Her Beating Heart

It slowly crawls closer every day, its scales glistening in the sun as it crinkles along, growing with each breath. At least, that is what the emptiness in my head feels like, though I know you cannot understand. Even today, in the nineteenth century, we have little knowledge of why one turns insane, why one scorns reality. And it is thus ignorance that has discarded me here on these grounds, just left waiting for a doctor who will not slaughter my spirit, yet raise me from the ashes of my mind.
Is this him?

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4. scene 4

Eric walks on stage with a book. He walks past the chair then looks back at it and sits, still reading. Richard enters.

Richard- Sir?

Eric- Hu? Oh, Richard right? You startled me. Is there something I can do for you?

Richard- I was wondering if you were in need of assistance in the library this evening?

Eric- Oh. I will be fine today, thank you.

(Richard bows)

May I ask you something?

Richard- Certainly sir.

Eric- Do you know why I am required by the Desseys?

Richard- It is not my place to know.

Eric- But you do.

Richard- Excuse me.

(Goes to leave)

Eric- Are they dangerous?

Richard- That is for you to decide.

(Pause then goes to Eric. Georgina has walked into the audience and is sitting on the steps. She holds hamlet with a book mark)

Richard- There is something you need to know. She’s intelligent and... and desperate to be normal. She will hide things and she knows more than she lets on.  When you are around her, be careful and give her time. She needs time.

Eric- Who? Who is she?

Richard- Goodnight sir.

(Exits)

Eric- Who is she?!

Georgina- Georgina Olivia Desseys I believe he means.

(Eric swings round to face her)

Eric- I didn’t see you there.

Georgina- I know.

(Silence)

Eric- What are you reading?

Georgina (looks her book) – Hamlet Mr Parkensons.

Eric- Ah, Sir William Shakespeare. A midsummer night’s dream is my favourite.

Georgina- If you think I came hither as a lion, it were pity of my life. No, I am no such thing; I am a man as other men are.

Eric- You quote perfectly. (Goes towards her.)

Georgina- I have nothing else to do with my time.

Eric-You have thousands of books to read. Why is Hamlet so well read? (Gently takes it from her hands.)

A dream itself is but a shadow.

Georgina- Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy (stand up) and light a quality, that it is but a shadow’s shadow.

Eric- Then we are beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars’ shadow shall we to th’ court: for, by my fay I cannot reason.

Georgina- We’ll wait (grabs book) upon you.

Eric- And, that is true…Georgina.

Georgina- Unfortunately yes.

(Stalks off towards the stage.)

Eric- Wait, please, I’m sorry

Georgina- You have nothing to be sorry for Mr Parkensons.

Eric- Eric, Please. Call me Eric.

Georgina- As you wish. (Turns to go but Eric grabs her arm)

Eric- I saw you earlier, didn’t I?

Georgina- I would not know.

Eric- I- Cannot-I I am the wrong sort of doctor.

Georgina- I never expected it would work anyway. Goodnight Mr Parkensons.

Eric- Are you always so stubborn?

(Georgina smiles.)

Georgina- Yes, actually I am.

Eric- Well, an till you call me Eric, I am not letting go.

Georgina- You will be waiting a long time… Mr Parkensons.

Eric- I am known for being very patient.

Georgina- I can imagine. The polite ones usually are.

Eric- And the stubborn ones are usually the rich ones.

Georgina- Penalize me for being born.

Eric- But love me for who I am.

Georgina- Are you always this impossible?

Eric- It gets me what I want.

Georgina- This time, however.

Eric- I am hoping to be just as lucky.

Georgina- (laugh) Hope means nothing. If you want something you need, well, skill, education and ambition.

Eric- And without hope you have none of that.

Georgina- What about those people without hope?

Eric- Then I feel very sorry for them. It is something I would wish on no one. That feeling of complete hopelessness.

Georgina- It is more common than you think. Sometimes they are standing right beneath your nose. (Whisper) Eric.

(Eric lets go and Georgina turns from him.)

Eric- Georgina I-

Georgina- It is fine.

Eric- No, no it is not fine. Maybe, I, I could do one thing for you at least.

Georgina- Out of pity? I do not want you charity or your sympathises. I live with this. I have lived with this since I can remember. You can do nothing for me, just like those doctors and those fancy men before you, with their books and bottles. It is over. It was over before it began.

Eric- I do not believe that.

Georgina- (Laughing) No, neither do my parents, and look where they are now.

Eric- You cannot frighten me off.

Georgina- I do not try. People are frightened of me already.  Go back to your study; go back to your pointless books.

Eric- Do you know why I wanted to be a doctor? My eight year old self just wanted to help people because he wanted the world to be happy and care free. He knew death and illness but he just wanted to beat it and to save and love people, make them smile.

Georgina- I wanted to be a politician.

Eric- Why?

Georgina- I wanted to live.

Eric- You still can.

Georgina- Yes, of course. At eleven am, I will stroll into parliament and declare my intentions to run the country. Oh, wait, I cannot even speak.

 Eric- You will find someone to help you.

Georgina- And be in their dept? Be dependent on them to even turn up?

Eric- It is hope.

Georgina- Hope that I do not have!

Eric- And why is that?

Georgina- Because I have seen many men like you walk in, full of words and hope. Each one of those people, each one slowly stole a piece of my hope as they ran through those doors clueless, dare say frightened that such a freak of nature truly existed.

Eric- A freak of nature? Is that what you really think?

Georgina- Do you know anyone else like me?

Eric- That does not mean-

Georgina- No. There we go.

Eric- Georgina, please.

Georgina- Please what? Not face reality? To live in this bubble everyone else seems to be in?

Eric- It is not black and white.

Georgina- No. It is sane or insane. (Two heart beats)

Eric- And you are both!

Georgina- But which is which? Is it insane to be away from such a place?

Eric- Why? Where do you go?

Georgina- I do not know.

Eric- Then how do you know that you escape?

Georgina- I like the thought.

Eric- Oh

Georgina- Oh.

Eric- Do you still dream?

Georgina- Even the dead dream. ‘And by a sleep to say we end.’

Eric- Hamlet again. Dreaming is hoping.

Georgina- Or sketching a life that will never be yours.

Eric- I will not allow you this! Please.

Georgina- I will be your sport then. Change me. But sleep over it, I am up at seven am. Goodnight Mr Parkensons.

Eric- Eric.

Georgina- Goodnight, Eric.

Eric- Sweet dreams Georgina.

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