The Hopeless Itch

Based on true story

FADE IN

INT. CRAIG’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

CRAIG

[takes bag out of freezer, puts food in pan, places pan in oven] I wish I had some noodles to go with these Steak Fingers.

[text notification]

CRAIG (CONT’D)

(mumble)

“I miss fighting with you too.”

Craig frowns and calls the number.

HOPE

Hello.

CRAIG

It’s been 3 weeks!

HOPE

Ugh.

CRAIG

You must be bored?

HOPE

[laughs] How’d you know?

CRAIG

Find some other guy to use for entertainment, okay!

HOPE

No, seriously, I wrote a reply the next day, but I forgot to press the send button.

CRAIG

How you forget to do something as natural as that?

HOPE

I was hesitant about letting you know I missed you back. I was still upset at that about that “What’s up my ass” text after I texted you what’s up when I woke up. I didn’t respond to your earlier texts that day because I was sleep. And I was just sitting here bored, and you crossed my mind. I was wondering why you haven’t bothered me in a while then I looked at our texts and saw the text I sent you today still saved in a draft.

CRAIG

I don’t believe you!

 HOPE

So, you don’t wanna be my friend?

CRAIG

Whatever!

HOPE

What you doing?

CRAIG

Cooking, but I’m thinking about turning off this oven and ordering a pizza.

HOPE

You gone invite your friend over?

CRAIG

Seriously?

HOPE

Yeah, we been talking for months and haven’t met yet. You flaked me out twice.

CRAIG

I did not flake you out either time. The first time I …

HOPE

Let’s forget the past. Let’s have a meet and greet. I haven’t eaten in all day and I’m starving.

CRAIG

(reluctantly)

Okay!

HOPE

What kind you getting?

CRAIG

Papa John’s.

HOPE

Oooh, my favorite.

CRAIG

What toppings you want?

HOPE

It don’t matter. Long as it don’t have nuts on it. I’m allergic.

CRAIG

I’m getting one called John’s Favorite. It got sausage, pepperoni, and 6 different cheeses.

HOPE

That sounds good to me!

CRAIG

Well, I need to clean up and take a shower.

HOPE

We ain’t finna fuck!

CRAIG

Wheet?! Umm … what does me taking a shower have to do with sex??? I been working all day and haven’t taken one since I been home.

HOPE

Well, I’m not gone get ready.

CRAIG

Umm … why?

HOPE

Until I know it’s real.

CRAIG

What’s real?

HOPE

Us meeting. I mean, you flaked me out twice.

CRAIG

I did not …

HOPE

Let’s not talk about the past!

CRAIG

How you gone know it’s real?

HOPE

When you text me your address?

CRAIG

Okay, I’ll be ready in 30 minutes.

Craig and Hope hang up. Craig takes shower. As he is cleaning the toilet, he thinks about Hope’s sex comment and becomes intensely offended.

CRAIG

[sends Hope text saying, “I don’t wanna fuck you. I’m not even attracted to you.”]

HOPE

[sends reply saying, “K.”]

As Craig is continuing to clean the toilet, the single letter reply text Hope sent starts bothering him intensely.

CRAIG

[calls Hope]

HOPE

Hello.

CRAIG

Look! Our first meeting should be in broad day and in public. Not 10:30 at night at my house. Because I don’t want you thinking I’m trying to fuck you!

HOPE

Craig, it was a joke!

CRAIG

Was it?

HOPE

Yesss. You need to loosen up! I know you’re not attracted to me. You remind me all the time. [laughs]

CRAIG

I still think we should meet in public, when the sun is out. This is short notice for me. I hate not having a plan.

HOPE

You know I’m a Gemini, right?

CRAIG

So am I.

HOPE

So you should know I’m not gone let you keep flaking me out and being cool about it.

CRAIG

(sighs)

Just grab a piece of paper and a pen so you can write down my address.

25 minutes later 

EXT. CRAIG’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

When Hope gets out her car Craig hugs her for 30 seconds. 

CRAIG

Let me show you some of our amenities. That’s our pool.

INT. CRAIG’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

CRAIG

You know what a laundry room looks like. But I ought to show you the FIXED washers and dryers in there.

HOPE

Finally! I remember you telling me about that.

CRAIG

Here’s our gym. I will be in here tomorrow after eating this Papa Johns.

