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Jim Catapano

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Member Since: Sep, 2003

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I'll Take The Rain
By Jim Catapano
Wednesday, October 22, 2003



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Recent stories by Jim Catapano
· Forever Friends
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Two old friends reunite and realize that they've changed too much to have a relationship any more.















I'll Take the Rain

By Jim Catapano

© 2001 Jim Catapano


SCENE 1

INT: METRO-NORTH TRAIN—DAY
OPEN ON A SHOT THROUGH THE TRAIN WINDOW, SHOWING A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR. PULL BACK TO SEE BECKY HARRISON’S REFLECTION IN THE GLASS AS SHE STARES OUT. BECKY IS IN HER LATE 20S, BLONDE AND MEDIUM BUILD.SHE IS DRESSED IN A BAGGY SWEATER AND JEANS, AND SMOKING A CIGARETTE.

A TICKET TAKER WALKS BY AND POKES BECKY ON THE ARM.

TICKET TAKER
Miss? You can’t smoke in here.


BECKY
Sure I can. Watch.

BECKY TAKES A LONG PUFF FROM HER CIGARETTE AND BLOWS THE SMOKE OUT SLOWLY.

TICKET TAKER
Very funny. Look if you don’t stop, I’m going to have to put you off the train.

BECKY
(PUTS OUT CIGARETTE) Ok ok, I was just fooling around.

THE TICKET TAKER GLARES AT HER AND WALKS OFF.

BECKY
Jerk.


BECKY SIGHS AND STARES AT THE RAIN AGAIN, SHAKING HER HEAD. SHE REACHES INTO HER JACKET AND PULLS OUT A PHOTOGRAPH.


CUT TO: CLOSE-UP OF PICTURE. IT SHOWS BECKY WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, ALYSON TAYLOR, AT A BEACH RESORT. ALYSON IS THIN WITH LONG BROWN HAIR. THEY ARE HOLDING MARGARITAS, CUDDLING TOGETHER AND GRINNING WILDLY.


BECKY STARES AT THE PICTURE FOR A MOMENT. SHE SMILES SADLY, PUTS IT BACK IN HER POCKET AND TURNS HER ATTENTION BACK TO THE WINDOW.

SCENE 2

INT: MANHATTAN DINER – DAY

BECKY IS STANDING BY THE DOOR, SOAKED. SHE RUNS HER FINGERS THROUGH HER WET HAIR, LOOKING AROUND NERVOUSLY. THE MAITRE D WALKS UP.



BECKY
Excuse me, could I get a glass
of water?


MAITRE D
We can't serve you unless you're
at a table.


BECKY
It was a joke.

BECKY TUGS AT HER WET CLOTHES.

BECKY
Get it?

THE MAITRE D STARES AT HER.


BECKY
Never mind. I’m meeting somebody.
Can I just go in and see if
she’s here yet?

MAITRE D
Of course.

BECKY WALKS THROUGH THE DINER, SHIVERING WITH NERVOUS EYES. FINALLY SHE STOPS AND SMILES.

CUT TO: ALYSON, WAVING FROM A BOOTH. ALYSON IS IN A BLACK TANK TOP AND JEANS THAT SHOW OFF HER VERY THIN FRAME. SHE IS WEARING A LOT OF MAKEUP.


ALYSON
Hey, you!

BECKY COMES OVER AND HUGS ALYSON VIGOROUSLY. ALYSON IS SLIGHTLY TAKEN ABACK BUT RECIPROCATES.

ALYSON
God, didn’t you check the weather
this morning?

BECKY
(SHEEPISHLY) Uh, I didn’t think of it.

ALYSON
You should have at least bought an umbrella. They’re only 5 bucks on the street.

BECKY
I couldn’t really spare the money. It’s not a big deal.


ALYSON
Oh. Well, is this place too expensive?
We could go somewhere else…

BECKY
(ANNOYED) No!

ALYSON STEPS BACK. BECKY ATTEMPTS A SMILE.

BECKY
No. This is fine. Really. Except…can we move to the smoking section?

ALYSON
I thought you quit.

BECKY
(SHRUGS) Yeah, so did I.





SCENE 3

INT-DINER; A TABLE IN THE SMOKING SECTION.
BECKY AND ALYSON PERUSE THEIR MENUS IN SILENCE FOR A LONG MOMENT.



ALYSON
So what’s happening back home?


BECKY
Nothing. Usual Larchmont tedium.


ALYSON
Find a new job yet?


BECKY
(UNEASY) No...you see anything you like?

ALYSON
I’ll probably just get my usual.

BECKY
“One glass of hot water and a side order of moist towellettes, please.”

ALYSON LOOKS PUZZLED, THEN SMILES.

ALYSON
You should have seen me last night.
I was such a pig.


BECKY
What did you do?


ALYSON
It was Patrick’s birthday. His family took us out for Tai food. It was really good but, god, I ate way too much. I put in an extra hour at the gym this morning and still I feel like such a cow.


BECKY
You’ve got plenty of room, don’t worry.


ALYSON
Oh please, I’m so huge.

BECKY STARES AT HER; FINALLY SHE SHRUGS AND MOUTHS “whatever” SILENTLY.


