Sophie James..

Waking up hungover from a night of partying. Sophie, a tall slender strong-willed twenty one year old reaches over without looking, grabbing the20oz plastic bottle of Diet Pepsi from her nightstand. Taking a swig, she feels an object on her lip, spitting out liquid “What the fuck?” she snaps. Dropping the bottle to the floor, dirty water and a cigarette butt come streaming out. Grabbing the 2nd 20oz half bottle of Diet Pepsi from the nightstand, taking a swig while heading into the kitchen. Walking in she sees her roommate John Dahl a laid-back cool twenty-something musician eating an egg and cheese sandwich on an English muffin sitting at the table. “Hey, John.”
“Hey, Did I take some girls lipstick last night, I found it in the pocket of my jeans this morning?” laughing “Yeah, she made fun of your ears and got right in your face, stuck her tongue out and shouted AHHHHHH, then pulled it out of her pocket to put on, you grabbed it and walked away.” laughing back “Oh right, she called me Dumbo. She was making fun of the band’s lead singer and I said, well why don’t you go up there and sing then. What the fuck, my ears don’t even stick out that much! She was annoying, little punk.” Sophie grabs the pot of freshly made coffee and pours it into a coffee cup sitting on the counter. Heads to the fridge and grabs the orange juice and grabs a glass from the cupboard and pours. “John, what are you doing today?”
“Got band practice at noon for an hour, then meeting the queen for lunch. Want to meet us at The Garden on Sunset around 1?”
“Yeah sure, it’s always a pleasure seeing the queen. I’ll text ya when I arrive, I can’t get there till around 1:30.”

Sophie is laying on a red velvet couch wearing a long white men’s button-down shirt with the stem of a red rose in her mouth. Richie is photographing her. “Nice Sophie, now tilt your head all the way back over the side.” He moves closer to the couch shooting her from all sides and angles. “Nice, now put the stem behind your ear so just the bud is sticking out.” Sophie obliges. “OK, look down.” Sophie interjects “I wanna try somethin’ .” taking the rose and placing it down her shirt so just the bud is sticking out at the top of her blouse, Richie is into it “Cool I like it.” Richie grabs a hat from the bag on the floor with the logo “The Pythia” on the front tosses it to Sophie, she tosses it right back, “No.” unassuming “Why?”
“Because this is not ‘I’m my father’s daughter’ shoot.” caught off guard “I just thought it would be cute.”
“No, I know you didn’t mean anything by it, he’s a rock legend and he is important to people. I just wanna be known for something other than ‘that’.”
“Fair enough. Now eyes wide, mouth open & stick that tongue out!” He chuckles “Yeah, just like that Soph.”

Sophie is walking onto the patio of the restaurant, she eyes John and his mother Linda Dahl in the back left corner. Sophie’s attention is on Linda “Hi Linda!”
“Hi hun, how are you?”
“Great! Did you two order yet?” John chimed in “Just drinks, we were waiting for you.”
“Oh good, I’m starving! How was practice?”
“It was alright, Tim the new drummer was stoned out of his mind. In the middle of the song, he would zone out and start drumming beats to a whole other song.” Sophie Laughs “Not funny.”
“It’s a little funny. He was changing his tune!” Sophie and Linda laugh in unison. Linda is waving to the waitress, the waitress approaches “Hello all, can I get you a drink?” looking at Sophie “Coors light and a Diet Coke” the waitress nods. All three are eating various mixed salads. John’s eyeing Sophie while eating “So how’s your shoot.”
“OK. Think I got some cool shots out of it and it’s paying the bills. He wanted me to wear a hat with my dad’s band logo on it.”
“Oh, how did that go?”
“It didn’t.” annoyed, Linda harps in “Well, I think it’s insensitive and rude for people to bring up your dad so easily like they have some sort of right. It’s disrespectful and foolish, especially when one takes their own life so tragically!” Sophie happily chirps “Oh, I forgot. I forgot why I loved you.”
“Right back atcha!”
“I’m just so SICK of people’s mindsets and the way some people think! Just because my dad’s life ended tragically and so well known and what happened to my mother, my life or parts of it somehow mirrors that. Or I’m just lost or not well adjusted. It pisses me off! I don’t know if it’s cynicism or laziness that they immediately think that without ‘thinking’. Tragedy doesn’t define us. Plus, it’s about protecting my father’s image as well. Whatever it is I want to change that and a few more things while I’m at it.” John trying to lighten things up “You go, girl.”
“I will! Ahhhhh dork.” Sophie is sticking her tongue out “Gross, you have salad all over your tongue!” Sophie laughs.

