[At a train station in a mid-size suburban town, a couple is waiting for the 2 pm train to Philadelphia. The man looks to be in his early twenties, brown eyes and short black hair, about six feet or so. He is wearing a maroon knit scarf, and a black overcoat. He is carrying a small suitcase. The woman also looks to be in her early twenties, blue eyes, and short blonde hair with brown highlights. She is wearing a loose gray turtleneck that reaches just above her knees, and a pair of light brown fur boots.]
Jim: Babe, are you cold? Come here, you are shivering.
Kate: I’m fine.
[Jim pulls her closer, wrapping his arm around her.]
Jim: There, isn’t that better? Didn’t I tell you to wear a coat? I’m only leaving for two days, what are we going to do with you when I have to leave for a month or two?
Kate: Are you really going?
Jim: Well, yeah, if this interview goes well, I’ll look for an apartment right away. It probably won’t be as spacious as the place we got here. It is a bigger city of course, and you know how city rent is more expensive, we have to think of long term, so we can’t be spending money like crazy. But we can fix it up, and it’ll be real nice. And then maybe sometime next year we can get married, and you can wear that dress –
Jim: –that your grandmother gave you. We can change it a bit, you know, make it more modern. We can invite some of our friends and family, nothing big, just a small –
Jim: –gathering. We can get Danny’s dad to preside over the ceremony. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. Well, at least I’m pretty sure he won’t charge us a whole lot for something like this. And then we can get Meg, you know Meg, Mel’s ex-girlfriend? Yeah, we can get her to come and take some –
Kate: Stop it!
Jim: photos. I think it would be rather –
Kate: [screaming now] Stop! Did you hear me? Stop it!
Jim: …nice. [finally notices that she’s crying] What’s wrong? Katey baby, what’s wrong?
Kate: Just tell me one more time; are you really going?
Jim: Yes, baby, didn’t you hear me just now?
Kate: Sorry Jim.
[She pushes him away, attempting to distance herself from him.]
Jim: What do you mean sorry?
Katey baby, I have our future all figured out! You don’t have to worry about anything.
Is this about finding a job? Baby, you don’t have to worry about it. I can take care of both of us; you won’t have to work if you don’t want to.
[Over the intercom, the conductor announces that boarding has begun.]
Kate: No, it’s not about that. You should probably go.
Jim: It’s fine. It’s not even 1:30 yet; I have plenty of time.
[He looks at her. Long pause.]
Is this… about… the dog? I didn’t mean to lock him out last night. I made a mistake! I made an honest mistake! I mean, c’mon, the first thing I did was to take him to the vet this morning. The doc says he’s fine, so what more do you want me to do?
Kate: It’s not about the dog.
Jim: [desperate] then WHAT is it? What do you mean sorry?
Kate: Just go, just go.
Jim: [scoffs] you can’t just push me away and pretend like nothing happened.
Kate: Fine, do you really want to know?
Kate: [sighs] I’m not going with you to Philadelphia.
Kate: I’m not going with you
.Jim: [laughs nervously] of course not! I’m going to an interview, you are coming later.
Kate: [looks at him]Jim, listen to me.
Jim: I am! I am!
Kate: No, Jim, listen! I’m not moving to Philadelphia with you.
Jim: [pause. Then as if realizes something] Are you saying –
[Jim’s face turns pale. He stands in awe.]
Jim: [after a period of silence] Katey, baby, you are lying to me right? You are just joking aren’t you? Ha-ha. Very funny. [attempt to be normal] Now, give me a kiss and send your man off!
[Kate tip toes to kiss him on his cheek.]
Kate: Goodbye Jim.
[She turns to walk away, but Jim grabs hold of her.]
Jim: Wait. Can’t we, I mean, can’t we talk about this?
Kate: What’s there to talk about? You are going to Philadelphia, and I’m going to stay here.
