Chicago Rain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Set the stage:
Axon got a call from the hospital that her younger brother is in the hospital and can she please come quickly.
She knows immediately that it's her sister's fault. When is it not?

On a dark, cold, and rainy night just outside of Chicago, two sisters are fighting in a hospital parking lot.

AXON:  You almost killed him Lukas! You left him in the bath alone and then went off and got drunk! Luke, he might have brain damage.

LUKAS:  I left the room for not even five minutes, I swear to god Ax. The water was low and he was playing with his toys. I went to call Tyler and drink a beer when I came back he was just lying there, face down in the freaking water.

AXON:  You’re going to lose custody of them. The four of them? They’re going to foster homes until I can get Gerard home somehow. I have been gone for three months Luke. I come back and you’re drunk all the time, Bex is hanging about with older boys, Brody is setting fire to neighborhood animals, I haven’t even seen Kyler for longer than five minutes at a time and I’m pretty sure he’s on drugs, and Henry, well Henry might be dying. Luke, you’re about to be arrested. Child endangerment. We might lose the kids. How are you not reacting to this?

LUKAS:  Oh screw you Axon, I’ve been doing my best. I am only twenty–one years old and I’m doing my best to raise my siblings. Not everything that goes wrong is my fault. You left okay! We needed you and you left.

AXON:  Oh my god. Are you blaming me for this? Luke, Henry is two years old. He drowned and he might not ever wake up. You were on the phone with your car stealing boyfriend and not paying attention. You don’t get to put this on me. You guys told me to go. I turned down Stanford and Harvard to stay in the state. I wasn’t even going to go to college!

LUKAS:  Tyler doesn’t even steal cars anymore! And that’s not the conversation that we are having. I am about to be arrested and I am freaking out because Gerard is the only one with parental custody since Carla signed away her rights. Social services are going to have a field day. ‘The Benders have done it again! Lost the kids and the oldest has gotten herself arrested!’

AXON:  Look L, I’ll take care of it. I always freaking do.

LUKAS:  Oh, really. That’s how it’s going to be?

AXON:  It seems so.

LUKAS:  I am so sick of you thinking that you are so much better than this!

AXON:  Better than what? Being treated as a scapegoat because you refuse to take responsibility for your actions? I am better than that.

LUKAS:  No, I am sick and tired of you judging me for my decisions. I am sick of your comments on what I should be spending the money on and I-

AXON:  You buy booze before you pay the bills! It is five degrees and the heater went out two weeks ago! Bex had to call me and ask for money to pay the bill. She is thirteen, she doesn’t need to be worrying about that stuff! Brody asked me for grocery money because apparently you can’t be half assed enough to buy food. Our twelve year old brother has to do the grocery shopping because if you do it, you’d buy alcohol. Luke, you’re turning into Gerard. It’s not a good freaking look.

LUKAS makes hand gestures, and generally flails about.

LUKAS:  You don’t understand how hard this is! You’re eighteen Ax, you don’t get to yell at me about responsibility when a year ago you were getting arrested for assault, petty theft, and fraud!

AXON:  All of that was for the family and you know it. You don’t get to live around here and not do everything you can for money. You get stuff done and take care of your family, no matter the cost. That’s the neighborhood motto. But you don’t take care of the family. You take care of yourself first and screw everyone else.

LUKAS:  Well someone has to! No one has ever looked out for me! I look after everyone, and not once has anyone ever put me first.

AXON:  Are you serious? Do you even know how many times I have taken care of your drunk ass or taken the blame for your screw ups? I have spent the last ten years looking out for everyone in our family. Everyone.

LUKAS:  Oh yes because you’re the good kid right? No matter how much you mess up, everyone forgives you. No one blames you for anything because you’re the smart one. The one that’s going to actually have a life outside of this god damn town.

AXON:  I don’t want out of this town! I fit here. I know how to work over the system here. I can be unforgivingly myself in this town. Except everyone expects so much from me that I am torturing myself with a college education that I don’t even want. But if I ever want to get us above the poverty line I need to graduate so I can get a legal, paying job.

LUKAS:  You? You think that you’re just going to save the family? If you think for even one second that I haven’t done everything that I can to get us money so we can be financially secure then you’ve finally lost it.

AXON:  Yes. We’ve all worked odd jobs, working where ever we could for some money. But the one time you got a good job that had actual health insurance you messed it up. Luke you went to work drunk and puked all over the Board’s paperwork. Twice. And now you’re going to have a felony charge on your record. You think that anyone is going to hire you? So yes, I am going to do everything I can to raise money for our family. I will not turn into you or dad or freaking Carla. I refuse. Because these kids? They deserve so much more than they have.

LUKAS:  I have done my best Ax.

AXON:  Yeah? Well evidently your best isn’t good enough. You stopped trying a long time ago. When the hell did you give up?

LUKAS:  I never gave up. I just decided to do what I wanted for once.

AXON:  You signed on as a guardian for these kids L. You don’t get to do anything for yourself for sixteen years. They need to come first. They always have to come first.

LUKAS:  As far as I can tell, other than tonight I’ve been doing pretty well.

AXON looks at LUKAS in astonishment.

AXON:  Oh my god. Are you, oh Jesus, you are being serious. Luke, you’ve become Gerard. With an extra dash of Crazy Carla on top. You don’t come home for days and when you do it’s to get clothes, sleep, and to make sure that none of them have died. Kyler hasn’t talked to you in two months. He ran away for a month and you didn’t even notice. He got back two weeks ago. Brody is failing out of school and has been suspended for eleven days, you missed the parent meeting. Bex is going out of her mind because you used to be her go to person and now she’s going through puberty and she doesn’t have you anymore. Henry started speaking in actual sentences and you missed it.  You have not been doing well. Lukas, you are messing these kids up just as badly as Gerard and Carla. At least they realized and left before they could so more damage.

LUKAS:  It’s too much! There are you happy? I’ve admitted it. I am overwhelmed and I am going completely insane. It was one thing when I was just the oldest sister taking care of you guys when Gerard left for a while. But then you left and he left and I became legally in charge of four minors and it’s just too much.

AXON:  No I am not happy. Because my baby brother is in the hospital on a ventilator in a coma because you decided to, what did you say ‘Do what you wanted for once’? He might be dying. None of this makes me happy.

LUKAS:  Well I’m not happy about this situation either!

AXON makes as if to strangle LUKAS but holds back.

AXON:  This situation? Oh god you still don’t even think that it’s your fault! You haven’t even apologized! Not once have you said that you are sorry for what happened. Oh jeez. You feel no remorse because you don’t think that you are to blame for this. I can’t. I can’t even look at you anymore. You know what. Go wait in the waiting room for the cops to show up. Because if you don’t leave right now I will more than likely kick your ass. So go inside and say good bye to the kids, because this is the last time you’ll be seeing them for a while.

LUKAS:  Axon, I-

AXON:  No Lukas. Get the hell out of my face.

LUKAS looks helplessly at AXON and goes inside to say her goodbyes.

AXON sits down on the curb of the side walk and puts her head in her hands and silently screams.

AXON:  Jesus Christ Axon get it together. You are a god damn Bender and Benders do not give up.

AXON takes one more deep breath and turns to go into the hospital.

Submitted: September 10, 2015

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