SETTING: The Johnson home, back in the 1970s.
AT RISE: MARY is sitting in an armchair and
PATRICK (mid to late teens) is lying on the couch. They are watching TV. The show is ending and we hear the closing theme – “Those happy day, those happy days, those happy daaaaaaaaays…”
(turns off the television with the remote)
What a waste of time.
(Doesn’t say anything at first, but we see she is bothered.)
Patrick – I need to talk to you about something.
What is it?
(Pulls out a cigarette and lights it. Takes a puff for courage.)
It’s about your farther and I. . .
(a longer puff this time)
We aren’t having any Happy Days.
(Her voice breaks with emotion.)
What are you saying, mom?
Well. . .
We’re getting divorced, Patrick.
What? NO!. . .
(nodding her head, about to cry)
It’s true, honey.
But you’ve got a great marriage. . . You never fight. You never yell at each other. I can’t even remember the last time you argued.
Can you remember the last time we kissed each other?
(pauses while PATRICK stays silent)
We don’t even talk to each other. He’s always gone.
Does dad know about this?
Of course, he knows. It was my decision but he agrees. We both need a change.
(starting to get worked up)
But. . . I can’t believe it. . . This is crazy! How long have you known about this?
For a while now. We wanted to wait for a good time to tell you all.
And now is a good time? Where is everyone? Why isn’t dad here?
We were going to wait until he got back. . .
But I felt like telling you now. I’m sorry, honey.
(leans back and exhales loudly)
I can’t believe it. You’re just like everyone else.
(about to cry)
Patrick. . . I — I’m so sorry.
It’s a little late for that.
(stands up quickly)
You guys are so damn selfish!
Please, Patrick. . . Try to understand.
Just leave me alone!
(He stomps off the stage and MARY starts to cry.)
(END OF SCENE)
On to Scene 19