Your Place or Mine?

Sitcom by Anthony Burn

Episode One: Out of this world.

 

CHARACTERS:

ELLI:    Female, Age 24
ADAM:  Male, Age 28
NICK:   Male, Age 31,

MOLLY  Female, Age 46

Elli’s MOTHER:   Female, Age 51
Elli’s FATHER:    Male, Age 57

Elli’s GRANDFATHER:     Male, 76

 

THE SITUATION

ELLI and ADAM both live alone, but share the same flat. In episode one they discover a random portal in the flat, which links their separate, parallel worlds.

Note:  In the script there are several references to the portal.  The audience can see it but the characters cannot.

 

Act 1.Interior. Night.

The living room of Elli’s/Adam’s flat.  On the back wall there is a large window with french windows that open on to a balcony.  To the right of the window there is a door that leads to the kitchen and bathroom. Halfway along the left wall is the front door of the flat while almost directly opposite on the right wall is the door to the bedroom.  In front of the window is a dining table and four chairs.  In front of the table, in line with the doors is a three-seater sofa and in front of that is a coffee table with a two-seater sofa on the right hand side and an armchair on the left.  Behind the armchair on the left wall there is a sideboard and on the right wall there are shelves.

It is 11.30 pm.  ELLI is sitting cross-legged on the sofa. She is on the telephone.

ELLI: …about ten minutes ago. I just got back in…  …(scandalised) No, I DID NOT bring him home!…  …it would be easier to tell you what’s right with him, Jo…  …(emphatically) Nothing! (laughs) …  …no, he was really smarmy, gave me the creeps… …how many people do you know who dance to the ring tone of their mobile phone… …in the middle of a restaurant?… …yeah, well you can tell Dave that I’ll manage without his help…  …what, have I got desperate written across my forehead or something?  (she cradles the receiver on her shoulder and stretching her arms above her head she yawns)  …sorry, probably, the excitement of spending the evening with Mr. Wonderful.   Anyway, I’d better get to bed; I’ve got the parents coming to check out the new flat tomorrow. I don’t want them to think I’m out, partying every night…  …the flat? yeah, it’s great, apart from…  …no I haven’t heard anymore noises for a couple of days.  It must have been the neighbours, it just sounded like it was coming from in here…  …no, I don’t believe in ghosts…  …(laughs again) necrophilia, now why didn’t I think of that? (yawns again)…  …yeah OK, you too.  See ya.

She puts the phone down, gets up and straightens the cushions where she has been sitting and still yawning, walks towards the bedroom door unbuttoning her top as she goes. She switches off the light and goes through the door closing it behind her.

The front door opens and ADAM staggers through. He is extremely drunk. He swings the door closed behind him and stands swaying.  A portal opens in front of him and he takes a couple of swaggering steps, passing through it. It closes behind him.  He reaches for the sofa to steady himself but keeps missing.

ADAM: (Groans) Oh God.

Another portal opens in front of him and he passes through it as he stumbles against the arm of the sofa and falls lengthways onto it. The portal closes. ADAM tries to get up but collapses into unconsciousness.
The bedroom door opens and ELLI puts her head round.

ELLI: Who’s there?

She switches on the light and walks into the living room, looking around cautiously.  She is in her underwear, holding her unfastened bra to her chest with one arm. She goes to the front door to check that it is locked then turns back, shaking her head.

ELLI: You’re losing it Elli, girl. (looks around again) Next, you’ll be talking to yourself.

She moves a lamp on the sideboard ½ inch to the right, nods and goes back to the bedroom, switching off light and closing the door behind her.

 

Act 2. Interior. Day.

Next morning.  ADAM is still asleep on the sofa. ELLI comes out of the kitchen, fully dressed, carrying a bowl of cereal. ADAM groans, clutching his head and rolls onto the floor just as ELLI sits on the sofa.  She starts to eat her cereal as ADAM crawls, still groaning towards the bedroom.

ADAM: (groans) Never again! (He gets to his feet and staggers into the bedroom)

ELLI puts her bowl on the arm of the sofa and picks up a magazine from the coffee table, tidying others and reading it as she leans back. She reaches for the bowl, distractedly, and knocks it to the floor.

ELLI: (exasperated) Oh, bodily functions!

She drops the magazine and rushes to the kitchen.  The doorbell rings and ADAM reappears crossing the room unsteadily to open the front door. NICK enters grinning.

NICK: (brightly) Whoa ho ho, Adam! (ironically)You look well. (he dances past ADAM) Good night or what?  You are the man!

