Places You Go by William Ivers

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

ACT 1

ERIK SATIE’S GYMNOPEDIE NO. 1 PLAYS AS LIGHTS COME UP ON MADDY WHO IS ASLEEP IN A HOSPITAL BED. THERE IS A SMALL BANDAGE ON HER HEAD, AND SHE IS WIRED TO A HEART MONITOR.

THE MUSIC SLOWLY FADES INTO THE SOUND OF THE BEEPING MONITOR, WHICH IS HEARD FAINTLY THROUGHOUT THE FIRST ACT. AFTER A MOMENT, DR. HUGHES ENTERS. HE EXAMINES MADDY’S CONDITION AND TAKES A FEW NOTES.

Enter, DEB.

She is frantic.

DEB

What happened? Maddy? Maddy!

Sees MADDY in the bed, rushes over.

Oh my God!

DR. HUGHES

Whips around, steps in front of DEB, but timidly.

Don’t wake her––she’s doing well.

DEB

Rushes past DR. HUGHES, goes to the bed.

You call that doing well?

DR. HUGHES

Please lower your voice, ma’am. She’ll be fine––really. She’s sleeping soundly now.

Reaches out to shake hands. DEB ignores the gesture.

I’m Dr. Hughes. Are you mom?

DEB

Yeah. She’s not in a coma, is she?

DR. HUGHES No, not at all…just a very deep sleep.

DEB

Your voicemail message was vague, Doctor. What kind of crash are we talking about?

DR. HUGHES

Two cars were involved. But I don’t know much more at this point, I’m afraid.

DEB

Noticing the bandage.

Oh my God…what’s wrong with her head? Did she hit her head?

DR. HUGHES

She sustained only a minor concussion.

DEB

What?

DR. HUGHES

Fortunately, her head impacted ground and not pavement when she was thrown from the vehicle.

DEB

Thrown from the vehicle?

DR. HUGHES

A few inches the other way, we could be in a very different situation. We should see a full recovery.

DEB

Should? What do you mean should?

DR. HUGHES

The initial scans show no internal bleeding or serious brain damage that will effect her long-term.

DEB

What about her hands?

DR. HUGHES

Her hands?

DEB

She didn’t injure a hand, break any fingers, did she?

DR. HUGHES

Uh…no broken bones whatsoever. All things considered…she’s very lucky.

DEB

I guess. What’s with the wire?

Notices cardiograph machine.

What’s with the wire?

DR. HUGHES

Her heart rate was alarmingly high earlier, so we have her on a cardiac monitor.

DEB

Where the hell’s her father? She’s supposed to be with him this weekend.

DR. HUGHES

I left him a voicemail as well.

DEB

Who’s the other driver?

DR. HUGHES

I’m sorry, but we can’t disclose that.

DEB

Why?

DR. HUGHES

HIPAA.

DEB

What’s HIPAA?

DR. HUGHES

A patient’s right to privacy.

DEB

And what about a mother’s right to know who the hell slammed a car into her daughter?

(Pause)

Was the guy drunk? I’ll bet he was drunk.

DR. HUGHES

Ma’am…

DEB

Was he?

DR. HUGHES

Mrs. Weare––I understand your feelings, but patient confidentiality is an important priority here at Sacred Heart Hospital. It’s also the law––

DEB

You’re supposed to say that, I get it. But I won’t tell. Honest.

DR. HUGHES

I really can’t. You’ll have to wait for the police to…

DEB

I’m not waiting on those keystone cops. But my husband––well, ex––he’s a detective in town. He’ll want answers. He’d better want answers.

DR. HUGHES

I understand your frustration.

DEB

Oh, you do? Do you have kids?

DR. HUGHES

No, not yet.

DEB

When you do, you’ll find lawyering up is the best way to get mad––and the sooner the better.

DR. HUGHES

Well, rest is most important now. The Alprazolam should help her stay asleep the rest of the night.

DEB

The what?

DR. HUGHES

Alprazolam. Xanax.

DEB

You gave her Xanax without my consent?

DR. HUGHES

She’s eighteen, ma’am, and she was experiencing a high level of panic. Xanax is a benzodiazepine which aids––

DEB

Takes pill bottle out of purse and shakes it.

Yeah, yeah––I know all about Xanax. Believe me.

DR. HUGHES

I see. It may be a good time to take one of those, Mrs. Weare. If you’re relaxed it will help your daughter to do the same.

