I know firsthand what it’s like to keep things in.

Drama scene for three actors from one-act stage play, “Roads and Trenches” where Ron unexpectedly shows up at his friends drunk and enraged.

RON: I know firsthand what it’s like to keep things in. Been doing it all my life. Problem is the buildup. Over time, all these emotions that you think you’ve pushed away somehow resurface into a monster you can barely keep at bay. Eventually, it comes out of the water and reaches land, stomping on everyone and everything that comes in its path. The monster doesn’t even know why, because there’s too much force, you see, too many built-up years supporting its reason, and so it walks and stumbles and crushes everything in sight, and in the end, there’s only one thing left to do. Either of you happen to know what that may be?

DAVE: …N-No.

SYDNEY: Why don’t you have a seat, Ronnie?

Ron gets guided to the sofa and sits.

Are you hungry? There’s roasted chicken still covered on the stove.

RON: Roasted chicken.

SYDNEY: Why don’t you rest back? (she gently pushes Ron’s head and chest back on the sofa. She tucks a small pillow behind his head) Take a rest and I’ll fix you up a plate.

Sydney looks at Dave – raising her eyebrows as she passes him on her way to the kitchen.

RON: Dave?

DAVE: I’m here, Ron.

RON: Good. We still friends?

DAVE: We’re still friends, Ron.

RON: Good. I still love Sydney, you know.

DAVE: I know.

RON: That doesn’t go away.


RON: You sure you treat her right?

DAVE: You know I do.

RON: But do you REALLY treat her right..?

DAVE: I love her too, Ron.

RON: You’d die for her?

DAVE: I would.

RON: Would you suffer for her?

DAVE: I would, yes.

RON: Dave?

DAVE: Ron?

RON: Dave, I would kill you if I find out different.

DAVE: I know you would, Ron.

RON: I wouldn’t want to, but I would.

Enter Sydney carrying a plate. She sets the plate down at the nearby dining table.

SYDNEY: Ronnie? Why don’t you come over to the table and have some food?

Ron gets up from the sofa and makes his way to the table. He sits where his plate has been placed. Ron looks at his plate and smells his food.

RON: This all mine?

SYDNEY: All yours.

Ron begins eating his food in haste.

DAVE: How did you get here, Ron?

RON: Walked.

DAVE: Walked…from where?

RON: My apartment.

SYDNEY: That’s sixteen miles South from here.

RON: You were always good at geography, Syd.

SYDNEY: You must be tired.

RON: I’m always tired.

DAVE: I could drive you back when you’re done eating if you want?

RON (sinister): Oh yeah, Dave? (he laughs) Wanna drive me back to my home?

DAVE: I’m only offering.

RON: Thought I’d stay here for the night.

SYDNEY: …Okay…course you can. (she nods to Dave for agreement)

RON: That okay with you, Davey boy?

DAVE: I’ll have to drive you in the morning, before work.

RON: I’m only kidding. Nothing beats my own bed and pillow. I hate sleeping out. Messes my neck up for days. My pillow is flat, as flat as a cutting board and it’s just right, ’cause I get to squish it into whatever shape my head wants in that moment, and I sleep like a rock most nights. But thanks for the offer, Sydney.

DAVE: I could still drive you back, after –

RON: I have a request.

SYDNEY: What request is that Ronnie?

RON: It’s a serious request. (beat) This meal is divine by the way, Sydney. You are the greatest cook that ever lived.

SYDNEY: (laughs)

RON: Isn’t she, Davey?

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

Roads and Trenches by Joseph ArnoneIn the one-act eplay, “Roads and Trenches” Ron shows up unexpectedly at Dave and Sydney’s place in order to make up for his negative reaction to their engagement announcement the night before.  1 Woman, 2 Men.  Drama.

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Joseph Arnone