Can I kiss you?

Can I kiss you 2The Age of Consent

By Jacqueline Dotzenrod

Part One – “Can I Kiss You?”

Scene One

Scene opens on Jocelyn and Amanda in their dorm room. The room is half-unpacked with boxes strewn about the space. Both sides are symmetrical – each having a twin-size bed, desk, and chair with a communal desk in between. A rotary telephone is sitting on the center desk. The girls enter, Amanda’s arms full of t-shirts, a frisbee, travel mug, credit card applications, and miscellaneous flyers for various campus events.

Jocelyn:  First official day of college and I’m already bored.

Amanda: I know, right – but at least we got all this free stuff!

Jocelyn: And not to mention all these “free” credit card offers. I can’t believe financial companies are permitted to prey on young college students. It’s like we’re already taking on debt to further our education. Why are we allowed to take on even more debt – I think it’s disgusting.

Amanda:  Perhaps someday when you become a senator you can do something about that. But today, I just got approved for a $5,000 credit card and tomorrow I’m going shopping.

Jocelyn:  Don’t you have classes tomorrow?

Amanda:  Yeah, but everyone knows the first day is just the teacher handing out and going over the syllabus.

Jocelyn:  AND assigns reading for the week. Plus, it’s a chance to meet your classmates and stake out a good seat!

Amanda:  Meh, I really don’t care about that nearly as much as I do about having a kick-ass closet full of clothes for the new school year.

Jocelyn:  You and your priorities!

Amanda:  Hey, I am young and supposedly reckless – so I’m just living up to society’s expectations of me.

Jocelyn:  Speaking of expectations, did you see all the hotties out there on the concourse?

Amanda:  Yeah, my expectation of meeting some hot college guys is not disappointed!

Jocelyn:  I know, right?!?

Amanda:  I’ve already given out my phone number to about half-a-dozen guys already.

Jocelyn:  Well that’s because you have no standards.

Amanda:  Do too!

Jocelyn:  Do not!!

Amanda:  Well, if we all were as picky as you Jocelyn, nobody would ever go out on a Friday night.

Jocelyn:  That’s not true!

Amanda:  Oh, really? How many boyfriends did you have your entire high school career?

Jocelyn:  Um…

Amanda:  I can tell you how many – one!

Jocelyn:  Yeah.

Amanda:  Oh, don’t tell me you’re still broken-up about Michael! You should’ve been over that loser the moment he decided to dump you.

Jocelyn:  Yeah.

Amanda:  And then of course, there’s the moment he finally decided to TELL you that he was dumping you – which was weeks later as I recall?

Jocelyn:  Yeah.

Amanda:  At least you did one thing right about that breakup. When he came crawling back, hoping you would ask him to the prom – you told him to take a hike!

Jocelyn:  Yeah.

Amanda:  Yeah, you did. I’m proud of you for that!

Jocelyn:  Yeah?

Amanda:  Yeah, I am. You were the first girl in our school NOT to go running back to an ex-boyfriend the minute he showed an ounce of interest again.

Jocelyn:  Yeah!

Amanda:  A feat that has been memorialized in your high school yearbook when all the underclassmen girls signed that you were their hero.

Jocelyn:  Yeah.

Amanda:  But you’ve gotta quit resting on your laurels and get your butt back in the game!  We’re in college now – and the stakes have been raised.

Jocelyn:  Oh yeah?

Amanda:  Yeah!

Jocelyn:  If I recall correctly, I am the one with a vagina – so, I’m pretty sure that means I set the stakes wherever I want them.

Amanda:  Well, you gotta remember – we are freshmen again. And these college guys have experience. They’re not gonna settle for a little hand-holding and kiss at the door.

Jocelyn:  Oh, they will settle for that if that’s all I want to give them.

Amanda:  That may be true for someone like you!

Jocelyn:  What do you mean by that?

Amanda:  Look in the mirror sweetheart – I’m not gonna win any beauty pageants.

Jocelyn: But I thought college guys were supposed to be more cerebral – not so much into the passions of the flesh, but more of the mind.

Amanda:  Yeah right! Boys will be boys – and boys want sex.

Jocelyn:  Well, girls want sex too… we just want everything else that is meant to go along with sex.

Amanda:  And relationships are all about compromise.

Jocelyn:  True, but I am not about to “compromise” myself or my standards just so some douche bag can get laid.

Amanda:  Suit yourself – spend your entire collegiate career pining over a guy that dumped you… EIGHT MONTHS AGO!

Jocelyn:  I will pine and pursue as I see fit when I see fit.

Amanda:  Sometimes I don’t even know why we’re friends.

