Another Chance

INT. Study- Day

We open in a dark room. Blinds clearly drawn over sunny windows, and dust clearly floating in the air through the light of a dimmed oil lamp. Labored breath is heard accompanied by the beeps of machines. A door is opened, shining an overly bright ray of light into the room. OLIVER- an elderly man, worn from the years, squints into the dark.

OLIVER

Jesus Lou, why is it so dark in here?

He moves to open the blinds.

LOU

No! Stop! Keep that damn thing shut.

OLIVER

I'm not having this conversation with you in the dark.

Continues to try and raise the blinds. They slide open a couple inches. Light falls on LOU's sickly body and the metal of various medical machines. LOU raises his arm up over his face.

LOU

Damn it Oliver! I said keep them shut!

OLIVER, having seen LOU in the light, lets them fall back down and settles with shifting the blinds to let in slats of light. 

LOU

If I wanted the damn things open, I would have kept them open.

OLIVER stands, staring at LOU, the sounds of the medical machines take over the silence.

LOU

Stop it Ol. I don't want your pity. You knew I was sick.

 OLIVER

I didn't know it was this bad.

LOU

No. Of course not. It takes communication to know these things.

OLIVER

Lou...

LOU

All I'm saying is...it's good to see you Oliver.

OLIVER

Yeah? (He chuckles nervously) Well I can't see a damn thing in here.

LOU smiles as if its the moment he's been waiting for.

LOU

Hold on. Lemme fix that.

Lou pushes himself up slowly from his chair and walks to a cabinet while wheeling a drip behind. As the cabinet is opened, an eerie blue glow spreads across the room. Lou picks up the source of light, a bottle covered with a handkerchief.

Oliver steps back.

OLIVER

Damn it. I knew it. I knew that was what this was about.

LOU

Now hold on a second.

OLIVER

Lou. No. You know how I feel about it.

LOU

Just listen.

OLIVER

No you listen! I wouldn't have come if I'd known you'd kept that thing!

Lou places the bottle on a nearby table with a loud thud.

LOU

Just sit down Oliver.

Lou lowers himself into his chair. OLIVER glares at LOU then, after a pause, sits down opposite his friend.

LOU

I ain't got long Ollie. It could be our last chance to-

OLIVER

No.

LOU

You gave me your word.

OLIVER

Stop! Lou! I can't. I can't drink it.

The two men are silent. The only sounds heard are the sounds of LOU's labored breathing.

OLIVER

I... I'm sorry Lou. I just...

LOU

Can't. You just can't.

OLIVER

Its a big decision.

LOU

Yes. A decision we made years ago.

OLIVER

Things were different then!

LOU

Yeah. Then you still had a thirst for adventure.

OLIVER

Its 50 years Lou! 50 goddamn years! That's a hell of a long time!

LOU

So what? You're scared? Is that it?

The two men are silent. OLIVER fiddles with his hands atop the table, he starts to twirl the gold band on his ring finger. He looks up to see LOU watching him.

LOU

Oh. It's her isn't it?

OLIVER is silent for a moment while he gathers his words.

OLIVER

I just can't help but wonder if...

He falters.

LOU

If you'll see her on the other side.

OLIVER

It's stupid.

LOU

Its not stupid. I've asked myself over and over again if I want to do this. I'm so close to finding out what happens on the other side. But there's no way of knowing is there?

He pauses.

LOU

But this. This I know is real.

He reaches forward and pulls the handkerchief from the bottle releasing a powerfully bright light into the room.

The two men stare at the bottle with wide eyes.

OLIVER

I'd forgotten what it looked like.

LOU smiles at his friend, he can see the wonder in Oliver's eyes.

LOU

And this is just a sample. We never did find the source.

OLIVER

The source?

LOU

The fountain. It exists Oliver, this is our proof and we can find it. This is our second chance.

Oliver starts to fiddle with his ring once more. Lou reaches forward and puts his hand atop his friend's.

LOU

She loved you so very much Oliver but she loved a good adventure as much as any of us. Wouldn't she have wanted you to go out with a bang?

Oliver smiles softly and looks up at his friend. He hesitates for a moment then slowly pulls the gold band off of his finger and places it on the table. He looks at Lou's surprised face and chuckles.

OLIVER

It wouldn't fit me anyways.

Lou beams. He grabs the two whiskey glasses resting on the table and places one in front of each of them. Grabbing the glowing bottle, he uncorks it and then divides the liquid between the two glasses. Lou sets down the empty bottle and looks at Oliver.

LOU

Ready?

Oliver nods.

In one quick movement, Lou pulls the IV needle from his arm and cringes from the pain. Oliver reaches forward in worry but Lou pushes him off. He grabs the glass of liquid and holds it out towards his friend. Oliver pauses for a moment then grabs his glass and clangs it against Lou's.

They drink.

A bright light fills the room, obscuring the shapes of the two men. As the light fades away, the men put their glasses back on the table with much younger hands. They smile at each other with much younger faces.

End.