Is This Seat Taken? – Southampton High School (2014)
Is This Seat Taken? by Kaley Kerr
(Lights on stage slowly turn on as curtains open)
The setting is a small cafe. One table in the center of the stage, which Amy is sitting at. She’s reading her book, has her bag on the floor next to the small, round table. She looks reserved, upset. Only other thing on the table is her cup of coffee.
Radio is playing in the background.
Radio Host: …Don’t forget your umbrellas when you leave the house this morning, it looks like it’s going to downpour today, but if you really want to avoid the rain, just stay inside, and grab yourselves a nice cup of joe… (radio fades out)
Amy takes a sip of her coffee, still reading her book.
Cafe door opens, bells attached to the door ding. Noah walks in, carrying his backpack.
Seeing that he walked in, Amy immediately puts her bag on the seat next to her.
Noah looks around the room, trying to find a free seat. He sees Amy sitting by herself, and hesitates to ask her for the seat. After a moment, he finally makes a move. He walks up to the table.
Noah: Is this seat taken? (pushing the chair back)
Amy: (glares at him, not happy to see him, but doesn’t want to be rude) No.
Noah slowly takes a seat. He pulls out an iPad out of his backpack, and starts using it.
Noah: What are you reading?
Amy: The Hobbit.
Noah: Oh! I love that book! (quotes the book, says in a deep, British voice) “May the hair on your toes never fall out!” (giggles at his own joke)
Amy awkwardly laughs at his joke then goes back to reading.
Noah smiles, realizes how stupid his joke. Feels embarrassed, he looks around the room some more, wanting to make conversation, but not knowing what to say.
Noah: What do you think of it so far?
Amy: (sounds indifferent) It’s alright, I guess. I’m reading it for my creative writing class. (takes a sip of coffee)
Noah: Oh, so you’re into writing?
Amy: Yeah, you could say that…
Noah: Do you go to school around here?
Amy: Yeah, I go to NYU.
Noah: (in an enthusiastic tone) No way, so do I!
Amy: (her attention is grabbed by this) What are you studying? (sounds somewhat interested)
Noah: (undecided) Film…well television…Film, I’m more interested in film.
Amy: (sarcastically excited) Maybe someday you’ll make one of my books into a movie, and we’ll both be millionaires!
Noah: (noticing her attitude) Yeah, that would be cool.
He gives up on making conversation, and takes out his phone, and starts texting.
Feeling bad, Amy glances at him behind her book. She then puts it down on the table. Hearing the book drop, he looks up.
Amy: Are you a freshman?
Noah: (a little confused) Yeah, what about you?
Amy: Yeah, me too.
Both are silent for a moment.
Noah: How’s your first year going so far?
Amy: Oh, it’s great. (pauses to sip her coffee) So much better than high school.
Noah: You hated high school, right?
Amy: Yeah, everyone became fake. They all “did drugs” and “fucked each other” just to be “cool” (makes quotations with her fingers) And some of them were just weirdly enthusiastic.
Noah: … I was weirdly enthusiastic… I would say I met some nice people in high school!
Amy: Chess team?
Noah: (laughs as if that’s a ridiculous idea, attempts to make a joke) Psh, chess team…more like World of Warcraft…club.
They both laugh.
Amy: (leans back in chair, relaxed) Man, I’m having a crappy day.
Noah: (trying to be funny) Yeah, it’s a bit overcast, but the weather shouldn’t determine your mood.
Amy: No, it’s not that (pauses) God, I shouldn’t be telling you this…
Noah: Oh c’mon! You can trust me! (holds up his right hand, quotes “The Princess Bride”, in an accent) “I could give you my word as a Spaniard!”
Amy: Okay, chill with the movie quotes.
Noah: Sorry, force of habit.
Amy giggles, then pauses.
Amy: …My boyfriend broke up with me today.
Noah: (sympathetic) Ah, I’m sorry… (attempts to make her feel better) I mean, you’re lucky that you even had a boyfriend… (pauses, seems embarrassed) I’ve never had a girlfriend.
Amy: (jokingly) Do you like girls?
Amy: Well, they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Noah: (teasing her) You don’t believe in true love?
Amy: Not anymore…
Noah: Well, you know what? I bet you’ll meet an amazing guy someday that will make you change your mind.
Amy: (rolls her eyes) You’re just saying that.
Noah: You’ve known me for the past 10 minutes, you should know by now that I don’t say things I don’t mean.
Amy: How would I know that? I don’t even know your name!
Noah: (holds his hand out) Alright then, I’m Noah.
Amy: (shakes his hand) I’m Amy.
Noah: Now that we’ve established that, can you believe me?
Amy: Okay fine, I’ll take your word for it.
Noah: (smiles) That’s all I ask.
It begins to rain hard. The sound of rain hitting the glass window fills the room.
Noah: (looks out the window) Well, would you look at that! It’s about time.
Amy: (also looks out window, leans back in her chair, crosses her arms) Ugh, I hate the rain.
Noah: (jokingly) Do you hate everything?
Amy: (smiles, flirting) No, not everything.
Noah: Then what do you like?
Amy: Sunny days.
Noah: (smiles) I should’ve seen that one coming.
Amy smiles. Another silence.
Amy: (suddenly) What time is it?
Amy: (panicked) Oh god! I have class in fifteen minutes! I really gotta go! (starts putting her things in her bag, in a hurry) It was nice talking to you!
Noah: (stands up) Wait! Why don’t I buy you a coffee?
Amy: (gets out of her chair) I already have one.
Noah: What about…a muffin?!
Amy: (makes her way towards the door) I’m not hungry.
Noah: (follows her) How about I walk you to class?
Amy: (turns around) You don’t have to do that. (continues to walk away)
Noah: But you’re gonna get soaked!
Noah panics and tries to quickly think of a way to spend more time with her, then he thinks of something.
Noah: You’d be better off walking with me… (pulls out an umbrella)
Amy: (turns around, sighs) Alright, if you insist. (walks back towards him)
He closes his bag, and then picks it up. Amy waits impatiently. He opens the umbrella, and they both stand under it together, as they walk out of the cafe. The bells attached to the door ding as they leave.
Actors leave the stage, the lights slowly turn off after them. Curtains close.
End of scene.