Only Ten – Pierson High School (2011)

Photoc2011 by Star Black138 1024x685 Only Ten   Pierson High School (2011)

Joe North and Emily Selyukova perform in Holly Zappola’s play, “Only Ten.” Photo by Star Black.

Click here to watch a video of this performance.

Only Ten By Holly Zappola, Pierson High School

(Christine enters from left side of stage, in a hurry, not paying attention to anyone, looking down. Roger is walking slowly from the left side of the stage holding a handful of donuts and other objects. The scene is a mostly deserted New York street.)

Christine: Oh! I’m so sorry! You see I’m in a hurry, let me help you with that… oh my God, I’m such a spazz, here let me take that!

Roger: Stop.  Stop. STOP! What are you doing with yourself? there isn’t any hope left anyway, just leave it alone.

Christine: W-why would you say something like that! (Hurt/angry, with tears in her eyes.)

Roger: Because it’s true!  You’re running around like a chicken without a head when we really only have 10 minutes left to live… so just stop, take a breath (pause) and eat a donut. (picks up donut that he dropped and holds it out to her)

(Christine stares at him, speechless.)

Roger: (Takes back his hand with the donut in it) Sorry, my girlfriend just left me… and at a time like this, that’s just so wrong, I mean I think I’ve been a good guy to her, treated her right, bought her nice things, they say that the way to a women’s heart is through her purse, well I tried and guess what, didn’t work. Do you understand what I’m telling you? My girlfriend was a bitch, and now in about 9 minutes she will die a bitch and hopefully will go to hell. So why waste another minute on her? (waits for a response, gets none) Exactly, I won’t! Good riddance, adios, Diablo!

Christine: I’ve really got to go… (Looks around uncomfortably)

Roger: Oh, do you really?  (says quickly) What do you have to go do so badly when we barely have any time left to live, hmmm?

Christine: Ummm, well, my friend is out of town and I told her I would go check her cat at her house for her before the world ended. It’s her dying wish…

Roger: Excuse me? Did I really just hear you say that the last thing your going to do on this earth is go hang out with a cat for ten minutes because it’s your friend’s dying wish? The house won’t even be there tomorrow, and neither will the cat.

Christine: Well, when you put it that way, I guess it does sound a little silly…

Roger: Whatever go, just go. Oh, and tell Whiskers I said meow.

(Christine turns and starts walking toward the right side of the stage. She glances back.)

Roger: Wait!

(Christine stops walking and turns around.)

Roger: How would you like to spend the rest of your life with me?

Christine: (smiles) I guess it’s better than being with a cat.

Roger: (picks up the rest of his fallen objects along with Christine) Come on.

(Now they are in Roger’s apartment.)

Christine: Nice place. (She walks in and plops down on the couch, and puts her feet up on the coffee table, with her arms behind her neck.)

Roger: Oh, it’s nothing really, it was my grandparents’. (He nonchalantly hangs up his coat.)

Christine: Oh, well, that explains the smell… (scrunches her nose)

Roger: There’s no smell! (takes a sniff) What smell?!

Christine: Nothing, it’s nothing. (clears her throat, takes her feet off the coffee table and stands up, walks around looking at trinkets and such around the apartment)

Roger: No, tell me.  I think it smells fine… but if you disagree, why don’t you share with the group? (Waves arms in front of himself making a group gesture)

Christine: (turns and smiles) In this case, the group being just you? (she points at him)

Roger: Well, yeah… don’t change the subject!

Christine: It just kinda smells like old people, that’s all.

Roger: No, it doesn’t!

Christine: (waves hands in truce) Okay, okay, I’m sorry I said anything.

Roger: Whatever. So what do you want to do? We’ve got about 7 minutes left.

Christine: Well, since skydiving is out, we could play a round of Life?

Roger: Are you serious?

Christine: Completely. It’s my favorite board game!

Roger: (pulls out the game and starts setting it up with Christine) This is so messed up.

(They both sit on the ground across from each other.)

Christine: It looks like it’s never been used to me. (examines the game.)

