What She Said (2021) Movie Script

WOMAN: Continue to melt your
shoulders away from your ears.
To soften and release.
I invite you to bring your
attention back to your breath.
Become aware of the
in-breath and out-breath.
Notice the space
between your inhalations
and exhalations.
What thoughts come up
for you here?
Can you accept them
as they surface?
Say, "Hello, thoughts."
And then allow them to depart
as easily as they arrive.
You shouldn't
manufacture your breath.
And you shouldn't
fight your thoughts.
SAM: "Shouldn't."
Compound verb.
A modal that uses negation
within a contraction
showing guidance
or recommendation.
- I hate that word,
"should," so much.
It's not even the word itself, really.
It's whatever follows it.
- Because "should" never stands alone.
No, no.
It's either followed by
a passive aggressive command,
or a condescending dismissal of whatever
momentary joy you might have just expressed.
Or sometimes,
if you're really unlucky,
it's followed
by unsolicited advice.
I had this linguistic professor
in undergrad
who insisted we weren't
supposed to hate any words.
- Instead, she urged us to become curious about them.
To hold them, and nurture them,
and chew them in our mouths.
We spent, like,
six straight classes
pretending to hold words we disliked
in our arms like new born babies,
and chewing on nothing
till our jaws hurt.
I think "should" is my least favorite
word in the whole English language.
- SAM: Holy fucking shit!
SAM: That's my favorite.
Fuck! [SIGHS]
I knew it.
- SAM: Jesus Christ, Eli.
- Hey, the bear flag isn't even up.
When someone is in residence,
the bear flag has to be up.
You're a fucking creep.
Uh, no I'm not, actually. A creep doesn't
text, "Hey, I know you're at the farm...
SAM: There's no service.
"I'm coming over right now with a
friendly little ETA every ten minutes."
- Ugh. Very mom of you.
- ELI: Yeah.
You know, you can't stay here.
- Like hell I can't.
- SAM: I'm serious, dude.
I need the quiet.
Lookay, the roads are shit right now.
It's already after dark.
And I own one-fifth
of this place.
Fine. Then you stay tonight.
Come on, Sam.
Everyone's worried about you.
Who's everyone?
[CHUCKLES] Everyone everyone.
Mom literally set a symbolic plate for you
at dinner like you were goddamn Elijah.
Well then I'm sure Dad
enjoyed drinking my wine
when he thought
no one was looking?
ELI: Yeah, he passed out
before 5:00.
Lookay, if you think I'm gonna let you
spend the holidays rotting up here,
you're out of your mind.
I'm not rotting. It's beautiful and
crisp, and I'm learning how to knit.
Gotten far?
I'm strategizing.
[SIGHING] Go back to your life.
I'm fine.
- Yeah. Yeah.
All right, what are we
doing for dinner?
Jesus Christ, kid,
what have you been eating?
I have food.
- Sammy?
- There is a lot of canned stuff.
Oh. Gross.
- Mom sent leftovers.
- Mom knows I'm here?
ELI: Well...
Hey, aren't you supposed to be
hosting Friendsgiving tomorrow?
Oh, so you did
get my invitation?
Oh... no, I did not.
How's your dissertation going?
SAM: Move.
I missed you, too.
- Hey, how did you know...
- Hey, Becca said something about your trial.
- Oh.
What, are they
postponing it again?
I don't know.
- Well, what's the next step here, Samantha?
- I don't know.
- Does your lawyer think that maybe you should...
- I don't know. I don't know.
I don't know! Maybe there is no next step.
Maybe it's postponed forever.
Maybe I dropped
the charges altogether.
You what?
- I... It doesn't matter.
- Did you really do that?
You have to call your lawyer right now.
You have to rescind.
- Eli!
- What would possess you to do something so fucking stupid?
You can't just drop the charges,
you have to pursue this!
- I don't have to do anything!
- Yes, you do! You have to!
- Why?
- Because otherwise I'm gonna find him and I'm gonna kill him.
My dissertation is...
It's going?
Careful, it's hot.
- Oh, my God. You really are a fucking idiot.
Oh, shit, that's hot!
God damn it. Do I
still have a tongue?
I wish you did not.
- Harper would miss it.
Oh, my God.
Jesus Christ!
- I'll get you some sugar. The glucose is supposed to help.
- Thank you.
- Oh, my God!
- ELI: Jesus Christ!
- What the fuck was that?
- Oh, my God, is that a bat?
- Holy shit!
- SAM: How did it get in here?
- How did you let a bat in here, Sam?
- What the fuck? This is your fault!
- Jesus!
Well, that's taken care of.
What? No.
Yeah, as long as we just don't
open the door, it's fine.
Wow, incredibly thickly-veiled
metaphors you're working with here.
Oh, we'll just use the upstairs bathroom.
One for us, one for him.
I'll call animal control
in the morning.
No, I'm not...
We're not... Uh-uh.
Thank you for checking in on me.
I'm still throwing you out
in the morning.
I'm fine.
I've really been fine.
And I'm getting a lot of work done.
[INHALES] I just
need to be alone, okay?
Tonight, little house.
Tonight, little mouse.
Tonight, moon.
- Jesus Christ.
- Hey, babe.
ELI: Uh, red one's
under the bed,
blue one's sitting
in the closet right there.
WOMAN: So many beautiful...
MAN: We have Half-and-Half?
ELI: Hey!
- ELI: Wait a second.
- HARPER: We just thought...
That went really well.
So, not excited to see us.
No, she'll come around.
She will be.
- BECCA: Shit.
- It's fine. We'll just give her time.
Just sit her down tonight.
We can't sit her down if we can't
get her to stay in a room with us.
Wait. "Sit her down"?
Am I missing something?
Eli is concerned about Sam.
- About how much she's drinking and how she's handling things.
- BECCA: Sam. Sam?
'Cause how she's
handling things isn't working.
- MEGHAN: Oh, my God. You guys...
- Sam?
AARON: Yo, I didn't know this
was gonna be a whole "thing."
Then why did you come, dude?
Why are you here?
- AARON: Easy, man.
- No, I wanna know.
Well, first of all, you said she
was gonna be excited to see us.
And besides, we wanna
be here for our friend.
And you obviously weren't not gonna
do this, so we weren't not gonna come.
- Yeah.
Oh. Hi.
- Hi.
- Who's that?
Maybe I have the wrong...
Is Sam here?
- You're looking for Sam?
- Fascinating.
So far, yes. I'm Ruthy.
- Are you sure?
- Doesn't sound sure.
- AARON: Ruthy?
- Short for Rutherford.
- Oh! Duh.
- My mother's favorite president.
BECCA: Shouldn't
that be "Ruh-thy?"
Oh, you're Becca.
- Am I famous?
