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Big Winner: Act I, Scene II
Ruth: A young woman.
Gerry: A middle aged man
Scene: Standard motel room. Two double beds with a nightstand between, TV remote, phone, desk, bureau, alcove closet, bathroom, exit. Clothes are scattered on the floor as if cast off in the heat of passion.
Lights come up. Blue and white spots on Ruth give her a washed-out appearance. Ruth character will wear no makeup for this scene.
Characters are naked under the covers in one of the beds. Ruth stirs. She sits up carefully, so as not to wake Gerry, and sits with her back against the headboard, watching him with a pensive expression as he sleeps. After a few moments he stirs and sees her watching him.
Gerry: Good morning.
Ruth: Good morning.
Gerry gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom while Ruth remains where she is. She remains pensive. Sounds of water come from the bathroom. After a few minutes, Gerry emerges. They exchange a quick, but uncomfortable smile as Ruth gets out of bed and heads toward the bathroom. Gerry looks at her briefly as she passes, then turns away. Ruth glances at him over her shoulder as she enters the bathroom. Again, sounds of water from the bathroom. Gerry gathers up his clothes, puts them on, and sits on the bed in which they did not sleep.
Gerry's cell phone rings from the top of the bureau. Gerry fetches it and sits back down on the bed. Seeing the caller ID, he winces.
Gerry: Yes? Oh, hi ... okay, okay, I know I'm not at the motel I said I'd be at. My friend offered to put me up overnight at his house... I'm sorry, I would have called you, but ... I know ... I know ... (looks exasperated) I know ... yes, I'm sorry, we were out late drinking and ... I'm sorry ... yes, the computer show was great... yes, fabulous ... yes, I can't wait to see you, too ... no, not too much, just a couple of beers, but we sat up talking. I don't think cell phone reception is so great out here... okay... okay, I'll call you from the airport... love you, too... bye.
The water sounds from the bathroom stop and Ruth comes out. Gerry alternately watches Ruth and his hands as Ruth picks her clothes up from the floor and dresses.
Gerry: Did you sleep well?
Ruth: Yes, I slept okay.
Gerry: That's good.
A short silence.
Gerry: So you'll give me a ride to the airport, or should I take a cab?
Silence while Ruth finishes dressing.
Ruth: So you've decided.
Gerry looks at Ruth quizzically.
Ruth: To go. You've decided to go.
Gerry: (spread his hands and shrugs) I never said I'd stay.
Ruth: You said you might stay.
Gerry: Yes, I did kind of say that, didn't I?
Gerry: Well, I guess I've decided that I'm not ready for that, yet. Maybe at a later date -
Ruth: At a later date.
Gerry: Yes, at a later date, when I've tied up some loose ends back home.
Ruth: With your wife.
Gerry: Well, yes, with her, and then there's our kids.
Ruth: With your wife and kids. I wasn't what you expected?
Gerry: (smiling) You were better.
Ruth: You weren't so bad yourself.
Ruth: Why did you say you might stay?
Gerry: I felt that I might want to at the time.
Ruth: You said she didn't love you.
Gerry: I didn't think she did at the time.
Ruth: (turning away) I guess I sound just like what you're trying to get away from.
Gerry: (shaking his head) No, Ruth. You don't sound like that.
Ruth: No more ‘Cleopatra'?
Gerry: No. You'll always be Ruth to me now.
Ruth: This was supposed to be such a beautiful thing. I risked everything to come here. My husband is really strong. If he found out we were here he could have come here and killed us both. (turns to face Gerry) I threw my life away to come here. I have no place to go. You don't understand, I bet everything on you.
Gerry: This was as much your idea as mine.
Ruth: (starting to get upset) You said you might leave your wife. You said you might stay.
Gerry: Those things were true when I said them.
Ruth: (really upset) They were true then but they are not true now?
Gerry: (shakes his head) I don't know, the truth seems to change.
Ruth: Under what circumstances? When you get what you want?
Gerry: You wanted it, too.
Ruth: I do not deserve this, Gerry.
Gerry: I'm sorry. I gotta go.
Gerry gets his bag and exits. Ruth cries as the lights go down.