Transcripts

Season 1

For season 1 transcripts, please go HERE.

Season 2

Transcripts and PDFs will become available as episodes release.

Episode 1: Kirsten – Age 21 – Gothenburg – January 1976
Episode 2: Maia – Age 25 – Kuala Lumpur – February 1995
Episode 3: Johnno – Age 32 – London – March 2002
Episode 4: Emma – Age 35 – Cardiff – April 2012
Episode 5: Katarina – Age 35 – Boston – May 2011
Episode 6: Rachel – Age 32 – Trollhättan – June 2003
Episode 7: Tammi – Age 19 – Paris – July 2018
Episode 8: Claire – Age 34 – Edinburgh – August 2006
Episode 9: Shirin – Age 27 – New York – September 2001
Episode 10: Bri – Age 29 – Auckland – October 2008
Episode 11: Jess – Age 45 – Delgany – November 2019
Episode 12: Olivia – Age 21 – Birmingham – December 2021

Episode 1: Kirsten – Age 21 – Gothenburg – January 1976

Scene 1.0

DIRECTOR

Places, please. We’ll try again everyone. Right. Whenever you’re ready – Take 2.

(MUSIC “Welcome to the Year 2000”)

NARRATOR

Episode 1. Welcome to the year 1976. January. Gothenburg, Sweden. Kirsten is 21 years old.

Scene 1.1

(INT. bar, 1970s lounge music, crowd speaking Swedish. KIRSTEN and MANIKA are drinking wine. Both are slightly drunk, and in the middle of a friendly argument.)

KIRSTEN

-but Manika, we cannot accept the way women are still ignored for promotions and kept out of board rooms all while being paid much less than their male peers! The workplace is not equal, it is better than it was but there is still such a long way to go.

MANIKA

I agree, Kirsten! But I don’t see how quotas are the way to go – how are women ever to be taken seriously if we have not earned our positions?

KIRSTEN

But we are not given a chance to earn our positions – don’t you see? It’s as though men are on quota now, and have been for hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Quotas are a way of evening things out so that we *can* earn our positions. Do you want our daughters, our daughters’ daughters to have to deal with this shit?

MANIKA

No, of course not. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing I was quota:d into a position, that’s all. (lights cigarette, smokes)

KIRSTEN

(sobers slightly) That’s fair. I’m not sure I would either. But I believe in the principle. (sips wine) Maybe we should all go on strike like the women in Iceland?

MANIKA

(laughs) Maybe! Though not sure students striking for one day would accomplish anything. We’d only have to catch up on everything afterwards. (smokes)

KIRSTEN

(sighs) Yeah. And all the boys in our year would get ahead. As usual.

MANIKA

Yeah, we’d be the only two on strike… Ugh.

KIRSTEN

Did you get the “mekanik-tenta” back yet?

MANIKA

Yeah. (smokes) Barely scraped by. You?

KIRSTEN

Same. At least we passed! More wine to celebrate?

MANIKA

Absolutely!

(BOTH get up from high metal bar stools, MANIKA takes a final puff and puts out cigarette)

KIRSTEN

Oh! I need to pee, sorry! You wanna get the wine?

MANIKA

Sure. Red?

KIRSTEN

Yes please.

MANIKA

On it.

(Footsteps in two directions. We follow KIRSTEN. Music gets more distant.)

KIRSTEN

(hums ‘Una Paloma Blanca’ as she walks, bumps in to someone) Oh, sorry!

INGA-LISA

(casual, in Swedish) Ursäkta, förlåt!

KIRSTEN

(in Danish) Undskyld- (suddenly feels dizzy) Whoa.(staggers a little)

INGA-LISA

(concerned, in Swedish) Är allt OK? Ska jag- OJ! (catches KIRSTEN) Du ska nog sitta ner. (helps KIRSTEN to bench)

KIRSTEN

(dazed, in Danish) Whoa. Tack. Jag vet inte vad som hände.

INGA-LISA

(in Swedish) Ska jag hämta nån?

KIRSTEN

(feeling better, in Danish) Nej, det är OK. Bättre nu. (smiles) Tack.

INGA-LISA

(smiles, in Swedish) Säkert?

KIRSTEN

(stands up, in Danish) Ja. Tusind tack.

INGA-LISA

(in Swedish) OK. Ta det lugnt.

KIRSTEN

(smiles, in Danish) I lige måde. (starts walking. Mutters to herself) What *was* that. I’m not that drunk.

(opens door to bathroom with several cubicles. Slight echo and music further distanced. KIRSTEN stops by the mirror.)

KIRSTEN

(hums ‘Una Paloma Blanca’ again, turns on tap, splashes water on face, suddenly dizzy again, in Danish) Whoa. Va fan? (suddenly realizes she could be pregnant) Vänta… Idag är den tredje, när… December… Nej, November! Två… tre… fyra…(in shock) HELVETE! (slaps hand on wall) Aj! (rapid breathing, slides down and sits on floor, breathing quiets)

(door opens, MANIKA enters)

MANIKA

Kirsten? (sees KIRSTEN, quick footsteps, bends down, worried) What happened? Are you OK?

KIRSTEN

I’m… (can’t get the words out)

MANIKA

(sits on floor beside KIRSTEN, really scared now) Darling, come here, did someone hurt you?

KIRSTEN

No. I’m… Oh Manika I think I… I might be… pregnant.

MANIKA

(disbelieving sound) Really? (a little relieved) I though you’d been hit or something.

KIRSTEN

Feels like I’ve been hit by something.

MANIKA

Of course you do. But… who?

KIRSTEN

Bengt. In December, before he left for Afghanistan.

MANIKA

Oh. Guess I didn’t realize…

KIRSTEN

It was nothing special. You know.

MANIKA

(gently) I know. So… what are you going to do?

KIRSTEN

(quietly) I don’t know.

MANIKA

OK. (beat) You don’t have to know right now. And it could still be a false alarm.

KIRSTEN

Yeah. It could. Have to see a doctor, I suppose.

MANIKA

You do. First thing Monday.

KIRSTEN

Yeah. (beat, small voice) I’m scared.

(Fade out)

Scene 1.2

(INT. small student room, carpeted floor, daytime, MANIKA is typing a paper on a typewriter, knock on door.)

MANIKA

Yes?

KIRSTEN

It’s Kirsten. Can I come in?

MANIKA

Of course!

(door opens, KIRSTEN comes in)

KIRSTEN

You busy?

MANIKA

It’s fine, it’s just the thermodynamics assignment, it’s not due ‘til Friday.

KIRSTEN

(sits down on bed) Ugh. I haven’t even started mine. Other things on my mind…

MANIKA

Of course. How did it go?

KIRSTEN

All right.

MANIKA

So you *are* pregnant.

KIRSTEN

Yes. As far as she could tell. It’s never completely certain, apparently.

MANIKA

All right.

KIRSTEN

She brought up abortion.

MANIKA

Yeah. How do you feel about that?

KIRSTEN

Remember how happy we were last year when it became legal?

MANIKA

Yeah.

KIRSTEN

I’m really glad it’s an option now. But I’m not a teenager anymore. I need to think this through.

MANIKA

When do you need to decide?

KIRSTEN

Within the next six weeks or so. But sooner is better, she said.

MANIKA

(trying to stay neutral) Big decision.

KIRSTEN

Oh yeah. (pause)

MANIKA

What about your education?

KIRSTEN

I don’t know. I’d need to skip a term, maybe? Or two?

MANIKA

You’ve always been so ambitious.

KIRSTEN

I know. I still am. But I don’t want to make this decision lightly.

MANIKA

I get that. But… this will change… well, a lot of things.

KIRSTEN

Yes. And no. I mean, of course it will, but also… I’ve met many mothers in the Forum, and they seem to manage fine.

MANIKA

Of course. (beat) You still scared?

KIRSTEN

(emotional) Oh yeah. But not… I think if I decide to do this, I think… I will be OK.

MANIKA

Oh I’m sure you will but… (gently) I’m worried you’ll get stuck.

KIRSTEN

(surprised) Stuck how?

MANIKA

Stuck in… being a mum I suppose. That you’ll- that you won’t finish your degree, won’t be an engineer, won’t do all the things-

KIRSTEN

(interrupts, passionate) But of course I will! That’s the whole point! Women today – we can do everything, *have* everything. I can have this baby *and* a career.

MANIKA

Don’t you worry that you’ll-

KIRSTEN

(interrupts) That I’ll what?

MANIKA

That you’ll change your mind? That if you have a baby your priorities will change, *you* will change?

KIRSTEN

I… No. (hesitantly) I don’t.

MANIKA

(Grabs pack of cigarettes, gets one out, lights it, smokes) I’ve told you about my sister Parvani, right?

KIRSTEN

(distracted) Yeah, lives in Bristol. Married… Three kids, right?

