The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 10

Scene 10: A paper chain is wrapped around Brisa and Owen’s balcony. Owen stands outside in his dress uniform, and he looks excited but nervous. Rob stands outside in a polo and nice slacks. Jessica and Drew are also dressed nice and are ready to take pictures on their phones. Nedra and Theo stand on their balconies ready to watch. Juniper has a laptop propped up on her balcony. Mendel comes out and starts flying his drone, centering it around Brisa and Owen’s apartment.

 

MENDEL: And we are rolling!

 

JESSICA: Cue music!

 

Juniper hits play on her laptop, and a wedding march plays. Brisa slowly walks onto her balcony in her wedding gown. Brisa and Owen then face Rob, who begins speaking when the music stops playing.

 

ROB: Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to join this man and this woman in marriage! The couple will now recite their vows to each other.

 

BRISA: Owen, my life wouldn’t be complete without you in it! You’re my rock, my soulmate, my everything! When the world seems dark and scary, you make it all seem lighter. When life gets crazy, you make me feel sane again. When I feel sad, you make me feel better with just your presence! I don’t know what I’d do without you! As your wife, I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you made me! I love you so much!

 

OWEN: When I first saw you, I thought you were too pretty to want anything to do with me! I had no idea your heart was just as beautiful as your looks! You got me through a really tough time, and although we didn’t meet under ideal circumstances, I’m so grateful that it helped me find you! We face another difficult situation, but there’s no one I’d rather go through this with! You’ve made me into a better person, and I can never thank you enough for that! I still can’t believe you’ve chosen me, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of our life holds for us!

 

ROB: You may now exchange the rings.

 

BRISA: Uh… They’re late in delivery.

 

OWEN: Here’s what they would’ve looked like.

 

Owen pulls out his cellphone and quickly pulls up an image of their order. He then sets it aside to continue the ceremony.

 

ROB: Well then, it’s my great privilege to now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the bride!

 

Owen and Brisa kiss, and everyone cheers. Mendel lands his drone, and Nedra pulls out a set of frosted cupcakes that are individually wrapped.

 

NEDRA: Okay, Juniper, I used your rice flour to make you and Mendel vanilla cupcakes. Everyone else is getting chocolate.

 

DREW: Sounds good to me!

 

Nedra pases out the cupcakes, and once everyone gets them, they wait to unwrap them until Brisa and Owen open theirs. They feed each other a bite, and then everyone else starts eating theirs. Carla comes out with a swaddled baby.

 

JUNIPER: Oh, hello dear!

 

JESSICA: Hey, Carla!

 

BRISA & OWEN: Hi!

 

NEDRA: What are you doing out of the hospital so soon?

 

CARLA: They were out of rooms, so I just promised I’d take it easy.

 

MENDEL: Who’s the newest member of Clearfront?

 

CARLA: Well, originally I was gonna name her after her daddy, but I decided I didn’t want her to be anything like him! So, her first and middle name went from Blake Finley to Jessica Drew!

 

Jessica and Drew both look surprised and touched.

 

JESSICA: Wow, I’m honored! I don’t know what to say!

 

DREW: I can’t believe it! I… Who wants a drink?

 

Everyone expresses interest in that. Drew passes out champagne glasses to everyone.

 

DREW: Okay, everyone except for Carla and Mendel, hold your glasses as close to my balcony as possible. Sorry, it won’t work with a balcony separating us.

 

Mendel and Carla don’t look offended. Everyone else holds their glasses close to Drew’s balcony. Drew pours champagne into each of their glasses with flair. They all applaud when he’s done. He passes the champagne to Jessica, who pours some for Mendel. Carla grabs the bottle and drinks straight from it.

 

CARLA: Yes! I needed this!

 

JESSICA: A toast to the happy couple!

 

EVERYONE BUT BRISA & OWEN: Here, here!

 

BRISA: Owen and I would like to make a toast to all of you for helping us out with our wedding! Especially you, Jessica! Without you, none of this would be possible!

 

JESSICA: Oh, I was happy to do it!

 

OWEN: Cheers to all of you!

 

BRISA: Here, here!

 

Brisa and Owen clink their glasses together and take a drink.

 

JUNIPER: Would you guys like me to play some music for your first dance?

 

BRISA: Nah. It would feel a little silly since no one else can do it. Well, I guess you guys could…

 

Brisa indicates to Theo and Nedra.

 

THEO: Nah, I’m good.

 

NEDRA: He’s not that good of a dancer.

 

THEO: I didn’t say I was a good dancer! I’m just good not dancing!

 

NEDRA: I knew what you meant! I was just making another point!

 

THEO: (to Brisa & Owen) This is your future, you know! After almost fifty years, you’ll turn into this!

 

OWEN: I can’t wait!

 

Brisa and Owen clink their glasses together again and give each other another kiss.

 

JUNIPER: So, that’s a no on the music then?

 

MENDEL: That’s a no. I think the cupcakes and champagne are the extent of their wedding traditions.

 

ROB: How about a wedding present?

 

Rob pulls out a gift bag. They open it to find toilet paper.

 

OWEN: Oh, heck yeah! I think I’m more excited for this than the gravy boat Brisa’s mom sent!

 

As they set it aside, Brisa notices her wedding bouquet on the ground.

 

BRISA: Oh, I know another tradition we can do! I can toss my flowers!

 

CARLA: Don’t you dare throw that to me! I don’t need another man in my life right now! You know, at first I was worried about doing this by myself, but I’m kinda liking the break, actually!

 

JUNIPER: I would also like to politely decline your flowers. I had a great romance once, and no one else can top it! The universe may change my mind one day with someone special, but until then, I would rather enjoy my life of singlehood.

 

Brisa shrugs and turns to Jessica.

 

BRISA: Here, catch!

 

Brisa throws the bouquet to Jessica, but she misses and it falls to the street. Brisa looks down and apologizes to someone on the street.

 

BRISA: Sorry!

 

Brisa turns to Jessica.

 

BRISA: Sorry!

 

OWEN: Don’t worry, I think she’ll do okay anyways!

 

He looks at Jessica and Drew and winks. Jessica grins and blushes.

 

DREW: So… Do you wanna go out sometime?

 

EVERYONE BUT DREW & JESSICA: Yes!

 

Drew and Jessica laugh.

 

JESSICA: I’d love to!

 

Drew smiles broadly. Carla’s baby starts crying.

 

CARLA: Sounds like someone is hungry!

 

THEO: Yeah, I’m starving!

 

Nedra shakes her head.

