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LOLLIPOP (POSY STERLING).pdf

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LOLLIPOP
Written by
Daisy-May Hudson
August 2021
© Daisy-May Hudson/ Parkville Pictures / BBC FILM...
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IN DARKNESS, TENDER PHONE CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN A MOTHER AND
HER CHILDREN.
LEO (V.O.)
Night mummy....
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LEO (V.O.)
(Whispering) Muuuuuum. Ava’s
crying.
MOLLY (V.O.)
It’s your birthday baby, don’t cry...
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LOLLIPOP (POSY STERLING).pdf

  1. 1. P O S Y S T E R L I N G LOLLIPOP Written by Daisy-May Hudson August 2021 © Daisy-May Hudson/ Parkville Pictures / BBC FILMS 2021 cecilia@parkvillepictures.com olivier@parkvillepictures.com
  2. 2. P O S Y S T E R L I N G IN DARKNESS, TENDER PHONE CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN A MOTHER AND HER CHILDREN. LEO (V.O.) Night mummy. Love you. Night. He whispers lovingly as if trying to get her off to sleep. Then silence. LEO (CONT’D) (Shouting) Are you asleep yet mum? MOLLY (V.O.) I was. LEO (V.O.) Was that a good story? MOLLY (V.O.) The best. AVA (V.O.) I’ve got my maths exam tomorrow, wish me luck. MOLLY (V.O.) You don’t need luck my little genius. You’ve got it all going on up there, just like ya mother. Ava giggles. MOLLY (V.O.) Oi, that wasn’t a joke! Gimme a squeeze then. I’m squeezing the phone, are you? They make squeezing noises like they’re hugging each other really tight. Through squeezed voices, the kids reply. AVA & LEO (V.O.) Yep. ******** MOLLY (V.O.) ...Happy birthday to Ava, happy birthday to you. Silence.
  3. 3. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 2. LEO (V.O.) (Whispering) Muuuuuum. Ava’s crying. MOLLY (V.O.) It’s your birthday baby, don’t cry. I don’t like hearing you upset. Silence. MOLLY (V.O.) Can you talk to me please? Please don’t cry. A deep breath along with Molly’s soft, muffled tears are heard down the phone. AVA (V.O.) Mum, don’t cry. Sorry. Mum? I’m sorry, I know it’s not your fault okay? LEO (V.O.) I’m looking after her mum! MOLLY (V.O.) (Her voice is tight) I know you are baby. TITLE CARD: LOLLIPOP EXT. PRISON GATES - EARLY MORNING MOLLY (warm face, warm heart and a fiery temper) stands in front of the prison gates. The early morning sky glows orange. The image is cold and bleak but Molly’s face is warm and thoughtful. Clutching her peeling silver handbag, a sleeping bag and a tent, she stands there for a second trying to figure it all out. She rubs her “No1 Mum Necklace” between her fingers. Pushing an escaped tear back into the corner of her eye, she takes a breath to fill her chest and forces her chin up in self-encouragement. INT. CORNER SHOP - DAY. MOLLY Can I get £10 top up please? Do you sell single cigarettes? 2.
  4. 4. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 3. SHOPOWNER Nah, sorry love. The shop is playing Reggaeton. She gets lost temporarily in the music. MOLLY Banger. He laughs, nods and hands over the change. She walks out the shop wiggling to the music whilst trying to top-up her phone. She looks around and moves to a bench away from everyone beginning their working day. Hunching forward, she checks over her shoulder that no one can hear her. MOLLY (CONT'D) (In her poshest voice) Hello, I don’t know if I’ve come through to the right place, my name’s Molly Brown, yeah... She struggles to say the next part of the sentence and checks to see whether anyone is around. MOLLY (CONT'D) ...my children were put in, um, in with you a couple of months ago. The social worker came in and I signed a bit of paper. Yeah, she said to call when I come out to pick them up. When’s best please? She is fiddling nervously with her “No1 Mum” necklace. MOLLY (CONT'D) The social worker didn’t say anything about an appointment. What dya wanna ask me? Will my kids be there? Alright then, tomorrow at eleven. Thank you. Molly rubs on her chest to ease the anxiety. A beat. A woman passes by with a cigarette. 3.
  5. 5. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 4. MOLLY (CONT'D) Sorry babe. My husband’s just gone to the bank and he’s taken my fags with him. Could I pinch one off ya till he gets back? WOMAN WITH A FAG 1 Don’t be silly babe. Mine does it all the time. What are they like? MOLLY I know. Drives ya nuts dunnit? Molly smiles, lights and tokes the cigarette hard. WOMAN WITH A FAG 1 Ruby, come here now! Don’t run off from mummy please. A little girl comes running over. Molly smiles at her longingly, then looks up at the woman distantly before finding a smile. MOLLY (Handing back the lighter) Ta babe. INT. TRAIN PLATFORM - DAY Molly runs towards the train guard with her free travel voucher from prison. She’s ashamed to show it though. TRAIN GUARD 1 Oh, going anywhere nice? MOLLY Camping. TRAIN GUARD 1 Lovely. I ain’t seen one of these before. MOLLY It’s a voucher. TRAIN GUARD 1 I don’t know anything about ‘em. It’s not moody is it love? Molly looks embarrassed. MOLLY Sorry darling, my train’s about to go. It’s legit I swear. 4.
  6. 6. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 5. She tries to walk past him. He stands quickly in front of her. TRAIN GUARD 1 Excuse me, you cannot board this train madam. You have not paid. He radios loudly. MOLLY Move man. I’m gonna be late. He puts his arm up over the door of the train to stop her from entering. Molly looks at people moving around her to get on the train. Another guard walks quickly towards him and spots it. TRAIN GUARD 2 Yeah, that’s fine mate. They give them out at the nick so they can get home. TRAIN GUARD 1 Oh fucking hell, is that right? He looks at her funny. She rips the ticket from his hand again and rushes onto the train. INT. TRAIN. DAY Molly’s head rests against the window. She checks the time, waiting for her phone to ring. MOLLY My babies, mummy’s coming to get ya. I can’t wait to see ya. I know I’ve got a lot of making up to do. She closes her eyes and leans her head back on the window in bliss as her “No1 Mum” necklace glistens in the sun. INT. PROBATION OFFICE - DAY Molly is sitting opposite CHARLIE, a cocksure woman of similar age in casual clothing and a badge that reads “Probation”. CHARLIE Where you staying tonight then? 5.
  7. 7. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 6. MOLLY Some happy clappy charity bird gave me this before I left (she lifts up the tent and sleeping bag). CHARLIE You be alright? MOLLY I used to go camping with my dad when I was little. Anyway it’s only for a night cause the council’l sort me out somewhere proper. CHARLIE Can ya stay at your mum’s? MOLLY No fucking way. Not after what she done to me and my kids, nah. CHARLIE What about money? MOLLY Her majesty’s generous donation of forty six pound (She lifts the cash out of her pocket). CHARLIE Have ya signed up to Universal Credit? Doesn’t take a minute. MOLLY Nah, all that stuffs not really me. I’m getting back to work as soon as I can. What dya reckon the chances of getting me old job back are? CHARLIE Well if I’m honest Molly, I doubt people will want ya looking after their kids with a record, ya know what I mean? MOLLY Ya know what I’ve always wanted to do? Teach theatre to kids. You know the naughty ones. CHARLIE You can do whatever you put ya mind to Molly. 6.
  8. 8. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 7. Taken back by her sentimentality, she pulls a face. CHARLIE (CONT'D) Same again in two weeks then yeah? MOLLY Yeah. CHARLIE Be good then. MOLLY I am. INT. COUNCIL OFFICES - DAY The housing office is full of people. She looks around at all the faces and takes a number, “979”. Shaking her head in disbelief, she leans to the woman next to her and shows her the ticket. MOLLY Gotta be a fucking wind up init? AMINA (Late 20’s) snaps her head up quickly from her phone on hearing the f-word in front of her children. She realises who it is. AMINA Molly. Oh my days, Molly? MOLLY Fucking hell Mina. Amina winces every time Molly swears. AMINA Wow, I ain’t seen you in... how many years is it? MOLLY Cor, fucking....last time I saw ya was yours and Habib’s wedding you know! You looked so beautiful Mina. AMINA (Sarcastically) Oh thanks! MOLLY Nah, nah, shut up! You still do. D’ya member, me and mum couldn’t stop crying and we never cry! 7.
  9. 9. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 8. AMINA You were pregnant that’s why! You cried at college when someone held the toilet door open for ya. MOLLY Yeah. Molly and Amina start laughing. AMINA Wow, she must be... MOLLY Ava’s twelve man! Twelve years ago! Then I got my baby Leo who’s four. AMINA Wow, a lot happens in twelve years. MOLLY A lot. What you doing then? AMINA Just paying off Habib’s parking ticket. What about you? MOLLY My mum’s got problems with her bathroom and I’ve got the day off so I said I’d come down and sort it. LIBAN Mum, mum, can I have some money? BILAL Yeah mum, there’s a machine over there. We’ve not had any lunch. I’m starving! Molly starts laughing. AMINA Shhh. Come meet my friend. We met at college just after I came over to live with Aunty Bushra. This is Liban and Bilal. LIBAN Thanks. We can speak for ourselves. MOLLY Wow, just like ya mum. 8.
  10. 10. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 9. AMINA Molly was the only person who’d actually chat to me. MOLLY (Pulling a funny face) Rude. Amina starts laughing. AMINA You know what I mean! You used to look after me a bit. MOLLY Yeah well, kids can be nasty man. AMINA We used to have fun as well though. Before life all got a bit serious. MOLLY Innit. Amina’s phone starts ringing and she gestures to Molly. AMINA Member Aunty Bushra? Molly nods as Amina speaks Somali down the phone. AMINA (CONT'D) Molly, I gotta go, I got an exam for a nursing apprenticeship. MOLLY That’s amazing. AMINA Yeah, it’s at the same place your mum got me the job. I never forget that. MOLLY Yeah? AMINA Yeah. BILAL Mum, what about the... parking ticket? 9.
  11. 11. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 10. AMINA It’s the only time aunty’s around for me to drop you over there. I’ll have to come back. She grabs the kids coats from the chair and holds Bilal’s hand. MOLLY Say hi to Habib. AMINA Yeah. And give my love to ya mum. MOLLY Yeah. Molly watches Amina and the kids rush out. She is alone again. It was nice to be normal for just a minute. INT. COUNCIL OFFICES - DAY Molly sits opposite a housing officer separated by glass. She looks around wondering how to explain it all. MOLLY You got a bit of paper? The confused woman slides paper under the glass. Molly scribbles something down. She holds the note up to the glass, too embarrassed to speak it out loud. It reads “I’ve just left prison. I’m in a tent. My kids are with a foster carer”. MOLLY (CONT'D) I was in there for four months so had to give up my tenancy on the council house. HOUSING OFFICER Ah, I don’t know how you could do that. MOLLY Do what? HOUSING OFFICER Be away from them for so long. Molly just stares back at her, deadpan. 10.
  12. 12. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 11. HOUSING OFFICER (CONT'D) Right, so that means you made yourself intentionally homeless then? MOLLY No. You lot made me give it up. HOUSING OFFICER But you went to prison and in doing so, made yourself intentionally homeless. MOLLY Cor, on one today aren’t ya? HOUSING OFFICER Well I’m going to need a statement or passport for your homeless application. MOLLY They’re at my mums. We ain’t talking. HOUSING OFFICER Well, looks like you’ll have to. She gives Molly a little sympathetic smile. EXT. COUNCIL OFFICES-DAY Amina, Bilal and Liban are by their car. Amina is pacing, shouting in Somali on the phone. LIBAN Our car won’t start. Amina waves, stressed but continues to speak to her aunty. MOLLY What time she gotta be there? LIBAN Three I think. MOLLY Where’s aunty live? BILAL Two hours on the bus. She don’t drive. 11.
