Perfect Little Bubble

Harper throws a handful of pebbles at the ocean.  Roxy looks on from her seated beach towel position.

She claps her hands.

She claps them again.  Harper turns to look at her.  She waves for him to come to her.

Harper: What’s up?

Roxy talks softly and with strain.

Roxy: I want you to sit with me.
Harper: Want to throw some rocks with me?
Roxy: No. Just sit with me, please.
Harper: How’s your throat?
Roxy: Stings.
Harper: The make-up seems to be holding up.
Roxy: Yeah?
Harper: Mmm-hmm.
Roxy: I have to put more on before dinner.
Harper: Which should be soon, right?
Roxy: Mmm-hmm.

Roxy drinks water.

Harper: Keep nursing it. I’ll make you green tea when we get back.
Roxy: …Harper, I’m sorry for the way I’ve been…I hope this doesn’t change things.
Harper: It’s awkward. I’m not gonna lie.
Roxy: I think it’s the pressure of it all. Everything happening at once. So fast.
Harper: But we talked about this at length, didn’t we?

Roxy nods.

I wouldn’t have set this whole thing up if you were uncomfortable. We could have waited.
Roxy: But I don’t want to wait.

(pause.)

Do you want to wait?
Harper: I didn’t…I’m taken back by last night. I woke up with the strangest feeling. I don’t know how to put it into words. I never experienced anything like that before, Roxy.
Roxy: I know. I’m sorry.
Harper: I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. (beat) The worst part about it was that when I found you, I thought someone had done the most terrible thing to you. The blood drained from me…does anyone know about this?
Roxy: Not about last night. My family thinks it hasn’t happened for years but whenever I’m too overwhelmed…it’s my only way out.
Harper: But it’s not. It’s wrong. You could die.
Roxy: I know. Something takes over.
Harper: This is so difficult.
Roxy: Tell me.
Harper: I don’t want to talk about it. I want to but not right now. I need time with this. I mean, what’s been done about it?
Roxy: I think talking about it helps me.
Harper: Have you ever been prescribed medication?
Roxy: Yes, but it didn’t work. Just made me have dizzy spells. The worst.
Harper: Why have you kept it from your family?
Roxy: Because I want to be normal. You don’t know what it was like for me growing up, Harper. Always being looked at as the delicate child. I hate it. I don’t want to be perceived in such a way.
Harper: You can’t hide it. There needs to be a solution. I can’t live my life with you having this play in the back of my mind, never knowing if you are going to do this again.  And what if it’s worse next time?  What if??
Roxy: Do you love me?
Harper: Of course I love you but don’t use love as a way to cover things up. I believe in facing a problem and fixing it head on.
Roxy: I’m not strong like you, that’s why I love you.
Harper: No. You are strong. You need to face this.
Roxy: We can.
Harper: Yes, we can.
Roxy: Together.
Harper: I’m here.
Roxy: I couldn’t do it without you, Harper…
Harper: …I want us to go to a doctor. I want to get answers and solutions.
Roxy: Yes.
Harper: If we do that, we can learn more about what we are dealing with and then we will understand how to make this right. You agree?
Roxy: Yes. I don’t want anyone to know. Not one person.
Harper: Okay.
Roxy: Just you and me. Promise?
Harper: I promise.

Roxy hugs Harper.

Roxy: Thank God you are in my life.
Harper: I love you but please know that this has caught me by surprise.
Roxy: What does that mean?
Harper: It means it’s all very unsettling for me.
Roxy: You say it like you now have doubt about us.
Harper: Look, I’m saying the truth. It’s a bit of a shock and rightfully so, you really shouldn’t judge my feelings over what you did and I’m not saying I don’t love you. I’m saying that this is a serious problem and one in which it will take time to adjust to because I wasn’t ready for it.
Roxy: Well, I’m sorry I’m not perfect for you and that I’ve popped your perfect little bubble.
Harper: Roxy, don’t start.
Roxy: Be clear about what you are saying to me.
Harper: I am. I just explained it to you.

(pause.)

Roxy: Maybe we are wrong.
Harper: Why?
Roxy: Maybe this changes things between us now.
Harper: It changes things but it can be for the better if we take our time.
Roxy: I wish none of this ever happened. I wish I was normal!

Roxy stands up and motions to walk off. Harper stands.

Harper: Roxy! Don’t you dare walk away. Wait a second. You put something in my life without ever telling me about these episodes you go through. You think that was fair? I’m about to change both our lives because we love one another and you drop this bomb on my chest. Why didn’t you ever tell me?
Roxy: Because I didn’t want to lose you but now forget it. I can already see from your reaction how we will end up years later.
Harper: That’s not true! (beat) …Damn it…let’s calm down, we’re making a damn scene. Let’s walk casually.

They walk.

I think everything is fine but you need to give me some breathing room too with this. I’m entitled, don’t you think?
Roxy: I do.
Harper: I’m here for you, Roxy but don’t lose sight of my feelings, either. This is all new to me.  We will stay the course and give it everything we got.

They hold hands.

Joseph Arnone

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