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Summer Nights This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Scene opens on a darkened stage. A woman, 15 or 16,stands under a spotlight. Her head is down. She is nameless, faceless; she couldbe anyone. She raises her head as she begins to speak; she is smiling, and seemsa little embarrassed.

Did I ever tell you I am afraid of thedark?

Still to audience, more open.

Since I was a child, I alwaysknew that it would bring to me something evil. I was always waiting,anticipating, with a frightened heart. Palpitations, my mother calls them. I sayit's my heart trying to leap out of my chest to run away, to keep from beinghurt.

Pause. She appears sidetracked, and doesn't speak directly to theaudience. She looks around, as if outside.

Such a night it is. I alwaysthought that the stars watched over me, and kept me safe. Tonight, the stars areshining and I feel protected. That is, until the fog rolls in ... I can see itcreeping up on the neighborhood. Pause.

I must tell you my story. Please,if you'll listen, I'll explain what happened. But I must be done before the fogcovers everything ...

She turns a piercing gaze on the audience.

I hate summer nights. They are nothing but reminders ofwhat went wrong. I remember my heart jumping and fighting like mad thatnight.

Quietly, regretfully.

He smiled at me so kindly ... I was solonely. I never knew I'd never have another chance. All we did was walk aroundand talk for awhile. I didn't want to do anything else. Just talk. She sighs. Youknow, looking back, I should have known. But how could I have? I trustedeverything, everyone. I didn't have a reason not to. I was young, naive, and theworld was just beginning to open up to me. I was so excited, here I was, 13, andit was just my friends and me together, having a good time.

Pause. Shespeaks bitterly, and on a side thought.

You know, he must be good atconvincing himself of things, things that people like you and I would never wantto think about. Pause. Things that we sometimes have to think about. I felt soalone. Little did I know that it was the first day of two years ... two lonelyyears. I've tried to keep quiet, but it's so hard when all I want to do it pointmy finger and scream, "It was him! He ruined everything!" But I can't.I don't even know where he is now.

Directly at audience, bitter andangry.

I blame him. Yes, I blame him, for so much. Every time I thinkabout it I ask, how? There are so many questions that he left unanswered.

I like to have things nice and neat, but now ... now everything is amess. I never understood why he chose me, why he had to do it at all. He put hishands on me, all over me. Hot, burning hands, all over my stomach (runs handsover stomach), my thighs (runs hands over thighs), in my hair ... (runs handsthrough hair).

As if to self, close to panic.

Suddenly, I was onthe ground, my face stinging (touch face) and my back aching. More panicky. Notime to think, just shut down. Not quick enough, I'm afraid. Hot, burning hands,all over me, under the shirt, over the skin. Runs hands under shirt, overstomach, close to chest, then pulls away quickly.

Then...

Hands tohead, spoken as if begging.

No, anything but that. I don't want to beremembering this, please God, just let me forget ... forget ...

Looksskyward, as if to God. Yelling.

God, I screamed for help, why didn'tanyone come? I know my voice carries, my teachers always could hear me overeverything, everybody. I've been trying, God, you know I have! I'm trying toforget this, but every single second is consumed with the thoughts that I justwant to leave behind! Why did you let this happen, huh? Why didn't anybody comefor me?

Pauses, searching for an answer. She screams the next lines, andfalls to the floor.

Oh, God, help, please! Don't you know I'm downhere?

Her head is down; she is looking at her hands. Her body is tremblingas she speaks. She's still speaking loudly, still to God and to herself. Sheseems to have forgotten the audience. She sounds scared, worn anddistant.

But the sky is clouded, the stars hidden. And suddenly, I realizeI have no protection now. And as I scream, he rips me in two, with the warmsummer night all around.

She looks up at the audience, looks around atthem silently. She is kneeling at center stage. She has not wiped away any traceof emotion, and she speaks directly and softly. A true question, full of emotionand weariness.

Did I ever tell you I am afraid of the dark?

Shebows her head, and the spotlight fades out.

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 2 comments. Post your own now!

myself said...
Apr. 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm
I really could see all this, see her on stage. that was amazing
 
Phooh said...
Apr. 28, 2010 at 9:44 am
i really enjoyed this piece. it real, and raw so much that i couldnt stop reading it once i started. I wish i could see this performed out on stage it would really be amazing!  Keep writing you have an amazing talent! keep up the good work!
 
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