VOTE | 32 fans

#215 : En abyme

Titre VO : Deja Voodoo

Johnny séduit une jeune femme dans un bar, ils s'embrassent dans la rue et la jeune femme est abattue sous ses yeux. Il réalise que tout ceci est une vision et qu'il est toujours dans le bar. La vision se répète en boucle, sous différentes versions, toutes plus inquiétantes les unes que les autres.

Plus de détails




(Johnny and Bruce hop out of the Jeep, heading into a crowded restaurant. Johnny hesitates.)


JOHNNY: Busy night.


BRUCE: It'll be crowded everywhere. It's Friday.




(Johnny and Bruce scope out the scene from in front of the lobster tank. People are waiting and the bar is almost full.)


JOHNNY: (re: the bar) I'm gonna grab us a seat.


BRUCE: I'll put our name in.


(Johnny crosses into the small bar, passing a variety of drinkers , including four young professionals: a nondescript

Guy on the phone talking to some girl, a tall beer drinker, a short wine drinker, and… A beautiful young white collar worker, Natalie. It's after seven, but she still looks crisp and professional. Luckily for Johnny, the only open stools are next to Natalie. As he passes her on the way to sitting down, he brushes against her, triggering…)




(Starting tight on lips, locked in a steamy kiss, ramping out to reveal: Natalie kissing someone passionately under a blinking streetlight. As she surrenders herself completely to the moment, the view sweeps around her revealing the someone she's kissing -- it's Johnny. The vision ends.)




(Snaps out of it. Finds himself back in the bar, just breaking contact with the girl. He tries to hide his reaction as he settles in next to her.)


JOHNNY: This seat taken?


(She smiles and shrugs, barely acknowledging Johnny, then turns back to her own thoughts. With a curious smile on his face, Johnny studies the object of his vision. She's even more beautiful on closer examination. Off Johnny's reaction…)










(Johnny is still checking out Natalie, unable to shake his vision of her kissing him. But something's on her mind. She's clearly with the other three, but she's not part of their conversation, instead lost in her own thoughts, staring at her wine, running her finger around the lip of her wine glass. She pulls out of her reverie and picks up the wine, her elbow knocking her small purse off the bar. She tries to catch it, but spills her wine in the process.)


NATALIE: Watch out.


(Johnny catches the purse, upside down and open, it's contents rescued in the palm of his hand.)


JOHNNY: Got it.


(Natalie grabs his hand a split second later, and the two of them negotiate the spilled purse back up onto the bar.)




(She helps Johnny drop the contents of her purse on the bar. Usual stuff. Keys, wallet, phone, and a small photograph of Natalie with some guy, that doesn't register… yet.)


NATALIE: …you okay?


(NOTE: In all, they touch five separate times, once on each line of dialog, the last time on "yeah sure".)


JOHNNY: Yeah, sure. …Let me get you another…


(Their eyes meet, an indescribable spark of attraction passing between them in the pause before she answers…)


NATALIE: …Merlot.


(But she quickly looks away, busy shoving her life back into the purse. Johnny flags the bartender.)


JOHNNY: Another Merlot, and I'll have a glass of the same.


NATALIE: Thank you. My mind is somewhere else tonight.


(Johnny can't help staring at Natalie, and she can't help noticing. Just then Bruce returns.)


BRUCE: C'mon, table's ready.


JOHNNY: Hang on, I gotta finish my drink.


BRUCE: Bring it with, I'm starving.


(Johnny catches up with Bruce at the lobster tank.)


JOHNNY: See the woman sitting next to me?


BRUCE: Yeah?


JOHNNY: Had a vision of her kissing me.


BRUCE: Really?


(Bruce checks her out. He approves.)


BRUCE: I have visions like that all the time, except mine don't come true.


JOHNNY: Think I'll hang here for a while. Finish my drink. Order me a bucket of steamers and I'll catch up with you in a sec…


BRUCE: …or not.


(Off Bruce's encouraging look… As they try not to look at one another. This time when Johnny catches her glancing his way, he dives in.)


JOHNNY: How's your Merlot?


NATALIE: Nice. …it's no apple martini but it will do…


JOHNNY: You want a martini?


NATALIE: No-no-no. I'm a supervisor for Manny, Moe, and Jack there. I have to set a good example. Besides, I have to get up early.


(Johnny looks at her co-workers, two-and-a-half drinks into the evening.)


JOHNNY: So what do you do?


NATALIE: We're insurance adjusters. New World Mutual. Auditing a big industrial claim outside of town. …exciting huh? How bout you, what do you do?


(Johnny hates this part.)


JOHNNY: I'm a… consultant…


NATALIE: Really? What kind of consulting?


(Johnny's on a slippery slope, and he knows it.)


JOHNNY: …Futures.


NATALIE: Futures? What? Like pork bellies?


JOHNNY: No… nothing like that…


(Just then her co-workers interrupt, oblivious to Johnny.)


SHORT WINE (BENTON): Hey boss… Bartender says there's a great local band playing up the street. We're gonna check it out. You coming?


TALL BEER (FOLEY): She's not going. She never goes.


NATALIE: I've still got paperwork to do.


SHORT WINE (BENTON): That's why she's management…


TALL BEER (FOLEY): …and we're just a couple of drunken losers.


(Which suits them just fine. They slap a high-five.)


NATALIE: (dead pan) Insurance adjusters gone wild.


(Johnny laughs. Natalie notices. Her co-workers push away from the bar.)


SHORT WINE (BENTON): We're outta here.


(The Guy on the phone stops talking long enough to check on Natalie.)


PHONE MAN: (into phone) …hang on baby… (Then to Natalie) Sure you don't want to go?


NATALIE: I'll walk back to the hotel. Saw a bookstore I want to check out.


TALL BEER (FOLEY): Bookstore? It's people like you who give the insurance industry a bad name.


(They start to leave.)


NATALIE: Hang on I'll walk out with you.


NATALIE (CONT'D): (turns to Johnny) Thanks again.


JOHNNY: No problem…


(Johnny watches her go, intrigued. As she exits, Natalie glances back over her shoulder, giving Johnny a second look. Always a good sign.)




(Johnny slides into the booth across from Bruce.)


BRUCE: So? What happened?


JOHNNY: She left.


BRUCE: She left? That's it?


JOHNNY: She's… an insurance adjuster.


BRUCE: A damn cute insurance adjuster. …So what are you doing here?


(Johnny shrugs it off and starts to shuck his clams.)


JOHNNY: Eating a bucket of clams.


BRUCE: Listen Johnny. I'm down with using your powers for good. But once in a while it's okay to use them for your own good. Your visions always come true. If you saw yourself kissing this woman, then you know and I know, that's what's going to happen…


JOHNNY: Exactly. And there's nothing I can do that won't screw it up somehow. If I just sit here and eat my clams, she will be back.


