Complicity: Part 3

This is the third and final installment of my one-act play. Click here and here to see where it how it starts. And if you have the time, I'd love to hear what you think at the end.

*********

Lilly

So that was it. I pushed him away again.

Doctor Any idea why?

Before Lilly can answer, a spotlight turns on, blinding her. The little girl runs across the stage, laughing. Lilly jumps in her seat, squeezing her eyes shut. The light is shut off almost as fast as it came on. Lilly opens her eyes.

Lilly No. Doctor How long have you known Michael? Lilly Three years now. We met at a frat party freshman year. (Lilly Laughs.) He’s been trying to win me over since he helped me get my roommate back to our dorm. (She laughs again.) Marisa was just a little drunk. Three shadowed figures enter stage right. The middle figure is stumbling and giggling. She is being supported. Lilly Come on, Marisa, we’re almost there. Michael Yep, pretty damned close now. Marisa (Slurring.) Who the hell is this guy again? Lilly His name is Michael.

Marisa Michael? (To Lilly in an exaggerated whisper) He’s a hottie. Can I have if you don’t want?

Michael and Lilly are l.aughing as the exit stage left. Lilly He’s a really sweet guy. Doctor But? Lilly Sweet scares me. (Lilly wraps her arms around herself and bows her head slightly. She takes a deep, audible sigh.) I know that sounds stupid, Doctor. But it does. (She stands and sighs again. She begins pacing a bit, careful never to step out of her circle of light.) I dunno. I mean, with Michael? I’ve looked at this thing – whatever it is, between us and I know that I should be incredibly and completely in love by now. But I’m not. It’s almost like I can’t handle it. (She sits back down again.) Sometimes I want to. Handle it, I mean. He’s been there for me even when I didn’t want him to be. (She chuckles wryly.) And yes, I haven’t wanted him to be there for me most of the time, anyway, but the amazing thing is that he has never let me push him far enough away that I can’t reach out to him when I really need to. (She shrugs almost helplessly.) Take, for example, my grandparents funeral last year. No one really knows what caused the crash but I’ll bet Grandma was arguing with Grandpa and he got more involved in the fight than his driving. He could be a sweet man, but God, he always had to be right. He had to be in charge. (She sighs again and reaches for her purse, pulling out a pack of cigarettes.) Mind if I smoke? I’ve been wanting one for a while now. Doctor I suppose I can make an exception. The click of a lighter is heard. Lilly inhales. Lilly Anyway, I loved my grandparents. And I couldn’t handle the idea of the funeral. Closed caskets. My mother hysterical. My father trying to comfort her. I didn’t want to go but I knew I had to. Michael never really knew them but he showed up on my doorstep that Sunday and told my parents that I was driving with him. My parents were too involved in their own drama to worry about mine. They just nodded and got into their own car. Doctor Go on. Lilly He made small talk on the way there. About what I don’t remember but it didn’t matter. He was just trying to keep my sane, I guess. And he never said a word as I smoked one after another in his brand new car. When we got there, I froze. I don’t know why but I couldn’t move. Not to undo my seatbelt, not to open the car door, and sure as hell not to go inside. Michael just sat with me and talked, never asking any questions. And when people got back into their cars and drove away, he opened his door and got out. He went in with me to say good-bye. Then he held me as I sobbed. Ya know, Doc? I think that’s the part that really scares the hell out of me. The fact that Micheal won’t let me push him away. That he thinks I’m worth the effort. But I’m not. He’ll go as soon as he realizes that. Doctor Why do you say that, Lilly? Lilly Because that’s what happens whenever I let anybody get too close. Once they see what’s really there they just leave. Doctor And what is that, Lilly? What is it you think they see? Lilly Me. They see me. And everything I’ve tried to remember. (She attempts a weak smile but her lips are trembling.) I..um...(Her voice breaks and she begins to cry.) Doctor What is it you don’t remember, Lilly? Lilly

Anything before I was six years old. I don’t remember anything at all.

The little girl runs into Lilly’s corcle of light. She stops just short of Lilly’s face and points an accusing finger at her.

