‘Almost, Maine’ (Hope)

‘Almost, Maine’ by John Cariani

From: Play

Type: Comedic

Character: Hope, a native of Northern Maine, but she went away to college and hasn’t been back in years.

Gender: Female

Age Range: 30's | 40's | 50's

Summary: On a cold, clear moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.

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Hope: I took a taxi here. From Bangor. To see him. This place is a little further away from things than I remember. I could only fly as close as Bangor and I needed to get to him as fast as I could. Because I want to answer a question he asked me. The last time I saw him, he asked me a very important question and I didn’t answer it, and that’s just not a very nice thing to do to a person. He asked me to marry him. And that’s why I’m here. To answer him. (Beat. Then, realizing she probably ought to defend herself.) I mean, I didn’t answer him in the first place because I didn’t have an answer at the time. I mean, I was going to college, and then… the night before I’m about to go off into the world to do what I hope and dream, he asks me, “Will you marry me?” I mean, come on! I was leaving in the morning… What was I supposed to do? (Defending herself.) I mean, I told him I’d have to think about it, that I’d think it over overnight and that I’d be back before the sun came up with an answer. And then I left. Left him standing right… there…and then… I didn’t make it back with an answer before the sun came up or… at all. No! That wasn’t my answer! I just… went off into the world, and that’s not an answer, and I think-… (little beat) I think he thought I’d say, “Yes.” I know, and… I’m afraid he probably waited up all night, hoping for me to come by, and I just want to tell him that I know now that you just can’t do a thing like not answer a question like the one he asked me, you can’t do that to a person. Especially to someone you love. (pause) I know this isn’t going to be very easy, but I was just out there all alone in the world, and I got so scared, because all I could think about was how I had no place in this world, but then outta nowhere realized that there was one place in this world that I did have, and that was with you, so I flew and I took a taxi to get to you, I just had to come see you (finally really looking at him) thank God you’re…. Oh ___… Wait ___ … I’m sorry.  You’re not—…. I’m —…  This is the house—..I’m so sorry— …. Does Daniel Harding live here?, I’m looking for Daniel Harding.  Um, he lives here.  I thought.  But… ohhhh… he doesn’t, does he?  Ooooh.  I am so sorry.  I’m so embarrassed.  “Who is this woman and what is she doing here?” (beat) I just honestly thought he’d be here. I always thought he’d be here.  Always.  (beat)  Do you know him?  Big guy, big tall guy.  Played basketball, all-Eastern Maine, center? Strong.  Do you know him?

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