(Everyone needs love; even the geekiest of geeks)
A guy sitting in front of his super tower PC. Sounds of intense clicking where bright flashes pierce the dark. Sounds of a barrage of demonic screams intermixed with the steel clang of blades erupt from a surround sound system. There’s a massive flash announcing that his character in the game gained a level after a slaughter. The camera focuses on the clock at the top right hand corner of the screen which reads 1am. It counts down until 9am where the camera pulls out and we see the person half way covered underneath two comforters. Pillows are scattered on the floor.
Nearby on a make shift table using a large lock box, the person’s cell phone obnoxiously emits the morning alarm, causing the bundle to stir. A hand fumbles around randomly until it flicks the cell phone away. The cell phone falls to the ground and the hand continues to search until the bundle rolls towards the side and tumbles off the bed. The motion instantly awakens the bundle who turns out to be a early middle aged Asian guy, who manages to pick up the cell phone. Looking at the time, there’s the outline of an “Oh shit!” expression from him.
Next few scenes shows a montage of him in a dreary state where he drags himself awake and prepares for the day. Grabs clothes from the dryer, picks up a towel from the cupboard, showers, heads out into heavy traffic where the typically awful LA drivers cause him a bit of consternation and road rage.
Long shot of him heading into the heart of Santa Monica where an endless line of cars piled up in front of red signals demonstrates the next 30-40 minutes of his life. Eventually, parks in an underground structure and heads to a small office on 2nd street. Sneaks inside hoping to evade attention. Slides his Macbook Air into place before hooking in his headphones and checking his emails.
Naturally, the first one comes from his manager, Richard, admonishing him of his tardiness. Scans more email messages and finds various business emails being exchanged, most of which have no relevance to him. Eventually, he comes across several system alerts which takes his confidence down a few notches. An email is forwarded to him with all caps from various managers that talk about recovering the website, which apparently has gone down.
As he starts working on the issue, his coworker near him taps him on his shoulder. He removes his heads phones to listen to her.
Kelly: “Were you up playing your stupid game again?”
Keith: “Not that long. Just a few hours.”
Kelly: Sighing. “Richard is really upset because the site went down again and you couldn’t react in time.”
Keith: “I’ll set up more alerts later. I was pretty tired when I got home last night since I was busy fixing things here until 11pm.”
Kelly: “He doesn’t care. You know that. You better plan for another one tonight until we get the site stabilized.”
Keith: “This has been going on for the whole month. I don’t know that contractor’s code. This wasn’t what I bargained for when I signed up for the job. Also, I was going to do something later tonight.”
Kelly: “Back on that stupid game? There’s better things to do in life than that. Anyway, you better get your act together because they’re starting to hound me. I’ve been protecting you but you haven’t done much to make me look good since you came here. I’ve got meetings lined up until 2pm. Afterwards, we’ll have a meeting with the design people and hand you the new site design. I hope you get this thing working by then.” Takes off.
Keith: Dumbfounded. “But we just did 4 site redesigns in the past month.”
In the meantime, Keith hangs his head feeling low from the admonishing. Begins biting his, where you can see a pile of accumulated nails next to his keyboard. Behind him several girls, including Kelly gossip over Keith’s habit.
Tina: “Just so nasty. And have you seen that scar on his leg?”
Kelly: “I don’t think he showers either.”
Michelle: “That’s just so gross. We all feel sorry that you have to sit so close to him.”
Kelly: “That’s why I try to get into meetings all the time.”
Tina: “37 and single. No wonder. Even if he is a director, I can’t see anyone marrying him.”
Although he pretends to ignore the girls, Keith hears every single word and sinks into his chair. More of the day passes where he’s pulled into useless meetings and remains unproductive and mentally drilled with constant badgering of slow site performance, goals, buzzwords, marketing strategies and things that a programmer should never really be concerned with. Lunch time comes around and everyone in his group departs together without providing him a single invite. As he’s about to grab lunch, Richard comes by and seats him.
Richard: “Where are you going?”
Keith: “To grab lunch.”
Richard: “Well, I need you to reach out to that contractor and have him finish uploading the rest of the modules.”
Keith: “He’s not around.”
Richard: “Have you called him?”
Keith: “Well, no. But it’s lunch time.”
Richard: “Have you called him?”
Richard: “Call him then. As for lunch, there’s chips in the cupboard and water.” Heads out.
Keith starts to feel a migraine come on as he settles back in his chair and prepares several email messages for the contractor. Pauses as he grows internally frustrated in writing the emails to check his Facebook. As he peruses his newsfeed, he sees his friends in Japan all married with children. One in particular shows a newborn with a young lady. The girl is very pretty and he immediately closes the tab on his browser window. He begins reminiscing from about three years ago.
Scene cut with the title “Three years before.”
At another company. Keith appearing drained, slightly thinner but with more vim. He’s working on a particular web application for the site Lifegood. He’s seen eating a salad from Whole Foods early in the day. Afterwards, he’s at the gym working out on an elliptical. The gauge shows that he’s been on the thing for at least 40 minutes at an intense level. Music pumps power metal which along with a picture of the young lady to keep him motivated.
Later he’s back at the office programming as if on a mission. Eyes are red from long hours staring at the keyboard. As he’s building it, he constantly switches to Facebook in checking his feed out since the two are linked. While posting a test article to his Facebook wall, something catches his eye where the same young lady is shown to have changed her relationship status to being with another Japanese guy. Keith’s fingers stop their rapid movements and he grows cold immediately.
Scene changes to him driving his car at full speed on the 405 back home. Inside his room, he’s found lying on his bed staring at his ceiling, clutching a stuffed Giraffe. Following day he goes to a Hometown Buffet and is shown eating high calorie foods, including two full plates of dessert. Afterwards, he’s on the phone with an HR representative from his company.
Keith: “No, I’m just burnt out. I wasn’t feeling good. I can’t take the late nights anymore. I need time off. A long time off. Personal time off. I haven’t done anything for myself in a while and I’ve suffered greatly because I haven’t been able to focus on things in my life. Yeah, I’m out.”
In his room, he’s on a new project, several. There’s several Post-It type of notes clinging to a hutch on his computer desk, all talking about the personal projects he’s been too busy to handle. As he’s furiously working on a web project, a friend drops by.
Kris: “Hey. How are you doing? Saw your Facebook post. That has to be pretty devastating.”
Keith: “It got me thinking though. I’ve worked so many hours for that company that I’ve had virtually no time for myself. So I wanted to do something for me for a bit.”
Kris: “Totally understand. Shame what happened with you and that girl though. She was cute. Anyway, I have something to perk you up.” Shows him a game box with World of Warcraft. “It’s a freebie from my company.”
Keith: “I just quit my job to focus on some of these projects in my life. I shouldn’t be spending money on it since I won’t have income for a while. Besides, isn’t that game addicting?”
Kris: “It’s not too bad. I just play a few hours here and there. Get a few levels. You’ll like it.”
Keith: “You can just toss it over there.”
Kris: “Give it a try.”
As Keith progresses in his soul searching for the next few months, he’s shown playing some older games and looks entirely bored. The novelty of a new gaming experience entices him. He eventually opens the box up and installs the game.
The next year he’s shown degenerating with a growing gut, wrappings from Del Taco and Jack in a Box scattered around his desk, a disheveled room and long nights with him just playing the game the entire time. Sometimes, he finds himself waking up on his keyboard with the game autologging him off.
Decides one day to take a vacation to Japan. There he meets up with old friends, especially female ones. Each one comments how he’s gained weight, his sloven style with his lengthy hair and becomes quickly bored by his talk about his obsession over the game. More than that he learns that they’ve all gotten boyfriends or have become engaged. Disappointed that his trip has gone to waste, he returns to America empty.
This changes when he finds out that his mother’s hours have been cut short. One day she too is lying in front of the TV, depressed and sulking. Her benefits too had been slashed. He continues playing his game feeling scared about his situation. He notices how his mother has become more addicted to television almost mirroring his own obsession. Eventually, her poor habits lead her to sleeping at odd hours, waking up late for work and eating worse stuff. However, she becomes almost a part of the couch she uses to watch TV. That leads him to become disconcerted over her attitude and there’s an argument that comes out where he reveals that she could’ve averted his father from dying by being kinder to him and that he sees a parallel in what she’s doing to herself as what happened to his father. She blows up and admits that he wanted his father to die and that she feels Keith is useless and abandoned them when he moved to Japan.
That causes Keith to storm away, driving at full speed up Palos Verdes. He ends up being on a high cliff facing the ocean. Down below the waves crash and he contemplates the inevitable. The only thing he bears is his little Giraffe. His cheeks are stained by tears and begins breaking down again. He has a small Hostess cupcake where he puts a tiny candle in it. He sings a solemn happy birthday to himself then almost swallows the cupcake whole. On his phone, he copies and pastes a suicide note into the Facebook entry for his wall. His fingers tremble in hit the post button as the sound of waves crash against the rocks below.
We find him back at his house once again playing World of Warcraft as if nothing had changed. Worried about his mother, he returns to the workforce, where he ends up at his current occupation.
At her home in Beverly Hills, Charlize Theron wakes up in a massive bed ready to face and conquer the day. To her side, lies Michael Fassbender, whose dead asleep. As she goes to kiss him, he pushes her off and covers his head with the comforter. She shakes her head and prepares breakfast for them both.
At a counter in her kitchen, both sip on morning coffee as she cleans up the dishes. He reads the latest news through an ipad.
Charlize Theron: “What time are you off the set tonight?”
Michael Fassbender: “Not sure yet. Shooting starts in an hour.”
Charlize Theron: “We’re supposed to head up that bar in Santa Monica.”
Michael Fassbender: “Oh, the one with all the hoodlums and homeless nearby. Sure, I’ll just hop on my bike and clear on down with the non-existent parking on a Friday night in that part of town.”
Charlize Theron: “Or you can call a cab in.”
Michael Fassbender : “Or I can call a cab back here. I’ll guarantee you that I won’t be in the mood after tonight. I haven’t had proper sleep for three weeks and tomorrow is my only day off for the next six weeks.”
Charlize Theron: “That’s why you should go with me to this place. It’s my favorite zone. Lots of memories.”
Michael Fassbender: “If I don’t get a proper night’s sleep, I won’t be able to remember my lines and the director will have another hissy fit. Can’t fuck this one up especially since I’m supposed to be the sexiest man alive. Don’t like letting expectations down.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, you won’t let anything down if you come out tonight.”
Michael Fassbender: Pondering for a moment. “That’s what she said, indeed!”
Charlize Theron: “I hate when guys say that. It’s such a cheap line.”
Michael Fassbender: “Either way, I’ll consider it. By the way, love the review on Rotten Tomatoes on Snow White. Check this out. Charlize Theron should’ve kept her mouth shut the entire time because we don’t want a female Kevin Costner around these neck of the woods. Maybe you should’ve exchanged with Julia Roberts on that one.”
Charlize Theron: “Ugh, don’t remind me. I’ll kill my agent for that. I’m somewhat out of work for a few months because of that stupid role.”
Michael Fassbender: “Ah, that’s why you’re so clingy. Recession and programmers have hit us finally you can say.”
Charlize Theron: “Shouldn’t blame programmers on downloads. They’re the same people giving us things like Twitter and the free publicity.”
Michael Fassbender: “Whatever. If it affects my bank book, I’m not too happy. Anyway, I better head on out. If I find extra time tonight, I’ll try to call.”
Charlize Theron: “Why don’t you find a rotary. Make it challenging for yourself.”
Michael Fassbender: Smirking. “I guess doing a comedic Evil Queen wouldn’t have helped either.” Exits.
Charlize Theron: Yelling at the door hoping that he would hear. “Don’t forget that Halloween is coming! I want to take my son trick or treating!”
Charlize Theron grimaces at the last comment. Goes to check out the ipad and reads the review with some scorn.
Following day. Keith waking up seeing that his Android phone has locked up, thus missing his alarm again. He mutters an imprecation before hustling to get to work. Fixes his phone by removing the battery and replacing it. After it reboots he finds that numerous people have attempted to contact him regarding issues with the website. Gets on his work Mac Air and begins fixing issues when a call comes in. He hesitates but decides that he has to answer.
Keith: “Yes. My phone locked up. I just got up. I got home after 3am last night. Well, I don’t exactly have a budget for a proper devops team, you know. I can’t be at two places at once. I gotta fix this. Fine. I’ll go to the office.”
Slams his laptop closed and heads out.
Driving on the 405, Keith cuts over to the 105 where it’s clear because of his tardiness. Periodically, his phone buzzes with new messages, mostly complaints. He speeds up on the freeway as he’s about to turn the corner. There’s a bump in the road. His foot hesitates in switching to the breaks. Instead, he hits the gas pedal and his tires hit the bump, causing him to jerk wildly and he goes into a slide. He manages to recover at the end and hyperventilates a little seeing how close to the wall he had come. Then he starts to cry to himself before continuing to work.
At the office. He saunters up the stairs and removes his laptop. He doesn’t get 10 seconds before a swarm of people circle his desk and begin pestering him with various questions and badgering him about the site. Slowly, he sinks into his chair and contemplates whether or not he should’ve recovered earlier.
Back at Charlize Theron’s home. In bed. Charlize Theron waking up first, spots the sleeping Michael Fassbender next to her. Prods him awake but he turns to ignore her. Feeling dejected she tries harder but he covers himself up. Relishing an evil smile, she makes a strange sound then covers his face with her palm. Instantly, he shoots up coughing and almost runs out of the room.
Michael Fassbender: “What the fuck was that? You’re disgusting sometimes.”
Charlize Theron: “I just wanted to wake you up. Maybe entice you.”
Michael Fassbender: “With remnants of the previous night’s meal? Sure, you can have your bizarre fetishes. If you like that, I’ve got a brilliant contact over in Osaka whose clientele eats women’s poo. I’m certain you’ll find that enticing.”
Charlize Theron: “How else can I get your attention if you’re dead asleep like that? I didn’t even realize you came home last night.”
Michael Fassbender: “Just a typical last night on the set. I thought about just staying in my trailer but wanted to talk to you in person about tonight.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, that’s sweet you decided to come all the way back here for me.”
Michael Fassbender: “Well, just in case you got all pissy and hired some private detective to track my whereabouts, I figured it might be better to tell you in person that once I’m out of this door, I’ll be gone for about a month.”
Charlize Theron: “What? I thought you were shooting here.”
Michael Fassbender: “Off site location. Nice change of scenery. Finland of all places. So I just wanted to grab my bags.”
Charlize Theron: “Wait, you could at least ask them to give you one night. My son really wanted to go trick or treating with us for once.”
Michael Fassbender: “Come on deary. It’s a 16 hour flight with at least one layover. Scene was changed at the last minute because the director got fired for having a spotty vision. Either way, I just don’t have time for this.” Storms out before Charlize Theron has another word.
After dressing up. Charlize Theron finishing breakfast, goes to watch some TV and checks out her email from her iPad. There’s one particular email that catches her attention and disturbs her. She races to grab her phone and calls her agency.
Charlize Theron: “What do you mean? I really needed that role. What am I supposed to do for the next few months?” Pulls the phone away from her ear. Goes to read the review on Rotten Tomatoes again and gives a huge sigh. Tries to change her mood as she goes to call Michael Fassbender. No one picks up but she hears a muffled ringing from her bedroom. Realizes that Michael Fassbender had forgotten to pack his pants and his phone is still in his pocket. The screen is lit up from several messages. She goes to inspect them in case there’s something urgent. One message has an image of a very pretty young lady. As she reads over the message, her face grows grim.
Outside of her home. Charlize Theron preparing to enter her car, calling up someone on her mobile.
Charlize Theron: “Yes, if you can handle it for this weekend and tonight. Some things came up last minute. Tell Jackson mommy is sorry.” Hangs up and jumps in her car. Hits the gas and speeds off towards West LA.
Spends the day over at Rodeo Drive, picking up clothes at boutiques, eating at local restaurants but generally feeling miserable and empty. Ends up driving to Santa Monica where she spends time by the shore. Along the way Keith leaves for lunch bypassing her without realizing who she is. He heads towards Subway where he gets half a sandwich and decides to eat by himself near the top of the boardwalk. The past few hours looks to have aged him about a decade as he shakes with high blood pressure while he munches numbly on a meatball sandwich. He examines his stomach which has gained some girth from stress eating. As he forcefully stuffs his face, he cries to himself while people around him ignore his sorrows.
Later in the evening, Keith is at the office. There’s a Halloween party going on internally and he’s attempting to fix issues with the server. Some people in their inebriated state nearly crash into his table, spilling beer and other alcoholic beverages. Irritated, Keith starts to pack up his laptop but not before Richard interrupts him.
Richard: “You have to finish this.”
Keith: “I can’t work in this environment.”
Richard: “If you leave now, it’ll take you two hours to get home. We need you to stick it out since the guys in India will be calling this number. You haven’t been as responsive as of yet when you get home, probably because you’re tired. So it’s just better if you stay.” Heads towards the door.
Keith: “Wait! Where are you going?”
Richard: “My child is sick and my wife is at her aunt’s. So I need to get home to exchange with the babysitter.” Exits.
Exasperated, Keith sits back at his desk and just pulls on his chin hairs while waiting for the phone call.
Nearby, Charlize Theron is bar hopping. She’s quite wasted and a few people correctly identify her. She brushes them off and tries to find her next objective. While Charlize Theron is meandering around the street, several shady looking guys spot her and begin plotting to abduct her.
She goes into an exclusive bar several floors above. As the other guys attempt to follow her in, several bouncers deny them access as it’s invite only. Disappointed, they skulk downstairs at a more open bar. Meanwhile, Charlize Theron attends the bar and receives a gin tonic.
Munches on peanuts as she sips on the beverage. Checks her mobile and finds that she cannot contact any friends. Curses to herself before spouting off some random rants at the bartender.
Charlize Theron: “Fucking town. It’s Halloween and everyone is busy without me.”
Bartender: “What can you expect? I’m surprised in your case you didn’t have plans preset.”
Charlize Theron: “I did but they went to hell. Ugh! A girl just can’t get a simple date anymore.”
Bartender: “Certainly, there’s a lot of contenders around this neck of the woods. Otherwise, I imagine you wouldn’t have come out here.”
Charlize Theron: “Actually, I was hoping some of the girls would show up. But I guess they’re either with their kids, walking the dog or on some trip. Just my fortune this week I suppose.” Hurls down the rest of the beverage. “How about something stronger?”
Bartender: “I’m guessing that you will have transportation and I would grant your wish. However, there’s a part of me that believes anything stronger might cause you grief.”
Charlize Theron: “What more grief can I experience in a single night? Just up the ante.”
Bartender: Shrugging the bartender pours just the gin which she downs in a matter of seconds.
Several hours and drinks later back downstairs. The men sit stirring their own beverages while awaiting Charlize Theron’s departure. Most of the remaining people around the area are oblivious in their own stupor as well as the chaotic rowdiness of Halloween. The guys appear both bored and increasingly sleepy as each minute passes by this point. However, Charlize Theron leaves the bar, stumbling around the street, talking to herself. The three nod at each other and one guy grabs her protectively.
Charlize Theron: “What?”
Man1: “Hey, you okay?”
Charlize Theron: “I’m fine. I just need to get to my car.”
Man1: “That’s probably a bad idea. We can help you. It’s pretty dangerous tonight and you look pretty sick.”
Charlize Theron: “I feel like I’m going to hurl.”
Man1: “That’s okay. That’s okay. Come with me.”
Escorts her around the crowds. Makes a turn into one of the alleyways, making Charlize Theron somewhat suspicious.
Charlize Theron: “I think I’ll be fine from here.”
Man1: “I don’t think so. You just stumbled.”
Charlize Theron: “I really just want some water and the air is helping.”
Man1: “Trust me. It’s quite dangerous.”
Charlize Theron: “I think you’re dangerous and-” halts as the guy pulls out a knife and places it against her chest.
Man1: “Not a sound or I’ll slit you right here.”
Charlize Theron: “What do you want?”
Man1: Pressing the knife harder against her. “I said not a sound.” Nods towards a corner and his friends appear. They drag her behind a dumpster where they’ve prepared numerous rolls of duct tape. They start to tie her arms behind her back.
From nearby, a completely worn out Keith emerges as he’s attempting to avoid the rowdy street mobs. His leg drags a bit as he slushes through the occasional puddles of vomit and other vile substances. He approaches the area of the dumpsters and hears Charlize Theron’s struggles. Timidly, he looks behind the dumpster to discover Charlize Theron being bound by the men. She spots him and is about to cry out but one guy places a piece of duct tape over her mouth. The leader reveals a pistol and aims it at Keith.
Man1: “Get the fuck away if you want to live.”
Keith: “Man, don’t pull the trigger. Man, don’t pull the trigger.”
Man1: “Just get the fuck away. I’ll blow your brains out. You saw nothing. This ain’t none of your fucking business.”
Keith: “Okay, okay! I ain’t gonna do anything.”
Man1: “You better not! I’ve got your ugly asian face in my head now! I’ll come find you if you say one thing about this. I’ll blow you and your family’s brains out. How do you think that’ll feel, huh?”
Keith: Displaying his hands backs up. “Please. Don’t hurt me. I’ll go. I just need to go home.”
Man1: “That’s right. Go home. Forget everything and live another crappy day you piece of shit.”
Keith: As Keith backs away he sees Charlize Theron’s eyes pleading with him. However, the menacing barrel of the pistol instructs him the obvious thing to do and he forces himself not to continue to make contact with her. When he’s out of visible range, he runs off crying and feeling utterly pathetic about his lack of action and own weakness.
