apartment 538

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The first day of a man's break-up is further complicated by the re-emergence of his ex's family


  • Apartment 538

    Marlon Charles

  • FADE IN.


    Its Christmas time, with decorations half-heartedly strewnacross ROBs mainly empty living room. The Christmas lightshang loosely on the wall, with several baubles laid outacross the table and couch alongside scattered layers oftinsel. A box full of decorations left sitting in the cornertell a tale of an abandoned decoration attempt.

    A KNOCK is heard on the door.

    The sound of a running tap is switched off and after a fewmoments, ROB emerges into the living room pulling a shirtover his vest as he walks to the door. He lets out a smallpuff of breath, to compose himself before he reaches to thedoor and opens it to find HANNAH. His face immediately dropsupon seeing her as she stands at his doorway, with a strapbag draped over her shoulder. He pauses and stares at herblankly before speaking; he doesnt hide his disappointment.


    HANNAHLoving the hesitation.

    ROBWhat are you do-

    HANNAHCan I come in?

    Rob hesitates again.

    ROB...yeah, sure.

    He stands aside to let her in and she walks past him,surveying the state of the room as she walks forward towardsthe counter. Rob, standing in place, closes the door behindher before he turns to face her.

    ROBListen if Jenny has anything say tome she can-

    HANNAHIm not here to pass anything on.



    ROBOh...Well I dont know what herversion of events were but-

    HANNAHIm not here to yell at you either.

    ROBOh. (pause) Well, thats both myspeeches really...

    Hannah turns to face him.

    HANNAHOh yay. Do I get my chance tospeak?

    ROB(signalling towards the door)

    Do you see why I hesitated.

    HANNAHIm here to collect Jennys things.

    ROBCollect Jennys things?


    ROBIs this something I should knowabout. Cause this feels like aconversation that shouldveinvolved me.

    HANNAH(looking around the roomagain)

    I think you had the conversation.

    Rob instinctively grabs a piece of tinsel off the floorafter seeing her spot it.

    ROBNo we had a conversation. But thisfeels like an extension of theconversation that didnt involveme.

    HANNAHIts her decision Rob.



    Rob moves across the floor picking up the left over tinselas he talks.

    ROBRight, yeah and two years doesntgive me a say in this decision.

    HANNAHOh personally, I think it does. Ifanything I think your say is whatled to this decision.

    ROBThank you Hannah.

    HANNAHWhat did you expect?

    He stops at the other end of the room and turns to face her.

    ROBOh, I dont know a phonecall,email, a tweet. Something nicerthan a proxy.

    HANNAHIm going to stop you and remindyou Im on her side.

    ROBAnd you came to that conclusionafter hearing both sides-


    ROBGreat, thanks.

    He throws the contents in his hands into the box before theyawkwardly spill out. He tries not to give her thesatisfaction of seeing his building frustration as he lookson dead ahead.

    HANNAHIll re-iterate that Im not hereto yell at you.

    He kneels over and begins to jam the content back into thebox.



    ROBYeah youre here to collect herstuff.

    HANNAHBack on track.

    ROBWhat does she want?

    HANNAHJust a few things she wants back,you know to live and stuff.

    ROBWheres she living?

    HANNAHShes staying with me.

    He stops again and turns to face her.

    ROBShes staying at your house?


    ROBYour house with a telephone, thatshe couldve rang me from.

    Hannah idly moves over and begins to play with a bauble leftover on the counter.

    HANNAHAnd doors, windows, walls, I liketo think I have the entire set

    ROBHmmm right.


    Rob moves to his cabinet and leans on it.

    ROBWhat does she want?

    Hannah begins to list them across her hand.



    HANNAHShe wants her clothes.


    HANNAHHer ipod.


    HANNAHThe docks.


    HANNAHThe Wire boxset.


    HANNAHHer toothbrush.

    ROBThis could all have been done byphone.

    HANNAHShe was worried youd weasel out.

    ROBIs my dignity on that list?

    HANNAHYou really feel this strongly aboutkeeping her toothbrush?

    ROBNo, youre missing the - and forthe record. it started as mytoothbrush, then she moved in andit slowly transitioned into hers-


    ROBWhich incidentally is the story ofmy dignity.



    HANNAHIll tell her you want to keep thetoothbrush.

    ROBShe can have the toothbrush.

    HANNAHThis is a big win for dentalhygiene.

    ROBThank you for coming Hannah.

