A Christmas Wish (2021) Movie Script

Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Two bills in and
already at 400.
Uh oh, is it bills time?
Mm, you got it.
Just hope my paycheck can
cover the important ones.
I mean, of course my paycheck
will cover everything.
Including this
new gymnastics class
I wanna try out next month?
Oh, and kids in
my algebra class,
were talking about
doing a Secret Santa.
And, you know, I don't
wanna be left out.
Okay, where's this class,
how much is it gonna cost,
and who's running it?
One of the teachers at school,
Ms. Sherman, is running
it with her sister.
It starts after Christmas
and it's only $300.
I'll see how much is left over
after I pay the bills, Esta.
Hey, what about Dad?
What about him?
Maybe he can help pay
for the things I need.
Why not?
Because I don't need
your father's money, okay?
I can figure things out.
But Mom, you shouldn't
have to struggle alone
to take care of me.
Look, I'll go talk to
him. You won't have to.
First of all, struggle
is a strong word.
I'll figure out how
to get those classes
before registration, okay?
And I need a refill.
Where is she?
I need to talk to her.
Where is who?
Principal Austin. I
need to see her right now.
Ms. McKenzie. Mrs. Austin's
already left for the day.
No, she can't just lay me
off and leave for the day
like nothing ever happened.
I'm sorry, but she's gone.
Well, I need to see somebody.
I need to see an
administrator about this.
Try and calm down.
Please have a seat.
I'll try the AP, Mr.
Matlock, for you, okay?
Calm down.
Need to calm down?
You still have a job.
Hey, sweetie.
Hey, Mom, where are you?
I'm at, at school.
Something came up I needed
to take care of, why?
Remember, you were
supposed to come pick me up.
Oh, shoot, honey, I'm sorry.
Give me about 30 more minutes
to wrap things up.
Can you stay at
school that long?
Yeah. I'll
find something to do.
See you soon, Mom.
Okay. Great.
Dalton, what the hell are
you doing in my house?
I'm pretty sure this
is still my house.
I won it in the
settlement, so it's my house.
Hey, baby girl, come here.
How are you?
What are you doing here?
Came to see you
and to pay your
mom a little visit.
Well, we don't have
anything we need to discuss
so you can get out.
Hey, don't worry
about it, baby.
She can't get rid
of me that easy.
At least not tonight.
We don't have anything
we need to discuss.
What do you want?
Dad, can-
- Eh eh.
It's okay.
I'll come get you after I'm
done with your mom, okay?
Thank you, Princess.
What do you want?
See you got the house all
decorated nice and pretty.
The tree is nice, but outside
is really amazing, you know.
I can't even front.
You always had a thing
when it came to decorating
around Christmastime.
What do you want?
Why the hell did you put
a motion for child support?
Because we're divorced.
I've never had a problem
with taking care of my child.
I don't need a judge telling me
that I'm on child support.
I don't trust you to do
the right thing willingly
so I'd rather have
a court do it.
You don't trust me
with money, girl.
No, mmnn.
Girl, are you tripping?
No, I don't trust you
with money, remember?
You and money are the reason
that we are divorced right now.
Here we go.
Or did you forget?
- Here we go.
- What?
You're terrible with finances.
I digress 'cause I'm
not really trying
to get into all that
with you right now, okay?
So listen, I have an account
already set up for Esta.
She can pull money from that
whenever she needs, okay?
What, you have a what?
Yeah, because I don't
need some uptight judge
telling me how
much I need to pay
for my child.
- My daughter can get-
- Freaking.
Whatever she
needs from me, okay?
I'm not trying to go back
and forth with you right now.
I've had a horrible day.
Who cares?
Nobody asked you that.
And plus this is
way more important
than your day, all right?
Plus, you've gotten way
more than enough from me
from the judge already.
- I got enough from you?
- Yeah.
All I got was this house
and a whole lotta bills.
Well, whose fault is that?
Because you asked
for this divorce
and you are the one who
created these bills, all right?
Am I lying?
Where's the lie?
Tell me I'm lyin'.
Dalton, you either go upstairs
and be with our daughter
or get out!
But get out of my face!
You ain't right, girl.
No, you ain't right
for this, girl.
Ooh! Ooh, I hate him!
Oh, what am I gonna do?
Come in, sweetie.
This is the form I need you
to fill out for gymnastics.
The money's due December 14th
and Ms. Sherman's holding
the last spot for me
and she's doing me
a huge solid here.
Where are these
classes held again?
At the center she
runs with her sister.
I think it's up north
somewhere. I have the info.
Oh, and don't worry about
the price that's listed.
Remember she's
giving me a discount.
Yeah, 300 instead of 450.
I need to get into this racket.
Remember if you
can't pay for it,
I'm sure Dad can do it.
I'm sure.
Well, he also said he has
an account set up for me
for whenever I need it.
He told you that?
Yeah. Is he
lying or something?
I wouldn't know. I don't
control your father's money.
Well, he said I can use
it whenever I need it.
So might as well use it.
Enough about your
father's deep pockets, okay?
Not trying to be all
in your business,
but why was there so much school
stuff in your car earlier?
It's just extra stuff I
don't need in the classroom.
Decided to store it there.
Okay. Gotcha.
You need to go to bed.
We have an early morning.
