Scene opens with girl lying in bed, deep under the covers in the dark as rain rushes down her window pane. Only the glow from her phone lights the stage from under the blanket.
Girl pulls the covers up to her neck and sighs heavily. Boyfriend enters the room.
BOYFRIEND: Babe, I know you’re not feeling well but do you wanna maybe come watch a movie on the couch? I can order pizza or something.
Girl pulls hoodie over her head and takes a couple of seconds before responding.
BOYFRIEND: You haven’t eaten anything all day, do you want me to make you some soup?
GIRL: No, I’m not really hungry.
Boyfriend lingers in doorway, obviously thinking of something else to say.
BOYFRIEND: I can run you a bath if you want.
Girl turns over in bed towards him, still under the covers, hoodie up.
GIRL: I’m Okay. I’m just tired. Can you close the door on your way out? She says gently without sounding annoyed, just drained.
Boyfriend kisses the top of her head.
BOYFRIEND: Love you. Just let me know if you need anything.
Closes the door gently as he leaves.
Girl is glad to be alone in the dark again. She grabs her phone and starts to scroll Instagram feed, which is projected onto big screen for audience to see. Feed is filled with fitness models, influencers vacationing, overly photoshopped selfies. Everything is clearly fake and toxic. Girl is clearly upset and crying because of what she sees but can’t look away. A black shadow appears on the wall across from her bed.
GIRL: Please, just leave me alone this time.
BLACK SHADOW: I see we’re doing this again.
Shadow points to nightstand full of dirty dishes, empty soda cans, wrappers and other garbage.
BLACK SHADOW: Look at this festering nest. I’m guessing from that oil pit you call hair that you haven’t showered in a few days either. You’re a disgusting mess.
GIRL: This is all your fault.
BLACK SHADOW: You dug yourself into this hole. I’m just here to remind you why you deserve to be so deep inside of it. Everything about you is repulsive, heinous even. You deserve to hate yourself.
Girl turns away from shadow as tears run down her cheeks.
BLACK SHADOW: You’re stubborn, and selfish and always have to be right no matter what.
Girl tries to cover her ears with her hands.
Shadow waits for an answer, just hears cries, shadow smiles.
BLACK SHADOW: You’re heartless, everyone you know thinks you’re cold. You’re unlovable and will push everyone who is close to you away.
Girl now tries to cover ears with pillow as she tries to drown out the hateful words.
Waits for an answer, more cries, another smile.
BLACK SHADOW: You always need to be better than everyone, be smarter than everyone, and have an answer for everything. People think you’re rude, competitive and intense. You are always too much and no one wants your condescending input.
Girl pulls covers over head with pillow still pushed against her ears.
Waits for an answer, heavier cries, bigger smile.
BLACK SHADOW: You’ve allowed me to infiltrate your body and mind like the plague. You are weak. You are angry. You’re a monster.
Girl rips blankets off of her and shouts with hot tears running down her face
GIRL: You’re the monster! You made me this way! You are the monster that holds me captive and I’ve allowed the darkness to embrace me. I let the negativity caress me and sing me sweet lullabies to sleep. I allowed myself to believe there was no light left. I thought you could tighten the threads around my body and I would follow its commands like a threatened puppet. But no more.
Black shadow’s smile fades, and the figure shrinks.
GIRL: YOU are weak. YOU are small. YOU are cold.
Black shadow shrinks more, almost non-existent. Girl gets out of bed, turns light on and looks back as black shadow disappears.
GIRL: Fuck off… she mumbles and throws pillow at wall where shadowy figure once stood.
Girl pokes her head into living room.
GIRL: Can we order cheesy breadsticks too?
Boyfriend smiles and pats the couch.
Kaitlin Fitzgibbon is in her final year of her Bachelor's degree in English Literature at Concordia University in Montreal. Her work often focuses on mental health, female sexuality and the complexities of womanhood. Her poem "Chrysalis" was feature in Pixie Literary's 2022 Issue and she has two poems "Good Girl" and "Stem Stitch" forthcoming in The Mitre.