Scene Detail

"Ten years, even if they weren't everything you wanted, have to count for something. Another chance at least. I love you."

From: Ally McBeal - Common As The Rain
4 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Male 50s JUDGE SEYMORE WALSH
Female 20s GEORGIA THOMAS
Male 20s ROBERT LUNDY
Male 20s RICHARD FISH
 
Setup:
Richard Fish's law firm is representing his friend Jeremy Draper and Jeremy's current boyfriend Alex Shaw in a lawsuit brought against them by Jeremy's ex-lover Robert Lundy.

Alex was also Jeremy's first boyfriend. After Alex left Jeremy broken-hearted, Jeremy met Robert and they built a happy and successful life together. Then Alex reappeared and befriended the couple, eventually rekindling a romance with Jeremy. Alex's main advantage in driving a wedge between Jeremy and Robert was the fact that, even after many years in a relationship, Robert was still very closeted in public about his sexuality and his love for Jeremy.

Robert is now using the buyout clause on his business with Jeremy to delay Jeremy and Alex's plans to leave town, still hoping to win Jeremy back.

Fish is in charge of the case and Ally is second chair. Opposing counsel in the case is the firm headed by Ally's roommate Renee. The lawyers on the case are Whipper, Fish's ex-lover, and Georgia, Billy's soon-to-be ex-wife.

Judge Walsh didn't dismiss Robert's case as Fish and Ally had hoped. An evidentiary hearing is underway, with Robert as the first witness.

(The strategy session prior to this, on how to deal with Robert, is also available for viewing - the quote link is "You better hope this one gets settled before you take the stand because that wouldn't go so well.")

(Jeremy, Alex, Whipper and Ally are present, but their minimal involvement - marked off by **** - can be deleted for use as an acting scene)
 

Scene

copyright 2000 by Matthew A. Everett


INT. COURT - DAY

Robert on the stand, guided through his testimony by Georgia. Walsh, Ally, Fish, Alex, Jeremy, and Whipper look on.


ROBERT

It was our mutual love of computer technology and graphic design that brought us together as a couple. The company seemed a natural extension of our personal partnership.

GEORGIA

And you can afford to buy Mr. Draper out?

ROBERT

Money isn't the issue. Either of us could buy the other out about six times over.

GEORGIA

What are you concerned about?

ROBERT

I want the buyout settled before they leave.

GEORGIA

So it's not your intention to drag out these proceedings?

ROBERT

Just the opposite. They've been making plans to get on with their new life together. I just need this resolved so I can get on with mine.

GEORGIA

But Mr. Lundy, there are telephones, fax machines, and e-mail, as you well know. Couldn't you just do this long distance?

ROBERT

I could, but I have no guarantee they will. And our... my company is tied up until that's resolved.

GEORGIA

And you're not inclined to trust Mr. Shaw?

ROBERT

Mr. Shaw came into our... my home under false pretenses. He used every opportunity that I foolishly presented him with and it worked. I'll admit defeat. He wins. But you're asking me to trust his honesty as well?

GEORGIA

After ten years together, don't you think you can trust Mr. Draper to come through for you in a timely manner, no matter where he is or who he's with?

ROBERT

After ten years, it never occurred to me he'd fall in love with someone else, that he'd leave, that he'd stop loving me. I don't think it'd be smart to trust my feelings about Jeremy, do you?

GEORGIA

Your witness.

FISH

Mr. Lundy. Robert. May I call you Robert?

ROBERT

I guess.

FISH

Richard Fish. Nice to finally meet you. You know, I'm a friend of Jeremy's from college. Not a close friend, I'll grant you, but don't you think it's funny, living in the same town, that in the over ten years you two were together, I never met you once?

GEORGIA

Your honor?

WALSH

Move along, counsel.

FISH

I'm sorry, did somebody just object? I didn't hear anything.

GEORGIA

Relevance?

WALSH

Sustained.

FISH

Oh, relevance. OK. When you placed a personal ad in the mid-eighties looking for a lover...

GEORGIA

Objection.

FISH

I hadn't finished.

WALSH

I'm not inclined to let you.

FISH

Pattern, your honor. Goes to the nature of the relationship from which the company sprang and on which the contract was based. Also goes to the issue of honesty, which the prosecution keeps bandying about but nobody seems inclined to define and which quite frankly I'm a little fuzzy on as it relates to the plaintiff.

WALSH

Much as I'd like to give you enough rope to hang yourself, I'm just doling out a little at this point. But get to it.

GEORGIA

Your honor...

WALSH

Overruled. You're on a short leash, Mr. Fish. Don't make me yank it.

FISH

If I'm going to be yanked, your honor, let me just say...

