A Journey Through Pines (2017) Movie Script

The one thing I remember most
is how we used to lay underneath
these shortleaf southern
pines, and listen.
You could hear the wind
approach from miles away,
and as Mother Nature's
breath got closer and closer,
the leaves would act like a net,
the trunks would always
bend, but never break.
I guess that's how you learn to live life.
Although certainty
in life spends much of
its existence misplaced,
I am sure it does have permanence.
After all, helplessness
is cast upon us at birth,
mercy is surely a chaperone in death.
And although the uncertainty that occurs
in between is not ever
revealed in advance,
it too is guaranteed.
It seems to be in our nature to count
on filling our own void
with someone else's gift
of promised love,
little do we know that is the
greatest uncertainty of all.
Harder, Jack, harder!
Harder, Jack, harder!
It smells like rain is coming.
Hey, what are you doing?
Hey, talk to me.
it's god, he's punishing me.
Hey, what are you talking about?
I can't do this anymore.
Do what?
This, us, everything.
What's god have to do with us?
Hey, it's okay, look at
me, we're gonna fix this,
okay, like we always do.
Who the hell is that?
Nicole, what's your dad doing here?
Hey, whoa, hey...
Jack, Jack, please don't, just let me...
Hey, how long have you been planning this?
Jack, I don't want to...
For how long, Nicole?
Jack, please.
Jack, just let me go.
Hey, your father, he drove all the way
from California just
so you could leave me?
Please, just don't make this harder.
Don't move.
Please, Jack.
Hey, just stay right
here, just for a second.
Hey, this isn't a good time.
Jody, calm down, I can't
understand what you're saying.
Jack, Jack, what happened?
I'm coming, Dad!
No, you're not,
you're staying right here.
Okay, talk to me, what's going on?
Jack, okay, I know it's not a good time,
but what happened, is it
your mom, is it Lennie?
Nicole, open up, Nicole, open up!
Please, get the fuck out of my house.
Come on, Nicole, I'm
not leaving without you,
What the hell makes you think
you can touch my wife's things?
I decide when she leaves.
You pathetic little sorry ass...
Stay out of my way, get your things,
Nicole, we're leaving.
You're not going anywhere!
Come on.
Nicole, please don't leave me.
I'm so sorry, Jack.
the bags in the back.
The rain fell
that day with the sun shining,
down here, we know it as
the devil beating his wife.
We are here today to say goodbye
to our beloved sister, Lennie,
I stand before you to remind you,
god's unconditional love
can heal our brokenness.
On occasions like this,
we often experience a sense of brokenness.
Why are we in this room with
the dead body stretched out
on the bed, this is really weird.
This is how they used to
do it a long time ago,
this is what she wanted.
Lennie now has gone to her home
with our god, the father.
Lennie was a dedicated one,
she was not afraid of this moment,
for she knew she was
unconditionally loved.
On occasions like this, we
often experience a sense
of brokenness, death can
cause us to have a sense
of brokenness, even in our every day life,
we're sometimes faced with
uncontrollable circumstances,
or relationships that
can cause brokenness.
Now, we say goodbye to the flesh,
but her spirit will always be among us,
praying with us for her
loving family and friends.
Sweetie, go say goodbye
to your grandmother.
This is the last dollar
you gave me, Grandma.
I'm giving it back to you.
Of all the money that e'er I've had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm that e'er I done
Alas, it was to none
But me
And all I've done
For want of wit
To memory now I can't recall
So fill to me
The parting glass
And joy be with you all
Other than my sister,
I don't remember who
all was there that day.
I do remember thinking,
they should not be here.
Intimate things had happened here,
I was born here,
the smell of last night's
bacon was still clinging
in the air,
and her wet bath cloth was
still hanging on the bedpost.
I also knew that home was not going
to be a home without her here,
she was leaving instead of staying.
And as we passed under
those familiar trees
and walked across the worn fields,
that peace and comfort I knew
as a boy here was also gone.
The winds had changed,
or so I thought back then,
back then is when I didn't
know what I know now about
unconditional love.
You know, Mr. Williams
at the Piggly Wiggly
in Colinsville used to go above
and beyond to make sure Mama had a case
of those cream sodas
for her baby, you brat.
Did you see her, I know you saw her.
Poor woman.
Who invited her, she had
no business being here,
with that fancy-ass dress on,
she absolutely disgusts me,
such a snob.
You never liked her.
Nope, no,
but I do feel sorry for her,
she's so unhappy, tries to hide it
with that fake-ass smile, so sad.
where's Nicole?
She left me.
About two seconds after you
called and delivered the news.
What a fucking bitch.
So she hit you?
Amazing, amazing, well, finally.
She grew a pair.
Actually, she didn't, her rich father did.
you okay?
Well, come on, I wanna
give you a ride home,
this shit will be here tomorrow.
I would
come back only a few times
to fall apart,
and then to put the pieces
back together again.
You wanna make a fool out of yourself
in public really quickly, misspell a name.
Glad you could make it, Karley.
Once you had the interview
seated and are talking to them,
you need to make them feel
as comfortable as possible,
they need to feel they can trust you,
and above all, they need to
feel that you are listening.
Most people don't mind talking,
you just give them enough space,
they'll tell you whatever
you need to know.
