Shades of Darkness

Author’s Note: This piece was written in the Fall of 1998 for my Teaching Composition class. It centered on a story and a play I wrote in college, and the essay and pieces of the play are presented here unrevised from that time. At some point I would like to revisit the essay, perhaps folding it in to a new one, to encompass the path I have walked since that time, and to write about the influences I now recognize in the play that I was unaware of at the time, but until then…here it is. :-)

Shades of Darkness

ERIC: (caught up in his enthusiasm) Just listen. We could do it, sweetheart. We could become mortal again. We could get married, have children…why the possibilities are endless. We could be like the families on the television–going to the beach, having barbecues, baking cookies for the kids to take to school…

CHRISTABELLA: (repulsed) NO!!

ERIC: (puzzled) What do you mean, “no”? Don’t you understand? We could be a family; we could have a chance at redemption. It would be the realization of a dream…

CHRISTABELLA: (angrily) Your dream. Not mine. Haven’t you heard a word I’ve said? I’m going to be Queen. I have dreamed of this moment for over 400 years. And you just want me to give it up. Not only give it up, but give up everything I am, everything I can do to live forever for the wondrous life of a human? I can’t believe you’re even thinking this. You want to give it up for the, what 50 more years to live, suffering through countless illnesses? And then, to die, to face a possible judgment by a God I’m not even sure exists.

ERIC: Chrissy, please!

CHRISTABELLA: (not stopping) Heaven forbid, you actually want me to give birth and spend my days raising the brats and baking cookies!! I don’t think so! You want to be human? Fine. I won’t stop you, but if you do change, you’ll change alone. I’ll go back to Damon and deal with his arrogance and temper and shameless infidelity before I’ll give up my immortality for an ungrateful wretch like you! He, at least, understands me.

ERIC: You wouldn’t! Don’t even say things like that. How could you go back–you left him!

CHRISTABELLA: (sarcastic) He’s still my husband! It’s kind of hard to divorce someone after being wed for 400 years! No one would believe our story.

ERIC: Don’t even joke about it! I couldn’t stand it if I lost you. You’re the only thing that makes this life bearable. I love you more than…

CHRISTABELLA: More than life itself. Is that what you meant? That’s how much I loved Damon. Do you love me that much? With all my faults, my love of my life, do you truly love me more than your precious soul?

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

It started out as a love story.  A strange and bizarre love story, to be sure, but a love story nonetheless.  A beautiful vampire princess (Christabella) is offered the throne.  Her lover (Eric) discovers a way to become human again and wants her to join him, and the PTA.  Her husband (Damon), from whom she is separated, wants her to come back to him so they can rule the vampires together.  The husband’s brother (Alexander) falls in love with her and offers a perfect mix between the other two (I’ll take him if Christabella won’t).  Now she has to choose.  If you are at all into contemporary vampire stories, you will know that it is not as farfetched a plot as it might seem.  I threw in some dark humor, some lines that spoke trippingly on the tongue, and a theological discussion for good measure.  Initial readings of the story produced positive comments from my friends, helpful critical commentary from my workshop group, and an overall “A” for my fiction workshop class.

The next semester I converted it to a play for my playwriting workshop.  I kept the story pretty much the same, but found that all of a sudden, the darker questions were coming out stronger than they had in the short story.  With no descriptive or narrative passages, the dialogue took on its own voice and my own questions about my religion forced their way onto the page.  Suddenly my vague doubts were crystallized into words.  The words were, admittedly, coming out of a vampire’s mouth, but since I’ve had a fascination for vampires since I was a child, that’s not so strange.  So there my play stood, half a theological dissertation on the nature of good and evil, creation and existence; and half a dark, romantic comedy with some exceptional lines.  Many revisions later, the play is still torn, and so, in a matter am I.

For over two years I labored and struggled with this story.  I lived and breathed the characters.  They followed my every step and I felt the pain my heroine, Christabella, felt.  As an actress, one of my great relaxation, escape tricks is to become someone else in my mind.  I created Christabella when I was in high school.  She, and I, went through several changes and metamorphoses, until I wrote her story down.  She was always me and I was always her.  I mean, she was what I wanted to be.  Not necessarily a vampire—I’m not really that morbid–but she was free from everything I felt held me down.  She was blithe and easygoing and confident and ready to take on anything that came her way.  That’s how I wanted to see myself, but when I looked in the mirror I fell sadly short.  She had three terrific men fighting over her.  I had one sweet, honest, kind, unambitious, unmotivated boyfriend.  She laughed at conventions and rules I lived my life by.  She wasn’t afraid to question the establishment in ways I never dared.  She never had bad hair days or pimples.  Ok, so she went around drinking blood to survive.  Nobody’s perfect.

