It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.
I am unaccustomed to having my lips this dark, but there is something glorious about being deliberately un-PYT that I have always loved. This is
Variation IV: What Would Dumbledore Do?
Trench coat: mother's, FoxRun. Sweater: thrifted. Dress: Target. Brooch: mother's. Leggings: American Apparel, gift from Christine. Rain boots: Hunter via Zappos.
It is Saturday, which means my Smashion interview is up!, and that it's time for an old script.
I wrote this when I was 17, and it is actually so bad that I suggest you don't read it. It reads like ... bad fanfiction. And not even a very serious attempt at it. Just goes to show how poor a grasp I have on plot. (And romance. What's romance? What is characterization? Why did I even feel compelled to write this?)
No, really, follow the jump at your own peril; this honestly reads like bad, fluffy fanfiction. I even named the love interest James and made him act like fanon James Potter. I think Annette is toeing Mary Sue territory.
Luckily, there is a relevant .GIF to express my trepidation:
For clarity, the above GIF is from this clip of Andrew Garfield singing "Bed Intruder," although to be totally clear, Andrew Garfield can be my bed intruder any day of the week.
In my defense, I probably needed to write something this bad before I could come up with something better that was more than ten minutes long.
[EDIT: I am rereading this right now, and OH MY GOD ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING BUT IT NEEDS TO BE OUT THERE TO SHOW THE PROGRESSION OF MY WRITING ATTEMPTS OKAY I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO JUDGE ME.]
Here, Kitty, Kitty! or Cats!
SCENE THE FIRST
(MOTHER is off to the side, deeply engrossed in envisioning a new paint scheme for the room.)
MOTHER: Annette, what color do you want your room to be?
ANNETTE: Why can't I just leave it the way it is now?
MOTHER: Just pick one.
ANNETTE: I don't know. There're like six hundred colors.
MOTHER: Okay, Bittersweet Ending or Samosas In June?
ANNETTE: Whichever one is fine.
MOTHER: You know you're going to have to sleep, do homework, talk on the phone, and use the computer in this room.
ANNETTE: Fine... Samosas in June. No, Bittersweet Ending. How 'bout you choose for me?
(FIRST CAT enters.)
MOTHER: If you say so. I'm going to do Samosas In June. It's got more of a desert-y feel.
ANNETTE: Okay. No, but I like Bittersweet Ending.
(FIRST CAT walks around ANNETTE's legs.)
MOTHER: Annette! That has fleas!
ANNETTE: You don't know that for sure. It's probably just someone's cat that ran away.
MOTHER: It has fleas. (turns back to scrutinize the wall)
ANNETTE: Not necessarily.
MOTHER: It's going to scratch you.
ANNETTE: No it won't. Look how harmless it is. Awww, you don't have fleas, do you, little kitty?
MOTHER: Don't touch it, Annette.
ANNETTE: Oh fine.
MOTHER: Okay, so Bittersweet Ending?
ANNETTE: But Samosas in June is more desert-y.
MOTHER: I'll do the trim in... a dusty rose, how's that? Maybe Sunset Rendezvous? (turns and sees ANNETTE still petting the cat) Annette! Get that filthy thing out of the house!
ANNETTE: But it followed me!
MOTHER: Get that thing out!
ANNETTE: Bye, kitty. Okay, kitty. Go away. Out the door. Out! Shoo!
(FIRST CAT won't leave.)
ANNETTE: Mom, it won't leave. Why can't we just keep it in the backyard?
MOTHER: Kick it out!
ANNETTE: That's animal cruelty!
MOTHER: If you don't do it, I'll do it myself. (turns back to wall)
ANNETTE: Okay, okay. I'll get it out.
MOTHER: Okay. Final. Bittersweet Ending or Samosas in June?
ANNETTE: Uh... How about two walls of each? No wait, that'll just look like you accidentally bought two different buckets thinking they were the same color... Or it could turn out looking very deliberate and modern-art-ish...
MOTHER: Annette, just pick one.
ANNETTE: Bittersweet Ending.
MOTHER: Are you sure?
