The Other Story of D

 

Text ©2003 Roger E. Moore (roger70129@aol.com)

Daria and associated characters are ©2003 MTV Networks

 

 

Feedback (good, bad, indifferent, just want to bother me, whatever) is appreciated. Please write to: roger70129@aol.com

 

Synopsis: Jane discovers a short story that Daria wrote during a low period in her life, and she gains a view into Daria that she never imagined existed.

 

Authorís Notes: The events in this story take place shortly after the ďDariaĒ TV movie, ďIs It College Yet?Ē at the start of Dariaís last summer at home before she goes to college in Boston. The title comes from ďDariaĒ episode #505, ďThe Story of D,Ē the events in which are referenced briefly here. This story is strongly tied to episode #413, ďDye! Dye! My DarlingĒ and the TV movie, ďIs It Fall Yet?Ē The events in episode #213, ďWrite Where It Hurts,Ē are critical to this story, as the story-within-a-story here is an alternate-future version of the story-within-a-story there; if a video of the actual episode is not available, the transcript for it is at: http://www.outpost-daria.com/ts_ep213.html

 

Acknowledgements: My heartfelt appreciation goes out to these most excellent beta-readers, who went above and beyond the call of duty: Brother Grimace, Galen Hardesty, Robert Nowall, and Mike Yamiolkoski. Your comments and criticisms helped the final work immensely. My gratitude also goes to Kara Wild, who had a long debate with me about Dariaís ability to say the L word, and I admit now that Kara was right. Figures.

 

INT: Interior scene

EXT: Exterior scene

VO: Voice over (off screen)

 

 

1. INT: WEEKDAY AFTERNOON, EARLY SUMMER, DARIAíS BEDROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Daria Morgendorffer types at her computer station, her back to her friend Jane Lane. Jane lies on her stomach on Dariaís bed, reading a printed manuscript on loose pages. On the floor beside the bed is a small cardboard box full of files and papers. Jane reaches the last page of the story and carefully puts the story pages together again.

 

JANE: Wow. I see why this had such an impact on your mom and Mr. OíNeill. This is really good.

 

DARIA: [still typing] If you cry on me, Iíll hit you.

 

JANE: Nah, Iím sort of immune to tissue-pullers. I get my daily minimum requirement of angst just being an artist. [examines first page of story] You donít have a title for this.

 

DARIA: [still typing] I thought about ďDawn of the Blood Suckers,Ē but it was sort of cutesy.

 

JANE: Why donít you call it ďHeartsĒ? You and your family play a game of hearts at the end, and itís a pretty emotional storyóespecially considering its source.

 

DARIA: [stops typing, sighs] Youíre right. I should burn it.

 

JANE: [looks at Daria in disbelief] Burn it? Morgendorffer, you should send this out now and get it published. I canít believe you sat on this for two years. Iím serious, this is great! Get it in print!

 

DARIA: Then everyone will cry on me. [gets up from computer] Iíll get the lighter fluid.

 

JANE: [rolls over on bed, holding story out of Dariaís reach] Youíre not going to burn this! You whine and whine about wanting to be a writer, then you produce something like this, and you want to burn it? Get real! [looks over side of bed at box of manuscripts] What else have you got?

 

DARIA: Youíve been snorting enamel paint fumes and Crazy Glue again.

 

JANE: [sits up on bed] Thatís what the little blue aliens tell me. [leans over, digs into box] Letís see what the Muses tricked you into doing.

 

DARIA: Hey! [walks over quickly to grab box] You canít read anything else. That was it.

 

JANE: [jerks a folder out of the box and hides it behind her back] This one I can!

 

DARIA: [glares] Give it back! [grabs for it, but Jane holds it out of reach]

 

JANE: [sweetly] After I read it and cry over it, sure.

 

Daria fidgets and looks frustrated and anxious.

 

JANE: Youíre scared that Iíll hate it? Look, I read your weird story about the flesh-eating bacteria and weíre still friends, right? And Tom loved it, silly sentimental boy that he is. Lemme read just one more, this one.

 

DARIA: [frowns, still fidgeting] Someone will be home soon, and Iíll have to hide the box again.

 

JANE: [calmly and deliberately] Daria, relax. Quinnís dating, your folks are at workóweíre alone! Take a chill pill and cool out. Poke at your Ďpooter and let me read. This could really suck, it could suck so bad that it drags me into the paper itself, butótrust me on thisóIíll still let you buy pizza for me.

 

DARIA: [glares at Jane] You should work on a crisis hot line.

 

JANE: I call Ďem as I see Ďem.

 

Daria groans and walks back to her computer, sitting in front of it. She doesnít type right away. Jane nods and opens the folder, taking out the story.

