INT. HAIR SALON – DAY (Prologue)
23-year-old Shiro works on a client. He reaches for a pair of scissors by the mirror.
Someone grabs Shiro’s shoulder.
SHARA (O.S.): Excuse me?
SHIRO (turns around): I am in the middle of-
Shiro sees a 25-year-old Shara.
SHARA: Shiro? You’re the best stylist here?
SHIRO: According to Lashanda.
CLIENT #1: How much longer are you going to be?
SHIRO (returns to job): Just a minute, ma’am. (to Shara) I thought you were a big-time artist.
SHARA: That doesn’t mean I can’t come home every now and again?
SHIRO: I can take you after I finish here.
SHARA: Great. I haven’t got all day. I got a recording session in half an hour & I heard you can do it in less than half the time.
SHIRO: Why does she exaggerate?
SHARA: What, no confidence, Sheepo?
Shiro enrages and finishes his client’s cut in one snip.
SHIRO: What would you like?
Shiro stares down a challenge coming at him.
INT. TULSEN FLAT, TRIPLET’S ROOM – DAY
Ni sits on a stool in a corner with a dunce hat on. Mayla, Kobai, Mi, & Calif discuss their “Dad Get Date” plan.
KOBAI: Okay, what did we learn?
MI: Never let Ni have an idea.
NI: I was trying to be helpful!
KOBAI: Silence. You have no permission to speak.
CALIF: That we know what not to do?
KOBAI: Good assumption, but that is only part of the problem.
MAYLA: We should not interfere into Dad’s love-life.
MI: I thought we were doing this because he is lonely. Now you’re saying he should just die an old, lonely man?
MAYLA: I didn’t say that.
KOBAI: Clearly, she is exaggerating the situation.
MAYLA: You’re missing the point. Dad would not want us to mess with anyone for something that is someone else’s life.
KOBAI: Your argument is unstructured.
MAYLA: This is not the debate team, Kobai. This is real life.
KOBAI: Debates normally focus on real life issues.
MAYLA: But do you actually do anything with them? Name some topics you have argued upon.
KOBAI: Teens & makeup, roundabouts, cellphones in school, the need for multiple utensils at high-class dinner parties-
MAYLA: And how many of them have you actually made an impact on?
Kobai searches for an answer.
MAYLA: Exactly. (Calif sneezes) We don’t even know how adults meets. We meet guys through school.
MI: A forced imprisonment in which we are required to go to and somehow make friends & more.
MAYLA: I wouldn’t say it’s that harsh, (Calif sneezes) but we are forced into a mixed, large crowd. We barely know anything about how adults meet like that.
Kobai thinks about what Mayla said.
KOBAI: I see your point…
MI: Bless you. Are you okay?
CALIF: I’m fine.
MI: If you turn up sick tomorrow, sleep with me that night.
Mayla can’t believe what she is hearing.
In the hallway, a short-haired Xena glides into view. She looks like she came from the best spa day ever.
MI: Someone looks happy.
XENA (blissful smile): Dad’s special spring cuts are the best.
MAYLA (leaves room): Are you getting something to drink? (Xena nods) Come on, Mayleaf will get you something.
Mayla guides Xena to the kitchen.
MI (snickering): Mayleaf. I love it when she uses that.
KOBAI: Since we have no knowledge of how adults form relationships, then we should start from there.
Mi looks at Kobai as if saying “Where have you been?”
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
Calif sits at the table. She is red with a fever and her nose is all stuffy. She sneezes harder this morning.
Mi, Kobai, Xena, & Ni sit at the table. Mayla gets ready to sit.
MI: Boy, you look miserable. Care to share it?
NI: Keep it away from me. I missed one week of practice already. I am NOT missing any more.
Mayla walks over to Calif.
CALIF (stuffy): I’m not sick. I’m just fine. ACHOO.
Mayla checks Calif for a fever.
