Dear Heather

Heather enters the front of the shop carrying two small cardboard boxes.

Arthur packs a box with a few small items.

Dear Heather

HEATHER:  I’ve locked up the backdoor.  (placing boxes on countertop) The last two packing boxes.

ARTHUR:  Thanks, Heather.

HEATHER:  Can’t believe we’re here.

ARTHUR:  Almost fifty years.

HEATHER:  Fifty years is a long time.

ARTHUR:  Not long enough, it seems.

HEATHER:  It’s okay, we’ve got the new place.

ARTHUR:  I don’t want to relocate.

HEATHER:  What do you mean?

ARTHUR:  I’ve been meaning to tell you.  We’re closing down for good.

HEATHER:  Didn’t you sign the new lease?

ARTHUR:  I had seven days to change my mind.  I cancelled it, couldn’t go through with it.  (beat)  I know it may come as a surprise to you but I’ve finally realized that it’s time for me to retire and move on…Don’t worry, I have something for you…(hands her an envelope)  something I’ve been wanting to give you, for everything…

(Heather takes envelope)

Put that to good use.  You’re a bright young lady and you will do wonderful things.

HEATHER:  Arthur, I don’t want to take this.

ARTHUR:  Hey!  You have to take it.  It will kill me if you don’t.


Let’s just pack up the last few boxes here and call it done.

HEATHER:  What made you change your mind?

ARTHUR:  I’m too old to compete with the digital age.

HEATHER:  I am good at the digital marketing—

ARTHUR:  No, no…it’s all too late and too much work.  Maybe ten years ago.

HEATHER:  I love this business.  I hate that you are walking away from it.  Everyone in town loves you.

ARTHUR:  Love isn’t going to keep us in business, Heather.  People don’t come into my store like they once did.  Twenty years ago you couldn’t walk around in this store without colliding with another person, especially before the school year started.  Now we’re lucky we get three customers a day.  I can’t afford the new lease.  It’s time to close up shop.

HEATHER:  But why can’t we relocate?  I thought you found a really great deal at the shopping center.

ARTHUR:  Oh, it’s a decent deal, not the greatest but I knew the owner’s father and it’s just…I feel like it’s a slow downward spiral and I rather cut my losses while I still have a chance.

HEATHER:  But we can rebuild, you even said so yourself.

ARTHUR:  It won’t work, kid.

HEATHER:  What changed?  Last week you were optimistic and this week—

ARTHUR:  Heather dear, I’m dying.


ARTHUR:  I have cancer.  (beat)  Haven’t even told my wife, my family.  I want to close down the shop and only then can I tell them.

Heather wraps her arms around Arthur, hugging him tightly.

HEATHER:  I’m so sorry.  I didn’t mean to pressure you into telling me.

ARTHUR:  No, no…it’s best you find out this way.  I’m fine with it.  As long as I know my family will be financially stable when I’m gone…that’s all that matters.

HEATHER:  What kind of cancer is it?

ARTHUR:  Oh, let’s not get into all of that, okay?  Why don’t we finish packing up?

HEATHER:  Okay…okay.

ARTHUR:  I’m going to start the car.  Get it nice and warm.  Finish the rest for me, will you?


Arthur leaves.  

Heather opens up envelope and sees an enormous sum of money written on a check with her name.  She also takes out a handwritten letter and reads out-loud.

HEATHER:  “Dear Heather, I know that things have not turned out as planned but that’s okay.  Please, cash this check and put it towards your own dreams and passions.  I believe you will do great things in your life.  You are like a daughter to me and although I’ve never said so, I love you.  Always, Arthur.”


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Joseph Arnone