EXT. APARTMENT - EARLY EVENING
The sun begins to set behind the trees as LUCY and CHUN come walking from the bus station, tired from running around the city and Lucy still sad about losing the trail on her parents. People pass by on their rattling bicycles. Behind them, a group of boys play basketball on the local basketball court. The girls approach a ten-story concrete apartment building. CHUN Well, this is it. this is home.
It's not much but
Lucy looks up at the tall, grey building. The building is lined with small square windows. Outside each window, laundry is hung out on a line. LUCY (Quietly) Oh, it looks charming. CHUN (laughs) Please, you don't have to be nice. This place isn't anything to look at. Chun tugs at Lucy's arm and starts to walk to the stairs. Come on.
CHUN I live on the sixth floor.
The girls begin to climb the stone stairs. As they pass each floor, Lucy can hear into each room. She hears people yelling angry Chinese at each other, Chinese variety shows on television, and crying children. CHUN Yup. I've lived here my whole life. My father left us when I was just a baby and this was the only place my mother could afford. I'm working at the hotel and saving up so we can finally leave this dump but for the time being, this is it. The girls stop at the sixth floor. The front door is a iron barred gate. Behind that is an old wooden door. OK.
CHUN Here we are.
Chun unlocks the door.
INT. APARTMENT - EARLY EVENING
The girls step into the apartment. Lucy looks around. The apartment is a small place with two tiny bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a small dining/living area. The hissing of steam and the clatter of dishes can be heard coming from the kitchen.
CHUN (In Chinese) I'm back!
Chun's mother, FEI comes out from the kitchen carrying two bowls of rice. FEI (in Chinese) OK. Wash up. I just finished cooking di... Fei looks up at Lucy and freezes. She drops the bowls on the cold concrete floor. The porcelain bowls shatter and rice spills on the ground. CHUN (in Chinese) Oh Ma, I forgot to tell you. This is my friend, Lucy. She's staying at the hotel. I invited her over for dinner. LUCY (meekly) It's nice to meet you. I scared you.
I'm sorry if
Lucy begins to pick up the shards of porcelain off the ground. CHUN Ai yah! What are you doing?! You're a guest here. Leave it there. I'll clean it up. Fei continues to stand in the doorway to the kitchen, frozen. The scene cuts to after dinner. Lucy and Chun are still at the table drinking tea. CHUN You'll have to forgive my mom. I don't know what's gotten into her. She's never been like this before.
Lucy sits quietly, sipping her tea. CHUN (sighs) So what are you going to do now? LUCY What else can I do? That orphanage was the only lead I had on my parents. Suddenly, Fei comes out from a bedroom carrying a worn out old shoebox. She places the box on the dinner table and opens it. After rooting around in it for a while, she pulls out a Polaroid picture and hands it to Lucy. The picture shows a young Chinese lady, identical to Lucy, and a handsome young Chinese man. FEI (In Chinese) I knew it from the first time I saw you. These are your parents. You're Ai Ning and Ju Mao's daughter. CHUN She says...she says these are your parents. LUCY (Still looking at the photo) How does she know? Chun translates word for word for the rest of the conversation. FEI (In Chinese) You think I wouldn't recognize the daughter of my best friends? You have your mother's eyes and your father's smile. CHUN She says your parents were her best friends. You have your mother's eyes and your father's smile. LUCY Wait, "were"? Did something happen to them? FEI They were killed...in the Tiananmen
Massacre in 1989. We were students at the time. Your mother was looking sick so I offered to go buy some food while your father looked after her. As I was paying for the food, I heard gunshots coming from the square. I tried to rush back but the road was blocked. When I could finally get in... Fei looks down.
She hesitates for a second.
FEI They had been shot. Lucy looks at Fei and Chun and then back at the photo. sit in silence for a minute.
LUCY What were they like? Fei sorts around through the shoebox again and pulls out more photos. FEI Your mother was very beautiful and smart. She was a writer for our school newspaper. She also wrote beautiful poems. Your father was also very smart but he caused a lot of trouble in school. The school never did anything about it because he was a star track and field athlete. I was in the same high school class as your mother. Then one day, your father came running into our classroom and hid under your mother's desk. He was hiding from some kids who he had cheated the day before. Anyways, your mother didn't say anything to the boys looking for your father and the two of them fell in love. Lucy flips through photos of her parents. The photos show her parents as happy, carefree young students. FEI In her sophomore year of college, your mother became pregnant with you. Your parents loved you very much but they couldn't afford to take care of a baby. But even years after you were adopted, your mom
still thought of you everyday. Lucy wipes away her tears. LUCY (sniffling) Thank you Fei. This really means a lot to me. (sigh) It's getting late. I should get going. Lucy gets up and puts on her coat. the polaroid to Lucy.
Fei stands up and hands
FEI You should have this. Lucy takes the photo and puts it in her purse. Fei.
LUCY Thank you. FEI If you'd like I could take you to see your parents' grave tomorrow. So you can pay your respects. LUCY That would be great. Thank you. And thank you for the meal. It was delicious. I'll see you at the hotel, Chun? CHUN Oh, I have the day off tomorrow. But I'll pick you up with my mom tomorrow morning at 8 in front of the hotel. LUCY Alright, I'll be there. Well...bye. FEI Take care. Lucy waves and walks out of the apartment. door behind her.
Chun closes the