The night sky in NYC is pink with the street lights enhancing the snow falling. Max steps out of a cab in front of a modern apartment building; he power walks towards the entrance and swings the door open. The lady at the front desk waves in Max’s direction; he’s definitely been in this apartment complex building a ton of times within the last year. He walks to the elevators and goes to the 16th floor.
The elevator doors open and Max looks straight forward once they do. A man with blonde hair, wire-thin glasses, formal casual attire, and a beige wool coat is seen standing there. Both men briefly lock eyes. The blonde guy walks into the elevator while Max walks out; the doors close shut once he turns around to look at the blonde man. Max walks towards an apartment door and knocks on it.
Moments later, the door opens. A petite woman with curly auburn hair stands here in a black knitted fit-and-flare dress. Her eyes widen.
Grace opens the door wide enough to let Max walk into the apartment. Grace peeks out to the hallway for a brief hallway.
Max: *without looking back* Blondie left.
Grace slowly closes the door and looks at Max. Max turns around to face Grace.
Max: Cute dress, Ashmore.
Grace: What are you doing here, Max?
Max walks around the tiny kitchen area. Grace’s eyes follow him.
Max: So, was your date with Blondie the reason why you didn’t want to spend time with your daughter this weekend? Wanted to play with your boy toy?
Grace: *defensive* You don’t know what you’re talking about and honestly, it’s none of your business whatever the fuck I do. We aren’t together.
Max: That’s not the bloody point, Grace. The fact of the matter is that you chose some pretty boy over your daughter!
Grace: My parents have her for the night, you jerk. I’ll be picking her up tomorrow.
Max: *a little louder* What’s the point? She comes back to me anyway tomorrow night! And the night after that, and the night after! My point– Grace– is the fact that you put your needs and wants before Willow’s.
Grace: *visibly defensive* Excuse me for wanting to spend my Saturday finishing up a case that has been stressing me the fuck out and hanging out with a friend of mine!
Max: *furious* Cut the bullshit, Grace! You couldn’t even tell Emerson what the hell you were doing because you knew he would bring it up tonight!
Grace: *stern* You spoke to Emerson about me?
Max: I mean, it’s a little hard not to speak about the fact that today would’ve been our wedding day.
Grace stands there in deep thought. She looks anxious, and Max notices it. He softens up and takes a deep breath.
Max: Let me ask you something, Grace…
Max walks over to Grace and looks in her eyes. He’s soft, apologetic; a familiar side to Max that Grace knows well. Grace doesn’t say anything.
Max: Do you not miss… us? What we were, what we had?
Grace stays silent, but lingers on the thought. Her eyes hide a truth that maybe she wasn’t aware of.
Grace: What’s the point thinking about that? What does it matter? We broke up, and we didn’t work out.
Max: That’s not what I asked, Grace.
Grace anxiously looks at Max. He looks at her softly.
Max: There is reason why things happened the way they did, but, it doesn’t affect the way we feel about it. *sullen* It doesn’t affect the way I feel about you.
Silence fills the room, both Grace and Max take in the atmosphere.
Grace: *whispers* I would’ve broke you.
Max: That’s not up to you to decide that. You don’t know that.
Grace: *a little louder* Really? Working a case that nearly killed us, having an affair behind the firm’s back, getting pregnant with Willow, getting engaged, I–
Max’s deep breath stops Grace from continuing listing the timeline of their relationship. She looks down to the ground, defeated.
Grace: And look at us now.
Max kneels down to face Grace; he’s now the one looking up at her.
Grace doesn’t respond or look up from the floor.
Max: I don’t have any right to tell you how you feel, but I can reassure that the thoughts you may have about us are not true. You didn’t “break” me, nor would you have if we were still together. We’ve been through an immense amount of obstacles, and even through it all, I… I still miss you.
Grace finally looks up.
Max: I still miss waking up next to you in the morning. I miss standing in the kitchen drinking coffee and discussing our thoughts on the case. I miss the sound of your heels walking towards the office. I miss getting ready to leave for the day and go straight to your apartment to escort you out on dates.
Max gets up slowly from kneeling, but when he does, he lifts Grace’s head with his finger on her chin. She doesn’t protest. He deeply looks into Grace’s hazel eyes.
Max: I miss holding your hand whenever we walked down the streets of Manhattan. I miss hearing your loud laugh, whether it was from movies, stories, or just me being extremely silly.
His face gets closer to Grace’s, and again she doesn’t protest.
Max: I miss the way your lips felt when I kiss you…
He slowly leans into Grace and kisses her softly. She kisses him back almost immediately, but then steps back in a panic. Max is shocked and extremely apologetic.
Max: Shit, I’m– I’m so sorry, Grace, I didn’t–
Grace: Just go.
Max: Grace, please, I just–
Grace: Please. Just. Go.
Max doesn’t say anything after, he just starts walking towards the door. Grace doesn’t turn around to see him out, she just stands there, extremely sad.
The door closes behind her; she lets out the breath she’s been holding in for the last 5 minutes.