Rumors, Rumors – Tuckahoe School (2011)

Andrea Quezada and Angel Platt in Gemma Caglioti’s play “Rumors, Rumors.” Photo by Star Black.

Rumors, Rumors

By Gemma Caglioti

Tuckahoe School

Click here to watch a video of this performance.

Location: Riley’s bedroom

Riley: Okay, listen. Nicole is my best friend. Or was…? I can’t even tell anymore. But I do know that I liked her a lot more before she started going on her “partying obsession”. She’s all against her parents, saying that they’re “overprotective” and “obnoxious” or whatever. Honestly, I think they should look after her a lot closer. She’s been partying a lot lately. Like… at least 4 days a week. And then she skips class because she needs to catch up on sleep. Last night, I went on facebook, around eleven, and noticed that my friend Zach, who apparently threw some huge party last night, set his status about it. It involved Nicole, and it was bad. Let’s just say her reputation has gone straight down the toilet.

(Nicole walks into room nonchalantly)

Nicole: Hey Riley. What’s up?

(Nicole plops herself down in a chair)

Riley: Um, nothing? What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be at a party or something?

(Riley sits down on bed and goes on laptop)

Nicole: Eh. It got boring. I remembered I left my sparkly shirt here a while ago, and it’ll go totally perfect with my new skinny jeans I bought especially for this party. It’s going to start in an hour. I’m just gonna hang here until then.

(Riley gets up and picks up the shirt from the top of her dresser and tosses it to Nicole without looking at her)

Riley: Umm…okay? You just gotta leave before my parents get back home.

(Scene freezes and leans in to talk to the audience)

Nicole: Riley’s parents don’t like me. They think I’m a “bad influence” on her. Whatever, they’re just as paranoid as my parents. I honestly don’t get why they think I’m such a “terrible child”. (Air quotes)

(Scene unfreezes, and Riley continues talking)

Riley: How did you even get in here anyway? I could have sworn I locked the front door and the back door.

(Nicole puts her feet up and places her hands behind her head)

Nicole: You didn’t lock the windows though…

(Nicole smiles smugly)

Riley: Oh. So you decided to climb through it. Of course.

Nicole: What’s your problem? It’s really no big deal. I shut it behind me. Oh and I hope you don’t mind… I stole a little piece of that chocolate cake on the counter. It was delish! Pass my compliments on to the baker.

(Riley shuts computer and stands up forcefully)

Riley: No big deal? Nicole! Oh my god.

(Riley starts pacing around the room angrily)

Riley: That cake was for my mom’s birthday! My parents are going to be home any second now. Who do you think you are?!

Nicole: Chill out, Riley. You can just make another one. No biggie.

(Riley sits back down, crosses her arms, and glares angrily at Nicole)

Nicole: Ugh. Fine, I’m sorry. Whatever.

Riley: Wow. I really feel the sympathy.

Nicole: Well maybe I’m not sympathizing.

(Riley stands up)

Riley: Well maybe I don’t care.

(Nicole stands up)

Nicole: Well maybe I think you’re scared of me.

(Riley takes a step towards Nicole)

Riley: Well maybe you’re wrong.

(Nicole takes a step towards Riley)

Nicole: Well maybe I think you’re lying.

(Riley circles around Nicole)

Riley: Well maybe I heard about what you did last night.

(Nicole circles around Riley)

Nicole: Well maybe I don’t know what you’re talking about.

(Riley stops and crosses her arms)

Riley: Really.

(Nicole stops and crosses her arms mockingly)

Nicole: Really.

Riley: What do you think Ethan will think about you after this one?

(Scene freezes, and Nicole turns to audience)

Nicole: Ugh, listen. I’m not as bad as Riley says I am. I’m just trying to have fun! Plus, Riley wouldn’t even understand about parties. She thinks I’m too “dangerous” and she’s “worried” or whatever. And seriously, I’m not stupid. I know right from wrong, just like anybody else. I’m not a screwed up teenager, believe me. And I know people who are. She’s just freaking out about it all of the time, just like my parents, who are extremely annoying and over protective. They always need to know who I’m talking to or where I’m going. Come. On. But anyway, Ethan, my boyfriend that Riley hooked me up with last year, is “concerned” about me too. And he’s starting to spend more time with Riley now…? God… what is up with everybody?! I’M A TEENAGER. We’re supposed to have fun. It’s just what we do. I didn’t do anything last night that Riley, Ethan, or my parents should freak out about. I don’t understand what I did wrong. And even if I did, how would Riley find out about it anyway?

(Nicole steps back into place and scene unfreezes)

Nicole: I really don’t know what you’re talking about Riley. And even if I did, I wouldn’t care.

Riley: Huh, really? Because we’ll see how Ethan feels after he finds out on Zach’s page that the REAL reason why  you weren’t spending time with him last night was because you were “too busy” sleeping over his best friend’s (Zach’s) house. I had to cover for you, and I don’t even know why I did. I told him you were sick in bed, and didn’t want any visitors whatsoever. He loves you Nicole. And you just left him for some stupid party. I can’t believe how cold hearted you are.

