Once and Again
Destiny Turns On The Radio

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Destiny Turns On The Radio

Karen's waiting for Jessie in the mini-van, working on some papers. When Jessie emerges, Karen says, "So, I hear you're going on a date." Jessie's a little surprised and asks, "Where did you hear it? On the radio?" Karen's not sure what she means. Jessie realizes she's said too much, and tries to play it down: "Oh, Lily was substituting for that Dr. Sheri person, and she sort of mentioned it." The ass-pole needs a minute to digest this news. Karen repeats it, disbelievingly. Jessie quickly assures her that she's over it. The ass-pole knows that Jessie isn't the enemy, so it coaches Karen to play it off lightly. Karen says, "So, does this boy have a name?" Jessie shyly says his name is Tad, and that he's in the play. Karen asks what Jessie's going to wear. Jessie says that's all anyone asks her anymore: "If I said I was going to kill myself, they'd be like, 'Oh, what are you going to wear?'" Karen strokes Jessie's hair and begs her not to say things like that. Jessie has to explain that she's only joking.

Soliloquy Karen laments, "I never had the right clothes. I never knew the right things to say. My mother was the opposite of help. I guess you could say I had friends, but I was never..."

"I was popular," Soliloquy Lily says. She nods and adds, "Which I know sounds easy, but..."

"It was so hard," Soliloquy Karen says.

Karen closes Jessie's door and suggests that they go shopping. Jessie asks, "What about the parent meeting?" Karen tries to figure out how to get around it, but Jessie tells her not to worry about it: she already knows what she's going to wear. She rhymes off the outfit and mentions that Grace is going to lend her a necklace and do her makeup. "Grace is," Karen says, trying not to show her disappointment. Jessie says, "So, if you could just drop me off there." Deflated, Karen assents.

Cut to the auditorium, where Creepitri is pacing around in yet another slept-in shirt, looking for a record among his stacks of vinyl. "What happened to 'Heart Like a Wheel'?" he mutters to himself. Grace strides in, pigtails flapping, and announces, "I'm thinking of quitting. I mean, I think I may have to. Quit." She makes the excuse that it takes up a lot of time. He tries to act distracted, still searching for his record. Grace says, "And I wasn't -- is that it?" She points to an album on the corner of a table. Relieved, he pulls it out of its sleeve, asking, "You weren't what?" Too quickly, Grace says she wasn't feeling anything during rehearsal the other day. Creepitri blows the lint off the record and starts with a challenging, "Well --" He thinks better of it and just turns to put the record on the turntable. Grace tries out the excuse that she and Tad just don't have any chemistry. "'Chemistry'?" Creepitri chuckles. The opening strains of the song start, and he tells her, "Just, just listen to this." He tells her it's for the end of Act I and asks what she thinks. Grace listens to the line, "Some say the heart is just like a wheel" and looks like she's about to cry. "I think...I think you should give the part to..." she says softly. "To...?" Creepitri demands. "I don't know. Whoever you decide to give it to," Grace says, and turns to leave. "Hey! I've already done that. I think you are perfect for this," Creepitri says, with feeling. They stare at each other for a few seconds, until Creepitri laughs a little self-consciously. Grace smiles through her tears. She moves closer and hops up on the stage, asking, "Why do you like such weird music?" He smiles and teases, "What are you implying? Are you implying that I'm weird?" Grace laughs. "Careful! Don't let that guard down. Then where would we be?" Creepitri says. Grace asks whether he'd mind if she hung out and listened to the album for a while. "Please," he says. As Grace wrestles off her backpack, Creepitri peers at her, asking, "What's that around your neck? Is that seashells?" Grace lifts a hand to the necklace, saying it is. "It's lovely," Creepitri says with a small smile. Grace looks at him for a second too long, still touching her necklace. There's something in her eyes that I don't like: gratitude verging on crush. Creepitri explains why he loves the music they're listening to, likening it to "an old chair. You can just curl up and rock." He illustrates his point by rocking in his chair.

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Once and Again

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