BRUCE: Not necessarily. You could be changing the future just by deciding to sit on your ass and do nothing. Just the fact that you know she's going to kiss you changes everything. The ball is already in play my man. Time for you to get in the game.


JOHNNY: What are you, the Vince Lombardi of existentialism?


(Bruce rips the bucket from in front of Johnny.)


BRUCE: Gimme those clams. You got a woman to go kiss.




(Johnny exits the restaurant just in time to see Natalie saying goodnight to the Pep Boys as they go their separate ways. Natalie enters the bookstore and Johnny crosses the street, following her.)




(Johnny enters a hip little independent bookstore and discovers a small crowd, all women, has gathered for a book signing. In front of the crowd stands the man they all came to see…)


DR. LAWRENCE: Author of the best selling book, "What Women Really Want" (subtitled: "The Woman Inside the Woman"). He's sincere. He really knows how to listen. He's a pompous ass. We hate him on sight.


(He has a woman standing with him in front of the group. She's crying softly, finishing up some kind of talk show like confession.)


WOMAN ONE: …that's when I realized, it wasn't the inner me that wanted to eat that chocolate cake… it was the outer me…


DR. LAWRENCE: (to the audience) Haven't we all been there?


(Everyone nods empathetically.)


DR. LAWRENCE: In chapter seven of my book, I go into greater detail about the "inner" you and the "outer you"…


(Johnny reacts to the doctor with bemusement, keeping a low profile as he looks for Natalie. Spotting her, he ignores the book signing hub-bub and begins to shadow her from several aisles over.)


NATALIE: Looks at the stack of books surrounding a lifesize cutout of Dr. Lawrence, dismisses it, and starts browsing.


(All "Women Making Choices" themed: "Smart Women - Stupid Choices," "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handling a Breakup," etc. Natalie flips through them, but can't seem to concentrate on the contents, other things on her mind. He's watching from behind the Dr. Lawrence cut-out as Natalie flips through a book from the self help section. She shuts the book and continues looking. Uh-oh. She's coming his way. Quick, do something before she sees you… Johnny grabs the closest book to him, pretending to read as Natalie discovers him.)


NATALIE: Hello there.


(Johnny looks up from his book, feigning surprise.)


JOHNNY: Oh hey. We meet again.


(She reacts to the book he's holding.)


NATALIE: Here to get your book signed?




(Johnny doesn't know what she means at first, having forgotten the book he grabbed. He follows her eyes to the book in his hand, "What Women Really Want.")


JOHNNY: I have no idea how that got in my hand.


NATALIE: Uh-huh. "What Women Really Want?" Last thing I want is some fifty year old man telling me what I really want.


(Behind them, the reading is over, Dr. Lawrence signing books for the women in attendance while a waitress circulates with a tray of hors d'oeuvres.)


JOHNNY: What about you, what are you reading?


(Before she can answer, a familiar voice interrupts.)


DANA: Johnny Smith? What are you doing here?


(Johnny instantly recognizes the voice; it's Dana Bright. The sound of her triggers an attack of awkwardness for Johnny. You don't have to be psychic to see these two have slept together.)


JOHNNY: Dana… I could ask you the same thing.


DANA: I'm doing a profile on Dr. Lawrence for the Sunday edition. I see you're reading his book.


JOHNNY: Actually… I uh…


DANA: (to Natalie) Even if he is a psychic, he's still a man and they can all use a little help… I'm Dana. Dana Bright.


NATALIE: Natalie Conners.


(There's an awkward beat. Johnny wishes his abilities included teletransportation.)


DANA: So… first date?




NATALIE: We just met.


JOHNNY: …at the bar… she spilled her drink on me.


DANA: Awww. A cute meet? I thought the internet had pretty much done away with that.


NATALIE: What did you mean, "even for a psychic?"


(Johnny's busted. Dana realizes she's blown his cover.)


DANA: Ohhh. She didn't know?


(Johnny just shakes his head "no.")


NATALIE: Didn't know what?


JOHNNY: (how do I put this) Before, when I said I was a futures consultant? I was being a little vague…


NATALIE: You still are.


DANA: Oh just tell her Johnny, she's going to find out soon enough. He's got a gift. He can see a person's future. One touch, that's all it takes.


(Natalie looks at Johnny, a little suspicious.)


NATALIE: This isn't some kinda Candid Camerabad reality tv show thing is it?


(Johnny shakes his head "no" again.)


DANA: Oh it's no joke. I'm a card carrying skeptic, but Johnny's made a believer out of me. I've seen him save a lot of lives, including mine. He's the real thing.


(Natalie gives Johnny a look, seeing him in this new light. Johnny shrugs it off like Gary Cooper might.)


DANA: …And you, what do you do?


NATALIE: Insurance. I'm a claims adjuster.


DANA: Oh… how interesting.


NATALIE: It can be.


(Before Johnny can say anything, Dana grabs him by the arm and starts pulling him toward the book signing.)


DANA: Let's get your book signed.


(Probably the last thing in the world Johnny wants to do.)


JOHNNY: No… Dana… I gotta…


(Dana waves Dr. Lawrence over as he finishes signing a book for the crying woman.)


DR. LAWRENCE: Dana! How was I tonight?


(He kisses Dana on the cheek. We get the feeling their relationship is more than professional.)


DANA: Enlightening as always. I want you to meet your biggest fan…


(Johnny is horrified at being identified as such. He looks to Natalie, who gives him a sympathetic smile as she steps back from the group, continuing her browsing.)


DR. LAWRENCE: (recognizing him) ...Johnny Smith? Well, I must say this is a pleasant surprise.


(He puts out a hand to shake. Johnny hesitates, looking back and forth between Dana and Dr. Lawrence -- he does not want to touch this guy and see Dana and the good doctor naked.)


JOHNNY: Sorry. I don't shake hands… it's not personal… you understand…?


DR. LAWRENCE: (sincerely) Of course. Dana has spoken to me about your troubles with intimacy.


(Dana coughs. Johnny gives her a look.)


DR. LAWRENCE: Here, let me sign that for you. (As he signs) I think you'll find chapter nine will resonate particularly well considering your special "problem".


JOHNNY: …great…


DR. LAWRENCE: I've taken the liberty of adding my phone number, in case after finishing the book you'd like to discuss anything further.


(Johnny briefly considers killing Dr. Lawrence with his own book, then thinks better of it.)


JOHNNY: Thanks.


