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Mental HealthCreative

Where Do I Go?

Where Do I Go?

 

EXT. GRAVEYARD DAY

 

A man in his late 20s is laid to rest in his mausoleum. The mausoleum is well adorned with the man’s face on it. An elderly couple is crying over the mausoleum and a beautiful woman wearing all black tries to comfort them. The couple walk off and the mausoleum is left alone. A soft breeze blows the trees nearby the mausoleum and leaves fall. 

 

“TEN YEARS LATER” appears in white text on the black screen. The audience sees the same mausoleum. A skeletal hand pushes the coffin open. The coffin lid is opened and the skeleton sits up. The skeleton looks back and forth and tries to take in his surroundings. He stands and walks to the mausoleum doors and walks out.

 

EXT. FRONT DOOR IN SUBURBAN NEIGHBOURHOOD

 

The skeleton frantically knocks on the door. SERENA, a woman in her late 30s wearing light jewelry and a shirt with a Nike logo on it,  opens the door.

 

SKELETON

Serena! I’m alive. I didn’t die. I just had a terrible dream where I died! It feels good to be alive. I’m still shaking. My hands still look bony to me!

 

The skeleton goes in for a hug.

 

SERENA

(Backs away and puts her arms forward to stop the hug) What kind of a sick joke is this?

 

SKELETON

Serena! It’s me, your fiancé.

 

SERENA

What kind of fucked up prank is this? (She takes a few more steps back)

 

SKELETON

Serena Hammond, come on. I’m already on edge! I woke up in a mausoleum for the love of God! I’m the one being messed with here.

 

SERENA

My fiancé, Peter, died, okay? He’s gone. I was at the funeral, so leave me alone.

 

SKELETON

I’m Mr. Star! Serena, I proposed to you in the strawberry patch that we grew together!

 

The camera pans to SERENA’s fingers. A large diamond ring rests on her finger. The skeleton looks at SERENA’s finger.

 

SKELETON

That’s not the ring I gave you. I gave you an emerald ring. You said diamonds were tacky and lame.

 

The camera pans to SERENA’s face. She begins to cry.

 

SERENA

How can this be real? You’re alive, but a skeleton?

 

STAR

Skeleton or not, we’re supposed to get married. Nothing modern medicine can’t fix. I probably just lost my skin! And you’re wearing the wrong ring!

 

SERENA

(Frowns and gets teary eyed) Mr. Star, I don’t think you understand. I loved you, but that was 10 years ago. You’ve been gone for 10 years. I’m married now. And I love my husband. The world didn’t stop. 

 

STAR

You’re married? You moved on? 

 

SERENA

You died! What was I supposed to do? I was only 28. I couldn’t be alone forever. I’m sorry.

 

STAR

But Serena, I would have waited.

 

SERENA

You can’t say that. It is easy to say such things, but the reality is different. I had to move on and make a living for myself. I could not live like that my whole life. Besides, I think it’s best if you leave. This is all too confusing.

 

A car pulls into the driveway of the suburban house. A child and a man come out of the parked car.

 

CHILD

Mom! We’re home. Dad said we could get pizza for dinner.

 

The skeleton runs away. The camera focuses on the family while Serena smiles but she glances at the skeleton running away.

 

INT. CONVENIENCE STORE

 

STAR stares into a mirror. A smiling skull looks back at him. Three teenage girls walk in. They are all dressed extremely fancy and wearing brand name clothing. They notice MR. STAR.

 

TEENAGE GIRL #1

Oh my God! Your cheekbones are giving!

 

TEENAGE GIRL #2

Your body is so snatched and it’s serving.

 

STAR

I’m a legitimate skeleton. There is nothing to aspire to with this body.

 

STAR

(In in his head) What the hell are they on about

 

TEENAGE GIRL #3

Well, with a waist game like that, you could do anything!

 

STAR stares blankly.

 

TEENAGE GIRL #2

Plus, you seem very smiley. You should consider modeling.

 

The teenage girls walk off and laugh loudly.

 

TEENAGE GIRL #3

You should drink some milk, too!

 

STAR walks out of the store and we follow him as he walks aimlessly between suburban streets with his head down. There is one particular neighbourhood that he walks down with lots of older run-down houses. He stops in front of a house and stares at it for a while.  

 

EXT. RUN DOWN HOUSE

 

STAR stands in front of a run-down house. An overgrown lawn surrounds the house. The house’s paint is peeling off.

 

STAR

(Muttering) How could this be my parents’ place?

 

STAR paces around the lawn. The camera focuses on the front door and an underdressed man in his 50s, JARCO, walks out. JARCO is overweight with a beer belly hanging outside of his white tank top.

 

JARCO

What the hell are you doing on my lawn?

