Echoes Playwriting Winners

Flag Day [Screen and Playwriting]

by Isabella Waldron

Screen and Playwriting Winner in the Echoes Writing Contest

Flag Day

Scene 1:

LENA (19-20) sits at a dining room table with her head in her hands as her family talks loudly and quixotically over her. She is wearing pajamas and has her hair messily tied up. Her mother, Bianca, is quite beautiful, wearing a pink dress and a multicolored, rather loud necklace. Her father, Albert, is a bit plump with graying hair and a nice shirt and sweater vest. Her grandmother, Francis, is dressed in a modest black skirt and shawl. The three (FRANCIS, ALBERT, BIANCA) speak in unison over LENA.

Albert: Lena! How could not tell me that you’d invited a real American boy over? Bože, pomoz mi!

Francis: He better not be from the California….The land of sun and sin, I tell you.  

Bianca: Does he treat you well? Does he buy you gifts? A man must always buy you gifts, even if he is broke. He can make something. Your father did for me and we’ve been married 34 years.

The unison ends.

Albert: How will I prepare well enough for him?

Bianca: Albert, you are the most patriotic man I know. He will be impressed, I’m sure.

Albert: But a real American? I must have the flag dry cleaned again, I think.

Francis: (with spite) California dreamin’ my culo.

LENA pulls herself up from the table

Lena: Could you all just shut up for a moment?

Francis: Lena, watch your mouth, young lady!

Lena: I’m sorry, Nona. I would have told you all sooner, but I wasn’t going to ask him until Mom made me…

Bianca: I did not make you invite him to our Flag day. I simply requested we meet this boy you’ve been seeing for six months before you run off and have my grandchildren and keep them to yourself.

LENA sighs in frustration

Lena: You know I’d never do that. Well, anyways there was some miscommunication between me and Mama apparently and now he’s coming.

Albert: But—

Lena: Believe me, Táta, I would rather he not come also.

Albert: Oh, no Lena. He must come. I’m sorry, I’m just a bit overwhelmed. But really I am excited to see what a young man born in America will think of our humble Flag Day celebration. But tell me, what does his family usually do for Flag Day? We must not let him down.

Francis: Bah! Americans have low expectations. We will always exceed them.

Bianca: Mama, we are Americans now. We are lucky to live in this country.

Francis: You do not call me an American. I am from Rome.

BIANCA shakes her head.

Lena: Well, Nona’s kind of right, actually. I don’t think his family does celebrate Flag day.

Albert: What? Who doesn’t celebrate the day of our country’s flag?

Lena: A lot of people, surprisingly.

Albert: Even more reason to make it the finest Flag day he will ever see. What time is he getting here? I must start on the apple pies.

Lena: He’s driving over from Boston tomorrow at 4.

Bianca: And staying with us, yes?

Lena: Well, he can stay at the Inn, maybe? You know, so he can have some time to decompress after the events…

Francis: What?! What kind of boyfriend is this that stays in an inn. Is he baby Jesus? No. He will stay here.

Lena: Well—

Bianca: Does he not want to stay with us? Are we not good enough for him?

Lena: No! I was just thinking, because it can be a bit overwhelming…Flag day that is, not you.

Bianca: Hmph. I’ll make up his room.

Lena: Maybe we don’t have to start dinner with the national anthem tomorrow, then?

Albert: Nonsense. That is how we honor our country, Lena. Now, we’ve only got 19 hours until this boy comes and we must start preparing. You, go be useful to your mother and make the casserole.

BIANCA grabs LENA’s wrist and leads her offstage. Lights off.

Scene 2:

The whole family is gathered, setting the table, etc. The table runner is a large American flag. Similar patriotic items are hung up around the room. FRANCIS carries a small, Italian flag in her hand. HAYDEN knocks on the door and they ALL jump up, ready to get the door. LENA runs to the door and throws it open breathlessly. She shoos her family away from the door.

Lena: Hi!

LENA and HAYDEN hug.

Hayden: Hi. You look nice.

