Vance: [reading a card that Tom has written] Roses are red, violets are blue... Fuck you, whore!

Author's Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.

Rachel Hansen: Look, I know you think she was the one, but I don't. Now, I think you're just remembering the good stuff. Next time you look back, I, uh, I really think you should look again.

Narrator: If Tom had learned anything... it was that you can't ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence, that's all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence... Tom had finally learned, there are no miracles. There's no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now.

Tom: People don't realize this, but loneliness is underrated.

Paul: Robyn is better than the girl of my dreams. She's real.

Narrator: This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met "the one." This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total misreading of the movie 'The Graduate.' The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage she'd only loved two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.

Tom: It's these cards and the movies and the pop songs, they're to blame for all lies and the heartache, everything.

Tom: I love how she makes me feel, like anything's possible, or like life is worth it.

Rachel Hansen: Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate.

Tom: You don't want to be named as anybody's girlfriend, and now you're someone's wife?

Summer: [Tom is listening to headphones in an elevator with Summer. She notices the music] I love the Smiths.

Tom: Sorry?

Summer: I said I love the Smiths.

Summer: [they stare at each other for a moment] You... You have good taste in music.

Tom: [repeating after her] You... like the Smiths?

Summer: [singing] To die by your side, such a heavenly way to die.

[speaking]

Summer: I love em.

Tom: [elevator stops, Summer leaves while Tom remains dumbfounded] Holy shit.

Tom: Yeah, uh, this is... And Rhoda, no disrespect, but um, this is total shit.

McKenzie: Tom!

Tom: "Go for it" "You can do it"? That's not inspirational, that's suicidal. If pickles goes for it right there, that's a dead cat. These are lies. We're liars. Think about it. Why do people buy these things? It's not 'cause they wanna say how they feel. People buy cards 'cause they can't say how they feel or they're afraid too. We provide the service that lets them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Let's level with America. At least let them speak for themselves! Right? I mean, look! What-What is this? What does it say? "Congratulations on your new baby." Right? How 'bout, "Congratulations on your new baby. Guess that's it for hanging out. Nice knowing you."

Vance: Sit down, Hansen.

Tom: How bout this one, with all the pretty hearts on the front? I think I know where this ones going. Yep! "Happy Valentines Day, sweetheart. I love you." That sweet? Ain't love grand? This is exactly what I'm talking about. What does that even mean, "love"? Do you know? Do you? Anybody?

McKenzie: Tom...

Tom: If somebody gave me this card, Mr. Vance, I would eat it. It's these cards, and the movies and the pop songs, they're to blame for all the lies and the heartache, everything. We're responsible. *I'm responsible.* I think we do a bad thing here. People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, not you know, some words that some stranger put in their mouths. Words like "love"... that don't mean anything. Sorry, I'm sorry. I, uh... I quit. I'm... There's enough bullshit in the world without my help.

Summer: I just... I just woke up one day and I knew.

Tom: Knew what?

Summer: What I was never sure of with you.

Tom: What happened? Why? Why didn't they work out?

Summer: What always happens. Life.

Narrator: Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and they end with no lasting memory made in between. Most days have no impact on the course of a life.

Tom: Darling...

[Summer looks up at him]

Tom: I don't know how to tell you this, but... there's a Chinese family in our bathroom.

Tom: She took a giant shit on my face. Literally.

Alison: Literally?

Tom: Not literally. That's disgusting. Jesus. What's the matter with you?

Tom: Do you ever do this, you think back on all the times you've had with someone and you just replay it in your head over and over again and you look for those first signs of trouble?

Summer: Well, you know, I guess it's 'cause I was sitting in a deli and reading Dorian Gray and a guy comes up to me and asks me about it and... now he's my husband.

Tom: Yeah. And... So?

Summer: So, what if I'd gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I'd gotten there 10 minutes later? It was, it was meant to be. And... I just kept thinking... Tom was right.

Tom: No.

Summer: Yeah, I did.

[laughs]

Summer: I did. It just wasn't me that you were right about.

Tom: Look, we don't have to put a label on it. That's fine. I get it. But, you know, I just... I need some consistency.

Summer: I know.

Tom: I need to know that you're not gonna wake up in the morning and feel differently.

Summer: And I can't give you that. Nobody can.

Narrator: As he listened, Tom began to realize that these stories weren't routinely told. These were stories one had to earn. He could feel the wall coming down. He wondered if anyone else had made it this far. Which is why the next six words changed everything.

