Seven Days

Seven Days

A Stage Play by ctwood
"

A hard choice must be made in a short timeline and the person it most effects can't express her feelings on the matter. Trapped, freed, or dead? Is it worth the risk? One family must ask itself this.

"

Seven Days

 

The Characters:

Dr. Tristan Evans

Mary Evans

Gabe (Gabriel) Evans, 17-18 years old

Azure Evans, 16 years old

Sadie Evans, 13-14 years old

Dr. Julia Bowheart

 

(Curtain opens. It’s a bare, black stage. Music “Dream Big” by Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band plays. A single spot light from directly above down stage center slowly fades up on AZURE alone on a single black stool. AZURE is dressed very plain, perhaps all white or black and white either way with something blue. She is just listening to the music. The following should be like a random thought, not a speech, lecture, or pity party.)

 

AZURE: (With the music at first) Dream big. Humph. We’ve all heard that before. (Making fun) Dream big. Follow your dreams. Dreams come true. Shoot for the moon because if you miss you’ll always land among the stars. (Laughs) There’s thousands of them, millions. (Shaking her head, calming down) Every kid has been told to dream big. I guess it’s because when a kid’s three years old on their mommy’s lap they really do have the whole world in front of them. They still can be president. They still can be a rock star. They’ve done nothing to mess anything up yet. (Turning solemn, kind of sad, but not pitiful) No one ever told me to dream big. (Defending) Not that my parents aren’t great parents. It’s just when I was three years old, they already knew I didn’t have all the potential in world, but (Smiling knowingly) that doesn’t mean I don’t dream big. I dream of… (Pause, giggling at an inside joke) riding a bike, a red bike, (Beat) of walking into the sunset, of talking all night, I dream… (Her voice fades out as the lights fade out. Music continues as they set the stage.)

 

(Lights fade up. It is present day, 2008, east Texas. The set is a very comfortable family home. Visible on stage is both the dinning room and the living room. In the kitchen is a table for six facing front toward the audience with three chairs (one on either side and the other upstage left side) and three places are set. The back half of the dinning area is edged off with counters slanted inward with a sink almost in the center of the counters but slightly more to stage right. The living room is very closed off and cozy. It has a couch with a side table on one end and then a love seat next to the side table. The arrangement should almost make a right angle but the love seat needs to be cheated out a bit. There is a short coffee table in front of the couch. At the opening it is dinner time and Mary, the mother in the family, is preparing for dinner in the dinning room and humming along with the song playing softly on the radio on the kitchen counter. The song is Dream Big by Ryan Shupe and the Rubber band is still playing, but now is just soft background noise.)

 

GABE: (Entering stage left into the living room, pushing AZURE, who is in a vegetative state, in wheelchair. Calling through the room to the kitchen where MARY is working on dinner) Mom! We’re home.

 

SADIE: (Plopping on couch) And summer’s here and I am officially in high school.

 

GABE: More importantly, my fishy friend, I am officially a senior.

 

SADIE: Don’t call me fishy. I am a freshman, not a fish. Don’t you still have football practice all summer.

 

GABE: A little throughout.

 

SADIE: Great! So I don’t have to put up with you. (They fake ha ha ha laugh and make faces at each other)

 

MARY:  What are you three doing? (Goes to AZURE, who is just to the right of the couch, to kiss her forehead and put a strand of fallen hair behind her ear. Mary does this with Azure throughout the play. Try having this at least once in every scene)  

 

SADIE: Breathing. (She smiles, everyone kind of laughs. TRISTAN enters from stage left) Hey daddy.

 

TRISTAN: (Approaches MARY and places his hand on the small of her back. MARY turns) Hey, princess. (He kisses MARY on the cheek) Hey hun, you, uh…might want to set another plate for dinner tonight. We’re, um… expecting company.

 

MARY: (Shock shattering the intimate moment.) We are? (Know comes from off stage. MARY stares at TRISTAN in disbelief.) Thanks for the warning. (To the kids) Gabe, Sadie, go take ya’lls stuff up stairs, while I set the table and your father gets the door. I’ll call you when dinner’s ready. (SADIE and GABE exit through the kitchen then off stage right. TRISTAN gives MARY an apologetic look and exits toward the living room and stops just short of the curtain. MARY moves to the Kitchen and set another plate while TRISTAN says his next line)

 

TRISTAN: Julia, I’m very glad you came. Maybe, you’ll be able to convince her. (MARY hears this exchange moves back to the living room leaving)

 

MARY: (Extending her hand to BOWHEART.)Hello there.

 

BOWHEART: Hi, I’m Dr. Julia Bowheart, head brain surgeon in experimental medicine of Texas Children’s hospital.

 

TRISTAN: A colleague of mine.

 

MARY: (Nervous) Oh. (Awkward pause) Well come in, come in. Have a seat.

 

(They all sit and stare at each other for another awkward pause. MARY and TRISTAN on the couch with MARY closer to AZURE. BOWHEART is on the love seat cushion closest to the couch.)

 

TRISTAN: (Rambling) Julia, um, wanted to share this…uh,… idea with you, with us.

 

BOWHEART: What Tristan is trying to get at is that I believe I may have a hopeful solution for your daughter…. Ahem, condition.

 

MARY: (MARY knows the general idea that they are getting at and is defensive but with a smile.) Well, I’m afraid we won’t be needing anything, because my daughter is fine.  

 

TRISTAN: (Nerves gone replaced by frustration.) Mary, listen to her. With Dr. Bowheart’s procedure, Azure could possibly become… could be… normal. Just as normal as any other sixteen year old kid.

