Scene opens inside of a beautiful home. Three boys are sitting on the couch, while there is loud sobbing heard from another room. A young girl, MARY-JANE, emerges from the kitchen with four glasses of tea.The room is solemn and somber. Mary Jane hands each boy a glass of tea.
(The boys drink.)
Mother’s still crying. How long has she been up there?
It seems like its been hours.
I wish she’d stop. It’s not like Poppa’s gone forever.
Your father’s in a better place now, Chris. He won’t be coming back anytime soon.
Yes he will! Sister Louisa said that we’ll see Poppa very soon, when we’re all ‘united in the kingdom in the sky.
Get over yourself, Chris. Papa’s gone for good, Mother’ll drown in her tears, and Mary-Jane’ll be gone by this weekend.
Shhh Trevor! Don’t you have a heart?
What’s going to happen to Janemary?
Nothing, Chris. Nothing.
Mother’s sending her away to New York City. Now that Father’s gone, she’s not wanted here.
MARY-JANE: (getting angry)
Thats not true!
But I want you here!
Father always said our house is your house…
TREVOR: (getting angry)
Father’s gone, Christopherson. Get it through your head. He left you, he left me, he left John. And he’s never coming back. And after this weekend, neither is Mary-Jane.
(Christopherson begins to cry.)
MARY-JANE: (comforting Christopherson)
Trevor, you monster! He’s just a little boy. Just because you’re angry and bitter doesn’t give you a right to lash it out on him.
I’m angry and bitter? Since the moment you set foot in this house you’ve been cold, moody, and acidic. And when I’m struck with the death of my parent, I don’t have the right? I would have thought you, of all people would understand what I’m going through. I guess I was wrong.
(Mary-Jane is speechless. The crying from the room, which has been softly in the background throughout the play so far has abruptly stopped. The door creaks open, and a red, puffy eyed LUCILLE enters. She wanders around the room, then stops at Trevor. She is delirious, and believes that Trevor is her late husband.)
Walter my darling, come sit down before supper gets chilly.
TREVOR: (sadly confused)
Mother, it’s me, Trevor.
I’ve prepared your favorite! Rack of lamb with a raspberry glaze for our main course, and a cheese souffle for dessert.
TREVOR: (beginning to get frantic)
Mum, snap out of it!
(She pulls him to the table)
So darling, how was your day at work?
Aunt Lucille, perhaps you would enjoy a nap-
What’s the matter with mother?
(He pulls him away)
Come with me, Lucille.
LUCILLE: (deliriously screaming)
Walter! Walter! Don’t leave me!
MARY-JANE: (in control of the situation)
Trevor, you need to call a doctor- (Trevor reaches for the phone)
(Lucille continues to scream, until her screams drown into soft sobs. She sinks to the floor)
MARY-JANE: (cradling Lucille’s head)
Shh… Everything’s going to be alright…
Begins to sing to her, an old song that her mother used to sing to her as a child. The stage lights slowly fades to black, and with that, Mary-Jane’s voice fades out as well.
Scene opens to an above ground train station. Mary-Jane has two suitcases in hand, and her cousins and aunt are with her to see her on her way.
Remember, darling, that if you ever need anything at all-
Yes Aunt Lucille, I know.
Lucille envelops Mary-Jane into a tight squeeze.
Be sure to get your rest, and to take the pills that the doctor prescribed.
Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of her.
Mary-Jane nods, and kneels down to Christopherson’s height.
MARY-JANE: (to Christopherson)
You’ll take good care of John and Trevor for me, won’t you? Take over as the man in the house?
Christopherson salutes Mary-Jane.
Promise that this isn’t goodbye?
Mary-Jane extends her pinky.
Christopherson takes Mary-Jane’s pinky gladly, and they shake on it.
And John, take good care of the man of the house.
Mary-Jane winks playfully at John.
The train slowly pulls up to the station. Mary-Jane starts to board the train as she talks.
You’ll all be sure to visit?
LUCILLE: (half smiling)
Goodbye Janemary! Have fun in You Nork!