ADAM: (blearily) Good? Have they re-defined ‘good’ in the dictionary?  (He closes the door gently as he holds his head) How come you’re so bright, Nick?

NICK: Me? I’m in great spirits. But then, I would be, wouldn’t I? (laughs)

ELLI comes back with a cloth and starts clearing up the cereal.

ADAM: What happened?  I don’t remember.

NICK: You remember that game, snapshot, that I invented? You know, where the loser has to drink whatever the winner chooses. And do you recall that someone, not a million miles from me now, suggested changing it from a shot to a pint? (ADAM nods hesitantly) You lost.

ADAM: Who won?  (NICK smiles knowingly) Oh, God!  Not Tia Maria and Blackcurrant?

NICK: There wasn’t that much blackcurrant.

ADAM: (Groans, holding his head) What did I do?

NICK: Nothing mate.  No, you were fine.  (laughs) Well, at least you were until you decided to demonstrate your back-flip to the old dear at the bus stop.

ADAM: Did I make it?

ELLI puts the bowl and cloth on the table and goes to the phone and dials.

NICK: Not quite.  You threw up all over her dog.

ADAM: Oh no!  Please tell me that I apologised.

NICK: You looked down at it and said, and I quote, “I don’t remember eating that.”

NICK’S mobile phone goes off and he dances to the ringtone before putting it to his ear with a flourish.

NICK: Yeah-lo.

ELLI: Mum. Good, I caught you. You haven’t left yet?

NICK: No, I’m with Adam.  He’s still a bit out of it.

ELLI: What time do you think you’ll get here?

NICK: I don’t think he’s going to make it to the match…(looks at ADAM who shakes his head and then holds it gingerly) …so I might as well come straight to you. About 12.30 yeah?

ELLI: Oh, I thought you were coming earlier. Are you staying for tea?

NICK: I’d rather go to the pub.

ELLI: I can make sandwiches and things. I’ll get a cake.

NICK: Sounds good. So, I’ll meet you there.

ELLI: OK.  By the way do you know what’s good for getting milk out of a carpet?

NICK: (laughs) Yeah, raw eggs, worcester sauce and a tablespoon of curry powder (looks at ADAM) but I don’t think he’ll drink it.

ELLI: (nodding) Do you think it will leave a stain?

NICK: Only when it comes out the other end. (laughs again)

ELLI: OK. Thanks Mum. I’ll see you about four then.

ELLI hangs up and takes the bowl and cloth to the kitchen.

NICK: Yeah about 12.30 in the pub. Ciao now. (puts the phone away and grins at ADAM) So, are you going to try the hangover cure, wild man?

ADAM: Is homicide a new hobby for you?  Or are you just trying to finish the job you started in the pub last night?

NICK: I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then. Are you coming to the match or are you going to feel sorry for yourself?

ADAM: I’m going to take some pills and then see if I can find my bed. Just as soon as the room stops spinning.

NICK: Oh dear, are you a poor delicate flower, drooping in the vase?

ADAM: Withered and dying mate.  I might be OK for tonight.

NICK: All right.  I’ll call in after the game (goes back to the front door as ELLI returns with another bowl and cloth and scrubs the carpet again) you go and rest your delicate little head.  Oh and Adam (bends close to ADAMS ear and shouts) Ciao now.

NICK leaves, laughing at ADAM’S discomfiture and slams the door behind him.

ADAM: Git.

ADAM backs away from the door, rubbing his forehead. A portal appears behind him and he backs through it, immediately tripping over ELLI’s feet and landing astride her with his back to her head as the portal closes. ELLI screams and ADAM looks down confusedly, lifting her skirt and looking underneath.

ELLI: (angrily) Get off me.

ADAM realises what he’s looking at and jumps up looking startled and confused.

ELLI: (getting up) Who the hell are you?

ADAM: (confused) What?

ELLI: How did you get in here?

ADAM: (more confused) What?

ELLI: What are you doing in my flat?

ADAM: (even more confused) What?

ELLI: Can you say anything other that what?

ADAM: Wha…  Who are you?

ELLI: (confused) What?

ADAM: What are you doing in my flat?

ELLI: (more confused) What?  This is my flat.

ADAM: (shakes his head) How long have you been here?

ELLI: I moved in two weeks ago.  Look, I think you’re confused. Did you live here before?

ADAM: No, I live here now.  How did you get in?

ELLI: I’ve been here all the time. I live here.  How did you get in?

ADAM: I think I’d have noticed if you’d been here all the time (looks her up and down, then suggestively) yeah, I’m sure I’d have noticed you.

