After some discussion, we decided that it would be better to change a few scenes in the script. The new script includes a new scene and dialogue in which David is a teacher, and his office scene is turned into a classroom.
INT. SITTING ROOM, DAY
MARY HIGGINS, looking much more frail then her 30 years, is sitting on a sofa in her sitting room. She is hunched over a beaten old album which she cradles in her lap, gently leafing through the pages of family photos. Around her are other similarly worn albums, as well as old books, clothes and general clutter left in piles. She finally stops flicking the pages, and stops at a page with a simple phot of a young boy. From outside the shot sounds can be heard and then her husband, DAVID HIGGINS, enters the room. He wears a smart suit and he is struggling with his tie while he scurries into the sitting room. Cheerfully, he begins to talk.
Good morning dear! Did you have a good sleep? Sorry I’ve been so long, I was trying to track down my lesson plans.
MARY doesn’t respond to him, and instead keeps looking at the album, stiffly stroking the image of the little boy.
I’ve got a horrible day ahead…that nuisance Ted in my class again today, I can never get that boy to listen. And a meeting about the inspectors coming in tomorrow. Bloddy inspectors, you’d think they’d just be happy to approve the school once and let us alone- but no, they have to come every year to check up on us.
DAVID continues to dart around the room, picking up various objects from the piles around him and putting them into a satchel. Un perturbed, he continues to chatter to MARY.
Have you eaten breakfast, dear? I’m going to grab brunch at the cafeteria but would you like me to get you anything from the kitchen?
Again, MARY is unresponsive. DAVID now stops, and then he sits down next to her. He softly touches her shoulder to try and get her to respond, but she does not react. In a more serious but still loving tone, he asks her-
Darling, are you alright? Would you like me to stay here today?
MARY does not look up, but shakes her head in response. DAVID gives a slight smile and then gets up and goes over to the door.
Alright dear, I’ll see you later. Have a good day!
DAVID leaves the house. MARY is left in the room alone, and is still looking at the photo of the little boy. Quite suddenly, she stops hunching over and sits more upright, and she starts looking more lively and motivated. She briskly gets up, setting down the album, and goes over to the door and turns towards the stairs.
George, I’m going out to the shops!
She leaves the house.
STRAIGHT CUT TO
EXT, HOUSE & STREET, DAY
MARY begins to walk almost happily down the street with a slight smile on her face.
INT. CLASS ROOM, DAY
DAVID is sitting at his desk in front of a class and flicking through some papers. He has a class full of students who are all chattering amongst themselves while they are meant to be working, but DAVID is too preoccupied to notice. One of the students speak up.
Sir? Sir can you help me with this problem please?
DAVID does not respond and is fiddling with his papers more, along with his wedding ring. He stumbles across a photo of his wife, which surprises him, and he freezes, staring at it. While he looks at it, sounds begin to play in the background.
[Laughter] Come on George!
[A sound of a car crashing]
I’m sorry, but he’s passed away.
No, no, no! [Sobbing]
The voiceover builds as the camera zooms onto the photo, and then he suddenly snaps out of it, and gets up abruptly. His class are suddenly silent, and without a second look back he hurries out of the room.
EXT. STREET & HOUSE, DAY
MARY walks down her street again, but is now carrying a balloon with a small note addressed to GEORGE attached. She opens the front door and enters—
STRAIGHT CUT INTO
INT. HOUSE, CORRIDOR, DAY
Walks past and into the –
STRAIGHT CUT INTO
INT. KITCHEN, DAY
But freezes when she finds the room is filled with balloons of every colour, and each of them with a note attached. She looks around still quite confused until she spots a picture of the same little boy from before, but underneath the photo, there are the words “Rest in Peace, my beloved son”. She then breaks down in tears while standing, still clutching her balloon. Just then, DAVID enters the kitchen. He speaks, sounding both concerned and tired.
Oh, dear, not again…
MARY quietens her sobs and turns around to him. He looks very worried for her, and continues in an urgent tone.
Come now dear, we can’t do this again.
She avoids his gaze and once again starts sobbing quite loudly, which begins to frustrate him quite a bit.
No, you cannot live like this anymore! You have to let him go, Mary!
In a fit of rage, DAVID grabs a kitchen knife and begins to dash around the room, popping the balloons. The loud noises startle MARY and she begins to cry louder, tightening her grip on the balloon string and slowly sinking to her knees.
[Sounds are heard of a woman screaming, louder shouts and cries as well as the same car crash noise.]
DAVID finishes popping every balloon, apart from the one MARY is clinging to. She is quietly sobbing on the floor, and he puts down the knife and comes to sit by her. At first he looks at her with his eyebrows furrowed in guilt, apology and concern, but then he reaches out to lightly hold her shoulder. To his surprise, she responds and holds onto him.
EXT. GARDEN, DAY
The couple walk out, hand in hand, into their garden. MARY is holding the balloon with a goodbye note to GEORGE attached. They stop walking and MARY hesitates with letting the balloon go, but DAVID helps her, and together, they watch it fly off.
INT, SITTING ROOM, DAY
The couple enter the sitting room once more, and sit side by side on the sofa from the beginning. DAVID picks up the album form the beginning and looks at the open page, but MARY closes the album, and then looks up and gives him a faint smile.