Flash Fiction

EXT. WASHINGTON MARKET PARK, TRIBECA – DAY

STELLA BLACK (17) is sitting in one of the kiddie swings in a side section of the playground, swaying gently. It is early and the park is empty; her orange bicycle rests on the iron fence and the handlebar basket holds a plastic bag filled with what appears to be books. She swings blissfully back and forth in a way that suggests this is her place she goes to let her guard down. All is peaceful until the air is cut by the obnoxious sound of a ringing cell phone.

CLOSE-UP: Stella holds her iPhone, which shows that “MOTHER DEAREST” is calling. She presses “Ignore Call.”

Stella sighs before grudgingly jumping off the swing and mounting her bicycle.

EXT. BIKE PATH, HUDSON RIVER PARK – OPENING CREDITS

Stella is riding her bicycle down the Hudson River bike path with headphones plugged into in her ears. She pedals quickly and deliberately, encouraged by a fast-paced rock song that plays while the opening credits roll on screen.

EXT. GREENWICH STREET, TRIBECA

She turns down Laight Street and is about to disembark when a RUNNER walks into the middle of the street. Stella swerves and stops just in time, pulling out her ear buds as she comes to a halt. The music stops.

RUNNER

Hey! Watch it!

The girl runs away but as she brushes past she not-so-subtly shoves Stella, who falls over on her bike.

STELLA

(from the ground)

THAT’S A HATE CRIME, BITCH!

CUT TO: FLASH FICTION

INT. BLACK LOFT

Stella unlocks the front door and walks into the loft. Her mother, DELIA BLACK (45), is sitting at a chair holding a mug and reading through a stack of papers. She is wrapped in shawls and wears rhinestone reading glasses.

STELLA

It’s just me, Mom.

DELIA

Stella, honey, what took you so long? Do you want some tea? It’s on the stove.

STELLA

I’m good. Is Eloise still here?

DELIA

Check in your bedroom.

INT. STELLA’S ROOM

Stella walks into her room. A typewriter sits at her desk and a poster of Sylvia Plath hangs above her headboard next to various magazine cut-outs of girls in lingerie. ELOISE MICHAELSON (17) is lying luxuriously on the bed in sweats and a tank top as if she has just spent the night.

ELOISE

Good afternoon, princess.

STELLA

(matter of fact)

I prefer Madame President. Monarchy is an antiquated concept.

ELOISE

All right then, Madame President… What’s on your agenda for the day?

Stella walks over to the desk and drops a bag full of books down before sitting next to her friend on the bed.

STELLA

Well, that reminds me, I have to stop by the bookstore on Waverly Place again later.

(sarcastic)

I guess I can pencil you in then if you want to come with me.

ELOISE

I’d be honored. Why do you have to go back?

STELLA

I met a girl.

ELOISE

(mocking)

Oooooooooooh a GIRL!

STELLA

Shut up. She just kind of winked at me when she rang up my stuff.

ELOISE

(glances over at a book cover peeking out of the bag)

Nothing goes together like eye-sex and Virginia Woolf.

STELLA

(rolls her eyes)

She WAS definitely gay.

ELOISE

How do you know?

STELLA

I just do.

ELOISE

(fake whisper)

Did you guys do the secret lesbian handshake?!

STELLA

I mean, she had pixie cut. AND she was wearing a baggy ironic band t-shirt under a flannel button down.

ELOISE

Sounds like an Urban Outfitters catalogue.

The door breaks open just as Stella slaps Eloise lightly on across her shoulder. Delia appears in the door frame, slightly exasperated and fumbling with her iPhone.

DELIA

Stella, I need your help.

STELLA

(monotone, as if she has repeated this multiple times)

Your contacts are in the folder with your calendar and your notes.

DELIA

(with genuine concern)

No… I think my Scramble With Friends partner is cheating. (pause) Do I address this directly?

Eloise has to stifle a laugh while Stella groans.

STELLA

No, Mom. Just quit the game.

DELIA

Okay… I’m gonna go grab coffee with my publisher. And Stell, I left your poems on your bedside table. Edits are in red. If you two need anything just text me.

Eloise reaches across the bed to grab a stack of papers that Delia has scribbled all over. There is almost more red than black on the top page. She hands them to Stella.

STELLA

I would if I thought you’d know how to open the text.

