For Craig

Posted: April 27, 2008 in Death, Life, Medical, Script

This is a play written in honor of my godfather, who passed away in March.

INT. CONVENIENCE STORE – DAY
An apathetic cashier (AMBER) sits at the counter, idly flipping through a magazine. A man (CRAIG) walks cheerfully up to the counter, holding a drink and a pack of gum.
CRAIG
Hey, how are you doing?
Amber puts down the magazine and gives him a withering look while checking his items. Craig glances around with a content smile.
CRAIG (CONT’D)
Beautiful day, isn’t it?
Amber remains silent.
CRAIG (CONT’D)
(suddenly)
What’s your name?
AMBER
Your total is two dollars and twenty cents.
(pause)
I’m Amber.
Craig pulls out his wallet and begins to count his money.
CRAIG
I’m Craig. How are you?
AMBER
Um…all right, I guess. How are you?
Craig fixes her with a calm, wise stare and smiles broadly, handing her the money.
CRAIG
Today is the best day of my life.
Amber looks at him bemusedly, as if she can’t believe what she’s hearing. She lays the money on the counter.
AMBER
You win the lottery or something?
CRAIG
No, nothing like that.
AMBER
Then how is it the best day of your life?
CRAIG
I guess every day is the best for me.
AMBER
(disgustedly)
Oh, so you’re rich. You just like to rub it in people’s faces.
CRAIG
No. I mean, I’m comfortable enough. But I’m not Bill Gates or anything like that.
AMBER
(pauses)
I don’t get it.
CRAIG
Get what?
AMBER
You aren’t just happy for no reason. How can you be like that?
CRAIG
(calmly)
How can you be so disbelieving? I enjoy life. Do you?
AMBER
Of course I enjoy life. Why wouldn’t I?
CRAIG
I don’t know. You brought it up.
The two look at each other. Amber looks confused as Craig smiles.
CRAIG (CONT’D)
(he gathers his items)
Sorry for bothering you. I’ll be on my way now.
Craig starts to walk away. Amber stares at him for a second before shrugging and turning back to her magazine. Craig suddenly stops and clutches his chest. He carefully sits in a chair nearby setting his items on the floor.
CRAIG (CONT’D)
(slowly)
Amber?
AMBER
(still flipping through her magazine)
Yeah?
CRAIG
Would you mind calling 9-1-1?
AMBER
(sarcastically)
Why, you going to rob the place? Just want to give the cops a fair chance at catching you?
CRAIG
(with some difficulty)
No, I think I need an ambulance.
Amber looks up from her magazine to see Craig in the chair. She drops the magazine and grabs the phone, dialing 9-1-1. Craig starts to take off his shoes.
AMBER
(in a frightened tone)
Oh my god…hello? There’s a man here, he needs an ambulance! I… I think he’s having a heart attack.
(she pauses)
We’re on the corner of Oak and Montgomery, at the gas station. Please hurry!
Amber hangs up the phone and rushes around the counter to Craig. She kneels down and places her hand on Craig’s knee.
AMBER (CONT’D)
(softly)
You’re going to be fine, okay? Don’t worry.
(she pauses)
Why are your shoes off?
CRAIG
Who wants to die with their shoes on?
AMBER
(hysterically)
No! You’re not going to die! How can you die? You were fine a minute ago!
CRAIG
(he shrugs)
These things happen. It’s just my time. Could you give me a hand?
Craig holds out his hand and Amber grips it, pulling him out of the chair. With difficulty, he lays down on the ground, propping himself up on one arm.
CRAIG (CONT’D)
I hate to trouble you again, but do you have a pillow?
AMBER
I– yeah. Back here.
Amber rushes back to the counter and returns with a pillow. She gently places it beneath Craig’s head and kneels down to him.
CRAIG
(he sighs with content)
Much better, thank you.
AMBER
How can you do this? Just lay down and give up? You don’t want to fight for your life?
CRAIG
There’s a subtle difference between surrender and acceptance, Amber. I’ve had a good life.
AMBER
But…
Craig fixes Amber with a kind stare.
CRAIG
It’s ok.
(he smiles)
Today is the best day of my life.
Craig goes still just as two paramedics rush in. They attempt to revive him. Amber stands still as they perform CPR. The lights fade as “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones plays in the background.

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