Happily Ever After
by Robert Moats

ACT 1

Scene 1

[Curtain up on apartment. Dave, a friend of Jim is sitting in a chair, URC. Jim is in walk-in closet at R.]

DAVE: [reading Playboy] You know Jim, you've been seeing this new girl quite a bit lately. I think you're getting serious.

JIM: [off stage] No way! This is just one of those hot affairs that will burn out by the end of the week.

DAVE: End of the week! You've seen her every night for the last two weeks. That's longer than you've seen any of the girls you've gone out with.

JIM: [enters, to Dave] Who are you, the official score keeper of my romances.

DAVE: I don't have to keep the score, you're doing fine scoring on your own.

JIM: [to bed, picks out shirt out of pile, puts it on] Dave, why do you have to act like I make it with every girl that I go out with?

DAVE: [stands, magazine on table, to Jim] Because you have made it with every girl you've gone out with, or so you've said. Why should this one be any different. . . you have, haven't you?

JIM: [carrying pan from coffee table to kitchen] I'll never tell.

DAVE: Oh, all of a sudden you're a gentleman. Be careful or you'll ruin your reputation, or what's left of it.

JIM: Dave, she happens to be a nice girl. [picks pile of clothes off bed, to closet] There's nothing wrong with going out with a nice girl once in a while. [at closet, throws clothes in] Well is there?

DAVE: Nice girl! For crying out loud Jim, no wonder you've been seeing her this long. You're still at first base. [to him] A whole two weeks and you haven't gotten to second base.

JIM: Dave, we're not talking baseball here. Melissa happens to be a very nice girl.

DAVE: Compared to who, Marie Osmund? Have you even tried kissing her?

JIM: [to kitchen] All right, so she is a little slow in loosening up. I'm working on it.

DAVE: [to UC] Or you're losing your touch.

JIM: Hey, not everyone can conquer Mt. Everest.

DAVE: That stacked, huh?

JIM: Not quite, but I will say she's about as cold.

DAVE: Why don't you drop her and get back in the fast lane?

JIM: [to shelves] Well. . . . I hate to say it but with her I think my passing gear isn't working.

DAVE: Jim. . . . don't tell me you're falling for her.

JIM: Ok, I won't tell you. [picks clothes off floor and crosses to closet]

DAVE: [to Jim] You are! My god Jim, you are falling for this girl.

JIM: [throws clothes into closet] Dave, I'm hot for her cold body, that's all. [turns to him] Don't make a big deal out of this. [crosses to coffee table, straightens it]

DAVE: Oh, I see. This has become a challenge between her iceberg and your Titanic. Mr. macho has finally met his match and his magic touch is gone.

JIM: Dave, she'll be here soon, can we discuss this some other time?

DAVE: [to center] I love it! I'm witnessing Mt. St. Helens cooling down to a lot of cold rocks and steam.

JIM: Leave my rocks out of this and get out of here so I can finish getting this place straightened out.

DAVE: Why, you want to desecrate this national shrine. Why bother, it's the real you. May as well let her see what she's been holding back for.

JIM: Dave, please stop it! [knock on door] Oh great, she came early.

DAVE: Hey, don't panic, it's probably Terry. I told her to meet me here. [opens door, enter Terry] Hi there, you sexy thing you. [kisses her]

TERRY: Don't start that before dinner or we'll never make it to the restaurant. Hi Jim, what's the occasion?

JIM: Occasion?

TERRY: There must be some occasion for you to clean up your apartment.

JIM: Great, you two make a perfect pair. [con't cleaning]

DAVE: [to Terry] So, where do you want to eat tonight?

TERRY: How much can you afford?

DAVE: McDonalds.

TERRY: Right. Dave, why is he cleaning so early in the year?

JIM: Don't start again!

DAVE: He's in love.

TERRY: Jim, in love?

DAVE: Maybe love is too strong a word, I'd say he's in heat.

JIM: Dave, Terry, please go to dinner. Melissa will be here any minute.