Roger: Not the game, I mean it’s so messed up that we’re playing Life when it’s the end of our own lives…

Christine: (spins the spinner, moves her piece and picks up a Life tile) Yes, twins! I’ve always wanted to have a big family. (Looks down and sighs)

Roger: Maybe this won’t be the end. You never know what could be on the other side.

Christine: Oh, look at Mister Pessimist suddenly having a change of heart. Can I ask why you’re living alone anyway? You’re definitely not old enough to have a full-time job and own this apartment.

Roger: Well I am 18, so yeah, I am. And my parents pay for me to live here, they travel a lot…

Christine: So where are they right now?

Roger: In Australia, spending their last few minutes laying on a beach. (says with a bitter tone)

Christine: Well, I’ve never had parents, so you’re lucky. I was an orphan my whole life, I’ve been staying with a friend since I’m 17 now, and I don’t have to live in a group home anymore. If it weren’t for you, I would be all alone right now wallowing in self pity over how much my life sucked and how much I wish it would last just a little bit longer so that I could have a family and a house all to myself.  That’s why I like the game Life so much, no matter what you do, you will get married, have children, and die with money to spare.

Roger: Wow, that’s deep… (says uninterested) So glad I could save you from moping around.

Christine: You know, you’re kind of an asshole, just so you know, in case you were wondering why people don’t like you very much.

Roger: Whoa, I’m not an asshole! If being sincere is considered assholeish, then fine I am!

Christine: (looks down at her watch) Five minutes left. What’s the last thing that you want to do?

Roger: (thinks for a second, then looks up at Christine with a mischievous look in his eye)

Christine: What? (feeling self-conscious)  

Roger: (pushes Life board out of the way and scoots closer to her) Oh, nothing… (he exaggeratedly winks)

Christine: What do you think you’re doing? (appalled)

Roger: (puts his arm around Christine) What do you want me to do?

Christine: (angry) I want you to get away from me! (stands up forcefully, pushes Roger’s arm away)

Roger: What? I thought we had a connection! (gets embarrassed) Wait, you didn’t feel our connection?

Christine: You’re just a stupid, horny eighteen-year-old boy that only has one head to think with, and it’s not this one! (pushes his head) You’ve now known me for six minutes and you’re already making moves on me! Typical!

Roger: Don’t you think it would be nice to spend the last five, now four, minutes of our lives having a connection to someone? Not so alone like we both have been our whole lives. You know, maybe you didn’t have parents, but trust me having parents that wish they didn’t have you is way worse.

Christine: Yeah you want to feel “connected,” all right.  I mean, really, do guys have to let their dick control every thought in their head?

Roger: (makes his voice sad) Come on, sugar biscuit, I just wanted to spend my last moments with you. (Leans closer to her, does a puppy dog pout.)

Christine: (looks at Roger) Three minutes…

(They both hear a loud noise that startles them.) (They jump closer together. Christine clings to Roger for safety and he holds her, enjoying their proximity. Christine then realizes what she did and pulls away a little bit.)

Christine: That didn’t mean anything. (gives him a stern look)

Roger: It’s okay, you might as well just admit that you want me, we don’t have much time to act on it anyway.

Christine: You definitely keep the conversation interesting.

(Another loud noise. Now Christine and Roger are, once again, in each other’s arms, both startled. Roger glances at Christine.)

Roger: You know, you’re really beautiful.

Christine: (shakes her head) Give it up, we’ve got two minutes.

Roger: No, I’m dead serious… get it dead… serious. (looks at her waiting for her to laugh) That was funny, come on!

Christine: I’m going to move away from you in a second…

Roger: Sorry, sorry.

Christine: One minute…

Roger: Can I know your name?

Christine: (shakes her head slowly) No. I don’t want to get to know someone that well right when I’m never going to see them again.

Roger: What? You won’t want to ask for me in heaven? Or will you be to busy taking care of Mr. Whiskers?

(They hold each other closer.)

Christine: 30 seconds.

Roger: The suspense is killing me… no pun intended.

Christine: At least we aren’t alone… (looks up at him)

(They both close their eyes, then they lean in for the kiss) (blackout)


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