Message in a Bottle (1999) Script

Message in a Bottle

Where are they?

They're probably just running late. They'll be here.

I see them!


How are you, sweetie?

Good to see you.

Hi there. How are you?

He's cute. Great! Thanks.

We got to go.

We should go. I have my number.

I won't be in Chicago for a few days. I'm going to the Cape...

Same B & B as last year? I have the number.

Say bye to your mom.

Give me a kiss. Bye, Mom.

I love you.

Call me. Anytime.

Bye. Love you.

Bye, Mom.

Sorry to be so late, ladies.

Financial consultant. Recently divorced.

Did you notice the way he ate his pancakes?

He took his time on every bite.

Get a grip.

You know what they say about tall, lanky men, don't you?

They have enormous feet.


I happen to know he's going to the theater today, a matinee.

I think I'll take the harbor tour.

"Dear Catherine:

I'm sorry I haven't talked to you in so long.

I feel I've been lost... bearings, no compass.

I kept crashing into things, a little crazy, I guess.

I've never been lost before.

You were my true north.

I could always steer for home when you were my home.

Forgive me for being so angry when you left.

I still think some mistake's been made...

...and I'm waiting for God to take it back.

But I'm doing better now.

The work helps me.

Most of all, you help me.

You came into my dream last night with that smile...

...that always held me like a lover...

...rocked me like a child.

All I remember from the dream... a feeling of peace.

I woke up with that feeling...

...and tried to keep it alive as long as I could.

I'm writing to tell you that I'm on a journey toward that peace.

And to tell you I'm sorry about so many things.

I'm sorry I didn't take better care of you... you never spent a minute being cold or scared or sick. "

"I'm sorry I didn't try harder to find the words... tell you what I was feeling.

I'm sorry I never fixed the screen door.

I fixed it now.

I'm sorry I ever fought with you.

I'm sorry I didn't apologize more.

I was too proud.

I'm sorry I didn't bring you more compliments...

...on everything you wore and every way you fixed your hair.

I'm sorry I didn't hold on to you with so much strength...

...that even God couldn't pull you away. "

Signed, "All my love, G."

That is so sad.

It's not that. It's just... honest.

This could be hundreds of years old.

It's typed, Alva.

Pretty good.

Meaning you wish you'd written it.

I'd have e-mailed her.

Anyway, I know what you wish.

You wish it had been addressed "Dear Theresa. "

Come on now, Charlie...

...any girl would want to be loved like that.

To be somebody's "true north"?

Are you kidding?

Lonely women, particularly?

Is that how you see me?

Did you talk to anybody on your trip? Tell any jokes?

I had a good time.


Came back a day early.

I happen to like my job.

You're in denial. You should be writing.

You better hope I stick to research.

I don't think you can do your column without me.

Ever notice that most people here refer to me as Mr. Toschi, out of respect?

I knew you before your teeth were capped.

I knew you when your step was swift and your heart was high.

Al Giddons, "Lakefront Winter. " Harcourt-Brace, 1948.

Thought I made that up.

Hey, Jase! How are you?

Hi, Lina.

No, sorry.

I just was expecting him to call.

No, I'm not worried. I just miss him.

I know.


No, I just got it. Why?


I can't believe he did this.

I can't believe it!

Why are you so annoyed? It's wrong to print it.

It's private. It's somebody's intimate thoughts.

It's not your letter!

I know it's not my letter. I found it.

Is this personal? Is that why you're pissed off?

I'm not pissed off! I'm just...

...a little pissed off.

You had your chance at the Christmas party.

Morning, doll.

Look at this.

Letters to the paper about the message in the bottle.


And two more boxes. Take those to research.

I found him in the mailroom. Nice ass.

Charlie wants us to drop everything.

And do what? Answer all of them?

Go through them and count the pros and cons.

Get rid of the nutso letters.

Then we'll do excerpts. The paper wants us to milk it. This is big.

Bigger than the low-fat muffin scandal.

Bigger than the mayor and the teacher.

It's amazing.

"Your column sucks the big one. "

Negative, I think. Listen.

"If only more men would have the sensitivity... talk about how they feel, instead of...

...hiding behind the Sports Channel... "

"My niece sent it to me.

It might be from the same person.

So I'm enclosing it here. "



"Dear Catherine. "

No. Are you kidding? Really?

Out loud. Read it out loud.

"Dear Catherine: There isn't an hour without you in it.

I mend the boats, test them...

...and all the while the memories come in like the tide.

I thought today of when we were young...