This is not about you, it's about them,
this is important, if you
don't listen, they'll know,
they will pick up on that, believe me.
They will shut up on
you, they won't open up,
you won't get the whole story.
Okay, bring 'em up.
Thank you, good, thank you,
thank you.
Thank you, thank you.
Thank you, thank you, Anna, thank you.
Thank you,
thank you.
Hey, hold up, hold up.
That last article you
wrote was impeccable,
Karley, congratulations.
Thank you.
You working somewhere right now?
No, I'm just studying.
Well, what would you say to a job
with The Meridian Star, part time?
Who wouldn't, yeah, yeah,
my dad used to work there.
I know, I know, Martin
Loss is the editor there,
I've known him for a long time,
I ran into him a couple days,
started talking about you,
I hope I wasn't out of line,
you've got the talent,
I want you to use it.
I don't know what to say, thank you.
Can you start tomorrow?
I'll call Martin.
Thank you!
Karley, right?
Hi, I'm Ryan.
Hi, nice to meet you.
Martin told me you were
coming today, by the way.
Let me show you around.
I read your articles,
by the way, I was really impressed.
Thank you.
And that here is Brett, hey, Brett!
Oh, hey.
That's Karley.
Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too.
She's gonna be
working with us, alright?
Alright, it gets busier, by the way,
it's just today's really a slow day.
Yeah, yeah, thanks, come in.
I give you the Jack Taylor prodigy.
Let me know if you need anything.
Okay, hi, I'm Karley.
Hi, how are you?
I'm good.
You remind me of your dad.
I have a picture right here.
Oh, look at that.
That was a great day,
your dad really knew how to have fun.
I can tell.
There's nothing going on in town,
so we decided to run an
editorial about Valentine's Day.
It was a mess, readers were calling
in their dirty little secrets.
I remember him being really
passionate about his work.
Yeah, seems to run in the family.
Well, thank you.
Dear Karley, your mother
and I have kept a secret from you,
but I learned long ago that
secrets can crowd the attic.
They often do more harm than good,
and you deserve to know the truth.
I've loved your mother,
but not the way she needed,
there was someone else that
always crowded her space
in my heart, it wasn't fair to her,
and I loved her enough to
let her go, it broke my heart
that we could not stay
together as a family,
but there was always a greater
reason behind what happens.
You are our eternal bond,
you are my only daughter,
and you have a purpose
for being here, find it.
Hey, Babu.
You want something to eat?
No, no, I don't, I want
to know what this is.
What do you want me to say?
You knew?
Yes, I knew, Karley.
Your dad had a news story
to cover in New Orleans,
or so he said, and I could
sort of tell he didn't want me
to go with him, but he
knew I always wanted
to eat at Weidmann's
in the French Quarter.
And while we were there, we went
on the ferry down the Mississippi River,
and he went to get me something to drink,
and when he didn't come right back,
I went wandering around looking for him,
and that's when I saw him talking to her,
and he didn't know I was watching him.
And that's when I saw him
hand her the envelope,
but I didn't think anything of it,
your father, he, he never met a stranger.
So who was she?
I don't know, I never wanted to know.
I didn't want to do anything
to cause an argument, or mess up the trip.
skin was tan, like girls
in the magazines, and looked just as soft.
Ashley Johnson was the
prettiest girl on the block,
she was cut straight from a doll pattern,
there was nothing I wouldn't
do to be close to her.
She owned me unconditionally.
Hey, Ashley.
Hey, I wanna take you some place special,
since I can't be at your
birthday party tomorrow.
Okay, well, let's go.
shorts were really short,
they barely covered up the prize.
Her hair whipped around
her face like a tassel
as she pulled strands from the
corner of her perfect lips.
This is where I come when I'm sad,
it's so quiet here when no one's around,
a person can be whatever they
want to be when they're here.
Come on, I want to show
you a swimming hole
where I go to cool off.
Okay, that sounds good.
I couldn't
take my eyes off her
as she walked in front of
me, this wasn't happening,
Ashley Johnson was leading
me to her secret spot.
Come on, birthday boy.
I can't swim.
You don't have
to know how to swim,
it doesn't really get
any deeper than this,
don't be a sissy.
And don't tell anyone about this place,
Jack, it has to be our little secret.
And besides, we'll be 16 tomorrow,
young men like you need places they can go
by themselves, a girl likes it
when a boy takes them some
place no one else knows about.
You know what a french kiss is, Jack?
Well, close your eyes.
Nice body, Jack.
Don't be mad, Jack, we
were just having fun.
Yeah, you know you still love me.
Come on, let's give you a ride home.
With each
return of the pendulum,
she swung between right
and wrong, love and hate.
Harder, Jack, harder!
Her hair
flogged my innocence,
and briefly spread the scent of perfume
that I thought only
the grownup girls wore.
Being discovered could be
humiliating in the hands
of someone I knew, could
slaughter my secret affection
with a single swipe of
unkind and sarcastic words.
You know, if you push me until supper,
I'll let you kiss me.
Each push
forward made my young heart
skip a beat, when my hands
touched her forbidden back.
I was completely at her mercy.
Bye, Jack.
In time, I
learned to hate that swing,
and all it would come to represent.
Even more, I hated the toll I had to pay
to cross the boundaries set forth
by its self-appointed owner.
Hey, beautiful,
you okay?
