Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR (D.I.)
Andy: Thank you for letting me take your daughter to the fair tonight. We had a fun time together.
Dad: You were late by 10 minutes! That wasn’t very responsible of you, Andy, now was it?
Andy: I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that we were having such a good time-- Bye, Bree.
Bree: Bye, Andy. See you Monday?
Andy: Yeah, see ya.
Dad: Goodbye, Andy. (Andy walks off stage left, Dad turns to Cass) What was that?!? Go to your room! NOW!
Bree: But Andy brought me home! It was only 10 minutes, 10 minutes!
Dad: I don’t care, Breanna! Late is late! Now, go… GO!!
Bree: But, if you would just listen--
Dad: No, you listen! That Andy has only been a bad influence on you! It just goes to show that you can’t make good decisions! You keep ruining things for everyone!
Bree: (crying) But, Dad--
Dad: Hey! Remember that one time when you actually made a good decision?
Dad: No! You don’t! Cause you have never done anything right, Breanna! You can’t do anything good, can you?!?
Bree: (whimpering softly) Just give me a chance…
Dad: A chance? A chance?!? No! I’ve given you chance, after chance, after chance, Breanna!
Bree: You never deserved the ones I gave you, you worthless brat! (scene freezes just as Dad brings his hand back to slap Bree)
Gen: Stop! Stop, stop, STOP! Oh, I couldn’t bare to see that go on any longer! He finds every reason to fight with her! Bree tries so hard to be… You see… He has a drinking problem. Ever since his oldest son and daughter, Gus and Genevieve, died in a serious car accident-- It never used to be this way! He’s become a different person. I know all of this because… I died in that car accident and lived in this house for 17 years. I am Genevieve. I had 2 younger sisters, Breanna and Kate. Bree was only 12 when I died; Kate was six. Now they’re 15 and 9. I wish I could help Bree, but…she can’t see me! I want to be there for her so she doesn’t make the same mistakes I made. The mistakes that got Gus and me both killed. The night that I died. I want her to be happy! I wanted to be happy… (Action starts again, and Dad brings his hand down on Bree’s face. She yelps loudly.)
Dad: Why can’t you be more like Genevieve was?!? She always made the right decisions! Unlike you!
Bree: I will never be her! I will always be me! (Bree runs offstage crying)
Dad: Girls like her are too dramatic. Kids these days. (walks off other way)
Gen: Don’t go Bree! I do admit I was part of the problem… I was a bit of an overachiever. I guess he expects more of her because I was kind of a goody-two-shoes. Bree is more of a ‘have fun while you’re young’ kind of person. ‘Fun’ was exactly what got me killed. I had a boyfriend named Sam. He played football and was really hot and well, I was really what you would call naïve. He invited Gus and me to the movies with him and another girl named Stephanie. I started feeling sick, so I asked Gus to drive me home. Sam got irritated and said he would drive me home. He didn’t lie. He just drove us to his house instead. A couple of his friends from the team were there and we started playing games. Just a few silly little, harmless games, right? Somewhere along the way someone opened a cooler-- Gus was nowhere to be seen. I, uncomfortable as was, panicked and ran out to the car. Well, I found Gus… and Stephanie. He saw my tear stricken face and shoved Stephanie off and out of the car. We headed home. But, you’ve got to understand that I’m not a normal teenage girl. I freaked out, okay? Sam and his friends chased us. And they drove faster and faster and faster and-- Then suddenly they hit us. We all died. No care flight, no ICU. Just dead. Stephanie only survived because she stayed home, because we were all dead. Still are. Dead.
Bree: I hate him! I hate her, too! If she hadn’t died, none of this would be happening! She could go off to some college and become the world’s greatest doctor, win the Nobel Prize, and live happily ever after! The. End. If she wasn’t cold and dead in her grave, I might get away with an 89.4 on an English exam! But, no! I have to be more like Genevieve. Knowing her, I bet she’s laughing at me and my misfortune! She never cared! She never listened! She doesn’t care even now when I am alive and she isn’t! No one cares!
Gen: I care! I care, Bree! Shhh. I will make everything right! I promise. There has got to be a way to--
Mom: Breanna, darling, are you alright? I heard you crying. What’s wrong?
Bree: Nothing, Mom, sniff, sniff, I’ll be okay.
Mom: What happened?
Bree: Dad and I fought, but I’m fine, Mom. Really. It was nothing.
Mom: Well, if you’re sure…
Bree: Yes, Mom.
Mom: Okay, then. You need to get some sleep. Goodnight, love.
Bree: Goodnight, Mom. Tell Kate goodnight for me. (Mom leaves) Sigh.
