Rebecca Spicer, Hidden: Scene Two

SCENE TWO. A party that takes place in a spacious room. The center involves dancing and around the sides are tables filled with punch and goodies. People are bunched together in the middle and scattered along the sides. EVE enters with JOHN, both are dressed glamorously, but overdressed compared to the rest. A few people stare and whisper.

EVE
Well, John? What do you think?

JOHN
What do you want me to think?

EVE
Come-on, let’s hear it. Be your cruel brutal self.

JOHN
It’s just what I expected—primitive cheap and very-very charming.

EVE
You’re too kind.

(Double Pause)

You’ve disappointed me. Where are your snide remarks and sharp comments?

JOHN
I called them primitive and cheap, what more did you want?

EVE
You could have at least ripped them to shreds and made this night interesting.

JOHN
No, I refuse to feed your deranged heart. And may I remind you that you’re the one who wanted to come to this shindig.

EVE
Do you always have to be right?

JOHN
Yes, I do.

EVE
Oh no! Here comes an old acquaintance.

WOMAN
Eve Falding, I can’t believe it’s you. You look so glamorous.

EVE
And you look so…clean.

WOMAN
It’s been ages since I’ve seen you. Mother had been telling me about your name in the paper and I told her how unbelievable it was that I knew a celebrity.

EVE
You’re too kind. I find it unbelievable that your mother’s still living.

WOMAN
You always were funny.

JOHN
You two were friends, then?

EVE
John, don’t you know? I had no friends in high school.

WOMAN
She’s only joking—she was the most popular girl. Say, I’ve got to tell the others you’re here. Stay right where you are, I’ll be back.

EVE
Let’s go, maybe we can lose her.

JOHN
Good idea.

MRS. BAXTER approaches them as they make their get-a-way.

MRS. BAXTER
(Coldly)
Miss Eve Falding, how surprised I am to find you here.

EVE
Mrs. Baxter, it’s been too long.

MRS. BAXTER
And who is this, another boyfriend to add to your collection?

EVE
Yes, but you know I have to keep the collection going before I get to your age and have nothing. Please, let me introduce you to my latest. This is Mr. Jonathan Thorton.

MRS. BAXTER
(Suddenly star-struck)
Oh! It’s an honor. Mr. Thorton, I’ve read all of your reviews.

JOHN
I’m glad to hear someone does.

EVE notices CONSTANCE and BILL the other side of the room.

EVE
I think I see my sister. It’s been a (pause) pleasure. Excuse us.

EVE grabs JOHN’s hand and leads him away.

JOHN
That was chilly.

EVE
She doesn’t like me.

JOHN
Obviously.

EVE
I once babysat for her daughter and she walked in as I was getting to know her gardener.

JOHN
I’ll bet you were. And where is this gardener of yours?

EVE
Jealous?

They make their way through the crowd. Focus goes to CONSTANCE and BILL

BILL
May I take your coat?

CONSTANCE
Yes. Thank you.

BILL
I’ll be back in a minute.

CELESTE and HUGH enter.

HUGH
Who was that?

CELESTE
Just what I was thinking—

CONSTANCE
My new boarder—

CELESTE
Intriguing.

CONSTANCE
Don’t—

CELESTE
What?
(PAUSE)
I was right about the dress—it’s perfect for you.

BILL Enters.

BILL
Hello.

CONSTANCE
Bill, these are my friends, Celeste and Hugh.

HUGH
Glad to meet you.
(Shakes hands with BILL)

BILL
Like-wise.

HUGH
How long are you here for?

BILL
I’m not sure. It depends on when I finish my research. And, you know, this place is growing on me. I might not leave at all.

CELESTE
I hope that’ll be the case. Every single lady is soon going to be all over you. Think of the chaos it will create.

CONSTANCE
Not too much chaos, I hope. They’ll have him running for the next train.

EVE and JOHN approach.

EVE
Connie, finally I found you. I wish you hadn’t left without us.

CONSTANCE
But you were the one who left without me.

EVE
Is that the way it happened? How silly of me. Who’s this? You’re boyfriend?

BILL
No, I’m Bill Sanders, her new boarder.

EVE
Oh, so you’re the one forcing to me live in sin.

BILL
I’m sorry?

JOHN
Never mind her. I’m John Thorton. You might have read my play reviews?

BILL
No, I haven’t much time for the newspaper.

EVE
How wonderful. You must not have a care in the world.

BILL
I’d like to think I don’t.

EVE
You’re just like Connie. Nobody knows her—nobody cares. And so nothing can trouble her.

