Blue, as a Woman Or as a Restless Autumn Sky
A shooting script for a short film
Suscaluna Andriot Motte
(open with montage of establishing shots of a small house in suburbia. Show various traditional souvenirs, travel books, and other things that indicate that the two people that live there are without real roots. Focus on a large calendar. Show various plans strewn throughout the year interspersed with shots of the rest of the home.)
Interior — woman sitting on a couch. Show her reading a book about becoming a parent. She has a concerned look on her face. In the distance hear keys jangling and someone opening the door. The woman jumps and quickly scrambles to hide the book as the door opens and closes. A man enters.)
Hubert Vanquin: *slightly singing, offscreen* Hello hello! Where is my darling wife?
Margot Vanquin: *slightly apprehensive* In the living room dear.
Hubert: (dances in from the other room) Oh hello my love. Great news…(as he is talking he continues to dance and meanders over to where Margot is sitting and gives her a kiss on the top of her head)…on my way home today I stopped by the travel agent and we are officially booked on that tour of southern Europe next June. Whew! I’m so excited. After this trip, we will have gone to nearly every country in Europe. And shortly after we return, we get to celebrate your birthday. God! It’s just so amazing. (he lifts Margot up and they start to dance around the room)
Margot: Oh Huby! (They kiss)
Hubert: You know, when we married years ago, I thought our life together would be the most splendid thing I could imagine. But in a way I was wrong…I could never imagine things being so outrageously marvelous. I have the most beautiful, caring, and generous woman as a wife, we have all the time we need to explore all the pleasures of being alive, and with this blissful life, just as it is, I am happier than I thought I could ever be. (they kiss again) my god Margot…I love you!
(they embrace again as he spins her back towards the couch and dances off into the bedroom to change his clothes. Margot grows visibly upset.)
Hubert: (offscreen) and you know…I know you were thinking about a kayaking trip through Micronesia…I know it might be tough to squeeze in next year with how much we already have planned but…the more I think about it…the more I’m thinking we should just do it. We haven’t decided what we are going to do for our anniversary yet…I think this would be the perfect way to spend it. Something you always wanted to do, in a beautiful setting, to celebrate how great our lives have turned out to be.
(emerges from the bedroom in more comfortable clothes. As he continues to talk, he walks into the kitchen and grabs two beers from the refrigerator, opens them, and walks back to the couch. Margot gets more and more visibly agitated as he talks.)
Hubert: Coasting around the bright blue waters, sleeping under the stars, overindulging in the local culture and cuisine…it just sounds too sensational to pass up. I know we have a book for Micronesia around here somewhere…not that I need to read more about it to convince me! (hands Margot one of the beers) It really would be the perfect capper to our travel year in 2020. *drinks beer and takes a seat* Ahh…(at this point, he notices the look of concern on Margot’s face) Sweetbee…what’s wrong? You look anxious. Is everything ok?
Margot: *puts the beer down* Honey…I…I don’t know how to say this…
Hubert: *concerned* What is it? You can tell me anything. *puts arm around her*
Margot: *pulling away* well…*breaths deeply*
Hubert: *reassuringly* I find it’s best to just come out with it. *puts beer down* Whatever is it, we will handle it.
Margot: *sighs* well…I went to the doctor today…and I got some news.
Hubert: *alarmed* Oh my god…are you alright?!
Margot: Well…it turns out…I’m…I’m…pregnant.
Hubert: *stunned* what?! I…uh…what?!
Margot: *sympathetically* I’m pregnant.
Hubert: *still in shock* What?! How did this happen?!
Margot: I don’t know…even the most effective birth control isn’t a 100% guarantee…I guess we just timed everything in this way that…
Hubert: *stands and cuts her off, overtly agitated* my god! *grows in intensity* my god!
Margot: *upset* Huby…I know!
Hubert: You know?!!? my god! We are talking about becoming parents. We are talking about being responsible for a human life. We are talking about destroying our current lives and becoming something completely different. Completely different people with completely different lives!
Margot: You don’t think I’ve thought about that?! I’ve been here for hours worried about everything…worried about myself, worried about this baby, worried about our lives, worried about you, worried about the whole situation!
Hubert: Well those are all good things to worry about! Can you even imagine me as a father! For as long as you’ve known me, I’ve have been against the entire idea of fatherhood. Ever since I realized how human procreation works, I knew I didn’t want to be a father, to give up my life for someone else’s life.
Margot: Maybe that’s just fear talking…
Hubert: *agitation grows from here on out, culminates in full on panic attack* It certainly is! But it’s more than that…*struggles to find the words*…it’s just I’ve had a vision of the life that I’ve wanted for a long time…a vision of freedom…I thought it was a vision we shared?!
