The Book of Stars (1999) - full transcript

After their parents' untimely death in a car accident, Penny struggles to take care of her younger sister Mary, who suffers from an incurable disease. A precocious former poet, Penny has turned to prostitution as a means of support, but Mary is determined to re-ignite a spark of hope in Penny's life by expressing her deepest feelings in her BOOK OF STARS. With the aid of the Professor, who is a friend and neighbor, Mary secretly corresponds on her sister's behalf with a Prisoner, who is inspired by the book of poetry Penny wrote as a young girl. Although Mary's BOOK OF STARS manifests her wishes, it is ultimately Penny who must live out its ending, when Mary passes away. It is the depth of love and trust between two sisters which pulls Penny back from the brink of self-destruction to embrace Mary's legacy -- a sense of magic, light, hope and the promise of tomorrow.

(flames roar)

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(gentle whimsical music)

- [Penny] All my memories begin here

in the pages of my sister's book.

Looking back, I remember
how Mary filled it

with laughter, smiles, and magic,

but I didn't understand any of that.

I only believed in forgetting,

until Mary taught me how to
turn the pages of my own life.

- [Mary] Oh, look. You're awake.



(Penny groans)

- Damn it.

- Doesn't anyone say good morning anymore?

- Good morning. Damn it.

- Good morning back.

(gentle music)

- [Penny] Hey, Mary. Your
book's looking really good.

- [Mary] I worked on it all night.

- How was your date?

- We didn't go.

- [Penny] He didn't take
you to France? Cheapskate.

- I couldn't get my face right.

- [Penny] Oh, thank you.

Oh, that feels so good.



- Penny, what did you do to yourself?

You slept for hours and hours,
and I couldn't wake you up.

- I must be coming down with something.

- You wouldn't talk to me.

It was like you didn't recognize me.

- [Penny] Hey, hey, Miss Mary Mack,

don't you worry about a
thing, 'cause I'm fine now.

Can I make it up to you?

- You don't have to do anything.

(gentle whimsical accordion music)

(muffled singing)

- You thirsty?

(Mary coughs)

- You're getting too big for this.

- [Mary] No, I'm not.

I'm three years stilted in my growth.

- Stunted. And who told you that?

- Nobody. I read it on a chart.

Guess what just happened?

- What just happened?

- I'm not telling.

(Penny and Mary giggling)

Professor's mad at you.

- That's new.

Are you mad at me?

Good.

- Don't go out tonight.
Come to dinner with us.

(Penny sighs)

You said you'd do anything.

- How was the clinic?

- Rescheduled.

- [Penny] That's new too.

- So you'll come?

I'll tell you my secret.

- What, and listen to
four hours of the gospel

according to Professor?

- Penny.

- I said I'd go.

Now you owe me a secret.

- Okay, ask me, "What just happened?"

- What just happened?

- Not telling.

(muffled giggling)

- Okay. Rinse.

- I had a dream about you last night.

- You did? What, that I was in a coma.

- No. I don't wanna tell you.

I'm afraid you'll think it's stupid.

- You won't tell me anything today.

I promise I won't laugh.

- Well, I was looking at this star.

I guess it was a sun.

It was shining down on a
paper forest of paper trees

and paper flowers.

We were laying in a field.

And you said you liked these flowers,

because they wouldn't die,

but I said that's why they're ugly.

(whimsical music)

- [Professor] You know, I could
have had children of my own

if I wanted to be treated this way.

- I told you.

- [Professor] Mm.

This is my mother's recipe.

Please don't offend her by not eating any.

- Please tell Professor, that I'm sick.

He doesn't believe me.
Maybe he'll believe you.

- Penny's sick.

- [Professor] Should I lecture
you about your lifestyle?

- [Penny] No. Anyway, I was working.

- [Mary] They always keep her so late.

I wish you'd find a job closer to home.

Professor's mad because
his disability check

was stolen today.

- It's tragic.

- [Professor] Very tragic, but
not as tragic as your life.

- [Penny] Don't start in on me, please.

- Eros and Psyche.

- [Mary] Eros and Psyche?

