EXT. COUNTRY RAOD/INT. TULSEN VAN – DAY
Shiro & the girls ride along the road. Xena wears a hoody.
SHIRO: Okay girls let’s go over the rules for the visit again.
MI: Same as home. No powers, Kobai can’t take her hat off-
KOBAI: Unless in the room with no nurses.
CALIF: Be respectful to Grandma, Grandpa, & everyone else. No running in the halls. Stay off the books the entire time. No com-pul-sive painting.
SHIRO: And talk to your grandparents. We’re going to see them & I want all of you are your best behaviors. Xena, if you feel uncomfortable, just tell one of us. Okay?
XENA: Yes Dad.
SHIRO: They want to meet all of you and this might be the only chance we get.
NI: Are they dying?
SHIRO: No. Your grandpa threw out his back and had to go to a rehabilitation center until it was better.
KOBAI: Do you know the extent of the damage, when it occurred, & your father’s medical history?
SHIRO: No, five months ago, and not that detailed. You can ask him later. HIM. Not the staff, not his doctors, ask your grandfather straight up. Is that clear?
EXT. GREEN MILE REHAB CENTER – DAY
A rehabilitation center and retirement home. Small little gardens, gazeboes, and other places to give their patients a chance to be outside.
The van parks in the parking lot and everyone gets out. Xena clings to Mayla.
INT. GREEN MILE REHAB CENTER, FRONT DESK– DAY
A nice little place with a security door and front desk. A DESK NURSE keeps an eye on the entrance.
The Tulsens walk in.
DESK NURSE: Welcome to Green Acres Rehab Center. Are you here to visit family?
SHIRO: Yes. Henry & Aoyama Tulsen.
DESK NURSE: What’s your relation to the Tulsens?
SHIRO: Son & granddaughters.
The Desk Nurse counts the girls. The Nurse sees Xena.
DESK NURSE: Sweetheart, can you-
Xena scurries behind Shiro.
SHIRO: Sorry. She’ not used to meeting new people.
DESK NURSE: Okay. Just make sure you keep an eye on her inside. (slides a paper) This is your code to get out. I’ll open it up for.
SHIRO (takes code): Thank you.
The door opens. Shiro & the girls head in. The Desk Nurse checks something on a clipboard. She knows something.
INT. GREEN MILES REHAB CENTER – DAY
The walls are lined with a pinkish-red wallpaper with a light floral pattern on it. A grand dining room greets the visitors. To the left is a gym. To the right, a hall lined with doors. The Tulsens head down the hall.
CALIF: Why do you need to enter a code?
KOBAI: Because some of the patients here try to make a break for it or are not even aware of what they are doing and simple wander out.
MI: Well if we end up here, I’m not so sure which one Ni would be.
NI: And we all know what you would be.
MAYLA: Why are grandpa & grandma here again?
KOBAI: We discussed grandfather’s issues already, but you didn’t say exactly why grandmother is here.
SHIRO: She didn’t want to leave him so she decided to stay with him until he fully recovered and could move back home.
XENA: If his back is better…
NI: Grandparents 24/7!
The girls shush Ni.
The Tulsens approach the end of the hall. The hall leads into a central community room with a smaller dining area, a television with couches around, & a small area with games.
A nursing station hangs on the end of the hall. Two nurses wait on duty.
SHIRO: Excuse us, do you know where Henry & Aoyama Tulsen are?
NURSE #1: They just came from the gym. They are in their rooms now.
NI (hands on counter) This place has a gym.
Shiro lifts Ni off the counter.
NURSE #1: Go down the hall to the left and their room is on the right. Room 1130.
SHIRO: Thank you.
The Tulsens head down the right hall. Doors line the walls.
CALIF: This place is big.
KOBAI: Especially for the population density in this-
Kobai spots a small nook with a chair and a shelf loaded with books.
KOBAI: I have found sanctuary for my golden years.
Mi, holding an ice cream cup & spoon, grabs Kobai and drags her along.