When the play finally reached a semi-finished state, I had a nice following of fellow actors who seemed interested in seeing it produced.  My friend Chris, who was going to direct the play, and I set up a proposition and presented it to the student-run theater.  They accepted the play and assigned us a date to perform it.  Unfortunately, the date didn’t work out.  It was far too early in the semester and everyone who was interested in being in the play had commitments through February.  When no one was able to make auditions, we petitioned for a new date and got one in early April.  Much better.  I was going to play Christabella.  We held auditions and the perfect people for each of the other parts showed up.  We cast the play and set rehearsal times.  Then one of the actor’s advisors told him he couldn’t be in the play.  No reason.  Just “no.”  He was playing the part of the brother, Alexander; he was a perfect Alexander, and there was no way to cut Alexander out of the play.  He is far too vital for Christabella’s sanity, and my own.  Besides which, he has some of the best lines in the play.  We rehearsed the scenes he wasn’t in while scampering to find a new actor.

We were finally able to recast the part and things were really under way.  An actor named Larry was playing the part of Damon, Christabella’s husband.  I had been in love with him for ages, but we were both seeing other people so nothing ever came of it.  But here, on this stage, in my creation, he was going to be my husband.  He was going to dance with me and hold me and kiss me and no one could say a thing!  Rehearsals went very smoothly.  Everyone had a great sense of the characters they were portraying.  As for me, I was finally getting to meld with Christabella.  She and I were truly going to be one, if only for an hour and a half on stage.

We returned from spring break to discover that the new actor playing Alexander was close to failing two classes.  To keep his scholarship, he had to pull his grades up and so had to drop out of the play.  We were now only two weeks away from show time.  With no way to find and rehearse a new actor, we decided to do a reading instead of a full show, with Chris reading the part of Alexander.  At least then I’d get to hear how the play sounded and would be able to know what changes needed to be made.  I was extremely disappointed and cried for what seemed like hours or even days.  I had really wanted to be Christabella and a reading just wasn’t the same.  After a while, my rational side took over and said, what must be must be.  I still wasn’t happy, but I was reconciled to the possibility of a reading instead of a production.  We’d already put out a lot of money for props and costumes that was lost now, but we decided to carry on.

The day of the reading arrived.  All of the actors were assembled and in place.  Flyers had been distributed all around the theater department.  My boyfriend stood ready with a camcorder to capture the whole thing on tape.  No one came.  Not one single person.  We taped it anyway.  The reading went flawlessly.  The characters came alive. We applauded each other, said better luck next time and went our separate ways to prepare for finals and graduation.  The tape captured it all. The tape wasn’t labeled.  The tape accidentally got recorded over by “Friends” and “ER”.   Talk about a final disappointment!  I was so angry I think I actually cursed in front of my parents, something I NEVER do.

I put the play away.  I knew it needed more revision.  It was still caught between romance and God, but I simply didn’t have the heart to do anything with it.  I finished my exams and graduated from college reasonably happily.  Larry and I said goodbye and went our separate ways, never having shared that kiss.  I had weddings to attend and a move to Korea to coordinate and real relationships to resolve and decide how to carry on with. Eventually the pain faded into the background.  But it didn’t disappear and now I am left wondering what it is about that story that haunts me so.  I’ve got other stories I love and that I worked hard on, other universes I’ve created that I want others to see, but why can’t I let this one go?  I pulled it out as I started writing this paper.  I changed some character’s names that didn’t seem right anymore.  I reread it a couple of times and wondered.