What, why? Tomorrow's Saturday.
Yeah, we're setting
up the food pantry
at the new church, remember?
This'll be great for the
church and the community.
Um, I'm so sorry,
but I totally forgot to tell you
that I'm doing breakfast
tomorrow with Dad
so he can help me
with my algebra
and yeah, can I make
it up to you, please?
Thank you, Mom, good night.
Well, things are
really looking good here
at the food pantry.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
I really enjoy doing this.
And you are?
Oh, sorry. I'm Noel Preston.
Pastor Preston.
Oh! Oh my goodness.
It's an honor to meet you.
Thank you for allowing me
to do this for your church.
Oh no, no, no, no.
When you contacted
us about doing this,
trust me, we were
the ones blessed.
It's important to bless others
when we're in a
position to do so.
Amen, sister.
Well, I guess I should
let you get back to work
as I have some work to
do myself.
As I will down the
hall in my office
if you need me.
You have a great
rest of your day.
Thanks. You too.
Your dad help you
with your homework?
He sure did. Dad's awesome.
I really miss us.
I know, baby, but for now we
need to detangle these lights
so we can get up
in the backyard.
- Hm?
- I really miss us.
Especially during Christmastime.
Not spending Christmas
together as a family
is gonna be different.
Like I don't even
know how to do that.
I know, baby,
but we just have to learn
how to deal with that.
But do we really?
Mom, I wanna spend Christmas
together as a family,
even though we aren't.
I know it's the one thing
I want for Christmas.
What if your dad
isn't available?
How could he not be
available for Christmas for me?
How could you not wanna do this?
I want my family for Christmas.
It'd be the bestest gift ever.
We'll see.
But for now let's get
the yard decorated
so we can have a festive
atmosphere around here.
Need more lights.
What child doesn't want
their parents together
for Christmas?
Still works.
Dalton bought this for
me when Esta was born.
Hey, Dalton.
You got time to talk?
What about?
You know, holiday plans,
you know, since
it's the first year
we won't be together and all.
Yeah, well maybe we should.
Oh really, we should?
Esta mentioned it to me
and maybe we should hang
out with her for her sake.
That sounds cool to me.
I, um, I'll hit
you back later.
I'm kind of in the
middle of something.
Yeah, okay.
Cool. We'll just
talk about it later.
Okay. Bye.
Good morning, Mom.
Good morning.
I just need
something quick to take
because Shayda's mom is
on her way to pick me up.
That's fine.
You're not even
gonna warm it up?
Nah, I'm good.
Why are you still here here?
Usually leave before me.
I just have something
to take care of
before work, so yeah.
Oh, Shayda's here.
Gotta go, Mom. Bye.
Love you.
Love you too.
Be good.
I will.
It's December 10th.
Got laid off on Friday.
So that means I
get one more check.
Hey, good morning.
Good morning to you.
What's that? I'll
get that for you.
- Thanks.
- All right.
Uh, what brings
you here so early?
I called to check in
and they said Mr. Joe
was sneaking cans of
corn out under his shirt.
I said, let him take the corn.
I'll bring some more.
Of course, that's what
we're here for, right?
So, what do you
do during the day?
I teach at a
school, but not today.
Crazy situation.
Well, you wanna
tell me about it?
I'm good with counseling people.
I do it for a living.
I, I don't think I
need counseling, Pastor.
I just need to stay
busy to keep my mind
off of certain things.
Okay, okay.
I totally understand.
I mean, I know what
you're going through.
I don't think you know what
I'm going through, Pastor.
Listen, you have
the power to fix
whatever it is that's
troubling you at the moment.
Just find it within yourself.
Oh no, I got it.
Just gotta find another job
before the little genius
figures out anything.
Oh, Mom, you're home.
Yeah. Been home
about five, 10 minutes.
You musta flew outta
work when the kids left.
I guess so. How was school?
It was school.
Remember that Secret Santa
I was telling you about?
Well, that's happening.
The class agreed on spending
no more than $20 on a gift.
When I did it, it was five.
Some kids wanted
it to be a hundred.
What kinda jobs
do these kids have?
Oh, and Ms. Sherman asked
about the money for gymnastics.
She wanted to know if
I was still interested.
I told her yeah.
Just waiting on you to
hand over some money.
I'll get it. We have time.
I'm gonna go start
doing my math project.
Oh. Need help?
No. Dad's the math whiz.
I'm good.
Dad's the math whiz.
Finance whiz. Secret
handshake whiz.
Might as well knight
him Sir Dalton McKenzie.
Hey, Dad.
What are you doing
tomorrow after school?
Um, I wanna go over
there and talk to you.
Pasta. You cool with that?
I'm gonna hang out
with my dad tomorrow.
You cool with that?
Because I wanna
spend time with him.
Is there a problem?
"I wanna spend time with
him. Is there a problem?"
Dalton said you were
supposed to be good luck.
Right now you just feel
like a hoodoo doll.
Everything that could
go wrong is going wrong.
I need you
to be good luck.
Come on in, baby.
Come on.
Dad, your tree is naked.
I know.
I just picked it up yesterday.
I knew you was coming
so I figured we could
decorate it together.
What's wrong, baby girl?
I gotta talk to you, Dad.
About what? What's the matter.
