Swagazine Seven

The Anniversary, by Alex Ward

For Emily.

     FADE IN: 


     Students from a local university mill about in one of 
     the few coffee shops still open.  Closing time is 
     drawing near, and the atmosphere is becoming notably 
     less lively.  The sounds of laughter and colliding 
     glasses are far more infrequent than they were just a 
     few hours prior.  This is all of little consequence to 
     one diner in particular, a YOUNG MAN, who sits alone at 
     a window-side table. 

     He stares wistfully through the glass, watching a 
     seemingly endless parade of people pass by.  They move 
     through his range of sight quickly - both entering and 
     exiting his life within a matter of seconds.   

     The young man can't help but wonder who these people 
     are, where they are going, what they are feeling... He 
     starts to envy them, though he doesn't exactly know 

     He laughs quietly and begins to turn away but stops as 
     he catches his reflection in the glass.  His appearance 
     surprises him - it's amazing how much the past few weeks 
     have changed him.  And the changes are more than skin 

               Last call... 

     The voice of the bartender shakes the young man out of 
     his introspective trance.  He glances over at the source 
     of the distraction... and that is when he sees her - a 
     WOMAN standing at the bar, ordering a drink. 

     She is radiance.  She is glamour.  She is elegance.  She 
     is grace.  She is beauty.  She is looking right at him. 

     The man gasps and looks away as if he wasn't worthy of 
     her gaze.  He cups his hands around his eyes and stares 
     down at his food, feeling the blood rush to his already 
     red face.  Who or what had he just seen?  A goddess, an 
     angel?  And more importantly - had she seen him staring?  
     Had she been alone?  Had she-- 

                      FEMALE VOICE (O.S.) 
               Excuse me? 

     The young man gulps audibly.  It's her.  There's not an 
     ounce of doubt in his mind that it's her.  Only a woman 
     of her beauty could possess a voice so angelic. 

                      FEMALE VOICE (O.S.) 
               Excuse me? 

     There is no escaping the situation... it's unavoidable.  
     With great trepidation, the man slowly lowers his frail 
     hands, and peers upward through droopy eyes. 

               Is this seat taken? 

     The young man opens his mouth, desperately struggling to 

                      YOUNG MAN 

     The woman looks down at the clearly empty seat.  

               Oh... ok. 

     With great embarrassment, the man realizes his mistake. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I mean no, no it's not.  I'm sorry, 
               I'm not thinking clearly.  Go ahead, 
               have a seat.  Please. 

     He gestures toward the empty chair, and in doing so 
     knocks over his glass of water.  He recovers clumsily. 

               Is it safe to sit down now? 

     The young man laughs nervously, dabbing up the water 
     with his napkin.  She sits down, calmly watching the 
     young man's frantic attempt to undo his mistake. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Yah, I'm sorry about that. 

     She continues to flash a smile that leaves the young man 
     weakened and powerless. 

               That's ok.  I'm not the one who's 
               gonna have to clean it up, you know. 

     The bartender walks to the table and sets down a glass 
     of wine in front of the young woman.   

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               (to bartender) 
               Thank you. 

     He refills the young man's water. 

               Try to be a little more careful with 
               this one, huh? 

     The young man smiles, his face turning a deep shade of 
     red.  The bartender begins to leave. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               (to bartender) 

     The bartender turns back around. 


                      YOUNG MAN 
               Could you put her drink on my tab, 

               Sure thing, buddy. 

     He winks one of his old cloudy eyes and departs. 

               Well, thanks.  That was certainly 
               unexpected.  It's nice to see chivalry 
               isn't dead. 

     The young man grins, visibly embarrassed.  It's clear 
     that he has a difficult time dealing with flattery. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               My pleasure. 

               So, are you a student here? 

                      YOUNG MAN 

               Great, I'm letting a student pay for 
               my drink.  Now I feel guilty. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               It's all right.  I can afford it. 

     The young man hesitates for a second.  He takes a deep 
     breath, mustering up his courage.   

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               Besides, it's a special occasion. 


     He looks down at the table, and then spits it out... not 
     giving himself a chance to think things over. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               It's not every night a beautiful woman 
               sits at my table. 

