THE WINGTHORN ROSE
A Story of Transgression, Redemption and the Power of Love
MOVIE & TV TREATMENT
LOG LINE: A stranger comes to a small New England town on a mysterious quest that forever changes the lives of the townspeople, as well as his own.
It is a May morning. LUCAS MURDOCH drives past a deserted factory on the road to Pennington, Connecticut, a small town too far from Boston or New Haven or Hartford to become a suburb, too poor to hold onto ambitious young people.
LUCAS: "Pennington is perfect. I'm sure I can find what I'm looking for. I'll stay here. For a while."
Lucas is in his early fifties, slim, athletic, reserved. He stops in Pennington at Sarge's Diner for breakfast and hears a bitter discussion among three men: HENRY SMYTHE, owner of the Garden Center, fiery, aggressive; BILLY MILES, the First Selectman, nervous, hesitant; and ERNIE HYNES, a lawyer, passive, resentful. They are trying to arrange the sale of the factory site to a company that plans to build a shopping mall. But the owner of the factory, EMILY SCHUYLER GRANT, who also owns virtually the whole town, has refused to meet with them or discuss the deal—and time is running out. They're getting desperate.
Lucas introduces himself as a retired salesman from New York City, who grew up in a small town and wants to settle down in one. He says Pennington looks just right.
LUCAS: "Of course, it's not as easy as that. I'll need a place to stay. And I'd like to get a job—just part-time. For a little extra spending money."
SARGE SHREINER, a friendly, retired New York City policeman, who owns the diner, tells Lucas that there are no apartments or boarding houses in town. JOEY GENEEN, another local citizen at the diner, and his sister, FAY GENEEN, have a house with a separate apartment in it for their invalid mother, who died a few years ago. Lucas might be able to rent the apartment, but Joey acknowledges that he can't make that offer: "You have to ask Fay." Joey volunteers to take Lucas to the library, where Fay works.
Before they leave, although Henry seems suspicious of Lucas, Henry says: "If you're looking for a job, I could use a man at my Garden Center—part time, like you said. Just cleaning up. Dirty work."
Lucas says, "That's fine with me," and leaves with Joey, who drives him to the library.
Fay is a drab, guarded, unmarried woman in her forties, contemptuous of her older brother Joey, who is shallow, hard-drinking, and lecherous. Although she is reluctant to rent the apartment to Lucas, she needs the money and okays the arrangement. Lucas will stay at a motel for a few days until she "gets things in shape."
In the motel room that night, Lucas calls BERNIE SPECTOR, a private detective who obviously respects Lucas and wants to stay on his good side. Bernie reports on a young woman who works as a news writer at a New York City radio station. She has just been promoted. She is still dating the same man. And she visits a place called "Grassmere" every Friday. Neither man mentions the young woman's name. LUCAS: "Is Grassmere the same story?" BERNIE: "Nothing has changed."
Lucas disconnects the call, looks out at the night, shuts his eyes.
We see Lucas's nightmare: He is naked, running down a narrow, twisting dirt path in a huge, densely packed, overgrown rose garden. As he runs he looks back, as if he is being pursued. Every bush he touches pierces his flesh with its thorns and then withers and dies. His blood streams down his arms and leaves a clear trail on the path behind him. He smiles and thinks, "No matter how long I run—how far I run—whatever it is, it will find me. Thank God, it will find me."
The nightmare wakes Lucas up. He moans, sits up in bed in the darkness and says, "Find me, damn you! Find me!"
Early morning, a week later. Lucas has seen Fay go out every morning for her morning exercise—a long walk through a nearby park. He asks if he can join her. She warns him that she won't slow down for him. He promises to do his best.
As they walk, Lucas probes for information about the people of Pennington.
(NOTE: In all of his conversations, Lucas says very little about himself, but persistently, subtly, tries to find out as much as possible about other people's fears, transgressions and regrets.)
Fay describes Henry's "Bible classes". He studied to be a minister, but dropped out of the seminary. FAY: "From what I've heard, those Bible classes are really revival meetings. Billy and Ernie and Sarge are regulars. But I'm not into religion."
LUCAS: "Me, neither. But maybe I'll give Henry a chance to change my mind." Lucas mentions the "battle" over the sale of the factory site.
FAY: "You call that a battle? Against Emily Grant? They don't have a prayer. This town belongs to her."
