SET UP: SHAE and DREW are having a coffee in Beanies café, Malibu, California.
ACTION: They’re sitting next to each other at a wooden table rather than in the comfy sofas.
DREW: I should probably have planned this better, but if I think about it too much I won’t do it.
SHAE: Do what? What are you talking about?
DREW: Last time I asked you this, you didn’t give me an answer.
SHAE: Last time you asked me what?
DREW: Then I didn’t see you for weeks and you nearly died. Like the question was an omen.
SHAE grins: What question? When you asked me to pass the last slice of apple pie?
DREW: No. When I asked you this: Will you marry me . . . . . ? The answer’s not in your coffee cup. Look at me Shae. I know we’re young but—
SHAE mumbles: Eighteen is old enough to know my answer.
DREW: Don’t look at me like I’m a drowning puppy. Should I get out of here before you say another word?
SHAE: I have to be in LA for my mom and you have an empire to run in Sydney. For your dad’s sake.
DREW: I’ve got other people to run that empire for me. My dad would understand. I can fly between cities. I’m just some figurehead anyway.
SHAE: You’re more than a figurehead. Don’t sell yourself short all the time. You’ve learnt so much.
DREW: I can still be here for you. We’ll help your mom. She’ll be okay. It’s not forever.
SHAE sobs: She’s locked in her room, Drew. It’s been 2 weeks. It’s like history’s repeating itself and even two years on I can’t reach her
DREW: Hang in there. She just needs time. And now I’m here to help you. You’re not alone.
SHAE: What if I lose her, too? Last time it was Dad …
DREW: That’s not going to happen.
SHAE: And now Uncle Brody’s in hospital. Finn said there was an accident at the boat yard. He could be paralyzed
DREW: I’m not saying we get married now—I just want you to know how serious I am about us
SHAE: I’m just so—I don’t know. Broken. After everything that’s happened, I’m still all bust up. You deserve better.
DREW: You need to get over this I’m not good enough thing you’ve got going. Broken or not, I’ve nearly lost you so many times… never again
SHAE: But look at me. I’ve got to repeat my senior year, I have a sick mom to take care of. And I have no idea what to do with my life…
DREW: I’ll help you.
SHAE: But it shouldn’t be your job to fix me. I have to fix myself. I need to fix myself.
DREW: Love is all we need.
SHAE laughs: You are so corny. You going to start singing to me again? Where’s your guitar?
DREW: If that’s what it takes for you to say yes. Someone in LA must have a guitar.
SHAE: You know I once swore I’d rather cuddle a boat than a boy?
ANTON: Your third coffee, Mr Vega.
DREW: Call me Drew, Anton. After all we’ve been through. Except, if you’re going to work in the cafe business–
ANTON sighs: I sense a thrilling piece of advice coming my way…
DREW: Well you kinda need to put the cup down in such a way that I don’t have to drink the coffee out of the saucer. But maybe that’s just me.
SHAE: You’re better at serving cocktails, Anton
ANTON: As a doctor must be able to stand the sight of blood, so a barman must be able to stand the smell of vomit
DREW: Jeez, Anton. Thanks for that
SHAE: Was it Germany you’re from Anton? Or one of the Scandinavian countries?
ANTON: What, the blue eyes and blond hair give it away? The accent? And no. I’m not a Nazi lover
DREW: You need to work on your small talk, mate. You’ve interrupted a moment here, by the way. Can you get lost?
SHAE: He’s like an encoded robot who has no idea how to hang out. He even moves all jerky like a robot—that’s why he spills the coffees
DREW: He wasn’t much of a barman in Samoa either. Scared the drunks off at the end of the night, though.
SHAE: He’s lucky his dad owns this place.
DREW: Don’t change the subject. Where were we?
SHAE: Do you still have that diamond ring you strapped to your chest for weeks?
DREW: Are you mocking me?
SHAE: Possibly. But if I’m going to be Mrs Vega, not right now, but in the future, you’d better get used to it.
DREW: So that’s a yes? . . . I see a nod. I see a smile. Come kiss me now
ANTON: You two are going to make me spew. And here’s your phone Mr Vega. Please make it stop binging. And stop that kissing
ANTON: You left it at the counter. It’s been binging under the napkins. I thought the napkins were speaking to me in weird napkin language
DREW: Shae’s just agreed to marry me and you’re determined to be a part of this moment so you can be the first to congrat us
ANTON: I don’t do happy. Stop the binging.
SHAE: Drew? Drew, what’s wrong?
DREW: This . . . text . . . it’s been sent about a hundred times
SHAE: You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
DREW: I think . . . I just did . . .
SHAE: What do you mean? Show me.
DREW: It’s a photo of my mom. But the date stamp . . . Look
SHAE: It was taken last week—at the new wave pool in . . . Newport? But she died when you were 14? How? Who sent it?
DREW: Don’t know. Look at the message
TEXT: Stop planning the future. Start solving the past カルマ
Feel free to comment, discuss and suggest where you reckon the story will go/should go. Maybe I'll write your idea into the plot.
The next episode of Payback will be published on Sunday at 6pm EST.