At Capacity--Scene 17: An awkward phone call

(Cassie is walking quickly across the stage, handbag over her shoulder, and she is being pursued by Marc, rolling a small suitcase behind him. It’s mid-morning.)

CASSIE (as she’s walking)
Forget it! Just forget it, OK?

MARC
Why are you being like this? I came one more time to try and--

CASSIE
Forget all that ever happened and just get out of here!

MARC
But—

CASSIE (turning to him)
I need to get to work to prep for the lunch shift and you need to catch your plane.

MARC
Why are you not returning my texts or calls?

CASSIE
Why do you think?

MARC
I don’t know.

CASSIE
Uh, I think her name is Sarah?

MARC
I told you that she doesn't—

CASSIE
I know what you told me.

MARC
So why don’t you just go with it?

CASSIE
“Just go with it?”  You want me to just go with it?

MARC
Yeah, that’s all between Sarah and I. I told you that it’s an open relationship and she’s fine with it.

CASSIE
Why am I supposed to believe that?

MARC
Why are you not supposed to believe it?

CASSIE
Because I don’t think that you’re telling me the truth.

MARC
Cassie—

CASSIE
Why should I believe that it's OK with this person that you’re in a relationship with?  Why should I believe that?

MARC
Because I don’t lie.

CASSIE
And I should just accept that?  I should just accept your word after—

MARC
After what?

CASSIE
After what?  After going back up to your room with Claire, for one.

MARC
Omigod, I told you that didn’t happen. She couldn’t manage it all and left.

CASSIE
But you were gonna go through with it.

MARC
Yes, I was!  Why are you such a prude about all of it?

CASSIE
I’m not being a prude! I’m just being realistic!

MARC
You're being a prude! Just because I'm comfortable in my own skin and I--

CASSIE
Why should I think that being with you would be any different than being with some other guy who’s getting into all these people’s pants?

MARC
Because I’m honest about it?

CASSIE
What?

MARC
Because I’m honest about it. Do you know anyone else who’s honest about what they want? Honest about how their relationship works? And it's not just about getting into someone's pants.

CASSIE
You think you’re being honest?

MARC
I don’t think I’m being honest, Cassie. I know I’m being honest.

(Cassie just looks at Marc. He looks back. Then he takes his phone out of pocket and holds it out to her.)

CASSIE
What?

MARC
Call her.

CASSIE
Call who?

MARC
Sarah.

CASSIE
I’m not calling Sarah.

MARC
Why not?  She’s happy to talk to you. 

CASSIE
You’re crazy. Now you’re trying to sabotage your relationship with her or you’re trying to hurt her or something. I'm not participating in that.

MARC
I told her all about you last night. She said she’s happy to talk with you.

CASSIE
You’re lying.

MARC
I’m not.

(Marc holds out the phone to her. Cassie looks at it.)

MARC
Why are you so afraid to find out that I’m not lying?

CASSIE
I’m not afraid, I’m just—

MARC
Or that the way that you think relationships work isn’t how they work for everybody?

CASSIE
I don’t think relationships work the same for everybody. I just don’t think that you can have a relationship where two people are open to having other people in their relationship.

MARC
Why not?

CASSIE
Because it doesn’t work.

MARC
Have you tried it?

CASSIE
No, but—

MARC
Then how do you know?

CASSIE
I JUST KNOW, OK?  I just know.

(Marc puts the phone back in his pocket.)

MARC
How?

CASSIE
Christ, would you just give it up?

MARC
How do you know?

CASSIE
Why can’t you just leave and get on your plane and go back to Sarah?

MARC
That’s not how I work. I don’t just walk away from things I want.

CASSIE
So you want me now? It makes me sound like some sort of object that you can purchase or something?

MARC
You will twist everything I say into something that makes me sound negative, but it’s not going to change how I feel. I’m way stronger than that.

(Cassie turns to walk away again.)

MARC
The least you can do is answer my question.

CASSIE (turning on him)
You wanna know how I know?

