Reflections

[The lights are dim and in the middle of the courtroom is the bench, where The Judge sits. He is sitting comfortably with a black cloak draped over him and his hands are folded on the bench with his gavel to his right. He doesn't have papers or files around him. He looks up scanning the empty courtroom, unsurprised. He then brings his attention to a young woman. She is the age of sixteen and is sitting on a chair, chewing on her lower lip. She's dressed in all black, her cheeks are pale, and it is apparent that she hasn't had much sleep.]

The Judge [warmly]: Lauren... It's nice to see you again. [Smiling slightly] Please approach the bench.

[Lauren stands up and walks slowly and stops two feet away from the bench. She looks down.]

The Judge [clearing his throat and a bright light over his head turns on]: Let us proceed... [He pauses, adjusting his glasses] Lauren Triste, why don't you begin by talking about your relationship to the victim.

Lauren [taking a deep breath]: He was my granddad...

The Judge [glancing at the the pendulum on the old grandfather clock to his left]: Continue.

Lauren: We were really close to each other. [Pausing] We'd take the bus to my school every morning together. I remember one time, there was a public transit strike, so I had no way of getting to school.

The Judge [sighs]: Did he ever do anything that caused you to feel angry, perhaps leading you to commit murder?

["Murder" echoes in three times throughout the courtroom]

Lauren [looking at the empty seats to her right]: No.

The Judge [staring at the clock for a moment]: Well then?

Lauren: I didn't want to see him like that. [She shrugs] That's why I didn't see him for two years.

The Judge [curiously]: Like what?

Lauren: I didn't want to see a person that I love slowly start turning to bones. [Clenching her teeth] I-I didn't want to see someone I love in the midst of disappearing!

The Judge: That's still no excuse to commit such an act.

Lauren [Yelling]: You don't understand! Nobody does!

["Nobody" echoes]

The Judge: Alright then, tell me what you were thinking.

Lauren [Shaking her head]: It doesn't matter what I was thinking. Either way I'm guilty. It doesn't matter. It never does. [Lower lip quivering] I broke the law, so why don't you just sentence me?

[Silence fills the room.]

Lauren [sniffling]: I didn't want to. I loved him, but that's why I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand seeing him hooked up to a stupid machine. He wasn't Granddad.

The Judge: What did you see then? [looking down at her] Even if you thought that it was what he would have wanted, you had no right to end take his right to live away from him.

Lauren [crying]: I s-saw him s-suffering. I saw him b-begging with his eyes. I h-had to. He wasn't living.

The Judge: What do you mean? Please elaborate.

Lauren [wiping tears]: He wasn't breathing, it was a respirator living his life for him.

The Judge: Do you think you did the right thing?

Lauren [quietly]: I don't know.

Lauren [Monologue]: Did I do the right thing? What is exactly right or wrong anyway? [pondering, she takes a step away from the bench to the right] The Judge is right, I broke the law, I took someone else's life away, and that's wrong. Granddad never asked me to do it... Did I take away all hopes for him to live? What if he wanted to say goodbye to everyone? What if he never got the chance to because of... me. [Pacing to the left] What's life anyway if you can't live it? [Pause] If you have vitality but all the rest of your days consist of getting food through a tube, that's not living, that's just suffering. He was a robot with wires running throughout the body he used to reside in. The rest of his body parts were just programmed to work. There was no feeling. [Running a hand through her long, brown hair] Even if he did feel, he wouldn't have liked being robotic. He was always an adventurer. He liked roaming the streets of downtown, he enjoyed playing soccer with me, he loved the thrill that life had to offer for him. He wouldn't have wanted to live with the inability to express his emotions and constantly be swallowed by darkness that engulfed the rest of his days. I can feel it... [she looks up and lets out a long dragged out breath] He's at peace now.

The Judge: Who gave you the RIGHT pull that plug?

Lauren[steps back to her place before the bench]:No one... but I know that's what he would have wanted me to do! [she begins to look up in realization and says in a whispers] I did the right thing.

[The Judge smiles at her and then looks pendulum swing one last time]: It's time.

Lauren [sees The Judge]: Grand --

[The lights go out.]