The One’s We Know, We Know the Least


September 16, 2001. San Francisco , California . The city of San Francisco is in a state of clamor since the bombing of the Bay Bridge and is in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security. 

The camera has an aerial view of a neighborhood, and it slowly focuses in on a home with a brown roof and a full, luscious lawn.  As the camera becomes level with the house it zooms in on an open window where crying is heard by a woman and a man.  The camera focuses in on the couple – starting with the man – as they sit on a couch in their living room.  The woman’s head is on the man’s shoulder as she cries.  He’s holding the woman in his arms and speaks softly to her behind his sobbing voice. 

           Mr. Yallow:  (crying) “I can’t believe this.”             

           Mrs. Yallow:  “I kno-w-w-w.” (crying)            

Mr. Yallow gets up angrily.  He starts pacing back and forth waving and clenching his fists.  He walks into the kitchen and grabs the telephone and throws it across the room.  It breaks.  His anger turns into more sobbing, and he drops to his knees, head in hands and cries.  Mrs. Yallow looks surprised and hasn’t seen her husband like this.  She realizes how much her husband is hurting, and she sits with him on the kitchen floor. 

           Mrs. Yallow:  (sniffling) “Marcus wouldn’t wan…?” 

Just as Mrs. Yallow tries to finish her sentence, the doorbell rings. She helps Mr. Yallow get up and looks at him in the eyes. She brushes off his shirt to fix the wrinkles. 

           Mrs. Yallow:  “It’s gonna be okay…” 

Mr. Yallow interrupts her.            

            Mr. Yallow:  “I know.” 

They go to answer the door together.  The camera is zoomed in on the frontal view of Mrs. Yallow.  Mrs. Yallow swings open the door and her jaw drops.  Her eyes fill with tears, and she exchanges a glance with her husband who is also in tears.  The camera slowly zooms out and there is a boy standing, facing the couple.  The camera changes to a frontal view of the boy.            

           Mr. and Mrs. Yallow: “Marcus, where have you been!?”        
They let Marcus inside, and they all sit at the kitchen table.  The camera is focused on Marcus. Marcus has to think of a lie to keep his secret a safe.  
           Marcus:  “I got trapped in Oakland with some friends.  We were all quarantined.” 

           Mr. Yallow:  “For five days?” 

           Marcus:  “It was really bad.” 

The scene closes with the camera pulling out as Mr. and Mrs. Yallow finish talking to Marcus about what happened.              

The next scene begins with a fight going on between Marcus and Mr. Yallow.  The camera goes back and forth as they fight. They are fighting about privacy and whether government should or shouldn’t be able to invade it, now that the bombing of the bridge has happened.  Ever since Marcus went missing, Mr. Yallow has accepted the Department of Homeland Security’s new security.  The first fight includes dialogue, and the following fights are simply Marcus and Mr. Yallow fighting. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “I think it’s a good thing.  It’s about time they try to stop this.” 

            Marcus:  “But dad! It’s like we can’t breathe without them saying somethin’.” 

Finally, Marcus is in his room deciding whether he should tell his parents what he’s been through with the Department of Homeland Security.  The camera starts from a ground view looking up and Marcus as he paces.  Sweat is dripping down his face.  We can hear Marcus fussing, and he comes to a decision after much contemplation: 

            Marcus:  (mumbling under his breath) “I have to tell 'em.” (He takes a deep breath.) 

Marcus opens his door, and the camera is still below, following him outside as he goes to find his parents.  He goes downstairs, and Mr. and Mrs. Yallow are talking.  Mr. Yallow sits at the table reading a newspaper and Mrs. Yallow puts dishes away.  The camera is on the two, as their conversation is broken by the cracking sound of Marcus’ voice.  Marcus approaches them.
            Marcus:  “There’s somethin’ I have to tell you guys.” 

Marcus and his mom grab a seat next to his father.  His father folds up the newspaper and places it flat onto the table.

            Mr. Yallow:  “Yes?”

The camera is above the dining table, angled at Marcus.  Marcus looks around first, as if there is someone watching him.  He looks down, then back up at his father.  He tugs at his collar.
            Marcus:  “Ya know when I was gone?  Well, I wasn’t really where I said I was.”

