The Valley of the Tools Episode 45

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Rob gets Colleen her own apartment and has to sneak around to shake tabloid tails as he teaches her to live independently, creating a low hum of tabloid buzz about a potential affair. Hannah brings on Bonnie as a guest on Closure, and Xandra’s jealousy threatens to break up the break-up podcast. Luther decides to test Evelyn’s commitment.

THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“MOTORCYCLE”

 

TV-MA DLS

 

“I fell down to Earth, from a hundred miles away and somehow, I still make it work. But it’s overrated and somehow played out”

  • Oliver Tree

 

(We open on Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin, masked up, in a room at the U.S. Attorney’s office used for press gaggles. He’s in front of a podium, flanked by Colleen Diamond, who is wearing an N-95 mask to his right and her lawyer, a 60-year-old woman named Heather Ramsey who is also masked up, standing to his left. There are no reporters physically in the room, only two TV screens situated on the far wall with reporters queued in a Zoom meeting. Patton clears his throat and adjusts the microphone)

 

MICHAEL: Today, I’d like to announce that after consultation with Ms. Diamond’s attorney and the prosecuting attorneys in the Trey Goodlatte case, that our office has agreed to drop all charges against Ms. Colleen Diamond, now that she has agreed to testify against Mr. Goodlatte regarding crimes he allegedly committed and planned with relation to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol building. It is our belief that Ms. Diamond’s involvement was marginal compared to Mr. Goodlatte’s, who we believe was the mastermind and in fact, manipulated her into participating in his schemes. From what we’ve gathered, Mr. Goodlatte was an emotionally abusive partner, and we believe that the information Ms. Diamond will provide us with will go a long way toward putting him behind bars. With that, I’m glad to field any questions you might have. (Michael looks down at a list) Uh, yes, CBS News, you go first.

 

(A female CBS News reporter named Tracey Watkins appears on screen, sitting in her home office)

 

TRACY: …Yes, this question is for Ms. Diamond.

 

(Michael gulps)

 

MICHAEL: Of course.

 

(Michael steps away from the podium, and Colleen steps up to it hesitantly)

 

COLLEEN: Yes?

 

TRACEY: Who or what convinced you to change your mind and decide to testify against Trey Goodlatte?

 

(Colleen’s attorney Heather nods her head)

 

COLLEEN: Well, um… (Colleen leans her chin against her hand and motorboats her lips for a few seconds before regaining her posture) There was a wise old man in jail who told me to do it. He came to me in a dream. (Heather sighs) And his name was Bob. Thank you so much for coming to my party, everyone.

 

(Colleen walks away from the podium, and a befuddled Michael Sherwin retakes the podium)

 

MICHAEL: Thank you, Ms. Diamond- any more questions? For me? (Cut to Rob sitting in his living room, watching this press conference unfold on C-SPAN 3) Yes- The Intercept?

 

(Imogen walks in with a handful of cups)

 

IMOGEN: Rob- please try and bring your cups to the sink in a timely manner- or better yet, refill the cups if they haven’t been dirtied yet.

 

ROB: Okay, I will. Sorry.

 

(Imogen gets a look at the TV)

 

MICHAEL: Another question for Colleen? If you insist.

 

(Michael walks away from the podium and Colleen walks up to it. She cradles her head in her hands and leans against the podium as she listens to the question)

 

IMOGEN: What do you think changed her mind?

 

ROB: Probably the prison sentence she was facing.

 

IMOGEN: Come on- a year in a women’s prison? She’d thrive in there. She’d become the popular girl in an hour.

 

ROB: That’s my theory.

 

IMOGEN: I don’t know.

 

(Imogen carries the dishes to the kitchen. Cut to the TV)

 

COLLEEN: I haven’t thought about it much, but I’m glad I’m not in jail anymore, yeah.

 

(Rob turns off the TV. Cut to Rob and Imogen at the dinner table, eating lasagna, each with a glass of wine at their side. Rob sips his wine and delivers a bite of lasagna into his mouth)

 

ROB: This pairs well, thanks, babe.

 

IMOGEN: Uh-huh. (Imogen takes a bite) This is my dad’s recipe.

 

ROB: The wine?

 

(Imogen shakes her head)

 

IMOGEN: The lasagna. The wine is from Trader Joe’s.

 

(Rob gets a call. He looks at the caller I.D.- it says “Business”. Rob throws his hands up)

 

ROB: Agh! It’s work. You know what they say, money never sleeps. I gotta take this.

 

(Rob walks into the backyard as he answers)

 

ROB: Hello?

 

(Rob closes the door behind him. Imogen sighs and throws back the rest of her wine. Cut to Rob standing by his pool, talking on the phone)

 

COLLEEN: (On the phone) Rob, I need help.

 

ROB: What is it?

 

(Cut to Colleen sitting on the ground in a mostly empty apartment, with her laptop open on her lap and her iPhone to her ear. Intercut between Rob and Colleen)

 

COLLEEN: The internet’s not working here, I keep connecting to all these different sources, but I can’t guess the passwords. Do you know the password for “millersinternet69”?

 

ROB: Those are other people’s internet connections, Colleen, you have to call Spectrum and set up internet for your apartment.

 

COLLEEN: Why don’t you do it?! You paid for this place!

 

ROB: I’ll pay for the internet too- but you have to learn how to do things on your own, that’s what this whole thing is about!

 

COLLEEN: UGH! (Colleen lies flat on the floor of her apartment) Rob, just bring the internet, please! Just pick up the internet and bring it over!

 

ROB: I can’t- (Rob looks behind him and sees Imogen doing the dishes in the house. He waves at her. She nods. He walks a few feet to the side of the pool) I can’t leave, right now.

 

COLLEEN: ROB! Please! (Colleen tears up) I wanna finish Supernatural, I only have eight seasons to go.

 

ROB: Goddamnit, fine! I’ll find a way.

 

COLLEEN: (OS) Thank you, Trey. I mean. Rob.

 

(Colleen makes a smooching sound and hangs up. Rob puts his phone way and walks back into the house. He finds Imogen loading the dishwasher)

 

ROB: That was McKenzie, apparently there’s a crisis and we gotta talk this distributor off a ledge, so I’ll be back a little later.

 

(Rob grabs his coat)

 

IMOGEN: What’s going on?

 

(Rob turns to Imogen)

 

ROB: What’s that?

 

IMOGEN: Why do you have to talk someone off a ledge?

 

ROB: Oh, well, ya know, he, uh…his wife left him. So. He’s in a bad place.

 

IMOGEN: Oh, so you mean literally, talk him off a ledge?

 

ROB: Yeah. So. Time sensitive, I gotta go-

 

IMOGEN: Shouldn’t you leave that to the police?!

 

ROB: Well, we are. But. He- he requested that we help. See ya a little later.

 

(Rob kisses Imogen on the cheek and leaves. Imogen narrows her eyes, suspiciously. Cut to Hannah asleep on her pull-out couch at her house in Compton. We hear sirens in the background as she sleeps fitfully. We then hear several gunshots- and suddenly Hannah jerks awake)

 

HANNAH: Fuck!

