TO Who’s Powerless Pt. 3
Scene: R and R’s apartment. Ross has just closed the door to Rachel and Emma’s room. He walks back to his room, unsure and heartbroken about how the night had turned out. He goes to his drawer and puts the ring back into the box. He goes over to his own window and looks outside. Ross stands there, staring at the moon for quite some time. When he finally turns around, he sees Rachel, standing in his doorway, her face wet from crying. He walks over to her and they gently embrace in a hug. She buries her face in his chest and her arms are tightly grasping his back. They stay like this, without speaking, well into the night.
Scene: the next day at Joey’s apartment. It’s about 11:55am. Joey was just about to order 2 pizzas with extra olives when there’s knocking at the door. (Note: I’m going to refer to myself in the 3rd person because it sounds weird when I mix it.)
Joey: (looks through the peephole) Who is it?
Mary: Umm...it’s Mary Grace from the Times.
Joey: (opens the door. Looks at Mary up and down. Smiles coyly) How You Doin? (*okay, if I ever meet Matt LeBlanc in real life, I want these to be the first words he ever says to me...haha*) Please come in. (lets Mary in)
Mary: I’m actually doing great! Mr. Tribbiani, right? Hey, you’re much cuter in person. (Joey grins sheepishly.)
Joey: Call me Joey.
Mary: (smiles) Thanks. Umm...I REALLY hate to sound so unprofessional, (dancing up and down with my legs crossed) but I kind of have to umm...pee...
Joey: (laughing) No problem, the restroom’s right through there. (points to the bathroom.)
Mary: Thanks again, really. (puts purse down on the couch. Turns around before entering the restroom.) Oh, hey have you had lunch yet?
Joey: Actually not yet, but I was gonna order pizza.
Mary: Great! Hey, can you order me one with extra olives? And order yourself whatever you want. I have an expense account and I might as well use it. Why don’t you order a six-pack of beer too! (turns around and heads into the bathroom. Joey stands there smiling and awed.)
Scene: Joey’s apt. It is now about 210pm. Mary and Joey are sitting on the couch very comfortably and are laughing their heads off. They’re facing each other, Mary with her legs Indian style and an arm up on the head of the couch. Joey’s arm is up on the head of the couch too, but he’s leaning his head on his hand. Mary’s coat is lying on the side of the arm rest, and there are empty beer cans and open pizza boxes on the floor.
Mary: (laughing) I can NOT believe you stood in Monica’s apartment completely naked!
Joey: I thought she was hinting at me! You women are so complicated sometimes! You get mad when we make a move, and you get mad when we DON’T make a move! We’re not PSYCHO, you know?
Mary: (still laughing) You mean pschIC? (Joey nods his head shamefully and starts laughing too) Joey, I gotta tell you, you’re not at all how I expected you to be.
Joey: Oh yeah, how so? (with a very flirty look) I tend to have that affect on the ladies.
Mary: (laughing) See, like that! I mean, you’re really funny and down-to-earth. Most stars I interview, whether they’re stunt doubles or Oscar winners, are very egotistical and stuck up...you know?
Joey: Yeah, I know what you mean...(looks at Mary thoughtfully) Come to think of it, you’re not at all how I thought you’d be too.
Mary: Hmm, I hope that’s a good thing.
Joey: Yeah it is...cuz’ like, you’re really nice and easy to talk to and funny. Most journalists are all about nosey stuff, like what kind of underwear do I wear-
Mary: (cuts him off) boxer-briefs
Joey: And who I’m dating-
Mary: (cutting off again) nobody, but you were in love with your best friend
Joey: And which celebrity I think is hot-
Mary: (cuts off one more time) Jennifer Aniston
Joey: (smiling. In that Joey way) Yeah, baby...(then realizes all that he’s revealed to Mary. Gets a worried expression on his face and just points at her open mouthed.)
Mary: Joey, calm down. I know what it’s like to be taken advantage of from people you trust. Yeah, you’ve confided in me, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to print it. I have a rule when it comes to my work. If I get too involved, I keep it sweet. I can always use stuff like, “Joey Tribbiani is a sweetheart, but his sweetness may break hearts.” This keeps it ambiguous so that readers can take it however they want. Fans will think you’re a lady-killer with a soft side. You already portray that with your character on Day of Our Lives. There’s no surprise there. You get your privacy, and I get my story. (smiles)
Joey: (sincerely) Thanks, Mary.
Mary: Hey, you helped me out with the interview. I should be thanking you. (They smile at each other for a long time. Just then, Phoebe comes in.)
