All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The Price Of Freedom
A story about a girl who battles with personal demons
Main Character: Cheryl
Baby sister: Lucy
(Sitting in her room in the morning before school. She is sitting crying with her head on her knees)
*Her brother Miles knocks on door* Hey, ratface! Wake up already! Mum’s like going ape**** downstairs cuz you’re not friggin’ waking up! *silence, then knocks again* Hello? Cheryl? Seriously, come down… The friggin’ bus is already here … Mum’s seriously pissed ...She says that if you don’t wake up in 5 seconds, she’s gonna bloody wallop your arse! Ha! You coming? Aw, bloody hell. You better come! You promised me you’d come with me to sell the sodding spliff after school, yeh? We made a deal, you better stick to it or I’ll --
Cheryl: Or you’ll do what Miles?
Miles: Hey, you’re awake, now unlock the door so we can all get into the sodding car to school and get over it as quickly as possible so I can sell my *says in a quiet voice* weed. You know I need your wheelchair to hid it in so the cops don’t suspect anything.
Cheryl: you didn’t answer my question. What would you do if I didn’t come to school?
Miles: It was just a joke … Lay off, yeh? I don’t know what I’d do okay? You don’t have to be so sodding serious all the time.
Cheryl: And you don’t have to say sodding all the time. Seriously. * hops into her wheel chair and wheels herself to the door, yanking it open*
Miles: MUM!!! She’s awake… Did we miss the school bus?
Mum: Bloody right you did! Now I’m stuck taking you lot to school! On a Monday! Do you know how bad the traffic is on Monday?! And it seems that you all forgot about my early morning tai-chi class, not to mention work! If I’m late to work again, then I’m done for! * Turns to look at Miles* Well? What are you looking at? Pancakes don’t eat themselves you know?!
Miles: Sorry, mum
Mum: Right then chop chop! And you! * looks at Cheyrl* Well hello, My cherbear * gives daughter a kiss*
Mum: Would you like milk or orange juice sweetie?
Cheryl: orange juice.
(Little sister Lucy comes crawling down the stairs, mum picks her up and kiss her on the cheek)
Mum: Well hello my Lucy Goosey! You’ve been sleeping in, haven’t you? Do you want to come to work with mummy today? Or do you want to stay at aunty Susan’s?
Lucy: mummy .
Mum: Aww! I love you my little cherub! Miles and Cheryl, go up and change, we’re leaving in 5 minutes.
(All go up with Miles wheeling Cheyrl in to change. Show both children entering bedroom, Cheryl pulls up her jacket sleeve, fumbles for a knife from her dresser and cuts herself. She curses and blots the blood with a tissue from her dresser)
Mum: Cheryl! Come down now! Miles, Help her come down poppet.
(Cheryl quickly changes and Miles runs up to help her)
Cheryl: I’m done. Miles? Can you carry my school bag?
Miles: No probs, sis.
( They get into car; Lucy chewing on car keys)
Mum: No sweetie, that’s not a toy, that’s mummy’s car keys . Mummy’s going to take that now okay? Now, Cheryl, I’ve heard from your teachers that you’ve been awfully silent recently. You alright love?
Cheryl: Yes, I’m fine mum.
Mum: And you Miles?
Mum; Well, I certainly hope you weren’t being sarcastic. You know how much I don’t appreciate sarcasm.
Mum: Oh Piffle! I completely forgot to tell you that you won’t be staying with your father for the weekend. He’s got a business trip in Iceland. God knows why he would have a business trip in Iceland of all places, but he’s got one, and he’ll only be back on Tuesday night.
Miles: Mum! Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I could’ve gone! This is so unfair! Why didn’t he tell me?! Iceland chicks are the best! Total hotties. Dad’s gonna have the best shag of his life!
Mum: Well that’s not going to happen because the pervy w***er is bringing along that stupid bimbo girlfriend of his -- Shelly what’s her name.
