growing up – Part 2

Jason, sits alone with a notebook. His pencil flies across the page. No one knows what he is writing, but his face is sunken. He looks aggressive, but sad. As soon as he hears Anastasia voice, he jumps back to the Jason everyone knows.

Anastasia (off stage): where is he?

Anastasia steps onto stage, glances around the stage till her eyes lock on Jason. She sprints towards him. Steve quickly follows

Steve: You’ve been holding out on us. Why didn’t you tell us?

Anastasia: where you shy? Think we wouldn’t approve? Or is Taylor too good for us? Does Taylor not like us?!

Jason: breathe. I just wanted to figure this all out before I told you. Telling you two makes it real. It means there is no turning back. no retreating. I am in this. No matter how terrifying it is.

Taylor: terrifying, huh. I’d go with thrilling, but I get it. (kisses Jason on the cheek)

Anastasia: hi (her voice cracks a little with excitement)

Taylor: hello (slightly sassy)

Anastasia: I like your shoes. I keep telling Steve, it is all about good footwear

Taylor: thanks, they aren’t anything special. Just your run of the mill, Target shoes.

Steve: (to Anastasia) does that make Target in now? (poking fun at her)

They exchanged looks and turn back to Taylor at the same time

Anastasia: what are your intentions with my sweet boy?

Steve: you hurt him, I hurt you.

Jason: chill. BOTH of you. (bell) thank god.

Taylor goes to grab Jason’s hand, but he pulls away.

Anastasia: just give him time. and like Steve said, don’t you dare hurt him. (smile) have a good day!

There is a lot of movement as students move towards classrooms until Natalie and crew step on to stage. The stage falls silent. She looks around the stage and spots Jason, slumped in the corner, writing. As she moves everyone watches.

Natalie: Jason, right?

Jason: I believe I am dumb, maybe dumber. You never told us.

Natalie: funny. Mind if we talk?

Jason: Yes. Actually, I do. (starts to walk away)

Natalie: (grabs shoulder and makes him sit) well, too bad. Leave us. (Everyone on stage leaves in record time. in complete silence)

Jason: wow, you really know how to clear a room. So, do I (wink)

Natalie: and you really know how to fool someone. Tell me how long have you been dating Taylor.

Jason stares at her. He can feel his stomach in him throat.

Natalie: no comment. I’ll be sure to tell everyone, including Taylor, that you had nothing to say.

She starts to leave

Jason: yes.

Natalie: (smiles and turns around) yes? I don’t think I asked a yes or no question.

Jason: we are together. The duration is none of your business.

Natalie: everything is my business, or did you forget who owns this school (beat) and you. (beat) you’ll break up with Taylor, or Ill ruin a different couple. If you know what I mean

Jason:  I understand

Natalie leave the stage. Jason sits alone on stage. Slowly people start to return and leave for class. Taylor and Anastasia approach Jason.

Anastasia: where have you been hiding my whole life?

Taylor: well…

Anastasia: It doesn’t matter, we are friends now. And you are with my sweet sweet Jason. (swishing Jason’s face) Just look how cute he is!

Taylor: mmmhm

Anastasia: (says to Jason) this is just what I needed this week. Thank you.

Jason is looking at his feet. His hands are clenched together, so tight they might bleed.

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Barcoded.

Look around you, you see them? The barcodes. They are on everything: the chairs, the cups, the napkins. That was then. This is now. 10 years ago, the barcoding started. A new bill passed by the major players in the world. The United States, the EU, the Russians, the Chinese, both Koreas, etc. They all voted to barcode their people to ‘protect’ us. Make us identifiable, no matter what. But they have taken it too far.

