Creative Mind

The Secret Compromise

Written By

Markitta M. Garner

 

 

FADE IN:

Int. ANTHONY’S APARTMENT: – Night

ANTHONY REED, 27, is setting the table for dinner. Anthony is a family guy, who is very much in love with his girlfriend of six months. He’s all about being active in his community and will give you the shirt off his back.

His girlfriend MEGAN THOMAS, 25, arrives at Anthony’s apartment for dinner. Megan has lived a pretty comfortable, sheltered life. She’s a school teacher that grew up in a good neighborhood, with a father that spent his whole life protecting her and her sister from ‘the monsters of the world’. She is just as in love with Anthony as he is with her, but she has been hiding part of her life from him.

Anthony

(opens the door

for Megan)

Hi baby, I’m so happy

to see you. How was your day?

Megan

                    It was long and tiring

                        but better now that I’m

                              here with you. What smells

                    so good? I’m starving!

 

Anthony

  Well, I didn’t have time

to cook for you like I

         wanted to but I picked up

         your favorite pasta from

Spindini’s.

As they sit down to have dinner, Anthony wastes no time getting to the real reason he invited Megan over tonight.

Anthony

                    Why don’t you want me to

                    meet your father? Am I not

                         good enough for your family?

                      Are you embarrassed of me?

 

Megan is stunned! So much so that she could barely swallow the food in her mouth.

Megan

                     I love you too much to be

                           embarrassed by you. I’m just

afraid I guess.

Anthony

  Afraid of what?

Megan looks at Anthony with more nervousness than she has ever felt before.

Megan

          I’m biracial. My father is

                    white. My mother was Black. I

                     wasn’t sure you would want to

                        be with me if you knew because

                       you’re so, you know…pro Black.

                                 And I know how adamant your mom

                       is about you dating within your

                         own race. I didn’t know how you

                          would feel about dating someone

that is mixed race.

Anthony suddenly felt like he’d been lied to, like he didn’t really know Andrea at all. As much as he preached the importance of Black men supporting and being with Black women, how could he possibly date someone that wasn’t really Black?

Int. MEGAN’S HOUSE – Night

Megan’s dad MICHAEL THOMAS, 48, walks in the front door of his home and heads straight for the kitchen. He is greeted with the most wonderful aroma he has smelled all day.

Megan’s sister, ASHLEY THOMAS, 23, is cooking dinner—preparing to have a discussion with her dad.

Michael

                    What smells so good?

Ashley

(as she sets

the table)

                    Hi daddy! I cooked your favorite,

                             my world famous gumbo. I figured we

                            could have dinner as a family tonight.

Michael

                    So why are there only two place

          Settings? Where’s Megan?

Ashley

                                               She’s having dinner with a friend

tonight.

Michael began to think about how Andrea hasn’t been around a lot lately. She has dinner at home two, maybe three nights out of the week and is rarely home on the weekends.

Michael

                            Well, I guess it’s just me and

you tonight.

Ashley

Yep!

Ashley looked at her dad with a big, nervous smile as he ate.

Ashley

                    Dad I need to talk to you about

                    something. Megan has been dating

                    a very nice young man for the last

                    few months and I think she’s in

                    love with him. In fact, I know

                    she’s in love with him.

Michael suddenly has a sickening feeling in his stomach.

Michael

                    Why haven’t I heard anything

         about this young man?

Ashley

                    Well, Dad, you know how you

                    can be. It’s not easy to talk

                    to you about certain things. I’m

                    sure she wanted to tell you but

                    just didn’t know how to start

                    that conversation. And she probably

                    wanted to make sure the relationship

                    was headed in the right direction

                    before she told you about him.

Michael pushes his bowl of gumbo away, now having completely lost his appetite.

Michael

                    So tell me about him.

Ashley

                      I will tell you that he is a nice,

                                   respectful, educated young man. Any

                                 other information will have to come

                                    from Megan. But when the day comes

                                that you meet him I don’t want you

                             to judge him. You’ve always been

                                    very adamant about the kind of man

you want for us.

