I’m Fine

written by Luke Baxter

INT. CHAPEL – FUNERAL

JACK (30s) sits in a pew, surrounded by fellow MOURNERS.

Everyone is dressed elegantly. They all wear BLACK.

JACK, V.O.

I miss you.

A PREACHER is giving a sermon from the pulpit.

JACK, V.O. (CONT’D)

Today, I was reminded of Javier’s funeral, and it made me think of you.

A man, JAVIER, smiles from photos, playing on a slideshow at the front of the church.

JACK, V.O. (CONT’D)

I’ll never forget that day. How great you were to me.

DEEDEE (30s), sitting beside Jack, squeezes his hand and smiles at him. He squeezes her hand back.

JACK, V.O. (CONT’D)

We got him a white coffin.

REVEAL: WHITE COFFIN. CLOSED.

JACK, V.O. (CONT’D)

Nothing fancy. Simple. I would have gotten him something a little more fancy, but funerals are supposed to be for the dead, not the living.

(beat)

Just a simple, white coffin.

EXT. CEMETERY – CLOUDY

Jack and Deedee are walking up a grassy hill, towards Javier’s coffin, about to be buried. It’s very windy.

DEEDEE

God, it’s so cold.

JACK

Yeah.

DEEDEE

Do you think we picked out the right coffin?

JACK

I don’t know. Why?

DEEDEE

The coffin you pick out for someone’s important.

JACK

It is?

DEEDEE

Yeah.

JACK

I mean, it’s going in the ground.

DEEDEE

Well, yeah, but –

JACK

And it’s not like they’ll know.

DEEDEE

Listen, Jack –

JACK

The paint’s gonna chip away, the wood’s gonna decompose –

DEEDEE

Okay, hold on –

JACK

It doesn’t matter what fucking coffin we got him. It’s just a fucking box, okay?

Deedee stops walking.

DEEDEE

Wow.

JACK

Look, I –

DEEDEE

Just shut the fuck up, Jack, okay?

JACK

I’m sorry!

DEEDEE

I mean, are you trying to be insensitive, or – ?

LEE

I’m sorry, okay?

Look, I’m sorry, okay?

Look, I – I don’t know!

DEEDEE (CONT’D)

– are you just a real natural at it?

DEEDEE (CONT’D)

You don’t know what?

JACK

I don’t know if we got him the right coffin! It’s a coffin.

DEEDEE

Yes, it’s a fucking coffin. I know that.

JACK

Don’t be a bitch.

Jack turns around and starts walking up the hill again.

Deedee follows.

DEEDEE

Wow, what’s wrong with you?

JACK

I’m fine.

DEEDEE

Sure you are.

JACK

I am. I’m fine. I –

(deep breath, nicer)

Good service.

DEEDEE

Yeah.

JACK

It’s cold.

DEEDEE

(sigh) Yeah, it is.

They continue to walk in silence up the hill, hugging their jackets to their bodies.

LATER — Deedee and Jack reach the coffin. It’s being suspended over a rectangular HOLE in the ground. Ten or so MOURNERS stand around it, with a PRIEST in the middle of everyone.

PRIEST

Today, we are remembering Javier. The Lord’s love –

The priest rambles on, as Jack looks around at all the fellow mourners. Everyone is dressed in black, somber, and looking to the ground.

Then, he looks down at the now-open coffin.

REVEAL: JAVIER IN COFFIN

Jack swallows. Tears fill his eyes. He blinks. Deedee puts an arm around him. He shakes her off and wipes his eyes, looking forward. His breathing begins to quicken.

DEEDEE

(whispered)

Jack –

SERIES OF SHOTS:

> A CHIP in the paint of the coffin

> Javier’s FACE. His SKIN CELLS are collecting.

> His lips are GLUED TOGETHER.

> The coffin lies, SUSPENDED, over the hole.

JACK

Oh my God.

Jack breaks away from the burial and goes back down the hill. Deedee follows. The other mourners glance at each other, worried. The priest continues talking.

EXT. CEMETERY – GRASSY HILL

Jack is running down the hill, Deedee following behind him.

DEEDEE

Jack! Wait up, okay? God, slow down.

Jack reaches the bottom of the hill. He looks around, confused. He is crying. Deedee reaches the bottom of the hill but keeps her distance.

DEEDEE (CONT’D)

Jack?

JACK

We should have gotten him a better box.

DEEDEE

Jack –

JACK

We should have gotten him a better box.

DEEDEE

It’s a good box.

JACK

No “box” is good.

DEEDEE

Okay.

JACK

He’s in a box…

DEEDEE

Jack –

JACK

He’s in a box!

DEEDEE

(moving toward Jack)

Hey, come here.

JACK

(moving away)

No.