MARC
Yeah, I—

CASSIE
I know because my boyfriend was a complete prick when he found out I was pregnant with his baby and then he left me. Left me completely alone. No help. No attention. Then started dating another girl two months later. They're married now.  OK?  That's one reason how I know.

MARC
I don’t have to leave.

CASSIE
And Claire, that bitch of a teacher, she did nothing to help me when it happened. NOTHING. All she did was make life worse for me. Every chance she had she brought it up. In class. At National Honor Society meetings. To my mom during parent-teacher conferences. Everybody knew. I was showing, but she just kept bringing it up.

MARC
Claire is damaged beyond repair. You’re not.

CASSIE
You’ve known me for four days.

MARC
And?

CASSIE
You know nothing about me.

MARC
I know some things. And there are lots of things that I know that I like. 

CASSIE
I don’t trust you or anyone else at this point.

MARC
Now, I don’t believe that.

CASSIE
It’s true.

MARC
Do you trust your kid?

CASSIE
Leave her out of this.

MARC
Why?  It seems like a pretty important part of it.  Of you.

CASSIE
I don’t talk about her with anyone other than people who know me really well.

MARC
And?

(Cassie just looks at Marc.)

MARC

I’m not afraid of knowing you really well, and I’m not afraid of you knowing me. I’ve already told you a lot, shown you a lot.

(Cassie nods her head.)

MARC
And you seemed to like a lot of it.

(Cassie nods her head again.)

MARC
So?

(Marc holds out the phone to Cassie. She looks at him, turns away and scoffs, then looks back.)

CASSIE
Seriously?

(Marc just stands there with his hand outstretched.  Cassie looks at the phone again and takes it from his hand. She looks at the screen.)

CASSIE
Is this her number?

(Marc nods his head.)

CASSIE
I can’t believe I’m doing this.

MARC
She’s expecting the call.

(Cassie looks at the phone and looks at him.  She clicks the phone as if to dial the number.  She brings the phone to her ear.)

CASSIE (slightly surprised when someone picks up on the other end)
Hello?

(Lights fade out. End of scene.)

 

 

CASSIE (as she’s walking)
Forget it! Just forget it, OK?

 

MARC

Why are you being like this?

 

CASSIE

Forget all that ever happened and just get out of here!

 

MARC
But—

 

CASSIE (turning to him)

I need to get to work to prep for the lunch shift and you need to catch your plane.

 

MARC
Why are you not returning my texts or calls?

 

CASSIE
Why do you think?

 

MARC
I don’t know.

 

CASSIE
Uh, I think her name is Sarah?

 

MARC
I told you that—

 

CASSIE
I know what you told me.

 

MARC
So why don’t you just go with it?

 

CASSIE
“Just go with it?”  You want me to just go with it?

 

MARC
Yeah, that’s all between Sarah and I. I told you that it’s an open relationship and she’s fine with it.

 

CASSIE
Why am I supposed to believe that?

 

MARC
Why are you not supposed to believe it?

 

CASSIE
Because I don’t think that you’re telling me the truth.

 

MARC

Cassie—

 

CASSIE

Why should I believe that this is OK with this person that you’re in a relationship with?  Why should I believe that?

 

MARC
Because I don’t lie.

 

CASSIE
And I should just accept that?  I should just accept your word after—

 

MARC
After what?

 

CASSIE
After what?  After going back up to your room with Claire, for one.

 

MARC
Omigod, I told you that didn’t happen. She couldn’t manage it all and left.

 

CASSIE
But you were gonna go through with it.

 

MARC
Yes, I was!  Why are you such a prude about all of this?

 

CASSIE
I’m not being a prude! I’m just being realistic! Why should I think that being with you would be any different than being with some other guy who’s getting into all these people’s pants?

 

MARC
Because I’m honest about it?

 

CASSIE
What?

 

MARC
Because I’m honest about it. Do you know anyone else who’s honest about what they want? Honest about how their relationship works?

 

CASSIE

You think you’re being honest?