DELIA

(laughs)

Bye, girls. Have fun.

ELOISE

Bye, Delia. Good luck with the new book!

Delia smiles, turns around, and walks out down the hall.

ELOISE

I love your Mom.

STELLA

Yeah, well, that makes one of us.

(takes another look at the edited poems and throws them in the air behind her)

Ever since she started writing this psychosexual thriller she’s been a little crazy.

ELOISE

She’s always been crazy. Remember when she took us to that Spice Girls concert when we were like five and bought us “Spice Up Your Life” tube tops? Golden.

STELLA

(nodding to a Victoria Beckham lingerie poster on the wall)

The Spice Girls literally taught me what the British flag looks like.

ELOISE

Remember in middle school when everyone had a favorite one they’d dress up as while performing “Wannabe” with round hairbrushes and inflatable mics?

STELLA

(closes her eyes)

Take me back.

ELOISE

I mean, I’ve always considered myself a “Posh” kind of girl but that was always an unspoken contest considering she was the hottest and didn’t actually sing. But I mean, if you weren’t Posh it was also okay to be Baby because she was blonde and pretty, or Ginger because she always got to wear the slutty flag dress, but if you were Sporty it was because you were a lesbian and if you were Scary you were just seriously fucking ugly.

STELLA

Hey, now… I love Sporty. She was the only one who could really sing and she always wore the sparkly sports bras.

Eloise gives her a pointed look. Suddenly, Stella’s cell phone begins to ring again. Eloise reaches for it.

CLOSE-UP: The iPhone screen reads: UNKNOWN NUMBER.

ELOISE

Who’s this?

STELLA

Probably Peter…

ELOISE

Don’t answer. If he drags you to a spoken word reading at some weird Brooklyn warehouse you will totally regret it.

STELLA

Come on, El.

Eloise presses “Ignore Call” and throws the phone down.

ELOISE

I’m doing you a favor. Peter is gross. I mean he can walk around with a $600 jacket on, but washing his hair would be way too nouveau riche for his indie pride.

STELLA

Okay, he’s not THAT bad. And we’ve been friends since fifth grade.

The phone rings again. Again, it is UNKNOWN NUMBER.

ELOISE

(mumbles)

I swear there’s a special section of hell reserved for hipsters.

STELLA

It’s the same number. Just give it to me.

Eloise reluctantly hands her the phone and Stella picks up.

STELLA

Hello?

INT. PAY PHONE

PETER COHEN (17) is standing in a pay phone booth with his back against the wall. He has oversized glasses, a beanie, scruffy facial hair, and a cigarette pack in hand. He stands up straight when he hears a voice on the other end.

PETER

Hey, Stella, it’s me.

INT. STELLA’S ROOM

STELLA

Using a pay phone, Pete?

INT. PAY PHONE

PETER

You know me… Hey, I was wondering, are you free tonight?

INT. STELLA’S ROOM

STELLA

(whisper)

He wants to know if I’m free tonight…

ELOISE

(whisper)

Spoken word alert!

STELLA

(into the phone)

Um, yeah, actually, I am…

Eloise motions for her to “cut it out” frantically but Stella ignores her and turns to the other side of the bed.

INT. PAY PHONE

PETER

(smiling in relief)

Oh, okay, great. Is it cool if I pick you up at 8?

STELLA

(from the pay phone)

To do what?

PETER

I dunno… I was thinking we could eat out somewhere?

INT. STELLA’S ROOM

STELLA

(whisper)

He wants to eat out somewhere…

Eloise smacks her forehead and falls back on the bed.

STELLA

(into the phone)

Okay… yeah.

INT. PAY PHONE

PETER

Cool, yeah. Well, uh, see you.

Peter hangs up the phone and slides down the side of the booth, exhaling. It’s obvious that he’s nervous but also extremely happy and relieved… this is something that he has wanted to do for a long time now.

INT. STELLA’S ROOM

Eloise is pacing across the room while Stella lies down on the bed with her phone still in her hand.

ELOISE

What the hell did you just do?

STELLA

We’re going to dinner?

ELOISE

No, you’re going on a DATE.

STELLA

No… Peter and I are just friends. I’m GAY, Eloise.

ELOISE

Well, I know that… but does he?

STELLA

Yeah, probably…

ELOISE

Have you ever actually TOLD him?

