Second Chances

Submitted into Contest #54 in response to: Write a story about a TV show called "Second Chances."... view prompt

109 comments

Drama


FADE IN:


INT. ANNIE’S APARTMENT. SMALL LIVING ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON


Soft music playing in the background.


Annie, a tall woman in mid-20s, dressed in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, sets the table. Tableware. Napkins. She strolls over to the kitchen and reappears with a plate of chocolate chip cookies. 


Annie turns to TARA, a petite woman in late 40s, dressed in business attire, seated at one end of the table. She watched Tara for a moment before pulling out a chair and sitting across from her. 




'TARA(frowning)'

Do you think this is right? Should we really do this?


'ANNIE'

Tell me what we should do instead, Tara. After all, it’s you who came to me.


'TARA'

I don’t know what we should do instead. But not this. This isn’t right. Meeting my son’s girlfriend behind his back. This isn’t right. What’ll he think?


'ANNIE'

What do you think he'll think? You tell.


'TARA'

That I have..have…


'ANNIE'

A nefarious reason you mean?


'TARA'

Nefarious. Yes. That’s the right term. I’m surprised you know the word.


'ANNIE(slightly offended)'

Who do you think I am, Tara? A cavewoman? An uneducated fool?


'TARA(guiltily)'

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. It’s just that..I’ve done my research and...


'ANNIE'

By research, you mean a trip to Disneyland?


'TARA'

That too. I’m sorry. It’s all coming out wrong.




Awkward silence.



'TARA( scanning the room)'

You have a beautiful house, Annie.


'ANNIE(eyebrows raised)'

Thanks?


'TARA'

I didn’t think you’d be so...so...


'ANNIE'

Cultured?


'TARA'

No.


'ANNIE'

Domesticated?


'TARA'

No.


'ANNIE'

Ladylike?


'TARA'

No.


'ANNIE'

Sorry. My thesaurus just ran out of words. Care to enlighten me?


'TARA'

Normal.


'ANNIE(laughing)'

I never thought being normal would be such an abnormal quality to possess.


'TARA'

Again, I didn’t mean it as an insult. I’m sorry if you felt that way. Sometimes I can come across as a judgemental bitch.


'ANNIE'

No. You’re not a bitch. Judgemental? Maybe. Remember the saying? Never judge a book by its cover? The cover might put you to sleep. But the words in the book might totally change your world. Read a page or two before you make assumptions of your own.

And contrary to popular belief, we, the witches are well-educated. We study. We work. We marry. Have babies.



Pause.



'TARA'

Why Daniel? Why him?


'ANNIE(amused)'

Why not him, Tara? Your son is a great man. Kind. Smart. Passionate about life...and me. 


'TARA'

And young. Immature. Reckless.


'ANNIE'

Weren’t we all? And that’s the beauty of growing up, right?


'TARA'

Talking about growing up. How old are you?


'ANNIE(sighs)'

Are we back to this again, Tara? Does my age really matter? Does it define how much your son and I should love each other? Just because I’m someone who is skilled in witchcraft doesn’t make me incapable of love you know. I love him. For who he is. For what he does. We can’t plan love, Tara. It just happens. 


'TARA(sighs)'

Tell me about it. 


'ANNIE(whispering)'

Oh! I smell a juicy story there. 


'TARA'

Yeah. A pretty long one in fact.


'ANNIE'

Should I bring popcorn?


'TARA'

How about a box of tissues?


'ANNIE(rolling her eyes)'

Nah. I’ll skip. 



Pause.



'TARA(falls back in her chair)'

Let’s start over. Shall we? I’m really sorry for the way I treated you when you came home with Daniel. He never mentioned to me that you’re...a...witch. When I figured it out, I couldn’t handle it. I was worried about him. About his life. His future. I was worried that you’d cast some magic spell on him and take him away from me. I lashed out. Not the most mature thing to do. I’m ashamed of my behaviour. And now...my son. He won’t even take my calls.