 

MARY: (Restrained anger showing in her voice and body. They have had similar conversations before.) She’s completely normal now, and doesn’t need some fancy procedure to make her better- (Action freezes.)

 

AZURE: (Coming to life. Sarcastically) Mom! Are you kidding me?! Do you seriously think this is normal? Normal people are not commonly compared to carrots! (AZURE returns to her vegetable state as all other action unfreezes. This freezing and unfreezing will occur every time AZURE speaks throughout the play)

 

BOWHEART: Mrs. Evans, I know this is difficult for you and I had hoped your husband would have prepared you a little more, but my department has been experimenting for years.

 

MARY: (Anger breaking free) You will not be experimenting on my daughter.

 

BOWHEART: I’m sorry. Poor choice of words, but we’ve found that in certain cases of severe cerebral palsy, the patients aren’t completely in a vegetative state. Azure’s mind could function normally.

 

TRISTAN: Mary. When I look into her eyes (reaches for MARY hands and takes them in his own.), our daughter’s eyes, I swear I see something. Something amazing. She’s there-

 

AZURE: (Sarcastically) Wow, glad to see you’re catching up, dad. It’s only been, oh, 16 years. (Real frustration slipping) Of course I’m here!

 

TRISTAN: Don’t you see that?

 

MARY: (Softening) Tristan, I know she’s there. She’s my baby girl. Of course I know she’s there.

BOWHEART: (Interrupting MARY and TRISTAN‘s moment) Actually, Mrs. Evans, we were wondering if you would like for Azure to be a candidate for an experimental surgery that could be life changing. Azure could have a chance to grow up, talk, walk, (Small laugh) ride a bike.

 

TRISTAN: (To himself, tenderly) Ride a bike. I always wanted to teach her to ride a bike.

 

BOWHEART: (Continuing) She could do everything she ever dreamed of.

 

MARY: (Pauses looking from AZURE to TRISTAN) Well… What are the side effects?

 

BOWHEART: (MARY has just asked the question BOWHEART did not want to answer. Hesitantly) We’ve never preformed this procedure before, so there is always a chance of …-

 

AZURE: (Scared, but sure) Death.

 

MARY: I’m just not sure how I feel about you playing guinea pig with my daughter. (Pauses) I’m gonna need sometime to think about this.

 

TRISTAN: (Nervous again) Actually. Honey. They’re hoping to conduct the experiment (MARY finches at the choice of words) within the next few months, so for Azure to be a participant, we’re gonna need to decide soon… (Breaks off searching for words. MARY eyes widen in worry at his meaning.)

 

 BOWHEART: (Trying to be reassuring) Don’t worry. You have a full week, so don’t rush yourself.

 

MARY: (Standing in anger) A WEEK! I only have seven days and I’m not supposed to rush myself!!!!

 

BOWHEART: (Looking for an escape) Okay! Um, thanks Tristan for the invitation, but I think it might be better if I didn’t actually stay for dinner. It’ll give you some time to talk about this. Just… get back to me.

 

TRISTAN: (Nods) Yes, thanks, Julia. I will. (BOWHEART exits left. MARY and TRISTAN stare at each other. MARY angry, TRISTAN pleading) Mary, I love Azure (beat) just the way she is, but if (Struggles for words) she is completely normal and just trapped in her own body, how much can she love herself? (MARY turns around from TRISTAN)

 

AZURE: Plenty. Just hate the body. You know like Sadie hates her nose.

 

TRISTAN: How can we sit back and let her remain trapped? (With increasing frustration) I want her to be happy, to live her dreams, to be normal… I want to teach her to ride that stupid bike. (Calmer) Sometimes I have this dream… her at five years old on this little, old timey, red bike. Me holding on to the seat, expecting to hear her remind me not to let go, but she’s not like Sadie or Gabe. She tells me to let go. She can handle it. (Beat) Mary, she’s so happy in that dream. It might be my dream, but it’s for her and this surgery could lead to that dream coming true.

 

MARY: (Whipping around to face Tristan) Well, you now what, Tristan? I love Azure just the way she is. I have dreams for her too. I would love to see you teaching her how to ride a bike. But I also have nightmares. Nightmares where it’s raining and my hearts breaking, but I don’t know why. You and Gabe and Sadie are all there, crying. I know someone is missing, but I can’t (this word is hard for her to say) remember who? I wander in the rain, looking around until I realize (beat) I’m in a cemetery, at a funeral. The minister starts to talk, but I can’t make out his words. I can’t hear them at all. I hear nothing. Then everyone turns and leaves (beat) but the minister is still talking. Finally I go to the grave and look in the coffin that they are lowering. And it’s Azure, it’s my little girl. (Long pause) It might be my nightmare, but it’s for fear for her and this surgery could lead to that nightmare coming true, too. (MARY and TRISTAN stare at each other, both angry)

 

AZURE: (Stands going to the lamp on the side table by the couch shakes her head) This is gonna be an interesting week. (She turns of the lamp and the stage lights go out with it)

 

(Lights up. AZURE is by the lamp)

 

AZURE: Day 2. Mom and Dad told Gabe and Sadie about the surgery last night at dinner. (Laughs) It was a quiet night. (AZURE goes to the window in the living room where her chair is and returns to her vegetative state)

 

(MARY is sitting at the table with a plate in front of her, but she is not eating, only staring off into space. SADIE and GABE are in the living room “watching T.V.”. A jingle is playing.)