- No, sorry, you're Sam's sister, right?
- Yeah.
- Who are you?
I live next to Sam. Is she...
We had plans to avoid Thanksgiving.
Sorry, we're so rude.
Come in, please.
Come in. I'm Harper.
This is Eli, Meghan, and Becca.
I wasn't expecting other people.
If you want, I can go somewhere.
Don't be silly, no. Let me take this
upstairs. And Eli, can you take his coat?
- Yeah, sure.
- Thank you.
Brave of you to stay.
Brave of you to straighten
your hair in this weather.
- Oh, my God. You suck.
- Thank you.
Can we focus, please?
Ruthy, I'm sorry to say, you, uh, walked
into a little bit of family business.
So we're just
in the middle of something here.
I think maybe some of us actually might be
on a different page about what is happening,
so if we can just re-center
and move forward
with the intention
of being here for Sam.
I am with the intention of eating these
eggs before they get cold, please.
Ruthy, I brought you
some right here.
BECCA: They're right. We need to
wait it out. ELI: Wait what out?
not delighted to see us.
ELI: She didn't know
you were coming.
She's happy we're here, guys.
Oh, you have the emotional
capacity of a raisin.
- I've heard that, thanks.
- RUTHY: Oh, my God.
Lookay, we're all here now and it's crucial
that we're a united front about this.
A united front about what?
- What is happening?
- What is it? What is this about?
She's dropping the charges.
- What? Why didn't you tell me that?
- Oh, my God.
This is why
you moved Friendsgiving.
Listen, we need to work together
here to make sure that Sam
doesn't make a decision
that she cannot undo.
Once it's over, it's over.
[SHUSHES] Keep your voice down, man.
She's right in there.
cannot drop the charges.
If she doesn't go,
it's filed
as a false accusation.
Gets counted as she's lying.
Lookay, she just needs
to put that fucker away.
- She just needs to let the justice system do its...
- Fuck the justice system.
She needs to stop this guy from
doing this to another woman.
Maybe that's not what she wants.
Of course it's what she wants. I'm not
saying that she knows it's what she wants,
but it's what she wants.
- Eli...
- I love when men tell women what they want. It's the best.
Okay, you know what I mean.
Lookay, we have
a better chance of this working
if we do it on her terms.
Gain her trust,
establish therapeutical ends.
My least favorite
version of you.
- Psych school dropout.
- Mmm.
Has anybody actually talked to
Sam about this? Like, at all?
I was just about to say that
one of us should go talk to her.
- And it really ought to be me.
- [SCOFFS] Absolutely not. It's me.
"Me or you," I said.
- I said, "Or you."
- Okay.
Wait a second. Why not me?
BECCA: Perhaps
your job right now,
in this space, and quite frankly the
world, is to be quiet and to listen.
She just doesn't need to hear from a
straight white dude right now, okay?
Just because he's...
Not all men are...
Did you really just
"Not all men" me?
Don't fucking lump me
into some category, Bec.
That's so
unbelievably reductive.
- This is not about your politics.
- Okay.
And technically,
I'm not white-white, okay?
Here you go.
What the fuck?
Oh, it's your Jew card.
You dropped it.
All right.
RUTHY: Hey. Hi.
Um, I know
you weren't expecting me,
and I just arrived at this
whatever you're calling this,
and I hardly know
any of you, like, at all.
But what I do know
is that Sam is in there,
and if the coffee is out here,
she'll come out eventually.
So let's just
give her some space.
Give it up, man.
I want to check
my Fantasy scores.
You know what this place needs?
A little Christmas spirit, yeah?
It's still Thanksgiving.
Yeah, yeah,
but Sam loves Christmas.
I mean, it's late November.
It's practically December.
And I think Bec would agree
that celebrating
Thanksgiving this year
is a little controversial
anyway, right?
Well, I mean, it's not just this
year that it's controversial.
But sure, maybe let's skip the holiday
that glorifies genocide and rape.
RUTHY: They're always like this?
- Oh, woah, woah.
- Don't go in there!
- Oh, my God. What?
- What's in there?
- BECCA: It's a bat.
- It's fine.
- A bat?
- A real bat? I wanna see.
- No, just sit down.
- No.
I will continue to reach out
to animal control.
Right, okay. Well, I officially demand
Christmas festivity, starting with a tree.
- But there's a bat.
- I will do a grocery run.
- Take someone with you, yeah?
- Why?
You know why.
Becca, Meghan,
do you wanna come?
Even if we're
against Thanksgiving,
we don't have to be
against mashed potatoes.
Yeah, so whatever holiday it is,
we should make... pie.
- Any other requests?
- AARON: Booze.
Hey, can you get
one of those honey hams?
Ugh, you're so... sometimes.
Boys, you ready to George
Washington this bitch?
Um, the whole point of the
story is that he didn't.
He didn't
chop down a cherry tree.
Well, Rutherford,
you're the expert on presidents, not me.
Wait, I'm sorry,
what is happening?
What are these gendered
activities right now? [SCOFFS]
Okay, whatever.
I'm gonna stay back
and see if she emerges.
Fine, whatever.
Hey, you ready to roll up your sleeves
and chop yourself a tree, Ruthy?
Oh, my God. I'm in a porn.
I'm in a hetero porn.
Now it's just this scramble
to get everything together.
- [LAUGHS] I'm sure you're doing all of it.
- Of course.
So fucking typical of him.
- Know that that doesn't change once you get married.
- Ugh.
But you'll see it'll work.
MEGHAN: He's good
at so many other things.
Any preferences?
Oh. Um, no.
I'm not, uh...
I'm not drinking.
Oh, my God.
Are you pregnant?
What? No. God, no.
Then why? Since when?
Uh, since just after the, um...
[CLICKS TONGUE] Just after. My therapist
suggested it would be good for my anxiety.
Oh, wow.
So you're like totally sober?
- Yeah.
Your wedding's gonna suck.
RUTHY: I remember reading in elementary
school that they eat mosquitoes.
So we just need to find,
like, a thousand mosquitoes.
And I remember
they eat fruit, too.
[CHUCKLES] Why are we
feeding the bat again?
'Cause the ladies don't want
the bat to starve and die.
Hey, she mention
any other details to Meghan?
Sam. Has Sam mentioned anything
else about that night to her?
Oh. We don't really...
'Cause I figured, you know, Meghan might
know why she fucking bailed on this thing.
- Um...
- Maybe it had something to do with the drug test.
- I know she's been waiting on those results for...
- Test came back negative.
- How would you know?
- They mentioned them at the hearing.
- His lawyer's, like, obsessive.
- Wait. Wait a second.
You've been to the hearings?
[SCOFFS] She said that no one was allowed.
Motherfucker. God damn it.
