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A LIFE BEFORE


CAST

Noah: 25. Sarah: 24. Anna: 60. Carol: 52. Mason: 62. The year is 2007. Smalltown. Ontario. Canada.


A Life Before

Scene 2
It is the middle of the night. The lights come up very low. We hear 
Noah scream. The light comes on. Noah enters the kitchen dressed 
in PJ bottoms and a T shirt. He pours himself a glass of water and 
stands looking stressed. Sarah enters.

Noah One times four is four, five times four is twenty. . . Eight times 
four is thirty two. .

Sarah What was that? You scared me half to death.

Noah I did not mean to.

She wipes the back of his neck with a damp cloth.

Sarah Did you have a nightmare? (touching him) You are soaking 
wet with sweat. . . .

Noah I am alright. Under his breath. Five times nine, six time three. . 

Sarah Noah . . .Noah! You are not alright. Why are you. . .?

Noah (Angry) I said I am fine. Leave it.

He sits down at the table. Sarah sits also.

Pause.

Noah I am sorry Baby.

Sarah If you do not open up to me I cannot help you.

Noah sits in silence. She reaches out and takes his hand.

Sarah (cont) How long have you been having these night terrors?

Noah I have not had them in years. I was very young when they 
started. I think I was five maybe.

Carol Four.

Carol is standing in the doorway.

Carol (cont) And only just four at that.

She is holding a folder. She comes into the kitchen and sits down.

Carol (cont) There might have been clues earlier but we really 
did not pay attention until the picture.

Sarah Picture?

Carol opens the folder and brings out a piece of paper.

Noah You kept the folder.

Carol I kept everything. Do not ask me why, maybe it was for 
situations like this. I Suppose I always wondered if it would come 
back some day. I cannot believe after all this time, here we go again

Sarah (Looking at the picture) It is a childs drawing. (Reading) My 
family. Mommy, Daddy and Belle. Who drew this?

Noah Me.

Sarah You? Who is Belle.

Noah That is the million dollar question.

Sarah I do not get it.

Carol Noah proudly showed me this picture he had drawn when 
he came home from junior kindergarten. I asked him who the 
people were in the picture and he tells me it was his family from 
before.

Sarah Before what?

Noah Before I was born into this life.

Sarah This life?

Carol He told me his daddy was different to the daddy he had now 
and the girl in the picture, Belle, was his sister. And the part that 
really hurt, he told me I was not his real mother.

Sarah What? You had a previous family?. . A past life?

Carol Yes, and he wholeheartedly believed it.

Sarah Noah!

Noah I was four.

Sarah (To Carol) What did you do?

Carol I was devastated. Gordon decided not to make too 
much of an issue out of it. We thought it was just part of his 
childhood imagination and he would forget about it and 
hopefully things would get back to normal.

Sarah And?

Noah That is when the night terrors started. In this previous life I 
was somebody else. I looked different, I sounded different. I was 
the same age in some memories and older in others.

Sarah Memories or dreams?

Noah Both.

Sarah I can not believe this. I remember as a child having an 
imaginary friend.

Carol Was that because you didn't you have any real friends 
when you were young?

Sarah I had lots of friends.

Carol That is nice dear. Only, children can be quite cruel to those 
who are a bit different.

Sarah Different? I wasn't. . .

Noah attempts to deflect the tension.

Noah And in this past life I lived in Kingston with my Previous 
mother, father and sister.

Carol That is right. But when Noah was seven things seemed to 
get worse so we took you to talk to that child psychologist, for 
what good he did. That is when I started this folder to try to 
collect as much as I could about Noah and er. . .What was the 
name now. . .Looking at the folder Jeffery.

Sarah Jeffery?

Noah That was my name in my past life. At least, that was the 
name I remember. Jeffery was me but different. It is hard to 
explain but, he still felt like he was me. He was OCD with numbers 
like I am but he had a fascination for trains.

Sarah Trains.

Noah I know, I hate trains.

Carol One day his cousin Adam, came to visit for the weekend and 
he started teasing Noah about his past life. That is when Noah 
became hysterical. We did not know what to do with him. The 
psychologist suggested we change tactics and instead of avoiding 
the subject of his before family, we were told to encourage him to 
talk about it and embrace it. So that is what we did and things 
actually got better. I began to feel okay about things. We even 
went to the library and took out books on Kingston.

