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Well, my room gets stuffy. So, it was stuffy, and my window was open, and I was totally doing my homework with my favorite pink pencil that I love because it's ...










“Valentine”

A One-Act Play Written by Bethany Cox



Copyright (c) 2014 This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

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Scene 1 (A second grade classroom, with a chalkboard stage right and several desks facing it. At the chalkboard, MRS. HONEYWELL writes the day’s lesson. Suddenly a bell RINGS, and the students come filtering in, talking amongst themselves.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Good morning, children, good morning! Please take your seats - I hope you are all excited for another day of learning!

(The students groan, all except BARNEY and KIMBERLY.)

KIMBERLY: I’m excited, Mrs. Honeywell - good students are always excited to learn new things!

BARNEY: (speaking with a lisp) Well, I love to learn new things in class, too!

KIMBERLY: I like it more!

BARNEY: No, you don’t!

KIMBERLY: Yes, I do! (She sticks her tongue out at Barney, who does the same back.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Children, please, I know you both enjoy school very much. You’re… frighteningly enthusiastic about class.

BARNEY: Thank you, Mrs. Honeywell.

MRS. HONEYWELL: It was barely a compliment, my dear. Anywho, children, although I know how excited you are to begin today’s lesson, I hope you haven’t forgotten about last night’s homework! Please get it out so I may check to see that all of you completed it! (The students grumble quietly, while she begins to walk around the room.) Gabby? May I please see your homework?

GABBY: Uhh…

MRS. HONEYWELL: (disapprovingly) Well, Gabby? Did you do your homework?

GABBY: (speaking ridiculously fast; rambling) Of course, Mrs. Honeywell! You see, what happened was, I totally did it last night. I totally did. See, I was sitting in my room, doing my homework, with the windows open, because sometimes it gets a little stuffy in my room, you know, how rooms can get stuffy sometimes? Well, my room gets stuffy. So, it was stuffy, and my window was open, and I was totally doing my homework with my favorite pink pencil that I love because it’s pink and sparkly and it makes me feel like a princess, and then this giant - this giant - Mrs. Honeywell, what’s the name of that bird that sticks its head in the dirt?

MRS. HONEYWELL: An ostrich, dear.

GABBY: Yeah! Yeah, an ostrich. So, I was doing my homework, and then this ostrich just flew right through my window, and it just snatched up my homework! It totally just snatched it right up, and I was like, hey, ostrich, please give that back, because it’s my homework, you know, and the ostrich was like, oh, no, I can’t give it back, I have to feed it to my little ostrich babies because they’re sick and the only thing that can cure them is your homework! So, Mrs. Honeywell, when the ostrich told me that, I just had to let him have my homework. I mean, you wouldn’t want little baby ostriches to die because of you, would you?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Gabby.

GABBY: Yes?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Ostriches can’t fly. Or talk, for that matter.

GABBY: (beat) Well, then, what kind of bird do you suppose it was?

(MRS. HONEYWELL sighs, and moves down the row.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Good, Charlotte, I see you completed your homework. Phoebe, may I see your homework? (Phoebe stares at her blankly.) Phoebe?

PHOEBE: Mooo.

MRS. HONEYWELL: So you still think you’re a cow, huh? (Phoebe nods) Alright, then. Nathan? Where is your homework?

NATHAN: Homework’s for losers! (the entire class GASPS in horror)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Nathan! We don’t use that word!

NATHAN: Okay. Homework’s for stupid stupid-heads, then! (they gasp again)

KIMBERLY: Excuse me, Nathaniel, but I happen to love homework!

NATHAN: Well, then, you’re a stupid stupid-head! With extra stupid! (they gasp again)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Nathan, please don’t ever use those words in this classroom again.

GABBY: Yeah, because I’m a little tired of gasping.

NATHAN: (pouts) Fine.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Alright, then. Chester? Your homework?

CHESTER: Oh, no, no, this is terrible. We had homework! What a catastrophe! I had forgotten my backpack here last night!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, that’s alright, Chester -

CHESTER: Oh, I just can’t believe I forgot to do the homework. What happens now? Do you fail me? Do I fail the second grade? Do I have to go back to first grade, with all the thumb suckers and the bed wetters? (begins to break down) I can’t! I won’t! It’s a madhouse in there, you can’t send me back! How will I ever escape this failure? (now having a panic attack) Will it go on my transcript? What about high school? Will I fail that, too? Will I go to college? Will I be stuck at a community college all my life, with all the failures and the dropouts? Will I ever make anything of my life, all because I forgot to do my homework?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Chester! It’s alright, you can turn it in tomorrow, just like everyone else who didn’t do it.

CHESTER: Oh. (happily) Oh, what a relief! That was close. I was almost a thirty five year old Burger King cashier.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, those of you who did not complete your homework, I expect to see it turned in by tomorrow, please. Now, moving on to more exciting things -

RITA: Mrs. Honeywell?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Yes?

RITA: Why do we have to come to school? My mother says school is a waste of time.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, the government requires it.

RITA: My mother says the government is a load of garbage, and that America is actually being run by a bunch of robot monkeys. Do you think that’s true?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, I -

RITA: She also says teachers are robots, too. Are you a robot, Mrs. Honeywell?

MRS. HONEYWELL: No, I -

RITA: That’s good. My mother thinks a lot of people are robots. My dad says she’s a cons-consp-constipated terrorist.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Uh, dear, I think you mean conspiracy theorist.

RITA: Oh, yeah! She’s that, too!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, that’s interesting, Rita. But I do have an announcement to make to the class, so listen up!

KIMBERLY: I’m listening, Mrs. Honeywell!

BARNEY: I’m listening better!

(KIMBERLY and BARNEY make faces at each other.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: All right. Well, children, as you know, Valentine’s day is coming up soon, and we’re going to have our annual Valentine’s day party.

GABBY: Oh my gosh! I love parties! I went to a birthday party once, with clowns and pony rides and balloons! I love balloons! One time, I blew up this balloon so big that it popped, it just popped! I also love clowns! Except this one time, I had this dream where this clown came into my room and ate my teddy bear, which was kind of sad because my teddy bear is my favorite toy and the clown just ate it and said, thanks for the teddy bear, and I said, you’re welcome, but next time could you please not eat my toys, and he said, well, I don’t know, it’s your dream, and I said, well, I thought it was just common courtesy of clowns not to eat people’s toys and then he said -

MRS. HONEYWELL: Thank you, Gabby! Thank you, that’s quite enough. Now, on Valentine's Day, I want everyone - and I mean everyone - to give a valentine! So I’ll pass out a list of your classmates’ names, just so you don’t forget anyone with the valentines. Oh, and these - (she goes behind her desks, picks up several small containers) These are our Valentine deposit boxes. This way, you can all place the valentines you make in everyone else's container personally! Oh, and considering that our party is Monday, I'd like to have these all turned in by...well, tomorrow, since tomorrow is Friday! If you're good, I might let you have time in class to work on your valentines.

CHARLOTTE: Um, Mrs. Honeywell?

MRS. HONEYWELL: (passing out papers) Yes, Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE: Could we make special valentines?

MRS. HONEYWELL: What do you mean, dear?

CHARLOTTE: Oh, you know - special valentines for special people?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, I - (understanding) ah, I see. Well, of course, dear, but just make sure everyone gets a valentine, all right?

CHARLOTTE: (giggling) Okay!

RITA: Mrs. Honeywell, my mother says that giving out valentine’s cards is just a tradition that society invented so that the lonely, ugly people wouldn’t feel so bad about themselves. Is that true?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, of course not!

RITA: Oh.

MRS. HONEYWELL: (bitterly) No, Valentine’s Day was invented by a deliriously happy couple who wanted to shove it in every single lonely woman’s face how happy, stable, and committed their stupid relationship was. (beat) But I love Valentine’s Day!

CHARLOTTE: Mrs. Honeywell, who are you going to give a card to?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, I don’t think I’m going to give a card to anyone this year, dear.

CHARLOTTE: Not even Mr. Wallace?

MRS. HONEYWELL: (laughing nervously) Oh, Mr. Wallace? Oh, of course not! No, definitely not! Why on earth - no, of course not. No, no, no. Definitely not. No way. No, haha, no, I will not. I am definitely not giving a card to Mr. Wallace. No, no, of course not, no, no, no, no, no. No. No no. Not a chance. (beat) Why, do you think I should?

