About Falling By Nicholas Brown
"72 Stories Down Is Quieter" by Niko Brown
INT. PSYCHIATRIST OFFICE
THOMAS is yelling across a desk at DR. ROSENBERG. NARRATOR (V.O.) One year ago Thomas had told that lousy psychiatrist that his medicine, breathing techniques and meditation advice was not working and that he could shove his P-H-D up his A-S-S; in all capitals. Thomas leaves the room and slams the door five times on his way out. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas was so furious that day that it took him one, two, three, four, FIVE times to slam the door properly on Dr. Rosenberg. EXT. SIDEWALK
Thomas walks down an empty side street. He walks on the shoulder of the road when a sidewalk is visible directly next to him. NARRATOR (V.O.) He also had to walk on the street because the cracks in the sidewalk made him think about his mother and in turn made him even more upset. INT. APARTMENT
We move across a very tidy apartment. Many things are labeled and placed in very specific orders. The dull colors of the apartment match but give hardly any life to the place. NARRATOR (V.O.) Today is the day that Thomas will die. Thomas has been thinking about and meticulously planning for this day for a whole year now. At 12:00 PM Thomas will jump seventy-two stories off of the office building at which he works. Thomas knows this because today is the twenty-fifth day of March and today is his birthday.
A calendar has March 25th circled in red ink. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas falls through the sky. The wind is rushing by so fast it sounds like a jet engine, but in a soothing way. INT. APARTMENT
The sound of an alarm abruptly breaks the dream. Thomas wakes up out of his slumber. He eagerly rolls over and hits his alarm. 6:30 AM NARRATOR (V.O.) Today, however, is a good day because Thomas knows what is going to happen and that is giving him a certain degree of relief. Thomas breathes in a few times and then feeling slightly relieved he stands up and makes his way to the bathroom. NARRATOR (V.O.) His mind works slow in the morning so it usually takes him a while to open the door correctly. Thomas opens the door three different times. NARRATOR (V.O.) Usually it takes one, two, three times to appropriately enter his bathroom but sometimes, on days like today, it only takes him one turn of the handle to open his bathroom door. Thomas again opens the door and DING he goes right in. Thomas begins to brush his teeth. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas brushes his teeth for three minutes, one minute on the right side, one minute on the left side and one minute in the center. This rigorous process is to prevent Thomasâ€™ mouth from filling up with plaque, which after two weeks would turn into tarter.
Tarter begins to build up inside Thomas’ mouth and it overwhelms him. NARRATOR (V.O.) The tarter would then spread in all directions, even below his gums, and an all-out bacterial feeding frenzy would ensue destroying all of Thomas’ teeth. Thomas’ teeth are now fine. He looks into the mirror with a slight look of nervous astonishment. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas decides to brush his teeth for an extra thirty seconds. INT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas walks through the cubicles of his office. The fluorescent lights shine down on Thomas and make the circles under his eyes look extra dark. NARRATOR (V.O.) The fluorescent lights bulbs in Thomas’ office usually give him a headache but today was different. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas steps up to the ledge. He jumps. Thomas falls through the sky. The sound of the wind fills Thomas’ ears again drowning out the sounds of the busy office. INT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas breathes in and out a few times. He grins as he walks through the hallway to his cubicle. His cubicle is like a museum compared to the others. Nothing is out of place and everything has a specific spot which is labeled. Sitting on the desk is a lamp without a light bulb, a clock, and a mug with very specific colored pens and markers in it. GARY comes over and pats Thomas on the back. GARY Hey, Thomas! My man. Listen I need someone to type up a few reports outlining last week’s sales. Do yah think you could do that for me whenever yah get a sec? (CONTINUED)