A WAITER STOPS AT THE TABLE.

WAITER
Do you need another minute?


BECKY
No, I’m good. I’ll have a hamburger…

BECKY CATCHES ALYSON LOOKING AT HER FROM OVER HER MENU.

BECKY
No, make that a turkey burger. Deluxe. And an iced tea.


ALYSON
And I’ll have a fruit salad.

BECKY ROLLS HER EYES.

WAITER
Anything to drink?

ALYSON
(SMIRKING AT BECKY)
No, water’s fine.


WAITER
Very good. (LEAVES.)


ALYSON
You know, turkey burgers aren’t
as healthy as you think they are.


BECKY
What is? Look, I’m not gonna obsess
about it. There’s nothing wrong with
treating yourself…you know, once
in a while.


ALYSON
Oh, I agree, don't worry. You know what? We should get frozen yogurt after this.


BECKY
Wow, do we dare?

ALYSON
C’mon Becky, there’s nothing wrong
with watching your diet.




BECKY
I guess. (PAUSE) Sometimes I wish
I had your will power.



ALYSON
Just keep a scale, a
full-length mirror and a copy of
Vogue handy.


BECKY
Ah, no, I wouldn't go that far. There’s such a thing as blissful ignorance.

ALYSON SMILES. THEY ARE SILENT FOR A MOMENT. BECKY NERVOUSLY TAPS HER SPOON AGAINST HER WATER GLASS. FINALLY SHE SMILES AND LOOKS UP.

BECKY
Hey, you know I had a dream
about you last night?


ALYSON
Oh yeah? What happened?


BECKY
Well, we were going to a movie.
A whole bunch of us from college.
Bradley was there, and Mary…even
Sara was there so it must have taken
place before the big breakup.



ALYSON
Don't even remind me. So
What movie was it?


BECKY
I’m not sure…I know there were Muppets in it.

ALYSON
Sesame Street Muppets or
Dark Crystal Muppets?


BECKY
Definitely Sesame Street. Anyway I remember that I wanted to sit next to you, like we always used to. But people kept blocking my way and I couldn’t get a seat. Finally I had to sit three rows behind you. I remember watching you down there, laughing with all the other people, and I was all alone in the back.(SHRUGS)


ALYSON
Hmmm.


BECKY
Weird, huh? I’m thinking maybe it’s because I feel like I’m not such a part of…

THERE IS A HARSH RINGING NOISE. BECKY STOPS.

ALYSON
Oh, hang on?

ALYSON PULLS OUT HER CELL PHONE ND LIFTS IT TO HER EAR.

ALYSON
Hello? (SMILES) Hey you!
What’s going on?

ALYSON MOUTHS “It’s Patrick” AND SMILES. BECKY NODS AND PULLS OUT A CIGARETTE.

ALYSON
No, I told you I’m having lunch with Becky? You remember…

BECKY SMILES THINLY AND GIVES A LITTLE WAVE.

ALYSON
Becky says hi. (PAUSE) Oh, is that tonight? Shit. Hang on.

ALYSON LOWERS THE PHONE.

ALYSON
I forgot, we’ve got theater tickets tonight…um, did you want to do something after this? I really should go shopping…


BECKY
(SIGHS)No no, I’ve got some things I have to do.


ALYSON
Ok…(PUTS PHONE TO HER EAR)
Sweetie? That’s fine….7, right…
(WHISPERS IN A CHILD’S VOICE) Oh, I love you too…see you tonight. (HANGS UP.)
(TO BECKY) You’ve met Patrick right?


BECKY
No, never.


ALYSON
You sure? Weren't you at the bar that
night with us?


BECKY
No. Remember? I didn't have the money to come down.


ALYSON
Oh. Right.


BECKY
So how long you been with him now?


ALYSON
Tuesday was our 2 month anniversary.


BECKY
Congratulations…(PAUSE) you know,
it’s really terrific that you can fall in love with somebody so quickly like that.


ALYSON
Look, Becky…don’t start with me OK? Ted’s a great guy.



BECKY
Patrick.


ALYSON
Yeah…what did I say?


BECKY
Ted. Remember? He was last year.


ALYSON
(EMBARRASSED) Why do you always
do that?

BECKY
What?


ALYSON
Every time I’m with a guy you get so
annoyed. Like I’m not allowed to be happy. Look, it’s not my fault you can’t find anybody.


BECKY
Who said I can’t find anyone? Maybe I’m happy being alone. It is possible, you know.

ALYSON
Well, for your information
I have no problem being alone!


BECKY
What about those first few months
after Ted? You were a wreck. I should know since you were calling me every day. In fact, that was the last time you paid any real attention to me at all. The second
you hooked up with Patrick I was sent right back to the “island of misfit friends.”

ALYSON
It’s not like that! I’ve just been busy. Work’s been tough…


BECKY
Don’t give me the “work is tough”
mantra again!
That’s the line you used for 3 weeks
before you finally admitted to me you
had a boyfriend!


ALYSON
I didn’t know how you’d take it!
You always get so jealous…


THE WAITER ARRIVES.