ANNETTE: ...Samosas in June?
MOTHER: Make up your mind!
(Enter SECOND CAT.)
ANNETTE: What the hell? Mom... there are two cats now...
MOTHER: Oh good. More to go around for when I cook them.
MOTHER: Get them out!
ANNETTE: Get out! C'mon... Oh my God, stop following me! (tries to get them out and fails. Seeing that she is unsuccessful, ANNETTE sneaks past her mother and leads the cats to the backyard.)
SCENE THE SECOND
(FIRST and SECOND CATS are off-stage. ANNETTE and ELEANOR are on the phone.)
ELEANOR: Why not?
ANNETTE: I'm busy. I have too much stuff to do.
ELEANOR: Come on, Annette. You never go out with us.
ANNETTE: No, really. I need to study.
ELEANOR: For what? Finals are over. Just take it easy for once.
ANNETTE: I can't!
ELEANOR: You know, people are gonna start thinking you're antisocial.
ANNETTE: I'm not!
ELEANOR: But you're avoiding us.
ANNETTE: No I'm not. I just...don't feel like going.
ELEANOR: A-neh-ette! Please?
ANNETTE: Elly, no.
ELEANOR: Annette. You do know I hate you, don't you?
ANNETTE: And your point is?
ELEANOR: (pause) Hey, you know, James is coming.
ANNETTE: He is?
ELEANOR: Mmhm. He asked if you were going -
ANNETTE: - He asked? -
ELEANOR: - and I told him yes, but -
ANNETTE: - He asked? -
ELEANOR: - since you're not going -
ANNETTE: - What! Are you kidding me? I'll go!
(Enter THIRD cat.)
ELEANOR: Ha! I knew it. Sucker.
ANNETTE: Oh, shut up. So when are we meeting?
ANNETTE: Maybe I shouldn't go.
ELEANOR: You're going.
ANNETTE: Fine. You know what?
ELEANOR: You hate me?
ANNETTE: These two cats followed me home the other day, and now there's another one in my room. I'm wondering if I left the door to the backyard open or something, because that's where I left them.
ELEANOR: Ew... I hate cats.
ANNETTE: Anyway, I hope they don't start breeding or something.
ELEANOR: More like spawning. I hate cats, you know that? And have I mentioned that I hate cats?
ANNETTE: Well, don't come over, then.
ELEANOR: Cats are so disgusting. They're all... furry. And they scratch you. And have gross tongues. And they eat mice. And they jump on things. Oh my gosh. One time this cat -
ANNETTE: Hey, Elly?
ANNETTE: Actually, I don't think I'm going today.
(Enter FOURTH CAT.)
ELEANOR: Why? Why, why, why? What is wrong with you, Annette?
ANNETTE: Well... (struggling to come up with a good excuse) I just think it's stupid to get so worked up about a guy and to go out of my way to see him and everything.
ELEANOR: Oh, come on. It's not out of your way. Everyone else is going anyway.
ANNETTE: But still. It's... like, degrading, or something.
ELEANOR: Sure, Annette. Call me when you change your mind.
ANNETTE: (pause) Hey, Elly?
ANNETTE: There's another cat in my room...
ELEANOR: Gross! Gross! I am never going in your room again! Is it in your bed? -
ANNETTE: Elly, calm down.
ELEANOR: - Because if it's in your bed, you better not get anywhere near me until you shower like six times.
ANNETTE: Okay, Elly. I'll shower like six times before I go.
ELEANOR: Yeah, you better.
ANNETTE: You know, it's probably just the two from the backyard.
ELEANOR: Yeah, well, don't get any more cats in the meantime. (pause, then realization) So you are going, aren't you?
ANNETTE: Well, you know. I'm not that busy. And if James was expecting me to go, I mean, I better go, right?
ELEANOR: Yeah...Okay I have to go cleanse myself of the cat visual. Bye.
SCENE THE THIRD
ELEANOR: I'm sure she wants to.
JAMES: Really? I mean, I can tell with other girls, but Annette's... different. (beat) Well, after all, who could resist me, right?
