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The Angst of a Teenage Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Scene I

[Lights come up on the kitchen of TEENAGE GIRL’S home. MOTHER is at stove stirring a pot of something. BROTHER and SISTER are chasing each other with toy guns.]

MOTHER. [speaking in loud, exaggerated voice] Daughter, get up already!

GIRL. [entering grumpily] I’m up, I’m up. Jeez. I don’t see what’s the hurry. I mean, you said yesterday you would never make me go to that Hell again.

MOTHER. Well, I lied. You are actually required by law to go to that Hell for the next four years.

BROTHER. Bang, bang!

SISTER. Pow, pow!

GIRL. [falling to knees in anguish] But Mother! Oh, Mother, don’t ever make me go there again, pretty, pretty please! With crystallized sugar on top!

MOTHER. Don’t be a baby. I’m trying to make breakfast.

GIRL. [crawling, still on knees, to MOTHER] Please! You don’t understand! That place is seriously messed up! Have some human compassion!

BROTHER. Bang, bang!

SISTER. Pow, pow!

GIRL. I’ll do all the housework for a week! I’ll mow the lawn and water the plants and clean out the garage and wash the dishes! Hey, I’ll do it for the rest of my life! Even when I’m grown up, I’ll come here every day and be your personal maid, if you just don’t send me to that Hell!

MOTHER. [nudging her with foot] Don’t be so melodramatic. It’s only 18 years of your life.

BROTHER. Bang, bang!

SISTER. Pow, pow!

MOTHER. Now, go sit at the table. Breakfast will be ready in a minute.

GIRL. What is it?

MOTHER. Cold mush again.

GIRL. Aw, Mother! Well, can’t you just give it to me now, then, since ...

MOTHER. That’s ridiculous. If I don’t stir it around more it won’t congeal into a hard, disgusting mass, and you’ll have plenty of time to eat before the bus gets here.

GIRL. Oh.

MOTHER. Now, you make sure to be home by six tonight. Your new bed-time is seven-thirty on the dot.

GIRL. Seven-thirty!

MOTHER. Yes, seven-thirty. Your father and I are inviting many of our friends over to party noisily into the wee hours of the morning, but we won’t derive any pleasure from it unless we know we’re keeping you awake in bed.

BROTHER. Bang, bang!

SISTER. Pow, pow!

GIRL. Hey, they’re still in their pajamas. Shouldn’t you be getting them ready?

MOTHER. For what? They’re staying home to watch cartoons all day.

GIRL. But they’re eight years old! They should be going to that Hell too!

MOTHER. But I like them.

BROTHER. [to GIRL] Hey, I’m gonna shoot you! [actually pulls trigger, shooting GIRL in the back of the knee]

GIRL. [collapsing to the ground, clutching knee] Ow! Mother, you let them play with real guns?!

MOTHER. Why shouldn’t I? They’d never shoot anyone important. [to BROTHER] Oh, did you get your big sister, Mummy’s little darling? How clever!

GIRL. Mother!

MOTHER. Come on, Daughter, it was only an accident. Hinting that shooting you isn’t such a good idea might disturb his little psyche.

GIRL. But he blasted my kneecap!

MOTHER. Oh, don’t be a pansy, it’s just a bullet wound.

FATHER. [entering] Yeah, take it like a man. [stubs his toe on table leg and screeches like a banshee] Ow, oh! I stubbed my toe! I’m going to die! Someone call 911!

MOTHER. [rushing to his side] Oh, baby! You poor thing! Do you need me to take you to the hospital?

DAUGHTER. Could you maybe take me, too? I can fit in the trunk.

MOTHER. Shut up, can’t you see your father’s in pain?

BROTHER. Bang, bang!

SISTER. Pow, pow!

GIRL. Oh, dear, my bus is really late. Could I get a ride?

MOTHER. You have two legs. Walk.

GIRL. But it’s monsoon weather.

MOTHER. Take a jacket.

FATHER. Ow, ow!

SISTER. Pow, pow!

GIRL. [putting on backpack and jacket] Well, at least it’s Friday.

MOTHER. Is it really almost the weekend already? Aw, now I’m going to have to think of brand-new ways to be as much of a pain to you as I possibly can, without sending you to that Hell. [sighing] A parent’s work is never done.

[GIRL exits, favoring wounded leg]

[Blackout]



Scene II

[Lights come up on GIRL, BOYFRIEND and FEMALE PEERS 1, 2 and 3 sitting at desks in the classroom. TEACHER is standing.]

[Bell rings]

TEACHER. All right, class, your assignment is to complete pages 50 to 100 in your algebra books by tomorrow morning. If it isn’t handed in by then, you are will get a Late Homework Slip and go to Hell.

PEER 1. [raising hand] But Teacher, aren’t we already in Hell?