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.
Do you want to talk about something?
No, it's just that, I don't know.
Tell me.
I found this journal hidden
in a barn outside my dad's old house,
and I think he left it for me.
Hmm, may I?
Oh, man, this is intense.
Yeah, it is.
So, so what's wrong, aren't
you glad you found it?
He just sounds so sad when he wrote it,
he's not at all the man I remember.
Come on.
Let's go.
We're gonna need a drink.
Now, it's 10:00 in the morning.
Look, do you want to become a journalist?
You're gonna have to learn how to drink.
So, tell me.
Tell you what?
The story about your life.
There's not much to tell, I was born here,
grew up here, studied
here, now I work here.
And now you're following
in your daddy's footsteps?
I'm, I'm sorry, I didn't
mean to be disrespectful.
No, no, no, it's not that,
I wish I could be more like him, actually.
How so?
He always had this aura,
this energy around him,
everybody loved him, everyone
has the greatest memories
with him, he was the kind
of guy who leaves a mark, you know?
And now, I, I think.
A Pecan and shot.
Thank you, and now I just, I feel.
Mm, mm, mm, drink first.
What, no.
Okay, I'm probably gonna puke.
That a girl, now, you were saying?
I don't know, it's just, you
feel like you know somebody,
right, and that can all
fall apart in a second.
I mean, I always hear
these wonderful stories
about, from people, even my mom,
she had great times with my dad,
but they didn't stay
together much, though,
she lives 20 minutes away,
they always got along well.
And I find this, and it's
like a whole new person,
a deeper, sadder one, a painful one,
it's just, I'm sorry.
No, it's okay, you know,
I think everybody's deep down inside,
I mean, you knew your dad as a father,
other people knew him as
a man, a lover, a son,
I mean, we're forced to wear
these masks at an early age.
So what mask are you wearing?
sharp, sharp, you're
sharp as a razor, huh?
I mean, it's in your genes, after all.
A little bit.
So, so your dad's deeper
than you thought, big deal.
Who is she?
I don't know.
Oh, man.
Your mom know?
No, she, she doesn't know,
she didn't want to know.
Maybe I wouldn't, either.
Yeah, I know, it was disrespectful
of me to show her the letter,
and what if she didn't know at all,
and found out this way,
so many years later?
Well, you have to know.
I don't know.
Because it's a great story.
I'm not gonna use my father's life
to sell newspapers.
It's not for the papers, it's for you.
Alright, he's obviously
asking you to find out.
Ryan, it's 12 years old,
what if I find something
out I don't want to know,
what about my mom?
This could be really
hurtful for a lot of people.
It's not an option, you have to find out.
Look, I'll help you out,
I've made a lot of contacts,
right, The Meridian Star
has a lot of contact.
I don't want to do anything illegal.
Yeah, you do.
Anyway, I think I know who she is,
my father mentions her
a lot in the journal,
and she doesn't live too far from here.
Hello, Jack.
Hi, Ashley, how you doing?
I'm fine, I wanted to come
talk to you at the funeral,
but I figured it wasn't a good time.
You moving back here?
I took a job writing
for The Meridian Star,
I'm just trying to keep this old place up
and running now.
I see.
What have you been doing
since the last time I saw you?
Well, I got married, moved to Birmingham,
and we've got four boys,
I work with several charity
organizations, and I,
mainly I'm a mom, and a damn
good one at that, I might add.
That's great.
Don't let her in.
You want to come in?
You got any sweet tea?
I'm a little mad at you, Jack.
For what, I haven't seen
you in over 20 years.
Well, I heard from a friend of mine
that you always wanted to
ask me out after high school,
how come you never did?
I guess I just figured a
girl like you would never
want anything to do with a guy like me.
Well, I guess you missed your chance.
Yeah, I guess so.
Remember those hot summer days, Jack?
I really miss them.
Don't you wish things could
be as simple as they were
when we would run around the neighborhood?
I thought I was gonna be a tomboy.
There weren't any other girls
that lived down our road,
just all you boys,
and that was okay, I guess.
My husband, Cotter...
I wanted to resist,
I wanted her to go to hell,
the same as every other person
in this town, I wanted to ignore her,
but as always, I couldn't,
she still owned me.
It became a routine, she got
her way with me once more,
I did nothing to stop her.
Perhaps it was an awakening
to a repeated nightmare
that needed just to end, I was
ready to face this haunting.
That which drives us mad keeps us sane
when the deranged starts to make sense.
Hey, how you doing?
Attention everybody,
I'd like everybody to know that Ashley
and I will be married
15 happy years tomorrow,
please, wish us another 15 together.
Hi, I was looking for Ashley.
Alright, just a minute, hey, Mom,
there's someone here for you.
Who is it?
I don't know.
Forgive my son's rudeness.
That's okay.
How may I help you, dear?
My name's Karley
Taylor, I'm Jack's daughter.
I didn't know he had a daughter,
especially one so beautiful.
Thank you.
Please, come sit.
Son, can you leave us?
May I offer you something to drink?
No, I'm fine, thank you.
Do you mind if I drink?
Not at all, it's your house.
So, tell me, how old are you?
I'm 22.
You're not
Nicole's daughter, are you?
No, my mother's name's Kristin.
I see.
I'm working at the local newspaper,
we're writing a story on my father,
he would have been 55 next month.
