LJ: Uncle Mike?
Michael: I didn’t want you to come. Go home, LJ. I didn’t want you to see this.
Kid: LJ, hold up. Hold up! I don’t know if I can go through with this.
LJ: Everything’s gonna be fine. Trust me.
(Dealer comes out and hands LJ the bag of pot)
Dealer: We understand each other then?
Dealer: Friday. Not Saturday, not Sunday. Friday.
LJ: It’s totally understood.
Dealer: I don’t want hundreds, I don’t want fives, I don’t want ones.
LJ: I know, I know. Tens and twenties only.
Lisa: Two pounds of pot?! What were you trying to do, set a record?
Lisa: It’s not funny, LJ. You could be going to jail. It’s pretty obvious to me, you need some guidance.
(Stepdad walks in)
Stepdad: Hey. Thanks. (takes sandwich and leaves)
LJ: From who, Old Daddy Warbucks?
Lisa: Give him a chance, he’s a good man.
LJ: We got nothin’ in common.
Lisa: Oh, where is this coming from LJ? Last semester you were getting almost all A’s and now… (looks at him) It’s your father, isn’t it?
LJ: I don’t have a father.
Lisa: It wasn’t an immaculate conception, honey, trust me. (sighs) Maybe it’s time we went and saw him.
LJ: Mom… Mom! Don’t.
Lisa: I’m about as excited about the prospect as you are, but something’s gotta give. You have got too much potential to be screwing up your life like this.
Lisa: He was arrested.
Lincoln: For what?
Lisa: Possession of marijuana. I figured he could use some fatherly advice before it’s…
Lincoln: Gone forever?
Lisa: I didn’t mean that.
Lincoln: I know you didn’t. Thanks Lisa.
Lincoln: (to LJ) Sit down. (sits) Dope, huh? Usin’ or dealin’?
LJ: What’s the difference?
Lincoln: Then what, you think it gives you some kinda street cred? You got a piece of the good life, take advantage.
LJ: Look, I get it. The whole thing? She drags me in here, you give me a big speech, I walk away a changed man. Straight A’s, Harvard, grow up and be a dentist.
Lincoln: Better than bein’ in here. You gotta realize who’s getting punished when you’re doin’ the things you’re doin’. You think it’s me? It’s you. I did the same thing. Punish the old man cause he was gone. And look where it got me. I’m not asking you to love me. I already screwed up that chance long ago. I’m asking you to love yourself. You can still put the brakes on this thing.
LJ: So that’s what fatherly advice is like. (gets up)
Lincoln: Where’re you going?
LJ: I got homework.
Lincoln: They’re putting me to death, LJ. In a month’s time I’ll be dead. You get that?
LJ: You’re already dead to me.
Counselor: No priors, a good student. And you get yourself arrested with intent to sell. Good life get a little boring?
LJ: It was stupid. It won’t happen again.
Counselor: Well we’re all here to make sure of that. I took some time to speak to your mother before you came in. She told me there were some, some extenuating circumstances in your life.
LJ: If you’re talkin’ about that guy at Fox River, he’s get nothin’ to do with this.
Lisa: He refuses to call him his father.
LJ: World would be a better place without him.
Counselor: It’s clear to me, you got a lot of anger, young man. Misdirected, it could land you in the wrong place. So to make sure that doesn’t happen, you’re gonna have to check in with me, once a week. Fridays, one hour. Your attendance at school and your grades need to be pristine.
Counselor: And to give you a real good idea of what that anger of yours will get you if you don’t reign it in, I’m signing you up for the Scared Straight program at Fox River. You’ll have a mentor, who you’ll work with weekly. Give you a little perspective.
LJ: A mentor?
Counselor: Your father.
LJ: So, here we are.
Lincoln: Yeah. How you been?
LJ: (laughs nervously) You know, in trouble.
Lincoln: How’s your mom?
LJ: She’s good.
Lincoln: Hey, um, I’ve been talkin’ to the chaplain and they’d like me to decide on who, uh, I have at the, um… Guess what I’m tryin’ to say is…when you get to the end, you start to realize what’s important to you. You know, who really matters to you. (sighs) And, uh, you know that leaves you and Mike. You’re the only blood I get left in this…this world.
LJ: Yeah, I gotta say I’m not really following what you’re saying.
