Rejected

By Cleveland O. McLeish

Summary

John comes from a dysfunctional family, all of whom have known a lot of emotional pain. His pain leads him into making a series of bad choices.
Note: Only portion of the script is available here. The remainder can be obtained by contacting the author, whose address is at the foot of the script.

Characters

John Leach:  Early Twenties; just finished college and presently seeking a job.
Pauline Leach: Early Forties, mother and housewife.
Jack Leach/Voice: Late Forties; father and presently employed with Digicel.
Stacy Ferron:  Early Twenties, ex-prostitute; ex-Christian.
Phillip Taylor : Late Fifties; Pastor for the New Born Church of Christ.
Jackie Rennalls: Early Twenties, Youth Council leader; Receptionist at Heavens Gate.
Charles Taylor: Early Forties, brother to Pastor, friend to the leach family.
Note from playwright
This play was performed by SPADE (Sanctified People Appointed to Perform Dramatic Expression) Drama Group, Church of God of Prophecy, Old Harbour, Jamaica W. I in 2002.

SCENE 1 (Setting: Living Room)

VOICE: What is truth? That is a question with many answers. It is an undeniable fact that  all fairy tales have happy endings, but when measured against real life we see a different truth. A real Truth. That lifes stories have tragic endings. For once  conceived, man lives to die and others are left with the pain of his passing on. That  is the true cycle of our present existence.
LIGHTS UP TO DIM
 [A doorbell sounds once. A male enters the living room to greet a female who has let herself in. They mime having a heated argument. The  male takes her hand and she withdraws it.]
VOICE: Truth is as solid as the existence of the sovereign God. No man can bend it, Distort it, twist it, conceal it or ignore it without paying the ultimate price. Thus, our story begins and ends with death; because death is the ultimate price of sin.
 [The scene builds in intensity. The male tries to hold the woman, but she struggles with him. He wrestles her to the ground and holds her there, struggling, trying To free her throat from his grip. Another male enters, not expecting such a scene. The other rises to meet him. They argue intensely, gesturing towards the body lying on the floor. They realize that the body doesnt move.  The male who strangled the woman starts to fidget nervously as...]
LIGHTS FADE

SCENE 2(Setting: Living Room)