RITA: (dreamily) Oh, Mr. Wallace. I bet he’s going to get a lot of valentines this year…(sighs)

NATHAN: Mrs. Honeywell, I hate Valentine’s Day! I think it’s dumb and it’s for girls! And I hate girls because they’re dumb and have cooties!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Now, Nathan. Valentine’s Day is a - a lovely holiday, and we’re all going to celebrate it.

CHESTER: But why do we have to bring in a card for everyone? There’s so many names on this list! What if I miss one? What if I spell a name wrong? Will that person grow up never feeling truly loved? Will they develop long- term trust issues and end up sad and alone and surrounded by cats? What if someone doesn’t give me a valentine? Will I be ridiculed? Laughed at? Will people point and laugh when I walk by, and shout, “look everyone, there’s the kid that didn’t get a valentine!” The horror! The shame! I can’t do this, Mrs. Honeywell, it’s too much pressure!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Chester, calm down. It’s just a valentine. I’m sure you won’t miss anyone on the list, and nobody is going to forget you. Now, on to today’s lesson -

KIMBERLY: Do we even have to make a card for Phoebe?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Why wouldn’t you make a card for Phoebe?

KIMBERLY: Uh, because she’s a cow, Mrs. Honeywell.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Kimberly, that’s not -

PHOEBE: Moo. Moo.

MRS. HONEYWELL: (beat) Oh, I see. But you still have to have a card for Phoebe. Cows need love, too.

RITA: Hey, that’s what my dad told me when I asked him why he married my mother!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Okay, Rita, I think that’s enough with the family anecdotes. They’re a little unsettling. Now, if there are no other questions, concerns, or any other excruciating little details from your lives that you for some reason feel the need to tell me, I’d like to move on to the lesson - (all of the children’s hands shoot in the air; she pauses, then decides to ignore them) Alright! Let’s get on with our arithmetic, then!

BLACKOUT

Scene 2 (Recess, out in the courtyard. The bell RINGS, and the students come skipping out happily. BARNEY slumps in, depressed-looking, and sits on a bench stage right, watching CHARLOTTE, GABBY, PHOEBE, and RITA play jump rope stage left. He sighs longingly, and NATHAN and CHESTER enter right.)

NATHAN: (pausing to examine Barney) What’s the matter with him?

CHESTER: I‘m not sure. Would you like to ask him?

NATHAN: Okay. Hey, Barney, what’s the matter with him?

CHESTER: No, not “him!” What’s the matter with you!

NATHAN: What do you mean? Nothing’s the matter with me! What’s the matter with you, stupid?

CHESTER: Nothing’s the matter with me! What’s the matter with you?

NATHAN: What’s the matter with you -

(NATHAN and CHESTER make fists at each other and jump forward as if they are going to fight, but BARNEY sighs, interrupting them)

CHESTER: Oh. Dear. This cannot be good. Are you upset? Are you ill? You’re sick, aren’t you? What is it? Bronchitis? Pneumonia? Salmonella? Tuberculosis? The flu? The swine flu? The bird flu? The goat flu?

NATHAN: Why do you know so many diseases?

CHESTER: I was a very sick child.

NATHAN: Well, that explains a lot, actually.

BARNEY: (sighs again, louder)

CHESTER: Well, how sick are you, exactly?

BARNEY: I’m not sick! (beat) Well - maybe I am. Lovesick.

(NATHAN and CHESTER make gagging noises.)

NATHAN: That’s disgusting!

CHESTER: That’s even worse than the goat flu!

BARNEY: Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes it’s kind of nice. Like when she talks to me, it feels like there’s a thousand suns just warming up inside of me. And when she smiles, or laughs, it’s like she's the only person in the world, her and her cute little dimples and that adorable laugh.

NATHAN: (beat) That bad, huh?

BARNEY: (groans) What’s wrong with me? (CHESTER opens his mouth to answer) Don’t answer that.

CHESTER: Well, just who is it that has infected you with this vile disease, anyway? No, wait, let me guess - it’s Kimberly, isn’t it?

NATHAN: No, I bet it’s Rita.

CHESTER: It just can’t be Phoebe! I mean, she’s a total cow!

BARNEY: Oh, it doesn’t matter who it is. She doesn't know I’m alive, anyway. (sighs, staring at CHARLOTTE across the stage. NATHAN and CHESTER follow his line of vision. They “get it” at the same time.)

NATHAN AND CHESTER: It’s Charlotte?

(LIGHTS DOWN on stage right, LIGHTS UP on stage left, where CHARLOTTE, GABBY, PHOEBE, and RITA are jumping rope.)

CHARLOTTE AND RITA: (chanting as GABBY jumps) Strawberry shortcake, huckleberry pie, who’s gonna be your lucky guy? A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N -

(GABBY trips over the rope, and the girls laugh.)

RITA: N! You love Nathan!

GABBY: I do not! That was totally a mistake. It was the jump rope, I totally do not love Nathan. No way. Like, I totally do not. That’s crazy! You’re crazy! That was a mistake! Like, I don’t. Not at all. He’s a boy! Boys are gross! I don’t love boys!

CHARLOTTE: Okay, okay. My turn! (skips into the center)

GABBY AND RITA: Strawberry shortcake, huckleberry pie, who’s gonna be your lucky guy? A, B-

(CHARLOTTE trips over the rope.)

GABBY: B! B for Barney! Charlotte loves Barney!

CHARLOTTE: (embarrassed) Haha, well, of course not -

RITA: (laughing) Charlotte and Barney! Gross!

CHARLOTTE: Um, well…(GABBY and RITA quiet, beginning to get suspicious.)

GABBY: You - you don’t love Barney, do you?

CHARLOTTE: Um…

RITA: Do you?

CHARLOTTE: I…

GABBY: (loudly) Ewwww! That’s so gross! I can’t believe you love BARNEY!

CHARLOTTE: Shh! I don’t love him. I just…I just think he’s nice.

RITA: He’s not nice! He’s a boy! And boys have cooties! What you need is a real man. Like, just, random, out of the blue example - like Mr. Wallace. He’s a real man.

GABBY: Uh, sure Rita. Anyway, whatever happened to girls rule, boys drool?

RITA: My mother even says she hates boys. She tells my brother all the time, “If I had wanted a boy in the house, I just wouldn’t have kicked your father out!”

CHARLOTTE: But Barney’s different! He’s smart and he’s nice and he’s…well, he’s not like most boys! Just look at him!

(RITA and GABBY look over to where BARNEY sits grumpily, slumping on the bench. They both make disgusted faces.)

GABBY: I still say he has cooties.

RITA: Me too.

CHARLOTTE: Well, I don’t think so. I think he’s wonderful. (sighs) I just wish he would talk to me! He’s so shy.

RITA: Either that, or he just hates you.

GABBY: That’s probably it.

CHARLOTTE: Phoebe, what do you think?

PHOEBE: Moo.

CHARLOTTE: That’s what I thought. (looks longingly across the stage) Would it be a bad idea to make him a special valentine’s card?

GABBY AND RITA: Yes!

PHEOBE: Moo!

CHARLOTTE: Why? What’s wrong with that? Maybe if he knows how I feel, he might feel the same way!

GABBY: Impossible. He’s a boy. And he’s Barney! Like, come on. What kind of a name is Barney, anyway? It just makes me think of the big purple dinosaur, and that’s weird. I never liked that dinosaur. I actually never liked any kind of dinosaur! Good thing they’re all dead. Why are they all dead? My brother says an alien invasion wiped them all out. Do you think that’s true? Maybe, I don’t know, it could be. One time, I was watching this movie, and these aliens came down, and they totally invaded the earth, and I was like, I can’t watch this, this is too scary, but then, the hero saved the planet, and everything was fine, and I was like, oh my gosh, I‘m so glad he didn‘t die. It was a good movie. (CHARLOTTE and RITA stare blankly at her.) What were we talking about?

(LIGHTS GO DOWN on stage left, LIGHTS UP on stage right.)

NATHAN: Come on, man, you’ve gotta let this Charlotte thing go. I mean, do you know what it would do to your reputation if you let it slip that you were in love with Charlotte?