 

NEDRA: Are you sure you’re okay by yourself?

 

CARLA: I’ll be fine! If I need any help, I can always reach out to the Clearfront Balcony Club!

 

ROB: Absolutely!

 

Carla goes inside.

 

BRISA: The Clearfront Balcony Club… I love it!

 

JESSICA: Me too! I don’t know how long this virus thing’ll last, but I’m so glad I have you all to go through this with!

 

DREW: Here, here!

 

An ambulance rolls by.

 

JESSICA: Saluté!

 

EVERYONE BUT JESSICA: Saluté!

 

Everyone takes a drink. They then chitchat until the lights fade.

 

 

 
Wedding Day

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 9

Scene 9: Jessica eats soup on her balcony. Drew comes outside wearing a bandanna around his nose and mouth.

 

JESSICA: Did you make a trip to the bodega?

 

DREW: How did you know?

 

Jessica points to her mouth. Drew suddenly remembers he’s wearing a bandanna and takes it off.

 

DREW: Oh, right! I guess I’m getting used to it. It’s weird that this is becoming normal!

 

JESSICA: Yeah, totally!

 

Drew almost steps forward more but realizes that there’s something there. He picks up a wrapped bowl of food.

 

JESSICA: Nedra made potato soup for everyone.

 

DREW: Oh, sounds much better than the TV dinner I was gonna make!

 

He unwraps the bowl and drinks from it.

 

DREW: Mmm! This is so good!

 

NEDRA: (from inside) You’re welcome!

 

DREW: Thank you!

 

He grins and continues to drink the soup.

 

JESSICA: Is there more food at the bodega now?

 

DREW: Yeah, there’s a bit more. I didn’t do any food shopping though. I thought I’d get some champagne for the wedding tomorrow. I have a pouring technique I’m dying to try!

 

JESSICA: Sounds like fun!

 

Nedra steps outside.

 

NEDRA: That reminds me, what kind of cake does everyone want?

 

JESSICA: I’m okay with anything.

 

DREW: Same here.

 

Juniper points her head outside.

 

JUNIPER: I’ll eat anything as long as it doesn’t come from an animal.

 

Nedra mulls this over.

 

NEDRA: Hmm.. I’ve never made a vegan cake before…

 

Mendel pokes his head outside.

 

MENDEL: I’m good with a vegan cake since I can’t have anything with lactose, but I also have Ciliac Disease, so…

 

NEDRA: So, I gotta make a cake with no dairy or gluten? You guys aren’t leaving me with a lot of ingredients!

 

Juniper and Mendel shrug as they go back inside. Nedra shakes her head in frustration and then goes back inside. Brisa and Owen step outside. Owen is holding a notebook.

 

BRISA: Can you guys help Owen with his vows?

 

OWEN: There’s nothing wrong with my vows!

 

DREW: What do you have so far?

 

OWEN: Days may not be fair always, that’s when I’ll be there always…

 

BRISA: It’s repetitive!

 

JESSICA: Very repetitive considering it’s from an Irving Berlin song.

 

Brisa glares at Owen.

 

OWEN: I thought it was cute!

 

BRISA: You didn’t even try to write your own vows? Don’t you love me?

 

OWEN: Of course I do! That’s why I’m marrying you!

 

BRISA: But why can’t you say it then?

 

OWEN: I love you more than anyone in the world! I don’t know how to say it any longer than that!

 

Brisa gets exasperated, but Jessica steps in before she can argue.

 

JESSICA: We’ll help with your vows!

 

Brisa hands him a pen and goes back inside. Owen sits down to write.

 

OWEN: We were supposed to surpise each other with the vows, but she got suspicious when I finished too fast. I love her, I just don’t know how to express it poetically.

 

JESSICA: How did you first meet?

 

OWEN: In the principal’s office. We both got caught up in the tardy sweep.

 

JESSICA: What did you first think when you saw her?

 

OWEN: I didn’t think she’d talk to me ’cause she looked like one of the popular girls.

 

JESSICA: But eventually you did.

 

OWEN: Yeah! Well, she did. I never got in trouble like that before. She saw how upset I got and made me feel better. We became good friends after that.

 

JESSICA: When did you become more than friends?

 

OWEN: Pretty much after they released us from detention. As soon as they let us leave, we were inseparable.

 

JESSICA: That’s cute! Now, how do we put that into something more romantic sounding?

 

OWEN: Now you see my problem?

 

DREW: I got it!

 

As he speaks, he looks forward but makes shy glances to Jessica.

 

DREW: When I first saw you, I thought you were too pretty to want anything to do with me! I had no idea your heart was just as beautiful as your looks! You got me through a really tough time, and although we didn’t meet under ideal circumstances, I’m so grateful that it helped me find you! We face another difficult situation, but there’s no one I’d rather go through this with! You’ve made me into a better person, and I can never thank you enough for that! I still can’t believe you’ve chosen me! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of our life holds for us!

 

Jessica blushes furiously as Owen scribbles all of it down.

 

OWEN: Wow, this is gold! How did you come up with it so fast?

 

Drew still can’t meet Jessica’s eyes.

 

DREW: Oh… It just came to me…

 

Drew cautiously peeks at Jessica, who stares at the ground but grins broadly. As Owen writes, they’re quiet. Suddenly, Rob bursts outside with a bag in his hand.

 

ROB: Whew! I’m glad it’s the weekend for me now! Anyone thirsty?

 

He pulls out a six pack of beer.

 

DREW: I’ll take one!

 

JESSICA: Me too!

 

Rob hands one to Drew and Jessica, and then he offers one to Owen.

 

OWEN: I dunno, I’m a little nervous about tomorrow. I think I need to keep my head clear.

 

ROB: Man, you gotta have a drink! You didn’t get a bachelor party!

 

OWEN: I guess this is like my bachelor party!

 

He accepts a beer from him. Jessica hold her beer up.

 

JESSICA: To Brisa and Owen!

 

DREW & ROB: To Brisa and Owen!

 

They hold their beers as if they were clinking glasses and take a drink. Drew notices something on his beer.

 

Drew: Hey, Mendel!

 

Mendel pokes his head outside.

 

DREW: This beer is gluten free. You want one?

 

MENDEL: That sounds really great actually! Thank you!

 

Rob happily hands over a beer to Owen, who passes it to Mendel. They sit on the balcony and chitchat as the lights fade.
Drew & Jessica

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 8

Scene 8: Jessica, Drew, Brisa, Owen, and Juniper are all outside. Juniper passes a white gown over to Drew, who passes it to Jessica, who passes it down to Brisa and Owen. Brisa looks at it fondly.

