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FADE IN:



INT. EMERGENCY ROOM - DAY

ARNIE, late 20's, enters the emergency room and looks around,
lost.

He spots his AUNT NINA, 50's, sitting with her purse in her
lap, glaring at him.

AUNT NINA
(stands)
Where the hell have you been?

ARNIE
(out of breath)
How is she?

AUNT NINA
Alive, thank God.

They hurry down a corridor.



INT. SYLVIE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

SYLVIE, 60's, lies in bed, awake but tired. AUNT FRAN, 50's,
sits beside her, holding her hand. Aunt Fran has been crying
and is still on the verge of tears.

Arnie and Nina enter. Nina takes Sylvie's other hand.

NINA
Your son is here.

Arnie pats his mother's foot.

ARNIE
Hi Ma, how do you feel?

SYLVIE
Oh Arnie, you look terrible. That
jacket, I told you to throw it
away.

ARNIE
(fights back tears)
I will, Ma. I will.

SYLVIE
There's no reason to go around
looking like a mess.

Arnie smiles sadly at his mother.



INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - DAY

Arnie, Fran and Nina confer with the DOCTOR, a small, balding
man in his 40's with thick glasses and a habit of scratching
his scalp.

Fran dabs her eyes with a tissue.

DOCTOR
(to Arnie)
Your mother suffered a massive
heart attack.

Fran starts to cry on Nina's shoulder.

DOCTOR
Unfortunately, the damage is
severe. She's beyond medicine or
bypass surgery. She needs a new
one. A transplant.

AUNT NINA
Well then give her one!

DOCTOR
It's not that easy. We need a
donor, and the waiting list for her
blood type is very long.

ARNIE
What do we do?

DOCTOR
We'll give her a pager and beep her
when a heart becomes available.
Make sure she keeps the batteries
fresh.

He leaves them. They walk toward the waiting room.

AUNT FRAN
I saw it on Sixty Minutes. They
put the heart in a cooler. A
regular Igloo cooler like we used
to have at home. And they rush it
in a helicopter to the hospital and
they put it in. Connect the pipes.
It's just like plumbing.



INT. WAITING ROOM - DAY

Arnie bangs the vending machine. A candy bar falls out. In
the background, the aunts sit in the waiting room, talking to
each other.

As Arnie approaches, they stop talking. Aunt Fran scoots
over and pats the seat between them.

AUNT FRAN
Sit down, Arnie, you poor boy.

Arnie glances at her, then sits between them and opens the
package.

AUNT NINA
How can you think of food? I
couldn't eat anything.

ARNIE
I haven't eaten all day.

The aunts look at each other, then at Arnie.

AUNT FRAN
Arnie.

AUNT NINA
What about your heart?

ARNIE
(mouth full)
What?

Both aunts stare at him.

ARNIE
My heart!

AUNT NINA
You must be your mother's blood
type. I'm sure you are.

AUNT FRAN
And you're young.

AUNT NINA
You're strong.

AUNT FRAN
You have a college education.

AUNT NINA
Your heart is exactly what she
needs.

AUNT FRAN
You shouldn't have started smoking
though. It's so bad for the heart.
You should have thought of that
when you started.

ARNIE
Are you crazy? What about me?

AUNT NINA
That's what we're talking about.
We're talking about your heart.

ARNIE
But what happens to me? I need my
heart!

AUNT NINA
I can't believe he's thinking of
himself at a time like this.

ARNIE
(loud)
You want me to die so my mother can
live?

An OLD MAN seated across from them looks up at Arnie.

AUNT FRAN
(low)
Of course we don't want that.
Sylvie loves you so much. She'd
want to die herself if you died.

ARNIE
We can't both have my heart.

AUNT NINA
Of course not. You can get one of
those monkey hearts.

AUNT FRAN
Or that artificial heart they made
such a fuss about in the news a
while back.

ARNIE
Why can't mother get one of those?
Or a transplant from someone else
like the doctor said?

AUNT NINA
You want your mother to have a
stranger's heart?

AUNT FRAN
Your poor mother. Do you remember
how she never used to take you to
the zoo because she couldn't stand
to see the filthy monkeys.

AUNT NINA
And you want her to have a monkey's
heart? It would kill her!

ARNIE
What about one of your hearts?

AUNT FRAN
Oh no. Oh absolutely not. We're
too old, but you, you're young.
You're strong. You-

ARNIE
Have a college education.

He stands up and fumbles in his pockets for his smokes.

