The Gift, Part I



Snow is falling from the sky as you come down and see Natalie and Jeremy walking along the sidewalk. They are holding hands and talking, as you notice the breath coming from their mouths and noses. They are walking gingerly because of the ice and snow on the sidewalk. Every few feet, they take a slight slip.

Jeremy: Okay, it's an object, made of paper, yet not a book. I can hold it in my hand but I really can't hold it?

Natalie: Yes.

Jeremy: I have no idea what you got me.

Natalie shows a mischievous smile, while Jeremy shakes his head.

Natalie: Perfect.

Jeremy: And we're not doing anything big?

Natalie: Right. So, what'd you get me?

Jeremy hesitates.

Jeremy: I thought we weren't exchanging gifts until Saturday.

Natalie: It's Thursday.

Jeremy: Right. (slides and regains his balance) Whoa.

Natalie grabs his arm tighter.

Natalie: You're okay.

Jeremy: If I go down, you're coming down with me.

Natalie: That's all right. You'll break my fall.

You can hear tires from a vehicle spinning near Natalie and Jeremy. A passer-by can be heard warning, "Watch out!"

Natalie and Jeremy turn and the headlights from an out-of-control sliding car are shining directly at them. The two are petrified and are unable to get out of the way of the car. They close their eyes, hold on tightly to each other, and brace for impact.

The scene goes dark as you hear the sound of the spinning tires.



"Oh my god! Somebody call an ambulance!"


Casey is in his office and throws on his coat as he prepares to leave for the evening.

Dana stands in the doorway.

Dana: Casey, you want to talk while you walk me to my car?

Casey finishes putting on his gloves and realizes something is amiss. He reluctantly nods his head.

Casey: Sure.

The two walk into the newsroom.

Dana: I wanted to thank you for the gift.

Casey looks confused.

Casey: Gift? Yeah, the gift. Sure, thanks. I mean, you're welcome.

Dana: It was really nice.

Casey: Glad you like it. Wait a sec-

Dana: You have no idea what it was.

Casey: I do know what it was. Is.

Dana: Huh?

Casey: I haven't given you my gift.

Dana: Then what was the ornament Lisa gave me?

Casey: Something from Lisa, I suppose.

The two reach the elevator and Casey presses the button.

Dana: It had your name and Charlie's name on it.

Casey: What?

Dana: Lisa gave me your family gift earlier when she came to pick up Charlie.

The elevator doors open and the two step inside.

Casey: I didn't know anything about it.

Dana: Oh.

Casey presses a button and the elevator doors close. They start their descent.

The two are silent for a few seconds, and then they call each other's name out at the same time. Casey and Dana smile.

Casey and Dana: Go ahead.

Casey and Dana: No... you-

Casey raises his hand up to stop the overlapping conversation. He points toward Dana to allow her to go first.

Dana: Is everything fine?

Casey: Yes. How about you?

Dana: Fine.

Casey: Good. Cause I'm fine. Everything is fine.

Dana: Is it?

Casey: Yeah. I guess so.

Dana: Okay. (pause) Casey, what's going on?

Casey: What do you mean?

Dana: You looked like you were ready to go all out against Lisa during the show. Also, just before that, I had to cover for you about your schedule. If you are having problems, don't involve me in them. I had to lie to Lisa for you, and I am bothered that you would put me in that kind of position. It made me feel like I'm the other woman. Then you two had to involve everybody in your problems by yelling at each other on the set.

Casey just looks at Dana.

Dana: Do you even realize what happened tonight? You brought your personal problems here and showed them off to everybody. That exhibition was ugly and uncalled for.

Casey looks down and lets out a sigh.

Casey: We're having problems.

Dana: You have to leave them at home. You can't bring them here, and by god, don't have Lisa ever do something like that again.

Casey: You're right. You're so right, Dana. I'm losing control and I'm scared.

Dana: Casey, I'm sorry.

Casey: I have no control whatsoever. Charlie is even afraid of her.

Dana tries to absorb what Casey is saying as the elevator doors open. The two walk out onto the parking deck and toward Dana's car.

Casey: I can't bother you with all this. You have a lot going on right now.

Dana: It's all right.

The two continue to walk toward her car.

Casey: Can I ask you something?

Dana: You can, but may you?

The two each break a smile.

Casey: May I ask you something?

Dana: Yes.

Casey thinks for a moment.

Casey: How's this Kevin Chandler guy?

Dana: He's great.

Casey: That's good.

Dana: Yes it is.

Casey: Is it... is it serious?

Dana starts to look a little uncomfortable.

Dana: I don't know.

Casey: If he does anything to hurt you... I... I think I can take him.

Dana: He's two inches taller and thirty pounds heavier.

Casey: I think I can out maneuver him.

Dana: He's quick. He returns punts. He plays for the Giants.

The two reach Dana's car.

Casey: I still think I could take him.

Dana: Typical man.

Casey: What?

Dana: Thank you.

Before Casey can respond, Dana kisses him on the cheek. She opens the door to her car and sits inside.

Dana: I'll see you tomorrow.

Casey: See you tomorrow.

Dana closes the door and starts up her car.

Casey: And you'll still get my present!


