Excerpt for Piece by Fragment - A New Play by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



























Piece by Fragment

Persephone Litchfield


For Ellie Gift, Ahlani Santos, Katrina Wirtz, and the community who has pushed me to be the best person I can be.


Setting

Woodward, Oklahoma. 2016.


Characters

Daphne Taylor - A 16-year-old with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Incredibly overwhelmed and stressed, but desperate for independence.


Katherine - A 19-year-old protector in Daphne’s system. Orderly, intellectual, aggressive. Seeks to keep her sisters safe, no matter the situation.


Valerie - A 19-year-old protector in Daphne’s system. Rebellious, opinionated, blunt, and badass, but cares deeply for the other members in her system.


Anna - a 16-year-old in Daphne’s system. Reckless, careless, sensitive


Jordan - A 6-year-old in Daphne’s system. Colorful, bubbly, fun-loving


Bethany - A 14-year-old in Daphne’s system. Knowledgeable, quiet, overlooked.


Max - a 17-year-old friend of Daphne’s. Powerful, yet free spirited. Laid back, loves Daphne and her sisters


Charlie - An 18-year-old boy Daphne is close with. Incredibly comfortable with her alters. Determined to protect the system.













Act 1

Scene 1


An empty stage, as one person, DAPHNE TAYLOR, stands in center stage, writing in a used beaten up notebook.

Daphne: I wish I could say I was normal. I know that sounds cliché, but I do. I wish I was youthful, and bright, and mundane.

KATHERINE enters, and speaks from behind DAPHNE

Katherine: Mundane people don’t go far in life.

Daphne: (Passively. Short) Neither do freaks.

Katherine: You’re not a-

Daphne: I wasn’t just talking about me.

KATHERINE nods, deciding to pick her battles. DAPHNE resumes writing

Daphne: I went to therapy today. It was messy. I don’t think it’s working. It feels like I’m just digging up my problems and letting them sit there. How is that doing any good?

Katherine: You must trust that Aubrey knows what she’s doing.

Daphne: Get out, Katherine.

Katherine: I’m only helping.

Daphne: Wow, you’re doing great.

Katherine: Daphne.

Daphne: What?

Katherine: There’s no need to take your anger out on me.

Daphne: Who would you rather me take it out on?

Katherine: Nobody! Why do you have to take it out on anyone? If you’re so angry, talk to us about it.

Daphne: What am I supposed to say?

Katherine: I don’t know. “Hey guys, I’m having a really bad day and I just need to take a breath”.

DAPHNE rolls her eyes, frustrated with KATHERINE

Katherine: Look, I know you’re frustrated, but this is hard on all of us.

Daphne: I know that.

Katherine: I just need you to be empathetic right now, okay?

DAPHNE puts the book down and goes to KATHERINE. KATHERINE and DAPHNE are together.

Daphne: I don’t think this is the best time to be-

VALERIE enters, interrupting the conversation. VALERIE seems carefree, confident, and kickass.

Valerie: What’s poppin’, bitches?

Katherine: Don’t call me a bitch.

Daphne: Poppin’?

Valerie: What’s shakin’?

Daphne: That’s somehow worse.

Valerie: Only lightening the mood.

Katherine: We don’t need you right now, Valerie.

Valerie: Daphne, do you need me right now?

KATHERINE shoots VALERIE a glare, to which VALERIE blows KATHERINE a kiss. There is obvious tension between the two.

Daphne: I’d rather you than Katherine.

Katherine: I’m not leaving, we were having a conversation.

Valerie: What about? I want in.

Katherine: (Bitter) Well, I was just talking to Daphne about letting us know that she’s angry.

Valerie: What are you angry about?

Daphne: It’s not important.

VALERIE cocks an eyebrow

Valerie: If it’s not important, it shouldn’t be important to keep it secret.

Daphne: Valerie, please. If it was important for you to know, I would tell you.

Valerie: Would you though?

Daphne: Most likely.

Valerie: Really?

Daphne: Probably.

Katherine: Honesty is important. Remember what Aubrey said? In a situation like ours, honesty is the key to safety.

Valerie: (Semi-jokingly) Now look what you’ve done, Daph. She’s quoting the therapist.

Katherine: Can you be on my side for ten seconds, Valerie?!

They make eye contact and hold it. As the tension grows, DAPHNE becomes uncomfortable and becomes more irritated.

Daphne: Oh my god, guys, really?! Can I live for five minutes without you both babysitting me? I’m sixteen, I think I can manage without advice from the voices in my head.

Both VALERIE and KATHERINE look at DAPHNE, seemingly irritated. ANNA enters.

Anna: (With finger guns) Not voices.

Daphne: Oh my god. Really? Are we having a meeting now? I want to be alone.

Anna: Sucks to be you, my dude.

Katherine: Maybe you’re right. Maybe we should have a meeting.

Valerie: No. We are one hundred percent not doing that.

Anna: I vote yes.

Daphne: Anna, why are you even here.

Anna: I got bored. Bethany is boring, and this sounded more interesting, so-.

Katherine: I told you that you didn’t have to hang out with her if you didn’t want to.

Anna: She’s my sister too, y’know.

Katherine: Yes, but she’s new. She can hold her own.

Lights open on BETHANY, who stands in the corner listening.

Valerie: That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk to her. She’s new, not temporary.

Daphne: She could be temporary. Who knows anymore?

BETHANY coughs. Everyone turns their head to see her.

Katherine: Bethany, hi.

Bethany: Hi, Katherine.

Valerie: “Don’t be assholes”, I said. “Don’t gossip”, I said.

Anna: (to VALERIE, mostly joking) Coming from you?

VALERIE glares at ANNA

Daphne: How are you?

Bethany: Fine, I guess.

A few moments of awkward silence go back. Everyone is mortified at BETHANY hearing them. Mainly KATHERINE.

Daphne: So, we’re basically having a meeting now.

Valerie: If this is a meeting, I’m out.

Katherine: What, suddenly, you’re not a team player? I thought you were the queen of, “Don’t be an... A hole.”

Valerie: I said asshole.

Katherine: I know what you said.

Valerie: And I don’t go to team meetings because it’s only ever fighting. It’s always about putting some dumb rule in place.

Katherine: You never follow the rules we put in place…

Valerie: Because I don’t go to the meetings.

Daphne: I don’t get what the issue is.

Katherine: You’re keeping a secret.

Daphne: I’m sure you keep secrets too.

Katherine: Not ones that could hurt you.

Daphne: Who says I was hurting anyone?!

Anna: I do.

Daphne: I beg your pardon?

Anna: I’m not a voice.

Katherine: Anna, it’s not like she meant it like that.

Daphne: Who says I didn't’?

Valerie: Daphne, I love you, but you’re about to screw yourself over.

Katherine: You know we’re not voices, Daphne.

Anna: I’m a person too. You can’t keep saying I’m not a person.

Daphne: Says who? The only people who say you’re a person are fake people. You’re just in my head. I’m the only real one here. I’m the only one who should have any say in what I do.

Anna: Okay that’s a shitty thing to say, Daphne.

Valerie: I hate to be the one who quotes the therapist, but Aubrey believes we’re people.

