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Series: On Stage
Show: Heartbreak
Date: Feb 16 1954

Transcript courtesy of Patte Rosebank

MUSIC:

THEME TUNE UP & UNDER

ANNCR:

Cathy and Elliott Lewis - On Stage.
Cathy Lewis. Elliott Lewis. Two of the most distinguished names in Radio. Appearing each week in their own theatre, starring in a repertory of transcribed stories of their own, and your, choosing. Radio's foremost players, in Radio's foremost plays.

MUSIC:

SOARS, THEN OUT

ANNCR:

Ladies and gentlemen, Elliott Lewis.

ELLIOTT:

Good evening. May I present my wife, Cathy.

CATHY:

Good evening. There's a very special reason why we're doing tonight's play, but we'd rather tell you about it after the show is over.

ELLIOTT:

And so, as quickly as possible, we introduce the new radio play by E. Jack Newman.

CATHY:

It's called "Heartbreak".

MUSIC:

ANXIOUS "HEARTBEAT" THEME BUILDS, THEN ENDS ON A SLIGHTLY UNEASY SUSTAINED NOTE

SCENE 1:

HOUSE, INTERIOR, EARLY EVENING

SFX:

EXTERIOR DOOR OPENS & SHUTS

DAN:

(STRESSED OUT) Vicky?

VICKY:

Dan, where have you been? It's almost seven.

DAN:

I got tied up at the office. I couldn't get away until all the traffic started. (EMBRACING HER) How are you?

VICKY:

Wonderful.

DAN:

I'm bushed. It was a rough one today.

VICKY:

You'll feel better after you shave and shower. Hurry, dear, you don't have much time.

DAN:

I'd rather sit down and have a smoke and wonder why I'm alive. Do I have to hurry to do that?

VICKY:

We're having dinner at the Wilkses tonight. Did you forget?

DAN:

(GROANS)

VICKY:

Is it that bad?

DAN:

I'm tired, Vicky. Just plain tired. And I have to get at it again tomorrow, first thing. Yeah, it's that bad.

VICKY:

You know, you could have told me this morning that you didn't want to go out.

DAN:

I didn't know what kind of a day it was gonna be this morning. I woulda told you if I'd known, believe me.

VICKY:

Do you want me to call them up, and tell them we can't make it? They're only expecting us in a half an hour.

DAN:

What time are we due there?

VICKY:

Seven thirty.

DAN:

A shave and shower will help. I know it will. Forget I looked sad, will you, darling?

VICKY:

Sure.

DAN:

You look awful pretty to be my wife.

VICKY:

(PLAYFUL) Hmmm?

DAN:

Too pretty for me.

VICKY:

(LITTLE LAUGH)

DAN:

Could a guy have an Old Fashioned while he's dressing?

VICKY:

Sounds like a fine idea.

SFX:

SHE GETS GLASSES AND MIXES DRINKS, UNDER

DAN:

I'll only be a minute.

VICKY:

I don't expect us to be right on time, anyhow.

SFX:

WALKING AWAY, DOWN THE HALL

DAN:

(OFF, CALLING) Did my blue suit come back from the cleaners?

VICKY:

(CALLING) It's on the bed, dear.

DAN:

Yeah, okay.

VICKY:

(PAUSE. CALLING) I can't find the bitters, Dan. (NO ANSWER) Dan? (NO ANSWER)

SFX:

WALKING DOWN THE HALL

VICKY:

Dan? I can't seem to find the bitters anywhere, and I know we had some right here somewhere, and you had them last. Dan? (NO ANSWER) Dan?

SFX:

KNOCKING ON BATHROOM DOOR

VICKY:

("EARTH CALLING") Hey, Dan! We're in Chicago. All out! (NO ANSWER) I'm looking for the bitters. (NO ANSWER) Dan? (NO ANSWER)

SFX:

HARDER KNOCKING

VICKY:

Dear? Are you all right? (NO ANSWER) Dan?

