Act I, Scene 3

Adam's apartment and the street outside.

(Adam and Sindi are in bed, partially dressed.)

Sindi:
Are you okay?

Adam:
Yeah, I'm great. I'm just... wow.

Sindi:
(giggles) Well, I'm glad you're happy.

Adam:
I'm glad I'm happy. I wish it lasted longer.

Sindi:
Are you still stressed out about... the usual things?

Adam:
Well, it's work and stuff too... (pause)

Sindi:
But it's mostly Karla.

Adam:
(nervous laughter) Yeah, well... I'm sorry.

Sindi:
You don't have to be sorry. If you love her, you love her. I just don't like to see you unhappy. (Gelal is outside the window)

Adam:
Yeah... I don't know what's wrong with me sometimes. It can be so difficult with Karla. Her expectations about how much time I spend with her and who else I talk to are so extreme. Sometimes things are really great, but other times I don't understand why I try at all.

Sindi:
I know it's hard for you. I really appreciate that you make time for me too.

Adam:
I like spending time with you. You're more straightforward. With her I sometimes feel like she won't tell me what she wants, and then she penalizes me for not knowing what she wants.

Sindi:
I hate that about most women.

Adam:
I know. But guys like me are stupid, huh?

Sindi:
I didn't say that. I just don't understand how people act a lot of the time. It seems like they're so compelled to make each other miserable - it's almost as if they do things against their own wills. You know, like as if they're under some kind of external influence... (Gelal ducks down)

Adam:
Yeah. It's depressing. But hey, before we get into any of our usual two-hour-long philosophical discussions about stuff like that, maybe we should try to get some sleep. It's almost three in the morning. I can't be all worn out.

Sindi:
Oh, do I wear you out? (snickering and kissing) I am tired too though. Goodnight I guess.

Adam:
Goodnight.

(They sleep. But Adam soon gets up and paces the room. Looks out the window but misses Gelal. Takes a photo out of his night table.)

Adam:
I met Karla two Halloweens ago. It was the first time I ever got gothed up to the max. She never talked to me before. But that night, we really connected. I knew even then that she was my true love. (Puts the photo away.) So what's wrong with me? Why am I doing this? It's always bothered me that she's so paranoid and insecure about being cheated on... but if she accuses me now, I don't even know what I'll say! God, what if she just looks at me and knows somehow? I've always liked Sindi, but what am I thinking doing something like this...

(Phone rings)

Adam:
Hello? Oh, hi... no no, I didn't forget, I knew you were going to call, I just dozed off for a minute. How was the club? Good... Cai said what? What a jerk. How was the music? Yeah... that's annoying that they played... huh, she wasn't there? Well, I don't think she actually likes Manson anyway. No, I haven't talked to her. I told you, I haven't talked to Sindi regularly in at least a year ... huh, sorry? (looks around fearfully.) Oh. No no, of course, I mean... it's just kind of late, so I was surprised... well, I'm tired, but I'm not... um, well, of course you can come over, you're my girlfriend, I just thought... maybe tomorrow would be... hello? Karla? (hangs up) Dammit!

(He goes to Sindi's side and shakes her.)

Adam:
Um, Sindi, I'm really sorry but um... you've gotta get up.

Sindi:
Mmm? Is something wrong?

Adam:
Uh yeah, you could say that. Karla just called and invited herself over.

Sindi:
What? (Sits up. Gelal looks in the window.) Why didn't you just tell her no?

Adam:
Well I can't tell her that you're--

Sindi:
Well, obviously! But you could have said you already went to sleep or something...

Adam:
I tried. She's persistent. You know how it is. (picking up her clothes) So um...

Sindi:
So you're kicking me out?

Adam:
Hey, I'm sorry but I don't have a choice, okay?

Sindi:
Whatever. (taking her clothes from him and putting them on.) Adam, don't be offended when I say this. I do like you as a friend and I think you're great in bed. But have you ever considered getting a spine?

