Cleansing Justice, Scene IV
edited: Monday, March 25, 2002
By Amy H Peterson
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2002
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Emma starts to come clean.
EMMA and WARREN are in the tub
EMMA: It didn’t really start at a Bat Mitzvah or some punk gig I snuck off
to. It started when I thought I didn’t deserve anything.
WARREN: I’m not letting you make a sob story of this. Maybe you have
good reasons that led to your getting into trouble. I don’t judge, but I do
say you have to take what’s coming to you or this will never leave you.
EMMA: Addicts are filling a hole, you know. Drug addicts sometimes start
using to try to forget the past or block out the present. Food addicts get
a high from carbs and chocolate that makes them feel good.
WARREN: What’s your addiction?
EMMA: Well, actually, the whole aura of being an heiress. It’s not that I
wanted the sweet life with a big house and luxury cars. I admit to my
sweetness for cashmere sweaters and pants that hang just so, and black
silk dresses, but I really wanted to be able to help someone else.
WARREN: You can help without being an heiress.
EMMA: You can help in nickel and dime ways, sure, $20.00 to this and
that cause, maybe $100.00. But that doesn’t compare with the high of a
scholarship with your family’s name on it. Not that I was advertising my
name mind you…
WARREN: Of course not.
EMMA: But going to that gala dinner for the donors and the scholars –
seeing that girl with her parents, and knowing that she almost didn’t get
to go to college, then she won my scholarship – that what I could give
was changing her life – that is a high I couldn’t let go of.
WARREN: Emms, you can give your time, your efforts, your sweat, your
ingenuity to make a difference. It’s not all about money.
EMMA: Tell that to Enron.
WARREN: Well, go on. Donating a scholarship is not against the law, last
time I checked.
EMMA: And neither is writing a check so a bible camp can fix its water
pipes. Nor is it illegal to pay for six kids from the inner city to take art
classes, or swimming lessons. And, the law looks kindly on those who
donate to women’s and children’s shelters, food banks, and church youth
WARREN: But it got out of hand.
EMMA: It’s not that simple. I was important. I was wanted. I felt like
somebody, in more ways than I had thought possible. The way I felt
about myself when I could be generous made me feel confident enough to
not doubt that someone like you could love me. I still don’t think I did
anything wrong. How can it be wrong to give, to love, to – hold on?
VOICE-OVER: Your waiting time is ten minutes. Please continue to hold.
Your call will be answered by our next available law enforcement
EMMA: Oh. I’m still on hold.
WARREN: And you’re still withholding the truth. How did your angelic
tendencies fall over into the dark side?
EMMA: I’m getting to that.
WARREN: Before we’re both cold and wrinkled like prunes, please.
EMMA: Maybe we should move to the bed.
WARREN: You’re not going to sidetrack me now. You said you wanted to
tell me what happened. I want to hear it. Get to the point.