By Gwen Bowman
WOMAN, a frail looking, twenty five year old woman.
GIRL, a fifteen year old high school student.
A mostly empty room with a single table and chair, evening.
Lights up on the WOMAN, sitting at the table.
She is writing on a piece of paper. Enter GIRL,
stage right, holding a razor. GIRL spots the
WOMAN, and crosses her arms before speaking.
(Annoyed.) Oh, it’s you again.
WOMAN puts down the pen and stands, then
walks over to the side of the table.
Yes, I know, I have a bad tendency to show up at… what do you call them? Inopportune times?
That’s certainly true.
So, what are you planning to do with that razor?
GIRL halfheartedly tries to hide the razor
behind their back, looking at the ground.
I’m not planning anything.
(In disbelief.) I highly doubt that. (Pauses.) You’re going to hurt yourself, aren’t you?
It’s not a maybe. You are going to hurt yourself.
GIRL lets their arm hand loosely, still
gripping the razor, but not hiding it.
(In disbelief.) And it’s not something you should do. Ever.
So you’re going to physically harm yourself! That’s horrible!
(Rolling her eyes.) Really? I can list off at least ten people that would say otherwise.
What, you mean the bullies? They mean nothing in the grand scheme of things!
Who cares about the grand scheme of things? There’s no day but today, right? And today is Hell.
WOMAN hesitantly starts moving
towards the GIRL, hands in the air.
Now now, it’s not so bad…
Not so bad? You must be joking!
WOMAN gently puts her hands
on the GIRL’s shoulders.
You don’t understand-
GIRL pulls away angrily and
interrupts the WOMAN.
No, you don’t understand! For the past two months, everyone has been making fun of me. The boys won’t stop pushing me around; the girls have been whispering behind my back. The bathroom stalls are covered with the different ways to call me a slut. My father hasn’t stopped screaming at me since he saw the pregnancy test in the garbage. All there is in my life is pain and suffering, with no way to get out of it than this!
GIRL holds up the razor.
No way out? There are other things to do to feel better! Rant about it; write in your journal about how angry you are. Do anything but hurt yourself more! Don’t you see that this will make everything worse?
(Dejected.) Why would it matter if I made things worse? Everything I do makes things worse. I deserve this pain.
You don’t deserve any of this!
GIRL slumps her shoulders and
grips the razor tighter.
You’re… you’re right… I don’t deserve anything. People with no worth don’t deserve anything at all.
WOMAN stands shocked for a moment,
silent before mumbling something inaudible.
What did you say?
WOMAN stares at the GIRL and takes
a deep breath before speaking more loudly.
The WOMAN’s voice rises as she speaks.
You’re not worthless. For Christ’s sake, child, are you even listening to yourself?! You’re the brightest girl in your school! You have won so many awards that you’re practically buried with them! You might have bullies on your ass, but they are the worthless ones! Their words mean nothing! They’ve never meant anything!
GIRL scoffs and speaks sarcastically.
Yeah, of course. I’m such a freaking star that everyone decided randomly throw me in Hell. Makes perfect sense. (Speaks dejectedly again) You’re wrong. I’m nothing. They come after me because I shouldn’t feel happy. That’s why I’m doing this.
GIRL holds the razor to her arm.
WOMAN grabs the GIRL’s hand and
grips it tightly. Both of them are shaking.
(Yelling.) NO! You are not allowed to do that! If you do that, you’re never going to forgive yourself! This is such a defining moment for you! For the rest of your life, all you will do is despise everything in your life. No matter what, you’ll never be able to feel as if you’re worthwhile. You will continue harming yourself, over and over, mentally and physically. By doing this, you’ll throw away so many opportunities that you can have. Don’t you see all the potential you have? All the great things you can do? (WOMAN nearly hysterical as she yells.) Listen to me! I know the Hell you’re going through! I know that you think this is the only way left! BUT IT ISN’T! Things will get better! (in tears.) But you can’t hurt yourself! Please, please don’t do it. For the love of God, don’t! You can’t! Don’t be like me! (Emphasizes this sentence.) Please, don’t become me!
WOMAN lets go of the GIRL’s shoulders
and stares pleadingly. The GIRL slowly steps
away and silently, while maintaining
eye contact, takes her razor and cuts her arm. She
then slowly walks backwards offstage while
the WOMAN covers her mouth and cries
WOMAN backs up to her chair and collapses into it.
She grips the pencil and writes one last thing
before leaning into her arms and sobbing.
Why couldn’t I just understand?
Lights fade out and the room goes quiet.
END OF PLAY