Bethany: (Quietly) So does Charlie.

Katherine: And Max.

Anna: Just because I’m in your head doesn’t make me any less real than you are.

Katherine: Daphne, I know this is hard for you. I know sharing your body isn’t fun. I get that, but you also must understand that we share this body with you too.

Valerie: Nobody expects you to deal with this. That’s kind of the whole point of multiple personalities. We’re here for you.

Daphne: I just wish I was normal.

Katherine: I know. I wish I could give that to you.

Daphne: You could.

Valerie: Daphne...

Katherine: Please don’t start with the integration thing again.

Daphne: I could be normal!

Anna: And we could be dead.

Daphne: That’s not what integration is, and you know that.

Katherine: So, if you were told you were just going to disappear forever, you’d be fine with that?

Daphne: You’re not even listening to me.

Valerie: This isn’t a good time for this, Daph.

Bethany: I think it’s a good idea.

Valerie: Bethany. I’m going to kindly ask you to let us handle this.

Katherine: Daphne, I’m not going to disappear for you. End of discussion.

Daphne: Katherine, you’re not-

Katherine: We’re done talking about it!

Daphne: Why won’t you listen to me!

Katherine: Because you’re asking me to-

Bethany: Hey guys.

Anna: Not now, Bethany.

Bethany: No, I’m serious.

Katherine: Not. Now.

KATHERINE and DAPHNE continue to argue, BETHANY yells over them

Bethany: Who is controlling the body?!

Lights open on JORDAN. A young child, who is talking into a phone. The older girls immediately stop arguing.

All: Jordan!

Blackout













Scene 2

JORDAN sits center stage, talking on a cell phone, surrounded by markers. CHARLIE sits on the side of the stage talking to her back. CHARLIE speaks to JORDAN appropriately, in the tone you would speak to a child in. All of the older girls stand behind JORDAN, observing.

Jordan: No, I said I need new pillows because I want one with fur.

Charlie: A pillow with fur?

Jordan: Mmmhmm. I want a pillow that looks like a bee.

Charlie: That sounds like a pretty fun pillow.

Jordan: Yes, it is.

Charlie: Are you getting your bumblebee pillow?

Jordan: I asked Katherine and she said no.

Charlie: Why would you ask Katherine?

Jordan: ‘Cause she is in charge

Charlie: Isn’t Valerie in charge too?

Jordan: Mmmhmm

Charlie: I feel like Val might be a good person to ask.

Jordan: Yeah

Behind JORDAN, the other personalities commentate.

Anna: You told Jordan she couldn’t have a new pillow?

Katherine: It’s a pillow pet, what is she going to use that for.

Valerie: You are such a buzzkill.

Katherine: We only have so much money.


Charlie: What are you up to right now?

Jordan: Talking on the phone.

Charlie: Okay, that sounds pretty fun, are you doing anything else?

Jordan: I am coloring.

A look of horror overtakes the face of the older girls and CHARLIE.

Charlie: Jordan?

Jordan: That’s me!

Charlie: What are you coloring?

Jordan: The carpet.

The older girls start to panic.

Katherine: Somebody start driving.

Daphne: I don’t know how, Jordan is in control.

Valerie: Shit. shit. shit. shit. Shit.

Katherine: Anna?

Anna: Jordan has full control.

Katherine: Who gave her control?!

Daphne: I left to talk to you!

Katherine: You shouldn’t have done that!

Daphne: You were not giving me much of a choice!


Charlie: The carpet? You’re coloring on the carpet?

Jordan: Max gave me markers for my birthday.

Charlie: With markers. You’re coloring with markers.

Jordan: It’s pretty

Charlie: Is Daphne’s mom home?

Jordan: She’s in Cedardale for the week.

Charlie: Can I come over and play?

Jordan: Can you bring your iPad?

Charlie: Yes, I can. I’ll be right over, okay?

Jordan: Okay!

Charlie: Hey Jordan?

Jordan: Hey Charlie!

Charlie: Can you do something for me?

Jordan: Mmhmm!

Charlie: Can you clean up your markers?

Jordan: No, I am using them!

Charlie: I know, but if you want to play on my iPad, you can’t have markers near it.

Jordan: I can’t?

Charlie: No, you can’t.

Jordan: Okay. I will put them in the box.

Charlie: Thank you very much, Jordan.

The older girls look a little more at ease.

Katherine: Thank god for Charlie.

Daphne: He’s a good babysitter.

Anna: Do you think he knows how to get marker out of carpet?

Bethany: He could probably-

Anna: He probably does.

Lights dim on the girls. CHARLIE calls MAX. MAX answers, upbeat.

Max: Hey Charlie! What’s up?

Charlie: Markers?! You gave a six-year-old markers?

Max: Oh c’mon, she’s a mature kid. I’m pretty sure she can handle some markers.

Charlie: She colored the carpet.

Max: Oh no.

Charlie: Oh yes.

Max: Katherine is going to kill me.

Charlie: I’m on my way to their apartment. Do you by any chance have a way to get marker out of carpet?

Max: I do. I’m on my way.

Charlie: You’re going to help me?

Max: Of course I’m going to help you. If Katherine sees marker on the carpet she’s going to go Game of Thrones on my ass.

Charlie: Uh?

Max: Sounded cooler in my head.

Charlie: Ok, I’ll leave the door unlocked.


Blackout
























Scene 3

CHARLIE and MAX enter together, preparing to go in JORDAN’s room. (This room belongs to all of the alters)

Charlie: Ready?

Max: As I’ll ever be.

Jordan: Are you guys okay out there?!

CHARLIE and MAX take a deep breath and enter. They both gasp when they walk in.

Charlie: Oh wow.

Max: Jordan, why?

Jordan: Why what?

Charlie: Never mind, hey, Max and I are gonna clean up, okay?

Jordan: Ok. Can I have your iPad?

Charlie: Sure, what game do you want?

Jordan: Memory Match.

Charlie: Already, you think you’re smart enough for memory match?

Jordan: Yes!

Charlie: I don’t know, it’s pretty hard.

Jordan: I’m really smart! I can do it!

Charlie: You sure?

Jordan: Yes!

Charlie: Positive?

Jordan: Mhmm?

Charlie: Absolutely, one hundred percent, no doubt about it, sure?

JORDAN giggles, and CHARLIE smiles at him and he ruffles her hair. He hands JORDAN the iPad. JORDAN starts playing with intense focus.

Charlie: (Now to MAX) Ready to carpet clean?

Max: (Holding up two clear spray bottles) Start scrubbing, Cinderella.

They both spray the carpet and scrub. They talk as they do.

Max: You’re really good to her, y’know.

Charlie: She deserves love.

Max: You say that like Daphne and the gang don’t love her.

Charlie: They do, but they can’t love her in the same way that we can. We’re tangible. We’re physical.

Max: We babysit.

Charlie: Maybe.

Max: I mean, it’s fine and all, but do you think they will be here forever?

Charlie: I don't know. Daphne was talking to me about integrating, but I don’t think the rest of them would agree to that.

Max: Integrating?

Charlie: Become one. It’s typically what therapists tell people with Dissociative Identity Disorder to do. Merge their personalities into one.

