One Act Play
An Obsession with Millie
The rising sun is gleaming through two floor-to-ceiling east windows, on either side of the freshly made, queen-sized bed, in the bedroom of the somewhat newlyweds, ANDREW and ADDISON. A nightstand and an overstuffed chair are on each side of the bed, in front of each window. On the right side nightstand, the there is a lamp, alarm clock, sleeping mask, a water glass, and a prescription bottle. On the left nightstand there is a lamp, and an iPhone docking station/charger. A large wedding portrait of the bride and groom hangs above the bed, noticeably crooked. There is a large walk in closet at stage right, the inside is partially seen by the audience. An open doorway leading to the master bathroom is at stage left. A freestanding jewelry chest is between the walk-in closet and the stage right window. A freestanding oval mirror is between the master bathroom and stage left, window. The closed bedroom door, leading to a hallway, is on the same wall, opposite end, of the walk-in closet on stage right. Next to this door is a coat tree with a black trench coat hanging on one hook, and a large red purse hanging on another.
ADDISON wears a black pencil skirt and a white blouse. She is completing her accessories for a day at work in an office. Her hair is long and brown, with straight bangs, and always kept tidily. ADDISON is the decision-maker within the relationship; she decides where they eat for dinner, which movies and plays they see, what kind of laundry detergent they buy, and where they go on vacation. She is a walking day-planner, and keeps ANDREW aware of his dentist and haircut appointments. She is fiercely loyal, but co-dependent. She is insecure with her own competency. She is motivated by structure, and sees most issues in black and white.
ANDREW is barefoot in his colorful neon cycling clothes, sitting in his overstuffed chair with MacBook open on his lap, socks and running shoes at his feet. He is generally laid back. He is more concerned with looking good and feeling good, than with being good. He is motivated by peace, and hates confrontation. He is tolerant of diversity, and welcomes change.
ADDISON (notices the crooked picture and straightens it): Have you heard from her?
ANDREW (focused on laptop screen): No.
ADDISON: You will, sooner or later, just wait. (Long pause, standing back from the portrait, tilting her head to see if it is level. Satisfied, she opens her jewelry chest, and peers inside.) Have you?
ANDREW: Have I what?
ADDISON: Contacted her?
ANDREW (looking up from his screen): No. Addison, I promise.
ADDISON: It’s not over for her Andrew.
ANDREW (still focused on the screen): You have my word, she has not emailed or texted in the past four months, and of course we haven’t talked on the phone. You’d see that on the phone bill if we had. (Looking up at ADDISON.) What else is there?
ADDISON: Well, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram. (Holding earrings to her ears.) How do I look?
ANDREW: You are beautiful, as always. (Closes the laptop, giving ADDISON his full attention.) Millie cannot see any of that. You’ve done a good job blocking her on all our accounts. She’s out of our lives forever. (Pause) And even if you hadn’t blocked everything- she’s not Barbara.
ADDISON (putting earrings on): She’s worse than Barbara. Ha! Barbara. What is it with these women?
ANDREW: Millie has been through a lot. You know that. Can we please not go there?
ADDISON: We? “We” didn’t go there. “You” went there, with Millie, behind my back.
ANDREW: It wasn’t like that; I would never let anything go that far. She needed a friend.
ADDISON (enters the master bath, we hear ADDISON’S voice only): And yes, Millie is worse than Barbara ever was. Barbara was attracted to you and tried to get your attention, but she completely stopped once you gave her the cold shoulder. But Millie! Millie is somehow under the impression that you care for her. Why would she think that? (Pauses, then speaks with disgust,) She thinks you love her.
(ANDREW’S expression shows he is perplexed. ADDISON has clearly surprised him.)
ANDREW (speaking to the master bathroom): I do care, but not in the way you think. She knows I love you, Addison.
(ADDISON re-enters the bedroom, stands and poses in front of the full-length mirror.)
ANDREW (puts the laptop on the nightstand and reaches down for his socks, begins putting them on): She knows I would never risk losing you. I only care because she’s a feeling, breathing human being, who’s been through an awful lot in life.
ADDISON: You care too much Andrew.
ANDREW (looking up, one shoe in his hand): She doesn’t deserve to be exposed or humiliated. She stopped all contact with me four months ago, and now she needs your forgiveness. I need your forgiveness, too. I need your trust. Please, Addison, I never intended to cause you pain.
