I Stand By My Witness

I Stand By My Witness

A Screenplay by Jen

..description in progress





March 30, 1990

The monthly gatherings of the Mari & Ivan families become a weekly meeting…

(Marisa sat in the driver’s seat of a black Sedan, idling in front of the Ivan’s. Ken and Nadia stood on the patch of grass that was the entrance to the Ivan property.)

Marisa: I’ll see you at 6. Your father will pick you up this time.

Nadia: ‘Kay. (mumbling under breath) I doubt it.

Ken (whispering to Nadia): I just realized she always says that. (Turning to Marisa) Okay.

Marisa (grumbling as she begins to drive away): Children don’t believe a single word their elders tell them. You’d think they would understand by now, at their age.

(Ken and Nadia turn to face the Ivan property, laughing as they walk toward the looming front side of the house.)

Ken: Does she really think one day dad will come home long before we’re asleep?

Nadia: There’s hope in her yet. But we don’t have any. (This she says as they stare up at the gigantic white and black three-story home of the Ivans. Their laughter subsides abruptly. They head up the sturdy steps of the porch without noise. Somehow, the front door is already opening to welcome them in as they make it to the top step.)

Kir (holding the doorknob and smiling in greeting): Nadia. Ken. We’ve been expecting you.

Nadia (muttering to Ken, nervous): As always. How do they know these things?

Ken (muttering back and trying to wipe off any expression from showing on his face): I don’t know.

Kir (as usual, smiling with polite welcome, lead the two into the warmth of the living room away from the cold of the outside): Tea?

Ken: Yeah. (Feeling a nudge to his ribs from Nadia) I mean yes, please. Oh. Where is Mr. Ivan? I mean, as in your father.

Kir: He will be here shortly, as well as the rest of them.

Ken (in surprise): Even… Even your older brother? We’ll finally be meeting him?

Kir: Indeed. That is the occasion for today. (As he passes Ken sitting on one of the two big couches in the room on his way to the kitchen, he whispers into his ear): Are you always this rude? Remember to fix that before Adrian and Father return--especially Adrian.

(Ken stares after him.)

Nadia (looking anxiously at Ken): Something wrong?

Ken: What? Oh, nothing. I think he was trying to warn me about something. It’s the usual Kir, always so… weird.

Nadia: I know, right?

Ken (almost to himself): We’re going to meet Adrian...

Nadia: Well, I hope he’s not like Kir.

Ken: Hopefully… (This he whispers, then speaks in a normal tone) I don’t think they’ll look like each other. I wish they had allowed us to see his picture.

Nadia: I don’t mind. We’ll see for ourselves soon enough.

Ken: Yeah. Pray he’s not like Kir. (Ken folds his hands together into a mock praying gesture.)

Nadia (doing the same): I’m okay with it if they were similar though.

Ken: Really? (Pointing in the direction Kir went) You’ve always seemed to think a lot about Kir to me.

Nadia: Oh, do I now? What do you mean?

Ken: You talk about him almost all the time once we leave this house. Sometimes I'd hear you when you talk about him to yourself.

Nadia: You're the one who brought him up.

Ken: You're the one who asked. You also said "I hope he's not like Kir." If you're okay with Adrian being like Kir, why would you say that then? All your statements contradict each other!

Nadia: Well, I apologize for confusing you!

Ken: Anyone would be confused by that!

Nadia (already looking scared): Sorry, never mind...

Ken: Jeez... you're such a coward.

Nadia (ignoring that comment): What is taking him so long? He’s always been so prompt in bringing tea. (The sentence follows by Kir’s reentry into the living room.)

Kir: I apologize. Were you waiting long? (He sets the tea tray down on the table in the center of the room.)

Nadia: Not at all.

Kir: Father just called. They’ll be here in five minutes. Excuse me, I have to do something. (He leaves the room.)

(After a few seconds of silence, Kazimir, the Ivan butler, enters, nods at Ken and Nadia, and pours the tea into cups for them. Kira peers into the room and enters after Kazimir had poured the tea.)

Kira: Hello again, you two.

Ken (standing): Hi, Kira. How are you?

Nadia (standing as well): Thank you, Kazimir. (Turning to Kira) Yes, how are you?

Kira: Fine, just fine. I’m sorry, I was finishing up a writing assignment and then Kazimir told me you two made it.

(Kira is very different from Kir. She is the easiest person to understand than the rest of the Ivan family, aside from Adrian, whom they have yet to meet. She looks at Kazimir and he immediately leaves the room.)

Kira: And how are you two?

Ken: I’m surprised. Kir said we’re going to finally meet Adrian!

Nadia: What is that all about, Kira?

Kira: I have no idea myself. He just… decided he’ll be present in our monthly--I mean weekly gathering. (Surprise suddenly spreads across her face.) No, wait. It was an hour later, after we showed him something… I should remember this…

Ken (prompting her): Uh-huh?

Kira: I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten. I do remember that it was an hour after he saw a picture of something that he decided he’ll be here this week.

Ken: Maybe you can check what the picture was later.

Kira: I will--Oh! (Clapping her hands together) Wouldn’t it be interesting if we found it now? We would almost certainly have an idea on Adrian's reasoning before the meeting. I’m sure it’s in the house somewhere.

Ken: We’ll help you.

Kira: I will try the kitchen. You two can search around here. (Kira exits the room, leaving Ken and Nadia to explore the living room. They rummage through the room, but find nothing. Kira reappears in the doorway.)

Kira: See it anywhere?

Ken: No.

Kira: I shall check upstairs. You two drink your tea. (She leaves once again.)

Nadia: I wonder why we’re only ever allowed to see the living and guest rooms.

Ken: Who knows? We might as well check the guest room, too. (He directs the way to the guest room through the door to the right of the hallway door that leads to the kitchen, Nadia trailing behind. He turns the doorknob of one of the white doors and they enter.)

Ken: That’s weird. They have paper all over on one of the tables. (He strides to a table next to one of the other doors, the one that leads into the bathroom, and searches through the mess of papers. Holding a photograph up, he examines it.) It’s a picture of a famil--our family!

Nadia: Really? That is odd. (She strolls across the carpet to where Ken stands and peers over his shoulder at the photo.)

Ken: This has got to be the picture that convinced Adrian to finally show himself. But why our family picture?

Nadia: Let’s go tell Kira we found it. (She turns to leave the room, but Kira is already there at the doorway.)

Kira: Oh, you two found it. Great. What picture is it?

Ken: A photo of our family. The one we gave you guys.

Kira: Oh. Oh! I see. Hmm… Adrian never bothered to look before, but then he just happened to see it there on the table and he got this struck look on his face, then left the house… It was quite strange.

Nadia: Maybe he recognized us. Or at least one of us.

Kira: Perhaps. Come. Let us return to the living room. They will be here soon!

(Kira, Ken, and Nadia hurry out of the guest room. Ken and Nadia return to their seat on the couch and Kira sits on the sofa across from them.)

Ken: So, who might the one he recognizes be?

Kira: Perhaps your father.

Nadia: Our father?

Kira: Your father and my father are childhood friends. Adrian might have seen him when your father visited at some point.

Ken (eyes widening): Our dad--father--came here? Are you sure?

Kira (nodding): The last time I saw him, I was about…thirteen-years-old, or near that. He has only come once or twice in all the time I have been here. I thought he was strange and his eyes had a crazed look in them. Now, I do not know why Adrian might be surprised about it. He should know that your father does not meet in our gathering with us.

Ken: It might not be him he recognized.

Kira: Then who are you suggesting?

Ken: Nobody. It’s just what I’m thinking. I mean, Adrian was fifteen at the time you were thirteen, and he went off to study aboard at a school that time. Didn’t he?

Kira: You are indeed right. I am surprised you remember. We only spoke of him to you once.

Ken (cheeks blooming slightly pink): I have a good memory.
Nadia: At any rate, is Adrian even tolerated in the meeting? He’s an outcast and I thought this was a private matter.
Kira: True. However, in some cases, it is permitted. He’s not officially named an outcast, and as long as he is still respected with the family seal of approval, it is all fine.
Ken (relieved they hadn’t noticed his blushing): That’s weird.

(Before any more words could come forth, Kir enters the room and heads for the front door. Nadia and Ken stare in astonishment at their first witnessing of Kir in his psychic state. A man and the first Mr. Ivan enters through the door Kir opens as if expecting it. They are already removing their coats and handing it to Kir as Nadia, Ken, and Kira stand up from their seats on the couches.)

Mr. Ivan (looking at Ken and Nadia and speaking before the two are able to come to their wits and greet him): Ah, you are here, of course. Hello, children! My sincerest apologies for not having been here to greet you, as always. This time is excusable, however, as you can see…
Nadia (returning before Ken): Oh, no. No need to be sorry. Good morning to you, Mr. Ivan! (Nudges Ken’s side) Apologies! It was just unexpected.
Ken (surprised): Oh… I’m very sorry, Mr. Ivan. Good morning! (He glances at the other man, who is as handsome as surely the younger version of the first Mr. Ivan had once been, and becomes embarrassed to find him staring at Ken as if they knew, or should know each other.)
Mr. Ivan: Nadia, Ken, this is--
Adrian (interrupting Mr. Ivan): Hi, I’m Adrian Ivan. (Outstretching his hand to Ken first, he ignores Nadia) You must be Kenny Mari.
Ken (shocked, reaching out a hand to shake the man’s): Uh, hi. (Fixing for him) Ken…
Adrian: Ken. (His overtly polite smile becomes almost soft, gentle, then he turns to Nadia and also stretches out a hand to her) And you are Nadia.

