Missed By An Inch – Part 1

Lights up.  Samantha is getting ready for her wedding in a private room in a church.  The sun is coming through the stain glass windows which are bright colors of red, green, yellow and blue making the floor look like a mosaic.  Above each stain glass window is a small, round window of normal glass, filling the room with regular noon sunlight creating a very heavenly look about the place.  There is a desk near the window with a bible, a pad of paper and a pen on it.  To the left is a full length mirror which Samantha is checking herself in.  To the right is the door to the rest of the church.  Samantha takes a deep breathe and loses her eyes in preparation.  There is a knock on the door.

Samantha:  Come in.

In walks Barry, who is dressed in a nice suit but not a tuxedo.

Barry:  How you feeling?

Samantha:  (rapidly.)  I’m not sure this dress looks right.  I told Michael I didn’t feel right wearing white, I would rather wear yellow.  I don’t feel right in this color.  I don’t feel right in this church.  I’m not Christian and I’ve told him I am not converting.  I haven’t done anything morally wrong in my life, but even if I did, I wouldn’t want to be saved by the likes of the Catholics.  Or Baptists.  Or born again, whatever the hell these people are.  I mean it doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other.  I want to get married, any way is fine with me, but it just doesn’t feel right.  And white is definitely NOT my color.

Barry:  I thought orange wasn’t your color.

Samantha:  It isn’t, at all.  It is a disgusting color that should be stricken from the spectrum, but anything would have been better than white.  This dress makes me look paler, or redder, or something.

Barry:  So you’re nervous?

Samantha:  No.  Not really.  Maybe a little.

Barry:  It’s okay to be, you know.

Samantha:  I’m kinda nervous.

Barry:  I mean, this is a big thing.  Being nervous is natural.

Samantha:  I’m a bit edgy, but I still have control.  I’m not sweating and that is always a sign that I am nervous.  I mean, my palms are a little sweaty, but I have had them clinched up in fists all morning, so that is natural.  So no, I am not nervous.  Not.

Barry:  I think you look beautiful.

Samantha:  (Pauses, letting out a breath.)  I’m really scared.

Barry:  That’s all right.

Samantha:  It has nothing to do with the dress being white.

Barry:  The dress is fine.

Samantha turns and faces Barry.

Samantha:  How am I getting married?  I never thought I would.  I always wanted to, but I never thought I would.  It’s insane.  What if we don’t get along?  What if we fight all the time?  What if he starts to beat me?

Barry:  Mike won’t beat you.

Samantha:  What if I start to beat him?

Barry:  Sam . . .

Samantha:  What if I can’t bare children?  Or miscarry?  Or they turn out to be mutants that can shoot birds out of the sky with laser beam eyes and catch flies with their tongues like frogs?

Barry:  Yeah, you’re going to give birth to mutant babies.

Samantha:  What if his parents don’t like me?

Barry:  I thought you said his parent loved you?

Samantha:  They do.  And I love them, they’re great.  But I don’t know them.

Barry:  You’ve known them for two years.

Samantha:  Yes, but don’t know them.  Not like your parents.

Barry:  You’ve known my parents for more than fifteen years.  You know them better than I do.

Samantha:  I’m just saying there are tons of things that can go wrong.  What if it doesn’t work out?  What is the church falls down before we kiss?  What if I have bad breath?  What if there is a nuclear explosion?  (Pause)  What if I trip?

Barry:  You won’t trip.

Samantha:  But what if I do?

Barry:  Well, I will be right next to you.  I will catch you, do some twirly, dipping dance move and then we will keep walking.  It’ll be like we planned it.

Samantha hugs Barry.

Samantha:  Thank you for being here.  For doing this.  My father is supposed to walk me down the aisle, not my best friend.  I wouldn’t have asked you, but I couldn’t ask my father.  He’d likely be drunk and grab my ass all the way down to the altar.

Barry:  Well hey, who wouldn’t?

Samantha leads Barry to the chair at the desk and sits him down.

Samantha:  It’s a lot of responsibility giving me away.  To me at least.  As far as I know, this is my last walk as a single woman.  Beyond those last thirty or so steps, I have to think about more than just myself.  I have to think about my husband, my family.  It won’t be “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” anymore, it’ll be . . . I don’t know . . . “The Cosby Show”.  My world is suddenly narrowing and expanding horribly at the same time.  You are the one that has to stand by me and witness it.  The church is filled with people, spectators, but you . . . you are the witness, my witness.  You are the only other person that matters to me.  It matters to me.

Barry:  Sam . . .

Samantha:  You were the only really good man in my life till I met Michael.  You are still the best man I know.  You’ve been more than my best friend.  I couldn’t trust anybody else with this other than you.  I need you here.  I need you Barry.  I think I always will.

Barry stands up, but says nothing.  Samantha is tearing up a little.

Barry:  Wow.  That came out all at once.

Samantha:  What?

Barry:  I mean, I knew, I know all of that.  But I thought it would’ve come out, like, little by little over the span of like, ten minutes.  We have so much time to kill now.

Samantha:  (A little hurt)  Is that all you have to say?