Cheryl: It’s Sheila mum. Besides, I thought you were over him.
Mum: I’m totally over him. I’ve been over him for a long time now.
Miles: Really? Coz dad always said you were under him! HAHAHA! Get it? Like in bed!
Mum: That is not funny and is very inappropriate Miles. Here we are. I’ll see you all later. Ciao my darlings! Say bye Lucy Moosey`.
(car drives off)
Miles: Well, what are you waiting for?
Cheryl: I’m going to school Miles.
Miles; Aw c’mon, don’t be a p****.
Cheryl: I’m not being a p****. I just don’t want to follow you and get even more screwed up than I already am
Miles: Fine then, if you don’t come with me, then -- then I won’t help you roll or whatever it is that you do in your wheelchair.
Cheryl; You wouldn’t do that.
Miles: Fine then, you’re right. But I would tell mum about your dirty little secret.
Cheryl: What are you talking about?
Miles; Aw c’mon Cheryl. Don’t play dumb. You know what I’m talking about. The cuts? Did you really think that you could hide them under that stupid sweater. I’m your brother. I know everything about you .
Cheryl: You can’t hold that against me. I’ll just tell mum that you’re a dirty little drug dealer.
Miles: You care too much about mum to do something like that. You know it would break her heart to hear that her sweet little son is a sleazy dope-dealer. So will you come with me? C’mon , it’ll only take a while. Teachers won’t even notice you’re not there.
Cheryl: Fine I’ll come. But only for a while and I am not getting involved in anything stupid.
Miles: No of course not, you’ll just be in the background. Like furniture, or a potted plant or something. Unimportant and uninvolved. Just the way you like it. Deal?
Cheryl: Deal. *she says in a dull tone*
Miles: You need help Cheryl, I’m serious. I’m worried about you.
Cheryl: You’re one to talk’
Miles: I know, I know. But I just want you to get better .. you’re my baby sis, yeh? So will you get better for me? If you’re not gonna do it for me , at least do it for mum.
Cheryl: I can’t get better! Don’t you get it Miles? I’m stuck in a bloody wheelchair for the rest of my life. Just face it, I’m a good-for-nothing cripple.
Miles: I’m not talking about the damn wheelchair --
Cheryl: I know what you mean Miles. But seriously, what about you? Weed? I mean c’mon! It’s illegal! You could go to jail! For crying out loud. Miles.
Miles: Hey, it’s not illegal in Holland.
Cheryl: Who cares about Holland? This isn’t Holland! This is England! You’re a criminal here!
Miles: Look, could you shut up for a while? I see Bullfrog coming.
Cheryl: Bullfrog? Haha! He named himself after a toad? Why? What kind of stupid name is Bullfrog? Besides, who or rather what is this Bullfrog person-
Miles: Shh.. He’s coming!
Miles: Yo! Sup brotha?
Bullfrog: I’m late for work. Could we hurry this up? Who’s that?
Miles: That is my sister, Cheryl. Don’t worry, she’s cool.
Bullfrog: Cool. So how many grams did you bring?
Miles: Emm.. 6.
Bullfrog: 6? What the hell am I going to do with 6 grams of weed? I asked you for 10 grams you twit! Six? What the hell is wrong with you?
Cheryl: Miles, I’m going back to school, this is rubbish.
Miles: Cheryl, wait! Bullfrog, I’m so sorry man, I’ll get you another four grams soon! I promise!
Bullfrog: Screw this , I’m going to work.
Miles: Bullfrog, wait! Don’t go. I’m right here and I’m ready to sell it to you my man. C’mon Bro, are you seriously leaving? This is total bulls***.
Bullfrog: You better give me that four grams by tomorrow morning or else you’re dead meat kid. (Bullfrog walks away )
Cheryl: Miles, what are you doing? This is dangerous, just tell him that you can’t give it to him by tomorrow. Better yet, tell him you want out!