Phoebe: (walking into the apartment) Joey! Joey! (walks right past them and into Joey’s bedroom. Mary looks at Joey, Joey looks back at Mary as to say “I don’t know.”) Joey! Joey! (goes back out and does a double take and sees them on the couch.) Oh, there you are. (notices Mary) Oh hey, Mary.
Mary: Hi Phoebe.
Joey: What’s up, Pheebs, you need something?
Phoebe: Yeah I was wondering...(looks around the room and sees the pizza boxes and beer cans. Looks at Mary and Joey’s facial expressions.) Wait, did you two have sex?
Joey: No!! Pheebs!
Phoebe: Sorry, it’s just that I sense all this sexual tension in the room...(Mary and Joey look at each other funny) Anyways, have you seen Monica or Chandler?
Joey: Well it’s about 230 on a Wednesday. I’d say they were at work maybe?
Phoebe: Oh, yeah...
Phoebe: Well, it’s my day to go visit Rachel and Emma but I have a client who needs an emergency aromatherapy. I was going to ask you, but I can see you’re busy...or getting busy.
Mary: Phoebe, I assure you Joey and I do not have sexual relations.
Phoebe: (smiling slyly) Not yet...
Joey: (interrupting and rushing her) Phoebe, is that it? Because she needs to make a deadline and we’re not done with the interview yet. Just schedule the therapy with your client for tomorrow or something...
Phoebe: Yeah, okay...(looks them over once more.) If you say so. (she exits. Joey and Mary look at each other as to say, “what was that all about?”)
Scene: R and R’s apartment.
It’s about 245 and Ross is getting ready for a class that starts at 330. The door knocks. Rachel answers it Phoebe comes in. Then Ross comes out of his room and Phoebe then remembers that Ross had proposed to Rachel last night. She gets very excited.
Phoebe: Hey! Oh my gosh! I forgot! Are you guys en- (Ross is standing behind Rachel frantically shaking his head from side to side and waving his arms in a way to signify “no”. Phoebe stops and covers her mouth with her hands.)
Rachel: Phoebe honey, are we what?
Phoebe: (thinking hard to save herself) en-, en- INSURED!!
Phoebe: Yeah, insured! Didn’t I tell you? I got a new job selling life insurance!
Rachel: Oh honey, that’s great! (thinks) Well, actually...we don’t have life insurance...and we might need some now, especially with Emma here.
Phoebe: (comfortingly) Aww, that’s too bad...you should really get some. (then turns around to leave.) Okay bye! (She walks out the door and Rachel stands there confused)
Ross: (coming after her also going out the door) Wait! I have to go to a class, it’s your turn to watch Emma and Rachel, remember...and by the way Pheebs, we really appreciate this. It’ll only be for a week more until Rachel feels better.
Phoebe: Sure, Ross.
Ross: Oh and uh, don’t mention...you know.
Phoebe: Yeah...talk to me later...(she winks at Ross. They go back inside. Rachel is sitting on the couch. with a magazine in her lap. Ross goes over to kiss her on the forehead.)
Ross: (to Rachel) Monica called during her lunch break. She wants us to come over for dinner tonight. But, I’ll come home before we go over there, okay?
Rachel: (kind of sad) Yeah, okay. (Ross exits. Rachel looks like she’s about to cry.) Oh, Pheebs...(she puts her hands to her face and starts to cry.)
Phoebe: (frustrated) Oh, here it goes...
Scene: Joey’s apt.
It’s about 445pm. They’re still on the couch. They’re still laughing.
Joey: ...And that’s how I moved in with Chandler.
Mary: You two have certainly been through a lot. It must be great to meet such cool people and become best friends so easily.
Joey: (thinking) Yeah, I’m a pretty lucky guy.
Mary: (smiling, glancing at her watch.) Oh my gosh, it’s almost 5! We’ve been talking this whole time! I have to put this in print by 7! I should get going...
Joey: Sorry I kept you for so long. I didn’t keep track of the time.
Mary: Hey, don’t be sorry! (putting on her coat)It’s not your fault! And besides, it was way worth it. I had a lot more fun laughing with you than I would’ve had back at the office getting depressed from listening to all of the war in the middle east stuff. (Joey and her get up. He walks her to the door.)
Joey: Well, Mary. It was really great meeting you...(pauses to think if he should ask her out. Smiles at the thought.) Umm, I was wondering, if this doesn’t sound too forward...
Mary: (intrigued) Yeah?
Joey: Can I take you out sometime? I mean, we had a really good interview, I bet we’d have a lot more fun on a date.
Mary: (smiling) You know what, I’d love to. (hands him her card.) It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, Joey Tribbiani.
Joey: Likewise. (the door closes.)
Scene: Out in the hallway between C and M’s apt. and Joey’s apt.
As soon as Mary leaves Joey’s, Chandler leaves his own apartment, carrying a bundle of trash.