The scene opens in darkness as you hear some spinning tires and an engine come to a halt. You can hear footsteps running closer.

"Are you guys all right?"

The scene comes into view. Natalie and Jeremy are still holding each other on the spot where they froze. The car can be seen right behind them, stopped right up against the railing in front of a shop.

Natalie: Yeah.

The good samaritan runs over to the vehicle as the driver steps out. Everybody looks okay. Natalie and Jeremy do not let go of each other.

Natalie: My god. We could have been hit.

The driver of the vehicle comes walking over to them.

Driver: I- I don't know how I missed you. Are you all right?

Natalie breaks the embrace and checks her extremities.

Natalie: I think we'll be fine. Are you okay?

Driver: Yeah. I'm gonna' be okay. What about you, sir?

Jeremy just stands there.

Driver: Sir?

Natalie: Jeremy? Say something. Sweetie?

Jeremy follows the tracks with his eyes. His jaw drops. He looks up, first at the driver, then at Natalie, then at the car. He shakes his head.

Natalie: Jeremy?

Jeremy: A miracle. A great miracle.


It is the next day, and Dana is entering the newsroom with three shopping bags full of merchandise. She has a huge smile on her face and she exudes Christmas spirit.

Kim: Looking forward to the holidays, Dana?

Dana: Yes, Kim. For the first time in a long time, yes, I am looking forward to the holidays.

Kim: Finishing up your shopping?

Dana: I am all done. When I got to the first store earlier, I thought it was going to take forever, but the stores were relatively chaos free and I was able to get everything I wanted in record time.

Kim: Do you have your giftwrap?

Dana tilts her head back and gasps at the ceiling.

Dana: Kim! It's all right. It's all right. I've got a positive attitude.

Elliott walks up and joins the conversation.

Elliott: Christmas shopping?

Kim: Yes. She has everything except the giftwrap.

Dana: It is all right. I can pick up some.

Elliott: Yeah. I went this store and I got all this great wrap, and I bought all this ribbon, and they showed me how to make my own bows, and I learned how to make my own wine gift bags, and-

Elliott stops talking as he realizes Kim and Dana are staring at him in amazement and disgust.

Kim: Shut up. I just throw everything in a bag.

Elliott: Yeah, I got these totes and curled my own ribbon and add-ded tis-sue pa-per. What?

Dana: Elliott, darling.

Elliott: I'm not wrapping your gifts.

Dana: Oh, c'mon.

Elliott: No.

Dana: You're my favorite.

Kim: I thought I was your favorite.

Natalie joins the group.

Natalie: You're back. What's up?

Kim: Elliott is Dana's favorite.

Natalie: Elliott?

Elliott: She said it, not me.

Natalie: Well, I'm Dana's favorite. And you want to know why? Because I said so.

Kim rolls her eyes.

Kim: Whatever. (walks away)

Elliott: Okie-dokie. (walks away)

Dana: Elliott. Get with me later. Elliott?

Dana turns her attention to Natalie.

Dana: Okay. Walk with me.

As the two walk toward Dana's office, Natalie notices Dana's demeanor.

Natalie: You're smiling.

Dana: Yup.

Natalie: Kevin?

Dana: Nope.

Natalie: Are your parents still coming?

Dana: Yup.

Natalie: Then what is it?

The two reach the outside of Dana's office.

Dana: Nothing. It's just... well... Merry Christmas, Natalie!

Dana enters her office followed by Natalie.

Dana throws the bags down on her couch, reaches inside her coat pocket, and presents Natalie with a candy cane.

Natalie: What's this?

Dana: It's a candy cane silly! I saw them and I couldn't resist, so.

Natalie: Oh, okay. Thanks. Are you okay?

Dana: I'm fine.

Natalie: Sure you are.

Dana shoots Natalie a harsh look, but it quickly disappears.

Dana: Is it wrong to want to enjoy this season?

Natalie: Enjoy it? No. But for you...

Dana: So, did anything happen while I was gone?

Natalie: Jeremy and I were almost hit by a car.

Dana looks at Natalie over in shock. She walks over and gives her a hug.

Dana: My god, Natalie. Are you all right? How's Jeremy?

Natalie: I'm fine. Jeremy's fine. Kinda. He swears it was a divine miracle.

Dana: It had to be.

Natalie: Actually, he says it's a great miracle, but I think we were just lucky.

Dana: But you're all right?

Natalie: We're fine, Dana. Thanks for asking.

Dana: Okay. I'm afraid to ask if anything else happened while I was away.

Natalie: Everything has been finalized for Jeremy's gift.

Dana: Anything else?

Natalie: Dan got another present from his mysterious Secret Santa. He won't open it.

Dana: Anything else...

Natalie: Jeremy tried to-

Dana: Natalie!

Natalie: What?

Dana: Did anything sports related happen while I was gone?

Natalie: Oh. Um. (looks down at clipboard) Nope.

Dana lets out a sigh.

There's a knock on Dana's door.

"Hey, you're back!"

Dana turns as Casey walks up to her.

Dana: Yes, I am.

Casey: Good.

Natalie: Well, if you're done with me, I'll just be moving on.

There is another knock on the door. Everyone turns around and sees Kevin in the doorway and holding a bouquet of flowers for Dana.

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