 

TRISTAN: (Enters from right going to MARY and kissing her on the cheek) Morning, Mary. (MARY flinches away from his touch, SADIE hearing her dad turns off the T.V. and goes to the door to eavesdrop) Mary… (GABE, realizing what’s going on, goes to the window by AZURE) You can’t honestly be mad at me. I-

 

MARY: I can honestly be mad at you! (Stands, heads up the stairs) You can get the dishes.

 

(TRISTAN shakes his head, gathers the dishes and puts them in the sink. The following dialogue and action begin after a slight pause, but TRISTAN is unaware and leaves after the dishes are in the sink. Be careful to make sure he is gone before SADIE and GABE begin to raise their voices. He exits down stage right through “backdoor”)

 

SADIE: (Moving away from the door, going to plop on the couch) I can’t believe Mom is making such a big deal about this. (Picks up a magazine)

 

GABE: (Looking out the window) I can’t believe dad wants to do this.

 

SADIE: (Shocked) I can. This is my one chance at some normality.

 

GABE: YOUR chance? (Slightly angered, not done)

 

SADIE: (Interrupting) I’m tired of being the girl with the celery sister-

 

AZURE: Hey! I’d much rather be compared to a carrot, thank you!

 

GABE: Sadie!

 

SADIE: (Continuing) And you are too! My friends don’t like coming over because the whole thing makes them feel awkward. I mean, with you and mom and dad talking to her like she’s actually listening-

 

AZURE: You act as if you don’t talk to me, Sadie. (Sarcastic) I’m hurt. I mean I never told a soul about your hottie hunk, John Taylor.

 

SADIE: And forget every bringing a guy over. (Getting up, acting very grown up) I feel it’s time for a change.

 

GABE: (Angry now) A CHANGE?! You act like this is about a nose job. It’s brain surgery! This could kill her!

 

SADIE: (Indifferently) It could cure her.

 

GABE: (Full blown, shaking anger) It could kill her!!! And you are too much of a stuck up, selfish, self-centered, conceited, little air brain brat to give a damn!

 

SADIE: (Facing off with GABE, yelling) Maybe you’re right! Maybe I don’t care! Maybe I’d rather she die! Maybe-

 

AZURE: Oh, you know you’d miss me. (Mock innocence) Who wouldn’t?

 

SADIE: (Finishing sentence) I think that would be better than this-

 

GABE: (Yelling) How can death ever be better than life?!

 

SADIE: (Louder still) THIS ISN’T LIFE! THIS IS MAKEBELIEVE!

 

(Long silence with heavy breathing, while anger dissolves, SADIE is near tears)

 

GABE: (Gentle, aiming to comfort her) Sadie… (Reaches for her. She backs away)

 

MARY: (Running, enter from kitchen) What on earth is going on in here?

 

(Long pause while SADIE and GABE just stare at each other)

 

SADIE: Nothing. (Runs off stage right)

 

(MARY looks off after SADIE confused, GABE returns to the window with AZURE. Scene freezes. AZURE stands, takes a few steps toward and looks toward where SADIE disappeared, looks back at GABE, sighs, goes to the lamp and turns out the lights. Blackout)

 

(Lights up. AZURE is by the lamp so is her chair, but she is standing. Tristan is frozen in mid-pace as if he’s been pacing in front of the coffee table, holding a teddy bear. Gabe is already settled on the couch. Mary is standing defiantly beside the arm of the couch)

 

AZURE: (Sighs) Day 3. (Looks around at the commotion) You know, I heard once about this lady a long time ago (Melodramatically) lying on her death bed, gasping for her last breath, in the threshold of heaven, surrounded with those who loved her. She looked up saw all those familiar faces and said “Am I dying…or is it my birthday?” (Laughs, real laugh)

 

TRISTAN: (Calling from the living room to upstairs) Sadie! Get your butt down here! Now! 10, 9, 8…

 

SADIE: (Offstage) Seriously dad? I’m not two.

 

TRISTAN: 7, 6, 5…

 

AZURE: Really Dad. Sadie has a point. How can anyone take you seriously when your waving around that teddy bear?

 

TRISTAN: 4, 3, 2…

 

SADIE: (Entering living room from stage right through kitchen) Fine! I’m here. I’m here.

 

TRISTAN: Okay. I think we all need to sit down and talk about this whole operation thing-

 

SADIE: Well, I think-

 

TRISTAN: Uh-ah. Talking teddy.

 

AZURE: Can I see the talking teddy? (laughs)

 

SADIE: (Holding out her hand angrily, Tristan gives her the little bear. She is stating her case with mock maturity) I can’t believe you expect me to still use this stupid teddy bear. The whole idea of a talking anything is elementary enough, but to make it a stuffed animal. That’s just plain… (Searching for an intelligent word and fails) embarrassing!

 

GABE: (Holds his hand out for the bear, SADIE gives it to him. GABE speaks professionally) You are an idiot. (Hands the bear back to SADIE)

 

SADIE: (Snatches the bear, sticks her tongue out at GABE, then smiles at TRISTAN, speaks sweetly) Daddy… (Hands the bear back to TRISTAN who then shakes his head)

 

TRISTAN: Now that we have that out our systems, anyone…

 

MARY: (Reaches for the bear roughly) I believe this is a serious matter and the children do not need to be here.

 

SADIE: (Under her breath to GABE) She just doesn’t want us to see them fight. (MARY gives SADIE the “look”)

 

TRISTAN: (Takes the bear) I believe this is a serious matter that involves their sister and therefore involves the whole family. Gabe?