Individuals above 16 without a barcode are considered a criminal and sent to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. 10 days before the law went into motion, barcodes sales tripled around the world. Laggers ran to the dispensary and spent 4 hours getting their permit mark of conforming branded on them. My mother took me to the dispensary without my knowledge. By the time, I realized what she had done, there was no turning back. The mark laughs at me as it envelopes my left inner forearm. The black barcode stands prominent on my cream skin. Students once looked forward to their 16th birthday, with the possibility of their license, now it is a bleak day. The Global Government gives 16-year-olds 24 hours to acquire their barcode before they are sent to the triangle. The triangle is just what you think, but worse.

Now, you may be thinking, is this really so bad? It is protection. Watching over the villains, keep the public safe. But, if you sneeze wrong, you are sent to the unknown. If you stare to long, drive to fast, drive to slow. You’re gone. They watch. So, I started watching back.

a year.

It’s been a year.

A year without your feet on this earth.

A year without your voice, your smile, you.

A year wondering what if

What if I had texted you instead of him

What if I had stayed

What if I told you I loved you

What if. What if. What if…

I cry more now than I ever have.

I cry because my heart was ripped out of my body.

I cry because my magnet is gone.

My other pole. My common thread. My support beam.

You were my safe place. My home. My heart. What I believed to be my future.

I’m so sorry.

I’m sorry I failed you.

But I won’t let you disappear. I won’t let your memory fade. I won’t let them forget you. The good in you. The bad. I won’t let them forget you.

Too often in this world we feel alone. In a world with endless connection we are alone. I won’t let you feel alone. I promise on this day to remind others, to be there, and make sure they are not alone.

No one should ever feel like they aren’t enough. That their feet don’t matter on this earth. That they can disappear without a trace.

It’s been a year. Of crying, hating, screaming, cursing, and not understanding.

A year of grief. But this year, is a year of never letting it happen again.

getting there.

getting-there
She walked into her house and before she could greet her roommate, she collapsed to the ground. Her head collided with the floor making a heart crushing sound. The world moved around her solitary body, as sounds increased around her. Cassie and others pulled towards her like gravity. They were chirping her name trying to wake her from her slumber, but nothing helped.

As the ambulance arrived panic had only increased. The adrenalin in the room increased as her limp body was lifted off the floor. For a strong person, she had never seemed so frail. In the 10-mile drive from her house to the hospital her heart stopped twice. Someone that young, that healthy, that vibrate shouldn’t stop beating.

The doors to the E.R ripped open to doctors ready to receive her quiet body. She heard them. The sound of medical terms, medical facts, and medicine being pupped in her, but nothing would pass her lips. They were still, holding tight to her teeth. The world was moving so quickly they had missed her eyes open, they had missed her grasping for someone’s hand, they have missed her.

facing reality.

21 hours.

Plus three hours of lab

Plus going to schools to start student teaching.

Equals not enough time in the day.

Or, not sleeping

Or, just slowly crumbling from the idea of not being able to meet deadlines and expectations.

 

So, now I’m just going to do 18 hours.

I’m a lot happier.

a letter to you

You,

I really needed you the most this past year. I needed you to be there and be around and be my shoulder when I couldn’t do it alone. I needed you. I have needed you for a year and half now and you have been nowhere to be found.

I told you to be a friend. I told you to pay attention to the world outside your relationship. I told you I would be here waiting. But it hurts. It hurts when people ask about you and I can’t answer. It hurts when you come to Austin and leave without a whisper. It hurts because I lost my best friend.

I get it if he is now your best friends. But you are still mine. You are the person I tell my secrets too. The one I explode on with information. The one who holds my deepest fears and worst failures. The one who knows what I have been through.

You have missed so much, and so have I. When did we become the people, who don’t speak? When did we become the people, who ask others for information? When did we get here? How did we get here?

I don’t want to be here, but I can’t fix this by myself. I won’t pour my heart into this if there is no one there who cares? I won’t devote my time to something that I know will fail. I can’t. Not anymore.

I’ve waited. I’ve tried. You’ve been silent.

 

From, me

just a little soap box

I’m catholic.

