Online Friends Vs. Real Friends
Winson Thai

 

FADE IN:

INT. 42ND STREET-TIMES SQUARE STATION PLATFORM - NIGHT

An N train has its doors open as people walk about, then the doors shut with bells CHIMING before the train departs. Pace University students ASHLEY TRAN (20, slim, sensitive and bad tempered) and BRITTANIE URBANSKI (23, defensive, salacious, strong and blonde) come down a staircase with large bags and stand by the platform's edge. People pass by them randomly.

ASHLEY: What did you think about the play?

BRITTANIE: It was great. The plot was written well and the main actor was funny.

ASHLEY: I agree, but was stunned at the big audience because it is a weeknight.

BRITTANIE: This is called “The City That Never Sleeps” for a reason. We got action 24/7, as people have fun regardless of the time. It's 10:15 pm and this station is still active. I'm taking you out more from now on as you got to indulge the nightlife here. Stop worrying of your grades or getting enough sleep each night. Loosen up.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'll spend more time outside of our home, but speaking of sleep, (Yawns and covers his mouth) I do not think I can stay awake for long. When we get back, I'll shower and go straight to bed. It's really good we don't have school tomorrow.

BRITTANIE: Fine by me. Hey why don’t we shower together? It is so faster that way.

She moves closer to Ashley, places her right arm around his waist, and seductively runs her left hand down his left arm.

ASHLEY: Oh my god are you out of your mind?

He looks at Brittanie in shock and surprise.

As they talk, KRISTINE (18, white, short, aggressive, burly) and MIKE CARUSO (46 athletic and protective) walk arm-in-arm happily talking until Kristine sees the pair from behind and is shocked. Mike sees this and is confused. She tip toes and whispers in his ear. He gets mad. She stands flat footed and breaks off from him. They walk toward Ashley and Brittanie.

BRITTANIE: Hey I know just from looking at you that you are not husky and am okay with that. I also know you want to look at me naked from the multiple times you have tried to see me pee.

ASHLEY: You always leave the bathroom door open and didn't even close it once.

BRITTANIE: I do not mind you seeing me sit on the toilet half-naked and hope you do not mind showering with me baby.

ASHLEY: Okay we'll shower together tonight.

Brittanie lets go of him and does several fist pumps.

BRITTANIE: Yes! Yes! Yes! I have another idea. How about we sleep together tonight as your bed can fit us both, right?

Ashley tries to respond, but Kristine reaches him, grabs his shoulder, and turns him around so that he is now facing her.

KRISTINE: Ah ha! It is you!

ASHLEY: What the? who the hell are you?

Kristine takes a piece of paper out of her sweater pocket.

KRISTINE: Does this look familiar to you?

BRITTANIE: Wait, what is going on here?

ASHLEY: (Looking at Kristine's paper): Oh my god, this is the dumb little jerk who unfriended me on Facebook.

MIKE: Hey, you watch how you talk to her!

ASHLEY: Well, it is true. I wonder who else she cuts out as friends for trying to help her or you for the matter.

BRITTANIE: Um can you explain what is going on between you and these people honey?

ASHLEY: This girl and I used to be Facebook friends. A few weeks ago, she put a link on her profile to her donation page on the American Cancer Society site. That is what's on that paper. She asked everybody to donate money to a race she was sponsoring at her college that helps cancer patients pay for medical treatment. She said her dad survived lung cancer. I'm a breast cancer awareness supporter, so I gave her twenty-five bucks and said that as a comment, but after I went on Facebook the next day I saw she was no longer on my friend list and that pissed me off hard. I knew the perfect way to get back at her. I emailed ACS and asked them for my donation back. They complied and it was funny how she reacted after she learned what I did, making an angry Facebook status, twisting the story to her friends and losing her mind.

BRITTANIE: You unfriended my roommate after he donated to your fund? That's wrong!

KRISTINE: But I do not even know him!

MIKE: Uh what! If you don't know him, why were you two Facebook friends then?

KRISTINE: I can't recall, but after I saw his comment I looked at his profile and didn't recognize him at all. That's why I defriended him even though I appreciated his donation, honestly.

ASHLEY: We got over forty friends in common and, based on what is our profiles, went to the same high school missy.

KRISTINE: But that does not mean I know you. Midwood has four thousand students and I do not remember having you in any of my classes or clubs or even seeing you anywhere at that school.

ASHLEY: Okay fine you're right. We've never met in person until now, but that's not why you unfriended me on there.

KRISTINE: And what makes you say that dude?

ASHLEY: You got thousands of friends there. There's no way an eighteen-year-old knows that many folks in real life, so why didn’t you remove the dozens of other stranger friends you had?

MIKE: Hey you absolutely have no idea who my daughter does and does not know.

ASHLEY: Hmph, well, let's just see here.

He takes a Blackberry out of his coat and types on it.

