Can I Have Your Number

by Nathan Gower


“Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” — Douglas Adams



A dweeby, undersized boy wearing a backpack, DANIEL (14), awkwardly holds a pen and paper in front of him. The paper whips back and forth in his hand: a very windy day. He gulps, extends his hands forward to—

A teenage goddess, SARAH (16), the most popular girl on the planet. She shoots a confused glare back at Daniel.

A silent beat. Sarah smacks on some gum. She blows a bubble. It pops. Daniel flinches.


My number? You want my number?

Daniel smiles the best he can. In the distance, SARAH’S GAGGLE OF FRIENDS snickers at the interaction. Sarah sees

them, feels their pressure. She seductively takes the pen and paper. Daniel gawks at her in shock.


Why not. Right?

She scribbles something on the paper. Daniel reaches to take it, but she snatches it back. Sarah looks back at her friends and smiles.

She folds the paper once, twice. She makes a paper airplane. The world creeps into SLOW MOTION as Sarah glides the paper airplane over Daniel’s shoulder and into the rushing wind.


Daniel looks back at Sarah. She winks. He drops his backpack, and the chase is on.


The paper airplane flutters down the walk, Daniel close behind. He dodges oncoming classmates, nearly plows into several teens.

The wind lifts the paper up, dashes it across the—


Daniel nearly grabs the paper, but a CAR HORN blares and startles him. He jumps out of the way and sees the paper fluttering back towards the school down the opposite—


Daniel lunges towards the plane, but a rush of wind lifts it over an adjacent fence. ACROSS THE STREET, Sarah’s friends howl with laughter. Sarah

smiles, embarrassed for Daniel. Daniel clambers over the fence in hot pursuit, follows the plane towards a—


The plane flips and floats across a playground. ONLOOKERS watch Daniel zig-zag back in forth. He’s a perfect mix of sweet and pathetic. The plane catches a branch in a hedge of bushes. Daniel catches up, reaches for it—but it pulls free, blows back across the same playground, and over the same fence. Daniel’s tired. He drags himself over the fence back to the—


A wind gust floats the plane high out of reach. Daniel trails slowly under it, watches it lift up, up, up. For a moment, it’s lost in the sun.

ACROSS THE STREET, Sarah’s friends erupt with laughter. Sarah’s smile fades, though. Poor Daniel has had enough. Suddenly, the wind bursts and the plane darts forward. Daniel runs under it, staring up. He runs faster, faster, Then—

CRASH! Daniel barges into someone and falls back on the pavement.

Dazed, he looks up to see an equally dweeby girl, SAMANTHA (14), gathering herself on the ground. She’s dorky, awkward, perfect with a capital “P”.

They exchange a glance. Nervous smiles. It was meant to be. Daniel helps Samantha to her feet. They brush themselves off.


Sorry about that. I was just….

He looks around. The paper airplane lies on the ground a few paces away. The wind is all but gone. He glances at Sarah across the street. He looks back at Samantha.


I’m Daniel.

He extends his hand. Samantha takes it. She smiles a perfect smile.


I’m Samantha. Sam.

They walk down the sidewalk happily chatting. Daniel casually scoops up the crumbled airplane as they pass. In the distance, they approach a group of MEGA NERDS playing some type of geek-it-up wizard card game. Daniel hands the NERD RINGLEADER the airplane, points towards Sarah.

Sarah gawks at the exchange with disgust. The nerds high-five each other as Daniel and Sam walk away.



A series of text messages from the nerds to Sarah’s phone.

They might say something like this:

“Hey girl . . . U wanna be the dragon in my dungeon?”

“Hey, we’re having a party tonight. U wanna be the only girl