SCENE ONE - New beginnings
Once again the clock's rule brings the GIRL back to reality. MOTHER has a gift for her. It's a brand new copy of the book that had gotten wet the day before. The new day looks promising. After getting dressed, they enter the living room, where a pile of bags are packed to be taken with them.
SCENE TWO - In the bus
GIRL and MOTHER go again to the meeting place, into the bus. Other people comment on the fact that it is a special day for the GIRL. CB notes, as he touches her hair, that it will be ruined in a few hours, and the GIRL replies that it is for a worthy cause. Someone mentions the fact that the water will be very cold if it keeps raining.
SCENE THREE - Old friends
The bus parks at the place and everyone gets off. The GIRL marks seats for herself and a friend at the area specially reserved for people taking part in the embrace, then goes looking for that friend. She runs into the BOY, greets him asking how he is. He only laughs and hands her an object he had borrowed long ago. In the box, there is a piece of paper that says "check-mate!"
SCENE FOUR - Photo shoot
MOTHER drags the GIRL all over the place getting dozens of people to pose next to her for photos. The GIRL is grateful when the man at the microphone asks everyone to be seated to be served, but has a feeling that MOTHER isn't quite done yet. MOTHER walks away as GIRL sits next to her friend at the reserved area.
SCENE FIVE - The embrace
After many courses came the special moment for the forty-five people sitting at the reserved area. The GIRL is visibly nervous, giggling erratically and having even more trouble than usual at paying attention, but she is focused. The man at the microphone asks them to stand and make their pledge, making the GIRL feel faint. Then they all go to the dressing rooms, the GIRL talks nervously to her friend, who happens to be a certain BOY's cousin. Both of them change clothes and get in line for the embrace.
The GIRL looks at the people watching, surrounding them. She can see her MOTHER and some RELATIVES, who had come especially for that occasion, standing far ahead of her. She sees some friends standing a little closer, waving to her, encouraging her, they all look incredibly happy. She sees, far, far away, the BOY, and is suddenly flooded by the memories of their plans, now abandoned. They hold the stare, perhaps looking each other in the eye for the first time in... she can't remember how long it has been. He smiles at her, she smiles back, looks away. It's her turn.
GIRL gets into the water. Her head, her skin are buzzing with excitement. The man in the water tells her what to do, supports her as she lets herself fall back, fall away. Yes, the water is cold, but she barely notices it. The GIRL gets out of the water, not containing her joy.
SCENE SIX - Dressing room news
While waiting for an opportunity to change, GIRL and her friend talk about the experience. The friend brings up the fact that GIRL and BOY's plans were cancelled and implies it was the BOY's decision. GIRL decides it is best to let her think that. If the BOY doesn't know GIRL's motives, neither will his cousin. MOTHER finds her way into the dressing room, bringing a video camera with her. She helps GIRL get dressed and hurries out to film the GIRL's exit, as if it was an important scene of a movie. The GIRL takes a few more minutes brushing her hair and noting that she did not, in fact, see her FATHER in the crowd. She still had had hope.
SCENE SEVEN - It's "sister" now
GIRL comes out and is congratulated by countless people, all of which said the same thing: "now you're not our cousin anymore, but our sister". She pretends not to be offended, but keeps smiling and thanking them. She is even congratulated by some people she had never seen before, but who noticed her in the line for the embrace. The GIRL walks by the BOY a couple of times, but he doesn't even look at her.
SCENE EIGHT - A message from long ago
GIRL's cell phone rings. She picks it up happily, expecting it to be a message from her best FRIEND. It was and event reminder from a message BOY had written months before. It said "be my girlfriend". GIRL swallows hard and erases it.
SCENE NINE - A message from far away
The man at the microphone asks the guests to be seated so the meal can continue. They are served a few more courses, then a special announcement is made. A telegram from a distant country had been received congratulating all the people who had taken part in the embrace and sending them love from one of the GIRL's old teachers. GIRL, who had been able to hold her emotions just fine up until then, breaks down into tears in her MOTHER's arms.
SCENE TEN - Going home
GIRL gets lost in the exiting crowd, passing by the BOY again. Perhaps she hopes he will get over their problems for just a moment, long enough to recognize that it is an important day for her, but he disappoints her once again. GIRL and MOTHER find someone to drive them home so they won't have to take the bus, and leave.
Well, since you've come this far, read act three.