A father’s pursuit of success and happiness, against all odds.
In the bustling city of San Francisco, amidst the skyscrapers and the hustling crowds, Chris Gardner felt lost. He had been a hardworking salesman for years, but despite his best efforts, he found himself on the brink of financial ruin. He had fallen behind on rent, bills, and could barely afford to feed himself and his son.
But Chris refused to give up. He had a dream of making a better life for himself and his son, Chris Jr. He knew that he had to take a chance and make a change, no matter how difficult it might be.
That’s when he met a wealthy stockbroker, who offered him a shot at a career in finance. Chris jumped at the opportunity, hoping it would finally lift him out of poverty.
But little did he know, this would be the beginning of a journey filled with heartache, struggles, and unexpected turns.
Chapter 1: The Struggle Begins
Chris Gardner stood outside the rundown apartment building, feeling the weight of his failures pressing down upon him. He had been a hardworking medical equipment salesman for years, but despite his best efforts, he had fallen on hard times.
As he climbed the stairs to his apartment, he could hear the sounds of his neighbors arguing and the babies crying. It was a constant reminder of his own struggles, and he knew that he had to find a way out.
Inside his cramped apartment, Chris found his five-year-old son, Christopher, sitting on the floor with his toys scattered around him. Christopher looked up at his father with wide eyes, and Chris felt a pang of guilt wash over him.
He knew that he wasn’t able to provide the kind of life that he wanted for his son. He was behind on rent and bills, and he could barely afford to put food on the table. It was a constant struggle, and he felt like he was drowning.
Chris sat down next to his son and pulled him into a tight embrace. He promised himself that he would do everything in his power to make a better life for them both.
The next day, Chris set out to sell medical equipment as he had done countless times before. But he felt different this time. He felt a spark of determination flickering within him, a glimmer of hope that things could be different.
As he made his sales pitch to doctors and nurses, Chris felt a sense of pride in his work. He was good at what he did, and he knew it. But despite his success, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was destined for more.
That’s when he met the wealthy stockbroker, who offered him a chance at a new career in finance. Chris knew that this was it. This was his chance to break free from the cycle of poverty and provide a better life for his son.
But little did he know, this opportunity would come with its own set of challenges. Chris was about to embark on a journey that would test his resilience, his determination, and his love for his son.
Chapter 2: “A Chance Encounter”
Chris Gardner was walking down the street, trying to sell medical equipment to doctors’ offices. He was feeling more desperate than ever before, as he was behind on rent and bills, and could barely afford to feed himself and his son, Christopher. As he walked, he spotted a man in a suit walking towards him.
The man was affluent, and Chris figured he was one of the stockbrokers in the area. Chris stopped him and introduced himself, hoping that he might have some leads on potential clients for his medical equipment. The man introduced himself as Jay Twistle, a senior partner at Dean Witter Reynolds.
Jay Twistle asked Chris what he did for a living, and Chris responded that he sold medical equipment. He went on to explain that he had been trying to make a living selling these products for some time, but that he was struggling to make ends meet.
Jay Twistle listened intently, and then asked Chris why he hadn’t considered a career in finance. Chris was initially taken aback by the suggestion, as he had never thought of finance as a possibility. But Jay Twistle was persistent, and he urged Chris to consider giving it a try.
As they walked down the street together, Jay Twistle explained to Chris what it was like to work as a stockbroker. He talked about the fast-paced environment, the long hours, and the potential for high earnings. Chris found himself intrigued, but also skeptical. He had never had any experience in finance, and he wasn’t sure he was cut out for it.
Jay Twistle, however, was convinced that Chris had what it took to succeed. He saw something in Chris that Chris didn’t even see in himself. He offered to help Chris study for the licensing exam, and gave him a reading list of books to study.
Chris was hesitant at first, but he soon realized that this might be the opportunity he had been looking for. He was tired of struggling to make ends meet, and he knew that he needed to make a change if he wanted to provide a better life for himself and his son.
Jay Twistle gave Chris his business card, and told him to call if he was interested in pursuing a career in finance. Chris left feeling both excited and nervous. He knew that the road ahead would be difficult, but he felt a glimmer of hope that he might finally be able to turn his life around.
