Parts 12&13 Christmas challenge


Okay so I have the hand written screenplay finished!!!

But we'll have to see if I can get it all up by midnight. In the mean time here are a few more scenes. They may be a little rougher than usual. I haven't even looked over it for typos. 😬

🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄

Scene 12: Ornaments

Scene GABRIELLA’s apartment

JACK and GABRIELLA on couch

By fake fireplace glueing pieces of 

Felt to make mittens. Whispering.

MARIA in kitchen leaning against 

Sink, addressing camera directly. 


Its like watching a Victorian romance over there. (mocking) Oh I couldn’t possibly touch you, but let me get as close as I can. 


MARIA pulls melodramatic 

romantic face. Laughs. 


Don’t get me wrong, they’re cute. But I’m more of a, lets kiss already and get on with it, sort of girl. I was prepared to for the worst with Jack, but he seems okay. But he is one of those (raised eyebrow, disapproval) comfortable guys. Like his life as never been extravagant, but its never been difficult either. When Gabriella was first looking for dirt on him she got all bent out of shape when she told me he was an only child, that his parents were happily married and that (imitating GABRIELLA) all four of his grandparents are alive! That may well have been her biggest complaint about him. Not to be partial or anything but I think she has a right to be jealous. We don’t have extended family. We don’t have Mom anymore. Its just us. And Gabriella (beat) has never been comfortable. But who knows, right? Maybe she can be comfortable now.



On couch.


JACK (playfully)
So we has the snowball fight for our A.D.D. staff, and now we’re having the ultimate game of cleanliness for our O.C.D. staff?
GABRIELLA (lightly instructive)
Well technically the last D in both those acronyms stands for disorder, so when referring to the people who live with those disorders, as the disorder, you can just leave off the last D. (smirks) Anyway I’m sure anyone who wants can make this game equally as messy as the snowball fight, and have a great time of it. 
They just can’t win that way.    
They’ve all seemed to love the competitive aspects of the events. And mitten cocoa making is a classic game. 
JACK (flirtatious) 
I’ve never heard of it. I think its all you, and your trying to trick us like Mary Poppins into playing neatly. 


MARIA takes a seat across from 

couch unnoticed by JACK and



Its one of those (air quotes) “games” boys are never expected to play. But they’ll play in my world. I’m making it worth their while. Two months of never getting break room clean is a better prize than the day off.


MARIA  begins moving objects 

On the table for attention.


JACK (laughing)
That’s because you like work, and you actually clean clean when its your turn. The rest of us just wipe up crumbs and make sure the fridge is closed. 
Ugh! No wonder the microwave looks like a war zone. 
You’re kind of adorable when you’re annoyed. 
You should see her when she’s intently plotting your destruction. 





Super adorable. 
JACK (clears throat)
I bet. 


MARIA cackles briefly. 

JACK (changing subject)
I can’t believe you guys have a fake fireplace. Its a heater too, right? How often do you use that function. 


Sisters exchange confused looks. 


Never. Why would we?


JACK laughs. 

How do you decorate for Christmas? Or are you too cool.
I usually spend Christmas with my parents, sometimes even my grandparents and second cousins. (shrugs) So I don’t do much at home. But I have a little potted pine tree that I put lights on. 
Just lights? You don’t have a favorite ornament that makes you think of the past? Or just makes you smile?
Well my parents have all of my childhood ornaments. I used to have some other stuff—(awkward beat)
When you were with Nicole?
JACK (nods)
Yes. We lived together of a while and we got stuff together. But I gave it all to her when we split. 


Beat. Awkward silence. 

MARIA (breaking tension)
“Sad, to be all alone in the world.”
snorts. Giggles.
Am I missing something?
Its from an old movie. Its a really terrible movie, honestly spoof level bad, but it doesn’t quite get funny enough to direct from the (bobbing head sideways)
Racism, sexism, and really kind of poor plot. 


Both sisters laugh. 


But you love it anyway?
A little. 
 It had its moments. Like the elevator that only works if you dance in it. And the landlady saying that line every time she’s choosing her next kidnapping victim. (laughs) the quote was funny (laughs harder) because you’ve got all this family, and we’re the orphans, but you’re the one with the pathetically lonely Christmas season. 


MARIA laughs.

JACK smiles at the story. 

GABRIELLA deeply thoughtful

Watches JACK.


You should get your own things. Not a ton, and not with anyone else. Just (beat) one ornament or decoration. Something that moves you and makes you smile. Something you’d want to take with you if you ever ran away again. 
JACK (laughs)
Is that my warning that the clip is coming out?
No. I just (awkward) You shouldn’t just be in an apartment, or house or wherever you live. Whether you’re alone or in a relationship (growing intense) you should make your space into your safe space. A place where nothing that is wrong with you is ever wrong.  