Trevor is about to say something, but then just half heartedly waves goodbye.
Bye! See you soon!
Mary-Jane looks back over her shoulder one last time, boards the train in full, and then the doors close. She looks out from the window on the train, but then she is gone.
John and Christopherson are visibly upset by her leaving.
Boys, it’s all for the best. I just can’t handle another child right now… With my illness and all…
But we’re her only family she’s ever known…
And it’s not fun to lose family.
Listen, I let her stay in my home for four years. It wasn’t an ideal situation for me, but I am a generous person, and I do generous things. But life can’t stay the same forever, children. Now let us all head out to the car. We don’t want to be late for the afternoon service.
John and Christopherson hurry off without any arguments. Trevor stays behind with Lucille.
You know just as well as I do what was in father’s will… You are supposed to be Mary-Jane’s legal guardian. That means feeding her, grooming her, and most importantly housing her. He was in charge of her, and he left her with you. Why did you send her away?
Lucille takes a quick look around the station, as if to make sure no one was listening.
LUCILLE: (in a threatening, low tone)
You don’t know what I’m dealing with.
We’re all sad, okay? It’s not just you.
I have to prioritize here, Trevor. I must focus on myself and my children. That ragamuffin of a girl is not my top priority, nor will she ever be. I have waited for four years to be rid of her. And now nothing is stopping me.
My father. He was what was stopping you. (scared and astonished) Did you want him dead?
LUCILLE: (small hint of franticness. The audience can tell that she is lying, but Trevor can’t.)
No! Of course not Trevor! Don’t be-don’t be-don’t be…
Lucille falls to the ground. Trevor immediately catches her.
Lucille’s eyes are ablaze. She is screaming.
I’m sorry! Please… Please don’t do this to me… We were so good… Please don’t leave… (getting serious and angry.) I said don’t leave.
Mother! Please you must snap out of it.
LUCILLE: (grave, serious, scary)
Nobody walks out on me Walter.
TREVOR: (to the people at the station)
Help! Somebody please! My mother needs help!
Lucille picks up an invisible gun. She is shaking. She is about to fire, when her facial expression goes blank. She stares at Trevor, and fires the gun.
LUCILLE: (staring straight at Trevor, in a whisper)
Goodbye, Walter. I’ll see you in Hell.
End of scene.
Scene opens to a dark room. Lucille and a shady figure (Kevin) are having a discussion on stage right. Stage left is blackened out, and unknown to the audience, Mary-Jane and Walter are sitting in the same chair, reading a book.
I’m going insane with guilt, Kevin. Every time I see Trevor, it brings me back to him… I just don’t know what to do anymore. Maybe we should give it up, lay low for awhile…
We haven’t come this far for nothing, Lucy. Think about what we could do…
Kevin whips Lucille around to face the audience.
KEVIN: (getting excited)
With thirty million dollars. I can practically taste it now.
Thirty million dollars. (getting angry) Thirty million dollars that my good for nothing husband didn’t leave me!
That doesn’t matter. (pulls out a piece of paper) Because all of that can change.
Kevin reads from the paper.
The last will and testament of Walter E. Gerstein.
Let me see it.
Lucille snatches away the piece of paper, and stares at it in rage.
Classic Walter. Well written, and well calculated. (smiles evilly) Too bad it all will change. And that Mary-Jane will get nothing. Just as it should be.
Yes, the good for nothing favorite niece of my late husband. With whom he left a quarter of his fortune and estate to.
They were close?
Much closer then I would have liked. She would come first, I would come second. She was the daughter he never had.
A young Mary-Jane and Walter come out on stage right. Lights go dimmer on Lucille and Kevin and the focus is on Mary-Jane and Walter. Mary-Jane is sitting on Walter’s lap and he is reading her a story. They are laughing and Walter is playing with her hair. They are obviously very close. Mary-Jane is hugging her uncle. This is all going on as Lucille is talking.
Every night they would sit in front of the fireplace and read the same dumb book. What was it again… (thinking hard) Oh yes. Grimms Fairytale’s. Walter loved that book. And her. (angered) No doubtedly more than he loved me.
