Scaredy KatLights up on a campsite at nighttime. In stumbles GIRL with a flash-light, shivering, scared. She sits down and starts warming her hands at the fire. She’s miserable. She’s freezing and afraid of everything. As she hears the different noises of nature at night, she jumps and gets scared by each one. BOY enters in the background, GIRL doesn’t notice him. He watches her for a little bit. She gives up on warming her hands and starts looking for food because she’s starving. She pulls opens the cooler which is a little dirty on top. She’s disgusted by the dirt that gets on her and wipes it off. To avoid getting any dirtier she tries to use only the tips of her fingers pick things up. She pulls out a plastic bag with freshly caught fish in it.
by Brooke Nelson
by Brooke Nelson
She thinks she hears something and looks around. Nothing. She then pulls out a can of beans.
Again she thinks she hears something. She reaches back in and pulls out some trail mix.
She gives up on the search for food. BOY then sneaks up behind her and starts making noises of ruffling in the bushes and trees. Then he makes bird calls. At the sound of a bird she becomes even more scared than she was before. Finally he comes up behind her and catches her off guard. She screams loudly.
GIRL: Matthew! You jerk! You scared me!
BOY: Haha. I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist, my little Scaredy Kat. You just jump so easily.
GIRL: I thought you were a bird or something!
BOY: A bird? Oh, heavens help us! Send a wolf or a bear, anything but a bird!
GIRL: Shut up! You know how afraid I am of birds.
BOY: (He goes to give her a kiss but she won’t let him because she’s upset with him. Realizing this he decides to kiss her on the forehead, which she allows. He wraps his arms around her to make her feel safe.) I’m sorry. It’s just hard sometimes, keeping them all straight: (As he starts listing things, she realizes that all of these things are here and possible threats at the campsite. She leans into BOY for security. Though as he names them all she becomes embarrassed at how long the list is.) birds, the dark, shadows, grizzly bears, spiders, bugs, butterflies—
GIRL: —Butterflies count as bugs.
BOY: They’re associated with rainbows and My Little Pony; they do NOT count as bugs.
GIRL: Whatever. They’re insects with wings: that equals scary.
BOY: Wings? What’s so scary about wings… of course, because birds have wings.
GIRL: It’s because when something has wings it can move anywhere it wants. There’s no predicting where they’re going to go next and there’s nothing stopping them from going there either.
BOY: Ah, I get it now, though that doesn’t really make it any less pathetic. Now, what else are you afraid of…
GIRL: No need to continue. You’ve proven your point. Your girlfriend is a pathetic weakling…
BOY: You’re not pathetic, just a little wussy. (Possibly mischievously) But I’ve told you, you don’t need to be afraid, I’m here. I’ll protect you.
GIRL: Uh-huh. Is that what you were doing when you snuck up behind me and grabbed me? That was protecting me?
BOY: Yep. (She glares at him) Well, no, that was scaring you. But you know that if there really was something to be scared of that I’d protect you, right?
GIRL: Yeah, yeah. (Small pause.)
BOY: So why did you come back here without telling me you were leaving?
GIRL: Because I figured you wanted to swim with everyone else.
BOY: And you don’t?
BOY: But you love swimming.
GIRL: Not when it’s freezing outside. That makes no sense to me. Why add to the cold by jumping into icy water?
BOY: (He laughs at her absurdity.)There’s no ice in there. And it’s not cold right now, is it? (Looks at GIRL, notices she’s shivering) Oh, sorry. (He immediately takes off his jacket and gives it to her. She puts it on over her sweater. He puts his arm around her to try and warm her up.) Is that better?
GIRL: (It’s not that much better, but she lies.) Yeah, thanks.
BOY: (The two of them react to a noise that they hear: GIRL’s stomach growling.) Are you hungry?
GIRL: A little bit.
BOY: Do you want me to get you something? We have… (realizing the only food they have is the food she doesn’t want, he feels bad.) …um… some left-over fish, or I could open up a can of beans.
GIRL: (Doesn’t want either fish or beans.)You know, I’m not that hungry actually.
BOY: But you just—
GIRL: I just remembered have some gum back in my tent. I’ll go get a piece in a minute.
BOY: That’s not food.
GIRL: I’m really not that hungry.
BOY: (Resigned) All right. If you’re sure. (Beat.) So, are you having fun?