LUCAS: "Do you know her well?"
FAY: "Hardly at all. She doesn't mingle with people like me. Or anyone else, for that matter. She's been a widow for a long time. Her son and his wife died years ago. All the family she has is her granddaughter."
Lucas wonders what keeps Fay in Pennington. She says she went away to college, but decided to come back.
FAY: "Force of habit, I guess. I was born here. Grew up here."
LUCAS: "You probably came back to get married."
FAY: "You ask too many questions, Mr. Murdoch. Let's talk about you."
Lucas says he was a small-town boy who became a salesman in New York City.
FAY: "You don't seem small-town to me." LUCAS: "I'm a quick study."
As they reach the top of a hill, Lucas challenges Fay to run: She takes the challenge, keeps up with him for a short time, then collapses onto the grass. He's not even breathing hard. She looks at him more intimately, pleased to be challenged, impressed with his athleticism.
FAY: "I suppose you've run the Boston Marathon every year."
LUCAS: "I never even tried."
FAY: "Why not?"
LUCAS: "Because I can't win."
Later that morning, on the patio of Fay's house. Lucas is reading a history of World War II. Joey, obviously hung over, joins him. Noticing the book, Joey says he was in the Navy for 20 years. Lucas says he was in the Army in Viet Nam.
JOEY: "I was in the Navy in Nam. But the war was almost over by then. It must have been pretty bad."
LUCAS: "It could have been worse. I could have been killed."
Joey says he was married twice, divorced twice.
JOEY: "I don't like women. Never did. I like to fuck them, but I don't like anything else about them. They all seem to be working from the same plan, but they never tell us what it is." He says that his mother always loved him, no matter what he did. "Mom and Fay weren't exactly buddies, but Fay took care of her for years."
Joey wonders if Lucas can do him a favor. Joey has a "hot" double-date next Saturday, but his friend canceled. Would Lucas take his friend's place? Although Lucas is reluctant
—"I'm a little old for that sort of thing"—he agrees.
A few days later, at the Garden Center, Henry says they're going to Emily Grant's house, the Grange, the next day, to do some landscaping.
HENRY: "Emily has a greenhouse where she breeds prize-winning roses. It's her passion." Henry tells Lucas that Emily owns half of his business and that's the norm in Pennington.
LUCAS: "Why won't she go along with your factory deal?" Henry says she doesn't need the money and "she'd rather watch us squirm."
LUCAS: "Selling isn't about the product. It's about the customer. Finding the weak spot." Henry doesn't think Emily has a weak spot, but since the factory deal is just about dead anyway, he'll introduce Lucas to Emily. "I guess we've got nothing to lose."
Lucas asks Henry if BILLY MILES, JR, the First Selectman's lazy 22-year-old son, can help him clean the shed, but Henry would rather keep an eye on him. Lucas remarks that Billy, Jr. hates to work, but Henry uncharacteristically has a lot of patience with him. HENRY: "Don't worry about my employees, okay? You've got enough to do."
A few minutes later, behind the Garden Center, Lucas is dumping trash into a deep ditch. He stops to take a break, walking into the woods. He sees a stiff, angular wild rose bush, seven or eight feet tall—a wingthorn rose bush. The new branches are purplish, with small, dark green leaves and large, cherry-red thorns that are attached to the branches by translucent, blood-colored membranes. Lucas, haunted by his nightmare, reaches out to reassure himself that this rose bush is real. When he touches it, he sighs, as if to say, "It's real. It isn't my nightmare."
The next day, Fay doesn't take her morning walk, so Lucas goes to the park alone. He runs through the park by himself, faster and faster, deeper into the woods. When he finally stops to rest, he hears a set of wind chimes, hanging on a branch high above him. Wondering who put it up there, he throws a small stone at it. It makes a harsh, unpleasant sound. Lucas smiles sadly, turns and runs out of the woods.
Later that morning, at the library, Lucas invites Fay to see a classic Russian film at the local community college on Sunday. Pleasantly surprised, she says Yes. Then he asks her for a "guide to the Bible," so he can study before he goes to Henry's next Bible class. That surprises Fay, too.
The next afternoon, at the Grange, Emily takes an immediate, almost flirtatious interest in Lucas. He isn't intimidated by her, which baffles Henry and pleases Emily. She invites Lucas into the house for a drink, promising Henry she'll take good care of him. Lucas tells her he grew up in a small town like Pennington.
