Stephen Metcalfe

The Old Boy

A Screenplay excerpt by Stephen Metcalfe
All Rights Reserved

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. – NIGHT

Establishing shots. Lights. Buildings. Rain on the streets. SUBTITLE: APRIL, 1985

A BLACK LIMO

glides along the late night streets. CLOSE ON – An official-looking Federal seal on the door of the limo.

IN THE LIMO’S BACK SEAT –

SAMUEL PIERCE stares out the window. He’s a conservatively-suited, handsome man in his forties. He looks tired; the kind of fatigue that doesn’t just come from lack of sleep.

THE LIMO

moves along a park drive. In the distance one can see a lighted monument. The wheels of the car cut through gathering puddles.

SAMUEL

stares out the window. He’s not looking at the passing buildings but at his own reflection in the glass.

THE LIMO

turns off into the driveway entrance of a luxury high rise.

THE LIMO

pulls to a stop. A uniformed doorman rushes forward with an open umbrella to open the rear door. Samuel gets out.

INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT

Even in the half light one can see the rich, luxurious furnishings. Samuel enters. He drops his overcoat and attache in a chair, turns on the light on a hall table.

There’s a pile of mail on the table. Samuel sorts through it, uninterested. But then he pauses over something.

CLOSE ON – A prep school’s alumni magazine. The black and white photo of the New England countryside.

Folding the magazine, Samuel turns and moves down the hall.

INT. A LARGE STUDY/OFFICE – NIGHT

Samuel quietly pours scotch into a crystal glass. He’s listening to messages on the phone machine.

BOB (ON THE MACHINE)

Sam? Bob. Why carry a cell phone if you won’t answer it? Listen, great news. The National Mayors Conference wants you to be their keynote speaker.

We are talking network coverage, VIP’s, full party support. It’s all coming together, big guy. Call me when you get in, I’ll be up.

Samuel sips his scotch. His expression never changes.

IN THE BEDROOM

Carrying magazine and glass, Samuel enters the dark bedroom. He puts them down, takes off his suit jacket, hangs it up. Picking up the glass, he moves to the window, looks out.

A WOMAN’S VOICE (O.C..)

(half-awake)

Sam?

Loosening his tie, Samuel turns from the window. He moves towards the bed. A woman is curled under the covers.

Samuel turns on a reading light.

THE WOMAN

What time is it?

SAMUEL

Late.

He slips off his shoes. He reclines on the bed. Flips through the magazine. The woman rises. Moves into the bathroom. Even half-asleep, she’s elegantly beautiful; around thirty.

Samuel sees something that almost makes him smile – a photo

– WINTER CARNIVAL. He flips pages. CLOSE ON – The magazine page. CLASS NOTES. Samuel flips the page. He reads. He blinks, suddenly shocked. He rereads. He closes the magazine, sick inside. He puts it aside.

The woman comes out of the bathroom; sees the look on Samuel’s face.

THE WOMAN

What?

Samuel quietly shakes his head. The woman gets into bed.

THE WOMAN (cont’d)

You looked like someone died.

SAMUEL

… someone did.

THE WOMAN

Hmmm?

SAMUEL

Go back to sleep.

She already is. Outside it’s begun to rain again. Samuel just stares, his face the color of ash. CLOSING ON – The alumni magazine cover – CLOSER – until it FILLS the screen.

And now, as the photo fills with the vivid hues of an

AUTUMN DAY in New England we HEAR a boy’s choir singing a hymn. “Oh Paradise, Oh Paradise…”

The hymn CONTINUES as IN A SERIES OF CROSSFADES – we see different views, interior and exterior, of WESTMINSTER ACADEMY. The prep school speaks of old money, privilege and tradition. The BUILDINGS are distinguished, fortress-like; all heavy stone and ivy-covered brick. The LAWNS AND PLAYING FIELDS are manicured. The STUDENTS, on their way to classes, wear conservative blue blazers and ties.

The school’s CLASSROOMS are intimate and wood-lined, the desks ancient. The teachers are tweedy and scholarly looking. The students are attentive – no dawdlers here.

The LIBRARY, with it’s stacks of old volumes and high-backed, leather chairs, would do a college proud.

In the GYM LOBBY are cases filled with trophies, plaques and ancient pictures of student teams.

In the DORM ROOMS, the beds are made and the desks are neat. There are squash racquets and lacrosse sticks in the corner, college pennants on the wall – Harvard – Yale – Princeton.