I don't know.
I mean, it happened
at our engagement party.
I was so drunk, I didn't even
notice when she disappeared.
- It's our fault that it...
- No, it's not.
- No, it's not your burden all the time.
- No, I know it's not our fault.
- I just...
- Meghan, none of us noticed.
We were all plastered.
And Aaron won't talk about it.
Like, at all.
He can't. He says
he can't think about it happening
to his friend, so he just doesn't.
The male ability
to compartmentalize?
But I can't...
I can't expect him to.
Aaron wasn't there that night
at the hospital with Sam.
It was... intense.
He won't even acknowledge
that it happened.
Yeah, I just need him to say
that it happened.
And now we have this expensive
venue, and this date, and I just...
Have you guys been
to counseling?
[CHUCKLES] We're in a
thruple with our therapist.
- God.
- Yeah.
How's Eli with all of this?
How are you guys?
He's good.
We're... We're fine.
She's so...
good at lying.
Whatever, maybe I can talk to her lawyer.
We can fucking figure...
Maybe just talk to her.
I have, dude.
My mother has.
We ask her to explain the minutest fucking
detail, she goes full fucking Bartleby.
- Huh?
- It's Melville. It's...
- Whatever, you explain it to him.
- I'd prefer not to.
She doesn't
want to tell us shit, dude.
Why are you so relentless, man?
Nobody's holding out on you.
Because that piece of shit
did this to my sister, dude.
And if this all went down
the way she said it went down...
Ruthy. Uh,
I've been meaning to ask you.
Do you, um... you like cars?
Are you a car guy?
Uh, no not...
- Great.
- Have been in several cars.
In the past. Before.
A Honda.
Uh, I don't think
I should have...
I, um... I think it's Eli's.
Oh, my God.
That's... That's him, right?
His mom's work address.
- His sister's school.
His dad's business website.
- Fuck.
He's been leaving for work
super early lately.
I followed him once.
Not to be like psycho wife
or anything, I just...
He's been sitting outside
in the parking lot
where the kid
goes to football practice.
He just sits in his car
and he watches him go in.
You don't think he's...
Do you think
he's gonna do something?
I have no idea.
Don't... Don't say anything to
anyone, please.
- Oh. No, I wouldn't.
- Please.
I would never.
I really thought we were
just gonna do Friendsgiving.
- BECCA: Sam?
- Sam?
I know you're not asleep.
Come on.
[IN KIDDISH VOICE] Come on, Dad.
You gotta get up. Get up, Dad!
SAM: You can't Simba me!
- That's not fair.
- Yeah, it is.
I promise that's not how
I wanted this to go down.
That was fucked up.
- It wasn't...
- Say it was fucked up.
It was fucked up. Okay.
But every single person
out there loves you.
come out.
- Have lunch with your friends.
They won't talk about it.
They'll be cool.
Have you met them?
It's been a year.
What do you need to get ready for Tuesday?
For your trial?
To be done with this for good?
Unless you're not going...
What? I just wanna be
done with this for good.
Whatever this, like, intervention
bullshit is that's happening, I...
That's not what's happening.
We are just here to do
unspecified holiday activities.
And to be here for you.
Whatever you need.
I need coffee.
There's a whole pot.
- No. No! That is not how this is gonna work.
- Mmm-hmm.
I'm too fragile
to get it myself.
- Ow, bitch!
BECCA: No, you can't... Stop it!
You're gonna need to chill!
Okay, yeah.
I cut it into a couple slices.
- He's gonna love it.
- It's small, so... Okay, wait.
- Three, two, run!
- MEGHAN: Okay. One, two...
AARON: Oh, very good.
MEGHAN: Oh, my God!
AARON: Jesus Christ,
all these needles, dude.
- Look who I found.
- Hey.
MEGHAN: Hey...
SAM: Who bought
two kinds of dairy milk?
Are there actually still
people who do dairy?
Did you want me
to make a speech? Or...
Glad to see you
among the living, Samantha.
Surprise, I guess.
Were they nice to you?
Were you nice to my friend?
Why is he allowed to be here?
SAM: You get
your army, I get mine.
[CHUCKLING] Where the fuck
did you find that tree?
You weren't supposed to see it
without the ornaments.
You have ornaments?
Aren't you folks Jewish?
I'm just... I'm gonna tell
you something really quick.
Which is, the Jews,
they love Christmas.
- We do.
- We love it.
- We love it.
- Yes.
This is the part
where my dad would tell you
about how all the famous Christmas
tunes were actually written by Jews,
but I'll spare you.
HARPER: Thank God.
I mean, Irving Berlin.
White Christmas.
Let it snow.
Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn.
- Dad's here.
- Bye, Dad.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Mmm. We were all just saying how excited we
are to be here together for the holidays.
So we were thinking we could do
some fam traditions.
What do you guys usually do?
Oh. We don't usually
get everyone together
to rehash my rape
ad nauseam, but...
I will go get the ornaments.
BECCA: I haven't seen
any of this shit in years.
[GASPS] Oh. Oh, we must.
[SAM] Oh, my God.
- What am I, the gay character?
- Eh.
BECCA: How does this tape still work?
- What the hell is that?
- SAM: Green Acres?
It's the only thing we had
on VHS here, growing up.
We've seen the same, like,
two-and-a-half episodes like 900 times.
- Harper and I used to...
- Hey, what's the deal with you two?
Nothing. She's just a bitch.
- They used to be best friends.
- Becca.
- BECCA: Like, completely obsessed with each other.
- Could we not?
But then Harper wound up
going to college with Eli,
and then they started
dating secretly,
and Sam found out via Facebook
and completely fucking spiraled.
Harper played
the victim per uzh.
Turned all their high school
friends against Sam,
- and then our parents got involved...
- And nothing, we're fine now.
BECCA: They're not fine.
Both of their individual thresholds for
denial are pretty impressive, actually.
Green Acres
Is the place for me
Farm living
Is the life for me
I feel better?
There's not a feel better.
ALL: Oh, excellent
We stayed at the best
B&B in Morocco.
Getting my passport's has
been a fucking bitch though.
Wait you mean renewed, right?
No, first one.
What are you doing, Sam?
Taking my turn, Harper.
No tap taps.
- What?
- No fucking tap taps.
That's against the rules.
No, it's not. How are you supposed
to know which one to pick?
That's the whole
point of the game.
You don't know
and you have to pick one.
That's fucking stupid.
There's no strategy in that.
Yeah, we always
play with tap taps.
Time to take off the
training wheels, fam.
Harper is right.
No tap taps.
All right, fine.
Let's vote. Starting now,
from this point,
who wants to play with tap taps?
Who's far without?
'Cause we're not losers.
I hate games.
I think we should play however
Sam wants to play.
