The Linguist (Scene 4)

For reference, see character thumbnails.


[inside Abbott estate; REESE, ELIZA, NORAH, and CYNTHIA enter]

CYNTHIA:     [to NORAH]     Look how long your hair has gotten! And you, Eliza, you’re so tall! At the rate you’re growing, you could be a model!

REESE:     Mother! Eliza is going to college, not—

ELIZA:     You really think so? I mean, if soccer doesn’t pan out—

REESE:     If soccer doesn’t pan out, you’ll live!

ELIZA:     Can you just lay off, mom? For like five seconds?

REESE:     I am your mother! Don’t talk to me that way!

CYNTHIA:     And I am YOUR mother and I think you should let Eliza explore her options. Let her make her own mistakes.

REESE:     Like you let me?

CYNTHIA:      All the more reason not to make my mistakes, Reese.

[pregnant pause]

NORAH:     Grandma? Can I go to my room now? I want to hang up my church dress.

CYNTHIA:     Please call me Cynthia!

REESE:     Really, mom?

CYNTHIA:     Yes, of course, dear. Second door on the left, just like last time.

[NORAH exits; RODGER enters]

RODGER:     Hello Cynthia! It’s so good to see you. How are you holding up?

CYNTHIA:     As well as can be expected.     [hugging him]     You were always such a nice boy. How ever did my daughter nab you up?

RODGER:     [he laughs]     I suppose getting pregnant didn’t hurt.

[REESE gives him an accusatory look]

RODGER:     Anyway, why don’t you show me this new red room I’ve heard so much about.

CYNTHIA:     You remembered! Well, it isn’t quite fully equipped just yet, but it is certainly very red … [exits with RODGER, laughing]

REESE:     It’s going to be a very long weekend.

ELIZA:     Yup.

REESE:     Eliza, I—Well, I don’t mean to be pushy. Lord knows I don’t want to be like MY mother. I just want you to think about your future. Really think. I want you to be happy. In the long run. I always want you to be happy.

ELIZA:     I know, mom. But can’t I be happy my way?

[pause; CYNTHIA comes bustling back in]

CYNTHIA:     Oh, that man! He really is a keeper. Always taking an interest in my little hobbies.     [beat; then to REESE]     So, when is your sister coming?

REESE:     Tomorrow. She’s going to meet us at the executor’s office.

CYNTHIA:    Well, that’s awfully rude. Haven’t seen her in two years and she can’t even be bothered to drop in on her own mother before setting down to this morbid business. I ought to call her and give her a piece of my mind.

REESE:     Mother, please don’t. For my sake? Just try to be civil. Not nagging. Definitely not nice. Just civil.

[CYNTHIA makes an affronted noise and sits down beside ELIZA]

CYNTHIA:     So how are you? Any boyfriends these days?

[REESE remains standing, rubbing her neck, and the lights go down]

—End Scene—

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