Forget about that. It doesn’t matter. We change the will, get the loot, and start our own lives.
But what if we get caught. Walter was a smart man, Kevin-
Who trusted me as his lawyer, and you as his wife. Book smart, maybe. But street smart? (taps his forehead) Not since he slipped that ring on your dainty little finger.
Kevin takes Lucille’s left hand and plays with the ring.
Quite a beauty it is… A princess cut! 5 carats…
Lucille snatches her hand away.
LUCILLE: (saddened and embarrassed)
I don’t even know why I still wear it…
Well tomorrow we pawn it. That part of your life is over now.
Kevin grabs Lucille by the shoulders, and makes her face him.
And I am your life now. And we’re in this together.
Lucille looks a bit apprehensive. Kevin tries to roughly kiss Lucille, but she backs away quick enough, and he falls over himself.
I better get going.
Lucille scurries off, and Kevin is left alone, slumps into the chair, and makes an exasperated sigh. Scene ends.
Scene opens to Mary-Jane unpacking in a small, dusty apartment. An old lady hobbles into the room. Her skin is pale and she has gray hair. They are on stage left, while stage right is blacked out, where a young Wendy and a younger Irma are playing.
How are you taking to the house, Mary-Jane?
MARY-JANE: (half-hearted shrug)
I know that it’s a little smaller then you are used to, but I’m afraid it’s all I can afford…
It’s alright. Thank you for taking me in on such short notice, Irma.
Oh please, my pleasure. And call me Irma.
And you are?
Mary-Jane. Your great-granddaughter.
Oh yes, that’s right. You look so much like your mother, Wendy. She had the same, glistening, blue eyes.
MARY-JANE: (changing the subject)
I like your blouse.
And the same hair too
Irma touches Mary-Jane’s hair, and Mary-Jane quickly pulls away.
And those cheekbones!
Tries to grab Mary-Jane’s cheeks but Mary-Jane backs away again.
I don’t want to talk about her!
Talk about who?
Oh yes, how is she?
MARY-JANE: (screaming now)
Dead! Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead!
Mary-Jane tears up.
Well there’s no need to get snappy.
I found this in my armoire. (takes an envelope out of her pocket) Do you know a Mary-Jane?
That would be me.
Oh yes… Of course. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have a touch of Alzheimers.
Yes, but I think the whole thing’s just outrageous. Oh, I almost forgot, I found an envelope in my armoire addressed to-
Yes, I know. (takes the envelope from her.) Do you know who it’s from?
Ah yes, a grandchild of mine.
As Irma talks, stage right lights up, and stage left goes dimmer. , we see young Wendy playing with an orange and black striped cat. Irma is laughing, and Wendy is hugging her and they are having a grand time.
IRMA: (In her own world)
Oh yes, that’s right. I almost forgot that you were Wendy’s daughter. She used to come here in the afternoons when she was a little girl, and play with Rufaffer, my cat. A bright little girl she was too, always coming up with new stories to tell me. And her brother too, a real genius there.
As she says this, a young Walter comes in, excited. Wendy jumps up and pulls Walter to Ruffaffer. They are obviously quite close.
Walter was great with numbers. He became successful in his work, but he always made time to see me. But Wendy and I were exactly alike. Bright and blue eyed, that was my Wendy.
Irma begins to tear up.
And you remembered all of that, but still can’t remember my name?
Mary-Jane. Can I see my mother’s letter now?
Irma hands the letter over to Mary-Jane.
I’m making pasta for dinner, is that alright with you?
Yes, thank you.
Irma hobbles off stage. Mary-Jane plops down on the bed. She slowly opens the envelope and takes out the letter. As she reads, Wendy’s voice is heard, narrating the letter.
