The Waiting Room

Naomi Leites

Cast of Characters:
BENNY – 40, male, Kris’ ex-husband
KRIS – 38, female
YVES – 82, male, Sammie’s grandfather
SAMMIE – 24, female
INT., a waiting room. No posters or infographics on the walls, but framed paintings of flowers in vases. Wide, cushioned chairs arranged in a sort of semi-circle, separated by small tables between each of them. There is a lamp on top of each table. Only one of the lamps is on, next to the chair BENNY is sitting in. He seems to be asleep.

Enter YVES, who sits as far as he can from BENNY, and quietly turns his own lamp on. It is a warm light. The light wakes BENNY, but it takes several moments for him to become adjusted to it.

BENNY. (Running a hand through his hair) Hello.

YVES. Hello.

BENNY. Jesus, it’s probably late, isn’t it? Do you know how long I’ve been here?

YVES. How long?

BENNY. No, sorry, I was asking. I must have fallen asleep.

YVES. You did.

BENNY rubs his eyes and stands to stretch, then sits back down.

BENNY. Do you have the time?

YVES. (Checking his watch) Seventeen minutes past three.

BENNY. Jesus.

YVES crosses his legs and closes his eyes. BENNY studies him. The yellow light softens his features, but his face is sharp, angular.

BENNY. What are you here for?

YVES opens his eyes, but does not seem irritated.

YVES. That’s private. (Beat.) I’m sorry.

BENNY. Hey, hey, no need to be sorry. (He puts his hands up, as if in surrender.) Each to his own, man.

YVES. To each.


YVES. To each, his own.

BENNY. To each his—? Yeah, Jesus, oops. To each his own. Fuck. (He laughs.)

YVES closes his eyes. A silence stretches between them.

BENNY. Hey, you French?

YVES opens his eyes.

YVES. Yes.

BENNY. Man. That’s crazy, man. You know Edith Piaf?


YVES. Not personally.

BENNY laughs heartily.

BENNY. You’re funny, dude. You know La Vie en Rose?

YVES looks at him.

BENNY. Ah, of course you do.

A long silence. YVES glances at BENNY.

YVES. Well. How about you? You are here, why?

BENNY. Man. That’s private.

BENNY chuckles.

BENNY. Jokes. (Beat.) I’m waiting on someone.

YVES. Me too.

BENNY. Yeah? Who?

There is no response, and BENNY evidently decides to give up. He closes his eyes and crosses his legs, mirroring YVES, and they sit quietly.

KRIS enters, scans the room, and sees BENNY. She stands still for a moment and then approaches and sits in the chair nearest BENNY, turning on her lamp. BENNY and YVES open their eyes, each seeing her.

BENNY. Shit.

KRIS. Hello.


BENNY reaches out and touches her leg, then her arm, then her face. She shrugs him off.

KRIS. Have you been waiting long?

BENNY. Oh. No. You know. (Beat.) How—?

KRIS. Don’t ask me that. I’m here, aren’t I?

BENNY. You’re here.

KRIS. Something went wrong. I don’t know.


KRIS. Don’t ask me questions.

There is a pause, during which they look down at their laps, and YVES looks between them.

YVES. Hello.

KRIS. (She turns to look at him.) Hi. (She turns away.)

BENNY. (To KRIS) You wanna go in?

KRIS. I want to sit out here for a little while.


BENNY. Okay.

The three sit in silence for a little bit. KRIS is fidgeting with her sweater, YVES has his eyes closed and is sitting still. BENNY gets up and begins to pace, stopping momentarily to admire one of the paintings on the walls.

KRIS. What are you waiting for?

YVES opens her eyes and looks at her.

YVES. I’m waiting on someone.

KRIS. What’s your name?

YVES. Yves.

KRIS. I’m Kris.

YVES. Hello.

KRIS. Hello.

YVES. It’s good to meet you.

KRIS. (A slight smile.) Likewise.

BENNY. I’m Benny.

They turn to look at him.

YVES. Hello.

KRIS. Sit down, Benny.

BENNY walks back to his chair. He sits.
KRIS looks at YVES.

