A  CYBERCAFE. WE LOOK AROUND. DEAN IS AT A TERMINAL. KATIE IS HANGING ABOUT
 OUTSIDE LOOKING IN. BEN AND ANNIE ARE AT A TABLE. BEN IS EATING A SLICE OF 
SOMETHING GOOEY. ANNIE HAS A DIET COKE.



BEN

Want a bit ?



ANNIE

No thanks



BEN

I’m not surprised after what you ate at Ross’s  party last night.



ANNIE

What are you talking about



BEN

The amazing disappearance of about a million of these chicken wingding things 
down your gob. You turned into a total pig.



ANNIE 

I did not ! I hardly ate any of them !



BEN

You did. And the mini Mars Bars. You were really stuffing yourself.



ANNIE

That is SO not true ! I hate you ! Anyway what would you know. . .you were only 
there for five minutes.



BEN

I had stuff to do at home.



ANNIE

Surprise, surprise

Anyway - you could have said. I could have come home with you.



BEN LOOKS AT HER. HE OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

JOANNE JOINS THEM



JOANNE

There you are !  I thought you were going to call me first thing. I needed you 
! I bet my maths homework is gonna be complete rubbish and it’s all your fault !

Hi, Ben.







ANNIE

I went to an aerobics class. I called you at lunchtime. Your dad said you and 
your mum were at your brother’s school.



JOANNE

Er...yeah



BEN

I thought your brother was nineteen. . .he must be a real thicko if he’s still
 at school !



JOANNE

That’s so typical ! If you must know he. . .he helps out on a Saturday with 
some problem kids.



BEN

I’d be a problem kid if I had to go to school on a Saturday.



JOANNE

Look, are you two getting a terminal ?



ANNIE

Yeah, probably. (TO BEN) But not if you’re going to chat to these saddoes on
 the Courtney Cox  Fanline



BEN

Jealousy’s a terrible thing.

HE GOES



JOANNE

Wouldn’t surprise me if  he had a Courtney duvet cover.



ANNIE 

Not that I’m likely to find out.



JOANNE

Have you still not been back to his place ?



ANNIE

No.  He says his dad works at home and he doesn’t like people around the place.



JOANNE

Mmmm. Well - it might be true. You never know.











ANNIE

No. And I can’t take him to mine because I told mum I’d dumped him. She doesn’t 
think he is ‘the type’ I should be mixing with. She thinks he is a bad influence.



JOANNE

He’s a bad influence ? Your mum obviously doesn’t know about you dragging Jack 
Smith into Ross’s mum’s bedroom at the party last night.



ANNIE

You won’t tell Ben will you ?



JOANNE

What’s it worth ?



ANNIE

I’ll redo your maths homework ?



JOANNE

Deal !



DEAN IS AT A TERMINAL.

KATIE IS NOW INSIDE AND WATCHING HIM.



KATIE

You fancy that Joanne, don’t you ? 



DEAN

Everybody fancies Joanne.



KATIE

Why don’t you ask her out ?



DEAN

Because she’s not going to want to go out with someone like me.



KATIE

What do you mean - someone like you ?



DEAN

Look - why don’t you get your own terminal ? I’ll give you the money if you like ?



KATIE

I don’t  need you to lend me the money.



DEAN

It’s just  - I might want to get into one of the. . .you know. . .chatline





KATIE

You mean the sexlines



DEAN

Well I couldn’t do it with you watching



KATIE

Why not ? I could explain the words you don’t understand.

DEAN REACHES OUT AND SQUASHES KATIE’S CRISPS FLAT.



DEAN

Do your parents know you hang out here ? I mean won’t your mum worry about you?



KATIE

No.

Does your mum know you use dirty chatlines ?



DEAN

She wouldn’t care.  Could you get me an orange Tango. There’s the money. And 
get yourself one too.





TOM  COMES IN. LOOKS AROUND. NODS HELLO TO BEN AND GOES UP TO LOOK AT MAGAZINES. JOANNE JOINS HIM.



JOANNE

Hi Tom.  What happened to you at Toby’s party ? You didn’t stay very long.



TOM

Oh. .it wasn’t really my kind of thing.



JOANNE

Oooo -What is your kind of thing, then

TOM BLUSHES FURIOUSLY AND MUMBLES

JOANNE GIGGLES

Annie got off with Jack Smith.



TOM

Has she split up with Ben ?



JOANNE

No



TOM

Oh



JOANNE

Why do you fancy her or something ?



TOM

No way. 



JOANNE

I think she should, though. . .I mean Ben’s really cute. . but, I mean, he’s 
weird. They've been going out together for two months and she's never even been 
invited back to his house !