ELEANOR: You know, I don't even know why Annette likes you. You're a pompous little -
JAMES: Hey, hey. She knows I'm just joking, and you should too, by now.
ELEANOR: Sure, James, sure.
JAMES: But seriously, are you sure she likes me?
ELEANOR: Yes, James. She won't shut up about you. Which is really annoying, quite frankly.
JAMES: You do realize of course that I am madly and irreversibly in love with your best friend.
ELEANOR: Are you serious?
ELEANOR: Do you actually love her? How can you even use that word? It's so...
ELEANOR: We're teenagers, for crying out loud!
JAMES: Well, my cynical little friend, isn't there a difference between being in love with and actually loving someone?
ELEANOR: I guess so, if you want to look at it -
(Enter ANNETTE, with FIRST through FOURTH CATS trailing her.)
ELEANOR: OH MY GOD! ANNETTE! Get those things away from me!
ANNETTE: Um. Hi, guys. So, I sort of have these cats following me around.
JAMES: Hi, Mr. Obvious! I see you're well-acquainted with the lovely Miss Annette here.
ANNETTE: Shut up, James. Where's everyone else?
JAMES: Well, Eleanor's over there hiding from your cats.
ELEANOR: (to a cat) Don't you dare come any closer. Back off!
ANNETTE: Uh... yeah.
JAMES: And we're standing here together.
ANNETTE: I thought other people were coming.
JAMES: It's...just us.
JAMES: (pause) What's the matter? Don't enjoy my company? Or are you afraid to be alone with me?
ANNETTE: Oh! Well, no. This is fine. You and me and (they gaze at each other) um... Elly...over there.
JAMES: (simultaenously) Well, we should probably -
ANNETTE: (simultaneously) D'you think we should -
JAMES: Ah... Yeah. (rubs back of his neck)
JAMES: Yeah. Then I guess I'll go...
ANNETTE: Yeah. That'd be good.
(ANNETTE tears her gaze away. Exit JAMES. Enter FIFTH CAT.)
ELEANOR: There's another one!
ANNETTE: Elly, calm down. They're just cats.
ELEANOR: And I hate cats!
ANNETTE: I'm sure they won't follow us into the theater.
ELEANOR: Okay. You go that way, and I'll go this way, and when they're not looking, you run into the theater after me.
ANNETTE: Elly, they're cats.
(Meanwhile, CATS begin to congregate away from ELEANOR, as if they know the girls will be watching a movie and are determined to wait outside until they come back out.)
ELEANOR: Yeah, well. Why didn't you talk to James?
ANNETTE: I did talk to James!
ELEANOR: No you didn't! He was all over you and you just brushed him off!
ANNETTE: I did not! Did I? I didn't just snub him, did I?
ELEANOR: You totally did.
ANNETTE: Why do I always do that?
ELEANOR: Because you're messed up.
ANNETTE: Yeah, I probably am... Come on. Let's go inside.
SCENE THE FOURTH
(After the movie.)
ANNETTE: Where did Elly go?
JAMES: I have no idea...
ANNETTE: Is she in the bathroom or something?
JAMES: Annette, I have to tell you something.
JAMES: I really really like you.
ANNETTE: (long pause) You're sweet.
(Enter SIXTH CAT.)
JAMES: (Slightly put-out because her reply doesn't reveal her feelings at all, he tries to joke his way out.) I know. I am, aren't I?
ANNETTE: Shut up.
JAMES: But seriously, Annette. I've been thinking about you a lot. Um... actually, the truth of the matter is, I'm.. in love with you and I always will be -
ANNETTE: (automatically) - No you're not -
JAMES: Or at least I think I always will be. In love. With you.
ANNETTE: You're not.
(Enter SEVENTH CAT.)
JAMES: I am.
ANNETTE: (pause) James, there's no such thing as forever when you're young.
JAMES: Look, I know that. But I'm not talking about forever. Let's just... go out. Date. Casually. For right now. I'm in love with you, you at least like me... right? (pause) Or you don't hate me, right?
ANNETTE: We're just going to break up and hurt each other and then we'll be worse off than when we started.
JAMES: Not necessarily.
ANNETTE: Maybe you're right, but I doubt it.
JAMES: Annette, do you like me romantically or do you not?
ANNETTE: James. You don't know me. You don't love me. You can't.
(Enter EIGHTH CAT.)
JAMES: I said I was in love with you, Annette! -
ANNETTE: - What's the difference? -
JAMES: - And I've known you for six years!
ANNETTE: Ooh, six years. Big deal!
JAMES: Why are you so stubborn?
ANNETTE: I'm not being stubborn!
JAMES: Yes you are! I tell you how I feel about you, and you won't tell me how you feel about me.
ANNETTE: That's because -
JAMES: And you won't even go on one measly little date with me because you're so afraid you're going to get your heart broken.
ANNETTE: You know I'm right, don't you?
JAMES: I know we're young! I know forever doesn't last forever, okay? I just don't get why you can't take yourself off your stupid, self-righteous, idealistic pedestal and stop planning and just take a risk for once.
ANNETTE: Like what? Get into a relationship that I'm almost positive isn't going to last?
JAMES: Why do you have to talk like that?
ANNETTE: It's true, and you know it!
JAMES: Maybe, but you're not even giving it a chance!
ANNETTE: There's no point! And why are there all these stupid cats following me around?
JAMES: Well, you do smell pretty good...
ANNETTE: Forget it, James. It's not gonna happen. (very quietly, while JAMES walks offstage) I'm really sorry. I really am.
JAMES: (without turning around) Yeah. Me too.
(Exit JAMES. ANNETTE stand still for a moment, still looking in the direction JAMES exited. Looks down. Sits down very, very slowly. Takes out cell phone to call ELEANOR..)
ELEANOR: So how'd it go?
ANNETTE: Elly. I am so stupid.
ELEANOR: Oh no. Oh no, oh no.
ANNETTE: I am so stupid!
ELEANOR: What happened? Did you get drunk? Did you guys do anything?
ANNETTE: No. God, even getting drunk and fooling around might've been better.
ELEANOR: No way. I was kidding.
ANNETTE: I'm not sure if I was.
ELEANOR: (in a very small voice) Annette? What happened?
ANNETTE: I. Am. So. Stupid. And why did you ditch me, anyway? You ditched us and left me there with him.
ELEANOR: Well it seemed like a good idea at the time, and you like each other, so I thought maybe a dark movie theater would be conducive to heating things up a little.
ANNETTE: Yeah, well. Things got a little heated.
ELEANOR: Ooh. Tell me, tell me!
ANNETTE: When I say heated, I mean more like... heated argument.
ELEANOR: What? Are you serious? What is wrong with you?
ANNETTE: You mean other than having a total of... what, eight? cats following me around now?
ELEANOR: Maybe you smell weird or something.
ANNETTE: James said I smell good.
ELEANOR: (pause) I know why these cats are following you.
ANNETE: Really? Why?
ELEANOR: It's James. James sent all these cats after you, and they won't go away until you declare your undying love for him.
ANNETTE: So out of the fury of love, James sent his ninja cats after me.
ANNETTE: You know, I really thought you had an answer for a second there.
ELEANOR: Hey, you never know. Why don't you just tell him you like him, anyway?
ANNETTE: Um. Because I'm scared. And he's going to stop liking me. And... I'm afraid I want more out of this relationship than he can or is willing to give. And... we're young. And stupid and reckless. And this isn't the real thing. And we're going to break up in a few months anyway. Or years at the most. And he's going to find a ton of flaws in me, and I'm going to eventually realize how imperfect he is and hate him for it.
ELEANOR: Anything else?
ANNETTE: Oh yeah, and he's a huge flirt, so he's probably just messing with me.
ANNETTE: And it's cheesy.
ELEANOR: But it's easy.
ANNETTE: Easy for you to say.
ELEANOR: Okay fine. Let's make a deal.
ANNETTE: Okay, what?
ELEANOR: Let's say... if I... if I hold one of those disgusting-filthy-ugly-furry-dirty-gross-gross-gross cats that're following you around, you have to tell James you like him.
ANNETTE: Ha! No, no, you have to keep one in your room.
ELEANOR: What?! For how long?
ANNETTE: Oh... two days.
ELEANOR: Wait. Annette. You promise?
SCENE THE FIFTH
(ANNETTE sits, reading with a bunch of cats around her. Enter ELEANOR, holding a cat.)
ANNETTE: Elly! What the heck?
ELEANOR: You know, they're not that bad, really. Cats.
ANNETTE: Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?
ELEANOR: Oh, shut up.
ANNETTE: Since when do you like cats?!
ELEANOR: I don't. I just don't... hate them so much anymore.
ANNETTE: Why not?
ELEANOR: Um. Well, I thought your need was greater than mine, so I sucked it up and uh. I've been keeping this one in my room for the past two days. He's not that gross.
ANNETTE: Two days? Elly, are you serious?
ELEANOR: Yeah! Ask my mom.
ANNETTE: Ha-ha... I'll take your word for it.
ELEANOR: So you know what this means.
ANNETTE: You can come in my room again without fear of being contaminated by weird cat diseases?
ELEANOR: You have to tell James you like him.
ANNETTE: What! No way!
ELEANOR: A promise is a promise.
ANNETTE: I hate you.
ELEANOR: And your point is?
SCENE THE SIXTH
(JAMES is practicing a card trick. Enter ANNETTE with a ton of CATS following her.)
ANNETTE: Uh... Hi, James.
JAMES: Hi, Annette. Back to torment my poor, defenseless, smitten soul?
ANNETTE: Uh... well, you see... funny thing is...
JAMES: I am pretty funny, aren't I?
ANNETTE: Well, you remember how all these cats have been following me around -
JAMES: - I hadn't noticed.
ANNETTE: Uh. Ha. Well, funny thing is, Elly seems to think they're following me around because...
JAMES: Because you smell good?
JAMES: Because you're... cute?
ANNETTE: Um... not exactly.
JAMES: Because... I sent an army of ninja cats to follow you until you declared your undying love for me?
ANNETTE: ...Uh...Have you been talking to Elly?
JAMES: Not really. Why?
JAMES: Well, Annette, if you're gonna reject me again, you might as well do it now.
ANNETTE: Er... No, James. I came to say that... that...
JAMES: You're pregnant?
ANNETTE: No! Okay. What you said to me last time. I... do... too.
JAMES: (blankly) What?
ANNETTE: You know what you said to me last time?
JAMES: Well, you see, I kind of sort of say more than one thing when I talk to people, usually.
ANNETTE: Stop being deliberately obtuse!
JAMES: I'm not! I'm acute!
ANNETTE: You said you... really... really... liked...
ANNETTE: Yeah. And... I just thought that maybe you wanted to know that I think I... really... really... like...
JAMES: (long pause. Thoughtfully.) Italian food?
ANNETTE: Um... That, too.
ANNETTE: Uh... yeah.
JAMES: I'm sorry, what was that again?
JAMES: No, no, could you say the whole thing again?
ANNETTE: James, I hate you.
JAMES: Are you sure about that?
ANNETTE: ...No. I think I... (screws up eyes in concentration and slight embarrassment) really like... you. And maybe... would like to go out... with... you. Temporarily. To try it out. (Long pause. ANNETTE ventures opening one eye.)
JAMES: Oh come on, you can sound more sure of yourself than that.
ANNETTE: What?! Is nothing I do good enough for you?
JAMES: (stage whisper) Otherwise the cats won't go away...
ANNETTE: Wha... Okay. Okay, fine. Fine. Um... Ah... I... You should... We should... (blurts out) Let's date!
(CATS all disperse, making a huge ruckus.)
JAMES: I'll pick you up at eight.
ANNETTE: (in disbelief at herself and her situation) Okay. Sounds good. (nods vaguely)
JAMES: And now... I must go make myself pretty for you! (begins to waltz away)
ANNETTE: ...Were those really ninja cats...?
JAMES: I don't know what you're talking about.