Max: Oh.

Charlie: I don’t know if that’s what they’re doing, though.

Max: Just ask them.

Charlie: That’s a bad idea. If they don’t already know Daphne was considering it, it’s probably not the best idea to let them in on it.

Max: Fair enough.

They scrub in silence for a moment

Max: Katherine is going to kill me.

Charlie: Don’t worry too much about it. It’s coming out, and it’ll be awhile before she drives. It’ll probably be Valerie or Daphne.

Max: Unless she caught wind that Jordan drew on the carpet.

Charlie: Hey, don’t worry. We’ve got this.

Max: Do you think Daphne’s okay? It’s been a while since Jordan drove.

Charlie: I know she had therapy today, and I know that she went to therapy.

Max: Did she seem okay when she left?

Charlie: Mostly. A little overwhelmed, but she was alright other than that.

Max: Okay…

Charlie: What?

Max: I just...I just worry about her, sometimes.

Charlie: I know.

Max: There’s a new alter, you know.

Charlie: What?

Max: I met her a couple weeks ago. Daphne got really upset over her Geometry grade, and then switched out. It was someone new.

Charlie: That’s not good. Do you have any info on her?

Max: Sweet girl, I think she said she was 14. Bethany.

Charlie: Did she say why she showed up?

Max: I don’t think anyone knows.

Charlie: Damn.

Max: Yeah.

JORDAN brings the iPad to CHARLIE and MAX to show them her score.

Jordan: Look what I got! I got them all right!

Charlie: Look at you, you’re so smart!

Max: Future Harvard scholar.

Jordan: What’s a Harvard?

Max: It’s a place for smart people.

Jordan: I’m in a Harvard.

CHARLIE lets out a little laugh.

Charlie: You’re in a Harvard.

JORDAN sits on the ground between CHARLIE and MAX, who begin to scrub again.

Max: What have you been up to, besides carpet doodling?

Jordan: Talking to Charlie.

Max: Oh wow, that sounds really… not fun.

CHARLIE play punches MAX in the arm

Jordan: Why are you taking out my marker?

Charlie: Well, the carpet isn’t a good place for marker.

Jordan: Why?

Charlie: Because it stains it.

Jordan: Why is that bad?

Max: I don’t know, love. Maybe when you buy your own house one day, you can draw all over the carpet.

Jordan: Ok.

JORDAN yawns. She sits and watches MAX and CHARLIE scrub for a bit, eventually putting her head down on MAX’s leg.

Max: Are you tired?

Jordan: No.

Max: Are you sure?

Jordan: I’m never tired.

Max: It’s okay if you are.

Jordan: No, I’m not.

MAX smiles, pats JORDAN’s head, and JORDAN’s eyes close.

Max: She’s asleep.

Charlie: No, she’s never tired.

They laugh, softly.

Max: When does Daphne’s mom get home?

Charlie: She’s gone for the week.

Max: The week?

Charlie: Yeah, Jordan said she’s in Cedardale.
Max: Is she at the conference thing? Is that this week?

Charlie: I think so.

Max: Not a great time for Jordan to be home alone.

Charlie: She’s not.

Max: I’m gonna call my mom and ask if I can sleep over. You can go home if you want.

Charlie: I told my mom I’m at a debate team competition. I thought I could stay for a couple days. Keep things in order.

Max: We can both stay then.

Charlie: I guess so.

They both look at Jordan and smile. CHARLIE continues to scrub, and MAX pets JORDAN’s hair.

Blackout





Scene 4

On center stage lies an asleep MAX and CHARLIE. ANNA sits awake, scrolling on her phone. On the side of the stage, BETHANY and DAPHNE begin to talk.


Bethany: I’m sorry I’m here, it’s not that I want to be, and it’s not like I’m trying to ruin your life.

Daphne: I’m not saying you’re trying to ruin my life. That’s not what I’m saying at all.

Bethany: I heard you and the others talking yesterday.

Daphne: I know, and I’m sorry. We’re not used to change. We aren’t used to new people.

Bethany: How long has everyone been here?

Daphne: I don’t even know. Katherine has been here since I was 6, and Valerie not much longer after that. Everyone has been here since I was 12, at the latest. Everyone except for you.

Bethany: I feel bad.

Daphne: Don’t, it’s not like it’s your choice to be here.

Bethany: I know, I just...I don’t know.

Daphne: It’s okay to be mad at us. We were wrong. Everyone is just scared right now.

Bethany: Of me?

Daphne: No. I think they are afraid of everything. Things are changing, and it’s scary.

Bethany: Are you scared?

Daphne: No... Yes...I don’t really know.

Bethany: Are you really considering, y’know, (BETHANY puts two hands far apart and pushes them together, indicating integration)

Daphne: I don’t really know right now. Maybe? It’s hard to decide with everyone’s pissed at me for thinking about it.

Bethany: I get it.

Daphne: Not really.

Bethany: I think you should integrate.

Daphne: I don’t understand why you would advocate for that.

Bethany: Look at what happened last night. You can’t expect to go out into the real world with a 6-year-old drawing on your carpets.

Daphne: Look, I appreciate it, but I’d really like to make this decision without any of you guys’ input.

Bethany: And I get that but I-

Daphne: Bethany, that includes you.

Bethany: Daphne, hear me out-

DAPHNE exits, and BETHANY follows her. CHARLIE wakes up to see ANNA on her phone.

Charlie: Good morning, sleepy head. We got all of your marker out of the carpet.

Anna: Not Jordan.

Charlie: Valerie?

Anna: Try again.

Charlie: Anna?

Anna: Bingo.

Charlie: Please don’t tell Katherine about the marker.

Anna: I don’t have to.

Charlie: Oh no

Anna: Mmhmm

MAX lifts her head up, waking up.

Max: Morning cutie-

Charlie: It’s Anna.

Max: Oh my god, long time no see, bitch!

Anna: I know, right? Katherine is such a bitch.

Max: Agh, relatable.

Charlie: You just used bitch in two entirely separate ways.

Anna: Charlie, welcome to 2016, open your eyes to the possibilities.

Charlie: How- How is saying bitch in different ways futuristic.

Anna: Linguistics and the morphology of syntax.

Charlie: None of that was right.

Anna: Open your mind, Charlie. Open your soul.

Charlie: Anna, what the hell does any of that mean.

MAX and ANNA look at each other and laugh. They high five.

Charlie: Where did Jordan go?

Anna: She got bored.

Charlie: Why you?

Anna: Ouch.

Charlie: Not like that.

Anna: I wanted to drive, is that so bad?

Max: Yeah, Charlie. Is that so bad?

Charlie: Don’t gang up on me.

Anna: We’re not!

Max: Yeah, we would never do that!

CHARLIE looks at ANNA and MAX so with the most annoyed, cold eyes. He sighs

Anna: Max, we should go out.

Max: It’s 10 in the morning.

Anna: Valerie got a fake ID

Charlie: No, I’m saying no.

Max: I can’t go drinking at 10 A.M.

Anna: We can go out tonight. Do you have a fake?

Max: Of course I have a fake.

Charlie: No. No. No. No. No.