CELESTE
That’s not true—I care and so does Hugh.

HUGH
As does the whole town.

EVE
That’s hardly my point. But never mind. Constance, you look very pretty tonight. What happened?

CONSTANCE
Just a new dress, that’s all.

EVE
You couldn’t have picked it out yourself.

CONSTANCE
No, Celeste did.

EVE
It’s amazing what a new dress will do.

CONSTANCE
Will you excuse me? I think I will get a drink.

EVE
You probably should. I see some fans about to pounce. I know how you hate crowds.

BILL
I think I’ll join her.

Hugh
Celeste, would you like to dance?

CELESTE
I thought you’d never ask.

EVE
They parted fast.

JOHN
You were hardly civil.

EVE
How do you mean?

JOHN
Never mind. You’d better smile because here they pounce.

A swarm of people surround them. CONSTANCE grabs a drink and BILL touches her shoulder. CONSTANCE turns.

BILL
You’re a martyr to let her speak to you like that.

CONSTANCE
It’s alright. She has no filter. I’d rather her use me as a punching bag than those who really get hurt.

BILL
You don’t get hurt?

CONSTANCE
She humbles me, that’s all.

BILL
That’s not what you need.

CONSTANCE
How would you know what I need?

BILL
I don’t.

(DOUBLE PAUSE)

This place is too stuffy. Let’s take a break outside.

CONSTANCE
Alright.

Both exit. The crowd around JOHN and EVE begins to lesson. A handsome younger man stands next to EVE.

MAN
Miss Falding, would you care to dance?

EVE
With you? It’d be my pleasure. John, be good.

JOHN
Isn’t that more a warning relevant to you?

EVE and MAN dance. VICKIE walks over to JOHN. She is a younger version of EVE.

VICKIE
Mr. Sanders, I can finally talk to you.

JOHN
Do I know you?

VICKIE
No, but I know you. I’m Victoria Baxter. You met my mother.

JOHN
Oh, yes. Pleased to meet you, Miss Victoria.

VICKIE
Call me Vickie, that’s what my friends call me.

JOHN
And am I your friend?

VICKIE
I hope so. I do admire your writing.

JOHN
As does your mother.

VICKIE
Well, you’re very good.

JOHN
Thank you. I do enjoy flattery.

VICKIE
I myself would like to be an actress. I’d love your advice.

JOHN
Stay just the way you are, and you’ll do fine.

EVE walks over to them.

EVE
Vickie Baxter, is that really you? It seems only yesterday that you were in diapers.

VICKIE
Eve! I can’t believe how much you’ve matured.

EVE
How cute you look in your pink dress. Don’t worry, in a few years, you’ll grow into it.

VICKIE
Is it when I hit your age that I grow out of it?

EVE
(Face grows dark)
I believe your mother wants you. Something about a curfew?

VICKIE, angry, leaves with a touch of false dignity.

EVE
Oh dear, she ran out of “old” jokes.

JOHN
You never give up, do you?

EVE
(Turns slowly to him)
You contemptible worm.

JOHN
What did I do?

EVE
I didn’t know you were into cheap thrills. If you need a fast satisfaction in your pants maybe you should drive by every street corner and alley.

JOHN
Don’t be disgusting.

EVE
I’m only modeling the true master.

JOHN
What are you talking about?

EVE
I saw you undressing her with your eyes. I expected it out of that tramp, but I thought more of you.

JOHN
Sure I was attracted to her. But that only lasted a second before I remembered you. You’re the only one for me.

EVE
Ha!

JOHN
You think I’d lie?

EVE
How long after I start getting wrinkles will I be the “only” one?

JOHN
Eve.

EVE
Don’t. You’re free. Go follow your young whore.

Exits. JOHN follows and Exits after her. CONSTANCE and BILL enters.

CONSTANCE
I had never noticed that tree before. You make things seem so different.

BILL
Not different, just attention to the unnoticed details.
(PAUSE)
Would you dance with me?

CONSTANCE
I can’t dance very well.

BILL
Neither can I. We can be terrible together.

CONSTANCE
Alright.

They dance to slow music.

BILL
I wish I could read your mind.

CONSTANCE
Why?

BILL
You’re interesting. You’re quiet but full of thoughts. I can tell.

CONSTANCE
How can you tell?

BILL
The way your face becomes complex and your eyes have this fury of emotions—but you say nothing.

CONSTANCE
Well, just as you’re simple with your suitcase, I’m simple with my words. Why waste them on people who aren’t listening.

BILL smiles and gently brushes the hair away from her forehead and kisses it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s