/HALF/

Last play for the semester! Moving on to poetry now, which I like the least out of all writing (which might surprise y’all, considering how much poetry I’ve posted on this website). Anyway, here it is! Enjoy.


/HALF/

A one act play

by Ana G

Characters:

ALEX GOMEZ                     20 years old, law student

GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ       22 year old, petty thief

Setting:

In GABRIEL’s rundown car, ALEX sitting in the passenger seat as GABRIEL drives to his hometown to attend their half brother’s wedding. A small dreamcatcher wind chime hangs from the mirror.

AT RISE: ALEX is looking for another music station while GABRIEL slaps his hands away. They are driving together to their half brother’s wedding, taking place in a city eight hours away.

SCENE 1

GABRIEL

Stop messing with my music. I like this song.

ALEX

(Rolling his eyes and reaching over to change the station again) This is a crappy song, shut up.

GABRIEL

Yeah, well, crappy or not, I like it, so stop changing it. Haven’t you heard that the driver picks the music?

ALEX

Which is why I offered to drive for the next eight hours we’re going to be stuck in this car together but you stupidly refused, so shut up.

GABRIEL

(Muttering and brushing his fingers against the wind chime) I can’t believe I was blackmailed into spending eight hours with you in an enclosed space. This is unbelievable.

ALEX

Blackmailed? By Jesse?

GABRIEL

What can I say? Our brother is an evil mastermind.

 ALEX

Well,unlike you, apparently, I am going to our brother’s wedding willingly. What did he even blackmail you with?

GABRIEL

None of your business. Now, seriously, stop messing with my radio or I will push you out of this moving car.

ALEX

(Changing the station once more) This is a good song, though.

(ALEX and GABRIEL change the station back and forth

for a few times, the wind chime jingling in the background)

GABRIEL

Seriously, stop it. You’re gonna break the knob. And if you do, you’re paying for it.

ALEX

(Batting away GABRIEL’s hands) I’m a college student, I don’t have any money.

GABRIEL

Not my problem. Seriously, the last thing I want is to spend any time with the guy who was my next door neighbor for over a year and never thought to tell me that he’s related to my half-brother. Don’t make it worse than it already is.

ALEX

(Groaning) You really need to get over that. It’s been months. And like I said, how was I supposed to know that my brother was your brother?

GABRIEL

(Letting go of the wheel to gesture wildly with his arms) Because I had at least four pictures with him in my apartment!

ALEX

(Leaning over to grab the wheel)I thought you were his friend! He does have friends, you know.

GABRIEL

(Taking back the wheel) Ugh, you’re pissing me off.

(GABRIEL pushes against one of the chime’s metal

tubes, making them all clang)

ALEX

No, seriously. How was I supposed to know that the half-brother of my half-brother lived next door to me? I didn’t even know who his mom was, let alone the rest of his family.

GABRIEL

Seriously, I hate you, shut up. (Reaches over to turn up the volume of the radio until ALEX’s complains cannot be heard)

(ALEX crosses his arms across his chest and glares out the

passenger side window before smacking GABRIEL in the arm to

get his attention)

GABRIEL

(Speaking over the music) Ouch, what!

ALEX

(Pointing at a corner store) I’m hungry.

GABRIEL

Good for you.

ALEX

(Reaches over to turn down the volume of the radio) I’m serious. Stop before I starve.

GABRIEL

No.

(The chimes sound softly as ALEX brushes his fingers against it)

ALEX

Starving college student here. Have a heart… Or… At least pretend you have one.

GABRIEL

You’re overusing the poor college student card.

ALEX

It’s the truth, though, so it doesn’t count as overusing it. Now go to the stupid store.

GABRIEL

(Turning up the music once more) Fine, but I’m waiting in the car.

(GABRIEL parks the car and hands ALEX a ten dollar bill and

ALEX gets out to go buy food)

GABRIEL (cont)

(Leaning out the window for ALEX to hear him) Bring me back something good!

END OF SCENE

SCENE 2

ALEX

So… Are you planning on driving the whole way?

GABRIEL

Yes.

ALEX

(Nodding) Okay, if that’s what you want.

GABRIEL

It is.

ALEX

Awesome.

(Both ALEX and GABRIEL don’t speak for a few minutes, the only

noise in the car was the jingling of the wind chime)

ALEX (cont)

(Awkwardly) So, uh… How’s your day been?

GABRIEL

Are you going to keep this up?

ALEX

Keep what up?

GABRIEL

You seem to be under the impression that we are under the obligation to keep a conversation going. We don’t. So stop talking.

ALEX

Gabriel, come on. It’s an eight hour car ride. I can most definitely not spend all that time in silence.

GABRIEL

We are down to six now.

ALEX

Come on. Seriously, it can’t hurt to get to know one another before we get to the wedding. That can be our wedding present to Jesse! Our getting along.

GABRIEL

Too late, I already got him something.

ALEX

(Perking up) What did you get him?

GABRIEL

(Sighing) You’re not going to give this up, are you?

ALEX

Nop.

GABRIEL

Fine. I got him a new car so that his girl can keep his and he can get around to work.

ALEX

Did you get him a car or did you get him a car?

GABRIEL

(Rolling his eyes) I wouldn’t give my brother a stolen car as a wedding present.

(The dreamcatcher chimes in the background)

ALEX

You gave me a stolen watch for my birthday.

GABRIEL

(Snorting) Well, at least I gave you a birthday present.

ALEX

I know you’re tired of hearing this, but broke college student here, dude. I did give you a voucher for once I’m a lawyer. A free get-out-of-jail card! What could be better than that for someone of your profession?