- [Professor] Mm.
- Oh no.

- [Professor] The myth of
Psyche speaks of the journey

of the human soul,

purified by suffering a misfortune

until finally, it achieves
perfect happiness.

- Sounds wonderful.

- Mary, do you think that Psyche

could possibly be a hero of your sister's?

- [Penny] Do you think you
could possibly kiss my ass?

- [Professor] How articulate.

- I know. Let's nobody fight, okay?

- [Professor] It's a shame, you know?

This attitude of yours.

You were such a brilliant girl.

So hot, and determined to
take care of everything.

- I take care of Mary.

- But I felt sure you'd be smart enough

to learn how to take
care of yourself as well.

- [Penny] And that you were
just the man to teach me. Right?

- There's so many other ways
you could be earning a living.

- That's my business.

- [Reporter] Between
representatives of those countries

and Iraqi ministers.

Pat?

- [Reporter] Good evening everyone.

Our top story: the
unthinkable happened today

after the launch

of the highly anticipated
Ulysses one spacecraft,

the first manned flight to explore-

- You think Mary doesn't
know your business?

- I know you do.

- [Reporter] Relies on the sun

for its massive gravitational pull,

precise navigation is critical.

And this is where Ulysses
one's difficulties begin.

- I worry about you.

- Just drop it or we're leaving. Okay?

- [Reporter] Were disrupted
by a coronal mass...

And emergency repair was deemed essential.

- What happens to you?

When Mary?

- When Mary what?

- When Mary is gone, dear.

- [Reporter] Have termed, "Horrifying."

- [Penny] Honey, come on, we're gonna go.

- [Professor] Mary.

You will love this.

There.

There's plenty of romance.

- Come on.

- Thank you Professor.

- You're welcome.

- [Reporter] If its
trajectory is not corrected,

the capsule could drift
through space for...

(eerie ringing)

(Mary coughing)

- You need help, sweetheart?

- [Mary] No, I'm all right.

Look what came in the mail
today. You should read this.

- What is it?

- A letter. It's from prison.

Open it and see if it's a killer.

- Figures.

- What?

- [Penny] It's about my book.

- [Mary] Wait, I wanted to read that.

- [Penny] What? So I can hear
about what a nice man he is.

I'm not interested in
some convict's opinion

of my poetry of 10 years ago.

Penny, turn out the light.

(gentle music)

- [Penny] Where are you going?

What are you doing?

- [Man] "Dear Penny, I
know this sounds crazy.

Maybe even a little scary.

A letter out of the
blue from the state pen.

It took a long time,

but I finally got up the
courage to write to you.

I read your book of poetry about the sun,

and it just about kept me alive in here

after what happened."

(gentle dramatic music)

(waterfall hisses)

- I'll see you next week now. Okay?

- Okay.

- [Penny] Ready?

Why next week?

- Your sister's been a little congested,

in case you hadn't noticed.

I'd like to see her next
week, run some tests.

- What if she's fine next week?

- You know how this disease works.

Do we have to go through this every time?

- Yeah, we do.

This stuff, which is very expensive,

gives her joint pain,

and you run the same tests over and over

and your receptionist
just hassled me again

about her Medicare being screwed up.

- Penny.

- Next week?

- I'm sorry. It's better
when Professor takes you.

- It's more interesting with you.

I think the doctor hates you.

- "Your sister's been a little congested,

in case you hadn't noticed."

- Let's go get this stuff filled.

(bell rings)

- Hello, ladies.

- Hello.

- Why don't you get us some
bread while we wait, sweetheart?

(gentle whimsical music)

- Penny.

Penny.

- What?

- Our neighbor.
- Slow down. What neighbor?

- The stock boy is our new
neighbor. Come and see.

- No. No.

- Hello.

My name is Mary. Do you remember me?

I poured water on your head.

We're your neighbors.
Me and my sister, Penny.

- Mary.
- [Mary] Come on.

We'd like to invite you to dinner.

I don't think he speaks English.

- Well, that's rude.

- I speak a little.

- I'd like to apologize
for my sister, the stalker.

