I Could Take Out My Gun and Shoot You by Tweed Harris

This Play is the copyright of the Author, and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author’s prior consent

I COULD TAKE OUT MY GUN AND SHOOT YOU
by TWEED HARRIS
ACT ONE SCENE ONE Ė SATURDAY 10pm

(As the audience enters they should see a park bench set DSR in front of the main curtain. Music: ďHelloĒ by Ah Do should be played throughout last two minutes before the spotlight fades, houselights out, spotlight rises again to reveal CHARLIE sitting on the bench with a bottle in a brown paper bag, which he swigs from now and then).

(After a few moments the rest of the apron lights are brought up and KEVIN strolls in from SL, stops to look at CHARLIE for a moment and then approaches the bench).

KEVIN I could take out my gun and shoot you.

CHARLIE (Looking up) Sorry?

KEVIN I said, I could take out my gun and shoot you. It would be quicker and less painful than that. (He indicates the bottle CHARLIE has been drinking from).

CHARLIE (Smiling) Itís not as bad as it looks, itís only coke. (He slips top of bottle out of the bag to prove it).

KEVIN Thatís even worse. Have you seen what that stuff does to a penny?

CHARLIE I havenít even seen a penny.

KEVIN Me neither come to think of it. Anyway that stuff eats right through metal so they say. So do I need to get my gun?

(CHARLIE looks quizzically at KEVIN, who mimes taking out his gun and shooting CHARLIE in the head).

CHARLIE (Smiling) Oh no, itís not that bad.

KEVIN Good. Iíve run out of bullets anyway. (Pause) May I? (He indicates park bench).

CHARLIE Oh, sure. Sorry. (He moves up to make room for KEVIN)

KEVIN Thanks. (Pause) So whatís a nice guy Ö

CHARLIE ..like me doing in a place like this?

KEVIN No. I was gonna ask what does a nice guy do around here on a Saturday night?

CHARLIE Well, there are pubs I suppose, clubs, discos. I donít really know. Iím not really a night person.

KEVIN Yet here you are at (looks at his watch) ten twenty-seven sitting in a park, drinking alone.

CHARLIE Coke (Holds up bottle and smiles)

KEVIN Yes, coke. Would you like to go somewhere for a drink, maybe something stronger?

CHARLIE Thanks, but I just wanted to sit here and think things over for a while. Nice and quiet like.

KEVIN (Rises) Oh, sorry. Then maybe I should go.

CHARLIE Oh no. Iím sorry that mustíve sounded very rude. No, you are welcome to stay and chat if you want.

KEVIN (Sits) I think I will. Thanks. What shall we talk about?

CHARLIE I donít know. I am not usually very good at making conversation.

KEVIN Well, youíve made a good start. Tell me, what do you do for a living? If you donít mind me asking?

CHARLIE I have only just recently started my first job. Iím a computer support officer.

KEVIN Wow! Sounds very technical and very important.

CHARLIE Not really. It just means when people have problems with their computers or programmes, they call me in to sort it out.

KEVIN Now you really do sound important. Iím impressed.

CHARLIE (laughs, feeling slightly embarrassed). Iím still learning but I do love computers. I spend too much time with them, I know. Thatís why I am probably not very good at making conversation.

KEVIN You are doing just fine.

CHARLIE You know I donít know you but I feel quite comfortable talking to you.

KEVIN Well, thatís my job. Listening to people. Iím a Social Worker.

CHARLIE Now itís my turn to be impressed.

KEVIN I like my job too. I mainly deal with teenagers who just donít seem to be able to cope with High School. I had a bit of a rough time myself at school so I understand them pretty well.

CHARLIE I wish Iíd had someone like you when I was going through High School, someone to talk to.

KEVIN You can talk to me now.

CHARLIE Yes I can, canít I? I can see you would be good at your job. I wish I could talk to my parents like this. About my problems.

KEVIN Girl trouble?

CHARLIE I wish. No, that I could deal with.

KEVIN So, problems at home?