 

STAR

This is my parents’ property. I need to see if they’re okay.

 

JARCO

It’s my lawn, skinny boy!

 

STAR

Just listen! This property belonged to my parents! The Stars! We had this house for generations!

 

JARCO

I bought this property. The other owners died. It’s mine now, fair and square. Now leave! (He steps forward with an angry expression and put his hand in pocket and pulls out a pocket knife.)

 

STAR

It’s fine. It belongs to you. I’m leaving.

 

STAR backs away from the property, maintaining eye contact with JARCO.

 

The screen goes black and the text “3 MONTHS LATER” appears.

 

INT. NIGHTCLUB

 

STAR sits at a bar near the dance floor. MR. STAR is ordering 8 drinks and is surrounded by a few empty shot glasses. HAMILTON (bartender) serves him another drink.

 

STAR

Another shot. Please.

 

HAMILTON

Quite a few drinks we got tonight, skinny guy. Another one is coming up. It just runs right through you.

 

STAR

Thanks. (He gulps it down and the alcohol just runs right through him. He hiccups)

 

HAMILTON

What’s the occasion?

 

STAR

My fiancée left me. She has a kid now. With another guy.

 

HAMILTON

Oh, man. I’m sorry to hear that.

 

STAR

Isn’t it supposed to be “’till death do us part”? How could she move on so easily?!

 

HAMILTON

I think you should take revenge. Find someone hotter and move on.

 

STAR

That’s absurd. There’s no way I could move on like that. 

 

HAMILTON

Dude, I don’t even think you’re drunk, to be honest. You’re just lamenting. The alcohol is on the floor. I think you’re drinking just for the sake of it. I’m not complaining, I get paid for it.

 

STAR

I’ve been depressed. I just don’t feel like living again.

 

HAMILTON

I don’t get why you’re hung up on this. You seem to have another chance at living. Why not make the most of it?

 

STAR

(Shrugs his shoulders)

 

HAMILTON

C’mon did you see what was on the other side?

 

STAR

I actually don’t remember. It just felt like a long sleep.

 

HAMILTON

Then make the most of your life! You’re like the rest of us. You also don’t know what’s next so why not have fun tonight. Maybe you’ll make better memories.

 

STAR

(Reluctantly stands up)

I guess you’re right might as well.  

 

The club is crowded and EDM music plays. MR. STAR stands up and heads to the dance floor and approaches a woman, BETHANY, in her 20s dancing.

 

STAR

Wow, aren’t you stunning!

 

BETHANY

Why do you look like that?

 

STAR

Like what?

 

BETHANY

Like you died or something.

 

STAR

Well, I kind of did. I guess I was in a coma and became part of the undead. It makes no sense. Purgatory?

 

BETHANY

Well, a vampire would have been hotter than a skeleton.

 

STAR

Well, have you ever seen a skeleton bust moves on the dance floor?

 

STAR dances terribly and his bones rattle making cracking sounds. 

 

BETHANY

Honestly, this is more of a pity dance but hey, YOLO!

 

The screen zooms out of the couple dancing. 

 

EXT. SUBWAY PLATFORM – NIGHT

 

STAR in front of a subway platform wobbling. An elderly man, RAYMOND, wearing an “I love coffee” shirt sees him from a distance.

 

RAYMOND

Step away from there! You’ve had too much to drink.

 

STAR staggers closer to the edge of the subway platform.

 

STAR

I don’t see the point. We’ll forget…it…all. I’m already dead. I’m ready to die again.

 

RAYMOND

What’s the point of dying again if you already died? You have the chance that billions of souls wish they had and you’re here trying to end it?!

 

STAR

You don’t understand. I was forgotten. No one knows me here. They all moved on after 10 years.

 

RAYMOND

Son, let me tell you something. When you get to my age, most people have already moved on. No one knows where they will go, but I hope we can meet again. I can lament and try to see what’s next, or I can stay here and make the most of what life has to offer. This simply means you have been given a fresh start. So use it. Start your life again and surround yourself with people again. You are given a second chance at life. Take it! 

 

STAR

How do I find people who won’t forget me?

 

RAYMOND

People may forget your name or even your legacy but they’ll remember parts of you. And how you made them feel. 

 

STAR

That makes no sense.

 

RAYMOND

It does! Think about it. When you look up at the stars at night, you don’t remember every single star in the sky by heart. But you remember how beautiful they are and how they made you feel.

 

STAR

My name is Mr. Star.

 

RAYMOND

So clearly, you’re meant for something. No matter how mundane it is. Whatever is hurting your heart will pass and you will heal. 

 

RAYMOND comes closer and extends his hand towards STAR. STAR grabs it and moves away from the subway platform. Tears rolled down his skull.

