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(two six-year-old kids, a boy and a girl, are playing in a yard)
Josh: (suddenly) You know what we should do? Get married.
Madison: But you’re leaving in a few minutes! Plus my mommy says I’m too young for stuff like that.
Josh: What are you talking about? Six is the perfect age to get married.
Madison: (hesitant) Alright. But you know Jessica from our class last year? She says it’s weird that my best friend is a boy.
Josh: Not if we’ve lived next door to each other our whole lives. Don’t listen to her. She’s mean. Now come on, let’s go get married. (pulls her arm)
Madison: But Josh! We’re supposed to be saying goodbye, not playing.
Josh: (waving his hand in dismissal) Let’s forget about that for a minute. Please.
Madison: (upset) I can’t! And I need a big white dress.
Josh: (laughing) We’re gonna have a natural wedding, no fancy puffy dresses. (pulls her so that they’re standing under a big oak tree) Let’s begin. (attempting a deep, official voice) Do I, Josh Temple, take you, the beautiful Madison, as my wife? Why, yes, I do. Now, do you, Madison Fletcher, take me, the amazing, handsome, perfect Josh Temple, as your husband?
Madison: (giggling) Well, I –
Josh’s mom: Josh, baby, come on. It’s time to go. Did you say your goodbyes to Madison?
Josh: (stubbornly) Mommy, please don’t make me go. It’s so far.
Josh’s mom: (sighing) Look, honey, you’ve known about this for weeks. Yes, it is over an ocean, but we’ll keep in touch, I promise.
Madison: (bursts into tears) I didn’t think this was going to happen so soon! Mrs. Temple, please don’t make him go!
Josh’s mom: (sighs again) I don’t want to move either, but it’s his dad’s job, sweetheart. We don’t really have a choice. I wish we did just as much as you.
Josh: Daddy should quit then!
Josh’s mom: (walks over and takes his hand) Your dad’s waiting in the car. Come on, baby. We’ve got to catch the plane.
Josh: (crying) No!
Madison: (crying) No!
Josh’s mom: (picks Josh up and carries him towards the edge of the stage) Josh, this is getting totally ridiculous. We have to leave.
Josh: (calling back to Madison) We’re going to get married someday, I promise!
(they exit stage, and sounds of a car and yells of goodbye come from offstage. Madison, her parents, and another younger girl stand and watch from porch)
Madison: (whispered) I do.
*stage goes black*
(teenage boy [Josh] is sitting looking at a scrapbook)
Josh: Hey mom, who’s this girl?
Josh’s mom: (comes and looks over her son’s shoulder) Why, that’s Madison. You were best friends before we moved three times.
Josh: Huh....I don’t remember her much.
Josh’s mom: (sadly) Really? I remember them like it was yesterday. Such a nice family. If only we’d managed to stay in touch with them...
Josh: How long ago was this picture taken?
Josh’s mom: You two were six. Look how happy you were together. The best of friends. As I recall, you even tried to get married the day we moved.
Josh: Oh. (looks at picture again) I wish I remembered.
*stage goes black*
(Adult woman [Madison] is walking into a coffeeshop, on her phone. A young man around her age [Josh] is texting on his phone as he walks in, and gets in line right behind her but doesn’t look up)
Madison: (on phone) Yeah, no, we can’t – no, that’s not what I – yeah, fine, okay. I’ll do that. And – wait, what? Sure, I guess I’ll meet you there. I can – what? No, that’s not – alright. Fine. See you later. Bye. (hangs up) Ugh, bosses can be so annoying.
Josh: (not looking up from his phone) You’re telling me.
Madison: I know, right? (turns to cashier) Coffee, please. Black. I need to wake up. (back to Josh) Like, yesterday, my boss had a fit over a tiny pencil mark on some important report, and I –
(they both look up and their eyes meet for the first time)
Madison: (stopping suddenly) Oh. You - you seem familiar. Have I met you before?
Josh: (in wonder) I don’t think so, but I-I could say the same about you.
Madison: (shakes her head) I’m sorry, I must be tired. (takes her drink and pays) Nice to meet you. (to herself as she leaves) I could have sworn I knew him....
Josh: (watches her walk away) She looks so familiar....
Madison: (her phone rings, she digs around in her pocket for a minute before finding it and answering) Madison Fletcher. (walks out, still talking)
Josh: Madison Fletcher. God, I even recognize the name. Where do I know her from?
*stage goes black*
(Josh and another young man stand in a room, talking)
Josh: (in the middle of talking) – and I know this sounds weird, but in swear I recognized her from somewhere. I can’t think of any Madisons at work or living around my apartment, though. I need your help.
Matt: (laughing) Your very own mystery girl!
Josh: No, man, I’m serious. I mean it. I just can’t place her, but I know I recognized her. It’s driving me absolutely insane.
Matt: Impossible. You were already insane. And I bet you just saw her at like a supermarket or something.
Josh: Come on, help me.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. I’ll help you find her, don’t worry. (sinks into a chair, Josh slowly sits too) So, what was this chick’s name again?
Josh: Matt, how could you forget? She’s the only thing I’ve been obsessing over for two days –
Matt: (laughs) Relax, dude, I’m only joking. I remember. You haven’t shut up about her. It’s driving me absolutely insane. Madison Fletcher, huh? Well, let’s see now....
Josh: (anxiously) Just try to think of who she is. I mean, I understand if you don’t know, but –
Matt: (covers his ears) You’re gonna make me go crazy, Joshie. Just give me one minute with total silence so I can actually think.
Josh: Yeah, yeah, sorry.
(a moment’s pause)
Josh: (blurts out) So, do you know her?
Matt: I’m tempted to say yes just so you’ll be quiet. That was not a minute. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know why I wanted to be your best friend.
Josh: Sorry, sorry.
Matt: (sits up as if struck by a thought) Hey, wait a second. I just remembered – isn’t Madison Fletcher the name of the girl you were friends with when you were like six?
Josh: My God, you’re right. (runs offstage)
Matt: (dancing and singing) I’m so smart, I’m a genius, come on, admit it, Josh –
Josh: (running back onstage with a big scrapbook in his arms) Here it is! (rips open the book and points to a picture) There she is.
Matt: (whistles) She was cute! I wonder how hot she is now –
Josh: (hits him) Stop it.
Matt: (puts his hand up in a surrender, laughing) I’m just saying.
Josh: (not taking his eyes off picture) Right.
Matt: Well, is that her?
Josh: (staring at picture, sounding awestruck) Yeah, I think it is.
