BLINK (2018) - full transcript

A victim of domestic abuse realizes that in only takes a split moment, quicker than the blink of an eye, to make a decision that could change her life.

(Somber Music Plays)

Well from July 2013 to last June

54 men, women, and children
had their lives cut short

because of domestic violence.

...spiraled out of control.

Sadly, we know the tragic way
that Sunday turned out

when a mother and her
2-year-old were killed.

Some question why police
didn't arrest him,

but domestic experts tell Lena Tillett
the law can be difficult to navigate.

...daughter never told her about
violence in her relationship.

But she said she did talk to others.

Now the mother says she
understands as a friend

you may not want to break a confidence,

but she says it could be your first
and possibly your only chance

to save someone's life.

I just wanted to let you know I'm sorry.

I mean I knew it was bad.

I just didn't know something like
this would happen.

I knew what your brother was doing to my daughter.

So I always knew something like
this would happen.

You could've done anything!

But you didn't.

So this is your fault
just as much as it's his.

I'm sorry.

Just leave.

(mouse clicks)

Chris: Baby, say hey!
Nailah: To who?

Social Live.

Heeey, Social Live!

Why you gotta get so hood, though?

Chris: Such an attention bully.
Nailah: I am not!

She's an attention bully, folks.

(Nailah laughs)

(mouse clicks)

What's up, y'all?


I just woke up to the most
beautiful image I've ever seen,

just a queen resting.


(small crowd chatter)


Hey! Hey... Wait.

Is this thing on?

Fuck it. Alright.


Buddy, you joined the club. Alright?

You're in it alright, but I still got
three years on you, Grasshopper.

But... you know...

Shit. Ah.

Ok, but I still love you guys. I love you.

And we're going to do great things

now that school is out, alright?

(drunken laugh)


You remember that?

Look! It's the happy couple. Alright?

Hey. Smile, you two.

Smile like you love each other or some...
shit like that.

There you go. There you go.

Alright! Oh. Uh. Ooooh

Yeah, there're babies in their future.

(crowd applause)

Nailah: Alright Class of 2002!

If you can hear me, clap one time.
(crowd claps once)

If you can hear me, clap two times.
(crowd claps twice)

If you can hear me, clap three times!
(crowd claps three times)


They say the average person
has ten seconds between blinks.

And so much can happen within that time.

We graduated over a decade ago,
and that's exactly what it feels like...

a blink.

In ten seconds you could change your mind,
which would change your life.

So if these last ten years hasn't been
what you want them to be,

don't let the next ten be the same.

It's only a blink away.

Thank you.

(crowd applause)

(crowd applause)
(Hip-Hop music plays)

(Music continues)

So Chris...

how did you and Nailah meet?


At the grocery store, acutally.

My brother and I were in the store,
and she just...

kind of came out of nowhere.

Yellow sun dress.

Hair pulled in a ponytail.

Blue earrings to match her shoes.

It was like a dream.

I mean, you know
every man is gonna try, but...

I thought it was some kind of joke when
she actually gave me the time of day.

I got lucky.

Let me ask you a question.

Why don't you guys where rings?

Oh! Well! See, a ring they tend to put
value on your love.

Our love is priceless.

Can't put a price on priceless.


(high heel footsteps approaching)

Oh! Good job, babe.

Thank you.

Hey girl, good job!

Nice to see you. You did so-

(Nailah gasps)

Chris: Ah!

Baby, I'm sorry!

Chris: Nah nah.
Nailah: I'm so clumsy.

Nailah: Let me get some paper towels.
Chris: Nah nah nah. It's ok, babe. I got it.

I'm sorry.

Come on. You know a party don't start
till someone's pants get wet.

I gotta go to the restroom anyway.
I'll clean it up in there.

Are you sure?
I could just grab some more pa-

Chris: Babe!


Excuse me, ladies.

Samantha: Mmm!

Isn't he a keeper?


Nothing. It's just that...

I see why we don't see you
that much anymore.

I mean, I would ask you how's married
life treating you but...

It's great!

Having someone love you unconditionally?

It's amazing.

Everyone can't have that fairy tale.

Tonight was really what we needed.

With all your cases and all my grading...

it was really good to get out the house.

I knew Samantha would adore you.

She likes everybody.

Do you think she was too tipsy to drive?

(window crack)

Next time watch what the hell you doing!

Nailah: Ok, class. It's almost time
for your summer vacation.

But what do we have to keep on doing?


Nailah: Improving, yes!

And what three things
are we working on this summer?




Nailah: Yes. Reading, writing,
and spelling.

I want you all to come back smarter
and better next year.


Class: Ok!

(knocks on door)


Mrs. Belle?

They said you have a call
in the front office.

Ok. Thank you.

Ok, class.

You can talk, but don't leave your seat.

No one leaves this classroom, ok?

Student: Ok.


Hey, why aren't you answering your phone?


You know I can't have my cell phone
on in the classroom.

Hey, them little bad ass kids ain't giving
you too much trouble out there, are they?

Don't talk about my babies!

They just need more support than others.

They need tender love and care

And you the perfect person for it, babe.

Hey, what time you get off?


But not too late.

We have end of the year meetings.

Yeah, cause Dereck's coming in today
and I want the house and everything

to be in order when he gets there.


When did you know he was coming?

I told you he was coming.
He just called me today.

Oh! Ok.

Is that a problem?

No! No!

I can get it done.

I just didn't know he was staying with us.

We hadn't...

discussed it.

Yeah, he needs something stable
so he can get on his feet.

Plus, I haven't seen him since
he got locked up.

Yeah, I know.

So is that ok with you?

Yeah! He's family, you know.

Better with us than anybody.

See, that's why I love you, babe.

Pick him up at nine.

Wait! I have to pick him up?

Yeah, I can't. I'll still be working.

Nailah: But I have to clean this classroom

and I have end of the year reports due!

Chris: Ah babe, you got it.

Hey, I gotta go though.

I'll talk to you later.