I'm just talking with
the people who knew him
to see what they thought of
him, how they remember him.
Well, we went to school together,
he was younger, we didn't
see each other much.
And when was the last time you saw him?
I didn't know he had a daughter,
so at least 22 years ago.
What about when his mother passed away?
Why don't you join me and tell
me why you're really here.
Half of it talks about you.
What do you want, you want money?
Relax, that was never my intention,
I just came to find the truth.
What truth?
I wish I was her, but I don't
think he's talking about me.
Because I broke his heart
over and over again.
I don't deserve to be
her, I hope I'm not her.
Do you know who might be her?
I only knew he married this Nicole woman,
I don't know, it lasted
for a couple years or so.
Thank you for your honesty.
Good luck with this big mystery of yours.
Ryan, she is such a bitch.
What, what did she say?
It's not funny, she
ruined my father's life
with her fancy house and her fancy life,
the pathetic, drunk bitch.
Maybe it wasn't such a good
idea to open up the past.
No, now I want
to know more than ever.
Okay, so what's the next step?
Ashley mentioned someone named Nicole,
and she's in the journal, too.
But she lives in California.
Not so great.
Yeah, they were married
for a little while.
So you want me to book you a flight?
No, no, no, I'm afraid of airplanes.
Wait, so you're telling me you're going
to drive all the way to California?
Yeah, he did it, too, it'll do me good
to see what he saw, besides,
my head is spinning,
I need a mini-vacation.
Okay, let's go find out where she lives.
Are you sure this is legal?
Nope, do you want me to stop?
Didn't think so.
Oh, I got it.
Mm-hmm, let's try this.
Go on.
Well, let's hope that's her.
That'll work, can you print a picture off?
There you go.
Thank you.
It wasn't her fault,
Nicole was young and
naive, I demanded a brand
of brutal honesty that she
wasn't comfortable giving.
I tried to make her into
something she wasn't,
she hadn't been taught
what unconditional love is,
it's my job to teach
her, I'm coming, Nicole,
I'll bring you back to Alabama,
show you our way of loving,
teach you to never give up,
make sure it gets handed down.
Hi, I'm sorry to disturb you,
I'm looking for Nicole Taylor,
does she still live here?
You mean Nicole Roberts?
Who are you?
I'm her cousin.
Oh, just a second,
let me get the door.
I just got into town, and
I wanted to surprise her,
she got remarried?
Oh, no, she took her maiden name back,
well, I heard, she's back
living with her parents.
Oh, great, I
haven't seen them in awhile,
either, they still live
in the same house, right?
On Elm Street?
No, no, that was the house she lived in
with her ex-husband.
And her parents live on Stein Road.
Oh, right, and I meant Stein, thank you.
Hey, I found the house.
Yeah, can you look up an address for me?
It's last name Roberts, and
she lives on Stein Road.
Great, thank you, bye.
Ms. Roberts?
Hi, how are you?
I'm good, thank you.
I'm Karley Taylor, I'm Jack's daughter.
I'm sorry, come on in.
Thank you.
Jack, what are you doing here?
I came here to take you home.
Jack, I am home, it's over,
why are you doing this to yourself?
Listen, Nicole, I love you, and I want
to take you home with me, and I'm so sorry
for what happened that night,
I never meant to hurt you.
I know you didn't, and I'm sorry,
too, for the way I left,
with your mom, and.
Can I just come in?
Jack, Jack, we can't be together anymore,
we don't make each other happy.
I like peace and quiet,
and you like in your face
with a rawness I'm not comfortable with.
What about for better or for worse?
Don't you love me, no matter what?
Jack, you know that I love you.
He actually made it.
You, you were his dream.
How old are you?
I'm 22.
Oh, I'm sorry you didn't
get a lot of time with him,
then, your dad was unlike
any man I've ever known.
I'll admit that I miss what we had.
Jack, you were unlike
any man I've ever known,
kind, and deep, and you've
never been afraid to love me.
But I'll admit I was
relieved when it was over,
I mean, I know things
happened, and I didn't know how
to handle them, and Jack, you're
not the only one at fault,
I was wrong, too, I've always been worried
about what other people think,
and sometimes miss the important stuff,
I still struggle with that.
Then why can't we be together?
Let's, let's prove them all wrong.
Jack, do you know how hard it is for me,
knowing that I can't give you
the one thing you really want?
I can live with it.
No, you can't, there was
always a constant reminder,
in your eyes, in the way you
looked at kids at the park,
you just don't understand what that does
to a woman, Jack, it
was killing me inside.
Is that what you were talking about?
Whatever you told me,
god was punishing you?
Yes, not being able to have your kids,
yes, Jack, that was punishment.
Do you live here now?
No, I drove from Alabama.
That's a long drive.
What, what brought you here?
We used to solve
everything together,
I mean, I tried with your parents,
and I tried with your dad, I
know how much they mean to you.
I know you did,
and I know how much I
hurt you the night I left,
look, you need to go home,
I'm sorry for what's happened,
but it will get better,
you just need to go.
I'm sorry you had to read that,
I'm sorry I had to remember that.
Look, I'm not proud of everything I did,
but I also don't regret what
I did, you're proof enough
that everything happened
exactly as it was planned.
Planned by who?
