All About Trees

For Erin.

A man struggles with losing his girlfriend. He tries to console a friend of his who's having a bad day, and while they sit, confesses his own depression and anger.

Set: A living room, with a futon facing the audience. There is a low coffee table, and very little other furniture. A desk, laden with books, is next to the entryway to the kitchen. A very small, very plain apartment. There is an entrance to a kitchen, as well as to what is a porch. The door to the porch is a sliding glass door. Walls are not necessary around the door. On the porch is a coffee can for cigarette butts, and two chairs or furniture to be used as such. All the furniture should be worn looking, mismatched, and old, as though each piece was bought from a different garage sale, or salvaged from the Salvation Army, with the exception of the futon, which should be in decent shape. On the wall above / behind the futon, there should be a few nails / studs that are seemingly left from old tenants.

NOTES: All of the scenes in which LIEF and MAX are both reminiscing / conversing with SOPHIE, the scene should be split. SOPHIE should be central, with MAX and LIEF on either side, reminiscent of their opposing sides of the story.

Characters:

LIEF: A 22 – 24 year old man. A hippie. Long hair or dreadlocks, scruffy looking. Not exceedingly muscular, but strong and built. Not somebody who would appear very emotional.

SOPHIE: A 19 – 20 year old woman. Down to earth and sensitive, honest and an total idealist. A dreamer and an artist.

BETH: A memory. A 19 – 20 year old woman. A beautiful hippie in a feminine but not frilly, green dress. Only on stage when LIEF is thinking of her. Ghostly. But a memory. NOT A GHOST.

MAC: A memory. A 19 – 20 year old man. Voice only. Can be played by DEV.

MAX: A 19 – 20 year old woman. LIEF's roomie. A very sarcastic, loud young woman with tomboy tendancies. Wild and bold, with seemingly no fear.

ESME: A friend. 19 – 20 year old woman. An earthy, mystical sort of young lady. Wild and smart, and oddly quirky. Bold. Not afraid to be different, and not afraid to state her thoughts out loud.

CAM: A 19 year old man.

DEV: A 19 year old man. Same actor as MAC.

AUNT: SOPHIE's aunt. A smoker, with a hoarse voice and a loud, boisterous laugh.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: SOPHIE's voice, recorded to be played.

Scene 1 January

MAX brings SOPHIE into the apartment. SOPHIE is heavily clothed in winter clothing. It looks recently moved into. She stands in the living room, as though showing off.

MAX: Ta-da!

SOPHIE: It's nice!

MAX: No it's not. It's a shithole. But thanks for being nice!

They laugh.

SOPHIE: Alright, you're right. It's a shithole. But it's warmer than outside. And it's here. You're here. (She embraces MAX.) I'm just excited that you're close again.

MAX: Me too. Anything's better than living at home.

SOPHIE: (She laughs.) Tell me about it. Especially since home for you was in the middle of buttfuck nowhere.

MAX: You really need to move out SOPHIE.

SOPHIE: Yeah, that's likely. (She moves out and towards where the bedroom would be. Her voice carries out.) So a one-bedroom, huh? What are you paying?

MAX: Don't avoid the subject Sophie. I've been back in town for two weeks and this is the first time I'm seeing you.

SOPHIE: It doesn't mean anything.

MAX: Don't give me that.

SOPHIE: I've been busy. I'm sorry. You know how it gets.

MAX: You mean Dad wouldn't let you.

SOPHIE: No, its not that he wouldn't let me.

MAX: Then what. You shouldn't have to ask permission to see your sister.

SOPHIE: It's not for me to decide. You should know that. We've been through this before. It's a respect thing to Dad.

MAX: It's a freedom thing. You're almost 20, and you still have to ask permission to do things?

SOPHIE: He's just trying to protect me.

MAX: Protect you? From what?

SOPHIE: I don't know Max.

MAX: Stop defending him Sophie. He's trying to be your mom and your dad, and that's not healthy for him or you.

SOPHIE: It's his way of dealing with what happened to my mom.

A pause.

MAX: Dad needs to realize that she's gone, and he can't replace her as your mom. He needs to be your Dad. And that's all he can be.

SOPHIE: I know MAX. Can we just leave it alone for now?

Beat.

MAX: 800.

SOPHIE: What?

MAX: I'm paying just over 800.

SOPHIE: Oh. Really? (She returns.) That's not bad for where it is. And it's just you this time. I'm sure that'll be nice.

MAX: Well, I think that LIEF is going to move in.

SOPHIE: Oh? And who's LIEF? Have I met him yet?

MAX: He's Beth's uh – boyfriend, I guess. He was Beth's boyfriend.

A second passes.

SOPHIE: Will that be weird?

MAX: No. We have a strange relationship. But it'll be good.

SOPHIE: It'll be good? Won't you be – you know, reminded of Beth?

MAX: No, I don't think so.

SOPHIE: Max. Be real. This is your best friend's boyfriend. Your best friend who –

MAX: I know, Sophie. I know.

SOPHIE: Okay, fine. That's fine.

MAX: Sophie, I'm coping. Leave it be. Unless you want to keep talking about Dad.

A moment.

MAX: So! Beer?

SOPHIE laughs half-heartedly.

SOPHIE: Yeah, sure.

Blackout.

Scene 2 January

The apartment. MAX leads LIEF into the apartment. They are both wearing winter clothing. She is carrying a big duffle and he is carrying a large box and has a backpack / longboard strapped to his back. He is followed by BETH, who is silent, and not seen by either of them. He puts the box down, as does MAX, who turns to him. BETH is simply looking around.

MAX: Is there anything else?

LIEF: Nope. This is everything.

They stand, quiet for a moment.

MAX: I'm glad that you're here.

LIEF: Me too.

MAX: It'll be nice not to have an empty apartment all of the time.

LIEF nods. A moment of silence. He goes to hug MAX just as she turns to leave. An awkward interaction which ends in him hugging her. She smiles at him. The following dialogue occurs as she takes him first through the kitchen and then the other way towards the washroom and finally back into the living room.

MAX: So you can keep your stuff in the hall closet. There's towels in here, and you can toss your dirty laundry in the basket with my stuff. Bathrooms here. The tub doesn't have a plug, and the fan doesn't work in the bathroom, so the door needs to be open a little bit when you're showering. And yeah. You sure you're okay with the futon?

LIEF: Totally. I'm only going to be sleeping on it.

Another moment of tense silence.

MAX: There's a can on the patio for cigarette butts. So –

LIEF: Use it?

He laughs awkwardly. MAX nods.

MAX: Yeah.

A moment of silence. MAX turns to leave just as LIEF speaks.