 

(Hannah dives under her bed. She hears a couple more distant gunshot and then another set of sirens)

 

MALE VOICE: (Distant) FUCK you, bro! FUCK you! You a BITCH!

 

FEMALE VOICE: (Distant) OH MY GOD, STOP!

 

MALE VOICE: (Distant) Fuck you, actin’ hard in front of my girl, bro?

 

(Hannah crawls out from under her bed and peeks out her window. She sees a Latino guy in his mid-20s holding a motorcycle helmet at his side, arguing on the street with a white guy in a black hoodie. A light-skinned black girl is situated between them, as they try to get in each other’s faces)

 

WHITE GUY: I’m not doin’ shit, bro, what are you doin’?

 

BLACK GIRL: You two need to calm the fuck down, this is so dumb!

 

LATINO GUY: You eyein’ her like MAD, bitch, that’s what you’re doin’! Take a fuckin’ swing, see if I care, little BITCH!

 

WHITE GUY: I ain’t doin’ shit, bro, you’re the one flippin’ shit.

 

(The Latino guy shoves the white guy)

 

LATINO GUY: I AIN’T YOUR FUCKIN’ BRO!

 

(The Black Girl gets in between them)

 

BLACK GIRL: STOP! THIS HAS TO STOP! ENRIQUE, IT’S NOT WORTH IT!

 

ENRIQUE: YOU RIGHT, IT AIN’T WORTH IT! THIS PIECE OF SHIT AIN’T WORTH NOTHIN’! FUCK YOU, BRO!

 

(Enrique walks toward a motorcycle parked on the other side of the street. The black girl and the white guy walk toward Enrique as he mounts it)

 

BLACK GIRL: Enrique, come on- you’re WAY too fucked up, you can’t go nowhere!

 

ENRIQUE: FUCK OFF! I’m getting the FUCK away from y’all. (The black girl and the white guy get in front of his motorcycle, obstructing its path. Enrique shoves the white guy, but he stands firm) GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!

 

WHITE GUY: Not lettin’ you go nowhere when you’re like this, my dude.

 

ENRIQUE: GO FUCK YOURSELF!

 

BLACK GIRL: We don’t want you to get HURT, ENRIQUE! We just wanna make sure you’re okay!

 

ENRIQUE: I WOULD RATHER DIE! I WOULD RATHER DIE, GOING A HUNDRED MILES AN HOUR THAN SPEND ANOTHER SECOND WITH THIS LITTLE BITCH!

 

BLACK GIRL: ENRIQUE, PLEASE!

 

ENRIQUE: FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!

 

(Enrique starts his motorcycle and revs it)

 

BLACK GIRL: Jesus Christ!

 

ENRIQUE: THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!

 

(The black girl relents and steps out of his way. He speeds off. Hannah unpeels her eyes from the window and sits on her bed, as she hears the sound of the motorcycle speeding away. She rubs her eyes and hears more sirens and gunshots in the distance. She takes a deep breath and picks her phone up from her bedside table. She calls Whitney. It rings several times)

 

WHITNEY: (OS) …Hello?

 

HANNAH: Hey, uh, sorry to call so late. It’s, uh….bad here, right now.

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: (OS) …Hannah, you need to move.

 

HANNAH: I JUST moved!

 

WHITNEY: (OS) …Do you want me to come over?

 

HANNAH: OBVIOUSLY!

 

(Cut to Whitney walking up to Hannah’s door wearing pajamas, a tank top and a mask. She rings the doorbell. Hannah immediately opens the door, also wearing a mask)

 

WHITNEY: Have you been anywhere since the last time I was here?

 

HANNAH: Are you serious? Have you seen where I live?

 

WHITNEY: Well, you made me come to this neighborhood, how do you think I feel?

 

(Whitney takes off her mask and walks in. Hannah closes the door behind her. Cut to the next morning. We’re in the sound studio in Xandra’s apartment, where they record the Closure podcast. Xandra is sitting at her microphone, with the big plastic screen between her and Hannah, who’s sitting in front of her own microphone)

 

XANDRA: I think it was around then that we decided “little-person” roleplay was offensive.

 

HANNAH: That was my position from the jump- I just wanna clarify that.

 

XANDRA: You live and you learn, that’s the beautiful thing about life. So, that’ll be it for today, guys. Remember to review us on Apple podcasts, that always helps immensely.

 

HANNAH: Hell yeah.

 

XANDRA: Follow Hannah on Twitter- @HDelaney94, follow me @DysonXandra- that’s D-Y-S-O-N-X-A-N-D-R-A.

 

HANNAH: Check us out, but please don’t DM us unless you have a vagina.

 

XANDRA: Peace out everyone, and may you find your closure. (Xandra hits “stop” on her laptop’s recording software, and they each take their headphones off) You happy with that, Red?

 

HANNAH: Yeah, why?

 

(Xandra sighs)

 

XANDRA: I don’t know, it just seems like we’ve covered a lot of this ground already.

 

HANNAH: Yeah, surprisingly, this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about your weird little person fetishization.

 

XANDRA: Maybe we should mix it up. Let’s have Whitney on again, that was a good episode.

 

(Hannah stands up and shrugs)

 

HANNAH: I don’t know if we need to do that-

 

XANDRA: Why not? There’s so much we didn’t get to.  We covered your break-up and my home-wrecking ass, but not much of her fucked up emotional state after the fact. I wanna- (Xandra stands up) SQUEEZE that misery peach and slurp up the contents.

 

HANNAH: Why don’t we have Bonnie on instead? She went through a break-up… (Hannah clears her throat) a year ago.

 

XANDRA: Everyone’s been through a break-up, Hannah.

 

HANNAH: Not your virgin brother.

 

XANDRA: That’s not true, he flushed jerk socks all the time when we were growing up.

 

HANNAH: Ew!

 

XANDRA: My parents made ME tell him to stop because it was fucking up our plumbing.

 

HANNAH: We should at least have someone different on. Let me call Bonnie.

 

(Xandra shrugs)

 

XANDRA: …Alright, fine. Go ahead. (Hannah takes out her phone and starts dialing) Are you and Whitney beefing, or something?

 

HANNAH: What? No. I just think we should have some variety. (Xandra shrugs and sits down with her arms crossed. The camera lingers on Xandra’s distrusting glare as Hannah talks on the phone) Bonnie? Yeah, it’s Hannah. We’re recording an episode of Closure tomorrow, I was wondering if you wanted to come on and talk about the most intimate details of your life in public. (Beat) What do you mean how much do we pay?

 

(Cut to Luther having intense sex with Evelyn while she’s strapped into their fuck swing. Luther is thrusting with all his might, beads of sweat on his brow. Luther grunts aggressively and Evelyn moans loudly as they approach climax. Cut to Luther and Evelyn lying in their bed, basking in the afterglow. Evelyn is smoking a cigarette and Luther is resting peacefully with a smile affixed to his face)

 

LUTHER: …Can this count as a workout, Evelyn…

 

EVELYN: No, Luther, this is sex. You still have to use the treadmill I gifted you for your 38th birthday.