  13. 13. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 12. Molly is looking at her watch and looks up to Amina on the phone. MOLLY I’ll take them Mina. She breaks from Somali into English. AMINA Nah, it’s fine. Honestly. I’ll figure something out. MOLLY I can take them to the park and then bring them back to yours. You still live at the same place? AMINA Yes. No. Nah, it’s fine. Seriously. I’m sorting it. Molly shrugs and goes to walk away. MOLLY See ya later. Amina speaks in Somali getting increasingly stressed. She’s looking at her watch. LIBAN Mum, come on, you can’t miss your exam! AMINA (In Somali) Aunty said someone’s coming from the community centre to fix it in an hour. BILAL But you won’t make it in time. Molly turns around. MOLLY Mina, just let me take the kids man. It’s my job. AMINA We’re fine Molly. Amina is getting increasingly upset, turning the key in the ignition over and over again. She’s shouting with her auntie on the phone. 12.
  14. 14. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 13. BILAL Mum you look like you’re about to cry. AMINA Yeah, thanks Bilal! She carries on shouting in Somali on the phone. MOLLY Mina? AMINA (Snaps) What? Molly shakes her head annoyed and begins to walk away. Amina hangs up the phone and looks up to the sky trying not to cry. AMINA (CONT'D) Wait. Molly. I can’t. I’m too embarassed. MOLLY What? She’s struggling to find the words. MOLLY (CONT'D) What Mina? AMINA We don’t live there anymore. We live in a room. In a hostel. For homeless families. MOLLY I don’t care about all that Mina, just gimme your keys. Amina’s quickly getting money out of her purse as she’s too proud. She holds out a twenty pound note for Molly. Molly looks at it. AMINA I ain’t a charity case Molly. I’m just late. Molly nods. Amina hands over the key and kisses both the kids on their head. AMINA (CONT'D) Habib will be home at eight so you’ll miss him. I’ll be back at five. 13.
  15. 15. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 14. MOLLY I’ve just gotta go before it gets dark. Amina looks at her. Molly looks back. A standoff. LIBAN AND BILAL (In Somali) Go on mum. Good luck! Amina run walks down the road and the kids do an impression of her behind her. They all laugh. EXT. AMINA’S HOSTEL - DAY The hostel is an institutional building with a putrid smell that curls up your nostrils. The strip lighting is harsh. Molly and the kids push through the fire doors. BILAL That’s the kitchen we share with two other families. Sometimes they leave their washing up and mum has to do it. LIBAN That’s our bathroom. Mum says don’t touch the toilet seat. Molly opens the front door with the key. Amina has made it look nice but it feels temporary. The kids run in and jump on the bed to watch the iPad. MOLLY Take your uniforms please babies. Hang them up. The kids get up and run to the bathroom. Molly slowly walks around the hostel taking it all in. There’s lots of photos of Amina, Bilal and Liban up on the wall. She notices the room looks absent of Habib. Liban and Bilal run out of the bathroom in casual clothes. MOLLY (CONT'D) Much better. They smile. 14.
  16. 16. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 15. MOLLY (CONT'D) (She points to a photo) I like this one. I was looking for a photo of ya dad to see if he’s still got a big belly on him. The kids shrug. MOLLY (CONT'D) No photos of ya dad? The kids shrug again. MOLLY (CONT'D) Alright. Molly smiles gently. MOLLY (CONT'D) Have you got any homework? BILAL No. LIBAN Yes we have Bilal! MOLLY Come on, I’ll help ya. I’m more street smart than book smart but... LIBAN Same. They all start laughing. Molly looks out the window and the light is beginning to get low. She checks the time on her phone. It’s 4.30pm. BILAL Why have you gotta leave before it gets dark? MOLLY I can say but you promise you won’t tell anyone, not even ya mum? LIBAN We wont. MOLLY Sure? 15.
  17. 17. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 16. BILAL We promise! MOLLY Right, well when the sun goes down, and the moon comes out, I turn into a big...scary...WEREWOLFFFFF!!! She makes a funny face with claws and begins chasing them round the hostel. They are screaming and laughing. EXT. STREETS. - DUSK Molly walks along the streets looking for a place to pitch her tent. The street lights turn on. Suddenly, a group of men fall out of a pub and start shouting “come on then you cunt!”. She makes a sharp turn down Abbey Lane Park. She chucks her tent and bag over the fence then scrambles over. She falls down onto the grass, her half smile half lit by the orange street lamp. INT. TENT - NIGHT Looking up at the stars, she takes down her hair and uses the bobble to tie up the tent zip. CUT TO: She tries to close her eyes but they ping open with every noise. She picks up her phone and stares at the background of her kids. She hears a sudden sound. She pulls out her keys and places them between her knuckles like Wolverine. She closes her eyes but they ping back open again. INT. TENT- MORNING Molly wakes up at 5am with vigour to the sound of a screechy alarm before the public are allowed in. She crawls out of the dewy tent. The morning light is still soft. She smiles as a pigeon traverses the sky above her in a magic moment. As it takes another long swoop, it dives and flies suddenly into her tent. She flaps the pigeon around desperately trying to free it. It eventually flies out in a foreboding chaos. 16.
  18. 18. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 17. MOLLY (At the pigeon) Sorry baby! JUMP CUT TO: She squats in her coat and pants to squat. The pressure is hard like she’s bursting. JUMP CUT TO: She sprays perfume from her handbag: armpits, neck, wrists and vagina. She giggles to herself. JUMP CUT TO: She messily packs down the tent, lying on sections to close it whilst repeatedly checking the time. INT. PUBLIC TOILETS - MORNING Tungsten light, toilet roll and graffiti. Molly rushes in, searching through her bag frantically for her mascara. She turns on the tap and washes the sleep from the corner of her eyes. A commuter comes through the door and into a stall making her jump. Embarrassed, she pats her hair down with a wet hand and quickly leaves. INT. CAFE - MORNING Molly is scrolling down her phone looking at photos of her children. A waitress walks around the back of her to take her order. WAITRESS Aren’t they gorgeous? She looks just like ya. Molly jumps, then smiles. WAITRESS (CONT'D) You taking them away? MOLLY Camping. WAITRESS Oohh, they’ll love that. Molly nods and begins dialling her phone. 17.
  19. 19. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 18. MOLLY (On the phone) Alright. It’s me. Me mum. Why you fucking starting already? You know who it is. Why you gotta make everything such hard work? Can’t you just be normal? Listen, I just need to get...What’s wrong? What you crying for mum? Where’s Rodney? Put Rodney on the phone please. Mum. Stop fucking crying. I can’t understand ya. Put Rodney on. Molly stares blankly. Her face turns grey as she places a hand over her heart. The waitress walks over with a cup of tea, awkwardly waiting to put it down. INT. SOCIAL SERVICES RECEPTION- MORNING RECEPTIONIST I’m not sure Tamara’s in today, let me have a look. MOLLY Well, she should be. You called me yesterday. RECEPTIONIST Yeah, just a minute. Molly is looking slightly anxious. MOLLY She should be in. RECEPTIONIST Yeah, one minute I said. MOLLY What you being rude for? RECEPTIONIST Is there a problem? They have a stare down. Molly remembers where she is. MOLLY Can you just get Tamara? RECEPTIONIST Here she is. Sign in please. 18.
  20. 20. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 19. INT. SOCIAL SERVICES CORRIDOR - DAY Molly and TAMARA (young, friendly, a bit ethereal) are walking down a really long corridor. TAMARA Did you have any trouble getting in? MOLLY (In her posh voice again) No, fine. Tamara holds the door for Molly. MOLLY (CONT'D) Thank you. Tamara holds another door open for Molly. MOLLY (CONT'D) Thank you. Tamara holds another door open for Molly. MOLLY (CONT'D) Thanks. Thank you. Are Ava and Leo here? Can I see them? I need to see them. TAMARA This is us. Tamara opens the door to a room full of people with teas, coffees and biscuits in the middle of the table. Molly looks confused. MOLLY Wow, sorry, I wasn’t expecting all this. Hi, hiya, you alright? (To Tamara) Is it usually this many people? I thought we were just arranging when I could pick them up. Is everything alright? TAMARA Yes all fine. You should recognise some of them. This is Ava’s teacher and Leo’s nursery assistant. Then this is Sheila, who’s looking after them at the minute. 19.
  21. 21. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 20. MOLLY Yeah, we spoke this morning, funny you didn’t mention it. TAMARA Take a seat. Molly doesn’t want to sit down and succumb. MOLLY Where are my kids please? TAMARA We just want to iron a few things out. Do take a seat. MOLLY Are they here? TAMARA Would it be okay if ask you to just take a seat please? Molly looks over to the sea of faces all watching to see what she does. She’s trying to work out where to sit. MOLLY Alright. There’s probably a few forms to sign first ain’t there? That’s what Ruth said. Where is she? She came in and talked me through it so probably best I deal with her. TAMARA Oh yeah, Ruth’s lovely isn’t she? She’s been signed off work for a bit unfortunately. But I’ve read your file so I’m all up to speed. I know how frightening all this can be. MOLLY Frightening? This isn’t frightening. Is it? TAMARA Oh gosh no, sorry, ignore me. Would you like a cup of tea? Molly stands up again. 20.
  22. 22. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 21. MOLLY No thanks. Can someone please tell me what’s going on? TAMARA Sorry, if I could just ask you to take a seat... MOLLY Why are you so obsessed with me taking a seat? TAMARA Let me get you a cup of tea. MOLLY I don’t want a fucking cup of tea. TAMARA If I could just ask you to watch your language Molly. Now the reason we’re all here is to review Ava and Leo’s progress under a section seventeen. MOLLY They’re not even meant to be in foster care. My mum was supposed to have them till I got out. I honestly don’t know how you can give up your own grandchildren, but not the first time she’s put a bloke first, lets just say that. Look, call Ruth and ask her. I signed a bit of paper to say you were gonna look after them... TAMARA Yes, a section twenty. And now we’re reviewing the children as a section seventeen. MOLLY Section seventeen of what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Listen, no disrespect, thank you for your time and all that, but why am I sitting in a room with you all discussing what’s gonna happen with my children? We don’t need no meeting, no discussion, they’re coming home with me and that’s the end of it. 21.
  23. 23. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 22. TAMARA Actually, could I just take down your home address? Thanks so much, it’s just one of the things we’d like to take a look at, make sure it’s somewhere suitable for them to return to. She forces a fake smile encouragingly at everyone. EXT. HAPPY NEWS AGENT- DAY Molly is leaning on the window scribbling on a piece of paper. She’s looking at job adverts in the window and copying down the numbers, holding the phone between her ear and her shoulder. MOLLY So what colour do you want your room then? Mummy’s sorting out our new home. She opens the door and calls back to Rashid standing at the counter. MOLLY (CONT'D) You will call me if anything comes up won’t ya babe? Ta darling. She shuts the door and begins walking around to Sylvie’s block. MOLLY (CONT'D) Put Sheila on baby. What have they got for lunch today? They had that on Monday. I don’t want you giving my kids the same food all the time. Well, that’s because Leo doesn’t like it, he told you but you wouldn’t listen. You’ll be telling the social he’s off his food next. EXT. SYLVIE'S TOWER BLOCK - DAY CU of Molly’s face by the intercom outside the flats. She takes the last drag of her cigarette and puts it out. A VOICE FROM THE FLAT Alright? MOLLY Alright. 22.
  24. 24. P O S Y S T E R L I N G (MORE) 23. The buzzer goes and she walks through the door. INT. SYLVIE’S FLAT - DAY Molly pushes open the front door of the flat. Flower arrangements of a Guinness glass, West Ham badge and Jamaican flags rest along the corridor make it difficult to walk through. INT. SYLVIE’S SPARE ROOM - DAY Molly scans the boxes of her belongings piled high to the ceiling with dismantled furniture leant against the wall. She takes off her clothes and starts rummaging through the boxes in her underwear. She pulls out different items from her old home thoughtfully: a children’s cuddly toy, a jewellery box and a family photo frame of her and the kids on a camping holiday with an engraving that says “home is where mum is”. She kisses the photo and puts the frame up on the side. INT. SYLVIE’S LIVING ROOM. Molly walks in as Charlene Davis - Stealing Love bellows out. SYLVIE (50’s) is at the front of the room, dabbing her eyes with a hanky and singing the words to an over-sized photo of Rodney resting on an easel. Bottles of Wray and Nephew lined up as a shrine. Mourners sit facing him, bopping their heads and swigging from bottles. Sylvie begins to wobble as if overwhelmed by emotion or the drink, almost spilling her glass. MOLLY Sit there mum. Sylvie opens her eyes suddenly. SYLVIE Oh, sorry darling. Didn’t see ya there. Was just having a little drink with me husband. She turns and lifts the glass to toast the photo. The crowd quickly join in raising a glass. SYLVIE (CONT'D) Want a drink darling? Little drink? Winston, do you want a drink? (MORE) 23.
