IN LOVING MEMORY
A romantic comedy
Littlemissinvisble (that prime replacement of my actual name though).
Elanora- Was a nurse during the Vietnam war and now takes care of her grandchildren while her daughter is busy putting in hours.
Sophie- an elementary schooler who is very idealistic and happens to be eight years old.
Zach- A middle schooler who finds war stuff very interesting like any boy. He is twelve years old and figuring out life for himself.
Lisa- Zach and Sophie’s mom. She loves her children very much, but is very busy as she just got a promotion and is a nurse at a hospital.
Hank- a Vietnam war veteran with a good sense of humor.
A bedroom. Nighttime. Two twin size beds.
Elanora is with her two grandchildren Sophie and Zach.
ELANORA: He was handsome and brave. A true family man.
SOPHIE: Grandma, when did you and grandpa meet?
ELANORA: A long time ago I was a nurse and he was a soldier.
SOPHIE: Wow! Did you see people’s heads explode in Vietnam?
ELANORA: No haha that didn’t happen..but Soph you’re too young to be talking about this.
SOPHIE: My brother Zach says that there were lots of cool explosions and stuff and that if I’m not careful and don’t listen to what he says I could get blown to pieces.
ZACH: Yeah there were also lots of bombings and people lighting themselves up like matches!
ELANORA: Oh my. Let me tell you how it really happened. (Tucks Sophie into bed)
ELANORA: But you have to be extra quiet and pay attention ok?
ZACH: I’ll pay the most attention.
ELANORA: I was a nurse and there were several young men usually nineteen year olds being drafted into the war effort. One stood out to me he had the most beautiful blue eyes and a captivating smile.
ZACH: This is lame and mushy where’s the good stuff?
SOPHIE: I think it’s romantic.
ELANORA: Hush both of you. It all started when the president told the American people that the north Vietnamese had purposely fired at an American ship at the gulf of Tonkin.
ZACH: I heard that was a lie.
ELANORA: All these men would come to the medical centers with just horrifying wounds from combat, but it was so rewarding to know that I was helping in some way. And besides it was way more interesting than staying at home.
ZACH: Did you ever save somebody’s life?
ELANORA: Yes, I did but it wasn’t like today Zach our resources were so different back then. Want to hear a really cool story?
ZACH: Yes, let’s get to the good stuff.
ELANORA: I remember there was once this man probably in his early twenties or something. He got shot through the cheek he was pouring water through the hole in his cheek (mocks man tilting head) and he kept saying look at what I can do.
ZACH: That’s so cool I want to have a hole in my cheek so I can pour water through it
SOPHIE: No, Zach that’s so gross. How could you eat wouldn’t it just fall out of your cheek?
ZACH: I didn’t think of that.
SOPHIE: Grams are you ever going to love again now that gramps is gone?
ZACH: No way she’s too old.
Doorway to Elanora’s home.
LISA: I hope Sophie was well behaved for you mom.
ELANORA: Oh Sophie is always a joy, but Lisa I really think it’s necessary for you to be around both of them more Zach and Soph.
LISA: I know. I know don’t hassle me I have just been super busy what with this new job promotion and learning everything at the hospital. (Runs hands through hair)
SOPHIE: Grandma told me that in Vietnam people’s heads exploded! And that there was this guy who had a hole in his cheek!
ELANORA: Soph, come on work with me here.
LISA: Mom that’s totally inappropriate.
ZACH: Mom it was the coolest ever and I totally want a hole in my cheek.
LISA: (Looks disappointed towards Elanora) Mother!
ELANORA: Hey I cautioned them and besides it was just a bedtime story!
LISA: Well mom it was good seeing you c’mon Soph, Zach attack. Thank you so much mom.
ELANORA: Anytime love.
The Vietnam veterans memorial. Washington D.C. Elanoara and Zach/Sophie are touring. There are a few visitors and one of them an older gentleman stands out.
ZACH: Wow grams those are a lot of names.
ELANORA: You bet.
SOPHIE: Grams are all these people dead?
ELANORA: Most, yes but some were missing in action.
SOPHIE: What does that mean?
Enter Hank who had been standing nearby.
HANK: It means they went missing during combat and were never found. Some of them are even classified as K.I.A. Or killed in action.
ZACH: Wow, they must’ve gotten blown up that’s so cool!
HANK: Not quite, but it’s a possibility.
ELANORA: (Sarcastically) Oh don’t encourage them.
