Old Habits and Old Ideas

"To sustain a given pattern of hegemony requires the policing of men as well as the exclusion or discrediting of women."

R. W. Connell and James W. Messerschmidt (Hegemonic Masculinity Rethinking the Concept)


Fade in

Int. A party – night

A large hall. Loud music and flashing lights. Against the walls are a row of chairs. Full of drunk people, ages eighteen to twenty-five. Half are dancing while the other half are sitting down.

OLIVIA (19) is seated alone on the couch. She is dressed nicely, wearing a frilly top, skinny jeans and heels. An empty beer bottle is in her hands, which she plays with, an expression of boredom paints her face. Olivia looks up to the other side of the room where her boyfriend, JAYDEN (21) is talking with his friends. It is a group of five boys, ages ranging from nineteen to twenty-two. They are all dressed in jeans and plain t-shirts. They are drinking while making comments about the girls around them.

MATTHEW (20) approaches Olivia and sits down beside her.

MATTHEW

(filthy)

Hey there, are you here alone?

OLIVIA

(blunt and bored)

I have a boyfriend.

MATTHEW

Well, where is he?

Olivia looks back over to Jayden

OLIVIA

(still sounding bored)

Ignoring me.

MATTHEW

(drops the filthy tone)

I take it that you're mad at him.

OLIVIA

He invited me to this party, where I don't know anyone, and then ditches me to hang out with his friends.

MATTHEW

Do you need someone to complain to?

OLIVIA

Yes, but not to you.

MATTHEW

How about we forgot that I just hit on you less than a minute ago and pretend to be friends?

OLIVIA

(smiles)

I would like that.

Matthew holds his hand out for Olivia to shake.

MATTHEW

I'm Matthew, by the way.

Olivia accepts the handshake

OLIVIA

Olivia.

Jayden sees Olivia and Matthew talking. He walks over to them angrily. His friends following close behind.

JAYDEN

Hey! Asshole! Why are you chatting up my girl?!

OLIVIA

(Annoyed)

God-dammit Jayden! He's is just being nice!

MATTHEW

You know what? I'm just going to go.

OLIVIA

No, stay! Jayden will leave! Or better yet I'll go!

Olivia stands up from the couch.

JAYDEN

Olivia! Stop being like that!

OLIVIA

Being like what?!

JAYDEN

Being a bitch!

Jayden's friends laugh.

OLIVIA

(voice cracking, like she is about to cry)

I'm going home.

Olivia rushes past Jayden, throwing the bottle in the bin on her way out.

JAYDEN

Olivia!

Jayden watches Olivia walk away, he looks upset. His friends surrounded him and Jayden quickly smiles.

JAYDEN

Girls right? They're crazy!

His friends laugh again but Jayden doesn't join in.

Int. A studio apartment - Day

The apartment is small with just a desk, a kitchen, a small table, a single bed and a T.V in the same room. There is a door leading to a bathroom. There are empty food packets on the kitchen bench. The desk and table are overflowing with papers and university textbooks.

Olivia is wearing an oversized t-shirt and shorts as she makes herself coffee. There is a knock at the door. Olivia looks up and leaves her coffee mug on the bench and opens the door. It is Jayden. He is wearing the same clothes that he wore at the party and there are bags under his eyes.

JAYDEN

Can we talk about last night?

OLIVIA

Yeah, come in.

Jayden walks into the apartment. He looks around as if to find a place to sit. Yet realise there is no room and ends up remaining standing.

JAYDEN

Is there anything you want to say to me?

OLIVIA

Excuse me?

JAYDEN

Aren't you going to apologise for embarrassing me last night?

OLIVIA

Why should I be the one that has to apologise?

JAYDEN

You're the one who made a scene!

OLIVIA

You're the one that called me a bitch!

JAYDEN

Because you were acting like one!

OLIVIA

Seriously, what about the way you've been acting?!

JAYDEN

You're the one who was chatting up some other guy.

OLIVIA

I wasn't chatting up another guy. I was being friendly.

JAYDEN

That's not what it looked like to me!

OLIVIA

You're one to talk!

JAYDEN

Now what?

OLIVIA

What about all those times you have flirted with other girls when I have been there or when you make comments to your stupid friends about how 'good I am in bed'?

JAYDEN

So?

OLIVIA

We've never even had sex!

JAYDEN

You're making a big deal out of nothing.

OLIVIA

(sounds tried)

Just go, Jayden. I'm done.

Jayden looks upset at Olivia before walking out the door.

Int. A movie theatre – day

The movie theatre foyer is large and filled with couples and small families.

Olivia is with her friend Zoe (19) as they look at the large movie posters.

Zoe points to the poster of Me Before You.

ZOE

That movie looks good and Sam Claflin is pretty hot.

Olivia pulls a face at the suggestion.

OLIVIA

Sorry Zoe, but I'm not in the mood for romance. Can't we watch something with violence, death and no sappy love story?

ZOE

Let me guess… Jayden?

OLIVIA

(sarcastically)

And we have a winner.

ZOE

I don't get why you're still with that guy. He treats you horribly.

OLIVIA

(mumbles)

He's not that bad.

ZOE

You have to stop making excuses for him. He makes you miserable and you fight all the time!

Olivia doesn't answer, instead, she just stares at the posters.

ZOE

Liv, I'm telling you this because I love you. You need to end it.

OLIVIA

(softly)

Maybe you're right.

ZOE

You know I am. (pause) Let's watch Suicide Squad. That one's violent.

Int. A hallway - Day

Olivia stands by the door to Jayden's apartment.

OLIVIA

I can do this.

Olivia readjusts her clothes nervously. She fixes her hair before knocking on the door. The sound of footsteps can be heard walking towards the door. Jayden opens the door.

JAYDEN

What do you want?

OLIVIA

Can I come in?

Jayden steps back from the door and gives Olivia a look as if saying 'be my guest'. Olivia walks through the door avoiding eye contact.

Jayden's apartment is a similar design to Olivia's but without the mess.

JAYDEN

Why are you here?

Olivia turns around to face him.

OLIVIA

I can't do this anymore.

JAYDEN

You're leaving me?! Is this about that guy from the party?

OLIVIA

No!

JAYDEN

So what then! Are you going to give me that bullshit 'it's not you it's me' speech?

OLIVIA

No! You know why? Because it is you! I'm tired of you treating me like shit!

JAYDEN

I don't treat you like shit!

OLIVIA

Yes, you do! You treat me like I'm an object instead of a fucking human being! (Pause) The only time you ever what to spend time with me is when you can show me off to your fucking friends! I'm sick of it!

Olivia stops talking suddenly, she is red-faced and panting. Olivia and Jayden stare at each other for a few minutes, the only sound is Olivia's shallow breathing.

JAYDEN

I don't know what you want me to say.

OLIVIA

Jayden…

JAYDEN

What do you want from me? Do you want me to say I'll change? That things will be different this time?

Jayden stops and stares at Olivia silently for a few seconds.

JAYDEN (cont.)

(Softly and pleading)

What do you want?

OLIVIA

I don't want anything from you. (pause) I just want this to be over.

JAYDEN

Then leave (pause) Just leave!

Olivia leaves the apartment and walks out the building. She gets into her car and drives away.

Jayden watches from the window of his apartment. As soon as the car is out of sight Jayden walks away from the window and to his desk. A photo of Olivia and Jayden is on the desk. Jayden knocks it over so it lands face down with a thud. Jayden sits down at the desk and begins to cry.

Fade out