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Act Two: High School, continued from Elementary Memories

by Rei


Scene One

RACHEL

It took a long time, but Cody did eventually let me have friends. First, it was this new girl, also named Sarah, who believed in the tree people. Eventually, we formed our own group of friends. In the Disney version of this story, it would have ended with me moving on to middle school with a new sense of optomism. But it doesn't work that way. The bullying never stopped, and I got a new nickname, "Hell." It got worse in middle school. I lost my friends, and I started to wish that bad things would happen to me. A few times, I stood in the middle of the road, but Cody always pulled me back to the sidewalk. I got so mad that I started rebelling against his control. I talked to people I shouldn't have, made friends with someone he told me not to, wrote stories instead of doing my homework. I just didn't care about being safe anymore.

Helen is sitting at her desk. She is writing up a storm until Cody enters.

CODY

Did you finish your speech for the contest?

HELEN

Just about. I saw this commercial on TV that finally gave me an idea.

CODY

What did you decide on?

HELEN

Well, the commercial was for the show David Copperfield's going to do when he comes to Toronto, so I thought I'd write about magic.

CODY

You mean like illusions and how those people can make you believe in something that didn't happen the way they saw it?

HELEN

A bit of that, but I mean real magic.

CODY

Oh.

HELEN

SOmething wrong with that idea? Mrs. Bordon said to write about something we know a lot about.

CODY

It's fine. It's just that I'm not sure that the other kids will be interested in hearing about that.

HELEN

Probably, but it's all I could come up with, and I can't do any better than that.

Scene Two

Helen gets up groggily as Cody enters.

CODY

Good morning.

HELEN

Hi.

CODY

Are you ready?

HELEN

Not a chance. My head is killing me. This is way different from last year.

CODY

YOu mean the media presentation?

HELEN

Yeah. Why did you let me do that anyway?

CODY

The assignment was given at the last minute. We didn't have time to find a way out of it. Besides, all you had to do was talk about a commercial.

HELEN

I guess it wasn't so bad. But we gotta find a way out of this one. There was nothing personal about the commercial except Aunt Louisa being in it, and there's lots of personal stuff in this.

CODY

Yeah, taht is a problem. Whenever you get too personal, someone will find a way to use it againts you.

HELEN

Oh, god, don't remind me. Margot was terrible. But I couldn't control myself

CODY

Wouldn;t have happened if you'd listened to me. Stopping you is my job

HELEN

I know, I know. I listen to you now, don't I?

CODY

Yes. Now come on and get dressed. If you don't hurry you're mom's likely to come up and start squealing about what an important day it is.

HELEN

I didn't really feel like eating breakfast. Mom had decided that we were having waffles. All the sugar in the syrup would probably make me sick, but what's new? I felt sick all the time. If it wasn't migraines, it was nausea or dizziness. Anyway, we didn't leave for school until the last second. You know, so we could walk into class just before the bell rings. Leaving at any other time coule mean talking. When I did talk, sometimes they would let me go on and on until I said too much. They smiled at me in a really awkward way, and I knew that inside they were laughing at me. That's waht Cody said. It's strange. They give me trouble for not talking, and then they laugh at me when I do talk. Why is that?

CODY

That's just the way things are. As I've said, in their eyes, you can never be right.

Scene Three

CODY

You have to tell Mrs. Bordon that you can't do your speech today.

HELEN

What?

CODY

It would be a very bad idea if you read your speech today.

HELEN

Okay. If I don't do it today, when do I do it?

CODY

Don't do it at all!

HELEN

Come on. I know I said we should find a way out of it, but I was thinking, and I kind of want to do it now.

CODY

But it's not very good. It's not like you spent much time on it.

HELEN

But everyone has to participate in the school speech contest! And we're getting marked on it. Even one zero is a big deal!

RACHEL

They were my mother's words, really, but part of me knew that she was right.

CODY

What if they laugh at you?

HELEN

We don't know that they will.

CODY

Exactly. So why risk it?

HELEN

Yeah . . . Why risk it? But what about the zero?

RACHEL

What's worse, not doing it, getting a zero, and having my mom get mad at me. Or getting a bad mark because I screwed up the second I had those eyes on me, and Mom just being really disappointed in me?

Mrs. Bordon and a student enter.

CODY

Listen to them.

GIRL

I don't really feel all that comfortable reading my speech in front of everyone. I've always been kind of afraid of public speaking.

MRS. BORDON

So what do you want to do?

GIRL

I was just wondering if I could, like, read it privately, or something.

MRS. BORDON

That's acceptable as long as you don't mind having ten percent docked off your mark, since I won't be able to mark you on audience response.

GIRL

That's okay. I'll make up for it by doing really well on the test next week.

MRS. BORDON

Okay. When do you want to do it?

GIRL

How 'bout tomorrow during lunch?

