Jake is a normal seventeen-year-old kid except that he is developmentally behind because of a situation at birth. He is aware of who he is and what happened to him. He explains to the audience how his accident happened and that his mom tells him that there are things that he sometimes doesn’t understand. What we find out through the events of the story is that he actually does understand. He understands that his mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s. He also understands that his parents don’t want to take care of him for their rest of their lives. Jake is very aware but often gets ignored for what he does know. The highlight of Jake’s life is his twin brother Jessi. Jessi was born with no difficulties and he is a great big brother to Jake. There is a moment on their eighteenth birthday that Jessi decides he is going to celebrate it alone, for the first time without Jake. As Jake waits in the car, then walks to the Burger Hut to find Jake eating their birthday dinner alone he is heartbroken. When Jessi tells him he just has to get over it, Jake takes what his says literal. Overhearing his parents say that they don’t want to care for him forever, he also takes that quite literally. Jake does in fact understand but there are things that he translates incorrectly. When his mind tells him that no one loves him, there is no reason for him to live, he takes that and puts it into action. This story should bring light to the fact that people who are different from us are still people and that words have meaning, and they matter. Jake is a wonderful young man who wants nothing more than to be loved by the people he calls family, unconditional, full time, family love.
Sometimes I Don't Understand
(Scene opens with a teenage Jake playing cars. Jake loves every minute of playing with his toys, making car sounds and running around his room enjoying himself. Jake is seventeen years old in his physical body, but his mental age is closer to seven. He’s very aware of who he is as well as his surroundings. Jakes speech is slightly affected. The cars crash. *Jake does not have to be a boy; the sex of the child can be changed along with the pronouns used and if so, Jake’s name will be changed to “Jessica.”)
(Holding up one car) “Oh no you were driving too fast.” (To audience) This car is purple. I remember once when my brother Jessi asked me what was the name of my car? And I laughed at him, what a silly question, cars don’t have names. It’s just car. (laughs) I like teaching him stuff…lessons. (Holding up second car.) And this car is red. (a secret) Red cars always go faster than any other color. I heard that on TV one day. I don’t understand why but... “I don’t understand,” I say that a lot. That’s what my mom says to me. She says, “Jake there are going to be things in your life that you just don’t understand.” I can think though. I think a lot. And I know a lot of things. And the things that I don’t - the things that I can’t - see sometimes it’s hard for me to pick the right word. I’m sorry. I don’t do it on purpose. Mom said that my brain is just, never mind… I don’t understand that either.