Why You Shouldn’t Have Gone in the First Place

Original short by Samantha Schoech

INT. – MOTEL 6 – LATE NIGHT

Lights are dimmed in a dingy motel room. Smoke rises from
the half-lit cigarette sitting in the ashtray on a night
stand next to the bed. A table sits off to the right of the
room, where the window is open and overlooking the street
below from the second floor balcony. The soft buzz of the TV
murmurs, and the light from the screen projects onto the
bed, where a woman and man are lying. The man sleeps on his
side, turned away from the woman. Sheets are rapped around
his unclothed body. The woman lies on her back, looking up
at the ceiling and listening to the beating down of
footsteps coming from the guests walking around in the room
above them. She finds the remote and clicks to a channel and
leaves it on an infomercial. Another stomp from upstairs, as
debris falls from the ceiling in the corner. The woman turns
her head to her left and looks at the man. He is undisturbed
and still sleeping, silently. The woman sits up to look out
the window and hears the zoom of a car passing by on the
highway. She lays back down and stares at the ceiling some
more, before turning over on her right side, facing the
nightstand. She reaches for the cigarette, takes a drag, and
puts it out. As she places the cigarette back into the
ashtray, she notices a gold ring sitting on the nightstand a
few inches away. The woman reaches for it and brings it
closer to her finger. She debates putting it on, turns the
thought over in her head, but then decides against it. She
puts the ring back down the way it was on the nightstand and
resumes lying on her back looking up at the ceiling. She
slowly closes her eyes.

CUT TO:

INT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – EARLIER THAT NIGHT

Same man and woman sitting at an old, run-down bar. Both
have beers in front of them, the woman’s half-empty, the
man’s empty as he waves down the bartender for another
round. The bartender sees the man and goes to get the beer
as the woman looks at the man seductively. The man returns
the same look to the woman. He puts his hand on her knee and
squeezes, and the woman smiles.

CUT TO:

INT. – MOTEL 6 – LATE NIGHT

The stomps from the footsteps of the room above have
silenced. The woman tosses and turns and opens her eyes
again. She rolls over to her right and scrunches her body
into a ball. Close up on her face. She closes her eyes
again, but opens them when she hears the filter running from
the pool through the walls of the room. She glances up again
at the wedding ring placed next to the ashtray.

CUT TO:

INT. – WOMAN’S APARTMENT – EARLIER THAT NIGHT

Close up on a coffee table. A half-empty bottle of Merlot
sits next to a filled ashtray and an empty, stained wine
glass. Ahead you can see a couch and a woman walking out the
front door behind it. The door shuts as the screen turns
black.

CUT TO:

EXT. – HIGHWAY – SAME TIME

See woman driving in her car down a crowded highway. Camera
follows the car as it passes a sign reading “Vallejo 10
miles.”

CUT TO:

INT. – MOTEL 6 – LATE NIGHT

The sound of the filter becomes louder and rustles the man.
He rubs his eyes and turns over, about to place his arm
around the woman, who is turned the opposite way and
pretending to be asleep. She hears the man move in bed. The
man almost has his arm around her, but stops when he wakes
up more and realizes who she is. He rolls back over on his
other side nonchalantly.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROD’S HICKORY PIT – EARLIER THAT NIGHT

The woman pulls into the dirt driveway of Rod’s Hickory Pit,
smoke kicking up in clouds from her tires. She parks in
front of the rundown, sleezly place. No other car is in the
lot. The woman gets out of the car and walks beneath the
flickering neon sign that bears the place’s name, the letter
H in the sign burned out. She opens the door and walks in.

CUT TO:

INT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – SAME TIME

Woman enters the joint and pauses and looks around. Off to
her left, directly in front of her is a small stage. A man
with a mohawk, wearing nothing but leather pants and a small
leather vest is sitting on the right of the stage, watching
two older women dressed in hot pants sing karaoke to old
Madonna songs. The woman scans the rest of the place. In the
back is an Asian gang playing pool. They joke and carry on
and eye the woman up and down when they notice her standing
there. Uncomfortable, the woman takes a seat at the bar on
her right and orders a glass of red wine. The bartender sets
a napkin down and then the wine glass.

CUT TO:

INT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – 10 MINUTES LATER

The woman sits on the barstool, looking at her watch. She
looks up and over at the empty wine glass in front of her.
She turns to the bar and debates on ordering another drink.

CUT TO:

EXT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – 1O MINUTES LATER

The woman stands outside under the neon sign and
walks back and forth on the parking block in front of her.
She stops and reaches down into her purse and pulls out a
cigarette. She digs for a lighter, but realizes she doesn’t
have one. She looks left and notices one of the Asian gang
members a few feet away, taking a long drag of his own
cigarette. Reluctantly, she walks over to him.

JADE
I hate to be a bother, but do you
have a light?

GANG MEMBER
(Seductively)
For you, I got more than a light.

He eyes her up and down.

JADE
No–No thanks. Just a light will
do, please.

GANG MEMBER
Awe, come on baby. Don’t be that
way. I was wondering when you were
going to talk to me.

The woman pretends not to hear him and slowly drifts over to
the far side of the cement landing between the parking lot
and the lobby entrance. She peeks through the window and
sees a family move slowly through the buffet line. The
mother is helping her two little children to handfuls of
fries, as the father scoops up one of the little boys,
smiling and carrying his own plate in his other hand. The
family drifts from the line and walks over to their booth to
sit down. There is nobody else in sight. The woman turns
around and pulls out another cigarette, along with the pack
of matches she found at the bottom of her purse. Close up on
the box of matches. Four matches left.