My own questions haunt me.  In the end, Christabella returns to Damon, embracing her vampiric life and turning her back on the light.  Why?  My mother doesn’t like the play for that very reason.  She thinks the love story is fine, but the questioning disturbs her.  My father is a minister and I was raised in the church.  Throughout my childhood, I never questioned the tenets I was presented with.  I never even thought it was possible.  I believed implicitly that my God sent his son Jesus to die for me so that the wide gap between us could be bridged and I could go to heaven.  Until high school, I didn’t understand friends who told me they didn’t believe in God.  In fact, it probably wasn’t even until college that I met anyone who openly disavowed a belief in God.  Being exposed to people who thought so radically different from me forced me to reevaluate my own belief systems.  I had never been forced to defend my beliefs and now I had to figure out just why I believed what I did.  From the world’s standpoint, this was a good thing; I was thinking critically and rationally and academically.  From my family’s it was not; I was straying away from the fold, questioning things that ought not to be questioned.

My family’s religion is not an empty one.  So often secular writing portrays Christians as deluded into a false belief that they follow out of rote because they are too stupid to do otherwise.  I highly resent that, and did even when I was questioning the validity of all I had been taught.  My family’s faith is active and alive and shows in their daily lives to an extent that people know that there is something different about them and want to know what they have in their lives.  I wanted that kind of faith.  My questions about the exclusivity of Christianity bothered me more than they bothered my mother and father.  I wanted to believe unconditionally and not have to wonder what it was like on the other side.  My play became a way for me to express this.  Eric  (in spite of his affair with a married woman) was the moral voice in my head.  The voice that believes in absolutes.  The voice that cries for the world that is lost and hurtling towards its own damnation.  Damon came to be the voices I heard around me.  The ones that don’t deny that God exists but don’t really believe.  Who knows, maybe it is true, but so what, what’s that to me?  Christabella was one part of me, caught in the middle, torn between two worlds, agonizing, and unsure which was her path.  Alexander was the other part of me, questioning, uncertain, but more caught up in immediate concerns, doing the best he could, figuring it would all work itself out in the end.

ERIC: So you place yourself above the law?

CHRISTABELLA: The law is for humans. We aren’t human so we are outside of the law.

ERIC: (softly) What about the laws of God?

CHRISTABELLA: (confused) The laws of God?

ERIC: Don’t you remember? “Thou shalt not kill.” (she is silent) What about that law, Chrissy?

CHRISTABELLA: (dismissively) I kill to live. So do you. What’s the point?

ERIC: Then our lives are wrong and we must change them.

CHRISTABELLA: (sarcastic) By becoming human?

ERIC: (fervently) It’s the only way to stop the killing we do. It’s the only way we can save ourselves.

CHRISTABELLA: (impatiently) From what? The wrath of God?

ERIC: We are against everything He stands for, and unless we change, we’ll be destroyed.

CHRISTABELLA: (dismayed) You really believe that.

ERIC: What else can I believe in? If there is no God, then there is no purpose. I have to believe in Him if I’m going to stay sane.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

CHRISTABELLA: (recalling her concerns of earlier) Damon, what if Eric is right?

DAMON: (startled) What?

CHRISTABELLA: What if Eric is right? What if we are evil and damned forever?

DAMON: Nonsense. If we are so evil, and there is a vengeful God, why are we allowed to exist? More than that, why were we ever created?

CHRISTABELLA: Eric says the same question has been asked about Satan.

DAMON: And are we even sure he exists? Come now, my love, you and I have wandered this earth for 500 years. Have you ever come in contact with Lucifer, or with Jehovah and his angels for that matter?

CHRISTABELLA: No, but then, neither have the humans who believe in them.

DAMON: But surely, in all these centuries of living a supernatural life, if they existed, wouldn’t we have come into some kind of contact with them? I think we would have. Bella, we do what we have to to survive. Animals in the jungle kill to survive, so do we. No one thinks lions are evil, so why should we be considered evil when we do the same thing they do? It’s not like we kill maliciously. We only kill for food. Think about it. There is a food chain in nature. No one debates that. We are simply at the top of the chain.

CHRISTABELLA: But we are killing human beings…

DAMON: Because that’s what we must do. More powerful beings kill the weaker ones. I doubt the cows and pigs humans eat think it’s fair, but that is the natural way of things. If the God you fear so much does exist, then He must have created us and put us into his scheme of things.

CHRISTABELLA: But what if we are creatures of Satan?

DAMON: (mockingly) Now you aren’t remembering your theology properly. Only God can create. Satan doesn’t have that power. So we, like everything else, must be creations of God.

