417 "Blind Faith"
(Original Air Date: April 22, 2000)

Written by ??; Directed by ??; (as "fanscribed" by Janet)


Characters:

Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler)
Marissa Clark (Shanesia Davis-Williams)
Blake Heron
Boy 1
Boy 2
Cameron Ahern
Nate Calvin
Vadim (McGinty’s employee)
Mrs. Calvin
Dr. Katzman
Nurse
Gift Shop Employee
Hospital Volunteer at reception desk

{Scene: Underground freight tunnel. It’s dark with some light filtering in. Three teens are scrounging around the boxes and other containers scattered through the area.}

Boy1:
Yo, Check this out, man.

Boy 2:
It’s munitions. This is probably from, like, a war or something.

Boy1:
I told you man. These tunnels are full of stuff.

{Gary enters the tunnel and hesitates, checking his paper. The headline reads Civil War Explosive Kills Teens. Continues on.}

Boy1:
It smells like rotten eggs.

Boy 2:
Hey, you know what? We could sell this on eBay.

Boy1:
Now you’re thinking, man. (teens slap hands)

Gary:
Nobody’s selling anything. Listen to me. That cannonball, it’s explosive. If you drop that, it’s going to go off.

Boy1:
Yeah, right, dude. Cannonballs don’t explode.

Gary:
Well, that kind does. Now, now, just set that down gently.

Boy1:
You just want this stuff for yourself, don’t you?

Gary:
All I want is that no one gets hurt.

Boy1:
Okay, Chiefy, sure. (tosses cannonball to one of the other boys)

Gary:
Hey, what are you doing? Listen, I’m not lying. That’s a bomb. You set that down and get away from it.

Boy1:
Yeah, right. Toss it, Cameron. He’s lying. (Cameron hesitates.)

Gary:
Cameron, listen to me. Now, trust me. You just set that down, you understand?

Boy 1:
Toss it, Cameron. He can get his own stuff.

Gary:
Listen, kid—

Boy1:
Okay, calm down. Here you go. You can have it.

{Boy 1 throws cannonball in Gary’s direction. Gary ducks away from it. Lands on the ground about two feet away. Gary turns toward it looking straight at it.}

Boy1:
Yeah – big explosion.

{Cannonball explodes knocking Gary off his feet onto his back. As he rolls over onto his knees the three boys rush over.}

Boy1:
Oh, oh.

Cameron:
Hey! Hey, mister are you—

Boy1:
Let’s get out of here right now.

{Gary crawls blindly on the ground. He’s breathing hard. His face is somewhat sooty and his eyes are clouded.}

Gary:
Hey, Wait! I can’t see! I can’t see! (Note of panic in his voice)

{Opening Credits and commercials}

{Scene: Crowded hospital corridor. Marissa walks down the corridor with the use of her cane.}

Marissa:
Can somebody help me, please? Hello?

Man:
Out of the way! Need some help here.

{Marissa moves to her left against the wall}

Man:
MVA—pedestrian versus a city bus.

{A woman in surgical scrubs crosses the corridor to Marissa’s side.}

Woman:
Can I help you?

Marissa:
My friend Gary Hobson –

Woman:
Hobson?

Marissa:
I got a phone call about an explosion.

Woman:
Oh, right. The freight tunnels.

Marissa:
Is he all right?

Woman:
The doctor is with him. I’ll take you there.

Marissa:
You’re sure he’s okay?

Woman:
The doctor will fill you in.

{Scene: Hospital emergency room. Examination room. Gary is sitting on the end of the bed. His eyes and his left hand are bandaged. Some slight burn marks on his face where not covered by bandages. The doctor is standing behind him to his right and moves around from back to front to Gary’s left. Woman leads Marissa into the room.}

Woman:
Okay? Here we are.

Gary:
Marissa is that you?

{Marissa takes a few steps forward and reaches for Gary’s hand.}

Marissa:
Of course it’s me. Are you all right?

Gary:
I can’t see.

