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This monologue is inspired by the many monologues we, as actors are required to study. I wanted to pay homage to the playwrights who've allowed us to "show our range" throughout the years. Actors, feel free to use it as you wish. In fact, I dare you to.
BECKY, early twenties, southern
I watched the birds that day. The sky was cloudy. There was a distinct chill in the air. I knew something was different. Mother was actin’ strangely when she came back from the grocery. Usually she was chattier than a Mo-hen. I suppose grief brings on reflectin’ for most people. She’d even forgotten the lemons for Grand-mammy’s marmalade. I was gonna make if for her… for her funeral. I suppose I thought that if I continued to make her marmalade that she’d somehow still be with us. How could I possibly have left for Charlotte then? When my family was grievin’ so. They needed me. Daddy needed me. Oh, Grand-mammy! (tears) She would always know what to do!
Harold had taken up with a band at a new club in Charlotte. They’d asked me to sing for ‘em. No one had asked me to sing for a livin’ before. I knew this was more than a simple proposition. Harold was lookin’ to marry me and I knew it. You can tell when a man’s got intentions. It’s a look in the eye. The way he looks at you. If you melt, then you’re hooked, line and sinker. And oh boy, did I melt with that boy. Charlotte was an opportunity that Palkeepawa Parish couldn’t offer me. If I had left, Lord knows I wasn’t comin’ back! Its like my Grand-mammy always used to say, “Becky! You were meant for more than this good for nothin’ town! You’re a star!” You couldn’t argue with Grand-mammy. Oh! How I loved that old Bitty! Why’d you have to go on and leave us, Grand-mammy!”
The birds were quiet. They weren’t singin’ the same songs. Hell, they weren’t singin’ at all. They sat gathered on the fences connectin’ the crops like they did each afternoon. They were just silent. I reckoned they missed Grand-mammy, too. I knew Daddy would be back with the preacher soon, so I began to tidy up. Lord knows I’m the only one who ever did it. (Laughs) Tidyin’ up always reminded me of singin’ old spirituals with Grand-mammy. (Sings) Swing low, Sweet Chariot, comin forth to carry me home… (After a moment) She’d always said that the good lord planted Grand-dad’s vocal chords right into mine. I loved it when she told me that. I didn’t know him, but I have to suppose he sang like an angel.
While cleanin’ I heard a car pullin’ up. I figured it was Daddy but as I looked out the window, I saw that it was Harold! ‘What on earth was he doing here,’ I thought! I rushed to get freshened up. I was in no condition to see my beloved. What a surprise it was! I ran down the stairs and out onto the front porch to meet him. He seemed distressed and his countenance was a bit dark. He didn’t reach for me like he always did. “What’s the matter, my darlin’?” I asked. He just shook his head as he reached into his pocket and handed me a letter. We stood there in silence as I opened it. It was his handwritin’. I’d recognize that chicken scratch anywhere. I’d smile at the thought if his demeanor wasn’t so damn troublin’. The first words were, “My Sweet Peach, Rebecca. I’m sorry…” I couldn’t read on. I just couldn’t. As I looked up, he’d began to walk back toward his truck and I yelled after him, “Dammit, Harold! What on earth did you do?!” He kept walkin’. Why today of all days? My world was cavin’ and there was no savin’ me if Harold left me. I ran after him before he drove away, cryin’ and screamin’, “Harold! Don’t you go! Harold! I love you, Dammit!” I reached the truck door and he looked at me with pain in his eyes. We locked our gaze for only a fleeting second, both knowin’ this would be the last time. And then, I took Harold’s hand, and he said, “I love you, too.” And then he left me there.
And the birds were never quite the same. Nothin’ was ever quite the same.