Ring My Bell

Written by Jeff Mills

This story takes place after the third episode of the the fourth season (Handicaps)

(Bailey is at the library returning some books when he sees an attractive, young woman behind the counter. She has long, dark brown hair and big brown eyes and her name is Michelle.)

Bailey: Hi.
Michelle: Hi.
Bailey: I'm returning these.
Michelle: Oh, thank you!

(Michelle checks in the books and Bailey continues to stare at her.)

Michelle: Okay, Mr. Salinger, you have a good day. (smiles)
Bailey: What? Oh, I'm sorry. I just spaced out for a minute.
Michelle: That's okay. So, your last name is Salinger?
Bailey: Yeah.
Michelle: Like J.D. Salinger, the guy who wrote "Catcher In The Rye."
Bailey: (smiles) Yeah, and no, I haven't read that yet.
Michelle: You should! That is an excellent book! My favorite is "The Crucible" but a very close second is "Catcher In The Rye."
Bailey: I'll have to check that out.

(There are two other librarians working, Diana and April. Both are slightly older women and not a bit happy to see Michelle talking to Bailey, rather than working. Not to mention that both Michelle and Bailey are talking fairly loud for a library.)

Diana: Shhh!
Bailey: I'm sorry.
Michelle: Listen, I really should be going back to work now.
Bailey: Right, well, it was nice..well, it sounds stupid saying this but it was nice meeting you...?
Michelle: (smiles) Michelle.
Bailey: Michelle! (shakes her hand) Hi, I'm Bailey! (smiles)
April: Shhhh! Quiet!
Michelle: (shaking Bailey's hand) Nice to meet you, too, Bailey! Well, stop by again sometime!
Bailey: I will!

(Bailey walks out of the library and then comes back a few seconds later and picks up "Catcher In The Rye" and walks up to Michelle.)

Michelle: Well, that was fast! (laughs)
Bailey: (laughs) I had to come back to get this girl...

(Michelle stares back at Bailey and looks surprised and slowly smiles.)

Bailey: I mean, book! Book! (laughs)

(Michelle smiles)

(Opening credits.)

(Charlie and Julia are having lunch at Salingers'.)
("Building A Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan is playing as background music.)

Charlie: So how would you like to have dinner with us tonight at the house?
Julia: Oh, Charlie, I'd love to but with me and Griffin working long hours lately, we hardly see each other.
Charlie: Okay.
Julia: I'm sorry, Charlie, but things are kind of hectic lately. When things calm down, I promise we'll be there.
Charlie: I know and I understand, Julia, so it's okay.
Julia: So are you going to be going out with anybody again?
Charlie: I don't know. Considering how the last few dates I had went, I'd be better off not leaving the house.
Julia: C'mon, Charlie! You can't give up. I know there is someone out there for you. She's out there, Charlie, and you just can't wait for her to show up. You gotta find her.
Charlie: (laughs) It's funny...
Julia: What's funny?
Charlie: You sound just like mom saying that. She said the same thing to me when I was a kid. I just don't know anymore, Julia.
Julia: Don't be so hard on yourself, Charlie. But if you want my advice, stop waiting for another Kirsten to walk into your life.
Charlie: Whoa, wait a minute, back up! What brought THAT up?
Julia: C'mon, Charlie! It's obvious you're still hung up on her.
Charlie: I'm not hung up on her!
(Julia cocks an eyebrow)
Charlie: Okay, maybe I am a little.
Julia: I knew it! (smirks) I know it's hard for you, Charlie, but you can't just give up.
Charlie: (takes a long pause) You know, something, Jule, you don't know. And I'm not trying to sound mean saying that but you don't. I mean, it is very hard to be a single parent because people see you and that's cool. But when they find out you have kids, they get turned off.
Julia: Well, no offense, Charlie, but Claudia told me you went out on a date with a woman who told you she had twins and you freaked out.
Charlie: I did NOT freak out. Okay, so I admit I DID do that and it was stupid of me to do that.
Julia: So why did you do it, Charlie?
Charlie: I...I don't know. I guess I was being hypocritical, that's all. (sighs and rubs his hands over his eyes) Jule, what am I gonna do?
Julia: Well, if I were you, Charlie, I would get over Kirsten and keep trying to find someone. But I know I have to get back to work so I'll see you later! (kisses Charlie on the cheek) Bye!
Charlie: Bye! (talking to himself) There goes another woman who walks away from me!

