INT. ROSE HIGH SCHOOL GYM LOBBY - DAY

CHARLOTTE sits alone at a table, going over math homework.

JASON walks over to her and stops in front of her. He offers her a CARD.

JASON

Hey, wanna come to my birthday party this weekend?

Charlotte looks up from her homework and takes the card.

CHARLOTTE

(smiling)

Oh, yeah, I'd love too, I just have to make sure my schedule is clear.

JASON

Cool. Just let me know if you can make it by the end of the day.

Jason waves and walks off. Charlotte barely suppresses a smile as she places the invitation into a folder.

BECCA walks behind Charlotte and hits her on the back.

Charlotte scrambles to close the folder, trying to hide the card.

BECCA

Was that Jason Pierce talking to you just now?

CHARLOTTE

Yeah. It's not that crazy, Becca. This school is pretty small.

BECCA

And what was it that he gave you? Let me see.

Becca attempts to grab the folder, but Charlotte sweeps it into her backpack.

CHARLOTTE

Nothing important. Just an invitation.

BECCA

Gag me. An invitation to what?

CHARLOTTE

(shrugs)

To his birthday party…

BECCA

Oh my god! Are you gonna go?

CHARLOTTE

I mean I was thinking about it…

BECCA

Oh, oh no. You cannot be serious. Did you ever stop to think why he invited you? (gasp) Maybe it's, like, a trick!

Charlotte rolls her eyes and starts packing her stuff away.

CHARLOTTE

It's not a trick. Jason's too nice for that.

BECCA

That's what he wants you to think. He could be totally warped.

CHARLOTTE

Or maybe he's actually a nice guy doing a nice thing. I'm sure everyone in our grade got invited.

BECCA

Or he had a left over invitation he needed to get rid of and gave it to the first sap he saw.

Charlotte swallows heavily. She drums her fingers on the table while looking down to the ground.

Becca scoots her chair closer.

BECCA

It's not worth the risk, baby doll. Why don't you just stay in and we can veg out on the couch, watching dumb movies.

CHARLOTTE

(sighs)

I guess, but-

BECCA

Radical! We are going to have, like, the best time.

Becca looks at her watch before grabbing her bag.

BECCA

Better hurry up now, baby doll. You're gonna be late for class.

CHARLOTTE

My first class doesn't start for another twenty minutes…

BECCA

Did I stutter? Get a move on, chop chop.

Charlotte quickly gathers all her stuff before hastily heading to class. Becca follows behind, eyes glued to her phone.

INT. ROSE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM - DAY

A school bell rings, signaling kids to begin packing up and leaving. Charlotte stays behind in the chaos, taking her time as she gathers her things. Jason comes up to her and knocks on her desk.

Charlotte looks up and smiles.

CHARLOTTE

Hey, Jason. How's it going?

JASON

Good. Better now that the day is closer to being over.

Charlotte giggles.

JASON

Uh, so, anyways, I was wondering if you had made a decision on whether or not you can come this Saturday?

CHARLOTTE

Oh, um, no, sorry. I-I mean, no, I haven't made a decision not "no" as in I don't want to go.

JASON

That's fine. My mom just wanted to know so she knew how much food to order. But if you're really busy I understand…

CHARLOTTE

(rising from seat)

I'm not too busy! Honest! I just usually have chores or errands to run on Saturdays.

JASON

Well, I wouldn't mind even if you showed up a little late. Honestly, the first good hour is just people showing up. Being "fashionably late" is still a thing I guess.

CHARLOTTE

Yeah…

JASON

Would you mind if I said yes just in case then? It's better to have too much food than too little, right?

CHARLOTTE

That would be great, thanks. And I'll try to swing by if I have the chance.

JASON

Awesome! Hope to see ya.

With that, Jason raps his knuckles on the desk before leaving.

Charlotte smiles happily and turns to leave but almost knocks into Becca.

BECCA

Smooth move, loser. Did you just agree to go to Jason's party?

Charlotte shrugs as the duo walk out of the classroom and into the hallway.

CHARLOTTE

So, what if I did?

BECCA

Then that would be totally bogus. You'd bail on me for some lame party?

Charlotte stops and turns to Becca.

CHARLOTTE

Bec, I hang out with you every weekend. I wanted to change it up a little.

BECCA

(scoff)

Whatever, loser. Don't come crying to me when this, like, blows up in your face because I'll just be waiting with a big fat I told ya so.

Charlotte links her arm with Becca's.