Margot: I’m not saying it isn’t! I’m just saying there…
Hubert: *cutting her off* everything we’ve planned to do! This child will change all of that! This jaunt through Europe…that Micronesian kayaking trip…the whiskey cruise! All of that has to be scrapped…our entire lives have to be scraped! *grows more visibly agitated*
Margot: *fretfully* Hubert…please. I…I need your support here. Please, just calm down…we need to talk.
Hubert: My support!? My support?! I cannot support! I…can…not…I…*struggles to breath* my god! I feel ill! *begins to stumble about, knocking things over* You’re talking about support when we are talking about ruining out lives. *sees calendar* This…this right here! This is done. *rips calendar off the wall, tearing some pages, but not off completely. Once it’s on the ground, he stomps upon it.* All of those plans, annihilated.
Margot: Hubert! Please! Control yourself! *grows more upset through Hubert’s following speech* You need to calm down for a minute!
Hubert: *ignoring Margot’s words and actions* Ah, this book…’Cooking For Two’…well…there is more than two of us now…so this has outlived its usefulness. *whips it onto the ground* Oh…these! *goes over to the counter and picks up two glasses* Remember, where we got these…we sipped Italian wine as the sun set over the Mediterranean. Well…with children, these go away. *throws glasses down and they shatter*
Margot: Ah! Hubert…my god!
Hubert: Oh! This clock. Bought at the Swiss horologist weekend we stumbled upon while trekking through the Alps. Won’t have this anymore! *picks up the Cooking For Two book and throws it into the clock, smashes it.*
Margot: Jesus! What are you doing?!
Hubert: *mildly maniacally* Oh, just showing you how our lives will be different with children. Oh! Being your pregnant, you can’t use this vodka of the month club anymore…*slightly laughing* so away with it! *throws the mostly empty bottle across the room which explodes* And this fern here…from that retreat in Baja...Guess this gets to die too! *screams. picks up the plant and thrashes violently around with it, hitting tables/furniture/things spreading dirt and debris all around the room* there! This is what life with children is!
Margot: *hiding behind furniture, sobbing* Please! Stop!
Hubert: Stop! I can’t stop. Children don’t stop. I want…I…I…*starts a weird laughing/difficulty breathing routine and begins to stumble about again, almost as if he is going to faint* oh god…I…I feel so ill! I…I…I have to get out of here!
(Hubert stumbles about, knocking several things onto the floor, barely grabbing at the door and exiting the scene in a panicked state. Margot comes around and collapses in tears on the couch.)
*FADE TO BLACK*
(Fade in: Later in the day. Margot is in the bedroom, still upset from the fight earlier. Some shots of the house as it lays now. Focus back on the calendar. Show ripped up/damage from the fight. Camera stops in the kitchen near the door, as it opens. Hubert enters)
Hubert: Margot? Margot? *walks into the living room*
Margot: *offscreen muffled sounds*
Hubert: Sweetbee…could you come out here please. (Margot enters. There is a small pause of trepidation but then they embrace) I’m so sorry. I really lost control of myself there. I should never have acted like. You must have been so frightened.
Margot: You scared me to death! I know this is a lot to process, but I’ve never seen you so full of rage like that before. That isn’t healthy!
Hubert: I know. I…I’ve never felt like that before. I’m so sorry I could have hurt you. That is the last thing I want to do.
Margot: I know. But it was terrifying.
Hubert: I know. And I’m so so sorry. Clearly, I couldn’t handle that news. I should have been more mature about this. Of all the things I was expecting you to say I didn’t think it would be that you were expecting. And when you did…I just lost all control. My mind…my body…I just lost contact with everything. I was so panicked.
Margot: I know we’ve always said neither of us wanted kids…believe me, I’ve been panicked since the doctor told me the news…I’ve been a mess all day! And when you reacted the way you did, it just threw me into that maelstrom all over again.
Hubert: I’m so sorry…I didn’t think about you in that moment. I know we’ve both said we wanted to be DINKs…I should have thought of that earlier as I was ranting. I was just so consumed with the thought of our current way of life ending and the monumental change that would happen by having a child…and I couldn’t handle it. But…that’s why once I calmed down, I realized how we both felt about this subject and I started to look for solutions.
Margot: Solutions? What do you mean?
Hubert: Well, you know…neither of us want to be parents…there are certain…procedures that can fix the problem for us.
Margot: *shocked* Fix?!...the problem!?