In the basement. Keith gets into his car still shaken from the scene. It’s quite apparent that he’s battling various demons. Sobbing he starts his car up and pulls out normally. As he leaves the garage from below, he notices that the men are having trouble dragging Charlize Theron towards a car. At this point, she’s heavily duct taped up wearing a thick mask and possibly unconscious. Keith becomes extremely sick at the sight and almost throws up. Once again the leader notices him and aims his pistol at Keith.
Man1: “What the fuck? I told you to get out of here!”
Keith: Rolling down his windows. “I am. I just work nearby and had to get my car.”
Man1: “I don’t care what you do. Fucking walk home from this.”
Keith: “I’m just trying to get out. I had a long day.”
Man1: “I told you we don’t give a fuck about your sad little day. In fact, give me your car.”
Keith: “I can’t do that. I gotta go home and take care of my work and mom.”
Man1: “Fuck you. Get out of your piece of shit car and give it to us now!”
Keith: “Come on. Just let me go. I just want to get home.”
Man1: “No, fuck you, you little piece of nerd shit. Give us the car or I fucking shoot your ass a hundred times and no one will come to your funeral.”
At that point, something snaps in his mind. Perhaps, it’s the last statement the abductor said. Or perhaps it was the general day itself. Or the year. Or his life. But he loses all fear and hits his gas pedal and surprises the group by almost smashing into them. In their apprehension, they toss Charlize Theron to the side as they scatter, tumbling to the ground in shock. Keith smacks directly into the leader, leaps out of his car and kicks one of the guys in the head, knocking him out. Then takes another guy’s head and rams it hard against the wall. Assured that they weren’t getting up soon, he calms down and attends Charlize Theron, removing the tape that covered her mouse and nose. She coughs a bit and starts to recover her senses.
Charlize Theron: “You saved me.”
About fifteen minutes later. There’s a small scene where cops apprehend the criminals while Keith sits with Charlize Theron by his car. She’s drinking water while watching the criminals being inserted into police vehicles. One officer stops by the pair and shakes Keith’s hand.
Officer: “You did an incredibly brave thing there. Sorry about the damage to your car, but we’ll try to help and see if we can get your insurance to cover some of it.”
Charlize Theron: “If not, I will.”
Officer: “Well, that’s okay. But the thing is that this kid did great. Just found out that these three goons were some guys who were abducting local women and ransoming them and blackmailing their families. You’ve done a real deed for this community.”
Keith: “I-I-I….just wanted to help. Her.” Charlize Theron grins at him with charm making him blush more. “Actually, I just want to go home. Had a long day. Got a longer one tomorrow. I’m really tired and need to do things.”
Officer: “Sure. We’ve got these guys and we have your names so if there’s something we can give you a call. In the meantime, would the misses like a ride home?”
Charlize Theron: “Yes, but my car is around here. I might have to pay an extra fee or something. That said, I figured maybe this gentleman can give me a ride.”
Keith: Blushing. “Really? I mean, I can. It’s late though. Are you sure?”
Charlize Theron: “I’ll be alright.”
In Keith’s car. Keith on the 405.
Keith: “After all that, I’m surprised you’d trust anyone to drive you.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, you saved my life. How can I not trust you?”
Keith: “I could just be another weirdo or something.”
Charlize Theron: “Doubt it.”
Keith: “Either way, I’m glad you trust me. Sorry I didn’t do anything at first. I was scared.”
Charlize Theron: “You have every right to feel that way. I can’t blame you for how you reacted. In fact, if you drove home right after, I wouldn’t blame you. But you didn’t. You stuck around. For me. That means a lot for me.”
Charlize Theron: “There’s nothing to thank from you. But I would like to do something for you.”
Keith: “You don’t have to. I just want to put this day behind me.”
Charlize Theron: Stomach growling. Then giggling slightly.
Keith: “If you’re hungry though, would you mind coming to Denny’s with me?”
At a Denny’s. Virtually, no one is at the place except a few college kids, the occasional truck driver and a family or two. When Charlize Theron and Keith step inside, the waitress is extra polite to them, seating them at a booth in the corner of the room. Excitedly, she runs off.
Charlize Theron: “I haven’t been to one of these in a long time.”
Keith: “Probably better for you too. But there’s not a lot of sit down spots that I know of at this time of night.”
Charlize Theron: “Very true. I have to admit I do miss some of the food here.”
Keith: “You’re not one of these health nuts?”
Charlize Theron: “Not a health nut. But I have to diet now and then. For my job.”
Keith: “Gym instructor?”
Charlize Theron: Suddenly figuring out that Keith has absolutely no idea whom she is. Burst out laughing. “A yoga instructor to be perfectly honest.”
Keith: “You don’t work below my building, do you by any chance? The little yoga shop?”
Charlize Theron: “Not that spot. But maybe nearby. But what about yourself? Why do you seem to have such a rough day?”
Keith: “Don’t get me started. Everything breaking. Servers. Software. Having to wait for calls from India. I’m a web developer and I essentially get all the blame and have to do everything when things go wrong for my company. When things go right, I never see my name once in anything. But I really don’t care about that.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, that seems intriguing. I assume you’re one of these types who programs day and night.”
Keith: Nodding. “Not by choice. Sadly, if I’m not programming then I’m playing games all night. Just your typical geek. Not the cool ones. You know, brogrammers.”
Charlize Theron: Laughs even more. “Wow! Such a subculture!”
As both continue their conversation, their waitress gossips in the back with her manager and coworkers. In fact, several other people in the room start to recognize Charlize Theron. One middle aged woman snapping off an obnoxiously loud photo from her mobile. That catches Charlize Theron’s attention. She goes up to the woman then whispers to her.
Charlize Theron: “Please don’t do that. Not right now. Please respect my privacy. Is that okay? If you want something, I’ll buy your dinner or whatever you call this. But no photos.”
The woman agrees and Charlize Theron returns to her table with Keith.
Keith: “You know them?”
Charlize Theron: “Oh, I asked them to take a photo of us. I wanted to remember tonight since you saved my life.”
Keith: “I really don’t think I did much. I mean, I was quite scared. Maybe I should’ve done something earlier.”
Charlize Theron: “I’m here with you alive and well. Both of us. That’s a gift and a miracle. To be honest, I’m still unnerved by the whole incident. I don’t know if they have other contacts and might attempt another abduction or they’ll plot against me, or if they know where I live. They just came at me randomly. I’m really scared to go back home right now.”
Keith: “Well, my place isn’t the nicest. But if you really need some spot, I can take you to a hotel in my area. At least, there ought to be security.”
Charlize Theron: “Is it okay, if I just stay at your home tonight? I know you probably have things going on but I can’t get the thought of being raped out of my mind. I’m really scared and I feel violated.”
Keith: “Okay. I don’t want you to be hurt or scared. I just think that my home sucks and that there’s probably a better spot for you.”
Charlize Theron: “No, I’ll be fine if I go there.” At that point, they receive their meals, both which are of high caloric intake. Keith is surprised at Charlize Theron’s choice but they raise their forks with some scrambled eggs and give each other a toast.
A few hours later. Both plates cleansed. Keith paying for the meal.
Charlize Theron: “I could’ve got it.”
Keith: “No, it’s okay. I’m just glad to have company.”
Charlize Theron: “Say, I know this isn’t polite to ask, but how old are you?”
Keith: “How old do you think?”
Charlize Theron: “25?” Keith raising his thumb up. “27?” Up again. “28?” Up higher and faster. “32?” More so. “I give up.”
Charlize Theron: “What?!?!! There’s no way you could be that old. That’s my age too!”
Keith: “Asian thing.”
Charlize Theron: “Isn’t your wife worried about you?”
Keith: “I’m not married.”
Charlize Theron: “Noticed you weren’t wearing a ring but I didn’t want to be nosy.”
Keith: “I live at home with my mom. No girlfriend. Nothing. Just a giraffe.”
Charlize Theron: “A what?”
Keith: “Maybe you’ll see him.”
Charlize Theron: “Come on, Keith. You’re 37. You look like you’re in college still. And you probably make good money. How come you don’t have someone in your life?”
Keith: Biting his lip. “I don’t know.”
Charlize Theron: “Ever…ever have one?” Keith shaking his head. “Oh, I’m sorry. I hope I’m not prying too much.” Keith shrugging. “Hey, you’re not bad looking, you seem to have a good heart. You probably have a great mind. Just gotta get out there, you know?”
Keith: “I was out there. In Japan. Didn’t work out. Had to come back. Family problems.”
Charlize Theron: “Oh. I hope it’s not going to bother whatever is going on at your home if I stay.”
Keith: “Nah, my place is quiet. Except for me listening to music or playing games.”
Arriving at Keith’s home. Keith casually entering his home while Charlize Theron swats away some cob webs. She seems surprised when Keith opens the door without a key. The light of the living room has been left on. She sneezes when the dust and mildew assaults her allergies. Above near the front door is a dark patch of black mode on the ceiling. She looks cautiously at it.
Keith: “Yeah, I know. I need to fix the ceilings in this place. A lot of water damage since my family never put any money into repairs.”
Charlize Theron: “But you have money to handle it?”
Keith: “It’s a matter of time and figuring out where to put half the junk in this house. And my mom. I’ve been thinking of taking a break for a while but things haven’t been easy recently.”
Charlize Theron: Pointing to the couch, Keith nodding, goes to sit down. “I don’t mind sleeping here if you don’t mind.”
Keith: “Sure. You want some blankets and pillows?”
Charlize Theron: Grabbing spare ones on the other couch. “These should be fine.” Unfolds them. “I know you said you were busy for tomorrow, but I can’t sleep. Still can’t keep the thoughts of being raped from my mind. I was wondering if maybe you could just show me some of the games you play.”
Keith: Considering things. “Sorry, my room is a mess right now. I’d feel embarrassed.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, if you have posters of naked women, I still wouldn’t care.”
Keith: “I just wouldn’t feel comfortable for you to go in.”
Charlize Theron: “Okay, I can respect that. How about watching a little TV?”
Keith: “Oh, I’m not really into TV. But we have TiVo and Cable so…” Grabs the remote and hands it to her. “You can watch whatever you’d like.”
Charlize Theron: Chuckling. “I’m not really good with tech like you Keith.”
Keith: Turning it on and handing the TiVo remote back to her. “Sorry about that. I figured everyone by now has one of these in their homes.” Fidgeting. “Actually, I have to do some work still. I’m really sorry that I can’t do more right now.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s okay. I understand.” As Keith goes towards his room. “Hey, Keith.” Pauses him. “You really should get a girlfriend. I think that would help you out a lot.”
Keith: Shrugging. “That’s what everyone tells me. For someone like me, it’s not that easy.” Goes to his room as Charlize Theron observes him from under the blankets.
Inside Keith’s room. Keith turning on his gaming machine then logging onto World of Warcraft. There’s a few people on his guild on, including a few friends. Some are asking where he was the entire evening in the guild chat. Keith plays a Tauren Paladin he calls “Girafetoe.”
Drbeefcake: “Ware u been yo?”
Girafetoe: “I rescued a pretty lady.”
Drbeefcake: “lol. bullshit. u rescued an elf in this game earlier and then go afk.”
Girafetoe: “No no no. i really rescued some woman. don’t remember her name too well. it sounded funny. she was tied up and some people were going to abduct her.”
Ipwnnubz: “I rescued your mom one night.”
Trollzualot: “Why do they call it an xbox 360? Because when u c it, u do a 360 and walks away.”
Girafetoe: “Come on guys. I nearly hit them with my car. They got scared and I kicked their heads in.”
Drbeefcake: “Now now. We know that u iz not chuck norris.”
Girafetoe: “She’s staying at my home tonight because she’s scared.”
Ipwnnubz: “wellz, takes a pic of her b00bz and post a link or ur a gay fag.”
Keith considers snapping a shot of Charlize Theron from his mobile but refrains. Decides to ignore the trolls in his guild and enters a raid. His eyes become glued to the screen as he starts his nightly grind. Some of the people in his guild are running in the raid with him. Almost immediately someone in the raid starts griefing the group and they die multiple times. They manage to kick out the griefer but on the next boss fight, Keith makes a critical error and dies, causing a raid wipe. He gets blamed and kicked out of the raid with his guildies calling him a noob and other names. Frustrated, he closes the application and nearly punches his keyboard, looking towards his door and thinking about what Charlize Theron said to him earlier. Instead, he opens Diablo 3 and starts killing demons.
In the morning. Keith is startled awake. Reaches for his mobile and checks the time. Eyes widen when he discovers it’s well past 10am. Pops up and dresses himself. Enters the living room where he vaguely remembers the previous night. However, Charlize Theron is nowhere to be found. In fact, the blankets and pillows are set as if no one had touched them. There’s a point of recognition that perhaps the entire situation just only occurred in his head. Surmising that possibility, he hurries to work.
Running down 2nd street. Arrives at his office. But the door is locked. Looks at his phone trying to find the pass code. As he’s scanning through the phone, he notices the date on his phone. Opens up the calendar software and realizes that it’s a Saturday. Palm faces himself.
Arrives back at home. Drags himself to his room, passing his mother who sits watching the TV with a blank expression, neither really acknowledging each other’s presence. Goes back to his room. His gaming machine was left on over night. Goes to check his auctions on D3, seeing that people from his guild that have his Battle.net ID are spamming for him to join them on World of Warcraft instead. He ignores them and settles in by grabbing his Macbook Pro, propping his legs on his bed and checking out stuff from Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. His email is cluttered with useless advertisement, twitter containing first world issues written by various celebrities he follows, youtube with updates on game play guides, Facebook with shots of food. Spends most of his time scrolling through his connections on Facebook, finding another pretty Japanese female friend of his now married with a child. The photograph seems to age him severely. He closes the tab and goes to browse news sites like reddit.
A few puppy and cat pictures, atheist posts, TIL posts, but he sees a strange thread about someone named Charlize Theron Theron being rescued in Santa Monica. Opens the post to be redirected a news story in the LA Times. There’s a picture of Charlize Theron with him blotted out. His heart races a bit when he re-reads the title: “Academy Award Winning Actress Charlize Theron Theron Saved in Back Alley”. The camera scans the article for quick points just as Keith peruses it. Some quick comments from her talking to a reporter and the police with one saying how she, “was really thankful for the heroic efforts of the young man.” There’s another comment saying that the identity of hero was suppressed for safety reasons as requested by him. Keith trying to recall the events the previous night, digging deep into his memory and finally remembering through the excitement and stress his quotes.
Heart racing, he goes to copy and paste Charlize Theron’s name into Wikipedia, bringing up her photo and a huge list of credentials to her name. Quickly, he grows excited, remembering every little quote in their conversations, not fully comprehending until this point who he had been dealing with this entire time. He pinches his arm and yelps in pain, realizing that he’s not entirely sleep deprived. Rushes out to the living room where he hits his knee against the coffee table and crashes onto the couch. Hobbles around as his mother looks confusedly at him. He grabs the pillow and blankets and smells them. His mother merely continues her inquisitive glance.
Mother: “What are you doing?”
Keith: “Did you see anyone this morning?”
Mother: “Not at all. Was someone supposed to come over?”
Keith: “No. Just go back to your TV.” Heads back into his room while his mother shakes her head at his treatment of her.
Inside his room, he surmises that he probably made a huge mistake in not attempting to get any contact information from her. He didn’t even get a chance for a photograph. However, somewhat determined he copies the article and posts it into his Facebook status. After not receiving any response for a few minutes, he gives up and turns back to gaming.
A few hours pass as the timer in Diablo 3 alters. Eventually, we find Keith slumped in his chair with the game disconnected. At first, he thinks that he simply overslept while gaming. However, his laptop with Facebook has been filled with numerous responses. Eagerly, he starts to read the thread.
Person1: “Lol! Wut?”
Person2: “Fail troll is fail.”
Person3: “Can I haz sum of yer smokez?”
Kelly: “Shouldn’t you be fixing the server?”
Stunned by the negativity, he slams his screen shut before starting a new game in Diablo 3. He irrationally chooses an extremely high monster power and gets slaughtered in a few seconds. Punching his table, he lies in his bed, grabs his Giraffe and starts crying to himself.
Back at her mansion in Beverly Hills. Charlize Theron Theron attempting to phone Michael Fassbender Fastbender but not receiving any response whatsoever. As she walks towards her kitchen, she hears the buzzing of his mobile. Takes his phone that she found the previous day and hurls it into the trash. Receives a phone call but it’s not from him. It’s from Actress Friend (we’ll call her Jennifer for now).
Charlize Theron: “Hey, what’s going on?”
Jennifer: “I read the news this morning. I’m glad to hear you’re okay now. But I just wanted to make sure everything is alright.”
Charlize Theron: “It was a real rough night. My neck is kind of stiff.”
Jennifer: “Did they hurt you in anyway?”
Charlize Theron: “No, but I was sleeping on this guy’s couch.”
Jennifer: “Is that your rebound from these things? Sorry bad joke. Hey, let’s grab lunch in half an hour. I want to hear about everything.”
At a top notch French cafe along Rodeo Drive. Charlize Theron and Jennifer receiving a private booth where both just finish ordering.
Charlize Theron: “So yeah it was pretty scary. Everything flashed by incredibly fast that I barely remember most of it. I can’t keep the thoughts of being raped and nearly suffocated as well from my mind.”
Jennifer: “Your rescuer must’ve been really hunky.”
Charlize Theron: “What?”
Jennifer: “I mean taking on three guys himself and knocking them all out with a round house kick.”
Charlize Theron: “No, that’s not-”
Jennifer: “I know we do these shots from time-to-time but I always wanted someone like my ex- to come rescue me in real life. Only thing is that my ex- would just run away because he’s a fucking yellow back.”
Charlize Theron: “Hold on. What the hell are you talking about? That situation last night wasn’t some bizarre fantasy. Some guys really tried to abduct me. The guy who rescued me was some….asian geek I guess.”
Jennifer: Enthusiasm dropping several notches. “No, big muscles?”
Charlize Theron: “I didn’t really observe him. He looked young but I think he said he was in his 30s. My mind is still pretty fuzzy. Anyway, I stayed at his place. He lives in some poor shack somewhere. I can’t remember exactly. Really nice guy. I think he mentioned he was made software and played games.”
Jennifer: “What? How the hell did he beat up those guys?”
Charlize Theron: “Just hit him with his car then they were confused so he kicked one guy in the head and rammed another guy’s head in. I don’t think they were expecting him to do that, which is why he could take them out. I don’t know. I don’t fight.”
Jennifer: “I see.”
Charlize Theron: “I felt bad for him. His home was really ratty. I mean, he looked good for his age but no girlfriend, no wife, nothing. Actually, I don’t even think he knew whom I was.”
Jennifer: “How can that be?”
Charlize Theron: “Well, he doesn’t watch TV. I think he just plays games and works all day.”
Jennifer: “Still, he must read the internet from time to time. Anyway, did you already fall in love?”
Charlize Theron: “Where are you getting all these ideas from?”
Jennifer: Holding up a tabloid magazine. The front page image is similar to the one from the reddit article, except that the tabloid had claimed to get a real image of the hero. However, the image is clearly not that of Keith. Also, the headline and passage has numerous superlatives that completely blow the story out of proportion including innuendos of their imminent marriage.
Charlize Theron: Flabbergasted . “I need to call my agent immediately about this.”
Jennifer: “Pretty disappointing.”
Charlize Theron: “Maybe next time I’ll die for you. Would that be romantic enough?”
Jennifer: “Come on. I’m just trying to cheer you up. But I have to ask. Are you not in love with this guy?”
Charlize Theron: “He was a nice kid who was the only person besides my original manager and mom who ever saved my life. I think that’s more than enough information for you.”
Jennifer: “Okay. I’ll leave it alone finally. That all said, do you have plans for next week?”
Charlize Theron: “Why?”
Jennifer: “Best couples show?”
Charlize Theron: “Oh fuck, I completely forgot about that.”
Jennifer: “It’s only going to be the most prestigious show for us over the mid 30’s to make sure that we are not looked upon by the public as aging has beens.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, now that you put it that way. I guess I should try showing up.”
Jennifer: “You have to be elected but that means we all get to play dress up next week in Las Vegas.”
Charlize Theron: “I guess we’ll just have to shake things up.”
Phone slams down as Keith sits in a room with other coworkers. Everyone is staring at him. Heavy breathing in the room.
Richard: “The shipments went to the wrong address again.”
Keith: “I-I-I’ll try to check the address.”
Richard: “This is the second time.”
Keith: “That shouldn’t be my responsibility. Maybe we should just send investor packages without using the software since it’ll be easier to track.”
Kelly: “But how can we keep track of the inventory? You know well as I do that we should keep all the information organized inside the software, not by paper accounts. You’re the CTO. You should be moving us into a future age.”
Keith: “The problem is that this is a boundary case where the software easily cannot input the orders from an internal point of view due to the subscription nature of-”
Richard: “Look. Just get it working. It’s programming, I know, I’m not the expert around here but it should be a trivial task.”
Keith: Eyes distant.
Richard: “Do you want that talk we had a month ago?”
Keith: Shaking his head.
In the micro kitchen. Most of the people staring at Keith oddly as he gets a cup of espresso to wake himself up. In particular, they stare at his leg where there’s a nasty scar. Everyone around the area seem to nod and whisper, despite him being oblivious to it all. Suddenly, Kelly enters and pushes him outside onto the balcony.
Keith: “What the-”
Kelly: “What’s going on with you lately? How could you bungle a simple shipment?”
Keith: “I don’t know. The email instructions from April weren’t very clear and I only got the latest shipment information after I had entered the order in.”
Kelly: “You’re messing up big time and everyone in the office is talking about it. Especially Roger. You know those guys are power houses in this town.”