Anna: Charlie, I guess you’ll just have to go home.

Charlie: I promised Daphne that I would keep everything okay when she switched out.

Anna: Guess you’ll have to come with us.

Charlie: Absolutely not.

Max: Guess I’ll babysit.

Charlie: You can’t babysit your best friend.

Max: Watch me.

Anna: Please.

Charlie: You’re not going out drinking. End of story.

Anna: Okay, dad. I’d like to see you stop me.

ANNA and CHARLIE glare at each other. CHARLIE audibly sighs.


Charlie: There’s no way I’m talking you out of this, is there.

Max: Not a chance.

Charlie: I- I’ll go. But only so that I can keep you safe.

Max: Oh, Charlie, that’s so sweet.

Charlie: I was talking to Anna. I didn’t think you needed a babysitter.

Anna: For the record, I do not need a babysitter.

Charlie: Funny.

Max: How are you planning on getting in?

Charlie: You’re not the only one who has a fake ID.

Anna: No fucking way.

CHARLIE raises an eyebrow. MAX smiles wider than the Grand Canyon.

Blackout



Scene 5

KATHERINE, VALERIE, DAPHNE and JORDAN stand onstage. JORDAN sits on the ground counting specks on the floor. The older girls sit near her, talking.

Katherine: I just don’t understand why there’s a new alter.

Daphne: For the hundredth time, I don’t know either.

Valerie: I’m bored as hell.

Katherine: No one asked you to be here.

Valerie: (Mocking KATHERINE) “Be more involved in these issues, Valerie. Daphne’s your sister too”

Katherine: I- that’s not what I - I can handle it.

Daphne: Apparently not.

DAPHNE and VALERIE high five

Katherine: Okay, I get that literally everyone in our system thinks it’s a blast to make fun of me, but you would all be a wreck without me.

Daphne: Wanna make a rule about it?

Katherine: I’m serious, Daphne.

Valerie: Careful, Daph. She’s serious.

Katherine: Really? Both of you? I’m only trying to help.

Daphne: Okay, okay. I’m sorry. But to be honest, I think it would help if you let me make my own decisions.

Katherine: Your decisions would get us killed.

Daphne: If you’re still pissed about me mentioning integration, Katherine.

Katherine: First of all, I was talking about your harmful habits. But no, I am still pissed about that. Do you not realize that you said you wanted to kill me?

Daphne: That isn’t what integration means!

Valerie: We aren’t doing this right now.

Katherine: You’re saying you don’t want me around, that’s what integration means!

Daphne: No, it isn’t! Why are you being so dramatic!

Katherine: Right, because you can express your emotions to anyone and everyone, but the minute I get angry because my sister wants me killed, you tell me I’m dramatic?!

Daphne: Don’t start with that. You’re only upset about it because it means you wouldn’t get ot boss me around anymore!

Katherine: Wow. Y’know, I thought you were petty, but that’s a new low for you.

Valerie: This is not the time or place for this.

Jordan: 7! There are 7 specks on the floor!

Valerie: Wow, Jordan. That’s great! Maybe you should count the specks on another floor!

Jordan: I will count these again!

Katherine: When is the right time then, Val? When we’re all dead and gone!

Daphne: Have you literally not heard one thing I’ve said this entire time?

Katherine: I hear that you’re so full of yourself that you refuse to accept that I’m alive.

Daphne: I never said you weren’t alive.

Katherine: If I’m alive, then I can die. If I cannot die, I am not alive.

Daphne: That is the most fucking ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life.

Valerie: ENOUGH!

KATHERINE and DAPHNE go silent, VALERIE looks at them wildly, with anger and frustration.

Valerie: Katherine, you’re the older one here. You shouldn’t be attacking Daphne like this.

Daphne: I told you that-

Valerie: Daphne, if something upsets Katherine that much, you shouldn’t bring it up constantly. If you really need to talk about it, wait until you can give a full perspective. This isn’t a casual conversation for anyone, and you should know that.

Daphne: But Valerie-

Valerie: No. I love you, kid. But you have to understand that we have feelings too. This hurts. You have to think about us sometimes too.

Daphne: I cannot believe you guys.

DAPHNE storms off, angry.

Jordan: 7 specks!

Katherine: Good job, Jordan.

KATHERINE looks off to where DAPHNE left. VALERIE puts an arm around her.

Valerie: I’m sorry.

Katherine: I don’t know what I did wrong.

Valerie: This is a rough age. It’s not you.

Katherine: I help her so much. I don’t understand why she wants me gone.

Valerie: I think she just wants to fit in. This is hard for her sometimes. We’ll get through it, I promise.

Katherine: Why are you being so nice to me?

Valerie: Someone has to, I guess.

They laugh a little. JORDAN gets up and holds KATHERINE’s hand.

Jordan: I love you lots.

Katherine: I love you lots more. Wanna show me all the specks you counted?

Jordan: Yes, please! There are seven and I counted them all!

JORDAN and KATHERINE sit on the ground together, counting the specks. VALERIE stands next to them, conflicted and worried.

Blackout























Scene 6

ANNA, CHARLIE, and MAX sit at a bar. ANNA and MAX hold drinks, and CHARLIE sips a glass of water, clearly bored and irritated.

Max: C’mon, Charlie! Take a breath. Live a little.

Charlie: Who do you think is driving you both home? I’m fine with a water.

Anna: (Slightly slurred) You’re boring.

Charlie: Jesus, Anna. How are you drunk?

Anna: I’m not drunk. I’m good.

Charlie: Oh?

Anna: Yes, I am so good. I can handle my liquor. (Calling out) Another one, my good sir.

Charlie: (Calling out) Just give her a water, please.

Anna: (Upset) Boring.

Charlie: She’s drunk, Max. How did you let her get drunk?

Max: I’m not in charge. And it’s not like I knew she’d be out with two drinks.

Charlie: We need to go home.

Anna: No! No we don’t, I’m good. I’m so good. I’m great.

Charlie: Alright, Anna. Hey, let’s go to the car really quick. Okay?

Anna: And then come back?

Charlie: Yeah, and then come back.

Anna: Okay. Car and back.

Charlie: Alright.

MAX and CHARLIE help ANNA out. They begin to drive home.

Anna: Hey! Hey, you said we’d go back.

Charlie: I know. I’m sorry.

Anna: I didn’t agree to this, I’m leaving.

Max: Anna, you can’t leave a moving car.

Anna: Watch me.

Max: Charlie!

CHARLIE presses a button. ANNA begins pulling on the door.

Anna: Why won’t you open?! Open, door! Open, open, open!

Max: Child lock?

Charlie: No, I just regular locked it.

Anna: Open sesame, open, open, open

ANNA continues to demand the door to open, and eventually falls asleep in the backseat

Max: What is it with alters falling asleep on you?

Charlie: (Sharply) I don’t know.

Max: What’s wrong?

CHARLIE parks and gets out of the car. He picks ANNA up and brings her inside. He puts her on the bed, covers her with a blanket. MAX follows close behind, eventually sitting beside him.

Max: What’s wrong?

Charlie: You should go home.

Max: I already told my mom I was sleeping over for another night.