'ANNIE(visibly upset)'

I’m hurt you thought that way. But I’m not surprised. This is what people always think of us. That we’re out to seduce men, in all forms – single, married, old, crippled, dead. But that’s not true. We’ve feelings and emotions too. All of them real. Might be a bit grey and foggy compared to the others. That doesn’t make us less vulnerable. 



Pause.



'ANNIE(giggling)'

So what gave me away?


'TARA(surprised)'

I’m sorry?


'ANNIE'

I mean...how did you know I was a witch?


'TARA(fidgets with her ring)'

Oh! The way you walk. Your feet on the ground, but not exactly touching.


'ANNIE(chuckling)'

Great observation skills I must say. At least you got that part of your research right.




They share a knowing smile.



'TARA'


Listen. I’m sorry again. I’m being...so overprotective. I know. Sometimes I cross my lines. I know that too. But I can’t control it. I’m sure Daniel must have told you all about how territorial I could get.


'ANNIE(in a conspiratory voice)'

Of course, he did. And he didn't leave any gruesome details either.



Tara covers her face with her hands.



'TARA (embarrassed)'

Oh my god! What must you think of me?


'ANNIE'

You know what I think, Tara? I think you’re a great mom. Sometimes...you get a tad overprotective though.


'TARA(sad)'

My husband...he died when I was still pregnant with Daniel. He never got a chance to see his son. I didn’t want Daniel to miss his father. I thought if I loved him so much, that would be enough. 




Tara closes her eyes and inhales deeply. A single tear falls down her cheek. Annie hands her a napkin.




'ANNIE(thoughtful)'

Are you heavy, Tara?


'TARA(shocked)'

Excuse me?


'ANNIE(wide eyes)'

Oh! Forgive me. Maybe I’m a cavewoman, after all. Yet to learn how the modern woman’s sensitivities work. I meant your mind, Tara. Is your mind heavy? Your thoughts and expectations – are they weighing you down?


'TARA(confused)'

Is my mind heavy? I don’t know, Annie. What makes you feel that way?


'ANNIE'

This is the difference between witches and average human beings, you see. Don’t get all steamed up. That was a mere comparison, not an insult. We, witches proudly carry our skills like a badge whereas for you, the normal humans, everything is a burden – skills, weaknesses. Piled, one on top of the other, until you drop to the floor. Exhausted. Unmotivated.




A look of realisation crosses Tara’s face.




'TARA(frowning)'

What do you think I should do? How do I lighten myself up? How do I relax?


'ANNIE(leaning forward)'

Well, for starters. Go home. Call Daniel. Talk to him. If he doesn’t answer the phone, call his office. Or send him an email. Apologise. Shout. Cry. Whatever. But don’t stop talking. Let it all out. And no matter what happens, don’t call me for help. This battle is yours to fight. You don’t need me there. You shouldn’t. 


‘TARA(nervously)'

I’m scared Annie. What if I say something wrong and ruin it?


'ANNIE'

We’re all meant to say wrong things, Tara. At least 90% of the time. But we don’t. Ever wonder why? Because we think. We analyse. Every single time, before we open our mouths. Go before it’s too late. If someone says ‘ it’s never too late for anything ’, don’t believe them. It's a lie.


'TARA(getting up)'

I guess you’re right. I shouldn’t wait too long.


'ANNIE(nodding)'

Yes, you shouldn’t.


'TARA(hesitantly)'

But before I leave, there’s something I need to tell you. Something you really deserve to hear.


'ANNIE(eyebrows raised)'

Yes?


'TARA(teary-eyed)'

My son is really lucky to have you as his girlfriend. I hope you both stay happy. Always. Welcome to the family, Annie.


'ANNIE'

Thank you, Tara. I’m touched. And I hope your happiness finds you too. As soon as possible.


'TARA(smiles)'

Hope so. 


'ANNIE(smiles)'

Hope. Now that’s a magical word!



Both women laugh.



'ANNIE(motioning towards the table)'

And now, can we get back to that tea of ours? I hate to waste a good brew.



Dramatic music plays in the background.



