY HOUSE - DAY
Mary is fashionably dressed, but her clothes are wrinkled and hastily thrown on, and her hair is a mess.

She does not linger, nor does she turn to acknowledge the UNKNOWN MALE driver as she closes the door. As the door is shutting, we hear the voice of the Unknown male driver.

UNKNOWN MALE
I'll call....,

The slamming of the door cuts him off, and Mary hastily makes her retreat up the steps to the sorority house door.

INT. SORORITY HOUSE KITCHEN - DAY
It is quiet in the room and Mary is the only one present as she prepares a bowl of healthy breakfast cereal. She appears somewhat still sleepy as she methodically opens up and pours the cereal and puts it away. She gets out the milk, pours it and puts it away.

INT. SORORITY HOUSE DAYROOM - DAY
Mary is sitting on the couch in the clothes she came in with, eating her bowl of cereal in the TV day room when her friend JULIE comes through all dressed up.

JULIE
Hey, good morning… Rough night?

MARY
No, not really.

JULIE
I'm going to church, you wanna come?

MARY
No thanks.

Julie starts to walk away, but Mary's expression is sad.

JULIE
You okay?

MARY
Yeah, I was just thinking.

JULIE
About what?

MARY
Nothing.

JULIE
C'mon?

MARY
Oh, about this guy I met.

JULIE
Ut-oh!

Julie comes around from the back of the couch and sits down next to Mary.

JULIE (CONT'D)
What's going on? Is he in jail, or an alcoholic?

MARY
Come on Julie. Not this morning.

JULIE
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to tease. Really, what's wrong?

MARY
Nothing, he's just a little different than the guys I usually fall for and I was just thinking about him, I guess. It doesn't matter, I don't think he would go for my type anyway.

JULIE
What! Are you kidding, you're gorgeous. Every guy is your type.

MARY
You know what I mean.

Julie leans closer.

JULIE
Seriously, what's he like?

A smile breaks across Mary's face and she starts to get a little excited.

MARY
He's like the boldest guy I've ever met.

JULIE
A fighter, huh?

MARY
No, not really.

JULIE
Well, what? Tell me.

MARY
You wouldn't believe me.

JULIE
C'mon, I'm gonna be late to church for this!

MARY
He's a Christian.

JULIE
A Christian? That's it? You kept me in suspense for that?

MARY
No, I mean he's really into his
faith. You should have heard him
in Tinsley's class. He challenged
him on evolution and didn't back down from Tinsley, and the other day I saw him and he was wearing this Jesus T-shirt and trying to help people. And he totally acts like he doesn't care what other people think.

Julie is flabbergasted by Mary's description, but then interrupts…

JULIE
Wow, slow down! I thought you hated religious people.

MARY
I do, but, well, I mean I don't
hate religious people, just people who act all self-righteous.

JULIE
(skeptical)
And he didn't seem that way?

MARY
No, he seems different! He talks
like he knows God personally, or
something, but he wasn't preachy or anything. I don't know, it's hard to explain.

JULIE
Are you sure you're not just looking for a project?

Mary looks down.

MARY
I don't think so. Anyway, doesn't matter. He's not interested.

EXT. CHURCH - DAY
Bright white Baptist church in the middle of a run down neighborhood. SFX of a jubilant choir singing gospel music is spilling out into the street from inside the church.

INT. CHURCH - DAY
On stage the choir is rocking back and forth and the audience is swaying and singing with the choir. Elijah is up in the front row clapping his hands and singing along with them.

The pews are packed with black folks and a very few whites scattered here and their. The atmosphere is electric.

The dancing and singing carries on for a moment until the song comes to an abrupt end and the members erupt in applause.

This is followed by a conservatively dressed, middle aged black man, PASTOR BROOKS, who stands up from a front pew and hushes the crowd with a few waves of his hands.

PASTOR BROOKS
Can I get an Amen!

CONGREGATION
AMEN!

PASTOR BROOKS
I can't hear you, I said, can I get an AMEN!

CONGREGATION
AMEN!

A WOMAN from the congregation stands up and shouts out.

WOMAN 1
What you got to say, preacher? Tell it!

PASTOR BROOKS
Oh, I got a lot to say today. Let me ask you this.

The Pastor pauses and gently paces back and forth for a moment as he searches for the words.

PASTOR BROOKS (CONT'D)
What's wrong with the kids out there today?

WOMAN 2
Uh-huh!

A long pause…

PASTOR BROOKS
I'll tell you what's wrong!

MAN 1
Tell it like it is preacher!

PASTOR BROOKS
Oh I'm gonna tell ya.

Many hands in the congregation are lifted up in praise.

CONGREGATION
Praise the Lord!

Elijah leans over to EMMA WILSON, a black middle-aged woman next to him.

ELIJAH
(whispering to Emma)
I need to talk to you.

Emma nods her head in a rhythmic acknowledgement.

PASTOR BROOKS
Us!

A couple of lower scattered "Amen's" quietly rise up from the congregation.

The Pastor cups his hand over his ear and makes an exaggerated lean toward the congregation.

