SETTING: In the hospital room.
AT RISE: PATRICK is sitting by the window.
SCOTT JOHNSON enters the room.
(seeing his brother)
Scott – you made it!
(out of breath)
Finally! I caught the 6 AM this morning. Janet and Max picked me up at the airport.
Where are they?
(He see his mother on the bed and stops short. Slowly approaches the bed and kneels down.)
Hi, mom. It’s Scott – I’m here. . .
(head drops and he starts to cry)
I’m so sorry, mom. I wanted to get here sooner. I – I. . .
(stands up and walks over to SCOTT)
I’ll be back in a little bit.
(Leaves the room to give his brother some privacy.)
(While he’s gone, Scott continues talking to MARY through the tears. His words come out in pieces: “I love you” – “Such a good mother” – “Always there.” After a bit, NURSE KELLY enters the room and sees SCOTT. Not wanting to disturb him, she turns around to leave but runs into PATRICK coming back in. They try to sidestep each other and move in the same direction – back and forth – back and forth – until they finally get it right. She leaves and PATRICK enters.)
(Sees his brother still crying. Ironically)
Scott – are you trying to depress her?
(head snaps up)
Sorry – bad joke. . . But maybe she can hear you.
(Stands up. Worried)
You think so?
No – who knows. Probably not. She’s totally out of it.
Has she been like this the whole time?
(Pauses. Decides not to tell SCOTT the whole story.)
She’s been sleeping like a baby. The nurse thinks it won’t be much longer – hours maybe.
(SCOTT starts to whimper again and PATRICK comes over to give him a hug. SCOTT sobs on his shoulder.)
It was the right thing to do. She’d been suffering a long time – was really unhappy.
I know – I know. . .
(They separate and a woman enters the room with a young boy. JANET JOHNSON sees that her husband and goes over to give him a hug. While they do this MAX JOHNSON approaches the bed and looks at his grandmother.)
(gently reaches out and touches Mary’s arm)
Is she dead?
(Everyone turns to look at him.)
No, Max. She’s just sleeping now.
But she’s going to die – right?
(getting closer to MAX)
We don’t know, Max. Maybe later today.
(looks at MARY)
Does it hurt?
No. You see – she’s just sleeping.
(reaches over and shakes Mary’s arm)
Wake up grandma!
Max – stop that!
It’s all right. She can’t feel anything now – has so much morphine inside that nothing will wake her up.
(bending down to MAX)
You can give her a hug if you want, Max.
(Slowly leans forward and awkwardly puts an arm over Mary’s chest.)
I love you grandma.
That’s nice, Maxy.
(JANET still has her arm around SCOTT and gives him a tighter squeeze.)
(straightens up and walks over to the window)
Hey – you can’t see anything from here!
(walks up behind and puts his hands on MAX’s shoulders)
Just a wall, Max. Just a wall.
(A new doctor knocks and enters the room. DR. LIN is tall and dressed in a white smock. He is quiet – self possessed.)
(turns around and sees DR. LIN)
Dr. Lin! How did you know she was here?
We have a patient tracking system. The computer notified me this morning when I came in.
(to the others in the room)
This is Dr. Lin. He was mom’s respiratory physician.
(DR. LIN nods to everyone. He approaches the bed and looks at MARY.)
She just couldn’t take anymore, Dr. Lin. It was getting too hard for her to breathe.
Yes. She followed the classic path for someone with COPD. The disease eventually wins out. We can only manage the decline.
(turns back to MARY)
But your mother was a strong person. She put up a good fight.
Thank you, Dr. Lin – for everything you did for her.
(his voice breaks)
You were her favorite doctor.
(Seeing PATRICK start to cry, JANET lets out a sob and lifts her hand to her mouth.)
(Several seconds pass while people wipe away the tears.)
(looking at Mary)
She’s in a good place now.
(He turns to PATRICK and dips his head; walks out of the room.)
(END OF SCENE)
On to Scene 22