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Said the Good Girl to the Murderer
(ADRIAN and MIRANDA are sitting in a den talking. The fireplace is crackling in the background, but MIRANDA is still cold. She has her arms wrapped around herself.)
MIRANDA (In a little more than a whisper) Tell me, please. You can trust me.
(MIRANDA pulls away one of her arms to trace her finger across ADRIAN’s hand. Upon contact, he pulls his hand away.)
ADRIAN I can’t, Miranda. You know that, please understand.
MIRANDA (Angry, raises voice) No, I don’t know.
(ADRIAN opens his mouth to speak, then snaps it shut, having nothing to say.)
MIRANDA (More gently) Just tell me. I swear on my life, I won’t tell a soul.
ADRIAN I shouldn’t. I can’t. If I tell anyone… I just can’t.
MIRANDA Yes you can. We’ve known each other since the third grade. Whatever you can’t tell anybody else, you can tell me. Heck, I know you better than you know yourself.
ADRIAN (Staring at the floor as he speaks) You’re going to hate me.
MIRANDA No I’m not, just spit it out already.
ADRIAN Yes, yes you are. You’re too good not to hate me.
MIRANDA What are you talking about? I’m not ‘good,’ never have been.
ADRIAN You’re lying to yourself. You’re one of the good guys, there’s no denying it.
MIRANDA Did someone put something in your cereal this morning? Me, good, ha! I mouth off, I cheat on tests, I sneak out in the middle of the night, I have a fake ID. Me, good?
ADRIAN (Eyes blazing, leaning forward so that his face is closer to hers) Regardless of all of that-
MIRANDA (Cuts him off, laughs uncomfortably) Why are you getting so close? And why’re you acting so serious? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were about to…
ADRIAN (Almost silently) I was about to what?
MIRANDA (Gulps) Nothing. Forget it, it was stupid.
ADRIAN (Completely Calm) I’m going to die tomorrow.
MIRANDA (Screeching) What? You are not going to die.
ADRIAN (Still Calm) I don’t know that, you don’t know that. I could die tomorrow if I wanted to, so easily.
MIRANDA Stop talking like that. What’s with you today?
ADRIAN Don’t you see, Miranda? It’s not just today, it’s every day.
ADRIAN (Harshly cuts her off) No. Don’t tell me to stop. I’m about to tell you something that’ll make you hate me, and I don’t want to be interrupted.
ADRIAN Do you know Olivia Conwell?
MIRANDA Yeah, but what does that matter?
ADRIAN I’m going to join her tomorrow.
MIRANDA Okay, you’re not making any sense.
ADRIAN Miranda, tomorrow I’m going to die, just like Olivia did.
MIRANDA But Olivia’s not dead.
(They sit in silence for a couple of seconds. Coming to a startling realization, MIRANDA covers her mouth with her hands)
MIRANDA (Tears gathering in her eyes) What happened to her? I just saw her yesterday and now she’s…
ADRIAN I did it.
MIRANDA (Looks up at him through her tears) Huh?
ADRIAN I needed a reason, a reason to die.
MIRANDA (In a broken whisper) So you killed her?
ADRIAN I did what I had to.
MIRANDA (Staring off into space and whispering to herself) I’m talking to a murderer.
ADRIAN Miranda, don’t- You don’t understand.
MIRANDA I understand Adrian. I understand perfectly.
ADRIAN (In a shaky voice) I didn’t think you would. I’m actually relieved.
(ADRIAN reaches in to hug MIRANDA, but she backs away from his embrace.)
MIRANDA You killed her. You took her life, Adrian. Do you know how serious that is?
ADRIAN What does it matter? I’ve done something bad enough that I deserve to die, end of story.
MIRANDA No, it’s not. Not for her parents, for her friends, for me. You didn’t have any right to kill her.
ADRIAN I had to.
MIRANDA No you didn’t. You didn’t have to do anything. If you wanted to go off and play coward, you shouldn’t have dragged her into it. You’re my friend, my best friend, but what you did was wrong.
ADRIAN I thought you said you understood.
MIRANDA I do, better than you, even. Life and death isn’t your toy. You can’t just mess with the balance whenever you’d like. To be quite honest, Adrian, you deserve more than death.
ADRIAN Miranda… I’m sorry.
MIRANDA (Screaming) Sorry doesn’t
fix anything! Sorry does not bring Olivia Conwell back to life!
ADRIAN (Hanging his head and mumbling) I should just die.
(MIRANDA slaps ADRIAN across the face)
MIRANDA (Voice like ice) No. Stop with the attitude. I will not give you my pity.
ADRIAN (Clutching his cheek) I don’t want your pity.
MIRANDA Yes you do, why the hell else would you put on this little show?
ADRIAN (Close to tears) I… I needed help.
MIRANDA So this is your cry for help, Adrian? You killed somebody. What about next time you want some attention? Slaughter the whole town?
ADRIAN Miranda, please. You’re being cruel.
MIRANDA No I’m not, I’m telling you the truth.
ADRIAN I came here not sure if I should tell you what I did, what I want to do.
MIRANDA Maybe you should have kept that to yourself.
ADRIAN I trusted you, but you hate me, just like I said you would.
MIRANDA That’s not true.
ADRIAN Yes it is. Miranda, I came to you because I wanted you to tell me no. I killed Olivia Conwell out of sheer stupidity. I didn’t think it through, just acted. I made it make sense in my head, when in real life it doesn’t. I wanted a reason to die, but now that I’ve done it, I don’t want to die anymore. I came to you for a reason to live.
ADRIAN No, don’t say anything. You were right before. I had no right.
MIRANDA You didn’t, but there’s one thing you can do to make this right. Or not even right, just less wrong.
ADRIAN (Eagerly) What? I’ll do anything.
MIRANDA Call the police. Turn yourself in and tell them where Olivia’s body is. Give the people who are looking for her the closure they need.
ADRIAN So I’m going to prison.
MIRANDA Yes, you are.
ADRIAN (Gulps) I can accept that. Rotting in a cell isn’t too bad compared to what I wanted to do to myself before I came here.
MIRANDA I’m sorry everything happened like this.
ADRIAN Yeah, me too.
MIRANDA You’re not lying to me about understanding, are you?
ADRIAN No, I get it. So this is good bye?
MIRANDA Yeah, I guess it is.
ADRIAN Once I’m in, please don’t visit me. Forget I ever existed; it would be too painful to see you on the other side of bullet proof glass, speaking to me through a phone.
(ADRIAN stands up, pulling MIRANDA to her feet as well. They hug, this time MIRANDA does not back
ADRIAN Good bye Miranda.
MIRANDA Good bye Adrian.
ADRIAN (As he’s stepping out the door, glancing over his shoulder) And Miranda, you’ve probably known for a long time that I’ve never been brave enough to tell you, so I guess it’s now or never. I love you.
(He closes the door behind him)
MIRANDA (To the closed door) Love you, too, Adrian.
End of Scene