In the SCHOOL CHAPEL that choir is SINGING.

EXT. THE CAMPUS – DAY

The HYMN ends. Leaves are falling from the trees.

SUBTITLES: SEPTEMBER – 1961. A group of casually dressed students rake leaves into piles.

SAM

Come on, ya numbnuts, three piles! How hard is that –

Sam is 19 years old; big for his age, athletic looking.

SAM (cont’d)

– even for freshmen?

He’s sitting under a tree, a text book open in his lap.

One of the boys, a plump guy, OGILVIE, looks up.

OGILVIE

Why don’tcha lead by example, sir?

SAM

How about I kick your fat ass, Ogilvie, how about that? Now move it! This is 12 merit points and I want’m.

Sam is about to go back to his reading when he sees an adult in a clerical collar coming down a walk towards them.

DEXTER DELL

moves at a leisurely pace. He stops, pleased at what he sees. Sam has picked up a rake and is now raking away, his energy putting the others to shame.

SAM (cont’d)

Let’s go, fellas, we’re almost done!

DEXTER

Showing the freshman the ropes, huh

Sam?

SAM

Huh? Oh! Yes sir, Mr. Dell! Like you say – many hands make light work!

DEXTER

That’s the spirit! Sam, I just came from the Rector’s office. He’d like to see you.

SAM

Right now, sir? Or can I finish helping out here?

Ogilvie looks like he’s going to retch.

DEXTER

Posthaste, Sam. Your friends will have to carry on without you. Oh – will we see you on the debate team this year?

SAM

Count on it, sir.

DEXTER

Maybe this year we’ll best Andover.

SAM

If you have anything to say about it we will.

Two of the freshman glance at one another – do you believe this guy?

DEXTER

Carry on, boys!

Dexter turns and continues on. The boys watch him go.

SAM

Friar Tuck could debate an atheist in a church and lose.

OGILVIE

What’s the Rector want to see you for, Pierce?

The look on Sam’s face says it could be any number of things, none of them good. He tosses the rake aside.

SAM

What do I look like, an oracle? I want this finished by the time I get back.

And picking up his history book, Sam heads off.

EXT. THE CAMPUS – DAY

Sam hurries across the stately grounds, heading towards the administration building.

INT. ADMINISTRATION – DAY

Long, carpeted hallways with high ceilings and ornate wain scotting. Quiet as a church. Sam comes down the hall and stops in front of a door. He uses the tail of his shirt to wipe sweat off his face. He carefully tucks himself in.

INT. OUTER OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

An elderly secretary doesn’t look up from her typing as Sam enters. Sam moves to the desk, waits for her attention.

SAM

Mr. Prewitt wanted to see me?

The secretary reaches for an intercom.

INT. RECTOR DOUGLAS PREWITT’S OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

Sam enters. The office is large and well-appointed.

DOUGLAS PREWITT rises from his chair. An expensively dressed woman is sitting on the couch. A silver coffee service is in front of them.

PREWITT

Sam! Good of you to come on short notice.

SAM

Yes, sir. Sorry about the way I’m dressed, sir. I was supervising a work program.

HARRIET

A work program, what’s that?

PREWITT

Sam, I’d like you to meet Mrs. Harriet Van Kirk. Mrs. Van Kirk, this is Sam Pierce.

SAM

Ma’am.

PREWITT

Care to explain, Sam?

SAM

Students are encouraged to pitch in around campus, raking and pruning and shoveling snow and stuff, the same way we would if we were at home, Ma’am.

PREWITT

Strictly voluntary, of course. And we reward the boys with merit points.

SAM

(at his Eddie Haskell best)

I don’t think the points are what make us do it, sir. I think it’s the sense of community we all get from working together.

HARRIET

(a satisfied glance at Prewitt)

The Rector’s been telling me quite a lot about you, Sam.

Good or bad? Sam nervously waits for the shoe to drop.

HARRIET

He says you’re quite the athlete, that the other boys look up to you.

PREWITT

Oh, Sam is one of our leaders. Truly.

And this year if we can just get his grades up…

HARRIET

Grades. Anyone can get good grades.

Grades don’t tell the whole story, do they, Sam.

SAM

Well… they certainly help in getting you into the college of your choice.

Prewitt smiles. He presses the intercom on his desk.

PREWITT

Sybil? Is our young man back yet?

SECRETARY

Yes, sir.

