"As Long As We Have Each Other"

Episode 3.7


by Jantineke Mulder

SCENE 1. Int: night.
On the street.

Peter leaves the house. Outside he stands for a moment and looks across the street to Fitzgerald's. Assumpta is standing by her bedroom window. She opens it.

Assumpta:       Peter!

Peter looks up.

Assumpta:       Where're you going?

Peter:  The sacristy, I think.

Assumpta:       Hang on a sec.

She closes the window. Peter walks towards Fitzgerald's. When he reaches it, the door opens.

Assumpta:       You're not serious about sleeping in the sacristy again, are you?

Peter:  Dunno.

Assumpta:       I thought you were staying at Niamh's.

Peter:  The bank repossessed Brian's house this afternoon. Brian is staying at Niamh's right now.

Assumpta:       Do you want a room here?

Peter:  What about Leo?

Assumpta:       I got a call that he's spending the night in Dublin. Don't be foolish, Peter.

Peter:  Alright.

They go inside. The place has not yet been cleaned up.

Assumpta:       I'm sorry about the mess. I did not feel like cleaning anymore. I'll do it in the morning.

Peter:  Do you want me to give you a hand? We'll be done in fifteen minutes. You'll hate yourself when you
wake up tomorrow.

Assumpta:       Yeah, you're right. Then I'll charge you nothing, okay?

Peter:  Deal.

He puts his bag in the sitting room. He also takes off his dog collar, which he is still wearing. They start picking up the empty glasses.

SCENE 2 int: night

Peter and Assumpta are almost finished cleaning up.

Peter:  Feels a lot better, doesn't it?

Assumpta:       Would you like a drink?

Peter:  Yes.

Assumpta grabs a bottle of wine and two glasses. She heads for the chairs by the fireplace. They sit and Peter opens the bottle. He pours the wine and they cheer. They talk, unhearable.

SCENE 3 int: night

Assumpta and Peter are still in the sitting room. The bottle is nearly empty and another bottle stands under
the stable. They are both a little tipsy.

Peter:  So, how's married life going so far?

Assumpta:       Peter...

Peter:  I'm sorry.

Assumpta:       No, you're right. We have to talk.

Peter sighs.

Assumpta:       Peter, what's wrong?

Peter:  This is very hard for me. I don't know how to say. Have you heard the polar bear joke?

Assumpta:       No.

Peter:  Okay. There's a baby polar bear and he's in the sea. He climbs out and runs across the ice up to his mom and he says:
'Mom, are you sure I'm a polar bear?' His mom says: 'Don't be silly. Of course, you have white fur, you eat fish; you're a polar bear. Don't be silly, go back into the sea.' So he does, but he's not contemned. He climbs out and runs to his dad. He says: 'Dad, are I really a polar bear?' His dad says: 'What are you talking about? You have white fur, you eat fish, you a polar bear. Why do you ask?' And the baby bear says: 'Because I'm freezing'. Why am I always thinking of you?

Assumpta:       Peter, come here.

She gets up and sits on Peter's lap. She takes his head in her arms and he starts sobbing against her shoulder. Then he starts kissing her neck, up to her mouth. They kiss. Peter gathers Assumpta in his arms.

Peter:  I love you.

Assumpta sighs happily. Then he releases her.

Peter:  What about Leo? I mean, you're still a married woman. Do you love him?

Assumpta:       I... I like him. I guess I only married him to get over you.

Peter:  You must know how I feel about you.

Assumpta:       How would I know that?

Peter:  Assumpta, are you serious? I think about you every minute of every day. It's like I work on a autopilot. I take a wedding, a funeral. I heard confession, I say mass. I say the words, but it's you that I'm thinking off. I can't sleep because you keep me awake. And you say you didn't know this?

Assumpta:       Do you think I would have gotten married if I knew how you felt? Would you?

Peter:  Weird, isn't it? How something can sound so accelerating and depressing at the same time.

He takes her head against his shoulder and kisses her hair.

SCENE 4 int: day

Someone's knocking at the door. Assumpta wakes up. She's still sitting on Peter's lap, who's also still asleep.

Assumpta:       Peter, wake up.

Peter slowly opens his eyes. Then he hears the knocking and immediately sits up.
Peter:  Assumpta...

Assumpta jumps up.

Assumpta:       It's Niamh. It's almost 11. And Leo'll be here any minute. Get out of the back door, quick!

Peter jumps up, grabs his bag and runs into the kitchen. Assumpta puts the bottles and the glasses behind the bar and
then opens the door.