Mayla spots a cracked door with the number 1130.
SHIRO: Here we are.
Shiro pushes the door open.
INT. GREEN MILES REHAB CENTER, ROOM 1130 – DAY
A very open room designed for wheelchairs and other large objects to roll through with ease. Two hospital beds stand in the room with a curtain to allow privacy with two TV’s. A bathroom stands at the front. Two chairs sit in a corner.
The Tulsen clan walks in. In the bed is HENRY TULSEN – 65-years-old, built like an ox both in body & facial hair, still has most of his hair, and the energy of a Ni – and in one of the chairs is AOYAMA – 64-years-old with a smaller build compared to Henry yet looks as delicate as a newborn.
SHIRO: Should I call the coroner or are you still too stubborn to go?
Henry jumps out of bed. Aoyama gets up from her seat.
HENRY: Shiro, how are you doing?
Henry bearhugs Shiro.
SHIRO: I was just checking the area. I might be looking into one of these and wanted to see how good the neighborhood & price is.
HENRY: It’s good to see you, boy!
SHIRO: Good to see you too dad.
The girls watch the sight of father & son meeting again. Mi eats some ice cream.
NI: This guy gives better hugs than me.
MI: And keeps giving.
HENRY: Let me you. Let me see you. (checks Shiro) Still as scrawny as ever.
SHIRO: Well you make an elephant jealous just by living.
HENRY (sees the girls): And looky here. You brought the grandkids. You got a girl?
AOYAMA: No he doesn’t. You didn’t check.
Henry looks at Shiro’s right hand. He checks both hands.
SHIRO: I told you I adopted.
HENRY: Still ain’t a good idea for a man to be raising kids on his own. Especially if all of them are girls.
MAYLA: He’s still a good dad.
HENRY: Well I guess that’s a good sign.
AOYAMA (to Shiro, Japanese): Have you met any?
SHIRO (Japanese): No, mom, I haven’t.
AOYAMA (Japanese): You’re breaking a mother’s heart. Her only son still single. And with children, no less.
Henry laughs. He can understand Japanese.
AOYAMA (CONT’D): And you waited until now just to visit us.
SHIRO (Japanese): Sorry. I have been searching for a job.
AOYAMA (Japanese): I heard and I am proud of you. You never were much for farm life.
NI: Dad is speaking alien!
MI: It’s another language. We've been over this.
CALIF: Do you know what they’re saying?
MI: I just know it’s not English.
KOBAI (Japanese): Greetings Grandmother. My name is Kobai. From right to left is Ni, Mi, Calif, Xena, & Mayla. It is a pleasure.
AOYAMA (Japanese): Well nice to finally meet all of you. I take it my little Shiro here has spoken both Japanese & English to all of you.
SHIRO (Japanese): Mom.
KOBAI: Sadly, no. I have taken the liberty of learning about Japanese culture and the language to learn about my father’s other heritage, which he has never once shown to us.
AOYAMA: I don’t blame him. I ran away from and ended here. It was shameful to my family, but I don’t regret meeting Henry here.
KOBAI: Before this gets too familiar, may I ask how you whish for us to address both of you. I can see grandfather here to be called Grandpa Henry, but would you like us to call you Grandma Aoyama or Bachan?
AOYAMA: Just call me Grandma Aoyama. If you want to call me Obachan, that’s fine as well.
Everything has gone over Ni’s head.
KOBAI: If that is what you wish, then I shall call you Obachan.
HENRY (to Shiro): Strange one there.
SHIRO (Japanese): You don’t even know the half of it.
MI (eats ice cream): Well, that’s settled.
MAYLA: Where did you get that?
MI: Took it off a food tray a nurse was taking from someone. It’s not like I stole it off someone’s plate while they were eating it.
HENRY: Does it have a purple dot on the side?
MI: I don’t know. What does a purple-
GURGLE Mi’s stomach makes a weird sound and a constipated look stamps her face.
