Alice had been sitting on the bench that stood directly opposite the red postbox for twenty minutes now. She had come here to post the red envelope which she clutched in her trembling hand resting on her lap, but hadn’t been able to do it. For tweny-minutes she had sat their debating whether or not it was the right thing to do. Her head was flooded with overwhelming thoughts – the pros and cons of sending that envelope, along with it’s contents, to the address that had been carefully penned along the front of it. A gentle breeze brushed past as she let out a small sigh, the sound of her distress carried away with wind. If only her worries could do the same.
Despite the tranquility of the street, she didn’t even hear the sound of footsteps as he approached, but was not startled whatsoever by his voice, which emenated from the air like silk.
“Hi” he said with a friendly smile.
Alice looked up to see a young man standing near her. He was a handsome young man, but of course Alice wouldn’t admit this, not even to herself.
“Hi” she replied, presenting him with a soft smile of her own.
“Mind if I sit down?” he asked politely, pointing weakly at the space on the bench next to her.
“No” came the reply, her response just as weak as his gesture toward the bench.
“Cool” he sat down on the bench, smiling at Alice as he did so. But Alice had never been comfortable around other people, especially those who boast, what to her seemed like an vast amount of confidence. And so, as the young man sat down, Alice shuffled along the seat slightly, doing so as discreetly as possible so as not to offend her new neighbour.
“I’m Chris by the way” he said after a few seconds, turning his head toward her just as she pulled her fingers from her mouth – nail biting was something she did often when nervous. Embarrased, she let out a small giggle before responding, “Alice” she introduced herself.
His gentle smile suddenly transformed into a somewhat overly confident grin, “Nice to meet you Alice” he said, to which Alice responded with a simple “You too”, her face in an expression of amusement from Chris’s sudden confident boost.
She wondered what exactly this man wanted. Was he just being friendly? Was he insane? Was he going to make a pass at her? No! Ridiculous! she thought to herself, shuffling in her seat, uncomfortable at the very thought of it.
“So what are you doing here Alice?” Chris asked, his sudden surge of confidence seemingly wained for the time being. Alice even thought she heard a nervous tremble in his voice, and she certainly heard one in hers as she replied, “Waiting”
“Waiting for what?” came his response, almost immediatly afterwards.
Alice shrugged, unwilling to give away her reason for being there to a complete stranger. She barely knew herself what she was waiting for, why should he know?
“Ok” he said nodding, his dissapointment masked by a tone that suggested a fair-enough sort of attitude. Then suddenly something caught his eye – it was the red envelope that Alice was holding. The front facing away from him so he was unable to read the address. However, what he did notice was the lack of return address on the back of it. He was about to ask about it, when suddenly Alice spoke, distracting him from his thoughts.
“You?” she asked curiously, her own voice taking her by surprise.
“Me?” Chris said pointing to his chest with his index finger.
“Yeah, what are you doing here?”
He thought for a second, and then, with that same overly confident smile returning to his face he replied, “Well I guess I’m waiting with you”
Alice didn’t know what to say in response to that, so once again she turned away nervously, and just as she did a jingle sounded from her jean pocket. Quickly she reached in and pulled out her mobile phone. The jingle had stopped by the time she had started pressing buttons. Chris guessed that it was a text message as he watched her curiously. She turned to him suddenly, drawing his attention back to her face and away from the gadget in her hands.
“I’ve gotta go” she said, grabbing her bag as she did so and throwing it over her shoulder as she stood.
“Oh”, this time there was no hiding Chris’s dissapointed, “Bye then”
“Bye” she said, and with that she was gone. She quickly walked away in the direction which Chris had appeared from, the little red letter still in her hand.
This is adapted from a script I have recently written, and in fact am still working on, for a short film I plan to make very soon for my university course. The film documents a week in the life of two twenty-something’s who over the course of seven days form the beginnings of what might grow to be a good friendship, and perhaps something more.
This is part one, the first day – Monday. More to come…