ELLI: (annoyed) Right, I think I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

ADAM: What?

ELLI: Don’t start that again.  (points to front door) Get out of my flat.

ADAM: I’ve had enough of this. This is my flat. I don’t know who you are or how you got in here, but if anyone is going to leave it’s you.

ELLI: (picks up the phone) If you don’t leave I’ll call the police.

ADAM: That’s a good idea. Maybe they’ll come and take you away. I think you must have escaped from a secure unit.

ELLI: Me?  How dare you? I’m sure that you must be on a ‘care in the community’ programme. Now, are you going to leave or…

ADAM: Look, I can prove that I live here. (he walks towards the bedroom) Come on, I’ll show you.

ELLI: (shouts) No!  I’m not going in there with you. That’s my bedroom. Stay out of there. I’m calling the police. See, I’m dialling right now.

ADAM: All right, you stay there. I’ll only be a minute.

A portal opens and ADAM walks through and into the bedroom. The portal closes.

ELLI: I mean it. I’m calling the police. They’ll be here soon.

There is a loud knock at the front door.

ELLI: (looks startled between the phone and the door) That was quick! I haven’t even dialled yet.

ELLI puts the phone down and opens the door. MOLLY comes in.

MOLLY: Elli, is everything all right dear?  I thought I head you scream and some shouting.

ELLI: Thank God, Molly, there’s a man in my bedroom.

MOLLY: A man?  How wonderful!  (hopefully)Are you getting rid of him? (she pulls her top open to reveal her cleavage)

ELLI: No. I mean, I don’t know who he is.

MOLLY: (laughs) I didn’t think you were like that.  You should at least ask their names before you bring them home.

ELLI: I didn’t bring him home.  He was… he was just here.

MOLLY: Burglar eh? (pushes up her sleeves) We’ll soon deal with him? Don’t worry, dear.  I’ve done a self-defence course at evening classes.

MOLLY marches towards the bedroom with ELLI following.

 

CUT TO:

Interior. Day.

ADAM’S bedroom. It is a mess.  The double bed is crumpled, the duvet is in a heap in the middle. There is a piece of half-eaten toast and jam, face down, on the sheet. There are empty beer cans and dirty clothes strewn all over the floor.  The drawers on the chest of drawers and the wardrobe cupboard doors are all half-open with clothes hanging out of them.

ADAM is frantically searching, creating yet more mess.  He tries to pick up the toast but it is stuck firmly to the sheet.

ADAM: (shouts) I won’t be a minute, I’m just trying to find my wallet.

ADAM continues to search for a few minutes then straightens up, smacking his forehead with the heel of his hand.  He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet.

 

CUT TO:

Interior. Day.

The living room. ADAM comes out of the bedroom, passing ELLI and MOLLY as they go in. He opens his wallet and takes out his driving licence.

ADAM: Right. This is my driving licence with my address… (looks around) Hello?

ADAM searches the room for ELLI, looking behind seats and under the tables, before checking outside the front door. He closes it again and then goes to the kitchen.

 

CUT TO:

Interior. Day.

ELLI’S bedroom. It is pristine. There are books on her chest of drawers arranged by size and colour. The bed is perfectly made with a teddy bear sitting centrally on the pillows.

MOLLY comes in with ELLI following, peering over her shoulder.

MOLLY: Alright, whoever you are, you’ve picked the wrong… (looks around) Where are you?  Yeah, I would think you would hide.  Think you can terrorise defenceless young girls, well, you’ve got me to deal with now.  Come out you coward.

MOLLY looks around the empty room and then enquiringly at ELLI.

ELLI: (defensively) I’m not that defenceless.

MOLLY: (to the room) It’ll be worse for you if I have to drag you out.

MOLLY waits for a few moments and then bends down to check under the bed, placing a hand on top of it to steady herself.  She stands up shaking her head.  Her hand has left a slight depression in the bed covers and ELLI rushes over to smooth it.  MOLLY nods at the wardrobe and throws the doors open.  ELLI’S clothes are sorted by size and colour, the hangers spaced apart precisely.  MOLLY recoils in shock for a moment but then dives between the clothes searching the back of the wardrobe.  ELLI gasps in alarm and disbelief and starts tidying them again as soon as MOLLY steps back.

MOLLY: Are you sure he came in here, dear?

ELLI: Yes, I watched him; he came in here just before you knocked on the door.

MOLLY: Could he have gone through to the other rooms?

ELLI: No, we would have seen him. He would have had to walk right past us.