MANIKA

Yeah. She used to be… She used to talk about her dreams and her goals all the time. I’m four years younger and I looked up to her so much. She inspired me, you know? I was this awkward teenager, good at maths but not much else, and she was great at… everything. (smokes) Brilliant at languages, social sciences, sports… Always had loads of friends. She talked about being a diplomat, maybe, or a lawyer. Used to tell me all about which schools she wanted to apply to, she planned to study in the US maybe, or try for Oxford or Cambridge… I think she could have had a chance at getting in, too. (smokes) But then she met Sanjay, and fell in love, and they got married when she was 19, and… She stopped talking about… It’s like there wasn’t room for *her* dreams anymore, it was all about the kids, or Sanjay, or the family… (sad) Parvani’s still encouraging when I talk about my ambitions, but it’s like she’s forgotten her own, you know? (smokes)

KIRSTEN

(taken aback) Oh. Yeah, that… Don’t want that to happen.

MANIKA

(smiles) Me neither. So keep that in mind, yeah? (smokes)

KIRSTEN

All right. I will.

MANIKA

(puts out cigarette) I look up to you too, you know.

KIRSTEN

(surprised) To me? (beat) Why?

MANIKA

You are always so… So strong and calm. Certain. All the guys in our year, whenever they try to explain things you already know, or confuse you with tech terms in Swedish, or treat you like ‘just’ a girl, you simply refuse to let them. You so clearly *belong* wherever you go, whatever you do. You make it look easy. Like that time when we were first-years and Lars-Åke slapped your butt. You just calmly *looked* at him and asked him why he did that. You didn’t say anything else, but it was as if the whole lecture hall just held its breath, and his face got redder and redder. And then he apologized.

KIRSTEN

(small laugh) He did. And never tried it again. We’re friends now. (beat) Thank you. I’m… Not always that calm on the inside, you know.

MANIKA

I know.

KIRSTEN

(worried smile) Especially not now.

MANIKA

Yeah. But you have time to think about it. What are you most worried about?

KIRSTEN

I… (pause) I was going to say something about being a single mother, but, you know, that part would probably be OK.

MANIKA

Will you try to contact Bengt?

KIRSTEN

I’ll try, but… He’ll be away until late summer, I think. Don’t really know how to get hold of him in Afghanistan.

MANIKA

No address or anything?

KIRSTEN

Nope. We weren’t- It wasn’t that kind of thing. I’ll talk to him when he gets home, I suppose.

MANIKA

That’s fair. So what *are* you worried about?

KIRSTEN

Practical things, mostly. Like, where would I live? Can’t stay in student housing with a baby!

MANIKA

No, that really wouldn’t work. Against the rules for one thing, and babies aren’t exactly sneaky and quiet.

KIRSTEN

(laugh-snort) Definitely not. And, how would I support us? Can I get paid maternity leave as a student?

MANIKA

I don’t know. Think it’s six months if you’re employed, but, who knows?

KIRSTEN

Yeah. Lots of things to figure out.

MANIKA

Anything else on the worry list?

KIRSTEN

Well… *If* I end up keeping the baby. Am not exactly looking forward to telling my parents.

MANIKA

Will they be angry?

KIRSTEN

Maybe. They’re quite old, and I’m an only child. They’ve always been quite… strict in their ways.

MANIKA

You think they’ll disapprove?

KIRSTEN

Probably. They grew up in the 20s and 30s. It was a very different time.

MANIKA

I can imagine. But if you decide to stay pregnant, you are going to have to tell them at some point. You’re going home to Aalborg this summer, right?

KIRSTEN

I am. If I’m pregnant at that point I’ll be *very* pregnant…

MANIKA

(gently) You will figure it out. And whatever you decide, I’ll help as much as I can.

KIRSTEN

Thank you. (stands up) I’d better get started on that thermodynamics thing.

MANIKA

All right. I’ll get back to work on mine. Dinner at seven?

KIRSTEN

Absolutely. (footsteps, door opens, typewriter starts up again.)

(Fade out)

Scene 1.3

(INT café, afternoon, moderately busy, Swedish voices in background. KIRSTEN and MANIKA are having coffee)

MANIKA

You are sure this is the right thing for you?

KIRSTEN

(smiles) Yes. I feel so much happier now that I’ve made up my mind. (sips coffee)

MANIKA

Good. I’m glad. So… have you told your parents yet?

KIRSTEN

No… Still dreading that part. (sighs) But they’re going to be grandparents, I’ll have to tell them sometime.

MANIKA

Maybe once you have a new place? (sips coffee)

KIRSTEN

Yeah. (beat) Yeah… Speaking of that, tell me about this friend of yours we’re meeting.

MANIKA

(grabs pack of cigarettes) More like friend of a friend. Dagur.(lights cigarette, breathes out smoke) I put the word out you were looking for somewhere, and Anna-Lisa knows him. He runs a ‘kollektiv’ in Haga somewhere, and they have a room open. He’s from Iceland. Artist, I think. I’ve only met him once. (smokes)

KIRSTEN

And he’s meeting us here? (sips coffee)

MANIKA

Yes. (beat) He said he’d meet us at three, so he’s a bit late. I’m sure he’ll be here soon.

(during previous, light bell sound as café front door opens, footsteps, DAGUR approaches)

DAGUR

(energetic, rushed, calls) Manika! Manika! Manika! (DAGUR kisses both MANIKA’s cheeks) So sorry I’m late, I mixed it all up completely (takes off jacket) you said Flygarns Haga on the phone and that’s what I wrote down but as I was heading out today today I was completely sure it was Smålands nation. So whenI got to Smålands at three and they were closed, of course, ‘cause it’s afternoon, and I was like “Why would she want to meet here, it’s closed!” and then I looked around for a phone box but as I was searching in my pocket for change (slight jingle of coins in pocket) I found the note and it of course said Flygarns so I walked as fast as I could and here I am! Brain spaz! (wide smile, quickly dumps bag and heavy jacket on chair) I’m getting a coffee, you want anything? (leaves before getting a response, footsteps)

DAGUR

(distant) (falsely confident in Swedish) Hej. Kaffe, tack?

WAITRESS

(distant, in Swedish) En kaffe… Vill du ha något annat?

DAGUR

(distant) Eh, sorry, excuse me?

WAITRESS

(distant) Anything else?

DAGUR

(distant) No, that’s all right. Sorry, still working on my Swedish! (laughs)

WAITRESS

(distant)(smiles) That’s all right. (pours coffee) Where are you from?

DAGUR

(distant) Iceland. The land of ice and fire. (smiles) And, you know, independent women.

WAITRESS

(distant) Oh yes, the women’s strike!

DAGUR

(distant) (smiles) That’s right. Good for them!

WAITRESS

(distant) Yes. Here’s your coffee. (places cup in saucer on counter)

KIRSTEN

Eh, so that must be-

MANIKA

DAGUR, yes. (smokes)

KIRSTEN

He’s…

MANIKA

(smiles) A lot. Heart’s in the right place though.

KIRSTEN

(a little dubious) Well, that’s the main thing I suppose.

DAGUR

(distant)(casual flirting) You could go on strike right now, you know – wanna take a walk with me?

WAITRESS

(distant)(smiles) Maybe another time. Looks like your friends are waiting.

DAGUR

(distant) Oh! Right, right, yeah. Catch you later!

(footsteps as DAGUR returns, sets coffee cup and saucer on table)

DAGUR

(to KIRSTEN) I’m so sorry! You must be Kirsten! (DAGUR bends down to kiss both cheeks, KIRSTEN makes confused laugh , DAGUR sits down while talking) Wonderful to meet you! Danish, eh? (falsely confident in Danish) Hvordan går det? (laughs) I love København! Tivoli, Kongens Have, such great beer! (chuckles) Oh the stories I could tell! A few years ago me and my friend Brynjar- No. That’s not why you’re here. Shame, it’s a great story! Maybe I’ll tell you later, eh? Now. Let me tell you about our place instead! Manika says you need somewhere to stay?

KIRSTEN

Yes. I do. But-

DAGUR

(warmly) There is room for you with us! You know that saying? (hesitates, tries to remember) Where there’s room in the heart, there is room for the butt! (laughs)

(MANIKA laughs, smokes, puts out cigarette)

KIRSTEN

(slightly confused laugh) Um, no, never heard that. But it-

DAGUR

You should, it’s Swedish! (thinks) Or is it German? Could be Dutch, maybe? One of those! (slight laugh)

KIRSTEN

OK. But it’s not just me, you see, its’-

DAGUR

Ah, you have a boyfriend? Girlfriend? Both? They can come, too!