- What is a stalker?

- It's when somebody likes
you and you don't like them,

and they follow you around.

So, you'll come to dinner then?

Come at eight o'clock.
We're in apartment three.

- [Penny] Come on.

Prescription's filled.

- Penny, it's almost eight.

Penny.

(Mary coughs)

(eerie music)

Penny.

(pager beeps)

(bag rustles)

- Do you want some dinner before you go?

- [Penny] Not hungry.

- Smells good.

I hope you have a nice dinner.

Maybe tomorrow, I can take you to a movie.

- Why don't you even wanna meet him?

(door shuts)

(gentle music)

(knocking)

- Shoot.

Oh, flowers.

- For you and?

- Penny. Went out.

Come in.

(train rumbling)

♪ Can't wait a minute 'cause
I ain't got the time today ♪

- Well, I'm on the corner of Bethman,

but nobody's here.

All right, I'll wait.

♪ Can't wait for questions
'cause the answers (indistinct) ♪

♪ If I hold on while you make me wait ♪

♪ If I hold on, you know that way ♪

♪ If I hold on, what am I waiting for? ♪

- [Mary] I don't know if
you can tell by meeting her,

but she's a genius.

She wrote a book once.

Do you think I look 16?

I almost am, but I'm afraid
I look three years stunted.

- I like the soup. It's good.

- [Mary] Really? I made
it. It's not from a can.

- [Man] My mother is
making a soup like this.

- Really?

Tell me about your family.

Oh, I just said a faux pas, didn't I?

- No. I don't know where is my family.

My country no longer exists.

- Oh.

- Your sister don't like me, I think.

- She doesn't like anyone.

- Why not?

- Because of me.

- [Man] I know this probably
seems crazy, maybe even scary.

But I finally got up the
courage to write to you.

Your poem, To Mary.

(gentle whimsical music)

When I first read it,

I felt like I was breaking on the inside.

It was somebody who
knew what I was feeling.

Somebody who knew what it's
like to lose everything.

When I finished reading your book,

I just had to write you and thank you,

because it's just about
kept me alive in here.

(car horn beeps)

- [Mary] I'm not sad.

I still have this great
belief that exciting things

are going to happen to me.

Scandalous things.

- Is this why you ask me, "Do I look 16?"

- Well, do I? I do, don't I?

Penny remembers things from before.

Things I don't.

When our parents were alive,

we lived in this house with
stilts, right on the beach.

- Stilts?

- Like legs.

Penny's gonna take me
there for my birthday.

- And after the house with the legs?

- After the accident,

we stayed with a foster family,

but we didn't live with them very long.

And we had money from our parents,

and we had money from the book.

And then it all ran out.

- [Man] And now, no more books?

- [Mary] It's funny what
you say about your country,

how it doesn't exist.

It's kind of like that with me and Penny.

(somber music)

(train rumbling)

(mellow music)

- [Man] What are you doing in there?

Come on.

- [Mary] I never remember anything

besides beginnings and endings.

Why is it that the ending's
the most beautiful part?

- Because it's fake.

Did you like it?

- Yes.

- So, does this make up for dinner?

- Sure.

- So, how was dinner anyway?

- All right.

- Hmm?

- I think you'd like him. He's 22.

- You're obsessed with people's ages.

(Mary coughs)

(bus rumbles)

Mary, why did you put that
convict's letter in my purse?

- He's appealing.

- Appealing what? A life sentence.

- Don't tell me it didn't flatter you

that he liked your book.

- Please.

- His favorite poem was the one to me.

Did you read that part?

- No, I didn't read a word of it.

You like him so much, you write to him.

Or don't. He's probably a rapist.

- Wait. Don't throw it away.

- You okay?

Mary?

(Mary coughs)

- We didn't have to go out, you know?

- I'm fine.

- Look at you. You have
a fever. Look at you.

- Look at you.

- It's good.

Just a little more.

Good.

(somber music)

(man snoring)

- Smoke?

- It isn't allowed.

- What's he gonna do? He's my uncle.

Besides, he's in a coma out there.

So, how you doing? Is the job okay?

- I have an apartment not
far, and I've made a friend.

- Good.

- Have you been reading the news?

More the same. All hell's
breaking loose in the south.

Some ceasefire.

There hasn't been anything for you yet.

If I get a letter, I'll
run my ass over here.

- [Mary] Dear Samuel, thank
you for your brilliant letter.

Every poet loves praise, especially me.

And you are so kind to
ask after my sister Mary.

She's such a beautiful girl,

and talented.

And she's very mature for her age.

I hope this can be a start of
a brilliant correspondence.

Sincerely.

No.

Your friend and confidante, Penny.

(gentle whimsical music)

(muffled music)

- [Penny] Your parents went to Florida,

and all you got was this lousy shirt.

- No, my friend gave it to me.

I came to see Mary.

- Oh, well she's been sick. She's asleep.

- [Mary] Penny, I'm getting up.

I'm getting up.

- Well in that case, come on in.

- [Mary] This is Penny's
page. That's her hand.

(Mary coughs)

- [Man] What is it?

- [Mary] An angel. More stars.

Miss Mary Mac. Stuff.
Buttons, butterflies.

Can I hear something in your language?

- What should I say?

- I don't know.

How about, "I love you"?

- I love you is.

(man speaks foreign language)

- That's nice.

- I'm gonna get something to drink.

- [Mary] And this is my astronaut page.

Do you know about the astronaut?

He's all alone up in space.

- It's quite nice. Be close to the stars.

- No, it's sad.

If he can't fix his ship,

he'll be lost for a billion years,

and the sun will burn him up.

- [Man] Do you only put
sad things in your book?

- No, not just sad.

It's my book of beautiful things.

- Hey, yeah, you're in here.

- [Mary] Penny.

- [Penny] She cut out her old boyfriend

and replaced him with you.

See?

- Why did you do that?

- It is beautiful.

(gentle whimsical music)

- [Samuel] It's strange to
think I've never met you,

but there are pieces of you, these poems,

I know by heart.

"Just when life seemed to matter little,

you braved my heart's eclipse

to bathe me with your light.

A thousand different yesterdays

could have left me all alone.

A thousand different yesterdays

would not have left me
bleeding where you touched me.

Lost in the maze of our imagining.

Lost in the harsh glare of forgetting.

The sun, which is always
rising, is always setting."

(distant traffic)

- [Professor] Listen to me.

- [Penny] No.

- [Professor] All it is, listen to me.

All it is is a form that you have to sign.

- [Penny] No, no hospital.

- Her lungs are damaged, Penny.

You knew it would come
to this, eventually.

- Yeah, well, I can't deal
with any more hospitals.

- [Professor] You can't deal with them.

You, who won't even
take her to the clinic.

- [Penny] I take her to the clinic.

I just don't see the point anymore.

- [Professor] Well, we're
going to have to learn

to see the point because
this is the reality

that we are faced with.

- Well, why can't they
treat her with antibiotics?

- [Professor] Because the
antibiotics don't work anymore.

- [Mary] Please stop it, you guys.

- [Penny] How do you know
they're not gonna work?

What are you, a doctor all of a sudden?

- [Professor] No, I'm not a doctor,

but I'm the one that spends all my time

speaking to the doctors,

and I think I should have some say

in your sister's treatment,

because I am the one that
has to be responsible

for most of it.

- [Penny] What do you want from me?

You want me to tell you what a worthy,

valuable human being you are?

Fine. I'd be happy to do that.

- This is not about me.
And it's not about you.

- This is about you.

You love to play savior, you
know, but you're not God.

You're just a lonely, irrelevant man

who has no one to take care of.

- [Professor] No, no one,

except a very, very sick little girl

with a prostitute dope fiend for a sister,

who doesn't have the guts,

because she's too busy dealing with Johns-

- Don't call her that.
- In the street.

You never think about her,
always about yourself.

It's never what Mary needs.

- I need for you guys to stop.

(somber music)

- Penny?

- I'm not gonna let them
stick knives and tubes in her,

when we all know it won't do any good.