 

DARIA: [nonchalant voice] Whatís the name on the folder?

 

JANE: [turns head sideways to read folder label] ďThe Other Story.Ē

 

With a gasp, Daria rockets out of her chair and lunges for Jane, arms out, hands reaching for the manuscript.

 

DARIA: [panicked] No! You canít read that!

 

JANE: [startled] Whoa! Down, girl! [carefully fends Daria off with feet and free hand, holds manuscript out of reach] Okay, thatís it! Leave the room! Go!

 

DARIA: Hey, this is my room!

 

JANE: Out! [points to the door] Go outside and kick someone. Go get a makeover, anything, but let me read this. I swear I wonít read anything else. Just this one.

 

Daria looks stricken, far more upset than seems appropriate.

 

JANE: [frowns] There something in this story no one is supposed to see? Or do you just think I suck at story reviews?

 

Daria swallows, her face alive with fearóbut she then turns without a word and leaves the room at a quick pace. Moments later, her footsteps are heard descending the staircase to the first floor, then hurrying off.

 

JANE: [surprised, gets off bed, walks to doorway] Daria? Daria! Okay, I wonít read it! Whatís wrong?

 

After a long pause, Jane walks back to the bed and settles back on the pillows. Glancing at the doorway from time to time, she begins to read the story. We focus over her shoulder at the top lines:

 

The Other Story (provisional title)

 

By Daria Morgendorffer

 

Jane starts to read the story, then frowns. She picks up the first story she read (ďHearts,Ē the story from ďWrite Where It HurtsĒ) and looks at it, then looks back and forth between the two stories before putting ďHeartsĒ aside and reading ďThe Other Story.Ē

 

 

2. DARIAíS STORYóEXT: A DECADE FROM NOW, FRONT DOOR, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Daria Morgendorffer, now an adult, stands outside the front door of the Morgendorffer home in Lawndale. Physically, she looks as she did in ďWrite Where It HurtsĒ (same face, hair, glasses), but she now wears a wash-worn beige outfit: long-sleeved blouse, long pants, walking shoes. A battered subcompact car with heavily tinted windows sits in the driveway behind her; a trail of oil drops goes up the driveway behind it. A crying infant wrapped in a blue blanket is nestled in Dariaís arms. Daria stands so that the baby is shielded from the sun at all times, keeping her own face turned away from the sunlight. Dariaís face is lined and tired, and her hair is uncombed. She wears no makeup. The door opens and reveals an aged Helen Morgendorffer.

 

HELEN: [cheery] Hi, sweetie. And howís my favorite grandchild today?

 

 

3. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, FOYER, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

DARIA: [enters house quickly] She woke up at four and hasnít gone back to sleep since. Weíre both worn out.

 

HELEN: [reaches for crying baby] Here, let me take her.

 

DARIA: Sure. [lets Helen take the baby from her] I couldnít sleep anyway. The people in the upstairs apartment were fighting, and the people downstairs had a party and wouldnít turn down their music. [sighs] Iím sorry to complain. How are you doing, Mom?

 

HELEN: [holding baby, who is now quiet] Iím okay. Itís harder to get out of bed anymore. There isnít much to do. I fixed up the flowerbed out front. Did you like it?

 

DARIA: [turns to (closed) front door, then back to Helen] Yeah, it looked great. Youíre wearing a hat, right? When you go out? Covering up with sunscreen, sunglasses, all that?

 

HELEN: [kisses baby] Oh, sure. Itíll take more than an ozone layer collapse to keep Helen Morgendorffer inside.

 

DARIA: Mom, thatís not funny anymore. You have to keep covered up. The cancer rates are through the roof. Donít you know that?

 

HELEN: [walks toward living room with baby] Oh, Daria, for heavenís sake, I watch the news, too. [looks at Daria, narrows eyes] And why arenít you wearing a hat?

 

DARIA: [shrugs, changes topic] Whatís going on with you?

 

 

4. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

HELEN: Oh, Quinnís in town, on her way to New York. Sheís supposed to drop in today sometime. Why donít you stay for a while?

 

DARIA: [grim look] Great. Maybe sheíll put her cell phone down and remember who I am.

 

HELEN: [glances at Daria] Oh, Daria.

 

DARIA: Oh, Daria, what? Mom, she hasnít called me since the funeral. She didnít see me or call me when I was in labor, she doesnít even know wható[gestures at baby, then puts both hands on her head]ówhy am I even going on about this? She doesnít care. [drops hands] Sheís the one whoís got a life. I sure as hell donít. Sheís got the jets, and Iíve got the clunker with no A/C.

 

HELEN: [sharply] Daria, stop it. [nods at baby, cuddled against her] Mind if I feed her? I still have some formula in the kitchen.