Fuck it, let's play without.
Yes, okay, now it's
interesting. Let's go.
What is that?
It's the landline.
How do you still
have a landline?
- ELI: It's Mom.
- Don't pick that up.
When's the last time
you talked to her?
I swear to God, Eli,
do not fucking pick that up.
Okay? All right. Okay.
I won't.
I won't.
As you were, madame.
You got this.
Go, Sammy. Go, Sammy.
- No tap taps...
- She's a pro.
No tap taps.
What's wrong with you?
I'm going to talk to her.
- Sam.
- ELI: Hi, mom.
AARON: You know, we're going to be the last
generation that, that remembers landlines.
My sister doesn't
remember Frogger, so...
it is not just landlines.
We're responsible for
a lot of shit,
like mass extinction,
thanks to Millennials.
- MAN: Fucking hate them.
- I'm not really a Millennial.
Why are people are always
shitting on millennials?
Why can't they just thank us
for avocado toast and move on?
No, I don't think
that's a good idea.
There really aren't enough
beds with everyone here.
Oh, bars of soap.
- Right?
- MAN: Yeah.
They're so sticky, the residues.
MAN: Yeah, she's here.
- Are you kidding?
- Take...
Take it.
SAM: Hi, mom.
Oh, I didn't see.
Did she dab? Be honest.
I didn't. Calm down.
MOM: I haven't been able to get
ahold of you. Is everything ok?
Yeah, everything's fine.
I'm just working on
my dissertation.
Listen I've been thinking a lot about
the trial, and I talked to some people.
- What? Who people?
- Just people.
My friends,
the women's group, the BJs.
Don't call it that.
Why? If it takes too long to say the
name, just shorten it.
Don't tell me
what to call my friends.
Hey, is Dad there?
No, yes, he's here,
but he's in the other room.
He's sending e-mails.
Oh, so his fingers
do still work?
He says hi.
Listen, honey,
you should think very carefully
about what kind of impression
you're going to make
when you get up on that stand.
What people see matters.
Look, Mom, I'm not
running for office.
That's exactly
what I'm talking about.
The way you speak is so
off-putting, and the way you dress
may be you fine around
your friends,
but that is not the young lady you are
or what you want to present to the world.
You called
to talk about fashion?
No, it's not fashion, it's...
Have you thought
about this at all?
I'm just, I'm worried
that you're going
to wait till the last minute and
wind up in something like that
infamous purple dress you wore
to Harper and Eli's wedding.
What's wrong with
my purple dress?
No, it's, it's... [SIGHS]
It's not appropriate.
Oh, my God.
I mean, that's style might look good on someone
else who's like Harper, who's six feet tall,
but on your beautiful curves,
the effect is sort of...
[SIGHS] I don't want them to think
you're a certain kind of girl.
Let me take you shopping. I'll get you
Uh, Becca is desperate
to talk to you.
- Sam...
- Uh, please tell Dad to e-mail me back.
Samantha, are you there?
- BECCA: Hey.
The harder you push,
the harder she's gonna push back.
We both know that.
How do you like it when I push?
I'm not your sister.
Thank God for that.
- No tap-taps.
- Hmm.
We're not playing
by your rules anymore.
There was not enough of me
To keep your rage company
I feel like
I saw you there
Do you know if your brother
got a suit yet?
I don't know.
I think so.
- Aaron...
- What?
We're here,
there's nowhere to run away to.
Dr. Lewenson said it...
Can we please not
Dr. Lewenson right now?
She said it would be
good for us to...
Shh, for God's sake.
You're smiling
but I don't need you
I used to think that
I would never leave you
You're smiling
But I don't see you
You still think that
I would never leave you
MAN: [ON PHONE] Hello.
- I got you.
- Hi, honey.
- Whose number is this?
- It's a landline.
I miss you.
[SNIFFLES] I miss you, too.
The straights are exhausting.
Okay, fine.
On three.
One, two, three...
BOTH: Slytherin.
- [WHISPERING] Excellent.
- I like that smile on you.
SAM: Hi.
- Hi.
- Morning.
I said nothing.
I'm being nice.
It's not obvious I hate her.
It's so loud.
How long have you guys
been friends?
I don't know.
Since September, I guess.
Last September.
She's just different,
but she's not.
I don't know
what I'm trying to say.
She's just so smart.
How can she not see that
if she walks away, he wins?
It's not really about him.
I mean, she does this all for
some vague political agenda
Well not "him" him, "him" them.
And it's not a vague
political agenda.
He's a rapist,
and he'll do this again.
We have to start holding these fuckers
accountable if you want anything to change.
Isn't that putting
a lot of pressure on her?
Yeah. No...
Of course.
I know everyone thinks I'm this
angry, torch-bearing feminist...
Oh, so you're feminist?
- Obviously.
- So you agree that feminism is about equality.
- Obviously.
- And about women having autonomy
over their bodies and decisions.
- Obviously.
- So then, maybe, it's actually more feminist
to just stay out of it.
Let Sam decides she wants to do.
You don't get it.
I mean, I wouldn't
expect you to understand.
You're right. You're right.
I've never been marginalized.
And so Sam introduced us
one hungover Sunday brunch
in the caff,
and the rest is history.
He's my first and greatest love.
I will never be convinced.
This is your story.
My first love was horrifying.
All Catholic school,
fumbling and passionate closet.
I didn't know that.
I thought I could never
love anyone
as much as I loved Brian Dabio.
Everybody sticks to your own way,
I mean you probably can, you know?
Well, I lost my virginity to a
petty cab of driver named Zeke,
so I'm probably your target
audience on this one.
Wait, what's a, uh...
The one where you fucking
drive with your feet.
- Oh. [LAUGHS]
- Yeah.
And so you moved in together
after college, then?
Yeah, can I tell them the story
about when I moved in...
SAM: Oh, this is
my literal favorite story.
So... Aaron found this little
depressing hole in the wall for us.
I was away doing a summer internship,
so he had to find our apartment.
And when I finally saw the
place, it was just dismal,
like I don't know where he was sleeping.
He had hardly unpacked.
So I just went around
and was pulling things
from boxes and putting
them wherever.
And I found this little carpet.
On top of our house and I was
like, "What the hell, Aaron?"
This is the cutest thing ever This
is the perfect size for our entryway.
And he comes rushing in,
and he's like, "Megan..."
"That's not a carpet.
"That's my call-to-prayer rug."
If it's a cute rug,
it's a cute rug.
- That's what I s aid.
- BECCA: Of all the things people have ever done.
Oh, come on. When's the last
time you went on a date?
Oh, I don't have time.
I work too much
and men are dumpster fires
and it's my burden
and my burden alone
that I am
still attracted to them.
- Same.