Lena: Thank you, you do too.

Hayden: I brought this.

HAYDEN hands her an Italian salami.

Lena: You brought me salami?

Hayden: Well, I thought because your mom and grandma are Italian…but they were out of Italian wines, and they didn’t sell Polish food there, so I… Yes, I did bring you a salami.

Lena: Okay, it’s very sweet. (She whispers) But it’s Flag Day, and on Flag Day, my father worships American things. No salami. Just ham.

Hayden: Shoot…Ok, well keep the salami for later then. Sorry.

Lena: No, no, no. You’re fine! I know it’s not usually what happens at family dinners. Okay, I guess now is the time to meet them. Oh, but wait! First we need a safe word.

Hayden: What?

Lena: Just in case it gets to be too much. It can happen. It happened to my fourth grade boyfriend, Billy Schneider. He came over for dinner once and then he moved to Columbus, Ohio, I swear.

Hayden: Lena, I’m sure they’re lovely people.

Lena: The code word is salami. Use it whenever you need to.

Hayden: Lena—

Lena: Okay, we just gotta introduce you. It’s like a band aid. Okay, on three. (Counts in her head) Mama, Dad, Nona, this is Hayden.

BIANCA, FRANCIS, and ALBERT rush over to him at the same time, overlapping sentences and greetings.

Bianca: Hello. Good to meet you. You’re very handsome…I bet you get a lot of ladies inviting you to dinners. But none like our Lena, right? Right?

Francis: Hmph. Strong arms.

Albert: Happy Flag Day! We’re so glad you could join us on this special day.

Unison ends.

Hayden: Well, it’s great to meet you as well. I’m flattered to be a part of your Flag day.

Albert: Come! Let us eat…we’ve got a lot of food to get through.

Hayden: Well that sounds more like the America I know. (Laughs)

Silence.

Albert: Is this not like the America you know? What do we need to change? More flags?

Hayden: No! No, no, no, no… It’s beautiful. I was just making….trying to make a joke…because you know, people say that Americans eat a lot. It was a stupid joke though.

Francis: Hmph. A stupid joke. Yes.

Silence as the family stands stock still.

Lena: Okay, well, maybe we should get on with things?

Albert: Yes, yes, of course. The parade.

Hayden: Parade?

Lena: Yes.

Hayden: But there’s only five of us here.

Bianca: You don’t need more than that for a parade.

Hayden: Is it through the neighborhood, then?

Lena: No, just inside the house.

Hayden: Cool?

Albert: Hayden, as our guest you can carry the first flag I got in America.

Bianca: Tell the story, Albert!

Albert: No, no—

Bianca: Please!

Albert: Oh fine.

Albert: When I left Prague I was 16. It was two years after a big uprising in Prague…trying to get independence as the Americans did.

Bianca: His father was a revolutionary.

Albert: A lucky one too. The uprising didn’t work, but my father was still alive. After that day, though, my father was always frustrated. Mad that he could not make any difference, that so many were suffering. Those two years before we came here we didn’t celebrate anything.

Bianca: No birthdays, no Christmas, no happy anniversaries.

Lena: Mama, let him tell the story.

Bianca: I know it as well as he does.

Lena: He lived it, mother.

Bianca rolls her eyes.

Albert: My family, you know, eventually decided we could not stay in Prague, where so much horror had happened in the last few years. We came to America and we arrived in New York on this day — June 14th. My father saw in some newspaper that it was called Flag Day and took my brothers and mother and me out to celebrate that very hour. We had a big meal of burgers and apple pie in a little diner and before we had even bought a piece of furniture for our apartment, my father went right into a pawn shop on 149th street and bought an American flag. It’s this one here.

Albert gestures to the flag on the wall.

Bianca: And seven years later, he met me.

Lena: At the Hotcake house.

Albert: And three months later, I proposed beneath the same flag.

Bianca: At the Hotcake house.

Lena: Good, American food.

Hayden: That’s a touching story, Mr. Bjerzovski.

