2 Title: SPRING A big close-up. A middle-aged WOMAN. She is in pain. She wears no make-up. Another woman speaks, out of vision. We will discover that she is a DOCTOR. DOCTOR So how long's this been going on for? WOMAN I don't know. DOCTOR A few weeks? WOMAN A long time. A year? DOCTOR (Pause) WOMAN I suppose so. DOCTOR A whole year? You've taken your time to come and see me, haven't you? WOMAN You think it's going to stop, don't you? DOCTOR Right, I'm just going to take your blood pressure. Can you pop your arm on the desk for me? (The close-up ends. From here on in, the shots vary.) (The WOMAN puts her arm on the desk.) DOCTOR (CONT D) There you go. Can you straighten it up, and push up your sleeve? (The WOMAN does so.) DOCTOR (CONT D) Are you dozing in the daytime?
3 2. WOMAN Sometimes, so I just need something to help me sleep. DOCTOR I know. How much sleep are you getting at night? (She wraps the cloth around the woman s arm.) WOMAN I'm not getting any, am I? That's the problem - that's why I'm here. DOCTOR I understand, sweetheart. Okay... it's just going to go tight. (She pumps up the apparatus. The measure rises in the gauge. Tense, the WOMAN breathes heavily. The DOCTOR removes the cloth.) DOCTOR (CONT D) Have you got any particular worries at the moment? (The WOMAN vaguely shakes her head.) DOCTOR (CONT D) No financial problems? WOMAN No. I dunno what that's got to do with it. DOCTOR What about at home? How are things with husband? (The WOMAN doesn t reply. The DOCTOR gets up, moves round the WOMAN, and stands behind her with her stethoscope. We see that the DOCTOR is pregnant, and black.) DOCTOR (CONT D) Okay, if you could just lean forward for me and take a few deep breaths, in through your mouth. (She does so; the DOCTOR listens to her back.) DOCTOR (CONT D) And again.
4 3. (More breathing.) DOCTOR (CONT D) Ts lovely and clear. (The DOCTOR returns to her desk.) DOCTOR (CONT D) Have you got any kids? Yes. WOMAN DOCTOR Are they still at home with you? WOMAN Son is. Works with his Father. Daughter's left - only see her when she wants something. DOCTOR And how about you? Have you started your menopause? Yes. WOMAN DOCTOR Everything okay? WOMAN (Shrugs. Then - ) So will you give me some sleeping tablets? DOCTOR Maybe, but it might not solve your problem. WOMAN Give me a night's sleep, though, wouldn't it? DOCTOR How much alcohol are you drinking? WOMAN I don't drink. My husband drinks. DOCTOR Is that a problem? No. WOMAN
5 4. DOCTOR Are you taking any drugs? Medication...? WOMAN (Shakes her head) DOCTOR How about coffee? Are you drinking a lot to keep awake? WOMAN Coffee - yes. Tea? Yes. DOCTOR WOMAN DOCTOR Well, we might have to look at that, mightn't we? (Pause.) Okay. Your blood pressure is slightly raised, but I'm not overly concerned about that at the moment. But I do want you to have a blood test, just to check your thyroid. You can make an appointment at reception. Alright? Yes. WOMAN DOCTOR Now... I will give you something to help you sleep, but just enough for a week. WOMAN What good's that? DOCTOR Insomnia isn't a disease. Sleeping tablets won't make it go away. We need to find the cause. Now you're obviously anxious, and a little depressed; so I want you to come back, and speak to our counsellor. What for? WOMAN DOCTOR I think she'd be able to help you.
6 5. WOMAN But you'll give me the prescription now? DOCTOR Yes. But will you see the counsellor? I think it will do you some good. You think about it for a moment. (The WOMAN looks anxious, as the DOCTOR enters data onto her computer.) Pouring rain. A middle-aged couple scuttle out of a reasonably large Edwardian semi-detached suburban house, loading gardening equipment into the back of a large Volvo estate car. They drive off. An allotment. It has stopped raining. The couple are and. He has a beard, straggly hair and spectacles. She has long hair. Both are informal and alternative in demeanour and attire. is turning over soil with a spade. He stops, and joins, who is planting. Don't do your back in. I know. It doesn't get any easier. Job for a younger man, this. Joe used to love it here. Did you speak to my son and heir? I left him a message on his answer-phone. (She plants a plant.) It's going to rain again.
