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everything ED isn’t) PARTY DUDE (PD) and PARTY CHICK (PC) (They’re a couple.) HER (She’s “the one.” She is never actually seen or heard, just referenced.) SCENE ONE [12/20/2012 at a high school party, senior year). No one is on stage, faint music is heard in the background. Stage is set with two chairs, a table between them, couch behind the table. Somewhat messy; it’s a party.] [ED enters SL, looking tired, and quietly makes his way to the closest chair, standing next to it.] ED: Well, I’m here. The 20th of December 2012. Last day until the world ends. [tries to feign-excitement] Hooray? [ED looks around. Glances at the time on his phone. (Pause). PD enters, SR, ambling about, and places a red cup on the table in front of ED while crossing the stage. He gives it an odd glance.] PD: Want a drink? ED: Um... [PD leaves. PC enters, SL, dancing wildly, and also puts down a cup while crossing. Another glance.] PC: You sure? You look...morose! ED: Well... [PC leaves. PD and PC then both enter from opposite sides and put down two more cups. When they cross to SR, they dance with each flirtatiously. ED looks at them more closely.] PC and PD: No really, please, on us!
[They look at each other, laugh, and leave. ED takes out his phone, looks at it, puts it back in his pocket. (Pause) Repeat. (Pause) Repeat. He pulls out a piece of paper and pen.] ED: [Writing] “Hey. I’m sure you’ve been waiting for me all night…so”…no that’s not it. [Crosses out what he just wrote, pulls out another piece of paper and begins writing again] “Come here often?” [Beat] God, could I be more cliché? [Angrily crosses out what he just wrote.] If I continue down this path I’ll be asking her what her sign is... Oh! [With each new thought, he scribbles another note.] “It must have been a sign that you asked me here tonight.” [Beat, looks at his note.] No, that’s horrendous! [Beat] Something playful? [Writes] “Are you a tectonic plate on the east coast of Africa? Because I can see Djibouti shakin’!” [Beat] No, damn it, this is worthless. [Angrily, crumples paper into pocket and puts his head in his hands, in frustration.] SAM: Wow, look at me sulking in a chair. Maybe I’m doing this whole “party thing” wrong. ED: [nervous laughter] Oh, well, haha, sorry. SAM: So aren’t you going to ask me if I want a drink? ED: I’m sorry? SAM: It’s only custom; what you’re supposed to do. ED: Oh, haha, of course. Sorry. Want a drink? [Picks one up for her] SAM: No thank you. [She promptly sits.] When a lady sits, a man usually follows suit. ED: [under his breath] right…sorry. [Sits] SAM: You sure apologize a lot, don’t you? ED: Sorry! SAM: Dude, don’t worry about it. Just don’t say it if you don’t need to. It wears out an astoundingly sacrosanct phrase. ED: “I’m sorry?” SAM: What did I just say? ED: No, I was asking if “I’m sorry” was the [Air-quotes] “astoundingly sacrosanct phrase.” SAM: Oh, yes it was. Sorry. [Beat]
[Time passes in silence. ED pulls another piece of paper out, jots something down while talking, shakes his head, pockets the note.] ED: “Did it hurt when you fell from--” DAMMIT. SAM: Hmm? ED: Oh, nothing. So, uh, I should probably get goin-SAM: [Interrupts him] Wait a second, you look familiar. ED: I get that a lot. Kind of a bland face, I supp-SAM: [Again, interrupting him] No, really. Are you in one of my classes? Math? No. Gov? His-ED: [really fast, breathes in] AP Literature and Composition you sit three seats up and two to the left from me where you seem to spend most of class doing crossword puzzles except on Mondays and I’m not really sure why but if I’d have to guess it’d be because you stay up late doing homework on Sundays because well who doesn’t and you don’t wake up early enough in the morning, have to take the late bus, and don’t have time to get the paper [Breathes out]. SAM: --tory? [She gives him a look. ED is mortified.] [Suddenly, PC and PD pop up from behind the couch.] PD: And that is exactly how one impresses a girl. Bra-fucking-vo! [They applaud.] ED: [Surprised] How long have you guys been back there? PD: Not sure. Hun, how long have you been on your back? PC: Never long with you, sweetie. Refills, anyone? Oh, looks like you guys haven’t even touched your drinks... [PC and PD refill each other’s drinks and then pop back down.] SAM: Don’t mind them. They come and go. [Long pause.] SAM: I’m Samantha, by the way. Sam for short. ED: Edward. But since Twilight, I just go by Ed.