Gen: There has got to be a way to communicate with Bree. I don’t know what to do! I’ve tried just about everything! Writing--can’t even pick up a pen, Haunting--not happening, Mirrors--Hey! That’s an idea! I could talk to her in mirrors, reverse vampire style! Of course! When she goes to dance tomorrow I can see her at the dance studio. Tomorrow I will finally get to help her through this!
Beck: Hey, Bree! What happened yesterday with you and your dad? Andy said that you two fought pretty bad.
Bree: (panicked) How does he know?
Beck: He heard you while he was walking to his car. Is everything ok?
Bree: Yeah...everything’s fine, Beck. How was that party last--
Andy: Bree, you ok, babe? I heard you and your dad fighting last night--Bree, what happened to your face? Did he hit you? What did he do?
Bree: Nothing, ok? I’m fine. I fell on the way up the stairs to get to my room...I guess I bruised.
Andy: No! This is not ok! You can’t blame a bruise like that on tripping!!! I’m not that stupid, Em! Good God! This is all my fault! If we had gotten home sooner--
Bree: No! Andy, this isn’t your fault. I guess I just can’t be good enough for him.
Beck: Bree! You can’t--
Bree: It’s true! I will never be as good as Genevieve! You both know it! Now, get out of my face! I’ve got to go to first period. See ya ‘round, guys. (walks offstage)
Andy: What are we supposed to do? Sit here while her dad uses her as his personal punching bag? I mean, I know he’s hit her before, but never this bad! Beck, I’m scared! What if he starts hurting Kate, too? What then, Beck? She’s only 9! How could you let such a thing happen, Beck?
Beck: I don’t know what we are gonna do. We’ll figure something out. Andy, I’m sure of it. But Bree has dance practice after school today, so saving the day will have to wait until after that.
D.I.: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, Kate, stay on your toes! Jess-- be light and float like a feather-- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and plié. Excellent, girls! Why don’t we run through it again, shall we? 5,6,7,8…(song plays again and they dance) Great! Okay, everyone, take 5! (Everyone except Bree leaves, who stays to practice her number, humming softly. She looks in the mirror and sees Genevieve standing there.)
Bree: (screams) Genevieve?!? What are you doing here?!? I thought you were…dead.
Gen: I am. I’m a ghost. I’ve been trying to talk to you since I died. Gus kind of moved on, I guess he was at peace with his life. He’s in heaven. I still am not finished.
Bree: But how are you even--
D.I.: Everyone! Let’s be heading back toward the studio now ladies! Wrap it up!
Gen: I’ll explain everything later…Just stay level-headed, okay?
Gen: Bye, my sweet angel.
D.I.: Alright, class! Let’s take it from the top! Everyone get in their places! 5,6,7,8… (song starts playing) Stay together!...Breanna! Keep in step!...Breanna!...Cut!-- Breanna, focus! Next week we have Juilliard representatives coming in to watch all of you practice! I don’t need them distracted with your constant mistakes! Oh, I’m sorry, Breanna. You do need to stay focused. Work hard on that combination of pirouettes, okay? Class dismissed. Everyone have a great day! (All exit but Bree. She glances longingly at the empty mirror, twirling her combination and exiting sadly)
Kate: Mommy! Can you get me a snack?
Mom: No, dear! I’m setting the table! We are about to eat!
Kate: What’s for dinner?
Mom: (sighs) Food, Kate, food.
Mom: Okay, fine! We’re having hamburgers. Daddy’s grilling out back. Hey! Have you seen Bree? I haven’t seen her walk through through the door since she left this morning!
Kate: She was at dance! I haven’t seen--
Bree: Sorry I’m late! I just got home from Andy’s house. What’s for dinner?
Mom: (startled) Hamburgers. Uh, I didn’t know you were going to Andy’s--
Bree: Sorry Mom. What’d you say was for dinner? Nevermind…I’ve got to go do homework. You know. Long busy day. No time to talk. (runs offstage)
Kate: Is she okay, Momma?
Mom: (sighs) Well, Kate, I’m just not sure, but I hope. I really do hope.
Bree: Genevieve! Where are you, Gen? (picks up hand mirror)
Gen: Uh-- I’m a little squished in here. How ‘bout the wall mirror?
Bree: Oh, yeah. Sorry. I almost didn’t get out of that one with Mom.
Gen: Where have you actually been, Bree?
Bree: Walking home really slowly.
Bree: Thinking about you. About what happened to you and Gus.
Gen: Bree, it wasn’t your fault! It was my decision to hang around that stupid Sam guy and his scummy friends! It was my choice, not yours.
Bree: So? I was the one who always told you that y’all would be a cute couple. I told you to go on that date with him. I helped you get ready. I--
Gen: NO! Breanna! Stop beating yourself up like that! I made my decision! What’s done is done! My choice, not yours. I was blind and naïve! I didn’t know his intentions! You didn’t cause any of this!
