Happenstance: A One-Act Play by Ally Greer

Happenstance

A One-Act Play

by

Ally Greer

 

 

ACT I

 

LIGHTS UP. A large couch sits center stage, downstage of it a coffee table filled with books, papers, and two wine bottles. Upstage sits a refrigerator covered with pictures too distant to make out, and stage left of the fridge are cabinets, a sink, and pantry. A door stage left.

 

Two women are plopped on opposite ends of the couch, holding almost empty wine glasses. Loud, intoxicated laughter.

 

 

Robin: Oh my god, the look on his face. I couldn’t believe I actually said it!

Samantha: I can’t believe you said it!

Robin: I couldn’t believe I said-

Samantha: “Piss off, Hulk Hogan!”?

Robin: I swear to god, he looked just like him!
Samantha: Oh god, I’m sorry, but that is just, I mean, what the fuck?

Robin: I know! (she finishes her glass)

Samantha: Darling, I cannot believe you had the guts to say that. I distinctly recall a time where you couldn’t even tell a guy “No thanks, not interested”.

Robin: I probably have you to thank, then. It just gets exhausting, man after man, pervert after pervert, jerk after jerk.

Samantha: Yeah, well (she downs her glass) It’s sure nice to know you can handle your own, now.

Robin: Best watch yourself, the teacher shall become the pupil soon enough.

Samantha: (laughs) Oh shut up, you little shit.

Robin: Oh god, I miss this.

Samantha: Me too, I needed tonight.

Robin: Me too, girl. It’s true what they say about work: once your personal life is in the toilet, it’s time for a promotion. Well, six fights with Kevin and a promotion later, I’m officially spun out for the week.

Samantha: I don’t blame you, but I’m so proud of you too, Rob. You’re doing great.

Robin: Thanks, I just miss seeing you. I wish I could check up on you more.

Samantha: Oh please, darling, I’m fine. I’m very busy, too.

Robin: Here here. (BEAT) I….hate to go so soon-

Samantha: Oh honey, you’re fine. Are you okay to drive?

Robin: I took a cab, I’ll grab one again no big deal.

(They stand, slightly unbalanced, Samantha takes the bottles and glasses while Robin puts her coat on. They walk to the door.)

Robin: Will you please give me a call if you need anything?

Samantha: Of course.

Robin: I mean it, Samantha. You’re doing well, I just wor-

Samantha: You worry too much. I’m doing okay, I promise.

Robin: Okay.

Samantha: Okay. (BEAT) Have a safe trip home.

Robin: Thanks, love you. (They kiss cheeks, Robin exits.)

 

Samantha sets glasses on counter, opens refrigerator to place bottles back inside. She lingers at the fridge for a moment, DOOR OPENS, REVEALING TOM. He slowly steps out, looks around, then faces Samantha

 

Tom: Her laugh still gives me the chills.

Samantha: Yeah, well, her cackle is her thing.

Tom: You’d think she would’ve cracked her jaw by now.

Samantha: (shuts fridge, doesn’t look at Tom) Thanks for staying in there.

Tom: No problem. I’m a pro at the quiet game by now.

Samantha: I wish you were a pro at the hiding game.

Tom: Very clever. If you’re referring to “hide and seek”.

Samantha: I’m leaving out the “seek” part for a reason.

Tom: Careful, sassy. (BEAT) You’re always hateful to me these days.

Samantha: Because you’re driving me insane.

Tom: I’m sorry, babe.

Samantha: Don’t. Don’t be “sorry”, don’t be “babe”, just….don’t.

Tom: I’m-

Samantha: STOP!

Tom: (BEAT) Okay. Alright.

Samantha: Why can’t you just leave? I mean really leave?

Tom: Sweetie, you know I can leave whenever you want me to.

Samantha: That’s not fair.

Tom: Life isn’t fair.

Samantha: No, it’s not fair because you’re everywhere around here. You’re in my fucking skin, I tell you. You’re on my fridge, you’re in my walls, your hands are always throwing the silverware into the drawers, your crack laugh is bouncing off the walls, your eyes are on me when I’m undressing, or laying in bed, or when I cry, or when I decide to laugh for once. Why can’t you let me laugh? Or fucking be? I don’t want this, I don’t want you here, but you’ll always be in my space. It’s not fair! I’ve done so much better lately, I even want to meet other guys, for once. I’m past this point of looking for you in every man I meet, because that’s okay if they’re not you. I welcome it, but god, I can still feel your hands on my hips, not theirs. You won’t let me live, and it’s not fair.

Tom: (BEAT) You’re lying to yourself, Sam. You don’t want to meet other men.

Samantha: I do, too.

Tom: No, you don’t.

Samantha: How dare you condes-

Tom: If you wanted to meet other men, you’d bring them back here.

Samantha: (BEAT) What, you don’t think I wont?

Tom: No, I don’t.

Samantha: (Samantha stares, frozen in place for a BEAT. She stomps over to her phone, dials:) Hey girl, it’s me. … Hey! …. Yeah, listen, tonight was just too fun, would you like to go out again tomorrow night? …. No, let’s go somewhere for drinks. Ya know, so I can show you how the teacher really shows her skills? (She turns to TOM, smiles. He frowns, they hold a gaze)

 

BLACKOUT

 

 

ACT II

 

LIGHTS UP. Samantha’s apartment, much cleaner. Some pictures are taken down from the fridge, empty wine bottles are no where in sight. The front door opens, revealing Samantha and SEBASTIAN, both are dressed nicely and are returning from their date. Laughter.

