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long walk to forever

By Roberta West,2014-06-19 19:09
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long walk to forever

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Scene One

    (In the early afternoon, Newt (N) knocked on Catharine (C)’s front door, pale and weary.)

    N: Is Catharine here?

    C: Yeah, yeah, Im here. Oh, Newt, come in.

     You dont look very well. Are you sick?

    N: No. I'm fine. Just a little tired.(pause) Could you come for a walk? C: A walk?

    N: One foot in front of the other, through leaves, over bridges.

    C: Sounds good.

(Now They were taking the walk, were in a woods with a brown-leaf floor.)

    N: Catharine.

    C: Yes?(Newt kept silence, so Catharine glanced at him.) N: IErI

    C: (stopped walking)What exactly do you want to say, Newt? Youre a bit strange today. Something bad must have happened, right?(anxiously)Please tell me. N: Im all right. Dont worry.

     Just it's annual enlisted time again. You know, Im already 19 now. And I have dreamed of joining the army since I was a little boy. Soso

    C: What? Youre leaving! Why havent I heard of it before? When? N: It is settled. Just the day after tomorrow. C: So soon?

    N: Yes. It is settled.

    C: Then how long will you stay there?

    N: Nearly tow years.

    C: Two years.(pause)(cheered up)

     Two years will soon be over. When you come back, we can play together again.

    N: Ill definitely come back.looked at C firmly

    C: Being a soldier is not easy but wonderful. Will you write to me?

    N: (nodded) Of course I will, as long as I have time. C: Thats a deal. (gesturepinky-swear) Dont forget.

     And, you must take care of youself.

    N: I will. And you too.

They started walking again.

    N: Catharine.

    C: Yes?

    N: I have something to tell you.

    C: Im listening.

    N: (stopped walking)IIEryou(C looked at N hopefully.)

     Are you thirsty?

    C: Ah? (amazed) No.(disappointed)

    N: Oh. Then,then,(pause) are you hungry now? I know a newly opened restaurant

     nearby. It supplies various foodrice porridge, steamed bread, steamed twisted

     roll,spring rolls, chicken rolls, rice tube pudding, salty rice pudding, bean paste

     cake, meatballs, meat pie, pancake, stretched noodles, fried noodle, rice noodles,

     pyramid dumplingsand all kinds of soup and desserts. There're lots of choices.

     We can have dinner together there.( nevously) Er, I mean, I just mean, it's really

     a good choice, right?

    C: ButHavent you just finished you lunch? Im still full.

    N: Aha. I just forgot.(embarassed)

    (Keeping walk)

    C: Dont you have anything else to tell me?(stopped)

    N:Yeah. I, (pause)will you see me off?

    C: Of course.

    N: Thanks. And, I will miss you.

    C: Really?

    N: Sure. Youre my best friend.

    C: Oh. Just friend.(disappointed, thinked aloud) Weve been out for quiet a while, I

     think we should go back now.

    N: All right. Lets go home.

    They started walking back, and Catharine walked in front of Newt. N: Catharine?

    (C turned round.)

    N: Nothing.

    (C walked away.)

    N: I love you. Do you know? Will you accept?(Newt said in a low voice sadly.)

——————————————————————————————————

    Scene Two

(In the early afternoon, Newt (N) knocked on Catharine (C)’s front door.

    C came to the door carrying a fat, glossy magazine which was devoted to brides.)

    C: Newt!(surprised)

    N: Could you come for a walk? (covering his shyness by speaking absently) C:A walk

    NOne foot in front of the other, Through leaves, over bridges. C:I had no idea you were in town.

    N: Just this minute got in.

    C: Still in the Army, I see.

    N:7 more mouths to go.(He held out his hand for the magazine.)Lets see the pretty

     book.

    C: (gave the book to him) I m getting married, Newt.

    N:I know, Lets go for a walk.

    C: Im awfully busy, Newt. The wedding is only a week away. N: If we go for a walk, it will make you rosy .It will make you a rosy bride.(turned the

     pages)A rosy bride like her, like her.(showing her rosy brides)(C turned rosy,

     thinking about rosy brides.

    N: That will be my present to Henry. By taking you for a walk. Ill be giving him a

     rosy bride.

    C: You know his name?

    N: Mother wrote.

    C: Yes ,you'd like him

    NMaybe.

    C: Can ,can you come to the wedding ,Newt

    NThat I doubt.

    C: How did you get here , Newt?

    N: 2 days(N raised his thumb, jerking it in a hitchhike gesture.) C: Does your mother know?

    N: I didn’t come to see my mother.

    C: Who did you come to see?

    N: You.

    C: Why me ?

    N: Because I love you. Now can we take a walk? One foot in front of the

     other---through leaves, over bridges.

    (Now They were taking the walk, were in a woods with a brown-leaf floor.) C:Newt. this is absolutely crazy.(angry and rattled ,close to tears)

    N: How so?

    C: What a crazy time to tell me you love me .You never talked that way before. (stopped walking)

    N: Lets keep walking.

    C: No, so far ,no farther. I shouldnt have come out with you at all.