...and you left our world for a bigger world.

I was a lot more scared than I would admit.

I fought my fear... telling myself you'd come back someday...

...and trying to think of the first thing I'd say when I saw you again.

I must have tried out 100 possibilities.

What did I finally say?

Not much.

My mouth wouldn't work, except to kiss you.

When you said, 'I'm here to stay'...

...that said it all.

Well, I'm doing it again.

I keep imagining what I'd say to you if somehow you came back. "

Bob. It's Theresa at the Tribune.

I know, it's been a while.

I've got something for you.

It's two traces.

A sheet of stationery has an imprint on it.

Also, where do I go for a typewriter trace?

The typewriter you're looking for... an Olympic Herzfogen 980.

German. And old.

Would it have been sold commercially... the last 30 years?

Well, it's been re-keyed.

People who like manuals buy these reconditioned.

This letter was probably typed within the last 5 years.

So he's out there.

And he could be young.

You'll like this.

Remember the report I did? Cork came back.

It's been in the water approximately two years.

That's it? Two years?

Thank you.

Don't look at me.

Aqua glass.


...looks like an "A."

I'm sending you Polaroids.

That sounds great.

You like the baby, then?

You're always so busy.

I never get a chance to talk to you.

Hang up! Hang on one second.

Remember the message on the restaurant wall in Virginia?

The stationery, the logo and the typewriter are there.

Hit line five. She's waiting for you.

I never get to talk to him. Call him back.

Can she fax it?

Fax it? It's Virginia. Ellie's House of Crabs.

How do I know if she has a fax machine?

Have her fax it.


Right. Tell me about Bunker Hill.

"To all the ships at sea and all the ports of call.

To my family and to all friends and strangers. "

No "Dear Catherine"? Not this time.

The stationery and typewriter check out.

We think maybe this is the first one or the final one.

"This is a message and a prayer.

The message is that my travels taught me a great truth.

I already had what everyone is searching for...

...and few ever find:

The one person in the world who I was born to love forever.

A person like me, of the Outer Banks...

...and the blue Atlantic mystery. "

Outer Banks. That's North Carolina.

Right. But it's about a dozen towns.

Only four support a boat-building and restoring company.

Then we got him.

We've got stringers there, and a sister paper in Wilmington.

I bet we find this guy before the week's out.

Any bets, girls?


I want to go.

She wants to do it.

You find this guy, then what?

I don't know. I'm not sure. But I want to go.

Can't spare you. Need you here.

You're the one that sent me to India for the column on smokestacks.

You sent her to Texas for 3 days, talking to Marines.

That was different.

Why do you have to do this personally?

What do you mean? I'm intrigued, so what?


What if he's covered in tattoos...

...and has four serious convictions?

Tell her.

I'm only afraid that...

...your expectations are too high.

I don't have any. This is research.

You're thinking Heathcliff. You're thinking Hamlet.

This guy is probably Captain Ahab.

Are you saying that I can't go?

It's called a risk, Charlie, right?

Something you've been telling me for two years.

"Take a risk. "

Remember when you asked me to call...

...all the stationery stores in the Outer Banks area?

I've got other names for you. I got it.

What? You got what?

I called one in Morehead City.

They remembered the little sailboat logo.

They said it was designed by the customers.

It's them.

Don't tell Charlie.

He'll try and make you do this over the phone.

You got him, Theresa.

Now go knock on his door.


Can I help you?

Sorry, I just admire these older homes.

You're in real estate?


Could I take a photograph of the house...

...for a publication?

Jehovah's Witness?

Photograph. Well, I never thought of that.

Can't say yes or no.

And why's that?

That's my son's place.

I live back down...


So you're going to have to ask him.

He'll be kicking around the harbor. Garret Blake.

Never wears a hat.

Great. Thank you.

Is it Playboy?

I always admired your covers.

Never bought the magazine, though.

Well, there's always tomorrow.

Great day, isn't it?

It's a beauty. Wish I was out on the water.

Yeah, I bet.

Great boat. Are you restoring it?

Yeah, doing the best I can.

Do you restore boats for a living?

No, I'm just a weekend warrior.

You got a boat that needs some work done?


I got a man here in town. He's got a shop.

He's working on the schooner there.

The 40-footer. Sweet lines on that boat.

You can't beat the old woodies.

Great, thank you.

You bet. You have a nice day. You too.

I love the older, the wooden boats.

It must be a 40-footer? A schooner, right?

It's an Alden Schooner.

1922, out of Maine.

Is she yours?


