INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY
SAVANNAH, 29, pretty, in a black yoga outfit is seated on the couch typing vigorously on her computer when suddenly an IM popup shows on the screen reading:
SKYLIMIT: Hey, Savannah! I just finished reading that short story you wrote. It was amazing! You are so talented. How is college going?
HEAVENSENT: Hey, Shannan! This new class is a bit challenging, but I really like it. I’m glad you liked the story.
Suddenly the front door slams, and Savannah looks up to see her husband pass through the hall on his way towards the kitchen. Savannah types a quick goodbye to her IMing friend, and gets up to exit into the hallway to follow her husband into the kitchen.
INT. KITCHEN – DAY
JUSTIN, 25, good looking, enters the kitchen and leans against the counter, looking down at his hands, scanning his fingers.
I have some bad news that I don’t know what to tell you, Savannah.
He folds his arms and looks at her.
What do you mean, Justin? What’s going on?
I just got paid, and the utility board charged me fifty dollars only to turn around and say that I still owed them 110. They keep doubling, and tripling these bills. They’ve gotten away with it for months. Nobody’s going to stop them.
So, then do something to stop it. These people are robbing us blind. Every month these bills get higher.
Can you get a loan from your Mom?
Again? I mean, I’m supposed to visit her in North Carolina in a week, and now I’m not going to be able to do that.
I’m sorry, Savannah, but the kids have to have the water on.
Justin scoffs, and shakes his head.
If you think calling my mom every time things go wrong is an instant solution you’re crazy. You’re supposed to be the head of the household here.
Savannah is angry.
I’m making the most money that I can. What do you want from me?
He looks down, helpless.
I don’t know, Justin.
You know I love you, Savannah!
INT. BEDROOM – DAY
Savannah is on Skype.
Mom, I need to borrow some more money to pay my utility bill.
DANA, 48, in a business suit, is seen on the computer screen, seated at her hotel table peering out the window.
Savannah, how am I supposed to get you and Chienne out here for a visit if Justin never pays the bills?
Mom, he’s doing the best he can, and he does have a job. This is because this utility board is corrupt, and greedy. They’re stealing money from everyone. It was even in the newspaper.
Savannah sighs in desperation.
Well, how much is the bill now?
They’re asking for a hundred and sixty dollars for a bill that was originally sixty dollars, but I have to pay it in full or they won’t turn my water back on.
Savannah looks embarrassed.
So if I wire you two hundred dollars will that be enough?
And by sending this today you’ll have your water on in time?
I will make sure that it’s paid as soon as they money, Mom. Promise.
Alright, well I don’t get off work for another two hours. I can swing by the bank to have the money sent through Western Union.
Okay, Mom. Just send me the information. I guess me and Shelley won’t be able to come see you in North Carolina this summer.
Savannah sighs sadly.
Savannah, I’m still very proud of you for what you’re doing in college. Just because this happened doesn’t mean you won’t get to see me. It just means you won’t get to see me right now.
Mom, I’m used to being the person who finishes last here. I’m sorry.
Don’t apologize. This is beyond your control, and I’m just thankful that God’s allowing me to help. I love you, Savannah.
I love you too, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.
Savannah hangs up and exits.
INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS
Justin, eavesdropping, stands outside the door.
So, what did she say?
She said she’ll contact us later when the money’s been wired. I’ll go pay the bill after that.
Okay, well, I’m going to head back over to work then. Call me if you need anything.
He leans over and kisses Savannah’s cheek and exits.
Be careful, I love you.
Savannah turns to walk back to the kitchen where her daughter and son are eating.
CHIENNE, 12, petite, pretty, Hispanic features, curly dark hair, dressed in black leggings, and a pink T-shirt.
Mom, why is Justin mad again?
Chienne looks up at Savannah as she enters the kitchen.
NATHANIEL, 2, redhair, playful, rambunctious, dressed in blue tanktop and matching basketball shorts.
Mama, where’s daddy?
Justin’s just worried about the bills again, Chi. Don’t worry about it everything will be okay.
Savannah moves to sit beside Chienne in an empty chair. Nathaniel comes to stand by his mom.
Mama, where’s daddy?!
Savannah looks down at her son who is now demanding an answer from his mother.
Daddy went back to work, son. He’ll be home soon. Do you guys want to ride with me to the store later?
Yeah, that sounds like fun. It will get us out of the house for a bit.
Savannah smiles gently and nods.
EXT. GROCERY STORE/CUSTOMER SERVICE – AFTERNOON
CLERK, 21, short, stands behind the counter as Savannah fills out paperwork.
Can I please see your driver’s license, Ma’am?
Savannah pulls out her wallet, rifles through it, and hands her license to the clerk, along with the paperwork.
So we’re expecting 200 dollars from Dana Albertson in North Carolina for Savannah James in Defuniak Springs, Florida?
Yes. Do you need anything else?
The clerk types in the information on a computer.
Alright, and that’s all I need. Let’s get this check cashed for you, ma’am.
She prints of the forms and check and hands Savannah a pen.
Ever wonder why they say the pen is mightier than the sword? I guess it must be for instances like this.
Savannah chuckles softly.
I reckon so, honey. Can’t really tell you either way.
I suppose not, but thank you for listening.
Savannah signs the paperwork and check. The clerk counts her money back out to her.
Alright we have twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred and twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, two hundred dollars even.
She hands Savannah the receipt and smiles with a nod.
Looks like all is well that ends well, ma’am. Thank you again.
Savannah takes the receipt and her money and places it in her wallet and exits the store.
EXT. CITY HALL/UTILITY BOARD – AFTERNOON
Savannah enters and waits in line for her turn.
CASHIER, 62, salt and pepper hair, looks mean.
Can I help you?
Savannah hands her the bill.
Yes, I need to pay my bill. My husband already paid fifty dollars towards it this morning. I’d like to pay the other 110.00.
The cashier types in info on her computer. She looks at Savannah.
No payment was made this morning.
What?! I know he paid fifty dollars this morning! That’s a lie!
Savannah is upset.
He paid no such thing, and I don’t have to put up with your attitude.
Now, listen here, it’s a matter of public record that your company has come under investigation for embezzlement. I’m sick and tired of you trying to double, and triple charge my family when my husband is a disabled veteran that grew up in this town! Is this how you treat your homegrown vets?
I didn’t steal any money, and that is defamation of character!
The Cashier stares smugly at Savannah.
Lady, if you want to sue me for Defamation of Character, go right ahead! I’ll counter sue you for thievery!
Cashier narrows her eyes at Savannah like daggers.
Let’s just get this bill paid so that I can get out of here.
The Cashier glares at Savannah as she hands over the cash.