As you will notice right away, this is not the usual genre on Veralyn Media. I used to write 10-minute stage plays, but that was eons ago. Let me know what think! I really enjoyed thinking and writing about these characters.
Sierra: Female, African American, 33 years old. Think Jennifer Hudson in, Sex in the City
Wallie: Male, Indian American, 35 years old. Think Naveen Andrews in, Lost
At rise (Curtain opens)
Running into her house, out of the rain, Sierra stands in her doorway soaked. She just walked five long Brooklyn blocks to her BedStuy Brownstone without the umbrella she left on the train. She slams the door, and starts to strip. She takes off the scarf she wrapped around her once loose, but now very tight curls, and drops it to the floor. She takes off her coat, and lets it fall to the floor. She kicks off her bright purple rain boats she specifically wore to add color to the promise of a dreary day, and she shakes her head at the fact her socks are wet. She kicks them off too.
Ready to unwind, she walks to her kitchen, but before she goes in, she slinks out of her wrap-around dress. In boy-short underwear and a tank top, she walks into her kitchen to put water in her electric kettle. She plugs it in and walks to her cupboard to grab her giant, This American Life, mug. She puts the mug on the counter and walks to her pantry. She stares at her “tea shelf” trying to decide what she feels like today. After a moment, she picks up the ginger spice tea she got while she was in Bali.
As she puts a tea bag into her mug, the electric kettle goes off. She pours hot water into the mug, and inhales that initial steam that only comes when a fresh tea bag meets hot water for the first time. The stress of the day starts to wash away, and she is satisfied with her decision to prioritize her tea.
She takes her mug and plops down on her living room sofa. She reaches for her remote and turns to NY1. In a minute she learns about 2 murders, the Mayoral debate from last night, and what she already knows very well… it’s raining outside. She pushes the DVR button on her remote, fully prepared to watch the rest of last night’s, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta (LHHATL). Just as Stevie J’s face pops on the screen, her phone rings. The ringtone: Kelis shouting, “I hate you so much right now…. Arrrrr.”
She freezes… as if staying absolutely still, would make it stop ringing. It worked… But soon her house phone starts to ring.
Sierra: I so… can’t right now. (She mumbles to herself.)
Her answering machine picks up.
Wallie: (On machine) Hey. Guess you’re still on the train. (Awkward silence) I want to see you. (Awkward silence) Call me when you get in. (Awkward silence) Ok?
Sierra just sits for a few moments. She starts to take a sip of her tea, but changes her mind before the cup meets her lips. She no longer feels at ease. She puts down her cup, walks off-stage, and comes back in sweat pants. She picks her dress, her coat, her scarf, and her socks off the floor. And she neatly puts her rain boats together by the door.
(Text message tone goes off. She grabs her phone and reads message.)
Sierra: Nope. Not home yet.
(Text message tone goes off again. She reads.)
Sierra: You’re were??!! (She types a response. Rolling her eyes and sighs.)
After she sends the message, she throws her phone on the sofa, walks to a closet, and grabs one of her huge sweaters. She puts it on, and opens her door. She stands and waits anxiously.
Soon Wallie runs in. No umbrella, but hardly wet because he was in his car. He’s wearing blue jeans, a black t-shirt, and black boots. As soon as he walks in, Sierra can smell his cologne. She hates herself for noticing how good he smells.
Wallie: So… No hug?
They stare at each other for a while and finally Sierra opens her arms. He comes in for the hug. He smells the coconut oil in her hair, and it takes everything in him not to press her against the wall and kiss her hard the way he’d done just last week.
They pull away and Sierra immediately turns her back to him.
Sierra: Want some tea?
Wallie: You and your teas. (He laughs.)
Sierra: (Suppresses the urge to laugh with him.) Want some?
Wallie: Nah. I’m ok. I can’t stay long.
She goes over to the sofa and sits. He follows her. There is a fight going on, on LHHATL.
Wallie: Why do you watch this crap?
Sierra: Don’t judge me.
Her face betrays her, and she smiles. But she quickly reaches for the remote and turns off the TV. They sit in silence for a moment.
Wallie: Fuck it. Let’s get married.
They both explode into a hysterical laughter. It subsides, but starts again when they make eye contact.
Sierra: Yup! That’s how I always imagined it! How could a girl say no?
Wallie: (Gets super serious.) Well that is an option isn’t it?
Sierra: Must I remind you of your very religious Hindu family, and my equally religious Muslim family?
Wallie: My mother loves you.
Sierra: She loves me as (mimicking his mom’s words, in her thick Indian accent) “that smart black girl from across the street who never stole from her store growing up. Not like all the other *riff-raff.” And we both know by riff-raff she means all black kids everywhere, including my brothers… how would you begin to explain to her you want to bring your very own black child into the world?
Wallie: I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is you… (His voice trails off.)
Sierra: I really don’t want to have this conversation again.
Wallie: Sierra! Not everything is about you, and what you want!
Sierra: Ok Wallie! What do you want? Because last month you couldn’t even bring me as your date to your sister’s wedding. But this month you want to bring me home to your family as your fiancée and mother of your unborn child?
Wallie: I want you to help me come up with another solution. A plan. We can do this…
Sierra: We?? Oh, so now it’s “WE?”
Wallie: Ok, so you’re punishing me?
Sierra: Now who’s making everything about them?…
Wallie: I get it. I fucked up. I should have been upfront with you from the beginning about the wedding…
Sierra: You lied!
Wallie: I lied. But it was always going to be you and me…
Sierra: Sorry. Didn’t get that memo, and I begged you for one. God! I went against everything for you. And you just…
Wallie: How many times can I apologize for that day?
Sierra: That’s right you already did. And I forgave you. Again and again. Guess that’s how this happened. I was so overcome by your remorse.
Wallie: Damn. How could this have happened?
They sit in silence again. Wallie staring off into the distance. Sierra staring at him. He turns to her.
Wallie: It was always going to be me and you.
Sierra: That would be great. But you’re talking about you, me, and a baby. That was never my plan.
Wallie: (In a low, disgusted voice.) I never thought I’d be with a woman who would get an ABORTION.
Wallie gets up. And storms out of the house. Slamming the door behind him.
Sierra sits wishing she hadn’t taken her lie so far. She just wanted to get him to see a future between them. And yes– hurt him, more than he’d hurt her. But now he hates her, and once again she’s alone.
*Found the Hindi word for “riff-raff,” but didn’t want to mess up my phonetic interpretation of it, using the english alphabet. But here’s a link to how its pronounced!