Episode 45 Transcript
45 - Chloe
By Lauren Shippen
[sfx: phone ringing and shuffling in bed]
Chloe: Hello? Hey, mom. No, I’m up, I’m up. Oh shoot, it is? Yeah, I must have slept through my alarm. No, I’m fine, I just didn't get to sleep until late. Yeah. Yeah, it was really bad yesterday. No, just more of the same. I know. I’m going over there today to talk to her. Yes, I’ll call and remind him. Okay, Mom, I need to get to the registrar, I’m already way behind. Yes, I will. Love you too.
[sfx: registrar hallway]
Chloe: Hey, Frank, it’s Chloe. I just realized you’re probably still asleep because I know you had a shift last night so I hope this message doesn’t wake you up. I’m just walking out of the registrar’s office so, yeah, it’s official. Which means me and mom are going to leave on Saturday after all so if you could remember to look after Roger for a few days, that’d be great. Um, feel free…um, what was I saying? Sorry, it’s a little loud here and things just um…oh yeah, feel free to stay in the house to paint - I know the light can be a little better during the morning. Anyway, just put food out for him in the morning and then check in on him before going to work? I’m sure I’ll see you before we leave but I told mom I’d remind you so that’s me doing that. Okay. Sleep well and I’ll talk to you later.
[sfx: outside Sam's house]
[sfx: knock on door]
Sam: (from inside) Come in!
[sfx: opening and closing door]
Chloe: Sam, it’s me!
Sam: I’m in the office. And I’m a little stuck.
[sfx: Chloe walking into office]
Chloe: What? What happened in here?
Sam: I’m not really sure. I brought all the books in here and then built the bookshelf and now I can’t move the bookshelf because the books are in the way and so I’m just- I'm sort of trapped.
Chloe: Okay, here let me—
[sfx: Chloe moves books around]
Chloe: Okay, now can you—
Sam: Yeah, lemme just—
[sfx: they move the bookshelf]
Sam: There we go.
Chloe: What would you have done if I hadn’t come over?
Sam: I mean, I could have climbed out. I just didn’t want to step on the books.
Chloe: Oh right, obviously. Where’s Mark?
Sam: He doesn’t actually live here, you know.
Chloe: Not yet.
Chloe: What? You’re thinking about it all the time.
Sam: It’s way too soon.
Chloe: Says who?
Sam: I don’t know, common sense? He’s only been back in the world for eight months. I’m not going to rush him into something he’s not ready for. Or something I’m not ready for.
Chloe: Yeah, okay, I get that. I just want you guys to be happy.
Sam: We are happy. I think. Yeah, we’re happy.
Chloe: What is it? Oh. The drinking?
Sam: I don’t know that it’s totally healthy, that’s all.
Chloe: And neither does Joan.
Sam: We’re just a little worried.
Chloe: Well, like you said, he’s only been out of that terrible place for a little while compared to how long he was there. It’s gonna take him a little while to adjust.
Sam: I know. Of course. I just don’t want him hiding in something that could hurt him. But god, who am I to judge? I basically barely left my house for years. I still get nervous when I have to go outside. I mean, I get it. And he’s an adult. It’s his life and he knows best.
Chloe: True. God, it’s kind of weird to think about the fact that he basically missed the entire middle of his twenties. He graduated college and then was just put on pause for years. He never actually lived, like, an adult life.
Sam: Hence why he’s still living with Joan. Which I think they actually both need. We’re quite a pair aren’t we? Two people trapped in amber for years now free to do what we want and no idea what that means.
Chloe: But you have each other.
Sam: Yeah, but I don’t know how helpful that is when it comes to living in the real world or being in adult relationships. Neither of us have any experience in those areas. It’s just the traumatized leading the traumatized. One of the many reasons I don’t try and tell him what to do. Because I don’t know what I’m doing. We both have to make our own decisions.
Chloe: Doesn’t mean you’re not going to be worried about him. It’s normal to be worried about the people you love.
Sam: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. Speaking of which, how are you doing? How are the headaches?
Chloe: Um, things could be better.
Sam: What do you mean?
Chloe: It’s gotten bad, Sam. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but it’s bad.
