Act 1, Scene 5

The scene opens on a kitchen at breakfast time. The older PAUL is sitting there reading the business section of the paper while the older MEG reads the arts section. The house is comfortable but not overly wealthy looking. Children can be heard playing in the background getting ready for school.

MEG: Pauly, look at this!

PAUL: I wish you wouldn’t call me that.

MEG: Paul, just look at this! There’s going to be a summer camp for writers. In the mountains out west. You know, out in one of those backward states, like Colorado or Utah. I want to go.

PAUL: What for? Our kids should be going to camp, not their mother. You need to stay here and take care of the house.

YOUNG PAUL (Offstage): And me, you need to take care of me. I need you here.

MEG: Paul, I’m not going to be gone forever. Just for two weeks. In the mountains. Out west. I know you and the kids can take care of yourselves that long. And Melanie next door, she can help out if you need it.

YOUNG MEG: (Offstage) I need this time Paul. Please, let me go with your support.

PAUL: You don’t care, all you want is things for yourself.

YOUNG PAUL (slowly walking out to the side): Oh Meg, don’t leave me alone here. You’re all that makes what I’m doing worthwhile.

MEG: I don’t care? Cooking, cleaning, taking care of your children? This means I don’t care?

YOUNG MEG, slowly coming on stage: I care about you Paul, I just want a chance to see my dreams.

PAUL: MEG, you can’t go. I’ve got too much to do at the business and I can’t find good help. I don’t have time to take care of things.

YOUNG PAUL, spotlighted off to the side: I feel if you go, you won’t come back. Please don’t go Meg, I love you.

MEG:(shouting): Too much to do? All you do is sit up there and yell at what help you have. It might do the store some good to have you gone for awhile. Ever since your Dad died…

YOUNG MEG:Oh Pauly, let me take this chance. I don’t want to leave angry, but I’ve got to go.

PAUL: You leave my Dad out of this! I’m doing the best I can, what more do you want!

YOUNG PAUL: Don’t you understand, Meg? I’m doing it for you. I can’t take chances.

MEG:You don’t understand me. All I’ve done for you, lived with you, and you don’t understand me. I need to go.

YOUNG MEG and YOUNG PAUL move towards center stage.

PAUL: You can’t go. You just can’t go.

MEG and PAUL continue arguing in background, softer while YOUNG MEG and YOUNG PAUL stand center stage. They don’t see each other.

YOUNG MEG: What happened? Where did our happiness go?

YOUNG PAUL: I love her, I can’t live without her, but why aren’t I happy.

YOUNG MEG: I want Paul to be happy, but I need to go after my dreams. It’s not enough just to be his dream.

YOUNG PAUL: My business is failing and I don’t know why, our kids are growing up and I don’t know them and now Meg wants to go away. What happened to my dream of a happy family, with love all around. What is love, anyway. What’s Love?

YOUNG MEG: I care about him and our children, I like my life here but I’m not happy. I don’t feel loved. What is love, what’s it all about? What’s love

What's Love

What's Love,
But the way he holds his head.
What's love,
but the way he holds me tight.
What's love
I really don't know.
What is love
but all the things we say that's so.

What's Love,
but the way she walks across the room.
What's love,
but a 'Good night, dear' 
whispered softly in my ear.
What's love?
I don't really know,
what is Love
but all the things we say that's so.

What's love,
but the simple things we do each day
Is it enough?
Will it make love stay?
What's love?
What's love?
And how will I know when it stays?

(As song fades, YOUNG MEG and YOUNG PAUL exit. Arguing becomes louder)

PAUL: Don’t talk to me that way, eg! I won’t take it.

MEG: Then you won’t have to worry about it. I’m going.

PAUL: No you’re not! You have to stay here.

MEG: No Paul, I don’t have to stay. I’ve had enough, I’m going.

{MEG makes a Grand exit out the door, PAUL stays behind, looking on as she leaves}

PAUL: (Softly) No! Don’t go

{Lights go down on PAUL, standing alone on the stage}

Leave a Reply