 

DARIA: [flops down on old sofa] Sure, whatever. She wonít take it from me.

 

HELEN: [turns as sheís leaving] What?

 

DARIA: I said, she wonít take it from me. I canít get her to . . . to breast feed. [turns red, looks away] She wonít . . . she just wonít. I donít know whatís wrong. Maybe itís because Iím so tense or something, I donít know what. She and I just get on each otherís nerves. I dunno whatís wrong, but I have to use a bottle. I feel so damn useless.

 

HELEN: [stares at Daria, then goes into kitchen] She needs you, like I need you. Youíre her mother.

 

DARIA: [groans, stares at nothing across the room for a few seconds] I went to see Dad on the way over. They still havenít seeded his plot or killed the weeds or anything. I went in and yelled at the director and threatened to sue, and he just said heíd look into it. [more worked up] I hate that guy. He doesnít give a damn. He gets his money, and you know heís thinking, what are you gonna do, dig him up and move him? Jeez, I hate that bastard. [pause] You know what, Iím going to do it myself. Iíll go buy some grass seed and fertilizer and fix up Dadís place like it should be. Just let that bastard stop me. If Dad could see the mess his place is, he would have a . . . heíd . . . [shrugs, quickly abandons topic] Iím sorry. Iím not having a good life anymore.

 

HELEN: [VO, from kitchen] Do you need money?

 

DARIA: [tense] No, I donít need money. I still have some left in the trust. Iím okay.

 

HELEN: [VO, from kitchen] Have you heard back from your agent?

 

DARIA: [flinches, groans, pause] He let me go.

 

HELEN: [VO, from kitchen] What? [reappears in doorway, bottle-feeding baby] He let you go?

 

DARIA: [explosively] He let me go, Mom! Damn, Iím sorry. He just let me go.

 

HELEN: [stares at Daria in shock] How can he do that? Heís your agent and heísó

 

DARIA: [loudly] Mom, please drop it, okay? He let me go! Nothing of mine is selling! Iím . . . Iím trying to get back on with the local newspaper, maybe as an editor or something. I see them tomorrow. Theyíve got employee childcare there now. I checked.

 

HELEN: [indicates baby] I can take care of her during the day, if you need.

 

DARIA: No, Mom, Iíll take her in with me if I get the job. I canít have you do that. [hesitates] Oh . . . can you watch her tomorrow when I go in for the interview? I have to type and everything, and I really hate toó

 

HELEN: Oh, Lord, Daria, of course! Sheís my little angel!

 

Daria looks at her daughter, resting peacefully against her motherís shoulder and drinking from the bottle. Dariaís face becomes very sad.

 

HELEN: [hesitates, soft voice] Have you gotten anything from Marcello?

 

DARIA: [pause, shaken out of reverie] Not a thing. Heís off somewhere, probably screwing his brains out, enjoying his freedom again.

 

HELEN: [shocked] Daria!

 

DARIA: [sighs] Mom, let it go. Heís gone.

 

HELEN: But I canít believe heíd run off from his own precious daughter! [louder] Or mine!

 

Daria starts to answer, but cannot. After struggling for words, she shrugs and looks away.

 

HELEN: What about the child welfare people I recommended? Didnít they go after him?

 

DARIA: They canít find him, and they canít get anything out of his estate. He hid his money somewhere, and I canít afford a hotshot lawyer to dig it up. The stateíll take years to get around to it. Heís just gone. I donít even want to bother with him anymore.

 

HELEN: If I could take the case, I would, believe me. Are you sure I canít get someone from my old firm toó

 

DARIA: No, Mom, and donít you pay for it, either. Heíd fight it, weíd go nowhere, and weíd spend all that money for nothing. Let it go.

 

HELEN: Well, theyíll catch him one of these days and make him pay!

 

Daria shrugs, beyond caring.

 

HELEN: You want some coffee?

 

DARIA: What? Oh. [gets off couch] Let me make it.

 

HELEN: Oh, I can do it.

 

DARIA: No, youíve got your hands full. [heads into kitchen]

 

 

5. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, KITCHEN, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Daria enters the kitchen and walks to the coffeemaker, picking up the glass pitcher and filling it in the sink. Helen comes in behind her, standing on the other side of the central counter, holding the bottle-nursing baby.

 

HELEN: Quinn was on WorldWeb News again. Her companyís doing really well.

 

DARIA: [filling pitcher, dull voice] I know. Saw it on the tube this morning when there was nothing else to do.

 

HELEN: I use her new blush. I donít have it on right now, but it is nice.

 

Daria doesnít respond or look at Helen.