  25. 25. P O S Y S T E R L I N G SYLVIE (CONT'D) 24. I can make you a sandwich if ya like? It won’t take me a minute. She picks up bottles but her hands are shaking so much they clink together. SYLVIE (CONT'D) (To the crowd) I’m nuts aren’t I? Bloody nuts. Molly jumps up and takes the bottle from her. MOLLY Sit there. Sylvie sits in a floral armchair with leopard print cushions holding Rodney’s West Ham shirt and lights up a cigarette. Molly pours herself a large brandy and sits on the arm of the chair trying not to make eye contact with anyone. SYLVIE I do miss him. She begins to cry and dabs her tears with the football shirt. INT. LIFT - DAY Everyone piles into the lift holding the arrangements. A Guinness and “Rodney” balance above their heads whilst their faces squash against the mirrored walls. The lift dings and the doors open. EXT. BLACK LION PUB CARPARK/SEAFOOD STALL - NIGHT In the carpark beside the seafood stall, Molly and her cousin SHAMARA share a cigarette. SHAMARA (In a Birmingham accent) You staying with your mum then? MOLLY Nah. I’ve got too much going on to deal with her and all. SHAMARA What about ya mates? Shamara passes the cigarette to Molly. SYLVIE (CONT'D) 24.
  26. 26. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 25. MOLLY Nah, lost touch over the years. Anyway, I ain’t a charity case. SHAMARA We did try and get them up with us but they would have had to move schools and I thought you wouldn’t have wanted that for Ava. She’s doing so well. MOLLY I know she is. Molly takes a drag on the cigarette and downs her wine. SHAMARA Can I do anything to help? MOLLY Could ya chuck a bit of money behind the bar? Don’t tell mum, she’d die if she found out I was asking ya for money. She’s too proud that woman. SHAMARA I know someone else like that. INT. BLACK LION PUB- NIGHT In Paradise - Johnny Clarke, Pat Kelly and Hortense Ellis is playing on the speakers. A wooden panelled room with a disco ball that’s seen better days. The camera pans along as everyone is hugging, dancing or tapping their feet in a melting pot of Cockney and Caribbean culture. Sylvie and Molly sip their drinks at the same time. SYLVIE Have you had a gherkin Dave? I asked for extras cause I know everyone loves a gherkin at a funeral. A beat. SYLVIE (CONT'D) I wish my Rodney was here. He woulda loved this. 25.
  27. 27. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 26. She dabs a tear with her napkin. Sylvie stands up and wobbles over to the iPad. SYLVIE (CONT'D) (To Molly) Can we put a song on? She gestures for Molly to stand. Downing her drink, she just about makes it towards her mum. The sound of Love Letters- Ketty Lester echoes through the pub. They drunkenly dance in the middle of the room, everyone smiling. MOLLY He woulda loved this mum. SYLVIE My lollipop. INT. SYLVIE’S KITCHEN- DAY Molly’s hair is in a towel and her fingers are pruned as she ashes into an ashtray. Half eaten smiley faces sit on a plate in front of her. SYLVIE Cor, I remember having two glasses of white wine and a brandy, and then I can’t remember the rest. I do remember eating a lot of gherkins though, so it must have been them. A beat. SYLVIE (CONT'D) I know you don’t like me at the moment darling but you know you can sleep here and I don’t even have to look at ya. MOLLY I’m fine. SYLVIE I didn’t do it on purpose lolly. I love them kids more than anything. MOLLY I don’t wanna know mum. 26.
  28. 28. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 27. SYLVIE It was a very confusing time for my Rodney cause his dementia was getting bad whilst you were in... you know,(she mimes the word prison) and then I had all your house to pack up on me own, and the kids were playing up cause they was missing ya and I was a bit stressed darling. MOLLY I don’t wanna talk about it mum. SYLVIE You didn’t want to hear it on the phone, you were so wild at me, thinking I’d chosen Rodney over them. I don’t even like leaving the house anymore cause I feel like everyone’s talking about me. I know they’re all saying I’m a bad mother. MOLLY I said I don’t wanna know. SYLVIE You know I grew up in care myself and all I wanted was a better... She starts to choke on her words. MOLLY That’s enough. Drink your tea. Molly lights up a cigarette and passes it over to Sylvie while she catches her breath. Molly lights up a cigarette for herself. INT. SOCIAL SERVICES - DAY TAMARA Molly, we’ve taken everything into consideration and we believe it’s in the best interest of the children to keep them in foster care for now but this of course will be kept under review. MOLLY What dya mean? 27.
  29. 29. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 28. TAMARA Well, we want to ensure they have somewhere suitable to live before they face any more disruption, which I think is fair, don’t you? MOLLY You’re holding my children hostage, what sounds fair about that? I’m their mum and I’m not allowed to look after them because I’ve got no money, but you’ll actually pay someone else to look after them for me. TAMARA Your children have had to cope with a lot Molly. MOLLY I know they have but that’s why they need to be with their mum. Can’t you speak to the housing officer and put in a good word? TAMARA We’re different departments. We can arrange visitation in a contact centre for two days time. You’ll get two hours, twice a week. MOLLY You’ve lost it. TAMARA If all goes well, we can do something fun like go to the park. MOLLY What do you mean if all goes well? Am I being tested? TAMARA No, no. Molly, surely you understand we can’t send them home with you if you haven’t got one to go to? EXT. MOLLY’S TENT - NIGHT Molly is putting her tent up in the dark. She’s getting more and more frustrated as parts fall down. 28.
  30. 30. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 29. She grunts and punches the tent. In exhaustion, she falls face down and lays there, still. INT. CAFE - DAY Molly is charging her phone. It rings. MOLLY Wow Leo you sound like you’re having a lot of fun. That’s kind of her. Sheila bought you all those presents did she? Leo? I’m on the phone to you. Don’t be rude. Oh there you are. Guess what baby? Mummy’s gonna bring you so many presents tomorrow when I see ya. Are you excited? INT. CONTACT CENTRE - DAY It’s an unnatural space. No windows, broken multicoloured toys and an assortment of furniture. Molly sits awkwardly on the sofa with two old-looking plastic bags waiting for the kids to come in. Her hand is on her heart trying to steady her breath. AVA (11) and LEO (4) creep around the door, followed by HILDA (60’s) carrying a clipboard. They run towards her. Molly’s eyes are watering. Her arms are outstretched. When they finally reach her, she bursts into tears. MOLLY I’ve missed you so much. I’ve missed you so so much. Ava looks at her mum and with more wisdom, kisses her on the forehead. AVA It’s alright mum. Molly smiles through the tears. MOLLY I know baby. She runs her hand over Ava’s neatly braided hair. She looks over to Leo’s hair too. MOLLY (CONT'D) Who did your hair then, Sheila? 29.
  31. 31. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 30. AVA Yeah, she can do braids and stuff. MOLLY I don’t like it. It’s too grown up. Ava looks up at her mum a comforting smile and grabs her hand to soothe her insecurities. Molly takes a breath and releases a smile. MOLLY (CONT'D) I mean, you always look beautiful. AVA She’s teaching me how to cook. MOLLY I can cook. AVA I know you can. LEO (Lifting up a shopping bag) What’s in here mum? Is it for us? Molly nods and smiles. Leo pulls out red secondhand tap shoes looking slightly unimpressed. MOLLY Do you like them? They’re your favourite colour baby. LEO (Sounding unsure) Yeah. MOLLY Sorry, I know they’re not brand new but... AVA Come on Leo. Put em on and give us a twirl. She sits Leo on her lap and puts on the shoes. Molly looks for reassurance. He jumps down and starts tapping. AVA (CONT'D) Wow, they look so cool Leo. LEO Do they? 30.
  32. 32. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 31. MOLLY So handsome. Molly looks at Ava, smiling proudly. MOLLY (CONT'D) My little genius. She turns to Hilda. MOLLY (CONT'D) She’s gonna be the first one in our family to go to University. She’s gonna be a scientist. I don’t know where she gets it from. She puts him on her lap and he clicks his feet together. MOLLY (CONT'D) And this is our very own Fred Astaire. He’s gonna be famous. A drama queen like his mother. AVA He wants to be a vet now mum. MOLLY A vet? He gives a big smile and nods coyly. MOLLY (CONT'D) He starts big school this year. A beat. AVA Are we coming back with you mum? MOLLY I wish you was. Just a couple more sleepovers at Sheila’s then you can. AVA I thought we were coming home today. Leo leans forward to whisper in his mum’s ear. LEO Sheila got us more presents than you. 31.
  33. 33. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 32. Ava hits him gently. AVA Leo, don’t say that to mummy. It’s rude. LEO Noooo. I like these the best. I do. He jumps down and stamps, stamps, stamps around the broken toys as Hilda smiles warmly. LEO (CONT'D) See? AVA You won’t leave us again will you? MOLLY Course I wont. We’re going back to normal, how we were, okay? AVA I mean you won’t go back to prison will you mum? MOLLY No Ava. I’m never going back there. She pulls Ava in close. Molly becomes very aware of Hilda making notes in the corner of the room. MOLLY (CONT'D) What are you writing? HILDA Just a few notes dear, just so Tamara knows how you all got on. Molly’s eyes keep flicking to the scribbles on Hilda’s notepad. Ava can tell she’s stressed. She squeezes Molly’s hand reassuringly. Molly peels her eyes away from the notepad and smiles. EXT. CONTACT CENTRE - DAY By the car, outside the contact centre, Sheila’s in the front seat. Molly is carrying Leo. MOLLY Not long now, I promise. Gimme a squeeze. 32.
  34. 34. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 33. They all hug tightly. She tries to put Leo down but he starts clinging to her. MOLLY (CONT'D) Come on baby, you’ve gotta get in the car now. LEO But I don’t wanna go. Why do I have to go? MOLLY Just a few more sleepovers and then you’re coming home with me okay? Molly starts to peel his arms off even though it goes against every bone in her body. MOLLY (CONT'D) Please baby. Please. Just get down. I’m sorry, I want you to stay with me too... LEO Please mum. Please. I don’t wanna go. Don’t make me go. Leo starts sobbing. Molly is torn because she doesn’t want him to go either but she can see Hilda watching through the window. She tries to put Leo in the car but he clings on even tighter. MOLLY Leo stop it now. That’s enough. Get in the car. Everyone’s watching. Molly is getting more and more stressed. Leo is screaming. Ava walks over to him and strokes his head in a motherly way. AVA Come on Leo, give me a cuddle. Shall we get some ice cream? Leo slides over to Ava’s arms and burrows into her neck. Ava sits back in the car holding Leo and slides him along as he is snivelling. Molly stands there helpless. MOLLY Put your seatbelt on please baby. Ava, put his belt on. Molly is reluctant to shut the door but forces herself. 33.