Sam: What’s going on?
Chloe: That feeling of tuning a radio and getting a bunch of different stations that are all static-y and brief? It’s that feeling most of the time now. And after a few hours in the presence of people, it just starts to hurt. Sam, how could you think that?
Sam: What? Oh. I mean, obviously I would never have wanted Caleb to have blood on his hands but can you blame me? For wanting him dead?
Chloe: No. That doesn’t mean I like it.
Sam: You don’t have to. It’s my job as your friend to hate the people who hurt you. I hate that Caleb was involved but I can’t say I would have been torn up if Damien had died. I know that’s awful, to wish anyone harm like that, but, well, that’s the way I feel. And I’m a little surprised you don’t feel the same.
Chloe: I just don’t work like that, I guess. I don’t think anyone deserves to die. No matter what they do.
Sam: Have you talked to Joan about this? About how bad it’s gotten?
Chloe: No, not yet. But I’ve tried everything - meditation, ibuprofen, exercise, listening to music all the time and just nothing works. I’m starting to lose it a little bit.
Sam: Why didn’t you tell me?
Chloe: I’m telling you now.
Chloe: It’s hard, okay? Having conversations with people is just so hard now. I got used to hearing what people are thinking and now- now I just- I don’t know how to talk about things anymore. I feel like I have half the information I need at any given moment.
Sam: You know you can always talk to me about anything. I can’t help if I don’t know what’s wrong.
Chloe: What could you have done?
Sam: I’ve come across some relevant stuff in my research. You’re not the only telepath who’s had problems after a head injury.
[sfx: Sam looking through files]
Chloe: What did the others do?
Sam: Well, nothing that worked. Not yet. But I know The AM is constantly trying to figure it out and I plan on beating them to it.
Chloe: So you and Joan are definitely going forward with forming your own organization?
Sam: Yes. And this is exactly why. We know we can’t trust The AM - at least this division of it - but you need help. Actual medical help. And there’s nowhere for you to go.
Chloe: And you want to change that.
Sam: I want to try. I mean, it’s just me and Joan right now but maybe once we have more research compiled and clear goals, we can get an MD or a scientist on board. I don’t really want to involve the boys more, but I’d definitely love to talk to Adam’s parents about their work.
Chloe: I’m sure he’d be willing to introduce you to them. I think he’s worried about what to do if something happened to Caleb.
Sam: Have you seen him recently? Caleb, I mean.
Chloe: Yeah, we hung out a bit this past weekend.
Sam: How’s he doing?
Chloe: He’s okay. When was the last time you saw him?
Sam: My birthday.
Chloe: That was almost a month ago.
Sam: I know. Mark went running with him once—
Chloe: Yikes, in this weather?
Sam: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s why it was just the once.
Chloe: But he hasn’t been by?
Sam: I think he’s avoiding me.
Sam: Because I know what it’s like to have your ability make you do something destructive and permanent?
Chloe: Sam, it is so not the same.
Sam: No, I know it’s not. It’s not at all the same. Thank god. But I think maybe feeling my feelings is hard for him.
Chloe: Guilt you mean?
Sam: He shouldn’t feel that guilty, in my opinion. He was defending his boyfriend. It got out of hand, yes, but I think he knows that. He knows that what he did wasn’t entirely his fault. That it was unfortunate, but it doesn’t make him a bad person. I think being around me makes him feel like a bad person.
Chloe: You know, you’re not a bad person either.
Sam: I can know that and still be chewed up inside by guilt. Still be afraid of what I could do without meaning to.
Chloe: You think you make Caleb afraid of himself.
Sam: I think my emotions probably highlight some fears he already has, yeah.
Chloe: God, I think you’ve been spending too much time with Joan, you’re beginning to sound just like her.
Sam: Okay, yeah, I’ll admit - I’ve talked about this with her. What can I say, woman’s got insight.
Chloe: And now you sound like Mark- it’s almost like you’re trying to become part of the family or something.
Sam: You are relentless. I swear, you’d matchmake the entire world if you could.
Chloe: I can’t help it, I love love.
Sam: And yet you are incredibly picky when it comes to your own love life.
