My So-Called Life

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Back inside, Angela comes to stand beside Rickie, who says that he's glad Rayanne got the part: "She really wanted that part." Angela demands to know whose side he's on. "I'm on your side," he says, saying that it's pretty much impossible to be on Rayanne's side, although he "partly understand[s] it." "What do you mean?" Rickie explains that he thinks Rayanne has always kind of wanted to be Angela, and "this was her screwed-up way of, for one night…kind of pretending she was you." Rickie repeats that he's on Angela's side, "no question," but then asks her why she's "making this big play for Corey Helfrick" when she knows how Rickie feels about him. "Because, 'cause I thought…you told me once that you were over him," Angela says, studying Rickie's face. Rickie looks tired as he asks how Angela thinks he felt when she started going after Corey. Angela looks sad: "I don't have to guess." Rickie nods. Angela looks ashamed.

Chase place. Patty hands Graham a shirt she bought him, then says in a low tone that she found out why Angela isn't taking Rayanne's calls -- she slept with Jordan. Graham, gobsmacked: "Angela slept with Jordan?" "No! Rayanne did," Patty stage-whispers. "Oh," Graham says, then, "Oh…ohhhh! That is really low." Patty defends Rayanne, saying that "it's not like Angela and Jordan were still together," but Graham says that that's not the point, which leads Patty to confess that she once poached a crush of Camille's back in college, and Camille found out and got really upset, but eventually Camille forgave her, and she's "always been really grateful." Graham needles her about how many men she slept with, and she throws a roll of toilet paper at him, and then there's banter about the new shirt, and that leads to a weird convo about whether the restaurant will actually happen, and while Graham gets undressed, he kvetches about Hallie and how she drives him nuts in so many ways, and Patty tries to adopt a sympathetic mien while thinking about what Camille said earlier about arguing and passion, and she asks, "So you -- you two fight?" and Graham hops into the shower and tries to change the subject by thanking Patty for the shirt, so she flushes the toilet while he's in the shower and passive-aggresses off.

Rehearsal. Rayanne runs her lines, and Mr. K comes bounding onto the stage to compliment the students; in the background, Rickie and Angela lug a piece of scenery onto the stage. Mr. K asks what became of Chee Kwan, and Abyssinia says that she left, so Mr. K spots Angela in the back and summons her to read Chee Kwan's part. Angela looks at Rickie; Rayanne looks at the floor and bites her lip. Mr. K nags Angela to do it, so she comes forward to read along with Abyssinia, shooting Rayanne an arch glare. Mr. K then beckons Rayanne downstage a bit, and then directs her, "Oh! And could youuuuu…[continents break apart, then reform]…stop acting, please?" "What?" Rayanne murmurs. Mr. K explains that there's no need for it: "Emily…is dead, and the life she had is over. That's a pretty big deal." Rayanne watches him, seemingly gulping for air. "I mean -- oh, gee whiz, she is just now realizing…[Angela, uncomfortable, tucks her hair behind her ears]…how precious…every moment of that life really was…and that she never fully appreciated what she had." Angela looks between Mr. K and Rayanne, and Rayanne looks surreptitiously at Angela. "Just imagine…what that must feel like, Rayanne," Mr. K concludes. Angela looks impatient; her eyes have begun to fill. Mr. K prompts them to begin. Rayanne, maintaining her composure with an effort, begins Emily's lines: "I can't go on, it goes so fast, we don't have time to look at one another." She looks up at Angela. Angela returns the gaze, then looks down at the script as Rayanne continues, "I didn't realize. So all that was going on, and…we never noticed." Long pause; Rayanne's eyes flicker, looking at something in the distance. Very quietly: "Take me back, up the hill to my grave." Angela fights not to cry. Rayanne: "But first wait -- one last look. Goodbye. Goodbye, world. Goodbye, Grover's Corners." Abyssinia stares at Rayanne, and so does Angela, her lip beginning to tremble. "Mama and papa," Rayanne goes on through the tears in her voice, "goodbye, clockstick." Angela looks down again. Rayanne is almost laughing now: "Do any human beings ever realize life…while they live it? Every, every minute?" "No -- saints and poets, maybe. They do some," Abyssinia chimes in; beside her, Angela strokes her brow absently, trying to hide her tears. "I'm ready to go back," Rayanne whispers. Angela, after an eternity, quavers while staring at Rayanne, "Were you happy?" and bites her finger. Rayanne, lips trembling: "No." Looking at Angela beseechingly: "I should have listened to you, but that's all human beings are." Deep breath: "Just blind people." Angela gazes back, sucks her teeth, and looks down, then looks up at Rayanne again, as if trying to get her fill of her. It's Rayanne who drops her eyes first, tucking her hair behind her ear and walking off the stage. Angela watches her go for a moment, then leaves the stage in the opposite direction. Pull back to an aerial shot of Rayanne disappearing into the backstage area.

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My So-Called Life




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