GABRIEL

I’m still shocked you think you’ll be a good enough lawyer to get me out of jail.

ALEX

(Offended) I’m going to make an excellent lawyer.

GABRIEL

For all you’re paying for school, you better be.

ALEX

(Laughing) I agree. And not trying to ruin your rare good mood, but I really am sorry.

GABRIEL

Mood ruined.

ALEX

I’m serious. I know it really pissed you off when you found out Jesse was my brother, too, but I just don’t get why.

GABRIEL

It’s a long story.

ALEX

It’s a six hour car ride.

GABRIEL

Fine. It’s really not that long, I just didn’t want to tell you, but I get the feeling that’s not going to make you shut up, is it?

ALEX

(Reaches over to make the dreamcatcher chime) Not in the least.

GABRIEL

Okay. Fine, but after I’m done, you’re going to reflect, or contemplate, or whatever makes you finally shut up until we get there. Got it?

ALEX

Deal. You may begin.

GABRIEL

How nice of you. Okay, it’s more than a little stupid, but… Okay, you know I grew up with mom, right? It was just the two of us. And then when I was four, it wasn’t. I had this tiny little baby brother, and he was wrinkly and smelled like hell and cried all the time, but he was mine, you know? And I took care of him, did everything I could for him. But then mom got sick and we barely had any money. I couldn’t finish high school because I had to work so we could pay for mom’s medicine. And then working wasn’t enough. So I got in with the wrong crowd, trying to earn some more money. And of course, I got caught. So of course no one wanted to leave this adorable little kid with a sick mother and a criminal brother, so my baby brother had to leave. His dad and his family stole him from me, all because we didn’t have any money.

ALEX

That’s not

GABRIEL

(Raises one of his hands to interrupt him) I know it’s not. But that’s how I saw it. I mean, look at it from my point of view. I was a seventeen year old kid breaking his back to support his baby brother and his sick mother, and then some rich person decides that all the effort, all the work I’m doing isn’t good enough and so they take my baby brother away. I fought tooth and nail but I couldn’t get to keep him. Even mom told me to just let him go. And so I was stuck with a wrong crowd I had only joined because I needed money for my brother, and I couldn’t go to college because I never finished high school and I had no money because I had to get a couple of jobs to put food on the table. And the people who took my brother? They just snapped their fingers and take away everything I had worked for.

(ALEX sits in silence for a few minutes, a frown taking over his features,

the chime sounding softly in the background)

ALEX

I never even knew where he came from. One day dad just showed up with this kid who turned out was my brother. And he never talked about his family… His other family, I guess. So after a while I just sort of forgot he even had one. And then I left for college and he told me he’d found his brother again.

GABRIEL

(Chuckling) Little brat just showed up at work and punched me in the face for never calling.(Pokes one of the metal tubes of the chime) Threw this in my face afterwards, saying something about ‘for all the missed birthdays’. He got it out of his system with just that one punch. Mellow kid.

ALEX

(Snorting) He didn’t use to be. Dad had to force him to go to yoga for like five years after he broke this kid’s arm in a fight at school. And you’re very welcome, I did a research report on wind chimes for school and got him fascinated in them. So technically, half of that windchime is from me. You are very welcome, Gabriel.

GABRIEL

(Laughing) Yoga! Poor kid. And I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

ALEX

If that’s what you want. And it was fun to watch. But yeah, when I found him waiting outside your apartment for you, for his brother, I… I felt so stupid for never having invited him to my place. We would have figured this out so much sooner than a few days before his wedding. Just so you know, I’m blaming him for taking so long to give us his wedding invitations.

GABRIEL

(Musing) Maybe we should blame Jesse. It kind of does seem to be his fault, now that you mention it. He’s the one that knew he was related to the both of us.

ALEX

So it’s settled then. It’s Jesse’s fault.

(Both ALEX and GABRIEL nod at each other, watching the wind chime

sway with the wind from the rolled down windows)

ALEX (cont)

And for what it’s worth? You did a good job of raising our brother. I never knew what happened with him before, where he came from or who he had left behind. But he was a good kid, even when he had barely arrived. He was a good kid and he still is and as much as it pains me to say it, that had nothing to do with us. It was you. So, uh… (awkwardly) thanks, I guess.

GABRIEL

Sure thing. And I don’t really hate you, I guess. It wasn’t exactly your fault your dad stole my brother.

ALEX

(Rolling his eyes) He should have gone about it differently, and I know all of this screwed you over the most, but hey, because things happened the way they did, Jesse’s going to college, and he’s getting married to the girl he loves.

GABRIEL

(Reluctantly) Fine, it could have been worse, I’ll give you that one.

ALEX

And I’ll let you know that while I knew practically nothing about where Jesse was from, I did know that life was tough and staying with us would have benefited him more in the long run. I only had half the story, if not, trust me when I say that I would have done something about it.

GABRIEL

We both only had half the story. Fine, I don’t hold it against you as of ten minutes ago. I still hate your dad, though.

ALEX

He’s not that bad.

GABRIEL

I didn’t ask your opinion. Now… There’s five hours and a half left of our journey. Reflect.

ALEX

But—

GABRIEL

No buts, we had a deal. Reflect.

ALEX

(Leaning against the passenger side door after giving the wind chime one last brush) Ugh, you suck.

GABRIEL

Reflect.

ALEX

(Closing his eyes) Fine, fine.

GABRIEL

I know you’re sleeping, but I’ll take it.

ALEX

Sh, no I’m not. I’m reflecting. I now know the whole story, you know? No more halves.

GABRIEL

No more halves.

(The dreamcatcher wind chime rings softly in the background,

glimmering against the fleeting sun rays)

END OF PLAY

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