MOLLY: Well, there doesn’t seem to be anybody here… unless… was he very small? (nods towards the chest of drawers)

ELLI leaps in front of the chest, looking alarmed, and spreads herself in front of the drawers.

ELLI: (frantically) No. He couldn’t possibly fit in there.

MOLLY: (soothingly) Alright dear, alright.  Are you sure you didn’t just imagine it? You’re not taking any sort of medication are you?

ELLI: No.  He definitely came in here. (she resumes tidying the wardrobe)

MOLLY: Have you seen him or… (sarcastically) anybody else, in here before?

ELLI: What are you suggesting? Do you think that I’m mad or something?

MOLLY: Well… (looks pointedly at wardrobe) If you’re sane, I don’t want to be.

ELLI slams the wardrobe doors and marches huffily through the door.

 

CUT TO:

Interior. Day.

Living room. ELLI goes through the door to the kitchen and bathroom and comes back a few moments later shaking her head.  She sits on the sofa and puts her head in her hands. She is close to tears. MOLLY sits beside her and puts her arm around ELLI’s shoulders.

MOLLY: I’m sorry dear, I want to believe you but men don’t simply vanish into thin air. There’s been many a time that I wish they would, but it just doesn’t happen.  Maybe it was a trick of the light or maybe (sounds unconvinced) a ghost or something.

ELLI: No.  He was definitely real.

MOLLY: (getting bored) Yes, yes, of course, he was.  How are you so sure?

ELLI: He sat on me.

MOLLY: (interested again) Sat on you?

ADAM comes out of the kitchen carrying a glass of water with painkillers dissolving in it. He pauses to look around the room, shakes his head and then goes into the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

ELLI: Yes, I was cleaning up the cereal that I spilt on the floor (looks down and sees the bowl and cloth. She picks them up and starts to get up, but changes her mind and puts them on the coffee table.) I was on my hands and knees scrubbing at the carpet and he… he just sat on me.

MOLLY: And you didn’t hear him come in?

ELLI: No, the door was locked… Oh my God! It was bolted from the inside.  He must have… he must have been here all night.  (looks worried)  I thought I heard a noise just before I went to bed.  That must have been him.

MOLLY: Listen dear, don’t take this the wrong way, but there’s been times when I’ve been so far gone that I’ve woken up to find a stranger beside me.  Are you sure that you didn’t bring him home with you?

ELLI: (looks at MOLLY haughtily) No, I did not!  I’m not that sort of girl… well, not always, anyway.  Besides, he wasn’t my type.  And he was dirty and smelly and unshaven, like he’d slept in his clothes.  He must have got in last night while I was out.

MOLLY: (disdainfully) So, let’s get this straight. This man breaks in while you’re out, hides all night, who knows where, and waits until the middle of the morning to sit on you and then disappears into thin air.

ELLI: Do you think I’m going crazy? (she moves the bowl to a more central position on the table)

MOLLY: (looks at the bowl and then back to ELLI) Going?

ELLI: (scowls) Look, I tidy things when I’m nervous.

MOLLY: Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite as nervous as you. (looks around the room) Alright look, is anything missing?

ELLI: No.

MOLLY: And was there any sign of a break in?

ELLI: No.

MOLLY: Well, I hate to have to say…

ELLI: No, wait.  He said that he lived here.  That it was his flat.  Maybe he lived here before and has still got a key.  He looked hung over, maybe he came back here by mistake, forgetting that he had moved out.

MOLLY: Sorry dear, but old Mrs. Golding lived here before you, until her son put her in a nursing home last month, and she was here forever. I think that Noah helped her move in; brought her here on his ark.

ELLI: (desperately) I didn’t imagine it. I know I didn’t. He was here.

MOLLY: But he’s not now.

ELLI: No.

MOLLY: Well, I don’t think there’s a lot more I can do. (gets up and goes to the door) I’ve got to get back but call me if he comes back.

ELLI: Molly, (goes to the door) I know you don’t really believe me, but… thanks anyway.

MOLLY: You seem like a nice enough girl, Elli, but seriously, I would think about seeing your doctor or… someone.  I’m just next door if you need me.

ELLI: (sadly) OK. Bye.  (she closes the door)

 

Act 3. Interior. Day.

Later that afternoon. The living room is empty.  ADAM comes from the bathroom. He has just got out of the shower and is still wet. He is naked apart from a towel wrapped around his waist. He looks around the room for a few moments and feels behind the cushions of the sofa, eventually coming up with a sock.

