Collecting Numbers

INT. GROCERY STORE — NIGHT
Aisle after empty aisle gives way to ANNA, 24, pretty as a rose, tough as its thorns. She examines a can of pickled herring. A YOUNG MAN saunters down the aisle toward her. He stops short, picks up a can of pickled herring. Anna looks sideways at him. He is very attractive.

YOUNG MAN
I thought I was the only one.

ANNA
Sorry?

YOUNG MAN
I thought I was the only one
with a craving for pickled herring
in the middle of the night.

ANNA
My mother’s Danish. It’s my comfort food.

YOUNG MAN
My mother’s from Arkansas.
A Big Mac is my comfort food.

ANNA
So why the pickled herring?

YOUNG MAN
I just needed an excuse to talk to you.

Anna cranks up the charm with a sly smile. She turns to face him.

ANNA
Well, then, I suppose I’m glad
my mother’s a Dane.

YOUNG MAN
Me, too.

Anna smiles sheepishly and turns back to the shelf.

YOUNG MAN (CONT’D)
Listen, could I take you out sometime?

ANNA
Why don’t you give me your number?

YOUNG MAN
But how will I know that you’ll call?

ANNA
You won’t.

She hands him a pen and a small slip of paper. He writes out his number. He hands it back. She immediately walks away.

YOUNG MAN
Why don’t you just text me,
so I can have yours, too?

ANNA
I’m sorry, I left my phone at home.

YOUNG MAN
Well, then, hopefully I’ll hear from you.

ANNA
(gesturing at the slip)
Thanks.

YOUNG MAN
You’re welcome.

As she walked away, she pulls out her cellphone and checks the time.

INT. ANNA’S APARTMENT — NIGHT
Anna kicks off her shoes and takes off her coat. She moves towards:

INT. BEDROOM
She takes out the slip of paper, contemplating it.

She moves to the closet, inside which is a dresser. She pulls open a drawer, revealing

INSERT — A collection of hundreds of slips of paper, all with men’s names and phone numbers on them.

She tosses her most recent slip on top.

She thrusts her hand into the drawer and wiggles it around, sighing happily.

INT. COFFEE SHOP — DAY
Anna sits peacefully reading a book. Her hair flies in her face as someone flings open the door. Irritated and choking on her own hair, she sees DANIEL, late 20s, in the doorway. He’s an exceptionally attractive man with an earnest face. She quickly flashes him a sweet smile, which he returns.

He sits down at a table next to her. He conspicuously pulls out a book.

ANNA
Jane Austen?

He looks at her like he’s already won.

DANIEL
Sorry?

ANNA
You’re reading Jane Austen.

DANIEL
What’s wrong with that?

ANNA
Nothing. Just kind of obvious.

DANIEL
Obvious?

ANNA
It’s like carrying around a
puppy or a baby.

DANIEL
So it couldn’t be that I perhaps
enjoy her strong female characters?

ANNA
Doubtful.

DANIEL
Well, what are you reading?

ANNA
Kafka.

DANIEL
So you’re not trying to tell the
world you’re hyper-intelligent and
oh-so-high-maintenance?

ANNA
I love Kafka.

DANIEL
Sure. Whatever.

They simultaneously face away from each other, both in a respective huff.

Anna’s look softens. She turns back to him.

ANNA
I’m sorry.

Daniel turns around, indignance smeared across his face.

ANNA (CONT’D)
I was harsh. I don’t even know you.

DANIEL
It’s alright.

ANNA
Listen. Why don’t you give me
your number and I can prove
to you that I’m not a cold-
hearted bitch some other time?

DANIEL
(softening)
That would be nice. But
why don’t you give me your
number and I’ll call you.

ANNA
I really think you should give me yours.

DANIEL
I insist. Let me call you.

ANNA
No way! Give me yours!

DANIEL
Not a chance in hell!

ANNA
Why are you being so difficult?

DANIEL
Same question!

Anna gets up throwing on her coat.

ANNA
You are the most frustrating
person I’ve ever met.

DANIEL
Clearly you’ve never met yourself!

ANNA
Ugh!

Anna stomps off towards the door.

DANIEL
Good riddance!

ANNA
Go to hell!

Anna leaves. Daniel remains, angry and completely flustered.

INT. BAR — NIGHT
Anna, in a sassy outfit, floats into the room.

She immediately notices Daniel, who is chatting with a YOUNG WOMAN at the bar. The young woman hands Daniel a slip of paper and puts her coat on. She brushes past Anna, almost knocking her on her ass.

Anna waits to be served on the opposite end of the bar. She watches as Daniel seamlessly turns to YOUNG WOMAN #2. The bartender approaches.

ANNA
Gin tonic, please. Double.

Anna can’t contain her shock as woman 2 hands Daniel a slip of paper. Anna stomps over to Daniel as woman 2 makes her way off through the crowd.

Anna taps Daniel on the shoulder. He swings around.

DANIEL
Oh Jesus, you again.

ANNA
I know what you’re doing.

DANIEL
Oh, you know what I’m doing, do you?

Daniel moves to walk away.

ANNA
(calling after him)
You can’t fool me, Mister!