7 6. More heavy rain. and are sitting in their nearby shelter on the allotment, sipping mugs of tea. They share a joke. They look happy and contented. Clear, bright weather. A train passes a Land-Rover, which drives across a barren piece of wasteland by the River Thames. A motor barge on the water; the cityscape in the distance. The car circles a drilling rig, and stops. gets out of the passenger seat, wearing a hard hat, a suit and tie, and a yellow safety jacket. He and a young male colleague, who has been driving, walk over to the rig. Two men are laying out a long metal tube on a bench. (CONT D) Alright, then? WORKER Alright, boss. 'S COLLEAGUE What you got? You hit rock, then? WORKER Yeah - we just gone through. This is the fourth, so I reckon, what?... Seventeen-and-a-half, give or take. 'S COLLEAGUE Seventeen and a half? (To ) It's got to be a scour hollow. Probably. (The other WORKER joins them.) 'S COLLEAGUE Alright, Mick? Alright? Hello. MICK (MICK helps the first WORKER, who unscrews a small section at one end of the tube.) (CONT D) How long will it take us to get back?
8 7. 'S COLLEAGUE Twenty-five, with traffic. Are you hungry? I am. Good. 'S COLLEAGUE FIRST WORKER There you go. (He has removed the section. He holds it out to, who scrapes off a small sample of muddy clay with his fingers. He inspects it for a second.) (cheerfully) Yes! London clay! Thank you! 'S COLLEAGUE Thanks, Andy - See you! Cheers! Ta ta. ANDY ( and his colleague get into the car and drive off, as ANDY and MICK get on with the job.) A large industrial shed. Long tables. Technicians inspecting and logging sample of clay, etc. S COLLEAGUE unwraps such a sample. He examines a small piece of clay with a megnifier. looks on. 'S COLLEAGUE Dusting of mica. Let's have a look. ( S COLLEAGUE passes him the sample and the magnifier.) 'S COLLEAGUE Ts quite nice. ( inspects it, and laughs. Warm, enthusiastic.) Very nice.
9 8. (His COLLEAGUE is breaking off another chunk of earth. points to it.) (CONT D) It's just a dusting, isn't it? Yeah. 'S COLLEAGUE The Medical Centre. Another small, unsympathetic room. is counselling JANET, the insomniac from the first scene. What would you say was the happiest moment of your life? JANET What d'you mean? Your nicest memory. Have a think. (JANET sits in silence. Miserable and expressionless. waits for a while.) (CONT D) When your children were born? Your wedding day? JANET I don't know. Take your time. JANET I can't remember. Can't, or won't? Mm? JANET Can't or won't remember? JANET Don't know what I'm doing here - I don't want to come. Don't want to talk about my family - why should I? None of your business. (MORE)
10 9. JANET (CONT'D) All I need is a good night's sleep, and nobody's helping me. Janet, I want to help you - that's why we're here. I know it's not easy to talk about personal things. Suppose the boot was on the other foot, and someone came to you - say, your daughter, and said I haven't been sleeping for months. What would you say to them? JANET Go to the doctor. What else would you say? JANET I don't know. What would you ask her? JANET Is she eating alright, or something like that. ( looks at her for a few moments.) Good. Anything else? JANET That all she needed was a couple of months of proper sleep, and then that would sort it out. Sort what out? JANET The sleeping. Okay. (She reflects for a moment.) On a scale of one to ten, how happy would you say you are, Janet? One. JANET
11 10. One. (Slight smile.) I think there's room for improvement there, don't you? What is the one thing that would improve your life apart from sleep? JANET A different life. A different life. Change is frightening, isn't it? JANET Nothing changes. (Pause.) A little later. sees JANET out of the room. I hope to see you next week, Janet. Same time. I'll be here, but it's up to you. No pressure. Bye. (JANET walks out of the room without saying anything. sighs, closes the door, and moves back into the room.) Later still. Outside s room. She comes out with a CLIENT, who puts on his cap. (CONT D) Bye, bye, Sam. Bye. SAM ( shuts her door, and crosses the waiting-room.) Look at you! You look like you're fit to burst. (She is addressing TANYA, the pregnant doctor we met earlier. They walk along together, gently touching TANYA s tummy.)