HOPE

[laughs]

INT. STUDY ROOM – NIGHT

CRAIG

And here’s our study room. They just added this room. It’s mostly for parents to study without interruption from their kids.  This where we gone wait on our pizza at. Just talk before we go up to my apartment.

Hope puts her belongings on the first table near the entrance.

CRAIG

Oh no! We gone sit here at this table in the corner.

HOPE

Your pictures don’t do you justice!

CRAIG

What do you mean?

HOPE

You look better in person.

CRAIG

You saying my photography skills are bad?

HOPE

No, just some people aren’t picture perfect.

CRAIG

That’s my first time hearing that. I must say you are taller than I expected and don’t take this the wrong way but look like a mature 40-year-old woman.

HOPE

I’m 27 and it’s the glasses I got on. I’m blind. I can’t see with my peripherals. On the way … [jumps up and screams]

CRAIG

What’s wrong?

HOPE

A bug fell in my hair. [removes hairband and shakes braids]

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

CRAIG

Before we go in, I just wanna hug you again.

HOPE

Umm, okay.

CRAIG

I just want you to feel loved.

HOPE

Loved?

CRAIG

Yeah, because of that unattractive stuff. You look better in person too. And also because we haven’t really got along since we met. [laughs]

HOPE

You got that right.

Craig hugs Hope for 15 seconds, rubbing her arms and upper back.

INT. CRAIG’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

CRAIG

You ready to eat some pizza?

HOPE

Yes, I am starving. I almost ate a turkey sandwich because I thought you was gone flake on me. But I had some hope for you.

CRAIG

I love your name … NO! NO! NO! Those 4 are your slices!

HOPE

[laughs] You act like we got half and half different toppings. It’s all the same.

CRAIG

Yeah, I know, but I had them cut it and designate which ones was mines and which ones was yours.

HOPE

Okay, cool.

An hour passes. 

CRAIG

You been scratching all night. You okay?

HOPE

I’m itching. My arms and my nose. Is it red?

CRAIG

Yeah it is. I apologize. I was cleaning up before you got here. I only got to the toilet. Although, I knew you wasn’t gone take a bath over here I was cleaning the tub too. There’s still dirty dishes in the sink. Could it be dust?

HOPE

I don’t know. Maybe I’m allergic to you. [laughs]

CRAIG

[laughs] This is embarrassing. I wanted to have my apartment clean before you got here.

HOPE

It’s okay, because I’m a slob. When I lived by myself I had stuff everywhere. I wouldn’t wash my panties and bras until I was down to the last one.

CRAIG

I just wanted everything to be so presentable for you.

HOPE

It’s okay. You’re a bachelor. I don’t know what it is. The only thing I’m allergic to is nuts and the pizza doesn’t have any.

CRAIG

Of course, not!

HOPE

Well, I’m getting tired.

CRAIG

You want your other 3 slices of pizza.

HOPE

Nah.

CRAIG

Sure? You only ate one slice. You gone be hungry on your lunch-break at work.

HOPE

I don’t think I’m going. I’m starting to get a stomach ache.

CRAIG

Well, let me walk you down.

EXT. CRAIG’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

HOPE

Well I’m happy I finally got to meet you!

CRAIG

Me too! Give me a hug!

Craig and Hope hug, with Craig picking Hope up off her feet squeezing her.

CRAIG

Okay, you go this way to get out of here. I’ll meet you at the gate.

Craig walks over to the exit while Hope drives around the apartment complex to leave. When she meets him there she stops the car to say parting words.

CRAIG

You made it! Well it was nice …

Another car pulls in and Hope pulls Craig closer to her car through the driver side.

HOPE

You almost got hit by a car!

CRAIG

Oh, I thought you was giving me another hug.

HOPE

Nah. I was saving your life. [laughs]

CRAIG

Text me when you get home so I know you made it there safely.

INT. CRAIG’S APARTMENT- NIGHT

The camera shows a closed elevator door. A manic cackle is heard in the background. As the number above the elevator door go from 1 to 10 the laughter becomes louder. When the number reaches 11 the doors open. Craig is on his knees. As Craig is crawling to his apartment door, which he is unable to find because he can’t see due to the tears in his eyes from laughing, the scene cuts to a sequence of events that happened just moments before Craig and Hope met: Craig placing a roach on the wall in the study room; Craig rubbing itching powder on the sleeves of his jacket; Craig sprinkling small nuts on 4 slices of pizza before re-entering the study room with Hope.

FADE TO BLACK

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