Just putting her back in shape.

Sweet lines.

You want to step aboard?

There's some wet spots.

She's a beauty.

Was she in bad shape?



I know how she feels.

Doubt it.

You a tourist?

I'm just getting acquainted with the place, the people.

I'm Theresa...


Garret Blake.

You sound like up north.

Do I?


I'm in research.

On what?

Just about everything. For a newspaper.

Is there anywhere I can do some sailing while I'm here?

You could rent a boat on the other side.

Oh, no, I mean, I'm not experienced... all.

I'd like to be. I just...

I'm from the Prairie State, so...

I'm a dodo in the water.

Sorry to have interrupted your work. Thank you.

I'm taking her out tomorrow morning.

Test sail. Round the point and back.

Just about an hour.

Do you want to come along?

That'd be nice.

About seven.


If you come earlier...

...I'll be in that diner over there.

Earlier than seven?

Great. I'll see you here.

Or at the... the diner.

Hi, Chet. How you doing? All righty.

Jesus, Chet! You always have the same people in here every day.

All the tourists go to the Pancake Palace.

Let them!

And what do you got? The same fishermen.

A would-be carpenter.

And a nearsighted mechanic.

And a thief who wants to be a shipwright.

Now don't start any shit, Johnny.

A thief is somebody who keeps property belongs to somebody else.

Am I right?

You ain't right if the courts say you ain't right, right?

Loudmouth asshole.

What'd you say?

How'd you know I was talking to you, Johnny?

I'm calling Pete right now.

You two bust up this place again and charges will be pressed...

...arrests will be made, and I ain't bluffing!

Man who's a thief deserves to be in jail.

I never took a damn thing from you or anybody in this town.

I say different. You're a liar, Johnny.

Don't ever call me a liar!

Come on, grab hold of him!

Will you guys get ahold of them?

Will you separate them?

Garret, come here. Now get off him.

Get over here!

Now leave it alone.

Just walk away for once.

He ain't worth it.

Go on.

Didn't you see what he...?

Come on, easy.

Settle down, John. Go ahead, Garret.

He ain't worth it. Let me go!

It's all over.

Thought you wouldn't come.

I came to say I'm not coming.

I didn't want to not show, because I hate people like that.

I'm sorry you saw that.

Does that happen a lot here?

I mean, instead of bowling or...

Maybe I'll see you around.

I'm still going to run her out for a test.

Just a short sail.

I don't know, you know. What if you got mad at me?

It's a small boat.

I don't like fighting, Theresa.

Bowling, either.

Before you go, would you...

...untie that, toss it in?

Appreciate it.


Where am I not in your way?

I'll get around you.

Should I just jump over?

I'm sorry, I...

...I used to be better with people.

So you used to be charming?

Sorry I missed that.

Who is that man in the diner?

It's an old thing.

I don't want to pry.

How old?

So this is what you do? Research?

No, actually, it's called conversation.

I might be able to help you. I have a degree.

So you stole his girlfriend in the eighth grade?


I married his sister.

So, your turn.


Still married?


I have a son.

A great son.

Date much?


You're getting the hang of this.

Watch your head with the boom.

Do you hear from your mama?

Got a letter.

Still doesn't like you.

No fooling.

Looks a little small for you.


The jacket.

What jack...

It's hers. Whose?

Woman from today.

She left it on board.

Well, did you tell her? Did you call her?


I thought maybe you'd drop it off for me in town at the hotel.

I'm not going to do it. Take her the jacket.

You don't want to see her again?



So, Dad, it's not an easy thing.

You be her.

I'll be you.

Here's your jacket.

Jackets like that...

...don't come along every week, you know.

One second.

You forgot this.

Thank you.

I stayed in. I didn't even notice.


You want to come in?

Nice place.

It's Victorian, 1911.

Made into an inn in 1944.

But... probably knew all that stuff.

I've never been in here.

Oh, well.

Why would you be in here? You're from here.

This is your hometown.

I had a really good time today.

The boat did well.

We didn't have to bail or anything.

Thanks for bringing the jacket.

You're welcome.

I just said thank you about eight times...

...because I have no idea what to say.

I wonder why you're here, because you don't know what to say either.

I'm wondering that too.

You eat meat?

Eat red meat?


I make a perfect steak.

It's the best thing I do.

You're bragging. I know.

But it's true.

Well, that's very interesting. Thanks for telling me.

I'd like to make you one...

...tomorrow night.

You would?

You know, on the boat today...

...I had a good time too.

What time?