TEACHER. Good point.

PEER 2. [raising hand] Teacher, how exactly do you do the work from pages 50 to 100?

TEACHER. I would tell you, but the unfortunate truth is that I have no idea. That’s an hour’s detention for yet again exposing my ignorance to the class.

PEER 2. But that’s not fair!

TEACHER. All right, detention for everyone.

PEER 3. Hey, what’d we do?

TEACHER. I have a very painful canker sore. I have to take it out on someone.

[Class falls silent and gets to work with their heads bent over their books. BOYFRIEND passes a much-folded note to GIRL. She reads it, makes a mark on it, and passes it back.

BOYFRIEND writes something else, and this pattern is repeated until the TEACHER snatches the note in the middle of the pass as he walks down the aisle.]

GIRL. Oh, sir, we were just, uh ...

TEACHER. Since you two obviously have something to say that’s so fascinating it couldn’t wait until lunch, I’m sure you won’t mind if I share it with the rest of the class. [reading aloud from note] “Do you like-like me? Check yes or no.” She checked yes. “Will you be girlfriended to me then? Check yes or no.” She checked yes. “Do you want to do something together somewhere sometime after school? Check yes or no.” She checked yes.

BOYFRIEND. [to GIRL] Great! Can I pick you up at five, or -

TEACHER. [leaning down and bellowing in his face] NO TALKING!

BOYFRIEND. Sorry.

TEACHER. My canker sore isn’t bothering me so much now, so I’ll give you a choice of your punishment. You may either spend tomorrow, Saturday, hanging upside down by your ankles from the chains attached to the ceiling of my basement, or you may spend an entire hour listening to Shania Twain music.

BOYFRIEND. The chains, please, sir.

TEACHER. [to GIRL] Student, why are you making pained facial expressions and squirming in such a manner? Is it the embarrassment of having your little note read aloud?

GIRL. Partly, sir, but also my little brother shot me in the kneecap this morning,

TEACHER. [handing her a slip of paper] Well, here’s a nurse’s pass. Get yourself a Band-Aid.

[GIRL exits, favoring wounded leg]

[Blackout]



Scene III

[GIRL’S house front. In the middle of the stage is a park bench. Lights come up on FEMALE PEERS 1, 2, 3 and GIRL standing in a tight circle with their heads together, gossiping.]

PEER 1. You wouldn’t believe what so-and-so told me today about so-and so-and so-and-so.

PEER 2. Tell us.

PEER 3. Tell us.

GIRL. Tell us.

PEER 1. Well, I shouldn’t, but, as long as it’s just between us four ...

PEER 2. We won’t tell anyone.

PEER 3. Not a soul.

GIRL. We swear.

PEER 1. Well, in that case I guess it’ll be all right. So-and so-told me that so-and-so actually asked so-and-so out.

PEER 2. No way.

PEER 3. No way.

GIRL. No way.

PEER 1. Yes way. So-and-so actually did.

PEER 2. I can’t believe it! I mean, we’ve all known how long so-and-so has had a crush on so-and-so, but I never would have thought so-and-so is the kind of person who’d be brave enough to actually tell so-and-so about how so-and-so felt.

PEER 3. I know!

GIRL. Go on. What

happened?

PEER 2. Yes, what

happened?

PEER 1. This is where the awful part comes in. So-and-so turned poor So-and-so down! So-and-so was so heartbroken! Can you imagine?

PEER 2. Gah! How awful.

GIRL. Poor so-and-so.

PEER 3. Poor so-and-so.

PEER 2. Poor so-and-so. So, that means so-and-so is still single?

BOYFRIEND. [entering, approaching GIRL] Hey! You, uh, ready?

PEER 1. [elbowing PEER 2] Oh! We have to go and do something.

PEER 2. Somewhere else.

PEER 3. As in, a place other than here.

[PEERS exit, giggling and winking at GIRL]

GIRL. [to BOYFRIEND] Uh, yeah! I’m ready.

BOYFRIEND. Cool.

[They walk together, a respectable distance apart, hands in pockets]

GIRL. So ... uh ... whatcha wanna do?

BOYFRIEND. Dunno. Whatever you wanna do, I guess.

GIRL. Oh ... I dunno. I mean, usually when I go out with boys they have something planned. I mean, not that I go out with boys a lot or have had a ton of boyfriends. Oh, it’s not that boys don’t find me attractive or anything, I don’t mean that, it’s just ... like ... I don’t mean that, like, the boys I’ve gone out with before are better than you or something because they had something planned. Of course, that’s not to say that you’re the only one I’ve ever had and I couldn’t do better than you, ’cause lots of boys find me attractive ... uh, well what I mean -

BOYFRIEND. Yeah. [an awkward pause] So ... how’s your, like, bullet wound doing?

