September 26 2012 – The Banns

The Banns

HAROLD and ANTONIA, young, 30s, many years ago. He sits, listening to the radio, broadcast chatter at a low pleasant hum. She sits, separately, reading the newspaper.

Pause, with radio.

ANTONIA
Oh!

HAROLD
Mm?

ANTONIA
That secretary you had!

HAROLD
Mm.

ANTONIA
What was her name?

HAROLD
I don’t recall.

ANTONIA
Yes, you do.

HAROLD
Miss Bennett.

ANTONIA
Constance?

HAROLD
Connie. Constance, yes.

ANTONIA
Yes…

Pause.

HAROLD
What about it.

ANTONIA
Well it says here she’s getting married.

Pause.

HAROLD
She.

ANTONIA
Apparently.

HAROLD
Constance. Miss Bennett.

ANTONIA
Yes. Next month!

Pause. ANTONIA continues reading. HAROLD reaches out and turns off the radio. ANTONIA stops reading.

Long silence. HAROLD stares ahead.

HAROLD
Well that’s marvelous!

ANTONIA
Yes…

HAROLD
That’s fantastic news.
Just marvelous.
Next month.
Wonderful.
Miss Bennett.
Of all people.
I’m just…
I don’t know what to…
Of course, she must have changed a great deal.
Fine. Just fine.
Married.
Constance.
Next month you say.

ANTONIA
The paper says.

HAROLD
Where?

Pause.

Does it say where?

ANTONIA
It doesn’t, no. Here, I imagine.

HAROLD
Mm?

ANTONIA
Here in the city.

HAROLD
Mm. Yes of course. Who to?

ANTONIA
Oh-

HAROLD
Who is she marrying.

ANTONIA
The name here is Colin.

HAROLD
What’s the last name?

Pause.

I say what’s the boy’s last name.

Silence.

HAROLD
Well. I am so happy.

ANTONIA
Yes.

HAROLD
So happy for her.

ANTONIA
Yes.

HAROLD
What luck.
What luck for her.

Silence.

I’ll go for a walk.

ANTONIA
A walk?

HAROLD
Yes, I feel like a walk, I’ll go for one. Dinner’s not ready for a while.

ANTONIA
An hour.

HAROLD
I’ll go for a walk for an hour.
Perhaps it will become a run.

ANTONIA
You’re hardly dressed for it.

HAROLD
I have the jogging,,,the suit. In the spare room closet.

ANTONIA
It wouldn’t fit you.
Not now.

HAROLD
I’ll walk to the shops I’ll buy one there. One that fits. I’ve sat around long enough.
I may be longer than an hour.
I’ll bring home curry.

ANTONIA
Everything’s on.

HAROLD (Harsh but smiling)
It’ll all keep for a day, won’t it.
I want a run. And I want curry. That stuff in the oven will keep a day.
Perhaps I’ll bring home a suit for you, wouldn’t that be fun. A new thing to do.

ANTONIA
If you like.

HAROLD
We can match.

ANTONIA
If you like.

HAROLD
It will be good then.

Stands. Walks to the door. Stops.

When I come back that newspaper will be gone. We can go without news for a few weeks. We’ve got the radio for news.

ANTONIA
Don’t you-

HAROLD
Acceptable?

ANTONIA
If you like.

Silence. HAROLD stands at the door.

HAROLD
Marvelous news. About Miss Bennett.

He exits.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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