Saturday, 6 June 2009

A Double Life - 2

Scene 3

B has a camera, is taking pictures of Jennifer. With every flash of the camera, Jennifer changes her pose.

B: There you go, relax, lean a little to the right. OK (camera flash)

Jennifer: Do I look alright? Is this sash on too tight?

B: No, it's just fine. (click)

Jennifer: Do you know what I like about being a model?

B: Well, I've never had anybody ask me that question before. (click)

Jennifer: Really? Not even one out of all the other models you've worked with? And how many have there been?

B: I've been in this line for almost 10 years. (click)

Jennifer: That's a lot of models, I suppose.

B: Not really, I only started photographing models around 5 years ago. (click)

Jennifer: That's still a lot of them.

B: Oh, well, maybe. (click)

Jennifer: So how many are there?

B: Dunno, fifty to sixty, I suppose. (click)

Jennifer: That's quite a lot..

B: Well, that's a fair number (click)

Jennifer: Considering that you've almost definitely had more than a few session with some of them.

B: Yes, that's right (click)

Jennifer: So. back to our question. Have any of them asked you that?

B: Asked me what? (click)

Jennifer: You know. what's so great about being a model.

B: Well. I don't know. I never really thought bout it. (click)

Jennifer: You've been in the company of many beautiful girls, have you?

B: Most of them look pretty good to me. (click)

Jennifer: Just pretty good?

B: Some of them are a little more than pretty good. (click)

Jennifer: And the very best of them? (here, she strikes a pretty provocative gesture. B is getting a little hot under the collar)

B: Well, a few of them have been really beautiful. (a beat, then click)

Jennifer: (getting closer and closer to him. From here on, her poses get more and more provocative, and we can see that she's actively out to seduce him) And the really beautiful ones. what do they make you think about?

B: What? (click)

Jennifer: Doesn't it get to you? Every other week, taking pictures of beautiful women for men to ogle at, for women to envy, and you getting a piece of the (click) action first hand. doesn't it get to you?

B: (trying to sound calm and amused) What are you talking about? I'm a professional. I just try to make you as attractive as I can.

Jennifer: (now practically sidling up to him) Attractive to whom? (click) And you still haven't answered my question. What's so wonderful about being a model?

B: Well, I dunno.. never been on that side of the camera before.

Jennifer: It's the thought that somebody out there thinks that I am beautiful. I am beautiful, am I not? (here she starts to undo her sash, and wraps it around his neck. A slight pause, then B takes the camera away from his face, and starts gawking at her. The camera goes off, breaking him out of his daze)

B: Well. rather, in fact I think you're rather.

Jennifer: Do you? Well, I've been a great admirer of your work. I do think it makes me that much more charming that such a . fine man like you would be . thinking of ways . and means . to make a girl such as myself appear more . (loosens her blouse) One just wonders what's going through his mind . all this time .

B: (jaw drops) I . just think . you're very beautiful. Very. veery . in fact, you would be even more beautiful, if you would care to stand over there, so I could .

Jennifer: Could what? I just wonder what it is you possibly could want from me . Oh, could you help me with this zip at the back, please.

B: (rather unsteady) well, what do you want with it?

Jennifer: What do YOU want with it? All the way up. or all the way down..

B: (a tense pause, then calls out to backstage) Guys, I think we can pretty much call it a day now. (Enter make -up artists, lighting crew, basically a lot of people we didn't know were there at the start of the scene. Fade away lights, except for a single spotlight on B, for a little while, then off spotlight).

Scene 4

Joe: Where have you been these past few days?

A: Nowhere in particular .

Joe: Rubbish nowhere in particular. You've been out in public, running the risk of being followed, have you?

A: Well, considering that I've stayed away from the incriminating areas all this time.

Joe: Well, yes. I mean . UE square. I can't see how that's got anything to do with the stocking operation.

A: Neither can anybody else who's been following me around these few days. I've been absolutely careful that nobody's been following me around.

Joe: You're a fool. Anybody who opens himself up to unnecessary risks a few days before a major operation is an absolute fool.

A: I'm sorry, father.

Joe: And I can't really understand why you've been going there so much these day. (pause) You aren't seeing anyone else, are you?

A: You know as well as anybody else I've been absolutely faithful to Jackie all these years.

Joe: That's right. but . you know, I've spoilt her a lot . she's got a way with people that you can't say no to .

A: I know what you mean.

Joe: I mean, you know the number of people who have been coming after her even before you've come along.

A: Not to mention the number of "friends" she still has around her . You set her up to this, didn't you?

Joe: Set her up to what?

A: Your very own daughter. you asked her to come on to me just so that you could use me to get rid of Eddie . ?

Joe: Well, what do you think? You already knew it from the onset.

A: Doesn't mean that it was right. I just ruined another person's life because of her. And it wasn't just another person, it was one of the closest people to me .

Joe: Well, a lot of it was in your hands. You could have turned us down.

A: It was not my idea to have done it to him. You set me up in the first place.

Joe: Come, come now, that's water under the bridge already, isn't it? Whatever it is, why don't we rid ourselves of unnecessary distractions and start concentrate on the upcoming operation?