I wanna join gymnastics,
but I asked Mom to pay for it
and she isn't giving
me the money yet.
Oh, so now you just coming
to ask me for the money, right?
Well, yeah. You are my dad.
Plus I just don't think that Mom
has the money for it right now.
She's always talk about
paying the bills first.
Mama's become, I don't
know, weird about money.
All right, but, you
gotta understand now
she's the head of the household
over there now, you know.
And it's not easy.
So you gotta cut
her a little slack.
I guess.
It's just gymnastics, right?
Well, why don't you just
give me the money instead?
It's only $300.
$300? For gymnastics?
It's for a private class.
Anyway, let's talk
about something else.
Well okay, I don't blame her.
I can teach you how to
flip. You know that, right?
Well, look, what
about Christmas?
Mom said she would
actually be fine
with the idea of us bringing
in Christmas together
as a family.
Really? Are you?
Yeah. Of course I am.
I get to be with my baby
girl. What do you think?
What about seeing Mom?
I mean,
that'd be nice too I guess.
You guys trip me out.
Where's all this talk...
Where's this coming
from, little girl.
You two. I don't get why
y'all are not together.
Can you explain it?
There's a lotta
details that happened
between me and your mom, okay?
But you don't need
to know all that
because you're too young anyway.
Well, tell me this.
Do you wish it never happened?
Come here.
To me when it comes to your mom,
there's a lotta things that
I wish didn't happen, okay?
I told Mom
that I wanted to spend
Christmas together
but that's not the
only thing I want.
I want us back together
as a family, Dad.
Do you ever feel like that?
Yeah, of course I do.
Look, I never wanted any of
this separate holiday stuff.
I mean, it's weird.
You know, you got a tree at
your mom's house, a tree here.
This is never what
I wanted for us.
Then fix it.
I can't. I mean,
it's not all on me.
It's your mom, and
you know your mom.
She gets what she wants.
And I guess this
is what she wanted.
Let's just say it's time
that we get what we want,
our family back together.
Look, you're doing
all this talking.
Are you gonna help me
with this tree or not?
I need you to get
it pretty for me
'cause I'm not gonna
do it by myself.
- Okay, okay, Dad.
- Come on.
I'm gonna go
upstairs and change clothes.
Yeah I can't wait to eat it.
It better be good.
Well, it's about time.
Hey, Mom, we brought dinner.
Dinner's cooking.
You should've called and told
me if you were bringing food.
Come on, Roz. It's just food.
It's always
something with you.
Mom, come on.
Esta, go upstairs.
Really? Was all that
really necessary?
Is it necessary for you
to bring her home late?
Roz, it's only eight o'clock.
She has school tomorrow.
Well, she's already
done her homework
and I know it's right,
because I helped her,
so why are you tripping?
Are you finished?
No, actually I'm not.
She tells me that you can't
buy some of the things
that she needs.
- What?
- Yeah.
You having financial
issues again?
If I am having
financial issues again,
it's because you're refusing
to pay child support.
So, which is it?
You can pay for the
things she needs
or you can't because
I won't give you
your little child support money?
It's both.
I can hold things down here,
but you gotta take
care of your daughter.
Whoa, whoa. I take
care of my daughter
and I will get her
whatever she needs, okay?
- Good.
- Yeah. Good.
I just don't think I need to be
on child support right now.
Well, I do and that's that
so let's get up on outta here.
Come on.
After you.
Is all this really necessary?
Cute. Real cute.
And I will drop her off
after we have our breakfast
on Christmas morning.
No, no, no.
Esta thinks that we're
spending Christmas together
as a family.
She's already excited
about it. Come on.
She'll get over it.
Hurry up.
You got no right
telling your father
I can't pay for anything.
Mom, I didn't tell him that.
Whatever you told him,
don't do it anymore.
How dare you literally
give him the ammo
to use against me.
Oh. Hey.
Hi. Looking good.
You care to sit?
It's been a weird
couple of weeks.
Lost a job that I loved.
Like it feels
like everything is coming
down on me at once.
Like life is just
tough in general.
Until I come here.
I always feel
better when I leave.
It's, it's the spirit
of Christmas.
And this building.
It brings a lot of joy
for a lot of people.
Well, I have some work
to do in the pantry.
So I'm gonna get started-
Mrs. Roz McKenzie.
Miss Roz McKenzie.
Please, forgive me,
Miss Roz McKenzie.
Things are gonna
get better for you.
I know it's all gonna work
out and if you need anything
and I do mean anything,
I'll be around.
I'll keep that in mind.
Oh, you're in a good mood.
I suppose so.
No thanks. You know
what's in the bag.
Hey, I wanna apologize
for the other day.
I shouldn't have snapped
at you and I'm sorry.
It's cool, Mom.
Don't be late.
Love you, Mom.
I love you too.
You look so cute.
Thank you.
I'm a great shopper.
Miss McKenzie,
you could come in.
Okay. Hi.
Thank you so much.
You sure you
don't need a ride?
Nah, my mom's on her way.
Where's your mom been?
What do you mean, at work?
Nope, my sister
goes to the school
that your mom works at.
Yeah, I know.
Your mom ain't been
there in like a week.
Wait, what?
She's up every morning
cooking breakfast and-
- Your mom's classes were split
with the other
second grade class.