CHRISTABELLA: I suppose that makes sense. It’s certainly a more comfortable idea, but I can’t shake the feeling that Eric might be on to something.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

CHRISTABELLA: (abruptly) Do you believe in God?

ALEXANDER: Are we talking as a concept or as an actual sentient being?

CHRISTABELLA: What do you mean?

ALEXANDER: Well, are you asking if I believe that there is a higher power of some kind, or are you asking if I believe in God as defined by the Judeo-Christian theology?

CHRISTABELLA: The latter, I think.

ALEXANDER: Then my answer is–I don’t know.

CHRISTABELLA: What kind of answer is that? Either you believe or you don’t believe.

ALEXANDER: Not necessarily.

CHRISTABELLA: Explain yourself.

ALEXANDER: I am convinced that there is a higher power out there. However, whether that higher power is a personal God that it is possible to have communion with is something I’m not sure of.

CHRISTABELLA: What answer do you lean towards?

ALEXANDER: I like to think that there is a God out there watching out for us and loving us, but if that’s so, then why are we allowed to exist? That’s what you really want to know, isn’t it?

CHRISTABELLA: Yes. Eric’s convinced that God is out there just waiting to send us all spiraling into the fiery pit of Hell.

ALEXANDER: Bella, vampires are very much like humans in one respect–no one is sure where we came from. No one is left who knows the answer to the question “What are we?” Since that is true, it is a reasonable assumption to say that we were created, as were humans. If we are creations of God, how can we be evil?

CHRISTABELLA: What if we are some demonic mutation that God never intended?

ALEXANDER: I don’t have the answers you’re looking for, Bella. I’m sorry.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

As I read the play their voices combine, clamoring for my attention once more, pulling me towards them again.  They’re not as loud, but they are still there.  There are changes in the play that I want to make and questions that I want answered that I think come from changes in myself. I have resolved my questions.  I don’t mean that I have the answers, but I don’t need them so much anymore.  I can’t pinpoint the day it happened, but somewhere in the last year someone’s message, or maybe several people’s messages got through to me.  I talked to Christians who had struggled with the same questions about exclusivity as I had, the same questions about who was saved and who was damned.  It finally just clicked that I didn’t have to make that choice.  It is out of my hands.  Salvation is between the person and God.  I can share what I believe and love those people who don’t believe, but in the end it’s up to them and God and it doesn’t do me any good to worry over it.  I believe that God is a merciful god and I leave judgment up to Him.  I believe what I believed as a child, the catechism of the church, and with the same fervency, but with a new depth of understanding about the choice I have made.  Because it is a choice.  I have begun to grasp that faith is believing in spite of concrete evidence.  It’s that part of you that relies on what you know to be true in your heart, even if you can’t prove it in a court of law.  I may not have scientific evidence to support my beliefs, but I know in my heart they are true when I look at the beauty of a fall day or the smile of a tiny child.

So why doesn’t Christabella see these things?  Why does she have to reject all that I hold so dear?  Why does Christabella choose Damon?  Okay, admittedly I wrote Eric as kind of a wimp.  That annoys me now and is a change I want to make.  His belief in God and the necessity for salvation shouldn’t make him a spineless little brat.  Instead of a whining Louis-type character (note to non-vampire people—Louis is the reluctant vampire in Interview with the Vampire), I want Eric to be more a Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod (from Highlander, the Series) or a Jarod (from Pretender).  Someone who seeks to do the right thing, the good thing.  Someone we can understand Christabella loving.  Someone who represents a clear choice for her to make.  I also want to make Alexander stronger, more her other half, her soulmate even if they remain only friends.  Christabella deserves to have strong men fighting over her, not such a sad group.

So make Eric stronger, someone to contend with.  Let him give the fascinating, sexy, alluring Damon a run for his money.  Let Alexander show her what friendship can mean to a relationship.  Maybe she’ll insist on Damon showing some of those characteristics instead of just staying the same.  After all, he doesn’t really change in the play.  He says he loves her and wants her back in Scene 2, and is saying the same thing on the final page.  He needs some growth, as well.  What kind of growth?  Who knows?  The revision is just beginning.  I do know one thing, though.  I don’t want to change the end.