Pause on Gary. NARRATOR (V.O.) Gary is Thomas’ boss; he is younger than Thomas by four and a half years. A five-year-business-degree from Boston University gets you a job like that at 25 and a half. Thomas tells Gary he will get them to him A-S-A-P in all capitals. GARY Thanks a bunch man. Gary gives Thomas a thumbs up and shuffles his way over to another employee five cubicles down. Thomas eagerly watches him go to another cubicle a few rows down and begin talking into it. Thomas seems confused. Gary shakes hands with the person inside the cubicle. GARY It’s very nice to meet you. How do you like the office so far? Got enough space in here? Gary gets shot in the stomach and flies back into the aisle. A man stands up and begins firing his M-15 carbine automatic into the surrounding cubicles. Thomas breathes a few times. Thomas leans his head further out of his cubicle and looks down the row. Gary is blocking Thomas’ view of this new employee. Thomas reaches into his desk nervously and grabs a paper. He gets up from his desk and walks over to the copier. The copier is down the next row so Thomas walks right passed the new employee’s desk. Thomas squeezes his way passed Gary in the narrow row and looks to his left as he passes. NATALIE, a dark-haired woman with a round face and freckles across her nose sits in the chair. Dark eyeliner surrounds her sky blue eyes and soft pink lipstick covers her small lips. She glances at Thomas as he walks by and the look takes Thomas by surprise. Natalie runs into Thomas’ arms and kisses him. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas’ stomach turns and his heart begins to beat heavily. He wonders whether this feeling is from his breakfast or the new employee. Thomas breathes a few times, confused a bit. (CONTINUED)
Thomas hurries to the copy machine and scans his paper. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas usually only scans three copies at a time because the first time he used the copier he tried to make four copies and on the fourth one he thought of the copier getting jammed and when he looked into the retriever a spring popped out and the medal rod from the fuser roller penetrated his eye socket. Thomas doesn’t ever make four copies but sometimes he still gets that thought at the copy machine. Thomas looks back at Natalie. NATALIE (Whispering into THOMAS’ ear) Take me away. Thomas breathes a few times, confused again. Thomas walks back towards his desk. Gary is still blocking the aisle so Thomas must squeeze passed again. Before Thomas can get passed him Gary stands up and looks at Thomas. GARY Thomas! I’d like you to meet Natalie! Natalie this is Thomas. Today is Natalie’s first day. Listen. I got some things I need to take care of so would you mind showing Natalie around the office? Yah know give her the ol’ tour!" THOMAS Uhh... GARY Great! Alright I’ll see you two later! Gary walks down the rows towards the back where his office is, leaving Thomas and Natalie staring at each other. Thomas’ hands sweat and he feels his face redden. Natalie takes Thomas’ hand and presses it against her breast. He can feel her heartbeat. Thomas breathes in a few times, confused again. (CONTINUED)
Thomas walks her around the office. NARRATOR (V.O.) There is something about Natalie that makes Thomas’ mind go awry. He has never seen anyone as beautiful as Natalie and her presence makes him nervous but in a gentle way. This is not what Thomas had planned. Today is the day that Thomas is supposed to die but now, with Natalie here, he isn’t so sure about his plans anymore. They enter the break room. As Thomas points to the appliances strewn throughout the room Natalie stares at him more than at what he is pointing too. Natalie locks the door and pushes Thomas up against the wall, kissing his neck. Thomas breathes heavily he tries to concentrate on something else. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas is falling off the office building. He falls into Natalie’s hands. INT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas breathes heavily. Thomas stutters apparently as he talks to Natalie. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas tells Natalie that the break room is basically the only place she really needs to know about and that the rest of the office is pretty self explanatory. Natalie giggles at this comment. Thomas awkwardly smiles back with a confused look on his face. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas wonders whether Natalie is laughing at his stutter or at the joke he just made. (CONTINUED)
Thomas leaves and goes back to his desk. Clock Reads 11:30 AM. Thomas closes his eyes and breathes in. He opens them and looks across the room at Natalie. An aura of light surrounds her and she glows lighting up the office as she moves. Thomas shakes his head. EXT. OFFICE BUILDING
Thomas steps up to the ledge. Natalie steps up with him. They fall off together. Thomas and Natalie fall through the air together. Their hair blows rapidly in the wind but they stare constantly at each other. Her plump face is red with blush and her sky blue eyes stares into his. Her stare is constant and sincere. Their eyes follow one another without blinking. NARRATOR (V.O.) Thomas cannot help but wonder if the feeling in his stomach is from falling or from Natalieâ€™s eyes. Images of the ground getting closer and Natalie staring at Thomas rapidly appear as the wind gets louder and louder. Everything stops. Thomasâ€™ desk clock reads 12:02. Thomas gets out of his chair and leaves his cubicle. END.
Thomas, a man suffering from OCD and contemplating suicide, is taken back when he meets a new woman named Natalie at work. After giving her...