EMILY: "Maybe so. But that was long ago. I can always spot a successful man. That's what you are. What are you doing in Pennington? What's your game?"
LUCAS: "I don't have a game."
EMILY: "Even a fool like Henry has a game. You certainly do."
Lucas changes the subject to the factory project. Emily says that she closed the factory and moved production down to Puerto Rico eight years ago, when her employees tried to unionize. She says, "We gave them everything, but they weren't satisfied. So I took everything away from them. Now they're trying to take away something that belongs to me. Billy's father was our chauffeur. Henry's was our gardener. Ernie's father worked on our assembly line. I don't negotiate with the servants' children."
Lucas observes that Emily looks very young for someone in her 70's. Emily tells him her secret: "You know what makes people old? It's love, which is always a bad investment. I've never loved anyone. Except myself. I must say, Mr. Murdoch, you look rather young, too."
JEANETTE GRANT, Emily's 15-year-old granddaughter, joins them. She is slim, pretty, practiced at hiding her feelings. There is a muted tension between her and Emily, masked by politeness. Jeanette is immediately fascinated by Lucas—someone who isn't afraid of her formidable grandmother. She says, with a shy smile that negates what she's saying: "I can't wait to inherit the business and fire everyone on Christmas Eve." Emily invites Lucas for dinner next Tuesday.
That evening at the diner, to the amazement of Henry, Billy and Ernie, Lucas says Emily has invited him to dinner. He thinks he has a plan for the factory-site sale that she might accept: the new shopping mall would carry her family name; she would keep a one-third interest in it; and she would have an anchor store there, test-marketing the clothing she manufactures. The trio agrees to the proposal, as long as Lucas doesn't share in their finders' fee. Sarge invites the group to the "fights" next Thursday, "my treat." Henry declines the offer: "I don't know how anyone can enjoy watching people hurt each other."
LUCAS: "You'd be surprised."
Saturday night at a noisy club in Fulton, a nearby town. Joey and his date, JILL, are busy kissing, whispering, dancing. Lucas and his date, MARGOT SINCLAIR—thirty-three, beautiful, refined, intelligent—tentatively begin to connect. She is married, has been separated for several years, is realistic about life and love, and skeptical about Lucas's "life story." Reluctantly, Lucas finds himself attracted to her. And in contrast to his usual behavior, he doesn't interrogate her. She invites him to her place for a nightcap. They drink, confess their mutual attraction. Lucas kisses her goodnight, promises to call her.
Sunday evening in Fay's living room. Lucas and Fay, after the movie, listen to romantic music, drink wine. Lucas aggressively seduces her. Afterwards, he probes her troubled relationship with her mother. LUCAS: "You're not bitter about all those years you had to take care of her?" FAY: "I don't want to look back. Let me just enjoy you."
Dinner at the Grange, a weary old mansion in need of repairs. Responding to questions from Emily and Jeanette, Lucas says that he was a software salesman, was never married, retired early when his company was acquired. He learns that Jeanette's parents died in a plane crash when she was two. She is being privately tutored, is brilliant, cultured, but sheltered, and has no friends.
Lucas suggests his factory-site sales proposal. Emily says she'll consider it and let him know her decision. Jeanette walks Lucas to the door. She doesn't believe he's told the truth about himself. She warns him: "You can run, Mr. Murdoch, but you can't hide. I'll find out who you really are."
The next night, Lucas insists that Fay have sex with him in his apartment—where her mother lived, where she has so many bad memories. Although she is angry, she gives in to her desires. Afterwards, he questions her and finds out she came back to Pennington after college because she was engaged to Ernie Hynes. He backed out of the marriage—her mother was too much of a burden—and married another woman whose parents had money.
LUCAS: "You stayed here to take care of your mother, who never liked you, never thanked you. And Ernie married someone else because of her. You must have really hated both of them." Hurt, angry, Fay leaves the apartment.
Later that night, Lucas calls Margot and makes a date for Saturday night. He is tender with her, playful, relaxed—totally different from his treatment of Fay.
