Fingertrap -- Scene III

Characters

Tommy, 18

Ben, 18

Time

Afternoon on May 12th, 2001

Place

Tommy's bedroom. His backpack is lying next to his bed.

At rise

Tommy is lying on his bed on his bed, facing downstage, with his eye covered. He is clutching something small in his hand, but it is unseen from the audience.


Ben
(Coming through the door with Tommy's book in hand.) Tommy, I...I wanted to apologize for what I said before. (Sitting on the bed next to him, placing the book next to his body, but he doesn't stir.) I've done a lot of thinking in the past fifteen minutes, a lot. (Looking down at Tommy, then staring into space towards the audience.) Those weren't my words back there; they were my father's. They were the words of a mean, hateful man who doesn't care about the needs of his son. I guess I've just been scared all of my life, scared that he was going to do the same thing that he did to my mother. Yelled at her, hit her, threw her in a rehabilitation center. And when I want to see my own mother, who I know loves me a lot, my father tells me `No!'. He tells me he doesn't want me to end up like her. But I haven't ended up like her! And I hate him that he thinks he can control my life. "Clean this, don't do that, we're going to make a real man out of you." He makes me feel inadequate, as if I'm not good enough. When I yelled at you before, I guess it was really myself yelling at him. I hate him, I hate him so much. He thinks I'll turn out to be just as good as he is if I follow in his footsteps by joining the army and working for the Lord. Maybe being a retired army Major and a Catholic school teacher is all well and good for him, but I have my own hopes and dreams, and I'm not about to let them go to waste because of HIS influence! He's been trying to control and manipulate me for too long, and today I truly knew that it had gone too far. (Turning back to Tommy.) You're my friend, ok? (Shaking Tommy.) Hey, didn't you hear me? I said I don't care if you're gay! (Noticing something in his hands and taking it, revealed to be a bottle of pills.) Hey, what are these? Where did you get these? (Shaking them.) You didn't take these did you? (Shaking him harder now.) Tommy? (More concerned and worried.) Tommy?

Tommy
(Muffled.) I couldn't do it. (Showing his face, which is red and full of tears.) I thought I was going to do it, but I just couldn't. You made me feel so horrible, and you said all those things, and...and... (Sniffling.) And that we weren't friends anymore and I just c...couldn't deal with that. B...but I chickened out again, because I am a pansy. (Breaks into tears.)

Ben
(Inspecting the pills again.) What do you mean again? You chickened out...again? You mean...no...it wasn't when...

Tommy
(Nodding.) Yes, it was. Two years ago I tried to do it when...when I figured out I was...and I didn't want to end up like my father and...I took some but then I chicken out and threw them up...

Ben
And that's when you were in the hospital? But you told us that was an accident, you taking too many pills.

Tommy
(Continuing on as if not even answering his questions.) I went to the hospital. My mom read my s...suic...my...my note. My brother, too. It told...

Ben
So they knew about you?

Tommy
It told about me being gay and not being able to live in this world anymore, not being able to live in fear. Especially fearing my best friends.

Ben
Oh my God...

Tommy
That's why I lied to you.

Ben
That was when? You've been keeping this from us for two years? You told Jason before you told me?

Tommy
He asked yesterday and I told him. I was planning on telling the both of you today.

Ben
But you waited two years to tell us?

Tommy
I had good reason to! Look at what happened today.

Ben
I'm sorry...

Tommy
(Getting up from the bed and pacing.) I could've been dead...

Ben
I said I'm sorry.

Tommy
What did your father do to you?

Ben
W...what?

Tommy
What did he do to you to make you like that? Like that person back there who said "Don't touch me."

Ben
I...I...I don't...

Tommy
It couldn't have been because of what happened with your mother, because I remember, I remember you putting your arm around me at my father's funeral. That was AFTER what happened with your mother! You thought it was ok then, and there's nothing wrong with it except for the insecurities you have in your mind now. Tell me what happened!

Ben
I put my arm around Jason!

Tommy
What?

Ben
We were practicing some baseball. He was at bat. I threw a pitch and it hit him in the leg.

Tommy
Hit him in the leg?

Ben
While I was putting a cold compress on him, I could tell he was really upset. I mean, it was my fault and all...

Tommy
Yeah?

Ben
I put my arm around him. In a friendly way though!

Tommy
So?

Ben
So! He saw me, he saw me doing it. My father was driving up to pick us up and...and he saw...and...

Tommy
What did he do, Ben?

Ben
He took me out back and... (Begin tearing up.)

Tommy
Tell me what he did! What did he do?

Ben
He took me aside, away from Jason, and he...he...

Tommy
Yes? Yes?

Ben
He had this...this look in his eyes, the same look he had as he was dragging my mother off to rehab. This is a look you do not want to see once, but I've seen it many times. Every time I do something wrong, something he doesn't approve of, something that will cause me to not have good discipline, respect, or manners, that's when I see the look.

