Sayge: Sayge is the main protagonist of the play. She is a nine year old girl with a stubborn personality. She values the opinion of her peers and believes that these opinions are meant to be the foundation of her social status and a reflection of her personality. Her character develops and grows throughout the play as she learns new things about life through experiences.
Skeemz: Skeemz is Sayge’s imaginary friend. He is aware that his sole purpose is to get Sayge though the ups and downs of her childhood. He believes that it is important to let children figure out solutions to their own problems. He is normally the ‘listener’ who sits and listens to Sayge when she talks about the problems she faces in life. He often says things in a sarcastic tone. For the purpose of the play, he is the comedic relief.
Freddie: Freddie is the main antagonist of the play. She is the popular girl who everyone obeys for no apparent reason. She is meant to symbolise social norms that, like her, are followed by society for no apparent reason.
Mrs.Pesonen: A teacher.
Mr.Baker: The principal
Skeemz is sitting on the couch with his feet on the coffee table. He is reading a book intently.
Sayge: We have a problem.
Skeemz: (Still looking in the book. Line is delivered in a playful tone, but character remains with a straight face.) It’s about time someone spoke up! This household is going through a cookie famine!
(Sayge looks at Skeemz mildly irritated)
Sayge: That’s not what I meant.
Skeemz: Ah… you’re referring to our lemonade drought?
(Sayge grows increasingly irritated.)
Sayge: What?… You can’t just make up words!
Skeemz: (Looks up momentarily to deliver the line. Makes a mocking “thinking face” with his fingers rubbing his chin as if in deep thought) Both lemonade and drought are real words.
Sayge: Forget the stupid lemonade drought! That’s not the problem.
Skeemz: (Returning his attention to his book. Mainly to himself. ) Isn’t it though?
Sayge: (Continues as if uninterrupted): Freddie did something mean today…
Skeemz:(Still focuses attention on the book. Interrupts Sayge): Did she accuse you of causing the cookie famine? I mean, that’s what I’m going with.
Sayge: No, she told me that I have to give her my lunch money because she’s older than me.
Skeemz: Did you do it?
Sayge: (Indignantly) No! I told her to buy her own lunch. Then she told me that she’ll get me into trouble.
Skeemz: What did you say to that.
Sayge: I told her that I’m not afraid of her. (Pause momentarily) Then she said she is going to tell everyone to not talk to me.
Skeemz: (Sarcastic) We don’t want that now do we?
Sayge: (With innocent sincerity) Exactly, but if I just give her my lunch money, I’d just be doing what she wants me to do.
Skeemz: Yeah, that’s what you’ll be doing.
Sayge: Maybe if I just give her my lunch money, I wouldn’t get into trouble. I mean all of her friends do that. Maybe she’ll be my friend if I give her my money. I mean being nice to everyone is how everyone gets friends right?
Skeemz: (Looks up for the first time.) What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?
Skeemz: (Places a bookmark between the pages of the book he was reading and neatly puts it down on the coffee table.) It is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I believe I read it in A Nonconformist. One of Emerson’s well known pieces.
Sayge: How is my problem related to what Emerson has to say?
Skeemz: (To himself) Everything is related to what Emerson has to say. (Back to Sayge) My point is, it is important for you listen to yourself and ‘live wholly from within’. You need to ask yourself if it’s worth it to be friends with Freddie.
Sayge: But if I don’t do what everyone else does, then I won’t be like everyone else. I’ll be considered…different…like a freak…or a…
Skeemz:( Still looking into the book.) A dictionary.
Sayge: Exactly. ( Realizes she did not understand the analogy) What?
Skeemz: (Skeemz picks up the book and holds it in his hand with the cover facing Sayge. The book is a dictionary.) It is a book that can’t be classified into a genre. It lacks a plot and setting, but it makes up for that with its rich vocabulary. (Briefly looks at the dictionary in approval as he delivers the previous line. Then looks up at Sayge to deliver the next line) Nobody wants to read it, but everybody needs it at some point. The dictionary knows what it is. It would lose its purposes if it had a plot or setting. It listened to itself and lived wholly from within.
Sayge: But I don’t want to be the book that no one wants to read.
Skeemz: (Disappointed.) Really? That’s all you got from all of that? (To himself.)Kids these days. (Back to Sayge) Well then, it’s a good thing you are not a book my friend.
Sayge: But you just said I’m a dictionary.
Skeemz: Are you a dictionary?
Sayge: (Confused, does not understand what Skeemz is trying to say) No?
Skeemz: (Teasing. Starts to open the dictionary to the marked page.) Are you sure about that?
Sayge: (Still confused.) Yes? (Momentary pause. Then with more certainty) Yes.
Skeemz: What if I told you that you are a dictionary?
Sayge: (Stubborn) Well… you’re wrong.
Skeemz: (Insistent) No, I think you are a dictionary. There’s no doubt about that.
Sayge: (Frustrated) I’m not a dictionary, because I said I’m not a dictionary.