ADAM: (triumphantly) Aha!  (sniffs at it and pulls a face) Oh… er, maybe not. (throws the sock on to the coffee table and goes into the bedroom)

ELLI comes in through the front door carrying a shopping bag and a bunch of flowers which she puts on the dining table.  She looks around the room suspiciously.

ELLI: (annoyed with herself) Come on Elli, pull yourself together. There’s no-one here.

She goes back to the table and takes a pack of tights out of the bag, which she leaves on the table with the flowers. She picks up the shopping bag and goes towards the kitchen.

ELLI: Oh, and Elli?

ELLI: Yes?

ELLI: Will you please stop talking to yourself.

ADAM comes out of the bedroom wearing underpants and one sock. He picks up the sock from the coffee table and sniffs it again, wrinkling his nose in disgust.

ADAM: It’ll have to do. (He tries to pull on the sock while still standing and hops clumsily before falling onto the sofa. He puts on the sock and goes back to the bedroom)

ELLI comes from the kitchen carrying a vase and picks up scissors from the shelf. She goes to the table and begins arranging the flowers in the vase.  She steps back to check and shaking her head, rearranges them.  ADAM comes out of the bedroom, now wearing jeans and carrying the towel which he throws over the back of the sofa as he walks to the table. He almost collides with ELLI but she steps back to admire the arrangement and he walks in front of her and picks up a shirt, which is hanging on one of the chairs.  ELLI steps forward again and ADAM walks behind her, putting on the shirt as he goes to the bathroom. ELLI rearranges the flowers once more and steps back again.

ELLI: That’s better.  You know, it would be so much easier if you all grew to the same size and shape.

She collects the cut stalks together, wrapping them in the paper that the flowers came in and throws them in a waste bin in the corner of the room. She puts the scissors back on the shelf and then collects the tights from the table and goes to the bedroom.  A portal appears just before she reaches the door and she walks through it into the room. It closes behind her. As soon as she goes through the bedroom door she screams and comes back out again looking startled. She looks at the living room and screams again.  ADAM comes out of the bathroom in a hurry. He has a mouthful of toothpaste and his toothbrush in his hand.

ADAM: (spitting toothpaste) You again… hang on.  (He wipes his mouth on the towel).

ELLI moves away, looking frightened and keeping the sofa between them.

ELLI: (panicky) Where did you go? How did you get back in? What are you doing here? What do you want?

ADAM: Calm down, calm down, I’m not going to hurt you.

ELLI: (hysterical) Don’t come near me.

ADAM: OK, I won’t move.  I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been here all day. I…

ELLI: (Gasps) What? Where?  What have you done to my bedroom?  And how did you make so much mess?  I only went in there (points to bedroom) for a second. Where are my things? (looks at table) Where are my flowers?

ADAM: Hang on, hang on. Too many questions. I can’t…

ELLI: This isn’t… this isn’t my flat.

ADAM: No, I told you this morning, it’s mine.  I went to get my driving licence but you disappeared. (takes wallet from back pocket and takes out licence. He tries to hand it to ELLI but she backs away)

ELLI: I didn’t disappear. You went into my bedroom and… and vanished.

ADAM: I went into my bedroom.  Look at my driving licence. (throws it to ELLI)

ELLI: (examines the licence) This is my address. (she collapses onto the sofa) I don’t understand.

ADAM: There is something odd going on around here, but I promise I’m not doing it. Can I sit down?

ELLI nods and ADAM sits facing her. ELLI backs away to the far end of the sofa.

ADAM: I was thinking about it when I woke up this afternoon… (notices ELLI’S puzzled expression and shakes his head)  Heavy night, don’t ask. When I tripped over you this morning…

ELLI: You sat on me.

ADAM: OK, I sat on you. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to.

ELLI: So, why did you look up my skirt?

ADAM: (guiltily) I was hung over. It was so unexpected… I couldn’t work out what I was sitting on.

ELLI: Huh. A likely story. You haven’t had a lot of experience around girls then?

ADAM: No. I mean yes… I mean… I’ve had enough but I just didn’t expect to find one… to find you in my flat.

ELLI: My flat.

ADAM: Well, yes actually, I think you might be right. See, when I thought about it there were three things that didn’t make any sense.  Number one, you just appeared. You couldn’t have got to where you were without me seeing you.

ELLI: You said you were hung over?

ADAM: Yeah, but Nick would have seen you.

ELLI: Who’s Nick.

ADAM: He’s a mate. He was here just before I… before I met you. You didn’t see him?

