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A Dinner Party
Author's note: I was sitting in the car, and the idea for this play just jumped in my head. I'd never written a play before, so I hope you like it. I hope that, in reading it, people can see that not everything is as it seems, and personalities often hold more than you might think.
(Scene – A large bedroom, elegantly furnished. A large, four-poster bed is against the middle of one wall, and a massive wardrobe stands opposite. On another wall is a door, leading to a bathroom. Across from that door is another door, opening into the hallway. There is a chair in each corner on the wall with the bed. The bed itself is solid, yet delicate looking with many pillows and a lacy dust ruffle. It’s all very old-fashioned. Three lamps are scattered through the room. A small fire burns in the fireplace. A floor-to-ceiling is next to the hallway door. It is just beginning to turn to winter.
June is finishing up getting ready to go out. She is flitting between her bathroom and bedroom, getting jewelry and touching up her makeup. Clark is lounging in one of the chairs. It is just beginning to get dark, as is evident from the lighting and the window.)
[June is a small-boned brunette, with reddish tints to her hair, and grey-green eyes. She has a large smile and even larger personality. Clark is tall, but thin, with blonde hair and startling ice-blue eyes. He has that little something off about him that makes you curious.]
June: (Looking over her jewelry and occasionally holding up an item or two) Hmm…Do you think this looks alright? Or is it too dressy?
Clark: It looks fine.
June: I think it’s too sparkly. What about this?
Clark: I think it’s perfect.
June: Do you mind paying attention? My goodness…All I’m looking for is an honest answer.
Clark: (Points to a specific piece of jewelry) Wear that. No other jewelry. It’ll be nice.
June: Alright. Thanks…
Clark: You know I don’t mind.
June: What’s bothering you?
Clark: I’m just lonely…
June: You’re sitting in my room with me, silly.
Clark: That’s different, and you know it.
June: So come with me tonight. Clark, you’re already dressed and you look wonderful! It’s ridiculous to look so great and stay home.
Clark: Stop fussing at me.
June: Oh, would you stop being so stubborn? Just come out with me. It’ll be fun. All sorts of people will be there, all kinds of celebrities. You would love to meet them.
Clark: Yes, it might be fun…And I am already dressed…But I don’t know. You know that your circle is different than mine.
June: So let’s start combining them!
Clark: It’s not that easy…I can’t just become comfortable with people knowing.
June: (Sighs and crosses over to stand next to Clark) We’ve been friends and roommates for a long time, Clark. I’ve had a long time to adjust to you being gay. But I’m a small-town girl. I’m just now breaking into the big leagues. These people….They’re celebrities! This is normal. It would be strange for you to be living with me if you WERE straight.
Clark: We come from the same town, Juni. Do you honestly think it was hard for you to adjust to? Nobody from our home knows about me yet. I’m still waiting for the stares, the whispers, the hurting that I’ve been expecting.
June: Baby doll, you know I love you. You’re a total sweetheart. Don’t let your personal views of how you think people will react mess with you having fun in life.
Clark: How would I have fun? I won’t know anyone but you.
June: (Speaks teasingly) You’ll meet people. I’ll introduce you to everyone, and I know for a fact there’ll be some very cute men there.
Clark: I’m still not sure…But…Alright. If you want me to come with you, I will.
June: Oh thank you! Thank you so much! You’ll see just how fun it will be!
Clark: (Smiles a bit) I think it might be fun, if I let myself have fun…
June: Well, hurry up and go get our coats. I’m ready to leave, if you are.
Clark: Let me go change my shirt. Then we can leave.
June: The car is waiting so don’t drag everything out, pretty please.
Clark: Oh, you’re one to talk. You spent twenty minutes deciding on what makeup you should wear!
June: Yes, well…Well, you’re right.
(Both laugh. Clark leaves to go change and June sits down to put on her shoes. She hums softly to herself, fiddling with her clothes. Clark comes back in a few minutes later.)
Clark: Alright, let’s go.
(They both leave June’s room and the door shuts softly.)
[June is wearing a pale green dress, with short sleeves, and a full, long skirt. Clark is wearing a light blue button-down shirt with a dark brown suit jacket and slacks.]
(Scene – In the car, June and Clark sit next to each other, talking. The dividing window is up and the driver is murky.)
Clark: Juni, dear, are you sure that Cary Grant will be there?
June: (Laughing) Oh, honey, he won’t be there! This isn’t a big dinner party. It’s just seventy-five or so friends, getting together to eat and make merry.
Clark: Oh…Oh my! Look at these houses! They’re huge!
June: (Laughing) As compared to our homely abode? Yes, they’re quite large homes. And we’re almost here!
Clark: THIS is where we’re eating? (Eyes grow wide)
June: Welcome to the big leagues, darlin’.
(The car comes to a stop in front of a sprawling, cream colored mansion. June and Clark gracefully exit the car; Clark exits first, then holds the door for June. She then links her arm with his and begins walking towards the door. The walkway is short and the door is massive, made of dark wood. Brass doorknob. Large windows line the front of the house.)