Oh, your mom's coming
up. See you tomorrow.
Got your popcorn.
You know, Shayda told me
something that blew my mind.
Let's talk.
You know she has
a little sister
that goes to your school, right?
She says that you haven't
been there in a week.
Isn't that crazy?
She says that your
class got split
into other second grade classes.
Mom, isn't Shayda wrong?
Esta, I did not want
you to find out this way.
Mom, why aren't you at school?
What's going on?
I got laid off.
What? When?
Last Friday.
But you're up every morning
dressed like you're
going to work.
Where have you been going?
I've been going on interviews
and helping out at
the food pantry.
Wow, Mom.
Let me start
from the beginning.
Remember when you asked why
I had all the classroom stuff
in my car?
You said that you had to
bring home some extra stuff.
It wasn't extra stuff.
That was the day I got laid off.
No, no, no, no, no.
They can't do that to you.
You're a first year teacher.
They said they didn't
have enough students
to justify keeping
my position open.
But they did when
you first got it.
Why is it different now?
I don't know, baby.
It's just the, the drama of
working in public education.
You're so calm about this.
- Mm.
- How?
Well, I have to be, or
else I would be worrying
and, and it would rub off
on you and you'd be worrying
like you are now.
It's gonna be okay, baby.
We'll get through this. I
even had an interview today.
And how did that go?
It went really well.
It went great.
Haven't heard back
from the principal yet,
but I should hear
something soon.
Do you really
believe that, Mom?
Do you really believe
that we're just fine?
Do you really just tell
yourself that at night
and actually believe it?
Esta, I have to.
I have to.
Or else I'd be worrying about,
about food and bills
and things that we need
and it'll be okay.
We've gotta stay
positive about this.
All right?
No wonder why you
couldn't pay for the gymnastics.
I feel awful stressing
you about it.
No, no.
No, you deserve to
do what you want.
And if you really wanna
take those classes,
I'm okay with you
asking your dad.
I know he won't have a
problem giving it to you.
Yes, dry those tears.
I'll go call him.
Why don't you do that.
Hey, Mom.
- Hey.
- Wanna take me
to school today?
Uh, I can if you need me to.
Oh, I'm just messing with you.
I have a ride.
What are you gonna be up to?
Oh, stuff.
Maybe plan out our
Christmas breakfast menu.
Search for a little present.
Mom. I don't want anything.
Honey, yes, you do.
Okay, I want what
I told you before
about our family.
But don't spend any money.
Sweetie, I put a
little something aside
for Christmas gifts, okay, Love?
We don't have to
worry about that.
Mom, yes we do.
You have to keep your
money for the real things.
Don't you ever worry
about running out?
You let me worry
about the finances
and you handle school, okay?
Oh, Shayda's outside.
- Oh.
- I'll see you later, Mom.
- Okay.
- Bye.
Bye, honey. Have a good day.
You too.
Messing up my hard work?
Oh. No.
Hi, Pastor.
Christmas is just days away.
Yes, indeed it is.
Time flies too quickly.
Ah, so what's going on?
Same crap.
Feel like I'm on a
hamster wheel sometimes
just running in place.
Do hamster wheels
ever go backwards?
Sure feels like it.
You know I got laid off
from my job last week.
And I've been
trying to interview
for other teaching positions.
I even had one on Friday.
I thought it went great.
Thought for sure I'd get it.
Then I get word this morning
that they went
with someone else.
So I just don't know.
Yeah, well, getting laid off.
Unfortunately I know about that.
I was laid off my first
year in education.
You were in education?
Yeah. I was a teacher
for 10 years.
I had third grade my first year
and yeah, I got laid off,
you know, budget cuts.
Then I got hired
at another school
and had a fifth
grade for nine years.
I would've never guessed.
Oh, well, I kinda
stumbled into it.
My mother was a teacher
so I think I just
stayed on that path.
I, um, it was hard for me too,
after they laid me off,
so I started to question
if education was my calling
and started focusing
on the philanthropy
and ministry work.
You know, the summer
they laid me off
I really started to struggle
with wanting to
open my own church,
being a minister or yes,
going back to education.
I take it you chose ministry?
No, actually both.
Manage all my mission work
and I didn't wanna
stop helping people.
Think I went back to teaching
because of that and
wanted to help children
and keep them on the right path.
I miss working so much.
Just too much time
to spin out of control
especially emotionally.
I've gotta keep a cool
head for my, my daughter.
Don't want her absorbing
all this energy,
but it's getting harder.
Well, I can only imagine.
Does she know?
Uh, she found out before
I could break it to her.
Oh. No, how?
One of her nosy little friends
told her everything.
Oh, it's gonna take
time, but it will work out.
It'll work out?
- Yes.
- How?
I've got a teenage daughter
who needs things,
lots of things.
Legal fees, the ghosts
of student loans past.
Pastor Noel, it's
expensive to breathe.
Okay, Roz, I get it.
We've all been there.
But maybe you're looking
at this all the wrong way.
My eyes don't deceive me
when I open up the mail.
Yeah, but your
focus on how fast
you need to get another
job might be wrong.
Look, sometimes we
need to lose something
to truly figure out what and
who we need in our lives.
Good things are gonna
happen for you though.
- Daddy, oh my god, come in!
- Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa.
- Come in!
- Hey!
I got your message,
why are you rushing me
over here like this?
- Because Mom's not home.
- So?
Come on. I gotta talk to you.
Come here!
Oh ooh.
Okay, baby girl,
tell me what's going on.
You in trouble or something?
No, Dad, gosh.
Then what is it?
I need money for
teenager things.
You coulda called me and
told me that over the phone.
It's better to
happen in person
because it's gotta happen
before Mom comes home.
Why are you so worried
about Mom coming home?
I need $2,000.
Girl, you talking crazy.
You're too young to be
asking for money like that.
What you need, bail
money or something?
You said you have an
account set up for me
for whenever I need things,
and well, I need things.
$2,000 worth of things?
Uh uh.
No, no, don't you try to hit
me with the big eyes trick.
I'm not giving you $2,000
unless you tell me
what's going on.
Mom lost her job.
A friend told
me, but it's true.
A few weeks ago.
I mean, who fires
someone before Christmas?
Wait, so you saying
she's been out of
work for weeks?
Yeah, but you can't
tell her that I told you.
Just gimme the money
to give to her, okay?
2000 bucks?
And then what?
You don't even get an allowance.
Where you gonna magically
get $2,000 from?
She's struggling, Dad.
You guys barely even talk
so she ain't gonna ask you.
This is the only way.
All right, wait,
look, calm down, okay?
I'll handle it. Just
let me handle it.
No, no. You can't tell her.
It's okay, if
she says something,
I'll take the heat for it.
Don't worry about it, all right?
Okay, look, I'm gonna go
talk to her, all right?
Calm down.
Just finish your work.
Stop stressing out.
You're too young
for that, all right?
Dalton, what are you
doing in my house again?
Esta let you in?
Yeah, she did.
She's home early.
She is. What about you?
Are you okay?
Yeah, I'm fine.
Just long day.
Tired and hungry.
At work, right?
Why? You don't care.
Come on.
You know that I care.
Just can't turn feelings
off for somebody,
especially after 14
years of marriage.
No? Try.
So work, you said it
was crazy today, right?
The usual, but I'm good.
'Cause it's funny,
'cause I called
your school today.
I wanted to talk
to you about Esta.
She okay?
Esta is fine.
But they told me that
you weren't there today.
I don't feel like playing
games with you, Dalton.
Well, I don't feel
like playing games
with you either, Roz.
Come on. I know you
got laid off of work.
Who told you
that? It's not true.
Are you, are you
gonna do this right now?
Come on.
So you're gonna sit
up here and lie to me?
Talk to me, tell
me what's going on.
I got laid off a few weeks ago
and I've been lying
about going to work.
There. You happy?
So go ahead.
Talk your trash, make your
insults, go right ahead.
Roz, I don't wanna insult you.
I'm not gonna talk
trash about you.
- That's hard to believe.
- Why do you think
I wanna do that?
Roz, can you just cut
the tough girl act out
for one second and let me
know what's going on with you?
You don't have to do
everything alone, okay?
You're not superwoman.
Stop it.
Are you serious right now?
Yeah, I'm serious.
No, Dalton, I know you
and you love to be right.
Come on. Roz.
Listen, I'm serious, okay?
To lose your job
the way that you did
right before Christmas,
I know this has to be
hard on you, all right,
so just let me
know what you need.
Dalton, I don't
want your pity.
I can handle this. I'll
find another job in no time.
Then why haven't
you found one yet?
I've been looking.
But I can handle this on my own.
That's the point. It's
not about you, all right?
Look at me.
Esta's involved, okay?
And that little girl is
worried sick about you.
She's too young to be
stressing out like this.
And she doesn't need to see
you scrapping and fighting
trying to get things
together before Christmas.
I don't wanna see that either.
And regardless if you
believe me or not,
you don't have to do
everything on your own, okay?
So if you're not gonna
do it for yourself,
then please at least
do it for Esta.
Nope. I don't want your money
and I want you out of my house.
Roz, come on.
No, Dalton.
Get out.
Can we please not
do this right now?
Oh, we're not
doing this right now.
Take your coat.
Get out.
Regardless of how you feel,
the offer still stands.
I wanna help you.
Where's Dad.
I threw him out.
Mom, why? He can help us.
Somehow he knows
I got laid off.
He said he called the school
looking for you today,
but I don't think that's true.
I told him, okay?
Esta, why?
Mom, he can help us.
Even if it's for a short time,
he can help us.
Dad won't care.
He's not trying to be mean
or trying to show off.
He's just trying
to take care of us
until you get back on your feet.
Mom, you gotta let him help us.
Gotta think about,
this young lady.
But right now we need
to have a sit down
about what happens in this
house stays in this house.
Come on. Go.
What happened?
Talk to me.
Yesterday was not good.
He knows.
About what, your
job situation?
How? Did you tell him?
No, my daughter did.
I see.
Are you okay with that?
No, I'm not okay with that.
I understand why she did it.
She's always worried
about me, us,
concerned about
what might happen,
but I can't help but
feel like I'm living
with a little mole.
Mole? Why?
Because he's my ex-husband.
He doesn't need to
know everything.
Hello, boundaries.
Yeah, but whatever
you're going through
affects him because
of your daughter.
