A Volume of Silence

A MAN and a WOMAN sit next to each other on a sofa, facing the audience. She is leaning into him, and he has an arm around her shoulders in a casual, comfortable embrace. His eyes are closed and he is the picture of contentment. The woman addresses the audience; the man does not hear her.

WOMAN : He looks so... content. We've been sitting here in silence for a while now and it's such a contrast to his nervous chatter back when this was so new and exciting. But now, look at him; relaxed, secure... happy.

That's why this is so difficult. I know, now, past the flirting and the giggling, past the blushes and the awkward stares, I know now that he's not my future. The way he looks at the world; I can never be like that.

And we've been sitting like this for a while now. It's a silence begging to be broken, and I know, I KNOW how he's going to break it, and I'm not ready, but this time, for the first time, I don't think I can -

The MAN opens his eyes and looks at her. She remains facing the audience.

MAN: I love you.

She looks at him, for a beat, and then away.

Private Dick

A man, the VENDOR, enters, with a suitcase. He puts it down and looks around furtively, waiting.

A second man, the BUYER, enters. They eye each other warily.

VENDOR: Er. Hello, are you here for, you know, the, er, the, er, the, well, um...

BUYER: The suitcase full of pornography.

VENDOR: Ah, yes, yes, exactly.

BUYER: Yes. Here's the fifty quid.

He hands the vendor some notes.

BUYER: Pleasure doing business with you.

He reaches for the suitcase. The vendor pulls it away slightly.

VENDOR: It's not, ah, it's not mine, you know. It's a funny thing, hahaha, you see, I moved into this new flat, and in the cupboard, I swear to god, I find this suitcase, you know, full, FULL of pornography! A whole suitcase! It was, you know, quite big, and...

BUYER: This suitcase.

VENDOR: Hahaha! Yes, yes, of course, yes, precisely, this suitcase here. But, anyway, I just want to say, I'm, not, you know, I'm not some kind of pornography vendor. I mean, haha, I am selling you this suitcase, yes, but, see, I just felt I should get rid of it somehow, and this seemed the best way. I haven't watched it or anything, you know, someone else's pornography, it seems... distasteful... not that you shouldn't watch it, of course! You know! Enjoy yourself! Erm. Or don't, you know, really. It's none of my business.

BUYER: Right.

The buyer reaches for the suitcase again. Again, the vendor pulls it away.

VENDOR: Of course, since I haven't watched it, there could be anything on there, so, er, be careful, kind of thing.

BUYER: None of that, you know, shit with animals?

VENDOR: Gosh no! Well, I hope not. Er. I haven't watched it. Actually that'd be illegal, wouldn't it, me selling you that? Hahahah. Actually look have this back.

VENDOR gives the notes back to the BUYER.

BUYER: What?

VENDOR: I have to, ah, survey all this stuff before I can sell it. Meet me here again in a week?

VENDOR departs at speed with the suitcase, leaving BUYER standing.