( Music “Home” by Foo Fighters)
(A girl sits on a park bench staring at the horizon. She’s silent and seems absent- minded, deep in her thoughts. A few more benches are placed in front of and behind the one on which the girl sits, which it’s placed right in the middle. She’s holding a book in her hands, people can’t see which book it is. An old man enters the stage, Resembling a mix between homeless and hipster, the audience unsure, perhaps a gipsy?. The man wanders around a bit and finally decides to sit next to the girl.)
Man: May I sit here?
Girl: ( having a quick look and immediately returning to her thoughts ) Sure, it’s empty. (The remain in silence for a minute. He’s staring at her, she seems not to notice , still very much deep in thought.)
Man: Are you ok?
Girl : Yes
Man: You don’t look ok.
Girl: Well… I’m ok.
Man: Are you sure?
Man: What’s in there?
Man: In the pond, it seems as if you’re trying to find something in there.
Girl: There used to be ducks, pigeons and swans.
Man: Used to…?
Girl: ( About to cry ) Can’t you see it’s dry now?
Man: What else used to be in there?
Girl: ( She takes control again) Nothing.
Man: I thought you were going to tell me something.
Girl: I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like talking. Please understand.
Man: I don’t, but I’ll give you some space. I’ll be sitting at the back in case you change your mind.
Girl: Thanks. (He sits at the back on one of the benches, she returns to her thought while the man continues to watch her. Girl is completely down, covering her face with her hands. Man notices.)
Man: What’s going on sweetheart? You’re tearing an old man’s heart apart.
She starts to cry
Girl: We used to feed the ducks and the swans, and keep the seagulls away from the pigeons.
Man: With whom?
Girl: We used to sit here, on this bench…
She cries more.
Man: Come here ( he embraces her) it’s all right, it’s all right. You’ll be fine.
Girl: He used to tell me that I shouldn’t cry. Strong people don’t cry, only the weak do. And I look very ugly when I cry.
Man: He was right, you’re pretty ugly now.
Girl: We used to spend long hours here, he would teach me things about nature, all the names of trees, plants, animals. I can’t remember any of it now… but he still remembers… remembered… ( cries again)
Man: Come on!
Girl: Please go! I’m fine.
Man: You could be many things now, but you’re far from fine.
Girl: I want to be alone.
Man: You’re lonely already. Look at the city where you live, you ride buses and trains ignoring people, pretending that they’re not there. You’re surrounded by millions of people, but don’t want to notice them.
Man: Ok. I’ll be sitting there if you need me.
Girl: I’m fine.
Girl: We used to sit here, he promised me he’d always be there for me. But he lied. He promised me. I guess he couldn’t stay…
Man: Who was that? (He approaches her very slowly and sits on the bench)
Girl: I didn’t do it on purpose, never…
Man: I know…
Girl: Where are the swans? The ducks? The pigeons ?
Man: They had to go. Season changes, so do they.
Girl: I brought some bread. Who am I going to feed now?
Man: We could eat it. I could do with some old bread.
Girl: (smiles) I used to love Sundays, it was our day. We used to go for long walks along the river or somewhere else. He made me who I am now.
Man: And who are you now?
Girl: A gipsy, a nomad, a “sans domicile”.
Man: Who is him?
Girl: Now he’s gone.
Man: We can still feed the swans if you want.
Girl: But there are none.
Man: They will be always be there with you. So will he.
Girl : I couldn’t say goodbye.
Man: Gypsies never say goodbye.
Girl: I was travelling, going to places as he always wanted to do and he couldn’t, because he met mum, he married her, he was happy and he had his girls, so he didn’t need anything else but that.
Man: He changed his travelling, nomadic lifestyle for his real passion: his family and he was fine with that. You don’t look fine.
Girl: But I’m fine.
Man: Stop lying please!
Girl: (Pauses) I’m not fine. I was doing this for him, so he’d be proud, but he never told me he was proud.
Man: I’m sure he was.
Girl: But he never said it!
Man: Some people never say how they feel, they keep repeating the same story and showing the same face, but their acts and the things they don’t say are there speaking for them.
Girl: He was my hero… no more heroes…
Man: Now you’re my hero.
Man: Because you look like the person I always wanted to be.
Girl: Thank you. He died few hours ago. Suddenly. He wasn’t even sick!
Man: Was he old?
Girl: In his seventies. I wasn’t ready.
Man: One can never be ready for these things.
Girl: I’m all alone! Everyone I’ve ever loved has run away from me!
Man: I think you runaway, you’re still doing it.
Girl: I don’t want to go.
Man: It’s time. Stop hiding my little princess, I’ve found you.
Girl: ( finally looking at him) Dad, why did you leave me? I still need you.
Man: And you’ll always need me , but all of this will be with you. And even if my body won’t be here anymore, a part of me lives in you, and in there you can always find me. Bodies break down, spirits fade away, but people always leave the best of living within you. As grandma did before.
Girl: ( she rests her head on his lap) I’m lost and scared.
Man: ( stroking her hair) You’re stronger of what you think. I trust you and I’m proud of you. Now you need to go, mum and sis need you.
Girl: I love you. Even if I never said this before. I love you dad and I’ll miss you.
A girl comes onto stage. Man is gone.
Sister: Are you still here? Gosh! We were so worried!
Sister: Stop being sorry and be with us! That’s what we need. Please… Stop doing this!
Girl: Doing what?
Sister: Isolating yourself, running away. Life it’s not perfect, I’m sorry! But you have to face it. It’s your choice to do it alone, but you don’t have to. I’m here for you sweetheart.
Girl: Can I have one more minute? I promise I’ll go then.
Sister: Ok. How do you feel?
Girl: F… Awful, but I’ll be fine.
Sister: I love you.
Girl: I love you too.
Sister exits. Girls stays on her own. Opens the bag, spread the bread crumbs all around. Stares at them for a moment. Grabs the book “ Around the world in 80 days” and exits.