Albert: Thank you.

Francis: Let’s get on with the parade, yes? I have my flag all ready.

(FRANCIS waves her Italian flag in the air)

Bianca: As you can see, my mother is not quite as in love with America as my husband.

Albert: No matter! Anyways, Hayden, I would like you to carry this flag. Be careful with it.

(He hands the flag to Hayden)

Hayden: Of course!

Lena: That’s very nice of you, Táta. Thank you.

Albert: I will carry the Uncle Sam poster, Lena will conduct the music, and Bianca you will carry the stars.

(Hands the poster and wands out)

Lena: (to HAYDEN) Wands from the Dollar Tree.

Albert: Lena, you play the music now.

Lena: I know, I know.

LENA runs to the radio in the corner and hits play. “The Star Spangled Banner” starts playing as they parade around the room. HAYDEN is a bit of a mess. Scene ends as ALBERT crescendos with the song to a small dance number with BIANCA.

Scene 3:

ALL sit at the table.

Albert: One of our best parades, I think.

Lena: I agree!

Bianca: Hayden, could you please help me arrange the flag?

Hayden: My pleasure. Where would you like it?

Lena: We put it under the meal.

Hayden: It doesn’t get dirty like that?

Lena: No, we’re very careful.

Albert: It is to remind us that our food and livelihood belong to the flag.

Hayden: Ah…I see…

(HAYDEN and BIANCA arrange the flag beneath the plates on the table. FRANCIS is the first to sit down.)

Albert: Now, we may truly begin!

(LENA leans over to HAYDEN)

Lena: (To HAYDEN) There’s a 50% chance we are about to sing. Do not feel you have to join in. In fact, you can just cover your ears discreetly if you want to.

ALBERT bursts loudly into the National Anthem. FRANCIS and BIANCA join in. LENA watches as HAYDEN tries to mumble along. They stop after the first portion or so.

Hayden: That was —

Bianca: Shh, Hayden. We have not said the Flag day grace yet.

Lena: Oh, God.

Albert: On this night, of June 14th, we send our thanks and prayers to Betsy Ross, the mistress of this flag. A birthday for a flag that represents America. Of stars, and stripes, and blue and red and white. Of freedom, and justice, and a large front yard. We celebrate the day in which this flag was adopted and that it may remain forevermore in our hearts and the hearts of our beloved family. Amen.

All: Amen

Bianca: Now, Hayden, we may eat. I have made lasagna casserole, Albert has made apple pies, potato salad, and sausages—

Albert: Hot dogs!

Hayden: Well, it looks wonderful. Thank you so much.

Albert: Now, Hayden, tell us about yourself!

Lena: Dad, everyone’s trying to eat. Why don’t we ask him questions once we’re all full?

Hayden: No, it’s fine, Lena. Um, well obviously I went to school with Lena. And, well, I’m from California and—

Francis: WHAT?!

FRANCIS stands up from her chair in rage.

Francis: What did this boy just say? California?!

Lena: No, Nona! He said Caaaa-ll–i–netticut.

FRANCIS approaches HAYDEN and begins batting him lightly and angrily with her Italian flag.

Francis: No, HE SAID CALIFORNIA. The sinny state! To have that horror named in my own home?

HAYDEN attempts to shield himself from FRANCIS’ flag attack.

Hayden: What’s wrong with California?

Francis: What is wrong with California?! (She swoons and crumbles to the floor in front of HAYDEN’s feet)

Lena: (to HAYDEN) SALAMI.

Francis: Albert, fetch me smelling salts at once.

ALBERT flees quickly to grab the salts.

Bianca: My father lives in California, Hayden. They were divorced many years ago after we came to the United States and he took up a new life there. My mother doesn’t like to talk about it much.

Francis: (melodramatically) I dread talking about it! (She stands up quickly and paces towards HAYDEN menacingly) You probably know the man…Roberto… He has eyes like the devil and a soul like Satan. And I do not use those names lightly!