(As Dr. Lawrence hands the book. Johnny sees out of the corner of his eye… Natalie leaving the store. Johnny starts to follow her, but is interrupted when…)


THE WAITRESS: Trips on the carpet, trying desperately to catch her balance before the whole tray of hors d'oeuvres lands on top of Dr. Lawrence.


(Johnny reflexively catches the tray just as the waitress goes down, averting disaster. It's all done very smoothly, not slapsticky.)


DANA: (proud) You saw that coming didn't you?


(Johnny hands her the tray as the waitress picks herself up. Johnny looks back and sees Natalie is gone.)


JOHNNY: Thanks for the book. Gotta run.


(Johnny chucks the book back in the pile as he heads out the door.)




(Johnny dashes out of the store, looking both ways for Natalie. He spots her up the street and gives chase.)




(He tracks Natalie up the street. She's a block ahead, window shopping. As he follows her, he passes (but does not notice) two men sitting in a car, one smoking, the other talking on the phone.)




(Natalie is looking at the window display of a Travel Agency, the maps, posters, and ticket prices for exotic destinations beckoning to her. Lost in thought, she looks radiant in the glow of the travel display. She notices Johnny approaching in the reflection.)


NATALIE: I'm beginning to think you're following me.


JOHNNY: What makes you think that?


NATALIE: Ohh… the fact that you're following me.


JOHNNY: Sorry. I didn't mean to spook you.


NATALIE: You didn't.


JOHNNY: (re: the display) Going somewhere?


NATALIE: Nah. Just day dreaming. I keep telling myself someday I'm going to just buy a ticket and go. No plan. Don't even pack. Buy whatever I need when I get there.


JOHNNY: Where would you go?


NATALIE: Someplace warm. Italy. I've always wanted to see the Amalfi coast. Doesn't matter really.


JOHNNY: Sounds great.


NATALIE: (can hear the ocean) Hmm…


(She starts walking.)


JOHNNY: Mind if I walk with you?


NATALIE: That would be nice actually. You're friend seemed to think you were an okay guy. …You know she has a thing for you.


JOHNNY: …had a thing. Past tense. Listen, I'm sorry about being mysterious before, when you asked me what I do. It's not something I tell many people.


NATALIE: So how does it work? What, do you read palms, tarot cards or something?


JOHNNY: Nothing like that. I'm not really a "psychic", I hate that word. (Thinks about how to put this) You know how they say we only use ten percent of our brains? And what the other ninety percent does is a mystery? Well, I was in this terrible car accident, shoulda killed me. Instead, it turned something on inside that uncharted part of my brain. Now, when I touch a person, or an object, I see things.


NATALIE: What kind of things?


JOHNNY: Bad things mostly. Usually in the future, sometimes in the past. Once in a while it's good.


NATALIE: …wow… That must be hard. To know…


JOHNNY: Not exactly what I had in mind for my life.


(She thinks silently for a beat, letting it soak in. Then…)


NATALIE: …wait a minute. Back in the restaurant. You touched me. When I spilled my drink…


NATALIE (CONT'D): (wheels turning, not afraid) That's why you're here… Why you're following me… you saw something… didn't you?


JOHNNY: Yes… but don't worry. It wasn't bad.


NATALIE: What did you see?


(Johnny hesitates. How does he put this?)


NATALIE: Tell me.


JOHNNY: Well, it was just a quick flash of you in the future… not far in the future… like… right now in the future. You were standing right about… here.


(He gently moves her a foot closer to a streetlight. We recognize it from the vision.)


JOHNNY: …and I was right about here.


(He steps in closer. She starts to backup, then decides to stick it out.)


NATALIE: Then what happened?


JOHNNY: You really want to know?


NATALIE: (a little nervous, but excited) No… yes… I dunno. Do I want to know?


JOHNNY: You kiss me.


NATALIE: What? No way. I knew this was some kind of line.


JOHNNY: No really. I know how it sounds. But it's the truth. I swear. I've never done anything like this before. When I see something, it's always for a reason. That's why I followed you. I had to find out.


NATALIE: Find out what?


JOHNNY: What happens next. After I kiss you.


NATALIE: You really think I'm going to kiss you?


JOHNNY: I don't think so. I know so.


NATALIE: And you saw this when you touched me?


JOHNNY: I saw it, and I'm never wrong.


NATALIE: How do I know you're not just making this up?


JOHNNY: You want proof? (Thinks) Wait a minute… hang on… see that street light?




JOHNNY: In the vision, while we were kissing, it was blinking, like it was about to burn out… but that hasn't happened yet.




JOHNNY: So when it does, you're going to kiss me.


(Johnny steps closer -- and she lets him, curiosity getting the better of her. Face to face, they both watch the streetlight out of the corner of their eyes. A long beat passes.)


NATALIE: This is ridiculous.




(Just then, the light flickers like summer lightning. As the realization that something incredible is happening fills her eyes. She turns from the light, to Johnny, their eyes locking. She kisses him. It's just a peck.)


JOHNNY: (sweetly) That's not what I saw.


(She doesn't need anymore convincing. This time he kisses her… and she kisses back. It's the soulful passionate kiss from the vision. Then she slaps him!)


JOHNNY: Ow! That I didn't see.


NATALIE: I don't know why I did that.


JOHNNY: Kiss me or slap me?


NATALIE: Both… Did you see anything that time?


(Before Johnny can answer, they are interrupted by…)


MAN'S VOICE (O.S.): Excuse me.


(A man approaches Johnny and Natalie, catching them off guard.)


MAN: Sorry to interrupt. You have the time?


(Johnny checks his watch, wary of this guy.)


JOHNNY: Yeah. Nine thirty.


MAN: Thanks. Now give me the watch.


(The man pulls a gun out of his windbreaker.)


MAN: Now! And don't look at me. Don’t look at me!


(Johnny and Natalie look down at the ground.)


JOHNNY: Okay. Okay. Be cool. It's all yours…


MAN: …the wallet too. (Turns gun on Natalie) You. The purse. Now!


(Johnny and Natalie stay cool, hand everything over. Johnny tries to sneak a glance.)


MAN: Don't look at me.


(Johnny complies, staring at the ground. He notices the Man's shiny black work boots, glinting in the headlights of an approaching car. As a car pulls up, the Mugger shoves his loot into his jacket. Then without warning, he calmly shoots Natalie point blank in the chest. It's stunningly real, played very naturalistic, almost ordinary. Johnny just has time to see her hit the ground before turning back to find the gun pointed at his face. As the night is obliterated by the muzzle blast.)





(As a startled Johnny finds himself back where the night started -- right after Johnny has caught the purse.)


JOHNNY: Got it.


(Natalie grabs his hand a split second later, and the two of them negotiate the spilled purse back up onto the bar.)