MI (beat): This is the bathroom, right?
HENRY: Go ahead.
Mi blast into the bathroom and locks the door.
CALIF: What’s the purple dot for?
HENRY: It’s a color system the nurses use when serving. Stuff with purple dots helps keep our stomachs clean and regulated.
Calif doesn’t understand.
KOBAI: They poop.
MAYLA: So how much longer are you staying here, grandma & grandpa?
HENRY: Heh heh heh, well I’m glad you asked. Today’s my last day.
Mayla & Calif are surprised. Xena is shocked. Shiro saw this coming. Kobai – nothing.
NI: YAY! 24/7 GRANDPARENTS!
HENRY: Well, aren’t you spunky! Say, want to go to the fitness center?
AOYAMA: Dear, you just back from it. The doctor said not to strain yourself.
KOBAI (Japanese): Plus you can observe her rambunctious nature greatly in an open area.
NI: You just said something insulting, didn’t you?
HENRY (to Kobai): Your dad wasn’t wrong about you (snatches hat) Was he? Fine little horns you got there. That explains your tone and painted-on face. (searches) And that must mean…
Xena hides behind Mayla. Henry get next to Mayla.
HENRY (CONT’D): This little one here must be Xena. It’s all right, little pup. I know about your secret. Let me see that fur of yours.
Xena hides behind Mayla.
MAYLA: Sorry for her behavior. She has a very hard time meeting new people. Even family.
HENRY: Does she now? Well, I’m sure Grandma Aoi here can soften that fence around you. She has a way with kids. (beat) So Shiro, my boy, how about you & I go catch up on things while your mother handles the little ones?
NI: Awwww. I can’t go with you.
HENRY: We’ll back soon. It’s just a conversation between men. (whispers) Besides, I want to get back to the farm before the warden changes their mind.
AOYAMA: How about I show you girls some of my latest paintings?
Calif gleams with excitement. Henry & Shiro leave the room.
HENRY: We’ll be back soon.
Henry closes the door.
AOYAMA: Now then-
CALIF: Where are the painting, Grandma Aoi?
NI: I thought her name is Ao-yo-mama?
NI: Ah sorry Grandma-ma-yao. Oh wait.
AOYAMA: It’s all right if you can’t pronounce it yet. It took your grandfather a while as well. Now then, shall I bring out my latest works.
Calif shines brighter in anticipation of the works.
EXT. GREEN MILES REHAB CENTER, COURTYARD – DAY
A well-kept garden in the center of the Center with a garden lining the walkways with benches and gazebos.
Henry & Shiro walk around.
SHIRO: Why do you like to pull last-minute stunts like this?
HENRY: I’ve still got it, don’t I? Besides, I think those girls liked it?
SHIRO: And how do you plan on getting back? My van only sits eight.
HENRY: I think we can manage. Those little ones one fit in one seat. Or they can ride in your mother’s lap. We used to do that all the time.
SHIRO: That was 30 years ago. Traffic laws are different, even out here. Besides, we’d be pushing it with all nine of us. How much luggage would we be bringing?
HENRY: They have a two-suitcase limit, but your mother made some more of her works. Haven’t seen her make something that beautiful in years.
An elderly man with a walker hobbles on by.
HENRY (CONT’D): I miss the fields. I don’t mind this place. Met a lot of new friends, but I just don’t feel like myself with a hoe in my hands or a tractor under my feet. You know what I’m saying? I bet your girls want to spend some time with their grandpa. So why don’t-
SHIRO: I get it. I’m hoping to get a place before school starts up. Mayla starts high school next year.
HENRY: Really. You already got one that old? BOY Do I have a lot of catching up to do and so little time.
SHIRO: Want to sit down and I catch you up?
HENRY (sits on bench): Might as well. You know your mother.
SHIRO (sits on bench): Then I better start with Calif. Those two will get along the best.
