• Joelle Cornett

Sibling Rivalry: A 10-Minute Play

Sibling Rivalry

__________________________

A 10-Minute Play

SIBLING RIVALRY

A childhood bedroom that’s been frozen in time.

There are two beds across from each other - one

is very girly and messy, the other has some sort

of sports team comforter and is very neat. A

clear division.

Belinda, 25, ENTERS with a handful of moving

boxes. She sets them down on the girl bed, then

crosses to the other side of the room and plops

down on the boy bed.

As she sits, she feels something beneath her. She

reaches under the covers to reveal a TATTERED

BLANKET and PORN MAGAZINE.

BELINDA

Perv.

She casually flips through the magazine, and sits

on the bed. We can hear a CAR pull up. Belinda

crosses to the window and glances outside.

BELINDA

(pissed)

Son of a bitch.

She stashes the porn magazine and tries to tidy

up the bed, just as JEFF, 25, leather suitcase,

expensive clothes, and an armful of presents

breezes in. Belinda attempt to appear casual, but

there’s clearly some tension between the two.

BELINDA

Is that your limo? Since when do you get driven around in a limo?

JEFF

Since I got the promotion. Good to see you, sis.

BELINDA

When did you get a promotion?

JEFF

About a year ago. And then another one this fall.

BELINDA

Oh, well. Congratulations, I guess.

JEFF

Thanks. Mom told me you’re making jewelry now?

Belinda starts to box up her side of the room.

BELINDA

Yeah. The songwriting thing didn’t work out.

JEFF

What a surprise.

BELINDA

What’s that supposed to mean?

JEFF

It means I’m not surprised a superfluous career choice didn’t work out. Unlike you, I don’t

create flowery language to trick people into thinking I’m smarter than I am.

BELINDA

Wow, just as charming as ever. And right when I was beginning to toy with the notion of

missing you. How come you never returned my calls or emails, by the way?

JEFF

I never got them.

BELINDA

I heard your secretary relay the message. If you would’ve called me back you would’ve

known I was coming today, so we could’ve avoided this whole--

She motions between them.

BELINDA

This.

JEFF

Well, I didn’t know. Sorry. Mom sort of sprung this whole ‘I just adopted a baby, so you

need to pick up your shit before I throw it out’ nonsense on me.

BELINDA

She sprung it on me too!

JEFF

Only one slight difference. I have a job and clients that rely on me.

BELINDA

I have clients too.

JEFF

Sorry, I didn’t realize they’d be upset if they don’t get their bangles on time.

BELINDA

Some of us just know how to prioritize. I’m surprised you didn’t hire someone to sort

through your ‘childhood shit’.

JEFF

Believe it or not, I’m actually a pretty sentimental guy.

Belinda rolls her eyes, then returns to packing.

BELINDA

I can come back later, if you want.

Jeff shrugs.

JEFF

We’re here. Might as well get it over with.

(beat)

Shit, I didn’t bring any boxes.

BELINDA

You knew you’d be packing and you didn’t bring any boxes? People really do become too

reliant on their people. Here, take some of mine.

She hands him a spare box. As they make the

exchange, she catches a glimpse of his WATCH.

BELINDA

Holy shit, is that a Rolex?

Jeff tucks it under his sleeve.

JEFF

Part of the promotion.

Belinda crosses her arms and stares.

BELINDA

You know what I think? I think you purposefully ignored my emails just so you could

come the same day as me and show off how successful you are. The limo, the watch, the

gifts. You know, just because you’re successful doesn’t make you a better person.

JEFF

Why is it always a competition with you? This is why I can’t stand to be around you! This

is why no one can stand to be around you.

BELINDA

Who can’t stand to be around me?

JEFF

Everyone! You’re the only person I have drama with in my life. You’re the only person

that makes me feel like shit for being happy.

BELINDA

I am so happy for you that you’re happy. I really am, but do you ever think that maybe

we’d get along just a little better if you actually made time for me in your life? If you didn’t

treat me like... an accessory.

JEFF

Oh, please. I don’t want to deal with this shit.

BELINDA

You never do! Anytime things get serious and I try to have a heart-to-heart, you suddenly

don’t have the time. How do you think that makes me feel?

JEFF

Why do we have to talk about our feelings all the time?

BELINDA

All the time? Jeff we haven’t even talked in two years! I have no idea what’s going on in

your life.

JEFF

And that’s a problem because?

BELINDA

It doesn’t bother you that you have no idea what’s going on in my life, and I’m your one

and only sister? Well, I was until Mulan, or whatever her name is, came along.

JEFF

Okay, you want to talk about feelings?

BELINDA

Yes!

JEFF

I feel like you are the most irritating and delusional person I’ve ever met. All you do is

judge, and complain, and then act superior around the rest of us. It was fine when we were

kids, but it’s time to grow up, okay? Be a fucking adult already.

