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(At rise, a door is heard
opening and as the door opens
the lights come on and LOU is
seen entering on stage left.The
stage is set up with an office
table and on top of the table sits
a rotary phone, there is a window
painted with the scenery of New York.
The phone rings as the scene begins.)
Hello, this is Lou. Oh, hiya Judy, I’ve been well how are you? Good good,that’s great to hear. I’m not too busy today I’ll try and see if I can make the time and I’ll call you later. Alright, bye now.
(A phone rings from stage
right, as the lights come on
a woman’s voice is heard.)
Yes Mr.Malone, I’ll get it to him right away, yes sir of course sir, enjoy the rest of your day sir. Thank you sir.
(Tara sits at a desk similar
to Lou’s, stage right and left
are identical to one another. Tara
dials the phone and Lou’s phone rings)
Hello, this is Lou.
Hi Lou, this is Tara from Mr.Malone’s office.
Oh Mr.Malone, of course I’ve been waiting for this call.
Sorry to have kept you waiting, but he wanted me to inform you that unfortunately the contract between the two companies must be put on hold for the time being.
Well...I just...could you give me a moment?
I think I will end the phone call right here sir, I’m so-
Don’t apologise, it wasn’t under your control; but would you mind staying on the line?
Well...I would but...eh...there are other matters that require my attention at the moment.
How cold-hearted, to leave a man all alone in wake of such unfortunate news, but if you must go then-
Alright, I will stay.
Thank you..., forgive me but, what was your name again?
Tara, T A R A. I was named by my grandmother
It’s a pretty name. I was named after Lou Gehrig, the baseball All Star from the 30’s. My dad loved him as a boy, so much that he named me after the guy. My old man sure did love baseball, forced me to play it too.
My father enjoyed reading as a child rather than playing outside, he spent his days reading Fitzgerald and Faulkner. I adopted his love of literature as a little girl.
Ah, I have the pleasure of talking to a well read woman, what’s your favorite book?
Oh my! There are so many, how can I just pick o-
No excuses! You must pick one.
Alright, alright. In recent times I’ve just read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, what a marvelous piece of literature, it was gifted to me by mother the day after it was released and I finished it right away. But if I had to choose a favorite it would be The Great Gatsby, just like my father.
My wife loved that story, she would read it once a month.
Did she pass away?
Yes, three years ago. She was hit by a car on her way home.
(Lou lets out a sarcastic laugh)
Isn’t it ironic?
She died the same way as one of the characters from her favorite book. That goddamn book!
(There is silence on the line
Tara begins to quitely cry as
Lou hunches over with the phone
still on his ear.)
I’m sorry, I’ve ruined the entire conversation.
(Tara composes herself
and wipes away her tears
Before clearing her throat)
Don’t be silly, if anything its made our encounter even more interesting. If you don’t mind me asking, what was her name?
Charlotte. It means ‘free’. And that she was,always a free spirit. I could never keep up with her. I still remember meeting her for the first time, my sister had taken me dancing. Now let me tell you I feel like I have two left feet and blind in my right eye when it comes to dancing
(Laughter erupts from
Tara as Lou tells his story)
But not her. She was smooth and jiggy in her dancing, her friend was throwing up and spinning her around she looked like those girls from The Arthur Murray Party.
I know that show, I’ve always tried dancing like those girls but I hate to admit that I am in the same boat as you when it comes to dancing.
(Lou begins to laugh and Tara joins him)
(Soon both of them laughing over the phone)
We should go dancing sometime.
(Tara’s eyes widen as a smile
graces her innocent features)
I would love to. Although that does seem like a deadly combination, we may need the entire floor to ourselves.
(Lou begins to smile)
Let’s be like Charlotte and be free.
Agreed. Now other than baseball what do you enjoy doing?
I never said I enjoyed baseball-
You said you played.
Yeah, I played because my dad made me. What I really enjoyed was football, now that was a real sport. But my father never let me play.
So you just listened to him? If you enjoyed it then you should’ve just played.
Oh, I did! By the time I was 15 I was whole 10 inches taller than my dad, I was the man of the house. He wasn’t happy when he found out, but ma’ convinced him to let me play.
Where you close to you mother?
Ma’ was my best friend, I didn’t have any brothers or sisters growing up, so it was just me, ma’ and pa’. And our dog Sal.
My mother ran away when I was just 7 years old, she told us she was going to the store and that she would be right back, but she never came back. It took months for my father to return to his old self, he really did love her. In those months I had to take care of my siblings, myself, and my father.
Wow,you never really got the chance to be a kid, eh?
I don’t really see it as that, I still played kickball and had playdates with my neighbors.
So you’re an optimist?
I guess so.
(Mr.Malone walks in)
Tara, have you called Lou Greggs yet?
(Tara hurriedly puts
the phone back onto
the receiver, accidently
ending the call with Lou)
Yes sir, I have. Is there anything else you need from me?
No, I’m heading home for the night, do you still have work to do?
Uh...yes sir I have some...umm...paperwork I need to complete regarding one of our clients.
Well alright then, don’t forget to lock up properly and have a good evening.
(Mr.Malone leaves and Tara
is left alone in the office,
She grabs the phone right away
but can not find the slip of
paper that had Lou’s number on it)
Where is it!
(She yells to herself, an
exasperated sigh leaves her
as she ruffles through the pages)
(Knocking on door)
I’ll be right there.
(She leaves her desk and makes her
way to the door. When she opens it,
Lou is standing there but they
don’t recognize each other because
they’ve never met.)
Hello, Miss. I hate to be a bother but I was wondering if you had a spare umbrella somewhere. It’s raining cats and dogs out there and I can’t find the damn thing anywhere.
Oh well, take a seat. I’ll look around and see if I can find one.
(Lou curiously looks at Tara)
Have we met before? I have this strange feeling that we have.
(Tara carefully looks at home
trying to remember a face)
No I’m afraid not, but I have found an umbrella.
Thank you...ah...I’m sorry what’s your name?
Oh, its Tara. Yours?
(Both pause and look at eachother)
Well I guess we’re meeting sooner than we thought.
Haha...I guess so.
So, would you like to go dancing?
End of Act 1