Page 1

WRITTEN FOR YOU Scene 1

The theme music goes into long steady chant and distorted chimes, this continues to run through the scene very quietly.

Joe

(V/O) It’s raining and the streets look grey and sad but also quite beautiful.

Fade up the traffic on the street and the rain.

Joe

(V/O) Even when the sun is out there is something sad about this city.

The bus approaches, stops in front of him.

Joe gets onto the bus. Shows his bus pass.

Driver

Can you come back?

Joe doesn’t hear him, he keeps walking.

Driver

Oy! You. Can you come back here now!

Woman

He’s talking to you.

1


Driver

Come back! I said come back here!

Woman

Excuse me. He’s talking to you.

Joe

What? Sorry?

The steady chant begins to increase as Joe realises something is wrong, the chimes become discordant and unpleasant.

Mother

The driver wants to talk to you.

Joe goes back to the driver.

Driver

(shouting) Don’t ignore me when I’m talking to you!

Joe

What do you want, sorry?

Driver

Let me see that pass.

Joe

My pass?

Driver

You’re not disabled.

Joe

I’m deaf.

Driver

Oh. Oh. It’s just you don’t look disabled. That’s all. 2


Woman

Apologise to him!

Driver

You just don’t look it. Sorry. Sorry mate. You’re fine mate. Carry on.

The bus moves off. The discordant chimes and loud chant are still going. We hear Joe breathing deeply to keep himself calm.

Joe

(V/O) Sorry Mate. Sorry Mate. That woman is still staring at me. I smile at her. She half smiles back, like she feels bad or doesn’t know what to do. I sit down and look out the window at the rain. I watch raindrops racing each other. Like a child. All the way to work I watch the rain.

The chimes and the chant begin to subside.

Other sounds take over. Muffled voices, possibly a child’s voice in there. The traffic outside. The engine of the bus. This soundscape moves into the hum of the office.

3


Scene 2

Open plan office at the Town Hall. Housing Department. A phone ringing. The hum of the air conditioner/heating system plus the very quiet metaphysical hissing like a cosmic sssh.

Brigitta

Shelly this is Joe. Joe this is Shelly.

Joe

Pleased to meet you.

Shelly

Hello.

Brigitta

Joe is deaf. Obviously. Needless to say. Goes without saying. But he’s a highly, highly valued member of the team. Anyway you’ll be sitting next to Joe here.

Shelly

Okay.

Brigitta

Any problems with your computer Joe is very good. You can call technical support but in all honesty Joe is much better. And he’s sitting right next to you.

Shelly

Okay. Great.

Brigitta

Coffee’s over there. I’ve got to dash. I’ve got a meeting with Mr Humble. We’ll have a catch up at the end of the day.

4


Shelly

Right.

Brigitta

Joe. I’m going to leave Shelly in your capable hands.

Joe

Erm Brigitta?

Brigitta

Yes?

Brigitta moves off

Joe

Do you want a cup of coffee?

Shelly

That would be nice.

Joe

Nice?

Shelly

Yeh.

Joe

No.

Shelly

Sorry?

Joe

It’s not nice coffee.

Shelly

Oh.

Joe

For nice coffee you have to go - out. 5


Shelly

But are you having some?

Joe

Yes. Definetly.

Shelly laughs slightly.

Shelly

Okay. I’ll have some too.

Joe

Okay.

The hum of the office and the cosmic sssh become barely there as we go into a ‘vaccuum’ like effect that’s much more intimate. Generally this is how we will hear the voiceovers.

Joe

(V/O) I have worked in this office for seventeen years. Every morning when I walk through the door I think. I should think about making a change. I should start looking for something else. But the thing is that I don’t know what to look for. I don’t know where to begin. And I’m used to it here. This is what I know.

Scene 3

Clatter of the canteen. The noise is obtrusive and a shock. The sound of cutlery. Sharp noises? Plus the distant chatter like a sound in a forest. Joe’s hearing aid whistles intermittently through out the scene. 6


Vernon

She’s pretty.

Joe

Who?

Vernon

Who?

Joe

Who’s pretty?

Vernon

The new girl.

Joe

That’s Shelly.

Vernon

Shelly is it?

Joe

Yeh.

Vernon

Lucky you.

Joe

Why lucky me?

Vernon

Sitting next to the only good looking woman in the department.

Joe

Oh. Right.

Vernon

Do you know if she’s married?

7


Joe

I haven’t asked her.

Vernon

Ask her when she gets back from lunch.

Joe

You ask her.

Vernon

Then it’ll be obvious.

Joe

It’ll be what?

Vernon

Obvious.

Joe

Obvious?

Vernon

That I fancy her.

Joe

I don’t want her to think. That I fancy her.

Vernon

Just ask her will you. Be a mate. As a favour. I do you favours all the time.

Joe

No you don’t.

Vernon

I brought you a kit kat yesterday.

Joe

Say that again.

8


Vernon

I bought you a kit kat. Remember?

Joe

That’s not a favour.

Vernon

It’s a present. It’s even better than a favour.

Joe

Then you ate it.

Vernon

I didn’t eat it all.

Joe

Most of it.

Joe

(V/O) Vernon is in charge of stationery. Vernon is a Man City supporter and a human dustbin.

Vernon

Are you going to eat the rest of that?

Joe

Yes.

Vernon

Why aren’t you eating it then?

Joe

Because.

Vernon

That’s not an answer, because is it? Are you eating it or not?

Joe

Do you want it?

9


Vernon

Yeh if you don’t want it, yeh.

Vernon takes the rest of Joe’s dinner.

Vernon

You’re too skinny you know. That’s why you never have a girlfriend. You don’t eat enough.

Joe

I don’t eat enough cos you always steal my food.

Vernon

Cos I know you’re not going to finish it.

Joe gets up.

Vernon

Where you going?

Joe

Cigarette.

Vernon

They’re going to kill you those things.

Joe

(V/O) Vernon pulls a face with his tongue out, the whites of his eyes showing, to illustrate his point.

The clatter of the canteen fades into the sound of pigeons.

10


Scene 4

Exterior. Soundscape of traffic and pigeons. And rain. Plus the cosmic sshh.

Shelly

Crap weather.

Joe

Sorry?

Shelly

The weather. It’s horrible.

Joe

Oh. Yeh. / It’s always like this. This city.

Shelly

It can’t always be like this.

Joe

No. It can’t. But it is.

Beat

Joe

I didn’t know that you smoked.

Shelly

No. Yeh. I should give up.

Joe

I can’t read your lips if you don’t look at me.

Shelly

Sorry. I forgot. . . I should give up. Smoking.

11


Joe

Me too.

Shelly

Is it difficult?

Joe

What?

Shelly

Lip reading.

Joe

I only get five out of every twenty words and then I have to guess the others, deduce them.

Shelly

Deduce them right.

Joe

I’m still piecing it together afterwards.

Shelly

You’re like a detective.

Joe

Sort of.

Joe

(V/O) She smiles. She’s got a good smile. A great smile. If I was another person I would tell her. You’ve got a great smile. Shelly, you’ve got a great smile. Or maybe that would just make me sound like a dentist.

Shelly

Do the pigeons ever get you?

