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Day 1 "Of Mice and Men"

by Kyle Major 10 months ago in Series · updated 10 months ago
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A High School Perspective (Adult Lang. used)

ACT I

CHLOE and DAVID wait by the mailbox for their carpool to arrive and bring them to their first day of High School at Northern Oak Public. David looks a bit shaken by Chloe’s edgy hairstyle and change of fashion. He glances over and she makes eye contact.

Chloe: What?

David: Nothing.

Chloe: Well, why do you keep looking at me?

David: I wasn’t I was trying to read that sign over there.

Chloe: It’s a stop sign. It says “stop.”

David: Yeah, that’s good that it’s there to let people know to do that when they’re driving. Otherwise people would be getting in more accidents.

Chloe: Why do you keep staring?

David: I’m not.

Chloe: Yeah, but you’re not saying anything either.

David: Yeah, you ever just… look?

Chloe: Is it because I changed my hair?

David: I noticed that, but I wasn’t going to say anything.

Chloe: Does it look bad?

David: Did you mean to shave the whole side of it?

Chloe: Yes, I meant to, that’s what the style is. God.

David: Then it worked! You did that.

(silence)

Chloe: But does it look bad?

David: No it doesn’t look bad; it goes nice with your black clothes.

Chloe: I threw away all my colorful clothes.

David: Oh, why did you do that?

Chloe: Because, like, this is the only thing I like wearing.

(silence)

David: I was going to throw out all my colored clothes too.

Chloe: You were?

David: Yeah. No, but I thought about it. I thought that might be something I could do. I just, didn’t have a lot of black shirts after so I would only have like three shirts to wear.

Chloe: Oh, yeah that would be kind of gross.

David: Yeah, so I didn’t.

(silence)

David: Are you taking gym this semester?

Chloe: No, thank god. I hate gym.

David: Me too. I hate it too.

Chloe: Are you taking it?

David: Well yeah, my dad signed me up. He got me this book over the summer on how to be an athlete and he thinks it’ll help with—what classes are you taking? Are you still playing the flute?

Chloe: No, I didn’t want to do that anymore either.

David: oh, that’s cool.

NINA, STANLEY’S sister, pulls up in her minivan. David enters the backseat. Chloe reaches for the front-seat, but the door is locked. Nina shakes her head behind sunglasses and mouths “no.” Chloe heads for the back. The door SHUTS.

Stanley: Whoa… what did you do to your hair?

Chloe: Shut up, Stan!

David: Yeah, Stan, shut up.

Stanley: You look like one of those girls from smoking commercials.

Chloe: Oh, do I? Do I really look like that?

Stanley: My dad would follow you around his store if you came in looking like that.

Chloe: Like what? They’re just clothes.

David: Yeah, like they’re just a shirt and some pants.

Stanley: Yeah, but they’re like, boy clothes.

Chloe: What does it matter what I dress like. Clothes are just clothes.

David: That’s what I’m saying.

Chloe: Besides, Stanley, you dress like a 35-year-old divorced dad.

Stanley: I do not!

Chloe puts headphones over her ears to drown out the two boys in the car.

Stanley: I heard Patty Wrenkowski grew tits.

Nina: Ew! Stan, don’t talk about girls like that.

Stanley: You’re not supposed to be eavesdropping.

Nina: It’s my car, you’re not supposed to be a sexist pig.

Stanley rolls his eyes, looks to David and mimics a pair of large breasts.

David: No way.

Stanley nods heavily. The car stops again and Lorene hops in, sporting a bright pink sunburn all over except for her eyes which show she wore sunglasses.

Lorene: Hi, you guys. Hi, Chloe.

Chloe continues to listen to music.

David: What happened to you?

Lorene: Oh, well band camp started last week so we’ve been out on the football field learning the show for the game next week.

David: You learned a whole show in 5 days?

Lorene: No, just the opening quarter. We had the whole summer to learn the music but playing and marching is a lot harder, so I’ve been practicing around my house.

Stanley: In those five days, they didn’t teach you how to wear sunscreen?

Lorene: They told us, but I forgot on Friday.

Nina: Laura?

Lorene: It’s Lorene, what’s up Nina?

Nina: Do you have that gas money your mom mentioned?

Lorene: Oh yeah, it’s right here.

Lorene fishes into her pocket then hands $10 to Nina. David leans into Stanley and whispers.

David: Am I supposed to be paying your sister for these rides?

Stanley shrugs.

Lorene: So, did you guys hear that Patty Wrenkowski grew into her breasts?

David: What?

Stanley: Yeah! How did you hear about it?