VOICE OF WENDY:
My dearest Mary-Jane,
There is a time in our lives when we have completed all of our tasks and duties on earth, and it is time to move on to a better place. If you are reading this, then I have probably passed on to the next world. You were my sunshine, my inspiration, and my masterpiece. I always regretted not being able to provide a father figure in your life, but you didn’t seem to mind. Your uncle was the best father figure I could ever ask for. Seeing how close you two were, it reminded me of him and me back when we were children. But Walter was madly in love with a woman who went by the name of Lucille. I never trusted her, and neither should you. She’s tricky, and she’s manipulative. She could get Walter to do everything she wanted and needed. She was obsessed with money, and as you may know that that is something we have never struggled with.
Anyways, I must get to my point. My brother was a smart man, and although he was in love with Lucille, he never did entirely trust her. So he made sure that I always had the original draft of his final will, which I have enclosed in this envelope. As you can read, he left a quarter of his assets to you. But he also did something unexpected of such a giving man. He did not include Lucille in his will. I warn you, my daughter, she will hunt down your portion of the will. She will make sure you get nothing.
But I know that money has no value to you. You are beyond such a petty thing. But, there is one other thing that I left with Walter, to leave to you, my only child. My last works in the theater. Of all the success that my playwriting has given me, from Broadway to West End, this unpublished play is by far the best of what I’ve written. It is a one of a kind script, one that I slaved over for many years. It is not finished, and I know, sitting here in my hospital bed, that I will never get a chance to finish it. Nevertheless, its value is simply priceless. The broadway world would give an arm and a leg for the last play Wendy Gerstein ever wrote. And this, Lucille knows very well.
You must get back my play from her, Mary-Jane. For me and my legacy. Finish for me what I have started, and most importantly, get back what you rightfully deserve.
Although I wish that I could be there in person to help you, you will find that heaven is never too far away.
All of my love,
Mary-Jane’s eyes open very wide. She darts out of the room while yelling.
Scene opens to Trevor’s bedroom. He is reading a book under a dim light, when we suddenly hear a rapping at the window.
Trevor cautiously approaches the window. Mary-Jane is up in a tree. Trevor sees her, and opens the window.
What are you doing here? And how’d you get up in that tree?
I came here to warn you.
Well first you should probably help me out of this tree before I tell you anything.
Trevor helps Mary-Jane out of the tree and in through the window.
TREVOR: (awkwardly motioning over to his bed.)
Here, um, why don’t you sit?
Mary-Jane makes her way over to the bed. She eyes his picture frame of his dad and him.
You miss him a lot, don’t you.
Yeah… (stares off into space) It was just so sudden… We don’t even know how it happened. Father’s lawyer says it was of a heart attack. But he was always careful with his health.
Trevor takes a pause.
So what did you come to warn me about?
Has your mother talked to you about your father’s will?
TREVOR: (quickly, thinking that MJ knows that she is supposed to still live with his mother)
Yes. 70% goes to mother, and 30% is to be split between us kids. We each get 10%. (hesitant) Its fair.
Well that’s not right. (unfolds the will) You see here, it says each of us kids get 25%.
TREVOR: (quickly looks over the document, visibly angered)
Coincidentally including you. This is a forgery. Father would never leave mother out of his will.
How dare you accuse me of such a thing! This was an original document given to my mother. It was his final draft of the will. He never changed it.
He loved my mother.
And he loved me as well! I was close to him, Trevor. He was practically my father.
We were as close as you could get. Until you came in and ruined everything.
And how did I ruin everything?
You always ruin everything. Mother and father never argued once, until you showed up. Then its bickering for hours, and mother running off with-
Trevor breaks off, realizing he’s said too much.
Running off with who?
Trevor, what are you talking about?
TREVOR: (changing the subject)
Mother would flip if she knew you were up here.
MARY-JANE: (grabbing and shaking Trevor)
Trevor! You’ve got to tell me! It could be important information!
Alright! Would you quit shaking me already?
Mary-Jane stops, and stares, awaiting for her story.
It was a few months ago, late at night. I had gotten up to get a drink of water, when I heard two voices coming from my parents bedroom.
The lights come up on stage right, revealing a bedroom. Kevin and Lucille are getting ready for bed. Lucille is brushing her hair, and Kevin is brushing his teeth.
