The Waiting Room

[JAMEE is sitting in a waiting room. Enter LUKE]

LUKE: [On the phone] I'm walking in right now, okay, I will, see you tonight, bye.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Hi, do you have an appointment?

LUKE: Yes, I have one for twelve o'clock today.

HELEN: Twelve? It's just about ten fifty five.

LUKE: Well, it was either come an hour early or come an hour late.

HELEN: I hear you, just sign in and I'll give you your number. [Hands LUKE a piece of paper.] You're number forty three. I'll call your number when it's your time to go in.

LUKE: Right, thanks.

HELEN: [Sarcastically] As you can see we're swamped today, so just take a seat.

LUKE: Thanks again. [Sits]

HELEN: Number thirty two. Number thirty two? Eleven o'clock appointment? [To LUKE] Did you see anyone leaving when you came in?

LUKE: Not that I can recall.

HELEN: Alright, thank you. Last call for number thirty two.

[Exit HELEN, enter SAMMY looking nervous]

JAMEE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: Yeah, it's just about—

SAMMY: She said that! She's said that before! I've heard her say that multiple times! She keeps repeating it every time!

JAMEE: Repeating what?

SAMMY: You keep saying 'Do you have the time?' You've asked me that multiple times now, but I know now; you're just part of the cycle aren't you? Admit it!

LUKE: Cycle?

SAMMY: Everything is repeating and she is too, she's entered this room many times and she always asks me the same question. She's part of the repeating cycle! [To JAMEE] Admit it, admit you're part of it! I already know so there's no point in hiding it!

JAMEE: What are you going on about? I've never even seen you before, let alone spoken to you.

SAMMY: You're a liar! A dirty liar! You're trying to make me look crazy so no one will believe me, right? Right?

JAMEE: You're already doing a pretty good job on your own if you ask me.

SAMMY: [To LUKE] Don't listen to her, I'm not insane, I'm not. She's trying to trick you, so you'll become part of the cycle just like her. If you let her get to you you'll just become another piece in a repeating pattern. But I know, I know her tricks, and we won't be a part of any cycle. No, no, no, we won't. We definitely won't.

LUKE: I think you need to calm down.

JAMEE: Yeah, this is a public place; you can't just go on long obnoxious conspiracy theory rants wherever you want.

SAMMY: You don't believe me? But you believe her don't you? She's not real, she's just the same set of actions replaying over and over, but I'm real, I'm not part of the cycle.

LUKE: Listen, I don't really know what you're talking about but you need to settle down, alright?

SAMMY: If you don't understand I'll explain it to you. I'll tell you everything I know!

JAMEE: Oh brother.

SAMMY: Shut up you, you, repeating freak! You think you're going to get me don't you? But I know, and you're never going to get me! I'll never be a part of a cycle!

JAMEE: If you don't calm down I'm going to call security.

LUKE: Hey, hey, there's no need for that. [To SAMMY] Please just relax, you're disturbing us.

JAMEE: You're going to defend him?

SAMMY: Will you just listen to what I have to say? I'm not crazy, really, I'm trying to help you, I just want to help you.

LUKE: [Sighs] Alright, tell me once and if I don't believe you, I don't believe you.

JAMEE: Good Luck with that.

SAMMY: [Aside to LUKE] Everything is repeating, the whole world is in a cycle where nothing ever changes. Everyone does the same things over and over but no one realizes it.
Everyone is trapped in a never ending pattern. I used to be blind to the repeating just like you but I can see it now. It's too late for her but it's not too late for you.

LUKE: I know what your problem is, alright? I can get you some help, there are treatments-

SAMMY: NO! I'm not insane! I know it sounds like I am, and I know this seems impossible but I swear to you its true, if you could see what I've seen you would understand!

LUKE: I've listened to your story, now sit down and wait for your turn quietly.

SAMMY: You have to help me, I'm in trouble okay? They'll put me away, and that's just what they want, because I know the truth and no one else does!

[Enter KATHY and ROGER]

LUKE: Look, there are people coming in, so stay quiet and don't embarrass yourself.

[Enter HELEN]

SAMMY: You have to listen to me! You have to, or you'll get caught up in the tediousness and you'll never be able to get out! Do you hear me?

LUKE: People are staring. [To KATHY and ROGER] I'm so sorry, I'll try and keep him quiet.

ROGER:Uh, that's alright.

KATHY: I heard this place tended to gather the crazies, but this is...