SAM: [Semi-flirtatiously] So, anyway, Ed, back to impressing me-ED: [Stands up] Listen, I should probably get going. I have, uh, work to do. SAM: When there’s 10 minutes until the world blows up in a great Mayan-predicted fireball? ED: Well, yeah. [Beat.] I mean, do you want me to stay? Hell, why’d you even come over in the first place? SAM: Fishing for compliments, much? ED: No, seriously. [Beat, ED sits down.] Like you said. I’m sure I looked like tons of fun over here. SAM: Well I saw you standing over here, alone, and I thought, “wow, a mysterious guy! He looks so interesting, so unique compared to all the other guys I know. I should go talk to him.” ED: Seriously? [He lights up.] Wow, someone who finally understan-SAM: No, dumbass. The couple [motions to the back of the couch] told me they had left drinks here. I was just going to go get one. [ED looks dejected.] But hey! I thought you looked cute, and I don’t want to spend my last few precious minutes of life with an unattractive person. [ED blushes, she smirks.] But if you want to leave, don’t let me stop you. ED: Well, it’s just…things aren’t going exactly like how I planned. SAM: How so? ED: You’ll think I’m crazy. SAM: Well I already think that. But I’m still sitting here, aren’t I? ED: I guess so. [He hesitates.] Can I ask you a question? SAM: Sure. ED: Those crossword puzzles you do. SAM: What about them? ED: Why?
SAM: Why? ED: Yeah. SAM: Why what? ED: Why do you do them? Like I said, you do them every day. SAM: Except Mondays. ED: Except Mondays. SAM: I don’t know, I like crossword puzzles? Do I need some greater reason? ED: Well, no, I just…thought there may be something more to it. SAM: [Amused] Oh, what, do I need some tragic story about how [Sarcastic/ overdramatic] throughout my childhood I felt abandoned by my father, always busy at work, except every Monday night when he would take time out to do the crossword with me? Except one Monday he married some whore and left me, my mother, and crossword puzzles for good. I now do them every other day out of spite. ED: Oh [Pause] well sorry! [SAM glares at him.] ED: Oh, right, sorry. Damn it! [SAM chuckles.] SAM: Well come on Ed. Not everything needs a reason. It seems like you’re one of those guys who thinks too much. Every action doesn’t need a perfect back-story. Every word said doesn’t need to be perfect. I mean, God, it’s not like we’re in a play or anything. ED: Yeah but don’t you ever wish that, just for once, things could go the way they do in your head? I feel like the minute I think of something, something meaningful, there’s absolutely zero chance of that happening. I’ll see a cute girl at school, and think: “Hey! Ed! Maybe you can go over there and strike up a conversation? Maybe you’ll like her! Maybe she’ll like you! Maybe you’ll ask her out and she’ll say, ‘yes’ and you’ll have a great time eating dinner or watching a movie or some other mundane task but, hey, it’ll make you happy! At the end of the night you’ll feel just a little bit better than normal.” SAM: Well, look, Ed, I mean—
ED: [growing more intense] But no, of course that can’t happen. You walk by her, cute girl at school, and maybe you smile, maybe she even smiles back, or doesn’t notice, or is talking to her friends, or something. It doesn’t matter what. It just doesn’t work out. And this isn’t a unique case with girls; it happens with everything. “Hey, Ed, maybe today you’ll finally get around to writing that song you’ve had in your head for ages.” “Hey, Ed, maybe today you’ll stop fretting about that college essay and just hit submit.” “Hey, Ed, maybe today you won’t go to sleep more disappointed with yourself than you were that morning.” [Beat] For once I just wish something could go perfectly, just once. Just one fucking time. SAM: Ed... [A look, both are silent. ] [PC and PD enter SR] ED: [unheard] I thought you guys were behind the couch… How did you get back there? PC: Just a reminder, five more minutes until we’re all a fiery crisp. PD: I thought it was supposed to be torrential floods. PC: Meteor hitting earth? PD: Aliens bent on our destruction! PC: The universe collapsing into a single point! PD: Killer bees! PC: Really? Killer bees? That's lame, man. Lame. [Beat] Oh, and Ed. By the way, she’s looking for you. And she’s extremely hammered. PD: Ripe for the picking, if you know what I mean. [Chuckles] [PD leaves, ED looks confused.] PC: He’s, well, insinuating that she quote-unquote “wants the D,” if you didn’t catch that. But time is running out... [PD leaves.] SAM: [Confused] What are they talking about?