CHESTER: Well, it’s better than when people thought he was in love with my mother.

BARNEY: Hey! That was innocent! I told her I liked her chocolate chip cookies - and it just got out of control from there!

NATHAN: Yeah, well, trust me, you don’t want this spreading around.

BARNEY: But what am I going to do about the valentine?

CHESTER: Valentine?

BARNEY: Valentine. I want to make her a special valentine this year. That’s why I’m so upset - I can’t think of anything good to write on the card!

CHESTER: Barney, you can’t be serious - (BARNEY stares back at him, very seriously) So you’re not going to let this go? (BARNEY shakes his head) You’re willing to suffer the eternal shame of letting the entire second grade know that you’re a - a cootie lover? (BARNEY shrugs) Well, make up your mind, Barney! This could haunt you for the rest of your life! You could go through life never really feeling like you were accepted by your peers! You could be dubbed “the boy who caught cooties in the second grade and died”! Think about your image! Your pride! Your parents - how disappointed they’ll be! Don’t you understand the sacrifice you’re making?

BARNEY: (staring longingly at CHARLOTTE) I’d sacrifice anything for her.

CHESTER AND NATHAN: (beat) Awww!

(They look at each other, embarrassed, then both clear their throats nervously.)

NATHAN: Alright, alright man. I guess if you’re really going to do this, you have to do it right. Forget about the valentine, okay? It’s stupid. What you gotta do is take my advice. See, you gotta play it cool. Hard to get. You know, make her think you really hate her.

BARNEY: Why would I do that?

NATHAN: Because, Barney, it’s love! It’s all political! So go over there and tell Charlotte how much you hate her guts.

CHESTER: Good! That’s good!

BARNEY: But I -

NATHAN: I know, I know, you love her and all that stupid stuff. But you have to be smooth about it! Cool, like I am. Whining about valentines is not cool. So go over there and tell her you hate her!

BARNEY: But won‘t she -

NATHAN: Look, you just want to throw her off track. Insults are good, too. (BARNEY hesitates) Do you want to die alone?

(Quickly, BARNEY rises and rushes over to the other side of the stage, where he taps on CHARLOTTE’S shoulder. She turns around.)

BARNEY: Hello, Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE: (excitedly) Hi, Barney!

BARNEY: I have something I’d like to tell you.

CHARLOTTE: Okay!

BARNEY: I - (looks to NATHAN and CHESTER for approval, who nod back) Well, I really, really, really hate you, that’s all. I just hate the sight of you.

CHARLOTTE: …But I -

BARNEY: Shh. (dramatically puts a finger over her lips) Say nothing. Just know that I hate you. And that your dress is ugly, your hair looks like you got attacked by wild geese on the way to school, and your breath smells like peanut butter.

CHARLOTTE: Peanut butter?

BARNEY: Yes. Peanut butter. Which I’m allergic to. (CHARLOTTE stares back for a moment, and then begins to cry) Um - what are you - stop that - I’m not prepared for this! (helplessly looks at NATHAN, who gives him a thumbs up. After a moment, BARNEY runs away)

(LIGHTS GO DOWN on stage left, SPOTLIGHT on stage right)

CHARLOTTE: (sitting on the ground, bawling)

RITA: What’s the matter?

GABBY: What’s wrong? Why are you crying? Are you okay?

CHARLOTTE: He - he - (sobs) He said he’s allergic to peanut butter!

GABBY: (beat) Gosh, how tragic.

RITA: Oh, yeah. I remember when I found out I was allergic to strawberries. I cried for three weeks.

CHARLOTTE: He told me I was ugly and that he hates me and that my breath smells like peanut butter! Can you believe that? He was just so - so - (wails) so mean!

GABBY: That’s just what me and Rita told you, didn’t we, Rita? That’s just what we said. We said, boys are mean and gross. But you didn’t listen, did you? So now look where you are - (CHARLOTTE looks up at her angrily) Oh. Sorry. Not helping?

RITA: You know, Charlotte, my mother told me once that when boys are mean to you, it’s just because they don’t want you to know that they’re actually in love with you.

CHARLOTTE: (sniffling) You - you really think so?

RITA: Sure! I mean, if that’s true, my dad must really love my mom. He loves her so much, that one time he tranquilized her and left her in a garbage dump for three days.

GABBY: Rita, I think you should call somebody about your parents.

CHARLOTTE: Well, if he really does love me, that is a very strange way of showing it.

(LIGHTS GO DOWN on stage right, SPOTLIGHT on stage left.)

BARNEY: Are you sure she was supposed to start crying?

NATHAN: Of course! That’s how you know it’s working!

CHESTER: Maybe next time you could even pull her hair or something.

NATHAN: Chester, that’s brilliant! (they slap high fives)

BARNEY: (slumping onto the bench) Just forget about it. I feel terrible, and now she thinks I’m a horrible person. I’m back to the valentines.

NATHAN: No! Anything but that. Okay, I have another plan. Now -

BARNEY: You guys, I really think I should just make her a valentine.

CHESTER: No! That’s practically romance suicide. You can’t let a girl think you’re a wimp! And only wimps write valentines!

NATHAN: (getting an idea) That’s it! Chester, you’re a genius!

CHESTER: I know. (beat) Wait, why?

NATHAN: Girls like tough guys, right? They don’t want any of that romantic stuff. No. They like guys who are strong. Tough guys. Rough guys. Big, strong, buff guys.

CHESTER: Old fish, new fish, red fish, blue fish!

NATHAN: …What?

CHESTER: Oh. I thought we were quoting Dr. Seuss. (beat of silence) Awkward…

BARNEY: So what do you want me to do? Go over there and…growl at her?

NATHAN: What? You’re trying to impress her, not eat her. No. You go over there, and you be the toughest guy you can be. Be manly! Be rough! Be…the exact opposite of who you really are!

CHESTER: Yeah, that’s always a good idea!

BARNEY: I don’t know about this -

CHESTER: Do you love Charlotte, or don’t you?

BARNEY: Well…oh, alright.

(Once again, BARNEY crosses right, where Charlotte has calmed down a little and is playing a hand-clapping game with PHOEBE. When she sees him, she stands, nervously. BARNEY strikes an awkward pose, flexing his muscles, in an attempt to appear strong.)

BARNEY: (in a ridiculously deep voice) Hello, again.

CHESTER: Oh, the voice is good. Nice touch.

CHARLOTTE: If you’re here to tell me I smell bad -

BARNEY: Oh, no. Not at all. I just wanted to say…(CHARLOTTE looks hopeful.) Um…football!

CHARLOTTE: What?

BARNEY: Construction workers! Firefighters! Superheroes!

CHARLOTTE: Um - what are you talking about -

BARNEY: Explosions! Violent video games! Uh…Beards!

CHARLOTTE: What are you even saying?

BARNEY: Hammers! Hunting! Uh…(running out of ideas, then finally screams:) MONSTER TRUCKS!

(He runs stage right. CHARLOTTE stares after him, bewildered.)

GABBY: Hey, maybe “monster trucks” is just code for “I love you with an uncontrollable passion”!

CHARLOTTE: Why is Barney acting so strange? You know, I’m starting to think he’s just crazy.

RITA: Oh, no. My uncle spent thirteen years in one of those places where they lock up all the crazy people, until he escaped and tried to set my house on fire. Trust me, I know crazy. And Barney’s not crazy…Well, at least, he’s not set-your-house-on-fire-and-eat-your-dog kind of crazy. (beat) I hope.

CHARLOTTE: I don‘t know, he just confuses me sometimes. (beat) But you know what? I think it’s just time I started making the valentine. Maybe after he knows how I feel, he’ll come to his senses and, right then and there, declare his undying love for me!

(LIGHTS GO UP on stage right as well, where BARNEY is sitting on the bench again.)

NATHAN: No, really! You nailed it! I’ve never seen you look so tough.

BARNEY: I don’t know, I mean - she just kinda looked…confused.