TOM

So ? Just because he doesn't do exactly what you think he should do that doesn't 
make him weird.



JOANNE

Well Annie thinks it's weird. . .



TOM

Annie seems to think that  everything that's not Annie is weird.  She is such a control freak. 
 When you talk to her it's like she's giving you a mark out of ten.



JOANNE

Yeah, well. . .at the moment Ben is scoring about a three. . .

SHE WALKS OFF

But she's getting me an ‘A' in maths.

I'm going to get a terminal. . .



TOM

Mmmmm

WE FOLLOW JOANNE

SHE GOES TO THE COUNTER



GREGORY

Ah - the lovely Joanne. . .and what has the  Cybercafe's answer to Jennifer
 Aniston been doing with herself this weekend ?



JOANNE

Nothing. Why - has someone been saying something ?



GREGORY

No. ...now then. . .your usual terminal with a view ?



JOANNE

Yes please



GREGORY

HANDING HER A LEAFLET

Website news. . .Another Babylon 5  page. . .dedicated to the Shadows. Tsk. . 
.I remember when the Shadows meant four guys in suits who backed Cliff Richard.

A BLANK STARE FROM JOANNE

Never mind.

The Mitchells. Phil and Grant's Funpage - only joking. .it's all a bit grim 
actually..... . . .Hanson. . not your scene. . .Prince William. . .with 
pictures. . .Tellytubbies oh yes and  The Cloakroom.



JOANNE

What is that ?



ANNIE JOINS THEM



ANNIE

What is what ?  Have you seen the pictures of Prince William ?  That girl on No 
3 is on some new website dedicated to him. .  He is so cute .



GREGORY

Do you know who downloaded a couple of the new Friends pages ?



JOANNE AND ANNIE

Ben.



GREGORY

(LOOKING ADMIRINGLY AT THE PAGES) Very nice. I think I'm a Courtney man .

She's got a great body.



JOANNE

‘You too can have a body like mine - just spend half your life with your head 
down the toilet !!!



ANNIE

How can you say that ? So she was bulemic. . . why is that a joke ?  God. . .no
wonder people keep these things to themselves no matter how awful it is. All
 that happens when you tell anyone is that they make fun of you !

A QUIZZICAL GLANCE FROM JOANNE



GREGORY

Well now you don't need to tell your friends. . .you can go to The Cloakroom.

           

ANNIE

The what ?



GREGORY

The Cloakroom - it's where you go with anything that's hanging you up.
 Cloakroom. . .hang-ups. . .gettit ?  Its a great idea. . because no one will 
trace you. . you have total, perfect anonimity. You could confess to murder and 
nobody would know who you were



ANNIE

Joanne could let all her embarrassing secrets out



JOANNE

SHARPLY  What embarrassing secrets ? Who says I've got embarrassing secrets ?



BEN ARRIVES



BEN

Nothing wrong with secrets. Some things are better secret.



GREGORY

So it'll be separate terminals, then ?



THEY ALL EXCHANGE GLANCES



BEN

Er...yeah. . . .I mean I'll be talking to saddoes about Courtney Cox 



JOANNE

I hate sharing, anyway.  And I might need to download some stuff for my Media Studies project.



GREGORY

Oh yes. . .I got an e-mail for you, Annie. . .someone in Venezuela thanking you 
for the poem about George Clooney. . .



BEN

And you think I'm sad ???!!!

HE GOES



ANNIE (WITH A FURIOUS GLANCE AT GREGORY) AND JOANNE GO



GREGORY(NOTICING KATIE AT THE OTHER END OF THE COUNTER)

Hey ! Get your thieving little mitts off my muffins !



KATIE

I was only looking !! 





GREGORY

Looking , you do with your eyes. 



KATIE PICKS UP A MUFFIN AND TAKES IT TO GREGORY



KATIE

I'd like this and two orange Tangos please



GREGORY

That's one pound seventy five, please. . . .and you may as well take that one 
you've just fingered. I can't sell it to anyone else. SHE HESITATES. THEN TAKES
 IT AND EATS.  . . .you not taking a terminal today.



KATIE

Nah. . .



GREGORY

(POINTING AT LEAFLET) Some good new websites.



KATIE

(READING)

The Cloakroom ? What's that then ?



GREGORY

It is a chatline. You can go there with yopur hang ups. . hang ups. . 
.Cloakroom . . .



KATIE

That's stupid



GREGORY

Suit yourself. But we've probably all got something we don't like to let on 
about. . .I've got things about me that I wouldn't want anyone to know. . 
things I haven't even told my best friend. . .



KATIE

In case he wouldn't be your best friend any more . . .