Miles: God Cheryl, you really don’t understand. It doesn’t work that way. I can’t just say I quit and it’s over. I made a promise, and if I back down, then -- then there will be consequences. You understand?
Cheryl: You don’t have to keep your promise. Some promises are just too hard to keep.
Miles: Cheryl! He’s a gang leader! Don’t you get it? If I don’t get the dope by tomorrow, I’ll have my head chopped off!
Cheryl: In that case, we should notify the police!
Miles: Cheryl! Do you seriously have to be so daft! I can’t do that! I’m part of the gang!
Cheryl: You what?
Miles: Have you ever heard of the “Bristol Bashers”? Bullfrog’s the leader of it.
Cheryl: I think I read about it in the papers once, I thought it had a dumb name for a gang. You’re not a part of it… Are you?
(Miles slowly nods his head)
Cheryl: Oh my god! You are! You idiot! A gang? I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry! It’s kinda funny in a way --
Miles: Funny? How is being in a gang funny?
Cheryl: Do you have a tattoo or something? Where is it, huh? Biceps? Triceps? Buttocks?
Miles: It’s not funny Cheryl. I’ve done stuff, things that I regret.
Cheryl: Like what? Steal a handbag from an old lady? Snatch a lolly from a little boy?
Miles: No, I’ve dealt drugs, stole 200 pounds from a 7-11 on the other side of town, and badly injured an innocent man for no reason.
Cheryl: How badly did you injure this guy?
Miles: Let’s just say I cracked a few ribs and broke his femur bone.
Cheryl: Oh.. wow… Why would you do all of this? Why would you hurt someone for no reason? Why would you steal money from a 7-11? Are you that stupid?
Miles: I’m not stupid, I was just mislead. I had to, otherwise Bullfrog would have punished me.
Cheryl: Well, none of this would have happened if you hadn’t have joined that stupid gang.
Miles: I had to! I was practically forced to! I needed the money and selling drugs makes a hefty load of cash.
Cheryl; Why do you need the money anyhow? We’re not poor or anything. Besides, you’ve got that job at McDonald’s.
Miles: They fired me.
Cheryl: What? So, when you tell Mum you’re off to work, you’re not at McDonalds, you’re actually-
Miles: Yes, I’m actually dealing drugs. Can we just stop talking about it?
Cheryl: Why are you so selfish Miles? You don’t really need the money, Mum’s got a steady job with alright pay and you have everything you need.
Miles: Selfish? I’m paying for your damn hospital bills! I’m helping Mum put food on the table. The pot is calling the kettle black. How am I selfish when I’m the one using my own money, risking trouble so I can help pay for your friggin’ hospital bills while you’re here moping around in your stupid wheelchair cutting yourself after all we’ve done for you!
Cheryl: Quit the gang.
Cheryl: I said quit the gang ! You don’t need to be in a gang to get money, you can sell your paintings, you’re a great artist. Besides, you won’t have to pay for those hospital bills anymore.
Miles: Number 1, I can’t quit the gang, I’ll get in trouble with Bulldog. I can’t tell the police either, because I’ll get in trouble with the Bashers and our ally gang, “ Dead dogs”. Number 2, screw the paintings! I tried selling them but no one wanted them , so screw it! Number 3, why won’t I have to pay for your hospital bills? You’re planning on getting a job?
Cheryl: No, I’m running away. Somewhere far away like Turkey or Uzebekistan.
Miles: * laughs and shakes his head* You’re kidding right? This has got to be a joke! How can you run away in your condition? YOU’RE IN A WHEELCHAIR CHERYL!
Cheryl: I’m going to school.
Miles: You can’t just leave, we’re not done talking
Cheryl: Well I am. Take me to school please.
Miles: We’re not going to school, we’re taking a detour, Mcdonalds.
Cheryl: This has got to be a joke, we’re going to Mcdonalds? The place where you recently got fired?