LIGHTS UP
 [Pauline walks to the window and looks out. Her face brightens. She steps back from the window and waits. Charles enters and is greeted with a hug. But to Pauline, something feels awkward about the moment. She pulls away from him and examines his facial expression]
PAULINE: I thought youd be happy to see me, after all these months.
CHARLES: I am.
PAULINE: So, whats wrong?
CHARLES: Nothing.
PAULINE: Youre sweating like a mule, Charles. I know you.
CHARLES: Im not at liberty to discuss my troubles with you. No offense.
 [Pauline considers this, and then decides to let it go]
PAULINE: Want something to drink?
CHARLES: Yeah. Sure.
 [Pauline exits. Charles walks to the window and stares out nervously. He backs away and checks a few more times before Pauline returns with two glasses of lemonade on ice. She hands one to Charles and sits him down]
CHARLES: Hows everyone?
PAULINE: Jack is at work as usual and John, well he said hed be back before nightfall.
CHARLES: Has he landed a job yet?
PAULINE: Nope. Dont know if hes over -qualified or just plain lazy. He hardly talks to me about his personal life anyway, so Im guessing.
CHARLES: I think he got that from his father.
PAULINE [smiling]: He sure did.
 [pause]
CHARLES: Im happy how things worked out...between you and Jack that is.
PAULINE: It was a long time ago Charles. Were past that.
CHARLES: The past has a way of catching up sometimes.
PAULINE: Im not worried and you shouldnt be either.
 [They stare at each other in silence for a moment]
PAULINE: You look good.
CHARLES: You too.
PAULINE: Where have you been...all this time?
CHARLES: I went to the country for a while. I thought the cool air would do me good.
PAULINE: It did.
CHARLES: All things considered, Ill take that as a compliment.
PAULINE: Whats on your mind, Charles? Really?
 [Silence]
PAULINE: Please...
CHARLES: I dont know much about death, Pauline. I have no idea what it feels like or how its supposed to look or what signs to look for that tells me its coming..
PAULINE: None of us do.
CHARLES: Death is certain and unpredictable at the same time. It just seems to sneak up on you at the most inopportune time.
PAULINE: What are you trying to say?
CHARLES: I cannot die carrying this secret inside.
PAULINE: Oh no. Dont even go there.
CHARLES: John has to know. He has to know the truth.
PAULINE: Weve been through this before. Many times. Why do you always bring it up again?
CHARLES: Because its killing me.
PAULINE: You should kill it.
CHARLES: Twenty years Ive carried this burden, Pauline. I want to be released from it.
PAULINE: You cant.
CHARLES: I have to. I know John and weve kept him in bondage long enough. He needs the truth.
PAULINE: Not now.
CHARLES: The truth will set him free.
PAULINE: Charles, think about what youre saying.
CHARLES: I have. Everyday for twenty years.
PAULINE: Havent we been through enough.
CHARLES: Im not ungrateful, Pauline. I mean, its good that you and Jack have come to some understanding about the whole thing...
PAULINE: Yes we have, and we have put it behind us.
CHARLES: Im not convinced you have. Something like this, it just never goes away.
PAULINE: It has, for us.
CHARLES: Then why is Jack hardly home?
PAULINE: He works hard to provide for us. You know that.
CHARLES: Work is just an excuse. He wants to be away. Everytime he looks at John he sees and remembers and it hurts him.
PAULINE: No Charles...we got past that a long time ago.
 [They stare at each other. A tense moment that is broken when John enters. Johns face lights up when he sees Charles]
JOHN: Hey.
 [Charles stands to greet him]
CHARLES: Hey yourself.
 [They clap hands together and wrestle a bit]
JOHN: Ha. Im still stronger than you.
CHARLES: You sure are. So whats going on?
JOHN: The usual.
CHARLES: Any plans for tonight?
JOHN: Not really.
 [Pauline stands to address John]
PAULINE: The church is planning to do some hospital visits all of this week.
JOHN: Good for them.
PAULINE: They wanted you to...
JOHN: No way. You know how I feel about hospitals and the like.
CHARLES [butting in]: Theres a new movie opening tonight.
JOHN: What time you coming to pick me up?
CHARLES: Say around 7:00.
JOHN: Ill be ready.
CHARLES: You can bring a friend along...if you want.
JOHN: No...I would prefer it be just us guys.
CHARLES: No problem. Seven then.
 [John gives Charles the thumbs up and exits. Charles watches him go. He then turns his attention to Pauline, whose smile has faded.]
PAULINE: Whyd you do that?
CHARLES: Hes young, Pauline. He has his whole life ahead of him. Therell be time enough for church stuff.
PAULINE: Is that what it is now. Stuff
CHARLES: You know how easy it is to get burnt out. A young man has to have balance or hell run himself to a wreck.
PAULINE: Hes already a wreck.
CHARLES: Well, I beg to differ. Anyway...I need the chance to talk to him.
PAULINE: Fine.
 [Pauline holds his arm as he turns to leave. He meets her eyes]
PAULINE: Bury the past, Charles. Were far better off without it.
 [The sound of sirens start to echo in the distant. Cold sweat wash over Charles forehead. He starts to fidget and stammers when he speaks.
CHARLES: I have to go.
PAULINE: Are you in some sort of trouble, Charles?
 [Charles meets her eyes in silence. He turns and exits quickly without another word. Pauline is puzzled. The sirens grow louder and louder as..]
LIGHTS FADE

..
Copyright Cleveland McNeish, all rights reserved.
This  is not the complete script. The entire script can be obtained by contacting the author, who may require a small royalty. Any payment can be discussed with him. He may be contacted at cabcom2000@yahoo.com
Other scripts by this author may also be found at his web site, http://cabcom2004.tripod.com