Petals in the Wind
Cast of Characters
Stephen- A young man approximately 19-24 headed to war.
Susan – A red head young woman age 18-22
This play takes on the platform at Pennsylvania Station, March 1940.
(The man stands waiting on the platform. There are people to see all around. The air is dark and moist. The busy new sound of “Rhumboogie” sung by the Andrew Sisters is wafting out of the USO.
Soldiers in all types of uniforms are walking in and out with beautiful blonds and redheads on their arms.)
He watched as the tall “chocolate cherry” headed woman rushed across the platform toward him. People are walking in and out of her way. Their eyes meet, she sees him and then see does not. He can still see her face, but their eyes have lost that lock. Her face shows the angst of the rush. Her cheeks show a high blush.
Just then the enormous steam engine rolls forward from barn like door that let it in. It comes to a grinding stop on the platform right behind him, letting out a sheer whistle and billowing smoke from beneath its heavy iron skirt.
Finally she reaches to him. He reaches out for her and she falls quickly into his embrace.
He pushes her back from him; holding her at the elbows.
Now look at what we have here… Prettiest thing I have seen on this side of Buffalo…
Oh Stephen… I never thought I would make it.
I’m not glad you came. He smiled slyly at her.
Susan stood bewildered then turned her nose up at him and set her eyes upward towards him pointed up to the outer corners. Her full pouty lips drawn in a bow, and her forehead wrinkled in a V.
Stephen Lets out a half laugh, and hugs her tighter.
Now don’t tease me like that Stephen. I see nothing to laugh at in that; nor should you if you are really love me.
Oh you know I love you—my very own cinnamon stick; –You know I was just teasing you… I was merely teasing you just to see those pouty lips.
Susan let out a huff and smartly turned her face towards his and eyed him with contempt.
Oh Stephen, You can be such a bore sometimes…
Did your parents ride with you today, or do I have to behave myself?
Susan’s cheeks blush and her eyes cut up at him again.
I am sure I would let you steal just one Kiss, since mother and father are not here. They both sent their love, though. Mother could not make it, she had one of her spells again and is home resting. Father is off doing business again.
Stephen eyed her suspiciously and then with amusement, and then grinned at her.
Susan, my Love you know I am leaving today.
Her eyes cut down towards her pointed toe as she held it two inches off the ground swaying back and forth.
Let’s, not talk of such things.
Susan, we must talk and we must talk now, my train will be leaving soon. I have to know. Will you be here for me? Will you be here for me when I get back home?
I cannot think. I don’t want you to go to war. I want to come with you, I can be a nurse.
That is the biggest foolishness I have ever heard. Susan, you have your studies. Our plans! You are going to teach music. You cannot give all that up. I will be back soon.
Holding her face in her hands and speaking tersely.
Oh, Stephen I wish you would not treat me like such a child. I can do what I want… I will follow you if I have to. Of course I will be here for you when you get home. What kind of foolish question is that for you to ask?
It’s not a secret you were seeing Jimmy Raines over the summer of last, I know he is not going to the war. At least he has not decided to yet. I just don’t want to come home and find you all married to… him. I guess its ok, if I don’t come back…
Quickly looking at him with her full face and her eyes open wide.
Oh, Stephen you must not speak like that. I don’t know what I would do without you.
Stephen turned to pick up his bag then stopped. He grabbed her into his arms and found her lips with his mouth.
Susan, I must go now.
Oh Stephen you can change your mind, go to college and get a degree.
You know I must.
Susan pressed a red rose in a book and handed it to him; her eyes welled up with tears.
Please keep my favorite book, to keep you company. Will you keep the rose to remind you of me? Stephen if you ever start to forget, just take it out and look at it. I know you will come back to me.
He pushes the book back to her hands.
Susan I can’t promise you that you know I am going off to war. Please go on with your life and if you find someone else, please don’t ever look back to this day.
He pulls her into his arms and kisses her. Picks up his bag and walks toward the train.
She crumples into a heap and watches every step he takes.
She jumps up and starts to run after the moving train. She takes the red rose out of the book and plucks all of the petals off of it, and tosses them into the wind.