 

AZURE: This should be short and to the point. Shall we take bets on which side he picks? I want 50 on him siding with Mom like an idiot.

 

GABE: (Standing, takes the bear) I’m with Mom. (Hands the bear back to TRISTAN)

 

AZURE: Told you so. (Smiles) Should have made it a hundred.

 

TRISTAN: (Not taking the bear) Care to elaborate?

 

GABE: (Still holding the bear out) Not really. (Pause. TRISTAN gives he a “look.” GABE sighs) I don’t think its worth the risk. Curing something like cerebral palsy is science fiction. (Shakes the outstretched bear)

 

TRISTAN: (Sighs, takes the bear. GABE plops back on the couch) Sadie?

 

GABE: Dad is this really necessary? Sadie-

 

TRISTAN: (Interrupting) Gets a turn. Sadie?

SADIE: (Standing, takes the bear) Thank you. (Clears her throat)

 

AZURE: This ought to be good.

 

SADIEL I thinks it’s a good idea. It’s the one and only chance any of us have at normality.

 

GABE: Sadie-

 

SADIE: Azure included. I mean if she really is (While doing air quotes) quote in there end quote, I’m sure she’s tired of being a freak.

 

AZURE: Hey!

 

GABE: Sadie that is bull and you know it. You-

 

TRISTAN: (Clears his throat) Talking teddy.

 

GABE: (Stands, snatches the bear from SADIE) You are just worried what your friends think. (Turning out to his parents) I vote Sadie doesn’t get a vote.

 

SADIE: (Outraged) What?! That’s injustice, injustice I tell you!

 

MARY: (Butting in) Hold on. I let this little circus go on for a while, but I put my foot down on the clowns getting a vote.

 

AZURE: That’s my mom for you. Her and her analogies.

 

TRISTAN: Mary, calm down. I just want the kids input.

 

AZURE: (Mad) What about my input?

 

MARY: (Facing off with TRISTAN) Don’t tell me to calm down!

 

SADIE: (To GABE) Ewwwww… Mom’s mad.

 

GABE: Can you blame here with Dad acting like he’s a mustached dictator and you being your regular brat self?

 

TRISTAN: (In unison with SADIE’s next line) I am not acting like a mustached dictator.

 

SADIE: (In unison with TRISTAN previous line) I am not a brat!

 

(The following arguments occur over one another. GABE with SADIE and MARY with TRISTAN. The fights should end around the same time. If necessary improve a few more lines or cut a few lines)

(GABE and SADIE are talking at the same time. Trying to talk over each other)

 

GABE: You’re right. You’re more than a brat. You’re a stuck up, selfish, self-centered, conceited, little air brain brat who apparently is too heartless to give a damn about her own sister. You are no better than the kids that mess with Azure. You’re, you’re a superficial, self-serving, psychopath. (The following is just extra if needed for time)  Don’t talk to me like you’re better than you are. You don’t care about anyone but yourself. You, you stuck up, selfish, self-centered, conceited, little air brain brat.

 

SADIE: You know I’m right. You and Mom are just too self-righteous to admit you want the same thing. You want Azure to be normal too. You want another normal sister. You want to not have people make fun of you everyday. You want not to have to defend a vegetable everyday. (The following is just extra if needed for time) I do care about Azure. I love her! You, You self-righteous, wanna be hero, big macho man football player, think you know it all jerk!

 

(At the same time the following is being said between TRISTAN and MARY. These lines must be tagged)

 

MARY: I don’t know about the mustached part but I think dictator is right on the dot.

 

TRISTAN: At least I’m more worried about how Azure would feel and less about how I feel.

 

MARY: Now you sound like Sadie. You just want a “normal” daughter.

 

TRISTAN: I want a happy daughter.

 

MARY: I want a living, breathing daughter.

 

TRISTAN: What if that isn’t what makes her happy?

 

MARY: Our daughter is not suicidal!

      

(The following is just extra if needed for time)  

 

TRISTAN: You know that is not what I mean!

 

MARY: Then tell me what you meant, Tristan Evans, because that is what it sounded like. This surgery could KILL her!

 

TRISTAN: But it could SAVE her!

 

MARY: She doesn’t need saving!

 

(The director really has some play on how much and which of the above lines are used)

 

AZURE: (Yelling) STOP!! My God!! (Grabs the bear) Shut up! I mean really. You are all acting like idiots. You (To SADIE) you want this surgery for you and you know it. You, Gabe, really do like playing the hero, but you might be better at it is you weren’t too afraid to admit it. And you two (To MARY and TRISTAN) both want what’s best, so just admit it already that neither of you really knows what that is. (Gives the bear back to GABE. A few lines of the argument may be said here)

 

SADIE: Stop!!!

 

AZURE: That’s what I said!

 

SADIE: This is ridiculous.

 

GABE: I have football practice. (Throws the bear down on the couch, gathers his stuff and exits left)

 

SADIE: If he gets to go, so do I. (Exits toward upstairs, stage right)

 

TRISTAN: Mary… (MARY puts up her hand to stop him and follows SADIE upstairs. TRISTAN exits back door down stage right)

 

AZURE: (Sighs, stands, shakes her hear, walks to lamp) Well that was a very productive family meeting. (AZURE turns off the lamp. Blackout)

 

(Lights up. MARY is standing frozen by the sink as if doing the dishes. AZURE is by the wall in the kitchen where a “light switch” is. AZURE’s chair next to the table on the left)

 

AZURE: Day 4. I once heard this saying that an angel is never too distant to hear you. (Laughs) Too bad my Gabriel is just as deaf as the rest of my family. And when you have a deaf guardian angel, things can get dangerous.

