THE NIGHT AFTER THE NIGHT - EXTRACT
Shortlisted for the Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival, 2015
A BEDROOM IN A SHARED HOUSE - THE QUIET AND ORANGE LIGHT OF 2AM.
DAN: You had your haircut.
KATE: I did. At lunchtime.
DAN: It's nice. It's like how you had it before, in the summer.
KATE: It feels really short. I can't stop doing this.
SHE TOUCHES HER HAIR. SHE SITS ON THE CHAIR, HE ON THE BED.
DAN: What happened in here?
KATE: What do you mean?
DAN: You tidied. In all the years we have lived here, I don't think I've ever seen your room this tidy.
KATE SHRUGS AND CHANGES THE SUBJECT, PLAYS WITH HER PHONE WHILE THEY TALK ABOUT NAOMI.
KATE: Is Naomi here?
DAN: She was. We had dinner but she went back to hers. She...um...never mind. So how was your night?
KATE: Huh? It was fine.
DAN: Really fine?
KATE: No, not fine at all. But I don't want to talk about it. It's stupid and embarrassing.
DAN: What is?
KATE: Give me a couple more of these and I might tell you. Actually, I think I have a bottle of something under the bed.
HE LOOKS UNDER THE BED.
DAN: What are you going to do, neck it from the bottle?
KATE: Good point. If we were troubled teens on TV we'd do it.
DAN: And we'd be under a pier.
KATE: After "the biggest party of the year" bro.
DAN: And there would have been a bonfire.
KATE: And a girl crying.
HE PULLS OUT AN EASTER EGG AND MOVES TO SIT ON THE FLOOR.
DAN: Why do you still have this?
KATE: That's another long story to explain later. Crack it open though.
HE OPENS THE EASTER EGG. SHE SITS ON THE FLOOR BESIDE HIM.
KATE: Please tell me you'll always be here when I've had a terrible night. And please tell me there will always be beer.
HE BREAKS OFF A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE AND EATS IT.
DAN: Kate, the thing is...
KATE: That's not how you do it.
KATE: Eat an Easter egg.
DAN: I should have known you'd have instructions for how to eat a bloody Easter egg.
KATE: Of course. Years of investigation have led me to discover the optimal technique. Look if you break it right you'll find the thicker bits. Eggs have fault lines you see. It's egg plate tectonics. Leave the little bits for last, they're rubbish - first, just let this melt.
SHE HOLDS OUT A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE. THE INTIMACY MAKES HIM UNCOMFORTABLE, HE MOVES AWAY. SHE KNOWS WHY. THEY ARE AWKWARD FOR A MOMENT.
DAN: I never found that bottle.
KATE: Maybe we drank it at the BBQ.
SHE OPENS UP TO EASE THE TENSION.
KATE: Do you remember at that weekend in Newquay? The eye thing?
DAN: The what?
KATE: You know. When everyone else had gone to bed and I wanted to tell you about Abi and couldn't and you said...
BOTH: Shut your eyes and say it really quickly.