BELINDA

You don’t even know me well enough to judge me! Just because you can hide behind your

money and fancy limo doesn’t mean you’re an expert on how to live one’s life.

Jeff reaches underneath the sheets to find the

porn mag and blanket. He holds it out to Belinda.

JEFF

Did you go through my stuff?

BELINDA

Blankie is mine, first of all, and no.

Jeff looks at her accusingly.

JEFF

I know what page this was opened to.

BELINDA

I haven’t been in this room for five years. Mom is here every day, why do you think I did

it?

JEFF

Because you are always going through my stuff, and if mom found it she would’ve thrown

it out. I always had to hide my shit from you, and you still ratted me out to mom and dad.

BELINDA

Well, I’m sorry if I didn’t want them to come into the room and think I was the one with

the pot problem. And I only ratted you out that one time.

Jeff shakes his head.

JEFF

Do you know how frustrating it is to share a room with someone you can’t stand?

BELINDA

Yes, actually. I know exactly what it’s like.

JEFF

I never did anything to you! You were the one that needed constant reassurance.

(mimics)

Jeff, am I too broken out? Jeff, what do you think of these jeans? Jeff, do you think I’ll

ever have a boyfriend? It was like living with a nagging wife when I was sixteen! You are

a succubus. A flesh-eating wound that kept sucking life out of me and I couldn’t wait to get

away from you.

Belinda looks genuinely hurt.

JEFF

And you always hit on my friends.

BELINDA

(losing it, shouts)

You lost your virginity with me in the room!

Jeff looks surprised.

JEFF

What?

BELINDA

We were fourteen. Courtney came over and I was reading under my bed, but there was no

way you couldn’t see me. I even whispered your name at one point to try and get you to

stop.

JEFF

I probably thought it was her...

Belinda forces back tears.

BELINDA

And you just kept going. You didn’t even notice me. And we were fourteen. I hadn’t even

kissed a boy yet. And then you guys finished and she left, and I stayed hidden until you

fell asleep. And that’s how I feel you’ve always treated me -- like I don’t even exist. Like

you could just... fuck in front of me, in my own goddamn room.

And I was always so scared that it would happen again. So yeah, I do know what it’s like

to share a room with someone you can’t stand.

She turns away from him and finishes packing

her stuff. Jeff crosses to her.

JEFF

Belinda, I’m so sorry. I honestly had no idea. Why didn’t you ever tell me?

BELINDA

BECAUSE YOU NEVER WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR FUCKING FEELINGS!

Jeff backs up.

JEFF

You’re right. I’m sorry. I just---

He sits down on her bed.

JEFF

You were always the perfect one. Straight A’s, you never went through a chubby phase,

everyone loves you. Hell, you even came up with the better games!

BELINDA

My games were pretty great, weren’t they?

JEFF

It’s hard to compete with that.

BELINDA

(smiling)

I thought I was the one that was always competing.

JEFF

You know what I mean. I just always felt like I was the big fucking screw up, so why

would I want to be close to the person that made me feel that way?

BELINDA

And now I’m the screw up, and you still don’t want to talk to me.

JEFF

You’re not a screw up. Wait, are you pregnant or addicted to something?

Belinda shakes her head.

JEFF

Yeah, then not a screw up. You’re actually pretty damn smart. I did come to show off.

She leaps up from the bed.

BELINDA

I knew it! And I did go through your stuff.

JEFF

Well yeah, that was obvious. You can keep the mag, if you want.

BELINDA

You have heard of the internet, right?

Jeff laughs, then returns to his side of the room.

BELINDA

It was pretty fucked up of mom and dad to make us share a room.

JEFF

I know! We should be pissed at them.

BELINDA

Oh, I already am.

Belinda smiles, then turns to her now empty side

of the room. It’s sad, but also freeing.

BELINDA

Well, it was good seeing you. Let’s not let another two years go by.

Jeff nods, then hands her blankie.

JEFF

Here. You should keep him.

She pushes the blanket away.

BELINDA

No no. He’s yours. I gave him to you, remember?

JEFF

But he was yours originally and I know how much it meant to you.

BELINDA

When I was like, five.

JEFF

Still, you take it. I want you to have it.

Belinda takes it.

BELINDA

Why don’t we just leave it for the baby? She’s going to be awful lonely in this room by

herself.

JEFF

That’s a great idea.

Jeff folds it up and puts it in the center of the

room, then grabs his box.

JEFF

Do you need a ride somewhere? We can grab lunch, if you like.

BELINDA

Sure. That’ll be... fun.

Jeff gives her a kiss on the cheek, then EXITS.

Belinda takes one last look at the now empty

room, except for the blanket in the center. She

reaches for it, puts it in her box, then immediately

takes it out, and puts it back in the center of the

room.

She switches off the light and EXITS -- a single

spotlight casts down on the blanket.

End of Play

#fiction #playwriting

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