CHESTER: Well, don’t worry, I know plenty of other things we can try -

BARNEY: No, I think I’m just going to make her a valentine. Maybe when she sees it, she will realize that it’s been me she’s been wanting all along, tough guy or not! It’s the perfect plan -

CHARLOTTE: (rising, crossing downstage left) …But the trouble is -

BARNEY: (rising and crossing downstage right) It has to be -

CHARLOTTE: The most special -

BARNEY: The most beautiful -

CHARLOTTE: The most romantic -

BARNEY: Valentine she’s ever -

CHARLOTTE: He’s ever -

BARNEY: Gotten.

CHARLOTTE AND BARNEY: It just has to be…perfect.

BLACKOUT

Scene 3 (MRS. HONEYWELL’S classroom. The end of the school day. She tidies up the room, shuffling things around on her desk and picking bits and pieces off the floor, humming a verse to “My Funny Valentine”.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: My funny valentine…

(Unnoticed by MRS. HONEYWELL, MR. WALLACE enters, leaning in the doorway and watching her.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Sweet comic valentine…

MR. WALLACE: (singing very badly, finishing the lyric) You make me smile with your heart -

(MRS. HONEYWELL jumps, surprised. Upon noticing who it is, she relaxes.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh! Oh, Mr. Wallace, it’s just you. (looking through the door) Is someone injured out there?

MR. WALLACE: No, I was - singing.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh. Well, it’s nice to see you, Mr. Wallace.

MR. WALLACE: (awkwardly walking up to her desk) Please, call me Duncan.

MRS. HONEYWELL: …Why?

MR. WALLACE: Well…because it’s my name.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, of course. I knew that. (walks around her desk, avoiding him) What brings you out of the principal’s office on such a busy day?

MR. WALLACE: Oh, I don’t know. Got lonely, I suppose. (following MRS. HONEYWELL as she cleans up the student’s desks, then steps in front of her when she reaches the ends of the desk row) Say, what are you doing this…14th of February? (Attempting to be smooth, he tries to slide onto one of the desks, but misses the desk and crashes to the floor.)

MRS. HONEYWELL; Oh! Are you alright? (helping him up) Are you hurt?

MR. WALLACE: (embarrassed, stands up and dusts himself off) Not physically, but my dignity kind of took a beating. (laughs loudly, but MRS. HONEYWELL doesn’t. It’s very awkward.) Haha. So, anyway, what are your plans?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, I don’t know. Probably eating Chinese takeout and sleeping on the couch with Norman.

MR. WALLACE: (taken aback) Oh, that…sounds like fun. Norman, huh? What’s, uh, what’s he like?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, pretty standard. Warm, cuddly, really fuzzy -

MR. WALLACE: Fuzzy?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Sure.

MR. WALLACE: (under his breath) Uh, whatever floats your boat, I guess -

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, and last night, we were in bed together, right?

MR. WALLACE: I can already tell I’m going to love this story.

MRS. HONEYWELL: He did the cutest thing! When I scratched his belly, his ears kinda wiggled back and forth. It was adorable. You should see it sometime. (tries to wiggle her ears) Oh, I can’t do it. But it’s so cute when he does it.

MR. WALLACE: (obviously jealous) Fascinating. So Norman’s a man of many talents, is he?

MRS. HONEYWELL: What? (laughs) Oh, no, Duncan, Norman is my cat. Just my cat.

MR. WALLACE: Oh! (embarrassed) Well, that’s…embarrassing. Kind of a relief, though, because when you said “fuzzy” I kind of pictured you on the couch with some half human, half gorilla hybrid. (they both laugh awkwardly.) So there’s no…guy?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Nope.

MR. WALLACE: Nobody sending you a valentine this year?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Nobody.

MR. WALLACE: And…you’re not sending any…to anyone else?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Not anyone in particular.

MR. WALLACE: Well, uh - (coughs, embarrassed) I was thinking -

MRS. HONEYWELL: (changing the subject quickly) You know, I heard about the funniest thing that happened today during recess with two of my students. You know Barney Whitman and Charlotte Kendall? Well, apparently the two of them -

MR. WALLACE: Daisy?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Yes?

MR. WALLACE: Would you, uh, would you - would you like - (starts to sweat, takes out handkerchief and pats himself) Geez, it’s stuffy in here - (starts breathing heavily)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Is there something wrong?

MR. WALLACE: Oh, no, it’s just that I’m not so good at…talking. Or breathing. But I was wondering if you - if it would at all be possible - if there was a chance - (pauses, then decides against what he was going to ask) How would you like a salary raise?!

MRS. HONEYWELL: (excitedly) You can do that?

MR. WALLACE: (even more excitedly) No, I’d get fired!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well I - I don’t understand -

(CHESTER enters suddenly, after overhearing a part of their conversation.)

CHESTER: Mrs. Honeywell, I think Mr. Wallace is trying to ask you on a date.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Chester! What are you -

CHESTER: I seem to have forgotten my backpack here again.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, go get it, then, quickly! (laughs, embarrassed) I’m sorry, Duncan - Mr. Wallace -

MR. WALLACE: No, don’t be - the boy’s right.

CHESTER: (getting his backpack) See? Told you.

MR. WALLACE: So what do you say?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Well, I -

CHESTER: Personally, Mrs. Honeywell - if I may interrupt -

MR. WALLACE: Go ahead.

CHESTER: Thanks. Personally, Mrs. Honeywell, although Mr. Wallace is a relatively attractive young - well, not so young - man, I must discourage you from accepting his offer. Dating can only lead to suffering and sorrow, you see. What if after the first date, he doesn’t call you back? Or what if you get so drunk you wind up doing things you’ll regret for the rest of your life?

HONEYWELL AND WALLACE: Chester!

CHESTER: It could happen! Or even worse, what if you enter into a committed, meaningful relationship, and the two of you end up getting married?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Married?

CHESTER: Well, then what happens? He goes to work all day long, probably having an affair with his secretary, while you stay home with the triplets -

MR. WALLACE: Triplets?

CHESTER: -Slowly rotting away at the inside from the lack of affection and care from your husband who is constantly at the office! So you turn into a thirty nine year old housemaid, with a crooked spine from the constant vacuuming and more rolls on your stomach than on a Thanksgiving dinner table, and next thing you know, he’s run away with his secretary and left you nothing but the twenty dollars he had stashed in his sock drawer. What happens then? Where do you go? Who do you turn to? Are you forced to sell your home? Live on the streets? And Mr. Wallace, what if your secretary decides she has a better future with someone richer? More successful? You can’t go crawling back to Mrs. Honeywell, she lives in a cardboard box! Do you see what I mean? Do you see what you’re getting yourselves into?

MRS. HONEYWELL: …Thank you, for that lovely scenario, Chester.

MR. WALLACE: Never thought I’d be receiving an anti-dating PSA from a seven year old.

CHESTER: Well, Mr. Wallace, it’s never too early to start being cautious! And while we’re at it, don’t drink, don’t smoke, and especially don’t take one of the monkeys from the zoo home. Apparently, they’re not souvenirs.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Thank you for the advice, Chester, but if it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll take the risk.

MR. WALLACE: Really?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Sure.

CHESTER: (sighing, as he walks out) Oh, well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when your back is crooked and your secretary leaves you! (mumbling) Teachers these days - so careless!

MRS. HONEYWELL: I’m sorry - about him. He’s just…

MR. WALLACE: No, it’s okay. He did make some valid points. So you…you’d really like to, uh…to…sometime…soon…?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Yes, I think I’d like - I think I would -

MR. WALLACE: So we’re in agreement?

MRS. HONEYWELL: I don’t know. Should I…sign…something?

MR. WALLACE: Is that how this works?

MRS. HONEYWELL: You’re asking the wrong person.

MR. WALLACE: Oh, dear. Well, we can settle the details later. I have to go, but - I’ll - perhaps I’ll -

MRS. HONEYWELL: Yes, I’ll be expecting a -

MR. WALLACE: Sure. Okay. See you later.

(There is an awkward beat, where neither of them are sure of what to do or say. Finally, they decide on a stiff handshake, and MR. WALLACE exits.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: (sighs happily) Oh, finally! A date with a real man. Won’t Norman be pleased to hear about this!

BLACKOUT





Scene 4

(The next day in the classroom. The bell RINGS, and once again the students trickle in, hanging their backpacks and taking their seats. MRS. HONEYWELL is humming to herself happily while writing on the board.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: (brightly) Good morning, class! Or, should I say, wonderful morning, because it is, isn’t it? Such a wonderful morning. One of the best I’ve had in a while! The sun is shining, the birds are singing - and we’re ready for another day of class!