Chloe: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Sam: I wasn’t saying there was. I just don’t want you to be focused so much on everyone else’s happiness that you forget your own.
Chloe: I won’t, I promise. But you know how rare it is for me to really fall for someone. And then there’s the whole ace thing - some people don’t want to sign on for that.
Sam: Which I think is dumb—
Chloe: No, I get it. You can’t make a relationship work if what you both want out of a relationship is fundamentally incompatible.
Sam: Yeah, I guess. I think that person is out there for you, though. Someone that you’ll feel all those warm fuzzy feelings for and who will love you for who you are.
Chloe: I think so too. But I’m not in a rush.
Sam: And you shouldn’t be. You’re not even twenty-two, the last thing you need to worry about is your romantic future.
Sam: So stop bugging me about mine.
Chloe: Fine! I’ll just continue to plan your wedding in my head.
Sam: Oh my god, I’m gonna kill you.
Chloe: Hey, I don’t want any trouble, I’ve seen your right hook.
Sam: At least you would have the advantage of seeing it coming.
Chloe: Yeah. Yeah…hopefully.
Sam: God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—
Chloe: No, it’s okay. You just got used to me being able to hear everything clearly.
Sam: You’re going to be okay, you know. It’s either going to get better on it’s own or we’ll find a solution.
Chloe: Sam. I don’t have to read your mind to know you don’t really believe that.
Sam: I’m sorry.
Chloe: It’s okay. Besides, my mom and I have come up with a sort of a temporary solution of sorts. That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about.
Chloe: I’m gonna go away for a little while.
Sam: What? What do you mean?
Chloe: My mom has this friend— an old friend who used to work at the university with her way back in the day. I think he’s an ex, but I couldn’t get a clear enough signal from her thoughts to know for sure.
Sam: And this friend knows how to help you?
Chloe: He might. He used to be a librarian - information science guy, kind of like you - and he knows about atypicals. I guess a bunch of stuff went down when he and my mom were working together. Like bad things.
Sam: What kind of bad things?
Chloe: I don’t know. My mom is so good at keeping her secrets and especially now, I have no way of getting to them. But I think it had something to do with The AM. Which would definitely explain why my mom has always been insistent about me staying away from them.
Sam: Did she get taken by them once?
Chloe: No, I don’t think so. Ugh, it’s so frustrating, because I just get snippets from her thoughts and she won’t talk about it so I’m having to piece together all this information.
Sam: So, wait, why does this mean you have to go away? Is your mom worried about The AM doing something?
Chloe: No, no, nothing like that. I think she used to be worried about that because I used to hear stuff in her thoughts whenever I would bring up The AM. She would think things like, “I didn’t do all that just to have them take her”- her being me, I guess.
Sam: “Do all that?” What does that mean?
Chloe: Again, I don’t know.
Sam: Sorry, I don't mean to push.
Chloe: No, it’s just— for the past year, being around my mom has been like chipping away at a wall that I never knew was there. We used to be so close - I thought we told each other everything. But I guess knowing someone’s thoughts can mean knowing they don’t always tell the truth.
Sam: You think she’s been lying to you?
Chloe: I think she’s been keeping things from me. Anyway, I’m going to go stay with this guy for a while.
Sam: Because he knows stuff about atypicals.
Chloe: Well, yeah, partly. But mostly it’s because he lives on this farm way out in the country so I can just be alone for a little while.
Sam: And you want to do this?
Chloe: I think I need to do this. Being around people before was hard but rewarding. Getting to see people’s thoughts, know people in that way, it was beautiful. And now it’s fractured and broken in a way that grates. It’s frustrating and painful and just constantly reminds me what I’m missing. I think some quiet would do me good. And if he can help me great, but if not - at least I’ll have my own brain to myself for a little while.
Sam: How long are you going to be gone for?
Chloe: I don’t know. I’ve officially dropped out of school. I don’t know that it’s the right call, but I also don’t know if college was the right thing for me in the first place.
Sam: You can always go back if you want to.
Chloe: Right. But for now, I need to focus on getting better. I’m just so tired, Sam. I know you understand what that’s like.
