.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2016
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com

REALITY CHECK – written by Tanis Harms

PREMISE:     Five girls from five different homes,
.            each hide their own harsh reality
.            with the typical problems that haunt
.            young people today.  With a message
.            of salvation and hope for teens,
.            there are also lessons for the parents.
STYLE:       drama
TOPIC:       rebellion, salvation
SCRIPTURE:   Ephesians 5:1-6:4;  John 3:16
NOTES:       for CAST, SET, PROPS, MUSIC

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SCRIPT:                  ACT 1
.                      DOWN STAGE

SOUND:       school bell

(EILEEN leads the way with BECKY, AMANDA and TRISH
following her with duty.  MANDY passes by and
nudges BECKY rudely.  EILEEN sees that and stops
to call out after MANDY.)

EILEEN       Mandy!  What is your problem?
.            Leave my friends alone!  
.            Or are you too afraid to challenge ME?
.            (to herself)  I hate her so much!
.            (looking around)  Where’s Olivia?

TRISH        Probably with Tom.

EILEEN       I hate that guy, too.  
.            Olivia could do so much better.

(OLIVIA finally rushes in.)

OLIVIA       Hey!

EILEEN       Did you dump Tom yet?
.                                                      2
OLIVIA       I can’t find him anywhere.  Oh well.
.            And I’m not dumping him!
.            Just because he doesn’t measure up
.            to your standards- whatever those are.

(EILEEN scowls, but the intimidation attempt doesn’t
work, as OLIVIA casually fishes around in her purse.)

BECKY        You’re not going to light up here,
.            are you?

OLIVIA       Are you my mother?  Oh wait,
.            my mom would have lit up already.

BECKY        Seriously, (nods to something off stage)
.            the school security is RIGHT there.
.            I just don’t want to get into trouble.

(OLIVIA puts the box of cigarettes back into
the purse begrudgingly.)

OLIVIA       Okay!  Good thing you have those eagle eyes.

AMANDA       Only because her parents can afford
.            to buy her contact lenses.

BECKY        You guys COULD wear your glasses-

AMANDA       NOW you sound like MY mother!  So not cool.

TRISH        (to EILEEN)  So what are we doing tonight?

EILEEN       There’s a house party at Greg’s,
.            and his parents are not home.

TRISH        Awesome!

OLIVIA       You guys have fun.

EILEEN       You are NOT going out with Tom again!

OLIVIA       My boyfriend - whether you like it or not.

AMANDA       You could bring him to the party-

EILEEN       (rolling her eyes)  Uch!
.                                                       3
(TOM sneaks up and grabs OLIVIA’s shoulders and
gives her a kiss on the side of the neck.  
OLIVIA scrunches up her shoulders with a giggle.)

OLIVIA       Where were you?  I was looking all over-

TOM          Listen!

(TOM looks suddenly to the side of the stage
that MANDY exited to, then back to OLIVIA.)

TOM          I’ve got a gig tonight.

OLIVIA       (hopefully)  So I can come and listen?

TOM          Ah, look - you really have to be 21
.            to get in.

OLIVIA       I’ve got my fake id –
.            and you can sneak me in again.

TOM          The manager’s catching on.  Sorry babe.
.            Look, I’ve got to go- gotta get set up.
.            Maybe I’ll catch you later.

(TOM kisses her neck again, then struts off.)

EILEEN       That was disgusting.

TRISH        On the bright side,
.            you can now come to the party with us!

EILEEN       Becky, are you in?

BECKY        I- can’t.  I have- something- planned-

AMANDA       (sneering)  It’s youth group night.

(BECKY throws a little scowl at AMANDA
as EILEEN starts making fun.)

EILEEN       Youth group night?

AMANDA       A church-thing.

EILEEN       Kill me now.  You’re not serious.
.                                                      4
BECKY        Look- ah- it’s not as lame as-

OLIVIA       That’s okay, you can be our token good-girl.

BECKY        (sighs)  I just know my parents
.            will see the youth leader at some point,
.            and ask how things are going, and he’ll say-

AMANDA       Oh man!  I did not think about that.
.            Ugh!  I just KNOW my parents have the
.            youth pastor reporting directly to them.
.            I’m going to be in BIG trouble.

EILEEN       So you’re going to jam on us too?

AMANDA       Oh no– I’m going.  I’ll just be
.            in big trouble.  But that’s okay.
.            They’ll ground me for life and make me
.            listen to recorded sermons.  I just
.            turn up the volume and sneak out my window.

EILEEN       I would never have thought of you
.            as the religious-type.

AMANDA       My PARENTS are!  And part of that
.            is forcing their beliefs onto us.

TRISH        (curiously to BECKY)  That is weird.

BECKY        My parents aren’t like that.  They talk-
.            like- it’s having a relationship with God-
.            and we go to church because we- WANT - to-

(OLIVIA is about to ask BECKY a question but
AMANDA cuts in with her bitter speech.)

AMANDA       Well, we go to church because we HAVE to.
.            Because it LOOKS good!
.            It’s all about the do’s and the don’ts.

EILEEN       (to AMANDA)  I think you win the prize
.            for having the weirdest parents.

AMANDA       Thanks.

(GIRLS exit.)
.                                                      5
.              UPPER RIGHT CENTER – CHAIRS

(Relaxing in chairs, arms reaching out to hold hands,
GERALD and FRANCESCA are deep in discussion
when EILEEN enters and holds out her hand to GERALD.  
Letting go of GERALD’S hand, FRANCESCA becomes agitated.)

EILEEN       Dad!  There’s a party tonight.
.            I need money for a new dress.

FRANCESCA    She’s just going to use it for drugs.

EILEEN       (to FRAN)  Why do you hate me so much?

GERALD       My daughter does not do drugs.
.            It’s the lower-class who do that.

FRANCESCA    I do not hate you.

EILEEN       You just want all my Dad’s money
.            for yourself.

GERALD       (going for wallet)  Is a hundred enough?

EILEEN       I also need something for supper.

(GERALD hands EILEEN a wad of money.)

FRANCESCA    You’re just enabling her.
.            She needs structure and discipline-

GERALD       Francesca, please.  She’s my daughter.

EILEEN       Thanks, Dad.  Love you.

(EILEEN gives GERALD a quick peck on the cheek and
throws a smug smile at FRANCESCA before rushing out.)

FRANCESCA    Sorry for trying to care.

GERALD       You know I love my daughter – very much.
.            So, when she’s happy - I’m happy.

FRANCESCA    And the rest of the world has to suffer?

(FRANCESCA shakes her head and gets up to leave.)
.                                                      6
GERALD       Francesca!  Francesca!  You know I love you!
.            Eileen is my daughter!  Do not make me choose-  

(GERALD finally gets up to follow after FRANCESCA.)

