What You Don't Know

A Scripted Freelance Writer Writing Sample

SCENE Two (Early morning. Next day. RUTH pours a cup of coffee as EZRA reads the paper. She sets the cup in front of EZRA who smiles and begins his daily ritual. Drinking his coffee. RUTH secretly watches him. He inhales the coffee while his eyes lay closed. He slowly moves the cup to his lips; his eyes still closed and takes a slow, short sip. At the end of the sip, he lets out an 'ahhhhh' sound, then sets the coffee cup down. RUTH shakes her head and chuckles to herself quietly.) EZRA I swear it must be a spell. Your coffee, Ruth, puts me under a spell. RUTH Let's see… Hot water, ground coffee beans, and a cup. (Beat) It's a spell alright. (Beat) The honest truth is that you are too lazy to make your own coffee. If I hadn't made coffee for the last 42 years of this marriage, there'd be no coffee. EZRA Fine, don't take my compliment. RUTH Oh, I would take it, gladly, if it were sincere. But, I know you're just trying to butter me up, Ezra Thomas Bridges. You know I don't approve of all reorganizing you're doing of late. EZRA Oh, we're on that thing again? Look, ever since Victoria became co-manager, both of us have been able to do what we did before running this restaurant became so complicated. You with the books and money; me cooking and not worrying about staff. It's a good thing! RUTH For 7 years, Eric's done everything you asked and you make him equal to her? I can't believe he stayed. EZRA Eric is a good business man and he works hard. But, we aren't young. When our bodies and minds start to fail, I want to know that our family is still running Bridges Inn. Eric's always known that— RUTH Dayjah and Leah should have some kind of say in all this! Dayjah is the oldest. This is her legacy, Ezra. EZRA Legacy? People don't think that way anymore. And Leah and Dayjah don't care about running Bridges Inn! (Beat, soothing) I realized, a long time ago, that there's nothing wrong with that. Victoria's whipped our team into shape, hired some good people in the past year. Turnover is at its lowest in 5 years. They listen to her! She was born for this. RUTH They listen because she's the boss's daughter— EZRA They listen to her because she's good at what she does! (Beat, soft) She's not the enemy, Ruth. All she's ever wanted is your respect. You think she's going to keep folding every time you push her down? Believe me; someday, you'll be the one folding. RUTH That some kind of threat? EZRA No. It's a warning that you'll spend your last years wishing you'd been the mother she deserves. (VICTORIA enters from the internal hallway dressed to the nines. VICTORIA races for the front door.) Victoria? Where are you going? VICTORIA Out to look at sites. EZRA This early? It's barely 7 o'clock. Dayjah'll be up and about soon. You barely got any time with her last night. And you haven't had breakfast! VICTORIA Look, daddy. I'll be back before we open. (Exits) RUTH You're still letting her believe we're going to open another restaurant? EZRA I'm not letting her believe anything. I told her to work up a business plan, look into some sites and I would consider it. We've had one site for 15 years. We should've opened another site years ago. RUTH This is you indulging her greed! What we have is a success. (Beat) Look, if there is another site soon, this is one Bridge that won't be on that marquee. (EZRA grumps and gets to his feet.) Where are you going? EZRA To clean the ovens. RUTH They're clean! EZRA If they're clean to my approval, then I'll fold some napkins or lay table cloths or sweep floors. In short, I want to be anywhere but near you right now. (Pause, mumbles) Forty one years of marriage and you have to make the 42nd hard as hell! (Exits into the restaurant)

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