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a scene from

by Walter Wykes

[DAN and EMMA kiss. She stops him.]

EMMA: Can I ask you a question?

DAN: Sure.

EMMA: Are you just using me to get over her?

[Silence. Dan picks up his glass of wine. Smells it. Sits. He doesn’t look at EMMA—just stares at the floor.]

If you are, just tell me. I’d understand. I mean, it’s understandable. I mean, I wouldn’t judge you or anything. How could I? After what you’ve been through. How could anybody? I just need to know what to expect here. I need to know what we’re doing. [Pause.] So … what are we doing? [Pause.] Dan?

[Pause. EMMA sits next to him. She touches his hand or his knee. DAN continues to stare at the floor.]

Talk to me. [Pause.] Do you want me to go?

DAN: No. No, I don’t want you to go. I don’t know. I don’t know what we’re doing.

EMMA: Okay.

DAN: I mean, how can I—

EMMA: I’m sorry.

DAN: I can’t even—

EMMA: I shouldn’t have—

DAN: It’s not even real, you know? It’s like it didn’t even happen. I wake up in the morning—every morning—and I can’t remember if it was just a bad dream, a really bad dream, or ... and then I look and she’s not there next to me … the pillow’s empty … maybe she’s just in the bathroom … maybe …

EMMA: I shouldn’t have brought it up.

DAN: No—

EMMA: It’s none of my business.

DAN: She left a note. Did you know that?


DAN: She left a note that she was doing it for me.

EMMA: Oh my god.

DAN: For me. Because she knew I didn’t want her anymore.

EMMA: That’s horrible.

DAN: What’s horrible is it was true. I didn’t want her. I was ready to walk away and she knew it. I was gonna wash my hands of the whole fucking thing—find some sane girl and start over—someone who didn’t play mind games all the fucking time—someone who didn’t question my every motive—someone who didn’t scare the hell out of me. You know, there were times I was actually afraid she might kill me. My own wife. I was afraid she might poison the milk or stick me with a steak knife in the middle of the night. Honest to god. I was afraid to go to sleep. [Pause.] Sometimes, I think the only reason she didn’t is she knew this would hurt more. This would stay with me. [Pause.] If you want to go—


DAN: I know I’m kind of a head-case right now.

EMMA: Who wouldn’t be?

DAN: I just don’t want to think about it. I keep seeing her in that pool of blood … the way I found her … with her wrists and … it was all over her nightgown … the one I’d bought her for Christmas … her eyes were all glassy … like you see in the movies … like a dead fish … like a dead fucking fish with its wrists slit, but it’s my wife, and it’s real, and I can’t get that picture out of my head. I want it to go away. I want it to go away like a bad dream, but—

EMMA: It will.

DAN: It hasn’t yet.

EMMA: Trust me. It will.

[She kisses him—then takes the wine glass from his hands and places it on the table.]

EMMA: You know what you need? A little distraction.

[EMMA kicks off her shoes.]

DAN: A distraction?

EMMA: Yeah.

DAN: What kind of distraction?

EMMA: The good kind.

[EMMA begins to unbutton her dress.]

DAN: What are you—

[She puts a finger to her lips seductively—don’t argue.]

DAN: I … I don’t know if it’s really the right—

EMMA: Shhhh.

DAN: Emma—

EMMA: I got you all worked up asking stupid questions when it wasn’t any of my business, and now I’m gonna make up for it.

DAN: You don’t have to—

EMMA: I’m a big girl, Dan—I know what I’m doing. [She kisses him.] Can I borrow your shower? [He nods.] Give me two minutes.

[She exits to the bedroom. Silence.]

* * *

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Copyright © 2008 by Walter Wykes

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that The Unwanted is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at sandmaster@aol.com



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