Matt: (cheers) Well, who would’ve thought that after all these years – what has it been? Seventeen? – you just happened to meet again! A fairy tale ending! It’s like magic, or fate, or – (wiggles eyebrows suggestively) love.
Josh: (still staring at picture) Shut up. She might be married, or pregnant, or a mom, or, or -
Matt: (laughs) You’re just paranoid. She’s only our age, right? That’s twenty-three. I doubt she’s married or a mother. Come on. (smiles wickedly) Madison and Josh, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N –
Josh: (hits him) Shut up.
Matt: You should look up her number and call her and meet again.
Josh: I think I will....
*stage goes black*
(Madison and another woman, a little younger, are sitting across from each other at a table)
Madison: Hailey, I knew him. I should’ve asked for his name, or number, or something.
Hailey: Don’t feel too bad. I’m sure you’ll remember.
Madison: You know, I always felt lucky to have a sister like you. (laughs) You’re so good at listening.
Hailey: And I always looked up to you, and never told your secrets to a soul. I loved hearing them. (reaches across to hug her) We’re a good pair.
Madison: (as phone rings) Just a minute, let me get that. (picks up) Hello? Madison Fletcher....yeah, I remember....what?....no way.....are you sure? (squeals) I knew I recognized you! That’s so amazing! Meet you at 6? Of course! (hangs up)
Hailey: (raises eyebrows) Who was that?
Madison: (grabs Hailey’s hands and spins around) It was that guy from the coffeeshop! The one with the wavy blonde hair and gorgeous midnight blue eyes who I swear I recognized. His name is Josh Temple!
Hailey: Josh Temple? Isn’t that your best friend from when we were little?
Madison: Yes! I can’t believe we happened to meet again after seventeen years! What are the chances? Now I’ve got to go get ready! (looks at watch and then squeals) Oh my God, it’s already five! When did that happen?! I’ve only got an hour! (runs off stage, leaving Hailey alone)
Hailey: (starts off soft but gets louder as she goes) Yes, what are the chances? And now that they’ve met, everything will go back to the way it was for the first years of my life – Madison totally ignoring me, spending all of her time with Josh. Seventeen years I’ve been her closest friend, ever since that good-for-nothing boy. And for twenty-one I’ve been her sister, and yet as soon as he comes in the picture it’s like I never existed. Oh Madison....how could she betray me like that? She only knew him for six years, and she’s known me almost her whole life. I’m her sibling, her little sister, for God’s sake. She’s supposed to watch out for me, but no, she picks the boy over me. And Josh! (slowly slides down the wall until she’s sitting with her back against it) How could he be so shallow? Picks Madison and leaves me in the dust when I’m obviously the better sister. And the prettier one too! Oh God, I can’t handle it if they go all lovebird and abandon me again. But I don’t have to worry, right? I mean, they were only six when they knew each other....they can’t have much in common after seventeen years....right?
Madison: (from offstage) Hailey! Help! I don’t know what to wear!
Hailey: (stands up) I’m coming. (looks up to sky) Don’t let this go well. He deserves so much better than Madison, and she deserves me, not some boy. (walks off stage)
*stage goes black*
(Madison and Josh are sitting at a table in the coffeeshop where they met, talking and laughing)
Josh: I still honestly can’t believe it’s you. I mean, after all these years....
Madison: (laughs) Well, you’re a little bit more mature than I remember.
Josh: And you’re a little bit more beautiful.
Madison: (blushes) You’d be the first to think so.
Josh: Oh, come on. You must have dozens of boys in hot pursuit of you. I can’t be the only guy who wants the lovely Madison Fletcher’s attention.
Madison: (twirls her hair around her finger and laughs) Actually, at the moment I’m too busy with my job to notice any boys in hot pursuit.
Josh: (interested) What do you do?
Madison: Interior design. I really enjoy it.
Josh: That makes sense – you always were trying to get me to play with your doll house, weren’t you? That thing must have been rearranged twenty times a day, always looking like it came out of a magazine. (laughs) I’m assuming that early talent has followed you into adulthood?
Madison: I certainly hope so. Otherwise I’m not going to get far in my career. Now I have a question for you.
Josh: Ask away.
Madison: How did you know who I was?
Josh: Okay, well, this will sound a little weird, but I heard your name when you answered your phone, and recognized it. See, I have all these old scrapbooks my mom put together, and you’re in a few of them. I’ve pretty much relived our six years together my whole life, and when I saw your picture I knew it was you.
Madison: That’s so sweet.
Josh: (thoughtfully) Of course, you’re much prettier now.
Madison: (blushing and mumbling awkwardly) Thank goodness you heard my name, because I never would have found you.
Josh: (laughs) Yeah, I’m quite thankful that you answered your phone before you left. (puts his hand over hers, she looks surprised and then happy) I can’t imagine not ever finding out who you were. I would have gone insane trying to remember.
Madison: I was going insane trying to remember!
Josh: Same here. (suddenly serious) Look, Madison, I really like you. I know we’ve only just met again after seventeen years apart, but after looking through those scrapbooks and my memories so many times, I really feel like I already know you, and –
Madison: (interrupts) I know. I feel the same way.
Josh: (smiles) Yeah?
Madison: (giggles) Yeah. (looks at her watch) Oh God, I’m so sorry Josh, but I’ve got to go. Can I see you again soon?
Josh: (stands up as she does) Of course. (hands her a folded up slip of paper as she leaves) Here’s my number. Call me.
Madison: You can count on it. (they hug, and then she runs out)
Josh: (stares after her) She’s even more perfect than I remember. (picks up his phone and dials, then puts it to his ear) Matt? It’s Josh. I just met the girl I want to marry.
*stage goes black*
(Hailey is alone on the stage)
Hailey: Four months it’s been since they meet in that stupid coffeeshop. Just four months, and already they’re madly in love and ignoring me completely. Second priority, now? No. That doesn’t fit me at all. I should be Madison’s first choice, not Josh. It’s not fair.
Madison: (twirling happily onto stage) Hailey, Josh is coming over in a few minutes. Do you want to stay and have dinner with us?
Hailey: No, I’ve got to study.
Madison: Right, right. You have that big calculus test tomorrow. How could I forget?
Hailey: (mutters) Josh, that’s how. (leaves)
Madison: (twirls her hair around her finger) Oh Josh....you’ve made these past few months the best of my life....except for maybe the first six years. (sighs happily)
(knock on door)
Josh: (from offstage) Hey, it’s me!
Madison: Come in! It’s open.