(Natalie helps Johnny drop the contents of her purse on the bar. Usual stuff. Keys, wallet, phone, and a small photograph.)


NATALIE: …you okay?


(Johnny steadies himself, looking around to get his bearings. He's just woken up from a nightmare to find everything is okay. Except it wasn't a nightmare -- it was vision of his future. He looks into Natalie's eyes, horrified to see there's not even an inkling of recognition. Off Johnny's reaction…)










(The bartender is wiping up Natalie's drink, while Johnny puzzles over what to do next.)


JOHNNY: Yeah… sure… Let me get you another drink… Apple Martini?


(Natalie registers mild surprise. She hesitates, then…)


NATALIE: Sure. Why not. You must be psychic.


JOHNNY: So I've been told.


(Bruce returns.)


BRUCE: C'mon, table's ready.


(Johnny turns to Natalie.)


JOHNNY: Save my seat?


(She shrugs yes, then turns back to her co-workers. Johnny grabs Bruce urgently and hauls him out of earshot over by the lobster tank.)


BRUCE: Something wrong?


JOHNNY: Yeah. I just had the strangest vision. It was like I lived a whole night, but when I came out of it, only two seconds had gone by. See the woman at the bar?


BRUCE: Oh yeah… I saw her.


JOHNNY: I had a vision of us kissing.


BRUCE: That's good.


JOHNNY: Then we get robbed and shot by a mugger.


BRUCE: That's not good. …What do you want to do?


JOHNNY: Call Walt. Dial 911 if you have to. Have them send a patrol car to look for a suspected mugger. Six foot, dark hair, dark jacket. Near Fourth and Main. And be sure to tell them he's armed.


BRUCE: Got it. What about you?


JOHNNY: I'm sticking with her. Keep her away from that corner.


BRUCE: What are you going to tell her?


JOHNNY: I gotta be careful. What do you think, the truth?


BRUCE: What always happens when you tell people the truth? She either won't believe you or she'll panic and make it worse.


JOHNNY: You're right... you're right. Low profile it is.


(Bruce walks away, dialing. Johnny slides onto the barstool next to Natalie as she sips her drink.)


JOHNNY: How's the martini?


NATALIE: Too good. Stop me if I order another one.


(Johnny hails the bartender.)


JOHNNY: Club Soda please.


NATALIE: What? No Martini?


JOHNNY: Not tonight. Thought maybe I'd hit the bookstore, crash early.


(Natalie pauses mid sip, registering his remark about the bookstore.)


JOHNNY: How bout you, big night out?


NATALIE: Not for me. Have to get up for an early flight. How is that bookstore?


JOHNNY: Great. You should check it out. They're having a book signing tonight. Not a good book though. That Doctor Larry guy.


NATALIE: I hate that guy.


JOHNNY: You and every man in America. Maybe we should go heckle him.


(Natalie laughs.)


JOHNNY: Here on business?


NATALIE: Yeah. We're Insurance adjusters. Auditing a big industrial claim outside of town. Exciting huh?


JOHNNY: Never know. Someone has to be there when bad things happen to good people.


(Just then her friends interrupt, oblivious to Johnny.)


SHORT WINE (BENTON): Hey boss… Bartender says there's a great local band playing up the street. We're gonna check it out. You coming?


TALL BEER (FOLEY): She's not going. She never goes.


NATALIE: I've still got paperwork to do.


SHORT WINE (BENTON): That's why she's management…


TALL BEER (FOLEY): …and we're just a couple of drunken losers.


(Which suits them just fine. They slap a high-five.)


JOHNNY AND NATALIE: (together) Insurance adjusters gone wild.


(Natalie cracks up.)


NATALIE: Took the words right out of my mouth.


(If only she knew. Her co-workers push away from the bar.)


SHORT WINE (BENTON): We're outta here.


(The guy on the phone stops talking long enough to check on Natalie.)


PHONE MAN: Hang on baby. (Then to Natalie) Sure you don't want to go?


NATALIE: Think I'm going to check out the bookstore.


TALL BEER (FOLEY): Bookstore? It's people like you who give the insurance industry a bad name.


NATALIE: Hang on I'll walk out with you.


(Johnny watches them go, then scans the bar for Bruce, who is just flipping his cell phone shut. He gives Johnny a thumbs up.)





(Johnny pauses just inside the door, looking for Natalie who he sees in the self-help section. Before she can see him, he dashes to the travel section, careful to avoid… Dana is standing at the back of the audience for the book reading, where Dr. Lawrence is doing his shtick, making the same poor Woman cry again. Dana seems to sense someone passing behind her, but turns around too late to see Johnny. Johnny quickly scans down the row of books. Finding what he's looking for, he grabs a couple of books, strikes a casual pose, and begins reading -- or at least pretending to. Natalie walks the row of psycho-babble tomes, occasionally looking for Johnny but not seeing him. Natalie picks a book and starts reading, just as Johnny steps up behind her.)


JOHNNY: Hello again.


(She's startled, clutching two books to herself so Johnny can't see them.)


NATALIE: Oh… hello.


JOHNNY: You aren't stalking me are you?


NATALIE: Just picking up something for the plane. How 'bout you?


JOHNNY: Travel books. Thinking about going on a trip.


NATALIE: Really? Where to?


JOHNNY: I don't know. Italy maybe. I've always wanted to see the Amalfi Coast.


(Natalie is so taken aback, she drops her books.)


JOHNNY: Here, let me help you.


NATALIE: It's okay, I've got it.


(But Johnny is there first, picking up her books. Natalie cringes with embarrassment as he reads them.)


JOHNNY: (reading) Breaking Up For Idiots? …you're blushing. God she's beautiful.


NATALIE: No… I am? …must be the martini.


(She laughs shyly. Johnny's thinking how great it would be to kiss her again.)


JOHNNY: So… breaking up with somebody?


NATALIE: (blathering nervously) Me? oh… no-no-no it's for a friend… she's engaged… actually she's not "engaged" engaged… this really great guy asked her, but she hasn't said yes yet… she's not sure if she's ready… he's a really nice guy and all… her parents love him… everybody loves him… but…


JOHNNY: But what?


NATALIE: …I don't know… I guess… I guess she just wonders if that's all there is… you know… married… two kids… a house in the suburbs… an S.U.V.


JOHNNY: You left out the dog and the picket fence…


NATALIE: I'm allergic to dogs… Ooops.


JOHNNY: You mean your friend is.


NATALIE: Yeah… right… whad-I-say? … my friend is allergic… anyway, enough about her. The Amalfi coast? That's like my dream trip. When are you going?


JOHNNY: Don't know… I don't like to plan too much… you know, just go, figure it out when I get there.


(Natalie reacts.)


NATALIE: Are you for real?


