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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Do Flowers Smile?

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY


  4. Facing the sunshine is a bunch of blossoming red roses in a vase.


  5. INT. STUDY - DAY


  6. Focusing on his computer screen, PETER doesn't wink an eye when his WIFE passes through with two bags of rice.


  7. PETER (Seriously): I've to sign out my domain name dispute decision as quickly as possible.


  8. WIFE: There's actually no hurry right? It's your own deadline only.


  9. Peter doesn't respond but carries on working. His wife leaves after depositing the bags of rice inside a storeroom.


  10. Finishing his work, Peter grabs his phone and watches a video clip. As we see on screen smiling animals, Peter also smiles.


  11. PETER (V.O.): The animals must be feeling happy. Their brains transmit neuronal signals to their face muscles triggering their smiles. But animals don't smile that often.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Humans can smile a lot but choose not to.


  14. Wondering.


  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Are they unsatisfied, unhappy and cool?


  16. Reflecting.


  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But to force or fake a smile to suppress true emotions isn't good either. When I'm serious about something, I won't smile. But when I couldn't communicate, because of the language barrier or no need for the solicited service, I would force some.


  18. Remembering.


  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Today is my wife's birthday. I sent her my "Happy Birthday" song, but she never appreciates my creative stuff.


  20. Pausing.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Her default plan was to visit Ocean Park, which is now closed. We've just had a substitute lunch together, as her very good friends will buy her dinner tonight.


  22. Thinking.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What can I do to make her feel happy today?


  24. Act 2


  25. FLASHBACK


  26. INT. ESTATE MALL - DAY


  27. Coming out of a restaurant, Peter and his wife go inside a supermarket.


  28. WIFE: What I want to have is some bleach.


  29. Peter nods.


  30. WIFE: But since there's no queue here, the prospect of buying them is dim.


  31. INT. SUPERMARKET - DAY


  32. After walking past some empty shelves, Peter and his wife leave without any smile.


  33. EXT. ROAD - DAY


  34. Checking her phone images, Peter's wife smiles widely.


  35. PETER (Curious): What's that?


  36. His wife shows him an image, depicting a bag of rice.


  37. WIFE: It's from our maid. She finds rice for sale elsewhere. If there're no buying restrictions, we'll buy two bags.


  38. His wife types on her phone screen.


  39. END FLASHBACK


  40. INT - SITTING ROOM - DAY


  41. Peter comes in and sees nobody.


  42. PETER (V.O.): Oh, my wife has gone to dinner already. I must do something to let her feel the warmth at home as our children are all overseas.


  43. Peter goes out.


  44. INT. ESTATE MALL - NIGHT


  45. PETER (V.O.): What can I do to make her feel happier today? She likes stones and has got many already. She wants bleach but I can't buy her any.


  46. Walking past a cake shop, Peter examines the varieties.


  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): She said earlier she didn't want any birthday cake. But I can buy a very small one just for the two of us.


  48. Supermarket. Peter is examing flowers in the floral section.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Although I bought her some roses days ago, I suppose she doesn't mind to have some on another special day. I can buy smaller ones.


  50. Carrying a small cake box and a small bouquet, Peter leaves the mall smilingly.


  51. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT


  52. Looking at his purchases, particularly the flowers, Peter smiles again.


  53. PETER (V.O.): Do flowers smile at all?


  54. Pondering.


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Poetically, they do. But scientifically, they don't, as they don't have brains and so no neuronal signals to transmit eg to their buds. They just bloom to attract and reproduce.


  56. Pausing.


  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For decades, I've resisted cut flowers as I like to see them grow rather than to see them die.


  58. Reflecting.


  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But even if they aren't cut, they won't bloom all the time. All flower petals will fall. It's just a matter of time.


  60. Peter is in deep thoughts.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As I'm getting old, it's now my subtle way to convey my feeling of love to her.


  62. Act 3


  63. INT. STUDY - NIGHT


  64. Peter is having screen time.


  65. PETER (V.O.): Because of the coronavirus, people try every means not to get infected. They need to distance themselves from each other.


  66. Smiling.


  67. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): On the other hand, a smile is infectious too. If we see others feeling happy, we would become emphatic and have happy emotions too.


  68. Peter surfs the web.


  69. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If we're happy, it would even strengthen our immune system. So, we should have positive moods - smile more, become healthier and live longer!


  70. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT


  71. Putting the small bouquet to join other roses, Peter and his wife are smiling in their hearts.


  72. FADE OUT.


  73. THE END


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