NATHAN: Looks like someone’s been struck by the arrows of love.

CHESTER: Oh, god, no! Is she alright? It could be critical! We should get her to the hospital, the wound could get infected! She might develop - (beat) Oh. You meant - Cupid - yes. Right.

KIMBERLY: Oh, Mrs. Honeywell, I’m so excited to learn something new today! What are we doing in class, huh, Mrs. Honeywell? Arithmetic? Science? Reading? What are we going to learn?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Actually, class, I thought we would dedicate today’s class to making our valentines for the party!

KIMBERLY: What.

MRS. HONEYWELL: We’re not learning anything today! It’ll be a whole day of valentine-making!

(The class CHEERS, all except KIMBERLY.)

GABBY: A whole day for valentines! That sounds great!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Doesn’t it? I think I’ll maybe make a valentine, too!

CHESTER: Ooh! Mrs. Honeywell and Mr. Wallace, sitting in a tree, K-I-S- um - K-I-S… (struggles to spell the word) KISSING!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Chester! That’s enough. Now, class, there are arts and crafts supplies in the back of the classroom. If you need any help, just let me know!

(She sits down at her desk, humming again, and the students retrieve their supplies.)

KIMBERLY: This is stupid. I don’t want to make valentines for this stupid party!

BARNEY: Kimberly, just because you’re not getting any valentines on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to ruin the holiday for everybody else, too.

KIMBERLY: Hey! I am so going to get bajillions of valentines this year. Way more than you are!

BARNEY: You are not!

KIMBERLY: I am too!

BARNEY: You am not!

KIMBERLY: I are too!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Children! Calm down, please. We wouldn’t want to spoil this lovely morning, now would we?

(KIMBERLY and BARNEY glare at each other, but obey.)

CHARLOTTE: (holding up a red paper heart to GABBY, RITA, and PHOEBE) How does it look?

GABBY: Perfect!

RITA: Very romantic.

PHOEBE: Moo.

CHARLOTTE: Good! Now I just have to figure out what to write.

KIMBERLY: (holds up her own red paper heart) Look at my valentine!

CHARLOTTE: Oh, that’s - that’s very nice-

RITA: Hey! That looks just like Charlotte’s valentine! You copycat!

KIMBERLY: I am not a copycat! Charlotte is a copycat!

CHARLOTTE: That’s okay, Kimberly. I don’t mind if your valentine looks the same as mine. I’m going to write something special on mine, so it won’t matter, anyway.

KIMBERLY: Oh, yeah? (sarcastically) Good luck with that.

CHARLOTTE: Thanks! (begins to write)

BARNEY: (holds up his own paper heart) There!

CHESTER: That’s a good start, Barney.

BARNEY: I thought so. The only problem is I still don’t know what to write on it!

CHESTER: That’s okay, you’ll think of something. Let it come naturally!

BARNEY: I don’t know…what do you think I should write, Nathan?

(BARNEY and CHESTER look over at NATHAN, who is busy cutting something out of his own.)

BARNEY: Um, Nathan? Nathan!

NATHAN: (looks up, tries to hide whatever he was working on) What?

BARNEY: What’s that?

NATHAN: What’s what? There’s nothing. I have nothing. What are you talking about? It’s nothing, I’m not doing anything. I swear, there’s nothing here -

(Chester shoves NATHAN out of his chair swiftly, then grabs hold of what Nathan was hiding. He holds it up -it’s a large pink heart; obviously a special valentine. BARNEY gasps loudly.)

BARNEY: Nathan!

CHESTER: Well, well, well. Look what we have here!

NATHAN: (getting back up) That’s nothing, you guys - give me that! (He swipes at it, but Chester keeps it away)

BARNEY: I can’t believe you, Nathan! You called me a wimp because I wanted to make a valentine! Who is it even for?

NATHAN: Nobody! It’s for nobody!

CHESTER: Oh, is that why it says “For someone special” on it?

(Noticing the commotion, GABBY walks over, interested.)

GABBY: Who’s that for, Nathan? I didn’t know you had a valentine!

NATHAN: Shut up, Gabby! I don’t! Valentines are stupid!

GABBY: I just thought you thought girls were stupid, Nathan.

NATHAN: They are! Especially you.

GABBY: What?

NATHAN: You’re stupid, and I hate you.

GABBY: That’s a terrible thing to say, Nathan! (begins to cry)

NATHAN: Good! I’m glad you’re crying! I hope you cry forever! Because I hate you! So take that! And this! (he gets up and pulls on her pigtails) There!

(GABBY runs away, back to her desk, where RITA and CHARLOTTE comfort her.)

BARNEY: (beat) Why didn’t you tell us you love Gabby?

NATHAN: I do not - (BARNEY and CHESTER stare at him knowingly) Alright, fine…maybe I think…maybe she’s…maybe I think she’s a little…pretty.

CHESTER: Oooh! Nathan and Gabby, sitting in a tree! K-I-S- um - K-I…I should really learn how to spell that word.

NATHAN: It’s not a big deal, I’ll just write her something short and simple, that’s all. Like, hey, “your hair smells nice“. Or “your eyes are pretty“. Or “sometimes I get on the wrong bus just so I can ride past your house and imagine what it’s like to be inside“. (beat) See? Cool and casual.

BARNEY: Sure, Nathan, just - just make sure you sound like you like her, not like you want to kidnap her.

NATHAN: Is that not romantic?

BARNEY: No!

NATHAN: Oh. (erases something furiously on the valentine)

CHESTER: You know, out of the three of us, I’d never have thought I’d be the last fellow to succumb to the allure of the female.

NATHAN: Maybe if you didn’t say things like “succumb to the allure of the female”, you wouldn't be. Whatever that means.

GABBY: Look at him over there, making his stupid valentine for the stupid girl he’s going to give it to. Sometimes, I just hate him so much!

CHARLOTTE: Gabby, are you sure you don’t…you know…like him?

GABBY: Like what?

CHARLOTTE: Like him.

GABBY: Like, like like him?

CHARLOTTE: Like, like like him.

GABBY: Like, like?

CHARLOTTE: Like, like!

GABBY: Like, no!

RITA: (beat) Like what?

GABBY: I mean, of course not! Boys are gross, remember? Plus it’s Nathan and he’s even grosser than the grossest of all boys. So no, I do not like like him, I hate him! He’s, like, totally mean and totally terrible and I can’t believe you would even think that I could, like, like like him. I mean, I hate him so much I could just go over there and…and…sniff his hair!

CHARLOTTE: Sniff his hair?

GABBY: Yeah, have you ever noticed that it smells, like really good? Like, he must use some kind of special shampoo or something because his hair just smells like rainbows and flowers and kittens and chocolate and it’s beautiful and I kinda just want to smell it for like, ever. (sees the girls staring at her) But I totally just, like, hate him so much!

RITA: Okay, sure, Gabby. (beat) So are you making him a valentine?

GABBY: Yeah, I totally love him. (CHARLOTTE and RITA giggle.)

CHARLOTTE: So, Rita, who are you making a valentine for?

RITA: Nobody, really.

CHARLOTTE: Oh, really? Then what are you drawing on it?

RITA: Uh, just a picture.

GABBY: (snatches valentine and gasps) Rita! Is that you and…Mr. Wallace?

MRS. HONEYWELL: (hears his name and jumps up) Oh, Duncan’s here? Where? Is he - (looks around, the class stares back at her. Embarrassed, she clears her throat and sits back down)

GABBY: (whispering) Why would you draw a picture of you and Mr. Wallace on this valentine? Are you giving Mr. Wallace a valentine?

RITA: Well, maybe! Would that be so bad?

CHARLOTTE: Of course it would! He’s the principal, Rita, that’s gross!

RITA: Oh, really? If it’s so gross, why would he have told me that I was “his type” of girl?

GABBY: He did not say that.

RITA: Yes, he did. Last year, when I got all O’s on my report card, he stopped me in the hallway and said that’s the type of student he likes to see.

CHARLOTTE: So?

RITA: So! So I’m his type, and he wants to start seeing me! How did you not get that?

