Who I Am ©
by Shannan Browne
Ronel – Grade 11, good student, balanced individual (Chevon’s sister)
Alison – Grade 11, trendy, mischievous, slightly over-the-top (Christen’s sister)
Taya – Grade 11, Top of her class, uptight, logical character
Chevon – Ronel’s older sister, second Year University, boyfriend is overseas
Christen – Alison’s older sister, second Year University, Chevon’s best friend, in love with David
Setting: Verandah / Garden at the back of Ronel and Chevon’s parent’s home
Set: Outdoor bench and outdoor table with 3 chairs around it
Entrances and exits are to and from the main house stage right
Stage Directions: Kept to a minimum for Director’s discretion on how they want to direct subtext and nuance.
Ronel (off stage): Come guys let’s go outside. (Entering with cool drink in hand) It’s such a gorgeous day; we can’t waste it inside.
Enter Alison (with a cup of tea) and Taya (with her cool drink)
Alison: I’m going to curl up right here all afternoon! (she curls up comfortably on a seat)
Taya: Not only do you love cats Ali, now you look like one too.
Alison: Nothing wrong with knowing how to chill out Taya. You should try it some time. Get a cup of tea, close those horrible school books and just RE-LAX!
Taya: Whatever! Then I’d end up next to you with D’s on my report card.
Alison: Well as my big sister says: "Any mark above 50%, means you’ve worked too hard." So I’ll take my 60% and my cup of tea thank-you very much.
Ronel: You’re so lucky that your parents don’t mind what you get.
Alison: Oh, they mind, but I show them that my marks are above the grade average and I convince them that I can’t be doing too badly if I’m above average. I reckon my last year is the only year where I have to get A’s. Until then, I’m working on my relaxation techniques.
Taya: Alison, you are so weird.
Alison: No, dear Taya, I like to think of myself as having my priorities right. Besides what’s the point in stressing when you do enough of it for all of us?
Taya: (about to protest, she stops, takes a moment to think and then agrees) I do, don’t I?
Alison: Yes, you do; but don’t stop. It’s great! Makes my life look like a piece of cake!
Ronel: Speaking of cake, did anyone bring out the cupcakes we bought on the way home?
Alison: Cupcakes? Oh, I forgot about those. Cake; yes, the only reason to get off this bench. I’ll be back. (Alison heads off to fetch the cupcakes and serviettes from inside the house)
Taya: Am I really that bad Ronnie?
Ronel: (smiling at her dear friend) Yes, my friend, you are that bad. Remember last year when we wrote our Grade 10 Math paper?
Taya buries her head in her hands at the embarrassment of the memory and groans
Ronel (softly laughing): You couldn’t hold any of your food down for the whole day! You broke into that hectic sweat and the teacher gave you that towel. I only laughed because I know you and I know that’s what you are always like. It doesn’t matter (she consoles Taya) girl, cause you still get those ‘A’s! I don’t know how you do it, or why you stress so much, but clearly it works for you.
Taya: I don’t know if it is working anymore Ronnie. I’m starting to think it’s really bad for me. I get these panic attacks, and I have crazy nightmares where I get the wrong paper, or I can’t remember anything, or time starts speeding up and I can’t write fast enough and then the teacher rips the paper out from under my pen; and I wake up screaming or crying. I hate it.
Ronel: Eish, I didn’t know it was that bad. You’ve never said anything.
Taya: I’ve been hoping it would go away, but it’s getting worse and I’m not sure what to do.
Ronel: Have you spoken to Mrs Teek? She was great when I asked her about my subject choices in Grade 9. Maybe she can help you, or at least tell you who to speak to.
Taya: I can’t go to a teacher. What if they think I’m some kind of lunatic or they take me out of the A class? Or what if she tells my parents? I’ll die!
Ronel: Well, at the rate you’re going it sounds like you are going to die anyway. (She teases Taya) Strangled by lines of poetry, drowned in mathematical equations, and stabbed by the brutal exam pen! (She fakes dying by the pen)
Taya: Ha ha, very funny Ronnie. This serious man.
Ronel: I know it’s serious, but you aren’t doing anything to fix it, so I’m going to be a true friend and rip you off until you sort it out.
Taya: That’s just mean.
Ronel: No, don’t look at it as mean, look at it as an act of undying love!
