A documentary style play of the lives of two tragic sisters as seen through others' eyes.
Man 1 (23 years old)
Man 2 (22 years old)
Boy (19 years old)
Girl 1 (21 years old)
Girl 2 (20 years old)
Girl (19 years old)
Female Teacher (late 30s-early 40s)
Male Teacher (mid-late 40s)
Counselor (mid 30s)
Others (3-6) (18-23 years old)
Mother (60 years old)
Father (60 years old)
The play takes place in various locations depicting the interviewed responses of individuals who personally knew the titular characters. The set may include only essential furniture and props to convey location such as a couch for indoors or a park bench for outdoors.
A young man with long ginger hair and a short beard wearing jeans, a white band t-shirt, sneakers and a flannelette shirt, MAN 1, stands addressing the audience (interviewer). He appears preoccupied and downcast, lost in thought and uncertain of what to do or how to feel. He makes to speak multiple times before stopping himself to reconsider his answer. Finally he commits to an response.
MAN 1: How do you describe someone like that? I mean--how do you describe people like them? I really don't know. I mean--I know but... at the same time... I have no idea. They were just those sisters. They were kinda famous in a strangely anonymous way. It was like you knew them but at the same time you never really knew them. They were like fire and ice. Something extreme yet entirely effortless and casual about them. Like you'd just take one look at them and you knew... You knew they were unlike anyone else. I mean... I don't know.
A young man with black hair and a moustache wearing jeans, a t-shirt, lace up leather shoes and a denim jacket, MAN 2, stands apart from MAN 1, addressing the audience in his own space. He considers his response very carefully before speaking.
MAN 2: Well they were unlike anyone else I had ever met. They were completely inseparable those two. They came here and started their studies together despite being two years apart in age. But when one decided to come here and study the other one came along for the ride. I mean--she didn't just come along for the ride, but it was her sister who gave her the confidence to even consider it. They were each others' crutches and strength. They were... They were all they needed. At least... That's how everyone saw it. That's how I saw it.
MAN 1: Like you'd see them and they would be in their own little world far away from everything else and nothing could change that. Well... it wasn't quite like that. I mean--As in--Like... When they were happy they were really happy and it was almost contagious. Like you'd see them smiling and laughing at one of their million inside jokes and you couldn't help but just catch their happiness. Even if you didn't actually talk to them, just seeing them in that state would immediately brighten up your mood. And when they were unhappy they were silent. PAUSE It was like... suddenly... all the warmth in the room would disappear and all the happiness you were feeling would just... it was just gone. I don't know how to explain it. But it was like however they felt... it was more than just them that felt that way at that very moment. Somehow you'd just feel how they were feeling. You know?
MAN 2: I mean I'd definitely noticed that their personalities were oddly contagious, or something like that. But I never really knew why. Or how. I just noticed that they were. I mean--I know not everyone would "catch" their feelings or moods or whatever the correct word is, but there were definitely those of us that felt it and it was obvious to us what the cause of the strange atmospheric changes were for lack of a better way of putting it. I mean... We all knew that it was those sisters. I mean... how could it not be them? The way they'd laugh. The way they'd joke. The way they'd just... talk and interact with everything around them. I'd say it was nothing short of enchanting. I mean... Yeah.
MAN 1: And when they would talk to you!
He laughs happily in remembrance of his experiences with the sisters.
It was like... utter bliss. Like you couldn't even get happier or more comfortable with anyone if you tried or even if you'd known them for like years and years, you know? There was just this something about them that made you want to talk to them and just share in the moment with them. Like... they weren't exactly best mates with everyone... but the people that they did take time to be with and talk to... you could tell that they were special to them. That they meant something to them.