    Rob moves out of shot into his bathroom and Hannah walksforward remonstratively.

    HANNAHWhoa remember that part about mecollecting her stuff.

    ROBI can send it to you.

    He re-emerges again with a pair of socks in his hand.

    HANNAHSee, with the weaselling.

    ROBIm busy-okay, Ive got somewhereto be.

    HANNAHThen let me get the stuff and-

    ROBNo, Im leaving the house.

    HANNAHIm not going to rob you.

    The Christmas bauble from the counter is clearly missing.

    ROB(as he sits down on the couchand pulls on his socks)

    Dont take it personally. Im justone of those strange people whofeel strongly about not leavingother people alone in their house.



    HANNAHHmmm right.

    ROBYou can swing by tomorrow and youcan collect what you need. Im sureshe can go one day without mytoothbrush.

    HANNAHYouve just set back dentalhygiene.

    Hannah turns and moves and towards the door.

    ROBYou should be worried you know. Hertransition phase kicks in prettyearly.

    HANNAHYou keep goading me into this fightIm not here to have.

    ROBYou know what Id love, a reason.Or maybe just closure.

    HANNAH(turning to face him)

    Really? Again with this playing thevictim?

    ROBWas that another unbiasedconclusion?

    HANNAHI somehow feel like Im less biasedthan you on this.

    ROB(as he stands up and slightlyraises his voice)

    Is her talking to me too much toask for, to at least tell me thisto my face.


    At this moment in time, for her,yes.

    He begins to move away towards the bathroom.



    ROBOh wow, well Im so sorry shesgoing through such a difficultperiod. If theres anything I cando to help=

    HANNAHRob, youre dangerously close topushing it-

    ROB(stops in place to fully faceher)

    All I want. All Im asking for, isone conversation, closure, thatsit.

    HANNAHWell, as seems to be the case withher toothbrush, I guess we cantall have what we want.


    HANNAHLook Rob, you want advice. Dealwith it. We all make mistakes, itsup to us to find out how to livewith them.

    ROBWow, well thank you Hannah.

    HANNAHAnytime. Except you know, any othertime.


    He moves again towards the bathroom.

    HANNAHTomorrow then?

    ROB(stops once again)

    Tomorrow you can collect everythingyou need.



    HANNAHWhat time?

    ROBCouldnt care less, any time youfeel like-


    ROBSix, p.m. Im busy in the a.m.

    HANNAHIm sure you are. See you then.


    Hannah walks up towards the door and opens it before sheturns once more to face him.

    HANNAHBy the way. You know shes notleaving you because youre anasshole.

    ROBThats.....a relief?

    HANNAHShes leaving you because youreokay with being an asshole.

    ROBThank you Hannah. Ill keep that inmind.


    Hannah walks out the door and leaves.

    He waits a few moments before he walks back into thebathroom.

    CUT TO:

  • 10.


    Another loud knock on the door leads Rob to once againemerge into the room, this time more dressed and prepared,with a shirt with a tie hanging loosely around his neck andsmart shoes on. Another loud knock of impatience is heard.

    ROB(mostly to himself)

    Jesus, Im coming.

    He opens it to find JULIE standing at the door. His faceimmediately drops.

    ROBYouve got to be kidding me.

    JULIEIll thank you to greet me betterthan that.

    ROBLook Julie, Hannah already swung byto collect her stuff.

    JULIEIm not here to collect anything.Im here to yell at you.


    Im not going to let you in.

    Julie barges in past him and walks to his living room.

    JULIEIll also thank you to be better tomy daughters

    Rob rolls his eyes and curses under his breath as he closesthe door before turning to face her.

    ROBListen Mrs. Jackson.

    Julie walks around the room kicking the strings of tinselaround the room further dishevelling it as she does so,surveying the room judgmentally.

    JULIEWas I done yelling?


  • CONTINUED: 11.

    ROBAnd why is no one interested in myside of the story?

    JULIE(stops to face him angrily)

    Do not. Play, the victim.

    He stops mid-thought and takes a second to recompose himselfas she walks around again, this time to a picture frame.

    ROBIm not interested in playing thevictim, Im interested in gettingmy side heard.

    JULIE(as she picks up the frame)

    What goods that going to do you?

    ROBWell it stops you making me looklike the asshole for one thing.

    JULIE(stops and turns to face him)

    Did you give Hannah her things?


    JULIEWhy not?

    ROBIt was-