Bianca: Mama, you know it bothers me when you say those things about Papa.

Francis: Traitor…

(BIANCA shakes her head.)

Lena: Nona!

Francis: (To Hayden) Do you know him?

Hayden: No, I don’t. California’s a big state, but…

Francis: I spit on California.

Lena: Nona, please!

ALBERT reenters

Bianca: Mama, sit down. Be kind.

Albert: Yes, please, Francis. It’s Flag day, a day of love and joy.

Francis:(sits down) Fine. Tell me, boy, where do you work? How much money do they pay you in the state of sin?

Albert: Well, I actually work in Boston right now. But I’ve been looking at jobs back home in—

Francis: (stands quickly) Don’t you dare say it!

Albert: Back home?

FRANCIS sits.

Hayden: Yeah, I’ve been considering it. There’s a lot of good opportunities out there for tech startups and things like that. And you know Google is out there, which is a big one.

Bianca: And on this move, would you take my daughter with you? Away from me?

Hayden: Oh, well it’s not for awhile. We’ve got time to figure that out—

Lena: What is that supposed to mean?

Bianca: You wouldn’t take her? So you don’t care about your future together? Is she just a pretty doll for you to play with?

Lena: (head in hands) Oh my god…

Hayden: No, not at all. She means so much to me. I was just—the question—

Albert: What’s your favorite thing about the flag, Hayden?

Hayden: (sighs in relief) Oh, I like how…it changes. How it started with thirteen stars and then kinda got some more in there.

Albert: Which brand of American flag do you keep in your windows at home?

Hayden: We don’t really practice that. We have a Giants banner in the window.

Albert: Giants?

Hayden: Baseball team.

Albert: You have a baseball team flag, but not the flag of your homeland? Of your brother and sister states?

Hayden: Yeah, I don’t know why. I should really get one.

Bianca: Maybe when you move back to Cali—

Francis: DON’T SAY IT! (hand to head)

Bianca: When you move back, with or without my ONLY child, Lena, you can get one then? Hm?

Hayden: Look, I really didn’t mean anything by that comment. I just was trying to make some conversation about California and—

Francis: OH, GOD! HE’S SAID IT AGAIN! MY HEART! (She starts coughing)

HAYDEN stands up in a panic, trying to help FRANCIS, knocking over his food and drink onto the flag on the table and floor.

Lena: (panicked) Ahhh…It’s on the flag…Hayden, why the flag? Why’d you get it on the flag?

Hayden: I didn’t mean to!

Bianca: Do not take that tone with my daughter.

Albert: Oh my…

ALBERT falls to his knees.

The flag! Oh, on this day…. My first flag….

Hayden: I’m so sorry. I really did not mean to. Let me try to clean it off, please.

HAYDEN reaches for the flag, but ALBERT grabs it away.

Albert: You’ve done enough.

Hayden: Shit…

(He realizes he has sworn…)

Shoot. I mean shoot. Salami! Salami, Lena!

Francis: Why are you yelling salami?

Bianca: You think that is a funny joke about Italians?

Lena: Just give us a second, Mama.

LENA pulls HAYDEN by the arm to the door.

Hayden: I need to—

Lena: You need to leave, I think.

Hayden: I’m so sorry. I just— I just need to get some air and figure stuff out.

Lena: Figure stuff out?

Hayden: I’ll be back

Lena: You don’t have to…

Hayden: Really, it’s not you or your family

LENA laughs

Lena: That is  bullshit. Just go get your air.

Hayden: Lena—

Lena: What?

(A small pause)

Hayden: I don’t want to ruin your night. Maybe we should just… talk later?

Lena: I don’t know. Maybe.

LENA pushes him gently out the door and closes it behind him. She leans against the doorway.

Bianca: Sweetheart? Are you alright?

Lena: Why’d you have to pray to the damn flag? (Begins sobbing)

ALBERT, BIANCA, and FRANCIS rush over to her side as LENA collapses to the ground.

Lena: I liked this one. I hate Flag day.