MAN 2: I remember I was sitting with a mate just chilling and suddenly one of the sisters came up to me and just started making casual conversation with me as if it was the norm. This was the first time we'd ever actually talked and she just came all out beaming with confidence and totally comfortable and sure of herself and she just talked to me as if we were old friends. They knew how to make someone feel appreciated and... just... happy to be alive. I guess. I don't know. It's--It's really--It's really complicated yet so simple. It's difficult to describe because it's just one of those sensations that you feel or experience and you have absolutely no idea how to express it to someone else to make them understand and the only way for them to understand is to literally experience it for themselves. It's entirely abstract but not abstract at all, if you get my meaning.
MAN 1: Even the awkward silences weren't awkward with them. It just all felt right. Like nothing felt weird or out of the ordinary with them. It was all just how it should be, if not better.
MAN 2: I personally think that everything seemed better whenever they were around. Even when they weren't happy everything still seemed to be as it should be, if that makes sense.
A young girl with long ginger hair wearing a black knee-length skirt, a grey tank top and bare foot, GIRL 1, stands addressing the audience (interviewer). She looks into the distance with a faint smile on her face reminiscing before she speaks.
GIRL 1: There was nobody quite like those two. They could always make you smile. Or laugh. Or confused.
She chuckles to herself.
They were especially good at that. I liked talking with them. They could always enlighten me on the most random assortment of topics. I'm genuinely not sure where they got their information from but even if it wasn't true at least it was interesting or entertaining or sometimes both. Oftentimes both. Most times both. And usually if one was nearby the other would appear shortly afterwards. They were like two halves of a whole. Like... the two sides of the same coin. I guess that's why they always got along so well and yet differed greatly.
A young girl with medium-length dark brown hair wearing a simple black dress with flowers on it and flat black leatherettes, GIRL 1, sits on a chair at a desk writing in a notebook. She appears consumed by her writing that she commences speaking whilst writing in her book only looking up briefly now and then while she speaks.
GIRL 2: Well I'm not really sure what to say really. I feel like you've probably already heard it all. They were two crazy, fun-loving sisters. Except that they weren't. As in they were a complete mystery. No one could get a proper reading on them. Were they jokers or were they serious? Were they whimsical or were the psychological? Were they content or were they lonely? I think that for all their comfort and certainty in themselves there was an equal amount of discomfort and uncertainty. I mean don't get me wrong. They were definitely very special to me and I know I'm not the only one that thinks and feels that way. But at the same time I think that they probably weren't all that they needed. I think that in all likelihood they wanted to find someone else that they could trust and call a friend just as much as they did each other.
GIRL 1: They were so happy. But I couldn't help but feel that they were hiding their true feelings. I suspect that they were actually deeply sad all the time and that's why they seemed so happy. To try and convince themselves contrary to their true feelings. They made me happy, but I always wanted to return the favour but I never knew how.
An adolescent boy with long brown hair worn in a ponytail wearing cargo pants, a long sleeved grey t-shirt and sneakers, BOY, sits at a computer on a desk. He seems pensive before speaking, not looking at his computer except occasionally to type a quick reply to a message.
BOY: While I was dating the younger sister I learned a lot about her as a person but at the same time I feel like I never really got to know her. We dated for a year before she broke it off. I think in the end it was probably for the best but it did hurt me a lot for a very long time. I was so angry at her but no matter how much I wanted to blame her for everything and hate her for what happened... I just couldn't. There was nothing to blame her for and there was no reason for me to hate her. She was actually one of the best people I'd ever met. But I didn't realise that until a long time later. I wish it didn't take me so long to figure that part out.
An adolescent girl with very long brown hair worn in a ponytail wearing a maroon skirt, a polka dot short-sleeved shirt, brown flat lace up boots and a bow in her hair, GIRL, stands addressing the audience in her own space. She appears to be preparing herself mentally / emotionally for her response before speaking.
GIRL: I was their friend I guess. Things became very complicated and I eventually was unable to keep socialising with them so I left them alone to be themselves and do whatever they wanted. I decided not to interfere in their lives because they were very occupied with... I'm not sure. They were in the library a lot doing things in one of the little study rooms. I'm not sure what, but they seemed to be busy a lot of the time. I didn't really get to see them much after a while. Usually I'd see them in classes or pass them in the corridors but nothing social. They kept to themselves a lot of the time. I rarely saw them interacting with others. Like I said they seemed to live in the library after a while. So I figured that they were busy and it was best that I not interfere.
