The Bus Stop - Part 3
Here's another excerpt from a young adult play I'm working on that explores one girl's quest to embrace her own super power. In this scene, the bullies escalate their abuse, but they are cut short by Tomoko's new bus stop friends.
The bus stop - Act 2 Excerpt.
Tomoko - 13-year old Japanese-American girl
Lee - Late 20’s Asian-American software developer
Bernie - Late 70's African-American Male with slight southern accent
The Bullies - Three Caucasian middle school girls
Alexis: The brains
Jen: The tough one
Violet: The tag along
All scenes take 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 budding cherry trees. This scene picks up a few weeks later. The green buds on the cherry blossom trees are ready to burst. Tomoko is standing alone at bus stop, immersed in playing a game on her phone. Behind her you see a video game sequence of Yo-Kai Watch projected on a screen. She is wearing a button-up white shirt, coat, and black pleated skirt. The Bullies approach.
Jen: Hey Tomko, do they always make you wear a stupid uniform to deaf school?
Without looking up, Tomoko slips her phone into her bag and keeps her head down.
Violet: It’s so drab. Who would pick out such ugly black pleats. Yuck!
Alexis: Maybe we can spruce it up a bit. What do you think girls? A little accent color here and there. Hmmm, do one of you have a marker...
Violet: Oooh! I’ve got one. (Violet rummages through her bag and pulls out a fat pink sparkle marker). Here you go. It’s pink. My favorite color.
Alexis: Yes, pink is perfect.
Alexis steps behind Tomoko. Tomoko tries to wiggle away, but Jen yanks her coat down her arms to expose her white shirt and proceeds to hold her in place while Alexis writes on her back. Violet stands by giggling.
Alexis: There. It’s simply a work of art.
Jen spins Tomoko toward the audience to look at her back, which says “Chink” in hot pink letters with a childishly drawn slanty eyed face below. Tomoko finally wiggles away and pulls her coat back up to hide her shirt.
Violet: I totally love the sparkles. They really give it that extra pop.
Tomoko: (barely audible) Please go away.
Alexis: After everything I’ve done for you, you’re asking me to go away? You are so ungrateful, Tomko. My feelings are hurt.
Tomoko continues to stare at the ground. Jen nudges her and she tries to stay upright.
Jen: I said apologize Chink!
Jen pushes Tomoko with both hands. She stumbles back, dropping her bag. Jen lunges toward Tomoko and she flinches.
Jen: What a little sissy!
Alexis: If only you had better manners.
Jen: Want me to teach her a lesson?
Violet: Come on guys, that’s enough. (Covering her eyes)
Jen: Watch it or you’ll be next bubble butt.
Lee walks toward the bus stop. The bullies are too preoccupied to see him approach.
Lee: Hey! Don’t you have some place better to be?
The bullies turn around surprised, too startled to speak. Lee reaches down to get Tomoko’s bag and turns toward her with a grave look of concern.
Lee: Tomoko, are you ok?
Alexis: We were just giving her some fashion advice.
Violet giggles nervously.
Lee: Why don’t you just get out of here?
Jen: We were here first. Why don’t you leave?
Lee: (Ignoring the bullies and turning to Tomoko) Are you really ok? (Tomoko nods yes) I was hoping I’d see you. My buddies loved your idea for the game. They want you to test the next level when it’s done.
Tomoko: (Shyly looking up at Lee with a smile pulling at her lips) Really?
Violet: Cool! What kind of game?
Jen: What do you care?
Violet: I like games.
Lee: I’m sure you’ve never heard of it--it’s an American spin on Yo-Kai Watch.
Jen: What kind of stupid name is that?
Violet: That’s such an awesome game. Fumika’s so cool with her pink power heart.
Alexis: Whatever. Video games are for losers. Come on girls, let’s go.
Violet: See ya.
Alexis: (whispers through her teeth to Violet) Shut-up stupid.
Jen: Have fun at deaf school Tomko. (nudges Tomoko as she passes)
Bullies walk off stage in one direction as Bernie enters with his cane from the other direction.
Lee: You really okay? Did they hurt you?
Tomoko: No, I’m fine.
Lee: Are they always like this?
Tomoko: Only when they’re together.
Bernie: Hello. What a beautiful day.
Lee: Hi Bernie.
Bernie: Did I miss meeting your friends?
Tomoko nods her head no.
Lee: They’re not exactly friends.
Bernie: Oh, I see. They’re the evil type of Yo-Kai. What kind of mischief were they up to today?
Tomoko lowers her jacket to show them her back. Lee looks shocked. Bernie nods his head.
Bernie: Nope. I can see these Yo-Kai are not like the strawberry cream puff variety. Do your parents know about this?
Tomoko: No. They already worry about me so much, I don’t want to make it worse. As long as I ignore them, it’ll stop. It always does.
Bernie: So this isn’t the first time.
Tomoko: No, it’s pretty much every time I switch schools. My dad moves a lot for work.
Bernie: I see.
Tomoko: (shrugs) There’s only one other Asian girl in our middle school and her family is super rich, so she’s totally in with the popular girls.
Lee: I don’t think these girls are going to give up anytime soon. It seems to be getting worse. You should really talk to somebody.
Tomoko: I’m talking to you two. Isn’t that something? If it bothers you I can always walk down to the next bus stop.
Bernie: No, no, Tomoko. We’re happy you’re talking to us.
Lee: Yeah and I’m sorry I didn’t step in sooner. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve never seen girls act like that before.
Tomoko: It’s not your problem.
Lee: I don’t want to see you get hurt.
Tomoko: I can handle it.
Lights out as bus approaches.