As Chris walked away, he felt a sense of gratitude towards Jay Twistle. He realized that sometimes, the most unexpected encounters can change our lives in ways we never imagined. He vowed to himself that he would work hard to make the most of this opportunity, and to prove to Jay Twistle that he had made the right choice in taking a chance on him.
Chapter 3: “A Father’s Responsibility”
Chris felt a knot in his stomach as he drove to pick up his son, Christopher. He and his wife Linda had separated, and Chris was now responsible for taking care of their son. He knew that Christopher would be hesitant to leave his mother’s side, but he had no other choice.
As Chris pulled up to the house, he saw Linda standing outside, holding Christopher’s hand. Christopher looked up at Chris with a look of confusion and fear. Linda tried to reassure him, but it was clear that Christopher didn’t want to leave his mother.
Chris tried to put on a brave face as he loaded Christopher’s bags into the car. He knew that this was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, and he was determined to make the best of it.
As they drove away, Christopher looked out the window, his face pressed against the glass. Chris tried to make small talk, but Christopher was quiet and withdrawn.
When they arrived at Chris’ apartment, Christopher was hesitant to leave the car. Chris had to coax him out, promising that they would have fun together.
Inside the apartment, Christopher looked around, taking in the small space and the few belongings that Chris had. Chris could sense his son’s disappointment and tried to distract him with toys and games.
But it was hard for Christopher to ignore the fact that he was no longer living with his mother. He missed her and the familiar surroundings of their home. Chris tried to be patient and understanding, but he couldn’t help feeling guilty about uprooting his son’s life.
As the days went on, Christopher grew more comfortable in the apartment, but he still missed his mother. Chris tried to make things fun for him, taking him to the park and the zoo, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was failing as a father.
One day, Christopher came home from school with a drawing he had made. It was a picture of him, Chris, and Linda, holding hands and smiling. Chris felt a lump in his throat as he looked at the drawing. He knew that Christopher loved his mother and that he couldn’t replace her.
But he also knew that he had a responsibility to provide for his son and to give him a good life. He started looking for a better job, something that would allow him to support his family.
In the meantime, he tried to spend as much time with Christopher as possible. They played games, watched movies, and talked about all sorts of things. Chris felt a sense of pride when he saw how much his son loved him.
But he also felt the weight of his responsibility as a father. He worried about whether he was doing things right, whether he was giving Christopher the life he deserved.
One night, after Christopher had gone to bed, Chris sat on the couch and cried. He felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a single father, and he didn’t know how he was going to manage.
But he knew that he had to keep going, for Christopher’s sake. He wiped away his tears, took a deep breath, and resolved to do whatever it took to provide for his son.
As he lay in bed that night, he thought about the lessons he wanted to teach Christopher. He wanted him to be strong and independent, to never give up on his dreams. He wanted him to know that no matter what, his father loved him and would always be there for him.
Chris knew that being a father was the most important job he would ever have. And he was determined to do it right.
Chapter 4: “Struggling to Survive”
Chris Gardner’s financial situation worsened day by day. As his bills accumulated, he was forced to make tough choices. He would often have to choose between feeding his son and paying rent. It was a brutal reality for him to face. Out of desperation, he would sell medical equipment just to make ends meet.
Chris was a man used to working hard. Despite his financial predicament, he refused to give up. He was determined to provide for his son and to give him a better life. But no matter how hard he tried, his situation continued to spiral out of control.
One day, as he was walking down the street, he noticed a group of men standing outside a construction site. They were all eagerly awaiting a job opportunity. Chris decided to join them, hoping that he would be able to get some work and earn some much-needed cash. Unfortunately, the contractors didn’t need any more workers at the moment.
Frustrated but undeterred, Chris continued his search for a job. He walked into a hospital, hoping that someone might be interested in purchasing some of his medical equipment. He explained his situation to a doctor he met, telling him how he had fallen behind on his rent and bills and was struggling to feed his son.
The doctor took pity on Chris and offered to buy some of his equipment for a fair price. Chris was grateful for the offer, and the two struck a deal. But the money he earned was not enough to cover all his expenses. He knew he needed to find work elsewhere.
