Due Date (Fiction)
My assignment was to create two pages of dialogue with no stage direction or commentary but included action, that set up a conflict. Here’s what I did. Can you guess what would be next?
JIM: Was the garlic bread for dinner?
RITA: Yeah. Sorry, can you bring it in?
JIM: Sure. I’m having wine. You want a soda or are you ok with water?
RITA: Water’s fine.
JIM: Thanks for dinner, hun. It looks great.
RITA: Lenny’s gnocchi. Nothin’ better.
JIM: Agreed. Hey. Did bitchface show up at work today?
RITA: Yeah. She was there.
JIM: Up to her usual tricks?
RITA: Oh yeah. She made a big show of gagging in our morning meeting claiming the smell of coffee is making her baby sick. Yuk.
JIM: Wait ’til she finds out you’re pregnant too. She’s going to hate sharing the spotlight.
RITA: That’s why I want to keep mine secret as long as possible. The less interaction with her the better. I’m afraid she’s going to mistake my pregnancy for a reason to be chummy.
JIM: Don’t you want to talk war stories about heartburn and the ring of fire?
RITA: Oh, fuck off!
JIM: Ha! Want that napkin back? Ya missed me.
RITA: How’s the gnocchi?
JIM: I’m inhaling it, that should tell you something.
RITA: Tells me you’re eating for two.
JIM: Hey. Solidarity!
RITA: Yeah. Solidarity…
RITA: It’s just that I’m going to get all fat and disgusting and it’s going to take me ages to work the shit off my hips and all you’ll have to do is think about losing weight and it’ll be gone.
JIM: I can’t help that I have an exceptional physique with better than average metabolism. Come on and give your squishy papa bear a hug.
RITA: Ugh. You come here if you want a hug.
JIM: That’s my girl.
RITA: You really are a charmer.
JIM: You fell under my spell and now you are mine!
RITA: Just eat your weight in pasta and keep to yourself.
RITA: So what?
JIM: I’ve been thinking—
RITA: That’s trouble…
JIM: I know. But this is a big one. Can we talk about it now?
RITA: We were having such a nice night though.
JIM: I know. I know. But—
RITA: But what? Can’t you just give it up? I’m not interested.
JIM: Hear me out.
RITA: I’ve heard it already.
JIM: Ok. Ok. I know there are risks and it’s really scary thinking about that giant needle coming at our baby, but—
RITA: But nothing. I said no amnio.
JIM: I’m worried.
RITA: I know.
JIM: So why won’t you even talk?
RITA: Look. I get it. There’s spina bifida in your family, but so what?
JIM: So what? Don’t you want to know so we can decide?
RITA: Decide what exactly?
JIM: You know. Decide if we are ready for that challenge.
RITA: I’m not aborting if that’s what you’re saying.
JIM: No. No. I’m not suggesting—
RITA: Do you even want this baby?
JIM: Jesus Rita. How can you ask me that?
RITA: It’s just—
JIM: Just what? I’ve been nothing but excited. I’ve always wanted what is best for you and our baby.
RITA: Yeah. Our baby.
JIM: I do. You gotta know that.
RITA: Our baby…
JIM: What’s going on?
RITA: It’s just…
JIM: You’re scaring me. Out with it.
RITA: It’s just… Our baby.
JIM: Rita? Rita! What’s happening?