Jaime

from Between Mars and Me by Rose Helsinger

Genre: Drama

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Jaime, a high school student, has taken care of her paranoid older brother for the last three months. She is in the apartment he is incapable of leaving. She tries one last time to get through to him, before leaving for good. It is also possible for Jaime to be male.

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JAIME
I lost you.
(Beat.)
My brother cast a long shadow. He beat me at chess in every game we played. He never let me win. He cared about his grades and shaved every morning at six a.m. He baked coffee cake with Mom and delivered pizzas to help us make ends meet. I love my brother. I miss him. I don't understand what happened or why I might never see him again. I look at you and I see a ghost of him. I look at you and I wait for him to come home.
(Roland doesn't reply.)
Say something.
(Nothing.)
I don't know what to do. I thought when I opened the curtains and you saw people, the world, that you'd get better. You stopped talking about aliens and I thought it was over. But it's not and I don't know what to do. I tried to step up. Take care of Mom like you did. Take care of you. But I'm not you. I'm not strong enough. I'm doing the best I can, but I'm fifteen. Tell me what to do. Tell me how to help you.
(Roland remains silent.)
Fine. I can't do this anymore. I'm leaving. I'm sorry. Here's your Christmas present. I picked it out. This one's from Mom. She sends her love.
(Jaime walks to the door.)
I'm not coming back.
(Jaime exits.)