Joe

Sometimes. Now and again. 12


Joe

(V/O) She smiles again. She makes me think of a Tom Waits song. *

*I am thinking of the song Hope I don’t Fall In Love With You. The pigeons turn into the hum of the office and we keep the cosmic sssh.

Scene 5

Office. The office. The cosmic sssh. Vernon is trying to keep his voice down a little, Shelly is close by. Throughout the scene Joe’s hearing aid whistles intermittently.

Vernon

Did you ask her?

Joe

No.

Vernon

You said you’d ask her.

Joe

No I didn’t.

Shelly comes over.

Shelly

Joe?

Joe

Yes? 13


Shelly

Do you want some water?

Joe

Er no thanks.

Vernon

I don’t believe we’ve been formerly introduced. I’m Vernon.

Shelly

Hello.

Vernon

Vernon Fletcher. Like the Chevy Chase character. Fletch.

Shelly

Sorry?

Vernon

Fletcher. Like the Chevy Chase character Fletch. I tried to get everyone to start calling me Fletch but it didn’t catch on.

Shelly

Oh right.

Vernon

Have you seen the film, Fletch?

Shelly

No.

Vernon

You should get it out on dvd. It’s a classic.

Shelly

Erm, okay.

14


Vernon

Anything you need Shelly. You come to me. Paper clips, paper, elastic bands, paper clips. I mean anything really.

Shelly

Thankyou.

Vernon

Fridays. Fridays. Usually we go to the pub. At the end of the day. Quite a few of us go to the pub. He never comes. Joe. Cos he’s a miserable sod.

Shelly

He doesn’t seem like a miserable sod.

Vernon

Sorry?

Shelly

Joe, he doesn’t seem like a miserable sod.

Vernon

No he’s not, he’s not really, but he’s not sociable. Not like me. I’m more, you know, the life and soul.

Joe

(V/O) I don’t know what he’s saying to her. He’s talking too fast and I can’t see his face for much of the conversation.

Fade up the noise in Joe’s head, the cosmic sssh is joined by the steady plain chant.

The rest of Vernon and Shelly’s conversation is almost completely lost to him (and us the listener).

15


Shelly

Oh right.

Vernon

Anyway I’m just saying. You should come to the pub. Meet a few people. Help you feel more settled sort of thing.

Shelly

Well thanks.

Shelly

Did you want any water?

Vernon

I’m all set thanks. Thanks Shelly.

Shelly

Okay.

Shelly moves away.

Vernon

I wouldn’t make her sleep in the bath.

Joe

Sorry?

Perhaps the dialogue becomes clearer again here as Vernon talks to Joe directly.

Vernon

I would not make her sleep in the bath.

Joe

You need a bath?

Vernon

No. I’m saying she’s very sexy. Don’t you think she’s sexy? 16


Joe doesn’t reply.

Vernon

What? What’s the matter?

Joe

Did you just tell her that I was a miserable sod?

Vernon

No. No mate. Course not. You’re being paranoid. And you’re whistling.

Joe

What?

Vernon

Your hearing aid. It’s whistling.

Soundscape. The whistling hearing aid moves into the sound of the bus.

17


Scene 6

Interior. Bus.

Over the sound of the bus there is a child’s voice chattering and laughing now and again, muffled so we can’t hear the words. All of this sounds quite far away during the voiceover except the child’s voice which comes up now and again. Joe

(V/O) On the bus. On the way home I see this child who I always see. Every Monday. Almost every Monday she is waiting at the stop outside the swimming pool. With wet hair. A towel in a plastic bag. She is six or seven. She has a red coat. In winter when it’s dark she still comes out with wet hair. Sometimes she is with her mother. Other times she is with her grandmother. Today something happens that has never happened before. The child comes up to me and signs hello. My name is Angel. She spells it out on her hand very slowly. I sign back that my name is Joe. She looks pleased with herself. Her mother tells her to sit back down. When they get off the bus she waves to me.

Angel

Hello, my name is Angel. ( Said slowly, the way you might if spelling it out. We hear these words clearly unlike the rest of the muffled chatter. )

We hear the chime theme briefly. The bus and the rest of the sounds fade into the office. 18


Scene 7

Office. There’s no hum or ssh initially.

Vernon approaches Shelly and Joe.

Vernon

Alright Shelly.

Shelly

Hello Vernon.

Vernon

So it’s Friday.

Shelly

Sorry?

Vernon

Friday is pub day.

Shelly

Oh yeh, you said.

Vernon

You coming then?

Shelly

Erm

Vernon

Go on, it’ll be a laugh.

Shelly

Joe?

19


Fade up hum and sssh.

Joe

What?

Shelly

You coming to the pub?

Joe

Are you?

Shelly

I will if you will.

Joe

Okay.

20


Scene 8 Interior. Pub. Blast of pub noise heard from Joe’s head. The music is a thumping techno beat. A shrill noise like an alarm joins in later in the scene as the situation becomes more oppressive. We only catch some of what is being said in the following conversation as Joe tries to understand what is being said. The noise should build to the point of being unbearable before Joe gives up entirely and goes outside.

Vernon

This is Jambo. This is Lorraine. This is Raj. And this is Ash.

A round of random hellos.

Vernon

Ash is a ladies’ man or he likes to think he is so watch him. Lorraine won’t like you being here cos normally she’s the only girl. Raj is a laugh and Jambo is a bit thick.

Protests from everyone at these descriptions.

Jambo

I’m getting the beers, what do you want?

Shelly

Ah no don’t worry I’ll get mine.

Jambo

No I insist.

Shelly

I’ll have a

21


Jambo

What’s his name again?

Shelly

Who?

Jambo

Him.

Shelly

Joe.

Jambo

Joe. Do. You. Want. A. Drink?

Joe

What?

Shelly

Do you want a drink?

Joe

It’s okay.

Jambo

I. Will. Get. This. You. Get. The. Next. One.

Joe

Erm, a pint of lager please.

Jambo

Shelly?

Shelly

Same here.

Vernon

So Shelly what do you to enjoy yourself?

Shelly

How do you mean? 22


Vernon

What are your hobbies?

Shelly

Hobbies?

Vernon

You know.

Shelly

Yeh erm. Not really. Haven’t really got any hobbies as such.

The noise is overwhelming.

Joe

I’m going outside.

Shelly

Okay.

We follow Joe out of the pub.

23


Scene 9

Exterior. Street. Outside the pub.

The noise recedes. It’s a relief to be out, but there’s a residue of the pub sound. A more pleasant, more musical sound (possibly a guitar) slowly takes over. Joe lights a cigarette.

Joe

(V/O) It’s finally stopped raining and the air smells fresher. The sky is going dark and I don’t know why I said I would come to the pub.

Shelly comes outside.

Shelly

You alright?

Joe

I think I’m going to go.

Shelly

Really?

Joe

I need to get home.

Shelly

Have you got kids?

Joe

What?

Shelly

Have you got kids? 24


Joe

Er no. Why?

Shelly

I don’t know. I just thought. You said you had to get home.

Joe

I just meant. It was time to go.

Shelly

Right.

Joe

Have you got kids?

Shelly laughs slightly

Shelly

I don’t even have a boyfriend. / That’s not true. I do have a boyfriend.