  35. 35. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 34. MOLLY (CONT'D) I love ya. SHEILA Come on Leo, let’s put your favourite song on. Okay, say bye to mum. She waves at the kids with a smile through the car window as they drive off. As the car clears the road, her face changes and she drops forward with her hands on her thighs like she’s been punched in the gut. A beat. She controls herself with deep breathing before standing up to reclaim her composure. She wipes an escaped tear quickly from her face and stops a woman walking in the other direction, smoking. MOLLY Sorry babe, I’ve just left my bag on the bus and I’m a bit stressed. Got a fag I could borrow? WOMAN WITH A FAG 2 Course babe. Do you wanna borrow my phone? MOLLY I’m fine angel. Thank you though. She takes a meditative puff and looks up to the sky. INT. HOUSING OFFICE - DAY Either side of the glass again. HOUSING OFFICER 2 I’m sorry darling, it’s just without your children when you make the application, you’re considered a single woman and therefore are only entitled to a one bedroom flat. MOLLY This is fucked. I told ya I can’t get them back until I have somewhere to live but you’re telling me I can’t get somewhere for us to live until I get them back. So what the fuck do I do now? 34.
  36. 36. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 35. EXT. HIGH STREET -DAY Molly is marching down the high street trying to light a fag. She’s shaking it and clicking it and shaking it and clicking it but it won’t light. She throws it against the wall in frustration. In front of her, Amina is walking out of a shop. MOLLY Mina. Amina continues to walk down the road. MOLLY (CONT'D) Amina! AMINA Leave it Molly. She continues to walk and Molly looks confused. MOLLY I was gonna give you my number in case you need any extra help with the kids. I’m looking for work. AMINA Na, I’m good. MOLLY What dya mean you’re good? AMINA Just leave it Molly, I don’t wanna argue with ya. She begins to walk off. MOLLY What you on about? Argue bout what? Amina stops. AMINA Why didn’t you tell me you’d just come out of prison before I let you take care of ma kids? Molly is devastated. AMINA (CONT'D) And I gave you the keys to my yard. 35.
  37. 37. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 36. MOLLY What you tryna say? Amina shakes her head, trying to hold in her anger. MOLLY (CONT'D) Go on then. Say it. Fucking say it. Amina begins to walk off. MOLLY (CONT'D) Stop walking away. Just say it. AMINA Well anything coulda happened. You lied to me Molly and I swear if anything happened to my kids... MOLLY I’m a mum too ya know. All that’s come out of your mouth since I met ya’s been lies. AMINA What? MOLLY Well where’s your fucking husband for a start? AMINA What dya mean? MOLLY He doesn’t live with you. And you get your kids to lie about it. AMINA I don’t have time for this. Stay away from me. MOLLY You’re a fucking hypocrite man and you know it! AMINA Yeah, well them kids are better off without ya. Molly lets out a loud, outrageous scream like she’s been stabbed through the heart. She turns around and kicks a bin. 36.
  38. 38. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 37. INT. SYLVIE'S KITCHEN - NIGHT Molly pours brandy into a mug and downs it. And another. She puts the kettle on. And downs another. She opens a packet of crisps and downs another. CU of Molly aggressively squishing crisps down into buttered white bread. SYLVIE (From the other room) You hungry darling? You not eaten? MOLLY Had a lot on. She opens the cupboard for the teabags. They’re empty. INT. SYLVIE'S LOUNGE - DAY Sylvie is sitting on the sofa in Rodney’s dressing gown doing scratch cards with her fingers crossed and watching Flog It. Molly walks into the lounge. MOLLY Shall we go shops? SYLVIE Not today darling. MOLLY Come on, we’ll have a little walk to Rashid’s. SYLVIE I’ve got plenty in. Stop fussing. A beat. MOLLY Mum, they’ve said I can take them to the park. I need you to come with me. SYLVIE I can’t darling. Molly lights up a cigarette and takes a long drag to calm her nerves. 37.
  39. 39. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 38. MOLLY Please mum. I gotta show them we’re a normal family. SYLVIE That’s all I need, neighbours seeing me out with the social. They’re all talking about me. MOLLY Please. SYLVIE Stop going on. Sylvie gets up and walks out in protest. EXT. HAPPY NEWS AGENTS - DAY Molly is puffing on a cigarette outside of the shop. She looks over the road and sees the kids walking towards her. She quickly puts the cigarette out and starts walk-running towards them. The kids run to her. She’s laughing and crying. She bends down to hug them. They make squeezing noises as NINA catches up. Sylvie’s voice is heard from beyond Molly. SYLVIE You got one for ya nan then? They smile and run towards Sylvie. Molly looks round to smile at her. She’s wearing dark sunglasses and an over-sized hat. LEO Why have you got your sunglasses on nanny? MOLLY She’s in disguise. Molly is so excited to see the kids, she forgets Sylvie, frozen and shaking. Molly goes back to link her arm checking to make sure Nina hasn’t clocked. Each step feels like a marathon. They walk across the road. SYLVIE I’ll wait here darling. She lights a fag with a shakey hand whilst clutching at the railing. 38.
  40. 40. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 39. EXT. ABBEY ROAD PARK - DAY MOLLY Wave to nanny. Sylvie waves at the kids through the railings. It’s their first moment of normality. Leo and Molly are giggling pushing Ava on the roundabout. Nina is taking a big sip of her drink not really paying attention. MOLLY (CONT'D) Where’s Hilda today then? NINA Hip replacement. Nina takes another big sip of her drink and walks off to take a call. LEO Watch me mummy. Look at me push it. MOLLY Wow, look at you! Suddenly, a dog comes running over, barking. Leo starts screaming hysterically. Molly runs over to pick him up away from the dog. She throws Leo to Ava and grabs the dog by the collar. MOLLY (CONT'D) Get your dog away from him man. Why isn’t he on a lead? Ava tries to calm Leo down. MOLLY (CONT'D) Are you fucking dumb? Get your dog away. Nina looks shocked and unsure of what to do. The owner runs over and puts his dog on a lead. Leo is wrapped around Ava like a koala bear. DOG OWNER I’m so sorry. He’s never done that before. Sorry little one, you okay? MOLLY (To the dog owner) Move! 39.
  41. 41. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 40. MOLLY (CONT'D) Calm down baby. I’ve got you. I won’t let anything happen to you. Leo is still hysterically crying and hyperventilating. Molly takes him from Ava. Nina is watching. MOLLY (CONT'D) Baby you’ve got to breathe. NINA Are you okay Leo? The dog’s gone now. He’s chocking and spluttering. MOLLY (To Ava) He won’t breathe. AVA Come on Leo, it’s okay. Deep breaths. Molly stands him on the bench in front of her. MOLLY (Shouting) Leo, listen to me. You’ve got to breathe. She bangs him on his back and he begins to slow down and breathe. She quickly pulls him in for a cuddle. A beat. MOLLY (CONT'D) You’re not scared of dogs baby? He doesn’t respond. He’s just nuzzled into her chest snivelling. Ava looks over to Nina. MOLLY (CONT'D) What Ava? Tell me. AVA (Reluctantly) He was scared of the sniffer dogs when we used to come see you. Molly’s heart is heavy with guilt. She kisses his head. 40.
  42. 42. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 41. MOLLY Oh baby, I’m so sorry. I won’t let anything happen to you, I promise. Nina pulls out a notepad from her bag and writes on it. Ava is stroking his hair. She looks over to a nervous but determined Sylvie making her way to them. AVA You did it nanny. Molly smiles. SYLVIE (To Leo) I had to come see my boy didn’t I? She strokes his cheek. SYLVIE (CONT'D) (Panting) You okay darling? Molly kisses him again all over his cheeks and sees Nina writing on her notebook. MOLLY Why is everyone always writing notes about me? Can you just do it when you’re gone please? Nina ignores her and continues to scribble. MOLLY (CONT'D) Can you wait and write on it after? Nina doesn’t respond and carries on writing. MOLLY (CONT'D) Please can you stop. Nina doesn’t stop. Molly snaps. MOLLY (CONT'D) Stop writing notes about me. What’s your fucking problem? Ava grabs her mum by the hand. She shakes her head and smiles as if to reassure her mum. NINA I wouldn’t speak to me like that if I was you. 41.
  43. 43. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 42. SYLVIE Well I’d think about getting some manners then darling. Can’t you see she’s doing her best? Molly looks slightly taken back by the support. SYLVIE (CONT'D) We wouldn’t be here if you lot had done what you said you were gonna do. MOLLY Yeah well we wouldn’t be here if you’d done what you said you were gonna do. Nina starts to put her bag away quickly. NINA Get ready to go please. I need to use the bathroom. AVA I don’t want to go back to Sheila’s tonight. SYLVIE I only live up there, you can use me toilet if you like. MOLLY I know baby. Just a few more sleepovers. AVA I don’t understand. You promised only a few more sleepovers last time. When can we come home mum? Ava looks up at her mum with watery eyes trying not to cry. One escapes and she pushes it back in the corner just like her mother does. Molly’s heart breaks all over again. MOLLY I don’t know what to say baby. MOLLY (CONT'D) Come on Leo, lets do your coat up. SYLVIE You coming up darling? 42.
  44. 44. P O S Y S T E R L I N G (MORE) 43. NINA No, thank you. I’m not allowed. SYLVIE Not allowed? To go to the toilet? That’s ridiculous darling. It’s only up there, you won’t be a minute. MOLLY Why can’t they stay with me? Maybe we could all stay at my mums? NINA You’ll have to speak to your social worker about that. Nothing to do with me. How many rooms is it? SYLVIE Two. NINA Overcrowding. Put your bag on Ava. LEO Mum can I have five minutes on the swings? Please. Can you push me mum? Right up to the sky. Nina looks flustered and overwhelmed by all the questions and the need for the wee. MOLLY You sure you don’t wanna just use my mum’s toilet? It’s only up there. She’ll take ya. LEO Mum? MOLLY Yes Leo? NINA How far is it? LEO Please can we have five more minutes, please? SYLVIE Just up there darling. Come on, I’m going up anyway. (MORE) 43.
  45. 45. P O S Y S T E R L I N G SYLVIE (CONT'D) 44. Give ya nanny a cuddle. I’ll see ya next week. Be good. The kids give her a big cuddle from each side. Nina is looking more and more desperate. MOLLY Can he have five more minutes on the swings? Nina looks confused. NINA Erm, alright. Five more minutes whilst I quickly use the loo and then we’re going. It’s dinner time and Sheila will be waiting. MOLLY Mustn’t be late for Sheila. LEO Yay! Nina smiles at Leo and follows Sylvie up the path to her block. Molly puts Leo on the swing and starts pushing him. She’s watching them walk away intently. Ava notices her mother’s intensity. Leo is smiling and laughing on the swing. Ava looks very unsure. Molly’s eyes keep flicking over to Nina and Sylvie. AVA You alright mum? MOLLY Yeah, fine. Her eyes flick back to Nina and Sylvie who have walked into the building. Molly quickly grabs Leo off the swing and picks up his bag. MOLLY (CONT'D) Come on babies. AVA What you doing? MOLLY Not having these people controlling my life. Get your bag. SYLVIE (CONT'D) 44.
  46. 46. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 45. AVA Where we going mum? MOLLY Hurry up. Molly starts running and Ava has no choice but to follow. Molly is in survival mode. She grabs her tent and sleeping bag from behind the bushes and flings it over her arm. She pulls Ava’s hand with her spare one. She gets to the gate of the park and looks right then left trying to think on her feet. AVA We’ve got no money. MOLLY I’ve got about two hundred quid on me card that I was saving for emergencies. And I’ve got eleven pound in me purse. That’ll do us till I can work something out. Anything’s better than this Ava. LEO What about Sheila? MOLLY I don’t wanna hear another word about Sheila thanks. Molly is alive with adrenalin. She sees a black cab drive past and hails it down. She piles the kids into the cab. INT. BUS STATION - DAY A busy bus station is filled with people. Puzzled passengers run from queue to queue as mixed instructions come over the speaker. Molly is in one queue, squinting up at the big screens trying to figure out where to go. She quickly turns around to see where Leo is. MOLLY Have you got him? Put your hoods up please. AVA Yeah I’ve got him. We’ve not got any clothes mum. 45.