Mary: Hey Chandler!
Chandler: Mary! What are you doing here-oh wait, you had an interview with Joey, right?
Mary: Yeah! I’ve got to tell you, he’s great! He’s so funny and sweet. You’ve got a great friend Chandler.
Chandler: (looking at Mary suspiciously) Did you guys have sex?!
Mary: What?? Why is everyone asking that?
Chandler: Sorry, reflex.
Mary: (laughing) It’s alright...I guess.
Chandler: Hey, actually it’s a good thing I bumped into you. I was just about to call you when I got back from taking out the trash. Monica wanted me to invite you to dinner tonight. It starts at 730.
Mary: Hey! That would be really great! (thinks) Oh wait, my little brother is in town...do you mind if I bring him?
Chandler: Of course not! Bring him! Wait, he’s not like, incredibly handsome or anything is he?
Mary: Umm...well, he’s my brother...but if it helps, he’s a computer-geek.
Chandler: Perfect! No worries!
Mary: (laughing) Okay, well then I’ll see you around 730. Bye Chandler! (they wave to each other. They both exit.)
Scene: R and R’s apartment.
Rachel had just finished describing to Phoebe everything that had happened the night before. Phoebe is contemplating whether or not she should tell Rachel that Ross had planned to propose. She chooses against it knowing Ross trusts her with the secret. However, she knows that she can still give “platonic” advice to Rachel.
Phoebe: Rachel, I promise, everything’s going to turn out okay.
Rachel: Pheebs, how can you say that? After everything I’ve just told you? Obviously he doesn’t believe in us anymore.
Phoebe: Maybe because you guys are too caught up at “whose fault is whose?” As long as you keep blaming each other for past mistakes, you’re never going to be able to move on...
Rachel: But, but I don’t want to MOVE ON without Ross.
Phoebe: Then don’t. Move on WITH Ross. But, you still can’t do that without letting go of the past...
Rachel: But, but how do I do that? It’s just...aaahh...so complicated....
Phoebe: Rach, I know I’m right about a lot of things, but well...(thinks) well, this case isn’t any different because I’m right about this too. Just come clean. Tell him you still love him. Tell him you want to start over. If you feel that you still want to be with him after nearly 8 years of ups and downs, after all of the hurt you guys went through...you need to stop being afraid of it. You’ve been there, you’ve done that. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t do it again. Not the same way. So if you want to be with him, this is your chance Rachel. The timing doesn’t get any better than this...
Rachel: (stares at Phoebe, astonished) Wow, Pheebs you’re so right...(wonders) How, how do you do it? I mean, Ross and I are so confusing...and everything you just said...clicked, you know?
Phoebe: (matter-of-factly) Because you guys are each other’s penguins.
Phoebe: (rambles) Yeah, it’s like the whole “lobster” thing, but we kinda milked that dry, so one day when I was reading about the north pole, I thought of you guys because it turns out there are these cute little penguin couples that live in the north pole with Santa, well not WITH Santa, but in the same village-
Rachel: (cutting her off) Wait, I remember Ross telling me penguins lived in the South Pole.
Phoebe: (impatiently) Okay, you don’t live there.
Rachel: Yeah....but neither do you?
Phoebe: (getting mad) Okay so do you want to tell this story?!
Rachel: (scared) No, no...I’m sorry.
Phoebe: (calms down) But yeah, so they live together in their little igloos...or were that the elves...oh well, let’s just say they live in their little penguin houses and they’re very happy because they spend their lives finding each other and when they do, they stay together forever.
Rachel: Uh, huh...(gets a thoughtful expression on her face)
Phoebe: So you get my point?
Rachel: Phoebe, I want to marry him.
Phoebe: (amazed at herself) See? Works every time.
Rachel: No, seriously, I want to marry him. I want it to be Ross and only Ross, forever...in my little igloo.
Phoebe: And, and you can let go of the past?
Rachel: I think you helped me figure all that out...
Phoebe: Man! I should really write my own book!
Rachel: What time is it?
Phoebe: A little after 5.
Rachel: Perfect! I have just enough time...
Scene: R and R’s apt.
It’s about 6:10pm and Rachel has just finished getting ready. She’s wearing a sky blue, silk dress. Her hair is hanging softly on her shoulders, and she sprinkled a hint of Ralph Lauren’s Romance on her neck and wrists. There are two glasses of champagne on the edge of the coffee table. She puts on an Eva Cassidy CD and seats herself on the couch waiting for Ross to come home. She continues to rehearse in her head the words she is planning to say. Just then, she hears the sound of keys jingling on the other side of the door. Rachel stands up.