 

GABE: (Enters from down stage right through the “back door”, coming from football practice) Hey, Mom. (Kisses MARY on the cheek, turns and smiles at AZURE) Hey, Azure. (Begins to exit left)

 

MARY: Gabriel, (GABE stops) can I talk to you for a second?

 

GABE: Mom, if you’re going to ask me about this surgery thing, you know where I stand. I-

 

MARY: (Interrupting, calm, but stern. Sitting at the table) But I want to know why. (Short beat) I need to know you aren’t just agreeing with me.

 

GABE: (Heavy, annoyed sigh. Drops his stuff and moves to the table but doesn’t sit just leans on the back of the chair) Mom, I just think it’s a waste of time.

 

MARY: That is not a reason. Not in this case.

 

GABE: Mom-

 

MARY: Gabe, (pause) You only have to be the big, tough football star on the football field.

  

AZURE: Oh, come on, Mom. What a line.

 

(Actions starts again but no one talks at first, long pause)

 

GABE: (Another, more sincere sigh and he sits) She’s my little sister. I-

 

AZURE: And he falls for it hook, line, and sinker.

 

GABE: feel like it’s my job to protect her, but… (Struggles for words) But I can’t. Look at her, how do you protect someone from… nature, from… life, from…

 

MARY: (Puts her hand on his to stop the rambling) But you can protect her from this.

 

GABE: (Looking up at his mom when she touches him) Exactly.

 

AZURE: Oh, great, Gabriel. (Sarcastically, mockingly) You’re my guardian angel, (Angry) but who’s going to protect me from you and Mom making the worse decision of my life. (Pause, paces in frustration, goes and talks straight to GABE) I get you want to help me. So help. Hear me! Take my side and be my guardian angel. (Pause as re-realization spreads over her face) But you can’t. You can’t hear me. You don’t know I’m here.

 

GABE: I just want to help, but… to be honest, I see where Sadie and Dad are coming from. I mean which is worse, dying or living trapped in your own body?

 

AZURE: I vote the latter.

 

GABE: (TRISTAN begins to enter from left through living room and listens) It’s like I say about superstitions. I don’t really believe that bad luck is going to haunt me if I walk under the ladder, but why risk it if I don’t have to. Why risk losing Azure?

 

TRISTAN: (Entering the kitchen) To save Azure.

 

MARY: (Through clinched teeth) As I said before, she doesn’t need saving.

 

SADIE: (Pause until SADIE screams/squeals offstage. Still offstage) Mom! The cat spilled my fingernail polish all over my new jeans!

 

MARY: (Without looking away from TRISTAN) Coming. (Slowly exits right upstairs)

 

TRISTAN: (After an awkward silence) It’s okay to be selfish. (Sits) Sometimes.

 

GABE: (Standing, leaving, half mumbling) Just keep telling yourself that.

 

TRISTAN: Gabriel!

 

GABE: Since when is everyone so fond of using my full name!

 

TRISTAN: (Ignoring GABE’s last comment. Mildly angry) You think I’m the one being selfish?

 

GABE: What else do you call wanting to risk your daughter’s life so that yours will be easier?

TRISTAN: (exasperated) Gabe! (Stands, pause) Do you not believe that it is selfish to keep her as she is when it may be torturing her?   

AZURE: Do you not both think it’s just a tiny bit selfish not to ask the person this concerns the most? (Says the following with a matching gesture) Yeah, that’s me. (Pause) But then, you can’t hear me so… (Joking in an English accent) pray continue.

TRISTAN: (GABE gives a dismissive sigh and turns to leave) Gabe, you know I don’t care that Azure’s not normal. I just-

GABE: (Turning around angry) I know no such thing! You’re as bad as Sadie! No. Worse. At least Sadie admits it and doesn’t try to act like a martyr!

TRISTAN: Now listen, son,-

GABE: (Yelling) No! Dad, you listen.

AZURE: (Calmly) I wish you’d both just listen.

GABE: This whole thing is nuts! This… this… nutty professor comes into our home with your invitation and the whole world gets turned upside down. (Exits to living room)

TRISTAN: Gabe! (There is a short silent scene here where both guys fight themselves on whether or not to go to the other and attempt to settle the matter. GABE gives up first and goes to window. Then TRISTAN exits stage right. AZURE is till in the kitchen now alone and GABE remains at the window)

AZURE: Yeah, thanks guys, just leave me why don’t ya’ll.

GABE: Damn!

AZURE: (Sarcastically) Ooooooo, such language.

GABE: Why do things always have to be so difficult? (Looking up at the sky out the window) Why God? Why would you do this?

AZURE: (No longer joking) Do what? (Pause) Why did He do what?

GABE: Everyone has their trails. I get that, but why… why challenge us with Azure’s disability and then tease us with a cure? (Pause) Maybe it’s not you at all, just life. (Pause) Mom’s right, but… so is Dad. (Looks back to where AZURE is but he can’t actually see her through the wall) Or maybe we’re all wrong. (Pause) Man! What would Azure want? (Long pause) There was this movie once. This rich guy was a big jerk. Said he loved only money, power, and capitalism, something like that. Then this women asked if this was true that he only loved money and power and capitalism because you know they can never love you back. (Pause, eyes linger on where AZURE is) How do you love what can’t love you back?