STELLA

No, but I mean, pretty much everyone knows, right?

ELOISE

Stella, if he asked you to go “eat out” with him, he OBVIOUSLY doesn’t know you’re a lesbian.

STELLA

(laughing)

Shut up.

ELOISE

If he knows, he heard it from somebody else and he’s only gonna believe what he wants to believe until you tell him.

STELLA

It’s not something people just bring up, okay? I mean, he probably already knows and just felt awkward talking about something so huge.

ELOISE

(as if they have had this conversation before)

It may be important, but it’s not huge. Nobody really cares, Stell, nor should they.

STELLA

Yes, they should.

ELOISE

Not in New York.

STELLA

What’s the big difference between important and huge anyway?

ELOISE

People actually TALK about important things.

STELLA

(tries silently to formulate a comeback and fails)

The point is that I came out already and that he should know that.

ELOISE

I don’t want to step on any toes here, but what’s this whole thing with “coming out”? Hate to break it to you, but it’s not like you made one huge announcement or anything. You told me when we were waiting in line for the bathroom at Chelsea Market and you phrased it like a question.

STELLA

(bitterly sarcastic)

I’m sorry for not rehearsing a speech.

ELOISE

Okay, okay… But what I really don’t understand is how you can even be friends with this kid. He. Doesn’t. Own. A. Cell. Phone.

STELLA

(matter of fact)

Landlines keep people grounded.

ELOISE

(pause)

And THAT’S my cue to go… I’ll text you?

STELLA

Permission to text: granted.

Eloise rolls her eyes and grabs her jacket and boots from the desk chair before shutting the door behind her.

INT. DELIA’S CLOSET

Stella tries on various nice outfits (some dresses, some tuxedo jackets) in front of a floor-length mirror while she dances to the radio. After nixing many options, she settles on just black jeans and a grey sweater and is about to leave the closet when she eyes her mother’s makeup bag. She pauses almost stealthily, and goes back to pick out some eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick.

INT. STELLA’S BATHROOM

CLOSE-UP: Stella, in the bathroom mirror, applying makeup.

She pokes her eyes more than a few times and misses her lips with the lipstick. It’s obvious that she’s never done this before and it’s a long and painful process. Finally, she goes to the window as if looking for someone on the street, but sees nothing and goes back to sit on the toilet seat with her legs crossed. She plays with her rings.

INT. PETER’S BATHROOM
Peter slouches against the wall of his bathroom, scrutinizing his
face in the mirror. He runs his fingers through his hair as if
trying to make it messy, attempting the tousseled “just rolled
out of bed” look that actually takes time and effort. He fiddles
with his bow tie and tries on different pairs of glasses before settling on the same pair he wore earlier that day.

INT. STELLA’S BATHROOM
Finally, Stella goes to the window as if looking for someone on
the street, but sees no one. She goes back to sit on the toilet
seat with her legs crossed and plays with her rings.

EXT. CORNER OF LAFAYETTE AND BOND STREET – NIGHT

Peter and Stella are walking down Bond Street towards the restaurant. Peter keeps trying to hold Stella’s hand but she doesn’t notice. They walk at an awkward distance from each other until stopping at the door to the restaurant.

PETER

You look pretty tonight, Stella.

STELLA

That’s very sweet of you, but this (she motions to her face) only happened by accident.

INT. BOND STREET RESTAURANT

They are sitting a table for two near the window, eating. Peter is intent on staring at Stella while Stella looks around the restaurant for the first time:young couples are seated all around them, smiling, laughing, and holding hands.

STELLA

(trying to distract him from their surroundings)

So… I heard you got a tattoo?

PETER

(brightening at conversation)

Yeah, a few weeks ago!

(pulls his sleeve up)

Here, check it out.

STELLA

What does it say?

PETER

It’s a quote from a song on The National’s first album, back from when they were relatively obscure. Whaddaya think?

STELLA

I think you’re a bad caricature of yourself.

Peter half-laughs. He tries to grab Stella’s hand but she flicks her fork off the table on purpose and drops to pick it up. After that, the two sit silently while Stella watches Peter eat.

PETER

(between bites)

So… college. You gonna miss me next year?

STELLA

Maybe a little.

PETER

Weird to think that this is really the end, you know?

