Reflections

by Ahmad Saam Ejlali

 

EXT. WINDING ROAD – FRANCE – DAY

LUCAS DUPONT, 44, tall and fit, with a boney nose and black hair mixed with silver white highlights, is driving on a winding road at sunset on the Riviera with his wife, EMMA LAMBERT, 42, green eyes and wearing one of her many signature fancy hats while she swirls her hair around in front of her eyes.

EMMA

I feel bad leaving the kids with your father.

LUCAS

It’s OK, he loves having them around. Plus, we needed a vacation… do you want to leave them alone next time? Scarlet is old enough to take care of her self and Frederick.

EMMA

She is ten!

LUCAS

Is she!!!

Emma glares at Lucas. Lucas smiles.

LUCAS

Well she definitely acts older than her age.

Emma looks out the window and notices the scenery. Her reflection is visible on the car window.

EMMA

Oh… that’s beautiful. I promised Frederick a shot when we got to Saint-Tropez.

She pulls out her camera, and, as she is about to snap a photo, a truck from an oncoming lane does not yield by the curve, causing Lucas to swerve and go off road and into the waters below.

EXT. ST. TROPZE COAST – DAY

The waters are calm, and Emma’s hat is washed ashore by the waves.

INT. CHILD’S BEDROOM-NIGHT

The room is quiet, and a small nightlight gives a soft glow; rain splatters the window. Frederick wakes with a start and sits upright in bed gasping for air. He goes to the window and stares out, his reflection staring back at him.

EXT. CEMETERY – DAY

PIERRE DUPONT, 74, a tall slender man with a long boney nose and a hat, is holding two kids by the hands: FREDERICK DUPONT, 6, a curious boy wearing short pants with bruised knees and SCARLET DUPONT, 10, wearing a blue hat with rosy cheeks and long hair. Her skirt is down to her knees and her socks come up slightly below her knee. Scarlet is crying and sniffing her nose while Frederick is quiet and staring down at a puddle of water next to him. After a few seconds of staring at it, he moves in closer to Pierre away from the puddled water and embraces Pierre by his leg.

Pierre puts his left hand on Fredrick’s back while trying to maintain his composure. Looking about, he notices the puddled water. The ceremony ends, and people leave.

Fredrick walks up to the tombstone and crouches next to it. The tombstone has a shiny surface, and it is wet. The inscription says: ‘Here lie Lucas Dupont & Emma Lambert, loving husband and wife.’ Frederick keeps looking at his own reflection on its surface. Scarlet walks up to Frederick, takes off her blue hat, and puts it on the cross on top of the tombstone. Pierre walks up to them, kneels behind them, and embraces them.

INT. BATHROOM – DAY

Frederick, fully dressed, stands next to the bath tub and watches silently as it fills with water. He closes the tap, and then skims the surface of the water with his fingertips.

Frederick slowly enters the tub, and lowers himself until he’s fully submerged. He closes his eyes and holds his breath for what seems a very long time. His eyes open in a panic, as he grabs the sides of the tub and pulls himself upright, gasping for air. Sobbing uncontrollably, he screams for his mother and father.

FREDERICK

Mama… papa…

Pierre enters and rushes to console him. He hugs him and says…

PIERRE

It’s OK… it’s OK…

Scarlet watches from the doorway.

EXT. PARISIAN PARK – DAY

The streets are buzzing with life after a pouring rain. The sun’s rays bathe everything with light and bounce off of windows and rain puddles.

Pierre is holding Scarlet’s and Fredrick’s hand’s while they stroll. Scarlet lets go of Pierre’s hand and runs farther ahead.

PIERRE

Scarlet, slow down.

Pierre looks at Frederick and has a worried look on his face. Frederick is captivated by the puddles of water on the sidewalk, and he seems distant and quite. They approach a bench. He lets go of Fredrick’s hand and sits down. He looks to his left and sees Scarlet playing hopscotch. Looking about, he sees Frederick crouching next to a puddle of water, looking at his own reflection.

Frederick grabs a dried stick from nearby and puts it in the puddled water. He pulls it out and tries to measure the depth of it. After examining the stick, he gets up with an intent look on his face and jumps with both feet into the puddled water causing a splash.

FREDERICK

Ahhhhh…

EXT. STREET – DAY

Pierre gets up from the bench and walks up to Frederick. Meanwhile Scarlet seems done playing and approaches them. You can see ripple effects on the water as Frederick stands in the middle of it.

PIERRE

What are you doing?

FREDERICK

Is my reflection blocking me from going to the other side?

Pierre looks at the reflection of the clouds and the blue sky in the water and tells Frederick…

PIERRE

Your reflection is protecting you from falling in.

He stands behind Fredrick and grabs his right hand. He lifts it up gently and says…

PIERRE

That side is the opposite side. Your right hand is his left hand, see…

Frederick turns around and looks up.

FREDERICK

Does that mean that my parents are alive on the other side?

Pierre is caught off guard and is speechless. Scarlet approaches Frederick and tells him:

SCARLET

Maybe you are the reflection, maybe you are protecting him from falling in to this side. You don’t want him to be without parents do you?

Pierre looks choked up. Scarlet reaches for their hands. You can see their reflection in the water.

SCARLET

We have to be strong for them.

They walk off together as they slowly disappear at the end of the long street.