(June rings the doorbell, and smiles wider when the door is opened by the butler, an elderly yet dignified gentleman.)
June: (To the butler) Here is my coat. Please see that it isn’t mussed. Clark, give him your coat.
Clark: (Seeming a bit lost) Here you go…
(The butler takes their coats and gives them to a maid, a young, timid woman, who carries them very carefully off stage, presumably to a closet. The entryway of the house has creamy white walls, dark wood floors, and dark wood furnishings. Soft light comes from several wall lamps.)
June: Now, Clark, please…Just follow my lead. I know that this is a bit out of your comfort zone, but it WILL be alright.
Clark: (Squares his shoulders and smiles confidently.) I know how to handle myself, dear girl. Let’s go have fun.
(They again link arms and Clark escorts June through the double doors. The dining hall is teeming with people, all elegantly dressed. Everyone is socializing; voices and soft laughter gently echoes off the high ceiling. Chandeliers dot the ceiling. In the back and far right of the room are 25 tables, gracefully decorated with lace tablecloths and dainty gold silverware. Everyone is sipping champagne, and mingling in the open area. A 15-piece band is softly playing against the middle of the left wall.)
June: (Whispers to Clark and points as she talks) Over there is the co-star I would have had if I got the part. Over there is the star of –
Clark: Yes, I recognize her!
June: (Points again) And over there is Errol, the man I met at my last audition. He’s my good luck charm, remember? I talked with him for an hour before I auditioned and I got the part. Let’s go talk to him!
(June and Clark walk over to Errol and the group he is with, two females and one male.)
[Errol is tall, with dark hair and striking blue eyes. He has fashionably pale skin, and thick eyebrows. He is a quiet sort of center of attention; when he smiles, he lights up a room.]
June: Hello there, Errol! I don’t suppose you remember little ole’ me?
Errol: How could I forget you? Everyone, this is June LaRouk, whom I met a few days ago. She was auditioning for a part in a national campaign. However, I’m afraid I haven’t met her friend…
Clark: I’m Clark. Clark Berlous. June and I have been best friends since we were little.
Errol: And I suppose I’ll continue the introductions. This is Veronica Kroller, Betty Vekurn and Tyrone McHenri.
[Veronica and Betty are both brunette, of medium height, and pretty non-descript. Tyrone is a person you take a second glance at; he is easily over 6 feet tall, with black hair and equally dark eyes. He always has a smile, but can easily comfort.]
June: Why, nice to meet you all! How do you all know each other?
Veronica: (Laughing) It’s a funny story, really. Betty and I met a few years ago through a mutual friend and then one day, we both managed to bump, quite literally, into Errol here. After numerous apologies, we began talking and clicked.
Tyrone: (Smiling) The story is a bit different for me. I’ve only met Veronica and Betty here a few times, at functions like this. But I’ve known Errol for about…Oh, about five years now. We met at another one of these dinners, when we were seated next to each other. I must admit, there was a bit of a mix-up on my part. It was very embarrassing!
Errol: It really wasn’t that bad. You shouldn’t feel poorly over it.
Clark: If you wouldn’t mind, it sounds like an interesting story. What kind of mix-up?
Tyrone: Well you see, I, for some reason, had the notion that Errol was quite flamboyant. I tried to…Well, I tried to flirt with him. He had to very clearly tell me that I was barking up the wrong tree. You can’t imagine my shame!
Betty: Ah…Every time I hear this story, I laugh. Not at you, Tyrone, you’re much too kind for me to laugh at you. It’s just the idea that Errol could be anything but straight is so amusing!
(Veronica and June nod most emphatically, smiling all the while.)
June: Oh, I do believe that was the call to dinner! I’m simply ravenous.
Errol: Please, let me escort you to your seat.
June: Why, that would be charming. Thank you.
Tyrone: Clark, Veronica, Betty, would you do me the pleasure of allowing me to take you to dinner?
All Three: Of course!
(Everyone approaches the tables, slowly walking around to find good seats. June, Clark, Errol, Tyrone, Veronica and Betty all sit at the same table. Clark, Errol and Tyrone pull out the chairs of the three females, and then sit down themselves. Waiters begin to bring out water and wine, and then the first course.)
Veronica: Wine is always such a good addition to a dinner party. Not too much, but enough to make a night sweetly memorable.
Betty: So very true…I remember one time, a few years back, I was seated next to a truly awful man. He was despicably boring. Kept rattling on about lighting and the engineering behind it. It was all I could do not to scream! But I just kept having my glass refilled, and the night turned bearable.
June: Oh my! How horrible! I do believe I am lucky enough to have so far escaped such a bad dinner.
Clark: Thanks to me, she never will have that type of night. I hardly ever have plans, so she always takes me when she doesn’t have a date. Apparently, I’m a good enough substitute.
June: Baby doll, you’re my friend, and therefore, always a good date. Although, the lack of the ability to get tipsy and have a bit of fun is rather sad…
Tyrone: Oh? What might you mean by that?
Clark: Oh, it’s nothing really.
Errol: So, everyone, how are you enjoying your meal?