Josh: (walking onto stage) Hi, beautiful. (hugs her) Your job keeps you too busy – I haven’t seen you since Thursday.
Madison: (laughs as he spins her around) I missed you too. Now, come on. The food’s getting cold.
(they sit down at table and begin to eat)
Josh: Maddy, this is amazing.
Madison: Thanks. I actually cooked for once….right out of a box. (laughs)
Josh: Well, it’s better than I could do. I swear I could mess up peeling a banana. No cooking skills, whatsoever.
Madison: I can live with that.
Josh: I have lived with that. For twenty-three years. It’s awful.
Madison: (laughs and kisses him on the cheek as she gets up) Well, isn’t that just the saddest sob story I ever heard. (carries her plate to sink) Sorry, I’m not too hungry tonight. I was helping Hailey study earlier….math kind of ruins my appetite.
Josh: (pushes plate away) Me neither. But really, baby, it’s great. (gets up and hugs her from behind)
Madison: (giggles) You’re too nice.
Josh: I know. (spins her around so that they are facing each other) But listen, Maddy, I have something serious to address now. (she nods) Do you remember how, on the day I moved seventeen years ago, I promised you we’d get married someday?
Madison: (slowly, confused) Vaguely....
Josh: (smiles and pulls a ring from his pocket) Well, I can’t break a promise. (gets down on one knee and looks up at Madison) Madison Fletcher, I want to make that “someday” today. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?
Madison: How could I say no to a lifelong live? (laughs) Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. (they hug and Madison admires the ring as he puts it on her finger)
Hailey: (walking onto edge of stage and looking furiously at Madison and Josh) No. I can’t let this happen. I can’t.
*stage goes black*
(Josh and Madison’s wedding reception; people are gathered around, talking and laughing, and some are dancing, like the just married couple)
Josh: We’re married now, Maddy. Officially husband and wife. I told you I wouldn’t break my promise.
Madison: And you were right. It just doesn’t seem possible. I mean, marrying my childhood love. You never hear those stories anymore.
Josh: We’re going to have quite an interesting story to tell our grandkids.
Madison: (laughs) Yeah.
Josh: But just think....this wedding means that we’re starting our new life together. A new, perfect life with just each other.
Madison: (smiles) Yeah. (craning her neck to look around him) Hey, have you seen Hailey? She never came to say congratulations like everyone else did, and I don’t think I’ve seen her at all since the beginning of the ceremony.
Josh: No. Maybe you should go look for her.
Madison: No, that’s okay....
Josh: Go ahead. I’m sure she just went off with some of your relatives or to the bathroom or something, but you should probably find her.
Madison: Really? Thanks, Josh. I’ll be back as soon as I can, I promise. (she hurries into the crowd, asking random people if they’ve seen Hailey. They all shake their heads)
Matt: (grabs her arm as she walks by) Hey, are you looking for your sister? Hailey Fletcher, right? She was the maid of honor?
Madison: (urgently) That’s right. Have you seen her?
Matt: Yeah, actually I have. She left early, right after the ceremony ended. She was complaining about a stomachache or something.
Madison: Oh. It must have been really bad if she had to leave one of the most important events of my life early. Poor Hailey. I’ll call her. She must be so sad to be missing the dancing and cake. She was so excited about this wedding.
Matt: Well, she is your sister. I’d hope she’d be happy for you.
Madison: (fake-laughs) ....Yeah.
Josh: (coming out from crowd) Did you find her?
Madison: She went home sick.
Josh: Oh. Too bad. I hope she’s alright. (turns to Matt) You’re not flirting with my new wife, are you? She’s a married woman, and it’s too early for her to start cheating on me.
Matt: (laughs) Nope. Not this time. I have my eye on that blond girl over there....you don’t mind if I leave you to go work my magic on her?
Josh: (laughs) Of course not. Knock yourself out.
Madison: (as Josh puts his arm around her) I wish Hailey was here.
Josh: She’ll be fine, don’t worry.
Madison: (looking up at him) I know....it’s just that she’s my closest friend. I trust her and love her so much....it hurts me to think that she wasn’t able to be here with us.
*stage goes black*
(Josh and Madison are sitting on a couch together; Josh’s arm is around her)
Madison: My God, Josh. Can you believe that it’s already been more than six months since we were married?
Josh: ....It’s gone by so fast.
Madison: (laughing) Time flies when you’re in love.
Josh: (kisses her hair) I’ll second that.
Madison: Hey, baby, could we watch the movie tomorrow instead? I know we were going to make popcorn and everything tonight, but I’m really tired.
Josh: Sure. I am too, actually. (his cell phone rings) Just a minute, let me get that. It might be my boss. (it rings again; he pulls it from his pocket and answers) It is my boss. Hello? (tone changes to disappointed) Are you sure I have to? I’d really prefer not to....isn’t anyone else available?....Alright. I understand. Bye.
Madison: (curious) What did he want at this hour?
Josh: (sighs) I have to go into work. Emergency meeting. I’m sorry, honey.
Madison: (worried) But it’s getting late.
Josh: (they both stand up, he hugs her) I know. I don’t want to, but it’s not worth losing my job, especially if we want to start a family soon. We’ll need all the money we can get.
Madison: (sighs) You’re right. Don’t be too gone too long, though, Josh. Please. I don’t like the idea of you being alone in a big place like New York City at night.
Josh: Maddy, please. It’s a pretty young woman like you we’d have to worry about. (they kiss) I’ll be back as soon as I can, I promise.
Madison: (as he leaves) I love you!
Josh: (smiles) I love you too. (leaves)
Madison: (to herself) Stop it, Madison. He’ll be fine. It’s not even too dark yet, and he’s a strong, capable man. He’ll be fine.
*stage goes black*
(stage is dim, Josh is walking quickly down a street towards a car)
Josh: (checks watch) Meeting done and still before eleven. I’ll be back to Madison soon. (slows down and digs in his pockets) Now, where are my car keys....?
(someone sneaks up behind him and stabs him; he falls to the ground in pain, clutching his side, and lays on his back, looking up at the attacker)
Hailey: (holding bloody knife) Hi Josh.
Josh: (struggling to breathe, shocked) H-Hailey? W-why are you d-doing this to me? To your s-sister’s husband? To your f-friend?
Hailey: You’re no friend of mine.
Josh: W-what do you mean?
Hailey: (laughs bitterly) Oh, come on. Don’t play dumb, Josh. Surely you know why I’ve grown to hate you.
Josh: (confused) N-no. I’ve always liked you.