BRISA: Oh my gosh! It’s so pretty! I think I’m gonna cry!

JESSICA: It looks gorgeous!

DREW: I can’t believe it used to be a tablecloth!

OWEN: How much do we owe you?

JUNIPER: Oh, I could not ask for money for a favor! You did me a service by keeping me occupied for a couple days, so I think it would generate bad karma if I asked for a payment!

OWEN: We couldn’t ask you to do all this work for free!

BRISA: We wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t pay you! There must be something you could use the money on! Like… crystals? Do you like crystals?

JUNIPER: (considers her offer) I could use more crystals…

Carla comes out very slowly with one hand on her stomach and one behind her back.

JESSICA: Are you okay?

CARLA: Oh yeah, I’m fine! I just wanted to thank you guys for being so nice to me, so I wanted to contribute to the wedding too. I didn’t hear anything about a veil or how you’ll wear your hair, so I thought I could help with that.

BRISA: Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that! What did you have in mind?

She takes the hand out from behind her back to reveal a beautiful tiara.

BRISA: (gasps) I love it!

 

CARLA: Well, you’re welcome to use it as your something borrowed. I would like it back when you’re done.

 

BRISA: No problem! Thank you so much!

 

Owen reaches up and takes it from Carla. He then hands it to Brisa, who admires it.

 

BRISA: It looks like the crown of a princess!

 

CARLA: It’s actually a queen’s crown. I was prom queen my senior year (sighs) Back in my glory days!

 

JESSICA: (to Drew) Oh, she was prom queen! I guess their lives don’t always turn out perfect, do they?

 

DREW: I said I was sorry! I was wrong, and I apologized. What is it gonna take for you to forgive me for that?

 

From inside his apartment, Theo laughs uproariously. He comes outside and addresses Drew.

 

THEO: Son, women may move on from your offenses, but they’ll never forgive you for it! They’ll remind you of how you messed up for the rest of your life! When Nedra and I were first dating, we saw a movie with Raquel Welch in it, and she looked gorgeous, so naturally, I couldn’t help but admire her. Nedra noticed and got really jealous. She asked me, “Is Raquel Welch gonna cook dinner for you after a hard day of work?”

 

JESSICA: What did you say?

 

Carla takes a really deep breath and rubs her belly.

 

THEO: I didn’t think I could make the situation worse, but I said, “I didn’t know Raquel Welch can cook!”

 

Jessica and Brisa groan, but then they laugh along with Drew and Owen.

 

THEO: Fifty years later, Nedra still-

 

Carla interrupts him when she lets out a large groan.

 

JESSICA: Something’s wrong!

 

CARLA: The baby’s coming!

 

Mendel pokes his head out of his apartment.

 

MENDEL: I’ll call an ambulance!

 

He goes back inside to make the call.

 

CARLA: No, it’s coming right now!

 

DREW: Right now? Are you sure?

 

Carla screams in pain.

 

JESSICA: Theo, go get your wife!

 

THEO: Oh! Oh, yes!

 

He goes inside for a moment and comes out with a book.

 

THEO: She’s indisposed and can’t come out at the moment. I have one of her old college books you could use.

 

He tries to pass it to Juniper, but he can’t raise his arms. Rob comes outside.

 

ROB: What’s going on?

 

Carla screams again.

 

ROB: Got it!

 

THEO: Take this!

 

Rob hastily grabs it and passes it to Owen.

 

CARLA: It’s coming! What do I do?

 

Owen quickly opens the book but then gets distracted by a picture.

 

OWEN: What is that?

 

DREW: Looks like this book predates women shaving their bikini zone!

 

OWEN: Good lord! Hey, it looks like the bodega cat!

 

Carla screams again.

 

BRISA: Owen!

 

OWEN: Oh, sorry! (reads) Lie down on your back with your legs spread apart.

 

Carla lies down with her head pointing towards her balcony and her legs pointing towards her apartment.

 

OWEN: Help your baby move through your vaginal canal by pushing with your contractions.

 

CARLA: Okay!

 

She pushes as she feels another one. Mendel comes outside.

 

MENDEL: The ambulance should be here now.

 

JESSICA: They just pulled up.

 

Carla groans as she pushes again. They hear a baby crying as the paramedics arrive. Nedra runs outside.

 

ROB: She did it!

 

Everyone cheers as the paramedics load her onto a gurney. They keep celebrating until she disappears.

 

NEDRA: Wow, she must have been in labor for a while without realizing it!

 

BRISA: Hey! Her daughter’s birthday will be the day before our wedding anniversary, Owen!

 

OWEN: Oh, that’s true!

 

Owen passes the book to Rob.

 

ROB: (looks at the book) Hey, that does look like Crumbs!

 

Everyone laughs as Drew offers a beer to everyone in celebration.Baby is Born

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 6

Jessica and Drew sit on their balconies while doing more crafts. Drew rolls green paper into a tight cylinder while Jessica cuts red paper into petals. Brisa is standing on her balcony with a cloth tape measurer while Juniper gives her instructions from her balcony.

JUNIPER: Wrap the tape measurer around the fullest part of your chest.

Brisa does as she says and wraps the tape measurer around her chest.

BRISA: Like that?

JUNIPER: No, dear, the tape measurer needs to lie flat, and you have it twisted in the back.

Brisa tries to make the tape measurer flatter.

BRISA: Better?

JUNIPER: Yes. Now, what does it say where the numbers meet in the middle?

BRISA: One twenty. That can’t be right!

JUNIPER: The other side needs to go on top.

Brisa tries flipping it around, but she drops it. She tries wrapping it around herself again, but she sees that it’s twisted again. She groans in frustration.

BRISA: Owen!

Owen comes running out.

OWEN: What’s up?

BRISA: Do my chest!

She dangles the tape measurer from one hand as she holds her arms out so that Owen can measure her. Owen doesn’t see the tape measurer and gets confused.

OWEN: What? Right here? In front of everyone?

Brisa dangles the tape measurer in front of him.

OWEN: (laughs) Oh!

Brisa shakes her head but smiles as he takes the tape measurer.

JUNIPER: You need to wrap it around…

Another loud argument sounds from Carla’s apartment. Everyone stops what they’re doing as they listen to the argument.

BLAKE: (from inside) We can’t afford to waste food!

CARLA: (from inside) I’m sorry! It was an accident!

BLAKE: (from inside) What are you doing?

CARLA: (from inside) You said you didn’t want it if it was burnt!