 

MARC
I don’t think I’m being honest, Cassie. I know I’m being honest.

 

(Cassie just looks at Marc. He looks back. Then he takes his phone out of pocket and holds it out to her.)

CASSIE
What?

MARC
Call her.

CASSIE
Call who?

MARC
Sarah.

CASSIE
I’m not calling Sarah.

MARC
Why not?  She’s happy to talk to you. 

CASSIE
You’re crazy. Now you’re trying to sabotage your relationship or you’re trying to hurt her or something.

MARC
I told her all about you last night. She said she’s happy to talk with you.

CASSIE
You’re lying.

MARC
I’m not.

(Marc holds out the phone to her. Cassie looks at it.)

MARC
Why are you so afraid to find out that I’m not lying?

CASSIE
I’m not afraid, I’m just—

MARC
Or that the way that you think relationships work isn’t how they work for everybody?

CASSIE
I don’t think relationships work the same way for everybody. I just don’t think that you can have a relationship where two people are open to having other people in the relationship.

MARC
Why not?

CASSIE
Because it doesn’t work.

MARC
Have you tried it?

CASSIE
No, but—

MARC
Then how do you know?

CASSIE
I JUST KNOW OK?  I just know.

(Marc puts the phone back in his pocket.)

MARC
How?

 

CASSIE
Christ, would you just give up?

 

MARC
How do you know?

 

CASSIE
Why can’t you just leave and get on your plane and go back to Sarah?

 

MARC
That’s not how I work. I don’t just walk away from things that I want.

 

CASSIE

So you want me now? It makes me sound like some sort of object that you can purchase or something?

 

MARC
You will twist everything I say into something that makes me sound negative, but it’s not going to change how I feel. I’m way stronger than that in my convictions.

 

(Cassie turns to walk away again.)

MARC
The least you can do is answer my question.

 

CASSIE (turning on him)
You wanna know how I know?

 

MARC
Yeah, I—

 

CASSIE
I know because my boyfriend was a complete prick when he found out I was pregnant with his baby and then he left.

 

MARC
I don’t have to leave.

 

CASSIE
And Claire, that bitch of a teacher, she did nothing to help me when it happened.  NOTHING.  All she did was make life worse for me. Every chance she had she brought it up. In class. At National Honor Society meetings. To my mom during parent-teacher conferences. Everybody knew. I was showing, but she just kept bringing it up.

 

MARC
Claire is damaged beyond repair. You’re not.

 

CASSIE
You’ve known me for four days.

 

MARC
And?

 

CASSIE
You know nothing about me.

 

MARC
I know some things. And there are lots of things that I know that I like. 

 

CASSIE

I don’t trust anyone.

 

MARC
Now, I don’t believe that.

 

CASSIE
It’s true.

 

MARC
Do you trust your kid?

 

CASSIE

Leave that out of this.

 

MARC
Why?  It seems like a pretty important part of it.  Of you.

 

CASSIE
I don’t talk about her with anyone other than people who know me really well.

 

MARC
And?

 

(Cassie just looks at Marc.)

MARC

I’m not afraid of knowing you really well, and I’m not afraid of you knowing me. I’ve already told you a lot, shown you a lot.

 

(Cassie nods her head.)

 

MARC
And you seemed to like a lot of it.

 

(Cassie nods her head again.)

MARC

So?

 

(Marc holds out the phone to Cassie. She looks at him, turns away and scoffs, then looks back.)

CASSIE
Seriously?

 

(Marc just stands there with his hand outstretched.  Cassie looks at the phone again and takes it from his hand. She looks at the screen.)

CASSIE
Is this her number?

 

(Marc nods his head.)

CASSIE
I can’t believe I’m doing this.

 

MARC
She’s expecting the call.

 

(Cassie looks at the phone and looks at him.  She clicks the phone as if to dial the number.  She brings the phone to her ear.)

 

CASSIE (slightly surprised when someone picks up on the other end)
Hello?

 

(Lights fade out. End of scene.)