4: It Starts Again…

Scene starts in Laeila’s dream.

*She is standing in front of principles office, shaking. Hands twitching, mumbling to herself. Laeila keeps repeating the green laterns’ motto. The door opens and she gets called into the principles office. He is there with school psychologist, Kiera and Jason.*

[Principle] Laeila, can you please tell the school therapist what you told me the other day.

*Kierra looks at her smug.*

[Laeila] Kierra Harris has been pressuring me into unwanted sex for about a year now.

[School Therapist] I see. If that is indeed the case I imagine it would feel awful.

[Laeila] If?

*The school therapist picks her file off the desk.*

[School Therapist] I don’t mean to call your story into question. It’s just you have a history of misunderstanding situations. Kierra is claiming that you are confusing your uncertain sexuality with unwanted sexual advances.

[Laeila] Last time I checked, no means no.

[School Therapist] But did you say no.

[Laeila] Out loud no. I just shut down.

[School Therapist] Then how is it rape if you never said no to her…Could it be a part of you was curious about female to female relationships.

*Laeila shook her head.*

[Laeila] I said no out loud a few times. Especially the first time it happened. I wasn’t confused about my sexuality. I just panicked; my body shut down.

[School Therapist] Forgive me, but that still doesn’t sound like she forced herself on you. It seems more like you regretting decisions you have made.

*The Principle sighs.*

[Principle] Is that your ruling on this?

*The School Therapist hands him her file.*

[School Therapist] Insomnia, family history of mental illness, loner mentality. It is a clear cut misunderstanding. Why would one girl take something from another?

[Kierra] I wouldn’t.

*Principle just glares at her.*

[Principle] It is better for your sake to remain quiet.

*He then turns to Laeila.*

[Principle] I think it is better for you to drop this and seek further counseling.

*Laeila turns to Jason.*

[Laeila] Jason, tell him what you saw.

*Jason looks away.*

[Principle] He already did. Jason claims he saw nothing.

[School Therapist] I know it is confusing dealing with sexuality so late after puberty but the pressures of a conservative family and pre-existing mental health issues can make something seem wildly different then what it was.

*Tears begin to fall from Laeila’s eyes.*

[Laeila] That’s not what happened, G-d dammit!

*She runs out of the office and straight to the Gotham Buddhist Temple down the street. She enters the meditation hall. Thankful that no one is there. She sits underneath the Buddha and cries. After a few minutes one of the monks comes out. He sits down next to her.*

[Monk] You have been a student of the Buddha for almost three years now. Yet, you still come to him to cry.

*She turns towards the monk. That’s what people did with objects of faith. They cried to it. When she said nothing out loud to him he smiled at her.*

[Monk] You know Laeila. Every time you come into this room you bring the past with you. How can you expect a statue to fix that. The way to be happy is to leave your past at the door.

[Laeila] That is easy for you to say. Your past is the Monastery.

*The monk smiled.*

[Monk] True. I am sure monastic life was much different then urban street life. Still, I can understand the difficulty of letting things go.

[Laeila] I finally gained the courage to confront my Rapist. It resulted in me being called a liar. No justice was met. How is that something that can be left at the door?

[Monk] Well, we are only human. Somethings are too fresh to be able to be left at the door, but with time it won’t be so eager to follow you through the door.

[Laeila] It’s not fair.

*The monk laughed.*

[Monk] We are given challenges in this life to make up for our last and prepare for our next one. You may not see justice met in this one, but imagine a lifetime where your rapist is a chicken and not a person. Surely, you can see justice in a system like that.

*Laeila looked up at the Buddha statue. Reincarnation was an ideal of Buddhism she just couldn’t get behind.*

[Monk] Or if that is a little too long term for you, you can imagine the karma that will affect the person in this life. Something like that stays with them as well.

*Laeila turned to the monk.*

[Laeila] I can handle her not being punished. Everyone has a time in their life they need to accept that everyone doesn’t play by the same rules.

[Monk] Then what is hurting you so much?

[Laeila] The person I admired witnessed it and covered it up.

*The monk’s smile disappeared.*

[Monk] Admiration or love?

[Laeila] Does it matter either way?

[Monk] I suppose not. Both hurt in different ways. In either case you would need to confront the person.

[Laeila] Confront them?

[Monk] How can you begin to accept something that you don’t even understand the reasons to?

[Laeila] What if it’s a bad response?

[Monk] Then you will have to accept that.

*Laeila stands up. It’s true that she had never given Jason the chance to explain. Maybe the situation wasn’t what it seemed. She could be crying for nothing. Laeila stood up and wiped the dried tears from her face.*

[Laeila] Thank you.

*The monk stood up and smiled.*

[Monk] Anytime.

*She turned and walked out of the chapel.*

[Monk] I pray she is given a good answer. Buddha knows the girl deserves it.

Scene shifts to Jason’s one bedroom apartment.

*The door was open and so Leila walks in. She calls out for Jason but he does not answer. She opens a door to see Jason and Kierra in bed together. Jason looks shocked to see her. Kierra is smiling.*

[Jason] Laeila!

*She quickly runs out of the house as Jason gets up to grab his shirt. She runs until she reaches her house.*

Scene is inside the Spitznogle house.