KIRSTEN

No-

DAGUR

(so enthusiastic he doesn’t stop to listen) We have a big crib in Haga – Skolgatan – it’s on a demolition contract – is that how you say it? (attempts Swedish) Rivningskontrakt? Ah, you know what I mean! They want to tear it down, we want to keep living there. No demolition date set yet, so we should be fine for another few years. So far, so great, eh? Now there are eight of us, we share cooking and the household stuff, and we have a room available from the 25th – Anita is moving to Malmö, sadly, she’s a great artist, but she’s got a hotel job or something down there. It’s a pretty big room, before Anita we had a couple living there, and they certainly didn’t complain! (laughs) We don’t have many rules, we all just try to help out as best we can, it’s all a big friendly, relaxed group. Trying to be like a family, really. From each according to means, to each according to needs, that sort of thing, you know?

KIRSTEN

(finally gets a word in) Yes. That all sounds really good. But you see, I’m pregnant-

DAGUR

(joyful) Oh that is wonderful, congratulations! Ah, it would be so nice to have a baby in the house again! Inga-Lisa’s girl is a toddler now, very curious, wobbles around everywhere. Toddles around? (smiles) Both really! But there is something so soothing about tiny little babies, you know? Unless they’re screaming, but we can handle that too!

KIRSTEN

(very relieved) Are you sure? Won’t a baby disturb everyone?

DAGUR

Ah, we’re used to it. It’ll be fine. What is the baby’s birthday?

(MANIKA laughs slightly)

KIRSTEN

(laughs) September 1st, according to the doctor. If all goes well.

DAGUR

Oh, it will. I am sure. So what do you say. Want to join us?

KIRSTEN

I- I would. I think. Can I come visit?

DAGUR

Of course! How about this Friday? You can have dinner with us! I’m cooking, so dinner won’t be very good, but you can meet everyone, and see the room. Tell you what, come by at five and I can show you around before dinner. Sound good?

KIRSTEN

That sounds perfect. Thank you.

DAGUR

Don’t thank me, thank Manika! It’s all her doing.

MANIKA

I’m really glad this seems to be working out.

KIRSTEN

Me too. Thank you both so much.

DAGUR

Now, let me tell you all about that time I was locked into Kongens Have overnight-

(Fade out)

Scene 1.4

(INT. cluttered apartment with high ceilings and wood floors, KIRSTEN and DAGUR are walking around, opens door)

DAGUR

So through here is the kitchen, Inga-Lisa’s dyeing batik – say hello!

INGA-LISA

(distracted, wipes hands on towel, friendly) Hello! Nice to- Hm ! Haven’t we met somewhere?

KIRSTEN

Hello! Maybe, I think I recognize-

DAGUR

You know each other? That’s w onderful!

INGA-LISA

Not precisely… But I am sure we have met. I’m Inga-Lisa.

KIRSTEN

Kirsten. (realizes) At the bar – a few weeks ago – I fainted?

INGA-LISA

(in Swedish) Ja just det! (to DAGUR) Sorry Dagur! (to Kirsten) You all right now? I was a little bit worried about you.

KIRSTEN

Yes. I… Turns out I was pregnant.

INGA-LISA

Oh I had terrible dizzy spells when I was pregnant with Maria. (warmly) So we might have a baby in the house again? Oh, that would be just lovely.

KIRSTEN

(touched) You are all so kind.

DAGUR

I told, you, right? All a big family!

INGA-LISA

We are! (sound of pot boiling over, in Swedish) Helvete! Sorry, have to deal with this- (pot moved, stove knob turned, in Swedish) Aj!

DAGUR

Need help?

INGA-LISA

No, just have to- (sloshing of water)

DAGUR

Better give her some space. (starts walking)

INGA-LISA

(calls) Nice to meet you Kirsten!

KIRSTEN

(as they are walking away, calls) Nice to meet you too!

DAGUR

And here is the- (exclamation, almost stumbles over cat, cat meows) Oh, meet the cat. It’s her house, really, we’re all just lodgers.

KIRSTEN

(happy) Aw. Hi cat-

DAGUR

You like cats? (does not wait for response) I personally don’t, but she doesn’t really seem to care. Parks herself on my lap every night after dinner. She probably thinks I’m her sofa. (laughs) And here- (door opens quickly, exclaims) Oh! Careful with that door! This is Gunnar, he’s- (sound of rushed footsteps, surprised) off somewhere, apparently. O-kay. He’s probably late for his evening pottery class. Gunnar’s my partner, well one of my partners, he’s very nice when he’s not stressed, I promise. You’ll meet him later, I’m sure. And there’s the telephone if you need to make calls, see, there’s a little notebook beside it so we can all keep a log to split the bill. (stops, KIRSTEN also stops) And now, this, (opens door) this will be your room. What do you think?

KIRSTEN

(a few steps into room, beat) Yeah, this is… this is really nice. It’s big! (smiles, a little misty-eyed) I think I could live here.

DAGUR

Wonderful! I should go make dinner – you want to explore the rest of the crib om your own?

KIRSTEN

All right. Oh! Can I use the phone? I need to make a call. Home. To Denmark. I’ll log it, I promise.

DAGUR

Of course! Please make yourself at home. Welcome!

(DAGUR walks away)

KIRSTEN

(calls) Thank you so much.

DAGUR

(calls from distance, falsely confident in Danish) Det var så lidt!

KIRSTEN

(laughs a little, then lets out breath, lets down shoulders, mutters, relieved) Huh. (beat) All right. Here I go. Calling the parents. (footsteps to corridor outside room, sits down by phone, lifts receiver, calls 12 numbers on rotary dialer, the first is 0045, waits a little, in Danish) Mor! Det är Kirsten. Jag- Ja. Allt er godt. Du, jeg har noet jeg ska fortelle deg-

(Fade out)

Scene 1.5

NARRATOR

Thank you for listening to Y2K: Take 2. This episode was written, produced and directed by Karin Heimdahl. Our intro and outro music is created and recorded by Jake Haws, listen to his podcast “Making Music with Jake Haws” to hear more. This episode featured Charlotte Norup as Kirsten, Sravya Kidambi as Manika, Eyþór Viðarsson as Dagur, Sabina Renck as Inga-Lisa and Silja Lamhauge as the waitress. The drama school director was Sarah Golding, and the narrator Emma Laslett. For more information, please go to Y2Kpod.com or find us on social media @Y2Kpod If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon.com/Y2Kpod Please join us again next month when we meet Maia in 1995.

DIRECTOR

(claps hands) All right, thank you everyone. That’s a wrap for today!

(MUSIC “Welcome to the Year 2000” – instrumental)

Episode 2: Maia – age 25 – Kuala Lumpur – February 1995

Scene 2.0

DIRECTOR

Places, please. We’ll try again everyone. Right. Whenever you’re ready – Take 2.

(MUSIC “Welcome to the Year 2000”)

NARRATOR

Episode 2. Welcome to the year 1995. February. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Maia is 25 years old.

Scene 2.1

(INT. Art museum Kuala Lumpur, footsteps of MAIA and ANNISA echo on stone floor and voices approach.)

ANNISA

-last item in our Yong Mun Sen collection, we are very proud of this piece in particular. (beat) And over here is our Datuk Lat exhibit, which we have even had some international attention around. (BOTH stop) And that concludes the tour. Do you have any questions?

MAIA

(a little overwhelmed) It’s… it’s incredible. So much…

ANNISA

(pleased) I’m glad you think so. So you won’t be bored, staying here for a month, then?

MAIA

(slight laugh) Definitely not! So much to learn.

ANNISA

We’ve had quite a few students here over the years, I hope we will be able to facilitate your thesis project.

MAIA

I’m sure you will. (beat) Sorry, Annisa, guess I’m still a little dazed from the flight.

ANNISA

Of course. I’ll let you find your hostel and unpack. Come in tomorrow at 9 to meet the rest of the staff, and to get settled in. We usually all have lunch together on Thursdays, you’d be very welcome to join.

MAIA

Sure, thanks. (sight laugh) It’s not like I know anyone here, so I have absolutely zero plans. (smiles)

ANNISA

(slight laugh) Of course. If you like, you’d be most welcome to join us for dinner this Saturday?

MAIA

Thank you, I’d like that.

ANNISA

My sister and I live in Brickfields, if you go by bus it’s about half an hour – maybe forty minutes – from your hostel.

MAIA

Great – that gives me a chance to see the city.

ANNISA

We eat mostly vegetarian and some fish – is that OK for you? I could always order-

MAIA

No, no that’s great, I love vegetarian food. Thank you.

ANNISA

Perfect. Now, if you just come with me, Maia- (BOTH start walking away in opposite direction from where they came) you can pick up your things here, and we’ll get you…

(Fade out)

Scene 2:2

(INT. Apartment building hallway, MAIA’s footsteps. Rings doorbell. Footsteps in socks from inside apartment, door opens.)

ANNISA

Maia, welcome! Come in!

MAIA

(2-3 footsteps) Thank you. Sorry I’m so early, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t late.

ANNISA

No trouble at all, you are very welcome.