BLAKE: (from inside) We’re not wasting it! You’re gonna eat it!

CARLA: (from inside) I’m not eating burnt food!

Nedra comes outside and watches Carla’s apartment with a worried expression.

BLAKE: (from inside) Oh, yes you are!

Some loud banging is heard from inside Carla’s apartment.

CARLA: (from inside) Stop it! You’re hurting me!

More crashing is heard from Carla’s apartment.

JESSICA: I’m calling the police!

BLAKE: (from inside) Eat it!

BRISA: We’ve tried that.

CARLA: (from inside) No!

BRISA: She just denies everything and nothing happens.

BLAKE: (from inside) Eat it!

JESSICA: We’ve gotta do something! We can’t just-!

CARLA: (from inside) No!

DREW: I’m calling anyway!

Drew pulls out his phone, but before he calls the police, a small drone flies out of Mendel’s apartment. They all watch as it hovers in front of Carla’s apartment.

BLAKE: (from inside) Eat it!

CARLA: (from inside) No!

BLAKE: (from inside) You stupid bitch!

More crashing is heard from inside of Carla’s apartment.

BLAKE: (from inside) What’s that?

Blake goes outside, and the drone flies out of his reach but still hovers by him. Mendel sticks his head outside.

MENDEL: It’s a drone with an aerial camera! You’re fight is getting live streamed to the police as we speak! Hope that burnt food was worth going to jail for!

Blake’s eyes grow wide, and he runs back into his apartment.

CARLA: (from inside) Blake? Where are you going?

The sound of a door slam is heard. Carla dashes outside and sees Mendel landing the drone.

CARLA: What did you do?

MENDEL: I got footage of your assault and sent it to the police.

CARLA: What? How could you?

MENDEL: How could I not? I hear him hurting you all the time! It’s not right!

CARLA: He’s on probation! Now he’ll go to jail for a long time!

MENDEL: Good!

CARLA:No, that’s not good! This baby is due any day now, and I can’t take care of her by myself! Then when the mall opens up again and I can go back to work, who’s gonna take care of her? Oh god, I’m so screwed! Thanks a lot, jerk! You ruined my life!

Carla runs inside crying. Mendel stands there with a hurt expression.

JESSICA: You did the right thing!

MENDEL: I thought I did! I didn’t think anything was worth going through all that, but…

NEDRA: Don’t worry! There are programs to help people in her situation. If you let that continue, that boy would’ve ended up killing her and her baby!

MENDEL: Yeah, that’s true. I just wish she felt better about it.

DREW: She will, in time. What he was doing was just plain wrong!

OWEN: If it weren’t for social distancing, I’d beat the crap out of him!

MENDEL: I couldn’t stand listening to it anymore! I’m learning to block out all of the noise you guys make while I work, but I can’t ignore that!

BRISA: I don’t blame you! If I had a drone that could film videos like that, I would’ve done the same thing! And we’re sorry for all the noise! We’re just excited because-

MENDEL: You’re getting married. I heard.

JESSICA: Hey, I’ve got an idea! If we promise to keep it down, would you be willing to film the wedding?

MENDEL: (mulls it over for a moment) That sounds fair!

OWEN: Oh, thank you so much! Uh…

MENDEL: Mendel. And don’t tell me, you’re Owen, Brisa, Nedra, Juniper, Drew, and Jessica.

DREW: Wow, I guess we really were loud!

MENDEL: Yes, you were! Well, I need to get back to work. At least it’ll keep my mind off of… (looks upward) everything. I’ll talk to you all later!

BRISA: Bye, Mendel!

JESSICA & DREW: Bye, Mendel!

Mendel waves and goes back inside as does Nedra. Juniper mimes to Owen how to do the tape measurer. Drew gestures to Jessica with a fist tilting up and down by his mouth. Jessica misinterprets what he meant and gives him a quizzical look. Drew shakes his head and his hands to indicate that’s not what he meant. He reaches into the cooler and point to a bottle of beer. Jessica laughs and accepts the beer. She holds it up in a tosst and points to Carla’s apartment. Drew nods, and they point their beers toward her in a silent salite. They continue to craft as Owen uses his hands to indicate Brisa’s measurement size. The lights fade.

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 5

Scene 5: As the sun is starting to set, Drew sits outside drinking a bottle of beer. Jessica comes out with a bowl of pasta. Drew makes eye contact with her and waves.

DREW: (jokes) Is that your dinner or another craft project?

JESSICA: (sits down on her bench and laughs) My apartment felt a bit stuffy, so I thought I’d eat outside.

DREW: What’d you make?

JESSICA: Spaghetti. Well, not really. All the store had was this pasta that I think is supposed to be for soup. (shrugs) Whatever, it still tastes good to me. Oh shoot! I forgot my drink!

DREW: You want a beer?

JESSICA: Sure, I’d love one! Thanks!

DREW: No problem!

Drew uses a bottle opener to loosen the cap and hands it to her. She takes off the cap and holds it up in a toast.

JESSICA: Cheers!

DREW: Cheers!

They clink their bottles together, take a sip, and sit back down.

DREW: What did we just toast to?

JESSICA: (takes a bite of food before she answers) I dunno, we’ll think of something later.

Drew chuckles as he takes another drink.

DREW: How was your night after we finished crafting?

JESSICA: (playfully sarcastic) So exciting! I walked all the way down to the mailbox!

They both laugh.

DREW: I guess the halls are pretty empty now, huh?

JESSICA: Yeah! It’s weird! Usually when I get the mail, I pass by the gym and it’s always full. Today, not only was it empty, but the room was dark! I’ve never seen it like that!

DREW: I miss going to the gym!

JESSICA: I miss having the option to go! I never could get into a habit of exercising since my schedule was constantly changing for whatever gig I landed. Now I wish I went! Maybe I wouldn’t be so out of shape!

DREW: What’s wrong with your shape? I like your shape!

Jessica looks up in surprise, and Drew gets embarrassed.

DREW: I just meant that you appear in decent physical shape. I mean, based on the glue stick toss, you’re obviously not athletic, but…

JESSICA: Hey!

She jokingly threatens to to throw the bottle cap at him.

DREW: You’re throwing it? I’ll be fine then!

They both laugh.

JESSICA: It’s funny, I haven’t been told I’m in good shape in ages! You don’t get that often as a plus size model!

DREW: You’re a model?

JESSICA: Just a plus size model.

DREW: What’s wrong with being a plus sized model?

Jessica blushes and looks away bashfully.

