The Widow's Grief
By: Joanna Lance
GRACE - Sister
ADAM - Brother
[Late afternoon. GRACE stands in the kitchen, putting water on to boil.]
GRACE: I wonder what's taking so long. It should be over by now.
[Footsteps sound, and a door opens. Enter ADAM, who sits at the table]
GRACE: How was it?
ADAM: [Pause] Good, I suppose. The mayor came, said a few words. A lot of really nice things.
GRACE: He would have liked that. I know Dad respected him, even if they didn't always see eye to eye.
ADAM: I know. He brought up the time Dad argued with him at a charity dinner. Didn't let up on his view of school funding for a second, even followed the mayor to the buffet table to finish making a point.
GRACE: I'll bet that made people laugh.
ADAM: It did. And there were a lot of people too. The chapel was full, we had to bring in extra chairs in the back.
GRACE: Who was there?
ADAM: Seemed like the whole congregation, plus a few people from his work, and then there were all his old school friends. I don't think Reverend Wells has ever seen his church so full.
[GRACE sits across the table, propping her head up her head wearily with her hands.]
ADAM: How is she?
GRACE: She's been quiet. I read to her her for a while, but she dozed off. She's sleeping now.
ADAM: I told everyone who asked after her to come by tomorrow. I thought it might be too much for her, all in one day.
GRACE: Yes, that'd be better. But I think it'll be easier for her, now that it's over.
ADAM: Yes, let's hope so.
GRACE: You don't think she might get worse, do you?
ADAM: There's no telling.
GRACE: It scares me to see her this way. She doesn't even seem to notice me sometimes.
ADAM: What do you mean?
GRACE: Well, when I brought her lunch, I had to call her three times before she responded. And then later, after she took her medicine, I was right there with her, but she just stared out the window, right at that rosebush Dad planted for her.
ADAM: I'm sure everything will be fine in a few days. She's taken it very hard, but she'll come around, you'll see.
GRACE: I can't help but worry. It's in my nature. Heaven knows I worry too much about Daniel and the children, but now Mom as well….
[ADAM stands, pats her shoulder, and goes to make tea. Returning with two mugs, he sets one before GRACE.]
ADAM: Doctor Reynolds agrees with me though.
GRACE: About Mom?
ADAM: Yes. He says with enough rest, she should recover soon.
GRACE: That's good to hear. [Pause] Its just… I've never seen her like this before. Not even when Grandpa died. It's like she's given up on life.
ADAM: Don't say that.
GRACE: It's true though. She doesn't eat unless I remind her, and she hasn't left her bed for three days.
[They both sip their tea, lost in thought]
GRACE: They really loved each other, didn't they?
ADAM: Mom and Dad? Without a doubt.
GRACE: [Puts down tea.] I just can't believe that Dad's really gone. He'd always been there, you know? I'd come back to visit, and he'd be puttering around the garage, fixing something. And he would always listen to those old records, do you remember?
ADAM: Of course. And he and Mom would dance to them, in the kitchen, in the hallway….
GRACE: It used to embarrass me, if I had a friend over or something. In fact, I think he would make sure and do it when my friends were around.
ADAM: Well, that's Dad for you. Never passed up an opportunity to tease you if he could help it.
GRACE: It's so hard thinking he'll never do it again. He won't fix things, he won't tease me.
[GRACE begins to cry. Adam puts his arm around her.]
ADAM: It's alright, sis. It was just his time to go.
GRACE: I know, I know. I just need a moment.
ADAM: [Pause] It was good of you to stay with Mom. I think she needed someone with her.
GRACE: It was hard. I could tell she was thinking of nothing but him, nothing but the service.
ADAM: Seeing her without him, it's strange. They were always together.
GRACE: That's true, isn't it? Even when Dad went away for business, he'd call every night and they'd talk for hours like a couple of love-struck teenagers.
ADAM: I used to laugh, thinking I would never be that dependent on someone. Now I'd give anything to have what they had.
GRACE: Oh, Adam, you're still young. You haven't given up on love so soon, have you?
ADAM: No, it's not that. I just think a love like that is one in a million.
GRACE: You're right. They had something special.
[They sit in silence for a few moments, drinking their tea.]
ADAM: I think I'll go look in on her. See if she's awake.
GRACE: I'll clean up in here.
[ADAM exits. GRACE takes the teacups to the sink, rinses them out, and returns to sit at the table. Silence, and ADAM returns.]
GRACE: Sleeping still?
ADAM: [Sits beside her and takes her hand.] Grace….
GRACE: What is it?
ADAM: She's gone.
[Fade to black]