Scene 1: A semi dark dorm room, light faintly illuminating the bunk beds and a desk where the monitor of a computer glows. One girl (Nicole) is seated in front of the computer, and another (Penny) is lying on the top bunk, reading a book. Penny tosses the book on the floor with a thump, fluffs her pillows and then turns off the light and lays back with a sigh.

Penny: (exhausted) Ahhh, that feels good. When’s your paper due?

Nicole: eleven

Penny: I am assuming that would be the eleven that is coming in about ten hours?

Nicole: Well, even taking into account what they say about assuming things, you would be correct.

Penny: So I have a whole night of furious typing to look forward to? Greeeeeeeat. (Silence for a moment and then speaks again in a pensive tone) Ya know dood, it’s a good thing we are such good friends, b/c you do this with such regularity that anyone else would kill you by this point of the semester.

Nicole: (Throws a pillow from the floor at the bed) Dood, will you please, for the love of God, shut up? I am actually close to being done!

Penny: I think that I can manage to keep my mouth shut with the prospect of a night of sleep. Can we listen to some U2 while you’re typing then? If you promise to be done soon, that would be cool.

Nicole: Sho-ah. Whaddaya wanna listen to? Wide Awake…the J-Tree, Achtung Baby, Miss Sarajevo…

Penny: Put on Stay… I’m in the mood for Slow Dancing and that kick ass version of Love is Blindness.

Nicole: I think I can dig that. Hmm, here it is. (Silence for a little while and the songs play and Nicole finishes her paper, muttering to herself about her professor as she prints up the paper, turns off the computer and gets into bed, stumbling across a typically messy dorm room.) Dammit, I forgot to turn on the fan!

Penny: (laughing) Stooge!

Nicole: Oh shut up!! It’s all your fault that I can’t sleep without a fan now! (kicks the bottom of the bunk) If your parents weren’t so weird, they wouldn’t have addicted their children to the sound of a fan so they could have wild parties without waking up the kids!

Penny: Don’t DO that! Jesus, you are gonna break the bed someday! And I don’t want to hear you complaining about my weird parents. It’s a nice sound, it helps block out the screaming in the hall at any rate.

Nicole: You have a point.

Penny: So what the hell was your paper for and what was it about?

Nicole: It’s for my Writing Fiction class. I had to write about something that happens in the course of a song. So I wrote about us being roommates and how well we get together.

Penny: That sounds pretty cool. Can I read it in the morning?

Nicole: If ya want. I finished before we went to bed, so I don’t know how good it actually is. But I guess since you’re in it, you can read it.

Penny: Gee, thanks, bestest of friends. How can I ever repay your generosity?

Nicole: Well, you could promise to kick me next time I procrastinate like that.

Penny: Mmmhmm. Well I should get lots of free kicks then. We both know how bad you are at doing things on time!

Nicole: Yes Miss Perfect-I-Have-Everything-Done-Ahead-Of-Time!

Penny: (hangs her head down and grins at Nicole) And you love me for it, admit it!

Nicole: Well, I may love you, but I don’t LOVE you. And the only reason why I even admitted it now is because I am tired. Aren't you?

Penny: Well, I was, but now I have U2 running through my head, and I can’t help thinking about the concert! I can’t believe you have tickets and I don’t. I think that this is highly unfair.

Nicole: (sticks her tongue out in Penny’s direction) Well, how many times do I have to tell you? Boston is superior to the Burgh in every way. Our accent is even bett-ah!

Penny: Oh puh-leez!!! Who’s team is totally sucking mud this year? Why yes, I do believe it is the now Adam Oates-less Bruins. Last place in the Eastern Conference. (sarcastically) Definitely far superior to my Pens!

Nicole: OK, OK, OK, I’ll give you that my hockey team sucks this year. But Boston kicks ass for everything else.

Penny: You are definitely not biased at all chica, now are you? Hey…. Did you leave the computer on? I am getting an email urge.
Nicole: No I did not, and no, you are not going to check your email at… 2:30 am. You have a 9 o’clock and you can NOT afford to sleep through it again.

Penny: Yes, mommy. (yawns) Ya know, I thought when I first moved in here that sharing a room with you was gonna be like really really weird. I haven’t shared a room with anyone since my sister and I got separate rooms, and we fought ALL the time. I was scared to death that I was gonna have to live in a situation like that for 9 months. But I guess I lucked out. I got a pretty cool roommie (leans down and whacks at Nicole with an extra pillow).

Nicole: OK, if you don’t cut that out, I will hold your teddy bear ransom!!

Penny: I promise to behave, just don’t hurt James! (laughing)

Nicole: I felt almost the same you know.

Penny: What? About my teddy bear?

Nicole: No you dolt, about moving in with you. Here I was, moving in with a Southerner, who brought her BIBLE with her, and all I could think was “Oh God, you have to be kidding me” and “What have I gotten myself into?” But I guess you turned out to be pretty cool.

Penny: OK, first off, I am NOT a Southerner!!! I am from Pennsylvania for chrissakes! And secondly, the Bible happens to be considered a classic, and you never know when you might need a quote or to look something up. I think we both know my religious views by this time! They are basically, non-existant., so I guess you had nothing to worry about, eh?

Nicole: Eh? I think someone has been hanging out on the Canadian chat room for a little too long today, n’est-ce pas?

Penny: And someone has been studying for her French exam ahead of time. I am quite the proud ‘cole. You might actually kick some ass on Van-Horton’s next test!

Nicole: I fail to understand how you breeze through that man’s class, It is impossible enough at 215, and you are taking 17th century French Lit and pulling A’s. That is disgusting, just thought I’d share.

Penny: Ahh, yes, not everyone has my ability for… bullshit. I don’t even want to think about the research paper he is making us do at the end of the semester. Oh, and did I tell you that he asked me about you last Friday when you skipped because of cramps?

Nicole: Nope, what did he say? Was he mad that I was skipping, once again?

Penny: Not at all, he was worried about you. He’s such a nice guy when it comes to that kind of stuff. He asked me how you were feeling and gave me your assignments and stuff. That last part you already know, duh!

Nicole: (yawning) He’s a nice man, but his class is SO boring. I don’t know how you handle him twice a day without falling asleep in class. Especially right after lunch

Penny lays her head down on her pillow and looks at the dull paint on the ceiling. She stops for a few moments just to hear herself breathing.

Nicole: Hey girl, you okay up there? You we’re talking the entire time and now you’re mute. What’s up?

Penny: (sighs heavily) I just can’t stop thinking about that man. That dreadful man. Why did he attack us the way he did? I can’t figure that out.

Nicole jumps out of her bunk and grabs Penny’s arm tightly.

Nicole: Penny, it wasn’t your fault! He was the one who tried to force us into the basement. You’re lucky I was there to save your ass!

Penny: Look, this entire thing was my fault! You hear about the horror stories all the time about meeting someone on the Internet. I wish I would’ve listened.

A tear drips from penny’s eye

Nicole: (forcefully) Listen, that was two years ago. We should be past all this. You’re lucky I was there with you and was able to protect you. How is he going to hurt you when he’s at the bottom of the Charles River, Penny? Thats all the way in Boston!

Penny: (sobbing) I know, I know ‘cole. But we killed a man, we dumped his damned body into a river! How can we be so damned hateful and cruel! Why didn’t we just go to the po….

Nicole forcefully interrupts penny’s statement

Nicole: The police huh! Yeah, right? Who would they believe, two girls who met some guy on the Internet, or that rich boy who drives daddy’s BMW to school and to his stinkin’ little polo matches! What the hell were we gonna tell them! You know as well as I do they’re gonna think we staged the whole thing, kill him and steal his cash! And how would we explain that to our parents! We weren’t even supposed to be there! Do you really think if I hadn’t broke his neck by slamming it into that ice cooler he would've even let us leave to tell the police! We had no choice!

Penny: I know. It just hurts sometimes. It’s so hard to live with this on my mind. It seemed so easy for him to want to kill us, to do the most evil crime. We did what was right, but yet it feels so wrong.

Nicole pulls Penny to her, and gives her a big, warm hug.

Nicole: The important thing now, is we are at school, getting through college and making lives for ourselves. We know in our hearts we did what was right, and eventually you’ll have to accept that.

Penny: I guess you’re right Nicole. I’m glad you were there for me, my best friend!

