by Bethany Wood, Age 15, United Kingdom
Artwork by Lucy Zhang
The drama prompt for December is “the end.” NOTE: Bethany submitted a script for our January prompt which continues the story of these two characters. READ “The Beginning” by Bethany Wood.
NICO, a prisoner, is having an arranged visit with his girlfriend, LARK, who is trying to prove his innocence. They are sitting opposite each other at a table in the bland visitors’ room. The atmosphere is cold and tense.
NICO: Lark, we need to talk. (LARK crosses her arms and turns her head away) This isn’t the time to be stubborn.
LARK: But I know what you’re going to say Nico, and I don’t like it. Please, don’t tell me to go.
NICO: My sweet, delicate, precious Lark. It’s for the best. Let me set you free.
LARK: But I shall never be free. Never. Ever. I’ve told you I don’t mind! (NICO gives her a disagreeing look) I’m not lying! I can’t lie to you, Nico. It doesn’t worry me. It doesn’t change us.
NICO: But it worries me. You are vulnerable. You are young. Live, Lark! For goodness sake, don’t wait for me.
LARK: But don’t you see, Nico? I want to live with you! (takes his hand and speaks gently suddenly) You want me to be happy, don’t you?
NICO: But I can’t make you happy. (looks down shamefully) Not with what has happened.
LARK: But it wasn’t you! You didn’t do it! Why should you pay this price as well?
NICO: (slowly) Because I deserve it, and you don’t.
LARK: You don’t deserve it! (brings his chin up gently with her other hand to look him in the eye) Don’t let them make you think it’s your fault.
NICO: It is. I killed her.
LARK: No you didn’t! You would never, ever… You are so gentle, Nico, too gentle…
NICO: Only because I’m scared I’ll do it again (swallows) to you. (takes hands away) (voice cracking) I don’t want to hurt you, Lark.
LARK: (shaking head) But we don’t lie. We never lie to each other. We can’t!
NICO: (looks up) You can’t, Lark. I could. (takes a deep breath) But not anymore, so find someone else and forget all about me. Goodness, I hope you will forget. Now go, and stop creating any more memories!
LARK: (tearfully) I knew you killed her. I didn’t want to believe it, so I told myself that. But I also lied because I knew. (bites her lip) So, is this really the end, Nico?
NICO: Yes, it’s the end.
LARK: The end. How final. How bitterly final that sounds.
NICO: It is bitter, but you must go. Remember me bitterly, Lark. I don’t deserve otherwise.
LARK: Okay, Nico. (gets up) But I shall never forget you. Not ever.
LARK leaves the room and NICO watches after her, waits a few moments to check she is gone and then buries his head in his hands.
Bethany says, “I enjoy immersing myself in the dialogue when writing a script, as every word must show the character’s personality, yet it is up to the actor to interpret how they would like to convey it uniquely to the audience.”