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----------------------------Monologue Mania Day # 1622 Not So Fast! Janet S. Tiger (c) July 26, 2018
Winner – 2014 Script Tease of New One-Acts - Honorable Mention
Not So Fast! © 2014
A play in one act
by Janet S. Tiger
Setting - Teenage girl’s bedroom
Characters - D – female, teenager
M – her mother
(It's dark, a teenage girl's bedroom and we hear moaning, a light goes on, a girl- D- is on the floor, very still, starts to stir)
D- I did it, I can't believe I finally did it.
(She goes to a nightstand next to the bed, picks up a bottle of pills, it is empty.)
D- They'll never find me - they'll never hurt me again.
(She puts the bottle on the nightstand, takes a deep sigh.)
D- I guess I thought this would be different.
(She puts her arms around herself, starts to shudder.)
D- Wait a minute, I'm not cold. I'm not hot.
(She pinches herself)
D- I don't feel anything at all.
(We see a lump under the covers of the bed move a bit, then we hear a muffled voice.)
M- Of course you don't feel anything - you're dead.
(The girl looks around, sees the moving covers, jumps back.)
D- That must be my body, still moving...
M- Wrong again.
(The covers come off and we see her mother, fully dressed.)
D- (Stunned) Mom, what are you doing here? Are you dead, too?
M- Of course not! Do you think I would do something so stupid?
D- There you go, judging me again!
M- As well you should be, young lady. You have done something which allows everyone to judge you. But me, I am not really here to judge.
D- What do you mean? Didn't you just do just that?
M- I forgot the rules.
D- Rules? What rules?
M- You made a pact with ....well, is it the devil? And I made my own pact - there are rules that come with each agreement. You'll figure it out. Anyway, I warned you!
D- When was this? Before or after I took the pills?
M- You never listen to me, so I am here to make sure you finally do.
D- You just talk so much, mom, how am I supposed to pay attention?
M- You have no choice now, it's just the two of us.
D- So this is hell, or purgatory, or some other horrid place?
M- For you, yes, for me, I'm in heaven.
D- I thought you were still alive.
M- I am- heaven on earth is purely subjective. With you dead, I get you completely to myself - what a dream for a mother! We can talk until the end of time.
D- About what? How much pain I've caused?
M- Good place to start. You must've been in a lot of pain to do this, honey, and my job now is to make sure you are in worse pain.
D- That's not possible!
M- (Laughs) We'll see....let's start with your birth.
(Her mother takes out a book of photos and we don't hear her, but she is glowing about her baby. The daughter listens for a minute, then covers her ears.)
D- I don't understand this, I thought taking those pills would make all this go away!
(The mother starts laughing, we can hear her now.)
M- That's a good one! Nothing goes away here - I just get to keep talking.
D- No......please stop!
D- There must be some way out of here.....
(She starts looking around, is perplexed.)
M- Said the joker to the thief....
(The daughter looks confused)
M- It's an old song from a galaxy long ago, far, far away.....
D- You mean when you were a kid....
M- Very good.
D- There are no windows, no doors......
M- No way out. No escape. No exit. No chance. No leaving. No No No
(The girl puts her hands over her ears)
D- Shut up!
M- Don't talk to me like that, young lady!
D- I'll talk whatever way I want - I'm dead - I have the right!
M- Rights? Who said you have any rights? (Very angry) When you are born you are given the right to a pursuit of happiness, not that you will catch it! And no one said that you have the right to spit in the face of everyone you know! I don't care how much pain you are in, you are greatly loved and everyone wants you to live so you can pursue your dreams! Here, look at the rest of your life....
(She takes out another box, and in it is a cell phone, which she turns on, and we hear laughter.)
M- That was your sixth birthday, and you were happy....
D- That's because I didn't know any better....
M- And here you are in third grade.....
D- Still living in a dream world, before the divorce, before we moved, and before I was the new girl.....
(Her mother looks at the video and no longer smiles)
D- Before they started teasing me because I didn't have the right clothes….
M- (Affected) I had no idea......no idea it was so painful....
D- And they would laugh at me.....
M- I was busy because we had so much to do, and I was working....