AUNT NINA
Your mother worked herself to the
bone for you. So you could go to
college and make something of
yourself. And now what do you do?
Sit in front of a typewriter all
day, call yourself a writer.
Smoking those cigarettes. Never
call. Never get a haircut.

AUNT FRAN
She carried you for nine months.
More than that! You were late,
remember?

AUNT NINA
And the first time your mother
needs you, you turn your back on
her.

AUNT FRAN
(goes in for the kill)
What kind of a son are you?

ARNIE
I do things for my mother all the
time.

Both aunts glare at him. The old man is watching him again.
Arnie looks at him.

ARNIE
I do!

The man looks back down at his magazine.



INT. HOSPITAL COURTYARD - DAY

Arnie smokes, agitated. His girlfriend, MANDY, 20's, enters
the courtyard and runs up to him. He stamps out his
cigarette. She gives him a hug.

MANDY
I knew it. I burned my hand on the
radiator this morning and right
away I thought, uh-oh, an omen.
Something bad's gonna happen. How
is she?

ARNIE
She's alright. For now.

MANDY
Sit down. Talk to me.

They sit down on a bench. Mandy holds his hand, searches his
face.

ARNIE
Am I a bad son?

MANDY
Arnie, this isn't your fault.

ARNIE
They say her heart is bad. She
needs a new one.
(almost cries, then
laughs)
My aunts want me to donate my
heart. Can you believe that?

Mandy thinks about this as she pats his hand.

ARNIE
Isn't that nuts? I can't just give
my heart away.

MANDY
Of course not. I mean, if only you
could, help your mother like that.
But it's impossible. You'd die,
right?

ARNIE
Yeah, I'd die.



INT. WAITING ROOM - DAY

Arnie and Mandy return to the waiting room to find Nina and
Fran talking to the doctor. Fran spots Arnie approaching and
stands up.

FRAN
Here's our donor!

NINA
He's in the prime of health.

Arnie looks at the doctor. Finally, a man of reason.

ARNIE
Sure, I'll donate my heart.

The doctor studies Arnie.

DOCTOR
Fantastic.

Arnie's face drops.

ARNIE
Surely you don't do that sort of
thing?

The doctor takes off his glasses and polishes them with his
sleeve. Without them, his eyes look very small. Back on,
they become huge and soulful again.

DOCTOR
In a few cases it has been done,
but it's very rare. Very rare
indeed, that a son would be so good
as to donate his heart.
A rare and beautiful thing. You
must love your mother very much.

AUNT FRAN
Oh he does!

Arnie tries to laugh, but it sounds more like a whimper.

ARNIE
But what about me? I can't live
without a heart, right?

DOCTOR
Not to worry. We'll find something
for you. You're young. You're
healthy.
(pats him on the shoulder)
You'll be fine.

The doctor leaves. Arnie looks utterly baffled. The women
stand behind him.

ARNIE
I can't believe this.

He walks away, his mind racing. Behind him, the aunts
whisper something to Mandy. She leaves them and goes after
Arnie.

ARNIE
I'm taking her out of here. That
doctor is obviously a quack.

MANDY
Arnie, calm down.

ARNIE
Calm down! You heard him.

MANDY
He said they would take care of
you.

ARNIE
You mean you think I should do
this?

MANDY
Isn't technology incredible? These
days doctors can do anything. Now
you can share yourself, really give
yourself to someone in ways you
never even thought were possible
before.

ARNIE
What am I supposed to do without a
heart? Do you want me dead?

MANDY
The important thing right now is to
help your mother.

ARNIE
I thought you could be realistic
about this.

MANDY
Don't you want your mother at our
wedding?

ARNIE
Are we getting married?

MANDY
You're going to make a good
husband, Arnie. You know why?
Because you're a good son.

She unzips his jacket and presses her hand against his heart.

MANDY
Just think how happy you'll make
everybody.

She kisses him.



INT. SYLVIE'S ROOM - DAY

Sylvie lies in bed, looking much the same. Aunt Nina, Aunt
Fran, and Mandy are perched by her side.

Arnie sits in a chair at the foot of the bed.

AUNT NINA
Arnie has some good news!

SYLVIE
Then why does he look like a
thundercloud? Arnie, is something
bothering you?

AUNT FRAN
Arnie wants to give you his heart.

SYLVIE
Oh Arnie, you don't need to do that
for me, really you don't.

Arnie looks down at his feet.

ARNIE
I'm considering it, mother.
Really, I am. I want to find out
more about it before I decide,
that's all.
(laughs)
It's not as simple as changing a
car battery or something.

No one else laughs.

SYLVIE
(closes her eyes)
You're a good boy, Arnie. Your
father would be proud.



