Log Line: Super cute Kaz Miles moves to the bustling city of Edmonton with NOTHING but dreams. No impressive work history, not enough money, no place to stay at… neither… brains for love and relationships! To make her idiosyncrasies even worse, she meets the beautiful, shrewd, principled — and — ‘super straight’ Jane Randall who becomes her roommate, self-proclaimed mentor, love guiding light, and… FANTASY!
Warning: Crude Humor/Language
“I stayed up all night long to write,” I inform Jane, tracing her steps into her office.
“No wonder why you look like your eyeballs are about to pop out any minute,” she says. “Do you need more coffee?”
“I’ve just gulped down a thermos of caffeine, for crying out loud.”
“Is it for your book?”
“What’s it about?”
“Not gonna tell you. Or you’d jinx it.”
“Fine. Uh, our beloved students will be here at eight tonight, so get your wits ready.”
“How in a world do you teach someone how to read anyway?”
“Why do you do it?”
“Why do you write?”
“You don’t answer a question with another question, Jane.”
“You don’t ask a question based on a common knowledge that human nature is capable of caring.”
“You care about these strangers, but you don’t even care much about your ego though.”
“This literacy program has awakened me to my ego.”
“Does it give you fulfillment?”
“Kaz, get back to work.”
“Fine. You know what? I’m gonna show you that I can do this.”
“Whatever it is that would make you fall in love with me.”
“Get rid of the culprit. Then you’ll know.”
I frown. “What culprit?”
She smiles and kisses me on the head. “Exactly.” And she trudges away.
And here I am… frozen up… mouth half-open… As my mind goes… BLANK!!!
From that day on, my heart is pumped to believe that my fantasy is going to be mine for the rest of my life. Living in that illusion alone already makes me the happiest existence on the planet.
I watch Jane in action teaching her eager students how to read. The group is made up of seniors, middle-aged, and youngsters. All females. It is only when I have come to realize the importance of this literacy program, which charts back to these strangers’ sad history. Perhaps, they were busy taking care of their loved ones, and so they had neglected themselves. Or they married young, which crippled their own happiness. Or maybe at some point in their lives, they lost their self-worth, and that life meant nothing anymore that the only way for them to carry on was to master the art of going about their everyday routines and making a living. What I have witnessed has changed a part of me that my love for my fantasy strengthens with patience and pride.
I am drawn to discover my greatness.
“Would you let me teach next Sunday?” I ask Jane as soon as we get home from work.
“All yours,” she says. “I’m making something for dinner. What do you feel like having?”
“Kaz, we got stuff in the fridge. And I’m cooking. So what do you want?”
“Anything you’ve got in mind.”
Egos. You’re in my way of getting laid. God, forgive me for saying that.
Jane sashays around in the kitchen, making grilled fish with salsa and salad. I sit at the table, breaking my book down to chapters.
“Is it a love story?” she asks.
“Why, you got other ideas?” I reply.
“Write something based on love, not about the whole concept of love because no genius would ever get it.”
“Okay, now, I have completely lost my appetite for writing my story. What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means… love is the foundation of all the inciting actions that drive the story forward, leading to a satisfying resolution.”
“My idea of love is to get a scientist to examine my brainwaves, that way I would understand everything that you’ve been telling me.”
“Here’s an idea,” she says, pointing the ladle at my face. “Get the object of your affection to make her stand under the mistletoe with you on Christmas eve. You’ve got the burning desire, the stakes, and there goes your story.”
“And then what?” I say. “She’d fall in love with me?”
“She would feel something special for sure, but not… love in a commitment zone… yet,” she says. “Anyways, you’d still get to kiss the girl, though, so…”
“I get to kiss the girl while the burning desire still needs to be accomplished. No point.”
“Not love in a commitment zone yet… ’cause the goddamn culprit is still around, flashing its wonder!”
“But you’re affirming to me that all my efforts would only be rewarded with just a kiss under the mistletoe, and that’s it.”
“Your efforts would also get her to spend Christmas with you.”
“And so I have to come up with an agenda as to how to catch her under the mistletoe with me and make her stick around for that burning desire. Is that it?”
“If you act on something out of an agenda, then the universe wouldn’t give you a sincere outcome. It would only make things worse. You know why? ‘Cause the girl is way too smart to catch arrogance… just like that. Then… you’re done. It’s over.”
“Efforts flow out of a certain agenda, Jane.”
“Efforts must be done out of a good heart… and genuine intentions.”
“So what if I finally get her to kiss me under the mistletoe, what would happen then?”
“And that’s how the story begins.”
“So that’s just the beginning of everything? The story hasn’t even started yet as I work on my desire?”
“The real heart of the story must start with the occurrence of the desired result.”
“Isn’t the occurrence of the desired result supposed to be the happy ending?”
“The occurrence of the desired result is your prologue.”
“My prologue is meeting the girl first.”
“I’m lost. I don’t know how to write anymore.”
“See? This is exactly why the culprit has become the main character.”
“Are we still talking about my book?”
“Well, what do you think?”
My cell phone whirs in with a strange phone number. “403?”
“403 is a Calgary area code,” she says.
“I don’t know anyone from there.”
“Well, answer it and find out for yourself.”
“It could be a telemarketer.”