(Alison arrives back with cakes and serviettes in her hands.)
Alison: Undying love? What have I missed? Who’s in love with who?
Taya: Stop picking up stompies Ali, you’ll get burnt.
Alison: Well tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ladies, so of course I’m willing to get burnt!
Taya: Only you!
Alison: (smiling with a wink): Naturally. (She passes out cakes) With these cakes I would like to propose a toast. (All stand and raise cakes) I would like to congratulate us all on being wonderfully loving friends and always being here for each other. Our single status is every man’s loss!
Taya: Hear! Hear!
Ronel sits back in her chair and Alison notices
Alison: Ronel, Ronel, Ronel, why aren’t you toasting? We have to stick together girl.
Ronel: (rather uncomfortable) Well, I’m not sure whether I fit into the "single" category or not anymore…
Alison: (shocked) What? What are you talking about? Have you started dating someone and you haven’t told us?
Taya: (teaming up with Alison) Ronel? You wouldn’t? You couldn’t? You didn’t? No way! Are you keeping secrets from us? That is so wrong!
Ronel: (trying to protect herself) No, I swear, no secrets. I haven’t started dating anyone. I’m not even sure what’s going on to be honest.
Alison: Well, best you explain yourself then madam.
Ronel: Ok, Ok. It was at second break today. I checked my phone, because I wasn’t sure if my mom would be able to fetch us; and there was a message from Dylan.
Taya: (excited) No way! Dylan from DB High? The cute one in his final year?
Ronel: Yes, that one.(she smiles) Remember we all put our numbers down on that list for the New Year’s Party at Pat’s house?
Alison: Yes, but that was ages ago, and that party was lame. I couldn’t believe that they only had songs from the 1950s! And when that one guy started to sakkie sakkie I wanted to run, then he had the audacity to ask me to dance! Like I want to spend my New Year dancing like a chicken. Really!
Taya: Al, can we get back to Ronnie here.
Alison: Oh, ja, sorry. Dylan. Right, he was the one in the Levi’s and the Jeep Shirt?
Ronel: Yes, and those beautiful green eyes.
Taya: Earth to Ronel. The message … what did the message say?
Alison: Hang on. You two hardly spoke to each other that night, you were too busy at the pool table whipping those boys into shape!
Ronel: Actually Dylan complimented me on my pool, and said he thought it was just ‘good luck’. I told him it wasn’t good luck at all, it was just good maths.
Alison: Oh Ronnie, you didn’t?
Ronel: Of course I did, it was the truth!
Alison: A hot guy talks to you and you bring in maths! What am I going to do with you?
Taya: Clearly if he’s messaged her, then maths wasn’t such a bad thing Alison!
Alison: Whatever. So how did a conversation on maths get you here?
Ronel: Well he said that maybe he wasn’t good at pool, because he wasn’t good at maths. I said it was possible and he asked if he could message me if he had any questions, because I seemed to know what I was talking about. I said sure and he messaged me a couple of times last month. But the message today was different. He asked if I’m busy tomorrow night…
Alison: (hardly containing herself) AND?
Ronel: Well… We are doing our Friends Valentines aren’t we?
Alison: Oh no! You so did not turn down a Valentine’s Date? Tell me you didn’t? Please tell me you didn’t.
Taya: But she is busy.
Alison: Taya, she has plans that can be changed! We are having a "Friends Valentines" because we don’t have dates. Now, Ronel could have a date. That changes everything!
Ronel: But I promised you guys.
Alison: Taya, do we have a problem with Ronel going out with a good looking boy for Valentine’s or are we going to make her stay home and be miserable with us?
Taya: Well, she did promise.
Alison: Taya. I’m going to hurt you.
Taya: (jealously) Ok, ok. (Alison moves in to ‘hurt’ her) Fine! No we don’t have a problem with our gorgeous friend leaving us all alone and single to go on a date with a good looking boy tomorrow night. (Sarcastically) Happy Al?
Alison: No need to be jealous Taya, we are going to live this moment through Ronel.
Ronel: Say what?
Alison: Taya and I have generously let you ditch us for a boy, so you are going to have to work with us now.
Ronel: What are you talking about?
Alison: Simple. We are letting you go on the condition that you let us give you a make over!
