Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Comatose This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
(The stage is completely dark. The sound of a heart monitor is heard. DAD and DOCTOR's lines are said from offstage)

DAD
When will she wake up?

DOCTOR
Well sir, with cases like these, there isn’t a guarantee she ever will wake up. I'm sorry. I know that must be hard to hear but, honestly, we're lucky she's alive at all.

DAD
There isn’t more we can do?

DOCTOR
You can try talking to her. We don’t know if she can hear you but –

DAD
I understand. Thank you.

(The lights come up but they are still not very bright. There is a girl [KELLY] lying in the fetal position center stage. Another girl [YOUNG KELLY] stands watching from a distance behind her. KELLY begins to sit up. She looks around and sees YOUNG KELLY. They do not look alike but they are the same age.)

KELLY
Where am I?

YOUNG KELLY
Your mind.

KELLY
I'm a figment of my own imagination?

YOUNG KELLY

(walks forward to KELLY)
No. You're in a coma. You're trapped here, just like me.

KELLY
WHAT? Am I going to wake up?

YOUNG KELLY
How would I know?

KELLY
Are you in a coma too? Why aren’t you in your own mind?

YOUNG KELLY

(laughs bitterly)
I don’t have my own mind anymore. You took it.

KELLY
(KELLY is getting nervous)
What do you mean?

YOUNG KELLY
(with mock surprise)
Why, Kelly Harris! Don’t you recognize me? It's Kelly Harris! I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that you don’t remember. It's been, oh, I don’t know, THREE YEARS since you got rid of me.

KELLY
What are you talking about?

YOUNG KELLY
Jeez, I must have taken all of the brain cells with me.
(she sighs)
Fine. Let me explain this so that even you could understand. I'm the embodiment of who you were until three years ago.
(She spins in a circle)

Ta-Da! Didn’t you miss me?

KELLY
You mean before –

YOUNG KELLY
Exactly.

KELLY
Well . . . Sorry I had to get rid of you, but . . . you wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

YOUNG KELLY
Like you handled it so great! Why are you here again?

KELLY
(she is quiet for a few seconds)
Are you sure I'm not dead?

YOUNG KELLY
I'm positive. That would make me dead too.

KELLY
Are you sure you aren’t? Like you said, I got rid of you.



YOUNG KELLY
Yeah but you didn’t kill me! I was banished to the inner recesses of your mind and watched you mess everything up for three years.

KELLY
Give me a break!

YOUNG KELLY
What? You think it’s normal to be in a coma at sixteen?

KELLY
Well it would have happened sooner if you had been in charge!

YOUNG KELLY
I seriously doubt that.

KELLY
Yeah. I kind of do too.
(Pause)

YOUNG KELLY
I was going to be a doctor, you know.

KELLY
What are you talking about? I never wanted to be a doctor.

YOUNG KELLY
I know that! These past three years, I've been tormented by visions of possible futures –

KELLY
Visions of possible futures? Are you insane?

YOUNG KELLY
I exist in your mind. The rules of the real world don’t really apply here. Even time is different here. The only reason I know how long I’ve been here so far is because I’ve been able to watch you. Now that you’re here, there’s no way of knowing.

KELLY
You exist in my mind? Do I have some sort of multiple personality disorder?

YOUNG KELLY
NO! I’m not some hidden personality. I am my own distinct person. I just happen to be trapped here.

KELLY
So I don’t have a personality disorder?
YOUNG KELLY
No. Except for some obvious depression issues, your mind is healthy.

KELLY
So . . . visions . . . But you said you didn’t know when I would wake up!

YOUNG KELLY
I said I didn’t know IF you would wake up. Not when. There is a huge difference. You might be stuck here with me forever and ever. Just listen. I've had visions of possibilities; who I would have been if you hadn’t ruined everything. I'm a doctor in all of them.

KELLY
I didn’t ruin everything. Someone else ruined some things.

(Pause)
Do you see my possibilities?

YOUNG KELLY
What possibilities? You're in coma.

KELLY
I am perfectly aware that I am in a coma. Thank you. You can stop drawing my attention to it now.

YOUNG KELLY
Why did you do it?

KELLY
Do what?

YOUNG KELLY
You know.

