Good Riddance, My Love
A comedy in III Acts
By Kyle W. Smith
A rather tall and exceptionally handsome Jack Triumph sat proudly across from the beautiful yet overly serious debutante Jessica Fergner. Yes her last name is Fergner and she likes it far less than you do. And Jack Triumph is suspicious that the only reason she married him is so that she can shed herself of this Fergner nonsense and replace it with the powerful and noble sound of Jessica Triumph. Whether this is true or not is for you to decide, however, the writer does feel and agree with Jacks suspicions. Why would I agree? Well Jessica sees herself as an amazing and very gifted woman within herself as well as her art. Her art is that of painting. Is she good? Yes, very. Then what is the problem? Jessica comes from a very poor family and has no real means to get herself into the market other than to use her good looks, which she is doing presently and has been doing for the last year with Jack Triumph; today is their one-year anniversary. Why Jack Triumph? Not only is he an incredibly attractive man, he also happens to have a great potential for wealth. Possibly wealthy by no other means than his father, the great George R. Triumph, the most prestigious and well know Art Critic and collector in all of the fifty states as well as a great deal of Europe. Jack, being in the possession of a college degree with honors is unable to make this connection with her art and his fathers profession. Jessica is well aware of it but this is not the only reason she is with Jack. The problem, however, is that Jack and his father no longer speak to each other due to his fathers hatred for Jessica who called his a dirty old bastard at their wedding reception. She had not planned on this because of her hopes of using him to becoming successful, but it was unavoidable after a very inappropriate proposition made by George Triumph. She does find Jack amusing and easy to be with. Why she feels this way is difficult to understand based on the fact that the two spend close to one hundred percent of their time together fighting, bickering, and nagging one another to the point where they each tell the other they hate them. This action is of course reversed an hour or so later when they both have gone their separate ways, become intoxicated, and desired sexual satisfaction. Yes, this is one marvelous and happy marriage. I personally am disgusted by the two and most likely by the end of this tale you will be as well. So I will go ahead now and apologize for the action and lives of my characters: they are no reflection of myself. Well
I hope not.
So as I started off by saying, Jack sits across from Jessica at a quiet table in a lovely little Italian restaurant called Bella Serra. It is a commonplace for wealthy couples of all ages and although Jack is unemployed, he still finds the money to take her there once a month and each time he takes her there she is thoroughly impressed. That is until the inevitable action of Jack somehow making an ass out of himself. It happens every time and tonight is certainly no exception for it is a special occasion
The scene begins with old Italian music in the background, low lights, and the sweet taste of simple romance floating about on a tiny cloud throughout the small restaurant. The Curtain opens and the two sitting at their table watch it go up with irritation on both their faces. You cannot hear what is being said; you can only see Jessica pointing at the raised curtain while yelling at Jack about her inconvenience.
Jack calls a waiter to the table and still we cannot hear what is going on, all we can see is that Jack has become nearly frantic and the waiter seems less than apologetic. Finally the waiter storms off and the curtain closes. Just before it goes below our two, you can see them watching it smiling, and their glasses cling; a toast to getting it their way.
The curtain opens again. This time very slowly and unnoticed by the Triumphs. We have gotten away with something. We will now be able to watch their dinner and I just wait, for the next thing to go wrong. And here it is. Ill let them take it from here
JACK: (softly) Dear.
There is no response from Jessica, who is starring aimlessly into her Fettuccini.
JACK: (slightly louder) Jessica.
JACK: JESSICA! (Far too loud for a quiet restaurant.)
JESSICA: (Awaking from her pasta induced reverie) What the hell are you yelling for?
JACK: (Still speaking too loudly) Christ I thought you were dead! Ive never seen some one act so blatantly bored before. Im sorry you dont enjoy my company. Next time Ill bring the dog!
JESSICA: We dont have a dog. And lower your voice. (Now speaking as loudly as Jack) And no Im not bored. Im just ignoring you.
JACK: (returning to a normal and appropriate volume) Well thats fine. I just wanted to ask you what I am supposed to do. You see I went and spilled the salt and Ive heard thats bad luck.
JESSICA: Yes dear, very bad luck.
Jessica has very suddenly made a complete one hundred and eighty degree turn in personality, and is momentarily loving and kind to Jack. This turn in mood is a phenomenon that takes place typically close to a hundred times a day due to Jessicas numerous psychological problems. She now gives a loving smile to jack and plays with her soft yellow hair to look her very best for the man she loves. Her eyes twinkle in the light of the candle on the table and her fair skin gives off a soothing glow. They look at each other for a brief moment and smile at each other.
JESSICA: Well darling, you just take it and you throw is over your shoulder. That is supposed to erase the spell of bad luck.
JACK: Well thank you love. I didnt know that.
Jack now picks up the saltshaker and throws it over his left shoulder and with a great deal of velocity. It is a perfect strike! Right dead center into the back of the elderly womans head that is sitting directly behind him. Jack turns slowly after hearing the great yelp from the woman. She appears to be in a slight daze momentarily so Jack uses this opportunity to play it cool and act as if he was not the culprit. He turns back around to have found all love vanished from Jessicas face. Her face is now very stern and sharp enough to cut directly through thick glass. She slowly shakes her head drops her fork onto her plate.
JESSICA: (firmly) You ass.
JACK: (shushing her) Quiet! I dont think she knows it was me.
JESSICA: (Sullenly) Shes standing right behind you. Ass.
JACK: No shes not.
JESSICA: No she really is. Hello maam. Im awfully sorry about my husbands being an idiot.