[Mother] What is wrong with you! How could you engage in an activity with another girl like that? My reputation as a mother was just called into question. A good daughter would of at least had to decency to tell me this was going on. I was blindsided, Laeila.

*She runs past her mother, up the stairs, into her room. Laeila is crying again. She opens the nightstand besides her bed. Inside is a container of tylenol. She looks at the water bottle on her desk. As she hears her mother screaming from the bottom of the stairs, Laeila can tell Jason has just arrived. Her mother grabs the phone and calls the rest of her family. Jason is making his way up the stair case. Laeila quickly gets the water bottle and chugs down the pills. She can hear her mother telling Jason to get something in the kitchen for her. Then she is out. Only hearing sounds of her mother on the phone with nine one one.*

Scene is in Hospital room.

*Laeila suddenly hears her mother talking to a man.*

[Man] Ma’am your daughter just tried to commit suicide. She needs to be committed.

[Mother] No. It will only make things worse having her in a place like this. I assure you we can get her the help she needs at home.

[Man] I must insist-

[Mother] No!

*The man sighs and leaves the room. His footsteps making squeaks. She opens her eyes and turns her head. Her mother is sitting in the chair. Her eyes close again. The next time they open she sees Caitlyn Carter sitting next to her bed, arranging flowers.*

[Laeila] Caitlyn?

*Caitlyn looks at her spooked. She must have been surprised Laeila was up.*

[Caitlyn] Laeila! You are up.

[Laeila] What are you doing here?

[Caitlyn] I came to see how you were. Your mom called the school and told them you were out with a severe fever.

*She leans over close to her.*

[Caitlyn] But I know you’re here because of Kierra. She got away with it didn’t she. They didn’t care you were telling the truth.

[Laeila] You know?

*Caitlyn nods.*

[Laeila] So then this is a guilt visit for not saying anything.

[Caitlyn] I wanted too really. I just can’t.

*Laeila laughs. Caitlyn looks even more spooked then when she first woke up.*

[Laeila] Let me guess. She has something on you?

[Caitlyn] More then I care to admit.

*Laeila turns her head away from Caitlyn. She couldn’t look at her now.*

[Laeila] It’s fine.

*Caitlyn goes to speak but is interrupted by Laeila.*

[Laeila] You should go. Being here could get you in more trouble.

*The door to her hospital room opens. Her mother, grandfather and grandmother all enter the room.*

[Mother] Who is this?

*Caitlyn gets up from her chair.*

[Laeila] A friend, but she is leaving now.

*Caitlyn quickly walks out of the room.*

[Mother] You know it isn’t proper to treat people like that. She came to visit you.

*Laeila’s grandmother runs to the bed crying. Her grandfather walks over slowly, setting the giant bear he bought on the large armchair.*

[Grandmother] How can you do this to me? You’re all I have left.

*Her grandmother cried onto her lap. Laeila slowly pats her grandmother’s head. The shock of her suicide attempt seemed to have her enter a depressive phase again.*

[Laelia] It’s alright.

*She repeats it over and over again to her grandmother. No one says a word until a nurse walks into the room.*

[Nurse] We need to go do a few checkups. There is too many people in the room.

[Mother] It’s alright. I will go get lunch.

*Her grandmother sits up.*

[Grandmother] I’ll go too. The food they gave you looks awful.

*The nurse leaves the room with them. Probably to get her doctor. Her grandfather goes and sits down in a chair by the bed.*

[Grandpa] Since when have you been so sad?

*Laeila turns her head away from him. She starts to cry.*

[Laeila] Always.

[Grandfather] What could I have done differently? I thought we were giving the world to you?

[Laeila] It was never the world I wanted.

*He grabs her hand and squeezes it tight.*

[Grandfather] I love you, Sheina Meidala.

*She tuns back around and silently places her hand over his, cuddling before closing her eyes to sleep. Laeila hears her grandmother walk in, placing the tray of food for her on her nightstand. She sits down next to her grandfather.*

[Grandmother] We should of done more then just notice, Joel. I told you she was abusive.

*He shook his head no.*

[Joel] That’s her mother. You can’t cut her off from her mother.

Scene shifts to Laelia’s room.

*Laeila wakes up in a jolt. She is sweating and her a hair is a mess. Jason is sitting in a chair in the corner of her room.*

[Laeila] What are you doing here?

*Jason got up from the chair.*

[Jason] You were screaming earlier. It woke some of the others up. I sent them back to bed.

[Laeila] Of course I was…

*He walked towards her.*

[Jason] How long have you had this problem?

[Laeila] You know I was never a good sleeper.

*Jason sits on the bed besides her.*

[Jason] You’ve always slept fine when someone else is in the room.

*Laelia laughs.*

[Laelia] Even now a pick up line?

*He shrugs.*

[Jason] A dogs going to do what a dogs going to do.

[Laeila] Except hunt apparently. Why don’t you be a good dog and let your master go back to bed.

*Jason leans forward.*

[Jason] Is that really what you want?

*Laeila shakes her head.*

[Laeila] Yes.

*He stands up and walks out of the room. Laeila collapses, putting her hands over her face.*

[Laeila] Of course I was screaming….

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Gunpowder & Lead – Miranda Lambert