Dr. Katzman:
Miss Clark, Hi. I’m Dr. Katzman. Mr. Hobson has sustained a thermal corneal burn from the explosion. The heat from the explosion has damaged the proteins in his corneas which has resulted in some clouding.

Marissa:
He’s blind.

Gary:
No, No. I mean, I could see in a couple days. It’s just—

Dr. Katzman:
As I was explaining to Mr. Hobson, usually given some time, the corneas repair themselves.

Marissa:
How much time?

Dr. Katzman:
I can’t say. If we don’t see some improvement in a week or so, there are some procedures we can try. We can try to remove the clouding with laser. If that doesn’t work, there’s a corneal transplant. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

Marissa:
Oh my god.

{reaches for Gary’s hand again}

{Scene changes to the hospital corridor again. An orderly is wheeling Gary along. Parks the wheelchair and locks the wheels.}

Orderly:
Let me see how your friend’s doing with those forms, and we’ll get you out of here, okay?

Gary:
Yeah.

Orderly:
Sit tight. Departs for another room.

Gary:
I’m not going anywhere.

{Gary sits in the wheelchair listening to the commotion around him. Hears a thumping noise. A young boy is walking down the hall bouncing a ball and catching it. He misses and the ball hits a startled Gary in the chest. Gary catches it.}

Nate:
Sorry about that mister.

Gary:
That’s all right. Is this your ball?

Nate:
Yeah, can I have it back? It’s my lucky ball.

Gary:
Oh.

Nate:
What happened to your eyes?

Gary:
They got burned.

Nate:
Like, your eyeballs?

Gary:
Yeah.

Nate:
whoa. Does it hurt?

Gary:
(clears throat) It’s not too bad.

Nate:
My name’s Nate Calvin. (Holds his hand out forgetting that Gary can’t see it)

Gary:
Well, that’s good. Nice to meet you, Nate. I’m Gary.

Nate:
Do you have to sleep here?

Gary:
Uh, No, no. A friend of mine’s doing my paperwork, and I’m going to get out of here.

Nate:
My mom has to sleep here.

Gary:
Oh, I’m sorry.

Nate:
Yeah, she’s been here a while.

{Nate walks around Gary, takes ball back Gary tries to follow the sound of his voice}

Nate:
When she first came here, the doctors didn’t know what was making her sick, but now they do so tomorrow they’re going to make her better so she can go home, too. So are you hungry? Do you want a snack? They got some good stuff here. This nurse showed me where they keep it. There’s jell-o, sandwiches, ice cream, oreos—

Gary:
They have oreos? An oreo cookie-- I’ll take one of those.

Nate:
Sure. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.

{The orderly returns.}

Orderly:
All right, Mr. Hobson. You ready to roll?

Gary:
Yes. Hey, uh, Nate, I’ll take a rain check on the cookie there.

Nate:
(bouncing & catching his ball) Sure.

Gary:
And good luck to you mom, huh?

Nate:
Thanks.

{Scene shifts to Gary’s loft room over McGinty’s. The lights are off. A cab driver has Gary by the arm and leads him into the room.}

Gary:
Just, uh, just the armchair.

{Cabby leads him across the room towards chair}

Cabby:
Oh, sure thing. Oh, here it is. Here you go. Come around. More – there you go.

Gary:
Thank You.

{Gary sits in the chair and removes his jacket. Puts hand on his face while leaning forward somewhat in the chair.}

Cabby:
All right. Okay?

Gary:
Yeah..

Cabby:
You hang in there. (Starts to leave)

Gary:
Yeah, thanks.

{Marissa hands money to cabby.}

Marissa:
Here you go.

Cabby:
Thanks.

Marissa:
You’re welcome.

{Cabby starts to leave but hesitates. He turns the lights on before he leaves, looking pleased that at least they won't be sitting there in the dark.}

{Marissa closes the door. Gary is leaning forward in his chair touching his bandages.}

Marissa:
Do you want anything? A glass of water or something?

Gary:
Yeah, that’d be nice.

{Marissa goes off to the bathroom. Gary still leaning forward, reaches out towards the table to his right. Marissa returns with glass of water in her hand.}

Marissa:
Here you go.