Keith: “Yeah, I just have been having a lot of personal stress lately.”
Kelly: “That won’t matter for long if you don’t have a job. You gotta stop playing those games late at night. Everyone knows about your gaming addiction.”
Keith: “I don’t play every night.”
Kelly: Bringing up her Twitter feed. Shows him the messages regarding his nightly accounts of his Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft exploits. “We’re social media experts.”
Keith: “It’s the only thing I have. I mean, it’s my life.”
Kelly: “You don’t have a life. You admitted that before during the interview. That’s-” Catches herself.
Kelly: “Why we hired you. We thought you would be motivated to work hard since you didn’t have obligations.”
Keith: “So I’m just a piece of meat to you guys.”
Kelly: “That isn’t it.”
Keith: “That is it. Dump everything on the mule so everyone else can go out and party. Well, maybe I’m tired of being the mule. I’m out of here.”
Kelly: “You just can’t walk off like this!”
Keith: “California is a right to work state. I can quit for any reason.” Storms off.
Kelly: Grabbing him. “No, you can’t quit. Don’t quit. They’ll put a word on you.”
Keith: Calming down. “I can’t take this anymore. This is getting too stressful.”
Kelly: “What happened? You changed? We know you were playing games when you started. But ever since Friday night, you’ve been acting odd.” Pushing him towards the balcony. “Were you the one who saved Charlize Theron Theron?”
Keith: “Does it matter? No one believes me.”
Kelly: “You haven’t heard all the talk in the office?” Keith shrugging. “Come on. You were the hero. You should be proud.”
Keith: “I gotta set up the server.”
Kelly: “What’s wrong?”
Keith: “I don’t want to talk about it.” Walks back to his seat forgetting his espresso on the kitchen counter.
At his home. Keith reading the guild chat. His friends are on still poking and prodding him. But he ignores everything. Checks his Facebook where the article he linked has gained a large number of comments, all of which are primarily trolls and flamers. Shuts down his browser then begins watching a music video from Madonna. It’s Open Your Heart. The scene shows the part where the kid is sitting outside the peep show then Madonna materializing and kissing him on the lips. However, in this version it’s Charlize Theron Theron playing Madonna’s role and Keith about to receive the kiss. When he opens his eyes, he sees one statement: “Fail person is fail.”
Charlize Theron sitting at home eating a jar of ice cream by herself while watching movies from Netflix. As she sucks on her spoon, the front door slams shut. Startled, she raises the spoon as a pathetic weapon and ducks under her pillow. Her body shakes in anticipation of the previous night’s stalkers, but it turns out to be Michael Fassbender Fassbender. As she relaxes, he almost leaps over to embrace her.
Michael Fassbender: “Is everything okay?”
Charlize Theron: “Wait….I’m…what’s going on? Hold on!” Pushing him away. “You just up and left. Now, you come back without warning just after the incident and didn’t call-”
Michael Fassbender: “I don’t know where my phone had gone. However, as soon as I learned that you almost were cannibalized I knew I had to come back.”
Charlize Theron: “Is cannibalized what you guys deem as rape?”
Michael Fassbender: “No, I thought your flesh was to be ravaged by some lunatics who were going to put your over a fire pit, although I think you mentioned one preferred raw blood over the grill.”
Charlize Theron: “Are you….serious? Where the heck did you hear that?”
Michael Fassbender: “From you, of course. Or rather what you said in that article.”
Charlize Theron: “I have no idea what you’re ranting about. I was just kidnapped briefly. But I never said anything about being cooked and eaten alive.”
Michael Fassbender: “You better double check with your publicist before sending memos like these out.” Pulls out a magazine which shows Charlize Theron talking about how the kidnappers were pirates from Sudan and intended to boil her in a cauldron.
Charlize Theron: “This is completely outrageous!”
Michael Fassbender: “I thought so too and completely out of character, which is why I had to absolutely come back and verify your sanity.”
Charlize Theron: “Look, thanks for the concern. I’m fine now somewhat. But these publications are exaggerating quite a bit. You have to take them worth a grain of salt. As for your phone, you could’ve just called collect or got a new number. I tried phoning your hotel you said you were going to be at but didn’t get through.”
Michael Fassbender: “Most likely I was on set filming but naturally I was concerned about us…I mean you.”
Charlize Theron: “Finally.” Relaxes a little.
Michael Fassbender: “You had doubts?”
Charlize Theron: Points to the trash can. Michael Fassbender scrounges through the trash can to uncover his cell phone.
Michael Fassbender: “Oh bloody hell. You could’ve disposed of your ice cream in a separate bin for god sakes.”
Charlize Theron: “Just so your girlfriend in Finland wouldn’t have the pixels on the screen smeared too badly?”
Michael Fassbender: “I have no bloody notion of what you mean.”
Charlize Theron: Snatching the phone from him. Unlocking the phone and pulling up the image of a message from the pretty young woman who set her off in the first place.
Michael Fassbender: “Oh her.” Charlize Theron tapping her foot emphatically. “She’s just the director’s assistant. She’s been handling more than the the director’s aspects too.”
Charlize Theron: “Details?”
Michael Fassbender: “Plane flight information, hotel booking, make sure my luggage arrives for my room. Come on baby. She’s a very helpful friend.”
Charlize Theron: “Why do you have a photo of her?”
Michael Fassbender: “To figure bloody hell what she’ll look like when I get there. Oh man. Stop badgering me.”
Charlize Theron: “You were voted the world’s sexiest man.”
Michael Fassbender: “And you the sexiest woman. I care deeply for you. That’s why I came back. I was concerned.”
Charlize Theron: “You shouldn’t just have run off like that.”
Michael Fassbender: “We both know our line of work very well.”
Charlize Theron: “You know. I’m having a dry spell.”
Michael Fassbender: “And that’s all it is. Just a spell. Forget the kidnapping incident or whatever you want to call it. Your true hero is back. Your superman.” Hands her a gift. Makes her smile.
Charlize Theron: “What’s this?” Unwraps it. Turns out to be Wii-Fit. Frowning, she tosses it into the trash. “Are you kidding me?”
Michael Fassbender: “You mad bro?”
Charlize Theron: “This is just silly.”
Michael Fassbender: “Besides us being the sexiest man and woman in the world, we need to dominate that party in Las Vegas so we can keep that crown of sexiest couple. I mean, it’s quite apparent you haven’t been seeing your trainer since I’ve been gone and you’ve had your little dry spell.”
Charlize Theron: Almost tossing him away from her. “Is that why you really flew back? Just for some stupid contest?”
Michael Fassbender: “Oh, of course. That’s just it. My wonderful plot to zing all the awards for the year to satiate my typical male ego. And there’s consideration for you at all in this since you’re just my pawn to dominate Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment world.”
Charlize Theron: “Is that Magento speaking?”
Michael Fassbender: “No, it’s Mr. Magentism himself dictating. But the vision I’m conjuring is that of an opulent party with our fellows, after some recuperation time when we lounge in a private spa that I’ve booked at the best suite in the Wynn. Just for the two of us. No cameras, no other people invited. Simple and easy.”
Camera fades out and back into view of almost the same position. This time we see Charlize Theron back on her mobile repeatedly war dialing Michael Fassbender.
Charlize Theron: “Damn it!”
As she cancels another call, we see the date clearly on her phone. It’s one day prior to the event. Contacts the Wynn hotel and discovers that Michael Fassbender had not booked any reservations whatsoever. Calls up Jennifer.
Charlize Theron: “He just ran off again.”
Jennifer: “Don’t panic. Just get out here.”
Charlize Theron: “What am I supposed to do? I don’t even have a room rented.”
Jennier: “Figure something out. You have to be here in seven hours.”
Charlize Theron frustrated goes into a calling frenzy. However, all her actor friends are no where to be found. Gives up tossing her phone into the trash. Grows angry at herself for losing control, then searches the bin. Picks out the Wii, mobile and a receipt. Stares at the receipt which shows an address back to Keith’s place.
At Keith’s home. His laptop is open with a console to a server, Amazon EC2, his Eclipse, but his focus is on his gaming machine. Or not entirely. He’s logged onto World of Warcraft and sits in the main city just passing time. Someone attempts to invite him to a group but he’s refusing. Then in the guild chat, it’s from the guild leader who admonishes him for not joining the raid. He gets kicked from the guild leaving him even more distant. There’s a bunch of private whispers from his friends in the guild who pester him about a raid. But he ignores everything.
At the front the door bell ringing. Goes to answer it. It’s Charlize Theron Theron. He’s dumbfounded and even rubs his eyes and pinches himself.
Keith: “What are you doing here? I mean, are you real?” Looks around to make sure everything is safe. “Are you okay?”
Charlize Theron: Grinning at him. “Yes. Thanks to you. In fact, I never really did anything to thank you.” Hands him a wrapped gift.
Keith: Bowing slightly. Awkwardly accepts the gift. “Well, your welcome.”
Charlize Theron: “Keith, you’re not going to let me in?”
Keith: Turning on a light. “Oh, forgive me. I imagined you were just in the neighborhood and dropping this off. I’m sorry if I didn’t invite you inside, I know it’s cold.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, I’m only going to be here for a moment. But I wanted to check up on you as well.”
Keith: “I’m doing okay, I guess.”
Charlize Theron: Pulls out a gray hair from his head. “That’s a new one. Looks like you had a few new ones since I saw you last. Are you certain everything is okay?”
Keith: “Just work.”
Charlize Theron: “Oh. I can’t imagine. But open up your gift.”
Keith: Tears open the present revealing the Wii Fit that Charlize Theron received earlier. “Is this a hint?”
Charlize Theron: “No, I know you like playing games. So I thought you might want it. It’s a long story. Actually, I thought maybe we could play together.”
Keith: Mood drastically switching. “Really?”
Charlize Theron: “Sure. Someone told me I hadn’t been seeing my fitness trainer lately. So I thought it might be nice finding a partner.”
Keith: “That’s really generous of you. I would think that you’re incredibly busy doing your movies and such.”
Charlize Theron: “Oh, you figured it out?” Keith blushing intensely. It charms Charlize Theron. “No need to get red for me. After all, my so-called sexiest partner was the one who told me that.” Keith instantly understanding after reading all the internet articles on Charlize Theron. “Hey, actually I’m not busy at all these days. But I’m supposed to be in Vegas for some stupid award show. In all honesty, I have no desire to be there. Well, the award show at least. However, I did book a hotel room at the Wynn. But I don’t want to be in a penthouse suite by myself. I thought my little hero could safeguard me.”
Keith: At that moment, it seems that the entire house lights up. The cobwebs on the ceiling disappear, the walls no longer moldy and filthy now white. However, something bothering Keith intensely. “I still have my job.”
Charlize Theron: Pulling out another gray hair. “Looks what it’s doing to you. Just forget them.”
Keith: “Give me a moment to think about it.”
Goes into his room. Checks his laptop out. It’s his product manager badgering him on skype to fix some problems with the website. The notification icon from his email program bounces angrily, hungering for replies. He slams the top of the laptop down and grabs his giraffe, running back outside. His mouth drops when he sees a full limo with the chauffeur patiently holding the door open for the two of them.
As the limo drives to Vegas. We see Keith and Charlize Theron both sticking their heads out of the sun roof. Keith has his little giraffe tucked securely under his shirt. The moon is full, there’s even a shooting star that Charlize Theron points out. Eventually, both settle back inside. Charlize Theron pours them Don Perion, both toasting each other before downing the entire glass. Charlize Theron then shrugs and takes the bottle then does a long swig. Afterwards, she hands the bottle to Keith who hesitates until she encourages him enough to down a gulp. At first, he only takes a small sip, but she forces him to chug a long gulp. Both laugh in a very rowdy fashion until the sign for Barstow shows up.
Charlize Theron: Knocking on the chauffeur’s window. “Hey, pull up over there.”
Chauffeur: “We’re still half way full and you’re already delayed two hours by your stop over at that guy’s home.”
Charlize Theron: “So what? There’s a Tommy’s Burgers over there and I’m getting hungry.”
Chauffeur: “Man, is that a good idea before your show?”
Charlize Theron: “I’m tired of my nightly hippy bugs bunny food. Now, pull over and let’s grab some grub. Oh, and I want to go inside.”
In line. The place is mostly empty on the account that it’s midnight. Keith and Charlize Theron deciding what to get.
Charlize Theron: “Get me a double cheese burger, chili cheese fries and a Mountain Dew.”
Keith: “Are you serious?”
Charlize Theron: “I’m hungry.” Even the cashier who seems to recognize her wonders at her decision. “What? Am I not allowed to eat that?”
Keith: “I’ll just take a plain hot dog.” Looking at Charlize Theron. “I had a late dinner.”
Charlize Theron: “Come on Keith. At least split the fries with me.”
Keith: “Sure. Oh and an ice tea.” Pulls out his wallet but Charlize Theron paying for them. They receive their order and Charlize Theron ushers their tray to a table in the far corner. “Thanks for the second dinner.”
Charlize Theron: “Nah, I should thank you. I never get this stuff anymore. I know I’m sorry about the yoga thing but I thought it was cute. But as you can imagine, I’m pretty much forced to take care of myself whether I want to or not. That said, sometimes you gotta sneak out and grab something like this or you go insane.” Takes a huge bite of her burger, leaving generous portions of chili stains on her cheeks. Keith just staring at her the entire time. “I bet you think this is really sexy.”
Keith: “Actually, I’m the one who has to be careful. I eat too much fast food, I don’t exercise anymore, I just do nothing all day on the weekends and play games.”
Charlize Theron: Licking her fingers. “We’re all human. Everyone has their vices.”
Keith: “I probably indulge in mine too much. Which is why I’m single.”
Charlize Theron: “Oh don’t talk like that. Relationships aren’t everything. Sometimes, they can just be a major pain.”
Keith: “You can have anyone in the world that you want. I gotta scratch and claw and go beyond to get anything.”
Charlize Theron: Burping. “You really think it’s that easy? Snap my fingers and I get Zeus? Or conjure up some guy with a 6 pack, a 17 inch weiner and suddenly my life is magical? Yeah, I’ve been in a few high profile relationships. But so what? If any of them were that great, I’d still be in them. Makes me wonder sometimes if it’s even worth being in one.”
Keith: “Sorry, if I made you angry.”
Charlize Theron: “No, you don’t make me angry. If I’m angry at anyone, it’s more at myself.”
Keith: “Why? You’re gorgeous, have a successful career, have tons of money. What more can one want?”
Charlize Theron: “Life isn’t that easy, Keith. I know I don’t know a lot about you. But sometimes you get lucky. I did. In several cases.”
Keith: “I-I-I got lucky too. I got to meet you. That’s more than I could have ever wished for.”
Charlize Theron: Putting her burger down. Grabs a tissue and pats her eyes. “Oh, Keith. Don’t do that.”
Keith: “Sorry again.”
Charlize Theron: “No, I’m glad you said that. I-I-I needed that.”
On their way to Vegas. Charlize Theron has fallen asleep in the back while Keith stares at her the entire time. Suddenly, Charlize Theron counts down from 3 to 1 then lets out a fart before grinning. Keith chuckles too. Long shot of the limo heading up the 15 north with Keith gagging loudly in the back seat.
Outside of the Wynn. The Limo pulling up into the VIP entrance. Charlize Theron dons sunglasses as she steps outside. Keith doesn’t. However, just as they get out a small paparazzi crew assail her with flashes, microphones, questions and cameras. The crew spout off comments such as the possibility of her savior being in her presence, the possibility of her dumping Michael Fassbender for the geek hero.
Charlize Theron: Talking to one reporter. “Here’s something. Never make assumptions about things you don’t know about. That’s all.” She pushes fast through the group. However, Keith struggles as they figure he has no experience in such situations.
Keith: Flustered he has little to comment on. “What? I don’t know. I’m just here. Just a friend. That’s it.” A hand grabs Keith and pulls him strongly. It’s Charlize Theron who gets escorted by some security guards that manage to hold the tide of reporters and the occasional curious pedestrian with a mobile device.
Charlize Theron: Whispering to Keith. “Gotta hurry or they’ll eat us alive.” Both bolt to the elevator.
At the penthouse. Charlize Theron turning on the lights to an opulent suite. The place more than likely is the size of his house if not more. One thing Keith notices is that there’s only one bedroom.
Keith: “The couches are nice here.”
Charlize Theron: “Is that the only thing you can say to a place like this?”
Keith: “I assume I’ll choose one to sleep on.”
Charlize Theron: “What? But that means we can’t watch movies on cable later tonight or tomorrow.”
Keith: “It’s really big here.”
Charlize Theron: “I like freedom and movement. Where’s your stuff?” Keith gesturing his backpack. “That’s it?”
Keith: “Didn’t have time to pack.”
Charlize Theron: “Oh that’s right. One of my mini blonde moments. So that kinda complicates things. But I know the fix.”
Both head to the shops downstairs. Charlize Theron speaks to the shop owners who claim that their spots are closing. However, because it’s Charlize Theron Theron, they accommodate the pair and begin work on Keith, measuring his waist, shoulders, legs, neck, feet. He tries on numerous shoes, pants, dress shirts and whatnot. Then he’s at a barber’s shop where his hair gets washed and trimmed. Lastly, he’s at a 24 hour glass shop which replaces his ancient rims.
Back in their suite. Charlize Theron dabbing perfume on her neck and brushing her hair.
Charlize Theron: “You’ve been in the bathroom for quite a while. Are you okay?”
Keith: “I just don’t know. It feels weird.”
Charlize Theron: “Come on. Just come out. Show me what you have.”
Slowly, the bathroom door opens. The camera starts at the bottom of the floor showing new leather shoes and slowly moves up. Quick cut to Charlize Theron who looks very impressed before showing the new Keith who has a complete make over. His hair is neatly done, his rims aren’t slanted anymore from the years of abuse, his posture seems correct but his clothes are all snazzy.
Charlize Theron beckoning him to approach her. He complies. “Just a few tiny adjustments.” Corrects his tie, fixes his collar and combs a slightly off section of his hair into place. “Perfect!”
Keith: “I don’t know. I’m not really into these things.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, nor am I. So let’s just try to have fun.”
Down below at Tryst. Keith fidgeting as people make remarks about him with Charlize Theron. However, Charlize Theron ignores everyone around them and only concentrates on the bouncer.
Bouncer: “Good evening, Ms Theron.”
Charlize Theron: “Heya.”
Bouncer: Pausing Keith who nearly stumbles into the guard’s meaty hook. “ID and name of the party you’re with.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s with me.”
Bouncer: “Excuse me ma’am?”
Charlize Theron: “We’re together.” Around them everyone starts to gossip.
Bouncer: “Well, if he’s with you, but he still looks underage.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s older than me.”
Bouncer: Accepting Keith’s driver’s license. “Oh, I’m very apologetic to the two of you. Your friends are in the back.”
Charlize Theron: Handing the bouncer a $20. “Be sure no one takes any pictures of us and no reporters.”
Both entering seemingly unscathed. Nearby, several paparazzi make an attempt to sneak in but the Bouncer repels them. One guy in particular, a weaselly looking sort, begs him off.
Jack: “Come on. I gotta get in or my job is hosed in the morning.”
Bouncer: “And if I let you in my job is hosed. So we have mutual understanding.”
Jack: “Whatever she gave you just now, I’ll double it.”
Bouncer: “$40 for a snot like you?”
Jack: “She that cheap these days?”
Bouncer: “What are you saying about me then?”
Jack: “Okay. I’ll multiple by that 100%. How’s that?”
Bouncer: “And your nickname here will be Bobby Heenan.” Accepts a wad of cash as his buddy handles the other group of people.
Inside, the music is outrageously loud. There’s a crew filming the event as apparently it’s linked to the Famous Couples event. Some of the whose who of entertainment and the mega powerful. Keith just stares in awe at the opulence and debauchery. He notes people exiting the restroom with changed, sweaty expressions after they enter. Many sniffling or appearing blurry eyed. Someone intentionally bumping shoulders with him giving him a strange sign with his thumb and nose.
Keith: Shrugging any sense of understanding.
Dealer: Makes a snorting gesture when the cameras are nowhere near them. “It’s the only way man!”
Keith: “I got no money, it’s not my thing.” Seems to get lost in this crowd with Charlize Theron nowhere in sight.
On the other side of the room, Charlize Theron making her way to the bar. Plunks down a bit of change and gets herself a gin tonic. As she waits for her drink, Jennifer bumps her.
Jennifer: “You actually made it!”
Charlize Theron: “I happened to be in the neighborhood.”
Jennifer: “Oh whatever. You know you couldn’t have missed it since I’m here.”
Charlize Theron: “Of course. My entire world centers around your social life.”
Jennifer: Laughing. “Someone’s got to keep this biz alive for all the initiates. But through the grapevine, there’s been murmurs going around that he’s here.”
Charlize Theron: “I gave money to the guard at the door to make sure that Keith’s name-”
Jennifer: “Who’s Keith? I’m talking about Michael Fassbender!”
Charlize Theron: “What?”
Jennifer: “You mean, you didn’t come in separate helicopters for the grand entrance?”
Charlize Theron: “What kind of fucked up rumor is-”
Her train of thoughts are interrupted as she spots Michael Fassbender in the distance flirting with the prettiest ladies in the club. He kisses each one on the cheek graciously. Charlize Theron seems to grow consternated at each greeting.
Jennifer: “I thought you once said that you were worried about men who don’t flirt?”
Charlize Theron: “This…this is totally different.”
Michael Fassbender’s ego seems to inflate as his admirers come out. Some girls manage to bypass the barricade to race after him. He hands the guards money to permit them to be his arm decorations. The music switches to the classic Chicago tune “Hard Habit to Break”, where the crowd swarms in on them, making it impossible to see what he’s doing.