ADDISON: She hasn’t stopped. (She turns her back to Andrew, arms crossed, facing fourth wall.)
ANDREW (looks at Addison in disbelief, long pause): Addison, I swear, I have not-
ADDISON: -She wrote to you, two weeks ago.
ANDREW: Two weeks ago? (Stands with only one shoe on.) We were alone at the cabin. She didn’t write me. I would have seen it as soon as we got home and had Internet access.
ADDISON: Oh, she wrote you, all right. You were driving, and I picked up a signal on my phone just before Hillsdale. I checked your email. No worries- I took care of it.
ANDREW (turns Addison around to face him, holding her shoulders): What happened, Addison. What haven’t you told me?
ADDISON (averting Andrew’s eyes): I, (pause). All right, I’m just going to say it. I sent her an email before we left for the cabin, pretending to be you. I wanted to set her up, see if she would take the bait! And guess what, (pounds one closed fist into her other open palm)– she did! Hook, line, and sinker!
ADDISON: I used your email account, and I asked her one simple question – “Do you still care for me?” She wrote back, and totally opened up, thinking I was you! (Laughing.) She is definitely not over you.
(ADDISON breaks away from ANDREW, and walks into the walk-in closet.)
ANDREW: Why did you do that? Why did you pretend to be me? How could you do that to me? I don’t want her thinking I care. Did you respond to her? Does she think I responded to her?
ADDISON (voice heard from the walk-in closet): She thought.
ANDREW: She thought? You told her then, that it was you, and that you set her up?
ADDISON: Yes. (Emerges from the closet wearing a black business blazer, black heels, and carrying a black briefcase.) Andrew, I know what you are thinking. (In a mocking voice) “She doesn’t deserve – she doesn’t deserve!” I’m sick of hearing that. I’m sick of you thinking she deserves anything. She openly confessed to me-
ANDREW (using air quotes): To “me”.
ADDISON (Sets briefcase on the bed, uses air quotes): Okay, to “you,” that she loves you, and has all these years.
(ANDREW is visibly stunned; ADDISON is delighted to see his reaction.)
ANDREW: What did you say to drag that out of her? What? That I want her?
ADDISON: I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t remember exactly what I wrote. I just know that when she took the bait, ohhh. I let her have it.
ANDREW: Oh, Addison.
(ANDREW sits back down in the overstuffed chair – as if shaken).
ADDISON: I’m not sorry.
ANDREW (speaking dryly): No, you shouldn’t be sorry. (Reaches for his other shoe and puts it on.)
ADDISON: Well, she pretended to be sorry.
ANDREW (Not looking up): She apologized to you then?
ADDISON: It wasn’t a real apology. She got caught with her hand in the cookie jar, and ran away with her tail between her legs. (Begins pacing, and speaking with animation, pointing with her index finger.) I told her if she ever attempted to contact you again, I’d call Joe. In her last email she begged me not to. She said he would never understand – he’d throw her out.
ANDREW:(Still looking down at his tied shoes): You didn’t contact Joe.
ADDISON: No, but I will. I swear; one text, one word in one email–
ANDREW (rises, picks up iPhone from dock, opens nightstand drawer, retrieves headphones.): Are you still following her status updates?
ADDISON: Status updates, tweets, Instagrams, Pinterest, everything. Every day.
ANDREW (throws hands in an upward gesture): Addison, you go through all my emails, and you check my browser history every day. Surely you know I have done nothing to contact her, to lead her on. You need to leave Millie alone and you need let this go.
ADDISON (voice begins to break): How can I ever believe you? (About to cry.) Why do you have to love everyone the way you do? (Slumps to a sitting position next to her briefcase at the end of the bed.) First there was Barbara, and now Millie! I can’t be sure of anything anymore.
ANDREW: Addison, please, don’t cry. Please, look at me. Look into my eyes. (Kneels before ADDISON, lifts ADDISON’s chin.) Trust me again. (ADDISON slowly looks up into ANDREW’S eyes.) I let this thing with Millie go too far. I cannot ask you to understand, but I need you to know I love you, only you. Everything, everyone else comes after you.
(They both rise and embrace. ADDISON starts sobbing.)
ADDISON (leans back with fists on ANDREW’s chest): I hate her! Do you want to know what hurts the most? The most terrible thing she said?