CHARLIE Kinda. I left home three months ago. Never said a word, just packed and left. I did leave a note saying I had to go and not to worry I would stay in touch. Humph! Stay in touch! Every week I send the same postcard with the same message. ď Dear Mum and Dad, Iím fine. Please donít worry. Love CharlieĒ.

KEVIN Kevin

CHARLIE I beg your pardon?

KEVIN Iím Kevin (He offers his hand)

CHARLIE Oh, Hi. Iím sorry, IímÖ

KEVIN Charlie, yes I got that.(CHARLIE smiles as they shake hands)  Youíve done it again. (CHARLIE looks puzzled) Smiled. You smiled again. Itís a good smile.

CHARLIE Thanks.

KEVIN You know kids moving out on their own can sometimes bring parents and their kids closer together. That sounds funny but I guess you know what I mean.

CHARLIE (With another of his bright smiles) Yeah.

KEVIN I got my own flat sometime ago now. Mind you, I had no probs with my family. I just wanted to start out on my own. My parents were great, even helped me get started. Probably glad to get rid of me (laughs).

CHARLIE I think mine will be glad to see the back of me if I ever get to see them again and talk.

KEVIN Look, I donít wanna pry but if you wanna talk about whatís bothering you, Iím happy to listen.

CHARLIE (Looks at KEVIN as if deciding) I have tried so many times to phone my parents and talk to them. I ring and as soon as they answer, usually my father, I say nothing. He says, ďIs that you Charlie?Ē And then I hang up.

KEVIN Tough.

CHARLIE Yes, cos I never know what I am going to say, or at least how I am going to say it.

KEVIN No, I mean tough on them. Youíre ďDonít worryĒ notes wonít stop them you know Ė worrying I mean. Why not write to them and say whatever it is you want to tell them. In any case I am sure it canít be that bad.

CHARLIE Oh, you donít know. Itís so bad that I just know I have to face them when I tell them. But how the hell am I ever going to do that when I canít even get up enough courage to say, ď Can I please come home and talk?Ē

(CHARLIE is beginning to show signs of getting quite upset).

KEVIN I donít know about you but I could do with a bite to eat. How about it?
CHARLIE No thanks (A half smile)

KEVIN Come on, everything looks better on a full stomach - except a ring through your navel. (CHARLIE finally laughs out loud and covers his navel) You havenít have you?

CHARLIE No. (Sincerely) Thanks for cheering me up. (Pause) I could do with something to eat. Nothing too fancy though.

KEVIN McDonalds?

CHARLIE My favourite. (They exit DSL)

(The lights dim leaving the bench in the spotlight. Music (Hello) rises and after a minute fades as we hear KEVIN and CHARLIE laughing offstage.
CHARLIE and KEVIN enter laughing and carrying McDonalds   Shakes. They sit at the bench).

CHARLIE Why is it that the dirtiest jokes are always the funniest?

KEVIN Not true. But different people have different senses of humour. It is true, however, that the more people talk about sex in their jokes, the less they seem to have in real life.

CHARLIE I bet thatís not true either. Maybe some people tell sexy stories cos they havenít started sexy lives yet.

KEVIN Really? You meanÖ youÖ. havenítÖ..

CHARLIE (embarrassed) No, not yet, not really.

KEVIN Wow! A real live virgin. Sorry, I wasnít making fun. I actually think itís kinda wonderful. Although I do have to say, with such a good-looking guy, I am surprised no one has Öyou know?

CHARLIE Well, to be honest, Iíve played around but never reallyÖyou know. Iíve always been too scared.

KEVIN Believe me it is nothing to be afraid of, nothing will jump out and bite you.

CHARLIE (Smiling) I know that.  (Pause) Iím just scared of so many things I guess.

KEVIN Such as?

CHARLIE Well, Iím a little scared of the way I feel. I donít know why but I am. Iím just not sure I understandÖunderstand myself I mean. Iím scared of going with ....people too.

KEVIN Why is that?