MRS. BORDON

All right, but don't be late.

GIRL

I won't. Thanks. I gotta go to the washroom. Will you still mark me on time if I'm late?

MRS. BORDON

Of course.

CODY

Perfect! Why don't you ask her for the same deal?

HELEN

Hm?

CODY

Ask your teacher if you can do it provately, like that girl. That way, you'll stay safe, and you'll only loose ten percent off your mark.

HELEN

You really think I could do that?

CODY

Of couse!

RACHEL

And with that, my migraine began to fade.

Scene Four

MRS. BORDON

Well . . . I think you did a very good job. Your voice was clear, and I could hear you very well. I certaily liked your choice of topic. Your thoughts were all well organized. I'm going to give you a . . . fourteen out of twenty.

RACHEL

I got a B. I, Helen Rachel Baumander, got a B! I wasn't sure what to think. It's not like I was expecting to fail. Nor was I expecting to get high praise. All I wanted was to be safe. That's all.

MRS. BORDON

Okay, Helen, you can go for lunch now. Don't worry. It's all over. You did very well.

RACHEL

Did I?

Mrs. Bordon exits as Cody enters.

CODY

How did it go?

HELEN

Okay, I guess. I got a B.

CODY

Good . . . Good . . .

HELEN

I don't know why I had to do it privately, Cody.

CODY

You know why it had to be done privately. It has to be done that way.

HELEN

But we don't know that they would have laughed at me.

CODY

Exactly. We don't know how they would have reacted, so there was a lot of risk involved.

HELEN

And we can't take any risks.

CODY

Right.

RACHEL

As we walked home that day, I saw a big, red SUV drive by. And I wondered, if I jumped in front of it, would Cody pull me out of the way?

Scene Five

RACHEL

And high school just got harder and harder. And the bullying, it never really stopped. Eventually, it became so overwhelming that Cody couldn't protect me anymore. I guess he got tired of pulling me back to the sidewalk. SO when it came time for grade ten, I went to a new school and started using my middle name, Rachel. I just wanted to forget everything associated with the name Helen. I made friends, and they dumped me. For some reason, Cody let me make more friends, and let me talk in front of my class all the time. Things got a little easier, but then my drama teacher gave me the worst assignment possible.

Blackout. When the lights return, Rachel is no longer in the narrator's position.

RACHEL

This is a disaster, Cody! What am I going to do?

CODY

I don't want to tell you what to do this time, but I think yuo should do what Mr. Miller asked you do to.

RACHEL

I can't.

CODY

Sure you can. You've performed monologues before.

RACHEL

Not like this. I have to write one i might do if I was a character in a play. Personal stuff, remember?

CODY

Yes, it is personal stuf, but I think you can do it.

RACHEL

Sure, if it was only gonna be fore Mr. Miller to read. But I can't do it in front of them!

CODY

I think you should make your own decision on this one. What's your mark in that class anyway?

RACHEL

Sixty.

CODY

And how much of your final mark is this worth?

RACHEL

Ten percent, I think.

CODY

Do the math, Rachel. Think of your chances of getting the credit if you don't do it. I know there's a lot of risk in this, but this isn't elementary school.

RACHEL

So I wrote the monologue. I wrote it over and over again. It took hours just to get it right. What was too much? What wasn't enough? I hated every minute of it. No matter how many times I wrote it, it didn't sound right. But what could I do? We were only given two weeks to write and memorize it. Anyway, this is what I finally came up with.

There's this guy who tells me what to do, but I know I can't do them. But I'm not suppsed to do things. It's not the way, because I'm different. Whatever I do will get messed up anyway. That's what he used to tell me. People say they understand what it feels like to be me. "You know, I used to be like you." And they try to give me advice. Advice, advice, advice! Damn advice! Would you give someone advice on how to write a better essay if they didn't already know the basic rules? Well, I don't know the rules, okay!

I hate that I have to leave my house every morning. It's not safe out there. My hair is all wrong. People laugh at me just because I don't wash it every single day. People can tell me what I do wrong, but they can't make it better. All I have is theories that keep me alone. I don't understand why what I do is wrong! I guess that's just the way things are. That's what that guy told me.

Your eyes are all on me, trying to find the flaws. I can't stand to have those eyes on me! They burn like acid. I would rather take a zero than have those eyes on me. You're no different from the kids who created the killers at Columbine. And the one everyone blames is the one who knew exactly what they needed. But what can he do? He's not in schools.

I spent all last night crying. Why? I don't know. I just do that sometimes because I have nothing better to do. Are any of you thinking right now, "I know how you feel." Well, if you do, you'll know what it's like to go to sleep and pray that maybe this time you won't wake up. You'll know what it's like to cross the street and wish that maybe that speeding car won't stop in time.