GREGORY

Exactly. But I could go to The Cloakroom.  I might find other people like me. . .



KATIE

Maybe.



GREGORY

Look. . .number ten is empty. . .and it has been a bit iffy today. . I've 
actually just given it a bit of a going over. . 





.don't suppose you'd like to see if it's working alright, would you ?



KATIE

Well....



GREGORY

I'd be ever so grateful



KATIE

OK. She goes.



COMPUTER SCREEN

IDENT COMES UP

THERE IS A CONVERSATION GOING ON ON SCREEN

THE FOLLOWING LINES COME UP IN WRITING. AS WELL AS SEEING THE WORDS,  WE HEAR 
THEM IN VOICEOVER.



SNEEKEYPETE

So why do you think you'll never get a boyfriend. You seem pretty ok to me.

Have you got two heads. . .are you a serial killer ?



AJ

I'm fat!



SNEEKEYPETE

Is that all ? That's not a problem.



AJ

Have you ever been out with a fat girl ?

A PAUSE

CUT TO

A BEDROOM. DIMLY LIT.  WE SEE OVER  A SHOULDER THE CONVERSATION CONTINUE ON 
SCREEN. THE CAMERA PANS ROUND TO REVEAL AJ. A CHUBBY TEENAGE GIRL.

I didn't think so.



BACK ON SCREEN

GREGORY

Well I don't know anyone who would turn down the chance of a date with Dawn 
French.



CUT TO

ANOTHER DARKENED ROOM

A BOY THIS TIME. WE SEE HIM FACE ON SO THAT WE HEAR HIS WORDS AS HE TYPES THEM







FOREIGNER

My cousin is large. She is very beautiful with skin that glows and lovely eyes.  
Think how lucky you  are, AJ. To be like everyone else. . just bigger. I am 
refugee. I feel I am not like anybody in this country. I feel my face


is wrong, my english is wrong. My father is no longer with us and my mother 
cries all day. We have no money and no home like before. The english people 
where I live call us . . I think parasite. 



ON SCREEN THE WORDS COME UP

AJ

You should hear what they call me!  Do you have McDonalds where you come from ?



FOREIGNER SMILES.

CUT TO COMPUTER SCREEN FULL SCREEN.

SCREEN TELLS UP DD HAS ENTERED THE ROOM



SPICEHi, DD



DD HI



SPICE First time ?



DD

Yeah. 



SPICE

So what's your problem ?



DD

No problem. . .just exploring the web



SPICE

That's what they all say. First time.



JJ

Took you three weeks before you told people you were deaf, Didn't it.,

you great soft twat !



SPICE

That's JJ. His dad's an alkie. 



JJ

Thanks  SPICE



SPICE

(:-)



DD

It must be awful.



JJ

You get used to it.



DD

But when your dad's drunk. .if he breaks things. .falls down. . like, every night. .

You can't have any friends home, can you. .  

And what about when he hits people. . 

And the smell. . the smell in the house



JJ

So how long has your dad been drinking ?

NOTHING

DD ? Are you there ?  Look - you can talk about it. Having a dad who is an 
alchoholic isn't. . . .



WE SEE HANDS ON THE KEYBOARD TYPING.



DD

It's my mum



WE PULL OUT TO SEE THAT IT IS DEAN



JJ (ONSCREEN AGAIN)

Ok. . just because your mum is ill. . .



BEANO

Ill ?  You don't know what you're talking about. Your dad and his mum are't 
ill. They're just pissheads. They're drunks. That's not ill.



DD

You see - That's why I never tell anyone. It is better to be a secret.



BEANO

Secret ?  How would you feel if you came home one day and your mum told you 
that your dad had AIDS. He had AIDS because he slept with a druggie and he didn't 

even use a condom and he got it off her !  THAT's a secret !!! How would you feel about that ?



OVER THAT SPEECH WE PULL OUT TO REVEAL BEN.



GREGORY

Hey. . .come on you guys. . .can we settle down here ?





DD

Who are you ?



GREGORY

I'm the moderator of this site. . .I  help people out with advice. . if I can



BEANO

Great. . .a cybershrink



GREGORY

I am not a cyber shrink !



BEANO

So my dad's got AIDS. my mum cries all the time.  I can't talk to any of my 
friends about it  and my girlfriends gonna dump me because I never ask her back 
to my place . . .advise me on that !



DD

Don't give the guy a hard time. . .it's not his fault your dad's got AIDS



BEANO

I know. . it's my dad's fault. . and that slag he was sleeping with



KK

Typical. . . blame the woman. 



DD

He  needs someone to blame



BEANO

Great. . .another Cybershrink !