Jim: Wha-What? I thought we were going to do this together? I thought this is my dream as much as it is yours. I thought —
Kate: No Jim, this has always been YOUR dream, not mine. I’ve never wanted any of this. I’m content with the life here. THIS is my life.
Jim: But… I don’t get it! We were just talking about this yesterday. You didn’t mention anything about…
Kate: I didn’t have the heart to tell you.
Jim: OH! OOH! And now SUDDENLY you have the heart?
Kate: Jim, don’t make this more difficult than it needs to be.
Jim: Ha! MORE difficult? Me? ME?
[Jim paces back and forth while pulling on his hair. Kate stands still, facing the train but looking down at her shoes. They do not speak for a while. The conductor announces a twenty minute warning.]
Jim: [turns to her, soft whimper] Katey, baby —
Kate: No, please. Don’t baby me.
Jim: Ok. [desperately] Kate, please, don’t do this to me. Not now.
[she doesn’t say anything.]
Don’t you remember? We used to talk about going to the city and living LIFE? We had grand plans and wanted to change the world! Well, THIS is our chance! It’s finally here! Kate, [tenderly, almost a whisper] don’t you remember?
Kate: [in pain] No! No! Don’t talk about those days! Those days aren’t here anymore. I was foolish back then. Foolish. Who do we think we are? [holds his hands] Jim, who do we think we are? We can’t change anything.
Kate: No, don’t start. I can’t have you convince me.
Jim: Why not? Baby, why not?
Kate: [breaking down] You KNOW why I can’t! YOU know! [crying] You know… I can’t leave my mother. You know how it is. You know how SHE is. How can I leave her here by herself?
Jim: SO WHAT? You’ve given her enough! Besides, there’s Lydia.
Kate: Liddy? Liddy? I can’t believe you even brought her up!
[Over the intercom, the conductor announces a ten minute warning.]
Kate: You should go.
Jim: [disregarding her urge] Your sister has to grow up and take on some responsibilities. She’s what? Twenty-two this year? Are you going to baby her forever? [angry] Well? Are ya?
Kate: Stop it! You don’t know about my family! You don’t know anything!
Jim: Oh yeah? So I don’t, do I? Well, I know that your mother is a selfish b***ch! She’s always been, and she always will —
Kate: NO! [choking]
[Kate slaps him. There is a brief moment of silence, and then Jim continues.]
Jim: What? The truth’s too hard for you to handle is it? You know as well as I do that your mother doesn’t care about you. And that sister of yours, well, she’s out there having fun all the time isn’t she? She takes your hard earn money and goes off to travel the world! And then she comes back here like some kind of hero, showing off all what SHOULD have been yours!
[He grabs her by the arm. Jim is now bursting with anger. He is red in the face.]
When are you going to start living your life huh? Kate, when are you going to start living for yourself?
[Over the intercom, the conductor announces a five minute warning.]
Kate: Let me go!
Kate: LET ME GO!
I won’t have you talk about my family like that!
I will do whatever I wish for my family whether you like it or not.
Jim: Is that how it is?
Kate: Yes. That’s exactly HOW it is.
[There is a pause. Then Kate squads on the floor and breaks into sobs. Jim releases her arm. She covers her face with her hands, and wails.]
Jim: So you’ve chosen. [scoffs at himself] You finally chose. I should’ve known.
Kate: [looks up to him] Let’s just talk about this when you get home, [pleading] please?
Jim: I don’t think that’s gonna happen, baby.
Kate: [suddenly realizes something and holds onto his arm] Jim?
Jim: [picks up his bag] I think it’s best I leave now.
[Over the intercom, the conductor announces a last warning.]
Kate: [her grip slides to his hand] Jim, please? I can’t live without you!
Jim: Katey baby, [he shakes his hand a little and she looses her hold on him] goodbye, goodbye.
[Jim exits. Kate extends her arms out, trying to get up but fails. She sits on the side of her body, with one hand reaching out. Her crying starts to seize.]
Kate: [fading] Jimmy?
[light dims and curtains are drawn.]