CHARLIE Not sure that I really know what to do, scared of getting sick.

KEVIN Listen, Charlie. We all started out like that. As for knowing what to do, well, at first itís all kind of experimental until you discover what each of you likes, feels comfortable with. A sensitive person will tune in to your, shall we say, lack of experience.

CHARLIE What if theyíre not sensitive?

KEVIN Itís always a risk you take but somehow I donít see you being attracted to someone who is not sensitive, gentle, caring.

CHARLIE Can you tell all that on a first meeting?

KEVIN Maybe not always. Iím pretty sure from this first meeting that you are all those things.

CHARLIE Thank you. (They hold each otherís eyes for a moment).

KEVIN I donít think weíve covered all the zones of fear yet, have we?

CHARLIE No. My biggest fear is how to tell my parents how I feel. What do I say to them? What will they say? What will they do?

KEVIN Look, Charlie, weíve been playing word games long enough. What is it you find so hard to say? If you canít say it to your parents, try me. Iím a pretty good listener.

CHARLIE Donít you know what Iím trying to say?

KEVIN Yes, Charlie, I think I do but you have to say it. Say it to me, a stranger. I promise not to judge, or laugh or even cry, if what you are going to tell me is very sad. I will understand. If it is any help, I think I already know what you want to say, but go on say it, no one is listening except a friend. (He places a hand on CHARLIEíS shoulder - softly) Say it.

CHARLIE How do I tell people that I amÖ.. gay?

(KEVIN does not react at all. Slowly his hand slips from CHARLIEíS shoulder. CHARLIE watches this and feels he has surprised, if not shocked, his new friend. He is visibly worried).

KEVIN You donít have to tell people, only those you care about and those you feel ought to know. Anyway, youíve told me thatís a start.

CHARLIE Yes, I have, havenít I? But youíre so easy to talk to, not at all like my parents.

KEVIN Are they that difficult to talk to?

CHARLIE My mother, no. She is wonderful and there have been so many times that I have come so close to telling her. My father would never understand, Iím sure and I am just so scared that he would turn against, even blame, my mother. But there is no blame here is there Kevin?

KEVIN No, Charlie, there is no blame and no shame. It is just possible that your parents already know.

CHARLIE (Shocked) How? How could they know?

KEVIN Charlie, Iíve been there, done that.

CHARLIE You have?

KEVIN Yes, Charlie. Now I know you are a TG

CHARLIE TG?
KEVIN (Laughing) Trainee Gay. You donít even know a pick-up line when you hear one.

CHARLIE WhatÖ..

KEVIN I sensed you might be gay so I came to pick you up and then I got caught up with this feeling that what you wanted was not a fuck but a friend. I wasnít wrong was I? And a friend I can be. Charlie, if I can sense you are gay maybe your parents can too. Maybe they are just waiting for you to tell them. MaybeÖ

CHARLIE No, they will never understand.

KEVIN Charlie you want more than understanding, you NEED more than understanding, you should expect, demand acceptance. Acceptance of you the son, you the man, you the lover, you the human being with real human emotions. Please donít settle for understanding. I didnít.

CHARLIE (Surprised) Your parents know about you?

KEVIN I donít know about my parents. I think they died when I was quite young. I have lived for most of my life with Pete and Cheryl, foster parents. Two of the greatest people I know.

CHARLIE And they know about you beingÖ.(He stops)

KEVIN Gay, Charlie, gay. Itís not a dirty word, you can say it. Yes they know.

CHARLIE Did you tell them?

KEVIN I wanted to. Just like you, I struggled with ways to tell them. Like you I thought my telling them would be a slap in the face for all the hard work they had put into raising me. But then I decided that if they loved me, and I definitely love them, then honesty is the least we could expect from each other. One day I asked them to come to my flat. I told them I had something very important to tell them.

(Front of curtain lights go off. Park bench stays with CHARLIE seated looking at the place where KEVIN sat. KEVIN has left the stage) Lights fade up as curtain opens on KEVINíS flat).

ACT ONE SCENE TWO - KEVINíS FLAT Ė A FEW YEARS AGO

(It should be an attractive living room, nicely furnished but with few, if any, pictures on the walls. There is a doorway USR leading to bedroom 1, a doorway DSL leading to bedroom 2, an opening (possibly an arch) USL leading to the kitchen and a front door DSR leading to the hallway entrance. There are two small windows in the wall SR. These should be draped with non-descript curtains. At first the living room as we see it is furnished with a sideboard USL, a bookcase USR, a sofa centre stage with an easy chair off to its left and an oblong coffee table in front of the sofa. All of the furniture suggests what it really is, a clumsily furnished place for rental purposes only. A cordless phone sits on the sideboard .

As this is a flashback sequence, it is suggested that the stage lighting not be full and, if possible, CHARLIE on the bench should appear just in silhouette.
PETER is seated at the R end of the settee next to CHERYL).
PETER (Calls out) Come on, Kev, whereís the bloody drinks mate.

CHERYL (Sotto voce) Mind your bloody language. (They laugh. They are quite obviously a happy, down-to-earth couple that have enjoyed and still look forward to many years of marriage.)

KEVIN (Offstage) Coming.

PETER Heís doing something special for you. Mark my words. It doesnít take this long to pour a beer for his old man.

CHERYL Well he knows how to take care of a lady in her old age.

PETER Old be buggered, youíll outlive the lot of us.

CHERYL Not you love. When we go, weíre going together. Remember.

PETER (Leans across and kisses her) Weíve a whole lot of time left yet young Ďun. (Another kiss)

KEVIN (Enters from kitchen, wearing open Ėnecked shirt and slacks, just in time to see last kiss) Oops. Iíll get some more ice. (Goes to exit again).

PETER Come back here, weíre bloody dying of thirst. The drinks will be cold enough.

KEVIN The extra ice was for you, you randy old sod.

(General laughter. KEVIN sits in easy chair, having passed a glass of beer to PETE and placed two glasses of an exotic looking drink in front of CHERYL and himself).

ALL: Cheers (drink)

PETER So, now then, Kev, whatís this important news you have to tell us?

CHERYL Yes, love, what was it you wanted to say?

KEVIN Have another drink. (He drinks)

PETER Is it that serious that we have to get drunk before you spring it. (They drink and the stare at each other for a moment).

KEVIN (Takes another drink) Pete, CherylÖI always felt like calling you Mum and Dad but it never seemed right somehow.

CHERYL Whoever your parents were, they would have been proud of the way youíve grown and those titles still belong to them. Pete and Cheryl will do us just fine. In any case weíve rather liked just being your best friends while you were growing up.

KEVIN Best friends anyone could have. (Pause)

PETER Well, go on. Spit it out.

KEVIN You see, you have never asked about who I go out with. Oh you always asked where I went, did I have a good time but you never asked about my friends.

CHERYL Well, we didnítÖÖ

PETER (Gently) Shush, love. (CHERYL holds PETERíS hand as if worried about what is to come).

KEVIN You see I always thought that one day youíd ask about a girlfriend. Did I have one? What was she like? And I always dreaded that coming cos Iíd never want to lie to you.

CHERYL As far as we know you never have.

PETER (Silences her with a gesture) Did you want us to ask Kev?

KEVIN No. (Slight pause) Well, maybe yes then I couldíve told you what I have to say now. You see I donít have a girlfriend and I suspect I never will becauseÖbecause…Iím gay.

(There is deadly silence for a minute and then Cheryl starts to giggle and PETER is obviously trying to control his laughter. Finally the two of them burst out laughing. KEVIN sits looking stunned).

CHERYL (Crosses to KEVIN, hugs him, kisses him on cheeks) Oh Kev, we love you so much. We thought you were going to tell us you had AIDS. Oh we know who you are and what you are. Youíre the son we never had. This one here definitely has something wrong in his genes, four daughters. You were welcome in our house when you were just four years old. Do you think we have watched you grow, watched you learn, watched you mature and not know who you really are?

