Lights up shows the set – a psychologist’s office with a chair and a couch across from each other at a slight angle toward the crowd. The room can be set up however, but there needs to be a door so actors can enter the set. Also, the lamp must have a pull-chain to turn on/off since the psychologist “operates” the scene change – should be made somewhat obvious to the audience.
W = Dr. Chambee – psychologist (older man)
L = Lilly – patient (20’s)
R = Rob – patient (20’s)
H = Henry – patient (20’s)
(Front and center)
W: Good morning, afternoon, and evening. I hope everyone is doing well and has left their emotions and preconceived notions at the door, you won’t be needing them. Also, this story is between you and I, so mum’s the word – keep it to yourself. You see, before my writing career I was a psychologist, so naturally I have stories upon stories that I cannot repeat. But there is one, a story of a couple kids who changed my life forever. It never occurred to me until laid down my first dot of ink that it was about love, true love.
The play starts out with Dr. Chambee sitting in his chair reviewing notes mumbling. There is a knock on the door. Dr. Chambee looks at his watch and smiles.
W: Come in
W: Hi Lilly
L: Hi (looking exhausted and uncomfortable)
W: Please sit
(They sit and stare at each other for a while – dr. with a small blank smile, L just confused)
L: Listen, I’ve never done this before – I’m not crazy or anything don’t worry (nervous laugh)
(W still says nothing – still a slight grin and blank look)
L: I mean, I’m fairly popular at school, my dad drives a Porsche, you know. So I’m not like your other patients
(W just sits there staring intently)
L: I don’t see things, hear voices, sometimes I think I’m fat, but that’s normal for a girl my age, you know, right?
(W seems like he’s about to say something then doesn’t)
L: Why aren’t you saying anything? Aren’t you supposed to fix me?
W: What’s broken?
L: I’m not broken?
(Stares exchanged for another 5 seconds)
L: Listen, I come from a great family; I’ve been raised well in all regards. I had a great childhood, and college has been great…
W: Sounds like you don’t need me
(Stares exchanged for another 5 seconds)
L: I was raped
(Lights down and Lilly exits) (Lights up – Dr. in the same spot reviewing notes mumbling. Once again, knock at the door, looks at watch and smiles)
W: Come in
H: Hello Dr. Chambee
W: How was your week?
H: Excellent sir
W: Glad to hear it
W: how is it going with that girl?
H: Amazing! She’s so great – I can’t think of a single bad thing to say about her
W: Why try?
H: You know what I mean (laugh)
W: So how is your other relationship, still broken up?
H: Yes, yes completely I promise
W: Don’t promise me; promise yourself
H: Of course sir
(Henry leaves and Rob comes in)
W: Come in
R: Hey hey!
R: Man you never talk; you just sit there
(sits down hard on the couch)
R: Man College is great – so great
W: Glad you’re enjoying yourself Rob (still a bit confused)
W: How is everything else?
R: What else? Haha (not even giving dr. eye contact)
W: Did you ever talk to that girl? Your childhood friend…
R: Nah I’ve been busy
W: If she is as you describe her, she probably won’t be single for long. I suggest you try talking to her. She probably remembers you too and is just as shy.
R: I’m not shy?
R: Yea, so anyways, I can’t stay long today, but same time next week, have a good one Dr. Chambee
(He walks out and Dr. Chambee just shakes his head with confusion)
(Lights down) (Lights up – Dr. in the same spot reviewing notes mumbling. Once again, knock at the door, looks at watch smiles)
W: Lilly, come in, come in
L: Listen, about last week
(waits for Dr. to say something but he doesn’t)
L: Maybe it was my fault, I don’t know…
(finally showing some authority)
W: No No Lilly, don’t think like that – what happened was not your fault
L: Well if I wasn’t so drunk…(starts to get upset)…I just don’t understand. I was having a good time, and there was this guy, he seemed nice… I don’t know, and then it goes fuzzy. It was just him on top of me…and.. that look he gave me, I don’t remember much, but.. God it looked like he wanted to kill me…
(W stares thinking)
L: Fuck, say something
(W gets up and walks over and sits down on the couch next to her, puts his arm around her…she leans on his shoulder and cries)
W: We will get you through this.
