Always read the fine print.
When a young woman is down on her luck and is offered a deal that seems too good to be true. Does the contract for free rent come with hidden conditions of an unreciprocated love?
INT OFFICE DAYTIME
(MUFFLED SOUND OF RAISED VOICES) through the office window we see a man and a woman. The auburn haired woman is listening to the man who is pointing to the computer screen and then at her. She shakes her head, upset.
We see a figure in shadow outside the office, as the woman runs from the office, the shadow enters the room.
EXT ESTATE AGENTS AFTERNOON
TARA a twenty five year old, miserable lonely woman, is outside the estate agents looking at properties. In her hand an eviction notice.
There isn’t anything here that I can afford. God knows what I am going to do.
She doesn’t notice a shadow walk behind her. Then she kicks a bottle which is at her feet. She looks down noticing that the bottle contains a key and a piece of paper. She picks it up and shakes out the paper.
(Reading out loud)
Whoever finds this key, it’s your lucky day. Take it into Ropers Estate Agents and they will help you out.
(Looks at the key in the bottle and up at the Agents sign)
Nothing ventured nothing gained. I suppose the worst they can do is laugh at me.
(Pushes open the agent’s door and enters the building)
INT. AGENTS. MORNING
Tara walks in and looks at the agents, all very professional looking in their grey suits. Walking over to the first desk she places the bottle with the key inside on the table.
May I help you madam?
This is going to sound stupid, but I found this bottle outside with a key and a note inside. It said to bring the key in here.
The AGENT picks up the bottle shaking it. She reads the number on the keyring.
Ah, yes. This property is available. The terms are a little unusual. Which is why it wasn’t ever advertised.
We were instructed that someone would be given a key for the property and they were to be allowed to have the flat, rent free for 6 months. That person would probably be down on their luck.
That would be me then, I just lost my job and have to move out of my flat because my landlord is selling up.
What’s the catch with this place? Is the rent ridiculous when the 6 months are up? Or is it a dive?
No, no catch. The owner just wants to do have someone living in there rather than it be empty.
I think you should go and see the property before you make up your mind.
The Agent and Tara walk to the flat. Tara admires the rooms.
A shadowy figure watches them from the other side of the street.
Okay, I need to read the contract but if it’s legit, then I think I can’t say no. It is too good an offer to refuse.
INT. FLAT. EVENING, SIX MONTHS LATER
There is a knock at the door. Tara is reclining on the sofa watching television drinking red wine.
Just one moment.
(Mutters under breath)
Who the hell calls at this time of night?
Tara looks through the security eyehole. She sees a MAN, with brown hair wearing a trench coat, his head turned away from the door.
Who is it?
The figure looks towards the door smiling. Tara recognises him instantly and frowns.
As she pulls the door wide open, it knocks against the wall.
What do you want? You have a bloody cheek showing up here after the way you treated me.
I’m sorry about that.
(Looks at the floor, then back at Tara)
Look can I come in. I don’t want to talk to you on the doorstep and we do need to talk.
Tara steps back, the man walks confidently into the lounge, not the bedroom which is an identical door on the other side of the hallway.
Tara wonders why he knew which way to go.
I think everything was said in the office that day. I don’t think there is anything left to say really.
I’m not here to talk about work. There is-was nothing I could do about that.
(Looks at the wine bottle, raises one eyebrow)
Anyway, it looks like things have picked up for you now.
Yes, I got a new job. At least I was given a good reference from the company.
(Raises one eyebrow back)
I’m won’t ask you to sit down, I don’t think you’re going to be here that long. Say what you need to and then get out. Leave me alone.
The man walks over to the fire-surround and looked at the array of cards on the mantle.
Congratulations? What for? Did you get a promotion at work already?
Not that it’s any business of yours but I’m getting married. I met a nice fella at my office and we have been dating. He asked me to marry him and as the lease on this place is finishing soon it seemed like a good idea. I am moving in with him.
The man turned.
What? You can’t marry him.
Yes I can, he asked and I like him.
But what about love?
What about it? It doesn’t pay the rent. If I had other options it would be different.
But all this would have been for nothing.
All of what? What do you mean?
When you got sacked, it wasn’t because you did anything wrong. Father guessed how I felt about you and got rid of you.
I wasn’t letting you go, which is why I arranged for this flat and your new job. You can’t marry someone else.
You what? This all happened to me because you like me?
No, not like. I love you, have done since the day you walked into the office five years ago. Father would never let me date a working class girl. But now he isn’t in control anymore I can do what I want.
The man dropped to one knee pulling a box from his trouser pocket.
Please say you’ll marry me? I love you.
Seriously? You want me to marry you? Marry into your insane family. Not a chance. I think you need to leave now.
But I love you, let me look after you. I can do it better than any stranger. You could have your job back at the office too.
No, I don’t think so. I will also be moving out in the morning. Get out.
The man pulls a gun from his other pocket and shakes his head. He steps forward and raises his arm.