Love you.


Guess I got it.

(hangs up phone)

Alright, so what we looking like?

Oh, pretty good actually.

Your presentation was excellent.

The whole community aspect,
that was great, but...

We need to make them see how

getting another property would
be more profitable.

What, it being the only good school
in the community isn't good enough?

Plus, they already know the profit
will be at least equal.

They're not moved by equal, though.

Buying a vacant property would be.

But it'd also be a slight
inconvenience that...

that they wouldn't see as necessary.


it's worth it.

So, I gotta crunch some more numbers.

(Nick scoffs)


See, that's why I love you.

Oh I know. I know.

Oh! Hey hey!

In other news, you're gonna handle
that situation for me, right?

Come on, man. I got you.

You sure?


Most definitely.

Alright. You the one!

Hey! I know.
Now tell Sarah I said hello.

Chris: Good afternoon, gentlemen.
How is everything going today?

Business man: Pleasure, sir.

(Slow tempo Hip-Hop music fades in)

(music plays)

(Music begins to slowly fade)

(phone buzzes)


Dereck: Hello, Nailah, is that you?

Yeah. Who's this?

Dereck: This Dereck.


Did you make your bus?

Dereck: No, I'm here.


Dereck: I'm in Houston.


I thought you got in at nine.

(gasps) Oh my God!

(music plays)

Dereck: Hey.
What's going on?

Nailah: I am so sorry!

I was getting the house together and working...

and I just accidentally fell asleep.

Oh nah! You know

by the time you get here and get your
bags from under the thing

time just be done flew by so we cool.

Nailah: Oh good! It worked out.

Nailah: So!

How are you?

I'm good.

I'm good.

Nailah: Just good?

Any plans while you're here?

Dereck: Yeah! I plan on
working until my probation is up.

Dereck: Pretty much.

How long is that?

Like six to nine months.

Nailah: Oh, you'll get through it.

Nailah: Well you can stay with us
for as long as you like.

Dereck: Well thank you.

Nailah: No rush.

So how's Chris?

He's doing good.

Everything is good.


doing really well at work.

He's overseeing a lot of projects
and accounts.

He's doing really good.

Well, what about y'all?

Everything is good.

Dereck: Ok.

(door opens)

Chris: There he go!

Chris: What's up, baby?

Chris: Hey! Come here, man.

Hold on, I can't even call you that
no more.

You grew up on me.
Look at you, all big and everything!

Man, it's ben what, three years?

Yeah, it's been about three.

Chris: Dang!

Man, I missed you, bruh!

What you got going on back here?

Chris: Hair all long!
Dereck: Bro!

Dereck: Chill out.

Hey, give me a hug, man.

Chris: Come on.
Dereck: I'm good, bro.

Chris: Good to see you, man!

Hey, what took you so long? What Happened?
Your bus got delayed?

Oh nah!

That would be my fault.

I accidentally fell asleep while working.

I told you nine o'clock. Why would you
let yourself fall asleep?

Baby, it wasn't on purpose.

Chris: You didn't answer my question.
Dereck: Whoa!

Bro, chill. It was an accident.

I'm cool!

The house look amazing! Can I get a tour?

Dereck: Where I'm sleeping?
Chris: For sure.

For sure, come on.

Dereck: Alright.

Dereck: 'Preciate it, Nailah.

(Ominous sound)

Dereck's gone to bed already?

Chris: Yeah. He was tired.

(music plays)


Wait a minute! I'm s-

(beating sounds)

(Nailah cries in pain)

Chris: How fucking sorry are you when
you can't even handle

one simple task I ask you to do?

Nine o'clock! Nine o'clock!


Fucking easy!


(egg crack)

(egg sizzle)

Dereck: Yo.

Morning! Morning.

Why you up so early?

Programmed that way.

Ah okay.

How'd you sleep?

Pretty good. Pretty good.


You still do this shit?

You still do this shit?
(carton sounds near empty)

It's called a trash can.

I figured somebody'd get it for me.

So what's your schedule?

Oh, nothing heavy. I'm a probably go
put in some applications

and see if somebody pick me up.

You know, I did some fighting
in the joint so...

I was pretty good so, I'm a see if-
check out some gyms or something.

Alright, well...

you do your thing, man.

But no rush.

You're good here. You hear me?

Hey, Nailah up?

Chris: Nah, not yet.

She called in late.
Had a little headache or something.

What time you get off?


But hey, if you need me, you call me.

I'm not that busy, alright?

Dereck: Yep.

(Soft somber music)

(Nailah whimpers in pain)

(gasps in pain)

(knocks on door)

Nailah, you up?

Chris said you was under the weather.


I'm fine.

Dereck: You dressed?

No, not yet.

I just wanted to know if I could drop you
off and use your car today for a while.

Yeah, that's fine.

I'll be ready in a minute.

Dereck: Alright.

(whimpers in pain)

(Soft somber music)

(door opens)


Nailah: Hello, there.

Principal: They're gone. They're gone!

We got three months away from them.

Thank God!

(Nailah laughs)

I like your room.


Before you leave today, stop by my office would you?

Okay, I will.


Principal: Oh. Ivy?

From your husband?

Nailah: Uh, yeah. He always buys sweet surprises like that.

Principal: They're beautiful.

Alright. I see I need pointers.

Nailah: How about...

Happy wife?

Happy life.

I've heard that before.


See you in a minute.

I will be there.

(Principal and Paula talking)

Oh! I'm sorry.

I'll come back later.

Oh no. Mrs. Belle, please come in.

This is Ms. Jordan.

She's the new teacher-student counselor.

Nailah: Oh!

I'm... nice to meet you.

You too.

I've heard so much about you.

Well, let's hope I don't make a liar
out of anyone.

(nervous laugh)

Look! I'm gonna get out of you guys' way.
I have so much to do.

And you guys enjoy your evening.

And I'll see you this Summer.

You too...


Teacher-student counselor?