Joe

What?

Shelly

Sorry. Erm. I am seeing someone but he’s married.

Joe

Your boyfriend is married?

Shelly

Yeh.

Beat

Shelly

I can’t believe I just told you that. 25


Joe

I won’t tell anyone.

Shelly

Are you one of those people that other people just tell things to?

Joe

Sorry. What?

Shelly

Are you one of those people, who other people end up telling things to?

Joe

No. No body tells me anything.

Shelly

Really?

Joe

Because it’s hard work. Telling me things.

Shelly

Oh.

Joe

The conversation doesn’t. Flow.

Shelly

Well I just told you something.

Joe

Yes.

Shelly

You won’t tell anyone?

Joe

Of course not. 26


Beat

Shelly

Do you think less of me now?

Joe

Less of you?

Shelly

Do you think I’m bad?

Joe

No. No.

Vernon comes outside

Vernon

Alright you two?

Shelly

Yeh we’re fine.

Vernon

Won’t come to the pub for me but he’ll come to the pub for you.

Joe

Actually I’ve got to go.

Vernon

You’ve only been here half an hour.

Joe

Half an hour is enough.

Shelly

I’ll come with you. 27


Vernon

Do I smell or something?

Joe

Yes you smell. You smell bad.

Shelly

See you Monday Vernon.

Vernon

You don’t have to go as well.

Joe

See you Vernon.

Vernon

Yeh alright, get lost . Just sod off!

Joe

Vernon. I know you love me.

Vernon

No. I don’t. I don’t love you at all.

They walk away

Shelly

I shouldn’t have told you. Can you forget I told you?

Joe

Don’t worry about it.

Shelly

Okay.

Joe

(V/O) We walk down the street and I wish that she didn’t have a boyfriend. And I wish that I didn’t care that she had a 28


boyfriend. He sounds like a git. He sounds like he’ll break her heart. I don’t want her to get her heartbroken, I want her to fall in love with me and leave him.

Joe

I’ll see you Monday.

Shelly

Yeh, see you Monday Joe.

Joe

(V/O) She smiles and she looks a bit sad and I want to say something but I don’t know what it is.

Joe

Have a nice weekend.

Shelly

You too.

Joe

(V/O) I don’t want to go home.

29


Scene 10

Joe starts walking through the city. During the speech we hear the occasional shout, a police siren, a dog barking, the odd fragment of the world he is describing. There’s also the sound in Joe’s head, a long steady plain chant mixed with something else.

Joe

(V/O) I start walking through the city. I see people on their way to a night out. Dressed up. Some of them. Laughing and hopeful. I see people begging at cashpoints. I see a man playing the harmonica and a taxi nearly collide with a cyclist. I see a girl crying in a doorway and she asks me if I’ve got a cigarrette. I see a couple arguing in the street. I see a couple kissing like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I see a woman dressed in angel’s wings and this makes me think of the child on the bus. Hello my name is Angel. I see people getting more and more drunk. Spilling out of pubs, people having a good time, people having a bad time, someone throwing up, two men having a fight and two women screaming at them. I see the police trying to calm things down, I see the whole world out on a Friday night.

Joe sits on the roof.

Joe

I end up coming back to work.

Joe climbing stairs, opening a door on to the roof 30


Joe

No body knows that you can get up on to the roof. I discovered this by accident some years ago and now I come here all the time.

Beat

Joe

I look at the sky and I think about how big the world is and how small we are.

Beat

Joe

I realise I haven’t eaten anything and I am very drunk. I imagine myself falling off the roof. I imagine what that moment of falling would feel like.

31


Scene 11

Joe’s living room

Fade up newsreader on the television. Newsreader

It’s believed that two people have died in a fire at a block of council flats. Police are investigating the cause of the fire. Firefighters say the blaze spread shockingly fast and they were unable to reach everyone who was trapped in the building. The victims of the blaze have not yet been named.

Joe

(V/O) My heart is in my mouth. I recognise this building. This building is very near to where I live. This is a building that we are in charge of maintaining. That we are responsible for. And two people have died. Two people dead.

32


Scene 12

Office. The office hum and the cosmic sssh are both quietly present.

Brigitta

Hello, hello good morning everybody. Of course you will all be aware of the terrible events of yesterday. Obviously this is a very distressing time for the families involved. And this council is fully supporting the investigation with the police and the fire service. If we can all work as efficiently as possible today I would appreciate it.

Vernon

Clothes dryer.

Joe

What?

Vernon

Paper says it was a clothes dryer started it.

Joe

Can I have a look?

Vernon leaves Joe to it as Shelly approaches.

Vernon

Alright Shelly.

Shelly

Hello Vernon.

Vernon

You look very lovely today Shelly.

33


Shelly

Erm thanks.

A low steady ohh ohh or even a roaring like a giant ship that builds up through the scene. This noise is big and oppressive and full of panic.

Shelly

Joe? What’s wrong?

Joe

What?

Shelly

You’re crying.

Joe

Sorry?

Shelly

You’re crying.

Joe

I know them.

Shelly

Who?

Joe

This woman. And the little girl. Flora de Souza, aged 31 and Angel de Souza, aged seven and a half.

Shelly

Oh God.

Vernon

What’s going on? Is he crying? Are you crying?

34


The cosmic sssh has becomes more of a hiss. Distorted chimes from the bus join in but now they don’t sound beautiful.

Brigitta

What’s the matter? Joe?

Shelly

He knew them. The people who died.

Brigitta

What?

Shelly

In the fire.

Vernon

Seriously?

Brigitta

Oh good Lord.

Shelly

I think he’s only just found out. From the newspaper.

Brigitta

Is this true Joe?

Shelly

Well he’s not going to lie is he?

Brigitta

How do you know these people?

Joe

From the bus.

Vernon

From the bus?

35


Joe

I see them on the bus. Every Monday. I saw them last week.

Brigitta

So they weren’t friends of yours?

Joe

No.

Brigitta

I must say I’m relieved that he wasn’t better aquainted with them. That would have been terrible. If they were close friends.

Shelly

But it’s still terrible.

Brigitta

Well of course it is.

Shelly

It’s tragic.

Brigitta

Tragic. Of course it is. Yes. It’s appalling. (to Joe now) I think the important thing Joe is not to dwell on it now. Try to put it to the back of your mind. I think that’s the best thing you can do.

The roaring sound has faded out, we’re left with the hiss and the hum. These fade into the bus.

Scene 13

Joe is on the bus.

The bus sounds really sad. Melancholic and quite beautiful. 36


Joe

(V/O)Today. The child isn’t standing there. At the bus stop by the swimming pool. She should be waiting with her towel in a plastic bag, with wet hair and a serious face.

Angel

Hello my name is Angel

Joe

(V/O) Yesterday she was alive. Yesterday she was thinking her seven year old thoughts. Yesterday she was eating and breathing and singing and smiling and complaining and dreaming.

Angel

Hello my name is Angel.

Joe

(V/O) She’ll stay that age now. Seven years old forever. And she won’t do all the things a person should do. In life.

Angel

Hello my name is Angel.

