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To Fathers Who Loved Us

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(The stage is bare except for semicircle of chairs centre stage and 2 men sitting (AMIR and BIFF). Half-empty water bottles are at the base of some of the chairs. The sound of violent coughing is heard as AMIR stands and begins towards stage right.)

 

BIFF: Wait!

 

(AMIR turns around, startled.) 

 

BIFF: I just wanted to say thank you. 

 

AMIR: What? 

 

BIFF: Your father. Your story. It reminds me of my dad, but better. Your dad, he loved you.

 

AMIR: Oh. Uh, thanks? I’m sure your dad loved you?

 

BIFF: Maybe he did, somewhere deep down in his heart. But he certainly didn’t show it. 

 

AMIR: My father didn’t show it. At least, not when I was young. He showed his love more to his other son.

 

BIFF: Other son?

 

AMIR: My brother, not that I knew it. 

 

BIFF: Oh.

 

AMIR: Yeah.

 

(BIFF stands, the sound of screeching tires is heard.) 

 

BIFF: I’ve read your books.

 

AMIR: Yeah?

 

BIFF: Yeah. They’re good. They take you away? Yeah…

 

AMIR: Thank you.

 

BIFF: You spoke about your friend. Hassan. And seeing something you wish you hadn’t?

 

AMIR: Oh.

 

BIFF: I saw something like that. It ruined my father and I. Everything about us. 

 

AMIR: Yeah?

 

BIFF: Yeah. 

 

(Silence.) 

 

BIFF: He slept with a woman. On a trip. I had failed math and went to go see him and try and get him to talk to the teacher and get him to change it and then I walked in and he told me to leave and then a woman was there and her clothes were gone and my father... he wasn’t perfect anymore.

 

AMIR: My dad slept with his friend’s wife. My best friend was my brother. 

 

BIFF: Oh.

 

AMIR: I watched him in an alley. ( pause) That’s what happened that changed us. I watched him get taken into an alley and get raped. And I did nothing. 

 

BIFF: Damn. 

 

AMIR: I know. After that, I couldn’t look at him anymore knowing the secret that I held. His father was our servant. And I lied.

 

BIFF: Lied?

 

AMIR: Yeah. I lied. I told my father that he stole something. And Ali, he told my father that his pride wouldn’t let him stay. 

 

BIFF: I lied to my mother. I never told her about the woman in Boston and instead, I ran. I ran away to where ever. 

 

AMIR: I wish I could run away. 

 

BIFF: Did you ever find out what happened to him? To Hassan?

 

AMIR: He’s dead. 

 

BIFF: Oh. 

 

AMIR: I would ask about your father but --

 

BIFF: But I’m not at the “losing a father” support group for nothing.

 

AMIR: I’m sorry for your loss. 

 

BIFF: And I’m sorry for yours. 

 

AMIR: One day it will get better. It did for me.

 

BIFF: Yeah. I guess. My mother’s started planting a garden.

 

AMIR: I have a wife, a son. It gets better. 

 

BIFF: Not for everyone. I think I need to leave. 

 

AMIR: Don’t.

 

BIFF: I need to leave New York, not -- I didn’t mean --

 

AMIR: Try California.

 

BIFF: Yeah? 

 

AMIR: A train leaves at 6:00 tonight. We can talk more on the train. 

 

BIFF: Yeah. I think I would like that.

 

(AMIR takes two water bottles from the base of the chairs. BIFF copies. AMIR raises his water.)

 

AMIR: To new starts.

 

(They take a drink.) 

 

BIFF: To fathers.

 

(They take a drink.)

 

AMIR: To fathers who tried and fathers who didn’t show their love.

 

(They take a drink.)

 

BIFF: To brothers.

 

(They take a drink.)

 

AMIR: To fathers who --

 

BIFF: To fathers who loved us.

 

(They take a drink.)

 

AMIR: To the American dream

 

BIFF: May it work out for someone. 

 

(The two men laugh as they finish their bottles. The lights go down.)