Taya: What do I know about a make over?
Alison: Taya, just keep quiet and work with me here. OK?
Taya: OK, whatever, but I think I’d prefer the friend’s Valentines night.
Alison: Too late she cried. You’ve already told Ronel she can go on her date. Speaking of which, Ronnie, you need to message him back and tell him you are free tomorrow night.
Ronel: Well, if I’m getting a make-over, then clearly I’m busy.
Alison: Ha ha Miss Smarty Pants. You have sealed your fate on this one, so message him already.
Ronel: I don’t have my phone with me.
Alison: Taya, please go and fetch Ronel’s phone.
Taya: Alison, this sounds like trouble. (goes to fetch the phone shaking her head and muttering) Trouble, trouble, trouble.
Ronel: Really Al, I don’t want a make-over, this dating stuff is hard enough without all the extra bits.
Alison: Too true! BUT, if we get you looking like a hundred bucks, then won’t your confidence be higher?
Ronel: I suppose…
Alison: Won’t your self-esteem be soar?
Ronel: It might…
Alison: Won’t you feel better about yourself?
Ronel: I guess … but what’s wrong with who I am now?
Alison: Nothing Ronnie, you are great! But maths just doesn’t sell.
Ronel: But it’s who I am Al.
Alison: How do you know that’s who you are when you have never tried other options? Why can’t you be stylish and trendy?
Ronel: (thinking) Hmm, you have a point. I’ve never been all dolled up before. But, then again, I’ve never wanted to. My gut feeling knows that isn’t me. My gut says you are the extravert here, not me.
Alison: Thanks, I’ll take that as a compliment. But seriously, will it really hurt that much to try something new, something different, to test your gut?
Ronel: (submitting to her friend’s persistence) No, I guess it wouldn’t. Alright, you win. Let’s go with the make-over and see what happens. (Tentatively) I have nothing to lose. Right?
Alison: (excited again and ready to get going with the make-over) Right!
Enter Taya with the cell phone
Taya: Here you are Ronnie, message away girl.
Ronel: (taking the phone) So what do I say?
Alison: Pull up his message first. What did he say exactly?
Ronel: (scrolling through her phone) Um… Here it is… "Hi Ronel. How are you? I was just wondering if you are busy tomorrow night? Let me know. Dylan." That’s it.
Alison: Hmmm. Ok, you have to say how you are, then ask how he is. Then say that you had plans, but they fell through this afternoon and you are free.
Taya: That’s lying Al. She shouldn’t lie.
Alison: It’s not lying. She did have plans and now we have officially cancelled on her. So she doesn’t have plans any more.
Taya: I’m telling you: Trouble, trouble, trouble.
Alison: Oh just shoosh already. Start messaging Ronnie.
Ronel: (typing her sms) Ok, here goes… "Hi Dylan. Thanks for your message. I’m good thanks. How are you?" … Then what?
Alison: (prompting) Then type: "No, I’m not busy tomorrow, plans have fallen through. Why do you ask?"
Ronel: (finished typing) "…ask?" Ok, then I finish off with "Ronel" do I?
Alison: Yes, you do; and then send it before you start thinking again.
Ronel: (nervously looks at Alison and then her phone and back again) Are you sure? Al I don’t think…
Alison: I’ll send it for you then (Alison takes the phone from a shocked Ronel and sends the sms / text quickly) Done! Now let’s wait and see.
Taya: You really are mad Alison. Trouble, trouble, trouble…
Alison: Ja ja ja Taya, we heard you the first time. Now it’s time to plan an outfit. Up you get Ronnie.
Alison pulls Ronel out of her chair and starts assessing her as if she were a model. She pretends to work with a tape measure and look at her through her imaginary camera. Ronel starts to to pose and the three are having a laugh modeling and posing. Then Ronel’s phone beeps with a sms / text. There’s an excited pause as they all stop and stare at the phone on the table.
Ronel goes to her phone as the others watch her.
Ronel: (reading sms) Here goes nothing ladies… "Hi Ronel. Glad you well. Hoping you were free so we could go for dinner tomorrow night. Would you like to? 7pm at Guido’s? Dylan." … Oh wow! He wants to go on a date!
All three are ecstatically happy on stage. Alison remembers Ronel hasn’t replied.
Alison: This is so exciting! Ronnie you have to reply to him. Make it cool and sexy.
Taya: How on earth can a message be sexy?
Alison: I don’t know, like call him gorgeous, or tell him you’ll wear something sexy.
Ronel: No way! I’m not letting you talk me into that too!
Alison: Ah, come on; just one little extra word or two. End the message with… "from your woman."
Ronel: (talking as she replies on her sms) Not a chance! I’m replying with... "Thanks Dylan, I would like to have dinner. See you at Guido’s at 7pm. Ronel." … (she sends the sms). Done!
Alison: You two are no fun. (pretending to be upset and then reviving as she realises what’s ahead) But that’s ok, because we have a make-over on our hands.
Ronel’s phone beeps
Ronel: (reading sms) "Great. Later."
Taya: Well that wasn’t a romantic or sexy message.
Ronel looks at Taya with a worried expression. Alison reassures her.
Alison: Of course not, he’s a guy. Apparently just getting a response from them is a big deal.
Enter Chevon, Ronel’s older sister, and Christen, Alison’s older sister; they are both in second year university together.
Chevon: How’s it ladies, what are you all excited about?
Alison: (jumping in before anyone else says anything) Nothing Chevon, we were just talking about how sad guys are when it comes to Valentine’s Day. We are all heading to Taya’s house tomorrow night to mourn the male race together.
Taya: We are?
Alison: Of course we are Taya. The same as every Valentine’s Day, every year.
Christen: Why don’t I believe you little sister?
Alison: Because you never believe me big sister. Is mom here?
Christen: Yes, she’s waiting for us in the car. Taya, we have to drop you off too, your mom has to work late and it’s too dark for you to walk home now.
Taya: Thanks Christen. She’ll probably be late tomorrow as well, I guess I can study.
Alison: No you can’t study. We are mourning remember?
Taya: Trouble, trouble, trouble.
Alison: Come on let’s get going. See you tomorrow Ronnie. (She gives Ronel a big excited hug and then runs out. The others follow, except for Ronel who sits staring at her phone).
Lights fade down.
Lights fade up
Chevon and Christen are sitting on the bench or at the table with a bottle of champagne between them and glasses in hand.
Chevon: This was a brilliant idea Christen. You and I for Valentines, I don’t think I would’ve managed that Bums and Beggars party tonight.
Christen: I hear you. Remember the last one? We dressed in those black bin bags and put mud all over our faces! I remember keeping my glass in a brown paper bag all night…(laughing to herself) and that’s about all I remember. How did we get home that night?
Chevon: You were dating Jake; he looked after us and made sure we got home in one piece.
Christen: Oh yes… That’s right. He was such an accountant. He was only in third year and he acted like he was a grandfather. I guess that’s what you get when you meet a guy in the Uni Library.
Chevon: You two were such opposites. I never understood how that worked.
Christen: Looking back, neither do I! Love really is blind.
Chevon: It was great to have someone to show us around though. He knew all the great clubs and pubs and introduced us to so many people. I still remember the drama when you two broke up.
Christen: How could you forget? I can’t believe I kissed his best friend! I’m terrible.
Chevon: Touché, but you keep me entertained. Do you know if they are speaking to each other yet?
Christen: No they aren’t hey. I ran into John last week and he said that they avoid each other now. Then, get this, he says that maybe the two of us should start dating so that his estrangement from his friend is worthwhile!
Chevon: He didn’t?
Christen: He so did! Like I’d even consider it. Whatever.
Chevon: Well, he is hot…
Christen: Sure, but he kisses like a hamster.
Christen: All teeth & biting!
(The two break into giggles)
Chevon: Wouldn’t you rather be out with one of your hotties tonight, instead of sitting here keeping me company?
Christen: No ma’am. Valentines is about love and I love you stacks, so this little set up is perfect for me. Besides I can’t have you sitting here missing your man alone; what kind of friend would that make me?
Chevon: That would make you a terrible friend. I’m glad your priorities are in the right place girl.
Christen: I don’t think it’s my priorities, I think it’s my conscience. You’d never forgive me.
Chevon: Of course I would… eventually.
Christen: (sarcastically) Ah thanks, so much for feeling the love! (sips her drink tentatively) Chev?
Christen: Chev, do you think I’m silly to be so hung up on David?
