Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Day of Rebecca

The Day of Rebecca, or Dear Sister Without the Sister, is a play I wrote for myself and the other kids in the neighborhood to act out. I let each of them choose their own names and distinguishing characteristics about themselves. I was Rebecca, Brian was Jack, Rachel was Jessica, but I can’t remember who the other two were. Probably Paige and Aimee. I imagine this takes place in the same fictional Oregon town as Dear Sister and Jimmy Dearest. They have the same police force at any rate.

The Day of Rebecca
Written summer 1996
Age 12

Characters: Jack, Rachel, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Jessica. [Yes, I snickered to myself that two of the girls who had never read Sweet Valley chose the names Elizabeth and Jessica.]

Act 1, Scene 1

(Before school)

Rebecca: Where have you been, Jessica? I’ve been waiting here forever.
Jessica: I’ve been out on a date with Aaron.
Rebecca: All night? I think I’m going to be hearing about this for a long time.
Jessica: Your thoughts are correct. [This is a little risqué for girls 12 and 11 years old.]
Jack: (walking up) Hi guys.
Jessica & Rebecca: Hi Jacki.
Jack: Don’t call me Jacki! I’m better than everyone. My smile brightens everybody’s day wherever I go. [Haven’t we heard this before?]
Rebecca: Not mine.
Jack: I’ll choose to do you a faver, Rebecca, and forget that you ever said that to me.
Rebecca: Oh give me a break. (Jessica starts giggling and Elizabeth walks up)
Elizabeth: (with a big smile on her face) Hello, everybody, guess where I just came from?
Jessica & Jack: Where?
Elizabeth: I just got done helping at the homeless shelter.
Rebecca: At eight in the morning? (Jessica giggles)
Elizabeth: It was the breakfast rush.
Jessica: (Still giggling, Jack cracks a smile on his face but Rebecca still remains solemn.) Can you not just turn the perk down an itty bitty bit?
Elizabeth: What’s a perk. (Jack and Jessica giggle)
Jack: You, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: I’m a perk? [Single most memorable moment of this literary work. I actually still quote this sometimes.]
Jessica: Yeah, you’re a perk.
Elizabeth: But what’s a perk?
Rebecca: A perk isn’t a what, it’s a thing. And that thing just happens to be your personality problems.
Elizabeth: I have personality problems. (Jack and Jessica start laughing) What’s so funny?
Jack: You, Elizabeth. You’re funny. Do I have to spell it out for you?
Elizabeth: I’m gonna tell my mommy what you said.
Jack: You are 14 year old. Do you really have to act like such a baby?
Elizabeth: I’m not a baby. I’m a big girl.
Jessica: You are not!
Elizabeth: I am too!
Jessica: Are not!
Elizabeth: Am too!
Jessica: Not!
Elizabeth: Too!
Rachel: (walks up and steps between them) Will you two stop arguing like little babies?
Jessica: What are you doing here, Rachel?
Rachel: I have every right to be here!
Rebecca: (still frowning) You do not.
Rachel: I do too!
Rebecca: No, you don’t. It’s not your property. It’s Jessica’s, Rachel. [Probably Jessica’s parents.]
Rachel: Well, if you don’t stop criticizing me, I’ll tell my mom.
Rebecca: No, I’m not. If I were criticizing you I would have insulted you. And informing you of state law does not qualify for criticizing you, so stop wrongly accusing me, okay.
Jack: Hah, that’s what you get for poking your big nose into other peoples business. And now I’d like to know if we could all peacefully attend school together?
Elizabeth: My thoughts exactly.
Jessica: We’re off to go to school, with horrible, terrible Rachel. [I’m thinking Paige was Rachel. We were kind of mean to Paige. Which leaves Aimee as Elizabeth.]

Act 2, Scene 1

(After school)

Rebecca: (looking at the sky) Do you want to go to the mall, Jess?
Jessica: Okay. Why not?
Rebecca: Why not, indeed. (They take a taxi over, and it waits)

Act 2, Scene 2
(At the mall)

Rebecca: (Looking at a pair of trendy kind of boots with a wry smile on her face) Don’t you just love those boots, Jessica?

[Which back in 1996, might've looked something like these...]