12 11. TANYA I am fit to burst. Big Boy's wrestling his way down. Well, if he pops out, give me a shout. TANYA Sweetheart, I'll do more than shout! ( laughs and goes into an office. An attractive, middle-aged woman with her hair pinned up and wearing a lowcut dress, is sitting at a computer, surrounded by piles of files. She is wearing reading glasses.) WOMAN Hi, Gerri. Hello, Mary You're a sight for sore eyes. Can you process these for me? (She is carrying some documents.) Oh, well, seeing as it's you... (She takes the documents.) How are you? I'm... snowed under, to be honest. (She takes off her spectacles.) And I've got a headache. Have you seen the doctor? ( laughs.) Hello, Gemma! (A young woman is passing her.) I don't suppose you fancy a drink tonight, do you? I'd love one.
13 12. Oh, great - are you sure? I've only got an hour. That's alright. Tom's cooking supper. Oh, lovely! I'll see you later. Yeah... Yeah. ( goes. reflects for a moment, then resumes work.) In a busy bar. and are seated at a table, sharing a bottle of white wine. (CONT D) D you know, Gerri, I've never been with a man who could cook. Haven't you? No. They could do lots of other things. (Laughs.) That doesn't get you fed. Yeah - keeps a girl happy, though. (Giggles.) And you can't cook. No. Well, I can a bit, but it's not really my thing. No, it's not!
14 13. Oh - don't remind me about that, Gerri! (She giggles again. smiles.) You could put an ad in the paper: Chef wanted. Yeah. Chef-stroke-boyfriend required for gorgeous girl - no: mature woman, with cat. (Laughs.) No - matur-ish. We don't want to put em off, do we? ( now observes a handsome middle-aged MAN in a suit. He is standing at the bar, alone, drinking a glass of wine.) (CONT D) Oh, it's really lovely the way you and Tom do everything together. We're very lucky. Yeah, you are - but you deserve it: you're both such lovely people. Oops - me halo's slipping! Yeah, Saint Gerri. (Chuckles.) No, but I'm really comfortable with where I am in my life, as you know. I've got my lovely little garden flat; I've got a good job; I've got my health, touch wood, I've got my independence. I haven't got anybody telling me what to do. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not all rosy - I have good days and bad days like everyone else, don't I? But, hey!! Are you going to do something about your garden this year?
15 14. Oh Gerri, no - don't remind me, I'm really guilty about that. I've neglected it, haven't I? Yeah, you have. Oh, but yesterday... I was just brushing my teeth, and I looked out the window, and I saw these two little daffodils peeping over the top of the grass. I must get it cut this year. You have to get yourself that lawn-mower, Mary. Yeah, I know. Couldn't I just get a man in? It wouldn't cost too much. Hmm. Gardener-stroke-chef-strokeboyfriend. (Laughing) Yeah. Oh, but no... I don't want to spend too much money at the moment, because I'm going to get myself a little car. Oh, are you? Yeah - I've decided, it's about time. It's a big step. Yeah, I know - it's exciting, isn't it? I mean, I've got a little bit of money - not a lot, but... enough. But it does mean I'm going to have to cut back on my, you know - shoes, clothes, jewellery, all my little knickknacky things. But that's alright because I've got loads of clothes. I mean, my wardrobe isn't big enough. (MORE)
16 15. (CONT'D) In fact I'm not doing anything this weekend, so I'm going to get up really early,sort out all my winter clothes, put em into plastic bags and shove em under the bed. (She picks up the wine bottle, and aims for s glass.) Can I top you up? No, I'm going now, Mary. Oh, aren't you going to help me finish the bottle? No, really. Oh, alright. Well, I think I'm going to stay for a little while. (She pours herself the rest of the wine, and glances at the MAN at the bar.) (CONT D) How's Joe? Have you heard from him this week? No. But I'm sure he's fine. Still not got a girlfriend? I've no idea. He must have something on the go, a good-looking boy like him. ( has put on her cape. She gets up, and kisses.) See you on Thursday. Oh... And you're coming for supper on Saturday. Oh, lovely. Thank you, Gerri. Give my love to that lovely Tom.