Awkward silence. 


JACK (playful)
I have the slicker I made hanging up. Does that count?
No. Not something to do with work or me, or —


GABRIELLA notes the 

Awkwardness in the room. 

Breaths deeply, rolling 



I suppose it should be whatever you want. I just think if you’re defining your happiness it shouldn’t be something contingent on other people. 


JACK stiffens, startled. 

Awkward silence. 


Cut to  outside front door

GABRIELLA’s apartment. 

JACK alone. 


I guess I’d never thought of it that way. I don’t define myself by my relationships, but I haven’t really tried to define myself again since I split with Nicole. I just (beat) go along. It was something of a shock to hear. And I’m a little surprised Gabriella noticed something I hadn’t realized about myself.




Washing dishes, profile to 



Monday’s game is a contest, everyone has to make a full cup of hot chocolate and deliver it to their desk staying as clean as possible, and wearing a pair of white felt mittens. If there is a tie we will move on to making a plate of cookies, then a final stage of eating and drinking while staying clean, and having to dunk the cookies at least once. And the winner gets out of cleaning their floors break room for two months. 
Tuesday I’m bringing in the plastic from a bunch of photo frames and those snow spray bottles, and there will be a window frosting contest and the winner is exempt from the staff meeting of their choosing. 
Wednesday there is a contest to decorate the photo frames themselves using battery operated lights, the winner gets to be in charge of any office (air quotes) “spirit days” for three months. 
And Thursday there will be a hunt for silver bells hidden all over the office, whoever collects the most will get one prize, and whoever wears them the most creatively gets another. I was going to have them arrange fake flowers on Friday, but Jack convinced me to let that go. The party doesn’t need flowers. Its already going to have all the decoration everyone will have made this week, and the snowflakes, snowmen, and pictures of the activities from last week for decoration.


Beat. Unheard question. 


Yep. Mr. Coleman approved our party ideas. No meeting this time though. I think he’s afraid I’ll press for bonuses again. We emailed our plans and he okayed them. Literally he just wrote the one word: OKAY. I seem to be developing a reputation for being difficult. Can’t seem to care though. 


Beat. Unheard question. 

GABRIELLA sighs, leans

forward, hands sunken in 

water.  Faces camera 



Yes. I got a little intense about the whole ornament thing. And the thing is, its not really about an ornament. But (beat) when he said the thing about being willing to run away if I released the clip, at first I was so caught up in being touched, and shocked that I didn’t really pay attention to the whole thing. But it keeps playing in my head over and over again. And then I’ll see his desk with just that one family picture and his mystery novels and nothing else thats his. (long beat) Tonight I just kept thinking about it, and about maybe what it is that makes him seem (shakes head) I don’t know, it isn’t lazy, maybe not even unmotivated, but you know he’s not living up to his potential, and if he seemed happy, like really happy otherwise that would be fine. But he doesn’t. He’s not invested in his job, or living here. He could literally take or leave this life he’s had for three years, and thats not good enough for him. (tearing up) He’s a good guy. He deserves to love his life, and know he belongs there. Picking an ornament, silly or sentimental is just as symbol of that. But (sighs) I need to (beat) let him be him. And not get so intense about things. He was really quiet after I said all that. And I don’t know if I hurt his feelings or just exhausted him. (beat) (nods sideways) I’ve been known to do that.   


❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️

     Scene 13: Sleigh Ride With You

Monday December 17. 

IT break room contest 

underway. CORY, STAN, 

and JAY outside break 

room, intermittently taunting,

And laughing at MICHAEL

As he attempts to carry his 

Mug of hot chocolate with 

mittens on/ JACK enters 

Humming “Its Beginning to 

Look a lot like Christmas” 

Oblivious to game. Nearly 

Runs into MICHAEL, jumps 


MICHAEL startles, dropping

Enter mug. Hot chocolate 

Spills everywhere.

Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!
Another one down. You are all going down. 
Damn it, Jack! Thats cheating. I call cheating
Cheating answers: Only losers whine, loser.
I’m sorry I wasn’t even thinking. Lets (beat) lets clean this up and you can start over. 
Un-uh. No way. He had his shot and he failed. 
I did cut him off. 
And he’s a competitor. Thats cheating!
CORY (sing-song)
Loser. Loser. 
Maybe we should get an impartial ruling. Ask Gabby, she isn’t entering. 
JACK (glancing over shoulder)
She isn’t? Why?
She said she would definitely win and the break room would become a disgusting mess for two months, and she didn’t want that. 