Oh, I forgot to tell you,
my buddy Hunter ate at your spot.
And he said
you have a great personality.
"A great personality?"
Yeah, he also said
you were super attractive,
but he said you had
a great personality first.
- Oh, shit.
- Why first?
You fucking hater.
Do you want men to objectify you or not?
I don't understand.
You know what?
I'm not quite sure I understand either
Can one of you assholes get on
in here and help me, please?
Not it.
- Can I have it?
- No, you don't.
I got marshmallow on my face.
- Are going to burn that one?
- I got it.
AARON: Well, I'll eat it
if you do. I like them, so...
MEGHAN: You'll still,
you'll find ways to live your life...
- Yeah.
- And, like, not freak out too much.
As long as everyone else
is happy, I'll be okay.
Noah. Why is he here?
BECCA: Because he's
her boyfriend.
NOAH: Hey!
WOMAN: Oh, my God.
What are you doing here?
Eli, get up!
- What? What?
- Noah is here.
Fuck! He said he was
going to text me.
You can't get texts here.
my brother's word over mine?
I told you I was fine.
He said you need me.
He said you asked for me.
Are you dropping...
Your tour's not supposed
to end for another week.
Yeah, no, I canceled it.
I canceled the last three times.
Why would you do that?
He said you gave up.
I hopped on a plane.
You guys regularly
check in on me or...
Sam I couldn't get a hold of you
I didn't realize they
were still together.
Why did you think they broke up?
She drinks a lot...
She drinks a lot and
comes home late.
Well, at the time,
she doesn't come home alone.
To call you.
He lied.
- Sam!
- Fuck.
Fuck. Fuck!
Not cool, man. Not cool.
He's your fucking
boyfriend, Sam.
- He has a right to know.
- So not your call.
- He shouldn't be here right now.
- None of us should be here.
I asked you not to be here.
We all have other things to do.
But we're here for you.
Do you ever actually
listen to the words you choose
to allow to come
out of your mouth?
- Sammy.
- Unbelievable.
- Here, try these...
- Oh, thank you so much.
And why would you think
it would just be the two of you?
I didn't, I didn't think about
who would be here.
I think you and I both know she would
be a lot more amenable with one person.
Hmm, thank you.
I tried that.
Hey, long time no see.
- Hey, man.
- I didn't know you were gonna be here.
Yeah, that seems
to be a running thing.
Uh, what did you
do on your pants?
- AARON: What did you do on your pants?
- It's just dirt. Sand and dirt.
BECCA: Oh, please,
why are you wearing white pants on a farm?
- I like...
- They do things differently in Europe.
He's a big time
concert penis now.
Pianist. There's a...
there's a "T" in it.
AARON: It's like a shitstain.
I think it looks really beautiful on you.
- Thank you.
- You're making him awkward.
- No, it's fine.
You're okay at that.
- Hey.
- How's it going?
Uh, it's all right.
Sam's been telling me all about
your European musical success.
Exciting time.
Yeah, yeah.
Hey, uh, do you mind
giving us some...
Oh, uh, yes. no,
Of course.
I'll just...
Do you mind?
Could you put down the...
I haven't seen you in weeks.
Look, I know you didn't know I was
coming, but I'm here now.
Are you upset that I'm here?
No, no, no, of course not.
It's just Eli...
It's this whole fucking thing.
How was your fight?
Take your pill.
Yeah, yeah, I slept.
- It was good.
- Good.
- It was good.
- Good.
Please let me try.
To what?
To make you feel better.
- I'm fine.
- So you've said.
But what, what if all of this
is, so you can be better.
Better than what?
Than just fine.
Isn't that what we do?
We make each other feel better.
Is that all?
No, no, of course, it's not all.
Doesn't sound like
a whole lot of fun.
Not everything has
to be fun all the time.
I thought that's why
you like me.
Let's have another go
We'll learn something
we didn't know
I'll be your distraction
for awhile
She told me that she was
coming up here to work.
I should have figured.
I just can't read her anymore, man.
It seems like she's been fine.
She shouldn't be, right?
I mean, yeah, she's fine.
She's the same.
Mornings are sensitive.
Like even just the
thought of going outside...
It takes a little longer.
She used to be so quick,
you know, up, out.
And now there's a hesitation.
And when the day is done
I'll try and pack up
and be gone
We'll see if...
That guy.
He took something from her.
He took something
from both of us.
- Wanna play again?
- Yeah.
Oh the marks that I made
Up on your shoulder
Sure gave you a good look
And I said
Would you look at that
I think I love your body
You read mine like a book
Oh the marks that I made
Up on your shoulder
Sure gave you a good look
Sure gave you a good look
She is risen.
So we're doing Easter
now too, huh?
Perfect timing.
Come on, come on.
So everything is self-served.
Grab a plate, grab a drink.
You can eat in the living room.
And go forth, my children.
Two fiends, two hearts
Too many nights to count them
But tonight was something new
And I know you felt it, too,
When we fell into the passion of a kiss
Around the world
We've shared
these roads together
Every journey is grand
When you're holding my hand
Do friend falls in love
like this?
A love that once
was merely one
Now blazes
with an ardent desire
A touch that once
was just a touch
Burns hotter
than a five-alarm fire
Oh, say you're mine
For all our days to follow
What was innocent before
Has become a grand amor
Two friends fell in love
like this
It's almost like
a Norman Rockwell.
As long as none of them speak.
This is all...
You are a very good host.
Come get pie!
- Oh, thank you so much.
- Thank you, thank you.
Sam, you want some?
MEGHAN: Okay, everyone,
on before we do pie,
um, I know this
is fake Thanksgiving,
because real
Thanksgiving is terrible.
- True.
One of the things that very much still
resonates with me is the practice of gratitude.
So if you could all just
take a moment, please?
Okay, close your eyes.
[WHISPERS] Close your eyes.
MEGHAN: I know it's been a
tough year in a lot of ways,
but something I'm really
grateful for is all of you
and the fact that
we can be here together.
Does somebody want to go next?
BECCA: Anyone?
MEGHAN: Anyone?
You know what? I think we should
all talk about why we're here,
actually, we put it off
long enough.
BECCA: Way to go rouge. MEGHAN: I
don't think we should be doing that.
- We're concerned.
- BECCA: We are.
By dropping the charges, you're not
seeing this thing through to the end.
You're making a decision
you're going to regret.
I'm going to regret
or you're going to regret?
Clearly, Eli's being a fucking
nightmare about this.
But if you don't go to court,
this will all be for nothing.
They'll count your case
as a false accusation.
Is this Mamma's pie.
This is Mamma's pie.
Yeah, I did my best.
- Why do you have this recipe?
- I gave it to her.
I wanted you to have...
- Sam, this is serious.
- I know this is serious.