One was my mother’s voice, and the other was that of a harsh sounding man. But my father was on a business trip in Toronto. So, naturally being curious as to whom was in the room with her, I grabbed a glass cup from the kitchen, and well…
Pressed it against the door, and spied.
No! I just-
Thats an exaggeration.
Fine! I’m not proud of it, but do you want to hear what happened, or not? (pause) Anyways, it seemed as though they were talking about my dad…
Lights go dimmer on Trevor and Mary-Jane, and the scene shifts over to Lucille and Kevin.
KEVIN: (walking over to Lucille)
And you’re sure the ‘ol ball and chain won’t be back until tomorrow?
Don’t worry about it.
Lucille walks over and sits behind Kevin on the bed.
Which means that you and I have all night to do this…
Lucille and Kevin start to passionately kiss, until Trevor (2) opens the door abruptly to find them kissing. He drops his glass. Lucille jumps up.
LUCILLE: (frantically smoothing her night gown)
Trevor runs out of the room. Lights fade out of Kevin and Lucille, and lights up on Trevor and Mary-Jane.
With his lawyer?
And to think… My father trusted that man.
But you told Uncle Walter about the affair, didn’t you?
I… I never got the chance. I think he knew though. He was smart, and it wasn’t like they covered up their tracks.
So he found out on his own?
I… I don’t know. I think you ought to get going. If anyone catches you up here-
But what about the will! And the lawyer, he just goes to prove my point even further! They could have easily made a forgery!
Is that all you care about? The money?
I couldn’t care less about the money, Trevor. She has something that’s rightfully mine, and I won’t rest until-
I think it’s time for you to go.
I’m tired of you blaming mother for everything! She’d never do something like that.
You seem to forget that she cheated on her husband. That’s just not something that can be overlooked.
She promised that it was a one time thing, and that she’d never do it again. She’s sorry.
And you just forgive her? Even back her up? I thought you’d help me. Help me honor the wishes of a sweet dead man and his sister but I guess I was wrong. I guess I’ll just have to do it all on my own.
Mary-Jane walks angrily over to the window. She takes on look back at Trevor, before she climbs down the tree. Trevor runs over to the window, but he is too late, and Mary-Jane vanishes into the darkness of the night.
Scene opens to Kevin and Lucille in the bedroom. Kevin is smoking a cigar, and Lucille is reading a book.
What was that?
Relax, the boy’s are just probably arguing again.
It’s 11:30, I put John and Christopherson to bed four hours ago. And that’s definitely a girl’s voice.
Lucille gets up and begins to head to the door. Kevin pulls her back.
Relax Lucy. Trevor’s sixteen years old, and fairly good looking. I wouldn’t be surprised if his lady friend up there-
Trevor does not have a “lady friend” nor is he interested in having one.
I beg of you, Kevin. Please go and check up on him.
Kevin puts the cigarette down, and heads out the door, and walks up a spiral staircase until he reaches the door to another room. There are voices coming from the door.
VOICE OF MARY-JANE:
Has your mother talked to you about your father’s will?
VOICE OF TREVOR:
Yes. 70% goes to mother, and 30% is to be split between us kids. We each get 10%. Its fair.
VOICE OF MARY-JANE:
Well that’s not right. You see here, it says each of us kids get 25%.
Kevin backs away from the door slowly, and then run downs the stairs quickly, trips over the stairs, and tumbles through the bedroom door. He scrambles to get onto his feet, and quickly slams their door.
My heavens, Kevin, what happened?
It’s her! She knows, Lucy, and she’ll ruin everything!
Who? Who knows?
Walter’s niece. I heard her talking to Trevor about the will, and now that she has his support-
That blasted Mary-Jane. I knew she wouldn’t keep quiet for long. They’ll go straight to the police. It’s their word against ours and Trevor’s his very own flesh and blood. Their story’s the believable one. I told you that we should’ve stopped while we’re ahead.
(pause) Unless he didn’t buy it.
What do you mean?
