Come with Me: A Collection of Short Plays - Part 5
ST.ART has compiled its first experimental dramatic writing collection to bring you Come with Me. Five playwrights from St Andrews, Stirling, and DePaul University (Chicago, USA) have collaborated to write a short series of one-page plays. The only rule was that every play had to begin with the line “Come with me.” The result is a wide range of creative interpretations, tones, and situations. This is the fifth play in the cycle.
By Claire Guderjahn
A coffee shop. A man mid-20s and a woman soon approaching menopause. Other coffee connoisseurs are in the background, playing an arbitrary game of cards, occasionally blurting the status of their game. The coffee that everyone drinks is clearly black, as supported by their mannerisms. Each time someone takes a sip, they try to hide a wince at the taste. Gwen has a computer pulled out facing her.
GWEN: Come with me. Panama. A one-way ticket. I’ll pay. It’s ours. Ours.
ANDREW: (Sighs heavily, while making heavy eye-contact that lasts for about twenty seconds. Breaks it suddenly) I’m not going to leave a two year old in the hands of the unknown.
GWEN: But you’ll just as easily hold yourself back from the unknown.
ANDREW: This isn’t about me anymore.
GWEN: She isn’t your child, it’s not your fault that your sister got caught.
(Andrew stares at her for a couple seconds) Andrew. It’s not your fault. It’s. Not. Your. Fault.
Andrew takes a long drink, then looks at Gwen.
ANDREW: I’m sorry Gwen. I admire and respect and adore you. I do.
As Andrew speaks, the men playing cards get progressively louder, then cut off as Andrew says:
ANDREW: But I don’t love you. I don’t think that I do at least. And I know that I love her. And I know that she deserves an education and a loving parental figure and (referring to Gwen) or, maybe two parental figures but that simply cannot happen in a place like Panama. We cannot happen in a place like Panama.
GWEN: You’re right (takes sip) .
ANDREW: No! I just…I mean. Yes. I am. She is two (hands rubbing temples) and we are-
GWEN: I am.
ANDREW: We both are so much older.
GWEN: Because I’m 20 years older than you and not as sexually inclined anymore?
Card Players cheer loudly in background.
ANDREW: I’ve told you Gwendalin (grabbing her despondent hand) age means not a thing to me.
GWEN: But a girl of two years.
ANDREW: Two years.
GWEN: Makes the choice? Matters?
ANDREW: She’s my life
GWEN: You’re your life.
ANDREW: You’re my life.
GWEN: (takes a long sip without breaking eye contact.) Am I? (Turns computer to Andrew) A one-way ticket is only 500 euros.
Andrew places his fingers on the computer’s mousepad.