A man in his mid-40’s, scruffy beard and tousled dirty blonde hair, Weston, is sitting at a desk in his studio apartment in the city. He’s doing work on the laptop with a glass of red wine next to his paperwork. He takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes; its tasks like this that explain his poor eyesight and need for glasses and the occasional contact lenses. His trance breaks when he hears the doorbell ring.
He’s confused as he looks at the door. He wasn’t expecting anymore, not that he ever gets company at this time of night anyway. He gets up from his chair and checks the door; possibly it’s his daughter, Grace? Did something happen to her?
Without even looking through the peephole, he opens the door and surprised at who is standing there. A woman with frizzy curly ginger red hair, Mollie, is standing there. The bottom of her jeans is wet from the rain.
Weston: H-Hey Mollie.
He immediately lets Mollie in. She enters the apartment and looks around while Weston closes the door behind her.
Mollie: Grace was right, your apartment is more of a hotel room.
She looks at Weston and smiles. He laughs at her statement.
Weston: *playfully* Oh is that so? Grace talks about me behind my back?
Mollie: She’s 19, she talks about everyone, Weston.
They both laugh. Conversations about Grace aren’t as awkward anymore after their reunion dinner a couple of months back.
Weston: *offering with his hands out* Would you like me to take your coat and umbrella?
Mollie takes off her coat and hands both the coat and umbrella to Weston. He gets a hanger from the closet to hang up the coat to dry while Mollie walks around the living room area and spots a couple of photos on the wall.
Mollie: I didn’t take you to be a “photos on the wall” type of man.
He walks over to Mollie and faces the wall of pictures as well.
Weston: It makes the place homier, y’ know?
Mollie thinks about the fact she’s been back in New York for almost a decade yet had no pictures on her wall in her two-bedroom apartment. Weston has been here for less than a year and his place looks like it’s actually lived in.
Mollie analyzes the wall until she sees a photo that looks familiar; it’s a photo of him holding a dinosaur and standing next to his twin brother, Mason.
Mollie: Wow, I remember this photo. *points up to it* You had it in your mom’s place back when we were teenagers.
Weston looks up at the picture.
Weston: Yeah, I asked if it was okay for me to take it, I-
He turns his head at Mollie, shocked.
Weston: You remembered that?
Mollie looks back up to Weston to answer his question.
Weston is surprised at Mollie’s memory.
Weston: Time flies, huh?
Mollie smiles and looks back at the wall of pictures. She analyzes all of the pictures of Grace when she was a child. Weston notices.
Weston: Grace freakishly had your mannerisms as a child.
Mollie: *shocked* Really?
Weston: Oh yeah. She got herself in sticky situations with her friends and disobeying teachers and stuff. I had her principal on speed dial.
Mollie: *laughs* Come on, that’s normal for a kid to go through.
Weston: She was once bored at my office back in Virginia. She thought she wanted to be ‘just like Daddy’ and play with my partner’s gun. She shot at a potted plant and scared half of the bureau to death.
Mollie laughs but covers her mouth instantly. Weston smiles.
Weston: At least no one was hurt, and we definitely laugh about it every now and then.
Mollie smiles and looks back at the wall again. She notices a picture of herself wearing a sparkly dance costume with Baby Grace in her arms. Mollie is taken back at the picture.
Mollie: You kept this picture?
Weston looks at the picture Mollie is talking about. He seems flustered and nervous.
Weston: Y-Yeah, I just… really love this picture of you two.
Mollie: I remember putting it in the box of things for Mollie’s 18th birthday though.
Weston is even more surprised that Mollie remembers these little things about their past. He questions how much she thinks about these things in a day.
Weston: She gave it to me before she left for college. She figured she didn’t need it, considering she was living with you while she’s here.
Mollie: *distracted* I remember that day. I had just finished the North American leg of the “New World” production. You brought Grace to the last show. You came backstage with her in one hand, and flowers in the other. Grace looked so amazed by her surroundings… huge smile on her face, looking curious.
Weston looks at Mollie while she recalls the memory. He’s intrigued about how she remembers the minor details.