Tommy
But what did he do, Ben?

Ben
(Standing up quickly.) He hit me across the face! (Pointing to his right cheek) Right here! Leaving a mark! (Turning away to hide his tears.) He said...he said, "I didn't raise my son to be a faggot." I hate him, I hate him so much! This was the last straw today. Because of him I hurt you...and Jason. I'm just a terrible person because of him. I wish he was dead! (Breaking into tears and covering his face.)

Tommy
You blame him for everything wrong with you, Ben. But you never do anything about it. I'm gay; I didn't want to live a sheltered existence in fear. Yeah, I could have ended up just like my father, even if he wasn't gay. And out of this, my life may not be any better than it was before. My mother discourages me from coming out because it might upset her popularity, and with that, her practice, if word of it got out. My brother is still getting used to the idea, but at least he doesn't hate me. And I didn't end up like Christian Miller. Jason has been supportive, and now after some complications, you are being supportive. Right?

Ben
(Sighing) Right. You're right. I have to take control of my own life.

Tommy
I agree, Ben.

Ben
(Turning to face Tommy again, more confidant now.) And that's just what I'm going to do. I'm going to make it clear to him that he can't boss me around anymore. And you know what else I'm going to tell him?

Tommy
That you're not a virgin?

Ben
(Rolling eyes) Well, let's not go nuts here. I was going to tell him about visiting Mom last night.

Tommy
Oh, how is she by the way?

Ben
She's doing great, might get out next month. We'd have to work out where she'd live though. Anyway... (Placing his hand on his shoulder.) Thank you Tommy, you're a good friend. This probably sounds sappy, but at any rate, you've allowed me to figure things about myself that I would have never been able to do in my entire life...if I didn't have you.

Tommy
(Grinning.) You're not so bad yourself. I just hope everything is going to go all right with your dad.

Ben
Don't worry about me, everything will be fine for all of us. I'm just going to sit him down and tell him straight out how I feel, that I'm 18 years old, I'm old enough to fend for myself and make my own decisions now. And heck, so what if he doesn't like it? I'm going to college soon enough anyhow. (They both laugh.)

Tommy
I guess I'll be seeing you later then?

Ben
(Turning to leave.) Of course you will, we're survivors. (Goes to the door and begins walking out of it, then turning to Tommy before leaving.) Relax, it's not like I'm telling him that I'm gay or anything like that. (Jokingly. Turns to leave then back again.) One more question though.

Tommy
Oh?

Ben
Yeah...so girls don't do...anything for you?

Tommy
(Laughing.) Nope, sorry.

Ben
Oh, that's ok, just making sure. I hope you still enjoy present at any rate. Happy birthday, Tommy. (Ben closes the door behind him and walks offstage to the right. Tommy, smiling now, sits on his bed and takes out a pen and a notebook from his nightstand and begins writing.)

Tommy
(Dictating his writing.) Differences, we as a class all share a unique similarity, yet at the same time...no... (Crosses out and starts over.) Influences, we are affected by them every day...yeah right! (Crossing off. Thinking for a second. He turns his head and notices the book lying next to him. He picks it up and examines the cover.) How To Score With Chicks in Five Easy Steps. (Thinks for a moment then put the book down and begins writing again, now with a smile on his face.) My name is Tommy Samuel Davis, your class Valedictorian. While being granted the school's highest honor is something to be proud of, I, and many of my fellow classmates, have many things to be proud of that we have discovered in our high school career. I, Tommy Samuel Davis, have discovered through the past four years, that I am gay, and that I have the two best friends anyone could possibly have hoped f... (Phone rings before he finishes his sentence. He puts down his pen and paper and picks up the phone.) Hello...no I was just...well kinda...I guess I could later...mom, I'm working on my speech, I can do the dishes later. Thank you. Yeah...a book...yes, just a book. That's all they got me. It's...nice I suppose...Look can we talk about this later? I have to do my speech...Well, so far I talk about things I'm proud of...as a matter of fact I did!...Well that's too bad, I'm sorry you feel that way...Mom...Mom!...I'm eighteen years old, I know what I'm doing now, please just...well I told them already, and they don't care...that's right, they don't, and guess what? There are going to be lots of other people who won't care either. I'm sorry but that's the truth...well that's your own paranoia, and you have to get over it, don't make me suffer because of your own insecurities. Not anymore, not again, Mom. Do you hear me? (Slams the phone down on the receiver and laughs to himself in pride. Lights. Curtain.)

Well that was the play. I know it's a change of pace, so if it was hard to follow then that's ok. Besides, plays are meant to be performed, not read! Nevertheless, I'm really proud of this, and I hope you tell me what you thought of it! :)

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