Don't you think he
has a right to know?
No, it's not his business.
And, and, and get this,
he wants to help me.
My ex-husband wants to help me.
Can you believe that?
Wait a minute, Roz.
What is so wrong with that?
Why would he
wanna do that, huh?
Maybe because he cares.
He doesn't wanna see
you in a bad situation.
Oh, please.
He wants to stick it to me.
That's what he wants to do.
Wants to make it
seem like I can't,
I can't make it without
him, Mr. Auditor.
Why do you think the only way
he wants to help
you is financially?
How else would he help me?
Emotional support.
Huh? Being there
for you and Esta?
Maybe, maybe he just
wants to be in your corner
while you're going through this.
No, he wants me to feel bad.
He wants to swoop
in like a savior.
He's been doing that the last
few years of our marriage.
I'm not gonna give him that
satisfaction, not anymore.
Seems like you resent
him as a provider.
No, he always tried
to make it seem
like I was wasteful and reckless
and he had to save me with
another balance transfer.
No, not anymore.
- You know what?
- Done.
With all due respect, Roz,
I think you have a few hangups
and perhaps some projections
that come from your own actions.
What if you are looking at this
through the wrong lens?
I have 20/20 vision, Pastor.
With all due respect.
Look, your husband is
being concerned about you.
And he just wants to help
and it seems to me with
no strings attached.
Why would he do that?
Because he still cares.
And he loves you.
And deep down I know
you know that I'm right.
If he didn't have
these feelings for you,
then he wouldn't have offered
to help you in any way.
Now, even you can admit that.
All right.
All right, all right.
You don't have to
admit it, but, Roz,
don't be ashamed to
accept help from him.
Sometimes we have to
realize that not everyone
has an ulterior motive or
are out to stick it to us.
Think about it.
If the people who came
in here to get food
from this pantry were
too proud and too ashamed
to accept help from anyone,
they'd be out there
on the streets
doing God knows what
trying to survive.
Sometimes you have to just
let go of being proud.
Talk to him.
And just talk to him
and see what help
he'll truly offer.
Roz, look at me.
Look at me.
You need this.
May I come in?
- Yeah.
- I'd like to talk.
I mean, you wanna
take your coat off or-
- Uh, I don't know.
Not, not yet.
Right now I just
need you to listen.
Can you do that?
Yeah, I'm listening.
First I just want to apologize
for how I reacted the other day.
For which part?
A good part of it.
But you gotta understand this.
How, how much it
might sting for my ex
to see me down and out.
I wouldn't feel no
type of way about that.
Yeah right.
All right, maybe I would
just a little or something,
but I wanna apologize too.
'Cause I'm sorry for the
way that I came at you.
Thank you.
I just didn't want
you to know.
Didn't want anyone to
know, Esta included.
That's my point.
Why would you even wanna
go through all that,
you know, alone when
you don't have to?
You gotta understand this.
I need to go through this alone.
I can't have you bailing me
out of another financial jam.
God knows I didn't care for it
when we were married, Dalton.
Is this some type of insult?
Does it sound like one?
Yeah, when you
say it like that.
Listen, you have to understand,
I didn't get you out
of financial jams
because I was trying
to belittle you
or make you feel like
less of a person.
I did it because
I care about you.
You're my wife.
I mean, my family.
I am supposed to
take care of you.
All right, I know I am,
I was, you were my wife.
But it made me feel
so small, Dalton.
Like, like you didn't trust me
to handle any
responsibility for anything.
Do you know, my dad used
to give me an allowance
and then hold it and
then ration it out.
Why would you give
someone something
if you're just gonna
control it, hm?
It was like he
didn't even trust me.
And all I wanted
was some ice cream.
You didn't trust
me either, Dalton.
Admit it.
Not gonna admit that,
but I will admit
that I let my business rollover
into our marriage a little bit.
Yeah, Mr. Auditor.
So way to
go. Auditor.
Oh my gosh, I married my dad.
Wait, whoa, whoa.
Slow down now.
No, no, no.
You know what I mean
in a child psychology sense.
Oh, right.
But with you, it felt
like I wed the entire IRS.
The IRS, right?
At least the reception
was a little exciting.
Not one of your
people had any rhythm.
Not an ounce.
So are you telling me
you didn't want me to find out
about you losing your job
because you thought
I was gonna treat you
like a spreadsheet?
That, yeah.
And it just, it's not
your business, Dalton.
It's none of my business?
Look, I need a drink
'cause you stressing me out.
I need a drink too, 'cause
you're stressing me out.
Well, I guess we
gonna be drinking.
It's none of your business?
Did you forget
about that little beautiful,
brown, big-eyed girl
that we have together?
She is my business, okay?
You losing your job affects her.
So in turn, that
affects me, okay?
You missing out on checks,
next thing you know
you out on the street
with my daughter?
Uh uh.
I don't care what
we got going on,
the past or whatever,
we're here right now.
And you have to understand
something about me.
I will never let that happen.
I understand that about you,
but you have to understand
why you have to at least
let me try to handle this.
You will handle it.
You'll get another position.
Come on.
I've seen you struggle before
but I also seen you
reach all your goals.
Just like you made
it through school
when I was hitting you up
and all over your line.
So you'll get it done,
but in the meantime-
- You still wanna help me?