 

(Luther chuckles)

 

LUTHER: Feels like I just ran a marathon, but whatever you say.

 

(Evelyn turns on her side, facing Luther)

 

EVELYN: We both agreed we would stick to our New Year’s resolutions, so you have to hold up your end of the bargain.

 

(Luther points to Evelyn’s cigarette)

 

LUTHER: What about your end of the bargain?

 

EVELYN: I didn’t agree to smoking cessation, I agreed to be less controlling. And then maybe once I got that under control, smoking cessation would be the goal for the second half of the year. (Evelyn’s phone starts ringing. Evelyn turns over and checks it) I have to take this. Real Estate matters. Use your treadmill.

 

(Evelyn grabs her phone and walks out of the room, naked)

 

LUTHER: Why can’t you take it in here?

 

EVELYN: Hello?

 

(Evelyn closes the door behind her. Luther gets up out of bed and peeks out the blinds. He sees Evelyn standing on the balcony, naked, smoking and talking on the phone. Luther narrows his eyes suspiciously. Cut to Luther sitting in the living room, scrolling through Facebook on his laptop. Evelyn walks in from the backyard)

 

EVELYN: I apologize for that, a last-minute showing has been scheduled and the commission is impressive. I have to depart for that.

 

(Evelyn walks toward the bedroom)

 

LUTHER: Evelyn, wait. (Evelyn turns toward Luther) First of all, there are two pubescent boys who live next door, so be careful about the exhibitionism on the balcony, huh?

 

(Evelyn looks down and examines herself)

 

EVELYN: Of course. Sorry, nudity is the most natural condition, so I often forget when I am in this state.

 

LUTHER: Yes, I know. Anyway, second thing, do you mind if I come to the showing?

 

EVELYN: Well, of course not- but why?

 

LUTHER: I don’t know, I guess, I’m just curious about the process.

 

(Evelyn shrugs)

 

EVELYN: Very well. I will be dressed momentarily, and we can go.

 

(Luther smiles and nods. Evelyn disappears into the bedroom. Luther returns to scrolling through Facebook. But his eyes drift towards the middle distance and his face becomes a portrait of apprehension. Cut to Evelyn, who is wearing an N-95 mask and touring a wealthy older couple, Mr. and Mrs. Beauchamp, through a Beverly Hills mansion. They are of course also wearing masks. Evelyn is showing them a home theatre with three rows of seats and an immense screen)

 

EVELYN: This was recently renovated- originally it had only two rows, but they expanded it to three- (Evelyn walks into the middle of one of the aisles) Considering your advanced age, I presume you have grandchildren and perhaps even great grandchildren who would enjoy this room very much, is that not right, Mr. and Mrs. Beauchamp?

 

MR. BEAUCHAMP: Um, yes, they would love it, that’s true.

 

MRS. BEAUCHAMP: We only have grandchildren, by the way. We’re in our early 70s.

 

EVELYN: Fair enough. If you’d like to test out the projector-

 

(Luther walks in wearing a mask and holding a Gatorade)

 

LUTHER: The Gatorades are complimentary, right?

 

(The Beauchamps gasp)

 

MR. BEAUCHAMP: Who is this?!

 

LUTHER: Nah, it’s cool, I’m Luther!
 

EVELYN: This is my partner, Luther. I let him come along.

 

MRS. BEAUCHAMP: Is this a set-up?! Are we being robbed?!

 

EVELYN: No, ma’am, I have not done that in a very long time.

 

LUTHER: Does it look like I’m robbing you?!

 

MR. BEAUCHAMP: You took that Gatorade!

 

LUTHER: It was complimentary!

 

(Evelyn shakes her head)

 

EVELYN: It wasn’t.

 

LUTHER: Well it wasn’t YOURS!

 

MR. BEAUCHAMP: AND NOW, IT NEVER WILL BE! Let’s go, honey.

 

(The Beauchamps leave. Evelyn sighs)

 

LUTHER: I’m sorry, I didn’t-

 

EVELYN: It’s fine. I don’t sell houses to racists, anyhow. Well. That’s not entirely true, but from now on, that is the policy.

 

(Evelyn walks over, kisses Luther and walks out of the home theatre. Luther shakes his head, exasperated, and follows her. Cut to Rob standing in Colleen’s apartment, wearing a mask with the sliding door leading to the balcony open. Colleen is sitting in the corner of the apartment, her mask tugged down to her neck, and scrolling through her phone. Rob is on the phone)

 

ROB: Okay. Great. Thank you. Have a nice day. (Rob hangs up and turns to Colleen) Spectrum is gonna send you a modem, and there’ll be instructions on how to set it up.

 

(Colleen groans)

 

COLLEEN: Why can’t you do it?!

 

ROB: Mask up, Colleen.

 

(Colleen pulls her mask up)

 

COLLEEN: You’re sure COVID is real?!

 

ROB: YES! Okay?! Forget everything Trey told you!

 

COLLEEN: Alright, I’ll try.

 

(Colleen closes her eyes really tight and winces hard. Rob scoffs and shakes his head. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Rob and Colleen look at the door. Rob walks over to the door and looks through the peephole. He sees a big box in the hallway. Rob opens the door)

 

ROB: Were you expecting something?

 

(Colleen walks over)

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, I ordered a bedframe.

 

ROB: Oh, so you do know how to do that.

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, you just press a couple buttons and put in your dad’s credit card number. Can you help me put this together?

 

(Rob gives Colleen an apprehensive look. Cut to Colleen’s empty bedroom. Two halves of a bedframe are on the ground. A pile of planks are in the corner and a headboard is leaned against the wall. Rob and Colleen are in the middle of the numerous frame pieces. Rob is connecting the center piece of the frame to the left piece. He then slides the two holes in the left piece to the furthest notch out. Rob then looks at the instructions)

 

ROB: Okay, so I think we need to pop one of the “spacers” into the notch we chose. Can you hand me one?

 

COLLEEN: Sure.

 

(Colleen reaches over to one of the spacers directly to Rob’s right. She does so by straining herself directly against his chest, and in fact brushing her boobs across his legs. Rob sighs as she does this. She hands him the spacer. He takes it)

 

ROB: You could’ve just told me where it was.

 

COLLEEN: You asked me to get it.

 

(Rob puts the spacer into the notch)

 

ROB: Okay, we need to connect the other piece.

 

(Rob starts connecting the left piece to the center piece. Colleen stands up)

 

COLLEEN: Is it hot in here to you?

 

ROB: No, I made a point of blasting the AC- it’s freezing! (Colleen takes off her shirt) Oh, my God.

 

(Colleen, now only wearing pants and a bra, throws her shirt in the corner)

 

COLLEEN: I’m warm-blooded, so maybe that’s what it is. (Colleen sits down next to Rob and leans over to get a look at what he’s doing) So, how does this work?

 

(Rob stands up and throws his hands up)

 

ROB: Okay! Colleen- enough!

 

COLLEEN: What?

 

ROB: Nothing can happen- (Rob points to himself and to her several times over) between us! I’m here to help you get settled, not carry on an affair!