L: Doctor, My heart is crushed in a way I can’t explain. I gave him my heart; how am I to take it back? How is it mine when the man who did this to me has it? (sobs) It’s not mine; my heart is his. I can’t bear to take it back; how can I want such a heart.
W: It’s your heart, Lilly, please
L: Don’t you understand? It’s not anymore, and with no heart left to give, it’s safe with him. A place it’s not wanted nor needed.
W: Is this a rational idea Lilly? Do you really think your heart is safe with this guy?
W: Why not?
L: Because of what he did to me
W: Yes, and people that do these sorts of things have problems, often deep within themselves. They’re hard to understand, but the most important thing is that it’s over, you’ll never see him again, and it was not your fault. Please remember that.
L: But if I wasn’t drunk?
W: LILLY, you being drunk does not give someone the right to violate you
L: I know but…
W: There is no question here, you did nothing wrong
L: Ok, but do you understand he has a piece of me
W: No he doesn’t your body is yours…
L: I just told you my heart; aren’t you listening?
W: Lilly, you must take your heart back; you cannot live like this
L: You don’t understand
L: We were neighbors, he and I. Best friends as children, he would come over every day and we’d play in the forest chasing lizards and making up stories. He would construct dolls out of twigs and strands of leaf for me; thinking I would like them. (Lilly starts to laugh) He tried so hard to make me laugh. (A painful memory) He never did want to go home. We would play in the pond trying to catch fish and I always noticed he had stripes on his skin; at least that’s what I thought they were at the time. We got older and I saw him less and less. His parents rarely let him leave the house. Then one day they all just left; a day almost as painful as now. I can never forget, he ran to my house to give me one last gift before leaving: a piece of paper folded four times. He told me not to open it, but naturally I did anyways. I’ve carried it with me every since.
(Lilly opens her wallet, pulls out the piece of paper, and reads)
Through many hours of solitude and self-reflection I’ve come to understand my meaning in life; and now, I want to share what I know with someone else. This sharing is called love.
(W sits and listens)
Oh and one more story, I just remembered
We used to sneak into the old town church. Find the secret staircase in the closet and climb up to the top where the bell was. That was our spot. He would tell me scary stories and we would carve pictures of faces into the brick walls that surrounded us. Every hour the bell would ring so loud and on each ring we would scream, releasing to the world. We always made sure to stop before the noise of the bell stopped – that was the rush. The bell kept our hiding spot through the screams. It was his idea.
And another time we…
(gets up and walks over to light and pulls string) (Lights up – Dr. in the same spot reviewing notes mumbling. Once again, knock at the door, looks at watch and scowls)
W: Come in
R: Hey, h
(W finally showing total control and authority)
W: (cuts him off) cut the crap Rob
W: You’ve been coming here for 2 months and all you talk about are your goddamn good times. There are people in this world really suffering, and you waste my time with your bullshit. Why do you pay to see a psychologist if you’re so…(thinks for a second and calms down) I am releasing you as my patient, this is your last session
(cuts him off at session)
R: Wait (looks like he is out of breath, his whole demeanor changes)
R: Listen, I don’t… egh…(grabs his head and walks in a stressed manner: jumps between emotions then turns to depression) I’m just not good at talking, or…Just hold on don’t…starts to break down (sits on the couch) (silence)
I came here because…I had some issues with my Dad growing up (Looks ill) he did things to my mom and other women and made me watch. Once I turned 14 we left and I went to live with my grandma, the rest is history…
W: Rob, I had no idea, why did you hide this from me?
R: (starting to calm down) It’s not you (catching his breath) Me…it’s me…I’m too vulnerable
W: So you put on your act
W: You should’ve been honest with me, I’m so sorry for getting angry with you
R: It’s fine, I guess we needed to get that out somehow
W: Yes, that’s true
R: So now what do I do? I’d really prefer not to talk about specifics
W: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, of course
R: Do you know how hard it is to still be a virgin in your senior year of college?
W: Oh, we’ve been here for well over an hour, the next person is here
R: I don’t even know how to treat a girl
W: (Yells “Hold on” to the door)
R: I want to love; I want to make someone’s world
W: One second (to the door)
Rob, are you ok, will you be ok till next week?