JESSICA: Well, I did a bit of modeling to help pay the bills. After I finally landed a leading role, I didn’t think I’d have to worry about that for a while! I have enough to last a couple months, but if this thing lasts longer than that, I’ll have to figure something else out!

DREW: Join the club! Half the tenants in Clearfront gotta worry about that!

JESSICA: Probably more than half! Hopefully soon, it…

An ambulance blares loudly. Jessica and Drew watch as it pull up in front of their complex.

JESSICA: Oh no!

Brisa and Owen run out to see what happened.

BRISA: That did pull up in front of Clearfront!

Rob and Nedra emerge from their apartments.

ROB: I was just in that hallway! It better not be that damn virus!

Juniper comes out to see what’s happening, and Carla and Mendel curiously watch too.

NEDRA: It was only a matter of time before it reached us!

JESSICA: Don’t say that! It might not be that!

JUNIPER: (pointing down) There they are! Oh goodness, they’re so young!

NEDRA: They could have underlying health problems, but really, this thing affects people at any age!

DREW: Wait, look at his arm!

JESSICA: You’re right! That’s broken for sure!

JUNIPER: Oh, thank the heavens! It’s just a broken arm!

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Carla, Mendel, Juniper, and Nedra all return to their apartments.

OWEN: Whoo! Thank god! (mulls it over for a moment) We’re happy about a broken arm! We’re living in weird times!

ROB: That’s for sure! Man, I did not need this today! Work was stressful enough!

BRISA: What happened?

ROB: We got a shipment of toilet paper in this morning…

Everyone perks up when they hear this.

OWEN: The bodega has toilet paper?

ROB: It had toilet paper! For, like, three seconds! People stormed the place and fought over it like it was a plasma TV in a Black Friday sale! After it was gone, I spent the whole day trying to explain why we’re out!

JESSICA: What’d you tell them?

ROB: The truth! At first. I got tired of explaining it, so I started telling people that Crumbs took it to make a cat house! They didn’t think it was funny. Whew! I need a drink!

DREW: I got you!

He reaches into his cooler and pulls out a bottle for him.

DREW: (to Brisa and Owen) You guys want one too?

BRISA: That sounds great!

OWEN: Thank you!

Drew loosens the cap to three beers and passes one down to Rob. He passes two to Jessica, who passes them to Owen and Brisa. They all take a moment to take a drink and let the effect of the alcohol calm them a bit.

BRISA: If I change my wedding registry to the bodega, do you think I could get toilet paper?

They all laugh.

ROB: Oh, I haven’t gotten to that certification yet. It’s just been…

OWEN: We know! It’s gonna take a couple of days for her gown to finish anyways, so it’s okay!

They take another moment to savor their drinks.

JESSICA: So, what on earth do you think that guy was doing to twist his arm like that?

DREW: I’m not sure I wanna know! It’s a helluva time to go to the ER though! I wonder if he’ll even be able to get a room!

BRISA: All those poor people stuffed together, risking exposure…

ROB: I feel bad for all those healthcare workers! My job’s tough right now, but compared to what they gotta go through…

They contemplate it all, and their expressions grow grim. Jessica is suddenly struck with an idea.

JESSICA: I’ve got it! I know what we can toast to!

She holds her drink up high.

JESSICA: To their good health!

Drew holds up his drink.

DREW: To their good health!

ROB: Saluté!

BRISA & OWEN: Saluté!

They toast to each other from a distance, take a drink, and then continue to chat with each other as the lights fade.Jessica & Drew

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 4

Scene 4: Later that day, Drew hands Jessica a very large paper chain as they share a hearty laugh from their conversation.

JESSICA: Are you serious?

DREW: Yes! Our kitchen was on fire, and that lady got mad that I wouldn’t serve her a drink! She asked to see the manager, but I said he was busy dealing with the fire department, so she just lost it at that point!

Jessica and Drew both laugh again.

DREW: Alright, so what’s next?

Before Jessica can answer, an argument blares from Carla’s apartment.

JESSICA: Well, I was thinking that…

The argument gets louder, and Jessica and Drew can’t ignore it anymore. They hear objects crashing inside of Carla’s apartment, which makes Nedra, Brisa, Owen, and Juniper poke their heads outside in concern. After a minute or so, the argument suddenly stops. Carla storms out to the balcony and lights up a cigarette.

NEDRA: You shouldn’t smoke when you’re pregnant!

Carla notices everyone staring at her. She puts out the cigarette but looks extremely miffed about it.

CARLA: Who asked for your opinion?

NEDRA: My nursing degree and your unborn baby! That child is stressed enough having to listen to its mom and dad fighting, it doesn’t need-!

CARLA: Hey, what my boyfriend and I do in the privacy of our own home is none of your business!

NEDRA: I got news for you, sweetheart, your arguments ain’t private! If you’re gonna fight loud enough that people on the streets can hear it, you’re gonna-!

Carla doesn’t want to hear a lecture and stomps back into her apartment. For a moment, everyone is quiet as they absorb what they just witnessed.

OWEN: (awkwardly changes the subject) So, how are the decorations going?

JESSICA: We got a lot done, actually! What about you? Did you figure out what you’re gonna wear yet?

BRISA: Well, Owen is gonna wear his dress uniform, but I can’t figure out what I’m gonna wear. I thought I brought my old homecoming gown with me, but we looked through everything and couldn’t find it anywhere! I guess I left it at my mom’s house, but unfortunately, I can’t go there and get it. My stepdad has heart problems, and they’re both at that age group that’s supposed to be vulnerable. There’s no time to mail it either, so I gotta use something out of my closet. There’s some nice outfits I could wear, but, I dunno, none of it feels special enough! I mean, I know a wedding on the balcony isn’t fancy or anything, but still…

JUNIPER: Your heart has made a call into the universe, and the solution has presented itself!

BRISA: Are you… Are you talking to me?

JUNIPER: It is no coincidence that I was called out here, for I have the ability to solve your problem! Wait right here! (She goes inside her apartment)

OWEN: What’s happening?

THEO: (from inside) Nedra! I can’t find my reading glasses!

NEDRA: It’s a studio apartment, Theo! There’s only so many places they could have gone!

THEO: (from inside) What? You’re not gonna help me look?

NEDRA: No way! I’m not missing this! Whatever she brings out has gotta be good!

Juniper comes out with a business card in her hand, and everyone seems slightly disappointed to not see something more outlandish. She holds out her arm so Drew can get it.

JUNIPER: Please hand this to the young lovers!