     The young man braces himself for her response... but all 
     that comes is silence.  Almost immediately, he begins to 
     worry.  Why had he said that?  What purpose had it 
     served?  All she had wanted to do was drink her drink, 
     not be harassed by some lecherous little boy. 

     Why wasn't she responding?  What was she thinking?  Only 
     one way to find out... with great hesitation, the young 
     man risks a peek. 

     It's the smile again... that hypnotic, incapacitating 
     smile.  A sense of relief washes over him. 

               So, what brings you here so late? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Hunger, mostly.  This is pretty much 
               the only place around here that's 
               still open so late. 

               Really?  Even in this college town? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Yah, sad isn't it?  Seems like this 
               city starts rolling up the sidewalks 
               at midnight. 

     The young man pokes at his salad. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               What about you?  I take it you're not 
               a student here? 

               No.  Just a visitor. 

     She takes a long steady sip from her glass. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               My school doesn't start for another 
               few weeks. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Lucky you. 

               I guess.  This hasn't exactly been the 
               most eventful summer ever. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I'm sorry. 

     The woman laughs - there's that smile again. 

               Why?  It's not your fault. 

     She takes another swig of her drink, keeping her eyes on 
     the young man the entire time. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               To be honest, I really don't know why 
               I'm here.  I guess this trip has just 
               sort of been a last ditch effort to 
               have some fun.  Make the most out of 
               my summer before I have to get back to 

     The young man nods. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               So have you? 

               Have I what? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Have you been having fun? 

     The woman sighs and looks out the window.  The parade of 
     passersby has ended.  It seems even the most dedicated 
     creatures of the night have returned home. 

               I've been trying to. 

     She returns her stare back to the young man. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               But there's still plenty of time.  
               Plenty of... opportunities. 

     The two sit in silence for several moments.  The young 
     man doesn't know quite what to say.  Luckily, he doesn't 
     have to. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               What about you?  Are you enjoying 
               college life? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               In a way.  In a very strange, unusual 
               way.  It's not quite what I expected, 
               that's for sure.  It's... difficult. 

               I'm sorry. 

     The young man grins. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Why?  It's not your fault. 

     She laughs heavily - her smile, the smile sending chills 
     down the young man's spine.   

               So what are you studying? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Molecular and cell biology. 

               Wow.  Is that interesting work? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               No, not really. 

     They laugh in unison. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               It's not too bad. 

               Any ideas as to what you're gonna do 
               after graduation? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               More school.   

     The woman nods. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               Ideally start working in immunology 
               not too long after graduation. 

     She sighs, pushing her hair back behind her ears. 

               That must be nice. 

                      YOUNG MAN 

               Having your whole life planned out 
               like that.  Everything laid out in 
               front of you, no uncertainty, no fear 
               of the future. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I don't know if I'd put it quite like 

               Well, contrast your situation with 
               mine.  I've got no idea what I want to 
               study, no idea what I want to do with 
               my life.   

     The young man begins to speak, but the woman won't allow 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               Yah, I know I'm young, I know I've got 
               plenty of years ahead of me to figure 
               things out... I've heard it all 
               before, and I admit, there's some 
               truth to it.  But nonetheless, I can't 
               help but worry... I can't help but be 
               afraid that nothing's going to come 
               out of this. 

     She takes another long sip from her wine. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I know this probably sounds weird, 
               but... in a way I envy you. 

     She almost chokes on her wine. 

               You're right - that does sound weird. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Seriously.  It must be incredibly 
               liberating to have all these options 
               to pick from.  What amazing freedom, 
               it's got to feel so empowering.  When 
               it gets right down to it, you've 
               basically got total control over your 

               And you don't?  You were in my 
               position once, too.  It's just that 
               while I was scratching my head you 
               were making the decision to go into 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               See, that's the thing.  I'm not sure 
               quite how active I was in that 
               decision making process. 