PREWITT

Would you send him in, please?

Prewitt smiles. Harriet smiles. Sam doesn’t smile.

There’s the sound of a door opening. Sam turns in his chair. And finds himself staring at PAUL VAN KIRK, 18.

Paul is slim, good-looking, dressed in an expensive suit and tie.

HARRIET

Paul, don’t dawdle.

Paul enters. He’s about to close the door when –

HARRIET

Close the door behind you.

Paul gives just the suggestion of sigh. He closes the door.

HARRIET

Paul, you’ve met Rector Prewitt.

PAUL

Yes. It was thrilling.

HARRIET

Paul. And now I want you meet someone who’s going to be equally important to you, if not more so. Darling, this is Sam Pierce. Sam, I’d like to present my son, Paul Van Kirk the third.

The boys stare, not liking the other even a little bit.

HARRIET

I think you two should shake hands, don’t you, Sam?

SAM

Yeah. Hi.

Sam sticks out a hand. Paul stares a moment. With a complete lack of enthusiasm, he limply shakes.

HARRIET

There. We’re friends now. Sam’s father went here, isn’t that right,

Sam?

SAM

Yes, ma’am. He’s a trustee.

PREWITT

Sam’s been preceded here by a grandfather and two uncles as well.

HARRIET

You see, darling? Sam knows the ropes up and down the line. Aren’t we lucky that he’s going to be your old boy.

Sam tries to hide his shock.

SAM/PAUL

What?/My what?

PREWITT

It’s a tradition we have at Westminster. A student who’s been here awhile, an upperclassman like Sam, is assigned a student to guide through the “dark wood” of the first year. Usually that student is a freshman of course

but –

HARRIET

In your case, and at my request, they’ve decided to make an exception.

Well, say something, darling.

PAUL

Lucky me. Perhaps I’ll even be toilet-trained by Christmas.

EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING – DAY

A Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is parked down in front. Paul and Harriet are saying goodbye. She is clucking over him like a mother hen. A chauffeur stands at attention.

PREWITT

stands at the entrance to the administration building, staring down at them. Sam is with him.

PREWITT

Be strong, write lots of letters and listen to your old boy. Isn’t that what parents always say just before they leave, Sam?

SAM

I wouldn’t know, sir. I’ve always come by bus.

PREWITT

If I can be of assistance, let me know,

Sam.

SAM

Yes, sir.

Prewitt turns and goes back inside back inside. Down below, Harriet is getting into the back of the Rolls.

SAM

Fuck me.

He starts forward.

THE ROLLS

pulls away as Sam approaches. Harriet waves out the window.

HARRIET

Goodbye, darling. Goodbye, Sam. I’m counting on you.

Paul doesn’t wave back. He doesn’t look at Sam.

SAM

Where’s your stuff. Hey, I said where’s your stuff.

PAUL

At the dorm.

SAM

You been to the dorm already?

PAUL

I’m afraid so.

SAM

Okay then. Let’s go.

He turns and without waiting to see if Paul is coming, walks. A moment. Paul reluctantly follows.

EXT. THE CAMPUS – DAY

Sam and Paul walk along a campus walk way.

SAM

You met your roommate?

(Paul nods)

Like him?

PAUL

I just met him.

SAM

What about your bed?

PAUL

Do I like it?

SAM

You made it yet?

PAUL

I did and now I’m lying in it.

SAM

What?

PAUL

Never mind. No, I haven’t made my bed.

SAM

We’ll go to the dorm and you can make your bed.

PAUL

(stopping)

What’s your name again? Sam? Tell me something, Sam, why should I want to go to the dorm just now to make my bed?

SAM

They have inspections. You get demerits.

PAUL

Now ask me if I care.

SAM

Listen, numbnuts, you want to get along here or what?

PAUL

I don’t know yet. Numbnuts.

And he walks on. Sam frowns – who’s leading who here?

SAM

Hey! You better know how to make hospital corners!

Sam hurries after him.

INT. DORM – DAY

A coke can bangs off a wall and down the hall. Half a dozen boys are playing a loud, strenuous game of hockey in the dorm hallway. Paul and Sam push against the wall as the game moves by. They continue on.

PAUL

Do guys ever run away from this dump?

SAM

What? No.

PAUL

I might.

SAM

Hah. Right. Where would you go?

PAUL

New York.

SAM

City? Get real.

PAUL

Why not?

They turn and head up a stairway.

