INT. PALACE – JASMINE’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT
JASMINE combs out her hair; five of her eight sisters lounge on her couches, preening and grooming themselves. JASMINE has just rejected another suitor. Present: JASMINE, TANVI, NAMIRA, CALISTO, ADITI, LEILAH
Why aren’t you even excited? You act like finding your future husband is some awful chore that Daddy’s making you do. What could you possibly rather be doing?
I don’t suppose you would understand, TANVI. It isn’t that simple.
You would say that, of course. You’re only two years older than I am, JASMINE, you can’t be that much more knowledgeable about everything.
What TANVI’S trying to say, albeit clumsily, JASMINE, is that we just don’t understandyour deficiency. FATHER parades glorious Prince after glorious Prince before you and you turn your nose up like a spoiled child.
Of course you wouldn’t understand, NAMIRA, you can’t imagine a man with the ability to think beyond his superficial adoration of you.
turns catty eyes to CALISTO
At least some of them can adore me, CALISTO. I don’t immediately turn them away by being an arrogant little twat.
We all know how the men fall at your flawless feet, NAMIRA. There’s no need to remind us – again.
When did you get in here, LEILAH, and who asked you, anyway?
tenderly cradles her engorged belly with one hand
Can we all just get back to idle chatter? The arguing is stressing out the baby.
Oh shut up, ADITI. Leave the room if you’re so uncomfortable.
Would you just shut up, NAMIRA? The last thing I need is a headache already.
pitiless, rolls her eyes
You brought this on yourself. I won’t be bringing you any more ice packs, JASMINE. You’re taking this whole thing too far, and truthfully, you’ve been taking it too far for too long. You’re less than a year away from peaking. Less than a year, JASMINE. And in the past four years you have done nothing but throw away every man that’s come to call!
reluctantly, unable to meet JASMINE’S eyes
NAMIRA’S right, JASMINE. At some point, you have to realize that you’re only hurting yourself. You know your behavior infuriates FATHER. He wouldn’t be so hard on you if you’d just… behave.
with an audible sigh
Then what’s it matter to any of you so much? I’m not scared of him - or his outbursts. I’ve made my choice, and I refuse to cower like the rest of you. If I die alone, so be it – at least I never settled for someone I didn’t want. I don’t care that I’m twenty-four and still single, I don’t care that my younger sisters will likely wed before me. I don’t care.
A hush settles in the room until there is a knock at the door. ENTER JASMINE’S MOTHER.
JASMINE, your father would like to see you.