LIEF: Thanks. For letting me live with you.

MAX: You're welcome Lief. (Beat.) I'm going to let you unpack. Uh – If you need anything, I'll be in my room.

LIEF: Righto.

MAX leaves. LIEF looks around the room. He takes a deep breath, and leans his longboard against the wall. He goes out, looks onto the patio, and then back into the living room. He reaches into a box and pulls out a painting. He pauses a moment.

LIEF: Max?

MAX: (From offstage.) Yeah?

LIEF: Do you mind if I put something up on the wall?

MAX enters the room.

MAX: What is it?

LIEF shows her. BETH comes from where she was sitting and looks as well. After a moment, MAX speaks.

MAX: It's nice. Where did you get it?

LIEF: (A slight pause.) Beth.

They do not look at eachother, only looking at the painting.

MAX: She would have. She made me one too. She was talented.

LIEF: Mhmm. She loved those overalls.

MAX: (Laughs) Those painted ones? She loved those.

LIEF: And that dress.

MAX: (Quietly.) The green dress.

LIEF: Yeah.

BETH moves away. Eventually, MAX looks away, and begins to exit while she talks.

MAX: Hang whatever you want.

LIEF watches her go. He holds the painting up and chooses where on the wall he wants to hang it, and then stands back to look at it. MAX returns, holding a canvas against her chest. She looks at LIEF a moment, and then comes into the room. She stands next to him, with her back to the audience and then climbs onto the couch and hangs the canvas next to the one that LIEF hung earlier. They stand there, quiet for a moment, before LIEF puts his arm around her to pull her in for a side hug. When he releases her, she leaves the room and he resumes going into the boxes for a very short while. Blackout.

Scene 3 February

MAX is sitting on the floor on her computer, typing. On the futon is a pile of blankets. Hidden in them is LIEF. SOPHIE enters, looking exhausted, and dumps a bag on the floor.

SOPHIE: Ugh. Ohmygod Max. I'm so –

MAX: Shhhh. Just give me one minute.

MAX holds up a finger to shush SOPHIE, who is quiet. She moves to sit on the futon, and accidentally sits on a part of LIEF, who shouts in alarm, and sits up, spooking SOPHIE.

SOPHIE: Who are you!

LIEF: I'm not sure. Who are you?

SOPHIE: I'm Sophie. Max?

MAX: (Without looking up.) You remember Lief, Sophie?

SOPHIE: Um, no, sorry. Hi Lief.

LIEF: Hi.

MAX: Lief, Sophie is my sister.

LIEF: Oh. I think you told me about her once or twice.

MAX: Yeah, probably.

A moment of tense silence. MAX is still focused on her work. LIEF rises. SOPHIE waits for him to leave before sitting.

LIEF: I'm going for a walk. It was nice to meet you. Again.

He smiles, and then exits. Sophie gets herself comfortable on the couch while waiting for MAX, who finally finishes. She closes her computer and sits up, stretching.

MAX: Sorry about that Sophie.

SOPHIE: That's fine. I get it.

MAX: I've got this article for the paper I still need to finish and I work later tonight. So, thanks for understanding.

SOPHIE: No worries. So, that's him? That's Lief?

MAX: Yeah.

SOPHIE: I thought you said that I'd met him before.

MAX: You have. But it was almost a year ago. He's not really the same guy. I mean, if something happened to your boyfriend, would you be?

SOPHIE: I don't have a boyfriend.

MAX: That's not the point. Would you be the same?

SOPHIE: I guess not.

MAX: Exactly.

SOPHIE: Oh, alright. So I was wondering, do you mind if my friend Esme comes out with us tonight?

MAX: Is she awesome?

SOPHIE: (Laughs.) Yes. She's awesome.

MAX: Well, then I guess so. That's alright.

SOPHIE: Thanks.

MAX: But if she sucks she has to leave.

SOPHIE laughs.

Scene 4 April

SOPHIE enters, followed by ESME. They are both dressed in late winter clothing. ESME is dressed in all black.

ESME: So this is where your sister lives. Huh.

SOPHIE: Yep. And be nice. She knows it's a shithole, but she won't like it if you say so.

ESME: Why not?

SOPHIE: Just don't. I want her to like you, so we can all hang out together all the time.

ESME: (Laughs.) Alright, okay, I get it. No worries.

A moment.

SOPHIE: There's just one more thing.

ESME: Oh?

SOPHIE: It's really important, but it's going to sound weird. Just trust me, on that it is important. Okay?

ESME: Alright …

SOPHIE: Don't talk about touchy subjects. You know – like death, and dying, and afterlife…

ESME: Why? What's going on?

SOPHIE: It's just – something happened and somebody close to Max …passed away…lately.

ESME: Oh no! How long ago?

SOPHIE: A year this past Christmas. So, about 15 months ago. But they were really close. So, if Max gets upset, or doesn't want to talk about something, don't push it. You'll only make it worse.

ESME: Alright…

SOPHIE: Thanks Esme. I appreciate it.

ESME: Yep. No worries.

MAX comes through the audience, wearing winter clothing, carrying a bag of groceries and shouts up towards the balcony. Inside, SOPHIE hears her.

MAX: Sophie? Sophie are you in there?

SOPHIE: Yep. I'm here.

SOPHIE reaches the patio and is looking down to MAX.

MAX: Can you throw down my key?

SOPHIE digs into her pocket and retrieves the keys, which she throws down to MAX.

SOPHIE: Coming down.

MAX: Got it. Thanks.

MAX disappears to reappear on stage in the next scene. There is a blackout.

Scene 5 July

MAX and ESME burst into the apartment. They throw their things onto the floor and collapse on the futon, exhausted. They are fanning themselves and drinking water.

MAX: Ugh. You'd think it'd be cooler in here.

ESME: I wish you had a pool.

MAX: I could go for a pool.

ESME: Or a slurpee.

MAX: Or a margarita.

ESME: (Laughs.) Right. A margarita.

A pause.

MAX: You know, I don't have a pool –

ESME: I know.

MAX: (Laughs) Shut up! I was trying to say that I do have a shower. And bathing suits.

ESME looks at MAX and grins. They both jump up and book it into the bedroom. They return in a minute, both trying to finish tying their bathing suits on, and disappear into the bathroom. The door shuts to the bathroom just as the apartment door opens and LIEF enters. He is taking off his shoes and lowers his longboard against the wall as the sounds of a shower starting are heard, and the giggles of the girls. He pauses a minute, and then goes to sit on the futon. LIEF sits there for a long thirty seconds before smirking. He gets up quickly, takes off his clothes, and goes into the bathroom. To accommodate the comfort level of the actor portraying LIEF, it is acceptable for LIEF to remove all of his clothing except for boxers, before leaving the stage, and then throwing boxers back onto the stage so the audience is aware of LIEF's brazen nudity. Other alternatives are also acceptable. The following conversation can be heard from offstage.