INT. GREEN ACRE REHAB CENTER, ROOM 1130 – DAY
A painting of a man walking with his child through a field of sunflowers stands on the table. Calif feels transfixed on the spectacle.
NI: Well well, our expert loves it.
MAYLA: It’s a wonderful painting, Grandma Aoi.
AOYAMA: Thank you dear. And I have painting to thank for everything.
NI: Ooh, tantalizing story about you and Grandpa. Did you two meet under a pretty painting?
KOBAI: You know how to use “tantalizing,” but all you can say is “pretty” to describe a painting?
AOYAMA: No, we didn’t meet in a museum. I left home, wanting to be a painter.
CALIF: So you came here to study painting.
AOYAMA: Not really. I bought a plane ticket for France and got on the wrong plane. I ended up in an airport in Oregon with a one-way ticket and no money. I wired some ahead of time, but it was in France.
KOBAI: The 80’s were a cruel time.
Aoyama picks up a painting of a teenage boy sleeping on a bench with a newspaper on his face.
AOYAMA: I decided to use my passion to make some money but that didn’t go well.
CALIF: When did you paint this one?
AOYAMA: This was only painting I made when before I met your grandfather. I figured if I can’t get people to pay me to paint, I’d paint someone and-
KOBAI: Blackmail them into buying one.
AOYAMA: And it worked.
CALIF: But how? You still have it.
AOYAMA: Because I’ve spent over 40 years with him.
MAYLA: Then that’s-
Aoyama looks at the painting herself with a smile brought by a fond memory.
AOYAMA: Almost out of a fairy tale. I spend five days trying to get him to buy it, but he refused every time. I had been in the country for a week and barely ate anything. I was so desperate that I jumped on his truck when he left and laid in the back the entire ride. I passed out somewhere along the way and the next thing I knew, I was on his family’s farm. They took in me, nursed me-
XENA: Were you sick?
Aoyama smiles a warmer smile with Xena finally speaking. Xena cowers behind Mayla.
AOYAMA: I suppose so. Most of the first few days were blurry, but Henry and his family looked after me. Having no money and nowhere to go, I decided to stay and help on the farm. I wasn’t much of a farm hand, but I strived to do what I could. (shows her arm) I managed to build myself some.
The girls look at Aoyama’s toned arm.
AOYAMA (CONT’D): You can feel. Go ahead.
Ni feels Aoyama’s arm. It’s sturdy and feels like a it could lift all six of the girls at once.
AOYAMA (CONT’D): It wasn’t easy - In fact, there were days that I felt like I could have died – but I somehow made it. And eventually me & Henry got married.
Tears flow down a crying Mayla.
MAYLA: That’s a very happy story.
AOYAMA (laughs): I wasn’t expecting it be that moving. I bet you’ll cry when you get married, sweetie. (beat) Though thank you. If I hadn’t met your grandfather, I’d probably never would have met all of you.
The girls smile. Even Kobai cracks a small grin.
MI (O.S.) (in bathroom): ARGH! How strong does this need to be?
The mood flies out.
EXT. GREEN MILES REHAB CENTER, COURTYARD – DAY
Shiro & Henry sit on a bench. The old man with the walker struggles to open the door, unaware of the handicap button.
SHIRO: Same look Gale gave Luegon when they started to get to know each other.
HENRY: And they don’t know it yet?
SHIRO: Not yet. I wonder when, though.
HENRY: If you plan to move by the end of summer, you might need to intervene some if you want them to move.
SHIRO: Dad, you never did with Gale & Nell.
HENRY: I never approved of what Nell did. She went on her & I still haven’t seen her kids yet. You got a truckload of them and a low-income job. You get a pass.
SHIRO: And Gale?
HENRY: That was nature taking its course. I only kept an eye on him.
Shiro sees the old man still struggling to open the door.
SHIRO: Is he okay?
HENRY: He needs his glasses fixed. That’s all. Besides, everyone here has problems. Need help. Call a nurse. They’re able to move a mile an hour.
