Hello. My username is Violindance7. The following is an original prequel/sequel for the 2004 play, Almost, Maine, written by John Cariani. My university did the play for one of our seasons a few years ago and some of us got to talking about how the characters have similarities. In fact, one time, the actors, who double cast on roles, did an exercise where the characters they portrayed had conversations with each other. So, East would talk to Randy. Glory to Hope. Jimmy to Lendall. Sandrine to Rhonda. Gayle to Marci. Steve to Daniel. Phil to Dave. Chad to Pete. And Marvalyn to Ginette. (Sadly Villian and Suzette didn't have much to say to each other.) There would be some key similarity or difference that would help the actors understand both people. I've decided to put thought to paper. Some of the conversations will take place before the play. Some will take place afterwards. All will look at what it means to find love in a world full of craziness, and a metaphor here and there. Enjoy!
Before and After Almost, Maine
A Prequel/Sequel Fanfiction
Chap 1: Around the World
The actress who played Marvalyn and Ginette talked about how both of them are kind of hopeful people. Ginette is a girl who took a shot in the dark and told a boy she loved him. Marvalyn is a woman who stays with a man because though he beats her, she still thinks they can work it out. The difference is, Ginette was willing to walk around the world for Pete, yet she couldn't say the same for Marvalyn. Hope can lead to love, but it can also lead to despair, as Daniel shows us in the show. The question is, how far around the world would you walk, for a chance to make someone smile? And how long can you go on before you have to face reality that there's nothing worth fighting for?
Marvalyn didn't know how she got here. She didn't know what she had done wrong. All of a sudden, Eric was mad at her. She kept trying to figure out what she had done wrong. She had ironed all of his shirts. The laundry was folded. She had cooked dinner. She didn't even say anything. Yet all of a sudden, he was angry. He threw a plate. And then it all went blank. Now, she was in the supermarket. They needed milk. Maybe that was what he was angry about?
Marvalyn jumped with a start. "Sorry. I must've dozed off there."
"That's all right." Ginette opened the glass door and took out a gallon of milk. "Is everything all right? You looked pretty out of it there."
"Oh, yes." She tried to smile. But from the girl's face, she could tell it was probably more of a grimace. She reached for the milk and immediately felt the pain shoot up her arm. She cried out and dropped the milk. "Dammit." As the milk slowly spread across the floor, she just wanted to drown in the milk puddle and never have to deal with anything again. No more yelling, no more fighting, no more boys who made her thoughts jumbled.
"Would you like to sit down? There's a bench outside and clearly you need a moment."
Marvalyn wanted to run out the store in embarrassment. But the thought of going back filled her with dread. "This is going to sound sad, but please."
After they got a worker to clean up the milk, Ginette put back her milk and they sat on the bench outside. Marvalyn took a deep breath and realized how sad her life was at that moment. She was sitting on a bench with a girl who was probably still in high school and probably felt sorry for her. She was hiding from her boyfriend, and she definitely didn't want to go back and face the other guy. She was stuck.
"So, is everything all right? You seemed pretty hurt when you reached for that milk."
"Oh, it's nothing. Just a small sprain." From when Eric hit her.
"Well if it makes you feel better, my feet are pretty sore from walking. Last night, I walked around the world."
Marvalyn had to suppress a laugh. "Really? And why would you do something like that?"
"Well I still don't fully understand it. But let me try and explain it." She made a snowball from the snow on the ground and held it in front of her. "Pretend this is the world. And say on top of this snowball is you. And directly next to you is someone you truly care about. Theoretically, you are as far away from that person as possible. But if you walk all around the world, you can eventually reach them, and you will be as close to them as you can possibly get."
"I don't follow. I mean what's the difference if you're next to them now and next to them after walking around the world. I mean, it's the same proximity; you're just using more energy in the second scenario. Not to mention that is impossible and impractical."
"Well like I said, I still don't fully understand it. Pete can explain it better than I can. But after I did it, I think I understood it. You see, when he first said that, I thought it was stupid, like you just said. So I took a walk to clear my head. And I looked up at the aurora borealis and I started to think about us. You see, right before he said it, we said 'I love you' to each other. And it was wonderful. But I realized it's one thing to say 'I love you' and another thing to mean it. And I asked myself, 'Would I walk around the world just to be close to Pete?' And the truth is, I would. So I did."
"I see." She didn't see.
"So, how'd you sprain your arm? And shouldn't you be resting it?"
"Oh, I fell. It doesn't really hurt. I just forgot when I picked up that milk." The girl just kept looking at her. She wanted her to go away, but clearly she was here to stay. "So, this Pete, what makes you think he's worth walking around the world for?"
"Well, I don't know. He always comes up with crazy things like that. Sometimes, it makes my head feel muddled and I have to think really hard before I understand them. But I guess it's the crazy things he says that makes me like him. And when I see him, I feel all warm inside. Like there's nothing he wouldn't do for me and I wouldn't do for him. Do you have anyone like that?"
The question took her by surprise. She couldn't answer to this girl, because she couldn't answer it for herself. "Um, I don't know. I mean I don't even know you and that's kind of personal."
"Oh, okay. Well I'm Ginette for what it's worth."
"Marvalyn." They shook hands.
"Do you think you'll be alright or do you need another minute?"
Marvalyn contemplated her choices. The girl seemed nice but way too nosy. On the other hand, she was in no rush to get back to Eric, or to see Steve again. And it might be nice to talk about what happened. Even if this proved she was at the lowest point in her life.
"Actually, Ginette, do you mind if I talked to you about something."
"Well, when you asked me if I had someone I'd do anything for, it made me realize, I don't. I mean I used to. See, my boyfriend and I live together. And when we first started dating, everything was great. Maybe then, I would have walked around the world for him. Now, we fight a lot. I still think I could do a lot for him. But I wonder if I would do anything for him. Or if he would do anything for me."
"Why do you think that? Are your fights serious?"
"Well, sometimes they're serious. We keep getting noise complaints from Ma Dudley, and every now and then we kind of throw things at each other. Like I said, we didn't always fight. We used to be happy. But one day, we stopped being happy."
"So why are you still together?"
"Because I know we can still be happy. I mean, we were happy once, why can't we be happy again? We just need to put in the effort and we can do it."
"But is he putting in the effort?"
"I don't know."
"So why are you?"
"Because I'm scared. If I stop making an effort, it's like I'm admitting to myself I can't be in a happy relationship. Maybe if I couldn't get hurt, I'd be brave enough to leave him. But I can get hurt."
"Well you're getting hurt now. Your arm is sprained because of him, isn't it?"
Marvalyn didn't want to admit it, but she was right. Either way, she would get hurt.
"It's too bad you're not like that guy they say can't feel pain. That'd be pretty neat."
Marvalyn smiled at the thought of telling her what happened, then immediately shook her head.
"It would be neat, but that's not really a way to live. You'd still get hurt, you just wouldn't realize it."
"Well if you can't feel pain, are you really hurt?"
"I'd say so. Just because you can't feel it doesn't mean the scars aren't there. You just don't realize until something bad happens and you can't ignore it, and you're too hurt to ever get better."
Suddenly, she realized what she had to do. She got up.
"And you have to get hurt now, so you can get better later. Thank you, Ginette. I hope you remain happy with Pete."
"Thanks. What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to walk around the world."
"No. For me. And maybe, I'll love myself enough to get hurt. And get better later."
She left and began her walk around the world.