Mallory-waitress at Hal’s Diner
Paul- Mallory’s eight year old son
Ron- Paul’s friend
George- Paul’s imaginary friend
Reggie- waiter at Hal’s Diner
Winter. A block in a small town. A street with fresh snow on it. Stage left is the street corner. The street goes through center stage. Stage right is Hal’s Diner. Inside Hal’s Diner, booths and tables are spaced around, with one long bar going around with trendy decor. Behind the bar is a door into the kitchen. Mallory is wiping off one of the tables. Reggie is cleaning nearby. Paul and George are sitting across from each other in a booth. Paul is coloring in a coloring book. Ron and a few other boys are sitting at a table across the diner.
Paul: Look George, isn’t it pretty? (holds up coloring book)
George: (nods) Its very pretty.
Paul: (sets down coloring book) Do you want to draw some too?
George: (smiles) No thanks. I like seeing yours.
Paul: Okay. (continues to color)
(Mallory walks over to the booth her son is sitting in. She doesn’t look at George.)
Mallory: Paul, don’t you want to go sit with your friends? (gestures towards the table of boys)
Paul: (stops coloring and sets down his Crayon) Mom, I’m sitting with George. (points at George who smiles)
Mallory: (looks blankly at where George is sitting. Can’t see him. Looks back at Paul.)
Honey, he’s imaginary. Don’t you want to go play with those boys?
Paul: (upset) George isn’t imaginary. You just can’t see him because he don’t want you to.
Mallory: (sounding concerned) Pack your things. My shift ends in a few minutes and we’re going home. (walks away)
(Mallory-exits through kitchen door)
Paul: (looks at George) Don’t worry, I know you’re real.
George: (pats his hand) I know you do pal.
(Ron walks over)
Ron: Paul, do you want to come play? We’re going to go sledding.
Paul: No, I have to go home with my mom and George.
Ron: (shrugs) Oh, okay. Tell George hi. (walks back to his table)
Paul: (lifts a backpack up and puts his crayons and coloring book in it) Do you want to go sledding, George?
George: Do you?
Paul: (shakes his head) Ya. It could be fun.
George: How about you go? You need to start doing stuff with your other friends too. I’m just here when you need another friend, not to be your only friend. So you go sledding and we’ll hang out later. Sound good?
Paul: (smiles) Ya, I’ll go ask mom.
(Mallory-enters though kitchen door. Walks up to Paul’s table with a jacket in hand)
Mallory: Come on Paul, time to go home.
Paul: (stands up) Mom, can I go sledding with Ron?
Mallory: (her eyes widen) I thought you didn’t want to.
Paul: No, I do want to. (shakes his head to make his point)
Mallory: (smiles) Of course. What about George? (frowns slightly)
Paul: (shrugs) He told me to go, but he doesn’t want to go.
Mallory: (voice slightly suspicious) George wants you to go by yourself?
Paul: He says I should spend time with my other friends too. He’s doesn’t want to be my only friend.
Mallory: (surprised) Oh.
George: When will she realize I’m only helping? (smiles at Paul)
Mallory: (suspiciously) What’s so funny?
Paul: George wants to know when you’ll figure out he’s just trying to help.
Mallory: (ignores the remark) Why don’t you go tell Ron you’re going. Then we can head home and you can get your snow stuff.
Paul: Okay. (Hops up and goes to Ron. Talks to him for a few seconds. Lots of nodding. Comes back to the table) Ready to go.
Mallory: Okay, let’s go. (They walk to the door. George follows. Mallory opens the door.)
Reggie: (Wipes a table and turns) Mallory, wait! (Walks up to her)
Mallory: (Stops and looks back) You can go on ahead, Paul. Wait for me at the corner.
Paul: (grabs George’s hand) Okay. (heads out the door and down the street They stop at the corner and Paul starts talking to George)
Reggie: Can you switch me shifts tomorrow?
Mallory: Sure but you’ll owe me. (turns around. Looks down the street.)
Reggie: Deal. Thanks (turns around)
Mallory: Reggie, look at this. (grabs his shirt. He turns around. She points at the snow leading up to where Paul is standing.)
Reggie: (looks at her hand on his shirt and then at where she’s pointing, annoyed) What is it?
Mallory: (lets go of Reggie’s shirt) Look, there’s two sets of footprints. No one else has been out yer. It’s like someone was walking with Paul. But,no one…(trails off)
Reggie: (frowns) That’s strange.
Mallory: (looks at him) Do you believe in imaginary friends?
Reggie: (laughs) Ya, when I was eight. (walks away and starts cleaning another table)
Mallory: (looks back at Paul who is chattering away, seemingly all alone. quietly) I think I do now.
(Lights go out. Curtain closes)