JOHNNY: What do you mean?


(Before Natalie can answer, Dana interrupts.)


DANA (O.S.): Johnny Smith?


(Johnny cringes slightly -- he forgot about her. Behind her the book reading is ending.)


DANA (O.S.): I thought I heard your voice.


JOHNNY: (been here before) Dana! Hey, what a surprise… I want you to meet a friend of mine.


(She smiles apologetically at Natalie, who nods back.)


DANA: Special friend?


NATALIE: We just met.


JOHNNY: Natalie Conner, this is Dana Bright. She's a reporter for the Bangor Daily.


DANA: Nice to meet you. Listen, I need to borrow Johnny for a second.


JOHNNY: Dana… no… I can't do this…


DANA: Just a little cross promotion for a friend… Here, take a book.


(Johnny turns to Natalie.)


JOHNNY: Don't go anywhere. Promise?


(Natalie nods in the affirmative.)


DANA: Don't worry, you'll have him back in a second.


(Dana waves Dr. Lawrence over.)


NATALIE: Watches Johnny and Dana, surprised to feel a tinge of jealousy toward Dana. Then something occurs to her.


NATALIE: (to herself) …how did he know my name?




(Johnny suffers through a beat of Deja-Voodoo as Dr. Lawrence signs his book. He exchanges a looks with Natalie who is still watching from a few feet away.)


DR. LAWRENCE: Here, let me sign that for you. (As he signs) I think you'll find chapter nine will resonate particularly well considering your special "problem".


JOHNNY: …great…


(Natalie looks from Johnny, to the book in her hand, "Smart Women, Stupid Choices". Suddenly wondering what she's doing here, she puts the book back on the shelf and turns to go.)




(As Doctor Lawrence finishes signing.)


DR. LAWRENCE: I've taken the liberty of adding my phone number, in case after finishing the book you'd like to discuss anything further.


(Johnny briefly considers killing Dr. Lawrence with his own book.)


JOHNNY: Thanks.


(Johnny turns to look for Natalie, but she’s gone!)


JOHNNY: I gotta go.


(Johnny takes off in pursuit of Natalie, just as the waitress trips… Except this time, Johnny doesn't save the day, letting a full tray of wine and hors d'oeuvres land on Dr. Lawrence.)


DR. LAWRENCE: Covered in hors d'oeuvres. It's a thing of beauty.


(Blowing his sincere cover, he yells at the poor waitress.)


DR. LAWRENCE: You stupid idiot! Look what you've done…


(Everyone is horrified. You could here a pin drop. The Oprah ladies start putting their books back.)





(Johnny dashes outside, spots Natalie up the street, standing in front of the Travel Agency. He calls to her…)


JOHNNY: Natalie!


(But she doesn't hear him. As he starts moving fast up the street. He doesn't get very far when something stops him cold. Halfway between himself and Natalie, he sees two men sitting in a car, one smoking, the other on the phone. The man riding shotgun snaps his phone shut and gets out of the car. Johnny instantly recognizes his shiny black work boots.)


JOHNNY: Instinctively starts running toward Natalie, but only takes a few steps before he gets an idea.




(In a repeat of the earlier shot Natalie gazes past her reflection at the travel display -- except this time, instead of Johnny stepping into her reflection, the Mugger does.)


MUGGER: Excuse me Ma'am, do you have the time?


(She turns to face him.)


NATALIE: (guarded) No… sorry.


MUGGER: That's okay, doesn't matter.


(He pulls out his gun. Natalie freezes. Headlights sweep across her terrified face as the Mugger's accomplice pulls up, screeching to a halt… But it's not the accomplice, it's Johnny. He lays on the horn. Caught in the blinding headlights, the Mugger pockets the gun and turns to run.)


JOHNNY: Get in!


(Natalie is still frozen, confused, a deer caught in the headlights.)


JOHNNY: It's me. Johnny Smith. Get in the car.


(Natalie is still frozen, when the streetlight behind her goes on the fritz. It's just enough distraction to snap her out of her state of shock. Natalie's feet kick in before her brain does and she runs to the car, jumping in as Johnny steps on the gas.)




(Natalie grabs onto Johnny, looking out the back window at her attacker as they leave him behind.)


NATALIE: O-my-god-o-my-god he had a gun. He was going to shoot me.


JOHNNY: I know. Stay down.


(She ducks, then peeks back over the seat.)


NATALIE: …He just jumped in a car…


(They’re following us.)


JOHNNY: Hang on.


(Johnny throws the wheel hard right, tossing Natalie into his lap.)


JOHNNY: Get your seatbelt on.


(She fights centrifugal force, trying to get back to her seatbelt, then Johnny throws the wheel hard left, tossing her back against the passenger door. Finally she wrestles on her seat belt -- head spinning to look back at their pursuers.)


NATALIE: Things like this don't happen to me.


JOHNNY: They do now.


(The Mugger's car falls just one turn behind. Johnny, sees an opportunity ahead. Kills his headlights and slams on the brakes.)




(The Mugger's car burns around the corner and keeps going. After a long beat, one of the cars on the lot comes to life --- Johnny's Jeep pulls out of the lot and off the curb, heading in the opposite direction of their pursuers.)




(Natalie involuntarily grabs Johnny and shakes him with excitement.)


NATALIE: It worked! It worked! You did it. I can't believe it…


(Johnny steers with one hand, speed dialing his phone with the other.)


JOHNNY: (into the phone) Give me Sheriff Bannerman…




(Johnny's car rolls to a stop in the loading zone in front of the hotel.)




(As the car stops, Natalie is just starting to come down from her adrenaline rush.)


NATALIE: So… that was… different.


JOHNNY: Welcome to Cleaves Mills. You okay?


NATALIE: I don't know. I guess so. I've never been robbed before.


JOHNNY: Sheriff's on the way. He's a friend of mine… don't worry, they'll get these guys.


(Their eyes meet.)


NATALIE: You saved my life. Thank you.


JOHNNY: You're welcome. Just glad I caught up with you in time. I thought you were going to wait for me.


(Natalie gives Johnny a long-long look, then starts shaking her head.)


NATALIE: (more to herself) …wow… ummm… Sometimes I wish I was a different person… (Then to Johnny) Listen… I… lied to you, back there, in the bookstore.




NATALIE: When I was talking about my friend? The one with the great guy who asked her to marry him but she can't make up her mind? … That was me…


JOHNNY: Let me guess, handsome insurance agent?


NATALIE: How'd you know?


JOHNNY: Just a guess. So you haven't said yes?


NATALIE: Not yet.


JOHNNY: Why not?


NATALIE: It's complicated.


(They've been drawn closer and closer together throughout this exchange. A kiss seems imminent.)