I don't know if any of
us really know the answer
to that, dear.
Go home, Jack, I'm
sorry for what happened,
but it will get better,
you need to go home.
Those are just words,
Nicole, they mean nothing,
it's empty, it's like saying I'm sorry,
but it's useless unless
you try and fix it.
Look, I know you're trying
to clear your conscience,
but it's not gonna be on mine.
You don't want my kind of love.
Jody, it's Nicole.
Look, I'm sorry to bother you,
and I know I'm the last
person you want to hear from,
but, but Jack's out here in California.
He's been trying to talk me
into coming back to Alabama with him.
I told him I couldn't,
but he left really upset,
I'm just worried about him.
Look, I just think
you need to check on him,
he's just not in a good way.
When's the last time you saw him, Nicole?
Two days ago,
listen, you know I can't be
with your brother anymore, I
really do want him to be okay.
What's wrong?
Oh, my god, it's Jack.
He's at Mama's.
Come to the door!
Go away.
Did you just tell me
to go away, where were you?
Are you on the floor?
Calm the fuck down.
You calm the fuck down.
Open the door.
Goddammit, Jody.
I'm coming, I'm getting the door, stop.
You coming to the door?
What the hell do you want?
What do you mean, what the hell do I want?
My god,
what is this?
What are you doing?
This is not normal.
This isn't healthy.
Jody, I don't care what's normal,
and I sure as hell don't give
a shit what people think.
Well, do you care what I think?
Because I think you drove
all the way to California
to bring a woman back that
doesn't even want to be with you,
she doesn't love you, at least
not the way you want her to.
Jody, I don't want to hear this right now.
You're not listening to me,
and you're not listening
to your heart, either.
If you were listening to your heart,
you wouldn't keep making
the same damn mistake over
and over and over again,
don't feed me some bullshit,
I'm your sister, I'm
officially the only person
on earth that gives a damn about you.
Mama would be heartbroken,
you're breaking my heart.
What about mine?
What about your heart,
let's talk about that.
You fall in love with the
first thing that comes along,
you try to mold 'em into what
you think they should be,
things go wrong, you start resenting them,
then everybody involved
gets their hearts broken.
It's not that simple.
Including you.
It's not that simple, Jody.
Yes, yes, it is.
You are not going
to find a love like Mama loved you
in another girl, the way you love me,
the way you love Mama,
the way we love you,
you can't create that in someone.
That's between blood,
we love you unconditionally,
despite the hurtful things you say,
the mean things you do,
I'm always gonna love you.
You and your perfect life,
like you know what love is,
if you know what love is,
you tell me what love is.
Perfect life?
My life is far from perfect,
I don't even want to be here.
I hate where I live, the
only reason I stay there is
because I have a kid, half
the damn world's still looking
for someone to love them for who they are,
the other half's settled, I settled.
If you're okay with that, okay,
but you're not someone
that can settle, Jack.
Sounded so pretty, and
so easy for you to say.
You create all these problems
because you want something in a woman
that can't be found in anybody...
Jody, I do everything, I
put my heart out there.
Jack, you have to understand
what your heart's trying
to tell you, you have to be able
to embrace it, and move on,
or make your choice, so far,
you're not doing either.
I've made my choice.
No, you haven't.
I have, it's what I'm doing right now,
please just leave, I
can't do this anymore.
Let me stay here and
just run from it, then.
No, you're not doing that, either.
I didn't drive all the way here
to just let you run, or lay.
It don't look too comfy, does it?
Are you gonna get up?
Not too quick, now.
You gonna get you some fresh air?
You need a bath, but
we'll start with fresh air.
Truth is, I'm better when I'm alone,
I don't want to be alone, Jody,
even as a kid, I'd run
far off away in my head,
I'd create the perfect lifestyle,
the perfect woman to
share adventures with.
I mean, life's nothing if you
can't share it with nobody.
You know, Jack,
I was there when you were born.
I mean, Mama helped,
but you came kicking and screaming
into this world all alone,
and you're most certainly
going to leave that way.
Alone, you've gotta make
some peace with that.
Dying alone sounds good to you?
I mean, is that why you
didn't cry at Mama's funeral?
I can't believe you just said that to me.
I didn't cry at Mama's funeral
because I was trying to be strong.
Jack, I was with Mama when she died.
The last thing she said to me
was to make sure that you were okay.
She's never been worried about me, Jack,
she's always been worried about you.
I traded my feelings for you that day.
I just hope it was a fair trade,
you need to start making fair trades.
How I could find this place of yours.
I'm sorry.
For what?
For making you come all the way here.
Why are you always apologizing for things?
Just sorry, I guess.
So what happened?
She's not the one, and
every step I move forward,
I find a sadder story.
The reporter's life?
What is this place?
This is where my father grew up.
I don't think I'm ever
gonna find this woman.
What are you talking about, like, okay,
two failures and you're gonna give up?
Like, not a chance, missy,
welcome to your future.
And what is that?
Frustration, frustration, frustration,
and then a moment of truth.
So is this fun?
A moment of truth.
What are you gonna do?
I don't know, maybe it's crazy.
What is?
I was thinking about going to New Orleans.
What's in New Orleans?
The last part of my father's journal.
I used to live there.
We could just start looking there.
He mentions no names,
it's mostly just poetry.