MAIA

(Sound of gift basket being handed over) For you, um, I didn’t know-

ANNISA

Oh wonderful, thank you!

MAIA

I’s just some Auckland delicacies. My mom reminded me to bring something, I would probably have forgotten.

ANNISA

That is lovely, and so thoughtful. (beat, clears throat) Could you please-?

MAIA

Oh! Sorry! Shoes. (takes off shoes and places by door) Not used to this yet.

ANNISA

No, Malaysia’s very different from the US I suppose.

MAIA

It is – though I live in New Zealand. Most don’t wear shoes indoors there either, but my family does.

ANNISA

Oh! I thought you were African American?

MAIA

I am! But we’ve lived in Auckland since I was 15.

ANNISA

Of course! (small embarrassed laugh) Sorry!Your accent confused me.

MAIA

(smiles) No worries, happens all the time.

ANNISA

Well, if you come through here… (footsteps from BOTH)

MAIA

(polite) You have a beautiful home.

ANNISA

(polite) Thank you. (sets down gift basket on kitchen counter, much more casual, off in other direction) Tee, our guest is here.

TIA

(calls from other room, preoccupied and a little annoyed) Coming!

ANNISA

(ignores TIA’s tone) My sister will join us soon. Would you like some cordial?

MAIA

Yes please.

ANNISA

(takes out pitcher from fridge, takes out glasses from cupboard, pours two glasses during following) It’s rose flavor, is that all right?

MAIA

Yes, perfect, thank you.

ANNSIA

Are you satisfied with your lodgings?

MAIA

(polite) Yes, my room’s great.

ANNISA

There are always new things to get used to when you travel. (hands over glass)

MAIA

Absolutely. (sip of drink, polite) So have you lived here long?

ANNISA

(beat) Almost two years by now. (sips, calls) Tee, you want some sirap?

TIA

(finishing up something, annoyed at the disturbance, calls from other room) No- Yes- In a minute, just let me finish this!

ANNISA

(calls, annoyed but trying to hide it) All right! (to MAIA) Please, sit down. (BOTH sit at, glasses clink on table, polite) We moved here from Kluang six years ago. I got a job at the museum, and my sister is a medical student. Our parents were worried, two girls living alone in the big city, but we’ve been fine. (sips)

MAIA

Is it far from (hesitates) Kluang- Kluong? I mean, are you far away from your family? (sips)

 ANNISA

Quite far. It’s about three hours by road – with traffic, easily four – so we don’t visit very often. How about you? Does your family live close by?

MAIA

They do – I’m lucky I guess. Or, my parents live in Auckland, but my grandparents and the rest of the family are in Ohio, so that’s really far away of course.

ANNISA

So do you visit often?

MAIA

When I can. We used to go once a year but now it’s more seldom. It’s quite a long way to travel!

ANNSIA

Of course. Do you live with your family?

MAIA

No, I live on my own. (doesn’t know what to say) I’m single, so it’s just me.

ANNISA

I’m single too. I like my independence.

MAIA

Yeah. Me too I suppose.

ANNISA

(not really listening) That’s nice. (calls) Tee?

TIA

(still finishing task, really annoyed now) I’m coming!

ANNISA

(to MAIA, polite) Sorry, would you excuse me?

MAIA

Of course. (sips cordial)

(ANNISA’s walks to other room, following conversation is muffled but audible)

ANNISA

(through gritted teeth, in Manglish) Eh, Hello? Tee ah. You’re being super rude to our guest.

TIA

(in Manglish) She was early. I have things to do!

ANNISA

(in Manglish) She is our guestlah, hello also you haven’t even said.

TIA

(sullenly, in Manglish) Fine. I will say hello. But after I need to come back and finish this lab report. Almost finish already.

ANNISA

(lets out breath, in Manglish) Thanks ok.

(Footsteps ANNISA and TIA)

TIA

(polite) Hello, I’m Tia.

MAIA

(gets up, a little awkward) Hello! Maia. That’s me. Yes. Sorry I was so early.

TIA

Nice to meet you. Now-

MAIA

(almost at same time) Nice to meet you- sorry.

TIA

I have to finish up a lab report.

MAIA

Of course. Sorry again.

TIA

It’s all right. See you soon.

(TIA leaves, footsteps, door closes firmly.)

ANNISA

Sorry about that. She’s stressed, heavy courseload. Please, sit.

(BOTH sit down, ANNISA sips drink)

MAIA

I can imagine. Studying medicine must be… can’t even imagine how tough it must be. (smiles)

ANNISA

Yes. She doesn’t mean to be rude, she just… she’s focused. Very good at getting things done, not always great at social niceties.

MAIA

Yeah. (sips) That makes sense. Good thing we’re all different, right?

ANNISA

(smiles, relaxes) True. (sips drink) So what did you think about the Ghani installation? I thought it could tie in with your thesis, with those big sweeping lines and the use of metal…

(Fade out)

Scene 2.3

(INT. Tia’s and Annisa’s apartment, later the same evening, after dinner. Soft background music? MAIA, TIA and ANNISA are all more relaxed.)

ANNISA

(laughing) -so then they said “All we wanted was some lemons!”

(MAIA and TIA laugh)

MAIA

Did they get their lemons in the end?

ANNISA

I don’t know, actually. (smiles) Never found out. (deep breath) I’d better clear the table. (gets up, MAIA and TIA both make attempts at getting up) No, no, you two sit.

MAIA

You sure?

ANNSIA

Small kitchen, only really room for one.

(Plates, glasses and serving dishes being cleared during following)

TIA

All right. Thanks Anni.

ANNISA

You need some downtime, Tee, you’ve been working very hard.

TIA

(affectionately) So have you.

ANNISA

(smiles) Well, this time it’s your turn to sit. (picks up plates, footsteps, faint sounds of water splashing as ANNISA washes dishes by hand, silence as both MAIA and TIA search for something to say.)

TIA (same time as MAIA)

So how did-

MAIA (same time as TIA)

So how is living with-

(BOTH laugh uncomfortably)

TIA

You first.

MAIA

No, you.

TIA

All right. (polite) How did you end up doing your thesis here?

MAIA

(sheepish) It… just happened, really. I’d love to say it’s because I was passionately interested in Malaysian art – and I am, now! – but I just wanted to do something different, so I applied for a scholarship, and this was one of the options. I’ve never been to Malaysia before.

TIA

So what do you think?

MAIA

(smiles) Well, I’ve mostly seen the airport and the museum so far, but everyone’s been really nice.

TIA

(gets interested and stops being polite) Nice? I’m sure they have. But, I mean… What do you really think? What is different, what is interesting, what is… I don’t know, disgusting and smelly and foreign and weird?

MAIA

(taken aback) I…

TIA

(intense) Don’t be polite. Come on.

MAIA

(smiles) The fabrics.

TIA

What about the fabrics?

MAIA

They’re so beautiful. The colors. The sheen. The batik patterns. Mostly the colors.

TIA

On clothes?

MAIA

Clothes sometimes but wall hangings and parasols and tablecloths and lanterns and… there’s just so much more fabric everywhere than I’m used to. So vibrant and tactile.

TIA

Huh. Never thought of that. You interested in fabric?

MAIA

Yes! A lot of my own art is textile.

TIA

Like what?

MAIA

Lately I’ve been really into exploring textile sculpture – making fabric sculptural without any wire or other support structure, it’s a challenge!

TIA

I can imagine. What else has struck you as different here?

MAIA

The crowds. Auckland is a big city, and of course it’s crowded. But… it never seems this crowded. (a little overwhelmed) On the way here… there were just people, everywhere.

TIA

Stressful?

MAIA

N- I mean, yeah. (relaxes shoulders, lets out breath) Stressful. Absolutely.

TIA

I think so too, and I’m used to it. Every day, going to and from university. And how about the traffic?

MAIA

(smiles) Well let’s just say I am very glad I do not have to drive here.

TIA

(smiles) Kuala Lumpur is famous for bad traffic. C’mon, what else?

MAIA

The food! There are just so *many* food smells everywhere, and they’re so strong, and they smell so interesting, and then when they all mix, sometimes… they smell not good… not good.

TIA

(laughs) There we go. Smells bad, right?

MAIA

Well I just…

TIA

You can say it!

MAIA

(smiles) Yup. Sometimes it does.

TIA

Yes! You re-

MAIA

But usually it smells delicious! It’s mainly when Durian’s involved that-

TIA

(exaggerated disappointed sound) You really are just…

MAIA

What?

TIA

(smiles) Annoyingly nice.

MAIA

(smiles) Really?

TIA

(smiles) Yes, really.

MAIA

(smiles) Hm. (breathes in as if to speak and then changes her mind. Smiles.) So… food.

TIA

(beat) Yes. What about food?

MAIA

You eat it, right?

TIA

(amused) I do. Also cook it, quite a lot.

MAIA

Even better.

