First Impression: Syd & Emeil

INT. COFFEE SHOP – EVENING
A look of pity, SYD (30) couldn’t tell. The clock had struck six and her coffee had turned cold, once again. She would rearrange the papers to create a sense of progress, but there was no denying it – the deadline was fast approaching and she wasn’t ready.
She takes a seat, flustered. A waiter, EMEIL (22) approaches.
EMEIL
Can I get you something?
SYD
A hot cup would be nice.
She gestures to the lukewarm coffee sitting in front of her. He stands bemused.
SYD [CONT’D]
I lost track of time.
EMEIL
Of course, it’s no problem.
SYD
[Points to the delicatessens on display]
And a plate of those –
EMEIL
Pirogi’s?
SYD
Yes, those delightfully succulent death traps.
He smirks, departs.
She shuffles through the mountain of papers. Then sits back down, defeated.
A jazz melody buzzes softly in the background — the soundtrack to her youth. He returns, cup in hand, sets the plate in front of her.
SYD
Oh, that’s lovely, [inhales deeply, take sip] thank you… [XCU, name badge; it reads: EMEIL] …EMEIL.
EMEIL
Is it an important case?
SYD
Case?
He gestures to the stack of papers piled before her on the small turn table.
SYD [CONT’D]
Oh no, I’m not a … [attempts to organize the papers] I’m a Junior Copy Writer for the San Francisco Herald.
EMEIL
Oh.
SYD
It’s not as flashy as it sounds. [Takes a bite of a Pirogi] Every day you get stacks and stacks of papers to read through. The slightest error lands you back in the dark room and by the time you’re done, you never want to look at another piece of processed papyrus. [Wipes napkin across mouth] Getting high on caffeine for eight hours a day, that seems like a good gig?
EMEIL
It is, [a couple across the shop waves his attention], at times.
He departs; returns a few moments later sans apron.
SYD
Was their scone over baked?
EMEIL
I wouldn’t know. I just clocked out. [Pause] Mind if I join you?
SYD
You sure? [Mouth full], you don’t have some exciting night planned… pillaging, raging against the everyman. Something more extravagant than what I am, trying to accomplish.
He sits.
SYD [CONT’D]
You must have something better to do than sit here and watch me read.
EMEIL
There is nothing else I’d rather do, than watch you read.
Beat.
— Then he reaches forward, begins to sort the papers into neat piles.
SYD
Listen, [packs up the papers, places them in a mini briefcase], I’ve got a shit ton of work to do. I’m already past my extended deadline and I’m [looks at watch] running late for an early dinner.
EMEIL
Rain check. [Takes a bite of a pirogi]. I’ve got no where to be, [licks fingertips] you’re already late for where you want to be. C’mon, how ’bout it?
SYD
I’m sorry, [Stands] I’ve got somewhere I need to be.
She leaves. His eyes, narrowed and steady, follow after her.
 
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