{A little water spills as she bends down to put it in Gary’s hand.}

Marissa:
Oh, sorry.

Gary:
The blind leading the blind, huh?

Marissa:
I guess it is. Listen, I left the tap on in the bathroom so you could hear the drip. If you need to you can guide yourself to the bathroom by the sound. (Turns to leave.)

Gary:
Marissa, if I have to count on the drip of the faucet to find my way to my bathroom, what am I supposed to do when the paper comes tomorrow?

Marissa:
We don’t know if the paper is going to come tomorrow.

Gary:
What if it does come? What am I supposed to do the day after that? And the day after that?

Marissa:
Gary. Gary. Hold on a second. Hold on a second. It’s been a long day. You saved three lives today. Don’t forget that. (Hesitates for a few seconds.) Listen, I’m going to sleep in the office tonight, so I can keep an eye on you, ok?

Gary:
No, I don’t need you to sleep in the office.

Marissa:
End of discussion. Do you want the television on or the radio?

Gary:
No, I’m just going to sit here.

{Gary spreads arms out}

Marissa:
Okay. (Starts to leave)

Marissa:
You want me to sit with you?

Gary:
(Half sobbing in a somewhat shaky voice) Yes. (Marissa crosses to couch, sits and folds her cane.) Marissa?

Marissa:
Yes

Gary:
You’ve been blind since you were –

Marissa:
I started losing my sight at 18 months. By the time I was 3, it was gone completely.

Gary:
Can I ask you a question? I mean, do you have any memory at all of …things?

Marissa:
Sometimes I would dream in pictures…(sighs) But that doesn’t happen very much any more. The truth is, I don’t know if the things that I’m dreaming are what things look like or not. It could be my mind just playing tricks.

Gary (sighs): You know what? (Raises his head and attempts to smile bravely)

Marissa:
What?

Gary:
I’m scared.

Marissa:
I know.

{Scene changes to time lapse of skyline behind McGinty’s from night to daylight. Switches again to Gary’s loft. Gary asleep in bed. Clock radio shows time is 6:30.}

Radio announcer: And some slow-downs in the west side. All lanes are open, although there may be occasional temporary lane closures.

{Gary awakens and fumbles around for alarm button. Marissa hears him from the couch and gets up. She feels her way over to the bedside table.}

Marissa:
I’ll get it. I’ll get it. (Turns radio off)

Gary:
Marissa, what are you doing here?

Marissa:
You’re not even awake and you’re still making a mess.

Gary:
What, you sleep here? (Has hands to head)

Marissa:
It wasn’t easy with your snoring. (faces toward the bed)

{Cat meows; Newspaper thumps. Both stop talking and moving for a few seconds.}

Gary:
The paper

Marissa:
I’ll get it. (crosses to door)

{Scene hallway outside loft. Marissa bends down for the paper. Cat trots into the room like always. Scene changes back to Gary’s room where he’s sitting up in bed.}

Gary:
How am I supposed to read it?

Marissa:
I just don’t think you should worry about the paper.

Gary:
Well, aren’t you the one always saying that I have a responsibility, that there’s a reason it comes to me? (Gestures with his right hand)

Marissa (walking back to Gary’s bedside): There has to be exceptions. I don’t think today is a good day to go out.

Gary:
Oh, you don’t – (interrupted by siren) You hear that? What if that’s something I’m supposed to be taking care of? Come on, let me have the paper.

{Marissa walks the rest of the way back to bedside. Hands Gary the paper who puts it down on the bed in front of him.}

Marissa:
All right.

Gary:
Now all we got to do is figure out how to read it. (Runs his hand down the front page) Any ideas?

{Scene changes to Nate’s house. He runs out the door.}

Grandma:
Nate. Whoa, whoa. Put these on.

{She hands him some gloves, which he shoves in his pockets.}

Grandma:
Not your pockets, kiddo- on your hands.

Nate:
But, Grams, I don’t want to miss the train.

Grandma:
It takes 10 minutes to get to the hospital.