               What do you mean? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Let me put it this way - my 
               grandfather was a biochemist, my 
               father is a neurobiologist, I've been 
               a scientist since day one.  It's what 
               I've grown up around, it's what I 
               know, it's what I'm good at.  There 
               was never any point where my parents 
               and I sat around the kitchen table 
               weighing my options.  It was basically 
               just assumed that this is what I'd 

     The woman takes a few seconds to process this. 

               I guess I can understand where you're 
               coming from.  Still though, I could 
               use a few sure things in my life.  All 
               this aimless wandering isn't as 
               romantic as you might imagine.   

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I bet.  You're right though, it is 
               sort of comforting to know I'm never 
               going to go hungry.  Things are 
               already sort of falling into place for 
               me.  My father got me this really 
               great internship position at a 
               research center downtown.   

               See?  There you go, that's wonderful.  
               I'm probably going to end up working 
               at the Gap, and here you are getting a 
               start on your career. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Yah, it is pretty cool I suppose.  So 
               that will begin next semester.  Plus, 
               I just found out last week that I've 
               been admitted to the Honors program in 
               the MCB department, so I'm going to be 
               able to get a huge chunk of my tuition 
               taken care of.        

               OK, wait, stop there.  Your life if 
               sounding like a dream come true. 

     The man can't help but laugh. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               How can you say it's difficult?  With 
               all these things working out for you, 
               what's keeping you from enjoying 
               yourself?  I mean here you are, a 
               young guy, with a fresh start in a new 
               town, big dreams, big aspirations, and 
               his whole life left to realize them... 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I guess. 

               So what's the problem?  I mean 
               specifically, you know, what's 
               stifling your happiness? 

     He pauses, giving the question serious thought. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Specifically?  Jeeze, I don't know.  I 
               don't think I can narrow it down to 
               any one thing. 

               Is it the work? 

     He shakes his head. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               No, trust me - it's definitely not 
               that.  That's not an issue at all.  I 
               enjoy the work. 

               Is it the administration?  All the red 
               tape and everything?  This place is 
               huge, I could see how you could feel 
               like a statistic-- 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               No, no, that's not it either. 

               Then what, then? 

     He pauses again.  He gives himself time to sort his 
     thoughts, but the words still don't come out quite as 
     eloquently as he intends. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               It's just this feeling I get, 
               sometimes.  Especially at this time of 
               night... I don't what you'd call it.  
               Kind of a loneliness I guess, but... 
               it's more than that.  It goes beyond 

     The woman remains silent - continuing to stare into his 
     eyes.  He eventually continues, speaking slowly and with 
     great care.  It's obvious that he's putting great effort 
     into choosing the appropriate words.  The young man 
     stares down at his salad as he speaks, fearful of the 
     vulnerability that comes with eye contact. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               It's like I'm missing something.  
               Something... well, something important 
               enough that not having it leaves me 
               feeling completely... empty.  Look, I 
               know I must not be making much 

               No, you're making perfect sense.  I'm 
               afraid I understand you completely. 

     She raises her glass. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               To better times, huh? 

     The young man clinks his water against her wine. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               To better times. 

     She takes a long sip from her wine, he chugs down the 
     last of his water. 

               Easy there, tiger. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Good thing I don't have to drive. 

     They laugh together, their harmonious song echoing 
     throughout the restaurant.  She slaps the young man's 
     hand playfully... but for some reason never withdraws.  
     Her palm continues to rest upon his fingers. 

     The laughter dies down, and the two find themselves 
     staring into each other's eyes.  He is still awed by her 
     beauty - time has done little to diminish it's 
     impressiveness.  An awkward moment of silence ensues... 
     but is broken abruptly. 


                      YOUNG MAN 

     He blinks his eyes tightly, trying to shake himself out 
     of the trance. 

               That jukebox over there - does it 

     He looks in the direction of her pointing.  Sure enough, 
     a dusty little jukebox rests in the corner. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I really don't know. 

     The woman stands abruptly. 

               Only one way to find out. 

     She picks up her drink with one hand, and grabs the 
     young man's wrist by the other. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               Come on, a little dancing will do us 
               good.  We've been sitting around 
               wallowing in our sadness for too 

     She turns and begins moving toward the jukebox - towing 
     the young man behind her.  He tries to resist, but 
     hopelessly follows her. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I'm really not a big dancer. 