MAYLA: You are burning up. You’re staying home today.
CALIF: I am fine!
Shiro walks in.
SHIRO: What’s going on?
XENA: Mayla says Calif is too sick to go to school.
Shiro checks Calif for a fever.
SHIRO: She’s right. You’re staying home today, missy. Xena, looks like you’re going to have company today.
MI (obviously warming herself): You know, I think I might be coming down with something, too.
A candle in the middle of the table lights up.
Everyone moves away from Mi. Mi sees that her faking sick is not working.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY
Mayla, Mi, Ni, & Kobai head for school.
KOBAI: I believe I have figured something out.
NI: How to cure the common cold?
KOBAI: I am referring to last night, and why does that interest you?
NI: I have decided to become a germaphobe.
MI: You know that means doing your laundry & washing your hands every 20 seconds.
Ni looks at her hands. Ni plunges her hands in Mayla’s hair.
MI (beat): Stop. Just stop. Seriously, that- that looks weird… for anyone… even us…
Ni pulls her hands out.
NI: Never mind. It’s too much effort.
KOBAI: I was referring to last night.
MAYLA: I thought we agreed to stop.
KOBAI: Correction: You pointed out how we have no knowledge of how adults create interpersonal relationships with complete strangers because of the contrast in environments between us & Dad. Who we do need to ask should be either a currently dating teacher, a desperate teacher-
MI: I have one in mind.
KOBAI: Or a student of a divorced/widowed parent who is currently trying to date since they have 1st or 2nd-hand experience.
MAYLA: So you just brushed off what I said.
KOBAI: As I said, I found the missing link in our strategy and followed it through with a more complete approach.
MI: Can we just say you found a way to get dad a date faster?
NI: Can you speed up the dating process?
MI: You did, and it didn’t work.
NI: I thought it did.
MI: There’s the problem.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, HALLWAY – DAY
The girls walk down the hall with Mi taking the lead.
MI (CONT’D): But I think my idea will work better.
KOBAI: How are you so certain?
Mi heads for a classroom.
MI: Let’s find out.
INT. SPANISH CLASSROOM – DAY
A classroom lined with Mexican, Latin American, South American, & Spanish décor and pictures. At the desk is MS. ALVAREZ, Arrato Middle’s Spanish-teacher.
Mi enters the classroom. Kobai, Ni, & Mayla wait just outside the room.
MI: Hola, Ms. Alvarez.
MS. ALVAREZ: Mi Tulsen, what brings you to class before 10?
MI: Me & my sisters have a question for you.
MS. ALVAREZ: I don’t think I am teaching all of your sisters.
MI: This has to do with something more personal.
MS. ALVAREZ: Is this a subject your father cannot discuss with you?
MI: It has to with our dad.
Ms. Alvarez is interested.
MS. ALVAREZ: Is everything at home alright?
MI: Ms. Alvarez, you’re single, right?
Kobai slaps herself.
MS. ALVAREZ: Mi, you know it’s against school policy-
MI: I was not asking you date my dad. Though I was wondering where a single adult would go to get a date.
MS. ALVAREZ (reminiscences): Well, you could try the Anthony’s on 6th Avenue in downtown. They have some the best dips… some of the best dancers. (beat) Unless of course you meet a guy name Luca who can sweep you of your feet and tell you he had a good time, and the next time you go he has another girls in his hands and says the exact same line to her, then you end up spending the rest of your night, (crying) wondering when if you just aren’t worthy of love, clean out the all the ice cream in the freezer, gain 20 pounds, and cry the rest of the night away!
Ms. Alvarez breaks down and sobs while ranting in Spanish.
Mi watches the sob show go on, kind of hoping this goes into her class later today.
Kobai & Ni watch from the doorway.
KOBAI: I do not know which one is worse. You or Mi.
INT. HAIR SALON – DAY
Shiro, Maki, Peter, & some other employees prepare for work.