“That doesn’t look like a telemarketing company though. Just answer it.”
“Hello?” I answer the call.
“Hi, Kaz,” a familiar female voice registers through my ear.
“Holly?” I vault on my feet.
“I thought you wouldn’t recognize my voice anymore,” Holly giggles. “So how have you been doing?”
“I’m doing good,” I answer in an unsettling tone. “I’m in Edmonton now.”
“I’ve heard,” Holly says. “I’ve just talked to your mom. Anyway, I’m in Calgary. I’ve just moved here about a week ago.”
“Fantastic.” I turn to Jane, who simply snickers at me. “I’m happy for you then.”
“Save my number and keep in touch,?” she insists.
“Uh… Absolutely… You can count on it…” I stammer.
“You mean it?” she glumly asks.
“Yes, I do mean it,” I reply.
“Good,” she utters. “Text me, okay? Whenever you want.”
“I will,” I say. “Bye now.”
“Bye.” And she hangs up.
“Who’s Holly?” Jane interrogates.
“My ex,” I reply. “The one who recently broke up with me.”
“She wants you back,” she assumes.
“No, she doesn’t want me back,” I object.
“She called on a mission, Kaz. And that mission is to have you back.”
“I’m working on my book, Jane. On top of that, I’m gonna start teaching people how to read. And on top of that, I wanna work overtime because of my egos, and it’s all because I’m in love with you.”
“If you’re just gonna do all that as proofs of your love, then forget it.”
The outpouring madness takes a hold of me instantly. “I’m going for a walk!”
“Fine!” she whoops at me in a shattering voice. “You’re good at that! You walk away! Go right ahead!”
“Don’t yell at me!” I bounce back.
“I’m sick of you walking away, Kaz! Every single time we’re in deep shit together, you frickin’ walk away! You run out of defenses because all you do is keep basking in your goddamn culprit, and I’m sick of it already! I’m sick of it! Oh, and by the way… how’s your memory coming along? Or do you even pay attention? Hell, no! No! Of course not! And then you dump your shit on me! Screw this!”
“I run out of defenses because I don’t even have any idea as to how to make you happy and accept me for what I’m capable of, and I’m sorry for being an innocent, ignorant, vulnerable gay chick who happens to fall in love with you!”
She sighs, calming down. “Dinner’s done.”
“Jane,” I plead, “I don’t care if Holly wants me back, okay? I have a new life now. And even if I don’t catch you under the mistletoe with me, I would still love you. I would always love you.”
“Then stop running away,” she whimpers.
“You stop being so hard on me.”
“The cat’s been barking around. You just don’t hear it.“
“You’re hammering my head into bits of pieces here.”
And she starts setting the table. “I’m telling you all this because it also means a great deal to me.”
“And I walk away because I’m hurting,” I say as I help her with the task.
“My words are supposed to help you see reality, accept it, do something about it, get something done, make yourself proud, and be truly happy.”
“I got it.”
“No, you don’t. Never did. It’s always the culprit talking.”
And Holly starts hounding me with a bunch of text messages the next day.
Me: Happy morning.
Holly: Job interview today at a restaurant.
Me: Good luck.
Holly: Thanks. I missed you, Kaz.
Me: Just do whatever it is that you mean to do out there.
Holly: Didn’t you miss me?
Me: Kinda. Sorry, just busy transforming my life.
Holly: Great. Tell me everything.
Me: I work at a cool bookstore. I have a crazy roommate, who stuffs my head with a bunch of life perspectives. And I’m working on my book.
Holly: Wow. You’ve already come a long way, huh?
Me: I’m working on my egos.
Holly: Does that mean you’ve already come out to your parents?
Me: Not that. Never mind.
Holly: Sorry if I brought it up.
Me: That’s okay. My egos are kind of like my goals. I wanna achieve something good.
Holly: You sound different.
Me: We have a literacy program thing. I’m gonna be teaching some people how to read.
Holly: Awesome! So noble of you to do that.
Holly: So have you been seeing someone?
Me: Not at the moment. No.
Holly: Do you like Edmonton that much?
Me: I like being on Whyte.
Holly: Whyte ave.?
Me: Yeah. It’s where I live.
Holly: You like someone there?
Holly: Would you tell me about her?
Me: She’s straight though.
Holly: I was straight before I met you.
Me: That’s right. I forgot about that.
Holly: So are you pursuing this girl?
Me: Kind of.
Holly: If it wouldn’t work out, would you still give us another chance?
“You were absolutely right!” I crash into Jane’s office to deliver the news. “Now what do I do?”
“What do you feel about her now?” she coldly replies.
“This girl broke my heart. How could I love her the same way again?”
“Can we rephrase that? She was actually doing you a favor by walking out on the relationship, so you wouldn’t have to hide from the truth anymore.”
“But I was devastated when she left me! Wasn’t that a sign that I loved her just as much?”
“You know what love gives you? Courage. And a whole lot of sensibilities for you to pay attention.”
I gaze into her eyes. “Can red-head gaydar run the store for a couple of days?”
She gapes at me, scrutinizing my proposition. “What have you got in mind?”
“Let’s go to Grande Prairie.”
Her face gloriously lights up. “And I… waited for this moment. Thanks.”