TERRY: [sitting] Melissa, that's a pretty name. Tell me about her.

JIM: You're doing this deliberately aren't you? You're trying to stall me and ruin my evening.

DAVE: What provoked you to invite her here? I thought you always spent the evening at the girl's place so they wouldn't know where to find you.

JIM: Look, this really happens to be a special night for me, so could you two help me out a little?

TERRY: [standing] If that means helping you clean up, I think it's time to go.

DAVE: Coward!

TERRY: If you want to help him clean up, go ahead, I'll buy my own hamburgers.

JIM: Hey guys, I'm sorry I'm a little irritable but this is important to me.

TERRY: You are serious about this aren't you?

JIM: [to shelves for ring box, to Terry] I'm this serious.

DAVE: Jim, a ring? You've only know her for two weeks.

JIM: Time means nothing when you're in love.

DAVE: Love! You just haven't got her in the sack yet, so you figure this will clinch it.

TERRY: Dave!

DAVE: I've known this guy for years, I wouldn't put it past him to pull something like this.

JIM: Ok! So maybe I have my motives, but if she does accept I feel I care enough about her to go through with it.

TERRY: You know, as cold as that sounded, you must care enough about her to go to this extreme.

JIM: Ok, the fun's over, I'm demanding that you both leave now so I can get some work done.

TERRY: Come on Dave, let's leave Jim to play his games. Good luck Jim, whatever happens. [to Dave] I'll wait for you in the car. Bye Jim. [exits]

DAVE: [to Jim] I've known you to do some crazy things but asking a girl to marry you so you can have a little fun, well, that's a new one for you.

JIM: Dave, please go!

DAVE: All right, but if she accepts, I have one last request.

JIM: What!

DAVE: [at door] Can I have your address book?

JIM: OUT!!

DAVE: I'm going! Oh by the way, Mark Fitch over at the Gas Up is looking for someone to pump gas. You interested?

JIM: [to bed, straighten] Dave, I spent six years in school to learn automotive engineering and not once did we have a class on pumping gas.

DAVE: Well you don't seem to be having much luck with the big three either. Have you heard from any of them yet?

JIM: Hey, I'll get called, don't worry. G. M. , Chrysler, and Ford need guys of my caliber.

DAVE: Well, good luck old buddy, I'll call you tomorrow. [exits]

JIM: Just don't call too early. {DR of bed] Pump gas, ha! Anybody can do that. I'm above that kind of stuff. [turns to pole lamp] Besides, they wouldn't hire me, I'm over qualified. [crosses to hanging lamp, turns it on] Besides GM will call any day now. [picks up chicken bucket from in front of t. v. ] So it has been four months since I filled out that application. So what. I know they'll call. [throws bucket into closet] [enter Martin, middle age, balding, a little preppy, over dressed swinger. He has a large bottle of wine and is in a panic. ]

MARTIN: Boardman, have you got a corkscrew?

JIM: Martin, I don't have time for you.

MARTIN: I'm not asking for the world Boardman, just a corkscrew.

JIM: [to him, looks at bottle] Imported! Must be a special evening. Is it going to be a late nighter?

MARTIN: I've got Miss July and August coming over. Two of the hottest months of the year.

JIM: Martin, I've been meaning to talk to you about your parties.

MARTIN: I've invited you over many times, but you never came over.

JIM: Martin, your all night orgies have been keeping me awake.

MARTIN: It's your own private orgies that kept you awake. Although I must say that you have been awful quiet over here for the last two weeks.

JIM: My personal life is of no concern of yours.

MARTIN: Touchy, touchy!! Who's roped you into domesticity?

JIM: Like I said, it's no concern of yours.

MARTIN: Definitely a man possessed, who is she?

JIM: Well. . to quote an old song, she's the sun in the morning and the moon at midnight.

MARTIN: Good in bed?

JIM: Hey, I have respect for this girl.

MARTIN: Really? Sounds to me like you're loosing your touch.