It's 18 Foster Lane.

I know.

You do?

I know...'s got to be on the water. Right?

Right. Everything's on the water.

Night. See you.

You found it.

Come in.

I didn't know you were so close.

You walked!

I hope you like red.

I do. I already have one opened.

You need some help?



...make yourself welcome.

Can I pour you a glass? Yeah, please.

What a great house!

The light in here...

I love this boat painting.

It's incredible. You can hear it, almost.

The wind.

Is it a local artist?

It's my wife, Catherine.

She died two years ago.

I'm sorry.

Do you paint also?

My dad died when I was in college.

I remember my mom kept one of his shirts...

...on the back of a chair in my parents' bedroom.

And she probably left it there for...

Maybe it's still there, I don't know.

Look, I was nervous... I drank too much wine.

But listen, there's something that I should tell you.

I was nervous too.

I just...


I didn't...

I don't do this.

Thank God.

I don't do this either.

I'm not good at this.

For two people that don't do it, we do it pretty well.

Does it feel cold enough for a fire?

I thought we were still in love.

But maybe I didn't even think about it...

...because I had my son, my work, my husband.

I was on my way to becoming a writer.

And David and I...

...were even talking about having a second child.

Can you believe that?

Then one day I was just driving along...

...and I saw them.

David and this woman...

...walking into the park.

And it was just a glimpse. It was a second.

And I knew.

I sat there in my car. I didn't shut off the engine. I just sat...

...for an hour and a half.

You're faced with the impossible...

...and it takes an hour and a half.

It was going on almost a year.

I can't believe I just told you all that.

I mean, this stuff happens to everybody, right?

But it happened to you, Theresa.

And I'm sorry.

That kind of stuff happen in St. Claire?

Everything happens in St. Claire...


Tell me about Catherine.


...we grew up together.

She was kind of...

People were drawn to her by her smile...

...her enthusiasm.

She could brighten up a whole room...

...whole town.

I called her Saint Catherine.

How did she die?

She was ill.

She was fragile.

I'm sorry.

It's all right.

It's okay.

Have you lived here your whole life?

Not yet.

This place...

...used to be all dirt roads and marsh grass.


My mom hated it here.

She took me away to Virginia when I was ten.

But I came back when I was 16...

...and never left.

I missed it. I missed the smell of it...

...working on the water...

...missed my dad.

The quiet.

The wind.

The wind? You call that wind?

The wind... Chicago in the wintertime... walk with your back to it or it cuts your face.

Takes your breath away.

We got the oldest oak tree... both Carolinas.

You try and top that.

I just want to be close.

Watch the dust.

She took a look at my plans...

...and never said a word.

A week later she had it on canvas.

This was going to be the first.

Designing and building my own boats...

...that was the plan.

This was going to be my signature boat...

...the one we'd never sell.

And when will you finish it?

I haven't touched it in two years.




And you'll take me out on that boat?

Around the point, where the wind will scare me to death?

There will be no wind tonight.

And you know that?

I'm the son of a fisherman.

You watch the Weather Channel.

Will you sail with me tonight?

I go back in a few days.

And I can't change that, because my son's coming home.

I don't know if this makes sense. Maybe...

Well, that's a mistake...

...letting her taste your coffee.

Well, she liked it last night.

She was just being polite.

Nobody likes it, take my word.

Be good.

Oh, Lord.

Now what?

Go easy.

Hold it right there.

You stay out of our way!

You're not welcome here, Johnny.

You better stay out of our way! Both of you!

Guess the courts turned you down again?

It's not your business. It's settled.

No, we just want the paintings.

They were part of our life here, Marta.

The only one who sees them is you.

People should see them.

Please, Garret.

It's all you left us of her.

That's the first time you called me her killer, Hank... least to my face.

Nobody killed her.

He left her alone when she was sick and weak.

She wanted to come home to us! This was her home!

Now he's killing her mother.

I hear her heart break every goddamn day.

I gave you everything of hers.

The paintings! You got yourself another woman.

What the hell do you care? You son of a bitch.

Just stay out of this.

Step aside!

She painted them here.

She hung them here.

She was the last to touch them! That's how it'll stay!

This is what you want, isn't it?

If I cut it up you can all have a piece.

You can all have a piece of her!

Just set it down, Dad.

Step aside!

My God... this what she is to you?

Something to fight over, pull apart? Look at you.

All three of you have blood in your eyes.

Is that for Catherine?

Or is that so you can walk around and beat your chest like a bunch of apes?

