GODIVA CHOCOLATE AND A DIET COKE–WILLIAM IVER FOWKES

CHARACTERS:
KATE – Female. 58. A formidable woman whose husband left her three years
ago.
RICARDO – Male. 40. An attractive man who has been living with Kate’s
husband for the past three years.
SHERRY – Female. 32. Kate’s daughter, a young professional who wants what
she wants.

TIME: Now

PLACE: A hospital waiting room in Chicago.

At rise, RICARDO and KATE are in mid
conversation. RICARDO holds his phone,
having been interrupted by KATE. KATE
carries a purse and a shopping bag.

KATE
Still? Oh, my God! They should be done by now!

RICARDO
Sometimes these things take longer.

KATE
How would you know? Are you a doctor?

RICARDO
No, I’m . . .

KATE
I know what you are!

RICARDO
Excuse me?

KATE
Look, thank you for calling me, but you can leave now. I can handle things from here.

RICARDO
I think he wants me to stay.

KATE
He’s in no state of mind to know what he wants! When they release him, I’m taking
him home. That’s where he belongs!

RICARDO
I think that’s for him to decide.

KATE
Let’s drop it! It’s not the time for this discussion!
(softening)
But wait—before you go, can you tell me . . .?

RICARDO
I’m not goin’!

KATE
What happened exactly?

RICARDO
I dunno. We’re havin’ breakfast. He likes that. Every morning we sit and have an
actual breakfast before he goes to work.

KATE
I always served him breakfast!

RICARDO
Well . . . all of a sudden, he stands up. Looks real funny.

The walls of the set fly away. High up we
see a man in a business suit suspended in
midair with one arm raised above him.

RICARDO (CONT’D)
Then he raises his arm way up in the air, like he’s hailing a cab or somethin’. He just
stays like that for—I don’t know—like forever . . .

RICARDO stares up at the man. After a
few moments, the walls fall back into
place just as suddenly as they flew away.

RICARDO (CONT’D)
Then his arm drops down, and he goes, “What was I just saying?” like he’s got no
idea what just happened. I figure I better take him to the emergency room. The next
thing I know, they’re draining blood from his brain—and here we are.

KATE
This never would have happened if he were still with me.

RICARDO
Really? You got magical powers?

KATE
I told you I don’t want to discuss it!

KATE remembers something. Gets her
purse.

KATE (CONT’D)
Here—I’ve got his meds. He has to take them every day.

RICARDO
How’d you get his pills?

KATE
He keeps a supply at the house—just in case. We still have dinner together every
Wednesday night, you know.

RICARDO holds up a small duffel bag.

RICARDO
Well, I’ve got em, too. I count them out for him every morning. Should I call anyone
else?

KATE
That’s not your job! I already called the kids.
(to herself)
Maybe I should call Alan.

RICARDO
I already called him.

KATE
I didn’t know you knew him.

RICARDO
He’s Rob’s best friend—we see him all the time.

KATE
(disappointed)
Oh, I didn’t realize . . .

(a new idea)
I’ve got some of his clothes in the car.

RICARDO
I’ve taken care of that.

KATE
(sarcastically)
And everything else, apparently!

RICARDO
Look, I know this is awkward.

KATE
Really? You know.

RICARDO
Hey, c’mon. I know this isn’t easy—but we could be in for a long slog here. We’re
gonna have to pull together.

KATE
This has nothing to do with you!

RICARDO
Seriously? I’ve been living with him for 3 years, and now this has nothing to do with
me?

KATE
(looking away)
God, this is insufferable! I’ve got to see him.

SHERRY rushes in. Hugs KATE.

SHERRY
Mommy! I’m sorry I’m late! The traffic was ridiculous! How is he?

KATE
They’re still operating.

SHERRY
What’s wrong with him?

KATE
He had a seizure.

SHERRY
What’s that?

KATE
I don’t know exactly. It’s like a stroke, I think.

SHERRY
Why are they operating on him?

RICARDO
They’re draining blood from his brain.

SHERRY
(just noticing Ricardo—angrily)
What are you doing here? We don’t want you here!

KATE
He brought your father here.

SHERRY
This man destroyed your life! He should be ashamed of himself!

KATE
I asked him to leave. What more can I do?

RICARDO
I brought your dad here. And when they let him go, I’m gonna take him home.

SHERRY
No, you’re not!

RICARDO
It’s what he wants

KATE
(calmly)
We’ll see what he wants when he wakes up.

RICARDO
I’m tellin’ you what he wants. He specifically said not to leave him. He warned me
about you two.

SHERRY
I don’t believe you! You’re manipulating him. And living off him.

RICARDO
For the record, he’s living in my house.

SHERRY
How do you have a house? I thought he was renting.

RICARDO
I make a very good salary—I can afford to buy a house. And anyway, I didn’t force
him to move in with me. I didn’t start any of this. He did.

SHERRY
Liar! Get out of here! We don’t want you here!

RICARDO
I’m not leavin’.

SHERRY
Have you no decency?

RICARDO
Your father wants me here.

KATE
(erupting)
Please! I can’t take this today! Ricardo—I think you should go.

RICARDO
You know what? I’ll go get a soda. Anyone want something?