Maki picks up a pair of scissors and inspects them.
PETER: Something wrong?
MAKI: These scissors look like they have been worn down. They aren’t going to last long.
PETER: Do you need a pair?
MAKI: Someone broke in last week & stole the others.
PETER: I heard about a turf war the other day. Must be what happened to them. I guess they only needed so many.
SHIRO: I have a pair at my house I can grab during lunch.
MAKI: You, the man who prides on his work, are going to loan me a pair of scissors?
SHIRO: I outgrew them. I don’t want them sitting around my house.
MAKI: Okay. I’ll come with you.
SHIRO: I’m just getting a pair of scissors, not move a couch.
MAKI: It’s my fault you are going. I should at least go and get them.
PETER: I don’t think it’s your fault.
SHIRO (pulls out phone): Fine. I just need to let my daughter know.
MAKI: So, I get to meet one of the little tikes you talk about.
SHIRO: She’s sick. I need to see if I need to pick up anything.
PETER (overdramatic): Shiro! How could you? A sick, little girl left home alone by her single father. It’s such a shame.
SHIRO: My second youngest is home-schooled. She is more than capable of being someone’s nurse for a few hours.
PETER: Oh. (continues working) Well, never mind.
INT. ARRATO MIDDLE, HALLWAY - DAY
Mayla & Michael walk down the hall to class.
MAYLA: I don’t know what to do Michael.
MICHAEL: Are your sisters still trying to figure out how to get your dad a girlfriend?
MAYLA: I think they are more concerned about him getting a date. I can’t imagine what would happen if it went that far.
MICHAEL: Yeah. I saw Nathaniel in Algebra. I tried to ask him about Friday.
MAYLA: What did he say?
MICHAEL: He said it was “an experience.”
MAYLA: I’m not surprised. I just wish they would give it up.
MICHAEL: Why are you and your sisters trying to get your dad a date?
MAYLA: He’s just been distant lately. Kobai thinks it might be loneliness.
MICHAEL: And I guess coming from the smartest sister has more merit to it than actually asking him?
MAYLA: If you were lonely, would you actually tell someone?
MICHAEL: Maybe my best friend…
MAYLA: What if it was your own parent?
MICAHEL: I see your point.
MAYLA: Though my main concern it what Kobai is going to do.
MICHAEL: Why? I thought she was the most reasonable.
MAYLA: She reasons the most.
MICHAEL: Oh dear.
INT. ARRATO MIDDEL, LIBRARY – DAY
Harold is reading a book.
Kobai comes up to Harold.
KOBAI: I have a personally created questionnaire for you.
Harold hears Kobai, believing she is trying something sneaking to get over him in the Debate Team but plans to outsmart her.
HAROLD: Questions? From you? This must be marked for historical references.
KOBAI: Doubtful, as someone like you would find them mediocre, others would find unnecessary, and I would prefer not to indulge your ego any further, but a one-sided issue can only go so far.
HAROLD: “Scratching another’s ego” does not seem like a trait of yours. I have a few suspicions about this, and I may have all the answers before you ask.
KOBAI: Your first point is doubtful as you have no foreknowledge of the questions about to asked, though having knowledge of said questions will be a possibility. Chances may vary depending on your responses.
HAROLD: Well, as two curious intellects, shall we divulge the approaching topic?
KOBAI: Very well.
Kobai pulls out a notepad & pen. Harold looks prepared for the ultimate debate.
KOBAI: Your parents are divorced, correct?
Harold is perplexed.
HAROLD: Come again?
KOBAI: You have two separate addresses for mail which most likely infers that your parents split at some point during your childhood and both have legal custody over you. Am I wrong?
HAROLD: How do you know this?
KOBAI: Irrelevant. Are your parents divorced?
Kobai does not look like she is going to let up. Harold feels cornered. Other students are watching.
KOBAI: The options to answer are simple: yes, no, or possible will be.