STELLA

Weird, but refreshing. College is all about newness. Like a free do-over.

PETER

Maybe to you, but I don’t really have anything I want to “do over.”

STELLA

(stares into the distance)

I think we could all use a few new introductions…

PETER

(coughs)

Have you, uh, done your apps yet?

STELLA

I wrote them all over the summer.

(pause)

You?

PETER

Nah, couldn’t think of anything then… Still can’t.

(pauses to think)

I HATE gay kids and kids with cancer, and especially gay kids with cancer.

A waitress walks to table to collect their plates but turns around when she hears Peter’s comment. Stella looks utterly horrified. There’s a short pause.

PETER

I mean that essay is already written, you know? Like what am I supposed to write about when I’m a rich Jew who wants to be a banker and has never actually had to overcome anything?

Stella snorts a little and has to put her glass down.

PETER

Hey, don’t judge a book by its cover, all right?

STELLA

Even when it’s a moleskin?

(Peter laughs)

I’m just saying that I had you pegged as a band promoter or an environmental consultant or something.

PETER

I need to be able to afford food in ten years.

STELLA

Well, you could always just botch the essay and pay your way in…

(Peter kicks her under the table)

…or you could just make it all up. Be who you think they want you to be, or just be whoever you want to be. Why the hell not? I vote for a talented young violinist whose love of calculus intersects with his passion for Bach and Mozart. He’s a linguist in his own right, fluent in the inscrutable languages of music and math…

Stella trails off and Peter smiles, amused. This rarely exposed, carefree, and wildly imaginative spirit is exactly what he appreciates the most about her.

PETER

(grinning)

I’m not a character in one of your stories, Stella.
Stella grimaces in the kind of way that suggests she knows
something that he doesn’t. Peter goes back to eating and she
looks uncomfortably at the ground.

EXT. BOND STREET RESTAURANT

Stella and Peter stand outside awkwardly. They have no idea what to say to each other and it’s clear that dinner was no less uncomfortable. Stella seems relieved that she managed to make it out alive.

STELLA

That was good. Thanks, Pete.

PETER

No problem. Do you, uh, want me to take you home?

STELLA

Are you sure? I kind of live in the projects…

PETER

Yeah, the six million dollar projects. Come on.

(he grabs her hand and turns)

INT. SUBWAY CAR

Peter and Stella sit a little too close in an almost empty subway car while a young couple laughs together in the far corner of the shot. Peter keeps trying to put his arm around Stella but she fidgets awkwardly. The train arrives at Franklin Street.

STELLA

Okay, this is me.

Relieved, she gets up from her seat. Peter follows her out.

INT. FRANKLIN STREET PLATFORM

STELLA
(startled)
Why are you getting off? You have
three more stops to go…

PETER

(pointing to the screen)

Another train comes in 2 minutes.

STELLA

Oh. Well, okay. Um…

PETER

Yeah…

She goes in to hug him, which is obviously not his intention. They hug for a painful amount of time.

PETER

I…

Peter twists his head so that he and Stella are only inches apart. He just looks at her for a few beats and then slowly goes in to kiss her. Stella shrinks back at first and then looks directly into his eyes. For a moment it looks like she is going to pull away, but then she lets him kiss her. Peter closes his eyes and presses Stella up against the platform pole. Her eyes are wide open. The awkwardness is overwhelming as the seconds tick by; he tries to move his hand down her back but she pulls it back up quickly. Finally, Peter pulls away. He smiles at her.

STELLA

I…I…I have to go.

PETER

Right…yeah. Me too.

Stella runs out of the station and up the stairs as fast as she possibly can, tripping slightly on the top step. Peter, standing below, gazes dreamily from the platform up the stairs.

INT. BLACK LOFT

Stella slams the door closed and slides her back down it, silently crying. She reaches the floor and sits with her head in her hands for a few moments before she stands up and walks slowly down the hall. It’s dark, and it’s assumed that she’s trying not to wake up her mother.

INT. STELLA’S ROOM

Stella walks into the room and throws her jacket on the desk. She flings off her sweater and pulls down her pants before sitting on her bed in her underwear, wiping her face with her jeans. She sits with her knees to her chest, rocking right below the lingerie posters. She is exactly mimicking a picture overhead of Marilyn Monroe in a similar position. After glancing at her clock, which reads 1AM, she grabs her phone and sees many texts from Eloise.