Noah And that is when I said I wanted to go there to find the house 
with the chicken on the roof.

Carol So, we all took a trip to Kingston. We drove around the whole 
area but we could not find the house with the weathervane.

Sarah That is a shame..

Carol But we did go to Old Fort Henry for the day and something 
unusual happened there. Do you remember Noah?

Noah The table.

Carol We went on one of the guided tours of the old fort and they 
showed us into a room with a large oak dining table. When Noah 
saw it he said out loud for everyone to hear. . .

Noah/Carol That is not the right table.

Noah I knew as soon as I saw it the table was different from what 
used to be there. After everyone moved on, one of the guides came 
up to us and asked me why I had said that and I told him the old 
table was longer, darker wood and one of the table legs had 
snapped and needed fixing.

Carol The guard confirmed that there used to be a larger, darker 
table with an unsteady leg. They had to replace it because it was 
unsafe. He asked Noah how he knew this and Noah said he had 
seen it for himself. But the guard said that was impossible because 
the table had been replaced in nineteen fifty-five.

Sarah Nineteen fifty five. That is more than sixty years ago.

Carol When we came back from Kingston things seemed to calm 
down and within a year Noah had stopped talking about his 
previous life and never mentioned it again. He was cured. . . Until 
now.

Noah It must have been talking about our trip. I had completely 
forgotten that I had ever been to Kingston until you reminded me 
and I had that same dream I had as a child.

Sarah What was the dream?

Noah I am trapped, like I am suffocating. Struggling but I can’t 
move. . . .I wake up screaming.

Sarah That settles it, we are not going to Kingston.

Noah What? Er hello! We are going. I want to go more than ever 
now. I have to go. Do not ask me why. Like, I just know I have to go.

Carol Well, you know how I feel about it. But at least it is only a few 
hours from here.

Noah Three hours. I Googled it.

Carol If things get strange you won’t have too far to come back. 
I’m going back to bed. Goodnight.

Noah Night mom.

Sarah Goodnight.

Carol exits.

Sarah (cont) I am exhausted!

Noah You are exhausted? I feel like I'm refereeing a boxing match.

Sarah And that is my fault I suppose?

Noah I did not say that. But when mom. . .

Sarah Stop, Please!

Noah What? . . .So, we're still going to Kingston.

Sarah I do not know, are we?

Noah Course we are.

Sarah Are you sure you still want to go after these night terrors?

Noah More than ever.

Sarah I wonder if you’re being haunted by the ghost of this Jeffery?

Noah It does not feel like that.

Sarah How do you know what it feels like to be haunted? It certainly 
sounds like possession.

Noah I don’t feel possessed. I feel like I am or was Jeffery and I need 
to search for answers.

Sarah And you ca not shake it?

Noah I ca not shake it. That is the problem with this whole Kingston 
stuff. Like, I spent my early years trying to look, but it was all so out 
of focus. I need to go back there and try to clarify it all.

Sarah And if anything goes wrong, you do know who your mother's 
going to blame do not you.

Noah So, because of that we don't go?

Sarah No, it is alright. Being the bad guy is something I have to get 
used to around here.

Noah I love you Baby. I suppose we had better go back to bed.

Sarah I do not know if I can sleep after all of this.

Noah No? We will just have to think of something else to do.

Sarah (cont) Like, what did you have in mind?

Noah leans over her as if to embrace her but reaches for the TV 
remote and game consul.

Noah (v.o) Grand theft Auto. . . ten minutes. . .honestly.

Sarah Married barely a month and I am third. Your Mother, X Box 
then me.

Noah Don't be ridiculous, You are way ahead of X Box.
Lights dim


synopsis

The house with the weathervane. Noah had forgotten about this place since he was a small child. Not surprisingly, he had never actually been there but the house played a huge part of his childhood. Now, sixteen years later he stood before it and he remembers it. But how could that be? How could a house hundreds of miles away in a strange town seem so familiar? How could this house hold so many troubling memories for Noah? As he stands outside the deserted house he is drawn by a strong feeling that he must go inside to find the answers. But once inside the questions become more disturbing and he soon realizes that some questions are better left unanswered.