Just One Question

By Sheila Liljeqvist


Stephanie and Adam are interrupted in the middle of inappropriate dating behaviour by a mysterious woman, who gives Stephanie much food for thought.



(The scene is the living room of a middle class home, tastefully and maturely decorated. A young teenage couple are sitting on the couch watching television. Slowly the young man, Adam, makes advances and they begin to ‘make out'. Suddenly an elderly lady appears, waves her hand and Adam freezes as though in some form of suspended animation. Shocked, the girl, Stephanie, jumps up and hastily re-dresses herself as she notices the lady.)

Stephanie: (Frightened) What is this? Who are you?

Lady: Relax. I just thought you needed some time out. You didn't appear to be thinking too clearly.

Stephanie: You did that?!

Lady: Well...I know it's not conventional...but it seems that the only way to stop a runaway car is to turn off the ignition.

Stephanie: (Looking confused.)

Lady: Never mind, I just thought that it was time for a chat.

Stephanie: A chat? Who are you? What are you doing here?

Lady: More to the point- who are you? What are you doing here?

Stephanie: This is my boyfriend's house. He invited me. What have you done to him?

(Adam remains frozen. A sudden thought.) Are you his aunt or something? He said he had a crazy aunt.

Lady: Slow down. He'll be all right. So- you're here because he invited you huh? Do you always go where someone invites you?

Stephanie: Of course not. I'm not stupid!

Lady: No?

Stephanie: He's my boyfriend!

Lady: So-whatever he says, you do? Maybe I beamed into the wrong century here. (She taps a small computer.)

Stephanie: No! I make my own decisions.

Lady: Based on what?

Stephanie: What do you mean?

Lady: On what do you base your decisions? On what you feel at the time?

Stephanie: Look- I don't see what business this is of yours.

Lady: Humour me. I'm just doing a little research. Answer my questions, and then I'll go.

Stephanie: Are you some kind of space...person?

Lady: I have existence but, it's not limited to space.

Stephanie: (Looking confused again.)

Lady: Maybe you should get yourself a cup of tea. He'll be alright.

Stephanie: (Getting tea.) This 'research' you're doing- how many questions?

Lady: Just one.

Stephanie: But you've already asked more than that.

Lady: It may take a few sidereal questions to get the answer to my original question. It usually seems to work that way with you people. White with one thanks.

Stephanie: So, what's the question?

Lady: Who are you?

Stephanie: Stephanie Jane Lismore

Lady: I don't mean an I.D. label. Who are you?

Stephanie: I'm 17. I go to Pitwater High. I have a younger brother- Vincent- 14, who's a dag. Both parents. My father's a teacher, and my mum makes ceramic pots and things. Oh,- and we have 2 cats, and we live in a house. Satisfied?

Lady: Are you?

Stephanie: What?

Lady: Satisfied. Is that all there is to you?

Stephanie: We go to church.

Lady: You 'go' there?

Stephanie: We're Christians.

Lady: We?

Stephanie: Me! I mean, I am a Christian.

Lady: What does that mean?

Stephanie: We- I believe in God- Jesus- we- I go to church..sing..pray..read the Bible- I do!...It's a big book. Adam goes to Youth Group too.

Lady: Oh? Was it a 'Youth Group' activity that I interrupted just then?

Stephanie: Well...no.. (Defensively) He's my boyfriend!

Lady: Ah. We're back to that. He 'invited' you here.

Stephanie: I wanted to come. We need to spend time together. You can't have a relationship with someone if you don't spend time alone together.

Lady: I see..you were getting to know each other. And, who is he?

Stephanie: Pardon?

Lady: Is he to be your mate?

Stephanie: What!

Lady: Your partner for life? Your husband?

Stephanie: I'm only 17! There's things I want to do..I want to travel..and study..

Lady: ..grow, learn. Develop- Find out who you are?

Stephanie: Look- I know who I am.

Lady: A Christian?

Stephanie: uh..yes.

Lady: You were explaining that to me.

Stephanie: I gave my life to Him.

Lady: Adam? (Indicating the still frozen boy.)

Stephanie: (Delivering a well learned spiel.) No. Jesus! God's son. He died for our sins, and if we believe in Him..and give our lives to Him- we are saved- and become His sons and daughters.

Lady: Jesus's?

Stephanie: No- God's!

Lady: So..you are a child of the Most High God?

Stephanie: (Sheepishly) Yes.

Lady: The kid is royalty? And she doesn't mention it? I thought you said your father was a teacher?

Stephanie: He is. I'm talking about spiritual things. I'm a spiritual daughter of God.

Lady: Oh, for when you die.

Stephanie: No. It's for now too. God is here now too.

Lady: Watching over you.. (Meaningfully.) Seeing all that you do. (Looking at Adam.)

Stephanie: Uh..yes...

Lady: So. Why are you here?

Stephanie: Well, you see..Adam...I don't know. Adam wanted to.. I didn't want him to think..I'm not a kid. I'm 17. Everyone else does it. I like him. I like him a lot. I don't want him to think there's something wrong with me.

Lady: And you think that if you don't cooperate he'll dump you?

Stephanie: (She shrugs, obviously afraid he might.)

Lady: You don't seem to think much of him. What does he think of you?

Stephanie: Well..he's only been coming to Youth Group for a few months. We've only just started going out.

Lady: You're just getting to know each other.

Stephanie: I guess we were going about it backwards. It's just..I thought we were going to the movies- but he got a video instead- and I couldn't say anything then.

Lady: He wouldn't have been too impressed?

Stephanie: Well..no.

Lady: And it's important that you be impressive?

Stephanie: Well, of course it is.

Lady: To who?

Stephanie: What?

Lady: No. Who! Who do you need to impress?

Stephanie: Well..everyone. I don't want anyone to think I'm...I'll never get anywhere if I don't make a good impression.

Lady: Where do you want to get?

Stephanie: Boy! This is getting heavy. Well..I want to be successful.

Lady: Measured by what?

Stephanie: Pardon?

Lady: How do you measure success? How will you know when you've achieved it?

Stephanie: Well- I'd be respected- liked. I don't know..good job, money..

Lady: Recession hits. Financial disaster, old age..you lose your job..Failure?

Stephanie: Well, it's what you put into it along the way too.

Lady: No-one sees- No-one notices. Fame comes to a rare few, and lasts but an instant.

Stephanie: Well- you know- you'd have your own self respect. And God would know.

Lady: (A smile spreads across her face.) Ah.

Stephanie: Oh. (Getting it.) I guess He's really the only one I need to impress.

Lady: (Smiling warmly)

Stephanie: I think I should go home. (She gets her coat.) Thanks. I guess I did need some time out, to remember who I am. (To Adam.) Sorry Adam. Let's wait a bit, eh? See you at Youth.

(To the lady.) Will he..?

Lady: (She nods.)

Stephanie: Bye

(Stephanie leaves and then the lady presses a button on her computer and Adam falls flat on his face. He looks around bewildered.)


© Sheila Liljeqvist 1999
All rights reserved. NO changes may be made to this script without the express approval of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: jinilil@optusnet.com.au