I didn’t do enough, I could have given more.

Drama scene from the short play, “Nowhere Near Happy”, reveals the relationship between Ava and her two parents with regard to money.

FATHER: I’m going to tell those young men to get out before they even get started.

MOTHER: You can’t do that.

FATHER: Who’s going to stop me?

MOTHER: I will.

FATHER: Excuse me?

MOTHER: You heard me. If you create a problem down at the factory you will lose your job for sure and then what will we do?

FATHER (sarcastic): We’ll have our rich daughter Ava take care of us.

MOTHER: Steve, you talk about getting old but when will you ever grow up? You should be so fortunate as to have a daughter love you as much as she does.

FATHER: Stop it.

MOTHER: That girl idolizes you but you are too stubborn to notice.

FATHER: What makes you think that?

MOTHER: The way she looks at you, ever since she was a little girl, she hasn’t changed, it’s us, we are the ones that create fault with her, when we should be proud of her.

FATHER: I am proud of her!

MOTHER: Why don’t you show it?

FATHER: I’m a failure.

MOTHER: You are not a failure. You’ve woken up each day at 4AM for thirty years to go to work. You’ve provided a roof over our heads and food on the table. If that is a failure, then I must be a failure too.

FATHER: I didn’t do enough, I could have given more. I should have given more. Had I given more I’d feel differently.

MOTHER: You are a stupid man to think that way.

FATHER: How can I look my daughter in her eyes when I am shamed by her success?

MOTHER: Her success is our success! She comes from you and from me.

(enter AVA)

AVA: Hi…I planned on coming sooner but things got busy with my work, so…

(AVA goes over to the new sink)

Wow, look at this! Look how shiny! (she laughs) I kind of miss the old sink I grew up with, but this is so nice. Do you both like it?


MOTHER: I have your credit card upstairs, I’ll be right back.

AVA: Give it to me later Mom–

MOTHER: No, I’ll be right back.


AVA: How’s it going pop?

FATHER: It’s going.

AVA: Home early today.


(FATHER gets up from table to exit KITCHEN)

AVA: Please, don’t.


AVA: I love you, Dad.

(FATHER breaks down but tries to stay strong)

FATHER: This is hard for me.

AVA: What is?

FATHER: To tell you how I feel. It’s wrong of me to treat you so terribly.

AVA: It’s okay —

FATHER: …I didn’t expect my life to turn out this way. At the time I thought I was doing good, my working at the factory…thought I’d make it out of the line and work my way up to the office but it didn’t work out that way. By the time I realized it, it was already too late. Options were limited, Ava. I tried. I tried to find other work but it was never good enough. Nothing was ever good enough, so I stayed on…thirty years later, here I am.

AVA: There is nothing wrong with the work you do at the factory, Dad.

FATHER: Everything is wrong with it. I should have given you and your mother more, I should have risen above because I had the brains but they kept me handcuffed.

AVA: Dad —

FATHER: What I need you to know is that I’m proud of you, Ava. I know I’ve never told you that. I am. I’m so damn proud of you that…I can’t even control myself…when I say…the words. My problems shouldn’t be your problems and I’m, Oh god Ava, I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough.

AVA: You are! You are good enough! Stop saying that. I love you for who you are. It’s because of you that I was able to think outside the box and build my store.


AVA: Yes you, Dad.


AVA: You inspired me to imagine.

FATHER: I did?

AVA: I knew you weren’t always happy at your job, so it made me imagine how I could find a way to make all of us happy, but even though I am making money and have a company, it made things worse for our family.

FATHER: No. No. It’s not you. It’s been me. Ava, no one in the world could understand how much I love you.


  • To read the full one-act ePlay, find purchase link below:

Nowhere Near Happy MiniIn this one-act ePlay, Ava’s success has made her relationship with her family much more difficult, especially when they give her a hard time over allowing her to help them out financially.  4 Characters.  Drama.

Purchase ePlay

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