Jessica: (looking mad) I saw them first, so stop drooling over them, and look at something you can afford. [Nice one.]
Rebecca: (sarcastically) But with them, I’ll be as popular as you.
Jessica: (Angrily) No you will not. No one--and I reapeat--no one will ever be as popular as me.
Rebecca: Oh, really? And how’s that?
Jessica: Because I’m too perfect for words, while ther not? [A little conceited, aren’t we, Jess? I wonder who I modeled you after…]
Rebecca: Haven’t you ever heard of sarcasm? (Jessica looks at her strangely) And besides, how can you be so sure that you’re so wonderful and perfect that no one will ever be better?
Jessica: What do you mean?
Rebecca: I’m just saying that you can’t garantee that you’ll be perfect and popular forever. On day you’ll grow old and ugly, Jessica. Maybe. [Yay! I finally spelled maybe right!]
Jessica: Just what are you getting at?
Rebecca: Absolutely nothing.
Jessica: Why don’t I believe you?
Rebecca: Just what are you getting at, Jessica?
Jessica: Absolutely nothing.
Rebecca: Then why don’t I believe you?
Jessica: Let’s just stop arguing like babies. This is really getting rediculous, Rebecca. We should really act our 14 years of age.
Rebecca: You say really too much. And besides, what’s getting rediculous?
Jessica: Will you stop acting like an airhead?
Rebecca: Depends.
Jessica: On what?
Rebecca: (smiles) Do you mind telling me what an airhead is?
Jessica: Stop it, Rebecca. You’re getting on my nerves.
Rebecca: Why?
Jessica: Forget it then! (she walks off stage)
Rebecca: Jessica, get back here!
Jessica: No!
Rebecca: How am I gonna get to the soccer game?
Jessica: Walk!
Rebecca: Fine. I’ll walk.

Act 3, Scene 1

(on the bleachers at the soccer game)

Rachel: Jack! Jack! He’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can!
Elizabeth: You can do it Jessica! [I guess they’re on a co-ed soccer team?]
Rebecca: Jack! Jack! She’s our girl, if she can do it, I will barf. [You know, hurl would’ve worked so much better there.]
Jack: [In the middle of the game] (sarcastically) Thanks for your support, Becky!
Rebecca: (standing up) No one calls me Becky and gets away with it!
Jack: (Smiling) I’ll call you whatever I want, Rebecca! I’m better than everyone. Especially little schoolgirls like you!
Rebecca: That’s it. (She goes over and punches him in the stomack. He doubles over and falls to the ground) [It was originally balls but I think I changed it because we were acting this out and I didn’t actually want to hurt Brian.] I am no little schoolgirl.

Act 4, Scene 1

(In Rebecca’s kitchen)

Jessica: I can’t believe you did that to poor Jack.
Rebecca: Why not? Wouldn’t you have done the same thing?
Jessica: No.
Rebecca: Why not?
Jessica: Because it’s a mean thing to do, Rebecca. Real mean.
Rebecca: This is Jack we’re talking about. No Mother Teresa. In other words, we don’t--and I repeat--don’t have to be nice to him. [WHY do these people hang out together? They‘re clearly NOT friends.]
Jessica: I’m getting tired of this, Rebecca.
Rebecca: They why don’t we go for a walk. [Oh noes! We know what happens when girls go for walks in my stories.]
Jessica: Sure. It’s better than arguing with you.
Rebecca; (getting up) I’m gonna tell my parents I’m in my room. [Yes, tell her about your alibi.]
Jessica: Why?
Rebecca: I’m grounded for the Jack thing, They don’t even know that you’re here, Jessica. [They must be deaf if they didn’t hear that argument.] (She leaves for a moment, then comes back.)
Jessica: So we’re we going?
Rebecca: How about the ridge? [I smell murder. And a reused plot device.]
Jessica: That sounds simply divine.

Act 5

(At the ridge)

Jessica: It’s nice up here, isn’t it?
Rebecca: No. It’s deadly.
Jessica: Rebecca, what do you mean?
Rebecca: Look at you. You’ve always been popular at school. I’m sick of it. Everyone’s always adored you more than anything. It’s always made me sick that you’re always happy. But with you dead, you won’t be happy. And niether will anybody else. Anybody but me that is. I’ll be happy. [At least it’s a slightly less generic motive than Andy and Izzy’s in Dear Sister]
Jessica: I don’t get it.
Rebecca: I’m gonna kill you, Jessica. Today is the day of Rebecca. [Title!] Say goodbye to the cruel world. [I was fond of this phrase, wasn’t I?]
Jessica: I thought we were friends.
Rebecca: Well you thought wrong. Because we’re not, and we never were. Goodbye, Jessica. (She pushes her.)
Jessica: Nooooo. . . . . .

Act 6, Scene 1

(At Jessica’s funeral)

Elizabeth: I can’t believe she’s gone.
Rachel: I know. To think just 3 days ago, she was here.
Jack: It’s [letters blotted out with drop of liquid and I can‘t figure out what it was supposed to be]age, isn’t it. It looks like Rebecca’s taking it the hardest. Look at her over there all by herself.
Rachel: Yeah.
Elizabeth: You know what, you two.
Jack & Rachel: What?
Elizabeth: When I save the whales, I’m gonna dedicate it to Jessica, The greates person I’ve ever known. [Gag]

* * * * *

It was fun when we acted it out. I think a lot of those kids parents thought I was seriously disturbed. I know there were a few periods of time when Paige and Aimee at least weren’t allowed to play with me. Anyway, next time: My incredibly long epic, The Enemy Within, in which I kill the same character twice!

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