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CLOSE / Parnassiad


Peace and Other Stories


Fragments of a Formerly Active Sex Life



Chance Encounter
by Gregory Wilde  /  scripts  /  5 Oct 2007

INT. OFFICE – LOBBY – AFTERNOON

 

The office is moderately impressive.  There is a round glass desk at the front, and an older receptionist sitting at the desk.  A few chairs are against the walls, and cubicles are in the distant background.

 

Two workers, wearing long sleeve shirts and ties, walk into frame and exit through the door.

 

Moments later, a male (late twenties) exits a door in the background.  He walks towards the reception area.

 

The man, ROBERT, notices a woman, ANN, sitting in a chair against the wall.  Robert stops and looks at ANN.  It takes a while, but they both silently agree to converse.

 

ROBERT

Ann.

 

ANN

Robert.  Oh my, how are you doing?

 

ROBERT

Good, what are you up to?

 

ANN

I, um...

(whispers)

I'm interviewing for the position.

 

ROBERT

Yah, me too.

 

ANN

Well, good luck, I guess.

 

ROBERT

Yah right, this is kind of awkward.  I haven't seen you for what…five years?  Right.  Right?

 

ANN

Yah.  Sounds weird.

 

ROBERT

Yah, well we should catch up.  If you want to, after your interview.

 

ANN

We could.  You wanna wait, though?  You have someplace to be?

 

ROBERT

Nope.  I'm free.  It should take twenty minutes.  Unless you absolutely nail the thing, you know.  Right?

 

ANN

Alright.  Meet me downstairs in twenty minutes then.

 

ROBERT

Great.  If you're not there, I'll suppose you…changed your mind?

 

ANN

Right.  I'll see you then.

 

Robert smiles and exits the office.

 

Ann pushes back in her seat and looks at the receptionist.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. STREET – MINUTES LATER – AFTERNOON

 

Robert exits the building and walks to a newspaper stand.  He buys a paper and creases it in half and puts it under his arm.  He walks in one direction down the sidewalk, then changes his mind and turns around.

 

Robert enters a darkly lit bar.  The CAMERA focuses on the bar entrance from across the street.  We can see Robert ordering a drink from the bartender.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. LOBBY – OFFICE BUILDING – TWENTY MINUTES LATER – AFTERNOON

 

Robert stands in the lobby reading the paper.  He looks at the elevators down the hall when they open.  When Robert sees it is not Ann, he goes back to reading his paper.

 

Moments later, an elevator opens and Robert lowers his newspaper.  He sees Ann but raises his newspaper back up to cover his face.

 

Ann looks around the lobby and sees Robert.  She taps him on the shoulder.

 

ROBERT

Oh, I didn't see you there!

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. STREET – MOMENTS LATER – AFTERNOON

 

Robert and Ann walk down the sidewalk in silence.  Seconds pass.

 

ROBERT

This is kinda bizarre.

 

ANN

If you don't want to do this, we don't have to.

 

ROBERT

Why wouldn't I want to!  It's been a long time.

 

ANN

Right, okay, Robert.  Do you want to go to a bar, I know you like beer still?

 

ROBERT

No, I don't drink in the afternoon.  I'm trying to be responsible.   Something I've been practicing for a while now.

 

ANN

That's good to hear, Robert.  Impressive.  And the gambling?

 

ROBERT

I haven't gambled in years!  Years.  It's so amazing.

 

ANN

Really.  That's good, I was worried about you.

 

ROBERT

Thanks.  Do you want to get a coffee at this place?

 

ANN

Sure.

 

They enter the small café.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CAFE – FRONT COUNTER – MOMENTS LATER – AFTERNOON

 

Richard and Ann wait in line.  When their turn comes they approach the counter.

 

ROBERT

(to café employee)

I'll have a café latte.  And… what do you want, Annie?

 

ANN

A… well, just a jasmine tea, that'll be fine.  And a blueberry muffin.

 

Ann reaches to get her purse out.

 

ROBERT

No no no no!  I'll get it.  That's fine.  Here you go.

 

Richard hands the café employee some bills and he waits for change.

 

The employee hands Robert his change.  Robert dumps the small change in the tip jar.  Ann smiles at his coyness.

 

ROBERT

You want to sit down over?  They'll bring it over.  Right?

 

The employee nods his head "yes."

 

Ann and Richard walk to a table near the window and sit down.

 

ROBERT

Well, here we are.

 

ANN

Yes, I know.

 

ROBERT

In all of its awkwardness.

 

ANN

Are you sure you want to do this?

 

ROBERT

Why wouldn't I?  It's great seeing you.

 

ANN

Cut the shit, Robert.  Okay?