TIA

Why?

MAIA

You like cooking?

TIA

Yes.

MAIA

(slightly nervous) You wanna teach me to make- (hesitates while trying to think of typical Malaysian food)

TIA

Nasi lemak? Absolutely.

MAIA

(the widest of smiles) You would?

TIA

(smiles) I would. How about Thursday night?

MAIA

I have absolutely no plans.

TIA

Perfect. Be here at seven?

MAIA

Wonderful. Though I might be early again.

TIA

(laughs) I will expect that this time!

(during previous, dishwashing sounds end in kitchen, footsteps, ANNISA enters)

ANNISA

So, how are you two getting on?

TIA

Very well.

ANNISA

(sits down) Oh good! You really weren’t very friendly earlier Tee.

TIA

Sorry about that.

MAIA

It’s fine. You were busy and I was early.

TIA

No, Anni’s right. I was rude. I didn’t mean to be. Sometimes… Sometimes I get so into what I am doing that I don’t really care about anything else.

ANNISA

(friendly teasing) Sometimes?

TIA

(laughs) All right, a lot of the time.

MAIA

(laughs) I get that way too. My friends at uni are always joking they can’t get a word out of me once I’ve started focusing on a project.

TIA

I can definitely relate! So, Anni, Maia’s coming over again on Thursday.

ANNISA

(surprised but pleased) Oh, how nice.

MAIA

Tia’s teaching me how to make Nasi- (hesitates)

TIA

Lemak! Maia’s into cooking.

ANNISA

Wonderful. I think I have a dinner engagement on Thursday, will you be all right without me? (grabs paper calendar, pages rustling)

TIA

Absolutely. We don’t need you.

ANNISA

Rude!

TIA

(smiles) That’s me!

ANNISA

(laughs, closes calendar) Well, seems I *am* busy Thursday night, so have fun without me!

TIA

Don’t worry, we will, Right Maia?

MAIA

For sure.

(Fade out)

Scene 2.4

(INT. Early evening. Apartment building hallway, MAIA walks up and rings doorbell. No response.)

MAIA

(calls) Tia? You there? (to herself) Well I *am* early again… (knocks on door, no response, to herself) Suppose I’ll wait. (pause)

(hurried footsteps, TIA approaches with bags of groceries)

TIA

(rushed) Oh, I’m so sorry, the lines at Jusco where so long today! (fishes out keys from purse, opens door) Come in, please!

MAIA

(smiles) No worries. I only had to wait a few minutes. And I was early again.

(BOTH take off shoes, go inside, TIA closes door, all during following.)

TIA

(rushed) I know, but I said I would expect that! Sorry! I usually enjoy grocery shopping but today I had a lecture running late and had to rush through it – but think I got everything. Come in, to the kitchen!

(BOTH head to kitchen, TIA starts unpacking groceries, some go on counter, some in cupboards or fridge, all during following)

MAIA

What can I do?

TIA

Have a seat for now. Don’t worry, I’ll put you to work in a minute.

MAIA

(sits down on kitchen chair) Counting on it.

TIA

(pauses her unpacking) You want a soft drink?

MAIA

Yes please.

TIA

(hands MAIA soft drink can, continues unpacking) Here you go.

MAIA

Thanks. (opens soft drink and sips)

TIA

(starts setting out mortar and pestle, pans, finishes half-way through MAIA’s next line) So what have you been doing your first week?

MAIA

Well, I’ve been to the National Museum and they gave me access to their textile archives, so I’ve spent a lot of time there researching. Also I’ve been to the Petronas Gallery and the Asian Arts Museum – there is so much to learn! And I’ve been helping set up the new Germaine Koh exhibit with Annisa – it’s incredible, it’s all about knits – I think her work will be central to my thesis. 

TIA

Sounds like you squeezed a lot in!

MAIA

Well, I only have a month here, I have to!

TIA

That makes sense. Right, let’s get cooking.

MAIA

(gets up and joins TIA at counter) OK, what do I do?

TIA

I’m putting you in charge of making sambal, see, there’s the recipe (slight paper rustle), I wrote it out in English for you. You can start with these chilis, then those.

MAIA

All right boss! (starts deseeding and chopping chilis)

TIA

(smiles) Am I too bossy?

MAIA

(smiles) Not at all. I have no clue what I’m doing, so orders are helpful! (starts chopping onions)

TIA

Good to know. (starts rinsing rice) Oh, pop those in the mortar and mash them up.

MAIA

OK. (starts mashing together sambal) So what do you do when you’re not studying?

TIA

Well, I do enjoy cooking. And baking. (adds rice to pot, measures water and coconut milk, adds lemongrass, pot starts to simmer)

MAIA

Me too! What’s your favorite thing to bake?

TIA

You’re going to laugh, but I love making American-style chocolate chip cookies. Found a recipe in a magazine when I was a teenager and taught myself how to make them.

MAIA

No arguments here! I love chocolate chip cookies! You make ‘em regular or double chocolate?

(From this point both lose interest in the cooking, it’s still going on but slower)

TIA

Regular I guess. Haven’t thought of changing the original recipe much. Sometimes I add nuts.

MAIA

Well you can’t really go wrong with cookies.

TIA

True. What do you bake?

MAIA

All sorts of things. I love making Lamingtons – you know those?

TIA

No, what are they?

MAIA

They’re kiwi I think – or maybe Australian? Either way, I learnt how to make them as a teenager, after we moved to Auckland. It’s sponge cake coated in chocolate and coconut flakes.

TIA

Oh, that sound delicious. Maybe you could teach me how to make them?

MAIA

I would love to. I… (beat) Are you… seeing anyone?

TIA

What- Oh, you mean (slight embarrassed laugh) dating. Um. No.

MAIA

(carefully) Me neither.

TIA

(really nervous) I never have. Seen anyone. I never figured out how. When all the other girls started having boyfriends I just… didn’t. I focused on school and thought it would happen, later, but it hasn’t. It’s like there is an invisible wall between me and… romance I suppose. And I want to get to the other side but I just don’t know how it all works. (embarrassed laugh) Wow. I’ve never told that to anyone before. I mean, I have friends, but just…

MAIA

(surprised, gently) Really? But you are amazing. How could… I am sure there must have been loads of people interested in you.

TIA

Not that I’ve noticed. Oh, sure, some boys have tried, but it’s the really obnoxious types that I don’t even want to *talk* to for longer than five minutes, so…

MAIA

(carefully) Only boys?

TIA

(confused) Yes. Why- Oh. (understands) OH. (very embarrassed laugh) I- I don’t know any girls who like girls.

MAIA

(gently) Well. You do now.

TIA

(surprised but intrigued) Right.

MAIA

You OK with that?

TIA

Yes. Of course. As long as you’re OK with me being… whatever it is I am.

MAIA

(smiles) I like whatever you are.

TIA

I like you too. (sharp intake of breath, hand to mouth) Can’t believe I said that.

MAIA

(smiles) Well. It was nice to hear. (beat) Wanna get back to cooking?

TIA

I think that would be best.

MAIA

All right. Is this sambal looking all right or should I go a bit longer?

TIA

(beat) A little longer I think.

MAIA

OK.

(They cook in silence for a little while, MAIA keeps making sambal, TIA fries peanuts in hot oil, takes them out, adds anchovies to pan.)

TIA

Maia?

MAIA

Yes?

TIA

(nervous but determined) You already know that I’m no good at this sort of thing. So I’m just going to ask. (beat) Were you flirting with me before?

MAIA

(beat) Yes. I was. I will stop if you want.

TIA

No! I- I really liked it. I like you. But I don’t- I have no idea how to- I’ve never been-

MAIA

That’s OK. We can flirt for a while and you can see how you like it.

TIA

(smiles) Yeah. That would be good.

MAIA

So… (joking) Do you come here often?

TIA

(laughs) That’s terrible!

(MAIA laughs)

(Fade out)

Scene 2.5

(INT. Art museum, late afternoon. Annisa’s office. MAIA is typing on a 90s laptop, ANNISA is doing paperwork.)

ANNISA

(orders some papers into a stack) Right. Inventory’s all done. How are you doing, Maia?

MAIA

(typing a few final words) And… there. I think I’m done for the day.

ANNISA

Good. It seems like you are moving along on your thesis.

MAIA

Yes, I’m getting there. And everyone’s been so helpful.

ANNISA

I’m glad. Any plans tonight?

MAIA

Tia’s picking me up in (beat to look at watch) ten minutes. We’re off to Central Market – I need to get some gifts to bring home, so far I’ve only been shopping for myself (slight laugh).

ANNISA

(smiles) Well, have a good time! (stands up, takes a few steps toward door during following)

MAIA

Thanks, we will! (picks up book, slight rustle of page)

ANNISA
(stops by door before opening it) Listen. Maia. (beat)

MAIA

(slightly distracted) Yes?

