I was assigned to write a scene along with a selection of music. The music was chosen for me. The tone of the piece changes when the tone of the music changes. There are some slight shifts in my piece that you may notice when you give it a read! This was recently read by the drama club at my school.
Scene opens up to Michael and Claire sitting at their kitchen table drinking tea.
MICHAEL: I saw her outside the house. The yellow one across from the dead-end sign. And I wondered if she lived there. I always loved that house – the way the shutters tilted like wings of a crow. The paint around the windows chipped like nail polish. So, so imperfect. So, so perfect she was, though. (Pause) I wanted to learn to love her. Learn to want, need, feel her. One can’t teach to love…love is self-taught. No one knows how to love the right or wrong way. It’s imperfect, like the house, the yellow one.
CLAIRE: What was the girl wearing? (Sips her tea)
MICHAEL: Red lipstick. (They stare into each other’s eyes for one beat) Ripped denim jeans. Her hair curled like my toes. (Sips his tea)
CLAIRE: Did you love the feeling?
MICHAEL: Well, I was always taught to ignore those feelings. But I practiced privately adoring them.
CLAIRE: What’d you think about when you saw her there?
MICHAEL: (Sighs) I wondered how she ripped her jeans. (He stands up and walks behind Claire)
CLAIRE: You just loved the rebel in her didn’t you?
MICHAEL: I thrived off of it! (Grabs onto her shoulders, presses lips closer to her ear) I wanted to bite down on her red lips; slip my fingers into the ripped denim; feel her thighs, her sweat. Oh my God! Yes, yes. I heard myself shouting, “Come here! Lie with me!”
CLAIRE: She wouldn’t have though! She didn’t know you.
MICHAEL: I didn’t know her! (Pulls her chair back and steps in front of her, facing her) That was the fun of it! (Grabs her hands) Strangers love mind-fucking each other. (Smiles) Come here! (Pulls her towards him. She’s now standing and has her arms around him)
CLAIRE: She would have ran! Ran past the dead end mark, into the woods, taking off all of her clothes before jumping into the lake! Swimming so far, far, far – (They kiss. The kiss then breaks)
MICHAEL: Come here! (Pulls her closer) Come here. I need you. Now.
CLAIRE: (Pushes him away and walks to the other side) Tell me more.
MICHAEL: You know the rest! (Slams his fist on the table) You tell it!
CLAIRE: (Looks away) I’m awful at stories! Please, tell me. (Looks back) Talk to me.
MICHAEL: You love when I talk about how amazing you are. (Walks towards her) When, when, I talk about you as my potential lover, temporary virgin.
MICHAEL: We both were, remember? (Holds her hands) It was so –
CLAIRE: (Lets go of his hands) Special. Wasn’t it?
MICHAEL: Claire, what are you saying? (Long pause. Claire looks away from him) Please don’t look away. I don’t like this. (Grabs her arm) I never thought twenty years later I’d be the one doing all the talking.
CLAIRE: (Glares at him) There’s nothing left for me to say.
MICHAEL: I can’t pretend by myself! (Holds his hand out) Set the stage, give me a cue, tell me how you feel, tell me how I’m supposed to feel.
Beat. Claire finally returns to her chair and so does Michael. They sip their tea and look into each other’s eyes. Michael is smiling slightly, Claire is not.
CLAIRE: I made love for the first time with my camp counselor a year before I met you. (Pause) Scene!
MICHAEL: (Laughs uncomfortably) You tell the greatest jokes!
CLAIRE: (Laughs quietly)Yeah, yeah. It’s all in the fun of pretending right?
MICHAEL: So us laughing is the next scene right?
CLAIRE: Trust your impulse, I guess.
MICHAEL: As of now, I trust it more than you. (Takes last sip of his tea and slams it down on the table) You really love pretending, huh? (Stands up) This wasn’t a game to me, Claire!
CLAIRE: It’s childish, Michael.
CLAIRE: For the past twenty years, like clock-work, you reenact the day you first saw me. Like fuckin’ clock-work! You’ve reminisced it to death!
MICHAEL: You love me for my sentimentality!
CLAIRE: Yes, I loved you for it! I loved you for your sentimentality!
MICHAEL: I don’t know about you, but I’ve always believed that if you want to keep something alive, you should love it unconditionally. But, my apologies for reminding you, like fuckin’ clock-work, of your dishonesty.
CLAIRE: (Upset) I-I thought you knew…
MICHAEL: You know, as a kid, I always wanted to be an actor. I feel like the best improvisations aren’t just done by impulse, but influenced by packed away feelings, old conversations, and favored memories. (Looks at Claire) I couldn’t get enough of pretending with you.
CLAIRE: (Stands up and goes to grab his hand) I couldn’t get enough of it either!
MICHAEL: (Grabs her hand and kisses it) Lying must be the greatest feeling in the world then. (Drops her hand)
Michael walks off stage.
Lights fade. Black out.