A Nice Guy
CAITLIN OUANO

Community Waiting Room

INT. COMMUNITY CENTER

GUARD NURSE

Take a seat to the right! Wait for your name to be called.

EMILY walks in. She sits. Mask on. Waits. Waits. About a hundred people are around her. 10:00 A.M. time slot. Scrubs and needles all around.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

You, up next.

EMILY stand.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

License? (EMILY hands it over) OK so is this your second shot?

EMILY

Yep.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

OK and you’re getting Virgin America, correct?

EMILY

Yeah, they said you guys ran out of Tampax.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

We did, that was the one shot vaccine. OK, take this card and go to the tent on the right.

EMILY walks into the tent.

INJECTION GIRL

How are you?

EMILY

(rolling up sleeve) Good, thanks.

INJECTION GIRL

(puts alcohol and bandaid on) OK, so you’re going to feel a little pinch. You may have some arm soreness but typically this is the easier shot.

EMILY

Does it work?

INJECTION GIRL

It definitely works. I got mine a few months ago, last week I negotiated a raise, bought a house. I sleep better at night.

EMILY

Yeah, my friend said she walked around Brooklyn at night last week.

INJECTION GIRL

Mhmm! And nobody creeped her out or followed her home?

EMILY

No, it’s amazing.

INJECTION GIRL

It’s been a long pandemic, everyone just wants to feel safe and content and have no more anxiety about this stuff.

INJECTION GIRL stabs EMILY. Ouch.

EMILY

Ow.

INJECTION GIRL

Sorry.

EMILY

I hate this.

INJECTION GIRL

Yeah, so the pain can be hard to articulate. It’s not really something people talk about or vocalize, it’s more something you feel.

EMILY

I’m feeling it.

INJECTION GIRL

Okay. Go sit over there for 15 minutes, monitor yourself, then you can go.


Watching TV With Popcorn

INT. EMILY’S HOUSE

EMILY is sitting watching TV. Friends is on and Joey is talking.

JOEY

You know how when you’re dating someone and you don’t wanna cheat on them unless it’s with someone really hot?

EMILY begins to sweat. Flips the channel. How I Met Your Mother.

BARNEY

Let’s see how crazy blah blah girl is doing on the crazy hot scale.

BARNEY

Pulling down her pants. Yanking off my own!

BARNEY

Bimbo’s make me want to pretend to be a better man.

—pretend to be a better man.

EMILY flips the channel. Sweat is everywhere. Fever.

Virus.

EMILY

It’s too hot.

The TV characters talk next to EMILY, outside of the TV.

ROBIN

If these girls are dumb enough to fall for this crap they have it coming.

ROSS

Are you ever nice to strange women for no reason?

JOEY

No only for sex.

BARNEY

A girl’s allowed to be crazy as long as she is equally hot.

ROBIN

They have it coming.

ROBIN

These girls… have it coming.

EMILY dives into a bathtub for coolness and tries to stop the room from spinning.

It’s hot and everything feels like garbage.
I can’t sleep because I keep waking up from the fever.
Immune system
Kicks in.


Broccoli in Lunch Tray

INT. SCHOOL CAFETERIA

LUKE

SO this is where I work.

EMILY

Very nice. I’m proud of you hon—

CAFETERIA LADY

Hi! Are you the girlfriend? He’s the nicest guy—

EMILY

Oh—

CAFETERIA LADY

You are so lucky. So lucky. SO LUCKY.

EMILY

Thank you—

CAFETERIA LADY

I want my daughter to date someone like him.

EMILY

I—

CAFETERIA LADY

(to LUKE) Seriously! You’re the best guy! She’s so lucky!

WORLD

YOU’RE SO LUCKY. SO LUCKY.

SINGLE GIRLS

FLOOP IS A MAD MAN HELP US SAVE US.

LUKE

Sometimes I flirt with my students a little, it’s normal. Very normal.

LUKE

(to EMILY) Suck my dick until I cum in your mouth.

They are now at a party. With other friends. A female friend kisses LUKE.

EMILY

That made me feel weird.

LUKE

Well then you’re not an adult. She’s a friend. We’re adults.