This is mamma's
secret pie recipe.
Sam, this isn't about
a fucking pie.
It's about you
not doing anything,
- hiding from everything.
- You know who else was hiding?
Hiding from fucking Nazis.
They took everything from her.
They took her wedding ring.
All she had was this
fucking pie recipe.
- That's not how it happend.
- SAM: That's how it happened.
- BECCA: Honey, no.
- And she just... Yes.
That's why this pie
is family only.
Mamma wasn't making
pumpkin pies in Poland.
She just wasn't.
I mean, she did hide
from the Nazis,
but the pie recipe
came later. Sam...
We all love you and respect you.
Do you love and respect us?
[CHUCKLES] One out of two.
Okay. Can you listen to us
for, like, a second, please?
- You are the worst facilitator ever.
- Okay. I think maybe
some of us have had
a little too much to drink,
and this isn't the best...
- Would anyone like coffee with dessert?
- No.
[CHUCKLES] Okay, fine.
Fine, you all
want to intervention me?
Intervention me.
Well, go ahead.
Did you all prepare
letters to read,
or you're just gonna
kind of wing it?
I'm gonna put some coffee on.
No, Harper,
why don't you go first?
Seriously, I think
you should go first.
You know what? Fine.
You are self-centered
and selfish,
and it makes it really hard for the
people who love you to love you.
- Wow.
- And that all started
- way before the assault.
- Okay.
- Wow!
- Harper, that is so wrong.
- This has been a hard year.
- For you.
You can't drop this case.
That's not what
we're saying. We...
We're just concerned that
you haven't begun
the healing process
- and instead are using alcohol to cope.
- BECCA: And other...
MEGHAN: We just want to
create an open space for you.
You cannot drop this case.
Oh, [CHUCKLES] thank you
for slowing it down that time.
- So I, like, really got it.
- All right.
Eli, this is not
how this is done.
- You're shutting her down completely.
- I'm not!
Well, this went well
for you guys.
Very organized.
- Sam...
- I need some air
and I will catch up
with you all later.
- Sam.
- Really...
I'm fine.
Curious how "I'm fine"
can sometimes sound a lot like,
"I'm going to go
fuck some shit up."
Are he and Sam close?
The dated for a hot minute
their freshman year
before Meghan even
came into the picture.
Are you serious?
We had our own little West Bank
Story going on there for a while.
Harper says
you're not eating again.
Fuck Harper.
Why aren't you eating?
I don't know, Aaron.
'Cause I hate myself.
'Cause I hate my body.
- No.
- Yes.
Because society.
Because I'm a woman.
Because I needed it
to fight back
and it betrayed me.
SAM: What's that?
It means,
"Never have I dealt with anything
as difficult as my own soul."
Will you tell me
what happened...
that night?
- I don't really remember, I...
- Please.
Meghan hasn't told you?
I, uh...
[SIGHS] I haven't let her.
Hey, if you don't want to
tell me, you don't have to...
I only really remember
what the hospital told me.
Look, if you don't feel
comfortable, I...
I remember talking to a kid
at the bar.
I'd already had a few drinks.
At a certain point, I couldn't
find you guys anywhere, so I...
went outside.
There he was with his friends.
I took a hit of
whatever they're smoking.
I went back to his dorm room.
His roommate
was asleep in the dark,
so I was whispering.
I said, "No, I don't want this."
Somehow, my...
My head slammed against the wall
next to his bed.
I just... I just froze.
You're not someone who freezes.
I know. I don't, I'm...
How did I end up
in his dorm room?
If I...
If I didn't say yes. I...
I must have agreed
to go back there, right?
- I must have wanted to, maybe...
- No. No.
- Maybe I did before I said no, maybe...
- No.
Meghan was amazing
at the hospital.
I just... I just wanted the test
to see if I had been drugged.
They, like, won't give it to you
unless you report,
and suddenly,
the police were there,
- just, like, asking me questions...
- Hey.
And, like, how much
I'd had to drink and...
I believe you, okay?
I believe you.
Welcome to the other side.
The other side?
Of being loved by Sam
and left by Sam.
Oh, no, she didn't.
- We're not...
- You're too close.
That's the problem.
She is so, so good
to the people she loves.
The most loyal, but...
Love is a competition to her,
and if you're better at it,
if she's not winning,
iced out.
I, uh... I hear that.
The three of them together
are so stubborn.
I know them better
than they know themselves.
But they'll forever
choose each other over me.
So, why stick around?
He's my husband.
I worked so hard
to create this picture-perfect
life that I thought I wanted.
And now?
I don't know about the picture.
I don't know
if I like it anymore.
She's in a dark place.
I know.
If we had just picked
a different bar...
I'm just...
I know.
I know, I keep
thinking about that, too.
What did you say to her?
I mean, um...
I don't know.
I don't know.
Nothing, really.
Thank you for talking to her.
Don't make me your life
Don't make me your breath
Don't give me that power
Don't blame me like that
"Destroy, destroy, destroy,"
she said
That isn't our life
That's a book you once read
I'm tired of calling this
kind of shit out
Your rich guy guilt
and your crippling self-doubt
Honey, why'd we
let it get so bad?
Honey, why'd we
let it get so bad?
'Cause I made you my type
I made you my dream
I saw something I liked
I just took it and ran with it
Destroy me, destroy me
destroy me, you said
Well, that's not who I am
and that's not what you get
Honey, why'd we
let it get so bad?
Honey, why'd we
let it get so bad?
- Morning.
- Hey.
- Oh, God! Jesus!
- Ugh. Too early.
- ELI: Wait, can you...
- Get off!
Oh, you're a nightmare.
- Ugh.
- Why are you so fat?
- Oh...
- I believe I was here.
- Do you mind?
Hey, Sam?
- Sam?
Can we...
Can go for a walk?
Yeah. Yeah.
I'm trying really hard,
but you won't even
let me near you.
I'm trying so hard to be gentle.
And it's creepy.
It's so creepy.
Half the time you touch me
like I'm going to disintegrate
- and sometimes it makes me think that I might.
- Okay, okay.
How do you want me to touch you?
Or you, like, look at me
and you see him.
And then you try to
gentle it away somehow.
But you can't. You just...
You... You can't.
I love you.
I know.
You love me so much.
I can't take it.
It's too heavy.
But these strangers,
you can fuck these random...
- You don't even know their names, Sam.
- What?
Ruthy, he...
He didn't mean to. He just
confirmed what I already knew.
They're bodies.
Just bodies.
You don't care.
You should.
You should care.
- I know.
- I care.
I know.
We stand hand in hand
like corpses
Our friends
are corpses, too
And the man
who took the photograph
Likes the look of you
Darling, I have tried
to fix you
I can't count the times
that I have kissed you
I never thought that
when you built our home
You'd make it
out of blood and bones
Darling, one of us
should go
ELI: That doesn't work for everybody.