Francis: Shh, honey. Hate the Californian, not your father’s Flag Day.

Lena: I don’t hate the Californian

Bianca: Look, Lena. If he could not handle us, he does not deserve you. You are not boring. You come from here. We are alive people.

Francis: Your mother speaks well. He had lovely muscles, but we are much superior to any Californian.

LENA cries harder.

Albert: We may have been a bit hard on the boy.

Bianca: What? You take his side? You see her crying, no? Are you going blind, old bat?

Albert: I’m saying that he was trying very hard…and we may have overwhelmed him a little.

Francis: Hmph.

Albert: Bianca, when I first met you at the Hotcake house, I fell in love.

Bianca: Go on…

Albert: And it was very easy to talk to you, but to talk at dinner when I met your mother and your sisters? I sounded like a blázen…a fool. I think, my Lena, I made a mistake. I was too careful with the flag, that I did not look out for you. He was a nice boy. You have nice taste.

Lena: Thank you, Dad.

Albert: But if he does not come back for you, I will roast him alive.

Bianca: And I will season him.

Francis: Damn Californians.

LENA looks up, wipes her tears away and stands.

Lena: I love you all. Well, no use wasting a good Flag day is there?

Bianca: A good American dessert is just what you need, my baby.

SCENE 4

Lights up. LENA, BIANCA, FRANCIS, and ALBERT are sitting around the table, scraping forks against plates, conversing and laughing.

Albert: Well, it’s getting late. I think we ought to turn in for the night. After all, what is Flag day without a good sleep?

Bianca: A wise man you are.

Lena: I think I’ll just clean up a little bit before I go to sleep.

Bianca: Good girl. (winks)

Albert: Happy Flag day, sweetheart.

Lena: Happy Flag day.

ALBERT, FRANCIS, and BIANCA exit. Lena starts cleaning when a knock comes from the door. She checks her watch, confused. Puts down dish. Answers door.  HAYDEN is at the door.

Lena: What are you doing back here?

Hayden: I was getting air, I told you.

Lena: And figuring things out…

Hayden: I figured things out.

Lena: I’m not letting you in my house if you’re going to break up with me, so…

Hayden: What do you me—

Lena: Look, I know they’re a lot. I know nobody celebrates Flag Day. My parents would probably rather have the house burn down than hurt that flag and that’s abnormal, I know. But it’s mine. All this (gestures) weirdness? It’s what made me.

Hayden: Lena—

Lena: And if you think that they’re not going to be a huge part of my life always, then you just don’t know me which is concerning considering the time we spent together. And—

Hayden: Lena! I’m not breaking up with you. You thought after one bad dinner, I’d end everything? It wasn’t that bad.

LENA opens the door wider slightly and HAYDEN enters.

Lena: Well, what were you figuring out then ?

Hayden: Where’d everybody go?

Lena: To sleep. They go to sleep at exactly 10:13 on Flag Day. Don’t ask why, I don’t know.

Hayden: Well, shoot. I’m too late.

Lena: Can you stop speaking in code? My brain hurts from tonight.

Hayden: I got a flag. To replace the one I spilled all over.

Lena: What?

Hayden: It’s not tacky, I promise. I picked it up at the Wayland Historical American Conservation Museum’s gift store. I swear it looks just like the one your dad had.

HAYDEN pulls out a huge flag and holds it enthusiastically.

Lena: Looks good.

Hayden: And I know it won’t replace the one he got when he came here, but I can try and find a better one from that year if you want? Maybe on ebay or something? There has to be one somewhere…

LENA takes the flag from HAYDEN, folds it and puts it on the table.

Lena: Thank you. He’ll love it.

Hearing the noise, ALBERT and BIANCA creep out from behind the door and watch discreetly. BIANCA must shush ALBERT from making any noises of surprise/happiness/etc.

Hayden: And I don’t hate your family, Lena. They might hate me but I’d rather be brutally beaten by your grandmother than spend another Flag Day without you. I and the other millions of Americans who didn’t celebrate Flag Day clearly didn’t know what they were missing. I may need to change my state of birth to be able to enter the home, but I’ll figure that out.

