The Diary of Anne Frank, continued

 

SCENE 4 

It is the middle of the night, several months later. The stage is dark except for a little light which comes through the skylight in PETERís room. 
Everyone is in bed. MR. and MRS. FRANK lie on the couch in the main room, which has been pulled out to serve as a makeshift double bed. 
MARGOT is sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the main room, behind a curtain stretched across for privacy. The others are all in their accustomed rooms. 
From outside we hear two drunken soldiers singing
ďLili Marlene.Ē A girl's high giggle is heard. The sound of running feet is heard coming closer and then fading in the distance. Throughout the scene there is the distant sound of airplanes passing overhead.

A match suddenly flares up in the attic. We dimly see MR. VAN DAAN. He is getting his bearings. He comes quickly down the stairs and goes to the cupboard where the food is stored. Again the match flares up, and is as quickly blown out. The dim figure is seen to steal back up the stairs. 

There is quiet for a second or two, broken only by the sound of airplanes and running feet on the street below. 
Suddenly, out of the silence and the dark, we hear
ANNE scream. 

Anne (screaming). No! No! Donít . . . donít take me! 

[She moans, tossing and crying in her sleep. The other people wake, terrified. DUSSEL sits up in bed, furious.

Dussel. Shush! Anne! Anne, for Godís sake, shush! 

Anne (still in her nightmare). Save me! Save me! 

[She screams and screams. DUSSEL gets out of bed, going over to her, trying to wake her.] 

Dussel. For Godís sake! Quiet! Quiet! You want someone to hear? 

[In the main room MRS. FRANK grabs a shawl and pulls it around her. She rushes in to ANNE, taking her in her arms. MR. FRANK hurriedly gets up, putting on his overcoat. MARGOT sits up, terrified. PETERís light goes on in his room.

Mrs. Frank (to ANNE, in her room). Hush, darling, hush. Itís all right. Itís all right. (Over her shoulder, to DUSSEL) Will you be kind enough to turn on the light, Mr. Dussel? (Back to ANNE) Itís nothing, my darling. It was just a dream. 

[DUSSEL turns on the light in the bedroom. MRS. FRANK holds ANNE in her arms. Gradually ANNE comes out of her nightmare, still trembling with horror. MR. FRANK comes into the room, and goes quickly to the window, looking out to be sure that no one outside has heard ANNEís screams. MRS. FRANK holds ANNE, talking softly to her. In the main room MARGOT stands on a chair, turning on the center hanging lamp. A light goes on in the VAN DAANSí room overhead. PETER puts his robe on, coming out of his room.]

Dussel (to MRS. FRANK, blowing his nose). Something must be done about that child, Mrs. Frank. Yelling like that! Who knows but thereís somebody on the streets? Sheís endangering all our lives. 

Mrs. Frank. Anne, darling. 

Dussel. Every night she twists and turns. I donít sleep. I spend half my night shushing her. And now itís nightmares! 

[MARGOT comes to the door of ANNEís room, followed by PETER. MR. FRANK goes to them, indicating that everything is all right. PETER takes MARGOT back.] 

Mrs. Frank (to ANNE). Youíre here, safe, you see? Nothing has happened. (To DUSSEL) Please, Mr. Dussel, go back to bed. Sheíll be herself in a minute or two. Wonít you, Anne? 

Dussel (picking up a book and a pillow). Thank you, but Iím going to the w.c. The one place where thereís peace! 

[He stalks out. MR. VAN DAAN, in underwear and trousers, comes down the stairs.

Mr. Van Daan (to DUSSEL). What is it? What happened? 

Dussel. A nightmare. She was having a nightmare! 

Mr. Van Daan. I thought someone was murdering her. 

Dussel. Unfortunately, no. 

[He goes into the bathroom. MR. VAN DAAN goes back up the stairs. MR. FRANK, in the main room, sends PETER back to his own bedroom.] 

Mr. Frank. Thank you, Peter. Go back to bed. 

[PETER goes back to his room. MR. FRANK follows him, turning out the light and looking out the window. Then he goes back to the main room, and gets up on a chair, turning out the center hanging lamp.] 

Mrs. Frank (to ANNE). Would you like some water? (ANNE shakes her head.) Was it a very bad dream? Perhaps if you told me . . . ? 

Anne. Iíd rather not talk about it. 

Mrs. Frank. Poor darling. Try to sleep, then. Iíll sit right here beside you until you fall asleep. (She brings a stool over, sitting there.

Anne. You donít have to. 

Mrs. Frank. But Iíd like to stay with you . . . very much. Really. 

Anne. Iíd rather you didnít. 

Mrs. Frank. Good night, then. (She leans down to kiss ANNE. ANNE throws her arm up over her face, turning away. MRS. FRANK, hiding her hurt, kisses ANNEís arm.) Youíll be all right? Thereís nothing that you want?  

Anne. Will you please ask Father to come. 

Mrs. Frank (after a second). Of course, Anne dear. (She hurries out into the other room. MR. FRANK comes to her as she comes in.) Sie verlangt nach Dir!  ("She's asking for you!") 

Mr. Frank (sensing her hurt). Edith, Liebe, schau . . . 