DD

Well you do. . .don't you. . . It really helps to know whose fault it all is.



BEANO

Its not that simple. You don't know what it's like. AIDS isn't like other 
diseases. . .I mean I sometimes really wish he had cancer or something. .. AIDS 
is like a disease for. . well, not for normal people. . .do you know what I mean ?



KK

I know. . . drug addicts . gays. prostitutes. 









BEANO

When my mum told me what was wrong with him I thought he must be queer.

And so I know that that's what everyone else will think if I tell them. . .



TT

So you are going through all this secrecy, not because your dad is sick. . .but 
because you are worried that people will think he's gay ? 



BEANO

Would you want people thinking your dad was gay ?



TT

You don't know how funny that is.



KK

I know a girl who is HIV+  Her mum and dad have dumped her. . .She hasn't seen 
her best friend since she told her. . . . she knows loads of people who have 
lost jobs and everything because they are positive.



DD

Isn't that illegal ?



KK

You can't make it illegal to be an arsehole



GREGORY

Language, please, KK.



KK

Well what would you call someone who dumps their best mate just because she is HIV + ?



GREGORY

Ignorant. . .frightened, maybe.



BEANO

Frightened ? It's my dad that's gonna die !



TT

Isn't he on one of the new combination therapies ?



BEANO

Don't know. I don't talk to him about it.



TT

Well you should. . .there are amazing new drugs that can really help, you know







BEANO

How come you know so much ?



TT

I read. 



BEANO

Where do you read about that sort of stuff ?



TT 

Magazines. . different places. 



BEANO

Is that your secret . . . you are a secret reading addict



TT

I wish



BEANO

So what is it then ?



TT

Who says I've got a secret ?



BEANO

You're here. . .

SILENCE

Come on. You know stuff about me not even my best friend or my girlfriend knows. 



TOM SITS BACK FROM HIS COMPUTER. OBVIOUSLY TORN. HE LOOKS OVER AT BEN. WATCHES 
HIM FOR A MOMENT. BEN LOOKS UP AND GRINS. TOM SMILES BACK AND QUICKLY GOES BACK 
TO HIS COMPUTER.



TT

No. It's not the same. Your problem is with your dad. . .

My problem is with me.

You wouldn't understand.



####

TOM  SITS BACK AGAIN. JOANNE COMES UP AND SITS BESIDE HIM. HE  QUICKLY EXITS 
THE CHATLINE.



JOANNE

Hi Tom. 



TOM

Hi



JOANNE

Can I get you a coke or something ?



TOM

No thanks, I'm ok.



JOANNE HOVERS



JOANNE

Are you going to Jake's party next week ?



TOM

Er. . .I don't think so.



JOANNE

Oh. That's a shame. 



A SLIGHT PAUSE



JOANNE

Er. . .Annie and Ben and me are going to the cinema tomorrow. . would you like to come ?



TOM

What are you going to see.



JOANNE

Don't know.



TOM

With Annie and Ben ?



JOANNE

Yeah



TOM

OK 

JOANNE

Great !

SHE GOES.

TOM GETS BACK INTO THE CHAT LINE



KK

My dad's in prison. For three years.

SILENCE



BEANO

That must be tough. Not having him around.



KK

Yeah. Nearly as tough as having him around.



TT

So do you live with your mum ?



KK

I look after myself. 

PULL OUT TO REVEAL KATIE



TT

You mean you live on your own ? 



KK

Sometimes



DD

Don't be stupid KK - you go out on the streets and it's hard to get back in.My 
mum used to sleep rough sometimes and when I went looking for her I met kids out there. 





GREGORY

There is an organisation called NACRO, KK. You could try talking to them about 
your dad. Or a friend. People understand more than you think. 

 

BEANO

Do your mates have regular homes ?



KK

Mates ?. Get real. Even if someone would be friends with a kid whose dad is 
inside . . .how do you think their parents would react ?  Anyway. . who needs 
mates ?  I do OK.



DD

I win prizes for  “I do OK” Take it from me - as soon as you say  “I do OK” you do not do OK.



WE READ RACHEL  HAS ENTERED THE ROOM



RACHEL

I agree with DD.  



BEN

Who are you ?



RACHEL

Just someone. 

DD is right. You think you're doing OK. But you're not.                                                                                     



KK 

You don't know.



RACHEL

Maybe. But I know what it is like to have something about your life that you 
just hate.  And I know about being scared  that if I tell  even my best friend. 
. .then everyone will know. They'll think  my brother's a freak.



TT

Why  would people think  he's a freak ?



BEANO

Maybe he  supports Chelsea ! 