 

HELEN: [looks uncomfortable] Daria, I meant to ask you. Did the divorce go through?

 

DARIA: [puts full pitcher into coffeemaker] Not yet. I have to wait a full year and apply for abandonment if I canít get him to respond. They changed all the laws about that. Iíve got six months left.

 

HELEN: After thatís over . . . are you thinking about looking again?

 

DARIA: For what? Oh. [pause] No.

 

HELEN: Youíre a smart young woman, you could meet aó

 

DARIA: [fiddling with coffeemaker controls] No. I was stupid once. God strike me down if Iím stupid twice. Marcello was enough.

 

HELEN: Well, what do you think got into him that he would run offó

 

DARIA: [turns and shouts] He got sick of me, okay? Just drop it!

 

The baby stops feeding and starts to cry. Helen puts down the bottle and cuddles the infant, making soft noises, and the baby subsides. Daria leans back against the counter by the sink, covering her face with her hands.

 

DARIA: [muffled] He just got sick of me. Everything fell apart. He got tired of me not getting anywhere with anything, complaining all the time, and he left. Please let it go, okay? Please?

 

Daria drops her hands, her eyes red, and fiddles with the coffeemaker controls again. The doorbell rings.

 

HELEN: Oh! Iíll get it. I bet thatís Quinn! [leaves kitchen for front door, with baby]

 

DARIA: [stares down at coffeemakerís control lights] Shit. [rubs at her eyes with her palms, sniffs, straightens her clothing, leaves kitchen for the front door]

 

 

6. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, FOYER, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Helen opens the front door, and Quinn comes in. Beautiful as a teenager, Quinn is stunning now, a twelve on a scale of one to ten, wearing an expensive and colorful business suit with tasteful diamond jewelry. Four men in white suits and sunglassesóclearly hiding weapons in their jacketsówalk back to a white stretch limousine parked by the curb. The limousineís windows are totally black.

 

QUINN: [to bodyguards] Two hours, okay? [to Helen] Mom, good to see you. [leans close to kiss Helen, frowns and pauses because Dariaís baby is in the way, manages to give Helen a peck on the cheek] I canít stay long. Thereís a board meeting in Manhattan tomorrow morning. Lots of stuff in the air. Babysitting in your spare time now?

 

HELEN: This is your little niece! Isnít she adorable? Sweetie, please stay as long as you can. I havenít seen much of you lately.

 

QUINN: [flips her long hair back] Yeah, I know. Iíve . . . [sees Daria walk into view from the kitchen] . . . well, well. Big sis is home, too. [raises right hand, palm down and level, to forehead as if measuring her height] I think Iím taller than you are, now, you know?

 

Daria walks up to Quinn, but just before she reaches her sister, a cell phone rings in one of Quinnís pockets. Quinn instantly holds up a hand to keep Daria back as she fishes in her pocket for the phone.

 

QUINN: Wait a second, I think this is . . . [puts cell phone to ear] . . . Quinn. Oh, Andre. Yes, hold on a moment, let me go in the other room. Iím in Lawndale, yeah. Hold on.

 

Quinn brushes past Daria, who had started to put out her arms to greet her sister. As Quinn walks off into the living room, Daria stares after her in shock, then drops her arms and looks painfully depressed. Helen stares from Quinn to Daria, stunned at what happened.

 

HELEN: [heads after Quinn] Iím going to bring her back. She should know better.

 

DARIA: [exasperated] Forget it, Mom.

 

 

7. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Helen, still carrying the baby, walks up behind Quinn.

 

QUINN: [to phone] Do you have Exhibit C? You know what thatís all about, right? [pause] Youíre goddamn right it is.

 

HELEN: [loud angry whisper] Quinn, your sisterís here!

 

QUINN: [to phone] Uh, hold a sec. [thumbs button on phone, turns to Helen in anger] Mom, I let you interrupt every family vacation and get-together weíve ever had with your stupid phone calls from Eric. The least you can do is let me take this one call. My whole career depends on this. Okay? Can I have that?

 

HELEN: [taken aback] Well . . . please hurry. You havenít seen Daria in ages.

 

QUINN: As soon as I get this wrapped up. [thumbs phone back on, flips her hair, to phone] Andre, you still there? Good. Exhibit C is going in, or else youíre going to feel a nuclear pitchfork jam you right in the ass, got it?

 

Helen looks startled at Quinnís words and tone, then turns and walks back to Dariaóbut Dariaís gone. Still holding the baby, Helen walks to the kitchen entrance and sees Daria walking over to the coffeemaker.