Chris applied for several jobs, but due to his lack of experience, he was turned down every time. In an attempt to make some quick cash, he started selling off his possessions. He sold his car, his watch, and even his wedding ring. It was a painful experience for him, but he knew he had to do what it takes to survive.
But no matter how much he sold, it was never enough. Chris found himself falling deeper and deeper into debt. He had to make a decision: pay his rent or feed his son. He chose to feed his son, but it meant that he would fall behind on his rent once again.
Eventually, Chris’ landlord had enough. He gave Chris an ultimatum: pay up or get out. Chris was devastated. He had nowhere else to go and no one to turn to for help. He and his son were facing homelessness.
As the days went by, Chris became increasingly desperate. He and his son would often sleep in train stations or in public parks. He was constantly afraid of getting caught by the police. The situation was unbearable, and Chris was at his wit’s end.
But he refused to give up. He knew that he had to keep pushing forward, no matter how difficult it got. He was determined to provide for his son, no matter what it took.
In the end, it was his sheer determination that saved him. Through a chance encounter, he was given an opportunity to turn his life around. But the lessons he learned during those dark days stayed with him forever. He learned the true meaning of perseverance and determination, and he was grateful for the chance to have provided for his son during such trying times.
Chapter 5: “A Glimmer of Hope”
Chris Gardner sat in his cramped apartment, surrounded by piles of medical equipment he desperately needed to sell. His son Christopher, now living with him full-time, was working on his homework at the kitchen table. Chris had been studying for his broker’s exam, but the constant struggle to make ends meet had left him exhausted and feeling defeated.
As he looked out the window at the bustling San Francisco streets below, Chris couldn’t help but feel a pang of envy for those who seemed to have it all. He longed for financial stability, for a chance to give his son the life he deserved.
Just then, the phone rang. It was the internship he had applied for, offering him a spot in their program. Chris couldn’t believe it – this was the opportunity he had been waiting for. But there was a catch; the internship paid no salary.
Chris knew he couldn’t give up his job selling medical equipment, as it was the only source of income he had to support himself and his son. So he had no choice but to work long hours, studying for the exam during his breaks and after work.
As the weeks went by, Chris’s exhaustion reached new heights. He struggled to keep up with both his job and his studies, and his lack of sleep began to take a toll on his health.
Despite the mounting obstacles, Chris refused to give up. He was determined to make this internship work, no matter what it took. He continued to sell medical equipment during the day, studying at night, and sleeping only a few hours each night.
On one particularly difficult day, Chris found himself nodding off during a meeting with a potential client. He knew he had to pull it together – he couldn’t afford to lose his job. He took a deep breath and refocused his attention, but the exhaustion was overwhelming.
That night, Chris collapsed on his bed, feeling like he was about to break. But then he looked over at his son, who was sleeping peacefully beside him, and he knew he couldn’t give up. He had to keep going, for Christopher.
Weeks turned into months, and Chris’s hard work finally began to pay off. He passed his broker’s exam, and his internship turned into a full-time job as a stockbroker. He continued to sell medical equipment during the day, but now he had a glimmer of hope for a brighter future.
One day, Chris took Christopher to a fancy restaurant to celebrate his success. As they sat down to dinner, Chris couldn’t help but feel proud of all they had overcome together. He looked across the table at his son, and saw a reflection of his own resilience and determination.
As they ate, Chris promised his son that they would never again have to worry about money. They would have a bright future, full of opportunity and joy. And for the first time in a long time, Chris felt like he had truly accomplished something.
But as he looked back on the long road he had traveled, Chris knew that it was the struggle itself that had taught him the most. He had learned valuable lessons about perseverance, determination, and the strength of the human spirit. And he knew that no matter what life threw his way, he would never again give up on his dreams.
Chapter 6: “A Homeless Family”
Chris and Christopher found themselves living in a homeless shelter. It was a difficult and dangerous place, but it was the only option they had left. Chris felt like he had hit rock bottom, and he didn’t know how to get himself and his son out of this situation.
