Eyes Opened by Grace

 CHARACTERS

MICHAEL – 15 year old boy

TRAVIS – School bully, 17 year old boy

LILY – 15 year old girl

BRUCE – 35-50 old, father of Travis

SETTING

A high school yard, there is a recycling bin in one corner.

SCENE ONE

MICHAEL is on stage taking photos of flowers as TRAVIS enters walking aggressively towards him.

TRAVIS

Punk! Why aren’t you with your “friends”? Oh wait you don’t have any friends!

MICHAEL

What’s your problem?

TRAVIS immediately grabs MICHAEL by the front of his shirt & tries to lift him.

TRAVIS

Speak up loser! Your whinny voice is so friggen annoying. You sound like a mouse. And you know what happens to mice? THEY GET EATEN BY CATS!!!

MICHAEL

I didn’t say any-

TRAVIS

YES YOU DID!

TRAVIS pushes MICHAEL down to the ground and proceeds to punch him in the face & chest while Michael does his best to protect his camera and himself. TRAVIS finally gets to his feet.

TRAVIS

Next time, you won’t get away with just bruises, maybe you won’t get away at all!

TRAVIS exits. MICHAEL staggers as he stands up with a hand to his nose, then limps off the other side of the stage.

SCENE TWO

MICHAEL AND LILY enter from opposite sides of the stage.

MICHAEL

Did you see those photos at the Photography Club Exhibition?

LILY

YES! They were absolutely exquisite! I wish I could take photos like that one day…capturing the angle and the light all in one frame, but giving tons of meaning.

MICHAEL

I KNOW!! My gosh Lily! I swear you read my mind all the time. You could even be my significant other half. (Looks embarrassed) You understand me so well, that’s why you’re my best friend!

(Beat)

Speaking of photography, I took some shots yesterday in the gardens that…I wanted to show you but…but…Travis kind of killed my camera and-

LILY

TRAVIS?! OH COME ON! Everyone knows he’s just a Bully

MICHAEL

Yeah, well…He’s ALWAYS picking on me-

LILY

MIIIIIKE!!! I know he’s a bully, but there comes a time in one’s life where you need to make a difference. Stand up to him! Bullies always need to be taught a lesson.

MICHAEL

Yeah, well…I think he’ll leave me alone, if I just avoid him and stay out of his way-

LILY

Stand up to him! He needs to be tamed!

MICHAEL

WELL I DON’T WANT TO! I CAN’T POSSIBLY BEAT HIM!?

LILY

OF COURSE YOU CAN’T! YOU’RE A COWARD! YOU’RE JUST TOO SCARED TO DO ANYTHING! WELL FINE, KEEP BEING A COWARD. MAYBE YOU’RE JUST A LOSER JUST LIKE HE SAID!

(Beat)

I thought you were brave and a cool person. No girl ever likes a COWARD.

LILY storms off stage.

MICHAEL If only I had the courage…maybe you’d like me…just maybe…

MICHAEL exits

SCENE THREE

MICHAEL walks on stage looking at a collection of photos in his hand. He hears Bruce yelling off stage.

BRUCE

YOU STUPID IDIOT!

There’s the sound of a slap. Michael quickly runs to hide behind some recycling bins and pokes his head around as BRUCE and TRAVIS who is being pushed forcefully looking terrified, enter from the other side.

BRUCE

I told you to get at least a 50 on your test, but obviously your dumb brain couldn’t handle it! If I weren’t forced to take care of you, you’d be homeless and starving. Your mother’s death is all your fault! She died giving birth to you! You took her away from me and I loved her so much you stupid… (Grabs TRAVIS by his shirt, Michael peeks out from behind the bin TRAVIS notices him, BEAT, he looks away BRUCE notices this and grabs him by his shirt till they are face-to- face.) I’m talking to you Shithead! You aren’t worth my time. Now get into the van and shut up! (shoving TRAVIS away) I don’t want to hear a single word from you (mutters) wasting my money…wasting my time. I could be living the Life but I’m stuck with vermin like you! (He pushes TRAVIS off stage through the exit on the other side)

MICHAEL

What the…?

Michael exits the other side

SCENE FOUR

As Michael walks on from opposite side of the stage goes across and throws some paper into the recycling bin, Travis comes on stage from the other side, and stands close to MICHAEL forcing him to bump into TRAVIS as he turns around.

TRAVIS

Oi watch it! What did I tell you LOSER!?

(Beat)

Answer my question, NERD!

MICHAEL dodges around TRAVIS.

MICHAEL

Stop being such a mean person.

TRAVIS

What did you say?!

MICHAEL

You. Heard. Me.

TRAVIS walks menacingly towards Michael who is cowering.

MICHAEL

You think you’re so cool and dominant by bullying other people…

TRAVIS

What the?! You know nothing about me! Why do you think you can go around telling me things like you’re better than me? (He pushes Michael and holds him against the wall but Michael remains calm.)

MICHAEL

I know more than you think. I know you’re just an insecure little boy who picks on others because of YOUR own problems. You think you’re high and mighty, but you’re not. You’re just too scared to admit you’re the one with problems and that you’re only hurting others to get away from your own hurt. I’m not the one with problems YOU ARE!

TRAVIS

How did you-

MICHAEL

I saw you and your Dad…

TRAVIS

What the hell are you talking about?!

MICHAEL

Your Dad-

TRAVIS

(Slamming MICHAEL against the wall and goes face-to-face with him.) Why are you interfering with my life? How do you even know that? Are you stalking me or something? There is something seriously wrong with you! What a loser. This is probably why you get screwed around with-

MICHAEL

Far out Travis! Don’t be such an idiot. (Fast) The other day at school I know you saw me-

TRAVIS

No you didn’t!

(Beat)

OK FINE, I did, so what?

MICHAEL

Look, you don’t have to hide. Not anymore.

(Beat)

I know how it feels to be so sad. My Mum died when I was 5.

TRAVIS

You’re lying.

MICHAEL

Oh Travis why would I lie about something so important?

Beat…TRAVIS sinks to his knees.

TRAVIS

Basically my Dad hates me!

MICHAEL

I think he blames you for her death. He clearly cared a lot about her. And because you arrived when she left he thinks you replaced her and sent her away…

TRAVIS

Ever since my mum died he’s been hurting me…swearing at me…and treating me like …I’m nothing (softly) and it hurts.

MICHAEL

Well then, you know how I feel when you treat me that way…

TRAVIS

I’m sorry…I didn’t (whispers) I’m sorry…

TRAVIS starts to cry, MICHAEL kneels down and embraces him.

TRAVIS

Thank you Michael for showing me what I was turning into. I didn’t even see it-

MICHAEL

It’s okay!

Michael and Travis stand up.

TRAVIS

I’ll think about what you said. I didn’t know that you could be so wise. Thanks again!

Lily starts to walks on stage from the other side and stops when she sees Travis gives Michael a hug and exits. Lily walks up to Michael.

LILY

Woah! Woah! Was that a HUG I just saw!?

MICHAEL

Yeah (laughs) He tried to bully me again but I stood up to him… (Cheekily) You proud of me?

Lily kisses Michael quickly on the cheek

LILY

Yeah.

MICHAEL

What the!?

LILY

Truth is, I’ve liked you ever since we met but I was too scared to say it. When I told you to stand up to Travis and you did, I realised that I needed some courage too. So here I am, thanks to you.

Michael smiles with delight, kisses her on the cheek then they hug.

THE END

Photo credit Flickr by Working Word