ANNISA

(hesitant) It seems like you and Tia have been spending quite a lot of time together. (beat)

MAIA

Yes, we have.

ANNISA
Excuse me, I don’t quite know how to ask this but- Are you- (starting over) Tia seems really happy, but I don’t want to pry, I-

MAIA

(gently) I think you’d better talk to Tia, don’t you?

ANNISA

You are right. Forgive me. It’s just… Tia can be naïve about some things. And… (quickly) Please be careful in public, all right? Don’t kiss or anything like that. It’s not safe. Even holding hands, with your short hair and everything… It could be a risk.

MAIA

(taken aback) I-

ANNISA
You don’t have to confirm or deny anything. I will talk to Tia. I only… I love my country, but in this matter… We have far to go. And I don’t want you to put yourselves at risk.

MAIA

(slowly) All right. Thank you.

ANNISA

See you tomorrow.

MAIA

Yeah. See you.

(ANNISA opens door, almost hits TIA, their conversation is slightly distant)

TIA

(exclaims, in Manglish) Eh, watch out!

ANNISA

(in Manglish) Sorry! (concerned) Alamak! You ok ah Tee?

TIA

(in Manglish) Ya, I’m ok, you scare(d) me, that’s all. You leaving?

ANNISA

(in Manglish) Yeah I’m going to meet Lili now. Anyway, Maia’s inside ya.

TIA

(in Manglish) Thanks! See you tonight.

ANNISA

(in Manglish) Bye! (calls, in English) Bye Maia! (footsteps, heading out)

MAIA

(calls) Bye, Annisa!

TIA

(walks into office, happy) Hi! Ready to go?

MAIA

Yeah, can we just- You wanna close the door?

TIA

Sure. (closes door, sits down) What?

MAIA

Annisa’s figured out what’s going on. With you and me.

TIA

Oh. Was she… How did she seem?

MAIA

Fine, I think. It was very brief. I told her to talk to you, and she agreed that was better.

TIA

(relieved but not surprised) Oh good. I’ve been wanting to tell her, I just didn’t know how to start.

MAIA

(smiles) Well now you don’t have to. I think she’ll bring it up.

TIA

(about to get up) OK.

MAIA

Wait, there’s something else. I think the reason she brought it up with me was concern over… well how others would react. Here, in Kuala Lumpur. She warned us not to even hold hands in public.

TIA

(slowly) Right… I haven’t… You make me so happy and I suppose I’ve been living in a bubble these past few weeks. A big shiny joyful glittery bubble… (sadly) Suppose it was bound to pop.

MAIA

(sadly) I don’t want you to feel like that!

TIA

Well, it was going to happen anyway. (thinking) And she is right. I just haven’t been thinking about it in relation to you and me. Us   kissing in public could be… People are awful. The laws are very strict. I haven’t been… haven’t been putting labels on us, but homosexuality is against the law.

MAIA

(shocked) Oh wow. I never realized that.

TIA

No. I suppose I never thought about it too much. It didn’t concern me, or anyone close to me. There have been many stories of atrocities, but most of them directed at gay men, not girls.

MAIA

Not sure I feel like a girl. But that is horrible.

TIA

Yeah. It really is. (beat, curious) What do you mean you don’t feel like a girl?

MAIA

I never really have. I know I look like a girl, and all my life everyone’s been telling me that’s what I am. But… I feel like… That’s not the right word, for me.

TIA

(interested) So do you feel like a boy, or a man?

MAIA

No. Well sometimes, and sometimes like a woman, too. But I feel like it’s all just… Like an itchy sweater that’s three sizes too small.

TIA

You feel constrained?

MAIA

Yes! Limited. Like people want to put me in a box and I don’t fit, but they keep jamming me back in. You know what I mean?

TIA

I can imagine. But I’ve never felt that way exactly. Maybe when the older generation try some nonsense about a woman’s place and are shocked that I am unmarried at 26.

MAIA
Yeah. That’s similar, I think. But at least there *is* a box labelled ‘medical student’ you can fit into. Not sure what label I’d have.

TIA

Maybe you’ll find it?

MAIA

(thoughtful) Yeah, maybe. I’ve never put these thoughts into words before.

TIA

I am honoured to hear them.

MAIA

(smiles) You are amazing. (quick kiss) Off to market?

TIA

Yes. (BOTH get up) And just so you know, I will be mentally holding your hand the whole way there.

(footsteps toward door)

MAIA

So will I!

(They open door, walk out, close door)

(Fade out)

Scene 2.6

(INT. TIA’s and ANNISA’s apartment. Afternoon. MAIA and TIA are watching TV.)

TIA

This is nice.

MAIA

It really is. But… (sighs) I think we’ve both been avoiding this. (mutes TV)

TIA

Can we avoid it a bit longer?

MAIA

Well, I’m leaving Sunday. And who knows when we’ll have the apartment to ourselves again.

TIA

You are right. I just don’t know what to say.

MAIA

Me neither.

TIA

All right. How about this. I don’t want this to end.

MAIA

That’s a very good start. I don’t either.

TIA

I want to be with you.

MAIA

And I want to be with you. So how can we make that happen?

TIA

Well, people have long-distance relationships, don’t they?

MAIA

They do. Maybe we start there?

TIA

Yes.

MAIA
I feel- I’ve never felt like this before, about anyone.

TIA

Well, you know I haven’t either.

MAIA

I know. But it’s only been what – three weeks? We can’t jump into deciding everything yet.

TIA

No. But we can still talk about the future. Doesn’t mean we’re setting things in stone.

MAIA

True. All right. Where do you see this going?

TIA

I think we could live happily ever after.

MAIA

I’d very much like that. But… where? How?

TIA

(sighs) Unless they change the laws here, this isn’t the place.

MAIA

No. You are probably right. Being an interracial lesbian couple is not going to be easy anywhere, but it’ll probably be less stressful where we’re not illegal.

TIA

Yeah. So. Auckland, maybe?

MAIA

Or I can move somewhere else?

TIA

Like where?

MAIA

I don’t know. Somewhere. Anywhere. Don’t want you to feel like you’re the only one who has to move.

TIA

I don’t mind. And your family is in Auckland, would be nice to have *someone’s* family nearby.

MAIA

All right. So the very tentative plan is Auckland. I *think* they would give you a work permit, there is always need of doctors.

TIA

Yeah. I have another year of medical school before I start my pre-clinical training. If you’re still putting up with me at that point, I’ll move.

MAIA

If you don’t get sick of me first.

TIA

(smiles) Somehow, I don’t think so.

(BOTH laugh small happy laughs)

(Fade out)

Scene 2.7

NARRATOR

Thank you for listening to Y2K: Take 2. This episode was written and directed by Karin Heimdahl with sound design by Tal Minear. Our intro and outro music is created and recorded by Jake Haws, listen to his podcast “Making Music with Jake Haws” to hear more. This episode featured Shekendra Morgan as Maia, Su Ling Chan as Annisa and Sam Yeow as Tia. The drama school director was Sarah Golding, and the narrator was Emma Laslett. For more information, please go to Y2Kpod.com or find us on social media @Y2Kpod If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon.com/Y2Kpod Please join us again next month when we meet Johnno in 2002.

DIRECTOR

(claps hands) All right, thank you everyone. That’s a wrap for today!

(MUSIC “Welcome to the Year 2000” – instrumental)

Episode 3: Johnno – age 32 – London – March 2002

Scene 3:0

KARIN

Hello everyone, Karin Heimdahl here, creator of Y2K. This is the Johnno episode, and for long-time listeners, it will come as no surprise that it needs a content warning. This time it is for emotional abuse, loud yelling and strong language. We have a resource page on the website, where we have tried to list as many hotlines and info-pages and support things we could find. So if you feel you need any resources like that, go to y2Kpod.com[slash]resources and hopefully you will find it there. Please take care of yourself, and if you need to, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

DIRECTOR

Places, please. We’ll try again everyone. Right. Whenever you’re ready – Take 2.

(MUSIC “Welcome to the Year 2000”)

NARRATOR

Episode 3. Welcome to the year 2002. March. London, England. Johnno is 32 years old.

Scene 3:1

(INT. London restaurant, early evening. Low background conversation. Soft music. Footsteps on carpet as waiter walks away.)

JOHNNO

(to JULIA, a little too loudly) He was a bit of a wanker, wasn’t he? As if I don’t know the difference between a Riesling and a Pinot Gris.

JULIA

(hushes him slightly) Well, you got what you wanted in the end.

JOHNNO

Yeah. That’s the main thing I suppose. (grabs wine glass) Cheers, sweetie! Happy six-month anniversary! (BOTH clink wine glasses and sip) Now, where was I before that waiter interrupted us?

