Sympathy | Teen Ink


August 12, 2013
By PeanutButterJelly SILVER, Hanahan, South Carolina
PeanutButterJelly SILVER, Hanahan, South Carolina
5 articles 0 photos 5 comments


Fallon………… (14)Oldest granddaughter
Lorelei………… (9) Second youngest granddaughter; diva; Fallon’s sister
Harold/Poppy (60)…………grandfather
Carol/Nana………… (58) Grandmother
Amy………… (34)Marie and Chase’s mother; youngest daughter of Harold and Carol
Marie………… (13) Second oldest granddaughter; pouty, overweight, and lazy.
Chase………… (8) Youngest grandchild; he is lazy and chunky; annoying and a slow talker
Jennifer………… (40) Oldest daughter of Carol and Harold; Fallon and Lorelei’s mother
Mitch………… (43)Fallon’s father

Scene I

(house lights off)

Fallon V.O.:
Number thirty-four. Is it always
like this? Yes, always. Every
day we go through the same
routine. Poppy gets angry and Ant
Amy storms out. Apparently, it’s
been like this since Mama
was young. I don’t even know
why…you’d think after this many
years they’d fix themselves.
But, of course, they can’t do that
when they don’t recognize the
problem. It’s a dysfunction-junction
according to Mom. I think the problems is
years and years of handling the
situation badly and that became
their new habit: doing everything
wrong. I know that seems harsh, but
what else is there to say? They do
DO everything wrong… Mom always tells
me about how when she was
growing up, Poppy always yelled.
He constantly got upset and
emotionally abuse her and her
siblings…Nana was never around.
She was always in bed complaining
of something. Nana still is. To
this day she STILL lays in bed all
day because SOMETHING hurts. I
can’t believe I’m related to these
people. This is journal entry
number thirty-four and journal
entry number thirty-four
complaining about them. What I
find funny is that it’s
always the same thing, too…

(house lights brighten and
scene begins in sunroom. Fallon sitting
on couch doing homework. Harold watching
television on short couch. The
news is on in the background.)

Carol! Where’s the phone? I’ve got to remind
Amy to pick up her kids!

(walks in from backstage through door. Yelling
across the house)
Harold! She’s almost thirty four! You’d think
she could pick up her own for Heaven’s sake!

(as if Carol is a child)
Well Carol, you’d think after eighteen years she’d be
living on her own, married, a good job, and at
least a high school education. But no. We’re the
ones who have taken care of Marie and Chase their whole lives! Why, if it wasn’t for us, they’d be on the

(tosses him phone and remains grumpy)
Here’s the phone.

Thanks old lady.

(Harold and Carol exit stage right)

(Fallon exits stage left)

Scene II

(House lights on kitchen table
and open kitchen. Harold at table reading
newspaper. Carol in kitchen cooking stew)

(excited and surprised)
Carol! Look at this! Today…
(trails off. Marie, Fallon, and Chase enter
stage left. Marie and Chase bickering while
Fallon sits down to do her work. Amy walks in
behind them listening to iPod)

Momma! I’m right aren’t I?

(Everything freezes and house lights dim)

Fallon V.O.:
I feel like im wasting ink writing
these same things. But I must
keep going. Writing this journal
is the only thing that keeps me
sane around here…anyway, here’s
something new finally: Chase and
Marie. Chase, as old as he is,
still whines and…well…a slow
talker. He’s not exactly…smart.
Being spoiled from the day he
was born has left him bratty,
whiney, obese, ALMOST diabetic,
tired, violent, and lazy. Way
to jump to this, huh? Chase
relies on Amy to be there to
prove him right, not to be a
mother. She couldn’t be a
mother…she’s too immature and
irresponsible. Marie is another
story. She is everything that
Chase is, but only 13 and larger.
MUCH larger. Just because she’s
thirteen doesn’t mean she acts
more mature than Chase. She’s
just as irresponsible as Amy
. She recently became a
woman and obviously doesn’t take
care of herself the way she
should during that week. Chase
and Marie don’t take showers but
once every two days. Lord, it
makes me want to throw up.
But see, Marie thinks that just
because she’s thirt-TEEN now means
that “Marie is above all. Marie
can do anything. Marie is cool.
Marie is clean. Marie is smart.
Marie doesn’t care what
anybody thinks and plows through
everyone’s emotion without a
thought. Marie is God.” And Poppy
sees that. So why doesn’t he
change it? He tries…but 40 years
of habits in this house are never broken…

(house lights brighten. Everything unfreezes)

Momma! I’m right aren’t I?

(staring at iPod)
Yes, son! Whatever you like!

Whatever. I knew I
shouldn’t have done this. Mom
always takes YOUR side. What’s for
dinner Nana?

(facing stove)
Fried hamburgers, French fries, macaroni
and cheese,
lima beans, and peach cobbler.

Yuck Lima beans! I’m not eating those.
I’m only having peach cobbler for dinner.
Maybe some French fries. Right mom?

