12. Cherries

INT. dining room - DAY
Amber holds the photo of Taylor and his father. She arranges the photos so it's most prominent. She sits down to her breakfast, facing the photos.
Taylor enters. She sees his bruises, her eyes widen.
AMBER
You, uh, you okay?
TAYLOR
Yeah, nothing much, I had a fall.
He walks in the kitchen, grabs a bowl and cereal, along with cherries.
AMBER
Nasty fall.
TAYLOR
Could have been worse.
Taylor sits at the table. He sorts the cherries, picks out two rotten ones.
TAYLOR
Ever reflect that when you buy a lot of delicious cherries, there will always be some rotten ones?
AMBER
Can I have those?
Taylor looks at her questioningly. She smiles at him for the first time.
AMBER
I'd like to reflect on them.
TAYLOR
When you were growing up, I never gave you rotten cherries.
AMBER
I know.
Taylor holds the rotten ones, hands Amber fresh ones.
TAYLOR
But when you grew up...
They look at each other long. Both bite their lips.
TAYLOR
Find your Health Care Proxy yet?
Amber drops her head.
TAYLOR
I've thought a lot about telling Maria we don't need her anymore. I've also thought a lot about disconnecting the feeding tubes.
AMBER
Please, please don't.
TAYLOR
Since the Proxy is in my name, it is my legal decision, isn't it?
Amber looks up, tears stream down her face.
AMBER
Yes.
Taylor rises, wanders to the piano, picks up the photo of him and his father.
TAYLOR
There was a little boy who went off with his father.
He stares long at the photo.
TAYLOR
Then his father disappeared and the little boy was lost.
He looks at Amber.
TAYLOR
His mother found him crying and took him home.
Taylor makes a pained expression. He rests the photo back on the piano.
TAYLOR
That boy --
He pulls out his Proxy, hands it to a surprised Amber.
TAYLOR
Here. -- Amber, there's something I want to tell you.
Taylor smiles. Amber stares at him in awe.
The door OPENS. A tipsy Spence and family stride in.
SPENCE
Hey, how's everyone doing?
TAYLOR
About the same.
Clara races to Amber.
CLARA
Can I feel Jake, Jr. today?
AMBER
Sure, Clara, come on. He's doing somersaults.
Clara and Amber go to the sofa. Headphones on, Wayne plops into a soft chair, reads a sports magazine.
SPENCE
Saw a great movie last night.
TAYLOR
Next time call me, I would have liked to go, too.
Joelle eyes Taylor over. Spence takes no notice of Taylor's bruises.
SPENCE
Sorry, didn't think to ask.
Spence heads in the kitchen, grabs a beer.
JOELLE
Taylor? You, uh --
TAYLOR
Just a bit of bad luck last night.
Amber passes by, on her way to the hallway bathroom, leaving Clara playing with dolls.
JOELLE
I'm sorry.
TAYLOR
(sarcastic)
Sure.
Joelle's face hardens. She mouths the words, "You bastard!" She turns to Spence as he comes out of the kitchen.
JOELLE
Spence, oh Spence!
She bursts into tears, hugs Spence and whispers to him.
Spence's face flusters. He frowns at Taylor.
SPENCE
Hey, brother, you shouldn't say that to Joelle.
TAYLOR
I didn't say anything bad.
JOELLE
Don't lie, Taylor. And don't you call me a slut! Wayne! Come here.
WAYNE
What's up, Mom?
TAYLOR
Wait a minute.
SPENCE
Better apologize, brother.
JOELLE
Taylor's into insulting women today.
Taylor stands.
TAYLOR
Spence, I didn't say that.
JOELLE
He's lying, honey, like when he took your bike.
Spence's eyes widen more.
SPENCE
Taylor! I'm going to count to three! One!
WAYNE
Go ahead, Spence, hit him.
SPENCE
Two!
TAYLOR
I'm not going to fight you, Spence.
WAYNE
Wipe him, Spence.
Clara jumps up, stares in fear.
SPENCE
Three!
Spence lunges at Taylor, who ducks and steps away. Wayne shoves Taylor back toward Spence.
WAYNE
Fuck you, Taylor.
Taylor rams into Spence, who swings wildly over Taylor's head.
TAYLOR
Spence, please stop!
Taylor pushes Spence away. Spence lands against a side table. He halters, gasps for air.
SPENCE
Uh, uh...
Spence grabs his chest, eyes wide.
TAYLOR
Spence!
Taylor hugs Spence. Joelle SCREAMS.
JOELLE
No! No! You can't die on me!
Joelle fumbles in her bag. She pulls out Spence's pills as Spence's head goes limp in Taylor's arm.
JOELLE
No!
WAYNE
Fuck, you killed him.
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