17 16. I will. You take care. Yeah. ( goes. prepares to flirt with the MAN at the bar, who for a moment glances in her direction. But almost immediately, s seductive expression melts to horror, as an attractive YOUNG WOMAN with long, blonde hair and a broad smile arrives, and embraces the man. They kiss on the lips, and looks crestfallen.) is enjoying her ample, beautiful back garden. She tends to a bush, takes a relaxing breath, and goes into her conservatory, where she sprays a plant or two. Then she picks a leaf, which she sniffs as she enters her expansive, attractive kitchen. She crosses to the stove, where is stirring, He is wearing an apron. She puts her arms round him from behind, and snuggles up. What's for supper? Arrabiata. Are you hungry? I'm starving. ( stops stirring, and turns to face her.) Hello. (He kisses her on the lips.) (CONT D) Have a taste. (He holds out the wooden spoon.) I hope it's not too hot. You can never tell with chillies. (They taste the sauce in turn, first.) No...
18 17. No? Oh! - it's comin out me ears! Good. Glass of wine? ( is getting some plates.) No, I've had a couple. Oh, go on - just a smidgeon. That's the spirit. (He pours some red wine. sets the plates on the table.) A few minutes later. They are sitting at the table, eating. (He does so.) How was your day? Good. I was out and about; getting my hands dirty. How about you? Disappointing. Pass me the parsley. No breakthroughs? I had my alcoholic teacher in again. Yeah. He was pissed as a fart. (Amused) Really?
19 18. (Smiling) It was very upsetting, actually. How did you handle it? I bought him a double scotch. No, I had to challenge him. I told him it was up to him. How did he take that? Well, I don't know. We'll have to see. Well, at least he came. Hmm. Have we heard from Joe? No. But I haven't checked my s. I'll ring him later. I'd love to see him. He's alright. ( reflects, maternally.) An airy room on a busy main street. Traffic noise outside. Twenty or so chairs, arranged in a square. A few people are waiting, This is a community law centre. enters, a young man of around thirty. He is carrying a wrapped sandwich and a can of Coke. He addresses an elderly MAN, who is with a young WOMAN. Mr Gupta? (MR GUPTA and the WOMAN get up. shakes MR GUPTA s hand.) (CONT D) Joe Hepple. Nice to meet you.
20 19. WOMAN I just came with him. Ah - good. Just follow me this way, please. (He leads them out of the room.) This way. (CONT D) An upstairs corridor. They follow him into his tiny, cluttered office. (CONT D) Excuse the mess. You sit there, Mr Gupta (He moves a chair.) And... (to the WOMAN)... I'll pop you there. (He closes the door.) A little later. is sitting at his desk. He has a letter in his hand. (CONT D) Okay, now we've opened all these letters, and I've seen all I need to see for the time being. Obviously, it's a sizeable correspondence, and, understandably, Mr Gupta hasn't exactly been in a position to open them, seeing as he's been in hospital for the past ten weeks. But, you're looking fit and raring to go, Mr Gupta. (MR GUPTA has not understood any of this, and turns to his friend.) Tieh? MR GUPTA (The WOMAN shakes her head, meaning to say, not to bother. picks up another document.)
21 20. WOMAN Excuse me... Mm? WOMAN Er, how long will this take? Oh, not too long. WOMAN Er, it s, just, I have to get back to work. What d you do? WOMAN Er,... restaurant; family business. Oh - tasty. (She isn t amused.) (CONT D) Okay. Erm, it's important for Mr Gupta to understand that at this point he is in no danger of being evicted. (Speaking in Hindustani, the WOMAN explains the situation to a confused MR GUPTA.) (CONT D) Okay? I'm just going to take you briefly through what s going to happen in Court. Erm... I'll be representing Mr Gupta on the day. We'll put the case to the judge, and... (a phone rings) he will agree to adjourn, which will then give us time to sort things out, okay? So, I'll just... excuse me (He answers the phone.) Hello? Early on a Saturday evening. puffs on a cigarette, puts it out on the pavement, a scuttles across a busy main road.
22 21. Inside and s front hall. arrives, and knocks. As come to the door... I'll get it! (elsewhere) Alright! ( opens the door. is carrying a potted plant.) ( hugs.) Hello, Mary! Hi, Gerri. It's stopped raining, thank goodness. I know. Welcome! (entering) Oh, thank you. I bought you a little present - some thyme. That's lovely! It's nothing much. (taking it) Thank you. Oh, there he is! Hello, love! Hello, Tom. Oh...! Oh, I'm sorry - I just had to have a cigarette, and I know you don't like the smell. (Laughing) Don't be daft! I'm trying to give up though - aren't I, Gerri?