GIRL: Yeah, it’s been really fun so far. (She’s lying, but the effort is a good one and it’s barely noticeable that she’s not being truthful.)
GIRL: You’re having fun, right?
BOY: I sure am.
GIRL: Good. (They smile at each other.)
(BOY gets up and shuffles around in the tent for a second. He comes out hiding something in his shirt or behind his back. He sits down next to GIRL.)
BOY: I have something for you.
GIRL: You do?
BOY: Yeah, a surprise.
GIRL: If it’s a bug, I swear to you, I will—
BOY: It’s not a trick.
GIRL: (Cautiously) A surprise? Why would you…
BOY: You were so cute tonight pretending like you liked the fish we caught. I saw you choking it down, trying to smile after each bite.
GIRL: Do you think anyone could tell that I—
BOY: No. I only noticed because I know you hate seafood. But I thought it was sweet of you to do what you did.
GIRL: I don’t want to be a damper on anything.
BOY: I know. I figured you’d be like that. That’s why I grabbed this for you on our way out of town. (He pulls out a box of Almond Rocha.)
GIRL: Almond Rocha! My favorite! (She kisses him on the cheek.) Thank you! You didn’t have to do that.
BOY: You didn’t have to come camping with me this weekend.
GIRL: Yeah, I did.
BOY: No, you didn’t.
GIRL: But I wanted to.
BOY: No you didn’t, you hate camping.
GIRL: I don’t hate camping.
BOY: How many times have I told you it’s pointless to lie to me? I can see right through you.
GIRL: Ok. I hate camping. But I know how much you love camping. And if camping with you means Almond Rocha, then I might just be able to enjoy it someday.
BOY: Oh you didn’t know that? Almond Rocha is more important than a sleeping bag in the camping world.
GIRL: Uh-huh, I’m sure.
BOY: Well, at least now it is.
GIRL: Haha. Ok. (She has snuggled up closer to him and has started opening the box and unwrapping some of the chocolate. She offers him a piece. She’s finally starting to enjoy herself a little bit. She even starts humming absentmindedly.)
BOY: (Watching her, smiling.) Ha. Wow.
BOY: I’m so glad I tricked you into dating me.
GIRL: You didn’t trick me.
BOY: Of course I did. How else would a guy like me have gotten a girl like you?
GIRL: I had a… lapse in judgment?
BOY: Well whatever it was, I’m a very lucky guy. (He’s never been this open and complimentary before with her, but he can’t help it.) I mean, you’re so giving, and thoughtful and funny and quirky and intelligent and beautiful and…
GIRL: First the chocolates and now the compliments, what’s gotten into you?
BOY: Kat, I… ugh!
GIRL: Is everything ok?
BOY: Yes. It’s more than ok. It’s perfect. It’s unbelievable. That’s why… It’s just that… I want to tell you something…
GIRL: You do?
BOY: … but I’m a little scared.
GIRL: You scared? I thought I was the one… what could you possibly be scared of? (She looks at him and smiles. He can’t help but smile back.)
BOY: Ah! I don’t know why. I guess I’m not scared, just nervous— no, anxious. Ok. Well, like I said, you’re wonderful and I don’t know how I’m the one who gets to hold you and stand next to you and claim you as my girlfriend but, I… ugh. Well, the thing is, Kat, I love you.
Boy goes in to kiss girl. WHAM! Head-butt to BOY’s nose from GIRL
GIRL: Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! A bug flew in my ear.
BOY: Gosh! (Laughing but grabbing his nose in pain.)
GIRL: I’m so sorry!
BOY: Geez. You wait months to— and you finally work up the courage she head-butts you in the nose!
GIRL: —I’m sorry! Gosh, I’ve ruined everything!
BOY: Is it bleeding?
BOY: Are you sure? It feels like it should be.
GIRL: Oh, Matt, I’m so sorry.
BOY: (Laughing) I’m sorry for offending you…
GIRL: You didn’t. I just… the bug… and my ear… it was just an instinct, I never would have—
BOY: It’s fine.
GIRL: I really never—
BOY: It’s fine. I believe you. But, man!
GIRL: I am SO sorry! I can’t believe I just did that. I’m sorry.
BOY: Kat, I’m ok. Really.
BOY: Really. I just feel sorry for the guy that ever tries to get too close to you without your permission.