R: That’s all I want…
W: Rob talk to me
(W reaches for the cord)
R: Don’t pull that fucking cord, I need you
(Lilly walks in)
R: (Stunned – deer in the headlights) Lilly
L: Oh my God
R: (Looking scared and shocked)
L: (starts to dry heave)
(W looks shocked and frozen – hand still on the pull-cord)
L: (sadness turns to anger) You Fucker!
(she lunges at him – jumps on top of him and starts punching him. He gets control of her arms and she spits in his face)
R: Lilly, listen
L: No (coughing and crying) no how could you, who are you
R: (looks like he wants to die)
L: (starts to calm down and looks like she wants to die as well) I thought you were different.
(stands up and starts to back toward the door shaking)
R: Lilly, please…
L: (right before she leaves the door) When I was a little girl I believed that one day someone would love me. I believed that I could love and be loved. ((depressed) shaking her head slight laugh she pulls out the letter) I believed this.
R: (Says nothing, but his face says: “But I love you”)
Rob is still in the same position, not sure what to do.
R: How do I fix this?
W: Is what she said true?
W: Then I believe our work here is done
R: What do you mean?
W: You must know I need to call the police
R: Go ahead
(Dr. Chambee picks up the phone to call the police, he doesn’t dial and listens to Rob speak)
R: I loved her, I truly did, now, I still do. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. The only ideas I have of love are from my parents. I thought I was doing it right. She started telling me to stop, but I thought that was just part of it. (Rob looks up) What do I do?
W: What do you want?
R: I want to understand what I did wrong. I want to know what love is. It’s as though I have a cloud over my head making my vision and thoughts unclear. I see her and want to know her, but I don’t know how. It’s not like when we were kids. Doctor, I felt something in her gaze, and up until the moment she told me to stop the feelings didn’t stop. It was like a vibrant warmth in my chest and pushed its way to my mouth and made me smile. She made me smile in a way that hurt. Can’t you understand she’s the only way I can leave this pain.
W: You’re the boy from her story; you were neighbors
R: She talked about me?
W: Yes, but Rob, I don’t think you understand what you’ve done to Lilly. She feels violated emotionally and physically; I don’t think this can be fixed.
R: Well can I apologize at least?
W: I’m not sure approaching her is a good idea.
R: What if we spoke here?
W: I don’t know if she will be coming back here Rob
R: Can’t you make her?
W: No Rob!
(Dr. Chambee slams the phone down)
W: You cannot force people to do things. You don’t have power and neither do I. There is no amount of control over another person’s life. You forced her (starts to cry), can’t you see what you’ve done. I must tell the police. Dammit Rob, Dammit. My livelihood is at stake…
R: Make the call then, I don’t care
W: Rob you’ll go to jail
R: I belong there
W: You took away her free will. You wanted to control her; you thought that was the only way you could have her
R: Stop, Doctor, please, I can’t…make the fucking call
W: You held her down, though her tears, forced yourself upon this meaningless girl
R: (Lunges at the Doctor and grabs his throat) She has meaning!
(Pushes Rob onto the couch)
W: Through her screams you managed to get aroused
(Rob breaks down completely)
W: And you took her free will and…
R: I never had any free will! Never. You think I did this out of control, you think that’s what happened but you have no idea. The contents of my mind are not black and white like you psychology textbook. Your plaque on the wall doesn’t mean shit when you’re with me because you’ve never had a patient like me. We live in this quaint small town where everyone grows up without the faintest illusion of grief. Parents nurture their kids into proper citizens by the book of God and teach them the righteous ways. The way people ought to be. Some cookie cutter technique to pop out robots of the divine word, and then there’s me. Nurtured by the hand of death and pain in that house. You think we’re all ‘understandable,’ you think we can all be fixed. We’re a product of our conditions in the bubble of our reality. My decisions, while mine, are not mine. You think I was there that night? Mentally? I don’t recall any of it. Blackness, nothingness, not the faintest memory of my parents or that house; I know I was there, I know what happened, but I see no pictures nor remember any sounds. All that remains is me: a product of hell.