(Silence- Nicole steps back from Riley)

Nicole: What? Riley… that never happened…

Riley: Well I hardly believe that.

(Nicole sits back down, looking hurt and taken aback, speaking quietly now)

Nicole: Who did you hear that from?

(Riley sits back down on bed, and speaks sarcastically)

Riley: Zach himself.

Nicole: (Angrily) …and you believed him?! Are you kidding me?! He’s Zach. You know how he is Riley.

Riley: Yeah. I did, because maybe I don’t know what to expect from you anymore. Maybe I don’t even know who you are anymore, Nicole.

Nicole: What are you saying…

Riley: You know very well what I’m saying. The partying has gotten out of control. Nicole, you’re failing every class. You look exhausted. It’s just not right.

Nicole: Well, maybe I’m not as perfect as you, Riley.

(Nicole stands up and picks up her bag)

Riley: You know I’m not perfect, Nikki.

Nicole: Psh. Sure. You have perfect grades, a perfect life, great friends, and you can do whatever you want. I can’t.

Riley: What?! I do not have perfect grades. I have a B in like every class. If you were around more often, and if you were really my best friend, you would know this. But you don’t. And you don’t know anything about my life. It’s far from perfect. It’s like you don’t even know me anymore.

Nicole: (Quietly) Well you would sure hate it if you were getting F’s in every class like me.

Riley: You, brought that onto yourself.

Nicole: Excuse me?

(Drops bag and sits back down with attitude)

Riley: You heard me. Let me just give you a little slap of reality here. This is your schedule. Wake up, at 6:00 a.m. to “get ready for school”. Wait until your parents leave, then go back to sleep until 10. Wake up, again, and maybe go to school for like an hour or something. Leave, and tell the nurse you have to go to a doctor’s appointment, or you have a family emergency, or your cat died. Some fake excuse. Sleep. Eat. Get ready for a party that’ll happen at around 9:00. Tell your parents you’re going to go study. Do whatever stupid stuff you’re doing at those parties. Get back at like 3 in the morning. Give them an excuse. Tell them that your friends relative just died, but don’t call because the family is too emotionally unstable at the moment. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

Nicole: (Stares at Riley and scoffs) You’ve got to be kidding me.

Riley: I’m serious. Your lifestyle is disgusting.

Nicole: You don’t know anything about my lifestyle Riley! It’s not like you’ve been around for me. We aren’t friends anymore, remember?

Riley: (Crosses arms with attitude) Then why are you here?

Nicole: To stay somewhere until the party starts.

Riley: (Says angrily and points offstage) Get out.

Nicole: Wow. That’s nice. Sorry about the cake. I’ll buy another one and have my dad drop it off later.

Riley: Thanks.

Nicole: Yep.

(Nicole leaves, and Riley sits back down on her bed and sighs, rubs her forehead, and then opens her laptop again)

Riley: Oh, hey. Zach’s online on facebook. Let me just double check if what he posted about Nicole was true. I really don’t want to believe it. I want to be able to trust her.

Riley Evans: hey zach.

Zach Schmitt: sup riley.

Riley Evans: did nicole really sleep over last night? i’m just double checking cause i really dont wanna believe it.

Zach Schmitt: wht? where did u get tht idea?

Riley Evans: um, you posted it? last night, remember?

Zach Schmitt: lol noooo. my friend stole my laptop was postin random statuses tht were soooooo not true.

Riley Evans: so she never slept over?

Zach Schmitt: nooo. But i wish she did! lol.

Riley Evans: ew. whatever, schmitt. lolz. i’ll talk to you later bud. byeee.

Zach Schmitt: lol bye evans.

Riley: Oh my god… I feel terrible. I should have believed Nicole the first time. I’ve gotta do something. Oh my god… oh my god… oh my god… Wait. I’ve got an idea.

(Picks up cell phone and dials)

Riley: I really hope this works.

Riley: (Speaking slowly and carefully) Nicole? Hey. Look, I’m so, so sorry. I don’t know how I could have believed what I saw on facebook; I feel awful. It’s so unfair to you. Whatever we have to do, I swear to you, if we work together, we can make this right. And convince everyone that it didn’t happen. Okay? Yeah, I know. Rumors are really powerful, but I think our friendship is strong enough to break them down. I know we can do it.

But hey, I just ordered some Justin Bieber tickets… to help us make a fresh start. (Quietly) I know. I’ve missed you too. What? Go out to dinner with you? Yeah, just like old times! It’ll be fantastic. Hey, um, before you go to that party, you might wanna start on the homework. I’d be happy to help if you needed to catch up. What? You’re not going? There’s the girl I know.

The company of Gemma Caglioti’s play “Rumors, “Rumors,” L to R- Andrea Quezada, Gemma Caglioti (playwright), Angel Platt. Photo by Star Black.

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