Why am I under constant observation?

Drama scene for three people from the one-act eplay, “CLEO”.  Cleo feels as though her sister is exercising sinister motives against her.

Henrietta stares at Cleo, who stares at her plate of food.

HENRIETTA: Why do you stare at your food?

CLEO: Why do you stare at me?

HENRIETTA: You haven’t been eating.

CLEO: I eat when I am hungry.

HENRIETTA: You are losing weight.

CLEO: I’m alive, aren’t I?

HENRIETTA: Last time you behaved in such a manner, it took one full year for you to recover.

CLEO: Recover?

HENRIETTA: From all the weight you had lost.

CLEO: Do I look as if I am dying?

HENRIETTA: Please, try to eat something.

CLEO: (Fiercely stabs her fork into the table.) I AM!

HENRIETTA: (Controlled.) You haven’t touched your plate.

CLEO: I will not eat with you hovering over me, making demands on me. You are worse than father.

HENRIETTA: I am nothing like father.

CLEO: You are exactly like father. You are the spitting image of father. You perform your guileful deeds in the exact same manner, as if the two of you were a single body! It is almost shameful. You have his eyes, his mannerisms, and his temperament. There isn’t a day that goes by when I look at you and I don’t see his wretched face!

HENRIETTA: I’ve finished eating. I’m going into the garden to read. You may join me if you prefer.

CLEO: I may join you?

HENRIETTA: If you prefer.

CLEO: Do I need your permission to join you in my own garden?

HENRIETTA: That isn’t what I meant and –

CLEO: How did you mean it then, Henrietta?

HENRIETTA: Forget I mentioned it.

Henrietta gets up from the table and leaves the room.

Cleo turns to the audience.

CLEO: I know why she’s here. I am much too clever for her sick-minded little motives. She wants me to lose myself. She wants to overtake my status and snatch my belongings. Ha! Can you imagine that she believes me to be the fool? Me? ME?! I have been eyeing my stones for years. She won’t get a scent on them. I’ve already flung them into the stream. Only I know where they still glitter. Whatever happens to me, she will have none of my possessions. Nothing!

Enter Philippe.

PHILIPPE: Dear cousin, were you shouting just then?

CLEO: (Arms extending.) Philippe, my dear, take my hand.

Philippe rushes to Cleo’s side, kneeling before her and kissing her hand affectionately.

Do you love me?

PHILIPPE: You know that I do.

CLEO: Why must things get spelled out?

PHILIPPE: What is wrong, dearest cousin of mine?

CLEO: What I feel! Why am I under constant observation? From the moment I open my eyes to the second I shut them, I cannot function in such a way.

PHILIPPE: Who’s watching you?

CLEO: All of you.

PHILIPPE: I am only here at your discretion.

CLEO: (Sighs.) Yes, yes, you are right…

Philippe sits beside Cleo.

I believe you are innocent to my conspiracy.

PHILIPPE: Conspiracy?

CLEO: You must promise to protect me, Philippe.

  • To read the full one-act ePlay, find purchase link below:

Cleo by Joseph ArnoneIn the one-act eplay, “CLEO”, Cleo confides in her beloved cousin Philippe to protect her for fear that she will soon be murdered by those eager to take over her estate and personal assets.  2 Women, 2 Men.  Drama.

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Joseph Arnone