Now, that comes with a lot of baggage. I’m sure you’re thinking of quite a few right now, but stop. I’m just here to say this…

No where in any Christian religion does it say you have to be perfect. No where does it say screwing up is not allowed. I was told once that in order to follow Jesus, you had to be sinner. Let’s just say I got a lot of comfort from this.

 

This isn’t mine, but I wanted to share it.

What Jesus Didn’t Ask –A Letter To The Girls Next To Me At The Gym

growing up – Part 1

Lights up

Scene opens in a high school lunch room. Steve and Jason are best friends and have been for 10 years, therefor Jason gets the pleasure of hearing all of the drama Steve lives in. Joy. Today’s update is about Steve and Anastasia’s, his girlfriend, date last night and the horrific ending of it.

Steve: And then she just got out of the car, called me an ass and strutted away.

Jason: I think I missed how you fucked up. Usually I can find her logic, but this time…

Steve: You didn’t miss it; I didn’t fuck up. She was being a moody bitch. It her “thing” now.

Jason: Well you can avoid her or talk to her, because the queen has entered the lunchroom.

In glides Anastasia with her posse right on her heels. She stops at the door to make sure all eyes turn to her. She wears only the nicest clothes and no one has ever seen her not put together, except Steve and Jason. Her eye catches Steve and Jason from across the room and she begins to descends on them.

Anastasia: Hey Cassy, you look so cute today. Marie, did you do something new with your hair? (not waiting for an answer) It looks super presh. Hey Charles (winks).

Locks eyes with Steve, goes to kiss him, but right before their lips touch sits on Jason’s lap

Anastasia: Jason, why are you so cute? We need to find you a girlfriend. hi.

Steve: Seriously.

Jason: Can I leave before you two fight; I have things to do and…

Anastasia/Steve: no.

Jason slides to the chair next to Steve, otherwise known as Anastasia’s chair. The posse reaches the table and starts to lay out Anastasia’s lunch in front of her.

Steve: Can you not do that yourself? (beat) When we started dating you hated the populars, now you are the popular. Where did you go?

Anastasia: (looks up from phone) did you say something?

Steve: never mind, your highness

Anastasia: look, I wanted to talk about yesterday (dismisses the posse).

Steve looks up, thinking she is finally going to apologize for something

Anastasia: I understand why you did what you did, but I wasn’t wearing the right shoes

Steve/Jason: (looking at each other) the right shoes!

Anastasia: seriously, don’t be butts (nudging whoever is closest)

Jason: ah, she is back! how was popular-ville

Steve: yes, I missed my girl

Anastasia: (slips off her shoes) I swear, why people though wearing heels to school was a good idea is beyond me.

Steve: then don’t wear heels, what happened to the converse I got you?

Anastasia: Those aren’t “trendy” anymore. But I sure as hell wish they were.

Jason: Well, Queen B, make them trendy. If you say it is, then it is. Pick what is trendy. It doesn’t seem that hard…

Anastasia: Oh, Jason. You really don’t know anything. We need to get him a girlfriend.

Jason: I am an independent man who don’t need NO woman.

All laugh. Anastasia starts to eat from her purse

Steve: no one is watching, just eat your meat.

Anastasia: people are always watching, so the fake vegan in me will enjoy my purse meat. (Beat) wait that sounded gross…

Steve: (flirty) well you’re gross, so it works.

Jason: and on that note, I’m leaving.

Anastasia: Why, where do you have to go? Or “get done”

Steve: so you were listening.

Anastasia smiles and turns her attention back to Jason

Anastasia: Wait, is there a girl?! Steve he has a girl. A GIRL! Who is she? Do we know her? Will we like her? Bring her to eat with us! PLEASE!

Jason: (bashful) nope, no girl

Anastasia: oh, then bye

Jason slips out of the cafeteria unnoticed. He smiles has he greet someone of stage.

Steve: so last night? Was it really just your shoes?

Anastasia: god no. I just wanted the bimbos to think that. It was the fact that I feel like I am two people all the time and I hate it. I want to be done with this, but don’t know how.