GIRL: (Finally laughing.) Me too, I guess. Well, as long as there are bugs around.
BOY: Yeah, for real! Note to self: next time you tell her you love her, make sure it is in a bug-free zone.
GIRL: Do you really mean it?
BOY: Of course. My nose can only handle so much.
GIRL: That’s not what I meant.
BOY: I know it’s not. And yes. I do love you. I have for a long time now.
GIRL: You have?
BOY: How could I not? Ever since that night in October.
GIRL: Which night?
BOY: That night in the park. (She doesn’t know what he’s talking about.) You know, when you practically skipped to the swings you were so excited to get on them, and I told you I didn’t like swings and you almost had a heart attack.
GIRL: Oh yeah.
BOY: It was so adorable how much joy you got out of those things.
GIRL: Wait, but we weren’t even dating then.
BOY: I know.
GIRL: Then how could you know that you…
BOY: Hey, it’s not my fault. If it’s anyone’s fault it’s yours.
BOY: You’re the one who made me feel that way.
GIRL: Haha. If you’re going to look at it that way then, (grins exasperatedly) I guess… I’m sorry.
BOY: Don’t be. I’m not.
GIRL: Well I am: your nose is already swelling. Hold on. (She goes into ice chest. Wraps some ice up in a plastic something or other. He holds it on his nose.)
GIRL: You’re welcome. (Pause.) Why did you wait so long to tell me?
BOY: I was afraid.
GIRL: Afraid? Why?
BOY: (Points to nose like it’s obvious.) Of the repercussions.
GIRL: You were afraid that a bug would fly in my ear and cause me to head-butt you in the face at the exact moment you opened your mouth?
BOY: Well, I was justified in that fear, wasn’t I?
GIRL: Come on.
BOY: Well, think about it. If I had told you how I felt about you before we even started dating, what would you have done?
GIRL: (Thinks about it. Laughs.) I would have laughed in your face.
BOY: Yep. And then?
GIRL: …And then I would have gotten scared and stopped hanging out with you.
BOY: But you’re not scared now, are you?
GIRL: (Pause) No.
BOY: See. It would have been too early back then. And it would have been too early if I had told you when we first started dating, or when we were just getting used to the fact that we were dating. It would have been the same result if I had told you anytime before this weekend, when I knew you were ready to hear it.
GIRL: And how did you know I was ready to hear it?
BOY: Because you’ve finally fallen in love with me, too.
GIRL: Ha! That’s kind of a cocky thing to say.
BOY: But it’s true.
GIRL: I didn’t say that.
BOY: You don’t have to. (She looks at him, a little shocked at how he can read her.) Not that it wouldn’t be nice if you did.
GIRL: I… I… (She gulps.) I do. I love you.
(He smiles. Starts to go in for a kiss, stops, checks her ear for bugs, realizes he’s safe, and kisses her.)
GIRL: But how did you know?
BOY: Because you hate being cold, you hate being dirty, you’re afraid of bugs, afraid of the dark, afraid of birds, afraid of…everything, and yet, you’re here camping, with me. How could there be any other explanation?
GIRL: Wow. I really didn’t have to say it, did I?
BOY: Haha. Nope. But I’m glad you did.
GIRL: (Giggles in realization.) Wait, so we’re… in love?
BOY: I think so. (She giggles some more. He kisses her. They hold each other for a beat.)
GIRL: Oh! Does this mean now that you’ll go to the opera with me? After all, a bunch of fat Italian people singing on a stage can’t be nearly as scary as all of this, can it?
BOY: (Cringes at the word “opera”.) But you see, you’re a much better person than I am. You look at your fears and you conquer them.
GIRL: Please? … I love you.
BOY: Now wait a second, you can’t start saying that every time you want something and just expect it to…
GIRL: (Giving him puppy dog eyes, feigning shocked pain.) You don’t love me?
BOY: Of course I— Ugh! All right.
BOY: But that’s only working just this once.
BOY: And I get to pick the opera.
BOY: There aren’t any with a huge spider as the main character, are there? Kind of like the huge spider I put in the bottom of your sleeping bag? (Creepy-crawls his fingers up her shoulder as he says this.)
GIRL: Ugh! I hate you!
BOY: Haha. No you don’t.
GIRL: No, I don’t.
She plants a kiss on him as…