.             UPPER LEFT CENTER - KITCHEN TABLE

(MARK, NOREEN and WILL are sitting at the table
finishing their supper when AMANDA walks by.)

MARK         Where are you going?

AMANDA       Ahhh, I have youth group, remember?

NOREEN       You need to eat something first.

MARK         Amanda!  Listen to your mother!

(AMANDA rolls her eyes, then turns to sit at the table,
barely able to look at the food on her plate.  
She begins to move her food around with a fork.)

MARK         Just stop playing with your food and eat.
.            Your mother went to great lengths
.            to prepare this.

(AMANDA pretends to take a tiny bite.)

MARK         What is wrong with you?

AMANDA       I don’t like fish.  I can buy something
.            on my way to youth group.

(MARK glares at AMANDA sternly.  AMANDA tries to eat
a bit of food and catches herself gagging.

MARK         This is pathetic.

AMANDA       I guess you just have two pathetic children
.            who always disappoint you.
.            What would people say, if they knew?

WILL         (with sweet sarcasm)  Thank you, Amanda!

AMANDA       Don’t worry.  We’ll just pull ourselves up
.            by our own bootstraps, right?
.                                                      
NOREEN       Amanda, please, that is enough!

MARK         Go to your room!  We’ll drive you
.            to youth group when it’s time!

(AMANDA gets up with a smirk.)

MARK         And take your food with you!

WILL         She’ll just flush it down the toilet.

MARK         We better not hear the toilet flush.

(AMANDA scowls at WILL as she exits with her plate.)

MARK         (to WILL)  You can judge once you
.            get YOUR act together.

NOREEN       (nervous, but trying to appear calm)
.            I can look through Amanda’s room later,
.            once you’ve all left the house.

(MARK nods his approval.  [Family exits with dishes.])

.              UPPER CENTER – CHEAP FUTON

(DARLA and VANCE try waltzing.  DARLA laughs as VANCE
spins her around and sends her flying onto the futon,
sending a pillow and blanket to the floor.  
VANCE flops down beside DARLA, both laughing.
OLIVIA enters in time to see this and turns away
toward the congregation.  DARLA sees this and stops.)

DARLA        Don’t you judge me, young lady!

OLIVIA       I didn’t say anything.

DARLA        (getting up)  I had to fold up your bed
.            this morning!

OLIVIA       Sorry!

(OLIVIA looks at her bedding on the floor, then at VANCE
who starts walking away toward the “bedroom.”)

VANCE        Darla, I’ll be in the room waiting.
.                                                      8
(Exasperated, OLIVIA quickly picks up the bedding
to put back onto the futon.)

DARLA        This one’s different, Olivia.

OLIVIA       I know.  That’s what you always say.
.            Is there anything to eat?

DARLA        Ugh!  I knew I forgot something.

OLIVIA       I’m going out.

DARLA        (playfully)  Don’t do anything I would do.

OLIVIA       You’re so funny, Mom.

(DARLA grabs OLIVIA to give her a hug.  OLIVIA hangs
limply in her mother’s arms until it’s over.)

DARLA        (mocks a mom’s advice)  Ah, well, it stops
.            being funny when you pick up an STD.

OLIVIA       You’re HIGH, mom.

(OLIVIA walks out as she says this.)

DARLA        (singing out as if it is a joke)
.            Olivia!  I love you, hon’!  You know that.

VANCE        (from off stage)  Darla!
.            How long does a guy have to wait?

(DARLA responds to her name and exits to find VANCE.)

.                LEFT – KITCHEN CABINETS

(TRISH enters with a cup, which she quickly hides
in the cabinet when she hears SANDRA and ROBERT’S
voices behind her.  The PARENTS enter all dressed up,
with SANDRA preening and adjusting ROBERT’S tie.)

SANDRA       (to ROBERT)  One moment, Robert.
.            Your tie is askew.

ROBERT       You’re the one who put it on.

SANDRA       But you fiddled with it, didn’t you?       9
.            You knew I was a perfectionist
.            before you married me.

TRISH        (fishing for some attention)
.            You’re home early.

SANDRA       We have a function with an important
.            client tonight.

TRISH        Aren’t they ALL important?

ROBERT       THAT’S your daughter!

SANDRA       I’m so proud.

TRISH        Is the function yours or Dad’s?

ROBERT       Your mother’s the one on the fast-track.

SANDRA       If you’d take my advice,
.            you’d have more in the pipeline.

ROBERT       Do I get a family discount?

SANDRA       We can negotiate.

(A little dizzy, TRISH leans against the counter.
SANDRA finally notices TRISH again.)

SANDRA       Do you have any plans tonight?...  Trish?

(TRISH puts on a sudden smile to cover up.)

TRISH        Yep.  I’m going out with friends.

SANDRA       Not with that trailer trash,
.            what’s her name?

TRISH        Olivia?

SANDRA       That’s it.

TRISH        I’m hanging with Eileen.

ROBERT       Eileen Backenstose?

SANDRA       Oh, she’s from good pedigree.             10
.            A bit spoiled perhaps, but if you get
.            the chance to network with her father,
.            take the opportunity and make a good
.            impression.  With his connections,
.            he could help you get into Princeton.

ROBERT       Have we NOT heard from Princeton yet?

SANDRA       No, and that’s what concerns me.

ROBERT       Well, we really should be going
.            if we are to be downtown by eight.

(From across the room, SANDRA kisses the air in both directions.  TRISH
quickly smiles and copies the motion.)

SANDRA       Kiss-kiss, dear.

ROBERT       Love you, cupcake.

SANDRA       Robert, please don’t call her that.

(SANDRA comments as they exit.  TRISH waits until
they are gone before pulling out her cup and
exiting in the other direction.)

.                      RIGHT – SOFA

(BRIAN reads the paper while CONNIE sews a button
onto a shirt.  BECKY walks through the room.)

BECKY        Thanks for supper, Mom.

CONNIE       You’re very welcome.

BECKY        Dad, do you need the car tonight?
.            If not, I can drive myself to youth group.

BRIAN        We’re not going anywhere, are we?

CONNIE       (smiling at BRIAN)  No, we finally
.            have an evening to do nothing.
.            (to BECKY)  Oh, don’t forget Matt.

BRIAN        Matthew!  The youth group express
.            is about to leave.
.                                                     11
MATT         (from off stage)  Do I have to go?

BRIAN        It would be nice.  (in a sing-song way)

(As BRIAN fishes out the car keys from a pocket to give
to BECKY, CONNIE observes BECKY’S attire and smiles.)

CONNIE       You are all dressed up.  Is there a guy
.            at church you’re trying to impress?

BECKY        Mo-om.  No!

CONNIE       Okay, just checking.  Have a good time.

BRIAN        Drive safely!

(MATT enters.  BRIAN calls out after MATT and BECKY
as they walk out.)

