Author's note: This is a play that I wrote for our school's drama program when we decided to put on a play featuring all the seniors in drama, but you should know that I didn't make it all by myself. I didn't create the characters or decide what was to happen to them; I merely wrote the story. What we did was to have each participating senior, including myself, write a profile for a character they would play and give them several 'defining moments' throughout the course of their life. My job was merely to work all of these characters and events together, to show how the different characters would interact with each other and how each of them would react to the various events they have to face in their lives and the lives of their friends. My thanks go to the following people for their contribution of characters: Beth (Chloe), Britney (Jenna), Chris (Harrison), Hillarie (Susan), Justin (Jeremy), Lauren (Brooke), Savannah (Isabelle), Shaun (Dax), Virginia (Rae), and Zach (David). Peter is the one character whom I created. All that being said, and credit being directed where it is due, I hope you enjoy the play.)
(Lights up. All characters are standing, facing the audience. They are not aware of or interacting with each other; they are talking to the audience, rather than to each other. )
ISABELLE: It's funny how life works sometimes.
PETER: Always changing, taking drastic turns when you least expect it.
HARRISON: We try to remember the good times, and look past the bad.
JEREMY: But what does it leave you with in the end?
DAX: So much death and sadness…
CHLOE: Loss. So many memories…
BROOKE: So many happy years…
DAVID: Very special moments…
PETER: Years wasted…missed opportunities…mistakes…
JEREMY: And you just never know when something big is gonna happen.
HARRISON: Something that will drastically affect the years you have left.
ISABELLE: Like marrying the perfect person!
CHLOE: Like losing your perfect person.
RAE: But that's just life. New people come into your life, and others are taken out of it.
DAX: As hard as it is, you've got to learn to push through all the pain.
JENNA: You can't do anything about it, you've just got to move on and see what happens.
SUSAN: And you'll never know what would have happened, if things had been different…
(Lights down. Characters change poses and positions. When lights come up, they are all fairly close together, though BROOKE might be slightly distanced from the rest of the group since she is nervous and has trouble interacting. They are all around eleven years old.)
ISABELLE: The beginning of summer vacation! This is absolutely the best!
HARRISON: Isabelle, you think everything is 'the best'.
ISABELLE: I know. (Giggles).
SUSAN: Still, it is summer vacation, and that is a pretty big thing.
JENNA: Yeah! This is almost as good as Grandparents' Day!
JEREMY: Grandparents' Day?
JENNA: Yes, Grandparents' Day! It's my favorite holiday! Everyone always says their favorite holiday is Christmas or their birthday or Halloween or something. Those are boring favorites. I like Grandparents' Day.
JEREMY: Do you even know when Grandparents' Day is?
JENNA: Okay, so I don't quite remember…
JEREMY: I'd take summer vacation any day.
DAX: Yeah, me too.
CHLOE: And can you believe we're going to be starting middle school next?
JEREMY: Come on, it's summer! Do we have to talk about school?
PETER: (Ignoring him.) It seems like just yesterday that we were finishing elementary school…
HARRISON: It was yesterday, silly.
PETER: Yeah, that's why it was supposed to be funny.
DAVID: I know we should enjoy the summer while we can…but what do you think middle school will be like?
BROOKE: I don't know…I'm kind of nervous.
CHLOE: I'm not! Come on, we're big kids now!
RAE: School is school. It'll probably be just as boring as it always is.
SUSAN: (Sarcastically) Especially with Mom and Dad making sure that I always do my best at all my work, always have enough activities to go to, and always have enough to do so I'm never bored and I know how much they love me. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
RAE: I'm with you there, Sue.
PETER: Come on, guys. Your parents want what's best for you.
SUSAN: Oh, yes. Believe me, I know that already.
BROOKE: Isn't middle school supposed to be a lot harder than elementary school?
JEREMY: I don't know, but I didn't think elementary was too hard.
DAVID: Well, yeah, you always did great in school, Mr. Skipped-Fourth-Grade. The rest of us don't always have it quite that easy.
ISABELLE: My big sister said that you had to go to all your different classes and keep your stuff in your locker and then carry your books around with you whenever you go to class. It sounds complicated.
DAVID: Yeah, and there's no recess. And I heard you have to start changing your clothes when you go to gym class.
DAVID: I don't know, something about our bodies changing and sweating more when we grow up. My parents say I'll understand it when I get older.
JENNA: Eww, that sounds gross.
JEREMY: I thought girls liked to change their clothes.
JENNA: Well, yeah…
ISABELLE: Maybe sometimes… (She and JENNA giggle.)
SUSAN: Like Mom and Dad haven't bought me enough changes of nice clothes already…
HARRISON: (trying to be friendly) How about you, Dax?