I'll never let them do that to her.

- [Man] She told me she was sick.

- [Penny] Well, did she tell you

they want to cut up her
lung, take part of it out?

What do you want from me?

- We used to call it sister fibrosis.

That's how she used to say
it when she was little.

We thought it was for sisters.

You play that music at night, don't you?

- Yes.

And you, every night?

- Not every night.

- Try to feel?

- Oh no, I don't feel a thing.

I don't know why I'm
sitting here talking to you.

- I'm sorry if I'm a stalker.

- Wait.

We'll talk again sometime.

Okay?

- [Mary] I don't wanna go to the hospital.

(gentle music)

- Okay.

- Tell me again about the beach.

- We lived there all year
round with mom and dad.

In the winter, the beach
was completely empty,

and you and I had it all to ourselves.

It felt like infinity.

You'll see when we go there.

- Penny, is it true what Professor said?

- No, sweetheart.

No.

- Well, maybe you could
find a job closer to home.

- Maybe.

- Don't go out tonight. Stay here with me.

Hold still. I'm almost done.

- What do you think? It's beautiful.

- You're an ugly frowning face.

- Shut up.

- Still ugly.

Still ugly.

Got you.

Got you.

(Mary coughing)

- You okay?

You okay?

- Yeah.

- I got a letter today
from that guy in prison.

- Oh, I wanna read it.

- Tore it up.

(ambulance siren)

- Yeah, I got your page.

Okay, I'm on my way.

(eerie jazz music)

(indistinct shouting)

- [Samuel] Dear Penny, thank
you for writing me back.

It's funny, I never expected
you to be so cheerful.

You asked me what my interests are.

To tell the truth, I
don't really know anymore.

I was a mechanic before
they put me in here.

But if my appeal comes
through and I get out,

I won't go back to that.

To answer your second
question, "What's prison like?"

It's lonely.

- [Mary] "Rules fail. Breaking apart.

Falling down and coming undone.

Galaxies collide.

The simplest molecule prevails.

You are less than all
these things I cannot see.

You are only that impulse

which instructs my heart to beat."

I hope you like that one.

By the way, I was sort of wondering,

if you don't mind telling
me, why are you in prison?

(waterfall rushes)

(indistinct radio chatter)

(stone taps glass)

- [Penny] Hi.

I guess I don't really
have anything to say.

This is stupid.

- Would you like to hear some music?

- All right.

(muffled speech)

(gentle music)

- Just sit down.

- Where are you from?

- [Man] A forest full of snow.

- What's that supposed to mean?

- It was a village.

- Does the village have a name?

- Not anymore.

It was burned to the
ground. There's nobody left.

- You have beautiful eyes, but empty.

- Well then, I guess I'm empty.

Can we just shut up and
listen to the music?

I'm sorry.

(gentle music)

(woman vocalizing)

(Mary panting)

(eerie music)

- [Mary] Help.

Help me. Help.

- Good morning.

You slept like a rock, little one.

I'm sorry I got in so late.

I was talking to your boyfriend.

- [Mary] Did you kiss him?

- No. Don't be silly.

- He's wonderful though, isn't he?

- I like how he is with you.

- Oh, Penny.

- "Oh Penny," what?

What's wrong with you this morning?

- You kind of feel numb
all over, don't you?

- What are you talking about?

- I did something last night.

I thought it was because I was mad at you.

I took one of your pills.

- Are you crazy?

- I never understood it before.

How you didn't feel anything at all?

- Are you crazy?

Then you know what I did?
I threw them all away.

- You had no right to do that.

- [Mary] What do you care
about some stupid pills?

I know you can get some more.

- Don't turn away from me. Look at me.

Why did you do that?

Do you have any idea what
those could do to you?

- [Mary] Leave me alone.

You make me sick.

You like how he is with me?

Like I'm four years old.

That's what you want, isn't it?

Look at me.

I'm almost 16 years old,

and I'm nothing but a big, overgrown baby.

- No, I don't. I didn't mean-

- Leave me alone you dope fiend. Go away.

- Mary.

- Go away.