Thursday night. Lucas, Sarge, Billy and Ernie attend "Fight Night" at a Fulton arena. Prior to the boxing matches, they have a couple of beers at a nearby tavern. Probing, as usual, Lucas learns why Sarge retired from the New York City Police Force: using information from a snitch, he sent a young black drug pusher to prison, where he committed suicide. It turned out that the snitch planted the evidence in revenge: the young man had stolen his girl. Sarge began to wonder how many other mistakes he had made—"because a guy was poor, black, Latino. I already had more than twenty years on the Force. I decided to call it quits." Lucas comforts Sarge, but adds, "That's a hell of a burden, isn't it?"
In one of the bouts, an aging, ring-wise veteran gives a boxing lesson to a young local fighter, knocking him out with a left hook. The punch triggers a flashback:
New Year's Eve, four years earlier. Lucas is in his office in a Manhattan skyscraper with DIANA, a beautiful financial whiz kid who works closely with him and lives with him. They are preparing to drive up to his cabin in Vermont for a holiday getaway. As they kiss, TIM MCNEILL, the former CEO of the company, drunk, bitter, comes in, accuses Lucas of "killing my company."
LUCAS: "I saved your fucking company, Tim, which is more than you could do. Look at the stock price. Hey, you should thank me. Your options are going to be worth a fortune." TIM: "How many people did you fire? Good people. No more pensions. No more benefits." Tim takes a swing at Lucas, who ducks and knocks him out with a left hook.
Later, driving in snowstorm on a Vermont mountain road, Lucas and Diana are listening to jazz, drinking Manhattans from a thermos bottle. They aren't wearing seatbelts. Lucas reacts too slowly to an oncoming car, skids off the road into the woods. The top of the car is torn off. He is thrown into a snowbank but isn't hurt. Diana is dead, lying on her back in the snow, eyes open, blood streaming from her forehead. He is rescued, hospitalized, treated by psychiatrists. Lucas: "I know what I have to do to cure myself. Wherever I go, I have to prove that even the good people, the decent people, are as guilty, as sinful as I am. That everyone has something to hide."
That night, Lucas has his rose-garden nightmare again, but this time his flesh is being torn by wingthorn roses. When he wakes up, he says, "I can hear it coming closer. I hope it catches me soon."
Saturday morning in the park. Fay is distant, cool. She says she's thinking of leaving Pennington, but won't say anything specific about her plans. She thanks Lucas for shaking her out of her lethargy, although she doesn't credit him with good intentions.
Satruday night. Lucas and Margot go to a jazz club. He allows himself to draw closer to her, touch her, kiss her.
MARGOT: "If you don't want to tell me about yourself, that's all right. You may be on your way to somewhere else, but you're with me now. And that's what matters."
They go back to her place, make love. But when he leaves her, on the way back to Pennington, he seems uncertain, ill at ease, confused.
Sunday afternoon at Henry's "Bible Class." His living room is converted into a church: rows of folding chairs, a podium (altar) at the front, and Henry dramatically reading and interpreting sections of the Gospels. It is a genuine revival meeting. Ernie tells Lucas no one knows why Henry dropped out of the seminary. But he says Henry has never lost his dedication to his faith. And many people in Pennington go to his "church" and not to the official Protestant church in town. After the ceremony, Lucas speaks to Henry alone. Lucas tells Henry that he is having a persistent nightmare: he is wandering in a strange city at night and enters an empty church in which a minister who looks a lot like Henry is preaching to no one. But the minister sees Lucas and shouts, "There is no God. Only the Devil. No Heaven. Only Hell. And we will all be there together someday, you and I. Forever. Welcome to Hell!" Lucas asks Henry to interpret the dream, but Henry refuses.
HENRY: "I understand the word of God. As it is given to us. I can't tell you what your dream means."
A week later, at the Grange. Emily tells Lucas that she will accept the factory-site proposal. Her lawyers are drawing up the papers. When Lucas leaves, Jeanette meets him and asks him to walk on the estate grounds with her. She says that, by researching the Internet, she's found out who Lucas really is: Max Murdock—called by FORTUNE magazine, "To-the-Max Murdoch." A ruthless turnaround specialist.
LUCAS: "You're right, Jeanette. When a company was in trouble, I would take it over and fix it. I was very good at that."
JEANETTE: "They called you a 'union-buster.'"
LUCAS: "Sometimes I was. I did whatever worked."
JEANETTE: "What about Max's wife and daughter?"
LUCAS: "Ex-wife. Ex-daughter."
