Byhalia, Mississippi – Monologue (Laurel)

A monologue from the play by Evan Linder

LAUREL (mid twenties – mid thirties)

I’m telling you my way Jim, so don’t interrupt me. That’s my rule. Sit. (Pause) Last summer, when you told me about that girl in New Or­leans,

you’d already figured everything out. There was nothing for me to do. You were gonna quit H&H so you wouldn’t travel anymore,

you offered to set up meetings with Dr. Bannon at the church, you were sincere when you apologized, 

you came clean about it to my mother which wasn’t even above and beyond, it was just dumb and I bet you’re still regretting that to this day.

But I knew why you did all that. You’d messed up and you knew it and you felt, not even bad, it was like you were destroyed because of it.

And I think what scared me was how quickly I forgave you.

And I did Jim, yes I remember the crying and the screaming but I also remember telling you we’d get through it. 

I remember us doing it on this couch that night. That night Jim. Tears in our eyes and I let you inside me … I forgave you.

Fully and simply and pretty damn fast. And it wasn’t even cause I thought it was my duty to forgive you as your wife, 

because believe me that is what I was taught. My momma taught me that. Except she just taught me that you were supposed to ignore it,

because that’s what she always did with my daddy. You just didn’t give me a chance to ignore it. And knowing that I loved you that much,

that there was no question in my mind that I was gonna forgive you … it was one of the most precious moments of my life. 

It was as precious as the first time I met you tailgating with Karl in the Grove and you made fun of me for drinking Boone’s Farm.

It was as precious as the first time you kissed me. It was precious. Because as mad as I was, I knew I loved you enough

that I would I’d never be able to imagine my life without you. The kids we would have, the house we wanted to build, everything. 

That was our plan. You were my plan. But I still had this rage that would pop up when I’d least expect it, so during summer session last year,

I finally let myself talk about it to someone. The rage. 

You’re going to have to forgive me Jim. Because I made a mistake, and I did something wrong. Very wrong.

Forget Paul, forget Ayesha, this ain’t about them right now. It’s me and you. It’s us and that new baby, and I have to tell you Jim I already love him.

I do, it was immediate, it was love at first sight. That ain’t changing. So what is it going to take for you to forgive me?

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