23 22. Oh, are you? Only, I've just had a bad experience on the tube. Are you alright? What happened? There was this man... What did he do? Well, he was lookin at me. I mean, every time I looked up, he was lookin at me... Oh, dear. Yeah, it was a bit unsettling, to be honest. Well, you're here now. Exactly. And I'm very happy to be here with both of you. (She pulls a bottle of wine out of her bag, and gives it to.) (CONT D) This is for you, Tom. Ah! It's nothing special. (reading the label) Buenos Aires. Yeah, because I thought - well, you went there, didn't you, the two of you? Argentina.
24 23. No, we didn't - no. No. Didn't you? No. Tom's been to Brazil. Digging his holes. Yeah. Oh, I'm so stupid sometimes! That's alright. That's fine. Oh, honestly, (She mimes shooting herself in the head.) Oh, what are you going to do with me, eh? I'm just going to run upstairs - is that alright? I won't be a minute. (She hurries upstairs. repeats s shootingherself-in-the-head gesture. Amused, and go into the kitchen.) A bit later, in the kitchen. is chopping vegetables at the table. is preparing salad. has a glass of white wine. (CONT D) I haven't seen you since Christmas, Tom. Really? ( looks at the set table.)
25 24. Oh, it's just the three of us tonight. Yes. Oh, I'm surprised. I did tell you. Did you? Mm. We wanted you all to ourselves, Mary. Oh...! Thank you, Tom. That's what all the boys say. ( looks at her.) (CONT D) No, I wasn't sure what to wear. I didn't know if it was going to be one of your lovely big dinner parties, or just us - you know, casual... ( moves to the sink, next to.) I think you ve got it just about right, Mary. You look lovely. Oh, thank you, Gerri. (She yawns) Oh... sorry Did you have a late night? Oh... I stayed up, watching the film. I couldn't wake up this morning. No, but it was lovely, having a lie-in on my day off.
26 25. We stayed in. Did you? We listened to some music. Oh...? Amongst other things. (A slightly chilly reaction to this from.) I thought Joe might be coming. I don't think so. ( collects the chopping board from the table.) He's coming tomorrow. Oh, that's a shame. I won't see him. Did Gerri tell you about me getting a car, Tom? Yes. What d you think? Exciting. What re you gonna get? Well, I dunno... er, something small and... red. Small and red? Well, that narrows it down. Yeah. I hope you're hungry, Mary.
27 26. Oh, I'm starving, Gerri. You know me. We'll have to fatten you up. Oh, it's lovely having your dinner cooked for you. You don't really bother when you're by yourself, do you? I don't, anyway. You're looking well. Oh, thank you, Tom! You're nice and slim. Am I? Well, I've always been slim, haven't I? Unlike me. Middle-aged spread. (She pinches her spare tyre.) Shut up! You're perfect - gorgeous in every way. (He kisses her on the cheek.) And you know it! (Pause. makes salad dressing. smiles at, who is looking a little bleak. She manages a half-smile, and finishes her wine.) Sit yourself down, Mary. Help yourself to another drink. ( sits at the table. squeezes s arm.) (CONT D) How s that dressing coming along? As well as can be expected. ( gets on with it. stirs a pot on the stove. pours herself another drink, and continues to look bleak.)
28 27. Later, in the living room. Dark outside. and are sitting, side by side, on the sofa. is sitting ion a armchair, facing them. All have glasses of wine on the go, but only is fairly drunk. I hear you're going to the Emerald Isle again, Tom. That's correct. Rent a cottage, take the car. Put the tent in the back. And the sleeping-bags. If the weather's nice we might do a bit of camping. Oh, no! I wouldn't fancy sleeping in a tent, thank you very much. No, I never had you down as one of nature's Girl Guides, Mary. No, Tom! But I am always prepared. (Laughs) Yes, but what for? For anything, Gerri. You know me! (Laughs) (Chuckling) Yes, I do! I'm not going to get a holiday this year. But then, I never do, do I, Gerri? Because I haven't got anyone to go with. It's alright for you two - you've got each other. We're going to the Ring of Kerry.
