Front garden, morning.
A woman, Claire Gaines, is seen sitting in her garden, pointing a hairdryer at the traffic passing by her house. Furniture is seen strewn all across the garden, and the house doesn’t look much better from the outside.
Claire: (muttering to herself) Damn speeders.
Man: Hi. I saw your TV interviews, and wanted to come and meet you.
Claire: Ah, thank you. What’s your name?
Claire: Cool name.
Alexander: (pause) Thanks. So… do you wanna get a coffee?
Claire looks at house and back at Alex.
Claire: Sure, sounds good.
Alexander: Cool, there’s a really nice cafe up the road I’ve been meaning to visit. That sound alright?
Claire: Yeah, sure.
The pair are sat beside the window, in a small, French style café. They are chatting over black coffee and scones. The café is almost completely dead, the only others there are a father and daughter, whose conversation is barely audible in between the gaps in conversation.
Alexander: …So that’s why I’m here.
Claire: Sorry, you want to start a hairdryer business with me?
Alexander: Yeah, I was hoping it would be a partnership.
Claire: (confused) But, why me?
Alexander: You’re practically famous; perfect for starting a brand.
Claire: W-wait… how big did that interview get?
Alexander: You don’t know? It’s gone viral!
Claire: (visibly shocked) Already? I only did it on Thursday!
Alexander: Yeah, it’s so popular in Puerto Rico, my cousin back home sent me a link to your interview and I had to come and meet you.
Claire: Wow. That’s insane. I can’t believe it, everything’s happening so quickly.
Alexander: Loads of people have been sharing the interviews online. It’s crazy.
Claire: Jeez, I never had any idea people were so interested in me.
Alexander: Well, you’re an interesting person.
Claire: (flirtatious) Thank you, you seem quite intriguing yourself.
Alexander: (flustered) Uhm… so, back to business?
Claire: Oh, er, yeah…
Alexander: So, I was thinking we could start small. I know of a space in town we could rent out.
Claire: (nodding) Yeah, start local. Makes sense.
Alexander: Good, so, are you in?
Claire: (pauses for a moment) Yeah, why not? Let’s get going.
Alexander: I’ve got the finances sorted, I just need a partner. Do you wanna go see the space?
Claire: Sure, lead the way.
Vintage style shops line the walls, with hanging basket plants outside. Claire and Alexander stand outside of an empty shop with a sign saying “For rent” in big, block letters. The estate agent walks beside the two.
Estate Agent: Like the space?
Claire & Alexander: (together) Yeah!
Estate Agent: Lovely. I’m sure you and your… girlfriend would be very happy working here.
Claire: (embarrassed) Oh, no, we’re not… you know –
Estate Agent: (flustered) We’re business partners.
Claire: Yeah, business partners.
Estate Agent: Okay…
Alexander: So, rent…
Claire: You know you didn’t have to walk me home, right?
Alexander: Yeah but I wanted to. Plus, I wanted to ask if you wanted to go and celebrate our partnership later.
Car speeds by.
Claire: Yeah, I’d like that. I need to get back to my hairdryer now, but here’s my number. Call me later and we can hash out the details?
Alexander: (pleased with himself) Yeah, cool.
Claire: (calling back over her shoulder) It was lovely to meet you, Alexander.
Alexander and Claire are in a fancy restaurant.
Alexander: So, the waiter was cute, right? I think he might have liked you.
Claire: (scoffing) Me? Ha. No way.
Alexander: Why not?
Claire: Cos I’m pretty sure you were the one he was eyeing up.
Alexander: Maybe. I have my eye on someone else though.
Claire: Oh, cute. Is there someone back home waiting for you?
Claire: Puerto Rico.
Alexander: Oh, well, I already consider here home. I’ve been here for a few months now and I’ve really taken to the place.
Claire: Oh, that’s nice. I’ve only every lived here. Not had chance to travel much.
Alexander: Well, maybe I could take you to Puerto Rico sometime.