SFX:

JIGGLING DOORKNOB. IT'S LOCKED. FRANTIC JIGGLING, TRYING TO FORCE DOOR OPEN. FINALLY, SHE BURSTS THROUGH IT.

VICKY:

(SEES HIM SPRAWLED ON THE FLOOR) Dan!!!

SFX:

SLAPPING HIS FACE, TRYING TO REVIVE HIM

DAN:

(SHALLOW GASPING FOR BREATH, UNDER)

VICKY:

Dan! What is it?

DAN:

(SHALLOW GASPING BREATHS)

VICKY:

What is it??? Oh, Lord! Oh, my Lord!!!

DAN:

(BARELY ABLE TO BREATHE) Do something, Vicky! Do something! I can't breathe!

MUSIC:

TENSE "HEARTBEAT" MUSIC UP, ENDING ON SUSTAINED EERIE STING

SCENE 2:

BEDROOM, 20 MINUTES LATER

SFX:

HISS OF OXYGEN TANK, UNDER

DR:

How old is Dan now?

VICKY:

(LIMP) He was 38, his last birthday.

DR:

How's he been feeling lately? Any complaints?

VICKY:

No. I think he's been a little tired. He's been working very hard.

DR:

Is he getting any exercise?

VICKY:

He plays golf when he can. But he's been so busy, I don't think he's played in over two months. (ABSENTLY TAKES OUT A CIGARETTE)

DR:

You'd better not light that. The oxygen.

VICKY:

Oh. (PUTS IT AWAY)

DR:

You don't want to have an accident.

VICKY:

Oh. (PAUSE) Dan's never been sick a day in his life.

DR:

We all get sick, sometime or other. (PAUSE) Yes, his pulse is picking up now.

VICKY:

That's good. Do you have any idea what's the matter?

DR:

We'll know more in a minute.

DAN:

(CONFUSED GROANS)

DR:

Okay.

DAN:

(GROANING, DEEP BREATHS)

VICKY:

Is he conscious?

DR:

M-hm. He's all right. (PAUSE) Hello, Dan.

DAN:

(CONFUSED MUMBLES)

DR:

Easy now. Easy. You've had a little trouble, Dan, but it's all over now. Just used some oxygen to help you out of it.

DAN:

(SLURRED) Oxygen? Vicky?

VICKY:

Here. (TAKING HIS HAND) Here. Right here, dear.

DAN:

(GROANS)

VICKY:

Lie still, darling.

DAN:

(EXHAUSTED, SLURRED) I guess I musta scared you, honey. I didn't think I'd ever breathe again. I was just starting to shave...and I felt this pain.

DR:

Where, Dan?

DAN:

Right here in my chest. It spread all the way down my arm here.

DR:

You feel any pain now, Dan?

DAN:

No. Feels a little tight, is all.

DR:

Here?

DAN:

No.

DR:

Here?

DAN:

No.

DR:

M-hm. Anything like this ever happen before?

DAN:

No.

DR:

Well, we'll get you straightened out, Dan. Take it easy. (TO VICKY) I want to use the phone.

VICKY:

It's just as you come in, at the front of the hall.

DR:

Dan, I'm going to take you to the hospital tonight. I want to find out what this is all about. (TO VICKY) You might want to get some things together for him.

DAN:

I don't want to go to any hospital.

DR:

Dan, this could be your heart. The hospital's the best place to find out. Excuse me. I'll make that call.

SFX:

WALKS AWAY, DOWN THE HALL

DAN:

Guy must be crazy. I've never had any trouble with my heart, Vicky. You know that. (NO ANSWER) Vicky?

VICKY:

(BREAKS DOWN SOBBING)

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" MUSIC UP, ENDING ON SUSTAINED EERIE STING

SCENE 3:

HOSPITAL ROOM, THE NEXT MORNING

SFX:

DOCTOR COMES IN, AND WALKS TO BEDSIDE

DR:

Good morning, Dan. Have a good night?

