A Play by Mary B.

Performance: May, 2004
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Characters: Rico is a 17 year old boy. Charlie is a 24 year old boy.
Time: 10:30 P.M. Spring 2004
Place: White Room never ending space cold atmosphere with fog.
At Rise: Rico’s looking around for something.


(Rico sees an image. He calls out to it.) Who is that?! (Pause) Hey! Answer me!

Charlie: (Charlie enters. Shocked.) Rico…is that you? (Coming closer.)

What are you doing here?

Charlie: I’m trying to look for something?

Me too…But I can’t find it and I don’t know what it is. What are you looking for?
(Charlie turns around to leave. Starts walking away.)
He, I’m talking to you…Charlie, wait….(His feet won’t move) Charlie! Charlie! (Charlie vanishes from sight.)

Time: 7:00 a.m.
Place: In Rico’s room on his bed in his apartment.
At rise: Rico’s waking up to the sound of his alarm clock.
(Rico rises up out of his bed startled by his dream. He gets ready for school. As he’s walking out the door the phone rings.)

Rico: Hello?

Yes, this is the truant officer at Mountain Heights and I would like to speak to the adult of….

Rico: Ah…Yeah, she’s not….
Charlie: (Laughing) Ah fool. It’s me. What it do?
Rico: Ah man. I thought…Man you had me spooked…Don’t play like that!
Charlie: I was just playing…so ya down to do this tonight? Cause I’m coming to pick you up at….
Rico: Man, I don’t know…I mean what’s really? Is it hot, ‘cause I heard the rollers out tonight cause that shooting on Tuesday.

Man, check. Tonights right. We got this. Don’t trip listen, I’m coming over at 9:45. Be outside your apartment. We’ll rap about it then. I got to go. My aunts buggen’. Peace. (Hangs up the phone.)

