Please, Listen (2018)
(L. to R. Hope Hamilton as Lucy, Miles Zappola as Elliot)
By Amelia Lewis
The Hewitt School – YAWP SUMMER WORKSHOPS
Scene 1: Class room
School bell rings and lights go up. Two desks placed next to each other. Two students are packing up their bags, chatting about random things. Elliot is sitting at the stage right desk while Lucy is at the stage left one.
Elliot: It is actually the worst. And the same thing happens every time we go! I’ll say something about my week, like… “I was frustrated because I felt like my mom wasn’t listening to me.” And then Dr. Flicker says, “Well, how does that make you feel, Elliot?” I literally just told you I was FRUSTRATED! Why are you asking if I just told you? I just hate it so much! And I can promise you it’s not helping anything!
Lucy: I mean, at least she’s trying… (muttered under her breath) Unlike my parents…
Elliot: I guess… It’s just so infuriating that my mom chose a therapist who is such an idiot And my mom is actually in love with her! (Pause. Elliot takes a deep breath). Listen, (Reluctant) I know you don’t want to talk about it-
Lucy: (Lucy looks up at Elliot) You’re right. I don’t. (Finishes packing and starts to leave.)
Elliot: Lucy, listen, for five seconds. (Lucy turns back around) I am getting really worried about you. I know you think it’s fine, but I’m telling you it’s not. I just don’t want you to hurt yourself even more than you already have. Please just think about it over the weekend?
Lucy: I promise I’ll think about it, ok? I’m going to be in Connecticut this weekend, so it’s not like going to be doing anything else.
Elliot: What? I thought we were meeting up at the coffee shop on Saturday?
Lucy: I wish. My parents are dragging me out to the country house, (muttered) which means I will spend the whole weekend alone in my room again.
Elliot: (Looks down at the floor) How exciting. (Looks back up at Lucy) Look… I’m going to be home basically all weekend. If you want to talk to someone, or don’t want to be alone or whatever, just facetime me, ok?
Lucy: Yah, I will.
Elliot: Good… (trying to lighten the mood) Hey, I have to meet my mom before we go to Dr. Flicker’s. You want to walk with me?
Lucy: I’m going in the other direction.
Elliot: Ok, I’ll see you Monday?
Lucy: Uh huh. See you.
Lucy exits. Elliot finishes packing up his stuff then exits. Lights fade.
Scene 2: Two bedrooms
Two beds on opposite sides of the stage. Once bed is Lucy’s; the other is Elliot’s. Both beds have a bedside table. Lucy’s table has a clock on it that reads Saturday, 1:42 AM. Single light goes up on Lucy. She is lying on the bed with a shaving razor in one hand and her phone in the other. Her wrist is bloody and she has obviously been crying. She holds the phone up and, reluctantly, starts pressing it. The sounds of a phone ringing is heard and the light goes up on the stage left bed. Elliot is lying in bed under the covers, asleep. On his bedside table, phone RINGS. He looks at it, then picks it up.
Elliot: Lucy? What’s up?
Lucy: (Shakily) Ummm…Are you awake?
Elliot: Well I mean, I just woke up, but yah. Why?
Lucy: I shouldn’t bother you right now. Just go back to sleep.
Elliot: No, I’m awake now. Are you ok?
Lucy: I’m… I’m… fine (Lucy starts crying).
Elliot: Hey, hey, Are you ok?
Lucy: It happened again… They were yelling and yelling… and it was just so… so… loud… (stifles crying)
Elliot: Lucy… take a deep breath, ok? Calm down… (Lucy takes an audible breathe)
Lucy: I… I… made a mistake… I think I hit vein.
Elliot: What?! Are you ok?
Lucy: … There’s just so much blood, and I don’t-
Elliot: (Desperate and urgent) Lucy! Listen to me. Where are you?
Lucy: I’m in my room… in Salisbury… I… felt like… I wanted to die, so I guess I got what I wished for… (Pause, then almost hysterical) Elle, I’m so sorry. I’m such a burden to-
Elliot: (Tearing up) Lucy, don’t ever think that, cause I promise, you are not, ok? Please listen to me (Lucy continues crying) You are amazing and I love you so much. Do you remember the first week of school? (Lucy sniffs, still crying) You were the first person to talk to me. You made me kinda like math class. Please let me help you, ok?
Lucy: I’m sorry, Elliot. The phone drops out of her hand and the light over Lucy’s bed slowly fades out.
Elliot: Lucy? Lucy! Answer me! Please, Lucy! (Elliot ends the call, then tries to call again. The sound of ringing phone can be heard, then an automated message” The number you have dialed is not available now… “) No… No… NO NO NO (Screams out) MOM!
Elliot’s mom (offstage voice): Elliot… what’s wrong?
Elliot: Mom, (still kind of crying), Please help me… Please?
Elliot’s mom: It’s the middle of the night… Can we please do this tomorrow?
Elliot: No! Mom please listen, for once! It’s Lucy. She’s-
Elliot’s Mom: I’m sure she’s fine. Now go back-
Elliot: No Mom! She’s not. I need to help her… She said she was bleeding… a lot. Please mom.
Elliot’s mom: (Quietly, like she’s surprised) Oh my god… Let me call her mother, ok? Don’t worry, I promise she will be fine…
Elliot looks broken and almost panicked. Fade to black out.
Scene 3: Class room
Elliot is sitting at a desk and Mia enters. Mia, although played by the same actor as Lucy, is clearly not Lucy.
Elliot: (Startled, looks at the bag) Lucy? (looks up at Mia) What are you…?
Mia: Hi, I’m not…who’s Lucy?
Elliot: What? Oh, I’m sorry I thought you were someone else.
Mia: Oh, um, okay. Is this seat taken? Can I sit here?
Elliot: (pause) Yes, yes, of course.
Mia: Thanks. (pause) I’m Mia. Hey.
Elliot: Hi. Elliot.
Mia: (sits down) I’m new here. So um, so your friend, Lucy, is that her name? Is she absent today?
Elliot: Yes, She usually sits right next to me.
Mia: Where is she?
Elliot: She’s sick. She’s away, She…will be back…soon. (Elliott is clearly upset.)
Mia: (sensitively) Oh. ok, so I’ll just sit here for today, until she comes back.
Elliot: Ok…until she comes back.
Teacher’s Voice (offtstage): We have a new student today. Her name is Mia Philip. Mia, would you please pick up your packet up here at my desk?
(Mia exits. Elliot looks at the desk, opens backpack and starts reading a letter he wrote to Lucy.)
Elliot: Dear Lucy… It’s been really weird without you and I miss you a lot. I know everyone does. My mom told me that you are staying at a psychiatric hospital. I hope you are ok. I was wondering if I could visit you? Or maybe send letters? But only if you want me to, of course… (pause) I’m sorry I never understood how bad it was, but I guess that’s my problem. I guess I just assumed that I understood everything that was going on around me, but I didn’t. I know I asked you about it, but I never realized how bad it was. And the same with my mom, you know? The divorce took a lot out of her, but I never even thought about how it would affect her… I kinda always thought about myself. (pause) This letter is basically turning into a diary entry. I’ll probably never send this cause it is such a mess, but I guess I needed to write down everything going on in my head. (pause) Uh… Anyway, please try to be happy and smile. I know it’s hard, but I also know you will get through this because you are so strong. I miss you so much and I hope I can see you, whether it’s soon or not… I love you.
(L. to R. Hope Hamilton as Lucy, Miles Zappola as Elliot)