KEVIN Pete?

PETER We thought it was only proper that you should tell us when you thought it was the right time. I guess now is the right time but we have known for years. Telling us you had something very serious to talk about did have us dead worried for a week. Kev, we know cos one of our lovely daughters told us. The one who had her eye on you. She is tickled pink she says cos ďnow she has a baby sisterí. (Quickly) She doesnít mean anything by that, itís just a phrase. We all know, Kev, and it doesnít change anything. We are still the proud foster parents of a great young man.

KEVIN Parents. (Hugs Cheryl)

PETER Drinks. Bloody hell theyíll be warmer than a camel driverís crutch. (They all return to their seats and drink, raising glasses) Now Kev, I wanna say two things.

CHERYL Really, Pete is this necessary?

PETER Yes, very necessary. First, no lectures on sex, youíre a big boy, just be careful thatís all we ask. Second, if you have a special friendÖ. (Waits and looks at KEVIN)

KEVIN Not yet, Pete.

PETER Well, when you do, you bring him home to meet us. Iíll serve him drinks and Cheryl will sum him up to see if heís good enough for you.

CHERYL Pete, be serious.

PETER What I mean is, Kev, you donít wanna go spending all your evenings and money at bars and clubs. You fancy a quiet, family evening at home, well thereís our place. Your friends will always be welcome. Cheryl and I would like that, wouldnít we love?

CHERYL Anytime, Kev. We miss having you around.

PETER Yeah, weíd like to see more of you. Stop us getting bored with each other. Mind you weíve managed alright for 34 years and ainít bored yet.

CHERYL (Teasing) Well, you might not be.

PETER Oh-ho, a challenge is it?

CHERYL Get on with your pep talk.

PETER Righto. Weíre not prudes Kev and we werenít born yesterday. Young men have needs, just like us old ones, and those needs must be met. Like some wise old fart once said, ĎIf you donít use it, youíll lose it.í

(Laughter)

KEVIN Pete, Cheryl. I hope Iíve not disappointed you.

CHERYL We love you Kev. Always have, always will.

(KEVIN hugs CHERYL, goes to hug PETE, who holds out his hand)

PETER Just a handshake will do. (He shakes KEVINíS hand and in doing so draws him close for long, warm hug).

KEVIN Iíll get some more drinks. (KEVIN exits USR with glasses and beer can).

PETER (To Cheryl) I better not have too much to drink otherwise I might not be up to accepting that challenge.

CHERYL Thatíll be the day. Iím glad he finally told us.

PETER And Iíll bet he is too. Heís a great lad Cheryl and chances are heíll bring another great lad into our family. You always said youíd like another boy. Well, hereís your chance of getting one Ė and no labour pains.

CHERYL There werenít any with Kevin either Ė at least not for me. (There is a slight pause whilst CHERYL stares into space). Does he ever think about her, I wonder?

PETER Who?

CHERYL His mother.

PETER (Takes CHERYL in his arms and kisses her gently). I am sure he thinks Ė very often Ė of YOU.

(They hug warmly as the lights fade on the living room and the curtain closes).

ACT ONE SCENE THREE Ė THE PARK BENCH Ė 10.30p.m.

(The spot comes up on the bench with KEVIN and CHARLIE still sitting with their McDonalds shakes).

KEVIN So you see they made it easy for me. They knew me better than I knew myself. They told me they knew when I was fourteen. I wasnít really sure myself till I was twenty. Five years ago. (Long pause). That was a subtle way of telling you my age. Twenty-five. (Pause) You?

CHARLIE Twenty-one. Well, not really, I was twenty just three months ago.

KEVIN When you moved out.

CHARLIE Yes. You have been listening.

KEVIN Isnít that what friends are for?

CHARLIE Are we friends Kevin?

KEVIN No. Not yet. But I have a strong feeling we will be.

CHARLIE Thanks Iíd like that.

