Ten-Minute Play: The Truth

This is a play I wrote for a Creative Writing class about a year ago. Decided to post it and a few other things I wrote for the class.

 “The Truth”

Setting: CASEY’S house.

Characters: CASEY, 17
ALYX, 16
EVAN, 17


[AIDEN and CASEY sit on a couch in the living room. Both half consciously watch the television in front of them while glancing back and forth to the cellphone each hold in a hand. Both wear a pair of jeans with a top- AIDEN with a navy blue one and CASEY with a pink. AIDEN’S attention is on the television until she is interrupted by the vibration from her phone. AIDEN looks at the message on her phone.]

ALYX: (off-stage) [reading the message] “Shopping with the ‘rents- call you when I get done.”

[CASEY notices AIDEN’S movement out of the corner of her eye as she remains engaged with her mobile device.]

CASEY: Is that her?

AIDEN: [brings her phone closer a type the reply, then rests her phone back down in her lap] Yeah. [watching the television screen] Tomorrow’s her birthday.

CASEY: [her fingers cease movement and she stares blankly ahead] I know.

AIDEN: You’re invited, you know.

[CASEY returns to her texting, sending a question]

EVAN: (off-stage) [reads CASEY’S text] Going to party- smart idea?

CASEY: It isn’t a question of going, it’s deciding what kind of present to get.

AIDEN: You don’t have to get her anything- I think you showing up would be surprising enough.

CASEY: What about you?

AIDEN: [her attention switches to CASEY] What about me?

CASEY: [looks to AIDEN] What’d you get Alyx?

AIDEN: [staring into her lap, avoiding CASEY’S gaze] It’s not the same.

CASEY: I know, I’m just curious.

AIDEN: [returns CASEY’S stare] About what?

CASEY: What to get for the person you admire the most.

AIDEN: [her eyes widen] You admire her? [her eyes narrow] Should I feel threatened?

CASEY: [chuckles] No- She’s definitely not my type. Just asking a question- that’s all.

AIDEN: [takes a moment to think, chin tilted towards the ceiling] Something memorable, something that will make them smile?

CASEY: What about the truth?

AIDEN: [looks at CASEY again] What do you mean?

[CASEY’S phone makes a sound, she inspects the screen.]

EVAN: (off-stage) [reading her reply to CASEY’S message] I don’t know.

CASEY: It’s hard to say what’s in your heart, and that’s more important than some chocolate or flowers, right? So wouldn’t that make for the best gift?

AIDEN: [frowns] What if the truth is what they don’t want to hear?

CASEY: What if they don’t react the way you hope they will?

AIDEN: N- [stops herself, pauses] Sure.

CASEY: It’s a risk.

[On the television, a commercial plays. A man gives a ring to a woman, then the two kiss. AIDEN continues to frown, CASEY shows a weak smile]

AIDEN: They don’t always say yes.

CASEY: I like to believe they do.


CASEY: If everything always worked out, then no one would ever get hurt. If we didn’t have worry about rejection every time we poured our heart out to someone, then we wouldn’t keep the truth bottled up inside for so long. If love was easy, perfect, then we wouldn’t lie or hurt the people we care about so much.

[AIDEN doesn’t reply.]

CASEY: [running a hand through her hair, stopping to hold the back of her head] What if she doesn’t like it?

AIDEN: Why is it such a big deal?

CASEY: Because what I say- [looks to AIDEN who stares back questioningly] get her means a lot.

AIDEN: This isn’t just about a present, is it?

CASEY: [getting defensive, her voice rising] I don’t know- is it?

[Both go silent. CASEY’S phone makes the sound again. She glances at the screen.]

EVAN: (off-stage) [reads the text] I’d like it if you came.

[CASEY smiles.]

AIDEN: [watching CASEY] What’s she like?


AIDEN: The girl you want to confess your feelings for?

CASEY: [blushes] I don’t know what you’re talking about.

AIDEN: Your face says differently.

CASEY: [turns her face away from AIDEN] It’s no one.