Summer: I've never told anybody that before.

Tom: I guess I'm not just anybody.

Tom: My name's Tom.

Girl at Interview: [shaking hands] Nice to meet you. I'm Autumn.

Summer: It just wasn't me that you were right about.

Tom: [Montage of Summer] I hate her crooked teeth. I hate her 1960s haircut. I hate her knobby knees. I hate her cockroach-shaped splotch on her neck. I hate the way she smacks her lips before she talks. I hate the way she sounds when she laughs.

[Fade to black as Swayze's "She's Like the Wind" plays briefly]

Tom: I HATE THIS SONG!

Bus Driver: [Open to Tom standing while bus comes to a sudden stop] Son, you need to get off the bus.

Tom: What happens if you fall in love?

Summer: Well, you don't believe that, do you?

Tom: It's love. It's not Santa Claus.

Narrator: Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin, and they end, with no lasting memories made in between. Most days have no impact on the course of a life. May 23rd was a Wednesday.

Tom: Either she's an evil, emotionless, miserable human being, or... she's a robot.

Tom: It's official. I'm in love with Summer.

[while Montage of Summer plays]

Tom: I love her smile. I love her hair. I love her knees. I love how she licks her lips before she talks. I love her heart-shaped birthmark on her neck. I love it when she sleeps.

Summer: All we ever do is argue!

Tom: That is bullshit!

Girl at Interview: Have I seen you before?

Tom: Me? I don't think so.

Girl at Interview: Do you ever go to Angelus Plaza?

Tom: Yes. That's, like, my favorite spot in the city.

Girl at Interview: Yeah. Okay, except for the parking lots, but...

Tom: Yeah. I agree.

Girl at Interview: Yeah, yeah. I think I've seen you there.

Tom: Really?

Girl at Interview: Yeah.

Tom: I haven't seen you.

Girl at Interview: You must not have been looking...

Summer: We're just fr...

Tom: [Interrupting] No! Don't pull that with me! This is not how you treat your friend! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in IKEA? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!

Rachel Hansen: Now look, if it were me, I'd find out now before you show up at her place and, well... She's in bed with Lars from Norway.

Tom: Who's Lars from Norway?

Rachel Hansen: Just some guy she met at the gym with Brad Pitt's face and Jesus' abs.

Tom: People should be able to say how they feel - how they really feel - not, you know, some words that some strangers put in their mouths.

Vance: Misery, sadness, loss of faith, no reason to live... This is perfect for you.

Tom: That was actually my nickname in college. They called me "Perfectly Adequate" Hansen.

[Starts to take a drink of champagne]

Summer: They used to call me "Anal Girl".

[Tom nearly gags on his drink from that and looks at her like "What?"]

Summer: I was very neat and organized.

Partygoer: So Tom, what is it that you do?

Tom: I uh, I write greeting cards.

Summer: Tom could be a really great architect if he wanted to be.

Partygoer: That's unusual, I mean, what made you go from one to the other?

Tom: I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that lasts forever, like a greeting card.

Tom: Nobody loves Ringo Starr.

Summer: That's what I love about him.

Tom: [the girl at the job interview agrees to meet Tom for coffee afterward] We'll figure it out. My name's Tom.

Girl at Interview: [Last lines of the film] Nice to meet you.

[Shakes his hand]

Girl at Interview: I'm Autumn.

[Tom looks at the camera in amazement. Film cuts to a title card with a "1" indicating the first day of Tom's relationship with Autumn]

Summer: There's no such thing as love, it's fantasy...

Summer: We've been like Sid and Nancy for months now.

Tom: Summer, Sid stabbed Nancy, seven times with a kitchen knife, I mean we have some disagreements but I hardly think I'm Sid Vicious.

Summer: No, I'm Sid.

Tom: Oh, so I'm Nancy...

[Pancakes arrive]

Summer: Let's just eat and we'll talk about it later. Mmm, that is good, I'm really glad we did this. I love these pancakes... What?

[Tom gets up and walks away from the table]

Summer: Tom, don't go! You're still my best friend!

Tom: Paul, seriously...

Paul: Did you bang her?

Tom: No.

Paul: What, hum job? Hand job?

Tom: Man, no. No jobs. I'm still unemployed. We - we kissed.

Narrator: There's only two kinds of people in the world. There's women, and there's men. Summer Finn was a woman. Height, average. Weight, average. Shoe size, slightly above average. For all intents and purposes, Summer Finn was just another girl. Except she wasn't.