ROGER: It's not as bad as you think, I have a nephew who's funny in the head too, and he's much harder to deal with.

KATHY: I wouldn't bring him out into public if I were you.

HELEN: Number thirty three!

JAMEE: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

JAMEE: Thanks.

[Exit JAMEE, KATHY sits where JAMEE was sitting and starts reading a magazine.]

SAMMY: You have to help me, they're going to take me away!

LUKE: Shh! Just sit down, will you?

KATHY: You know they have places for people like him, right?

LUKE: Oh, he's not my-

[ROGER, LUKE, and SAMMY sit]

SAMMY: You will help me right?

LUKE: I will, I will, just keep quiet, okay?

KATHY: That man over there has a special nephew too, maybe he could recommend a good home for him.

LUKE: He's really not-

[ROGER's ringtone goes off.]

SAMMY: Oh god! Oh god, I've heard this! It's happening again! Make it stop, I can't stand it anymore! NO! Lalalalalalalalala! [SAMMY continues lala-ing]

LUKE: Hey! Stop that! Stop that right now! You're bothering other people!

KATHY: I really don't think he should be out in public.

ROGER: Sorry, I'll take this outside.

[Exit ROGER]

SAMMY: He's said that before too! I remember him saying that!

LUKE: Enough of this, I don't want to hear it.

KATHY: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: Uh, yeah, it's eleven fifteen.

KATHY: Okay thanks.

SAMMY: You see, it happened again, and it will happen another time after this and another time after that!

LUKE: I'll admit there was a bit of deja vu there, but it's a common phrase, a coincidence, and nothing more.

SAMMY: You're in denial, but it's okay because I was too! But you must believe me or you will become another victim to the cycle!

LUKE: Look, life is tedious, I get it, you wake up, go to work, come home, sleep and it keeps repeating. But it's just a schedule. Lots of people have one and lots of people don't, no one is going to force you into one, okay?

SAMMY: No! That's not what I mean, this is a cycle that no one sees, no one but me! A much worse cycle, it happens and you don't even know it! But I'm not part of a cycle, I'm not!

LUKE: No one said you were, just breathe.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Number thirty four.

KATHY: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

KATHY: Thanks.

[Exit KATHY and HELEN]

SAMMY: Did you see that? Tell me you saw that!

LUKE: Saw what?

SAMMY: She did the same thing that the other person did, she did the exact same thing! I told you she was part of the cycle!

LUKE: What are you talking about? She was called to go in, everybody does the same thing, they go in. Nothing is "part of the cycle" okay?

SAMMY: How can you not see it? It's so obvious, someone will come in and do the same things that the last two people did. Just wait and you'll see.

LUKE: This is a waiting room, has it occurred to you that they're doing similar things because in a waiting room everyone does similar things?

SAMMY: I'm not talking about similar, I'm talking about the same; the exact same set of actions.

LUKE: You're losing me here, there aren't that many actions to do in a waiting room. You walk in, sit down, get called, stand up, walk out. There isn't that much to it.

SAMMY: No, no, the smaller actions, the little things that you don't notice. The things that I notice.

LUKE: Like what?

SAMMY: Well, like, reading the same page of the same magazine.

LUKE: How do you know there just isn't a really cool article they like reading on that page?

SAMMY: Well, I-

LUKE: You don't know do you? HA! That's a laugh, you're not even an expert in your own messed up world.

SAMMY: This isn't in my head, this is real!

LUKE: Yeah, sure, of course it is. [Laughs]

SAMMY: I'm serious, this isn't a joke, you'll be sorry when you get caught in the cycle!

LUKE: [Still laughing] No, I believe you, really.

[Enter ROGER]

ROGER: [On phone] I have to go, I'm walking in right now. Okay. I will. See you tonight, bye.

[ROGER sits where KATHY was sitting and starts reading a magazine]

LUKE: What he just said, it sounds familiar.

SAMMY: See, it's not in my head, it's real, I told you!

LUKE: I never said you were right, I just said it sounded a little familiar.

ROGER: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: [Stares at ROGER] What?

ROGER: Do you have the time?

LUKE: Uh, it's, eleven twenty two.

ROGER: Okay thanks.

SAMMY: Do you see it? Do you see it now? It's happening again and again and it'll never stop no matter what we do.

LUKE: It's, it's a common phrase, lots of people say that.

