Actually not a “Qwirky Productions” work since I wrote this before inventing that label, but I decided to put it here anyway. A fan fic for the short-lived 90s slice of life television program “My So-Called Life” picking up right where the show left off. Angela ponders the implications of Brian’s letter. Brian and Rayanne both try to talk to Angela. Patty is still insecure over Hallie.
Author’s Note: This is a fic I posted a few years ago on a “My So-Called Life” fan site. It got a positive response, and now I’ve finally got around to re-posting it here. It probably won’t be continued anytime soon – if ever – though, sorry.
Note: VO = “voice over”; assume a line is out loud unless the script indicates otherwise
We start on a close-up shot of a wall. A tennis ball comes from off frame and bounces against it hard. This happens several times as we slowly pull back and pan left to see Brian sitting on his bed, hurling the tennis ball at the wall in frustration, catching it each time only to hurl it at the wall again. Before long he has exhausted himself and his arm goes limp like a noodle, letting the tennis ball drop to the ground. Then he just lies down on his bed; face up, looking miserable as we look down at him from above.
Brian VO: (miserable) The biggest problem in life…is that it’s like…a marathon of agony and torment. The kind where you feel empty and numb inside. Especially if you’ve poured your heart out to the girl you love and she doesn’t seem to…y’know, care!
Close-up on the Chases’ driveway through Brian’s window. We see Jordan’s car pulling in. Angela steps out.
Jordan sits in the driver’s seat of his car while Angela stands outside the other door. Both of them wear smiles of pure joy.
Angela: I had a great time.
Jordan: (hopeful) Really?
Angela leans in and kisses Jordan.
Brian watches Angela bending down through the car door.
Brian VO: I watched what I can only assume was Angela Chase about to do something with Catalano, because apparently I’m like…masochistic or something.
Jordan: So…see ya tomorrow.
Angela: See ya.
Angela stares after Jordan’s car as it pulls away, still smiling. Then her smile fades as she turns and stares sadly and thoughtfully at the Krakow house. Then she turns away and walks up to her doorstep.
CHASE DINING ROOM
Patty is sitting at the table, staring intently through paperwork while Graham stands behind her.
Patty: (absent-mindedly) So, how’d that meeting go today?
Graham: It went great, remember? The investors really loved my cooking.
Patty turns to face Graham, looking much more attentive now.
Patty: (apologetically) Right, you told me that, I’m sorry.
Graham: It’s okay. I don’t think I told you how happy Hallie was, though! She practically jumped for joy after the investors left. It was really amusing; you should’ve seen it!
Patty turns away to hide the annoyed look on her face.
Patty: (mildly annoyed) Good for her.
Graham: Are you okay? You seem…distant.
Patty: I’m a little worried that Angela’s still not here. Shouldn’t she be back by now?
Angela suddenly walks in behind her..
Angela: I’m here.
Patty spins around.
Patty: Oh, you startled me!
Patty: How was your date?
Angela: It was good, but I don’t really feel like talking about it. I’m going to bed.
Angela heads for her room.
Patty: (disappointed) I wasn’t even going to ask her anything, but she immediately says she doesn’t want to talk about it, like she’s afraid I’ll ask.
Graham: Well, it is her love life. She needs some privacy, doesn’t she?
Patty: Yes, but that’s not my point. My point is, it’s yet another example of her being defensive and wanting to keep me out. She does that all the time, even when it’s not reasonable.
Graham: It’s in the American teenager’s handbook; brood a lot, randomly insert the word “like” into your sentences where it isn’t necessary, keep your parents in the dark about everything that happens in your life.
Patty: (affectionately) Did I ever tell you how good you are at making me feel better?
Graham: I’m not sure. Let’s see if I can get you to tell me again.
Angela lies on her bed, looking thoughtful, as we look down on her from above like we did earlier with Brian.
Angela VO: What’s really aggravating…is when you’re trying really hard to get to sleep, but you have all these thoughts that keep like invading your head, keeping you awake. I wonder how well Jordan Catalano and Brian and I will remember this day say…ten years from now. It sure wasn’t an ordinary day for any of us.
Angela VO: When Brian Krakow accidentally admitted to writing me that love letter, it was such a shock that I think it still hasn’t sunk in yet. How long has he felt that way about me, and if I’ve been missing that, what else might I have not noticed? Before I could really ponder it, Jordan Catalano took me out to dinner. I couldn’t think about anything else once we started talking. Not that he talked much, but when he did, I lost myself in his heavenly voice.
Rickie stands by his locker, loading up his backpack with everything he’ll need for his next class. Brian walks towards him, glaring at the floor.