MAX: Oh my God this is so refreshing.

ESME: (Laughing.) I can't believe we're doing this.

MAX: I can't believe we didn't think of doing this earlier.

LIEF has just climbed into the shower with them.

LIEF: Hello.

ESME: Um, hello.

MAX: Uh, ESME, this is LIEF.

ESME: Hello, LIEF.

A moment of silence and running water and then a burst of the girls' laughter.

ESME: Goodbye, LIEF.

ESME and MAX come out of the washroom, laughing, wrapped in towels with their bathing suits still on. LIEF has apparently stayed in the shower. During this conversation they towel off and grab beers from the fridge, before moving to sit on the futon.

ESME: So?

MAX: So, that's LIEF.

ESME: He was naked.

MAX: Yep.

ESME: With us in the shower.

MAX: Uh-huh.

ESME: Naked in the shower with us.

MAX: Nothing happened. What's your point?

ESME: Is he always like that?

MAX: (Shrugs.) Well, yeah. I guess. I dunno. He just does what he does.

ESME: Oh?

MAX: What?

ESME: What does he do?

MAX: Well, you know.

ESME: No, I don't know. That's why I'm asking.

MAX: (Checks the bathroom door to ensure that it is closed.) He drinks. He does drugs. He gets naked and sleeps with people. We all do. Except Sophie, but you know all about that.

ESME: Has he always been like that?

MAX: Well, I don't know. He has been since we've lived together, but I didn't know him well before. But he does what he does. He just follows whatever motivation he feels at that moment. It's what we do. We do what we need to get by and to be as close to happy as we can.

ESME: Is this about Beth?

MAX: It's about … I dunno.

ESME: It's about Beth. I can tell. You know, it's okay to say so.

MAX: You know, this is really none of your business.

ESME: I can help, Max. You just need to talk to me.

MAX: I don't need to talk to anybody, okay?

ESME: Sophie said you haven't –

MAX: Sophie told you? I shouldn't be surprised.

ESME: Max, don't –

MAX: No. This conversation is done.

The shower turns off abruptly. MAX gives ESME a look like, 'drop it'.

MAX: So what should we do tonight?

A tense pause.

ESME: I don't have any idea. Drink?

LIEF comes out of the washroom with a towel around his waist. He smiles at the girls.

LIEF: Let's get high and go streaking.

The girls look at eachother and laugh. MAX is boisterous, forceful with her laughter. ESME's laughter is half-hearted, and she joins in after a pointed look from MAX. BLACKOUT.

Scene 6 July

MAX is sitting on the patio, smoking. SOPHIE comes in from the back and goes up to shout up to MAX on the patio.

SOPHIE: Max! Toss down the key!

MAX tosses the key down to SOPHIE to catch. SOPHIE exits and then returns in the apartment. While she comes around, MAX puts out her cigarette and goes into the apartment to greet SOPHIE.

SOPHIE: Hey Max. What's up?

SOPHIE disappears into the bedroom to change into a dress, and MAX stays where she is.

MAX: Not a lot.

SOPHIE: Listen, thanks again for letting me change here on such short notice. I just didn't have time to go home and change before I'm supposed to meet my date, and I wanted to look good. Not to mention I'm going to be late as it is.

MAX: I get it.

SOPHIE: How was your day?

MAX: It was fine.

SOPHIE stops on the way to the washroom. She is clothed, and attempting to put her hair up.

SOPHIE: You okay?

MAX: I'm fine.

SOPHIE: Okay.

SOPHIE goes into the washroom to put her hair up and put on lipstick.

MAX: Who are you meeting again?

SOPHIE: Three guesses.

MAX: The bearded man?

SOPHIE: That's the one.

MAX: Ahh.

SOPHIE returns to the entrance. She looks at MAX oddly.

SOPHIE: You sure that you're okay?

MAX: Yeah. Go, you're going to be late.

SOPHIE: (Smiles.) Thanks. I'll pick my stuff up later tonight.

SOPHIE goes to leave. Just before she exits, MAX stops her.

MAX: Wait. I know you're late, but we need to talk.

SOPHIE: Okay… Is something wrong?

MAX: Yes. You told Esme about Beth.

SOPHIE: I didn't –

MAX: You did. You told her about Beth and you had no right to tell her anything. It's none of her business.

SOPHIE: I didn't really tell her anything though. I just –

MAX: You told her enough Sophie. She knew Beth's name. That's too much. It's none of her business, and I would appreciate it if you didn't go telling your friends about the private parts of my life.

SOPHIE: Okay, okay. I'm sorry Max.

MAX: It's not good enough right now Sophie. She was so important to me. So important to me, and she's gone, and I'm so angry, and hurt, and confused. And I don't need anybody, least of all one of your friends, trying to fix me. Okay?

SOPHIE: Yeah.

MAX: Okay.

SOPHIE: I'm sorry Max.

MAX: Okay.

SOPHIE: I really am. You know I am.

MAX: Yeah, I know. Just don't do it again, okay?

SOPHIE: Alright.

MAX: Now, go. Have fun.

SOPHIE: I'm sorry.

MAX: You're late. Go.

SOPHIE smiles gently at MAX, who motions towards the door. SOPHIE leaves. BLACKOUT.

Scene 7 July

SOPHIE and ESME come in from the back of the audience. They are in casual summer clothing. ESME stops towards the rear of the audience.

ESME: Sophie, can I ask you something about Lief?

SOPHIE: Yeah, of course.

ESME: About a week ago, that really hot day, Max and I took a shower in our bathing suits to cool off.

SOPHIE: (Laughs.) That sounds fun, but I have a feeling that's not the question.

ESME: No, it's not. That guy – Lief – came into the shower while we were in there, and he was naked.

SOPHIE: (Laughs.) Oh. My. God. He didn't.

ESME: He did. Is he always that …forward?

SOPHIE: I guess. It's not so much that he's – forward. It's more like … he's uninhibited.

ESME: Is he going to apologize?"

SOPHIE: To be honest, probably not. He's the kind of person that – um, apologizes if he knows he's done something wrong, but changes are, he probably doesn't realize it was something wrong. He was probably high.

ESME: How doesn't he realize that its wrong?

SOPHIE: It's who he is. I dunno.

ESME: Who he is? Sexual is what he is.

SOPHIE: No, he's more… I don't know. He's a free – love – hippie child.

ESME: A free love hippie child?

