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A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)

SCENE 1!
Students exiting class, talking and laughing.!

!
TEACHER: Miss Forrester, would you please come here for a second?!
!
JEAN: Oh, um, yeah, sure thing! Is something wrong?!
!

TEACHER: Quite the opposite actually [pulls out test] you got the highest score in the class. !
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Keep up the good work, and you could be on your way to becoming valedictorian.!

!
!

SCENE 2!
Jean is walking with her face buried in a textbook. Finny is walking in the opposite direction
goofing around with his friends (including Jane, who is being noticeably flirtatious). Finny runs
into Jean, who drops her all her stuff. Both reach down to gather it.!

!
FINNY: Oh my gosh, Im so sorry, let me help you.!
!
JEAN: No, no, its fine, I wasnt paying attention where I was going and [rambles on]!
!
FINNY: Youre Jean, right? Youre the really smart one in all my classes.!
!
JEAN: I wouldnt say Im the really smart one!
!
FINNY: Well, I would. Im Finny. [holds out hand]!
!
JEAN: [awkwardly shakes Finnys hand] Im, uh, well I guess you already know who I am.!
!

FINNY: [laughs and help Jean up] Why dont you walk with me, uh-well-I-guess-you-already-!
!
know-who-I-am.!

!
!

SCENE 3!
Finny and Jean are standing in a tree. Jean is holding onto the trunk, visibly nervous. Finny is
messing around, pretending to be a tight rope walker and such.!

!
JEAN: Are you sure this is a good idea? We could get really hurt!
!

FINNY: Youll be fine, youre with me remember? Theres no way youre getting hurt on my !
!
watch.!

JEAN: [takes a deep breath] Okay, okay, I trust you. [slowly starts walking out further on the !
!
branch]!

FINNY: Here, grab my hand [JEAN hesitantly takes FINNYs hand] There you go, you got it!
!
!
JEAN: [Takes a wrong step and starts to fall, FINNY grabs her around the waist and pulls !
!
her toward him]!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


FINNY: [Staring into JEANs eyes] Its okay, Ive got you.!

!
JEAN: That was startling.!
!
FINNY: [with a smug smile] Told you I wouldnt let you get hurt.!
!
!

SCENE 4!
Finny and Jean are sitting together under the tree. Jean is studying for her trig test, and Finny is
playing with a strand of her hair.!

!
FINNY: Why are you even studying? Youre a genius, youll do well no matter what.!
!

JEAN: [laughs] It doesnt work like that [looks down at her phone and gasps] Its already !
!
9:03!? Were gonna be late for class! [closes her book and book and gets up]!

!
FINNY: [springs up] We could just not go.!
!
JEAN: Ha, ha, very funny.!
!
FINNY: Im serious.!
!
JEAN: But thats thats against the rules we could get in huge trouble or even!
!

FINNY: [jokingly] Oh come on, youre such a goody-two-shoes! [steps in closer to JEAN and !
!
grabs her hands] Be a rebel for once.!

!
JEAN: [smiles shyly] Okay.!
!
!

SCENE 5!
Jean and Finny are sitting under the tree, talking and laughing. A group of girls is talking on the
steps. Leper is sitting a short distance away, taking random pictures.!

LEPER: [points camera towards FINNY and JEAN, then slowly lowers it] Theyve been ! !
!
spending a lot of time together, havent they?!

!
JANE: [stops talking and turns toward LEPER] Did you say something, Leper?!
!

LEPER: [more to herself than to anyone else] I mean, its really unusual when you think about it.
!
Jeans usually pretty introverted, but around Finny shes so open. And Finny, well, I !
!
always thought he had to be surrounded by a crowd of people!

!
JANE: God, Leper, no one can hear you when you mumble like that.!
!
LEPER: Hm? [looks up] Oh, I wasnt talking to you. [goes back to watching FINNY and JEAN]!
!
JANE: [to her friends] I swear theres something wrong her [notices FINNY and JEAN and !
!
scowls]!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)

!
FRIEND: Is something wrong, Jane?!
!

JANE: What? No, no, nothings wrong, I was just, uh, lost in thought [friends return to
chatting. JANE continues to stare at FINNY and JEAN]!

!
!

SCENE 6!
Jean is walking to class, looking around and humming to herself. Jane is leaning against a
nearby lamp post.!