Niamh:  Assumpta, you're alright?

Assumpta:       I overslept, I guess. I've just woken up.

Niamh:  Didn't you were that last night?

Assumpta:       Eh, yeah. Like I said, I've just woken up.

Niamh:  Go change. I'll open up for you.

Assumpta:       Thanks.

Niamh:  Assumpta, who were you talking to?

Assumpta:       What?

Niamh:  I heard you talk. And where's Leo?

Assumpta:       He spent the night in Dublin.

She turns around and rushes upstairs.

SCENE 5. Int: day

Cut between Fitzgerald's and Peter's house. Peter and Assumpta are both at the phone.

Assumpta:       Peter? Did you make it?

Peter:  I did. I just walked in. What's up?

Assumpta:       Nothing. I wanted to check if you're alright.

Peter:  What about Niamh?

Assumpta:       I'm in my room. I don't think Niamh's suspecting anything.I have to get myself busy. You'll come in later?

Peter:  Sure. Love you.

Scene 6 int: day
Eamon's farm.

Eamon, Liam and Donal are looking at the sheep in the field.

Eamon:  They're starting to drive me crazy. They just keep on walking on the road. Sooner or later, one of them will get killed by those racing cars.

Liam:   What you need is a fence.

Donal:  And we just happen to have one. Interested?

Liam:   150 pounds, ready by teatime.

Eamon:  If that's gonna safe my sheep, then it's fine.

SCENE 7 Int: day

Leo walks in. He's holding flowers.

Leo:    Honey?

Assumpta:       In the kitchen!

Leo gets into the kitchen. Assumpta is cooking. He gives her the flowers. And he kisses her, but she backs off.

Leo:    What's wrong?

Assumpta:       Nothing. I have to concentrate.

Leo:    I'm really sorry about last night. But the work, you know...

Assumpta:       I know. It's alright.

She puts the flowers in a vase.

Assumpta:       But you've missed a lot of fun.

The phone rings. Assumpta gets it.

Assumpta:       softly Peter...

Cut between Fitzgerald's and Peter's house.

Peter:  We have to talk.

Assumpta:       It's a little difficult right now...

Peter:  We have to make plans.

Assumpta:       I'm sorry, but....

Peter:  I'll meet you by the lake at 3, okay?

Assumpta:       I can't, I...

Peter:  Love you.

He hangs up.

Leo:    Who was it?

Assumpta:       absent-minded What?

Leo:    What's going on?

Assumpta:       Nothing.

Leo:    It's that priest, isn't it?

Assumpta:       What are you talking about?

Leo:    You're flushing.

Assumpta:       Am I? I'm just a little warm, that's all.

Leo:    Is there something going on between you and that priest?

Assumpta:       Leo, please. Don't be silly. I married you.

Leo:    Yes, and I'm starting to wonder why!

He rushes out of the kitchen and out of Fitzgerald's.

SCENE 8. Int: day.

Brian is shopping. Kathleen's behind the counter.

Brian:  Kathleen, the dates on these packages are not just random numbers.

Kathleen:       What do you mean by that?

Brian:  Nothing.

Fr Mac walks in.

Kathleen:       Father MacAnally.

Fr Mac: Kathleen, Brian.

Brian:  Morning Father. What do you think? Salmon or prawns?

Fr Mac: Salmon's fine.

Brian takes out a package and walks to the counter.

Fr Mac: Don't you think you should give Father Clifford his house back?

Brian:  What?

Fr Mac: You can't expect him to keep staying in the sacristy, are you?

Brian:  Aren't you supposed to help him finding an accommodation?

Fr Mac: That's what I'm doing right now.

Kathleen:       What do you mean, sleeping in the sacristy? He's staying at Fitzgerald's.

Brian & Fr Mac: What?

Kathleen:       I saw him going there last night. Why would he stay in the sacristy?

Brian and Fr Mac look at each other meaningfully.

Scene 9 int: day
By the lake.

Peter and Assumpta walk along the waterside.

Assumpta:       I'm not sure this is the right thing.

Peter:  What do you mean?

Assumpta:       I'm not sure what I want. I just had a fight with Leo. He really loves me.

Peter:  And do you love him?

Assumpta:       I already told you. I loved him when we were in college. If we had gotten married back then, I'm sure it would
have worked out. But things are just different right now.

Peter:  What are you gonna say to him?

Assumpta:       I don't know. I'm afraid he might hurt you.