Lights fade as the two friends hold each other close.

Scene 2: Penny is sitting in class ready to turn into her paper. Nervous and excited at the same time, she sits back down in her seat and begins to tap her foot with nervous energy. Just then, another student (Tommy) approaches her from behind and places his hand on her shoulder.

Tommy: Penny…..

Penny: (shrieks loudly in surprise) Tommy!? Oh my….. (gasp)

Tommy: Sorry Penny, I’m on a little bit of an edge with this paper too, but lets not completely weird ourselves out here? What have you been smokin’ chickie?

Penny: (her eyes narrow on his mirrored sunglasses) Thomas, you know I hate it when you call me that. And for that matter, I haven’t been smoking a thing! (her voice grows louder) You know how I am, why in the world would you ask me such an asinine question? You don’t think……

The professor notices increase in Penny’s voice, as well as a large portion of the class. The noise in the room is soon drowned out by Penny’s loud and angry voice

Professor Van-Horton: (loudly) Penny!

Penny’s voice suddenly drops in mid sentence

Professor Van-Horton: (his eyes narrow on Penny’s face) I want to speak to you outside of this classroom immediately.

The professor leads Penny into the hallway. The smell of freshly laid wax fills the hallway. Lines of lockers are neatly placed along the walls and painted a bright yellow.

Professor Van-Horton: I may be your professor, but I do notice when you’re not in class. I’ve noticed you here less and less. Nicole has been picking up your assignments for you. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not quite sure how you’d manage this course. I’m gonna put it to you straight. I’ve noticed profound changes in your behavior every day, and it is affecting your rapport with your classmates. Quite frankly, I am very disappointed with the way you just handled yourself in class…..

Penny: (shrewdly) Professor, I don’t see how my personal life is any of your business. I make the grades in your class and I’m pulling more of my free time out of the air each day to complete the extras I’m involved in around here. I have a lot on my mind……

Professor Van-Horton: That is your problem Penny. You need to learn to control the personal things in your life. It is very noticeable. You are the best student I have in this class and I will not allow you to slip away. Go home, rest up, and I want to see you here tomorrow.
The professor turns back to his class. Penny slowly turns in the opposite direction and walks toward her dorm. She walks into her room and crashes on the bed.

Scene 3: Penny wakes up in her bed. It is dark outside, there are no lights on in the room. She lifts her head and looks at the alarm clock. “9:30” it reads. Just as she attempts to climb out of her bed she notices a shadowy figure moving about the room. He begins to speak, and the voice is very familiar

Unknown Figure: Penny. Its nice to see you again. I’m so glad I have this opportunity to speak to you when I’m the one in control.

Penny: (scared and nervous) Who… who…. Who are you?

Unknown Figure: (laughter fills the room) Who am I? Who am I? Like that matters much. What matters now is I am the one who is in control, I am the one who you will listen to because you don’t have much of a choice.

Penny: (fearfully) In control huh? W…. wh…. What if I scream right now?

At that moment the light suddenly flicks on and the shadowy figure is revealed. Its Tommy from French class.

Tommy: Surprise!

Penny: (scared and angry) What in the hell do you think you’re doing!? You had a lot of nerve accusing me of messing myself up with that crap you smoke and now breaking into my dorm and scaring the living hell out of me? What in God’s name is wrong with you!

Tommy: (concerned) I’m sorry Penny. I just noticed that past few days you seem like something is bothering you. I thought I would just come by and try to cheer you up. I guess sometimes I just go overboard huh?

Tommy looks down at the floor and starts to head for the door.

Penny: Tommy, don’t go. Sit down, okay?

Tommy sits down and they talk for a few hours. The clock now says 12:30am.

Tommy: Well Penny, I think its time I better get going, we’ve got class very early tomorrow, and by the sounds of it today, Van-Horton really wants you in class. He’s a nice guy, but I wouldn’t push my luck with him. What kind of name is Van-Horton anyhow? I bet he drives a BMW.

Penny and Tommy laugh together.

Penny: (giggling) Tommy, you’re an original one. But you’re right you better go.

Penny stands up and shows Tommy the door, and into the night. She walks over to him and gives him a big hug. He lifts her head up and looks into her eyes, and ever so carefully presses his lips to hers.