WAITER
Turkey Burger Deluxe…

THE WAITER PUTS THE BURGER IN FRONT OF ALYSON, WHO ANGRILY SHOVES IT TOWARDS BECKY.

WAITER
And a fruit salad…

ALYSON TAKES THE FRUIT PLATE. BECKY STARES SILENTLY AT HER FOOD.



WAITER
Oh, and the manager says
if you don't calm down you'll
have to leave.

ALYSON
Sorry.


BECKY NODS.


THE WAITER LEAVES; BECKY AND ALYSON STARE AT THEIR PLATES FOR A MOMENT. FINALLY BECKY LOOKS UP.


BECKY
(QUIETLY)It's not like it used to be.


ALYSON
No.


BECKY
So much has changed. For you at least.
You're an ad executive, you're living in Manhattan, meeting all kinds of people…I just…I mean, where do I fit into that?


ALYSON
You know I want you there, Becky. It's
just that whenever I tried to include you…I don't know, you either didn't have the money, or you wanted to do something else…it's like we don't like the same things the way we used to.


BECKY
You never come to see the old group anymore. We still do a lot together, you know.


ALYSON
I know. It's just… I don't like to sit around in someone's house watching TV all the time.


BECKY
You used to.

ALYSON
It's different now. You know, living here in the city…it's like there's been a whole world here waiting for us.


BECKY
And you're trying to make up for all the lost time. All the years hanging around in Larchmont with a bunch of losers.


ALYSON
I didn't say that.


BECKY
It's the truth. I've thought enough about it, I know. We are losers. We live in a dreary upstate town with no identity to speak of. For most people it's just a stop on a train, it means nothing. They never give a thought to all the people that live and die there. And we're trying to keep our dreams alive in a world that has no place for us. So we cling to each other and try to distract ourselves from this growing dread, this unspoken realization that there isn't going to be any big payoff at the end of all our planning and dreaming. Because life is no filet mignon, Alyson. It's a can of Chef Boyar-fucking-dee. But you know something? I could almost live with that if I knew that you were going to be there with me. But I get the feeling I can't even count on that anymore.


BECKY GRABS HER BURGER AND TAKES A SMALL BITE, THEN PLACE IT DOWN. ALYSON STARES AT HER FOR A MOMENT.


ALYSON
You always did think very deeply about things, Becky.


BECKY
I guess I'm right-brain oriented. Or is it the left? I can never remember.


ALYSON
If it helps, I do miss you.

BECKY SMILES FAINTLY AND REACHES INTO
HER POCKET. SHE BRINGS OUT THE PHOTOGRAPH AND HANDS IT TO ALYSON.


BECKY
Remember this?


ALYSON LOOKS AT THE PICTURE AND GRINS.


ALYSON
Summer of '93, isn't it? Wildwood.
I can tell by your hair, it still has
traces of blue from our little after-finals experiment.


BECKY
That was an amazing day. We got so sunburned from being out all day…and so drunk!


ALYSON
And we went back to the motel to
sober up. I remember, we listened to Automatic for the People over and over.

BECKY
Especially "Nightswimming". That was
your favorite, I remember.


ALYSON SMILES.

ALYSON
We really bonded that day.


BECKY
I'm really looking forward to this year's trip.


ALYSON PALES AND LOOKS AT BECKY WITH SADNESS.

ALYSON
Oh god, Becky, I forgot to tell you…Patrick and I are going to Italy for two weeks. I'm not going to be able to…

BECKY SHAKES HER HEAD SADLY, GRABBING THE PHOTOGRAPH BACK.


BECKY
OK, you're sending me a pretty
clear message now, Alyson. Thank you.


ALYSON
Becky, I'm so sorry. Look, maybe in
the fall…


BECKY STANDS, HER EYES TEARING.

BECKY
No! Don't do that. Forget it. Don't give me anything to look forward to, because you're just going to disappoint me in the end. Let's not even play this game anymore. I'm not going to let myself get hurt anymore.


BECKY TAKES OUT HER MONEY AND PUTS IT
ON THE TABLE.

ALYSON
Becky, please…


BECKY
Have a great time at the play.
Have a great time in Italy. And enjoy the rest of your life, Alyson. And I'm very sorry you can't find any room for me in it.


BECKY LEAVES. ALYSON SITS AT THE TABLE MOTIONLESS. STARING AT HER VACATED SPACE.

BECKY WALKS BACK OUT INTO THE RAIN, WHICH IS STILL FIERCELY COMING DOWN. SHE HUGS HER COAT TIGHTLY AGAINST HER AND WALKS AWAY HURRIEDLY. THE PHOTOGRAPH FALLS OUT OF HER POCKET AND FLUTTERS TO THE SIDEWALK.


THE END

       Web Site: www.jimcatapano.com

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Reviewed by Lee Garrett 11/2/2004
Very strong piece. Characters are well drawn. Story is absorbing. You have a good voice as a writer. The script style was a little distracting though. I think I would have enjoyed this more in the standard literary format, but this was still well done.
Reviewed by Tami Ryan 10/22/2003
Very descriptive and full of emotion. Very well done, Jim.

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