A: Well, I'm not very sure that. (Jackie comes in)

Jackie: Father. wait till you hear what A's just got me.

Joe: (laughing) what? (to A) See? You're just as responsible as I am for spoiling my little girl.

A: (embarrassed) She wanted it so much.. (Jackie shows a large diamond ring on her finger)

Jackie: Isn't it great, father?

Joe: (still laughing) Oh, my son. one of these days.. (slaps him on the back)

A: Anything to make her happy.

Joe: It must have cost you a fortune..

A: It did .

Jackie: I can't believe he actually did that for me.

Joe: Just goes to show how much he can't do without you. (Jackie gives A a big kiss)

A: (brightening, blushing) well. he's right you know.

Jackie: (girlishly) You've just made me the happiest girl in the world.

Joe: (amused) Until she sees the next piece of jewellery she likes. well I'll just leave you two young and happy people to your own. I've got other things to do.

A: Yeah.

(Joe leaves. Sound of door closing behind him.)

Jackie: Isn't this wonderful? (kisses him again.)

A: Yeh.. Tell me, Jackie. Do you love me?

Jackie: Well, what a funny question to ask. of course I do. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten married to you, would I?

A: Do you truly, truly love me as much as I love you?

Jackie: What are you talking about? What's on your mind?

A: I . was just thinking about . what we did to Eddie ..

Jackie: Why should you? It's all over and done with, isn't it?

A: How you just threw yourself all over him .

Jackie: Come, now. you knew as well as I did that it was just an act. I did it for you, remember? I did it for us.

A: Us? What do you mean you did it for us? Eddie was one of my mentors in the business. He was the one who taught me everything I knew about running my business.

Jackie: (gleefully) some mentor, eh? You were the one who brought him down in the end. And moreover you didn't seem to be doing very well yourself up till then.

A: He helped me all he could. Moreover, how was I to know it was him? I couldn't see his face from where I was . And I couldn't see the face properly until I had the negatives developed.

Jackie: (laughing) That was so long ago. I didn't think that you'd ever bring it up again.

A: All the same, I really felt cheated. Remember how we met?

Jackie: What's all this got to do with how we met?

A: I can't shake off the nagging feeling. What you did with him when I was taking those photos . so suspiciously similar to that time I had my photo shoot with you.

Jackie: (Suddenly furious) What are you trying to imply? How can you compare yourself with him?

A: Well if you could try it on me, and you could try it on him..

Jackie: Is that what it all comes down to? That I'm some kind of a cheap

slut throwing herself into every other man who comes along?

A: Well, how the hell was I supposed to know? Considering that how it started .

Jackie: How it started was how it started! Are you just going to discount 4 years of married life together just because of how it began? Just because I happened to take a fancy to you during a photography session?

A: Well God knows if .

Jackie: What do you mean by that? You're telling me I was leading you on all this time? Well (taking the diamond ring and throwing it on the floor) you can take this back, since obviously it doesn't mean anything to you.

A: Well, what I actually wanted to say was that..

Jackie: I've never been this insulted in my whole life!

A: You've never been this insulted? You should have known that I'd bring this up sooner or later. God knows why I waited so long to muster up the courage to say this to you. You'd know you had to remove this lingering doubt from the back of my mind eventually.

Jackie: What's there to clarify? I've done so much for you, can't you see? What would you be doing nowadays if I didn't ask father to look after you?

A: So now you're implying that it was merely due to your father's influence alone that had me placed on the board of directors? So what does that make me, a fortune hunter?

Jackie: How should I know what you were really after?

A: After all that I've done for your father .

Jackie: Or should I say. what you've actually done for yourself. Well, think about it. It takes 2 hands to clap. Nothing would have happened at all if you didn't decide to join in. You played your part in all this and there's no turning back or putting the blame on me for this. (Storms out)

(As usual, lights out except for spot on A, then off spot.)

Scene 5 (Spotlight on B as B walks into the stage, he finds a chair and sits down)

Linda: (as yet unseen) You're still thinking about her, aren't you?

B: Wha.? (rest of lights on, and Linda's sitting there)

Linda: You're still thinking about that woman, aren't you? That Jennifer.

B: Well, it happens that I am. So what if I am?

Linda: I think you're getting obsessed with her. Just because she came on to you like that.

B: Come off it. the girl's just being playful.
Linda: You think about her all the time. You'd do anything for her.

B: . so what if I am?

Linda: Don't you think any decent girl would think twice before coming on to another guy like she did on you?

B: Like it or not, we're going steady now.

Linda: Alright, alright, just teasing you. Well I got some serious business to talk to you. It's about the accounts.

B: We're still in the red, aren't we?

Linda: Yes, we are. Things aren't going that well with this business. This is the third straight year.

B: I know things are bad, Linda, but .

Linda: We'll have to close shop in a couple of months if things don't work out. It's really bad. This is probably going to be real cruel to you, knowing how much you like photography.

B: I could always go working for someone else..

Linda: It's not the same. And you know it, you're always so used to having things done your way.

B: Well I gotta go. I just came to drop off something.

Linda: Where're you off to?

B: (smiling) I got a date with Jennifer at UE Mall.

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