!
JANE: [as JEAN walks past] Jean!!
!
JEAN: [noticing JANE for the first time] Oh, hi!!
!
JANE: Can I talk to you for a bit?!
!
JEAN: [brightly] Of course! Whats up?!
!

JANE: Well, I couldnt help but notice how much time youve been spending around Phineas !
!
recently!

!
JEAN: You mean Finny? I mean, I guess so!
!
JANE: I must say, being the caring friend I am, Im a little concerned!!
!
JEAN: I didnt know we were friends!
!

JANE: [clearly ignoring JEAN] I mean, dont you find it the slightest bit suspicious? Someone !
!
like Finny spending so much time with someone like you?!

!
JEAN: I dont understand!
!

JANE: [getting annoyed] Wake up! Why would the most popular kid in school hang out with a !
!
someone like you?!

!
JEAN: [confused] I dont know, maybe because were friends?!
!
JANE: [laughs] You cant see it, can you? Phineas isnt your friend. Hes only pretending.!
!
JEAN: What are you talking about?!
!

JANE: God, youre such an idiot! The only reason hes been paying so much attention to you is !
!
to distract you!!

!
JEAN: Distract me from what?!
!

JANE: From all those freaking books! Think about it! Youre the only person in the school that !
!
has a chance of being better than him!!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)

!
JEAN: Better than him? How?!
!

JANE: Do I need to spell it out for you? [sees JEANs confused expression and give san !!
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exasperated sigh] Val-e-dic-torian!!

!
JEAN: What does that have to do with anything?!
!

JANE: Are you for real right now? It has to do with everything! I know Phineas, and theres no !
!
way in hell hed actually want to be around you. All you care about is school and books!
!
and math, why would anyone want to your friend?!

!
Jean stares at Jane for a moment, then runs away, almost in tears!
!
!
!

SCENE 7!
Jean is sitting behind the main building, studying and visibly upset. Finny rounds the corner and
spots Jean.!

!
FINNY: There you are, Ive been looking all over for you!!
!
JEAN: Im studying.!
!

FINNY: No wonder I couldnt find you, then, youve had your nose buried in that book! [sits down
!
next to JEAN and shuts the book] Come on, lets go have some fun.!

!
JEAN: No, Finny, I have to study. [reopens the book]!
!

FINNY: No you dont [shuts book again and reaches for JEANs hand] Youll do fine, you always
!
do!

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JEAN: [snaps and snatches hand away] Yes I do! I failed my last test because of you!!
!
FINNY: [taken aback] I I didnt know I just assumed!
!
JEAN: Assumed what?!
!
FINNY: That school just came naturally to you, like like how I am with sports.!
!
JEAN: Well, it doesnt. Not everyone is as perfect as you.!
!
FINNY: Im not perfect!
!
JEAN: Just leave me alone, okay?!
!
FINNY: [quietly] Im Im sorry [begins to get up and leave]!
!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


JEAN: [calming down] No, wait, come back I should be the one apologizing. Ive just had a !
!
really bad day and I maybe we should go do something else.!

!
FINNY: No, lets study. [grabs book and opens it to a random page] Ill quiz you!!
!

JEAN: [closes book and stares into FINNYs eyes] No, Im done studying. Lets go. [grabs !
!
Finnys hand and drags him up]!

!
!

SCENE 8!
Jean and Finny are sitting in the tree. Finny has his arm casually around Jean, who is leaning
against him.!

!
FINNY: [looks down at JEAN] So are you going to talk about it or what?!
!
JEAN: [sits up] Talk about what?!
!
FINNY: Your bad day talking about it always helps. Well, at least, it always helps me.!
!

JEAN: [looks down] I guess I guess I just realized that people aren't always what they !
!
seem.!

FINNY: [tilting JEANs chin up to look her in the eyes] Well, I hate to break it to you, but, when it
!
comes to me, what you see is what you get.!

Finny leans in to kiss Jean. Just as Jean is about to kiss him back, she hears Janes words in
her head. Before she fully realizes what shes doing, she pushes Finny out of the tree.
Meanwhile, Leper has been watching this entire time.!

!
!

SCENE 9!
Jean is standing outside the door to Finnys house. She pauses for a moment, and then knocks.
Finnys brother, Kurt, opens the door.!

!
JEAN: [awkwardly] Hi Im, uh, Jean. Is Finny home?!
!

KURT: [laughs] As if he could leave. [turns toward the living room and shouts] Hey dingus, !
!
theres some girl here who wants to see you!!