Charlie: Two nights in a row? Your mom is going to start getting worried about you.

Max: It’s spring break, she doesn’t care. I’ll probably stay tomorrow too.

Charlie: I don’t need your help.

Max: She’s my friend too, you know.

Charlie: Which one? Clearly not Anna.

Max: I beg your pardon.

Charlie: Do you know how dangerous it is for her to get drunk like that? She’s 16.

Max: She can handle it.

Charlie: What if Jordan came back? Would you rather deal with a drunk six-year-old?

Max: I-

Charlie: I know you want to have fun, and do fun, reckless things. I get that, I know you want to go do normal teenager things. But Anna, and Daphne, and Katherine, and Valerie, and everyone else? They aren’t normal teenagers.

Max: But they should be treated like normal teenagers.

Charlie: Not always. Sometimes, you have to embrace people’s differences. Sometimes you have to let them be different and accept that they are different. You have to love their differences. I shouldn’t have let Anna get drunk.

Max: It’s not your fault.

Charlie: But it is. I promised Daphne that I would take care of her sisters when she switched out. I’ve been helping out since February.

Max: That’s not your job.

Charlie: I don’t do it because it’s a job. I do it because I want them safe. I love them all. They’re like sisters to me. Today, I failed Anna.

Max: Charlie-

Charlie: Max, you don’t get it. What if Anna had died tonight. What if alcohol reacted with her medication? My neglect could’ve killed her.

They sit in silence. MAX stares at the floor, regretting how the night went.

Max: I- I’m really sorry, Charlie.

Charlie: It’s okay. Just...just be careful next time, okay?

Max: Okay.

They continue to sit in silence.

Lights Fade Out


Scene 7

KATHERINE and ANNA stand together on stage.

Katherine: Drunk?! You got drunk?! What the hell were you thinking?

Anna: I know, and I’m sorry. I wanted to feel alive for a minute. I don’t know how long I could be.

Katherine: Daphne isn’t...she’s not integrating us.

Anna: How sure about that are you?

Katherine: Pretty sure. She’s upset, but I think I got my point across.

Anna: Okay.

DAPHNE enters.

Katherine: Who’s driving?

Daphne: Bethany.

Anna: Has she ever driven before?

Daphne: Yeah, she hung out with Max once.

Katherine: Oh, I don’t remember that.

Daphne: You guys never pay much attention to her, anyway.

Anna: C’mon, Daphne. That’s a low blow.

Daphne: We need to have a meeting.

Katherine: I call the meetings.

Daphne: I’m calling it this time.

VALERIE enters.

Valerie: Since when do you call meetings?

Daphne: Since now.

Valerie: Where’s Jordan and Bethany?

Daphne: Jordan is too young for this and Bethany is driving.

Katherine: Okay, what’s going on?

DAPHNE takes a deep breath

Daphne: I was talking to Aubrey this morning.

Anna: We don’t have therapy on Tuesdays.

Daphne: I called her for an emergency session.

Katherine: What’s the emergency?

Daphne: I’m getting to that.

Katherine: Ok, I’m listening.

Daphne: I’m 16, and I can barely even go to school anymore because we’ve been switching out so much. I can’t control it anymore. I’m so exhausted all the time, I can barely eat. This disorder is hurting me.

Katherine: We’re protecting you.

Daphne: No. Well, maybe. I think you were at one point. I wholeheartedly believe that. But it’s not getting better. I’m getting worse. We’re all getting worse.

Katherine: I don’t like where this is going.

Daphne: Anna got drunk, and Jordan drew on the carpet. I’m not in control of my body anymore, and I’m ruining my house because I don’t have control. I need control.

Katherine: Daphne, please don’t say-

Daphne: It’s getting out of hand. I think I need to integrate.

Katherine: No.

Daphne: I’m sorry, Katherine. I’m so sorry. But I can’t live like this anymore. I need to get better. We need to get better.

Katherine: Right, because you’ll get better once all of us are gone.

Daphne: It’s not like that. We’ll get better because we’ll all be one person. We’ll be together. Just...in a different way.

Katherine: How could you? I cannot believe you!

Daphne: Katherine, please. Valerie, talk to her!

VALERIE shakes her head. She squeezes Katherine’s hand. They exit.

Daphne: Anna, I know this is a lot to process but I think this will be good for-

Anna: Oh, go fuck yourself, Daphne.

ANNA leaves, holding back tears.

The lights dim, and DAPHNE exits. The lights rise on KATHERINE, ANNA, and VALERIE spread across the stage. They overlap, seemingly begging the Universe, and pleading with any force that could listen.

Valerie: Please don’t let me die.

Katherine: I only wanted to save her.

Anna: I can’t lose this. I can’t fade yet.

Katherine: I’m only nineteen.

Valerie: I need to feel alive. I need to be alive.

Anna: I didn’t want this.

Katherine: I’m keeping her alive

Valerie: I cannot afford to die

Anna: Please don’t let her kill me

The lights go out on VALERIE, ANNA, and KATHERINE. A single spotlight rises on BETHANY.

Bethany: Please keep Daphne safe.

Blackout

End of Act 1









































Act 2

Scene 1

DAPHNE sits on a bed, and CHARLIE sits next to her. DAPHNE is clearly distressed.

Charlie: I mean, if you wanted to integrate, isn’t not hearing from them a good thing?

Daphne: No, no it’s not. It’s definitely not a good thing. We are still switching out, but now they won’t talk to me. I have no idea what happens when I’m gone. It’s like I’m 11 all over again.

Charlie: They aren’t even leaving notes?

Daphne: Nothing. I come back, and everything is different. I have no idea what anyone is doing.

Charlie: Have you talked to Aubrey about it?

Daphne: Yeah, but there’s not much she can do. If the rest of them won’t cooperate it’s not like she can make them.

Charlie: Have you tried talking to them?

Daphne: I mean, they aren’t there to talk to.

Charlie: If you could talk to them in your headspace before, why not just talk. You never know, someone could be listening.

Daphne: They don’t want to talk to me.

Charlie: They don’t have to. They only have to listen.

Daphne: I don’t know, what if they aren’t ready for that.

Charlie: Are you ready to keep living like this?

Daphne: I - I don’t know.

Charlie: I think you do.

Daphne: I just don’t want to upset them.

Charlie: No offense, Daphne, but I think you already did.

Daphne: I mean, I guess you’re right.

Charlie: I know.

There is a pause. DAPHNE fidgets in her seat.

Charlie: I’ll go and... leave you to that.

CHARLIE gets up to leave

Daphne: Wait.

CHARLIE turns around

Daphne: Can you stay? Y’know...just in case Jordan drives or whatever.

Charlie: Sure. Of course.

The scene shifts. DAPHNE stands alone, is an otherwise dark area. Headspace.