Claire: Sounds fun.
A waiter approaches their table and places two drinks beside Alexander.
Alexander: (looks disdainfully at the glass) Erm excuse me, I asked for ice in this?
Waiter: Oh, I’m sorry, let me fix that for you.
Alexander: (dismissively) Thanks. So, back to work?
Claire: Yeah, we have a lot to plan.
Alexander: (raising his glass) Here’s to a long lasting partnership.
Alex is in his car outside Claire’s house.
Alexander: (smirking) Get in loser, we’re going shopping.
Claire: (playfully) Who you calling loser?
Alexander: You. Hurry up, we need to get to the shops before they get really busy.
Claire: Fine, but I’m driving. You drive like a maniac.
Alexander: I don’t trust you with this car, Claire.
Claire gets in car.
Claire: Move over, it’s a shitty care anyways!
Alexander: (sighing) Don’t talk to Lola that way, I take it as a personal offence.
Claire: Well, poor Lola looks like she’s on her last legs.
Alexander: Don’t listen to her, Lola.
Alexander remains in the driver’s seat and begins swerving purposefully in the otherwise empty street.
Two years later.
Claire: Alex, We need more hair dye!
Alexander: I’ll add it to the list babe. S I’ve made reservations for us at that Italian place you were talking about. Is 7pm okay?
Claire: Thank you! Seven is great.
Alexander: Cool, I’ll close up the shop if you want? Give you time to get changed.
Claire: (playful) What, is my outfit not up to scratch?
Alexander: (laughing) No, no. But the half a wig all over your shirt might be a bit of issue. Unless you’re planning on redecorating the restaurant with a carpet of hair.
Claire: Good point.
Alexander: I need to pick up some stuff from the supplier and then I’ll meet you at the house, yeah?
Claire: Yeah, sure.
Claire is sat at the table in the fancy Italian restaurant. Alexander is walking over to the table from the bathroom.
Claire: I ordered a Rosé wine. Is that okay?
Alexander: Fine with me.
Claire: Did you pick up all the stuff we need?
Alexander: Yeah, of course I did.
Claire: Okay, good, we can’t work without that stuff. Why the dinner, by the way?
Alexander: I just wanted to take you out for a change; show how much I appreciate you.
Claire: (laughing) What are you planning?
Alexander: (nervous laughter) Nothing…
Claire: I was kidding… Alex, are you okay?
Alexander: (flustered) Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Sorry, I just… Oh god I’m doing everything all wrong.
Claire: (upset) Alex… are you breaking up with me?
Alexander: No! God no, Claire! I love you. I could never do that. I’m trying to do the opposite, actually. God, I’m so sorry.
Claire: (confused) The opposite? Alex, what the hell are you on about?
Alexander: I’m sorry Claire I just – I meant, oh hell! Will you marry me?
Inside Claire and Alex’s house, one year later.
Alexander: John, we can’t keep doing this.
John: Then how are you going to keep the business running? You know how heartbroken Claire will be if the business she worked so hard for sinks.
Alexander: Don’t bring Claire into this, John. You know how hard I worked for it. It’s my business too.
John: I know that, but it’s not like you don’t have other business ventures.
Alexander: Just, don’t John, please.
John: Look, I’m just saying if everything goes to hell you have a place with me.
Alexander: It’s already gone to hell! That’s the point I’m trying to make, this is the only way the business can survive. I don’t have a choice, John.
John: Yes, you do Alex. You can do this full time. Join me and we’ll make a damn fortune.
Alexander: This wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be a one time thing.
John: Well it’s not. Not any more. Just one more major deal and we’re out, you won’t have to do this anymore and you can go back to Claire and play happy families.
Alexander: That’s not the point. The point is, I’ve betrayed Claire, she just wanted to run a successful salon and now I’ve gone and got all caught up in this mess. I’m a failure as a husband and as a business partner.
John: Don’t say that Alex, you’re a great husband. You love Claire and you only got stuck in the middle of this to save Claire the pain of losing your business.