CHARLOTTE: Rita, I hate to tell you this, but I don’t think that’s what he meant.

RITA: Well, I don’t care. I’m going to give him this valentine and he’ll fall instantly in love with me, and once I catch up to him and we are both twenty five, we can get married and have kids and live a beautiful life together. You’ll see!

PHOEBE: (disapprovingly) Mooo.

RITA: Oh, yeah, like I’m going to take love advice from a cow. Go…eat some grass, Phoebe!

PHOEBE: (pulls out a blade of grass from her pocket, starts chewing on it creepily)

RITA: You’re disgusting.

CHARLOTTE: There, I’m done with my valentine, you guys!

GABBY: Ooh, ooh! What does it say!

CHARLOTTE: I’ll read it to you. (clears throat) “Dear, Barney. It is Valentine’s Day, and I think that means that you should know that I think you are smart and nice and funny. I hope you think something nice about me, too. Happy Valentine’s Day!” How does that sound?

GABBY: That’s very sweet.

PHOEBE: (in an “aww” manner) Moo!

NATHAN: So, what have you written on your valentine, Barney?

BARNEY: I think I’m almost done. Here’s what I have so far: “Hello. Have a nice Valentine’s Day. (beat) Goodbye.” How’s that?

CHESTER: (beat) It’s perfect!

NATHAN: Sounds great!

BARNEY: Okay, so, let’s hear yours, Nathan. What are you writing for Gabby?

NATHAN: Well, I didn’t want to be too obvious, but here it is. “You are disgusting and I hate you. I hope you go throw yourself off a cliff this Valentine’s Day!” How’s that?

BARNEY: (sarcastically) Wow, I think I just fell in love with you.

NATHAN: Good! I mean, if this doesn’t say “I love you”, I don’t know what will!

CHESTER: Well, I don’t know, you could always just try…saying “I love you”.

NATHAN: Ew, no! That’s how you catch cooties, Chester!

BARNEY: (examining his valentine) Do you think I was a little too…plain? It needs something more romantic, I think.

CHESTER: Like what?

BARNEY: Like…like…oh! Like poetry! Like a sonnet. Girls love poetry.

CHESTER: Really?

BARNEY: Sure. One time, my dad bought my mom this bouquet of flowers and it had a poem on it that said, Roses are red, violets are blue, did I tell you I’m in love with you? And she went nuts. She cried for days.

NATHAN: She cried over a poem?

BARNEY: Yeah, but that could have been because he accidentally addressed it to “Lola” instead of “Sherry”. But that’s an easy mistake to make, right?

CHESTER: (awkwardly) Uh…sure. But, a poem! That’s a good idea. What kind of a poem?

BARNEY: Well, the roses and violets poem seemed to work pretty well. I just need something good to rhyme with blue.

NATHAN: She looks like a monkey and lives in a zoo!

CHESTER: She’s an old lady who lives in a shoe!

NATHAN: Tell her to act like a panda and eat some bamboo!

CHESTER: You wish she could jump like a giant kangaroo?

NATHAN: You’re sad and alone and she probably is too?

CHESTER: Tell her you make an amazing beef stew.

NATHAN: Tell her -

BARNEY: Enough!

NATHAN: (quietly) …you’re a master at playing kazoo.

BARNEY: Okay, okay. What about something like this…Roses are red, violets are blue…I just want to tell you how much I love you! What about that?

NATHAN: (bitterly) I guess it’s okay.

CHESTER: I liked the kangaroo one, but fine.

BARNEY: Yes, I like that. I’m gonna write that! (starts writing on his valentine)

(MR. WALLACE enters, obviously as giddy as MRS. HONEYWELL. He stands in the doorway until she notices him and rises.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, hello, Mr. Wallace!

RITA: (loudly) HI, MR. WALLACE!

MR. WALLACE: Hello - uh - Rita, is it?

RITA: (nods happily, then turns to CHARLOTTE) He remembered my name! I told you we’re meant to be!

MR. WALLACE: So, uh, Daisy, we’re still on for tonight, aren’t we? Just, uh, making sure. That’s the only reason I stopped by. Not because I was thinking about you and wanted to see you. Nope, just wanted to confirm -

MRS. HONEYWELL: Yes, we’re, uh, definitely still…on for tonight. (they grin happily) Well, it’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?

MR. WALLACE: It, uh, it sure is…just beautiful. Been a pretty good week for me.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Me, too.

CHESTER: (calling out loudly) Yeah, well, you better hold on to those memories of the good times when you’re divorced, sad, homeless and alone!

MR. WALLACE: Anyway, I - I should get back to my work -

RITA: Mr. Wallace! Mr. Wallace! Mr. Wallace! Mr. Wallace! Mr. Wallace!

MR. WALLACE: Yes?

RITA: I got a thirteen out of fifteen on my Language Arts quiz this week!

MR. WALLACE: Well, that’s very good, Rita!

RITA: Would you say that makes me…your type of student?

MR. WALLACE: Well, I -

RITA: Would you say I’m the type of student you’d like to…see?

MR. WALLACE: Rita, I’m not sure where you’re going with this -

GABBY: Oh, don’t mind her. She’s just gone a little crazy, that’s all, Mr. Wallace. You see, this one time in the hallway you said this thing to her that she totally thought meant something else and now she even made you this val-

RITA: (slamming her foot onto GABBY’s, who immediately stops talking) Haha, well, thanks, Mr. Wallace! See you later!

(Confused, MR. WALLACE waves to MRS. HONEYWELL once before exiting.)

GABBY: MRS. HONEYWELL! Rita stomped on my foot!

RITA: Only because you stomped on my chances of developing a long-term relationship with the man of my dreams!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Girls, please, just play nice with one another, or we’ll have to go back to doing schoolwork.

KIMBERLY: (gasps, turns to GABBY and RITA) Quick, start a fight or something! Kick and shove each other! Here, I’ll do it - (goes to hit GABBY, who dodges her)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Class is almost over, children! I hope everyone is finished with their valentines! (they all nod or ad-lib positive responses)

KIMBERLY: MY valentines are the best ones, Mrs. Honeywell! Do you want to see?

MRS. HONEYWELL: That's alright, Kimberly, I'm sure they're very nice. Now, if everyone's finished, I'd like you to place your stack of valentines on my desk on your way out, and I'll distribute them into the deposit boxes so they are ready to go on Monday.

(The bell RINGS, and some students gather up their things and rush out in a clamor.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: See you tomorrow, class! Oh, could I have a few of you stay a little longer to help clean up this mess?

CHARLOTTE: I'll help clean up!

BARNEY: (seeing Charlotte volunteering) Oh, me too!

KIMBERLY: (jealously) I'll stay too, Mrs. Honeywell!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, I think Barney and Charlotte can handle the cleanup - (Kimberly starts to pout) ....but you know what? Why don't you distribute the valentines in the deposit boxes for me?

KIMBERLY: Okay! (runs eagerly to the desk where the valentines sit)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Thank you very much, you three! I'll be right back - I just need to...run an errand. (She exits.)

(BARNEY and CHARLOTTE begin cleaning up the craft supplies in silence, while KIMBERLY eyes them jealously from Mrs. Honeywell's desk.)

CHARLOTTE: So...Barney...are you excited for the party on Monday?

BARNEY: Huh? Oh, sure, yeah. (nervously) Do you, uh, do you think you'll get any...special valentines?

CHARLOTTE: Oh, I don't think so.

BARNEY: Why not? I think you will.

CHARLOTTE: (happily) Really?

BARNEY: Uh-huh.

CHARLOTTE: That's very sweet of you, Barney.

BARNEY: (bashfully) Well, I'm, uh, a naturally sweet guy, I guess. (Charlotte giggles.)

CHARLOTTE: I guess you are! (They finish cleaning up.) Looks like we're done.

BARNEY: We sure are.

CHARLOTTE: (beat) Well, thanks for helping me clean up!

(CHARLOTTE leans over and gives BARNEY a quick peck on his cheek. KIMBERLY gasps in absolute horror. CHARLOTTE smiles, then skips out of the room happily.)

BARNEY: (embarrassed, talking to no one in particular) You're - you're welcome...

(BARNEY exits in a daze, ignoring Kimberly, who is furious.)