JACK: Youre going to be a little more convincing darling. That old bag has no idea where is came from. Shes probably blind as a bat anyway. Did you see how old she was?
THE OLD BAG: Young man!
JACK: (under his breath) Damn.
Jack turns around to find the old bag standing before him holding in one hand the salt shaker, and in the other a purse far larger than her own head. She takes the purse and swings back as far as her reach will allow and strikes Jack dead across the right side of his face. Jack is now on the floor. Jack is holding his face. Jessica has now buried her head deep inside of her hands to cover her blushing face full of embarrassment. The old bag makes some unidentified high-pitched squeak and grabs her husband by the arm and the two storm out of the restaurant. All mouths eating dinner are now hanging wide open and all their eyes are focused on Jack and Jessica.
JESSICA: Youve got to be the most stupidest man alive!
JACK: Most stupidest? Thats the stupidest thing Ive ever heard! You did go to grammar school right?
JESSICA: Oh go to hell you jackass. And if youre so smart then why the hell dont you have a job? If it wasnt for that painting I sold last week wed have been thrown out of the apartment!
The old bag has been watching this entire scene and is so disgusted that she goes back and grabs her husband and they leave the restaurant. All eating has stopped and everyone is turned to watch the show.
JACK: Why are you bringing that up? I told you I have a plan to make some money. Im going to make enough to take care of us for a very long time. In fact I should have it by tomorrow.
JESSICA: You know how long youve been saying that? I remember you told me that on our six-month anniversary. And here we are at one year! You ass!
JACK: Now be nice. Im trying my best okay?
JESSICA: Well why dont you try your worst then? That might work out a little better for us. It certainly couldnt get any worse. And what is this new thing youre going to be doing to make money?
JACK: I already told you. I cant tell you. Its a secret.
JESSICA: Well last time I checked I was your wife. I think Im entitled to know certain things.
JACK: You are, just not everything.
JESSICA: (Yelling) WELL WHY THE HELL NOT?
JACK: (Yelling louder than Jessica) Ill tell you why the hell not! You cant keep anything a secret. You told my sister last week about that little problem I was having.
JESSICA: What problem?
JACK: You know. That problem Ive been having. The one I have at night in bed?
JESSICA: (still yelling) you mean your IMPOTENCE?
At the sound of the Jessicas last spoken word, a grave silence falls over the entire restaurant. Even the music has stopped. There are a few snickers heard from hidden locations, and Jack becomes redder than the marinara sauce on his plate.
JACK: I hate you!
JESSICA: I hate you more!
At this time the head waiter and the head chef are quickly approaching the table. When they arrive they each grab one Triumph by the arm and lead them abruptly to the door. They motion for the hostess to get the door and when it is opened the resisting and struggling Triumphs are thrown out onto the street where they both fall down on the sidewalk. They get up, brush themselves off, look at each other and begin to laugh uproariously. Jack puts his arm around Jessica and they begin to walk away. Before going out of sight Jack turns to Jessica.
JACK: Im sorry darling. I love you.
JESSICA: I love you too Jack.
We are now in the apartment of Jack and Jessica. The general appearance of the place gives off the appearance that they have money. This because of Jacks father who supplied Jack with a large allowance until the money river stopped after the big wedding blowout. The money slowly dwindled over throughout the year and after eleven months of marriage they were broke with the exception of the embarrassingly small paycheck received by Jessica.
Jack sits at his desk, typing feverishly on the keys of the typewriter. He is not actually writing anything, and this is evident by his paying no attention to anything other than Jessicas actions and movements. Jessica is getting ready to get into bed and Jack watches her every step of the way.
JESSICA: (Sweetly) Arent you coming to bed darling?
JACK: (Still typing and looking at her the whole time he talks)No, Im going to stay up and write for a little while. Ive got to get this novel finished so that I can make us some good money. I think its going to be good too. My first one didnt sell to well, but Im confident with this one. Its going to be a bestseller.
JESSICA: Well good. Its great to see you finally taking some ambition.
JACK: Well, Im going to take better care of you from now on. In fact I promise you youll be a much happier woman by tomorrow night.
JESSICA: Why is that?
JACK: You know, that thing I was talking about. The secret thing. Well its going to take care of all our problems. I promise.
JESSICA: I sure wish you would tell me what it was.
JACK: Dont you worry dear. Everythings going to be just fine. (Jack looks at the clock. It reads five minutes to midnight) Shouldnt you get to bed dear?
JESSICA: Yes. I suppose I will. Goodnight Jack. Happy anniversary. Arent you coming to bed?
Jessica is lying on the bed in a sultry and inviting position hoping to catch his attention and get him to come to bed to give her what she wants.
JACK: (I trying to ignore his seductress) Ill be there in a minute.
Jack typed away and sees that Jessica is slowly falling asleep. You can see that this is exciting him and starts to type slower and slower until she is completely asleep. He then gets up making not a sound and goes into the closet and pulls out a bad full of black clothing. He puts it all on over his cloths and then puts a black ski mask over his head. He goes to the kitchen and picks up the telephone to call his best slimy friend Clark The Snake Dorian. He is called The Snake for obvious reasons. Everything about him screams out snake. He speaks in a very sleazy voice and has a very greasy look to him. He is well known throughout the town as an overgrown juvenile delinquent, but there has never been any evidence for a conviction. That is because he is good at what he does: Being a snake. Jack dials the phone.
JACK: (Whispering) Hey Snake. Its me Jack. You ready for this?
THE SNAKE: Lets do it. Ill meet you at the old warehouse down the street from your old mans place in twenty.
JACK: See you there.
Jack now tiptoes away into the darkness.