Penny: (surprised) W… wh… what was that for?

Tommy: I’ve always wanted to do that Penny. I’ve liked you since I first met you. I remember the day you walked into the room at orientation. With all the confusion of teachers and parents and the countless others, you stood alone it seemed. You were the only face, the only person that existed to me.

Penny both shocked and touched by all this, placed her hand on his shoulder and wished him a good night. As he walks away, Professor Van-Horton is walking toward her dorm just a few feet away.

Penny: Mr. Van-Horton! How are you doing tonight?

At that very moment he reveals a revolver in his left hand.

Penny: (concerned) What are you doing with that gun?

The professor’s pace quickens, and with a swift hand movement, the revolver was pointed into Penny’s face.

Professor Van-Horton: I bet you don’t have a clue what this is all about do ya? Well move along missy and get inside, I’ve got some things to take care of.

The professor leads Penny to her room, where he ties her to the chair and holds her at gun point.

Professor Van-Horton: Let me tell you a story Penny. About two years ago, I used to have a son. He had his own BMW, he played Polo at the club, he even held a Master’s degree in Political Science and Engineering. He was brilliant. He was also employed in the family business. You see Penny, we set up an Internet chat service where we would profile each person, by screening their personal habits, interests and other various information that they would talk about on-line. Our goal was the weed this earth of all the useless people that are just taking up food. They have no goal in life, no desire to further their education, no willingness to better themselves. They just sit, eat, and chat away on their grotesque potato chip, crumb filled keyboard and amuse themselves. Penny, I never thought you would become one of those people. (pacing the floor) You see, those people we could terminate, and leave one less useless person by inviting them to a discrete little spot in Boston. Quiet, away from town, where we could conduct our work in secrecy. Once inside, we would drag them down stairs and…… well, you get the picture. You see, you were there, and you escaped.

A tear starts to flow from the Professor’s eyes as he waves the gun around more and more and his temper starts to flare.

Professor Van-Horton: While I was working in the next room, you were beating my son’s head into the ice cooler with that little waste of a friend.

Penny follows the man with her eyes as he vents his frustration and anger and paces the floor.

Professor Van-Horton: I thought he was getting rid of you both, but when I didn’t hear any more noise after a few hours, I had realized you had both gone. At that point, I heard my son’s car squeal away from the house. I knew then what you two had done. I followed you where I watched you dump the body in the Charles River. The car and body were later found and was charged as a car accident. So I tracked you down, and for two years I watched you blossom.

Penny starts to cry softly as the professor continues to cry and sob, while holding the gun in Penny’s face/

Professor Van-Horton: But I can no longer stand the pain of watching you live while you beat my son to death, so this is the end of the line for you.

He starts to screw on a silencer to completely block out the explosion that will occur caused by the revolver. As he lowers it to Penny’s face. Penny screams in terror. At that moment Tommy and Nicole break through the door and knock the revolver and the silencer out of his hand. Tommy and Nicole fight with the professor to get him to the ground. At that moment, Nicole steps on the revolver and accidentally fires it. The bullet strikes the professor in the head and he falls to the ground.

The scene fades into darkness

Scene 4: The fire department and the police are clearing the scene and trying to keep the gawkers at bay. Penny, Nicole and Tommy are all being questioned by police.

Penny: (speaking to the detective) The professor had come to me and wanted to speak with me about the outburst I had in his class today. I had told him the reason of the outburst was because I was stressed out with school and Tommy making fun of me. He told me he understood what I was going through and told me about how his son was killed in an auto accident. At that moment, he told me sometimes he just wanted to end the pain and he pulled out a gun. I pleaded with him to put it down but he put it to his head. I screamed as loud as I could, I couldn’t bear to watch him do it! (starting to cry) He held it to his face and pulled the trigger. Tommy and Nicole must have come back because they heard the scream. They broke down the door and there I was, with the professor on the floor.

The view shifts to Nicole and Tommy telling the same story. Before the police had arrived, they all agreed to this story to keep their lives simple and to get past what had happened to Nicole and Penny. Penny later told Tommy everything. Eventually, all three graduated, Penny married Tommy and Nicole started her own private detective agency. The scene fades to a close.