Peter:  Why?

Assumpta:       He can be so damn jealous.

She dreams away for a few moments.

Assumpta:       I really don't know what to say.

Peter:  The truth?

Assumpta:       Perhaps.

SCENE 10. Int: day
On the bridge.

Peter is standing on the bridge. He's staring into the water.

Leo:    Thinking about your sins, Father?

Peter:  Leo, I didn't hear you coming.

Leo:    What are your sins, Father?

Peter:  What?

Leo:    Come on. You must have some?

Peter:  I'm afraid I've lost you.

Leo:    I don't think so, Father. Want to go for a walk?

They walk over the bridge and then follow the path along the water. They don't talk.

Leo:    She's pretty, isn't she?

Peter:  Who?

Leo:    Don't toy with me, Father.

Peter:  I'm sorry, Leo. I don't know what you're talking about.

Leo:    My wife. She's MY wife. And you must get your hands away from her, you understand?

Peter:  Leo, what the hell are you talking about?

They reach an open spot.

Leo:    Did you take her here? To be alone?

Peter:  Leo, you're starting to annoy me. There's absolutely nothing going on. But if you want to know for sure,
why don't you ask your wife? Why bother me?

Leo:    I'm not done with you, Father.

Leo turns around and walks away.

SCENE 11 int: day

Leo walks in. He's angry. Assumpta's behind the bar, the pub is empty.

Leo:    I'm only asking you this once. Do you love the priest?

Assumpta:       What are you talking about?

Leo:    Answer me!

Assumpta:       Don't you dare speak to me like that!

Leo:    Softly  I'm your husband, Assumpta. I married you.

Assumpta:       There's nothing going on between Peter and me, if that's what you want to know.

Leo:    I want to know the truth.

Assumpta:       That is the truth.

Leo:    The town tells me different.

Assumpta:       What tells the town?

Leo:    Oh, come on Assumpta! Don't tell me there is no gossip in this village.

Assumpta:       You know better than me.

Leo:    Don't change the subject. I asked you a question, remember?

Assumpta:       And I answered you. But if you want to know for sure, why don't you ask Peter yourself?

Leo:    I already did.

Assumpta:       And what did he say?

Leo:    Oh, forget it.

He turns around and gets upstairs.

Scene 12 int: day.
St. Joseph's

Peter sits in the church. He stares at the statue of the Virgin Mother. Fr Mac sits behind him, but Peter doesn't
see him. Then Peter finishes his prayer and comes up. When he turned around he sees Fr Mac.

Peter:  Fr Mac, you gave me a fright.

Fr Mac: I praised. You're alright?

Peter:  Sure.

Fr Mac: Sit down.

Peter:  Okay.

Fr Mac: You look tired.

Peter:  I'm okay.

Fr Mac: Do you remember when we first met, I told you something about your pre-processor?

Peter:  He only came for the suit.

Fr Mac: No one could ever say that about you. And that's not a fashion statement, Father. You're a good priest. People tell me and they can't all be wrong. You're not like old priests, but then there aren't many of my kind left. So, what are you going to do?

Peter:  I'm not sure what you mean, Father.

Fr Mac: I bet you're away.

Peter:  No, wait. What?

Fr Mac: I have eyes. I have instincts. I know a crisis when I see one.

Peter:  Can we get some air?

They leave the church and walk outside.

Fr Mac: So another one bites the dust.

Peter:  None of this is simple, Father.

Fr Mac: I won't make you.

Peter:  You want me to stay?

Fr Mac: I've pushed up your ego enough for one day, Father. The question is, what do you want? And if you stay in the priesthood, how long till your, how should I put it, moment of truth?

Peter:  This is different.

Fr Mac: Oh, this is the real thing. That's nice.

Peter:  What I'm saying, Father, and you know this, I wouldn't expect to meet someone like Assumpta again.

Fr Mac: You haven't been much outside Ballykissangel, have you Father?

Peter:  No.

Fr Mac: This country is full of Assumpta Fitzgeralds.

Fr Mac walks away, leaving Peter behind.

Scene 13 int: evening falls.
Eamon's farm.

Eamon, Liam and Donal are looking at the sheep. They're behind the fence now.

Eamon:  My poor sheep.

Liam:   Look at it from the bright side. There won't be car crashing into them anymore.

Donal:  And they'll have a much happier life.

Eamon:  Thank you, both.

Liam and Donal walk away.

Donal:  Say, Liam. Fancy some stew tonight?