     He quickly scans the restaurant and sees that all the 
     other patrons have left.  He briefly wonders what time 
     it is.  How long has he been talking with this woman?         
     It seems like an eternity... as if he's known her 
     forever.  But that's ridiculous - it's barely been any 
     time at all.  How could he feel so comfortable around 
     someone after only one evening?  Especially someone of 
     her beauty... 

     He watches the woman from behind as they walk - the 
     shifting of her hips, the bouncing of her hair, the 
     movement of her slender legs... it's almost too much for 

     They make it to the jukebox and the woman proceeds to 
     flip through the available selections.  She drinks 
     slowly from her wine as she reads through her choices. 

               Let's see what we've got here. 

     She stares down at the track listings, but the man's 
     focus is somewhere else.  He finds himself studying the 
     woman like a work of art - the curves of her pale face, 
     the shape of her brilliant eyes, the curls of her dark 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               Here, you decide. 

     She puts a quarter on the glass casing. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               Preferably something slow. 

     The young man tears his eyes away from the woman's face, 
     and begins looking through the albums himself.  It 
     doesn't take him long to find something suitable. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Just When I Needed You Most? 

               Never heard of it.  Who's it by? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Um... Randy Vanwarmer. 

     The woman looks puzzled. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               It's a 70's song. 

               Ah, that explains it. 

     The young man smiles and inserts the quarter into the 
     grimy metal slot.  He begins to punch in the appropriate 

                      YOUNG MAN 

     The interior components of the jukebox begin to whir in 
     response.  The machine's LCD display begins flashing 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               Wait... D5? 

     He quickly double checks the code for the song.  Sure 
     enough - C5. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 

     He sends an angry look to the bartender who merely 
     shrugs in response.  His anger dissipates suddenly, 
     however, as the woman's fingers wrap around his. 

     She gives him the smile, and the young man finds himself 
     under her spell once again. 

               It's ok... we'll make the most of D5, 
               whatever it is. 

     The whirring of the jukebox dies down as the mistakenly 
     selected album falls into place.  "Welcome To The 
     Jungle" begins pumping out of the machine's single 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Oh man... 

     The woman laughs, and wraps her arms around the young 
     man's neck.  His embarrassment begins to fade, and he 
     starts laughing as well.     

     The laughter diminishes, and the two find themselves 
     rocking slowly back and forth.  The young man's arms, 
     initially stiff at his sides, slowly begin to rise.  
     With trembling hands, his fingers eventually reach the 
     woman's waist. 

     They continue to move slowly, oblivious to Axyl Rose's 
     angst filled screeching.  The quick rock tempo of the 
     song seems to have little effect on the manner in which 
     they dance.  It's a very strange looking scene, to say 
     the least.  

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               This song always makes me think of 


                      YOUNG MAN 
               Can't say the same, huh? 

     They begin speaking in sort of a teasing, playful way. 

               Umm, I'm afraid not.  It's A Small 
               World, yes.  When You Wish Upon A 
               Star, yes.  But Welcome To The Jungle, 
               I don't know... 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Well, let me explain my thought 
               process.  It's not quite as weird as 
               you might imagine...  

               Please do. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Ok, well call me crazy, but I tend to 
               associate the lyrics with a little 
               ride called the Jungle Cruise... 


                      YOUNG MAN 
               Welcome To The Jungle, Jungle Cruise, 
               get it? 

               Yah, yah. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               The quintessential Disneyland ride.  
               Hands down my favorite one.   

