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Herodian - Act 8

Short story By: fearnotbooks
Romance



Romantic Play


Submitted:Oct 14, 2011    Reads: 1    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


ACT 8

Scene 1:

We are in a very large art studio-it belongs to Jerry. We can see all sorts of paintings scattered about the studio. There are large windows that allow lots of sunlight to come in. Some of his work is half finished while others seem ready for the gallery. We now see Jerry hard at work-creating another masterpiece. We can see the painting-it is of his wife and it is rather good and coming along just fine.

Enters Larry and Susan-they seem upset but are not ready to just blurt out what's wrong.

Jerry:

(Glad to see them.) Hey you two-I was beginning to wonder if you'd ever manage to make it out this way. Now you can see my studio-help yourselves-if you see something that you like-just ask and I'll see to it that it is yours.

Susan:

Jerry, that is most generous of you but we couldn't impost on you like that. I mean-these paintings are worth more than I make in a decade.

Larry:

She's right, buddy-we didn't come here to mooch off of you-though that painting over there-I like that one-real sexy-I'd hang it up in my apartment-right in the middle of the room.

Susan:

And that is what you'd do with an original Crowder? Don't be silly-if anyone-some of the wrong people saw that you had it-they'd break in when you were gone and steal it. Hell-for the amount of money they could get for it on the black market-they might break in while you were sleeping and-well-you get the picture.

Jerry:

Don't worry-I'll get it insured for you. Hey-where is Malinda?

Susan:

Wow-we were hoping that you could answer that-we thought that the two of you might be hold up in the studio.

Herodia:

(She enters carrying a large charger with refreshments.) And why-pray tell would Malinda be held up here?

(Susan and Larry are both shocked to see Herodia-they react.)

Larry:

I-er-we thought that she might have just wanted to drop by...

Susan:

Yeah-just like we did-unannounced-you know-friendly hello...

Herodia:

(Serving them.) Oh-well yes-after all-we are all friends.

Susan:

Yes-friends.

Larry:

Wow-you can really cook-this is really good. Jerry-dude-if I had a wife that could cook like this-I'd weigh a ton.

Herodia:

(Giggles in a sophisticated manner.) Why-that is very nice of you to say, Larry. You know-Jerry and I were thinking about having a few close friends over-at the lake house-you know-a small party. Kind of like the ones Jerry use to throw before he got married. Just close friends-very casual-in fact what you are wearing would be just fine.

Larry:

I'd love to go!

Susan:

(More hesitant.) I-er-well I'm not sure I could get off from work.

Herodia:

Oh-come on, Susan-you two are some of the closes friends that Jerry has on this earth-you can't say no-besides we'd love to have you-and it wouldn't be the same without you.

Jerry:

Come on, Susan-you know I throw a mean party-and Herodia will be cooking the meal-to hell with caterers! Right, honey?

Herodia:

Absolutely!

Jerry:

See? So what do you say?

Susan:

(Giving in.) Okay-okay-you guys win-what can a girl do to resist this bunch. (They all find seats.) Your work is really outstanding-I mean-you have always had talent-back in college-everyone knew that. You have this style that is all your own-yet you can move from one form to another-it is amazing-small wonder that you are doing so well.

Herodia:

(Obvious pride in her husband.) Jerry has been commissioned to do a special painting for the King of Abshan.

Larry:

No way-dude-you know you have arrived in this day and age-you have oil rich dues wanting your paintings. Man, you should charge then a million for it!

Herodia:

Ten million.

Susan:

(Shocked.) What? Are you serious?

Larry:

Dude-dude-you have arrived!

Jerry:

I'm not even sure I'm going to do it-or not.

Susan:

(Confused.) Now that wasn't something I expected to hear. Why not-it will set a precedent-after that-all of your paintings will be worth nothing less than a million. I don't think you can afford to turn down a commission like this one, Jerry.

Jerry:

Yeah-but I don't like the guy.

Susan:

Like the guy. My God-listen to you-you sound just like you did in college-you don't have to like the customer-just treat everybody with courtesy-be nice and friendly-it's called good customer service-and your job is done-what you need is a good public relations person. Someone who is used to dealing with the public and knows you as well.

Herodia:

Might you know someone?

Susan:

(Doesn't get it yet.) You know-down where I work-there are some really good reps. I might be able to talk one of them into working for you.

Larry:

Yeah-that sounds all go and stuff, Susan-but they don't know anything about the Jerry that we know. They'd just be guessing as to what he'd go for and stuff.

Herodia:

Larry has a point, Susan. No-I think we all are thinking along the line of someone so qualified for the job-that she'd hit the ground running.