LENA smiles and laughs.

Lena: Well as long as you stay far away from any precious family heirlooms, I guess I could have you back. I just wish they could see the flag right now. They’ll love it.

HAYDEN and LENA embrace. ALBERT and BIANCA smile at each other, unseen by LENA and HAYDEN.

Lights down.

************

Road Trip [Screen and Playwriting]

by Steven Cockey

Runner-Up for Screen and Playwriting in the Echoes Writing Contest

Lights up on a room with a small round table and two chairs center stage. A countertop is stage left with a microwave and half empty bottle of rum. A poster of Cabo in Baja California hangs above the countertop. A coat stand is by the front door on stage right. CURTIS, a balding man in his 40’s, emerges from stage left wearing a blue plaid robe. He looks exhausted and grey. CURTIS first shuffles toward the countertop and grabs a glass and fills it with rum before sitting at the chair stage left. Shortly after he sits down, CARLA, a professional-looking and stunningly beautiful woman, enters from stage right with a briefcase. CURTIS sips from his glass of rum.

CURTIS: What are you doing here?

CARLA takes in CURTIS’ appearance, disappointed, then sits in the chair center stage right.

CARLA: Curtis (pause) I need you to read these.  

CARLA sets the briefcase on the table and opens it, pulling out documents and sliding them toward CURTIS. He cautiously begins to read the papers with a confused expression. After about 5 seconds of this, a cry comes from stage left. A look of exhaustion returns to CURTIS’ face. CURTIS takes a full gulp of rum. CARLA seems worried by the cry.

CARLA: (Urgently) Is she alright?

CURTIS: She’s fine.

CARLA: That didn’t sound fine.

CURTIS: (glaring at CARLA) I said she is fine. (beat) Besides, I don’t see you getting up to calm her down. (muttering but audible) You’re her mother for Christ’s sake.

CARLA: (raised voice) Oh are you insinuating that (emphasis)I’m neglectful? (beat) (calm)Just read the damn papers CURTIS.

CURTIS looks down at the papers again. After about 5 seconds he looks up at CARLA in horror.

CURTIS: Are you kidding me? You want Livie now? Hell no! (He takes a few deep breaths and a sip of rum) That is insane. I just can’t do that. In any case I thought all of this was over when-

CARLA: The technical stuff yes, but she needs to be with me. You know she does. (She sighs and hesitates to begin next sentence) If you don’t sign this…(short pause) I will give you one week to change your mind. Then I’m calling my lawyer.

Overcome with rage, CURTIS jumps up and rushes over to the counter. He is visibly annoyed and takes his time refilling his rum to collect himself. CARLA looks at him with sadness and quickly looks away when he turns to face her. CURTIS begins to make his way back to the table.

CURTIS: You expect me to just say goodbye in a week? I need more time.

Suddenly angry, CARLA quickly stands up from her chair.

CARLA: You have had four years, Curtis! Four years of missed AA meetings. Four years of hiding the booze from your family. Four years of neglect. You have had plenty of time. CURTIS sets his rum glass on the table.

CURTIS: Carla, baby, I’ve been trying to-

CARLA: Stop! I’ve heard this too many times. Please just… look over the papers.

CARLA grabs the briefcase and hurriedly exits stage right. The door slams behind her and CURTIS promptly slumps down into his chair. He then looks down at the papers with contempt turning to resignation. CURTIS picks up his glass of rum and takes two large gulps with seemingly no effect. He walks over to the countertop, sets his glass down, and takes down the poster of Baja California. He takes some time to just analyze it, and then his eyes shine as if he has gotten a brilliant idea.