Jocelyn:  Because we wear the same size, silly – now help me sort through my wardrobe. I’ll make you a deal. If you promise to go to class tomorrow, you can borrow any outfit of mine you want!

Amanda:  Permanently borrow?

Jocelyn:  Ha! Don’t push your luck.


Scene Two

Scene opens on Skyler and Jason in their dorm room. The room is sparse with a Pink Floyd poster on one wall. Both sides are symmetrical – each having a twin-size bed, desk, and chair with a communal desk in between. A tube television is sitting on the center desk with a game console and two controllers. Each occupant has a suitcase or two, sitting on his respective bed. On Skyler’s desk, there sits a welding mask. On Jason’s side, sits a large and full tool chest. The boys enter, Jason’s arms full of t-shirts, a frisbee, travel mug, credit card applications, and miscellaneous flyers for various campus events.

Skyler:  First official day of college and I’m already bored.

Jason: I know, right – but at least we got all this free stuff!

Skyler:  There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Jason:  Sure there is!

Skyler:  Free is a free does.

Jason:  Speaking of “free” – did you check out how many hotties there are on this campus.

Skyler:  I couldn’t notice.

Jason:  What do you mean you “couldn’t notice” – you have eyes, don’t you?!

Skyler:  Sure enough, but I’ve still got a girlfriend back home.

Jason:  Aww, man! Don’t tell me that. You’re breaking my heart, dude. Who comes to college with an ball and chain waiting back home?

Skyler:  Apparently, this guy!

Jason:  Why?  I mean, why?!?

Skyler:  I didn’t think the simple fact that I was heading off to college was a good enough reason to break things off with Veronica.

Jason:  Ugh! No, no man… I don’t want to know her. I don’t want to know her name, what she looks like, how you met, or any of that shit.  What I want to know is why would you stick with your high school sweetheart when there are tons of honeys here on this campus waiting for a guy like you to rock their world!?!

Skyler:  I’m not looking to rock anything except your high score status on Call of Duty!

Jason:  You’re on, man!


Scene Three

First day of classes. Jocelyn walks into a room with class already in session. The room is full of female nursing students and Skyler, the lone male, sitting front and center. Jocelyn interrupts the professor.

Jocelyn:  Psychology 120? So sorry I’m late! I went to the wrong building. I guess I’m still getting my bearings.

Smith:  No time for apologies. Here’s a syllabus. Now take a seat.

Jocelyn:  Thank you… and sorry.

Smith:  Now, where were we? Ah, yes – we were reviewing…

Jocelyn walks by Skyler as she takes a seat at the back of the room next to Jennifer. Smith’s voice fades as the lights dim – a spotlight focuses on Skyler as we hear his internal dialogue.

Skyler:  Holy hotness!  Now Veronica is cute – but this girl is smoking. She’s the kind of hot you only hope to see in real life. And then when it shows up in front of you, you have no idea how to respond so you end up slack-jawed and grateful that you took that seat at the front so she can’t see you drooling as you day dream about being that close to her again.

Lights come back up and Smith resumes his lecture.

Smith:  So now that I have made my expectations for the semester clear – both on paper and now here in class, are there any questions?

Jennifer:  Will there be opportunity for extra credit?

Smith:  Yes! Yes, there is opportunity for extra credit – which, if you had been listening, you would have heard about. Also, the guidelines to receive extra credit are laid out before you in the syllabus.

Skyler turns to look at Jennifer, then looks back at Jocelyn and winks. She doesn’t notice and he begins making goofy faces in an attempt to get her attention.

Smith:  Mr. McKay – is there a problem with your seat?

Skyler:  No, Mr. Smith. Why do you ask?

Smith:  Because I am up here, but your eyes are back there.

Skyler:  I do apologize, sir. It won’t happen again.

Smith:  No, it won’t. I want you to trade seats with Jennifer.

Skyler:  Right now?

Smith:  Right now.

Skyler:  Okay.

Smith:  Very well. Now does anyone else have a problem with their seat? Because these will be your assigned seats for the rest of the semester. Now I don’t want to hear any groaning about how this isn’t high school, but the assigned seating will help me remember your names. No complaints? Excellent – let’s take roll call. Jennifer Ackerman?

Jennifer:  Present!

Smith:  Jocelyn Akers?

Jocelyn:  Here!

Lights fade as Mr. Smith continues to take attendance.


Scene Four

Location: the cafeteria. Skyler and Jason are seated together at a table of other rowdy welding students. There is one seat left at the table across from Jason and beside Skyler. Jocelyn enters with her tray, looking uncertain. Upon spotting Skyler, she looks relieved and approaches.

Jocelyn:  Is this seat taken?

Jason:  It is now, sweetness!

Jocelyn:  Thanks, I guess. Hi, you’re Skyler – from Psychology class, right?