Susan:

That's okay-I understand-but I'll keep my eyes and ears open for you.

Jerry:

Susan...

Susan:

What?

Jerry:

The job is being offered to you-you are the one that we are all talking about.

Susan:

(Shocked.) But, Jerry-I don't have that much experience-I just graduated college just like you and Larry and Malinda. I don't have the skills to handle million dollar contracts.

Herodia:

One thing my parents taught me-if you don't believe that you can do something-then it doesn't matter how qualified you are-you'll always find a way to sabotage the opportunity.

Susan:

Jerry-do you really want me on board?

Jerry:

I believe in you, Susan-you can do the job and you'll be great at it.

Larry:

Hey-wait a minute-throw me a bone, dude-we're best buds.

Herodia:

Management-that is what you studied in college-didn't you?

Larry:

Well yes, Herodia-in fact I did.

Herodia:

My husband needs someone he can trust to handle the day to day things-make sure that all is well. You'd fit the ticket to a tea.

(Everyone is all excited now-something good has just come out of the gathering.)

Jerry:

But what about Malinda?

Herodia:

Yes, dear-what about her?

Larry:

She has super crazy skills too.

Herodia:

Oh-I hadn't realized that-well perhaps when we see her at the party-we can ask her a few questions-see if she can fit in. (Herodia goes to make drinks for everyone.)

Jerry:

How has she been-I haven't seen her in awhile-it's like she just dropped off the face of the earth.

Susan:

You know-that was one of the real reasons that we came over here-we were hoping that you might know where she is-maybe she told you something.

Herodia:

(Passing out drinks.) Why would Malinda confide in my husband?

Larry:

Herodia, I don't want to spoil any of this-because it's like the best news that I've heard in a long time-but-Jerry-our bro over here and Malinda-used to be pretty close-if you kind of know what I mean. All before the two of you got married-of course-you know.

Herodia:

I see-I hadn't totally realized how the dynamic of your friendship was.

Jerry:

I haven't heard from her-like I said-she just stopped calling me-won't return my calls. And-well-I figured it was all because she might have just moved on.

Susan:

Jerry, she can't move on. (She looks over at Herodia.) No offense...

Herodia:

(Feigning concern.) None taken-I guess we all should be a little concerned.

Larry:

Yeah-but you know-I just remembered-you remember that one time-when Malinda thought she was pregnant-and she just dropped out of sight for a long time.

Susan:

Larry-this is not the time.

Jerry:

Yeah-I do remember that-and you are right-she did do the exact same thing. She just disappeared for about a year. Then-without warning-she came back into our lives again.

Herodia:

Is it possible that something like that has happened again?

Jerry:

(Reacts.) No!

Herodia:

Oh?

Jerry:

I mean-no-I think she would tell someone-you Susan-remember-she promised not to ever do that again to us-after she realized how much she meant to us all.

Herodia:

That is what I like about you guys-you actually love one another-now me-my so called friends-they might not be so upset-if I just dropped off the face of the earth.

Susan:

Not to offend-but maybe money and power don't make for the best relationships.

Jerry:

Susan...

Herodia:

No-no-that is alright-she makes a valid point. That's why I've decide to embrace all of you as my own personal friends-because you do have a fresh perspective-that doesn't have anything to do with gain. I've extended my circle of friends to include all of you.

Larry:

Way cool-so then we'll be meeting some of your ritzy ass friends too-way cool. Now I get to do what I've always wanted to do-hob-knob.

Jerry:

I think the friends that are going to be at the party are going to be a little more down to earth, Larry.

While they will still be rich-I think you'll find beer drinking and sports are on the agenda.

Larry:

(So happy.) Oh-dude-I am so going to be there!

Susan:

But-what about Malinda?

Herodia:

Well-if no one really knows where the poor dear is-I just don't see...

Jerry:

I know-I can call her folks-the last time she did something like this-she later told me that if I had wanted to reach her-that her parents knew where she was the whole time.

Herodia:

Smart girl-always let the right people know of your plans-that way-if anything afoul occurs-someone knows where you were suppose to be. You know-too often-in my circle of friends-they just take off to some faraway part of the world-don't say a thing to anyone-if you want them or need them-you have to hunt them down. (She notices that her husband has gotten on the phone and has stepped off kind of and is talking to Malinda's parents. After a moment-he comes back but something is wrong-he sits down hard-seems dazed.) Honey, did you get hold of Malinda's parents-did you find out where she is-because we can invite her over the phone-to come to the party.