CLOSE-UP: The iPhone screen reads “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” “HELLO?” “CAN YOU CALL ME PLEASE?” Stella’s fingers ignore the texts and go to her contacts. Her fingers scroll down until they reach “Peter Cohen.” After a slight pause, they click his name and then press speakerphone.

The sound of dialing is heard. It goes to voicemail: “Hello, you’ve reached Peter. I’m probably out smoking. Leave a message.”

STELLA

(into the phone)

I’ve always felt that I was sort of abnormal, but you don’t need to feel bad for me, or anything.

This sequence is done in a series of different shots, in which Stella is positioned in different places throughout the room and shown at different angles as she leaves individual voicemails for Peter. She gets more and more delirious as it gets later, but at least she has stopped crying now. Shots of the digital clock showing the late hours of the morning are interspersed throughout.

STELLA

(looking out the window)

It’s not that I don’t like you, because I do. I’m picky about who I like, so you should feel honored that I picked you, I guess…

STELLA

(draped over the desk chair)

But I don’t really get to pick who I love.

STELLA

(lying on the floor)

This sounds like a fucking Hallmark card… (pause) I swear I write better than I speak.

STELLA

(on her back on the bed)

I spent a lot of time deciding if I would like going out with a guy, and then it was just, happening.

STELLA

(on her stomach)

I had a decent time, though. Except for the end. It was a little more prickly than I was expecting.

STELLA

(back against the door)

Thanks for paying for everything. (pause) Maybe I should pay you back… Like a refund and you can cash it in for something weird and ironic.

STELLA

(sitting on the desk)

Damn it, Peter. (exhales) Life sucks.

STELLA

(lying on the bed)

I’m… I’m gay.

STELLA

(standing up)

I wish I had balloons or a choreographed musical number or something to make this feel slightly more poetic.

STELLA

(looking out the window)

Glee really fucked with my general life expectations.

STELLA

(sitting at the desk chair)

Consider it a service to the lesbian community if you don’t upload these files somewhere. (pause) Wait… This is your stupid landline. No wonder the mailbox hasn’t filled up yet.

STELLA

(lying on the floor)

Thank you for living in the 1960s.

STELLA

(on the desk)

I feel like that’s a metaphor for something.

STELLA

(back to the door)

Well, at least you don’t have to get cancer now.

STELLA

(on her stomach on the bed)

Your college essay is going to be the stuff of legend. Maybe even better than mine. (pause) Call it “Prickly Little Metaphors” by Peter Cohen?

STELLA

(sitting on the bed)

Wait, but if you lift any of my phrases directly I’ll call the College Board and sue you for plagiarism. (pause) Kidding…

STELLA

(on her back on the bed)

My life is plagiarizing the worst movie I’ve never seen.

INT. STELLA’S ROOM – MORNING

Stella has not moved since she left the last voicemail and is still in her underwear sprawled across the top of her bed. Her phone lies on the floor as if she has dropped it in her sleep. The digital clock reads 9AM. There is a knock on the door before Delia enters.

DELIA

Honey, Peter left you a note on the doormat.

STELLA

(face into a pillow)

Oh god. What does it say?

DELIA

(reading from a note in front of her)

“Breakfast at 10? -Peter.” What’s this about?

STELLA

I have an appointment with some organic granola and shattered dreams. Leave me alone.

DELIA

Stella, as much as it may seem like it, your life is not an HBO dramedy. You’re allowed to be likable sometimes.

STELLA

(grunts)

Nobody is likable before 10AM.

INT. KITCHEN

Delia and Stella are sitting at the counter drinking coffee. Stella looks devastated; Delia looks amused.

DELIA

So are you going to tell me what happened or not?

(pause, before whispering)

Did you have sex with him?

Stella bangs her head on the counter.

DELIA

What? It happens.

STELLA

(from the counter)

We made out. It was gross.

DELIA

I see.

STELLA

I’m a HEARTBREAKER. I’m leaving behind a trail of bleeding broken hearts in my quest to realize my lesbian identity. I’m dying…… Has Eloise left us any notes?

DELIA

No, sweetie. And this is only one heart. Don’t flatter yourself.

STELLA

(looking down into her cup)

How am I supposed to tell him? He’s going to be CRUSHED.