DAX: (Hesitant to engage in conversation, since he is somewhat somber and withdrawn)
What about me?
HARRISON: How do you feel about school ending and summer beginning?
DAX: I…I like it.
ISABELLE: (Trying to join HARRISON.) Any big plans for the summer, Dax? Sometimes we go on vacation, visit family or something…
DAX: (glaring at her) Just stop asking me these things, will you?
ISABELLE: (surprised, scared) Um, okay…
HARRISON: (To ISABELLE.) It's not your fault, Belle. Dax just doesn't have much family left, that's all.
DAX: I can speak for myself, Harrison.
HARRISON: Of course you can, Dax. But you know she didn't mean anything. So, um, are you doing anything big for the summer?
DAX: No. We're going to be staying here, doing nothing, all summer.
JEREMY: You'll still have us to hang out with.
DAX: (Ignoring him.) This summer will probably be just as bad as the school year.
CHLOE: I don't see why all of you are so down. We're talking about a new phase of life here! New teachers, new friends, new everything!
PETER: Yeah, and I get to be in the church youth group now. I mean, I liked regular Sunday school, but the youth group will be more—
JEREMY: Everything is always about church with you, isn't it?
PETER: Not exactly—I mean, it's about God too—
JEREMY: Same thing.
PETER: No it isn't. We go to church to learn about God.
JENNA: You tell him, Pete. It's important to go to church.
JEREMY: (Shrugs.) Sure, that's cool if your families like to go to church. My mom just never wanted to take us, that's all.
DAVID: (To PETER, quietly.) He always was kind of a 'momma's boy'.
JEREMY: I'm not a momma's boy! I'm just with my mom most of the time because I don't see Dad very much…you know, he always says he's out on business or something.
SUSAN: I sure know what that's like.
RAE: Kind of wish my dad would leave on business.
ISABELLE: (Changing the subject.) Anyway, you know what's really great? That all of us have gone to the same school and been friends for all of grade school…and now we're all going to the same middle school too!
PETER: Well, I don't know if all of us were always friends…
DAVID: Yeah, remember in kindergarten, when me and you used to pick on Isabelle because she couldn't—
ISABELLE: (Annoyed) Yes, I remember that.
CHLOE: Still, we've all had some pretty good times as friends.
BROOKE: It always took me a while to make friends, but I'm glad I met all of you.
RAE: (to the girls) Remember when we all had our first slumber party? At Jenna's house, I think?
JENNA: Yep, that was definitely my house.
ISABELLE: Now, that was fun.
SUSAN: I was so excited to get away from my house for a night. Your Mom seemed like she really loved you, Jenna.
JENNA: And then Rae came over again when she ran away…
RAE: Do we have to talk about that again?
CHLOE: Playing games at recess…
PETER: Seeing who could jump off the swing the highest.
DAVID: Getting hurt and getting in trouble because we raced each other through the slide.
HARRISON: Ah, now that was fun.
JEREMY: Yep, those were the days…
(Lights down. Exit CHLOE, JENNA, JEREMY, and SUSAN. ISABELLE, DAVID, PETER, BROOKE, and RAE are on stage. On one side, DAVID and PETER are standing together, talking, with ISABELLE standing a few feet away from them. Her shoes are untied. On the other side, BROOKE and RAE are sitting down next to each other, looking uncomfortable. They speak to each other occasionally, but mostly sit in awkward silence. They are all five.)
DAVID: (Pointing) Hey look, Pete, it's Untied Girl!
PETER: (Waves) Hi, Untied Girl! (Laughs)
ISABELLE: Stop calling me that! It hurts my feelings.
DAVID: Well, then maybe you should learn how to tie your shoes.
PETER: I learned how to tie my shoes when I was in pre-school!
ISABELLE: Yeah? So?
DAVID: My mommy says I'm a big boy now because I can tie my own shoes.
ISABELLE: (Frustrated, angry) Well, my mommy loves me anyway, even if I don't know how to tie my stupid shoes!
PETER: Aww, she said stupid! I'm telling!
ISABELLE: I'm going to find some new friends. I don't like you guys anymore. (She walks over to RAE and BROOKE.)
DAVID: (Calling after her) Whatever! Girls are dumb anyway! (He and PETER laugh.)
ISABELLE: (To BROOKE and RAE) Hey, Brooke and Rae, can I play with you two?
BROOKE: Well, we weren't really playing anything…
ISABELLE: (Sitting down) Let's play something, then. I'd rather play with you two than with those stupid boys over there.
BROOKE: Boys are mean.
RAE: What were they doing this time?
ISABELLE: They keep making fun of me just because I can't tie my stupid shoes right!
RAE: Oh, you don't know how to tie your shoes yet?
BROOKE: It's really easy. Here, we can show you how. (BROOKE and ISABELLE crouch down, and BROOKE demonstrates how to tie a shoelace on ISABELLE's left shoe, narrating the process as she goes. "You put the strings like this, then you put this string through here", etc.) See? Just like that!
ISABELLE: (Excitedly) Whoa! Let me try! (She repeats the process on her right shoe, repeating BROOKE's verbal instructions as best she can. She is successful.) I did it! Now I can go show those boys! (She walks over to DAVID and PETER and points to her shoe.) Hey guys! Look what I did! I can tie my shoes now just like you! Ha!
PETER: She did it!
DAVID: Aw, no fair! She's not supposed to be able to do that!
(ISABELLE goes back to BROOKE and RAE.)
ISABELLE: Thanks for teaching me that, Brooke. I sure showed them!
BROOKE: You're welcome.
ISABELLE: You know what? I like you guys. I think the three of us should be friends.
RAE: I don't have very many friends.
BROOKE: Yeah, me neither.
ISABELLE: Well, you do now! Come on, let's go get the blocks or something.
(Lights down. All exit. Lights come up. There are three desks occupied by SUSAN, CHLOE, and JEREMY. SUSAN and CHLOE are closer together and talking to each other. JEREMY is a few feet away, staring at his desk and looking lonely. They are seven.)
SUSAN: Hey Chloe, do you know that kid over there?
CHLOE: (Looks over at him.) Oh, that's Jeremy O'Doyle.
SUSAN: Who's Jeremy O'Doyle?
CHLOE: He's a new kid. Mrs. Miller told me his name. She said his family moved here from Iceland or somewhere.
SUSAN: Iceland? Are you sure?
CHLOE: I don't know, it was some place like that.
SUSAN: Wonder why they came here.
CHLOE: I don't know, maybe his daddy got a new job or something.
SUSAN: Sometimes I wish my daddy would get a different job…
CHLOE: He doesn't look very happy. Maybe he's lonely.
SUSAN: Well, of
course he's lonely. It's his first day in a new school.
CHLOE: So why wouldn't he be happy? My mommy said she remembered that I was really excited on my first day of school.
SUSAN: Well, you've always been excited about school. Not everybody is like that. Some people are different, you know.
CHLOE: I think he's lonely.
SUSAN: He probably misses all his friends at his old school and he wants to be friends with our class, but he can't because he doesn't know any of us and he still feels like he belongs to his old school. I bet he wonders why his parents brought him here.
CHLOE: Maybe we should be his friends.
SUSAN: Yeah, let's go talk to him. (They get up and go to JEREMY.)
CHLOE: Hi, are you Jeremy?
CHLOE: I'm Chloe, and this is Susan. Welcome to our school!
JEREMY: Uh, thank you.
CHLOE: You're from Iceland, right?
JEREMY: No. Ireland.
SUSAN: See, I told you it wasn't Iceland.
CHLOE: Oh. So, um, can you still speak English and everything?
SUSAN: Duh, Chloe! He's been talking to us in English this whole time!
CHLOE: Oops. Oh, yeah. So, why'd you guys move here?
JEREMY: My father got a job here.
CHLOE: (To SUSAN) See, I knew it! (To JEREMY) What does your dad do?
JEREMY: I'm not sure exactly. Something with insurance, I think. He is very often away from home because he is working.
CHLOE: Do you have any friends here yet?
JEREMY: Um, no.
CHLOE: Oh. Well, can we be your friends?
JEREMY: Um…all right.
CHLOE: Yay! A new friend! (She extends her hand.) Pleased to meet you, friend Jeremy!
JEREMY: (Shakes her hand.) Please to meet you also, Miss Chloe.
CHLOE: So, what are things like in Iceland?
CHLOE: Oh, yeah. Right.
(Lights down. When they come up, all the guys are seated in chairs around a table, possibly with some on a nearby couch. They can have plates, cups, silverware, and napkins; if possible, there is a cake and some presents in the middle of the table. DAX is in a chair several feet away from the rest of them, and faced away from them, too. They are seven or eight.)
JEREMY: This is a great party, Harrison.
PETER: Yeah, and look at all the cool stuff you got! I can't wait 'til I turn eight.
DAVID: Is there any more ice cream?
HARRISON: No, David, that was the last of it. But thanks, Jeremy. I'm glad my parents let me have all of you over. I didn't know if they'd allow four guests here at once.
JEREMY: Well, in a way, it's really only like three guests.
PETER: What do you mean?
JEREMY: Dax over there hasn't eaten anything or played any of the games. He's hardly said a word since he's been here!
DAVID: Oh, yeah. Him. Are you sure you really needed to invite him, Harrison?
HARRISON: Hey guys, don't be so down on Dax. You should try to be nice to him. I mean, my mom told me that most of his relatives have died, and it's just him, his parents, and his sister now. Sure he's quiet, but he can be a nice guy if you get to know him, and he seems like he really needs some good friends. (By this point, DAX has realized that he is being talked about, and is sort of glaring at the others.)
JEREMY: Maybe he does…but sitting by himself all the time isn't gonna help him make them.
HARRISON: He's shy, but he really just needs a little help. You'll see. (He gets up and goes to sit down next to DAX.) Hey, Dax.
HARRISON: I'm glad you could make it to the party.
DAX: My parents made me come. They thought it would be good for me.
HARRISON: Oh. Well, I'm glad you're here.
DAX: Thank you.
HARRISON: Would you like to come have some cake?
HARRISON: Is something bothering you, Dax? Why are you sitting by yourself?
DAX: No, nothing's wrong. Well, okay, maybe it is. Not wrong exactly, I just…I don't really know what to do.
HARRISON: Don't know what to do about what?
DAX: I don't know what to do here. At a party. No one's ever invited me to one before…I've never really had that many friends.
HARRISON: Well, if you'd like, you can come over to meet the rest of your friends, and we'll show you what to do at a party. How does that sound?
DAX: Eh…I don't know.
HARRISON: Come on, Dax. It'll be good for you to get to know some people.
DAX: Um…okay. (He smiles slightly. HARRISON gets up and goes back toward the others, while DAX follows hesitantly.)
HARRISON: Hey guys, Dax is going to sit here with us. Can someone pass him the cake?
(Lights down. All exit. Lights up. JENNA is sitting alone on a couch. She is nine.)
RAE: (Offstage whisper) Jenna!
JENNA: (Confused, looking around.) Mom?
RAE: Jenna! It's me!
JENNA: Who? Where are you?
RAE: Come to the door, Jenna!
JENNA: (Gets up, approaches the door.) Rae?
RAE: Yes, it's me! Now let me in!
JENNA: (Lets her in. RAE enters, wearing a backpack.) Rae, what are you doing here?
RAE: I can't tell you that.
JENNA: How can you come to my house but not tell me why you came?
RAE: Well…okay. I'm kind of running away from home.
JENNA: What? Rae! Why would you do that?
RAE: Because…I…well…I don't know! I just don't like it there, okay?
JENNA: Why not? You have all the best clothes and toys and everything…and your baby brother is so cute!
RAE: Ugh. Can we please not talk about him?
JENNA: Why not?
RAE: (Turns away from her.) I don't want to talk about it.
JENNA: Please, Rae? I want to know what's wrong.
RAE: It's not fair! He always gets all the attention from Mom and Dad and not me! They love him and cuddle him so much, and they always have to take care of them, but the only time they talk to me is when they tell me to clean my room.
RAE: I hate cleaning my room. I hate my baby brother.
JENNA: You don't really hate him, Rae.
RAE: Yes I do! I hope he chokes on his mashed peas and dies.
JENNA: Don't say things like that, Rae!
RAE: I hate him.
JENNA: (Slight pause) And that's why you ran away?
RAE: (Turning back towards her) Yeah. I just…I didn't want to be around them anymore, and I know your Mom is nice because I met her at your birthday party…and I thought maybe my parents would be happier if I wasn't there anymore.
JENNA: Rae, you know that can't be true!
RAE: I know. I just…Do you think I can stay here with you tonight?
JENNA: Oh. I don't know about that.
RAE: Please, Jenna? I don't have anywhere else to go! I need to stay with you! Please, please, please?
JENNA: Well…I guess if you stay down here in my room, and my mom doesn't find out, then—
RAE: Oh, thank you, Jenna! You've saved my life!
JENNA: Hey, what are friends for? Maybe you can even come to church with us in the morning.
RAE: I don't think we could do that without your mom seeing me.
JENNA: Oh yeah. But still, you can probably stay here for the night.
RAE: And you promise you won't tell anyone?
JENNA: I promise. It'll be our secret.
RAE: I'm glad you can keep a secret. You're my only friend.
JENNA: Rae, you have plenty of other friends at school.
RAE: Well, you're my best friend.
JENNA: Aww, that's so sweet of you. You can be my best friend too, Rae.
RAE: Then I guess we're best friends.
JENNA: Of course we are! Best friends forever! (They hug. Lights out. When the lights come up, everyone is onstage again, in the same position as when they were talking about middle school.)
JENNA: Yep…those were the days, all right.
DAVID: Middle school. Wow.
End Scene I.