The Morning After
The bedroom of a college student, with a door stage left. A bed centre stage with a small table beside it. Messy; books and clothes lying around, as well as signs of a recent night out. High heels, dresses and purses leave a trail on the floor which ends at the bed. Lights up. AVA and GRAINNE emerge from under the covers, wearing only underwear. They have smeared remnants of last night’s makeup on their faces and their hair is wild. They slowly wake up, look at each other and after a moment, look very shocked.
GRAINNE: Oh my God.
AVA: (pause) Noooo. No, we didn’t. We didn’t.
AVA: Stop. I don’t want to talk about it. About anything. There’s nothing to talk about, I just slept in your bed.
GRAINNE: Ava, if we both remember it-
Ava leaps out of the bed and attempts to put her tights back on while standing up.
AVA: I don’t remember it. I don’t remember anything. (she gets frustrated with her tights and gives up, moving on to her dress instead) I don’t know why I didn’t just go sleep in my room.
GRAINNE: I know why-
AVA: Shut up, Grainne.
GRAINNE: (defensive) Why? What’s so bad about what happened last night? I really enjoyed last night… I thought you did too.
AVA: (pause, she looks at Grainne, trying to figure out how she feels) I’m just confused right now-
GRAINNE: Confused about what happened, or confused about-
AVA: I’m just confused, Grainne! Just… give me a minute!
Ava sits on the bed, eyes closed. Grainne pauses for a minute, giving her time to think.
GRAINNE: I’ve liked you for a while, you know.
Ava looks up.
GRAINNE: I never tried anything, I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. I always thought-
AVA: No, I was the one who made the first move last night.
GRAINNE: I didn’t want you to think I’d been, like, predatory or-
AVA: No, no, I know you haven’t. I was just really drunk last night, and-
AVA: You know what it’s like, sometimes you just-
GRAINNE: Ava, come on- (Grainne tries to grab Ava’s hand, but she pulls it away)
AVA: I’m not gay, Grainne. It was a mistake, okay? A stupid fucking drunk mistake, I don’t, I don’t…. I’m not a lesbian!
GRAINNE: (defensive) I never said you were! If anyone was trying to prove you’re a lesbian, it was you last night!
AVA: I was drunk, Grainne!
GRAINNE: Not that drunk! I know you, I know when you’re really drunk. And when you’re really drunk you can’t get your shoes off, but they were the first thing to come off when you pulled me in here. You had no problem getting anything off then.
AVA: What are you trying to prove?! Do you think you can somehow convince me that I like you? I don’t get what talking about last night-
GRAINNE: (upset) I just want you to admit that it happened, and that it wasn’t some horrible thing.
AVA: But what if it was some horrible thing? What if that’s what I think, why am I not allowed to feel like that?
GRAINNE: … I suppose you are.
Ava looks at Grainne, trying to process the conversation.
AVA: I’m not… I’m not saying it was horrible. I don’t… I don’t know what I’m saying.
GRAINNE: (looking away, quietly) Could you get out of my room now, please?
Ava pauses, then picks up her purse and leaves. Once she is gone, Grainne closes the door and begins to cry.
Same setting, but tidier. Grainne is sitting on the bed in her pyjamas, scrolling on her phone. A knock on the door and Ava enters, two mugs in hand.
AVA: Made you some tea.
Ava walks over and places the mug on the bedside table. Grainne moves over to one side of the bed, making room for Ava to sit beside her. After she has sat, she picks up Grainne’s mug and hands it to her. Both girls hold on to their mugs for a moment, too awkward to say anything.
GRAINNE: … How’s your head feeling?
AVA: Oh yeah, grand, I didn’t actually, um… drink that much last night.
GRAINNE: Yeah, me neither.
Another silence, but this one isn’t awkward. The girls look at each other.
AVA: Listen, about what I said earlier… I needed some time to… process things, and I wasn’t thinking about what I was saying.
GRAINNE: It’s okay. (takes a sip of her tea, then makes a face of disgust) Ava, ya eejit, the milk’s gone off! (she laughs)
AVA: No it hasn’t! (she takes a sip of her own tea, then makes a face of disgust) Oh Jesus, it has.
They look at each other and laugh. Ava puts her mug on the table and Grainne leans over to do the same, accidentally getting very close to Ava. She moves back quickly once the mug is on the table, looking shy.
AVA: No, don’t be. (Ava moves closer to Grainne) Look, I came in to… Well, first I wanted to apologise, and I wanted to cheer you up with some tea, but… (they both chuckle) But, I also came in because, uh… I want to talk about what happened.
GRAINNE: Listen, we don’t have to if-
AVA: No, I want to. I wasn’t that drunk last night. I mean I was tipsy, at best. It wasn’t a drunk mistake, I was using the drink as an excuse to go for it. Dutch courage, or whatever. I just… you’d come out to me, and it just made you seem so… certain, you know? Like, you knew what you wanted, and then I… I don’t know. It just felt like you were definitely gay, like, you knew, that was a hundred percent fact and for me… I don’t know, it just felt like more of a grey area. When someone else tells you they’re gay, you accept it as fact. But no-one tells you what you are. You just have to think about it, and I kind of felt like if I didn’t have that certainty, if no-one could tell me for a fact, then… I don’t know, then maybe there was nothing there at all. Pause. But then… I met you. And things were becoming more and more certain, more and more sure, and then last night… I knew. And I don’t mean we had sex and I knew, I mean, I looked at you, and… I knew how I felt about you. I’ve never felt more sure about anything else.
They shyly smile at each other.
GRAINNE: That’s not what I was expecting to hear.
AVA: (laughs) Yeah, I… I don’t know, I couldn’t figure out how to say it before.
GRAINNE: (laughs) You, uh… You did really well. So, uh… what next?
Ava leans in, Grainne slowly following suit until their faces are very close.