KEVIN (After they have stared at each for a short while). Do you want to go to a club?

CHARLIE (Nervously) What club?

KEVIN Donít worry, itís a nice place, not far from here. We can just sit and talk and later if you feel like it we can dance.

CHARLIE Dance?

KEVIN Yeah, you do dance donít you?

CHARLIE Yes, but Iíve never Ö.

KEVIN Danced with a man ?

CHARLIE No, well, no not really.

KEVIN Well, we can sit, chat and have a drink, not coke, OK?

CHARLIE OK.

KEVIN And if we do dance donít worry, Iíll lead.

CHARLIE (Laughing) Iím probably not very good.

KEVIN I am.

They rise, look at each other for a moment and exit DSR.

As they exit Kevin puts his arm around Charlieís shoulders.

Lights Fade. Music: ďFor Once in My LifeĒ by Harry Conick Jnr
After a few moments the lights come up on KEVINíS flat).

ACT ONE SCENE FOUR Ė KEVINíS FLAT -THREE MONTHS LATER Ė

SATURDAY

(The door opens quietly and SNAP, an obvious, but very likeable, queen pokes his head in. He carries an expensive camera around his neck).

SNAP All Clear. (He crosses to sideboard and places his camera on it, he is

also carrying cushions or whatever is needed for change on the set).

COKE (Enters carrying a large bag of ornaments). Thank goodness. Sneaking

around like this I feel like Mission Impossible.

THINGS (Who has entered and placed a large art folder against the wall).

Mission Impossible? I thought that was the night I first met you.

COKE Nah, I was just playing hard to get. (They hug and kiss).

SNAP When you two have finished with this sickening display of lesbian

líamour, can we get on with the job? Then we can get down to the club

and enjoy a well-earned drink and perv.

COKE Right. (To THINGS) You deal with the curtains; me and Butch here

will deal with the furniture. (THINGS starts to hang curtains and

arrange a few ornaments from the large bag).

SNAP Donít you mean me and Butch?

COKE Yeah, maybe I do. Letís go. (They pick up pieces of furniture and take

it outside the front door, returning with replacements. Items to be

replaced need only be the coffee table, new furniture can be limited to

a CD rack. The settee can be covered with a loose cover or simply

decorated with scatter cushions. The conversation continues, though

maybe disjointed whilst characters pop in and out and carry out their

tasks. Coke collapses on to sofa).

THINGS Are you really sure Charlie knows nothing about this?

SNAP Kevin has it all arranged to collect him one evening this week and just

bring him here and announce, ďThis Charlie my boy is home.Ē

COKE That Kevin is such a romantic, such a pity heís gay.

THINGS (Sits on arm of sofa) And what good would it do you if he wasnít?

COKE I dunno, but it might be fun to find out.

THINGS (Throws a cushion at COKE) Youíll get more stuffing outa this than

you will our dear Kevin.

SNAP Will you two save yourselves for the bedroom and get on with this

makeover.

COKE (Beckons to THINGS and they advance on SNAP, mock menacingly)

Maybe we could give you a makeover at the same time.

SNAP Look dear, being with two women might be some menís fantasy but it

is definitely not mine. (He dashes past them, retrieves cushion and

places it back on sofa). Come on weíre nearly finished and then we can

get to the club and you two can rub your bodies together in what you

call dancing.

COKE Yeah, Letís hurry.

THINGS What am I supposed to do with all these ornaments?

SNAP Just put them anywhere. Kevin will change what he doesnít like. Our

job is just to get the stuff in here and get the old stuff out. The rest is

up to Kevin.

THINGS Snap, youíve known Kevin for so long. Is this really serious for him?

SNAP I would say this is the big one, the one he always wanted.

COKE I thought it was you who always wanted the big one.

SNAP I mean, I think Kevin has met his ideal man. (He looks just a little sad

as he says this).

COKE (Breaking the mood, she throws a plastic ornament at SNAP) Here, put

this somewhere.

SNAP Bitch, I might have dropped it.