(Chorus of polite exclamations, praising the food)
Tyrone: Wait, now I’m a bit curious. If you don’t mind sharing, what did you mean, June? You are in good company; we don’t judge here. After all, we are Hollywood. We have no time to judge! (Ends with a laugh.)
(June glances hesitantly at Clark.)
Clark: Oh, she only meant that I’m gay.
(June looks at him in surprise at stating his self-seen problem so easily.)
Tyrone: Oh, really?
Clark: Yes. It’s a simple enough answer, right?
(Tyrone and Clark’s conversation continues, but fades.)
Errol: Veronica, how did your audition go last week?
Veronica: It went well, I suppose. I haven’t heard anything about it yet though…I don’t believe they will contact me though. Oh well!
June: You have such a marvelous attitude about that! How wonderful!
Betty: Isn’t it nice? And she’s always like this. Happy, with such a care-free mentality. I wish I were like that.
Errol: Oh, Betty, you’re perfectly fine the way you are. Don’t discredit yourself.
Veronica: Listen to his wise words, Betty. He’s very correct. And if you had any sense, you would see that. (Ends in a way where you can tell she’s teasing.)
Betty: Aren’t you kind, saying I have no sense? Really, very sweet.
Veronica: You know I was just kidding, darlin’.
(Veronica and Betty’s conversation continues, but fades.)
June: (Looks at Errol, raises her eyebrows and half-laughs) I do believe everyone else has been engaged in conversation! I suppose it’s just us now.
Errol: (Looks around the table.) I agree, you’re very right. So, how have you been?
June; I’ve been very good lately. It’s taken me awhile to adjust to Hollywood, being from a small town. How have you been?
Errol: May I be frank?
June: Oh, well, of course!
Errol: Since meeting you, I’ve been floating along in my life, barely noticing the rest of the world. I must say, when I saw you walk in those doors, my heart skipped a beat.
June: (Blushing most heartily) My word, how you do flatter me! I say, my cheeks are fairly on fire!
Errol: But you’re still beautiful.
June: (Appearing a bit flustered) Errol…I only met you a few days ago. How could you possibly be saying all of this to me?
Errol: It’s simple. It’s so very much true. The words have fairly been begging to be said. I’m surprised you don’t have every man at this dinner hanging on your every word.
June: You are simply too kind…
Errol: I suppose it would be too much to ask if you felt anything for me?
June: Well how on earth should I know? I should say that I have thought about you often enough since we met, but…I can’t possibly.
Errol: I will hold onto my hope all the same.
June: You can certainly do that. I won’t – or can’t – make you do otherwise.
(Waiters whisk away dirty dishes, and bring out the main course. The conversations continue, but the focus has shifted to Tyrone and Clark.)
Clark: You certainly do have a lot of confidence. May I assume that your family knows about you?
Tyrone: Oh, with that assumption you would be very incorrect.
Clark: It is difficult, isn’t it? To have such a large secret hidden constantly from one’s loved ones…
Tyrone: I suppose it’s rather cold, but I’ve adjusted to it. I only visit my family five or six times a year, and it’s easy to hide things from such rough people.
Clark: Ah, you’re a bit lucky then. You don’t have a family like mine. I see them often and am always having to watch what I say, who I talk about, even what I look like. It really is difficult…But some people make it all bearable.
Tyrone: Really? Anyone special?
Clark: Oh, no, I didn’t mean anyone romantically. Besides all these fabulous Hollywood persona, June is the only one who knows about me. And she’s been so sweet and supportive about it all. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find anyone who has expressed any interest in me.
Tyrone: I don’t understand why; you seem perfectly charming and it’s undoubted that you’re an attractive person.
Clark: (Smiling.) Well, thank you kindly. It is very nice of you to say, and of course, it goes without saying that you are all that plus more. But what about you? Any special people?
Tyrone: (Laughing) Only in my imagination. No…Much like you, I’m waiting for someone special. But isn’t everyone?
Clark: Very true, sir, very true…
(Conversation again fades, but then switches over to Veronica and Betty, who are speaking in hushed tones)
Veronica: Can you believe these people? It’s simply ridiculous.
Betty: I know! My word…Errol is making a positive fool of himself. Did you hear him speaking to June in such a way? The shock just about knocked me out of my chair.
Veronica: She might be used to such overdone speeches from her back-water town, but here, things are different! She needs to understand that things work differently here.
Betty: I’m sure she will soon learn that the ways of Hollywood move at a different speed. And why is it that she brought Clark? I don’t completely trust her motives with him.
Veronica: Oh, she might have intentions for him, but it’s more than clear that any such ideas are not reciprocated. Just take one look at him!
Betty: (Laughing derisively) Dear me, I know! He’s pathetic. I can’t believe he actually feels like he fits in here!
(All of a sudden, June turns to Veronica and Betty)
June: Do you hear yourself? Both of you? It might be different here in Hollywood, but in my back-water town, we would call you an evil gossip; someone only capable to befriending people so they may tear them down. And you know what? People like you, they always end up disliked by everyone, for they are exposed for their true selves. So please, don’t act so foolish. By all means, stay here, enjoy dinner. But do not expect any one of us to treat you with anything more than politeness.