JIM: What is this, a conspiracy? Martin, please leave.

MARTIN: If you insist, but I still need a corkscrew.

JIM: It would take me hours to find it and I don't have the time. I've got company coming over.

MARTIN: Well, I suppose we could crack open a twelve pack of beer although it won't be quite as romantic.

JIM: Great Martin, please do that.

MARTIN: Very well, but it won't be the same.

JIM: Martin, please leave. I have to finish cleaning.

MARTIN: Why? Do you want to give her a false impression of you?

JIM: Out Martin Now!!

MARTIN: I'm going! [at door] You're no fun anymore.

JIM: OUT!!

MARTIN: All right! [exits]

JIM: I can't believe the crazy people I'm surrounded with. [cont. cleaning] I knew I shouldn't have invited her over here! [door opens slightly, Martin pokes head in]

MARTIN: James.

JIM: Martin, I told you to get lost! I got to get this place cleaned up.

MARTIN: Well you better move fast. [opens door, Melissa is standing there] I found her lost in the hall. A fate worse than being in your apartment. Now be good you two. [to Mel] And if he's not good, I live just across the hall. Bye. [exits]

JIM: Oh great, Uh. . . come on in. Sorry the place is such a mess but I was having trouble getting rid of a few pests.

MEL: That's all right. I think your apartment looks very. . [looks around]. . lived in.

JIM: [to chair] Here, you sit here. [picks clothes off chair, puts them on shelf, back to her]

MEL: Thank you. [sits]

JIM: [to bed, sit] I'm really glad you came over tonight.

MEL: I'm glad you asked me over, even though I know that my father wouldn't like the idea of my being here.

JIM: He wouldn't?

MEL: No, but I came anyway.

JIM: Oh, that's nice. . . . [long pause, they squirm] Sure was a nice day out, wasn't it?

MEL: It rained today.

JIM: It did? Oh well. . . I didn't get out today. . . well, uh, maybe it'll be nice tomorrow.

MEL: They're predicting rain for tomorrow too.

JIM: Oh. . . that's too bad. . . those weathermen can sure screw up your day, can't they?

MEL: I guess so. . . [looks around, stand, to R. ] This is a nice small apartment you have here.

JIM: [standing] Yeah, two rooms and a community toilet.

MEL: A what?

JIM: A community toilet. It's down the hall, everyone shares it.

MEL: [to URC] Rather inconvenient, isn't it?

JIM: Well, there's always the kitchen sink. [realizes what he said, covers mouth]

MEL: [not hearing him] What's in there? [to closet]

JIM: Uh, it's a walk-in closet. My dresser and storage are in there.

MEL: Where do you sleep?

JIM: Right here, it's actually a bed. I put these cushions on it to make it look like a couch.

MEL: Oh, [to L] what's in there?

JIM: That's the kitchen.

MEL: [looking in] Do you actually cook in here?

JIM: No, I usually eat out or have it delivered.

MEL: I don't blame you. . . . I mean restaurant food isn't all that bad, I'd prefer to eat out myself. [to bed end, sits]

JIM: [sitting next to her] Melissa, could we forget about the apartment tour for a minute. I asked you here for something more important than that.

MEL: [looks at him looks at bed] I knew it, that's why you invited me here. I'm sorry Jim, but I'm saving myself.

JIM: Pardon me?

MEL: I said I'm saving myself.

JIM: From what?

MEL: From sex. I'm saving myself for marriage.

JIM: But that's what I wanted to talk to you about.

MEL: You men are all alike. You think of nothing but sex.

JIM: No, I'm not talking about sex, I'm talking about marriage.

MEL: What?

JIM: Damn, this isn't how I wanted to do this. . wait here. [to shelf, gets ring case, back to her, gives her case] Here.

MEL: What's this?

JIM: Well open it.

MEL: [opens it, pause] What did you do that for?

JIM: Do what?

MEL: Why did you give me this ring?