Daphne: Hey guys. I know you’re mad. I understand why you are. I know that this is upsetting for you guys. I get that. But you have to understand that this is just as scary for me. I need to be normal sometimes. I want to be a teenager. I want to remember things. I want to be around all the time. I want to know what it feels like to remember every moment of the month. I want to go to real school and be in all of my classes. (Beat) I’m sorry you have to be stuck with me. I’m sorry that this happened to you. I’m sorry that you have to put up with me. I’m sorry I don’t know how to do this. I just- I need you guys to cooperate with me. I need you to understand that I’m not trying to kill you guys. I’m not a whole person like this. We’re all just fragments of one brain. And I’m trying to put this all together piece by fragment and I can’t do it alone. I need you.

VALERIE enters from the left. Slowly. She inches towards DAPHNE. Eventually taking her hand.

Valerie: (Quietly) We’re not mad, Daphne. None of us are mad. We’re all just scared.

Daphne: I’m sorry.

Valerie: You don’t have to be.

Daphne: I can’t live like this.

Valerie: I can’t tell you that I agree. I can’t tell you that I think you’re right. But I’m a protector, and protectors protect. I will do what you think is right.

Daphne: Really?

Valerie: Yes.

DAPHNE knows this isn’t a good time to hug VALERIE. The moment is too dark. But she squeezes VALERIE’s hand tightly. VALERIE looks at DAPHNE and nods. They both look back out, not making eye contact, but hanging on to each other.

Blackout
















Scene 2

KATHERINE sits on the bedroom floor. MAX waits outside the door, listening. KATHERINE stares at the carpet, presumably the one JORDAN drew on. She talks to the floor.

Katherine: I don’t understand why this is happening to me. I’ve only ever been kind to her. I’ve only ever taken care of Daphne. (Beat. She begins talking as if directly to DAPHNE) I’m supposed to protect you. I have protected you for years. I’ve given up my life to making you happy. I have fought for you every day. Every day, Daphne.

KATHERINE grabs a bottle of nail polish from the dresser.

Katherine: How could you do this to us? How could you do this to me?!

KATHERINE hits the bottle of polish against the dresser, smashing it. She raises it to throw on the ground. MAX runs in upon hearing the smash.

Katherine: I have spent every day protecting you.

MAX catches the bottle as KATHERINE throws it, and nail polish covers her hands. MAX puts the broken bottle on DAPHNE’s bed and wipes her hands on a towel hanging from her door.

Katherine: Max? How did you get in here-

MAX holds up a key.

Katherine: Who gave you a key?

Max: Daphne.

Katherine: Okay, then why are you here now?

Max: I was coming to check in on Daphne, but I don’t think that’s who I ran into.

Katherine: No.

Max: Do you wanna clue me in on who I’m talking to?

Katherine: No.

MAX cocks an eyebrow at KATHERINE. KATHERINE stands her ground.

Max: Alright, then. You’re not new though, right?

Katherine: To hell I’m not.

Max: Just checkin’.

Katherine: Well, you missed the boat on Daphne. So, I suppose you can go.

Max: I don’t think I’m gonna do that.

Katherine: And why is that?

Max: No offense, babe, but you’re not looking too hot.

Katherine: I’m fine, thank you very much.

MAX looks at the nail polish spilt onto the bed and then back at KATHERINE.

Max: Right, you’re totally fine.

Katherine: You ruined the duvet.

Max: Better than the carpet you were about to- Oh, hi Katherine.

Katherine: How did you-?

Max: Duvet.

Katherine: (Peeved) Pardon my proper English.

Max: I wasn’t insulting it, I just don’t think anyone else in your system would say the word “duvet”.

Katherine: Fine, then.

Max: Wait, why would you ruin the carpet? How does that help?

Katherine: To get back at Daphne, she betrayed me.

Max: I get that, I heard your speech.

Katherine: Oh, I-

Max: I don’t need excuses. I’d honestly rather avoid them right now. Why do you think getting back at her will help?

Katherine: So that she understands the severity of what she has done.

Max: Looking for help?

Katherine: Do not side with her.

Max: I didn’t say I was siding with her.

Katherine: But you are.

Max: Katherine, just explain what’s going on. Talk to me.

Katherine: Daphne needs to understand that she has hurt me.

Max: Do you think she doesn’t already know that?

Katherine: You said you wanted me to explain, do not interrupt me.

Max: Right, sorry.

Katherine: She thinks she can just kill me off without a thought. She doesn’t see me in the same way she sees you, or Charlie, or Aubrey. She just sees me as a nuisance. That hurts. It hurts intolerably. All I have ever done is protect her. All I have ever done is help, and apparently that isn’t enough for her to acknowledge my existence. I have to show her that I exist. Otherwise, who knows what she’ll do to me.

A moment goes by.

Katherine: You can talk now.

Max: Oh okay. Um, well I don’t think Daphne is trying to kill you off. I think she’s just trying to achieve normalcy.

Katherine: Normalcy isn’t a word Harding made it up for his campaign and-

Max: Katherine, not now.

Katherine: There’s never a bad time for learning.

Max: Yes, there is. It’s right now.

KATHERINE puffs and listens.

Max: Daphne wants to be like the other girls her age. She wants to be independent. She wants to feel sane sometimes. It’s not you. You’ve protected her, I know that. She knows that. Maybe it’s time for her to protect herself. Don’t you trust her?

Katherine: I- I don’t think so.

Max: Why not?

Katherine: Daphne is a sad kid. What is she does something reckless and stupid?

Max: Like get drunk with me?

Katherine: That’s Anna, and I appreciate you trying to vilify her but that isn’t what I was talking about.

Max: I didn’t mean to, but Anna is a bad light. What do you mean, then?

Katherine: What if she falls back into self-harm? What if she stops eating? What if she tries to kill herself? We’ve been here for years, who’s to know how she’ll react if we leave? She doesn’t know what it’s like to be all alone, I don’t know if she can take that.

Max: She won’t be alone, Katherine. She’s not alone now, even when you aren’t talking to her. She won’t be alone if you leave. Charlie and I will be there.

Katherine: It’s not the same.

Max: I know that. But you can’t say no one will be there to help her. I know Daphne like the back of my hand. I wouldn’t be oblivious to anything that changed.

Katherine: What if you weren’t there? What about college?

Max: What about college? If Daphne went to a college, don’t you think Jordan would want to see it? What happens when Jordan drives in her college classes? What if Anna goes to a frat party? It’s still dangerous if you’re there when she goes. Just in a different way.

Katherine: I need to protect her. I can’t do that if I’m dead.

Max: Katherine, I don’t think you understand what integration is.

Katherine: Wow, girl who is not in a system, please do explain how you know more about our condition than we do.

Max: I talked to Daphne about it. Daphne explained it to me.

Katherine: Ah, right, because Daphne’s the smartest one in our system?

Max: Katherine, hear me out. Integration doesn’t mean you go away. It just means you become one. You integrate, not dissipate.

Katherine: So, Daphne gets my qualities and gifts and I just become a distant memory.

Max: That’s a depressing way to look at it.

Katherine: Yes, it’s dismal and sad because it is.

Max: What about this angle. You all intertwine into one, one magnificent, beautiful person.

Katherine: Yes, and we live forever in Candyland and spend the rest of our days with King Kandy?

Max: I’m not saying it’ll be perfect. I’m not saying your life-

Katherine: Daphne’s life.

Max: Really, Katherine? Can you work with me a little?