JULIA

Um, you’d just described how they made it into the tunnels-

JOHNNO

(in better mood, a little louder than the environment requires)-Right, yes, so the whole thing explodes, but they just make it, and then they fight again, and the parents are killed, the bad guy socks it, and Arnold swoops up the kid and gets out of there, having saved the day. Great film.

JULIA

(smiles) Sounds exciting. (teasing) I thought you only liked indie films, sweetie?

JOHNNO

(slightly annoyed) I can enjoy an action film.

JULIA

(placating) I was only teasing.

JOHNNO

Well it wasn’t very funny.

JULIA

All right. (changes subject) The fish is good.

JOHNNO

Yeah. (petulant) They put too much chili on it though.

JULIA

I like it that way.

JOHNNO

(annoyed) I *don’t*.

JULIA

You could always send it back?

JOHNNO

No. Can’t be arsed. That waiter is a wanker. Never coming here again.

JULIA

I thought you liked the starter?

JOHNNO

It was all right. There are better restaurants.

JULIA

Yeah. (changes subject) So, today I think I finally figured out the theme for my showcase at ICA.

JOHNNO

Oh yeah? What’s it going to be?

JULIA

(passionate) I’ve been thinking a lot about birds in flight, that graceful movement, swooping, and dipping. I want to capture that.

JOHNNO

How’s that going to work on clothes?

JULIA

I’m thinking sweeping, flowy fabrics, and maybe I can create some original prints. I’d like to get some dancers instead of regular models, so they can really make the garments *move*. In my mind right now it is all in black and white, with a graphic feel, you now?

JOHNNO

(not that interested) Yeah, sounds good.

JULIA

(vaguely disappointed, searches for something else to say) You excited about the gig tonight?

JOHNNO

(happier) Yeah, should be good. Great venue, and the main band is fucking brilliant.

JULIA

(smiles) I’m really excited – can’t believe I haven’t been to one of your gigs yet, after six months!

JOHNNO

Yeah, well, took some time for the band to get going again after Dobb left. Hedge’s good, though. Bit full of himself, but all right.

JULIA

(slight laugh) They both have such funny names. They have to be nicknames, right?

JOHNNO

Yeah. Every musician’s got a nickname. The odder the better.

JULIA

So what’s yours?

JOHNNO

(vaguely offended) Well, Johnno.

JULIA

(laughs) ‘Course. No odder than that.

JOHNNO

Yeah. (beat)

JULIA

Anyway. I’m really looking forward to it.

JOHNNO

(smiles) Looking forward to having you there. You can be my groupie!

JULIA

(laughs) Absolutely!

JOHNNO

(kisses JULIA, she kisses back) Julia, my Julia… Well, if you’re really good, I’ll… (whispers the rest, about 15 words).

JULIA

(giggles, turned on) Johnno!

JOHNNO

Ah, you like it.

JULIA

(smiles) I do. And… (whispers the rest, about 10 words).

JOHNNO

(huskily) You are my kind of girl.

(They kiss again)

JOHNNO

So, do we have time for… (beat as he checks watch) Yes, if we’re quick. Let’s find somewhere private, yeah?

JULIA

(smiles, excited) Oh yeah.

JOHNNO

(calls) Could we have the bill please?

(They kiss again, JULIA giggles)

(Fade out)

Scene 3.2

(INT. London bus. Upper level, quite full. JOHNNO and JULIA walk quickly up the stairs, sit down, BOTH are out of breath and giggle a little.)

JULIA

(rushed but happy) Can’t believe we made it, that was some run!

JOHNNO

(elated) Well if you hadn’t distracted me we wouldn’t have taken so long.

JULIA

Or if *you* hadn’t distracted *me*! (happy laugh) Well, we made it, that’s the main thing! We’ll be right on time for your gig.

JOHNNO

(smiles) We will. You are extraordinary, you know that?

JULIA

(smiles) You’re quite something yourself.

(Quick kiss. Contented silence.)

JULIA

So I was talking to Chad the other day about the showcase, and he said he’s doing projected images during his show. Apparently he-

JOHNNO

(suspicious) Who’s Chad?

JULIA
Oh, he’s doing the showcase too, I met him last week.

JOHNNO

What kind of name is ‘Chad’?

JULIA

He’s American.

JOHNNO

Is he gay?

JULIA

I don’t know, that never came up.

JOHNNO

Like him, do you?

JULIA

Yes, I do. He’s funny and kind and he’s a great designer.

JOHNNO

Sounds like a wanker.

JULIA

Johnno! Be nice.

JOHNNO

(angry) You’re the one who started talking about some other bloke all of a sudden!

JULIA

What? Chad? Wait, are you jealous of Chad?

JOHNNO

(angry) Well you make me think I should be!

JULIA

Of course not. What? I can’t even talk about other men?

JOHNNO

I didn’t like *how* you talked about him.

JULIA

This is ridiculous, I’m not staying here (starts to get up).

JOHNNO

(grabs JULIA to make her stay, shouts) No! Don’t leave!

JULIA

(exclaims in pain) My arm! What are you doing?

JOHNNO

(tense) Sit down, everyone’s looking.

JULIA

(sits down) You hurt me.

JOHNNO

I didn’t mean to. You made me angry.

JULIA

Yeah. I noticed.

PASSENGER

(to JULIA) Are you all right, love?

JOHNNO

‘Course she is.

PASSENGER

I asked *her*. You all right?

JULIA

(beat) Yeah. (unhappy smile) Thanks.

PASSENGER

OK then. You take care, you hear?

JULIA

I will.

JOHNNO

C’mon, let’s go have fun at the gig, yeah?

JULIA

(doubtful) Yeah.

(BOTH get up)

(Fade out)

Scene 3.3

(INT. London pub, evening, plenty of people but not packed. Conversations all around, football match on TV in distance. Pub door opens, JULIA and JOHNNO enter.)

JULIA

(placating, a little fed up) -it all sounded good to me.

JOHNNO

(in a bad mood) It was shite. Whole thing was a bloody train wreck.

JULIA

(doesn’t know what to say) If you say so.

JOHNNO

(annoyed) What the hell? You’re supposed to- (realizes they’re in public, sullenly) Thought you said it sounded good.

JULIA

It did, to me. I didn’t hear anything wrong.

JOHNNO

Well, the amps were completely off. And the mix was all wonky – anyone could have heard that!

Listen, I- (interrupts herself, changes tactic) Why don’t you grab that booth and I’ll get the beer?

JOHNNO

Oh, all right. Guinness for me, yeah?

JULIA

Sure.

(JULIA walks away, we follow JOHNNO as he moves across the bar, gets bumped by passer-by)

JOHNNO

(mutters under breath) Excuse *you*. (beat) Wanker.

(Reaches booth, sits down. EMMA walks by, stops)

EMMA

(disbelief) Johnno?

JOHNNO

(surprised) Um, Emma?

EMMA

(wishes she could disappear) Hello.

JOHNNO

(gets up, moves to kiss EMMA’s cheek) Hi-

EMMA

(gut reaction, steps backward) No! I mean, hi, hello, handshake. Handshakes are good.

JOHNNO

(snorts) Oh, all right then. (beat) How are you? This isn’t your usual neck of the woods, is it?

EMMA

Good. I’m good. (beat) No. I mean. Friends. (gestures vaguely) Over there. Cinema. Monster’s Ball.

JOHNNO

Any good?

EMMA
Yeah, very good friends. Oh. Yeah. (Shaky breath) It was all right. How are you?

JOHNNO

Good. Yeah. Good. I-

JULIA

(footsteps, friendly) Oh hello. (sets two pint-glasses down on table) Have we met? I’m Julia.

EMMA

Emma. Nice to meet-

JOHNNO

Julia’s my girlfriend. (gives JULIA a quick kiss)

JULIA

(smiles) Fiancée, actually. Look!

EMMA

(stunned) Oh, right. Congratulations. That’s nice. (faintly) Very nice… ring.

JULIA

Thank you. We’ve only been together for six months, but he swept me off my feet, you know?

JOHNNO

Yes. You’re the girl for me.

EMMA

I should… I should get back to my friends. (beat, polite but slightly pitying) Nice to meet you, Julia.

JULIA

Likewise. (EMMA walks away, JOHNNO kisses JULIA again, they sit) So who was that?

JOHNNO

(in a better mood) Oh, friend of my ex.

JULIA

(surprised) Really? I thought she was off in Hollywood or something?

JOHNNO

(snorts) More like Canada or the like. Doesn’t mean her friends aren’t still here. (sips beer, spits out) What is this? I said Guinness!

JULIA

Sorry, no Guinness. The barman recommended that instead.

JOHNNO

Well what is it?

JULIA

I don’t know. Some other stout.

JOHNNO

Didn’t you ask?

JULIA

He said, but I forgot.

JOHNNO

(sighs) Very well, sweetheart. You do try. And at least you’re pretty. That dress looks great on you.

JULIA

(smiles) Thanks. Still can’t believe you found a vintage dress that fit me.