Lorene: I saw her. She’s on the cross-country team and she was running by the football field without a shirt on. My mom told me that’s not how you get boys to notice you, but it seemed to be working for Patty.

Chloe: God, Lorene, do you ever have a thought that doesn’t originate from your mom?

Lorene: Oh, hi Chloe. I didn’t think you could hear me because you didn’t answer when I said hi.

Chloe: Yeah, well I didn’t really feel like talking, okay?

Lorene: That’s okay. Sometimes I don’t feel like talking very much either.

Chloe: Great.

Lorene: I like your haircut.

Chloe: Thanks.

Lorene: Chloe?

Chloe: What?

Lorene: Did you know that you’re wearing boy clothes?

Chloe: They’re not boy clothes. They’re just clothes. Besides, you’re wearing pretty much the same thing.

Lorene: Oh, this is just the clothes I wear for marching band practice. Speaking of which, how come you didn’t want to play flute anymore?

Chloe: I don’t know, Lorene. It’s not very fun.

Lorene: It’s not?

Chloe: No, not really.

Lorene: Hmm, I guess that’s the difference between a woodwind and the low brass section. I really like the sousaphone.

Stanley farts, much to the dismay of the car.

Nina: What the hell, Stan?

Stanley: I thought it was going to be quiet.

David: But you still decided to fart on us?

Chloe: That’s gross, Stan.

Lorene: I can’t smell a thing, thanks to these allergies.

Chloe: Lorene, don’t breathe through your mouth.

David: That’s worse, Lorene.

Lorene: How is that worse?

David: Because it’s like you’re eating it.

Nina: If that happens again, from any one of you, you’re getting out and walking for the rest of the year.

Nina pulls into the school parking lot and heads for the back of the lot.

Stanley: What are you doing? You just passed tons of close spots.

Nina: Hey, it’s my car. I know where to park.

Stanley: Yeah, but now I gotta walk further.

Nina: Too bad. Hop out here.

The four students hop out of Nina’s car and begin heading towards the school’s Freshman Academy. On the schoolyard we see friends catching up and students talking to one another. Some wander aimlessly around. A boy gets tripped by having his back foot kicked behind his front.

Chloe: This is gonna suck.

Teacher: Earbuds off, miss.

This teacher, Ms. Toliver reaches to remove Chloe’s earbuds from her head.

Chloe: This is gonna really suck.

Toliver: What was that?

Chloe continues walking.

Lorene: I’m headed to the band room. See you guys at lunch.

Lorene walks off. Stanley grimaces at David.

Stanley: I haven’t decided who I’m sitting with at lunch.

David: Well, why wouldn't we sit with Lorene.

Stanley: She has her band friends, and we're not really like that anymore you know. I haven't figured out my group yet.

David: Why do you have to figure it out? Couldn’t we just sit with Bryce Wilson like we did last year?

Stanley: David. Come on. That was middle school. Bryce Wilson was our friend because we had four classes together and knew him since the second grade. He’s not gonna sit with us.

David: Why not? He still knows us.

Stanley: Davey boy, I hate to be the one to break it to you. These are the same faces we’ve seen for years, but they’re not the same people.

David: How so?

Stanley: Things are different. I can’t explain it, but you’ll find out soon enough. Nothing from last year matters here. We’ve got a tabula rasa in front of us.

David: What’s that?

Stanley: A clean slate. Do whatever you can to make a good impression because the next four years are based on what they remember about you today. I’ll see you in gym.

David: You’re taking gym?

Stanley: It’s part of the new me. I want people to see Stanley Huddleston and think, “renaissance man.” A man who can do it all.

David: All right. I guess I’ll just wait to see what my thing is.

The first bell rings and David walks into an English class with the teacher who removed Chloe’s earbuds. Chloe sits at a desk in the back row. David sits in front of her. Across the room, PATTY WRENKOWSKI walks in. David notices her and turns to Chloe.

David: Stan was right.

Chloe: Don’t talk to me.

David waves to Patty.

David: Hey, Patty.

Patty: Oh, hi David. I guess I haven’t told you yet, that I’m wanting to go by my real name, Patricia.

David: That’s cool, that’s pretty cool. I was also thinking of going by my real name.

Patty: I thought you already went by David?

David: I do, it’s just that sometimes people think I might go by Dave because it’s short for David and David is long for Dave, it was just to like clear up any confusion.

Patty: I guess so. It’s been so long since I saw you. I had such a busy summer.

David: Yeah, I know what you mean, I did too. I haven’t really seen anybody, because of all the traveling and stuff I did.

Patty: Oh, you traveled? Where to?

David: I went to Dayton, Ohio. My cousin got married.

Patty: Oh that’s so fun! I love weddings.

