Reason of Doubt excerpt

(an excerpt from the first scene of Reason of Doubt. Dana, who works as a rape-crisis counselor, has just found out she has been accused of rape)

DANA

Do you remember anything at all from that night?

 

JESS

What?

 

DANA

Anything at this point would help.

 

JESS

What exactly are you asking me Dana?

 

DANA

Jess. You were there…

 

JESS

I left early.

 

DANA

Well do you remember seeing anything?

 

JESS

 I remember telling you not to get drunk. And you promising me that you wouldn’t.

 

DANA

I didn’t promise—

 

JESS

Yes you did.

 

DANA

If I did, I’m sorry. I am so sorry. And I swear after this blows over, I will finally go to AA. But, right now, I need your help. I have no idea how to fight this.

 

JESS re-opens the file.

 

JESS

(reading) Is there anything you didn’t admit to?

 

DANA

I admitted everything I remembered. I had to write something.

 

 

JESS

Well this looks more like a confession than a statement.

 

Beat.

 

JESS

Who’s working the case?

 

DANA

Sarah.

JESS

So why are you talking to me about it? If I’m not assigned to the case, it’s against—

 

 

 

 

DANA

I know the policy, Jess. I also know I’m totally fucked. I have no way to prove I’m innocent.

 

JESS

What makes you so sure that you are?

 

DANA

This is not in my nature. I am not capable of this.

 

JESS

We’re all capable of—

 

DANA

Jess, you can’t honestly think I did this.

 

JESS

I think you’re an alcoholic who likes sex. A lot.

 

 

DANA

Jess!

 

JESS

She’s not fucking around, Dana. This is a serious accusation.

 

DANA

I know but I—it’s bullshit. She’s just upset.

 

JESS

Upset? I think I’d be upset too if I thought I was raped by someone.

 

 

DANA

She wasn’t raped. It’s a huge misunderstanding.

 

JESS

I bet.

 

DANA

There must be some way to fight this. And you’re about the only person who seems to how.

 

 

JESS

Being innocent. That’s how you fight this.

 

DANA

What good is innocence with no proof? I just need advice. Anything.

 

JESS

Advice?

 

DANA

Yes. Please.

 

 

JESS

And you swear on your father’s grave that you will go to AA if I help you get through this?

 

DANA

Yes. I swear.

 

Beat.

 

JESS

Delete your Facebook. Go through your emails and text messages and anything that even mentions her name and delete that too.

 

DANA

Wait. Why? Doesn’t she have a record of text messages and emails too?

 

 

JESS

Yeah. Possibly. But in the chance that she deleted them, you want to make sure all of yours are gone too. You never know. It’s precautionary measure. Plus some phones auto delete text messages when they get too full. You can honestly never be too careful.

 

DANA

Oh. Okay.

 

JESS

Talk to no one about the case. Make sure her name never comes out of your mouth. Go to class and home and that’s it. Be as low-key as possible.

 

DANA

Okay. Thank you.

 

 

JESS

Good. Now get out. I have to get ready for my case. Which is in like fifteen minutes.

 

DANA takes the folder and then begins to exit.

She pauses by the door and then turns to JESS.

 

DANA

All jokes and judgment aside, do you think I did this?

 

JESS

Honestly?

 

DANA

Of course.

 

JESS

Well it honestly doesn’t matter. There’s no way it’s rape.

 

Beat.

 

DANA

Why?

 

JESS

Lesbian sex just isn’t legally defined. Therefore, rape isn’t legally defined. It’s sexual assault, possibly. But not rape.

 

DANA

What?

 

JESS

Rape is defined as a forced sexual act. There’s no defined sexual act with lesbians.

 

                        Beat. DANA starts to say something but chooses not to.

                        Instead she picks up the file and looks through the pages.

 

DANA

If that’s true then why was this case picked up?

 

JESS

Because the second we ignore it, it’s discrimination. We have to at least address it.

 

                        Beat. DANA exits.

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