HANK: I’m so sorry. I’m just very well read on the subject I served with my brother.
ELANORA: No no I really must thank you, I’ve never taken the time to come to the memorial, but after my bedtime story last night Soph and Zach insisted we had to come.
HANK: And I on the other hand visit way too often. I guess you could call me an expert on the memorial. My names Hank it’s nice to meet you all.
ZACH: Yeah it’s nice to meet you too (fist bumps)
SOPHIE: Wow look you can see your reflection in it. (Sticks out tongue)
HANK: Yeah it’s a link between the present and past by letting you see yourself reflected over their names.
ELANORA: That’s so profound.
ZACH: I’m hungry.
SOPHIE: (whiny) Can you stop whining about your stomach for a second? Hank was talking.
HANK: Oh little darlin’ it’s ok don’t you worry about it.
ELANORA: Hank I’m so sorry about Zach’s manners you really must forgive him. Puberty am I right?
ZACH: What’s that?
HANK: That’s quite alright I didn’t mean to interrupt your tour of the memorial miss I just couldn’t help myself. Your grandchildren are just darling and you all seemed a wee bit lost anyways.
ELANORA: Ok ok everybody calm down let’s go and enjoy our lunch and then come back and look at other stuff.
SOPHIE: Did you bring the cookies grams?
ELANORA: Of course sweetheart what kind of grandmother would I be if I didn’t bring chocolate chip cookies for my favorite granddaughter.
ZACH: hurry up you guys.
SOPHIE: Can Hank come too–
ELANORA: –Sweetheart don’t hustle him I’m sure he has other things to attend to.
HANK: Actually I would love to miss if that’s alright with you?
ELANORA: Oh that would be lovely if you’re sure you can spare the time.
HANK: For a lovely lady such as yourself it’d be my pleasure to.
Sitting at a picnic table. Secluded.
HANK: I remember being nervous about leaving my wife Jane behind because we had recently found out she was pregnant with our baby.
ELANORA: My goodness that must have been very nerve wracking for you. At least you got to return home to your sweetheart.
SOPHIE: That’s so romantic grams.
HANK: Actually, my wife died giving child birth I found out months after. The letter took a long time to get to my platoon.
ELANORA: (Places hand over Hank’s) I’m so sorry for your loss.
HANK: It’s alright I can’t stay miserable forever besides that was decades ago.
ZACH: Yeah, you’re like ancient.
SOPHIE: That’s so rude Zachary James.
HANK: It’s alright Soph I mean have you seen my face. It’s so wrinkled it looks like I’m melting.
SOPHIE: (giggles) You’re so silly. Can you tell us more about your story?
HANK: I remember it like it was yesterday. When I first arrived at the base I heard something moving about and I ran into the bushes screaming when a wee pig ran out after me all the men in my platoon laughed hysterically.
ELANORA: That is pretty funny.
ZACH: I wouldn’t of screamed.
SOPHIE: Would too heck you’re scared of spiders.
ZACH: Only the big ones.
ELANORA: (Looks at wristwatch) Oh you guys we had better get going. Hank it was really lovely talking to you. If you ever want to drop by I would happily listen to more stories.
HANK: Will do Ms. um–
ELANORA: –Oh it’s Elanora, but my close friends call me Nora.
HANK: Alright Nora. I’ll see you all around.
Patio. Nighttime. Lemonade pitcher on a table. Elanora and Hank sit on a porch swing.
HANK: I think it’s so admirable that you take such good care of them Nora.
ELANORA: Their mom means well, but she just can’t be around lately. Besides I really don’t mind telling a quick story and putting them to bed.
HANK: Still Nora–
ELANORA: I know Hank, but that’s just how it has to be right now. (Places hand over)
HANK: (Sighs) Do you ever think how things could have been if x,y, or even z hadn’t happened?
ELANORA: All the time, but the way I look at it (sighs heavily) well it’s all got to happen for a reason. The people we lose and the people who stick around. It’s all some sort of grand plan.
HANK: There is just so much lost potential Nora. My son and I were never close because I blamed him for what happened to his mother for so long. I was so bitter for such a long time that I didn’t see what was in front of me. Now you’re in front of me and I–
ELANORA: Hank I–
HANK: Nora, I don’t want to lose you or this moment. (Leans in and kisses Nora)
ELANORA: Hank, this is insane we’re way past our prime we couldn’t possibly. I love him, I know he’s gone but–
HANK: This is difficult for me too, but with you everything just makes sense.