KIMBERLY: I can't believe her! She can't think he likes her over me, that's ridiculous...unless he actually does like her...(beat) Well, I guess there's only one way to find out. (She begins rifling through the valentines, finds the one she is looking for, holds it up, and begins reading it aloud) "To a special someone". Well, that could be anyone. "Roses are red, violets are blue, I just want to tell you how much I love you". Oh, he's so sweet! "Happy Valentine's Day - to Charlotte"? To Charlotte? I can't believe him! Or her! The two of them, they're - they're love ruiners! This is unbelievable! (beat) I can't let this happen...(she begins to furiously scribble on the valentine) Sorry, Barney, this valentine's for me now! (she goes through the stack of valentines, changing the names on each) And...this one's for me, and this one's for me, and - oh, that one can be for Charlotte - and this one's for Pheobe, and this one's for Rita, and this one's for Nathan, and this one's for me, and this one's for Chester, and this one's for me, and this one's for me...

(After going through and replacing all the names of the valentines, Kimberly stops and examines her handiwork; then gets up and begins to deposit the falsely labeled valentines in the deposit boxes.)

KIMBERLY: Well, this should show those two double-crossers. It's only fair - if I can't have my valentine then nobody should!

BLACKOUT

Scene 5

(Monday the following week, same classroom setting. The bell RINGS, and as usual, the children come rushing in, excitedly. MRS. HONEYWELL, however, is not so excited.)

BARNEY: Good morning, Mrs. Honeywell!

MRS. HONEYWELL: (angrily) Is it? Is it really, Barney? Is it a good morning when the sun refuses to shine? Is it a good morning when you get out of bed and you feel like your heart's been driven through with a stake? Is it a good morning when your only chance at a decent future is ripped to pieces? Is it really a good morning, then, is it? Is it?

BARNEY: (struggling for an answer) Yes...no...oh, I don't know! You didn't tell me we were having a test today!

MRS. HONEYWELL: (sighs) No, Barney, we're not having a test. I apologize, I've just had an...unpleasant weekend, that's all.

RITA: Oh, did your mom set your bathroom on fire too, Mrs. Honeywell?

MRS. HONEYWELL: What? No, not exactly. I went on a date, and it didn't go as planned, that is all.

CHESTER: (gasps) Mrs. Honeywell! I told you it was a dangerous idea!

MRS. HONEYWELL: I know, Chester, I know, and you were right. But to be fair, you never warned me that he'd be almost an hour late arriving. Or that I'd get food poisoning from the restaurant and he'd spill marinara sauce down my shirt. Or that I'd end up walking six miles home at midnight. You never said anything about any of that.

CHESTER: I can't win them all, I guess -

MRS. HONEYWELL: Anyway, let's not ruin the Valentine's Day spirit. Who's ready for a party to celebrate the loneliest, most miserable day of the year? (the kids cheer) All right! I guess it's time to give you all your boxes, and don't forget to thank Kimberly who so very nicely sorted the valentines for you all!

(KIMBERLY snickers to herself, and GABBY looks over.)

GABBY: What's so funny?

KIMBERLY: Oh, nothing.

(MRS. HONEYWELL passes out the boxes, and the students eagerly dump out their contents onto their desks.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Now, be good children, I'll be right back. I have to...take something up with someone. (she exits quickly)

KIMBERLY: (loudly) Oh, wow, look how many nice valentines I got, you guys!

CHARLOTTE: Kimberly! How did you get that many?

KIMBERLY: Didn't I tell you all I was going to get a bajillion? Well, here it is, a bajillion!

GABBY: Let me see one of those! (grabs one and begins to read it aloud) "Roses are red, violets are blue, I just want to tell you...how much I love you"? Kimberly, who's this from - (she turns it over and gasps) Oh, no!

RITA: What's the matter?

GABBY: Barney wrote this!

CHARLOTTE: What?

GABBY: Barney gave Kimberly a special valentine! I'm sorry, Charlotte...

KIMBERLY: It's true, he did. He really likes me.

CHARLOTTE: But...but I thought...

KIMBERLY: Well, you thought wrong!

NATHAN: Ew, this is a gross valentine.

CHESTER: What's it say?

NATHAN: Stuff about me being nice and sweet. Disgusting!

BARNEY: Oh really? Who's it from?

NATHAN: It says it's from...Charlotte?

BARNEY AND CHESTER: Charlotte?

NATHAN: Yeah, Char- oh.

BARNEY: How could it be from...Charlotte?

NATHAN: Hey, look, Barney, I didn't-

BARNEY: What did you do? You know I liked Charlotte, Nathan! How could you do this to me!

(Slowly chaos begins to erupt as the students go through their valentines.)

CHARLOTTE: (begins to cry) This is such a mean valentine! Nathan, why would you write something like this?

BARNEY: (gasps) You wrote a special valentine for her, too?

NATHAN: No! I didn't!

RITA: Hey, I only got three valentines!

CHESTER: A special valentine from Rita? That guy in the drawing doesn't even look like me!

BARNEY: I can't believe you would do that to me, Nathan!

NATHAN: I didn't do anything!

GABBY: Chester, why would you call me a cow? That's so mean! (begins to cry as well)

CHESTER: I didn't call anyone anything!

CHARLOTTE: (sobbing) I can't believe he gave Kimberly a special valentine and not me! I didn't get any special valentines!

PHEOBE: Moo! (crying) Moo, moo, moo!

RITA: I thought we were all supposed to get the same! How come only three people wrote to me? (starts to cry too) Does everybody else hate me?

KIMBERLY: Isn't this a shame.

CHARLOTTE: Oh, don't pretend like you're sorry, Kimberly! You're nothing but a rotten boyfriend stealer!

KIMBERLY: I am not! I can't help if it someone happens to prefer beauty over ugliness - (Charlotte gasps, insulted) What! I can't!

NATHAN: Look, Barney, I didn't do any of this! I didn't write Charlotte a special valentine, I didn't!

BARNEY: She said you did! You're the only one who wrote mean things on the valentines, Nathan, I can't believe you did this after you knew how much I liked Charlotte! You girlfriend stealer!

RITA: Chester, why didn't you write me a valentine? We were all supposed to write them to each other!

CHESTER: But I did -

GABBY: And why'd you call me a cow! I hate you!

CHESTER: I didn't-

PHEOBE: (continues to moo in a sobbing way)

KIMBERLY: Look, Charlotte, I'm sorry you had to find out this way. But, I mean, look at me! Is it really that surprising that Barney picked me?

(Suddenly, Charlotte lunges at Kimberly, and an all-out fight begins, and soon the rest of the students have joined in as a class-wide fight erupts. MRS. HONEYWELL walks in seconds later with MR. WALLACE behind her.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Oh, please, Duncan, you were forty five minutes late!

MR. WALLACE: I already told you traffic was insane! And even so, apparently forty five minutes still wasn't enough time for you to put yourself together!

MRS. HONEYWELL: (gasps) I can't believe you -

(She sees her students fighting, and after a few moments of struggling, she and MR. WALLACE manage to pull the children off of each other. Eventually she separates them - intervening between Charlotte, Chester, and Nathan and Kimberly, Gabby, and Barney while MR. WALLACE holds Phoebe over his shoulder and Rita by the back of her shirt.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: What on earth is going on in here? What has gotten into you?

CHARLOTTE: Kimberly's gotten into me! That rotten boyfriend stealer!

BARNEY: And Nathan's a girlfriend stealer!

RITA: And I only got three valentines!

GABBY: And Chester called me a cow!

PHOEBE: (kicking and screaming) Moo, moo moo moo!

KIMBERLY: Mrs. Honeywell, they're all complaining about their valentines, but I don't see a problem! I got a lot of very lovely valentines!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Children, children, calm down. Let's all take our seats! (angrily they obey) Now. Is there something wrong with the valentines?

CHESTER: Yes, Mrs. Honeywell! They're all wrong!

MRS. HONEYWELL: What do you mean, all wrong?

CHESTER: They're all wrong, because Gabby says she got a valentine from me where I called her a cow, but I didn't! The only person I called a cow was Phoebe, because she is a cow!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Let me see that valentine, Gabby. (she hands it to her)

GABBY: It's so mean, Mrs. Honeywell! I can't even believe he called me that. I saw it and I was like, woah, I can't believe he called me a cow! I just can't! Who would say that! That's so mean! Like-

MR. WALLACE: Gabby!