DELIA

You kissed once. I think he’ll get over it.

STELLA

(not listening to her)

Even worse… what if he doesn’t believe me? Nobody takes teen lesbians seriously these days.

DELIA

No, nobody takes YOU seriously these days.

STELLA

(grossly melodramatic)

Ugh, I have my period. I wish I was dead.

DELIA

Can you at least help clean up?

Delia gets up from the counter and brings the two mugs to the kitchen sink.

STELLA

I have my period and I DON’T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!

DELIA

You’re a writer. It runs in the family.

STELLA

This reminds me: when I die, I want the tombstone to be a peachy off-white and I want a sinister Sylvia Plath quote at the top in an ironic font, like Comic Sans.

DELIA

Being a writer is a license to be a self-indulgent alcoholic or manically depressed, not tacky.

STELLA

(mumbles)

Having your period is.

DELIA

Are you going to get dressed or what?

Stella drags herself up from the counter and walks back towards her bedroom. Delia remains standing at the sink.

STELLA (O.S.)

(shouting from the bedroom)

What if Peter is the only one who comes to my funeral?

DELIA

(shouts back)

Then he can write the next Great Gatsby.

EXT. DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY, WEST SOHO

Peter is leaning against the window when Stella walks up behind him. Stella looks like she is about to throw up; Peter looks slightly downcast. He turns around.

STELLA

Hey…

PETER

Hi.

Peter is about to hug her and then thinks better of it. Stella enters the bakery and he follows behind her.

EXT. WASHINGTON MARKET PARK, TRIBECA

Peter and Stella are swinging on two kiddie swings next to each other with coffee cups and croissant bags in hand. The playground is relatively empty for a Sunday morning, and the hums and whirs of the city waking up fill the silence.

STELLA

So, uh, did you get my messages?

PETER

Yeah…

STELLA

I’m sorry. That was really weird. I…I have my period.

PETER

Don’t apologize. I mean, I should have known…

STELLA

No, I should have told you. It just never came up and it always felt weird.

PETER

I get it. Some things just feel weird.

He stops swinging suddenly and Stella drags her feet to mimic him. Now they are just swaying slightly. He stares at her intently; Stella, noticeably uncomfortable, drops her gaze to the ground.

STELLA

So you’re not mad at me?

PETER

Why would I be mad at you?

STELLA

Because I’ve been shielding you from the real me for seven years and have been completely leading you on?

PETER

(laughs)

I’ve always known the real you, Stella. I just didn’t know the real you wasn’t into the real me.

STELLA

The real me is having quite the weekend.

PETER

As opposed to the fake you?

STELLA

(matter of fact)

She’s on vacation.

PETER

So, “Prickly Little Metaphors” by Peter Cohen, huh?

STELLA

Maybe at the end you could throw in something about business school. That would really throw them for a loop.

PETER

To be honest, I think this essay would tell them much more about you than it would about me…

STELLA

(laughs)

Shit – we’re not applying to the same schools, right?

PETER

Just promise me something.

STELLA

Uh huh?

PETER

When you get a girlfriend, I want to meet her.

STELLA

Why?

PETER

So I can warn her to disable her voice mailbox.

Stella shoves him playfully so that he swings away from her and comes back crashing into her side.

STELLA

Well, when you retire from Wall Street and write the next Great Gatsby, please remember to give credit where credit is due.

With that, Stella gets up from the swing and trounces out of the playground triumphantly. Peter, still sitting on the swing, looks utterly bemused. A kid runs up and sits in the swing next to him. He takes a sip of coffee from his cup.

EXT. PIER 25, TRIBECA

Eloise is standing on the pier, leaning on the railing with her phone pressed to her ear. She looks exasperated; she didn’t sleep much last night.

ELOISE

(into the phone)

I’m on the pier, Stell. Where are you?

Stella, running up from behind Eloise, weaves in and out of people on the pier.

STELLA

(from the phone)

Running, I’m sorry!

Stella jumps onto Eloise’s back and turns her around. Eloise laughs before forcing herself to return to her agitation.

ELOISE

So, instead of you replying to my texts last night, I had to find out from Peter’s blog that you KISSED him? WHAT?

STELLA

He BLOGGED about it?

ELOISE

(pulls out her phone again to read something)

Apparently, your lips “provoke the intimate feeling of containment described only by the sound of raindrops beating on a tin roof when one is inside.”