Yeah, the school board says it's
manditory with all the new

teacher-student relationships
popping up in the news.

So they want to make sure we don't have
any unstable teachers teaching our kids.

So now we got somebody to watch us
to make sure we're sane.

And she's going to start with you.


Why me?

Because, in my book...

you're our best teacher.

I wanna start in a safe place.

And plus, you'll be here a couple of days
throughout the week during the Summer

so it fits.

I don't need the first report back
to be negative.

I don't know about that.

It's simple.

You'll meet with a couple of days
out the week for evaluation

and she'll come by your house for a visit.

My house!?

My brother-in-law is there.

This just isn't good timing.


I know and I'm sorry to throw you
under the bus like this.

But I had to start somewhere.

Principal: She'll give us evaluation...

Principal: Thumbs up.

Principal: You're good!

Principal: Nailah... believe me.

You have nothing to worry about.

(basketball sounds)

Dereck: Yeah, man.

This a nice neighborhood

but that leaving the door open shit?

I don't know how y'all do that.

Chris: Ah man, it's cool.
Everybody know each other around here.

Chris: But!

I keep a nine at the top of the closet,
just in case, ready to go.

Chris: Damn!

Good game.

Alright, I'm out!

That's it?

Dereck: Yeah, I gotta go get this
run in before training today.

Chris: Ah man, well can you wait for training?

Can't spend the day with your big brother?
Catch up with me!

Let's go get some smoothies
or something, man.

Alright, let's do it.

Chris: Bet!

(music plays)

Bro, you don't remember when you and Nick
got locked in that store?

Think somebody was like robbing it or something.

Man, how can I forget!?

Y'all had mom and dad scared sick!

Yeah, I bet.

Mom and dad...


You think you could be with
Nailah that long?

Oh yeah!


To be honest, Nailah is one of the best if
not the best thing to ever happen to me.

I really don't know where I'd be without
her love and understanding.

I can't see it!

What's that?

Being with the same woman
for the rest of my life?

Chris: Oh yeah?

Hey, speaking of which,
you ain't dating nobody?

Yeah! Jada.

Jada from around the corner?


Yeah yeah.

She wrote me when I was locked up,
so we kicking it now.

Chris: Nice! Nice.


Don't get it twisted.

Yeah, marriage?

That's something that y'all work at everyday.

Both of you.

You gotta be committed to
take this journey,

but you gotta be man enough
to make this journey.

Chris: She gotta be able to understand
that you not perfect.

But she also gotta be willing to
accept where you fall short.

I appreciate y'all marriage.

I'm just happy to see something else
better than mom and pop's.

Wasn't nothing wrong with mom
and pop's marriage!



I structure my marriage after theirs.

I mean...

we different people.
It's a different time.

But the basics of their marriage
was strong.

I got a lot to learn about marriage then.

(phone dings)

Yeah, apparently so.


Look! I gotta run...

Look. I want to um...

I wanna finish this up later.

I wanna hear more about
this fighting, dude.

What about it?

You nice?

I mean, I was good locked up.

But out here, professionally,
it's a different game.

Man, I'm sorry I didn't get a chance
to come in there and see you, bro.

But after Pops died, things got...


You know?

Yeah, well nobody wanna come
see they people locked up.

So it's cool.

So we good?

Dereck: We good.

(Gentle music)

Nailah: Well, hello.

Chris: Welcome home!

What are you up to?

Chris: Why I gotta be up to something?

Well let's see, you cooked...

and you normally don't.

And you have candles.

And I see you have my favorite wine.

(Chris clears throat)



I'm not up to anything.

I just know how hard you been
working lately, and...

I was talking to me brother the other day

coaching him on women

and I realized a couple of things
that I been falling off on.

I know we been at each other's
throats lately.

Lashing out at each other when
we're not even the problem.

Is that what it is?

W-w-what do you mean?

Is that why you um...

get mad and do the things you do?

I know I piss you off and
mess things up sometimes.

But when I don't...

Is it because of other things
that aren't going right?

I mean, if so, I can understand that.


just don't understa-

Hey, know this.

Everything that I do is for you.

And us.

I love you.

And when I put my hands on you,
it's not like that.

It's hard to explain but

I do it because I love you.

Because I know you won't learn
unless I do.

You won't grow.

I don't know no other way.

That's how my dad disciplined me,
but he didn't do Dereck like that.

And look what happened?

So it's like I'm doing it for you.

You understand?

Do you understand?


You sure?



Nobody will ever understand us
and our love.

Because they never felt love
like this before.

Beu hey...

I promise you.

I will never stop loving you.



So uh...

How about we skip dinner
and go to dessert?

(Nailah laughs)

(Romantic music)

Chris: Yeah.

Chris: Okay yeah! She's in the house.

I just stepped out.

(Dereck hits the wooden fence)

Chris: Hold on.

Chris: Dereck!?

Chris: Alright.

So did you get the flowers?

Okay. Good. Good.
Glad those worked for you.

So you gonna be free that day, right?


Okay, so it's at the Howard Downtown.

Just go in and grab your key
from the front desk.

Alright. See you in a few.

(boxing training sounds)
(Hip-Hop music)

Coach: Let me hear it!

No opportunity is given here
if you don't create it for yourself.

Not even time.

If you want it,

take it.

If you're unsure,

don't put your boddy through it.


Yes, sir.

Let's work.

(Hip-Hop music continues)

(Coach whistles)

Dereck: What's up, Coach?

Hey, man!

You're pretty good.

Thank you. Thank you.

'Preciate ya.

Coach: Yeah, but you could
be better though.

I'm not sure what you mean.

Training won't be your battle.

It's none of my business...

but my business is

if you're gonna be an athlete here,

I need you to give me a hundred percent.

Not only mentally,

but physically.

Win, lose, or draw...

it takes one second

to change somebody's life.

And that life

could be yours.

You let me know when you're ready
to give a hundred percent...

and I'll be right out there.

So until then...

go and train.