Assumpta's still behind the bar. Leo walks down the stair's, carrying a suitcase.

Assumpta:       Leo, what in the name of God are you doing?

Leo:    I'm leaving.

Assumpta:       Why?

Leo:    Look outside and you'll find your answer. You can't toy with me.

Assumpta walks towards him.

Assumpta:       Leo, don't. You're being silly. We can work this out.

Leo:    No, we can't. We've had our chance twice and now it's too late. I'm sorry.

He opens the door and walks out. Then he turns around.

Leo:    I can't be married to a woman who loves someone else.

Assumpta is speechless. Leo sighs and then leaves for good.

Scene 14 int: evening falls.

The regulars are in the pub. Assumpta's pouring drinks.

Siobhian:       Where's the man? Is he working again?

Assumpta:       He's gone.

Brendan:        Gone? Gone where?

Assumpta:       Dunno. London, I suppose.

Padraig:        Why?

Assumpta looks up; there are tears in her eyes.

Assumpta:       If all I knew...

She smashes the drinks on the bar and goes into the kitchen. Brendan, Siobhain and Padraig look at one another.
Then Brendan goes after her. He finds Assumpta leaning against the stove. Tears are rolling down her cheeks.

Brendan:        Assumpta, are you alright?

Assumpta:       No, I'm not.

Brendan walks towards her. She leans her head against his shoulder and cries out loud.

Brendan:        Shh, tell me what's wrong. It's Peter, isn't it?

Assumpta looks up.

Assumpta:       What?

Brendan:        You're in love with him.

Assumpta dries her tears.

Assumpta:       What do you mean?

Brendan:        Come, I've seen the way you look at each other. I've known you for so many years, Assumpta. You can't toy with me.

Assumpta stares out of the window. She does not turn around when she speaks.

Assumpta:       Leo's found out about Peter and me. Peter spent last night here, with me. We slept in the chairs.
I don't know how Leo found out exactly, but he was furious. He left this afternoon.

She turns around.

Assumpta:       He can be so jealous.

Brendan:        You must talk to him. I'll take the bar.

Assumpta:       But I don't know where he went...

Brendan:        Assumpta...

Assumpta:       Oh, you mean...Right.

She starts to head for the door.

Brendan:        First wash your face.

She washes her face by the tap.

Assumpta:       Brendan, I'd appreciate if you didn't tell Siobhain and Padraig. I have to sort this out first.

Brendan:        Sure, no problem.

Assumpta leaves. Brendan stays behind, thinking. Then he goes into the bar.

Scene 15 int: night
Peter's place.

Peter is in his living room, reading a book. Someone knocks on the door. He opens it.

Assumpta:       It's over.

Peter:  What is?

Assumpta:       My married life.

Tears come to her eyes again.

Peter:  Come in.

They go into the kitchen.

Peter:  Can I get you anything?

Assumpta:       I'd like some water.

She dries her eyes and sits down at the table. Peter hands her a glass of water and seats himself across the table.

Peter:  What happened?

Assumpta:       I'd better ask you. Leo spoke to you, didn't he?

Peter sighs.

Peter:  He did. He told me to get my hands off of you. We're in trouble, aren't we?

Assumpta:       Not anymore. Leo left me this afternoon. I'm free as a bird, more or less.

She looks at him. Then she starts crying again.

Assumpta:       I'm sorry. I should be happy now. But I feel so miserable. I mean, I am being selfish?

Peter:  No you're not. You deserve a better man.

Assumpta smiles.

Assumpta:       Didn't someone tell me not too long ago that I couldn't had chosen a better man?

Peter:  You are special. Someone just told me you're everywhere. All over the country.

He takes her hands and looks her in the eyes.

Peter:  But I don't think so. I think there's only one of you. And I can't let you go. I want you in my life and I'll do
everything it takes. Whatever you want. So don't run away from me.

Assumpta:       So Brendan was right.

Peter:  Brendan?

Assumpta:       He's the one that sent me here right now. I think he knows more than we do.

Peter:  I guess you're right.

Assumpta:       So what now?

Peter:  We do what has to be done. When we find out what that is.

Assumpta:       And in the meantime?

Peter:  Pray.

Assumpta:       A married woman and a Catholic priest.

Peter:  Don't say that out loud! People will talk.

Assumpta:       People already talk. They always talk.

She sighs.

Assumpta:       Look, I have to get back. Brendan's looking after the bar for me.

Peter:  I see. I'll go with you.

