Act I, Scene 5

A cafe and the street outside.

(Adam is sitting at a table. Enter Sindi.)

Sindi:
Hi.

Adam:
Hi.

Sindi:
(sits down) Have you been crying?

Adam:
(nods) I know, boys don't cry. But this is just...

Sindi:
It's okay. Did you just see her or something?

Adam:
No, I was just thinking about the last time I talked to her, a couple days ago. Just depressed me all over again. I've been trying to write some songs or do something with the way I feel but... it's just too much, you know?

Sindi:
Do you still think it could work?

Adam:
I don't know, I hope so. You didn't just want to see me to tell me that it won't, did you?

Sindi:
No. I just wanted to make sure you're okay. I haven't really gotten to see you at all since... well, last time.

Adam:
Well, I appreciate the thought. (pause) Yeah, I'm sorry I missed you at the club last week. Then again, with how things went between me and Karla that night, maybe it was for the best. Still though, I was surprised you left so early. What happened?

Sindi:
I don't know, I just wasn't feeling well. (Gelal is outside the window.)

Adam:
That's too bad. I heard Cai wasn't feeling well either.

Sindi:
Oh yeah? Did he drink too much or something?

Adam:
No. I heard that he had a flashback or some kind of psychotic episode. (shrugs) It's happened before. With all that acid he used to do, it's no wonder he has psychological problems. Other than being a compulsive prick, I mean.

Sindi:
He doesn't seem to like you and Karla much either.

Adam:
Well, you know how Cai is. He thinks he's entitled to all the girls. I always thought it was weird how many of them go for him. I always thought girls wanted monogamy...

Sindi:
I guess some girls do.

Adam:
Yeah, (getting choked) some do...

Sindi:
Adam, I have been thinking about what happened between us. I wanted to tell you, I'm sorry if I've pressured you in any way.

Adam:
No, I take responsibility for that. I've been a bastard. That's really all there is. It's gotta change if I want to make things work, that's for sure. I think it's really generous of her to give me another chance and I'm grateful.

Sindi:
I see. Well, like I said, I don't want to pressure you.

Adam:
Yeah, I know. Um... (pause) Here's the thing though. Um. I think we're pretty clear that we can't be sleeping together... at least for awhile, or... well, really, we just shouldn't be. But um... there's another problem too.

Sindi:
What's that? (Gelal disappears)

Adam:
Well, Karla said that she doesn't think things will work out so long as I'm still talking to you.

Sindi:
So... what... you mean you're forbidden to have any contact with me at all?

Adam:
I guess. I mean, I really want to make things work.

Sindi:
Adam, are you just going to let her pick your friends for you?

Adam:
Well Sindi, that's just the thing. We're a little more than friends. So I think it's kind of understandable that she...

Sindi:
Yeah but... Adam, we don't have to sleep together. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like it when it happens, but you're my friend first. We can just hang out. Even if you don't want to talk to me at the club, I can understand. There's other places we can...

Adam:
Sindi, please - I'm having such a hard time getting everything straight in my head. Please don't make it harder.

Sindi:
So... it would be easier then, you think, if we just didn't see each other at all? Even as friends?

Adam:
I don't know. I don't know. I'm sorry... (gradually starts to get darker inside the cafe.)

Sindi:
Adam... look... it's not that I don't appreciate that you're in pain. I do feel for you. But really, neither of us has that many friends. I want to support you...

Adam:
I want you to support me too. But... (crying)

Sindi:
Adam... this... this is so sudden. Don't you think it might be good to take some time and think about... I mean... Adam... we've known each other for years! Ever since everything got fucked up between Esmerelda and I, you've practically been my only friend!

Adam:
Sindi... look... I already feel guilty enough without you saying stuff like that!

Sindi:
Well maybe you should feel guilty! You're going to turn your back on a close friend because of some insecure game-playing bitch?

Adam:
Don't start. I know you're jealous but...

Sindi:
I am not fucking jealous! God, does anybody ever listen to a thing I say! Adam, I don't want to be your girlfriend - that isn't the fucking point! I just want you to stop making yourself miserable! Hell - I want her to stop making herself miserable too!

Adam:
I don't know. Karla said once... us broken people have to stick together. She has some baggage. It's not all her fault. I have some too. I don't know - I don't know why I do the things I do sometimes. I'm sorry.

Sindi:
Yeah, but does that mean you're going to stay friends with me?

Adam:
Sindi, it's not like I hate you.

Sindi:
I know.

Adam:
But... I'm sorry... I've said this before, but I knew when I met her that it was true love. Sometimes there's just a voice inside that tells you so, you know? And right now, that voice is telling me that if I just try a little harder and show her that I'm not going to be a bastard anymore, everything will turn out okay.

Sindi:
A voice, huh... (noticeable deep shadows by now)

(Adam's cell phone rings. He answers.)

Adam:
Hello? Oh hi. Yeah... I'm, um, at home still. Almost ready to go out to the club. Yeah, I'll see you there soon. Uh huh. I love you too. Bye.

Sindi:
That was her, wasn't it?

Adam:
Yeah, it was. I'm sorry. I was about to tell you, I do have to get going, um, unfortunately. She wanted to go out tonight, and I couldn't say-- (He gets up. Sindi does likewise.)

Sindi:
Yeah, I understand. You don't have to explain it again.

Adam:
Are you mad at me?

