Sweaters

by robhayeswritesplays

Hannah is stood on the edge of a very tall building. Her intention is clear. Michael approaches from behind.

MICHAEL Don’t do it.

Beat.

MICHAEL Don’t do it.

HANNAH Hah?

MICHAEL Don’t jump.

HANNAH Go away.

MICHAEL I’m planning to.

HANNAH Leave me alone.

MICHAEL Don’t do it.

HANNAH Why not? Why shouldn’t I?

MICHAEL Because it’s my turn.

HANNAH What?

Michael approaches properly.

MICHAEL This is a massive breach of protocol.

HANNAH Just leave me alone, okay? Stay away!

MICHAEL You don’t seem to understand. It’s my night.

HANNAH What do you mean your night?

MICHAEL There’s a system.

HANNAH Just go away.

MICHAEL This is a very popular building. Queue jumping’s frowned upon.

HANNAH What queue? What are you on about?

MICHAEL I think there’s an opening a week Tuesday.

HANNAH An opening?

MICHAEL Marcus won big at the tables. New lease of life.

HANNAH What do you mean an opening?

MICHAEL You could try and take his slot. Visit the forum.

HANNAH I can’t wait!

MICHAEL Might already be taken anyway.

HANNAH I can’t wait till next week.

MICHAEL Shouldn’t really be an impulse thing.

HANNAH And you have no right to dictate.

MICHAEL Some proper consideration might.

HANNAH You don’t know me. You have no idea.

MICHAEL Tie up loose ends. Plus you want to make an impact.

HANNAH This is none of your business.

MICHAEL Excuse the pun. But you do have to consider.

HANNAH Look, if you want to jump you can go after me, but I would like a moment to myself first so can you please.

MICHAEL That’s not really how it works.

HANNAH Piss. Off.

MICHAEL Can’t really do more than one a week. Two tops.

HANNAH What are you talking about? Just jump if you want to.

MICHAEL They’ll put barriers up if they get too frequent.

HANNAH I don’t care, I’ll be already.

MICHAEL Plus we’ll steal each other’s thunder.

HANNAH Long gone. Thunder?

MICHAEL I’ve sent letters. It’ll be really awkward if I’m still around tomorrow.

HANNAH Just go after me.

MICHAEL I’ve said some really really.

HANNAH I don’t care about thunder.

MICHAEL Deeply unpleasant.

HANNAH I don’t care about anything.

MICHAEL You really should spare a thought for those who’ve booked ahead. It’s a very popular building.

HANNAH I don’t care! They can find another building.

MICHAEL With 24 hour public access? Sheltered by hard winds.

HANNAH Or find a bridge, or.

MICHAEL Overlooking a side road, minimise traffic disruption.

HANNAH Hang themselves, or.

MICHAEL Perfect height to maintain bodily integrity after death. Which is immediate.

HANNAH Drown themselves, I don’t know.

MICHAEL I don’t mean to be rude but this is very selfish of you.

HANNAH You don’t know me! Who are you? Why do you have such a right to jump?

MICHAEL I told you. I booked.

HANNAH Well I can’t wait another day. You don’t seem too bothered if I’m honest.

MICHAEL I’m trying to stay calm.

HANNAH Why do you want to do it then?

MICHAEL I’m not playing this game.

HANNAH Why do you deserve it more than me?

MICHAEL That’s irrelevant.

HANNAH I don’t think so.

MICHAEL I’m not about to play top trumps with.

HANNAH How do I know there’s a waiting list? You might be making it up.

MICHAEL Go online. Check the forum.

HANNAH You want to jump tonight? Earn it. What’s your reason?

MICHAEL What’s your reason?

HANNAH I asked you first.

MICHAEL You’ve got it all to prove.

HANNAH You care so much about protocol, I asked you first. Why are you jumping?

MICHAEL General disillusionment. Some loneliness. You?

HANNAH I owe my brother and his wife a lot of money which I don’t have. They’re about to have their house repossessed and now none of my family will talk to me, so I have to live with my ex-boyfriend who.

She cracks.

HANNAH Drinks. And hits me.

Beat.

MICHAEL That’s pretty good. Still rules are rules.

HANNAH I don’t care about the fucking rules!

MICHAEL As I said, try for a week Tuesday. You might be in luck.

HANNAH This is ridiculous! I’m doing it now! I’m jumping.

MICHAEL No!

He grabs her.

MICHAEL This may not mean much to you, but it’s all I have. Those guys have been nothing but supportive to me.

HANNAH What guys? Who.

MICHAEL And if I allow us both to jump they’ll take it as a personal insult. My name will be mud.

HANNAH Get off me!

MICHAEL Here. Take my keys. My flat’s empty. I don’t need it.

He takes out his keys.

HANNAH What? Why?

MICHAEL Till Tuesday, so you’re not having to live with.

HANNAH Tuesday? Listen, I’m.

MICHAEL Ex-boyfriend chap. There’s milk in the fridge.

HANNAH This is insane.

MICHAEL Some sausages I think. Need defrosting. I’ll draw you a map.

HANNAH No. I’m not going back. Is this a come on?

MICHAEL A come on? No. I’ll be.

He gestures off the edge of the building.

MICHAEL Just so you’ll be safe till it’s your turn.

HANNAH What do you care?

MICHAEL I don’t. But this is all I have. Please don’t ruin my night.

HANNAH I don’t want to ruin your night. But tomorrow I’ve. I’ll have to talk to them. I don’t want to deal with them anymore.

MICHAEL It’s only a week or so. Maybe two depending.

HANNAH I can’t!

MICHAEL On the schedule.

HANNAH I can’t be around anyone. I can’t talk to anyone.

MICHAEL I know your thing sounds urgent. All that money, and. It always seems so serious, money. Doesn’t it?

HANNAH It is serious.

MICHAEL But there’s a hole inside me where someone used to be. And if you’d ever felt that.

Beat.

MICHAEL Six weeks I’ve waited. That’s long enough.

Beat.

HANNAH I’m terrible with directions. I can’t.

Michael takes out his keys.

MICHAEL It’s easy. It’s like a ten minute walk.

HANNAH I don’t really know the area. I’ll get lost.

MICHAEL The door’s a bit sticky, you really have to.

Gestures with the keys.

MICHAEL Really wiggle it.

HANNAH You could show me, maybe?

MICHAEL No, I’ve. I’ll draw you a map. It’s easy.

HANNAH Honestly I’m not that good. You’ve booked this spot for the whole night, right? You could be back in a couple of hours.

MICHAEL I could.

HANNAH You could show me the website. To book.

Pause.

MICHAEL Are you sweating?

HANNAH Yeah.

MICHAEL Didn’t expect to sweat this much.

HANNAH Me neither.

MICHAEL Could do with a shower.

HANNAH Me too.

They both look down.

MICHAEL You hungry?

HANNAH A bit.

MICHAEL Be a shame to waste those sausages.

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