(digging in the fridge for snacks
replies with vanilla pudding in her hand)
Of course son!
Whatever you please!

I’m only have French fries.

(Fallon looks over from
the corner of the table
and notices her
grandmother is annoyed with the kids
and doing everything by
herself. Fallon walks
over to her)

It’s okay, Nana. I’ll help you.

(starts boiling water for lima beans)

(Carol looks a little
relieved. She then takes
the pot from Fallon
and makes a gesture of
“no need”. Fallon then walks
across the incredibly
small kitchen and washes the dishes)

Why are YOU helping? Don’t you have
Homework to do?

While you were demanding
French fries, I finished my
homework. So now in helping OUR Nana do
the dishes. It’s the least I could do…

(gets cut off)

Yeah, yeah. I know. (mockingly) “It’s the
least we could do since
they let my family stay with
them. Of course, until the big fancy house
is built.”

Okay. Sure. You live
with them too you know.
At least I say thank you.

Poppy that’s not fair! She’s making me
feel bad!

Well she’s right. And
you should feel bad. All
you and your fat ass do around MY house is
eat MY food and watch MY TV.

(Amy gets up and puts her
hand on Harold’s shoulder)

(sweet and lovingly)
Yes children. We must thank your
grandfather for letting us use his
food and live In one of his
houses and use his television. (Turns to Harold)
Thank you Daddy.

(Fallon and Carol quickly
leave the room as if they
know what is going to
happen. Exit stage right)

Don’t pull that on me! You don’t do
nothing around here! We pick up your
kids and feed them and everything!

(Jennifer walks in)

Hey everyone! I’m…

(stops. exits out stage right
with a stunned look on face. House
lights fade on Harold and Mindy
shouting about problems with the

Scene III

(House lights brighten on
Fallon and Jennifer doing laundry
at their grandparents old camper)

(on a tangent)
Mom! Great God! Is
that all they ever do?
Marie is rude! She
always thinks I’m trying
to upstage her with my
grades or something.
I’m the one who comes home
and does work! That’s
why I didn’t go to summer
school…Poppy says that
all they eat is junk but that’s
all he buys! His whole pantry is
“more flavor” cookies
and chips and pastries and
sweetened juices and fatty
meats and sodas! AND
NIGHT. I don’t know how those
people live. Chase is
constantly nagging and
playing that stupid
Kindle and eats nothing
but dessert. That’s
probably why
the doctor said
both or their insulin
levels are 90. That’s
20x more than the
average adult male. Amy isn’t
a mother. Nor is she an
ant. She lets the kids
do whatever they want
because she thinks Poppy
and Nana will take
care of everything.
Why do we live here mother.

Honey, I don’t know why
they’re like that. Now you
know how it was when
I was a child. It’s only
for a few more months. We’re on the home stretch.

Mother, you know I can’t deal
with that.

Well we don’t have a
choice, Fallon! Just
deal with it like everyone else…

Scene IV

(House lights off)

Fallon V.O.:
Some habits are more
prevalent than others. Such as
inconsiderate conversations.
And tempers…I have to deal with
that anyway when talking to my
dad. But that’s all explained
in entry number twenty-seven. I
remember the first time I heard
Poppy’s temper flare. We were
in the kitchen and Marie
decided to throw a fit and
dump the brownie mix on the floor…even
though she was nine. He got
so mad. Poppy obviously wasn’t
thinking that he’s talking to a
nine year old because his use
of words was questionable. As in
cursing, questionable. That’s
probably why she curses now.
Amy says she can’t stop her
kids from cursing so why say
anything? She is such a
clueless woman. She’s also very
inconsiderate. Amy doesn’t care if she
hurts anybody because
just as Marie thinks: “Amy is strong.
Amy is powerful. Amy is
cool. Amy is responsible.
Amy is trustworthy. Amy can do
anything because she has her
parents supporting her. Amy can
do anything and get anything
she wants because Amy believe
that everyone has their own
unlimited amount of money.”
Whatever that last one means…she
thinks she can get away with everything…

(Harold and Amy left at kitchen table.
There is slight tension between the two. Fallon is
in the kitchen cleaning a pile of dishes.)

By the way Amy, I found a plumber to come put
in the dishwasher.

(looking at Harold)
Thank you Daddy! It’ll be good to have some
counter space…

(gets cut off)

(As if talking to a child)
But, you have to clean the
dishes and the living room
before he installs it…

Oh. I’m not doing

I won’t have a man come into one of my houses
with it looking like that! I will not be embarrassed
for myself and grandchildren. You have NO counter
space in your entire kitchen because of dirty

Well I’m not doing dishes. I’ll
just throw
them all away…

You will NOT throw away ANY of my dishes,
do you hear me?

But Daddy it would be so much

I might as well throw the
Dishwasher away!

Good. You might as well
do that.

