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Two Weeks to Legal Release
A living room of a home, empty walls, filled bookshelves, a couch and a barcalounger. A teenage girl (Claudia), dressed in tight, revealing clothing, a pink bow tying her ponytail, is sitting on the barcalounger, her legs bent on the seat, scratching her fingertips. A pudgy teenage boy (Solomon) walks into the room.
S: How are you holding up, Clau?
C: I’m fine.
S: I know you're not. You're scratching your fingertips. That's your tell.
Claudia stops scratching her fingertips and opens a book. Solomon sits down on the couch.
C: It’s not my tell and I'm fine.
S: If you don't talk to me, there's no one else for you to talk to.
C: And I'm fine being silent for a while.
S: Whatever you want. (Long pause)
S: You know, it's not that I'm the only person for you to talk to. You're the only person I have to talk to.
C: And you've got what to say exactly?
S: I’m worried, Clau.
C: About what?
S: We only have a couple of weeks left and then we're, you know, on our own. Forever.
C: Don’t make it sound like we're dying. We are just going to start living.
S: Living where exactly? And how will we feed ourselves? What will we do?
C: Well, I don't think we will do anything. I know I will accept the job at the coffee shop in the city, maybe save up for an apartment closer to the center. Maybe even get a car.
S: Big plans you've got mapped out. What about when you're thirty and there are younger, better people working for that place? What if the coffee shop closes? What will you do then?
C: Why don't you worry about yourself? We're going to get out of here soon enough and it will just be easier if we have a clean break.
S: A clean break? After eighteen years of being here? Are you kidding?
Solomon stands up and paces around the room.
C: I’m not kidding, Sol. We will not need to know each other as legal adults. Out there.
S: You’re stone cold. I guess that's the only destined path if you're a giveaway.
Solomon stops pacing, stops in front of Claudia and stares at her in the eyes.
C: What did you just say to me?
S: A giveaway baby, perfectly healthy, just not perfect.
C: Don’t talk to me.
Claudia turns to her side and faces the window. She scratches her fingertips.
S: I thought we bonded because we're the only ones here given away and never picked up. We watched everyone else find their new homes, new families, but we're the only ones who will get kicked out alone. I always thought that we could at least have each other.
C: Solomon, we are not alike in any way. Your meth-head mommy almost suffocated your new-born bum in a garbage bag before you were found on the street and brought here. We are nowhere near the same.
S: As supposed to a mother looking at her new born baby and thinking: nah, I'll just keep trying until I make one I can actually stand looking at.
C: I knew I should have never brought you with me to raid our personal files.
S: You would have told me anyway. Because we're the only ones always left behind and you would have wanted to tell.
C: Just shut up. A couple of weeks, and we will never have to talk to each other again.
S: You think you'll survive in the city with that baddest-b****-in-town attitude? Being a high-school drop out?
C: I’ll be fine. Worry about yourself.
S: I do. I worry about my GPA and SAT scores... Going to college unlike some people-
C: (Cuts Sol off) Shut your trap, you don't want to cross me.
S: And you will misspell vocabulary words until I die from laughter? Hit me in the head with that ridiculous bow until I bleed?
C: I’m creative. I'll think of something.
S: You should put that on your barista resume.
C: I will! Thanks! Have you read up on Dr. Seuss for your community college english class?
S: You’re so eloquent, Clau! I wonder if it's all the hair die bleeding into your brain and making you this delusional.
C: At least I care about my appearance, blubber the whale.
S: Ouch, hit me below the belt, Hooter's Barbie. (Long pause)
Solomon gestures to Claudia’s low-cut top. Claudia crosses her arms over her chest.
C: Solomon, let’s not do this. I don't even know how to begin thinking about us not being together, but I know that it will happen, because we are two different people bound by loneliness in this dump and I don't want us to get a fresh start with shed-loads of our unfortunate past trailing behind.
C: We would spoil our fresh starts. Think about it, we will be in control of what anyone knows about us. (Long pause). Sol, you've been my family no matter how many other kids left or how many social workers switched out, you've been here. You've been here for me, but I don't want to be the same person in the real world. I'm not going to risk having a bright future by bringing my dark beginning with me.
S: I don't want to take away the possibility of a better life for either of us. (Short pause). So we don't know each other in the real world. Can we meet all over again?
S: But only a sun-filled beach in the Bahamas.
Southwest Harbor, Maine
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