That’s What Friends Are For
Finalist, Marilyn Hall Awards, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, 2003.
If you didn’t know Scott, you’d think he was a bully. He was big, with a loud voice, and he liked to argue and pound one fist into the other. But he wasn’t really like that. He hated to play football. He hated violence. And Scott and Gary were best friends.
Scott liked playing chess at lunchtime, and Gary, who was small and easily preyed upon by practical jokesters, liked the protection that the husky boy represented. But soon he was learning to appreciate other things about his friend. His way of watching people and understanding them, for instance. His passion for science. The way he wasn’t any better coordinated or more athletic than Gary.
The boys have a great summer. They share an Honors Science project, studying fruit flies. But then Scott falls ill, and Gary discovers he’s dying. Bewildered by the changes in his friend, pressured by the need to keep his terrible secret, Gary finds the friendship tearing him apart. And when the end comes for Scott, Gary must attend the funeral.
This is not a story of death but a story of life—of the life of two boys and the memorial one erects for the other. In the boy who grows up—and in the one who will never grow up—all of us will see some of ourselves.