!
FINNY: [from living room] Well, what are you waiting for? Send her in!!
!

KURT: [turns back towards JEAN and motions towards the living room] Hes in there. [shuts
door behind JEAN]!

!
JEAN: [Walks into the living room, where FINNY is playing video games] Hi Finny.!
!

FINNY: [snaps head up and pauses video game] Jean! I knew youd come. [pats the couch !
!
next to him] Come sit! [to KURT] Kurt! Why dont you get Jean and I something to !
!
drink?!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)

KURT: Just because youre a cripple now doesnt mean I become your butler. Jean has ! !
!
functioning legs, she can get a drink herself. [walks out of the room]!

JEAN: [watches KURT leave, then sits down next to FINNY] You never told me that you have a !
!
brother.!

!
FINNY: [laughs] Yeah, theres a reason for that. But enough about Kurt. I want to focus on you.!
!
JEAN: Me? Im not the one whos paralyzed!!
!

FINNY: Oh, dont be so overdramatic. Its only in my right leg. The doctor says I should be able !
!
to walk again within a few months.!

!
JEAN: [quieter] What about sports?!
!

FINNY: [somber] Sports are done for me. [in a lighter tone] But, hey, Ive got video games! With
!
these graphics, its like being in the game for real.!

!
JEAN: What what even happened? How did you fall?!
!

FINNY: Honestly, I dont even know, it all happened so fast. I must have lost my balance or !
!
something!

!
JEAN: Or something!
!

FINNY: But I dont want to talk about that. As far as Im concerned, theres only one thing that !
!
happened up there worth caring about.!

!
JEAN: Whats that?!
!
FINNY: This. [pulls JEAN toward him in an attempt to kiss her]!
!
JEAN: [breaks away] I need to tell you something.!
!
FINNY: [coughs and straightens himself up, embarrassed] And what would that be?!
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JEAN: [quietly] It was me.!
!
FINNY: What?!
!
JEAN: [louder] It was me.!
!
FINNY: I heard you the first time, I just dont know why youd say something so ridiculous.!
!
JEAN: Its not ridiculous, its true!!
!
FINNY: No, its not. I lost my balance. I remember now.!
!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


JEAN: Yes it is! I did it! I pushed you out of the tree!!

!
FINNY: Stop! Stop lying! I know your just trying to help, but youre not! Just just go!!
!

JEAN: [gets up and heads to the door, realizing what shes doing] Youre right, I didnt push you.
!
I must have been imagining things.!

!
FINNY: Well, Im glad youve come to your senses.!
!
Jean leaves.!
!
!

SCENE 10!
Quackenbush is standing by the dugout, holding a clipboard. Jean jogs over to him.!

!
QUACKENBUSH: [without looking up] Youre late.!
!
JEAN: Im sorry, I was!
!

QUACKENBUSH: I dont care what you were doing. As the assistant to the Devon Baseball !
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team manager, myself, its your responsibility to be on time. If you cant comply, you !
!
dont belong here.!

!
JEAN: [annoyed] It wont happen again.!
!
QUACKENBUSH: It better not. What grade are you in anyway?!
!
JEAN: Yours.!
!
QUACKENBUSH: What kind of girl becomes assistant manager as a senior?!
!
JEAN: Does it matter?!
!

QUACKENBUSH: Yes, it matters! I dont want you using this position as a means of hooking up
!
with the players on my team!!

!
JEAN: Excuse me? Are you actually that ignorant?!
!
QUACKENBUSH: You better watch how you speak to me. Who the hell do you think you are?!
!

JEAN: Watch how I [laughs incredulously, then gets deathly serious] You know nothing about !
!
me.!

QUACKENBUSH: Wanna bet? I know all about your friendship with Finny over the summer, !
!
and I havent forgotten about Brinker Hadley, either. A girl like you doesnt just become
!
friends with the most popular boys in school because of her personality. Ive got you !
!
all figured out, you sleazy, good-for-nothing!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


JEAN: [slaps QUACKENBUSH hard across the face] You should think twice next time you !
!
decide to make an assumption about something you know nothing about. Oh, but !
!
I guess thatd be everything, wouldnt it? [storms off]!
.!
QUACKENBUSH: [shouting after JEAN] Go to hell!!

!
JEAN: I plan to!!
!
!