DAN:

(STILL A BIT GROGGY) Pretty good, I guess. I'm not used to this kind of thing much.

DR:

Are they treating you all right? Give me your arm. (CHECKS PULSE)

DAN:

M-hm. Yeah, I suppose they're treating me all right. But you aren't. I need a phone in here. I got business to take care of.

DR:

Let somebody else take care of it for a few days, Dan. I don't want you to have a phone. I just want you to get some rest. Okay. (RELEASES HIS ARM)

DAN:

Can't get much rest worrying about things at the office.

DR:

I'm afraid you have a little damage in here.

DAN:

My heart?

DR:

Yeah. Gonna have to get busy and clear it up, and get you feeling good again.

DAN:

Whadda you mean "a little damage"? How bad is it?

DR:

Looks like an acute coronary occlusion. Best way to treat it is for you to stay here in the hospital for a while.

DAN:

How long?

DR:

Three weeks, I'd say.

DAN:

Vicky and I are supposed to go east, in two weeks.

DR:

I know. She told me. But the main thing to think about right now, is getting you back on your feet. Making you completely well. You're very lucky. We caught it early, and we know about it. And we can do something about it right away.

DAN:

Could it have been something else besides my heart?

DR:

It's your heart, Dan.

DAN:

Couldn't have been that I've been working too hard?

DR:

It's your heart, Dan. And the sooner you pull off that long face, the better off you'll be. People recover from heart attacks and heart disease. I have a lot of patients just like you, back at their old jobs, enjoying their work, the same as before. So don't let any fables you've heard about this sort of thing get in the way of the facts.

DAN:

I'm not interested in people; it's me lying here, wondering about the payments on the house and the car. Let's talk about me, huh?

DR:

They want to make a few more cardiographs, and keep a close eye on you. We'll do everything we can to help you. But it won't mean a thing, Dan, unless you help yourself. You want to do that, don't you?

DAN:

Oh, sure. (REACHING FOR WATER GLASS)

DR:

I'll get it.

SFX:

WALKS TO BEDSIDE TABLE

DAN:

I can reach it.

DR:

I know you can.

SFX:

POURS WATER IN GLASS, PUTS DOWN CARAFE

DR:

Now, here. (GIVES GLASS TO HIM)

DAN:

Thanks. (DRINKS, THEN COUGHS A BIT)

DR:

Now, when you get home, you can start in gradually. Limit your activities a little bit. Your work, and your play. Your smoking and drinking. Avoid exertion of every kind. You don't have to carry those groceries from the car; let somebody else do it. The elevator instead of the stairs, you know. When you need rest, you'll rest. When you need food, you eat. When you need relaxation, you take it. Now, do those things during your convalescing period, and you won't have anything to worry about.

DAN:

(PROTESTING GROAN)

DR:

Vicky's already planning for the time when you'll come home. I talked to her a little while ago.

DAN:

Why doesn't she come over and see me?

DR:

I asked her not to come until this evening. All she wants you to do is get well, Dan. That's all any of us want you to do. And we'll all do our best. I know you can get over this. And it won't take long, either. Well, I've got to be running along. I'll drop in on you, a little later.

SFX:

WALKS TO THE DOOR

DR:

(SLIGHTLY OFF) Anything you want, Dan, just ring the nurse. Okay?

DAN:

(STARTS TO CRY SOFTLY)

DR:

(OFF) See you this afternoon.

SFX:

WALKS AWAY, DOWN THE CORRIDOR

MUSIC:

OMINOUS "HEARTBEAT" THEME UP, BUILDING UNDER

DAN:

(TO HIMSELF) Nurse. Give me back my health. That's what I want.

SFX:

SWEEPS WATER GLASS, CARAFE, AND VASE OF FLOWERS OFF BEDSIDE TABLE

DAN:

My health... (SOBS)

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" THEME SWELLS, THEN FADES SLIGHTLY, UNDER

ANNCR:

You are listening to Cathy and Elliott Lewis - On Stage. Tonight's play...