(bell dings)

(quiet footsteps)

(Ominous sounds)

(Eerie sound steadily rises)

Hey hey!

Hey! Um...

What are you doing here?

I got off work early.

I just wanted to know
if you wanna go have lunch at my mom's.

Chris: Ah babe, that is so sweet,

but I just got off my lunch.

That's too bad.

Yeah, you should've called!

I wanted to surprise you.

And you did, babe.

You know I wish I could see you every day
in the middle of the day like this,

but I gotta get ready for this meeting.

Unless it's something on your mind?


No. I...

just wanted to see you.

Well, thank you for making my day
that much better.

I love you.

Nailah: I love you too.

Call me later.

Okay. I...

(door closes)

(boxing training sounds)

Intercom: Yo Dereck.

You got a lady at the front here
to see you, man.

Dereck: What's up? What you doing here?

Hey! I wanted to know if you were done.
You not answering your phone.

Ah! I left my phone in the locker.

No distractions.

Okay, cool.

So how long you got?

Oh about... hour hour and a half.

Why? What's up?

Well, I wanted to know if you wanted to
go to my mother's, cause she's cooking?

Free food?

And you not cooking?


Give me one second.

I'm fixing to go change.

I'm fixing to go change.
Nailah: Hurry up!

I'm fixing to go change.
Nailah: Hurry up!
Dereck: Alright!

(door slides open)

Nailah: Mama!

Ms Ross: Who's that walking in my house?

Nailah: Where are you?

Ms Ross: That's not what I asked.

Well, to answer your question
it's called a key.

Mom, you remember Chris' brother Dereck.

Yes! Yes, I remember him!

I'm not that old!

(Ms Ross laughs)

Hey, Dereck, baby.

How you doing?

Dereck: I'm good.

Ms Ross: Good!

How's the move been so far?

Dereck: It's been good! It's been good.

Especially staying with Nailah and Chris.


So, where's Chris, Nailah?

Oh, he's working.


That man.

Work work work.

Well, y'all...

let's eat.

Plates are over there.

Water and juice in the fridge.

Y'all help yourself.

(nailah vomiting)

(toilet flushes)

Beautiful afternoon we're having,
isn't it?

Yes, it is.

Uh huh!

So, what's under your skin today?

Who's skin? Mine?

Mm hmm.


Lunch was good.

We laughed.

We talked.

That's what makes me ask.

Look how defensive you are.

You just described our afternoon
as if I wasn't even there.

Nothing is wrong, mother.

Everything is fine. Not a care in the world.

But what world are you living in?

Why do you do this every time I come here?

I'm not trying to upset you.

I just want to check and make that you're okay.

I have my thoughts and my feelings!

What are you feeling?

Whatever you want to ask, just ask!

I just want you to know
that I'm here without judgement.

Ms Ross: Every marriage has


It's about my marriage.

Yes! It is!


I see!

The absenteeism.

The bad excuses.

The bruises.

I remember those!

You remember nothing!

My father pushed you once
and you left him.

You stripped me of a life with my father
because of a mistake.

Not to mention, you wre cursing him
like you had no respect for him.


No, mother, I will not
be alone at sixty-five.

You may not get it...

but I do.

My husband...

loves me!

I'm sorry that you feel that way
about your daddy and me...

but you're wrong.

I just hope that you don't end up...

dead wrong!

(keyboard typing)

(keyboard typing)

Principal: Nailah.


I'm so glad I caught you.
I need a big favor from you.


Could you please pick up the decorations
for the Summer charity event?

I'll write you the check tomorrow
if you pay for them.

I think it's going to be like...

Six-hundred and fifty dollars.

Sure! I just have to check my account
to be safe.

But I'm sure it's fine.


Thank you.

You're a life saver.

(mouse click)

(mouse click)

(printer printing)

(ominous tones rising)

Paula: Knock knock!

(nervous laugh)

Hey, Paula.


You okay?

I'm good!

What's going on? How are you?

I had some extra time, and...

I was wondering if you had some extra time

so that maybe we could get a jump start
on our sessions?

Nailah: Um...



I have to go downtown to get decorations
so I guess I could

wait till traffic dies down
before I leave.


I'll go and get my notepad

and then we can walk

and talk and sip some tea

and TALK some tea.

Nailah: Okie dokie!

(high heel footsteps fading)

Paula: What people think has
always been amazing to me.

You know?

How the mind works.

How it grows and diminishes.

So that's why you got into counseling?

Well, I've always been good
at reading people.

And I enjoy helping them
come up with a solution for

whatever problem they
feel they might have.

Nailah: Have you ever been wrong?


What did you do?


sometimes I had enough time
to help them fix it.

Nailah: And the others?

It was too late.

Paula: Yes.

Paula: Uh...



Um okay.

Good. Yes.





So what was that about?

Paula: That was the cable installer.

He's been trying to
schedule with me for days,

but I just don't have time for it.

Oh, yes, they can be pushy.

Paula: Very pushy.


What's going on with you?

Oh well, just taking down all the
posters in the classroom.

And trying to finish-



What seems to be the problem?


I'm on the couch now.

Paula: Don't worry!

I'm not gonna charge you for it.

Well... um...


You see there?

Right there.
You just thought of something.

You just thought of something
and that's what we want to talk about.

That's what needs to be here.

I wasn't thinking about anything.

I don't know.
Now it seems like you're lying.

I don't know what you're thinking,
but I have nothing to hide.

(Paula laughs)



Nobody said that you were hiding anything!

You see, this is the part where
the subconscious starts to tell on you.



So what is it?

Late night clubbing!

(both laugh)

Paula: Come on!

Flask in the classroom?


I got it.

The over...



(mug bangs on table)

I am NOT

hiding anything!


O... o...

O... okay!

I'm... I'm sorry! I...
(nervous laugh)

I'm sorry.

I need to go get the decorations
before the store closes.

Nailah: Thank you for your time.

Nailah: Thank you for your time.
Paula: Okay.

Nailah: Yes, I'm calling
about a reservation.