HAROLD: Why are you asking about my parents?
KOBAI: Research. Are your parents divorced?
HAROLD: What do my parent’s marriage have to do with anything?
KOBAI: Your lifestyle & quite a few other areas that exceed your known boundaries which are reasonable for adults for a child. Are your parents divorced?
A figure appears behind Kobai.
TEACHER: Young lady, (Kobai turns around) What are you doing?
KOBAI: A survey from a fellow student.
HAROLD: “Survey?” You were asking whether my parents were married or not.
KOBAI: I find that many different parental states affect their children. Also, a questionnaire is used in many surveys, and surveys are a type of research. Where do you see a fallacy in what I am asking?
TEACHER: I think the principal can find one. Shall we let him evaluate it?
Harold gasps in relief.
EXT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
Shiro leads Maki up to his flat.
MAKI: Nice place. Do the cockroaches cost extra?
SHIRO: Don’t you live in the Praires?
MAKI: Yeah, but this is still a trash heap.
SHIRO: It’s a lot nicer inside.
Shiro pulls out his keys & puts one in the door.
MAKI: Must have cost you two arms and a leg to get this place.
Shiro unlocks the door.
SHIRO: It’s a lot nicer inside.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
Shiro & Maki enter.
SHIRO (CONT’D): Not exactly something you’d find around here, but-
A sick Calif belly snacking… or at least trying. Calif sees that Shiro is home with someone. She tries to swallow the snack whole but is having a hard time just eating it.
Shiro comes over, kneels by Calif, and places his hand under her mouth.
SHIRO: Calif what are you doing? You can barely eat this. Come on spit it out.
Calif spits her snack up into Shiro’s hand followed by a coughing fit.
Shiro gets Calif off the floor & onto her feet.
SHIRO: Come on. Let’s get you some cough syrup.
Shiro takes Calif to the kitchen. Maki comes in and closes the door.
Shiro opens a medical cabinet underneath the sink.
MAKI: Is she the one you said was sick?
SHIRO: What gave that away?
Maki comes over to Calif.
MAKI: Aren’t you just precious? What’s a cutie like you doing being sick?
Shiro pulls out a container of cough syrup. He reaches into a drawer of silverware, pulls out a tablespoon, and pours some medicine into the spoon.
MAKI (O.S.): What’s your name?
CALIF (O.S.) (sickly): Calif.
MAKI: Nice to meet you. My name’s Maki. I work with your daddy. Tell me, is he a good daddy to you?
SHIRO: Her answer might change in a second. (kneels down) Okay, Calif, open wide.
Calif opens her mouth. Shiro gives Calif the medicine.
MAKI: You took that like a big girl. I always hated when my mom or dad had to give me that stuff. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
Shiro washes the spoon.
SHIRO: Come on. Let’s get you to bed.
Calif, Shiro, & Maki head for the back.
MAKI: Didn’t you say your second youngest was looking after her?
SHIRO: She must be hiding somewhere.
MAKI: “Hiding?” How old is she?
SHIRO: Eight, but she’s not playing a game. She just gets nervous around strangers.
MAKI: Maybe I should pop around sometimes so she can get use to me.
Shiro opens the door to Calif’s room.
SHIRO: You get some sleep.
Calif drags herself into her room. Shiro closes the door behind her.
MAKI: How old is that one?
Shiro heads for his room.
SHIRO: She’ll be 8 in a few weeks.
MAKI: And your second is only a year older?
SHIRO: More like 362 days older.
MAKI: Wow. How could parents like that give up their kids?
INT. SHIRO’S ROOM - DAY
SHIRO (enters room): I don’t know, though I haven’t thought about it like that.
Maki stands at the doorway looking around the room.
MAKI: This is your room. I was expecting mannequin heads with different styles lining everything.
Shiro opens a drawer. He pulls out a pair of scissors too small for his hands but big enough for Maki’s.
Shiro leaves the room and hands the scissors to Maki.