D- And you never had time to listen....
M- …and the years just passed.....
D- And I hated you for thinking everything was fine....
(Her mother hangs her head and puts out her hand to touch her daughter, who pulls back.)
D- Don't touch me.....
M- I know, when you're dead, you can't be touched, that's another rule.
(They are both quiet for a moment, and the mother reaches out her hand, but doesn't touch her daughter.)
M- What happened today, honey?
D- (Done this before) I'm not your honey!
M- Don't you wanna beeee?
(They laugh and the daughter stands up. We hear the sounds of a school.)
D- There's one girl, Tiffany, she is the worst. The others follow her like she's the queen....
(We hear a group of girls, laughing. The lights start to focus on the girl.)
D- For some reason, she's had it in for me since my very first day......
(The laughter increases.)
D- And today, I don't know, something just snapped in me.....
(There is laughter and then a very loud smacking noise, followed by silence, a gasp, and a girl crying, then running steps.)
M- (Amazed) You hit her back?
D- No, I hit her to start. And to finish. They're probably gonna kick me out of school....so I left and I came home and I took these pills and I went to sleep, and I died.
M- (Silent, then quiet) Lemme get this straight - you slapped a girl who has been taunting you for years, and you committed suicide because of it?
D- When you put it that way....it doesn't sound like such a good idea.
M- The suicide part, no, but the slapping…well, actually, it sounds like they should give you a medal....
D- Don’t lie to me, I know I’m in trouble…..
M- When did I ever lie to you?
D- Well, there was Santa Claus, and the tooth fairy, and you said the dentist pulling my tooth wouldn’t hurt…..
M- That didn’t hurt! You had novocaine!
D- But when the novocaine wore off it hurt like crazy!
M- But if I’d told you it would have hurt later, you’d never had the bad tooth pulled, and you could have had a lot more pain!
D- So you’re saying….let me understand this…it’s ok to lie when it’s to prevent pain?
M- Don’t put words in my mouth….and everyone tells their kids about the tooth fairy and Santa Claus…..
D- Those weren’t the only lies….were they, Mom?
M- So…so I gave you a tiny bit of mental novacaine?
D – (Been waiting to say this for a long time) You knew Dad wasn’t coming with us when we moved, did you?
(Her mother takes a deep breath)
M- I could hope, couldn’t I? Is hoping a lie? Did I ever lie to you about taking care of you? Did I keep my promises to get you to visit Five Flags, even when you know I hate those rides? Did I lie about that? And what about you? Did you tell the truth about how things were going in school? Didn’t I ask you if everything was all right and you would say….
D- Fine, everything’s fine.
M- (Same time) Fine, everything’s fine….
M- Was that the truth?
D- I thought you just said it was okay to lie in order to protect someone from pain, didn’t you?
(Her mother is very affected by this.)
M- Now she listens to me! (Thinks for a moment, wipes her eyes) All right, maybe it’s time for both of us to stop lying. What happened today? What brought you, you who hates to kill spiders, my daughter who loves all animals and doesn’t even like to swat flies, what brought to violence…to slapping that girl?
(It’s hard for her daughter to share this, but she sits down and begins to tell her mother, and as she describes the events, we see and hear them,)
D- She wasn’t just nasty in class, or in the hall, or in gym…she started putting things on Facebook about me….nasty things….
(We hear snippets of computer typing, see and/or hear – ‘Did you see what she was doing today? It was so disgusting to watch her eat that sandwich with the food dripping out…here’s a picture….’ And more laughter, which grows….until we hear a giant slap, and crying The stage goes dark, and there is a gentle sound of snoring. Sunlight now sneaks in through a window and we see the girl asleep in the bed, her mother watching in a chair beside. The girl stirs, starts when she sees her mother.)
D- Mom, is that you?
M- Who were you expecting, Mother Theresa?
D- Were you here all night?
M- We're worried about you, honey. I didn't like the way you were looking and talking yesterday. And you came home in such a funk, and went to bed early, without any dinner…And then your friend Danielle called and told me what happened…
D- (Touched and horrified) So you know….. and you came into my room and watched me sleep?