KK

How are you going to think when  LaLa wants her brain back ?



BEANO

Look - I know you're having a tough time of it but are you always so aggressive 
that you can't even recognise a joke ?

 

KK

What is this ‘freak' thing with your brother ?





####

BEN GOES TO THE COUNTER

BEN

Can I have a Coke. And have you got a Cadbury's Caramel ?



GREGORY

 Yes and no. PLONKS DOWN COKE  Can I interest you in a Wispa ?

They're on special offer. . .25p



BEN

I like Caramels



GREGORY

Hard on the outside, soft on the inside. A QUIZZICAL LOOK Remind you of anyone 
you know ? 



BEN

What ?



GREGORY    (HE OPENS A CARAMEL)

Looks just like an ordinary chocolate bar on the outside. . . but inside. . 
.all soft and squishy.

BEN LOOKS DEFENSIVE. HE LOOKS AWAY. HE SEES KATY





BEN 

I think that Katy's like that. . .she's well hard on the outside. . but you can
 see in her eyes  she's not on the inside.



GREGORY

I think you're right. Have you ever talked to her about it ?



BEN

Don't be daft. She wouldn't want someone. . . interfering.



GREGORY

How do you know ? Wouldn't you ?



WE SEE THE QUESTION HAS HIT HOME. A PAUSE.



BEN

Can I have my Caramel or what ? 



WE CUT.

BACK ON SCREEN



DD

Come on Rachel  -  you make it sound like you're living with the Addams Family.



KK

Welcome to the club !



RACHEL

My brother's got Down's Syndrome



BEANO

You mean he's a mongol ?



RACHEL

Yeah - my brother's a mongol like your dad's got the gay plague ! Thanks.



BEANO

Sorry. I didn't think.



RACHEL

You're no worse than most people. That's why I don't talk about it. My friends 
wouldn't know what to do if I told them.  He's really sweet. But sort of slow 
and. . .well. . .funnny. I don't want them being weird with him ‘cos  then I'd 
get mad at them  It would all just go wrong. 





BEANO

Are you ashamed of him ?



RACHEL

No.   Well. 

No ! Not ashamed. . 



BEANO

You don't want anyone to know about him. . or meet him and make up their own minds. 
But you're not ashamed. . .



#####

KATE GOES TO LOO. ANNIE  IS COMING OUT OF CUBICLE, WIPING MOUTH



KATIE (GOING INTO CUBICLE)

You OK ?



ANNIE

Yeah. I'm fine.  

KATIE You're Joanne's mate aren't you ?

 ANNIE

Yeah



KATIE

She got a boyfriend ?



ANNIE

What ?



KATIE

She got a boyfriend ?



ANNIE

That's none of your business !



KATIE

So she hasn't, then.



ANNIE

What's it to you ?



KATIE

I just know someone who fancies her.



ANNIE

Yeah, well, I don't think she'd go out with anyone you know.





KATIE

What about the people I know ?



ANNIE GIVES A LOOK AND SWEEPS OUT

KATIE LOOKS IN MIRROR



KATIE

Actually, Annie I'd like you to know that my dad's in prison and I'm sleeping in a squat tonight. 
Because I know you'll understand and still want me as a friend. 

Not  !

Thank you Mr Moderator.

########

BACK AT THE COMPUTERS



DD 

So, he's got Down's Syndrome. I mean - if you're ok with him. . ..then why wouldn't your friends be ?



RACHEL

I don't know.  Why don't you think your friends would understand about your mum ?



DD 

I don't know.



BEANO

I didn't think my friends would understand about my dad because I didn't. 
I really hated him. AIDS. . .some people think



DD

People think a lot of things. My gran thinks black people haave heavier bones 
than white people. She says that's why they're not good swimmers.



WE SEE GREGORY LAUGHING



RACHEL

My aunt thinks catholics have smaller eyes than protestants



BEANO

OK so they're wrong. Doesn't stop it hurting. 



KK

And they decide stuff about you because of your parents.

If my dad was Lenny Henry they'd think I'd be funny. If my dad was a professor 
they'd think I'd be clever. My dad's a criminal.



A PAUSE



GREGORY

Let people get to know you. You know people you like. Let them like you. 
Then talk to them about your dad. 



 KK

This is so weird. I've never talked about this stuff. 



BEANO

Us neither



KK

And we wouldn't be doing it if we were all in the same room together.

SHE LAUGHS

THE OTHERS LAUGH.

THEY EACH LOOK A BIT STARTLED. THEY ALL GO BACK TO THEIR SCREENS.



####



ANNIE IS SITTING AT TERMINAL NEAR BEN.



ANNIE

You sound like you're having fun.



