TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HEARTLESS GIRL
The MT Café. Nighttime. The clock on the wall says 10:00. A woman opens the café door and flips over the OPEN sign to CLOSED. When she opens the door, we see a storm is brewing. The woman goes back inside the café. A truck can be seen approaching from the distance and pulling up to the café. While we are watching the truck approaching, the storm starts, feerce. A girl gets out, walks up to the café and knocks at the door continuously and forcefully. The woman hesitates. She turns toward the back of the café. The knocking continues.
Lynda: Oh, jeezum.
(She crosses back to the front of the café and opens the door. The girl comes in, sits down on a stool and puts her raincoat on another stool.)
Lynda: We’re officially closed at this time of night, just so you know.
Girl: Got any coffee?
Lynda: Sure. (Pours remainder of coffee urn into a cup and puts it in front of girl) Made fresh just this morning.
Girl: There a motel in this town?
Lynda: Used to be. That is, until last October when Alma Thomas’s son burnt the place down. Five year old arsonist, that boy is.
Girl: A five year old arsonist!
Lynda: Well, not really an arsonist. Alma had some matches laying around and Timmy was playing with them and started a fire that gutted the place.
Girl: Maybe Alma shouldn’t leave matches around when she has a five year old in the house.
Lynda: (Looking aghast) When Alma needs a cigarette, Alma needs a cigarette.
Girl: So if there’s no motel, guess I’m gonna have to pitch my tent outside.
Lynda: Are you crazy?! Look at it pouring to beat the band out there.
Girl: Then where can I stay?
Lynda: Well, … I guess … you could stay in my spare bedroom upstairs.
Lynda’s apartment. The next morning. A Labrador dog is lying dead on the kitchen floor. Seth comes into the kitchen and sees the dog. He screams. Lynda comes out of her bedroom. The girl comes out of the spare bedroom.
Girl: (To Lynda) Oh yeah, by the way, I killed your dog.
Lynda: What!? How!?
Girl: I fed him a chicken leg that was lying on the couch.
Seth: That was my chicken leg.
Girl: How old are you that you don’t know not to do a gross thing like leave a chicken leg just lying on a couch.
Seth: I was saving it for later, like if I got hungry in the next few days.
Girl: You can’t eat chicken that has been sitting out for a few days, especially not chicken that’s been sitting on a dirty couch.
Seth: Can so.
Girl: Can not.
Seth: Can so.
Girl: Can not.
Seth: (Yelling) YES YOU CAN!
Lynda: Kids, kids, I can’t listen to anymore of this. I’ve got to go downstairs and prepare for the Saturday afternoon breakfast crowd; the only crowd the café has anymore.
A bedroom. Two little girls are sleeping in a bed together. A man and woman can be heard arguing outside the bedroom door. The argument breaks off and the man comes in the bedroom. He picks up the little girl on the side of the bed closest to the door and starts swinging her around.
Noreen: Stupidhead Bob, why do you have to do that?
Gladys: Yeah, Daddy. She may only be my half-sister, but I’ve actually grown quite fond of her in the past year.
Stupidhead Bob: (Gets a pleading look on his face) Look, girls, this marriage to Noreen’s mother isn’t turning out to be as great as I thought it would be and that’s made me really disappointed. Therefore, I have all this anger and frustration built up after Noreen’s mother and I have another one of our arguments, especially since I realize how much it hurts you kids. I’ve got to take those feelings out on somebody, and Noreen’s the somebody I’ve chosen to do so.
Noreen: Well, if that’s the case then do it to Gladys instead.
Stupidhead Bob: Well, … I guess I could
(He goes over to the bed and starts beating up Gladys.)
The kitchen. Noreen, now looking about 14, is preparing to go out. Bob is sitting at the kitchen table.
Stupidhead Bob: You going out dressed like that?
Stupidhead Bob: You look like a whore.
Noreen: That, Stupidhead Bob, is none of your concern. Why do you like to be called Stupidhead Bob anyway?
Stupidhead Bob: Duh, to be different. Anyhow, I hate seeing you go out dressed like that every night to meet that no good boyfriend of yours Brad.
Noreen: I’ll have you know that Brad is a perfectly OK, adequate boyfriend, at least for now. He’s even slightly more mature than most boys his age.
Stupidhead Bob: Doesn’t matter. Boys, no matter their age and how mature you think they are, only want one thing.
Noreen: Yeah, I know that. Brad wants one thing, but I only want one other thing from him, too.
Stupidhead Bob: And that would be?
Noreen: The closeness I don’t get in this family. As long as I can get those hormones rushing and feel him up next to me, I don’t care if he’s just using me. Coming, Loverboy
(She goes outside. Mike Reno is standing there.)
Mike Reno: Uh, thanks, I guess, but we didn’t ask for you.
Noreen: Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean … I’m off to meet Brad now.
A motel room. Noreen, now looking about 16, and Wesley Cuthand, enter and put there stuff down on the bed nearest the door.
Noreen: Gee, thanks for picking me up, what did you say your name was again?
Wesley: Wesley Cuthand, ma’am.
Noreen: Yeah, thanks for picking me up and taking me all the way out of your way like this and paying for this motel room and everything.
Wesley: Well, I reckon it was fate.
Noreen: What do you mean?
Wesley: Well, … what’s _your name again?
Wesley: Well Noreen, when I woke up this morning, I said to myself, “Today, I hope I meet my dream girl. Why, I can just picture her now. She’s a barely legal troubled teen girl with a whole passel of mental and emotional problems, no real usable domestic or job skills, and no real desire or even I daresay ability to make anything in her life better.” How ‘bout you come live with me.