Assumpta:       No, you better wait a few minutes. I don't want to raise suspicious yet.

Peter:  Right.

Assumpta leaves.

Scene 16 int: night.
Egan's place.

Niamh and Ambrose are having dinner.

Ambrose:        Leo's gone, did you know that?

Niamh:  Gone, what do you mean?

Ambrose:        I saw him leave with a suitcase this afternoon.

Niamh:  And you're telling me now? I have to see Assumpta.

Ambrose:        She'll be fine. We're having dinner, remember? And you'll be working in half an hour. You can talk to her then.
Niamh:  Don't you think she'll need me? I'm her friend.

Ambrose:        If she needed you, she'll come to you. Just finish your dinner.

Niamh:  You're right.

Scene 17: int night.
Fitzgerald's kitchen.

Niamh and Assumpta are in the kitchen.

Niamh:  You could at least have told him the truth.

Assumpta:       Why? He already knew. It was his fault too to marry me.

Niamh:  The poor man.

Assumpta:       Hey, you're supposed to be my friend.

Niamh:  I'm sorry, but you let a perfectly man running out of your life, do you realise that?

Assumpta:       He's just not what I wanted, that's all.

Niamh:  Then what do you want?

Assumpta:       Come on, Niamh. You're not going to tell me you don't know why I dumped Leo?

Niamh:  You're right. I just want you to be happy, Assumpta. But he's a priest, for God's sake!

Assumpta:       He says he'll leave the priesthood for me.

Niamh:  He what? And what about Kieran's christening in two weeks?

Assumpta:       Oh, God. I completely forgot about that. Why don't you ask Fr Mac?

Niamh:  Fr Mac? Over my dead body. You two just have to wait a few more weeks. You've been waiting three years,
what's in a couple of days?

Assumpta:       You're right. I'll talk to Peter about it.

Scene 18 int: night.

Siobhain, Padraig and Brendan are in the bar.

Siobhian:       What's all going on with Assumpta? And where's Leo?

Padraig:        I don't know. You think they had a fight?

Brendan says nothing, but his face tells much more.

Siobhian:       Brendan? What are you hiding?

Brendan:        Assumpta asked me not to tell you.

Padraig:        You're right. She'll come to us when she's ready. But can't you talk to her, Siobhain? You know, girl talk?

Siobhian:       No, you just said yourself we have to be patient. I'm also not telling everything to you two.

Brendan:        What's your secret?

Siobhian:       Nothing. I'd like another pint.

Padraig:        Yeah, me too.

Scene 19 int: early morning
Assumpta's bedroom

Assumpta's asleep. Peter sneaks into her bedroom. He slips between the sheets behind her and pulls his arms around her. He strikes her hair and kisses her cheek. She slowly wakes up and kisses him back over her shoulder.

Assumpta:       Morning.

Peter:  Morning. I'm sorry I woke you.

Assumpta:       It doesn't matter. I like to be awoken like this every morning.

She rolls over.

Assumpta:       What time is it?

Peter:  Too early to get up.

He kisses her again, striking his hands along her body.

Peter:  I love you.

He rolls over, pulling Assumpta on top of him and they're starting to make love.

Scene 20 int: day
Assumpta's bedroom

Peter and Assumpta lay in bed.

Peter:  I can't believe I chose to miss this for the rest of my life. I just love you so much.

Assumpta:       I'm so sorry I ever got married.

Peter:  You don't know half how sorry I was when I heard.

Assumpta:       You seemed really happy for me.

Peter:  That was then. I already heard it the day before. Niamh told me. I almost ran out and cried myself to sleep
that night. I wished I had told you how I felt before I left to England.

Assumpta:       It surprises me you didn't got married yourself.

They laugh.

Peter:  We have to tell the people. They have to know I'm gonna leave the priesthood.

Assumpta:       I wanted to talk to you about that. You promised to christen Kieran in three weeks, remember?

Peter:  Oh, God. Yes, I forgot. Can't Fr Mac do it?

Assumpta:       Niamh tells me she only wants you. So we have to hold on till then.

Peter:  I suppose so. Can't they advance it?

Assumpta:       You're kidding, right?

Peter:  Yes, I was.

Assumpta:       Anyway, I'm still married and it'll take a while to get that undone. So in the meantime we either can
commit adultery and forget about your celibacy openly, or keep it secret for a few weeks.

Peter:  How hard can that be?

Assumpta:       Harder than you think if you open your eyes.

Peter:  We'll work it out. As long as we have each other.

They kiss.