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Skeletons in Her Closet [Part II]


Wilder: Listen. Whether you want to believe me or not, I actually care about you. I have cared about you since I met you, and I know I havenít known you for long, but that doesnít matter. It has nothing to do with pity or any disorder you mig have, all right?
Julia: Why?
Wilder: Why, what?
Julia: Why do you like me?
Wilder: Why do I like you?
Julia: Yes.
Wilder: Why do I like you...
Julia: Thatís what I want to know.
Wilder: I donít know.
Julia: You donít have an answer.
Wilder: No.
Julia: See? Youíre just confusing pity and attraction.
Wilder: It isnít pity! Look, I donít know why the sky is blue, either! That doesnít mean it isnít blue!
Julia: This is a great time to start showing off, Wilder.
Wilder: Iím not trying to--
Julia: You can make comparisons and similes and whatever else all you want, but nothing is going to change. This is life, Wilder. This is the way things are.
Wilder: It doesnít have to be that way.
Julia: Youíre a big boy, Wilder. You can drive, you can see R movies, you can almost vote. Maybe itís time you popped the bubble youíve been living in and see the world. Itís cruel, and itís cold, but it is reality.
Wilder: You can see a doctor, talk to somebody... you can get better--
Julia: Get better! You donít get better from this! It isnít chicken pox or a cold! I am always going to be a bulimic, no matter how long I go without throwing up. I am a bulimic from the first time I decided that maybe I would feel bet r if I just threw up to the day I die. I canít ever get better.
Wilder: That isnít right.
Julia: Of course it isnít right.
Wilder: It isnít... natural.
Julia: No, it isnít natural. Smoking and drinking arenít natural either, but people still do those.
Wilder: But those are different.
Julia: Yeah? How?
Wilder: Well... I canít explain it.
Julia: There isnít any difference.
Wilder: The reasons you start are different. You started because you didnít like how you looked.
Julia: I never planned it like this! I didnít decide that I would make myself lose ten pounds by throwing up.
Wilder: But you did it because you wanted to change something about yourself.
Julia: Thatís why people start smoking and drinking. They want to look cooler, older, impress someone else.
Wilder: But theyíre an addiction.
Julia: So is bulimia. It starts out just once or twice. But then you start doing it two, three times a day, and then every time you eat. And you canít stop yourself.
Wilder (becoming increasingly confused and flustered): It isnít the same.
Julia: Okay. Maybe I judged you wrong. Maybe youíre one of those guys who thinks itís fun to go to three different parties on a Friday night and get a little drunker at each one.
Wilder: I donít need you to preach to me.
Julia: You donít need me to preach to you? Why? Because I have problems? Because I might actually know what Iím talking about?
Wilder: I didnít mean it that way.
Julia: No, just listen to me. I am so sick of being judged. If you are one of those party-drinkers, so be it. It isnít my problem. So I think that if I donít judge you, you have absolutely no right to judge me.
Wilder: You canít justify bulimia by comparing it to drinking.
Julia: Oh, but you can justify your drinking by comparing it to bulimia?
Wilder: I donít drink.
Julia: Wilder, I donít care what you do. If it doesnít concern me, I donít want to hear about it.
Wilder: But I donít.
Julia: Then thatís great for you, okay?
Wilder: You are a bulimic. You canít justify or explain it away. Youíre stuck with it.
Julia: I know.
Wilder: You keep trying to make me feel bad about it, like itís my fault. Well, listen. I am very sorry that you have this problem, but it has nothing to do with me! I donít even know you. I donít know how old you are. I donít know your favor e color. I donít know what size shoes you wear.
(A long silence.)

Julia: Sixteen. Iím sixteen. My favorite color is red. And I wear a size eight and a half.
Wilder: Thatís not my point.
Julia: I know it isnít your point. But Iím trying to fix this.
Wilder: Fix what?
Julia: This. Give me a break... we havenít even known each other for an hour. Why are we fighting like this? Why are we screaming at each other?
Wilder: I donít know.
Julia: Neither do I.
Wilder: I wish we could start today over.
Julia: Why donít we?
Wilder: What do you mean?
Julia: Get up and go over there. When you come back, weíll pretend like none of this ever happened.
(Wilder stands and walks off. Julia picks up a magazine. Wilder re-enters moments later, and sits next to Julia.)

Wilder: Hello. Iím Wilder.
Julia: Iím Julia. Nice to meet you.
(Wilder picks up a magazine. They read silently for a moment, then Julia sets hers down.)

Julia: This isnít going to work.
Wilder: No.
Julia: Whether you like it or not, you are involved.
Wilder: Are you kidding? I have no responsibility for your actions.
Julia: Youíre the only one who knows.
Wilder: No, Iím not. You said that David--
Julia: I donít think he understands. All he knows is he found me throwing up and I donít want Mom and Dad to know.
Wilder: This isnít fair to me, Julia.
Julia: Iím sorry. I still donít know why I told you.
Wilder: My girlfriend says that Iím easy to talk to.
(Julia is momentarily startled, but she hides it quickly.)