Joe

(V/O) Why are some people allowed to grow up? And others aren’t? And who decides? Does anyone decide? Is it just luck? Is that all it is?

Scene 14

Office, hum and sssh.

Shelly

You look terrible. 37


Joe

Thankyou.

Shelly

Are you alright?

Joe

Couldn’t sleep.

Shelly

I’m so sorry Joe.

Joe

Did you watch the news last night?

Vernon approaches

Shelly

It’s awful.

Vernon

What’s awful?

Shelly

They think the fire was cos of inadequate refurbishments .

Joe

Inadequate refurbishments . Yeh. . . Look.

Joe passes Vernon a newspaper

Vernon

“Early results of the initial investigation indicate that inadequate refurbishments may be responsible for the rapid spread of the fire at Marshalls Court . The real question for this

38


council is has corner cutting cost lives? ” Ah, they’re just looking for someone to blame.

Joe

The building didn’t meet fire safety standards.

Vernon

Well they’re dead old aren’t they. Those tower blocks.

Shelly

They should still meet safety standards.

Vernon

Well course they should but we don’t live in a perfect world do we?

Shelly

Vernon.

Joe

The fire shouldn’t have spread like that.

Vernon

Fires spread. That’s what fires do.

Joe

Not if the building is safe.

Vernon

It’s early days though isn’t it. I mean they don’t know anything for sure.

Joe

It was a horrible horrible bloody death Vernon.

Vernon

I know it was. I know.

39


Joe

How would you like to die that way?

Vernon

What you having a go at me for?

Joe

I’m not.

Shelly

I’m just going to get some water.

Vernon

You drink a lot of water you don’t you.

Shelly

Do I?

Vernon

It’s meant to be good for your skin and everything but don’t you have to piss all time?

Shelly

Erm not really.

Shelly moves off

Vernon

Shall I just ask her?

Joe

Ask her what?

Vernon

Ask her out?

Joe

She’s got a boyfriend.

40


Vernon

Has she?

Joe

Yeh.

Vernon

Is it serious?

Joe

How should I know?

Vernon

She talks to you.

Joe

No she doesn’t.

Brigitta

Vernon.

Vernon

Yes Brigitta.

Brigitta

Don’t you have any work to do?

Vernon

Er yes Brigitta.

Brigitta

Then I suggest you go and do it.

Added to the hum and sssh is a new sound. A slow siren ghost as Joe stares at Brigitta.

Joe

(V/O) Brigitta looks different.

41


Joe

(V/O) She shuts the door to her office.

Joe

(V/O) I can see her through the window. The window that separates her office from the rest of us. She looks worried. More than worried. She looks afraid.

We hear a moment of the siren ghost with no other sound and cut to the news.

Scene 15

Joe’s living room.

42


Fade up Richard Humble on television, Joe’s voiceover could be played over this?

Humble

There has been a terrible terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the de Sousas. Of course we will do everything in our power to assist them in any way we can. We will do everything in our power to understand how this fire happened and ensure that it never happens again.

Joe

(V/O) Richard Humble. Council leader. Pillar of the community. I find myself hating him. Looking at him and hating him. Which isn’t justified. Because it’s not his fault. I know it’s not his fault. Then a woman gets up from the group of journalists and throws paint at him. I recognise her as the children’s grandmother. Except she looks ten years older. Like she got ten years older in three weeks. The paint is red. Richard Humble looks like he’s bleeding. Like he’s dying.

Would be great if we could just have the sound of people reacting to this woman throwing paint.

Scene 16

Office. We keep the hum and sssh to a minimum and introduce the long steady plain chant of earlier. 43


Brigitta

I just wanted to say a few words this morning about coming in and out of the building. People need to be extra vigiliant about security in the light of recent events. In case of retaliatory behaviour. In the light of the unprovoked attack on Mr Humble.

Joe

Excuse me – Brigitta.

Brigitta

Yes Joe.

Joe

Did you say – that the attack was unprovoked?

Brigitta

Yes.

Joe

But it wasn’t.

Brigitta

What do you mean?

Joe

I think it was understandable.

Brigitta

If you’re suggesting Joe, that Richard Humble is personally responsible for this tragedy.

Joe

I’m not saying he’s responsible. I’m saying it wasn’t unprovoked. This woman lost her daughter and her granddaughter.

44


We hear the chant alone for a moment.

Scene 17

Office. Music will go in between the following short voiceovers. Possibly the thriller/ detective movie music.

Joe

(V/O) I’m looking through the window of Brigitta’s office. The window that separates her office from the rest of us. Brigitta is in deep conversation with Richard Humble.

Joe

(V/O) Richard Humble has his back to me. I have no idea what he is saying but Brigitta is talking about the fire.

Joe

(V/O) Brigitta looks jumpy. The same face she’s been wearing for the last few days.

Joe

(V/O) I am sure she just said. Something about refurbishments. Richard Humble looks like he is trying to reassure her. He takes her hand.

Joe

(V/O) Brigitta says something about her job. I don’t want to lose my job? Is that it?

Joe

(V/O) SWhat. Someone. Out. What if someone finds out? She repeats it. I am 99% sure she said. What if someone finds out?

45


Joe knocks on the window.

Brigitta jumps.

Joe

Hi Brigitta.

Brigitta

What is it Joe?

Joe

Can you sign this invoice for me?

Brigitta

Joe.

Joe

Yes?

Brigitta

Can’t you see I’m in a meeting?

Joe

Sorry. Hello Mr Humble. I’m very sorry to interrupt.

Humble

That’s alright.

Joe

I’m just trying to get this invoice on the system. For month end.

Brigitta

Give it here then.

Brigitta signs it.

Joe

Thanks Brigitta. Thanks a lot. 46


Joe leaves the office. We return to the detective/ thriller music.

Joe

(V/O) Richard Humble closes the blinds at Brigitta’s window. The window that looks out on the office.

Joe

(V/O) What if someone finds out?

Joe

(V/O) What if someone finds out what?

Scene 18

Office. Low level hum and cosmic ssh.

47


Joe is typing.

Joe

Marion de Sousa. Marion de Sousa. Marion de Sousa.

Joe types some more.

Joe

12 Acorn Court.

Joe writes it down.

Scene 19

A council tower block flat. High up. Joe is nervous and there’s a plain steady chant in his head. 48


Outside Marion’s flat. Joe rings the bell.

Marion

Who the hell are you?

Joe

My name is Joe.

Marion

You’re deaf.

Joe

I’m deaf.

Marion

Are you collecting money?

Joe

No.

Marion

I thought you might be.

Joe

No.

Marion

For charity.

Joe

No.

Marion

What do you want then?

Joe

I wanted to tell you I was sorry.

49


Marion

Sorry for what?

Joe

Sorry for what happened to your daughter and your granddaughter. I saw you on television, throwing the paint.

Marion

Did you?

Joe

Why did you use red?

Marion

What?

Joe

Why did you use red paint?

Marion

That’s what I had in the flat. That’s what I had. It was gloss. Which I was pleased about.

Beat

Marion

What do you really want?

Joe

Sorry?

Marion

What did you really come here for?

Joe

Nothing. Nothing. I just wanted to say I was sorry. And. And I hope they get whoever was responsible.

