|A scandal in the making
Author: Lina M PM
* This is a one act play* Drama and scandal is flourished in this one act romantic play. Silver winner. (storywrite- /story/9713241-A scandal in the making S -by-Johara)Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Words: 1,475 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 01-01-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3088060
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
[A middle-aged man stands in the centre of an elegantly furnished room. He is leaning on a heavy wooden table, a piece of paper clutched tightly in his hands. To his right the mahogany curtains are drawn, and a Labrador sits quietly on a Persian rug on the floor. Beside him also on the left, the engraved door is slightly ajar, and sounds of a very festive party ring in the background. The man, wearing a black tailcoat and a grey vest, is weeping.]
ELIZA: [Faintly, in the background.] Wait, my darlings! I will come shortly. [Giggles erupt in the air, and a clink of glasses is heard before the sound of light footsteps approach the darkly lit room.]
[The door opens suddenly. The man looks up, tears in his eyes.]
ELIZA: Good heavens, Mr. BUTTERFIELD! What brings you here?
[Mr. BUTTERFIELD hurriedly wipes his eyes and puts on the bravest smile he can master.]
BUTTERFIELD: Please, Miss ELIZA, call me Byron.
ELIZA: Oh, pshh! It would not be proper of me to call you that.
[ELIZA slaps a finely gloved hand onto Mr. BUTTERFIELD's upper arm, then gasps as she notices his puffy eyes.]
ELIZA: [sympathetically] Oh Mr BUTTERFIELD… Bless you; you are missing your wife, are you not?
BUTTERFIELD: Yes my dear. I miss her very much. You see, she was a fine woman, beautiful and smart, strong and gentle…
ELIZA: Jasper misses her too- he is always mentioning her, at every little moment he adds 'just like mother' or 'I wish mother was here to see this.'
BUTTERFIELD: [laughs] Yes, that's my son!
[They both laugh aloud, mouths clothes and through their noses.
Their laughter quietens, and Mr BUTTERFIELD looks at ELIZA.]
BUTTERFIELD: You are a very pretty creature ELIZA, perfect for my son. I'm glad Jasper has you by his side, and no other girl.
ELIZA: [Blushing.] Why, thank you Mr. BUTTERFIELD. What brings such a lovely compliment?
BUTTERFIELD: Nothing, dear. I am just remembering my Bessie.
ELIZA: You are such a strong man, Mr BUTTERFIELD.
[ELIZA gently touches Mr BUTTERFIELD's arm.]
ELIZA: You are the second most important man in my life, next to Jasper. Not even my Daddy is as brave as you are.
BUTTERFIELD: [smiles thinly.] Thank you… ELIZA.
But, dear God, you are just like Bessie. Just like her! I can see her in you every time you walk past, the way your skirts swish around your legs when you dance, the excited glisten in your eyes, your lips even makes me think of her… And the curve of your neck…
[ELIZA stands chest heaving slightly, staring Mr BUTTERFIELD in the eyes.]
ELIZA: Yes, I'm just like her, so Jasper says. And my hands, Mr BUTTERFIELD, look just like your Bessie's. Look!
[She slides her gloves off and bares her naked hands to Mr BUTTERFIELD, who stares at them hungrily.]
ELIZA: And I think that's why Jasper loves me.
[BUTTERFIELD snaps his eyes back to ELIZA's face and clears his throat.]
BUTTERFIELD: Exactly, ELIZA. That is why you are so perfect for my family. You are the key to happiness, and the code to enlightenment.
ELIZA: [Winks and smiles daintily] Now, come back to the party Mr BUTTERFIELD. I'm sure people must be noticing your strange absence… Come!
[ELIZA takes his hands in her own, her very exposed skin clamped against his. He tightens his grip involuntarily]
BUTTERFIELD: No! Dear, I mustn't return, I am in fact leaving.
ELIZA: Why? Leaving? Where to Mr BUTTERFIELD?
BUTTERFIELD: I am going to India. I think I need a new start.
ELIZA: But, India? It's so far.
BUTTERFIELD: And that's exactly why India is perfect. I will be away from all this, all this pretence of love, of care, of glamour. There is absolutely no glamour if we stay!
ELIZA: Wait. Wait. We?
BUTTERFIELD: [Clears his throat.] I think I want you to come with me.
[BUTTERFIELD sets his hand on her shoulder.]