CHARLOTTE

Don't be so negative. We can still hang out this Saturday. You can help me pick out an outfit.

Becca shrugs Charlotte's arm off.

BECCA

(disgusted)

Fine. It'll be totally bitchin' to watch you squeeze into last season's clothes.

Any excitement left in Charlotte's face disappears as the girls walk toward the exit. Becca is buried in her phone.

INT. CHARLOTTE'S ROOM - SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Charlotte stands in front of a full-length mirror, holding two dresses in front of her. Becca lays on her stomach in bed while texting on her phone. Occasionally she glances up at Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE

(she holds up a plain blue dress)

Okay, what about this one?

BECCA

Gag me. No one wants you showing up looking like the ocean, baby doll.

Charlotte frowns and throws the dress onto a pile of other discarded clothing items.

CHARLOTTE

(she holds up a sparkly red dress)

This one?

BECCA

Ugh, barf! That should have stayed and died in the 70s.

Charlotte huffs and throws the dress into the pile. She then turns to face Becca with her hands on her hips.

Becca doesn't look up. Rather, she stays engrossed in her phone and makes a point to hum loudly as she ignores Charlotte.

Charlotte taps her foot a moment before reaching over and yanking the phone out of Becca's hand.

BECCA

(shocked)

Excuse me? Have you gone, like, mental? Give it back!

Becca reaches out to snatch the phone back, but Charlotte holds it just out of reach.

CHARLOTTE

No, I won't. Not until you start being nicer to me. You've always been like this. Doubting me, questioning everything, being so...so horrible! No matter how much I want you gone, you're always there. And I just listen and let you push me around. Well...not anymore, Becca! Because I'm tired of being a house hermit. Tonight, I'm gonna go out and have some fun. Without you. And when I get back, your ass better be gone.

Charlotte turns back to the pile of clothes. She fishes out a black shirt, flannel, and jeans.

Becca pushes herself up and stands behind Charlotte as she prepares to leave.

BECCA

Fine. But don't come cryin' to me if you start to wig out and embarrass yourself, baby doll.

Charlotte ignores her and slams her bedroom door as she exits.

EXT. JASON'S HOUSE'S PORCH - EARLY EVENING

Charlotte stands out on the porch, a gift bag clasped between her hands. Music hums inside.

She tentatively raises a fist and knocks on the door. As she stands there, she shifts her weight from foot to foot.

Jason opens the door, smiling.

JASON

Hey, Charlotte. So glad you could make it.

CHARLOTTE

Glad to be here. I got you a present.

Charlotte extends the gift bag. Jason takes it.

JASON

Thanks. I'll put it on the table. Come on in.

Jason steps aside to allow Charlotte to enter.

INT. JASON'S HOUSE LIVING ROOM - EARLY EVENING

The living room contains a fair amount of people yet still room to walk about without bumping into anyone. Music plays from a stereo.

Charlotte keeps her head low as she looks for somewhere to sit down.

BECCA'S VOICE

No one you know is here, baby doll.

Charlotte finds a plush chair and sits down. She takes a quick, surveying glance around at the crowd.

BECCA'S VOICE

Feelin' chicken, yet? This kind of crowd totally doesn't fit your couch potato style.

Charlotte grips the armrest of the chair tightly. Her breathing increases as well.

BECCA'S VOICE

Better bounce before you wig out on them, baby doll. They'll chew you up and spit you out like yesterday's gum. You'll become an annoying drag on the bottom of their shoes.

Charlotte's breathing becomes louder and her vision starts to blur. The music distorts in her ears as she curls into the chair.

From behind, Jason extends a hand and places it gently on her shoulder.

Charlotte jumps and turns around. Jason gives her a concerned look.

JASON

You good, Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE

(taking a deep breath)

Yeah, yeah. Just, parties make me a little nervous.

JASON

Nervous? What for? It's just kids from school.

Charlotte fiddles with the ends of her flannel while searching for the right words.

Jason's eyes widen.

JASON

Oh, shoot, you don't have anxiety, do you?

CHARLOTTE

Well, I mean, I do, kind of. But I… I just try to ignore it by not getting involved with things that make me anxious. But today I basically told my anxiety to take a hike.

Jason pats Charlotte on the shoulder.

JASON

Good. Tell it to take a hike more often.

CHARLOTTE

I think I will.

Jason smiles and pulls Charlotte up out of the chair.

JASON

Then you can start by dancing with me.

A new song starts to play which draws a small crowd into the middle of the living room. The crowd envelopes Charlotte and Jason as they begin to dance.