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"Promise"


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(Set is mostly bare with a dresser on SR housing the Mommy picture, and identical dresser on SL housing the Daddy picture, a bed at CS facing the audience with a small nightstand housing tissues immediately to the right of it)
*Lights up on a young girl sitting cross-legged on her bed*

“Mommy and Daddy made a promise.
“A few months ago, I was at school. At school Mrs. Krez is my 1st grade teacher. She is my favorite teacher ever. One day we were doing vocab. On our list of words was one I’d never ever seen before. It was ‘Promise’. I asked Mrs. Krez what a promise was exactly. She said it was an assurance of someone’s word. Then we took a spelling test and I got a B+.
A couple weeks ago Mommy came in and talked to me. She had to come in and talk to me because I was crying. I was crying because Mommy was yelling into the phone. Mommy was yelling because Daddy had been working late at the office again. Mommy was tired of Daddy working late. Mommy yelled a lot of really mean-sounding things into the phone. She also cried a lot. I don’t like to see Mommy cry, so I started crying too. Mommy hung up real fast and came to talk to me.”
*She gets off the bed, goes to pick up a picture of Mommy off the dresser SR, steps forward and shows it to the audience*

“This is my Mommy.”
*She cradles the picture as she speaks*

“When Mommy came in to talk to me, she told me that because they were Mommy’s and Daddy’s, they fought sometimes. But they still loved each other. And they would always be my Mommy and Daddy. She said that most of all, they loved me. That nothing would ever change that. But I was mostly sad because my friend, Jennie’s, Mommy and Daddy weren’t going to live together anymore. And I was afraid that might happen to my Mommy and Daddy. I told that to Mommy, but she promised that would never happen to our family. Just that maybe some fights would.

After that I felt better. But when Daddy came home, Mommy yelled and cried some more- and then made him sleep on the couch. The next morning, at breakfast, I asked Daddy why he had been so late the night before.”
*Runs to the dresser on SL, dropping the Mommy picture on the bed on her way, and picking up the Daddy picture off the dresser on SL*

“This is my Daddy.”
*She cradles the picture as she speaks*

“Daddy was reading the newspaper, so he couldn’t pay attention- but he said he had just got preoccupied. I asked him if he would be married to Mommy forever. He kinda rolled his eyes, but said he would. Then I asked him if he promised. He got a little upset at me for asking that. But he still said he promised.”
*Laying the Daddy picture on the bed, she sits up on the bed bringing her knees up to her chest*
Five days ago, I played with Grandma. Mommy and Daddy said they needed to have a long chat. A long, adult chat. Mommy had some tears in her eyes and Daddy wouldn’t really look at me.”
*Her expression changes and she smiles, leaning out towards the audience, her puts her hands on the bed rail at the foot of her bed, excitedly*
“But they did say that I was going to hang out with Grandma for a whole day! I love Grandma, and besides, most adult chats are super boring. So I said ok.
*Her stance relaxes and she drops her arms by her side, resting back on her heels*
“While I was at Grandma’s, I found a pretty book with lots of pictures of Mommy and Daddy. In a lot of the pictures, Mommy was wearing a long white dress. She and Daddy looked super happy! I’d forgotten what Mommy looked like when she smiled.”
*She pulls farther back from the audience and reaches for some Kleenex from the nightstand, and starts tearing it into small pieces and looking down*

“Grandma caught me looking, but she wasn’t mad. She kinda smiled and said that it was the pictures from Mommy and Daddy’s wedding day. Grandma said it was a really happy day- even though Grandma cried a bunch. I asked Grandma what it meant when Mommy and Daddy got married. Grandma said it was a promise.”
*She gets up from her bed, and goes to stand in front of it, resting back on the bed rail, she wraps her arms around herself in a sort of hug*

“Mommy and Daddy came into my room earlier today. Mommy said she loved me. Daddy said I would always be his little princess. They both said they were sorry. A lot. Mommy said that this was just the way things had to be. Daddy said it was for the best. They both started to cry. They each gave me a hug. They said that they would go. To give me time to digest.
*She turns around to pick up the pictures off the bed, and holds them, then turns backs around and takes a few steps towards the audience, clutching the pictures to her chest*

“Mommy and Daddy broke a promise.”
*Her head drops and lights go out*




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

Poetrylover_1 said...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm:
Your cues and theatrical expressions are great. Maybe if at the end you would have had her say "Mommy and daddy broke their promise" it would have been so much  more powerful, because they both made the promise to stay together. Other than that it was well written. Keep it up.
 
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LinkinPark12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 28, 2013 at 6:10 am:
This is brilliantly written! When I was reading this, I had a little girl's voice reading it in my head :)
 
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ClaireBearH said...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 10:22 am:
Wow! that brought tears to my eyes! It was so perfect! You captured the little girl perfectly from the way she talked to even her posture in stage directions. incredible!
 
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NG123 said...
Aug. 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm:
The way it was written sounds exactly the way a little girl, like the narrator, would speak. The girl cradling the photos and the lights going out at the end were good theatrical effects.
 
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