MUSIC:

OUT

ANNCR:

"Heartbreak".

ANNCR:

(PSA) If you're a smart young lad, these days, you don't wait for Old Man Opportunity to come knocking at your door. Go out and find him yourself. And a good place to look is in America's many fine Engineering schools. Today, good engineers are needed in hundreds of varied fields. You can build a fine career as a trained engineer, and at the same time, help maintain America's scientific and engineering superiority.

SCENE 4:

HOSPITAL ROOM, TWO WEEKS LATER

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" THEME UP, THEN OUT (VICKY IS SITTING AT DAN'S BEDSIDE.)

DAN:

(MORE CHIPPER) Well, I'll say this for hospital life. You certainly find out how much money the florists and card-makers are pulling in every year. If I had a nickel for every Get Well Fast card that came in here, I'd be able to pay the hospital bill.

VICKY:

(PUTS AN ARM AROUND HIM) You are loved and cherished by one and all, Dan.

DAN:

I'm so adorable.

VICKY:

Yes.

DAN:

Hey...

VICKY:

Hm? Yes, Dan?

DAN:

You are smelling very good.

VICKY:

I try to, always.

DAN:

Honey...

VICKY:

Yes?

DAN:

I can't say I'm too happy to be in this jam. But now that I'm here, I'm gonna make the best of it.

VICKY:

That's all any of us can do, dear.

DAN:

At first, I thought I'd-- Oh, I thought an awful lot of thoughts.

VICKY:

You were very depressed, dear.

DAN:

I was mad, too. Mostly at Kim, who was only doing his job as a doctor. After he left, I got mad at myself. Then I got mad at you. I had quite a time.

VICKY:

I know, dear. There's nothing funny about this sort of thing.

DAN:

Well, it won't last forever. Living's pretty attractive. I wanna keep on doing it.

VICKY:

You'll have to be very careful, Dan.

DAN:

I can be careful. All I'm looking forward to right now, is getting up and getting out of here as soon as I can. Being home. With you. Where I belong. (NO ANSWER) Hm?

VICKY:

Yes.

DAN:

I'm lucky they caught it early. Lots easier to cure this way. Could have been twice as ba--(YAWNS, WITH A CATCH IN HIS BREATH) as bad. (YAWNS)

VICKY:

Dan...

DAN:

Hm?

VICKY:

(HUGGING HIM) Mmmm... I'm going to take good care of you.

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" THEME UP, WITH HINT OF TEDIUM, ENDING ON SUSTAINED NOTE OF OPTIMISM

SCENE 5:

HOSPITAL ROOM, EVENING, A WEEK LATER

DAN:

I feel fine.

BOSS:

(LAUGHS) Well, you should feel fine, Dan. Lying around here for three weeks, doing nothing but eating and sleeping and holding hands with nurses. When does it look like you'll be getting out?

DAN:

Well, as a matter of fact--

VICKY:

(QUICKLY) It won't be for a little while yet, Jim.

BOSS:

Well, these things take time, huh?

DAN:

Vicky hated it when I first came here. Now I think she wants me to stay.

VICKY:

(SMILING) No, dear. I just wanna be sure you're ready to leave.

BOSS:

I guess you'll be glad to get him home, Vicky.

VICKY:

(RELIEVED SMILE) Mm.

BOSS:

Hospital's no place for Dan. Oh, say! It's nine o'clock already.

VICKY:

Yes, I have to be leaving too.

BOSS:

It was sure nice seeing you, Dan. I'll tell everybody downtown, how well you're looking. We sure miss you!

DAN:

It won't be long now. Thanks for stopping by, Jim.

BOSS:

And, Dan, as soon as these people here say it's okay, I'm expecting you back at the office. That's where we really miss you. I'd better get outta here now. Good night, Vicky.

VICKY:

Good night, Jim.

