Scene Detail

"Honey, I'm sorry to call you at work but I need you to talk me down."

From: Leave, or The Surface of the World
Gender Age Character Name
Female 50s ANNE
Seth is a young Marine serving during wartime. Nicholas is his civilian longtime companion who waits back home. In addition to the strain on their relationship caused by distance and absence, they must hide their love for one another behind code words and secret identities because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the United States military.

Seth's mother Anne assists them by providing the cover of a woman's handwriting for Nicholas' daily letters, but Nicholas and Seth's resolve is starting to weaken.

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Copyright 2011 by Matthew A. Everett

Emphasis shifts as --

ANNE appears, three wrinkled pieces of paper in one hand, a phone which she speaks into in the other.

The pages have been written and unwritten, crumpled and thrown in the trash, retrieved and smoothed out.


(into phone)

Honey, I'm sorry to call you at work but I need you to talk me down.
Because I wrote the letters again.
Dear Mr. President
Dear Senator
Dear Congresswoman
No, I didn't send them. Why do you think I'm calling you? So I can continue to resist sending them.
Well, that's why you married me. Because you knew I'd be an unrelenting mother-protector to our child.

(Anne's husband says something very private)

Well, yes, I suppose that's another reason you married me.
It's certainly one of the reasons I married you.
How can you get away with saying things like that at work?
Oh. Well, you know I love a man with a office door he can shut.
And a man who can distract me. Which you're very good at doing.
Don't tell me I shouldn't have written them.
If I don't get these things out of my system somehow, my head's going to explode.
We live with two kinds of fear - that our son will be killed, and that his own country will disgrace him.
All Seth wants to do is serve his country.
He wants to protect the rights of others, rights that he doesn't even have anymore, rights that you and I don't have anymore, because he's standing up for those who won't stand up for him.
I'm afraid to even make a donation to any of the organizations that are fighting this ridiculous law.
Our government can never know who I am. Who you are.
They can never know who he is.
Because the second they do, Seth loses everything.

ANNE shakes the letters in her hand.

ANNE (contd)

Shame on you.
Shame on you all.
Shame on all of us.

(pause, Annes husband brings her back)

I love you, too.


Yes, I'll shred them.
I'll do it right now.

Copyright 2011 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett