Sasha’s apartment, a few hours later. Marcus is sleeping. Sasha is working on equations in a notebook. Next to him, a cup of coffee.
Marcus: (awaking abruptly) Sasha! I dreamt I was suffocating, that my tongue went to hide at the back of my throat because the students in my class were asking what my nickname was. I couldn’t answer, I didn’t have one, and my tongue went to hide at the back of my throat forever! Sasha? Sasha?!
Sasha: I’m here, Marcus. Breathe. Please, just breathe.
Sasha: But do it as well.
Marcus: I can’t go to school, Sasha. Everyone there must already have loads of nicknames.
Sasha: What are you talking about . . . It’s normal for you not to have one. To get a nickname, you must first go to school. People must get to know you first.
Marcus: I would really like for my nickname to be nice.
Sasha: It will be, it will be.
Marcus gets back into bed. Sasha sits close by and goes back to his equations.
Marcus: Aren’t you going to sleep?
Sasha: I am trying to figure out how many more blocks of ice I will need to carry per hour. Three degrees higher, that’s the forecast. I have to maintain a temperature that’s bearable for my bears . . . though it’s barely bearable . . . so to speak . . .
. . .
Marcus: Sasha . . . the date that’s circled in red on the calendar . . . what is it?
Sasha: Now’s not the time, Marcus.
Marcus: We know each other pretty well, now. Enough to share each other’s secrets, don’t you think? And I’m really curious about it.
Sasha: I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
Marcus: Actually, right at this moment, it’s more the red pen you used to circle the date that makes me curious. That part of the story shouldn’t be so long to tell . . .
Sasha: Fair enough, I’ll try and find your pen for you.
Sasha digs around. Marcus is all hope.
Marcus: You found it?
Sasha: I forgot to put the cap back on. I’m sorry, Marcus.
Marcus: (undone) It doesn’t matter.
. . .
Sasha: Marcus, since you’ve been here, I know I haven’t always stepped up. But if you could just wait another ten days . . . if you could just wait until that date that’s circled on the calendar . . .