29 28. The what? The Ring of Kerry. It's an area. Tralee, Dingle Bay... Oh, lovely - you've been there before, haven't you? That was Donegal. Oh. The geologist stands on the beach with his back to the sea, and looks at the cliffs. Whilst the geologist's wife stands on the beach with her back to the cliffs, looking at the sea. ( ponders this hazily, then - ) You see, I can't afford to buy my car and have a holiday. But, if I had more money, then I could do both. But when you've got your car, Mary, you'll be able to go wherever you want, very reasonably. Exactly, Tom. That's exactly why I'm getting it. You see, I like just taking off and escaping, don't I, Gerri? Mm. I feel like I'm being somebody else.
30 29. Really? Who's that, then? Tom! ( grins. can t conceal a smile.) I like to get on the train... But you see, the car is cheaper than the train, isn't it? Not environmentally. Oh, what? You mean... (she stamps her feet.) Those are my carbon footprints, Gerri. (Giggles.) Yes, I know. ( laughs uproariously.) Financially, cars are cheaper. That's why there's no incentive to go by train. What about the airlines? No government wants to increase the duty on aviation fuel. (vaguely) No. And this government won't invest in the railways, so anything we do is a piss in the ocean. Absolutely. And then there's the big corporations, who keep their lights on all night in empty office blocks.
31 30. And we're all expected to do our bit with eco-bulbs. I know. Should I stop recycling then, Gerri? No. You've got to set an example. Yeah. Plant a few tomatoes. Or courgettes. ( laughs quietly.) I am very environmentally friendly, actually. Are you? Yeah. I don't fly. I don't live in a house that's more than I need. I don't cook. Other people cook for you, though. Who?! You get take-aways, don't you? That doesn't count. Everybody gets take-aways. You've built whole motorways, Tom. How environmentally friendly is that? Exactly!
32 31. Yes! Cars, more cars, more cars... At least, I'm buying an old car. Recycled. Yeah! Yet we're constantly told that the measure of a thriving economy is the sale of new cars. Yes, but, Tom... If I buy a new car, that's another car. You're absolutely right, Mary. And would you like some coffee? ( blinks vaguely. Then - ) No, thank you. I'd like my usual. In the kitchen, stirs the coffee in the cafetiere, and waits for it to brew. Meanwhile, in the living-room, strokes s arm. Are you alright, Gerri? Yes, Mary, I'm fine. How are you? ( reflects, exuding drink and sadness. Then - ) I'm happy! Good.
33 32. I just wanted to say, that if you ever need to share anything, I'm here for you. I'm a very good listener. Thank you, Mary. But I'm fine. Yeah, I know. (Pause. Then throws her arms tightly around, who is a little taken aback, though she doesn t show it to.) It's very kind of you, Mary. (Staying in the clinch, turns her head, so that she and are now cheek-to-cheek.) Oh, Gerri! Everybody needs someone to talk to, don't they? Yes, Mary, they do. ( breaks the embrace.) Oh, well... Onwards and upwards! You'd better stay the night. No... no. Well, I think you should. (saluting) Alright, Gerri - you're the boss. We'll find you a t-shirt again. Will you?
34 33. Upstairs, on the landing. comes out of the bathroom, holding a towel and a new toothbrush. I've found you a toothbrush. ( is sitting on the stairs.) I sometimes wonder what he's doing; if he thinks about me - I bet he does. How old was he? He'll be sixty-four now. ( is at the top of the stairs.) Sixty-four? Blimey, he's older than me! Almost a pensioner. He'll be past it now, Mary - give us your hand. ( takes his hand, and he helps her up.) Oh... no, Tom... he was lovely. Well, we all grow old. ( leans unsteadily on the bannister rail. She lowers her voice.) Oh, no, but... he was very, very, sexy Gerri - d'you know what I mean? Too much information! (This amuses.) I bet he regrets it, deep down. I hope he does. (She leans in a doorway.) He was my big love. But he was married. (MORE)
35 34. (CONT'D) Well, what can you do, Tom? You can't walk around with a label saying, Don't fall in love with me, I'm married, can you? (She has now staggered to at the bathroom door.) Some people wear a ring. (He displays his.) He didn't. But he wasn't a bad person. He loved me. Sounds to me like he was a duplicitous shit. Tom! ( and exchange a look.) D you think it was my fault, Tom? No, I don't, Mary. Honest. It takes two to tango. ( staggers back to, and holds her hands. raises his eyebrows, and closes the bathroom door behind him.) Oh, so you think it was my fault, Gerri? I didn't say that. No, I know you didn't, really. (Now she leans on the doorway of s bedroom.) (CONT D) I blame my big heart. Well, we all have to make choices, don't we?