BEN

Er, yeah.  Spice Girls jokes from a guy in the States !



ANNIE

Isn't modern technology wonderful !



BEN LOOKS AT HER FOR A MOMENT AND THEN TURNS BACK TO HIS SCREEN



ANNIE

Anyone found anything interesting ?



ALL (VARIOUSLY LOOKING UP)

No !



MEANWHILE BACK ON SCREEN



GREGORY

Why not contact Al Anon, DD ?  That is an organisation for families of 
alchoholics, run by families of alchoholics - there is nothing that has 
happened to you that they won't understand. 









DD

What's the point ?  I can just see my mum being happy that I've gone off to 
talk to strangers about her behind her back..



GREGORY

They're not strangers. . .they are people just like you. And they have a 
section called Al Teen - for young people. Look. . .can I give you their 
website ? 



DD

Maybe.



BEANO

Make the most of it ! At least you've got something ! Have you ever heard of AIDS-Anon ?



GREGORY

No. . but there is  The National AIDS Helpline. . .its a good place to start



RACHEL

Great - so all I need is your number for Downs Anon and  we're all happy



GREGORY

You could do worse than contact  The Downs Syndrome Association. They are in 
touch with loads of families like yours.

So. . . while I've got my little black database open. . .anyone else in the 
market for some information ?



MONICA

Me

A PAUSE

What happens when it is not your mum or your dad that is trashing your life ? 
What happens when it is you ?



BEANO

You mean like you are an alchoholic ?



MONICA

No. It's not as easy as that.



BEANO

And I suppose it's not as simple as AIDS either ?



MONICA

Well. . .no. I mean from what I can make out you lot have all got problems  to 
do with someone else. It would be different if you were the alchoholic, DD, wouldn't it.





DD

At least then I could get on with doing something about it. 



MONICA

Supposing you couldn't ?



BEANO

Supposing you try ?



MONICA

Oh that is really helpful !



TT

Sometimes it's got nothing to do with trying. Sometimes it's just you.



MONICA

Thank you TT.



BEANO

Oh the secret reading addict is back !



TT

Can you say what your problem is, Monica ?



MONICA

I don't know. I never have. Not said it out loud. Or written it down. It's like 
then I couldn't take it back.



TT

I know what you mean.



BEANO

Should we guess ?



KK

Sorry - that's Beano. . .every chatline has a jerk and he's ours



BEANO

Sorry. 

A PAUSE

At least if you say it here, you're safe.



MONICA

You don't understand.

A LONGER PAUSE



TT

I'm gay





ANOTHER PAUSE

Great.

Isn't anyone going to talk to me any more ?



BEANO

How do you know ?



TT

How do you know that you're straight



BEANO

Don't be stupid !



TT

Took the words right out of my mouth.



MONICA

But I don't understand  - Why is being gay a problem ? 



BEANO

Yeah - it's cool. . .And it leaves more girls for me !



KK

In your dreams Beanbag



MONICA

But there's loads of pop stars and actors who are gay. . people on telly. . .



TT

They are not  fifteen  with a dad who uses words like deviant and pervert  when 
he talks about  anyone who is gay. And my mum quotes the bible if I ever bring the subject up.



BEANO

What about your mates. . they must know



TT

It's not tattooed on my forehead you know.  And look at how you reacted when 
you found out about your dad. . .you thought that he was gay. . .and you 
wouldn't have wanted anyone to know if he was.



KK

Nice one TT.  He's got you there Beano !



BEANO

That's different. 







TT

OK - did you ever think any of your friends might be gay ? 



BEANO

No. 



HE LOOKS ACROSS AT TOM WHO IS GAZING INTENTLY AT HIS TERMINAL



TT

Well, I'm somebody's  friend.

I can't exactly stand up in class and shout “anyone else here think they're a 
queer ? Let's talk”



KK

So how do you meet other gay people ?



TT

I don't. As far as I know I could be the only gay 15 year old on the planet. I 
can't go to bars or gay clubs. . and when I go to parties I just get hassled 
because I never get off with any girls.



GREGORY

TT - can I suggest something ?



TT

Another of your websites ?



GREGORY

The Albert Kennedy Trust was set up to help gay teenagers just like you. I have a number for them  



BEANO

Go for it, TT !



MONICA

Sounds  good to me  !

What more could you want ?



TT

I want to know what's bugging you.



BEANO

You know about the rest of us. . come on MONICA ..it can't be that bad. 



TT

Maybe the telling is worse than the problem ?

You're a control freak. I know that. That's why you chose the name MONICA. .yes ?



MONICA

So - a Friends fan ! Look - can we talk about something else ? What's happened to DD ?