INT. BAR — NIGHT — LATER
Anna flirts with a MAN in one corner of the room. She smiles wide as the man hands over a slip of paper.

Daniel stares at her from across the room. Anna flashes him the slip of paper and a smug grin.

Daniel turns to a LADY waiting for her drink. He shoots Anna an equally smug grin over the lady’s shoulder.

Anna stomps off, leaving the man calling after her.

INT. COFFEE SHOP — DAY
Anna talks to a handsome STUDENT, a pile of books in front of him on the table. Daniel breezes in.

ANNA
(too loudly)
You know, you should give
me your number so we can
talk more about this later.

She hands the student a slip of paper and a pen. She grins at Daniel as the student eagerly writes out his number.

ANNA (CONT’D)
Thanks.

Anna takes the number. She strolls out of the coffee shop, swagger in her step.

STUDENT
Call me!

EXT. PARK — EVENING
Anna saunters through the park. She notices Daniel sitting next to a pretty woman on a bench. The woman holds a pen and slip of paper.

Anna fumes, storming off. Daniel snatches the paper and pen and runs after Anna.

DANIEL
Would you please stop following me?

ANNA
Me following you?

DANIEL
I can’t turn around anymore
without finding you in my face!

ANNA
I was just about to say the same
thing. I see you got that girl’s number.

DANIEL
I did.

ANNA
Well I got nine today.

DANIEL
Pfft. That’s nothing.

ANNA
It’s more than you could ever get.

DANIEL
Leave me alone, I’m serious. And don’t
even think about following me to
Dog’s Bollocks tomorrow night.

ANNA
You bet I won’t.

DANIEL
Whatever.

Daniel starts to walk away.

ANNA
(calling after him)
And stop following me!

INT. DOG’S BOLLOCKS — NIGHT
Anna struts in, looking stunning. She glances around the room. She goes to the bar where a CUTE GUY sits.

Daniel appears, looking great, with a folder under his arm. He sees Anna and heads over.

DANIEL
How did I know.

ANNA
I just wanted to see you
make an ass of yourself.

DANIEL
Well, look who’s the ass now.

He thrusts the folder at her. She opens it. It’s full of girls’ phone numbers.

ANNA
What the hell is this?

DANIEL
It’s you. Losing.

ANNA
You think this is supposed to impress me?
If you could only see my drawer at home.

DANIEL
Well let’s go.

ANNA
You couldn’t handle it. It would
make your pea-brain explode.

DANIEL
I see you’re nothing but a big-talker.

ANNA
Big-talker? Alright, then. Let’s go.

DANIEL
I thought you’d never ask.

ANNA
Argh.

They speed-walk toward the door, pushing each other to get through it first.

INT. ANNA’S APARTMENT — NIGHT
Anna and Daniel burst into her apartment.

ANNA
Get your tail out, smart-ass, cause
you’re walking out of here with it
between your legs.

She pointedly walks into her bedroom.

Daniel throws his folder down on the couch. He looks around the room, smiling at the books on her bookshelf.

DANIEL
Your book collection is so predictable.

Anna stomps back into the room, holding the drawer full of numbers.

ANNA
There, look at this.

DANIEL
You keep your numbers in a drawer?

ANNA
I used to keep them in a
folder until it overflowed.

DANIEL
So you’ve hooked up with all these guys?

ANNA
No.

DANIEL
But you’ve called them.
Gone on dates with them.

ANNA
No.

DANIEL
Ha! I knew it.

ANNA
Knew what?

DANIEL
You’re freakin’ insane.

ANNA
At least I’m not crawling
with disease, Casanova.

DANIEL
Neither am I.

ANNA
You think “STD” is short for “stud”.

DANIEL
No I don’t!

ANNA
That’s not what your
conquest folder says.

DANIEL
I haven’t slept with any of them!

ANNA
Pardon?

DANIEL
I said I haven’t slept with any of them.

ANNA
So you just collect their numbers.

DANIEL
Yes.

ANNA
I knew it!

DANIEL
Knew what.

ANNA
You’re bat-shit crazy!

DANIEL
I’m crazy? You’re crazy!

ANNA
Ha! Crazy crazy crazy!

Daniel grabs the drawer from Anna. He steps to the balcony door and throws it open.

ANNA
What are you doing?

EXT. BALCONY
In one fluid motion, Daniel dumps the contents of the drawer off the balcony.

ANNA
What are you doing?!

DANIEL
You weren’t using them.

Anna grabs his folder. Before Daniel can react, she dumps the contents off the balcony. Paper slips cover the ground like snow below.

DANIEL (CONT’D)
What the hell are you doing?

ANNA
(mockingly)
You weren’t using them.

DANIEL
You are the most infuriating
person I’ve ever met.

ANNA
And you are a hopeless pig.

DANIEL
You’re a frigid cow.

ANNA
Yeah? Well you’re a
goddamned cocksucker.

DANIEL
And you are a total fucking… babe.

ANNA
I hate you so much.

DANIEL
I hate you more.

Anna and Daniel dive at each other, embracing each other in a passionate kiss.

THE END

©Lauren Greenwood 2013

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