Alexander: I know, I know, but I just can’t help feeling this is going to mess everything up. It’s not like I can tell her –
John: Yes you can, I’ve met Claire, she’s understanding. She’ll get why you did this.
Alexander: No, she won’t. She’s always thought I was this perfect guy. Learning about this would completely shatter her view of me.
John: She’d get over it Alex, and if she doesn’t then she’s not worth your time.
Alexander: How can you say that? Claire’s been with me through everything – the loss of my brother, my mum getting ill. She’s been beside me the whole damn time.
John: So have I! I was the one you were with when you got the call, I was the one who paid for your flight back home so you could attend the funeral. Where was Claire when you were taking care of your mother?!
John: No! She was here, that’s where, taking care of some stupid shop whilst you were grieving your brother and worrying over you mum. She couldn’t take the time of day to even call you most of the time! It wasn’t fair on you Alexander, and this isn’t fair on me!
Alexander: How is this unfair to you? This is my marriage, my career, my life. You were a shoulder to cry on when Claire wasn’t there, and a pastime to keep my business afloat! You were a distraction, John, from my life that was spiralling out of control, and now it’s over. This partnership is done.
John: Fine. If you’re going to be like that you’re not worth my time. I only helped you for your damn money anyway. It’s not like I need you around. I can handle this without you!
Alexander: Just get the hell out, John! Claire’s going to be home soon anyway and we have a special evening planned!
John: (defeated) Okay. Okay Alexander. If that’s really what you want.
John goes to the door, but before he leaves he turns around.
John: Just don’t come crawling back to me when everything goes to shit with Claire.
Claire: Honey, I’m home.
What, are you sparing me of your sarcastic remarks today? Alex? Sweetheart? Are you even here, or are you off with your boyfriend again?
Alexander makes a feeble sound.
Claire: Alex, seriously, what’s wrong? You’ve usually sassed me to hell and back by now.
Alexander: (sneeringly) I’m not really in the mood for joking.
Claire: Alexander, either you tell me what the hell’s going on or I’ll throw this plant pot at you.
Alexander: (shouting) It’s nothing, alright. Why can’t you just bloody leave me alone for one goddamn minute! I’m sick of it!
Claire: Well, I’m sick of you being a whiny bitch, but I’m not shouting. Yet.
Alexander: For god’s sake Claire! Just drop it, alright? I’m really not in the mood for your bitchy act!
Claire: (shouting) Bitchy?! You’re calling me bitchy?! That’s rich coming from you!
Alexander: What’s that supposed to mean?!
Claire: I come home after a stressful day at work and all I get is my husband behaving like an insolent child!
Alexander: Stressful? What the hell’s stressful about cutting hair?! What’s the worst that can happen, split ends?! Oh god, the horror!
Claire: Screw you, Alex. How would you know if it’s stressful, you never do any work around the damn place anyway.
Alexander: Screw you too, Claire! If you haven’t noticed I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately with my mother’s illness.
Claire: Mother’s illness my arse! You haven’t called her in weeks. She’s heartbroken already about David, and I would know, since I actually talk to her.
Alexander: Don’t drag my brother into this.
Claire: Too bad, Alex. This fight wouldn’t be happening if you took some interest in the business instead of running around with John all the time! What are you two even doing together? He’s trouble, he always has been. He’s only gonna end up ruining you, and us in the process.
Alexander: Don’t mention his name again.
Claire: Why, what’s been going on? Has he finally abandoned you for his next big drug venture?!
Alexander: (shocked) Wh-what are you on about, Claire?
Claire: Oh, cut the crap, Alex. I know. It’s not like you’ve kept it this big secret.
Alexander: You knew?! You bloody knew the whole time and you let me get dragged into John’s mess?
Claire: Oh please. You weren’t dragged into anything, you practically jumped at the chance to spend more time with him.
Alexander: What the hell is that supposed to mean?!