(Veronica and Betty look down, clearly ashamed. Errol chokes back a laugh, and Tyrone and Clark smile, then turn back to their conversation.)
June: On a different note, here comes dessert!
(Waiters bring out dessert)
Errol: So how is everyone’s cake?
Clark: It’s simply delightful, just like everything of this night. (Smiles at Tyrone)
Betty: I agree; it is very yummy.
Tyrone: So what do you all think about the approach of winter? I know it is usually a horrible thing to have to turn to the weather, but I really am interested in this. I love that winter is starting to emerge. It’s such a beautiful season…
June: Yes, yes it is. And I’ve always maintained that everyone looks better when they are bundled up. Rosy cheeks, wind-blown hair, it’s all wonderful.
Errol: I’m afraid I must politely disagree. I am not exactly a fan of the cold. It seeps into my bones and sets me into a chill.
Clark: Well, that does sound unfortunate. The cold doesn’t bother me so much. I embrace the chill that braces my lungs. It’s like nature makes me stronger, filling me with the breath of vigor.
(Waiters come by with a wine bottle.)
Veronica: Oh, waiter, I would like more wine.
June/Errol/Tyrone: As would I.
Clark: I would but I know my limit.
Tyrone: Oh, surely you can extend that line a bit, just for tonight?
Clark: (smiling) Well, why not? More wine for me, please.
Betty: I know I’m cutting out quite early for the night, but I really am quite tired. I am sorry for my behavior tonight. I hope you won’t hold it against me. Good night, everyone. (To Veronica) Are you coming with me?
Veronica: Yes, I don’t believe there’s any hope for the night getting better. I should leave while I’m not completely hated. Good night, everybody.
Errol: Good night.
June/Clark: It was nice meeting you both.
Tyrone: It was pleasant to see you both again.
(Veronica and Betty leave coldly.)
June: It was certainly lovely to meet them. I so wish there were more people like those two dears.
Tyrone: (Laughing) Oh, yes, indeed. They’re fabulous. Truly magnificent people.
June: I love sarcasm – who doesn’t?
Errol: (Deadpanning) I don’t.
June: Well I’m very sorry. That is quite unfortunately…Especially if you have any sort of feelings for me.
Clark: …I do believe I missed something.
Tyrone: Oh, it’s obvious enough. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. You two would be perfect for each other.
Errol: Do you really think so?
June: As much as I love where this conversation is going, I was wondering, would anyone like to dance? The band is just beginning to go full swing.
Tyrone: (With a side-glance at Clark, then a secure smile) I would love to dance. Everyone, we will be back. But no promises on the time.
(June takes Tyrone’s arm and they gracefully go to the dance floor, where they begin dancing and having a wonderful time.)
Errol: So, it’s Clark, isn’t it?
Clark: Yes. I would ask after your name, but I have no reason to. I’ve heard it often enough recently.
Errol: (Raising his eyebrows and looking up from his plate) Oh?
Clark: Yes. May I give you some advice?
Errol: I suppose you may. No reason why you shouldn’t.
Clark: Get up. Go ask if you may interrupt their dance. (Nods his head to indicate June and Tyrone) It will make June very happy. And since I can’t dance with anyone as I would wish, at least I may sit in the company of someone splendid.
Errol: (Puts his napkin on his table and scoots his chair back) Thank you for your advice, as self-centered as it may be. (Clark’s face registers surprise at the untrue accusation) Tyrone will no doubt be back to your table soon.
(Errol walks to the dance floor, and is seen interrupting June and Tyrone. With all certain chivalry, Tyrone bows out and leaves June dancing with Errol. Tyrone then walks back and sits down with Clark.)
Clark: I wish this night would last forever. It seems like everything is perfect, and nothing can go wrong.
Tyrone: I enjoy dinner parties. I usually meet people I can talk to, and it’s great fun.
Clark: I don’t suppose you’re doing anything tomorrow? I have an idea…
Tyrone: Well, no, I’m not doing anything. What’s your devilish sounding idea?
Clark: I really must speak to Juni first…Excuse me for a moment?
Tyrone: Of course.
(Clark stands, and crosses across the room. He interrupts June and Errol’s dancing. Errol goes back and sits down. The focus stays on Clark and June.)
Clark: You look happy…It’s been a while since we’ve danced. We really should more often.
June: I agree…So why are you dancing with me rather than Tyrone?
Clark: (Stiffens a little from the smooth dancing he was originally showing off) You know I can’t do that, June.
June: Oh darling, I was just teasing. Please, ask what you came over to. I’m dying to know what’s so important that you dragged me away from Errol.
Clark: Would you say that tonight has been a good – no, great – night? Possibly one of the best since we came to Hollywood?
June: (Sighs happily) Yes, tonight has been breathtaking…
Clark: Wouldn’t it be grand to continue the fun?
June: Well, yes, it would be.
