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.
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
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.
WOMAN: I just feel too old.
MAN: (BEAT) you are not too old, you are just…
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?
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.
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,
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…
MAN: What’s that word?
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.