Trevor’s been at your defense since the very beginning, Lucille. And you’re his mother. What if he didn’t believe Mary-Jane?
That would be good, right?
Scene opens to a breakfast table. John, Kevin, and Christopherson are seated, laughing, chatting, and eating their breakfast. Lucille is busily at work in the kitchen, when a sleepy Trevor walks in.
Good morning, Trevor!
Is it morning already?
Lucille laughs nervously, and clears her throat.
Why don’t you come sit down next to Kevin… You know Kevin, your father’s old lawyer?
How could I ever forget.
Kevin’s real nice, Trevor! He taught me how to play cards before breakfast!
He even let me have his lucky deck!
What’s he doing here?
Now Trevor, you mustn’t be rude. Kevin needed a place to stay… His home has undergone sudden renovations. He’ll only be a few days.
Only? So, this is “only” a one time thing?
Well, I wouldn’t say you’ll never see him here again-
Well, only implies solely and solely implies once.
Trevor, I think you’re old enough to know that sometimes, people say things that they don’t mean.
You mean lie.
No, of course not! I would never lie to you!
Come on, Christopherson, I think we ought to leave them…
John quickly ushers Christopherson out of the room.
And yet you have! First about Kevin, then next, what will it be, father’s will?
Lucille’s face grows pale, with shock, fear, and dread in her eyes.
I told you Lucille, the boy knows!
So Mary-Jane was right? You did forge father’s will? Of all the immoral, dreadful deeds, you choose deceit, and did you ever think of who you were hurting the most? And all for the money?
Now boy, listen, if you want a bigger cut-
I don’t give a damn about the money! You not only betrayed my father, but you also betrayed Jon, Christopherson, and I!
Trevor tries to storm out of the room, but Kevin bars his way.
Now listen here, Trevor. We’re already knee deep in trouble and don’t need a little boy ratting us out to the police.
I don’t know. I happen to think five years in prison would do a low life scoundrel like you good.
Five years in the slammer? Please, we’ll be lucky to get fifty.
Not for forgery.
Yes, but for murder! How stupid to you think I am, boy?
Trevor slowly backs away from Kevin and his mother.
Yes, murder, what do you think we we’re-
Kevin realizes what he has just done.
Trevor please don’t tell a soul!
Oh please, Lucille, what do you think that will do? He can’t un-hear us! He knows too much.
You murdered my father? You must be joking.
KEVIN: (tries to laugh)
Of course we are! And you totally fell for it!
Kevin he’s not an idiot. Trevor, darling, it was all just a big mistake (reaches out to caress Kevin)
Don’t touch me!
(Kevin backs up towards the door and turns around to face Kevin blocking it.)
Don’t speak to your mother like that, Trevor. Just where do you think you’re going?
Kevin, the boy just needs some air-
Lucille, the day that this boy is allowed to get some air will the day that we begin our sentence for life in prison.
Yes, boy, this isn’t the little leagues anymore. What’s at stake is high, and I can’t risk being thrown into the slammer again. So what do you say that we just get rid of him right here and now-
I couldn’t let my mother go to prison. I mean, to be honest, I’m not incredibly thrilled in the least to find out that you were responsible for my father’s death, but since it’s my mother, I’m willing to do whatever I can to keep her out of trouble.
Well, that’s very surprising to say in the least. But I’m… very glad you feel that way.
(Kevin slyly smiles)
It looks like we’re in the clear after all, Luc.
Looks like it. Trev-
I think I’m going to head up to my room to get some rest and to clear my head…
Remember boy, not a word.
(Trevor quickly nods and exits)
Do you honestly believe that he will comply?
He’s been on your side since the very beginning, Luc. I don’t have reasons to thinking that he won’t. And who could he possibly tell…
(Kevin pulls out a key from his pocket)
Locked in his bedroom.
(Lights go dim on Kevin and Lucille, and up on Trevor’s bedroom, as he is dialing on the telephone)
Hello, Irma? Is Mary-Jane in the house? Thank you. Mary-Jane? It’s Trevor.