EMILY

Um, she didn’t speak to me all night. Only when you weren’t around. And then she kissed you.

LUKE

I thought we were adults, why are you being jealous?

EMILY

I’m not jealous, I’m uncomfortable, I’m your girlfriend, and you need to respect that.

LUKE walks away. LUKE walks away.

LUKE’S FEMALE FRIENDS

Emily’s crazy and toxic.

LUKE’S FRIENDS

It’s just not working out, he needs something different.

CAFETERIA LADY

You’re so lucky! SO LUCKY! What a lucky girl! I’D KILL TO HAVE MY DAUGHTER DATE LUKE I’D FUCKING KILL FOR IT.

LUKE

I thought you were mature Emily.

LUKE’S MOM

She’s just not listening to your needs.

LUKE

Can I cum in your mouth?

CAFETERIA LADY

LUCKY GIRL!!!!

EMILY

I feel like the waiter hates me.

LUKE

Stop being so insecure.

LUKE

Can you not walk around naked, Jesus, leave a little to the imagination.

LUKE

I need you to behave at dinner.

EMILY

I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.

EMILY. At work.

A job.
Long ago? Today?

EMILY

Why didn’t I get that promotion?

Silence.

EMILY

Why didn’t I get that job?

Silence.

EMILY

It’d be more efficient if we—

BOSS MAN

Stop complaining.

EMILY

Hey why does Tyler get all the cool work and we get all the shit work?

Everyone sits at lunch away from you. Ahem. From Emily.

EMILY

Why do the girl interns get stuck with busy work?

Emily. The character….She’s a character. She’s fictional.

EMILY

Why is Tyler getting paid and we aren’t? Can I have some of his work?

Emily. Alone.

BOSS WOMAN

Tyler is showing more enthusiasm than you and I would reconsider the attitude you have.

DAD

Nobody wants to work with a complainer.

BOSS WOMAN

Reconsider your attitude.

BOSS MAN

Stop complaining.

BOSS WOMAN

Tyler is better than you.

MOM

Stop TALKING.

BOSS WOMAN

I like my boy workers more than you.

TYLER

Penguin is publishing my book.

GIRL

Did you hear Tyler is writing a book with Will Smith?

LUKE

Tyler rocks.

BOSS WOMAN

Tyler is a model kid. Such a nice kid.

LUKE

You suck Emily.

THE WORLD

You suck Emily.

TYLER

That Emily bitch is the worst.

GIRL

You’re so right.

EMILY on a trash lonely island.

MOM

Would you rather be loved or right, Emily?

Would you rather be loved or right?


Community Waiting Room

INT. COMMUNITY CENTER

EMILY

So my first shot sucked so this one shouldn’t be as bad, right?

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

Oooh no. The second one is the bad one.

EMILY

Really?

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

Yeah, you had a bad reaction?

EMILY

I was sick for four days.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

Oh. Did you already have internalized misogyny?

EMILY

I don’t know. I didn’t think I did.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

Yeah, so if you were previously infected usually the vaccine is really hard on your immune system.

EMILY

I didn’t have it.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

Hmm. I guess you just have a strong immune system.

EMILY

Maybe I had it and I was asymptomatic.

OFFICE TABLE DUDE

Most people are.

EMILY goes to the tent. Gets stabbed again.

INJECTION GIRL

You may want to take off work tomorrow.

EMILY

Seriously?


Messy Apartment

INT. EMILY’S HOUSE

EMILY is not fine and she is alone. Everything is foggy. Life is foggy. She feeds the dog.

EMILY

I’m just gonna lie down for a sec.

Face plants into the couch. Doesn’t move for 5 hours.

Blackness.

Black

DAD

Let’s just have PEACE. Can you say one thing that isn’t VENOMOUS? Stop attacking everything I hold near and dear, any good experience I’ve had in my life with your feminist bull shit, IS NOTHING SACRED FROM YOUR TIRADE?!

LUKE

You need help. A lot of help. You are unhealthy and toxic.

BROTHER

I will go home and beat you up if you don’t stop crying. This is embarrassing.

LUKE

Wow. How mature of you.

