The set is a very simple ATM vestibule, with an ATM machine, three plastic chairs, and two automatic doors on the right side. John is typing his code into the ATM Machine, and waiting for his money. He is dressed nicely, with class and dignity. Autumn is standing a few feet behind him, not too interested in her surroundings but apparently in deep thought. She's dressed in the latest fashion trends, but is still somewhat conservatively dressed. Both of them around the same age, in their early to mid thirties.

Suddenly, the power shuts down, the room darkens, and the machine shuts off, with John's card still inside.

JOHN
Shit!

John bangs on the machine, but nothing happens. During this time, Autumn is still but moves her hand to a position of worry and begins to bite her nails. John bangs on it a few more times before giving up and turning around. He notices he isn't alone.

JOHN
Powers out.

AUTUMN
Yeah.

John starts to tap on his leg. He' embarrassed about acting out and doesn't know what to say.

AUTUMN
Your card was in there?

JOHN
Yeah.

AUTUMN
Well, mine wasn't... And I've got things to do. I hope you don't mind...

Autumn singles to the door.

JOHN
Not at all. It isn't your problem.

Autumn turns around and tries to open the doors, but notices that they have no handles, and that they're completely automatic. She spends a moment trying to pry them apart, but to no avail.

AUTUMN
It's my turn to say "Shit."

JOHN
I'm sure that's a fire hazard.

AUTUMN
It is. We could sue for something like this!

John is suddenly silent again, and sits down on one of the plastic chairs. He picks up the newspaper sitting next to it, and begins to scan the front page.

JOHN
At least they're got a paper in here.

Autumn is restless and still wants to leave. She clearly has somewhere to be. She doesn't answer John right away, but rather spends another moment trying to get the doors to separate.

AUTUMN
This is useless... Could I see the arts section?

John flips the paper open, pulls out the Arts section and hands it to Autumn.

AUTUMN
Thanks. Y'know, there's always artsy stuff going on downtown. I really love it when I go, but that's almost never. I should make time to do this stuff.

JOHN
My wife used to love all that stuff.

AUTUMN
Oh. You're married then?

JOHN
I was.

AUTUMN
Am I being too nosy if I ask what happened?

JOHN
She didn't love me.

AUTUMN
Oh... I'm sorry. But I will have to get your number before the power come back on...

JOHN
it's ok... I was glad she didn't because after a while, because I stopped loving her. But she never loved me, not even on our wedding day.

AUTUMN
That's terrible.

JOHN
It could have been, but it wasn't. We were never meant to be. I'm not even sure why we even got married in the first place. She kept reminding me how I should be grateful she wanted to be around me. She was a tired old woman by the time she was thirty, her hair already turning gray, her heart already bitter. I knew her before that happened... Then she could have loved me, but she just didn't. I think she was afraid of running out of time to have kids and wanted to get married as quickly as she could. She settled for me. I didn't care, she was beautiful, not just outside... but inside. But all that faded away quickly... I think it was me. I think I killed that part of her. Every morning she woke up and looked at me and thought "This is who I married," and every morning she hated herself for it. And every night... Gosh, I'm sorry. I'm rambling.

AUTUMN
No, it's ok. I think marriage is terrible. It sets you up for disaster... Were there any kids?

John doesn't answer right away. He just looks down at first, a little big sad. Finally, he speaks.

JOHN
There almost was...

AUTUMN
Almost? Was it a miscarriage?

JOHN
No... She found out she was pregnant. It was what she'd wanted, but suddenly she realized if that kid was born, she could never get away. She stayed with me the whole time because she wasn't doomed, wasn't there forever. She was planning on leaving at some point the whole time... But a child, she didn't want to let the child grow up that way. With divorced parents. So she killed it.

Autumn gasps for a moment, but then shakes it off with relief when it hits her.

AUTUMN
You mean an abortion... She had an abortion.

John nods.

JOHN
She killed my son. The she dropped divorce papers of the table. She said "There is no Johnny Jr. There is no Mrs. John Summers. Not anymore." And that was it.

AUTUMN
Oh... I'm sorry, that's awful mean but... She has a right...

JOHN
A right to take away my child. I know. I'm familiar with the law.

AUTUMN
Well, I for one, believe a woman has a right to... Sorry. Sorry, I'm making you tell me all this stuff... and it's personal. Not to mention you don't even know me.

JOHN
But I'd like to.

Autumn smiles, and walks over to sit down in the chair next to John.

AUTUMN
I'm 31, never married, just broke up with my boyfriend of two years because he was hiring male prostitutes to do obscene things to him, still work at the same place I did when I was seventeen, once stole a really cute shirt from the Salvation Army, and I didn't do too well on the SATs.

JOHN
Interesting overview.

AUTUMN
In our bed.

JOHN
What?

AUTUMN
The prostitutes he hired... He brought them in our bed. We lived together. They were in our bed.

John feels a bit awkward.

JOHN
Sorry to hear that.

AUTUMN
Yeah. Well, you told me about your dead baby. I had to say something.

JOHN
So is it true or not?