SOPHIE: Yeah. He's like the wind.

ESME: Huh. Okay. That's it then?

SOPHIE: I guess. I don't know. Lief's hard to explain.

ESME: Try me.

SOPHIE: I don't know how.

ESME: Sure you do. There's more to him than just being a free love hippie child. I'm sure of it.

SOPHIE: Okay, you know what? You're right. It's just complicated.

ESME: We're all complicated. That's the point.

SOPHIE: Just – just let me try to explain him.

ESME: Letting…

A pause.

SOPHIE: It's like, it's how he shows he cares. He hugs people, and kisses them, and there's no pressure behind it. No – real reason, besides wanting to show you that he cares, and not having a way. It's how he creates relationships. It's how he connects.

ESME: I can understand that.

SOPHIE's cell phone begins to ring. She draws it out of her pocket.

SOPHIE: It's Max. She's probably wondering where we are. We should go.

ESME: Alright.

SOPHIE and ESME go towards the front of the audience and towards the "entrance" to the apartment. SOPHIE answers her phone and talks as they walk.

SOPHIE: Hey Max … (Laughs.) Yeah, we're just outside actually… Meet us at the front?

Blackout.

Scene 8 July

A pre-bar gathering is obviously going on in the apartment. SOPHIE is doing her makeup in a handheld mirror on the floor. A drink is beside her. ESME is dancing to the music, laughing with MAX, and adjusting her tight black outfit in preparation for a night out. LIEF enters, takes this all in. He saddles up behind ESME, dancing behind her closely for a minute, while she laughs, and then finds his way to kneeling on the floor behind SOPHIE.

SOPHIE: Esme, does my makeup look alright?

ESME: Yep. Looks good.

MAX: Of course it does. You always look alright.

SOPHIE: You're supposed to say that, you're my sister.

MAX: Since when has that meant I'm supposed to say or do anything.

They laugh.

SOPHIE: Right. How could I forget.

LIEF: You look great.

SOPHIE: Thanks LIEF.

LIEF: Still seeing the man with the facial hair?

SOPHIE: Yes, LIEF. I am.

ESME: She's hoping he'll come out and meet us tonight.

MAX: Not that he's anything special.

SOPHIE: Hey!

MAX: You know I'm right.

SOPHIE: Still, be nice.

LIEF leans over and whispers in SOPHIE's ear. She laughs. ESME notices.

ESME: Hey! What's all the whispering for?

MAX: No secrets!

SOPHIE laughs and shakes her head.

ESME: You can tell us. In fact, you have to tell us. This is a secret and pant free zone, remember? Speaking of which – LIEF.

LIEF: SOPHIE is wearing pants!

SOPHIE: They're leggings.

LIEF stands and quickly discards his pants into the corner.

MAX: Come on!

SOPHIE shakes her head once more. LIEF is behind her again, massaging her shoulders.

LIEF: I'll tell you. (He laughs.) I asked if she would let me do a line of coke off the inside of her thighs.

ESME laughs.

ESME: Not likely.

SOPHIE: Shut up!

LIEF: So what's the gossip?

SOPHIE: What do you mean?

LIEF: What's the gossip on this boy you're dating?

SOPHIE: Seeing.

LIEF: Fine, seeing. So?

MAX: Don't start her on it.

SOPHIE: Hey!

LIEF: Did something happen?

ESME: Yeah, his girlfriend happened.

SOPHIE: Guys.

MAX: It's true.

SOPHIE: EX-girlfriend.

ESME: Regardless. You know once the ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture that it's not going to go the way you want it to.

SOPHIE: You don't know that.

MAX and ESME laugh gently.

MAX: Oh, SOPHIE.

ESME: You're so cute.

SOPHIE: What?

ESME: You always do this.

SOPHIE: Do what?

ESME: Meet somebody. And get so optimistic. You always look at people in a different way than the rest of the world.

SOPHIE: No I don't.

MAX: Yes, you do. You look for that beauty thing.

ESME: That beauty thing that you think is in everybody. The mature, loving person that you seem to think is hidden away somewhere deep in all of us.

LIEF: What's wrong with that?

ESME: It's just so idealistic.

MAX: You need to be real in your expectations.

SOPHIE: Well sorry for being an optimist. I don't get why its such a problem.

ESME: I don't believe in any of that. It's all bullshit.

MAX: What is?

ESME / SOPHIE: Love.

ESME: True love. "Wuv… wuv, is what bwings us, togeva, tonight. Wuv, sweet wuv –"

LIEF: Love exists.

SOPHIE: (Quietly) Thanks Lief.

ESME: What?

LIEF: Love. Exists. There can't be evil without good. There can't be gain, without loss. And there can't be hate, without love. Love exists.

MAX: Well, show me the love, cause I'm a little bit lacking.

ESME: Me too.

MAX and ESME laugh.

SOPHIE: Guys.

LIEF: Let them. Don't take it personally.

MAX: Come on Sophie. Come back to planet earth. Let's be realistic. Love may exist, but we're not going to find it.

Scene 9 August

ESME and SOPHIE enter the apartment with MAX, who drops her stuff.

MAX: I'll be fast. I promise.

ESME: You better be!

She disappears into the washroom and the shower starts. SOPHIE leaves ESME at the door and goes out to sit on the patio. ESME follows, but stands in the doorway, watching SOPHIE.

ESME: What's bothering you?

SOPHIE: Nothing, I'm fine.

ESME: Don't lie to me. You're not fine. And we're about to go out for a great night. I want to know what's wrong so I can try to make sure you have fun too.

SOPHIE: I just, miss my sister.

ESME: Max?

SOPHIE: Yeah.

ESME: But she's right here.

SOPHIE: She's different. She's just – wild. Not that she wasn't before. But now it sometimes seems forced. Like she does wild things to be not what she was before.

ESME: And? Who was she before?

SOPHIE: The same person she is, but different. I know that sounds dumb. It sounds stupid even to me, but it is what it is. And I'm so confused.

ESME: Stop. Just tell me what she used to be like. Before all of this happened.

SOPHIE: She was, fun. She was goofy, and loud like she is now. But now, she's loud and it's almost like she's trying to scare people away. She doesn't let people get too close. Not even me. And we used to talk. Like, really talk. About everything. And she hasn't talked to me about what happened. It's been over a year, and I still really don't know what happened.

ESME: Can't you ask Lief?

SOPHIE: That would be almost the same. I doubt he would tell me. It would be hard for him too, maybe harder. I don't know. I just – I want so badly to help her. She's my sister. I love her. And I've always been able to help her before. Now … now, I'm just – useless. And I hate it. She's so close, and yet she's changing, and fading, and slipping away, and I don't want to lose her. I don't want to not know who she is anymore.