SAMMY: Three times in a row all sitting in the same chair and all reading the same magazine?

LUKE: Same magazine? You don't know that! You're just making it up!

SAMMY: You still don't believe me? Then I'll prove it!

[Grabs ROGER's magazine]

ROGER: Hey! Control him will you?

SAMMY: [Shoves magazine into LUKE's face] Take a good look! The next person to sit here will read this! Got that? So make sure you're watching!

ROGER: Give me my magazine back, right now!

LUKE: They can't read it if I rip it up! [Grabs magazine, SAMMY does not let go] Give it to me! [LUKE tugs the magazine from SAMMY]

ROGER: No fighting! I'm going to call for someone!

SAMMY: Stop it! Even if you rip it up, they'll just find another one in this room!

LUKE: Not if I find it first! [Starts digging through the magazines]

ROGER: What are you doing?

SAMMY: You think I haven't tried this? There is no way to stop the cycle, you just have to save yourself and that's all you can do!

LUKE: How would they get another magazine? That makes no sense!

SAMMY: It doesn't have to. All it is, is a constant cycle, going over and over again, it will do anything to keep the cycle going! Trying to stop it will do nothing!

LUKE: That can't be true, there has to be something that will stop it.

ROGER: Can I have my magazine back?

LUKE: No, I need it.

SAMMY: Don't bother talking to him, he just part of the cycle, he isn't even a real person.

ROGER: What are you talking about?

LUKE: Wait, I got it. [Hides magazine under the receptionist's desk] There.

SAMMY: I'm telling you, it's pointless, I've tried this before.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Number thirty five.

ROGER: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

[Enter PETE and MEGAN]

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

ROGER: Thanks.

[HELEN pulls magazine out from under desk, and places it on top]

LUKE: No!

SAMMY: I told you that the cycle cannot be stopped. Just accept that you can't save them.

LUKE: I'm not accepting anything!

[MEGAN takes magazine and sits where ROGER was sitting. PETE sits where ROGER first sat]

SAMMY: She's reading it and sitting in that chair, you can check the page if you want, I'm confident that it's the same. Don't you see, it's happening again.

LUKE: No, it's not. That's impossible. You hired them didn't you?

SAMMY: What? Hired who?

LUKE: All of them, everyone in this room, you did it to mess with me didn't you?

SAMMY: No, that's crazy! Why would I do something like that?

MEGAN: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: Oh god, she said it!

[PETE's ringtone goes off]

MEGAN: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: Stop it! Stop it!

SAMMY: I told you didn't I? Over and over!

MEGAN: Excuse me do you have the time?

LUKE Stop saying that!

SAMMY: Over, and over!

MEGAN: Excuse me do you have the time?

LUKE: No I don't have the damn time!

[PETE answers his phone]

PETE: Sorry, I'll take this outside.

[Exit PETE]

MEGAN: Okay thanks.

LUKE: What the hell is this?This better not be some messed up prank or I swear, I'll kill you. They're all actors aren't they? Are you trying to drive me crazy?

SAMMY: This isn't a prank, I'm dead serious. Everything is real!

LUKE: You're lying, I don't believe you. Who hired you to do this? Huh? Who was it? Was it someone I know? Or is this just some freaky reality TV show?

SAMMY: Neither, you can check the room for cameras, rip this room apart for all I care, because you won't find anything.

LUKE: Then what is this?

SAMMY: It's the reality of the world.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Number thirty six.

MEGAN: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

MEGAN: Thanks.

[Exit HELEN and MEGAN]

LUKE: Are you just going to make them keep doing that untill I do something stupid? Is that it? You want me to put on a show for you? 'Cause I'll do it!

SAMMY: I told you there aren't any cameras! Check! I dare you to check and find out for yourself! Or are you just afraid of the truth?

LUKE: I'm not afraid of anything, because I know what this is.

SAMMY: You can deny it all you want but inside you know the truth don't you?

[Enter PETE]

PETE: [On phone] I'm walking in right now. Okay. I will. See you tonight, bye.

[PETE sits where MEGAN was sitting and starts reading a magazine]

LUKE: No! [Grabs PETE] You're an actor! Tell me the truth! You were hired to mess with my mind, weren't you? Just admit it! Admit it!

PETE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: What?

PETE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: Stop saying that!

PETE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: No I don't!

PETE: Okay thanks.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Number thirty seven.

PETE: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

PETE: Thanks.