SAM

For one thing it’s hugely expensive.

PAUL

I’d get a job.

SAM

You need an education to get any kind of decent paying job, kid.

PAUL

My grandfather quit school in the seventh grade and made sixty million dollars.

That stops Sam in his tracks.

SAM

Legally?

They move down the hall.

INT. DORM ROOM – CONTINUOUS

Paul opens the door. A very fat boy, BARNARD “BUBBLES” HILL, jumps away from the boxes that are resting on one of the desks. He has a guilty look on his face. Some records are out, lying jacketless on the desk.

SAM

Jesus, Bubbles, going through his stuff already?

BUBBLES

No!

SAM

You didn’t tell me Bubbles was your roommate.

Paul moves to put the records carefully away.

PAUL

He said his name was Barnard.

BUBBLES

It is!

SAM

No wonder you’re thinking of running away.

And Sam reaches out and twists Bubbles’ fleshy breast.

SAM

Hey, nice tits, Bubs.

BUBBLES

Ah! Bug off, Pierce!

He pushes Sam away. Moves to the door.

PAUL

Hey. Barnard. You can play my records as long you put them back when you

finish, okay?

BUBBLES

…thanks.

(excited and pleased)

Thanks! Fuck you, Pierce.

Sam feigns starting for him. Bubbles runs. Sam turns back to Paul; a little taken back by the display of generosity.

He sees some expensive tennis racquets in the corner. He picks one up, starts to take off the cover.

SAM

You play?

PAUL

(taking the racquet away from him)

A little.

SAM

Planning on trying out for the team?

PAUL

If I last that long.

INT. SCHOOL DINING ROOM – LATER

Meals are served at large, well-appointed tables by student waiters. The tables are presided over by a Master and, if the man is married, his wife. The boys are all in blazers and ties. Conversation is quiet and civilized.

A prissy, younger faculty member, WALTER LEWIS, looks up from his soup and pats mouth with his napkin. He pleasantly surveys his charges.

Paul sits at the far end of the table. Sam sits next to him. Sam is chowing down. Paul hardly touches his food.

SAM

Those guys over there?

PAUL

Which guys? Everyone looks the same.

SAM

Those guys.

Their names are FREARS and MACLANE.

SAM

Their fathers are U.S. senators.

PAUL

Is that why they sit together?

SAM

That guy with the red hair?

His name is Robinson.

SAM

His grandfather heads General Motors.

The guy next to him –

His name is ATKINS.

SAM

– his father just about owns Wall

Street. And that zit-faced creep at the end of the table –

His name is BARR.

SAM

– that’s Katherine Hepburn’s nephew.

PAUL

Now ask me if I’m impressed.

SAM

I’m just pointing out to you – before you leave – that this happens to be a pretty great school.

PAUL

Because Katherine Hepburn’s creepy nephew goes here?

SAM

Listen, numbnuts, guys from all over are knocking themselves to come here, you should consider yourself lucky!

LEWIS

Mr. Pierce!

Sam looks up, startled.

LEWIS

Do you have something you wish to share with the rest of the table?

PIERCE

No, sir.

LEWIS

Then kindly keep your voice down.

SAM

Yes, sir.

And now plates are cleared by the student waiters.

LEWIS

What were you and our new colleague discussing if I may ask?

SAM

I was just telling Paul what a quality bunch of guys we have here at

Westminster, Mr. Lewis.

LEWIS

Indeed. I daresay if the Communists ever dropped a bomb here it would seriously cripple the future of the entire free world.

Everyone at the table – except Paul – laughs on cue.

LEWIS

We’re very proud of our school, Mr. Van Kirk. Any questions, just ask. We’re all here to help.

The entree is now being served. It looks like creamed chipped beef on toast – maybe.

PAUL

Any Jews in this little Wasp enclave?

The table goes silent with shock.

MR. LEWIS

You… have a problem with Semites, Mr.

Van Kirk?

PAUL

On the contrary, I find they raise the level of discourse considerably.

LEWIS

As a matter of fact, we have several.

Have, for some time now.

PAUL

Any blacks?

LEWIS

Pardon?

PAUL

“Negroes”?

LEWIS

(tightly)

On scholarship, Mr. Van Kirk. And they are a credit to their race. Any other questions?

PAUL

Is the food always this bad?

Some giggles. Lewis glares. The boys avert their eyes.

LEWIS

We like it. Anything else?