Steve: You need a new Queen B, or some scandal to get more attention than you.

Anastasia: if only scandalous things happened here

Steve: (leaning in to kiss her) you’ll find something (Steve tucks her hair behind her ear) you always do.

Bell rings. As students scatter Jason slips back in. His shirt is messed up and he fixes his hair.

Jason: come on love birds or we’ll be late for bio.

The posse returns to take Anastasia uneaten meal, as the trio exits. A figure appears from where Jason just entered from. The posse chats as the set up the scene for after school.

 

 

Steve: I think Mr. Lawson eats the frogs we dissect

Jason: Why you don’t like his frog breath mints? They are personally my favorite thing about him. That and he “I just rolled out of bed” hair at 2pm.

Anastasia: Be nice. He is a good teacher and that is all the matters.

Steve: Oh, does someone have a crush?

Anastasia: yes, because my boyfriend is an oaf

Steve starts to fake tackle Anastasia to the ground. As they mess around Jason joins in. It soon becomes a laughing fit as they all collapse to the ground. Anastasia’s clothes are messed up, some dirt has gotten on them, but she doesn’t care.

Natalie approaches the rumble. She is a senior and leads the school with an iron fist. It is clear she is above Anastasia.

Natalie: Back to your old ways I see. (don’t allow Anastasia to answer) If you want to be popular you need to ditch dumb and dumber.

Steve: Important question, which on is dumber?

Anastasia: (hitting Steve) Sorry Natalie. Do you like my new channel skirt? (she notices the dirt on it)

Natalie: Seriously? (she struts away in to a group of men who begin too droll over her)

Anastasia: FUUUUCK. Why does she only see when I fuck up? Why couldn’t she see me at lunch, or in bio. UGH

Steve: You didn’t fuck up.

Jason: yeah, you just took the stick out of our butt for a second. Here do you want it back? (handing her an imaginary stick)

Anastasia: Thank you (taking stick) I need that. It has been passed down from popular to popular.

Steve: (grabs pretend stick) Can we pretend you aren’t popular just a little longer? I like this Sia better.

Anastasia is taken back by hearing “Sia.”

Anastasia: you never call me Sia

Steve: because you aren’t her anymore…

Jason: and on that note…

Anastasia: (snapping out of love bubble) Where the hell do you have to go now. We were having a moment

Jason: You two were having a moment, I was just being the best third wheel in the world.

Steve: is there a girl? Are you holding back?

Jason: I’ll let you know. (winks and walks away)

Steve: holy shit.

Anastasia: holy shit.

Both: HOLY SHIT.

Anastasia: he is growing up. He found a mate.

Steve: don’t say mate.

Anastasia: I need to know who it is, let’s go!

Steve: stop. He will tell us when he is ready. Plus, I think we can find a better way to fill our time

Anastasia contemplates both options

Anastasia: I think queso is a great idea

Steve: That’s my girl

As Anastasia and Steve exit. As they exit Jason strolls back in. It needs to be obvious this is a new location. Throughout the conversation the sun is setting.

Jason: “I like you” mh “I like you” uh no “I just wanted to say I like you”

Taylor: (from around the corner) I know

Jason: How do you know I was talking to you?

Taylor: I know these things.

Beat

Taylor: You didn’t tell him, did you?

Beat

Taylor: I can’t do this anymore. Not if you won’t tell your best friend about me. What, are you ashamed?

Jason: (Sharp) NO!

Taylor: then what?

Jason: I don’t know. This is my first relationship; I don’t know how to do this.

Taylor: (holds hands) I’ll guide you (Kisses his forehead)

Jason: I’m sorry I suck at this. Will you sit with us tomorrow?

Taylor: As the cool kids table. Ooh, I don’t know

Jason: you don’t…

(during Jason’s line) Taylor: I’d love to

Jason: have to.  You’re great, you know that right?

Taylor: I know.

(BEAT)

Jason: I’m sorry I didn’t tell them.

