Losing or Letting Go?

by Bernard Condon
Losing or Letting Go? Bernard is a ninth grader. He enjoys creative writing (and more specifically playwriting), dancing, cooking. He is also passionate about current events and politics.

“I’m just jealous of his father, he would come home from his weekend visits and talk about how fun they were. I can’t lose him.”

 

Scene 1

(Open on the dining room. MOM and ALEX sit at opposite ends of the table. MOM is speaking passionately)

 

ALEX

(Slams cup on table) MOM, C’MON, PLEASE!?

 

MOM

WHAT?

 

ALEX

(he takes a deep breath) I don’t want to get into yet another fight with you, let’s just-

 

MOM

(interrupting) We’re not fighting.

 

ALEX

Then what are we doing?

 

MOM

We’re have a civil discussion.

 

ALEX

But what you’re saying is hurtful mom.

 

MOM

I’m not talking specifically about your stories, it’s CNN’s stories…you know, generally.

 

ALEX

It doesn’t matter. Everytime we talk you bring it up.

 

MOM

If you don’t want to talk with me, stop coming to our Wednesday dinners, I don’t care.

 

ALEX

Mom, (he groans) that’s not what I mean.

 

MOM

I just don’t see why you are making this such a big deal.

 

(MOM picks up the plates and walks offstage. MOM continue talking to him from the kitchen offstage)

 

ALEX
Because mom, you do this all the time.

 

MOM

It’s only because I don’t see why you need to work for that place, I thought I raised you differently.

(ALEX doesn’t respond)

 

MOM (cont.)

This would all stop if you just found another job, someplace more sensible. I really think you’d be a good lawyer.

(Silence)

I’m ashamed when I talk to my friends and tell them you work for CNN. It’s embarrassing.

 

ALEX

PLEASE JUST SHUT UP

 

MOM

(Pause. She walks out of the kitchen and stands over ALEX) If you can’t be respectful and…and civil, just leave, okay?

 

ALEX

Are you kidding? You’re gonna lecture me about respect.

 

MOM

I’m just…baffled, I mean, I would never ever tell my mother, or anyone for that matter, to shut up.

 

ALEX

You see how ironic that is, right? Because I would never tell my OWN SON THAT I’M ASHAMED OF HIS JOB.

 

MOM

I’m your mother, I’m supposed to help guide you away from bad decisions.

 

ALEX

I can make my own decisions mom, just lay off me a little.

 

MOM

Really? And what about when you wanted to marry that girl? A few years ago?

 

ALEX

That was-

 

MOM

(interrupting) You came to me for advice. So then you tell me you don’t need me.

 

ALEX

(pause) You know, I really should just go.

 

MOM

Fine, go.

 

ALEX

I’m just done fighting with you over stupid things.

 

MOM

So you agree that it’s stupid for you to get angry at me over this, because it really is.

 

ALEX

(he takes a deep breath) Okay, I’m gonna go now.

 

MOM

Do you? Answer me, do you agree that its stupid?

 

ALEX

SHUT UP, SERIOUSLY.

 

MOM

Don’t speak to me that way, not again. It’s your fathers fault you’re so disrespectful, I would never have raised you to talk that way.

 

ALEX
You don’t know where to stop mom.

 

MOM
I’m just saying, those weekends you spent at his place ruined you. I don’t understand why you had to-

 

ALEX

(interrupting) Why do you always have to bring that up?  

 

MOM

Because, I really think he had a bad effect on you, always cursing, and drinking and gambling.

 

ALEX

(pause. He smiles) You know, mom, I was actually thinking of flying out to Las Vegas to go see dad soon.

 

MOM

Don’t make empty threats.

 

ALEX
It’s not an empty threat, the flights are cheap and I’ve been wanting to see him again lately.

 

MOM
He’s reckless honey. I’m telling you as a bystander, not as your parent, thats a bad idea. Don’t you remember when dad told you to skip school that one time and come to see him, and you got suspended. He’ll…he’ll get you into gambling and you’re just-

 

ALEX

(interrupting) Again, mom, I can make my own decisions.

 

MOM
You’re not gonna do it, I know you won’t.

 

ALEX
No mom, I will do it, I’ll do it right now, right in front of you.

 

MOM

(pause. She turns around and walks to the kitchen. She continues doing dishes) Well, I honestly don’t care. I mean, you’re right it is your decision, so, if you want to go then you can go.

 

(ALEX sits back down at the table and pulls out his computer, starts looking at something)

 

MOM (cont.)

I’m just telling you, a few weeks with him out there and you’re gonna come back as a gambler and-

 

ALEX
(interrupting) I got it.

 

MOM

I’m just warning you honey, he’s changed since you were a kid. Back then he just drank, but, you know, he went to jail a few years ago.

 

ALEX

But I’m looking right now, one of the flights, leaving Saturday and returning the 18th is only 200 dollars round trip, that’s a bargain. All I would need to do is tell my boss that I’m taking my vacation days for the next two weeks.  

 

MOM

Okay, do it, go ahead.

 

ALEX

Okay, then I guess I’ll just get this one.

 

MOM

Wait! What’s the airline?

 

ALEX

Southwest.

 

MOM
Oh…well, if I were you…and again you can make your own decisions, but if I were you, I wouldn’t take southwest. It’s a little, how do I put it…downmarket?

 

ALEX

You know, I think I’m okay.

 

MOM

You sure? I have a pretty funny story about Southwest.

 

ALEX

Okay….?

 

MOM

So once, when I was about your age, I took one of the flights, and guess what?

 

ALEX

What?

 

MOM

They lost my luggage. (she chuckles fakely) Isn’t that just hilarious?

 

ALEX
Yeah, I guess.

 

MOM

I vowed I’d never take southwest again.

 

ALEX

Okay mom. I’m just gonna go ahead. I’m gonna book it, okay?

 

MOM

(she runs out of the kitchen)  WAIT! WAIT!

 

ALEX
Oh my god, what mom?

 

MOM
I just really think it’s a bad idea, please, please, please, just don’t go, I’m begging you, please, please…

(she is out of breath)

 

ALEX
Okay mom, okay, just sit down

 

MOM

(she sits down) I just…I don’t understand why you’re doing this, I just don’t understand.

 

ALEX
Mom, somethings obviously wrong, just tell me, why do you care so much?

 

MOM

I just don’t want you to go see him, I really don’t. I promise you, I won’t ever talk about the politics or your job ever again, I promise you, just don’t go.

 

ALEX

Why mom, really?

 

MOM

I don’t know, I guess I’m just jealous of him, you know that. You always came back from your weekend visits and said how fun it was…

 

ALEX

But…I deserve to see my own father.

 

MOM

No, no, of course-

 

ALEX

(interrupting) So, I’ll just go ahead

 

MOM

No, please Alex.

 

ALEX
MOM, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

 

MOM

You can’t go, I’m sorry, I won’t let you. (she slams his computer shut)

 

ALEX

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I’M DONE HERE!

 

MOM
Wait, wait, stay, let’s just talk about something else. I heard there was a big win for the cavaliers last night.

 

ALEX

(he grabs his computer and his bag) See you in a few weeks mom, love you.

 

MOM
Wait…just…

 

(ALEX walks out the door, slamming it behind him. Blackout)

 

Scene 2

(Open on MOM sitting at the dining room table. She is on the phone, talking to her mom)

 

MOM

…and he just left. And I tried to call him later that night, and he didn’t pick up. I left four voicemails, FOUR! Right? So then yesterday, I get a text from him saying, “please stop calling.”

(pause)

No, mom, he’s being overdramatic and…and stubborn.

(pause)

Mom, I’m not at fault here. Why do you always take the other person’s side?

(pause)

I know mom… I’m just jealous of his father, he would come home from his weekend visits and talk about how fun they were. I can’t lose him.

(pause)

No, I’m not afraid of losing him.

(pause)

No mom.

(pause)

Mom, I’m not the one at fault here-

(pause)

That’s the problem mom. I know that I have to let him go, but I don’t want to.

(pause)

No, but I haven’t done anything wrong, I just love him, maybe too much.

(pause. She chuckles)

Yea, I do remember my rebellious phase.

(pause)

I guess so, but that was a different thing, you weren’t letting me live my life and…and always judging my decisions.

(pause)

I know that mom. Obviously, at some point, I will have to let him live his life…without me looking over his shoulder…oh my god, maybe you’re right mom.

(pause)

I just want to keep my eye on him…because, I don’t know, I guess I know that if I do, I won’t lose him.

(pause)

No, mom, I can’t let him go to Las Vegas, I can’t.

(pause)

Because, I don’t want to lose him to his own father. Maybe he’d start drinking and gambling, Maybe he’d never come back, I mean, he could go to jail or…I don’t know. Out there, who knows what could happen.

(pause)

I know you’re right mom, I’m afraid of losing him.

(pause)

And he’s not speaking to me. I…I’ve already lost him, on my own terms.

(pause)

What should I do mom?

(pause)

No mom, I can’t…I can’t.

(pause)

Wait, don’t go yet.

(pause)

Okay mom…love you.

(pause)

Bye.

(she hangs up the phone. She takes a deep breath. And then picks it up again and dials a number)

Hey Alex, I’ll buy you the tickets to Las Vegas…call me back when you get this.

 

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