Michael become anxious to learn more about the young man that has been occupying his daughters time, hoping that his daughter has made the ‘right’ choice of who she’s fallen in love with.

Ext. DRIVING TO A RESTAURANT – Afternoon

Megan has reluctantly agreed to introduce her boyfriend and her father, praying and hoping for the best possible outcome.

Megan

                    I’ve really missed you these

                               last two weeks. We’ve never gone

                    this long without speaking.

Anthony

Yeah, it’s been too long. Felt like

longer than two weeks. Are you want

to do this?

Megan

Yes, I am. I know my father is

going to grow to love you just as

much as I do.

After talking and praying together they both decided that they were too in love to let their backgrounds and Anthony’s outdated beliefs separate them.

Int. RESTAURANT – Day

Megan and Anthony hold hands as they walk into the restaurant.

Michael is sitting at a table in the back of the restaurant.

Megan

(kisses her dad

on the cheek)

Hi daddy! This is Anthony.

Anthony extends his hand, but Michael never removes his hands from his pockets.

Anthony

Nice to finally meet you sir.

Michael

Hello. Have a seat. So how did

you two meet?

Megan

We met at the community center

where we both volunteer.

Michael is growing more uncomfortable by the minute and is stunned that his daughter would think he would like this guy.

Michael

Where are you from young man?

Anthony

I’m from right here in Memphis.

Originally from the Orange Mound

community.

Michael

Orange Mound? That’s a pretty

rough neighborhood. Known for

its’ crime…and criminals.

Anthony knows that Megan’s father is just trying to feel him out and being protective, so he’s trying to remain calm.

Anthony

Yes sir it is, but there are

some good people that came out

of that neighborhood. Like myself.

I’m proud to say I am not a

product of my environment.

Michael

This lunch is over!

Megan

But…dad, we haven’t even eaten

yet.

Michael stands up to leave.

Anthony

Did I say something wrong?

Michael

I can’t do this Megan. I cannot

have dinner with you pretend

that I don’t have a problem with

you dating this man. I’ll see

at home.

Megan and Anthony are both left sitting in the restaurant confused.

Ext. IN ANTHONY’S APARTMENT – Day

As they rode back to Anthony’s apartment, Megan was hurt and embarrassed. Anthony was angry with Megan for putting him in that situation.

Anthony

Why didn’t you tell me?

Megan

Tell you what?

Anthony

That your father is racist!

Megan was embarrassed and offended by Anthony’s question.

Megan

My father is not racist! He is

just very overprotective. He

always has been. He just wants

what’s best for me and my

sister. And he doesn’t know

you and…

Anthony

Stop! Just…STOP! You can’t

tell me that the way your

father just treated me wasn’t

at least borderline racist. The

way he judged me because the

neighborhood I grew up in. He

wouldn’t even shake my hand.

He didn’t want to touch my

Black hand. And that I don’t

understand because your mother

was a Black woman.

Megan is staring at Anthony with tears in her eyes.

Megan

Stop it! You are being very

disrespectful! You will NOT

talk about my mother.

Anthony

I am not trying to be

disrespectful. I’m simply stating

facts.

Anthony tries to calm himself down.

Anthony

Listen, it’s obvious that your

father isn’t going to take

the time to get to know me.

He’s already made up his mind

about me. And I know how much

you love and respect your

father, so…

Megan

So what? Is this your break

up speech? Are you breaking

up with me?

Megan stands up from the kitchen table – tears in her eyes.

Anthony

(hesitates for what

seems like forever)

I love you more than I’ve

ever loved anyone before. I

want to have a family – a

family that I can blend with

our existing families. I want

our children to be loved by

their grandparents. Your

father doesn’t even like me.

The situation isn’t exactly

ideal for living life happily

ever after. I don’t want to be

the cause of a strained or

severed relationship between

you and your father.

Megan

Well, since you have made the decision

for me I guess I’ll just leave.