JEANETTE: "You and grandmother: the perfect pair."
LUCAS: "I'm not Max any more. I dropped him off somewhere on a dark road in the middle of the night."
They walk into a wooded area on the estate.
Jeanette allows Lucas to see her true self: "I can't remember my mother and father. And every story I hear about them says they were worthless failures. I have no friends. I live in the castle on the hill and wonder what it's like to live in town. What it's like to be loved."
They hear windchimes. Lucas looks up at the chimes, high in a tree. He says he's seen another set of chimes like that in the park.
JEANETTE: "They're mine. There are others, too. When I was younger, twelve or thirteen, I would climb a tree and hang the chimes as high as I could. I would sit on a branch and close my eyes and listen to the wind making music. And pretend that my mother and father were waiting for me at home, and that I had an older brother and a kid sister."
Lucas tries to comfort her. She pulls away from him.
JEANETTE: "I thought you could help me. I can't stay here with her any more. How can I escape?"
LUCAS: "You have to make her want you to go."
JEANETTE: "How can I do that? She doesn't care how I feel."
LUCAS: "It's how she feels that matters. You have to hurt her."
JEANETTE: "Is that Lucas speaking, or Max?"
LUCAS: "There is no Max."
JEANETTE: "She can't be hurt."
LUCAS: "Think about it. Think about what matters to her."
A Manhattan street outside a New York radio station. Lucas waits near the entrance. A young, attractive woman leaves the building, sees Lucas, reacts with anger. She is BETH MURDOCH.
BETH: "Daddy, dear, what a surprise. What brings you to town? On the trail of a new girlfriend? Or does a failing company need your tender mercies? How about firing everyone whose pension isn't vested yet?"
LUCAS: "I'm not working any more. You know that, Beth."
BETH: "But I still don't know why. Or why you left us."
Lucas says he's heard Beth has been promoted.
BETH: "You must have hired someone to spy on me."
She won't stop at a coffee shop with him for a few minutes. She says she's walking home and he can talk to her while they walk. She says she hasn't seen him for more than a year.
BETH: "I realize you have enough money to last forever. And keep me in the chips. And, of course, pay the bills at Grassmere. Oh, speaking of Grassmere, have you been there lately?"
LUCAS: "I keep informed about her."
BETH: "Her? You mean Katherine Murdoch, your wife? My mother? Or is there some other wacko broad you've got stashed there?"
Beth says that sometimes Katherine doesn't recognize her: "She's probably forgotten you by now. I hope she has."
Lucas can't find the words to answer her.
BETH: "Don't worry, Daddy. I don't hate you. You don't matter enough to me. Mom is a good person, but she isn't strong. She needed you. She couldn't keep herself together when you left us. I wasn't able to help her. But I don't need you, Daddy. And I never will."
She leaves him standing alone in the street.
Lucas's apartment. He calls Margot and tells her that he won't be seeing her for a while—he doesn't know how long.
MARGOT: "What's wrong? Did I disappoint you? Are you angry about something I said?"
LUCAS: "No. I need time."
MARGOT: "I don't understand. I'm in love with you. Will I ever see you again?"
LUCAS: "I don't know."
MARGOT: "Let me share your life, Lucas."
LUCAS: "That's a bad idea. You'll get hurt."
MARGOT: "You're hurting me more by not letting me love you. Come see me tonight."
LUCAS: "I can't."
MARGOT: "If you change your mind, I'll be here."
Early morning in the park. Lucas is walking with Fay. She is distant, cool. She says she's leaving Pennington for good in a few days. She has a job lined up in Providence. She says she doubts that Lucas can love anyone.
FAY: "I'm not bitter any more. That's a waste of time. And I'm not a sinner. I just made some mistakes. Had some bad luck. But I don't need your forgiveness. Or Henry's. Or God's, for that matter. I can forgive myself."
Lucas shrugs, as if her "victory" doesn't really disappoint him.
Late night. Lucas knocks at Henry's door. Henry is calm, relaxed. He seems to have expected Lucas's visit and is less aggressive than usual. Lucas tells him he understands his dream now—that the minister is Henry. And in his latest dream, Lucas asks the minister, "Have you sinned?" And the minister shouts, "Forgive me! Forgive me!"
LUCAS: "And I say, 'Confess your sins.'"
HENRY: "I've never lost my faith."