Clark: Then let’s invite Tyrone and Errol to come with us when we go. We can maybe play cards, have a bit more to drink, continue to enjoy the night.
June: Oh my….That could be incredible. To not say an immediate goodbye to the man I love…Did I just say what I think I said?!
Clark: (Laughing in disbelief) I think you did…But what did you mean by it?
June: I’m scared to say what I’m only just now letting cross my mind.
Clark: (Gently) Juni dear, you know you can give me your mind and I’ll love you all the same.
June: What if…What if I think I’m in love with him?
Clark: Do you think you could be? Are you sure it’s not just the intoxication of the night speaking?
June: When we first met, we clicked instantaneously. And tonight, there’s just a…a connection that I’ve never felt with anyone before. It’s like I can do anything, say anything, be anything, or just be myself and he’ll still be here.
Clark: Marvelously said, my dear. Should I choose to believe you so easily?
June: I feel this strongly. I love him, Clark. God, he makes me so happy! Even when we weren’t talking about happy things, I still felt that everything was alright. That he would always keep me safe and would always keep my feeling loved.
Clark: (Abashed at the sight of something larger than comprehensible for him) Oh, my goodness…My girl, I think you have outgrown our simple ideals. Love at second meeting…How romantic.
June: It scares me. It’s too…too much. But I want to hold it. I want to grab life and taste it for once. Let’s invite them, Clark. I don’t want to wake up from this beautiful dream.
(Clark and June finish their dance and make their way back to their table. Errol and Tyrone were obviously talking about June and Clark, as they stopped talking sharply when J. and C. arrived.)
Tyrone: Did you enjoy your dance?
June: It was wonderful. You should see how this boy moves. Graceful as a swan.
Clark: Oh, shush. I’m nothing of the sort.
June: (Puffing up with the importance of someone with an announcement) I have a question to pose to both of you: What might you be doing tomorrow?
Tyrone: Nothing, really.
Errol: Yes, just like Tyrone, I’m not doing anything tomorrow.
June: That is wonderful! Simply brilliant! (Glances at Clark) Here is our idea: would you two like to come back to our house, maybe play some cards or just sit and talk? We have drinks and, oh, it would be so fun to continue tonight!
(Errol and Tyrone glance at each other, seemingly reading each other’s mind.)
Errol: I – We, really – would be delighted to join you both after we are released from this dinner.
Tyrone: Did you honestly think we would say no?
Clark: Well, when can we leave? Oh, dear me, that sounded dreadfully ungrateful. I didn’t mean it in that way. I merely meant that dinner has run its course and its time, I think, to move along.
Errol: I think we should go say goodbye to our host, Mrs. Cooper. She organizes these functions every once in a while, and I haven’t really talked to her yet tonight.
June: Oh, yes, let’s go!
(They all get up and make their way, winding through the tables, ending up at the largest one, where an elderly, wrinkled lady is sitting, being fawned over by brightly dressed young men and women, all vying for her attention.)
Mrs. Cooper: Why, hello there.
Errol: Mrs. Cooper, you get more and more beautiful every time I see you. How have you been?
Mrs. Cooper: As good as can be hoped. Who are you little friends?
June: My name is June LaRouk. It’s delightful to meet you, Mrs. Cooper.
Clark: Good evening, Mrs. Cooper. I am Clark Berlous. I absolutely love your house. It’s beautiful!
Tyrone: I believe we’ve met before. I’m Tyrone McHenri. This dinner is superb.
Mrs. Cooper: I am glad you have all had a good time. I suppose you are coming to say your goodbyes, Errol?
Errol: I am afraid so, Mrs. Cooper. I am so incredibly sorry to not have sat with you tonight. I met this gorgeous woman, June here, and I could only think of her.
(June blushes and giggles. Mrs. Cooper looks at her coldly.)
Mrs. Cooper: I do hope she is not as flighty as she seems.
Errol: Appearances vary from person to person – you see flighty, I see happy. How was your dinner, Mrs. Cooper?
Mrs. Cooper: I will have to speak to the chef. But go. I know you are simply dying to get away.
Errol: From you, never. Good night, Mrs. Cooper, and thank you for a wonderful night.
(June, Tyrone and Clark echo his goodbyes and walk to the entryway, where they get their coats from the maid. They then exit and make their way to June’s car.)
(Scene – June’s living room. A large room, with two black, leather couches, facing each other. A hand-carved, medium-colored wooden table sits between the two. There are lamps on either side of both couches, which leaves the center of the room bright but the corners dark and shadowy. The table is littered with empty glasses, obviously filled with some alcoholic beverage at some point. A radio is playing big-band dance music. June and Errol are both completely drunk; Clark and Tyrone are only slightly tipsy. It is currently around 11 or 12 at night. June and Errol are on one couch, and Clark and Tyrone are on the other.)
June: Everybody, everybody, listen, listen! We should dance! Errol, come, dance with me!
(Errol clumsily gets up and picks up June by her waist, then sets her on her feet. They begin dancing, very sloppily. Everything is making them laugh.)
Errol: Oww! You stepped on my foot!
