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Columbia College Chicago
Wrong Side of the Tracks
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Wrong Side of the Tracks

By Khaimskiy

February 12, Rose is in St. Johns Hospital about to enter room 132 where her father, George Hugh Shelton the third is being held.

Rose: (Opens the door with some hesitation) Hi daddy.

George: (struggles to get up as the doctor restrains him) Well hello pumpkin!

Rose: How are you doing?

George: Oh I'm doing fine! I'm as healthy as an Ox. (George gives the doctor a hard stare, the doctor nods his head and leaves the room).

Rose: Daddy what was that about?

George: Nothing. That doctor doesn't know what he's talking about. I am fine and would like to be home with my family.

Rose: You just suffered a stroke from chemo complications; I wouldn't say that you are exactly fine. Now tell me what's going on.

George: (George pauses and lets out a heavy sigh while looking out the window).  Rose, we all knew that when I was diagnosed with lung cancer I wasn't going to be around for much longer.

Rose: Oh daddy... (Covers her eyes as tears run down her cheek).

George: Now don't go doing that! (George coughs some blood into his handkerchief) I love you with all my heart and I am very proud of you. You know that right?

Rose: Yes.

George: Good then there is nothing to cry about.

Rose: (Wipes her eyes with her right hand) Haha I guess you're right.

George: Hey now, where did you get that ring? It's lovely.

Rose: Oh, I just found it...

George: Honey, you stink at lying. Now come on and tell me the truth, who gave you the ring?

Rose: Daddy this isn't the time to talk about this. We'll discuss this when you get better...

George: Dammit Rose! Now I may be dying, but I am not dead yet. Now stop stalling and tell me where you got that ring.

Rose: My friend... boyfriend John gave it to me.

George: And did this John say why he gave you the ring?

Rose: Daddy, I've been seeing John for almost two years and I swear I wanted to tell you, but you were just so sick and... (Rose's voice trails off as she looks into her father's eyes)

George: Rose? I'm still listening.

Rose: Daddy, John asked me to marry him, but I said he had to ask you before I could say yes. We were going to ask you together when you got out of the hospital.

George: Well, when do I get to meet this young man?

Rose: You can meet him today if you'd like. He's standing outside the door.

George: Well what are you waiting for? Bring him in--I'm sure if you love him I will too.

Rose: (Walks outside, the audience hears whispers from behind the door. She walks in holding John's hand while holding her rosary with the other) Daddy this is John, he's a mechanical engineer.

George: (Shakes John's hand and looks him up and down) Hello John. How are you?

John: Hello sir. I'm fine thank you. Are you feeling any better?

George: I feel as well as a man in my condition can. Rose told me you two have to ask me something.

John: (Puts his arm around Rose's waist and smiles) Sir, I love your daughter very much and I know I can make her very happy. I have a job that will allow me to support her and our future children. I, we, were looking for your blessing to be married.

George: John where are your parents from?

John: (Looking confused) My mother was born in Kentucky and my father in Texas. The two met at Standford, but decided to move out to Mississippi for the scenery.

George: John why don't you wait outside while I talk to Rose.

John: (John gives Rose a squeeze and walks out of the room).

Rose: Daddy I know...

George: (Interrupting Rose) Rose you know how I feel about those people.

Rose: Why? What does race have to do with it? Yes he's black, but he loves me and I love him.

George: Rose they do not belong in our family, they are meant to work for us.

Rose: Daddy! You can't say such things!

George: Watch your tone! The answer is no and that is final.

Rose: But you don't even know him!

George: Rose! You do not have my blessing and on my death bed I forbid you to marry him!. Don't worry you will find a more suitable match. Now stop playing with your rosary and tell him my answer.

Rose: (Leans in and gives her father a hug and a kiss) I understand. (Rose walks out the door to meet John. The audience here's whispers and Rose reenters the room still holding her rosary.)

George: Well, what did he say?

Rose: He said OK.