INT. BAR - DAY

Arnie sits at the bar, toying with a pack of cigarettes and
nursing a whiskey. A couple of BARFLIES sit near him.

ARNIE
I wanted to publish a book, lots of
books, get recognition, earn lots
of money, support my mother in
style in her old age. Give her
gorgeous grandchildren. I thought
that was the way to pay her back
for everything I owe her.

He sips his drink.

ARNIE
I haven't published a single word.
My girlfriend thinks I'm in a
"transition phase."

BARFLY
That's what I'm in, a transition
phase.

ARNIE
What if I'm stuck there forever?

He takes another sip.

ARNIE
All I have to do is give her a
piece of muscle and I'll be free of
her, forever, all my debts paid.

He takes out a cigarette, puts it to his lips and fumbles for
his lighter. The bartender takes the cigarette from his
mouth and throws it away.

BARTENDER
(points at Arnie's chest)
That belongs to your mother now.



INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY

Arnie sits across from the doctor.

ARNIE
I want to do it. Give her my
heart.

The doctor gives him a long, steady look, his eyes huge
behind the glasses.

DOCTOR
I think you've made the right
decision. I do.

His eyes drop to Arnie's chest. Arnie sees his look and
becomes self-conscious.

DOCTOR
We can get started right away.

ARNIE
But what about the transplant for
me? Don't you need to arrange that
first?

DOCTOR
Oh, we'll take care of that when
the time comes. I want to get your
heart into your mother right away,
before, before...

ARNIE
Before I change my mind?

The doctor stands, claps him on the back.

DOCTOR
Have you told your mother yet?

ARNIE
No.

DOCTOR
Well, go tell her! Then we'll get
your chest shaved and get started.



INT. SYLVIE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

Arnie stands by his mother's side, holding her hand. The
aunts stand behind him, their hands on his shoulders, smiling
through tears.

SYLVIE
I guess I did a good job of raising
you after all.

AUNT NINA
We doubted you but we never will
again.

AUNT FRAN
What a good son.

Arnie looks at Mandy, who is smiling at him from the doorway.
He smiles for the first time.



INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - DAY

Terrified, Arnie is being wheeled down the hall on a gurney
toward the O.R. He wears a surgical cap.

Mandy hugs him, kisses him all over his face.

Nina and Fran wait with Sylvie at the end of the hall. She
also lies on a gurney in a surgical cap, facing the other
direction.

The NURSE stops the gurney so Arnie's head is next to his
mother's.

SYLVIE
Promise me you'll get a real job
when this is over.

ARNIE
I promise.

The aunts and Mandy wave at Arnie as the nurse wheels him
through the double doors to the operating room.



INT. O.R. - DAY

A nurse puts a mask over Arnie's nose and mouth. The
doctor's face appears in front of him. He is smiling through
his scrubs.

DOCTOR
Arnie, I want you to count
backwards from ten.

ARNIE
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six...

His voice trails off. Arnie is out, but his eyes are still
open.

He watches the doctor.

DOCTOR
Scalpel.

Mandy, dressed in scrubs, hands him a scalpel. The doctor
cuts open Arnie's chest. Nina reaches in and sutures an
artery while the doctor continues to operate.

Finally, the doctor removes the heart and raises it up like a
newborn. He places it on a tray held by Fran. She carries
it out the door. Arnie watches her leave.



INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

Arnie opens his eyes. Mandy sits in a chair next to his bed,
reading a magazine.

Arnie groans in pain. She sees that he's awake and puts down
the magazine.

MANDY
How do you feel?

ARNIE
It hurts.
(off her reaction)
A little.

MANDY
Congratulations, Arnie. You did
it. You saved her.

The doctor enters, followed by a NURSE. The nurse tends to
something OFF-SCREEN.

DOCTOR
The operation went very well. Your
mother's doing wonderfully.

MANDY
She loves the new heart.

DOCTOR
Congratulations.

NURSE
Congratulations.

ARNIE
Whose heart did I get?

Mandy glances at the nurse who glances at the doctor.

DOCTOR
We haven't found a heart for you
yet, Arnie.

Arnie stares at him blankly. Then he looks down at his
chest.

ARNIE
You mean-

His eyes follow several tubes connecting his chest to a
strange machine, like a souped-up heart bypass pump,
stationed next to his bed where the nurse is standing.

ARNIE
...there's nothing in there?

DOCTOR
Not yet. But we're working on it.

MANDY
Try not to think about it, Arnie.

ARNIE
Not think about it? I have no
heart.