(He is now shaking, and wiping tears from his eyes)
You were right…
(Blackout. Scene shifts to a police station, with Kevin and Lucille in handcuffs with two police officers. One is talking to Mary-Jane, while Kevin sits quietly on the bench surveying the scene. Irma, Jon, and Christopherson enter the police station.)
(Christopherson escapes from Irma’s grip and goes to hug his mother, but a police officer stops him. Lucille has tears streaming down her face.)
I’m sorry, son, but your mother has to go away now.
Where is mommy going?
Away to a safe place.
Don’t worry, kid. You’re mother will be where she belongs.
But I don’t want my mommy to go away!
Christopherson tries to reach his mother, but the police officer again blocks his way.
What, is he not allowed to see her?
The police officer allows Christopherson to go to hug her, but Lucille turns her back, covering her tear stained face)
LUCILLE: (whispers hoarsely)
Don’t let him see me. Don’t let him see the monster I’ve become.
Jon ushers Chris towards their mother.
To him, you’re not some criminal, mother. You’re the only mother he’s got. (Looks over at Trevor) The only one we’ve got. You’re sick, mother. (reaches out to touch his mother’s shoulder, and whips her around to face them) We can get you help.
You’re so good to me, just as my Walter was, so good and kind, and… and…
Lucille’s face goes blank and pale.
What have I done, Walter… What have I done…
She’s delirious… Help! Someone!
Leave her be. It’s the only way that she can live with herself after what she’s done.
Look what I’ve become… A murderess?
Mother, you’re just mentally unstable, but we can help you-
I’ve throw everything away for a man that I don’t even love…
I… I can’t go on…
(Lucille picks up an imaginary shotgun, shaking)
But you must, mother, you must…
Mother, you have to try to listen to me.
Trevor grabs his mother’s hands and squeezes them tightly.
We are going to get you help. We won’t let you go.
Lucille turns away from Trevor, but Trevor touches her face and makes her face him.
I won’t let you go. We can pull through this, okay? We’ll be all right. I promise.
Lucille smiles softly as tears trickle down her face, and she falls into Trevor’s embrace.
You’ve always been so good to me, my Trevor… If only your father could see you now, and see the man that you have become…
Lucille wipes her eyes and takes a slow breath.
I am… I am so sorry Trevor… I… I…
Shh… Shh… Rest now, mother.
Trevor beckons for Jon and Christopherson to come close.
We are here now, and we will see you when you wake.
POLICE OFFICER: (clearing his throat)
It’s time for your mother to go now, boys.
Christopherson plants a wet kiss on his mother’s forehead.
Goodbye for now, mommy.
You’re off to a better place now, mother. We’ll see you soon.
Lucille is carried off stage in hand cuffs by the police, but before she leaves, she and Mary-Jane exchange a glance. They each nod, and have an unspoken truce.
(Scene ends. Scene shifts to a New York City rooftop. Mary-Jane is sitting in a folding chair, watching the New York City skyline.)
It’s funny how life works. One day you could feel as though you have hit rock bottom, only the next to find that you have risen to the top. As a famous poet once said “Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that, we still are.” I once believed that there was no life that was worth living after the death of my mother. But I was shown by my uncle that although death is sad for those who are left behind, heaven is never too far away. The memories that were made with our loved ones will last us our entire lifetimes, and although they cannot be visibly seen or touched, they will forever live on in our hearts. As a playwright, my mother was an incredibly important and well respected figure in Broadway’s history.
Tonight, Broadway remembers the tenth anniversary of world renowned playwright, Wendy Gerstein. She was a talent who has left her mark on Broadway’s history for good, and will truly never be forgotten. Tonight, our theater’s lights will dim in her honor.
That night, the fresh wounds from my mother’s death began to heal. I felt her spirit with me on that rooftop, almost holding my hand, as we watched the lights go down in her honor. It was a night that I will never forget, (pause) the night my mother’s lights were dimmed.
(Lights slowly dim, and fade out into blackness.)
Grace Isaacman, Age 13, Grade 7, The Dalton School, Silver Key