Larry:

Dude-you got that look you hand on your face when you saw that shark in the water.

Susan:

Jerry, what's the matter-what did they say?

Jerry:

(Looks up at them-crying.) Malinda-Malinda-she's dead...

(They all react. Each one in a different way.)

Susan:

How did it happen?

Jerry:

She committed suicide.

Larry:

Oh-man-no-no-not pretty-sweet-Malinda...

Susan:

(Visibly shaken up.) I-I-can't believe this-this can't be happening.

Jerry:

Wow-man-this is all my fault! Fuck! If I hadn't been so selfish!

Susan:

(In pain but trying to comfort Jerry.) Jerry-this is not your fault-fact of the matter-she and I had a long talk just before she disappeared on us-she was feeling all confused and hyper emotional. Damn-I should have seen the signs! What is wrong with me?

Jerry:

(Comforting Susan.) If it's not my fault-then it surely isn't yours-I guess she was going through a lot of things-things that she just couldn't work out. Oh dear God-save her soul-she didn't know what she was doing.

Larry:

She suffered from depression-you know...

Jerry:

No-I never knew that-how did you find out?

Larry:

One day-I was kinda buzzed-I went snooping through her things-I don't know why-I wasn't going to steal anything-I mean-we were friend-you know...

Jerry:

Larry-I'm sure that Malinda understood-we all liked to party-what happened?

Larry:

I discovered these pills-you know-you take them for depression. Guys-I would have told you-but she made me swear never to tell you! I'm so sorry-I wish I had told someone.

Susan:

(Crying and comforting Larry.) Larry-it's not your fault. Come on-you know how Malinda is-was-she had a way of getting what she wanted. And she never liked to talk about her health-you know that-she was very secretive about subjects like that.

Jerry:

Man-this is the worst! Poor-poor-Malinda-to think she was carrying around all that stuff-and she wouldn't talk to us-she could have confided in us-about anything-that is why we were friends-to help one another out.

Susan:

We are friends, Jerry-just like you brought us on board your success-you are a real friend-you didn't just leave us dry-Malinda loved you, Jerry. I really don't think she ever got over you marrying Herodia.

Fact of the matter-I think it broke her heart and she just couldn't recover. You know-some people fall in love-and it is for life-they can't help it. I think Malinda was one of those people.

Larry:

Wow-I got to tell the rest of our friend-man-they are going to be so bummed out! Oh man-wow-I don't think I can think right now.

Jerry:

I'll see to it that you two get a ride home-I'll have someone take you. I don't want to risk losing the two of you-that would just kill me.

Susan:

Thanks, Jerry-that is so gracious of you. We are lucky to have you as a friend.

Jerry:

(Hugging Susan.) It is me-I'm glad to have you-the two of you are close friends. We are going to have to lean on each other-in order to get through this-I don't think we can ever completely get over it-we'll just have to learn to live with it. Oh-God-I hope her soul has found peace!

Susan:

(Crying even more.) Jerry-it was suicide-she's Catholic.

Jerry:

Yeah-but God in his great wisdom-looks at each death-he knows the reasons behind them-and he is infinitely merciful and forgiving-loving. She's with God-I just know it. ( They all hug-the three of them. Then Jerry notices that Herodia has been on the phone all this time.) Herodia? Is there something?

Herodia:

No, dear-I was just expressing our condolences. I offered to help with the arrangements-her family expressed thanks.

Jerry:

(He's falling apart.) Herodia?

Herodia:

(Runs to him-she cries too.) Oh, dear-I'm so sorry-so sorry-sorry for all of you. (She kisses him appropriately.) Jerry, I'm here for you-I'm not going anywhere-I love you, darling.

(Larry and Susan's eyes are opened-they actually see for the first time-how much Herodia really does love Jerry.)

Susan:

You know-we all used to talk-and speculate about what you really feel for our friend-we really couldn't imagine why a rich woman like yourself could find anything in common with him-but we were wrong. I can see now-you just simply love him.

Herodia:

(Smiles-still crying-hugs Susan.) We can get through this-we have to.

Larry:

Malinda was the strong one-if she fell-what's going to happen to us?

Herodia:

We stick together-we lean on one another. That's what friends do. (Now she smiles appropriately.)

Jerry:

My wife is right-we are not going to be able to make it on our own-we can't lose touch. Malinda was a beloved member of our extended family-now we have Herodia-but Malinda will always have a special place in our hearts.

Herodia:

(Hearing the door bell.) Oh-your rides are here-don't worry about how you got here-my people will get everything back to you. ( They all hug-friendly kisses-then Larry and Susan leave.)





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