Yes, the confirmation number is...




Yes, when was the reservation.

It's for tonight?

No! No.

Thank you.

(Orchestra music)

Receptionist: Hi. Welcome to Howard.
How may I help you?

Um yes. I wanted to know if you
had a room for a Christopher Belle?

Receptionist: And that's Belle?



Yes, we do. Would you like to call him
down or leave a message?

Yes, we do. Would you like to call him
down or leave a message?
Nailah: Uh! N...n...


No, I just wanted to know if he was here.

Thank you.

Hey! Are you Mrs. Belle?


One second

Room 9-0-7, Mrs. Belle.

I hope you and your husband enjoy
the rest of your stay.

Thank you.

(Somber music)

(Music fades)

(lock claps)

(ominous tremble)

(door creaks)

(ominous tremble)

(door creaks)

(ominous tremble)

(door creaks)

(door snaps closed)

(heartbeat thumps)

(female laughter)

(heartbeats stop)

Naked Woman: You know they're going to
kill you at the office, right?

(eerie sound)

Nick: Like I care.

Time for round two.

(playful noises and laughter)

Jada: I'm just saying, it's refreshing
to see you in something

other than a white tee and a do-rag.

See, this do-rag is to keep my hair fresh.

But you wouldn't know nothing about that.


Oh, so you got jokes now.

Were they pulling your hair in jail?

Mr Avatar!


I didn't think so.

Dereck: It's been about three years.

Dereck: You crazy if you think I'm not.

Jada: No, you are.

Like loco. I don't have time for this.

Hey. Hey.

Take this back there right quick.

I'll be there in a minute.

Everything okay?

Yeah, I'm a just talk to her right quick.



Everything okay?


Everything's fine.

How was training?

It was fine.

You sure? I've never
seen you drink before.

It's grape juice.



Okay, so what's that?

It's nothing!

I'm just behind on a few bills.



It's nothing!

Okay, it's a bank statement. What's wrong?

Well, this gotta be wrong, right?

I went to the hotel.

I saw the woman.

In his room.

His bed.


So what you gon do?

About what?

About him cheating?

You are going to say something, right?


You sure?

Yeah, when I find the words to say
to bring it up without accusing?

Accusing him?

Don't get me wrong.

Hope everything works out.
Hope you guys are good.

But brother or no brother...

if you saw him, he's wrong.

I'll handle it!

Everybody makes mistakes.





You fought half the battle
for him already.

But I am sorry, though.


Where have you been?

Why would I ask a question like that?

Make this your last time!

Hell no!


I can do this.


(front door opens)


Chris: Hey!

Chris: I have missed you so much.

How was your trip?

Chris: Ah, it was good.

Chris: Got a lot of work done.

(kiss smack)

We had meetings a lot.
That's why I couldn't talk much.

Nailah: At all?

Chris: Hm?

We didn't talk...

at all.


Well, you know how these conferences go.

By the time it's over, I'm so beat
I just wanna lay down.


I had to go online to check the account...

and I saw the card was being used.


It was used to get a room at the Howard.

Here in Houston.

Not sure what you're insinuating.

Go ahead and say what you're gonna say.

I came...

to the hotel...

and saw you...

with that woman.

You didn't see me with nobody.

Did I see you?

No, you didn't.

You were busy at the time.

So why didn't you say something,
if you so sure you saw me?

The room was reserved and paid for by you.

And I saw you in there with that woman.

You think I would stand here,
look you in the face, and lie to you?

No, but I saw you.



So I'm a liar.

Let me tell you some truth.

You didn't see me.

I was in New York like I said I was.

Look at the time, date, and location.

Those photos were taken in Times Square
last night when you so-called saw me.

But I saw her.

Oh, the girl. You saw the girl.

And you saw Nick!

Not me!

I paid for the room so it would stay
off of Nick's card.


Baby, I'm so-

(ominous tremble)

All I do is try to make you happy.

I bust my ass to make sure you have the things you need.

And you...

don't appreciate any of it.

I know, baby, it was a mistake.

(Nailah gasps)

We've talked enough.

I'm done hearing you.

Baby, wait wait. Let me explain tha-


Explain what!?

Now you wanna explain?

(Nailah gasps)

(slams on couch)

Tell me something!

When are you going to start trusting me
the way I love and trust you?

I do!

No you don't.

No you don't.

Because if you did, you wouldn't be
out sneaking trying to follow me.

Are the bills not paid!?


Am I taking care of home? Huh!?


Another woman?

Another woman, that's
what you worried about?

Baby, I'm sorry.


When are you going to get it through
your head that I love you?

I know!


No you don't.

But you will.

Come here.

(musis plays)

Nailah: Okay.

Okay okay.

It's going to be over in a minute.

(music plays)

It's going to be over...

in a minute.

He's not trying to hurt me.

He loves me!


loves me.

I know.

I know I know it.


He's gonna kill me.

(music plays)

I love you.

(music plays)

(echoey knock knock knock)

(music plays)

(knocks on front door)

Officer: Good evening, sir.

Good evening, officer. How can I help you?

I'm responding to a disturbance call
from one of your neighbors.

Officer: Is everything okay this evening?

Uh yeah! A disturbance call to MY address?

Yeah, one of your neighbors said they
heard a lot of arguing and screaming.

Well I JUST got back in town.

Oh! My brother...

he's got his workout equipment
set up in the garage, so he...

might've been a little too loud singing
with his headphones on again.

Officer: Okay okay, just make sure
your brother keep it to a minimum, okay?

Chris: Yeah, no problem. No problem.

Have y'all been getting any disturbance
calls in this area lately?

No, not as of late, but this is
the first in a couple of weeks.

And it is mandatory that I
do come and check it out.

Gotcha. Gotcha.

Understood. Just doing your job.

Thank you, sir. You have a good evening.

You do the same.

(R&B music)

(Paula clears her throat)

Oh! Hey, Paula!