Bree: You don’t get it! I did this to you! It was my fault!
Dad: Breanna! Why are you being so loud? Shut your mouth before I come up there and beat you senseless!
Bree: Yes, sir! I’ll be quiet, Dad!
Dad: (storming onstage) What did you say?
Bree: I said I would be quiet!
Dad: Liar! I’m gonna teach you what happens to liars! (grabs Bree’s wrists, starts dragging her towards the closet)
Bree: Dad, what are you doing? Ow! That hurts, Dad! Mom! Mom! Mo-- (Dad covers her mouth)
Dad: I hope you rot in this closet. (shoves her in) Night, night. (walks offstage)
Gen: Stupid hands! Why can’t you grab the doorknob? Please! Maybe if I concentrate hard enough. It’s no use! I’m useless! She can’t even hear me inside that stupid closet! I love you, Breanna!
Bree: Mom! Moooooooooooooom! Please! Somebody! Let me out of here! Kate! Kaaaaaaaaaaate! It’s freezing in here.
To sit in solemn silence on a dull, dark dock
in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock
awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock
from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block.
To sit in solemn silence in a cold, dank place
with nothing here to warm you now in this tight space
Maybe I will die here, gone without a trace
from the cold that surely haunts you now, in this death case.
I just want to get out of here. They say when you wish upon a star your dreams come true, but I can’t see the stars from here. Mooooooooooom! Please! Somebody! Anybody! Please! I just want out of here! Please!
Kate: Bree? Is that you?
Bree: Yes! Can you go get the key from Momma’s room?
Kate: Why did you lock yourself in a closet?
Bree: Da-- Um, I was putting up my coat and I accidentally shut it.
Kate: Oh. I’ll be right back.
Bree: (with music) When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are! When you wish upon a star your dreams come true! (door opens by a light slowly sliding on to her as if by a door opening)
Kate: Daddy! Can you brush my hair? It’s really tangly, and I’m about to go to school!
Dad: You want me to brush your hair? I don’t think so! What are you? Two? If you really are a nine year old you need to start acting like one!
Kate: But, Daddy--
Dad: There you go , “but, Daddy”ing me! You are exactly like Breanna! No! You are so lazy! You’re such a brat thinking you can just come in here and expect me to wait on you hand and foot!
Kate: Daddy, I--
Dad: Stop interrupting! You are such a little (starts shaking her shoulders) brat! You don’t even deserve to be in my presence!
Kate: Please stop! Please. Stop! Stop it, Daddy!
Bree: That’s enough! You may get away with slapping me around, but hurting Kate is taking it too far! Get away from my little sister!
Dad: (dropping Kate, throwing her to the ground) What was that? Did Breanna just mouth at me? At ME!!! I thought that maybe after your consultation with the coat closet you might learn to hold your tongue! I guess not! (slaps her hard across the face) Now you learn? Now you learn!! You need to respect those in authority over you! (twists her arm behind her back and she yelps, falling to the ground He repeatedly kicks her in the stomach) You feel your lesson, Breanna?! You feel it now????
Bree: Kate (coughing) Go get Mommy! Go get her fast, okay?? Okay?! (Kate nods and runs offstage) Dad stop! Please!
Dad: Maybe if you beg, but even then, I doubt it. (yanks her up by her wrist)
Bree: Please, I’ll do anything!
Dad: Say uncle.
Bree: (screaming, crying) UNCLE!! (he drops her and she collapses to the ground panting) Thank you.
Dad: What was that?!?
Bree: Maybe if you had better hearing, you would hear me! Or maybe you just don’t listen!
Dad: Last time you smart off to me! (drags her to her feet and puts her in a choke hold)
Bree: Dad! Stop! STOP! Oh, God! Dad, you aren’t thinking clearly! Dad you’re drunk!
Dad: So what if I am? Does it give you an excuse to smart off to me?
Bree: Dad, (panting) I can’t breathe! Mo-- (chokes and coughs) Dad… (goes limp and he drops her)
Gen: (running on) Bree? What’s wro-- No!!!!
Dad: That’s what you get, you little worthless brat!
Gen: No! No…no...no!!! Wake up, Bree! Wake. UP!!!! Dad! Why would you do this?!?! Why?!?!?!?!?
Dad: Serves you right! Now maybe when you see Genevieve, you can learn a thing or two about being good! (leans down to check her pulse)
Mom: (her and Kate come running on) Bree! Harry! What did you do to her? What have you done?!?! What have you done?!?!?! My baby, Breanna! Talk to me! Wake up, honey. Honey? Kate go call 9-1-1. Okay?
Kate: Will Bree be okay?
