A Novel Romance
Doris Jean and Ebbie have worked together at the Taxahatchee Grill in Taxahatchee, SC, long enough to be good friends, but they still don't “get” each other. Doris Jean is a dreamer with fantasies of finding the perfect man at the perfect moment. Ebbie gave up dreaming a long, long time ago, and the fact that Doris Jean reads romance novels and clings to the idea of finding a romance novel hero in Taxahatchee really rubs her the wrong way. Then one day a construction worker named Wick Brady walks into the Taxahatchee Grill and, for Doris Jean, all the romance heroes in the world aren't as romantic as he is. A Novel Romance is a play about holding onto your dreams no matter how ridiculous they seem to you or anybody else.

EBBIE
Now, don't get huffy, Doris Jean.  Did you see me last night on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?"  No.  But here's the difference between us.  I know what's real.  I know what I'm going to get and what I ain't.  You don't.

DORIS JEAN
I do too.

EBBIE
You don't!  Doris Jean, what do you do in your spare time?

DORIS JEAN
What do you mean?

EBBIE
Just what I said.  What do you do?

DORIS JEAN
Well... lots of things.  I go to church... and the movies... and I sew some.  And... um... I like to read.

EBBIE
Yeah?  So what do you read?

DORIS JEAN
Books.

EBBIE
Right.  Books.  Well, I ain't Albert Einstein, Doris Jean, but I think I had that part figured out. What--kind--of--books?

DORIS JEAN
Novels.

EBBIE
What kind of novels?

DORIS JEAN
All kinds.

EBBIE
Phhhhhhuuuuu!

DORIS JEAN
Well, I do!

EBBIE
You got one with you today?

DORIS JEAN
Yeah.

EBBIE
Where is it?

DORIS JEAN
Over yonder, under the counter.

(Ebbie goes for the book)

EBBIE
Umhum!  Umhum!

DORIS JEAN
What?

EBBIE
Inferno In Her Heart?

DORIS JEAN
Yeah.  So?

EBBIE
(Reading from the book cover)  "Devan could have had her choice of men-- her alabaster skin, her fiery scarlet tresses, her crystal blue eyes drew them to her like moths to a flame-- but there was no man for Devan but one... the dark, brooding master of Goldenwood, Dane Every... a man with secrets only Devan could share... the one man who could kindle an Inferno In Her Heart." (Stares at Doris Jean)

DORIS JEAN
(Squirming)  Okay.  So?  Well. That's what it's about.  What's wrong with it?

EBBIE
It's a book, Doris Jean!  A confounded romance novel.

DORIS JEAN
I know that.

EBBIE
The things that happen in that book?  They ain't gonna happen to you.  Do you know that?

DORIS JEAN
Yes.

EBBIE
No, you don't.  No, you absolutely do not.  I believe that you believe that some day some--what's his name?--Dane Every--some Dane Every is gonna come riding into your life and sweep you off your feet.  Some hero.  Some dream man.  Ain't that so?

DORIS JEAN
No.

EBBIE
Yes.

DORIS JEAN
No.

EBBIE
Do you know what "novel" means, Doris Jean?  It'a a French word.  "Vel" means "so."  "Nah" means "not."  Nah-vel--not  so!

DORIS JEAN
(Laughing)  Does not.

EBBIE
Believe it or not, I do know what the word means.  It means "new" and if anything that happens in them books actually happened around here, it's be a new one on me.

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