               Really?  The Jungle Cruise? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Oh yah, without a doubt.  I remember 
               when I was little all my friends would 
               go running off to all the big rides, 
               you know?  Space Mountain, the 

               Thunder Mountain. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Right.  But not me.  For some reason, 
               I just never found those rides very 
               appealing.  It's not like I was afraid 
               of them, they just... I don't know, 
               they just weren't very engaging.  
               There was no creativity, no 
               imagination.  It was all over and done 
               with so fast, that you really had no 
               opportunity to get involved in the 
               world of the ride.  Lots of drops, 
               lots of curves, but no feeling... no 
               sense of belonging.  But things like 
               the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, 
               the Tiki Room, the Pirates of the 
               Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise... now 
               those were something.  A kid could get 
               forget who he was on one of them.  I 
               might have been a typical second 
               grader walking through the turnstile, 
               but for a few hours of the day, I was 
               a pirate... or a castaway... or an 
               explorer.  As far as I was concerned, 
               that type of immersion was way more 
               exciting that any roller coaster. 

     The woman nods, continuing to listen intently. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               I wanted to work there so bad. 

               At Disneyland? 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               God, yes.  And on the Jungle Cruise, 
               especially.  I remember being  so 
               jealous of those guys that run the 

               That would be a pretty cool job. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               What could be better?  I mean, at the 
               end of the day, I had to go back home.  
               It'd eventually get dark, we'd go out 
               to the parking lot, and that was it.  
               The illusion was broken.  I was a 
               little kid once again.  The next day 
               I'd be right back at elementary 
               school.  But for the guys working on 
               the Jungle Cruise... the next day for 
               them was a new adventure, another trip 
               down the river.  Everyday they'd be 
               steering that boat, narrating the 

               Pointing at animatronic animals... 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Showing off the backside of water... 

               Avoiding headhunters... 

                      WOMAN AND YOUNG MAN 
               Shooting the hippo! 

     They laugh together... sharing a strange, common 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               That must all seem kinda bizarre to 
               you, huh?  I probably sound pretty 
               stupid having such strong feelings 
               about a ride. 

               No, it's interesting.  It reveals 
               quite a bit about your character. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Uh oh. 

               Nothing bad.  It just sounds to me 
               like you never really got satisfied.  
               Like these brief moments of joy, or 
               whatever you want to call them, just 
               weren't enough for you.   

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Are we still talking about amusement 

     She rolls her eyes. 

               Maybe I am taking this analogy too 
               far, but it just sounds to me like 
               you're the type of person who craves 
               something a little more... permanent. 

     The young man gives the woman a puzzled look. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I'm not quite sure what you're getting 
               at.  I was seven, remember - so don't 
               read too far into this. 

               Well, even still... I don't think it's 
               bizarre at all.  And it's definitely 
               not stupid - if anything, it probably 
               has more significance than you 

     The songs come to an end, and the jukebox begins 
     whirring as its mechanical hand returns the album back 
     to the correct slot. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               There goes our music. 

     The woman is right on top of things.  She breaks away 
     from the young man, and approaches the jukebox.  

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               C5 you said? 

                      YOUNG MAN 

     She inserts another coin, and carefully hits the proper 
     buttons.  The song begins and the two find themselves 
     staring into each other's eyes once again.  

               Nice choice. 

     The young man smiles as the woman puts her arms back 
     around his neck.  The sensation of her warm fingers 
     against his skin creates a feeling of security deep 
     inside him.    

     It seems he is still having trouble accepting the idea 
     that this is reality - not just an amazing dream that 
     could end without warning.  Almost as a response to his 
     uncertainty, the woman rests her head upon his shoulder. 
     A tidal wave of endorphins crashes through the young 
     man's body. 

                      WOMAN (CONT'D) 
               What are you thinking? 

     He hesitates for a moment, trying to formulate the 
     perfect answer... but ends up letting out the one thing 
     he would feel comfortable saying - the truth. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               I don't know.  I don't know what to 

     The woman nods, apparently satisfied. 

               Are you still feeling empty? 

     The young man presses his hands into the small of her 
     back, gently pushing her body against his.  He savors 
     the feeling of her hair against his cheek, the 
     enchanting smell of her perfume, the smooth texture of 
     her dress...  

                      YOUNG MAN 
               No.  This is about as complete as I've 
               ever felt. 

     She lifts her head from his shoulder, allowing herself 
     to see the young man's face. 

                      YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) 
               In a room full of empty chairs, what 
               made you decide to sit next to me? 

               Just my nature, I guess.  I don't want 
               to be alone. 

     He nods. 