June: Oh, I’m sorry, love!
(Errol trips and sits down hard. June tumbles down next to him and sits on his lap. He puts his arms around her waist.)
Errol: Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?
June: The longer I’m around you, the more beautiful I become.
Errol: You know what I think? I think I love you.
June: Oh, goody. That means I’m not crazy. Why?
Errol: Why do I love you? Because you’re smart and funny and gorgeous and the most fun person I’ve ever been around. Just because.
June: Okey dokey.
Errol: What about you?
June: Oh, yes, I love you. End of story. It’s so delightful to not have any secrets, isn’t it?
Errol: Haha, you may not have any secrets from me, but that isn’t true for me.
June: (Sitting up straight, an angry expression crossing her face) What on earth do you mean?
Errol: I’m surprised you never heard of the scandal.
June: (Relaxing a little) Remember, I’m new here.
Errol: Oh, yes…Yes, indeed. Well, I had these wild accusations made about me abusing this tragically messed up woman. She was really awful. Lisabeth, that was her name. Absolutely beautiful, but so messed up. She would be perfectly happy one moment, then be crying or screaming the next. I know she abused herself, taking a razor blade to her skin, but I never hurt her like she hurt herself. Or others. She hurt others badly. No one wanted to be around her.
June: (Subdued) That sounds awful…But there was no truth to the accusations?
Errol: I might have knocked her around a few times, but all of her scars were her own doing. I would never have done something like that to her.
June: Are you sure?
Errol: (Suddenly angry. He stands up, dumping June on the floor) Damn it, of course I’m sure! I’m not crazy, not like Lisabeth. Can you just forget about this? It was many years ago. Nothing ever came of it.
June: (Stands, seeming a bit scared) I’m sorry, Errol, truly. I didn’t mean to hurt you, honest. I’ll never mention it again, I promise.
Errol: Please see that you don’t. June, darling, I didn’t mean to upset you.
June: No, no, no. I’m glad you told me. I want to know all of you, the good and the…not so good.
Errol: (Smiles) Let’s dance.
(June and Errol dance and the focus goes to Clark and Tyrone)
Tyrone: You know what I’ve always looked for in a partner?
Clark: Intelligence to realize how amazing you are?
Tyrone: (Smiling) Well, there’s that too…I was thinking, I’ve always wanted someone who realizes that life isn’t easy, even if you have someone who loves you…So many people give up, lose patience, lose hope, lose their own friends, even the closest, just because they believe that someone loves them more than their tried and true links to life. It’s sad. I’ve had a lot of people leave. Just drop out of my life. And it hurts…Really, really badly. I’ve always wanted to know someone who realizes that….Having new people in your life does NOT give you an excuse to forget about the people who helped shape you.
Clark: That’s quite a mouthful. I know what you mean; I’ve had the same thoughts myself. And I’m not saying that merely to make you happy. I’ve often wondered how people could do that. It’s so cruel. It’s a kiss-off practically. To take a friend, any close person really, someone that you cared for, and then leave them sitting in the dust, tossing them to the side, pushing them away…It’s malicious. How did someone hurt you?
Tyrone: My friend…The first person I let really know me, even though I was terrified to let anyone into my heart, if only because of the secrets that lay there, and I fell apart. Not to say I’m blameless. Every day, I live knowing that I wasn’t good enough, funny enough, caring enough, helpful enough. I miss my friend…And I know I can never do anything. I’m cut off from my friend, and nothing can change that.
Clark: Oh, my dear, I am so sorry to hear that. It is so difficult to live without someone who knows you, and whom you know so well. It pains me that you have to know that difficulty. Someone who cares as you do should never be sent off in such a fashion. May I make a promise?
Tyrone: No. I’m sorry, but no. I don’t let people make promises, not to me at least. Too many have been broken. When someone makes me a promise, I hold them to an incredibly high standard, and my trust is very deeply invested. I can’t let more of my trust be broken.
Clark: I can understand that, and I respect that level of self-protection. How about I just…state my course of action? I don’t want to leave your life. I want to be here for you, with you, for as long as I can. You’ve probably heard something as such before, but I really mean it. You take my breath away. Can I be much clearer?
Tyrone: I enjoy your company, too. If that is what you’re saying. (Smiles, then falters) Do…Are you used to being so obvious? Oh, no, that sounded mean, which isn’t how I meant it! I only meant…I’m completely adjusted to my life. But I’m also very cautious with people. We don’t live in free times, and we must love others according to the limits of society.
Clark: I’m absolutely terrified of people. They hold such supremacy, and they rarely use it wisely. I don’t really know what has come over me tonight…I believe it’s the combination of alcohol and you, though you hold a much higher power. I don’t want you to think I’m a scandalous flirt, for, believe you me, I’m nothing of the sort. I just…really like you, more than I thought possible, to be blunt.
