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Goodbye Sophie (1 Viewer)



Goodbye, Sophie


Scene I
Setting: a park bench at night. Edward is sitting here, holding a pistol in his hand. There is a single street lamp dimly lighting the area.
Characters: Edward; Sophie.

EDWARD: I don’t want to go, but I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to go on living this way, waking up in the morning as if I’m really mourning, and going to bed as if I’ll never wake. I don’t want to close my eyes like the dirt’s already covering them...I want to say ‘goodbye’ on my own terms...nothing scares me now, not the ensuing burial, not even the worms...law firms, insurance bust. Lily will be pleased...I’ll even smile at her from afar, and help her in spirit, if I must.

(Eerie whistling.)

(EDWARD looks alarmed. SOPHIE skips on stage, but there is still only the dim light of a street lamp on EDWARD. SOPHIE’s appearance is invisible to EDWARD and the audience. Only an outline of the child is to be seen.)

SOPHIE: Hey, mind if I sit down right there next to ya?

EDWARD: Excuse me, dear?

SOPHIE: I just want to sit down. That’s all.

EDWARD: ...you don’t want to be sitting next to a man like me. Besides, it’s late. A young girl like you should be at home. This time of night, anything could happen.

SOPHIE: Like what? What could be so scary, this time of night?

(SOPHIE steps into the light and EDWARD sees her raggedy clothing and her bruised face and arms. Her hair is messed, and she is waif-like.)

EDWARD: (gasps) Oh my God! What has happened to you? Who hurt you?

SOPHIE: I did it to myself. That’s what Daddy says, but I’m not supposed to talk about that.

EDWARD: (in shock) ...you mean, to say, that your Daddy hurts you like this?

SOPHIE: He says I deserve it. You believe in sinners? That’s what I am. I’m a bad girl. Bad...Daddy says I’m the worst, little sinning girl he’s ever known.

EDWARD: (carefully)...I-I-I think you should tell someone about your Daddy....I mean, at least talk to someone at school. What’s your name, dear?

SOPHIE: Sophie. The children at school call me Soap-scum Sophie cause Daddy never buys me the clothes they wear. You think I look ugly, don’t you? That’s why you were surprised when you saw me, huh?

EDWARD: You don’t look like a child, no, but you’re not ugly.

SOPHIE: Can I sit down now? I’m so tired of walking around.

EDWARD: Oh yes, of course.

(SOPHIE sits down next to EDWARD on the park bench.)

SOPHIE: (looking at the pistol) What’s that?

EDWARD: Oh, this. Well, it’s...

SOPHIE: You were going to hurt someone, weren’t you? Do you know some sinners?

EDWARD: Oh, no, Sophie, no. (chuckles softly) It’s funny you say that, because actually, I am the one I was going to hurt. I was going to, see, I was going to...kill myself.

SOPHIE: But why?

EDWARD: Because perhaps, people I love think I am a bad man, like your Daddy thinks you are a bad girl. Except, I am sure that nothing you’ve ever done has–

SOPHIE: (cutting EDWARD off again) You’re paying for your sins by killing yourself? Won’t you go to Hell? That’s what the preacher says. He says you can’t take your life, he says no one can take your life but God.

EDWARD: (cautiously) Sophie, what do you know about religion?

SOPHIE: I know that there are good people and that there are bad. I know when you’re bad you have to punish yourself or God will be mad at you. I know a lot, Mister.

EDWARD: Sophie, think about it this way. If I am a bad man, won’t I be doing more good to remove myself from this world than to stay in it, stinking the beauty of it up with my presence?

SOPHIE: Well, the preacher said you shouldn’t take your own life. That’s all I’m saying. But if you wanna upset God...well, I just wouldn’t want to upset God.

EDWARD: (looks at SOPHIE obliquely) And Sophie, why wouldn’t you want to upset God? Is the God you believe in not loving, all-accepting, and forgiving?

SOPHIE: ...I don’t know. But I love Him, I guess. Or at least I’m supposed to. Sometimes, Mister, I even talk to him when Daddy gets mad. I leave this world behind and talk to him.

