Scene 4: I’m a mess.. but I’m worth it.
Seth Ducate is Frank Donovan’s oldest friend. They were flat mates in college. He was hired 12 years ago and Frank has shared all of his secrets with him. All of his secrets except one; Carly Dawson.
Monday Morning. 7:30am Carly arrives to the office. She is always the first person there, not today. Frank has arrived early. ‘Good Morning Frank’ Carly’s tone is always chipper. Frank answers in a tone foreign to Carly. A distant monotone voice. ‘Miss Dawson’ He rises from his chair and closes their adjoining door. That’s rude Carly thinks to herself, maybe Frank had a bad weekend. She begins her work for the day.
11:30 makes its way to the clock face. A familiar man walks in the door, its Mr. Carter, Carly’s old boss. They greet each other warmly and within seconds Frank enters the room. He shakes Mr. Carson’s hand and they are off to lunch. Carly is made to feel non-existent and is unaware of what to expect when the men return.
Cash Carter and Frank Donovan sit down for lunch in the darkly lit bar in a swanky restaurant in downtown Dallas. Frank orders a Bourbon on ice. Mr Carter asks, ‘You asked me down here Frank whats troubling you?’ Frank responds ‘Its Carly Dawson.’ ‘What about her?’ Says Cash. ‘I think she is trying to steal my money.’ Frank says ‘Are you sure Frank?, that’s a pretty weighty allegation.’ Cash retorts. ‘WHO ELSE COULD IT BE, YOU LET HER GET TOO CLOSE?‘, his untrusting paranoid inner voice screams. ‘I don’t know who else it could be’ Frank tells him all of his suspicious. ‘Does she know how much you are worth Frank?’ Cash asks him casually. ‘No’ says Frank. He always thought Carly look past what little she thought he made to who he really was. ‘I can’t believe Carly Dawson would do that to a soul but, if you are that sure then you have to get rid of her.’ With a forlorn look on his face he nods to Cash Carson his old friend. And they order another round.
Frank returns around 3, ‘Miss Dawson I’d like to see you in my office. Close the door behind you.’ beckons Frank. ‘Yes Sir’ says Carly. In a voice as emotionless as cold steel with his back to her, a very drunk Frank says. ‘After today your service is no longer required here at The Donovan Group.’ With a blank stare, her clear blue eyes widen. She has no idea why and she does not question Mr. Donovan. Maybe he doesn’t desire her anymore. But, he is a man whom doesn’t appreciate being questioned. Outwardly she seems unaffected, Frank Donovan taught her that. As she turns to leave a single tear drop rolls down her face. She opens the door with her back to him and in an equally emotionless voice whispers ‘good bye Sir’ She closes the door quietly behind her.
She is gone….
‘Tie up any loose ends before the days end and take all your things with you. I dont want to see you back here again!’ Frank says in a raged drunken state. His voice is muffled from he thick heavy door, but she hears him clear as a sunny day. I have asked Seth to stay until you are finished you can give your key to him. I have already removed your security code from the system. Forget you ever knew me. He is gone, her chest begins to feel heavy and her eyes full she heads to the desk that was once hers.