Rickie: Hey, Brian.
Brian: (enraged) Why did you have to tell her!?
Rickie: Nice to see you too, Brian. Tell whom what?
Brian: Tell Angela Chase about the letter!
Rickie: (gently) Well, first of all she already knew, secondly I felt she had the right to know, and thirdly, I thought I was doing you a favor because you’re like, my friend…or I thought you were.
Brian’s anger drains away like he’s a balloon being deflated.
Brian: You’re right, Rickie, I’m sorry.
Rickie: It’s okay.
They begin walking down the hallway.
Brian: So, what did you mean “she already knew”?
Rickie: When I asked her if she knew, she said she did.
Brian: But when she confronted me about it she implied that she didn’t know until you told her. She said “Rickie says you wrote it”.
Rickie: Huh. Weird. So what happened then?
Brian: (depressed) I tried to deny writing it, then I accidentally admitted it, then Catalano showed up and she got in his car and he drove away.
Rickie: (sympathetic) And she didn’t…like, say anything?
Brian: (depressed) Not really.
Rickie: (sympathetic) Oh, Brian, I’m so sorry.
Brian: (miserable) Thanks, but it doesn’t matter.
Rickie: Brian, I wouldn’t be an expert from personal experience, or whatever, but if you like confessed your love to Angela, that does matter.
Brian: (miserable and bitter) She made the same choice she would’ve made if she hadn’t found out, therefore it doesn’t matter.
Rayanne and Sharon stand at the sinks, Sharon doing her hair and Rayanne painting her nails black.
Rayanne: So, Cherski, how’s it going? Are you still banging Kyle?
Sharon: (annoyed and determined) I’m going to break up with him the next time I see him.
Rayanne: You just keep telling yourself that.
Sharon: I am!
Rayanne: (more sadly) Have you spoken to Angela today?
Sharon: Not yet.
SCHOOL PARKING LOT
Angela and Jordan sit in his car. They kiss.
Angela: (slightly girly voice) Thanks for the ride!
Jordan: You’re welcome.
They kiss again
Angela VO: Kissing Jordan Catalano never gets any less wonderful! I really wish I could just spend like the whole day doing it.
Angela and Jordan head for the school entrance, holding hands along the way.
Rayanne walks down the hallway and scans the crowd for Angela, then sees her holding hands with Jordan.
Jordan: By the way, Residue’s playing tonight. You wanna come?
Angela: (huge smile) Yeah! (face falls) Oh, but my parents probably won’t let me.
Jordan: I get it. But if they say it’s okay…
Angela: Oh, yeah, if they say it’s okay, I’ll definitely be there. Just tell me where and when.
Rayanne is still watching, patiently waiting until Jordan leaves, then happily skips up to Angela.
Rayanne’s face falls when she sees the expression on Angela’s face.
Angela: (coldly) Hi, what do you want?
Rayanne: (hurt) I was just…just saying hi.
Angela: You can’t just like pretend that it didn’t happen.
Rayanne: When I saw you’d forgiven him, I just assumed…
Angela: (annoyed, angry, crying a little) It’s not the same!
Rayanne turns around and walks away, struggling not to cry. Shortly after, Rickie approaches, unaware of what just happened.
Rickie: Hi, Angela. How are you?
Angela: (unenthusiastic) Fine.
Rickie: (concerned) Are you sure?
Angela: I don’t wanna talk about it.
Rickie: Okay. Look, um…I don’t wanna like, interfere too much, or whatever, but I think you should talk to Brian today. He seems really upset.
Angela: Oh, God, is this about the letter?
Angela: What do I say to him?
Rickie: I don’t know, but he said it hurt that you didn’t say anything when he admitted to writing the letter.
Angela: I just…what do you say in a situation like that? I guess I was really caught off guard.
Rickie: (startled) Wait, you mean you never knew how he felt about you until now?
Angela: I never imagined Brian was capable of feeling that way before now.
Rickie: Sorry, I’m just really surprised. It’s been kind of obvious to everyone else for like, ages.
Angela: Well, I’ll talk to him, once I figure out what to say.
Graham and Hallie sit at a table, eating with loads of paperwork between them.
Graham: Any ideas about what to call this place yet?
Hallie: Not a one. You?
Hallie: This doesn’t usually happen to me. It’s like my brain is stuck.
Graham: (mock surprise) You, having no idea what to say about a situation? It must be a sign!
Hallie playfully rolls a piece of paper into a ball and tosses it at him.
Hallie: So, did Patty’s old boyfriend have any useful advice?
Graham: Actually, he never showed up. Got stuck in traffic, apparently. Patty spent the time talking to Jordan Catalano instead.