Nate:
But I want to see Mom before the operation.

Grandma:
You’re old enough to ride the train by yourself, but I’m still your grandmother. Put on your gloves. Don’t worry kiddo. (Grandma kisses Nate) Mommy’s going to be fine.

Nate:
Oh, my ball. (Goes back into house to get it. Comes out with ball in his hand.)

Grandma:
Bye, honey. Kiss Mommy for me. Tell her I’ll be there when she wakes up.

Nate:
Bye, Gram. (Runs off down the street bouncing & catching his ball.)

{Singing in foreign language (Russian) Gary & Marissa enter bar from back room.}

Gary:
Vadim? Vadim? Vadim!

Vadim:
Yes, Mr. H., right here.

{Vadim runs over from behind the bar where he was running the blender. Places his hand on Marissa’s arm and goes around her to Gary’s right. Takes his arm and helps him find his way to the bar.}

Vadim:
Right here, Mr. H. Your eyes any better?

Gary:
Well, they’re fine- Listen, Vadim, You’re still taking your English lessons, aren’t you?

Vadim:
Absolutely.

Gary:
Well, do you read the paper?

Vadim:
USA Today. I like the cake charts.

Gary:
(looks up with a funny look on his face) Pie Chart

Vadim:
Exactly.

Gary:
Look, could you read the Sun-Times for me?

{Leans to left to hand Vadim the paper. Vadim has moved to Gary’s right again. Moves back when he sees Gary leaning the other way and takes paper.}

Vadim:
Sure. Oh. Absolutely, positively, Mr. H. (Takes the paper and opens it.)

Gary:
What I need you to do Vadim, is I need you to read me the headline there at the top, you see.

Vadim:
Land Bill Proposed.

Gary:
Uh, you can move on.

Vadim:
Senate

Gary:
Uh, next.

Vadim:
Is not interesting stories?

Gary:
Well, no, not to me. Could you read the next story, please?

Vadim:
Chicago Youth Missing.

Gary:
Read me that paragraph, the first paragraph.

Vadim:
A 9-year-old Northside resident was reported missing last night. Nathan Calvin-

Gary:
Wait. What did you say his name was?

{Scene changes to sidewalk outside a store. Three teens come around the corner.}

Boy1:
Hey, Nate. (Nate looks up.)What’s up little man? How you doing? You know what? Today’s your lucky day. I’m going to have you pay me not to beat you up.

Nate:
I’ll pay. (Reaches in his pocket.)

Boy1:
Fork over the money. (Nate backs away.) Come on, little Nate, little fishy bait. (An adult passes between him and the teens. Nate runs off down the street.) Hey! Get him! (Nate runs into train station.)

Woman Cashier:
Hey! Hold it!

Security Guard:
What’s the rush gentleman?

{Scene changes to exterior of the hospital. Swiftly changes to Nurse’s station. Woman volunteer is on the phone.}

Volunteer:
Well, I’m sorry sir, Mrs. Calvin is being prepped for surgery. She can’t take any phone calls.

{Scene changes to Gary & Marissa standing at the bar in McGinty’s. Gary on the phone.}

Gary:
Then can I talk to her son Nate, please?

{Scene switches back to Nurse’s Station.}

Volunteer:
Well, he’s not here, and visiting hours don’t start for another 15 minutes.

Gary:
Well, then can you leave a message for me?

Volunteer:
Sure, sure. What’s the message?

Gary:
Would you tell him that Gary Hobson’s going to come see him? Tell him I’m the one with the burned eyes, and you’ve got to tell him it’s very important, that he’s got to wait for me.

Volunteer:
Okay. (Another volunteer tells her she’s there to relieve her.) Uh, sir, I’ve got to go, but I’ll give him the message.

{As she gets up the message she took falls to the floor unnoticed.}

{Scene changes back to McGinty’s.}

Marissa:
You sure you’re up for this?