Ross: (walking in) Hi...(turns to close the door, then quickly does a double-take and looks back at Rachel.) Wow, you look...umm, gorgeous. (thinks) But, don’t you think it’s a little dressy for Monica and Chandler’s?
Rachel: (nervously) Umm...actually I was hoping we could talk before we leave. Emma’s already there. She went with Phoebe.
Ross: Umm...okay, yeah sure...(puts his briefcase down and takes off his jacket. He walks over to where Rachel’s standing) but-but Rach, I don’t want this to come out wrong or anything, but I just, umm, I just don’t want to argue and leave things like they were last night...you know?
Rachel: I know...I’m really sorry about last night...but, but before you say anything more there’s something I really need to tell you...
Ross: (cautious) What is it?
Rachel: Okay, well...(suddenly she forgets everything she wanted to say. She stands there, blankly, trying to remember. She starts to panic.)
Ross: Uh...are you okay?
Rachel: Umm...Ross... (blurts out first thing that comes to mind. beat) Ross...YOU’RE MY PENGUIN!
Ross: (stands there with a very puzzled expression) Uh...wow...thanks...I think?
Rachel: (tries to explain) Well, you see...there are these penguins that live in the north, pole with Santa, I mean not actually WITH Santa, but in the same village...
Ross: Ooookay...(thinks) Wait, penguins live in the South pole.
Rachel: I know, I know, just go with me on this one okay? So-so these penguins wait their whole lives for their ideal mate, and when they finally find each other, they stay together forever...
Ross: Wait, wasn’t that like lobsters or something?
Rachel: It’s a long story...(sighs exasperatedly. Finally her speech re-enters her memory. Slowly says) But that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to tell you.
Ross: Okay, what is it, then?
Rachel: (breathes deeply. Exhales slowly.) Okay, I know that sometimes when we bring up our past, and because we’re really sensitive about it, we end up hurting each other all over again.
Ross: I agree.
Rachel: But, I mean, there’s a reason why I think it hurts so much...
Rachel: Because talking about our past reminds us that we don’t have a present. (pauses) I mean, we do...but we’re not a couple in it...and we both thought that we would be together, you know? (pauses again) But because we never resolved problems in the past, we’re not together now...meaning we kind of let things go for so long, that now, we’re too sensitive to completely talk them through...please tell me you sort-of understand.
Ross: (nodding his head seriously) surprisingly enough, I think I do.
Rachel: But see, we know for a fact that we can never change the past, so why do we even bother with it anymore? It shouldn’t be important. I mean, of course our history is important, but we shouldn’t base our future on mistakes we’ve made in the past. We get so caught up at who’s to blame for the failure of our relationship, that we forget the most important part of it...we were both so in love...and when it ended, it killed us...the fact that we loved each other so much, and then to have it suddenly taken away, is what angers us... But the good thing is that the past is where it belongs...(Ross just listens attentively.) It would be impossible to take back all of the things we did to each other, even if we wanted to...but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a future... I mean, our friendship...our baby...our complicated history...combined, they’ve created this indescribable, unbreakable bond...(near tears) and you’re the only person I share this with, Ross...and the only person I WANT to share this with...It’s like, no matter who I meet or what happens in my life, it always comes down to you. (pauses) Ross, I really believe our lives are meant to be intertwined somehow...but we’ve been just cutting the thread because we’re so afraid of getting hurt again... but by starting over, maybe we can get some place else... I don’t want to fight against fate any longer, because THAT hurts more...especially when I know fate is standing right in front of me. (Ross is just standing there, listening so fixedly. Rachel can’t read his face, but she bravely continues.) This is how I know I love you...and how I know I will be loving you forever...I can’t promise you the road ahead won’t be bumpy, but if you let me be your wife, I promise you’ll never drive alone...(holds her breath and takes his hands while keeping intense eye contanct) Ross, will you marry me? (Ross is completely lost for words. He stands there, motionless. There’s a long silence.) Umm...say something, please?
Ross: Uh...I’ll be right back. (gently lets go of her hands and turns toward his room.)
Rachel: Wait, what? Wait a minute...
Ross: (turns back to look at her. Sincerely says) Trust me.
Ross walks into his room and closes the door. Rachel stands there, with a flood of thoughts and emotions running through her body. She’s afraid she’s said too much at the wrong time. She’s upset because maybe the words didn’t come out right. She’s hurt because she’s left there abruptly, standing hopeful, but utterly clueless. She wonders if Ross is attempting to run away by using the fire escape. She wonders if before he leaves he’s writing her a “Dear John” letter because he can’t bear to watch her face fall if he were to reject her in person...Rachel doesn’t know what to do.
TO BE CONCLUDED WITH TO Who’s Powerless Pt. 4