 

COLLEEN: Oh, really? (Colleen crosses her arms) Let me ask you, Rob, have you told Imogen about any of this? (Rob places his tongue uncomfortably in his cheek and looks down to the ground) Yeah, that’s what I thought.

 

ROB: I’m leaving. (Rob moves past Colleen and exits the room. Colleen throws up her hands and scoffs. She then shivers and rubs her arms to warm up. Cut to Rob in the apartment’s elevator, going down. The elevator stops on the second floor. Rob sighs, as the door opens. A heavyset young woman walks in, and as the door closes, she does a double-take and her jaw drops. Rob notices this. She takes out her phone and points it at Rob but tries to pass it off as texting) …I know you’re not texting.

 

WOMAN: Yes, I am! (The door opens as they arrive at the first floor. Rob walks out of the elevator) Doesn’t Colleen live here?!

 

(The elevator closes behind Rob, as he stops in his tracks and closes his eyes. Cut to Rob driving home on the highway, with his mask off, listening to NPR)

 

NPR: President Biden and congressional Democrats are currently wrestling with how best to fulfill their promise to the American people of giving everyone $2,000 checks, by either giving everyone $1,400 dollars checks or giving $1,400 checks only to people who make less than $50,000 dollars. Either way, NPR is ready to project that Republicans have regained the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms-

 

(Rob changes the station)

 

STATION ANNOUNCER: LOTTA shit going on in entertainment news these days- Armie Hammer’s a creep and Dustin Diamond is dead, but hey! There’s been no Rob Altmire news in the last couple days, and I’m sure that’ll continue. Let’s talk Super Bowl predictions! Did you know Tom Brady’s on a different team now?

 

(Rob turns off the radio and rubs his temples. Cut to Rob walking into the foyer of his household)

 

ROB: Imogen?

 

(Rob walks into the living room. Imogen walks in)

 

IMOGEN: What’s up?

 

(Rob sighs and sits down on the couch)

 

ROB: Come on, sit with me.

 

IMOGEN: Uh-oh. That sentence never means anything good.

 

ROB: Imogen, it’s fine.

 

IMOGEN: If movies are any guide, you’re either gonna tell me I’m adopted or you’re gonna tell me there’s a body in your trunk that we need to get rid of.

 

ROB: It’s neither, just please sit.

 

(Imogen takes a deep breath and sits down. Rob rubs his eyes. Imogen leans forward expectantly)

 

IMOGEN: I’m on the edge of my seat!

 

ROB: …I’m the one who convinced Colleen to testify against Trey Goodlatte.

 

(Imogen lets out a big course laugh)

 

IMOGEN: Jesus Christ.

 

(Imogen shakes her head. Rob faces her)

 

ROB: And I bought her an apartment so he could get back on her feet.

 

(Imogen’s eyes flare with anger, and she grabs a coaster and throws it across the room. It shatters against the wall)

 

IMOGEN: GODDAMN YOU!

 

ROB: I’m telling you, aren’t I?! Would I tell you if there was anything to be ashamed of?!

 

IMOGEN: You’re telling me NOW. Earlier you said you had become a crisis counselor for some suicidal distributor!

 

ROB: I was afraid of this reaction, that’s why I lied.

 

IMOGEN: Oh, so it’s my fault?!

 

ROB: NO! It’s just- (Rob takes a deep breath) I should’ve told you earlier, you’re right. But obviously, I’m just trying to help her. I feel like I owe that to her.

 

IMOGEN: Oh yeah, and what does she owe you?

 

(Rob glares at Imogen)

 

ROB: Jesus. Is that fucking necessary?

 

IMOGEN: You don’t get to be snippy with me. Christ. (Imogen stands up) I’m staying at my sister’s, tonight.

 

ROB: Your sister lives in Melbourne.

 

IMOGEN: …Right. I’m staying in a hotel then. (Imogen gets in Rob’s face) And I’m gonna ZOOM with my sister. Motherfucker.

 

(Imogen walks into her bedroom)

 

ROB: It’s the morning over there, she’s probably working-

 

IMOGEN: (OS) I’LL FIGURE IT OUT!

 

(Cut to Bonnie in Xandra’s recording studio. She has her own microphone and plastic barrier between herself, Xandra and Hannah. Hannah looks engaged in what she’s saying, whereas Xandra looks bored)

 

BONNIE: At the end of the day, he was a nice guy, but the age difference was too stark. And I’m not even that old, I turn 29 tomorrow.

 

HANNAH: Happy birthday!

 

BONNIE: Thanks.

 

XANDRA: I’ve  always figured you were a lot older than that.

 

(Bonnie glares at Xandra)

 

BONNIE: …How’s that?

 

XANDRA: Never mind, are you done yet?

 

BONNIE: Excuse me?

 

HANNAH: Xandra, what are you doing?

 

XANDRA: This is just- no offense, honey, you’re beautiful, and I’ve seen your work, actually, it’s amazing.

 

BONNIE: That better be the end of the sentence.

 

XANDRA: But I’m not sure if there was enough in this discussion to merit a whole-ass episode.

 

BONNIE: You know, I’m not above violating COVID-19 protocols to smack a bitch.

 

XANDRA: Hannah, can’t we bring in Whitney tomorrow? We can keep Bonnie if you want, but let’s bring in Whitney, huh?

 

(Bonnie looks at Hannah)

 

BONNIE: Hannah, I’m- (Bonnie puts her index finger and thumb near each other) THIS fucking close with this hoe.

 

HANNAH: Bonnie, can I talk to you outside for a second?

 

BONNIE: Fine.

 

(Hannah and Bonnie put their masks on and join each other in the living room)

 

HANNAH: Listen, I need you do me a favor. I can’t have Whitney in here, so you need to come up with something good. Something juicy that you can throw to Xandra and keep her satisfied.

 

BONNIE: What is she, a goddamn circus tiger?

 

HANNAH: Just- please do me this favor.

 

BONNIE: Why can’t Whitney come on, that may be where the real juiciness lies. (Hannah sighs) …Okay, I think I know what it is.

 

HANNAH: Please just help me out.

 

(Bonnie looks down and purses her lips in deep thought)

 

BONNIE: …Okay, I do have something, but there’s no way I can share it.

 

(Hannah swallows her upper lip and her eyes widen with frustration)

 

HANNAH: Then why would you say anything?!

 

BONNIE: Sorry, it would be betraying someone’s trust.

 

HANNAH: You can leave names out of it- you didn’t mention Noel’s name!

 

BONNIE: It would be very obvious who I was talking about.

 

XANDRA: (OS) I have to hear this. (The camera swings over to reveal Xandra leaning against the threshold of the door, with her mask on) I don’t know what it is, or what it’s about, but I have to hear it.

 

BONNIE: I’m not sharing without the permission of the person I’m talking shit about.

 

HANNAH: Then call them! See if they’ll come in and share.

 

(Bonnie scoffs. Xandra raises her eyebrows)

 

BONNIE: …Fine, I’ll call them and see if they want to talk about the most embarrassing chapter of their entire life. On a podcast. I’ll do that for you guys since I’m so fucking uninteresting.