50


Scene 20

Office, quiet, most people have gone home. The hum and the cosmic sssh are there.

Brigitta

Joe. Haven’t you got a home to go to?

Joe

I just want to. Catch up on stuff.

Brigitta

I’m very sorry about the other day Joe.

Joe

What other day?

Brigitta

It must have been a shock. Finding out like that.

Joe

Oh. Yes. Yes it was.

Brigitta

But you mustn’t let it affect your work.

Joe

Sorry?

Brigitta

We’ve all got to carry on as best as we can.

Joe

Yes.

Brigitta

Everybody likes you Joe.

51


Joe

Do they?

Brigitta

You’re very likeable. And you’re a very valued member of the team.

Joe

Really?

Brigitta

I hope you don’t ever feel marginalised. You don’t do you? You don’t ever feel that do you?

Joe

No. No.

Brigitta

We try very hard to get it right Joe.

Joe

To get what right?

Brigitta

The balance.

Joe

(V/O) I don’t know what she’s talking about. The balance of what? What is she talking about? Have I missed something?

Brigitta

Well goodnight Joe. Don’t work too hard.

Joe

(V/O) I watch her walk down the corridor and get into the lift. Everyone else has already left.

Joe gets up and goes into Brigitta’s office. 52


Joe

(V/O) The door to Brigitta’s office is never locked.

Joe switches the computer on.

The thriller/detective music creeps in to join the hum and the sssh.

Joe

(V/O) She has a password but I know what it is. Because Brigitta trusts me.

Joe begins typing.

Joe

(V/O) J. A. S. P. E. R. 63. Jasper is the name of Brigitta’s dog. 63 is the year that she was born.

Joe

(V/O) I have to keep checking that no one has returned to the office. If anyone came in I wouldn’t necessarily know it.

Typing.

Joe

(V/O) I don’t even know what I’m looking for.

Typing.

Joe

(V/O) Then I find a file marked private. There’s password on the file.

53


Joe stops typing

Joe

(V/O) What would Brigitta’s password be? What would it be? She has got a crush on Jonny Depp.

Joe types again

Joe

J. O. N. N. Y. D. E.P. P 63.

Joe

No.

Joe

. . . .She had a cat who died two years ago. I remember because she took the day off work. The dead cat was called Nigel.

Joe types again

Joe

N. I. G. E. L 63.

Beat

Joe

(V/O) No.

Joe

Did I spell Jonny Depp right?

Joe

J.O. H. N. N. Y . D. E. P. P 63.

Joe

(V/O) The file is opening. 54


Beat

Joe

(V/O) It’s a list of suppliers. Why would a list of suppliers be marked private?

There is a tap on the window outside the office.

Joe

(V/O) I look up and someone is looking straight in at me, through the window.

Beat

Joe

(V/O) It’s the cleaner.

Joe

(V/O) I quickly print off two copies of the list.

The cleaner switches the hoover on. The sound of the hoover moves into the sound of pigeons.

Scene 21

Pigeons plus the sound of water in a cave.

55


Joe

Can you keep a secret?

Shelly

Yeh.

Joe

Look.

Joe takes the list out of his pocket.

Joe

It’s a list of suppliers that the housing department uses for refurbishments.

Shelly

So?

Joe

I found it on Brigitta’s computer. It was protected by a password.

Shelly

Why were you looking on Brigitta’s computer?

Joe

All of these companies were involved in the renovations on Marshalls Court and twelve other tower blocks.

Shelly

So?

Joe

So why was the list marked private on Brigitta’s computer?

Shelly

I don’t know.

56


Joe

Could you stay a bit later today?

Shelly

Yeh, why?

Moment of pigeons and water before we’re into the canteen.

Scene 22

Canteen, the same canteen clatter of before.

Vernon

Is something going on between you two?

Joe

No.

Vernon

Would you tell me if there was?

Joe

No.

Vernon

Are you going to eat that?

Scene 23

Office, hum and sssh. Plus something else.

57


Shelly

So what are we supposed to be doing?

Joe

Research.

Shelly

Research?

Joe

I want to find out anything we can about these companies.

Shelly

How?

Joe

Here I made two copies. You take the second half of the list.

Shelly

Okay.

Joe

And we just google them.

Shelly

Do we know what we’re looking for?

Joe types into his computer.

Joe

Let’s do this first one. So if I google Simpson. Doors and Windows with . . . .Richard Humble. . . . .

Shelly

Why Richard Humble?

Joe

I don’t know. He’s the leader of this council.

58


Shelly

So?

Joe

Well look. Here.

Shelly

What?

Joe

Richard Humble was chief exec. From 1989 to 1997.

Shelly

So?

Joe

You know there’s rules.

Shelly

Rules?

Joe

Procurement rules. They can’t just give out contracts or jobs. They have to get at least three quotes from three different companies.

Shelly

Erm. Yeh.

Joe

So it looks like he’s giving jobs to his old friends.

Shelly

But that’s not. That’s not illegal or anything.

Joe

It is if he’s disregarding the rules of procurement.

Shelly

But he might not be. He probably isn’t. 59


Joe

Imagine this. Richard Humble gets contracts for his friends and his friends friends and then they cut corners on the refurbishment and keep the rest of the money for themselves. And Richard Humble gets a share. And maybe Brigitta too.

Shelly

Brigitta?

Joe

Why not?

Shelly

You don’t know any of this Joe. I mean. You’re making it up.

Joe

The fire spread because they cut corners.

Shelly

Yeh that’s probably true. But it doesn’t have to be this major corruption thing. It could just be human error. Incompetence.

Joe

What about this window company and Richard Humble?

Shelly

You need more than that. You need a smoking gun.

Joe

What?

Shelly

A smoking gun. Isn’t that what they call it?

Joe

A smoking gun?

60


Shelly

Solid evidence.

Joe

We could look on Brigitta’s computer.

Shelly

Oh God Joe.

Joe

Let’s do it now.

Shelly

We’re going to lose our jobs.

Joe

I don’t even like my job.

Inside Brigitta’s office. Joe and Shelly are looking at the computer.

Joe

The list has gone.

Shelly

Really?

Joe

It was right here.

Shelly

I’m scared someone’s going to come in.

Joe

It was here on the desktop.

Shelly

We really could get fired for this.

Joe

Will you keep that copy of the list? 61


Shelly

Why?

Joe

I don’t want it to go missing.

Shelly

Oh. Yeh. Okay.

Joe

Don’t look so worried.

Shelly

I am worried.

Joe

What are you worried about?

Shelly

You.

Beat

Joe

I had a dream about them.

Shelly

Who?

Joe

Flora and Angel de Sousa.

Shelly

What happened?

Joe

They were on the bus. And I forgot to tell them

62


Shelly

Tell them what?

Joe

Not to go home.

Beat

Shelly

Shall we go and get a drink?

Scene 24 Interior. Pub. There’s no music. Its quiet. Just a low level bubbling like a waterfall in a cave.

63


Shelly

Is this okay?

Joe

It’s fine.

Shelly

Good.

Joe

There’s no techno.

Shelly

No techno. Right.

Joe

Cheers.

Shelly

Cheers.

They drink.

Shelly

What exactly, like, what can you hear? Sorry. What is it you can hear?