Taylor: it is really okay. I know this is hard on you, especially because Anastasia is an “it” girl, and her wanting you to have a girlfriend, and her and Steve wanting to know everything about you.

Jason: I’ll text him right now

Jason’s phone appears on the screen. A text to Steve appears as Jason types: I meant to tell you sooner, but I wimped out. I’m seeing Taylor Alexander. I assume Sia will see this, so let her know Taylor will be at lunch tomorrow and she can interrogate them.

Steve and Anastasia are on the other end of the stage when the text sends.

Steve: You need to read this

Anastasia: Oh, he is growing up.

They exit while talking about the text

Jason: read at 7:23pm (puts phone back in pocket) no turning back now.

Taylor: no turning back

you’re gone…

I don’t know if you have noticed, but I don’t really do emotions. I do sarcasm covered in more sarcasm, and if you look really really closely you may see a hit of feelings. But sometimes I crack. I am not titanium. I’m a rock and rocks go through erosion.

Let me explain.

I got home form Ireland and zoomed to Austin for sorority shenanigans. One afternoon, I got a text form my old best friend saying, “Something happened last night and I think you need to hear it from me. Call me as soon as you can.”

After talking to her, I was calm, I was thinking of others, like I do. Thinking about what I could do, who I could help, who needed my comfort. But after the fact, I felt the hole in my heart. The gap creating more and more space in my chest. He was gone, someone I had 20140309_134410once used as my rock, my protection, my best friend was gone.

*Sidebar*     I don’t emote in public, for some reason I have always disliked it and felt I can’t do it. It makes me feel uncomfortable and weak, yet no one has every told me that. I don’t even feel comfortable crying in my bed and letting my roommates hear me. I tell people I am always there for them, I am a shoulder to cry on, yet I never let anyone take care of me.   *Sidebar Over*

The worst part was having to be okay, because I was on the third floor of a house with 197 women in it. Women who didn’t know, and didn’t need to. I had to be okay. I had to be
focused and working, not breaking, crumbling, and wanting to run home as fast as I could. I got through a day, and tore myself away from people the second I could. As soon as everyone started falling asleep, I went outside and laid on the grass, the sobs rang in and  day broke too soon. Time to be okay again.

My face and heart were saying two different things. I starting acting when I was 7, so by 20 I had mastered my 10,000 hours scientifically calling me a master. Throughout the day, news broke out back home about what happened, and my shell started cracking ever so slightly, but few noticed. People didn’t connect the dots between him and me, because we had kept our distance in recent years, a mistake I realize now. Our lives where in two different worlds, I didn’t know his secrets anymore, but I hold on to the fact I knew his heart. Hearts don’t change, and his was one of my favorites.

 

dsc_0109

It’s been close to three months since he passed away. Three months. The wound is still there, the hole and the hurt come around every so often, but so does reminders of his life.  Reminders of who he was in songs, in stories, in random faces on the streets. I don’t believe he is gone, he is just here in a new way. Losing him was terrible, but knowing he is no longer in pain makes it better.

 

so biking…

So, I started riding a bike around campus and it is an adventure. Here are the rules I have learned.

First you have to remember where you locked it up, if you don’t you spend two hours panicking thinking it was stole. This I have done way to many times. WAY to many.

Second, look out for people and cars. The streets aren’t that bad because cars look out for you. But people are the worst. On campus there will be individuals that will walk out in front of cars and bikes and expect them to stop. It is crazy; they think they are Moses and they can part the traffic for themselves. If this happens to you, you’ll probably fall off your bike and the person who made you crash will laugh at you. It is so great.

That point brings me to three, falling will happen, it will hurt. I currently have a permanent bruise on my right leg and a scar on the other. If you fall, just get back up and keep going like nothing happened. I get knocked down, but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down.

Lastly, remember to have fun. Take new paths, try to work on some tricks. The other day I re-mastered biking without hands. Biking is fun, so don’t forget it. It is a great way to exercise without work to hard.

Biking is great, go do it.