Hailey: (scoffs and kneels down next to him) You take away all of Madison’s attention. She’s my sister. I should come first, not you. But for the past ten months, it’s been ‘Josh, Josh, Josh, Josh. Josh does this, Josh does that. I love Josh so much.’ That’s not right. I’ve tried to live with it, but being ignored by your sister, your best friend....it’s too hard to live with. (bitterly) But you wouldn’t know anything about being ignored, now, would you, Josh?
Josh: We n-never ignored y-you. It’s all in your h-head, Hailey. You’re overreacting.
Hailey: Right, right. Well, don’t try to make amends now. It’s too late. With you out of the way, I’ll be her first pick again....as I should be.
Josh: (gasping) H-Hailey....d-don’t do this. P-Please. (struggles to get up)
Hailey: You deserve this. (raises the knife again)
Josh: (closes his eyes) I love you, Madison. Forever and always.
(Hailey stabs him again; he moans as lights go out)
*stage goes black*
(Madison is making coffee, looking tired and worried)
Madison: Almost 5:00 AM and he’s not back. I suppose he could have stayed the night somewhere....or gotten locked out....or his car broke down. But he would still come back or call me. He said he’d be back as soon as possible, and he wouldn’t change his mind. He promised, and as we know – (looks at wedding ring) – he never breaks a promise. Something is seriously wrong.
(knock on door)
Madison: (runs over to answer) Josh? Is that you?
Policeman: (looking apologetic) Are you Madison Temple?
Policeman: I’m afraid I have some very bad news about your husband.
Madison: What? Oh God, he didn’t get arrested, did he?
Policeman: No. (sighs) Mrs. Temple, I’m very sorry to tell you that your husband, Josh, is dead.
Madison: (collapsing into chair, shocked) W-what?
Policeman: His body was found about an hour ago in a parking lot. It was next to his car, and he had been stabbed seventeen times, fifteen after his death. It happened at maybe eleven o’clock last night. I’m very sorry.
Madison: N-no. You must be wrong. Josh can’t be d-dead....
Policeman: (puts his hand on her shoulder) I get that you naturally want to deny it, but the fingerprints and dental records match. You can come make sure, if you like.
Madison: N-no. I c-can’t.
Policeman: Alright. I understand your grief, Mrs. Temple, and I’m very sorry for your loss. But any information you can give me about last night would help us find out who did this.
Madison: (sniffling) You mean it wasn’t just a random mugging?
Policeman: ....No. At least we don’t think so. See, all his money and credit cards were still in his wallet, and when the victim is stabbed that many times after death, it’s usually because of a personal grudge towards them – it’s overkill, totally unnecessary.
Madison: (shocked) So this was someone who k-knew him? (bursts into tears) How could anyone do this to him? Especially a friend?
Policeman: (sympathetic, hands her a card) Call the station when you’re ready to talk. Take your time. (begins to walk out, but pauses) I hope you’ll be alright, Mrs. Temple. (leaves)
Madison: (crying) Josh....oh, Josh....how could you leave me like this? I always thought that we’d grow old and die together, have children and then grandchildren, sit on our porch, old and gray, and watch them play in the yard. And then not even a year after we were reunited, you go and leave me. How could anyone tear us apart like this?
Hailey: (knocks on door, calling from offstage, sounding worried) Maddy? Maddy? Why was there a policeman outside? Is something wrong? Are you okay?
Madison: (crying) Hailey! Oh, Hailey! (Hailey comes in and, seeing Madison crying, rushes over to hug her) It’s J-Josh.
Hailey: What happened? Is he alright?
Madison: He’s d-dead.
Hailey: (shocked) What? But how? I saw him just a few days ago, and he was fine! He can’t be dead! It must be a mistake!
Madison: It’s n-not. And the worst part – it’s someone who k-knew us. (Hailey hugs her again) How could anyone want to ruin our perfect life?
Hailey: I don’t know. I just don’t get it. That’s awful.
Madison: (sighs and wipes her eyes) Thank you for listening, Hailey. No one could ask for a better sister. Really. But I....I’d like to be alone for a while.
Hailey: (sympathetic) I understand. How about you go lay down for a while and I’ll make you something? How about soup?
Madison: (smiles weakly and sniffles) T-that would be great. (slowly walks off stage)
Hailey: (watches her leave and then celebrates as soon as she’s gone) Yes! It worked just like I hoped – I’m back to being Madison’s number one friend and confidant, just like I should be. And no one suspects me, the supportive little sister. Could this have gone any better? (laughs)
*stage goes black*
(The same policeman who told Madison the news is sitting behind a desk, and Madison is sitting in a chair across from him)
Policeman: Do you know anyone who disliked Josh? Was maybe jealous of him?
Madison: Jealous of him? For what?
Policeman: Well....job. Money. Wife.
Madison: There’s his friend Matt....he doesn’t have a job and he flirted with me occasionally. He wasn’t jealous of Josh though – he’s funny and nice. He wouldn’t do this. They are....were....best friends.
Policeman: Matt Henry? Yeah, he has a bit of a record.
Madison: What do you mean? I only mentioned him because he flirted with me – before Josh and I got engaged. He’s great. He would never do anything like this. Wait – a record?
Policeman: He was arrested for stealing when he was sixteen. (waves hand dismissively) Nothing serious, and he was let off – it was just from a drugstore. But it does make you wonder....
Madison: No, you’ve got it wrong.
Policeman: Look, I know it’s hard to think that anyone you know and like could have done this, but at this point everyone’s a suspect. It’s probably the nicest person you can think of who was Josh’s murderer.
Madison: This is ridiculous. It’s like you’re saying my sister could have done this or something. Well, she couldn’t have. Neither could Matt! Please stop accusing my friends until you have actual proof.
Policeman: (sighs and takes out notepad) So, we’ll check out Matt Henry. (quickly, as he sees Madison looking angry) I’m not saying he’s guilty, but we’re just going to make sure. Anyone else you think we should consider?
Madison: Couldn’t you also consider people we don’t know? I still believe that none of our friends could possibly have done something this terrible to him.
Policeman: (sighs impatiently) Do we have to go over this again? I already told you, madam: all those post-death stabs indicate a grudge, and somehow the killer knew he’d be at work that late. Either they heard you two talking or he told somewhere where he was going – like, say, his best friend. And who’s that? Matt.
Madison: You know what? I’m done here. I can’t handle this. (gets up and starts to leave but ruins into Matt at the door) I – Matt? What are you doing here?
Matt: (laughs nervously) I was called in to be questioned just a little while ago. Nothing to be worried about, right?
