by Caitlin Tan, Age 13, Singapore
Artwork by Katie King
The drama prompt of the month for July was “writing buddies.”
Lights. The characters sit on a low wall. There is a short silence, the air is thick with tension.
ERIN: (in a flat tone) So. You’re leaving.
DANI: (nods) In two weeks.
JEFF: And exactly when were you going to inform us, Dani? Couple months maybe?
DANI: Look, I know what you’re going to say, and I’m sorry! I only got told this morning, okay. (in a more subdued tone) Grandma’s condition is getting worse, which means Mom has to take care of her, which means I’m dragged along like this boat without an anchor in a wide open sea.
ERIN: Still, you could’ve–
ERIN: Okay, okay. But Jeff, our best friend, is moving away! (in mock agony) Who am I supposed to gossip with, bicker with, study with or play pranks on? Woe is me!
JEFF: Hey, I’m not invisible! You’ve still got me here.
DANI: (to ERIN, pretending not to see JEFF) Erin, do you know where Jeff went?
ERIN: He just vanished into thin air! I could’ve sworn he was here just a minute ago!
Jeff finally gives up trying to attract their attention and fake pouts.
JEFF: You guys are mean.
Silence again, a more comfortable one this time.
ERIN: Sorry, Dani. I just can’t picture life without you–it’s been this way for fourteen years already. Will you still be able to keep in touch?
DANI: Of course! How else would I be able to keep up with any “JERIN” developments?
ERIN & JEFF: There’s nothing going on between us!
DANI: Psshk. (to ERIN, in motherly tone) Honey, if this boy ever breaks your heart, call me and I’ll come over and break his nose, ’kay?
JEFF: Buzz off, Dani!
DANI: Yeah, I have to go pack. I’ll leave you two alone–or do you need a chaperone?
ERIN and JEFF groan. Exit DANI.
ERIN: Jeff, I know Dani said she’d stay in contact with us, but between you and me, what’s to stop her doing a Sarah and Logan?
JEFF: You mean you’re afraid Dani will drop off the map like the twins did.
ERIN: Exactly. What’s to say she won’t replace us? She may not mean to do it, but she’ll want to have other friends and fit in.
JEFF: Then let’s make her something to remember us by.
ERIN: Let’s write her a comic–you can write and I’ll draw. Then we can bind it like we learned at that workshop.
JEFF: Oh! We could do, like, tales of all the crazy things we did when we were younger!
ERIN: Like the time when we replaced all the soap in the school toilets with slime! Or the time you rode your bike off the roof!
JEFF: Don’t remind me.
ERIN: And the time you–
JEFF: (Hastily) Come on, writing buddy, we’ve got a comic to write!
Both exit. Blackout.
Caitlin says, “I’m a theatre student at an arts school, and I’ve always wanted to combine writing and theatre.”