36 35. Why do I always get it wrong, Gerri? I mean, look what happened when I got divorced from that shit! I let him palm me off with five thousand nothing pounds. And what am I left with now? Sod all! I'm living in a poky rented flat when I should have my own home at my age. It's not fair! (She is fraught. She turns around, staggers into the room, and collapses onto the bed, face down.) Bastard! (CONT D) ( proceeds to put her to bed.) A little later. and are sitting up in bed, reading books. Pause. closes her book, and takes off her spectacles. My goodness! Mm? She gets worse. I know. Desperate. ( puts away her book and spectacles and turns off her bedside light.) I feel a bit guilty. What? Well, you know. No... ( lies down next to. He puts his arm around her.) No. You're right.
37 36. I don't think I really enjoyed History at school. Didn't you? Maybe I did. (CONT D) It's just that the older you get the more relevant it seems. (He puts his book and spectacles away.) To state the bleedin obvious. We'll be a part of History, soon. Exactly. ( laughs.) Next morning. Clear, Spring weather. is outside his house. Just as he opens the tail-gate of his car, arrives on his bicycle. He is wearing a cyclist s safety helmet. Aha! Aha! (CONT D) (funny voice) What are you doing, riding on the pavement, young man? (Alighting) I'm breaking the law, officer. Ey, up! Hiya! (They embrace for a moment.)
38 37. How long d it take you? About an hour. Are you knackered? I'm ready for bed. Late night? Hangover. D you want a hand? Yes, please. I'll stick this away. Alright. (As he carries his bike towards the side door of the house, and appear at the front door. At first, doesn t see.) Oh, he's back. That was quick, Tom. Did you get the manure? Compost. Here's Joe! Hi, Mary. Hello, Joe. What a surprise. ( kisses on her cheek.) Are you alright? I'm great. How are you - oh, continental! ( has kissed her on the other cheek.) Oh, he's all sweaty! (She strokes s cheek.)
39 38. I've been riding all morning. Have you? I like your hat. Aha! Aha! (They hug.) Ah, that's right... never forget to kiss your mum! I never do. No - you're a good boy, aren't you? Yeah. ( joins at the car.) I remember when you were this big. You were a naughty boy. ( unlocks the side door.) I still am, from time to time. Oh, really? I like your coat. Oh, thank you. I think I'm a bit over dressed for a Sunday morning - what d you think? (She opens her coat briefly.) Is that what you wore in bed? (He puts his bike inside. joins him.)
40 39. I slept in your bed, actually - is that alright? As long as you cleaned the sheets! No, I didn't actually - is that a problem? We'll have to wait and see, won't we? Oh, right. Oh, sorry, Tom! I'm in your way. ( is passing her with a bag of compost. follows into the street, giggling.) (CONT D) All these strong men! ( passes her with another bag of compost.) Look at his muscles. (She feels s arm.) That's why we had him! ( giggles. and join the women on the pavement.) Alright, well... I'm off, then. You don't want a lift to the station? Oh, no, it's alright. Are you sure? Yeah, I'll be fine. I could do with a walk. Yeah. Sorry about... you know...
41 40. It's okay. It was good to see you. Oh, thank you, Tom. Are you alright? Yeah; you know... Had a bit of a wild night, Joe. (Pause.) Well, I'd best be off. (She glances over her shoulder, away from the others, at the horror of the lonely, empty day ahead of her.) (She walks off.) (CONT D) Oh - thanks for saving me that breakfast, Gerri. It was really delicious! You're very welcome, Mary. Yeah. It's lovely to see you, Joe. I'll see you soon, I hope - yeah? See you soon. Yeah, hopefully. (Pause) Well, have a lovely day together, all of you. Right. Ta-ta, then. Yeah... bye. (CONT D) See you on Tuesday, Gerri. Bye, Mary. Take care!
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NO LONGER THE FIRST 2010 Josh Danz Free performance of this play for high school and college level competitive forensics is permitted. All other rights reserved. The Intriguing Interp Series is published
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