! 1 FADE IN. INT. BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING. MARY (20) awakes from her slumber wearily. She sits down at a dressing table and places a crucifix necklace round her neck, gazing at a photo of a young man attached to the wooden frame of the mirror. Noticing the time, she quickly begins to pre- pare herself for the day ahead, applying make up and brushing her hair. INT. KITCHEN - LATER THAT MORNING. Mary, dressed in a dark floor-length domestic dress, walks into the kitchen to find her daughter RUTH (6), also in a lit- tle dark dress, standing on a chair throwing ingredients such as flour and butter into a mixing bowl. The kitchen is a mess. Utensils litter the surfaces and the counter and Ruth’s face and apron are all coated in flour. Shocked, Mary, moves to- wards Ruth and takes her off the chair, wiping the flour off her eyes. She surveys the kitchen, then gives Ruth a hard look of disapproval. Grabbing her wrist Mary leads Ruth towards the door. MARY [pushing RUTH away]!! ! Go to your room. Noticing the time on the clock, Mary rushes round the kitchen, putting appliances back into cupboards and shoving used pots, pans and utensils into the sink. She starts to wipe the sur- faces clean. The door opens slowly. Ruth creeps back into the room carrying a box of crayons and a stack of coloured card paper. Sitting down at the kitchen table, she begins to ar- range and organize the coloured pencils. She shakes the box and bits of crayon and rubber shavings fall out. Mary watches from the sink. Ruth sharpens pencils and brushes the mess across the table. Whilst drawing and colouring, she starts humming the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’ under her breath. Notic- ing this, Mary strides over to her. Ruth is writing the text “Happy Birthday”. MARY [uncontrollably shouting] ! ! Ruth, he’s gone! I’m sorry but he’s never coming back! Ruth stares up at her with eyes welling. She collects up her crayons and card and runs out the room. Mary returns to the sink, harshly scrubbing plates and pans in bubbly water.
! 2 EXT. FRONT DOOR - LUNCHTIME A middle aged female SOCIAL WORKER, dressed in smart attire, rings the doorbell. INT. LIVING ROOM - LUNCHTIME Fresh tea steams from the mugs on the small coffee table in the middle of the room. A tray of cakes and finger sandwiches lie next to the drinks. The Social Worker sits down on the sofa opposite Mary and Ruth. SOCIAL WORKER So, how are you managing? MARY [fumbling with her hands] ! ! ! Okay. SOCIAL WORKER Good. And how’s little Ruth? Is she coping okay?Social Worker smiles at Ruth, who looks down at her hands shyly. ! ! ! RUTH!! ! ! ! ! ! Yes.Mary grabs hold of Ruth’s hand and squeezes it lightly. ! SOCIAL WORKER! ! ! ! And how much have you have you managed to save so far? [she scribbles notes on a pad of lined paper] Mary slowly shakes her head. SOCIAL WORKER Right... well I need to take down some notes... MARY I’m trying...But I can never keep hold of the money.[pause] I can only work a few hours [pause] at the local shop whilst Ruth...whilst Ruth...[pause]is at school...And even then the pay isn’t enough to fund two people for a week.
! 3 [trying to find the words] Ruth seems to keep ruining her clothes... which I can no longer afford to re- place. Then there’s food costs and the appliance bills [she breaks down into tears]. The Social Worker hands Mary a hanker-chief as Ruth cuddles up to her mother and kissed her cheek. EXT. WINCHELSEA BEACH. THE LIFEBOAT HOUSE - EARLY EVENING. Mary walks hand in hand with RUTH across a rural landscape un- til they reach the wooden lifeboat house. Ruth breaks away from her hold and runs down to the sea as Mary places a bou- quet of flowers and a note “thinking of you” along side the desolate structure. At the beach the waves crash onto the shore. Ruth clutches the now complete birthday card with a drawing of her and her Dad on the front. Mary walks down to join her and pulls a glass bottle from a bag. She hands it to RUTH who rolls up the card and places it inside the bottle. She then drops it into the waves, and they both watch it drift out to sea as it’s becomes swallowed by the tide. Mary kisses the top of Ruth’s head.