Lincoln: Well, uh…in the end, the only thing that matters is love. Blood, family, you.
Lincoln: Um… (puts his hand on the grate) Give me your hand.
LJ: What are you doing?
Lincoln: Give me your hand. Gimme your hand.
(LJ holds back tears and puts his hand over Lincoln’s)
Lincoln: I want you to be there when… I want you to be there the day before I die. So I can see you. So I can hold you.
(LJ starts to cry and nods)
Lincoln: I, uh…I love you. I’ve always loved you.
LJ: Yeah. (sniffs) This whole thing, uh…I don’t know if I can take it.
Lincoln: (laughs nervously) Me either. (serious) I don’t have a choice. You do.
Lisa: Come on honey, it’s time to go.
LJ: (watching TV) Hold on, hold on.
Lisa: (looks at TV) That’s not Fox River, is it?
(LJ nods and Lisa looks back at the Stepdad, then turns off the TV)
LJ: What are you doing?
Lisa: We have to go. Come on.
LJ: No, dad might be in trouble.
Lisa: Your father’s already in trouble, there’s nothing we can do about it. (leans down towards LJ and lowers her voice) Look, don’t make a scene, okay? He gets very uncomfortable with this thing. Just, let’s just go, okay?
LJ: Oh! God forbid, man! We’re just talking about my old man here and his life! If that’s alright with you.
Stepdad: Leave me out of this.
LJ: I am leaving you out of it. I left you out of it the day I met you. (gets up and walks over to him) Because nothing in her life or mine has anything to do with you.
Lisa: Okay, LJ… (reaches out to him and holds him back)
Stepdad: I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.
LJ: Yeah? Or what?
Stepdad: See, this is what I was talking about. The kind of crap I have to deal with.
Lisa: Just let me handle it!
LJ: The kind of crap you have to deal with? Oh! (gets teary eyed) You got no clue, do you?!
Lisa: (puts her hands on LJ’s shoulders) Honey…
LJ: Leave me alone! (shoves her away)
(Stepdad goes over to LJ)
LJ: (shoves him) Get off of me!
Stepdad: What the hell are you doing? You don’t touch your mother like that! (smacks LJ in the head and knocks him down)
Lisa: Stop it!
(Stepdad walks away)
Lisa: Go upstairs LJ, now! Go!
LJ: (starts going up) You love that man?
Lisa: Just go.
LJ: You love that man?
Lisa: Do what I say.
LJ: I don’t know if you remember, but that summer before fifth grade, when I stayed with you a few weeks and you thought I broke your glass coffee table?
LJ: And when you came home I denied it? But you told me you could care less about the coffee table, you just didn’t want me lying to you? And you said I’d feel a lot better if I just told you the truth. And you promised not to be angry.
Lincoln: I remember.
LJ: Well I broke it.
Lincoln: (smiles) I know.
LJ: You know if there’s anything you wanna get off your chest, you can tell me. And I promise I won’t get angry.
Lincoln: You wanna know if I killed that guy. (sighs) I, uh, went there planning to do something wrong. But I didn’t kill that guy. Someone’s workin’ hard to make it look like I did. Anyway, there’s a chance the execution may not happen.
Lincoln: Veronica’s working my case and I got a reporter coming today who actually believes I’m innocent. So I ain’t dead yet. LJ, look at me. You gotta have faith, kid. Just have a little faith.
Hale: LJ Burrows?
Hale: I’m Officer Hale, with Juvenile Court. We just need to do a quick survey here of the residence, make sure the environment is reflective of the terms of your probation. Your parents home?
LJ: No. But they’ll be home any minute.
Hale: Well then. (walks inside) Better get started.
(outside, Lisa and the Stepdad are bringing in groceries)
Stepdad: LJ and his dad, you never said how it went this morning.
Lisa: He sounded fine. Of course everything a fifteen year old boy tells his mother is fine.
LJ: Look, no offense but, can I see some kind of identification?
Lisa: (calls from kitchen) LJ, we’re home!
(Hale pulls out a gun and motions for LJ to be quiet)
Lisa: LJ, you here? (she walks into the entrance and sees the gun) Oh my God…
Hale: Drop the phone, lady. This is the only warning I’m giving you. Drop it. (points the gun at Lisa)
LJ: (hurls a bottle at Hale) Run!
Lisa: LJ, go!
