Bill Ok – I was going to wait till after the meal but I can’t wait. (Pulls out gift) Happy 1st Anniversary.
Susie Oh Bill. Thank you. (They hug. She opens it. It’s a necklace.) It’s beautiful.
Bill Here. (He takes it from her and attaches it round her neck)
Susie (Looking at it) Thank you honey.
Bill You’re welcome (kisses her on the cheek). Love you.
Susie Love you too.
Bill (Sitting back down and looking at the menu) Ok, so what are you having?
Susie (Still admiring the necklace) Oh I don’t mind sweetheart, you order.
Bill Ok well there’s the steak – you fancy steak?
Susie (Still with the necklace) Hmm. Not really.
Bill Chicken? Salmon? Fajitas? Lamb? Ooh the gammon’s very good here. Remember when we were here last time?
Susie Oh yes I remember. Yeah let’s go for the gammon.
Bill (Noticing something) Huh!
Susie (Absent-mindedly) What?
Bill Oh just noticed this. Before long we’ll be ordering from the kid’s menu.
Susie (Dropping the necklace and rolling her eyes in despair). Oh Bill it was all going so well.
Bill What so I’m not allowed to talk about it at all now?
Susie No. Just not here. Bill please.
Bill Well surely this is the perfect time to talk about it. We’ve been married a year now. We’re out celebrating that. We’re looking to the future and…. Look, Susie, I love you. I love you more than anything else in the world and I want to have your children. (Susie, looks up confused. Bill realises his mistake. Corrects himself). My children. I want you to have my children.
Susie Bill, I love you too. Of course I do. But we’re just not ready. (Bill rolls his eyes) I’m not ready. The next few months are crucial in my career. My company’s looking for a new partner. And I can do it. I know I can. But I have to prove that. I have to prove that I’m committed to the company. And I can’t do that if they think I’m gonna be taking every other year off for maternity leave. Look I’m not saying never but right now is the worst possible time for me to get pregnant.
Bill It’s always the worst possible time for you to get pregnant. Before this it was the big account that you had to close. Then it was the staff shortages. And after this, if you do make partner, well that’s it. I can give up any hope of ever having a family.
Susie Why do we have to this now?
Bill Because life hasn’t started until you’ve got a family. Until you’re the head of a household. Until we have a child who we can love and raise together.
Susie Oh life hasn’t started? You know, two years ago, you proposed and told me that life wasn’t going to start until we were married. After that, life wasn’t going to start until we had our own home. Now life won’t start until we have a child. And will life start then? No. Life won’t start until that child has a little baby brother or a sister. Life won’t start until we have a bigger house with a big garden and a big dog.
Bill (Timidly) I don’t like dogs.
Susie (Ignoring him). Life won’t start until the kids have grown up and gone off to university. Life won’t start until we’re grandparents. Then life won’t really have started until we’re both retired and can while away the hours in the garden slowly going senile. Why don’t you just skip through the whole lot Bill and come straight out with it. Life won’t start until we’re dead.
Bill So what are you saying? That you just want to stay like this for the rest of our lives? Never growing. Never moving forward.
Susie No. Of course not. I’m just saying…life has already started. We’re in it. Now. And you can’t just keep looking forward to the next big thing to fulfil you.
Bill I understand that. I just don’t want the next big thing to pass me by because of something as trivial as the next big job.
Susie You think my having a job is trivial?
Bill No but I think a promotion would be. Why do you need to be a partner? We already make more than enough money already. You getting this job will just mean a lot more hours for a lot more money that we don’t need.
Susie You never said anything about this before.
Bill I just think there are more important things in this life than your career.
Susie Well I think there are more important things in this life that your children.
Waitress (Coming over to take order) You guys know what you want?
Bill (Coldly. Looking at Susie) No. We don’t.
Waitress (Realising she’s just interrupted something) Ok well just let me know when you’re ready.