Title: The Nature of Accidents
Author: IrisFlower81 (Ellen)
Challenge: Member’s Challenge # unknown
Prompt: “But Then I Still Think About You” by Sylvie Symbiosis
Author’s Note: The challenge for this was to do a script or screenplay which, except for a crappy attempt in eighth grade, I’ve never even tried. The result is perhaps a touch melodramatic, but if I’d resolved it the way I wanted to, it would’ve been too long for the community. Feedback and constructive criticism are, as always, welcome. Thanks, and enjoy!
Act 1, Scene 1
A hospital room, sterile and white, with a bed in the center and a heart monitor on the left. In the bed lies a young woman, Becca, perhaps in her mid-twenties, blonde hair spilling out across the pillow. Her eyes are closed, and she appears to be asleep. A nurse, middle-aged and plump, enters.
Nurse: Honey, are you awake?
Becca (eyes opening without moving): Yes.
Her voice is wan and listless, she seems un-inclined to speak.
Nurse (timidly): Have you spoken with—?
Becca (sitting straight up in bed): Don’t you talk about him! I don’t want to hear it.
Nurse (taken aback): But don’t you think he’s—?
Becca: I don’t care how he is. He wasn’t there. Without him, none of this would’ve happened.
Nurse (softening her voice): This was no one’s fault, honey. It was a horrible accident.
Becca (sharply): That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gotten drunk and slept with him. If I hadn’t known he was in love with me and I hadn’t finally given in.
The Nurse shakes her head slowly, wanting to contradict but not quite able.
Nurse (reluctantly): I think you’ve went through something that no woman should ever have to go through. And I think that it’s skewered your judgment to some extent. Maybe you should give it a little time, and see how you feel.
She takes a half-step back, as though expecting an outburst from her patient. None comes.
Becca (eyes wet with unshed tears): You don’t understand. How can I look him in the eye again?
The Nurse has no reply for this. She fusses over Becca for a few minutes, checking her heart rate and blood pressure before giving her a gentle pat on the arm and leaving the room. Alone, Becca presses a hand to her face, trying not to cry.
Becca (to herself): She doesn’t understand. She’s never lost a child, never had one die while she was still carrying it, and for no reason.
These words seem to make her situation real to her, and a few tears slip from her eyes.
Becca: What am I going to do now? I can’t face him, not knowing I’m the reason his child is gone. He wanted this so much. God, I wanted this so much. And now we have nothing. How am I going to start over from this? And alone. How is he going to? What am I going to do? Without him, what am I going to do? (She pauses, as the words sink in.) Without him. (Another pause, shorter this time.) God, I don’t want to be without him. I can’t be.
Her decision made, she flings back the covers and stands, her legs trembling with the effort. It is clear she has not been on her feet in a few days, but she stumbles to the door anyway and opens it. Still in her hospital gown, she attracts minimal attention from those nearby. Only the nurse whom she has just seen approaches.
Nurse: Becca! What are you doing?
Becca turns to speak to her, to explain where she’s going when another voice calls her name. A man bounds down the hallway towards them. Matt, also in his mid-twenties, clad in a sweatshirt and jeans, calls his girlfriend’s name.
Matt: Becca! Becca!
Becca turns to him, and he slows just enough before reaching her to take her in his arms. They stare into each other’s faces as she speaks.
Becca (tripping over her own words): Matt, I’m sorry. I-I want to give this another try. I never should have—
Matt (interrupting her): Shh, it’s all right. I love you, and I promise we’ll work things out.
His words reassure Becca, and she presses her face to his chest. They hold each other in the middle of the hallway, as the Nurse backs away, leaving them to patch things up.