CUT TO:

EXT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – 1O MINUTES LATER

The woman takes the last long drag of a cigarette and throws
it on the cement in front of her, along with three other
ones already littering the ground. She throws the matches in
the trashcan next to her and begins pacing. She stops in
place and begins tapping her foot as she looks down again at
her watch. Cars zoom by on the highway in front of her. The
woman looks up as headlights beam on her like a spotlight. A
white sedan pulls into the lot, leaving its own trail of
dirt behind it. Although dark, the woman can see the pink,
flip-flip airfreshener hanging from the rearview mirror. The
sedan comes to a stop in front of the woman, and a man takes
his time getting out of the driver’s side. Zoom in on the
man as he exits the car. He is in business attire, but
missing his suit jacket. he has a white buttondown shirt on,
the sleeves rolled up and the two top buttons undone. A
loosely tied red tie hangs from his neck. His dark, brown
hair contrasts nicely with his charming, white smile. He is
rather attractive, which also contrasts with the woman’s
rather dull, average appearance. The woman sees the man and
smiles. As he nears her on the landing, her smile quickly
fades, and she pulls her jacket tighter around her chest,
while brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.

CUT TO:

INT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – 10 MINUTES LATER

The man and woman are sitting at the bar. the man is
lounging on the bar stool, intently staring at the woman and
saying nothing. The woman is doing all the talking and is
rather animated in her hand movements. He places his hand on
her knee and squeezes. The woman stops talking and looks
down at her knee when she realizes the man’s hand is upon
it. She blushes, looks up at the man and begins talking
again. The man is still smiling, but still says nothing.
Just nods his head in agreement. Both are drinking beer. The
man realizes the woman’s glass is halfway empty, as he
finishes the rest of his.

MIKE
It’s really good to see you, babe.

JADE
Yeah, you too.

MIKE
Say, how bout another round?

A beat.

JADE
I really shouldn’t.

MIKE
Awe, come on. It’s been forever
since I’ve seen you last.

JADE
I know…

The woman looks down again at the man’s hand on upon her knee.
His gold wedding ring shines from his finger.

MIKE
Hey, you okay?

JADE
Yeah, yeah. I’m fine. I’m just
getting a little tired.

MIKE
Come on, just one more round. Then
I’ll let you go.

A beat.

MIKE
Don’t look so enthused. We’re just
two old friends catching up, having
a drink. It’ll be our little
adventure.

JADE
(Reluctantly)
Alright, Alright. One more, or else
you’ll be carrying me out of here.

The man laughs and shoots her a coniving smirk, as he
squeezes her knee tighter.

MIKE
Alright, that’s what I like to
hear.

CUT TO:

INT. – ROD’S HICKORY PIT – A LITTLE LATER

The man and woman are falling off their barstools, laughing
and joking and swaying. Empty beer glasses surround both of
them. The bartender is off in the left-hand corner of the
bar, his arms on the bar and his head in his hands. He
watches the man and woman.

MIKE
Ah, God. That’s funny. Say, how
about one more round?

The woman looks around the bar. The place has cleared out.
Even the women in hotpants had surrendered for the night.
Feeling a sudden burst of confidence, the woman sits up
straight and sticks out her chest. She reaches for the man’s
hand and looks him directly in the eyes.

JADE
What do you say, we get outta here?

A beat. The man’s smile fades for a second, but arises
again, this time fully.

MIKE
You sure?

A beat. The woman grabs the man’s tie and brings him in
towards her.

JADE
Yeah.

MIKE
(Smiling)
Let me get the tab.

CUT TO:

EXT. – MOTEL 6 – LATER NIGHT

The man pays for the room, and he and the woman walk up the
outside flight of stairs to the second floor of the motel.
The woman leads the way, the man walking behind her slowly,
but surely. The woman stops when they reach the door marked
24 on the outside.

JADE
(Flirty)
This is us.

The woman smiles at the man and opens the door. She
disappears inside and turns on the light. The light shines
out into the dark night sky. The man takes one last look out
onto the highway, scans the landing, takes a deep breath
and enters the room.

CUT TO:

INT. – MOTEL 6 – SAME TIME

The woman turns the lights off and and walks over to the man.

MIKE
Are you sure you wanna do this?

JADE
Sh.

The man walks over to the nightstand and reaches across for
his own finger. He takes his wedding ring off and places it
next to the ashtray. The woman watches him do this and backs
away. The man sits down on the bed and notions for the woman
to come join him. The woman takes one more lingering look at
the ring and walks over to the nightstand. She shuts the
light off and walks towards the man, as the screen fades to
black.

FADE TO:

INT. – MOTEL 6 – LATE NIGHT

The man and woman are lying in bed, with the sheets over
both of them, the woman on the left side of the bed, the man
on the right. Both are staring up at the ceiling.

MIKE
That was good.

JADE
Yeah…

MIKE
Say, I have work really early
tomorrow. Would you mind if I snuck
out?

A beat. The woman rolls over to face the man.

JADE
Yeah, I would kind of mind.

A beat.

MIKE
Okay.

The woman rolls back onto her back. Both stare up at the
ceiling and listen to the sound of the pool filter running
through the wall and the sound of pounding footsteps from
the room above.

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