Sindi:
Just a little, Adam. But I'm sure I'll get over it somehow. That's my problem, you see: I get over things that other girls don't. I'm not fragile and troubled enough to make people feel like I need them.

Adam:
Sindi, please don't be this way. I told you, I'm not trying to hurt you...

Sindi:
Yeah, and that makes it all better, I guess. Esmerelda said the same thing - everybody does! Nobody's trying to 'hurt anyone'. Everyone 'means well'. Poor innocent you. So what, if I get mad about this then I'm the bitch?

Adam:
Sindi, I don't know what to say. I told you I'm sorry...

Sindi:
You stab me in the back and you're fucking sorry? Great, that's just great! Go have fun at the club then - you're not the villain!

Adam:
What's that supposed to mean? Are you saying I am? I don't need that right now, Sindi! Fuck, and you say I'm being a bad friend...

Sindi:
I guess the truth hurts, Adam.

Adam:
Fine. (starts to get choked again) So much for that then... (He runs out of the cafe.)

Sindi:
Adam! Wait!

(Gelal emerges from out of the shadows inside the cafe. Sindi doesn't see him at first. He follows her out into the street. As he closes the distance, she does see him and stops.)

Sindi:
Please... I can't handle this now...

Gelal:
You can hate me if you like. My kind pull the strings to help create the sad puppet show of human interaction that so torments you. You have every right to wish me ill.

Sindi:
Have you considered getting psychological help for these delusi-- (she stops herself)

Gelal:
Ah. So you still haven't called the police. Good. You wouldn't want them thinking you're crazy, on top of all the other problems you seem to have.

Sindi:
(sighs) Okay... let's say, for the sake of argument, that you are some kind of demon or whatever it is you're implying. What do you want with me? I mean, am I going to hell or something? 'Cause I can think of a few more deserving people just now...

(Catty Goth and Gothboy walk by)

Gelal:
Is that hatred that you feel then?

Sindi:
Right now, yeah, maybe it is! So what? Is it wrong to have feelings?

Catty:
Oh my God, she's freaking out again.

Gothboy:
Come on, let's go - I'm sure it's nothing that serious.

Gelal:
(shakes his head.) Yours are amongst the most natural I've seen. The most honest. There are very, very few like you - especially these days, amongst your peers. As I've said, you're alone. (He steps forward. She steps back.)

Sindi:
I... well, if you're so evil, what do you care?

Gelal:
Sindi, you're tired of all the weak-willed dissembling and casual failings, aren't you? How do you think I feel then, having watched and encouraged all of this dysfunctional behavior for thousands of years?

Sindi:
Thousands of years, huh?

Gelal:
(advances throughout) I am sick to death of lovers' self-inflicted sorrows, friends thoughtlessly discarded, and all other forms of petty, unwitting betrayal. While all of it constitutes suffering, to my mind it lacks the malice that defines true evil. It no longer amuses me to manipulate people and watch them inflict unintentional torment on each other. Sindi, you deserve better than these anguished whimpers of dismay. You deserve unapologetic terror.

Sindi:
G-go to hell! (Gelal laughs) Get away from me!

Gelal:
(corners her) Every time they betray you, Sindi, they weep and wring their hands even as they throw you away like trash. But I do not tremble, or hesitate I shed no tears. And I would not just throw you away. (very close now. Takes off his gloves.) Not until I had hollowed you out beyond any possibility of recognition or recovery. I would be your savior from small, banal sorrows: nothing less than the complete violation of your heart, mind and body would satisfy me. I would be a rapist worthy of your hatred.

Sindi:
You're a fucking sick freak! Don't you dare touch me! (He reaches for her. They struggle. Enter Cai) Get the fuck away from me! Stop it!

Cai:
Hey, is everything okay back there? (starts to advance)

Sindi:
Help me! (Gelal catches hold of her, skin on skin as opposed to through her clothes. She screams.)

Gelal:
(He pins her against the wall and covers her mouth.) I can burn both your flesh and your mind with but the slightest touch. So just imagine how it would feel...

Cai:
(sees Sindi and Gelal) Hey, what the fuck do you think you're doing? Leave her alone! (Gelal turns and stares at him in disbelief) Yeah, you! Get away from her! (Cai moves to separate them. Gelal throws Sindi to the ground and tries to distance himself from Cai.)

Gelal:
You haven't been taking your medication, have you Cai?

Cai:
(pulls out a mirror, e.g. A compact.) I think you've had enough fun tonight, asshole. (He holds the mirror toward Gelal. He hisses, covers his face and vanishes. Cai goes to Sindi.) Sindi. Sindi, are you alright?

Sindi:
I... what's... w-what happened?

Cai:
Don't worry, you're safe. Can you walk?

Sindi:
I... I don't know... I feel like... like... oh... (starts crying)... he was inside my head! Oh God, what's wrong with me?

Cai:
Breathe deep, Sindi. He's gone now. (pulls out his cell phone)

Sindi:
How... how did you...?

Cai:
(on the phone) Hello? Yeah, it's me. Look, I'm not coming out tonight - I don't know why but I'm feeling kinda sketchy all of a sudden. I've gotta go home. Yeah. I'll see you soon though. Okay? Ha ha, yeah, don't get into any trouble without me. Bye.

Sindi:
Cai, Cai what's wrong with me, what's going on?

Cai:
Sssh. You'll be alright. Come on. You can come back to my place for now.

(He tries to help her up. She cries on his shoulder. blackout)

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