EDWARD: (humoring her) Well, that’s nice. And what does God say to you, Sophie?

SOPHIE: He never talks to me. I just talk to him. (looks away from EDWARD) Most of the time, I don’t think he’s listening.

EDWARD: Well, maybe he doesn’t have a mouth that can speak to your ears. (wiggles one of Sophie’s ears)

SOPHIE: (Giggling) A mouth that can speak to my ears! You’re silly. Hey, what’s your name?

EDWARD: Eddie Spaghetti.

SOPHIE: Eddie Spaghetti!! That’s not your name!!

EDWARD: No, but that’s what the kids at school called me when I was younger. They used to chase me around chanting, "Eddie Spaghetti, meatball eyes, cook him in the oven, until he dies!" I used to cry and just run and run as far as I could away from them. Maybe God was listening then, but just couldn’t form words I’d understand.

SOPHIE: Wow, so kids made fun of you, too?

EDWARD: Oh yeah. But then I grew up, and I married a beautiful woman, and had two beautiful children, and was a very happy man for a very long time. But you know what, Sophie, I think he stopped listening to me–so I think I need to go get myself a mouth he can really hear.

SOPHIE: Wow, really, where are you going to find that?

EDWARD: Up there.

SOPHIE: In Heaven, you mean?

EDWARD: I suppose.

SOPHIE: You don’t believe in Heaven?

EDWARD: I don’t believe in the moon.

SOPHIE: You don’t believe in the moon!!

EDWARD: Well, how do you know it’s real, Sophie? The moon, that is? How do you know the moon isn’t a part of your imagination?

SOPHIE: Cause I can see it. Cause everyone can see it.

EDWARD: But does it look the same to everyones’ eyes? Have you ever heard someone speak of the moon as you think of it in your mind? Sophie, what if the moon is God’s word? What if his words we can see and feel, rather than hear? What if the floating dandelions are his kisses and the big elm trees his hugs? What if we are as much a part of God as anything else, no matter how bad we are? What do you think of that, little silly Sophie? (He ruffles her hair.)

SOPHIE: I think that’s beautiful. That’s really nice. You mean, when I see the spring, I see it different than anyone else? That I see it the way I see it because that’s a message from God? (She’s amazed, and thinking.)

EDWARD: I think you’re a wonderful child, who needs to get some sleep. You should carry on home, Sophie. I’ve got to be going, now.

(EDWARD gets up to leave.)

SOPHIE: Eddie, where are you going, though?

EDWARD: Well Sophie, I’m going to meet my maker–to ask him why the breeze stopped hitting my face in that soft summer way–to ask him why my wife’s eyes don’t light up anymore–to ask him why my children only complain–to ask him why I’m less of a human, and more of a stain. I’m being recalled, Sophie. I’m the mistake. That’s all.

SOPHIE: Eddie, wait! When you get there, will you ask Him to let me in to his kingdom so that I can speak air and flowers, too?

EDWARD: Yes, Sophie. I will.

SOPHIE: Eddie, wait! One more question! What are you going to be when you get up there? How are you going to speak to me? I want to still speak to you, Eddie. I like speaking to you. (Pauses) You’re nice to me.

EDWARD: Well...(thinks carefully about his answer)...I’ll be the sun, I think.

SOPHIE: (really listening) Why the sun, Eddie?

EDWARD: So I can smile at you every moment of the day, Sophie, so I can make up for all the love your Daddy forgot to give you.

SOPHIE: I look forward to sunrise, then, Eddie. And I’ll cry at sunset.

EDWARD: No, Sophie. Let me do the crying. You be strong, and you be good, but I’m sure you always were a good, little girl. I must be going now, Sophie.

SOPHIE: Goodbye, Eddie Sunrise Smile Surprise. (Grins)

EDWARD: Goodbye, Sophie.

(EDWARD walks off stage to the right, pistol in hand. SOPHIE skips happily off stage to the left.)

Abstract Sophia

That's fantastic. You raised valid points of reality and illusion which I found very interesting.

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