Madison: Right. (turns to policeman and tone changes to angry) You had someone call him in already? Just because I mentioned his name? I can’t believe this.
Policeman: It’s not as bad as it seems –
Matt: You mentioned my name –
Madison: (covers her ears, they stop talking) I’m leaving. (walks over and hugs Matt) Good luck. (walks out after glaring at policeman)
Matt: (sits down in chair, trying to stay relaxed) So, let’s start then.
Policeman: How well did you know Josh Temple?
Matt: We’re like brothers. For ten years we’ve known everything about each other: crushes, preferences, interests....
Policeman: ....when one of you works late....
Matt: (leaning forward in chair) What are you getting at, Mr. Confident Policeman?
Policeman: (also leaning forward) Were you jealous of Josh for any reason? His job? Madison?
Matt: No. I’m actually seeing a girl who I met at their wedding, named Kate. And getting plenty of interviews. Employers love me – who doesn’t? – and I even had one today.
Policeman: Where were you the night Josh Temple was murdered?
Matt: (stands up, annoyed) Look, I heard when you said that it was most likely a friend, but I didn’t know where Josh was that night – if someone had asked, I would have said with Madison in their apartment. And he was my best friend in the world – how could I do this to him? Oh, wait, I have an answer: I couldn’t.
Policeman: You stole when you were sixteen.
Matt: I was young, there was peer pressure, and it was from a drugstore for crying out loud. That doesn’t mean I could murder my best friend for no reason.
Policeman: Actually, many serial killers –
Matt: (interrupts angrily) Oh, now I’m a serial killer? Well, I’ll tell you what else I am: gone. I’ve had enough of this. I’m leaving. (walks out, but then a second later comes back) Oh, and by the way, was it really necessary to say his last name every time you mentioned him? (leaves)
Policeman: (sighs and closes his eyes) I give up.
*stage goes black*
(Madison is sitting in a chair, having her hair braided by Hailey)
Hailey: See, doesn’t that feel nice? It calms me down sometimes.
Madison: (sighs happily) You were right. Sitting here, relaxed, with you braiding my hair....it’s actually quite soothing. (closes her eyes)
Hailey: I told you it would help.
Madison: (suddenly sits up and gets a weird look on her face) Oh God, I – (covers her mouth and runs off stage)
(sound of vomiting, followed by toilet flushing)
Hailey: Madison? What’s wrong?
Madison: (coming back onto stage, hand on her stomach) I-I don’t know. I just felt so sick all of the sudden....
Hailey: Probably stress. I mean, it’s too early in the morning to be anything you ate. Do you want me to make you breakfast?
Madison: It’s nice of you to offer, but no thanks. I don’t think I could keep it down.
Hailey: Alright. Are you sure you’re okay?
Madison: (waves hand in dismissal) I’m good. You can go. You better finish your homework. You’ve spent too much time trying to help me. You should be studying and working so you can graduate at the top of your class.
Hailey: You’re more important.
Madison: (stubbornly) No, I’m not. Go do your homework. I’ll be fine.
Hailey: (reluctantly) Well....alright. I’ll be back later, as soon as I can. (leaves)
Madison: (sighs and sits in chair) God, I’m so tired. And I just got up!
(knock on door)
Madison: (without getting up) Come in.
Policeman: Don’t say ‘I told you so,’ but it wasn’t Matt, Mrs. Temple. We looked into it, and his alibi is valid. He has people to confirm his whereabouts. So, at the moment we have no prime suspects. But we’re bound to find more clues soon. After we look at the body more –
Madison: (puts a hand up to stop him talking) That’s....please, don’t talk like that. I don’t want to hear about my husband’s body.
Policeman: (noticing that she still hasn’t stood up) Are you okay, miss?
Madison: I’m not sure. I feel really tired....and sick.
Policeman: It’s probably just stress. Or maybe you need to eat.
Madison: No. Just the thought of food makes me feel nauseous. And my sister thought it was stress, too, but I’ve been totally fine before now, so I don’t think that’s it either.
Policeman: (slowly smiles, looking mischievous) Or....you were married to Josh for six months, correct?
Madison: Yes, that’s right. Almost seven.
Policeman: (winks at her) Well, that’s not too short a time. And from what I hear, you and Josh were quite in love.
Madison: (sits for a minute, confused, and then jumps up as if struck by a thought) You don’t think – (looks at her stomach) Oh my God. (runs off stage)
Policeman: (awkwardly) Okay....I’ll just....uh....leave then. (calling offstage) Bye, Mrs. Temple, I’ll be back tomorrow! (waits for a response but there isn’t one, so he begins to walk offstage and awkwardly waves) So....um....bye. (leaves)
*stage goes black*
(Hailey is sitting at a desk with textbooks and papers spread around her, writing in a notebook)
Hailey: (throws pencil down) There! One class’s homework done! Just six more classes’ worth!
(phone rings and she jumps up to answer)
Hailey: Hello? Maddy? You sound happier than you have in days! What’s happened? (a pause) What? Really? How? Are you sure? (a pause) Well, that-that’s awesome! I’ll be there soon. Yeah. Okay. Bye. (hangs up) How could this happen? Just when I’m finally back to being her number one choice, she finds out she’s pregnant. A baby will take up all her love, just like Josh did. How could she do this to me? That baby – Josh’s baby – will be her whole life. It’ll be like Josh never left....of course he had to leave a piece of himself behind. I should have killed him earlier....then this wouldn’t have happened. Well, too late now. I’ll just have to do something about this kid. That baby won’t even be able to have a conversation with her, and yet it will get more attention than me. I’ll be twenty-something years older than it, and yet I’ll be the one who’s ignored. How is that right? It’s not. So it’s settled: this kid has to go. Otherwise it will ruin my life. (laughs bitterly) It’s taking after its father already. And that doesn’t sit right with me. Oh, Maddy....do you even consider my feelings? (walks off stage)
*stage goes black*
(Hailey and Madison sit across from each other at a table)
Hailey: So do you know what gender the baby is?
Madison: Well, they said I’m far enough along that I could know now, but I decided not to. I want it to be a surprise.
Hailey: You know, Maddy, I’ve been thinking. Maybe after the baby is born, you should put it up for adoption. You’ve been under a lot of stress these past few months, ever since Josh’s death, and a baby may make it worse. Plus, I read somewhere that if the mother is anxious or preoccupied in the first while of a child’s life, they’ll be affected negatively for the rest of their life.
