INT. OFFICE AT SAFE HAVEN MID MORNING
Sheila stands at the front desk, holding bags of craft materials. The SECRETARY sits.
SHEILA: What do you mean she went back with her mother?
SECRETARY: Ma’am, I know you applied to be her foster mom, but I already told you, she went back to her real mother.
SHEILA: Can’t I just get the address? I have all these craft supplies for her.
SECRETARY: I’m sorry. I told you, that violates our rules of confidentiality.
She turns and walks, dejectedly, out the door.
SHEILA (to herself): But what if she’s not happy?
EXT. LORA’S HOUSE
Alice and Lora sit on the porch steps looking at the red, orange, and yellow trees. They sip hot chocolate and eat cookies.
ALICE: I think she’s drinking again.
Lora stops dipping her cookie and looks at Alice, quizzically.
ALICE: Yeah, just little things make me wonder.
LORA: Tell the social worker.
Alice sips her hot chocolate and shakes her head.
ALICE: What if I’m wrong?
She leans into Lora and Lora puts her arm around her.
LORA: But what if you’re right?
INT. ALICE’S BEDROOM NIGHT
Alice lies in bed and sits up when her mother opens the door.
KAREN: You alright for tomorrow?
ALICE: What do you mean?
Karen walks slowly to the blinds and closes them.
KAREN: You’ve got that presentation, right?
ALICE: No, that was a few days ago.
Karen walks to the door.
ALICE: Mom? Will you tuck me in?
KAREN: You’re too old for that.
Karen walks back to the bed, tucks Alice in and gives her a little kiss.
KAREN: Sleep well.
ALICE: Were you drinking tonight?
Karen looks at Alice, looks away, rubs the back of her neck, and looks back at Alice.
KAREN: I had a cocktail after work with Bonnie.
EXT. ALICE’S SCHOOL MORNING
Karen pulls up to the school and Alice gets out of the car. She leans her head back in.
ALICE: Goodbye, mother.
Alice turns and walks toward the building. She turns around to watch her mom drive away. Then she crosses the field and waits for the bus.
INT. BUS MORNING
Alice pushes the button, signaling her stop.
EXT. STREET MORNING
She departs the bus and walks around the corner to the Children’s Safe Haven.
INT. CHILDREN’S SAFE HAVEN MORNING
Joan and Alice walk down the hall and turn into the communal bedroom. When they get to the bed Alice begins to cry and Joan holds her. They rock for a few moments.
ALICE (sobbing): She didn’t change much. She didn’t change enough. She didn’t change.
JOAN: It’s okay Alice, I promise. Sheila wants to be your foster mom.
Alice jerks back out of Joan’s support and wipes her eyes.
ALICE: What? When?
JOAN: Tomorrow Alice. I’m going to your mother’s to collect your belongings and Sheila will be here tomorrow. Now, you just need to smile.