.                      DOWN STAGE

(Walking towards stage left, BECKY gets the car keys
ready as MATT follows.)

MATT         Once we get to church,
.            just leave the keys with the car.  
.            I’m going to – take a nap in the backseat.

BECKY        Nice try.

MATT         Then drop me off at the arcade.
.            And don’t tell Mom and Dad.

BECKY        No problem.

MATT         What?  No big-sister-lecture?  Ahhhh-
.            you’re planning to ditch youth group, too.

BECKY        No!

MATT         So I can ask around later to see
.            if you were really there?

BECKY        Shut up.  Okay, I’m not going.

MATT         Good!  Then we can have each other’s back.
.                                                   12
.                      DOWN STAGE

SOUND:       dance music, with mostly a beating bass

(EILEEN, TRISH, OLIVIA and AMANDA enter at stage right.
EXTRA TEENS can be hanging out, discretely so it
doesn’t distract from dialogue.)

EILEEN       Nice party!  All the important people
.            are here.

TRISH        My parents would be so proud.
.            Networking at its finest.

AMANDA       (surprised)  Check it out, here comes Becky.

(EILEEN looks behind to see BECKY entering from
stage left.)

EILEEN       Becky, you bad girl.

TRISH        You bad church-girl.

BECKY        Don’t call me that.

EILEEN       Isn’t it the truth?
.            Hey! want me to introduce you to my guy?

BECKY        You have a boyfriend?

EILEEN       I could call him that.
.            He can be your boyfriend too.

BECKY        Ah, no thanks?

EILEEN       You don’t know what you’re missing.

(GREG enters, looking around, then puts his hands up
to his head in distress.)

EILEEN       Greg!  Awesome party!

(GREG rushes up to the girls.)

GREG         Neighbors are complaining.
.            I think they’re calling the cops.
.                                                     13
EILEEN       Already?  You’re not serious.

GREG         Serious!

(GREG rushes away looking for other people.
EXTRA TEENS start to scatter.)

BECKY        So why are we just standing around?

EILEEN       Relax, I’m still waiting for something.

TRISH        Come on, Eileen.  Let’s go!  Now!

EILEEN       Why?  IF the cops come, they’ll probably
.            just tell us to keep the music down.

OLIVIA       I cannot afford any more charges.

BECKY        You have a record?

TRISH        Shoplifting.

OLIVIA       Thanks a lot, Trish.

TRISH        You brought it up.

EILEEN       Psh!  My dad will bail me out.

OLIVIA       Well I’ve got to get out of here!
.            I don’t have a rich Dad in my back pocket-
.            and there aren’t any do-overs in life!

BECKY        Ah, I’m going with you.

AMANDA       Might as well.

EILEEN       See you later, wimps.

TRISH        Eileen, you’re coming with us.

(EILEEN pushes TRISH’S hand off her arm.)

EILEEN       Stop.  I can’t go just yet.

TRISH        Eileen, you’re not thinking straight.

(DEALER rushes past.)                                14

EILEEN       (playfully)  Hang on – there goes my –
.            boyfriend.  Yo, boyfriend!
.            You have something for me?

(EILEEN quickly makes an exchange and stuffs something
into her pocket.)

OLIVIA       Will you hurry up with that!

EILEEN       (turns back to the girls with a smile)
.            A little something for the road.

TRISH        Great, now she’s also holding.

(TRISH and OLIVIA usher EILEEN off, with AMANDA and
BECKY following.)

.              UPPER RIGHT CENTER – CHAIRS

(FRANCESCA enters, holding a baby to her shoulder.  
Settling down into a chair, she begins to feed the baby
while cradling it tenderly.  EILEEN enters and
rolls her eyes at the sight.)

FRANCESCA    You’re finally awake.  Is today
.            the day you finally clean your room?

EILEEN       Where’s my Dad?

FRANCESCA    There was an emergency call.

EILEEN       Well, I need some cash...

(FRANCESCA shakes her head sadly.)

EILEEN       (pleading)  Come on, Francesca.
.            (threatening)  You know I’ll tell!

FRANCESCA    I don’t have any.

EILEEN       Liar!

FRANCESCA    What I have is just enough for the nanny
.            to get diapers and baby formula.

EILEEN       LIAR!                                 15

FRANCESCA    Please stop yelling.  You’re starting
.            to upset the baby.

EILEEN       You haven’t seen ANYTHING yet!

(FRANCESCA gets up while bouncing and shushing the baby
to exit and get away from EILEEN.)

FRANCESCA    Eileen, one day this will all catch up
.            to you.

(EILEEN rants and raves after FRANCESCA who as exited.)  

EILEEN       One day, my dad is going to see the real you,
.            and find someone to replace you.
.            Just like he did with my mom!
.            But he will never turn his back on me.
.            I come before any of you!
.            And – one day – I’ll convince him
.            to do a paternity test on your child!

(EILEEN turns to exit and sees Francesca’s purse.  
EILEEN quickly pulls out the cash and exits.)

.             UPPER LEFT CENTER - KITCHEN TABLE

(Sitting at the table, MARK reads a newspaper
while NOREEN looks through a recipe book.  
NOREEN cocks an ear, perplexed.  Then AMANDA enters.)

NOREEN       Amanda! Did I just hear you throw up?
.            Are you sick?

AMANDA       Ah, yeah, just a - bit of the flu.

(NOREEN jumps up to touch AMANDA’S forehead.  
AMANDA pulls away and sits down.)

NOREEN       We should take you to the doctor.

AMANDA       Mom!  I’ll survive.  I’m not THAT sick.
.            Just getting a glass of water.

(MARK looks up from the newspaper.)

MARK         Some kids were arrested last night       16
.            on possession charges.  Ever hear of them?
.            Bruce Eldridge, and- Greg Foreman-

NOREEN       I’m sure Amanda doesn’t know those people.

AMANDA       I THINK they go to my school.

MARK         They do?

NOREEN       Do you think we should homeschool?

AMANDA       Noooo!  Please, no.  School is totally safe.
.            Dealers only bother the ones who are into
.            that scene.  They leave us other kids alone
.            because they don’t want us to nark on them.

MARK         Where do you even learn such words?

AMANDA       (quickly thinking)  Ah, TV.

MARK         Sounds like you’re watching too much TV.

AMANDA       (groans)  Why do I even bother talking?

MARK         It’s when the parents do not care,
.            that kids get into trouble.

AMANDA       I’m – going to lie down now – and study.

NOREEN       Have you listened to that taped sermon
.            on peer pressure yet?...  Amanda?

AMANDA       (robotically obedient)  I’ll do that later.

MARK         We need to start quizzing her on that.