(LJ runs outside and Lisa runs into the kitchen and starts dialing 911)
Lisa: Pick up, pick up, please. Please answer, come on.
Kellerman: LJ! We’re not here to hurt you.
(LJ opens up his cellphone)
Kellerman: Whoa, whoa. 9-1-1, send. You really think you can get to four buttons before I get to one? (flashes his gun) Come on.
(Stepdad hits Kellerman with a bat)
Stepdad: LJ, get out of here!
(Kellerman shoots the Stepdad and LJ runs to the back porch)
LJ: Mom! (sees her dead body) Oh, oh… (holds his hand over his mouth and runs away)
(LJ’s cellphone rings and he answers it)
Kellerman: Where are you going, LJ?
LJ: What do you want from me?
Kellerman: Cooperation, that’s all.
LJ: You want cooperation? I know what you look like, you son of a bitch. I’m going to the police.
Kellerman: Going to the police, I don’t think that’s such a good idea, LJ. I mean, with your prints on the murder weapon and all.
LJ: I didn’t touch the murder weapon.
Kellerman: Course you didn’t. I mean, I know that and you know that… I just don’t think you’re going to have much luck convincing ballistics of that.
LJ: Who the hell are you people?
Kellerman: Just concerned neighbours. We heard a bit of a ruckus at the Rix’s house. Gosh, you know, I guess we really should have see it coming, I mean all the signs were there. Drug use, decline in academic performance, but we didn’t think you’d ever do something like this.
LJ: No one’s gonna believe that!
Kellerman: Yes, they will. And when they catch you, and they will catch you LJ, they’re gonna try you as an adult. You know what that means? We can help you, LJ. We’re the only hope you got.
LJ: No you’re not.
(LJ e-mails the picture of Kellerman to himself on his cellphone, then gets a call from Fox River)
Lincoln: LJ, thank God. Are you alright?
LJ: No. Nowhere near it.
Lincoln: What do you mean? Where are you?
LJ: What they’re sayin’ about me, it’s-it’s not true.
Lincoln: I know it’s not true.
LJ: They killed her. They killed her. They…right in front of me. Right in front of my eyes, man. What is it, why is he doing this?
Lincoln: Listen! Listen! You gotta step up, you gotta be the man now. You understand me? You understand me, LJ?
Lincoln: Okay, I want you to call Veronica.
LJ: Her number’s disconnected, I already tried.
Lincoln: (thinks) Nick Savrinn! You call Nick Savrinn, works for Project Justice. You call him once we’re done, you got it?
LJ: Nick Savrinn. Okay. Okay, I’ll call. I’ll call.
Lincoln: Alright, man. Hang in there, man. It’s gonna be alright. Okay? You-
LJ: (sees Kellerman and Hale in their car) They’re here! (runs)
Lincoln: Who’s here? LJ! LJ!
(LJ’s cellphone rings and he answers it)
Veronica: LJ, it’s Veronica. Where are you?
LJ: Oh Veronica, I don’t know. You gotta come get me.
Veronica: We can’t, okay? We’re not in Chicago, you have to come to us.
LJ: Oh… Alright, where’s that? (sees Kellerman and Hale) Oh! Oh…how the hell do they know where I am?
Veronica: What? What’s going on?
LJ: How the hell do they know where I am? God…
Veronica: LJ. LJ, I want you to listen to me.
LJ: No, you don’t understand. Everywhere I go, they’re there.
Veronica: I want you to listen to me, okay? I need you to come to us, we’re in Lake Mercer.
LJ: Where’s that?
Veronica: It’s a small town, it’s on the Iowa border, there’s a bus station, I want you to buy a ticket and we’ll meet you there.
Hale: They’re still alive.
Kellerman: Looks like the bird in the hand just became three.
Veronica: Make sure you keep your cellphone on, I need to be able to stay in contact with you.
Kellerman: Let’s go.
Hale: But the kid’s right-
Kellerman: Let’s go.
Veronica: Okay, what?
LJ: Okay, I’ll keep it on.
(Kellerman drives off)
LJ: They’re leaving, they’re leaving.
Veronica: LJ, I need to know that you hear me, okay? Lake Mercer.
LJ: Lake Mercer, okay. Alright, bye.
(Nick and Veronica watch LJ through the window)
Nick: He’s not doing well, is he?