 

 

8. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, KITCHEN, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

In the background, we see Helen enter the kitchen. Daria, her face tight, pulls the pitcher from the coffeemakeróbut the pitcher jams and sloshes boiling coffee over her right hand. She jerks back with a cry, grabbing her injured hand. She quickly puts her hand under the sink faucet and runs cold water over it, her face reflecting terrific pain.

 

DARIA: [burns self] Ow! Damn it! [runs water on hand] Damn it to hell!

 

HELEN: Daria, sweetheart, are you all right?

 

DARIA: [face rigid, gasps] Fine! Iím fine!

 

HELEN: [hurries to see injured hand, holding baby] Let me see that!

 

The baby begins to cry. Helen gasps in horror when she sees Dariaís hand.

 

HELEN: Oh, Daria! You need to have that looked at!

 

DARIA: [strained look, still in great pain, hand under running water] I donít have health insurance, Mom! Just leave it alone! Itís okay! Forget it!

 

HELEN: I donít care if you donít have health insurance! Iím taking you to have that looked at! Iíll pay for it!

 

The baby cries harder, sensing the tension and loud voices.

 

QUINN: [VO, in living room, loudly, to phone] I said two one three, Andre. Dick around with me any more, and it goes up to five one three. [pause] You think Iím goddamn kidding? Well, youó [pause] All right, then.

 

DARIA: [takes bright red hand out of water, holds it up, wiggles fingers painfully] Look, Mom! Iím okay, all right? [sniffs back tears] Itís just red, thatís all! [looks at her baby] Look, can you get her to stop crying? My hand doesnít hurt any more, I swear it. Iím fine. [turns off water, picks up dishtowel and gingerly dabs her burned hand dry, her face trembling each time the dishtowel touches her hand] See? Iím okay. Iím fine.

 

Unnoticed by Daria or Helen, Quinn enters the kitchen and stops just in the doorway. She watches them with a look between amusement and disgust. Dariaís baby still cries loudly.

 

HELEN: Baby, you canít go to that interview with your hand like that! How are you going to type or writeó

 

DARIA: [looks at her baby, loud and anguished] Canít you get her to stop crying?

 

QUINN: [calm, disinterested] When you two are done, I have some news.

 

Daria and Helen glance at Quinn, surprised to see her. Helen rubs the babyís back, making cooing noises.

 

QUINN: [nods to Daria] Whatís with your hand?

 

DARIA: [hides her hand, fast deadpan] Nothing. Tell us your news.

 

HELEN: [kisses baby] Ssh, Grandmaís little angel, Grandma loves you, loves you, loves you.

 

The baby subsides, but still appears upset.

 

QUINN: [watches Helen] I just remembered why I decided not to have kids yet. [shrugs] Well, the bad news, Mom, is that youíre moving out of this dump.

 

HELEN: [stares at Quinn] What?

 

QUINN: Iím moving you out of this dump. Pick a city, any city, and youíre going there. Pick a house, any house, and youíve got it. [glances at Daria] You can have this one if you want, sis.

 

HELEN: Quinn, what on earth are you talking about?

 

QUINN: [pauses, grins like a wolf] The Big Red Q is no more. I just sold my interest in Q-Star Cosmetics.

 

Daria and Helen stare at Quinn, thunderstruck. Dariaís baby begins to cry again, but Helen absently rubs the babyís back, and again the baby subsides.

 

DARIA: Your company? You sold it?

 

QUINN: My interest in it, and Iím retiring as CEO. I sign the papers in Manhattan tomorrow. [to Helen, deadpan voice] Sorry I was on the phone, Mom, but I had to finish what I started. I learned that from you. Donít let anything stop you from clinching the deal.

 

HELEN: [stunned, weak voice] Well, it would have been nice to greet your sister first.

 

QUINN: [waves issue aside, walks forward to island counter in kitchen, rests hands on counter] Iíll greet her now. [deadpan] Hi, Daria. Long time, no see.

 

DARIA: [still hiding her hand, deadpan] So, what did you sell out for?

 

QUINN: [smiles, speaks slowly] Two hundred thirteen billion. [pause] Not counting the extra annual payouts for the next ten years, of course.

 

Daria stops moving; she stares at Quinn with a mixture of disbelief and dread. Helen gasps, her eyes huge, her mouth open. Both are staggered.

 

HELEN: Oh, my God. Oh, my God, you . . . thatís . . .

 

QUINN: Sold my shares to Sandi and her backers. Sheís been after my job since day one, and sheís got it. [wicked grin] Hope she enjoys the hot seat. Thereís a hostile buyout waiting in the wings in just two days.

 

HELEN: You said . . . how many million?

 

QUINN: Two hundred thirteen billion. Billion, Mom, not million. [pause] Pick a city, pick a house, and itís yours. Damn, just pick a freaking city, and itís yours, all right?