.              UPPER CENTER – CHEAP FUTON

(OLIVIA sits on her futon with her back turned
to the congregation.  She has her skirt/one pant leg
pulled up and pretends to cut her leg at the knee,
holding a rag/tissue [already pre-stained.]  
DARLA enters suddenly and OLIVIA quickly wipes her leg
and pulls her clothes down and hides whatever it was
that she used to cut herself, and quickly holds
the bloody rag behind her back.)
.                                                     17
DARLA         What were you doing?  I saw something.
.             Are you shooting up?

(DARLA pulls at OLIVIA’S arm to look for track marks
and sees the bloody rag.)

OLIVIA        It’s nothing.  I just cut my leg.

DARLA         Really?  How?

OLIVIA        I was shaving my legs, and it’s – just -
.             taking a while to stop bleeding, is all.

DARLA         Is it bad?  Can I see?
.             If you’re shooting up into your leg!

OLIVIA        What?  Mom!  I don’t do that!

DARLA         Well, did you need a Band-Aid?
.             (looks around helplessly)

OLIVIA        We don’t have any.

DARLA         Well, I can find something else.

OLVIA         This rag is my something else.

DARLA         So, why’d you try hiding that from me?

OLIVIA        Mom!  Can we drop it now?  Okay?...
.             I just didn’t want to upset you.

DARLA         You didn’t want to upset me?...
.             Aw.  You always were so grownup.
.             Like I’ve been saying, you were
.             an adult by the time you were ten.
.             (speaks as she wanders off stage)

OLIVIA        (mutters)  I didn’t exactly
.             have a choice.

DARLA (O.S.)  Did you say something?...  Olivia?!
.             Can you come here and help me get on
.             this dress.  I’m going out tonight.

(OLIVIA sighs and exits to help her mother.)
.                                                      18
.                LEFT – KITCHEN CABINETS

(TRISH enters with a drink in her hand.  Feeling
her phone vibrate, she takes it out to look at it.)

TRISH         Nice, Mom, don’t even take the time
.             to call me.

(TRISH reads the text aloud, mocking her mother.)

TRISH         “Trish, running late.
.             Heat up a frozen dinner.
.             Reminder:  7 pm interview
.             for summer internship program.  Wear
.             the business-appropriate power outfit
.             laid out for you.  Best regards.”

(TRISH reacts negatively then downs the rest of the drink
that is in her cup before exiting.

.                     RIGHT – SOFA

(Sitting on the sofa, BRIAN reads a book while CONNIE does
a needlecraft.  As BECKY enters, both PARENTS look up.)

CONNIE        How was youth group last night?

BRIAN         Why was Matthew not with you?

(BECKY is speechless.  MATT enters the room just then.)

BRIAN         Matt, why weren’t you in youth group
.             last night?

(MATT shoots a quick dirty look at BECKY,
who quickly shakes her head with a shrug.)

MATT          You ratted me out?

BECKY         No!

CONNIE        Matthew, what are we going to do?

BRIAN         Come on, let’s have a talk.

(BRIAN exits with an arm around MATT’S shoulder.)
.                                                   19
CONNIE        (shaking her head)  Life is hard enough
.             without making bad decisions.

(BECKY thinks quickly, wondering if the parents
know anything about what she did.)

BECKY         Mom, I have a confession to make.

(CONNIE sets her needlecraft aside and waits.)

BECKY         Ah, I was not at youth group either...
.             I went to a - party, instead.

CONNIE        I thought you were with Amanda.

BECKY         I- was.  But don’t tell her parents.
.             They’re so unreasonable.

CONNIE        They have a right to know.

BECKY         That they’re so unreasonable?  Seriously,
.             Amanda would pay for it, big time.

CONNIE        Becky, this is serious.

BECKY         (blurting out)  I know!  Why do you think
.             her brother attempted suicide?

CONNIE        Will - attempted suicide?

BECKY         Ugh! Amanda told me that in confidence.
.             You cannot say anything.

CONNIE        I was wondering why he wasn’t back
.             in college this semester.  
.             They just said he was really sick.

BECKY         It’s just- that – Amanda and Will cannot
.             live up to their parents’ standards.
.             I mean, they’re supposed to be perfect-

CONNIE        Well let’s get back to you, then.
.             It’s not that you wanted to go to a party,
.             but why did you feel the need to lie to us?

BECKY         I don’t know.
.                                                   20
CONNIE        Becky, we need to know where you are.
.             You’re old enough to make some decisions
.             for yourself, but we are still
.             responsible for you and your safety.  

BECKY         Nothing bad’s going to happen to me, Mom.  

CONNIE        Even if you’re being careful, there are
.             still other people who could hurt you-

BECKY         And I could get run over by a truck
.             on my way to school.

CONNIE        We still need to know where you’re going.

BECKY         Okay.  Fine!  I’ll always let you know
.             where I’m going.

CONNIE        So how was the party?

BECKY         It was just – kids hanging out-
.             I really wasn’t there for very long-

CONNIE        So, you just went with Amanda?

BECKY         And a few other friends.

CONNIE        Do we know them?

BECKY         I got to know them - through Amanda.

CONNIE        So, kids from church?

BECKY         I don’t – think so.

CONNIE        Not that it’s wrong to have friends
.             who do not go to church.  We should!
.             But your main friends with the biggest
.             influence should be good solid Christians.
.             Well, just know, your father and I
.             love you and we’re always praying for you.

BECKY         Got it.  Thanks, Mom.

(BECKY exits sheepishly.)

.                        ACT 2                        21
.                      DOWN STAGE

SOUND:        school bell

(EILEEN and TRISH enter and stop as MANDY walks by
while looking back at EILEEN with a smirk.)

EILEEN        Get over yourself!  (turning back to TRISH)
.             What is her issue?!

TRISH         Forget about her.  Where is everyone?

(BECKY enters, and stops, debating whether she should
talk to them or not.  EILEEN finally spots BECKY.)

EILEEN        Becky, d’you know where Amanda is?

BECKY         (joins the group)  She wasn’t
.             in class today.  I think she said
.             her mom was dragging her to the doctor.

TRISH         I haven’t seen Olivia all day, either.
.             Probably ditching classes to be with Tom.

EILEEN        He’s such a waste of time.

TRISH         Anyway- what’s the word?

EILEEN        Anyway, party at Charlene’s tonight.
.             It won’t be the best party ever,
.             but it’s something.  You’ll be joining us
.             again, right, Becky?

BECKY         I- think- maybe.  I haven’t decided yet.

TRISH         Youth group night again?

EILEEN        Becky, I’d say it was a no-brainer.
.             Look, you have to make a decision.
.             I mean, if you aren’t going to join us,
.             then you’re not part of our group.

TRISH         Exactly.  It’s hard to trust
.             a goody-two-shoe.

BECKY         I’m not – a goody-two-shoe.
.                                                   22
EILEEN        You’re church-girl - who doesn’t get it.
.             All you are - is a hypocrite!