Narrator: For Tom Hansen, this was the night where everything changed. That wall Summer so often hid behind - the wall of distance, of space, of casual - that wall was slowly coming down. For here was Tom, in her world... a place few had been invited to see with their own eyes. And here was Summer, wanting him there. Him, no one else.

Narrator: Tom walked to her apartment, intoxicated by the promise of the evening. He believed that this time his expectations would align with reality...

Rachel Hansen: You know, my friends are all in love with you. You know, it's like we said. Plenty of other fish in the sea.

Tom: [Looks at a group of twelve year old girls who wave at him and giggle] Thanks. But, uh, those are guppies.

Rachel Hansen: [Chuckles] Yeah.

McKenzie: Hey, don't you have like 20 cards to write by Friday?

Tom: Nope, all done.

McKenzie: Really? Well, could you help me with mine? Because I'm running out of ways to say "Congratulations". So far, I've got: "Congrats", "Good job" and "Well done".

Tom: Hmmm. How about..."Every day you make me proud. But today you get a card."

McKenzie: Shit, that's good!

Tom: I know.

Summer: I named my cat after Springsteen.

Tom: No kidding. What was his name?

Summer: Bruce.

Tom: Oh... That makes sense.

Narrator: In 1998, Summer quoted a song by the Scottish band, Belle and Sebastian, in her high school yearbook. "Color my life with the chaos of trouble."

Rachel Hansen: PMS?

Tom: What do you know about PMS?

Rachel Hansen: More than you, Tom.

Tom: This is lies. We are liars. Think about it. Why do people buy cards? It's not because they want to say how they feel. People buy cards because they can't say they feel or are afraid to. And we provide the service that let's them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Let's level with America. Or at least let them speak for themselves. Right?

Vance: [talking to camera] I've been happily married for 30 years. She's the light that guides me home.

[pause]

Vance: Yes, it is from one of our cards.

[pause]

Vance: No, someone else wrote it. Doesn't make it less true.

McKenzie: Love... shit, I don't know. As long as she's cute and she's willing, right?

[Turns serious]

McKenzie: I'm flexible on the cute.

Summer: You guys need anything?

Tom: [provocatively] Oh, I think you know what I need.

Summer: [looks at Tom, quizzically]

Tom: [quietly] Some toner.

Tom: People buy cards 'cause they can't say how they feel, or they're afraid to. We provide the service that lets them off the hook.

McKenzie: Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Summer: The lady dothn't. There's no such thing as love. It's a fantasy.

Tom: Well, I think you're wrong.

Summer: Okay. Well... What is it that I'm missing then?

Tom: I think you know it when you feel it.

Summer: I guess we can just agree to disagree.

McKenzie: Hey, maybe you should write a book.

Tom: What?

McKenzie: Well, you know, Henry Miller said the best way to get over a woman is to turn her into literature.

Tom: That guy had a lot more sex than me.

Summer: I like being on my own. Relationships are messy and people's feelings get hurt. Who needs it? We're young. We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Might as well have fun while we can and save the serious stuff for later.

Paul: [Opens the door to Tom's apartment] We didn't know who to call.

McKenzie: It's Amanda Heller all over again.

Rachel Hansen: You did the right thing.

Tom: You know what sucks? Realizing that everything you believe in is complete and utter bullshit. It sucks.

Summer: What do you mean?

Tom: Uh, you know. Destiny, and soul mates, and true love. And all that childhood fairytale nonsense. You were right. I should have listened to you.

Tom: [split screen scene on the train about Millie's wedding] Yeah, but you said you were going that's why I'm going.

McKenzie: And that's why I called her last night, told her I was sick. Like a ninja.

Narrator: Summer's employment at the Daily Freeze during her sophomore year coincides with an inexplicable 212% increase in revenue. Every apartment Summer rented was offered at an average rate of 9.2% below market value. And her round-trip commute to work averaged 18.4 double-takes per day. It was a rare quality, this "Summer effect." Rare, and yet something every post-adolescent male has encountered at least once in their lives. For Tom Hansen to find it now in a city of 400,000 offices, 91,100 buildings and 3.8 million people... Well, that could only be explained by one thing... Fate.

Tom: [On a date at IKEA] Home sweet home.

Summer: Our place is really lovely, isn't it?

Tom: Yes.

Summer: Ooh! Idol's on... The TV's not working.