Chevon: Are you still thinking about him?
Christen: Yes. I even went on to Facebook last night to see what his status was for Valentines.
Chevon: Whatever Christen, you go on there everyday!
Christen: Ok, so what if I do. (sheepishly) I just can’t help myself. It’s like I’m addicted to him. I can’t get through the day without my dose of David. I’m beginning to think I’m pathetic.
Chevon: Why don’t you just call him then?
Christen: I can’t do that!
Chevon: Why not? You really like him. You have his number. He genuinely seemed to like you; otherwise he wouldn’t have taken your number in the first place. He contacted you first, remember?
Christen: I know. But all he sent was one message and I’ve sent him so many since then, that he must think I’m desperate or something. If I call him, then it will be like I’m one of those pushy females; the psychopathic ones who want a guy and go after him without any skaam. I’m not made like that. I want him to call me. I want him to make the first move. If I make the first move, then he doesn’t have to do any work and I’m the one who will be left initiating everything.
Chevon: Yaslaaik but you think a lot. Maybe if you call him, then at least you won’t be worrying any more and you can have something new to think about.
Christen: Ha ha, funny. I don’t want something new to think about. I just want him to call me.
Chevon: Well then I suggest you work on your mental telepathy girl, because guys are useless at reading the minds of girls who they hardly ever see.
Christen: Look who’s talking, Paul called you first.
Chevon: That was different.
Christen: What do you mean: "That was different"? You liked him for ages!
Chevon: Yes, but we saw each other every week and he was my tutorial group leader. You don’t call up your group leader and say: "Hi, I’m one of the many first years you look after, wanna go on a date?"
Christen: You could have...
Chevon: Yes, I could have; but I didn’t want to. You want to. I was happy to sit and stare at him all year.
Christen: You are such a romantic.
Chevon: Nothing wrong with being who I am. My dreams came true because the lecturer assigned him as my personal tutor when I was battling with economics. And the rest is history. The lecturer gave him my email address and I gave him my number when he emailed me. You are a different case all together. David is studying law and you are studying medicine. You aren’t going to meet up unless you make a plan…
Christen: And if I just keep the faith?
Chevon: … then you are going to be doing just that, keeping and waiting and wanting; and you will have to be happy with that because it’s the situation you have created.
Christen: Why do you always make sense? Could you stop being right for once?
Chevon: We lawyers-to-be have to keep arguing. Paul often tells me to: "Stop being right". He makes me laugh.
Christen: When does he get back from New York?
Chevon: 45 days and counting.
Christen: Awesome. I can’t believe he’s been gone for four months already. Do you still miss him so much?
Chevon: So much it aches. When he’s not here, I feel incomplete. I can’t believe how he has affected me. I never dreamt that someone could mean so much to me. I know this sounds crazy, but he has altered my world. He’s made my heart bigger, Valentines has a whole new meaning… (getting emotional, she pulls herself back together)... but enough of that, he’s not here now and this is a champagne party, so here’s to girlfriends for life and dreams coming true!
Christen: Hear, hear, may the love keep growing.
Christen: But I still want what you and Paul have. Bring on the dream!
Run in Alison and Taya – they stop abruptly next to Chevon and Christen. They aren’t sure what to say.
Christen: You two? What on earth? Why are you here? You are supposed to be at Taya’s house.
Chevon: Where’s Ronel? Why isn’t she with you?
Alison looks at Taya
Taya: Don’t look at me. This was all your idea. I told you this was going to be trouble.
Chevon: Trouble? What trouble? Alison, where is my sister? (no response) … Don’t stand there staring at me like that. Where is Ronel?
Christen: Al, what happened?
Alison: (rushes) Ronel was invited on a date. She got a message. We said she should go. We gave her a make over. She took a taxi. She phoned in tears.
Christen: What? Alison you aren’t making any sense.
Taya: (steps in) Ronel met a guy last year. He messaged her to ask her out for Valentines. Al, we told her to accept and meet him out tonight. We gave her a make over and then she caught a taxi to Guido’s. She phoned us 10 minutes ago, but she was crying so hard that we couldn’t hear her properly. Please can we drive to Guido’s to fetch her?
Chevon: She never said a word to me. Why wouldn’t she tell me? She tells me everything.
