Mike: 13 years-old, brother to Josh.
Josh: 11 years-old, brother to Mike.
A clean, but dark 70s-style living room, a large, ornate shipping package sits on the coffee table.
Boys enter the living room through the front door, talking as they enter.
Mike: She totally likes me; she slapped my butt in the hall.
Josh: Nuh uh, you’re making that up.
Mike: Uh huh, she wants to—what’s that?
Mike points to the box.
Josh: I dunno; it wasn’t there this morning.
Mike, touching the box: Wow, look, it’s from Grammy Sherry, and it’s made out to us!
Josh: I see that.
Mike: Let’s open it!
Josh: No way, mom will have a stroke. We aren’t allowed to open the mail. Last time I did that she boxed me upside the head.
Mike: But it’s made out to us; it’s ours!
Josh: I don’t think Mom will care. We need to wait until she gets home from work.
Mike: She isn’t gonna be home until six o’clock; I don’t wanna wait that long.
Josh: How do you figure it got here?
Mike: Mom or Dad probably dragged it in.
Josh: They both leave before us. Do you think the mailman came in the house?
Mike: That would be creepy.
Mike: Grammy Sherry died three months ago.
Josh: Must be a big backup at the post office.
Mike: Three months worth?
Josh: This whole thing is creepy; I think we should go next door to Mrs. Thompson’s house until Mom gets home.
Mike: Nuh uh, I ain’t hangin out with that crazy old lady all afternoon while this box sits here. I’m gonna’ open it now.
Mike begins opening the box.
Josh: Stop it! I’m serious, we’re gonna get in so much trouble.
Mike: I’ll tell Mom I opened it, don’t worry.
Mike pries the lid of the box, removes the top layer of packaging, and begins pulling out books and other trinkets.
Josh: What is all this stuff?
Mike, reading a book title: “Amazing Plants of the Amazon”
Josh, picking a trinket from the table: Whoa, look at this.
Mike: It’s a gold compass. I’ve never seen one like that before.
Josh: Me either, why do you think Grammy Sherry sent us all this stuff?
Mike: I dunno; what else is in the box?
Josh, pulls an envelope out of the box, glances at Mike, rips the envelope open, and begins to read:
Dear Michael and Joshua,
We didn’t have much time to talk once the doctors found my cancer. Things happened so quickly. I’ve lived a long, happy life, but there are many things you don’t know about me, and your grandfather. You see, we were adventurers. Grampy and I spent many years exploring the most desolate and dangerous places on Earth. We spent a summer in Antarctica once, several years in the Amazon jungle, and took countless trips to villages in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Grampy died when you two were just babies; telling you about him and our life together was just too hard, but now that I’m dying, I know I need to pass these things onto you. Inside this box you will find all of our journals, the treasures we found or won along the way, and a key to a secret deposit box in Munich, Germany. One day, I hope you go there and retrieve what I’ve left for you, and start your own adventures. Never be afraid of the consequences; you can’t live life with caution. I love you both dearly, until we meet again, vivez votre vie!
P.S. Hide the trash from this package in the garage so Mom and Dad won’t find it, and then sneak it out on trash day.
Eyes wide, Mike and Josh begin stashing various trinkets in their pockets and crumpling up packing paper.
Alfred: older gentleman, 50-60, hard aspect, wears a mustache.
Lorenzo: younger gentleman, 25-35, softer, clean shaven.
Lila: older woman, 50-60, wife to Alfred, mother to Alice, frumpy, curled hair.
Alice: younger woman, wife to Lorenzo, 25-35, unassuming beauty.
A solid wall separates the stage, warzone, but no active bombing. Lorenzo and Alfred are on one side of the wall; Alice and Lila are on the other. Lights go down on the opposite side of the wall during dialogue.
Alfred: We’ve got to go now.
Lorenzo, touching the wall: I think I can feel her on the other side.
Alfred: They’ll be here soon.
Lorenzo: I can’t leave yet. This is as close as I’ll ever be to her, in this life anyway. Don’t you understand?
Alfred: I understand I don’t want to move on from this life yet; let’s go.
Lorenzo: This life isn’t all that great.
Alfred: It’s the one we have.
Alice: I’m starving.
Lila: Just a few more minutes.
Alice: You said that a half-hour ago.
Lila: Don’t you miss him?
Alice: I miss a lot of things, like food, can we please go now?
Lila, kissing the wall: Oh, Ally, what did we ever do? We raised our child, paid the bills. I miss you so.
Alice, sucking teeth: This is silly. He can’t hear you! We haven’t seen them in two years. Why do you drag me here every day?
Lila: Because it means something to be near them.
Alice: All it means is we eat late, can we please go?
Lorenzo: Alice, I’m not sure what I miss most. I wake thinking of the way you made oatmeal, the smell of your breath after a dinner mint, the little folds between your fingers.
Alfred: Don’t forget her smock.
Lorenzo: Don’t you ever miss your wife, or your daughter?
Alfred: I miss eating good food, drinking beer, visiting friends in the West, not being hunted like a dog for standing too close to this wall.
Lorenzo: You didn’t have to come.
Alfred: It was my watch.
Lorenzo: You can watch from over there.
Lila: I even miss your mustache, the way it used to give me little red bumps on my upper lip.
Alice: Ma, I really don’t want to hear this.
Lila, cocking her head to the side, putting her hand on her hip: Do you remember when Daddy took us to the beach before your wedding?
Alice: And he gave me the locket with Gram and Gramps picture in it and said that I’d always be his little girl.
Lila: He wept like a baby that night. I know it’s hard for you to believe but he has feelings. I bet he is pressed against the wall right now, waiting to feel your presence.
Alfred: That would be my pleasure but my daughter would never forgive me if you got shot.
Lorenzo: So you do care.
Alfred: I miss Alice and Lila like a flower misses sunshine but standing at this awful wall pretending they can hear my cries is foolhardy. This war did many terrible things to us but this must be the worst. Forced to stand here listening to you lament for my daughter and having to be the one to drag you by the arm away from certain death day after day. Never knowing when I’ll blink for the last time, never mind if I’ll ever see my wife again. Let’s go Lorenzo, I’m serious now.
Alfred grabs Lorenzo by the arm; Lorenzo drops his head, and allows himself to be pulled away.
Alice: Daddy isn’t like that.
Lila: You don’t know him like I do.
Alice: He wouldn’t make me stare at this wall every day.
Lila: Stop being so dramatic. Life is not that bad for you. At least we have a lunch to be late to. Who knows what Daddy and Lorenzo are facing? I heard they have patrols out now, shooting anyone within thirty feet of the wall.
Alice: Do you think they’ve been shot?
Lila: We have no way of knowing.
Alice: Will we ever see them again?
Lila: I think so baby, I think so.
Lila takes Alice’s hand, leads her to the wall, and presses Alice’s hand against it.