Script Excerpt “We’re Okay”
Percy Bartelt, opinions editor
Isaac and Max are brothers in a financially struggling family while trying to maintain a normal life, torn between a need for money and the need to live life when you’re young– momentarily unburdened by these responsibilities. This piece is roughly inspired by my own experience with my family dealing with financial hardship, as well as a close sibling relationship on the crossroads of a parent-child one.
INT. BATHROOM – DAY
A young man no more than 22 years old, Issac, stands at the sink wearing nothing but a white tank top and khakis that are left unbuttoned around his waist. He’s brushing his teeth in a hurried manner, fumbling with a hairbrush at the same time.
A knock on the door makes him drop the hairbrush in the running sink. ‘Fuck’ is uttered under his breath.
Isaac stops everything, the TOOTHBRUSH dangling in his mouth as he turns his head to listen,
MUFFLED VOICE (O.S.)
Hurry up, man, you’re not
the only one in the house!
Isaac groans, annoyed, and rushes to the door to see his younger brother, Max, 15. Wearing a wrinkled polo shirt and jeans.
I got work, can you give
me just two minutes!
Isaac looks to his outfit, his brows furrows as he takes the toothbrush out of his mouth,
The hell are you wearing
I got a job interview at
the gas station-
When did you even apply?
Bro, it’s a gas station, you just
walk in and say you wanna work-
Isaac’s shoulders drop,
You just turned 15, man,
what’s the rush?
You got your first job at 14.
How the fuck is that different?
Because I said so!
Max looks agitated and Isaac huffs in thought and the two fall into a heated silence.
The tension dissipates without a word being said. Max’s gaze drops to the floor, and Isaac looks at Max.
Just be a kid for a little
while longer. Please.
Can we afford to?
Isaac’s lips purse and his eyebrows shoot upward for a moment– as if saying “fair”.
He turns back into the bathroom and closes the door.
I’ll be out in a few minutes.
INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Isaac and Max are sitting on the living room floor, Isaac left, Max right, in front of the couch, GAMING CONTROLLERS in hand and their faces illuminated by the TV.
Can I be player 1 this time?
I’m older, that’s literally
Max quickly tries to take the controller from Isaac’s hands and the two get into a scuffle, both trying not to laugh or smile, but Isaac clearly has the upper hand. It’s the rules after all.
Max shoves his older brother off of him and the two get back to pressing buttons on the controllers.
I think we got a good amount to
get groceries tomorrow after work.
The two boys look to the left when they hear Dad’s voice.
A knowing look washes over Isaac as he looks back to Max and shoves his face with the palm of his hand, gesturing to the screen,
Pick your character, dumbass.
Mom said not to call me a dumbass.
Isaac gives Max the middle finger and the gesture is returned.
I can pick up some shifts in
the kitchen. Carl’ll even
give me cash straight up.
The boys begin moving the controllers around as if driving,
I can do that too. I need to get
some stuff fixed on the truck, so
we’ll have to see what we can
put aside– Shit, it’s insurance…
Papers are heard rustling in the distance. The video game is playing over it.
It’s for his car–
Isaac, come in here a minute!
I’m in the middle of a round!
Isaac groans and the game stops playing. He smacks Max upside the head as he gets up to leave.
Don’t touch my controller, I swear to God.
Max is quick to pick up his controller and messes around with the buttons, a satisfied smile on his face as the game audio continues again– illuminated colors changing on his face.
TO BE CONTINUED…