Did you get the messages that I left in
your mailbox last week about seeing me?

Yes, I did.

So, do you think you will have
some time today or tomorrow?


I will if I can.

You sure about that?

What do you mean?

Well, it seems like you've been
avoiding talking to me.

Why would I do that?

I don't know.

I have nothing to hide.

(footsteps passing by)



So then why all the button-ups
and heavy make-up?

I'll be in your office after school.

If that's okay,

Ms. Jordan.

That would be fine, Mrs. Belle.

(footsteps walking away)

(music plays)

Just watching you do your thing, man.

You came all this way to
watch me do my thing?


Nah man.

Just wondering what you been up to?


I didn't come here for vacation.

I see you. I see you.

Aye, you too busy to grab
some lunch with your bro?

Nah nah. Give me a minute.

(refrigerators buzzing)


I feel like I gotta ask you,
what's new with you, man?


not too much. Um...

Just got an exhibition fight.

Dereck: So that's cool.

Dereck: Yeah, 'preciate ya.

Other than that, uh...

Been running around looking for a gig.

And a um...


Wait, an apartment? Why so soon?

I thought you was gon try
to get stable first.

Yeah, I mean, that's cool. I just-- you know

I don't want to inconvenience
you guys anymore,

Dereck: and not for too much longer.

Who said you were an inconvenience?

Did Nailah tell you that!?

No, not at all.

You guys' hospitality has been great.

Okay. So stop beating around the bush
and tell me what the problem is.


I came home like a couple weeks ago,

and um...

uh... saw you and Nailah, like, fighting.

Chris: What exactly did you see?


You saw that (clears throat).



what is it you want to ask?

I mean really bruh it's not none of my business.

You're absolutely right, it's not!

But since you asked,
what is it you want to know?

Bro, we went through that
bullshit with pops.


What bullshit did we go through with pops?


What bullshit did YOU
go through with pops?

Pops never laid a finger on you.
Never touched Junior!

I didn't mean it like that.

But Chris...

I'm a beat his ass, he said.

And he did!

Now look at my life and look at yours.

I ain't never been in jail or in trouble.

Moms stayed with him faithfully

till he DIED!

And you look down on ME?


(phone chimes)


Now don't get me wrong.
I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be.

But look, that's my house.

And I don't EVER want
to get that mistaken again.

Is that gonna be a probelm?



Chris: I love you.

Chris: Understand?

Yeah, I love you.


(knocks on door)

It's open.


Have a seat.

Paula: So?


You don't have anything to start with?

I assumed you had something to say or ask.

I didn't realize this was a
how are you doing meeting.

Because it's not.

Well, let's get to it.

Paula: Okay.

What are you scared of?


Paula: No!


Humor me for a moment.

I don't have a moment for this.

Either you'll have a moment now,

or you'll have a moment when
I fill out that unfit to teach report

and it looks into the home life
of the teacher.

You choose.

(drops bag)

Why is that so scary to you?

Looking into your home life?

Or should I tell you?

Nailah, I've never smelled alcohol on you.

You don't appear to be shaky from drugs,
no anti-movements.

You're not afraid to show your wrists

so you're not suicidal.

So that means...

that the hidden bruises
on your chest and your back

are not self-inflicted.

Looking or threatening
to look into the home life

and your marriage is what scares you.

I know the signs!

But I'll ask you anyway.

Does your husband abuse you, Nailah?

No matter what I say

you know

or you think you know.

With all your degrees you think you know us.

But you'd be wrong!

Paula: You didn't answer--
Nailah: Let me finish!

I love my husband.

And he loves me, I know it.

But we all have that thing
in life we battle with.

But where I'm from when you say I do,

it means for better or worse,
richer or poorer, thick or thin.

So, you can go ahead and fill out your
report about what you think you know.

But I choose my marriage.

And I love these children,

and I would never do
anything to hurt them.

But you have a job to do.

I'll clean out my desk.

Paula: Nailah.

I'll fill out the report,

and it's gonna clear you.

Because my job is to
look out for those kids.

And I believe that they're okay.

And I asked you to talk to me...

and you did.

Thank you.

As a colleague...

it's none of my business.

But as a woman...

that can't be love, right?

It's how he loves me.

Then I'm petrified for you.

I'm here

whenever you need me.

(music plays)

(crowd cheering)

Chris: Get him off you man!

Coach: Go!

(sound is muffled)

Coach: Go! There you go!

Nailah: I didn't know
Dereck was that good.

The boy is nice.
(Nailah laughs)

He's real nice.


Nailah: You were amazing!


Dereck: Thank you.
Nailah: Really Good.

Yeah. Man!

I did not know what to expect.

Great fight, dude!

Well, I appreciate the confidence.

Hey, better late than never.

I'll take that, I'll take that.

Hey, look...

Tomorrow we're gonna celebrate,

Nailah's gon cook, we gon
have a few people over, man.

Well actually, we finna get ready
to go to this after hours spot.

If y'all wanna, like, come with us?

Well, I can't. I gotta go to the office
and get ready for this proposal tomorrow.

Right now?


Yeah. Nick didn't get everything ready.
I gotta go play Superman.

Bet hey, you oughta go with Dereck, though!

Yeah, it's still early.

Nailah: Are you sure
I can't come with you?

I love watching you work.

Oh, I know sweetheart.
Not tonight though, some other time.

Hey Dereck, can she roll with you?

Fa sho, man. You don't wanna
go to the office with him anyway.

I might need a responsible driver.

(Nailah laughs)


Chris: See? Go ahead
Hooded Guy: Hey, nice fighting tonight.

Are you sure I can't come with you?

Did you not hear what I just said?

We'll talk about this tomorrow.

Now go with Dereck.

Alright, bruh.

Dereck: Alright, see you later.
Chris: Take it easy.

You ready?


Dereck: Let's go!

(music plays from inside club)

Coach: (singing) We are the champions

(singing) We are the ch--

(singing) cham--

Dereck: Unlock it.