The thing that gets me is that you're at me for being different, but it's even worse for me to try to be like everyone else. I don't get it. Why? I'm not dangerous. My mom tells me I'm special. Well I'm sick of special! I just want to be like everyone else. Because maybe I will become dangerous if I can't.

There is a long pause. The bell rings before anyone can say anything.

RACHEL

Oh, God. I don't know what I was thinking. How could I say those things in front of everyone? Not even Mr. Miller had anything to say. I didn't care that drama was my first period of the day. I didn't care that I could get suspended for skipping. All I cared about was confronting Cody. It was his fault this happened. He's let me do far too many things since I left my first high school. I was so depressed I could . . . Well, just watch.

Scene Six

RACHEL

Why did you let me do it?

CODY

Because it was the right thing to do. Because you needed to tell them how you feel every day.

RACHEL

But you saw their faces! I bet they all started laughing as soon as I left.

CODY

You don't know that.

RACHEL

But why wouldn't they?

CODY

Because maybe it let them see something in you that's more than just different. And because it was very well written and performed.

RACHEL

No, it wasn't.

CODY

Yes, it was. Listen to me. You've got to stop thinking things will turn out badly before they even start, because I might not be around when you start university in September.

RACHEL

But I need you. You protect me.

CODY

Do I, really?

RACHEL

Yes . . .

CODY

What do I protect you from? I protect you from living your life, Rachel! I mean, doesn't it hurt sometimes? Not being able to do things? Being alone all the time? Not getting the credit you deserve because you're too afraid to share your talents with everyone?

RACHEL

What talents?

CODY

Exactly. What talents?

RACHEL

So you agree with me.

CODY

I did at one tiem. 'Bout eleven years ago. A talentless little . . . Helen. The girls teased you. The boys ignored you. Stupid, good-for-nothing little girl who can't do anything right. Isn't that right . . . Helen.

RACHEL

Don't say that name.

CODY

Why not? It's who you are. It was your name before I came to you. When you started using Rachel, it was just another attempt at hiding yourself. Just like when you changed school.

RACHEL

Stop it. Please.

CODY

But are things really su much better than they were back in grade time.

RACHEL

Yeah. People don't make fun of me like they used to.

CODY

And you've got more friends now, right? But you're always afraid, aren't you? Afraid that you'll loose them. That they'll dump you the way they did in grade ten. Do you think about killing yourself any less than you did in middle school? In grade nine? If anything, you think about it even more. "Freak, freak, freak. That's what I am." Didn't you write that in your journal just last week?

RACHEL.

Yeah, but--

CODY

But what?

RACHEL

You never let me do it.

CODY

I can't do that.

RACHEL

Why not? I've heard of lots of other girls who've done it.

CODY

You should know the answer by now. It's the same answer I always give you. It's because you're different.

RACHEL

I wanna die!

CODY

No, you don't.

RACHEL

Please, why won't you let me do it?

CODY

Because all those other girls, you're so much stronger than them, and you deserve better. You didn't always need me, you know.

RACHEL

Shut up!

CODY

"There's always another rainbow. Search until you find it."

RACHEL

I said shut up.

CODY

"Don't look at the clous, look behind it. There's a rainbow there somewhere." Remember North Star. You used to look to her for strength, not protection. She was the Spirit of the Rainbow.

RACHEL

Rainbows have no spirit. They're just refracted light.

CODY

Damn was science tells you! "There's always a ray of sunshine, though it all seems tragic. You may turn around, and like magic--" There are times for science, and there are times for magic. "--there's an answer to your prayer."

RACHEL

Please, go away.

CODY

I can't do that. I'm here to stop you from doing things you aren't ready for, things that you're afraid of. Dying is one of those things. But what you did today, you were ready for that.

RACHEL

Why are you doing this to me?

CODY

You're doing this to yourself! I'm just the result of what you're doing. You wanted me to protect you, so I came. It's as simple as that. The less you torture yourself, the less I'll be here. Now repeat after me. "There's always another rainbow." Rachel refuses to respond. Okay, I'll leave you alone for now. But we're going to continue this tomorrow. When you get home from school.

Scene Seven

MR. MILLER

Before we do our warm-up, I'd like everyone to sit down while I hand out your monologue evaluations. David . . . Richard . . . Rachel . . .

Rachel gets up to retrieve her evaluation.

RACHEL

Sir?

MR. MILLER

Yes, Rachel?

RACHEL

Can you . . . um . . .

MR. MILLER

Can I what?

RACHEL

Well, it's just . . . this mark. It can't be right. I mean, eighty-seven. Isn't that a little . . . ?

MR. MILLER

No. I gave everyone the mark they deserved, no more, no less.

RACHEL

This can't be right.

MR. MILLER

Rachel?

RACHEL

I don't feel well, sir. This isn't right. This isn't me.

Cody enters.