ESME: You feel like you're losing her.

SOPHIE: Yeah. I do.

ESME: Have you told her?

SOPHIE: She'd just laugh and tell me I'm being sentimental.

ESME: Maybe. Maybe not. I'm sure if you talk to her, and maybe tell her how you feel, she'll –

SOPHIE: What? She'll – tell me everything? She'll – go back to being all giddy and happy and girly like me? But she won't. She was never like that, and she won't start now. And I'm fine with that. I just want her to stop changing more.

ESME: We're all changing Sophie. I can guarantee you're not the girl you used to be around Max. You're already not the girl that I met, that's for sure. We've known eachother less than a year, and you've already changed. She's still your sister. Just don't let her go. Don't give up on her.

SOPHIE: I won't. I won't ever give up on her.

Scene 10 August

LIEF and MAX are on the patio, smoking. They are nearing the end of their conversation.

LIEF: And she – what? Just quit like that?

MAX: Yeah! I don't know what they were thinking hiring her in the first place.

LIEF: That's crazy.

From the back of the audience ESME runs in. She goes up to the front of the audience and calls up.

ESME: Hey Max! Hey Lief!

Max stands up and looks over the edge of the balcony.

MAX: What's up?

ESME: Not much. Hey, I was wondering. Would you guys mind if Sophie and I crash here tonight?

MAX looks over at LIEF.

MAX: Are you okay with them crashing?

LIEF: Yeah, sure.

MAX: Sure. I'll let you in the back.

ESME: Yeah, okay!

MAX backs away from the edge of the balcony and moves towards the door.

Wait! I forgot something, so let Sophie in? I'll be back in a few minutes.

MAX: Alright. Just try to be a bit quiet. I'm going to bed, and I work in the morning.

ESME: Will do! Thanks!

ESME turns and runs back out through the audience. MAX puts out her cigarette and heads in to the apartment. She goes to the door, and disappears, reappearing a minute later with SOPHIE.

SOPHIE: Thanks again, Max, we appreciate this.

MAX: Anytime.

MAX smiles and gives Sophie a hug before heading down the hall and to bed. Sophie pulls two blankets from on top of the desk, and puts them on the coffee table, clearing away beer cans to make space. After a moment, there is a knock on the door. Sophie goes to open it, and ESME stumbles in. She is supported/followed by CAM, and DEV.

SOPHIE: What are you doing?

ESME: Oh come on, it's just a little fun. Max won't notice. And if she does, it's not like she'll care.

SOPHIE: Did you ask her?

CAM and ESME fall onto the couch, kissing. SOPHIE stands, still waiting for an answer as they disappear beneath a blanket. She turns to DEV.

DEV: I guess it's you and I together then, hey?

DEV does not seem disappointed at all. DEV puts a blanket on the floor and lays down. He pats the floor next to him, and waits for her to lay down.

DEV: Come on. I won't bite.

He grins ferally. SOPHIE looks around the room and sees no other options for where to sleep, so she slowly moves to lay down next to him. He begins kissing her neck, and pulls her close to him, trying to kiss her, but she won't let him.

DEV: Come on. Kiss me.

There is a giggle from beneath the blanket. It is either CAM or ESME. SOPHIE is silent. A man, LIEF, watches from on the patio where he's smoking silently. Standing in the audience, ghostly and silent, is BETH. She watches only LIEF.

DEV: What? Why won't you just kiss me?"

BETH: (Directed to LIEF.) What? Why won't you just kiss me?"

SOPHIE: Don't. Stop. Just stop.

Flashback. Blackout. FLASHBACK!SOPHIE and another recorded voice, belonging to MAC, are heard in the darkness.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: What's going –?

MAC: Shh – shh.

Scuffling noises, sounds of a struggle for a moment. Silence.

Lights up. SOPHIE is still there, laying on the floor. DEV is gone, ESME and CAM are getting off of the futon. They are flirting, and kissing, and finishing dressing. It appears they are only half trying to be quiet. As they leave, SOPHIE gets up and pushes their blanket to the floor. She lays her blanket from the floor down, and takes their place on the futon, laying still. There are whispers from the kitchen area for a moment, a door closing, and then a short silence. MAX comes in through the kitchen, a piece of toast in one hand, bag over her shoulder, and picks up her keys off of the desk. She looks around the room quickly, taking note of SOPHIE apparently "sleeping", and then exits into the hallway. The door slams again. SOPHIE does not move. Flashback. FLASHBACK!SOPHIE's voice, on the phone.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: Hey… I'm really sorry to call you… You said you were close. Yeah… I would really appreciate it… I'm at my friend's house…Oh, okay…Yeah, I'll text you the address? … Perfect…Thanks so much…

A pause. voices, indistinguishable. FLASHBACK!SOPHIE gasping. Silence. Lights up on the living room. SOPHIE, is still on the futon not moving, just staring. It is obvious she has had a rough evening. LIEF enters from the kitchen.

LIEF: Morning, Sophie.

SOPHIE: Hi Lief.

LIEF: Can I cuddle you?

A pause. SOPHIE nods. LIEF crawls onto the futon behind SOPHIE and cuddles up to her. A moment.

LIEF: You seem upset.

A moment. SOPHIE smiles softly.

SOPHIE: I'm alright.

LIEF: You always are.

He is quiet for a moment, watching her.

You always say you're okay. You don't have to pretend you know.

SOPHIE looks at him. Silence. After a moment he gets up.

Tea?

SOPHIE: Yes, thanks.

LIEF moves into the kitchen and can be heard moving around. SOPHIE sits up, bringing her legs up onto the couch. She wraps herself in a blanket.

SOPHIE: I really am okay, you know. I say I'm okay, because I am. Things could be worse. I could be sick, or dying. I could have no idea who I was or where I am, or no recollection of last night. But I remember. (Beat.) I'm not perfect. I mean – I have my problems. I've got good days, and great days, okay days, and downright terrible days. I have my issues. But they aren't so bad that I need to say I'm not alright. (A moment of silence.) Uh…Lief?

LIEF looks in from the kitchen.

LIEF: I'm listening Sophie.

She nods. And is quiet for a moment. The kettle whistles, and LIEF leaves, returning in a moment with two steaming mugs. He sits opposite from her.

SOPHIE: Thanks.

He nods.

LIEF: So, those guys last night –

SOPHIE: You saw them?

LIEF: I saw them. You seemed – close.

SOPHIE: They weren't supposed to stay here. I didn't want them to.

LIEF: Why didn't you make them leave?

SOPHIE: Esme was having fun.