 

RAYMOND

Life is already hard enough to do on our own. It’s easier if we find people that help us along the way. No matter who they are. No one’s love is worth more than their life. Remember you’re loved and will always be loved. It’s just the people who love you that change. 

 

INT. COFFEE SHOP

 

STAR works at a coffee shop to pass the time. STAR serves coffee and is wearing a green apron.

 

STAR

Your coffee.

 

STAR passes the coffee to the customer.

 

CUSTOMER

My God, smiling wouldn’t kill you. You’ve got those dead eyes. Not a thought behind them.

 

The camera focuses on STAR’s face. His manager, Sarah, who is in her 30s, approaches him. Sarah wears bright clothing and lots of bangles. 

 

SARAH

Hey, why don’t you take a break?

 

INT. COFFEE SHOP BREAK ROOM

 

SARAH and MR. STAR are sitting across from each other in the break room holding iced coffees.

 

SARAH

I hate how the customers can be sometimes. I mean, some make my day and others ruin it.

 

STAR shrugs.

 

STAR

It’s whatever.

 

SARAH

It can still be bothersome. You’re allowed to be upset by it especially when it’s a low blow like that.

 

STAR

It didn’t bother me.

 

SARAH

Oh….

(pause)

I thought it did.

 

STAR

I’m not really that expressive. I mean I don’t even have a face.

 

STAR chuckles.

 

SARAH

I’m not sure if I can laugh at that.

 

STAR

You can.

 

SARAH

You know, it’s kind of intense — what you went through. Like I don’t know how you can move on so easily. You lost everything.

 

STAR

I have to accept it, I guess.

 

SARAH

That must be some kind of pain — a broken heart, crying yourself to sleep. I don’t know… If I went through what you did… I don’t know if I could move on.

 

STAR

You don’t think I tried?

 

SARAH

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s more like I admire your strength and courage. I lost my brother last year. It made me depressed for the longest time. I still get bouts of sadness but I guess talking about that makes me feel better. I enjoy chatting and talking about things.

 

STAR

I get that.

 

STAR sips on the iced coffee.

 

STAR

For me, I didn’t just lose my parents and become a skeleton. I feel forgotten for the most part. I was only gone 10 years and everyone seemed to move on so easily. My supposed soulmate is married and all of my friends are out of the country. I didn’t feel missed. I was loved, but now I’m just here in the form of a skinny skeleton.

 

SARAH

Your parents loved you unconditionally. It’s unfortunate that they’re gone, but I’m glad you’re here.

 

STAR

You’re literally my boss.

 

SARAH

Yeah, that doesn’t mean anything. I like your vibe and attitude. Plus, I love your bone-dry sense of humour.

 

STAR and SARAH smile at each other.

 

SARAH

I can say that, right?!

 

STAR

Of course you can! But that was a dad joke!

 

SARAH

Before I boss you around back to the front, there’s just one question I’ve wanted to ask since you started working here.

 

STAR

Go ahead.

 

SARAH

Why work at a coffee shop? You can be anywhere or be with anyone. Why just work here?

 

STAR

I guess I just want some normalcy in life. I’m just a sliver of what I was before. Obviously, I wish I could do more or go back to my old job but I don’t see the point. Also, the man who stopped my suicide wore an “I love coffee” shirt. I felt like it was an omen.

 

SARAH

I’m sorry… What was your job before?

 

STAR

I used to be a lab tech. Before I….died.

 

SARAH

Personally, I think any job you do is meaningful. Whether you’re making coffee, cleaning the streets or working in a lab. It’s meaningful in my eyes. We’re brought into this universe for a reason. What that reason might be is the age-old question.

 

STAR nods and stands up.

 

STAR

Well, let’s get back to work and make some coffee. Got to make the most of our existence.

 

The screen fades to black and the text reads “6 MONTHS LATER”.

 

A time-lapse plays throughout the months, showing MR. STAR getting more and more human-looking.

 

INT. COFFEE SHOP

 

STAR walks into the coffee shop back in human form. He is wearing his work uniform with his name tag on it. He’s 6’2, well built, very tan and has long curly hair. 

 

SARAH

Oh, my God! You look so good!

 

STAR

(Mr. Star raises his hands and does a twirl) I’d say a solid ten!

 

SARAH

Wow, a real runway model!

 

STAR

You’re right. I look better than you now!

 

Authors

  • Ahmed Jama
  • Nadima Ali Latif

    Nadima is an artist who expresses her deepest thoughts through creative-writing, painting, photography, and other artistic mediums. Her work focuses on somber moments with a hint of relaxation that blossoms into hope. Nadima enjoys writing on topics that express her thoughts on mental health, love and meditation.

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