Dialogue: Day 12 of the Story A Day Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a scene entirely or mostly in dialogue. I am revisiting characters from Day 6 and taking them out to dinner.


JACKIE:     So this place is cheap but really good. I –

CILLA:     Yeah?

JACKIE:     – probably come here too much. Yeah. Are you a vegetarian or anything?

CILLA:     Was, but not since college. You?

JACKIE:     Yeah, since college.

CILLA:     Well, I don’t eat that much meat, you know, since I went back. Just –

JACKIE:     It’s really okay. Just wanted to –

CILLA:     – a couple ‘a days a week.

JACKIE:     – tell you they have this great veggie burger, in case that was your thing.

CILLA:     Oh. Maybe I’ll have it anyway!

JACKIE:     If you do, then I’m definitely getting the burrito, and we can split them. I never can decide between them. They are both so good.

CILLA:     Yeah, that sounds good.

JACKIE:     But make sure you don’t want anything else, my carnivorous friend.

JACKIE LAUGHS.

CILLA:     I’m not …

CILLA CHUCKLES.

JACKIE:     Wanna sit outside? We’ll sweat –

CILLA:     Yes. I am so tired of being inside after this winter. I never –

JACKIE:     I know, right?

CILLA:     – want to be inside again. Except at night. Maybe.

JACKIE:     I was fantasizing Caribbean vacations –

CILLA:     ‘scuse me. Can we get some waters and some menus? Thank you.

JACKIE:     – and running away to volcanic islands.

CILLA:     I would have, but you know, that whole life crumbling around me thing.

JACKIE:     Yeah.

CILLA:     It was perfect that it was winter. Why not just make –

JACKIE:     Do you –

CILLA:    – something horrible just even fucking worse?

JACKIE:     Do you want to talk about it?

CILLA:     No. Not here in public. ‘Cause, you know, I might just cry again.

JACKIE:     And you hate crying. Especially in public.

CILLA:     She remembers!

JACKIE:     Good to know some things haven’t changed.

CILLA TAKES A LONG DRINK OF WATER AND LOOKS AT THE MENU

CILLA:     I think the burger/burrito idea sounds good.

WAITER:     Can I get you ladies something to drink? Appetizers?

CILLA:     Water, please.

JACKIE:     I’ll have a Guinness.

WAITER:     Great. I’ll get that and then take your –

JACKIE:     Actually, I think we’re ready to order now.

WAITER:     What are ya haven’.

CILLA:     The veggie burger, please.

WAITER:     Regular, spicy, or sweet potato fries?

CILLA:     Sweet potato.

JACKIE:     Good choice. Vegetarian burrito, black beans, sour cream on the side. Do you like white or brown rice?

CILLA:     I don’t ca-

JACKIE:     Brown rice.

CILLA:     -re.

JACKIE:     Thanks.

CILLA:     Guinness?

JACKIE:     I like my beer shake. So –

CILLA:     Tell me where you work again?

JACKIE:     Planned Parenthood.

CILLA:     But you’re not a doctor.

JACKIE:     No. I run organize community programs. Sex ed, pro-choice speakers, stuff like that. The clinic is just around over there, around the corner.

CILLA:     You like it?

JACKIE:     Yeah. I’m almost ready to leave, try something else or just somewhere else, but the people are nice, work’s good. It’s hard sometimes, you know, but I feel good about myself at the end of the day. So, not sure where else I’m going to find something like that.

CILLA:     I had a roommate in college go there for an abortion.

JACKIE:     Yeah?

CILLA:     Said they were mostly nice.

JACKIE:     I used to go there for my annual. Used to? Still do.

CILLA:     I was wondering! You work for them but don’t use their services?

JACKIE:     Well, not all of them, but – What did you do before –

CILLA:     Mostly different stuff. Waitressing, admin, receptionist (which I hate).

JACKIE:     Nothing permanent?

CILLA:     I’m one of those kids that got out of college and forgot what I wanted to do with my life.

JACKIE:     Ah. Well, I didn’t just start working for Planned Parenthood. I got a few jobs. Got fired from a few jobs.

CILLA:     Fired?

JACKIE:     Yeah. I was … Having fun.

CILLA:     Never would see you as the type to get fired.

JACKIE:     Me either.

CILLA:     That what you meant when you said leaving didn’t solve your stuff?

JACKIE:     I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.

CILLA:     (PAUSE) Okay. But not mine here.

JACKIE:     Sure. Basically, when you’re running away from yourself but telling yourself that you’re running away from everything else, the running away doesn’t do much. You hate yourself just as much when you get wherever it is you’re going.

CILLA:     The whole blame everyone else for your problems?

JACKIE:     Sort of. I mean, it’s not fun to be gay in a place where that is dangerous, even if you aren’t even out to yourself. You just learn … to … How do I say this? You get taught real well how to think of yourself as broken or unloveable. So the fact that the people that taught that aren’t there, doesn’t magically make you stop thinking that.

CILLA:     Did I make you –

JACKIE:     No. I mean, not – Look, everyone told gay jokes and used gay slurs. Or wrinkled their noses just thinking about gay sex. You mostly did that last one.

CILLA:     Oh.

WAITER:     Here you go. Can I get you anything else?

JACKIE:     Sharing plates would be great, thanks.

WAITER:     Yep. Here you go.

CILLA:     I’m sorry.

JACKIE:     You don’t have –

CILLA:     Yes, I do. I’m sorry, Jax – Jackie. I shouldn’t have done that.

JACKIE:     You didn’t know.

CILLA:     Doesn’t matter. I can’t take it back, but I can – I’m sorry.

JACKIE:     S’okay.

JACKIE CUTS THE BURRITO IN HALF AND SLIDES IT ONTO CILLA’S PLATE.

CILLA DOES THE SAME WITH THE BURGER.

JACKIE:     Thank you. For apologizing.

CILLA:     If you’re gonna cry, I’m going to take it back.

JACKIE:     (LAUGHS) Shut up and let me cry, asshole. These are good tears.

CILLA:     Only so long as you don’t make me cry.

JACKIE:     Deal.

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