PAUL

(calmly meeting his eye)

Yeah. Are you always so full of shit?

A wild cackle breaks from Sam. He immediately stifles it.

Too late. Lewis imperiously rises –

EXT. THE RECTOR’S HOUSE – LATER

Establishing shot.

INT. RECTOR’S HOUSE – LATER

In an antique-filled hallway, Paul and Sam sit on a hard wooden bench, waiting.

SAM

Great. So much for leaving. Get thrown out. And take me with you while you’re at it.

PAUL

I didn’t make you laugh.

SAM

I didn’t laugh! Some food got caught in my throat!

PAUL

Suit yourself.

A door opens. Sam looks up. Paul doesn’t even bother.

It’s Prewitt and Lewis. Lewis walks past them, a grim smile of satisfaction on his face.

PREWITT

Sam, Paul, come in, please?

He turns away. Sam and Paul rise.

SAM

We’re dead.

Paul calmly walks into the office. Sam follows.

INT. PREWITT’S DEN – CONTINUOUS

Paul and Sam enter. Prewitt sits down behind his desk.

PREWITT

Well? Who wants to begin? Sam?

SAM

It wasn’t my fault, sir. I got something caught in my throat and Mr. Lewis thought I was laughing and I wasn’t. Wouldn’t. It was him.

PREWITT

Paul?

PAUL

It was me. Sam… choked.

Sam is surprised. And is even more surprised at:

PREWITT

Paul. I know it’s difficult being at a place you don’t wish to be. Please give us a chance. You’re down for six demerits and you’re assigned fourteen extra study hall hours. Dismissed.

Paul and Sam turn for the door. Sam can’t believe it – he got off.

PREWITT

And Sam? As his old boy, why don’t you keep him company.

SAM

Yes, sir.

They exit.

EXT. THE RECTOR’S HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

Sam and Paul come out of the house. They move down the walk towards the campus.

SAM

Fourteen hours! God! I didn’t even do anything!

PAUL

(taking out a cigarette case)

It could be worse. You could be

“dead”.

SAM

When my father finds out about this, I will be. Hey, what are – ? Are those butts? Are you crazy?

(as Paul lights up)

You can’t do that here!

PAUL

What are they going to do, give me more demerits?

SAM

They’ll throw you out is what they’ll do! And me for being with you!

PAUL

Now ask me if I care.

SAM

That does it! I wash my hands of this.

I have a lot to do this year, a lot to make up for. The last thing I need to do is play old boy to some clown who doesn’t even want be here.

PAUL

Nobody’s asking you to.

SAM

Good! See you around. I hope not.

And Sam turns and takes off. Paul angrily tosses the cigarette away.

INT. A CLASSROOM – AFTERNOON

Out the window one can see boys playing football; hear their excited yells. Sam sits by the window, staring longingly out at the game. Books are open on his desk – he’s supposed to be studying. Paul sits on another side of the room. He’s not even pretending to study. Mr. Lewis sits at the desk in the front, reading. He glances at his watch.

LEWIS

That’ll be all, gentlemen.

Sam rises. He gathers his books and heads towards the door. He almost bumps into Paul. Ignoring him, he exits.

EXT. RECTOR’S OFFICE – DAY

Sam and Prewitt sit on opposite sides of the desk.

SAM

Sir, may I speak frankly?

PREWITT

By all means.

SAM

I’m honored you chose me, to be an old boy and all, sir, but I really think you should find someone else. My grades, sir, I really need to get them back up this year.

PREWITT

Sam, do you know Mr. Van Kirk comes to us with a 4.0 gradepoint?

SAM

You’re kidding.

PREWITT

I daresay he’ll be advising you as much you him.

SAM

Sir, it’s not gonna work. This guy, he doesn’t want to be here. He’s gonna bolt.

PREWITT

And I’m counting on you to see that doesn’t happen. Sam, between you and me, Paul Van Kirk has left or been expelled from half a dozen schools in the last two years. This could very well be his last chance.

SAM

Sir… I’d rather not.

PREWITT

I see. Well then. I can only be disappointed. I dare say your father will be too.

SAM

Sir?

PREWITT

I was talking to him just today. He seemed quite pleased you were taking on this responsibility.

SAM

(with a touch of bitterness)

All right, sir. You win.

PREWITT

There are no losers here, Sam. Give Paul a chance. More than anything else I think he needs a friend. And if I may be so bold, I think perhaps you do too.