KELLY
Don’t you know? You say you've been watching all of this time.

YOUNG KELLY
But that doesn’t mean I know why you do what you do. I don’t know your thoughts, I can only see your actions.

KELLY
Well I didn’t do it on purpose.

YOUNG KELLY

(disbelieving)
Are you sure? Because I was watching and –


KELLY
Of course I'm sure.

YOUNG KELLY
This is one of the most stupid lies I have ever heard. I SAW you –

KELLY
Well I took the pills on purpose! That doesn’t mean that I meant to overdose.

YOUNG KELLY
I don’t believe you. I think you were trying to kill yourself and put yourself in a coma instead. [Pause]

Am I right?

KELLY
It's been a bad few years. You know that better than anyone.

YOUNG KELLY
But am I right?

KELLY
(quietly)
Yes.

YOUNG KELLY
Was it because –

KELLY
No! Stuff has happened since, you know. There’s more to my life than that one incident. I've moved on.

YOUNG KELLY
No, you haven’t. That’s why I’m here isn’t it? Some moments define you and you aren’t able to continue being the same person you were. That moment defined you. It’s sad, but true. I bet if I tried hard enough I could trace every stupid, destructive thing you have done in the past three years to that day.

KELLY
And if I tried hard enough, I could drink the ocean. That wouldn’t mean anything either.

YOUNG KELLY
You could have gotten help. People have offered to help you so many times!

KELLY
So what?


YOUNG KELLY
I would have taken their help.

KELLY
Oh, yeah? And what else would you have done?

YOUNG KELLY
I would have told someone!

KELLY
That wouldn’t have changed anything.

YOUNG KELLY
You don’t know that. Besides, anything is better than what you've been doing.

KELLY
Will you stop already? It's not like this stuff is affecting you!

YOUNG KELLY
You still don’t get it do you? I'm stuck with you. I have to live through all the stupid stuff you do.

KELLY
No. You don’t. You don’t live at all.

YOUNG KELLY
Shut up!

KELLY
It's only me. I am the only one getting hurt.

YOUNG KELLY
You don’t really believe that do you? You don’t think it hurts dad to see you do this to yourself? Especially after mom's wreck last year! I would have done so much more with myself. You couldn’t even kill yourself right.

KELLY
Shut up! Shut up, Shut up, SHUT UP!

YOUNG KELLY
I hate you, you know. I used to live. I miss it. You get to live, you took that from me, and you want to throw it all away! How can you do that? How can you not see what you have? I have EVERY reason to hate you but what I don’t understand -- have never understood -- is why you hate me.


KELLY
What do you mean?


YOUNG KELLY
Please. I've been honest with you, at least give me this much.

KELLY
I don’t hate you. I didn’t even know you were still around. How could I hate someone who doesn’t exist?

YOUNG KELLY
Don’t lie. You hate me.

KELLY
I thought you said you didn’t know my thoughts.

YOUNG KELLY
It's obvious.

KELLY
Then you should know why!

YOUNG KELLY
I want to hear you say it!

KELLY
BECAUSE HE RAPED YOU! Your best friend's brother raped you and there was nothing you could do about it. At least the new me has never been raped.

YOUNG KELLY
No. You just agree to let them do whatever they want to you. At least I tried to fight.

KELLY
(KELLY slaps YOUNG KELLY)
It was your fault! It was your fault and you know it! I just couldn’t stand to be you anymore!

YOUNG KELLY
Is THIS the girl you wanted to be? A girl who is almost always high off one thing or another? A girl who has lied about being clean so many times that even the people who want to believe her, can't? No. This isn’t who you wanted to be. I remember. You wanted to work at NASA. Some kids looked for shapes in the clouds but you looked for shapes in the stars. You made up your own constellations. You used to say that one day you were going to see them up close. You went to space camp every summer you could.


KELLY
Who cares? According to you, I was never going to make it to NASA anyway.

YOUNG KELLY
YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN A DOCTOR! Hundreds of people want to be doctors and never make it! But you would have . . . I would have.

KELLY
You're right, ok? My way wasn’t working. I know that! That’s what got me in this coma! I can't do it anymore.

YOUNG KELLY
Do you even want to wake up?

KELLY
I do if it gets me away from you.