FADE OUT



August 13, 2020 16:40

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109 comments

D. Jaymz
05:26 Aug 15, 2020

You've done a great job with a 'screenplay' structure for the story 👏 This structure makes the story very easy to read. Lots of white space. I admire your sense of experimentation, of discovery for your writing. It will lead you to valuable insight into your abilities. A 'good' feeling story of two women bonding. Your dialogue was 'playful'. I liked it. It gave a more realistic impression of the characters. A nice touch having Annie as a witch 👌 ~~~~~~ Suggestions ~~~~~~ In the sentence, 'She watches Tara for a moment before...

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:07 Aug 15, 2020

This is overwhelming! I don’t have words to describe how grateful I am to you for all the encouragement and valuable suggestions! I am so touched. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ❤️ I followed all your suggestions— every single one of them, without even thinking twice because I have complete faith in your judgment. 😊 Thank you again! Have a great day!

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D. Jaymz
18:11 Aug 15, 2020

I've given you the best that I have, but my judgment is only limited to my meager skill. Please consider my suggestions in that light and research the area that I may have pointed out to verify that the suggestion is sound and that it aligns with any stylistic choices that you have made 😊

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Roshna Rusiniya
18:27 Aug 15, 2020

I completely understand😊

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Kristin Neubauer
20:30 Aug 14, 2020

What a cool story, Roshna! I really admire your ability to draw outside the lines and take on a different kind of structure. Not only that, but you did it SO WELL. I love how you revealed Annie as the witch partway through. I was enjoying before then, but that moment made me really sit up. I'm stuck at work and your story certainly brightened up the afternoon!

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Roshna Rusiniya
20:44 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you for your kind words Kristin! It makes me so happy. I am very much amateur when it comes to writing. On top of that I experiment with different styles. This was my first time attempting a screenplay format and I was very very nervous. Seeing all the positive comments flooding in, I am so glad I did it.

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Kristin Neubauer
20:48 Aug 14, 2020

I love that you experiment - I have to take a page from your book, literally - and get creative. Try some new things. You are inspiring!

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Roshna Rusiniya
20:56 Aug 14, 2020

Just close your eyes and jump. That’s what I did! What could be the maximum damage? A badly structured story. Couple of negative comments. So what? I was more into light-hearted simple stories, always told in first person narrative. Then I realised that if I need to improve my craft, staying in my comfort zone wouldn’t help.

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Kristin Neubauer
21:10 Aug 14, 2020

So true! That is good advice. I'm intrigued and intimidated by the subtext prompt for this week - that is out of my comfort zone. I will try it!

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Roshna Rusiniya
21:12 Aug 14, 2020

Good luck! 😊

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Doubra Akika
14:24 Aug 14, 2020

I really enjoyed this. Loved the format and the way the story progressed. The conversation flowed really well and I loved reading this so much. Really great job!

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Roshna Rusiniya
14:26 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you for your kind words Doubra! Really appreciate it!

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Doubra Akika
14:27 Aug 14, 2020

It was my pleasure! I’m really happy I read this.

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Roshna Rusiniya
14:28 Aug 14, 2020

That’s so sweet of you to say that! ❤️

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21:24 Sep 01, 2020

Great job! I loved how you made it in the movie screenplay structure. It was super unique and I thought It was awesome!

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Thom Brodkin
21:03 Aug 21, 2020

This was a great and difficult format. I have some screenplays in my head but wouldn't even attempt them without the correct software. The story was great and you used the format to build it masterfully. You should be proud. You have skill. I tried my hand at a different prompt and came up with a story called "Scars". If you have a mind to please give me a read and your opinion.

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:39 Aug 22, 2020

Thank you for your kind words. This was an experimental attempt for me too. Never done anything like this before. I will surely have a look at your story and give my feedback. :)

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21:36 Aug 20, 2020

Hi Roshna 🥰 What a wonderful read! I like the different format of presenting the dialogue; the names being in caps, with the dialogue underneath it made it an easy read. I like the witch idea, making the story unique :D. The underlying theme of judging before acceptance, and a common human fault, was a good learning take-away from the story. Great story, and once again, I thoroughly enjoyed it! 😁✨

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Roshna Rusiniya
06:04 Aug 21, 2020