Goddamn it, you're outside of this.

Well, I loved her too.

And I want something to remember her by.

Piece of this will do.

She'd hate this!

She'd hate it, Hank.

Dodge is right. She'd hate this...

...worse than dying!

Crazy people.

They're only half the war.

You saw them. You heard what they said.

But you carry your half around pretty good too.

Are you okay with this?

Until you...

...I didn't even think about being close to anybody else.


...I still feel her. She's...

And I don't want to cheat you, Theresa.

You're going to eat that whole bag?

Why do you have two bags of marshmallows?



It's so great here.

It was so nice outside.

I decided to set the table out there. Is that okay?

You said to come in, right?

I know.

We can eat in the kitchen if you want.

And I got angel food cake, so I hope your dad likes cake.

I was going to put that back.

Look, I just didn't know where the boundaries were.

I didn't know where the boundaries were either.

Let me get this out of the way. I'm sorry.

I really...

Let me get it.

Let me clean it up, okay?

I'll get a rag. I can do it. I'll get it.

I said, I'll get it!

Just give me a minute.

So you're the jacket.

Yeah, that's me.

You were looking around here a couple days ago.

Find what you wanted?

I don't know.

I'm Theresa.


Like the pickup.

He said you were pretty. He should've said beautiful.

Why didn't he inherit that charm?

You had a fight. That's a good sign.

I made a mistake.

I moved something out of its place.

Don't pay that any mind.

He's still not right about it.

It's like a truck hit him. Swear to God.

Clams, better here than anywhere. Come on inside.

It's pretty crowded in there.

You want to take a walk?

He won't tell you much.

The man talks about as much as a fish.


...wasn't good right from the beginning.

Her family thought that she would be the one... bust out of here and just shake the world.

Garret was too much like them.

They thought, anyway, that he would be... anchor around her, keep her life small.

How did she die?

Pregnancy just took the stuffing right out of her.

Keeled over at her parents' house and they kept her there.

So Garret went over and kicked the door down.

Carried her out.

She was glad too.

He took care of her the best he could...

...for about a month, I guess. And then...

Well, she just...

...gave out.

Now you know why Garret don't talk much.

Because his old man never shuts up.

Can we eat now?

You ought to knock down some walls.

It's getting too crowded in there.

Can't afford it.

Do the work ourselves.

Just end up looking like a boat.

Add a deck.

A couple of rooms.

Why? You thinking about moving in?

Not in a million years. You'd like that though, wouldn't you?

Keep your eye on me.

He's afraid I'm going to go back to my old habit.

Anybody want any cake?

I used to drink like a fish.

It ruined my health. It's no deep, dark secret.

Well, it's no citizen award either.

Two beers a day, that's my limit.

Change the subject?

The subject is change. People change.

Even you. That is the subject.

Good dinner.

You were the best thing about it.

If I was about 150 years younger, you'd be in trouble, young lady.

Where you going?

Taking my dessert on the beach.


He likes me.

Well, he's a...

...good man.

He said you were a pain in the ass.

Kidding. That was me.

Well, he's right.

You are the best thing about this dinner.

And this day...

...and this year.

I wish it was simpler.

I wish it was easier.

And I'm sorry.

Well, I'm not expecting flowers, but...

...will we call each other?


...look, I was kind of...

...hoping for flowers.

I could live here.

I didn't say that to scare you.

I scared you, didn't I?

So will you come and visit me?

You mean inland?

I don't go inland.

We have a lake.

A big lake.

Okay. I'll just go back to my work and my son and...'ll just forget about me, right?

Every day.

I've got your number, sailor.

And you've got mine. So...


And then what happened? Later, later.

The wanderer returns. How are you?

Yeah? So, solve your mystery?

There was no mystery.

He lost his wife, Catherine.

She was an artist.

And dead but not forgotten.

Right. So that's it, end of story?

Basically, yeah. There's no story.

Kind of like... Was it me that said that?


Toodle-loo, on your way. That's enough.

Any regrets?


No? Good.

So, what was she like?

She's beautiful and wispy and...

...a great artist.

And she's everywhere.

She's in his house.

She's in the shop.

The whole town knew her.

Is he still in love with her?

She isn't gone.

That's for you. And that's very interesting.

Research. This is Theresa.

It's me.


I know.

Sorry, I've been...

I'm finishing the boat.

My boat.

Ljust wanted to tell you.

How are you?

It's been a quiet few weeks.

I didn't know...

...what to say.

I still don't.

Need some help?

I was counting on it.