(An elderly man smiles and looks up at Charlie)

Charlie: (laughs) I'm sorry, can I help you?
Elderly man: I was beginning to ask you the same thing. You okay?
Charlie: Yeah, don't mind me. I was just talking to myself.
Elderly man: Oh, don't worry, I won't interrupt. (laughs as Charlie smirks back at him)

(Claudia is walking down the hallways at school when she hears some football players talking about Bailey.)

Football Player 1: No way! Claudia Salinger's brother is an alcoholic?
Football Player 2: Yeah, man! And get this, he almost put this girl through a windshield last year!
Football Player 1: No way!
Football Player 3: I heard it was his girlfriend or his ex-girlfriend or something.
Football Player 2: Yeah, that's it!
Football Player 3: Did you notice that Claudia wasn't at the gym when he gave that speech on alcoholism?
Football Player 2: Can you blame her? If my brother was a drunk, I wouldn't want his sorry ass coming to my school either. (they all laugh)

(Claudia is listening and starts to get very angry and tears begin to form in her eyes as she walks over to the football players.)

Football Player 1: What is it like to have Bailey Salinger as your brother? That's what I'd like to know!
Football Player 2: Yeah!
Claudia: I'll tell you what it's like.

(They all turn towards Claudia)

Claudia: My brother made a lot of mistakes and did some stupid things...but my brother is no "sorry ass." He's the best older brother anyone could have.

(The football players all laugh and mumble insults under their breath about Bailey and Claudia. Suddenly, out from nowhere, Reed shows up.)

Reed: Hey!

(The football players shut up and stare at Reed)

Reed: That's enough, guys! I know her brother and I think he's alright. So why don't you all just leave Claudia alone and shut up?

(The football players shut up and shut their lockers and walk away. Claudia stares at Reed with a big smile on her face and tears still in her eyes.)

Claudia: Thank you for doing that.
Reed: Sure. No problem. (Reed notices the tears in Claudia's eyes) Hey, are you okay?
Claudia: Yeah.
Reed: You look like you've been crying. Let me wipe those tears away from you. (Reed gently wipes her tears away with his hand and Claudia smiles even bigger.)

Reed: There! (smiles)
Claudia: Thank you! (smiles)

(Reed and Claudia stare into each other's eyes for a few seconds and are about to kiss when the school bell rings.)

Reed: Um, I'll see you later, Claudia!

(Reed goes to his next class as Claudia looks sad, disappointed that they didn't get to have their first kiss.)

Claudia: (talking to herself) I guess this is what they mean by "Saved by the bell." (Claudia slams her locker hard in frustration)

(Fade out into commercial.)

(Fade in. Bailey walks into the apartment and sees Sarah.)
("Cool With You" by Jennifer Love Hewitt plays as background music.)