 

Daria looks down at her injured hand. Most of her right hand is bright red and beginning to swell. She carefully wraps her hand in the dishcloth, adjusting it to look as if she were carrying it. Her face betrays no emotion, though her jaw is tight with pain.

 

HELEN: [shocked, soft voice] I . . . but what if I want to live here? I mean, this is our home, Quinn. Itís all I have.

 

QUINN: You can have a townhouse in Paris, Mom, and one in Miami and one in Hong Kong and wherever the hell else you want. [shrugs] Think it over.

 

DARIA: [low deadpan, dry mouth] Congratulations.

 

QUINN: [eyes Daria coolly] Thank you. [pause] Know what? It worked out sort of ironically, you know? Today is the tenth anniversary of the moment I got the idea for Q-Star. Did I ever tell you how it happened?

 

HELEN: [still shocked, weak voice] No. I think Iíd better sit down. [wanders over to table and sits in chair with baby]

 

DARIA: [looks down, avoiding Quinnís gaze] No. You havenít talked to me much.

 

QUINN: [looks intently at Daria] It was the night of the Blush-a-thon. You remember that? [snorts, smiles] You ought to. I had Sandi, Stacy, and Tiffany over. Sandi was doing Stacy, and I was doing Tiffany, and I kept thinking, whatís wrong with my color sense? I was having trouble getting the colors right on Tiffanyís skin. It was her skin, her eyes, her hair, her lips, everything. I kept moving lamps around, trying to get more light, and it dawned on me. It was a, um, revelation. [smiles] I like that word. Revelation. I suddenly knew what was wrong with the colors I was using on Tiffany.

 

DARIA: [low deadpan] And now you control Asia.

 

QUINN: [grins, scratches her nose] Well, the cosmetics part of it, yeah. We grossed a trillion last year for the first time. Funny to think of it now. Sandi in control, right where she wants to be, Stacy running human resources, and Tiffany our top core-product modelóand me taking early retirement.

 

DARIA: [low dry voice, still avoiding eye contact] Why did you sell out?

 

QUINN: Time to move on. Iím almost thirty, Iíve worked my ass off, and I want to enjoy the rest of my life. Iím not making the same mistake Dad did.

 

HELEN: [shocked] Quinn! How can you say that?

 

QUINN: [to Helen, tense and angry] He worked himself down to nothing, Mom. Between his job and his bad eating habits and yelling all the time about his childhood, he wore himself out. He ruined his heart and killed himself. I begged him to eat better and calm down, but no, he wouldnít listen. Now Iím rich as a freaking solid-gold bitch, and I quit.

 

HELEN: [shrinks back, stares at Quinn] Two hundred billion. Oh, my God.

 

DARIA: [slowly] You said I ought to remember the Blush-a-thon. [pause] Why?

 

QUINN: [pause, casually to Daria] Because that was the night you made out with Jane's boyfriend, Tom Sloane, and broke them up. Still canít believe you did that, then went and told Jane the next day. You were such an idiot.

 

Daria gasps. She steps back and bumps into the counter behind her. Her face turns white.

 

QUINN: You were putting the moves on Tom when I was putting the moves on the world.

 

Dariaís lips move as if she were trying to say something, but nothing comes out.

 

QUINN: Thatís how it goes. One of us had her head on right. You used to despise me for all the time I spent dealing with fashion and cosmetics andó

 

HELEN: [stands up unsteadily with baby, walks toward Quinn, interrupts] Quinn, how can you talk to her like that? Sheís your sister, for the love of God!

 

DARIA: [pushes away from counter, not looking at Quinn, to Helen] I have to go. Iíll take her now.

 

HELEN: Daria, donít go yet! [to Quinn] You apologize to your sister!

 

QUINN: [coolly] For what? Giving her whatís coming to her? All the years she made me look like a fool, always bragging how smart she wasó

 

HELEN: Quinn! [baby begins to cry again, Daria takes baby from Helen and quickly walks past Quinn, leaving the kitchen]

 

QUINN: [shouting after Daria] How smart are you now, Daria? You lost your best friend, the only damn friend you ever had, then you dumped Tom right after you kissed him, and how smart was that? If youíd married him, youíd be a millionaire now! Heís not even worth a goddamn fraction of what I am, but you wouldíve had it made!

 

HELEN: [losing control] Quinn, shut up!

 

QUINN: [shouting after Daria] Does the truth hurt, big sister?

 

 

9. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, FOYER AND LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Her crying baby in her arms, Daria goes quickly to the front door. Helen is right behind her. Quinn comes into the living room, her face alive with wicked, gleeful rage.

 

HELEN: Daria, please wait! Let me talk to Quinn!