Yeah. I do.
Christmas is in what, nine days?
Not 'bout to have our
daughter stressing out
over me and you
and our problems.
Why can't you stop being
so proud for one minute?
I'm not being proud.
I'm being cautious.
Cautious? Cautious for what?
What are you being
cautious for? Don't.
Why can't you just take it as a,
a genuine offer, you know?
Good guy in the
spirit of Christmas.
Does that work for you?
Please, just take it
as a genuine offer
'cause I don't want anything
from you in return, all right?
All right, I'm lying.
I do want something
from you in return.
What's that?
Can you please just not see
this as a rescue operation
and acknowledged the only reason
why I'm doing this
is because I still
really care about you.
Okay. Deal.
I um, I really
appreciate this.
Don't worry about it.
And I promise
I'll pay you back.
You don't have to
pay anything back.
You know the account we opened
for the house in emergencies?
You can just pull
the money from there.
You didn't scoop your
portion out right away?
'Cause I did.
Trust me, I know you did.
And no, the money
is still there.
I left it for emergencies
for Esta and you.
Good on you.
- Yeah.
- Wow.
Speaking of Esta,
what are you getting
that girl for Christmas?
I asked her what she
wanted the other day
and she said she didn't
want anything I had to buy.
However, she did
mention one thing.
She wanted us to be-
- Back together-
- For the holidays, right.
- Yeah. Mm hm.
That's our baby girl.
Do you know when
you got laid off,
she asked me for $2,000.
She said it was for
personal things.
She was gonna take
all of that money
and she was gonna
give it to you.
She's something else.
Yes. She is something else.
Just like her mother.
You know what?
Maybe we can give her what
she wants for Christmas.
Maybe we can spend time
together as a family.
Maybe you're right.
She's a good girl.
We certainly put her through
the ringer with our issues.
I think that'll,
that'll be just fine.
I think it'll be great.
I should go.
Gonna rush out, bad?
You know, I gotta go do
something about my life.
You sure?
And, and, and you
know, whatever I use,
I'll put back.
You don't owe
me anything, Roz.
Yeah, and, and I'll call you
and figure out where
we spend Christmas.
Hm. I really appreciate that.
Hm. Okay.
I guess I should get outta here.
Okay, talk to you later. Bye.
Wah hoo!
I went to see your dad.
Really? Uh oh.
Don't worry.
It wasn't bad.
I apologized to him.
Say what?
And he told me about the
$2,000 you asked for.
You're crazy for that.
But thank you.
You're welcome, Mom.
So are you gonna
let Dad help us?
I am.
Really? So we don't
have to struggle anymore.
What did I tell you
about that word struggle?
We just hit a bumpy patch.
He's gonna help smooth it
out a bit, temporarily.
See, Dad isn't so bad.
I never said he
was, not to you.
You know, Mom, he
still cares about you.
Do you know that?
He said something like that.
Do you still care about him?
All you need to know, my dear,
is that our Christmas
plans are back on track.
We're gonna spend Christmas
together like a family.
Just like you asked.
Because we still
are a family, Mom.
It doesn't matter if
you guys split up.
Which, why did you
guys split up again?
Why did we split up?
Y'all just need
to get it together.
You just need to stay
out of grown folks' business.
Yes! Go Dad!
Yes, this is Roz McKenzie.
Oh no. It's not too late.
Yeah. 1:15?
I'll see you then.
Oh my gosh,
Mom, what's going on?
I just got a job interview
for tomorrow, baby.
For real?
Yes, for real.
Oh, Esta, I feel like
this could be it.
It has to be.
I really hope you get it, Mom.
Me too.
What should you wear?
I gotta find something
to really wow this
principal for tomorrow.
Oh, I...
Which one?
The black blazer is fine.
Well, Roz, it's
been a pleasure
spending this time
with you today.
You'll hear from us one
way or the other, okay?
Okay. Sounds good.
But, you know what, wait.
Let me show you around.
I'd love to see the school.
Well, thank you, Sophie.
Oh, we'll get back with you.
Hello, Pastor.
Roz, hello.
Wow, you look so much
more happier today.
That's because for
once I really am.
I just came from an
incredible job interview,
second graders, right before
they turn into gremlins.
Oh, that is good, Roz.
You know that position
is yours. Accept it.
Oh, the principal said
she had one more interview
to do that day and
she'll let me know
first thing tomorrow morning.
Yeah, well, she's
going to hire you.
How can you be so sure?
I just know.
Thank you.
You know, feels odd when
I'm in your presence,
almost like you know me
and what's going to
happen in my life.
You a psychic?
No, no, I just think that if
it's the right thing for you,
then it'll happen.
I mean, look at me, I am a
testament to that statement.
By the way, how things
go with you and Dalton?
Oh, we worked
out the help thing.
I'm going to accept his offer.
Not gonna fuss about it.
Because he still
cares deeply for you?
You ever wonder why the
two of you got a divorce
when you clearly
still love each other?
How do you know these things?
I mean, love is love, right?
Well, I guess so.
Honestly, sometimes I do
wonder about the divorce
and if I acted too hastily.
I don't know.
Ah, yes, you did.
But it's okay.
He gets it now and so do you.