Sam: Yeah, I do. Will you call? Can we still talk and stuff?
Chloe: Yeah, of course. I, you know, I’m not going to Antarctica. And I know myself. I know after a week, I’ll be dying for some socializing. My ex Alex actually lives about twenty miles away from the farm, so I’m hoping to go visit when I feel like I’m up to it.
Sam: Is this boy Alex or girl Alex?
Chloe: Girl Alex.
Sam: And that’s the one you’re still on good terms with?
Chloe: I’m actually on good terms with all of my exes, thank you very much.
Sam: Of course you are.
Chloe: But, yeah, she’s the one I’ve kept in touch with the most. But I haven’t seen her in years so it’ll be good to get some face time when I’m feeling better. But I’m honestly really looking forward to being in a place with nobody around for miles. Mr. Sandoval teaches four days a week so I’ll mostly have the place to myself during the day. I can take walks and keep practicing watercolors and listen to music and actually hear it for once.
Sam: Yeah, that’ll be nice.
Chloe: Once more with feeling?
Sam: Sorry, I just- I’m gonna miss you.
Chloe: I know. Me too. But I think this will be good for me.
Sam: Okay. That’s all I care about. When do you leave?
Sam: Jesus, that’s soon.
Chloe: Yeah, sorry, for the short notice. But I’ve got the whole day free, so what can I do to help?
Sam: We can go do something actually fun if you want. We don’t need to stay here.
Chloe: No, come on, I’m going to help you organize. That is fun for you.
Sam: Thank you for indulging me. You’re a very good friend.
Chloe: The best. Don’t forget that while I’m gone.
Sam: I could never. Okay, let’s start with these files over here?
[sfx: files shuffling, time passing]
Chloe: Sam, what’s this?
Chloe: This is a file on the Hayes. Or on their work, I guess.
Sam: Oh yeah, it’s just preliminary notes about their research.
Chloe: I thought you said you hadn’t talked to them.
Sam: I haven’t. Not yet.
Chloe: So you’ve asked Adam about it?
Sam: No, he doesn’t know that much.
Chloe: Did you ask Frank? You know he doesn’t like talking about it.
Sam: No, I didn’t ask Frank, I didn’t ask anyone. I- I went back in time. It took me a little while but I got there eventually and was able to see stuff first hand. Much more informative than hearing it recounted from someone who was there.
Chloe: You went back to the military experiments? The ones Frank was a part of?
Sam: Um, yeah. But there were other people there. And Frank was only there one of the days I was there.
Chloe: You don’t think that’s a little, I don’t know, invasive?
Sam: There’s no harm in watching what’s already happened. They don’t know I’m there and I’m using the research for good.
Chloe: Yeah, but you also didn’t get permission to be there.
Sam: I’ve never gotten permission. And neither have you.
Chloe: Yeah, I know and you know how conflicted I feel about that.
Sam: Of course. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.
Chloe: It’s just- it’s a little different when you’re seeking it out, you know? It’s one thing to get dropped somewhere when you don’t mean to, isn’t it another to go spying on people we know?
Sam: But it’s not like I’m, I don’t know, watching them sleep or anything. It’s their work and I’m not using it against them-
Chloe: What, like I use my ability against people—
Sam: What? No, that’s not what I said—
Chloe: I just don’t want you to fall down some sort of weird slippery slope of invading privacy. The hacking was bad enough—
Sam: I was hacking The AM—
Chloe: So, what, just because we don’t like them, that makes it okay?
Sam: I’m doing it for good. Sure, maybe I know some personal things about people but I have the right reasons.
Chloe: Don’t you think that’s what The AM thought too?
Chloe: I’m not— I didn’t mean— just be careful, Sam. I know what it’s like to be able to get a glimpse into people’s lives— their pasts. I know how tempting it can be to just keep digging.
Sam: Chloe, you know me. You know I’d never hurt anyone.
Chloe: But I also know you’d do anything to protect the people you care about. Even if that gets you into trouble.
Sam: I’m not going to get into trouble. I have stopped hacking them, you know. No more paper trail. Or, you know, digital trail.
