The Bus Stop - Part 1
I thought I would share one of my other writing projects--a young adult play that explores one girl's quest to embrace her own super power. In this opening scene, our protagonist is approached by a band of middle school bullies.
The bus stop - Act 1 Excerpt.
Tomoko - 13-year old Japanese-American girl
Lee - Late 20’s Asian-American software developer
The Bullies - Three Caucasian middle school girls
Alexis: The brains
Jen: The tough one
Violet: The tag along
The scene takes place at a bus stop in a charming residential area. There is one bench and a simple bus stop post with one route listed on it. It is springtime and the street is lined with bare-limbed cherry trees. Tomoko is standing at the stop, immersed in playing a game on her phone. Lee is sitting on the bus stop bench, working on his laptop--headphones on to block out any distractions. The Bullies approach.
Jen: Hey Tomko, where you headed?
Without looking up, Tomoko slips her phone into her bag and keeps her head down. Lee briefly looks up when the bullies approach, but immediately returns to his work.
Violet: Are your parents sending you to one of those special tutors?
Jen: Yeah, a tutor for special ed kids. You know the short bus doesn't stop here right?
Alexis lightly brushes her hand across Tomoko’s face and yanks out a few strands of hair as she pulls her hand away. Tomoko winces and her eyes tear up.
Alexis: You know I feel sorry for you. Your hair is like so dark, like the color of oil sludge or something. Don’t most girls like you get their hair lightened so they don’t look so gross?
Lee looks up from his laptop. You get the sense that he’s turned down the volume on his headphones so he can listen in, but he still doesn’t say anything.
Violet: That’s right, Anju colored her hair like a strawberry blonde. It looks so pretty, especially when she wears those little bunny barrettes.
Alexis: Yes, well obviously Tomko’s parents don’t love her enough. Otherwise they would take her to a proper salon where they can clean up things like oil sludge.
Tomoko: (mumbling) Don’t talk about about my parents.
Alexis: What did you say to me?
Jen: No-one said you could talk to her.
Alexis: You’re upset because we know how much your parents are disgusted by you. It’s sad really. I pity you.
Violet: Yes, it’s really sad. I knew this adopted kid once. His parents left him with a neighbor or something and never came back.
Jen: Maybe Tomko will come home someday and her whole family will be gone. They’ll finally get sick of seeing her face and move back to China or something.
Tomoko: (looks Jen in the eyes) I’m Japanese.
Jen: Whatever, it’s all the same slanty eyes.
You hear a bus approaching from the distance. Lee puts his laptop away and walks up to stand next to Tomoko at the bus stop.
Alexis: (syrupy sweet) Have a lovely time with your tutor. Don’t let the other kids tease you. Just remember it’s not your fault you're so slow.
Jen: Until tomorrow Chink.
Jen pulls Tomoko’s bag off her shoulder as she passes and it falls to the ground in a thump. Lee quickly bends to pick it up and give it back to her.
Tomoko: (suppressing tears) Thanks.
Lights out as you hear the sounds of a bus stopping and the door opening.