Tom: Oh... Well, I'm famished. Let's eat.

Tom: [walks into kitchen] Mmm. Smells delicious.

Summer: Oh, honey, that's because it is delicious. I made it myself.

Tom: Bald eagle.

Summer: Your favorite.

Tom: Mm-hmmm.

Summer: The sink's broken.

Tom: Well, that's okay because... that's why we bought a home with two kitchens.

Summer: You're so smart. I'll race you to the bedroom.

Tom: [they both lean in for a kiss] Darling, I don't know how to tell you this, but... there's a Chinese family in our bathroom.

Tom: [speaks to himself in mirror] Okay. Settle. She's just a girl. Just a girl. She wants to keep it casual, which is why she's in my bed right now. But that's casual. That's what casual people do. That's fine. That's great.

[walks out to see Summer in bed, naked]

Tom: Hi.

Summer: Hi.

Tom: Hey, Summer.

Summer: Hi.

Tom: How was your weekend?

Summer: It was *good*.

McKenzie: You'll meet somebody new. Point is, you're the best guy I know. You'll get over her.

Tom: Can you believe that shit?

McKenzie: I'm sorry what shit?

Paul: I think I missed something.

Tom: She said, "It was good." Emphasis on the "good." She basically said she spent the weekend having sex with some guy she met at the gym. Skank. Whatever, I'm over her.

McKenzie: What the hell is wrong with you?

Tom: I'm messed up. I am. You know, on the one hand, I want to forget her. On the other hand, I know that she's the only person in the entire universe that will make me happy.

Alison: Can I ask you a question?

Tom: Yeah.

Alison: She never cheated on you?

Tom: No. Never.

Alison: She ever take advantage of you in any way?

Tom: No...

Alison: And she told you upfront that she didn't want a boyfriend?

Tom: Yeah...

Tom: It pains me that we live in a world where nobody's heard of Spearmint.

Rachel Hansen: Look, it's easy, Tom. Just don't be a pussy.

McKenzie: So, do you have a boyfriend?

Summer: No...

McKenzie: Why not?

Summer: 'Cause I don't want one.

McKenzie: Come on. I don't believe that.

Summer: You don't believe that a woman could enjoy being free and independent?

McKenzie: [robotic voice] Are you a lesbian?

Summer: No, I'm not a lesbian. I just don't feel comfortable being anyone's girlfriend. I don't actually feel comfortable being anyone's anything, you know?

McKenzie: Okay. Who's singing next?

Summer: I nominate young Werther here.

Tom: I'm not really drunk enough...

Summer: Bartender!

Summer: Is that true?

Tom: Yeah, yeah. He drinks and he sings and just loses his shit.

Summer: No, uh, not McKenzie. Um, the other thing...

Tom: What thing?

Summer: Do you... like me?

Tom: [laughs] Yeah. Yeah, of course I like you.

Rachel Hansen: [giving advice to Tom about Summer] I'm saying you do want to ask her. It's obvious. You're just afraid you'll get an answer you don't want which will shatter the illusion of how great these past few months have been.

Paul: So what are you exactly?

Tom: I don't know.

Paul: Are you her boyfriend?

Tom: It's not that simple.

McKenzie: Sure, it is.

Tom: What, like, are we going steady? Come on, guys. You know, we're-we're adults. We know how we feel. We don't need to put labels on it. I mean, "boyfriend," "girlfriend." All that stuff is... it's really juvenile.

McKenzie: You sound gay.

Paul: You really do.

Tom: [points to McKenzie] Okay, first of all, your last girlfriend was Amy Sussman in seventh grade. And you dated for, like, three hours.

[points to Paul]

Tom: And you... You've been with Robyn since what, like, 1998?

Paul: '97.

Tom: '97. See... Shoot. I don't think the two of you are exactly authorities on modern relationships.

McKenzie: [Day 1 of having met Summer] I hear she's a total bitch. Yeah. Patel tried to talk to her in the copy room. She's totally not having it.

Tom: Maybe she was just in a hurry.

McKenzie: Maybe she's an uppity, "better than everyone" superskank.

Tom: Damn.

McKenzie: I know. She's pretty hot.

Tom: That sucks. Why is it pretty girls think they can treat people like crap and get away with it?

McKenzie: Centuries of reinforcement.

Tom: [scoffs] You know what? Screw her. I don't care. If she wants to be that way, fine.

Tom: It's off.

McKenzie: What?

Tom: Me and Summer.