SHIRO: Look fine to you?
Maki checks the scissors.
MAKI: Wow, these are nice. How long have you had them?
SHIRO: Let’s just say jealousy is contagious in cosmetology school. (heads out) Come on, our break’s almost over.
MAKI: What about your daughters?
SHIRO: They’ll be fine. This is not the first time one of them has been sick.
Maki can’t believe what she heard. She storms after Shiro.
MAKI: WHAT? Shiro Tulsen, I was just having second thought about you being a father, but now-
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
Maki stomps in and sees a dying, large plant in the living room. Shiro is at the door.
MAKI (beat): Was that there before?
SHIRO: She’s not alone & my other girl is more than capable of handling this. Now will you stop overreacting and come on?
Maki thinks for a moment.
MAKI: Check on her first, okay?
SHIRO: *sigh* All right.
Maki marches out of the apartment.
Shiro closes the door.
SHIRO (to the pot): Where did you find the pot?
The plant implodes revealing Xena.
XENA: I found it outside on the breezeway with garbage in it. I cleaned it out and was going to return it.
SHIRO: Everything’s been fine, right?
XENA: Yep, no problems.
SHIRO (opens door): That’s good. I’ll be back later.
Xena tries to climb out of the pot. The pot tips over & Xena rolls out.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY
Mayla, Ni, Mi, & Kobai walk home. Mayla is not happy.
MAYLA: I think we should now agree to stop trying to get Dad a date.
NI: Why do you say that?
MAYLA: Because you probably traumatized a 7th grader, Mi made a teacher go to a counselor, and Kobai has been charged with too many things to count.
KOBAI: All the accusations they listed were fundamentally wrong as I did everything through proper channels. They were overexaggerated demeanors.
MAYLA: Which one?
KOBAI (counting off her fingers): Invasion of privacy, stalking, harassment, false advertising-
MAYLA: You found a student’s address without his permission and then went up to him & asked if his parents were together.
KOBAI: Wanting to know someone’s address is not a federal crime. The postal service is a government run service that allows access when needing to mail a package to a location.
MAYLA (halts): YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT!
Mi, Ni, & Kobai stop and look at Mayla.
MAYLA (to Kobai): You are too focused on facts to recognize how to act around others! (to Ni) You jump straight into everything without thinking about the consequences! (to Mi) And you don’t care what happens to anybody!
Silence. Mi, Ni, & Kobai are left speechless at Mayla’s sudden burst of anger.
Mayla continues walking.
MAYLA (beat): No wonder Dad’s still single.
Mi, Ni, & Kobai watch their older sister walk away.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY
Calif is lying on the couch watching television with Xena. Xena has a bowl of soup for Calif.
Mayla walks in. Kobai, Mi, & Ni follow in.
Mayla starts cooking dinner. Mi sits in a chair in the living room. Kobai heads for the table & pulls out some work. Ni does not know what to do.
Xena feels a bit of tension in the room
XENA: How was everyone’s day?
XENA: I think Calif is getting better.
MAYLA: That’s good to here.
Xena smiles some.
XENA: Kobai, there’s a message for you on the machine. Something about “possible explosion.”
KOBAI (shoots up): That’s it. I’m calling them back and-
Calif smiles at Kobai.
Kobai vomits all over the floor. Everyone else watches.
CALIF: I guess I can make others sick when I’m sick.
MI: Yeah, no kidding…
CALIF: At least I didn’t have to use my skill on that lady.
Mi, Ni, & Mayla look at Calif. Kobai staggers back up.
KOBAI: What lady?
XENA: I think she means the lady that came in earlier with Daddy. I think she might be the same age, though I only saw from the pot.
Mayla, Mi, Ni, & Kobai stare at Xena.
Mayla, Mi, Ni, & Kobai speculate what has happened.
MAYLA, MI, NI, KOBAI: EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Xena is confused.
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