Peter- a simple farmer
Delilah- Peter’s fiancée from the city
SCENE: Peter’s Farm
Peter sits on a stool at a table, hunched over the remains of his meagre breakfast. He is wearing worn out overalls and a frayed straw hat.
PETER: Nothing’s been the same since my brother was drafted. The letter came from nowhere. I don’t know where he is or what he is doing. Heck, I don’t even know if he’s still alive. He always did say if he went out, he’d go like a warrior. He didn’t have no sympathy for them fancy men with slicked back hair and glowing teeth who’d die of nothing more than plain laziness. If they’da got out more, they’da probably not kicked the bucket so easy. A good day’s work is what saves a man, that’s what Bill said. Now he’s off to war and I’m still here, tending to the farm. It gets lonely down here sometimes, even with the help I’ve hired since Bill left. It’s nice on the weekends though when Delilah comes down. Bill never did like her, though I can’t think why. He’da never been caught dead with a little city girl. But Delilah’s different from most city folk. She really gets me and she’d be willing to work on the farm if I needed her to. She told me so. But I couldn’t let a pretty little gal like her do all that heavy labor. No, that’s a man’s job. Too bad it’s only Wednesday. I’ve gotta wait another couple of days for the weekend.
DELILAH: From offstage. Hello? Pete, are you home?
PETER: Aside. Well, speaking of the devil. I wonder what she’s doing home so soon. To Delilah. I’m in the kitchen, hon’. I’d offer you breakfast, but I just finished up.
Delilah enters. She wears a scarf, a coat, and a pair of gloves.
DELILAH: Oh, that’s fine. I cannot believe how cold it is outside.
PETER: It’s only gonna get colder, I’m afraid. It’s only November.
DELILAH: Wow. Winter must be early this year.
PETER: I hope not. I’ve still gotta finish the harvest.
Delilah pulls a stool up to the table and sits.
DELILAH: How’ve you been, Pete?
PETER: Well, it’s been a rough time, what with harvest and Bill off to die like a warrior. I’m just glad I’ve got you. It makes everything so much easier. How have you been?
DELILAH: I’ve been good. I booked an art show last week and about two dozen people came and quite a few bought paintings.
PETER: That’s great! I know how much your work means to you and you do it so well.
DELILAH: Good. You’ll understand then.
PETER: Understand what?
DELILAH: Looks down and draws circles on the table. I got accepted into art school.
PETER: That’s great! I’m so happy for you.
DELILAH: But I won’t be able to come down on weekends anymore.
PETER: Oh. You got class on weekends?
DELILAH: No. But I can’t afford to come see you every weekend. And I realized something. If I’m not willing to sacrifice art school for our relationship, then it can’t be worth that much to me. I love you Peter, I hope you know that, but I don’t think it’s going to work out.
PETER: But we can make it work. I can come to see you sometimes too. Or I could sell the farm and move up there with you and find another job.
DELILAH: I don’t want to ask that of you Peter. You’ve been a farmer your whole life. What else would you do? Besides, I wouldn’t feel right asking you to sacrifice your life for me when I can’t do the same for you.
PETER: I just want to make you happy.
DELILAH: I don’t think either of us can be happy like this.
I’m sorry, Peter. I have to go now.
Delilah leaves the stage and Peter walks out the door to his farm. Everything is covered in ice.
PETER: I’m a ruined man. My brother is probably dead, my fiancée doesn’t want me anymore, and the farm is frozen over. It’s gonna be a long, cold, merciless winter and I’ll be alone with not much to live on. The harvest is ruined. I can feel the frost taking over my heart now too. This is my end.