Chloe: But you’re still getting information about their work so— oh, you’re going back to The AM too.
Sam: Look, I know that I’ve been a little intense about starting this whole thing up but I’m not going to make the same mistakes they’ve made. I’m going back because I don’t want to make the same mistakes. I can learn from them.
Sam: Just trust me. This is for you. And Caleb and Mark and Frank and for me. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have you all and I want to make sure there’s a place where atypicals can go. Not just a place where they get a Dr. Bright - that’s important and that will be a part of it - but one where they can meet other people like them. That’s just as important and it’s an area The AM has completely overlooked.
Chloe: I know. You’re right. And I do trust you. Sorry, I didn’t mean to— I just think this whole thing with my mom has me a little freaked out.
Sam: What do you mean?
Chloe: I’m not naive. I know that people are complicated. That they can mess up and do bad things even when they’re good at heart. I mean, I know I’ve done that - poked my head where it doesn’t belong, used my ability in ways that crossed a line. But I’m worried about what my mom has been hiding from me. I’m worried she did something to protect me that hurt someone else. And I know she’s a good person, but I didn’t think I could still be surprised by who someone is. I thought I knew her.
Sam: You do, Chloe. She’s not a different person just because she has some secrets.
Chloe: I know that. But not being able to see clearly into people’s heads anymore...most of the time, my ability just confirmed what I already believed about people.
Chloe: I know. I know that’s probably surprising. But most people, at their core, in their innermost thoughts, are good. And even when the bad thoughts come up, it doesn’t take away from who that person is. Because that just means they’re working to be kind. And that’s beautiful. And it far outweighs the people I would encounter with entirely ugly thoughts.
Sam: But now that you can’t see either…
Chloe: Everything is just so much muddier. I find myself being suspicious of people. When I can’t hear people’s thoughts, I don’t know anything about them. They could be one of the bad ones and I would have no idea.
Sam: I know this is probably a cold comfort, but most of us get by okay without telepathy. You just figure out who to trust.
Chloe: I know and I lived most of my life like that. But it’s hard to go back. See? This is why I need to go away for a little while. I need to get my head on straight.
Sam: Chloe— are you running away?
Sam: I get wanting to be alone and get a change of scenery but that might not fix it. You can’t just hope that you’re gonna wake up one day and be better. You have to work at it.
Chloe: I know. That’s what I’ve been doing. And it’s not working. You said yourself that there’s not a solution for it. What am I supposed to do?
Sam: I just want to make sure you’re not giving up.
Chloe: I’m not. I’m just taking a break.
Chloe: I should probably get going.
Sam: Are you sure?
Chloe: Yeah, I need to start packing and stuff.
[sfx: Chloe walking towards door]
Sam: Right. Are we okay?
Chloe: Yeah. Yeah, of course we are. I’m sorry if—
Sam: No, I’m sorry—
Chloe: This will get easier, right?
Chloe: Life? Specifically life as an atypical?
Sam: I— I don’t know.
Sam: I’ll see you before you leave, right?
Chloe: Of course. I’ll call you tomorrow.
Sam: Sounds good.
[sfx: door opening]
Chloe: Bye Sam. Don’t get trapped behind any more bookshelves.
Sam: I’ll do my best. Bye, Chlo.
[sfx: door closing]
[sfx: Chloe walking down front walk]
Chloe: Oh, hey!
Mark: Hey, you leaving?
Chloe: Yeah, I gotta get home.
Mark: Damn. Sorry I missed you.
Chloe: We’ll hang out later this week. Before I—
Mark: You’re going away?
Chloe: Just for a little while.
Mark: Why— oh. I’m sorry things have been so hard.
Chloe: Right back at you.
Mark: You can hear that, huh?
Chloe: Some things are strong enough to cut through all the static. Has it been different at all for you since November? Sharing my ability?
Mark: Um, a little. It feels a little more unstable. But the strength is the same. The clarity.
Chloe: I don’t get it. Why does it work better for you than it does for me? I’m sorry, I know it’s not your fault—
Mark: No, I get what you mean. I don’t know. It’s one of those things that Sam and Joanie are trying to figure out though.
Chloe: Has Sam asked you about it?