(papers rustling)

- [Professor] Okay.

- [Penny] Hey.

- [Professor] Ah.

You're the last person
I ever expected to see.

- [Penny] Okay, here's the thing.

If something happens to me, I
want you to take care of Mary.

What do you say to that?

- What do you want me to say?

Fine. Splendid. When shall I start?

- No lecture, then?

- You want one?

- Maybe.

- That's too bad.

Penny, I'm bored telling you how worthy

and talented you are.

Go wreck yourself.

Dinners will be much more
pleasant without you.

- [Penny] When you called
that number and I showed up,

you didn't expect all
this trouble, did you?

- I thought I was looking
for sex. Something.

But that's not what I found.

- What did you find?

- What happened to you, Penny?

What turns a brilliant,

brilliant girl into
this woman that you are?

- You know how you can still see a star,

long after it's dead?

The light keeps coming,
and it's just an illusion.

The star doesn't exist.

- You exist.

And I'm going to prove it to you.

(ladder squeaks)

Such a beautiful concept.

Simple book of poetry about the sun.

- May I?

(gentle music)

- "Listen, children,

if you learn to touch
in the early morning,

you will have brief
touchings and golden sunsets.

Otherwise, I can only promise sunsets."

(Mary laughing)

- [Mary] All of it. It's too woo.

- Hey. What are you doing?

She's sick, you know? she
shouldn't be running around.

- I'm feeling fine.

- Please sit down with us.

- [Mary] First you till the soil,

and then you plant the seeds.

When Penny was my age,

she had ugly hair like
a boy, and no boobs.

- So, what's changed?

- Oh.

- Sorry.

And then you rub it over, but let it rain.

And then what have you
got in the springtime?

- A rash.

- A rose garden.

- A rash.

- Rose garden.

- Rash.
- Rose.

- Rash.
- Rose.

- Rash, rash, rash, rash, rash.

- [Mary] Me and Penny
used to make up songs

when we were little.

I was Miss Mary Mac and
she was Miss Pennywhistle.

- [Penny] Penny fell into a crack,

picked up by Miss Mary Mac.

Pocket pocket put it back.

One cent, two cent, three cents smack.

It's good to be a romantic, you know?

She's a sucker for a happy ending.

- Do you know that I've
never been on a date before?

- No. There should be many boys.

- Would you go on a date with me?

- Mary.

- I mean, if I was older.

(Mary coughs)

- You okay?

- [Man] I will go on a
date with you right now.

- [Penny] Really?

Where will you take her?

- To the cinema?

- [Penny] No.

Pretend you've never seen her before.

You first see her at a Society Ball.

- I'm a society lady.

- And she's leaning against.

No, pining-

- Pining.

- [Penny] By a clear, silvery fountain.

What makes you wanna talk to her?

- Oh, I would come to
her because she's lovely.

And how do you say, mysterious?

- [Mary] Oh no, you should never say that.

You know why? American
girls don't like that.

It's considered an insult
if you call them mysterious.

- [Man] Enough, society lady.
We meet at a simple place.

We meet on the bus.

- And you're reading a book.

- You are reading a book,

and I sit beside you so
that you will speak to me,

and I wait and I wait,
and you never speak to me.

Then I say, "What is your name?"

- And then I stand and I
say, "This is my stop."

- Then I stand and say,
"This is our stop."

- Oh, he's good.

- I must see you again.

My heart will die without you.

- When?

- I will tell you a day, Mary.

And you will tell me this
is too soon. Or too late.

Tomorrow.

- Too late.

(somber music)

- Mary.

- [Penny] Mary?

Mary.

That was nice, what you did.

- Your sister makes me happy.

- Yeah.

- Wait.

You are working tomorrow night?

- I don't know.

- I leave the store at nine
o'clock. You could meet me.

- Maybe.

Sweetie?

(door slams)

(Mary wheezing)

(somber singing in foreign language)

(gunfire)

(grenade explodes)

- Oh, please, please,
please come and meet me.

- Monster.

How are you feeling?

- Kind of bad.

- Yesterday was a good day, huh?