AIDEN: Say it without words.

CASEY: Subtle gestures don’t always work.

AIDEN: She’s clueless.

CASEY: She thinks she loves someone else.

AIDEN: What’s it like?

CASEY: What? Loving someone you can’t have?

AIDEN: No- loving someone.

CASEY: It’s warm, it’s like being home. [pauses] I guess.

AIDEN: Do you think… [glances at CASEY’S phone and sees the last message. She doesn’t finish her thought.]

CASEY: What?

AIDEN: [her fingers brush against her knees, her nails digging into her jeans] Why do people do things that hurt the ones they love?

CASEY: It depends.

AIDEN: [looks at her phone, finds no new texts, and sets it to her side] On what?

CASEY: Sometimes it isn’t love. I like to believe if you really love someone, you won’t ever do anything to hurt them. But… [goes quiet]

AIDEN: [looks at CASEY] But?

CASEY: Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we know those mistakes will hurt the person we love and sometimes we make them not knowing how our actions will impact that person or us. [her grip on her phone tightens] If it’s real, then they’ll find a way to forgive you and look past your faults. Or that’s what my mother always tells me.

AIDEN: Would you do it?

CASEY: What?

AIDEN: Tell the truth even if you risk losing the person you love.

CASEY: [pause] My mother told me this story once. A guy goes into a restaurant and dinner’s all-you-can-eat. So, a waitress brings him a plate of food and he starts eating. He finishes the first plate, so the waitress brings out another. The guy is starting to feel a little full, but he eats the second plate. He finishes, gets another. His stomach starts aching a little, but he doesn’t want to let a plate of food go to waste, so he eats that one, too. He figures the waitress will assume he’s done and bring the check. The waitress brings out another plate of food. The man looks from the fourth plate to the waitress, but says nothing. She walks away, and he figures maybe one more plate won’t hurt. He eats the fourth plate and at first, it’s okay. Then, something feels off. It’s not his stomach anymore- it’s an ache somewhere else. The guy gets up to find the waitress and has a heart attack.

AIDEN: [gives a confused look] Why would your mother tell you a story like that?

CASEY: It has a moral.

AIDEN: Don’t eat yourself to a heart attack?

CASEY: [laughs] Okay, it has more than one.

AIDEN: What’s the other one?

CASEY: She told me that if you never say something, no one will ever know what you want. If he would have just told the waitress he was full, she would have stopped bringing him food. But since he didn’t, she assumed he wanted more. You keep your mouth shut and let something keep building up and what do you get out of it? Sometimes you get nothing, sometimes you get a heart attack.

AIDEN: If you let something build up too long-

CASEY: It ends up a bigger mess than if you would have just said something in the beginning.

AIDEN: Are you willing to face the risks?

CASEY: [shrugs] Nothing to lose, everything to gain. [glances down at her phone] Maybe I’ll listen to my own advice this time.

AIDEN: You’re a lot braver than I am.

CASEY: I like to pretend that I am.

[AIDEN’S phone vibrates. AIDEN looks at the phone as CASEY looks at AIDEN. AIDEN picks up the device to read the message on the screen.

EVAN: (off-stage) [reads the message] Are we going to talk about what happened the other night?

[CASEY sees the question and name of the sender, her lips curl downward and her hand drops her phone onto the couch.]

AIDEN: [avoids replying to the text] So, what are you going to do?

CASEY: [attempts to hide her disappointment] Huh?

AIDEN: [returns her gaze to CASEY] Are you going to Alyx’s birthday party?

CASEY: [hesitantly nods] Yeah… I’ll go.

AIDEN: Don’t worry about the present.

CASEY: [grasps her phone in her hand again, tighter than before] I won’t. [pause] So, what is it?

AIDEN: [arching her eyebrow] What do you mean?

CASEY: What are you giving your girlfriend for her birthday?

AIDEN: I- [whispers, looking down] It’s a surprise.

CASEY: [frowns, then stares blankly at the television] I’m sure it will be.


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