DEB

Relax? You’re joking.

Calms slightly.

You’re very young, Dr. Hughes. You don’t look much older than my daughter.

DR. HUGHES

I’m sure with another year or two in the ER will take care of that.

DEB

Been a doctor long?

DR. HUGHES

Well, in full disclosure, I’m fairly new. To be specific, I’m a medical intern from Tufts working toward––

DEB

(Shocked)

What? You’re a student?

DR. HUGHES

Yes, well, it’s more precise to say––

DEB

You’re not a doctor?

DR. HUGHES

Yes, well, yes—I am, technically speaking, a doctor.

DEB

Technically speaking? What’s that mean?

DR. HUGHES

This is a teaching hospital, Mrs. Weare—

DEB

Yeah, and my daughter is not some medical school dummy!

DR. HUGHES

I can handle this, Mrs. Weare. If it helps to reassure you, please know that I’m working closely with Dr. Benjamin Samuels who has over twenty-five years of…

DEB

Go get this Dr. Samuels now.

DR. HUGHES

He’s in the ER attending to the other driver.

DEB

Are you kidding me? Why does some drunk get the real doctor?

DR. HUGHES

You’re not being fair, ma’am. And it hasn’t been determined if alcohol played any role in this whatsoever.

DEB

Wanna bet?

DR. HUGHES

You need to trust me. Your daughter will be okay.

DEB shakes her head, turns back toward her daughter and caresses her.

DEB

(Looking down at MADDY)

Never a break, Maddy. Can never get a break, can we?

DR. HUGHES

I think she got one tonight. I don’t think she was wearing a seatbelt. The young man she was with, not as lucky, I’m afraid. He’s still in intensive care.

DEB

The young man she was with? Who?

DR. HUGHES

I don’t know the details. We’re just stretched so thin.

DEB

Oh my god.

DR. HUGHES

You need to take it easy, ma’am. Please sit. Rest. There’s water and snacks in the pantry across the hall.

DEB

I don’t suppose you have any vodka.

DR. HUGHES

Uh, no.

DEB

Looking down at MADDY.

Jesus, Madeline. Why were you out so late? Was it Jacob?

Long pause. Takes MADDY’s hand tenderly.

The reason I asked about her hands––well…she’ll be attending Juilliard in the Fall. That’s been the plan at least.

DR. HUGHES

Juilliard? Wow. Very impressive. What instrument?

DEB

Violin. This came in the mail this morning. The letter. The one that means everything.

Takes an envelope out of purse.

DR. HUGHES

Congratulations!

DEB

Don’t congratulate us yet. I haven’t opened it…I guess Maddy should, as much as I want to rip it open myself.

Holds letter up to the light.

DR. HUGHES

That’s very exciting.

DEB

Gives up trying to see through the envelope.

I shouldn’t worry. She’s got this. She’s a very gifted young lady. Unlike me. My playing didn’t get me anywhere near Juilliard. I didn’t even bother applying.

Puts envelope back in purse.

Yeah, you could say those hands are important.

Enter RICK

RICK

Panting, tired from running.

Maddy!

DEB

(To Rick, irate again.)

Where the hell have you been?

RICK rushes past DEB, ignoring her, fear in his eyes.

RICK

What happened?

DEB

(Angry)

You want to know what happened? Your daughter was in a car crash, was thrown from the car, thumped her head, and nearly died. That’s what happened!

DR. HUGHES

I was just telling your wife, Mr. Weare––

RICK

Ex wife.

DR. HUGHES

Sorry. Ex wife...

(Beat)

Despite all odds, your daughter has not sustained any serious injuries, but we would like to keep her overnight nonetheless. Fingers crossed, she’ll be going home tomorrow.

RICK

Standing over the bed, worried.

My God…Maddy…

DR. HUGHES

I’m Dr. Hughes.

They shake hands.

I’m taking care of your daughter this evening alongside Dr. Samuel.

DEB

He’s a med school student.

DR. HUGHES

A medical intern, ma’am.

DEB

(To RICK)

Why the hell was she driving around in the middle of the night?

RICK

(To DR. HUGHES)

How’s the other driver?

DEB

Who the hell cares about the other driver?

DR. HUGHES

We can’t give out any specifics. You understand. He’s being treated now by—

DEB

He was probably blitzed out of his mind.

[End of Extract]

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