Adam:
Sindi, I tried to tell her! What else can I do?

Sindi:
Well, given how much you complain about her, you could just stop seeing her!

Adam:
Sindi, I'm sure you're jealous and I can understand but...

Sindi:
I'm not jealous like I want to replace her or something. But it's like I say all the time: I just don't like seeing you moping about her and being controlled by her all the time.

Adam:
I'm sorry. I don't know what else to say.

Sindi:
Yeah? Well... (softens) I'm sorry too. Sorry that things are the way they are. I still had a good time though.

Adam:
So did I. I'll see you at the club. Um, if not sooner. I do like getting together with you.

Sindi:
Yeah. Well, goodnight.

Adam:
Goodnight.

(Sindi leaves the apartment.)

Sindi:
Oh, well this is just great. The buses have stopped running and it's not like I have cab money on me. Like I really want to walk home at three in the morning! (sighs) Well, I guess I'll look for a bank machine then...

(starts walking. Gelal comes out of the shadows.)

Gelal:
Another pleasant evening cut short by the foolhardiness of others, darling?

Sindi:
Who the hell are you? Are you stalking me?

Gelal:
Does that bother you?

Sindi:
Um, yes! (starts walking past. He follows.) Leave me alone or I'll call the police!

Gelal:
You can do what you like. Only you can see me.

Sindi:
What? (Gelal just stands there.) What the hell is your problem? You're a fucking freak.

Gelal:
Funny: I can think of a few people at the club who say the same thing about you. Mostly Karla's friends, oddly enough. Including Adam, when you're not around.

Sindi:
Wh... how do you... whatever, you're lying!

Gelal:
No, I'm not. I lie to everyone else. But I've decided not to lie to you. I have a theory that sometimes the truth hurts more.

Sindi:
Look... you... who are you?

Gelal:
My name is Gelal. And you're Sindi.

Sindi:
How do you know who I am?

Gelal:
I've been watching you for some time now.

Sindi:
Why?

Gelal:
Because you interest me.

Sindi:
What do you mean, I interest you?

Gelal:
Sindi, every human fails eventually. No one ever lives up to your expectations. They all have deaf ears, lying tongues and wandering gazes. I know because it is the mission of my kind to exacerbate these tendencies. Moreover, it is laughably easy for us to do so.

Sindi:
What do you mean, "my kind?" Have you been playing too much Vampire or something? Like, what's with that mask?

Gelal:
When the only boy you were friends with in high school betrayed you to win his friends' esteem, I saw. I watched your second boyfriend extinguish himself in a world of corporate overwork, and your third boyfriend spend all of his money on heroin. I also witnessed the final, vicious argument you had with your one girlfriend: dear Esmerelda.

Sindi:
(shocked) What? How did you...?

Gelal:
I don't just see. I encourage these things. Just a moment ago, in Adam's apartment, you mentioned external influence. Well, here I am. Granted, humans inflict all sorts of unpleasantness on each other even without our assistance. But we wouldn't want you to miss out on any additional opportunities for suffering.

Sindi:
You're fucking crazy. You think you're some kind of demon or something?

Gelal:
Something like that. Hence the disturbing extent of my knowledge about you. But why should that bother you? When you were in high school, you had a crush on a serial killer.

Sindi:
What? But... but I never told anyone! H-how did...?

Gelal:
You can't even explain it to yourself, but something about him raping and mutilating young girls held your attention - especially after your boy betrayed you. (laughs) So given what I have in mind for you, I should be your dream come true.

Sindi:
Get away from me!

Gelal:
Just think about this, Sindi: what do you hate more? The pain of having your heart ripped out? Or the apologetic excuses that inevitably follow - the pathetic well-meaning that forbids you from hating? Just think about it. And ask yourself why you feel drawn toward remorseless psychopaths.

Sindi:
What's your fucking point?

Gelal:
I'd be overjoyed to rip your heart out, darling. And I promise I won't apologize.

(He disappears. Sindi hurries away.)

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