Dappa Doo and Taylor, too…
Movie proposal for The Hallmark Channel
(via Daryl Mallet and Gianna Montelaro)
Written by Mark Crockett
Dappa sittin’ on a tree stump
waitin’ by the way.
Too comes over, you know
what he’s gonna say.
“Dappa you know you gonna
be my girl,”
“not nowToo, I gotta see
Playmates, confidants and damn-near siblings (they’ve lived across the street from each other in the bedroom community of Verona, PA since forever), Taylor James Barnes (“Tayler Too”) and Daphne Bambi Wilson (“Dappa Doo”-she’s older by twenty-seven minutes) have been the ying to the other’s yang since birth. By all accounts (by both sets of parents) Dappa is the rabble-rouser of this pair. Save the dolphins, end homelessness and recycle EVERYTHING (with the weekend lemonade stands, cookie sales and carwashes to prove it), this head cheerleader, Senior class president and Yearbook editor at Riverview High School is a firebrand lighting the way to whatever change she’s demanding to see. By the time Senior Prom rolls around (Taylor was her date ‘cause all the other boys in the school were terrified of her intensity, brains and lighting quick mouth), Dappa had already laid before her a roadmap to conquering the world (she’ll have to catch a ride though, she was scared to death of driving). Her Junior year at Carnegie-Mellon University (a double major of Poly Sci/Broadcast Journalism on a full ride academic scholarship) CNN-Atlanta came a-callin’ with a summer internship in their story research department.
She jumped on board and never looked back.
Completing both degrees in record time online, Daphne quickly rose through the ranks and-within four years-became CNN’s go to award winning photo-journalist crisscrossing the world’s hotspots for months at a time leaving in her wake breathtaking images of people at their best during the worst of times.
Then, there’s Taylor.
Laid back, unflappable and really, really good at bowling, Taylor James Barnes could be the spiritual son of “The Big Lebowski” hero if said had a near genius IQ. A tinkerer by nature, Taylor was the go to guy for the Jocks, Nerds and those creepyGoth kids when their computers, Junker cars or the like stopped working. It might take a minute or two, but this guy could fix anything. Well, almost anything. Taylor has been knockdown, drag-out, hopelessly in love with Daphne since Freshman year in High School, but has been resigned to the friend-zone since puberty ‘cause he just can’t figure out how to tell her so. An average student (save for English Literature-he’s a freak for Shakespeare), Taylor saunters his way to dual degrees in Creative Writing/Eastern Philosophy from Pennsylvania State University.Booking after graduation to Phoenix, Arizona (Pittsburgh didn’t feel the same without Daphne though they kept in contact through actual letters and post cards), Taylor settled into teaching high school English, restoring a rust-bucket ’64 Ford Impala SS he’d found in a Mesa, AZ junkyard and writing his first novel-an epic tale of love lost, love found and a renowned chef’s desperate hunt for the perfect ingredients to a spicy vegan mayonnaise.
Then Daphne got sick.
Collapsing at a refugee internment camp in Libya where she was filming a documentary, Taylor was the first to hear about it (both had the other listed as emergency contacts). He was on the phone (to their parents) and on his way (to the airport) within the hour.Landing more the half a day laterin Cairo, Egypt, Taylor is shocked at what he sees when he enters the hospital room; a gaunt and listless Daphne barely conscious and suffering from acute exhaustion and dehydration hooked up to IV’s and beeping medical machines. Not taking no for an answer, Taylor stays with her until she’s well enough to travel, then shepherds her to the second bedroom in his condo in Tempe, AZ. Over the course of three summer months, he nurses her back to health (taking away both of her business laptops, both business phones and replacing them with homecooked meals-origami animals with breakfast-and a stack of books she’s always wanted to get to but never had the time to read). Daphne-in this time-finally sees the love Taylor has always had for her but is preoccupied with getting back into the fight (and limelight). As a new school year is closing in, Daphne is close to one hundred percent again and decides to surprise Taylor with an extravagant meal (from a group of recipes she finds in several of his cookbooks) she cooks herself. Taylor gets home from a teacher conference to find his kitchen in shambles and a truly inedible meal-backed by a nervous smile on Daphne’s face-waiting for him.
Chipper and with many a compliment, he downs every bite.
Days before she’s about to leave, Taylor takes her for a ride in his newly restored Impala. Asking her if she’s ever got around to getting her driver’s license, she sheepishly tells him no. That next day he gets her out of bed, hands her a travel cup of coffee and takes her to a huge (It’s Labor Day), empty Costco parking lot where he gently instructs her on the finer points of driving. At the day’s end, it’s she that drives them to the supermarket where they pick up groceries for the meal they cook together that night. Both spend the night in opposite bedrooms tossing and turning-Daphne looking at her packed bags and Taylor just looking at the ceiling. The next day Taylor tries to stay upbeat as he drives the now healthy Daphne to the airport for her flight to CNN headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Both hug for a long time and when they break, both are a bit teary eyed. Seeing Daphne putting on a brave face he asks if she’s okay.
He also-to his dismay-blurts out ‘I love you’.
Daphne freeze’s up hugs him again and mutters something into his chest. Taylor stays quiet- thinking he’s messed up-and quickly says goodbye. Both head in opposite directions. Daphne gets to the back of a long TSA line and looks back tho’ there’s no way she can see Taylor.Taylor-on his way down a long airport corridor-stops and turns around, looking back from wends he came. He turns back to the airport exit and slowly starts walking again. Just as he gets to the outer doors of Phoenix Sky Harbor he hears a loud shout.
Turning around he sees Daphne-carry on luggage, purse and laptop bags flopping all about her as she makes a dead run toward him. Sprinting the distance to him, she drops everything and launches herself into his arms. Crying while laughing, she kisses him sloppily before coming up for air.
“I love you, too.” She says.
A long kiss later, she breaks from him and they gather her spilled belongings while people around them clap. Daphne is the first one to speak.
“So…you wanna have a girlfriend?”
A look of mock seriousness covers Taylors face when he answers her.
“Well, only if she doesn’t cook.”
Both crack up laughing as-arm in arm-they walkout of the exit door into the sunshine…