In a quiet street in Brooklyn, an apartment building with various lit windows are shown on a winter night. Street lights illuminate the street, and cars drive by occasionally.
In the small apartment a man in his 20’s, Emerson, is walking towards the kitchen and takes two glasses out of the cabinet. He pours beer into the glasses. In the living room, a man, Max, sits with one leg across his knee, laying back on the couch.
Emerson: *from the kitchen* So, the baby is at Grandma’s for the night?
Max: Yeah, Grace’s parents have her for the night. It’s one of the first nights that neither me or Grace have her, which is weird.
Emerson walks to the living room and hands a glass to Max. He sits in the chair across from the couch.
Emerson: I mean, it’s good that you’re getting a break. We haven’t had a night like this in a long time.
Max: I know, remember when I would just crash at your place on nights where I was working on the case; files everywhere and papers just piled on your counter.
Emerson laughs and raises his glass before taking a sip of his drink.
Emerson: Man, I wanted to just toss all of it in the garbage when you worked that damn case.
Max: *laughs* Well, the past is in the past.
Emerson: Mmm, *takes a sip* You miss it?
Max: Not really. I enjoy just being behind the scenes; teaching it instead of being a apart of it. My priorities changed when Willow was born, y’know?
Emerson: I feel that… not the whole “having a kid” thing but having different priorities. I mean, before I met Cami, my priorities were all out of shape. But she’s definitely helping me see more of my future, y’know?
Max: That’s great, mate. I’m happy for you!
They both take sips from their beer.
Emerson: Cami’s really good for me, hopefully within the year we could find a place together, take that next step in our relationship.
Max: At least one of us is taking steps forward. *sips from glass*
Emerson: Hey, you’re a dad. That’s a huge step forward.
Max shrugs his shoulders and takes in a deep breath.
Max: I know Grace is family and you wouldn’t ever speak poorly about her, but… *sighs* Have you spoken to her lately?
Emerson ponders in thought for a moment.
Emerson: She’s definitely been busier than lately, you know how serious she takes her job.
Max: Don’t have to tell me twice. She couldn’t take Willow for the weekend most likely because of her job. Classic Grace.
Emerson looks at Max in a uncomfortable way. Max notices.
Max: Sorry, mate.
Emerson: It’s all good. I just… I don’t know, Grace is a different type of human. She means well, she’s just… Grace.
Max looks at Emerson while sipping his beer. Emerson doesn’t make eye-contact with him. Max notices and he places his glass down on the coffee table.
Max: Tell me something…
Emerson looks at Max after taking a sip; his attention now on Max.
Max: *hesitant* Is Grace dating again?
Max: Look I know it’s none of my business, but I just… *gathers thoughts* A couple of weeks ago, there was another man in her apartment.
Emerson’s eyes widen.
Emerson: How do you know that?
Emerson shifts in his seat, he keeps sipping his drink and listening to what Max is saying. Max is visibly getting angry at the thought as he tells the story.
Emerson: I mean, maybe she just gave Willow to the guy when she was answering the door?
Max: *shakes head* I know Willow well enough to know when she’s comfortable with a person. She was highly comfortable sitting in that man’s lap… That wasn’t the first time Grace was around that man with Willow.
Emerson is dumbfound; truly at a loss for words.
Max: So there I am, just staring at this man holding my daughter, and I guess Grace caught on and immediately took Willow and handed her over to me. I swear he just saw there with the most worried look on his face, just waiting for her to come back from getting Willow’s bag.
Emerson: Did you tell her anything about it?
Max: I told her as soon as she walked me to the door. She insisted that he was just a friend of hers. A Sunday night just bum around with a guy that’s “just a friend”.
Emerson: I know that must be hard to see, I’m–
Max: *interrupts* To believe that today would’ve been our wedding day…
Emerson takes a deep sigh and finally faces Max.
Emerson: Listen, I’m saying this as your friend; I think… it’s time to move on, bro. Like, i’m not saying that to be cold-hearted or anything, I’m saying it because… man you deserve to move on and just focus on you.
Max: *annoyed* I appreciate the prep talk, Emerson, but quite frankly I am a single father in his mid 20’s, in what possible world will I ever have time to think and focus on myself?
Max’s arms flail as he speaks.
Max: Unfortunately, I don’t have the same luxury as Grace has. She has all the time in the world to just go out and snog whoever she bloody pleases!
Emerson looks confused.
Max: Date, Emerson, date!
Emerson: *nods his head* Gotchaaaa, I– *sighs* Still, I think what you and Grace had was great, but I think if she can move–
Max cocks his eyebrows.
Emerson: Nothing, I was just saying that you should–
Max: Nuh-uh, mate, you were talking about Grace moving on? Has she moved on yet?
Emerson is now nervous, he takes his head into his hands and takes a deep breath. Max gets up from the sofa.
Max: Is Grace dating that man, Emerson?
Emerson: *looks up at Max* I–
Max: Fucking hell, mate!
Emerson: Listen, I– I actually don’t know. Grace hasn’t said anything to me about this guy…
Max: She knows you’ll tell me.
Max turns around and paces around the living room.
Max: I can’t believe she already moved on… it’s been 5 months!
Emerson: Look, maybe that’s just a work friend of hers, I know she’s always telling me how she has a friend that is helping her look over this case…
Max looks at Emerson, confused.
Max: He’s a lawyer?
Emerson shrugs his shoulders. Max closes his eyes and takes everything in.
Max: Emerson… I still love Grace.
Emerson’s eyes widen in shock.
Max: And for her to just move on as if our relationship never happened–
Max’s eyes widen in realization.
Max: *gets up from sofa* She told me she couldn’t take Willow for the night tonight because she had plans. *gets angry* She’s probably out with that wanker.
Emerson: Look, man – we don’t know that for sure…
Max: Emerson, you know you don’t fucking believe that.
Max walks towards the front door and gathers his winter coat, Emerson follows him; concerned.
Emerson: Whoa, where are you going? You’re not about to just show up there, are you?
Max: Why shouldn’t I? This isn’t about me, this is about the fact that the one night I wanted to be a regular 26-year-old man and hand my child to her mother, her mother declines to spend time with her so she can spend it with a complete stranger. Classic fuckin’ Grace.
Emerson: Max, wait–
Max leaves out the front door and Emerson paces near the door, wondering what is about to happen at Grace’s apartment.