Scene #4: “We Only Have a Couple of Minutes” written by Grace Barron

WHILE YOU WERE AWAY – A play by the Fall 2015 Documentary Theatre Class (RCHUM 334)

Scene #4: “We Only Have a Couple of Minutes” written by Grace Barron

(Entire piece is spoken very casually but with a sense of sadness in it….the voice is an 18 year old
teenage girl who puts on a front of apathy but you can tell telling this story pains her…but she would
tell you).
My aunt and I were sitting in my backyard, laughing about something that I can’t even
remember now. Fuck. Why can’t I remember? God, I wish I could remember (she sits there in
thought for a while and eventually gives up looking sad) Ummm…Anyways we were sitting in my
backyard. She had just made me my favorite dinner because I had gotten a good part in my school
play or something stupid and menial like that and god that dinner was delicious. She always knew
exactly how to make things taste amazing (small laugh to herself while shaking her head as if in
remembrance).
Umm so yeah, I was telling her all about my stupid high school problems, like what boy had hurt me
or who I was taking who to homecoming and she was patiently listening like she actually gave a
damn and we would laugh and laugh for hours. (silently laughs to herself for a second because
gaining her composure) Aww man I wish you could hear her laugh. It was booming. You could hear
it from miles away. Just her laugh would make me smile. She had the ability to tell stories like no
one I’ve ever met before. She could be telling you about how earlier in the day she went to the
grocery store and you would end up dying laughing by the end of it….. (Pauses) She really was my
best friend. I can’t believe that was the last conversation we had…. Me talking to her about boys
(emphasis on the word “boys”). Looking back, I feel like the biggest dumbass in the entire world. I
had taken that moment for granted, just like I took 1,000 other moments for granted. That was the
last day I would see my aunt for years.
I remember where I was when my mom told me. I had come home from school, set my backpack
down and sat down at the kitchen table. My mom came into the room, with a look on her face that
was so sad that I knew something must have been horribly wrong. “Your aunt got in trouble again
last night honey….it’s bad”. All I can remember is complete anger. My aunt. My Best friend. One of
my favorite people in the entire world was going to miss my birthday, my graduation, me going off to
college. She wasn’t going to be there to complain to or to laugh with or ummm (as if she’s trying to
find the right words to say and she’s finally found them) to make me my favorite dinners! Yeah
yeah, I know it is selfish but I was so incredibly angry at her. I refused to write or go visit. She wrote
me countless letters begging for my forgiveness. God, the first few months were so hard. I missed
her so much but this void that she created when she left (pauses)…. When she left me (emphasis
on “me”) was just too big for me to process. Sooo yeah, I went on living my life for two years without
thinking about it much, because, well, If I didn’t think about her then I didn’t really feel guilty! It’s
almost like if I forget that she’s in prison, that she’s gone, then it wont force myself to actually come
to terms with it….
This past October came and it was her birthday…. Out of impulse, I decided to pick up the phone
and call her. After many rings and a feeling of constant anxiety, a familiar voice echoed through the
phone line “Hello baby, we only have a a few minutes, tell me everything.” (finish with a slight smile
on your face as if remembering something very good)