Gary:
Yeah. Look, Marissa, he’s just a little kid. It’s freezing outside! Even if he only gets lost, missing today could mean dead tomorrow. Besides, it’s easy. The paper says he goes missing after leaving the hospital at 10:30, so I’ve got plenty of time, and Vadim’s going to help me.

Marissa:
Vadim? Vadim hasn’t been in this country for very long. I should go with you.

Gary:
I’ve got the health inspector coming by. I need you to meet with him. Vadim, he's very capable—he’s very smart. (Cat standing on the bar now)

{Vadim approaches from the outside doors.}

Vadim:
So, which one of us drives, huh?

Marissa (laughing): Oh, Vadim.

{Gary doesn’t answer. Just gives him what would be a dirty look.}

Vadim:
It’s a joke. (Takes Gary by the arm and walks toward the exit)

Gary:
Let’s go.

Vadim:
In my country everybody jokes from time to time.

{Scene changes to the hospital corridor. Nate’s mom is on a gurney being wheeled down the corridor for her surgery.}

Nate:
Don’t be scared Mom, okay?

Mrs. Calvin: I won’t.

Nate:
Promise?

Mrs. Calvin: I promise.

{She holds her finger up for pinkie swear. Nate is looking downcast staring at the floor.}

Mrs. Calvin: Give me a kiss. (Forces his chin up with two fingers.) Hey. I’m going to see you in a few hours ok? I love you. Bye-bye.

{Nate waves as his mom is wheeled off down the corridor. A young nurse approaches Nate from the corridor.}

Nurse:
Hey partner.

Nate:
Hey.

Nurse:
What’s the matter, Nate?

Nate:
My mom’s going for her operation.

Nurse:
Oh, feeling a little blue, huh? You know what I do when I’m feeling blue? I eat some red jell-o—balances me out. You want some jell-o?

Nate:
No, thanks.

{Nate turns his head and sees a bouquet of flowers on the counter behind him. The nurse sees where his attention is.}

Nurse:
Pretty, aren’t they?

Nate:
Are they for you?

Nurse:
No, they’re for a patient. (Nate runs off down the corridor.) Nate, where are you going?

{Nate turns back to speak to the nurse.}

Nate:
To get some flowers for my mom.

{Scene changes to Vadim & Gary entering the hospital lobby.}

Vadim:
Okay, Mr. H., we’re in lobby.

Gary:
Good. Let’s go to the elevators. (They walk toward the elevators)

Vadim:
What floor is doctor?

Gary:
Doctor?

Vadim:
We’re here for checkup, no?

Gary:
No, the little boy that was in the paper that was missing—that’s what we’re here for. (Turns back toward the lobby.)

Vadim:
Oh, Nathan Calvin.

Gary:
I met him here yesterday, and I want to talk to his mother and see if there’s anything I can do to help find him.

Vadim:
Mr. H you’re a very nice man. Perhaps you should wear my sunglasses. Look just like Oakleys, only $9.95.

{Vadim stops Gary in the lobby and takes his sunglasses out of his pocket. Replaces Gary’s sunshields with his own sunglasses. Behind them the elevator doors open. Several people including Nate get out. Nate doesn’t see Gary.}

Vadim:
Perfect. You look like Schwarzenegger. Okay, step right ahead.

Gary:
4th floor.

{Scene changes to Nate entering the gift shop. He walks around looking at the flowers. The gift shop employee follows him.}

Employee:
Can I help you?

Nate:
How much are those? (Points to a bouquet on the counter)

Employee:
$22.00. (Notices Nate’s downcast look) How much you got?

Nate:
$8.56.

Employee:
Let’s see. For $8.50 you can get this nice little get-well bear. (Holds bear out to Nate.)

Nate:
But I need flowers. For my Mom when she wakes up. Now what? (walks away dejected. Employee calls him back.)

Employee:
Hey, kid, come here. You know the prices here are really jacked up. There’s a flower store down the street—Sarah Kate’s, three blocks away. You go out the front doors and turn left. For $8.50, you can get something nice for your mom. All right?

Nate:
Thanks mister!

Employee:
No problem.

