On Hope by Sherezade Garcia Rangel

EARLY EVENING. OLD COUPLE, MAN AND WOMAN, STANDING AT THE PROMENADE OF THE TYNE, DRINKING AND EATING. SOUNDS OF RIVER.

MAN:                     It’s been years.

WOMAN:              Yes.

MAN:                     Hasn’t changed that much now.

WOMAN:              It’s changed some.

MAN:                     Some, (BEAT) you can say it’s changed some.

WOMAN:              I don’t remember how it was.

MAN:                     That’s because you are too old to remember.

WOMAN:              I’m younger than you.

MAN:                     That doesn’t make you young.

WOMAN:              Not young, but younger.

MAN:                     What’s younger gonna do for you?

WOMAN:              It’ll do enough. I’ll be the last to get a hip replacement!

MAN:                     The last of whom?

WOMAN:              The last of you.

MAN:                     (PAUSE) Here’s me thinking, what are you going to do with a new hip?

WOMAN:              Same I did with my last one.

MAN:                     Wear it out?

WOMAN:              Use it wisely.

MAN:                      I’ll have some people to testify you did nothing of the sort with the
original one.

WOMAN:               You never complained.

MAN:                      I guess not. No good reason to. Your old hip’s just fine.

WOMAN:               (PAUSE) Nothing old is just fine anymore. It’s just old.

MAN:                     What’s wrong with old?

WOMAN:               I’m wrong with old. Took me all that long just to get back here.

MAN:                     What’s the rush?

WOMAN:              No rush, I just want to know I can do it faster.

MAN:                      I thought you didn’t like faster.

WOMAN:              Walk faster.

MAN:                     Oh.

WOMAN:               I just feel too old.

MAN:                      (BEAT) you are not too old, you are just…

WOMAN:              Old?

MAN:                     Old enough.

WOMAN:              Funny, that only sounds good when you are young.

MAN:                     (BEAT) Alright, think of it this way. You are old enough to be back here
now, drinking what you are drinking, at this hour, in my presence.

WOMAN:               I was never old enough for your presence.

MAN:                     Are you suggesting I did something…immoral?

WOMAN:               Immoral? Illegal.

MAN:                     You were old enough back then too. I checked, your father checked.

WOMAN:              Old Pops. Poor man. (BEAT) Now, I’m not saying you did something
illegal with me, I’m just saying you did something illegal.

MAN:                     And that’s what got us out there.

WOMAN:              Yes, out there.

MAN:                     And now…

WOMAN:              We are back.

MAN:                     It seems so.

WOMAN:              We are. Bags in the trunk and everything.

MAN:                     Eating and drinking here, like we used to.

WOMAN:              Like we once did.

MAN:                     Feels nice.

WOMAN:              (BEAT) aren’t we too old for this?

MAN:                     No, on the contrary, we are-

WOMAN:              Old enough.

MAN:                     Old enough.

SOUNDS OF KISSES AND LAUGHTER

WOMAN:              (PAUSE) it’s not as cold as I thought it would be.

MAN:                     That’s good, wouldn’t want you to catch something.

WOMAN:              Is it how you imagined it?

MAN:                     Wrap that scarf around you more, woman.

WOMAN:              I’m not cold.

MAN:                     You could be soon.

WOMAN:              Is it?

MAN:                     Hm?

WOMAN:              This, is it how you thought it would be?

MAN:                     I’m not sure I thought it would be anything.

WOMAN:              You must have thought sometimes.

MAN:                     I doubt it. The scarf, tighter please.

WOMAN:              Did you miss it?

MAN:                     I don’t think I did.

WOMAN:              Did I? I wonder…

MAN:                     Put this hat on too.

WOMAN:              I’ll look ridiculous!

MAN:                     It will keep you warm.

WOMAN:              Fine, alright.

MAN:                     Now that’s a good girl.

WOMAN:              A good old woman, you mean.

MAN:                     A good old enough girl.

SOUND OF KISS

WOMAN:              I honestly thought you would miss it.

MAN:                     Got nothing to miss here; took it all with me when we left.

WOMAN:              A suitcase half empty with clothes you threw away first chance…expect
for this hat.

MAN:                    And that scarf.

WOMAN:             You would miss none!

MAN:                    I took you. (BEAT) I miss you.

WOMAN:             I’m still here, Tom.

MAN:                    Yes.

WOMAN:             It’s not time yet.

MAN:                    They said he’ll see you first thing tomorrow morning.

WOMAN:             (PAUSE) This thing smells like an old man.

MAN:                    It will do its purpose. Leave it on. I don’t smell that bad, do I?

WOMAN:             All these years, you could have gotten a new scarf.

MAN:                    I like this one. After we settle in the hotel, let’s go take a walk and see
what else has changed.

WOMAN:             You can afford a new one.

MAN:                    We have plenty of time to kill today.

WOMAN:             Let’s buy one.

MAN:                    I’m keeping this one. You made it. (PAUSE) Annie, he’s the best.

WOMAN:             That’s what they all say.

MAN:                    We have nothing to lose.

WOMAN:             You could lose me.

MAN:                    Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

WOMAN:             It’s going to happen.

MAN:                    It’s not happening now. And look, we are even back here!

WOMAN:             We are old enough to be back, you say.

MAN:                    Yes, old enough. Let’s get you to a warm place; it’s starting to get chilly.

WOMAN:             I’m not cold.

MAN:                    You’ll be warm there. We’ll get a proper dinner in your stomach.

WOMAN:             It’s been months since I managed a proper dinner, Tom.

MAN:                    Time to change that. Now that we are back, let’s celebrate it with a big,
unhealthy one!

WOMAN:              (PAUSE) Why are we here? Why are we, really?

MAN:                    He’s the best, Annie. We are lucky he’s agreed to see us.

WOMAN:             Why did you bring me here?

MAN:                    I wanted to…I still have…

WOMAN:             Hm?

MAN:                    What’s that word?

BLACKOUT

Artwork by Harriet Rollitt.

About this piece: ‘This piece came about as a collaboration to Project Fifty. We were giving a word to write about, and this is what came of mine. Can you guess it?’ Sherezade Garcia Rangel

About Sherezade: She’s doing an MA in Creative Writing and editing this magazine. Currently she spends her time editing mags, reading and applying for PhDs.

About Alliterati

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1 Response to On Hope by Sherezade Garcia Rangel

  1. Pingback: Sherezade Garcia Rangel – Four shelves and a half | The Peripatetic Studio

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