 

ROBERT

What, what's the problem?  What's your problem now?

 

ANN

Just get to the point already.

 

ROBERT

What's the point, Ann?  Is there something I'm supposed to ask you?

 

ANN

Why did you want to get together?  For coffee and chitchat.  Whatever.

 

ROBERT

Why are you being such a hard ass?  I just wanted to see how you were doing.  You just left me in the dust, remember?

 

ANN

Here we go…

 

ROBERT

No no, no, you don't get to do this because I tried to stay in touch.  I tried to be friendly.  I did nothing wrong.  You want to tell me why you stopped talking to me?  Just one day stopped returning my calls, stopped seeing me?

 

ANN

I told you in the beginning.  We were just having fun.

 

ROBERT

Right.  And you really believe that.  Okay.  All the way to us having sex every night, getting together for dinner, drinks, movies… more sex.

 

ANN

I was just having fun!  You knew we were just having fun.

 

ROBERT

Why did you stop calling me?  What did I do?  Was I too supportive of your problems that you laid on me like a fucking shrink?

 

ANN

I didn't do that!

 

ROBERT

Annie, you told me about your… (whispers) goddamn rape, and all this heavy shit, and I helped you out of all that crap.  We were so fucking good together, and then one day, bam!  You fucking leave me.  What was I?  What good am I?

 

ANN

You know I went away to see my folks in California for Christmas, and I didn't have any plans to see you again.  I told you that when I left!

 

ROBERT

Well you sure kept your word.  You couldn't even return my calls.

 

The waitress arrives with the tea, coffee, and muffin.  She places the drinks and muffin on the table.

 

ANN

Thank you.

 

ROBERT

I didn't wanna do this.  I really wanted to hear about you.  I really loved you, you know that?  I really fucking loved you.

 

ANN

Thanks a lot (sips her tea).

 

ROBERT

So tell me, what did you do with your life?

 

ANN

I'm finished my graduate degree and I'm looking for some full-time work before I start my career search next year.

 

ROBERT

You know who got you back to graduate school?  Remember me walking you back to your professor, talking you through what happened, why you left, why you couldn't come back!

 

ANN

I'm trying to get over that, Robert!  Are you really interested in my life?  You seemed to pretend for sex.

 

ROBERT

I don't know what you're talking about, you cunt.  We spent every goddamn minute talking about your life.  And your problems, and your father, and your fucking past, and your school, and your money, and your friends... we never spent a second talking about me.  And that was fine because I needed that.  I hate talking about me.

 

ANN

Well let's start a new leaf, and I'll ask you what you're up to.

 

ROBERT

You don't understand!  I did nothing!  Nothing.  I'm unemployed living off the last of my benefits.  I have a apartment in Chinatown with the bums, I never got around to writing that novel or moving to Paris or trying to start my career like Hemingway.  Your advice didn't mean shit.  Move to Paris.

 

ANN

Maybe you should have followed it.

 

ROBERT

Maybe.

 

Robert takes a sip from his coffee and looks around the cafe.

 

ANN

They play good music here.

 

ROBERT

Did you ever love me?

 

Ann takes a sip of tea and looks at Robert.

 

ROBERT

(continued)

Annie.  Did you?

 

ANN

No.

 

ROBERT

You're being honest?  I mean really honest with me?

 

ANN

Yes.  We were just a fling!

 

ROBERT

That's right.  We were.  How could I forget.

 

ANN

I didn't return your calls because I didn't want to talk about it.  I came back that Christmas and I wanted nothing to do with you, or my old life, shit.  I just wanted a clean break from everything.

 

ROBERT

Well that's easy for you to say.  You didn't have to wonder.  Do you know what it's like to wait for a phone call?  To get up in the morning hoping to see you sent me a message, or maybe I missed a call.  When I came out of the shower, I'd hope I had a missed call. When I'd turn my phone off in a movie, I always prayed I had a message when it ended.  And when I'd check any message, I'd wanted to hear your voice.  I guess I just learned to forget about all of that and eventually stopped caring.  But all you had to do was call me once.  Tell me you wanted nothing to do with me.  It took a while but I finally got the message.

 

ANN

Well I'm glad you finally figured it out.  You were always too romantic for love.

 

ROBERT

Fuck you, Ann.

 

Robert gets up.

 

ROBERT

Everything about you brought me misery.  Everything.

 

Robert exits the cafe.

 

Ann sits in silence for a moment.

 

She reaches across the table and grabs Robert's cup of coffee.  She takes a sip and lets the liquid fall down her throat.  She places the cup back on the table, and then closes her eyes.

 

CUT TO BLACK.

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