DEEDEE

(stopping)

Okay. I’m not gonna move any closer.

JACK

(after a beat)

I’m sorry, I – I don’t know why, I –

DEEDEE

Your friend just died, sweetie.

JACK

Yes.

DEEDEE

Your friend just died.

JACK

Yes. That happened.

DEEDEE

It’s really cold, do you want to go inside somewhere?

JACK

No. No.

DEEDEE

How can I help, Jack?

JACK

You’re doing fine.

(beat)

I smell smoke. Someone must be having a bonfire, or something.

DEEDEE

Okay, sure. Focus on that.

Jack closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

DEEDEE (CONT’D)

(i.e. Breathing)

Good.

JACK

(after a beat, calmer)

He’s in a box.

Deedee holds out her arms. Jack runs to her and gives her a hug. He breaks down, crying.

DEEDEE

It’s okay… Shh…

She holds him, as he cries.

JACK, V.O.

I’ll never forget that.

SHARP CUT:

INT. FUNERAL HALL

The sounds of the crying and wind are silenced, replaced by Jack’s singular sniffling. He is looking down at someone in a coffin (hidden), speaking to them.

JACK

How great you were to me. I hope you like your, uh, “box”. It was important to me that we get you something a little better than Javier’s. I don’t know, I just… I love you, sweetheart. And I miss you already.

Jack leans down and kisses the person in the coffin. He sniffs.

He walks away. As he walks away –

REVEAL: DEEDEE IN COFFIN

CUT TO BLACK

TITLE CARD: “I’M FINE”

INT. CHAPEL – FUNERAL

Jack sits in another, smaller chapel. Mourners sit around him, all in black. Someone poorly plays “Amazing Grace” on the piano.

REVEAL: BROWN COFFIN. CLOSED.

“Amazing Grace” clunkily drags on.

LATER — A preacher speaks of the Lord’s Great Love from the pulpit.

LATER — Deedee’s MOTHER and FATHER stand at the doors of the church, shaking the hands of people passing by.

Jack waits in line to give his condolences.

MOURNER

If you need anything, just ask. Whatever you need.

MOTHER

Thank you.

MOURNER

Sure.

The mourner walks away, and Jack walks up to the mother and father.

MOTHER

(hugging Jack)

Oh there you are, kiddo. We were wondering where you’ve been.

JACK

Well I’ve been here. Nice service.

MOTHER

Yes it was.

FATHER

Yeah.

MOTHER

How about you stand next to us, Jack?

JACK

No, that’s okay.

MOTHER

(firm look)

Jack.

JACK

(after a beat)

Yeah, okay.

FATHER

She always gets her way.

The mother and father chuckle and the mother hits the father on the shoulder playfully. Jack smiles. They begin to greet more mourners, shaking hands, Jack now included.

INT. PUB – NIGHT – LATER

Jack sits in a nearly-empty pub, drinking a BEER alone.

Indistinct MUSIC plays in the background. The occasional clatter of BEER GLASSES CLINKING.

He takes a swig, finishes his drink. He asks the bartender for another.

INT. NICE HOUSE – WAKE – EARLIER

Jack stands – red solo cup in his hand – amongst the mourners. He watches them pass by. Music plays quietly in the background.

Jack takes a drink from his red solo cup. He eyes a vegetable tray.

LATER — Jack is eating a carrot from the vegetable tray.

MIKE (30s) walks up to him, holding out his hand for a shake.

MIKE

Hey buddy.

JACK

Hi, how are ya?

MIKE

Good, good. How are you?

JACK

I’m –

MIKE

Oh man, that’s a dumb question. Sorry.

JACK

– fine.

No, that’s alright, I asked it first.

MIKE

Okay.

(beat)

Well, how are ya?

JACK

Good.

MIKE

Good.

JACK

Yeah.

MIKE

She was a special lady.

JACK

Yeah, she was.

Awkward silence.

MIKE

Well hey, I just wanted to say goodbye before I took off –

JACK

Oh you’re taking off?

MIKE (CONT’D)

– I have to –

Yeah, I have to put the baby to sleep.

JACK

Okay.

MIKE

Yeah, she’s three months old now. I can’t believe it, she –

Jack patiently waits, as Mike talks about his kid. He nods along.

INT. PUB – NIGHT

Jack is nearly alone in the bar, drinking his beer. The bartender stacks some chairs in the background. It is almost closing time. The indistinct music continues to play.

INT. NICE HOUSE – WAKE

Jack is holding Deedee’s mother, as she CRIES. He is expressionless.

JACK

(stroking hair)

Shh…

LATER — Jack is shoving RED SOLO CUPS and PAPER PLATES into a TRASH BAG, cleaning up. The music has silenced, and the majority of people have left. Jack looks at one of the cups for a second and picks it up. He smells it. And then he drinks what’s in the cup.