 

(Bonnie takes out her phone and walks away from them. Xandra smiles)

 

XANDRA: Thank you, honey! (To Hannah) Oh my God, she’s an angel. I love that bitch.

 

(Hannah sighs and walks back into the recording studio. Cut to Imogen sitting on the bed in her hotel room, watching Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A referee is positioned between a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and a Kansas City Chief. A nurse in a suit jacket and white shoes stands to the left of the ref, and there are two other refs to the left and right of the main referee and the nurse)

 

REFEREE: Kansas City is the visiting team, they get to call the toss. They have called heads. Susie? (He hands her the coin) Toss the coin. (Susie tosses the coin and it lands on the field. The ref checks it) It is heads. Kansas City has won the toss. And they would like to defer their choice to the second half.

 

IMOGEN: Does the nurse get to keep the coin as a tip, or? (Imogen gets a call, which she answers) Bonnie?

 

(Imogen turns the volume on her TV down as the game starts)

 

BONNIE: (OS) Hey, I know this is super random, and you’re probably gonna say “no”-

 

IMOGEN: I could do porn, sure.

 

BONNIE: (OS) What?

 

IMOGEN: Wait-what were you gonna ask?

 

(Cut to Bonnie talking on the phone on Xandra’s balcony. Bonnie sighs. Intercut between Bonnie and Imogen)

 

BONNIE: You know Xandra and Hannah’s podcast?

 

IMOGEN: …I barely know who Hannah is and I have zero idea who Sandra is.

 

BONNIE: Hannah is Whitney’s ex, and Xandra is Hannah’s ex, and they invited me on their relationship podcast to talk about me and Noel, and long story short, I’m boring and they want somebody more interesting on. I suggested you.

 

IMOGEN: For what reason?

 

BONNIE: Because of the, um, situation we had recently.

 

(Imogen scoffs)

 

IMOGEN: Are you serious?

 

BONNIE: I know. It was stupid. Never mind, goodbye-

 

IMOGEN: Wait. (Bonnie perks up) Actually. You know what? I’ll come.

 

BONNIE: …Really?

 

(Imogen smiles deviously)

 

IMOGEN: Oh, I’m gonna need me a whole segment, mate.

 

BONNIE: …Sure thing, Guv’nah. Hop on over here tomorrow, Kangaroo Jack- Jesus Christ. (Bonnie hangs up. Bonnie then stutter-steps) Oh shit, I should text her the address.

 

(Cut to Rob sitting in his empty home, a cigarette burning in his right hand, and a box of pizza on the coffee table. He’s watching the Super Bowl. The score is 6-21, Buccaneers)

 

JIM NANTZ: (On TV) The Chiefs were favored going into this, but I don’t think anybody expected the team with Tom Brady on it would be doing so well.

 

TONY ROMO: (On TV) I’m gob-smacked, Jim.

 

(The intercom buzzes. Rob gets up and walks over to the front door and presses the button on the receiver)

 

ROB: Who is it?

 

COLLEEN: (On intercom) It’s me, Robert.

 

(Rob looks through the window and sees Colleen standing at the gate. Rob presses the button)

 

ROB: Jesus Christ, get in here before anyone sees you.

 

(Rob presses the button to open the gates, and Colleen rushes in. Cut to Rob and Colleen sitting next to one another on the couch. They’re both wearing masks. Colleen looks over at Rob with a childlike curiosity)

 

COLLEEN: What’s going on, Rob?

 

ROB: Well, the Chiefs incurred a ton of penalties, for something like ninety yards, and that’s allowing the Bucs to build a pretty healthy lead already, before halftime. (Colleen smiles widely. Rob looks over at her and squints) What is it?

 

COLLEEN: …Trey would always explain the game to me, is all.

 

ROB: Jesus Christ, Colleen- (Rob stubs out his cigarette in an ashtray) you can’t keep doing this. What if Imogen comes back from her hotel?!

 

COLLEEN: What if, what if, what if- what if climate change is real? What if the Rothschilds DIDN’T control everything?! We could talk about “what if” forever-

 

ROB: What did I tell you about forgetting what Trey has told you?!

 

COLLEEN: Let’s focus on the here-and-now, huh?

 

(Colleen pulls her mask down and takes a seat on Rob’s lap, and pulls his mask down, starts making out with him. Rob gives in for a few fleeting seconds, but then pulls away and removes Colleen from his lap)

 

ROB: No! No, Colleen, I’m sorry. You’re incredibly hot, and sometimes it seems like you were designed by horny old scientists, but this is wrong. I can’t fuck up another relationship. I agreed to help you, not just make you dependent on a new person.

 

(Colleen scoffs and crosses her arms)

 

COLLEEN: Then, what the fuck are you gonna do for me?

 

ROB: We need to get you a job, first of all.

 

COLLEEN: Fine, I can be your assistant.

 

ROB: I have an assistant. Also, that’s a terrible idea, that’s like Clarence Thomas hiring Anita Hill to be his top spokesman. NOT that I’m anywhere near as bad as Clarence Thomas!

 

COLLEEN: Who are these people?

 

(Rob sits down on the couch)

 

ROB: Listen. I think I have a position in mind for you. (Colleen smiles) No! Shut up! That’s not what I mean! Come to think of it, I’m the one who’s Anita Hill in this situation!

 

COLLEEN: Who the fuck is this bitch?!

 

(Cut to the next day, at Luther’s house. Luther is sitting on the couch in his living room, checking e-mails on his laptop. Evelyn walks in wearing a pantsuit, a mask and carrying her purse)

 

EVELYN: I have to go in, today, Luther, there’s a crisis.

 

LUTHER: Really? I thought you guys were 100% remote, aside from showings?

 

EVELYN: Usually, yes, but there’s a crisis.

 

LUTHER: What crisis?

 

EVELYN: I have to hire Colleen Diamond as my assistant, that manner of crisis.

 

(Evelyn leaves, and Luther is confused and suspicious. Luther puts his laptop down and takes out his phone. He looks up “best lunch places beverly hills”. Cut to Evelyn walking into the offices of Johannsson, Farley & Otis Real Estate- an august office comprised of oak desks, large offices and dark green walls. Colleen is stationed in front of Evelyn’s office, the door to which is adorned with her name and title- “Associate Realtor”. Evelyn walks up to Colleen, who is of course wearing her mask)

 

EVELYN: Are you Colleen Diamond?

 

(Colleen stands up)

 

COLLEEN: Yeah.

 

EVELYN: Are you aware I haven’t hired you yet?

 

COLLEEN: Right, well, I figured you would. (Colleen smiles) Because your boss told you to.

 

(Evelyn blinks several times)

 

EVELYN: You make me angry. Nonetheless, you are hired.

 

(Evelyn walks into her office and closes the door. Evelyn shrugs and sinks into her chair, takes out her phone and puts her feet up on the desk. Cut to Imogen sitting in the recording studio, with her own mic and plastic guard. Bonnie, Hannah and Xandra are facing her)

 

HANNAH: We’re running really low on mics and shields, guys.

 

BONNIE: We can always order more.

 

XANDRA: Alright, Imogen, you gonna spill the tea or what? Or what do they drink in Australia? Foster’s?