I thought he was talking
about Ashley or Nicole
because it was detailed in the first part,
I just want to nail my options down first.
Now there's only one.
Then why is it so crazy to go?
'Cause I don't know where to start.
I do have a few clues, though.
A hospital, and a ferry,
but they aren't connected.
I can come with you if you want.
I know my way around the big easy.
Well, that'd be great, thanks, Ryan.
I mean, it could be total waste of time.
Great, so where do I sign up?
Why'd you wait so long to come, Jack?
I've been busy.
You've missed the last four checkups.
I gotta be honest with you, Jack,
the outlook is not encouraging.
You used to be so responsible
with your checkup.
That's because my mama always made me go.
How bad is it, Doc?
We need to consider a transplant, soon.
Thank you.
I appreciate you for being
there at my mom's funeral.
Jack, this is serious.
Why don't you take some time off, Jack?
Travel around, bring me
some stories from the road.
I look like shit, don't I.
By chance could I be of any assistance?
Yes, sir, do you know when
the next train is leaving?
The next train to where?
Well, there's Birmingham in 20 minutes.
And what about the one headed south?
That would be New Orleans,
leaves in about an hour.
Yeah, I'll take
the one to Birmingham.
come on inside, we'll get you fixed up.
That'd be so easy, right?
You do speak English, don't you?
Yeah, of course.
I was just saying, wouldn't it be nice
if my relationship
solution's out of a magazine?
I'm Carling.
I'm sorry.
she was, big brown eyes,
no makeup or hairspray
or style whatsoever.
Her accent was the most
wonderful sound in the world.
You okay?
Thanks for watching my stuff.
No problem.
So where are you from?
You don't sound like you're from London.
Well, I'm originally from New Orleans.
And Meridian's just in the way?
It's a long story, I don't
really have time to explain,
let's just say I need to go
back to New Orleans for awhile.
Attention all passengers,
the southbound train
to New Orleans is going
to be delayed for at least
two hours, sorry, folks.
Meanwhile, northbound to
Birmingham is arriving earlier
than expected, you have about 10 minutes.
Well, looks like we both
have some time to kill now.
There's this old cafe
place across the street
if you want to tell me about it.
Here's your water with lemon,
and your water with your lemon.
Thank you.
I was
staring at her like an idiot,
or worse, a stalker.
Are we playing that game?
What game?
You just lost.
So what are you doing here in Meridian?
I've been working at a
halfway house as a part
of an internship to keep
from losing my scholarship at Oxford.
Oxford, England, not as Ole Miss.
Yeah, well, I'm ditching school,
I'm leaving the halfway house,
and will probably end
up losing my scholarship
and work visa.
Daring and impulsive.
Yeah, I get that from
my parents all the time.
I also left
my husband,
and my four-year-old son
in New Orleans.
You have nothing to say?
You want me to judge you?
I don't know, maybe I'm just
practicing to face my father.
I'm certainly not your father.
I know, but my family talks bad about me
for leaving my son, but I can't take care
of him like my husband
can, he, on the other hand,
he doesn't love me, he likes
how good I look, and his wine.
How I can help that I was
born with a pretty face?
And I certainly understand
that it can usually
help me get what I want,
but what I want is someone who loves me
when I'm ugly, I would
trade my looks for that.
Wouldn't it be nice to know
there's someone out there who
loves you enough to let you be
who you are, unconditionally?
There's my ugly shit, so
what are you running from?
Anything and everything that's
real and honest, I mean,
I can fix anything, if I
know what I'm dealing with.
I know what you mean, like you're standing
in the middle of a dark forest,
and you're not even afraid.
Any direction seems right,
or none at all,
I've been there.
How do you get out?
I didn't, just trying to
tell the truth to myself,
to hell with those who can't
take hearing the truth,
anyways, don't ask if you don't
really want to know, right?
I already
loved her, she was an angel.
She had the look of a woman
who knew exactly who she was,
and her confidence was beaming.
She didn't care what anybody thought,
exactly what I wanted in a woman.
I wanted her more than anything,
the way she licked her
fingers after eating,
the way her eyes squinted when she smiled,
and the smile, too, I couldn't
believe I was this close
to the woman I created
as a boy in my head,
in my heart, she was
honest, unconditionally.
Oh, my god, I've gotta go.
I'm coming with you.
My train's already left.
Oh, my god, I thought you were waiting
on the southbound train like me.
Are you trying to fix me, Jack?
So why'd you ditch school?
I don't feel like I
belonged at an art school,
I don't feel very artsy, it's
just poor timing, I guess.
And your husband and family,
what have they got to say about that?
Well, my father won't be happy,
but he's never really been happy
with the decisions I've made, he might do
what he's threatened to do all along,
cut off my trust, and send me
back to my family in England.
My mother, she will know
the decisions I've made,
and in the end, she'll support me.
My husband,
I don't really know, I don't really care.
Why do you stare at me all the time?
I love to look at you.
Stop it, it makes me nervous.
No, it doesn't.
Listen, my husband won't return home
from work until the day after tomorrow,
and my parents are taking my
son to the zoo this morning,
do you want to come to my
house after they leave?
Without a doubt.
I watched
her sweep the porch,
like a lion waiting in the grass,
waiting until the right
moment to make the kill.
No one human could be this beautiful
without divine intervention,
somehow this stalk was different.