It’s getting dark out and she is all packed, from the Corner of her eye she sees something moving in Franks office. She thinks he came in thru the private entrance. She opens the door and sees Seth. ‘What are u doing at Mr. Donovan’s desk she asks sharply?’ ‘You stupid fool’ Seth replies. He reeks of hard liquor, ‘I am the reason you are fired.’ He smirks. ‘What is in this box’ he demands. Looking down at the lock box in Frank’s top right hand drawer? ‘I dont know.’ replies Carly. ‘I doubt that, he shares everything with you. Perfect little Carly! I get sick of hearing him praise you. Where is the key whore?’ Carly quickly remembers the bracelet she wears. ‘I dont know Seth that’s Mr. Donovan’s personal belongings.’ ‘I’m sure thats where he keeps the passwords to his offshore accounts.’ Seth sneers. Carly cannot let anyone know that whats in that box is in a way worth more to Frank’s reputation than his money. She begins to slowly back away when Seth stands and storms towards her. With her hands behinds her back she quickly removes the bracelet and tosses it across the office unbeknownst to Seth. He drags her by her arm into her old office. ‘I want those passwords cunt and if you don’t give them to me then I will take yours.’ Seth has Carly pinned against the wall by her neck. He leans in close and inhales her scent from the nape of her neck moving upwards to her ear. ‘What is it he sees in you? You filthy bitch.’ Seth Whispers. Carly stands still, not making a sound. She is scared, but she doesn’t want to show her fear to Seth. ‘You walk around here like you own this place. I am the one who has made him rich. And he clearly wouldn’t want you as his prize he is married to a god damn beauty queen. I have watched you for years, and you won’t give me the time of day. WHY?!’ He demands to know. ‘You have made him no such thing’ Carly says, her loyalty for Frank is stead fast even before her own safety. The predator strikes her in the face. She can feel the sting in her bottom lip and the warmth of her own blood begin to seep from it. With his other hand Seth takes his thumb and wipes the blood from her lip across her face. And then grasps her breast tightly..its hurts but still she remains silent. Frank must have thought I was stealing his money she thinks to herself. That blow to her heart hurts worse than Seth’s physical one. Carly is sure that she is going to die tonight. She will not allow Seth to ruin Frank. Even after Frank has dismissed Carly so coldly from his life, she will not betray him. After all these years, Frank has become more to her than an employer, more than a lover, a friend. One that she turns to and an opinion she trusts. Even though Frank has betrayed her friendship, she will not do him the same disservice. If she is going to die she will not die begging anyone to allow her to live. She will not give Seth the information he wants to take all of Franks fortune. Seth strikes Carly again, so hard that she falls back across her desk splitting her scalp. Seth approaches her, Carly is momentarily confused from the blow to the back of her head. In an instant Seth has mounted her and in a swift motion tears her blood spattered shirt open, buttons fly. Struggling now searching anywhere her arms can reach she finds a pair of scissors. She will not go out without a fight. This bastard will walk away with a souvenir she promises to herself. She plugs her makeshift weapon into his fleshy side. He screams out and dismounts her. She scurries to sit up, but she is in pain. And all of a sudden the room goes black.
What seems like forever passes in the darkness of her mind, visions of her life pass by then suddenly she feels a warm familiar hand in hers. It’s Franks ‘Carly! Carly! Hurry she is ok! get over here! He commands in an urgent tone. Her eyes close again and in a fading tone she hears him say ‘you are going to be alright.’
She doesn’t know how much time has passed when she awakens in a cold lonely hospital room. She has no family here as she moved to Dallas to take her job with The Donovan Group. A job that is no longer hers. Two days pass and she is being discharged home. She has no belongings to pack. She puts on the same skirt and shirt she was brought in with, the hospital washed it for her but, it is stained with blood. As she stands to leave she slowly turns to see Frank in the door with both hands in his pockets. ‘May I come in?’ He asks. ‘Why are you here Frank?’ Carly responds. ‘Im sorry Carly, I never meant to hurt you. I thought it was you who stole my bank records. I didn’t know it was Seth.’ Franks tone suggests his disgust with himself. ‘How could you believe for a minute I would ever betray you Frank. That hurts worse than any flesh wound Seth could have dished out.’ She is icy in response. ‘How can I ever repay you?’ he asks. ‘Go home to your wife Frank.’ She begins to limp down the hospital corridor. He grabs her arm gently and asks her to turn around. She does what he commands with one finger he lifts her head and says ‘Will I see you Monday?’ With a broken body and even more broken spirit she says in a shattered voice ‘Have I let you down yet?’ One hand still in his pocket he holds tight to the bracelet she removed to protect his secret, their secret. It’s her key to wear, no one else can fill the void she seems to. If he tried now to give it to its rightful owner she would spit in his eye. He has to regain her trust. She needs to heal from the wounds he has caused. She needs to know Frank trusts her.
She limps off. Wondering if Frank will ever trust her the way she trusts him. Only time will tell. But a voice in the back of her mind says stick with him, he is worth it. And so he is..