Jennifer: “Don’t worry about it. He’s just making a guy entrance. Guys do that from time to time. You gotta get used to it.” Charlize Theron not entirely buying the argument. “Oh, so there was that other rumor. That geek kid is here.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s not really a kid if he’s older than me. And he’s more than a geek kid that you and whatever media like to label him.”
Jennifer: “Really now? That’s incredibly enlightening. I assume that within your several hours of bonding, you’ve managed to excavate his life story? So unveil this gracious creature.”
Charlize Theron: “Have you met him yet? If not, don’t belittle him like that. He’s a super sweet person.”
Jennifer: “From the netmors, the word is that he’s a self-proclaimed super troll who has a nasty streak in him, enjoys flaming anyone who doesn’t agree with him, supports the taxing of all upper class, wants to demolish capitalism in favor of pure socialism, has a bit of a totalitarian demeanor and believes himself the second coming of Christ.”
Charlize Theron: “You’re insane! That is not this person.”
Jennifer: “That’s why I’m asking you to expatiate on all this. I see what’s going on. You’ve fallen for him. Haven’t you?” Pans to a corner where Keith sits looking at his mobile device. He’s bored, just looking at his toons from World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 or choosing talents. “That’s him isn’t it? I can tell the bulging belly is something you show proclivity towards, right? Heard you stopped by a burger shop and gorged yourself. He must’ve been starved watching your starvation videos.”
Charlize Theron: “You really are a horrible person for saying those things.”
Jennifer: “Am I? Do you want to see the latest gossipblog with your picture of chili smeared face? Okay, I’ll let that go, but let’s talk about the love thing. Remember, the more you deny, the more you admit.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s my personal hero and I owe him something for saving my life.”
Jennifer: “Buy a nice chocolate cake, have it delivered with a photo of him eating it and get it posted to some online fanzine. There, problem solved. I think I know what’s eating you. You had no one tonight. So you brought your new flashy pet. The one you’d hope get you back into the spotlight. But for someone whom you owe, you certainly don’t seem to show it displacing the poor nerd into a lonely corner where he certainly won’t attract any attention.”
The crowds close in again and it seems a wall of people is created to block Charlize Theron’s view of Keith. As that happens, Jack slips near Keith.
Jack: “That seat taken?”
Keith: “I don’t know. I mean, I think it should be reserved but I don’t own this place.”
Jack: “I think I know whom you’re talking about. The pretty blonde friend over there, eh?”
Keith: “I don’t know where she is. We got separated and I decided just to stay here to be safe.”
Jack: “Hey, don’t take this the wrong way, but aren’t you supposed to be her protector?”
Keith: “I have no idea what you mean.”
Jack: “Come on buddy. Everyone in the know realizes you’re the special guy who saved her life back in LA. All those papers trying to blow the story out of proportion weren’t at the scene but just photoshopping images of some imaginary figure just to get people to buy at the lines in the supermarket.”
Keith: “What people do with their money is not my business.”
Jack: “True. But it is my business and it can be lucrative, if you know what I mean? I’m sorry by the way. Jack. Jack Murkwater.”
Keith: “Great last name.”
Jack: “I’d change it but I figured it’s too much of a bother. Besides, people don’t believe it. So let me make things interesting for you. You see, there’s a big mob outside. All wanting to get in and hear about the real story. Now, let’s not play pretend for a second and skip all the ignorance bullshit on your behalf. Here’s my deal. I’m here and I can get you a great offer. I know the little lady ain’t gonna talk to someone like myself. But I did a little research on your behalf and found out that you have no job, you’re living in a shabby situation and you’ve been wanting to get out of it for years now. I’m going to give you that chance.”
Keith: “What do you want from me?”
Jack: “The real story. It’s mega money these days. Hollywood producers, writers and directors are shit out of ideas. So they look for things like this to give inspiration to the world. I can guarantee with my connections that you’ll be walking high in a matter of time.”
Keith: Feeling nervous and confused. “I don’t know. Why me? Just ask her. She’s over there. I’m sure she can give you her side of the story better than me.”
Jack: “She’s some generic Hollywood blonde. Anyone of those guys outside can interview hundreds of people in LA and get the same story. You’re the one they want to talk to.”
Keith: “It’s our story. Not just mine. You should ask permission from her first.”
Jack: “It’s not that easy for us. If I gave you a flat number, would you consider?”
Keith: “I can’t believe-”
Jack: “$2 million base. There might even be an addition 2% at the box office if the thing goes as big as I believe plus merchandising royalties.”
Keith: “I think you’re full of shit and you’re just harassing me to get to her. Please leave me alone.”
Jack: “If you think there’s some sort of bizarre honor code or anything beyond bucks or if you think that gal is gonna stick by your side, you’ve got another thing coming. But I’ve dealt with far tougher people than you so I’m leaving my card right here. I already know your email addresses, twitter accounts, home address, Facebook, whatever I need to contact you. But we both know that I won’t have to make that final call.” Leaves making Keith ponder.
Back with Charlize Theron. She’s gone through four more cocktails and is finally getting tipsy. More than that Jennifer’s conversation is stressing her. At this point, Jennifer joins her husband as the camera circles her and interviews her. She sparkles with the lighting as the crew adjusts to ensure her jewelry, make up and dress scintillate for the voyeuristic crowds at home. The camera crew at one point just switches as she makes a grandiose speech to Michael Fassbender Fassbender and Kristen Stewart. Charlize Theron appears horrified as the pair exchange an intimate kiss. Someone from the crew seems to spot Charlize Theron skulking in her corner. Something in her mind clicks where she starts feeling desperate again, looking this way and that for a partner as the crew approaches her. Every single guy in the place has been taken and there seems to be a sudden overabundance of women from her viewpoint.
On Keith’s half of the room. Keith examining Jack’s card, decides to crumble it up. However, as he scans the area and seeing all the fabulous couples, he feels his sense of worth draining. He looks at his phone which shows his toon from WoW. However, he switches to Facebook where he peruses his feed of friends. He spots that the girl Tomoko now has a child and is scene with her husband. That infuriates him to a huge degree. He shoves the paper in his pocket to free up his hand then sets his phone to allow geolocation, which allows him to Foursquare the spot. Makes a comment that he’s partying it up. After hitting send, he grows more melancholic and thrusts his phone back into his pants. His phone lights up with notifications from Facebook, which apparently people are replying to his post. Most are negative with people saying with a lot of trolls insulting him. The only one that matters is from Kelly who states, “You better not be in Vegas with that whore!”
Shaken, Keith holds his head against the bar counter. The bartender nudges him.
Bartender: “You gonna order finally? If not get off my counter.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s going to have what I’m having. Another martini.”
Bartender: Eyeing Keith suspiciously. “You got it.”
Charlize Theron: Grabbing Keith’s hand. He jerks it back instinctively. She’s shocked at his reaction. “What is it?”
Keith: “I probably shouldn’t be here at all.”
Charlize Theron: As the martinis are poured for the pair. “Nonsense.” Holds up her glass to him. “Cheers.” At that point, the music switches to Electric Lights Orchestra’s “Twilight.” The crowd suddenly cheers for the older, classic tune and Charlize Theron firmly grips Keith’s hand and drags him to their own corner with their half full martinis. With everyone around them in their own worlds, the pair blissfully allow the universe to become a distant void from them. However, the cameras from the reality show begin to track them, catching Charlize Theron’s attention. She snatches Keith away from their corner and slips through a side exit back into the casino then towards the elevator.
Back upstairs in their room. Both manage to escape the persistent crews unscathed. They breathe heavily as they lock the door behind them and crash onto the couch.
Charlize Theron: “Sorry, about the chaos downstairs. The camera thing. I’m trying to stay away. Gets annoying.”
Keith: “I understand.”
Charlize Theron: “It sucks because sometimes I wish I could just party. But tell you what. We can have our own little private party up here. I mean, these walls are meant for bachelor parties, you know?” Checking her purse but realizes she’s missing something. “Of course, if I had some tunes.”
Keith: Handing his ipod Nano to her.
Charlize Theron: “Oh nice! What do you have on there?” Plugs it into an adapter. First song is something by Judas Priest, which is rather loud and not exactly appropriate. “Funny. Never pictured you as a metalhead.”
Keith: “Depends on my mood. But there’s an 80’s playlist that I really like.”
Charlize Theron: Finding the playlist and punching up Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” “Hahahaha. A metalhead liking Tiffany.”
Keith: “I grew up in the 80s.”
Charlize Theron: “Same here. Don’t forget we’re about the same age. Gotta make sure we look for each other’s backs.” Gives him her pinky and he provides his own in a promise-like fashion.
Keith: “This was one of my first tapes I bought in jr high school. I liked the song. I was really into Dungeons and Dragons back then and thought that one of my favorite elf maidens in this novel Dragonlance would run away as we’re listening to this song.”
Charlize Theron: Falling onto the floor laughing. Keith seems really embarrassed by admitting something fairly secretive. “Hey, don’t feel bad. I think it’s really charming that you said that. It’s really honest. I mean, I’ve done some pretty embarrassing things too but everyone knows about them. I have to ask though. Do you have a picture of this elf maiden?”
Keith: Obliges, doing a quick search for Laurana on Firefox from his mobile. There’s a slightly uncanny resemblance between Charlize Theron and the elf in the picture.
Charlize Theron: “Well, you do realize that we’re alone now.”
Hours later. Both on the bed in the master bedroom, tucked under the covers watching Aeon Flux. Keith looks somewhat sleepily as evidenced by numerous empty bottles of alcohol littering the floor.
Charlize Theron: “Don’t care for it?”
Keith: “Not into blood shed. Never saw it though.”
Charlize Theron: “Really? I thought you’d be into sci-fi type of stuff.”
Keith: “Not as much these days.”
Charlize Theron: “What would you like to see? This room is one of the newer spots that has Netflix.”
Keith: “How about Mannequinn?”
Charlize Theron: “You really are a child of the 80’s.”
Keith: “I was so infatuated with Kim Cattrall. Still am.” As Charlize Theron makes the order. “Truth is that I have this problem about being obsessed over things. I can’t get over things that I like. I can’t stop thinking about them. Even when the most obvious thing is next to me, I can’t seem to notice because I’m still thinking about something else.”
Charlize Theron: “That’s a good quality. If and when you find your dream wife, she’s going to be really lucky. Because she’s going to have someone that really loves her and won’t let her down.”
Keith: “If I find her. That’s not how things go. Not with me.”
Charlize Theron: Worrying about him. “Keith, I want to be straight with you a bit. Some people talked to me at that club. They were talking about you. I don’t know how they got this information and I don’t want to say it, but I’m concerned for you. They said you have a real dark side to you.”
Keith: “That’s because they’re right. Probably found my twitter or had friends of friends who have seen my facebook posts. Or even my pretty evident blog. If not any of that, they can easily contact my friends or people whom I thought were my friends to find something out on me.”
Charlize Theron: “But I don’t understand. You’re a real sweet human being.”
Keith: “I can easily be a villain. Maybe the worst of the bunch. I’d joke on people’s Facebook posts about how I’m worse than Hitler. But part of it wasn’t a joke. I would do horrible things given the power.”
Charlize Theron: “Keith….why? Every time I’ve met with you, you’ve been so good to me. I don’t think you could lower yourself like that.”
Keith: “My life hasn’t been good until this point. I’ve tried to work hard, be honest, keep my chin up, all those things. Been bullied most of my life, called a Jap, spat in my face when I was growing up. Pushed around. Taken advantage of. No one liked me in school. Got to college and things were different. Until the few times I tried dating. Never worked out. I figured that I had to aim higher. Set my goals so high that when I reached them, people would never look at me the same way. I wanted respect, I didn’t want to be bothered by the people who hurt me all my life. I wanted the phone calls so I could personally say that I didn’t know anyone by such and such name anymore.”
Charlize Theron: “Come on. Don’t beat yourself up like that. Everyone goes through dark periods in their life. I’ve been through many early on.”
Keith: “But you got out early. I haven’t. I went to Japan after losing my job during 9-11. Worked at a bank because that’s where all the safe jobs were. My company had an issue where some trader did some illegal after hours trading. FSA made a call and said here’s a slap on the wrist be good now. Lost 70% of our sales in a few months. No bonuses, people scrambled, backstabbed, vied to get on top. My boss was let go, team dispersed. Then my dad had a stroke. Left him in a nursing home until he died a few years ago. I keep thinking to myself man, if I had that bonus, I could’ve done something to help my dad. Now, he’s gone.”
Charlize Theron: “Keith, you don’t have to-”
Keith: “No, I do. I need to say this. Because you heard right in that I’m dark and cruel. But I have reasons. My dad’s family never bothered coming down except for us to sign the papers to his property shares since my grandfather passed away years ago from his side of the family. Land worth $250,000. That’s a lot of money for people like my family. Got nothing. Just a postcard with my cousin’s stupid wedding. Like I gave a shit. Had to sacrifice my job and life once from Japan. Lost my girlfriend and all the hard work I did. Came back, recruiters telling me no one really gave a shit about my situation. Said I should paint a happy smile going to some bullshit interview where I had to pretend I really wanted a job for an industry or company that gave 2 cents of thought towards my life. Worked nights and days, weekends, just kept toiling. Then I find that the girl I liked who came out here and I had hoped would be the person to finally help get me out of this mess ends up finding some guy. So I said fuck it. Fuck everything. This world doesn’t give a shit about me, does it? I just played games. That’s all do now. Play games, do the minimal amount of work just to survive and help my mom who sits at home watching TV night and day, eating bad and not doing anything to help herself. I’ve seen too much. I don’t want to see anymore. I’d prefer to be Helen Keller. This world can burn and I wouldn’t shed a tear. I’d welcome it.”
Charlize Theron: “No, don’t say that. You’re better than this. The world is better than you can imagine.”
Keith: “Well, probably should kick me out of this room and from your life. I’m just going to bring you down the way people go down with me all the time.”
Charlize Theron: Reaching out to hold him. “No….you’re more than that. Don’t give up.” He’s sobbing heavily.
Following day. Both in the lobby. Charlize Theron wearing sunglasses while Keith’s eyes are quite red from sobbing all night as well as drinking.
Hotel Clerk: “I’m sorry that you decided to check out so early, Ms. Theron.”
Charlize Theron: “It probably wasn’t one of my better impulsive moves. But what is, right?”
Both in Charlize Theron’s limo on the way back home to LA. There’s a demure silence between the two.
Charlize Theron: “Keith, I’m really sorry to have dragged you away from your job.”
Keith: “No, I think I was going to get fired anyway.”
Charlize Theron: “Either way, I shouldn’t have done this. I hope I didn’t hurt you in anyway.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, I was feeling a bit guilty. Honestly, I have to drop something off at my place before I can send you to your home. Is that okay?”
Keith: “Sure.” Gets a phone call. It’s from his advisor at his office. “Fuck.”
Charlize Theron: Pulling the phone away from him.
Keith: “Hey, what are you doing?”
Charlize Theron: Answering the phone for Keith. “Hello? Who is this? Richard? Well, Keith says fuck you. Hahahahahaha. Who am I? I’m his real lover in life. Charlize Theron Theron. Don’t believe me?” Hangs up the phone, then pulls Keith close to her, kisses him on the cheek and photos them together. Afterwards, she sends Richard the image.
Keith: “What the- Are you crazy?”
Charlize Theron: Tossing his phone back. “Maybe a little.”
Keith: “That guy is not going to find this humorous.”
Charlize Theron: “I hope he takes it seriously. Because I’m sick of people like that harassing you for no good apparent reason. You’re obviously overworked and deserve better.”
Keith: “This is not going to end well. This is not going to end well…”
Charlize Theron: “Keith, I don’t know what strings they hold over you but I’ll protect you. I swear. I don’t know what they’ll try to do to you which causes you so much fear. But I’ll make sure to help you no matter what.”
Charlize Theron: Holds out her pinky and they link up.
At Charlize Theron’s place. Both approaching the reasonably spacious home. Once again Keith in awe at the huge difference in lifestyles. However, to Charlize Theron, there’s something terribly wrong. As they reach the front door, she notices that it’s already opened. Instinctively, Charlize Theron grabs Keith’s hand and starts shivering.
Charlize Theron: “Someone has broken in!”
Both enter her home cautiously. Inside, the place is torn up. Books thrown all around, glass shattered, paintings smashed, trash hewn across the floor. It appears a tornado manifested within and spent several hours engendering chaos.
One immediate thought hits Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron: “Jackson!”
Rushes upstairs with Keith. There’s a small room dedicated to a child. It remains intact except for a note written by Charlize Theron’s mother indicating that she’s taken her child for the weekend since Charlize Theron was supposed to be at the awards show this weekend. Sighing relief, the stress still catches up and makes Charlize Theron weep intensely. Now, it is Keith’s turn to comfort her once again.
Downstairs. There’s a small investigation crew attempting to find fingerprints. However, nothing turns up at this point in time.
Police Officer: “We’ll check back with you in several hours. We did find a few fingerprints possibly but we’ll have to run some scans before we can make any conclusions.”
Charlize Theron: “Are you certain it wasn’t the same people who tried to abduct me before?”
Police Officer: “Nah, your boyfriend here caught them pretty good and they’re all locked up for a while. I seriously doubt there’s an accomplices related to those thugs. In the meantime, we can set up watch if you’d like.”
Charlize Theron: “Let me think about it. It might be overkill for now. But thanks.” Police officers leave.
Keith: “At least, your son and mom are okay.”
Charlize Theron: “Yeah. I can’t think who would do this to me. There’s something I have to ask you.”
Keith: “Sure. Anything.”
Charlize Theron: “Stay over. I know it probably feels creepy here. But if I asked to stay at your place, I don’t want to risk your mom or your home the same destiny.”
A few hours later. Keith hooking up web cameras with long USB3.0 cables to a central router. As he installs the last of them, he turns on a PC in her office and shows a live feed going from each room (except the bathroom) and entries to the PC.
Keith: “There’s a 5 terrabyte drive RAID 5 drive inside so that even the backups have backups. I’ve got us with some facial recognition software so that if anyone besides us are in the inside, an alert can go out to the authorities in a matter of seconds. If you need anyone added, just give me their photos so that I can add them to the facial recognition software. Of course, if someone cuts the power, I’ve got a 2 hour back up generator, wireless internet that I hacked from your neighbors along with tethering so that the network has redundancy. In short, someone would have to pull off something pretty impressive to bypass this system.”
Charlize Theron: “I have no idea what you just said but I trust you.”
Keith: “Considering you gave me a $10k budget, it wasn’t hard to set this up.”
Charlize Theron: “You know, I have to tell you this. If the job thing doesn’t work out, I know several people around here and Beverly Hills who are looking for a real security expert. Sounds like you know your stuff pretty well.”
Keith: “If I had the money, I’d set the same thing up for my house. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time and I architected the software in my free time.”
Charlize Theron: “I know this may sound insincere but I really feel safer with this and you around.”
Keith: “I don’t like guns. I probably can’t even wield a blunt weapon very well.”
Charlize Theron: “They say that just having someone else around will deter people. You’ve created an electronic fortress from what it looks like.”
Keith: “Only can say if this works.”
Charlize Theron: “I’m sure it does. But I don’t want to think about this. What if you show me your games that you play?”
Keith: “It’s pretty boring.”
Charlize Theron: “If you play as much as you claim, then it can’t be that boring.”
Keith: “Trust me. You’ll probably fall asleep in 2 minutes.”
Keith loads up World of Warcraft on her computer. He starts off from Dalaran. With the speakers plugged into the home’s surround sound audio system, there’s a pervasive feeling of the game. She watches intently as he jumps off with his majestic dragon mount into the Crystaline Forest and flies through the beautifully constructed scenery, passing by the cold arctic lands of Northrend, then returning to Azeroth and showing her spots like the plains of Mulgore, the expansive caverns of Deepholme.
Next scene shows the pair playing side by side while leveling new toons. At one point, Charlize Theron’s blood elf priestess nearly gets slain by a beast, but Keith’s massive tauren paladin rushes to absorb all the blows of the beast then killing it with the Avengers Shield ability.
The camera switches from their faces to their toons faces, except using their voices. Her blood elf starring at the beauty and vastness of the virtual world.
Charlize Theron: “Can you do the flying thing?”
Keith: “Not on this guy. But I’ll bring my main out.”
He takes out his powerful Tauren Paladin, the mispelled Girafetoe and loads up the rocket mount. She hops aboard and the pair coast throughout the entire realm of Azeroth.
Charlize Theron: “It’s no wonder why you play so much. There’s so much to do and see. And it’s fun!”
Charlize Theron: “Some of my actress friends tried to convince me to start. But after seeing that South Park episode, I got a little scared. But I think there’s more to it.”
Keith: “Actually, quite a number of famous people play World of Warcraft, including Robin Williams, Vin Diesel, Mila Kunis, Jimmy Kimmel and of course the vocalist for Cannibal Corpse.”
Charlize Theron: “It seems as though there’s a lot more geeks these days.”
Keith: “It’s crazy to me. Before I was one of the few people who owned a computer. Suddenly, the internet and console games come around and I’m not the one around doing this anymore. Yet despite how long I’ve done this, I don’t get an ounce of credit. Not that I care, but people get all shocked when they hear someone like Vin Diesel being an AD&D nerd. They look at me when I do that and it’s assumed that’s whom I am.”
Charlize Theron: “There’s more to you though. And you don’t give yourself enough credit.”
Keith: “It just feels that I’m still fighting an upstream battle. And quite frankly, I’m really tired.”