Harper and I ate there.
HARPER: Could you please
not speak for me?
MEGHAN: Everyone should be
in therapy all of the time.
She's not going, she stopped.
BECCA: When?
ELI: Who cares? Obviously
therapy wasn't for her.
She completely checks out.
HARPER: Last I checked, she was.
RUHTY: She said it wasn't...
BECCA: It doesn't matter
what she said.
I have something to say,
and it might not be
a popular opinion.
ELI: Careful.
NOAH: Sam is vehemently
pushing this thing away.
Now, what it seems to me
is that she wants
to make this go away.
Maybe this isn't as black
and white as we're making it.
ELI: What are you saying?
She's lying?
No, no, of course not.
Of course, something terrible
happened that night, but was it?
Maybe she didn't need
to take it this far.
ELI: You're implying
a lot of things here, buddy.
NOAH: You're not exactly a model
fucking citizen here, my friend.
Asking her
why she drinks so much.
BECCA: Whatever.
Now it has come this far.
And she did.
She wanted to pursue that.
She was so fired up
in the weeks after.
- You weren't there.
- MEGHAN: Neither were you.
You weren't
at the hospital either
And I'm sorry that it kills you
that it was me instead of you.
BECCA: No, what kills me
is that you were there.
- And you're not angry.
- MEGHAN: Of course I'm angry.
I just don't get to be
the same kind of angry that...
ELI: It's time!
She should just go and end this thing.
MEGHAN: No, if what's gonna
help her heal is to walk away,
then she should walk away.
- I fucking hate that word.
- Sam. How long have you...
I should testify on Tuesday.
Or maybe I shouldn't now
testify on Tuesday.
I shouldn't drink so much.
I should eat more,
except for on days
when I should be strong enough
to not eat at all.
I should be excited
to wake up in the morning,
and I should be grateful
I'm alive.
And I should go back to therapy.
And I should be
better at healing.
And I should try to remember
what it was like
to live inside this body
before the night
it shouldn't have been raped.
I shouldn't have been raped.
But I was.
I love all of you.
You're my family.
Which is why
this is a family thing.
No, no.
Mamma's pie is a family thing.
This... This is a me thing.
This is a decision
that I have to make,
and I don't know if you have
all put this together or not,
if you've all seen
the irony in this,
but the reason
all of this is happening
is because my choice
was taken away.
And now all I would like
in this world
is to be able to make
this decision for myself
without all of you insisting
on trying to make it for me.
I know,
I know I'm a fucking mess,
but you're all a fucking mess.
You two should communicate
about literally anything.
You should stop trying
to control everyone,
stop obsessing about me
and take a look at
your own fucking relationship
because she just...
- She's a bitch.
- BECCA: Sam.
And you should go back
to therapy school,
do something with all of this.
And you should stop
smoking so much weed
and finish your fucking book
because it's actually very good.
And you should give up on me.
Give up on me and find someone
who's actually capable
of being a partner to you
because I can't.
I can't.
I can't... I can't do
all the things I should do,
and I don't know what
the fuck I'm going to do.
NOAH: Sam.
And to all, a good night.
See me tossing and turning
And I see who I'm hurting
So turn a blind eye
Like the whole world
Like the whole world tonight
Say "I miss you
"And I miss her, too"
Say you want her back
This is all that's left
All that's left
All that's left
Say "I miss you
"And I miss her, too"
Say you want her back
But this is all that's left
All that's left
You the bartender?
Dated a couple of bartenders
in the past.
- You seem a lot less douche-y already, so...
- Ouch.
Sorry, that was salty.
I'm not a mixologist.
What can I get for you?
Whatever you like to make.
You want to talk about it?
Okay, that's cool.
I didn't really
want to know, anyway.
I was being polite.
Holiday spirit got you?
In, uh, French...
In Spanish, [CHUCKLES]
a decision is something that you
take, like a train.
In German,
it's something you meet.
Like a friend.
But in English, it is something
that you have to make, so...
Create it
out of fucking thin air.
I was raped.
Year ago.
I was pursuing charges.
I am pursuing charges.
I tell my brother I dropped the
case, but I didn't really.
He just heard
what he wanted to hear
and then he told
everyone we know
and brought everyone we know
to our fucking cabin.
And now they're all there
trying to get me
to go back to a fucking trial.
And I know I should,
but I just don't want to.
And... What the shit?
You have to slow down
long enough to enjoy the grease.
Finish your story.
I'll give them back.
Can I say something horrible?
Yes, please.
I don't care about the other
hypothetical women
preventing this from happening.
How fucked up is that?
I care about
getting my shit together
and finishing my dissertation.
My sister's like this
staunch-ass feminist
and it's... [HESITATES]
It's great, but I can't be...
I can't...
I don't have the capacity
to be the poster child
for her cause right now.
My brother is like...
I think he'd have a better idea
of what to do with me
if I cried more.
Now they're all...
They're just...
All these people are there
at the place
where I went to get away
from all of them.
And they're just
watching me all the time
trying to make sure
that I'm eating and sleeping
and not gonna kill myself,
and I just cannot fucking breathe.
So you're mad that a bunch
of people love you enough
to show up
and see you
through something awful?
[HESITATES] I'm fine.
[HESITATES] I've been fine
a lot of the time
but everyone just keeps
telling me that I'm not.
Well, you're not [SIGHS] fine.
I mean...
you tell yourself
you should be fine
because what happened to you
wasn't that bad
and a lot of other people
have had it a lot worse.
You're not fine.
But you're also not
a very good victim.
I mean, you're not, um...
performing the role
well enough for your crew.
[CLICKS TONGUE] I never dropped
the charges.
My brother just assumed
and told everyone that I did
and I...
just let them think that.
I want it to be over so badly.
I just... I thought
maybe if I said it out loud
and I tried it on...
I just wanted to know
what it would feel like.
What do I do?
I don't know.
All I know is [CHUCKLES]
life is fucking weird
and, uh, nothing
ever, ever turns out
the way you planned
which was a lesson hard learned
for a Virgo with Virgo rising,
long as you keep showing up
this is nothing
you can't handle.
Are you gonna, like, tell me
how our periods
are synced with the moon
or something now?
Third cycle's in 28 days.
I didn't understand
the question.
- Eat your shit.
Hey, that's on me.
- But...
- Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.
This is the holiday where Indians give
shit away to white people for free
Get out.
Hey, guys?
In the morning,
I am going to go home
and I'm going to take a shower
and I am going to eat
with my lawyer
and the next day
I am going to testify
at my trial.
And you can come
if you want.