BOSS:

Good night, Dan. Take it easy.

DAN:

Yeah, I will.

BOSS:

Night, folks!

VICKY:

Good night!

SFX:

BOSS LEAVES, AND WALKS AWAY DOWN THE HALL

DAN:

(LITTLE CHUCKLE) Jim Givney talks as much as ever, doesn't he?

VICKY:

Yeah, he seems to. I better go, dear. Rules are rules.

DAN:

Vicky. (PAUSE) Did you have any reason for not telling him when I'm leaving?

VICKY:

Yes. I-- I thought it might be better if you got home and got used to things first. If he knew you were coming home Friday, he'd expect you downtown, Monday morning. And you--you just can't do that for a while, Dan.

DAN:

I know. But I hardly think he'd expect anything like that.

VICKY:

Dan. We're gonna have to live with--with this, and--and work it out together. Let's do it slow, huh?

DAN:

All right.

VICKY:

(PAUSE) If anything ever happened to you, Dan, I'd die. (WHISPERS) I'd just die.

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" THEME UP, WISTFUL AND TEDIOUS. ENDS ON A SUSTAINED WISTFUL NOTE

SCENE 6:

DAN & VICKY'S FRONT YARD, SUMMER, LATE MORNING

SFX:

BIRDS CHIRPING, UNDER

SFX:

THEY OPEN THE GATE, STEP THROUGH, AND CLOSE IT.

DAN:

(HAPPY RELIEF) Home!

VICKY:

Home!

VICKY:

Give me your arm, darling.

DAN:

Look! I got pants on for the first time in four weeks. I feel like a man again. I wanna walk up to my own front door, alone.

VICKY:

Well, let me help.

DAN:

(SMILING) Okay.

(SHE HELPS HIM ALONG THE PATH FROM THE GATE. HE STRUGGLES A BIT, AND BREATHES HARD)

 

VICKY:

You all right?

DAN:

I'm okay.

VICKY:

Slowly, dear.

DAN:

I don't have to creep.

VICKY:

But you don't have to run.

DAN:

Oughtta do something about this lawn pretty soon.

VICKY:

Don't you worry about the lawn. I'll do it.

DAN:

I was kinda looking forward to trimming up the edges...around the plants...you know?

VICKY:

Next year, maybe.

SFX:

THEY CLIMB THE PORCH STEPS, UNLOCK & OPEN THE FRONT DOOR, GO IN, AND SHUT THE DOOR. GARDEN SOUNDS OUT.

DAN:

(BREATHING HARD, BUT HAPPY) Well, sir.

VICKY:

Look good to you?

DAN:

It sure does! Boy... Home!

VICKY:

You better sit down, dear.

DAN:

I feel fine. Doctor says I gotta start exercising a little bit, anyhow.

VICKY:

But sit down for now.

DAN:

Yeah, okay. (STARTS TO REACH FOR A CHAIR)

VICKY:

No, don't!

DAN:

What?

VICKY:

Don't pull the chair over.

DAN:

I wanna look at the fireplace.

VICKY:

I'll--I'll turn it around, Dan. There.

DAN:

Oh, thanks.

VICKY:

Now. (HELPS HIM SIT DOWN) And make yourself comfortable.

DAN:

Yep.

SFX:

SHE WALKS AROUND THE ROOM, GETTING HIM MORE CUSHIONS.

VICKY:

Remember, dear, you can't do those things now. A little exertion could be very harmful.

DAN:

Uh-huh.

VICKY:

Well, you know that's true dear. I don't have to tell you.

DAN:

You're right. You're absolutely right. I'm gonna have to watch it. (PAUSE) I have an observation.

VICKY:

You do?

DAN:

You may be a little tougher than they were at the hospital.

VICKY:

You're not my patient. You're my husband. You better go to bed now.

DAN:

Yeah. (STANDS UP, WITH DIFFICULTY. BREATHING HARD) Well. At least I'm home. (LITTLE LAUGH) A guy can't have everything, can he?