 

QUINN: [shouts to Daria] You ever hear from Jane again?

 

HELEN: [to Quinn] Stop it! [begins to cry] Please, stop it! Not in my house!

 

Daria struggles to open the front door, using her injured right hand. Her face twists in pain. Her baby cries loudly and shrilly.

 

QUINN: [shouts to Daria] Did anything in your life ever go right after you lost Jane? Anything at all? Do you feel smart, Daria? Where are your books, your money, that worthless ass-wipe husband of yours? [louder] Whereís your best friend? You screwed her over, and where are you now? You feeling smart now?

 

 

10. DARIAíS STORYóEXT: MOMENTS LATER, FRONT YARD, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Daria gets the front door open and hurries outside. She stumbles on the concrete outside and nearly falls, rushing for her car, but keeps her footing. She limps, however, favoring one ankle. Helen, crying, hurries out after her. Daria goes to the driverís side of her little car, still shielding her baby from the sun, and manages to get the door open with her right hand though she gasps in pain. She gets the seat to fold forward, then she reaches into the back seat, where a childís car seat is strapped down. The baby cries loudly, nonstop. Two doors open in the limousine parked by the curb, and two bodyguards wearing sunglasses get out, watching with wary expressions.

 

QUINN: [shouts from front door] Ten years, Daria! Did you ever find another friend like her? You want me to buy you some friends, Daria? I can get you all the friends you want!

 

HELEN: [crying, to Daria] Please donít go! Donít drive like this!

 

Daria gets her baby strapped in the car seat, then snaps the driverís seat back. Her face is red and puffy; tears run from her eyes. She gets into the driverís seat, shuts the door, and starts the car without putting on her seat harness. The babyís screams are heard clearly even with the car doors shut.

 

QUINN: [shouts from front door] You still miss her, donít you? You know how I know that, Daria? You know how I know that you still miss the only friend you ever had?

 

 

11. DARIAíS STORYóINT: MOMENTS LATER, IN AND AROUND DARIAíS CAR

 

Daria throws the car into reverse, and she backs out of the driveway without watching for traffic. A car squeals to a halt, almost ramming her from behind as she enters the street. Two more bodyguards get out of the limo, hands on their weapons, grimly watching Daria leave. Daria puts the car in drive and pulls away from the house, tires screaming, heading down the street at increasing speed. The babyís screams are intense and unending. Dariaís right hand cannot grasp the steering wheel properly, as her fingers are so burned.

 

DARIA: [voice breaking, tears running down face] Please donít cry! Please donít cry, Jane! Youíre all Iíve got! [breaks down and sobs as she drives] Youíre all Iíve got left in the world, Jane, please, please, donít cry!

 

[story ends]

 

 

12. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, KITCHEN, MORGENDORFFER HOME

 

Daria makes herself a sandwich, alone in the kitchen. Jane quietly walks into the kitchen; the manuscript is not with her. She looks solemn.

 

DARIA: [her back to Jane, deadpan] So, it sucked. The matches are in the drawer on the left.

 

JANE: [softly] No. [pause] You mad at me?

 

DARIA: [pause, very low voice] No.

 

The two are quiet for a few moments.

 

JANE: Whyíd you finally let me read it?

 

Daria does not respond, exceptóafter a pauseóto shrug.

 

JANE: Did you write it last summer, when you were working at Mr. OíNeillís weird little ďokay-to-cryĒ camp?

 

DARIA: [hesitates, low voice] Before camp. [pause, very low voice] After I broke up with Tom. The first time.

 

JANE: You beat yourself up pretty good. The hand thing, the . . . the everything.

 

Daria does not respond.

 

JANE: [looks thoughtfully at Dariaís back] You told me you got your inspiration for that first story, the ďHeartsĒ one, from your mom, when she told you to write down what you really wanted to see happen. [pause] I got the feeling that you thought you deserved what happened to you in the second one. [pause] You donít mind a little analysis here, do you?

 

DARIA: [fiddling with her sandwich] The knives are in the drawer next to you. If you use a big one, you can get this over with much quicker.

 

JANE: Hmmm. You know, I thought Quinn was out of character. That wasnít really like her at all, not like Iíve seen her. [pause] I think she was channeling you, what you thought about all that stuff with you and me and Tom. [pause] I sort of wish Iíd heard the same channeling when I met Tom, and you got dropped out of the picture.

 

A long pause develops. Daria stops fiddling with her sandwich and just stands at the kitchen counter, staring down at her sandwich, her back to Jane.

 

JANE: You and I have never talked a lot about the guys-and-dating issue. We didnít until it was too late, anyway. I remember at the end of last summer we agreed not to leave each other in the lurch again if a hottie appeared on the horizon, and I assume that weíre past the point of beating ourselves up over Tom or anyone else. I think thatís all ironed out.

