Stranger Than Fiction
written by Zach Helm

Harold Crick: Well, goodnight.
Ana: Want a cookie?
Harold: Oh, no.
Ana: Oh c'mon. They're warm and gooey and fresh out of the oven.
Harold: No, I don't like cookies.
Ana: You don't like cookies. What's wrong with you?
Harold: I don't know.
Ana: Everybody likes cookies.
Harold: No, I know.
Ana: After a really awful no-good day, didn't your mama ever make you milk and cookies?
Harold: No. My mother didn't bake. The only cookies I ever had were store bought.
Ana: Hm. Okay. Sit down.
Harold: No, I'm --
Ana: No. Sit down. Now -- eat a cookie.
(She places a glass of milk and a plate with a cookie in front of Harold.)
Harold: I really can't...
Ana: Mr. Crick, it was a really awful day. I know, I made sure of it. So pick up the cookie, dip it in the milk and eat it.
(Harold does so.)
Harold: Mmm. Oh. That's a really really good cookie. Mm. ... When did you decide to become a baker?
Ana: Um, in college.
Harold: Oh, like a cooking college?
Ana: I went to Harvard Law actually.
Harold: Oh, oh, I'm sorry, I just assumed it was --
Ana: No. No. It's fine. I didn't finish.
Harold: Something happen?
Ana: No. I was barely accepted. I mean, barely. The only reason they let me come was because of my essay. How I was going to make the world a better place with my degree. And anyway, we would have to participate in these study sessions, my classmates and I, sometimes all night long. And so I baked so no one would go hungry while we worked. Sometimes I'd bake all afternoon in the kitchen, in the dorm, and then I'd bring my little treats to the study groups and people loved them. (puts more cookies on the table) Eat. I made oatmeal cookies... peanut butter bars...dark chocolate macadamia nut wedges, and everyone would eat and stay happy and study harder and do better on the test and more and more people started coming to the study groups and I'd bring more snacks and I was always looking for better and better recipes until soon it was ricotta cheese and apricot croissants and mocha bars with a almond glaze and lemon chiffon cake with zesty peach icing. And at the end of the semester I had twenty seven study partners, eight Mead journals filled with recipes and a D average. So I dropped out. I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies. ... You like them?
Harold: I do.
Ana: I'm glad.
Harold: Thank you for forcing me to eat them.
Ana: You're welcome.
Harold: I should go. Thank you for the cookies.
Ana: Why don't you take them home?
Harold: Oh, no...
Ana: Oh c'mon.
Harold: No, really. Please.
Ana: No, really, please, I...
Harold: No, no, really please, I'd like to but I can't.
Ana: You can't?
Harold: No, no, I mean... see, it constitutes a gift. So actually I shouldn't even had those other ones, so I...
Ana: Well, okay, but I'm not going to tell anyone.
Harold: Yeah, I know, but if you did...
Ana: Well, I'm not going to.
Harold: Yeah, but if you did...
Ana: You think I'm gonna call the...?
Harold: I'll purchase them. I'm happy to purchase them. How's that? Then there, there are no issues...
(Ana is clearly upset.)
Harold: What?
Ana: No.
Harold: Please.
Ana: No.
Harold: I thought I just said --
Ana: Go home.
Harold: No, really, it's not a big deal.
Ana: Go home.
Harold: Okay. ... Did you...? You baked those cookies for me, didn't you? You were just trying to be nice and I totally blew it. ... Okay. This might sound like gibberish to you, but uh, I think I'm in a tragedy.

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