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The Playground, By Alexis Jenofsky
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Characters

Jean- Late 30’s

Younger Jean- Around 15 years old

Jet- A 10 year old boy

Mark- Around 15 years old

Jack- Around 15 years old

Julia- Around 17 years old

Setting

During the flashback moments we see a beautiful playground. There is a big oak tree right across the way. When we are not in the flashback we see what once use to be a playground with that same oak tree (a little older looking) across the street)

Scene 1

(We see Jean who is walking with Jet, they are admiring the scenery)

JET

But Grandpa I thought you said there was a playground here!

JEAN

There was son... I guess they took it down.

JET

WHY WOULD THEY TAKE THE PLAYGROUND DOWN? Everyone loves going to the playground.

JEAN

You know kiddo, when I was your age... a bunch of kids and I would come hangout here.(He points to a tree) You see that tree. That’s where I met your grandma.

JET

(Runs to the tree)

This tree!? (Laughs) How did you meet grandma under this tree?

JEAN

Well it all started when....(We go into a flashback.. Many kids are running around. We see Younger Jean, Billy, Jack and Mark playing a game of football)

YOUNGER JEAN

BILLY over here, over here!! I’m open

MARK

(He steals the ball from Billy and makes a run for it) HA

YOUNGER JEAN

What are you doing Billy? I said I was open... are you stupid or something?

BILLY

No I knew you wouldn’t catch it.

YOUNGER JEAN

What are you talking about! I was wide open, I would have had it.

BILLY

(Runs off the playground, looking extremely upset. This happens all the time)

Whatever.

MARK

Great job Jean, you made him run off again... now he’s gonna tell on us.

YOUNGER JEAN

He is just a baby, he will get over himself.

MARK

No. He won’t.

YOUNGER JEAN

(Picks up the ball) Come on go long! (He throws the ball and everyone just stares at him the ball drops to the ground, Mark and Jack grab their school bags and start to walk off) REALLY GUYS? Are you gonna tell your moms too?

MARK

Maybe we will.

JACK

Maybe we will just tell your mom.

YOUNGER JEAN

That’s low Jack...

(Jack and Mark walk off; younger Jean picks up the ball and starts to walk toward the tree. We see Billy sitting under the tree, Younger Jean see’s him and throws the football at him, then laughs)

BILLY

Come on dude. Just leave me alone, I’m not in the mood.

YOUNGER JEAN

(Kicks Billy’s foot) Why not? You know I’m over the whole football crap already.

BILLY

It’s not even about that J.

YOUNGER JEAN

Then you should be fine. Let’s have a catch.

BILLY

No seriously.... leave me alone. (Younger Jean laughs; Billy gets annoyed and is now frustrated) I DON’T WANT TO BE BOTHERED, just go!

YOUNGER JEAN

Ok man... (Younger Jean walks away)

JAY

Was Billy mad at you Grandpa?

JEAN

Well we never found out why Billy was upset.

JAY

Why not?

JEAN

Well the next day...

(Flashback: We are back at the playground where there is a lot of caution tape, and police cars around the area. We see Mark and Jack standing across the street from the playground. Younger Jean sees them and runs over to them.)

YOUNGER JEAN

Yo guys! (They ignore him. Younger Jean just stands there looking at them) So what happened over here?

MARK

We killed him J... we killed him?

YOUNGER JEAN

Killed who?

JACK

Billy... He’s gone.

MARK

He never went home last night... they found him lying in the mulch under the swings.

YOUNGER JEAN

We didn’t shoot him? So how are we all of a sudden murders?

MARK

We could've stopped him.

YOUNGER JEAN

Stop what-

JACK

Making fun of him! (Younger Jean is flushed. He starts to run off to the tree down the street. Younger Jay is completely out of breath he struggles to keep running and starts to jog toward the tree. He sits down on the ground. Younger Jean then notices that there was something buried in the ground. He digs into the ground with his hands finding a letter. The letter is in a plain white envelope. Younger Jay opens the envelope.)

YOUNGER JEAN

(Opens the letter and reads.) So you found me... or well my letter at least. I can only imagine this is J or Mark... Since you know that when I’m a baby and run off to here. I just didn’t want to be the baby anymore guys. I’m sorry. I really don’t have much more to say. Bye. Big Billy(He crumbles the letter in anger, tears filling in his eyes.)

(We flashback to Jay and Jean)

JAY

He killed himself?

JEAN

Billy wasn’t himself anymore.

JAY

Why would he do that?

JEAN

We will never really know.

JAY

So how does this involve Grandma? I’m confused.

JEAN

Let me finish the story kiddo, I’m getting to it! After Billy passed away my father thought it would be best if we moved to a new area because he didn’t want me living with stress. But Jay... I was stressed. Billy was always on my mind. 3 years later, I finally built up the strength to come back and to look at the playground where we use to play... to sit under the tree. That is where I met-

JULIA

(Looks scared) Oh hi! I can leave...

YOUNGER JEAN

No no, it’s okay. I was just strolling along.

JULIA

Nobody usually bothers me over here, so I come here once in awhile.

YOUNGER JEAN

I shouldn’t be bothering you. I’m sorry. Have a nice day (Starts walking away)

JULIA

I’m Julia... It’s great to meet you.( Younger Jean turns back around and goes to shake her hand.)

YOUNGER JEAN

I’m Jean. Most people just call me Jay.

JULIA

Well Jay what brings you down here?

YOUNGER JEAN

Just thought I’d come down to visit, check some things out.

JULIA

You came to check a tree out?

YOUNGER JEAN

Well I have some stories behind this tree... you know?

JULIA

What kind of stories?

YOUNGER JEAN

Ah I don’t really want to talk about it.

JULIA

It’s a while ago I understand. But I know how you feel... You see there, across the street.

YOUNGER JEAN

The playground?

JULIA

That’s where my brother was killed.

YOUNGER JEAN

(Shocked) Oh I am so sorry.

JAY

Was Grandma Billy's sister Grandpa?

JEAN

You got that right little Jay.

JAY

Wasn’t she mad at you?

JEAN

I don’t think so son.

JAY

She must’ve really loved you!

JEAN

When I met your grandma my life changed. I no longer bullied kids because I realized how much those words hurt, and how they hurt other people in the end. (Pause, Jay looks away) Jay I really brought you here because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did back in my days. You can really hurt someone. I will now live everyday in regret knowing that I made someone else’s life horrible.

JAY

I can only imagine Grandpop.

JEAN

Now come on... let’s play a little football. (Both start throwing football... scene fades out)

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