LUKE

Can you behave yourself?

BROTHER

You’re embarrassing yourself.

MOM

Boys don’t want to be around you if you cry.

MOM

Boys don’t like that.

MOM

Your brother hit you because you were being ridiculous.

GIRLBOSS

I’m busy right now, the booooysssss are taking me to lunch. No you can’t come.

EMILY sees herself talking.

EMILY

That’s why she’s still single.

EMILY

Sorry, can’t help you. Figure it out yourself. Not my fault you can’t cut it with the boys.

EMILY

She’s a stupid beach slut.

EMILY

I hate pink.

EMILY

She should get over it, he doesn’t like her. Move on. Stop crying.

EMILY

I don’t want a girl job.

Immune system starts to kick up a storm.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

You’re worthy.

EMILY

That’s why I’m still single.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Be yourself.

EMILY

If I act cool I’ll attract someone cool. If I act cool I’ll get a good job.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Be yourself.

EMILY

I should just get over it and stop crying I’m stupid and overemotional.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Life is balance.

EMILY

I have to play the game and get ahead.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Life is balance.

EMILY

Why the fuck did he get that job and I didn’t, he can’t even read.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Balance.

EMILY

I DID ALL THE WORK.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Karma is real.

EMILY

HOW DARE YOU DATE ME FOR THREE YEARS AND ACT LIKE SHIT TO ME AT A PARTY.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

All is connected.

EMILY

(to her friends) YOU’RE TAKING HIS SIDE?! WHAT HAPPENED TO GIRL POWER?!

IMMUNE SYSTEM

All is balanced.

GIRLFRIEND

What a nice guy!

CAFETERIA LADY

So great you got to date a nice guy.

AUNT

You’re so lucky you got a nice guy.

GIRLFRIEND

He can’t treat you like that. Stand up for yourself! Don’t be a doormat!

THE FEMINIST

Do not let a man treat you badly.

THE UNSAID

If your boyfriend treats you badly you’re a moron.

THE UNSAID

You’re a dumb not-boss girl for compromising.

THE UNSAID

You are who you date.

THE UNSAID

You can’t escape.

THE UNSAID

You were stupid for trying anything.

EMILY

It’s so hot. This sucks.

Fever aches fever aches chills then fever again then fever. More fever. Everything hot hot hot.

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Karma is real.

The air deflates.

Sleep.

EMILY

I’m so lucky to have dated such a nice guy.

::::::Sounds:::::
(heart) beat.
>
(heart) beat.
>
(heart) beat.
>
>
(heart) beat.
>
(heart) beat.
>
(heart) beat.
>
(heart) beat.
>
>
(heart) beat.
>
(pen to paper)

EMILY

Privilege Operates in Silence.

Some time passes.


New Clean Apartment

INT. EMILY’S APARTMENT

EMILY is in a new apartment. She orders a fluffy bedspread. She hangs her clothes and opens the curtains and light floods in. She does yoga. No more fever aches and pains.

EXT. STREET

EMILY walks down the street. She walks by a herd of young leery dudes who quickly disperse as they come near her and *disappear into thin air.

EMILY gets a direct deposit paycheck for $5000. She stops. Opens her phone.

EMILY

Hi, I’m missing $1500 from this check, why is that? (listens). I need it in my bank account today or I won’t be able to work tomorrow until it’s paid. (listens. nods) You’re welcome. I’ll thank you when I’m paid.

INT. Q&A

EMILY is questioned with a bunch of writers by a bunch of people at a bunch of things.

EMILY

Writing is easy. It’s the best!

SOME DUDE

Writing is hard. It’s hard and it’s difficult. It’s long and hard. You gotta put the work in. And it’s miserable and your emotions are out and you feel vulnerable. It’s a long difficult process of a life to get good at something. Writing is no different. It’s very painful and only the best can do it. The absolute best. War and violence and chaos are around us. War and violence rule the world we’re all just violent people. But yeah I’m smart only the best people can be writers. Look at Hemingway and Melville and Fitzgerald all those great artists—

EMILY

Allow me to rephrase my answer.

It’s easy if you were born to do it.

 





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