PASTOR BROOKS (CONT'D)
What's that? I didn't quite hear you.

The congregation replies a bit louder, but not with the same enthusiasm following the Choir.

CONGREGATION
Amen!

The Pastor turns and makes his way up to the podium and grabs his Bible.

PASTOR BROOKS
Don't worry, I said us, not you.

The Congregation laughs.

PASTOR BROOKS (CONT'D)
Open your Bibles to Revelation Chapter 3, verses 14-18.

Many in the congregation open their Bibles.

PASTOR BROOKS (CONT'D)
"These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were either one or the other!"

Pastor Brooks lowers his Bible and takes a long pause before resuming.

PASTOR BROOKS (CONT'D)
"So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Pastor Brooks closes his Bible and pauses for a moment as he scans the crowd. The congregation is quiet with heads hanging in contemplation.

PASTOR BROOKS (CONT'D)
The Lord sees you. He sees you lifting praises and singing to high glory on Sunday. And he sees you down at the club on Friday night. And I'll tell you who else sees you. The kids, the kids see you. They see you curs'in your fellow drivers on the road too.

INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
Elijah and Emma are sitting at a table sipping coffee.

EMMA
So what's eat'in at ya, Eli?
Elijah fidgets with his cup a bit.

EMMA (CONT'D)
What's her name?

ELIJAH
(surprised)
Huh!

EMMA
The girl, what's her name?

ELIJAH
(embarrassed)
Why do you think I came to talk about a girl?

EMMA
Because I don't think I've ever seen ya this rattled before?

ELIJAH
She's just a girl I thought might be open to the gospel!

Emma rocks back in her chair and looks at Elijah with raised eyebrows. Then she folds her arms and leans toward Elijah with skepticism written all over her face.

EMMA
Uh-huh.

ELIJAH
What?

EMMA
You'd better take care. This ain't no kind of jungle you're use to. In America honey, Satan wears a dress.

Now Elijah rocks back in his chair and folds his arms.

ELIJAH
Come on Emm! A little credit please.

EMMA
I know cute girls need Jesus too, but I'm not sure this is what God brought you here for.

ELIJAH
Ah, you're right. I don't know what I was thinking. She seems pretty far out there, but I just can't stop thinking about her. I mean, she's not even close to who I'd, ah....

Emma gives him the raised eyebrow look again.

EMMA
Don't forget why you're here young Eli. I told your momma I'd keep an eye on you.

Elijah smiles and laughs and looks at Emma who starts to laugh as well.

EMMA (CONT'D)
Don't forget who else is watching too.

ELIJAH
I know.

EMMA
Just remember, honey, Hebrews Chapter 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are (Elijah joins in) surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus."

Elijah and Emma finish the quote together and laugh.

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAWN
Elijah is stretching his legs for a workout and yawning in front of his apartment. It's quiet except for the morning sounds of birds. He gets up and begins to run at a slow pace down the long drive of the complex.

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY
He exits the secluded drive onto a busy morning street that is already alive with traffic and activity.

ELIJAH (V.O.)
Father, everything is so different here. But you Lord, my Father, and my friend. Your ways never change. I never realized how awesome that was until I came here.

MONTAGE - Scenes of Elijah running intermixed with various scenes of Americans on crowded streets, hurrying here and there. Kids are playing soccer, parents are cheering and yelling at the referee.

ELIJAH (V.O.) (CONT'D)
You are my strength. Wherever I am, you are there. I can always count on you to hear my prayers.
MONTAGE -BUMS ARE AT THE LIQUOR STORES, PEOPLE ARE PLAYING THE LOTTERY AT CONVENIENCE STORES AND GAMBLING IN CASINOS; MEN ARE ON THE GOLF COURSES, AND WALKING INTO STRIP CLUBS; TWO PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR CELL PHONES, THERE ARE FRUSTRATED PEOPLE IN TRAFFIC; YOUNG KIDS ARE SMOKING ON THE STREET CORNER; SEVERAL YOUNG GIRLS SCANTILY DRESSED ARE FLIRTING WITH BOYS, ALL WHILE, ELIJAH IS JOGGING AND PRAYING.

ELIJAH (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Lord, you give me hope. You've known me since the beginning. Thanks for my parents and for
blessing me with family and friends. You are an awesome God, I wish everyone knew you.

EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY
Elijah continues running. His shirt is soaked with sweat.

MONTAGE - MORE OF ELIJAH RUNNING MIXED WITH MORE SCENES OF PEOPLE. HIS DEBATE WITH HIS PROFESSOR, HIS ENCOUNTERS WITH MARY, AND THE TWO CLOWNS BILL AND TED.

ELIJAH (V.O.)
I wish she knew you… I know I should flee from her, but Lord,there's something about Mary. (pause) I feel good around her..,

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
Elijah is alone now, silently running next to a corn field on a long stretch of road.

ELIJAH (V.O.)
This attraction, I fear, is what mom warned me about.

Elijah wipes the sweat from his brow.

ELIJAH (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Lord, strengthen me to stay away.

to be continued....


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