Everyone has their own way of coping
• Nice little retro diner. Night time, 9-ish on a Wednesday. Empty except for a few stragglers.
• Old man: James
• Granddaughter/Young waitress: Julian
• Very slow paced, relaxed, calm
- - -
[An old man walks into a diner, in his Sunday’s best and a bouquet of vibrant colored roses in his hands. He finds an empty table and sits down with a huge smile on his face]
[A young waitress comes out from the back and walks over to the table, a welcoming smile on his face]
Julian: (jokingly) Well look at you all dressed up, got a big date tonight? (she winks at the old man as she pulls a note pad out of her apron)
James: Oh yes ma’am, she’s a real looker too! (huge smile got bigger)
Julian: well, can I get you anything while you wait?
James: No thank you ma’am, I don’t think I could stomach much right now, I’m far too nervous. (he looks down at the roses in his hands bashfully, a his smile now smaller/shy)
Julian: (jokingly) Nervous? An old man like you? No way.
James: Hey now! I’m not too old yet! (slight chuckle) Believe it or not, It took a lot of work to get this date.
Julian: Now I really can’t believe that, you’re a catch! What happened? She married to another man?
James: Oh havens no! (Chuckles) Nothing like that (huge smile back on face) all girls like to be chased after, to know they mean something. So you know what I did? (Looks up at waitress with a smirk on his face) I sent her a dozen roses a week until she said yes.
Julian: (surprised) Wow! How long did that go on for?
James: (proud) Quite a while, but if you knew her, you’d understand why too.
[Julian looks around at the near empty diner. She sees as another waitress is handling the other customer and as they lock eyes, she gives her a look. When the other girl gives an understanding look, she deems it okay to continue chatting with the old man, and takes a seat across from him]
Julian: how so?
James: Well, (looking at the young waitress, a huge smile on his face as begins explaining) She’s… one of the prettiest girls I know. She is sweet and kind, and passionate about all the things that she loves. She’s real funny too and has great taste in movies. She is so smart, so intelligent. Not just book smarts either. She is just so intuitive. I can’t even imagine how it’s possible to be so knowledgeable, but still, she proves to me every day that she is without a doubt one of the most intelligent people I know. We’ve only known each other for a few months, but I respect her more than anybody else. (a smile is now small and bashful, and he starts to play with the flowers in his hands.)
Julian: (Shocked) Wow… You got all that just from a few weeks?
James: Well… Yeah, She’s because my best friend. I guess that’s why she always said no too. She didn’t want it to ruin our friendship. (His smile is sad for a moment, but quickly replaced with a big proud smile)
Julian: that’s so cute (Her shocked expression is one that is now happy, and relaxed)
James: Yeah, I know it’s only our first date and all, and I know this is gonna sound really cheesy, but.. I really think I’m going to marr-
[A woman in nurse scrubs comes crashing through the diner doors, looking franticly around until her eyes settle on the old man]
[The nurse rushes over to the pair at the table, her panic now replaced with relief and anger]
Nurse: There you are! (she says to the old man, who is clearly frightened and confuse)
Nurse: We’ve been looking for you everywhere! Can you thank Lisa in the back for the tip Julian? We should know he would come here.
James: I’m sorry.. Do I know you?
[He’s very confused, and looks over to Julian to see if she knows the crazy woman. Julian has a pained expression on her face and won’t look him in the eye.]
James: I don’t understand what’s going on (Looks between Julian and the nurse for answers.)
Nurse: Mr. Cash, please
James: Please what? I don’t know you! What do you want with me? And what do you mean by “I should’ve known…”
[The few customers and other waitress, Lisa, look upon the trio with pity. They’ve seen this happen before]
Nurse: …. (Sorrowful, and just above a whisper) Mr. Cash… do you know where you are? What year is this?
James: (now angry) Yes I know what year it is! You’re both looking at me as if my puppy just died! It’s 1953 and I’m waiting for Rose to arrive for our first date, no if you’ll excuse me.. (Stands up suddenly and tries to make his way past the nurse.)
Nurse: (sternly stands in front of Mr. Cash blocking his way, as she looks him in the eyes.) (almost in a whisper)Mr. Cash... I’m sorry, but it’s 2012, and Rose, your wife, has been dead for two years.
[The nurse and James stand there for a moment; a saddening silence fills the air. The nurse now has a sad look on her face as James finally realizes what’s happening. The nurse lets go of James and takes a step back to give him room. His expression is now filled with great sorrow. Julian comes up behind him, and puts a comforting hand on his back]
Julian: (has a gentle smile) Come one Grandpa, you need to go back to the room, it’s late and you know it. I’ll come right after you, I just have to finish my shift.
James: (His expression is lost and disillusioned, seeming like on the verge of tears.) Yeah... (He turns toward Julian with a weak smile on his face) You’re right…. We should be getting back…
[James turns toward the Nurse and gives a confirm nod to go]
Julian: (As she watches the two walk out) do you want me to hold on to the roses Grandpa?
[James looks down at the bouquet in his hand, and back to Julian with a sad smile, and tears in his eyes]
James: No dear… that’s quite alright… I have to have some form of roses in my life to keep going.
[James gives one last look toward his granddaughter, the sad smile still evident on his face, he leaves the diner. As the door closes, the bell attached cuts the tension and silence in the diner like a knife.]