                      YOUNG MAN 
               Neither do I. 

     And with that, the young man does what should be the 
     most difficult thing in the world for him to do.  What 
     should be impossible, what should be unthinkable, is for 
     some reason the easiest, most natural thing he has ever 
     done.  He kisses her.  Softly, and sweetly. 

     They press their foreheads together, leaving just enough 
     room between their lips to talk.  They speak in a barely 
     discernible whisper - at an excruciatingly slow pace. 

               What then? 

               We danced.  We thought nothing, we 
               said nothing, we just danced. 

               Long after the song had ended... 
               dancing to nothing but our own 

               Farther and farther into the night.  
               Right up until the restaurant closed, 
               and they kicked us out. 

               We almost had to be pried apart... 

               Neither of us wanted to let go... but 
               we had to. 

               And then? 

               And then we walked... 

               And talked... 

               All the way to your apartment.  
               Laughing and chatting about nothing... 
               nothing at all.  

               No games to be played... no rules to 
               follow.  Entirely real... 

               And when we got to your door you 

               Would you like to see where I live? 

               And I said-- 


               Without a moment's hesitation. 

               Nothing to think over, no worries...  

               No doubts... 

               Complete trust. 

               And then? 

               We went up to my room... 

               Holding hands as we climbed the 

               Continuing to talk... not because we 
               had to... 

               Because we wanted to.   

               Wanting to learn everything we could 
               about each other. 

               And once we got to your room?  

               We just kept on talking... no 
               expectations, no obligations. 

               We were totally at ease... just happy 
               to have someone to share our feelings 

               Everything fell into place, everything 
               seemed so right.... 

               So comfortable... so meant to be. 

               And around four a.m.? 

               We fell asleep in each other's arms. 

               You told me you never wanted to 

               You told me you didn't want to let 

               But we had to. 

               I went back home. 

               And I got back to school. 

               But we wrote.  And we called. 

               And visited as much as we could. 

               And it worked. 

               Just like we hoped it would. 

               Five years. 

     The man lifts his forehead and stares into the woman's 

               Five years. 

     The woman smiles... it has the same effect on the man as 
     it did the first time. 

                      MAN (CONT'D) 
               Another wonderful performance.  Maybe 
               you should have been an actress 
               instead of a filmmaker, huh? 

               Well, thanks.  But I'm happy on this 
               side of the camera for now.  What 
               about you?  Not too shabby. 

               Well, I do my best. 

               You remembered the water this year. 

               I feel so guilty spilling it on 

                      BARTENDER (O.S.) 
               Hey, don't sweat it, doctor. 

     They look over at the old bartender - a man who's 
     witnessed the evolution of their relationship from its 

               (to Bartender) 
               Thanks again for playing along. 

               No problem.  It's always nice to see 
               you two.  Even when you're playing out 
               this silly game. 

               (to Bartender) 
               Well, you only have to put it up with 
               it once a year. 

               True enough. 

     The bartender laughs, and turns his attention back to 
     cleaning the glassware. 

     The man looks over at the woman - the person responsible 
     for giving him exactly five years of amazing happiness.  
     She is just as beautiful as ever.  What luck... what 
     incredible luck that she decided to sit across from him 
     that night.  Was it fate?  Was it destiny?  The man 
     can't help but wonder...  

     He thinks back on the journey that has brought them to 
     this point - it has been long, and difficult at times... 
     but there's no doubt about it - it's been well worth 

     The man pushes the hair out of the woman's eyes.  He 
     looks at her with love.  Strong, unmistakable love. 

               (to Woman) 
               So... what are you doing for the next 
               five years?   

               I don't know... but I'd like to find 

     They begin walking out together - a couple, a team, 
     partners... for life. 

               Good night you two.  I'll see ya next 
               year, I trust? 

     The couple nods, smiling.  The bartender is right.  He 

                                              FADE OUT 

º     º     º

Alex Ward has been a member of the Santa Barbara BBS community and a regular contributor to Swagazine since 1992. Mr. Ward is an amateur filmmaker and an aspiring screenwriter studying film at UC Berkeley.

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