Hope Saved Me From Being a Statistic

zayla dogs

**This piece is a dramatic monologue and is read as a playwright piece. **

Fourteen-year-old girl, Zayla enters wearing jeans and her favorite blue shirt with the words “Science Olympiad” on the front and had clip art images of a microscope, an atom, and a ruler. Zayla stands in the middle of a dark stage with one spot light on her.  She carries a stuffed dog in her arms.

            In the U.S. there are over 18 million alcoholics. Those 18 million alcoholics are affecting about 26.8 million children. I am one of those children. Just because my father is an alcoholic that makes me more likely to follow his footsteps and develop a drug abuse problem when compared to other children without alcoholic parents.

[Zayla starts moving her hands when talking. Keeping motions light and within her body frame.]

Also, I am more likely to develop depression or anxiety, antisocial and behavioral problems, just because my dad decided that this liquid is more important than his own family. All the times he yelled at us because he ran out of beer. All the times that I stayed in my room crying because my mom was at work, and Dad was too wasted to drive for a beer run. But, you see, I won’t be another statistic.

[Zayla starts evenly pacing while looking focused, almost thinking out loud. The hand motions continue]

My mother words too hard to support my father, his habit, and myself. She always makes my education a priority. She always loves to hear the nerdy things I learn in class every day or how I am preparing for the Science Olympiad competition coming up.

[Zayla lets out a small chuckle, followed by a brief pause.] We both have seen the effects of what alcoholism can do. [Zayla adds emphasis to the words ‘refuse/refuses’ every time] My mom refuses my future to become dependent on alcohol. She refuses to let this monster consume me and even consume herself. I refuse to let myself fall into that hole. I refuse to be consumed by this nasty disease. I refuse to be another statistic.

[Zayla holds up her stuffed dog at chest level. Admiring the dog’s short brown fuzz and floppy dark brown ears. She lifts one front paw and lets it fall back down]

This dog; is just not a stuffed dog that a fourteen-year-old girl is attached to for materialistic reasons. This dog represents hope and strength. When I was five, my dad was on a drinking binge all day. He consumed more than usual and he also became madder than usual. Mother just got home, she was late because work made her stay over. My dad had been out of beer for about two hours too long. [Zayla’s hand motions become larger and more frequent. The motions extending outside her body frame.] The yelling… the cussing… made our living room seem like a battle field. I covered my ears behind my closed bedroom door. Mother came to my room and told me with a sob in her voice… [Zayla stands still in the middle of the stage, her tone is depressed. Both of her hands grasp the dog and lowered to her waist.] “We’re going on a beer run.” I remember looking in her eyes and it looked like an ocean was going to pour out.

[Pause, and starts with a calm tone]

We walked up to the gas station that was down the street from our house. There I found this dog [Zayla brings the dog up to eye level, then lowering the dog and hands to a more relaxed position at chest level.] I named it hope. My mother bought a six pack for my dad instead of a twelve pack so she could buy me this stuffed dog. She got down on one knee in that gas station and told me that if she buys me this dog, the dog will protect me from dad’s actions. She told me the dog will keep me safe and always be there when I need someone to talk to. My mom told me that Hope, the dog, will always be there for me when she’s not there.

Since the age of five, Hope has been there for me. Hope has never left me nor I left it. Hope is there making sure I do not become like my father. [Pause] Hope makes sure I do not become another statistic.

[Zayla hugs the dog and exits the stage.]


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