Hallie: That name sounds familiar…
Hallie: Wait; don’t tell me…your daughter’s boyfriend?
Graham: Yeah. Patty says he reminds her a lot of Tony Poole.
Hallie: He reminds me of someone I knew in high school, too.
Hallie: Yeah, not that I knew him real well. One of my close friends had a crush on him.
Graham: What were your friends like?
Angela, Rickie, Sharon, Brian and Jordon are all here, as are various anonymous students. Katimski stands at the front. One of the anonymous students is reading aloud from the part of Act II of Cyrano de Bergerac where Cyrano agrees to give Christian his love letter to Roxanne and let him take credit for it. Angela is staring straight ahead, clearly not paying attention.
Angela VO: There’s really so much more to school then the academic part, or there is for most of us, anyway. It’s like impossible to focus on class when you’re living a soap opera. I kept thinking things like “why did Jordan have to have Brian write that letter for him instead of just telling me how he feels himself?”, and “how does he really feel about me? Should I still believe he’s sorry for “umming” Rayanne? And am I really being fair by forgiving him and not Rayanne? And just how wrong has my image of Brian Krakow been all this time? How long has he been in love with me? And if it’s really been as obvious as Rickie says, am I missing other obvious things about the people around me too
Katimski: What do you………..think, Angela?
Angela is startled out of her introspection.
Katimski: What do you think?
Angela: About what?
Most of the class laughs.
Angela VO: It’s like so embarassing when everyone’s attention is turned on you because they think there’s something wrong with you, like a circus freak. Why do people do that? (aloud) I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the question.
Katimski: Would you repeat the question?
Annonymous student: Why does Cyrano agree to let Christian take credit for his love letter?
Angela looks pointedly at Brian.
Angela: Um, I really don’t know.
Brian VO: I felt my heart pounding from that look she was giving me. It felt like she could probably stare through me, or something.
Katimski: Aw, gee whiz, you’re not even gonna take a guess?
Angela: I have no idea what to guess.
Katimski: Brian, how about you?
Brian looks uncomfortable.
Brian: Well, why wouldn’t he? I mean, Cyrano knows Roxanne probably doesn’t want a love letter from him, she wants it to be from Christian. (bitter) If he told her the truth, she’d probably, like, be repulsed, or something, because she’s made it abundantly clear in the past she has no respect for me – I mean him – and her rejection would…(we hear the pain in his voice now)…y’know…kill him inside. Like, shatter his heart into a trillion pieces. (adds hastily) I mean, that’s my guess, I think.
Katimski: What makes you say she doesn’t respect him?
Brian: Um…I’m not sure why I said that part. I think I need to go to the bathroom.
Brian leaves the classroom, avoiding eye contact with Angela as he passes her.
Brian VO: Why do we have to read this of all stories today of all days? It’s like God is playing a cruel trick on me. I mean, a lot of my life feels like that, but especially right now.
Katimski: Well, here’s another………ah, food for thought question. Is it wrong for Christian to let Roxanne think he wrote the letter?
Jordan raises his hand.
Jordan: It’s like…not really his fault, that he can’t write it himself. I mean, maybe the letter’s what he felt, but Cyranno just knew what words to use, or whatever?
The bell rings and students begin packing up and preparing to leave.
Katimski: (raising his voice to be heard over the hustle and talking) Those of you who are in drama club, remember we have practice after school today!
Rayanne and the other actors are rehearsing while Rickie directs them and Delia watches from an audience seat. Brian is further back, taking pictures.
Brian VO: If only Rayanne Graff were as good a person as she is an actress. She’s like so convincing as Emily, you’d never guess how noxious her real personality is.
Brian moves up and sits next to Delia.
Brian: Hi Delia!
Delia glares at him coldly and moves to the opposite end of the row.
Graham enters the kitchen, where Patty sits.
Patty: You’re home awfully late.
Graham: Yeah, Hallie and I sort of lost track of time.
Patty: Did you have a lot of work to do?
Graham: Yeah, but we started talking and never really got around to it. I guess we’ll just have to work more tomorrow.
Patty: (mildly hurt) Oh. Well, good luck tomorrow then, I guess.
Graham: Where’s Angela?
Patty: I let her go to that little coffee shop to see Jordan’s band play.
Graham: Even though it’s a school night?
Patty: I made it clear that this won’t be a regular thing and that she’d better be home by ten.
Angela, Rickie, Sharon, and Delia are all sitting at the same table, watching Residue play. As Residue takes a break, Delia and Rickie talk, and it’s clear they’re both having a lot of fun. Just then, Rayanne stumbles in, apparently quite drunk. She guzzles more beer upon seeing Angela.