JIM: What does a guy usually give a girl a diamond ring for? I want you to marry me.

MEL: WHAT!

JIM: Did I say it wrong. . I'm new at this. . wait. . [gets down on knees]. Melissa, would you marry me? Please.

MEL: This is a very serious thing, Jim.

JIM: Melissa, I am serious!

MEL: You are serious aren't you. Jim, we've only known each other for a little under two weeks, how can you be sure this is what you really want?

JIM: Melissa, you're the only girl I've ever really cared about. The only girl I've ever wanted. . . badly!

MEL: I. . I really am flattered but I really have to think about this [up to DC]

JIM: [follows her on knees] Melissa, you told me the other night that you felt happy and comfortable with me.

MEL: [turns, looks around then down] Jim, I have felt that way when I'm with you, but why spoil it with marriage?

JIM: [standing] Melissa, I love you!

MEL: You really do?

JIM: Yes, for the first time in my life I really love someone and that someone is you. The two weeks we've been together have been wonderful and I want that to continue, but only with you.

MEL: Only with me?

JIM: Only with you. [kisses her]

MEL: [pushes him back] Jim, I have to think about this. Where's the bathroom?

JIM: The bathroom?

MEL: Yes, the bathroom.

JIM: Uh, out the door, turn right, end of the hall. Do you want me to go with you?

MEL: [to door] No, that's all right. . . . Jim, this is all happening so fast. . . . I do care about you. . a lot. . I just have to think about it. I'll be right back. [exit]

JIM: Take all the time you want, I'll wait here for you. [he runs to pole lamp, turns it off, goes to shelf picks up cologne and splashes liberal amounts on himself, uses spray mouth wash, goes to couch-bed, pulls off cushions and puts them at head of bed, goes to turn off hanging lamp, back to wall switch, turns light off throwing room into total darkness. he says:] Opps, too dark. [turns light back on, crosses to pole lamp by bed, turns it on, heads back to wall switch as Mel opens the door, and Jim walks into it and falls back.]

MEL: Oh my God, are you all right? [to him]

JIM: I think my nose is broke.

MEL: I'm so sorry, can you still smell? [helps him up]

JIM: It's ok, I just need to lay down and put my head back. [to bed, lays with head downstage]

MEL: I didn't mean to hit you. I didn't know you were back there. Do you want an icepack?

JIM: No thank you. I'll be all right.

MEL: Here, let me look at it. [she leans over him]

JIM: Melissa. . . I. . . I [he pulls her down to him, they wrestle as he tries to kiss her]

MEL: [pushes him back] Jim. . Jim. . quit it. . Not now!

JIM: [lets her go] If not now, then when?

MEL: [stands] Jim, we'll have plenty of time for this after we're married.

JIM: [pause] What?

MEL: I said we'll have more time for this after we're married.

JIM: Are you saying that you will marry me?

MEL: Yes, I decided that I will marry you. I have really enjoyed the time we've spent together and I feel I've grown very close to you. Close enough to want that to continue.

JIM: Uh, are you sure? [up on knees on bed]

MEL: Very much so.

JIM: Oh. . great. . uh. . yeah, that's great. I just didn't think you'd agree so soon. . uh, yeah, you really will marry me?

MEL: Yes, Jim.

JIM: Yeah, why not. We'll get married. Oh wow, fantastic.

MEL: [she moves away] Jim, I really think that. . [he reaches out for her but falls on floor as she is too far to reach] Jim! Are you all right?

JIM: I think my arm is broke.

MEL: Jim, we better get married fast.

JIM: Why?

MEL: Another hour of this and you won't make it down the aisle.

JIM: Thanks a lot. [gets up]

MEL: Careful, don't move too fast.

JIM: [facing her] Thanks, you're an angel. [pulls her to him, kisses her]

MEL: [pushes him away] Boy, you heal fast!

JIM: Melissa, did you mean what you said?

MEL: If you're referring to marriage, yes.

