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
Elizabeth is a seventy-four year old woman with lung cancer. She has barely any of her white hair left because of chemotherapy. She has a small and frail body. She is wearing a hospital gown. She is extremely moody due to her cancer, but when she is in a good mood, she is nice and charming. Her parents and siblings have already died, but she has a daughter that she is not close with.
Claire is Elizabeth's daughter. She is forty-two and hasn't talked to her mother in three years. She regrets not having a relationship with her mother and still cares for her greatly. She has long, flowing blonde hair with green eyes. Her body is thick, but she still looks fit and healthy.
Mallory Collins is a thirty-three year old woman. She works at Ridgepoint Hospital as a nurse. She is an easy-going person and loves all her patients. She is very hard working and wants everything to work out right. She has short, blonde hair that is pulled back into a ponytail and a fit body from exercising. She is wearing blue scrubs pants and a pink scrubs shirt with blue Reebok tennis shoes.
Doctor Burns is the hospital's oncologist. He has many cancer patients and is always very busy. He is thirty-nine years old, with short black hair and thin glasses. He always has a white coat on with a tie and dress shirt underneath. He is also wearing khakis and black dress shoes.
The setting takes place in Birmingham, Alabama on a hot summer night in room 209 of Ridgepoint Hospital. The room looks like any other hospital room. There is a bed placed vertically upper center with a chair upper left center. There is a table upper right center next to a heart and IV monitor. There is a phone on the table. The door to enter the room is down right. There are two closed windows along the left wall. One is upper left, and the other is down left. They are closed with blinds pulled down. The room is empty except for Elizabeth in the bed silently reading the newspaper. The lights are dim to match the nighttime.
Mallory: (walks into the room from down right holding a clipboard with a smile on her face) Miss Elizabeth, is it? (looking uncertain) Elizabeth West? (pauses) I'm Mallory, your nurse for the next couple of weeks.
Elizabeth: (turns to look at Mallory with an upset face, almost panicking) Where's Jackie? Why isn't Jackie here? (looking around, panicked for the familiarity of the old nurse)
Mallory: (compassionately) She took a vacation. (pauses and inhales) Family problems, a death in the family, but she will be back soon. I'm here now, and I will take good care of you.
Elizabeth: Well, I'm not a very good patient. I'm extremely sick.
Mallory: That's okay. (looking reassuring as she walks over to the heart monitor and does normal nurse work) I bet we will become great friends.
Elizabeth: (sarcastically) Yeah.
Mallory: Please, (pauses, trying to sound kind) I know you are under a lot of stress right now and you don't know me, but I am trying to do my job, and I don't appreciate you being rude to me.
Elizabeth: (sadly) I'm just not in a very good mood right now.
Mallory: That's okay. So is there anything you need me to do for you? (looking at Elizabeth waiting for a reply)
Elizabeth: (depressingly) I don't need to be taken care of. I'm going to die soon anyway. (sighs)
Mallory: Don't say that! (sounding upset) If you don't stay confident and strong, you won't push through. You have to be strong.
Elizabeth: I'm tired of being strong (looking down, sadly).
Mallory: But, don't you want to live your life for as long as you can and do everything you want to do? Fulfill your dreams?
Elizabeth: (almost laughing at the idea of it) Honey, I'm seventy-four years old, and I have lung cancer because I smoked too much. I'm past my time. (hesitantly) I have done everything I've wanted to do.
Mallory: Well, that didn't sound very convincing. Don't you have something that you have always wanted to do, but never had the chance? (sounding excited) Like go to Europe or meet up with an old lover? Oh! C'mon, there has to be something!
Elizabeth: (avoiding the question) You talk too much.
Mallory: Yeah, I know. My husband tells me that all the time. I try not to say too much, but I find myself just rambling on again and again. (Elizabeth slowly closes her eyes and falls asleep. Mallory doesn't notice.) Most of the time, it's just pointless stuff too. When I was little, they thought I had... (Elizabeth softly snores) Ms. West? Elizabeth? (Looking upset and concerned, she nudges Elizabeth on the arm to try to wake her up. Elizabeth wakes up with a loud grunt.) Ms. West, you fell asleep.
