Maeve Tells Jill That She Does Not Believe in Divorce
(September 1976)

(Mary and Maeve are in the kitchen, hugging, when Jill walks in.)

JILL: Kevin said I'd find you... (realizes she's interrupting)

MAEVE: Oh...

JILL: I'm sorry. I'm interrupting.

MAEVE: No, Jill, it's good to see you.

JILL: Um, why don't I wait out in the bar until you finish with your visit?

MARY: Oh, it's all finished. I've gotta get home.

MAEVE: (to Mary) Now, you get a solid eight hours sleep! Listen to your mother.

MARY: You take care, Mom. (kisses her cheek) Bye Jill.

JILL: Bye bye.

(Mary leaves.)

JILL: Maeve, is Mary alright?

MAEVE: Oh, yes, she'll be alright. It's just a period of adjustment, they call it. (pause) Well...

JILL: I see your back's still bothering you?

MAEVE: (laughs) That's an adjustment, period. (sits down)

JILL: Do you have a minute?

MAEVE: Certainly. What can I do for you?

JILL: (sits down) Maeve, you know how I feel about Frank, but I love you and Johnny. I don't want to do anything to hurt you.

MAEVE: I hope you never will, dear!

JILL: Whatever happens between Frank and me, isn't there some way for all of us to stay close? Isn't there?

MAEVE: I hope so, Jill.

JILL: Does that mean you're not sure? (after Maeve doesn't answer) Maeve, you've been my friend - and as close to me as a mother - for a long, long time. Do I lose that because I love Frank?

MAEVE: No, of course not.

JILL: Would you rather not talk to me about it?

MAEVE: No dear, it's not that, it's just that I was remembering the old days when I would sit you on my lap and make your troubles go away and fill your head with gypsy stories and make you forget everything else.

JILL: Yes, but Maeve, I'm not asking you to make my troubles go away now.

MAEVE: No, dear?

JILL: No. I just want to know how you feel about me, now that Frank told you about the divorce.

MAEVE: Well, I feel many ways. On the one hand, I love you. I always will. You can be sure of that, even if you don't like the tone of me voice.

JILL: (on the brink of tears) Thank you. (pause) And on the other hand?

MAEVE: Well, there's Frank's marriage.

JILL: Maeve, I have stayed away from him! You know that! Now I am honestly not responsible for that breakup with Dee!

MAEVE: Darling, I'm not blaming you for what's happened between them. But, if Frank gets the divorce and marries you, well, I'm afraid my feelings go very deep on that subject, and, though I would try not to, I'm afraid I would resent you for going through with such a mockery. And I wouldn't want to, but I'm afraid I would show it.

JILL: A mockery?

MAEVE: Yes, or what my mother would have called a sacrilege!

JILL: Maeve, are you telling me that you don't think that Frank and I could have a true marriage?

MAEVE: You could in the eyes of the world, but not in the eyes of God.

JILL: (desperately) No, but I mean in your eyes!

MAEVE: Jill, I have changed, over the years, a lot of my religious notions right along with the church. I mean, the Latin mass went. No meat on Fridays went. And now they tell me that Little John won't even have to make his first confession until he's good and ready. But that's good and well and you grow with the years, but, darling, there are some beliefs that are like bedrock, and I believe that marriage is for a lifetime! And unless...unless a spouse were to die or the church would grant an annulment, a Catholic can never remarry.

JILL: But, Maeve - divorce - doesn't that mean something?

MAEVE: Yes, of course it does. It's a legal separation, I suppose; it's a civil thing; but, divorce or no, a second marriage is bigamy! And that would cut Frank off from the church permanently!

JILL: (turning away in tears) Oh, Maeve!

MAEVE: Darling, you asked me and I told you. It's easy to go by the rules if the rules don't get in the way of something or someone you love. It's easy to have beliefs if they don't...if believing doesn't prevent you from getting something that you want or from someone else getting what they want. But Frank married Delia in the church! She is his wife, she will always be his wife, and there is nothing gonna change that!

JILL: (tearfully) Maeve, last Christmas, when Frank told you that we were lovers, you accepted that and you didn't resent me! Now, I don't understand why you can accept my being his lover but not his wife!

MAEVE: I never accepted you being his lover. Darling, what I accepted was the brave and kind thing you did when you gave him up. (gets up and puts her arms around Jill) In the end, you did the right thing, painful as it was, and I loved you all the more for it. (soothingly, as Jill cries) Don't.

JILL: Maeve, I still want to do the right thing!

MAEVE: Do you want to marry Frank?

JILL: (nods) Yes, yes! But I want you to understand why it's good and right!

MAEVE: I'm afraid, dear, you want too much.

(Jill turns away sadly and Maeve sits down.)

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