Get out of my house! If you wanna be a god
dammed idiot then by all means, be one. Go to hell!

(Fallon calls over the dog from Backstage
and walks offstage)


(Harold then picks her up and
starts pushing her out the door)

Get out of my house!

(Carol enters stage left)

You two stop! Will I ever get to rest? This is all you do every day and every night. Put my daughter down!

Stay out of this you old woman. Go back to bed.

(Amy leaves the house and takes Marie
and Chase with her mumbling. House
lights fade)

Scene V

(House lights brighten on Fallon, Jennifer,
Lorelei, and Mitch sitting in camper on couch.)

Well, I mean…if that’s what your dad wants to do
than let him do it! He’s taken care of her
for her entire life…she needs to grow up.

(turns to Mitch)
This is my sister we’re talking about! She cant
just live on her own! She doesn’t have a high
school education and she has no independent
living skills.

Momma? Where’s Ant Amy going?

I don’t know but I will
tell you this: Poppy is
kicking Ant Amy out…


Well, It‘s true!

(Fallon silent starts to
speak up)

It’s so stupid how they fight like this…

they don’t understand that kicking
someone out or getting rid of a dishwasher
will get rid of their problems! It’s all their
fault…they are the ones who need to fix

They get on my last nerve…especially Chase.
If he thinks I cheated, he goes to Poppy and
tattles…(puts up her fists) I’ll
show him!

Oh stop. It wont do any good and you know


Just because we over
heard him doesn’t mean
he’ll actually do it.

You don’t think your father is serious? He
threw out the dishwasher.
He actually did it.

Honestly, I just want
our house done so we can
have our problems and they
can have theirs.

I feel bad for them…

Me too.

(glances over at parents still discussing the
issue. She takes Lorelei’s hand and exits
stage left. House lights fade on Jennifer’s
face in hands and Mitch rubbing his eyes)

Scene VI

Fallon V.O.:
When Amy pushes it too far,
every one becomes some kind of
alter ego. Amy says something
along the lines of “Dear children,
don’t you understand? God chose
us to be this way. He chose me to
be this way. This is the life we
have been given and we must use
it to our best advantage. Let
the faith guide you.” Wtf. My
ant goes hippie. Instead of
usually staying quiet I’d say
something like this, “Well you
know, God usually gives people
opportunities. So maybe this
messed up life isn’t what he
chose for you. Maybe you blew
off your chance to becoming
something amazing for this? Who
knows…” and then she’d go off
again, walking out the door to
get some vodka because she’s
recalling when she dropped out
of 9th grade. I get smacked for
saying stuff like that but on
the inside it was totally worth
standing up to the hippie . And
then Poppy would go off venting
about his terrible life…but
now everything is different…

(House lights sill dark. We hear the
conversation off stage)

(sounds of things hitting the floor)
Take your s***! Take it out! You’re not livin’
in my house anymore! I’m done with your bitchie
attitude! Go to hell for all I care! (a grunt
and then another boom.)

Stop! My kids need me! They need
this house!

(we hear sobbing and
constant random “booms” of throw
objects and breaking glass)


I’m not your Daddy anymore! Your
kids DO NOT need you! Marie’s birthday
is tomorrow! You know what that means?

(the crashes cease)

It means she turns thirteen.
She gets to choose where she
wants to live. With her
Daddy in full custody,
or with you. You know what
she told me yesterday?
She’s livin’ with Chris now. Why?
Because he has in OWN food and
clean house and paid-for car. You can’t even
clean up the house without puttin’ up
a fit because your “memories” will
be thrown away!

(still sobbing)
They love me and I love them. I need a place
to stay. I got nothin’.
I made mistakes…I’m sorry I’ve
dropped out. I’m sorry I couldn’t
make you happy. I’m sorry I got
pregnant when I was nineteen.
I’m sorry for being ungrateful.
I’m sorry for taking advantage of everyone around me…

You should’ve thought about
that before you messed up your whole life.

But…I just made mistakes…

The hell you DID! If you got nowhere to
go then live on the damn street! Go! Get out!

(one last crash)

Scene VII

(Fallon on bed writing in her journal. Voice
over of the writing in her diary)

Fallon V.O.:
It’s done. Everything’s done. Amy’s gone.
Marie and Chase live here
with Poppy and
Nana…Chris didn’t want them
after he realized he’d be
in full custody. It’s pathetic
how far someone will go when they’re angry
because it’s the person
himself that’s part of the problem. This
entire family has some kinks…knots
to work out. Marie
and Chase are selfish,
Harold has a short temper,
Nana isn’t usually around but
in bed, Amy is crazy, Mom gets
easily stressed, Dad works a lot, Lorelei
is sassy, and for me…I’m just confused. As for
my family, I am not angry with them. For them,
I will always have sympathy. Yours truly, Fallon <3


The author's comments:
This piece is based my family life and living with them for six months. The script is only part of the chaos I experienced!

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