But besides that, Any questions, comments, or anything let me know. I'll only keep this up as long as you're interested, so keep your support coming. And for now, here's:
So again, I'm a little rough at this, as I've said before. Be a little easy on me, everyone.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Spring is starting to...well, spring, and the extreme Canadian winter has brought many feet of snow. The snow is now getting heavy, saturated with the weight of the April showers. We come upon an apartment block in the heart of the city, during a typically dreary day. Rain for a third consecutive day, and no sign the weather will soon let up.
On the top floor of the building, Dan Kaplan, the building's landlord, looks out the window at the miserable weather, and puts his cat outside the door of his apartment and runs his bath. After running the bath, he gets in. We then hear a loud creaking noise and a loud crash.
A floor below, we see a young couple, freshly moved in. Alexis Dillon, a suburban princess with a long entitlement complex, and her beau, the hapless Ryan Olsen. Ryan is trying to set up the kitchen cabinet, but as Alexis walks in, the shelves collapse.
ALEXIS: I see the shelf-building's going well
RYAN: Yeah, well...cheap Swedish furniture's not all it's cracked up to be
ALEXIS: That's exactly why I didn't want us to GET cheap Swedish furniture.
RYAN: You didn't want second hand furniture either, so what else could we afford.
ALEXIS: Better stuff than THIS. Ryan, come on, you have a new job, a good one! You can afford this, can't you?
RYAN: Not after first and last month's rent, baby.
Alexis rolls her eyes and looks around the apartment. It's not to her standards. In fact, she absolutely loathes the place. But Ryan looked like a wounded dog when she voiced that opinion the first time she saw the place, and she hates when he looks that way, so she keeps quiet.
ALEXIS: You know what we need?
ALEXIS: Some art for the walls.
RYAN: I'm sure we can find something down at Kensington Market
ALEXIS: No, like, real art, like...my friend has a gallery opening tonight on Queen St., why don't we check it out?
RYAN: I thought we were staying in and ordering take-out...movie...you know?
ALEXIS: Oh honey, we can do that tomorrow. Please?
Alexis makes a face that's all batting eyelashes and white teeth. Ryan can't resist.
RYAN: Alright, alright. We'll go. But don't expect me to buy anything, cos we can't afford it until I've been working a few more weeks.
ALEXIS (not really listening): Mmhmmm
Alexis heads over to the doorway, grabs her purse, and goes to open the door.
ALEXIS: I'm heading to the Carla's for a bit, then we'll head off to the show, K? I'll see you later.
RYAN: Sure when you gonna be back?
ALEXIS: I'll only be a couple hours, don't worry.
They share a kiss, and Alexis opens the door. The landlord's cat scurries in. Alexis is allergic and hates the cat. She can't get her out before the cat runs under their sofa.
ALEXIS: Dammit, Ryan. Why couldn't you stop her?
Ryan looks on, apologetic and confused.
ALEXIS: Get her out before I come back. Seriously.
Alexis slams the door shut, the hastily-reassembled shelves fall off the cabinet again.
Outside the building, shivering in their jackets, smoking, stand longtime best friends Eric Hadley and Darren Washington. Darren's a bit of a rebellious soul, and Eric credits him with bringing him out of his shell after being a recluse in his early high school years, which were filled with traumas dating back to childhood. Darren's upbringing was hard on him, but even though they've never discussed it, Darren's aware that Eric had it harder than he did growing up.They never talk about it.
Today, Darren stands on the steps of the walkup, talking about work. Or Darren's lack thereof.
DARREN: I swear, forty resumes I've sent out. Not ONE answer.
ERIC: Well, you haven't been looking long, dude. Give it another week. At least give them some time to call you back.
DARREN: I haven't got time. I gotta get money, man. Gotta pay rent.
ERIC: I hear that. The store's not paying much better, honestly.
DARREN: Least you're working. Man, I can barely afford the free cigarettes I get off people on the street.
Alexis slams the door in the distance and heads down the hall to the front door. Brusquely opening the door, she nearly hits Darren in the back when she opens it.
DARREN: Hey, hey, what's the problem?
ALEXIS: Well for one, you and the fact you smell like an ash tray.
DARREN: And what's a mouth like that doing on a body like yours, girl?
ALEXIS: Keeping as far away from yours as possible. Now get the hell out of my way.
Alexis kicks Eric and Darren away from her as she steps past them to get down the steps. Darren (mostly) and Eric object, as Alexis leaves, Eric looks to her with a wide smile. Darren's less impressed.