CURTIS: (yelling to Livie as exiting stage left) Livie! Pack your bags, we are going on a road trip!
********************

I’m Proud of You [Screen and Playwriting]

by Andy Sun

Runner-Up for Screen and Playwriting in the Echoes Writing Contest

SCENE IV

Lights up to a room in a hospital. The lighting is a fluorescent white and there is a very sterile feel to the room. Filia is in a hospital bed stage right up against the wall, her back is propped up against two large pillows and she is staring out a window. Filia is wearing your standard hospital gown. However, she is wearing a beautiful pearl necklace. She has obvious bags around her eyes. Blaine enters with an orchid. He is wearing a collared shirt that is poorly tucked in to a pair of khakis. When he shuffles in, Filia looks at him for a moment, then looks back out the window. He places the orchid down on a small table next to the hospital bed. Blaine bites his lip and sits in a chair that is facing towards center stage with perfect posture. He wipes his palms on his pants and is at a loss for words.

BLAINE: Hey, Grandma–

FILIA: Don’t fidget.

Blaine immediately stops rubbing his hands on his pants and he laces his fingers together.

FILIA: Tuck in your shirt.

Blaine stands up and immediately shoves in the parts of his shirt that are sticking out. He sits down, again, with perfect posture.

BLAINE: How have you been?

FILIA: I’ve been better.

BLAINE: Look. (Beat) I, um… I… (Sigh)

FILIA: Don’t mumble, (Beat) and speak up.

BLAINE: (Clearly) I’m sorry.

Filia’s lip quivers slightly. She furrows her brow but still looks out the window.

BLAINE: I’m sorry that, (beat) that I have been an all around shitty grandson.

Blaine inhales deeply and exhales as if he trying to prevent tears.

BLAINE: I’m sorry that I haven’t appreciated everything you have done for me.

Blaine bites his bottom lip and he looks down at the ground.

BLAINE: (Mumbles) Thank you.

Filia clenches the sheets on her bed.

BLAINE: I know how much you have sacrificed for me and… (beat). You know, when I moved in after Mom died, I was scared. I lost the only home I ever knew. It was really hard. I didn’t tell anyone about how I felt. It’s not that I was scared. It was just, I didn’t want to burden anyone anymore. But, you kept on prying. You (Beat) didn’t give up on me. You sat me down, and told me everything was going to be (Beat) ok. To pick myself up and (Beat) keep on pushing through. That’s when I knew, I found my new home. So, please. (Blaine’s voice cracks) Please don’t leave me. I don’t want to be alone again.

Blaine the side of his thumb to stop himself from crying.

FILIA: Blaine. (Beat) Come here.

Blaine scoots his chair so it is facing towards the bedside. Filia turns her head so she is facing Blaine. She grins.

FILIA: I’m not dead yet. Lighten up.

BLAINE: Gran–

Filia turns away again and looks out the window.

FILIA: How did you do?

BLAINE: On what?

FILIA: How did you do on that Calculus test?

Blaine clenches his hands in to fist on his knees

BLAINE: I got a 73 percent.

There is a brief pause and Blaine looks down on to the ground.

FILIA: Good job.

BLAINE: What?

Blaine looks back at Filia, confused.

FILIA: I said, good job.

BLAINE: I was below average.

FILIA: So? I could care less about the rest of those kids in the class. (Beat) I love YOU, not them. You improved, and that’s what matters to me. (Beat) Please, if there is only one thing you learn from me, have it be this. Love yourself as much as I love you.

Blaine is silent and is staring at the floor as Filia stares at him. Even though she is obviously exhausted, her eyes radiate a sense of warmth. She turns towards the flower and gracefully touches the petals.

FILIA: Orchids, my favorite. (Beat) You turned into quite the young gentleman haven’t you. I’m–

Filia stops mid sentence and purses her lips. She places her hand on top of Blaine’s head and rubs it.

FILIA: I’m proud of you.

Blaine looks up, teary eyed. He gets up and wraps his arms around her and buries his face in her shoulder. She wraps her arms around him very slowly and she smiles.

FILIA: I’m so, so proud of you.

Even though Blaine is emitting no sound. It is obvious that he is crying. The fluorescent lights turn a warm yellow color and the lights fade slowly

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