JIM: I didn't think you'd accept so fast. I mean it's great that you did, it'll be a perfect marriage.

MEL: It better be.

JIM: That sounded kind of threatening.

MEL: It may be. You haven't met my dad yet.

JIM: Your dad?

MEL: Yeah, J. Edgar Hoover himself.

JIM: Your dad is J. Edgar Hoover, I thought he was dead.

MEL: Hoover is, but my dad isn't. Dad's a private investigator, he has his own agency in Detroit.

JIM: Private investigator huh, like Magnum P. I.

MEL: No, like I said, J. Edgar Hoover. He's tough.

JIM: You never talked much about him before, it sounds serious.

MEL: It can be, if you don't pass daddy's inspection, he can make it very rough.

JIM: What can he do?

MEL: What can he do. Ever since I was old enough to date he ran a check on every guy I went out with. If they even had a parking ticket, he would lock me in my room and forbid me to see him ever again.

JIM: He's that tough?

MEL: Tough! They kicked him out of the CIA for excessive violence!

JIM: Uh, maybe we could elope and move to another state.

MEL: That won't work, he'll find us. The only way you can get around him is to impress him.

JIM: Oh, oh.

MEL: What?

JIM: I was arrested once for shoplifting.

MEL: Jim, you have a criminal record!

JIM: [laughs] Melissa, don't worry, I was only 5 years old and was released to the custody of my parents. Other than that I'm clean.

MEL: Jim, don't do that to me, this is no joking matter.

JIM: I'm sorry.

MEL: Now if we can think of some way that you can make a good impression on him.

JIM: I got it! We'll invite your parents over here for dinner and they can meet me. [she looks at him, looks around room, picks up purse, heads to door] Where are you going?

MEL: You don't want to marry me. If you invite them over here you know I'll be locked in my room forever. I had a feeling that you didn't really want to get married and this is the way you'll get out of it.

JIM: Come on Melissa, I'm serious. I'll get the place fixed up and be on my best behavior. I mean it! I'll do my best.

MEL: You'd better do your best or you can forget marital consummation.

JIM: Mel, I'll have your father thinking I'm the Pope.

MEL: Jim, my father is Jewish.

JIM: Jewish? I thought you said you were catholic.

MEL: He's a convert.

JIM: Oh. Hey, I'll have him thinking I'm Moses.

MEL: [laughs] Jim, do you really think you can pull it off?

JIM: For you, I'd become a Monk.

MEL: I don't believe that, but it's nice of you to say.

JIM: Mel, everything will work out fine, then we'll have our whole lives together.

MEL: That's a very long time Jim, but it sounds nice. When is this miracle going to happen?

JIM: The wedding? Well, I hadn't made any plans yet.

MEL: No Jim, I'm talking about the dinner.

JIM: Uh. . how about this Saturday night?

MEL: Jim, you are suicidal, that's only three days away! It'll take at least a month to get this place ready.

JIM: Don't worry. Tell them Saturday night for sure. At 7:00.

MEL: All right. If you say so, I'll trust you.

JIM: Melissa, I...I love you.

MEL: I do too.

JIM: You love yourself?

MEL: No silly, [softly] I love you.

JIM: What, I didn't hear you.

MEL: [little louder] I love you.

JIM: I still can't hear you.

MEL: [louder] I said I love you! [off stage, Martin yells: Great, Boardman, now get her to bed and let's keep the noise down!]

MEL: Who was that?

JIM: The guy you met when you came in, Martin. These walls are a little thin and he's nosey. Just ignore him. Do you really love me?

MEL: Very much so. [they kiss]

JIM: [loudly] Aww, right!

[off stage, Martin yells: Congratulations Boardman, another one bites the dust.]

BLACK OUT, END SCENE ON

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Copyright 1985,1997-2003 by Robert J. Moats, all rights reserved. This play may not be copied or re-produced in any manner without permission or performed in part or whole with out payment of a royalty. E-Mail to Magic1@mindless.com for more information.