CUT TO DD. HE IS SCANNING THE AL-ANON WEBSITE.

BACK TO THE SCREEN.



MONICA

KK ?  You must be looking forward to your dad getting out of prison. Even though he's done bad things. 



KK

Not really. The bad things he's in for include beating up my mum. And me.

A PAUSE



MONICA

I'm sorry.  I  didn''t mean



TT

Are you anorexic Monica ? Is it something like that ?

SILENCE

Well ?



MONICA

I'm

A PAUSE

I'm  bulemic

Why did you ask that ?



TT

I was  reading a thing about the   kinds of people who are most likely to have problems like that. 



A PAUSE



MONICA

Great, predictable too. Pathetic. Isn't it.. I really despise myself. The only 
thing I'm really good at is making sure nobody knows. 



BEANO

Maybe if you told a friend it would help. . I mean a real friend



MONICA

So will you be turning round  when you log off to tell your ‘real friends' all about your dad.



BEANO

No. But  that's . . .



TT

Have you never told anyone ?



MONICA

How could I ? You should know.



TT

What about one of these Eating Disorder groups ?



MONICA

I've got phone numbers for Bulemics Anonymous , Eating Disorders Association. . all sorts

But I  can't go there.  I want to work it out for myself

 

TT

How long have you been A PAUSE  like this ?



MONICA

About two years



BEANO

Then you're not very good at working it out for yourself, are you ?



MONICA

What would you know ? You're just fine. Everything that's wrong with your life can

be  dumped on your dad. YOU don't have a problem.



BEANO

I do. You might not think it is much of a problem. But it's MY problem. And so 
it's as big as I think it is. I read about a boy who killed himself because he didn't 
think he'd done well enough in his GCSEs. Now I don't think that's a 
problem. I bet you don't. But he did. And he killed himself. So tell him HE 
doesn't have a problem.



GREGORY

Is this a private fight or can anyone join in ?

I have listened to people who have big problems with things that you would 
laugh at. . .liking someone in their class and feeling that they can't do 
anything about it



TT

I wouldn't laugh at that.



RACHEL

Me neither



GREGORY

 Feeling that they don't fit in because they are poorer that the rest of their 
friends. . .or have stricter parents. . 





. or if their accent is different. So In one way Beano is right. The size of 
the problem is in the mind of whoever has the problem.



MONICA

So I'm making a mountain out of a molehill ? Thanks ! You should try it. It is 
like  having an addiction. . .only it's not like drink or drugs you're addicted 
to. . .you can't “get off” food.



GREGORY

Which is why you should talk with people who know about it. You don't need to 
do what they say. . .you don't need to identify yourself. Just try it. 



BEANO

Go on Monica. It's a start.  



MONICA

You don't know how big a thing it would be. . even just phoning up. . 



TT

I do.  But he's right. It might not work. But it would be something.



MONICA

Maybe



BEANO

I think it might be easier to talk to someone you don't know. 



TT

Sometimes. But the answer to every problem can't just be to get on the internet 
and become a cyber-person.



BIG G

At least you lot know there are real people out there you could talk to.



RACHEL

How would we know them when we met them ?



BEANO

I look like Brad Pitt



MONICA

I think Brad Pitt's horrible



TT 

I don't.



RACHEL

I have to go now.



BEANO

Me too



TT

And me



MONICA

Bye. I Might be back here next week. . .if anyone wants to talk.



TT

Yeah. That would be good.



BEANO

I'd like that. At least we can talk to each other.



RACHEL

KK - will you be here next week ?



KK

Don't know. I can't always get to a terminal.

But I'll try



GREGORY

The Cloakroom  is always open.



MONICA

If DD comes back will you let him know ?



GREGORY

It against the rules really. . .



MONICA

Look - you have been popping up all over the place giving addresses, websites, 
phone numbers. . .just give DD a date and time. . . 



GREGORY

Ok, ok.



THE OTHERS LOG OFF.

WE CUT TO A DARKENED ROOM. 

A BOY TYPES



ORPHAN

Is anyone there ?



MONICA

Hello



ORPHAN

Have you got a mum and dad of your own ?



MONICA

Yes. They're divorced. I live with my mum and I see my dad quite often.



ORPHAN

You're lucky. I don't know who my parents are. Or were.



MONICA

Are you in a home or something  ?



ORPHAN

I'm adopted.



MONICA

Then you DO have parents. Have you talked to them about how you feel ?



WE CUT BACK TO THE CYBERCAFE. 

OUR LOT ARE GETTING UP FROM THEIR TERMINALS.