Skeemz: (Still primarily focused on reading the dictionary.) What if Freddie said you are a dictionary?
Sayge: She doesn’t decide what I am. I do.
(Sayge is annoyed. Skeemz looks at Sayge and raises his eyebrows. Sayge realizes what Skeemz was trying to say.)
Sayge: So I’m not a dictionary?
Skeemz: I don’t know kid, you tell me.
(Skeemz flips to the next page in the dictionary.)
It is lunchtime and Sayge is waiting in line to get a cookie. Freddie is standing in front of Sayge. She turns around.
Freddie: (Exaggerated friendliness) Hey Sayge.
Sayge:(Briefly glances up) Hello Freddie.
(Freddie pauses for a moment. There is a brief look of distaste on her face.)
Freddie: Listen, I forgot my lunch money, so do you mind stealing me a cookie?
Sayge: I’m not going to steal anything Freddie.
Freddie: Come on Sayge, how about you quit being a good girl for once.
Sayge: (Looks up at Freddie. There is a look of mocked hospitality on her face.) How about you go ahead and get your own cookie?
Freddie: (Starts an argument) Sayge…
Sayge:(Cuts off Freddie) Freddie
(Sayge continues to look Freddie in the eyes to prove she is not scared of Freddie. Freddie turns around.)
The line progressively moves forward. When Freddie and Sayge got to the cookie station, Freddie takes a cookie and slips it in her coat. Sayge sees her doing this but does not say anything. Freddie got caught by Mrs. Pesonen.
Mrs. Pesonen: Freddie, I sure hope you are planning on paying for that cookie.
Freddie: (Smiles artificially) Don’t worry Mrs. Pesonen, Sayge said she’ll pay the lunch lady back.
(Sayge was standing behind Freddie. She overheard the conversation.)
Sayge: (Slight panic) Sayge said no such thing.
Freddie: Yeah you did, you said I can go ahead and get a cookie.
Sayge:(Emphasis on the words that are italicized) I said you can go ahead and get yourself a cookie…as in purchase one…with money.
Freddie:(Still artificially smiling) I did, with your money.
Sayge:(Stubborn) I’m not paying for that.
(Sayge looks at Mrs. Pesonen for help.)
Mrs. Pesonen: (Looks at telltale signs of lying on Sayge’s and Freddie’s faces.) How about I escort you two to the principal’s office?
Sayge and Freddie are sitting on opposite sides of the bench outside the principal’s office. Skeemz casually walks by whistling a cheerful tune.
Sayge: (Surprised to see Skeemz at school)What are you doing here?
Skeemz: It’s never too late to get an education…
Sayge: No really, Skeemz, what are you doing here?
Skeemz: Sayge the real question is: What are you doing here?
Sayge: I got into trouble.
Skeemz: Did they blame you for causing the cookie famine?
Skeemz: (Baffled because he remembers the aforementioned ‘cookie famine’) Seriously, because I was just joking about that…
Skeemz gets interrupted when Sayge gets a text message from Freddie.
Sayge: (Reads the message out loud.) You haven’t met me if you think the truth will set you free. (Looks at Freddie) What’s that supposed to mean?
Freddie: You’re talking to yourself, ya little freak. You don’t think that I’ll spill the beans about Skeemz? What, are you making up friends now because no one in the real world wants to talk to you?
Sayge: What are you saying?
Freddie: If you say one word about the cookies, I will make sure that everyone knows you’re a freak.
Skeemz: (Raises his eyebrows. Put emphasis on the lines that are italicized) Wow. That is one angry little girl.
Sayge: (Filled with rage, says the first thing that comes to mind. To Freddie) Wow, you are one angry little girl.
Skeemz looks at Sayge incredulously.
(Freddie starts to hiss at Sayge)
Skeemz: (To Sayge) Act like you’re not listening. It will drive her insane.
Sayge looks straight ahead, with a slight smirk on her face
Skeemz starts to laugh at Freddie’s tantrum.
Mrs. Pesonen walks out of the Principal’ office.
Mrs. Pesonen: (To Sayge and Freddie) Mr. Baker would like to see you two.
Freddie, Sayge and Skeemz walk out of the principal’s office. The three of them walk towards the same class. A few feet away from the door, Freddie stops Sayge and Skeemz stops beside Sayge.
Freddie: (Hisses) Lunch time detention for the next three days. You’ll pay for that.
Sayge: (Smirk) I’m not scared of you. You’re just one angry little girl.
Freddie: You have no idea what I’m capable of. When I’m done with you, you’re going to wish no one knew your name.
Sayge: (Trying to get a good comeback.)Joke’s on you, I don’t even have a name.
Sayge realizes that what she said was silly. She pauses for a moment, trying to fix what she just said, then decides against it and walks away. Skeemz follows.
Skeemz: (To Sayge): (Disappointed)‘Jokes on you, I don’t even have a name?’ Come on kid, you could do better than that.
Sayge:(Embarrassed) I know, just keep walking.
Sayge and Skeemz are at home.