The shelter was overcrowded, with families crammed into small rooms. The conditions were filthy, and there was a constant risk of violence. Chris knew he had to protect Christopher, and he tried to shield him from the worst of it.
Despite the grim surroundings, Chris remained determined. He was working hard at the medical equipment company during the day, and studying for his broker’s exam at night. He was exhausted all the time, but he refused to give up.
One night, as Chris was studying by the light of a flickering lamp, he heard a commotion outside. He looked out the window and saw two men fighting. One of them had a knife, and Chris knew he had to act fast.
He grabbed Christopher and rushed out of the room, hoping to find a safe place to hide. But as they turned the corner, they ran into the two men. Chris could see the fear in Christopher’s eyes, and he knew he had to be strong for him.
He stood between his son and the two men, and tried to reason with them. But they were drunk and aggressive, and they didn’t listen. Chris knew he had to defend himself and his son.
He fought back with all his strength, but he was quickly outnumbered. One of the men pulled out a knife, and Christopher started screaming. Chris felt a surge of adrenaline, and he managed to knock the knife out of the man’s hand.
The two men fled, and Chris and Christopher were left alone and shaken. They stumbled back to the shelter, and Chris knew they couldn’t stay there any longer. He had to find a way out.
The next day, Chris went to work as usual, but he couldn’t concentrate. He kept thinking about the danger he had put his son in. He knew he had to find a better solution, and fast.
He spent his lunch break walking around the city, hoping to find a lead. And then, as he was passing a construction site, he saw a man wearing a suit and tie. He looked like he worked in finance. Chris approached him and introduced himself.
The man’s name was Jay, and he was a successful stockbroker. Chris told him his story, and Jay was impressed by his determination and resilience. He offered to mentor him and help him prepare for the broker’s exam.
Chris was overjoyed. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for. He thanked Jay profusely and promised to work hard and never give up.
As the sun started to set, Chris walked back to the shelter with a newfound sense of hope. He knew that he and Christopher still had a long way to go, but he also knew that they had each other, and that was all that mattered.
Chapter 7: “The Stockbroker’s Life”
Chris Gardner was finally starting to see some progress in his life. He had worked incredibly hard to secure his internship at Dean Witter Reynolds, a prestigious stockbrokerage firm. He had made many sacrifices along the way, including living in a homeless shelter with his son, Christopher.
Now, Chris was finally entering the world of finance, a field he hoped would provide him and his son with the financial stability they needed. Despite the long hours and high-pressure environment, Chris was determined to succeed.
Chris’s days at Dean Witter Reynolds were long and grueling, but he relished the challenge. He would arrive at the office before dawn and stay until late into the night, studying the markets and analyzing stocks. He was determined to learn as much as he could and become successful in his new career.
Chris was fortunate to have some great mentors at Dean Witter, including Jay Twistle, a successful stockbroker who took Chris under his wing. Jay was a demanding but fair boss, and Chris respected him tremendously.
One day, Jay called Chris into his office and offered him a chance to prove himself as a broker. A wealthy client needed someone to handle his investments, and Jay thought Chris would be the perfect fit. Chris was thrilled at the opportunity and immediately got to work researching the client’s portfolio.
As Chris delved deeper into the client’s finances, he realized that there were some risky investments that needed to be adjusted. He presented his findings to the client and convinced him to make some changes to his portfolio. The client was impressed with Chris’s knowledge and insight and ultimately entrusted him with all of his investments.
Chris’s success with this client earned him a reputation as a rising star within the firm. He began to receive offers from other clients, and his portfolio grew quickly. Chris was able to earn commissions on his trades, providing him with the financial stability he had always dreamed of.
Despite his newfound success, Chris never forgot the struggles he had faced to get to this point. He still worked hard every day, determined to improve his skills and provide better opportunities for his son. Christopher was proud of his father’s achievements, and the two of them celebrated each milestone together.
One day, as Chris was leaving the office, he paused to reflect on how far he had come. He realized that he had found happiness in his work, but also in the simple moments of life with his son. He had achieved the elusive “happyness” he had been pursuing all along.