MANDY
I talked to my mom and dad about
the wedding. They're so excited!

A beaming Aunt Nina and Aunt Fran push Sylvie into the room
in a wheelchair. Her face is pink. Her hair is curled.

SYLVIE
Arnie, Arnie. You good boy.
I love you so much.

She takes his hand and presses it to her chest.

ARNIE
You look nice, Ma.

She reaches out for Mandy's hand.

SYLVIE
Mandy and I have become so close
these past few days. I couldn't
ask for a more perfect daughter-in
law.

ARNIE
I'm glad.

Arnie reaches out for Mandy's other hand and pulls her toward
him. Mandy lets go of Sylvie's hand as Arnie kisses her.

Suddenly Sylvie, watching their embrace, clutches her heart
and keels over.

ARNIE
Ma!

The nurse and the doctor wheel her out of the room.

THE AUNTS
Sylvie!
(to Arnie)
What did you do to her?

CUT TO BLACK:



INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

The room is black. There is a low humming noise. The door
opens and a shaft of light falls in. A silhouette
approaches, turns on a lamp. It is the doctor. His face is
grim.

DOCTOR
Your mother. She's not doing well.

ARNIE
What happened?

DOCTOR
Your heart doesn't fit as well as
we thought. It's too small.

ARNIE
Too small?

DOCTOR
Too small. As for you, we're
working on it. There's nothing
available at the moment, but don't
you worry.



INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

The aunts stare at Arnie. Arnie watches Mandy throw away
some dead flowers from a vase. She cannot look at him.

AUNT NINA
How could you! Giving your mother
a bad heart?

AUNT FRAN
How could you?

Aunt Fran starts to cry. Aunt Nina consoles her and leads
her away. Arnie turns to Mandy.

ARNIE
I thought we could get married in
the park, you know, that spot you
like so much.

MANDY
Arnie, maybe we should hold off on
the wedding plans until your mother
gets better.

She goes into the bathroom and pours the water down the
drain.



INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

The doctor sits across from Arnie, who is now in a
wheelchair, still connected to the strange machine.

DOCTOR
We lost her, Arnie.

Arnie is stunned.

ARNIE
But she was doing so well at first.

DOCTOR
It turns out your little heart just
wasn't enough. Her body rejected
it. I tell you though. She was
thinking of you when she died. She
asked for you.

Arnie waits a polite beat, then-

ARNIE
What about my heart? Can I have it
back?

DOCTOR
That's what I wanted to talk to you
about. We managed to save your
little heart, Arnie. It was still
healthy. But there's this girl
here, about 8 years old. Cute
blonde girl. She needed a new
heart, and your little heart fit
her perfectly.

ARNIE
You gave my heart away?

DOCTOR
It's what your mother wanted.

ARNIE
I don't understand.

DOCTOR
They became very close, your mother
and this little girl. They shared
a room. She was such a caring,
selfless woman. You want the same
thing, don't you Arnie?

Arnie is still in shock.

DOCTOR
Arnie?

ARNIE
Of course I do.

Aunt Nina enters, pushing the LITTLE GIRL in a wheelchair.
Fran, Mandy and the nurse follow. Fran is on the verge of
tears again.

Nina parks the little girl across from Arnie. She holds a
photograph of Sylvie in her lap.

LITTLE GIRL
(snide)
So you're Arnie. I've heard so
much about you.

Suddenly, Arnie lurches toward her.

ARNIE
That's my heart. Give it back!

Everyone is horrified. The nurse quickly restrains
Arnie.Nina wheels the little girl out of the room, followed
by the doctor, Mandy and Fran.

NURSE
(to Arnie)
Relax.

She hands Arnie the remote control.

NURSE
Turn on the news.

The nurse leaves. Arnie turns on the TV and flips the
channels to the news.

On screen, Aunt Nina wheels the little girl outside the front
steps of the hospital. Mandy, Fran and the doctor are next
to them along with several of the girl's FAMILY, all smiling.

The little girl speaks into a microphone.

LITTLE GIRL
I want to thank this woman.

She holds up the photograph of Sylvie.

LITTLE GIRL
For giving me her heart. I owe her
my life.

The camera cuts to a close-up of the photograph. Sylvie
grins, guilting Arnie from the grave.

Arnie shuts off the TV and wheels himself over to the window.
The tubes connecting him to his machine stretch to their
limit.

Outside he sees the aunts and Mandy wave goodbye to the
little girl. They look up at Arnie's window.

Arnie looks at them. They stare at him for a beat, then walk
away toward the parking lot as the little girl's car pulls
away.

THE END

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Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.