Maeve Consoles Delia About Frank and Jill's Affair
(December 1975)

(Maeve escorts Delia into, I guess, her and Johnny's bedroom.)

DELIA: (pretending everything's fine) Have I ever told you how much I love this room? Really, I mean it just captures you and Johnny - the pictures and everything and all the presents the children gave you when they were little. It's a great room, really.

MAEVE: It's a great room for talking. It's one of the few rooms in the house where you can't possibly be overheard. That's why we picked it.

DELIA: (laughing) I never thought the walls were particularly thin.

MAEVE: All walls are thin.

DELIA: Oh, I wish I had that problem! I need exercise or something. You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna get some bicycles or something and this spring Frank and I can go bicycle riding in the park. You know, when he's not too busy.

MAEVE: Delia, how can you say things like this after you know what's happened?

DELIA: (nervous) What do you mean? Frank is gonna get better.

MAEVE: Oh, I know that.

DELIA: And then we're gonna go skiing and ice-skating and we're gonna play golf...

MAEVE: Darling, his getting better is not going to make everything alright. Some things just can't be undone.

DELIA: (frightened) Did he talk to you?

MAEVE: Didn't you know he would?

DELIA: (defensive, assuming that Maeve knows she was the one who pushed Frank) He promised me!

Delia shocked

MAEVE: It was bound to come out in the open, it's better that way.

DELIA: Look, I don't want him to get any weird ideas! It's not the way it sounds! Look, I didn't mean to do it, it really wasn't my fault! Please, just don't blame me, please, believe me! I didn't mean for it to happen.

Delia pleads with Maeve

MAEVE: Nobody's blaming you. There's nobody to be blamed. It's just that we were all so sorry that you've been in such pain lately, and now I understand why you've seemed so sad and seemed so unhappy and you wanted Frank back from the hospital so desperately.

DELIA: (realizing) He told you about Jill.

MAEVE: Well it explains a lot about what's been going on in this house lately. Now I know why you're in such a state.

DELIA: Do you know how terrible it is to try so hard to be a good wife and a good mother and for nothing? Maeve, everything was so right in the beginning. He loved me! You know, I made him laugh, and he taught me so much. Maeve, we've known each other all of our lives. I know we could be wonderful again, there's just no reason...

MAEVE: Well it's not a reasonable world, dear.

DELIA: Three years, three years I watched him grow away from me. You know when you have something and you know you're losing it and you can't do anything about it. Helpless! Maeve, I was helpless! And he started law school. How am I supposed to compete with that? And I figured after I had the baby, it was gonna be okay again. The phone calls started again, only he was working overtime. (crying) I never saw him on the weekend...

MAEVE: Oh, darling, I'm so sorry.

Maeve sympathetic to Delia

DELIA: I wanted him to go to law school, until I realized why he was enjoying it so much - his teacher. You know what she taught him? How to abandon wife and child. I was very hurt, and I know I acted like a baby...

MAEVE: Don't be silly, you had all the reason in the world to feel...

DELIA: She had no right to take him away from me! I mean, how could she do that? She has everything! She has money, she has a career, she doesn't need him. I need him!

Delia starts crying

DELIA: Look, I know I'm not as smart as she is, I'm not as well-dressed as she is, I'm not as pretty as she is...

MAEVE: know you're lovely.

DELIA: But there's one thing, I care! Maeve, I care about him. He's the first thing in my life and I want him, I'd do anything to get him, anything!

Maeve comforts Delia

MAEVE: I know that, dear.

DELIA: I'd do anything, just to make sure he's mine.

MAEVE:, dry your eyes.

Maeve gives Delia a handkerchief

MAEVE: You've got no reason for tears.

DELIA: You're the first person I've talked to. I am a failure! (breaks down) He's the only thing that I cared about, he's the only thing that I wanted. I've gotta make this marriage work. It's more important to me than anything else in this world.

MAEVE: I am a firm believer that whatever anybody wants, they can do...

DELIA: (quietly) I don't want to live without him.

MAEVE: Delia, you don't mean that.

DELIA: (turning around) What don't I mean?

MAEVE: That you can't live without Frank.