David: I guess my cousin does too since this was like her third.

Patty: Oh, well I hope the third time’s the charm.

David: Maybe! I don’t really know the guy.

Patty has sat in front of David who turns around to look at Chloe for approval. Chloe rolls her eyes.

Toliver: Alright class, don’t bother taking seats, I’ll be seating you alphabetically anyways. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can begin class. Albright, Anderson comma C. Anderson comma H. Anderson comma W. Are you related? No? Lord help me. Burroughs. Cameron. Carter. Childs. Cross. Dewbury. Easton. Edwards.

David takes his seat between MASON DEWBURY and SAM EDWARDS.

Sam: Dammit.

David: What?

Sam: I wasn’t talking to you lard-ass.

David: Whoa, what?

David leans over to talk to Mason.

David: What’s that guy’s deal?

Mason: Shut up, Lenny.

David: Are you talking about me?

Toliver: Mister…Easton? Why do you feel the need to interrupt me?

David: I wasn’t trying to.

Toliver: Well, talking over me is a good way to get my attention. May I continue?

David: Sure.

Toliver: Yes, ma’am.

David: Yes, ma’am.

Sam: Nice going, lard-ass.

Toliver: Wang. And Wrenkowski.

Chloe takes a seat, followed by Patty behind her. A boy WHISTLES at the mention of Madi’s name.

Toliver: Who did that? Well, I certainly hope that was an involuntary whistle and not the objectification of one of your fellow students because I would feel pretty ashamed if I were you.

Toliver leans down near Patty.

Toliver: I would also feel ashamed for wearing such revealing clothing to the first day of class. I suggest you begin bringing a jacket to school with you.

To the class.

Toliver: Now, your summer reading assignment was to read the novel: Of Mice and Men. I hope everyone has a copy because we will be discussing the first four chapters.

David digs around his bag to his right and bumps Mason's arm.

Mason: Would you knock it off? She should have sat your fat ass on the bleachers.

David: Sorry, I was just getting my—

Toliver: Since you feel the need to interrupt my class, surely, your mind has progressed past anything I could teach you here in English 1. So why don’t you teach the class?

David: I can’t.

Stifled laughter from other students.

Toliver: Let this be the first lesson not included in my syllabus: I will not treat you like middle schoolers here. You are becoming young adults and I expect you to act like it when you’re in the classroom. What you do outside of the classroom is then based solely on your morals.

Toliver stares at Patty and Chloe. Chloe shrugs this off while Patty looks deeper into her book.

A second BELL and we are now at the gymnasium where Stanley and David are sitting on the bleachers. Stanley is telling David about his first class of the day.

Stanley: And on my way to this class, I saw a girl wearing a spaghetti strap top. Dave, the straps were thinner than my pencil.

Sam: Sounds like they were bigger than your dick too.

Boys laugh as they head to the locker room.

Stanley: Who was that?

David: That’s Sam Edwards. I sit next to him in English. He hates me because I’m fat.

Stanley: Why?

David shrugs. A WHISTLE blows throughout the gymnasium. COACH ATRAN’s sneakers SQUEAK on the court.

ATRAN: All right, everybody settle down, now. Settle down now. If you are looking for any class other than Physical Education, I don’t know why you’re in the gymnasium but you’re here and you better get going. Nobody? Good. I am Coach Kent Atran, but you can all call me: Coach A-Train.

The athletes in the class cheer at this mention.

Atran: But some of you are just here because you need a credit to graduate. You think you’re gonna get it out of the way early, that’s smart. Just hope I don’t find a beast locked away in there.

Stanley: I’ve got a beast in me.

David: That sounds kind of gross dude.

Atran: But, first things first. This week we’ll be recording your beginning of semester physical. We’ll revisit this before winter break and you’ll be able to see how much you’ve improved. The only way you fail gym is if you don’t do better in the winter than you do today. So, let’s run. Everybody out on the football field.

David: We’re running today?

Stanley: I didn’t wear running shoes. These have no support.

Mason: It’s PE moron, you need tennis shoes.

David: I didn’t bring a change of clothes. Nobody wants to sit next to the sweaty fat kid.

Stanley: Maybe if we hang towards the back, we won’t sweat that much.

Atran: I’ll be following behind on this Segway. If you need a bit of inspiration—

Coach Atran pulls out his megaphone and BLARES at the students.

Atran: (cont.) I brought my megaphone. Now, on the field in ten, nine, eight, seven…

Series

About the author

Kyle Major

Graduate of University of Central Oklahoma studying in Creative Writing and Film Studies

Former Editor for New Plains Student Publishing

Looking to join a community that builds others up!

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