Joe

A lot of noise. Tinittus.

Shelly

Tinittus?

Joe

Yeh.

Shelly

Does it sound bad?

64


Joe

Sometimes it sounds bad. Sometimes good. Depends how I’m feeling.

Shelly

Aha.

Joe

Right now I can hear a low steady bubbling like a waterfall in a cave.

Shelly

Honestly?

Joe

Sometimes it’s like music.

Shelly

Music?

Joe

If I’m very tired or if I’m shaken by a sudden movement, the tinnitus gets v loud. If I see the sun rise the tinittus can be poetic. Melancholic even. I can sort of hear it.

Shelly

You can hear the sunrise?

Joe

Yeh. It’s sort of a middle range frequency.

Shelly

Really?

Joe

Yeh.

Beat 65


Joe

If you whisper into my ear I might be able to hear you.

Shelly

Really?

Joe

Try it.

Shelly whispers into his ear.

Shelly

You. Are. Lovely.

Beat

Shelly

Did you hear that?

Joe

Can you say it again?

Shelly

You. Are. Lovely.

Beat

Shelly

Did you hear it then?

Joe

I heard you the first time.

Beat

66


Joe

Are you still seeing your married man?

Shelly

Yes.

Joe

Why?

Shelly

I don’t know.

Joe

Do you love him?

Shelly

I used to think I did.

Joe

Does he make you happy?

Shelly

Not really.

Joe

Has he ever made you happy?

Shelly

No.

Joe

You should leave him.

Shelly

Yeh I should.

Scene 25

Canteen, the clatter

67


Vernon

Do you know, I’d never noticed how handsome you were? That Shelly, she’s really bought a sparkle to your eye hasn’t she. You’re really, blossoming.

Joe

Sorry?

Vernon

Look at you.

Joe

What are you talking about?

Vernon

I saw you.

Joe

Who?

Vernon

You and Shelly. Outside. Chatting away like two love birds.

Joe

You’re imagining things.

Vernon

So is it like unofficially official?

Joe

I don’t understand.

Vernon

Are you seeing her, but you’ve agreed not to tell anyone in the office.

Joe

I’m not seeing her at all.

68


Vernon

Don’t lie.

Joe

I’m not lying.

Vernon

Oh Shelly, Shelly, Shelly.

Vernon makes kissing noises.

Joe

Can you shut up?

Joe

Yes. Leave my bloody food alone.

Vernon takes something off Joe’s plate anyway.

Joe hits him with a fork.

Vernon

Ow! That hurt!

Joe

I told you. Leave my bloody food.

Vernon

Alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist.

Scene 26

Office. Hum and Ssssh.

Brigitta is ushering Richard Humble through the office. 69


Brigitta

This is Joe. Joe McCracken.

Richard

I think we’ve met.

Brigitta

Yes but I don’t think you’ve been officially introduced.

Richard

How are you Joe?

Joe

Fine thanks.

Brigitta

Joe is one of our most trusted and valued employees.

Richard

Keep up the good work Joe.

Joe

Yes. I will.

Brigitta

And Shelly, obviously you know Shelly already.

Humble

Shelly, good to see you, how are you getting on?

Shelly

Er fine, fine thankyou.

The sssh becomes more of a hiss and discordant chimes join in.

70


Joe

(V/O) He puts his hand on her shoulder. He keeps it there. They talk. I don’t know what they’re saying. Because I’m looking at his hand. On her shoulder.

Humble

Good stuff. Keep up the good work.

Humble and Brigitta move off.

Joe

Why didn’t you tell me that you knew him?

Shelly

I don’t know him.

Joe

Yes you do.

Shelly

I know him a bit.

Joe

You didn’t say anything.

Shelly

I don’t really know him. Just to say hello. That’s all. He used to work. I used to work for the same organisation. Before. A charity actually.

Joe

What sort of charity?

Shelly

For the homeless.

Joe

So did he get you the job? 71


Shelly

No, no, nothing like that. It’s just a coincidence.

Joe

But he remembers you.

Shelly

Well. Yeh.

Joe

(V/O) He put his hand on your shoulder.

Joe

(V/O) He kept his hand on your shoulder a long time. Longer than he needed to.

Joe

(V/O) Is he the married man?

Joe

(V/O) Just the way he put his hand on your shoulder.

The hissing noise builds and then abruptly cuts out

Shelly

Are you alright?

Joe

I’m fine.

Scene 27

Office, the hum of the office and the sssh. 72


Joe

Erm, where’s Shelly?

Brigitta

Shelly?

Joe

Shelly.

Brigitta

She’s gone.

Joe

What do you mean?

Brigitta

I mean she’s left.

Joe

She’s left for the day?

Brigitta

No she’s gone Joe. Gone for good.

Another noise joins in, the siren ghost.

Joe

Why? What happened?

Brigitta

It wasn’t working.

Joe

What wasn’t?

Brigitta

It wasn’t working for us or for her. It was a mutual decision.

73


Joe

She didn’t say she was leaving.

Brigitta

She didn’t know until Friday evening.

Joe

She was only here for three weeks.

Brigitta

Yes well that’s the way it goes sometimes. Not everyone is as loyal as you.

Joe

Can you look at me when you’re talking?

Brigitta

Sorry?

Joe

I didn’t understand what you just said. You turned your head.

Scene 28

74


Joe

(V/O) I send Shelly a text to her mobile and I don’t get a reply. So I take her address off the computer and go to see her.

Fade up residential Street. A medium ahh like a long steady plain chant.

Joe

Hello I’m looking for Shelly.

Man

Are you foreign?

Joe

Sorry?

Man

Where you from?

Joe

Manchester.

Man

You sound foreign.

Joe

I’m deaf.

Man

Deaf?

Joe

My name’s Joe. I’m looking for Shelly.

Man

Who’s Shelly?

Joe

She lived here. This was her address. Her last address.

75


Man

I don’t know any one called Shelly.

Joe

Maybe you didn’t meet her. Er she lived in the flat below.

Man

I don’t know anyone called Shelly. I’m trying to get some sleep. I work nights. Alright so why don’t you get lost .

Joe

What?

Man

Piss. Off. Did you understand me that time?

Joe

Yeh.

The door slams.

Scene 29

76


Canteen, the same clatter as before.

Vernon

Why don’t you send her a text?

Joe

I have.

Vernon

Well there’s not much else you can do is there?

Joe

Do you think I should go to the police?

Vernon

And tell them what? There’s no law against heartbreak Joseph.

Joe

What?

Vernon

I said there’s no law against heartbreak.

Joe

She didn’t break my heart.

Vernon

You keep telling yourself that.

Scene 30

77


Police Station, the noise of waiting in a room full of people who are jumpy and nervous or angry and unhappy. In Joe’s head there’s a distant chatter like the sound in a forest.

Police

How long have they been missing?

Joe

Three days.

Police

Do you have any reason to think this person might be vulnerable? Any mental health issues ?

Joe

Vulnerable. I don’t know. I didn’t know her very well.

Police

What’s the name?

Joe

Shelly, Shelly Simon.

Police

What’s your relationship with the missing person?

Joe

My relationship?