GIRL. Oh, a lot better. Nurse put some hydrocortisone on it.

BOYFRIEND. [nodding] Cool.

[An awkward pause]

GIRL. So, what kind of ... music do you like?

BOYFRIEND. Oh. Lots of different kinds. What do you like?

GIRL. What do you mean?

BOYFRIEND. Music. What kind of music do you ...

GIRL. [laughing nervously] Oh, of course, music! Silly me!

[Pause]

BOYFRIEND. So?

GIRL. Ben ... Stiller!

BOYFRIEND. [confused] But I thought we were talking about -

GIRL. [cutting him off] So, whatcha wanna do?

BOYFRIEND. Am I’m boring you?

GIRL. No, of course not!

BOYFRIEND. ’Cause it sounded like maybe I ...

GIRL. I never said anything like that.

BOYFRIEND. You implied it.

GIRL. No, I just ... I didn’t ... I ... I-like-your-eyebrows.

BOYFRIEND. What?

GIRL. You have ... cute eyebrows.

BOYFRIEND. Thank you.

[They sit at opposite ends of park bench]

Hey, I bet I can make you say “purple.”

GIRL. [promptly] Purple.

BOYFRIEND. No. I meant, I can ...

GIRL. What? I didn’t do something wrong, did I?

BOYFRIEND. No. No, never mind.

[They look at each other out of the corner of their eyes. GIRL scoots just a little closer.

BOYFRIEND scoots just a little closer. This is repeated until they are quite close. GIRL slowly pulls her hair out of its bun and shakes it out, running her fingers through it. This is all a big buildup. They shut their eyes and lean in, about to kiss, when GIRL abruptly stands and walks a few feet away, her back to the bench.]

BOYFRIEND. [bewildered] What?

GIRL. I’m sorry.

BOYFRIEND. What was that all about? Am I so unattractive that you have to resort to such measures to get out of kissing me?

GIRL. No! Of course not! I just -

BOYFRIEND. You just what?

GIRL. I just, I just feel -

BOYFRIEND. You feel that I’m an ugly buffoon. Just say it.

GIRL. That’s not what I think at all! Don’t put words in my mouth!

BOYFRIEND. Look, do you want to kiss me or don’t you?

GIRL. Yeah, I guess.

BOYFRIEND. Oh, that’s very flattering!

GIRL. Oh, please, I didn’t!

BOYFRIEND. Maybe we’d better just go home.

GIRL. Well, if you really -

BOYFRIEND. I do.

GIRL. Fine then.

BOYFRIEND. Fine. See you in school, or whatever.

[BOYFRIEND exits. GIRL stands in the middle of stage for a few moments, sighs, and goes into her house.]

[Blackout]



Scene IV

[Lights come up on GIRL standing alone in her kitchen, which is set exactly as it was at the opening. It is later that night.]

GIRL. [sobbing] I hate myself!

MOTHER. [passing through with basket of laundry] Daughter, remember to chop wood for the fire before you go to bed tonight. [exits]

GIRL. I hate my life!

FATHER. [passing through in search of something] And when you’re done, help me find some Zoloft for my toe. [exits]

GIRL. Nobody loves me!

BROTHER and SISTER. [chasing each other with their guns] Bang! Pow! [they exit]

GIRL. The human race is cruel, callous, despicable and unkind. My teacher has neither knowledge nor compassion. My classmates and peers are simple-minded and stand in their little circle exchanging malicious gossip. My siblings have already been corrupted by violence. My parents, the people who are supposed to love and care for me unconditionally, take pleasure in inflicting pain on me. And my one chance at happiness and love is now destroyed - he’s never going to speak to me again. And what is life without love? Life is meaningless.

The world is vulgar. It is better off not to be a part of it all. It is better to be dead, to be nothing.

It’s not as if there’s any point in my being here. I despise everyone and they despise me. None of them realizes my worth, realizes what their lives would be without me. [smiles in a moment of epiphany] At least, not yet!

I ought to leave them all. Then they will see that they are nothing without me. They will mourn, cry out, repent, despair! Oh, how they will scream with tortured agony in the depths of their very souls! But then it will be too late. Ah, sweet revenge! I will do it. I will commit the infamous act now, with this dull hair-clogged shaving razor my mother happened to leave out on the breakfast table. [takes razor and lifts it dramatically in the air] They’ll be sorry! [taps wrist three times with back of razor and falls dead to the floor]

MOTHER. [re-enters whistling, screams and drops laundry as she sees GIRL] Daughter! Alas, daughter, you are dead! [faints]

FATHER. [comes in calling to MOTHER] Hon, have you seen the - why, my wife is dead. My wife and daughter are dead on the floor.

