Alice and Chris were at the bench enthusiastically discussing an interest that they both shared – films. Whilst Alice spoke of American independent cinema and how much more ‘realistic’ it was, Chris’s main interest lay in European cinema – something that Alice was not too familiar with, but was eager to find out more.
As they sat their discussing their favourite films, throwing back and forth names of films and directors, each one of which would spark a whole new, interesting conversation until the next title was mentioned, Chris’s attention began to wander and focus on the red envelope that Alice held in her hand, which she was waving around for emphasis.
She was acting somewhat out of character today, as Chris couldn’t imagine that shy girl he met only three days ago, talking so passionately about something so much that she would become physically involved in the conversation. He imagined that even when talking about something that really interested her, she would still just sit their, silent and opting for nodding in agreement over actually speaking for the most part.
Yet she had surprised him, and also surprised herself. It had happened suddenly, but Alice had found a certain sense of ease with Chris, one that she had never felt before. The nerves still lay very active beneath the surface, but well masked. And she was hoping that they’d stay that way, as she had discovered an unexplainable high in this new-found comfort she had found in being with Chris. And now, as she went on excitedly about the film’s of Aaron Katz, she was just waiting for this high to brought to an end.
She didn’t have to wait long.
“Are you ever going to post that?” asked Chris, nodding toward the red envelope and stopping Alice in her tracks.
She paused and stared at him briefly, before looking at the envelope herself, which at this point she was tapping impatiently against her knee. She stopped tapping it, lay it face down on her lap, then replied, “Maybe”
“Who’s it for?” Chris asked next, still not fully sensing Alice’s discomfort.
Her discomfort. An all too familiar feeling that been absent the last few minutes but now had rushed back with a harsh coldness. Her nerves had resurfaces. She looked down at her lap and Chris finally realised his mistake.
He was about to apologise when Alice’s phone went off. Immediately she stood up, “I gotta go” she mumbled, and before Chris could say anything more, began to walk away quickly.
Chris sat their alone. He felt stupid and regretful. The last thing he had wanted to do was to offend Alice. Yet still, he had. And still, he was none the wiser as to the contents of the envelope. Although now he was even more curious.
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.
More to come…