BECKY         I’m not a hypocrite.  I have not said
.             one thing and done another.

EILEEN        (smugly)  You lied to your parents.

(Not expecting this attack, BECKY is surprised and hurt,
and struggles to think of a comeback.)

BECKY         I actually did tell them.

TRISH         And they were cool with it?

BECKY         They let me make my own decisions.

EILEEN        Wait a sec’.  How much did you tell them?

BECKY         Only that I went to a party!  I’m not-
.             going to talk about you or what you do.
.             That’s your business.

EILEEN        So then you’re coming tonight!  Because
.             if you don’t –I’ll know I can’t trust you.

BECKY         You can trust me.

EILEEN        I just don’t believe you’re really one
.             of us.  If you don’t – get involved –
.             I’ll know that you’re a joke-
.             and we’ll be so over you.
.             And- if I find out that you’re a traitor –
.             I’ll make sure you pay- big time.
.             You’ll WISH you were dead.

TRISH         No one likes a traitor.

BECKY         No problem.  I’ll - see you tonight.

(BECKY walks off stage left, while EILLEN and TRISH
exit stage right, still talking.)

EILEEN        I’m still not convinced that
.             we can trust her.

.                    DOWN STAGE LEFT                  23

(A chair or two can be pushed out.  Holding a file,
DOCTOR motions for AMANDA to sit down.)

DOCTOR        I have your test results here, which
.             show - you are extremely malnourished.

AMANDA        Please do not tell my mother.
.             She’ll just try to shovel truckloads
.             of food down my mouth.

DOCTOR        And besides these test results, I can see
.             signs that you’ve been purging.

AMANDA        What are you talking about?

DOCTOR        You have scarring on your hands and fingers
.             from your teeth – from all the times
.             you put your finger down your throat
.             in order to throw up.  So I know, you are
.             not only anorexic, but - bulimic as well.

AMANDA        So what?  I’m fine.

DOCTOR        You’re not fine.  This is not only
.             unhealthy, but very dangerous.
.             Both these things are very hard on your
.             internal organs, including your heart.

(AMANDA tries to deflect from the issue.)

AMANDA        I don’t have a heart.

DOCTOR        Come on, Amanda.  Listen, I would really
.             like for you to go into treatment-

(AMANDA cracks up laughing.)

DOCTOR        What is so funny?  This is really
.             not a laughing matter.

AMANDA        You don’t know my parents.
.             They do not believe in treatment.
.             We just need to pull ourselves up
.             by our own bootstraps.

DOCTOR        Well, that method is just not going    24
.             to be enough.

AMANDA        Uh-huh.  And if I go into treatment,
.             what will the people say?
.             They’ll find out and wonder –
.             and then all will be lost.
.             Our reputation will be ruined.
.             WE - must appear to be perfect.  And -
.             it’s pointless talking to my parents.
.             THAT’s why my brother attempted suicide?

DOCTOR        Do you realize that what you’re doing –
.             is a slow form of suicide?...
.             And from what I’m hearing you say,
.             this issue is more about control.
.             Because your parents are very controlling,
.             you think that doing this is the one thing
.             in your life that you can control.
.             But we need to get you into treatment -

AMANDA        My PARENTS are the ones needing treatment!
.             They’re the ones who are crazy!
.             But if you talk with them – things will
.             only get worse for me and my brother.
.             It’s a lose-lose situation, and I’m done.
.             (weakly)  I just don’t care.  And there’s
.             nothing you can say or do to stop this.

(AMANDA rushes offstage defiantly.)

.                UPPER CENTER – CHEAP FUTON

(OLIVIA paces the floor, upset.  DARLA enters and stops.)

DARLA         What’s wrong?  Olivia, what is it?

(OLIVIA runs her hands through her hair, shaking her head.)

DARLA         No-no.  No-no... I know that-
.             I know that look of concern.

OLIVIA        Mom!  I’m late.  Really late.

(OLIVIA rushes to hug DARLA, only to be pushed away.)

DARLA         Olivia!  DO NOT say you’re pregnant!
.                                                    25
OLIVIA        I’m not sure yet.

DARLA         Why weren’t you careful?

OLIVIA        I was!  But nothing’s 100 percent.
.             If I could do it all over again-
.             I’d- probably STILL do the same things-
.             What choice do I have?

DARLA         Do you know who the father is?

OLIVIA        Yes, I know who the father is.
.             I’m not exactly like you.

(DARLA is about to hit OLIVIA, then clenches her fist
to stop herself.  OLIVIA steps away quickly.)

DARLA         Doesn’t – matter!...  Olivia!
.             I’m beyond angry.  Having a baby when
.             you’re so young – it changes everything!
.             I just wanted you to have a better life!

(BRAD enters from DARLA’S bedroom area and stands there,
waiting.  OLIVIA sees him and balks.)

OLIVIA        But all I can have – is what you give me.

DARLA         Do not blame me!  This is not my problem.
.             And I refuse to raise another baby!

OLIVIA        (sobbing)  Mom, what am I going to do?

DARLA         Just get away from me.  I need some time.
.             I can’t deal with this right now.
.             Get out!  Get out of here!  Now!

(OLIVIA rushes out, and DARLA tries to keep from crying.
BRAD approaches with something in his hand.)

BRAD          Come on.  Lookie here.  I’ve got
.             something to get you through this.
.             Okay?  Everything’ll be okay.

(BRAD holds something up in front of DARLA.  
She eyes it and slowly follows BRAD out.)

.                 LEFT – KITCHEN CABINETS           26

(TRISH enters and sets her cup onto the cabinet
while she texts something on her phone.  Meanwhile
SANDRA and ROBERT enter behind her and stand waiting
for TRISH to turn around.  When she does,
TRISH is taken by surprised, and quickly reaches
for her cup, but it is too late to hide it.  TRISH pulls
her hand away so as not to draw attention to it.)

SANDRA        Trish!  Just what do you think
.             you’re doing?

TRISH         What - did I do?

SANDRA        We just ran into friends who sit
.             on the committee for the summer
.             internship program.  You were turned down.

TRISH         Ohhh...  Oh well.

SANDRA        Oh well?  You showed up at the interview-
.             drunk!  Or high.  They weren’t quite sure,
.             but, they were not impressed.

ROBERT        Do you have anything to say for yourself?

TRISH         Maybe I don’t want the internship.

SANDRA        Why are you throwing your life away?
.             You just threw away an opportunity
.             of a lifetime!

(TRISH shakes her head and reaches for her cup.
SANDRA swoops over and grabs it before TRISH can.)

SANDRA        And what is that?  (sniffs the contents)
.             Unbelievable.

TRISH         It’s just to take the edge off.

SANDRA        Edge?  What edge?  Edge off of what?
.             You have it made!  You have advantages
.             that most kids would die for.