JOHNNO

Well, I-

JULIA

Sorry sweetie, off to the ladies. Be right back.

JOHNNO

All right. Don’t be long.

(JULIA gets up, quick kiss, footsteps. JOHNNO sips his beer. EMMA returns, decisive footsteps)

EMMA

(high energy, bundle of nerves) I just have to-

JOHNNO

(surprised) Emma! What are you-

EMMA

NO! You shut up and listen.

JOHNNO

What-

EMMA

(high energy, high emotion, controlled volume to avoid making too much of a scene) I said shut up! I’ve worked up the courage now and I am not leaving ‘til I’ve said it. (breathes in) You treated Kat like shit. You manipulated her, and lied to her, and tried to separate her from her friends, and her mother. (breathes in)

JULIA

 (comes back, sharp intake of breath) Wha- (stops to listen)

(EMMA and JOHNNO don’t notice JULIA)

JOHNNO

I don’t-

EMMA

You made Kat doubt *everything* about herself. You made her think she was mean, and self-centered, and not clever. You made her leave a job she enjoyed because *you* couldn’t control your jealousy. You crushed her and broke her and made her believe she was worthless, all so *you* could feel a little better about your disgusting self. (breathes in)

JOHNNO

I have no-

EMMA
And on top of all that, you fucking hit her, and you probably did worse things that she hasn’t told me about. You are a useless piece of garbage and you do not deserve Kat or any other partner. (beat) Have you told your fiancée what you did to Kat? What you did to Louise, and to probably whoever you were with before her? Does she know what you are? A vile, selfish monster. A man so weak he has to put others down to feel good about himself. You are a pathetic, whiny, useless excuse of a human being. Go fuck yourself Johnno – I hope I never see you again. (in Welsh) Twll dy ffycin’ din ti! (deep breath, football goal on TV in distance, many excited voices “GOAL”)

JOHNNO

I don’t speak French-

EMMA

Oh, and nice ring by the way. You couldn’t even bother to buy a new one? (turns to leave, spots JULIA, shocked) Oh. (to JULIA) Julia. I am so sorry. (walks away)

JOHNNO

I… (distracted) That was quick.

JULIA

(stunned) What… what…?

JOHNNO

I mean, you were quick. Back from the loo.

JULIA

Oh. Long queue. Not worth it. (shakes head) Never mind. What *was* that?

JOHNNO

I… She’s just drunk. You know. She’s Kat’s friend, Break-ups are always messy.

JULIA

That… that didn’t sound like…

JOHNNO

Emma always was a high-strung bitch. Tried to accuse my mate Simon of assault or something.

JULIA

(slowly, piecing it all together) Simon? I can imagine.

JOHNNO

Come on, let’s go home. Beer’s shite here anyway.

JULIA

(distracted, thinking) Yeah, all right. Let’s go.

(They gather their things, walk toward door, just as pub door opens there is another goal on TV. “GOAL” They walk through, door swings shut.)

(Fade out)

Scene 3:4

(INT. London bus. Late evening. Upper level, empty. JOHNNO and JULIA walk up the stairs, sit down. Silence.)

JOHNNO

Can you believe that? What a bitch. (silence) Emma always was loopy, but this takes the cake. Screaming at me in a bloody pub. Eh? Jules?

JULIA

(thinking) Why would she do that?

JOHNNO

Told you. She’s off her rocker. Always has been.

JULIA

All right, but… Some of what she said…

JOHNNO

(a little menacing) Yes?

JULIA

Some of what she said you did to… Kat… Some of that’s… (trails off into silence)

JOHNNO

What? What are you saying?

JULIA

I need to think about this.

JOHNNO

(angry) What? What’s there to fucking think about?

JULIA

(pause, quietly) Do you never do anything wrong?

JOHNNO

Course I do. Everyone does.

JULIA

OK, like what?

JOHNNO

Um… (lost for words)

JULIA

Yeah.

JOHNNO

(uncomfortable and aggressive) OK, I may not always have been the perfect boyfriend to my ex, but she wasn’t exactly girlfriend of the year either.

JULIA

So what did you do?

JOHNNO

(mutters) She had this way of making me so angry, it was always all about her.

JULIA

So what did *you* do?

JOHNNO

I… Let’s not talk about her anymore. She’s ancient history. It’s you and me now. And you… You are the best girlfriend I ever had. You are perfect.

JULIA

No. I’m not. No-one is.

JOHNNO

You are. (tries to kiss JULIA, she evades)

JULIA

Not right now, Johnno. Did you say the same thing to her?

JOHNNO

I…

JULIA

Johnno, did you… Was it true what Emma said? Did you hit your ex?

JOHNNO

(mutters) Not really. One time. Just a slap. I was angry.

JULIA

(feels like the world is falling apart but tries to keep it together) So you did hit her?

JOHNNO

Yeah. But she hit me too!

JULIA

OK, tell me about that.

JOHNNO

I was just sitting by my computer, we were talking, and all of a sudden she hit me on the back of the neck. I tell you, she was completely out of her mind…

JULIA

Right. And all the other things Emma said? You manipulated her and broke her down, was that true?

JOHNNO

Nah. Just some made-up shit. Girls always say a lot of crap after you’ve broken up.

JULIA

Do they? Or is it just *your* exes, Johnno?

JOHNNO

No, I…

JULIA

What will you say about me if we break up?

JOHNNO

We won’t break up. We’re great together.

JULIA

Are we?

JOHNNO

Oh, come on. You can’t let this… Julia, what are you saying?

JULIA

I’m not saying anything right now. I need to think, that’s all.

JOHNNO

Eh. Ignore them. You’re my sweetheart. Isn’t that enough? (quick peck)

JULIA

(quietly) I don’t know.

JOHNNO

(not listening) Almost home! C’mon! (gets up, starts going down the stairs; JULIA follows more slowly)

(Fade out)

Scene 3:5

(INT. JOHNNO’s apartment in Chalk Farm. JULIA is packing her clothes, walking back and forth between closet and duffel bag, folding and tucking. JOHNNO is sitting on the bed watching her.)

JOHNNO

(sulkily) I don’t want you to go, that’s all.

JULIA

Johnno, we’ve been over this so many times. I need a break. Going to stay with my parents for a few weeks will give me that. Plus I can work on my showcase designs without disturbing you.

JOHNNO

I like it when you’re home. With me.

JULIA

I know, and that’s nice, but I have to do this. For me.

JOHNNO

(annoyed) It’s all about you, isn’t it.

JULIA

Yes, this time it is about me.

JOHNNO

What about me? What about what I want, Julia?

JULIA

You will be fine. You have about a million things planned, it’s not like you’re going to sit here alone.

JOHNNO

No, but… I will miss you.

JULIA

I will miss you too. But we will be OK. (beat) It’s only two weeks.

JOHNNO

It will feel like an eternity.

JULIA

You’re a grown-up, you can handle it.

JOHNNO

(annoyed) Course I can.

JULIA

There you go. (tucks final piece of clothing in, zips up bag) Right. All packed. Time to go. (carries bag into hallway)

JOHNNO

(gets up, follows) Can’t we… Come here… (kisses JULIA) Sweetheart.

JULIA

(evasive) Bye, sweetie. Have a good time while I’m gone. (puts on jacket, starts putting on shoes but stops mid-way) Hang on. (goes quickly into bedroom again, we stay with JOHNNO)

JOHNNO

(calls) Forget something?

JULIA

(comes back out, resumes putting on shoes) Yeah. Mobile. Found it.

JOHNNO

Good. Call me when you arrive, yeah?

JULIA

I will. (quick kiss) Goodbye Johnno. (opens front door, steps out)

JOHNNO

Bye, sweetie. (door closes, mutters to himself) Right. What now… (walks slowly into bedroom; spots something on bed, exclaims) What? What’s that? (picks up small box, opens it) The ring… What? (snaps box shut, takes a few steps toward hallway, calls) Julia? Julia!  You (realizes) you  forgot… your… ring… Fuck. FUCK! (throws ring box in corner, punches wall)

(Fade out)

Scene 3:6

NARRATOR

Thank you for listening to Y2K: Take 2. This episode was written and directed by Karin Heimdahl with sound design by Tal Minear. Our intro and outro music is created and recorded by Jake Haws, listen to his podcast “Making Music with Jake Haws” to hear more. This episode featured Adam Blanford as Johnno, Gemma Sheldrick as Julia, Nerys Howell as Emma and Fiona Thraille as the passenger. The drama school director was Sarah Golding, and the narrator Emma Laslett. For more information, please go to Y2Kpod.com or find us on social media @Y2Kpod If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon.com/Y2Kpod Please join us again next month when we meet Emma in 2012.

DIRECTOR

(claps hands) All right, thank you everyone. That’s a wrap for today!

(MUSIC “Welcome to the Year 2000” – instrumental)