Dialogue Extract (I Do, I Do, I Do)

by Robin Hawdon
ANN Tom? Now what is it? I gather you’ve something to tell me?
TOM Yes.
ANN Please – don’t tell me that Holly’s pregnant. I couldn’t take any more shocks today.
TOM No, no, nothing like that.
ANN Thank heavens for that!
TOM It’s probably worse than that actually.
ANN (AFTER A MOMENT) I think I’d better sit down.
TOM Yes.
TOM You see, Ann… the thing is… this is going to be hard to believe… but Diana and I have fallen in love.
ANN (EVENTUALLY) Diana and you?
TOM Yes.
ANN Don’t be silly. You’ve only just met.
TOM Yes.
ANN Don’t be silly. She’s in love with Geoff.
TOM She loves Geoff. She’s not in love with him.
ANN Don’t be silly. There’s no such thing as love at first sight.
TOM That’s what we thought.
ANN You’re telling me… that in the midst of this afternoon’s revelations, and reversals, and revolutions… you and Diana took one look at each other, and forgetting all previous affiliations, decided that you wanted only each other, amongst the whole of humanity, for the rest of time, until death do you part?
TOM Yes.
ANN You’re mad, both of you.
TOM That’s what Diana thought you’d think.
ANN I do. Why isn’t she telling me this herself?
TOM She didn’t dare. She thought you’d think she was mad.
ANN I do.
TOM That’s what she thought.
ANN Oh, my poor Holly. Oh, poor Geoff.
TOM Yes.
ANN What are you going to do about them?
TOM Well… they’ll have to know.
ANN How are you going to tell them?
TOM That’s the thing. We were rather hoping you’d tell them.
TOM Yes.
ANN Why me?
TOM You’d do it better than we would.
ANN But I think you’re both mad.
TOM Perhaps we are – that’s why you’d be better at telling them.
ANN Perhaps it’s me that’s mad. I go to extraordinary lengths to help organise a hugely elaborate wedding for one of my offspring and his fiancee, only to discover that it’s actually going to be for his fiancee and someone who isn’t even part of my family, only to be told it’s really for his fiancee and someone who isn’t part of my family and who’s a complete stranger to all of us. Are you intending to take over the wedding by the way… or whatever it’s called now?
TOM We haven’t thought that far.
ANN Well, you may as well. It’s taken you only a matter of minutes to decide you’re in love with each other – you’ve a whole month to prepare for the wedding. And if you wake up tomorrow morning and decide you don’t love each other after all, it gives Diana plenty of time to find somebody else.
TOM I can understand your scepticism. I know it seems unreal. In a way it is – our world has been turned upside down.
ANN I think the whole universe has been turned upside down! The laws of nature are in total turmoil.
TOM Yes.
ANN And I think it’s very cowardly of you not to tell them all yourselves.
TOM Yes.
ANN But I can see why you wouldn’t want to tell them yourselves.
TOM Yes.
ANN Is yes the only thing you have to say?
TOM Yes.
ANN But even so, surely the right and proper thing to do is to go in there and face them all, and try to explain what’s happened… not that you could explain it… not that anyone could explain it… because it’s inexplicable. But if they can all make some kind of sense of it then you will obviously have made a better job of it than you’ve made here with me,
TOM I couldn’t… they wouldn’t… it isn’t…
ANN It isn’t what?
TOM It isn’t remotely possible… for me in my present state… to be able to even consider… how I would conceivably go about that.
ANN No, that’s evident. So you want me to do it?
TOM Yes.
ANN Explain the inexplicable?
TOM Yes. Please.
ANN Hm. (THINKS) Do you think I should tell them all at once, or one at a time?
TOM I don’t know.
ANN I think it would have to be one at a time. If I told them all at once there might be mass hysteria and riot in the streets.
TOM Probably.