Charlize Theron: “Hey, I know what you can do to get more energy.”
Next scene showing Charlize Theron and Keith in her entertainment room with the Wii Fit hooked up. Both are doing virtual sports like table tennis. Charlize Theron proves to be quite an expert while Keith has problems keeping up. Eventually, Keith collapses on Charlize Theron’s sofa.
Keith: “Okay, enough!” Hyperventilating.
Charlize Theron: “We’ve only been going for 10 minutes.”
Keith: “I’m in terrible condition.”
Charlize Theron: “I can see that.” Feeling concerned as Keith starts to sweat profusely. “Do you want some water?”
Keith: “No, just let me lay here.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, don’t die on me. I need you to protect me.” Wets a towel then places it on his forehead. “That better?”
Keith: “Yeah. Just haven’t exercised in a while.”
Charlize Theron: “That’s not good.”
Keith: “I used to be into the gym. I’d work out for 3 hours. Do 2 hour full body lifts. 1 hour of cardio.”
Charlize Theron: Rubbing his shoulders. “I can tell you have some muscle. You should go back.”
Keith: “Maybe. I just lost motivation.”
Charlize Theron: “Since you’re here and I need a partner at the gym, why don’t you come with me? Maybe we can both get to an hour.” Massaging his shoulders. “Then afterwards, we can cheat a bit and grab some fast food.”
At an Equinox. Keith setting up an elliptical. He uses the lowest resistance and incline. Pumps up the volume on his iPod Nano to the tracks of heavy metal before starting. Charlize Theron goes to a treadmill, taking it easy as well. Soon Jennifer joins her.
Jennifer: “You made it after the incessant phone calls and hints that you apparently trashed in your mailbox that I’ve been sending you for years.”
Charlize Theron: “I figure you have to start somewhere.”
Jennifer: Poking Charlize Theron’s side. “Good thing sooner than later.” Gawks as she spots Keith starting to get into a groove with his tunes. “Is that geek boy? So you brought your pet to this sacred shrine?”
Charlize Theron: “He’s not a pet. He’s a very good friend.”
Jennifer: “Wow, you upgraded him.”
Charlize Theron: “I never attempted to belittle him the way you and the media seem to have.”
Jennifer: “No, no, no! I’m not ridiculing him. I think it’s extremely cute, especially after that fiasco in Vegas. So does he have a private room at your place? Does your mother know?”
Charlize Theron: “What? My place got broken into during the weekend. It’s actually comforting having someone reliable around to set up some security measures. I have to thank him for all the trouble he’s gone through to help me.”
Jennifer: “Ah, now a watch dog too.”
Charlize Theron: Rolling her eyes. “What’s your point?”
Jennifer: “I’m just trying to look out for you.”
Charlize Theron: “Didn’t you just hear me? My place was vandalized. All you seem to be obsessed with is my connection to him.”
Jennifer: “I’m sorry. Perhaps, it was a jealous fan who got wind of your love life.”
Charlize Theron: “If that were the case, that should’ve happened while I was with Michael Fassbender.” Something clicking in her head. “That bastard.”
Jennifer: “You believe it was him?”
Charlize Theron: “He’s the only one with the keys to the place. Well, I had the police investigate us earlier. It might take sometime before we hear anything. Either way, I’m not sticking at my place by myself. But I can’t put a restraining order until some proof comes in.”
Jennifer: “Hire some security for your place.”
Charlize Theron: Pausing her machine. “I really don’t want this to become a big deal.”
Jennifer: “You’re right. There’s a lot of expectations on you now. This can totally sink your career being with him.”
Charlize Theron: “How so? He’s just a friend.”
Jennifer: “You know that’s not how things go. Once the rumor mill starts flying things will blow out of proportion. Then you’ll be forced to engage him. When that happens all your geeky little fanbase will go poof! Movies will slump. And you might have to get into television. But that might not work out once they see what a ratings killer you’ve become.”
Charlize Theron: “Stop it. Now, you’re blowing this out of proportion.”
Jennifer: “Maybe. But what are you going to do? Let’s say Disney happens for you and you two get together, make love in the night, go on a honeymoon and the world seems like it’s yours. Suddenly, you’re out of work again. You’re going to rely on that guy to keep you around? I bet once his relatives and friends find out, they’ll come to your doorstep and sniff out every remaining cent you have until you’re living with him in some garbage can.”
Charlize Theron: “You’re really a horrible person, you know that?”
Jennifer: “Hey, I’m just showing you reality. But does he know you’re just friends? Is he comfortable with that? What happens when you do become busy again? This isn’t just some high school flirt. For him, this is the biggest thing ever in his life. The more you continue to pull his strings and not deliver, the bigger the explosion that’s going to hit ground zero. And it will. Do him and yourself and perhaps Michael Fassbender a favor and just end it now. Take him home, even pay him say a few grand. But you have to let him know soon or you’re going to face serious issues.”
Charlize Theron: “I know what I’m going to do.” Turns up the level on Jennifer’s treadmill to the point where Jennifer can barely keep up. “Entertain myself.” Jennifer falls off and crashes into a guy carrying numerous towels. Angered, she hurls a towel at the guy.
At Charlize Theron’s home. Table is littered with a giant KFC bucket, half empty mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits strewn about. On Charlize Theron’s couch, Keith and Charlize Theron sitting at opposite ends, digesting their food.
Keith: “Oh, god. I feel awful.”
Charlize Theron: “But damn that was so good. I haven’t had stuff like that in years. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ll do a patrol if a get the craving now and then. Then my fitness trainer will scold me.” Watching Keith quietly falling asleep on her couch. “Hey, no doing that here. Let’s watch a movie.” Scans the channels eventually encountering Terminator 2.
Keith: “Man, I haven’t seen this in a long time. You know that Linda Hamilton refused to work on the 3rd one because she claimed it was soulless. Ironically, I came up with the baseline for a script back in college that I thought could be decent.”
Charlize Theron: “Really? Didn’t know you wrote.”
Keith: “Always wanted to write. I got into tech because it paid and let me travel to Japan. But tech took all my personal time away from me. Then with all the Googles, Facebooks, etc. and having a few friends start their own things, I decided I wanted to be like that. Of course, my timing was always off and nothing ever took off that I made. So I think I just ended up wasting a ton of time rather than focusing on what I really wanted.”
Charlize Theron: “Hopefully, you’ll get your break one day. Also, I’d really like to read that script sometime.”
Keith: “It was never done. But I have other things I could share with you.”
Charlize Theron: “I’d really like that.” Outside, it’s starting to rain. Charlize Theron shivers on her side. “Mind if you fetch my blanket and pillow? They’re in the corner over there.”
Keith complies as Charlize Theron watches the scene where Linda Hamilton’s character explains how the Terminator ironically was the perfect surrogate father for John Conner. The speech resonates with Charlize Theron as Keith returns, neatly unraveling the blankets around Charlize Theron and carefully placing the pillow behind her head. She murmurs to him a silent thank you before he sits on the opposite side of the couch. In his skimpy shorts and t-shirt, clutching his giraffe, Keith freezes with the high ceiling enabling an open window to bring forth some strong gust.
Charlize Theron: “Keith, you shouldn’t be over there cold like that.”
Keith: “I just have to adjust. I’m use to it in my home. It’s always cold when it becomes winter.”
Charlize Theron: “You’re not in your home. You’re in my home now. And I’m far too lazy to go figure out how to turn on the damn heating here.”
Keith: “I couldn’t find more blankets.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, they’re upstairs or in the wash. But that’s too much hassle.”
Keith: “I could look for that sports coat you got me.”
Charlize Theron: Amazed at his lack of comprehension. “Why don’t you come over here? My feet are cold.” Keith hesitates unable to calculate her intention and his next move. “Come here!” Keith wearily scoots over. She opens up the blanket and beckons him inside. Finally, Keith obliges still having some distance. “My feet are still cold.”
Keith: “Mine aren’t much better.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, maybe if we rub them together, we can start a fire on the floor.” Keith chuckles unable to read her. Slowly, he places his feet over hers. It’s icy.
Keith: “Geeze, your feet are freezing!”
Charlize Theron: “Told ya. If we wrap these blankets around us nice and tight, then we won’t have to put any effort into closing the windows and turning on the heater.” Keith gulps and allows her to do all the work. Her hand moves south. Keith tries to not pay attention, keeping focused on the movie instead. We get to a scene where there’s an explosion. As if anticipating the explosion, Charlize Theron let’s out a loud one then cups her hands in front of Keith’s nose. Keith gags and tries to flee the blankets but she stops him. “Rules are if you leave you won’t be allowed to come back in.”
Keith: Holding his breath and wafting at his nose before he takes a test breath to ensure that the air is partly clean. “You are one sick fuck.”
Charlize Theron: Starts laughing and both start laughing out of their minds.
In the morning, Keith and Charlize Theron still lying under the covers on the couch. TV still on in the background. Keith’s little giraffe tucked between them. Gradually, Charlize Theron being the first to awaken, hearing a creaking sound from the entrance of her home. Cautiously, she exits the blankets, making sure not to wake Keith. Finds a kitchen knife and approaches the entrance, hovering against the wall in case someone bursts from another direction. The door to the front is open so she locks it immediately. As she does so, she finds that a note has been taped to the wall.
Pulls off the note and reads it: “Don’t make me hurt you because you’re hurting me.” Crumbles the letter up and starts crying.
Upstairs in her office where the computer is setup. Keith and Charlize Theron observing the recordings of the previous night. Spots a masculine figure entering and spying on them early in the morning while they were resting. The figure is cowled with a hood and in darkness such that a vague outline can be made out.
Keith: “I’m sorry I didn’t have the budget for infrared.”
Charlize Theron: “I already know whom that is. But I can’t do anything without proof.”
Keith: “Why not hire some professional security for a while?”
Charlize Theron: “It’s more complex than that. It’s Michael Fassbender Fassbender. I don’t want to get him in trouble.”
Keith: “Then talk to him on the phone and explain things.”
Charlize Theron: “Honestly, I don’t know what to explain. I’m really confused right now. I’m going to tell my mom to watch over Jackson in the meantime.”
Keith: “What will you do?”
Charlize Theron: “I need some time to think. And space. But right now even if I know him, I feel violated. This is far worse than being kidnapped by those muggers.”
Keith: “Can I help in anyway?”
Charlize Theron: “Honestly, I’m very scared for you. He’s been so erratic lately and he has a huge ego. He can just go to your home and bust you up if he found out where you lived.”
Keith: “What about my mom then? Or your mom?”
Charlize Theron: “He’s not the kind of person who’ll go after other people. He likes to confront things directly.”
Keith:” I’m sorry if I’m being a burden and causing you all these hardships.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s not your fault. Things weren’t go so well. He’s always has to be in control and when a little thing doesn’t fit perfectly into his alignment, he gets unhinged. But I definitely don’t think it’s safe to stay here for now, even with all the security cameras you set up.”
Keith: “Where can you go?”
Charlize Theron: Smiling as an idea pops into her head. “Is your passport still good?”
Next scene shows a JAL airliner from the window of the International section of LAX. Keith and Charlize Theron are waiting by the window. Keith is dressed in his usual LA casual attire, but Charlize Theron is completely dressed down, looking like a college freshman, wearing some fugly thick glasses, bad hair and a hoodie. One Japanese man approaches them.
Japanese Man: “You Charlize Theron?”
Charlize Theron: “What? I have no idea whom you’re talking about.”
Japanese Man: “The Evil Queen. Very beautiful in that movie.”
Charlize Theron: “I don’t watch movies. I’m just a gamer geek girl.”
Japanese Man: “Ehhhhh???”
Charlize Theron: “Can’t girls play games like World of Warcraft and Diablo 3?”
Japanese Man: “No way! You two famous otaku couple.”
Charlize Theron: “That’s the only thing you said right. We’re just a simple couple going on our honeymoon.” Keith taking a cue from her.
Keith: “Yeah, just did our final raid progression the other day, beating Deathwing 25man heroic. It was great! Got world first achievement!”
Japanese Man: “What the hell you stupid geek talking about?” Starts grumbling in Japanese as he walks away.
Keith: Whispering to her. “Good thing you’re a great actress.”
Charlize Theron: “Hey, that wasn’t bad on the spot move you put out.”
Boarding starts and the pair immediately get in line as Charlize Theron has booked platinum class. The Japanese man is still suspicious as both manage to slip in. The crew give Charlize Theron a very polite bow, making the Japanese man spew numerous curse words in Japanese.
Charlize Theron and Keith essentially get front row seats. It’s completely dedicated for them.
Keith: “My god.”
Charlize Theron: “The only way to travel.”
Keith: “You must’ve spent a fortune.”
Charlize Theron: “Not really considering that I get the best tour guide of Tokyo for free.”
Scene shows both leaving the gateway. Some people in the crowd grow suspicious once they see her. However, she quickly snatches Keith’s hand. One look at their appearance together drowns out the attention on them and they manage to slip through to the Airport Limousine Bus heading for the Tokyo Midtown Project.
At the Tokyo Midtown Project. Both entering the Ritz Carlton, a place Keith is actually somewhat acquainted with as he had lived nearby previously. After checking in and dropping off their stuff, both leave the lobby only to be greeted by Norika Fujiwara. Norika Fujiwara warmly rushes to greet her with a professional greeting kiss and both exchange pleasantries while Keith stares in awe that two of his favorite celebrities are right before him.
Charlize Theron: “How did you know?”
Norika Fujiwara: “Rumors circulate around this city fast.”
Charlize Theron: “So my disguise didn’t really help?”
Norika Fujiwara: “The people in the know sent the courier pigeons out the second you got to LAX. But you’ve been in the news a lot.”
Charlize Theron: “Not really. I mean, no work for a few months from what I can tell.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Not that. The whole rape thing.”
Charlize Theron: “What? Are people talking about that here too?”
Norika Fujiwara: “Lot of people have been concerned over your Char-chan. When we heard what happened, we were very thankful that you ended up being safe. The weight lifter must be a real hunk.”
Charlize Theron: “There’s no weight lifter.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Ehhh? We saw the picture! Some say that it was Schwarzenegger himself after he left his job in Sacramento.”
Charlize Theron: “My god that story just has been blown out of proportion. Hey, we’re pretty hungry. Maybe we can grab a bite to eat?”
Norika Fujiwara: “Of course! Anything for Char-chan in this country. I’ll be your host.” Starts walking and Keith follows. “Who’s this?”
Charlize Theron: “That’s him.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Who?”
Charlize Theron: “That’s the weight lifter.”
Norika Fujiwara: Shocked. “Ehhhhh!?!?! He’s he’s he’s—-” Whispering into Charlize Theron’s ear. “Otaku.”
Charlize Theron: “Huh?”
Norika Fujiwara: “Nerd. Geek. He has otaku-shu. I mean, I can smell him from here.”
Charlize Theron: “You shouldn’t say something like that. He’s actually a really nice-”
Norika Fujiwara: “Just leave him here at the hotel. We should talk privately about things. Especially, if this is the hero.” Just as she rushes Charlize Theron along towards the exit, a large crate tips over from the above just over them. Keith spots this from his vantage point and tackles Norika Fujiwara and Charlize Theron just as the crate lands and explodes.
As they get up, Norika Fujiwara stares in amazement at Keith.
At a fusion restaurant in Roppongi Hills. The three having a mixture of flavors from Italian, to French to Japanese and some Chinese mixed in.
Norika Fujiwara: “I wanted to take you to this organic place but it’s pretty packed now.”
Charlize Theron: “Honestly, I couldn’t take another organic place. It’s been making me batty. Actually, we’ve been hitting the fast places recently.”
Norika Fujiwara: “But that’s not good for your health. You must watch what you eat or you’ll get diabetes.”
Charlize Theron: Feeling out her stomach. “Well, I’m on vacation let’s just say for the moment.”
Norika Fujiwara: “What? That’s not good for you.”
Charlize Theron: “Just being a rabbit isn’t either. Truthfully, it’s been great just eating what I want.”
Norika Fujiwara: Noticing the large remaining portions. “Keith, you should help us. This is too much for us women.”
Keith: “I’m really full and tired from jetlag.”
Norika Fujiwara: “I see.” Shrugging as she watches Charlize Theron gorge herself on pasta and a pizza, then following suit.
Charlize Theron: “You have a profound influence on us women, Keith.”
Keith: “I’ve done nothing. I just have been sitting here being me.”
Charlize Theron: “Maybe that’s it.”
Norika Fujiwara: “So Keith, why did you not learn Japanese?”
Keith: “I did. Took it in college.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Yes, but you don’t speak with me.”
Keith: “I’m not really good. Didn’t grow up with it at home. Parents never spoke. Never realized how American I was until I came here. Didn’t need it over there. I think I wasn’t forced to go to school like my other friends because my parents weren’t 1st generation. Mom’s family was in the intern camps. They got ridiculed back in the day. I remember one time growing up, this group in my neighborhood liked bullying me. I was never the biggest kid around so it was easy to take advantage of me. One guy came up to me and called me a stupid fucking Jap then spat in my eyes.”
Charlize Theron: “Keith, I didn’t know. I’m sorry. Those types of people are disappearing.”
Keith: “And growing too. Things like that never truly go away. They just change because people suck and just have mean tendencies.” The point being exceptionally salient causing both women to halt their feasting.
Norika Fujiwara: “I’m sorry too if I caused you bad memories. But you can still try.”
Keith: “Don’t see a point anymore. My life here is over that’s for certain. I just had to move on.” Stomach feeling strange. “Excuse me for a moment.” Leaves for the restroom.
Inside the men’s restroom. Keith doing his business. Having drunk a fair amount, he takes some time. However, he finds a familiar face.
Jack: “Hello Keith.”
Keith: “What the hell are you doing here?”
Jack: “Urinating of course.” Keith becoming annoyed. “My job.”
Keith: “How long have you followed us?”
Jack: “Does it matter?”
Keith: “Yes! You’re obviously violating our privacy.”
Jack: “You’re not in America.”
Keith: “And that gives you less rights in some cases. Either way, I told you before that whatever you have in mind, I have no interest in partaking in. And even less now that you revealed that you’ve stalked me across the globe.”
Jack: “I’m genuinely concerned about your state. That’s all.”
Keith: “I’m doing fine. Why would you interfere in a situation where I’m finally getting a chance to meet my idol as well as being with someone who’s nice to me?”
Jack: “Because you’re in an even more vulnerable spot than you can imagine.”
Keith: “How so?”
Jack: “I can’t give you all the details but look at things. You lost your job, you’re with a shotgun of a woman who just upped you without consideration for your situation. You’re in over your head but you can’t see just how bad it’s getting for you.”
Keith: “You listen to me. For once in my life, I’m enjoying myself. Do you understand what that means? I’ve never had a real happy day in my entire life. This is the first time where things are starting to pick up for me. I don’t know where this is going to go, but I don’t want some stinky newspaper rat to inject silly ideas into me.”
Jack: “I’m trying to protect you. If you grant me an hour just to listen to my proposal, I’ll convince you that you can get all that you ever dreamed of and more.”
Keith: Recollecting memories. “I know what this is. You’re like that guy I met in that shady backpackers inn I stayed when I first came here. He made me an offer back then too. You’re the devil.”
Jack: Laughing. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. But let me ask you this. I assume you rejected his offer. How has life been since?”
Keith: “Right now, it’s great. So I’m going to do what I did years ago. I’m going to ask you to go away finally.”
Jack: Putting down another business card. “Fine. I want to say this though. I really am on your side. I don’t know what it’s going to take to convince you. But I do know this. The next time we meet, it won’t be because I came to you.” Leaves. Keith pondering over the card.
At the dinner table. Both women enjoying a cup of coffee while waiting for Keith to return.
Norika Fujiwara: “Sorry for speaking bad about Keith earlier, but he is otaku, no?”
Charlize Theron: Nodding. “He’s a geek. Sure.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Does that not bother you?”
Charlize Theron: “I was a geek at one time. Had glasses my mom bought me in high school. No one would talk to me. No boyfriends but I was madly in love with so many guys. So I can see how he might feel.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Oh, I did not know that. He seems like he has a good heart. But are you….”
Charlize Theron: “We’re friends, yes.”
Norika Fujiwara: “You know what I mean.”
Charlize Theron: Sighing. “I really wish people would stop asking me that question.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Why is it so hard to answer?”
Charlize Theron: “Because it is. Because I don’t know myself. He’s really sweet, he saved my life twice, has done so much for me, he listens to me, doesn’t mind my idiosyncrasies.”
Norika Fujiwara: “But….?”
Charlize Theron: “It’s really difficult. I mean, it hasn’t been that long. I mean, I get it and don’t get it. What would you do?”
Norika Fujiwara: Considering her question for a brief moment. “Probably not much different.”
Charlize Theron: “The funniest thing to me is that he didn’t even realize whom I was when we first met. We just talked for hours almost an entire night and it felt good for once. I didn’t have to be that other person people want me to be. It was like being in school again.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Reminds me of a story a while back that happened here in Japan. It was called Densha Otoko, or the train man. It was about an otaku who saved a young lady on a train. It was really popular. He went from someone who never had a date to a young man that had confidence to tell her how he felt about her.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s amazing that things like that can still happen in our world.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Well, there’s some people who think it was just fiction. But if it wasn’t, don’t you think it’s a good story that people want to hear? Maybe he’s your densha otoko.”
Keith returning to the table. He looks shaken compared to before.
Norika Fujiwara: “You took a while. You do not have poisoning?”
Keith: “No. Line was long.”
Charlize Theron: “That only happens for women’s restrooms.”
Keith: “Also, it’s alcohol. I’m Asian so I have problems sometime.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Oh, I’m Asian and Japanese just like you. But I had more drinks than you.”