DARREN: Man, that's COLD.
ERIC: So, not to throw your own lines back at you, dude but...what's a mouth like YOURS doing on a boy from Forest Hill. You're about as 'hood as Drake.
DARREN: You shut up or I'll put this out in your eye!
Eric laughs, and gets up to go in. As the door opens, Ryan heads out of the building in a rush, nearly tripping over them both.
RYAN: Woah, sorry, guys.
DARREN: Woah, man, where's the fire?
RYAN: I just remembered tonight's the grand opening at my new job so...
DARREN: Wait, where?
RYAN: The Royal, down on Harbord St.
DARREN: They still looking?
RYAN: I dunno, you'd have to check with the owner, dude.
ERIC: I haven't seen you around before. You just moved in?
RYAN: Yea, last week.
ERIC: Hey man, welcome to the building.
RYAN: Thanks dude.
They shake hands, and go their respective ways. Before heading in, Darren remembers something to ask Ryan.
DARREN: Hey man, what apartment you moved into?
RYAN: Unit 4, just the end of the hall.
DARREN: Cool. We're in 2, dude. Come by later, we'll chill, get some beer. You know?
RYAN: Thanks, man. I'll...I'll see what I can do.
Ryan pauses one last time.
RYAN: Hey, you know how I can get ahold of the landlord, by the way?
DARREN: *laughs* Good luck. Dan is always off somewhere. I think he said this time he was off to like...Africa or something. Call him, though and see.
RYAN: Thanks, man. See ya, bro.
DARREN: See ya.
The guys head inside and go down into their unit.
Upstairs, Dan sets his itinerary for a trip to Morocco in the flap of his carry-on bag, then wanders to the bathroom. He draws his bath and lays in the tub. Relaxing in the tub, he doesn't notice the extreme humidity surrounding him. He closes his eyes and relishes the opportunity to relax.
Downstairs, across rom Ryan an Alexis, is Kian McClary. Kian's a young, thin, babyfaced gay man in his mid-20s. A rising star in the world of cookery, Kian is set to open his first restaurant tonight. The Royal. The Royal is partnership between Kian and his long-term romantic partner, the much-older Peter Phillips, who is a big name among Toronto foodies. But that's not who Kian's with right now.
KIAN: Jason, honey, what tie should I be wearing with this?
JASON: I don't know, whatever one you're in the mood for.
JASON: Hey, I got my own issues to deal with, Mr. Boss-man.
Kian and Jason share a quick kiss. Jason continues to get ready, and begins to contemplate.
JASON: Peter's not meeting you here, is he?
KIAN: No, thankfully. He's meeting us all at the restaurant. And besides, I told him that I'd have a couple people over first to sorta...get the celebration started early.
Kian drapes his arms around Jason, looking deep into his eyes.
JASON: Okay, but...I mean, you don't figure it's a little too obvious, what with you making me manager of the restaurant and all. I mean, he's not gonna figure it out, right?
KIAN: Come on, Peter's so caught up in his own business you could hit him over the head with it and he wouldn't even bat an eyelash.
JASON: If you're sure.
KIAN: I'm positive. Stop worrying. Look, there's no love left in this relationship, okay? That ended a long time ago. We're only together for the business and that's it.
JASON: And I just stay you're secret thing on the side.
KIAN: No, you stay the man I'm in love with. Only you. And besides, once I get my citizenship, this'll all be moot anyway.
JASON: Okay, okay.
Kian grabs his jacket and tugs on Jason's wrist to come.
KIAN: Now let's go. Open time is coming!
JASON: Alright alright, let me just grab my things.
They laugh as they head out the door. But upon opening the door, a limo is parked out front, and out of the door steps Peter. Kian looks on in surprise and a bit of discomfort paints his face.
Upstairs Dan continues his bath, fully relaxed. Soft music plays and his face is just above the water, so he never hears the phone ring. The phone rings over and over, and Dan only hears it a bit and spitefully ignores the phone, dunking his head under the water. As he does this, the heavy snow above him and the endless rain have finally created a pool heavy enough above the old apartment block. The weight is stressing right above him, and the drains outside aren't able to keep up, having partially frozen over in the long, cold winter.
Dan's old, weather-beaten ceiling finally gives way under the huge weight and collapsed on top of him, sealing him in the bathtub like a pie crust.
Kian's grand event
A surprise for Alexis at the art show