BOY: I was so set in my own ways that when they both finally laid the cards on the table about themselves in no uncertain terms I realised what a massive blunder I'd made in trying to find reasons to hate them and blame them for everything I went through with them. They were barely older than me but they seemed to know so much and understand things so much better than I ever did or could. They could just see all angles of a situation. All possibilities were considered. They didn't--Well--Like they didn't seem to miss anything. They were just so aware of how things work and able to figure out what all of the possible outcomes were. They were very wise and very smart but they were so quiet around people that I guess you had to be special to them in order for them to show you. If you get my meaning.
GIRL: I never really understood them. They were so full of love and joy but they kept it all to themselves... Except occasionally they'd do something nice for someone else and it would open that person's eyes for that moment and make them say "were you always there?" and things like that, if you understand what I'm saying. But they were quiet, but they weren't. They were like the epitome of contradictory and contradiction. Just when you thought you had them figured out they'd do something or say something completely out of nowhere and change your understanding of them entirely and so you'd have to start all over again in figuring them out.
BOY: I think by the end of it all I understood them as people but at the same time I can never be sure now.
Enter MAN 1, MAN 2, GIRL 1, GIRL 2, BOY, GIRL, OTHERS.
MAN 1 carries musical equipment and tunes a guitar, GIRL 1 draws a picture on a sketch pad and GIRL 2 writes notes in her notebook while everyone else goes about their daily business stopping suddenly to give their comments before continuing on their way.
OTHER: Look I'm not happy about what happened, either. But I think everyone should just get over it and get back to work. Is that so much to ask?
OTHER: They weren't exactly my close friends or anything so I don't really have anything to share. Sorry.
OTHER: I guess they were quiet and friendly except around a few specific people around here. When they were with them they were suddenly something else entirely. I didn't know them well enough to say anything of real importance, though.
OTHER: I didn't like them. Everyone here was all gaga about them but I didn't buy it for a second. Nup. Not me. I knew what they were doing so I didn't have a bar of it. I wouldn't let them make me putty in their hands like how they made everyone else be. I'm glad they're finally gone. Now things can get back to how they should be.
OTHER: I don't think I ever saw them in all my time here to be perfectly honest.
OTHER: Oh my goodness. They were hilarious! Like seriously if I ever needed a good pick me up on a bad day or if I was bored I could just go and have a banter with them and I'd be all good to go again. Like I wanted to bottle them and sell them for a small fortune if I could. But you can't exactly bottle people unless you like blend them or something, right?
OTHER: They were just the two sisters. What more do you want to know?
A middle-aged woman, FEMALE TEACHER, stands addressing the audience (interviewer) wearing an eclectic, colourful, eccentric assortment of clothes and accessories such as odd socks, an irregular skirt, a jumper, a poncho, retro sunglasses, small plain bulky shoes and a long scarf. She addresses the audience very clearly and precisely.
FEMALE TEACHER: They were some of the best students I have ever had the privilege of teaching. Not only in the way that they were gifted and were attentive to their studies, but simply the presence they brought to classes was incredible. I could tell immediately that these were no ordinary sisters. Not only were they gifted but they were themselves a gift. In my honest opinion. I think there needs to be more people like them in the world. I really do. Not in the way that they were attempting to cope with problems that were at times too great for them to bare alone, but in the way that they could bring out the best in you. Their altruistic natures were remarkable to watch. They were beautiful. I mean I could go on and on for hours about them but I suspect you've already heard all this a thousand times already as is. But that's the long and the short of it all. They were simply beautiful souls.
A middle-aged man, MALE TEACHER, stands addressing the audience (interviewer) apart from the FEMALE TEACHER in his own space, wearing dark jeans, a dark grey t-shirt and sneakers. He addresses the audience in a very delicate manner speaking with great care as he gives his response.
