The Missing Me

The Missing Me (extract from the script):


Pat van Essence, 75 year old patient, is sitting by the window in the care center. There's a vinyl record player on the side table beside her. Pat is turning it on and off, then on and off again.

NURSE: Pat, would you knock it off? It's very distracting (quietly, to herself) and getting on my nerves.


Marcela (18 y.o.)  sneaks into Jewel's (21) room. She puts down her accordion on the floor and looks around. She can hardly see anything, it's dark. Marcela opens the curtains, letting the light in. Her sister Jewel is sleeping under an old coat. All dressed up. Marcela looks at Jewel as she's never seen her before. Jewel's face is jammed against the pillow, sleep-distorted. She never looked like that in her life. Marcela stares at Jewel for a long moment. She sits on a chair beside the bed.

MARCELA (quietly, mostly to herself): - Don't they provide you with blankets?

She picks up her accordion from the floor and starts playing some well-known French chanson. She stops for a moment, trying to bring up the right notes from her mind. She plays quietly. She doesn't want to scare her sister.

Jewel is crying in her sleep. Marcela notices that and starts singing quietly. Finally Jewel opens her eyes and looks at Marcela. She stops crying. She recognizes the song and starts singing too. Her voice is very low. Marcela raises her voice, wanting to bring Jewel's voice back to normal.

Marcela stops playing, puts the instrument back on the floor and hugs her sister.

MARCELA: Did you have bad dreams again, Jewel?

JEWEL: We were at that "Arctica" bar again, smoking and drinking. And all of the sudden she disappeared. I couldn't find her anywhere... I never sleep well when I'm worried. so I hardly ever sleep, you know. You're the only one who visits me. Well, you and her.

MARCELA: The lady from your dreams?

JEWEL: She is real. She comes here, right here in this room.

Marcela takes out a small bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes.

JEWEL (looks at a bottle): - I want it all.

Marcela opens the bottle and hands it to Jewel. Then she lits a cigarette.

JEWEL: I can't remember when the last time I had my wine and cigarettes. We are not allowed here, you know. The nurse says that the wine and cigarettes can cause problems with my white brain cells.

MARCELA: Oh, tell her to shut up. It won't affect anything. It will bring you back to life, back to normal.

They are laying on Jewel's bed, head to head and smoking.



Nurse: You're quite determined to burn out your sister's life?

MARCELA: Why do you say so?

Jewel, staying unnoticed in the corner, listens to their conversation.

NURSE: Cigarettes again, wine... This is against our rules, miss Gavanski. She stops eating and sleeping after you're gone. You're the worst influence and I'll make sure that you'd never come back here

MARCELA: She wasn't eating much or sleeping before she got here. Look at her pictures. Her work will tell you a lot about her. She's a dreamer. She has to have some alcohol or cigarettes every once in a while, don't you get it?

Marcela leaves.

Jewel goes back to her room.



Jewel's dream:

Nikki stands by the window in her room. Jewel looks at her.

Their voices are similar, they sound like each other.

JEWEL: When you appeared, it's like you...suffocated me. I couldn't breath evenly. Breath in, breath out. I got arrhythmia. Compulsive breath.

NIKKI: You brought me back to life. My hair stood on end.

JEWEL: I started smoking a lot. And drinking too, portraying you. Talked like you - very sharp. Ring on my toe, flower earring on my right. 

NIKKI: - Did things that fell asleep in me before...

JEWEL: Called you from payphones from the middle of nowhere, loved to walk in the rain without the umbrella.

NIKKI: - Wrote you letters and didn't get an answer.

JEWEL: Drank coffee until my heart was beating a thousand beats a second. Ragged rhythms.

NIKKI: - I loved you because you knew how...

JEWEL: ...that less words are needed, but you needed those words that would be like bullets in the gun drum.

NIKKI: Take care of them, shoot them only when you know for sure that this - this is the shot. It knocks you down to hell.

JEWEL: You and heaven are incompatible. There's no fire in heaven. I liked the fact that you were free from the fear of loss. That you were pushing me to nowhere and not waiting for my return. I liked the trips with one way ticked and never knowing if you'll respond to my letters.

NIKKI: It is the greatest love. Nobody else knew anything like it.

Copyright © 2016 by Yana Yaseneva. All rights reserved.
No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose without prior written permission.