KATHERINE rolls her eyes

Max: Life isn’t going to be perfect. Nobody’s life is. But Daphne can finally exist without being absent every other week. Daphne can experience every second of every day.

Katherine: And you think that’s a good thing?!

Max: I think it’s better. Yeah, some days are gonna suck. They’re gonna suck hard. But those moments are also going to help her learn to live. I know that you protect her, Katherine. But you can only protect someone so much before you’ve made them lose themselves. Daphne needs to feel what it feels like to have a bad day, and she needs to know what it feels like to power through it. You can’t pull her back every time something bad happens. She has to deal with her issues sometimes. She’s never in control and it’s killing her.

Katherine: You think I hurt her?

Max: That’s not what I said. I said you aren’t helping her all the time.

Katherine: So, I’m hurting her.

Max: Katherine, honestly. Just listen for ten seconds. Do you even hear yourself?!

Katherine: I hear myself loud and clear.

Max: I know you’re upset. And you’re allowed to be. But you have to think about Daphne too.

Katherine: All I’ve ever thought about is Daphne. And I’m still thinking about her now!

Max: No, you’re not. You’re thinking about you. And your fears. And your anger. And your worries. This isn’t about Daphne.

Katherine: I am doing what is best for her.

MAX stares at KATHERINE, unsure of how to respond at this point. There is a moment of silence.

Max: I know you’ve read the statistics.

Katherine: Which ones.

Max: About people with DID. About the suicide rates.

Katherine: Don’t bring that into this.

Max: Why? Is that suddenly not relevant to you?

Katherine: We aren’t like that. None of us would ever -

Max: You said Daphne was a sad kid. What happens if being different becomes too much for her? What happens next time people call her crazy? What happens when her college friends treat you like a party trick?

Katherine: No one is going to treat us like a party trick?

Max: Really? ‘Cause I’d love to show you the YouTube comments on DID documentaries. I’m sure lots of people who love to see a college kid morph into a six-year-old.

Katherine: Daphne is different.

Max: Maybe. But the other students won’t know that. And between you and me, I think Daphne would get pretty hurt by all that.

Katherine: No, she-

Max: What if she does something reckless and stupid?

Katherine: Don’t twist my words like that.

Max: I didn’t twist them. You said she could do something reckless.

Katherine: If I wasn’t there to protect her.

Max: What if Daphne resists? What if you can’t drive?

Katherine: I- I don’t know.

Max: Daphne needs you. But not the you that you are right now.

KATHERINE stares at the ground. MAX falls quiet. The moment is silent. KATHERINE quietly wipes away a tear. MAX does not make eye contact.

Blackout







Scene 3

ANNA, VALERIE and KATHERINE stand in headspace, talking to each other.

Katherine: I just- I don’t think I’m ready for this. Max and I talked about it, and I guess I get it? At least on a smaller scale.

Anna: I don’t. Don’t honestly tell me you think she’d be better off without us.

Valerie: I mean, she technically still has us, but even then. She doesn’t know how to handle to world on her own.

Katherine: That’s partially my fault.

Anna: You think Daphne being fearful and incapable is your fault?

Valerie: C’mon, Anna. That was uncalled for.

Anna: What is going on with you? What happened to the kick-ass, take-shit-from-no-one Valerie?

Valerie: Present.

Anna: Oh c’mon.

Valerie: Just because I’m not being a dick to everyone and shit talking Daphne behind her back? How does not being an asshole make me less badass?

Katherine: Before the two of you have a catfight, I think-

Anna: Have a catfight? That doesn’t sound right.

Katherine: There are more pressing issues at hand. Max and I were talking, and I think that I enabled Daphne’s fears and... incapability to process emotions.

Anna: Someone’s been hanging around Aubrey too much.

Valerie: Just because I’m not acting like an ass doesn’t mean you have to pick up my slack, Anna.

Anna: There she is.

Valerie: (Dismissing ANNA) How do you think you enabled Daphne, Kath?

Anna: Nicknames now? In what twilight zone do you two get along?

Valerie: (Snapping at ANNA) Since we both started considering the possibility of death, Anna. Get with the program. You’re being ridiculous, and we have bigger problems than you wanting to be an asshole got it?

ANNA nods and shuts up.

Katherine: Every time Daphne has a rough day, I’ve taken over, or sent someone else to.

Valerie: That doesn’t mean she doesn’t process the issues, though. She’s still alive back here.

Katherine: That’s true, but she doesn’t have to confront the issues in real life. If Daphne’s mom gets in a fight with her, I’ll drive through the apologies and the punishments. I am her get out of jail free card.

Valerie: How do we fix that?

BETHANY enters

Bethany: We don’t.

Anna: Oh my god, look, Bethany, I love you and all, but this doesn’t concern you.

Bethany: It definitely does, Anna. We’re both alters. We would both be integrated.

Valerie: I’m sorry, Bethany. Anna has decided to be a queen bitch today.

Bethany: It’s fine, she’s just being irrational and that’s frustrating.

Anna: Irrational?

Valerie: Anna, I swear to god.

Katherine: What do you mean we can’t fix it, Bethany?

Bethany: There comes a point where you have to accept that you’ve made mistakes. You can’t undo the responses you’ve conditioned her to have. You have to let her learn on her own.

Katherine: She’s never had to learn on her own before.

Bethany: I know. That’s why she has to now.

Valerie: How do we know it won’t hurt her.

Katherine: Or worse.

Bethany: What if it does? Is it worth it to keep her from her own life? Is it worth it to shelter her from everything that might not be sunshine and rainbows?

Valerie: What if she can’t handle it?

Bethany: What if she can?

Valerie: What about us? Where do we go?

Bethany: Together.

Anna: That’s cryptic.

Bethany: It’s not meant to be. Integration. We become one. It goes back to the way things were. Before she split. Before you all got here.

Valerie: So, we all die.

Bethany: No. We just become one mind instead of 6.

Valerie: I don’t understand how that isn’t death.

Bethany: Your traits, passions, skills, pet peeves, mannerisms, everything that makes you you would still exist. They would just all be part of one thing, they wouldn’t be separate. Daphne would be stronger, because Valerie’s a badass bitch, and her English skills would shoot through the roof, because of Katherine. She’d be more fun-loving because of Anna.

Anna: But we wouldn’t know that.

Bethany: I guess not. You would live on in Daphne. But you wouldn’t be conscious.

Katherine: Death.

Bethany: No, it’s not-

Valerie: But it is. I would lose my consciousness, I would be dead.

Bethany: Theoretically, I guess.

Anna: There it is.

The scene drops, KATHERINE, VALERIE, and ANNA all grow quieter. The atmosphere becomes more somber, as if the hope has dissipated.

Katherine: Bethany, thank you for the information. I appreciate it.

Valerie: I think I’m going to go...process all of this.

Anna: Me too.

VALERIE and ANNA exit.

Bethany: I didn’t mean to upset you all.

Katherine: It’s not you. It’s not anyone, really. I think we just need some time.

Bethany: That’s fair.

Katherine: How are you dealing with this so well?

Bethany: I want what’s best for Daphne. I haven’t been here long, I don’t really know what it’s like to be “alive”. It doesn’t bother me to think about losing this.