Autumn looked over at John, smiled, and laid her head down in his lap, shocking him. She laid across the other two chairs.

AUTUMN
Does it matter?

JOHN
It does to me.

AUTUMN
Ok, then, yes, it's true. Pathetic, I know, but all true.

JOHN
Well... it is pretty sad. Twisted, but still sad.

AUTUMN
That's what I thought too...

JOHN
I still don't know your name.

AUTUMN
Oh? It's Valerie.

JOHN
You don't look like a Valerie to me...

AUTUMN
Don't I? Damn. You saw through it... My name's Autumn.

JOHN
Why would you say your name was Valerie if it wasn't? Autumn is a pretty name.

AUTUMN
So is Valerie.

They're both silent of a moment, and John finds himself stroking Autumn's hair, and has an arm around her. He hasn't been reading the paper in a while, but it's still tucked under his opposite arm.

AUTUMN
You said your name was John. I remember that.

JOHN
Did I?

AUTUMN
Well, you said your wife was Mrs. John Summers, so I assumed... but you seem more like a Nicholas or a Kurt to me.

JOHN
I like Kurt. John is such a trite, tired name.

AUTUMN
But it's a nice one. Jonathan sounds distinguished, John sounds friendly, and Johnny sounds part cute and part sexy.

JOHN
Your think so?

AUTUMN
Sure... The power's been out a while now. I wonder when it'll come back on... The storm seems to be only getting worse.

John doesn't answer her, and they're both quit for a moment, being Autumn speaks.

AUTUMN
I don't know about you, but I'm glad the power went out. I'm glad the doors wouldn't open.

JOHN
I am too.

AUTUMN
But we should still sue.

John laughs a little bit, and Autumn stands up from the chairs, pulling away from him. She stretches and yawns.

AUTUMN
God, I'm tired. I could fall asleep right here inside this ATM vestibule. I've slept stranger places before.

JOHN
Like where?

AUTUMN
A homeless shelter in Detroit, when I was sixteen. Outside on the streets of Manhattan with a sleeping bang when I was 20, trying to get tickets to Saturday Night Live. Area 51.

JOHN
Area 51?

AUTUMN
Don't ask... Oh yeah, and I slept on the set of an Elton John music video shoot.

JOHN
Wow... I've spent every night of my life in a house or a hotel. Once in an apartment.

AUTUMN
Living the wild life that night, huh?

John laughs, and takes off his jacket. He stands up, crosses over to the machine, which is still completely out. He looks at it for a second, pulls the paper out from under his arm, and sets it on the cold cement flooring.

JOHN
Cement won't catch fire. Watch this.

John takes a lighter out from his back pocket. He rips one page out of the paper, sets it in front of him, and lights it on papers. It spends a few seconds burning up and disappears.

AUTUMN
The
point of that... was... ?

JOHN
To get some light. But paper burns to fast.

AUTUMN
Dammit, and I left my wooden logs at home today!

JOHN
...So no fire.

John lights the lights, and holds it in his hand to provide a small amount of light.

AUTUMN
That doesn't help much... It's daytime, there's enough light. We can sorta see...

JOHN
But it's stormy. Getting dark. (a beat) And I can't see you face.

AUTUMN
No, you can see my face, but you can't see the age lines. The lighting is perfect.

JOHN
You know, I never met anybody like you.

AUTUMN
What's that supposed to mean?

JOHN
No, it's a good thing! It really is. You're so unique.

AUTUMN
Not too unique. Maybe compared to you, but people like me are a dime a dozen.

JOHN
Don't say that! It isn't true.

Autumn slowly drifts over towards the plastic chairs, and lies down across them again. This time, John is standing a few feet away still.

AUTUMN
I wish you were right... but you're not. You don't hang around the same kind of people I do. Everybody's got stories to tell, but they're all the same stories. The moral is, in the end, we have absolutely nothing. Not a home, not a family, if there's kids they've run off already the same way we did from our parents, but that's when we realize exactly who we were. And we hate ourselves. We couldn't even pick a city to stay in. Pick up and move all the time, not that there's anything to take with us. I've been through homeless shelters, foster homes, I've squatted in abandoned buildings, I've done things that are fun to brag about, but I'm starting to lose it all. You're just starting to gain everything - everything is falling together for you while it's falling apart for me. You're going to get married again, settle down, have kids. They'll grow up, go to Harvard to study law or Ohio State to play football, or Jesus, both... And they'll call you on the weekends. You'll have your house, and you'll have these nice clothes.

Autumn tilts her head upside down on the edge of the chair she's in and yanks at John's pant leg.

AUTUMN
See what I mean? I'm like a fire... I burn out but the ashes smolder forever. The fire is so beautiful and you love it while it's there, but then there's hot black dust and ashes, and that's it. You, you're more like a catipiller... You have to work at it, but one day you get to be a butterfly.

JOHN
Wow...

AUTUMN
What?

JOHN
That's so untrue and you don't even know it...

AUTUMN
Well, you aren't the one who's lived it and seen it and watched it your whole life.

