Lucas Levy

A Changing Tide

(Lights come up)
(An old house on the shore in Mexico. John sits on the porch, beer in hand.  Robert walks onstage)

John: (staring toward the ocean) Hey Robert.  Grab a beer.

Robert:  Thanks. (sits next to John, stares toward the ocean) So… have you heard from her yet?

John:  No.

(Phone rings. No movement)

Robert:  Are you gonna answer that?

John:  No.

(Robert gets up, moves to table, picks up phone)

Robert:  Hello?  Oh, hey Anne!  No, it’s Robert.  Nah, I’m just down here for the weekend.  I’ve been really good.  (looking hopeful) So, did you want to talk to John?  (hopes dashed) Yeah. Yeah.  Okay.  I’ll tell him.  Bye.

(Hangs up.  Walks back to John, sits down.  Pause)

John: What’d she say?

Robert:  Oh, her?  Nothing.

John:  It’s okay.  You can tell me.

Robert:  John…  I don’t know how to tell you this.

John:  She’s not coming back.

Robert:  (pause) I’m so sorry.

(John holds back tears.  Then quickly becomes cold, emotionless)

John:  I don’t even care.  I brought this on myself.

Robert:  John, don’t blame yourself.  You’re only digging yourself into a deeper hole, and soon you won’t be able to get out of it.

John:  I like it here in this hole.

Robert:  (pleadingly, irritated) Every time I try to help you, you always spit it back in my face.  Well maybe you don’t need my help.  No… No, you don’t need anything.  (stands up, starts moving toward the door) All you need is your big house on the Gulf and some beers in your fridge.  That’s all a man needs to be happy.

John:  (getting up, apologetically) I’m sorry, okay?  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry…  Please, just sit down.

Robert:  John, I don’t want to sit down.  I want to help you get your wife back.

John:  There’s nothing I can do about her.  It really is my fault.

Robert:  What are you talking about?  She’s the one who left you.


John:  Do you know why she left me?

Robert:  Well, no.  But… well, I guess I just thought you two fought or something.

John:  I cheated on her, Robert.

Robert:  (disbelievingly) What?!

John:  She found out about it last week.  Well, “found out” isn’t the right way to put it.  I guess subconsciously I wanted her to know.  I had been leaving clues around.  A handwritten phone number.  A receipt.  A few too many late nights out.  She had to know.  She confronted me about it.  I didn’t even argue.  I just stood there and took it.

Robert: (jokingly) Like a man?

John:  No, not like a man.  Like a rat!  I was unfaithful, and it was tearing me apart inside.  I needed to be taught a lesson that what I did was wrong.  I just didn’t think it would be like this.

Robert:  Well, you had to know it would be bad.  As long as I’ve known Anne, she always made a big deal out of trusting people.  Even little lies, like if I said I couldn’t come to dinner because I had already made plans when it was just because I didn’t like the other people coming.  She was always so hurt by stuff like that.  When you say to her, “I had an affair behind your back,” she’s gonna freak!  You were married to her, man.  You should have known that.

John:  Yeah.  Yeah.  I did know that.  But I wanted to feel strong again! Like I was in charge of my own life!

Robert:  Are you serious?  You packed up your whole life and moved to Mexico because you “needed a change of scenery”!  That’s about as in charge as it gets.  I’m surprised Anne didn’t cheat on you just to deal with the stress.

John:  I thought she did for a while, a few months after we got here.  I was really paranoid about it.  She was acting pretty strange, but I couldn’t figure out why.  I was so scared that she was having an affair that I couldn’t sleep at night.  I didn’t get what was really going on, even though she was throwing up every morning.

Robert:  Wait a minute! Anne was pregnant?

John:  Yeah. Well… she had a miscarriage.  She didn’t tell me she had been pregnant until after, though.  I guess we stopped talking very much after the move.  I guess maybe that’s why I cheated on her.


Robert:  John, you need this woman.  Anne really put balance in your life, no matter what you say.  Trust me.  I knew you before you met her.

John:  Was I really that bad?

Robert:  (jokingly) Honestly, I don’t know how I ever put up with you.

John:  Well I’m really glad that you did. (pause) You’re right, Robert.  I do need her.

Robert:  I knew you’d come around.  Now do you have any idea where she could be?

(Phone rings.  Robert jumps up to get it. John jumps up and grabs Robert’s shoulder)

John:  I got it. (picks up phone)  Hello?  Anne!  Wow, I didn’t think you would call again.  I miss you so much.  I’m so sorry about everything that happened.  I did such a terrible thing, and I deserved worse than what you said to me.  Will you come home?

(Lights out)


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.