STELLA

(pause)

Well, THAT’S a disappointment.

ELOISE

Who cares about your lips – what the hell have you done?!

STELLA

It’s okay, El. I dealt with it.

ELOISE

Meaning what, exactly?

STELLA

We had breakfast this morning.

ELOISE

Uh huh. (pause) Well I just want to say that I told you so and you didn’t listen to me. I know a free dinner is nice and all but its not worth the price of hooking up with Peter and certainly not if you’re into chicks…

STELLA

Trust me. It wasn’t. His weird facial scruff scratched the place under my neck where I’m ticklish.

Eloise and Stella walk away from the railing and towards a bench further down the pier. Eloise sits down first and drags Stella next to her so that she is sitting with her legs draped over Eloise’s lap. A few seconds go by.

ELOISE

Why’d you do it?

STELLA

Kiss him?

ELOISE

Well, yeah. But why’d you go with him in the first place? You KNEW he liked you.

STELLA

Maybe I did. I don’t know. I just liked being liked. It sounds kind of selfish but no one had ever taken me on a real date before and I just felt like it couldn’t be all that bad.

Eloise gives her a pointed look, as if to say that she is obviously not telling the whole truth.

STELLA

And I liked being able to control things. I liked always knowing more than Peter did… Like he was just along for the ride and I was the one driving the train.

ELOISE

Until he went in for the kiss…

STELLA

Yeah, until the train wreck.

(Eloise laughs)

I mean, by then it was sort of too late to back out.

ELOISE

AND you just saw another poem writing itself.

STELLA

Actually, I think this whole thing would work much better as a flash fiction piece. Like, just a snapshot into a minor nightmare.

(motions grandly with her hands)

Blink and then it’s over.

ELOISE

Excuse me?

STELLA

Whatever. What’s weird was that he wasn’t even mad this morning. No matter how many times I blinked, his sad puppy eyes just kept on staring at me.

ELOISE

Of course he wasn’t mad… I hate to ruin your literary ending, but he’s not hot enough to be an asshole.

STELLA

Or maybe I’m not hot enough to be a heartbreaker…

ELOISE

Please. You are incredible. And you need a girl to take you out soon so you can hook up with her and not Michael Cera from Bushwick.

Stella laughs and leans her head back down on the bench.

ELOISE

Well congratulations, Madame President. You’ve been on your first official date!

STELLA

You know what? I’ve been thinking about it, and I wouldn’t really want to be President.

ELOISE

Oh no? So then what – the monarchy is cool again?

STELLA

No… I’d want to be a congressman so I could smoke and do whatever and whoever the hell I want.

ELOISE

You mean a congresswoman?

STELLA

No. They don’t do stupid shit.

The pair laughs softly. Stella sits up and pulls Eloise up with her. They go back to leaning on the railing and looking out onto the Hudson River.

ELOISE

You know, the world doesn’t ALWAYS revolve around you, Stell.

STELLA

I know.

ELOISE

No, you don’t.

STELLA

Yes, I do. (pause) I’ve decided to revolve around the world from now on and if this is how that feels, I’m going to get pretty fucking dizzy in no time.

ELOISE

(laughs)

Welcome to being normal.

Stella shoves her playfully before running down the pier towards the street. Eloise rushes after her and when the two catch up to each other, they hold hands.

FADE TO BLACK

INT. STELLA’S ROOM – FINAL CREDITS

Eloise and Stella are in Stella’s room, dressed in “Spice Up Your Life” tube tops that now work as bandeaus. They are otherwise adorned with feather boas, sunglasses, and pajama bottoms, and hold round hairbrushes as microphones.

THE SCENE IS SHOT FROM A MACBOOK WEBCAM AS IF THE GIRLS ARE FILMING THEMSELVES.

STELLA

(into the camera)

5,6,7,8…

“Wannabe” by The Spice Girls plays over the credits sequence. The girls take turns lip-syncing to the song while the final credits fade in and out.

FADE TO BLACK

ELOISE (O.S.)

This is going to be HUGE on YouTube.


Grace McLeod, Age 17, Grade 12, Nightingale-Bamford School, Gold Key

This entry was written by NYC Scholastic Awards and published on October 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm. It’s filed under Dramatic Script, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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