DEAN  AND ANNIE ARE STILL AT THEIRS



TOM

(APPROACHING BEN)

I. . .er. .I think we are going to the cinema tomorrow



BEN

(STARTLED)

We what ?



TOM

Er, Joanne invited me along to the cinema with you and Annie tomorow



JOANNE

I think we should see absolutely anything with Brad Pitt in it. Annie ?



ANNIE (SPINS ROUND FROM HER TERMINAL)

What ?



TOM

Brad Pitt tomorrow night ?



ANNIE

Tell him I'm busy. . .I'm going to the cinema . . . SHE LOOKS AT BEN

And then back to my boyfriend's luxury lovenest !



THEY LAUGH

JOANNE AND TOM MOVE AWAY



BEN LOOKING OVER HER SHOULDER

Found anything interesting ?



ANNIE SHE IS FLUSTERED

Er. . . 



BEN

You're in The Cloakroom !



ANNIE

I was er..just surfing. I think I must have clicked on the wrong thing.

But it is really interesting just watching for a couple of minutes



BEN

So - full of weirdos is it ?



ANNIE

No. It's full of people with something that's worrying them and  - probably - 
friends like you, who they can't tell anything without having the piss taken.



BEN

OUTRAGED  What ?

HE THINKS



ANNIE

I mean there was a boy there who is gay. And he had told them. He'd never been able to 
tell anyone till then.  Can you imagine what you'd say if one of your mates came up and 
told you he was gay. . .you'd say



BEN I'd say. cool. . .leaves more girls for me !



A SILENCE IN WHICH WE SEE ANNIE'S RECOLLECTION OF THE PHRASE

OVER HER SHOULDER WE SEE TOM HEAR AND RECOGNISE THE PHRASE

AND WE SEE BEN'S REALISATION THAT HE MIGHT HAVE GIVEN HIMSELF AWAY.



TOM

TO FILL THE SILENCE

Anything I should know about Courtney before I go ?





BEN

What ? Er. . no. Nothing much. 



JOANNE

I think Joey's much prettier anyway.



TOM AND JOANNE GO.



BEN

I've got to go.  I've got. . .



ANNIE

Stuff at home, I know.



BEN

Yeah. Actually I've got to talk to my dad about something. I'll see you tomorrow.



ANNIE

See you  (SOFTLY) Beano



BEN GOES. ANNIE WATCHES HIM AND THEN TURNS BACK TO THE COMPUTER AND STARTS TO 
SEARCH FOR BULEMICS ANONYMOUS

KK  WALKS PAST DEAN WHO IS LOGGING OFF



KK

How was the sex line, dirtman ?



DEAN

What ? Er. . .great.  Great. You find any bugs in terminal 10 ?



KK

No. It was good.

See you



DEAN

Off home ?



KK

Something like that. Dean ?

HE LOOKS UP

Have you ever met anyone who's been to prison ?



DEAN

My uncle got a couple of months for an assault in a bar once.



My mum took me up to the prison when she went to visit him. It was awful.





KATIE

Yes. 

DEAN LOOKS UP

Anyway. See you.



SHE GOES



GREGORY (CALLING TO HER)

You haven't collected your wages.



KATIE

Wages ?



GREGORY

For helping me out with terminal ten



KATIE

But I



GREGORY

You can have cash or you can eat all you can.



KATIE HESITATES. SHE IS ON THE POINT OF REFUSING.  THEN

I'll take cash.

GREGORY GRINS AND HANDS OVER A NOTE

And I'll have something to eat. 

SHE GRABS A BUN AND GOES.



GREGORY

She drives a hard bargain. 

HE WATCHES HER GO

Take care.



DEAN COMES UP TO GREGORY

DEAN

Er. . I'm  downloading some stuff. 



GREGORY

I've got it here. HE HANDS IT OVER

They're good people Dean. They helped me.



DEAN

You ?



GREGORY

My wife is an alchoholic. 





DEAN

I didn't know



GREGORY

I didn't say



DEAN

You never really know about people, do you ?



GREGORY No. You don't. 

But you can try. 



DEAN

What do you mean ?



GREGORY

You can take a step towards them. Let someone take a step towards you.



DEAN

Yeah.

HE LOOKS OUTSIDE WHERE WE SEE KATIE  AT A BUS STOP.

HE TURNS BACK TO GREGORY

See you.



GREGORY

TAKES A LONG LOOK AROUND THE CAFE 

You never really know.



HE SEES DEAN GO OUT THE DOOR AND STAND LOOKING ACROSS THE ROAD AT KATIE. KATIE WAVES.

Till you try

HE TURNS TO THE CAFE

Can I interest anyone  in a new Tellytubbies website ?