Mom: (crying) I don’t know. Just hurry for mommy. (Kate runs off quickly) I can’t lose another child! Harry! What did you do? You killed your own child! She loved you with every fiber of her body and you murdered her! (Ding-dong! Kate runs back on escorted by _ policemen [at least 2] Dad runs off)
P1: Hello, ma’am. (Paramedics rush in and carry off Bree) Do you know a man by the name of Harrison Barker?
Mom: Yes. He is in the back bedroom. Would you like me to take you there?
P2: That won’t be necessary, Mrs. Barker. We’ll handle him. (they walk out)
Kate: Is Bree gonna be okay?
Mom: I don’t know.
Kate: Promise she will, Momma! Promise she will!!!
Mom: (hugging her tightly) Okay, Kate. I promise. I promise.
(Bree lays on a hospital bed unconscious, Andy and Beck walk in)
Andy: Bree. Bree? C’mon, baby. Talk to me. I know you can hear me. (pause) Listen. The doctor says you are going to die, but I can’t believe it. You’re in a coma on life support and they’re losing hope, but I won’t. Wake up for me. Wake up, okay?
Beck: We’re best friends. You can’t leave me like this, Bear! I love you even though I never tell you so. I do. I just want you to know we are rooting for you. Whether you live or die is all up to you, Bear! Please. Please. Oh, God, please, please. (Mom and Kate walk in)
Andy: I’m sorry, Mrs. Barker. We’re taking up precious time with your daughter. Let’s go, Beck.
Beck: (going up to Kate and crouching down to her height) Be strong for Bree. It’s what she would want. Keep your chin up, kid, because she loves you, okay? (hugs her) I’ve gotta go. Bye, Kate.
Kate: Bye, Beck. (Walks over to Bree’s bedside) I wrote a poem for you, Bree. You wanna hear it?
A hole is a home for a rabbit
Water is for fishes at sea
A house is a home where people live
The one with a door and a key
Some animals live on a farm
A farm where horses go 'neigh'
They shelter in sheds and rest in beds
Beds made out of hay
That's why we need homes
To rest and play
So that's why homes are great
And that's all I can say
I need you in my house
Without you it’s not a home
I’ll be quieter than a mouse!
I promise by London and Rome!
Please don’t die, Bree. Please don’t die.
Mom: I love you, I don’t know what to say. Please stay with me. (Doctors file in the room) Kate, why don’t you go stand in the hall with Beck and Andy.
D1: I need to speak with you, Mrs. Barker.
D2: I know how much you love your daughter, but she isn’t getting better. She took a fatal injury to the head as well as long periods without air. She isn’t going to wake up, Mrs. Barker. You have to make a decision, now. (Mom nods and begins to cry)
(Amazing Grace is playing)
Andy: Hi, I am Andy, Bree’s boyfriend. I was chosen to speak her eulogy and, um, here it goes. Breanna. 15. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Short. Beautiful. All of these things make up my wonderful girlfriend. But they aren’t her. Her features didn’t make her who she is. I mean, was. She loved daffodils and the smell of lavender. She wanted to be a special ed teacher when she graduated. Her favorite color was periwinkle. She was the best dancer I have known in my whole life, and-- Breanna Angel Barker was my best friend, my world. I loved her. No, I love her. She loves me, too. She never got to graduate high school! She never will be able to walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’. She will never get to help those poor little children that need her! I need her. And now an innocent 15 year old girl is dead! All because of a stupid bottle and a stupid man in this stupid world! She deserved better than this! I’m sorry, um, yeah, I’m sorry. (walks to his seat)
Bree: (now dressed like a ghost also walks on with Gen) I want them to see me, to know I’m okay. It hurts more to see this than to have died.
Gen: I know, Bree, I know. (gasps) Maybe we can! There is a giant mirror in the auditorium on the stage by the statue of Mary!
Bree: Let’s go! (they run onstage just as Mom takes the microphone) Well, here goes nothing! (loudly) Hi, everyone! Please don’t freak out. I’m not alive again and I didn’t come to haunt you. I want to tell you everything. I forgive my father and I love him still. Please tell him. And I pray that little Kate never suffers our destiny. That’s what it is. Destiny. But I’m free and I love every single one of you. So do Gus and Genevieve. You can’t see them, but I can. They love you and send their hope to you that things will change, that drugs and alcohol will not be the center of our lives. That we will learn from our mistakes. Because everybody makes one another’s terrible mistakes thinking they’re alone, but no one is alone, so now we all have a responsibility to our world. Love. Fight to change the world and save future Genevieves and people like me from drowning in fear and not being able to do anything about it. Help those without voices! I know I sound like one of those animal shelter commercials, but it is true. I let people kick me around. Save someone else. For me! For Genevieve! For Gus! For all of us! Thank you. (walks away from mirror)
Mom: Don’t leave me!
Bree: Bye, Mom