SCENE 11!
Jean walks into the school, still fuming, and struggles with her locker. Brinker walks in shortly
after and leans up against the locker next to hers.!

!
BRINKER: Well, hello there.!
!
JEAN: [jumps and looks up] Brinker!!
!
BRINKER: [smiles] Long time, no see. I heard you had quite the interesting summer.!
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JEAN: I dont know what youre talking about.!
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BRINKER: Oh, come on, you dont need to pretend around me. I heard about you and Finny.!
!
JEAN: [slightly concerned] What did you hear?!
!

BRINKER: That you two were practically inseparable all summer! That is, until the accident. !
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Im really sorry about that.!

!
JEAN: Im not the one who fell.!
!

BRINKER: [smirks] Depends on your definition of falling. [looks at watch] Well, I better to get to !
!
class, but Ill see you around. Were nowhere near done with catching up. [smiles once !
!
more and then leaves]!

!
RANDOM GIRL: [leaning over to JEAN while watching BRINKER leave] Now that is a butt.!
!
JEAN: [in agreement] Right?!
!
!
SCENE 12!
Brinker is waiting outside of Jeans class. Jean walks out reading a book. Brinker taps the
shoulder opposite to the side hes on. Jean looks in that direction, and then to Brinker.!

!
JEAN: [sarcastically] Ha, ha.!
!
BRINKER: [Grins] Gotcha.!
!
JEAN: I dont know how I still fall for that.!
!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


BRINKER: You and me both. [JEAN elbows BRINKER, who laughs] Hey, do you have anything !
!
next period?!

!
JEAN: Do you even need to ask? You had my schedule memorized before I did!!
!
BRINKER: Hey, its not my fault Ive got such a fantastic memory?!
!
JEAN: Whats the quadratic formula, again?!
!
BRINKER: [pauses for a moment] I only memorize the stuff thats actually important.!
!
JEAN: [laughs] Youre math teacher would be so disappointed in you.!
!
BRINKER: Eh, who cares, Ive only got a few more months left in this place.!
!
JEAN: A few more months? Brink, the school year just started.!
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BRINKER: Well, I plan on getting out of here sooner than that.!
!
JEAN: What do you mean?!
!

BRINKER: Im going to graduate early. Ive already met all the prerequisites, whats the point of !
!
hanging around here any longer than I need to?!

JEAN: Huh, Ive never really thought about that before but what would you do with all your !
!
time?!

BRINKER: Who knows? Thats the best part of the whole thing! We dont have to follow anyone
!
else's rule its that glorious line between adolescence and adulthood. All the freedom !
!
without all the worries.!

!
JEAN: It would be nice to have all that time to do whatever you want.!
!

BRINKER: Exactly! We could do it together! I mean, youve probably been eligible since, like, !
!
sophomore year! Just think of all the fun we could have!!

JEAN: [holds open the door for BRINKER, who stops suddenly. JEAN doesnt notice] You know
!
what? Lets do it! Theres nothing left here for me, especially not without [walks out of !
!
the door and sees FINNY] Finny?!

SCENE 13!
Immediately after Scene 12!

!
JEAN: [runs to FINNY and gives him a hug] Finny!!
!

FINNY: [hugs JEAN back and laughs] Be careful there, Im still recovering from a spinal injury, !
!
remember?!

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


JEAN: [pulling back slightly to talk] What what are you doing back? I thought you said you !
!
said itd be months!!

FINNY: It was supposed to be, but I guess I heal faster than my doctor predicted. He told me !
!
that if Im careful and dont do anything that could reinjure my back, I should be okay.!

!
JEAN: [hugs FINNY again] I missed you so much.!
!
FINNY: [into JEANs hair] I missed you, too.!
!

BRINKER: [placing a hand on FINNYs shoulder, causing JEAN and FINNY to separate] Its !
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really good to see you, man.!

FINNY: Its good to see you, too, Brinker! Thanks for keeping Jean company for me these past !
!
couple weeks.!

BRINKER: Believe me, it was my genuine pleasure. [to JEAN] Ill let you know when I find out !
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more about early graduation. [begins to walk away]!

!
FINNY: [to JEAN] Wait, what? Youre graduating early? And leaving me here all alone?!
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BRINKER: You wouldnt be alone, Finny, youre friends with everyone!!
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FINNY: [ignoring BRINKER] Please tell me this isnt true! I need you here!!
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JEAN: No, no, of course not! If youre here, Im here.!
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BRINKER: [frustrated] But but you just said!
!
JEAN: I dont know what youre talking about, Im graduating with everyone else.!
!