It was a matter of survival,
but not of flesh and bone,
my spirit needed to consume
the entire aura around her,
to savor the blood that ran
through her veins was
simply not enough, no,
this woman was sacred, only
to be taken by communion.
It was as if I was spending
one night at Mozart's.
I'm staying at the Doubletree Hotel.
I'll call you.
It's Taylor.
My last name.
Think this is a good idea?
I mean, it's a place to start, I mean,
a place to start is better
than no clue at all.
Yeah, I hope so.
I'm just not sure they're gonna give you
that information now, I mean,
those things are confidential.
I know, but we don't have
any other choice but to try.
Okay, let's give it a shot.
Mr. Taylor?
Yes, this is him.
This is Carling's mother,
Carling told me about you,
and she asked me to find you.
Is something wrong?
Carling's in a coma, she
had a bad drug interaction
a few weeks ago, and she lost her baby.
What baby?
Well, Carling came back home pregnant,
but she lost the baby,
she had a miscarriage,
and she got very depressed,
a few weeks ago, she tried,
she tried to take her own life.
I found her before she
slipped into a coma,
and she made me promise to find you.
If you can help her pull through this,
I'd be forever grateful,
for the first time,
my daughter has wanted someone other
than me while she's sick and
hurting, if you can come,
I'll figure out a way
around everyone else,
including her husband and anyone.
Um, yeah, I'll be
there as soon as I can.
Your daughter means the world to me,
I know you don't me, but I'm
asking you to believe me.
What matters is my daughter believes you,
and she needs you
right now.
Hi, my name's Karley Taylor,
and I'm looking for a patient.
I don't know.
Look, this might sound kind of crazy,
but I have this journal, and
it belonged to my father.
The thing is, is he was
in love with a woman,
and I'm just trying to find her.
But it happened a long time ago,
like more than 20 years
ago, but then he died,
and all I have is this journal, and
I'm sorry, I really don't
mean to cause any trouble,
I just want to know if she stayed here.
She was in a coma for a
week, and it says here
that she had a miscarriage
and tried to kill herself.
Well, were you related to the patient?
No, it was just someone my father loved.
I see, look, I'm sorry,
sweetie, there's just no way
for me to look up a patient
who was here over 20 years ago
without a name, and even if I could,
I couldn't give you any
information, that's illegal.
It's okay, we understand,
thank you very much for your time.
No problem.
I'll never forget that day,
there's just some patients
and their stories you always
remember, he never left her.
You know the woman I'm looking for?
And my dad, he was here with her?
I was just starting my shift.
This, this was her room.
It's funny
how we never really think
about god until he's the
only one with the answer.
The leap of faith seemed so clear then,
we are ready to give everything away,
no negotiations, take it
all, but let her live.
I can still see him in there, hiding.
Sorry, he was hiding, you say?
Yes, you know, he really
wasn't supposed to be in here,
it broke all the rules, and
when her husband would come,
he would hide, her mom knew he was here.
He would just pull a
chair up beside her bed,
and just sit, waiting and
watching for a sign of a miracle.
She didn't show any signs of anything
for over a week, he took care of her,
he never left the hospital, not one day,
he'd sleep in the janitor's
closet if he needed to,
we started feeling sorry for him,
we all saw, he was not giving up.
We started helping him a little bit,
keeping him updated on her condition,
and, now, I admit, I was one of them
that would let him know if we
knew the husband was coming.
Jack, you've gotta go!
So what happened next?
Eventually, she did wake up.
I failed you, Jack.
I failed you.
Shh, no, you didn't.
I lost the little girl you always wanted,
I was embarrassed, ashamed,
I didn't even kill myself right.
And I'm glad you didn't, look at me.
There's always a reason that
things happen the way they do.
I'll get the doctor.
Stay here, I'll get the doctor.
And then that day came
when her husband came
and took her away,
that was so unfair, it upset all of us,
we could just see how much
they loved each other.
Her body woke up, but her spirit.
Do you remember her name?
It was an unusual name,
oh, oh, but she had the most
beautiful New Orleans accent,
I loved to hear her talk, her name.
Carling, her name was Carling.
That can't be.
What is it?
Ryan, wait!
Ryan, wait up!
Ryan, what the hell?
She's my mother.
Yeah, my mother, Carling.
How do you know for sure?
Come on, Karley, a young
woman from New Orleans,
same weird-ass name, a name that kind
of resembles your name, Carling, Karley,
do the math, and don't
tell me you didn't know.
Here in your naive search, who is she?
Who is she, you're not that stupid.
Ryan, this is totally unfair,
why are you blaming me?
I'm glad you found your father's lover,
I am, but don't you get it,
he ruined my mother's life.
I didn't know who she was.
Don't you even lie to me.
I didn't lie, Ryan, I
didn't know, I didn't know,
alright, your mom had choices, too,
it's not all my dad's fault.
I knew it, your father was an asshole,
what can I expect of his daughter?
Grow up, Ryan.
I wondered if you'd still be there.
I should have known that you would be.
I know you're worried,
but I'm
alright with losing the baby,
I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
I want you, Jack, but I can't have you,
I know that I've taken chances
that I should not have taken,
but I cannot afford to lose my son,
you taught me that, you
helped me understand who I am.