GABBY: Okay. (she silences)

MRS. HONEYWELL: This is odd. It appears you were addressing Phoebe, Chester, but the initial name has been crossed out and written over. Someone's messed with our valentines, class. (they gasp) Please, children. This isn't a soap opera.

MR. WALLACE: Why would anybody do a thing like that?

MRS. HONEYWELL: I don't know. Why don't we ask the one person who hasn't complained about these valentines?

(The students all turn and stare at KIMBERLY, who slouches in her seat nervously.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Kimberly...what did you do to these valentines?

KIMBERLY: Nothing! I- (Mrs. Honeywell continues to stare at her) I didn't - I mean...(sighs) All right, fine, I switched the names, but only because I was mad and -

CHARLOTTE: I knew it! That valentine was mine, you valentine and boyfriend stealer!

MR. WALLACE: Hey, there's no reason for name-calling. Kimberly, that was a terrible thing for you to do, what made you think that was okay?

KIMBERLY: Well...I...(begins to cry) I was just so jealous because I thought Barney loved me but it turned out he didn't and he loved stupid old Charlotte instead!

CHARLOTTE: What?

BARNEY: What?

KIMBERLY: I couldn't help myself, Mrs. Honeywell, I was just mad! So I figured, if I couldn't have the valentine I wanted, then nobody should get to! Isn't that fair?

MRS. HONEYWELL: That's not fair at all, Kimberly. You need to apologize to your classmates for ruining their valentines.

KIMBERLY: (sighs) I'm sorry for ruining your valentines, classmates.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Thank you. I'm very disappointed in you, Kimberly, you should've known better than to react that way after such a silly little discrepancy.

MR. WALLACE: Oh, right, great advice coming from the woman who chucked a glass of wine in my face after I complimented her.

MRS. HONEYWELL: (suddenly furious again) You said I looked better than usual! Better than usual! You might as well have said, hey, Daisy, I know you normally look like a bloated mole rat in a dress, but tonight you only look slightly revolting! That is not a compliment!

MR. WALLACE: Look, it's not my fault you're so unaccustomed to male attention that you can't recognize flattery when you hear it!

MRS. HONEYWELL: Really? Maybe I just missed all this so-called flattery because you wrote it in the valentine you didn't give me!

MR. WALLACE: It was a first date!

MRS. HONEYWELL: So? It's a valentine, not a wedding ring!

(They continue to argue.)

CHARLOTTE: Kimberly, just so you know, I don't accept your apology. I think you're a rotten boyfriend stealer who's not even half as smart as she thinks she is!

KIMBERLY: (gasps) Well, I think you're an ugly love ruiner who is just jealous of everyone who's nicer, prettier, and more popular than she is!

(Their dispute sets everything off, as the children once again turn against each other, yelling and screaming and even physically fighting. This goes on for a few moments until suddenly PHEOBE stands.)

PHEOBE: (loudly) Hey!

(Everyone freezes - that is the first actual word they've heard Pheobe say in months. She very obviously has something important to say.)

MR. WALLACE: Isn't she the cow? Well, I must say, that's a highly inaccurate portrayal of a farm animal. Not once in my life have I heard a cow say hey -

MRS. HONEYWELL: Shut up, Duncan -

PHEOBE: I have something to say!

(Pause as everyone is still in shock)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Go ahead, Pheobe.

PHEOBE: Thank you, Mrs. Honeywell. (beat) Well, I think you're all ridiculous. This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen, you all running around screaming and fighting, acting like - like first graders! And we all know how immature they are!

(There is a general murmur of agreement as they acknowledge that first graders are pretty disgusting.)

PHEOBE: And over the silliest things, too! Valentine's Day cards. What do they even matter, anyway? Sure it's nice, I guess, to get a little pink heart in your box, but after that what's the point? The whole day is supposed to be about showing your love for your friends and people special to you, but all it did was make us all go crazy and hate each other! Besides, what do we even need a day for, or even a card, to single out people to tell we love them? Can't we just love everybody all the time? Wouldn't that be easier? I think if we would all just agree that we all love each other every day of the year, we wouldn't have to go through the trouble of counting valentines and stealing boyfriends and throwing wine in people's faces, don't you think so, Mrs. Honeywell?

(There is silence, as everyone realizes the cow is probably right.)

MRS. HONEYWELL: I suppose that makes sense.

CHARLOTTE: I agree, too.

BARNEY: Me, too.

KIMBERLY: Yeah, maybe the cow is right.

PHEOBE: Of course I am! I'm always right, you know, it's just that nobody ever asks. Now, I think everyone should apologize and tell everyone they love them, and everything will be okay.

(There are groans around the classroom)

MRS. HONEYWELL: Now class! Pheobe makes perfect sense. That's exactly what we need to do! I want every single one of you to apologize to your classmates and tell them very clearly that you love them!

(Reluctantly, they begin pairing up.)

CHARLOTTE: Kimberly, I'm sorry. I love you.

KIMBERLY: Who doesn't?

MRS. HONEYWELL: Kimberly!

KIMBERLY: All right, all right. I'm sorry too, Charlotte. And I love you.

CHARLOTTE: Hooray! (hugs Kimberly enthusiastically)

BARNEY: Nathan and Chester, I'm sorry. I...uh....I love you.

CHESTER: I love you too Barney! (They stare at Nathan expectantly.)

NATHAN: But - the cooties!

CHESTER: Don't be ridiculous, Nathan. Boys can't get cooties from other boys. It's the law!

NATHAN: Oh. Well, in that case, I love you too.

BARNEY: And I love Charlotte!

CHARLOTTE: I love you too, Barney!

NATHAN: And I guess - I guess Gabby is okay, too.

GABBY: Oh, I knew you loved me! I love you too! (Hugs him ferociously)

CHESTER: And at the risk of catching cooties, I suppose I will say that I kind of - slightly - maybe - love Pheobe. Despite her being a farm animal from time to time.

PHEOBE: (back to a cow) Moo!

KIMBERLY: Well, I guess I love you, Mrs. Honeywell.

MRS. HONEYWELL: That's very sweet, Kimberly. I love you too.

RITA: (looking around) Hey, if Barney loves Charlotte, and Nathan loves Gabby, and Chester loves Pheobe, and Kimberly loves Mrs. Honeywell, who loves me?

(Pause)

MR. WALLACE: Well, I love you, Rita!

(Almost instantly, RITA gasps and faints. Charlotte helps her up.)

RITA: I love you too, Mr. Wallace!

MR. WALLACE: I know. But now that all is well with you students, I think I'd better be going - (he starts to head for the door, before seeing Mrs. Honeywell and changing his mind) On second thought, I guess I have something to say too. (beat) Well, uh, Mrs. Honeywell, I know Kimberly already professed her love to you, so I'm sorry if I'm stepping on anyone's toes here -

MRS. HONEYWELL: I'm sure she understands.

MR. WALLACE: Good. Because, uh, because I'm pretty fond of you too, Daisy, and, uh, I'm sorry, too. About the way our date went. You know, about everything we said...and...threw...

MRS. HONEYWELL: I'm sorry too, Duncan. Would you like to, um....start over? New?

MR. WALLACE: (relieved) I think, uh, that's a great idea. (beat) Now how does that process work - do we have to sign something else, or -

(Before he can finish, MRS. HONEYWELL leans over and kisses him quickly. The class gasps, reacting in different ways. NATHAN screams in horror, the girls ooh and aah, etc. RITA faints again.)

CHARLOTTE: Look! Mrs. Honeywell and Mr. Wallace are in love!

BARNEY: Me too! Me too, I'm in love too!

CHESTER AND PHEOBE: Me too!

NATHAN AND GABBY: Me too!

KIMBERLY: Me too!

(Pause) MRS. HONEYWELL: With who, dear?

KIMBERLY: (proudly) Myself! I'm the only one good enough for me!

MR. WALLACE: That's...that's certainly a new way of looking at things.

MRS. HONEYWELL: Good for you, dear. (beat) Well, look at that, children! Valentine's Day turned out well after all. Norman will be so happy to hear about this!

BLACKOUT







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