ASHLEY (CONT'D): Ah here's Kristine's page. Let's go through her friends' list shall we?

He shows his phone to Kristine and Mike, who look at it.

INSERT: Screenshots of the Facebook profiles he mentions.

ASHLEY (V.O.): What do we have here? Amadi Owusu, an almost blank page with no posts on his timeline, photos, biography, or location info and just thirteen friends. Something is wrong there. Here is a Harata Kalmati; has over two thousand friends, but only five photos, all of which are of a young Indian or Pakistani model, and not much in her “About” section. It can not be this model running the page, so it's likely a scammer who tricks lonely men into giving her money as she is in a tough situation at home or wants to come live with them. Of course, none of what he/she says is true. I found another fake profile, Hector Rodriguez from Spain. How do I know it is fake? The child in the pictures was an illegal Ecuadorian immigrant murdered by members of a white supremacist group in Houston in 1994. Hmm, let’s look at Darlene Katz, a mother of four from Oakland who says her daughter has leukemia. She has pictures of the child in a hospital and the family at numerous cancer advocacy parties. It sounds legit, but she resides in the other side of the country, so I doubt you ever spoke to or helped her in any way. You cannot even verify if she is being honest. Ah ha, here are a few more profiles I see that are...

BACK TO SCENE.

MIKE: Hey hold it. Do you have Kristine's profile saved onto your blackberry?

ASHLEY (Puts his phone in his coat): Um yeah, I have been monitoring who she has been adding carefully ever since the day that she dropped me.

MIKE: Well can you please stop it because that is stalking and harassing sir!

BRITTANIE: No it's not. It is his phone, so he can look at whatever page he wants.

Mike puts his right arm around Kristine and pulls her close.

MIKE: She is my child and if I don't want him to look at her page, he should do that and follow some other girl.

BRITTANIE: (Putting an arm around Ashley): He did a nice act for your daughter and she repaid him by deleting him as a friend. It's like saying "fuck you," which would upset anyone sir.

MIKE: Stay out of this young lady.

BRITTANIE: What did you say? You asked for it.

MIKE: Well, bring it on!

Brittanie lets go of Ashley and takes a step toward Mike. He releases Kristine taking a step toward Brittannie. They look mad at each other. Ashley and Kristine get in front of them.

ASHLEY: Brittanie I appreciate you standing up for me, but this is my problem. Let me handle it myself, all right?

KRISTINE: Dad, I know you are looking out for me, but please stay out of this. I can protect myself versus this guy.

Mike and Brittanie step back and watch. Ashley and Kristine step up and face each other after putting their hands down.

KRISTINE (CONT'D): Okay, I know my friends' list has a few oddballs, but what is your damn point? I deleted you for a reason.

ASHLEY: You're not telling me the reason. I just proved how many other weirdos you have there. It confuses me that you have no problems adding people from other places of the world who you have nothing in common with or can't confirm really exist, but are afraid to be friends with somebody just two years older and resides in the same city. Just makes no sense.

KRISTINE (Looking annoyed): Does it matter? It's Facebook. If I deleted you, I deleted you, got it?

ASHLEY: No, it is not since you are keeping something from me that I so want to know. Maybe you unfriended me since you don't like Asian men. I did not see one Asian male on your friends’ list. You must believe in the lousy stereotypes on us being tech geeks, math nerds and bookworms you racist or maybe the lesbian themed pages I liked made you think I'm a pervert. I'm not. Women are sexualized a lot in society. Or maybe worse, you are running a scam and defriended me as you didn't want me to find out. The doofus here probably never got lung cancer from inhaling bad dust while he assisted in 9/11 rescue efforts.

Brittanie reaches out and pulls on Mike's hair.

MIKE: Hey, hey, what are you doing?

BRITTANIE: (Letting go of Mike): Hey, you may be right Ashley. He is not wearing a wig. Hair's on tight.

ASHLEY (Looking shocked): That is very cruel, using a tragic event like 9/11 to con hardworking, sympathetic people for your greedy, selfish reasons. Many actual cancer patients cannot afford to get wigs and stuff to look normal in public.

MIKE: Yo not all patients have to undergo chemotherapy you know. How dare you two accuse us of being con artists?

KRISTINE: And all over a Facebook unfriending which has absolutely nothing to do with fighting cancer and never even proves I am a scammer? Did me doing that bothered you that much Ashley?

ASHLEY: Yeah, are you always rude to people when they attempt to help you, even when you do not know them Kristine?

KRISTINE: Only if it is in person, but we are talking about the internet here and there are dozens of men using it to prey on children trying to find out where they live and stuff. How do I know that you are not one of them?

ASHLEY: You thought I donated to your fund hoping to get to know you more and meet you in person one day to have sex or what not? Wake up you idiot! You're not a baby and I'm barely an adult. The internet has brought the worst out of people especially you. Deleting people from your life out of the blue and believing you could just hide behind the safety of your privacy settings and computer wall.