AZURE: (Goes to GABE, kisses him on the forehead, then goes to the lamp and turns and looks at GABE) But I do. (Turns light out. Blackout.)    

AZURE: (Lights up. AZURE is by the lamp. Her chair is on the right of the couch. SADIE is seated comfortably on the couch in the living room “watching T.V.” The T.V. is not really there but placed out in the audience. MARY is busy around the room straightening the room. Both SADIE and MARY are frozen at first) Day 5. Being the other anything is hard. If you live in someone else’s shadow, you never get to see the sun. But what’s even harder is being in a tangle of shadows and people, where the person whose shadow you live in, lives in yours. (Returns to her chair)

SADIE: (MARY walks in front of where the T.V. is suppose to be) Mom! You’re blocking the T.V.!

MARY: (Stops square in front of SADIE with her back to the audience) Oh, really? I’m sorry to interrupt dear princess. I was just cleaning up your mess!

GABE: (Enters from stage right through the kitchen. Completely un aware of SADIE and MARY’s moment) Hey, Mom, do you- (Sees the tension in the room) Never mind. I’ll come back later. (Turns to leave)

MARY: No, Gabe, what is it?

GABE: I was just wondering if you remembered the number for the movie theatre. I was going to see if Sarah wanted to go to the movies, but I need to get the show times first.

MARY: It’s in the phone book.

GABE: Which is where?

MARY: Upstairs in my room.

GABE: Thanks. (Exits right back to upstairs)

SADIE: Jeez! Somebody’s cranky.

AZURE: She’s not the only one.

MARY: Can’t you find anything more productive to do, Sadie?

SADIE: Like what? Homework? It’s summer. Read a book? But that’s just another form of entertainment. Clean (Scoff) This house can’t handle both of us running around like we’re chickens with their heads cut off.

AZURE: (Warningly) Sadie…

SADIE: (Sarcastically as if getting an idea) No. Wait. Maybe I can waste all m energy on worrying about this whole Azure operation, death thing. (Getting up and walking straight to her mom) No. Wait. The three of you already got that covered. (Reaches around her mom and turns of the T.V. TRISTAN enter from left. Tension is high about to erupt)

MARY: (Exploding at TRISTAN) YOU! You did this! It was your idea. Well, guess what. It is our decision and I say no and never! (Exits right through kitchen)

TRISTAN: (Starting after MARY) Mary! I… (Turns and sees SADIE. Angry) What did you say?

SADIE: (Surprised) Me?! I didn’t say anything-

AZURE: That’s not true.

SADIE: Mom’s the one being ridiculous. This shouldn’t be a hard decision.

TRISTAN: That’s where you’re wrong, Sadie. This should be the hardest decision we ever, as a family, make.

SADIE: We as a family?

AZURE: Exactly what I gonna say.

SADIE: This you and Mom. Me and-

TRISTAN: (Yelling) NO! (Calmer) She’s your sister-

SADIE: (Offended and not understanding why he’s yelling at her) And she’s your daughter. But why are you yelling at me? I’m on your side.

TRISTAN: And you’re doing more harm than good on it.

SADIE: I didn’t do anything.

TRISTAN: (Yelling) You can be so selfish sometimes, Sadie.

SADIE: (Stammering) W…What…I …Where… Where did that come from?

TRISTAN: (Quieter, recalling GABE’s words from their fight) What else do you call wanting to risk your daughter’s life so that yours will be easier?

SADIE: (Louder than TRISTAN) She isn’t my daughter, she’s my sister. (Short pause) And you know what? I am being selfish, but at least I admit it and don’t try to play the martyr!

AZURE: Ooooo, good wording.

SADIE: Mom, with wanting to keep her precious, little toy, like a kitten that never becomes a cat. Gabe wanting to keep his hands clean. And you… You’re the worse.

TRISTAN: Me?!

AZURE: Nah, nah, no. He’s the one on the right track.

SADIE: Acting like you want to save Azure at any cost. Risk losing her to save her. As if losing her only hurts you. She’s the one who’d be dead.

AZURE: True.

SADIE: You want her to be normal just as much if not more than you want her happy. (mimicking him) “I always wanted to teach her to ride a bike.”

AZURE: (Not joking) Ooo, now that’s a little harsh.

(Long pause, high tension and heavy breathing)

SADIE: (Not yelling) Admit it. You just want another normal daughter.

TRISTAN: (Pause, too calm) No. (Pause) I only ever wanted one. (Exits right through kitchen)

(SADIE is near tears. It’s a tender spot he hit. She sways backwards and grabs something for support. Freezes)

AZURE: (Goes to the lamp) But which one? (AZURE turns of the lamp. Lights out)

AZURE: (Lights up. AZURE is at the wall by the light switch. Her chair is to the left of the table. TRISTAN is frozen in the living room as if gathering papers off the coffee table into a briefcase. There is GABE’s duffle bag by the couch as well) Day 6. My sister is not the most pleasant person in the world, but then again as some women named Linda (Making fun of her last name) Sunshine said if you don't understand how a girl could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you are probably an only child. (AZURE returns to her chair. TRISTAN begins action. SADIE enters from stage right through the kitchen to the living room. She stops as soon as she sees TRISTAN, who stops and stands up straight when he sees her. This whole scene is a cat and mouse game between TRISTAN and SADIE. MARY enters into the kitchen goes to AZURE and kisses her on the forehead and puts a strand of her hair behind her ear. She does not know what’s going on in the living room and can not be in the living room until after TRISTAN speaks)

TRISTAN: (SADIE turns to leave) Sadie. Wait. I-

SADIE: (Running into MARY who is entering from the kitchen) Hey! Mom! I was just wondering-

MARY: (Walking past SADIE) Sadie, I’m in a hurry right now. If you want to go somewhere, go. If you want to do something, make sure it’s legal and legal at your age.