ELLI: (puzzled) No.

ADAM: Yeah, that fits.  So that means I was here until I closed the door and then…

ELLI: You sat on me.

ADAM: I have said I’m sorry.

ELLI: OK, what else didn’t make sense.

ADAM: Yeah, as I walked to the bedroom, it didn’t register at first, but there was something wrong with the flat…  It was too tidy.

ELLI: (very defensive) Don’t you start on me, it’s bad enough that Molly accused me of being abnormal without you joining in. I can’t help it if I like things to be neat. There’s no harm in a little bit of cleanliness.  After all it doesn’t hurt any…

ADAM: (holds up his hands) Whoa there! I didn’t mean it was over tidy, I just meant that it was too tidy to be my flat.

ELLI: Oh… sorry. (looks around) Yeah, I can see what you mean.  I guess I’m just feeling a bit sensitive at the… (sniffs and wrinkles up her nose) What’s that terrible smell?

ADAM: (Shakes his head and quickly moves his feet away from her) Who is Molly?

ELLI: She lives next door. Don’t you know her?

ADAM: No. I wonder if George does?

ELLI: George?

ADAM: (laughs) Yeah, he lives next door.

ELLI: I don’t understand any of this. None of it makes sense. (she is thoughtful for a moment)  You said that three things didn’t make any sense. What was the third?

ADAM: You.

ELLI: (huffily) Oh, thanks very much. Well, I’m sure that explains everything perfectly.

ADAM: Sorry, I didn’t mean it like… I mean I probably wasn’t making any sense to you either.

ELLI: Do you know how to?

ADAM: (laughs) Ouch.  OK I probably deserved that but I think I’ve worked this out although it’s going to sound pretty crazy.

ELLI: (ironically) Oh, good.  It was too much to hope for that anything would be rational today.

ADAM: It’s either that were in the same place but at different times and somehow we’re travelling backward and forwards through time…

ELLI: Oh, please.

ADAM: Well it’s easy enough to prove, what’s the date?

ELLI: (sighs) Seventeenth of August.

ADAM: Or not… OK then it must be same time, different place.

ELLI: (grips the bridge of her nose and shakes her head) I know I’m going to regret this, but go on, what do you mean?

ADAM gets up and goes to the front door.

ADAM: Look, this morning, when I closed the door after Nick, I was in my flat but then I stepped back and I…

ELLI: You sat on…

ADAM: (emphatically) I’m sorry.  Anyway, it must have been about here that I came into your flat, then I walked over here (walks towards the bedroom) and then… What does your bedroom look like?

ELLI: None of your business.

ADAM: (exasperated) I wasn’t asking for an invitation, I just want to know if it looks the same as mine.

ELLI: If it did, I’d lose the will to live.

ADAM: You know, there’s more to life than keeping everything tidy.

ELLI: (looks around her)So it would seem.

ADAM: Anyway that means there must be two because I went into my bedroom not yours.

ELLI: Two? … Two what?

ADAM: Doors… gateways… portals… whatever you want to call them, from your flat to mine.  We both live in the same flat at the same time but in different… or parallel worlds.

ELLI: Oh please. I knew I shouldn’t have asked. Big Star Trek fan, are you?

ADAM: I did tell you that it would sound crazy.

ELLI: I didn’t think you meant psychotic.

ADAM: By the way I’m Adam. Adam Kirk.(offers his hand to shake, notices he is still holding his toothbrush and swaps it to his left hand)

ELLI: (takes his hand, hesitantly) Eleanor, my friends call me Elli.

ADAM: James T. is my father.

ELLI pulls her hand away sharply.

ADAM: That was a joke.

ELLI: So, you can call me Eleanor.

ADAM scowls at her.

ELLI: That was a joke.

They laugh and ADAM sits on the arm of the sofa with his feet on the cushion. ELLI wrinkles up her nose at the smell and ADAM, seeing her expression, quickly gets up and walks towards the bedroom.

ADAM: Do you agree that this isn’t your flat?

ELLI: I don’t know. It’s my address and the furniture’s all the same…

ADAM: Are you renting it furnished?

ELLI: Yes.

ADAM: Me too, that’s why it’s the same.

ELLI: (nods) Hmmm, I don’t see how you could have made this much mess in a split second so I suppose I agree.

ADAM: Great. Progress at last.  So when did you notice the change?

ELLI: When I went into the bedroom.

ADAM: (Excitedly) Yes that’s it. That’s when it changed for me too.  I walked from your living room into my bedroom.  Don’t you see, that’s where the portal is.