LIEF: So? You didn't seem to be enjoying it as much as she was.

SOPHIE: It's not that simple.

LIEF: Oh, okay. Let them stay for your friend, who enjoys herself, while you get petted and felt up all night against your will. Thats simple.

SOPHIE: (Quietly.) He stopped.

A moment.

LIEF: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have - . I just – (Beat.) You seem so concerned with not hurting others, or upsetting others, or making people mad, or burdening them, that you never seem really happy. You can't always be too nice. You need to worry a bit about yourself sometimes.

A moment.

LIEF: Do you know when Max gets home?

SOPHIE: I'm not sure. I saw her leave this morning, but I think she thought I was sleeping.

LIEF: (Nods.) I'm going out for a smoke. (Stands) Do you want to come?

SOPHIE: No thanks.

LIEF: (Nods.) Alright. (He turns to the porch door and opens it, smiling.) It's raining. You should come outside, even just to sit with me.

He goes out onto the porch, leaving the door open, and sits on one of the two chairs. The sound of light rain is audible. LEIF lights a cigarette, smokes. After a moment, SOPHIE gets up, puts a sweater on and follows LIEF out to the porch. She sits.

SOPHIE: I love the smell of rain. I love to just sit, and smell the rain, and listen to it, and feel it in the air.

LIEF: Close your eyes.

SOPHIE: What?

LIEF: Just close your eyes. (She does. He does too after a moment.) Now listen. What do you hear? (A long pause. SOPHIE smiles.) Listen further, to yourself. Focus on your breathing, and the sound of the air going in and out of your lungs. And see if you can hear your heart.

The two sit there, silent, for a few seconds. BETH walks through the audience towards the front, finds somewhere to sit and closes her eyes as well, listening to LIEF. LIEF is watching SOPHIE, who appears to be unsuccessful at hearing her heartbeat. She is struggling not to move and eventually gives up. He is amused at her.

SOPHIE: I can't do it.

LIEF: It might take a long time. It's hard to get used to. Try it again.

SOPHIE closes her eyes. Very slowly, after about ten seconds, we hear the sound of her heart beating, very slowly, and very faint. It fades to almost nothing, and then returns slightly, before dropping off completely. LIEF has been watching her.

So?

SOPHIE smiles.

SOPHIE: I heard it.

LIEF: That's when you know you're really truly relaxed and at peace with yourself.

They sit, quiet, for a few minutes, until a phone rings. It is a acoustic sounding song, something in French. Perhaps Guillaume Grand's Toi et Moi. BETH gets up and leaves. SOPHIE fumbles through her pockets until she finds her phone and answers it.

SOPHIE: Hello?

AUNT: Hey, Sophie! How's it going babe?

SOPHIE: Oh hey Auntie. It's good, how're you?

AUNT: Oh I'm fine. Hanging out with your sisters right now, and we're having an awesome time. But I was thinking about how I miss you and figured I'd call, so the girls gave me your number.

SOPHIE: Oh. Well that's cool. Are you guys having fun?

AUNT: Oh yeah. Lots of fun. They've been playing with the dog all day, and now they're out on the trampoline!

A moment of silence on both ends. SOPHIE has begun to shiver. LIEF gets up to retrieve the blanket that SOPHIE was using earlier. He brings it out to her and wraps her in it while the conversation continues. She mouths "thank you".

AUNT: So, I understand you're a busy girl, but is it too much to ask that you call once in a while?

SOPHIE: Well, no.

AUNT: (interrupting) Then what's the problem? Your family loves you and you just ignore them? I know that you miss your mom. But your Dad is still here. And even if you're having trouble with him, he is still your Dad. He told me that you've been arguing with him more than usual.

SOPHIE: Yeah…

A pause.

AUNT: Sighs. Listen, I'm just trying to say I love you, and that I'm here for you to talk, whenever. I don't know what's going on with you, but there are people who are there for you to go to. If something happened, if there's something going on that you're afraid to talk about, you just need to talk to us.

SOPHIE begins to cry softly.

We aren't going to do anything but support you. That's what family is for. Being there. Not judging you. I love you, babe. Just remember that.

SOPHIE: Alright. I love you too.

AUNT: Bye.

SOPHIE: Bye.

SOPHIE hangs up the phone, and holds it in her hand, staring at it. She finally puts the phone in her pocket. There is a moment of silence. LIEF is watching SOPHIE, quiet. There are voices, played over.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: What's going –?

MAC: Shh – shh.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: What are you doing? I –

MAC: It's okay. Don't worry –

SOPHIE is crying harder now. Scuffling noises, sounds of a struggle. Behind her, on the opposite side of the stage, BETH appears silently. She watches LIEF and SOPHIE, although LIEF does not see her.

LIEF: Sophie?

Silence. Only the rain and SOPHIE crying.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: (Something is said, muffled, a sentence about ten words long, indistinguishable as the sound fades.)

Silence. SOPHIE opens her eyes and looks up at LIEF. She swallows.

SOPHIE: I – Uh. Something happened.

LIEF: What?

SOPHIE: Shh. Just – just let me say it. Please.

LIEF is silent.

SOPHIE: I got really drunk. (A pause.) It was just a normal night. I came here after, but I didn't really want to stay. So I called a friend.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: Hey… I'm really sorry to call you… You said you were close. Yeah… I would really appreciate it… I'm at my friend's house…Oh, okay…Yeah, I'll text you the address? … Perfect…Thanks so much…

SOPHIE: He picked me up. He had a friend with him, and had to drive his friend home. His friend was drunk. On the way, he spilled his pop on – my friend. So when we dropped him off, we headed back to his place so he could change. He put on a movie for me while he showered, and I passed out. (A pause.) When I woke up, he was – on top of me, and – his – his – fingers were inside of me. I don't know how it happened. I –

She stops.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: What's going –?

MAC: Shh – shh.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: What are you doing? I –

MAC: It's okay. Don't worry –

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: Stop!

Scuffling noises, sounds of a struggle.

SOPHIE: I made him take me home.

MAC: Okay.

FLASHBACK!SOPHIE: Right now.

BEAT.

SOPHIE: I don't know how it happened. I don't know if I did something. He said I was kissing him. That I was into it. But I don't remember anything. It wasn't rape. I'm not even sure if it was sexual assault. But I know that the thing that – woke me up, I guess you could say – was the pain. Because his fingers were hurting me. (A pause.) I feel so dirty now.

LIEF is silent. After a moment, he reaches out a hand, and places it, palm up, on her knee. She takes it, and smiles at him gently.

LIEF: You know that you did nothing wrong, right?

SOPHIE: I know.

