The End of the Affair

I wrote this extract from a play at a writing course I did. We had to write a scene from a play and then direct other people in the group to act it out for us.

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1. The end of the affair

Thomas and Eve are lovers in the Victorian era. The only problem is that Thomas is an aristocrat and Eve is a shop assistant. Thomas is worried about the image in society and is desperate to keep their affair secret.

The play takes place over a year, and only has one set, which is the front room of Eve’s home.

As the affair progresses Eve starts to realise she has deep feelings for Thomas. Halfway through the year Thomas’ parents arrange a marriage for him and Thomas ends the affair. Eve is devastated, but pulls through. About a month later Thomas returns. The affair continues, each time Thomas say it is the last time.  Towards the end of the play Thomas and his future wife walk into the shop where Eve works. Thomas makes the decision to ignore Eve. The scene we focus on is the last scene of the play, just after the awkward encounter in the shop. Eve returns home furious.

The lights come up in a room. In the middle there is a table and two chairs. At the back of the room there is stove and the rest of the room is fairly bare. A couple of candles on the table, light the room. EVE, a shop-assistant is sitting at the table. She has been there for some time. THOMAS enters and makes a cup of tea.

EVE:  I can’t believe you have the audacity to come back here

THOMAS: (stepping forward.) Eve.

EVE:  After what you did to be today.

THOMAS:  Eve I didn’t do anything. You are blowing this out of proportion.

EVE: Out of proportion? You completely ignored me.  I could have been a brick wall.

THOMAS:  How could I have acknowledged you? I was with my fiancé.

EVE: How does that justify it? You have been with her for months.

THOMAS: Why does that make a difference?

EVE: It makes a difference because you have done it before. Do I just not exist outside of this room?

THOMAS: Don’t be stupid.

Pause

EVE: Why is that stupid?

THOMAS: You do exist. I just can’t talk to you.

EVE: Why ever not?

THOMAS: (getting annoyed.) People would have asked questions.

EVE: (raising her eyebrows.) And…

THOMAS: (shouts.) This is supposed to be a secret.

EVE: (shaking her head.) All you care about is your image.

THOMAS: That is not true!

EVE: It is.

THOMAS:  Fine if you’re going to that I’ll leave.

Thomas starts to walk away. Eve laughs

THOMAS: (turns back.) What are you laughing at?

EVE: You leaving again!

THOMAS: What do you mean?

EVE: You’re always leaving and then coming back.

THOMAS: This is the last time.

EVE: The last time? It’s been the last time for months.

THOMAS: And?

EVE: You can’t do this to me. Just leave me her every time, saying it’s the last and then coming back.

THOMAS: Eve. You’re getting hysterical.

EVE: I have every right to I’m hurt.

THOMAS: You need to calm down. This is the last time.

EVE laughs.

THOMAS: It is. I’m getting married tomorrow.

EVE: (complete shock.) What?

THOMAS: I can’t do this anymore. (Pause.) Not to Felicity. It would hurt her if she found out.

EVE: Wait. You are ending this?

THOMAS: Yes (Stepping forward.)

EVE: Because it might hurt Felicity. (Stepping back.)

THOMAS:  (getting annoyed.) Yes

EVE:  (half laughing.) I can’t believe this.

THOMAS: What?

EVE: That you care more about Felicity than me.

THOMAS: Of course I do.

EVE:  Oh, because she is your future wife.

THOMAS: No because she is the innocent party.

EVE: And I’m not.

THOMAS: No. You are my temptation.

Pause.

EVE: I can’t do this.

THOMAS: Can’t do what? ……. (Ordering.) Eve.

EVE:  (bursting out.) Thomas, I’m pregnant.

THOMAS:  What?

EVE: I’m pregnant.

THOMAS: And you didn’t tell me?

EVE: I only just found out. (Pleading.) Now you have to stay.

THOMAS: I am not staying to look after a bastard child.

Pause

THOMAS: What? It’s true, it will be a bastard.

EVE: (furious.) It? It?

THOMAS: (destroying her hopes.) It will always be a bastard. We aren’t married, we aren’t going to get married. I am marrying Felicity.

EVE: (pleading.) But I need the support.

THOMAS: Get it from a charity.

EVE: You bastard. Get out.

Pause.

THOMAS: Eve, I’m sorry. Come let’s sit down and talk about this.

EVE: Don’t touch me. This is my house and I am telling you to get out.

THOMAS: Look here miss; remember who you are talking to.

EVE: (In disbelief.) I’m sorry.

THOMAS: (like a small child.) You can’t talk to me like that.

EVE shakes her head in disbelief.

THOMAS: Look, let’s not do this. We are both tired. Let’s make the most of our last night together.

EVE: What are you insinuating? (Beat.).  Do you have no shame? You think I’m going to….? After…? Get out. GET OUT.

THOMAS leaves. EVE watches him go, then slowly sits down and bursts into tears. 

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