Rico: (Hangs up the phone.) Man! (Rico exits. Lights down.)
Time: 9:35 P.M., Later that day.
Place: In front of Rico’s apartment.
At rise: Rico’s waiting for Charlie. Charlie rolls up.
Charlie: Hey fool, what is it? Get in!
Rico: Um…yeah…Charlie get out right quick. Let me holla at you.
Charlie: Turns off the car and gets out.) What…man, don’t tell me that you flaking out on me! Man. I told you don’t….
Rico: Man fool. It ain’t like dat….it’s just..man I saw this roller creepen my street….
Charlie: (Laughing) Due’ listen I’m sure about dis, I’m cew. Tonights the night.
Rico: (Looking worried) Alright, listen real talk. I had this dream fool. Like an omen or something. My sisters says dreams are real and…
Charlie: Man, you trippen off a dream? Due’ check: I’m not saying that you wrong that dreams are for realz, but…I need to get this money from this boost, cause I’m outa here. The end of the month. So ya do or don’t but I’m dong so, what’s up?
Rico: I’m down man, you know whats real. I’m just saying. I just got out of jail and I’m cew about going back. I’m trying to do something just like you only mines different and I know that if we get caught, both us not going get that skrill.
Charlie: Hey, don’t trip, listen…
Rico: And what the…what you talking ‘bout you leaving? What you got big plans. I’m mean what’s really? Let me in on dis, ‘cause I know its big….
Charlie: All right for realz. I’m gonna start over. I’m doing big thangs. I’m getting out of this environment. This poverty is killing me. I’m too good for this. The pollution is effecting the weather.
Rico: (Shocked) Man that’s deep. I wanna go too. Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier? I mean, we a team!
Charlie: (Looking down, shaking his head.) Naw. Man. You see, I’m in on this alone. You…you want something totally different from this. You want respect. Your looking for a spot to fit in. Get in where ya fit in. Ya feel!
Rico: (Irritated) What? Get in where I fit in? I fit in first off and due’ thats cew you wanna just up and bounce but you hella contradicting yourself. You want something more, but you doing dirt. What’s that?
Charlie: Man, why you getting sic? I’m just trying to holla at….
Rico: Man, whateva. Lets just go get this over wit. Cause ima get mines and you can get yours.
Charlie: (Shaking his head at Rico’s words.) Whateva due’. Lets go! (They get in the car and head for the spot.)
Time: 10:20 P.M.
Place: They are parked down the street from the car. It’s dark outside. They wait under the one street light on the street.
At rise: Charlie and Rico get out of the car and carefully walk down the street, not to be seen. They are four houses away hiding behind a truck.
Charlie: (Looking at Rico) You ready, foo?
Rico: (Looking at Charlie.) I don’t know.
Charlie: (Irritated he starts to get up but gets pulled down by Rico.) Man!
Rico: (Letting go of his shirt.) Wait Charlie. I’ve been thinking…this ain’t cew. If you really want to get out then do something legit.
Charlie: What’s gotten into you? You trippen.
Rico: Man…I don’t know…
Charlie: Just a few days ago you was down to ride.
Rico: Due’ listen. In my dream I was looking for something and I don’t know what it is but…I got this feeling that this has to do with
Charlie: Look man, we running out of time. Due’ is about to do a night shift.
Rico: Like that…You ain’t gonna hear me out! (Getting up.) Forget it man!
Charlie: (Standing up.) Man, you changed and I don’t know if I like it or not.
Rico: (Angry) I don’t care if you do or don’t. First this dream. Then you talking about being legit, this changes everything.
Charlie: (Shocked.) Hold up! I didn’t really think you were really trippen like this.
Rico: Look. My whole life I’ve looked up to you. I see this leader. I see this big brother.
Charlie: Rico, man….look…I’m not that….
Rico: Naw…You look…you’re confusing me….
Charlie: I’m fed up with this life that we call a game. I messed up Rico. I messed up with myself and I brought you with me.
Rico: What are you talking about?
Charlie: I’m leading the life of a criminal. This is all I know. This life. And now at age 17 it’s all you know.
Rico: It’s not all I know. I know different. I know what I need in life. It’s just I’m doing what you doing.
Charlie: (Sighing) Look Rico. I want something more. I want a real life. A family. With a nice house. The works and I can’t get it here. Not in this hood. I’m telling you. I seen something and it made me think.
Rico: (Paying close attention.) Is it because Eddie got shot last Tuesday? I know he was your down homeboy, but man, why this long to realize? Why now Charlie?
Charlie: Yeah man. I just can’t believe…he was the one who took me in. I was his right hand man, just like you are mine. The thing is, I learned that this isn’t gonna last forever and I want you to know that all this hate and corruption ain’t the key to life.
Rico: (Tear eyed looking down at the ground.) I don’t know man….
Charlie: (Raising his voice.) Rico, you need to understand due’. I messed up. Eddie messed up. Stop following in my footsteps!
(They hear a door slam. They both look up and see a man walk to the car they were about to boost.)
(Angry) Man! See look. I missed my chance.
Rico: Shut up! You talking all that stuff how you wanna be legit. Well yeah, I can see that. But stealing a car is a stupid chance to take!
Charlie: Hold up Rico. I’m….
Rico: No! You hold up. I don’t want to do this. Forget that car.
Charlie: Forget that car? I need that money. Do you not understand?
Rico: Yeah…I understand, understand that you’re tired. That this life isn’t going for you. If I’ve been following in your footsteps when you messing up, why can’t I follow you now when you want good?
(Charlie shakes his head laughing.)
Charlie: (Laughing) Look homeboy. Listen to what your saying. You don’t want to follow me. You been against this all day. It’s really you who wants to do good. Not because of me but for you. Maybe your just scared to take that first step.
Rico: You’ve been telling me that this is all about respect. That my life, this life is about respect.
Charlie: Yeah? So, but…
Rico: No, listen Charlie. This isn’t a game. How will I be respected by you if your gone?
Charlie: It’s all for the better due’. You know I got mad respect regardless. I just feel I’m leading you wrong.
Rico: (Angrily) You have been leading me wrong and now I’m frustrated and yeah man I think it is time to change. I just feel as if I’m being left behind in something big.
Charlie: Please due’. Lets…
Rico: No Charlie. I’ve seen for myself that all we do, what I do is wrong and I know that it is. So as your changing, so am I.
Charlie: (Seriously looking up.) Alright Rico. Alright. Then this is how it is. From here we walk separate paths. I got what I want and you got what you want.
Rico: Alright man, so its cew?
Charlie: Yeah man its cew!
Rico: So,due’ I’ll maybe see ya around then?
Charlie: Yeah man. That’s real. I’ll see you later.
(Rico looks at Charlie one last time and turns and walks away.)
Time: 1:00 A.M.
Place: White room. Same place as scene one.
At rise: Rico is walking in the fog looking for something.
Rico: (He sees a person walking.) Hello?….Hey you!
Charlie: Rico, is that you?
Rico: Hey Charlie, what are you doing?
Charlie: I’m looking for something. I think I see it. (He points.) Over there. Look!
Rico: (Rico looks that way.) Yeah, I see it.
(They start walking towards that direction, as they get closer they both are standing in front of a mirror and a door.)
Charlie: (Moving to the door.) Hey check out this door.
Rico: Open it!
Charlie: (Charlie opens the door.) Look man! (Pause)
(Rico doesn’t look. He is looking into the mirror. He is just starring amazed at what he sees.)
Hey Rico…What is it man? What are you seeing?
Rico: I found what I was looking for.
Charlie: What?
Rico: Me. (Pause) I was looking for me!
    The End.