INT. DORM – DAY

Sam climbs the stairs in Paul’s dorm. He can hear music coming from the second floor. He moves down the hallway.

The music – wild jazz – Coltrane maybe – is louder.

INT. PAUL’S ROOM – CONTINUOUS

The door is open. Sam peers in. Paul is lying on his bed.

Sam knocks on the open door. Knocks louder. Paul looks up. He looks away. Sam enters.

SAM

What’s this crap?

PAUL

Music.

SAM

Why would you listen to it unless you had to?

Paul takes the record off the stereo, puts it away.

PAUL

What do you want?

SAM

I came by to see how you were doing.

PAUL

What do you care?

SAM

Hey, I don’t, okay? But I’m stuck being your old boy, so I have to.

PAUL

Don’t worry about it. I’m not staying much longer.

Silence. And Sam sees the racquets in the corner.

SAM

Okay, look… you want to play tennis?

PAUL

With you?

SAM

I’ve been first singles since freshman year.

PAUL

Go ask one of the senator’s sons to play.

SAM

You said you could play. Or was that a line of bull? Like everything else.

EXT. TENNIS COURTS – DAY

Paul, in immaculate tennis whites, stands at the baseline.

PAUL

Serve.

Sam, wearing grungy sweats, stands at the other.

SAM

You don’t want to warm up?

PAUL

You want to play, let’s play.

SAM

Boy… you’re askin’ for it.

Sam serves and charges the net. Paul steps in and absolutely CRUSHES a two hand backhand. It screams up the line, right by a lunging Sam. A disbelieving moment.

SAM

Lucky.

Paul is silent. He moves to the ad court. Sam moves back to the baseline. Again he serves and rushes net. Paul returns. Sam volleys. Wham – the two-hander. Cross-court, right by Sam. The ball hits just inside the line.

SAM

Out!

Paul just looks at him.

SAM

The ball was out. Fifteen all.

Paul doesn’t say a word. He moves back to the deuce court to return serve. Sam hesitates…

SAM

Look, you’re gonna make such a big deal about it, we’ll take it over.

Sam moves to the baseline. He serves. Charges. Paul hits the two-hander. Sam volleys. Paul hits a two handed screamer at Sam’s feet. Sam dribbles it into the net.

SAM

Where do you get this two handed stuff, huh?

PAUL

I’m beating you.

SAM

Play the game the way it’s supposed to be played!

PAUL

I’m beating you.

SAM

…playing like a girl.

PAUL

I’m beating you!

SAM

I’m talking about myself, you don’t mind!!

They glare at one another. Sam moves back to the baseline.

He suddenly quick serves underhand. Paul races to it and with an artist’s touch, drop-shots. Sam charges for it.

And lunging, he stumbles, into and over the net – whomp!

SAM

Shit! Shit-shit-shit.

For the first time… Paul smiles.

EXT. CAMPUS – DAY

Sam and Paul walk together, carrying their tennis racquets.

Sam’s grungy whites are covered with sweat and red clay.

Paul’s tennis whites are is still immaculate.

SAM

You’re pretty good.

PAUL

I ought to be. My mother’s had me taking lessons since I was two.

(silence, and then; casually)

What do you have to make up for?

SAM

Huh?

PAUL

That night at the rector’s house, you said you had a lot to make up for.

(silence)

Oh, I get it, now you don’t.

SAM

Okay, look, I haven’t told too many people this but… my mom got sort of sick last year. She had to go to the hospital. It kind of threw me. My grades and all. I let a lot of people down, myself included. And this year, it’s important that I do better.

PAUL

Why?

SAM

Why? Because as a privileged individual, I have a responsibility to.

To society and to myself. To excel.

PAUL

And I thought Lewis was full of shit.

SAM

Hey, at least I don’t run away from my responsibilities!

(pause)

Forget I said that. You’re right, sometimes maybe I am full of it.

PAUL

Who isn’t?

SAM

Yeah! I mean, you play the game, you say what they want to hear – it’s how you get by, right? It’s not hard, Paul, I can show you how to do that.

At least, think about it, okay?

A moment. Paul is noncommittal.

SAM

Hey, race ya to Billings Hall!

And Sam breaks into a run. Paul hesitates. And suddenly he grins. He takes off after Sam.

PAUL

You’re a cheater, Pierce!

SAM

Hah! It’s not cheating when you –

EXT. THE CAMPUS – ADMINISTRATION BUILDING