This original play had been submitted for research I conducted for a theatre class in 2015.

 

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CHARACTERS:

Bus Driver                  Male; black; 30s-40s.

Woman                       Female; black; 60s+. She carries with her a suitcase and a couple of other bags. Despite her situation, she is well-groomed.

 

SETTING:

A parked bus.

 

NOTES:

// means the next character’s line starts overlapping.

 

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(Lights come up onto the interior of a bus. BUS DRIVER is sitting in the driver’s seat, in no hurry to go. WOMAN comes onto the bus and starts depositing coins into the payment receptacle.)

 

WOMAN: I’m a senior citizen. I have worked hard all my life, and have done my fair share of work. I’m giving what I can.

 

(She stops depositing coins, three dollars short of what the bus fare is, and moves to a seat in the front of the bus.)

 

BUS DRIVER: Ma’am! Ma’am! Hey, you gotta pay the full fare.

 

WOMAN: I paid what I can.

 

BUS DRIVER: That don’t mean you can do what you want. You need to pay the full fare like all the other passengers.

 

WOMAN: I told you I’m a senior citizen, // I don’t have the money for the three extra dollars. I have lived a long life, and I don’t deserve to be treated in this way.

 

BUS DRIVER: You don’t need to ride this bus. If you can’t finish the fare, I can kick you off this bus. You want me to do that? ‘Cause I can. ‘Cause I can. You can’t come on here thinking you // own the place. All the-

 

WOMAN: I waited over one hour to for this bus. I ain’t gettin’ off.

 

BUS DRIVER: All the passengers on here paid their fair share. Why you get to pay less than them?

 

WOMAN: I am a senior citizen, sir. I’m goin’ off to start a new chapter of my life.

 

BUS DRIVER: That don’t mean that you have the right to disrespect me.

 

WOMAN: I say you’re disrespecting me.

 

BUS DRIVER: Again, ma’am, you need three more dollars to complete your fare. That’s not a lot of money. // Why don’t you be like the rest of the passengers and pay what you owe?

 

WOMAN: It is – it is a lot of money to me. I’m homeless, don’t have a job, and paid what I can to ride. Just let me be.

 

BUS DRIVER: Ma’am, please understand, if you had told me your situation, I would have let you on the bus. But you come on here like you own the place and disrespectin’ me.

 

WOMAN: I don’t care. I don’t care. I paid what I can and have worked too hard to make it here.

 

BUS DRIVER: I don’t care what your excuses are. You couldn’t pay a few extra dollars to complete the fare // and expect everyone to just give in to everything you say.

 

WOMAN: I told you I’m homeless and have no job, I can’t afford those extra few dollars.

 

BUS DRIVER: Then you shoulda told me your situation! I would have understood.

 

WOMAN: I don’t need no one’s sympathy.

 

BUS DRIVER: Then why you tellin’ me all of this? I told you I would have let you onto the bus if you would have just told me.

 

WOMAN: I just need to get to the airport to start my life anew.

 

BUS DRIVER: I will make sure you never ride my bus again.

 

WOMAN: Good. Because I don’t plan on riding your bus again. Not with someone as unfeeling as you.

 

BUS DRIVER: Actually, ma’am, if you gonna be like this, I want you to get off my bus.

 

WOMAN: I ain’t going to.

 

BUS DRIVER: I’m telling you to get off my bus if you going to be this disrespectful towards me.

 

WOMAN: I ain’t moving from my seat.

 

BUS DRIVER: Get off my bus or I’ll call the cops.

 

WOMAN: I’m tellin’ you, I am staying on this bus, and nobody can move me. And I will be sure to never get on this bus again.

 

(Long pause.)

 

BUS DRIVER: Fine. Say so yourself. You not gonna be allowed on this bus again.

 

WOMAN: Fine by me. I should be able to do what’s best for myself. I’m worth more than three dollars.