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" THEME UP, A BIT WOBBLY, THEN OUT.

SCENE 7:

BEDROOM, LATE ON A WINDY NIGHT, 7 WEEKS LATER

SFX:

STRONG WIND BLOWING THROUGH OPEN WINDOW (WITHOUT REALIZING IT, VICKY HAS BECOME OVERPROTECTIVE, AND DAN HAS BECOME HELPLESS AND BITTER.)

DAN:

(AWAKES SUDDENLY FROM A VIVID DREAM)

VICKY:

It's all right. It's all right, dear. It's only the wind.

DAN:

Oh, I'd better close the win--

VICKY:

I'll get it. I'll get it.

DAN:

Oh. I forgot.

SFX:

SHE WALKS TO WINDOW, AND CLOSES IT. WIND, OUT.

VICKY:

Can I get you anything, dear?

DAN:

No.

SFX:

SHE WALKS BACK TO BED, GETS IN, AND PUTS HER ARMS AROUND HIM.

DAN:

Moon's pretty.

VICKY:

M-hm.

DAN:

I was having a dream. I was very active. I was running and jumping and swimming and doing all sorts of things. It felt fine.

VICKY:

You better get some sleep.

DAN:

I'll never get back to that dream.

VICKY:

You'll run and jump and swim again someday, dear.

DAN:

Don't kid yourself.

VICKY:

Hm?

DAN:

Don't kid yourself, Vicky. I'm not kidding myself. People who have what I have, don't get well.

VICKY:

But they do, Dan. They get well, and carry on their lives, the same as before.

DAN:

Oh, why don't you face it?

VICKY:

I am facing it.

DAN:

Then you'd get rid of me, and get yourself a man. (PAUSE) I'm just a vegetable this way.

VICKY:

Don't say anything like that. Don't ever say anything like that. You're my husband. I love you. "In sickness and in health", remember?

DAN:

Yeah, it was swell. As long as both lasted. (PAUSE) I'm serious, Vicky. Leave me.

VICKY:

(EXASPERATED SIGH)

DAN:

I've been thinking about it ever since I got home, and really found out what it's like trying to live with a bad heart. I could kid myself in the hospital, because a hospital's geared for sick people, but a house is for people who are well, and can do things. I can't even toss a salad for you without wondering if-- Without wondering if that thing will come up again, and it'll be the last salad I'll ever toss. This is no good this way, Vicky. No fun. No trips. No laughs. You don't want it.

VICKY:

(TENDERLY) Dear. Dear, please. I love you. I'll always love you.

DAN:

Love isn't gonna cure me. Don't you see that, Vicky? I'm an invalid.

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" THEME, TENSE, UNHINGED, UP, ENDING ON A TENSE, HANGING NOTE

SCENE 8:

BEDROOM, THE NEXT MORNING. (DAN IS LYING IN BED, WHILE THE DOCTOR TAKES HIS BLOOD PRESSURE.)

SFX:

SPHYGMOMANOMETER BEING INFLATED, THEN AIR SLOWLY RELEASING

VICKY:

How does it look?

DR:

Normal. Nothing wrong with Dan's blood pressure.

DAN:

You sure?

DR:

It's okay. (RELEASES AIR, AND REMOVES SPHYGMOMANOMETER)

DAN:

I seem to get that feeling in here, every now and then, you know?

DR:

Any pain?

DAN:

No. No pain.

DR:

M-hm. Well, I can't find anything, Dan.

DAN:

I-- I just wanna make sure everything's going okay.

DR:

It is. You're doing nicely. But I'm glad you called me over. You can start thinking about going back to work, pretty soon now.

VICKY:

(RELIEVED) Well, that's wonderful!

DAN:

(GRIM) Yeah. That'll be swell.

DR:

Now, not a full day, or anything like it, to start off with. But it's not too soon for you to call them up, and tell them you're ready to come for a half-day to start. Oh, I've got some other calls to make.