Were we just a casual thing or something else?

Possibly a beginning?

Just answers, no pressure.

Just a playboy? Nail those tourist women.

I've only...

...cared about two women in my whole life.

Catherine and...?

Some city girl.

Big mouth.



You just called to tell me about the boat?

I miss you.

I miss all of it.

Why don't you come see me, Garret?

It's just a visit. It's not a promise.

Is that enough?

Listen, you think I'm betting on us, but I'm not.

I'm just as scared as you are.

And I miss you too.

Okay. When?

When should I come?


You're not coming by boat, are you?

Jet Ski? Windsurfer?

So behave yourself.

You got your ticket?

Of course I have my ticket.

Got my name on all my clothes.

And I got a quarter for a phone call.

You got a gift for that kid of hers?

Get one at the airplane gift shop.

Don't get into any fights or anything.

There it comes.

Right on time, just like your old man.

Don't throw your back out.

Take your pills.

By my count, there should be 2 beers left in the fridge when I get back.

That's a sorry occupation, counting other people's beers.

If you get Kenny or any tourist kids to score you beer...

...I'll hear about it.

I got two counties covered.

That lady sure got you gut-hooked.

How'd you get to be so mean?

See you in a week.

The hell you say!

Not with your plane ticket on the seat here!

Good dog.

I think he's here, Mom.

You're kind of nervous.


I look great though, right?

Okay, is what I meant.

You made it.

Come in.

I think he's disappointed that you don't have a captain's hat on.

That's what he was expecting. Right?

Come on in.

I don't know if it suits a boy your age, but...

It's great.


Sweet, Garret.

He's into this mayhem thing.

I think it's a male deal.

Garret, thank you.

She hates chocolates.

It's really weird.


Yes, but it was very sweet of you.

Excuse me.

Thank you. That's what I really wanted.

You got to be beat, no?

I hope this is okay.

This is fine.

I mean, this is perfect.

Tomorrow night, Jason will be at a friend's house. So...

Meaning what?

Shut up.

I know this isn't very romantic. What?

This is my life.

No, this is...


It's nice.

I just want you to know me.

Just the day-to-day, regular me.

You think you know me?



He's not coming.

But I've come so far.

I don't even know.

I'm glad you're here.

I'm glad I'm here too.

We're almost there.

Wait. Is that him?

That's him.

Oh, my God. Don't say a word.

Hey, buddy!

What are you doing here?

Train's pretty cool.

Can I use the computer?

Jason wanted to surprise you.

Hope it's okay. It's fine.

It's only for a minute, then we'll hop back on that train.

He's scared of it, Mom.

I'm not scared of it.

Annie. Garret.

This is where I work.

It was nice meeting you.

Well, now I can picture you on the job.

So that's him. That's Ahab?

That's him. He's no Captain Ahab.

Smile at him. Be friendly.

Friendly people. I know.

He's smiling at her. That's sweet.

Oh, behave!

You're so negative, Charlie. Don't you want her to be happy?

She'll smell of haddock for the rest of her life.

I don't know what I was expecting.

I mean, I didn't realize...

...everybody's close.

Theresa, this came as a big surprise to me...

...but apparently it is the poodle that is the number one dog.

Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.

Hi, Lina. Hi, Jason.

Jason is taking Garret into town sailing now.

Really? So soon?

If he doesn't get lost first.

I know there's a lake around here somewhere.

He senses that.

Sensitive. If you get into any trouble at all...

...certainly give me... the paper... a call.

You want to steer? Sure.

You're the captain.

You got to keep us going straight.

Straight ahead.

Here you go.

How you doing? Good.

The gang. Hi, Lenny.

Bye, Mom. Have fun.

Say bye to your mom. See you!

I'm not used to having you here.

It's okay, Garret.

It's nice...

...being among your things.

Well, is it what you expected?

It's comforting.

You're making me self-conscious.

What are you looking at?

Theresa in her home.

The regular everyday...



I really...

...wanted to make this right.

I just wanted to straighten up my room and light a candle and...

And I need to take a shower.

Garret, wait.

One, two, three...

...four, five, six.

That was a goodie. So scared.

I'm so scared.

That was big.

I'm going to take a shower. Finally.

Wait. Just...

You're not going to believe what...

Oh, God. Garret.

Where did you get this?

I found it.

What do you mean, you found it?

I found it on the shore.

Garret, wait.

It came to me.

You have to trust me.

Trust you?

I just had to meet the person that wrote it. I had to meet you.

I was going to tell you before. How could you find me?