Alison: (guiltily) I asked her not to.
Chevon: You what? Alison! So help me, if she isn’t alright when I find her. I am going to kill you.
Alison: I’m sorry! She was so excited. We were all so excited. I was excited. I wanted her to have fun. I wanted her to try something new, be different.
Chevon: Different is not the same as stupid. (Calming down and making a plan) My mom left her car, so I’ll go and fetch Ronnie. You (pointing at Alison), you stay right here. I’m not finished with you. Taya come with me, Ronnie may need you. Christen, will you wait with your sister?
Christen: Sure thing. Guido’s is only a few minutes away. We’ll see you when you get back.
(Taya & Chevon leave, Alison starts to follow) You stay right where you are. You are not going anywhere. (Alison slumps into a seat) What on earth were you thinking? I know you pretend like you don’t have a brain, but we both know you do; so why on earth do something so stupid?
Alison: It didn’t seem stupid to me.
Christen: Oh really? Sending your best friend off in a taxi on her own to meet some strange guy that she’s met once does not sound like stupid to you? Catch a wake up Alison. What if this guy has assaulted her? What if he has raped her? Drugged her?
Alison: She wouldn’t have been able to call if she had been drugged.
Christen: Stop being a smart mouth! You can count your lucky stars she was able to call. Do you have any idea how many girls go missing for prostitution rings every year? Thousands. Thousands. What if Ronel had been overpowered? What if you never saw her again?
(Alison starts to break down at the realization of what could have gone wrong. What could be wrong.)
What if there had been a taxi accident and no-one knew? There are reasons why you tell your parents where you are going Alison. There are reasons why you need to tell the people who are responsible for you what is happening in your life.
Alison: Why? Why? You just want to control us. You don’t want us to have any fun. You never listen to what we want or how we want to live. You want to make everything difficult for us.
As Christen listens to Alison she hands her a tissue for the tears that are now coming and she sits down quietly next to her sister
Christen: That has nothing to do with it. Mom and Dad don’t want to control you. No one who loves you wants to make your life difficult. How can we build a relationship with you if you don’t tell us what is going on? How can we believe you when you haven’t built any trust with us? You lie to us and then you want us to believe the next thing you say, as if you have never lied to us. You said the three of you were spending the evening together, you lied; Ronnie wasn’t going to be with you. Now the next time you say the three of you are having dinner, why should I believe you? How can we trust you when you have broken that trust?
Alison: But I want my privacy. I want to do things on my own.
Christen: FYI Al, the world, your parents, me; none of us owe you anything. Whatever you get in life, you have to earn. You can have your privacy, when it’s not going to hurt you or the people around you. You can do things on your own, when you have learnt to tell the truth about what you are doing and not do stupid things instead. You have to earn privacy and freedom and then you have to be responsible with it… Do you feel good about what you have done to Ronnie?
Christen: Do you think it was smart to do what you did?
Christen: So then learn from this Alison. Learn to be responsible; learn to be considerate of others. Remember to think about the consequences before you act off the top of your head. When you are 21, then legally you will be free to do whatever you like and pay for it too. But right now you are still in school, if anything goes wrong your family has to sort it out. We will have to sit in the principal’s office with you, sit next to you in a hospital bed, pay your legal fees, bail you out of jail, whatever happens in your life before you are 21, the law says it’s your parent’s problem. You aren’t being fair to anyone by being selfish and rebellious. Mess your life up when you are free to do so, not when others have to pick up the pieces, because you can’t.
Alison: Come on Christen, it was just a date. No one is in prison. No one is going to court. No one has died…
Christen: How do you know that about Ronnie right now? Are you one hundred percent sure no-one needs to go to court or prison or hospital?
Alison looks at her in shocked realization and there is a long dramatic, anxious, heartfelt pause during which time the atmosphere on the stage is nervous, tense and unsure, they check their watches intermittently, eventually (minimum 60 seconds later) the other three come back in. Ronel has been made up in sexy jeans, a tight top, new hairdo, her make up has been running which is the only evidence of her tears. She is trying to wipe the make up off with a tissue.
Alison sees Ronel and jumps up in relief to give her a big hug.
Alison: You’re alive!
Ronel: Of course I’m alive. Why have you been crying?