COKE Look at it carefully. You would never let anything like that slip

through your fingers.

SNAP (Holding up the ornament, which is clearly phallic in structure).

Mmmm, is this really just ornamental?

THINGS Come on guys, almost done.

(They make a final check and tidy the room. They go to front door).

SNAP The bridal suite is finally ready. Thank God we did the bedrooms

yesterday. Now I really need aÖÖ

THINGS Öman?

SNAP Well, maybe later but right now I need a couple of shots for my

records. (He picks up camera and takes a few shots of the room).

THINGS Why do you need those?

COKE My dear, he keeps a record of everything he does.

THINGS Everything?

SNAP Everything . (Looks at watch) Hey, letís get moving. Kevin said we

have to be out of here no later than 10 oíclock.

COKE Itís just three minutes to, we had better hurry.

SNAP Now letís go for a well-earned drink.

COKE (As they exit) I hope youíre paying. Iím flat.

SNAP Never mind, thereís an ATM close by.

(They exit closing door behind them. There is the sound of excited voices fading into the distance).

(There is just a slight pause).

(KEVIN enters from the right and holds door open for CHARLIE, who enters carrying a battered suitcase. The door is left open)

KEVIN Well, now you know why I havenít asked you back for a while.

CHARLIE (dropping case and looking around) Itís great Kevin, really. Did you do it all yourself?

KEVIN Well, a lot of my ideas, but the gang helped me put it together the way I like it. Mind you if you want to suggest some changesÖ..

CHARLIE No, I like it. I really do. (Crosses to behind sofa). And in any case it is your home.

KEVIN Our home. (CHARLIE gives KEVIN a quizzical look) Please Charlie, I want you to stay.

CHARLIE Stay?

KEVIN Yes, stay. I want this to be OUR home, Charlie. Ours.

CHARLIE Three months ago I didnít even know you. Now I find it hard to believe that I ever didnít know you. You have made me grow up so much. I want to be part of your home Kevin but more than that, I want to be part of you.

KEVIN (Crosses to CHARLIE and puts his arms around him) You know for someone who not so long ago was a virgin, you sure have developed a sweet line of patter. (They kiss Ė a short affectionate peck and then stand looking in each otherís eyes for a while).

CHARLIE (Suggestively) Should we close the door?

KEVIN We will, but not for what youíre thinking. You need to unpack and see your bedroom. (He closes door)

CHARLIE MY bedroom?

KEVIN (Seriously) Of course, you didnít think you were going to sleep with me every night did you?

CHARLIE (Looks bewildered) Oh. Ok.

KEVIN You snore something dreadful. Come on. (Takes CHARLIEíS case and heads for bedroom 2) This will be YOUR bedroom. (He puts case in and closes door. Crosses to bedroom 1) And this will be mine. (Opens door and CHARLIE looks towards KEVIN).

CHARLIE Iíve seen it, remember.

KEVIN No, come on look.

CHARLIE (Crosses to door and looks in) Kevin, youíve redecorated this too and youíve gotÖ. (He looks at KEVIN and smiles broadly)

KEVIN Yes, a Queen size bed. Thought youíd like that.

CHARLIE So whatís all this about my bedroom and your bedroom?

KEVIN Letís make some coffee and sit down. Then Iíll explain. OK?

CHARLIE You make the coffee, Iíll unpack my bag in MY room.

KEVIN Itís a deal.

(KEVIN goes to kitchen and we hear sounds of coffee being made. CHARLIE looks around flat, smiles, hugs himself and goes into his room to unpack).

CHARLIE (Through open door) Do I have to keep this picture of you on the wall?

KEVIN (Enters) Yes, it might come in handy on nights when Iím away.

CHARLIE (Appears in doorway, agitated) When? When will you be away nights? Where will you go?

KEVIN (Enters) Hey, hey! I was joking and being rude. I thought you might occasionally want to perve on my picture when Iím out and you know, cheer up little Charlie. (He gropes Charlie and quickly exits to kitchen)

CHARLIE Youíre dreadful. I would never do that.