Dereck: Nah, unlock it. Unlock it.

Coach: (singing) We are...

Yeah, we are.

You... (drunken laugh)

You got one, but...

you got practice.

Coach: You got... you won one...
Dereck: Alright!

Dereck: Alright!

Coach: That's just one.

Dereck: Alright.


Coach: That's just one.
Dereck: Alright!

Dereck: You got him?
Coach: Practice!
Girl: Yeah, I got him.

Alright, I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Alright! Alright!

You full?

Yeah! I didn't even know
this place was right here.

Yeah, man.

Did you call Chris and tell him
we was on the way?

Yeah, he...

he didn't answer.

He's probably really busy, though.

Yeah, so we gon beat him home?

Can we not go home?

I just don't wanna be there
right now, you know.

Dereck: Yeah.

I mean... if that's okay with you.

Yeah. Yeah yeah.

I think I know the perfect place.

(crickets chirping)

Dereck: That's just ridiculous!

Dereck: Man, I can't--
Nailah: How!?

Dereck: Because... I'm saying...

If I'm walking and a lady walking
and we bump into each other,

and she fall down because
I'm a little bit stronger,

but I wasn't paying attention
and she wasn't paying attention,

why I gotta say excuse me!?

She supposed to say excuse me too!

Why everybody gotta look at me
like I'm disgusting, though?

like I'm disgusting, though?
Nailah: Shut up!

Just saying that's not EVEN!

Nailah: You are ridiculous!

Do you do this?

Yeah, mom used to bring us
here when we were kids.

It's just somewhere to go
to clear your mind.

Nailah: Hm.

Let me ask you something.


Did you talk to Chris about cheating?

Yeah, I did.

What did he say?

We talked and figured it wasn't him.

It was Nick.

I thought you saw him?

It was late.

I was stressed.

I don't know what I saw.

Did I know what I saw...

when I saw him hit you?


I was at home that day.

Dereck, everybody just--

Makes mistakes. Makes mistakes.

Yeah, I heard it.

Did you talk to him?

Yep, and he said
it's none of my business...

He loves you, he loves you, blah...


Everybody is different.

Everybody expresses
their love differently.

That's how you see love?

Let me finish.

Nah! I can't belive this shit!

It's not like it happens all the time.

Doesn't matter. He does it! It happens!

The same thing went on with pops
and moms and mom stayed!

I can not understand it.

It makes no sense

at all.

Why do you stay?

I'm pregnant.

Right now!?


Six months.

You six months pregnant right now?

You not even showing!

My mom was seven or eight months
before she started to show with me.

Ah, does Chris know?

I was gonna wait until after the
last business deal to tell him.

And no, it's not the only reason.

We're gonna be one happy family.

Yeah, The Manson family!


Don't you dare say nothing like that
about my family!

Or my marriage!

I'm sorry.

(footsteps in gravel walking away)

Yeah, I'm sorry too.

(video game music and sounds)

Dereck: I'm a kick you out.
Is that your foot!?

(Jada laughs)
Dereck: I'm not sure...

Dereck: If that's suppose to be happening.

Dereck: Ah!

Dereck: Stop!

Dereck: Stop.

Dereck: Don't-- that's you cheating.
That's cheating.
(Jada laughs)

Dereck: That's cheating in like real life.

Dereck: You can't cheat like that.

(clicks tongue)

Got you.


Do you have anymore soda in there?


(can sounds nearly empty)


I think my brother got some
in the house, though.

Good, can you go get me one, please?

Uh... no.

I'm still alive.


Jada: You wrong.
Dereck: Chill. I can't see.

Bring me one.

Jada: Bring you NOTHING!

(door closes)



Hey, Nailah. Are you okay?


Did you need anything out the kitchen?

I actually went in to get a soda,
but y'all are out.

Oh... (laughs)

Yeah, they drink sodas
like crazy around here.


Jada: It was good seeing you.

You too.

Whoa! What are you doing?

Why is Nailah's body so bruised,
and do not lie to me?



Why didn't you tell me?

Tell you what?

(scoffs) Okay, wrong question.

So is she okay? Did he go to jail?
What happened?

I don't know if she's okay.

She act like it,

but some days when she not looking...

I can tell she sore.

Did she tell you that's what it is?

Nah, I saw it.

And what did you say when you stopped him!?

I didn't.

Why not?

Cause it's not none of my business.

Is this something that you're on, too?

Jada: Because I am not the one!
Dereck: Whoa whoa whoa!

Calm down.

My pops beat my moms.

He also hit Chris.

He never touched me. I don't know if
it was cause I was too little...

but I would never put my hands on you,

or any other female.

And that assault charge was to who?

That was towards a nigga in the club!

I had anger issues, but not towards women,

but that's why I told you I was moving.

Why are you running?
Why don't you help her!?

Help her do what!?

I don't know. Talk some sense into him or something!

I already did!

He said it wasn't none of my business!

Fuck. That. Report his ass.

I'm not calling the police on my brother.

And plus she think she pregnant.


Dereck: Jay.



That's all you got for me?

You already made up your mind
on what you're NOT gonna do.

So let him kill her.

(Mrs. Ross laughing)

And listen, you're right...

but I am not about to pretend that I'm not old.

(both laugh)

Now we're having fun!

So this is the fun part?

Ooh! Yes! Sitting!?

Mm hmm.


Now why did you wanna hang out
with this old floozy today, hm?

I told you.

Uh uh.

I can see right through that smirk.

You've been wanting to
say something all day,

so come on now. Spill it!

Well, I need a favor.

Okay so...

what do you need?

There's this concert I wanna go to...

and I wanna know if you'd babysit for me?

So would I be babysitting for you!?

Yes, mama.



I... I'm gonna be a grandmother?

(Nailah laughs)

Oh! (laughs)

Mrs. Ross: Yes!

Yes, I guess I could be inconvenienced
a couple times for you.

I knew you would.
(both laugh)

(music plays)

Oh, baby!