After Drew grabs the card, he reads the front side of it.

DREW: Juniper Moonbeam Brushfoot. What is that, a magic spell?

JUNIPER: (speaks in a less ethereal voice) No, it’s my name. I’m a seamstress.

Drew passes the business card to Jessica, and Jessica hands it to Owen. Owen and Brisa read it together.

BRISA: Oh, you work in that upholstery shop down the street!

JUNIPER: Well, I did until my services were deemed “non-essential.” But it appears I have a purpose for being home after all! If you provide me the material, I can make you a wedding dress!

BRISA: Oh, that’s great!

OWEN: Yeah, that’s really… Wait, where can we get the material? Everything’s closed!

Everyone mulls it over for a moment.

JESSICA: Maybe some old sheets?

NEDRA: Oh, I have a silk tablecloth that we never use! You can have it. (She goes inside to retrieve it.)

THEO: (from inside) No, not our good tablecloth!

NEDRA: (from inside) Theo, we can’t even fit a table that size in here! What do we need it for?

Nedra goes back outside and hands the tablecloth to Juniper.

JUNIPER: Wonderful! (to Brisa) Just email me a design you like and your measurements. I can have it ready to wear in a couple of days!

BRISA: Thank you so much!

OWEN: Yeah, thank you!

JUNIPER: Namaste, my children!

Juniper puts her hands together, bows, and practically glides inside her apartment. Owen and Brisa shrug and return inside. Nedra returns inside her apartment as well. Mendel pokes his head out the door with a cellphone to his ear.

MENDEL: (to the person on the call) I think they’re done now. Okay, let’s talk data protection… (continues his conversation inside his apartment)

JESSICA: So, anyways… I was thinking we could make little hearts that could line the sides of their patio.

DREW: Sounds good to me.

An ambulance siren blares past them, and Drew frowns at its sight.

DREW: How do you do it? How do you not let it get to you?

JESSICA: Who said it doesn’t get to me? I’m only human, I feel negative feelings too! I just don’t let it consume me. I used to get obsessed with my anxious thoughts, I wouldn’t let them go until I solved whatever issue that was plaguing me, and it really messed me up! I thought the solution to that was to not let myself think any negative thought. That was actually equally damaging! I had so much unexpressed emotion that it nearly consumed me! Eventually, I learned to give my emotions room to breathe, but after an appropriate amount of time has passed, I moved on to something else. It’s okay if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, we’re all going through unimaginable stuff right now, but just don’t let it define you! It breaks my heart to hear about all of the suffering happening out there right now, but after I give myself time to grieve, I think about what they would do if they were in my shoes and I try to live my life to the fullest! I can’t change what’s going on out there, and I’m not always happy about my own situation here, but all I can do is try to make the best out of these circumstances!

Jessica gives him an encouraging smile, and as his mind drinks in her words, he smiles back. After a moment, he picks up the crafting materials.

DREW: When that lady couldn’t see the manager, she threw a fit! A couple of TSA agents had to come over and try to calm her down!

JESSICA: Oh really?

Drew continues to tell his story while they go back to work.Carla

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 3

Scene 3: Jessica comes outside with a stack of papers that have penciled lines on it, scissors, and a glue stick. She sits on the floor of her balcony and sets everything down in front of her. She then starts cutting along the lines she’s created on the papers. Drew emerges from his apartment, and Jessica glances up but quickly goes back to her task. Drew tentatively goes to the edge of his balcony to talk to her.

DREW: Got bored of being inside all day?

JESSICA: (still miffed at him) Actually, I thought I should work where Brisa and Owen can come coordinate with me if they need to.

DREW: Oh, makes sense.

Jessica continues working without making eye contact with him.

DREW: Listen, I’m really sorry for the way I behaved earlier! I’ve just had a hard time dealing with this whole stay at home thing! I loved going to work and being surrounded by interesting people all day! Then, on my time off, I liked hanging out with friends and watching sports, and now I can do either of those things! All I do is sit around and watch TV, and everything is either repeats or depressing news. I keep seeing the death toll go up, and then I hear all these sirens go by, and it all makes me wonder if I’ll be next! I worked at the airport, and I keep thinking- What if I came in contact with one of those people who have it? Or what if I caught it and don’t even know it yet? I’m constantly taking my temperature, and every little ache and pain makes me paranoid! I’ve never had much luck in life, so I keep worrying I’ll get it! I feel like I’m an animal just waiting to get slaughtered here! I get so jealous of the people who just have everything work out for them, they don’t have to worry about catching this thing! I thought you were one of those people; I didn’t know how much you struggled, and you must be looking for some way to escape all the negativity too! So, I’m sorry for trying to take that away from you!

Jessica takes a moment before she responds to him.

JESSICA: You don’t have much luck? You have a job that you love, some great friends, fulfilling hobbies… Sounds pretty lucky to me! So, some bad things have happened to you! That happens to all of us! That’s life! If you just focus on the bad things, of course you’ll feel unlucky! You’ll feel a lot better about your life if you stop feeling sorry for yourself all the time! Instead of pining over things you can’t do, focus on what you can do! That’s why I volunteered to help Brisa and Owen. I can’t work or visit my friends either, but I can do a favor for a couple of nice people!

Drew takes a moment to soak in what she just said, and he looks at her in an impressed expression.

DREW: Can I help?

Jessica finally looks up at him.

JESSICA: You wanna help?

DREW: Yeah! It beats sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself! I’d like to learn to be more positive… if you’ll give me a chance!

Jessica studies him as if she’s trying to gauge his sincerity, and when she concludes his authenticity, she holds up her glue stick.

JESSICA: Here!

Drew can’t reach it, so she gets up to hand it to him.

JESSICA: Oh, right! We’re supposed to be six feet apart!

DREW: I’ll step back, and you can toss it to me.

JESSICA: Okay, but I’m not a very good shot!

DREW: (jokes) Aw, be positive!

Jessica gives him a playfully reproachful look. He grins and then takes a few steps backwards. She tosses it, but it goes past him and onto Juniper’s balcony. Before Drew can reach over and knock on her door, Juniper gracefully saunters outside.

JUNIPER: What is the universe calling my attention to? (finds the glue stick) Ah, a bonding agent! It is surely a sign of my role in putting together two elements together! I must become the glue and keep everything together! But how?

DREW: You could pass the glue stick over to me.

Juniper looks at Drew and Jessica in surprise.

JUNIPER: Oh, I’m getting strong vibes from the two of you! You’re missing something, and I can help you get it back!

