SUBMITED TO A SHORTS COMPETITION
2017 (10 Min. Drama)
Three siblings deal with their brother’s cancer diagnosis while waiting for him to come out of surgery.
The long wait
1 INT. BEDROOM – DAY
A very lighted room. Neat. Almost aseptic.
MICHAEL DOMINO(18) is packing his suitcase very calmly and carefully. Has a light smile on his face.
He folds his pajamas neatly inside, adds his toothbrush and his raiser.
Next to the suitcase – a number of flyers about LIFE AFTER CANCER.
He starts humming a jolly song.
His sister, NICOLE DOMINO(25), is watching him leaned against the door.
You ready to go, Mikey?
I just need to get my Gameboy
and I’ll be done.
He passes her and goes into another room. Nicole just stays there, in the door, trying to calm herself down. He is taking the situation lightly, she isn’t.
You wanna drive, lil’ bro?
I’d rather drive us back, if that’s
alright with you.
2 INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM – DAY
Typical hospital waiting room. Rigid chairs and a cofee table with old newspapers and tabloids. You can practically smell the disinfectant.
Nicole is sitting on a chair, reading a magazine just so she could calm down. It is not working. Her right foot taps the floor nervously.
VICTORIA DOMINO (29), the older sister, joins her holding two cups of coffee. She hands one to Nicole.
I should’ve gotten you decaff.
What you should’ve gotten me was
a big piece of cake.
We’ll all eat cake once he’s out of surgery.
He’s not allowed to eat right after.
No, but we do. And I’ll get carrot
cake. You know, the kind he
doesn’t like so it’ll be easier for him.
Nicole gives Victoria an upset look.
Dan’s mother was more than happy
to watch over the kids. So we can
take turns to be with Mikey.
You didn’t have to do that.
I know how busy you are.
Me and Ricky can handle it.
They both look at the clock, Nicole more impatient than Victoria.
Nicole picks up another magazine, looks through it fast – not reading, just trying to distract herself.
Victoria waits in the chair patiently.
RICHARD DOMINO(30), walks through the door. Sighs when he sees their faces.
Not done yet? What the hell are
those bloody doctors doing?
It’s brain surgery, Richard.
They’re not grilling a burger.
Didn’t sound so different the way
they explained it the other day.
You know what? I need to get
back to my agent.
Richard storms out the door. Nicole gets back to pretending to read the magazine, her foot still tapping the floor.
Victoria looks at the clock rubbing her hands. She hears her sister’s foot tapping the floor, the rustle of the pages when Nicole goes through the now third magazine. The time passes slowly. She sighs.
Nicole gives up and throws the magazine on the table. Covers her face with her hands, breathes in slowly, exhales slowly.
I’ve looked up Hollow Oaks Sanatorium.
Seems like a decent and affordable place.
You did not just say that.
It was what the doctors recommended.
I don’t care what the doctors
recommended. We’re not shipping our
brother off to some cripple facility.
They even have an orchestra.
Mikey could play his guit–
I am not doing this now. Not with you.
Nicole leaves her seat, takes up a chair away from Victoria.
The clock on the wall shows 1 PM.
The clock on the wall shows 1:30 PM.
Victoria reads a magazine calmly.
Nicole is agitated in her seat, counts sheep with her eyes closed.
… one hundred and twenty-five…
Richard storms in the room and draws the attention of his sisters.
This is fucking unbelievable. I
passed on an audition for this.
Victoria wants to say something to him, but he storms out the door before she could talk.
What a prick.
Shut up, Vicky! At least he’s not
looking up nursing homes for our brother!
Victoria opens her mouth to talk back to her sister just as the DOCTOR appears from around the corner.
The sisters stand up from their chairs, look up to the doctor holding their breath.
The sisters exhale relieved.
He’ll be up shortly.
3 INT. PATIENT ROOM – DAY
All the Domino siblings are drinking soda through a straw, having a good time.
Michael is in the hospital bed, has a head bandage.
So I told my agent that I’m fine with
doing nudity as long as the broad is at least a 7.
Oh, yes. Richard Domino and his standards.
Mickey knows what I’m talking about.
Ricky is a good actor. But not that good.
Michael tries to laugh but coughs instead. Nicole rushes to help. He coughs up a bit of blood, Nicole turns pale.
Victoria and Richard look worried too.
Would you all relax? Bet it’s
from the intubation.
Thank God. For a minute there I
thought you were getting your
period out the wrong whole.
Oh, my God. Could you just
not be yourself today?
Yeah, Ricky. Be practical, like
Victoria, who already planned to
have our brother sent away to a nursing home.