YOUNG KELLY
Be serious! I would give anything to have the chance you had.

KELLY
You had your chance.

YOUNG KELLY
No. I didn't. Living is overcoming obstacles and being proud of the person you become in the process. It's about being able to embrace ALL moments. You got rid of me after the first REAL problem. I never got to grow because of it. I never got to recover and become stronger.

KELLY
That has to be one of the weirdest things I have ever heard. You know that right?

YOUNG KELLY
No. It is perfectly logical.

KELLY
No. It really isn’t.

YOUNG KELLY
I still don’t know how you can give your life up.

KELLY
(shrugs)
It isn’t that great.



YOUNG KELLY
It's still more than I have.
(Pause)

It's strange. In some ways you're just as stuck in the past as I am.

KELLY
Can't you just leave me alone?

YOUNG KELLY
Why should I? You've never left me alone.

KELLY
Please.

YOUNG KELLY
If you were able to wake up, would you?

KELLY
I don’t know.

YOUNG KELLY
Well, think about it! Wouldn’t you miss Daddy?

KELLY
Daddy . . . I haven’t called him that in years.

YOUNG KELLY
Answer me!

KELLY
I guess I would wake up . . . according to you, this place is pretty miserable.

YOUNG KELLY
What would you do after you woke up? Would anything change?

KELLY
I don’t know. You see all those possible futures. You tell me.

YOUNG KELLY
I don’t know either.
KELLY
(Pause)
So . . . what do you do for fun around here?




YOUNG KELLY
Solitaire.
(she tosses KELLY a worn pack of cards. KELLY proceeds to set up the game and play while YOUNG KELLY wanders around and talks)
I honestly never thought I would have a chance to talk to you.

KELLY
(disinterested)
Really.

YOUNG KELLY
Really.
(The lights slowly begin to come up.)

KELLY
What's happening?

YOUNG KELLY
(she walks behind KELLY and looks at the cards)
You can play that seven.

KELLY
Didn’t you hear me?

YOUNG KELLY
I guess not.

KELLY
What's happening?

YOUNG KELLY
I don’t know. I think . . . I think we . . . I mean you . . . might be waking up.

KELLY
Oh.

YOUNG KELLY
Well. Here's your chance. You said you would wake up if you could.

KELLY
Yeah.
YOUNG KELLY
Aren't you excited?

KELLY
Not particularly.


YOUNG KELLY
Are you insane? We have been stuck in this prison for who knows how long and you don’t crave life?
(Pause.)
You know, once you make this decision, there's no going back. You are stuck here. Forever. Because I won't make your mistakes.

KELLY
(finally abandoning her card game)
What are you talking about?

YOUNG KELLY
I'm taking your place. I'm going to live the life you stole from me.

(KELLY does not know what to say and she stares as YOUNG KELLY backs away slowly. A man has suddenly come on stage and stares desolately into space. YOUNG KELLY goes and lies down at his feet. They stay this way for a few seconds before YOUNG KELLY sits up weakly)

DAD
Kelly?

YOUNG KELLY
Daddy!
DAD
(DAD helps YOUNG KELLY stand and they hug. They stay like this for a while.)
It's been so long since you've said that. I didn’t think I would ever hear it again. I didn’t think I would ever hear your voice again at all. You've been in that coma for three months now.

YOUNG KELLY
I'm back now, Daddy. For good.

KELLY
(They continue hugging as KELLY slowly approaches and begins to desperately try to reach them. They do not hear her or acknowledge her in any way.)
Daddy? That isn’t me, Daddy! I'm here! I'm here! . . . She isn’t me . . .
(KELLY sinks to the floor a few feet away from them and begins to sob. The lights go down.)



Join the Discussion


This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

Lumiaya14 said...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm:
I would be honored! I'd love to see what you do with it. Let me know how it all works out!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
MellaThis 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...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm:
I. LOVE. This! :) Awesome job! I would really ove to do this in my talented in theatre class if that is okay with you?
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
MiaUnwriten said...
Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:25 am:
That is a great story, love the ending too. great job.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Molly's Words said...
Mar. 28, 2012 at 12:54 am:
Ah I remember playing Kelly at O.W.N.! Such a good play Amy! Keep writing :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback