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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1288734
Rated: E · Script/Play · Romance/Love · #1288734
When Chris's life gets cut short, Lee's got a lot of loose ends to tie up. Literally.
LEE, a pretty woman of 20, an intern with the Fates
CHRIS, 23 years old, good-looking

LEE sits on a stool holding a pair of scissors just left of a large loom with many threads. In some places, there is a smooth pattern, but others are tangled in knots. A tin can on a long string that goes offstage sits on the floor stage left. There is a door stage right not connected to any wall. CHRIS enters through the doorway.

LEE: (Stands abruptly, confused and suspicious.) Who are you?

CHRIS: (Incredulously.) Am I…dead?

LEE: You’re not Christopher Harrington.

CHRIS: No. I’m Chris Harrison. (Regretfully.) Or I was, at least.

LEE: (Pacing frantically and wringing her hands.) Oh no, oh no, oh no. They’re going to fire me! Clotho told me to alphabetize, I should’ve listened. Oh no, no, no. This is bad. This is very bad. You’re not supposed to be dead. You’re supposed to…(Stops pacing and looks at CHRIS.) Never mind.

CHRIS: I’m supposed to what?

LEE: (Snaps.) Well, it doesn’t matter much now, does it? (Pause.) I’m really sorry.

CHRIS: It’s alright. I’m sure you’re just having a bad day.

LEE: No, I mean about the killing you thing. You know, you’re taking this awfully well for someone who just bit it before their time.

CHRIS: (Depressed.) Yeah, well. Things weren’t working out like I planned. My mom just died, my girlfriend broke up with me, I got fired and I’ve got a degree that’s good for nothing. All in all, it’s probably best things worked out this way. Chris Harrington has more to live for.

LEE: (Frantic again.) No, no, no. This is all wrong. Today, you were supposed to…I’ve got to call one of them. They can help, I’m sure. (Goes to the tin can stage left. Picks it up, then hesitates.) Which one do you think I should call? I guess it’s the past now, but Atropus might understand better given your…circumstance.

CHRIS: Who are they?

LEE: The Fates. You know, the three sisters. Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropus—past, present and future.

CHRIS: Hmm. Kind of makes all that confession useless.

LEE: Confession?

CHRIS: I was Catholic. So anyways, you’re gonna call them with that? (Gestures to the tin can.)

LEE: We’re big on thread here. (Speaking into the can.) Atropus? Hi…Well, there’s been a, umm, misunderstanding. No, I think you should just come here and see for yourself. A few minutes? That’s fine. Thank you. (Puts down the can and returns to her stool. Buries her head in her hands.) I’m doomed.

CHRIS: No, it’ll be okay, I’ll just tell her that I don’t mind! I’m fine with it, really.

LEE: That’s really sweet of you, but you just can’t go deciding your own fate.

CHRIS: Why not?

LEE: Because there are rules! (Gestures to the loom.) There’s a grand design whether you can see it or not, and I have just thrown it off balance. If this lasts too long, more threads will start unraveling and maybe even cause a tear in the fabric of reality! (Sighs.) I just got this job, I can’t believe I’ve already messed it up. I should’ve known. I was clumsy when I was…you know.

CHRIS: Alive?

LEE: Yeah.

CHRIS: What else were you?

LEE: (Pauses in thought.) Stubborn, smart…forgetful, afraid.

CHRIS: Pretty.

LEE: What?

CHRIS: You forgot pretty.

LEE: Oh…thanks. You’re pretty too.

CHRIS: (Laughs.) You mean handsome.

LEE: Yeah, sorry. It’s been a long time since I flirted.

CHRIS: Are we? I mean, can dead people flirt?

LEE: I…don’t know. I haven’t spent this much time with anyone but the sisters since…

CHRIS: How did you die?

LEE: (Smiles ruefully.) Car accident. I told him to slow down, but he just said, “You worry too much, Lee.” One minute, we were on the freeway having a big laugh, and the next…nothing. I remember thinking it would hurt, but it didn’t. (Pause.) I wish I’d seen Paris first though.

CHRIS: Oh. I’m sorry.

LEE: Don’t be. It was fate. My destiny.

CHRIS: How old were you?

LEE: Twenty.

CHRIS: That’s not fair. You were so young.

LEE: (Shrugs. Pause.)

CHRIS: So…your name is Lee?

LEE: Yeah. I was named after my grandfather.

CHRIS: Really? Me too. It must be…(Laughs.)

LEE: Fate?

CHRIS: Yeah. How long have you been doing this?

LEE: A little while. I’m not really sure. Time here doesn’t pass the way it does on Earth. I used to work in Karma, but I got promoted.

CHRIS: Karma?

LEE: It’s a sub-division. This is Life and Death. There’s also Karma, Irony, Love…

CHRIS: Did you ever work in Love?

LEE: No…You have to know something about it to work there.

CHRIS: So you were never in-

LEE: (Sharply.) No.

CHRIS: Oh.
(Pause.)

LEE: Were you?

CHRIS: I think so. It was nice, for a while.

LEE: Well, there are two sides to everything. And somebody’s got to get hurt.

CHRIS: Yeah…I think it was worth it though.

LEE: You know, I never really missed Earth until you got here.

CHRIS: Really? I could understand that I guess. The self-doubt, the worry, the confusion…I don’t feel it here.

LEE: Nope. Or frustration, misunderstanding…until now, that is.

CHRIS: I’m sorry.

LEE: No, it’s my fault. And it’s sort of nice to feel something again. You know what I really miss?

CHRIS: What?

LEE: Food. French fries, chocolate chip cookies, funnel cake on the Boardwalk.

CHRIS: I love funnel cake. (Laughs.) I always said that I would eat it on my last day on Earth.

LEE: You can never really say things like that. You just never know. People believe they will, but how could you?

CHRIS: I guess so.

LEE: (Pause.) I used to believe the dumbest things when I was a kid. When I was five, I told my mom I wanted to die young so I could be a pretty angel in heaven. For a long time, I didn’t understand why she cried when I said it.

CHRIS: Everyone believes stuff like that. Death just doesn’t make sense when you’re a kid. When I was six, my grandpa Christopher died. A week later I asked my mom where he was, and she said he was in heaven. So I asked her if we could drive there and see him. She cried too.

LEE: I wish I’d gotten to be a mom. I would’ve been great.

CHRIS: Yeah, you would have.

LEE: You don’t even know me.

CHRIS: (Smiles.) Sometimes you can just tell. (Pause.) Why did you want to go to Paris?

LEE: My dad was a painter, and he always used to talk about the days he spent in Paris. He made it sound like paradise. The food, the wine, the art…That’s where he met my mom.

CHRIS: That’s cool. My dad’s a doctor. He hates art. He was not thrilled when I changed my major to art history.

LEE: I imagine there’s not a lot of money in that.

CHRIS: That wasn’t the point. The point was that I cared about it. Besides, I never could’ve been a doctor. They make huge decisions everyday. I couldn’t stand the guilt.

LEE: Me neither. I was going to be a writer. I was going to live in Paris, go to a little café everyday to write, fall in love…

CHRIS: So why don’t you?

LEE: (Confused.) I’m dead.

CHRIS: But there’s the door. Couldn’t you just leave?

LEE: Leave?

CHRIS: Don’t you ever question them?

LEE: The sisters? Never. They know what they’re doing. Everyone’s got unfinished business. The point is I was meant to die. You, on the other hand, you’ve got things to do.

CHRIS: What was I supposed to do today that’s so damned important?

LEE: You…I’m really not supposed to say. It’s against the rules.

CHRIS: Hey, you killed me. I think you owe me.

LEE: But it’s going to be fixed! You’re going to go back to Earth and forget this ever happened.

CHRIS: What if I don’t want to?

LEE: Why in the hell would you want to stay here?

CHRIS: I told you. I don’t have much to go back to except an apartment I can no longer afford. (Studies his feet.) And I kind of like it here, (Looks up at her.) with you. I haven’t really talked like this to anyone for a long time.

LEE: Were you this sappy on Earth?

CHRIS: (Defensively.) No. (Pause. Then, in defeat.) Yes. But sappy was far from my biggest fault.

LEE: What was your biggest fault then?                                                                                                                                                                                                             

CHRIS: I was too passive. I was afraid of making choices and I didn’t want anyone to be mad at me. When my girlfriend left me, she just walked out the door with my dog. And I let her. How stupid is that?

LEE: That’s pretty stupid. (Encouragingly.) But you had good points too, I’m sure.

CHRIS: Yeah…I was pretty smart. And everybody said I was sweet. I just wish I had done something.

LEE: That’s the spirit! You were about to do something big! And once Atropus gets here, you get to go back and take a second shot, like you were meant to.

CHRIS: (A little annoyed.) So fate. That’s it, huh?

LEE: Yep.

CHRIS: What about decisions? They amount to nothing?

LEE: No, free will is important and most decisions don’t affect the grand design, but some things are just meant to be.

CHRIS: (Moving towards the doorway.) So what happens if I just walk out that door?

LEE: You can’t! You’ll materialize from nowhere and people will think they’re seeing a ghost. Then the wrong people go crazy and we’ve got a whole new problem.

CHRIS: Forget that for a second. Don’t you want to see Paris?

LEE: Yes, but…Wait, are you suggesting I go with you?

CHRIS: Yes! Look, I never made a real decision in my life, so why not start over with a big one? And there’s so much you never got to do. Let’s do this together.

LEE: (Anger steadily rising.) I told you. There are rules. We can’t just go waltzing out that door any old time we please. Plenty of people die young every day and I’m sure they didn’t think they were ready to die either, but it happens. And furthermore, you seem to be under the impression that this is some kind of beginning. Well, it’s not, it’s an end. It’s the end. This is not the place to go turning over a new leaf.

CHRIS: (Smiling.) You’re cute when you’re angry.

LEE: Oh, you’ve got to be joking.

CHRIS: No, really. The vein in your forehead is adorable. (Pause. Walks close to Lee so that they are facing each other with a foot of space between them.) Lee, we can do this.

LEE: (Melts a little, but soon recovers.) Don’t think that just because you bat those pretty blue eyes at me that I’m just going to—
(Abruptly Chris grabs her face in his hands and kisses her. Then he pulls away.)

LEE: (In a daze.) Oh my. (Pause. Comes back to herself.) Oh, this is bad. You’re supposed to…

CHRIS: (Suddenly frustrated.) What? What am I supposed to do?

LEE: You’re supposed to meet…(with slight realization) your wife.

CHRIS: Oh. So you and I can’t...

LEE: No.

CHRIS: I hate this.

LEE: I’m starting not to like it so much anymore either. But it is what it is.

CHRIS: And there’s nothing we can do about it?

LEE: Chris, I’m dead.

CHRIS: So what? That door works both ways.

Lee does not respond.

CHRIS: Look, the grand design forgot about you, so why can’t you forget about it?

LEE: I…

CHRIS: This is ridiculous. You can’t just do what you’re told all the time.

LEE: Can’t I?

CHRIS: No. That’s what I did, and look where it got me. I’ve got nothing. No job, no family, no girlfriend.

LEE: And you're dead.

CHRIS: Actually, that’s the only good that’s happened to me recently. But if I go back without remembering this, I’m not going to change. I’ll still have nothing. And so will you.

LEE: (Silence. Then Lee kisses Chris as suddenly as he kissed her. After she pulls away she pauses for a moment, then seems to decide something.) Okay, let’s go.
(Smiling, Chris takes her hand and leads her through the doorway. A moment after they are gone, a woman in a black robe, obviously a Fate, enters.)

FATE: Lee? Lee? (She looks around.) Oh, good. (She goes to the loom and ties two threads together, then exits.)
© Copyright 2007 Sincerely Me (afterglow at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1288734