Rayanne: Angela, hey!
Angela looks at Rayanne coldly.
Brian enters and just stands nearby, watching. Delia looks horrified.
Delia: (to Sharon) Why is he here?
Sharon shrugs.Brian: Angela?
Rayanne: (angry) So how are things with you and Catalano?
Angela: (angry) Rayanne, I really don’t want to see you right now!
Rayanne: (even more angry now) If I had a penis, would you forgive me?
Angela: (outraged) I don’t believe you! You know what the difference is, Rayanne? He’s actually sorry about hurting me!
Rayanne: So am I!
Angela: You’re sorry that you lost a friend because of what you did, you’re not actually sorry you did it! You haven’t shown any sign of caring how I felt!
Rayanne squeezes her bottle of beer. We see her fury rising.
Rayanne: How can you say that?! You don’t know what I feel!
She seems to struggling to hold back tears now, and she’s about to take another sip when Sharon grabs the bottle away from her and smashes it on the ground.
Sharon: First it almost got you killed, then it cost you your best friend, and you’re still drinking! Rayanne, are you trying to mess up your life!?
Rayanne looks ready to explode with both rage and tears now.
Rayanne: I don’t have to listen to this!
She turns around and dashes out the door.
Brian: (attempting a joke) Gee, I guess getting drunk is like, not a good idea.
Angela spins around and glares at him.
Angela: Excuse me, but why are you here?
Brian: Why not?
Angela: (outraged) Stop pretending you didn’t come here to find me, Krakow! You know what? I don’t want you here, and I don’t want to talk about what happened because I don’t care! Your feelings do not matter to me! You don’t matter to me!
There is a shocked, awkward silence at the table, and even some people from other tables are staring at them now.
Brian: (equally outraged) Of course not, all you care about is Catalano! Have fun, you both deserve each other for being so heartless and selfish!
Brian turns around, fuming and holding back tears, only to see Sharon fuming too.
Sharon: You have some nerve coming here when Delia’s here!
Brian: Give it a rest, Cherski, I’m not in the mood!
Sharon blocks his path as he tries to leave.
Sharon: No, your actions have, like, consequences, and you need to hear…
Brian: I said I’m not in the mood!
Brian shoves Sharon aside and storms out.
Angela: Excuse me, I’m going to go hide for like a million years!
Angela runs to the women’s bathroom, slamming the door behind her. There is more awkward silence.
Delia: So, what was all that about? Besides the part about me, I mean.
Rickie: Long story.
Rayanne approaches a bench and notices Brian sitting on it.
Rayanne: (voice filled with contempt) Great, Brian Krakow. My day wasn’t bad enough already.
Brian: Funny, I was about to say the same thing about you.
Rayanne: Well, there’s nowhere else to sit, so move over!
Brian: (miserable) Whatever.
Brian slides over and Rayanne sits next to him.
Rayanne: (bitter) So what are you doing out here? Did Chase, like, banish you?
Brian: Yeah. I guess I was pretty stupid to think she might care that I have, y’know, feelings.
Rayanne: Know, you’re just stupid in general.
Brian: What did I ever do to you?
Rayanne: It’s your fault she hates me!
Brian: My fault!?
Rayanne: You videotaped it!
Brian: There wouldn’t have been anything to videotape if you hadn’t done it!
Rayanne looks like she’s been slapped in the face. She can’t furious anymore, and she slumps down in defeat.
Rayanne: Who am I kidding? You’re right. It’s not my fault she forgave him and not me, though! I mean, why will she believe he’s sorry, but not me?
Brian: You want to talk about Angela Chase being unfair? I wrote her a love letter, and she wouldn’t talk to me after that, except just now when she like, bit my head off!
Rayanne: The thing is, though? You can be so angry at her, and you still really wish she’d forgive you, and it eats you up inside to think that she hates you.
Brian: Tell me about it.
They look at each other for a moment, surprised that they have something in common.
Rayanne: Y’know what? Let’s get out of here.
Brian: And go where?
Brian VO: Normally, the last thing I’d want is to go anywhere with Rayanne Graff, but there was something…different about her right now. I wasn’t sure what. (aloud) Okay.
Brian and Rayanne get up and leave.
Angela and Sharon look around.
Angela (at the same time as Sharon’s like): Brian! Brian, are you out here? Look, I didn’t really mean what I said, okay? I was just angry. Brian?
Sharon: Rayanne? Rayanne, I’m sorry! Will you please come back?
Sharon: They’re probably both long gone.
Angela: Yeah, I guess so.
They go back inside