SHERRY
We don’t want anything from you!

RICARDO starts to leave.

KATE
Maybe a Diet Coke.

RICARDO
No problem.

RICARDO exits.

SHERRY
Mother!

KATE
He offered—and I’m thirsty.

SHERRY
I just can’t believe the nerve of that man!

KATE
How are we going to get him out of here?

SHERRY
Well, accepting a Diet Coke from him certainly doesn’t help.

KATE
Relax, Sherry. I can handle this. Your father’s going to be very confused when he
wakes up. The sooner they finish operating, the sooner we can get him back home to
recuperate in peace. Maybe Alan can get rid of Ricardo.

SHERRY
(excited)
Alan’s here? That’s perfect—he loves me! He’ll do anything I ask.

KATE
I think he’s coming. Ricardo called him.

RICARDO returns.

SHERRY
Go away!

RICARDO
(handing Kate her coke)
I got your mother’s Diet Coke.

KATE
Oh, thank you.

SHERRY
Now, go!!

RICARDO
I’m staying.

RICARDO starts playing with his phone.
SHERRY notices the shopping bag.

SHERRY
Oh, is that the chocolate I asked for?
SHERRY takes the bag. Peers inside.

SHERRY (CONT’D)
Wait—this isn’t Neuhaus.

KATE
They were out of Neuhaus.

SHERRY
(peeved)
I don’t eat Godiva—it’s got emulsifiers!

KATE
I’m sorry—it’s all they had . . . Sherry, why don’t you go see if you can find out
anything?

SHERRY
Good idea.

SHERRY exits.

KATE
How did I raise such a selfish child?
(remembering)
Oh, what do I owe you for the Diet Coke?

RICARDO
My treat . . . Hey, are you hungry?

RICARDO pulls out a couple of bars.

RICARDO (CONT’D)
Here—I’ve got some Cliff bars . . . C’mon—you gotta eat something.

KATE finally accepts a bar.

KATE
Were you a boy scout or something?

RICARDO
As a matter of fact.

KATE
Maybe I should have sent Sherry to Girl Scouts. Look, you were right when you said
this is awkward—meeting like this. You have no idea what I’ve been through these
last few years.

RICARDO
I can imagine.

KATE
Were you telling the truth when you said my husband initiated things with you?

RICARDO
Well, yeah. I mean we met at a gay bar. I don’t do relationships. But he started
pushing for one. And, well, he’s such a great guy—he eventually won me over.

KATE.
(looking away)
When he came home that night and told me he was moving out, I thought I must’ve
failed him in some way. I know I didn’t. Not really. I mean I know I’m the victim, and
I’m not gonna pretend he wasn’t using me as his beard—isn’t that what they call it?
—and I should be mad as hell. And I am! But I think maybe I did do something
wrong. I missed something crucial. We had this great life together, and I just went
along with it and never even noticed this whole part of him.

SHERRY returns.

SHERRY
They’re just finishing up. The nurse is coming to talk to us when they’re all done.

KATE
How is he?

SHERRY
She didn’t know . . . Uh, don’t you think we should get rid of Ricardo before any
visitors show up?

KATE’s phone rings.

KATE
Oh, hi Alan . . . They’re almost finished operating . . . Yes, come any time.
SHERRY grabs the phone from KATE.

SHERRY
Alan! Get over here right away! Ricardo’s here. You’ve got to send him away! . . .
(after a moment—angry)
What?!

SHERRY throws the phone down.

SHERRY (CONT’D)
(to Ricardo)
You’ve turned Alan against us!
SHERRY storms out.

KATE
You said you see a lot of Alan?

RICARDO
Yeah, he’s a great friend to your husband. Really cares about him.

KATE
(softening)
It’s obvious you care about him, too. And you seem to be taking good care of him. I
still love him, so that’s important to me. Do you make him happy?

RICARDO
I do my best.

KATE
I’m trying to hate you, but you’re making it very hard for me.

RICARDO
He doesn’t attract hateful people. He says wonderful things about you, too.

SHERRY returns.

SHERRY
Mommy, the nurse is ready. I told her you’re Daddy’s wife, and she should talk to
you in private. She’s in her office.

KATE
Okay.

SHERRY
Right away!

RICARDO
I’m coming, too!

SHERRY
You’re not his wife!

RICARDO
I brought him here! The nurse knows that!

SHERRY
Tell him!

KATE
(finally)
Shut up, Sherry! And stay here while Ricardo and I go hear what your father wants
to do.

As before, the walls of the set fly away. A
man in a suit is suspended in midair with
one arm raised above him. KATE,
SHERRY, and RICARDO turn and stare up
at him. He is illuminated by a light that
increases until it becomes blinding. Then
all of a sudden—darkness.
END OF PLAY

***

William Ivor Fowkes (he/him) is based in New York City and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is also the first graduate of the Dramatists Guild Institute for Dramatic Writing in New York, having recently completed its certificate program. His work has been presented in 30 states, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Austria. His plays have been presented on the radio, on podcasts, and online; many have been published. His fiction has been published in many journals. He is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., magna cum laude) and Northwestern University (M.A., PhD). www.williamivorfowkes.com