ELLI: In that case, why don’t I walk into your bedroom every time, (frowns) perish the thought.

ADAM: It can’t be open all of the time.

ELLI: Time! (checks her watch) Oh my God. My parents should be here, they’re already late.  How do I get back?

ADAM: The portal into your flat is by the front door.  Go to the door and walk this way.

ELLI does as ADAM suggests.

ELLI: Nothing.

ADAM: Maybe it’s just not open at the moment.

ELLI: Oh great. I’m stuck here until this thing decides to let me through.

ADAM: Perhaps the other one is open. You could go back the way you came. Come into my bedroom.

ELLI: Not even in your wildest dreams, buster.

ADAM: (groans) Oh God. I’m only trying to get you back to your flat. Trust me.

ELLI: Not as far as I could throw an elephant.

ADAM: (hurt) OK I’ll stand over here. (moves behind the sofa)

ELLI goes to the bedroom and comes back out again, shaking her head.

ELLI: Aren’t you afraid of catching something in there? I’m sure I saw things crawling about on their own. Anyway that clearly didn’t work, so any more bright ideas?

ADAM: You’ll just have to wait until it opens again.

ELLI: How am I supposed to know when it’s open.

ADAM: I don’t know. Just keep going backwards and forwards through the doorway I suppose.

ELLI: Oh wonderful. Good job I like exercise. What about if it opens somewhere else?

ADAM: Are you always so negative?  We know it was there twice before, it’ll probably be there again.

A portal opens in the middle of the room.

ELLI: (excitedly)  No. Hang on Adam, it’s here, I can see my flat. I take it all back, you must be right.  Wow, this is weird.  Can you see it?

ADAM: I can’t see anything (moves towards ELLI) Oh yeah, I can see your flat just over there.

ELLI: I’d better go through before it disappears again. Look I’m sorry about not believing you. It was nice to meet you.  (looks suddenly startled) By the way, did you come into my flat, groan and say ‘Oh God’ at about 11.30 last night?

ADAM: I couldn’t tell you. I was completely out of it. I don’t remember anything about last night.

ELLI: (teasingly) That’s unlucky.

ADAM: Why?

ELLI: (winks at him) I didn’t have any clothes on.

ELLI skips through the portal and it closes behind her.

ADAM: (disappointed) Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!

ADAM looks at the toothbrush in his hand as if only just noticing it, collects the towel and goes back to the bathroom.  There is a prolonged knocking at the front door. ELLI opens it and her MOTHER, FATHER and GRANDFATHER come in.

MOTHER: Eleanor, at last, we’ve been knocking for ages. Where have you been?

ELLI: (giggles) Out of this world!

 

Act 4.  Interior. Day.

Early Evening.  MOTHER and FATHER are sitting on the two-seater sofa. GRANDFATHER is sitting at the right hand end of the large sofa. NICK is sitting in the middle of the large sofa with his feet on the coffee table, reading a ‘lads mag’ and ELLI is standing, collecting cups and plates from the coffee table.

MOTHER: Well, I’m not sure that I’d want to stay here.  Suppose you went into his world and couldn’t get back. What do you think Donald?

FATHER: It’s a risk I suppose, but then what in this life isn’t? I mean, she could get run over by a bus.

MOTHER: Yes, but at least we’d know what had happened. If she disappeared into this other world we wouldn’t know if she was there or if she’d been abducted or something. How would we know whether to worry or not?

ELLI: Thanks a lot, mum. I would hope that you’d be worried anyway.

MOTHER: What? Oh yes, of course we’d be worried no matter…

FATHER: What your mother is trying to say is that it would be easier…

MOTHER: Thank you Donald, I know exactly what I’m trying to say. I’d just prefer to know what had happened to you.

ELLI: So, you’d rather I was run over by a bus!

MOTHER: Yes… No, of course not! Don’t be ridiculous. We don’t want anything to happen to you.  That’s why I’m not sure about you living here.

ELLI: Mum, it took me ages to find this flat.  It’s just what I want and it’s far better than anything else for this amount of rent.  I don’t want to go through all that searching again.  Besides, I really like it here.  I promise to be careful.

MOTHER: I’m sure you will but I still feel uneasy.  Still, it’s your decision. Heaven knows it’s years since you listened to me anyway.  Now let me give you a hand with those dishes.

ELLI: There’s no need, mum, I can manage.

MOTHER: I know you can manage, but I’m here, I’m not useless. I’ll help you with the washing up and then we must be going. Donald, kitchen.