Madison: (gets up and puts her hand protectively on her stomach) What are you talking about? I can’t give away my last piece of Josh. It’s nice of you to consider my stress, but I think that he or she will make all of this easier. I’ll be grateful for the distraction.
Hailey: Now wait a minute. I can distract you too. You really shouldn’t keep the baby –
Madison: How could you be like this? You’ve always been so supportive of my choices, and now you think I should give my sweet, perfect little child to a random stranger? I want the baby, and that’s that. Please don’t keep trying to convince me – it’s not going to work. And the more you fight my decisions, the more you seem like a terrible sister.
Hailey: I’m just helping consider all the options....including the best option.
Madison: (angry) Yes, which is keeping my baby!
Hailey: Which is putting your baby up for adoption!
Madison: (disgusted) I thought you were a better friend then this. And to think I was going to name it after you if it was a girl. I’m going to my room. (leaves)
Hailey: And now she’s angry at me. Stupid baby. I knew it would ruin my life. I’ll keep trying to get rid of it. This isn’t over yet.
*stage goes black*
(Madison and the police officer are standing in the station)
Madison: How’s the investigation going?
Policeman: (looking at Madison’s stomach) Maybe you should sit down.
Madison: (waving her hand in dismissal) I’m only three months pregnant. I’m fine. Now, how is the investigation going?
Policeman: (sighs) Not well, I’m afraid. We really have no major leads. His credit card and phone records don’t reveal anything unusual, and everyone we checked out has a valid alibi. No fingerprints, no weapon left behind. Whoever did this knew what they were doing, or had at least read enough mystery novels to know what not to do.
Madison: ....So what happens now?
Policeman: Well, we keep trying. But there are a lot of other cases that also need attention, and if we don’t find anything soon, we’ve got to move on. Not every case ends up closed, you know, and this may be one of those.
Madison: No! Just because some cases don’t get solved doesn’t mean my husband’s murderer won’t be found and punished!
Policeman: ....It might. I’m sorry, but we’ve already spent a long time on this case. We have to work on other, more recent, more worrying cases too.
Madison: (angry) More worrying?! Than a murder?! What is possibly more worrying than a murder?!
Policeman: The murder and decapitation of an entire family in their own home. The discovery of the destroyed body of a six-month-missing person in a river. A mother walking in and finding her baby murdered in its crib. The disappearance of nine women, all of whom were answering personal ads, in just the past few weeks. These have all happened in just New York alone, Mrs. Temple, and we have to try to solve them too.
Madison: ....Oh. I didn’t know.
Policeman: It’s alright. I know you didn’t. And this obviously must be hard for you. We’ll try our best to find the murderer, I promise.
Madison: (sitting down) Thank you.
Policeman: (sitting down too) By the way, how’s it going with your sister?
Madison: (hesitates) Better. She was really persistent at first, but neither of us has mentioned the baby for a few weeks now, so we’re getting along well. I’m kind of afraid she’s going to bring it up again soon, though. She’s started researching adoption agencies on her computer.
Policeman: I’m sorry to hear that. I wonder why she’s so eager.
Madison: Looking out for me, even if she’s doing it the wrong way. She thinks she’s helping me, and that a kid will push me to the breaking point.
Policeman: Well, actually....
Madison: (annoyed) Oh, don’t you start.
Policeman: I’m sorry. (Madison stands up) We’ll keep you posted.
Madison: Thank you. (leaves)
*stage goes black*
(Madison is lying in a hospital bed, holding her baby)
Madison: (talking to baby) Hi, I’ve been waiting for you. You have your daddy’s eyes. (sadly) You would have loved your daddy, and he would have loved you. I’m sorry you never got to meet him.
(knock on door, Matt enters)
Matt: Hey. How’s it going?
Madison: Good, actually. It’s only been a few hours since he was born, and he’s already my whole life. I can’t imagine getting rid of him....he’s already helping me move on.
Matt: I thought he’d be good, not bad. After all, he’s you and Josh rolled into one. How much better can you get? (quieter) And it kinda helps to know that Josh is still alive in some way.
Madison: It does, doesn’t it?
Matt: (comes to look at the baby, sucks in his breath in shock) His eyes look exactly like Josh’s.
Madison: (smiles) I know. I like that.
Matt: So....what are you gonna name the little guy?
Madison: Joshua Matthew.
Matt: I get that it’s after Josh....but why after me? I haven’t done anything special. I wish I had, but, unfortunately, not yet.
Madison: You were his best friend and you’re one of my friends too. You’ve been so supportive, plus I’m sure that Josh would like the fact that his kid is named after both of you. A combination of all three of us – you, me, and him.
Matt: (laughs) Well, how about that? A kid named after me and I’m not even dead yet! Who would’ve thought?
Madison: (laughs) Your Uncle Matt is being funny, Joshua.
Matt: I’m an uncle too? Sweet. I am doing well today.
Madison: And you’re the godfather, if you’re willing.
Matt: Really? Are you sure? Because, um, I’m not really the most responsible person. (smiles at the baby) Of course, I could make an exception for this little guy.
Madison: I hope you will. And Hailey, of course, will be the godmother. And his aunt.
Matt: (lowering his voice) Listen, are you sure you want to do that?
Madison: (confused) She’s my sister and my closest friend, Matt. Of course I’m sure. Why wouldn’t I make her Joshua’s godmother?
Matt: (whispering) Well, it’s just that – (glances around to make sure they’re alone) – I think that she’s the one who –
(knock on door)
Hailey: (from offstage) Maddy! How are you? Can I come in?
Matt: (sits up) I’ll tell you later. But don’t be so quick in making your decisions.
(Hailey and Matt pass on the way out and glare at each other)
Hailey: So, how are you holding up? Stressed yet? Feeling pushed over the edge? Because I have some good brochures here about agencies –
Madison: We already discussed this, Hailey. No.
(complete silence for a few moments)
Madison: So, his name is Joshua Matthew.
Hailey: You named your kid after Matt? Really? He doesn’t deserve that.
Madison: Well, Hailey would have been his middle name if he’d been a girl.
Hailey: Oh. (leaning over to look at him) He has Josh’s eyes.
Madison: I know.
(awkward silence again)
Hailey: Well, it’s been nice seeing you. I better go study. I’ll come again soon.
Madison: Okay. Bye. (Hailey leaves) Maybe Matt is right....something seems wrong. She’s not anything like she used to be.
*stage goes black*
(Madison and Matt are sitting across from each other at a table)
Matt: Where’s little Joshua?
Madison: Napping. Although he could wake up at any moment, so we better not get too loud.