KRISTINE: It has brought the worst out of you also, hurting people in bad need of treatment after losing one Facebook friend. What should I tell them if they learn that I can't help them?

ASHLEY: You can tell them the truth, which is you don't like getting help from nice strangers and use the Internet as a cold-hearted and sneaky way to end friendships for stupid reasons.

KRISTINE: Hey look, it's my Facebook account, I decide whom I want as friends and if I don't want you, then so be it!

ASHLEY (Taking out some dollar bills): And it is my money, I do whatever I want with it and if I don't want to help your dirty lying ass so be it.

Ashley slaps the bills back and forth on Kristine's face and puts them back into his pocket. Brittanie looks at the other side of the platform as a Q train ENTERS. She grabs his arm.

BRITTANIE: Come on sweetie, our train is here.

People walk toward or stand by the train as it slows down.

ASHLEY: See you later losers.

He and Brittanie walk to the train as it gradually stops. He puts his index finger up as if to say "Wait a second" to her and returns to Kristine and Mike. They talk and she watches.

MIKE: Man, what is that guy's problem?

KRISTINE: I honestly have no idea.

ASHLEY: (Reaching the pair): Oh and one other thing.

He pulls Kristine's sweatpants down to her ankles, revealing that she is wearing no panties, so her buttocks and genitals are viewable. Her face goes red in humiliation, Mike is very angry and Brittanie puts her hand over her mouth and LAUGHS. Other people see this and either GIGGLE or look in surprise.

ASHLEY: Come on, wear some underwear moron!

He spanks Kristine's buttocks and returns to Brittanie. The train stops and its doors open. Ashley, Britannie, and other riders enter and others exit. Mike tries to run to it before the doors close, but Kristine grabs his shirt and stops him. Passersby spot her with her pants down and CHUCKLE or smile.

KRISTINE: No daddy, please just let him go.

Mike and other riders look at her as she pulls her pants up. The train doors close, first in the last five cars, then the first five before pulling out. Other riders continue moving.

MIKE: Wow, I've never seen anyone go that nuts over losing a Facebook friend.

KRISTINE (Sounding angry): What makes it lamer is that we were never friends in the first place.

MIKE: Well I do not blame him for getting angry from you deleting him because you have lots of other strangers as Facebook friends that you should've defriended too. They are not legit.

KRISTINE: But dad this situation is not about my other friends. This is about him and what he cruelly did after that.

MIKE: Although I agree he should not have gotten back at you the way he did, I really would like to know why you unfriended him after he donated to your fundraiser. He is no different from any other donor to be honest.

KRISTINE: Fine, it is because he is a fan of George W Bush. When I looked at his page after he commented on my link, I saw he had Mr. Bush as one of his inspirational people. I then looked at Bush’s profile and saw a post he made praising him for finishing his lesson with the Florida school kids on 9/11 and going to war afterward.

MIKE (Looking surprised): What? So you are saying you dropped him there all because he didn't had the same political opinions as you?

KRISTINE: I guess so, and I completely forgot about the great deed he did for me.

MIKE: So what if I told you I concur with him on what he said about Mr. Bush?

KRISTINE: Wait a second, what do you mean?

MIKE: I mean him staying with the kids in the room was the right thing to do.

KRISTINE: I know that he didn't want to scare or befuddle them, but couldn't Bush have calmly said, “Kids, I'm sorry, but I have been informed I need to take care of an important business immediately. Thanks for your time. God bless you,” or anything similar and leave without creating a scene?

MIKE: No, no matter how calm he tried to excuse himself, we do not know how the kids would react as they lost a once in a lifetime chance to meet a a high-ranking official. Seven-year olds are sensitive and get mad when they do not get what they want. You were like that as every time I said "No" to you, you kicked and yelled.

KRISTINE: You serious?

MIKE: Yeah. Look, what I am trying to say is each person is entitled to their own opinions and you should not end friendships, including online ones, just because yours is not the same. It is not about Ashley or me liking George Bush. It's about you showing your gratitude if somebody tries to help you and you clearly did not do that when you unfriended that guy.

KRISTINE: You're right. Do you think I should friend request him on Facebook dad?

MIKE: Uh, no as you don't know him, but I do think you should unfriend all of the other strangers on there also.

An loud rumbling NOISE is heard as an R train enters.

KRISTINE: All right, I will do that tonight.

She and Mike link arms and walk up to the train as it stops.

MIKE: Why don't you wear any underwear?

KRISTINE (Blushing): I will tell you at home.

The train doors open. Kristine, Mike, and a few riders enter as others exit. The doors close with bells CHIMING, first in the last four cars, then first four before the train leaves.

FADE OUT.

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Winson Thai
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