You know it was.

- So are you gonna go?

- Where?

- Meet him.

- Why would I do that?

He's your friend, not mine.

Anyway, I gotta work.

- Penny.

(gentle music)

(Mary coughing)

- [Samuel] Dear Penny,
thank you for your letter

and the poems.

I'm kind of afraid of how you'll take

what I've got to tell you.

I want you to know,

if I don't hear back from
you, I'll understand.

I always meant to tell you about her.

About what really happened.

All the same, I'm afraid once you know,

it may ruin your hopes for
our brilliant correspondence.

- [Professor] You must
rescue my berilianda.

Fell over in the wind and refuses to live.

- I'll look at it.

- So, the call of the wild
has once again deprived us

of your sister's company.

What does she eat?

Nuts, berries that she
finds in the street.

- I think Penny has a date.

- Penny has a date?

She actually likes somebody?

- [Mary] We both like him very much.

(Penny sighs)

- [Professor] Read that book I gave you?

Like it?

My cooking really that bad?

- No.

- What?

Hm?

What is it?

- I guess it's a lot of things.

(pager beeping)

(gentle somber music)

- Is this really what you want?

- [Professor] I'm not letting
you go home by yourself.

- I'll be fine. I need the air.

I can manage four blocks.

- No, there's no
question. I'm driving you.

- I'm not a baby, Professor.
I can do things for myself.

(door slams)

(skeleton rattles)

(Mary coughs)

(eerie music)

(muffled chatter)

- [Penny] Hey baby, I've
been waiting for you.

Come on over here.

- [Distorted Voice] Hey baby.

(ominous music)

(Mary coughing)

(pot shatters)

- Oh.

- [Professor] Penny.

- Is this the sister?

- Where is she? Can I see her?

- [Doctor] Yes. For a short time only.

She has a collapsed lung.

Have you not been
monitoring her condition?

- Please can I just see her?

(machines beeping)

(somber music)

- [Professor] Penny, if you
elect to destroy your mind

and your body-
- Oh, not now.

- That is your right.
Mary may accept that.

She may deny that.

- Where were you when this happened?

- Where were you?

Do you understand

that what is happening
to your sister is real?

This is her life.

That when you elect to take
yourself back to the gutter,

to drug yourself and abstain from reality,

you are abandoning her.

And I will not let you make that mistake.

(Mary wheezes)

- I'm here.

(dramatic music)

- [Penny] Good morning, sleepy girl.

- Hey.

- Hey.

- Will you bring my book Next time?

- Yeah.

Look at you.

- Look at you.

- I was working late.

- Sure.

And I'm the Princess of Persia.

- Comedian.

Have you been waiting here for me?

- [Man] Where is Mary?

- She's in the hospital.

- [Man] I have found my
family. I'm leaving here soon.

(Mary coughing)

(Mary wheezing)

- Happy birthday, Mary.

Open.

- What is this?

- For the society lady.
By the silver fountain.

- Thank you.

It's nice and big.

You're leaving aren't you?

- Yes.

I can't just say goodbye.

- Are you ever coming back?

- I don't know.

- Well that's too bad, because
once I get out of here,

I was gonna ask you on a date.

- I would've said yes.

- I would've worn the dress.

- Of course.

- I would've said,

(Mary and man speak foreign language)

- [Receptionist] Dr. Kravitz,

you have a visitor in the main lobby.

Dr. Kravitz, a visitor in the main lobby.

- What are you guys doing?

- [Penny] Ssh.

- [Mary] Are you almost done?

(gentle whimsical music)

- [Penny] Here.

(Mary wheezing)

- Happy birthday.
- Happy birthday.

- Do you like it?

I know it's not as good as the beach.

Make a wish.

(Mary gasping)

- We should call somebody.

- Are you alright?

Mary?

Are you alright?

- Yeah, I'm okay.

(comet hissing)

(Mary wheezing)

- [Mary] This is what
I'm gonna miss the most.

- What?

- You and me.

(seagulls squawk)

Penny, there's a story I wanna tell you.

It's about a man,

and how he loved this woman very much,

and they were going to get married.