Matt: (laughs) Now I just have an urge to scream.
Madison: (laughs) Please, please, please don’t.
Matt: We’ll see.
Madison: (seriously) So....what did you want to talk about?
Matt: Well....Hailey isn’t here, is she?
Madison: No. Things have kind of been tense between us since Joshua was born. She doesn’t think I should keep him, and when she visits all she does is stare at him with a scary look in her eye. I don’t know what’s going on.
Matt: I think I might.
Madison: Let’s hear it.
Matt: Okay, so don’t shoot me or anything, but I think she’s the one who killed Josh.
Madison: (going pale) W-what? I mean, I know she’s been a little distant lately, but she’s amazing. I love her and need her, and she knows it. She could never do that.
Matt: ....I think she could. See, when and you are Josh were together, I saw her glaring at you more than once, looking murderous. She was eavesdropping more than you think – I saw her occasionally – and she left your wedding early. I’m no fool, Madison. I know she didn’t have a stomachache. She was fine one minute and then practically sprinting to get out of there. No one in pain moves that fast. And trying to get rid of your baby? It’s not to help you. It’s because she’s jealous. She was jealous of the attention you gave Josh, and I think she killed him for it. She thought it was behind her, but now you have a baby....I’m kind of scared of what she’ll do.
Madison: (trying to deny it) N-no....she wouldn’t do that. You’ve got to be wrong. My own sister. I trust her. I’ve told her all my secrets, all my life, and she would never betray me. She just wants me to be happy! And I always split my attention between them....
Matt: I don’t think she saw it that way. She let jealousy cloud her decisions.
Madison: (crying) N-no....
Matt: You don’t have to believe me. But I have my suspicions, and she knows it. That’s why she’s so tense and hostile, especially towards me.
Madison: Even if you’re right – and you’re not – you don’t think she would do anything to me or the baby, do you?
Matt: I don’t know. (smiles weakly) But if one of us here has to be worried, it wouldn’t be you. If she did do this, it would be for your attention. She won’t kill you so easily.
Madison: Just when I thought my life was finally coming back together....this happens.
Matt: Well, the case is considered unsolved. I don’t know if you want to turn your – my – suspicions into the police for them to look at, but they won’t trust me. (laughs) I’m a serial killer, remember?
Madison: (attempts to laugh) Yeah.
Matt: (hugs her as the both get up) It’ll be okay, Maddy. Don’t worry. You have me, and Joshua. And that crazy policeman.
Madison: (smiles) Thanks, Matt. I’ll consider it, I really will. I don’t want to believe it, but maybe I should. I just don’t know.
Matt: Take your time. I’ll take care of you. Josh would have wanted that. (leaves)
Madison: No....he would have wanted to live to see his child grow up, to meet his grandchildren. Oh Hailey, if it really was you, how could you do this? I’ve loved you and trusted you completely all this time. Under that king, loving, good listener I know, is there someone else? Another side to you that I never saw? Please, Hailey, don’t let that be the truth. I can’t be betrayed by my sister, my best friend, you. Please, be wrong, Matt. Please.
*stage goes black*
(stage is dim; Madison is sleeping on a couch on one side of the room and someone is standing over the baby’s crib on the other)
Hailey: (as she lifts baby up) Hush, hush, don’t cry now. We’re just going to take you on a little trip. You’re going to have fun.
(all is silent for a minute, and then the baby bursts out crying)
Hailey: Stupid kid! Shut up, shut up, be quiet!
Madison: (jumping up and turning on a light) Hailey! What are you doing?!
Hailey: Just....uh....calming Joshua. He was awake and looked upset.
Madison: But you weren’t spending the night. (eyes widen) Did you break in to my apartment?
Hailey: N-no. Of course not. I used the spare key you gave me.
Madison: In the middle of the night?! (sees the knife in Hailey’s hand) With a knife?! Let go of my baby, right now.
Madison: (shocked and angry) Matt was right. He was right. You are the real criminal, aren’t you? (louder) Aren’t you!
Hailey: (rolls her eyes) Yes, fine, I am. Whatever makes you happy.
Madison: (crying) You killed Josh, didn’t you! How could you?! I trusted you, I loved you! How could you betray your own sister like this?
Hailey: (exasperated) You don’t get it. It’s not as bad as it sounds.
Madison: (voice hardens) It isn’t? Really? You murdered my husband, and now you’re trying to kidnap my baby! I bet in the morning you were going to act as supportive and caring as ever....just like you did when Josh died.
Hailey: I’m not evil! I just wanted attention! Josh was your whole life, and you totally ignored me! It wasn’t fair, and I had to make it right.
Madison: (shaking her head, disgusted) What is wrong with you? Killing someone doesn’t make anything right! It broke my heart!
Hailey: ....And made you pay more attention to me.
Madison: You’re awful! I never ignored you, and even if I had, becoming a murderer wouldn’t have helped anything!
Hailey: (drops, almost throws Joshua, into the crib; Madison cries out and tries to come closer but Hailey holds up the knife and she stops) Oh, but it did. And everything was perfect until this thing came along. He can’t even talk, and yet you love him more than me!
Madison: Don’t bring my child into this. Of course I love him – he’s my baby. But I love you too – why can’t you see that! I always did! I loved Josh in a different way!
Hailey: Liar. You loved him more.
Madison: (crying even harder) No! Equally! Please, don’t do this! You’re better than this, Hailey! This ignoring you thought we did – it was all in your head.
Hailey: (tilts her head and smiles) Funny....that’s exactly what Josh said before I killed him.
Madison: (cries out and makes a sudden dash towards the crib) Joshua! (Hailey blocks her way and they desperately fight while the baby cries)
Hailey: Stop it! He’s fine!
Madison: You’re a monster! Let me get to him!
(Hailey, who is still holding the knife and fighting, accidently stabs Madison in the side. She falls to the ground, clutching her side)
Hailey: (drops knife) Oh God, Madison, I didn’t mean to do that, I swear! I’m so sorry! (reaches for Madison, who pushes her away)
Madison: (through gritted teeth) Get away from me.
Hailey: But you’re hurt!
Madison: Because of you. Now get away.
Hailey: (voice hardening) Fine. It that’s how it’s going to be now, I have no choice. I was ready to forgive you if you got rid of the baby. All he’s caused is a rivalry between us. I never wanted that. I wanted your love. So away he goes....then maybe you’ll focus on me. (picks him up again)
Madison: (shrieks) It’s not the baby! Can’t you see that the problem isn’t him, it’s you! How can you be so blind? Put Joshua down! Don’t hurt him!
