TOUCH Act I, Scene 4
(Lights up on the SEEKER’s bedroom. Through the window, we see lightning and rain. There is thunder. As for the SEEKER, she is sprawled out on her bed, writing in her diary. She is interrupted by a knock at the door and shoves the diary under her pillow. She forgets about the pen.)
SEEKER: It's open. (The CURED enters with a mug, which she sets down on the nearest flat surface.) What's that?
CURED: Hot chocolate. I thought you might want some. Is it still your favorite?
SEEKER: (Pause) It's okay.
CURED: Since when don't you like it?
SEEKER: Since two years ago. You stopped paying attention. (She gets off the bed, picks up the mug, and gets back onto the bed.) I drink coffee now. Or black tea. No sugar, no milk.
CURED: Oh, all right. You want me to take that away then?
SEEKER: It's fine.
CURED: (Beat) You were writing in your diary.
SEEKER: No, I wasn't.
CURED: There's a pen on the bed. (She walks over to the bed and takes the mug from her daughter.) I’ll go ahead and take this. If you go out again tonight, be careful. The rain is really coming down out there.
SEEKER: You’re not going to forbid me from going anywhere?
CURED: I know it won’t make any difference. (She exits with the mug. The SEEKER resumes writing in her diary until her mother enters, carrying another mug.) At least tell me you're being careful. Another entry like that last one could be your undoing.
SEEKER: I wish you'd stop worrying.
CURED: I'm your mother. I can't help it.
SEEKER: (Taking the cup from the CURED) Can I ask you a question?
CURED: Of course.
SEEKER: (Pause) Did you ever hold me when I was little?
CURED: (Laughing) Does any mother ever hold her child?
SEEKER: Yeah, I guess that wouldn't make much sense. (Pause) Oh, well. I was curious.
CURED: I haven't given you my answer. (The SEEKER looks at her, intrigued.) I held you once. Right after you were born. It wasn’t for very long--the nurse took you from me right away--but I remember it. You were warm. You were… beautiful… (Her voice trails off. She snaps out of her trance) That was the only time I ever touched you--on purpose, of course.
SEEKER: Right. I got it. (There is an uncomfortable beat. The SEEKER sips her drink, appeased. There is another flash of lightning and crash of thunder. The SEEKER straightens, alert.) "Rain check," he said.
CURED: Who said?
SEEKER: It's pouring. (She sets the mug aside, gets down from the bed, and exits. The CURED goes over to the pillow and finds the diary. She toys with the idea of reading it, changes her mind, slips it back under the pillow, and exits. Lights fade.)
To Be Continued...
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