EMERGENCY AREA WAITING ROOM - DAWN
The early morning daylight begins to fill the foyer of a hospital waiting room packed with police officers.
ANNE HUTCHINSON, an athletic, petite woman in her early 40s, is sitting dazed and exhausted in bloodstained clothes.
JILL MICHAELS stands behind Anne with her phone to her ear. Over a decade has passed since Jill's tenure as Miss South Carolina ended, but she currently reigns over the local elementary school as parent council president. She masks her anxiety with her polished manners and pleasant southern accent.
Good morning Miss Lowe, this is Mrs. Michaels.
I hope your morning is going well. Would you be
a dear and let Mrs. Kaiser know I won't be able to
attend today's parent council meeting?
A police officer watches Jill closely as he patrols the room. She reads the judgment on the officer's face.
Actually, I may not be able to attend tomorrow's
fundraiser either. I'll call y'all back as soon as I
know. Thank you so much, Miss Lowe.
Jill ends her call, sighs heavily, and takes a seat next to Anne.
RACHEL EASTON, a mid-40s, Midwest-born, and Irish-proud woman, is asleep on the opposite chair. Handcuffs dangle from one of Rachel's wrists. When awake, Rachel harbors a deep and painful secret that manifests itself in belligerent and self-destructive behavior.
A NURSE passes by the three women. The aroma emanating from Rachel's general vicinity stops her in her tracks.
How long has this homeless woman been sleeping here?
She's not homeless. She's with us.
The nurse shakes her head in disgust and continues on her way.
MARY HUESTON approaches the women with coffee in her hands. Now in her early 40s, Mary has traded her Hollywood acting auditions for youth soccer games, and her figure has become less "soap opera star" and more "community bake sale." She hands Jill and Anne the steaming Styrofoam cups.
Here. Should we wake Rachel?
Mary begins to take a seat next to Rachel but quickly pivots to allow more breathing room. They each deeply inhale the cup's contents to mask the aroma.
She's been through a lot. Let's let her sleep.
We've all been through a lot.
Mary notices Anne staring off in the distance.
How ya doing Anne?
Anne slowly brings her attention to Mary.
Anne silently examines her bloodstained clothes, contemplates her predicament, and shakes her head in disbelief.
(Under her breath)