SADIE: (Trying to avoid TRISTAN) No. I… I was… wondering if…

MARY: Out with is Sadie. I’m busy (Mimicking SADIE words from the night before) wasting my time.

SADIE: (Pause, her fake excitement fades, she’s hurt again) I’m sorry I said that, Mom. I didn’t mean it.

MARY: See that’s the problem, Sadie. You did mean it. (Pause) I’m going to the store. I’ll be back soon. (Exits left. An awkward pause follows)

TRISTAN: Sadie. You know I love you. I’m sorry about what I said last night. It isn’t true.

SADIE: (Not angry, sad) Yes it is.

TRISTAN: I didn’t mean it.

SADIE: (Laughs bitterly at the irony of them using the same words she just had with her mom, speaks bitterly) See, Dad, that’s the problem. You did mean it.

TRISTAN: Sadie… (SADIE turns to leave again but this time runs into GABE. She is visibly frustrated)

GABE: (Not angry) Watch it, little sis.

SADIE: (Angry) You’re the one still blocking the doorway.

GABE: What’s wrong with you? The world doesn’t revolve around you. I didn’t-

SADIE: (Yelling) Okay! I get it! I’m selfish! Now leave me alone! (Pause, everyone just stands there) MOVE!!

GABE: No. This has gone too far. You can’t act like this. (Pause, then shakes his head) I got football practice. (Picks up his bag from beside the couch) Bye, Dad.

(TRISTAN and SADIE are alone again, a pause to build tension where they are only staring at each other)

TRISTAN: (Finally moving, taking a step forward) Sadie…

SADIE: (Takes a step back) No. (Exists into the kitchen. She just stands there trying not to cry. TRISTAN waits a moment then grabs his briefcase and leaves. As soon as he’s gone, SADIE drops her mask. Hurrying as if in a panic she goes to the fridge and takes out a bowl of grapes, then goes to the table and begins eating. She begins to calm down. Then she looks at AZURE and sighs) Hey, Azure.

AZURE: (In mock surprise) Who? Me? But I thought you didn’t talk to vegetables. Maybe today I’m a grape. Do you talk to fruit?

SADIE: I don’t see why they are all making such a big fuss. What would there be missing if you died?

AZURE: Why do you ask a grape a question when they can’t talk?

SADIE: You don’t do anything. The only thing that would change is we’d have an extra room and Mom would have more spare time. Oh, and the wheelchair would be gone.

AZURE: And my cunning wit.

SADIE: (Questioning) But… no. (Pause. Different thought) What is it that makes them love you? There’s nothing to you!

AZURE: (Angry) Hey!

SADIE: I never get what the point of life is for freaks like you.

AZURE: Uhhhh… to breathe and eat… TO THINK! (Anger is even becoming visible while in her vegetative state)

SADIE: All you are is a skin sack of blood and bones.

AZURE: And mind!

SADIE: (Laughing as she pops a grape in her mouth) You’re nothing. Like I said. It’s sad, but that’s no reason to crown you queen.

AZURE: Yeah, queen grape.

SADIE: You have no reason to live. Why do you think there are so many books and movies about killing the handicap? Maybe that’s an idea we should entertain.

AZURE: (Yelling, extremely upset) Oh, Shut up! You’re just made because had I been born normal, you wouldn’t have been born at all and we’d all be better off! (Long pause as she realizes what she just said, quietly) Oh my God. I can’t believe I just said that. (Beat) For the first time in my life… I’m glad you can’t hear me.

SADIE: (Looks at AZURE) No. I couldn’t. (Tearing up) Because as much as I can’t understand it, even though I think it’s the stupidest, corniest thing in the world for us to talk to you when you can’t even respond, (Beat) here I am talking away. (Beat) But still the surgery thing… (Actually thinking about it) I’d risk it.

AZURE: So would I.

SADIE: The thing is how are we to know what you’d want.

AZURE: (Stands and talks into SADIE’s ear) Maybe listen just a little more carefully. (AZURE grabs the grape from her sister’s hand that was already halfway to her mouth. AZURE pops it into her own mouth, laughs, tussles SADIE’s hair and kind of dances/skips around the table back to her chair)

SADIE: (Noticing the missing grape, then looks at AZURE) Maybe we should just admit we don’t know which choice is the right one.

AZURE: That’ll do, too.

SADIE: Do you want to have the operation? Do you want to learn to ride that stupid bike? Do you even care about something so little? Do you care at all? (Pause) I can’t say yes, but then again, I can’t say no either. I just don’t know. (Pause, looks at AZURE, laughs) Love ya, big sis.

AZURE: (Stands, kisses SADIE on the forehead) Love ya, too, little sis. (Goes to the kitchen light switch. Turns off the light. Blackout)

AZURE: (AZURE is by the lamp. Her chair is on the right of the couch. MARY, frozen, is once again straightening the living room) Day 7. Judgment day. (Sighs) Let’s just get it over with. (AZURE returns to her chair and MARY returns to action)

TRISTAN: (Enters from stage left. MARY and TRISTAN look at each other, then MARY turns away from TRISTAN) Mary… (MARY actually stops this time but doesn’t face TRISTAN) Mary, it’s day 7. We have to give Dr. Bowheart a call.