Elizabeth: Oh! I'm sorry. I seem to be doing that a lot lately. Is it alright if I go back to sleep? You don't need me for anything, do you?
Mallory: Oh, it's fine. I just wanted to find out if you had a dream that you never fulfilled.
Elizabeth: I don't want to talk about it. (sounding final)
Mallory: Are you sure?
Mallory: Oh, (still pressing on) c'mon, just tell me. You know you want to.
Elizabeth: God! (getting angry) If I tell you, will you leave?
Mallory: Oh, yes! I promise.
Elizabeth: (Longingly) If I only had one thing to do, it would be to see my daughter again, okay? So, please leave.
Mallory: (almost yelling) Wait! No! You can't just leave me hanging like that. You have a daughter? Why haven't you seen her?
Elizabeth: (extremely annoyed) Ugh! My daughter and I had a falling out a few years ago. We had this really bad fight. I wish we could make up (calming down, becoming nostalgic) because I would really like to see her again. Now, I am very tired, and I would appreciate it if you would leave and let me rest.
Mallory: Oh! Fine! (sounding upset, then professional) But I'll be back in the morning for your breakfast.
(Mallory exits through the door down right as the lights slowly fade and black out.)
Around two weeks later, the setting is still in the hospital room and everything looks exactly the same except that the windows are open and the sun is shining in. It's in the morning and the birds are chirping outside. Elizabeth is alone in the room waiting on her bed for breakfast to arrive. The lighting is coming through the windows to add a nice warm feeling.
Mallory: (walks into the room from down rightholding a tray of food consisting of scrambled eggs, toast, a fruit cup, and water with a clipboard in the other hand. Once she walks in, she gives the tray to Elizabeth and then starts to record things on her clipboard from looking at the heart monitor.) Good morning Ms. West! How are you?
Elizabeth: Hello, I'm fine. This breakfast looks delicious. (looking down at the tray)
Mallory: Oh, I know. But before you eat it, Doctor Burns would like to meet with you.
(Doctor Burns walks in from down right carrying a clipboard, and there is a stethoscope around his neck.)
Doctor Burns: Good morning Elizabeth. Happy to see you, but (his voice becomes regretful) I'm afraid I have some bad news. (The birds suddenly stop chirping.)
Elizabeth: What kind of bad news? (looking nervous)
Doctor Burns: Well, your cancer is continuing to spread. (sounding sad and compassionate) The masses in your lungs are continuing to grow, and the chemo isn't helping. It's extremely unfortunate, (pauses) but there's nothing else we can do.
Elizabeth: But, (going into denial) that's not possible. Everything was going okay, and I thought I was going to get better. (She is looking very sad, anxious, and in shock as she pauses for a minute, trying to recover herself.) How long? (looking up at Doctor Burns)
Doctor Burns: (deeply inhales) Hard to tell, but it could be any day now. I am so sorry. (He reaches over to touch her arm gently, comforting.) Is there any family that you want me to contact? Anything I can do for you?
Mallory: Oh, Ms. West, I am so sorry. (looking apologetically to Elizabeth)
Elizabeth: (answering the doctor's question sadly) No, there's no one.
Doctor Burns: Well, alright. I'll let you enjoy your breakfast. Again, I am so sorry. I'll be back to check on you soon. (He turns around and walks out of the door from down right.)
(Elizabeth leans back in her bed and silently starts to cry as she places her hands over her face. Mallory is still sitting in the chair as she places her hand on Elizabeth's arm for comfort.)
Mallory: I am so sorry Ms. West. I wish there was something I could do.
Elizabeth: (sniffing) Just don't leave. Please, I don't want to be alone.
Mallory: Of course, Ms. West. I'll stay. (pauses) Are you hungry?
Elizabeth: (starts to whimper) Not anymore.
(They sit there in silence for a moment still trying to process all of the news.)