Keith: Feeling inadequate. “Well, I’m feeling drowsy still from jetlag.”
Charlize Theron: “Me too. How about this? Let’s meet up tomorrow night and we’ll go out on a night on the town.”
Back in the hotel room. Charlize Theron in her satin pajamas and night robe while Keith just wearing a t-shirt and shorts. There’s an uncomfortable chair that Keith rests in.
Keith: “Thanks for all that you have done for my life. I feel almost complete.”
Charlize Theron: “Why so?”
Keith: “Norika Fujiwara is my favorite actress. I mean, Japanese actress.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s okay if you didn’t know my movies.” Watching him blush.
Keith: “I used to be so obsessed with her. I had pictures on my computer, my cabinets. I’d refresh her blog every day just to see if she wrote anything. I’d go out of my way to download any TV shows she was on. Then one day she got married and I stopped. Of course, she’s divorced now but my original feelings never returned in the same way.”
Charlize Theron: “She said that there was a word used to describe that type of person.”
Keith: “I heard it. Otaku. It means something like an obsessed fan boy. Others call it a nerd.”
Charlize Theron: Observing how the word seems to sting him poignantly. “You know I was a nerd in school too?”
Keith: “How so?”
Charlize Theron: “My mom got me these giant glasses. I was in love with so many athletic guys in school but had no boyfriends. I would try to get into all the cool people societies but who’d want some weirdo girl with glasses sitting next to them. I think if I did that today, I’d be a criminal.”
Keith: “You really don’t seem like the type.”
Charlize Theron: “I just managed to get lucky and worked hard enough to get what I have. That doesn’t change whom I always was.” Pondering something. “Since we’re meeting tomorrow night, why don’t you say to her what you just told me?”
Keith: “No way! She’d think I’m a bigger freak.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s not like you came up to her randomly and started harassing her. You never know if that might be your only chance.”
Keith: “Like I said I don’t feel the same way anymore.” Starting to fall asleep in the chair.
Charlize Theron: Getting into bed. “Keith, I hope you don’t fall asleep there.”
Keith: “It’s okay. That bed looks small.”
Charlize Theron: “It might be Japanese size but it still can fit two comfortably.”
Keith: “I’ll be okay.”
Charlize Theron: Watching him curl up on the chair. “But I won’t. Just come over here. I can’t figure out how to turn on the damn heater in the room. In fact, I think I turned on the air conditioner.”
Keith: Hesitates but merely goes to turn on the heater before crashing on the chair again.
Charlize Theron: “Keith, please. Don’t do this to yourself.”
Keith: “It’s a chair and I’m too lazy to go over.”
Charlize Theron: “No you’re not Keith. You probably used more brain cells and energy turning on the heater than moving here. What’s wrong? Is it because I’m a so-called celebrity? Is that what this is about? What if I was just a rich yoga instructor? Or what if I was just a normal yoga instructor? Would that change things?”
Keith: His eyes grows glossy. “I think it’s better if I sleep now. I can barely keep my eyes open.”
Charlize Theron: Watches him fall asleep. The little giraffe remains tucked in an awkward position next to him. However, she notices that a tear drips down his cheek. Carefully, she repositions the giraffe so it’s lined up straight and lying on his shoulder. She gives the creature a tiny, subtle kiss before pulling a blanket over him, giving up and going to sleep herself. Underneath the cover, Keith can be heard silently sobbing.
Following night in Shibuya. Shows all the famous landmarks in the area including the crossing, train station, Hachiko Koen, Mark City, Shibuya 109 and the back alleys with the ponbiki attempting to grab guys to direct them into their shady parlors. Inside of a taxi, the three cruise around the area, eventually coming to a club. When they leave a huge gasp is let out once everyone realizes that Norika Fujiwara Fujiwara and Charlize Theron Theron are in attendance. Inside, the trio form a close knit group isolated by security guards and the occasional photographer. However, the female pair are oblivious and merely entertain Keith for the duration.
After the club, the trio sit at a late night ramen stand.
Norika Fujiwara: “They call ramen hangover food here in Japan.”
Charlize Theron: “Oh geeze, I can see why. This is just so good.”
As they gulp down the tonkotsu style noodle dish, Keith observes another group sitting near them. One person in particular catches his attention. It’s his old obsession Tomoko Hori. Pretending to be unaware Keith covers his face with one hand. Charlize Theron notices his furtive gesture and grows concerned.
Charlize Theron: “What’s wrong?”
Keith: “That group. I know them.”
Charlize Theron: “Who are they?”
Keith: “Old friends I once knew here.”
Charlize Theron: “So you should go up and say hello.”
Keith: “No! That girl. She’s someone I used to-” Charlize Theron comprehending.
Charlize Theron: “She’s pretty.”
Keith: Whispering into Charlize Theron’s ear. “She got married to that asshole next to her.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Why don’t you congratulate her?”
Keith: “No, I’m not really feeling good.”
Charlize Theron: “You should do something.”
Keith: “I’d rather not.”
Charlize Theron: “If you don’t, here let me-”
Keith: “What are you-”
Charlize Theron turning Keith around to face Tomoko and her party. The entire group is stunned, especially Tomoko. Mutterings going around as the group realizes that they’re near two of the largest celebrities around.
Tomoko: Coming out of her own trance. “Keith?” Keith nodding demurely. “Is that Charlize Theron and Norika Fujiwara?” Keith looking at the pair who grin supportively then shrugs. The entire group burst into an excited commotion. “What, what are you doing with them?”
Charlize Theron: Grabbing Keith’s hand who looks a bit surprised at her abrupt gesture. “We’re lovers.” The entire group gets shocked by the announcement. “You might’ve heard that a brave soul rescued me from being kidnapped. Well, your friend here is that brave soul. What better way to pay someone back then to fall madly in love with him?” As if to demonstrate her point, she takes Keith and gives him a prolonged kiss. There’s something wrong at least for Keith and he senses it. He doesn’t relish the moment and a small tear streaks down his cheek. But he remains silent. “You see, how happy he is? He told me that you two married and was very happy for both of you. That was probably better for him since we were able to become a couple. I mean, he’s a real thoughtful person and it’s a shame you couldn’t have gotten to know him better. Just a fantastic lover in bed too. Very strong and-” Suddenly, Keith takes off running. Charlize Theron follows leaving just Norika Fujiwara to deal with the group.
Friend: “Can we get an autograph at least?”
Behind a building. Keith huddled in a corner weeping. Charlize Theron manages to find him then tries to comfort him.
Charlize Theron: “What’s wrong? Why did you take off?”
Keith: Not looking up at her. “You know why.”
Charlize Theron: “No, I don’t.”
Keith: “If you didn’t know, why did you say those things?”
Charlize Theron: Rubbing his back. “I know how it feels to be in this kind of situation. Remember when I told you I was a nerd back in high school and how I had a crush on this one guy? I got rejected big time.”
Keith: “You still don’t get it.”
Charlize Theron: “I just wanted to cheer you up. I thought it would make you feel good just a little revenge.”
Keith: “It’s not revenge. You said that I’m a good person. I’m not. You know that I prayed on a daily basis that her husband would be shot and killed by a machine gun? That she would have a miscarriage? I was hurt so badly I kept thinking these things. I let myself go and hurt myself. Just playing games, pretending not to care about life anymore, eating junk food, getting fatter, not exercising, not caring about the world. All I wanted to do was try and move on. I didn’t want to go down that path anymore. I wanted to forget completely that life previously existed.”
Charlize Theron: Partly comprehending what Keith is talking about and fully embracing him. “I’m sorry. Everyone has demons inside of them. I think if you didn’t manage to have moved on, you would have just moved on when we met. But you didn’t. You saved me. I really hope that some day you’ll realize that’s not something I trivialize.”
Outside the hotel. Norika Fujiwara escorting the pair back in the cab. Just before leaving, Norika Fujiwara leaves them a message.
Norika Fujiwara: “Let’s meet up tomorrow. Maybe we can visit Asakusa.”
Upstairs in the hotel room. Keith once again falling asleep on the chair. Getting upset, Charlize Theron grabs him and drags into bed.
Charlize Theron: “I don’t like seeing you sleep like that. It’s just uncomfortable and I don’t you to sue me if you end up with some odd injury.”
Keith: “I won’t.”
Charlize Theron: Sitting down next to him in her robe and pajamas. “Hey, I’m really sorry about tonight. It wasn’t right of me to bud into your business like that.”
Keith: “They would’ve noticed eventually. I mean, how could people in a town like this ever miss two of the world’s hottest and most recognized women?”
Charlize Theron: “You’re really sweet, you realize?”
Keith: “And you probably don’t know that I can be a selfish jerk too. To be honest, I wished for far worse on Norika Fujiwara’s husband at the time. I was so obsessed. I used to go to shrines like the one we’ll be going to tomorrow, wanting a construction crane to fall on the guy and turn him into a quadriplegic. But that’s why I’m single I guess.”
Charlize Theron: “No, I think you’re just hurt and haven’t found something to mend your heart. But if that were to happen, your potential would be endless.” Considering something for a second. “I know we talked about this last night, but you should really just say what you’ve told me to Norika Fujiwara. Maybe if you moderate how you say it, she’d appreciate it.”
Keith: “It’s quite clear our lives our different. She rightfully called me an otaku. That’s what I am. I mean, what could I contribute to her life? I just play games and feel sorry for myself all day long. She’s dynamic, beautiful, does wonderful things for charity. I have no interests in the world or about helping others. I’m just ugly, fat, wear glasses, think bad thoughts all the time, have no class-”
Charlize Theron: “I really don’t believe any of that for one second. There’s more to you than you give yourself credit for.”
Keith: “If that were true at one point, then I would say that person is long dead.” Turns over and goes to sleep. However, Charlize Theron feels sympathy and decides to enter bed next to him, watching over him carefully. Her iPad buzzes though and she begins reading through various messages. One message catches her attention. It’s from her agent. She curses at herself and writes up a quick reply. Afterwards, she decides to revert to her nerd-like days and starts looking Keith up on the internet to see if there’s anything on him at all. Surprisingly, she finds his blog site which is quite evident that it’s indeed him. She reads through long entries and begins gaining new insight into him.
Next day at the Asakusa shrine. It’s quite early with few tourists, leaving the area fairly open. Charlize Theron eagerly absorbs the cultural flavors in the air with the smell of roasted chest nuts, senbei, the occasional gong from the temple, the occasional school children pack. Some of the residents nonchalantly examining Charlize Theron.
Norika Fujiwara: “This is more like traditional Japan.”
Keith: “It’s an interesting area. I used to live a few stations away near Kita-senju. Once in a while, I would take a small weekend trip here and visit the temple to say a prayer.” Charlize Theron observing him carefully. “Not for that. Just wishing good luck back when I was working for a finance company here. I really liked it and probably was one of the better times of my life. Except for the Keisei-sen which I could hear all the time especially late at night and in the morning next to my window.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Keith-san, you live here for a while. 5 years, right? You could not find girlfriend?”
Keith: “Well, there were girls I liked. But they never liked me back. I’d spend a lot of money but no return.”
Charlize Theron: “I could sympathize with that. Except for the money spending part.”
Keith: “I’d obsess over something and just can’t let go. Until it’s too late. As you would say otaku.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Ah, the true meaning. People in America might say nerd. But here in Japan we call that otaku. It means like home. But it means big fan. Not just games but anything.”
Keith: “Yeah, I’m that way. Games, Lego, giraffes, guitar.”
Charlize Theron: “Pretty girls I assume.”
Keith: Embarrassed. “I was really into the idol scene here. Geinojin or stars. If I liked someone, I’d research that person to death. It’s partly how I managed to teach myself Japanese. Or at least motivate myself into learning. Figure out how to read their names then find them on Google or Wikipedia. Look for them at their agencies, blogs and any possible events.”
Norika Fujiwara: “I am impressed by your commitment.”
Keith: “I think if I spent more time doing useful things or at least trying to find a real girlfriend maybe my life wouldn’t be so screwed up.”
Charlize Theron: Looking at her watch. “Oh shit. I just remembered. I have to call my agent. Got a message last night. Might take me a while.”
Norika Fujiwara: “That’s fine. How about we get coffee, Keith?”
At a Starbucks.
Norika Fujiwara: “I’m glad to have this chat with you.”
Keith: “Well, you don’t know what a privilege it is to even meet you.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Ah. Cha-chan did tell me about that.” Keith blushing as she giggles. “Don’t worry. She was discrete. Do you still find me attractive?”
Norika Fujiwara: “Thank you! I find it hard to imagine that you could like anyone else besides Cha-chan.”
Keith: “What do you mean?”
Norika Fujiwara: “It’s obvious! But I know how you feel when you ran. Every time you look at her, every time she even touches you, I feel an explosion come from you. Bakuhatsu, you know right?” Makes a gesture like a comet hitting the earth. “Even she knows she was very lucky to meet you.”
Keith: “What am I supposed to do? She’s got everything looks, money, fame, adoration from everyone. I’m just a fat, ugly nerd who was at the right place and right time. Any schmuck on the street would’ve done the same.”
Norika Fujiwara: “You don’t know that. You’ll never know that. But what you do know or what you should know is that you did it. You have her here and that’s what makes you special.” Something occurring to her. “That girl we met last night. You liked her at one point. What happened?”
Keith: “We knew each other from a mutual friend. She wanted me to help her learn English so I started helping her out. I think she had just broken up with her boyfriend at the time and I managed to catch her on the phone one night. We talked for a while about plans and life. I told her that I felt she was really beautiful, intelligent and had a lot going on for her. It probably boosted her confidence a lot in her. So we started seeing each other. Mind you, I’m not the type of person that ever would know what a date is so I can’t say if we were dating or not. But I tried seeing her as much as possible. Then I found out that she was going to New York for work. Around that time, my mom was sickly so I decided to return to California. I thought hey, maybe everything will finally work out for once. We’ll both be in the states and she would occasionally have work in LA. That would give us a chance to see each other. We got a few chances to hang out. But around that time, I was working too much and doing long hours. I always was tired and the commute was killing me to the point where I would just go to work and sleep. I must’ve gained some weight around that time because she commented the last time we saw each other on that. We hung out that night and went shopping, to the beach, etc. Eventually, I just was knocked out on some couch while she was shopping. Later that evening, I took her back to her hotel. That was the last time I saw her.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Maybe she was waiting for you to make that move.”
Keith: “Yeah, well what can you do?”
Norika Fujiwara: “You could make that move this time! Don’t let her get away.”
Keith: “I don’t make moves. Last time I made a move the girl shook her head and I told her sayonara.”
Norika Fujiwara: “You have to try.”
Keith: “No, I don’t. I don’t have to do anything. What rule book says I am legally obligated to do anything here?”
Norika Fujiwara: “How about the law of love?”
Keith: Snorting. “It’s not how things work. Not for me at least.”
Norika Fujiwara: “What if she likes you?”
Keith: “Then maybe she should make the move, no? I mean, we are in a supposed postmodern age, right?”
Norika Fujiwara: Taking his hands as gently as possible. “I know I can’t change a mind like yours. But sometimes you need to give things a chance. Especially yourself.” At that moment, Charlize Theron walks back in.
Charlize Theron: “Sorry guys. I just found out that I need to get back to LA in preparation for a new movie.”
Keith: “Well, that’s great news! I’m really happy for you.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s not a lock. They want me to do a reading and to start looking at the script.”
Keith: “What will it be?”
Charlize Theron: “Some silly sci-fi flick. Hey, sometimes you gotta take what you can get.”
Keith: “Even if it was some B movie, you’d still make the movie worthy of an Oscar.”
Charlize Theron: “Thanks Keith. You always know how to motivate me.”
At the airport near the boarding gate. The trio saying their farewells.
Charlize Theron: “Sorry to have cut this trip short.”
Norika Fujiwara: “No, it’s always a pleasure to have such a magnificent beauty here.” Turning to Keith. “And you promise to look after her?”
Keith: “Well, she’s going to be busy with her new movie. I suppose it all depends on if she has any time.”
Norika Fujiwara: “You should say, ‘Of course, I will look after Cha-chan.’”
Keith: “Of course, I will look after Charlize Theron.”
Norika Fujiwara: “Just to make sure you do, I’m giving you my email address and contact info. You have to report back to me every week. I need to be the first in Japan to hear about her.”
Keith: “My god! Thank you!”
Norika Fujiwara: “And for my dear Cha-chan, I have a small gift for you.” Hands her a translated version of the Densha Otoko the TV series. Both sides bowing then departing.
On the plane in first class.
Charlize Theron: “Thanks for putting up with me on this trip. I know everything was so short.”
Keith: “How can I complain about everything you’ve done for me on this trip?”
Charlize Theron: “Actually, I was hoping that we could’ve received more private time together.”
Keith: “Meeting Norika Fujiwara Fujiwara was like a dream to me though.”
Charlize Theron: “The thing is that you were kind of right. About my schedule coming up. I’m probably not going to have much time to hang out anymore. I wasn’t expecting this so soon. Originally, my manager told me that he wasn’t expecting work for another three months.”
Keith: “I figured something like that could happen or would happen eventually. I mean, it’s not like you’re a drugged out heroin addict screw up that shot someone from a drunken stupor. You just had a little down period. But you’ve done so much with your career and I’m certain this is just another great project that’ll pole vault you further into legendary status.”
Charlize Theron: Almost crying herself. “You’re killing me. You realize that?”
Keith: “Will I get to see you anymore?”
Charlize Theron: “I don’t know. I mean, I hope so. I’ll try to make time. At this stage, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I do to a degree but until I get that script, it could be anything.”
Keith: “All I know is that these past few weeks have been the best times of my life.”
Charlize Theron: “Mine too.” Checking out the movie selection. One is The Purple Rose of Cairo. “Isn’t this one of your favorite movies?”
Charlize Theron: “Let’s watch it.”
Far into the movie. We see the heroine about to run away with the movie actor. As she does so, the husband of the heroine screams at her, “It’s not like the movies. It’s real life out there.”
When she arrives at the theater, she cannot find the actor as he is on the way back to his real life on a plane, leaving her to go back to her routine of watching movies in the theater. By this point, Keith has fallen asleep but Charlize Theron seems concerned over him.
At Keith’s home. Charlize Theron dropping him off.
Keith: “Well, thanks for everything. I guess you’ll see me when you see me.”
Charlize Theron: Trying to keep a light mood. “If I’m in the neighborhood, maybe we can grab some Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut. God knows my trainer is going to have a hissy fit over the past few weeks.”
Keith: “Sounds good.” Awkwardly, he sticks his hand out. But Charlize Theron gives him a light hug.
Charlize Theron: “Don’t break anymore pretty girls’ hearts while I’m away. Okay?”
Keith: Watches as she gets in her limo and zooms away.
Next few weeks shows Keith and Charlize Theron set up in their new situations. Or perhaps you could call it their normal situations with a slight alteration. Keith still at his computer, now jobless, complete with several day old unwashed bedhair, sitting in Orgrimmar just waiting for his queue to pop into LFR. When it does he ends up canceling the queue, focusing his attention on his laptop. He pulls out Norika Fujiwara’s email address and sends a message. There’s a dedicated folder to Norika Fujiwara that’s empty. When he goes to check his sent mail, there’s at least several dozen email messages that read similar to a diary all directed to her.
At a studio. Charlize Theron practicing in her dressing room her latest script. There’s a vim that’s lost from her typically glowing demeanor. She seems to have trouble concentrating on her duties as if something is missing. Pulls out a Twinkie, one of the remaining ones Keith had bought on their trip to Vegas, and is about to consume it. However, one of the staff spots it and quickly disposes of it. Sighing she goes back to her script.
Back at his home. Keith on his laptop chatting with a friend.
Taiga: “Where were you all this time?”
Taiga: “Sweet! You just disappeared like that.”
Keith: “Charlize Theron took me. She got burglarized just before and was scared. So we decided to take a small trip since it felt safer out there than her place.”
Keith: “Yeah. Got to meet Norika Fujiwara Fujiwara there too. I think we’re friends now.”
Taiga: “Bullshit. Where’s your pics?”
Keith: “There was no time to take any. We just partied.”
Taiga: “With your right hand in your pocket?”
Keith: “Come on man. I was there. Stayed at the Ritz Carlton. Flew first class. Actually, we bumped into Tomoko too. Ask her.”
Taiga: “I doubt she does anything anymore. You know she got pregnant?”
Keith: Feeling nauseated then swallowing hard. “It’s okay. I moved on.”
At the audition area. Charlize Theron waiting in a lounge area sipping tea while reading the translated online BBS forum posts. Jennifer steps out.
Jennifer: “Hey Char! What are you doing here?”
Charlize Theron: “My agent got a role. I was surprised because he said he had nothing for the next three months. Then this project landed on his lap.”
Jennifer: “Which spot did you get?”
Charlize Theron: “You know we’re not supposed to talk about it. But I’m surprised you’re here too.”
Jennifer: “Well, my agent contacted me about a role too. It looked enticing so I said what the hell.” Sitting down with her. “How was your adventure in Japan?”
Charlize Theron: “Should I be surprised that you found out? Or anyone for that matter?”
Jennifer: “How long have you been in this business? I assume that your boy toy showed you around and you two had a good time?”
Charlize Theron: “We got intercepted by a friend. That said it was a nice time. Too short.”
Jennifer: “Can’t resist getting back to this right? How did he take your farewell?”
Charlize Theron: “It’s not a farewell.”
Jennifer: “It should be. This little adventure or fantasy or whatever sick tale you have in your head has got to end soon. You know that just like he does. How can you continue like this and not feel remorse or those aspirations to get back into the fold?”