Because I tracked all of the messages and there were clues...

All of the messages?

They've all been found and people saw it in the column and they wrote.

I swear to God, I was going to tell you, Garret.

Garret, wait.

I got to get out of here.

Garret, wait!

Why did you do this?


Were you curious?

It's goddamn research! No, I'm falling in love with you!

First in the letters and then when I met you!

And I'm sorry! I was afraid!

I was afraid if I told you that I would push you away!

Just like I'm doing now.


No matter what you think of me...

...and no matter what happens now, I want you to know... much I care for you.

And it shouldn't matter...

...what brought us together, Garret.

I sent those letters into the sea to her. Not to you!

Not to all your friends at work!

I know.

They all knew about me, didn't they?

All about Catherine?

My life was changed by those three letters.

I didn't want it printed in the paper. Two letters.

You've got to believe me. I sent two letters to Catherine.


I have all of the letters. I have all three.

Where's the third letter?

Is it in that drawer?


To all the ships at sea...

...and all the ports of call.

To my family...

...and to all friends and strangers.

This is a message and a prayer.

The message is that my travels taught me a great truth.

I already had what everyone is searching for...

...and few ever find:

The one person in the world...

...who I was born to love forever.

A person like me, of the Outer Banks...

...and the blue Atlantic mystery.

A person rich in simple treasures...

...self-made, self-taught.

A harbor where I am forever home.

And no wind or trouble...

...or even a little death can knock down this house.

The prayer is that everyone in the world can know this kind of love...

...and be healed by it.

If my prayer is heard, then there will be an erasing of all guilt...

...and all regret...

...and an end to all anger.

Please, God.


I never knew what she wrote.


...never came back from that day.

I dried her. I tried to keep her warm.

Took her to the hospital.

She never...

She died three days later.

I keep thinking if she hadn't gone out that day...

Garret, she knew.

She said it.

"Not even a little death can knock down this house. " She knew.

I want to...

...keep this.

I'm sorry. Would you rather be alone?

Has he called?

I left him a message, though.

I said I was sorry.

And I asked him to call.

Well, then, he will.

Lina, do you remember...

...what I was always complaining about?

All those times you let me cry on your shoulder about David.


Honesty. Trust.

I was so scared.

I don't...

I was falling in love with Garret and I...

Half of my mind was saying, "Tell him"...

...and the other half was saying...

..."Just wait. He's not going to understand.

Wait till the right moment.

Just wait till you have the right words. " You know?

And I blew it. I just...

...killed it by being what I hate:

A liar.

You're not a liar.

But to him I am.

And I don't think he's ever going to be able to trust me now.

Don't you understand we all have our own little lies...

...and our little unspoken truths?

And you just have to have a little faith that he'll understand that.

I don't know.

I don't know if he can.

I saw his pain. He was holding her letter and he was reading it.

And there was just... much pain and...

He has so much love for her, you know?

I don't know.

You said if I was ever thinking about writing a piece for the paper...

No kidding.

Is he in here?


Other stories.

Good stories.

It's about time.

People get hurt, they shut down.

Till the pain goes away?

I don't know.

Maybe you just learn to take it in like everything else.

Kind of like a few pieces of cork in a great glass of wine.

You don't want to miss the wine.

Is that in here?

The cork in the wine thing?


Good. I hate it.

It may be that most of us write our own life story...

...making it up as we go along.

But others seem to have lives that are already shaped and planned...


...perfect as a circle.

Open it.


This is exciting. It is.

Front page of the section! Great!

Thanks, bud.

Can I cut it out?


Is this okay? That is great.

That's perfect. Thank you.

Here's your mail, ma'am.

Thank you.



I love what you've done here.

Very minimalist. Very nice of you to stop by, sir.

Yes, well, I come bearing a gift for your new phone booth office.

Can I hang it? That is so sweet.

I know.

You'll never guess who it is.

You seem happy.

Is anything all right?


May I?

If you decide to go do something wild and ridiculous...'ll only prove one thing.

And what's that?

He's one lucky old son of the sea.

That's a Charlie Toschi quote.

You know, somebody's going to think you're drying your skivvies up there.

You look nice.

Yeah, well, it hurts.

She's beautiful, Garret.

Thanks, Marta.

Go get them!

Nice job, Garret.

To Catherine.

To Catherine.

Wish to God...

Wish to God she was here today.

Every day.

My dad said you were there.

Wish I'd have known.

A surprise. Dumb idea.

No, it's...

It's great to see you.

