The Picture of Perfection (Carla)
by Jenna

452 words (3 minutes)

     (This is actually from an original play. Carla is a "perfect" 14-yr.-old, always the best at what she does. But that's never good enough for her parents. She feels the need to always be better than everyone. She's even resorted to taking speed to keep herself awake for the frequent all-nighters she has to pull in order to study. In this monologue, she vents to her teddy bear about the pressures of always having to be the best.)

     Someone once told me that you can't hide what you are. And no matter how hard you try, people can always just see right through you. At least the smart ones can. And I'm a failure. A complete and utter failure. God, I swear there's something terminally wrong with me. I got a B. And that's it. I'm done. I've never been the best. But everyone thought I was. "Oh, look at Carla, she's so smart! She can get straight A's without even trying." Ha! If you call studying for twelve hours a day not trying, then I guess they're right. And I studied for this test, too. I really did! But do they believe that? No. All they see is the letter "B" sprawled across the top of the page, and suddenly they can't even find the words to express their anger. They know I'm a failure. They know it's what I've always been. And it hurts them. My parents. It really hurts them to remember how truly flawed their daughter is. How stupid she is. I hate this. I hate causing them pain. I mean, they've been so good to me. But it wasn't my fault. Why can't they understand that? Why doesn't anyone understand what I go through everyday, trying to maintain my perfection. It isn't easy, you know. There's a lot more to it than people think. You have to be three steps ahead of everyone else. That's the only way to assure that you're the winner.

(she suddenly breaks down into hysterics) I win! I'm the best! Me, me, me! I win, I win, I win! No one can beat me! No one! I win! I always win!)

     (she regains her composure) I have to be the best. Because that's who I am. Carla Peters, the best. And without that, I have no identity. I'm just no one. And I don't know if I could handle being no one. All I know is, this is who they want me to be. And it's the least I could do for them. They gave up everything for me. Mother especially. She gave up her career when she got pregnant, so she'd be able to spend all her time with me. And I'm grateful. This is the only way I know of to repay them. Being the best at everything I do. Even if it means making sacrifices. I simply have to try. And hopefully I won't fail again. I just hope I can escape my destiny as a failure. There's a big English test the day after tomorrow. I better get studying, so I don't fail again. Now then, where the hell are my pills?

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