MALE TEACHER: They were a great pair of young ladies. They were very attuned to everything I taught them. They listened so well it was kinda scary. It was like they were taking it all in and feeling it all in the very depths of their souls. They had very intense eyes when they listened and processed everything. They were always on. Their brains were always thinking and ticking away. Analysing and assessing everything they saw and heard and experienced. I think they were running diagnostics on the world around them to try and figure out how to then interact with it. They always did have difficulty outside of themselves. But on the occasional times that I'd talk with them just casually outside of the classroom I'd see so much more of them. I saw the intense power they wielded but I'm not even sure they realised that they even had that inside of them. I saw this deep and profound outpouring of love and compassion that was just unfathomable. It was absolutely breathtaking to see. I'm sad I won't get to see it again. Not for a long time anyway.
A 60 year old woman, MOTHER, sits on a couch wearing a woolen jumper. A 60 year old man, FATHER, sits on a separate seat away from his wife. He is wearing a button up shirt and loose jeans. She is subdued and downcast while her husband is negatively pensive as though frustrated and trying to make sense of a problem. MOTHER speaks as though trying to justify things and make sense of things to herself more so than to the audience.
MOTHER: I always thought they were happy. They never told me that anything was wrong so I always assumed that everything was alright.
FATHER: Agitatedly You can't always assume that people are fine. Even if they smile there's almost always a million trillion billion things going on inside their heads.
He becomes increasingly agitated and angry with each exchange between he and his wife.
MOTHER: No, I know that. But if there's a problem people tend to tell their parents what the problem is so that there is support in the family and they can feel safe and get whatever sympathy or empathy or advice they need.
FATHER: Look, you can't always assume that people will do what you think they should do. Just because that's what you and your family did doesn't mean that's what all people do when they're in trouble.
MOTHER: But we don't know that they were in trouble.
FATHER: And we don't know that they weren't! Look! You insist on discussing the issue when there's nothing more to be said and there's nothing that can be done! What do you expect?! You don't know that they were ok and you don't know that they weren't! So just stop it already!
MOTHER: I just don't think--
FATHER: Yeah, well I'm fed up with hearing you play your broken record about this topic! I just wish you would learn to drop an issue when there isn't even a problem in the first place!
MOTHER: But there is a problem.
FATHER: So what?! There's a problem in your head, maybe. But that's your head and not mine. I've learned that it isn't good to dwell on things like this and meditate on them until you drive yourself or those around you insane! Yet you always feel the need to bring it up as if nothing else is worth thinking about or talking about! But I keep telling you to stop it and you just won't.
MOTHER: I just think it would be better if we knew what really happened.
FATHER: Sighs angrily and leaves as he quietly says in exasperation Oh forget it.
MOTHER sits alone on the couch and remains looking downcast, never making eye contact with the audience or acknowledging their presence.
Man 1 and Man 2 sit at a table and silently eat food individually. There is a long silence of downcast pensiveness.
MAN 1: So you have rehearsal and then I'm taking you home, right?
MAN 2: Yeah. 7:30 til 9:30.
MAN 1: Right.
MAN 2: Umm...
MAN 1: Mmm?
MAN 2: PAUSE No. Don't worry about it.
MAN 1: Ha. Remember those times when I'd be giving you a lift at the same time that the sisters would be leaving and we'd be driving side by side?
MAN 2: Ha. Oh man. Those were the days. And we'd be stopped at the lights just sitting there chatting.
MAN 1: Yeah. We always had to tell them to wind their window down so we could talk.
MAN 2: Laughs happily in remembrance of his experiences with the sisters Yes!
MAN 1: And they'd be playing the best anime theme songs, no joke! Like hands down all the greats!
MAN 2: I remember that time you couldn't remember your favourite Brotherhood theme and they were just jamming to it and you just sat there disappointed in having to go through all of FMA without ever hearing it 'cause it's not an FMA opening but a Brotherhood opening!