VICKY:

I'll take you to the door.

DR:

All right.

VICKY:

(TO DAN) You cover up, honey.

DAN:

Yeah. Yeah.

SFX:

DOCTOR & VICKY WALK TO LIVING ROOM (UNDER)

VICKY:

Oh, I'm so relieved you told him about work.

DR:

It'll do him good to get out of that bed.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS, OUT

VICKY:

I was gonna call you myself, today, if he hadn't called. I--I'm just about at the end of my rope. Ever since Dan came home from the hospital, it's been one thing after another, and last night was the worst. I--I've tried to look after him, do all the things that have to be done for him, but I just can't seem to do enough.

DR:

Are you both working a little too hard at this?

VICKY:

(PAUSE) What?

DR:

He has every chance for a complete recovery. Somehow, he's reluctant to advance any more. I noticed it tonight.

VICKY:

Well, goodness... He's being cautious. We're both being cautious.

DR:

Don't be over cautious. The day Dan left the hospital, he couldn't wait to get back home and get started again. He's been home almost two months now, and he seems worried over his condition more than ever before. (PAUSE) He's turning into a cardiac invalid.

VICKY:

What's that?

DR:

People who just think they can't do anything.

SFX:

THEY WALK TO DOOR, AND OPEN IT. CRICKETS CHIRPING OUTSIDE, UNDER

VICKY:

Wait a minute. Wait.

DR:

Hm?

VICKY:

Dan's not scared. He's not scared of anything. I know it.

DR:

Have you asked him?

VICKY:

(PAUSE) No.

DR:

Ask him, Vicky.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES. CRICKETS OUT

SFX:

SHE WALKS TO BEDROOM

DAN:

They tell me Sam Clements did all of his writing in bed. I wonder if I could be a writer.

VICKY:

You're a pretty good businessman.

DAN:

I was a pretty good businessman.

VICKY:

Dan. (PAUSE) I want to ask you something. Answer it honestly.

DAN:

Sure.

VICKY:

Dan... Are you scared to go back to work? (NO ANSWER) Dan?

DAN:

(INTENSE) I'm the guy who doubled up on the bathroom floor, that night. I know, and you know, I was about an inch away from eternity there, and I'll never get it out of my mind. It can happen again any time. Jimbo talking about me going back to work, that's a laugh. One day down there, one hour down there, and they wouldn't even bother dropping me off at the hospital. I'd go straight to the morgue. Am I scared? You bet your boots I'm scared, Vicky. I'm scared every single second I'm awake.

VICKY:

You don't want me to leave you.

DAN:

You asked me; I just said I did; I'll say it again. Clear out. This is no fun.

VICKY:

You said it, but you don't want me to leave you. You want me to stay around forever, waiting on you, hand and foot, feeling sorry for you. Just the way you feel sorry for yourself right now. No thanks, Dan. I--I didn't bargain for that when I married you.

DAN:

Let me remind you of something. I had a heart attack, remember?

VICKY:

I remember. Dan, help yourself, please.

DAN:

I can't.

VICKY:

All you have to do is get out of this bed, and get busy with the job of getting well. Or you can stay here the rest of your life. If you do that, you do it alone. Dan, if you don't help yourself, I really will leave you.

DAN:

That's your choice, Vicky. I don't have one.

MUSIC:

"HEARTBEAT" MUSIC UP, DRIVING, ASCENDING & DESCENDING KEY CHANGES, ENDING ON SCENE 9: BEDROOM, NEXT MORNING

SFX:

ALARM CLOCK RINGING

VICKY:

(WAKING UP, GROANS, YAWNS)

SFX:

TURNS OFF ALARM CLOCK

VICKY:

Come on, Dan, wake up. It's time-- (HE'S NOT THERE) Dan? Dan?? Dan???

SFX:

FRANTICALLY WALKING THROUGH HOUSE, LOOKING FOR HIM, UNDER

VICKY:

Dan??