(ADDISON falls back into the embrace. ANDREW faces fourth wall.)
ANDREW: No. (He stares ahead blankly, while holding her to him.)
ADDISON: When she thought I was you, she said that she loved you first, before I even knew you. She said that you-
ANDREW: -loved her before I loved you.
ADDISON: Yes…Andrew (looking up at ANDREW), how did you know I was going to say that?
ANDREW: I didn’t, Addie. Millie and I, what we had- was a lifetime ago. We were in Jr. High. We didn’t even know what love was. I barely even remembered we had a “thing” going when we reconnected on Facebook.
ADDISON: Did you ever tell her you loved her? Did you say the words?
ANDREW (looking into ADDISON’S eyes): Addie, I love you. Look, we are getting nowhere. You are going to be late for work. (Smiling.) Be satisfied with the facts: you have obsessively tracked my every move on the computers and on my iPhone these past four months. You secretly follow everything Millie posts on the Internet. There’s nothing there. It’s over. It’s done. Please, forgive me. Let this go.
ADDISON (breaks away, turns her back to ANDREW): Obsessively? You think I’m obsessed?
ANDREW: Okay, poor choice of words. I only meant that you should know, after all you have done to fight for me, for us. You should know.
ADDISON: Maybe you are right.
ANDREW: I am right.
ADDISON: It’s just so hard.
(They embrace again. Andrew breaks away and steps into the walk-in closet, we hear him offstage.)
ANDREW: Forget the past. Forget whatever Millie said about anything. Not forgiving will only hurt you. It’s like drinking poison-
ADDISON: -and waiting for the other person to die.
ANDREW (comes out of the closet): Yes.
ADDISON (Turns away from ANDREW and says to herself): That’s what Millie said. (She stiffens and turns around to look at ANDREW.)
ANDREW: What is it? There’s more, isn’t there?
ANDREW: Are you sure?
ADDISON (composes herself as if all is well and looks at her watch): I have go. I’m already late. (She picks up her briefcase and takes her purse from the coat tree.) Andrew, you are right. I have been miserable these past few months, and it’s because I have been (she makes air quotes) “obsessed” with Millie. How dare she come on to you! She’s got her own life and her own husband, and what? She wants mine, too? She needs a wake-up call, the tramp!
ANDREW: She’s not a tramp, Addie. She’s a human being. We’ve all done regrettable things.
ADDISON: That’s just it – she does not regret throwing herself at you. (Raises her briefcase in the air and back down again.) Her last email to “you” is proof of that. Let’s see, it was, (in a mocking tone) “Oh Andy, I have waited so long for any word from you.” And “Oh, Andy, if we had stayed together, things would have been so different!”
ANDREW: (ANDREW turns away from ADDISON with perplexed expression, whispers to himself) She said that?
ADDISON: I know how you are. I know you can’t stand to hurt anyone’s feelings, including mine. You will say anything to make another person feel valuable, even lie for their sake. Gosh, Andrew! I feel like I have to protect you from your own naivety. (Checks her watch again) I have to go or I’ll be late for work. I want to talk more about this tonight. I have more questions.
(ADDISON reaches for the doorknob, opens the door, and is halfway out.)
ANDREW: Addie –
ANDREW (void of feeling): You didn’t kiss me goodbye.
(ADDISON returns, gives ANDREW a peck on the cheek and swiftly exits.)
(ANDREW sits on the end of the bed, with elbows on his thighs. He places his forehead in his hands, takes a deep breath, and waits. When he is sure ADDISON’S vehicle is gone, he looks at his iPhone. He walks to the nightstand and plugs it in to charge again. He walks to the coat tree and reaches into his trench coat pocket, retrieving another iPhone. He contemplates, and stokes the iPhone, unconsciously, with two fingers. Suddenly he snaps out of his contemplation, and decidedly dials a number, slowly pacing as it rings.)
MILLIE (on speaker phone): Hello?
ANDREW: Millie, -please don’t hang up.
(MILLIE immediately hangs up. ANDREW redials, and waits, pacing while the phone continues to ring. MILLIE accepts the call, but waits to speak.)
MILLIE (on speaker phone): Andrew, why are doing this? We shouldn’t be talking.
ANDREW: Then why did you answer? (Long pause.) Millie, I cannot live without you.