JOHNNY: Actually there's something I need to tell you…


(But before he can, headlights sweep across his face. Johnny looks, eyes widening at what he sees. Shudder to a stop, pulling up alongside Johnny, window open, gun ready, drive-by style.)


JOHNNY: Get down!


(The window explodes in a hail of gunfire.)




(Johnny is snapped back to the bar, just as he and Natalie negotiate the contents her spilled purse back onto the countertop.)




(The glimmer of recognition is gone from her eyes. Johnny notices the photo of Natalie and some guy as she sweeps it back into her purse.)


NATALIE: You okay?


(Johnny manages an odd smile, but no, he's not okay.)


JOHNNY: Yeah… sure…


(Off his reaction…)










(The bartender is bringing Johnny and Natalie their apple martinis.)


NATALIE: Thanks…


(And she turns back to her co-workers. Johnny opens his mouth to say something, then hesitates, not sure where to start. Just then Bruce returns.)


BRUCE: C'mon, table's ready…


JOHNNY: (to Natalie) Save my seat?


(She shrugs yes and turns away again. Johnny pulls Bruce away from the bar.)


BRUCE: Don't you want your drink?


JOHNNY: It's okay, it's my third one tonight. C'mon, we've got to talk…




(Johnny has just finished updating Bruce, who looks over Johnny's shoulder, trying to get a better look at Natalie.)


BRUCE: …an insurance adjuster? Why would anybody be trying to kill her?


JOHNNY: I don't know. All I know is I touched her twice at that bar and each time I had a vision of a night with her that ends with us getting killed.


BRUCE: Well this is not a vision. We better do something.


JOHNNY: Call Walt. Tell him there's two armed men in a black S.U.V. parked just up the street who are planning to kill a woman named Natalie Conner.


BRUCE: What are you going to do?


JOHNNY: Same thing I've been doing all night, try to keep her from getting killed. Except this time, we're not leaving this bar.




(Johnny slides onto his stool next to Natalie.)


JOHNNY: How's that apple martini?


NATALIE: Too good. Stop me if I order another one.


JOHNNY: Here on business?


NATALIE: Yeah. We're insurance adjusters. Auditing a big industrial claim outside of town… Exciting huh? …and you, what do you do?


JOHNNY: I… how do I put this… I have abilities.


NATALIE: Abilities?


(Johnny leans in and talks low, not wanting to be overheard by her co-workers.)


JOHNNY: Psychic Abilities. Now hang on, before you tell me to get lost, hear me out. I see things… when I touch someone… I get visions, mental images of their lives… sometimes even their futures…


NATALIE: You're serious?


JOHNNY: Completely. …I can see you don't believe me. Maybe this will help. Somebody has asked you a very important question. Maybe the most important question of your life… and you don't know the answer yet.


(The view hones in on Natalie's eyes as she realizes what he's talking about.)


NATALIE: How'd you know that?


JOHNNY: I bumped into you a moment ago, when you spilled your drink. Sometimes that's all it takes.


NATALIE: I'm not sure I like this. What else do you think you know about me?


JOHNNY: Your name is Natalie Conner. You're allergic to dogs. And you've never been to the Amalfi Coast.


(Natalie stares at Johnny for a beat in astonishment, then takes a big sip from her martini.)


NATALIE: Do you pick up a lot of women this way?


JOHNNY: That's not why I'm telling you this. It's about something else I saw when we touched.


NATALIE: (apprehensive) …yeah?


JOHNNY: Don't go to the bookstore.


NATALIE: What? How did you know… why not?


JOHNNY: They um, don't have the book you want. …Anyway, it doesn't matter, in a few seconds, you're co-workers are going to invite you to a club down the street. When they do, say no.




JOHNNY: Because you're going to stay here and shoot pool with me.


(Natalie refuses to give up her disbelief.)


NATALIE: You think so huh?


JOHNNY: Then they're going to say, "We're just a couple of drunken losers," and slap a high five.


(Just then her friends interrupt, oblivious to Johnny.)


SHORT WINE (BENTON): Hey boss… Bartender says there's a great local band playing up the street. We're gonna check it out. You coming?


TALL BEER (FOLEY): She's not going. She never goes.


(Natalie looks straight at Johnny, stunned, not sure what to make of all this.)


NATALIE: (haltingly) No… I've still got work to do.


SHORT WINE (BENTON): That's why she's management…


TALL BEER (FOLEY): …and we're just a couple of drunken losers.


(Which suits them just fine. They slap a high-five.)


JOHNNY: Insurance adjusters gone wild.


(The guy on the phone turns around.)


PHONE MAN: (into phone) Hang on baby. (Then to Natalie) Sure you don't want to come?


NATALIE: You guys go ahead. I'll get myself back to the hotel.


(The guys all groan as they move toward the door, Natalie hanging back with Johnny.)


NATALIE: So, you know all kinds of things about me, but I don't even know you're name. I'm not psychic, I have to find out the old fashioned way.


JOHNNY: Sorry. Johnny Smith.


NATALIE: All right Johnny Smith. You break.




(Breaking across the table.)




(Johnny and Natalie watch the balls scatter, but nothing drops.)


JOHNNY: There. I spread them around for ya. Maybe we should bet a little money, just to make it interesting.


NATALIE: It's already interesting.


(Natalie sinks two balls in a row.)


NATALIE: I should warn you. I grew up with three older brothers and a pool table in the garage.


JOHNNY: Thanks for the warning.


(Natalie sinks another.)


JOHNNY: Would you miss already?


(She does, finally.)


JOHNNY: Thank you.


(Johnny lines up a shot. Sinks it. When he rises up from the table, Natalie is there next to him, leaning on her cue, something on her mind.)


NATALIE: When you told me before that someone had asked me an important question, what did you mean?


JOHNNY: You know what I meant…


NATALIE: I know. But I want to hear it from you.


JOHNNY: Somebody asked you to marry him.


NATALIE: How do you know that?


JOHNNY: You told it to me.


(Johnny takes another shot, leaving Natalie to wonder what the hell he's talking about.)


NATALIE: When? Have we met before?


JOHNNY: Not exactly. I told you, I have these…


NATALIE: …abilities… yes, that's what you said. (Studies Johnny for a long beat) Why is it I don't think you're a psycho?


JOHNNY: Because you know in your heart when somebody is telling you the truth.


NATALIE: I don't think I've ever met anyone like you.


JOHNNY: That's probably a good thing.


(Natalie is a smart girl, she's starting to sense more is going on than she knows.)


NATALIE: Why are we shooting this game of pool?


JOHNNY: Two reasons. First, I just wanted to get to know you better.


NATALIE: You seem to know me already. What was the second reason?


JOHNNY: I can't tell you yet.


NATALIE: Why not?


(Just then something behind Natalie draws Johnny's attention to the front door. Bruce ducks in from outside, looking worried, already on the phone. Making eye contact with Johnny, he nods toward the exit door. She turns around to see what Johnny is looking at.)


NATALIE: Isn't that a friend of yours?


JOHNNY: Yes… uh-oh.


NATALIE: What is it?


(The two Muggers come into the restaurant, passing Bruce on their way in. A hostess leads them right past Johnny and Natalie, to a booth in the back. Natalie picks up that Johnny is reacting to the muggers.)


NATALIE: You know those guys or something?


JOHNNY: I was going to ask you the same thing.


(Natalie looks at the Muggers who nonchalantly peruse their menus.)


NATALIE: (turning serious) What's going on?


(Johnny thinks a beat. Then leans in close and whispers to Natalie.)


JOHNNY: The real reason I asked you to stay is…


(And the rest of the scene is played on Natalie's face, Johnny's dialog buried by the bar ambiance and music. But her face tells us everything -- including the exact moment she hears that two men are planning to kill her. Natalie suddenly begins backing away from Johnny, the horror of what is going on starting to sink in. We can see the panic taking hold in her body as she begins instinctually to head for the front door, never taking her eyes off the two muggers.)


JOHNNY: Natalie, Natalie wait. Don't go out there… not yet… Natalie…


(But the urge to flee is too great for Natalie, and she turns and bolts for the door, Johnny following after her. He throws a look to Bruce as he passes him on the way out. Watch all this over this over their menus, then start to get up.)




(Johnny pursues Natalie out into the street. She's freaking out, just like Bruce predicted. She's on the verge of tears, terrified.)


JOHNNY: Natalie wait. It's not safe.


(Natalie finally stops and turns back toward Johnny, letting him catch up. Something she sees fills her eyes with terror. Looking past Johnny, where the muggers are exiting the restaurant. Bruce follows a beat later, calculating what kind of move he could make. Johnny sees danger in Natalie's eyes and turns in time to see the Muggers crossing the street toward him and Natalie. Johnny turns back to Natalie, wrapping himself around her.)


JOHNNY: Look out!


(The Muggers make their move, reaching into their jackets, when suddenly, headlights sweep across them, freezing them in their tracks. Car tires screech to a halt. A siren woops. Police Flashers light up every shadow. Several patrol cars have penned in the muggers, who are swarmed by Walt and several deputies, guns drawn.)


WALT: Drop the weapons. Now!


(Off Johnny and Natalie's reaction…)










(Natalie, Johnny, Walt, and Bruce watch the two muggers sitting in the back seat of a patrol car.)


WALT: …and you're sure you don't know them?


JOHNNY: Take your time.


(Natalie looks again, racking her brain.)


NATALIE: I'm sure. I've never seen either one of them before.


(Walt and Johnny exchange a look.)


NATALIE: (shaken) Why would they be trying to kill me?


WALT: That's what we'd like to know. Why don't you get some sleep… if that's possible. We can interview you in the morning.


JOHNNY: I'll drive you back to your hotel.


(Natalie looks at Johnny, still not sure just who this guy is.)




(Johnny's Jeep pulls up in the same spot as before.)




(Natalie thinks before getting out.)


NATALIE: Could you come up? I'm afraid to be alone.


JOHNNY: Of course.


(Johnny notices she's trembling, the evening's events finally soaking in. He reaches out and wraps his arms around her. She squeezes him tight.)


JOHNNY: Some night huh? You okay?


(She nods yes, resting her head against his chest.)


NATALIE: By the way, thanks for saving my life.


JOHNNY: You're welcome.


(Their chemistry kicks in and the hug develops into a passionate kiss.)






(As the door is banged open, they enter hot and heavy, careening their way into the room after Johnny kicks the door shut behind them. They fall back onto the couch, knocking some old room service dishes noisily onto the floor. Things develop quickly, both of them more than ready to take a chance on each other. She rips open his shirt, he's tugging at her bra, just when it starts to get good… There's a knock on the door.)


JOHNNY: Expecting somebody?


(Natalie shakes her head no. More knocking. A muffled voice becomes discernable. It's one of her co-workers, the phone man from the bar. Call him Stemple.)


PHONE MAN/STEMPLE (O.S.): Conner? You in there? It's me, Stemple. Just wanted to check and see if you're okay. We're all worried sick. Natalie? You in there?


JOHNNY: (whispering) Maybe he'll just go away.


STEMPLE (O.S.): Conner? Everybody just wants to know if you're okay. I know you're in there, open up.


NATALIE: (whispering) You don't know Stemple. Let me get rid of him.


(She gets up and motions for Johnny to hide in the bathroom. Reluctantly he gets up. Natalie unlocks the door, opening it a crack to reveal Stemple, who rushes in excitedly before she can say no.)


NATALIE: (sarcastic) Come on in…


STEMPLE: Are you okay? We were all worried. But I told 'em, Natalie's a rock, she's probably still up working…




(He is listening at the door, shaking his head… he can't get a break with this girl.)





(Natalie straightens herself, surreptitiously redoes a few buttons.)


NATALIE: Listen Stemple, it's late…


STEMPLE: (cuts her off) Nobody can believe it…


STEMPLE (CONT'D): Natalie Conner, targeted by killers… world's gone crazy… just crazy… Do they have any idea why these guys would want to kill you?


NATALIE: Not yet. Probably just a random thing… just looking for a woman.


STEMPLE: Yeah, makes sense… the creeps… thank God you're okay…


NATALIE: …Look Stemple, I'm fried, I really need to get some sleep…


STEMPLE: Sure-sure-sure. No problem. (Then remembering) …Oh yeah, before I forget, can I get those McKinsey files? Still got some loss figures to reconcile.


NATALIE: All I've got is the originals, I can't release them until we have copies.


STEMPLE: I'll go make some copies.


NATALIE: Now? It's the middle of the night. Can't this wait till morning?


STEMPLE: (turning dark) Actually no. I need those files.




(Is getting suspicious. He opens the door a crack so he can see Stemple and Natalie.)




(Stemple steps toward Natalie, invading her comfort zone as he pulls a small gun.)


NATALIE: What the hell are you doing?


STEMPLE: Well, you know what they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself.


NATALIE: What are you talking about?


STEMPLE: You had to be so smart didn't you? You couldn't just send Foley and Benton, two useful idiots… no you had to come along yourself. Anybody else and I could have covered my ass.


NATALIE: Please, Stemple, don't do this. Whatever it is you did, it's not worth killing somebody…


STEMPLE: Easy for you to say, you're not the one who would be going to jail.