(music plays)

Yeah, we just gon be a minute.

I just can't run in and out,
cause I don't know where everything at.

I do not wanna go in there.

Alright, look...

Go drop off the mail that you got...

and then just come back.
I'll try to get out as fast as I can.

Just wait for me right here.

Alright. Okay.


Hey, you called?

Mrs. Ross: Yeah.

I wanted to see how everything went.

Nailah: It hasn't went anywhere yet.

Our afternoon together turned into an...

evening or night together.

Oh. Why?

Nailah: Just some last minute things
that came up at work.

I'm just glad I didn't cook.



Are you scared?


Mrs. Ross: Telling a man he's going to be
a father can be an emotional thing.

More like...

excited to tell him.

This is a new beginning for us.

Mrs. Ross: Well, I wish you luck.

Keep me posted.


(front door closes)

I think I hear him coming in.

Okay, bye.

Babe, is that you?

Nailah: Oh! I thought you were Chris.


I said I thought you were Chris.


Oh, nah. I just came in to grab something to eat.

I'm sorry.

No problem.

So you really out of here, huh?

Yeah, you know.

Think it's about that time.

Gonna miss having you around.

Would've been nice to have an in-home babysitter.

(both laugh)

I won't go far. Anytime.


Gonna hold you to that.

Promise! Scout's honor.

(Nailah laughs)

Hey, Nick.

What's going on, man?


I thought it was a shoe-in!?

Alright, man.


Nailah: Chris?

Hey, baby.

How was your day?


Glad it's over.


before you lay down...

I've cooked.

I'm going to run you a bath.

I have some really important news to tell you.

Babe, I'm really not up
for any us time tonight.

Oh, I know you're tired...

can you play along just for tonight?

I need you.

Need! Always need!

I do my best and something
else is always needed!

I'll be quick! I promise.

Was my tired reply not enough for you!?


(Nailah exhales)

Nailah: I'll just come back later.

Chris: Okay!

Now you got my attention.

Baby, wait! You can't do this!

What? I can't!?

I can't wh--

(Nailah screams)

Don't tell me what the fuck
I can and can't do!

(loud bang)

(Nailah breathes heavily)

(Nailah whimpers in pain)

Jada: Dereck!

Dereck: Yo!
Jada: You have to help Nailah right now!

Chris is over there beating her ass!

Dereck: Ok.
Jada: You have to go help her right now!

He's going to kill her and that baby!
Dereck: Alright! Alright I got it!

I got it! I got it!

Oh my God.

Where's Nailah?

She in the bedroom, man.
She not feeling well.

Not feeling well?

Hey! Dereck!

Dereck, hold on!
Hey, she not dressed, man!

(faint whimpers from Nailah)

Chris: Hey, Dereck. Hey...

let me talk to you, man.


Hold on, man!

Hold on. Let me talk to you, man.

(Chris coughing)

You didn't even let her tell you, did you!?

She's pregnant!!

Chris: You gonna call the cops on me?

Dereck: The cops?

Dereck: You fucking worried
about the cops?

Dad was right, bruh.

This is the only fucking way you learn.

(ambulance siren wails)

(music plays)

(stretcher wheels rolling fast)

EMT: Ma'am? Ma'am?

Can you open your eyes for me?
Open your eyes, please?

(stretcher wheels rolling fast)

(Nailah crying)
My baby!

(vital signs monitor beeping)

Dr. Delgado: Ms. Belle?

(baby crying in the distance)

Mrs. Belle, the baby didn't make it.

(Nailah labored breathing)

(Nailah continues to cry)

(vitals monitor echos in the distance)

(newborn transporter rolls by hastily)

Ms. Ross: You can stay here for
as long as you want, you know.

You hungry?

You want something to eat or drink?


I just wanna get some rest.

Alright, well, let me know
if you need anything.

Mrs. Ross: But you...

You could've done something!


But you didn't.

So this is your fault...

just as much as it's his.

I'm sorry!

I'm burying my unborn grandbaby today.

Your nephew!


I'm sure you are.

Nailah: No.

No, I didn't!

What I'm saying is, how can
they press charges if I'm not?

Nailah: Yes!

Nailah: Yes, I will. I'll talk
to whoever I need to.

I want my husband out of there
as soon as possible.

I attacked him!

Nailah: He was just defending himself.


Thank you.

(house is echoey, empty sounding)

(book drops to the floor)

(Nailah cries softly)

(Upbeat love music)

(phone rings)

Dereck's Voicemail:
You got me. Leave me a message.

(voicemail beeps)

Chris: Hey, uh...

Dereck, man... uh...

You know

I know what you think of me,


but I got some help.

And I promise you I've changed.

I couldn't see it at first, but...

I do now.

And I am sorry.


SO sorry.

I-- (exhales)

Call me.

(Upbeat love music)

(music continues from phone)

(gasps) Oh my God!

(music stops)

Chris: What happened?

I um...


don't um...

I was ironing.

It was an accident. I'm sorry.

It's alright, babe.

It's just a shirt.

Thought you hurt yourself or something.


(music restarts)

Chris: I do it because I love you.

Chris: Nobody will ever
understand us and our love.

(music, shower, and clippers
all making noise)

(all sounds fade into shellshock)

(muffled gunshots)

(door creaks)

Paula: Nailah?

Paula: Na--

Nailah, are you okay?

I got your text.

Nailah, honey, are you okay?

You said that...

there was blood everywhere, Nailah.

Oh my God! Nailah!

Nailah, where are you bleeding from?

Nailah, the ambulance is on it's way,
but you gotta talk to me.


Is that Chris?

He said...

he did what he did...

because he loved me.

I should forgive him...

because he loved me.

The choking...

slapping and punching...

was how he loved me.

It's not out of anger, Nailah.

It's because I love you.

Paula: Nailah.

Why would he stop?

I believed him.

And him not loving me...

I can't deal with that.

Paula: Nailah, no!

I won't...

deal with that.

(loud bang)

(music plays)