M- You weren't doing a lot of sleeping - you were talking in your sleep.
(The girl is startled.)
D- What did I say?
M- You think I remember? I didn't sleep much, maybe I'll recall when I get some shuteye.
D- I had the strangest dreams, Mom.
M- I figured as much.
D- You were there....
M- Anybody else from Kansas?
D- Just you.
M- So it was a nightmare?
(They both laugh together)
(The mother holds out a bottle that is empty.)
M- How many did you take?
D- Oh, my God, you know!
M- A mother always knows.
D- I took them all.
D- I think....
(Her mother holds open a hand and shows her a handful of pills)
D- (Remembering) Maybe …..I took just one...
M- Maybe that explains the bad dreams......where did you get these?
D- From one of my friends at school....
M- Some friend!
D- I told her they were to help me sleep after all the caffeine - all the kids use 'em.
M- (Automatic) If they all jump off the bridge, will you?
(The girl sits on the bed, puts her head in her hands.)
D- I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.
M- You know I love you - we all love you. (Deep breath) If anything happened to you, we’d be destroyed – me, your father, your brothers…..
D- They’re all busy with their lives.
M- Busy doesn’t mean they don’t care.
D- (Pressure building) But everything builds up and it feels like I can’t breathe! There’s school, and that means math, and …and how will I pass all that math and graduate? And I want to get a job, a real job, not one walking dogs and babysitting! And when I think a boy likes me, you know, like that Bradley, he moves away, and…..(sadder) I keep wondering if you and Dad would ever get back together, and I know that’s never gonna happen because he’s gonna marry that Jessie, she can’t stand me and I don’t want to cut myself like Erica does and ….and the pain gets so bad!
M- (Quiet) I didn’t know it was this bad, honey. I’m sorry I didn’t hear you screaming for help.
D- So what do I do, Mom? I hate my life!
M- So we'll get you help. Therapy, medication if necessary....anything but this.
D- (Smiles) I thought you said you like this……you liked torturing me for all eternity!
M- (Confused) When was that?
D- Last night.
M- (Understands) In your dream?
D- That’s right.
M- It’s simple…… I lied.
D- (Joking, but not really) I thought you said you'd never lie to me again.
M- I lied.
D- When does this lying stop, Mom?
(Her mother takes her and puts her on the bed.)
M- We're gonna try now.....is that fair? You have to stop, too. You have to ask for help before you do something stupid like this......
D- I thought you weren’t going to judge me!
M- I never agreed to that – and that’s no lie! And if you try to kill yourself, I will follow you to the ends of reality, and beyond, and make sure you regret that decision not till the end of your life, but to the end of eternity!
D- You know, Mom, that sounds like the Mom from last night…..the one who sounds a little nuts.
M- Good, I’m glad to be nuts – alive and nuts!
(She goes over to her daughter)
M- Is it okay to hug you?
(Her daughter nods and leans in for the hug.)
M- And let’s keep to that idea of no more lies….can we do that?
D- I can if you can.
M- All right, my dear, I can…and to prove it, I am going to tell you about something I never told you before….I didn’t lie, just never told you. It may not be a lie, but maybe, maybe it’s…less than the truth, and I want us both to stay on the truth path. Okay?
(Her daughter nods as the lights start to dim.)
M- (Deep breath) I was right around the age you are now, and there was a girl who hated me because she thought I stole her boyfriend.
D- How come you never told me this before?
M- Maybe…maybe it was because I felt it made me seem, I don’t know, not so strong.
D- So was he cute? Did you really steal him?
M- No! What happened was, we had moved onto the same street where he lived, so he had started walking home with me …..
(Her daughter gives her a look.)
M- (Smiling in memory) Maybe because he liked me. But that did not make her any happier, what was her name? I can see her face…but what was her name? Anyway, she started attacking me….not on Facebook, this was back in the stone age, before the Internet, she started physically doing things like tripping me, knocking my plate down in the cafeteria…..and then one day…I actually fought back……
(Her daughter is listening and smiling as the sounds of a girl fight are heard, similar to her daughter’s, but different as the lights fade to black. The end.)
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