Bailey: Hi!
Sarah: Hi! Where did you go?
Bailey: I had to drop off some books at the library.
Sarah: Oh? Well, my parents called again.
Bailey: Again?
Sarah: Yeah.
Bailey: So, did you talk to them?
Sarah: No, they left a message on the answering machine and gave the usual "Sarah, you're making a big mistake! Please come home!" speech. God, I wish they would just leave me alone!
Bailey: Yeah, me too. So, guess what I finally got?
Sarah: What?
Bailey: (holding up a copy of "The Catcher In The Rye") "The Catcher In The Rye" finally!
Sarah: Wow, about time! (smiles)
Bailey: Yeah. I had a really great day at the library today. In fact, I met a girl, too.
Sarah: (somewhat taken aback) A girl?
Bailey: Yeah. Her name is Michelle and she works as a librarian there. She's really pretty and fun too.
Sarah: Cool....
Bailey: Yeah, and I think I'm going to ask her out on a date the next time I see her.
Sarah: A date? Bailey, don't you think this is a bit too...premature?
Bailey: No! I mean, I don't think so. I mean, we only talked for a few minutes but there was great chemistry between us. You know, like when you know someone is interested in you?
Sarah: Right..or when sometimes they are interested in you and you don't know.
Bailey: Not really. I can just tell that she likes me. (smiles and nods his head up and down) Well, I'm going to change. I'll be right back. (Bailey leaves the room to change his clothes)
Sarah: (talking to herself) Looks to me like you already HAVE changed, Bailey.

(Charlie is at the restauraunt and is feeling nautious. Patrick, a co-worker, notices his face is pale and walks over towards him.)

Patrick: Charlie, are you alright?
Charlie: I'm not sure...I don't feel so good...
Patrick: What's wrong?
Charlie: I feel like I'm gonna get sick...
Patrick: Oh geez! Go to the restroom, Charlie and I'll cover for you.
Charlie: Okay...(Charlie runs to the restroom and throws up into the toilet.)

(Charlie wipes his mouth with toilet paper and throws the toilet paper into the toilet. Charlie flushes the toilet and washes his hands and face, which is caked in sweat, along with the rest of his body. Also, Charlie notices some bumps on his skin and also that he looks thinner than normal but passes it off and continues to wash his face and hands.)

(Claudia is waiting for Reed to get out of school. He doesn't show up and she looks sad when suddenly he puts his hands over her eyes from behind her.)

Reed: Guess who?
Claudia: Reed?
Reed: (taking his hands off her eyes) You guessed right!
Claudia: (smiles) Hi!
Reed: Hi!

(Claudia and Reed both look at each other again)

Reed: Now where were we earlier....

(They are about to kiss when Reed is interrupted by Jennifer, a cheerleader.)

Jennifer: Hi Reed!
Reed: Hi, Jennifer....
Jennifer: So are you going to Powder Puff football Friday night?
Reed: Maybe....
Jennifer: What do you mean, maybe?
Reed: Well, I was thinking of going out with someone Friday night. (looking at Claudia)
Jennifer: Oh! Well, if you change your mind! (smiles) Bye, Reed!
Reed: Bye, Jennifer! Thank God!
Claudia: (laughs) So...who are you going out with?
Reed: A little nosy for a possum, aren't you?
Claudia: (nervously laughs) Well..I'm sorry but I'm curious...
Reed: I can't tell you that.
Claudia: Why not?
Reed: Only if.
Claudia: Only if what?
Reed: Only if you let me take you home.
Claudia: (smiles) Okay!

(Reed and Claudia get into Reed's car and he drives the car down the street in a secluded area.)

Claudia: Reed, what are we doing here? I don't live here.
Reed: I know that.
Claudia: So...why did you stop here?
Reed: Because....
Claudia: Because what?
Reed: Because I want to do this..(Reed kisses Claudia)

(Claudia takes a deep breath and sighs happily and smiles.)

Reed: Now, I'll take you home! (smiles)
Claudia: The hell you will! (grabs Reed and kisses him)

(Charlie arrives at home and is greeted at the door by Joe, who is babysitting Owen for him.)

Joe: Charlie, how you doing?
Charlie: Not so good, Joe...

(Owen and Thurber greet Charlie.)