Glad you came. Me too.

I saw the boat. It's beautiful.

It's great.

I'm happy for you.

You want to come inside?

I'm sorry.

What I said must've hurt you.

I just heard what you couldn't tell me.

Or maybe what I couldn't hear.

And I understand now.

I think it's so beautiful the way you love her.

No, you don't have to say anything.

It's what made me want to find you.

Then stay with me.

Come inside.

Just stay as long as you want.

I thought about it. I thought about a lot of things sitting out here.

And I can't stay.


Because if you can, you'll come to me...

...when it's right. And if it's not right, it's okay.

Because I wouldn't...

...regret one minute.

Not one.


I don't want to lose you.

Then don't.

Why do you always sit in the same place?

What the hell you care where I sit?

I'm curious. You started sitting here 10, 11 years ago.

For chrissake!

You used to sit over there.

Get the boy a cup of coffee.

You look like hell.

I'm okay.

Catch up to her?

You let her go.

I don't want to talk about it.

Listen, I was... Go away.

She made up her mind.

The hell you want? Persistence.

Get crazy. Go nuts. A fight, for chrissake.

You spent one afternoon with her.

You don't even know who she is.



Three minutes. Get on the phone.

It's your last chance.

Of course she walked away.

She ain't stupid.

Think she wants to try to come between you and...

I don't have it all figured out. Who the hell does?

Think it's easy for me to see another woman in your house?

Well, it ain't easy.

I'll tell you one thing...

...I'd give a million bucks to see you grab her...

...and figure it out as you go along.

Just drop it!

Drop it? Yeah. Drop it!


...forget about it.

I can't!

I can't forget about it.

Why the hell not?

Because you're my boy.

It's not your business. What?

I said it's not your business!

Turn around.

Turn around.

Make a fist.

Make it!

Now you hit me!

Hit me in the face, you son of a bitch.

Not my business?

My son is not my business?

What the hell else have I got...

...that's close to me?

Who else ever...

...stuck up for me?

Think I don't know your pain? I do.

Some of it I put there. Think I can forget that?

When she went to New York, you could've gone with her...

...and here I was, sick, drunk, flat on my ass...

...bringing you down.

Maybe the two of you, it could've been different somehow.

I didn't stay for you.

This is who I am.

This place. This is where I belong.

She came back because she found out she belonged here too.

She chose for herself.

God, I loved her for that.

So did I.

Now you choose. Choose...

...between yesterday and tomorrow. Pick one.

Stick with it.

And I will shut up...

...and leave you alone.

"So you'll always know where you are...

...and where home is.

Love, Theresa. "

You heading for blue water?

Yes, sir.

Well, you know what you're doing.

Got it all figured out.

Hey, bud.

Time to get up.

Another day.

They call him the Mayor of 43rd.

He's so sweet. He knows everyone. Helps people.

The point is, it's his 70th birthday.

Theresa, there's a phone call for you.

Can you take a message?

It's urgent.

Excuse me.

You better take it in my office.

Is it Jase?

Hey, girl.

I better...

...get this said while I can still talk.

There was a boat, Theresa, offshore in trouble.

A family, there was three of them.

Garret tried...

Well, he tried to help, and...

It's bad. He went down.

What do you mean?

He went in after them.

He got two of them. But he went down, Theresa.

I am so sorry.

That's all I got now.


Oh, my God.

Hard times.

Come on in.

I found it on the boat.

It was in his slicker.

Dear Catherine:

My life began when I found you...

...and I thought it had ended when I failed to save you.

I thought that hanging on to your memory was keeping us both alive.

But I was wrong.

A woman named Theresa showed me that...

...if I was brave enough to open my heart...

...I could love again, no matter how terrible my grief.

She made me realize I was only half-alive.

It scared me and it hurt.

I didn't know how much I needed her till the night she flew away.

When that airplane took off, I felt something inside me tear away.

And I knew.

I should have stopped her.

I should've follo wed her home.

And now tomorrow, I'm going to sail to the windy point...

...and I'm going to say goodbye to you.

Then I'm going to go to this woman...

...and see if I can win her heart.

If I can, I know you'll bless me.

And bless us all.

If I can't...

...then I'm still blessed because I've had the privilege of loving...

...twice in my life.

She gave me that.

And if I tell you I love her as much as I loved you...

...then you'll know the whole story.

Rest in peace, my love.


If some lives form a perfect circle...

...others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand.

Loss has been a part of myjourney.

But it has also shown me what is precious.

So has a love for which I can only be grateful.

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