Tyrone: And to be honest, I’m afraid I’m falling for you. God, just admitting it makes my stomach drop. There are so many things that…Are complicated. I wish things were easy. Free to do what we wish. Hollywood is so often looked at as a land of extravagance and freedom within the home of the free. The place where anything is accepted, as crazy as it may be. But people don’t realize how high the level of gossip and pure evil resides here. Anything a person can use to gain importance is fair game. Everyone has to watch their own backs, because there’s no one who will watch it for them. Being with you will be complex.p
Clark: I’m not a Hollywood persona. The only reason I’m even here is because of Juni. I… (Chuckles) I will never judge you. But…you spoke of the future…Does that mean that you...don’t want this night to end? I know I certainly don’t.
Tyrone: Considering how much we’ve all drunk, tomorrow will bring a nasty hangover. If only for that, I hope tonight never ends. (Smiles) I must say, I’m a bit worried as to how I will be getting home…I’m not sure if I can trust myself in my current state. (Suddenly begins laughing, and speaks without breath) Listen to us two crazy birds! Speaking so seriously when so tipsy! Though not nearly as much as our lovely friends over there. (Indicates June and Errol) Oh! Let’s dance!
(Tyrone grabs Clark’s hand and pulls him over to the side of the room, where the begin dancing, beautifully. They keep bumping into June and Errol and all are laughing and playing around. The radio finished playing a song, and announces that the song was the last of the night, and they would resume playing big-band dances the next morning. The national anthem begins to play as June crosses over to the radio and shuts it off. Everyone goes and sits down, each couple on their own couch, sitting very close to each other.)
Errol: My word, this couch is very comfortable. I could stay here for hours!
June: As could I. But I could stay anywhere with you… (Giggles)
Clark: Actually, Juni, I was thinking, it might be a good idea for our…friends (Side-glances at Tyrone and smiles) to stay here tonight. We have the guest room and both of these couches, and we’re all drunk…They shouldn’t leave like this. What do you think?
Tyrone: Oh, please, June? It would be so very nice…
June: We are such controversial people! Oh, what the hell! Sure, you can both stay. Do you want to call for clothes or something?
Tyrone: I’m fine like this…Errol?
Errol: I’m ok as well. Thank you so much for letting us stay. And I promise, we will leave tomorrow morning. You won’t even know we’re here.
June: (Speaking directly to Errol) Oh, but I like to think that you’re here. I feel safe.
Clark: (Speaking directly to Tyrone) I want you here, too. Simple as that. (Smiles)
Tyrone: Well, I hate to break up this love-fest, but I have to use the restroom. Anyone want to show me where it is?
Clark: Oh, I will!
(Clark and Tyrone leave the living room, talking to each other quietly)
June: Did…Did I miss something?
Errol: I think…Well…Tyrone keeps looking at Clark like I keep looking at you. So…maybe…?
June: Aww! My little Clark, all grown up and falling in love! I’ve always…taken care of him. This makes me feel old…Will he still need me?
Errol: Oh, he would be a fool to forget about you.
June: Aren’t we all a bit foolish?
Errol: No one could ever be that much of a fool. Ever.
June: You’re so sweet! How is it that I’m so lucky as to have run into you tonight?
Errol: Do you think it was just fate?
June: Well, wasn’t it?
Errol: Not at all. I personally requested that Mrs. Cooper invite you, plus one. Why else did you think you were invited to a dinner hosted by someone you don’t know?
June: …You remembered me! You wanted me there?
June: (Blushing) Oh my…I just thought that…since I was new to the business, she might be interested in having me there. But, after meeting her, I suppose she isn’t the type to do as such.
Errol: In that, my dear, you are very correct.
(Errol reaches over and holds June’s hand.)
Errol: I love you, June. I didn’t think love at first sight was possible, and I still don’t. It wasn’t love at first sight, because, just by looking at you, looking into your beautiful eyes, I know you. And I want to spend my life with you.
June: I…I love you too, Errol. I told Clark earlier, it’s like I can be wonderful or horrible, and you’ll still be with me. You’ll still love me, and you’ll still make me feel loved. It’s…I’m…I don’t even know how to say anything that’s running through my mind and heart!
Errol: You don’t need to say anything. I can see it in your eyes.
(Errol reaches for June’s other hand and opens his mouth to say something more, but June cuts him off and jumps to her feet.)
June: Oh, it’s late! We should…I should go to bed. Do – Do you want to stay in the guest room or in – in here?
Errol: I should probably check with Tyrone, but I know he won’t mind. I suppose I’ll stay in the guest room.
June: Ok, I will…Well, come with me. I’ll show you where the bathroom closest to the room is and….Come with me.
(June leads the way into the hallway, and bumps into Clark and Tyrone, who are holding hands.)
June: Tyrone, are you ok with sleeping on the couch? Errol already expressed interest in the guest room…
Tyrone: Oh, yes, the couch is perfectly all right. I’m just grateful that you are allowing me to stay here.
June: You’re welcome. Well, good night.
Tyrone: Good night.
Clark: Good night, Juni. (Leans in closer.) Thank you for this. (Kisses her cheek.)
(June and Errol leave down the hallway and a few minutes later, you see June crossing the hallway to her own room, wherein she shuts the door. Clark and Tyrone go and sit on one of the couches.)