Mrs. Frank. Es macht nichts! Ich danke dem lieben Herrgott, dass sie sich wenigstens an Dich wendet, wenn sie Trost braucht! Geh hinein, Otto, sie ist ganz hysterisch vor Angst. ("It doesn't matter! I thank the dear Lord that she turns at least to you when she needs comfort! Go to her, Otto, she's completely hysterical with fear.")(As MR. FRANK hesitates) Geh zu ihr.(He looks at her for a second and then goes to get a cup of water for ANNE. MRS. FRANK sinks down on the bed, her face in her hands, trying to keep from sobbing aloud. MARGOT comes over to her, putting her arms around her.) She wants nothing of me. She pulled away when I leaned down to kiss her. 

Margot. Itís a phase . . . You heard Father . . . Most girls go through it . . . they turn to their fathers at this age . . . they give all their love to their fathers. 

Mrs. Frank. You werenít like this. You didnít shut me out. 

Margot. Sheíll get over it. . . . 

[She smooths the bed for MRS. FRANK and sits beside her a moment as MRS. FRANK lies down. In ANNEís room MR. FRANK comes in, sitting down by ANNE. ANNE flings her arms around him, clinging to him. In the distance we hear the sound of ack-ack.] 

Anne. Oh, Pim. I dreamed that they came to get us! The Green Police! They broke down the door and grabbed me and started to drag me out the way they did Jopie. 

Mr. Frank. I want you to take this pill.

Anne. What is it? 

Mr. Frank. Something to quiet you. 

[She takes it and drinks the water. In the main room MARGOT turns out the light and goes back to her bed.

Mr. Frank (to ANNE). Do you want me to read to you for a while? 

Anne. No. Just sit with me for a minute. Was I awful? Did I yell terribly loud? Do you think anyone outside could have heard? 

Mr. Frank. No. No. Lie quietly now. Try to sleep. 

Anne. Iím a terrible coward. Iím so disappointed in myself. I think Iíve conquered my fear . . . I think Iím really grown-up . . . and then something happens . . . and I run to you like a baby.... I love you, Father. I donít love anyone but you. 

Mr. Frank (reproachfully). Annele! 

Anne. Itís true. Iíve been thinking about it for a long time. Youíre the only one I love. 

Mr. Frank. Itís fine to hear you tell me that you love me. But Iíd be happier if you said you loved your mother as well. . . . She needs your help so much . . . your love . . .

Anne. We have nothing in common. She doesnít understand me. Whenever I try to explain my views on life to her, she asks me if Iím constipated. 

Mr. Frank. You hurt her very much just now. Sheís crying. Sheís in there crying. 

Anne. I canít help it. I only told the truth. I didnít want her here . . . (Then, with sudden change) Oh, Pim, I was horrible, wasnít I? And the worst of it is, I can stand off and look at myself doing it and know itís cruel and yet I canít stop doing it. Whatís the matter with me? Tell me. Donít say itís just a phase! Help me. 

Mr. Frank. There is so little that we parents can do to help our children. We can only try to set a good example . . . point the way. The rest you must do yourself. You must build your own character. 

Anne. Iím trying. Really I am. Every night I think back over all of the things I did that day that were wrong . . . like putting the wet mop in Mr. Dusselís bed . . . and this thing now with Mother. I say to myself, that was wrong. I make up my mind, Iím never going to do that again. Never! Of course, I may do something worse . . . but at least Iíll never do that again! . . . I have a nicer side, Father . . . a sweeter, nicer side. But Iím scared to show it. Iím afraid that people are going to laugh at me if Iím serious. So the mean Anne comes to the outside and the good Anne stays on the inside, and I keep on trying to switch them around and have the good Anne outside and the bad Anne inside and be what Iíd like to be . . . and might be . . . if only . . . only . . .  

[She is asleep. MR. FRANK watches her for a moment and then turns off the light, and starts out. The lights dim out. The curtain falls on the scene. ANNEís voice is heard, dimly at first and then with growing strength.] 
Anneís Voice. . . . The air raids are getting worse. They come over day and night. The noise is terrifying. Pim says it should be music to our ears. The more planes, the sooner will come the end of the war. Mrs. Van Daan pretends to be a fatalist. What will be, will be. But when the planes come over, who is the most frightened? No one else but Petronella! . . . Monday, the ninth of November, nineteen forty-two. Wonderful news! The Allies have landed in Africa. Pim says that we can look for an early finish to the war. Just for fun, he asked each of us what was the first thing we wanted to do when we got out of here. Mrs. Van Daan longs to be home with her own things, her needlepoint chairs, the Bechstein piano her father gave her . . . the best that money could buy. Peter would like to go to a movie. Mr. Dussel wants to get back to his dentistís drill. Heís afraid he is losing his touch. For myself, there are so many things . . . to ride a bike again . . . to laugh till my belly aches . . . to have new clothes from the skin out . . . to have a hot tub filled to overflowing and wallow in it for hours . . . to be back in school with my friends . . . 

[As the last lines are being said, the curtain rises on the scene. The lights dim on as ANNEís voice fades away.

(Scene 4)

Click here to navigate through Act 1

Scenes 1-2, Scene 3, Scene 5, and Homework.

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