FATHER gets up wearily and smiles weakly at ELLI as he takes the dishes from her and follows his wife into the kitchen.

ELLI: Are you alright there, Grandad?

GRANDFATHER nods and ELLI kisses the top of his head.

ELLI: We won’t be long.

ELLI goes into the kitchen. ADAM comes out of the bedroom, brushing his hair and carrying a pair of shoes. He has changed into trousers, shirt and tie. He sits on the two-seater sofa and starts putting on his shoes.

NICK: What’s she like then, this er… flatmate of yours?

ADAM: I told you. She’s a bit neurotic but she seems quite nice…

NICK: No, I meant to look at.  Anything like this? (holds open the magazine for ADAM to see)

ADAM: (laughs) Ugh, that’s not natural. No, Elli’s nothing like…(he peers closer at the picture and then looks at NICK in disbelief) Is that a…?

NICK: (nods and grins) Sideways.

ADAM: How did they get that…?

NICK: Best not to ask.

ADAM: You’re right. I don’t want to know.

ADAM looks at the picture again, shakes his head and goes back to tying his shoelaces.  NICK closes the magazine and throws it on the table.

NICK: Well?

ADAM: I suppose she’s about five foot…

NICK: I don’t want her measurements. Is she good looking?

ADAM: Gorgeous.

NICK: You lucky old dog.

ADAM: How can that be lucky?  She lives in a completely different world.

NICK: That meets this world, here, in your flat.  For all we know, she could be sitting right here (points to GRANDFATHER then grins slyly) I could have my arm round her right now. (puts his arm round GRANDFATHER’S shoulders)

ADAM: Without your fantasies you wouldn’t have a sex life would you?

NICK: You’re just jealous because she’s sitting with me. (rubs GRANDFATHER’S chest) See, she’s getting very excited.

ADAM: (tuts) You’re a very sad individual, Nick. I’ll just get my jacket. (gets up and goes towards the bedroom)

NICK: Adam, she wants my tongue in her ear.

ADAM: You animal. Don’t go down that road.

NICK starts licking GRANDFATHERS ear. ADAM goes into bedroom and comes out a few moments later, putting on a leather jacket. NICK stops licking.

NICK: She’s hot for me, mate.

ADAM: She just came through the portal and she’s standing behind you.

NICK: What? (spins round, then turns back to ADAM, smiling ruefully) You swine!

ADAM: I’m ready. Come on let’s go.

NICK gets up and they go towards the front door.

ADAM: By the way, you’d better pray that you don’t lose at snapshot tonight.

NICK: Why?

ADAM: (Opens the door) Crème de menthe and tomato juice.

NICK: (laughs) With Worcester sauce?

ADAM: And Tabasco.

NICK: Wild!  You are the man.

They go out laughing and ADAM closes the door behind them.  ELLI and her parents come out of the kitchen.

MOTHER: We’re off now, dad. (to FATHER) Fetch my coat, please Donald.

ELLI: I’ll get it.

ELLI goes into the bedroom while the others help GRANDFATHER up. ELLI comes back a moment later with MOTHER’S coat. ELLI opens the front door.

MOTHER: Goodbye then darling… and Eleanor, do be careful.

ELLI: I will.  Bye mum. (kisses her cheek) Bye dad. (kisses his cheek)

FATHER: Bye love. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

ELLI: Bye bye grandad. It was nice to see you. (goes to kiss his cheek)

MOTHER: Be careful of his ear, darling, it’s still infected from where he had that boil.

ELLI draws back and then kisses GRANDFATHER’S other cheek. They go out and ELLI closes the door behind them, then she begins straightening the cushions on the sofas.  After a few moments there is a knock at the door.  ELLI answers it and MOLLY comes in.

MOLLY: I came to apologise, dear.  I think I was a little bit unfair to you this morning.

ELLI: That’s alright. It was all a bit confusing, but it’s sorted out now. He was from a parallel world.

MOLLY: (startled and backing away) What?… Yes, yes, of course he was, dear.

ELLI: (excitedly) No, honestly. There’s a portal in the flat that goes from this world to his.

MOLLY: (backing through the front door) I’m sure you must be right. I’ve er… I think I’ve left the iron on.

ELLI: (desperately) I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve been through it too.

MOLLY: (from outside the door) I believe you, I do, really, I do.

ELLI: Please, wait, let me explain it… (there is the sound of MOLLY’S front door slamming) Oh… (clenches her fists) bodily functions!

ELLI closes the door and leans back against it.  She is thoughtful for a moment then she giggles.

END

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