Camera quickly changes to the framing of Mr. and Mrs. Yallow’s faces.  Their eyes begin to narrow, and they quickly exchange glances.  The camera goes back to the overhead view of Marcus.   

            Mr. Yallow:  (shouts) “Then where the hell were you!?”     

Marcus:  “They took us.  The DHS.  They questioned us for days.  It was awful.”

Marcus gets teary eyed.  Mrs. Yallow puts her hands to her face in disbelief.  Mr. Yallow puts his head in his hand. 
            Marcus:  “But that’s not everything...”

The scene closes as they finish murmuring their conversation.  Marcus spills everything he’s done.  The camera tilts up and looks out the window, fading out.

The next day, Marcus is hanging out with Jolu at the Turkish Coffee-shop.  They each have a coffee and sit talking in stools.  The camera is angled below the two, looking up as they whisper. The camera zooms in on the two, interrupting the once muddled conversation.  

            Marcus:  “...Ya but have you told anyone?”

Marcus fiddles with his drink.

            Jolu:  “Na.  I’m movin’ on. You?”

            Marcus:  “Just my parents, but they won’t do anythin’.”

            Jolu:  “Ya, jus’ lay low though man.”

Marcus and Jolu slurp up the rest of their drinks and get up to throw them away.  Marcus notices a police car sitting out front of the coffee-shop.  He shudders and turns away to look at Jolu.

            Marcus:  “Man, I...”

            Jolu:  “I know.”

They Leave.  End Scene.

Back at the Yallow residence, Mr. Yallow is pacing back and forth in the living room.  Mrs. Yallow is in the kitchen washing dishes.  The camera is focused on Mr. Yallow as he paces in the living room, and Mrs. Yallow is visible in the kitchen in the background.  We can hear their conversation.  

            Mr. Yallow: “Well, what are we supposed to do Lillian!? 

            Mrs. Yallow:  “Think about Marcus!”

            Mr. Yallow:  “Ya, but he’s our son!”

            Mrs. Yallow:  “And we’re his parents.”

            Mr. Yallow:  (takes a deep breath) “What if we never see him again?”

            Mrs. Yallow:  (shrugs)  “Then we did everything we could.”

            Mr. Yallow:  (nods) “You’re right.”

Mr. Yallow begins to talk to himself.  The camera is zoomed in on his face.  We can hear his thoughts: 

            Mr. Yallow:  “My son is the X-net guy? All those fights…he knows how I felt when I lost him, and he still does this to me!?  To our family?!” 

Mrs. Yallow turns to him and walks over to the living room.  She sees Mr. Yallow starting to sweat and grow angry, so she sits on the couch.  Mr. Yallow continues to pace back and forth, now with his hands in the air.  The camera is fixed on Mr. Yallow at a distance.  Mrs. Yallow is still in the frame and the back of her head is visible. 

            Mrs. Yallow:  “We need to do what’s best for him.” 

Mr. Yallow nods and stops pacing.  He takes a seat next to his wife and puts an arm around her.  He takes a long, deep breath.  Just as Mr. and Mrs. Yallow come to a conclusion, the front door opens.  Marcus is back from the coffee-shop.  He greets his parents and is about to head up stairs, when Mr. Yallow calls him down. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “Marcus can you come here?” 

Marcus turns back around and goes down the stairs.  He hesitantly heads over to his parents.  The camera pans and focuses on Marcus.  He sits on the couch in between his parents. 

            Marcus:  “Ya?” 

The camera is focused on the family as they talk. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “We want to help you.” 

            Marcus:  “With what?” 

Mrs. Yallow is about to answer when she chokes up.  She catches herself.  Mr. Yallow finishes.

            Mr. Yallow:  “We’re gonna help you is what we’re saying.  You need to get this out.” 

Mr. Yallow gets up from the couch and starts walking to the entry way.  The camera follows behind him, low.  He turns around and signals to his family. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “You guys comin’? 

The camera is focused on Mr. Yallow.  Mr. Yallow grabs his car keys and adjusts his tie in the mirror.  Marcus and Mrs. Yallow get up and follow him to the front door.  He hugs Marcus, and he grabs his wife and kisses her.  Mrs. Yallow begins to tear up, but she quickly turns away.  The camera is positioned above the family as they embrace for what will be the last time for a while.  Mr. Yallow lets go and opens the front door to let his family go first.  Mr. Yallow opens the door for his wife and Marcus opens his own car door.  The family enters the car, and Mr. Yallow starts it up. 