Police

Is she a friend, a girlfriend?

Joe

I know her from work. She’s a friend.

Police

Have you contacted her family and friends?

78


Joe

I don’t really know any of her friends or her family.

Scene 31

Office, the hum and the sssh.

Joe

(V/O) I send Shelly a text message but she doesn’t reply. I go to her flat. She isn’t at home. I go back there several times. No one ever comes to the door. I become so worried I actually go to the police. A month later there is no still sign of Shelly.

Vernon

Move on Joe. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.

Joe

(V/O) I send her one last text message. Piss off then if you don’t want to know me. I don’t know want to know you. That’s what I say. When the office is empty I decide to look through Brigitta’s emails.

Joe at the computer in Brigitta’s office

Joe

(V/O) Then Brigitta comes back.

Joe hides under Brigitta’s desk.

We hear him breathing. We hear Brigitta, looking for something, moving about cursing.

79


Joe’s hearing aid whistles.

Brigitta

Joe?

Joe

Hello.

Brigitta

What are you doing under my desk?

Joe

I dropped something.

Brigitta

You’re hiding.

Joe

My pen. I dropped my pen and I was looking for it.

Brigitta

What’s going on Joe?

Joe

Nothing. I just. I came in here because I dropped my pen. Earlier.

Brigitta

I’ve always liked you Joe.

Joe

Really?

Brigitta

I like how you keep your head down.

Joe

Oh.

80


Brigitta

You do your work very well for a man with your disabilities.

Joe

My disabilities.

Brigitta

You know, with being deaf and everything.

Joe

Aha.

Brigitta

I don’t want to see you spoil it.

Joe

Spoil what?

Brigitta

Your track record.

Joe

Oh my track record. Yeh. That.

Scene 32

Office, hum and sssh.

Vernon

She’s gone right off you hasn’t she.

Joe

Who?

Vernon

Brigitta.

Joe

Oh. 81


Vernon

You used to be her favourite. Teacher’s Pet. Proof that diversity and equal opportunity thrived under her management. You know that’s the only reason you got that promotion.

Beat

Vernon

I’m just saying.

Brigitta

Mr Humble wants to see you in his office.

Joe

When?

Brigitta

Now. Right now.

Joe

What does he want to see me for?

Brigitta

That’s for him to know and you to find out.

Joe

Sorry?

Brigitta

Just go Joe.

Brigitta moves off.

82


Scene 33

Humble’s office, the hum and sssh are there, the low noise of the ship is there, it gets louder as the scene progresses.

Humble

Would you like a cup of tea? A cup of coffee?

Joe

No thankyou.

Humble

I just wanted to have a chat.

Joe

A chat?

Humble

I’m very sorry to hear that you knew the woman who died.

Joe

And her daughter.

Humble

Yes of course.

Joe

Her daughter was called Angel.

Humble

I know what her daughter was called Joe.

Joe

Do you think angels exist?

Humble

Sorry? 83


Joe

Do you think maybe angels do really exist, for real?

Humble

I’ve no idea. I doubt it.

Joe

I hope they do. I really they do.

Humble

Erm.Well I just wanted to offer up my condolences.

Joe

Your condolences?

Humble

Yes.

Joe

Well thankyou. I feel much better now I have your condolences. Everything is fine now. Great. Terrific. Thankyou.

Humble

Joe.

Joe

Yes?

Humble

How well did you know Shelly?

Joe

Shelly?

Humble

Were you friends?

Joe

Not really. 84


Humble

Brigitta said you were quite friendly.

Joe

We used to smoke together. That was all.

Joe

Erm.

Humble

Do you have something that belongs to me?

Joe

Sorry?

Humble

Do you have the list?

Joe

Erm. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Humble

If you have a copy of the list then I would like it back and we can forget all about this business.

Joe

I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

Beat

Joe

I need to get back to work.

Joe stands up.

Joe

Shall I close the door or leave it open? 85


Humble

Leave it open.

Beat

The noise of the ship stops abruptly.

Scene 34

The long steady chant plus the thriller/detective movie music.

Joe

(V/O) There’s no light on in my flat and I am sure that I left a light on. I tell myself that I am being paranoid. That I simply forgot to leave the light on.

Beat

Joe

(V/O) I unlock the front door.

Beat

Joe

(V/O) I flick the switch and nothing happens. The light doesn’t come on.

Richard

You can’t hear me can you?

Beat 86


Richard

You don’t even know I’m here.

Richard jumps on Joe. Richard thumps him a couple of times. A door slams. Joe is left alone in the flat. Then he runs. He runs after Richard and down the street. He keeps running and running.

Joe

(V/O) I am running and running but I can’t catch him. He’s gone. Whoever he was. I keep running anyway. My lungs feel like they are going to burst. The night air is cold. I take it in in big gulps. I can’t get enough of it. Suddenly I feel great. I feel fantastic. I feel like something is happening.

Soundscape of Joe running. The traffic. The loud steady chant in his head mixed with something more tuneful, more euphoric.

Scene 35

Office, the hum and the sssh.

Joe

Do you feel guilty Brigitta? You look guilty.

Brigitta

What are you talking about?

Joe

Did you know. When Richard Humble asked you to disregard the rules. Did you know they were going to cut corners. Did

87


you know they were going to keep the rest of the money for themselves?

Brigitta

Joe. Can you remember where you are? And who you’re talking to.

Joe

Look. At. Me. You. Have. To Look At Me.

Brigitta

Can you keep your voice down?

Joe

How do you sleep at night? How do you sleep at night?

Joe starts throwing things.

Brigitta

Joe, if you don’t calm down I’ll ask security to evict you.

Joe ignores her.

Brigitta

Excuse me. Excuse me.

Brigitta leaves.

Joe

Where you going? Come back! Come back here!

Vernon

What is the matter with you?

Joe

I’m angry. 88


Vernon

You’re going to lose your job.

Joe

I don’t care.

Vernon

Don’t be stupid Joe.

Joe

I don’t care.

Vernon

You won’t get another job. People like you don’t get jobs. Jobs don’t grow on trees.

Joe

I knew them Vernon. I knew that woman. That child.

Vernon

You didn’t know them personally.

Joe

I feel like I did.

Vernon

But you didn’t. You didn’t actually know them.

Joe

I knew them by sight.

Vernon

Yeh by sight is not the same thing though is it.

Beat

Vernon

Come to the pub. 89


Joe

No thankyou.

Vernon

Have a drink with everyone.

Joe

No thanks.

Vernon

Come to the pub. Come on.

Joe

The pub is boring.

Vernon

What?

Joe

I’m bored at the pub.

Vernon

What you talking about?

Joe

I sit there and everybody talks to everybody else.

Vernon

No they don’t.

Joe

I’m not going to the pub anymore.

Vernon

I talk to you. I talk to you all the time.

Joe

Why can’t you just slow down? Why can’t everyone just slow down? 90


Vernon

If you come to the pub I’ll talk to you. I promise I’ll talk to you.

Joe

I don’t want you talking to me out of pity.

Vernon

Fine.

Beat

Joe

Vernon.

Vernon

Yeh.

Joe

Can I trust you?

Vernon

Why do you ask that?

Joe

Are you a man of integrity?

