The Iron Mountain Review Vol. XXXII

64 Robert Gipe and Higher Ground Company

MIKE and JENNY join TRISH. MIKE: We got married so young. I wanted her to have an easy life. Be one of those gets their hair done every week, always got a new car. Didn’t work out like that. I’ll admit it now: I was scared to death to tell her I got laid off. But she’s stuck with me. We started with nothing, and now we’re back to nothing. It’ll humble you. But since I talked to her, I’m remembering, how things were in the beginning. Speakers on separate stages, lights up individually as they speak. Their light stays lit after they tell the truth and they witness and acknowledge each other’s truth. DELANEY: It takes a lot of nerve to admit your weakness. MAY: All these secrets and things we work so hard to keep hidden, maybe they hurt us in the past or we’re afraid they will hurt us in the future. Truth is, keeping them inside hurts us and the people around us and you know, Patty, I still respect you. Mike. You’re a good man. Pickle, Lisa, all of you, I still respect you. Song: “Sing a New Song,” by Eliza Lynn, © 2005, Civility Records. *** Scene Eighteen: Graduation Families and friends enter graduation together. MR. OFFICIAL takes place at podium. MR. OFFICIAL: Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the class of 2015. GRADUATES enter in robes. Hand flowers to TRISH as they pass. MR. OFFICIAL: You’ve made it! You’ve done it! The class of 2015. These are the best days of your life! You’ve completed your journey through high school and now we set you free on the world. To go and conquer. To follow your dreams . . . . JAKE: Where? MR. OFFICIAL: What? JAKE: Follow our dreams where? Underground?

campaign, ‘cause we know about it here, but maybe they don’t know it off from here. Maybe we start a campaign and show everyone all the things made from coal. We build up the demand because we’ve got the supply right here. DONNA: I’m gonna start my own factory. GALE: I’m going to find my own way. CARL: I’m done waiting. CARL gets up and walks out. Lights down, students exit. *** Scene Seventeen: Truth Telling JENNY: I grew up going to church my whole life. When I was in the 6th grade, I realized that I was . . . different. I realized that what my friends told me they felt for a cute boy was what I felt towards a cute girl. I was sick to the stomach. “No. This isn’t me. It can’t be! I am supposed be with a guy and make my family proud! They’re going to be so ashamed of me! What will the church think of me? They will hate me if I’m with a girl!” I tried to force myself to be interested in guys. I just couldn’t be happy with a guy. But I couldn’t be happy hurting my family either. So I hid it. Then I met Lisa and people started to figure things out. My lies couldn’t hide everything. Carl found out. I still couldn’t find the courage to tell Mom and Dad. Then I saw how Dad’s lies hurt all of us and how much Lisa had been hiding fromme and how much her lies hurt her. I knew I had to tell Mom. So I texted her, told her it was important and we had to talk. She was waiting when I got home. [TRISH and JENNY cross from opposite sides of the stage to meet each other .] I took off my shoes and I crawled up in my bed. [TRISH and JENNY settle together. ] The words burst out of me. “Mom, I’m a Lesbian.” TRISH: I was shocked. I had no idea. [TRISH takes JENNY’ s face in her hands and wipes the tears from her eyes. ] I said “Baby, if that’s what you love, then that’s what you love. I’m not going to judge you; God will do that on judgment day. You know your rights from your wrongs. This will be on your hands. You’re my daughter. Nothing changes that.” TRISH kisses JENNY’ s forehead and stands to address audience. TRISH: Love is love. It’s never perfect or what we expect it to be. Not a day goes by that I don’t worry about what’s going to happen to Jenny. Not a day goes by that I don’t worry about how we’re going to make ends meet with the mines shut down. Lord knows, we’ll never be the same again, but at least we’ve started telling each other the truth.

GALE: That won’t work anymore. MATTHEW: Tell me the truth.

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