EXT. HILTON MANCHESTER DEANSGATE HOTEL. EVENING
The hotel towers in the setting sun.
INT. CLOUD 23 BAR. MANCHESTER.
A bar situated at the top of the Hilton. It is full of people wining and dining. YANMEI ’MEI’ LAU, 33–sexy and she knows it-is sat at a window seat that looks out upon Manchester. She turns her attention to the bar, where a BRUNETTE WOMAN is sat talking to a MAN. She looks bored. The MAN appears to excuse himself. In his absence she notices MEI, who raises her glass to the woman. She responds with a demure smile and turns away. MEI takes a sip of her drink and then checks her watch.
AT THE BAR
The BRUNETTE WOMAN is doing her best not to look back at MEI, when a hand reaches from behind her and places a napkin on the bar. It has a number on it with ’Call Me x’ written underneath. The BRUNETTE WOMAN turns to see that MEI is no longer in her seat.
MEI enters the elevator with a self-satisfied grin on her face as the MAN rejoins the BRUNETTE WOMAN in the background.
INT. VIA. TOILETS. MANCHESTER. NIGHT.
MEI is queuing for the toilet. She is next in line. FLORA, small but with a big personality, is minding the toilets. She speaks with a thick, Nigerian accent.
No humpy humpy, boys!
She takes a mop from the corner of the room and begins to mop one of the cubicles. A couple try to enter the same cubicle.
Hey! One per cubicle!
The couple split. MEI watches in amusement, until:
You there! This one is free.
She makes her way to the cubicle and FLORA holds the door open for her.
INT. VIA. TOILETS. TWO MINUTES LATER
MEI comes out of the toilet cubicle and moves over to the basins to wash her hands and reapply some makeup. FLORA is stood beside the basins. She turns on the tap for MEI and provides her with soap. She catches MEI staring at her.
What you giving me the eye for,
lady? I don’t swing that way!
I wasn’t…never mind.
MEI starts reapplying some lipstick
MEI simply forces a faux-polite smile.
I always say girls who wear that
much makeup are using it to cover
up a great deal of sadness.
I’d say the same about old women
who don’t know how to mind their
FLORA is amused by MEI’s quick response.
Oooooh, well, someone call the fire
brigade we got a fiery one here.
FLORA rips off a bit of paper towel and holds it out to MEI.
For your lips.
MEI hesitates for a beat and then accepts. She puts the paper towel between her lips and removes it, leaving excess lipstick on it.
Well, it was nice meeting you.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold on there
just a minute, young lady! What
about my tip? You should always tip
for good service, didn’t your
parents teach you anything?
Actually yes. They taught me how to
never be good enough.
FLORA claps her hands together.
Covering up a sadness! Come on.
Share with Mama Flora.
I don’t share…
Some of the most enlightening
conversations are those held with a
INT. VIA. TOILETS. TEN MINUTES LATER
So they want you to get married and
have a baby?
And you don’t want that?
Not in the form they want it.
FLORA shakes her head.
You don’t know how they will feel.
You haven’t given them the chance
to prove you wrong.
MEI is lost for words. She looks at her feet.
My son did the same thing to me. He
was so afraid that I would cast him
out…Now look at me! I’m in this
damn gay village more than he is!
I just…know how they are.
FLORA takes MEI’s hand.
No one can tell you what to do. You
have to make the decision to tell
your parents about who you are. You
have to be ready. If you’re not
ready, don’t do it. But…
FLORA eyes MEI up and down.
I think you’ve battled this for far
too long. It’s tiring. Once you
tackle it, the weight of it will
ease up greatly!
MEI smiles at FLORA, tears forming in her eyes. She pulls out some change from her purse and places it in FLORA’s hand, holding it there for a beat.
MEI exits the toilets and FLORA looks at the two pounds in her hand. She grimaces.