[Exit HELEN and PETE]

LUKE: Tell them to stop!

SAMMY: I told you, this isn't some stupid TV prank show, this is real.

LUKE: Then how come I've never seen this before? I've never seen things repeating like this in my entire life, so why now?

SAMMY: Because I opened your eyes to the truth, I told you what was really happening.

[Enter JAMEE]

LUKE: You're so- Wait, wait, that's her! She was here when I came in.

[JAMEE sits where PETE was sitting and starts reading a magazine]

SAMMY: See? I told you she was already too connected to the cycle, I can't help her.

JAMEE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

LUKE: [Pause] Uh, it's eleven forty.

JAMEE: Okay thanks.

LUKE: Should I be telling them?

SAMMY: Telling them what?

LUKE: Should I be telling them the time? If, and just if the cycle exists, would telling her the time make me part of it too?

SAMMY: I don't think so, if you can still think about the cycle like that then you're not a part of it.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Number thirty eight.

JAMEE: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

JAMEE: Thanks.

[Exit HELEN and JAMEE. LUKE starts searching the room]

SAMMY: What are you doing?

LUKE: You told me to search the room for cameras right? So now I'm doing it. I'm going to look until I find some proof that this is fake.

SAMMY: Then you'll be looking forever because this isn't fake.

LUKE:Sure, sure.

SAMMY: Listen, I've already searched this whole room myself, there isn't even a security camera for you to find. There's nothing in this room so just give it up.

LUKE: You searched the room? Why did you search the room?

SAMMY: You think I was born knowing the world was repeating? I was told just like you, and I didn't believe it, just like you. Trust me, you're not the only one who thought that this was a reality TV show.

LUKE: You're lying.

[Enter JAMEE]

SAMMY: I know this is hard to believe.

JAMEE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

SAMMY: I understand more than anyone how this must feel, but I'm trying to help you, and I need you to help me.

JAMEE: Okay thanks.

[Enter HELEN]

LUKE: Alright, I'm going to trust you. Now tell me how to fix this.

HELEN: Number thirty eight.

JAMEE: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

SAMMY: I don't know if we can fix anything, so right now we need to focus on staying out of the cycle.

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

JAMEE: Thanks.

LUKE: How do we do that?

[Exit HELEN and JAMEE]

SAMMY: Just stay focused and remember the cycle. If you forget that the cycle is there, it'll get you and you'll be trapped in the pattern forever.

LUKE: How do we know that we're not already part of it?

SAMMY: We're not.

LUKE: But how do you know?

SAMMY: We're just not! Now listen, there is something you have to help me with. If anyone in the cycle finds out they'll use it against me so they can put me away. Come here.

[SAMMY opens supply closet]

LUKE: Oh my god, this is...is he dead?

SAMMY: Yeah, yeah, but keep it down. I didn't have time to clean it-

LUKE: YOU did this?!

SAMMY: I know it seems bad, but if they find out, it'll be even worse: they'll put me away for sure.

LUKE: Of course they would! You killed someone!

SAMMY: Shh! Be quiet, someone might hear, do you want to be accountable for this too?

LUKE: You can't threaten me, I'm calling the police.

SAMMY: You can't! What if the police officers are part of the cycle?

LUKE: Why does that matter? You killed someone, that's kind of illegal!

SAMMY: They were part of the cycle, they were trying to kill me so I had to kill them!

LUKE: Then you'll get off for self defence.

SAMMY: No, don't you understand? They'll know I'm not part of the cycle and they'll use this to put me away, they won't give me a fair trial, because I know too much.

LUKE: This is wrong, cycle or no cycle, I'm not going to be a part of this.

[Enter JAMEE. SAMMY shuts the supply closet.]

SAMMY: You can't just abandon me, if they take me away you'll be alone with no one to help you. We need to stick together.

LUKE: I don't know about this.

JAMEE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

SAMMY: You said you would trust me, so trust me, if we do this right we won't get caught.

LUKE: What do you propose we do?

JAMEE: Okay thanks.

SAMMY: There is an incinerator down the hall, you keep watch and I'll throw the body in. Then we come back, wash the bottom of the supply closet, and get the hell out of here while we still can.

LUKE: Why do we need to leave? The whole world is repeating right? So what difference does it make where we are?

SAMMY: Well, I don't actually know if the whole world is repeating.

LUKE: What? What do you mean you don't know? You seemed pretty sure at first.

