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Episode 25 - The Surprise











INT.  RUBY’S OFFICE

RUBY
Flora!  What are you doing here?

FLORA
Well hello to you too, mother.  It is so nice to be welcomed in such a loving manner.

RUBY
You caught me by surprise, that’s all.  I thought you were rehearsing for tomorrow with your father.

FLORA
Oh, no.  That rehearsal was an hour ago.  And besides, I missed it.

RUBY
An hour ago?  But your father rang only a moment ago and said he would be working on your piece into the evening with the new pianist.

FLORA
(chortling) Well he may be working with her, but he certainly isn’t working with me!

RUBY
Damn him! 

FLORA
Tut, tut Ruby.  What kind of example is that to set for your impressionable teenage daughter?

RUBY
What kind of example is your father setting!  (calming herself down) Anyway, did I hear you right?  You missed the rehearsal earlier today?

FLORA
Yep.

RUBY
And would you be gracious enough to enlighten me as to the reason why?

FLORA
I couldn’t make it.

RUBY
Why couldn’t you make it?  Where you injured?  I see no bleeding.  Perhaps you were taken hostage and forcibly bound and couldn’t get away?

FLORA
Very funny!  No.  I was doing something and it just took longer than I thought.

RUBY
Flora, how do you expect to be prepared to perform tomorrow night if you don’t rehearse?  This is exactly why your uncle had to pull you out of the main act.

FLORA
I was preparing for the show! You always assume the worst of me.

RUBY
Okay, okay, I am sorry.  What was so important that you had to miss rehearsal, and that you couldn’t ask River to organise for you.

FLORA
I did ask River and she told me to do it myself.  She has been really mean.  She is the one saboutaging me.  River is my sister, but she treats Sienna better than she treats me!

RUBY
Oh, I know sweetie.  I have noticed and I spoke to her about this very thing just earlier today.  She has promised to try harder to be supportive of you.

FLORA
Try!  She shouldn’t have to TRY.  She is my sister.  She should just do it!

RUBY
Oh Flora, this is why I am starting this company.  I want you and River and Brick to be closer, despite the age gap.  I really want this to be an opportunity for us to develop a deeper relationship too.  I don’t suppose you would start calling me mum for real?

FLORA
No, you are just as mean to me as the others.  You always show preference to the others.  You resent me and how much Dad loves me.
  
RUBY
Flora that is not true!  I don’t understand though, why you call him Dad but won’t call me Mum.  We are both your parents.

FLORA
Daddy loves me and always does what it takes to make me happy.  You keep stopping me from doing things, and telling me off, and making me share stuff.  That is not what a loving mother does.

RUBY
Honey, I am just trying to help you learn boundaries so that you will grow into a mature and respected woman.

FLORA
Respected?  Like you are?  Do you think Daddy respects you?  Do you think the Bannisters respect you?  They are only tagging along for the free ride to stardom through Dramaticus.

RUBY
Enough!  If you learnt to respect other people, they would start treating you better!  Let’s change the subject.  This is getting us nowhere.  You still haven’t told me what this urgent errand you had to run was.

FLORA
I was at the mall.

RUBY
At the mall?  Why?  I have already approved you using Sienna’s costume and she has gone out and bought another dress.  Your father was supposed to tell you.  I am sorry you didn’t get the message.  I should’ve had River do it.  She is much more reliable.

FLORA
Daddy did tell me, but I had to buy shoes didn’t I?  I can’t walk out in that gorgeous costume with no footwear!  In fact, I came here to show you how perfect they are.  See.

RUBY
(frustrated) Oh, Flora.  We could have organised the shoes.  In fact, I think Emerald had already selected a pair for the costume and you and Sienna have the same foot size now.

FLORA
I am not wearing hand-me-down shoes!

RUBY
They are brand new and have never been worn.

FLORA
I don’t care.  I want shoes bought for me, not her.

RUBY
Alright.  Alright.  I guess I can understand that, but Flora, you need to learn to prioritise.  Nobody is going to care what shoes you wear if you can’t sing the song and don’t know the dance.

FLORA
Oh, that’s okay.  I will learn it tomorrow morning.

RUBY
Perhaps you should call your father and join him and Kirana to rehearse this evening?

FLORA
(laughing)  Sometimes you are very funny Ruby.  Besides, I can’t tonight.

RUBY
Why not?

FLORA
Because I am going to the movies with some friends.  (sees time) In fact, I have to rush off now or I’ll be late. 

RUBY
Flora!

FLORA EXITS. END.

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