Mom Doesn't Have to Know

By Benjamin J. Stephens


This story follows the sins of the father to the sins of a daughter - both suffer the consequences of sexual impurity.





TOM: (On cell phone - all smiles - Whitney walks in quietly behind him and hears the one sided conversation) Yeah? (Pause) Me too. (Pause) Really? (Pause) So when can we get together again. (Pause) Tonight? (Pause) Yeah, I know the spot - I'll meet you there. (Pause) I love you too. (Shuts phone and turns realizing Whitney had heard at least most of the conversation) Sweetheart, I…

WHITNEY: (Folds arms in front of her) Who was that?

TOM: What?

WHITNEY: Who was that on the phone?


WHITNEY: Are you having an affair, Dad?

TOM: (Fumbles for words) Look, things haven't been good between your mom and me.

WHITNEY: So it's on to something new?

TOM: (Tries to look fatherly) Whitney, it's really not as bad as it seems. One day you'll understand that.

WHITNEY: I'm supposed to be OK with you having an affair?

TOM: I'm still here, aren't I? I haven't left - and I don't plan on it.

WHITNEY: (Wipes an angry tear from her eye) Well…

TOM: You mom doesn't have to know about this. She doesn't have to be hurt. It can be our secret, can't it? You don't want to hurt your mom, do you?

WHITNEY: No, but…

TOM: (Interrupts) That's my girl (Hugs Whitney but she is rather stiff toward him).

(Fade to black)



(SETTING: Kitchen table - Laura, Whiney and Tom are all seated.)

LAURA: How was work today?

TOM: It was a regular circus, Laura. I can't believe how busy I am these days.

LAURA: They work you too hard, Tom.

TOM: (Nervous) Well…

LAURA: You didn't get in till almost midnight last night.

WHITNEY: (Drops her fork on the floor, stares at her dad and covers her emotions quickly - he looks at her pleadingly)

LAURA: Are you OK, Dear?

WHITNEY: (Angry) I'm fine Mom, just fine.

LAURA: Let me get you a clean fork. (Walks off stage)

WHITNEY: (To her dad) I thought you were finished with her.

TOM: Whitney, I've never met anyone who understands me that way she does. I still love your mom, but I've made room to love 'her' too.

WHITNEY: You better tell her.

TOM: Tell who?

WHITNEY: Mom! If you don't I will.

TOM: Look, Whitney, I wouldn't do anything to hurt your mom. Can you imagine what this news would do to her? If you love your mom you'll respect her dignity enough to keep this to yourself. Mom doesn't have to know.

WHITNEY: How can something so sleazy sound OK when you say it?

LAURA: (Walks back in with the fork - smiles) What did I miss?

(Tense silence for moment as Tom and Whitney look at each other)

WHITNEY: Nothing, Mom. (Angry) You didn't miss a thing. (Walks off stage)

LAURA: I wonder what's gotten in to her?

TOM: (Still a bit nervous) You know teenagers. (Pause) Who can tell?

(Fade to black)



SETTING: Front seat of a car.

TOM: You've been pretty distant lately - what's up?

WHITNEY: Like you would really care.

TOM: Where did that come from?

WHITNEY: Oh, I don't know - I guess I just have an aversion to trusting a guy that cheats on his wife.

TOM: Look! We've talked about this. I can handle this and your mom doesn't have to know. (Pause) Have I left her?

WHITNEY: No, but you think about it.

TOM: No I don't.

WHITNEY: Yes you do - I see it in your eyes when she wants to talk to you. You can't even look straight at her anymore.

TOM: Whitney! (Pause - deep breath) OK - OK, I think about leaving her sometimes. She's changed - or I have. I don't know.

WHITNEY: (Near tears - suddenly calm) Like father like daughter.

TOM: What? What are you talking about?

WHITNEY: You and me, Dad. We're a lot alike. You taught me well.

TOM: Whitney, you're not making any sense.

WHITNEY: (Suddenly brash) How's this? You're gonna be a grandpa. Is that clear enough?

TOM: (Overwhelmed) Grandpa - but you're not even sixteen.

WHITNEY: It can be our secret, can't it? You don't want to hurt mom, do you?

TOM: She's gonna need to know.

WHITNEY: Yes - she is - all of it, Dad. I began to think you were right that you could have it all and as long as no one got hurt it was OK. (Pause) It's not OK.

TOM: I know, sweetheart.

WHITNEY: I was with one guy - I didn't even know him very well. One time - one stupid mistake.

TOM: We'll get through this.

WHITNEY: (Emotional) You said that you never met anyone who understands you that way she does. You said that you still loved mom, but you had room to love 'her' too. You were wrong, Dad - there are some things you can only give once.

TOM: (Eyes wide in horror as he really begins to see what he has done - runs his hands through his hair - begins sobbing) What have I done? (Pause) I am so sorry.

(Find a song about faithfulness to play - Whitney and Tom remain in the car and talk unmic'ed for awhile. During the chorus or second verse, Laura comes on stage - all smiles - Tom nervously gets out of the car and looks at her speaking unmic'ed during the music. Whitney remains in her seat and looks downward at the stage. Laura collapses, weeping to the floor - stage fades to black)

Extended ending: Power Point takes over with pictures of Whitney with a baby - smiling. Laura with Whitney and the baby. The baby alone. Tom with Whitney and the baby. Tom sitting alone in an apartment - lonely. Tom and Laura on a date. Tom and Laura in a simple wedding scene - Whitney and baby looking on.


Copyright 2005 Benjamin J. Stephens. Should you use this script would you be so kind as to let us know of its use?