SFX:

OPENS BATHROOM DOOR

DAN:

(CHEERFUL) Hi.

VICKY:

(SIGH OF RELIEF) Well! (HUGS HIM) Hi!

DAN:

(ADJUSTING HIS SUIT) I got a little fat, didn't I?

VICKY:

It still fits nicely.

DAN:

What's for breakfast?

VICKY:

Oh... What would you like?

DAN:

The works. Eggs and bacon. You know.

VICKY:

Can I comb my hair first?

DAN:

Sure. If you were going to ask me, I feel fine.

VICKY:

I was.

DAN:

You know... Last night, you had some pretty snappy things to say, once you got going. I've been thinking about all that--

VICKY:

Dan, I've got something to tell you. I-- I've been as scared as you. I think I'm the one who made you scared.

DAN:

Everyone made me scared, Vicky, but a funny thing happened to me this morning. I got up, and I said to myself, "I don't want Vicky to walk out on me. I don't want Vicky to stay here and live like a robot. What do you want?" I said. I said, "I don't wanna be sick any more. I don't wanna be scared."

VICKY:

(RELIEVED) Oh, Dan.

DAN:

Yeah, that's the conversation I had with myself. I put in a call to Jim Givney a little while ago. He oughtta be calling back pretty soon.

VICKY:

(NERVOUSLY) You're going back to work?

DAN:

I sure am!

SFX:

PHONE RINGS

DAN:

That's him now.

SFX:

BRISKLY WALKS TO PHONE, UNDER

DAN:

("CALM DOWN, DEAR") I got it. I got it.

SFX:

ANSWERS PHONE

DAN:

Hello?

BOSS:

(FILTER) Jim Givney, Dan. How's the boy?

DAN:

I'm fine, Jim! I wanna get back on the job!

BOSS:

(FILTER) Well, we want you back on the job. When?

DAN:

Today. Right now!

BOSS:

(FILTER) You sound pretty anxious.

DAN:

I am. Had enough of this lying around!

BOSS:

(FILTER) And I don't want you to have any more of it, Dan. You've got new working hours.

DAN:

What?

BOSS:

(FILTER) You be here at eleven o'clock. And don't let me catch you around here later than two.

DAN:

(A BIT DEFLATED) I can't get much work done in three hours.

BOSS:

(FILTER) I don't want you to get much work--yet. I just want you to work into it gradually. Look, Dan. I'm your boss. You'll do what I say. No more eight thirty in the morning to seven at night. If you get overburdened, we'll hire somebody to help you. We've got you in good shape again; we want to keep you that way. Do we understand each other?

DAN:

(DEFLATED) Sure, Jim. Sure.

BOSS:

(FILTER) Love to Vicky. See you at eleven.

SFX:

HANGS UP PHONE. WALKS TO KITCHEN

DAN:

(A LITTLE MIFFED) Honey? He won't let me come in until eleven.

VICKY:

That's all right, dear.

DAN:

Yeah. You know, I've been pushed one way and pulled another, a lot lately. Maybe I oughtta ride the middle. Otherwise... I'll do something crazy again. I was crazy enough to try to lose you, Vicky. I couldn't stand that.

VICKY:

Oh, Dan, no...

DAN:

No, no, wait. When Kim told me it was my heart, I got used to it. I got used to the idea of being sick. Well, if I could get used to that, I guess I can get used to the idea of being well, too. (PAUSE) So, that's the way it is, dear.

MUSIC:

QUIET, UNCERTAIN, UP, UNDER

DAN:

Do you want me, and my foolish heart, and my--

VICKY:

(CUTTING HIM OFF WITH A LONG KISS) Mmm... Dan?

DAN:

Uh-huh. It's good to be alive again! (ANOTHER KISS)

MUSIC:

OPTIMISTIC, ROMANTIC, SOARS TO A CLIMAX

[BROADCAST RECORDING ENDS HERE.]