Little Girl (Screaming) Yes you do! The little girl turns and runs back into the darkness leaving Lilly visibly shaken

. Lilly NO! No I don’t remember. I don’t want to remember! I can’t remember…

Doctor Lilly, what is it? I can’t help you unless you talk to me. Please Lilly. Please let me help you. Lilly There’s a picture of me on the wall at home. I’m 5. It was my first day of school so I’m wearing a pretty pink dress with little flowers on it. I’m holding Molly, my doll. I don’t remember who gave her to me but that doll used to go everywhere with me. My mom still has her at home in her China cabinet. Doctor Tell me more about that picture, Lilly. Lilly I look so happy. Standing there all pretty and smiling that stupid little smile all kids smile for the camera. But I don’t remember it! (She clenches her fists at her sides.) How the hell can I not remember my first day of school? And why can’t I even look at Molly when I go home? Why does looking at that picture make me want to get sick? The spotlight on Lilly turns up. Her eyes widen as a figure enters stage left, takes a few steps, and stops in the darkness. He stands with his back to the audience, feet set apart. He is holding the little girl. Man Remember what I told you, princess. Remember what will happen if you tell our little secret. The little girl in his arms sniffles before speaking out Little girl He’ll tell Mommy and Daddy and Daddy Lilly (Speaking to the little girl in the man’s arms.) No!

Little girl He will! And he’ll say it was my fault. That I liked it. Lilly And then Mommy and Daddy will think I’ve been a very bad girl…

Little girl And they won’t love me anymore. Man Just remember that, princess. (He turns to exit and then stops.) Oh, and princess? Lilly Yes, Grandpa? Man I don’t want to have to remind you again. (He exits) Lilly closes her eyes and drops her head into her hands. She is speaking quickly to herself as she tries to block the memories. Lilly No…no…it isn’t happening. Not happening. (She is looking at the audience now.) No. It was all my fault… The stage lights slowly dim until they are completely shut off. When they come back on, only scattered toys fill the circle of light. The man and the little girl enter, the man remaining in the shadows, the little girl entering the circle holding a new doll and wiping away tears.

Man

Do you like your new doll, princess? Little girl Yes (Sniffling) . Her name is Molly, (To doll) It’s okay, Molly. (She rubs the dolls forehead, trying to soothe her.) Man Molly, huh? That’s pretty. But you know what, princess? Mommy and Daddy won’t think you’re pretty anymore if you tell them our secret. Little girl (A small gasp escapes her throat and she begins rocking Molly furiously as the man walks away.) It’s okay, Molly. Lilly’s gonna take good care of you. Shhh, Molly. It’s our secret. You don’t have to cry. We won’t tell.

The lights begin to fade as young Lilly talks to Molly. Slowly, they come back on. Lilly is again sitting in her chair, crying. Lilly (Screaming) NOOOOOO!!!! (She stands quickly, knocking her chair over as she turns her back on the audience and her memories.) I can’t do this! I thought I could but I can’t. I don’t want to remember anymore. I didn’t know I was going to feel so…dirty. (Lilly turns to face the audience.) It was my fault, Doctor. I let him. I let him touch me and hurt me and…(She pauses to wipe away at tears.) worst of all I let him get away with it by forgetting every damned thing….including myself! Doctor Lilly, it’s common for victims of incest to block out certain… Lilly I don’t want to hear any of your bullshit med school terminology right now, okay? I don’t need to hear it! Fine, it’s common. But you know what, Doc? It’s me! And for me, it is not common to be sitting in a shrink’s office raving like a lunatic because I just happened to remember my own grandfather molesting me 16 years ago! Doctor I know, Lilly. And I’m sorry. Lilly Well, what the hell am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to face my parents or Michael? Oh God, he’s my ride back to campus! What do I say on the way home? Doctor I think Michael is a lot smarter than you realize. He won’t expect or push you to say anything until you’re ready.

A car horn honks in the background. Lilly That’s him. (She turns to leave.) I’ll see you next week, right? Doctor I’ll be here Lilly walks off stage. The stage lights are turned back on to show the opening scene again with the little girl playing with her toys, humming the same tune. A figure enters stage right and walks across the stage, stopping just short of the light. The figure remains in the shadows. The little girl looks up, stops humming, and smiles. The tune she was humming continues to play in the background.

Female Voice Whatcha doing there, princess? Little girl Teddy wanted a tea party. (She giggles, holding up her teddy bear.) Want some, too? She offers a tea cup.) The figure steps into the circle of light and accepts the tea cup. It’s Lilly. Lilly I’d love some. (She is crying softly.) Little girl What’s wrong? Lilly I made a special trip to see you, sweetheart. It took me a really long time to get here. I’m so sorry it took me so long. Little girl It’s okay. (She hugs Lilly.) You’re here now.

Lilly cries with her younger self as the lights fade to black. The curtain closes.