SIGNALS

Setting: Generic business office.
Sue is a woman with a lot of experience in life. She should be played by strong actress who can show subtle emotion without having to speak it.
Dave is your basic office playboy.
Janet is everyday working mom.


JANET:
Thanks again for lunch Dave. That was awfully sweet of you. I owe you one.

DAVE:
Hey, my pleasure. I get tired of eating by myself.

JANET:
Yeah I know what you mean. Iíve been doing the solo dinner thing this week.

DAVE:
Nothingís wrong at home is there?

JANET:
No, Jim just got called away on business for about ten days. Heíll be back next Tuesday.

(Sue enters, carrying armload of files. Listens to end of conversation.)
DAVE:
Well why donít you join us tonight? Some guys and gals are meeting at Squiggyís to play some pool and stuff.

JANET:
WellÖ Let me think about it. Can I let you know in a while?

DAVE:
Oh sure. Itís no major event. Iíll check in with you.

JANET:
Sounds good, see you later.

SUE:
(Drops files on desk as Dave exits)
Here, this should last us til next year.

JANET:
(Feigns horror)
No! Itís, ItísÖ The manila folder beast! Aagh!
(Both laugh)

SUE:
So, what, is Dave trying to hit on you now?

JANET:
Oh Sue, donít be ridiculous. We just had lunch thatís all. Hey, he knows Iím married.

SUE:
Yeah. Let me guess, lunch at Julioís.

JANET:
Yeah So?

SUE:
Letís see, he whips out the platinum card, handís it to the waitress and says "Donít take her money; sheís passing counterfeit bills."

JANET:
Hey, howÖ

SUE:
Then when you protested, he said, "Donít worry, Iíll let you get the next one."

JANET:
(Uneasy laugh)
This is too weird, Sue. How do you know all this?

SUE:
Letís just say experience can be a harsh teacher. Look I know itís none of my business, but heís going to be coming by later to tell you that his other friends canceled out, but howíd you like to meet him for happy hour at Houlihanís.

JANET:
Okay look Sue, I appreciate your concern but give the guy a break, heís just being a friend. Besides, Iím a big girl now, I can look after myself.

SUE:
Iím sorry. Letís change the subject, okay? Still in that aerobics class?

JANET:
Yeah I go about three times a week.

SUE:
Is Lindsey still going with you?

JANET:
No. You know how it is, they get to that age, and they donít like to admit they even have parents.

SUE:
Oh yeah, been there, done that, bought the tee shirt.

JANET:
Tee shirtís black I bet.

SUE:
YeahÖ the tee shirt for that period was certainly black.

JANET:
(Laughs)
Heaven forbid I try to get her into something pink, or floral.

SUE:
Black nails, black eye makeup.

JANET:
Yep.

SUE:
Grades getting a little lower, hanging out with friends she doesnít seem to want you to meet.

JANET:
Have you been reading my mail or what?

SUE:
Sheís sending you signals Janet.

JANET:
What signals? Sheís just going through a stage. Didnít you have a rebellious period? I thought my parents were going to flip out when I brought home an Alice Cooper album.

SUE:
Iím sorry. Please forgive me for prying. I just donít want to see people go through what we did with Amy.

JANET:
Amy? Isnít that the daughter we met at the picnic?

SUE:
Thatís her.

JANET:
Sheís beautiful. What a personality.

SUE:
Iíll tell you what, you donít know the struggle to get her there. For a while we werenít sure sheíd make it.

JANET:
You mean sheís the reason you know about the black stuff?

SUE:
It got real bad for a while.

JANET:
Well itís good to see thereís light at the end of the tunnel.

SUE:
You donít want it to get that bad. You need to step in now.

JANET:
Oh come on Sue. Sheís only 12. What is she going to be up to that I need to panic over?

SUE:
Thatís what we said. Sheís only 12. She was really into all these vampire novels. We didnít care. At least sheís reading. Thatís what her teachers said. Besides Roger and I were raised on Dracula and Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King.

JANET:
I donít get it. So she read some horror. I love a good scare myself.

SUE:
It wasnít just the books. That was just part of it. Just one of the signals. It seems like one morning she left for school, for jr. high as my little girl, and came back asÖ I donít know who it was that came back.

JANET:
What do you mean?

SUE:
At the time it seemed like an overnight change, but we werenít paying close enough attention.

JANET:
Well we try to pay attention, when she lets us near her.

SUE:
We were in the middle of a rocky time in our marriageÖmostly because of a mistake Iíd made. So it was easy to blow everything off as just a phase, or hormones or whatever. The last thing we had time for was to listen to her. We had no idea where her head was at right about then.

JANET:
But weíre just talking about clothes and makeup here. Maybe some spooky sounding music, butÖ

SUE:
I remember the day like it was just this morning. Weíd just gotten back from the marriage counselor. It seemed like the worst was behind us. As usual the stereo was blasting out of Amyís room. It was a song she knew we hated, "Highway to Hell", but we decided that we didnít feel like fighting with her right then so we let it go. She had the CD player on repeat though and after about the fourth time through the song, Roger pounded on the door and told her to turn it down.

JANET:
At least Lindsey likes headphones.

SUE:
She just seemed to ignore it, and Roger started to get kind of mad. The door was locked, and as he got more angry, he started to lose it, and just broke the door down. Then we saw herÖ

JANET:
What?

SUE:
She was on the floor. The prescription bottle was empty, on the floor next to her. Her face looked so pale, like sheÖ likeÖ she looked like she wasnít breathing, her lips were turning blue. I felt like my soul was being ripped out right there on the spot.

JANET:
Oh myÖ I didnít have any idea.

SUE:
Neither one of us remembers calling 911, but somebody did. The paramedics could have ridden in on the backs of angels for all I could tell. They revived her, and got her to the hospital in time.

JANET:
Iím sorry Sue, I didnít know youíd been through all that.

SUE:
That wasnít the end, it was just the wake up call to the battle that we had ahead of us.

JANET:
What did you do? I mean how did she turn out so good?

SUE:
Iíve got to get back to work, so Iíll give you the short version. A few days later, a neighbor invited me to a womenís Bible study at the church around the corner. I figures I had nothing to lose so I went. Well I met a woman there who had been reading my mail. She knew just what we were going through, and was able to pray for me and to give me some good solid advice. Her daughter had been through a drug rehab program, and was able to make friends with Amy. If you want I can give you the address of the church.

JANET:
Thanks but Iím not sure thatís what I need right now.

SUE:
Okay, butÖ

JANET:
But do you think Amy would mind talking to Lindsey some time?

SUE:
I know sheíd love to. Look, Iíll get your phone number before I leave.

JANET:
Thanks.

DAVE:
(Enters)
Hey Janet. All the others canceled out on pool. How bout you and me head over to Andyís for happy hour? Seems like we could both use some company.

JANET:
(Glances over at Sue)
Thanks but I think Iíll pass. I need to go home and take care of some things.

DAVE:
Hey no problem. Maybe next time.

JANET:
(Absently)
Yeah, sure.
(Walks over to Sue)
Uh, what was the name of that church?

Copyright © 1999 Robert J. Lee

Performance Rights

Anastasis Productions Logo
Back to Scripts Page