Only, it turned out the
woman got very, very sick.

They said without her
treatments, she will quickly die.

- Who told you this story?

- Just listen.

So he did the only thing he knew to do,

he took her away from the
hospital and the awful treatments.

But he was scared.

- [Samuel] I was afraid.

- They both knew that-

- [Samuel] Both knew she
didn't have much time.

- [Mary] She didn't have much time.

- [Samuel] And then, she asked me,

take her to her special place.

It was this beautiful waterfall
where we fell in love.

I was far away from the
hospital, but I took her,

'cause she asked me to.

And we got out of the car and stood again

on the edge of the falls.

She just stood there real still,

looking out over the edge for a long time.

- [Mary] I started to worry about her.

- [Samuel] I started to worry about her.

- [Mary] She was gonna
do something crazy, like-

- [Samuel] Jump off.
- [Mary] Jump off.

- Did she? Did she jump?

- No.

She died his arms, and he
was charged with manslaughter

for kidnapping her away
from all the doctors

and hospitals and pain.

But on the edge of that beautiful place,

she looked at him and said,

"Don't feel sorry for me.

I am the lucky one.

Other people live in doubt
and pain all their lives.

But I know my love will last forever.

- I like that story.

You should try to get
some sleep, little one.

See you in the morning.

- [Receptionist] Dr.
Flores, dial 118, please.

Dr. Flores, can you please dial 118.

- Penny?

- What?

- I'm a friend of Kristjan's.

- Who?

- Your neighbor.

- Oh.

What is it?

- He asked me to bring you this address

where you can write to him
in Hungary if you want.

He leaves today on the bus.

(somber whimsical music)

- Kristjan?

Oh my God. I was afraid
you'd already gone.

- This is my bus.

- I wanted to say goodbye,

and I'm sorry.

I never.

I wanted to be your friend.

- [Kristjan] You are my friend.

- But I never even knew your name.

- [Tannoy] Last call for eastbound bus 12.

- Oh God, please.

- I know, I know.

These things, Penny,
the pain in your heart.

What's happening to Mary,
you must forgive yourself.

- I don't think that I can.

- You can.

You can.

Goodbye, Penny.

(melancholy music)

- [Doctor] I'm sorry to
have to tell you this,

but there's nothing more that we can do.

- Can we see her now?

- Yes. Go on in.

- You'll be okay.

(machines beeping)

(Mary gasps)

- Hey, angel girl.

- I finished our book.

- It's beautiful.

- Will you tell me about the beach?

- Okay.

We lived there year round,

with our mom and dad.

In the wintertime.

(gentle music)

- Promise me you'll still go.

We're getting too big for this.

- Don't let this happen.

Don't let this happen.

- [Mary] What do you think he dreams?

- Who?

- Up there, all alone in space?

- [Penny] Baby.

He's probably dreaming about you.

(Mary wheezes)

(machines beeping frantically)

(gentle whimsical music)

(prolonged beeping)

(wind whistling)

(child giggling)

- [Child] How do you think she died?

- Looks like she drowned.

- We should bury her.

(child squeals)

- Who are you?

- Who are you?

- Can we have more?

- More what?

- Stars.

- [Penny] That's mine.

- I wasn't gonna steal it.

I was just looking at it.

- Is that you?

- That's my sister.

(child laughing)

- Another cartwheel, okay?

(gentle uplifting music)

- [Man] Hey.

You're Penny, aren't you?

- Yeah.

- I saved your letters.

Oh, no, I didn't mean to scare you.

I shouldn't have come.

- [Penny] No.

No.

Please.

Stay.

I forgot about the letters.

- They made contact yesterday.

- What?

- The astronaut that you wrote me about.

He's coming back around the sun.

They can finally talk to him again.

- The astronaut?

So, how was he then?

When they talked to him?

- Kind of crazy, they said, but alive.

- [Penny] Now, I know why
Mary made the Book of Stars.

Every time I turn these pages,

I think about what she taught me.

The best gifts are given in secret,

and each of us writes our own endings.

(mellow music)