ON THE EDGE BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)
Lights up on a hospital waiting room.
Sitting in silence – SAVANNAH and ATHENA.
All that is heard is –
SAVANNAH closes her eyes and takes in the sound.
SAVANNAH breaths with the beeps, hoping it will help soothe her heart.
It works but only for a second.
SAVANNAH opens her eyes and looks over at ATHENA.
They smile at each other and nod.
ATHENA: How you holding up?
SAVANNAH: Hard to tell.
ATHENA: Yeah, I get that.
ATHENA: About the same.
ATHENA: What can you do, I guess.
SAVANNAH: I just wish we didn’t have to think of something to do.
OMAR – a hospital attendant enters.
ATHENA and SAVANNAH both stand, hoping he has news.
OMAR sees them.
OMAR: Not yet.
ATHENA and SAVANNAH sit back down.
ATHENA: He keeps doing that. I don’t know why.
ATHENA: He keeps coming out and looking at who’s in the waiting room but he never has any news for any of us.
SAVANNAH: Have there been more people than you?
ATHENA: Not until you arrived.
SAVANNAH: How long have you been here.
ATHENA: Two weeks.
SAVANNAH: Two weeks?
ATHENA: I wish I had come sooner.
SAVANNAH: What do you mean?
ATHENA: I’ve known something was wrong with me for months, maybe years – but I didn’t come until two weeks ago.
SAVANNAH: I see… And you’re the same as me?
ATHENA: I mean we’re different people –
SAVANNAH: Of course, but the reason we are here. Same?
ATHENA: As far as we know. But OMAR over there isn’t giving us anything else to work with.
ATHENA: How long have you known?
ATHENA: How long have you known that something was wrong?
SAVANNAH: I guess I don’t actually know yet until –
ATHENA: How long have you been suspecting.
SAVANNAH: A while.
ATHENA: Of course. Since, maybe, November?
SAVANNAH: It certainly began to feel worse in November.
SAVANNAH: … Same.
This time, before ATHENA and SAVANNAH even get the chance to stand up, he exits.
SAVANNAH: I’m sorry you’re going through this.
ATHENA: Why are you sorry? You’re going through it too. Presumably.
SAVANNAH: I know but still. It’s hard. So I’m sorry.
ATHENA: Well, thanks… I’m sorry too. For you. And for me, I guess.
SAVANNAH: Hah, yeah.
ATHENA and SAVVANAH share a smile, perhaps even a light laugh.
ATHENA: You know what, though?
ATHENA: This has been a whole lot better since you’ve arrived.
ATHENA: Yeah. So Thank you for that.
SAVANNAH: But we didn’t start talking until now.
ATHENA: I know.
SAVANNAH: At first, we spent three straight days in silence.
ATHENA: Yeah but still – silence with company is better than silence and loneliness.
SAVANNAH: You don’t like being alone?
ATHENA: Being alone and loneliness are two different things. I don’t mind being alone. Loneliness… you can kill a person with loneliness.
SAVANNAH nods at ATHENA.
She understands her.
OMAR: Oh good.
OMAR: It’s just the two of you.
SAVANNAH: Are you expecting more?
OMAR:I don’t know.
ATHENA: You don’t know?
OMAR: I don’t know much.
SAVANNAH: Aren’t you supposed to be –
OMAR (Suddenly exploding): I am trying my best!
A brief silence.
ATHENA: Do you have any information.
ATHENA: For me. Do you have any information for me?
ATHENA: Of course.
OMAR: Not yet.
ATHENA (Beginning to lose her temper): Will you ever have information?
SAVANNAH: Athena… He’s trying his best.
ATHENA begins to calm down.
OMAR: Thank you.
OMAR: We are all working very hard.
SAVANNAH: But please. Give us something. When you can.
OMAR: Right… When I can.
SAVANNAH: Sorry, I didn’t mean to –
ATHENA: No, no. I needed that. Blowing up at him wasn’t gonna do us any good. Thank you for that.
SAVANNAH: You’re welcome.
ATHENA and SAVANNAH stand up, thinking it’s OMAR with news.
They see it’s someone new.
JOSE: Is this the –
ATHENA: Have you already been checked out?
ATHENA: Who are you waiting for to give you results?
ATHENA: You’re in the right place.
JOSE: Oh. Good.
ATHENA: I wouldn’t say good just yet…
SAVANNAH: She’s been here for a while.
ATHENA, SAVANNAH and JOSE all sit down.
JOSE: A while?
SAVANNAH: I’ve been here for three days.
JOSE: Three days!?
SAVANNAH: Wait for it –
ATHENA: I’ve been here for two weeks.
JOSE: Jesus Christ –
ATHENA: He might walk through these doors with answers before OMAR does.
JOSE buries his face into his hands.
ATHENA: Oh, I didn’t mean to –
SAVANNAH: Hey… don’t… Hey. What’s your name?
JOSE looks at SAVANNAH.
SAVANNAH: It’s nice to meet you JOSE.
SAVANNAH: I’m Savannah.
ATHENA: I’m Athena.
SAVANNAH: We’ve both been here for a while but… Don’t worry. It’ll be ok.
ATHENA: It gets better the more people walk in here. Before she walked in the door I just about wanted to die. Now that you’re here we can have a party.
SAVANNAH is amused at ATHENA.
JOSE, less so.
JOSE closes his eyes and takes in the sound.
JOSE breaths with the beeps, hoping it will help soothe his heart.
It works but only for a second.
JOSE opens his eyes.
SAVANNAH: What are you here for?
JOSE: What am I hear for?
SAVANNAH: Yeah, what are you symptoms?
SAVANNAH: Is that too personal a question.
JOSE: It’s not that it’s just…
JOSE: I don’t know… I just… I didn’t know this would be a problem. I never thought I’d be the type of person to fall into this but… clearly, I was wrong.
SAVANNAH: I felt the same. For what I have. For what I think I have.
ATHENA: I have it too.
JOSE: Can I ask you? Can I ask you guys what you’re here for.
SAVANNAH: We’re here because we’ve lost hope…
ATHENA: I felt void of hope for a long time before I came here. I thought it was just a thing. Just a phase. That it would come back to me eventually but. It never did.
SAVANNAH: And I thought I was the only one who had this problem so if hope was never coming back to me, how would they know how to help me? They wouldn’t. So I just kept living life, trying to accept that that was what it was going to be.
ATHENA: Lonely and without hope.
SAVANNAH: But look – who would’ve thought. There’s two of us. And here we are.
JOSE looks at SAVANNAH and ATHENA.
JOSE: Three of us.
SAVANNAH: You’re here for –
The three of them look at each other.
ATHENA, SAVANNAH and JOSE stand up.
OMAR: I’m sorry.
OMAR: I’m sorry…
SAVANNAH: What are you sorry about?
OMAR begins to cry.
OMAR: I don’t know what to do.
ATHENA: About what?
OMAR: I don’t what to do for you. For you. For you… For me.
ATHENA looks at OMAR.
OMAR nods his head.
OMAR sits with ATHENA, SAVANNAH and JOSE.
SAVANNAH holds OMAR’S hand.
END OF PLAY.