MOTHER. [opens one eye, whispering] No, dear, I’m not dead. Our daughter is dead. I have merely fainted from the shock and grief of seeing her dead. Now you must run around in circles and panic until someone comes along with enough sense to revive me with smelling salts.

FATHER. Oh, all right. [runs around in circles and panics] Help! Help! My daughter is dead and I am too distressed to decide upon a proper course of action! Help!

BROTHER. [entering with SISTER] Oh, look. Our older sister is dead, our mother has fainted with shock and grief, and our father is running around in circles and panicking.

SISTER. I’ll get the smelling salts.

BROTHER. I’ll seek help from the outside world.

[They exit. MOTHER stays on the floor and FATHER continues running in circles.]

[BROTHER returns with TEACHER]

TEACHER. Oh, no! Everything you said is true!

BROTHER. I told you.

TEACHER. But ... she can’t be dead! I only just now realized it, but she was my favorite student! And I was as rude and dastardly and unfair to her as I was to the rest of the class! My existence is hollow and empty now without her, yet her only memories of me are unhappy ones! O cheerless life! [falls to his knees in tears]

MOTHER. [coming out of her faint to comfort him] There, there, we know how you feel. Our perfect lovely daughter has committed suicide right under our noses, and it was we who drove her to it! We with our ridiculous, back-breaking chores and unjust favor of her siblings! You can imagine how we repent now!

TEACHER. Oh, I drove her to it as well! I gave the class 50 pages of homework. She was under such pressure with her schoolwork.

MOTHER. I made her cold mush for breakfast.

FATHER. I didn’t take her to the hospital when she got that bullet wound.

BROTHER. I gave her that bullet wound.

[SISTER returns with BOYFRIEND and PEERS]

BOYFRIEND. [falls to knees sobbing] She’s dead! She’s committed suicide and she’s dead, and it’s all my fault! I’m never going to see her again!

MOTHER. It wasn’t your fault. It was my fault.

FATHER. No, it was my lousy fault.

BOYFRIEND. You don’t understand! You didn’t see our date this afternoon! I was so beastly to her, no wonder she killed herself! O pure love, to kill herself on my account!

MOTHER. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We were behaving brutally to her for years before she met you.

FATHER. We were supposed to love and care for her unconditionally, but we actually took pleasure in inflicting pain.

SISTER. Well, we have already been corrupted by violence.

TEACHER. But I have neither knowledge nor compassion.

PEER 1. We are simple-minded.

PEER 2. We do nothing but stand in our little circles and exchange malicious gossip.

PEER 3. That could drive anyone to an early grave.

BOYFRIEND. I was her one chance at love and happiness and I deserted her in her hour of need! Well, there’s no point in remaining here when she is not. My existence is nothing without her. I could not continue living with the guilt, without her perfection gracing the chair across from me in homeroom every day. I shall take this razor that her little hand held mere moments ago, and kill myself too! [takes razor]

FATHER. I’m not going to be outdone by her boyfriend. Give me the razor!

[A scuffle over the razor between FATHER and BOYFRIEND ensues.]

MOTHER. Stop this unnecessary violence, you two! Look [producing a bag of razors from a drawer], there are enough razors for everyone. We can all kill ourselves out of guilt and grief.

PEER 1. Good idea!

[Everyone takes a razor from the bag. They tap the back of it on their wrists three times and fall dead to the floor at exactly the same moment an alarm clock starts beeping offstage.

FATHER, TEACHER, PEERS BOYFRIEND, and GIRL get up and exit quietly as it continues beeping. MOTHER, BROTHER and SISTER take their places at the stove and chase each other around the table with toy guns, exactly the way the kitchen was at the opening. Alarm clock still beeping.]

MOTHER. [speaking in normal, non-exaggerated voice, the only time someone does so] Daughter, get up already!

[Blackout]

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 7 comments. Post your own!

_Zavery_This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm:
WOW this was clever! nice ending too =D
 
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canuhearme23 said...
Nov. 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm:
This rocks. Thanks for writing it :)
 
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bubbasamantha said...
Mar. 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm:
OMG!! I love this! What a smart idea to make it a play! Keep up the awesome work, I want to read more!
 
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Ashleymabu said...
Nov. 30, 2008 at 10:17 pm:
Hahaha...this play was so funny. It shows how most girls can be all poor me most of the time. I loved it...keep up the awesome work.
 
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gothrocker14 said...
Dec. 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm:
i loved it
 
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literallyROFL!! said...
Nov. 30, 2008 at 4:34 am:
This is the funniest thing i have ever read in the whole entire world oh my gosh THANK YOU for writing this it has made my day 10x better i can go to bed now happy =]
 
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copycat said...
Dec. 8, 2008 at 10:03 pm:
lol i told my friends to read this, fricken awesome
 
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