Walk soft
in the pouring rain
Still wild but you
missed this train
That hit like a tidal wave
Oh, oh, hey,
- did you turn off the coffee pot?
- Yep.
but you're standing brave
If you fall back down
If you make it out
When they hear your sounds
And you set 'em free
NOAH: what I think?
BECCA: Yeah.
Did you ever see his face?
ELI: Look, she's been in there
20 minutes, guys.
I'm sure she's fine.
Please. Can you go?
- Yeah.
- Megan, go. Go check on her.
- Yeah, I'll go.
- Should we all go together?
- Uh... Uh, it's fine.
- Um...
- Harper, it's fine.
- Just...
MEGHAN: Amazing how we always
find ourselves in this position.
It's kind of nostalgic,
comforting even.
I [SIGHS] never,
under any circumstances,
in a million years,
wanna go back to high school
but right now,
I wish I was sitting next to you
on the floor
of your parent's bathroom.
Trying to figure out how far we had
to stick the end of a toothbrush
down our throat
to successfully throw up.
You are so, so brave.
What you are doing is going
to help so many people.
That's saying a lot,
considering most of the time
you're a manipulative,
selfish bitch.
Like, in a cute way?
Not even a little.
I don't wanna be like that.
Do you love him?
I really do.
Hi, Mommy.
I'm sorry, I didn't...
I, I don't know how to do this.
It's okay. It's okay.
You're so beautiful.
I got to go take care
of something real quick
um, but I will be right back.
Harper, can you just...
- Hi.
- Hi.
- How are you?
- Uh, uh, good.
Why didn't you just tell me?
If you were still deciding
you could've just said that.
I just wanted it to be over.
I tried that on.
When I get up there today you are
going to hear details about that night.
Sam, I'm so sorry.
I should've been there.
I should be keeping an eye on you.
You can't watch me
all the fucking time.
And I know I don't let you.
So I see you doing it.
With Harper?
You can't watch her
all the fucking time, either.
I need you to do something
for me
I can't worry about you.
And what you might
or might not do. I...
After today,
this has to be over.
Let it go.
They're gonnna be ready for you
in just a minute.
Thank you.
The chores
The stores
Fresh air
Times Square
You are my wife
Goodbye, city life
Green Acres, we are there
WOMAN: Ms. Vogel?
They're ready for you.
MAN: No further
questions, Your Honor.
JUDGE: Would counsel for the defense
like to cross examine the witness?
I would, Your honor.
I used to drink a lot
in college.
Uh, what was your alcohol
of choice?
How is that relevant?
Answer the question.
Um, I guess, Vodka, mostly.
And you would say that you used to
down these drinks in one or two sips?
You were used to doing this
because you partied a lot?
I would say
I partied a normal amount.
You gave us your height
and weight at the initial exam.
Are these numbers radically
different than that night?
- No, ma'am.
- You claim
that when you said "no,"
you whispered
as to not wake
my client's roommate.
Yes, that's true.
So, you admit then
that it's possible
that my client didn't hear you
if you were quietly whispering,
- "No?"
- I guess that's possible.
And where was your boyfriend
at the time?
MAN: Objection. Asking an answer.
WOMAN: It was...
- That was a decision.
- JUDGE: Overruled.
WOMAN: How many minutes...
MAN: Objection...
- Irrelevant.
- WOMAN: You remember nothing after that?
JUDGE: Sustained. WOMAN: You were
in control of what you were doing.
SAM: Your Honor, if I may,
I'd like to be able to address
the defendant directly.
JUDGE: You may.
"On a Thursday night
almost one year ago,
"I attended an engagement party
"for two of my best friends
in the world.
"They'd chosen
our old college haunt,
"a favorite sticky dive bar,
for the party.
"A bit of nostalgia,
a bit of cheapness, I presume.
"I talked to you briefly
at the bar
"not knowing that my choosing to
be momentarily polite to a stranger
"would render me lost
"assaulted and,
ultimately, a victim.
"How horrifying to go out,
expecting to be home before midnight
"and instead to wake up
stuck to a vinyl bench
"by the blood in your hair
"in the common room
of a college dorm
"you do not recognize
and did not attend.
"To open your eyes
to fluorescent lights
"and the face of a stranger
who noticed you
"on their way
to an early breakfast.
"How frightening to sit
on a cold hospital table
"slipping in and out of consciousness,
so nauseous from the tests
"and the alcohol
and the concussion
"that you keep wishing
you were dead.
"'This body's not mine, '
I reasoned with myself.
"'This body is not mine.'
"A lie I made up
to keep me from collapsing.
"'This body is not mine.'
"A mantra
I'm still working to unlearn.
"It's been 11 months.
"Do you know how long
11 months is
"when you're invisible
to yourself?
"For 11 months,
I've had to answer
"to your version of what
happened that night.
"A pathetic story
that changes sometimes weekly
"at the urging of the people
you've hired to bury me.
[BREATHES DEEPLY] "Eleven months
being gaslit by hired guns in suits.
"I've been made to believe
that I'm just confused,
"I have a drinking problem
"that I somehow consented,
"to having my head bashed
against your dorm wall,
"and your fingers uninvited
and unrelenting up inside me
"while your roommate slept
just three feet away.
"That my "No"
wasn't the right kind of "No."
"At the handful
of innocuous college blackouts
"thrown in my face
so many times,
"I stopped knowing
which one of us was on trial.
"In this chair, in this court,
"in this system,
I am only allowed to exist
"in that one night,
in that assault.
"So where can I file
the countless
"and incessant assaults
that followed it?
"The assaults on my privacy,
on my time.
"Assaults in the form
of invasive medical exams.
"And perhaps, most devastatingly,
the assault on my character.
"You've managed to
assault me again and again
"by creating fictitious,
consensual events
"forcing a script into my mouth
"ascribing pleasure to a body
that was not capable of consent."
I said no.
"A word that's almost exactly
the same in nine languages.
"A word that you pretended
not to understand.
"I hope now
the word "no" consumes you.
"I hope it's single syllable
swallows you whole
"and pricks at the nape
of your neck
"and burns itself
into the back of your eyelids,
"until at last it is
not two small letters
"but an entire sentence
to which you are shackled.
"You've taken up
so much of my time.
"I refuse to give you
another minute of it.
"I'm lucky.
"I have a community
that has rallied around me.
"I have friends and siblings who
bolstered me and build me back up
"and showed me so much love
"even when I couldn't return it.
"And it's because of them that
I'm starting to exist again.
"Exist as a sister
and a daughter.
"And a friend and a linguist,
"and a lover
and a terrible cook,
"and really good giver
of birthday presents.
"I grieve for the Sam
you took away from me
"and from them.
"You don't get to have
the vast expanse
"of Sams
I've yet to become."