Weston: She was in her glory that day.
Mollie looks at Weston, and they both smile at each other. They both walk away from the wall; Weston hands over to the kitchen while Mollie sits on the sofa in the living room. Without asking, Weston walks over to Mollie with a cup of coffee: creamer and 3 sugars. Mollie is surprised he remembers how she liked her coffee.
Weston: So, what brings you over to this side of town in the pouring rain at this time of night?
Mollie nervously laughs and takes a deep breath.
Mollie: Seems like a habit of mine, huh?
Weston laughs; he knows she’s talking about the night they knew.
Weston: Yeah, just a bit. But it was fun that night.
Mollie: Oh really?
Weston: Yeah. I don’t think about what happened afterwards. I just think about us that night.
Mollie blushes a little, then realizes he’s probably picking it up and noticing it. Gosh, she feels like a teenager again.
Mollie: That’s… sweet of you to think of that night that way, Weston.
Weston: What can I say? We got laid that night.
Mollie laughs with her whole body. Weston is just as honest and funny as he was when they were kids. Weston smiles at Mollie. Mollie laughs just as loud and hearty as she did when they were kids.
Mollie: That’s one way to think of it. *laughs* I just… wanted to check on you. Grace has been noticing that you’ve been… sad lately. I just wanted to see if everything’s okay.
Weston is puzzled.
Weston: I appreciate you checking up on me, Mol, but it isn’t your problem to worry about. I’m fine.
Ouch. Mollie nervously traces the rim of the coffee mug with her finger.
Weston: *sighs* This case, wrapping it up has been a pain. This job gets tougher as the years pass.
Mollie: Why don’t you considering quitting?
Weston: It hasn’t been twenty years yet. I’ll forfeit my pension if I don’t work for another 5 years. I can’t do that to Grace.
Grace. Mollie is still surprised that even though their daughter is all grown up and in college, Weston still makes his moves according to Grace. He’ll do whatever it takes to provide for his daughter.
Mollie: But, if it’s taking a toll on you, why not reconsider?
Weston: I just can’t do that to her, Mol. I didn’t do it all these years just so I could just quit when I got tired. It’s hard, but I’m okay. I do it for her.
Mollie suddenly looks sullen. She seems regretful that she couldn’t do the same for Grace. Weston takes notice of it.
Weston: You’re here now, Mol. That’s all that matters.
Mollie: How do you manage to do that all the time?
Weston: Do what?
Mollie: Know what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling. You just always know, even after all these years.
Weston: You don’t lose that ability for the people you care deeply about. We’ve known each other for over 20 years.
Mollie: *sullen* I left for 17 of them though.
Weston turns his body and faces Mollie.
Weston: It doesn’t matter. We’ve known each other since we were 17.
Mollie stares at Weston’s face and studies it; he’s definitely aged since the last time they were ever this close, but his face still looks the same: his light freckles on his cheeks, the laugh lines that have always been there…
Weston: Which brings me to my next point; you didn’t come here to check up on me.
Mollie: And what’s makes you think that?
Weston: It’s 11 at night, you live on the other side of the city, and a simple phone call would’ve been a better alternative. *raises an eyebrow* What’s going on, Mol?
They both stared at each other intently, not making a move, not saying anything. Just a moment to admire the closeness they are in now.
Mollie: *nervously* I hate that you know me so fucking well.
Weston: We wouldn’t have worked if I didn’t.
Weston stops Mollie before she says something.
Weston: And no, our separation doesn’t mean we didn’t work, so don’t even think that.
Mollie: *shocked* You amaze me, Weston Ashmore.
Weston laughs and takes a sip of his coffee on the coffee table. When he puts it back down, he’s waiting for Mollie to speak. She takes a deep breath.
Mollie: Remember that night in your mom’s place? We sat on the sofa, same positions we’re sitting in now, you told me I didn’t need to pretend with you?
Weston: *recalls* I remember telling you that a lot at the beginning of our relationship, so yeah.
Mollie: Well, that was the first time you told me that. And ever since I promised myself to always be honest with you, despite it sometimes hurting you in the process.