Nadia (smiling): Yes, hello. Nice to finally meet you, Ivan.

Ken (flustered): Oh, here too!

Adrian: Call me Adrian. (Now he frowns at Ken and his keen study unnerves him.)

Kira (scolding, a dark, chilling look on her face): It is not polite to stare, Adrian.

Adrian (turning a formal smile on her): You are right. (Turning to Ken) I am sorry. However, I would like it if you do not suddenly shout out at me.

Ken (staring down at the floor): My apologies...

(It is silent.)

Kira (suddenly calling, scornfully): So rude, as usual! (Turning to Ken) I apologize on his behalf, Ken. It is not your fault.

Mr. Ivan (rather abruptly): Do you realize, children, that we have been apologizing for the last few minutes? Come, I tire of it! Let us drink tea and introduce ourselves again, for Adrian's benefit.

Adrian: Yes, then I'll explain my visit.

(The two families seat themselves on the big white couches in the guest room, and Mr. Ivan turns to face Ken.)

Mr. Ivan: So, we'll begin with the oldest, shall we? Ken, what profession are you interested in?

Ken (automatically replying without thought): Literature.

Adrian (eyebrows rising in surprise): Literature, hm? Do you plan to become a writer?

Ken: I'd very much like to, yes.

Adrian: If you go off telling everyone this, surely you are aware of the scorn that would come your way? If you did not know, take this as a warning.

Ken: I'm aware. You people are the only ones who know of my interests.

Adrian: Good. (His keen green eyes never leave Ken. Ken restlessly shifts in his seat, staring at the glass table in front of him.) Literature, hm? Only the most wise achieve it.


© 2011 Jen

Author's Note

[This script is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.]

The Mari House –
Marisa – The beautiful, confident woman always needed in this family, as the mother of two children, who has still yet to lose hope. When her two children are doubtful, she provides assurance—mostly where her husband, the children's father, is concerned. (Outcast)
Ken – Born April 2, 1974 and the only son in the family. Outwardly, he is a boy as typical as any other teenage boy, but intelligent and skillfully talented in writing as well as logic. His one true desire is to become a writer. This talent is highly disapproved of during his time, yet he is unable to cast it off permanently. He is secretly filled with vulnerability and despair, which is not always entirely concealed from the eyes of others, due to his family situation with his father. A son inwardly lonely, disappointed, and saddened. (Missionary)
Nadia – Born May 14, 1976 and the only daughter in the family. She is the most timid in the family, tending to stray in asserting her opinions she only makes when others do and very much lacking confidence. Although she has enough courage, she dislikes any type of confrontations. She highly disapproves of fighting. She is lost in her desires and what she may truly want, not understanding her own self. She is known to be a very gentle, open-minded person in nature. A daughter as beautiful as her mother, and obviously unaware of it. Just like her brother, she carries no hopes for her family and herself. (Missionary)

The monthly gatherings – A meeting to gather the Mari family and the Ivan family together once a month, save for the discretionary family members such as Adrian and the master of the Mari House. It is in which a designed project assigned them to, with the aim of preparing them for the role of succession over the capital of Ebony in Russia. They are thereby obligated to learn the ways of a leader, to both understand and work with the relation of family while leading, as well as individually leading. The higher-ups will use any means possible for the training.

The Ivan House –
Isaak – For the master and father of the family, he is an ambitious yet kindly man. (Chief)
Alla – Although beautiful, smart, and sophisticated, she is in actuality cunning but wistful. (Chief Associate)
Adrian – Born October 4, 1972 and the first son of the family. (Outcast)
Kir – Born May 14, 1974 and the second son of the family. Fraternal twins with Kira. (Missionary)
Kira – Born May 14, 1974 and the only daughter of the family. Fraternal twins with Kir. (Missionary, indeterminate aid)
Kazimir – Butler (Adversary, supervisor)

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Added on April 4, 2010
Last Updated on June 5, 2011
Tags: family, gay fiction, romance, historical, fiction, relationship




I'm a young writer - and avid reader who always loves to read good stories - who aspires to learn and share my views on the world of romance, whether it's gay or straight. I don't lead an exciting lif.. more..

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