Christabella can’t become human.  She has to stay in the darkness because I need her there.  All of my life I have been drawn to the things she lives with.  Stories of the Salem witches intrigued me throughout elementary school.  I was always a princess for Halloween, but I wanted to be a witch.  I read about love spells and wanted to try them.  I wanted to see if I could summon Bloody Mary in the bathroom mirror.  I never even tried.  I was too afraid.  I knew the darkness existed and had no desire to call it down upon myself.  But part of me wanted to see what would happen.  Just to prove to myself that I was right about its existence.  Maybe it all sprang (springs) from a desire to be in control, to fix things for myself rather than relying on faith in something I couldn’t (can’t) see.

In junior high it switched to vampires, and there my fascination has stayed.  Fairy lore and Wicca still intrigue me, but only with a little thrill.  Sometimes I walk through the occult section and I want to open one of the magic books, but I don’t.  As I stand there gazing at all the books, a serpent coils itself in my stomach and tightens around my insides.  I become lost in the contemplation of it and I jump if anyone walks around the corner.  Something inside me pulls me there and I reach out my hand towards the beautiful cover with the Celtic designs and just before my hand wraps around it…I yank it back as if I’ve been burned.  I force myself to walk away and I do not look back, at least not much.  I go to the mythology section in the literature isle and I seek out the same cover designs on books labeled fairy tales and I reach for those books and take them home and devour them and for a time I lose myself in a world where magic exists.  And then I set the book down and dream of a time when the Tuatha de Dannan, the fairy folk of Ireland, roamed free in their green hills before men stopped believing.  And this is safe, you see, because this is the world of fiction.  Nothing in this world can truly touch me.  I can dream and explore and return safe to my bed.

In the same way I seek out books by Anne Rice and L.J. Smith and Christopher Pike and all of the wonderful writers of vampire and witch romances and I let them beguile me for a few hours.  Then the book is laid down and I am left with my imagination.  And from that imagination come my own stories where my own creatures stalk the night and dance under oak trees decked in mistletoe.  Through them I explore a world I cannot explore in my real life.  One that secretly terrifies me and is best left to imagination.  People running around claiming to be vampires are just a little too weird, and true practitioners of Wicca terrify me as much as they fascinate me.  I can’t escape a longing for that semblance of control over my own environment and life.  Do love spells work?  Can you light a flame without a match?  Again, I’ve always wanted to try.

Everyone has his or her dark side.  Whether or not we admit it, there is something in us that draws us to darkness.  We’ve been conditioned to only let it out on such nights as Halloween, or when we go to see a horror movie, but it is there nonetheless.  There are some people who ignore it and shun it and name it evil, but like the Victorians who were prudes in public and lascivious satyrs in private, there is always some secret little vice that cannot be admitted.  Some people let it out and horrible crimes are committed.  Others exhibit it in fantasies that somehow become reality and take over the mind.  Others write it out of them.  I think this is why the dark side in fiction exists.  What better place to explore?  We are all so tied up with trying to be good, decent, normal people, that we often ignore our darker impulses.  Whether because of religious beliefs or social norms, we want to ignore the dark side in each of us.  We might let it out by reading a novel or seeing a horror flick, but that isn’t exploring.

I let my dark side out and explore it through my imagination and my writing.  I suppose it is the psychological equivalent of writing a really mean letter to someone you are angry at and never sending it to him or her.  By exploring my own dark side, I am releasing its control on my everyday life.  When life seems too staid and predictable and straight and narrow and I get fed up with the expectations placed on me, I can retreat in to the world I have created.  I can become Christabella or one of the other characters I have created for a little while and feel what they feel and experience what they experience without having to worry about people thinking I’m weird because I run around dressed all in black.  I can revel in and fully embrace the darkness on the page and in my mind, and sometimes I can let in a little light.

Christabella isn’t all bad. Sure she’s a vampire and she kills people. I didn’t want her to be a vampire who drinks from blood banks. That’s always seemed like a wimpy device to me.  She is spoiled and selfish and hedonistic, but she is also often kind, with a big heart and a great capacity to truly love.  She is capable of great passion and expresses it freely.  She is unconfined by my social and religious mores.  She has to make decisions about whom she wants to be with and what she wants from her life in general, but she can do whatever she decides she wants to.  She’s a lot like you and me, but she stays on the dark side.  She is my dark side, I suppose.  Me, but bigger and brighter.  Me without constraints and rules. I always think about what people will say, what they will think.  I feel I have to maintain my “good” girl image since everyone knows I’m a Christian.  I can’t drink too much at the parties.  I can’t go out and have sex with whomever I want to.  I can’t always say the things I want to say to people.  I can’t blow off obligations (like class or church or work) on a whim.  For me to maintain some sense of stability in my life, I have to stay a “good” girl.  Christabella has to be the “bad” girl for both of us.