    N: You did.

    C: To get you out of the house .If somebody walked in and heard you talking to me that way. A week before the wedding.

    NWhat would they think?

    C: They'd think you were crazy.

    N: Why?

    C:( took a deep breath)Let me say that I am deeply honored by this crazy thing youve

    done. I cant believe you really love me ,but maybe you do. But

    N:I do. Catherine, set what others think aside.

    C: Well .I am deeply honored. and I am very fond of you as a friend; Newt, extremely

     fondbut its too late.(took a step away from Newt)Youve never even kissed me.

     (protected herself with her hands)I dont mean you should do it now. I just mean

     this is all so unexpected. I havent got the remotest idea of how to respond.

    N:Just walk some more. Have a nice time.

    (They started walking again.)

    C: How did you expect me to react?

    N: How would I know what to expect? Ive never done anything like this before.

    C: Did you think I would throw myself into your arms?

    NMaybe.

    C :Im sorry to disappoint you.

    N: Im not disappointed. I wasnt counting on it. This is very nice, just walking. C: ( stopped again)You know what happen next?

    N: No.

    C: We shake hands. We shake hands and part friends. That is what happens next. N: (nodded)All right. Remember me from time to time. Remember how much I loved

     you.(C burst into tears, turned her back to N, looking into the trees in the woods.)

    N:What doses that mean?

    C:rage.(clenched her hands)You have no right.

    N:I had to find out.

    C: If I’d love you, I would have let you know before now. N: You would?

     N, looked up at N, her face quite red)You would have known. C: Yes.(faced

    N: How?

    C: You would have seen it. Women are not very clever at hiding it.

    N: Men are not very clever at discovering it. But now I know.

     (N looked closely at C's face, kissed her.)Lett walk, dont stop.

    C: Youre hell to get along with!

    N: I am?

    C: You should not have done that.

    N: You didnt like it

    CWhat did you expectwild, abandoned passion?

    N:I keep telling you, I never know whats going to happen next. C: We say good bye.

    N:frown slightly)All right.

    C:I am not sorry we kissed. That was sweet. We should have kissed, weve been so

     close. Ill always remember you, remember our happy hours.(She deeply reached

     back into the past.)

    ――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――

    (Ten years ago, when Newt was a little boy, Catharine a little girl. An early morning,

    N knocked on C’s front door.)

    N: Catharine, its 7 oclock already. We should leave now. C: Oh, Im coming, Wait a moment.Just a minute. Books, keys, penseverything is

     ok now. Lets go.

    N: Wait. Wait

    C: What's wrong?

    (N kneeled down to tie C's shoes.)

    N:You must pay more attention next time, or you may fall down. Get it?

    C: I know. Thanks.(N coughed slightly.) Newt, are you OK?

    N: Dont worry, Im fine.

    C: You must let me know if you feel sick.(N nodded.) Ah! I have a gift for you.(taking

     a beautiful shawl out of her schoolbag)I ve prepared for many days.(putting up the

     shawl for N)

    N:It's really a nice and warm shawl. I like it very much. Thanks. But, we must go

     right now.(taking C's bag naturally)

――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――

    C:Newt, Good luck.

    N:You too.(take a deep breath).Can I ask you the last question? C:Yes, I’m listening.

    N:You really love him?

    C:Certaily I love him! I would not marry him if I didnt love him!

    N:Whats good about him?

    C:Honestly! Do you have any idea how offensive you are being ? Many many many

     things are good about Henry ! Yes! And many many many things are probably bad

     too. But thats none of your budiness. I love Henry , and I dont have to argue his

     merits with you!

    N:Sorry!

    C:Honestly!

    (Newt kissed her again )

(They were now in a large orchard.)

    C:How did we get so far from home, Newt? N:One foot in front of the otherthrough leaves, over bridges. C:They add upthe steps.

    N:School for the blind

    C:School for the blind, I have to go back now. N:Say goodbye

    C:Every time I do, I seem to get kissed. (Newt sat down on the grass under an apple tree.) N:Sit down.

    C:No.

    N:I wont touch you.

    CI dont believe you.

    (She sat down under another tree, closed her eyes.) N: Dream of Henry.

C:What ?

    N:Dream of your wonderful husband to be. C:All right, I will.

    (She closed her eyes tighter.)

(She came out from under her tree, knelt by Newt.)

    C:Newt?

    N:Hm?(opened his eyes)

    C:Late,

    N:Hello, Catharine,

    C:Hello, Newt,

    N:I love you,

    C:I know,

    N:Too late,

    C:Too late,

    (N stood, stretched groaningly.) N:A very nice walk.

    C:I thought so,

    N:Part company here?

    C:Where will you go?

    N:Hitch into town

    C:Good luck

    N:You, too. Marry me , Catharine? C: No.

    (Newt smiled, stared at her for a moment, then walked away.

    She watched him grow smaller in the long perspective of shawdows and trees.

    Newt stopped. He turned.)

    N : Catharine.

    (Catharine ran to him, put her arms around him, could not speak.)

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