Veronica: He just lost his mother. Ten days from now he loses his father.
(Nick walks outside and over to LJ)
Nick: How you holdin’ up?
(LJ just looks at him)
Nick: You know, I, uh, I sorta get what you’re goin’ through here, LJ. (sits down)
LJ: No disrespect, but I don’t know that you do.
Nick: No with, uh, with my dad. I was in the same spot when I was your age. He was in prison. And like your dad, he was innocent.
LJ: What happened? I mean, you know, at the end.
Nick: What I hope happens here. He got exonerated.
LJ: What’d they say he did?
Nick: A lot of bad things. They weren’t true. And we proved that. Every day, every day was a lost cause. But we kept fighting. I mean, what else are you gonna do when you love somebody? You gonna let them go out like that?
(LJ shakes his head)
Nick: So you fight. You keep fighting. You never give up. We’re gonna beat this thing, okay?
(LJ nods and Nick puts his arm around him)
Lincoln: More juice?
Little LJ: Why can’t we have breakfast every day?
Lincoln: Should have breakfast everyday, LJ. It’s an important meal.
Little LJ: No, why can’t I have breakfast with you every day?
Lincoln: Nothing would make me happier. But, uh, your mommy and me, we don’t live together anymore.
Little LJ: Why?
Lincoln: Well, um, sometimes that happens with mommies and daddies. (shrugs and sits down) But you know what, you’re the luckiest boy in the world. Because your mommy loves you very much, and I love you very much. Tell you what, how ‘bout every Sunday, we have our own special breakfast. Just you and me. Yeah?
Little LJ: Yeah!
Licoln: Little bit or a handful? (stands up)
Little LJ: Handful!
Lincoln: Handful. (grabs a bunch of blueberries and tosses them in the pan) Here we go.
(Quinn knocks on the door and Nick wakes up)
Quinn: Help! Please!
(Nick takes out his gun)
Quinn: Please, I had an accident, my car is totaled. (knocks) Please, is anyone there?
Veronica: (whispers) We can’t just ignore him.
LJ: (whispers) The hell we can’t.
(Nick walks over to the door as LJ shakes his head and mouthes “no”)
Quinn: Help me, please. Ow, God…
(Nick looks through the peephole, then opens the door)
Nick: What happened?
Quinn: I don’t know, I must have dozed off. I was drivin’ for twelve hours.
LJ: Should I get him some water from the well?
Nick: No, no, the well’s dried up.
Quinn: Oh God, my leg.
Nick: I think there’s a medical kit over here.
(Nick turns around and Quinn shoots him in the back)
Quinn: No one’s going anywhere.
(Quinn peels duct tape off of LJ’s mouth and sits down)
Quinn: You ever stay at a fancy hotel, LJ? You know, you leave your room in the morning, it’s a mess. Wet, dirty towels on the bathroom floor, last night’s room service stinkin’ to high heaven. Then, you come back at night, it’s all gone. Fresh towels, clean sheets, candy on the pillow. It’s just the best feeling in the whole world. Cause someone else cleaned up your mess, all you had to do was walk away.
LJ: Don’t you hurt them.
Quinn: Okay. But you gotta tell me exactly what they know and who else they’ve told and nobody has to die tonight. You just walk away. Let me clean up your mess.
LJ: I don’t know what’s going on. I swear to God.
Quinn: Well I wish I could believe that.
(Quinn slaps the duct tape back over LJ’s mouth and smacks him in the head)
(Veronica rips the tape off LJ’s mouth)
LJ: Where is he? What happened?
Veronica: (unties LJ) We gotta move. Come on, we don’t have time! Come on!
(they run and find Nick)
Veronica: Come on! We’re gettin’ out of here! (unties him) Where are the keys?!
Nick: Pocket left.
Veronica: (grabs the keys and tosses them to LJ) Start the car!
LJ: Is he gonna be alright?
Veronica: Go start the car, LJ!
LJ: What, what do you want me to do?
Veronica: Get somebody, now!
Nick: No don’t! No, they see a bullet, they’re gonna call the cops.
(LJ walks into the hospital room)
Veronica: Thank God. (hugs him) Are you okay?
LJ: Yeah, I’m okay. (starts to cry) She didn’t do anything. She didn’t deserve this.
Veronica: I know.
If anyone has any corrections, feel free to tell me.