Susanna Roxman "Dream in Two Scenes"
Scene 2 (contd)
Alicia paces the path alone for a
while. Then Matthew, entering, comes walking. Heís tall,
blond, green-eyed. If he wasnít a bit overweight, heíd be
ALICIA (standing still, canít
believe her eyes): Matthew!
MATTHEW: Yes. Here I am. Didnít you
expect to meet me?
ALICIA: No, I canít say I did.
MATTHEW: Why not?
ALICIA: I wouldnít have thought you
were important enough, to me.
MATTHEW: That youíve met me here proves
Iím important enough, doesnít it?
ALICIA: Iím not so sure.
(Matthew tries to embrace her, but
she steps aside.)
MATTHEW: I wanted to meet you for
lunch, in London, three years ago. But you said no.
ALICIA: Because I was involved with
MATTHEW: Yes, but for lunch! What could
have been more innocent? What could happen during lunch, in
a crowded place?
ALICIA: He wouldnít have liked that.
MATTHEW: He neednít have found out.
ALICIA: Of course Iíd have told him.
MATTHEW: But why?
ALICIA: Oh, I tell him everything.
Well, most things.
MATTHEW: If it had been dinner, I might
have seen your point.
ALICIA: What point was that?
MATTHEW: That there might have been
ALICIA: So dinner is dangerous, lunch
MATTHEW: Something like that. (He
draws a little closer.) I always admired you
tremendously. You were streets ahead of the rest of us
students at Kingís. And better read than our poor teachers.
ALICIA: You could have done better
yourself if you hadnít had that weird idea of doing your BA
in one year.
MATTHEW: Well, I very nearly succeeded.
One year and a few months, actually. But I only just passed.
ALICIA: You only just passed.
MATTHEW: But you, you were different,
Alicia. A goddess. I admire you tremendously. (He moves
even closer to her.)
ALICIA: Please leave me alone!
She stalks off, irritated. Looking over her shoulder, she
finds that he has disappeared. A couple of minutes later,
when she bends over some shrubs to see if there are any
raspberries, Charlie suddenly appears, walking up to her. He
is middle-aged, tall, quite athletic, with short dark blond
hair and a beard. Charlieís eyes are kind and blue, and he
wears spectacles. Heís casually dressed and carries a small
ALICIA (straightening up): Oh Charlie!
CHARLIE: Oh Alicia! (They embrace.)
ALICIA: I didnít know you were here!
CHARLIE: I didnít know, either.
ALICIA: What are you doing here?
CHARLIE: Same as you.
ALICIA: I donít know what that is. I
was looking for something.
ALICIA: No. Something important.
CHARLIE: I thought raspberries were
ALICIA: I believed I had lost it.
CHARLIE: And had you?
ALICIA: Perhaps not. Perhaps I was
mistaken. This is a nice place, isnít it?
CHARLIE: Yes. Have we been here before?
ALICIA: I thought so at first. But this
is special. Itís new.
CHARLIE: But those pine trees look very
ALICIA: Theyíre new. Everything here is
CHARLIE: How can you be so sure?
ALICIA: Everything is always new and
CHARLIE (conceding the match):
ALICIA: Where are you going?
CHARLIE: I was looking for you. Were
you looking for me?
ALICIA: Iím not sure. I think I was
looking for . . . me. This is an odd place.
CHARLIE: An odd place.
ALICIA: Will you stay?
CHARLIE (with genuine regret):
No, Iím afraid I canít. I have a train to catch.
ALICIA: I have a train to catch. Or so
I think. At least, I had a train to catch.
CHARLIE: But that is your train. I have
to catch my train.
ALICIA: Oh, of course. Didnít think
about that. Same destination, though, isnít it?
CHARLIE: Always the same.
ALICIA: Why does one say that one
catches a train? Isnít it rather that one is caught by one?
Theyíre ruthless, trains, tear you away from where you are
to somewhere odd that you donít recognize. Or perhaps
recognize only vaguely. As if youíd seen it in another life.
CHARLIE: Thatís the whole point. The
state of shock.
ALICIA: Will you feed Melissa?
CHARLIE: Iíll feed Melissa. When will
you be back?
ALICIA: Soon. I donít know if Iíll meet
anybody else here.
CHARLIE: Three encounters, thatís quite
ALICIA: How do you know Iíve met two
other men here? Have you been spying on me?
CHARLIE: No. But three is a lucky
number. Even, I think youíve said, a sacred number, once
upon a time.
ALICIA: Yes, thatís right. (But she
CHARLIE: See you soon, then.
ALICIA: How soon?
CHARLIE: Soon. Soon. You know how soon
(They embrace, and Charlie walks off.
Alicia stands there gazing after him.)
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