Sophie enters a downtown LA office building. She enters through the “Egan Law Firm” office door. She announces to the receptionist that she is here “Hey Sophie, have a seat Jamie will be right out.”
“Thank you.” ten minutes later Jamie Egan, a tall lanky fella, fifties, with thick salt and black pepper hair
“Hi Sophie, how are you?”
“Great thanks, and you?”
“I can’t complain” flashing a kind smile “Oh, and hope your grandma is well too.” walking to his office, attentive “Sophie have you heard from your mother’s lawyer?” Worried, Sophie responds “No, what’s wrong?”
“Don’t worry there’s nothing wrong, we’ll talk and go over everything once we sit in my office.” a shaky Sophie responds “Okay.” Sophie is sitting in a overly large brown leather recliner looking like a fifteen year old “What brings you here in the middle of the month?”
“I wanted to get a cash advance on my monthly stipend” he casually obliges “Sure no problem! So now on to your mother, her lawyer called me two days ago, she is up for early parole and if she is approved she would have done six of her eight year manslaughter sentence. Which if you ask me is very good and both of you are very lucky, and you should be very pleased,” a perturbed Sophie responds “Pleased? Wait what, Manslaughter? God, I hate hearing that, it was self-defense!”
“Sophie, Carrie, your mother was heavily intoxicated, he had blood and bruises on his face and back. And she had his blood under her fingernails when she stabbed him to death seven times. Yes, her lawyer, DA, and the judges knew about his past physical abuse with your mother and other women, and that’s what her lawyer was passionately fighting for.” angrily, Sophie responds “My mom’s cuts and bruises were much worse than his, my stepdad got what he deserved if you asked me.”
“Sophie, the ‘heavily intoxicated’ part was the reason for the non-acquittal.“
“Jamie, I’m getting sick of having to wait each month for MY money.”
“When you turn twenty-five you won’t have to ever again nor come here again, well on a professional level that is, you’re like a second daughter to me and I care about you.”
“I’m having my photographs showcased at an art gallery downtown next month, I can email you an invite?”
“Great, I’d love that!”

Sophie and John are quenching their thirst with a few beers at the local dive bar. “Your dad’s birthday is next week, do you want to get wasted, eat massive amounts of cake and listen to his music all night?”
“Yeah, def!” John slightly tilts his head in gentle wonder “Do you have any memories of him?” Sophie happily responds “I have one or two, him giving me a bath and me sitting on top of his shoulders but I don’t know if they’re just dreams and I’ve mistaken them for reality.”
“How old were you when he died again, I wanna say two?”
“I was one, two weeks shy of turning two.”
“Oh, right!” Sophie quickly changes the subject “Actually, my birthday is in two weeks, wanna come over to grandma’s next Sunday for dinner?”
“Ya, sure.” Sophie is in thought, turns to John “My mom is up for parole next week.”
“Wow, really? That’s great! That went fast, what was it six years?” Sophie nods. Sophie’s phone starts to vibrate, she looks down and springs up from her seat “John, I gotta go.” grabbing her purse “Well wait, what about your tacos?”
“Wrap them up and bring them home with you.” John doesn’t know what to do with himself, Sophie scurries out.
Sophie is lying on her bed while staring at her phone, she sits upright and taps the keypad. A man’s voice echoes throughout the room “Piccard law, Evan speaking.”
“Hi, Evan this is Sophie, Carrie James’ daughter.”
“Oh hi, thanks for calling me back. How are you doing?”
“Doing well, thanks. My lawyer told me my mother was up for early parole, what are her chances of being released?”
“Excellent, she was an upstanding inmate, teaching the other inmates to draw and paint, also the younger ones helping them study for their GED. Plus we have many prior police reports of abuse towards your mother from your stepdad Brian.” Sophie interjects “I KNOW, I’m still angry she was even charged, she was just fighting back.” Evan urgently responds “Sophie, she was highly intoxicated that’s what didn’t work in her favor, and it looked like a mutual physical fight, and some of the police reports your mom filed against him in the past I did not have access to, they somehow ‘went missing’ at the time but I have them now!” Sophie snaps back “Such BullShit!”
“I know, it haunts me to this day. I have been writing and rewriting my speech that is going to get your mother the hell out of there, I will never stop fighting for her until she’s out!”
“I know you will, thank you! Oh, where will she go when she gets out?”
“She’ll go to a halfway house for her parole officer to keep an eye on her until she’s stronger and well assimilated in her surroundings, and she mentioned getting a place and living with you when she gets out.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that, what if I’m not ready.”
“Don’t worry we will work things out and make other arrangements.”
“Okay Evan, thank you!” She leaps up off her bed heads into the kitchen, grabs a Coors Light and hops on the treadmill.

