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Scene: A coffee shop. Two college girls are sitting at a table, studying.
Denise: (showing piece of paper on table to Jill) Like this?
Jill: Yes, that’s it. You got it.
Denise: Finally! (looks at watch) We’ve only been at this problem for 2 hours.
Jill: Organic chemistry takes time to understand.
Denise: And a good tutor. I couldn’t have made it through this class without your help. I swear Dr. Gates has it in for me.
Jill: Why do you say that?
Denise: Because he’s always calling on me---especially when he knows I don’t know the answer.
Jill: The nerve.
Denise: Well, thanks to you he can call on me tomorrow---I’m ready.
Jill: You’re welcome.
Denise: Do you want another latte? My treat.
Jill: No, one’s my limit.
Denise: Are you going to the football game?
Jill: No, I have to study for the MCAT’s.
Denise: Well, I wouldn’t worry if I were you. You’ll pass with flying colors. Heck, you’ll probably have the medical schools fighting over you.
Jill: I don’t know about that.
Denise: You are the smartest person I know. And you work the hardest. I mean, while I hung out with Becky and the gang last summer, where were you? South America, helping poor people. You’re like a saint or something.
Jill: Oh, stop it. I am not.
Denise: Yeah, you are. You probably have the gold pass to get into heaven.
Jill: Oh, no, not me. (pause) Besides, I don’t think there is a heaven.
Denise: You don’t?
Jill: No, I don’t. Do you?
Denise: Well, yeah I guess I do.
Jill: Then you believe there’s a hell, too?
Denise: I think so.
Jill: You think so?
Denise: Well, yeah, I mean, if there is heaven, then there’s hell, too.
Jill: So who goes to hell?
Denise: Well, good people go to heaven. Bad people go to hell.
Jill: Oh, ok, so Hitler? Osama Bin Laden?
Denise: Hell, of course. And you can send Dr Gates there, too.
Jill: (shaking her head) Now you’re just joking around.
Denise: I’m sorry. He can go to heaven.
Jill: You see--that’s where this argument goes all the time. People making jokes about what happens when you die.
Denise: I believe in heaven. That’s where I picture my grandma.
Jill: What do you have to do to get into heaven?
Denise: Like I said, be good. Don’t kill anyone. That kind of thing. I think God wants us to be in heaven with Him. Why else would he make heaven? Wouldn’t be any fun if no one got in.
Jill: So, how good do you have to be to get into heaven?
Denise: What do you mean?
Jill: There has to be a line drawn to say who gets in and who stays out… who goes to hell, if you really believe that.
Denise: I don’t know.
Jill: How many good things do we have to do to balance out the bad things. ‘Cause if we’re being honest here, everyone screws up at one time or another. How many screw ups are you allowed?
Denise: I don’t know. Twenty? Why don’t you ask your roommate, Carol? Doesn’t she belong to some Christian group on campus?
Jill: I don’t want to ask her. She’ll just talk about her faith. It’s all she talks about.
Denise: Nothing wrong with faith.
Jill: But how can she believe in a loving God that sends people to Hell because, why? They didn’t go to church every Sunday?
Denise: I don’t think it works like that.
Jill: So how does it work? (pauses, shaking her head) You know, one of the doctor’s I worked with in Brazil last summer was amazing. He worked for 20 hours a day, in the worst conditions, helping get medical care to the poorest of the poor. You would not believe the wretched conditions some people live in down there. He’s a good guy. Does he get into heaven?
Denise: I would think so.
Jill: What about the guy who murders three people, and has one of those jailhouse conversions. Does he get in?
Denise: I guess so. If he’s really sorry.
Jill: What if one of the people he murdered was your sister?
Denise: Oh, no way then.
Jill: What about my mom? The night before her surgery, she told me she didn’t think she would go to heaven if she died. I told her of course she would.
Denise: What’s wrong with that?
Jill: Because I lied to make her feel better. Don’t you see? I know I will pass the MCAT’s. I know I will get into medical school. These are things I know. But heaven…no one can say with absolute certainty that they’re going to heaven.
Denise: I guess that’s why they call it faith.
Jill: Let me put it this way. If today’s the day, the day you die , can you tell me beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would go to heaven?
Denise: (pauses-really thinking about it) I don’t know. Do you?
Jill: No, I don’t. I really don’t. (lights out-end)
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Reader Count & Comments
06 Apr 2009
Good one!! Really leaves a person thinking where he/she will go after death. It would have been more effective if you could explain how a person can really get to heaven.
26 Feb 2009
True! Gets you thinking.
In this world we have to tell peole the good news, the gold pass to get to heaven. It's just one decision but it could change thier lives
21 Feb 2009
Really makes the reader think. A non-believer hearing this would identify strongly with it, "I'm a good person, I'll go to heaven," I have heard them say that so often. But a Christian hearing this would be screaming, "You can be sure, there is a way - His name is Jesus!"
All the best with your writing.
19 Feb 2009
I like the POVs you chose for this script. So many would've put the "evangelist Christian" with the seeking one. But in setting it up the way you did, it really leaves the reader thinking about what he or she would say in this situation. If I were sitting in the audience watching this performed, I'm guessing that a good majority of the people sitting near me could identify with one of these two characters.
The hanging ending is extremely effective as well. Love it!
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