Have a nice life Anthony.

Megan leaves and Anthony slumps down on the couch and stares at the picture of them on his coffee table.

Int. MEGAN’S HOUSE – Night

Megan arrives home later that night and tries to head straight for her room. Her father is sitting in a chair in the living room waiting for her.

Michael

Megan!

Megan

Yes daddy?

Michael

Can we talk?

Megan

Sure…I guess.

Megan takes a seat on the couch facing her father, but not making eye contact with him.

Michael

You know I only want the

best for you. And this man,

he’ll only end up disappointing

you. His background will never

allow to be the man you need

him to be.

Megan

What does that mean?

Michael

There are probably things in

his past that you know nothing

about. Bad things Megan, and I

don’t want you to get hurt.

There’s something about this

young man that doesn’t sit well

with me.

Megan

Is it his skin color?

Michael

What?!

Megan

The fact that he’s Black, is

that what doesn’t sit well with

you?

Michael

Megan…

Megan

Daddy are you racist? Do you

have a problem with Black

people?

Michael

Megan that’s enough!

Megan

Have you forgotten that your

daughters are half Black? That

your wife was Black?

Michael couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Had he really made his daughters feel like he was racist?

Megan

Well, you don’t have to worry.

He broke up with me, thanks

to you. Happy?!

Megan runs upstairs crying.

Int. MEGAN’S HOUSE – Day

Michael sits at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. It’s been three weeks and his relationship with Megan is still strained. They barely speak to each other. Now he’s sitting here trying to decide if he wants to tell her the information he received from the private investigator he hired.

Michael (V.O.)

Why did I have to hire that

private investigator? Do I

tell Megan about Anthony’s

father? After all, they aren’t

dating anymore so does it

even matter?

Michael stares at the folder in front of him.

Michael (V.O.)

How can I tell her that

the man she’s in love with

is the son of the bastard

that killed her mother?

Michael’s wife was killed twenty years ago while they were out for a walk one night in downtown Memphis. A young Black man decided to rob them and he shot both Michael and his wife. She died two days later.

Ext. LOCAL PARK – Day

Anthony is overjoyed that Megan has agreed to meet him after not talking to her for three weeks. He sits on the bench and waits for her.

Megan’s heart literally skips a beat when she sees Anthony. She feels like knees are going to buckle as she walks towards him.

Anthony

Hi!

Megan

Hi!

Anthony

Listen, I…I can’t do this

anymore. I can’t live one more

day without you in my life,

by my side. I love you and I

need you. And I’m willing to

fight for our love…if that’s

what it takes.

Megan

If you hadn’t made the decision

for me three weeks ago, you

would have known that it didn’t

matter what my father said or

thought. My love for you is

already too strong. That’s not

something I can just turn off.

Anthony

So…me and you against the world?

Megan

Me and you baby!

Anthony and Megan kiss, rekindling their relationship.

Int. MEGAN’S HOUSE – Day

Megan enters the kitchen with her suitcases in her hand.

Megan

Dad, we need to talk.

Michael

What’s going on? Where are

you going?

Megan

I hate the bad turn that

our relationship has taken.

It kills me that we barely

talk anymore. I pray that we

can get back the wonderful

father daughter connection that

we’ve always had. And I know

you don’t like Anthony. But I

don’t love him. Because I do.

I’m moving in with him daddy.

I hope that you understand

and realize that this doesn’t

mean I don’t still love and

respect you.

Michael

Are you happy?

Megan

Yes!

Michael

Does he make you feel safe?

Megan

Yes!

Michael approaches his daughter and kisses her on the forehead.

Michael

I love you Megan.

Michael knew that he could never tell her about Anthony’s father. He had never seen his daughter in love and he the look in her eyes when she talked about Anthony lets him know that what she is feeling is real and too strong for him to try to destroy. He was willing to compromise telling her the truth for her ultimate happiness. He watches as Megan gets in the car with Anthony and they both drive away.

FADE OUT.

The End