Mallory: (slowly starts to talk again) So you don't have anyone you want to say goodbye to? Not even your daughter?
Elizabeth: My parents and sisters have all passed away, and Claire won't want to talk to me.
Mallory: (looking shocked) No! You must call her and tell her.
Elizabeth: I can't. All we did was fight. She told me she hated me. She won't want to see me. (looking down, ashamed)
Mallory: Ms. West, my mother and I have had our differences, but I love my mother with all I have. And I will always love her, and I would forgive her for anything she has ever done. I'm sure your daughter feels the same way. Don't you think she would want to see you? One last time? (Elizabeth starts crying hysterically as she puts her hands up to face again.) Would you like me to call her? (Elizabeth slowly nods. Mallory leans over to the table to retrieve the phone. She takes the phone and places it to her ear.) Can you tell me her number?
Elizabeth: I'm not sure if I remember it.
Mallory: (trying to help) Well, at least try.
Elizabeth: Um, okay. (thinking) Her cell phone number is 556, I think. (pauses) 2 (pauses) 113. Let's try that. (Elizabeth sniffs and tries to recover as Mallory dials the number. She puts the phone to her ear as the phone rings)
Mallory: Hello? (looking surprised) Is this Claire? (pauses) Hi, my name is Mallory Collins, and I am a nurse at Ridgepoint Hospital. I'm with your mother right now, and she wants to talk to you. (She pauses as she hands Elizabeth the phone.) It's okay. (saying to Elizabeth) Just tell her how you feel.
Elizabeth: Claire? Hi, I haven't talked to you in a while. How are you? (pauses) That's good, wonderful. (pauses) I'm sorry too. I've been a horrible mother. (pauses) I am so sorry. I never meant for us to end up like this. (pauses) I know this is kind last minute, but do you think you could come down to Ridgepoint? I want to say goodbye. (pauses as there is panicking from over the phone) I know, but I have lung cancer and the doctors don't have anything else for me. (pauses) It could happen anytime. (there is yelling over the phone) I know. (Elizabeth starts to cry.) I am so sorry. For everything. I wish I could have had a better relationship with you. I have missed you so much, and now we barely have any time left. (pauses) Oh! I love you honey. So could you come down? (pauses) Two Hours?! When did you move? (pauses) Oh, well I've got time. (pauses) You're coming right now? (pauses) Alright. You remember where Ridgepoint is? (pauses) Okay honey, I'm so sorry. I love you. (She pauses one last time and then hands it back to Mallory so she can hang up the phone.) Thank you. I would not have been able to do that without you.
Mallory: You're welcome. So is she on her way here?
Elizabeth: Yes, but she moved two hours away from the city. So hopefully she gets here soon.
Mallory: Well, you just have to be strong. Tell yourself that you will stay alive. Make sure that... (Elizabeth starts to breathe heavily as her heart monitor starts beeping loudly, an alarm going off. Elizabeth looks around with a look of shock on her face. She now can't breathe at all and brings her hands to cup around her throat. She starts to panic as Mallory runs out of the room to get Doctor Burns.) DOCTOR! (Mallory yells at the top of her lungs.) Doctor Burns! Come quick! Ms. West can't breathe! (Mallory, Doctor Burns, and two other nurses come running back into the room. Doctor Burns immediately walks over to Elizabeth.)
Doctor Burns: What happened? (He is sounding stressed as he starts to stick a tube down her throat.)
Mallory: She just stopped breathing. (looking scared)
(He fondles with the tube but can't seem to get it in the right place. Elizabeth is slowly closing her eyes. Mallory starts crying, loudly.)
Doctor Burns: Ugh! It's too late! (Everything quiets down, and all there is, is the sound of the heart monitor giving a long buzz stating that her heart had stopped beating.)
Mallory: (uncontrollably crying) Oh, please! Doctor! Do something! SAVE HER!
Doctor Burns: I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do. Her lungs have given out. (Doctor Burns just stands there looking at Elizabeth. Mallory calms down, but is still crying.) Time of death: 10:21 A.M.