Hubert: Yeah…what? Why do you look so alarmed?
Margot: Because you are talking about abortion!
Hubert: …yeah. I am. What? That’s the perfect resolution. One quick procedure and boom…everything goes back to being normal.
Margot: You think it’s that easy?!
Hubert: Well…ok, there is a slight physical toll, but from my understanding it’s short term and then everything goes back to how it was.
Margot: What about emotionally?! Do you think you can really go back and not be consumed with the thought of your would-be child?
Hubert: Yes. You know that I never wanted children. I’m completely comfortable about the idea of leaving no offspring on this earth. Even now…with the thoughts of, at least theoretically, having made a child, I still don’t want it. I don’t want that life.
Margot: But how do you know that is how you will feel later on in life?
Hubert: It’s because it’s what I always wanted. I’ve only ever dreamed of a life where I had the freedom to live how I wanted to live. To travel, to overindulge, to be happy, to be free to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it because I wanted to do it…children are the antithesis of all that. Your life becomes their life. Everything becomes tied to them, you have no freedom, you have no ability to really live. That’s not going to change when I’m 70. That will be how it will always be and that’s how I will always feel.
Margot: I just…I just can’t do it.
Hubert: What? I thought you felt the same way. We’ve had many discussions when we were younger about this…and we both agreed that this life, that we are currently living, is the life we have both always wanted to live.
Margot: *downtrodden* I know…it’s just…now…*sighs* knowing what I know now…I don’t think I can go back. I certainly don’t think I can get an abortion. It makes it too real.
Hubert: That makes it too real? What about the actual child when it is born…that’s real. Pouring everything you are into that child…having that child be the most important thing in your life…surrendering all your energy and focus…giving up any other type of life, for the rest of your life…that’s real. That’s forever.
Margot: I know…
Hubert: Andthat’s how it has to be when you have kids. You can’t half ass it.
Margot: I know…but that’s our reality now.
Hubert: Whoa now…our?! No, no…no. I think I’ve made it quite clear where I stand on this.
Margot: *emotionally* what?! But…I…
Hubert: Look…*sighs* I don’t think I can handle this new life.
Margot: What makes you so sure?
Hubert: First off…you see how I reacted before to just hearing the news.
Margot: Mm…yeah. That wasn’t great.
Hubert: No…It wasn’t. And secondly…let me ask you…What makes you so sure that you can’t go back to how things were?
Margot: *eyes fade away from Hubert…exhales deeply*
Hubert: Exactly. You can’t explain it…and neither can I. But we both know it’s true. We know in our gut…we know in our heads…we know in our heart.
Margot: But…we love each other…that love can overcome anything.
Hubert: *sits silently…wanting to speak, but not know what to say*
Margot: Our love will make this new life as good as our old one.
(Hubert sighs, gets visibly emotional, grabs Margot and embraces her. They sit in silence, briefly.)
Hubert: *stoically* I do love you. I have loved you for almost as long as I’ve known you. Every minute we are together is an eternity of joy that I will always cherish. *Margot cries and squeezes Hubert* *voice breaking* But…I will resent that child with every fiber of my being. It is taking away everything I have always wanted, everything that makes me smile with ecstasy and gratitude, everything that makes me thank god that I am alive.
(Margot pulls away from Hubert, emotionally broken)
Hubert: I’m sorry. I know this hurts you. But it will only hurt all of us of we stay on this path…you, the baby, myself…nobody will win if I am forced to become a father. Everything and everyone will be dragged down into a dark abyss of hatred, animosity, and bitterness that has no escape. I don’t want to do that to myself and I certainly don’t want to do that to you. I know it wounds you now, but the pain and anguish would only multiply if I stay.
Margot: *through tears* stay?! What are talking about?
Hubert: *resigned* …this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But I have to say it if you are intent on keeping the baby…I cannot be involved. I cannot be around. I’ll support you of course, but only financially. I cannot be a part of that life. It’s either me…or the baby.
(Margot is stunned and devastated by the news, crumples into a bawling mess, and Hubert starts to weep)
*FADE TO BLACK*
(It is nine months later. Focus on the calendar which has been fixed and all the previous plans have been crossed out and replaced with important baby dates. One is circled heavily with the words ‘due date’ scribbled in the middle. Camera cuts around the house to show various baby centric things. Gets to a new room with Margot holding the baby in her arms as she is trying to get it to sleep. We see her look at the baby while alternatively looking at the wall. The camera pans to the wall and shows a picture of her and Hubert. The camera pans back to Margot’s face, which has a tear rolling down her cheek.)