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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chris's Predicament

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The clock strikes 1 AM.

Pamela (looking up from the computer and shaking her head): One more night Chris is not going to make curfew.

A door slams downstairs. Chris is heard running up the stairs.

Pamela (to herself):
Wow, some impact my lecture must have had on her! I've never heard her speed like that to her room!

But it is more than just speed that is moving Chris. She slams the door to her room, hard, and through the wall Pamela can hear her sobbing. Distressed, she hurries down the hall to the girls' bedroom and collides with Judith, who has also come upstairs.

Pamela (knocking on the door, hard):
Chris, please let me in! What happened?

Chris:
Go away!

Pamela:Chris, please!


read Pamela's monologue
Pamela Kutchinsky

Chris:
I said go away! Get out of here! Leave me alone!

Pamela (pauses):
Chris, talk to me! At least until your dad comes home.

Judith:
Mom, what could be wrong? (Snickers to herself): As if we don't know...

Pamela:
Stop it! Enough of your snide cracks! Don't you see she's in real trouble!

There is loud crying from inside the room. They stand by the door a long time. They hear Chris pacing back and forth as she cries.

Pamela:
Judith, Joseph's at the hospital on an emergency. I'll wait up for him and we'll find out what's wrong. Take a blanket from the linen closet and go ahead and sleep on the couch in the den. I have to help her...

Judith (mumbling to herself, walking to her mother's room):
She needs more help than we can give her...

There is silence in the bedroom Judith shares with Chris, who, it seems, has finally cried herself to sleep.

Pamela tiptoes downstairs and curls up at the end of the living room couch to wait for Joseph. She opens a magazine but just stares at the same page.

Half an hour later the Toyota pulls into the driveway.

Joseph:
Pamela! What are you doing awake at this hour?

Pamela:
Joseph, something happened to Chris tonight. I'm really worried about her.

Joseph:
What are you talking about?!

Pamela:
I don't know, but she ran upstairs, slammed the door, cried hysterically until she fell asleep and won't let anyone in.

They hear Chris' bedroom door open upstairs. She walks softly down the hall and into the bathroom. The shower begins to run. Pamela and Joseph sit tensely and say nothing, waiting.

Chris stays in the shower a long time.

Joseph:
I'm worried. I'm going to find out what this is all about.

He goes upstairs and knocks softly on the bathroom door.

Chris:
Go away!

Joseph:
It's me, Chrissie, Dad.

Chris (sobbing):
Go away!

Joseph stands outside the bathroom door, not sure what to do next. Pamela comes upstairs and stands next to him.

Joseph (softly):
Go to sleep, Pam. I don't know what's going on, but maybe if I'm here alone it will be easier for her to talk.

Pamela goes into their bedroom and lays down, fully clothed. She has a feeling the night is not yet over. Joseph sits down on the top step of the stairway, waiting for Chris to emerge.

She finally comes out wrapped tightly in an old terry cloth robe. Her arms are wrapped tightly about herself. Her head is soaking and her skin is red from so much scrubbing.

She walks straight into her room, not noticing Joseph at the top of the steps. She sits down in a chair, pulls her knees to her chest and starts to cry again. She does not see Joseph, who comes in and puts his hand gently on her shoulder. She jumps almost a mile. She turns away from him, even as he kneels down and tries to put his arms around her. He doesn't know what's wrong but he knows he has to comfort her about something.

Chris cries and cries and still can not bring herself to talk. She draws her arms more tightly around herself. Finally Joseph begins to suspect what is going on. He tries to stay calm, but can already feel the blood rising to his head.

Joseph:
Who did you go out with tonight?

Chris doesn't answer. Now he knows he is on the right track.

Joseph:
Is it someone you've been out with before?

She shakes her head. Her breath is heaving and she seems on the verge of hysteria. Joseph suppresses his need to ask more questions and just holds her close.

Joseph:
It's okay, you're safe now...you're safe now...

After a long time, Chris quiets down. She is physically and emotionally exhausted and just sits there with her head resting on her father's chest, her arms still around herself.

Chris begins to talk...


Next Episode: Chris Tells Her Story

Previous Episode: Pamela and Judith Have a Talk

Back to Austen-Kutchinsky Home Page

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 20:23
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