July 31, 2006

A Play A Day #109

The Art Of Apology

Ms. Jeppy

Setting: High school classroom

Ms. Jeppy: (enters pulling Art, a large jock, by the arm to spot where Silas, a small nerd, is standing, attempting to clean himself with massive amounts of tissue. His face has been extremely damaged, his clothing ripped. It's evident he's been beaten very badly) Get in here, Art! You will answer for this... this atrocity toward another student... a perfectly nice young gentlemen beaten to the brink of unconsciousness... for what! For what, Art!

Art: I dunno.

Ms. Jeppy: It's a good thing you beat him so close to my classroom; I shudder to think what would have happened if you'd have done this by Mr. Lorenze's room!

Art: Coach woulda got mad.

Ms. Jeppy: Well, I've heard other things about Mr. Lorenze's character... which I needn't elaborate on, but if there isn't some massive apologizing going on here very soon, I will see to it that your football season is over.

Art: It is over. We lost yesterday in the sectional tourney.

Ms. Jeppy: Good! Yes, you heard me, good! Does that give you an excuse for beating up Silas, here?

Art: No.

Ms. Jeppy: No! Nothing does! But you did! Just showing off for your football buddies?

Art: No.

Ms. Jeppy: You're just naturally a brute? Is that it, Art?

Art: No, I don't think so.

Ms. Jeppy: Why haven't you apologized yet?

Art: Because you're talking to me.

Ms. Jeppy: By all means! (indicating Silas)

Art: Hey, Silas.... I'm really sorry for repeatedly punching you in the face and stomach like I did.

Silas: (mumbling though swollen lips, broken teeth) It's O.K.

Ms. Jeppy: Silas! What do you mean it's o.k.?! This is not o.k. by any stretch of the imagination!

Silas: I'm sorry.

Ms. Jeppy: Don't apologize to me for heaven sake!

Art: He's not. (back to Silas) I wish I could say I felt bad about everything, but I think you got what you deserved...

Ms. Jeppy: Art!! Stop this...

Silas: Let him talk.

Art: In fact, I kinda feel like one more punch would have been exactly enough, but I was stopped short of that by Ms. Jeppy here. Don't you agree?

Silas: Yes.

Ms: Jeppy: What is this... nonsense?

Art: (overlapping Ms. Jeppy) When I think of all the good times we used to have together. I know we weren't the best of friends until a few months ago. But, there was just something about you. You came to my house and fixed my computer. My friends were there, and you impressed them with everything you knew.

I mean they knew you were a nerd, and a wuss... some of them even called you idiot, retard or fag... it was obvious that you weren't an idiot, or even a retard for that matter...

My parents... man, they just fell in love with you... you were fixing all the broken electronic stuff around our house, staying over to eat, helping me and Amy with our homework...

You got a great sense of humor for a faggot, and... I... (breaking down a bit) ... I... fell in love with you. You said just the right things about how it mut be difficult trying to be a top jock with all the pressure on me to win. Win! WIN!! WIN!!! DAMNIT!!! You're NOTHING unless you win!!!

It felt so good to hear someone put my suffering into words for the first time. I didn't even realize how bad the stress was until you told me. You could see right through me. You accepted me for what I was, a jock, but one who liked the locker room as much as the field.

And... man... could you kiss! Wow! It was always like heaven.

Then, you took advantage of the situation. You wired my little sister's bedroom with surveillance cameras, then you sold the videos online. Her walls, her shower, her toilet! You took videos of a 14-year old girl and sold them to pedophiles online!!

How long would you have kept it up? How long would you have used our love as a platform for your sick business? You're lucky my dad got arrested this morning. The FBI came through and swept him up. He's completely innocent, and it probably saved your ass. You would have screwed up sooner or later, but they arrested your human shield before you did.

Do you know what the newest files on his hard drive were? Do you!? Amy! His own daughter. Of course you know, you put them there! Why would he do that to his own daughter? He wouldn't! He's innocent, and you're a hacker.

You used his computer, his bank accounts, his passwords to run your damn, pervert company! Now, he has to explain the douments, the e-mails, the receipts, the web sites, and everything else you hid on his hard drive. Now he has the purchases for four tiny cameras paid for on his credit card.

Who's going to believe him? The news is already declaring him guilty! It's always nice to take a politician down. No one's going to feel real sympathy for him. No one is going to be able to stop licking up the irony of a conservative Christian state Senator getting tried for child pornography. You knew that. You hated what he stood for. As soon as he introduced that internet pornography bill; you had to take him down.

He's gone, forever... I can't testify in his favor; I can't tell them about you. It would mean that I'd have to tell the world about us! Tell everyone, my teammates, my coach, my girlfriend, my Dad and everyone who voted for him that I'm gay. Even worse, I'd be telling everyone who never voted for him. I can't give them that satisfaction.

My mom has been sober for over ten years. Not anymore, Silas! She's falling apart! She's guilty by association. She's dying, she's not eating, not sleeping, not talking, because of you!

My sister ran away yesterday. Not before stealing as much money as she could find around the house. No one has any idea where she is. No one.

So, yeah, I came to school today to kill you. (long pause, change in demeanor) I couldn't do it. I loved you, Silas! Now I have to hate you! I have to. (long pause) I'm really sorry for punching you in the face so often, even if it felt one hit short of satisfaction.

(Looks at Ms. Jeppy for a long while, she's almost in total shock, lights start fading, then Ms. Jeppy makes a quick motion for Art to see, Art takes the free pass by the teacher, and punches Silas in the face once more, very hard. Silas crumbles. Lights out.)


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