MARY: (Still not looking at TRISTAN) Fine. Call her and tell her thanks but no thanks.

TRISTAN: Mary, I really want us to talk about this. Just the two of us.

AZURE: The three of us.

MARY: (Still not looking at TRISTAN) I’m not changing my mind.

TRISTAN: (Walks to her, puts his hands on her shoulders) We have to actually talk. You’re being stubborn. How would Azure feel?

MARY: (Turning around on TRISTAN) If you’re so worried about how Azure would feel, then why didn’t you think about how she’d feel about all of this… this fighting? I bet if she could, she’d be crying! (Walks away from TRISTAN again)

AZURE: (Un-amused laugh) Are you serious? I am rolling my eyes, now, rolling my eyes.

TRISTAN: How can we know? How-

 

MARY: (Turning on TRISTAN) You knew! You knew about this surgery, this deadline. How could you?! How could you ask me to risk our child’s life for nothing!

 

TRISTAN: (Angry now too) For nothing! Mary, Azure is not happy. We have to at least try. Don’t you want her to have the best, to have a normal life?!

 

MARY: She’s perfect just as she is! I’m not going to risk losing her-!

 

AZURE: (Screams in frustration) Stop!!!! (Stands) Stop arguing! Stop talking like I’m not here. I AM! I just want you to see that! (Going to MARY talking directly to her.) I want this! I want you to be able to hear me. I wanna tell you things. I want dad to get to teach me how to ride that stupid bike. I want this! (Taking a deep breathe. More gently) I really want this. (Pauses. Putting a piece of hair behind her mother’s ear.) I need this. (AZURE returns to her wheelchair and her vegetable state)

 

MARY: (Still yelling) It isn’t worth it! (MARY pauses, notices her hair behind her ear. Her anger evaporates as she looks at AZURE)

 

TRISTAN: (In soft frustration) Mary…

 

MARY: (Taking a deep breath, quietly) I’ll do it.

 

TRISTAN: (Shocked) What? (Hopeful) Really? Are you sure? (MARY nods. TRISTAN smiles) We’re going to do it. Okay, I’ll go call Dr. Bowheart. (Starts to exit, but stops) Are you sure? That was a quick opinion switch. What made you change your mind?

 

MARY: I don’t know. I guess… I just listened.

 

TRISTAN: I know what you mean. (They smile at each other and share a moment, then TRISTAN exits stage right through the kitchen to upstairs)

 

MARY: (Goes to AZURE, kisses her on the forehead and tuck a piece of hair behind her ear) I love you. (Starts to exits to kitchen. Beat. Action freezes.)

 

AZURE: I love you, too If only you could really hear me. (Smiles) Soon maybe you will. (Lights out)

 

(Here depending on the resources at hand you may insert some silent “happy” scenes put to music from after the surgery. Them in a hospitable room with AZURE in the bed talking to her parents, gesturing wildly with hands. SADIE and GABE playing keep away with AZURE and her book.  A family picnic on a blanket. If you choose to perform the “happy” scenes, the following scene should take place center stage at a picnic table outside. If you do not perform the “happy” scenes, then the follow scene just takes place in the kitchen.)

 

(It is breakfast about a month later. The lighting is brighter and you hear sounds of nature in the back ground)

 

MARY: (Lighter than before, looking out the window S.R.) This is her favorite time of day. She loved dawn. Said it was a new beginning every time. Gosh, Tuesday when we went to the park to watch the sunrise, she wouldn’t stop talking. She told me she wanted to know everything. (Turning toward TRISTAN and looking in his eyes) Wanted to see everything up close.

 

 

TRISTAN: She has the most beautiful smile. I’m glad I got to see that. We have an amazing daughter.

 

SADIE: (Entering with GABE) And a stinging attitude to match that smile. (Laughs)

 

GABE: The only person I ever met that could keep up with you on attitude. (Long pause) I wonder where she is.

 

SADIE: (Laughs) Once again I guess we just have to say we don’t know.

 

(AZURE enters from U.C. between the rooms. The action does not freeze, but the family continues morning business silently behind her, even pantomime talking.)

 

AZURE: (Takes in the scene of her family. Takes a deep breath and faces the audience) I died. (Short beat, then under her breath) Major brain aneurism. (A little louder) One week after the surgery, but (Smiles) I had one week. Seven days to be normal. Seven days to talk, to walk, to write, to read. (Smiling still, walks to her family almost as if she’s going to join them) Seven days to truly get to know them. Seven days for them to get to know me, who I’ve always been. They got to learn, my favorite color is blue. My favorite song (Chuckles to an inside joke) Dream Big. We cried, we laughed.(Beyond happy) I got to laugh!(Laughs softly, pauses) I only had seven days, but maybe the next one like me will get seven months, the next seven years, the next…(Smiles) seven children. I lived seven days. My only regret… (Puts her hand on TRISTAN’s shoulder, he notices but does not look at her, Azure smiles) he never did get to teach me how to ride that bike.

 

(Lights fade)

 

(Curtain Closes) 

 

 

 

© 2011 ctwood


Author's Note

ctwood
I worry about certain things being on the line of being corny. I'm also not sure about how the scene between Azure and Sadie will read. Would love comments!

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Added on July 25, 2011
Last Updated on July 27, 2011
Tags: choice, handicap, sick, change