SHIRO: And then there’s you.
HENRY (gets up): Yep. SO how about we go and pack everything up? I want to spend as much time with my grandkids as I can.
SHIRO (gets up): Guess there’s no point in stopping you.
HENRY: Let me tell you something son, when they start having their own, you’ll feel livelier than when you have your own. You know why? Because you see the fruits of your caring go on to the next ones. That’s what’s important.
SHIRO (smiles): Maybe so (punches Henry’s stomach) You old geezer.
Henry laughs, Shiro smiles, and the two head back inside. They open the door for the old man.
INT. GREEN MILES REHAB CENTER, ROOM 1130 – DAY
The girls help Aoyama pack. Xena keeps her distance from Aoyama. Calif handles the paintings.
Shiro & Henry walk in.
HENRY: Honey, I’m ready to go home.
KOBAI (sarcastic): Oh look, a clever play on an overly used cliché. (puts on hat) I now know where my intellect comes from.
SHIRO (knocks on bathroom): Mi, you still in there?
MI (O.S.): I regret taking that ice cream. I am never taking anything without permission again AND I MEAN IT!
SHIRO: And this is why I take your snacks when you misbehave.
HENRY: You girls ready for grandma & grandpa to be in your lives?
NI: Can you be in them now?
HENRY: Why not! I’ve heard about y’all’s special abilities. I want to see what all you got.
NI: All we got.
HENRY: Show me what you girls are made of.
Ni prepares to jump.
SHIRO (CONT’D): That’s a bad-
NI (in the air): GRAND-PA!
Ni tackles Henry to the ground.
CRACK Henry’s back cracks.
HENRY: AH! MY BACK! MY BACK! OW! I THINK IT’S OUT OF PLACE AGAIN! AH!
Everyone in the room just looks at Henry dog piled by Ni.
INT. GREEN MILES REHABD CENTER – EVENING
The Tulsens accompanied by Aoyama and Henry with a cane walk to the entrance. Shiro & Aoyama both carry something wrapped up. Mi looks as if she has had a bad day.
MAYLA: Sorry your release had to be postponed.
KOBAI: If anything, you can blame our loose cannon for her action.
In Shiro’s arm, Ni, wrapped up & with duct tape on her mouth, squirms.
HENRY: It’s nothing bad. I should have stopped myself before I got into it.
SHIRO: Well the doctor said it wasn’t as bad as the first time, but you’ll have to stay another two months.
HENRY: Awe! And I was hoping to spend time with you girls.
AOYAMA: Thank you all for staying for supper. Even if it was the cafeteria special.
MI: Ugh… Please don’t remind me.
SHIRO: Should we get that checked out?
MI: I just want to call it a day.
Aoyama hands Calif a tarp with what looks like a frame.
AOYAMA: Here you go.
Calif unveils the painting. It’s the painting of young Henry sleeping on a bench with a newspaper over his face.
CALIF: You’re giving me this?
AOYAMA: I know it will be in good hands.
Calif smiles at such a lovely gift.
HENRY: Y’all come visit, ya here me.
AOYAMA: And tell Gale & Luegon to bring Josiah.
CALIF: We will.
Kobai enters the code.
MAYLA: It was nice to finally meet you two.
NI: Grandpa, next time let’s go to the gym.
KOBAI: The door is open.
SHIRO: We better go before the staff yells at us. See y’all around.
The Tulsens head out the door.
The security door closes.
AOYAMA: Now then, shall we head back.
HENRY: Might as well.
Aoyama grabs Henry’s arm and the two head down the hall.
HENRY (CONT’D): You know, I still remember the day you painted that. And I still remember what I was thinking that day.
AOYAMA: Don’t say it’s “What is that beautiful girl doing?”
HENRY: No, it wasn’t. But I still remember it.
AOYAMA: So do I, dear.
INT. TULSEN VAN – EVENING
Calif & Xena look at the painting. It’s even pretty in the evening sunlight.