READING

READING

EMILY and MOH are sitting opposite each other, both absorbed in their own thing. Moh is right in the middle of a heavy tome, while Emily is reading a children’s book upside down.

Emily starts to laugh. Moh doesn’t respond.

Emily:
Don’t you wanna know what I’m laughing at?

Moh:
Ah, couldn’t care less actually.

Emily (quickly):
So you could care less!

Moh:
Nope, that’s the opposite of what I said actually. The exact opposite.

Emily:
So this book I’m reading is a real tear-jerker. Pulls on the ol’ heartstrings y’know what I’m saying?

Moh:
Two seconds ago you said you were laughing. Also, I know you’re not actually reading it because it’s upside down; where do you think this conversation is heading?

Emily:
Well I—

Moh:
Actually, don’t answer that.

Emily goes to continue, opening her mouth.

Moh cont’d:
Seriously. Don’t.

Emily:
Well what’s your book about then Mr Smarty-pants?

Moh:
In fact it’s a really interesting novel about this–

Emily:
I can read upside-down you know!

Moh:
Why— do I bother?! I was willing to actually converse with you, why do you do this—

Emily rotates the book once she realises it’s upside down.

Moh cont’d:
If you can read upside down why did you turn it the right way up once you realised you’d been caught out?

Emily:
Well, I can’t read upside-down all the time, bro.

Moh:
Ah. That makes sense.

Emily:
Yeah, I know.

Moh:
I’ve seen you reading bigger books that that. Why have you settled your interests on this ten-page kid’s book?

Emily:
It’s all about the laughs, Moh.

Moh:
So it’s not a tear-jerker, then. Or have you not even read it?

Emily:
Okay, can I be triangular with you?

Moh:
As opposed to being square with me…

Emily:
Whatever, they’re all part of the same genus. This morning, I saw you were reading a book, felt left out, grabbed the first book I could find and then opened it to the middle page so it would seem like I had already started in my own time. I didn’t expect it to end up like this. I’m sorry. Can we both just get on with our lives?

Moh:
Uh, um. I guess. You know you don’t have to impress me, Em, just… be… normal, or something.

Emily:
Okay.

Emily continues to read and starts to sob after turning the page.

Moh:
What—

Emily:
It’s a tear-jerker!

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