Two’s a Crowd
This was a short play I wrote in 2017 for a blockbuster-themed show. See if you can guess which film I was inspired by!
JACK and ROSE are floating in the ocean. The penny whistle solo from “My Heart Will Go On” plays. Rose is floating on a door and Jack is treading water beside her, visibly getting tired. Their eyes are locked and they are holding hands.
JACK: (intensely) You’re going to get out of this. You’re going to go on and you’re going to make babies and watch them grow and you’re going to die an old lady, warm in your bed. Not here. Not this night. Do you understand me?
ROSE: I can’t feel my body.
JACK: Rose, listen to me. Listen. Winning that ticket was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It brought me to you. And I’m so thankful, Rose. I’m thankful. You must do me this honour… Promise me you will survive, that you will never give up… No matter what happens, no matter how hopeless… Promise me now, and never let go of that promise.
ROSE: I promise.
JACK: Never let go.
ROSE: I promise. I will never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.
TONY floats onstage on another piece of debris.
TONY: You’d both fit on that door, you know.
Music cuts off abruptly. Jack and Rose look at Tony, surprised.
ROSE: (nervously) Um, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. It’s only big enough for me.
TONY: Are you kidding me? Look at the size of that thing, it’s huge! Seriously, man, try and hop up there, get out of the water if you can.
Jack shrugs and tries to pull himself on to the door. As he does, Rose wobbles her side of the door.
ROSE: Woah, woah, woah! Oh Jack, I’m so sorry, it looks like it’ll sink if we both get on.
TONY: What are you doing? Uh, (gestures to Jack for his name)
TONY: (gestures to himself) Tony. Jack, your girlfriend here is wobbling the door on purpose when you try to get on. She’s been faking the whole time!
JACK: (heartbroken) Rose?
TONY: (announcing) ROSE.
JACK: Why would you do this to me?
ROSE: The door-
TONY: THE DOOR IS BIG ENOUGH FOR TWO, ROSE.
JACK: Tell me the truth.
ROSE: Um, well, the truth is… Look, you’re great, I mean you’re wonderful, you’re… It’s not you, it’s me, I’m just in a place emotionally where-
JACK: Are you breaking up with me?
TONY: Oh, crap.
Tony awkwardly tries to paddle away but only gets as far as the edge of the stage, from where he watches the breakup. As he does this, there is a pause between Jack and Rose where Jack looks heartbroken and Rose looks awkward.
ROSE: I really like you, I do, it’s just that… Well, it’s the whole class thing. I mean, we kind of got away with it on the boat but back on land… Well, it just wouldn’t work. I don’t know how we could share a life together.
JACK: So you were going to let me drown?!
ROSE: Well, I didn’t know how to have the conversation.
Jack stares at her in disbelief.
JACK: You didn’t know how to have the conversation. Well, let me show you how. First of all, there’s enough room for two on this thing so we might as well be relatively comfortable. (Jack pulls himself on to the door, Rose reluctantly letting him. When he gets on, he stares at Rose for a moment before beginning, sounding very sad)
I thought you were the love of my life, so much so that I was willing to let my life end for you, because I’d already experienced the best kind of joy I thought I’d ever find.
In the corner, Tony is being moved by Jack’s words, nodding in agreement with his points.
JACK: It was brief, but it was intense. You were everything to me, and… Well, I thought I was everything to you. We… we shared a lot over the past few days, and I’ll never forget that.
But the class thing? Really? I mean, I brought you to my side and we danced! I mean, I wore a suit for you!
TONY: (from the corner) And he looked damn good!
JACK: Thank you, Tony! (to Rose) I mean, fine, you don’t want to be together, I’m not too happy about it, but it’s your choice. But dear God, just talk to me! Don’t let me drown in the freezing sea because you don’t want to have an awkward conversation? Is this how privileged being rich has made you? (Pause) I thought you were different, Rose.
JACK: I don’t want to hear it.
ROSE: Jack, we’re going to be out here for hours, we’ll have to talk.
JACK: Not necessarily.
Jack promptly pushes Rose off the door into the water.
JACK: (to Tony) Want to join me?
TONY: On my way, man!
Tony jumps off his piece of debris and swims past Rose to Jack, climbing on to the door.
ROSE: What am I supposed to do?
TONY: There’s a thing you can hold on to over there. (pointing to his piece of debris)
Outraged, Rose swims offstage, grabbing Tony’s debris as she goes. The penny whistle solo starts again. Jack and Tony dramatically look at one another.
JACK: Thanks for having my back, Tony.
TONY: No problem, man. You deserve better.
JACK: You’re right… Maybe I’ve already found it.
Jack and Tony smile at each other and cuddle.