ROBERT        I never had these opportunities.
.             I had to make things happen for myself.
.                                                  27
TRISH         Because you wanted those things!

SANDRA        We want those same things for you!
.             It’s one of the reasons we work so hard-

TRISH         You’re never home.  I’m all alone.
.             I’m raising myself, yet you expect me
.             to get straight A’s, do every
.             extracurricular activity there is,
.             because I am supposed to become both
.             a lawyer AND a doctor.  But I’m not
.             the super child you want me to be,
.             all right??!!  I just cannot do it!
.             And - I don’t want to do it.

SANDRA        This discussion is not over.  We will
.             come back to it when we have more time.
.             I’ve got a conference call coming up
.             in 5 minutes, and Dad has to see a client.
.             So!  To be continued.

(SANDRA and ROBERT suddenly march off, leaving behind
a bewildered and frustrated TRISH.)

.                      DOWN RIGHT

(OLIVIA enters and looks around.  Stopping to wait,
she finally hears TOM’S voice.)

TOM           I don’t have time right now, okay?

(TOM enters slightly while talking to someone behind him.
Turning forward, he sees OLIVIA and suddenly goes back
to the person he’s been speaking to.)

TOM           Hang on.  There’s someone wanting
.             to speak to me.  Why don’t you - go -
.             wait in the car.  Maybe you’ll find
.             a surprise there, waiting for you.

(TOM sneaks up behind OLIVIA and only speaks once  
he gets close enough, but does so in hushed tones.)

TOM           Olivia.  What are you doing here?

OLIVIA        We need to talk.
.                                                    28
TOM           Why do girls always want to talk?

OLIVIA        Tom, it’s important.

TOM           This is no place to hold a conversation.
.             I told you – I’ll- see you tomorrow.

OLIVIA        But my mom just kicked me out.

(TOM groans and tries to think what to do.  
Meanwhile, MANDY has entered and sees TOM with OLIVIA.  
MANDY runs over and angrily grabs TOM’S jacket.)

MANDY         I don’t believe it!  You said you
.             broke up with her.  You’re such a liar!

TOM           I was getting to it.  Come on.

MANDY         (turns on OLIVIA)  Tom and I are dating!
.             You will have nothing more to do with him!
.             Or I will scratch your eyes out!
.             (back to TOM)  There, did your dirty work
.             for you.  Happy now?  Let’s go.
.             (back to OLIVIA)  You just better stay away
.             or you will feel my vengeance
.             coming down on you so hard.

(MANDY drags TOM out.  OLIVIA puts a hand to her eyes
and exits stage right.)

.                    RIGHT – SOFA

(BECKY enters while putting an earring on.  
CONNIE enters from another direction.)

CONNIE        Going to youth group already?

BECKY         Actually, I’ve- ah- there’s another party.

CONNIE        Another one?

BECKY         It’s Friday – Mom - there’s usually
.             a party somewhere on Fridays.

CONNIE        So that’s it?  You’ll never go to
.             another youth group night again?
.                                                     29
BECKY         Oh, ah, actually, there’s a youth group
.             that meets on Wednesday nights at
.             a different church.  So I was thinking
.             of going to that one, instead...
.             if that’s okay.

CONNIE        Sh- sure.  That would be okay.

(BECKY begins to walk away.)

CONNIE        Now, about the party, where is it?

BECKY         Oh, ah, it’s at Charlene’s.

CONNIE        Will her parents be there?

BECKY         I – would suspect so.

CONNIE        Can I have their address and phone number?

(Doorbell rings while BECKY is thinking of an answer.)

CONNIE        Is someone picking you up?

BECKY         No!  But, I’ll get the door.

(CONNIE speaks as BECKY exits to answer the door.)

CONNIE        I still need that address and phone number!

(OLIVIA enters ahead of BECKY while talking back to her.)

OLIVIA        (upset)  I just need a place to crash.  
.             I couldn’t think of anyone else-

BECKY         Are you okay?

OLIVIA        (crying)  My life’s totally falling apart.

BECKY         It can’t be that bad.

OLIVIA        It’s worse!

CONNIE        Hello?

BECKY         Mom- this- is Olivia.
.                                                  30
OLIVIA        Is- is it okay if I hang here – until-
.             I figure something out?

CONNIE        What do your parents say?

BECKY         Mom!

OLIVIA        There’s only my mom.  And she does not care!
.             We just had a huge blowout-

CONNIE        But...

OLIVIA        She kicked me out.  It’s not the first time
.             but - this time might be it.

BECKY         Why aren’t you with Tom?

CONNIE        Who’s Tom?

OLIVIA        We broke up.  He’s been cheating on me-
.             with Mandy!... (seeing confused expressions)
.             It’s okay, I can find someplace else.

(As OLIVIA turns to go, CONNIE makes a quick decision.)

CONNIE        Ah, no, it’s okay.  You can- you can
.             stay here.

BECKY         I was just heading out to that party-

OLIVIA        I’m REALLY not in the party-mood.

CONNIE        You could always go to youth group.

BECKY         Mo-om.

CONNIE        I’ll leave you two alone.  Just let me know
.             if you plan on going anywhere!

(CONNIE puts up defensive hands and exits.  BECKY gasps.)

BECKY         My mom is driving me crazy!

OLIVIA        Because she cares?  You have no idea
.             how lucky you are!  I wish someone
.             cared that much about me.
.                                                     31
BECKY         I’m sorry.  I hope you can work things out-

OLIVIA        Becky!  I might be pregnant!

BECKY         Ah- are you sure?  How long has it been –
.             since – you know?  Are your clothes
.             starting to feel tight?

(BECKY lifts OLIVIA’S shirt up a bit to look
at the belly.  OLIVIA quickly pulls it down.  
BECKY knows what she saw.)

BECKY         Do you cut?!  Why would you do that?

OLIVIA        Look, I don’t have a perfect life-

BECKY         I don’t have a perfect life either.

OLIVIA        Do you have a drug-addicted mom
.             with tons of boyfriends -
.             who sometimes take advantage of you?

BECKY         No...  Have you been raped?

OLIVIA        Just forget it.  That’s in the past.
.             So tell me - what sort of things
.             do YOU worry about?  Homework?  Zits?

(OLIVIA notices BECKY checking the time.)

OLIVIA        Look, if you want to go to that party,
.             so badly, I’ll go with you.  Whatever.

(BECKY grabs the car keys and yells out.)

BECKY         Mom!  I’m going to the party now!
.             (to OLIVIA)  Come on, let’s hurry!

(BECKY drags OLIVIA out before anything can stop them.)

.                      DOWN STAGE

(Walking towards stage left, BECKY clutches the car keys
as OLIVIA follows behind.)