As Chris and Christopher walked home that evening, they were both beaming with pride. Chris knew that there were still challenges ahead, but he was ready to face them head-on. He had proven to himself and everyone around him that he was a force to be reckoned with, and he was finally able to give his son the life he deserved.
Chapter 8: “The Pursuit of Happyness”
Chris sat at his desk, staring at the computer screen in front of him. He had just closed a big deal with a wealthy client, but he felt empty inside. He had achieved his dream of becoming a successful stockbroker, but he wasn’t happy.
He thought back to his days selling medical equipment, struggling to make ends meet. He had been homeless, living in a shelter with his son. He had faced rejection after rejection as he tried to break into the world of finance. But through it all, he had never lost sight of his goal.
Now, as he sat in his plush office overlooking the city, he realized that happiness was not about money or status. It was about the relationships he had forged along the way, particularly the bond he shared with his son.
He picked up the phone and called Christopher, who was now a teenager. “Hey, buddy,” he said. “How was school today?”
“It was fine,” Christopher replied. “What’s up?”
“I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing,” Chris said.
“I’m good,” Christopher said. “Is everything okay?”
Chris hesitated. He had always been the strong one, the one who never showed weakness. But now, he felt vulnerable. “I’m just feeling a little lost, I guess,” he admitted. “I’ve achieved everything I ever wanted, but I don’t feel happy.”
There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line. “Dad,” Christopher said finally. “Happiness isn’t something you can achieve. It’s something you create.”
Chris was taken aback. He had expected his son to be as lost as he was. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean, you have to find joy in the little things, in the moments that make life worth living,” Christopher said. “Like when we used to play basketball together, or when we would watch movies and eat popcorn. Those are the things that made me happy, not the money or the fancy stuff.”
Chris felt a wave of emotion wash over him. He realized that his son had grown up to be wise beyond his years. He had taught him a valuable lesson about life.
“Thanks, son,” Chris said. “You’re right. I need to focus on what’s important.”
He hung up the phone and sat back in his chair. He looked out the window at the city skyline, but this time he saw it with fresh eyes. He saw the people rushing to and fro, all chasing their own dreams. He saw the beauty in the chaos, in the way the sun cast its golden light across the buildings.
He realized that he had been so focused on achieving success that he had forgotten to enjoy the journey. He had forgotten that life was about the pursuit of happiness, not the destination.
He stood up from his desk and walked out of his office. He headed down to the street, where he saw a group of kids playing basketball. He stopped and watched them, a smile spreading across his face. He realized that these were the moments that mattered, the ones that made life worth living.
He walked back to his office, feeling lighter and more at peace than he had in years. He realized that he had it all – success, wealth, and most importantly, a son who loved him unconditionally.
He sat back down at his desk, feeling a renewed sense of purpose. He looked at the computer screen again, but this time, he saw it with fresh eyes. He realized that his job was not just about making money, it was about helping people achieve their dreams.
He picked up the phone and called a new client, one who had been struggling to make ends meet. He spent the next hour talking with her, offering advice and encouragement. By the time he hung up, he knew that he had made a difference in her life.
He walked out of his office, feeling grateful for all that he had. He looked up at the sky and saw a bright star shining down on him. He smiled, knowing that he had finally found what he had been searching for all along – the pursuit of happyness.
Chapter 9: “A Happy Ending”
Chris sat in his spacious office, overlooking the bustling street below. He couldn’t believe how far he had come in just a few short years. He had gone from being homeless and unemployed to a successful stockbroker, with a beautiful office and a loyal team of employees.
But as he looked around, he realized that none of this would have been possible without the support and love of his son, Christopher. He thought back to the difficult days they had shared, living in homeless shelters and struggling to make ends meet.
Chris knew that his success now was a direct result of the hardships he had faced in the past. It had taught him the value of hard work, perseverance, and determination. He had fought tooth and nail to get to where he was now, and he refused to take any of it for granted.
As he sat there, lost in thought, his phone rang. It was Christopher’s school, letting him know that Christopher had fallen and hurt his arm. Chris hung up and rushed to the school, his heart pounding with fear.
When he arrived, he found Christopher sitting in the nurse’s office, his arm in a sling. Chris hugged him tightly, grateful that it wasn’t anything more serious.
“Are you okay, son?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Christopher replied, grinning up at his father. “Just a little accident.”
Chris couldn’t help but smile at his son’s optimism. He knew that Christopher had inherited his resilience and determination, and that thought filled him with pride.
As they walked out of the school, Chris took Christopher’s hand, feeling grateful for the strong bond they shared. They had been through so much together, and Chris knew that they could get through anything as long as they had each other.
That night, Chris took Christopher out to a fancy restaurant to celebrate. As they sat at the table, enjoying their meal, Chris couldn’t help but feel content. He had found true happiness, and it had nothing to do with money or material possessions.
He realized that his pursuit of happiness had been a journey, not a destination. It had been the small moments, like the look of pride on Christopher’s face when he saw his father’s office, or the way Christopher hugged him when he was scared, that mattered the most.
Chris knew that he had been given a second chance in life, and he was determined to make the most of it. He had learned valuable lessons about hard work, perseverance, and most importantly, the importance of family.
As they walked back to their car, Chris took Christopher’s hand once again. He knew that they still had a long way to go, but he was grateful for the journey they had shared so far.
“Thanks for everything, Dad,” Christopher said, smiling up at him.
Chris looked down at Christopher, feeling overwhelmed with love. He knew that no matter what the future held, they would always have each other.
“Thank you, Christopher,” Chris replied, his voice choked with emotion. “For everything.”
Chapter 10: “Lessons Learned”
Chris sat on the edge of his bed, staring out the window at the city below. It had been years since he had been in that homeless shelter, since he had struggled to feed himself and his son, since he had felt the crushing weight of poverty on his shoulders. But those memories still lingered, and they would never leave him completely.
He thought back on his journey, on the many obstacles he had faced and the many times he had wanted to give up. He had come so close to losing everything, but somehow, he had found the strength to keep going, to keep pushing until he achieved his dreams.
Looking back, he realized that it wasn’t just his own strength that had gotten him through those dark times. It was the love and support of those around him, the people who had helped him when he needed it most.
He thought of his son, Christopher, who had been his constant companion and source of motivation throughout the years. Despite everything, Christopher had remained upbeat and optimistic, his smile never dimming even in the toughest of times.
And then there was Linda, the woman who had believed in him even when he didn’t believe in himself. She had been there for him when he had hit rock bottom, and she had helped him climb back up to the top. He knew that he owed her everything, and he was grateful for her every day.
But most of all, he realized that he had learned some valuable lessons along the way. Lessons about perseverance, determination, and the importance of family. He had learned that success wasn’t just about money or prestige, but about finding happiness in the simple moments of life.
He had also learned that life was unpredictable, that it could throw unexpected obstacles in your path at any moment. But instead of letting those obstacles defeat him, he had used them as fuel to keep going.
And now, as he sat there on his bed, he knew that he had achieved his ultimate goal. He was successful and respected in his field, he had a loving family by his side, and he had found the happiness he had been searching for all those years.
But he also knew that his journey was far from over. There would be more obstacles, more challenges, more moments of darkness. But he was ready for them. He was ready to keep pushing forward, to keep living his life to the fullest.
And with that thought, he smiled. Because no matter what the future held, he knew that he could face it head-on, with the strength and determination that had gotten him this far.
Some scenes from the movie The Pursuit of Happyness written by A.I.
EXT. SAN FRANCISCO – DAY
Chris Gardner wanders through the streets, dressed in his best suit. He carries a heavy briefcase and a load of worries on his shoulders. He looks up at the towering skyscrapers, a sense of dread building in his stomach.
INT. OFFICE BUILDING – DAY
Chris enters a dingy, cramped office and is greeted by a surly receptionist. He heads to his cubicle, where he spends the next few hours making fruitless phone calls and filling out paperwork.
INT. LUNCHROOM – DAY
Chris sits alone, eating a sad looking sandwich. He watches as his colleagues chat and laugh, envy etched on his face.
INT. BOSS’S OFFICE – DAY
Chris knocks timidly on his boss’s door, hoping for good news. His boss sneers at him, telling him he hasn’t made enough sales to justify his salary.
BOSS: “Sorry, Chris. You’re not cutting it. We can’t afford to keep you on.”
Chris’s face falls as he realizes he’s out of a job. He packs up his desk, trying to hold back tears.
EXT. CITY STREETS – DAY
Chris walks down the street, head hung low. He passes by a group of businessmen, laughing and joking. One of them drops a $5 bill, and Chris picks it up, a spark of hope igniting in his eyes.
Setting: The busy streets of San Francisco
Characters: Chris Gardner, wealthy stockbroker, passerby
Chris Gardner: Excuse me, can I talk to you for a moment?
Wealthy Stockbroker: Sure, what can I do for you?
Chris Gardner: (Nervously) I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m a salesman and I’m struggling to make ends meet. I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to get ahead in the finance world.
Wealthy Stockbroker: (Smiling) Well, I just happen to be a stockbroker myself. Why don’t you come to my office tomorrow and we can chat?
Chris Gardner: (Eagerly) Really? Thank you so much! I’ll be there.
(Next day at the stockbroker’s office)
Wealthy Stockbroker: So Chris, tell me why you want to get into finance.
Chris Gardner: (With determination) I’m tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I want to provide a better life for my son and myself.
Wealthy Stockbroker: (Impressed) I like your drive. You remind me of myself when I was starting out. I’m going to take a chance on you and offer you an internship at my firm.
Chris Gardner: (Overwhelmed) Thank you, thank you so much! I won’t let you down.
(End of scene)
The scene ends with Chris Gardner feeling grateful and optimistic about his future. He has just been offered a lifeline in the form of an internship, and he is determined to make the most of it. This sets the stage for the rest of the story, which chronicles Chris’s journey as he struggles to balance his new job with his responsibilities as a single father.
INT. CHRIS’ APARTMENT – DAY
Chris enters his small, cluttered apartment with his son, Christopher. The place looks even smaller now that it’s filled with Christopher’s things.
What do you think, buddy? This is our new home.
Christopher looks around, unimpressed.
Chris’ smile fades.
(evading the question)
Mommy’s not here right now, but you’re going to have so much fun with me.
I don’t want to have fun. I want Mommy.
Chris sighs and kneels down to his son’s level.
I know, I know. It’s tough, buddy. But sometimes we have to be brave even when we’re scared. And we can be brave together.
Christopher looks up at his father, considering his words.
Chris smiles and tousles his son’s hair.
That’s my boy.
Just then, Chris’ phone rings. He answers.
A woman’s voice sounds on the other end.
Hello, Chris. This is Linda from the daycare center.
Chris’ heart drops.
Is everything okay?
Your wife…she hasn’t picked up Christopher in a week.
Chris’ face falls. He hangs up the phone and turns to his son.
We’re going to have to figure this out on our own, buddy. But don’t worry, I won’t let anything bad happen to you. I promise.
Christopher smiles weakly, unsure of what the future holds.
EXT. SAN FRANCISCO – DAY
Chris and his son, Christopher, walk down the street with bags in their hands. Their clothes are tattered and they look exhausted.
We’ll find a place to stay soon, I promise.
(looking up at Chris)
Do you really mean it, Dad?
Of course, son. We’ve been through tough times before, haven’t we?
Just then, a group of teenagers approach them.
Hey homeless dudes, give us your money.
And your bags too.
Chris stands in front of Christopher protectively.
Leave us be.
Or what? You gonna fight us?
Chris takes a deep breath and tries to remain calm.
No need for violence. We don’t have much, but you can take what little we have.
The teenagers grab their bags and run away laughing.
Christopher looks up at Chris with tears in his eyes.
Why do they hate us, Dad?
Chris puts his arms around his son and hugs him.
They don’t hate us, son. They just don’t understand what it’s like to be in our situation.
Christopher leans his head on Chris’s shoulder and closes his eyes.
I’m tired, Dad.
I know. We’ll find a place to rest soon.
They continue walking down the street, unsure of where their next meal or bed will come from.
INT. CHRIS’S APARTMENT – DAY
Chris sits at his kitchen table, surrounded by textbooks and notes. Christopher, his son, watches TV on the couch. Chris looks up at the clock on the wall.