Charlize Theron: “I feel bad all the time. I can have a private life too.”
Jennifer: “No you can’t. It gets cannibalized by everything around us. Think I didn’t know that you stayed at the Ritz Carlton and flew first class? Or how you attempted to poorly disguise yourself? Why not just take economic class? I don’t get you and I don’t think he does either.”
Charlize Theron: “What if I say that I can relate to him on some level? What if I say that people like you read too much into things and that perhaps sometimes a person like myself wants to just give back to the world? I mean does adopting a child from Africa make me against wanting children of my own?”
Jennifer: “Of course, not. But someone is going to get hurt in all of this. Maybe not just a single person. But many people. Our lives and their lives are really different. You can’t just invite them in one day, then kick them out expecting everything to go back to normal. It doesn’t work that way.”
Charlize Theron: “I think it can work. Maybe you’ve been in this business too long and that there are those that have certain viewpoints. You like to think you live in some tower but we’re all part of this world.” Gets up. “I think you’ve filled my head with enough junk already.” Leaves.
Jennifer: “Get it out of your head that you can save the world on your own! Trust me! I tried. It’s not worth it. You’ll find out.”
At a cafe. Charlize Theron watching the TV DVD show Norika Fujiwara gave her on her Macbook Pro. Watches two scenes. One is where Densha invites Aoyama-san to his room and reveals his otaku nature. It’s a hard scene to watch and Charlize Theron finds herself crying. The last part comes where Densha admits his love for Aoyama-san, causing the entire internet cast to cheer simultaneously. Caught up in the fervor, Charlize Theron also emits a sign of celebration. Some people in the cafe observing her demeanor whispering negative remarks on the star’s unexpected personality. Yet she’s oblivious to the crowd around her.
Over at Keith’s home. Keith leaving his room, appearing as though he had just waken up around dusk. Looking at his clock, he notes that it’s 3am in the morning. Groggily, he gets up as he hears a disturbance coming from his living room. Hears the TV is still on and decides to go shut it off. He’s surprised to see his mom lying on the couch like a zombie yet still awake while watching some stupid Sci-Fi channel semi-horror.
Keith: “What’s going on? It’s 3am. Shouldn’t you be asleep?” His mom shrugs. “Are you okay?”
Keith: “What happened?”
Mom: “My agency cut me to part time and they’re canceling my benefits.”
Keith: Growing pale not sure how to fathom the news.
At her home in Beverly Hills. Charlize Theron reading the Densha Otoko book. Receives a message on her mobile. Checks it out. It’s from her agency.
“Sorry. The role went out to someone else.”
Discouraged, Charlize Theron doesn’t even bother replying. Another incoming message. It’s from Jennifer.
“Hey! I got it! The role for Eileen in that movie!”
Contemplates avoiding a reply. But sends her one anyway.
Keith at the super market. It’s noticeably approaching the holiday season with all the Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations. Keith picks up the cheapest items he can find and has a large coupon stack. Goes to the frozen food section and picks up numerous Hungry Man turkey dinners. In the junk food section, he purchases several Dolly Madison apple pies.
At Charlize Theron’s home. Charlize Theron cleaning up, taking out the trash. Goes to fetch the mail. Finds a letter from her mom. Reads it.
“Charlize Theron. I decided to stay with your aunt in Johannesburg. I wasn’t sure when you would be finished with your shooting and am keeping Jackson here with me for a little bit. I was worried after your scare at your home that he wouldn’t be safe. Sorry, I won’t be able to see you this year for the holidays. Love mom.”
Checks her watch out. The following day is Thanksgiving and she completely forgot about the date from her recent preparation.
At Keith’s home. Keith finishing up an Act 3 Inferno Diablo 3 run. Watches as the clock hits 6pm. Pauses the game and decides to make dinner.
In the kitchen. Kitchen scrounging his freezer for the Hungry Man TV Dinners. Door bell rings. Keith goes to answer the door. It’s Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron: Attempting to find words. “I got a little hungry and wanted to see if you want to have some dinner.”
Keith: “You know it’s Thanksgiving. Don’t you have a party to be at or at least your family?”
Charlize Theron: Feeling as though a bullet pierced her heart. “No. But if I did I’d invite you.”
Back in the kitchen. Keith reading the preparation instructions for the frozen entrees. Charlize Theron getting off her cell phone.
Charlize Theron: “Every restaurant in town is booked.”
Keith: “Usually, a few days in advance if it’s a decent place. Could try Chinese later at night.”
Charlize Theron: Pondering the situation. “You know, screw tradition. Let’s have this and have our own little celebration.”
In the dark family room. The three eating the TV dinners.
Keith: “I’m glad I bought extras.”
Charlize Theron: “I know you don’t cook much but why not just make some reservations?”
Keith: “I don’t have a job. I gotta be careful how I spend. And my mom got her hours cut. So this might be the best for us.”
Charlize Theron: Looking at his mom who remains silent and zombie-like the entire time. “Hey, maybe it’s Thanksgiving night. But I can get the best Thanksgiving dinner in town still. It won’t be tonight. We can do it tomorrow or the following night.” Keith’s mom absently nodding her appreciation.
In the living room. Keith’s mom leaving the pair to watch the TV in private. Both are eating the apple pies he picked up at the market.
Charlize Theron: “Your mom seems nice. But she’s so quiet.”
Keith: “Her life has never been all that great. Grew up in postwar America. Family was dirt poor. Three sisters and two brothers where she was the oldest and had to take care of everyone. Then having a lot of problems here my father, who was a coke addict, heavy smoker, alcoholic and just failure as a human. Nice guy but just all types of vices. Then a few years ago, he had a major stroke and was put in a nursing home. That’s when I was in Japan and found out. Family changed. Mom hardly spoke when I got back. Found out she was taking blood pressure medicine for a while. Not sure if it was the medicine or my dad’s condition that changed her. She had gotten frustrated just before his stroke since he was doing nothing and told him to drop dead one day. I guess he tried to oblige her. Later he passed away and I suspect that my mom felt guilt ever since. Then recently she got her hours cut and lost her benefits.”
Charlize Theron: “You should do something for her if she’s on blood pressure medicine. You can’t just stop taking that stuff.”
Keith: “What can I do? I’ve been trying to get a new job. No recruiter is talking to me. When I was working, a day wouldn’t pass by without an email or phone call. Now, I put my resume out and I receive nothing.”
Charlize Theron: “I know it’s all my fault. I probably shouldn’t have cost you your job and yelled at that person.”
Keith: “I think I was going to be fired anyway. It just was a matter of time.”
Charlize Theron: “Keith, I’m going to make this up to you. Somehow. I don’t know what. I’ll figure something out. You shouldn’t be living like this.”
Keith: “You look down upon me.”
Charlize Theron: “No I don’t.”
Keith: “You just said so. What if I said I don’t mind this?”
Charlize Theron: “You’re hurting. I can tell. I’m telling you though. I’ll make it up to you.” Flipping channels. Swimming with Sharks Comes on. “Oh man! Kevin Spacey looks so young here!”
Keith: “I’m surprised they’re playing this. This is Swimming with Sharks. But it’s probably one of my favorite movies. Kevin Spacey is probably my favorite actor.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s quite a talent and one of my favorites too. Let’s watch this.” Turns up the volume slightly. “It’s funny. I think we have quite a bit of common interests.”
Keith: “You think so?”
Charlize Theron: “If not interest then inclinations. But I got a question for you. Do you believe in destiny?”
Keith: Without hesitating. “No.”
Charlize Theron: “Why so cold about it?”
Keith: “Because that’s how things are. Life is just coincidence and luck. If you’re at the right place at the right time, then everything can make and break you. You can try working your ass off your entire life and something as simple as food can strike you down. Next thing you know you’re in a hospital bed with a tube in your system, never able to enjoy anything ever again. It’s just a zero sum game that life likes to play with us.”
Charlize Theron: “What about the whole 2012 thing? You think the world is going to end?”
Keith: “Nope. Here’s what will happen. We’ll wake up and realize oh fuck I have to go to work. Then you have traffic, boss yelling at you, phone calls from angry customers, the same old shit. Would be nice if a meteor hits.”
Charlize Theron: “Why do you say things like that?”
Keith: “I like seeing a new variable added into the equation.” Charlize Theron shaking her head.
Well into the movie. It’s the end part where Kevin Spacey is shown tied up before Guy with Guy pointing a pistol at him. At the same time, Guy’s girlfriend shows up and Kevin Spacey gives Guy the speech about how Guy has to work and claw and scratch his way to the top as opposed to the girlfriend who could sleep her way up. By now, Keith is napping on the couch and Charlize Theron shuts the TV off in disgust. Shakes Keith slightly to wake him up.
Charlize Theron: “Can I stay tonight?”
Keith: “Are you sure?”
Charlize Theron: “I brought my car this time. The turkey made me tired. Don’t want to drive all the way back home.”
Charlize Theron: “Can I sleep in your room?”
Charlize Theron: Getting up, begins to search for his room. “I just want to sleep in your bed.”
Keith: “No, you can’t go in.”
Charlize Theron: “Why not? Your living room is cold and I’m sure with all your computers you probably have it much warmer.” Finds the only door in the house which is closed. “Ah this must be-”
Keith: “Please stop!”
As she opens the door, she sees the dirty mancave Keith inhabits. Dirty underwear, socks, shirts strewn across the floor. A pile of stuffed animals on a make shift table. Unopened envelopes scattered around. On his computer desk, empty or half filled cups of drinks from his fast food runs. On top, tons of bags from said places as well as chips and cereal boxes. There’s numerous print outs of Japanese models adorning his walls. A white Ibanez guitar and floor pedal near his bed. Two large monitors and his gaming console with several laptops hooked up. However, the most striking thing is the shelves of Lego sets. This part impresses her the most.
Charlize Theron: “It’s like a museum.”
Keith: “Why did you come in like that?”
Charlize Theron: “What’s the matter with me coming in? Are you trying to hide something?”
Keith: “I could at least clean up.” Turning red.
Charlize Theron: “What are you afraid of me seeing? I’m your friend, Keith. I’m not going to judge you. Why do you think this is bad? You know I have an adopted child. If he saw this, he’d go crazy! Maybe when he gets back with my mom, we can come over and you guys can make something great. He loves Lego too.”
Keith: Crying. “I don’t get it. I don’t get it.”
Charlize Theron: “What?”
Keith: “You leave. Then you come back randomly calling me your friend and say you want to invite your kid over. And you have a fucking TV dinner with us on Thanksgiving. What is it? You don’t even know me.”
Charlize Theron: “I want to know you.”
Next several scenes. Keith showing Charlize Theron each of his stuffed animals. She adores his ducks the most, despite them being worn down. Talks about each of the famous Japanese actresses, models and singers. Takes her into the room next to his and exhibits a huge show case of Lego sets, including a miniature town setup on a huge table. Final scene has Keith plugging in his guitar and connecting it to his Macbook Pro, setting up the Garage Band mixer and playing Guns-N-Roses “Sweet Child of Mine.”
Keith: “It’s been a while for this.” He does the intro fluidly which draws a lot of admiration from Charlize Theron. It boosts his confidence especially when she sings along and gives him a soft ovation.
Charlize Theron: “I love that song!”
Keith: “It’s easy and I like playing it. Most times I’m playing-” transitions into an Iron Maiden riff. It still awes her.
Charlize Theron: “You have quite a bit of talent. Maybe you should go on that one show.”
Keith: “Nah, I’m not meant for TV.” Starts fiddling with the windows on his Macbook Pro, accidentally opening up a document that looks like a script.
Charlize Theron: “What’s that?”
Keith: “One of my writing projects. I’ve got a few that I’ve been working on here and there. Since I have more time, I decided to get back to my roots and work on several works.”
Charlize Theron: “Can I check one of them?”
Keith: Carefully selecting one. “Here. This is my fantasy novel.”
Charlize Theron: Skimming it quickly. “This is quite good. Oh, who’s Kiira?”
Keith: “She’s a female half-elf. I created her back in junior high school. She was one of my Dungeons and Dragons characters. I guess you could say that I fell in love with her.”
Charlize Theron: “What does she look like?”
On Keith’s tiny bed. Both sitting on opposite ends to make room for each other. They fight like little children over Keith’s limited covers before settling in.
Charlize Theron: Pulling half the covers off of Keith. “Ever thought about getting a bigger bed?”
Keith: “Where am I going to put it?”
Charlize Theron: “You could move some of your Lego sets into the other room. Maybe put them into your family room.”
Keith: “There’s a couch in there that I don’t want to get rid of.”
Charlize Theron: “Why is that?”
Keith: “That’s where my dad sleeps. I mean slept.”
Charlize Theron: “You should move it some day. It’s pretty ratty. By the way, are you still cold?” Keith nodding. “I have something for you.”
Keith: “I don’t….oh god!” Charlize Theron busting up. Camera pulls out with the pair still chatting and Keith coughing intensely. “You’re a sick, sick woman!” Both laughing really hard into the night.
Following morning. In Keith’s bedroom. Light turns on shining into Charlize Theron’s face.
Charlize Theron: “Keith, stop it. I’m sorry for farting on you last night.”
Michael Fassbender: “You farted on me bitch!”
Charlize Theron: “What?” Gets dragged and tossed out onto the floor. Collides into a box becoming stunned.
Keith: Panics tries to run but Michael Fassbender shoves him back into the bed and delivers several jabs into his abdomen.
Michael Fassbender: “You little son of a bitch! Accusing me of breaking into my place!” Grabs Keith again and hurls him into the rack of Lego. The shelf collapsing onto Keith.
Charlize Theron: “What the hell are you doing? Stop it!”
Michael Fassbender: Kicking Charlize Theron in the face. “Think all this is a game? You both fucked my career and my life up! How dare you!”
Keith: Tries to react by launching himself at the actor by his slow reflexes and girth allowing Michael Fassbender to evade him and knee him in the jaw. Crumples to the ground.
Michael Fassbender: Taking Charlize Theron by her hair and pulling out his phone. “Fucking cunt saying I broke into your place? I paid rent for your shitty little spot when your movie failed and that producer rightfully revoked your overpaid check. Remember that? Have you forgotten who took you in during your little dark period? And you re-pay me by ditching me for a little rat nerd? Do you realize what a laughing stock I’ve become?”
Charlize Theron: “You jealous son of a bitch. You and your parades of women. Then just leaving me when things went south.”
Michael Fassbender: “Just a little patience.”
Charlize Theron: “No, I’m tired of being treated like a toy. If you fucked up, then it’s because of your own vice.”
Michael Fassbender: “Oh really now? Since you ruined me, I might as well permanently ruin you.”
Takes out a knife and is about to stab her when Keith jumps on him. There’s a moment where both stop struggling. As Charlize Theron grabs Keith’s cell phone, several police officers enter and retract Michael Fassbender from Keith. Moving off of him, Charlize Theron notices Keith convulsing in pain. He grips himself intensely. She turns him around and sees that the knife is firmly embedded into his arm.
Charlize Theron: “Keith, no!” Tries dialing 9-11 to contact an ambulance.
Keith: “Don’t. I’m not insured.”
Charlize Theron: “I’ll pay for any hospital bills. Stop worrying about money all the time, damn it!” Watches as his mother holding an ancient wireless phone comes in crying.
Mom: “Get out of my house!”
Keith: “No, she’s my….friend.”
Mom: “I don’t care. She keeps hurting us. Get out!”
Outside. On a gurney. Keith’s arm patched us. Despite Keith’s mother’s admonishing of her, Charlize Theron still attends to him.
Charlize Theron: “I’m sorry. I should’ve known. I didn’t realize he would come here.”
Keith: “Now, he’ll certainly be in jail. So you won’t get bothered any more. It’s all worth that.”
Charlize Theron: “It isn’t. I don’t want people to get hurt over me.”
Paramedic: “She tells me that you didn’t want to go to the hospital because of insurance. This is different. Even if Ms Theron offered to pay, since this is assault and battery by a famous person, you probably can easily sue. There’s plenty of witnesses.”
At the local hospital. Charlize Theron waiting in the lounge area very perplexed. Her agent then arrives.
Agent: “Hey, I heard about everything. Are you okay?”
Charlize Theron: “A few bruises. Nothing worse than Aeon Flux. But I’m doing okay. I’m more concerned about Keith.”
Agent: “He’ll be fine. I talked with the doctor and they’ll be keeping him here for a while. I’ve already put in the paperwork for an injunction against Michael Fassbender and to press charges. You both will be fine in this. It’s all over.”
Charlize Theron: “I don’t feel like it is.”
Agent: “It’ll take a few days. But you should probably start moving on.”
Charlize Theron: “Well, Michael Fassbender and I are over.”
Agent: “I’m talking about Keith.”
Charlize Theron: “How can you say that after he’s saved my life on numerous occasions?”
Agent: “Because his mom is threatening to press charges against you.”
Charlize Theron: “What? She’s a sweet little lady.”
Agent: “Not apparently. She said that the recent stress of Keith losing his job and unstable life cost her hours and insurance. It’s quite a bit of money. She said she’s willing to settle. After talking with Keith’s doctors, it seems it’ll cover the hospital cost. Since the charges and court is going to end up being pricey, I’m willing to bet that Michael Fassbender will end up settling out of court since he’s also planning a countersuit.”
Charlize Theron: “That’s ridiculous! For what?”
Agent: “Defamation. Thing is you need to move on before all this gets out of hand. You know it to be true. We’ve been friends for a very long time but I gotta pay my mortgage too. And if you don’t do something soon, you won’t be able to pay yours.”
Charlize Theron: “This is crazy. I just can’t leave them like this.”
Agent: “Let the whole thing cool down. It’s going to end up being a massive publicity nightmare. No one is going to win. But at least we can minimize how badly everyone is going to lose by just stepping away for a while.”
Charlize Theron: Sighing. “What am I going to do? It’s not like I have anything lined up.”
Agent: “That’s not entirely true. I do have one possible project. After that disaster the other day, I was really hesitant about giving you anything new. But it seems you really will need something soon. There’s only one catch.”
In Keith’s hospital room. Keith miserably staring at the TV while an older person nearby drones on incessantly in some incoherent babble. Charlize Theron enters with an extremely somber disposition.
Charlize Theron: “Hey, champ how are you doing?”
Keith: “They gave me anesthetics but it’ll take some time to get more motion in my arm. No gaming for a bit.”
Charlize Theron: “Maybe you can use that opportunity to focus more on your writing. I mean your left arm is still okay I guess.” Keith shrugging. “You don’t understand how bad I feel for you. I feel like I’ve goofed up so much for your life.”
Keith: “You made it more meaningful though.”
Charlize Theron: “Perhaps. I think I just keep hurting you. Which is why I wanted to talk with you. I have to go away for a while.” Keith not hiding his disappointment. “The thing is that this whole situation has become really complicated. Your mom is planning to file a lawsuit against me if I don’t get away from you. Also, Michael Fassbender is going to sue me.”
Keith: “For what?”
Charlize Theron: “Being an idiot.” Not able to elicit a laugh from him. “Sorry. They’re calling it defamation. The truth is that the whole thing is going to cost a lot of money. I guess I wasn’t keep a good tab on my bank account and I won’t have enough to cover for the court case. I’ll cover you no matter what, but everything else is going to be tough. So I have to go back to work.”
Keith: “I guess it would come down to this.”
Charlize Theron: “The audition is in New York. It might take a few weeks. Maybe months. It’s a complex role for a new James Cameron film.”
Keith: “Oh wow.”
Charlize Theron: “Yeah. If I can nail the role, it’s a guaranteed 25 million and 2% of box office sales. It’s something that’s hard to deny.”
Keith: “No, it’d be insane not to go for it. And you should. You deserve it.”
Charlize Theron: “Thank you Keith. Even though I’m going to focus most of my attention on the role, I’m going to see if I can get something for you. I’m sure they have something. Maybe a mobile app or doing their official site. I don’t know. But we’re going to make this thing together.” Takes his hands gently and smiles before leaving. “There is one thing I wanted to do before I leave.”
Back at Keith’s home a few days later. Keith’s mom is at work. His doorbell rings and he goes to answer it. It’s Charlize Theron with her adopted son, Jackson.
Charlize Theron: “He wanted to see something.”
The three entering Keith’s room. This time, it’s a lot cleaner (presumably since Keith was forced to fix everything after the assault). All the Lego shelves are re-made and things are dusted off appropriately. Immediately, Jackson’s eyes widen in awe at the enormous collection. In one corner though, there’s a group of partly assembled sets with a bunch of instructions lying around.
Keith: “Want to help me fix this?”
Keith, Charlize Theron and Jackson go through the various instructions and re-create the various castles, space ships and town sets. Some aspects are tough for Jackson so Keith shows him a few tricks. When they complete everything, the wall of Lego is once again pristine and perhaps more epic as he’s able to organize things with the help of the three. There’s a cinema set which shows several Lego figures outside waiting in line for the theater. Jackson lines up three of them, including one school child, a male and a female.
Afterwards, Keith and Jackson play World of Warcraft on Keith’s system. With the pair absorbed, Charlize Theron turns her attention to her nagging iPad. She goes to the corner to look it up and read a few messages from her agent. As she manipulates the screen around, she accidentally brings up her Safari browser which loads up Keith’s blog. Deciding to let the two have their share of fun, she sits on the bed and starts perusing the various articles. Most are dedicated to World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Lego and the occasional Japan rant. However, the thing that she’s most interested in is the tag labeled “personal.”