As they start driving, Mr. Yallow is quiet.  Mrs. Yallow is fiddling with her hands.  The camera is from the perspective of Marcus looking from the backseat forward.  Marcus looks out the window, and then he interrupts the silence. 

            Marcus:  “So, where’re we goin’ again?” 

            Mr. Yallow:  “You’ll see.” 

Mr. Yallow takes a deep breath. 

The rest of the car ride is still.  The camera alters from one person to the next.  Marcus looks out into the distance through his window.  The route he’s taking doesn’t look to familiar, but he doesn’t question it.  Mr. Yallow now has both hands on the wheel, sitting stiffly upright.  Mrs. Yallow continues to look at her husband and out the window.  

The camera is focused on Marcus now.  He begins to question where he’s going.  We can hear his thoughts: 

            Marcus:  “This looks familiar.  Why is dad actin’ so weird?” 

Marcus gets a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach.  He starts fidgeting, and he starts talking to his father. 
Mr. Yallow glances back toward Marcus.  The camera is focused on his face.  He’s sweating.  He turns back around. Mr. Yallow pulls up to a building.  Marcus starts to relax.  He gets out of the car and closes his door. 

            Marcus:  “This was your great idea?” 

Mr. Yallow glares at Marcus, but then softens his gaze.  He wraps his arm around his wife, and he waves Marcus to join them.  They cross the street. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “Thought you should have a good meal in ya.” 

They enter Marcus’ favorite pizza parlor.  He first cringes at the thought – the DHS and the way they treated him.  Still, he jumps in the booth with his mom.  Mr. Yallow gets their desired pizza slices.  They talk.  The camera is focused on Marcus as he eats.  They finish and start heading toward their car.

            Marcus:  “Thanks for dinner.  Why didn’t we just eat at home?” 

            Mrs. Yallow:  “We thought it’d be a nice way to…” 

Just then, a car zooms by them, making Mrs. Yallow jump back. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “Nevermind, jus’ get in the car.” 

They get in.  The car drives off, and the camera is fixated on it as it goes off into the distance.  The camera comes back to the backseat of the car.  Mr. Yallow interrupts the silence. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “We love you son.” 

They keep driving, and Marcus never responds back.  They pull up to an area that is more crowded.  A lot of people are in orange jumpsuits, and there are men in blue.  Marcus doesn’t realize where they are.         

            Mr. Yallow:  “We’re here.” 

Marcus takes in the scenery, and he is confused.  The camera is facing Marcus.  He doesn’t get why they are where they are.  He opens his mouth but nothing comes out. 

            Marcus:  “Wha-?!” 

Marcus begins to open his door, until a man in blue opens it for him.  We can’t see who it is.  They pull him out.  He struggles to break free, but he can’t. 

            Marcus:  “Dad. Mom? What’s goin’ on?!” 

Mrs. Yallow is in tears.  Mr. Yallow holds her in his arms.  They look at Marcus from across the car.  The camera is fixated above the three, dividing the Yallow’s on the left and Marcus on the right.  Mr. Yallow begins to speak. 

            Mr. Yallow:  “I told you we were goin’ to do what was best.” 

Marcus cringes.  He can’t believe what is happening to him.  The camera slowly pulls back on Marcus.  Mr. and Mrs. Yallow hug Marcus for one last time.  Mrs. Yallow kisses his forehead.  They get in the car, and Marcus stares in disbelief.  They wave and back their car up.  The camera is held above and behind Marcus, allowing us to see him and the car as it drives away.   

            Marcus:  (mumbles)  “I can’t… (starts to cry) I can’t believe this. 

Tears fill Marcus’ eyes, and the camera is facing him.  The camera zooms out. 

            Police Officer:  “Marcus Yallow, you are under arrest for…” 
The stillness sinks in, and Marcus tunes out the officer.  They push Marcus forward into the station.  The scene ends with the camera panning as Marcus goes into the station.  Slowly, it pulls back, and the scene ends as they close the door.