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Delia Tries to Console Mary
(October 1976)

(It is pretty late at night, and Mary is pacing in the Ryans' living room, staring at the phone. She then sits down, and Delia walks into the room.)

DELIA: Mary? Johnny told me you were resting.

MARY: I couldn't close my eyes.

DELIA: Well, maybe you should, just for a couple of minutes. Do you want me to get Maeve?

MARY: (as if annoyed) No, Dee. Let Mother and Da take care of things downstairs, and please don't start nagging me. (gets up) I'd sleep if I could. When I lie down, I think too much.

DELIA: See, I know. You know, you go over and over the accident in your mind - why it happened, how badly Jack was hurt. See, nobody's told you that he's gonna die, and yet you feel alone, right?

(Mary doesn't respond.)

DELIA: (continuing) You know what you should do?

MARY: What?

DELIA: Forget about going to bed, and you'll fall asleep when you can't stay awake anymore. You know, your mind will get so tired that...that it won't trick you. (smiles) How's that?

MARY: You're the first person who hasn't insisted that I try to take it easy.

DELIA: You see, I remember when Frank almost died. You know, it's crazy how you're more scared of losing your husband than you are of dying yourself. Mary, I wanted to go to that hospital to see you, I really did.

MARY: You couldn't leave Little John.

DELIA: Yeah, but I felt so awful for you. I felt so sorry for Jack.

MARY: Thank you, Dee.

DELIA: I just wanted to tell you, I've really liked him all along, and I've always thought he was so right for you and I'm glad you went ahead and married him. I really am.

MARY: (on the verge of tears) But we need more time!

DELIA: (pauses, then puts her arms around Mary) Honey, you're gonna have time! You're gonna have years and years, because Jack is gonna be just fine.

MARY: I did get him to open his eyes for a second this afternoon.

DELIA: See, that's wonderful! What did Dr. McClean say? Because Johnny didn't say anything about what happened up there.

MARY: Well, basically Alex is reassuring. He says that Jack's condition is stable, but there are so many secondary problems - you know, pneumonia, infection, they're worried about his heart and his back. Plus a head injury. And he's gonna be in such terrible pain!

DELIA: But the doctor thinks he might make it, right?

MARY: Probably.

DELIA: Well, that sounds like good news to me.

MARY: Well, somehow or other, it didn't sound all that good coming from Alex. I keep thinking he knows more than he's telling me.

DELIA: See, that's just like when Frank was in the hospital. Dr. Beaulac would walk out of the room, Clem Moultrie...and I would think, "They've got some awful secret they're not telling me. It must be so bad they just don't want me to know about it." But that wasn't true, was it?

MARY: No, it wasn't. (smiles)

(Mary sits down on the couch.)

DELIA: Mary, you don't mind my hanging around, do you?

MARY: Of course not, Dee. In fact, you've been a big help.

(Delia sits down across from her.)

DELIA: I feel like this is the first real talk we've had in a long time. It's friendly. It's nice to know that you trust me a little.

MARY: Yeah, it is nice.

(Mary goes back to staring at the phone, with tense silence.)

DELIA: Mary, I've got a great idea. Why don't you go downstairs and watch some TV?

MARY: No, Dee, I just want to know how Jack's doing. I've gotta go back to the hospital.

DELIA: Now that's not gonna do any good. You're gonna sit and you're gonna worry.

MARY: I'm gonna do that anyway! At least over there, I'll be closer to him.

(They are interrupted when Sister Mary Joel rings the doorbell.)

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