It’s ok, Nicky. I asked her to look it up.
We don’t know how I am going to
recover after the operation. What if
I can’t go alone to the toilet or something?
I wiped your butt as a baby, young man.
Don’t think I’m going to shy away now.
Michael smiles happy at Nicole. Nicole tries to hold back her tears.
We’ll talk about the sanatorium when
and if the time comes. We are all there
to help you get better.
Richard checks his phone.
Sorry, my agent again.
Richard rushes through the door without saying anything else.
What an insensitive prick!
Just let him be. Maybe it’s about the porno.
I’d like to see that before I die.
Mikey, don’t even say that!
No, no. I’ve had it with him.
4 EXT. HOSPITAL, SMOKING AREEA – DAY
Richard is smoking with his back to the hospital and to the camera.
Victoria rushes out the hospital door.
What the hell is wrong with you?
Richard turns around. He has been crying, wipes his tears with his handcufs.
What the hell is wrong with you?
The hell you’re doing, Richard? Have
you been crying alone this whole time?
How is it that you’re not? You
just stand there, always the Ice-Queen,
looking up places where you can stick
our sick brother in?
Somebody has to be the grown-up in
this family. It sure ain’t you, with
your constant running away to do
who knows what, crying alone in
the corner. And it sure ain’t Nicole.
Oh, yeah, please tell me more, Queen
Victoria, the head of the Dominos. Tell
me more how you have been taking
care of this family. Of our entire family.
Tell me more how you’re divorced and
how your kids see you only when you
manage to get out of the courthouse.
Victoria slaps him to shut him up.
You don’t get to talk to me like that,
Richard. You haven’t done one selfless
thing for this family in years. Our brother
could have died today, and you couldn’t
keep it together enough to sit with us in
that bloody chair.
Sit down and what? Hold hands and cry together?
Just be with us, Richard. That’s all you have to do.
5 INT. PATIENT’S ROOM – DAY
Michael is writing on a piece of paper as Victoria and Richard walk back in.
Oh, thank God you came back. Michael
here thought now would be a good time
to write his last will. Tell him it isn’t funny.
I’m getting his DVDs.
You know which ones I’m talking about, buddy.
The siblings stand around Michael’s bed.
What am I getting?
(laughs, at Victoria)
I thought I’d give you my Gameboy.
What? Mikey, that was mine before you took it.
It’s for her kids.
Her kids can’t even read, Mickey.
I’m getting the Gameboy.
What’s still there on your list, buddy?
Thought you’d like my baseball card collection.
Hey! I was the one who gave you money
for that every week.
At least half of that is mine.
Take that before a judge, counselor.
Wait. If she is getting your Gameboy
and he is getting your cards, what am
I getting? Your stinky socks?
You get the Fiesta, Nicky.
That old thing breaks down every time
I go over fifty, Mikey. Are you pulling my leg
She takes his lists and reads it for herself.
What the hell? You actually wrote
The other siblings start laughing.
It’s ok, sis. Victoria will give you
the Gameboy when I’m gone. It’s
not like I’ll know.
A weird silence fills the room as Victoria, Richard and Nicole lose their smile. The reality is actually not as funny.
Michael takes the list back from Nicole and starts fake-writing, speaking out loud.
I, Michael Domino, leave all my
earthly possessions to my dear and
caring sisters and brother. I also leave
them my hope, my optimism, my positivity,
my humor, my memories and all my love.
(looking at all three)
I know they wished I could’ve
given them more time.Thing was,
we had all the time in the world but
they decided to let themselves consumed
by the idea of a gloomy future instead of
taking advantage of the cheerful present.
I’m sorry, Mikey. It’s just that the moment
you got your diagnosis, it was like a
countdown began. I feel this pressure to
cherish every moment I have with you,
every moment I have with all of you,
but somehow I just keep wasting the
seconds on nothing.
Victoria comes and pats her sister empathically on the back.
I think we all feel that we are on the
clock and not sure how to act.
I didn’t talk to my agent. I cried, Mikey.
That’s all I have been doing.
I know you are all trying your best,
in your own way, to be there for me.
But how did you recon that the lack of
cake would help the situation?
You’re right, bro. We should’ve been more
focused on what’s really important here.
(to Victoria and Richard)
I think they were serving carrot cake in the cafeteria.
Oh, no you’re not!
I am quite in the mood for some carrot cake myself.
This is so mean, you guys.
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that, Mikey.
One slice or two?
The siblings continue to tease each other, laughing out loud and enjoying the time together.