Barry:  No, I just needed some think time.  I would do anything for you Sam.  Giving you away is the least of it.  I wouldn’t be anywhere else.  I would even skip my wedding to be here.  I’m glad you asked me.

Samantha:  Really?

Barry:  Yes.  I was just going to get you a toaster, but this is a much better gift I think.

They hug again.  Sam then turns around to look into the mirror again.

Samantha:  Awww shit.  I’m crying.

She goes over to the desk, which has a box of tissues on it, takes one and starts to wipe her eyes.

Samantha:  You don’t think God hates me for cursing in a church, do you?

Barry:  Well isn’t forgiveness his big game?

Samantha:  Fuckin’ A.

Sam blows her nose, throws the tissue away and then takes out a compact mirror from her purse and fixes her make-up.  Barry goes to the mirror and fixes his tie.

Barry:  I can’t believe I wasn’t able to get a tuxedo.

Samantha:  The suit looks fine.

Barry:  Every other person is wearing a tuxedo.  Even some of the girls.

Samantha:  What happened to yours?

Barry:  My dad is wearing it.  He refuses to wear rented clothes.  Something about “dignity” and “kids today aren’t what they used to be.”  He could have bought his own if he wasn’t such a tight ass.

Samantha:  That sounds like him.

Barry:  He might be a little cold to you today.  He’s a little hurt that you didn’t ask him to do this.  He feels that he has become a dad to you over the years.

Samantha:  I thought about it.

Barry:  He was surprised is all.  So was I.

Samantha:  It would have been cool to have Gerald walk me down, but when I thought of you, that was that.

Music starts to play in the church.  It is not the bridal march, but some soft stringy music.

Barry:  There is the prep song.  Got about six minutes before things start rolling.

Samantha:  Oh God.  How do I look?

Barry:  Super.

Samantha:  You mean it?

Barry:  What else am I supposed to say?

Samantha:  Help me put my veil on.

Sam goes over to the desk, picks up the veil and then stands in front of the mirror.  Barry stands behind here helping her put it on.

Samantha:  They haven’t opened any of champagne have they?

Barry:  No.

Samantha:  I could really use a drink.

Barry:  We’re in a house of God.

Samantha:  They drink wine.

Barry:  The wine is blessed.

Samantha:  We can bend the priest’s arm to bless the champagne.  It’s just sparkling wine, anyway.

Barry:  Holy bubbles in the blood of Christ.  I dig it.  (pause.)  Is this right?

Samantha:  It looks a little lop-sided, don’t you think?

They continue to adjust it.

Barry:  You know you asked me for a drink before the prom?

Samantha:  Did I?

Barry:  You weren’t sure if Neil Bynum liked you enough, and that maybe a shot of whiskey would help “lube” you up.

Samantha:  That’s disgusting.

Barry:  You said it.

Samantha:  Did you give me one?

Barry:  You don’t remember?

Samantha:  I have erased all memories of Neil.

Barry:  I ended up giving you a shot of cough syrup.  Took the edge right off of you.  We went and had a grand old time, you, Neil, Stacy and I.  You were so funny, had everyone on the floor laughing.  You said it is how you became prom queen and why you got lucky that night.

Samantha:  (With fondness)  I remember that part.

Barry:  It’s funny though because the cough syrup was the non-drowsy type. Complete placebo.  I tried a couple of experiments over the years and found out all I have to tell you is that something is a drug and you’ll fall for it every time.

Samantha:  What?  What experiments?

Barry:  First time you tried pot it was oregano.  First time you took a valium it was an aspirin.  Powdered sugar, instead of cocaine.  Got an actor friend of mine to buy bags of powdered sugar, put them in little baggies and sell them to you.  He ended up having to buy more than ten bags of powdered sugar.

Samantha:  Shit.  I can’t believe you did that to me.

Barry:  It was the only way to keep an eye on you.  Remember your 21st birthday, when we went to that bar and you got smashed and picked a fight with that biker by breaking a beer bottle on his head?  You can’t handle your substances, so I would make sure your substances were condiments.  Like a safety net.

Samantha:  Back fired though, didn’t it?

Barry:  So you gained twenty pounds.  You thought the cocaine was doing it to you, and stopped.  That’s a good thing.

Samantha:  But it was powdered sugar.

Barry:  You didn’t know that.  It was a personal triumph for you, beating your addiction.

Samantha:  What did you do with all that money that I spent on it?

Barry:  Bought you stuff.

Samantha:  Really?

Barry:  Yeah.  You never lost a cent.  (Pause)  Well, I took this one girl to Tahiti, but it was only for a week.

Samantha:  You’re not still doing this are you?

Barry:  Me?  No.

Samantha:  Good.  Cause I can take care of myself.

Barry:  Yes, I know.

Pause.

Barry:  Is that good?

Samantha:  Yes.  Yes.

The music changes to another stringy ballad.

Samantha:  Oh damn, time is just going by so fast.  Help me get my borrowed old new blue shit on.

She rushes to the desk and picks up a blue necklace, a ribbon, earrings and a ring and goes back to the mirror.  She hands the necklace to Barry.

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