OLIVIA        Why are we walking so fast?
.                                                     32
BECKY         (stops to face OLIVIA)  If I don’t go
.             to the party tonight, I’m out of the group.

OLIVIA        (gasps)  I am so tired of the party-scene.
.             You’ve no idea. It’s always the same stuff.
.             I don’t even know why you’re so interested.
.             And if Eileen’s threatened you in any way,
.             why’d you want to be her friend so badly?
.             Get out while you can.

BECKY         Why are YOU Eileen’s friend?

OLIVIA        Who ELSE would want to be my friend?

BECKY         (thinking)  Life does not have to be
.             that hopeless.

OLIVIA        You’re saying this - as we rush into
.             another hopeless situation.  Seriously,
.             my life has been filled with parties,
.             but my life is completely empty.
.             I might as well do what my mom does:
.             get high– just forget about everything-
.             take no responsibility-

BECKY         OR – we could - go - to – youth group.

OLIVIA        WHAT exactly IS at youth group?

BECKY         Answers to life’s questions.

OLIVIA        Seriously?  Have you been holding out
.             on me?...  Well, let’s go, then.

BECKY         I mean, you don’t have to, if you don’t
.             want to.  I was just –

OLIVIA        -Joking?

BECKY         No, it’s REALLY serious.  You’ll probably
.             be bored, and think it’s weird and sissy.

OLIVIA        Well then, if nothing else, I’ll have
.             a good laugh.  I could really use
.             a good laugh right about now.

BECKY         I’m just saying, we don’t have to go.    33

OLIVIA        Afraid I’m going to embarrass you?

BECKY         Noooo.

(Bewildered by what she just did, BECKY leads the way,
tentatively, exiting stage left.)

.                      DOWN STAGE

SOUND:        beating dance music

(TRISH enters with two drinks, from stage right while
looking around for someone, until AMANDA rushes up.)

TRISH         Where were you?

AMANDA        I think I just did something
.             I’m going to really regret.

EILEEN        (bounces in to the music)  Hey!

AMANDA        Can we leave now?

EILEEN        Why?

AMANDA        I have to get out of here.

EILEEN        I just dropped a cocktail.

TRISH         Pick it up.  (laughs)

AMANDA        (to EILEEN)  Come on.  You’re my ride.

EILEEN        Party-pooper!

AMANDA        Please?  Look, it’s so embarrassing.
.             I just want to get out of here.

EILEEN        Not yet!  I need something for the road.

TRISH         I think you’re good.

EILEEN        (suddenly angry)  Do not tell me-
.             what you think!  I will decide!
.             Hang on.
.                                                      34
(EILEEN suddenly switches gear and rushes off stage.
TRISH and AMANDA follow.  TRISH shrugs at AMANDA,
wondering what has gotten into EILEEN.)

.                      RIGHT – SOFA

(CONNIE sits on the sofa, reading her Bible, when
BECKY and OLIVIA enter.)

CONNIE        (ready to scold)  Becky!

BECKY         Sorry, we went to youth group.

CONNIE        You did?

OLIVIA        I made her.

CONNIE        And?

OLIVIA        I have a lot of questions.

(OLIVIA suddenly breaks down crying.  BECKY doesn’t
know what to do, so CONNIE rushes over to hug OLIVIA.)

CONNIE        It’s okay, dear.  Whatever you’re going
.             through- it’ll be okay.  We’ll be here
.             to help- whatever you need.  And-
.             we’ll try to answer all your questions
.             as best as we can.

(OLIVIA finally pulls away to dry her tears.)

OLIVIA        You don’t even know me, why would you care?

CONNIE        Olivia, you are loved by God.

OLIVIA        Sure, and that’s why bad things
.             happen to me.

CONNIE        Bad things happen because of sin.
.             Unfortunately, sometimes we suffer
.             because other people sin.  But we all sin,
.             and there are consequences to that.
.             But God wants us to have a life of joy,
.             and have a close relationship with Him.

OLIVIA        So I think I understand.  If I accept    35
.             that Jesus died for my sins, and I would
.             be forgiven – I’d have a fresh new start;
.             but- what happens- if I mess up?

CONNIE        Why don’t we sit down.

(CONNIE goes back to sofa to pick up her Bible.
OLIVIA and BECKY join her.)

BECKY         We still mess up.

CONNIE        Yes.  God knows that we will still sin,
.             even when we’re trying not to.
.             That’s why we need God in our lives.
.             We need to be saved.  And once you become
.             a Christian, there is nothing that can
.             change that.  Not even our own stupidity.

BECKY         I know I can be very stupid.

OLIVIA        I want that!  I mean, not your stupidity,
.             I have enough of my own.

CONNIE        We all do.  So – did you want to pray?
.             Did you want to become a Christian?

OLIVIA        Yes, I definitely want that...
.             So - all I do is - pray?

CONNIE        Just talk to God and - ask Him.

(Seeing CONNIE and BECKY both bow their heads and wait,
OLIVIA does the same.)

OLIVIA        Um, okay... God? I believe that You came
.             and died and bled for me, so I don’t have to.
.             And something about rising again.  But-
.             all I know - is that I need to be saved.
.             I really need to be forgiven, big time;
.             so please forgive me.  I really want to be
.             a Christian.  Thank you so much!...

CONNIE
& BECKY       Amen!

OLIVIA        Amen.  (looks up)  Did I say it right?
.                                                     36
CONNIE        God knows what we mean, so- definitely!

(CONNIE hugs OLIVIA and BECKY joins in for a group hug.)

BECKY         You have a Father now.

OLIVIA        What?!

(OLIVIA looks at BECKY with confusion.)

BECKY         Well, you’re now a child of God.  
.             So God is now your heavenly Father.

OLIVIA        Awesome, I cannot wait to tell my mom.

CONNIE        I’ll- get you girls something to eat?

(As CONNIE nods and exits, OLIVIA turns to BECKY.)

OLIVIA        You have no idea how lucky you are.

BECKY         (humbly nods) ...Yeah, I just realized-
.             I’ve taken a lot for granted.
.             Oh, remind me to get you a Bible.

OLIVIA        Are you sure?

BECKY         Yeah, we have extras.

OLIVIA        I still have a lot of questions.

BECKY         Don’t expect to know everything at once.

(OLIVIA suddenly gasps.)

BECKY         Are you okay?

OLIVIA        Can I use your washroom?

BECKY         It’s down the hall to your right.

(OLIVIA rushes off in that direction.  
CONNIE enters with a bowl of chips.)

CONNIE        Is everything okay?

(As BECKY shrugs, they can hear OLIVIA squeal.       37
CONNIE and BECKY look at each other – wondering.  
Finally OLIVIA returns, dancing.)

OLIVIA        I’m not – (softer)  I’m not pregnant.
.             I’m not pregnant.  (looks up in prayer)
.             Thank you-thank you-thank you!