 

IMOGEN: Nobody drinks Foster’s in Australia, Christ’s sake. No. I’m not here to talk about Foster’s or anything that definitely didn’t happen between Bonnie and me. I’m here to talk about one person. (Imogen takes out a framed photo of Rob Altmire dabbing in front of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.) Robert Joseph Altmire.

 

(Xandra drums on the table excitedly)

 

XANDRA: Ooooooooh shit!

 

BONNIE: I’m listening.

 

(Hannah smiles nervously)

 

HANNAH: Well, let’s be sure to not talk too much shit about people who aren’t here to defend themselves. (Xandra glares at her. Hannah gulps) Then again. We got a lot of time to fill. Go on, Imogen. Spare no juicy detail.

 

(We cut to Colleen listlessly scrolling through her phone at her desk in front of Evelyn’s office. Luther walks in, wearing a mask and carrying a bag of takeout from Zankou chicken)

 

LUTHER: Hey, Colleen, is Evelyn in?

 

(Colleen looks up listlessly)

 

COLLEEN: Nah, she stepped out.

 

LUTHER: Oh, where’d she go?

 

(Colleen shrugs)

 

COLLEEN: I dunno.

 

LUTHER: Well, what happened?

 

COLLEEN: She got a call, she shut all her blinds, whispered a bunch, and then left. I’ve learned in this job not to ask questions.

 

LUTHER: You’ve worked here for a few hours.

 

COLLEEN: I’m a quick learner.

 

(Colleen smiles and winks at Luther. Luther sighs and walks away)

 

LUTHER: (Under his breath) Son of a bitch.

 

(Cut to a Zoom meeting between Whitney and Luther. Whitney is sitting on her couch at home. Luther is sitting in his car, clearly using his phone for the Zoom)

 

WHITNEY: Alight, are you ready?

 

(Luther sighs heavily)

 

LUTHER: Yeah.

 

WHITNEY: Who’s the last person you signed?

 

LUTHER: I, uh… (Luther lethargically scrolls through his phone) hold on, he’s in my contacts.

 

WHITNEY: I feel like you should know their name.

 

LUTHER: It’s uh, it’s “craigslist guy”. No, sorry, that’s a guy who put together my coffee table.

 

WHITNEY: Luther, are you alright?

 

(Luther sighs and drops his phone into his lap)

 

LUTHER: I won’t lie, I’m not alright.

 

WHITNEY: What’s going on?

 

(Luther rubs his neck nervously)

 

LUTHER: …It’s kinda personal.

 

WHITNEY: Hey, you can talk to me about anything. Unless it’s about Evelyn’s weird fetishes, she’s already told me way too much about that.

 

LUTHER: It’s not about that, but it is about her. I have this suspicion that she’s…you know.

 

WHITNEY: …Oh.

 

LUTHER: Yeah. Do you wanna guess who I think she’s doing it with?

 

WHITNEY: Kevin Jacobson.

 

(Luther touches his nose and points at Whitney)

 

LUTHER: Ding, ding, ding!

 

WHITNEY: Do you have any evidence?

 

LUTHER: No, just suspicious behavior. I’ve thought about reading her texts, but that wouldn’t be right. Also, she keeps her phone in a locked glass box when she’s not using it, she’s very afraid of industrial espionage.

 

WHITNEY: …Well, do you love her?

 

LUTHER: Of course. Very deeply. That’s why this hurts.

 

(Whitney looks off camera contemplatively)

 

WHITNEY: So, what are you gonna do?

 

LUTHER: I can’t take this to court. I guess I gotta keep digging.

 

WHITNEY: …You know, I’ve been cheated on before, and I always thought that maybe I could’ve realized what was going on with Hannah earlier if I had just tested her commitment.

 

LUTHER: Tested it how? Obstacle course, Ninja Warrior shit?

 

WHITNEY: How would an obstacle course accomplish that?

 

LUTHER: Like, if you’re on the other side, wearing a Victoria’s Secret thong.

 

WHITNEY: Would you be wearing the thong in this scenario?

 

LUTHER: Please, just say what your idea was.

 

WHITNEY: You could propose.

 

(Luther is caught off-guard)

 

LUTHER: Are you serious?

 

WHITNEY: People don’t cheat unless they’re unhappy. If Evelyn is happy with your relationship, unless she’s totally opposed to marriage as a concept, it would make sense for her to say “yes” to a proposal after dating you for the past two-and-a-half years.

 

(Luther nods)

 

LUTHER: She’s definitely not opposed to marriage. She says she likes the idea of social constructs like marriage and debtors’ prisons.

 

WHITNEY: There you go- I’m sorry, what?

 

LUTHER: What if she says “no”?

 

WHITNEY: …Then it may be time to walk away. (Luther nods and contemplates this) …Can we talk business now?

 

LUTHER: Hold on, I’m still mulling this over.

 

(Whitney sighs and starts scrolling through her phone to pass the time. Cut to Imogen, Bonnie, Hannah and Xandra in the recording studio at Xandra’s apartment)

 

IMOGEN: And that’s about it. I think we’re gonna separate over this.

 

XANDRA: Oh my God, you devious bitch- to call him out in public like this, it’s savage!

 

IMOGEN: I’m from Melbourne, we don’t fuck around. All primary school chaps learn to ward off emu attacks at the age of eight.

 

HANNAH: There’s one thing I’m still concerned about, guys. Colleen’s not here to defend herself, and I think that’s unfair.

 

IMOGEN: Hey- if you can get her in here, I have no problem with that.

 

XANDRA: That would be great, but I doubt anyone here has those digits.

 

BONNIE: Actually, I do. Colleen has tried to get into the porn game numerous times.

 

(They all nod)

 

IMOGEN: That tracks.

 

(Bonnie takes out her phone. Cut to Rob pacing around his living room, talking on his cell phone)

 

VOICE ON THE PHONE: (OS) No, sir, it doesn’t appear that anyone by the name of Imogen P. Deckland checked into The Hollywood Roosevelt over the past forty-eight hours.

 

ROB: Okay, well, just one more question before you go- is there a hotel in L.A. that has a reputation for being Australian-friendly?

 

DESK CLERK: (OS) Ummm, I mean, there are a few within a few miles of an Outback Steakhouse?

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: Okay, I can work with that.

 

DESK CLERK: I believe it’s the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Chatsworth.

 

ROB: Put me through.

 

(Cut to Colleen walking into the recording studio with her mask on. She’s greeted by Hannah, Bonnie, Xandra and Imogen. A new corner of the table has been outfitted with a cheap-looking mic and a cardboard shield)

 

XANDRA: …We didn’t have enough shields, so you can just, remove the cardboard and keep your mask on if you want.

 

(Colleen scoffs, walks over, puts the cardboard on the floor, sits down and takes her mask off)

 

COLLEEN: I’m beginning to think this is not a porn audition.

 

BONNIE: I never suggested it was.

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, but I thought the podcast story was a cover for a porn audition.

 

XANDRA: No, ma’am. We’re here to ask you cold, hard questions.

