Maeve Tells Off Delia About Her
Affair With Roger (August 1976)
(Frank has stormed off to his office to brood - for the ten zillionth time - about how much better a woman Jill is than Delia, leaving Delia alone with Maeve and Johnny and frantic.)
DELIA: What am I gonna do? He'll never understand me if he doesn't listen to me!
JOHNNY: I think the trouble is he understands too well.
DELIA: Johnny, that's not fair! When it was Jill and Frank, you fell over your feet trying to be nice to Jill! You made Frank into some big hero because he came back to his wife and baby! Well I don't think that's fair! Frank has hurt people; he's hurt me! I'm willing to forgive him, why isn't he willing to forgive me!
JOHNNY: Maybe because you haven't done anything to deserve it!
(He walks into the other room.)
DELIA: Johnny, how can you say...
MAEVE: Let him go, Dee, let him go.
DELIA: Maeve, this isn't my fault. Roger was forcing me, he was blackmailing me; if Frank wasn't mean to me in the first place, this never would have happened!
MAEVE: Now you just stop that. That's enough of that!
(Delia starts to leave, but Maeve stops her.)
MAEVE: Where are you going, young lady? Come back here, I want you to listen to me. I've got a few home truths that I'm about to share with you! I think I understand - probably better than anyone with the exception of your brother, Bob - the sad reasons that make you behave the way you do, girl. No father, a poor sick mother, miserable childhood with loss and pain on every side.
DELIA: I know you understand.
MAEVE: But there comes a point, Delia, when you have to stop turning around to blame everyone and everything for what happens to you, and I think you'd better start doing that right now.
DELIA: Maeve, it wasn't my fault!
MAEVE: In heaven's name, whose fault was it?
DELIA: I've told you and I've told you! It was Roger. He forced me to do this! Maeve, I didn't know what to do!
MAEVE: You might have said no! It's just that simple.
DELIA: You've turned against me also, haven't you?
MAEVE: I am not against you, Delia! You're my daughter-in-law, you're the mother of Little John, but I am definitely against your behavior, which was a betrayal of Frank and the family, to begin with, and to end with, it was a whole series of self-serving lies!
DELIA: (whispers) Nobody understands me. I don't know what I'm gonna do.
MAEVE: Well, you might start by admitting that, at best, you've been stupid and cowardly...
DELIA: (cutting her off) Maeve, how can you...
MAEVE: And stop shifting the blame! On the other hand, if what Frank believes is true, that you carried on with Roger Coleridge behind his back in some vain effort to get back at him, well then I think you're a silly, destructive girl, and you'd better get down on your knees and ask forgiveness from your God - and your husband - in that order!
DELIA: (going over to her) I have. Maeve, I will. I'll do anything to keep Frank happy! Plase, just don't be mad at me, promise?
MAEVE: I...It's not a question of whether I'm mad at you, Dee.
DELIA: I need you. I need somebody to care about me...
(She tries to hug Maeve, but Maeve gets up and walks away.)
MAEVE: Delia, in merciful heavens! This world does not revolve around your every "bleeping" [yes, that's the exact word of dialogue, and it is so Maeve] wish and want and need!
DELIA: I can't say anything right! I can't do anything right!
MAEVE: You might stop acting like a child, and start acting like a grown woman who's a mother and a wife and a Ryan!
(Maeve storms out of the room, leaving Delia alone. Delia immediately starts calculating.)
DELIA: She doesn't believe me. Nobody believes me. And nobody's gonna forgive me. I have to do something. They'll be sorry.
(Delia is obviously formulating her next move as the scene fades to black.)
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