Mollie takes a deep breath; her voice is shaky.
Weston: What’s going on, Mol? You know you can tell me anything.
Mollie studies Weston’s face, gathering every moment and every honest feeling that she needs to pour out of herself.
Mollie: I have a pretty good understanding of what your life was like during our time apart. Grace pretty much told me everything. You went to work, took care of Grace, pretty much lived your life as a parent. But, I never told you what life was like for me. Maybe you don’t care, but I feel the need to let you know that it wasn’t all that glamorous.
Weston’s face becomes attentive. He doesn’t budge.
Mollie: The first few months I pretty much lived my life on survival mode. I drank, I partied, I even experimented with drugs. It was just what the tour was like, on top of depression, of course. I went on a few dates, had a couple one night stands but nothing ever came from them. No matter how many people were around me, that claimed they loved me and supported me, I always felt alone. For the next decade, all I thought about was how you were doing and if Grace was happy living her life. Sure, I should’ve reached out and checked upon you, but, I was a coward. I let you believe all these years I didn’t care about you anymore, that I stopped loving you.
Mollie nervously stops talking and looks at Weston, who is officially in deep thought.
She reaches out for his hand and he snaps out of the thought; he’s now looking at Mollie.
Mollie: *sighs* When you walked into my classroom for Grace’s parent-teacher conference, I was feeling… everything. I was scared that you would take her out of my class after finding out I was her teacher, but it sort of brought me back to when I first met you… when you first came into our class in high-school… it felt like we came full-circle.
Mollie starts to get nervous and gets off from the couch to walk around the living room area. Weston’s eyes follow her body.
Mollie: *turns around* Yeah?
Weston: What are you trying to say?
Mollie just stands there. She’s immediately taken back to the night when they had the biggest fight in their lives. Mollie is yelling at Weston, who is sitting on the sofa with his hands on his head in frustration. Weston gets up from the sofa and walks towards Mollie.
In the present day, Weston gets up from the sofa and walks towards Mollie.
Weston: *softly* Hey.
Mollie snaps out of the thought and looks up at Weston. She instantly calms down.
Weston: I’m right here. You can tell me.
Mollie continues to look at Weston, and vice versa. The stare does not break.
Mollie: It’s always been you, Weston.
Weston: *confused* Huh?
Mollie: Wes, I’m halfway in my 40’s and I’m tired of waking up by myself in the mornings. I’m tired of wasting my days, regretting not being where I should be, where we should be. *recalls* Alan, the guy I dated for a while after our separation, asked me to marry him. I told him I couldn’t. Despite being in a serious relationship, I was never in love with him like that. You simply just can’t fall in love the way you once did for a second time with a second person.
Mollie looks down at the floor. Weston lifts her chin up with his fingers to look back up at him.
Weston: Say it.
Mollie: I, *inhales* Weston…
Weston: I’m not going anywhere.
Mollie: I- I never stopped loving you, Weston. I’m still so fucking in love with you and I-
Weston takes both of his hands and cups Mollie’s face and slams his lips against hers. It’s the first kiss they’ve shared in 19 years. It’s passionate, it’s yearning, it’s familiar and like nothing has changed.
The kiss ends and they look at each other.
Weston: What took you so long, Mol?
Mollie: *confused* Huh?
Weston: I don’t know if it was obvious or not, but I’ve just been waiting for you to come around all this time.
Mollie: You… knew?
Weston: *laughs* I didn’t know, but I always knew that I never stopped loving you and I hoped one day, you felt the same.
Mollie smiles up at Weston. He reciprocates it.
Mollie: *nervously* I- uh, wow, uhm…
Weston: *playfully* There’s no turning back now, Mol.
He places his hand on her cheek and she practically melts in his hand.
Weston: We have 19 years to catch up on.
He kisses her and she kisses him back harder. Time stops practically, and the only two living things are them at that moment. They explore each other, learning their bodies, their spots, the things that make them tick; everything they’ve missed out these last two decades.
The rain hits harder on the glass of the window.