INT. DINING ROOM - DAY
Estelle furiously mashes potatoes in the kitchen. The door
is open into the dining room. Mark Larson enters the dining
room from the living room wearing the coveralls and grey
striped hat of a CNR train engineer.
Do we have any bicarbonate of soda
dear? I have the worst heart burn.
He puts his hat on a hat rack that is standing by the door,and
walks to the table rubbing his chest in discomfort.
Yes we do, I'll bring it in.
As Estelle pours water into a glass from the faucet,
Charlotte brings in a bowl of salad and puts it on the
Well, this is a surprise.
It's been awhile since you had
dinner with us.
Estelle brings in a fizzing glass of bicarb, and sits it on
the place mat in front of Mark. Charlotte runs past her to a
downstairs bathroom. She vomits into the toilet.
What's wrong with Charlotte?
What's going on?
Estelle sits across the table from him as Charlotte rinses
out her mouth at the kitchen sink. She joins her parents at
Charlotte is pregnant, and she
wants to get an abortion. I've tried reasoning
with her, but she won't listen. I told her that we
would adopt the baby if she woulld agree not to
have an abortion. She could have it in Vancouver
so no one around here would know. She
just won't budge!
Estelle leans her chin on one hand, elbow on the table.She
speaks tiredly in exasperation.
That is not going to happen!!
He glares at Charlotte, and raises his voice. He rises
halfway out of his chair, and leans forward, hands flat on
I'll lock you in the basement till
the baby is born if I have to, but
I am not going to let you murder
Charlotte moves her salad around in its'
bowl, disinterestedly. She looks up wearily at her father,
her jaw set with determination.
That won't be necessary dad, I'll
go to Vancouver to have the baby.
You will? Would you be willing to let
us adopt the baby?
why the sudden change of
heart? What's the catch?
The catch is, that I want to go to
Los Angeles after it's born. I'll
need at least fifty thousand
dollars to live on, and take
acting lessons while I go to all
the auditions. I've had the
female lead in all the plays
since I started high school. My
drama coach says that I'm a
natural star. You give me the
money, and I'll give you the
baby. It's as simple as that.
Charlotte pushes her salad bowl aside and stands.
I'm not hungry. I'm going up to my
room to take a nap. Let me know
what you decide when I come down.
Charlotte gets up from the table and exits through the
living room door.
The house is paid for, so we can
take out a mortgage for twenty
Mark gets up and takes a bank pass book out of a drawer in
We'll give her the entire contents
of the education fund that we
opened the day she was born.We
put all of her baby bonuses in
it, plus we added to it on every
He flips through the passbook, and opens it flat. He reads
There is twenty seven thousand
dollars in it, that should
be enough. I know that you wanted
to retire now that Charlotte is
finished high school, but if we
take out a mortgage now, we're
going to be in debt for awhile.
You'll have to put off
retirement. Are you alright with
Estelle gets up and begins to gather the remains of the
barely eaten dinner.
If that's what it takes, then
that's what it takes. We'll never
have another grandchild that we'll
ever know about. If she gets
pregnant again, she most likely
will get an abortion. She'll be
on her own by then, so we won't
have any say in it