Thank you Elizabeth for dropping by to read my story. I am glad you enjoyed it. 🥰❤️

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I. F.
21:57 Aug 19, 2020

I loved the 'screenplay' approach you took with this story! The dialogue was light-hearted and realistic, but it also revealed Tara's character, life, and struggles really well. Tara started off the story doing something that wasn't great (meeting with her son's girlfriend behind his back), but we learned that she has good intentions which redeems her. Annie was also a great character, her calm demeanor went well with Tara's uptight attitude. Amazing job!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:35 Aug 20, 2020

Thank you :)

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Sparkle Fingers
04:22 Aug 18, 2020

Nice one. I loved the humor at the beginning of the story and Annie´s last dialogue was my favorite.

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:37 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you for reading and commenting Joy! Really appreciate it! :)

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Naomie K
03:27 Aug 17, 2020

Roshana, your dialogue is amazing. It reeled me in. Good job! Keep it up

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:40 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you for your kind words Naomie. Really appreciate it! :)

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Katina Foster
19:53 Aug 16, 2020

Well done! I had to go back and check which prompt this was for. I forgot about the script formatting as I read and thought it may have been the making amends prompt. Good flow and interesting, yet simple premise. I'd totally watch this show!

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Roshna Rusiniya
19:57 Aug 16, 2020

Thank you for your kind words. Appreciate you reading and commenting. :)

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Amogh Kasat
10:03 Aug 15, 2020

It's an amazing story! P.S read my both story What is a Second Chance The Secret Mission Meeting

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Roshna Rusiniya
15:16 Aug 15, 2020

Sure!

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Loveeta Rawal
19:04 Aug 14, 2020

Very imaginative. The script takes you on like a movie. With all the details one feels nothing was missed. Great going. More to come.

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Roshna Rusiniya
19:08 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you Loveeta! ❤️

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13:19 Aug 14, 2020

I really enjoyed your take on this prompt! The fact that Annie was a witch just added another layer to the story. Both Tara and Annie were realistic characters personality-wise. Also, how you did the story through a script was amazing; I would never be able to do that. Outstanding job! -Brooke

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Roshna Rusiniya
13:49 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you Brooke for your kind words! 🌹

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19:47 Aug 14, 2020

It's my pleasure!

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Jen Park
08:23 Aug 14, 2020

Oh, sorry that I'm late to comment. Well, this is amazing with a capital A. I could imagine everything nicely even though this was a script, thanks to your wonderful writing skills. You had many golden analogies here. Like about the weight and words. I liked Annie's character and TARA's reaction to her. I could literally just 'grab' their characters and life styles even though their was no narrative! :) It was such a splendid read.

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Roshna Rusiniya
08:37 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you Jen for your kind words! They mean a lot to me, as always. Don’t be sorry for anything. We all have our lives outside Reedsy. :) This was an experiment and I am glad to see the positive comments. Btw I haven’t seen a story from you for long. Write more. You are a very good writer. ❤️

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נιмму 🤎
20:49 Aug 13, 2020

This is really cool and funny... so far I haven't read anything like this (and the way you structured the dialog) for this prompt. Very creative and an enjoyable read!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:59 Aug 14, 2020

Thank you! I wrote it in the screenplay format. This is the first time I am attempting something like this.

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Wow this was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

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Lavinia Hughes
14:54 Sep 25, 2020

I liked this story. I liked all the dialogue. It was really different. We have a witch (at least one that we know of) in our neighborhood. She raises goats and makes goats milk soap and other items. And we've been to Salem, Mass., a few times and overheard witches' conversations. You should write more stories like this.

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Rhonda Hyder
03:47 Aug 26, 2020

Oh My Goodness! I think I may have found my new favourite writer!

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Yolanda Wu
06:47 Aug 21, 2020

I really enjoyed reading the dialogue between the two characters, and the whole screenplay structure hit the prompt really well. Amazing work!

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:21 Aug 21, 2020

Thank you Yolanda! :)

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Tariq Saeed
15:30 Aug 19, 2020

Roshna,very poetic sort,good.

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Roshna Rusiniya
18:42 Aug 19, 2020

Thank you :)

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