THE LOVER’S SECRET
A Play in One Act
Steve – a bloke.
Billy – another bloke.
Steve chucks a crumpled ball of paper at the already overflowing waste paper bun. “What am I thinking of? Bloody Beatles lyrics. “Do you want to know a secret/Do you promise not to tell’. Absolute crap. That’s not going to do it for me. Got to try something else.”
He stares at the writing pad on the desk, picks up his pen again. He doodles. He scribbles. He screws up another page. Throws it bin-wards.
“Perhaps I should phone her. Tell her outright. Be forward. Be honest. Nothing to be scared of. I’ll phone her, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll do it now before I back out, while I’m feeling strong.”
He reaches for the phone. Picks it up. Listens to the dialing tone. Dials. Listens to the ringing tone and slams down the receiver. “What if it’s not her, what if it’s someone else, her boss, or one of her workmates, what should I say? That won’t work. Maybe I should phone her mum. See if she’s at work. Just to be sure. I’ll phone her mum. That’s no problem. Just to see if she’s at work.”
He once again picks up the phone, listens to the dialing tone. Dials. The phone rings.
Billy answers the phone. “Hi, it’s Billy here. Can I help you?”
Steve breathes fast and shallowly, “Billy, hi, it’s Stephen, you know, Stephen. Hi Billy, it’s me. Stephen. Hi.”
“Steve, yeah, hi. How are you. You sound anxious. A problem?”
“Nah, no problem. Just wondering if Steffie is at home. You know, Steffie, Steffie Anderson, her mum lives there. Doesn’t matter if she isn’t. Yeah. No. Yeah. Actually don’t bother, I’ll catch her some other time.”
“Steve, slow down, whoa. What’s up? It’s me, Billy. Y’know, Billy Anderson, twin brother to Steffie Anderson, the girl you’ll be marrying next week. Your chosen best man for the occasion. You can speak to me. What’s up?”
“Ah, Billy. It’s awkward. So awkward. It’s a sort of secret I’ve been keeping from Steffie and I thought she ought to know before we do the business. In case she wants to pull out. I’ve been wanting to tell her for ages, but haven’t found the bottle. And now it’s almost too late. I’ve got to sort this. But I don’t know how to tell her.”
“God’s sake, Steve. This sounds serious. What’s it all about. You want to tell me? Talk to me about it? We can work something out. It can’t be all that bad. C’mon Stevie, I know you. You wouldn’t do anything bad. Maybe stupid. Not bad. Talk to me. Talk to me and then I can speak to Steffie if you want. We’ll work it out. I can speak to her and try and get her to understand. She listens to me, it’s no problem.”
“It’s a secret, Billy. Nobody else must know. Only Steffie, and then if she changes her mind, if she can’t handle it, if she wants to cancel the whole thing, well, then that’s up to her. This is a biggie. I’m not sure if she wants to hear this. Maybe we should have more time, postpone things for a while.”
“Steve, you’re ranting. You’re making me nervous. What’s it about? Tell me what you want to say to her and I’ll judge whether or not I should pass it on to her. Tell me. Now. No more nonsense. I’m getting twitchy here.
“Okay, Billy, okay. Hope you can handle this.” He pauses for moment. “So you know I love Steffie, don’t you?”
“Yeah, yeah. Sort of guessed that. You’re marrying her aren’t you?”
“Yeah well, but what I haven’t told her is how much I love her. It’s a big thing, Billy. It may be too much for her. You see, my love is so big. It’s big, big, big. It’s big like the sky or the ocean. Big like you just can’t believe it. It’s so big. It’s scary, Billy and I’m scared it’s going to chase her away. She won’t want to know this, won’t want to live with it. It’s too much for one person, and I don’t know what to do.”
Billy pauses a while before speaking. “Steve, Steve. I tell you what, I’ll have a word with Steff, see how she reacts, see if she can handle this secret of yours. Okay, will you leave it to me? You okay with that?”
“That’ll be great, Billy. That’s so good. That’s wonderful. I feel so much better already. And Billy, let me know as soon as and tell me what she says, whether it’s okay or not. As soon as possible, okay Billy.’
“Stevie, that’s fine. I’ll do this for you. No problem. And Stevie, stag night tomorrow night. Don’t forget, huh. Tomorrow night.”