Julia: Oh. Thatís... interesting.
Wilder: Well, ex-girlfriend. Technically.
Julia: Is she or isnít she?
Wilder: Look, I stay out of your personal life, you stay out of mine.
Julia: You didnít stay out of my personal life. And I think you owe me an explanation.
Wilder: Why?
Julia: Because you just gave me a speech about how you liked me, and all of a sudden you have a girlfriend.
Wilder: Okay, fine. Her name is Emily. She was new to Willow Union last March. We started dating in early August. Things were fine for about two months, and then I found out that she was, well, very good friends with some guy from Berk ire.
Julia: Maybe I know him. What was his name?
Wilder: I canít remember... it started with a ĎDí, I think.
Julia: So you mean she was cheating on you? How do you mean?
Wilder: Do I have to draw you a diagram? Letís just say that they were doing more than kissing.
Julia: Youíre kidding!
Wilder: Then I found out that Emily wasnít who I thought she was at all. I found out her reputation from her old school. And I realized that I didnít like the person she really was.
Julia (incredulously): So, what? You dumped her because you found out she had a bad reputation at her old school? How do you know it was true? Maybe that was why she moved.
Wilder: Before you decide Iím a heartless jerk, maybe you should hear the rest.
Julia: Fine.
Wilder: I told her that I didnít want to go out with her anymore. At first she got really upset, but then she calmed down a little bit. Right before I left, she said, ďWilder, you canít break up with meĒ and I said, ďWell, I just did.Ē Then s followed me out to my car, and just as I was starting it up, she said, ďIím pregnant.Ē
Julia: Pregnant!
Wilder: She said I was the father. She said that I had to stay with her for the sake of the baby.
Julia: Is it yours?
Wilder: No!
Julia: How do you know?
Wilder: Because we never... you know...
Julia: Then how can she try to use it to make you stay?
Wilder: She said... she said that if I broke up with her, she would tell everyone it was mine. And then I would have to drop out of school and spend the rest of my life working to pay child support.
Julia: But how can she do that? Just tell everyone it isnít yours!
Wilder: It isnít that simple. No one knows she was ever with the Berkshire guy. And everyone thinks that we were sleeping together all along.
Julia: So what did you do?
Wilder: What could I do? I stayed with her.
Julia: Thatís stupid.
Wilder: I didnít have any other choice.
Julia: Of course you did. You should have just explained to everyone what she was planning to do before she got to it, and then everyone would have seen that she was lying.
Wilder: Julia, she had already told my best friend and all of her friends that she was pregnant. And she even told them that she was afraid Iíd break up with her because of it.
Julia: Well, what about the Berkshire guy? Doesnít he have any responsibility?
Wilder: I told you, nobody knows about him.
Julia: If heís a half decent human being, he should at least step forward.
Wilder: If you could get away with something like that just by staying silent, wouldnít you?
Julia: That isnít fair.
Wilder: Youíre damn right it isnít fair, but what am I supposed to do about it?
(A long silence.)

Julia: Request a paternity test.
Wilder: Request a... a what?
Julia: A test to determine who the father is.
Wilder: For Peteís sakes, Julia, Iím seventeen. Iím not going to request a paternity test.
Julia: It doesnít matter how old you are. If you need the test, ask that she take it. If she refuses to take it, youíre off the hook.
Wilder: I donít know.
Julia: They can tell if itís you or the other guy. And if you know it isnít you, you have nothing to worry about.
Wilder: Okay, listen. I donít think the other guy knows sheís pregnant. I donít think she told him.
Julia: Then heís in for a surprise.
Wilder: Julia, I canít do this.
Julia: You have to. Unless you want to drop out of school and work for a kid that isnít yours.
Wilder: Iíll think about it.
Julia: Think hard about it, Wilder. Youíll regret it if you donít.
(The telephone on the Nurseís desk rings. She answers it.)

Nurse: Admittance desk, Beverly speaking. Just a moment. (to waiting room) Miss Slattery?
(Julia stands slowly.)

Julia: Yes?
Nurse: Itís your brotherís physician.
(Julia crosses to the phone.)

Julia: This is Julia Slattery. Yes. Oh. Really? Thatís wonderful! Thank you. Thank you very much!
(She hangs up and returns to her seat.)

Wilder: What now?
Julia: They said someoneís coming down to get me. Theyíre going to let me in to see him.
Wilder: Is he better or worse?
Julia: They said heís doing much better. They said he might even be out of here by tomorrow!
Wilder: Thatís great.
Julia: I know.
(The Young Nurse enters, consulting her clipboard.)
Young Nurse: Julia? Julia Slattery?
Julia: Thatís me.
Young Nurse: Right this way, please.
(Julia and the Young Nurse exit, passing Vince and Jack on their way. The two are pushing another man, Marty, in a wheelchair.)

Vince (to Marty): So then Sal says to Roy, ďWhat do you mean, a cello?Ē And Roy says, ďWell, his gun wouldnít fit in the violin case-- he needed something bigger!Ē
(Vince and Marty laugh loudly. Jack looks puzzled.)

Jack: Why would he want to put a gun in a violin case in the first--
Vince: Shaddup, Jack, youíre gonna get us in trouble.
Marty: Man, itís good to see you fellas again. Thought theyíd never let me out.

To Be Continued...

-MWE