Talk You Down

Characters:

Jesse: daughter, mid 20s/early 30s. Dressed in jeans and a tee shirt.

Eden: mother, mid 40s/early 50s. Dressed in casual slacks and a casual shirt, there should be noticeable stains on her shirt.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

LIGHTS UP.

EDEN and JESSE stand on opposite sides of a table, which is set in the middle of the stage. There is an earring that sits in the middle of the table. They both stare at the object. Jesse slowly looks up at her mother.

JESSE

(whispers, crying)

What have you done?

EDEN

When trying to overlook things, you begin to notice them more.

JESSE

Mom?

EDEN

(looks up at Jesse)

For example, this earring.

(picks up the earring)

One day, after years of overlooking, you find an earring that isn’t yours, sitting gently on your bed, as if it belongs there.

JESSE

Mom, what did you do?

EDEN

I got tired of overlooking.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

Eden and Jesse walk around to opposite sides of the table.

JESSE

Are you going to kill me too?

Jesse looks down at the table, looking for an object that isn’t there.

EDEN

(to herself)

I just got tired of overlooking.

JESSE

(confused)

Mom?

Eden doesn’t answer her. She looks down at the table.

JESSE (CONT’D)

Mom?!

EDEN

(whispers)

No.

JESSE

You killed dad, how c-could you?

EDEN

I couldn’t overlook it anymore, the lies and the cheating!

Eden takes the earring and puts it in her ear (it should be the ear that is noticeable to the audience). Jesse looks at her in disbelief.

JESSE

What should we do now?

EDEN

What do you think?

JESSE

Call the police?

Eden just shrugs.

JESSE (CONT’D)

Bury the body?

Eden doesn’t say anything.

JESSE (CONT’D)

Mom?! What do you want to do?!

EDEN

Jesse, it doesn’t matter. I won’t be here to see the outcome.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

Eden and Jesse walk around to opposite sides of the table.

JESSE

Wha-what do you mean?

EDEN

(sighs)

I’m tired of living like this Jesse. The whole ignoring my problems, never fighting a battle, I’m tired of it all.

JESSE

(cries)

Mom, you can’t give up now. Look, we’ll, we’ll hide the body! We’ll get out of town! Please Mom, please, don’t give up on me now. You’re all I got.

Eden is silent. She looks down at the table.

JESSE (CONT’D)

(angry)

And you did all of this because Dad cheated?! So what! He did what millions of people do every day!

EDEN

That’s not the reason!

JESSE

Well that’s what it looks like. You found out that Dad was fucking some other woman so you went and killed him!

EDEN

That’s not true.

JESSE

And now you want to off yourself, well guess what Mom? That’s not going to solve anything! Dad still fucked that woman! And you’re still you!

EDEN

That’s enough Jesse.

JESSE

I’m calling the police.

Jesse turns her back towards Eden.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

Jesse freezes. She slowly turns back to face Eden.

JESSE

Will you kill me if I call?

EDEN

No.

JESSE

They’ll stop you, you know. They’re trained for this situation. They’re good at talking people down.

EDEN

No they won’t.

JESSE

I’ll come visit you every day. I’ll write to you too and send you things. I’ll be there for you Mom.

EDEN

There’ll be no need for that.

JESSE

We’ll go out west! You’ve always said that you love warm weather. We’ll go there. We’ll go there and lay low, just you and me.

EDEN

Jesse, stop.

Jesse looks down at the table. Eden looks down too.

JESSE

Why did you do it? What was the real reason you killed Dad?

EDEN

I just went crazy.

JESSE

You looked crazy.

EDEN

I became like my mother: passive, and a push over. I despised my mother and yet I became just like her.

JESSE

That’s not so bad Mom.

EDEN

And your father…every time I looked at him, I saw my father. Cheating, abusive, neglectful. I was my mother. (beat) You’re so different from me. I admire you for that.

JESSE

(laughs nervously)

Mom, we never get along.

EDEN

It’s because I was jealous. You’re not like me at all. So strong-willed, aggressive, a fighter. I never have to worry about you. You’ll never have to live a life like this.

JESSE

You don’t have to live like that Mom. You can change. It’s not too late for you to change.

EDEN

It’s too late for me now sweetheart.

JESSE

It’s not too late for you to change Mom! There’s still time. All you have to do is live.

EDEN

He got her pregnant you know. He told me it last night.

JESSE

Fuck Dad! We both know what a liar and cheater he was. He’s gone now. Let’s leave. Let’s go somewhere else.

EDEN

I took it all in and then I went to bed. This morning I woke up and went about my day like normal. But the problem was he was acting normal too. Like he didn’t have another woman pregnant! And I just snapped.

JESSE

(to herself)

Maybe I should call the police.

EDEN

I got tired of overlooking.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

Jesse is silent for a brief moment, as if she was thinking. She suddenly rushes to her mother on the other side of the table. She pulls on her mother’s arm. Eden remains unmoved.

JESSE

(still pulling Eden)

Come on Mom! We can bury the body. We’ll wrap him up and throw him in the trunk! I know this abandoned warehouse a few miles from here, we’ll bury him behind there.

Eden remains silent and unmoved.

JESSE (CONT’D)

Mom come on please! We’re wasting time!

EDEN

It’s too late Jesse.

JESSE

So that’s it then? You’re just going to leave me here all alone?

EDEN

You’ll be fine Jesse. You’re a fighter. I know you will live on.

Jesse slowly walks back to the opposite side of the table, with the sense of defeat.

JESSE

Mom. If you do this, then you’ll die just like how you lived. A coward.

Eden is silent for a moment, taking in what Jesse said.

EDEN

I’ve lived like a coward. Why not die like one?

JESSE

You can change Mom. It’s not too late for you.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

JESSE (CONT’D)

You killed Dad! That’s not a cowardly thing to do! See Mom, you’re a fighter. You are a fighter Mom.

EDEN

I did that because I was afraid, Jesse. I was afraid of dealing with him. Afraid of confronting him. I waited until he wasn’t paying attention to shoot him in the head. His back was turned to me. That isn’t a fighter Jesse. That is a coward.

JESSE

I can call the police.

EDEN

Then do it.

JESSE

I can bury the body.

EDEN

Then do it.

JESSE

We can leave, just you and me.

EDEN

No.

JESSE

Mom, please.

SOUND: A revolver’s chamber spinning.

JESSE (CONT’D)

Mom!

Eden stares at Jesse.

JESSE

Let me come with you. Let’s leave here…together.

EDEN

Together?

JESSE

Together.

Eden slowly walks over to Jesse and places a hand on her shoulder.

EDEN

Together.

LIGHTS OUT.

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