[Enter HELEN]

SAMMY: Give me a break, I just killed someone, I was under some pressure okay?

HELEN: Number thirty eight.

JAMEE: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

LUKE: Wait, so let me get this straight. Since finding out that things were repeating you've never left this room? Not once?

SAMMY: Well I went to the bathroom.

LUKE: Unbelievable, how long ago were you told?

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

JAMEE: Thanks.

SAMMY: I don't know, a couple hours ago.

LUKE: Who told you all this? How do you know they're not insane as well?

.

[Exit HELEN and JAMEE]

SAMMY: Look, either trust me or don't trust me but figure out what side you're on today. Because I have a situation here and I want to deal with it as soon as possible.

[LUKE contemplates the situation, gives no response]

SAMMY: Now.

LUKE: Alright, I'll keep watch and that's it. You drag the body and you clean the closet.

SAMMY: [Opens supply closet] Fine, now check the corridor

LUKE: [Checks] It's empty.

SAMMY: Okay, good.

[Exit SAMMY with the dead body, LUKE paces]

LUKE: C'mon, c'mon.

[Enter JAMEE]

JAMEE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

[Enter SAMMY]

SAMMY: She's back already?

JAMEE: Okay thanks.

LUKE: You took too long to get back now we're going to have to wait longer.

SAMMY: Well excuse me but I didn't see you breaking a sweat.

LUKE: I'm not the one who killed someone so this is not my fault.

SAMMY: Can you not announce it like that? What if they hear and call the police? We'll both be put away!

LUKE: They're not going to call anyone, it's not part of the pattern, [Shakes JAMEE] look she's not going to do anything.

SAMMY: How do you know that it's not part of the pattern?

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Number thirty eight.

LUKE: It's obvious.

JAMEE: That's me. [Hands HELEN paper]

SAMMY: I don't think it's obvious, I think you know for a different reason.

LUKE: Now wait a second, what are you implying? Are you saying I'm part of the pattern?

HELEN: Just exit through the back when you're done.

JAMEE: Thanks.

[Exit HELEN and JAMEE]

SAMMY: I didn't say anything, you said it all by yourself! [Tries to grab LUKE]

LUKE: Wait! Stop and let's talk about this, I just helped you so how am I part of the cycle?

SAMMY: You tricked me into telling you everything and now you're going to tell everyone in the cycle so they can put me away right?

LUKE: You're insane, if I wanted you put away I would've just called the police as soon as you showed me the body!

SAMMY: I can see through your plan and it won't succeed, I'll kill you and incinerate your body just like I did with the other traitor. [Grabs LUKE]

LUKE: Let go of me! I'm not part of the cycle, do you hear me? You're making a mistake! [Grabs SAMMY]

SAMMY: I won't let you corrupt me!

[SAMMY and LUKE struggle]

LUKE: You're wrong! I'm not part of the cycle, I'm not, I swear!

SAMMY: Prove it!

LUKE: [Grabs a pen, stabs SAMMY] Oh, oh god. I killed him. [Checks exit, then grabs a tissue and wipes blood off of hands] What do I do? They'll put me away! [Goes to garbage pail to throw tissue out and knocks it over, it's filled with bloody tissues.] No. No! I'm repeating! This has happened! He was right! No, I can get out, I have to. [Picks garbage can back up and stuffs SAMMY into supply closet.]

[Exit LUKE. Enter JAMEE followed by ALICE moments later]

ALICE: [On the phone] I'm walking in right now, okay, I will, see you tonight, bye.

[Enter HELEN]

HELEN: Hi, do you have an appointment?

ALICE: Yes, I have one for one o'clock today.

HELEN: One? It's just about eleven fifty five.

ALICE: Well, it was either come an hour early or come an hour late.

HELEN: I hear you, just sign in and I'll give you your number. [Hands ALICE a piece of paper.] You're number fifty four. I'll call your number when it's your time to go in.

ALICE: Right, thanks.

HELEN: [Sarcastically] As you can see we're swamped today, so just take a seat.

ALICE: Thanks again. [Sits]

HELEN: Number forty three. Number forty three? Twelve o'clock appointment? [To ALICE] Did you see anyone leaving when you came in?

ALICE: Not that I can recall.

HELEN: Alright, thanks. Last call for number forty three.

[Exit HELEN, enter LUKE looking nervous]

JAMEE: Excuse me, do you have the time?

[End]