JESSICA: Well, we’re missing the glue, and you could help give it back.

JUNIPER: Ah, yes! Bonded together for a single purpose! How can I play a role in this endeavor?

DREW: You could hand us the glue.

JUNIPER: Ah, I could, but this object came to me for a reason!

JESSICA: Yeah, I accidentally threw it too far.

JESSICA: Oh, my dear, nothing ever happens by chance! As I meditated, my aura became entwined with the energy of the universe, and then this sign came to me! And I simply knew that-!

Nedra stomps out of her apartment and agitatedly focuses on Juniper.

NEDRA: Oh, for crying out loud! Will you just give the kids their damn glue?

JUNIPER: And just skip the spiritual lesson that’s presenting itself?

NEDRA: Yes!

JUNIPER: Fine!

Juniper holds out the glue stick for Drew to receive, but he hesitates.

NEDRA: What’s the problem?

DREW: Well, we’re supposed to stay six feet apart, you know, so the germs don’t hop onto each other…

NEDRA: Don’t talk to me about how to avoid spreading communicable disease! I was a nurse for forty years! You can grab the glue stick! Just don’t stand too close and wash your hands after you’re done using it!

THEO: (from inside the house) Are you done out there? Will you keep it down?

MENDEL: (pokes out of his apartment) Are you done out there? Will you keep it down?

THEO: (pokes out of his apartment) Hey, no one talks to my wife like that!

Mendel exasperatedly shakes his head and goes back inside.

THEO: The nerve of some people!

Drew quickly grabs the glue stick, and Juniper, Theo, and Nedra all go back inside. Jessica bursts out laughing, and eventually Drew does too.

JESSICA: So, I’m making a giant chain out of paper. I was thinking I could create the links, and you can glue them together.

DREW: Sounds good to me!

She takes the links that she’s already cut out and reaches them out to him. Drew gladly takes them and moves one of his chairs over so he could face her as he works.

DREW: I’m Drew, by the way. Drew Callan.

JESSICA: I’m Jessica, Jessica Robbins.

They almost reach out their hands to shake it out of habit, but instead they give each other a polite smile and then start working.

DREW: So, Jessica, what did you do before the quarantine hit?

JESSICA: I’m an actress!

DREW: Oh, really?

JESSICA: Yeah! I’ve mostly survived on being a movie extra and playing small parts in plays, but last month, I finally got a leading role in a huge theater, but then, well, you know…

DREW: That sucks!

JESSICA: Yeah! Oh well! It’ll be there waiting for me when everything opens up again. What about you? What did you do at the airport?

DREW: I was a bartender.

JESSICA: Not was, you are a bartender! Things’ll open up again one day!

DREW: (doesn’t totally believe it but tries) Yeah!

They chitchat until the lights fade. Image: Day five of Italy's nationwide coronavirus lockdown, in Rome

The Clearfront Balcony Club, Scene 1 & Scene 2

Set: The set should feature two structures that are 17 feet high and 12.5 feet long with a space of 3 feet between them. Each section should feature 4 apartments, and each one should have a sliding glass door and a balcony with rod iron bars that rise 3.5 feet high. A platform that’s 12.5 feet wide and 3.5 feet long divides each structure so actors can work on the upper story balconies. In the first building on the audience’s left, the upper left balcony (Apt 1) should be pretty empty save for an ash tray. The balcony on the upper right (Apt 2) should have an old bench next to the door. The balcony on the lower left (Apt 3) should have a small game table and a couple of electronic measuring devices attached to the sides. The balcony on the lower right (Apt 4) should have a cute patio set and a small grill. For the building on the audience’s right, the balcony on the upper left (Apt 5) should have a couple of chairs and a cooler between them. The balcony on the upper right (Apt 6) should have a ton of potted plants and herbs surrounding the edges. The balcony on the lower left (Apt 7) should be empty except for a broom. The balcony on the lower right (Apt 8) should have wind chimes and dated garden décor. The bottom apartments should imply that they’re not at the bottom floor, but the top row should imply that the roof is above it. The apartment materials should be made to look like old bricks. The set behind the glass doors should be large enough for actors to convey that they’re going in and out of their apartment, and they’ll also need room for quick changes backstage. Dimensions of the set can get adjusted according to the size of the stage being used.

Characters:

Jessica- early to mid 30’s, curvy frame, attractive

Drew- mid to late 30’s, fit, attractive

Brisa- early 20’s, thin, youthful & eager

Owen- early 20’s, thin yet muscly, strong military features

Rob- late 20’s to early 30’s, stocky, pleasant

Mendel- late 30’s to early 40’s, tall, lanky, glasses

Juniper- late 50’s to early 60’s, busy & gray hair, free spirited

Carla- early 40’s, permanently exhausted look, 9 months pregnant

Blake- late 40’s to early 50’s, tall, husky, brutish looking

Theo- late 60’s to early 70’s, a very salty grandfather look

Nedra- mid to late 60’s, pleasantly plump, gray hair in tight bun

Setting: End of March in the year 2020

Scene 1: Bittersweet music plays, and length of time should imply an entire day went by. Jessica comes outside of Apt 2 to read a script. She suddenly grows sad, looks out in the distance, sighs, and returns inside her apartment. An ambulence sounds, and Drew comes out of apt 5 to investigate. He shakes his head in disappointed and goes back inside. Carla comes out of apt 1 looking frazzled. She lights a cigarette out of habit, looks down at her stomach, and begrudgingly puts it out. Blake’s shouts are muffled, but Carla can hear him. She groans exasperatedly and goes back inside. Nedra comes out of apt 8 with a wet bathroom rug. She shakes it dry, hangs it on the balcony, and returns to her apartment. Mendel emerges out of apt 3 with a cellphone pressed against his ear. He tries to get a signal for the call he’s on, and just when he gets something, the caller hangs up. He clicks his tongue in annoyance and returns to his apartment. Juniper comes out of apt 6 with a watering can and hums to her plants as she lovingly waters each one. Once she’s finished, she waves goodbye to the plants and returns inside of her place. A smoke alarm sounds out of apt 7, and Rob opens his door to fan the smoke out. When the smoke alarm goes silent, he curses as he laments the loss of the food that is no longer good and then goes back inside. Brisa comes out of apt 4 crying. Owen comes out to comfort her, but she dismisses him and returns inside. Owen follows her. End music.

Scene 2: During the morning time, a loud argument is heard. Jessica walks out and looks at apt 1, expecting the argument to be coming from there. She’s surprised to discover it’s coming from apt 4! It’s such a rare occurrence that she can’t help but listen in curiously. Brisa storms out to the balcony. Owen follows her outside.