BUTTERFIELD: I cannot do this on my own.
ELIZA: How can I leave Jasper?
BUTTERFIELD: Forget it ELIZA… I think my love for you is greater than his.
ELIZA: Pardon me! Jasper is your son. I love him. He loves me.
BUTTERFIELD: Yes, I am aware that you love him, but I can promise you more. Come with me, your life will be transformed.
ELIZA: Gosh, no. I- I cannot do that.
BUTTERFIELD: But you want to?
ELIZA: I cannot say.
BUTTERFIELD: Well my darling, I have told you my feelings.
ELIZA: No. You have not; I do not fully understand what your intentions are.
BUTTERFIELD: I have only good intentions.
BUTTERFIELD: I only love you.
ELIZA: You love your wife.
BUTTERFIELD: And I love you.
ELIZA: I cannot understand it.
BUTTERFIELD: You do not have to. Simply just accept me, I can see it in you, the way you play, you want more. Well, I am giving you more; I am giving you the chance to escape… Come elope with me. Enjoy yourself because life does not last long.
ELIZA: But… a minute ago you were just saying how perfect I was for your son.
BUTTERFIELD: Way too perfect.
ELIZA: [shaking her head vigorously ] This is wrong.
BUTTERFIELD: Are they in any position to say what is wrong and what is right? Do not worry about what people will say, their tongues will be of no matter to us once we are gone.
ELIZA: I cannot desert Jasper, he has been the light of my life, and I simply cannot leave him!
BUTTERFIELD: [Beginning to lose patience] But ELIZA! He is young, he does not know what love is, and I have been broken by love for two years now- I think I should know the feeling!
ELIZA: Well, think of your wife. She would hate to think that you lust for me.
BUTTERFIELD: Love, not lust.
ELIZA: Love indeed!
BUTTERFIELD: You do not believe me?
ELIZA: I am trying to, but how can you possible love me?
BUTTERFIELD: You make it so easy to love you ELIZA.
ELIZA: What, so it is my fault for your atrocious behaviour?
BUTTERFIELD: I can see it in your eyes, dear, that you want it…
[BUTTERFIELD moves closer.]
BUTTERFIELD: I know you want it, you want it, you have been waiting for it,
ELIZA, and you need it.
ELIZA: [Slaps him] Get away rogue!
BUTTERFIELD: [Smiling sadly] I do not wish to argue ELIZA. I love you. I always have, I always wanted you to be my side, and I was pretty sure you would turn to me.
ELIZA: [Eyes watering, swallows hard.] N-no
BUTTERFIELD: It is so hard to deny it, is it not?
ELIZA: I cannot possibly carry out such a horrid action.
BUTTERFIELD: You are not even betrothed to Jasper, there is no problem! What is the problem ELIZA?
ELIZA: It is not the world outside that I am afraid of… It is the heart. The heart that burns and dissolves away when broken, the heart that has to carry the burden of loss-
BUTTERFIELD: Yes, and the heart that has to learn to let go… Jasper will learn to let go.
ELIZA: His heart is weak.
BUTTERFIELD: Oh, and I am not?
ELIZA: You are cruel. Cruel!
BUTTERFIELD: [Taking hold of her hands.] You are wrong. My dear, you are wrong. I am in love, and love can do amazing things to you.
BUTTERFIELD: No, love just makes me more determined to get to you. I will never let you go. Listen, I know you want to go. I know it in my heart. Shhh… no do not interrupt- your eyes speak for yourself, your lips are for entirely something else…
I will wait another day for you. One more day, that is all, then I am gone, perhaps forever. My arms will be open to you in that time, you can come along whenever- it is entirely your choice, I will not force you to do anything.
But one thing you should know, I will always, always love you. I love you ELIZA, I do.
Now you carry on with your party, say Goodbye to your friends if you must, but I beg you to think carefully of your decision, because I will be waiting for you even when I am gone…
So, sadly, I think this might be Goodbye.
[BUTTERFIELD cups her face in his hand and very gently kisses her lips. He looks at her one last time, and then leaves the room. The door shuts silently, leaving ELIZA alone with the sleeping Labrador, her hand placed tightly on her chest. ELIZA shakily pulls out a small wooden chair and sinks into it.]
ELIZA: [resting her head back and closing her eyes.] God forgive me...