[Scene: Two boys sit upon a park bench at the center of an empty stage, facing forward and not looking at each other. An electric light built to look like an old-fashioned gas lamp stands a few feet to the right side of one of them. This lamp is the only light on the stage, and is set so that the audience cannot clearly see the boys faces.]
David (on the left): Whats eating you?
Josh (on the right) : [Startled] What?
David:Whats wrong? Youre likely to dent the sidewalk, the way youve been glaring at it.
Josh: None of your business. What do you care?
David: I thought you might want to get it off your chest.
[Silence. The lamp flickers.]
Josh: [Suddenly] Oh, alright! If youve gotta know, my parents say that Im too old to have a..a you know..an imaginary friend. Dont laugh!
David: I wasnt going to laugh.
Josh: You were. You were. Everybody laughs. Why should you be any different? Go on, if you have to. Laugh it up. You know you want to.
David: I wasnt going--
Josh: You were.
David: [Opens his mouth to protest, then closes it again.]
Josh: [Softly] Do you think that Im too old for
David: Well..[Reluctantly] you could be putting your imagination to better use. Youre growing up, Josh, whether youre ready to or not.
Josh: [jumping up] I knew it! I knew you wouldnt get it!
David: Maybe its time to let go.
Josh: Youre just like them!
David: I'm not!
Josh: You are!
David: Sit down. I know this isnt
Josh: You dont know! How could
David: Stop it, Joshua! Youre being childish!
Josh: [Awkward pause. Sits down again.] Thanks.
David: [exasperated] Im not your enemy, you know.
Josh: Didnt you ever have an imaginary friend?
David: [Hesitates, looking directly over at Josh for the first time, and then resumes facing forward.] I still have one, actually.
Josh: [Sputtering] What!? Youre such a hypocrite!
David: But Ive been thinking that its about time for me to let him go, too.
Josh: Why? Why should we have to give them up? Hes a lot more interesting than the rest of my friends.
David: But see, thats just it! Its not healthy to distance yourself quite so much from the tangible world.
Josh: The real worlds boring.
[Silence. David sighs. The light flickers again, threatening to go out.]
David: Look, its not easy for anybody. Its hard for me too, but in the end living in fantasy will do nothing but hurt you. We need to learn to function in the real world, and make real friends.
Josh: [Suddenly] Are we friends?
David: I guess so. Do you think we are?
Josh: [Thinks for a moment] I think so. Maybe. Yes. Hmm
yes. Almost certainly. [Pause, then fiercely] Of course were friends!
David: [Carefully] Alright.
Josh: [Gaining confidence] Friends! Real friends! The very best of! What do I need an imaginary friend for? [Grins jubilantly at David, turning on the bench to face him, sitting cross-legged. David remains facing forward, not looking at him and choosing instead to stare unrelentingly at the ground.]
David: [Softly and somewhat sadly] What, indeed?
Josh: Maybe this real world stuff isnt so bad after all! Lets get rid of our imaginary friends together, right now, what do you say? Wouldnt that be good? Lets do it on the count of three!
David: Well, I
David: Lets not get carried
David: [Turns quickly to Josh and looks at him straight on, face anguished. Reaches out to him, but doesnt quite reach. Josh does not notice, as his eyes are now closed in concentration.] Joshua!
David: Im sorry
[The light flickers, and then goes silently out. All is still for a few moments, and then it comes back on. When it does, Josh is alone on the bench. He looks wildly around himself, a bewildered expression on his face, and then goes still. He puts his face in his hands, and the light goes back out.]