Owen: Charlie! (runs up to Charlie and tries to hug him but Charlie resists)
Charlie: No, no, Owen, I'm sick. I'm sorry, but I don't want to give you my germs.
Joe: What's the matter, Charlie?
Charlie: I don't know...it might be food poisoning, I think. I had lunch with Julia and after that I felt really bad.
Joe: Sounds like food poisoning alright. You want me to get you some aspirin?
Charlie: No. I think I'll lie down and take a nap and hopefully I'll feel better. I'm just really tired.
Joe: Well, do you want me to stay for awhile? I mean, it's no trouble at all, Charlie.
Charlie: If you don't mind, Joe, I'd appreciate it. Just do it until Claudia gets home and that'll be a big help.
Joe: Okay, Charlie.

(Charlie goes upstairs)

Owen: Is Charlie okay?
Joe: No, Owen, he is sick.
Owen: How come?
Joe: Well, we don't know but after he takes a nap he'll feel a lot better. (smiles)

(Charlie is looking at himself in the mirror and notices more bumps and what appears to be scabs all over his chest and neck.)

Charlie: (to himself) This can't be food poisoning.

(Fade out to commercial.)
(Fade in. Claudia and Reed arrive at the Salingers' house)

Reed: Well....
Claudia: Well....
Reed: I'll see you tomorrow!
Claudia: You too! (smiles)

(Reed and Claudia kiss again)

Claudia: Well, bye, Reed! (smiles)
Reed: See you tomorrow, pumpkin!
Claudia: Bye! (smiles brightly and gets out of the car
(Claudia waves to Reed as he drives away)

Claudia: (to herself) Pumpkin...I could get used to hearing that.

(Claudia walks into the house and is greeted by Joe.)

Claudia: Joe! What are you doing still here?
Joe: Hi, Claudia! Your brother, Charlie, didn't feel well so he left work early and asked me to stay a little longer until you got home.
Claudia: Is he okay?
Joe: Yeah, we think it's just food poisoning because he felt sick after having lunch with Julia. I'm sure he'll be okay, Claudia.
Claudia: Where is he now?
Joe: He's up in his room asleep. Now, Claudia, I just took Thurber out so he doesn't have to go for awhile and Owen is taking a nap so call me if you need me okay?
Claudia: Okay, Joe. Thanks!

(Joe kisses Claudia on the cheek)

Joe: Bye! (smiles and leaves)

(Claudia is so happy and in high spirits because she and Reed finally kissed and he asked her out. She starts spinning around in circles and has a big smile on her face.)

Claudia: (to herself) I have just had the greatest day of my life...and I have no one to talk about it with.

(Bailey is back at the library, waiting outside for Michelle to come out. The library has already closed. Bailey looks at his watch and sees that it is 6:15p.m.)

Bailey: Come on, come on!

(Michelle, Diana and April walk out and exchange "Good nights" with each other. Michelle then sees Bailey and smiles.)

Bailey: Hi!
Michelle: Hi, Bailey!
Bailey: Wow, you remembered my name! (smiles)
Michelle: How could I forget? (smiles) So what brings you here?
Bailey: I walked here.
Michelle You walked? Earlier too?
Bailey: Yeah, it's not too far from where I live though.
Michelle: Oh. So why are you here?
Bailey: Well, Michelle, I was wondering...
Michelle: You remembered my name, too! (smiles)
Bailey: Yeah! (smiles) Yeah, and I was wondering if I could have your phone number so I could call you sometime.
Michelle: (smiles) Sure. (hands Bailey a piece of paper with her phone number on it.)
Bailey: That was quick! (laughs)
Michelle: I figured you'd be back so I wrote it down anyways, just in case.
Bailey: (smiles)

("Every Night" by Paul McCartney plays as background music)

Bailey: Well, I'll call you tomorrow! And I WILL call you! (smiles)
Michelle: You better! (laughs and smiles)
Bailey: Well, good night, Michelle.
Michelle: Good night, Bailey.

(Michelle walks away when Bailey calls to her)

Bailey: Michelle!
Michelle: Yeah?
Bailey: I never got your last name.
Michelle: Oh! It's Bell.
Bailey: Michelle Bell...has a nice ring to it.
Michelle: (smiles) Bye, bye, Bailey!