Skyler:  Me? Uh, yeah… we have Psychology together. I think we sit next to each other.

Jocelyn:  Well, we do now – after your little stunt or whatever that was.

Skyler:  Heh. Yeah, we do I guess.

Jocelyn:  So where are you from?

Jason:  Damn girl! You just jump right into it.

Jocelyn:  I guess.

Jason:  How’s about you telling us your sign?

Skyler:  Valley Grove.

Jason:  What?

Skyler:  She asked where I was from. I’m from Valley Grove.

Jocelyn:  Oh yeah! They have a stellar speech team – we never could beat them in tournaments.

Skyler:  Yeah, Mrs. Jensen really puts us to the grind. She is serious about her forensics!

Jason:  Zwaaah?

Skyler:  Forensics League – it’s otherwise known as the National Speech and Debate Association.

Jocelyn:  Yeah! Are you a member?

Skyler:  I used to be. Then I graduated high school and took a year off building churches around the Midwest.

Jocelyn:  Oh, that sounds interesting!

Jason:  That sounds boring!

Skyler:  It was actually a lot of fun. Me and my best friend had a chance to road trip together before we parted ways.

Jocelyn:  And what is he up to now?

Jason:  Who cares?

Skyler:  He is at [state] University studying to be an Engineer.

Jocelyn:  That’s cool. I thought about going into Engineering myself, but don’t care much for the math required. I mean, I can do it – I just don’t enjoy it.

Skyler:  So what are you studying?

Jason:  She’ll be studying my physique if you quit shutting down my game, man!

Jocelyn:  For now, I’m just getting my generals done here before figuring out what to do next.

Skyler:  Well, this isn’t a bad place to do that.

Jocelyn:  No, not at all.

Skyler:  You have a nice smile.

Jocelyn:  What was that.

Jason:  He said that he’s a pile.

Skyler:  Never mind.

Jocelyn:  Mmm.

Skyler:  So do you have any plans tonight?

Jason:  I got your plans right here, baby.

Jocelyn:  Nothing in particular. I’ll probably go back to my room, finish settling in, and get a start on today’s homework.

Jason:  Sounds like a load.

Skyler:  You’re really studios?

Jocelyn:  I guess you could say so. It’s the reason we’re here, right?

Jason:  For some of us, I suppose.

Skyler:  Right! I’m in the welding program.

Jocelyn:  That’s cool! My dad would’ve taught me to weld – if I were a boy.

Skyler:  It’s never too late to learn.

Jocelyn:  That’s true, but I’m already overloaded this semester.

Skyler:  Well, if you ever have questions about the basics I’d be happy to provide you the answers.

Jocelyn:  I appreciate that!

Skyler:  You’re welcome.

Jason: Your mom’s welcome.

Lights go down – two spotlights shine on Jocelyn and Skyler rise from their seats and walk to separate corners of the stage.

Jocelyn:  And that’s how I met Skyler.

Skyler:  That’s how I met Jocelyn.

Jocelyn:  We hit it off right away.

Skyler:  We hit it off right away.

Jocelyn:  It wasn’t long before I was spending every other night in his dorm room while Jason was whoring himself around with the flavor of the week.

Skyler:  We do homework together – she’s a fantastic writer!

Jocelyn:  He would help me with my homework and gave the most awesome shoulder massages!

Skyler:  Sometimes we would just sit and talk for hours.

Jocelyn:  We never had to search for something to talk about.

Skyler:  But every now and then Veronica would call.

Jocelyn:  And I would just clam up. He was honest with me about having a girlfriend and I wanted to respect that.

Skyler:  I felt guilty having another girl in my room, so I wouldn’t answer.

Jocelyn:  Even though I told him he could talk to her – that I would even leave, he still refused to answer the phone when I was there.

Skyler:  I don’t know if that was the right thing to do or not.

Jocelyn:  At any rate, she ended up dumping him because he was never around and didn’t take her calls.

Skyler:  Yeah, I got dumped but I saw it coming.

Jocelyn:  I’m sure Jason saw it as an opportunity for him to score himself a wing man.

Skyler:  But I never did take him up on his offer.

Jocelyn:  Still, things changed between the two of us after that.

Skyler:  I’m not sure how or why, but we just drifted apart.

Jocelyn:  I guess that happens sometimes.

Skyler:  Perhaps it’s just a part of growing up.

Spotlight on Skyler fades. Jocelyn walks to center stage.

Jocelyn:  But one thing I’ll always remember about him is the way he talked to me. He would never kiss – or even touch me – without asking first. I never demanded or even expected that, but he would do it anyway. It actually became a huge turn-on for me, hearing his voice ask “Can I kiss you?”

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