McKenzie: Was it ever on?

Tom: No, but it could've been, in a world where good things happen to me.

Paul: Yeah, well, that's not really where we live.

McKenzie: This Friday, all-you-can-karaoke at the Mill.

Tom: No.

McKenzie: Come on!

Tom: They're not gonna let you back in there after last time.

McKenzie: Yeah... I wasn't that bad.

Tom: Dude, you threw up on the stage, you tried to fight the bartender, you threatened to burn the place down.

McKenzie: But I didn't burn the place down.

Tom: But what happens when you fall in love?

[Summer chuckles]

Tom: What?

Summer: Well, you don't believe that, do you?

Tom: It's love. It's not Santa Claus.

Summer: Well, what does that word even mean? I've been in relationships and I don't think I've ever seen it.

Tom: Well, maybe that's because...

Summer: And most marriages end in divorce these days. Like my parents.

Tom: Okay. Mine too, but...

Summer: Hey, um, I just wanna tell you that, um, I'm not really looking... for anything... serious. Is that okay?

Tom: Yeah.

Summer: 'Cause some people kind of freak out when they hear that.

Tom: No, not me.

Summer: You sure?

Tom: Yeah. Like, casual, right? Take it slow.

Tom: Right.

Summer: No pressure.

Tom: There's two options really. Either she's an evil, emotionless, miserable human being or... she's a robot.

Vance: Twenty-one years. She's the light that guides me home... Yes, that is from one of our cards... No, someone else wrote it. Doesn't make it less true.

Summer: I mean, this thing. What are we doing? I mean, is this normal?

Tom: Normal? I don't know. I don't care. I'm happy. Aren't you happy?

Summer: You're happy?

Tom: You're not?

Summer: All we do is argue.

Tom: That is bullshit!

Rachel Hansen: You've broken up with girls before.

Tom: Yes.

Rachel Hansen: And girls have broken up with you before.

Tom: This is different.

Rachel Hansen: Why?

Tom: 'Cause it's Summer.

Paul: I think it's kind of like how they say. There's, uh, plenty of other fish in the sea.

Tom: No...

Paul: They... They say that.

Tom: Well, they're lying. I don't want to get over her. I want to get her back.

Tom: Whatever, man. It's fine. I don't need this crap, really. I just, you know... I'm comfortable. I'm unhassled. People don't realize this, but loneliness... it's underrated.

Summer: I just, I can't believe you.

Tom: You can't believe me?

Summer: You were so completely, completely uncool in there.

Tom: Wait, are you mad at me? I just got my ass kicked for you.

Summer: Oh, really? Was that for me? Was that for my benefit?

Tom: Yes, it was.

Summer: Okay, well, next time don't, 'cause I don't need your help.

Summer: I like you, Tom. I just don't want a relationship...

Tom: Well, you're not the only one that gets a say in this! I do too! And I say we're a couple, goddamn it!

Tom: You ever do this? You think back on the times you had with someone, replay it in your head over and over again, and you look for those first signs of trouble.

Girl at Interview: Are you interviewing for the position?

Tom: Oh, yeah. Why? Are you?

Girl at Interview: Yeah.

Tom: My competition.

Girl at Interview: It would appear.

Tom: Yeah. So, a little awkward.

Girl at Interview: Yeah.

Tom: Well, I hope you, um, don't get the job.

Girl at Interview: Well, I hope *you* don't get the job.

Summer: This is fun. You're fun.

Tom: Thanks.

Tom: Hey.

Girl at Interview: You again.

Tom: Yeah. I, uh, was just wondering if maybe after this, if, um, you... want to get some coffee or something.

Girl at Interview: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sort of supposed to meet someone after this.

Tom: Okay...

[walks away]

Girl at Interview: Sure!

Tom: What's that?

Girl at Interview: Why not?

McKenzie: Maybe playing it safe is the wrong approach. The nuclear family is dead, we need a new holiday that recognizes that. May 21st. "Other" Mother's Day. Thank you.

Tom: Well, "Why rock the boat?" is what I'm thinking. I mean, things are going well. You start putting labels on it, that's like the kiss of death. That's like saying, "I love you."

Tom: [about being punched in the face] It was really just this crazy thing. It happened like... it felt like it happened fast, but really, it felt like it happened really slowly. Like everything all was just... I don't know...

Summer: I should go. But I'm really happy to see that you're doing well.

Tom: Summer! I really do hope that you're happy.