Clicking on the link, brings her to several entries that range from philosophy to his hatred of LA traffic. However, one talks about his life previous to meeting her. There’s a very negative tone with a rant that talks about wishing the apocalypse would, indeed, occur on December 12, 2012. But the writing grows bleaker and talks about a perpetual ache inside of him both physical and emotional. If given the chance, he would pull it away permanently so he wouldn’t feel anymore. The last part talks about what his friend had told him at one point: “Death isn’t a bad thing. The pain will just go away.”
She has to hide a tear as she sees that both catch a glimpse of her somber expression.
Jackson: “Mom, are you okay?”
Charlize Theron: Immediately, she covers up her emotions with a bright smile. “I’m just glad you found a new friend to play with.”
During dinner, the three at a Chuck-E-Cheese. Jackson is happily finishes a few slices of pizza. Charlize Theron handing him some change.
Charlize Theron: “Don’t get lost here. I’ll be watching.”
Jackson: “Sure mom.” Runs off to an arcade machine.
Keith: “That kid is pretty good at PVP. Doesn’t surprise me though.”
Charlize Theron: “He’s playing my account once in a while. I have to watch him play because without you, I won’t be able to figure anything out.”
Keith: “Kids are getting smarter and smarter these days.”
Charlize Theron: “Yes they are. I have to say though, it’s either that or we’re getting dumber.” Both laughing. “I’m glad you didn’t mind us coming over. I know you have some issues with children. But I couldn’t resist showing him your Lego collection.”
Keith: “It would be hard finding all the stuff I have. I’ve got a lot of vintage sets.”
Charlize Theron: “I believe it. That’s why I figured it’d be great coming over. It was nice because I don’t want to just buy him toys that I know nothing about. I mean, Michael Fassbender never did anything with us. And I feel horrible sending him to my mom’s place all the time.”
Keith: “Not having a father can be rough. But he’s got to be one of the luckiest kids on this planet. Wish you could adopt me too.”
Charlize Theron: Grabbing his hand. “Keith, I wanted to have a special day with you. I know it might feel odd bringing my kid. For me this means everything in the world. I can’t forget a day like this because I don’t have many like them. Do me a favor though. Please be patient. It might seem difficult. But I’ll be back sometime.” As Keith reluctantly nods, Jackson returns with an armful of tickets from the ski-ball machine.
Jackson: “Look what I won!”
Keith: “Want to go play some more?” Keith joins Jackson as Charlize Theron ponders about her future.
Next scenes are a montage. Charlize Theron is shown in New York at the Ritz Carlton. There’s a mafia of news reporters awaiting her. She’s completely glitzed up for the welcoming. In the scene, she’s at various shops reading a script and preparing mentally for the audition.
Back in LA. Keith trying to rebuild his life. Practices on his guitar, does some writing. Shows that he’s not working on the fantasy story but a script called “Geek Dot Love.” Throughout the script, Keith and Charlize Theron’s name are mentioned quite often. Sends messages to Charlize Theron all the time. In the Charlize Theron folder on his mobile, the dates at first are quite frequent but they slow down as each minute, hour, day and week pass by. Soon the vast bulk of the messages are just sent from him without any response. In addition, he’s sending his resume to numerous companies, but receives no response.
Outside by his mailbox. Retrieves an envelope and it’s a letter from his former company. Opens it up and he almost faints.
At a Chinese restaurant. Keith having dinner with his mother.
Keith: “I wish you didn’t sue her.”
Mother: “She’s the reason why they’re suing you.”
Keith: “No, she isn’t. She rescued me. Don’t you see?”
Mother: “From what? You had a job. Couldn’t keep it just like your dad.”
Keith: “You’re the one who told my dad to drop dead! I came all the way back from Japan to help you. You never thanked me. Heck, I don’t even know why I’m bothering taking you to dinner.”
At Keith’s home. Keith back in his room playing World of Warcraft. His laptop is open and it seems that he’s made no progress on his story. There’s a loud thud that comes from outside his door then the sound of a helpless moaning. Keith rushing out of his room to see that his mother has collapsed in the bathroom. He struggles to help her up, but she looks to have lost mobility on part of her body.
At the hospital. Keith waiting in the lounge. Doctor enters.
Doctor: “Your mom seems to have suffered a diabetic stroke. We’re doing MRI scans on her and blood tests. I don’t know if she’ll ever be able to recover. By the way, do you have her insurance or Medicare information ready?”
Keith: “She’s not insured and I don’t think she ever applied for Medicare. What’s going to happen?”
Doctor: “Well, we’ll keep her here for now and we’ll work everything out later.”
Outside the hospital in the cold. It’s raining.
Keith: Frantically calling Charlize Theron. Gets her voice box. “Hey, my mom had a stroke. She can’t move anymore. She’s not insured and doesn’t have Medicare. Please. I just need someone to talk to.” Hangs up feeling his efforts are futile.
At home. Keith staring at his monitor. Near his monitor is a large document. The camera focuses on the statement where there’s an outrageous hospitalization fee. Grabs his phone and dials someone.
Keith: “Hey. Thanks for answering. Sorry to bug you. Yeah. Some really bad things happened. I have no one to talk to.”
At a Starbucks. The place is practically isolated with very few customers at the moment. Keith sits outside. However, it is Jack who goes to sit with him.
Jack: “Drama just seems to surround you.”
Keith: “Yeah. I guess that’s my life.”
Jack: “Either way, I’m glad that you decided to come to me. I’m very sympathetic to your situation. I’m terribly sorry to hear that your mom had a stroke. But it’s a good thing she’s still alive.”
Keith: “I don’t know if she’ll ever be the same.”
Jack: “Those things are bad but I heard you caught it in time before something worse could’ve happened. You really are a life saver. That said, I have a lot of respect for you, which is why despite the way things have gone between us, I felt the absolute need to help you out.”
Keith: “What can you do for me?”
At an office in Downtown LA. Keith with his laptop.
Jack: “Don’t bother with that. Just dictate to me everything.” Knock at the door. “Let me answer that.” Turns out to be Michael Fassbender. “Hey, how’s it going?”
Keith: Tensing up. “How the hell did he get out of jail?”
Michael Fassbender: “Keith, don’t worry. Don’t worry. I didn’t break out. I just made bail. Happens a lot.”
Jack: “You see. No one wants to lose in all of this. I just want everyone to win. We’ve got the power right here to make it happen.”
Michael Fassbender: “Hold on. Let me do the talking here.” Approaching Keith who shrinks cautiously into his chair. Michael Fassbender’s hands are up to demonstrate he’s safe. “Keith, I was totally wrong about everything. I let my short temper get out of control. I took everything out on you, man. I felt bad once I found out that you took a knife for Charlize Theron. And on top of that your mom having a stroke and the lawsuit. From what I’ve heard, you’re a good kid. Got good heart. Got good intentions. You just got caught in between one of these stupid Hollywood feuds that go no where. You’re just the innocent bystander that tripped into this world. Now, you’re in and you get to see just how ugly everything is. But I don’t want to keep things like that. It’s bad karma, you know? I know that 2012 is coming up soon and everyone is talking about the end. If it ends, who really cares? If it doesn’t, we should just start fresh, right?”
Keith: “You’re planning to sue us.”
Michael Fassbender: “Oh not you. You’ve done nothing wrong. You didn’t sleep with her, right? Of course not. Who am I kidding? Don’t take that too personally. But I know your type. Which is why I already like you. Here’s the thing. I want to drop everything. I want us to come out on top. Everyone. Including Charlize Theron. Just drop everything. It’ll be really simple. Best of all, you’ll finally get the credit you’ve always deserved.”
Keith: “What do you mean?”
Michael Fassbender: “I studied you because I’m going to play you. Just have to sign off. Then we all make huge box office because god knows there’s no more great stories coming out of those horse assed writers in Hollywood.” Hands Keith several contracts leaving Keith to contemplate his situation, something he’s rarely had a true opportunity to do in his life.
At her hotel room in NYC. Charlize Theron receiving a phone call from her agent.
Charlize Theron: “Go back already? I haven’t started the audition yet.”
Agent: “He says he doesn’t want B-rated actresses being associated with his films when it comes to the lead role.”
Charlize Theron: “Why doesn’t he give me a chance? Didn’t he see Monster?”
Agent: “Make up doesn’t make an actress. Or so he says. And he saw that minor league bomb you put out.”
Charlize Theron: “This is crazy!”
Agent: “No, you’re crazy for getting yourself into this situation. Also, I suggest starting to make phone calls to get a new agent because I’m embarrassed that you didn’t sign up for your own movie.”
Charlize Theron: “That makes no sense whatsoever. I don’t have my own movie.”
Agent: “Geek Dot Love? How can you not know what’s going to be the biggest blockbuster coming up?”
Charlize Theron: Dropping her phone. Screens cracks as she falls over.
Next scene shows a plane flying back to the West coast. Car drives over the speed limit to Keith’s home. Charlize Theron burst open the weak front door to a surprised Keith who is resting on the sofa.
Keith: “You’re back?”
Charlize Theron: “What the hell did you expect? You sold me out!”
Keith: “How so?”
Charlize Theron: “That story. That’s my story too!”
Keith: “Why are you mad?”
Charlize Theron: “You didn’t even ask permission from me. You just went out and did it.”
Keith: “I had no choice.”
Charlize Theron: “Liar! You always have choices in life. You chose wrong this time.”
Keith: “Did you listen to any of my messages? My mom had a stroke and my former company was suing me. I can’t find any jobs so how the hell am I going to pay these things? I don’t want to beg you.”
Charlize Theron: “Why’d you call me then?”
Keith: “You said you’d help. And I needed it. I was desperate.”
Charlize Theron: “I would’ve helped if you gave me time.”
Keith: “My mom is in a hospital half paralyzed. She has no insurance, no Medicare, nothing. I can’t wait months or years for a response from you. What am I supposed to do?”
Charlize Theron: “You could’ve had more consideration for me.”
Keith: “What about me? You just left me with a fucking knife in my arm. How is that being considerate? What about all these empty promises of doing this or that for me.”
Charlize Theron: “I told you to be patient. What about that time with Jackson? Don’t you realize that meant something?”
Keith: “Inviting me into your house when there’s a nutcase stalker ex-boyfriend who ends up endangering me and my family? I tried protecting you. I took a knife in the arm for you. How selfish are you?”
Charlize Theron: “I’ve tried to help you become more than whom you are. It’s not my fault you constantly feel sorry for yourself about being a fucking stupid nerd who can’t get laid because he’s in the past worrying about some girl who probably never gave a shit about him in the first place. I bet that guy he was with has a lot more class than you which is obviously why she chose him over you.”
Keith: “You help me? I’m just a toy for you when you’re life falls apart. You come here to make yourself feel better because you look at my life and think that I’m miserable. I bet you came over because you couldn’t get that role.”
Charlize Theron: “How did you know?”
Keith: “I have my own ears hooked into the grapevine. The thing is that you’re blaming me to do something to not be a loser for once just as your life continues to fall apart. I did this because I have to. I begged them to cast you. But they said they’d drop all the suits and everything if you weren’t the one in that role. I protected you there too even when you were chasing after your dream director. Am I wrong for trying to protect myself for once?”
Charlize Theron: “I’m out of here. I was so wrong for trying to be the heroine in this. Jennifer was right. I should’ve listened to her in the first place.”
Keith: “Maybe you consider getting new friends. She got your role by the way.”
Charlize Theron: Slapping Keith hard. “How could you let her?”
Keith: Clutching his face crying. “I didn’t. I told them that no one could fill your shoes. But I’m the one wrong in all of this. It’s obvious that any blond looker could do your role. Or any looker.”
Charlize Theron: Also crying. “Why didn’t you just say all this before?”
Keith: “Because I tried to care. That’s what I get for caring. Nothing. I was right about the real you all along. Just caring about your fame.” Watching her leave. “You know the only reason why I wanted to save you wasn’t because of you. I didn’t care about that. I wanted to die. I was sick of this bullshit.”
Charlize Theron: “It’s too bad you didn’t succeed.”
Keith: “For both of us, right?” Slams the door.
Next series of scenes surrounds the release of Geek Dot Love. Michael Fassbender plays Keith while Jennifer plays Charlize Theron. Outside of a theater, troves of couples coming out crying. Critics are raving about the freshness of the movie, calling it Hollywood’s desperate need to once again instill a soul in itself and the people of America. News reports talking about odd trends where hot women begin dating online gamers, fat guys, Lego hobbyist, Bronies. They show tons of hotties at ComicCon chasing after guys with their backpacks, unwashed clothes, thick glasses.
At a TV interview. Michael Fassbender Fassbender with an interviewer discussing his experience on the set.
Michael Fassbender: “Yeah, it was really a lot of fun to do. I got to put on weight for once and in a manner that I like. I just went on a fast food diet for several weeks.” The host and him laughing. “Preparation wasn’t hard. A friend of mine got me into World of Warcraft so I practiced for hours.”
Host: “Who was the friend?”
Michael Fassbender: “Vin Diesel.”
Host: “Oh yeah. We’ve heard rumors circulating that he was a big dungeons and dragons nerd.”
Michael Fassbender: “It just goes to show that there are geeks in all of us.”
Host: “What are you going to do about-” Pokes Michael Fassbender’s enlarged girth.
Michael Fassbender: “Might just keep it around for a bit. Heard about the whole fat guy hot girl movement recently?”
Host: “They always said that it’s the fat guys in human history that have all the money. Considering this movie has grossed over several hundred million in just a month, that statement has once again proven history correct.” Both laughing to end the show.
Jennifer on another show.
Jennifer: “Of course, I love geeks! They’re great! The bigger the better. Or as one of my geek buddies once told me, More cushion for the pushin’.”
Host: “What about the research you did for your role as Claire?”
Jennifer: “I had to really dig deep into that one. It wasn’t really a role that I was too familiar with because I’m always just playing a coffee shop worker or waitress at a bar. But once I saw the role, I knew it was going to give the opportunity to really shine and show some new expressions for my fans.”
Host: “What did Brad think of it?”
Jennifer: “Oh Brad hated it. Usually, he does the farting in bed. I think Michael Fassbender actually enjoyed it. He told me to just give it to him. So when we did the Taco Bell scene, I was really prepared.”
In another interview. Jack in a suit.
Host: “Robert Ebert said that this movie actually possesses a soul behind it and that it’s been a thing missing from so many Hollywood movies. Why do you think he said that?”
Jack: “It’s because Hollywood has just become about itself and doesn’t go beyond the Hollywood box. Writers are always tied up in that small niche market. I think that not many people can relate after a while when most movies either portray just explosions or some unattainable lifestyle. I think this movie does a great job in blending the two together.”
Host: “Which is funny because you actually are a lawyer. Or were a lawyer if I’m not mistaken.”
Jack: “Yeah, what happened was that I’ve been someone who has handled Hollywood contracts for so long. I got used to their personalities. Then I decided I wanted to do something more than just be the guy everyone hates. I wanted to fight for the little guy and went back to my roots of why I got into the Hollywood business in the first place. I played some games back in college and thought long and hard about a story that would appeal to this generation. I think I hit that mark.”
At his home. Keith turning off the TV, disgusted by the interviews and various news items. He examines a heavy document, something that looks to be a contract of sorts then rips it apart and tosses it into a waste bin. Goes to check on his mom who lies in bed just watching TV.
Keith: “Want something to eat?”
Keith: Bringing a wheelchair next to her bed. Tries to help her up and has a great deal of difficulty moving her into the wheelchair.
At Charlize Theron’s home. Charlize Theron too watching various interviews and television broadcasts. She looks drained. Turns off the television then goes upstairs to her office.
Inside of her office, Charlize Theron sits at her computer desk where she loads up World of Warcraft. Checks out who’s online in her guild but the one person she’s thinking about is not on. In fact, it shows that he hasn’t logged on for several months. She decides to play regardless, entering in a dungeon instance. When she fails to heal the group properly and causes a wipe, the group troll her calling her names like a n00b, a phailure, etc. She responds back telling them that she’s Charlize Theron Theron. But they laugh at her and kick her from the group.
Just then her mother enters in the office.
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “Charlize Theron, what are you doing?”
Charlize Theron: “Just playing a game.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “Oh, it’s that World of Warcraft game. Jackson was playing it when we were in Johannesburg. He couldn’t stop. You shouldn’t get into that because it’s addicting.”
Charlize Theron: “I know mother. Sometimes I just want to try something different.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “At least that whole drama with Michael Fassbender is over it seems.”
Charlize Theron: “Yes, it is.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “Are you okay? You don’t look too good.”
Charlize Theron: “I think I’ve come down with a cold.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “If that’s the case, I’m going to keep Jackson at my home. School starts in a few days and I don’t want him getting ill just before. By the way, I saw a bunch of bills on the floor. Are you going to be able to pay them?”
Charlize Theron: “Maybe. Just have to find something new.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “Let me say this. Even if you can’t find something new, you can always stay with me.”
Charlize Theron: “I know. I did buy the place.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “It is cheaper than here. Just letting you know. Either way, I don’t know what you have to prove to yourself anymore. Just try to figure out how to be happy.”
Charlize Theron: “I’ll try mom.”
Charlize Theron’s Mother: “You know one thing that made me happy? That new film. You should really see it sometime. I think you’ll like it. It kind of reminds me of you in some way.” Leaves.
At a late night private screening in Hollywood on Christmas Eve. Charlize Theron wearing her sunglasses goes to see Geek Dot Love by herself. Similarly, at Rolling Hills Plaza, Keith sitting by himself in a corner of the theater checking out the movie.
As they watch the movie, they become completely enthralled despite their personal feelings about each scene. It ends up being a fairly accurate depiction of their history together. Each moment is like a sword poignantly pricking them. Jennifer and Michael Fassbender’s figures are replaced by her own and Keith’s. In fact, the movie does not seem like a movie anymore but a painful memory of the experiences of their past few months together. At the theater with Charlize Theron, Charlize Theron receiving a call from her manager. She leaves the screening early to go outside.
Goes to a coffee shop. Sits outside still weeping to herself, trying to recover from the emotions of the movie. Every time a pedestrian passes her and looks curiously at her, she brushes them off by attempting to remain stoic with her sunglasses.
Checks her phone again about to call her agent back. But he’s left a voice mail. She listens to it.
Agent: “Charlize Theron. I’m so sorry for what I said recently. I think everyone’s been really stressed out lately. I cooled off and decided to re-think everything. You know I can’t let you go after our relationship of many years. The thing is that the person James Cameron ended up picking dropped out after finding out she has syphilis. How ironic is that? Anyway, they apologized massively for what they said about you and are reconsidering. I told Cameron to watch Monster for which he replied, oh how could I have missed this excellent performance? So come on Charlize Theron. This is going to be the biggest role of your career. Just give me a call and we’ll make this into an epic.”
Suddenly, the notification from her mobile alerts her to a Foursquare activity. When she loads up the software, we can see that she only has one friend and that the location is in the South Bay area.
Back in the theater in Rolling Hills Plaza. Keith goes from a perplexed look to a more serene, enthralled one as he watches a scene that never happened, which was him and Charlize Theron getting together.
In her car on the road. Charlize Theron racing somewhere. In the background, Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” playing. Her GPS system is on but we cannot see where her destination is. Her phone rings again. Uses the Bluetooth software to answer.
Agent: “Did you get my message?”
Charlize Theron: “Yes.”
Before she answers there’s a series of moments that playback in her mind. Quotes from the movies she and Keith watched together.
Purple Rose of Cairo: “Mr Shepherd, yeah. Soon as Tom Baxter went back up on the movie screen – couldn’t wait to get outta here. He said this was a close call for his career.”
Swimming with Sharks: “Because life… is not a movie. Everyone lies. Good guys lose. And love… does not conquer all. “
Terminator 2: “The terminator, would never stop. It would never leave him, and it would never hurt him, never shout at him, or get drunk and hit him, or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there. And it would die, to protect him.”
Keith: “Life is just coincidence and luck. If you’re at the right place at the right time, then everything can make and break you. You can try working your ass off your entire life and something as simple as food can strike you down. Next thing you know you’re in a hospital bed with a tube in your system, never able to enjoy anything ever again. It’s just a zero sum game that life likes to play with us.”
She seems resolute in her decision though and is about to answer.
Charlize Theron: “Of course. I can’t resist a role like that.”
At the theater. Keith watching the end of the movie. It shows Michael Fassbender and Jennifer together, the images of Charlize Theron and himself now dispersing into reality. His serene expression fades into depression as the credits roll. The theater around him sits stunned. There’s a lot of sniffling in the audience and couples embracing each other before slowly exiting the theater, still savouring the ending. Keith remains in his seat, his own eyes moist not from the movie but memories. Just then someone sits next to him.
Charlize Theron: “I wish you invited me. I hate watching movies by myself.”
Keith: Cannot repress his tears anymore. But he does nothing except try to rub his eyes.
Charlize Theron: Takes him gently and embraces him. Then she kisses him. It’s not like the actor kiss she gave him in Japan. This one is long and sincere. As they kiss, his glasses fog up and both exchange the taste of tears. She removes his glasses for him and wipes it away. Then pulling something out of her purse, she removes a ring and places it on his hand. “Just say yes.”
Keith: Shakes his head in the affirmative before both embrace and kiss again. The camera pulls out showing the crowd leaving the theater, oblivious to the scene in front of them. Eventually, the camera blurs out too.
The camera refocuses. This time it’s in a place Keith is completely unfamiliar with. It’s a small bedroom where he is on a comfortable bed. As he examines the place, Charlize Theron enters the room. She’s wearing elven ears, probably prosthetics while dressed in a medieval silver and gold satin pajama type of outfit.
Charlize Theron: Bringing him a tray of breakfast and placing it to a small table next to him. “Eggs benedict the way you like them.”
Keith: Examining the meal and her somewhat perplexed as he continues to look around the room. “Where am I? Where….am…I?”