FINNY: Thats a relief, you had me worried there! [to BRINKER] Youre a pretty convincing !
!
prankster, my friend.!

BRINKER: [angry] Whatever. [grabs JEANs wrist and whispers to her] You may fool Finny, but !
!
you cant fool me. I know the truth. About everything. [lets go of JEANs wrist and !stomps
!
off. JEAN stands frozen in place, watching him leave]!

SCENE 14:!
Finny and Jean are wandering around the school. When they round the corner, they are met by
a crowd of people, which Brinker has gathered.!

!
FINNY: What the hell is this?!
!
BRINKER: Its your trial.!
!
FINNY: My what?!
!

10

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


BRINKER: Well, its more like an investigation. Were going to figure out what really happened
!
at the tree.!

!
FINNY: What is there to figure out? I lost my balance, thats it.!
!
BRINKER: You expect me to believe that the schools top athlete just lost his balance?!
!
JEAN: Brinkerwhy why are you doing this?!
!
BRINKER: Because its about time that everyone knew the truth.!
!
FINNY: What is there even to know the truth about? I fell! End of story!!
!
BRINKER: But you didnt just fall, did you? You were pushed.!
!
FINNY: And who the hell would have pushed me? It was only me and!
!
BRINKER: Jean.!
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[the crowd all turns to look at JEAN]!
!
FINNY: If youre trying to suggest that it was Jean, then!
!
BRINKER: Enough! Im not suggesting anything. I know.!
!
FINNY: How the hell would you know? You werent even there!!
!
BRINKER: Bring out the witness!!
!
[Leper timidly walks into the room]!
!
BRINKER: I may not have been there, but Leper was.!
!
JEAN: Her name is Ellie Lepellier, and she wasnt there.!
!

BRINKER: [laughs] You only think she wasnt. Leper here has a habit of going unnoticed, but !
!
nothing escapes hers. [turning to LEPER] Why dont you tell us all what you saw?!

LEPER: [clears throat] Well, uh, I was outside taking pictures you know, because everything !
!
is just so beautiful during that time of year all the flowers and green and!

!
BRINKER: Get on with the story.!
!

LEPER: Right, sorry as I was saying, I was outside taking pictures, when I noticed Finny and !
!
Jean in the tree. Usually I wouldnt have payed too much attention, with all of natures !
!
beauty around to distract me, but they were!

!
BRINKER: They were what?!
!

11

A Separate Peace (Romantic Rewrite)


LEPER: They were, uh, sitting very close. Then then Finny, er, moved closer to Jean!

!
BRINKER: Moved closer how?!
!
LEPER: Well, it looked like he was try to kiss Jean.!
!
[The crowd whispers to one another, and Jean hides her face]!
!
BRINKER: And then what?!
!
LEPER: Then he fell.!
!
FINNY: See! I must have lost my balance when I tried to kiss!
!
LEPER: But theres more before he fell, Jean moved in a funny way, too.!
!
FINNY: Well, of course! Thats how a kiss works!!
!
LEPER: No, not like that like like she was trying to push him away.!
!
[the crowd gasps]!
!
BRINKER: There you have it! Like she was trying to push him away.!
!
JEAN: Finny Im Im so sorry!
!

FINNY: [holds head in hands] Shut up just shut up! Ive heard enough, okay? This this is !
!
stupid Youre all stupid! Im done here! [gets up and begins to leave]!

!
BRINKER: You cant leave yet! We havent even seen the pictures!!
!

FINNY: I dont want to see the goddamn pictures! So f*** you! F*** this whole damn thing! [runs !
clumsily out of the room]!

!
JEAN: [to BRINKER] What the hell have you done? [runs after FINNY]!
!

Jean catches up to Finny right next to the steps. Finny, not looking where hes going, begins to
fall down the steps. Jean grabs his wrist just in time.!

JEAN: [frantically] Finny, please. I I didnt know what I was doing. I was confused and hurt !
!
and, oh god. I dont know what got into me.!

FINNY: [screaming] I just dont understand, I thought you cared I thought I thought you felt !
!
the same way I did! [JEAN kisses FINNY]!

JEAN: I love you I know I know that with everything thats happened you might not believe !
!
me, but please, Finny!

FINNY: [Kisses JEAN again] I believe you.

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