Wesley’s apartment. Noreen is in the apartment by herself. The place looks spick and span, dinner is cooking on the stove, and the table is set with flowers. Wesley enters.
Wesley: Hey, honey.
Noreen: Hi, dear. How was your day?
Wesley: Oh, just construction, recreating authentic Rhineland castles for rich people, you know. What did you do today?
Noreen: Actually, I’ve been pretty busy.
Wesley: (Looking around) Hey, you have been working hard. This looks really nice.
Noreen: Check out what I did in the bedroom.
(Wesley goes into the bedroom and comes out again.)
Wesley: Aaahhh, you put a canopy over the bed, a canopy with stars on it because I told you how much I liked looking at the stars at night under an open sky.
Noreen: Uh huh, that’s right. You like it?
Wesley: Oh, I love it. Where’d you find it?
Noreen: I made it myself.
Wesley: You sewed it?
Noreen: Sure did.
Wesley: When did you learn to sew?
Noreen: Oh, just picked it up watching sewing shows on TV the last couple months while you were at work.
Wesley: Wow, that’s quite an accomplishment. And you’ve got dinner cooking and the table looks all nice. Where did you get the money to buy the supplies to do all this?
Noreen: From that coffee can in the cupboard. Must have been close to 800 dollars in there. Don’t worry, all this only cost about 60 in total.
Wesley: What! I had plans for that money.
Noreen: Plans like what? I only took a little bit, you make quite good money at your job, and besides, it was an investment in making the house look better.
Wesley: While it’s true you’ve never seen me drink, I do drink on occasion.
Noreen: So, there’s still way more than enough in there you can go down to the store and buy a six pack or a bottle of wine whenever you want to.
Wesley: You don’t understand. While it’s true you’ve never seen me drink, and true, I hardly ever consume alcohol, when I do, I go all out. I’ll get drunk and stay drunk for three days straight. I’ll drop 800 dollars and more on that single bender. Now there’s only enough money for me to get drunk for two and three quarter days. Thanks a whole heck of a lot.
(Wesley exits, slamming the door really hard. The roof starts to cave in. Noreen takes the coffee can out of the cupboard, grabs Wesley’s keys and runs out of the apartment.)
The café. The place is full of people eating breakfast. Noreen is sitting hunched over a table. Doloris comes up to her.
Doloris: You know, sometimes it helps to talk about your problems.
Doloris: Come on. You can tell me, which will in itself make everything better because I’m such a good person.
Noreen: Well, let’s start in a bedroom. Two little girls are lying beside each other in bed. Two people, my mother and stepfather, are fighting outside the door. Suddenly, my stepfather comes into the room---
(The producer enters.)
Producer: The audience has already seen this part. Let’s move on.
(The producer exits.)
Doloris: My goodness, that’s so terrible. What do you plan to do now?
Noreen: I don’t know.
Lynda: Well, you can’t stay here. This place is making no money.
Noreen: Strange, there’s been quite a crowd in here all morning.
(People get up from their tables.)
Customer 1: That was a lovely meal, Miss Lynda. Unfortunately I can’t pay my bill this week. My cheque from the welfare hasn’t come in yet.
Customer 2: I’m just plain strapped for cahsh, again.
Customer 3: I just bought a new TV.
(The customers exit.)
Lynda: See what I mean?
Noreen: What you need to do is totally revamp this place. Like, why not try holding a rave here.
Lynda: A rave party! That’s so out there it just might work.
Anncr: You’re invited to the best rave party the world has ever seen. The MT café is going to party it down on Thursday July 22 and we want you to be there. In fact, we want the entire population of Canada to be there. That’s right, we’re serious, so serious you have ten million chances to win a guaranteed spot on the guest list. The rest of you will just have to make your way to the MT Café. The MT Café is in Qambina Lake, Manitoba, just 300 miles north of Churchill. BE THERE!
The café. The place is appropriately decorated for a rave. The restaurant is crammed full of people dancing.
Lynda: I can’t believe we actually got most of the people of Canada to come here.
Doloris: This little café is going to be in the black for sure. Thank you, Noreen.
Noreen: Ah it was nothing.
(The smoke alarm goes off.)
Raver 1: Wow, that smoke detector really lends the music such an epic affect, man.
Raver 2: I know. It’s like, smoke alarm trance, or something.
Raver 1: Smoke alarm dubstep, man.
Doloris: Oh dear, that isn’t a sound effect. The café’s on fire.
Lynda: What happened?
Noreen: I put some logs in the fireplace and lit it and it just started smoking.
Lynda: You stupid girl. You’re supposed to open the flue. Don’t you know how to use a fireplace?
Noreen: No, and you never showed me, either.
Lynda: That’s no excuse. You should have been instinctually born with the knowledge, then.
Doloris: And what’s more, the fire’s gonna spread even quicker than usual. These walls are literally nothing but wallpaper and plaster and a few rotting boards. All the rest of the wallboard’s rotted away by now.
(The café becomes fully engulfed.)
The United Nations. Antonio Guterres is addressing a crush of reporters.
Antonio Guterres: The United Nations deeply regrets on behalf of the late Canadian delegation the tragic event that occurred at the MT Café in Qambina Lake, Manitoba. We know it will be hard for the country to rebuild as most of the population of Canada perished in the fire. However, there were a few shut-ins across the country who weren’t able to make it to the event so we are confident they can do the job. Thank you. There will be no further questions.
Based on “True Confessions of a Heartless Girl” by Martha Brooks.