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Unconditional

Third Place One-Act Play Winner

Unconditional

A ONE-ACT PLAY

by Megan Mockerman


CHARACTERS

RILEY. 26. Nurse. Married to her high school sweetheart for eight years. JAIME’s older sister.

JAIME. 23. College student. Been with her boyfriend for a year. RILEY’s younger sister.

THE TIME

Present. Beginning of Fall.

THE PLACE

Interior of RILEY’s home. Hospital room. Bixby, Oklahoma.


Lights up on RILEY sitting patiently in front of the bathroom sink. She stares at a pregnancy test laying in the counter. After a beat, she gets up to look at the pregnancy test. She puts it back on the counter and turns her back to the sink, walking a couple steps away. There is already a look of disappointment on her face. After a beat, she turns to face the counter again. She abruptly steps to the counter and picks the pregnancy test up off of it. Her hand immediately drops with the pregnancy test still in it. There is a look of disappointment on her face, and it is apparent that she has had many negative tests before. She shortly composes herself and throws the test into the trash can beside the sink. She exits the bathroom.

Cross fade to the living room of RILEY’s house. It is fairly clean aside from some clumps of dog hair on the floor. RILEY’s sister, JAIME, is sitting on the couch watching T.V. RILEY enters and joins her on the couch.

JAIME

Was it positive?

RILEY

No. I didn’t think it would be anyway. It’s just that my ovaries have been acting weird the last couple days from that medication I just started taking.

JAIME

Like how?

RILEY

Well, yesterday, I could see it like … pulsing.

JAIME

That’s weird.

RILEY

Yeah. And I’ve been feeling kind of crampy.

JAIME

Well then, it’s probably just still too early. You said you had your period less than two weeks ago, right? And you just started that medication. Give it a little more time.

RILEY

Yeah. You gonna be in the delivery room with me?

JAIME

Yeah! I mean, if you want me in there.

RILEY

Mom thinks she’s gonna be in there with me, but you and Drew are the only people I’d want in there while I’m having the baby.

JAIME

Awww. I want to be in there.

JAIME looks at RILEY endearingly.

RILEY

Alright, quit being so sappy.

JAIME’s phone dings and she picks it up off the coffee table to look at the message. She has a shocked, guilty expression, and she quickly clears the message. RILEY knows something is wrong.

RILEY

Who’s that?

JAIME

Just mom. She sent me another pin.

RILEY

I talked to mom about Thanksgiving again yesterday, and she said that’s the week they have Addi, so I told her they’re not coming then. I already told her that I don’t want Addi in my house, and it’s not even Addi. It’s the way Ed acts when Addi is around.

JAIME

I mean I want Mom here, but you’re right. I don’t want to have to put up with princess all day. Every single time we all get together there’s drama, or Ed treats mom like shit. I’m over it. I just want to spend the day together and have a good time.

RILEY

Exactly. And I’m not going to slave over making food for everyone all day and Addi not eat. Last time they were here, Mom asked Addi if she wanted anything to eat, and Addi said no, so mom went ahead and made herself a sandwich. The minute mom sat down to eat, Addi told her she was hungry, so mom told her she would have to wait until she was done eating because she already asked her. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for princess because Ed had the nerve to tell mom to get up and make her something even though his fat ass was on the couch doing nothing but playing his computer game.

JAIME

Did she do it?

RILEY

No. I got up and did it. I didn’t want drama. 

JAIME

He’s a fucking asshole. She has Down syndrome. She’s not crippled. She’s eighteen years old. She can make her own damn sandwich.

RILEY

I know! She’s perfectly capable of being independent, but Ed enables her. And in the long run, it’s not helping her any. (Beat.) Whatever, I’m not going to let that ruin the holidays. I’m still excited since you and Grandma are coming. I told mom that you were going to be disappointed because we were supposed to put the Christmas decorations up together, but we can still put them up together. And on the bright side, I don’t have to buy as big of a bird.

JAIME

The last couple years we’ve done it just the two of us anyway, so I’m still excited. It’ll still be fun.

RILEY

I mean, it would’ve been nice to do it with mom, but I’m used to not seeing her anyway. She always says she’s going to visit, but she never does. She always says she’s going to leave Ed, but she’s never going to do that either.

JAIME

Yeah. At this point I don’t expect anything of her.

RILEY

You better not leave me. My kids will have no one. Mom says she’ll visit when I have kids, but she won’t. She doesn’t visit now, so why would she then. Just like she’ll never leave Ed. My kids aren’t going to have any family around. You have to have kids. Who are my kids going to play with? Jessie and Hailey’s kids?

Beat.

JAIME

I don’t want kids. (Suddenly.) I have to go to the bathroom.

JAIME exits into the bathroom. RILEY waits a minute and then picks up JAIME’s phone. She reads through JAIME’s text messages. She places the phone back on the coffee table, aghast. JAIME walks back into the room. She sees RILEY and knows something isn’t right. RILEY stands up to confront JAIME.

RILEY

You got an abortion?

JAIME

How did you … You went through my phone?

RILEY

Answer the question.

JAIME

You have no right to go through my phone, and that’s none of your business.

RILEY

Don’t act all high and mighty and try to change the subject. Now answer my question.

JAIME

(Defeated.) Yes. (Beat.) I’m sorry. I didn’t want anyone to know.

RILEY

Why didn’t you tell me?

JAIME

Because everyone was always harping on me about being safe and making sure this didn’t happen. And you, you told me that if I got pregnant you would punch me in the stomach.

RILEY

Like I would really fucking do that? Don’t use me as your excuse.

JAIME

I don’t need your anger. I have enough of that for myself. I’m ashamed. I will always have to live with the guilt and the regret.

RILEY

How could you do that?

JAIME

It was my choice! That doesn’t mean it was easy. It was hard for me.

RILEY

Apparently it wasn’t hard enough.

JAIME

You really think I’m capable of being a mother right now?! Honestly, you think I could support another human being when I can’t even support myself?!

RILEY

Don’t yell at me just because you’re trying to make excuses!

JAIME

When I went into the clinic, I was told the baby was unrecognizable and was just a tiny clump of cells. When I passed the baby at home, I saw the umbilical cord, like a silver thread floating in the blood. On the end there was a small, very small maybe an inch or two long baby hanging on to the thread. I could see a tiny head, tiny chest, tiny legs, tiny arms, tiny hands and feet. There were tiny black spots where the eyes had begun to develop. It wasn’t just a clump of cells. It was a baby. It was my baby. I think about that everyday. Sometimes I’ll go into the bathroom and lock the door to cry. I have to live with that.

RILEY

You expect me to feel sorry for you? I may never get to have children!

JAIME

You don’t know what it’s like!

RILEY

I don’t know what it’s like?! No, you don’t know what it’s like. You don’t know what it’s like to try month after month to get pregnant, to obsess over when you’re supposed to get your period and when you’re supposed to ovulate. You don’t know what it’s like to get excited every time you ovulate and to hope that it will be the month you finally get pregnant just to have it all come crashing down with a negative pregnancy test. You don’t know what it’s like to go to your coworkers’ baby showers, to buy them stuff that you may never get to buy for a child of your own. You don’t know what it’s like to wonder what is wrong with you, to wonder if your husband blames you. You don’t know what it’s like to try to get pregnant for years and find out that your sister got an abortion.

RILEY gets into JAIME’s face, causing her to back up toward the door.

RILEY

Don’t you dare tell me that I don’t know what it’s like. Get the fuck out of my house.

JAIME grabs her purse and goes to leave but turns to RILEY before she is all the way through the door.

JAIME

I’m not dad. You can’t expect me to go easily out of your life.

JAIME exits out the door. Blackout.

Lights up on RILEY sitting patiently in front of the bathroom sink. She stares at a pregnancy test laying in the counter. After a beat, she gets up to look at a the pregnancy test. She puts it back on the counter and turns her back to the sink, walking a couple steps away. There is already a look of disappointment on her face. After a beat, she turns to face the counter again. She abruptly steps to the counter and picks the pregnancy test up off of it. Her hand immediately drops with the pregnancy test still in it. She begins to cry in disbelief. She smiles hopefully. Blackout.

Lights up on RILEY lying in a hospital bed. She is holding her newborn twin daughters.

RILEY

I dreamed about becoming a mother ever since I met your daddy. But nobody tells you how hard it is to make a baby. Making you two is by far, the hardest thing I have ever done. It was all worth it though because you are already my everything. (Beat.) You two will probably experience all the firsts of your life together, so for every new journey, you will never feel alone. You will always have each other. You will find in each other a best friend to share all your joys and worries. Remember, you may have similar likings but different choices. You may have similar interests but different beliefs. Your individuality is as precious as your bond. Help each other grow but do not force your views on one another. Accept each other with open arms.

RILEY is crying. After a beat, she picks her cell phone up off of the side table and calls someone.

RILEY

Do you want to meet your nieces? … Yeah. … Reagan and Jade.

Blackout.

 

Lights up on RILEY sitting on her living room couch. She is holding the twins. There is a knock at the door. She puts the twins down to answer the door. It is JAIME. She enters with a gift bag, and she hands it to RILEY. There is still a little tension between the sisters.

JAIME

I got this for you.

RILEY

You didn’t need to do that.

JAIME

I wanted to.

JAIME goes to the couch where the twins are.

JAIME

Can I?

RILEY

Sure.

JAIME sits on the couch and holds the twins. RILEY sits on the opposite end of the couch.

JAIME

They’ve gotten so big already. They look like you. Except for their foreheads. They have Drew’s forehead. Poor kids.

JAIME smiles at RILEY. RILEY laughs. RILEY opens the gift bag. There are Harry Potter onesies and baby blankets.

RILEY

Thank you.

JAIME

You’re welcome.

Blackout.

Lights up on JAIME sitting patiently in front of the bathroom sink. She is now wearing a wedding ring. She stares at a pregnancy test laying in the counter. After a beat, she gets up to look at a the pregnancy test. She puts it back on the counter and turns her back to the sink, walking a couple steps away. There is already a look of disappointment on her face. After a beat, she turns to face the counter again. She abruptly steps to the counter and picks the pregnancy test up off of it. Her hand immediately drops with the pregnancy test still in it. She begins to cry in disbelief. She begins to smile. She exits the bathroom with the pregnancy test in hand.

JAIME

Babe!

Blackout.

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