KRIS. Have you been here long?


KRIS. Have you seen anybody else? Has anyone else come through?

YVES. Not that I have seen.

KRIS. A little girl?

BENNY. Kris, let it be.

KRIS. I’m only asking. (She resumes fidgeting with her sweater.)

YVES. (Sitting up) Have you—are you, uh, (He motions between them) a couple?

KRIS. Yes. /

BENNY. /Yeah.


BENNY. Or, used to be.

He looks at KRIS, shrugs, laughs, and KRIS does not return the warmth. She looks down at her hands and keeps playing with her sweater. She has begun to pick the lint off of the hem. YVES begins to cough, hard. BENNY looks at him, suddenly intrigued.

BENNY. So, how did you…?

KRIS. Benny!

BENNY. Hey, relax, relax, I’m asking an innocent question.

YVES covers his mouth with the crook of his elbow, and looks up at BENNY, still coughing.

BENNY. Jesus. Take your time.

The coughing subsides. There is silence, and then:

YVES. That’s private.

BENNY. Hey, no hard feelings.

KRIS. Benny.

BENNY. I was just thinking, I don’t know, maybe it was the cough that did it, /

KRIS. (Hissing) / Benny!

YVES. That’s all right.

KRIS. (To YVES) I am so / sorry.

YVES. / That is all right.

KRIS. (Under her breath) Jesus, motherfucking /

YVES. (Leaning forward) / I take no offense. Please.

KRIS stands.

KRIS. Let’s go in.

BENNY and YVES look at her.

BENNY. Are you sure?

KRIS. She’s not coming. You’ve been waiting forever, I just got here, she’s not coming.

BENNY. Hey, hey, hey, hey. She might.

KRIS. She’s not coming.

BENNY. Come on, Baby. (KRIS glares.) I’m sorry.

KRIS. I think if she came in here right now I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, I think I would hit her or something, I’d tell her to go right back home, you know?

BENNY. You wouldn’t.

KRIS. I would, I would, I would pull her hair and scream at her until I exploded, I would scream until she cried so that she never wanted to see me again. She’d go home and she’d hate me but she’d go home and she wouldn’t be here, and god DAMN IT this sweater is killing me.

She rips off the sweater in a desperate, frustrated motion, grunting, and throws it to the ground.

KRIS. (Turning on BENNY) And before she went home, after I screamed at her, you know what, asshole, (She digs a finger into his chest, pushes him, and he steps backwards) you’d hug her so hard she turned to dust because you never did that once in your life and if she came in here and you saw her little face you’d realize it. And you’d cry, and cry, and say, oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, only she won’t come in here and you’ll never get the chance.

BENNY puts an arm on KRIS’ shoulder.

KRIS. Get off.

He doesn’t let go, and she doesn’t move.

Beat. BENNY puts an arm around KRIS. YVES looks at them. BENNY puts another arm around KRIS. She allows it, and after a moment she melts into him, and begins to cry.

SAMMIE enters, and stops by the doorway. YVES looks at her, she looks at him. SAMMIE walks directly past BENNY and KRIS, slowly, watching them; they do not see her. SAMMIE leans down and kisses YVES’ forehead, holding his head in both her hands.

SAMMIE. Merde. Come on, you big baby.

YVES stands, allowing himself to be helped up by SAMMIE. They walk together, arms linked, through the opposite door.

BENNY and KRIS are left alone. After a moment, KRIS shakes him off, and wipes her face with her sweater.

BENNY. Come on, you big baby.

KRIS laughs.

BENNY. You be glad she’s not with us, okay?

KRIS. I am.

BENNY. Krissy, be glad / she’s not here.

KRIS. I am. I am.

BENNY. Let’s go in, okay?


They look at each other.

KRIS. Okay.


KRIS. I hope she’s okay.

They walk through the other door together, and the three lit lamps illuminate the suddenly cold room. Blackout. The sound of sirens.
Naomi Leites was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and is an aspiring musician, writer and visual artist, currently studying Songwriting at Berklee. Additionally, she is working toward a minor in Drama, writing plays and screenplays.