Alison: Oh, no, nothing. No worries. My sister just upset me. What happened?
Ronel: I don’t want to talk about it.
Ronel: I don’t want to talk about it!
Alison: But you have to. You were crying on the phone. You couldn’t breathe properly you were so upset.
Christen: Alison. (Alison turns at her sister’s voice) Ronnie doesn’t want to talk about it. Listen to her.
Chevon: Yes Alison, you have done enough tonight. Taya talked me out of killing you, so it’s your lucky night. I believe it’s time everyone headed home and left Ronel to sort herself out.
Alison: (Seeing all four girls against her she begrudgingly gives up) OK. (She hugs Ronel) Bye Ronnie, and for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.
Ronel: (hugging her back) Thanks Al, no harm done. I’ll see you tomorrow for our Saturday movie, ok?
Alison: For sure!
Taya: (hugging Ronel goodbye) I’m sorry too; and Alison is not going to talk me into anything ever again!
Ronel: Good for you Taya, and I’m with you on that one. No more Miss Door Mat for either of us.
Alison: Well, not unless my idea is a really good one!
Ronel & Taya: A-li-son!
(Alison runs out with Taya running after her, Ronel sits down)
Christen: (laughing) That sister of mine! Cheers Chev, sorry the evening was cut short. We’ll have to do this again tomorrow night.
Chevon: I have an assignment due in on the history of the Supreme Court of Appeal, so I think a bottle of Champagne will go down well with it. I’ll see you here at 5.
Christen: Great, I’ll ‘Appeal’ to your ‘Supreme’ wisdom in the process.
Chevon: Hang in there Christen, the man of you dreams is on his way to you, God just needs some time to get him ready to appreciate the wonderful, entertaining woman you are.
Christen: I love you, do you know that? Happy Valentines my friend. (They hug good bye)
Chevon: Back at you. Good luck with your sister tonight.
Christen: She’ll be fine. Good luck with yours.
Chevon: Thanks. Bye. Chevon goes to sit next to Ronel who is deep in thought. Hey Ronnie. How are you doing?
Ronel: I’m ok thanks. I’m sorry that I went off without telling anyone. It was a stupid thing to do. I was just so excited to have a date, and I looked so good in Alison’s clothes. I’ve always wanted to have a date on Valentines and I thought that this was it…
Chevon: Don’t worry, you made a mistake. Just don’t do it again; Ok?
Chevon: So why do you say you thought this was the date?
Ronel: I don’t want to talk about it.
Chevon: Ronnie you can’t keep saying that. You have to let out whatever has made you so upset. You are always so cheerful, now you look so sad. Please help me understand why.
Ronel: (making a decision in her mind) That’s true. I am a cheerful person…
Chevon: Yes, you always have been, ever since you were little.
Ronel:… and I like being cheerful. I like that I’m clever. I enjoy maths and I enjoy being with my girlfriends and having fun. I don’t like these clothes or this hairdo and I don’t like lying to people I love. I’m a good person. I love who I am and I love the possibility that my future holds.
Chevon: That’s great Ronnie. You are a wonderful person and you do have an awesome future ahead of you; but surely you know that already?
Ronel: I did, but I think I forgot myself tonight. I let myself be talked into something I didn’t want to do. I let a boy make me feel worthless and sad. I let a guy trample on my spirit and bring me down to feel like I am nothing. I’m not going to let anyone ever do that again. I can’t let myself live through it again. I refuse to let anyone mess with who I am.
Chevon: I’m proud of you little sister. I don’t know what happened to make you feel like this, but I think its way better than all those tears. No man, or woman for that matter, should ever be allowed to make you feel so horrible inside. Whatever that guy said I hope karma comes back at him a hundred fold.
Ronel: He didn’t say anything.
Chevon: But Taya told me you had been gone an hour?
Ronel: Yes, I sat on my own at a table he had booked for an hour. Then the waiter gave me this note.
She hands her sister the note
Chevon: (opens the note and reads it aloud) "One plus Zero Equals One. Happy Valentines to the One and Only"… Oh Ronnie, I’m so sorry.
Ronel: (holding back the tears) That’s ok, it just really hurts. I sat there on my own with this letter and the waiter looked at me and my water, my stupid hair and these stupid clothes... I was all alone… The One and Only… Chev, it really hurts…