DELIA: Oh, look, I didn't mean for it to sound like that. But I have a baby. I don't know how I'm going to take care of the baby. I mean, how am I going to raise him without Frank? How am I gonna do it?

MAEVE: Awww...

DELIA: Where am I gonna live? How am I gonna raise little Johnny without Frank?

MAEVE: Oh, he'll have his father darling, no matter what happens to the two of you.

DELIA: I never had much of a family. My baby's going to have a family!

MAEVE: He has a family - all of us, all the Ryans. And so do you. Whatever happens, darling, know that we're your family and you're always welcome here. This is your home.

DELIA: (crying) You're the best. I wish I could be like you. Thank you.

Delia hugs Maeve

(Later, Maeve is getting ready for bed and combing her hair when Johnny comes into the room. He takes off his vest.)

JOHNNY: Well, it's all locked up.

MAEVE: Bet you're glad to see this day over.

JOHNNY: I wish it had never begun.

MAEVE: Well, one thing you can rest assured, it's never gonna be repeated.

JOHNNY: (taking off his suspenders and sitting down on the bed) Well that would suit me just fine. Just fine.

Maeve starts to rub Johnny's back

JOHNNY: That feels good.

MAEVE: Oh, I knew it would.

JOHNNY: How are you feeling?

MAEVE: I can't get my mind off Delia and that tear-stained little face.

JOHNNY: I know. Frank's words just keep rolling around in my head. I just can't believe that Frank and Jill... I can't understand how we could have missed it that long!

MAEVE: We can't escape it, John. Yours and my son is in love with another woman.

JOHNNY: Well maybe he just thinks he is.

MAEVE: Oh, you know Frank. He always knows his own mind. We're gonna have to face it - what this means to everyone. To Little John, Mary, Pat, Bob, Ed Coleridge...

JOHNNY: Oh, the list is endless!

MAEVE: And the people of Riverside who voted for him.

JOHNNY: Yeah well, this time he's got himself into a fine mess, hasn't he?

MAEVE: He's managed to arrange for his political career and his marriage to go down the drain together.

JOHNNY: Well, if he'll hang tough, he'll come through somehow?

MAEVE: Well, with whom - Delia, Jill?

JOHNNY: I wish I weren't so fond of Jill Coleridge. I wish I... It would be easier to think of her as a homewrecker, you know? But I just can't.

MAEVE: Uhm, yeah. I guess it is understandable. I mean, they were thrown together so much.

JOHNNY: I wonder what Jill Coleridge is thinking about all this. I wonder if her father knows anything about it.

MAEVE: Oh, I doubt that. Jill has been leading her own life too long. Ed Coleridge is not the kind of man that mixes with his children's affairs.

JOHNNY: Unlike some fathers we know, right Mrs. Ryan?

MAEVE: Oh, John Ryan, I don't like that comparison. Mary would never be going around with Jack Fenelli if he were married.

JOHNNY: (nods) I'm sorry. It's just so sad, I can't help feeling we made a mistake somewhere along the line.

MAEVE: Don't try to figure it, John. No one's to blame. We'll just have to give both Delia and Frank our support. So many people are hurting.

JOHNNY: How 'bout you?

Johnny hugs Maeve

MAEVE: Oh, don't you know it!

JOHNNY: Well, we've got to believe everything will work out alright, just like Frank getting better. You know, this will too.

MAEVE: How, John, how? I mean, if Frank leaves Delia that's going to be horrible for her and the baby, but if he stays with her, after this, I mean is there going to be any happiness for either of them?

JOHNNY: Well, the baby will have both his parents, anyway. That'll be good, won't it?

MAEVE: Oh, a child holding a marriage together - that doesn't make for a very joyful home.

JOHNNY: Some way we can help?

MAEVE: You know, Frank is so independent. You taught him that. I don't think he'd take our help.

JOHNNY: Oh, you're probably right. There's nothing we can do.

MAEVE: Except be loving, whatever happens.

JOHNNY: I guess I can try.

MAEVE: I know you will. They'll have to handle this themselves.

JOHNNY: And what about Little John?

MAEVE: Oh, that's our concern. We've got to make sure this doesn't scar him for the rest of his life.

They hug

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