Vernon

Yeh. Course I am.

Joe

I need somebody I can trust.

Vernon

Why? What you talking about?

Joe

I never know with you. Vernon. I never know who’s side you’re really on. 91


Scene 36

Joe is sitting on the bus. The siren ghost is in Joe’s head.

Joe

(V/O) You look for someone and you look for someone. Then you give up and suddenly you find them. I’m sitting on the bus and it’s a Monday and I’m thinking about the child signing my name. I’m on the bus and I see her. Walking down the street. Like in Dr Zhivago. And I always remember that line. About the walls of his heart being paper thin. And he has a heart attack when he sees her. And she doesn’t see him. And then he dies on the pavement and she goes to his funeral. So it’s like that. Except that I don’t have a heart attack.

Joe

Exuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. I need to get off the bus. Excuse me.

Joe pushes past people and the bus stops. The doors open and he jumps off the bus. He runs to catch Shelly.

Joe

Shelly! Shelly! Shelly!

Shelly

Joe.

Joe

Hi.

92


Shelly

What happened to your eye?

Joe

You didn’t say goodbye.

Shelly

I’m sorry.

Joe

Why didn’t you say goodbye?

Shelly

I just thought it would be better. If I just went.

Joe

Better for who?

Shelly

Everybody.

Joe

Richard Humble is your married man isn’t he?

Shelly

How did you know that?

Joe

It was his hand on your shoulder.

Shelly

Oh.

Beat

Shelly

What happened to your eye?

Joe

Someone hit me. 93


Shelly

Who?

Joe

I think it was your boyfriend.

Shelly

No.

Joe

He broke into my flat.

Shelly

What?

Joe

You told him about the list.

Shelly

I didn’t. I didn’t. Honestly. He saw it Joe. On the table. He was in my flat and he just saw it.

Joe

He just. Saw it.

Shelly

I called him that night. After we went to the pub. To tell him it was over.

Joe

I don’t believe you.

Shelly

He wanted to talk about it. He came round. To talk me out of it. And he saw the list on the table.

Joe

You could have hidden it. When he rang on the door. 94


Shelly

He let himself in. I gave him a key.

Joe

Why? Why would you be in a relationship with a man like that?

Shelly

I don’t know.

Joe

So what happened when he saw the list?

Shelly

He went crazy.

Joe

Why didn’t you reply to my messages?

Shelly

I was trying to protect you.

Joe

Protect me?

Shelly

I didn’t want him to know I got the list from you.

Beat

Shelly

Joe? Joe will you look at me.

Beat

Shelly

Joe. You need to look at me.

95


Beat

Shelly

Joe?

Scene 37

Roof. The plain chant is there. The thriller/detective music. The discordant chimes. The sound of the ship.

Joe

(V/O) I send Richard Humble an email asking me to meet me on the roof of the town hall. I tell him that he can have his list.

Footsteps 96


Humble

How much do you want for it?

Joe

How much?

Humble

Would five thousand do it?

Joe

You’d give me five thousand pounds for a list?

Humble

Joe

Did you break into my flat?

Humble

Yes.

Joe

Why?

Humble

I wanted to scare you.

Beat

Humble

Are you going to take the money?

Joe

Blood money.

Humble

Hardly.

97


Joe

How much did you make from cutting corners on the refurbishments?

Mr Humble There was nothing wrong with our refurbishments.

Joe

Then why did people die?

Mr Humble People die in fires. Fires are extremely dangerous.

Joe

I could push you off this roof and no one would know.

Humble

You’re not going to push me off a roof Joe.

Joe

I might.

Humble

You’re a nice man.

Joe

No I’m not.

Humble

I didn’t kill them Joe.

Joe takes Humble and holds him over the wall.

Humble

What are you doing?

Humble screams. And screams again.

98


Humble

What the hell?

Joe

Admit that the fire was because they cut corners. Admit that you ignored the rules! Admit that you made money from this. Admit it!

Humble

Alright!

Joe

Admit it!

Humble

I admit it! I admit it!

There is a tussle. Humble and Joe stay the right side of the wall. Both of them breathless and sitting on the ground.

Humble

You. Are. A. Maniac.

Joe

Why is it so important to you to be rich?

Humble

It’s important to everyone.

Joe

No it isn’t.

Humble

That’s why people play the lottery.

Joe

I’m going to make sure everyone knows. Who you are.

99


Humble

You can’t prove anything Joe.

Joe

I can send the list to the newspapers.

Humble

The list won’t mean anything to anybody but me.

Joe

Then why do you want it back so much?

Beat

Joe

I can tell them you tried to bribe me.

Humble

I can tell them you tried to kill me.

Joe

I wanted you to be scared.

Humble

Jesus

Joe

Don’t you think they were scared?

Humble

Who?

Joe

Waiting for the fire brigade.

Beat

Joe

Do you think about them at night? 100


Humble

No.

Joe

I do. I dream about them.

Beat

Humble

Listen

Joe

What?

Humble

I’ll leave you alone if you’ll leave me alone.

Joe

I’m never going to leave you alone.

Scene 38

Outside Marion’s flat, there’s a quiet ssh and the sound of water in a cave.

Joe

(V/O) I go to see Marion de Sousa again.

Joe rings the doorbell.

101


Marion

It’s you. The deaf man.

Joe

My name’s Joe.

Marion

Joe.

Joe

Yes.

Marion

Do you want to come in? Do you want a cup of tea?

Joe

Okay.

Joe

(V/O) I tell her who I am and how I used to see them on the bus, Flora and Angel. And I tell her that I hope she’ll get some kind of justice in the end. And she cries. And I cry. And we drink tea.

Marion

I wish I had died with them.

Joe

But then there’d be no body to fight for them.

Marion

That’s true.

Joe

That’s why you’ve got to live. To fight.

Marion

Yeh.

102


Joe

That’s your purpose.

Marion

Yeh.

Joe

I think you’re very brave.

Marion

Thankyou.

Joe

(V/O) I write a letter to the QC in charge of the investigation. I tell him that I think Richard Humble is corrupt and directly responsible for the flawed refurbishments. I haven’t heard anything back yet. Brigitta takes indefinite sick leave for an indefinite sickness. Richard Humble announces he will not be standing for relection. The full investigation into the fire will take two years to be completed. It will be two years before the de Souza family or any of us know the truth.

Scene 39

Shelly and Joe are in the pub.

Shelly

I like the way you say my name.

Joe

Really?

Shelly

I like the way you pronounce it.

103


Joe

I have a bit of a problem with that sound the Sh sound.

Shelly

It sounds lovely though.

Beat

Joe

Can I kiss you?

Shelly

Yes please.

Vernon comes into the pub.

Vernon

There you are. You can run but you can’t hide.

Joe

Hi Vernon.

Shelly

Hello Vernon.

Vernon

What’s everyone drinking?

Joe

(V/O) I dream that I am swimming in the sea. And in the dream I can breathe under water. It’s very calm and very beautiful. There is no noise at all. And then I see the child. She swims towards me. In a red swimming costume and angel wings. She smiles and salutes me. Then she swims away. I know it was just a dream. I know that. But still. It made me feel better.

104


Theme music.

105

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