15min · Short, Drama, Romance · 1 January 2012
John and Maggie, a young couple in their twenties, go about their normal morning routine, walking down a normal bustling market street in a normal college town. For a town like this, they're a normal couple, really-- except for one thing-- Maggie doesn't exist. While grading papers with Maggie in a coffee shop, Fred (short for Winifred) shows up unexpectedly for her daily caffeine. Fred halfheartedly invites John to her thesis presentation, but after sensing his loneliness, she invites him out with her friends that night. What starts with a friendly gesture leads to a spark that challenges John's relationship with Maggie. But, despite Maggie's discontent, John continues to pursue what he knows deep down is best for him. Over the course of a few days, John and Fred's time together leads to a tender kiss in Fred's apartment. In the heat of the moment, John glances past Fred's ear to see Maggie standing in the corner, her eyes wracked with pain. We see images from John's memory-- the car accident that took Maggie's life-- and in an act of confusion, John rises from the sofa to leave a wounded Fred on her own. Back at his apartment, John reaches his breaking point with Maggie. Desperately in denial, Maggie forces John to her lips, but nothing is there. Maggie, her face flushed and her eyes moist, finally understands the inevitable. A free man, John finishes his novel and makes it to Fred's thesis presentation to give it one more shot. A simple invitation for coffee is met with a detached rejection, but after John leaves, a charming reminder of John's efforts gives Fred the nudge she needs to get that coffee after all. Fred catches up with John, and hand in hand, they chance a few more steps in the same direction.
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