  47. 47. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 46. MOLLY You’ve both got your P.E. kits and I’ll buy you lots of clothes when we get there. Gimme your phone please baby. AVA What? Why? MOLLY Just gimme your phone. AVA No. It’s mine. I need it. MOLLY Give me your phone. Now. Nina’s gonna be looking for us. AVA Mum, I’m really not sure this is a good idea. Ava reluctantly gives Molly the phone. Molly switches both their phones off and takes the batteries out. INT. BUS STATION - DAY She scrambles for money from her purse. She pulls out a bank card. She kisses it and crosses her fingers as she holds it. MOLLY Can I pay on card please? Hold your sister’s hand. The card goes through. MOLLY (CONT'D) Yessssss. The cashier is printing off the tickets. Molly is full of nervous energy. CASHIER You need to wait at Gate Eight. They’ll start loading you on from there. MOLLY Thanks. Molly grabs Ava’s hand who is holding on to Leo’s hand and they move through the crowd like a snake. 46.
  48. 48. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 47. AVA Mum, where are we going? MOLLY Shh, please Ava. AVA Where are we going though mum? Mum? MOLLY What? Molly looks stressed, desperately searching for the gate and trying to watch Leo. MOLLY (CONT'D) That’s it. Over there. She pushes through the crowd and join a queue. It’s moving down as tickets are checked and people are let onto the bus. Molly’s looking at her watch, agitated. Ava is lagging behind. She’s shaking her head but trying not to give the game away. AVA (Whispers)What if we get into trouble? I don’t want you going back in there. MOLLY (Under her breath) Ava, I won’t get into trouble. I’m your mum. Just get on the bus and stop making a fuss. Ava’s eyes are filling with water. AVA (Under her breath)I don’t wanna go. MOLLY (Under her breath) Ava, please. Just hurry up and get on the fucking bus. LEO What’s wrong Ava? Why are you crying? MOLLY (Under her breath) Don’t cry, you’re scaring your brother. 47.
  49. 49. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 48. TICKET INSPECTOR (Through a mega phone) Can you have your tickets ready please? The man is calling for everyone to board the bus. MOLLY Ava could you get on the bus please baby. Ava doesn’t move. She’s just staring at Molly, shaking her head slowly. Molly is getting more and more anxious, looking around. A baby starts crying. MOLLY (CONT'D) (Under her breath) Not in front of your brother. Molly pulls Leo to the side to let passengers through. MOLLY (CONT'D) Sing Twinkle Twinkle please baby so I know where you are. Leo starts singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Molly turns and grabs Ava by the hand and pulls her to the side. MOLLY (CONT'D) (Whispering) We’re gonna be fine, I promise. It’s just us three again. They’re gonna forget about us after a while okay? Molly puts her hand lovingly around her face and strokes her head. Molly’s eyes are full of tears. She looks in Ava’s eyes for her approval. MOLLY (CONT'D) Trust me baby, I’m your mum. Ava is reluctant but can see her mother’s desperation. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she nods. Molly kisses her on the head. Leo is still singing Twinkle Twinkle to himself. They run onto the coach. INT. COACH - DAY Leo and Molly are asleep on each other whilst Ava looks out at the changing landscape. 48.
  50. 50. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 49. EXT. LAKE DISTRICT - MORNING A dewey tent surrounded by rolling hills glistens in the morning sun. The zip slowly moves up and Leo’s face pops out in awe at his surroundings. LEO Wowwwww!! He jumps out. Ava and Molly climb out after him beaming. It’s pure. MOLLY (Screaming into the air like a wolf) Wooooooooo!! LEO Woooooooo! Ava smiles. LEO (CONT'D) Come on Ava! AVA Awoooooooooooo!! They all laugh. MOLLY I used to go camping with ya grandad all the time. LEO Rodney? MOLLY No, my dad. He died when I was Ava’s age. Leo runs around. MOLLY (CONT'D) We’ll just stay here for a bit until things blow over. Ava nods and smiles. EXT. LAKE DISTRICT - DAY Poetic montage of shots of the family looking small against nature, searching for insects, walking to the lake, climbing trees twisting branches, running after a butterfly. 49.
  51. 51. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 50. EXT. TENT - NIGHT The fire is crackling in front of the tent and their faces glow orange. They share packets of sandwiches and toast marshmallows on sticks. It’s warm and loving. EXT. TENT - MORNING Leo is standing on the grass in his pants, running on the spot to keep warm. Molly is rubbing him down with a wet wipe. JUMP CUT TO: Ava is inside the tent getting her socks on. Leo crawls inside and she grabs him for a cuddle to warm him up. JUMP CUT TO: Molly stands stretching with her arms up the sky. She looks up to the mountains and breathes out deeply. INT. FISH AND CHIP SHOP - DAY Ava is shaking salt on her chips. Molly is cutting up Leo’s battered sausage. MOLLY Vegetables tomorrow. Have you got any homework Ava? AVA Am I going back to school then? MOLLY Course. You’re gonna be the first one in our family to go to University remember? LEO What about tap dancing classes? MOLLY Yep, they do them here too. We’re gonna get you both into a really good school and we can start again. Molly eats one of Ava’s chips. 50.
  52. 52. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 51. MOLLY (CONT'D) No one knows anything about us. We can say we’ve been living in Spain the last ten years training dolphins or travelling the world with the world’s greatest tap dancer under five? Or developing space travel to Jupiter for NASA? AVA Will I see my friends again? MOLLY Yeah, just maybe not yet. I bet you’ll make lots of new ones here. AVA But they won’t even know my real name. It’ll be weird. And I don’t have my phone. MOLLY Do you have to be so negative all the time? We’re together aren’t we? Leo passes a chip to Ava. Ava smiles and nods. INT. CUMBRIA LIBRARY - DAY Molly’s new library card is on the desk with her name “SHAUNA PAUL”. MOLLY Alright, settle down please. Until you start school, you are students at the School of Mum. It’s very prestigious and I have to say, some of the best teaching in the world. Ava and Leo giggle. She hands out books to Ava and Leo. INT. CUMBRIA LIBRARY - DAY Molly is sitting on a computer with a list beside her. Written in bubble writing it says school, job, clothes, housing. There are ticks next to job and school. She’s smiling as she scrolls. 51.
  53. 53. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 52. INT. CUMBRIA TENT - EVENING. Molly and the kids lie under a pile of coats and her sleeping bag. They look happy. LEO Mum is it true that when you’re a vet you have to put your hand up a cows bum? MOLLY What? Where did you get that from? AVA I told him that if he wants to be a vet he’ll have to stick his hand up a cow’s bum. LEO Will I then mum? Have to? MOLLY Well yeah, probably. AVA Told you. MOLLY You can wear gloves and put a peg on your nose though. Leo thinks for a while. LEO I think I’m going to be a tap dancer actually. I’m very good. MOLLY You are baby. Leo looks pleased. Ava is starting to drift off. MOLLY (CONT'D) I’m sorry. AVA For what? MOLLY For everything. AVA We’re okay now mum. 52.
  54. 54. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 53. EXT. CUMBRIA STREET - DAY Molly folds a letter and puts it in an envelope with two scratch cards. She licks the envelope. MOLLY (Calling to a driver inside a white van) Mate, can you do me a favour and post this in the next town you’re going to? Here’s a drink for your troubles. She passes him five pounds. VAN DRIVER What, you on the run? MOLLY (Picking up Leo) Yeah. You won’t tell the police our whereabouts will ya? He’s one of America’s most wanted. VAN DRIVER Secret’s safe with me little man. Ava looks up at her mum in awe. EXT. PUB - NIGHT A small pub with a love triangle playing out on the karaoke. A disco ball flickers and sandwiches curl up on the bar. Molly and Ava in sequins sit with Leo on their lap sipping a juice through a straw. DJ Thanks Gary for that very emotional rendition of I Will Always Love You. AVA Come on mum, you’re next. MOLLY I’m not going up there. AVA Please mum, you’ve got such a nice voice. LEO Please mum! 53.
  55. 55. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 54. DJ Next we have the gorgeous Geraldine with Like A Virgin. Seventy five year old Geraldine squeezes through the tables. MOLLY Only if you do it with me. LEO (Shyly) Okay. MOLLY Okay? Ava runs up to the bar, fills out a form and brings an extra large glass of wine for Molly back to the table. AVA Now will ya? INT. STAGE - NIGHT DJ Can we have Lolly, Ada and Lionel to the front please? Molly, Ava and Leo search the crowd for supportive faces. DJ (CONT'D) I love this one. Leo looks nervous so Molly picks him up in one arm. The intro kicks in and they wiggle to the beat. Ava and Molly sing the verse of Angels by Robbie Williams. With new found confidence, Leo throws his head back with his eyes closed just in time for the chorus. They’re hugging and singing at the top of their lungs. EXT. COBBLED STREETS - NIGHT They’re all looking up at the stars as they walk back. MOLLY You know I wished on the stars every night we’d be back together. LEO It worked mum. Molly looks at her children together and feels whole. 54.
  56. 56. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 55. INT. SUPERMARKET IN CUMBRIA - DAY Ava and Leo are running up ahead in multicoloured over-sized sunglasses playing with vegetables. Molly is walking along pushing the trolley. LEO Mum, mum look. She smiles at the kids as Leo holds oranges on his eyes and Ava puts a banana across his mouth like a smile. Molly turns to look at the carrots and feels something cold. She looks down. A large pale hand is wrapped around her wrist. She breathes in and turns round to see two plain clothed police officers behind her. POLICE OFFICER ONE We don’t want to make a scene Ms Brown. Please don’t make it any more traumatising than it already is. Molly looks up to the kids who are still playing with the vegetables. Molly grips onto the trolley as they start to pull her arms away. POLICE OFFICER TWO Come on love. Let go of the trolley. Molly sees a social worker march towards the kids and lets out a gut-wrenching scream. The kids look panicked and start to fight off the social worker. They run towards their mum. AVA Mum! Mum! No! Where are they taking you? Mum don’t go back in there. Please don’t take her back in there. Ava starts kicking and hitting the police officer. Leo is hysterically crying with the giant sunglasses on. Molly grabs Ava and pulls her into her chest tightly. The social worker picks up Leo from behind and Molly lets out another scream. MOLLY Let go of him. Please don’t take my baby. Leo!! Please don’t take my baby. LEO Mum, mum! Help me! 55.
  57. 57. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 56. Ava runs after her brother and grabs him from the social worker full of adrenalin. She hits her and pushes her away. AVA Get the fuck off him. Don’t you dare touch my baby brother. MOLLY Please we haven’t done anything wrong. Ava listen to me, I’m not going anywhere okay? I haven’t committed a crime. I’m your mum. I’m their mum. Why can’t you just leave us alone? A crowd of concerned shoppers are gathering. The manager walks over. MANAGER Are you okay madam? Molly begins to hyperventilate. Ava grabs Molly’s hand. AVA (Crying but trying to reassure her mother) It’s okay mum. It’s okay. Breathe. Breathe. MOLLY Please I just want my life back. I haven’t done anything wrong. Please don’t take my babies away from me. EXT. SUPERMARKET CARPARK - DAY. Molly is in excruciating pain as she’s held up by officers and watches Ava and Leo in the back of the car drive away. They bang at the window. Molly can’t catch her breath. INT. SOCIAL SERVICES - DAY. Molly is lying on her arms on the table, too fragile to sit up. Her eyes are red and puffy. Her mouth is dry, her throat is hoarse. DEE Because of the abduction, we believe the children are at risk and we are therefore going to begin care proceedings. 56.
  58. 58. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 57. She sits up suddenly. MOLLY What does that mean? DEE It means we are going to make an application to the Court for Ava and Leo to remain in foster care whilst they make a final decision about whether they should be returned to you or whether it is better for them to remain in foster care permanently. Molly starts to panic. MOLLY What? How are you allowed to do this? I can’t breathe. Please. Help me! You can’t take my kids away from me. Can you? Please. I can’t breathe. She can’t catch her breath like she’s having a panic attack. DEE You need to calm yourself down because this sort of behaviour concerns us. MOLLY How would you like me to fucking act then Dee? DEE You need to act in the best interest of your children Molly which you haven’t so far. Domestic violence, prison.... MOLLY ...I finished with Ava’s dad before she was born and you know it, that’s bullshit. DEE ....homelessness, abduction, poor mental health. The children’s wellbeing is our upmost priority and they’re suffering Molly. 57.