 

Samantha: I know the stairs up here are steep, but damn!

Sebastian: Men tripping over themselves while climbing stairs is charming, haven’t you heard?

Samantha: (seductively) I think I did hear that somewhere. (She takes off her coat, takes his, and walks to the closet) Can I get you a drink?

Sebastian: Do you have any gin? Or Crown, by chance?

Samantha: Um…I may have some gin, but…(She opens closet, TOM is standing inside. She quickly tosses the coats onto him, and shuts the door a little too loudly.) I’ll just have to check. I think I, uh, mostly just have wines.

Sebastian: Wine is always good.

Samantha: Heh, good. Because that’s all I have. (She looks through pantry, pulls out a Pinot Noir) Sorry.

Sebastian: Hey, don’t be sorry.

Samantha: Thanks for dinner, by the way.

Sebastian: Thanks for finally letting me take you. I didn’t think you’d come around, I was starting to think you hated my guts a little bit.

Samantha: (Hands him a glass of red wine) Oh, only a little bit. But then I thought, “Maybe we could discuss me hating his guts a little bit over a nice dinner”? And we did just that. (Sebastian laughs. They cheers, and make their way to the couch. They sit close.)

Sebastian: Well, I’m glad you took up my offer. I’ve wanted to take you out ever since you transferred to our branch.

Samantha: Really?

Sebastian: Definitely.

Samantha: Well. I’m flattered.

Sebastian: But that was before I knew you were a Cowboys fan, so……this is awkward.

Samantha: Oh god, you can’t be mad at me for your bad taste in football.

Sebastian: Too late! (They laugh. BEAT. They kiss, it is natural. She leans into him.)

 

The closet door opens, Tom drops the coats that were covering him. Samantha stops kissing Sebastian, frozen.

 

Sebastian: What’s wrong?

Samantha: What? Nothing. (she grabs his drink, sets hers and his on the coffee table) Nothing at all. (She gently grabs onto his collar, pulls him in for a kiss. They sink into each other on the couch)

 

Tom slowly shuts the closet door, walks behind the couch. They do not stop kissing. He stares down at Samantha.

 

Tom: Okay. I was wrong. I’m sorry, babe. You don’t have to do this, now. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. (Samantha pulls on Sebastian’s collar again as she lays on her back, pulling him on top of her. Sebastian slowly moves to caress her now exposed thigh.) Oh, classy. Really. That’s, wow. Seriously, you don’t have to do this. (BEAT) He doesn’t even know how to kiss you right.

 

Samantha stops kissing Sebastian, frozen again.

 

Sebastian: Are you sure you’re okay?

Tom: He keeps asking you that, because he knows he’s not kissing you properly, like you deserved to be kissed.

Samantha: Yes, I’m fine. (She kisses him, hard.)

Tom: Quit wasting your time, Samantha. I know you’re doing this just to get a rise out of….me, or yourself, or whatever, I don’t know. This isn’t a good way to move on. (Tom moves closer to the back of the couch, directly behind them. He places his hands on the back, shouts down at Samantha) You’re just mad because he can’t kiss you the way I can.

Samantha: STOP!

Sebastian: (Pulls back) What?!

Samantha: (BEAT) I’m sorry.

Sebastian: No, it’s okay………Are you not ready?

Samantha: What? No, I-

Sebastian: (Stands up) It’s okay. You don’t have to anything you don’t want to do. (Samantha covers her mouth) What?

Samantha: What did you say?

Sebastian: (BEAT) Hey, look, it’s okay. You said it’s been, what, not even a year? I understand. I like you, Samantha. It will just take time. (BEAT) I’ll call you?

Samantha: Okay.

 

Sebastian walks past Samantha, past Tom, and over to the coat closet. He takes his coat, and mumbles a goodbye as he makes his exit through the front door. Samantha is left on the couch as she begins to cry. She grabs a glass of wine, and throws it in Tom’s direction. It misses him.

 

Samantha: You son of a bitch! Why did you have to….? That’s not fair! I was having a great time, and you…..Why can’t you just leave me alone? Why? Get out! GET OUT! Please, PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!

 

Robin throws open the front door, seeing Samantha standing and screaming at, to her, no one. Tom stares at Samantha only. Samantha turns to Robin, who now sees her crying.

 

Robin: Oh, honey.

Samantha: Where did you-

Robin: I came by to check on you, I knew you went home with that guy from your work.

Samantha: He left, bec-

Robin: I know, come here. (She wraps her arms around Samantha, who sobs into her. She takes her over to the couch, and lets her cry on her) Honey, you can’t expect to be over it so fast. It’s only been eight months.

Samantha: That should be enough time!

Robin: Well, no. Not necessarily. Who were you yelling at?

Samantha: (BEAT) Tom!

Robin: He’s gone, baby.

Samantha: I know! I know!

Robin: I know you know. We all wish he wasn’t.

Samantha: It’s just so hard. I miss him with every part of my being.

Robin: I know, I know you do. He knows you do, too. (Tom finally looks away from Samantha, and slowly walks out the front door, leaving the girls on the couch) You know that wherever he is, he wants you to be happy.
Samantha: I know he does.

Robin: He wants it as badly as I do for you. He told me that, when I came to visit you guys in the hospital. (Samantha wails, shakes. Robin holds her tighter)

Samantha: It’s not fair!

Robin: I know. You’re going to be okay. I promise. You’re doing great. You’re doing great.

 

BLACKOUT

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