 

(Colleen looks over at Imogen)

 

COLLEEN: Is she gonna ask them?

 

IMOGEN: No, because I already know the answers.

 

COLLEEN: You don’t know shit.

 

IMOGEN: Excuse me?

 

HANNAH: Whoa! Guys, come on. Let’s stick to the facts here.

 

COLLEEN: Ask away.

 

(Hannah takes a deep breath)

 

HANNAH: Who convinced you to cooperate with the prosecution?

 

(Colleen clams up)

 

COLLEEN: …I already answered that question, it was a wise old cellmate named Bob. He’d been there since the 70s.

 

HANNAH: It was a holding jail, there were no long-term prisoners, Colleen. Come on.

 

(Colleen looks down)

 

COLLEEN: …Somebody visited me. A Guardian Angel, of sorts.

 

IMOGEN: Jesus Christ…

 

COLLEEN: No, not him.

 

IMOGEN: No- I didn’t. Mean that.

 

COLLEEN: You’re pretty close, though. It was Rob.

 

(Imogen groans. Xandra scoots forward)

 

XANDRA: Did he profess his love?

 

COLLEEN: No, he’s been a real pussy about all that.

 

(Cut to Rob on the phone, talking with Whitney in his living room)

 

ROB: You haven’t seen her?

 

WHITNEY: (OS) No, I’ve not.

 

ROB: Jesus, she’s not answering her phone or responding to my Instagram DMs. Should I file a missing person’s report?

 

(Cut to Whitney sitting on her couch, speaking with Rob on the phone. Intercut between Rob and Whitney)

 

WHITNEY: Dude, she’s mad at you. Not kidnapped. Just give her time to cool off.

 

ROB: Wait, shut up.

 

WHITNEY: Do NOT talk to me like that.

 

ROB: Sorry, I just- I thought of someone I haven’t thought to call yet. I gotta go.

 

WHITNEY: As always, you hang on my every word- (Dial tone) God fucking damnit.

 

(Cut back to the recording studio)

 

COLLEEN: He said I shouldn’t go to jail for Trey, and he was right. So, I called my lawyer, and the rest is history. Or rather, HIM-story. “Him” being Rob, who rescued me in my state of helplessness.

 

HANNAH: That sure is woke.

 

IMOGEN: Colleen, I’m glad- genuinely! I’m glad that you escaped Trey’s grasp, he sounds like an asshole. But Rob’s job should be done, right?

 

COLLEEN: Imogen, you don’t rescue a baby deer from a den of bears and then just tell it to get a job!

 

IMOGEN: So, you’re a baby deer?

 

COLLEEN: YES! Listen, for once!

 

(Hannah gets a call. She checks the caller ID and sees that it’s Rob)

 

HANNAH: Sorry, I should take this.

 

(Hannah gets up and leaves the room. Xandra eyes Hannah suspiciously as she walks out)

 

BONNIE: You already have a job, don’t you?

 

(Xandra takes out her phone and starts composing a text to Whitney)

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, but I don’t know how to do it. (Xandra texts “Hannah seems awfully desperate to keep you from being on closure again, you wanna tell me why that is”) I haven’t done a second of work.

 

IMOGEN: Are you proud of this?!

 

COLLEEN: I wanted to be an actress, not a fuckin’ secretary for some old lady!

 

(Cut to Hannah on the phone in Xandra’s living room)

 

HANNAH: Actually, yeah, I know where Imogen is.

 

(Cut to Rob in his living room, on the phone. Intercut between Rob and Hannah)

 

ROB: Holy shit! Tell me!

 

HANNAH: …She’s at Xandra’s apartment.

 

ROB: What is she doing there? You guys- you guys didn’t convert her, did you?

 

(Hannah sighs)

 

HANNAH: …It’s 7141 Santa Monica Boulevard in WeHo. Apartment 522.

 

(Hannah hangs up)

 

ROB: Hello?! HELLO!? Damnit. (Rob puts his phone away) What the hell am I gonna walk in on…

 

(Rob grabs his coat and mask and heads out the door. Cut to Hannah walking back into the recording studio)

 

HANNAH: Hey, just a heads-up. Rob just called, asking where Imogen was. He’s on his way here, now.

 

IMOGEN: What?!

 

HANNAH: Guess we’re gonna need another seat.

 

BONNIE: He can have mine, I’m barely relevant to this shitshow at this point.

 

XANDRA: No, it’s fine, I have many seats. Mostly so I can tell my haters to take several of them.

 

(Xandra chuckles. Hannah sighs)

 

HANNAH: What about mics?

 

XANDRA: We’ll figure it out. You should mute your phone, though, Hannah, it’s rude to walk out of a podcast in progress like that.

 

HANNAH: Fine, whatever. Jesus.

 

(Hannah mutes her phone, slips it in her pocket and sits down. Cut to Evelyn walking out of her real estate office and into the parking lot. Luther gets out of his car and walks up to her)

 

EVELYN: Luther! What are you doing here?

 

LUTHER: Where are you headed, it’s not even four.

 

EVELYN: I have a showing in Brentwood, but I inquire once again, what explains your presence?

 

LUTHER: Well. (Luther clears his throat) You might want to delay that showing.

 

EVELYN: Why?

 

LUTHER: …I don’t believe in love at first sight, and I certainly don’t believe in the concept of a soul mate. But when I saw you at that karaoke bar in the Summer of 2018, I knew that somehow you would have a profound impact on my life. (Evelyn looks taken aback) Positive or negative. I was hoping for positive. Thankfully, I got positive. (Luther takes out a little black box and gets on one knee. Evelyn looks at him with widened eyes) Evelyn Prost. Will you marry me?

 

(Evelyn takes a deep breath. She observes Luther for several moments, and then starts nodding rapidly)

 

EVELYN: Yes. (Evelyn nods more) Yes, I will.

 

LUTHER: Thank GOD!

 

(Luther puts the ring on Evelyn’s finger and kisses her passionately. While Luther makes out with Evelyn, Luther’s eyes are closed, but Evelyn’s eyes are open and distracted. Cut to a hotel room with a single King-sized bed. Kevin is sitting in the corner, with an ice chest with a bottle of champagne in it resting at his feet. Kevin is lightly drumming his fingers on the arm of the armchair. Kevin looks at the time on his phone nervously. The time is 5:21 PM. He then nervously runs his fingers through his hair)

 

KEVIN: Fuck.

 

(Kevin grabs his phone and leaves the hotel room. Cut to Rob walking up to Xandra’s apartment door. He raps upon it and listens close)

 

XANDRA: (OS) It’s unlocked!

 

(Rob opens the door, and finds a living room empty of people. Confused, he closes the door behind him. He walks forward)

 

ROB: Imogen?

 

IMOGEN: (OS) I’m in here, Rob. Grey door to your left.

 

(Rob furrows his brow)

 

ROB: Is this a trap?

 

IMOGEN: (OS) Come in, we have a lot to talk about.

 

(Rob cautiously walks forward and opens the grey door, walking in on Hannah, Bonnie, Xandra, Colleen and Imogen sitting at their mics, staring at him. An empty chair with a mic awaits him)

 

ROB: What the fuck?

