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I’m not the girl you fell in love with, I’m the woman she grew up to be

Two bodies lying beside each other, still as stone. With sheets crumpled against their naked skin and clothes sprawled out across the bed and floor. FRANCESCA rolls over onto her stomach, cheek pressed to pillow, eyes looking at JUDE. As she rolled over, the bed sheet slid down to her hip, her bare back is now showing. JUDE has a stunned look on his face. He blinks a few times believing that may awaken him from his shock. FRANCESCA speaks.

FRANCESCA
You’re green.


JUDE looks over at her, puzzled, stumbling out of a trance.

JUDE
What?


FRANCESCA props her head up with her hand.

FRANCESCA
Your aura
(reminding him)
It’s glowing now.


JUDE turns his head, sighs. He says slowly,

JUDE
This is the bed I sleep in with Alicia every night.


FRANCESCA turns her head away from him, her expression turns downward.

I sleep here with my wife every night.

She’s going to come home soon. What would I even-


FRANCESCA slides out of the bed and picks up her dress from the floor.


JUDE, startled, turns to her.

Whoa, whoa, what are you doing?
FRANCESCA

(putting her dress on)
What am I doing? I’m leaving.


JUDE gets up from the bed, pulls on sweatpants.

JUDE
Leaving? Wait, why?

FRANCESCA
Because I’m not listening to this.

(opens bedroom door, walks out, JUDE follows after her)

JUDE
Listening to what?


FRANCESCA turns to him.

FRANCESCA
You! Your guilt!

JUDE
Well how am I supposed to react, Francesca?! We committed adultery! In my own house! In my own bed!

FRANCESCA
You don’t think I feel guilty? I love my husband. I don’t know how I am going to feel when I see him tonight.

(pause)
But at least I don’t ruin a good moment with my shame!

(begins to walk faster away from JUDE)

JUDE
No, no. Come on, Francesca. Just don’t go. Just don’t go like this. Just stay, stay for a little bit.


FRANCESCA grabs her purse off the table, turns to him.

FRANCESCA
Why? Why should I?

Give me a reason to stay. Give me a reason to love you.


(pause)


JUDE looks down.

You can’t give me a reason. You don’t have a reason. We belong to other people, Jude.


FRANCESCA turns, reaches her hand out to the front door.

JUDE

(quietly)

You don’t belong to him.


FRANCESCA turns back to JUDE.

He’s a doctor. He’s logical. You’re a writer. You’re different.

FRANCESCA
(background FRANCESCA’s voice)
He called me a writer, I wasn’t anymore.

FRANCESCA

(softly)
Jude, look at me. I’m an environmental campaigner. I’m the project organizer for TreePeople. I’m not a writer anymore. I haven’t written anything in years.

JUDE
But that play you wrote. The one…how we met.

FRANCESCA
That was eighteen years ago. I’m not the girl you fell in love with, I’m the woman she grew up to be. I’m someone else entirely.


JUDE shakes his head.
JUDE
No. When I look at you, I see her still.

JUDE grabs FRANCESCA’s hand.

Every time I look at you, I see in you the summer we had.


FRANCESCA and JUDE lock eyes. Her eyes begin to water. She pulls away from his hand, turns her head.

FRANCESCA

No!


JUDE looks puzzled.

You can’t do this to me.

JUDE
Wha-

FRANCESCA looks at him dead on.
FRANCESCA
Do you wanna know what I see every time I look at you, Jude? I see the life I could have had if I didn’t make those decisions I made years ago. I made this life without you. I made this life for me and don’t you, don’t you make me feel guilty for it! You fell in love with me because I had big dreams, I had ambition, so don’t you dare make me feel guilty for exactly what you love about me! You can have that summer, you can live with that fantasy, and I will take the blame for not making our dream a reality.

With that, FRANCESCA walks out and slams the door. JUDE is left stunned.




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sunsetfire94 said...
Jul. 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm:
This was actually quite brilliant. I love the title, and the roughness of it - it's not dressed up. It's real, if you know what I mean. The ending was surprising, but fitting. Keep writing; this piece is gorgeous.
 
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