JOHN
That's bullshit. If you don't want your fire to go out, pour gasoline all over yourself.

They're both silent suddenly, and stare at each other quickly.

AUTUMN
Ok, the metaphors have got to stop.

Autumn stands up and stands behind the chairs with her hands grasping the back on one of them. John crosses to the other side of the room, but still isn't more than six feet from Autumn.

JOHN
Sorry... but I had my point. The only reason that could ever happen to you is because you've seen it. You've already convinced it will happen. You're positive. Say you wake up tomorrow morning, and say "Shit, I'm 31. Not married. Not involved. I've got nothing." What do you do, sit in bed and bitch about it? Go out and find whatever it is you think you want!

AUTUMN
No, that's not it. I know what I want. I want to live the way I do... but I know, one day, I'm going to regret it.

JOHN
Then why do you do it?

AUTUMN
Do what? What in particular about how I live?

JOHN
I don't know. You brought it up, not me. I don't know how you live.

AUTUMN
Right. You're right. I started this conversation, and now I'm ending it.

JOHN
So you're alright with knowing you're always going to be nothing. You hate it, but you're alright with it.

AUTUMN
Shut up... I've accepted who I am. What are you?

JOHN
I don't quite know... but I'm happy.

AUTUMN
How come, huh? Your wife never loved you, then she left you, and got an abortion, "killing" what would have been your first and quite likely only son. Are you happy 'cause you've got money? 'Cause I can tell you do! That's a terrible thing to let make you happy!

JOHN
I like my money, yes. I'd rather be happy over money than not happy at all. If there was nothing else in the world, money does give you temporary recovery. But that's not even it... I'm happy because if I wasn't... There'd be nothing left for me to be.

AUTUMN
Sure there is! There's a million different emotions you could have. You could be pissed, sad, depressed, angry, bitter, or - or anything but so goddamned happy all the time that you make everybody else sick! If every second is like this perfect magic moment if doesn't' mean anything when it actually is. No, I'll take a wide range of human emotions anyway over the fake, fluffy feeling you must have.

John begins to pace back and forth. Autumn looks on from behind the chairs.

JOHN
You think I don't have emotions! Ha. Honey, I go through shit but unlike you I don't have anybody to stand up for me. You're the unique, artsy girl who's down on her luck, working at the same place since she was seventeen but who is always looking for something new. Politicians love people like you, they can write speeches about how wonderful you are, and how sad it is that you have to stand in a line to get your welfare check. But me, I'm the rich jerk who has everything but is cruel to everybody and around him, the guy who cheated his way to the top, because nobody honest is successful. You want to know why I'm happy all the time? If I ever was anything but nice and polite and happy and cheerful, I'd just feed their stereotypical view of exactly who I am, business suit, briefcase, and all. I just can't do that. I can't let them win... I can't be that businessman, the one from the movies, the one I TV. The one who doesn't give a damn about anybody else, who he has to hurt.

AUTUMN
Because you do give a damn. I know you do.

Autumn walks out from behind the chairs and stands very close to him, almost touching. She just looks on, not moving at first.

JOHN
You're the only one.

AUTUMN
Am I?

JOHN
Pretty much.

Autumn takes his arm in hers, but says nothing. The lights suddenly turn back on, and John's card is spit from the machine, along with several twenty dollar bills. John pulls away from Autumn and goes to get him money.

JOHN
Shit... and now I have to go to work... go to the office and make my way through an angry mob of protesters.

AUTUMN
Protesters?

JOHN
Yeah, today is there day to rally because my company apparently has too big of a monopoly on the market. It's not our fault people buy our shit.

AUTUMN
(pause) You work for Herco?

JOHN
I'm the CEO.

AUTUMN
Oh.

JOHN
Why?

AUTUMN
I'm supposed to be leading that protest.

Neither of them say anything for a moment. John puts his money and card into his wallet, and places that back into his pocket. Autumn's eyes drift around a lot, she's clearly uncomfortable.

JOHN
I guess you don't want my phone number anymore, huh?

Autumn almost chokes, but instead manages a smile.

AUTUMN
Actually, I think I do.

John raises a surprised eyebrow, but after a moment realizes she isn't kidding. He takes out a pen and writes his number on her hand. Neither of them say anything else. Autumn smiles at John, and he returns the gesture. She waves a little bit and walks towards the machine, as John leaves. Autumn takes out a wallet from her purse, and does some scavenging for her card. She tosses around some keys and other cards, until she finally picks one out and closes her purse. She starts to put it into the machine, but crinkles her nose and smiles, shaking her head. She opens her purse again and puts the card back in, having never put it in the machine. She walks over to where the plastic chairs are lined up and pulls one out from the sides, pushes the middle one over, and puts the first one she took in the middle. She steps back a few feet, takes a quick look, and smiles again. She quickly glances at her hand where John's number is written, still cheery looking.

AUTUMN
I'm happy... if I wasn't, there'd be nothing left for me to be.

Autumn flings her purpose back over her shoulder and walks out the automatic doors.