Standing out in front of the Bakersfield Correctional facility, Sophia sees her mom walking through a large gate into the parking lot, she raises her arms high above her head smiling from ear to ear “MOOOOOOOOOOOOM, YOU’RE HERE!”
“HELLO, MY LOVE! I’ve been dreaming of this day for six years!” they run toward each other and tightly embrace. Sophie is at the wheel driving them back to LA, “So how’s ma?”
“You mean grandma, ma? I know she partially raised me, but you were and will always be my mother.”
“I know hun, so where do you want to eat?” with an overly excited smile and in unison “IN-N-OUT BURGER!” both in laughter. Somberly “I’ve been missing Mick, your dad, Sophie.”
”Me too mom. So what do you want to do for work, when you get settled?”
“Oh, I don’t want to think about that right now. I just want to sit next to you and look at your face for a few months.” Sophie sweetly smiles.

Sophie is in a silver tank top and a black mini skirt is walking down Sunset Boulevard. A male passerby driving in a convertible, top down screeches “Sophia, YOU’RE HOT, and your dad is a rock god!” Sophia is pleasantly amused and flashes the ‘heavy metal sign’. Walking along, she takes a shortcut and heads down a dim-lit alley. A guy walking by her in the opposite direction with his head down passes, he comes up from behind wrapping one arm around her neck with a knife in hand and his other hand pulling her head back by her hair. In a scratchy breathy voice, “If you scream I will kill you!” her inner warrior screams back “Like fuck you will!” A bolt of energy went through her and started howling like a dying animal, bit his arm, and kicked him wherever from behind and ran like hell. Once back at her place, alone, she poured a tall glass of vodka, almost to the rim and a tablespoon of orange juice, popped an Ativan, smoked a cigarette, while shaking the whole time, took a shower and went to bed. Sophie is sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee, John walks in “Hey.” Sophie does not respond, John turns towards her and Sophie is quietly weeping, wide-eyed, concerned, “What’s wrong!” Sophie quietly responds “I was walking to the restaurant last night to meet Amy and Julie, and I took a shortcut down an alley, It was a stupid move, I know, and this drugged out creep fuck came at me from behind with a knife and threatened me that if I screamed he would kill me. I started kicking and screaming and bit his arm, broke free and ran. He did not hurt me or did anything I can’t recover from.”
“Oh my god, that fucking scumbag. Are you alright?”
“I will be.”
“Are you going to file a police report?”
“No, I did not see his face nor his clothes, it was one big blur. If the fucker physically hurt me I would.”
“And it’s NOT your fault, people walk down those alleys all the time and it’s fine!” Sophie wipes her eyes with a tissue and blows her nose “John will you come to Enough is Enough, the domestic violence and equal rights rally with me Saturday in downtown, I have something to say?”
“YA, of course!”

Sophie and John are heading to downtown LA, “So do you have a speech written?”
“Yes, it’s written all in my head.” They hop out of his car, both are looking around, a nervous Sophie gasps “My god there’s got to be around five thousand people here, yikes!” John is chilled, “Don’t worry you’ll do fine, you shine under pressure or in a crisis.” Sophie flashed a kind smile at her best friend. Sophie is sweating while walking up to the podium, She stands solid and strong, she begins…”Hi, my name is Sophie James, some may know my dad Mick James from the band The Pythia. I was attacked a few nights ago at knife point while walking alone. His intent was to physically harm me, but I broke free and ran. My mom has been physically and emotionally abused by my former stepdad for years. One night she fought back in self-defense and stabbed him to death, she was NOT acquitted due to being heavily intoxicated and spent six years behind bars. Last year an eighteen year old boy was beaten up by a man for being gay while walking to school. Six months ago a 30-year-old man was raped and murdered in his own home. Sexual and physical violence does NOT discriminate. Men and women hurt emotionally and physically just the same regardless of gender. We must have gender equality NOW, we must have equal rights NOW, we must change mindsets NOW! To men: We NEED your support! To women: We NEED your support! There’s no place for hate, love will always win! Thank you!” the crowd erupts in agreement.

A month passes by, Sophie and Carrie are grocery shopping. “Sophie, I’m ready for us to get our own place together.”
“Mom, shouldn’t you get your own place first to become adjusted to everything, and then I will move in?”
“No, I have been waiting for this for six years, I can only adjust if you’re by my side. John can live with us too.”
“Mom, I don’t know, I think you should live by yourself first.” Carrie mumbles under her breath “I am gonna have a nervous breakdown.”
“What mom?” Carrie drops to the floor in hysterics “I NEED THIS, YOU’RE MY HEART AND I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MY HEART!” Sophie is in shock “MOM, OH MY GOD GET OFF THE FLOOR!” she helps her mother up and runs out the door, holding her up by her underarm. They’re sitting in Sophie’s car, her mother is calm. “So mom, what kind of furniture should we buy for our new place?” Carrie softly weeps.