I might not have ever come to
completely understand myself
had I not shared a train with
a complete stranger one night.
It was fun to dream
about us being together,
but it's just not reality.
I cannot destroy my family, or my son.
Sometimes we have to settle
for less than we had hoped for.
I will always love you, Jack.
It was clear now,
everything in life had
conditions, only the love between
a parent and a child
could be unconditional.
Yeah, honey?
I have something to tell you.
Yeah, what is it, sweetie?
Today, while I was playing with Emily,
she told me that my mommy and
daddy didn't stay together
because they didn't love
me at the same time,
I told her that y'all
have two different houses
because daddy, daddy, you like it here,
and mommy likes it there, was I right?
Absolutely, you're the most wonderful gift
in the world to us, and
we both love you, living
in two different places isn't
gonna change that, okay?
I love you, Daddy.
I love you, too, sweetie,
now get you some sleep, okay?
You know what's happening, right?
Smart girl.
I can never hide anything from you.
Where are you going?
Remember when you came down for breakfast,
and you told me you'd had a bad dream?
And I asked you why you didn't
call me, what did you say?
That you were in the other room,
so I had nothing to be afraid of.
Well, Daddy can't be in that
other room anymore, sweetie,
I'm gonna be right here,
for you
He was right, you know.
About what?
We are really alone in this world.
Yeah, we are.
We come into this world alone, and...
We leave this world alone.
He said that all the time.
I never wanted to believe
him, but he was right.
It doesn't mean that you have
to shut everyone out, Karlie.
Just make yourself
responsible for your own life.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself,
and stand on your own two feet,
so when you fall, you fall,
but when you stand, you stand.
Thanks, Mom.
Being a grownup sucks.
You're going down in that?
You want to go outside?
I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
Look, it was too much for me to handle,
as you probably guessed,
I had a different story between them,
okay, you don't just
go to a four-year-old,
and tell 'em your mom had a miscarriage
and tried to kill herself.
Look, Ryan, things got pretty twisted,
I mean, I wouldn't have wanted you
to find out that way,
it was shocking for me,
I can't imagine how it
must have been for you.
We never really got to know our parents.
I remember looking at her,
seeing how sad she was,
and I wondered what happened.
With them, right?
Yeah, I mean, that nurse
got really touched.
Yeah, I thought so, too, so
I went back to see her again,
and she said she never saw
any of them ever again.
We moved to London for awhile,
it was, then we moved
back, it was close enough
to New Orleans, but far enough
that my grandparents
couldn't control my mom,
and that was a lie,
now I know why she
really wanted to be here.
She lives here?
Yeah, she was right in
front of us the whole time,
just, I didn't know we were
looking for my own mother.
Do you want to meet her?
Well, what do you think?
Hey, Mom.
I'd like you to meet Karlie.
I know who she is, impossible to confuse,
I can see him through your
eyes, let's go sit down.
Ma'am, I just...
Call me Carling.
I just wanted to find the woman
my father was in love with,
and I never meant to hurt you
by bringing all this back up,
but you see, I found his journal,
and although he doesn't
mention you by name,
I'm guessing you were the
one he's talking about.
Yes, that's me he's talking about.
The only thing that doesn't make sense is
why you two never ended
up together, I mean,
you're obviously the love of his life.
We actually had plans to leave one night.
Is that the night that you met
on the ferry in New Orleans?
You know about that?
My mom was there, too,
watching you guys talk,
were you making plans to run off that day?
We actually had plans to
leave later that night,
your father had handed
me our red eye tickets
to Scotland, and he was supposed
to meet me after he took
your mother to the hotel,
but he never showed, I waited
til the last flight left,
the security guards had to
run me out of the airport.
Hang on a second, I just,
I have to call my mom.
Mom, what else happened that day?
What day?
The day you said you saw
Dad talking to the woman
on the ferry in New Orleans,
Mom, Mom, can you tell me?
Well, before
we left that morning,
I went to see the doctor, and I was going
to tell your father later that night.
You were gonna tell him what?
That I was pregnant with you.
So when did you tell him, what time?
I wanted it to
be a surprise at dinner
that night, so I had the
waiter bring it out
on a serving tray.
Alright, is there anything
else I can get for you?
Alright, here's your check
for you when you're ready.
Your father
turned white as a sheet,
and then started crying like a baby,
he didn't sleep at all
that night in the hotel.
Wait a second, I remember
we have a picture,
I remember, there's a date on it,
Mom, can you find the picture?
I don't have to find it,
it's in the photo album,
why is this so important?
Mom, can you just find the picture?
Okay, here it
is, March 7th, 1994.
That's the same day, we were
supposed to leave that night,
so he never met me at the airport.
And that's the last
day he wrote in the journal.
March 7th, 1994,
although certainty in life spends much
of its existence misplaced,
I am sure it does have permanence.
After all, helplessness
is cast upon us at birth,
mercy is surely a chaperone in death,
and although the uncertainty that occurs
in between is not ever
revealed in advance,
it, too, is guaranteed.
Most spend their journey
searching for assuredness,
and the rest of time
trying to hold onto it.
Only a few ever claim to have
retained certainty long enough
to provide any peace
and comfort in the end.
It seems to be in our nature to count
on filling our void
with someone else's gift
of promised love, little do we know,
that is the greatest uncertainty of all.