CONNIE        Oh, sweet children- this is why we pray.

OLIVIA        (sighs)  It’s a really fresh-new-start!
.             THAT part of my old life
.             is definitely going to change.  Right?!
.             I’m definitely going to wait for marriage!

(PHONE rings in the next room.  Nodding her agreement,
CONNIE exits to answer it.)

OLIVIA        So, are you still a virgin?
.             (BECKY nods tentatively)  
.             You are so lucky.
.             But – I’ve got a do-over!
.             I’m so happy I don’t even know
.             what to do with myself.

(OLVIA grabs BECKY’S hands to spin in a circle,
but they stop as CONNIE enters while calling out.)

CONNIE        Brian!  Can you come here!
.             (to BECKY & OLIVIA)  Ah, girls, do you know
.             someone named Trish MacArthur?

(BECKY and OLIVIA nod.  BRIAN enters.)

BRIAN         You called?  Oh, hello.

CONNIE        One of Becky’s friends just called-
.             ah, it was her “one phone call.”

BRIAN         Why wouldn’t she call her parents?

OLIVIA        Probably because they’re not home.

BRIAN         Well, let’s go, see what we can do.

(ALL exit.)

.                      DOWN STAGE                     38

(GERALD and FRANCESCA wait for OFFICER to lead in
a sullen EILEEN.)

FRANCESCA     You really should have left her
.             in there overnight – at least.

EILEEN        You’d like that, wouldn’t you?

FRANCESCA     She will never learn otherwise.

OFFICER       You should listen to your wife.  Your
.             daughter was driving under the influence-

GERALD        But no one got hurt?

(MARK and NOREEN enter.  Seeing GERALD and FRANCESCA,
they hang back to wait like if they’re trying to hide.
OFFICER notices them, but he continues talking.)

OFFICER       It was a close call.  She totaled the car!
.             And she had two passengers with her.

GERALD        But you said - no one was hurt!

OFFICER       Next time could be a whole lot worse.

GERALD        I’m sure she’s learned her lesson.

MARK          (suddenly bursts into the conversation)
.             So it’s YOUR daughter causing all
.             the trouble!  This is what you get
.             for spoiling your child.

OFFICER       Sir, please calm down.

GERALD        I love my daughter.
.             And I would do anything for her.

OFFICER       Right now, what you’re doing -
.             is loving her to death, because,
.             she is headed straight down that path.

GERALD        Save the lecture for someone who
.             does not care.  I love my daughter.
.             I know exactly what she needs.
.                                                     39
OFFICER       (holds out clipboard to GERALD)
.             You need to sign this.

GERALD        If you don’t mind, I’m going to read that
.             first.

(GERALD grabs the clipboard to read the form.  Meanwhile,
BRIAN, CONNIE, BECKY & OLIVIA enter.  OFFICER sees them.)

OFFICER       You’ll have to wait.  I can only
.             process one person at a time.

(BRIAN nods.  MARK and NOREEN shrink with embarrassment.)

MARK          What are you doing here?

BRIAN         We got a call from Trish.

(EILEEN sees and glares at BECKY from across the room.)

EILEEN        Where were you two?

(BECKY is too afraid to answer, so OLIVIA pipes up.)

OLIVIA        (smiling)  Youth group!

EILEEN        You missed a party to go to a church-thing?

OLIVIA        WAY better choice!  I became a Christian.

EILEEN        So you are both out of your minds,
.             and out of the group!

OLIVIA        God loves everyone, you know.  Even you.

FRANCESCA     (to GERALD)  Just sign it already.

OFFICER       Take this!  It won’t be long before you
.             realize you all need some help.

(GERALD signs the form and hands the clipboard
back to OFFICER, who holds out a business card.)
GERALD uses his hand to move the OFFICER’S hand away.  
FRANCESCA quickly grabs the card.)

FRANCESCA     Thank you.
.                                                    40
(As GERALD, EILEEN and FRANCESCA exit, MARK approaches.)

MARK          We’re here to collect our daughter, Amanda.

(As OFFICER exits, MARK and NOREEN speak in hushed tones.)

NOREEN        Please don’t make a scene here.

MARK          It will take everything in my power
.             to contain myself.

(OFFICER escorts in AMANDA, then writes up a new form.)

MARK          I really should have left you in there,
.             but I can just imagine what people would
.             think of us THEN.  I cannot believe you!
.             This will get everyone talking as it is!
.             How could you make us look so bad?

AMANDA        Because that’s my master plan, Dad,
.             making you look bad.

MARK          (seething in AMANDA’S ear)  You will
.             never see the light of day ever again.

NOREEN        Mark, dear, you promised!
.             Brian and Connie are - right - there!

(OFFICER holds out the clipboard, and MARK quickly signs.
NOREEN smiles weakly at CONNIE as they turn to go.)

NOREEN        Well, we- really need to go now.

OLIVIA        Amanda, next time you should come
.             to youth group with us.  I promise!
.             You’ll have way more fun than doing this.

(BECKY attempts to hide her amusement at OLIVIA’S
outspokenness.  MARK nods at BRIAN, as MARK and NOREEN
escort AMANDA out.  OFFICER turns to the BRIAN.)

OFFICER       You are –

BRIAN         Brian Cooper, for Trish MacArthur.
.             Her- parents were unavailable.

(OFFICER nods and exits.  BECKY and OLIVIA          41
look around with wide eyes.)

OLIVIA        You realize, this so easily could have
.             been us.  And with my record-
.             I’d have been sent away for a while.

(As BECKY nods soberly, OFFICER escorts TRISH in and
up to BRIAN and CONNIE, holding out the clipboard.)

TRISH         Thanks.  My parents will reimburse you.

(BRIAN nods his understanding.  While BRIAN reads and
signs the form, TRISH looks over at the beaming OLIVIA.)

TRISH         What happened to you?

OLIVIA        I’ve started a whole new life-thing.
.             I got – a do-over.

TRISH         What are you talking about?

OLIVIA        I - became - a Christian.  It’s the most
.             awesome thing ever!  I want to tell you
.             all about it, and what God has done for us-

TRISH         Save it.  I have such a bad headache
.             right now.

OLIVIA        Okay.  Just let me know when you’re
.             ready to hear it.

TRISH         What is up with you?

OLIVIA        So you’re ready to hear it?  Just know,
.             even though your parents are hardly around,
.             God - is always there for you.

(OLIVIA and TRISH talk as they exit.
BRIAN, CONNIE and BECKY follow.)

CONNIE        Amazing!  Olivia really has no fear,
.             does she?

BECKY         Well, meet my new best friend.  (laughs)
.             Probably my only friend right now...
.             (resignedly)  I love you, Mom and Dad.

(ALL exit.  End with a current upbeat Christian song.)