At Rise: The library at Kyler’s high school.
(KYLER and his friend, GRACIE, sit at a table alone.)
GRACIE. (Dabbing at his cut lip) Does it hurt?
KYLER. (Flinching at her touch) Naw. Not much anyway.
GRACIE. Sorry. I hurt you.
KYLER. It’s okay. Has it stopped bleeding?
GRACIE. Yeah pretty much. Who hit you?
KYLER. Who said anybody hit me?
GRACIE. Come on, Kyl, you’re talkin’ to the expert on bullies.
KYLER. Sam and Ken and that crew.
KYLER. It was stupid of me…I saw them coming and didn’t turn around and leave. I was late for my next class.
GRACIE. They shouldn’t be able to run the school like they do.
(Beat. THEY contemplate the injustice of the school hierarchy.)
KYLER. You still coming over to study at my house.
GRACIE. Of course. You still want to?
KYLER. Of course. (He smiled) Just don’t tell my Mom what happened. I’m gonna say it happened in gym.
GRACIE. I won’t snitch. But you know you gotta tell your parents that this is going on, don’t you Kyl?
KYLER. Yeah, I know. But I’m afraid they’ll just transfer me to another school. That won’t make a difference and I like Washington High.
GRACIE. You can’t keep getting beat up. So what if you think you’re a girl in a guy’s body? Most of the time, I wish I was a horse.
(THEY laugh at HER obsession with horses.)
KYLER. (Suddenly serious.) I want to kill myself.
GRACIE. No you don’t! Don’t talk crazy.
KYLER. Gracie, I don’t know how much longer I can pretend to be a guy. I don’t think like a guy, don’t feel like a guy, don’t do normal guy stuff, and I love fashion and makeup. Great smoky eye, by the way.
GRACIE. Thanks. (She paused.) Listen, you have got to get help. You can’t hide this and stay sane. What do you think your mother will say?
KYLER. I think she suspects. She’s great. Even when she came home early and caught me trying on her dress and shoes, she acted like it was cool. Asked me if I’d finished my homework.
(THEY chuckle together.)
GRACIE. I love your Mom. She’s the best.
KYLER. I know, right?
At Rise: Kyler and his family’s living room.
(KYLER sits on the floor at his mother’s feet. His homework is on the coffee table in front of him. KATHARINE sits on the sofa leafing through a magazine.)
KYLER. (Keeping his head down.) Mom.
KATHARINE. (Flips a page.) Uh-huh?
KYLER. You know how you’re always telling me that I can tell you anything—anything at all?
KATHARINE. Yes. And that no matter what I will always love you. Don’t forget that part.
(Losing HIS nerve, KYLER is silent. KATHARINE sits up and reaching out, ruffles HIS hair.)
KYLER. (Smoothing his hair down.) Cut it out, Mom!
KATHARINE. Sorry. I forget that you’re all grown up, in high school and everything. Where did the time go?
KYLER. I dunno.
KATHARINE. So? What’s up, Peanut?
KYLER. I’ve got something pretty serious to talk to you about.
KATHARINE. You finally going to come clean about how you got that busted lip?
KYLER. (He blushes) How’d you know?
KATHARINE. I have super Mom powers. I know all. What happened?
KYLER. It’s no big deal. There’s this bunch of guys at school, jocks, and they roughed me up a little.
KATHARINE. ‘Roughed you up?’ I’d call a split lip more than a little horseplay.
KYLER. You gotten promise you’re not gonna do anything about it. Promise, Mom! Besides, that’s not what I want to talk about.
KATHARINE. (Laughs nervously) Please don’t tell me you got a girl pregnant.
KYLER. Gross, Mom!
KATHARINE. (Teasing, she smiles.) Well! That’s a relief.
KYLER. Besides I don’t have a girlfriend.
KATHARINE. What about Gracie?
KYLER. Mo-o-m-m! She’s just a friend.
KATHARINE. Okay. What’s going on?
ONLINE FOLLOW THROUGH
About the author: Trisha Sugarek
Back to Table of Contents