A woman lies in bed in her underwear, a man comes in wearing boxers, drying his hair. They've just had sex. They're hanging out.
SHE: I'm writing everyday. It's just not happening.
HE: Well why don't you go to a class or something? See if that opens things up.
SHE: Yeah, I don't know. Maybe I've lost my touch.
HE: You haven't lost your touch.
He smacks her ass.
SHE: Ow, dumbass.
He's quiet, getting dressed. She watches him.
SHE: Oh, there's this, um, networking thing I've been invited to. Tons of writers, probably actors too which will be great for the sense of desperation that's going to be sliding down the walls. You wanna come be my arm candy? I'll buy you shots.
HE: Um...when is it?
SHE: Wednesday night.
HE: Thursday is that estate sale upstate. I'll be getting up early.
SHE: That's fine, you can just head home after you've had your way with me. I sleep better after shots and sex anyway.
HE: Well I...kind of have plans that night anyway.
SHE: Oh yeah? Hot date?
HE: Uh. Kinda yea.
SHE: "Kinda"? Like you're not sure if she's real, you dating robots now?
HE: Yes, yea I'm sure. She's not a robot. This chick I've been... we've been out a couple times.
SHE: Oo, way to go. (She holds out her hand for a high five) Bro, don't leave me hangin'.
They high five. There's a weird moment.
HE: Yeah. Um - we met probably 3 weeks ago? She's the daughter of my manager's second cousin's sister?
SHE: Complex. Mysterious...You like her?
HE: She's cool.
HE: Yeah, she's cool. We have a good time.
SHE: Good time, like, what you have with me? Or like, dates, holding hands, walking along the water to the sound of ukuleles in the distance...
HE: Like, we go on dates, and it's fun. It's nice. ... This is weird.
HE: This - me telling you I'm seeing someone -
SHE: Um, no?
HE: Ya sure?
SHE: Yes? Yes - Yeah.
HE: Right. .. Cuz the thing is - it's been 3 weeks of dating, like a bunch of dates, I guess and, well -
SHE: Oh, are you making this, like, a thing?
HE: Well not a THING -
SHE: Sounds like a thing.
HE: It's not/
SHE: Then why mention it?
HE: You brought it up.
SHE: I just invited you to network with me.
HE: And I said I had plans, you made it a thing.
SHE: I'm just wondering if you're making this thing with her a thing-thing, kinda thing.
SHE: Cuz, if you are then...ya know.
HE: Um. yeah.
SHE: This thing, whatever we got -
HE: Our contract.
SHE: Yeah, so it's...like...
SHE: I mean it's not like over-over.
HE: Nah, we're just putting it on hold, or something.
HE: Yeah, I don't know if it's even gonna work out with her so..
SHE: And you don't know what she's doing -
HE: What do you mean?
SHE: Like, sleeping with other people. You guys haven't had a talk yet, right?
HE: No, nothing like that. .. I don't think.
SHE: Do you want to have that talk?
SHE: Oh my god, you really like her.
HE: I - she's cool, she's..
SHE: What? Dude, you can tell me. No emotional attachment here, remember?
HE: She's like home.
HE: Don't make it a thing.
SHE: It's not. It's not a thing. I mean...sounds like it's a thing for you..
HE: I think it is.
SHE: That's cool, man.
HE: Is it?
SHE: Yes. Dude. It's fine. Bottom line: one of us falls in love, the contract is void.
HE: I always thought that meant 'with each other'.
SHE: Well it's open to interpretation. Hey, life happens, things are fluid and 'ever changing'. You met someone good for you and that's... good. For you. And I'm happy for you. I.. I want you happy.
He smiles at her.
SHE: Shut up.
They both continue moving around, him putting on/ adjusting clothes and shoes, her situating the room. He turns her and kisses her. For him it's just caring, for her, it's longing.
HE: Uh, this has been...like this time with you has been -
SHE: Dude, do not make some emotional speech right now. I mean, jeez that's the whole point. You boys are so emo.
HE: Not being emo I'm just - I'm just saying. Glad I have you in my life. Someone who cares but doesn't want to control me. You actually want what's best for me. That's.. nice.
SHE: Yeah. I mean, yeah. Of course I want what's best for you. Dude.
SHE: Now it's weird. And you're gonna be late, so - get the fuck out.
HE: I'm going, I'm going. (As he's headed to the door) - Are we still gonna hang out? Get a beer sometime? I still wanna see the new Star Wars with you.
SHE: We're friends, right? So yeah. Duh.
HE: Cool. (He pauses, unsure)
SHE: Okay, officially: contract is over. The sex-without-any-emotional-attachment between you and me is now in suspension until further notice. Go go 'er, tiger.
HE: Later. He leaves.
©2017 Emily Dalton