Hailey: Too late. Josh got in the way of our relationship, so he deserved what he got when I killed him. Now, this baby is in the way of our relationship. I have to get rid of him too. (tilts head thoughtfully) And maybe Matt, afterwards. He’s too smart – he always suspected me.
(Hailey takes Joshua in her arms and runs towards the door, Madison struggles to get up but can’t)
Madison: Hailey! Stop! Please!
(Hailey laughs and keeps running, but just when she’s almost reached the door, Matt comes running in and blocks her way)
Madison: Matt! Get Joshua!
Matt: (looks worriedly at Madison and then glares at Hailey) I knew it was you. My best friend. You killed him. You killed Josh! (voice cracks) He was like a brother to me! How could you do that! I will never forgive you.
Hailey: I don’t care. I never liked you anyway.
Matt: You know what? I never liked you either. Now put the baby down.
Hailey: No. He has to go.
Matt: No, you do. (runs at her and rips Joshua from her arms, gently sets him down on the couch and then tackles Hailey to the ground) You don’t deserve to live.
Hailey: (scared) You wouldn’t kill your friend’s sister, would you?
Matt: (angry) No. I’m not like you. (to Madison) Are you alright?
Madison: (sitting up, gasping) Yes. I’ll call the police. (shakily stands up and grabs the phone) We have my husband’s murderer here. Yes, Josh Temple, that’s right. Please hurry. (hangs up and collapses onto couch, picking up Joshua) Oh Joshua, I’m so sorry this happened. Are you okay, sweetheart?
Hailey: Maddy, I –
Matt: Don’t say anything. You don’t deserve forgiveness.
Policeman: (rushing in) Where is he? You’re lucky I was close by. (takes out handcuffs and then sees Hailey pinned down; his eyes widen) H-Hailey?
Matt: I told you it wasn’t me. You should have listened.
Policeman: (bows his head) I apologize. Now get off the criminal, please. I’ll take it from here. (Matt moves, and he handcuffs Hailey) You, missy, will be spending a long time in prison. (they leave)
Madison: (staring after them as Matt comes up and squeezes her shoulder) I know she was terrible, and something was wrong in her mind, but I still love her. I miss her already.
*stage goes black*
(Matt and Madison are sitting at a table across from each other)
Madison: You know, Matt, even though it’s been months since Hailey was arrested, I still wonder about one thing.
Matt: And what’s that?
Madison: How did you just happen to come to my apartment in the middle of the night?
Matt: (laughs) Good question. I had a feeling....like they always get in crime shows, you know, that something is wrong. I was just going to drive by and make sure everything looked okay, but then I saw Hailey’s car parked out front and knew that I was right. I came up here as fast as I could.
Madison: And I can’t thank you enough. If it hadn’t been for you, my Joshua would be gone forever, and Hailey would have gotten away.
Matt: But she didn’t. So don’t worry.
Madison: (sad) I can’t believe she could do that. I still regret having her arrested sometimes. She was my sister, after all, no matter how messed up. I feel so guilty.
Matt: She was a murderer, Madison.
Madison: (sighs) I know....
Matt: So, changing the topic, how’s your wound?
Madison: (looking at her side) Much better. Healing pretty fast, actually. They said it would take like five months, but it’s only been three and it doesn’t hurt much at all.
Madison: ....Yeah. (sighs)
Matt: Things will get better, don’t worry. Time will help. And so will Joshua. He’ll need a strong mother, Madison, and I’ll bet he’ll love to hear stories about his father. His amazing, awesome, incredible father. Things will look up, trust me.
Madison: I hope you’re right.
Matt: I’m always right. (both of them laugh) But I’m serious. Things will get better.
Madison: Everyone says that, but it’s so hard to believe it.
*stage goes black*
(Madison and a now-six-year-old Joshua are sitting together on the couch)
Joshua: Tell me a story, Mommy.
Madison: A story? Okay. Hmm....let’s see. Once upon a time, there were two little kids, and they wanted to get married, but one of them had to move away. They were apart for many, many years, and they thought they would never meet again, but then they did. They were both big grown-ups by then, and they fell in love and got married. They lived happily ever after.
Joshua: (after a moment of quiet) That story was about you and daddy, wasn’t it?
Madison: ....Yes, it was. Your daddy was amazing, Joshua. He would have loved to meet you.
Joshua: (hops off her lap, leaves for a minute, and then comes back with a scrapbook) Show me the pictures again, Mommy.
Madison: (opens it and points to a page) There he is, when he was your age. You two look almost exactly the same.
Joshua: I wish he was here.
Madison: So do I.
(knock on door, and Matt enters with a little girl a year or two younger than Joshua)
Madison: Look, here’s your Uncle Matt with Andrea.
Joshua: Andrea! Come into my room – I have new trains! (they grab hands and run off stage together)
Madison: So, how’s it going with Kate?
Matt: (laughs) Good. She works a lot, so I usually have to look after Andrea. I can say one thing for sure: she’s her mother’s daughter. Just as feisty as Kate was when I met her at your wedding.
Madison: I’m so glad you’re happy, Matt.
Matt: And you’re happy too....aren’t you, Maddy?
Madison: As surprising as it sounds, I think I am. Happy, I mean. I have you and your little family, and Joshua. I feel....complete. (looks at scrapbook) Well....almost.
Joshua: (from offstage) Do I, Joshua Temple, take you, Andrea, to be my wife? Yes, I do. Now, do you, Andrea Henry, take me, the amazing Joshua, as your husband?
Andrea: (from offstage) Yes.
Joshua: (from offstage) Then we’re married! Let’s dance!
Matt: (laughs) And the circle continues.
Madison: (teary-eyed) He’s just like his father.
Matt: (hugs her) He is. Except he won’t move away and leave little Andrea in the dust. They are going to grow up in love, and end up just like you and Josh did, K-I-S-S-I-N –
Madison: (laughs and hits him) Stop it.
Matt: (puts his hands up in surrender) Alright, alright. I’ll just go check on them, then. (leaves)
Madison: (kisses her fingertips and then puts her hand on the picture in the scrapbook) I love you, Josh. Forever and always. (looks up at the sky) I’ll join you eventually, I promise, but first I have to watch our amazing little boy grow up. (chokes up) He’s just like you, baby. I see you every time I look at him. I promise I’ll take care of him, and I won’t let his love story end like ours did. That’s a promise. (smiles and looks down at her wedding ring) And as we know, in this family we never break our promises.
*stage goes black*