ED: Well… wow, look at the time, Sam, it’s been really great meeting you, but look, it’s almost midnight. I have an…uh…driving curfew…no...uh...Mancala tournament? So I think I should get going. [ED gets up and turns to leave.] SAM: Hey! You're going to leave me here? When the world is about to end? [ED turns around, back to SAM. A few pieces of paper fall out of his pockets.] SAM: You need help? ED: [Bending down to scoop them up] No. SAM: What are those, anyway? I’ve seen you jotting notes down all night. ED: Like I said, ‘nothing!’ SAM: Oh, come on, let me see. [SAM runs over and starts reading them.] So I saw you standing there, and... It must have been a sign that you asked me here--, Hey I just saw you, and this is crazy? [ED is embarrassed.] SAM: Ed, what are these? Collection of bad pop lyrics? ED: [Panicking] No! I... Alright, you know how I said you'd think I'm crazy? SAM: Like I said, I already do. ED: Ha, well I guess I am. PD and PC: [Offstage] THREE MINUTES! SAM: Ed. Come on. What is this about? ED: Can’t we just forget about this? SAM: Bullshit! You’re the one who thinks everything, from a crossword puzzle to a written note, needs to have “something more” behind it. ED: Fine, damn it. [talking fast] I’ve liked this girl for a long time, alright? I guess I’ve always kind of had a thing for her. I mean, she’s great. She has a smile that just lights up the room; a laugh that makes me feel better by just hearing it. And not to mention her beautiful hair, enchanting eyes, and kick-ass body—
SAM: I get the picture. [Continues to pick up more paper scraps.] ED: Right. Well. While not exactly being in the same social circles, we have gotten into kind of a rhythm over the years, as my house is on her walk home from school. She’ll be walking home from school, walk by my house, I’ll be on my porch, we’ll nod, or wave, or even say hi. Sit, wait, hi. Sit. Wait. Hi... [Beat, Ed stands quietly, thinking.] It wasn’t bad. But last week she came up to me--[Joyous] on my actual porch!--and struck up a conversation. To my surprise, it went really well, and she ended up inviting me to this “last day ever” party. And I had to ensure that this night went perfectly. So, I’ve been writing on scraps of paper the perfect thing to say to her. [PD and PC pop up from behind couch again] PD: Dude. PC: You are crazy, man. ED: Alright, really, when did you guys get behind there? PD: Doesn’t matter. Just a friendly reminder that we’ve got two minutes left now. PC: But this is incredibly interesting. Please, continue. ED: Well, as you can see, I haven’t really had much success. [PC and PD also start reading the scraps, making fun of Ed.] PD: “Being our last day and all...” PC: “When you walk by my house, it fills me with an incredible joy.” PD: Oh, God. “Webster dictionary defines?” Really man? ED: Alright so sure that isn’t the best oneSAM: God damn it, go talk to her! We have like what, a minute left of life? [Offstage, people start counting down from 30.] SAM: I guess I was being optimistic. ED: But what do I say?!?
SAM: Just go say hi, god damn it! She invited you here! God, I’m so sick of people like you needing to say the perfect thing. Spending hours just trying to get the correct letters in the correct order to say the correct meanings as if that’ll immediately change their lives. Planning out everything so it all goes perfectly. Guess what? It just doesn’t matter. Who gives a shit? Just go do something. What’s the point if you don’t? I mean you’re wasting your final moments here. [The countdown is quickly approaching zero.] ED: Sorry... SAM: Don’t say sorry, dumbass! [Beat] Here. [SAM grabs a piece of paper, flips it over. and writes down the word “hello.”] This is what you say. Now go, you’re literally running out of time. PC and PD: Well, we’ve got to see this. [ED grabs the paper from SAM, and runs off SL. PC and PD quickly run after him but stay on the edge of the stage, peering off. As the countdown approaches zero, SAM stands somewhat frozen, looking off to where ED ran. She then waits. Alone. Noise is heard from offstage, and the counting grows louder. SAM finally turns her head downstage; calm, yet sad. Approaching zero, things slow down. Once the crowd yells “ZERO!” time freezes. PC and PD stop moving. Then, ED walks back on, and sits down next to Sam.] ED: Well, would you look at that. Guess the Mayans actually got something wrong. SAM: [Somewhat stunned] Oh, hey, I didn’t expect to see you again. ED: Yeah, well. Here. [ED hands her “hello” scrap.] SAM: Why? ED: Well I’ll admit it isn’t perfect. But it doesn’t have to be. SAM: Ed, you’ve spent the entire night trying to figure out the perfect thing to say, and now you’re just going to throw it all away? ED: Actually... [He takes out all the scraps of paper from his pocket, and literally “throws them away” in the trashcan. lols.] Now come on, we haven’t even touched these cups all night. Want a-SAM: [fast talking, still looking ahead] I don’t do crossword puzzles on Mondays because they’re the easiest. I used to tell myself they weren’t a challenge, and thus not worth my time. But now I don’t know. Maybe I fear that they won’t go
perfectly—and if I don’t get those right, why should I attempt the others? Or maybe not. Maybe I do just wake up too late to get the paper. ED: --drink? [Beat] ED: See? Told you so. SAM: [Turns] Sorry. [They smile and finally take a drink. Unfreeze PC and PD, they dance offstage.] SAM: So, looks like we’ve got some more time than we thought. Any plans? Any ideas on what would make it perfect? ED: Haven’t thought much about it, actually. Let’s just wait and see. They turn and smile at each other. [Curtain.]
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