Now after you work
out the budget
and figure out which of the
finances are a priority,
you will develop a tool
to be more savvy
with your finances.
You might be on
to something there.
What do you know about that job
I just interviewed for?
Only that it's yours.
Hm. Time for
another grocery run.
Mom, your phone
keeps vibrating.
Someone must really trying
to get in contact with you.
Whoa, these are
school system numbers.
Two? Go, Mom.
morning, Ms. McKenzie.
This is Ms. Mosley calling
on behalf of Mrs. Austin.
If you have not accepted
another position,
she was wondering
if you would like
to return to work.
Mom, you got your job back!
That is unexpected.
Sure is.
I mean, they put you
all through this mess
only to want you back.
Who does that?
Shh, shh, there's another one.
Hello, Mrs. McKenzie.
This is Miss Miller
calling you back
in regards to the interview.
After reviewing all of
the other candidates,
it would be my honor to
offer you the position.
Oh my gosh!
- Oh!
- If you could call me
back today, it would
be greatly appreciated.
Thank you. And I hope to
hear from you very soon.
Oh my gosh, Mom, you got
two jobs to choose from.
Whoa. What are you gonna doing?
I'm gonna sit down
before I pass out.
So Mom, we don't have
to worry anymore, right?
We can just enjoy our Christmas
and you don't have to
stress about finding a job.
Esta, this is
the best news ever.
And well, if I had
to make the decision,
I already know what
I would choose.
Oh yeah?
It's not easy for you?
Well, it's 50/50, maybe 90/10.
Do I wanna go back to a
school that laid me off?
That principal didn't
even have the decency
to tell me to my face.
Oh, are you serious?
She left a note in my mailbox.
Wow. That's cold.
That school would
never see my face again
unless I was truly desperate.
And we are never
desperate, honey.
You're not even gonna toast it?
Let me call them back
before they give my job away.
Hi, Principal Miller please.
Hi, this is Roz McKenzie.
Miss Miller, about
that job offer.
I absolutely accept.
Oh, sure.
See you soon.
Ah, hello, Roz.
How do you do that?
Ah, it's just
a little trick I learned
over the years.
It's for you.
Thanks for the gift.
It's my pleasure.
You're welcome.
Oh, you are so different now.
You're in a better place.
You got that right.
I got the job.
Oh, I knew you would.
You know what's crazy
is that I wanted to cry
today I was so happy,
but I contained myself.
Feels great to be back.
Yeah. I am so
happy for you, Roz.
The crazy thing is,
is that the clerk from my old
school called the same day
the new principal called.
They wanna give me
my old job back.
I'm not going back to
a place that let me go.
- I'm glad.
- Yeah.
I told you that if it's
meant to be you'll get it.
You sure did.
Does this mean
I'm not gonna see you
around here anymore?
Oh, no.
No, I definitely wanna continue
my volunteer work here.
I wanna help you
continue this pantry
throughout the whole year.
Oh, that's perfect.
I love it.
You gotta meet
my daughter too.
That would be nice.
Does she and your ex know
about your great news?
Esta definitely knows.
Haven't told Dalton
yet, but I will tonight.
Well, in case I
don't see you again,
I wanna wish you
and your daughter
and your husband
a Merry Christmas.
No, Pastor, you
will see me again.
I told you that.
Merry Christmas to you too.
Well, off to the next person
who needs a friend.
I may be
turning into Miss Auditor.
Ah. Yep.
I can do this.
Still allergic to
hats and gloves I see.
Ha, you got all the jokes.
Can I come in?
- Come on in.
- It's cold.
So where's Esta?
She's upstairs, but I need
to talk to you alone first.
What's up?
Come on.
Online with all of her friends
I had to upgrade my internet
service because of her.
Oh, Lord.
For starters, I got the job!
Wait, what?
I mean that's great.
When did that happen?
Oh, quickly.
I saw the post online,
applied on Monday,
hired on Tuesday.
How awesome is that?
It's awesome. I'm
really happy for you.
Thank you.
And I thought we might revisit
the child support issue.
Come on, do we have to?
I mean, I kinda
thought we progressed,
and, you know, it was moving
in a positive direction.
Why? Because
you hit me with a,
"You can stay over if you want"?
No, I mean, you know, that
was a spur of the moment thing,
but also yeah, come on.
Anyway, I was thinking
we might be at a point
where we can handle
things on our own.
- Okay.
- Maybe put
the legal stuff on hold.
Just keep your word about
being there for her.
I'm always gonna be there
for both of my ladies.
Maybe now we can get in
those gymnastic classes.
- Yeah.
- Yeah that'll make her happy.
She would love that.
And for Christmas I was thinking
you could spend it over here.
Yeah, with us.
Dalton, I...
I can honestly say
that I miss you
and I miss us.
Well, that's the best
news that I've gotten
in a long time.
'Cause I miss you.
And I miss my family.
Then it's set.
Wanna stay for dinner?
Dad? Is that you?
Yeah, it's me, baby girl.
Just let me know
when it's ready.
I, I was thinking
maybe we can hang
out first alone.
Yeah. He'll be up in a second.
Thank you, Mom.
Thank you, Dad,
for one of the greatest
gifts of my life.
You're welcome, sweetie.
Merry Christmas, Roz.
Merry Christmas, Dalton.
Merry Christmas.