KEVIN (Off) Liar. Everyone does it. Iíve done it with your pic a few times.

CHARLIE Really? (Looking very pleased). 

KEVIN (Re-enters with packet of biscuits. Crosses to coffee table). Yes, when you couldnít meet me and especially these last ten days when I havenít been bringing you here. (Puts biscuits on table and lounges on sofa) I would come back and just think about you. Next thing I had your picture out and then before I knew it something else was out and Ö.well, fantasy time.

CHARLIE (crosses and sits next to Kevin) You know, I sometimes used to think about you and get so sad that I couldnít see you and now and again I would feel real horny but I neverÖ you know.

KEVIN Itís OK Charlie. As long as youíre thinking about me itís not being unfaithful or anything.

CHARLIE Iíll never be unfaithful to you Kevin. I promise.

KEVIN Letís see. We have known each other three months and I have no thoughts for anyone but you. Tragically in this gay world of ours, things never seem to last very long. I hope we do Charlie, I really do. But letís take each day at a time, then weíll build to weeks and then months andÖ.

CHARLIE Ö.then years.

KEVIN I hope so Charlie.

CHARLIE Me too Kev.

KEVIN Charlie, please donít call me Kev. I know you hear Pete calling me that but I donít really like it. Except from him. I owe him so much he could just call me shithead all day and Iíd like it, Cheryl sometimes calls me Kev and now and again mates at work do. For you I want to be Kevin and I promise I will never call you Chas or Charley Girl.

CHARLIE You better not. You do and I will cross my legs (does so) and not speak to you for five Ö.five whole minutes.

KEVIN (Laughing, puts his arms round Charlie) Oh Charlie, this flat never looked so good, never felt so good as when you walked through that door the first time. You were so scared. Your hands were like ice and I was almost tempted to give you a cup of coffee and take you straight back to your dingy bed-sitter. Iím glad I didnít.

CHARLIE Me too.

KEVIN Now that youíre here to stay the place seems even better still. Itís like you Charlie, itís smiling and you know how bright your smile can make me? Well, just think what it can do for this whole place. You know a straight man would say this place needs a womanís touch. Charlie, for me, this place needs your touch, your presence to make it and me come alive.      (CHARLIE turns head back inviting a kiss. Whistling kettle heard offstage.) Saved by the bell.

(KEVIN rushes off stage to make coffee. CHARLIE wanders around the room, looking at CDs, posters and maybe even making some small adjustment to furniture or ornaments. He then returns to his room to finish unpacking)

KEVIN (A slight pause before he re-enters with two coffee mugs.) Coffee!

CHARLIE (off) Coming!

KEVIN Really, been looking at my picture already?

CHARLIE (Enters and crosses to sofa) No, Iím saving all my love for you. (Maybe sung).

KEVIN (Thinking of CHARLIEíS loving) Mmmm!

CHARLIE (Smelling coffee) Mmmm!

KEVIN So what do you think of your room?

CHARLIE Itís cool !

KEVIN Which means you donít like it.

CHARLIE No, itís OK, but I notice I have the bed, which was once in your room.

KEVIN Uh-huh, which you wonít use a great deal.

CHARLIE (Light-heartedly) What are you talking about?

KEVIN Look, your folks will be invited hereÖ..

CHARLIE (alarmed) Oh no, they will guess for sure.

KEVIN Maybe they will, maybe they wonít. Listen. We invite them to see your new home. You have your own bedroom, as far as they know. Youíre just sharing with a mate. If they guess the truth, then isnít that a good thing? Wonít it solve your problem?

CHARLIE No, Kevin. I have to tell them myself. I donít want to go on forever wondering do they know, donít they know. In any case, whatever else I do I know I canít hide my feelings for you and I donít want to. I may be new at all of this but I really believe if we are to last, and I want that to happen, then we have to be honest and open, with ourselves and to others. (By now very anxious). I have to find a way to tell my parents. I just have to.

[end of extract]

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