LUCAS: "Why did you leave the seminary?"
Henry won't answer. Lucas says he knows how Henry sinned. He knows that Billy Miles, Jr., is Henry's son. Henry leaps at Lucas, awkwardly trying to hit him. Lucas blocks the punch and knocks Henry down. Henry begins to cry. He says that before he decided to enter the seminary, he was going to marry the girl who later became Billy's wife.
HENRY: "I didn't ask her to wait for me. Maybe I should have. She didn't wait. She married Billy. I cam back to Pennington after my second year. I met her by accident. She wasn't happy. I could see that. She and Billy were trying to start a family and couldn't. I was weak. I wanted her."
LUCAS: "So you gave her a child."
HENRY: "A child she hates because he's my child. Because I left her and she married someone she didn't love. But I never lost my faith. I think Billy is the only one who loves that boy. Who forgives him."
LUCAS: "And who will forgive you?"
Morning, a few days later, in Lucas's apartment. Jeanette knocks at the door. She is on her way out of town: "Grandmother is sending me away to school. To Wyndham Oaks, near Philadelphia."
LUCAS: "How did you get her to do that?"
JEANETTE: "I thought about what you said. I found a way to hurt her. I massacred all of her darling little roses. When I got through with the greenhouse, it looked as if it had been hit by Hurricane Jeanette."
Jeanette says that Emily is an alumna of the school, and a trustee.
JEANETTE: "Grandmother says Wyndham Oaks was the right school for her, and it will be for me, too. Because we're so much alike. We're not alike, are we?"
LUCAS: "She means you're just as strong as she is. That's the only way you're alike."
JEANETTE: "Maybe I'll turn out the way she did."
LUCAS: "She never climbed up in a tree to dream about things, or listen to windchimes."
JEANETTE: "That's a kind thing to say."
Jeanette won't say goodbye. She insists that they'll always be friends.
JEANETTE: "I need someone to think about. Someone who cares about me. Someone to call when I'm discouraged, or lonely. I need to think of you as my friend, even if you're far away."
LUCAS: "I am your friend."
Jeanette is crying: "I need someone to love."
LUCAS: "I'm not someone to love. Believe me."
JEANETTE: "But you're all I've got."
LUCAS: "Call me whenever you need to."
Lucas leaves Pennington. He drives up the coast to a motel at a remote fishing village in Maine. He runs on the beach every day, pushing himself, fighting the cold Northeast winds. One morning, a huge storm cloud chases him along the beach, reaches for him, catches him. He lets the rain wash over him as if it's purifying him.
That night, Jeanette calls him. He tells her he's not in Pennington any more. She says, "I understand: without me, Pennington just isn't the same. Where are you now?"
LUCAS: "I'm in a little town on the coast of Maine."
JEANETTE: "Do you plan to settle down there?"
LUCAS: "I'm not sure what my next stop will be."
JEANETTE: "What are you up to, Lucas?"
LUCAS: "I promise I'll tell you someday."
JEANETTE: "It doesn't make any difference. I love you anyway."
LUCAS: "I wish you didn't."
JEANETTE: "I miss you, Lucas."
LUCAS: I miss you, too."
That night, Lucas calls Margot. She says she won't ask him where he's been, or why he went away. He says, "I thought it would be better for you..."
MARGOT: "Better for me to fall in love with you and lose you?"
LUCAS: "I want to be with you."
MARGOT: "For how long?"
LUCAS: "I don't know. I didn't mean that the way it sounded. I want to tell you about myself. After that, maybe you won't want me. Can I come to see you?"
MARGOT: "I don't know. When can you be here?"
LUCAS: "Tomorrow afternoon."
Lucas drives up in front of Margot's house. She meets him at the door. She says, "You look like you've been out in the sun."
LUCAS: "Yes, I was at the beach for a couple of weeks. It's a quiet place."
MARGOT: "When you came here that weekend...Then, suddenly, a quick call and you're gone."
LUCAS: "It won't be that way again."
That night, sleeping beside Margot, Lucas dreams of another kind of rose garden. The bushes are neatly planted on both sides of a broad, smooth path. It is a warm, summer morning. The sun is still low on the horizon. A woman is walking toward him. The sun is behind her, shining so brightly he can't see her face, even when she comes close and embraces him. She presses her face against his chest. He holds her in his arms and kisses her hair.