FATHER

Thanks for helping, Jack.

JACK

(a little buzzed)

Yeah, sure. It shouldn’t take much longer. Is there anything else I can do for you?

FATHER

No, go home. Are you good to drive?

JACK

Yeah.

FATHER

Great.

JACK

Yeah.

The father pats Jack on the shoulder. Suddenly, TEARS fill his eyes. He wipes his eyes and stands up straight.

FATHER

Sorry.

JACK

No, of course. Um… Do you need anything, too, or…?

FATHER

No, no, it’s just… I just kinda wish I could… you know…

JACK

Trade places with her?

FATHER

(after a beat)

I don’t know…

Awkward silence. Jack is expressionless.

FATHER (CONT’D)

How are you doing, are you okay?

JACK

Yeah, I’m okay.

(beat)

I think I’m gonna take off. I, uh… Yeah.

FATHER

Yeah, okay. Thanks for coming.

JACK

Sure.

Deedee’s father gives Jack a hug. Jack looks uncomfortable.

Awkward pat on the back.

Jack hands the garbage bag to Deedee’s father and walks away.

The father begins to CRY.

Then, he sniffs, stands up straight, and begins stuffing more cups and plates into the trash bag.

INT. PUB – NIGHT

Jack is drinking in the bar. He is alone, except for one

OTHER GUY (40s). They sit on opposite sides of the bar.

BARTENDER

Hey guys, we’re closing up.

BAR GUY

Okay, thanks John. How’s the new baby?

BARTENDER

She’s beautiful.

The bartender takes out a cell phone and shows a picture to the other guy at the bar. Jack watches them with disdain, drunk.

BAR GUY

Wow, she really is.

BARTENDER

Yeah. Thanks.

BAR GUY (CONT’D)

Congratulations.

The other bar guy pulls out some cash and counts it out. He throws it on the counter.

BAR GUY (CONT’D)

Have a good one.

BARTENDER

Yeah, you too.

The bartender goes back to stacking chairs. The other guy finishes up his beer in one Great Chug and then catches Jack looking at him. Uncomfortable, he sets his beer down, grabs his jacket, and starts to head out.

JACK

(slurred)

Why the fuck were you looking at me?

BAR GUY

I’m sorry?

JACK

(after a beat, mumbled)

Never mind.

The bar guy leaves, keeping an eye on Jack as he does. Jack finishes his beer, grabs his jacket, and angrily leaves, without paying.

INT. JACK’S BEDROOM – PITCH BLACK

Everything is in shadows. Jack walks into his bedroom and throws his jacket on the floor. He is definitely drunk.

He collapses onto his bed with a moan.

LATER — It is MORNING.

Jack opens his eyes, yawns. Then, he silently looks at the

EMPTY SPACE on the bed next to him. He takes a deep breath.

Then, very suddenly, he begins to POUND HIS SHEETS, attacking them fiercely. He begins to CRY. He clutches the sheets and presses them to his face.

He is SOBBING…

INT. SUPERMARKET – A FEW HOURS LATER

Jack, unshaven and unkempt, is picking out some CARROTS from the grocery store. Suddenly, MIKE calls out to him from the other side of the vegetable section.

MIKE

(walking over)

Hey! Jack!

JACK

(less than thrilled)

Oh. Hey.

MIKE

How are you?

JACK

I’m fine. How are you?

MIKE

Good, good.

JACK

That’s good.

Awkward silence.

MIKE

Well, hey, I should probably get back to it.

JACK

Yeah. Okay. Good seeing you.

MIKE

You too, buddy. Catcha later!

JACK

Yeah, you too.

Mike walks away.

Jack looks down at the carrots, expressionless. He picks up a bundle with a sigh. Suddenly, his breathing begins to quicken. He CLENCHES THE CARROTS tightly in his fist.

Something is wrong.

He tosses the carrots into his cart and walks away.

EXT. GROCERY STORE – DAY

Jack walks out of the store, bent over, hands on his knees.

He is breathing quickly. He closes his eyes and takes a slow, deep breath…

Silence, except for the sound of a firetruck passing in the background.

FLASHBACK:

EXT. CEMETERY

Deedee is trying to calm Jack down after Javier’s funeral.

Jack takes a deep breath with his eyes closed…

PRESENT MOMENT:

Jack opens his eyes. His breathing has slowed. He straightens up, looking around. He is calm.

Jack walks back into the grocery store.

CUT TO BLACK

Luke Baxter is a spitfire actor and Cinema major at San Francisco State University. He has appeared on the show Chatroom and writes screenplays that will one day be advertised so much, that you’ll get sick of hearing the name Luke Baxter.

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