Mark: She asks about my ability, yeah. She wants to know how it works.
Chloe: And how do you feel about that?
Mark: It’s Sam. She’s just trying to help.
Chloe: That doesn’t answer my question.
Mark: Okay, well, I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite thing to talk about, but if it helps…I’m sorry for what happened.
Chloe: Like I said, it’s not your fault.
Mark: I know. But I still feel sort of responsible for Damien. For bringing him back into all your lives.
Chloe: You shouldn’t. You did the right thing at the time - you couldn’t have just left him when he was like that, all helpless without his ability.
Mark: That’s what I’m doing now.
Chloe: It’s different. We don’t know that he’s powerless.
Mark: He would have- I don’t know, I feel like he would have done something if he wasn’t. This radio silence since leaving The AM is weird.
Chloe: It’s been a week, Mark, don’t go looking for trouble in your own thoughts. If Damien finally wants to leave us all alone, we should just be thankful.
Mark: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.
Chloe: How’s the job hunt going?
Mark: Eh, not great. It’s pretty hard applying for stuff with a five year gap in my resume, but I’m slowly building my portfolio back up so hopefully it'll speak for itself.
Chloe: How are you otherwise?
Mark: You already heard - things are hard. I don’t know, being back is more difficult than I thought it’d be.
Chloe: Have you thought about talking to someone? Like a professional someone?
Mark: Who the hell would I talk to? I can’t exactly have my sister as a therapist and I’m sure as shit never going back to The AM. There’s no one else.
Chloe: You’re thinking about leaving too? You’re thinking really loudly right now.
Mark: I don’t know. I know there are other cities with large atypical populations. And part of me wonders maybe all the AMs aren’t like that. Some of the people who worked there were good and maybe, I don’t know, maybe it’s all Wadsworth. Maybe she poisoned the whole place.
Chloe: You really think one person could do that?
Mark: If any one person could, it’d be her.
Chloe: Have you talked to Joan or Sam about any of this?
Mark: No. No, not yet. It’s not like I’ve decided anything but, yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. It’d be nice to get a fresh start. A real fresh start. But I don’t want to do it without them.
Chloe: You’ll never be without them, not really. No matter where you go.
Mark: Just like we won’t be without you for the next little while?
Chloe: Exactly. I’ll still call. It’s way easier to talk that way anyway. Soon you’ll be sick of me.
Mark: We’re gonna miss you.
Chloe: Be honest, you’re a little relieved that you won’t have to hear people’s thoughts anymore.
Mark: Yeah, maybe a little. But I have been getting better about adjusting the volume.
Chloe: And now it’s my turn. Next time you see me, I’ll be a new woman. Relaxed and in control.
Mark: Yeah, if you find the secret to getting there, you just call me right away, okay?
Chloe: Will do.
Mark: I’ll see you before you go?
Chloe: Of course.
Mark: Bye, Chloe.
Chloe: Bye, Mark.
[sfx: dialing the phone]
Chloe: Hey Mom! Yeah, I’m headed home now. Yes, I called him. It’s been good. Yeah, she’s good, I helped her organize her office a little bit. Yeah, I told her. She thinks she can find a solution. No, I know, I’m not going to count on it. Um, no, it’s been— yeah, okay, I have a little bit of a headache. All day. Yeah, it's worse than yesterday, and last week— I know. I’m gonna be fine. I mean, come on, it has to get worse before it gets better, right?
[music & credits]
Lauren Shippen: Episode 45 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. The voice of Chloe is Anna Lore, the voice of Sam is Lauren Shippen, and the voice of Mark is Andrew Nowak. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. The Bright Sessions would not be possible without our supporters on Patreon. Our patrons pledge an amount to give every time we release an episode and get access to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, including live Q&As with the cast. If we get to 1000 patrons by the end of 2017 - just a few weeks away - we’ll do 9 bonus episodes that explore the therapy sessions of Dr. Bright’s other patients. That’s only 100 more people pledging at least $1. If you’d like to join our strange family, go to patreon.com/thebrightsessions. The Bright Sessions will return in two weeks, on December 27th with Episode 46. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.