  59. 59. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 58. MOLLY Please, I’ve done my time, don’t punish me for the rest of my life. DEE You’re not our concern Molly. They are. MOLLY But they want to be with their mum. DEE That is one thing you do have on your side. The children will work with a Guardian who will speak on their behalf in the courts and at the moment they’re very adamant about returning to you. You have twenty six weeks to turn this around whilst we look for permanent placements for Ava and Leo. Do better. MOLLY How did you find me? POLICE OFFICER ONE You’re lucky we did. Haven’t you got probation this week? Miss that and you’re back inside. Dee is shaking her head disapprovingly. MOLLY I didn’t think you’d find me. POLICE OFFICER TWO There was a serial code on the scratch card you sent ya mum. DEE Here’s some numbers for a legal aid lawyer. We suggest you get in touch as soon as possible because it’s a difficult system to navigate. INT. SYLVIA’S DOOR - EVENING Molly bangs on the door. Sylvie opens it in her dressing gown. She’s paralytic but trying to hide it. SYLVIE I thought you were dead. 58.
  60. 60. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 59. Molly barges past her into the hallway. MOLLY For fuck sake, you’re not starting all this again mum. She grabs Sylvie’s arm viciously and moves her into the lounge. SYLVIE Don’t walk fast. Me head’s gone. INT. SYLVIE’S LOUNGE - EVENING There’s most of a brandy bottle finished on the side. Sylvie plonks down on a chair. SYLVIE I didn’t know what had happened to ya darling. I was worried about ya. MOLLY You gave me up to the fucking police. Just when I thought you couldn’t get any worse after handing my children over to social services, you call the fucking police on me. I can’t deal with you anymore. You ruin fucking everything. I’m done. That’s it. Sylvie stops and steadies herself. Molly hopes it’s remorse but it’s a burp. SYLVIE Don’t shout at me darling. I’ve had a lot on. Molly pours the rest of the bottle into a glass and holds it up to her mums mouth. MOLLY Drink it then. You wanted a drink, so fucking drink it. Molly holds her head and pushes the glass into Sylvie’s mouth so hard it makes an ident. Sylvie’s squirming. She succumbs and opens her mouth. Molly tips it all down the back of her throat and then walks out the room. 59.
  61. 61. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 60. INT. SYLVIE’S BATHROOM - NIGHT Molly stands in the shower, trying to lose herself in the water. She begins to hear Rod Stewart - Sailing billowing through the cracks in the door. As she switches off the shower, wraps herself in a towel and opens the door, the sound floods the bathroom. INT. SYLVIE’S LOUNGE - EVENING Molly runs through the door in her towel. SYLVIE (Singing)I am flying, passing high clouds, to be with you, to be free. Sylvie is holding her brandy glass up to the sky with her eyes closed singing at the top of her voice. Molly runs to turn the music down. MOLLY What are you doing mum? Please, I can’t take it anymore. Rodney never saw you like this did he. Just me, watching you come in off ya nut cause you’d had a fight so he fucked off for the weekend. Scraping you off the carpet covered in your own fucking piss. (Up to the sky) You’re gonna get a big shock now aren’t ya! SYLVIE Don’t you talk to my husband like that. I love him so much. Don’t you dare talk to my husband like that. (Shouting to the ceiling) Do you hear me Rodney? I love you so fucking much. Sylvie stumbles over to the music and turns it to full volume. Molly runs over and turns it down. MOLLY Please mum. SYLVIE I’m singing to my husband now fuck off! 60.
  62. 62. P O S Y S T E R L I N G (MORE) 61. Sylvie pushes Molly out of the way and turns it up again so much the speakers are crackling. SYLVIE (CONT'D) (Singing manically and with her arms outstretched to the sky) Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Through the dark night, far away. I am dying, forever crying, to be with you, who can say. She collapses to the ground in hysterical tears. Molly watches her. She’s numb. MOLLY He hated your fucking voice. INT. COUNCIL OFFICES - DAY Molly pushes through the glass doors of the council officers and puts her arms up in the air, surrendering. MOLLY Will someone please.fucking.help me? HOUSING OFFICER 2 Ms Brown, why don’t you take a seat? MOLLY I don’t wanna fucking sit down. HOUSING OFFICER 2 I’m sorry darling. You know we’ve been trying since you left prison but there’s nothing available. A polish nurse with her little girl overhears. NURSE Well I’ve been waiting four years for a flat. I work hard and pay my taxes so I deserve somewhere to live before a criminal. Amina walks out of the toilet to see Molly screaming. MOLLY Well at least I’m fucking English darling. (MORE) 61.
  63. 63. P O S Y S T E R L I N G MOLLY (CONT'D) 62. You all come over here expecting handouts, getting houses before we do, it’s a fucking disgrace. AMINA Oi, shut your mouth. Your family are immigrants. Now sit down. You’re embarrassing yourself. MOLLY Oh fuck off! You can all fuck off. Everyone loves fucking judging me don’t they? HOUSING OFFICER 2 I’m really sorry Molly. I don’t wanna have to say this but if you don’t calm down, I’m going to have to call the police. She falls to her knees. MOLLY No, no, please don’t call the police. They’re gonna take my babies away from me. Please. I’m a good person. I’m a good fucking person. Amina goes to the water cooler. She hands a cup to Molly who sips trying to catch her breath. AMINA What you saying that shit for? It’s disgusting. Don’t let me ever hear you say that shit again, do you understand? You don’t even believe it man. MOLLY I know. (Exhausted, she turns to the nurse) I’m so sorry. The nurse nods and hands her a pack of tissues. Molly looks up to Amina, broken. MOLLY (CONT'D) I just need some help. Amina stares at her, thinking. She lifts a limp Molly to her feet. MOLLY (CONT'D) 62.
  64. 64. P O S Y S T E R L I N G (MORE) 63. INT. AMINA'S HOSTEL - DAY Amina, now changed out of her carers uniform into her baati enters with a tray of shaah. The kids run in behind with biscuits. Molly sips the tea. She barely has the strength to lift up her cup. AMINA What you thinking about? MOLLY Nothing. AMINA Come on. MOLLY My friend, inside. MOLLY (CONT'D) She had the most biggest and beautiful bump you’ve ever seen. She was always rubbing her belly. She loved being pregnant. Every week without fail, she’d go in and ask if there was a space in the Mother and Baby unit cause there’s only ten beds in the whole place. She got so massive she could barely walk and she was in a lot of pain. I think she was about three and a half weeks late. She was in agony, shooting pains all over her belly. We thought she was gonna lose the baby. The nurse said she needed to go to the hospital but she refused. Even when her waters broke she was refusing to go. AMINA Why? MOLLY Because they hadn’t found her a bed yet and if there’s no bed, you can’t keep ya baby. Amina looks shocked. MOLLY (CONT'D) So the guards rushed into her room and handcuffed her onto a trolley. (MORE) 63.
  65. 65. P O S Y S T E R L I N G MOLLY (CONT'D) 64. It was horrible man. They were grabbing her wrists and holding her down. She was shaking and screaming that she didn’t wanna go. We saw her being wheeled out and she had her legs crossed so tight, it looked like she was gonna cut off the blood supply to her feet. She ended up in labour for thirty eight hours. They induced her, forceps, she was so tired but the baby just wouldn’t come out. He was getting more and more distressed but she wouldn’t consent to a caesarean. After thirty nine hours, she finally agreed because they told her that her baby was gonna die. Just as she was about to go down for the operation, the guard came and told her they’d found her a bed in the unit and within three minutes she’d given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Amina nods, with tears in her eyes. Molly nods back, trying not to cry. MOLLY (CONT'D) Sometimes I just don’t feel like I’ve got enough strength to be a woman. AMINA I know. I do think we’re amazing though, whatever happens, we just keep going. (She whispers so the kids don’t hear) The first night in here I was broken you know. I’d never lived on my own. I had no money, I didn’t know what to tell the kids, why their dad had left them. I just felt like I’d let everyone down. Aunty came round with some food and we were in the kitchen and she gave me the biggest hug and she said “women are like lotus flowers Amina, the thicker the mud, the more beautiful we grow”. And I think about that everyday. Molly nods with a small smile. MOLLY (CONT'D) 64.
  66. 66. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 65. Bilal is struggling with folding up a shirt from the washing basket on the bed. MOLLY Show me. Bilal walks the big basket of washing over to Molly. MOLLY (CONT'D) Look, you fold it this way first, then down like that and then pull it together. See? BILAL I think so. He starts to fold. BILAL (CONT'D) It’s too hard, I can’t do it. MOLLY You can baby. Slow down. I’m here if you need help, but I think you can do it by yourself. He starts to fold it methodically and smiles. MOLLY (CONT'D) See. I knew you could. Bilal hugs her in celebration. BILAL Can Molly stay for our party? Amina smiles softly as she notices how much her children like Molly. MOLLY What you celebrating? BILAL Nothing. MOLLY So why are you having a party? AMINA We have a party every night. (Whispers)I know it’s a bit of a madness but it helps them cope. 65.
  67. 67. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 66. LIBAN So you coming? Molly smiles and nods. Liban runs over to put a party hat on her head. She can still barely lift a smile. AMINA I can only offer you the bath with a blanket but if you wanna stay just for tonight you can. MOLLY Nah, I’m fine Mina. AMINA Well where else you gonna go? Molly shakes her head. She doesn’t have the energy to speak anymore. INT. HOSTEL BATHROOM-DAY The kids run in the bathroom to brush their teeth. They wake up Molly who’s in the bathtub covered by two blankets. The kids are fighting over the toothpaste. Molly looks a bit embarassed and gets up. Molly and the children can hear Amina shouting on the phone through an open door. MOLLY Who’s that? BILAL It’s the man we used to rent from, he won’t give mum her money back. LIBAN She calls him every week. MOLLY Why don’t she go round there? BILAL I dunno, think she’s a bit scared without dad. MOLLY Is it a lot of money? 66.
  68. 68. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 67. Bilal nods. Amina is off the phone and pops her head round the door with a smile pretending like nothing’s happened. AMINA Did you sleep alright? Come on, we’re going for a walk. I don’t wanna spend my day off in this prison. EXT. HOSTEL - DAY They walk out of the front door by a sign that says “NO BALL GAMES”. AMINA You know, Aunty’s lived in England twenty five years and the other day she said, “I still can’t work out why these people hate ball games so much”. MOLLY Did you tell her it’s cause they hate poor people having fun? Amina laughs. Molly starts to say goodbye. AMINA Aren’t ya coming? MOLLY Nah, I need to go and sort some stuff out. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Amina looks conflicted. AMINA Listen, you can stay another night if you need it. BILAL Yeah and you’re skinny so it’s not like you take up a lot of room. If we had two of mum’s size around, we’d be in trouble. Amina quickly begins shouting at him in Somali and shoos him away. 67.
  69. 69. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 68. AMINA You’re rude Bilal. I’ve lost a kilo actually. I’m on the 5:2 diet. LIBAN Yeah five cakes and two biscuits. It’s amaaaazing. Amina starts shouting at Liban and chasing her round. She’s squealing and running as fast as her legs will carry her. INT. DEE’S OFFICE - DAY The phone’s on loudspeaker. AVA Why didn’t you listen to me? I told you not to run away. LEO Sheila says you’re selfish. MOLLY Yeah well Sheila should mind her own business. AVA You told me to trust you. Molly exhales. MOLLY If you’re angry at me baby, that’s fine, but please don’t listen to Sheila. I took you away because I’m your mum. Silence. MOLLY (CONT'D) I’m your mum Ava. Ava? Are you there? I’m sorry. Ava’s put the phone down. She holds her heart in pain. EXT. PARK - NIGHT Molly is sitting under the climbing frame where she took Ava and Leo, hugging her knees. She’s shivering. Pulling her fag away, she downs a can of cider. Then cracks open another one and downs it. 68.