They both laugh as they reminisce and joke about past experiences with the sisters.
MAN 1: Oh man. Don't get me started on that one again.
MAN 2: But you have to admit it was classic.
MAN 1: Yeah, alright. You win... this round.
MAN 2 laughs jokingly in triumph.
MAN 1: Yeah, i think that was the same time we were waiting at the lights and I think they rode up next to us and I remember--yeah the younger sister was sitting in the passenger's seat and I said "We have to stop meeting like this" and then she just blasted the song at me and I was like "It's on!" PAUSE That was a fun trip home... It's never really been the same since.
The atmosphere returns to the silent contemplative silence of before and the two continue eating their food in silence.
A woman in her 30s, COUNSELOR, sits on a couch dressed in smart casual attire. She has files, a small clock and a glass of water on a side table next to her. She speaks directly to the audience.
COUNSELOR: I was working through some personal difficulties with one of the sisters and I'm not sure about the other sister. I spoke with her once a week for about a year, and I found that she had been making some good progress with regards to coping with the stresses and anxieties she faced coming here to study. Initially I had suspected that perhaps she was actually dealing with more than she would talk to me about, but I didn't probe her for answers because I could tell that she would only retreat even further into herself if she didn't feel safe to talk to me about whatever it was that was bothering her. I thought I could help her...
I thought I could help her and I thought I was helping her... But evidently I was wrong. I noted that each week she came to see me she would have extra problems heaped on top of the problems she was trying to deal with from our previous session. It seemed to me, over time, that for each problem that I helped her tackle another one seemed to surface in its place and it was usually multiple problems rather than one problem that would replace whatever we had been working on together. She always seemed sad and scared. She had been hurt and bullied and neglected and abused and betrayed over and over again and she was terrified of experiencing all that again because it was all she had ever known. I admired her courage to try new things and to put herself out there. She was a very brave and a very strong girl but she felt personally weak and insufficient and I really wanted to help her see that she wasn't actually as terrible as she believed herself to be. She was incredibly bright and she even knew and completely comprehended the situation before I said anything to her... But I don't think she ever felt like she could... undo the way she viewed herself and the way she viewed everything around her. I know she and her sister were incredibly close but I have no idea what her sister was going through because she wasn't my client and sadly she was rarely ever discussed in our sessions so I have no idea what her state was like before all this happened. I just have no idea. I'm not the one to speak to but I'm really not sure who would be the one to speak to.
MAN 1 and MAN 2 return to their initial places from scene 1 and speak to the audience.
MAN 1: Not a day goes by that I don't think about them. I mean... how could I not think about them? They were the two sisters.
MAN 2: I think that they were the kind of people that leave an indelible impression on you even long after they disappear from your life.
MAN 1: You couldn't help but fall in love with them. I know I couldn't.
MAN 2: I know I couldn't.
MAN 1: But we'll never really know what happened. We can only get so much of the story based on what we perceive and based on what others say. I mean--Like--My version of events and the--the way that I saw them won't be identical to anyone else's. It can't be.
MAN 2: I just wish I really knew what happened. People said it was an accident and others said it wasn't but in all honesty it's all purely speculation and conjecture at this point.
MAN 1: I mean... I personally don't want to believe that it was deliberate... But that's just me. I don't know for a fact that it wasn't deliberate. But that's how I try and cope with what happened.
MAN 2: At the end of the day it's all guess work and I personally don't want to be burdened with the feeling that I could've prevented everything if I'd just paid more attention to the signs. But if there were no signs because it was an accident then I'm just beating myself up for no reason. I don't think anyone deserves to be trapped between feeling that they failed them and feeling that they betrayed us.
MAN 1: I just hope that one day we can see them again.
MAN 2: We just don't know at this point. And we might not ever know.
MAN 1: But that's ok 'cause we have their memory safely kept in here and that's all that matters at this point. Some things just aren't meant to be known... and that's ok.
Lights fade to black as they remain on stage looking contentedly into the distance.