There is a moment where they sit there in silence, both looking out at the rain, and holding hands. LIEF turns to study her, and she eventually looks back at him.

SOPHIE: What?

LIEF: You're beautiful.

SOPHIE pulls her hand away.

SOPHIE: What? Don't.

LIEF: No, listen to me.

He takes her hand again.

You need to know that you're beautiful. You'll remember it, inside, but you need to know in your head that you are. Even when you're crying. I'm not hitting on you, or trying to take advantage of you. I swear.

SOPHIE: I know.

LIEF: I just want you to know that you are. More than just outside. You're a very sweet girl, with a lot of life in you, and a lot more passion. I want you to know –

He pauses, swallowing.

I want you to know that you have a lot of good things going for you, and people who care about you, and reasons to keep on living and –

SOPHIE, seeing where he is going, cuts him off. She takes his other hand.

SOPHIE: I would never, EVER, think otherwise. (A moment.) I promise you.

LIEF: Yeah. Promise me…

A moment.

SOPHIE: Want to go inside? It's getting a little bit cold out here.

They rise and go inside. LIEF moves to close the door behind him, but SOPHIE stops him.

SOPHIE: Don't. Leave it open. I like the sound of the rain.

LIEF and SOPHIE sit on the futon, on opposite sides. Each of them is wrapped in a blanket, and they share another one over their legs, facing eachother. Immediately after getting comfortable, LIEF speaks.

LIEF: Thank you.

SOPHIE: For what?

LIEF: For trusting me.

A moment.

SOPHIE: You're welcome. You're not hard to trust, Lief. It's just hard to talk about.

LIEF: I know what that's like. Wanting to talk –

SOPHIE: – but not knowing how to start?

LIEF nods.

SOPHIE: I understand. (She hesitates.) I worry, sometimes.

LIEF: About Max?

SOPHIE: Yeah.

LIEF: She's okay.

SOPHIE: I know. But I wasn't there. When she found out she called me, and I would have come over. (She laughs.) I would have equipped myself with chicken nuggets and orange juice and everything. But she was at her parents for Christmas, and I didn't get there for a few days. And even then…

They sit silent for a moment.

I brought House. (He looks at her, confused.) You know, Dr. House? No? Alright. Well it's this tv show about a cynical doctor with a drug problem. Basically, he's an ass to everybody, and I find it really funny. So I brought it.

I didn't know what else to do.

LIEF: You wanted her to be okay.

SOPHIE: I wanted her to be okay.

LIEF: Me too.

(A moment.)

Most people don't know that there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life.

A pause.

SOPHIE: LIEF…

LIEF: Hmm..?

SOPHIE: Can you tell me what happened..?

LIEF: Didn't MAX tell you?

SOPHIE: She told me the basic gist. But she didn't go into details.

A moment.

LIEF: You shouldn't look so sad.

SOPHIE says nothing. BETH comes in from the back of the room. She watches LIEF quietly.

LIEF: The first time I met her, I was walking through the woods. I'm not going to say that she looked like an angel. Because she didn't.

He smiles, to himself. BETH smiles as well.

She looked real. And to me that was better. I saw her, and thought how beautiful she was, and asked her if I could kiss her. And she said yes. So I kissed her.

LIEF goes silent.

SOPHIE: I remember the night I met you both.

LIEF looks up.

SOPHIE: You were together, at Max's, and I came in. She introduced us, and I remember thinking how beautiful she was. Even though her hair was in dreadlocks –

MAX: Steven and Michael were sitting at the kitchen table before everybody arrived. It felt so awesome to have so many of my friends getting together in the same place and knowing that I was the one who brought everybody together. It was the first time I met LIEF. They walked in together, and I just thought "that works." Him, and her. She told me about how he made her feel. How wonderful – he – was. (She laughs.) It was funny, how excited she was for what she had with him, after what we had.

LIEF: – She had the most beautiful face. (A pause.) I loved her so easily. She was a goddess. A flower goddess. An earth goddess.

He smiles at her.

She loved trees. Loved listening to them, and standing next to them, with her arms out, face turned upwards, and her eyes shut.

As LIEF talks about the trees, BETH runs to the front of the audience, as close as she can to the stage, smiling.

SOPHIE: (Gently.) You really loved her.

LIEF: We called ourselves star-crossed lovers. From the beginning. Do you know what that phrase is from? Romeo and Juliet. A pair of star crossed lovers. I feel like that should have been some sort of hint. Some kind of twisted foreshadowing. Do you know what Romeo and Juliet do? They both die. And I wanted her forever.

SOPHIE: Was she depressed?

LIEF: She was happy. I know she was. She had hard days, and days where she cried, but she was happy. We were happy. And then she went to Toronto for Christmas with her family.

At this point, BETH moves center stage, and sits cross-legged on the floor, her chin raised as though there is sun on her face.

LIEF: There was this guy.

BETH: His name was Luc.

LIEF: There was just, something – off about him. Something not right, you know? As far as I could tell, they were good friends. At least, they had been when she lived there. I never even heard of him before it all happened. The police went to his house first. We still don't know why.

BETH: Fifteen minutes.

LIEF: Her brother said that she just wanted to go out for a walk with her dog to cool off. She'd been arguing with her mom – just another little argument – and needed some air. It was late. Just before midnight.

(A pause.)

I know she was happy. I know she was. She had hard days, but I guess this day was harder than the rest…

Lights fade on LIEF and SOPHIE, but they are still illuminated so you can see LIEF "telling his story." A spotlight illuminates BETH where she sits.

BETH: I thought it would be colder outside. It was warm, for December, but still, very few people. A homeless man, pushing a shopping cart. A young couple holding hands in the snow and laughing. And me. Walking quietly down the street with my dog's leash in hand. The trees are canopied, shivering, over my head and the snow crunches loud beneath my feet. They are cold, but I am warm.

The snow is loud, it ice shatters beneath my feet and radiates up through the bones in my legs to my lungs, and I feel the vibrations shake me, through my heart, through my entire body. It isn't loud enough to drown out my thoughts, my worries, my angers and disappointments. It's just enough to distract as long as I need it to. The terminal isn't far.

Funny, isn't it, that the word terminal comes from a latin word that means the end.

MAX: Fifteen minutes.