(Julia is in her apartment and going through some letters. They are letters written by Justin and sent to her from Europe. Julia throws away all the letters and begins to take out the trash when the telephone rings.)

Julia: Hello?
Justin: Julia, it's me, Justin.
Julia: What do you want?
Justin: I want you to talk to me. Can you please talk to me for five minutes without hanging up the phone on me?
Julia: I guess....
Justin: Good. So I'm back home now, have been for the last month or so. You probably already knew that though.
Julia: Yeah, I knew.
Justin: So why haven't you written me back? Are you trying to pretend that what happened this summer didn't happen?
Julia: No, Justin, but it was a mistake, a huge mistake.
Justin: (takes a long pause) Funny...it wasn't a huge mistake at the time.
Julia: (angrily) Oh, c'mon, Justin! Will you just let it go?

(Just then, Griffin comes in the house and overhears Julia arguing with Justin on the phone.)

Griffin: Julia
? Justin: Who is that, Griffin?
Julia: (looks at Griffin with tears slowly forming in her eyes and her face flush red with anger) Yeah.
Griffin: Juia, what's going on? Who's on the phone?
Justin: Tell him the truth, Julia!
Julia: Go to hell! (hangs up the phone and starts crying)
Griffin: What the hell was that all about? Who was that?
Julia: Justin...he has been harassing me ever since we left Europe.
Griffin: Justin? Why is he harassing you?
Julia: I don't know...he evidently still has feelings for me and he hasn't gotten over us...and he thinks I still love him.
Griffin: Do you?
Julia: No! I love you, Griffin, you know that.
Griffin: I know. C'mere.

(Julia runs over to Griffin and hugs him and Griffin pats her on the back reminding her "It's gonna be alright")

("Rainy Days And Mondays" by The Carpenters plays as background music.)

(Bailey walks into the Salingers' house and sees Claudia and Owen sitting on the couch, Owen asleep in Claudia's arms and Thurber asleep beside them on the floor. Claudia looks up at Bailey.)

Claudia: Hey, Bailey!
Bailey: Hey! How's everything going?
Claudia: Great! (smiles) I have good news!
Bailey: So do I! (smiles)
Claudia: You first!
Bailey: I met this great girl today and I asked her out. Her name is Michelle Bell and she works at the library down the road.
Claudia: Michelle Bell...that has a good ring to it!
Bailey: Yeah! And she gave me her phone number too so I'm gonna call her tomorrow and ask her out!
Claudia: Great! Well, Bailey, guess what? Reed and I kissed for the first time today!
Bailey: Really? Well, that's great, Claud! Congratulations! (smiles)
Claudia: Yeah, and he asked me out too! (smiles) Isn't that great?
Bailey: That's great, Claudia! (smiles)

(Owen wakes up upon hearing Claudia and Bailey talking back and forth.)

Owen: Hi, Bailey!
Bailey: Hey, Owe! Where is Charlie?
Claudia: Oh, he was sick today and he left work early. He's asleep up in his bedroom.
Bailey: All this time?
Claudia: Yeah. I'm not sure but I think he has food poisoning or something. We probably should let him rest so he'll feel better tomorrow.
Bailey: I guess so. Well, Claud and Owe, it looks like it's just us three eating dinner tonight.

(Bailey, Claudia and Owen continue talking as camera pans to shot of Charlie lying in bed and coughing what sounds like a whooping cough. He then stops and is lying in his bed drenched in perspiration. He lays on his back and stares at the wall and starts to cry in pain. He can overhear his siblings talking about him downstairs and keeps hearing the words "food" and "poisoning" and he fears that what he has is not food poisoning, but a far worse disease as rain is heard outside and the scene ends with overview of the Salinger house being pummeled by rain.)

(Fade out.)