{Nate exits the gift shop and goes out the main lobby doors on his left. Runs down the street.}

{Scene shifts to 4th floor Nurse’s Station. Gary standing at the desk.}

Woman:
Nate Calvin, please report to the 4th Floor Nurses Station. Nate Calvin, report to the 4th floor nurses station.

{Scene shifts to the gift shop. Gary and Vadim talking to Gift Shop employee about Nate.}

Employee:
Nate Calvin?

Gary:
Yeah, well you see, he came to buy some flowers for his mother. He’s 9 years old.

(Gary gestures referring to Nate’s size.)

Employee:
Yeah, he was just in here. (Walks back and forth. Gary turns wrong way when employee stops talking.) Cute kid. He couldn’t afford anything, so I sent him to a flower shop down the street.

Gary:
Which flower shop?

Employee:
Sarah Kate’s.

Gary:
Oh, look can you tell me where that is?

Employee:
Two turns out the doors, three blocks—can’t miss it.

Gary:
Good. Thanks. Vadim? (Gary turns back. Vadim takes his arm and leads him to the doors.

Vadim:
Yeah.

Gary:
Huh? Oh.

{Scene changes to the exterior of some old warehouses and some houses across the street. Nate is jogging along bouncing his ball and catching it. He crosses the street and is confronted by the three teens coming around the corner. They give chase. Nate drops his ball.}

Boy 1:
Well, well, little fish bait.

{Boy 2 reaches out and grabs Nate.}

Boy 2:
I got him! (grunts as Nate bites him) Ow! He bit me! The kid bit me! I can’t believe this! Let’s get this punk.

{Nate runs into an abandoned warehouse and hides under a desk.}

Boy1:
Here, Nate!

Boy 2:
Where are you, buddy?

Boy1:
Nate? Nate, where’d you go?

Boy 2:
Come on, Nate.

{Nate starts to exit his hiding place. Knocks over a can drawing attention to himself. Runs down corridor.}

Boy1:
Up there, up there.

Boy 2:
Where you going, little man?

Boy1:
Where you going to go, boy?

{Nate goes up stairway. Locks himself in an empty office. Teens follow close behind.}

Boy1:
Ha, ha, ha, ho! End of the line, Nate!

Boy 2:
Yeah!

Boy1:
Don’t worry dude. We got him. He ain’t going nowhere. (Teens approach the door of the office where Nate has holed up) Listen up, slick. You’ve wasted a lot of my time today, so I figure you owe me what you got on you. Hand it over.

Nate:
I’ll give you the money tomorrow. I need this money to buy a present for my mom. She’s in the hospital.

Boy1:
Yo, do I look like Oprah Winfrey? I don’t care about your problems, so I’m going to ask you one more time. Show me the money! No, huh? All right, little man, have it your way.

Boy 2:
That’s right. It’s on now! You’re never going to get out of there now, boy! Whoo!

{The teens drag a desk in front of the door and pile some wooden pallets on top of it.}

Boy1:
You like that?

Boy 2:
Bye-bye, Natey!

Nate:
But, guys… Let me out of here!

Boy1:
We’ll let you out in a couple of days.

Nate:
Cameron? Come on, Blake. This isn’t funny.

Boy1:
Your mom won’t be getting that present now, will she? She won’t be seeing her kid either.

Nate:
This isn’t funny! It’s not a stupid game! Come on!

{Teens depart joking about their escapade.}

Boy 2:
How long you want to keep him up there?

Boy1:
I say we keep him up there about an hour. By then he’ll be begging to give us his money. (Hands #2 a cigarette as they walk down the stairs.) There you go.

Nate:
Come on, guys, let me out of here!

{Teens stop on stairs to light up as they leave. Boy 2 takes a drag and starts coughing.}

Boy1:
You all right, man?

Boy 2:
I got a sore throat. I probably shouldn’t be smoking. It’s killing me.

{Drops cigarette on stairs as they leave. Cigarette lands on rag on the stairs and starts smoldering.}

CONTINUE TO PART 2


Many thanks to Janet for sharing her fanscription of "Blind Faith" – Thank you!


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