  70. 70. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 69. EXT. HOSTEL - NIGHT Amina opens the door with a warm face and a plate of home- made cakes. MOLLY I’m so embarassed Mina. I don’t know where else to go. AMINA Just in time for our party. Molly nods gratefully and walks in the front door. INT. HOSTEL - DAY Molly wakes up in the bath and looks at her phone. Ten missed calls. MOLLY Sheila, what’s wrong? SHEILA I know I’m not allowed to call you but I don’t know what else to do. MOLLY Why is Ava screaming? What the fuck is going on? SHEILA She won’t stop. I don’t know what to do. Shall I call an ambulance? CUT TO: Ava is lying on Sheila’s kitchen floor. Sheila tries to pass the phone to Ava but she’s kicks her away. AVA Fuck off Sheila! Get away from me. CUT TO: MOLLY What the fuck have you done to her? CUT TO: 69.
  71. 71. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 70. SHEILA She won’t stop crying. I don’t know what to do. CUT TO: MOLLY Put Leo on the phone. SHEILA What? I can’t hear you. MOLLY Put Leo on the phone! Leo takes the phone. LEO Hi mummy. MOLLY Hi baby. Can you find out what’s wrong with your sister please? CUT TO: Leo runs over to Ava. LEO (His face is close to Ava’s) Ava, what’s wrong? What’s wrong Ava? Ava pushes him away and he falls to the floor. They’re now both crying. Sheila is freaking out. Ava feels bad and crawls over to Leo to see if he’s okay. Leo stops crying. LEO (CONT'D) (Smiling) Now will you tell me what’s wrong? Leo passes her the phone then rests his head on her shoulder with his little arm stretched across her. AVA Can you go outside please Sheila? Sheila looks lost but obeys. Ava covers the mouthpiece so Leo can’t hear. AVA (CONT'D) There’s blood in my knickers mum. I don’t know what to do. 70.
  72. 72. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 71. MOLLY Oh baby, it’s okay. AVA I found some old tampons in Sheila’s bathroom but I don’t even know what hole it goes in. Ava begins to cry again. LEO (Making baby noises in Ava’s face) Aye, aye, aye, aye. AVA What are you doing Leo? MOLLY We used to do that to him when he was a baby to stop him crying remember? He’s looking after you. LEO Aye, aye, aye, aye! Ava smiles and pulls her brother in for a cuddle. CUT TO: MOLLY Just wrap some toilet paper up and put it in your knickers and I’ll... She stops to think deeply about her options. MOLLY (CONT'D) I’ll meet you up the school with some pads okay? AVA No mum, you’re not allowed. Please, I can’t take it anymore. Ava begins to cry. MOLLY You just need your mum Ava. AVA No, mum, I don’t. I can ask Sheila. They won’t let us come back. Please don’t come. 71.
  73. 73. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 72. EXT. SCHOOL GATES - DAY Molly is waiting outside the school gates, peeking to see whether any cars have driven inside. She spots Sheila’s car and makes a run for it. She pulls open the back doors where Leo and Ava are sitting and Sheila lets out a shriek. SHEILA Molly what on Earth are you doing? Ignoring Sheila, she pulls out the glittery purse with pads in it for Ava. SHEILA (CONT'D) Molly get out of my car now. You’re going to get me in so much trouble! I’m going to have to tell them about this. AVA Please don’t tell them Sheila. Mum, I’m fine, I’ve already asked Sheila. Just get out the car. MOLLY But I got you them in a sparkly case for school so people don’t know what they are. AVA I said don’t come. Why don’t you ever listen? MOLLY I love you. Take it. AVA Get out the car! Get out the car! I don’t want to see you anymore. You keep making it worse. MOLLY Don’t say that Ava. Don’t say that my baby. AVA (Hysterical and kicking the seat in front) Get out the car. Get out the car. Get out the fucking car. Leo is crying now. Sheila is pulling out her phone and starts dialling. 72.
  74. 74. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 73. MOLLY I’m going. Please don’t tell them Sheila. SHEILA Just get out Molly. That’s enough. Molly wipes her tears roughly with the back of her hand and shuts the door. INT. HOSTEL - NIGHT Molly is blowing up balloons. Her eyes are sunken. Amina walks in through the front door in her carers uniform. AMINA Sorry I’m late! Molly’s not cooking is she Bilal? After the state of that chicken last time I told her to get a takeaway. The kids pull a funny face to Molly. AMINA (CONT'D) Listen, work’s getting so busy and now with the apprenticeship as well, how would you feel about picking them up everyday from school and bringing them back here? I’ve been thinking about it and it saves me three hours of driving a day not having to take them over to Aunty’s. LIBAN Yay! No more Aunty Bushra’s! AMINA Don’t be rude Liban. BILAL Come on mum, she always hoovers when we’re tryna watch TV! Amina is putting the noodles onto four plates. AMINA I’ll pay you. I can’t afford much but I’ll consider it rent for the bath and breakfast you’ve had the past few days yeah? 73.
  75. 75. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 74. MOLLY I’ll do it for free if you let me stay a couple more weeks? AMINA Alright then. Their faces don’t change in reaction to their new mutually beneficial arrangement. Molly just keeps blowing up balloons. MOLLY Ava said she doesn’t want to see me anymore. She’s told social services to stop contact. AMINA She don’t mean it Molly. Molly is tying up a balloon. She blows into another automatically. Amina pulls it away from her mouth. MOLLY They said if she doesn't want to see me, she can tell her Guardian who’ll tell the Judge. It’ll be used against me Mina... AMINA She’s just upset. She’ll come round, you know she will. MOLLY I actually don’t. Molly shakes her head in disbelief and blows up another balloon. She ties it up and throws it into the pile next to her. INT. SOCIAL SERVICES - DAY Molly sits around a table with a variety of professionals. DEE (Looking down at the paperwork) So Molly, as you can see we’ll be speaking to your lawyer about psychological and psychiatric assessments and recommendations for therapy as soon as possible. MOLLY Sorry, where you reading from? 74.
  76. 76. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 75. DEE Did you not get one? MOLLY No. Why have you all got one and I don’t? DEE Sorry you did get sent one. We sent it out to your mum’s address. Molly shakes her head. SINT. COMMUNITY HALL - DAY Molly is sitting around a whiteboard which says “Positive Parenting” with other mums in a parenting class. Molly is staring out the window looking anxious. INT. PSYCHOTHERAPIST’S OFFICE - DAY A brightly coloured room with posters and books. Molly sits looking out the window as she’s assessed by a therapist. INT. LIBRARY - DAY Molly is scrolling down a computer screen for jobs. A woman is reading to her children in the background. Molly re- positions the screen to block her view. INT. AMINA'S BATHROOM - NIGHT Sitting on the edge of the bath, Molly is rubbing her tired face. MOLLY What’s making you giggle so much? LEO Sheila’s tiggling me. MOLLY Is she? A beat. MOLLY (CONT'D) Do you like her now then? 75.
  77. 77. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 76. LEO I really like her mummy. (Whispers) Can I buy her a present? Molly holds her hand on her heart and her eyes begin to water as if it’s breaking into a MILLION PEICES. MOLLY Course you can my darling. She’s chocked and unable to stay on the phone any longer. MOLLY (CONT'D) (Through a tight voice) I’ve got to go for dinner. Love you. She puts down the phone and clutches her chest like she’s been shot. INT. HOSTEL -NIGHT Molly is sitting at the kitchen table looking over the photos on the wall. Amina is getting up from her mat after finishing prayer. MOLLY Where’s he gone Mina? Liban looks up from her I-pad. LIBAN Africa for work. MOLLY Why’s he gone all the way over there? AMINA That’s what we say. When men run off with other women. What all the aunties say when people ask where he is. MOLLY Oh. AMINA He went and never came back. I couldn’t keep up with the rent once he left because he stopped giving us money as well. 76.
  78. 78. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 77. MOLLY I’m sorry. AMINA I still pray he comes back. How mad is that? Molly shakes her head sympathetically. She looks over to Liban and Bilal. Bilal is pushing a tear away. Amina sits on one side of the bed and holds Bilal’s hand. Molly comes and sits on the other side of the bed and hold’s Liban’s hand. She strokes her hair gently. They both lay down next to them to comfort them. INT. HOSTEL - DAY Molly is running down the stairs, shaking a lighter to light her cigarette as she pushes through the front door. MOLLY Really? Tonight? Are you sure? Thank you. Course, yeah. I’ll be there. INT. BLACK LION PUB - NIGHT Stragglers leave the pub. The landlady, TRACEY stands outside waiting for Molly. A glamorous woman from the middle up and tracksuit bottoms and leopard-print slippers from the middle down. TRACEY Here’s the keys darling. Sorry nothing come up sooner. We was asking around. Cleaning stuffs under the stairs. Ta babe. She walks out the door. Molly pulls the cleaning equipment out of the cupboard. She walks over to the stereo and puts Dennis Brown- Here I Come and dances whilst sweeping. As she turns around, tears are streaming down her face but she’s still smiling. EXT. OUTSIDE THE BLACK LION - EARLY MORNING Molly walks out of the pub as the sun is coming up. She locks the pub and looks up at the sun beaming down on her. 77.
  79. 79. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 78. EXT. HOSTEL - DAY Molly sits on a wall in front of the sign “No Ball Games” flicking the end of a cigarette away. MOLLY How can the waiting list be eight months? I can’t wait that long for therapy. They only give me six months. It’s the final hearing in two. She stands up and starts pacing. MOLLY (CONT'D) Is that it then? That’s all you can do? You don’t understand, they won’t let me have my kids back until I’ve done this. I’ve gotta show them I’m doing what they’ve said. Course I can’t go fucking private. Molly is trying to light a cigarette up whilst she’s on the phone. She smashes the lighter up the wall in frustration. INT. HOSTEL - MORNING Molly wraps up sandwiches and hands them out to Amina and the kids. AMINA All them meetings you go to is basically a full time job and now you’ve got the cleaning too. I can call Aunty you know. MOLLY Nah, nah please. You’re all I got. Molly is helping Liban with her tie. Her phone rings. MOLLY (CONT'D) It’s my baby’s first day of school today. She puts it on loudspeaker. MOLLY (CONT'D) Hello, is that my big boy? LEO Yes mum. 78.
  80. 80. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 79. MOLLY I’m proud of you baby. Wish I could see you. LEO Ava did my tie. MOLLY Did she? I bet you look so handsome. I’m with my friends, they want to say hi. LEO Okay. Mum? MOLLY Yes baby? LEO I’m scared. MOLLY Oh baby, you’re gonna be fine. Ava’s there to look after you and I know it feels scary now but when you get there you will love it so much. AMINA Leo. I’m Amina. Your mum’s told me what a wonderful boy you are so I know you’re gonna make lots of new friends. Bilal walks over. BILAL I was scared on my first day too Leo. It’s okay to be scared but it’s so fun. You can eat yummy snacks and it goes really fast. LEO Really? LIBAN Yes, I love school Leo. I think you’re gonna love it too. LEO Okay. Molly smiles. 79.
  81. 81. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 80. MOLLY You’re amazing. LEO I know. Okay, Susan’s putting my shoes on now mum, I’ve got to go. MOLLY Okay, I’m squeezing the phone. I love ya. She puts the phone down and takes a minute. She looks up and smooths Bilal’s hair down. Liban and Bilal grab their bag to walk out. They quickly turn round and give Molly an unexpected hug. Amina smiles warmly. INT. LIBRARY - DAY Molly sits at a computer scrolling through advice websites for care proceedings. She takes notes on a scrap of paper at the side of her, frantically flicking her eyes from screen to the paper. INT. OFFICES - DAY Molly and a LAWYER walk down a corridor. LAWYER Now you make this woman your best friend Molly. She’s the Guardian who speaks on behalf of Leo and Ava in court and has a lot of sway with the judge. You wanna impress her and get her on side right? Molly is in disbelief. LAWYER (CONT'D) Right? Molly quickly nods. She blows her air out in preparation. The lawyer opens the door to the Guardian, Lydia sitting on the table. MOLLY Hello, lovely to meet you. I’m Molly Brown. Thank you for all what you’re doing. I really appreciate it. 80.