It’s almost time to head out.
Christopher turns to look at him.
Where are you going, dad?
I have to go to work.
Christopher’s face falls.
But you’re always studying. When do we get to do something fun?
Chris stands up and walks over to him, putting a hand on his shoulder.
Soon, I promise. But right now, I have to go. You’ll be okay here?
Christopher nods, reluctantly.
Good. I’ll see you later.
He heads toward the door, grabbing his briefcase and coat on the way.
INT. HOSPITAL – DAY
Chris stands in a busy hallway, holding a clipboard and wearing a lab coat. He approaches a group of doctors and nurses.
(to the group)
Good morning, everyone. I’m Chris Gardner, the intern from Dean Witter.
The group nods in greeting. Chris takes a deep breath and follows them into the operating room.
INT. DOCTOR’S LOUNGE – LATER
Chris sits at a table with a group of doctors, sipping coffee.
(with a grin)
You’re a natural, Chris. Have you considered applying for a permanent position here?
Chris smiles, flattered.
Actually, I have. I’m studying for my exam right now, but I hope to have it done soon.
The group nods approvingly.
Well, if you keep this up, you’ll have no problem passing. How are you balancing studying with work?
I just do what I have to do. I have a son at home, so I have to make sure he’s taken care of too.
The group nods in understanding.
You’re doing a great job, Chris. Keep it up.
INT. CHRIS’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Chris comes home, exhausted. He finds Christopher asleep on the couch, with his homework spread out on the coffee table.
Chris sighs, and rubs a hand over his face.
One more day down.
He gently wakes Christopher and helps him to bed.
INT. CHRIS’S BEDROOM – LATER
Chris sits on the edge of his bed, staring at his textbooks. He rubs his eyes and stands up.
I can do this.
EXT. HOMELESS SHELTER – DAY
Chris and Christopher stand outside the shelter, their belongings in hand. Chris is visibly upset as they face the harsh reality of their situation.
It’s going to be okay, we’re going to get through this.
I don’t like it here, Dad.
I know, but it’s just temporary. We’ll find a place of our own soon.
Suddenly, a man approaches them.
What are you doing here?
We’re staying here for the night. What’s it to you?
I don’t like your attitude. Maybe I’ll have to teach you a lesson.
Chris steps in front of Christopher protectively.
Back off, man. We don’t want any trouble.
The man lunges at Chris, but he quickly sidesteps him and takes him down with a swift punch.
Christopher looks on in horror as the other homeless people gather around, cheering Chris on.
Looks like we’ve got a new tough guy in town.
Chris picks up his belongings and takes Christopher inside the shelter, ignoring the jeers and taunts of the crowd.
INT. HOMELESS SHELTER – NIGHT
Chris and Christopher curl up in a corner of the shelter, surrounded by other homeless people sleeping on cots. Christopher is shivering in the cold and Chris tries to comfort him.
It’ll be okay, buddy. We just have to stick together.
Suddenly, they hear a commotion outside and Chris gets up to investigate.
EXT. HOMELESS SHELTER – NIGHT
Chris looks outside and sees the same man from earlier, accompanied by two others.
Thought you could take me, huh? Well, now you’ve got a real fight on your hands.
Chris backs away from the men, his heart racing with fear.
(to the men)
Please, just leave us alone.
One of the men grabs Christopher and holds a knife to his throat.
Looks like we’ve got ourselves a bargaining chip.
Chris realizes he has no choice but to fight back. He squares off against the men, throwing punches and kicks. He manages to disarm the man with the knife and knocks the other two unconscious.
Christopher runs to his father, tears streaming down his face.
Dad, are you okay?
Yeah, I’m okay. We’re both okay.
The other homeless people look on in admiration as Chris gathers his belongings and takes Christopher inside the shelter.
INT. HOMELESS SHELTER – NIGHT
Chris and Christopher lie down together, exhausted but relieved.
Looks like we survived our first night.
Christopher snuggles up to him, comforted by his father’s warmth and protection.
I love you, Dad.
I love you too, buddy.