Miles: Well actually, I kind of lied, I never worked at Mcdonalds to begin with. All a big fat fib. Are you done interrogating me? I’d like to get a Mcflurry now.
Cheryl: We are going to school Miles
Miles: If you go, they’ll know that you skipped. You can’t just show up out of the blue. It’s suspicious. It’s just one day, one little day. Please?
Cheryl: Fine. You win.
Miles: What do you want to order? Do you want French fries?
Cheryl: Yeah, sure. Look, can you just order for me? I’m going to the loo for awhile.
( Cheryl in the bathroom takes out a pocket knife and cuts her arm, yelping in pain and blotting the blood with a tissue. She slumps against the wall, crying and talking to herself)
Cheryl: God, Cheryl, pull yourself together. You don’t have to mess everything up all the time. Miles knows that you hurt yourself so just stop the act already. Just sodding stop already-
Miles: Cheryl? *knocks on door* Cherylllllllllll? Could you hurry up? Your french-fries are getting cold.
Cheryl: Yeah, sorry. Feeling a tad bit queasy that’s all.
Miles: You alright? I can get you some medicine-
Cheryl: No, it’s fine. I’m fine, I’ll be there in a minute.
( Cheryl wipes her tears and rolls down her sleeves, comes out and sits down at the table.)
Miles: Hey Ratface.
Cheryl: Don’t call me that.
Miles: Are you feeling better?
Miles: Can I ask you something?
Cheryl: Depends on what it is.
Miles: Were you cutting yourself?
Cheryl: None of your business.
Miles: It bloody well is my business if you’re hurting yourself!
Cheryl: Fine, I was. So?
Miles: Why Cheryl? Are you still upset about last year?
Cheryl: I don’t want to talk about it!
Miles: Cheryl, you got drunk and accidently killed a man in a car accident. You’re paralyzed on the bottom half of your body. You have to accept that! It’s life, you move on.
Cheryl: I don’t want to talk about. Let’s just go home, ‘kay?
( They go home. Mum enters the house)
Mum: Well hullo my lovelies! You’re back early! I’m making casserole for dinner, so go freshen up now.
( Cheryl runs into her room, slamming the door behind her. She picks up a bottle of pills and cuts herself. She then opens he window, pulls herself onto the ledge and dangles her lifeless legs off the edge)
Cheryl: I’m going to be free now. I’m going to fly up, up and away. I’m free now, I’m really free.
(Miles barges into the room and sees Cheryl at the window)
Miles: Jesus Christ, Cheryl! What are you doing? Get off the ledge, please. Please, please, please! GET OFF THE DAMN LEDGE CHERYL!
Cheryl: Shut up will you? Mum’s going to hear you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be going up, up and away. I’m going to be free Miles! Free!
Miles: Cheryl, stop! Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you such a quitter? I- I thought you wanted to do something big with yourself. You want ot be be free? Dying isn’t gonna get you anywhere except in a dirty coffin six feet under. So stop cutting yourself, roll your sleeves up and get some help. We’re all here for you. Mum’s here and I’m here. Screw Dad, I’m here for you! Please, don’t be selfish, turn your life around. This is something you can change, you can make amends. Make peace with yourself, and forgive yourself. You will be free Cheryl, it just takes time.
Cheryl: I don’t have time, I wanna be free now!
Miles: Cheryl you don’t wanna do this…
(Miles pulls her off the ledge and she cries into his arms)
Cheryl: What am I going to do Miles? I keep messing everything up. What if it never gets better?
Miles: It will. And you will be free.
Cheryl: I’ll never be free, neither will you. We’re both stuck in this meaningless adventure we call life. I’m never gonna stop cutting myself and you’re never gonna quit the gang. We’re both bound by invisible chains, trapped and locked up by our own minds.
Miles: We will be free, I don’t know how, but we will. Let’s just talk about it tomorrow. We’ll find a way to be free, I know we will.
Mum: Casseroles done! Dinner’s ready!
Miles: Trust me, we will.