Christabella must exist.  She must remain in her world and not enter mine.  I need her to be with her Damon, exploring the world I cannot set foot in, because I need to see it through her eyes.  How else can I get there without compromising who Charity is?  Christabella is a character, she’s fiction, and so can’t really harm me, and yet at the same time she touches me.  I need to believe that a passion exists that is greater than life itself, because that’s what I’d like to find.  Christabella has it, and her love keeps me searching for that same kind of love.  Like her, I want someone to be willing to fight for me, to love me enough to sacrifice something of himself.  If she can find it, maybe so can I.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

CHRISTABELLA: I hope I’ll be a good Queen.

DAMON: No one else is more qualified. (moving to the window and gazing out) There’s a full moon out tonight.


(She follows him to the window. He wraps his arms around her. She starts, then settles back into his arms)

DAMON: It looks a lot like the one shining on the night we met.

CHRISTABELLA: Funny, I was just thinking that last night.

DAMON: I thought you were the most exquisite creature I’d ever seen. I wanted you from the moment I laid eyes on you, but you were so innocent that I was afraid of hurting you.

CHRISTABELLA: You definitely took your time asking me to dance that night. I was afraid you would leave before I even got a chance to talk to you. It didn’t seem fair since I was the birthday girl. The birthday girl was supposed to get whatever she wanted.

DAMON: (turning her around to face him) And you wanted me?

CHRISTABELLA: With all of my heart. I got you, didn’t I?

DAMON: Absolutely.

CHRISTABELLA: But I couldn’t keep you.

DAMON: You left, not me.

CHRISTABELLA: How could I stay?

DAMON: Actually, it was good that you left. It made me realize what a treasure I had.

CHRISTABELLA: You didn’t realize before.

DAMON: I did, but I lost sight of it.

CHRISTABELLA: And now you have it in your sight once more?

DAMON: I do. And I don’t intend to ever let it out of my sight again.

These needs contributed to my great disappointment when the production of the play fell through.  I needed, and still need, to see it on stage.  I need to feel Christabella come alive, not just for me but for others, too.  I need to see their reactions to her and hear what they think of her world.  I want to show them, and remind myself, that there is light everywhere, even in what seems to be the darkest place.  Christabella is banished from sunlight by her own choices, but she is resilient and she finds the freedom and love that she needs to be happy.  Maybe there is another story to be told here that I haven’t found yet. Until then, the search goes on.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

CHRISTABELLA: Alexander was right. I have to choose who my heart leads me to.

DAMON: (very tense) And that is?


DAMON: You’re sure?

CHRISTABELLA: I haven’t been this sure about anything since the night you asked me to marry you.

DAMON: I love you. (He picks her up and whirls her around triumphantly)

CHRISTABELLA: (laughing) I love you, too, but Damon, there is one condition…

DAMON: Anything.

CHRISTABELLA: Absolutely, positively no other women.

DAMON: Don’t worry, sweetheart, I never make the same mistake twice. I have a condition as well.


DAMON: No more suffering Americans?


DAMON: And Alexander?

CHRISTABELLA: I’ve started to cherish him as a dear friend, but the only De la Croix I’m in love with is you.

DAMON: I was hoping you’d say that. What do you say we find the Senate and arrange a coronation?

CHRISTABELLA: I think that can wait until later. I have something else in mind for right now.

DAMON: What?

CHRISTABELLA: This. (smiling, she pulls his head down and kisses him. They are still kissing when ALEXANDER enters a moment later.)

ALEXANDER: You know, it’s very boring playing billiards alone. If you have got it all sorted out, would anyone care to join me? Oh (seeing the couple kissing, he gives a bittersweet smile) I see you two have it figured out and are busy. I’ll just go out the way I came in and later, maybe…

DAMON: Shut up and go away, Alexander.

ALEXANDER: Of course.