 

DARIA: [doesnít look up] So, thereís nothing else to say. Stop talking.

 

JANE: [leans against center island counter, crosses arms] You know what took me the longest time to work out in my head, about Tom and everything, was realizing how much you needed me. I need you, too, but I donít think now that I understood how much you needed me.

 

DARIA: [low voice] Iím glad Iím not paying you eighty dollars an hour for this.

 

JANE: Youíll get my bill. I thought a lot about what you said when you came to see me last August at the art colony, about me being a confidence-building role model for you, and I thought about how I cut you off when Tom and I were seeing each other. I actually think you and I had more time together when you were dating Tom than when I was.

 

DARIA: [still looking at sandwich] So, when we go to Boston, Iíll date, and you wonít.

 

JANE: [laughs] Oh, you wish! College is where the hormones are rockiní, and the parents and siblings arenít there knockiní. Weíre both gonna be seeing people, Daria. You get something from a guy that you canít get from anywhere else.

 

DARIA: With food poisoning, I can get nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and near-death experiences. Just like dating, except thereís no one there to take you for granted or argue with youóor get you pregnant, or give you an STD, oró

 

JANE: Daria, I know it isnít the driving force in your life, and it isnít the number-one thing in my life, either, but . . . let me ask you something. You liked it when you first kissed Tom, didnít you?

 

Daria stops moving. Her face slowly turns red all the way to the back of her neck.

 

DARIA: [low voice] Iíll tell you where the jewels are hidden. Stop the torture.

 

JANE: Thatís real life, Daria. You know it. I think you can accept it and deal with it better now than anytime before. Weíre both headed there. [pause] You know what Iíd like? Iíd like someday to meet someone who accepted me as I am, who loved me for being me, who needed me to be me, and who was also a guy. I need that last part.

 

DARIA: Except for the guy part, you . . . [stops herself, quickly picks up sandwich and plate and puts them in the refrigerator] Lost my appetite. I gotta go.

 

JANE: Except for the guy part, I had you nailed, didnít I?

 

DARIA: [frozen, fearful look] No! [tries to leave kitchen quickly, not looking at Jane]

 

JANE: Hey! Stop right there, Morgendorffer! Stop, I mean it! [Daria stops on other side of center island, just short of entryway] Stop . . . right . . . there.

 

Jane walks around the counter to stand before Daria, who looks down.

 

JANE: [softly] Iím going to tell you something Iíve never said to you before.

 

DARIA: [anxious look, fast deadpan] What you do decide to do with any number of consenting adults and farm animals in the privacy of your own room is fine withó

 

JANE: I love you, Daria.

 

Daria backs up a step, still looking down. She appears small and extremely frightened.

 

JANE: Look at me. Really, I mean it. Look at me. I love you.

 

Daria swallows, then slowly raises her gaze and looks at Jane, her face reddening. She looks scared and vulnerable and near tears.

 

JANE: I will never have another friend like you. No one will ever mean as much to me as you do.

 

DARIA: [eyes glisten, voice hoarse and low] Please donít . . .

 

JANE: Donít tell you how I feel? I think you need to know this.

 

DARIA: [hoarse] I . . . I already know. [rubs her eyes] I . . . [sniffs] . . . you, too. Please stop. I donít want to . . . I hate to . . .

 

JANE: Weíll stop, but I had to tell you. I read your story, and it really affected me, and I just wanted you to know where you are in my life. Thatís all I wanted to do.

 

DARIA: [takes off glasses, wipes eyes with palm of right hand] Okay. Stop now.

 

JANE: [smiles] Hey, címon, that didnít hurt, did it? At least I didnít cry all over you.

 

DARIA: [clears throat, puts glasses back on] This was almost as bad.

 

JANE: You know, I didnít cry at all when I read your story, in fact, until Ió[voice suddenly breaks, Jane bursts into tears, pitch of voice rises quickly]ógot to the part where you named your baby after meeeeeeeeeee!

 

Jane grabs the startled Daria and hugs her tight, crying all over her.

 

DARIA: Jane! Jane!

 

JANE: [cries hard] Youíre my best friend in the whole world! I want you to have lots of babies and name them all after me!

 

DARIA: [struggles to get free] Let go! Jane!

 

JANE: [sobs but begins to laugh at the same time] Iím going to call Tom and Trent and have them come over and start making babies with you right now!

 

DARIA: [flails one free arm, desperately tries to escape Jane] Damn it! Itís the paint fumes, Jane! Paint fumes and Crazy Glue!

 

 

Original: 7/19/02

Revised: 1/29/03

Script

 

FINIS