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You’re Not the Only One on the Road: A Screenplay

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


EXT. RURAL AREA - ON THE ROAD - DAY


A GIRL, 18, is driving a small used white car. Next to her, in the front passenger seat, is her new driving INSTRUCTOR, 44.


The girl spots a deer crossing a few feet away. She breaks calmly, remaining in her lane until it passes. Once it’s gone she continues driving.


INSTRUCTOR

Nicely done.


She smiles while maintaining focus on the road.


GIRL

Thank you, sir.


A bright yellow sign indicates a sharp turn up ahead. The girl slows down and masterfully maneuvers her way through it.


INSTRUCTOR

Very good, but I get the feeling that you are familiar with these roads.


GIRL

(jokingly)

Yeah, you caught me. I come here often.


INSTRUCTOR

I can’t blame you, the countryside is beautiful.


GIRL

That too, but most of my previous driving instructors also prefer that I keep practicing here.


INSTRUCTOR

I can’t imagine why. You’ve practically perfected this hour-long route by now. Let’s see if I can teach you anything new.


His eyes light up with an idea.


INSTRUCTOR (CONT’D)

We should go into town and –


Suddenly, the car jerks left. Quickly the girl recovers and gains back control.


GIRL

Sorry, you startled me, and no thanks I’ll keep practicing here.


Pulled over at the side of the road was an old car. The girl decreases her speed. She puts enough space between her car and the other car. Cautiously she goes through then gradually increases speed.


INSTRUCTOR

But it’s not required.


She shifts her body uncomfortably.


INSTRUCTOR (CONT’D)

What did the other instructors tell you exactly? And how come you had multiple of them?


Before she could respond, she detects something alarming in her rearview mirror. Her eyes dilate and her unsteady hands begin to sway the vehicle.


INSTRUCTOR

What’s wrong?


He looks into the car's side mirror but sees nothing out of the ordinary.


The girl unknowingly speeds up the car.


INSTRUCTOR

(stunned)

Hey, hey! It’s only 45 mph here!


She ignores him, reaching 55 mph at this point. She keeps glancing at the mirror.


Without warning a deer appears. The girl swerves into the left lane for a couple of seconds to avoid hitting it.


INSTRUCTOR

You got to ease up on the gas!


GIRL

(mortified)

I can’t, it’s behind me!


INSTRUCTOR

What is?


The girl’s hands were still shaking.


INSTRUCTOR (CONT’D)

Alright, fine take the next right.


She nodded her head, as she kept glancing back. Minutes later she slowed down the car enough to make the turn.


GIRL

Whew, sorry about that.


Out of sight, out of mind. She went back to normal.


INSTRUCTOR

Can you expla –


GIRL

It’s back!


The thing she saw before reappeared. She steps harder on the gas pedal.


INSTRUCTOR

No, stop it. There’s nothing you should be afraid of!


GIRL

It’s following me!


INSTRUCTOR

Now you’re being paranoid. Please just slow down!


GIRL

But then they’ll catch up to me!


Unlike the girl’s persistence, the tires could not go on. That’s when the front left tire blew out.


GIRL (CONT’D)

No, no! Are you freaking serious!?


Right away she looks up at the rearview mirror. She turns on her emergency lights.


INSTRUCTOR

Stay calm. Listen, do not step on the breaks. I know that sounds wrong but keep accelerating and keep going straight.


GIRL

(takes a deep breath)

Okay, but behind us—.


INSTRUCTOR

(stern)

Forget whatever you see back there. Focus on yourself.


The girl looks at him from the corner of her eye. A scared expression on her face becomes a firm one that realizes the life-threatening situation they’re in.


GIRL

Don’t worry, I know what to do.


She looks at all her mirrors one last time before gently removing her foot from the accelerator at last. When the car’s speed is less than 20 mph, the girl safely pulls over.


INSTRUCTOR

(takes a sigh of relief)

Oh, thank goodness. That could’ve been a disaster!


The girl takes off her seatbelt. She turns around in her seat to watch.


The instructor notices. He removes his seatbelt and steps out of the automobile.


GIRL

Here it comes.


Again, the instructor observes nothing daunting. The only thing that raced past them was a gray pickup truck. The only peculiar thing about it was that it was speeding.


GIRL (CONT’D)

And there it goes.


INSTRUCTOR

(irritated)

What!? We both could’ve gotten in a severe accident and ended up in the hospital, or worse, all because of another car!?


The girl slumped back in the driver’s seat.


GIRL

I know, I’m sorry. I just didn’t want to upset that driver…or any driver.


The instructor examined the girl with her head hung low and her hands clasped together in her lap.


GIRL

You have every right to be mad and I get it if you don’t want to be my instructor anymore.


INSTRUCTOR

(exasperated)

I have to make a phone call.


He pulls out his phone from his pocket and closes the passenger side door.


The girl sits there alone in silence, unable to hear the instructor’s conversations. After ten minutes go by the instructor reopens the door.


INSTRUCTOR (CONT’D)

Roadside assistance has been notified and a mediocre towing company is on its way.


The girl raises her head. She remains quiet for another three seconds waiting for the rest. The instructor, however, simply sat down in his seat.


GIRL

Didn’t you call the driving school or at least my parents?


INSTRUCTOR

Well, I did call your parents a couple of times actually, but they never answered.


The girl moved her gaze toward the road.


INSTRUCTOR (CONT’D)

It made me realize that I guess someone has to keep a close eye on you.


She whipped her head back to scan the instructor’s face for any hints of mischief. But she found none.


INSTRUCTOR

I’ll teach you. On and off the road: Never drive off-course to get people to stop honking at you.














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