OWEN: Come on, Brisa! Just ’cause it’s not happening soon doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen!

BRISA: (Crying) You don’t know that! Right now, nothing is certain!

OWEN: I’m coming back! You know I am!

BRISA: I do… I mean, I’m sure you will, but what if you don’t?

Drew comes out to listen to the conversation.

OWEN: How could you say that? Or even think it?

BRISA: How can I not? You’re going far away in close quarters with a bunch of other people! It’s a pandemic, you’re basically on the front lines!

OWEN: I won’t be far! I’m just going upstate to help with inventory for a while! When this thing slows down, I’ll come back and we’ll have plenty of time to plan out a new wedding!

Rob comes out and curiously listens to the conversation.

BRISA: You mean if you come back! Owen, if you catch this thing, I can’t claim your body as your girlfriend! You couldn’t claim mine either! What if I catch it while you’re gone? You’d come home to an empty apartment, and you’d have to beg Mama for my ashes! Owen, life is short, and I don’t wanna leave this earth without being your wife!

Nedra comes out to listen, and Carla pokes her head out to overhear.

BRISA: You just don’t wanna marry me, do you?

OWEN: Of course I wanna marry you! I love you! It’s not my fault this virus hit and shut everything down! Our venue is closed, the store where you were gonna get your gown is closed, the florist, the caterer, the…

Owen notices everyone staring, and they disappear from sight. As he starts talking again, Jessica and Drew lean their heads over the railings to see what’s happening, and Rob listens at his door.

OWEN: We can’t even gather the family to see it! And we can’t fly internationally, so our honeymoon in the Bahamas is out! Why not wait so we can do things right?

BRISA: Because if we wait, we might not get a chance to do it at all! (She wipes tears from her eyes) We’re not supposed to touch our face, and look what you made me do!

Owen gives Brisa a hug.

OWEN: Look, I’d marry you in a heartbeat if I could, but this damn virus took away everything but our marriage license! What are we supposed to do?

JESSICA: You could have the wedding here and film it for your family to see.

Owen and Brisa look startled at her presence.

JESSICA: Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear.

BRISA: Get married here? How can we do that? We’d still need a couple of witnesses and how are we supposed to do that with social distancing?

JESSICA: You could do it here on the balcony. I’d love to be a witness!

DREW: I wouldn’t mind being a witness either, but how can you have a legal wedding without someone licensed by the state performing the ceremony?

ROB: Oh, that’s easy! Anyone can become an ordained minister online. My buddy did it ’cause his brother wanted to get married by a space captain at the sci-fi convention. It was real weird!

JESSICA: Hey, wait! I know you! Don’t you work in the bodega next door?

ROB: That’s me, Rob the deli counter man! Well, not so much lately though. We ain’t got any more meat, so they have me making sure everyone stays six feet apart! I went from taking everyone’s cold cut order to making sure they don’t steal Crumbs’s wet food ‘caus it’s the only meat they can find!

BRISA: Would you do it for us?

ROB: Oh, heck no! I ain’t stealin’ from a friggen bodega cat! I don’t know what goes into his food, and I don’t wanna know either!

BRISA: Oh no, I meant would you get that online certification so you can do our ceremony?

ROB: You want me to do it?

OWEN: Why not? You’re already kinda familiar with the process, and you’re in a convenient location!

ROB: (Mulls it over for a moment) Sure, why not! Just make sure it doesn’t interfere with the bodega hours! (Looks at his cellphone) Oh, speaking of which, I gotta go! I’ll catch up with you all later! (Rushes back into his apartment)

BRISA: Yay! We can still get married! It’s not much, but it’s… (She looks at her surroundings and gets a little depressed) … better than nothing.

JESSICA: Don’t worry, it’s gonna be a great wedding! I can help make some decorations to spruce up the place! I can’t go back to work ’til this thing’s over, so I have plenty of time do it! I know this isn’t the ideal circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a magical day!

Drew makes a noise of derision.

JESSICA: What?

DREW: They’re getting married ’cause they’re afraid of dying of this virus! It’s not magical! There’s nothing romantic about this situation, so why are you gonna get their hopes up?

JESSICA: Hope is all we have right now! There’s a lot of ugliness happening out there right now, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a beautiful moment!

DREW: Oh, here we go! You think everything is just gonna work out ’cause it always has for you, hasn’t it? You made the cheer squad, you were crowned prom queen, and ever since you graduated high school, things just got handed to you! You got bored at home, and this project just happened to fall into your lap! Look, princess, just ’cause things always go your way doesn’t mean it works that way for the rest of us! Sometimes things just suck, and we shouldn’t have to pretend everything is hunky-dory when it’s not! The rest of us are doing what we gotta do, so don’t paint some delusional picture of grandeur for us to fit your rosy world view! Some of us wanna live in reality!

JESSICA: My family lived on welfare because my dad had a gambling problem. I was never prom queen! I had a hard time fitting in ’cause we couldn’t afford decent clothes! I got clinical depression and isolated myself for years! I had a trouble keeping a job because of it, and I slept on people’s couches for years! I was a bitter and pessimistic person for a long time, and then one day, I realized that I didn’t wanna live like that anymore! Thanks to a combination of therapy, mindfulness, and art, I got a much better perspective on things! I worked my ass off to get to this point, and instead of keeping what I’ve learned to myself, I try to share it with others so they don’t gotta go through what I did! So, watch who you’re calling princess, ‘kay?

Jessica stands with her arms folded looking out into the distance. Brisa and Owen look on awkwardly, and Drew stands there with a guilty expression. There’s a moment of silence.

DREW: I didn’t know! I’m sorry!

JESSICA: Good!

There’s another moment of silence.

BRISA: I’m sure with the decorations the ceremony will be cute! Thank you so much for helping us…

JESSICA: Jessica.

She extends her hand to shake it, and Brisa almost shakes it. They both remember social distancing rules and retract their hands. Jessica resorts to a wave, and Brisa waves back.

JESSICA: Brisa, right? And Owen?

OWEN: That’s right! Well, nice to meet you! Thanks for your help!

Owen and Brisa sense the tension between Jessica and Drew.

OWEN: Come on, Brisa! Let’s go figure out what you’re gonna wear for the ceremony!

They go inside of their apartment. Drew opens his mouth to speak, but before he can get a word out, Jessica storms inside her apartment. Drew shamefully goes inside of his apartment too.Brisa and Owen