*NOTE TINA/BENJAMIN and CASSIE have been eating and dancing the twist, playing TWISTER in the kitchen/dining room.
TINA and BENJAMIN on fourth Cuba Libre and Cassie tells them she is tired and going to bed. They have been dancing to upbeat music, but now the slow songs are coming on. TINA takes BENJAMIN’S hand and leads him over to the non-sat on white expanse of couches. He’s drunk, on his fifth and she stares at him, breathily.
“In the Still of the Night” 60’s slow dance song
BENJAMIN is splayed against the couch and TINA crawls toward him with another drink.
“I’ve got a great idea.”
“Let’s get in the Jacuzzis”
“Let’s dance on the patio with the light show on.”
TINA presses a remote and suddenly swirling Lava Lamp multicolored globules light the air in holograms dancing over the waters. Every so often sparklers go off on cue as the waters pulse and fountain jets spew ten foot bursts of water, perfectly timed to the beat of the songs.
BENJAMIN is wobbly on his feet.
“Dance with me,” Tina said. “Please?”
“I’m a little bit…”
“Jason never does.”
BENJAMIN cocks his head quizzically.
TINA just shakes her head, and tells him it’s been years since she danced.
“He’s your husband.”
“Jason says dancing is messy.”
“He hates messes.”
BENJAMIN eyes the long counter and grins to himself.
“Shouldn’t we maybe tidy up a little?”
“The SuzyQBots do that.”
“What are those?”
“Oh, like the vacuums?”
“They come like fairies in the night while we are sleeping.”
“Benjamin dance with me,” Tina says thrusting herself up against him.
“It’s been a long time Tina.”
“That’s okay. Me too.”
BENJAMIN pulls her against him into the slow dance. It’s been years since he’s held a woman this close and he tries to keep his lower body from making contact but she snuggles closer and closer. The light will be nicer on the patio, he thinks. He begins to move her backwards toward the swirling light show out side.
“This is something.”
“I had a decorator come from Las Vegas.”
“It’s the latest…”
TINA trips on the flowly leg of her pants and suddenly the two of them are stumbling together until they fall fully clothed into the water. They face each other giggling at what happened until BENJAMIN realizes he has his wallet in his pocket. He pulls it out and opens to find BETH’S picture is ruined by the water.
“Who is that?”
“I loved her very much.”
BENJAMIN and TINA are so drunk and so wet they can barely move, much less think. The light show flares around the two of them in a glitzy plastic splendor. JASON wanted a perfect non-messy wife and life. He’s paid to have TINA have so much cosmetic surgery he’s remade the wife he married into the wife of his dreams. JASON only cares about what the neighbors think in all of his houses he’s built. TINA is a masterpiece. His masterpiece.
TINA: “Who was Beth?”
BENJAMIN: “My fiance.”
TINA: Oh no. Her picture is all soggy. We ruined her, Benjamin. I’m so sorry.
BENJAMIN: Watching the picture dissolve in his hands. Into the water. Until it is gone.
“I loved her so much Tina.”
“She was in those towers in NY.”
TINA drawing in breath…
“With all the others?”
TINA rolls over to him, and puts her arms around him rocking him softly against her like a baby. His head rests on her chest, on the two perfect plastic mounds that have been supersized by Jason. So she jiggles.
“Oh, Benjamin how does a person ever get over something like that?”
BENJAMIN: Tears starting to fall. He’s crying for the first time.
TINA: Drunk but holding him strongly against her.
“Baby, you will be okay.”
“Do you think so?”
“The say time can heal everything, even broken hearts.”
“It’s okay if you cry Benjamin.”
“I never cried in front of a woman.”
“I didn’t think I could.”
“You are human, Benjamin.”
“I haven’t felt human for a long time, Tina. maybe it’s being here again. I haven’t been to the Outer Banks since I was ten and my father brought me.”
“Cassie is ten.”
“She’s such a wonderful little girl.”
“She’s all I’ve got, Benjamin.”
“Where is your husband?”
“Why isn’t he down here with the two of you?”
“Too busy working.”
TINA and BENJAMIN sit for a long time in the waters until they go limp. Neither knows how they will manage to climb out. TINA turns her lips to Benjamin and slowly kisses him. It’s a sad slow kiss. A French kiss between two very lonely people.
“You’re so soft, Tina. I haven’t had my arms around anyone since Beth.”
“But that’s years.”
“Let’s get out of these wet things.”
TINA and BENJAMIN manage to navigate their way to the edge of the giant pool full of bubbles. Their arms around each other prop each other up, and they both sway slightly to the last strains of the music “In the Still Of the Night” that got stuck in a loop so it played over and over again. He clings to her and she to him as they make their way back up to the MERMAID CASTLE.
The biggest golden moon they have ever seen in their lives is about to fall into the sea. They stand at the edge of the sea quietly breathing into the wonder.
BENJAMIN: “It’s so beautiful here.”
TINA: “I know.”
TINA: “Spend the night with us.”
TINA: “I’ve got plenty of spare rooms.”
BENJAMIN: “Can I sleep on the sofa?”
TINA: “Only if you let me tuck you in.”
BENJAMIN: “Thank you. Thank you so much for tonight Tina.”
TINA moves to a giant linen closet in the house and pulls out stacks of pillows and down comforters and the thickest towels. All of it is pure white, and it matches the gigantic couch in the room where they had started off. The couch that no one has ever sat on.
TINA: “You better get out of those wet things or you’ll catch your death of cold.”
BENJAMIN nods, and smiles quietly at her.
BENJAMIN: “See you in the morning, then?”
TINA: “Cassie can help us make breakfast.”