 

XANDRA: Welcome to Closure, Rob.

 

(Rob closes the door behind him and stands there, dumbstruck)

 

ROB: …I’ve been tricked into guesting on a podcast?

 

HANNAH: Yes. The cruelest trick imaginable.

 

ROB: It actually kind of is, considering who else is guesting.

 

IMOGEN: Personally, I think this is the only forum where you can be honest enough to work things out with me. So sit.

 

(Rob scoffs, shakes his head, and then sits down)

 

ROB: Alright, you wanted me, you got me. Go off.

 

IMOGEN: I’m not here to tell you off, Rob. I just want to ask some questions.

 

HANNAH: I have a few questions, too, but I’d be happy to submit them in writing and you can get back to me whenever you have time.

 

ROB: Great. Go ahead, I won a debate championship in High School, bring it on.

 

HANNAH: Did you really?

 

ROB: I’ll get back to you in writing.

 

IMOGEN: Robert Altmire. Deep down, in your heart of hearts, given everything that’s happened, do you want to stay married to me?

 

(Minor gasps fill the room. Rob leans forward)

 

ROB: Yes, Imogen! I don’t know what she’s told you, but I have not slept with Colleen! I mean, not since I slept with her that one time three years ago, that is.

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, and I tried.

 

IMOGEN: Yeah, but are you saying you want to stay with me because you don’t want to fuck up another relationship, or because you REALLY want to stay with me?

 

ROB: The first one. Jesus, do I have rent a bunch of billboards to spell it out for you!? Because I’ll do it, I’ve done creepier romantic gestures.

 

IMOGEN: You keep saying what you have or haven’t done, but what do you WANT?

 

(Rob groans and rubs his neck)

 

ROB: …I can’t trust what I want on any given day. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have terrible decision-making skills. I’ve learned to distrust my own instincts. That’s why I invested in GameStop before anyone else did, actually.

 

(Imogen nods)

 

IMOGEN: …Fine. If you’re really committed to this, then you have to agree to just one thing.

 

ROB: Anything.

 

IMOGEN: Alright, so here it is-

 

ROB: I’ll do anything.

 

IMOGEN: Okay, let me-let me say it-

 

ROB: Anything you require.

 

IMOGEN: Just let me talk.

 

ROB: Okay, go ahead.

 

IMOGEN: Okay-

 

ROB: Anything at all.

 

IMOGEN: Cut of all contact with Colleen Diamond.

 

(Colleen gasps)

 

COLLEEN: Bitch!

 

(Everyone looks at Rob, especially Imogen. He looks nervous. He licks his lips nervously)

 

ROB: … (Singing) But I won’t do that! (Rob chuckles, and then frowns) I can’t do that.

 

(Imogen squints)

 

IMOGEN: Are you fucking kidding?

 

ROB: It’s unfair of you to even ask me. You’re asking me to leave one of my friends out to dry. How dare you.

 

(Xandra gasps)

 

XANDRA: HE JUST SAID “HOW DARE YOU”!

 

(Imogen scoffs and stands up)

 

IMOGEN: Then I guess, get a lawyer.

 

(Imogen slowly walks out of the room. Rob holds his head in his hands. Colleen walks over and puts her hand on his shoulder, but he recoils)

 

ROB: Just- please. Leave me alone right now, Colleen.

 

(Colleen’s face grows dour and she stands back. Rob buries his head in his hands and sobs quietly. Xandra clears her throat and picks up a note card)

 

XANDRA: …With Squarespace, you can turn your cool idea into a professional-looking website-

 

HANNAH: Xandra!

 

XANDRA: What?! We forgot to record the ads!

 

(Rob sits up)

 

ROB: If you ever put this episode out, I will sue you into poverty.

 

(Rob stands up and leaves)

 

COLLEEN: Rob, wait!

 

(Colleen leaves after him. Bonnie motorboats her lips and stands up)

 

BONNIE: This has been rad, guys, but I gotta jet.

 

(Bonnie leaves in a hurry. Xandra looks over at Hannah)

 

XANDRA: Rob’s just bluffing, right? I mean- this episode’s going to break records, it’s so juicy.

 

HANNAH: Whether he’s bluffing or not, we can’t put this out. It wouldn’t be right.

 

XANDRA: Are you fuckin’ kidding me?! Why did we do all this shit, then?! Just to avoid having your girlfriend on!?

 

HANNAH: Excuse me?

 

XANDRA: Act like I’m not right.

 

(Hannah takes out her phone and sees several missed calls from Whitney, along with a text from Whitney reading “Xandra just texted me some shit. She knows for sure”. Hannah looks at Xandra, completely disgusted)

 

HANNAH: …You know what, Xandra? Congratulations. You managed to break up a break-up podcast.

 

(Hannah gets up and throws her mic against the wall, breaking it. Xandra gasps as Hannah storms out. She rises to her feet)

 

XANDRA: YOU’RE PAYING FOR THAT, YOU BITCH! THIS PODCAST IS ALL MINE NOW, YOU WATCH!

 

(Cut to Rob walking into his kitchen, completely incensed. He grabs a bottle of whiskey from the top shelf and pours it liberally into a high ball. He throws it back with despair in his eyes and collapses onto his couch with the bottle in one hand and the glass in the other. He sniffs bitterly as tears stream down his cheeks. He pours another glass and throws it back. He then just starts drinking directly from the bottle. Suddenly, there’s a buzz at the door. Rob puts the bottle down and looks over at it. Rob walks over and looks through the window. Amazingly, he sees his biological father Brad Lamborn standing at the gate to his house. He’s dressed in a luxurious gray suit and is donning a mask with a cross on it. Rob’s eyes widen with amazement. Rob presses the button on the receiver)

 

ROB: …Dad?

 

BRAD: (On intercom) I saw you on the news. Looks like you’re having some marital trouble.

 

ROB: …How does the news know already?

 

BRAD: (Intercom) You were photographed leaving that Colleen girl’s apartment building, isn’t that right?

 

(Rob rubs his temples)

 

ROB: Of course. I forgot about that.

 

BRAD: (On intercom) I thought you might need my guidance.

 

ROB: Why would I want that?

 

BRAD: (On intercom) Robert, I’m not the guy I was before. I’ve been reborn. (Rob takes a look at Brad, as he stands outside the gate. Rob takes a swallow and presses the “open” button. The gates slowly start to part. Rob puts a mask on and comes outside, onto the driveway. Brad walks forward. Rob looks at him with watering eyes and a quivering lip) …I can smell the whiskey from here, son.

 

ROB: No, it’s not- it’s not like that-

 

BRAD: No, it’s fine, Robert, it’s fine. I have a different drug for you. But this drug is for everybody. You might even say it’s for the masses. (Rob wipes away tears) You get twice as high, with none of the side effects. (Brad opens his arms) Come here, and I’ll show you.

 

(Rob runs toward Brad and embraces him in a tight hug. Rob cries into his shoulder, as Brad pats his back and shushes him. “Alien Boy” by Oliver Tree comes in as we cut to credits)

 

THE END


Submitted: February 12, 2021

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