(He points the gun at her.)


STEMPLE: So, for the last time, where are those files?


(Has eased out of the door and is creeping up behind Stemple.)


(Frozen in terror, facing the gun. Her eyes involuntarily dart toward Johnny. Stemple catches Natalie looking behind him. He turns, just in time to see Johnny diving at him. Johnny tackles Stemple, his momentum carrying them crashing to the ground, the gun knocked loose. As they tussle, Natalie sees the gun, and starts moving toward it, but Stemple breaks free and beats her to it, shoving her aside. Stemple picks up the gun and starts to turn back, but Johnny is right on him, tackling him again, this time his momentum carrying them crashing through the window.)




(They crash through the window and hurtle toward the ground. The ground racing up to meet him. Just as he makes contact…)




(Johnny snaps forward, like waking up from a falling dream just before impact, his hands slapping against the bar as if to stop himself. His eyes are wild, still very much in the heat of the fight.)


NATALIE: You okay?


(Johnny looks at her, groaning at the lack of recognition in her eyes. Then he sees… Still talking on the phone, except now we know who he's talking to. So does Johnny. As he jumps off his barstool, pushing past Natalie and the other two Adjusters to get to Stemple, who he spins around to face him before, cold-cocking him with a single punch.)


NATALIE: Oh my God!


(Short Wine and Tall Beer try to grab Johnny, but he's still so amped from the fight, he shrugs them off like the hulk. Bruce joins the fray, pulling Johnny free.)


BRUCE: Johnny what's going on?


NATALIE: What the hell is your problem?


(Johnny gives Natalie a look…)





(In a repeat of the previous scene, the two muggers now sit in the back of one patrol car, while Stemple is loaded into the back of another. Walt looks on. Natalie looks at her would-be killers, a gob smacked expression on her face.)


NATALIE: All this over the McKinsey files?


WALT: You're lucky to be alive. If that fire claim you were auditing turns out to be arson, your "friend" had a few million dollars worth of motive. We'll need a full statement from you in the morning.


(Natalie turns to Johnny.)


NATALIE: You saved my life. …because of something you saw when you touched me?


JOHNNY: …that's …uh …yeah.


NATALIE: What else did you see?


JOHNNY: Long story.


NATALIE: Tell me.




(Johnny walks Natalie through the evening that never was but was…)




(Sipping Martinis everyone has gone - Johnny miming the waiter gag.)




(He's kissing her, but just for story purposes, the instant the kiss breaks, he mimes the slap, then he's telling her how they got robbed, his hand suddenly a gun.)




(Laughing as they sit in their spot in the used car lot, Johnny pointing out where the muggers drove by.)




(She's looking at the table, listening to Johnny tell the story of her beating him, as he points to the pockets she sunk shots into. She is completely blown away by everything he's saying.)




(He's showing her where he fell.)




(As Johnny shows Natalie where he crashed out the window with Stemple.)


NATALIE: You tackled Stemple and crashed through this window? For me?




(Natalie studies Johnny. Sexual gravity begins drawing them together, slowly.)


NATALIE: I don't think I've ever met anyone like you.


JOHNNY: Not the first time you've told me that.


(Natalie thinks for a beat, wondering about something.)


NATALIE: What were we doing up here before Stemple showed up?


JOHNNY: I was kissing you.


NATALIE: What was I doing?


JOHNNY: Kissing me back.


NATALIE: (takes her time) What was that like?


(But Johnny can't answer, his lips are busy.)




(They tumble onto the bed together, a jumble of skin and inconvenient clothes. A few quick cuts and most of the clothing is gone. Their hands sample unfamiliar territory, their eyes explore each other, finding only beauty. They pause to catch their breath, eyes locking, the calm before the storm. Then he kisses her as their bodies melt into one another.)




(Johnny wakes up, finding himself alone in the tousled bed. A sound slowly becomes discernable – Natalie crying softly. Johnny pulls on some pants and follows the sound to the bathroom, a slash of light spilling out of the cracked open door. Inside, Natalie sits on the edge of the tub in her hotel robe, cell phone in one hand, the picture of her and her boyfriend in the other. She wipes her eyes and blows her nose on the sleeve of her robe, pulling herself together for what she is about to do. Taking a deep breath, she hits speed dial on the phone.)


NATALIE: (into phone) …hey… it's me… did I wake you?


(Johnny is listening intently when he suddenly reacts, a feeling starting to grip him as the view ramps into his eyes with a dead zone whoosh ripping us back to…)




(The same stunned look in his eyes. He verrrrry slowwwly lets his mind catch up with his body this time, getting his bearings.)


NATALIE: You okay?


(Johnny turns to look at her. God she's beautiful, but this just isn't meant to be.)


JOHNNY: Yeah, sure… sorry about your drink.


(Johnny looks at the contents of her purse spread out in front of him.)




(He picks up the picture of Natalie and her boyfriend, triggering :)        




(Natalie and her Fiancé, now her husband, walk along, holding hands with their two young children, all of them laughing, eating ice cream cones. Vision ends.)




(Setting the picture back down with the rest of Natalie's life spilled out on the bar. Johnny watches her as she sweeps everything back into her purse. A wry smile comes to his face as he realizes this just isn't meant to be.)


JOHNNY: (then to bartender) Another Merlot please?


NATALIE: Thanks…


(Their eyes meet. His eyes full of recognition and a pang for what might have been… her eyes full of, "why is this guy staring at me like that?")




JOHNNY: Sorry. I didn't mean to stare. You just remind me of somebody.


NATALIE: Old girlfriend?


JOHNNY: Not exactly.


(Natalie smiles and turns back to her friends. Just then, Bruce returns.)


BRUCE: C'mon man, table's ready.


JOHNNY: Hang on a sec.


(Johnny leans over to Natalie and whispers in her ear.)


JOHNNY: Marry the guy, he's going to make you very happy.


(Natalie whips around to look at Johnny.)


NATALIE: What did you say?


JOHNNY: Marry the handsome insurance agent, but make sure he takes you to the Amalfi Coast for your honeymoon.


(Johnny pushes away from the bar, leaving Natalie behind with his words ringing in her ear.)


BRUCE: What was that all about?


JOHNNY: Tell you in a minute.


(Johnny flips open his phone and speed dials Walt.)


JOHNNY: Sheriff Bannerman please…


(As he passes Stemple, Johnny gives him a Cheshire grin. Still on the phone, Stemple nods back in acknowledgement.)


JOHNNY: Catch ya later pal. (Then into phone) Yeah Walt? Johnny. Got a little situation here…


(As they walk to the lobster tank, Johnny watches Natalie back over his shoulder, knowing he's done the right thing, but still wondering what might have been.)







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