The men snicker and

Chuckle with varied 

Noises of agreement. 

JACK shakes his head. 

Lets just—
GABRIELLA approches. 
Are any of you going to clean that up? Its going to get sticky and stain. 
We were about to look for you.
GABRIELLA (offended)
To clean up your mess?
No Gove us an impartial ruling. Jack cut me off and made me spill, should I get a do over?
GABRIELLA looks between
The men at a loss. 
Did he physically touch you?
No, but—
Then my opinion is no. Its called a hot cocoa obstacle course. 
No one else had people jump out at them. 
No, but I did have to jump over the tacks you (heavy sarcasm) dropped as I passed. 
And my phone started vibrating just as I was setting the mug down. 


GABRIELLA stares at slowly 

Spreading puddle of hot chocolate. 

JACK grins at back of 



GABRIELLA (simultaneously)
  Seriously, who is going to clean that up? Its going to get sticky soon. 
Not me. 


MICHAEL shoves by JACK.

JACK and CORY chuckle.


You’d think a man of his age would be a better loser. 
He ought to have had enough practice.



Crack up.

GABRIELLA sighs. Steps

Around spill, to paper towels. 

Flips on faucet. Wets half the 

Paper towels. 

JACK comes to assist. 


Let me get it. Its at least partially my fault. 
GABRIELLA (under breath)
I told you this would end in a mess. 


JACK laughs. Uses dry towels

And foot to begin drying mess.

GABRIELLA (sharply)
What are you—


GABRIELLA crouches, shoves

JACK’s foot away, cleans mess. 

You were just spearing it around. You have to pull the spill together. Haven’t you ever cleaned a spill before?
Apparently not the proper way. 


Beat. GABRIELLA looks up at 

JACK. Gathers wet towels

Crosses to sink. 


GABRIELLA (quietly)
I apologize. I wasn’t trying to insult you. 
I’m not insulted. I just learn so much from you. Who’d have known there was a proper way to clean?
GABRIELLA wets a clean 
Towel and returns to spill.


Don’t worry about that. The mess is up anything more the janitors will get tonight. 


GABRIELLA kneels. 

Continues cleaning. 


 Hot chocolate as I said is sticky. If it isn’t cleaned properly it will be tracked all over this office in an hour. And the janitorial staff are paid to empty the trash, do light dusting, and sweeping nightly, they only mop once a week. And it is never their job to clean up our stupidly made messes. 
What were you a janitor in a past life. 
GABRIELLA( from ground)
Nope. I did bus tables through high school and part of college. And one of my mothers two jobs was for a janitorial service. Why? That a problem.     
STAN (stiffly)
Of course its not a problem. But they must be getting extra because clearly they’ve been cleaning up after these messes for a while, Gabby.
Its Gabriella.


STAN draws back 

Looking between JACK



Really? Are you twelve?


Cut to conference room.

JACK laughing. 


(imitates GABRIELLA) Are you twelve. (laughs harder) She just looked so untouchably confident. I loved it. And what with her instructing on the right way to clean and decorate, she has this real Mary Poppins thing going for her that I am way too into. 


Beat unheard question.  

No I wasn’t offended by her intensity last night. I was, I don’t know, it sounds corny to say woken up. But thats what it felt like. She woke me from this weird sleep I’ve been in for the past thee years. I even went ornament shopping. 


Cut to It break room. 


CORY (insulted)
Do you need your boyfriend to tell people what to call you. 
No. So how about you listen to me? I’ve asked everyone not to call me Gabby. 
STAN (startled)
You have?
CORY (thrown)
Oh. Sorry, Ga—(beat) I didn’t remember. I’d be happy to call you Gabriella.
Of course. We’ll call you whatever you like. 


Awkward silence. 

So I guess its just down to me and you Jack. Unless you’re entering, Gabriella.
GABRIELLA (shakes head)
No, I’m good, thanks.


GABRIELLA spins around rinses 

wet cloth in sink. Exit CORY and 



Sorry about them. I can tell them we aren’t together. 
MARIA (snappish)
If it would make you more comfortable. 


JACK leans on counter beside 



I meant to make you more comfortable. I’m good. In fact when you asked Cory if he was twelve I had to literally bite my tongue to keep from asking to kiss you. 



GABRIELLA smiles secretively.


GABRIELLA (flirtatiously)
I might have said yes. 
JACK ( breathing deeply)
I suppose its not the best idea at work.
Probably not. 
So how would you feel about taking a little adventure with me after work? There’s this place that does sleigh rides. We can ditch the camera crews and (shrugs) Be alone. 


GABRIELLA grins, nodding.


JACK (singing)
Its lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you


JACK exits humming.


Finishes cleaning. 





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