CODY

North Star used to grant you wishes, didn't she? When you were little, before you learned where rainbows really came from, you believed that North Star brought the rainbow to make the sun come out again after it rained.

RACHEL

I don't remember.

CODY

I know you remember. Just think back. I know it's hard, but you have to remember. You've just got to. Now go and sign out. I'll walk you home.

Scene Eight.

CODY

This excellent. I'm so proud of you.

RACHEL

Why?

CODY

Have you looked at this paper?

RACHEL

It's all lies. Mr. Miller doesn't know what he's talking about.

CODY

Really? Because I remember you once saying how much you admire him. If he's really as great as you say he is, wouldn't he know the proper mark to give you?

RACHEL

I guess, but maybe he was--

CODY

Listen to yourself! You're trying to make excuses for succeeding! You just can't admit that maybe there are some things you can do well. Cody picks a book up off the desk. "In the window Heedoro saw a child standing in a . . . What had Lothum called it? A bus. The child was excited about something. She got off the bus and rran into a all, brown building. She ran up to the seventh level and into a white room filled with machines that Heedoro did not recognize. The child approached a bed and saw the body of a woman. The woman was dead. "Mommy." The child started to cry." Cody returns the book to the desk. Now how many people do you know who could come up with something like that? Very few, I would think. He picks up three sheets of paper that are stapled at one corner. This is the play you're doing for your exam, right? Let me here you say a few lines. The ones on the bottom of page two.

RACHEL

"Lie to me again. Tell me it wasn't me who put the penny in the fuse box! Tell me it wasn't me who did that. Tell me that Barbara hasn't lived her whole life blaming the memory of her father for something I did! Tell me."

CODY

You are such a wonderful girl. Almost a grown woman. All your fears and insecurities are based on memory, now who you are now. You know that, right? Think about it. When was the last time someone specifically laughed at you for any reason?

RACHEL

Three days ago.

CODY

Summer doesn't count, and you know it! She gives new evidence to the fact that blue-eyed blonds are real air-heads.

Rachel laughs, but tries to hide it.

CODY

Did I make you laugh? Come on. When was the last time you let it out? I mean really let it out. I know what'll do it. Orbins.

Somehow, this made-up word does the trick, and they both burst into hysterical laughter.

CODY

Listen to that.

RACHEL

The rain stopped. So?

CODY

So maybe North Star is here.

RACHEL

She doesn't exist. My mom made her up when I was little, remember.

CODY

Maybe so, but maybe that childhood fantasy is exactly what you need right now. Just look out the window. Get over here. I'm not as strong as I used to be, and I won't last much longer. I don;t think you're ready to be left alone yet, so when I'm gone you're going to need help to stay strong.

RACHEL

I don't see anything.

CODY

Look up. Just above that satalite dish.

RACHEL

Oh yeah. I see it. Just barely.

CODY

North Star's coming back. Did you make a wish?

RACHEL

No.

CODY

Why not?

RACHEL.

I don't know. I guess . . . her being here is all I need right now.

CODY

That's my girl.

RACHEL

Thank you.

CODY

It's getting late. Why don't you go to bed? You've had a hard day.

RACHEL

Okay.

CODY

You know, in a few years you won't even need North Star. You'll be able to do everything all by yourself.

RACHEL

Good night, Cody.

CODY

Good night . . . Helen.

Blackout.


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User avatar
685 Reviews


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Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:31 pm
Rei says...



Not pointless. I did it so I would get more people to read it.




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1258 Reviews


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Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:27 pm
Sam says...



YAY POINTLESS POSTING! *runs in circles*




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685 Reviews


Points: 890
Reviews: 685

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Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:22 pm
Rei says...



Second shameless self promotion




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1258 Reviews


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Reviews: 1258

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Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:08 am
Sam says...



The monologue was good, but I thought she was reading it to herself, not to the class. And then you say she left...*shakes head* Very confusing. If I saw it acted out, though, I might be able to understand.




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Wed May 11, 2005 4:43 pm
Rei says...



Thanks everyone for taking the time to read it. If anyone else reads this, I could really use specific responses to the monologue.




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Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:56 pm
Trinity says...



i liked it but it confusedme just a little bit i found sopmespelling errors but you could still understand what was being said and you're play just flowed together perfectly over all it was a very good play




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685 Reviews


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Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:24 pm
Rei says...



YAHOO! I finally finished it. Not I feel like I can actually post something else. All insults are welcome, though high praise and suggestions for improvement are prefered.




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Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:28 pm
Writersdomain says...



Again, this is really good. I caught a few spelling errors like Cody said "of couse' instead of "of course", but this was really neat. It's really frightening to see how much this Cody is controlling her. Interesting




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Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:36 pm
Emma says...



Wow poor girl... :(

Wait, who is this cody? I am still confused, and there are some gramma problems. Its still VERY good and Im glad you are finishing it off!





Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
— Samuel Butler