Clark: Are you tired?
Tyrone: A bit, but not so much that I can’t put it aside. Are you?
Clark: Not really, although I know as soon as I lay down, I’ll fall asleep instantly.
Tyrone: For all I know, I will as well. I just don’t want to go to the night to end. Funny how we keep saying that…
Clark: Perhaps it’s because we really, really don’t want it to. (Smiles sleepily.)
Tyrone: That’s true… (Touches Clark’s cheek, then yawns.) I think I should go to bed…Well, I think I should go to couch. Bed is an arbitrary turn.
Clark: All right. If you need anything, you know where my room is. (Smiles) Good night, dear.
Tyrone: Good night. (Smiles sweetly.)
(Clark goes into the hallway to his room, turning to wave and smile at Tyrone. Tyrone gets a blanket and arranges the pillows of the couch to make a comfortable bed. He keeps smiling and humming, then begins talking to himself.)
Tyrone: Wow…How did I get this lucky? I’ve always kept people away from anything near the real me, and now I’m in love with some crazy, amazing, wonderful man…Damn. This is beyond belief! Wow…Wow… (Lies down, pulls the blanket up around him and settles in to sleep.)
(Scene – The next morning, in the guest room. June has just knocked on the door.)
Errol: June, is that you?
June: Yes. Are you – Can I come in?
Errol: Of course.
(June opens the door and walks in. She has dark circles under her eyes but no other signs of not sleeping well.)
Errol: Good morning, darling. (Smiles)
June: You need to leave.
June: You need to leave. Now. Get out of my house.
Errol: What’s going on? What’s wrong? June, talk to me!
(June turns and walks quickly out of the room, and heads to the living room. Errol grabs his jacket and follows her. In the living room, she shakes Tyrone’s shoulder and wakes him up. He blinks sleepily and rubs his eyes.)
June: I need you both to leave, now.
Errol: June, what the hell is going on?!
June: I loved you last night. Not anymore. You need to get out.
Errol: (Looks incredibly confused and shocked as he slightly stumbles back.) What?
Tyrone: Sorry for interrupting, but may I ask what’s happening?
June: I wake up this morning and realize I’m a mindless idiot. I don’t know what on earth took place in my mind when I was asleep, but I don’t love you anymore. Every shred of it is gone. All of it. Get out.
Tyrone: …I think I’m going to go wake up Clark.
(Tyrone leaves the living room in the direction of Clark’s room.)
Errol: I don’t understand, June. How could you just stop loving someone?
June: I don’t know! I just do. Or don’t. Or whatever the correct word is. Just…please. I don’t love you anymore. I’m sorry I hurt you.
Errol: You’re sorry you hurt me?! I love you, Juni! Do you know what you’re saying?
June: (Whispers) Yes, yes I do. I’m sorry. Just leave.
(Errol crosses the room and grabs June’s wrist, yanking her up from the couch. She yelps but Errol doesn’t let go of her.)
Errol: You know you still love me! Don’t say you don’t!
June: No! I don’t love you, Errol. Just disappear already.
(From off-stage, Clark is heard talking to Tyrone. Errol shoves June back and gets his coat from the closet. Tyrone and Clark come back in the living room, with confused expressions. Clark goes over to June’s side and starts talking to her quietly.)
Errol: Let’s go. Go and get your coat, Tyrone. We’re leaving.
Tyrone: I’m not leaving.
Clark: (Side-glances at June.) It might be better if you leave for now, Tyrone. It’ll be ok. Don’t worry about anything. I’m sorry about this.
(Tyrone crosses over to Clark, quickly kisses his cheek and then gets his coat.)
Tyrone: Good-bye, Clark, June. Thank you for letting us stay here. It was a wonderful night.
June/Clark: Good-bye, Tyrone.
(Tyrone and Errol leave, Tyrone exiting first. He looks back at Clark, but Errol pushes him to leave faster, and Errol slams the door. June visibly relaxes, then looks at the floor. Clark clenches his jaw, then turns to June.)
Clark: Why did you make them leave? You acted like shamefully. That was disgracing!
June: Don’t do this to me, Clark. How could I let a man I don’t love stay at my house any longer?
Clark: You were crazy about him last night.
June: I think I’m just plain crazy. What else explains loving someone one day and less than twelve hours later, not loving them?
Clark: I don’t know, but you could have handled that so much better. You acted like a fool! Do you know what Errol can say about you now? What on earth is Tyrone going to think of me?
June: Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking about you! I wasn’t thinking about you or Tyrone or what this could do to my future. I was freaking out and acted on it. Don’t be mad at me. Please, Clark, I just lost someone I loved. I don’t want to lose you.
Clark: I don’t know what to say to you…You acted ridiculous.
June: What are you going to do? Leave and never talk to me? We’re not twelve.
Clark: I’m going to go get breakfast and call to see if Tyrone is home yet. I will see you later, June.
(Clark leaves angrily, shutting the door sharply. June sinks down onto the couch.)
June: What have I done?
(June begins to cry.)