  82. 82. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 81. LYDIA Thanks Molly. I’m Lydia. I’ve met Ava and Leo, they’re lovely. Molly nods. LYDIA (CONT'D) A real testament to you. MOLLY Wow. I don’t know what to say. She’s taken back by the compliment. LYDIA Ava and Leo’s teachers say the same thing. Molly smiles. LYDIA (CONT'D) Your situation has become very complicated Molly. MOLLY Have you spoke to Ava? What has she said? Does she want to come home with me? LYDIA I’m still in the process of collecting the children’s wishes and feelings but Ava has asked that her opinion be valued in court. MOLLY She’s angry at me. Because all this keeps making me break my promises. LYDIA It’s important we start taking responsibility for our own actions Molly. MOLLY I’d do anything for my kids. I’ve been to the classes, the assessments, the meetings. You know the waiting lists for therapy are longer than the time before the judge has to make his decision. Does that happen a lot? 81.
  83. 83. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 82. LYDIA All the time. It’s so sad. MOLLY Do you know what Ava’s decided? She won’t speak to me on the phone. LYDIA Yes but I can’t say. It’s just thinking about what the children have been through so far and what’s best for their future. INT. HOSTEL - NIGHT Molly, Amina and the kids are eating dinner. AMINA How’s ya mum? Molly shrugs despondently. AMINA (CONT'D) You should see her ya know. Molly carries on eating her food. AMINA (CONT'D) She ain’t perfect but... MOLLY I don’t know what you want me to say. AMINA ...but who is? I know it wasn’t easy Molly but it hurts more to hold onto the pain ya know. MOLLY Mina no one knows what it was like just me and my mum. It was hard. AMINA I know but you can’t blame her forever. We all have to accept the hand we’re dealt and do what we can with it. You know we can all be good and bad. We’re all of it and all of it is God. Molly is thoughtful, nodding to Amina’s words. 82.
  84. 84. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 83. AMINA (CONT'D) Go see your mum man. EXT. SYLVIE’S DOOR - NIGHT Molly knocks on the door and waits for Sylvie to answer. MOLLY Alright? SYLVIE Ello darling. Molly is sitting on the sofa. Sylvie pours two brandies into glasses. Sylvie downs her brandy and pours another one. MOLLY Easy please mum. Molly gets up to pick up her glass of brandy from her mum and puts her hand on top of Sylvie’s shaking hand. SYLVIE Thank you for coming to see me. I’ve been thinking about ya a lot and... Molly notices a baby photo of herself in a crystal frame. Silence as she’s deep in thought. MOLLY You know mum, I look at this little girl and I just feel so sad. She had her whole life ahead of her. All her hopes and dreams, all the adventures she wanted to go on. She picks up the frame and looks at it closer. MOLLY (CONT'D) And there wasn’t anyone to keep her safe. Molly is trying hard not to cry in front of her mum. Sylvie strokes the face of little Molly in the photo. SYLVIE I’m so sorry lollipop. 83.
  85. 85. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 84. Sylvie picks up the bottle to fill her glass. Gently Molly pulls the bottle away and squeezes her hand. MOLLY You’re alright mum. Sylvie looks at the photo again. SYLVIE I didn’t give her what I wanted for her. (Looking up to the real Molly) I didn’t give you what you needed. Sylvie’s hands are shaking and her breath is short. She lights up a cigarette. SYLVIE (CONT'D) I promised myself I never wanted you to go through what I went through. Molly looks at her mum for the first time with empathy. MOLLY You know I promised that to myself and all. Look where that got me. SYLVIE You did your best darling. MOLLY My best isn’t good enough mum. SYLVIE Isn’t that the thing about ya best? It’s the best you can do at the time. Molly rests her head on Sylvie’s shoulders. Sylvie puts her arms round her daughter. INT. HOSTEL - EVENING Amina is making the bed whilst Molly is wiping down the sides. The children are chasing each other. AMINA Take your uniforms off please and hang them up. 84.
  86. 86. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 85. They carry on running around and almost fall on the bed Amina is making. AMINA (CONT'D) Please. I’m so tired, take your uniforms off. They carry on playing. AMINA (CONT'D) Kids... MOLLY Listen to your mum. Take your uniforms off and fold them up now. I won’t ask you again. They stop in their tracks and look shocked. They begin to take off their school jumpers whilst pulling faces. Amina mouths “thank you” at Molly. Bilal walks over to Amina. BILAL (Moving the split in the front of his shoe like a mouth) Mum, my shoes are talking. Can I get some new ones? AMINA I can’t afford them at the minute Bilal. We’ll just glue them together okay? BILAL But I’ve had them for ages and everyone laughs at me at school. AMINA It’s character building Bilal. Molly looks over shaking her head. MOLLY Mina, it’s madness he’s walking round with holes in his shoes whilst that bloke still owes you money. AMINA I know. BILAL Yeah, he’s chilling mum. 85.
  87. 87. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 86. MOLLY Have you got his address? What’s his name? You can probably find him on the internet. AMINA Tim, erm. Davidson, Davids. I know it begins with a D. I’ve got it on my bank statement somewhere. She grabs her statement and scans. AMINA (CONT'D) Davis! LIBAN Is this him? Liban holds up the iPad. AMINA Don’t think so. LIBAN Him? AMINA No... LIBAN Him? AMINA Yes! That’s him. That’s him! Liban starts scrolling down and her mouth drops open. AMINA (CONT'D) What? What is it Liban? BILAL Oh my days. Mum he is stunting on the gram! AMINA What? Let me see. What’s he doing? Liban holds up the iPad with Tim standing confidently next to a porshe in dark glasses. Liban swipes to another photo of him on posing on the beach. MOLLY Nahhhh!! 86.
  88. 88. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 87. AMINA He’s always saying he’s got no money. MOLLY Lemme see. What a prick! AMINA Don’t swear. BILAL Swipe again Liban. He’s wearing Yeezys mum!!! Oh my days! and I’ve got holes in my shoes. MOLLY He’s actually taking the piss. Why’s he owe you money? AMINA He won’t give me my deposit back. I’ve been trying to get it for months. Amina jumps up from her chair. AMINA (CONT'D) Fuck it. Molly is in shock. The kids have their hands over their mouths. AMINA (CONT'D) I’m going round there. MOLLY What, on your own? It’s getting dark. AMINA You’re coming with me. Come on, like the old days. Remember when you sparked Jason Ward round the face because he pushed me over. You were savage man. MOLLY I can’t Mina. AMINA Please Molly, I don’t wanna go on my own. 87.
  89. 89. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 88. MOLLY I can’t get into trouble. I’ve got too much at stake. AMINA Nah, you’re right. Molly looks torn. Amina starts getting her coat on. MOLLY What if he’s dodgy? AMINA I shoulda done it sooner really. He’s having the time of his life whilst me and my kids are stuck in here. I’m not having it. MOLLY What if he say’s no? What you gonna do then? AMINA Not got that far yet. MOLLY You’re just as nuts as me ya know Mina. Amina smiles. EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT A row of expensive houses. AMINA It’s the next street down. MOLLY Alright. Amina is heavy breathing. MOLLY (CONT'D) Mina, relax. It’s gonna be fine. Amina nods and heavy breathes. She starts saying prayers under her breath. MOLLY (CONT'D) Fucking hell, it’s not that bad is it? 88.
  90. 90. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 89. Amina smiles whilst still repeating prayers under her breath. She pulls her phone out of her pocket and starts scrolling. MOLLY (CONT'D) Who ya ringing? Talking the Hardest - Giggs plays through the tinny speakers. AMINA Hype music. MOLLY (Laughing) Nahhhhhhhhhh!! Amina laughs, sings along to the words and then continues to mutter the prayer under her breath. MOLLY (CONT'D) I’ll start praying when good stuff starts happening. AMINA That’s where you’re going wrong. You’ve gotta pray first, then good stuff starts happening. Molly smiles and nods. AMINA (CONT'D) Right, come on. This is it. EXT. TIM’S DOOR - NIGHT Amina looks up at the door and looks back to Molly waiting up the path. Amina bangs on the door. TIM opens it. TIM Oh gosh, sorry you must be freezing. MOLLY Yes it is cold. I’m Amina... TIM I’ll stop you there. Unfortunately I won’t be buying today. AMINA And I’m not selling Tim. Remember me? 89.
  91. 91. P O S Y S T E R L I N G (MORE) 90. TIM Should I? AMINA Well I’ve left you enough messages. TIM Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about. He goes to shut the door. Molly is shaking her head in disbelief. MOLLY (From the path) You’re proper dodgy. Give her the deposit back you little shit. What gives you the right to keep it? TIM Deposit for what? Sorry. AMINA Stop playing dumb Tim. I’ve asked nicely, now give me my deposit back. TIM I don’t have it. MOLLY Is that your Porshe Tim? AMINA Isn’t it gorgeous? He goes to shut the door again. Amina knocks with a new air of confidence and rage. He answers. AMINA (CONT'D) Gimme my money Tim. Stop taking the piss. TIM You didn’t pay your last month’s rent, so it’s... AMINA That’s a lie and you know it. I broke my back getting you that last months rent. (MORE) 90.
  92. 92. P O S Y S T E R L I N G AMINA (CONT'D) 91. Now go get your cheque book so we can get this over and done with and I can go home to my kids. He shuts the door. They wait. And wait. MOLLY Has he gone to get his chequebook? AMINA I don’t know. Amina begins to bang on the door harder. He opens it again. AMINA (CONT'D) We’re homeless you know. Me and my kids. TIM Leave me alone. He slams the door in Amina’s face. AMINA Don’t slam the door in my face! Amina begins to bang on the door harder and harder. MOLLY Nah, Mina lets just go. It’s fine. Come on, I can’t have any trouble. She bangs even harder, shouting to open the door. He opens the door quickly. TIM Will you shut up, you’ll have all the neighbours out. AMINA I hope they do come out, then I can explain to them that you stole money from a homeless woman can’t I? TIM Oh fuck off. He pushes Amina hard and slams the door. She falls to the floor. MOLLY Mina! AMINA (CONT'D) 91.
  93. 93. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 92. Molly sees red and runs down the garden path. She bangs on the door with Amina. MOLLY (CONT'D) Don’t you fucking push her. Don’t you dare fucking push her. You don’t fucking push women you cunt. Amina gets up and starts banging on the door. AMINA Open the door now. You can’t push me. Open the door and give me my money Tim...Give me my money. As they’re banging on the door, Molly sees him walking towards the door with a golf club through the crystallised glass. MOLLY He’s got a golf club. Let’s go Mina. AMINA You can, I’m getting my money Molly. Molly is trying to think fast but doesn’t know what to do. She wants to go but can’t leave Amina. Amina is shaking, grabbing the bin lid next to her. As he opens the door, Amina gives him a massive wallop to the stomach. Molly stands there for a second trying to figure out what she should do next. AMINA (CONT'D) Grab it Molly. Molly shakes herself awake and grabs the golf club putting it horizontally in front of his neck. Tim is suddenly scared. Now Amina looks shocked. MOLLY Right, how do you wanna do this Tim, cash or cheque? TIM Bank transfer if that works for you? Amina can’t move. Molly nods at her encouragingly. Amina shakes herself out of it. 92.
  94. 94. P O S Y S T E R L I N G 93. AMINA Yep that’s good for us. Should we follow you? TIM Yep, please. After me. Molly walks him inside with the golf club at his neck. They sit down at his laptop. He begins to type. AMINA Don’t worry we won’t look at your password. TIM Thanks. How much was it? AMINA £1500. MOLLY You need to put in your bank details Amina. Amina begins to write her details. AMINA Thanks, that’s great. The transfer is successful. AMINA (CONT'D) Thanks Tim. I’ll be out of your hair now. You won’t hear from me again. This money will go to really good use. Thank you. MOLLY Just so it’s clear Tim, we only came to get the money that is rightfully owed to her okay? We didn’t steal anything. Just came to get the money you owed and all this was just self-defence right? TIM Yep, that’s right. MOLLY Okay, thanks Tim. That’s great. AMINA Okay, have a great evening. 93.

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