Katherine: Oh.

Bethany: Yeah.

Katherine: Well, thank you again.

Bethany: Anytime.

KATHERINE looks offstage, sighs and walks off.

Blackout


Scene 4

VALERIE and KATHERINE sit on the ground. KATHERINE cries, and VALERIE puts her arm around her in comfort

Valerie: I know.

Katherine: I never meant for this to happen. I never meant to hurt her. I only wanted to save her. I thought I could save her.

Valerie: You did. You have saved her.

Katherine: No, all I did was hurt her. I only ever hurt everyone. I thought I was keeping us together, and I was just tearing us apart.

Valerie: No. Not at all, Katherine. You have kept us safe for so long. I mean, god knows where we’d be without you. You are so smart, you are so strong.

Katherine: You’re the strong one.

Valerie: I think we both are.

Katherine: Look at me, I’m so weak. I’m crying, you’re not.

Valerie: Who said crying was a weak thing to do? Vulnerability is scary, Kath. You’re being honest, and that’s a pretty brave thing to do. I think that’s pretty strong.

Katherine: Thanks, I guess. I just wish I wasn’t crying.

Valerie: I know. I know.

KATHERINE lays her head on VALERIE’s shoulder. VALERIE pets KATHERINE’s hair as she speaks.

Valerie: I know this is hard. I know this is scary. I promise you that I am scared too. But we’ve come so far as a team. We’re a team. We have been a team. And dammit, Katherine, we’ll always be a team. Even if we’re integrated. Especially then. You’re just as good a protector now as you would be integrated. You’re the best damn protector any system’s ever seen.

Katherine: I don’t know, I think you’re pretty great too.

Valerie: Maybe. But I know for a fact that you have helped Daphne so much. And Anna, and Jordan, and even Bethany.

Katherine: 4 out of 5 ain’t bad.

Valerie: 5 out of 5.

Katherine: I’m pretty sure I haven’t done anything for you...other than fight.

Valerie: You taught me how to write essays.

KATHERINE laughs lightly, through tears

Valerie: And how to parent Jordan. And how to protect our family. And how to be a person when you don’t feel like one. And how to love the people who don’t always love us back. You’ve made me the person I am, Kath. I’m sorry I never thanked you.

Katherine: You’re a pretty good protector, Val.

Valerie: I know. Thanks for that.

VALERIE lays her head on KATHERINE’s. A moment of quiet ensues.

Katherine: Valerie?

Valerie: Yeah?

Katherine: I don’t want to die.

Valerie: Bethany said it’s not death.

Katherine: I know what Bethany said. But I also know how it feels. And it feels like I’m going to die. I don’t want to die, Valerie. I’m not ready to die.

VALERIE chokes back a cry.

Valerie: I know, Katherine. I know.

Katherine: And I know I’m supposed to trust Daphne to be a person on her own. I know she’ll be a great person. But I want to see her in college, and in marriage, and with kids, and everything else after that. And selfish as it is, I want to see college too. I want to know what it feels like to be surrounded by students as passionate as I am. I want to feel alive.

Valerie: I know.

Katherine: How do you deal with that?

Valerie: I don’t know, really. I think I just hope that one day, Daphne will feel all of those things. That even though I’m not there, that I’m not conscious, that Daphne will know that I would’ve loved it. I just hold on to a hope that I will be alive in Daphne. Just in a different way.

Katherine: But that’s not the same.

Valerie: I know. But I need to trust that it’s what’s right.

Katherine: And if it isn’t?

Valerie: Than Daphne will figure it out. I just have to trust that we’ll be back if she needs us. That we’ll still be there.

Katherine: I feel like I’m losing my family.

Valerie: We’re still a family. (VALERIE wipes a tear) A really good family.

Katherine: It’s been an honor to protect our family with you.

Valerie: (a light forced smile) Ditto.

They both let their tears fall, silently. They hold each other, hoping that the moment will last forever.

Blackout













Scene 5

VALERIE and CHARLIE sit at a table in a coffee shop. Talking to each other.

Charlie: So, it’s really actually happening?

Valerie: I mean… yeah. Katherine and I are still processing and coming to terms with it.

Charlie: Damn.

Valerie: Yeah.

Charlie: How are all of you handling this?

Valerie: I don’t even know. I think Katherine and I are just stressed. Anna is still angry.

Charlie: What about Jordan and what’s-her-face?

Valerie: Bethany? Jordan’s clueless and Bethany is just being supportive.

Charlie: Ah, gotcha.

VALERIE takes a sip of her coffee.

Charlie: How can you drink that?!

Valerie: What?

Charlie: Black coffee. It’s so bitter and gross.

Valerie: Oh, I’m just not a little bitch, so…

Charlie: Funny.

Valerie: Thanks, I’ll be here all week.

Charlie: Will you?

Beat.

Valerie: (Suddenly serious) I don’t know. We’re working with the therapist to integrate. Working through trauma. It’s just one at a time. Eventually, people will start blending.

Charlie: Who’s out first?

Valerie: It’s not a game. It’s just...whoever’s ready, I suppose.

Charlie: So, Bethany?

Valerie: Pretty much.

Charlie: Valerie?

Valerie: Yeah?

Charlie: Do you think Daphne will be okay?

Valerie: I... I do.

Charlie: What if she needs Katherine?

Valerie: You can’t encourage her to integrate and then question it, Charlie.

Charlie: I’m not, but I’m allowed to be worried about it. About her.

Valerie: I know that. But yes, I think she’ll be okay. She has you after all.

Charlie: And college?

Valerie: She’s smart, and she’ll add on Katherine’s skills. She’ll find her way.

Charlie: Not to mention your badass self.

Valerie: She’s one lucky girl.

Charlie: I’m gonna miss you, you know.

Valerie: Oh please, you’ll miss Jordan the most.

Charlie: C’mon, Valerie.

Valerie: What?! Don’t act like you don’t love being a dad.

Charlie: I’m not a dad.

Valerie: (Mocking him) I’m not a dad

Charlie: I just babysit.

Valerie: (in playful disbelief) Mmmhmm.

They laugh

Charlie: I think you are the most badass girl I’ve ever met.

Valerie: I know.

Charlie: My point exactly.

Beat.

Valerie: Hey Charlie?

Charlie: Yeah?

Valerie: Thank you for looking after my sisters.

Charlie: Anytime.

Valerie: I mean, every kid needs a dad, right.

Charlie: Will you stop it?

They laugh, this time more genuine. Suddenly, Valerie has a look of horror overcome her face.

Charlie: Val?

Valerie: Katherine.

Charlie: Oh, hey Katherine, I didn’t realize you switched-

Valerie: No, Katherine’s leaving.

Charlie: I thought Bethany would go first.

Valerie: Oh my god.

Charlie: Valerie, breathe.

Valerie: I have to go.

Charlie: Valerie, wait.

VALERIE and ANNA switch. ANNA now sits at the table across from CHARLIE. VALERIE runs across the stage to KATHERINE on the side.

Charlie: What’s happening?

Anna: Fucking Daphne.

Charlie: No, okay. It’s not Daphne’s fault.


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