WALSH

Move it along, counsel.

FISH

Thank you, you honor. Robert, you say it was your mutual love of computers that brought you and my client together, but it was actually a personal ad that brought you together, wasn't it?

ROBERT

Yes.

FISH

You recall what it said?

ROBERT

That was over...

FISH

Ten years ago, yes. Nice phrase. We'll get back to that. The ad?

ROBERT

I don't recall.

FISH

Height, weight, age, race, nine-inch...?

WALSH

Counsel, I'll shut this down right now.

FISH

Apologies, your honor. I actually have the ad right here.

******************

Jeremy looks sharply over at Alex.

Alex won't look at him, staying focused on Robert and Fish.


******************

Fish picks up a sheet of paper with the text of the ad.


FISH (CONT'D)

This term "straight-acting, straight-appearing," why's that in there?

GEORGIA

Objection. Relevance.

FISH

Getting there.

WALSH

Get there quicker.

ROBERT

It means I didn't want someone flamboyantly gay.

FISH

Flamboyant. You're talking about what? High heels and a feather boa?

ROBERT

I wanted someone who wouldn't embarrass me.

FISH

So "openly gay" would be OK?

ROBERT

No.

FISH

It's not flamboyant.

GEORGIA

Objection. Argumentative.

WALSH

Sustained. Mr. Fish...

FISH

So you didn't want someone who was gay at all?

ROBERT

Of course I wanted someone gay.

FISH

But not obvious. Not in public.

ROBERT

No.

FISH

In private?

ROBERT

Yes.

FISH

And you doubt my clients' honesty? Well, that's the pot calling the kettle fuschia, isn't it?

GEORGIA

Objection. Badgering.

FISH

Withdrawn.

*****************

Jeremy leans in to Ally.


JEREMY

Make him stop this.

ALLY

That's what she's for.

ALEX

Leave it alone.

JEREMY

How dare you.

WALSH

Ms. McBeal, please instruct your clients...

******************

FISH

So let me get this straight - pardon the pun - you meet this man, you fall in love, you start a company, but you don't want him to display any signs of affection for you in public.

ROBERT

(with difficulty)

No.

FISH

And naturally, if you don't want him to display any feelings, you certainly wouldn't be putting your feelings for him out in the open either.

GEORGIA

Do I need to pick an objection at this point?

FISH

In your business together, you're in public all the time - yes or no?

ROBERT

Yes.

FISH

But he can't show his feelings in public.

ROBERT

No.

FISH

And neither can you.

ROBERT

No.

FISH

Over ten years of this.

ROBERT

Yes.

FISH

And as the company got more successful, it was just more public time, less private time.

ROBERT

Yes.

FISH

And you wonder why he left?

GEORGIA

Objection.

FISH

Withdrawn. No further questions.

Fish heads back to the defense table but Robert speaks out.


ROBERT

Is that what you want, Jeremy?

FISH

Your honor, I'm finished. If you could instruct the witness not to...

ROBERT

Why do you think I'm here?

GEORGIA

You honor...

WALSH

Mr. Lundy, you may step down.

ROBERT

Why do you think I did all this?

********************

WHIPPER

Your honor...

********************

WALSH

Mr. Lundy, please do not address the defendant.

ROBERT

He's not just a defendant, he's my lover.

FISH

I've changed my mind. Let him talk.

ROBERT

I love you. You want me to say it for the record? I will. I love you.

GEORGIA

I want all these last remarks stricken from the record.

ROBERT

Don't you dare.

WALSH

Mr. Lundy, I'll hold you in contempt if you continue to...

ROBERT

Like a jail cell could stop me at this point. It can't be too late, Jeremy.
You're still here.

Jeremy torn.

Alex trying not to look at Robert.


ROBERT (CONT'D)

OK, so I was stupid. I was a coward. I admit it. I didn't know better.

Back to Robert.


ROBERT (CONT'D)

You need to tell me. Give me a real chance to make it right. What'll it take? A full-page ad in the paper?

Georgia and Whipper watching the case circle the drain.


ROBERT (CONT'D)

Post it on the web site? A billboard? A skywriter?

Ally wants to do something, anything, if only she knew what.

Fish is loving it.


ROBERT (CONT'D)

You want to walk down the street holding hands?

Back to Robert.


ROBERT (CONT'D)

You want me to introduce you to people as the most important person in my life? Ten years, even if they weren't everything you wanted, have to count for something. Another chance at least. I love you.

Walsh taking it all in.

Then full on the courtroom, everyone silent, unmoving, unsure what to do next.

And finally, Robert.





copyright 2000 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
matthewaeverett.com