BETH: I try to take my focus out of my thoughts and listen to the trees instead. Their whispers are sad, or perhaps it is just how I'm hearing them, so I continue to walk. The lights of the terminal grow closer, and before I know it I'm climbing the stairs up onto the platform. It's deserted. The bright lights are almost eerie, reflecting off of the metal benches and signs, and the only sound is my breathing, the wind, and somewhere far off in the distance -. (Beat.) My thoughts pick up again, too loud and too fast for me to ignore, so I focus hard on my breathing, and beaneath it, my heartbeat. Lief taught me to hear it. To find momentary peace when there is none. There's a moment of silence, of me standing still and quiet, and then I hear it. The train rushing along the track, moving towards me. I let the leash fall from my fingers, and step towards the edge. I take a breath and –

BLACKOUT. There is the sound of a train rushing by and screeching to a stop. Silence. The lights come up on LIEF and SOPHIE once more. BETH is gone. LIEF is crying.

MAX: I was always the person she called. Always. I just wish I was that night. I just wish she would've called, like she always did. It never mattered how late at night, or what the weather was like, or what I was doing. If she called, I was there.

LIEF: It was just before midnight when she left. And just after midnight when the cops came to the door. Fifteen minutes. And she didn't come back.

MAX: Jayden called me. I was staying at my cousins, so I could spend more time with everybody, and I was sleeping in the living room, but my cousin was going somewhere, so I was in her bed. They left to go somewhere – shopping or church or somewhere –, I don't remember. And Jayden called. It was like ten in the morning, and she called and woke me up. And she was so casual. It was like ten in the morning. And she was like, "Hey! What're you doing later?"

So I told her my cousin was downstairs. And she was like, "Max something bad happened." And her voice started to shake and I thought that maybe somebody had died. Somebody from our town or our class or something. Anything. And she started to cry. And she said that BETH had killed herself. And it just didn't make sense. And all I could say was "That is not a good joke Jayden. You do not call somebody at ten in the morning and tell them that somebody had killed themselves.

She spent four hours preparing for my reaction. Because she knew it was going to be the worst. And I lost it, all alone in that big house, on the kitchen floor. And I just cried until my cousin got home.

That was the worst day of my life. I thought I was going to die of pain right then.

LIEF: LIEF takes a deep breath, trying to compose himself.

I told my dad and my mom and my brother not to call me. Not to talk to me or message me or anything, no matter what. To leave me alone. If I needed them, I would call them. But to just respect me, and please not call me. I needed my space. I needed to disappear and just be alone. My dad called me to see if I was okay. Even though I asked him not to, he still called me. And then a few days later, my mom called me to see if I was okay. The only person that respected me enough to not call me was my brother. He didn't call me for months. And then two weeks ago, when I was in Toronto, I found myself there. Sitting on a bench at that train station, and I called my brother. And he answered.

There is a moment. LIEF, silent, struggles back tears, holding his lips tightly together. He is shaking. He takes a deep breath.

He answered, and I couldn't do anything but cry and ask him why. Why? Didn't she know that I love her? Didn't she know that I need her? Do you know she didn't even call me? I told her I would always be there for her.

There is silence, and SOPHIE reaches over to LIEF. He lets her hold his hand, wiping away her own tears.

MAX: I don't even remember anything after finding out.

LIEF: New Years Eve, I saw Max again, for the first time. Beth's brothers picked her up.

MAX: They picked me up from my Mom. It was right after we'd come back from a family dinner. When we got to Beth's parent's house, Lief was sitting at the kitchen table with her mom. He just looked up at me, only his head moving.

I've never seen somebody in so much pain before. I just broke down instantly as soon as I saw him. I saw in him the reflection of the pain I felt inside. It felt as though we'd been holding ourselves together until that moment. We have such a strange relationship. I think we just sat and drank wine in her room. And fell asleep in her bed. Well he did. I found her journal and I was reading it. I've never cried so much in my entire life. It was uncontrollable. Her dad came downstairs and sat behind me on the bed. I was reading this one entry and I hadn't finished reading it, and her dad repeated one of the lines from farther down the page. And it was one of those things that a father should never have to know about his daughter. And I started crying and crying and crying. And he just picked me up in a ball and rocked me in his arms. I cried so hard that I gave myself a bloody nose.

LIEF: I still think something happened. We've talked about it, Max and I. About whether something happened with that guy she knew, you know? They went to that guy Luc's house before even coming to her family's. It's just not right. And there's no way now for us to know.

MAX: LIEF and I just held each other mostly. It was all that we could do to not fall apart. We were the only two people who truly understood what the other was going through. Everybody grieves differently. Lief and I were the only two people that she ever told that she loved.

LIEF: I just – I miss her. So much.

MAX: She went out of her way to see me, all of the time. I remember this one time, there was a blizzard, halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. And she hit a patch of ice or something, and drove her Lincoln right into the ditch. I was working in Starbucks. And she just walked in, with her dog in the kennel, and shouted "I'm here" in the middle of Starbucks. She was so beautiful. So beautiful. She hitchhiked in a blizzard to come see me.

SOPHIE: Are you going to be alright?

MAX: I don't feel mad anymore. I've been angry for so long. I don't even remember when I stopped being mad. I'm just so sad now.

LIEF: There's nothing to do but be okay. It's still hard. I find myself missing her every day, and sometimes I feel like she's watching me and smiling. But I can't kid myself into thinking that she'd be okay with me sitting here. There's a difference, you know, between going on, and living. And she'd want me to live. So that's exactly what I'm going to do.

SOPHIE: What do you mean?

LIEF: I'm going skydiving.

LIEF grins. You can tell that he is serious.

SOPHIE: No, you're not.

LIEF: Yes I am!

SOPHIE: (Laughs.) You're crazy.

LIEF: No way! I've always wanted to, so now I will.

SOPHIE: Skydiving? Doesn't that freak you out a bit?

LIEF: Well, yeah. But it's something. It's real.

SOPHIE: Real?

LIEF: It's excitement and nerves all at once. It's adrenaline. It's – something that I can feel.

SOPHIE: Oh.

LIEF: And I need that. Feeling.

A moment of understanding.

SOPHIE: I couldn't handle that. I don't do heights.

LIEF: I DO everything.

LIEF wiggles his eyebrows suggestively. SOPHIE laughs. The door opens, and an obnoxious greeting is called by MAX as she comes into the room.

MAX: Honey! I'm ho-ome!

MAX enters the living room and deposits her keys on the desk. She dumps her bag on the floor, and turns around to face the futon. She has a case of LUCKY beer in her other hand.

MAX: Oh hey, Sophie! I didn't think you'd be here.

SOPHIE: Yeah, just hanging out.

SOPHIE and LIEF smile at eachother. Fade to black.

Futon

Exit to Hall
and Entrance

What would be kitchen

Coffee table

chair

Where SOPHIE /
DEV lay down.

Indicates patio area.

Milk crate (used as seat)

Old coffee can for cigarette butts

Door to Patio

Door to kitchen / Exit / Entrance