Empathy No. 014
07/19/02, Levitt living rm. 5:45 PM (approx)
ALLISON: All right, children, everyone listen up. I'm in charge until Dad gets back, and he has left us 20 dollars to cover dinner. I'm ordering pizza.
JASON: You're getting sticks, right?
ALLISON: I will get breadsticks if we have enough money, but I need to know toppings first. I'm thinking pepperoni. Roderick, is that good with you?
RODERICK: ...Hm? Oh, pepperoni is good with me.
JASON: You're really lost in that one. What's that book about?
RODERICK: Um, I...how geography and climate affect history.
JASON: Well, take a break because you're playing Brooke next.
BROOKE: Connect 4. Come on, it'll only take a minute.
ALLISON: Getting back to the important part, that's a pepperoni pie with breadsticks. Is that fine with everyone?
BROOKE: Yes! Now let me concentrate here!
JASON: You're gonna lose this one, kid.
BROOKE: If you keep talking to me, yeah.
RODERICK: ...That's four.
BROOKE: Already? How did you win so fast?
RODERICK: It's a simple game. If you understand the math, you can't actually lose.
BROOKE: Can you teach me how to win at everything?
RODERICK: Ah...I guess.
ALLISON: All right, order placed. You know, you little idiots could try not screaming when I'm on the phone. The total is $14.59, so what's our tip? Jason get the calc-
RODERICK: 15 percent, it...it would be about $2.17, give or take.
JASON: Holy shit, he's right.
ALLISON: You did that in your head?
RODERICK: It's not a big deal, it's just something I can do.
JASON: Where do you get this stuff, where does it come from? Is your father some kind of genius, because your Mom-
ALLISON: Jason! What is wrong with you? What did Dad tell us about asking those kinds of questions?
JASON: What? It's just conversation!
ALLISON: Roderick, I'm sorry. We were told not to bring that up.
JASON: It's not a big deal! You know, it's like with us and Mom. Everyone never mentions it, like we're all gonna break down if someone says anything. I wouldn't mind if he asked me about Mom.
RODERICK: I guess I was curious, but I thought it was rude to say anything.
JASON: It's fine, you know. It was a car accident. No one's fault, just bad luck that day.
BROOKE: Yeah, she was coming by the school to get us.
RODERICK: You heard about it at the end of the day?
ALLISON: It was really surreal. And she lived for a few days, but she never woke up.
JASON: And y'know, it was hard when it happened, but...people treat us like we're still a bunch of little kids. It's life.
JASON: And, you know, I want to know about your life.
ALLISON: Roderick, you do not need to answer his questions.
RODERICK: It's okay, it's not such a big deal. My father left before my mother even knew she was pregnant.
JASON: Whoa, so he probably doesn't even know you exist?
RODERICK: No, at least I guess not.
BROOKE: Yeah, but he has to be a genius, right? In order for you to be like that? Because Ellie's just regular.
JASON: Don't put it like that-
RODERICK: I'm not a freak.
JASON: No, that's not what any of us mean-
RODERICK: I'm going to read in my room.
JASON: Roderick, I'm sorry!
ALLISON: You two are assholes.
JASON: At least I'm talking to him, not cutting him down behind his back.
ALLISON: I'm getting him back out here, and the two of you-
JASON: Just let him stay there. I mean, he likes being by himself. He doesn't need to be with us all of the time.
ALLISON: Yes he does! It's the only way he's going to learn how to be a normal person. I'm getting him down.
JASON: A normal person? If I'm an asshole, then what are you for saying things like that?
BROOKE: I didn't mean anything.
JASON: It's okay. I guess we all got things to learn.