Wrong Side of the Tracks
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?
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.