Sayge:(Frantic) Skeemz, we have a problem.
Skeemz: What happened?
Sayge: Freddie just posted a video of me talking to you.
Skeemz: (Confused)But no one else can see me.
Sayge: Exactly! It looks like I’m talking to a wall. Everyone will think I’m a wierd. No one wants to talk to the ‘weird one’ What am I going to do?
Skeemz: Calm down, it’s not a big deal.
Sayge: This is serious. People will think I’m a freak. No one will talk to me.
Skeemz: So what? You’re in the fourth grade. Do you really think you’ll spend the rest of your life surrounded by the kids from your elementary school? In a few years, none of these people will matter. They will all go away. You need to learn how to be friends with the most important person in your life.
Sayge: (Snapped)And who’s that? You?
Skeemz: (Line is delivered in a mocked offended voice.)I am offended by your tone young lady. (Returns back to serious tone) No it’s you. One of these days, I’ll have to go away, Then it will only be you kid. If you keep basing your life on what other people want, you’ll never find happiness in your life.
Sayge: Why will you go away?
Skeemz: That’s just how life works. (Pauses for a moment) Life is like a bus. Everyone is just a passenger on this bus. You’re just one of the many passengers. All the passengers in this bus have to get off at a different stop. If you get off at someone else’s stop, you’ll never get to your destination.
Sayge: What does that mean?
Skeemz: I’m just saying, maybe this is where you get off the bus. Maybe this is your stop. You’re not always going to see eye to eye with everyone in your life.
Sayge: (Getting worried) What about you? Are you ever going to get off the bus without me?
Skeemz: If it’s what I need to do, yes. One day, I’ll have to get off of this bus and onto another bus. Then you’ll have to figure out what stop to get off of on your own.
Sayge: What will I do if I get lost?
Skeemz: You’ll never get lost if you know where you’re going. You’ll only know where you’re going if you live wholly from within. I think that’s why Freddie is so mean.
Sayge: Wait what?
Skeemz: Yeah, she’s just a sad little girl who seeks validation.
Sayge looks confused.
Skeemz: She wants to control people to have a role in society.
Sayge:What’s my role in society?
Skeemz: You don’t need one Sayge. Don’t go looking for one. You’re different in the most beautiful way possible. You know who you are. You can’t be classified.
Sayge: Like a dictionary?
Skeemz: I don’t know kid, you tell me.
Sayge and Skeemz are at school. Sayge walks into her class to see a sea of faces staring at her. She walks slowly to her desk. Skeemz follows. Voices and murmurers can be heard.
Freddie:(To a random classmate) That’s that girl who was talking to a wall.
Classmate: She’s so weird.
Freddie: I know right.
Freddie walks over to Sayge
Freddie: Sayge, what happened to your little friend. I bet it got sick of you and left, just like everyone else.
Skeemz: I’m standing right here.
Freddie: That’s why you don’t have any friends right Sayge?
Skeemz: Don’t listen to her Sayge. She’s just trying to assert her dominance over you.
Sayge: (Stands up) You know Freddie, I’ve always wondered what your problem is.
Skeemz: (Warning) Don’t let her get to you Sayge.
Sayge: (To Freddie) You’re always stealing people’s lunch money. At first I thought it was to assert your dominance over everyone else.
Skeemz: (Warning)That’s what she’ll do if you let her get to you.
Sayge: Then I realized you’re just a sad little girl who is seeking validation from society.
Freddie: What are you talking about?
Sayge: I find it sad that your small mind can’t accept what you are. It’s a pity that society gives a silly little kid like you so much power. (Pause for a moment.) Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe that’s just the mask that you want to keep up to fool everyone.
Freddie: You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Skeemz: (To Freddie, knowing she can’t hear him.) Most people don’t know what she’s talking about. I mean, about like 90% of the time, I don’t even think she knows what she’s talking about.
Sayge: (Eyes fixed on Freddie) I think I do.(Pause for a moment) One of these days, we will leave elementary school. We will be in the real world, where no one cares about what one angry little girl has to say.
Skeemz: (To Freddie, knowing she can’t hear him.) It’s true, most people either find angry little children too cute to listen to or annoying. My opinion about you is the latter Freddie.
Classmate: (At Sayge) Looks like someone is cranky because they missed their nap time.
Skeemz: (Turns to Classmate, with a fake smile) Child, at least she ain’t the one in desperate need for some beauty sleep. (Snaps his fingers)
Sayge: (Turns to Classmate, with a fake smile) Child, at least I ain’t the one in desperate need for some beauty sleep. (Snaps her fingers)
Freddie: Look who’s talking.
Sayge: I am talking, and you will listen. You can keep up your little popularity game for as long as you want Freddie, but you can’t make me play it.
Classmate: You’re so full of yourself. Why can’t you just be like everyone else. Then maybe you can get some friends.
Freddie: She’s just some little freak.
Sayge: (Boldly) No, I’m pretty sure that I’m a dictionary.
Sayge looks at the audience. Skeemz looks at Sayge in approval.
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