by Keziah Warner
Sara and Annie are at the spa. Both in baths of olive oil.
Annie is extremely-self-consciously naked. Strangely, Sara is still wearing her trench coat.
Sara is on her phone. Annie’s phone is on the floor by the bath – a little too far away. She looks around, trying to think of something to say. She waits for Sara to put her phone down. Eventually, she decides to reach for her phone. Not wishing to be noticed by Sara, she slowly, excruciatingly slithers her arms and shoulders over the edge, followed by her torso so she is hinging on the edge of the bath by her hips. She’s five months pregnant so it’s extremely awkward and precarious. She grasps at the floor a few times before managing to get hold of her phone.
At this point, she realises she is balanced more on the floor than in the bath. She puts her phone in her mouth, places her palms flat on the tiled floor and bends her elbows to brace herself. She makes two little bouncing motions up and down like push ups to gain momentum and then powerfully flings herself up and back. The oil splashes loudly as she lands in the tub.
Sara looks up from her phone for the first time.
SARA: I’ve just realised I’ve been here before.
SARA: Yes, Jeremy and I came for a wax.
ANNIE: Jeremy had a wax too?
SARA: Yes. Full body.
SARA: I don’t remember why now.
ANNIE: Must have been painful.
SARA: Yes he had a reaction. Got a rash everywhere.
SARA: This is relaxing, isn’t it?
ANNIE: Thanks for bringing me.
SARA: Thanks for the voucher.
ANNIE: You’re welcome.
SARA: We’re welcome.
They fall back into silence.
Annie scrolls on her phone.
Oh there’s a hostage situation.
SARA: God. Where? In Australia?
ANNIE: No, not here, it’s/
SARA: Oh good. Fine.
Not fine. You know.
ANNIE: No one got hurt.
ANNIE: Wow it was accidentally interrupted by a delivery driver.
SARA: I suppose that was inevitable in this day and age.
Annie keeps scrolling.
So. Have you had some time to think?
ANNIE: Sort of.
ANNIE: I thought we weren’t talking shop today.
SARA: No, but just one friend to another I’m wondering… where you’re at.
ANNIE: But we’re relaxing.
SARA: Yes. I suppose.
ANNIE: Well, I’m reading the news but… In a relaxing environment.
SARA: I’m on a media detox.
ANNIE: Is that a good idea? When running for office?
SARA: I have people.
ANNIE: Of course.
SARA: Catch me up if you like.
ANNIE: Just the usual. Dutton and Keneally are arguing.
SARA: I assumed.
ANNIE: He’s made a hashtag. Want to hear it?
SARA: Not particularly.
ANNIE: Well, Pell is appealing, freedom of the press is under threat and Earth is about to fall into the sun.
ANNIE: Oh here’s some good news: poppers aren’t being banned after all.
ANNIE: No, wait/
SARA: Look Annie I’d really rather we talk about this now. It’s been a very difficult few weeks for me and I’m about to climb another huge career mountain and I need to know that there are people around me that support me. People that want to see me do well and be there for me and cook me dinner and tell me I look nice and hold my hand sometimes and even just for a moment look at me the way they used to.
Sara bursts into tears.
ANNIE: Oh god, Sara. Are you ok?
SARA: Jeremy moved out.
ANNIE: Fuck. I’m sorry. When?
SARA: Last week.
SARA: And with losing the seat and everything I just feel like I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
ANNIE: Hey. It’s ok. You’re doing great.
SARA: No I’m not.
ANNIE: You are! You’re not letting defeat get you down. You’re pushing ahead with your career in a male-dominated workplace. I didn’t even know anything was wrong until just now. You’re an inspiration if anything.
SARA: Do you really think so?
ANNIE: Of course.
ANNIE: Jeremy’s a twat.
Sara laughs a little.
SARA: I do think he was always threatened by my success.
ANNIE: Of course he was.
SARA: And he made us go mini golfing all the time and he exclusively reads non-fiction books about the military and he… well…
ANNIE: … What?
SARA: Well… he insisted I call his penis… oh god.
SARA: The Federal Member for Dickson.
Annie is taken aback.
Then both women laugh uncontrollably for some time. They eventually calm down.
Look Annie, I know I wasn’t always the nicest to you but I really did think you were so great and I know you’re having the baby and that you’ll take leave and motherhood might change your priorities but… Or not. I don’t know. Whatever you want to do but I’d just really love it if you could be on my team for the senate. I think we could really achieve something great together. What do you say?
ANNIE: Ok I’ll do it. I’ll take the job.
SARA: Oh good! Great! That is excellent! I have to tell everyone. We should start. We’ll start right now.
Sara hoists herself out of the bath and starts dripping her way across the room.
SARA: Hold on. Yes. Stay right there. I’ll tell everyone to come in.
ANNIE: Come in?
SARA: Be right back.
Annie looks around a little panicked for a towel. There’s one just out of reach.
As she stretches out her hand for it, the phone in her other hand starts to ring. Startled, she drops it and it plops neatly into the oil.
The phone continues its muffled ring through the oil.
What? How is it still…?
She fishes the phone out of the oil. She answers the call.
Yes. This is her office. May I ask who’s calling?