Time Travel: A Short Romance Screenplay About Never Leaving

Robert Gibb
5 min readMar 29, 2022

This scene is based on my spiritual awakening experience and the idea that time and separation are illusory. The phrases now is always here and where could I possibly go best summarize the concept of this scene. When these phrases are realized, so is time travel.

You may have experienced this type of time travel before. One day you are suffering or afraid or missing someone. Years later, you are fine or reunited but you remember the suffering and longing like it was yesterday.

Read the latest version of this script here.

INT. CITY LOFT - NIGHTNo one is here and we feel the stillness of the room.Lampglow reaches up distressed brick walls and touches a wood-beam ceiling. A painting of something obscure covers an entire wall and comes alive.The space is modern and tidy except for a clutter of highlighted maps, handwritten notes, and books on a coffee table. Among the books is a travel guide and spiritual book.An ambulance siren sounds in the distance. The sound of key and lock comes from the front door by the kitchen. Mark and Maria enter.INT. KITCHEN - NIGHTMark is dressed in a business suit, Maria in baggy sweats. Her hair is greasy and disheveled but she is beautiful. Mark is clean-shaven and handsome.Mark gives her a pint of ice cream from a plastic bag. He puts another pint in the freezer. On the refrigerator are pictures of their life together and Get Well Soon cards for Maria.MARIA
Thank you, baby.
He crumbles up the bag and tosses it in the trash. Maria scoffs.MARK
You and these plastic bags. You’re obsessed with them.
MARIA
It’s just wasteful. All for a little ice cream.
MARK
You’ll make a saint of me.
She takes two spoons from a drawer and waves them at him with a smirk.MARIA
And you’ll turn me into a little Buddha.
She turns from him, heading over to the main room. She raises her voice to reach him.MARIA (CONT’D)
Buy the bag, let the bag go. Buy the bag, let the bag go. I’m so attached to the bag!
Mark can’t help but smile at this.INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
She plops down on a big couch near the coffee table with all the books and notes. Mark leans over the kitchen island. There’s a printout of a yoga retreat program next to him.
MARK
I just don’t see how this is going to work.
Maria opens the pint of ice cream.MARIA
What’s not going to work?
MARK
This.
He waves the printout at her. She takes a scoop of ice cream, wanting to avoid the subject.MARK
One month. It’s crazy.
She twirls the scoop in the pint and edges it off the spoon, back into the pint.MARIA
Please don’t say that.
And he is sorry he did. We feel the stillness of the room again. Maria puts the pint and spoon on the coffee table. Defeated. Confused. Her eyes water.Mark goes to the couch and sits down next to her.MARK
I’m sorry.
Her hands cover her face. He rubs her back.MARIA
You know it scares me. That word.
MARK
Sorry, I just don’t get it. A week ago you’re in the ER and now you’re going away.
She uncovers her face.MARIA
You still don’t know why I went there? Like, really why I went there. My mom didn’t tell you?
MARK
No.
MARIA
I had suicidal thoughts. Like, jumping off her balcony. And there were knives in the kitchen, in a butcher block.
Mark rubs her back again, lovingly but afraid of what she might say.MARIA
I thought, what if——
She chokes up, recovers, talking faster now.MARIA
My mind was telling me to use them. And then I couldn’t stop thinking of them and my mom. She was in there, the other room, with her new boyfriend who she cheated on my dad with. In their new place. And I had to be there because I had no place else to go to and I was scared to be alone.
MARK
Fuck. Baby.
MARIA
And you were not here.
There’s no recovering now. She’s incapaciated by the reflection. Mark holds her. Behind it all is the stillness of the room. He embraces her. It embraces them.Maria comes out of his arms. He strokes her hair.MARIA
I was so angry with her. For cheating, for leaving. I had held in so much, trying to be a good daughter. I love her so much. I wanted to be there for her. But it came at a cost. They were always telling me how wise I was——my mom and dad——when I would moderate their talks, when they were trying to make it work.
MARK
I’m so sorry, baby.
MARIA
You’re fine.
She strokes his face.MARIA
All of this happened so we could be here now.
She picks up the ice cream and spoon and walks around the room. She takes a scoop and sighs with delight.He looks at her like an angel. She may as well be levitating and have a halo around her head. We feel the stillness again.MARK
You’re so beautiful. I see that now, more than ever. These past few days. Since you got back from the hospital.
MARIA
You’re beautiful too, baby.
And she waves her spoon at him like a wand, enchanting him with more beauty. They both laugh.MARK
I am going to miss you though.
MARIA
You can come!
MARK
No I can’t.
MARIA
You won’t, because you’re thinking how I used to think. You need to read the book.
She taps hard on the spiritual book on the coffee table.MARIA
I can’t explain it but I need to go there.
MARK
What if I can’t meet you where you’re at?
MARIA
You don’t try.
MARK
I don’t want to.
This surprises her. She trades the ice cream for a beaded bracelet on the kitchen island.MARK
I don’t want to lose you either. But I can’t go there and don’t understand this stuff.
MARIA
Well maybe there’s nothing to understand. Maybe that’s the whole point. You just go.
She runs a bead from the bracelet through her thumb and forefinger.MARK
I think you are running from something.
MARIA
There’s nothing left to run from.
She sits back down next to him on the couch. She takes his hand.MARIA
I told you. I made a choice. Stay where I was — which sucked — or completely let it go. I felt like I had to hang on to stay sane. It was exhausting. I let everything go in that hospital bed.
HIM
But how is it possible to be apart this long?
HER
It’s possible.
HIM
How?
HER
Time travel.
HIM
What do you mean?
HER
In a month, you’ll see me here and it will be like I never left. Or maybe you’ll see me somewhere else. Or maybe it will be five months, or twenty years. Either way, you’ll see me then like you see me now. Now is always here.
HIM
I can’t understand any of this but I know that I love you. I can understand that. So go do your thing over there. I’ll wait here for you and try that time travel thing.
Maria smiles. They kiss.THE END

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