(Lights up. The stage is dim except for a light center stage, where there is a single chair with the WOMAN sitting in it. She is sitting very seriously, if slightly solemn. Her eyes are closed and remain closed until otherwise stated.)
WOMAN: Noises. They were all that I could sense. There was nothing else but noises. Sounds, sirens, screams…laughter. Those were the only things registering in my mind, in my head. The smell of blood was long gone, though I knew it was still there; the feeling of warmth had vanished; and everything was dark. At least, that part can be explained—my eyes were shut tight. For what reason, I can only speculate…I was not a part of this, am not a part of this. I was an observer…a victim. Yet, somehow, I was an accomplice. I didn’t want to see it, in the end, though.
I don’t know how long I had been standing there, hands held behind me by what should had been cold metal cuffs, though I had no feeling of them around my wrists. There was no expression on my face except squeezed-shut eyes. And I was proud. I am proud that I wasn’t showing how happy and hurt I was, am, both at the same time.
The laughter had finally died down, and for that, I was calmed. He had finally quieted long enough to go quietly, me following blinding into the car.
(She shifts uncomfortably, as if reliving being pushed into a car and the man’s actions and words.)
WOMAN: I still…wouldn’t open my eyes, even as I felt the weight of his head on my shoulder. Even as he kissed my neck and then my cheek, I refused to spare him a glance.
He kept asking…pleading me to open my eyes one last time. He knew—as well as I did—that after this ride, we may never see each other again. Hopefully. Sadly. I don’t know. I don’t want to leave him, never did. But It wasn’t my fault, isn’t my fault; it’s his own. So I shouldn’t be the one punished!
The car stopped eventually and his presence and harsh warmth left me. (Relaxes visibly.) Another person’s arm grabbed mine and pulled me up. It pulled me out into the wind now whipping past. I was gaining feeling back, but I don’t know if that is good or not.
I was led up stairs and into a warmer building. The person sits me down on a hard wood bench. (Fidgets again.) I couldn’t hear anything but faint buzzing. Now, it seemed, sound was the one sense involuntarily missing.
Suddenly, another hand pulled me away from my seat and through winding hallways until I was pushed into a room. I couldn’t tell if it was a good room, small, large, an interrogation room…All I knew was that I was alone. There was nobody else with me…And I was pleased. Unable to grope around to find another seat since my hands were still behind me, I lowered my body to the ground…Eventually, I fell asleep.
Nightmares plague me.
(She shifts again, quite uncomfortable. One hand mimes holding another over her leg. The next flashback she gets more into explaining, as if reliving it.)
WOMAN: To go back further…(Pauses to think.) We were sitting around our living room, a coffee table separating us from them. Four mugs sat on the table, one in front of each of us. He was sitting beside me, hands grasping one of my own. I raised one hand to brush back some hair. (Hand shakily goes through hair.) A smile was spread across both our faces. (Grimaces, as if trying to make a smile but failing.)
But the other two…are frowning. They wouldn’t accept us, him, it. They refused to let him be a part of our family. And I must get rid of it. I refuse, love fueling my disobedience. We all argue, and they…leave. They said they wouldn’t be back!
(She shifts and fidgets, thoroughly uncomfortable and unable to sit still.)
WOMAN: That night…Late at night, doors are slamming, and I wake up. A gunshot rings through our house.
(She stands up suddenly, stepping forward slightly. Through the next lines, she speeds up, completely into the flashback.)
WOMAN: I jump out of my bed, which is already missing its other occupant. Where is he? I need him! Clutching my stomach, (clutches stomach) I run from my room and look down to see them fighting. No, this can’t be happening!
I yell at them to stop, but he says this is all for the better…and I believe him.
He did it out of love for me, I swear upon my life! He did it out of his love for us! He never wanted to part, and so he killed them…both of them…And I was happy. And he was happy…So he laughs…and laughs…And then I look down… (Looks down, though with her eyes closed) and see…and scream. I shut my eyes and never reopen them!
(She walks backwards slowly to settle with her legs against the chair, all the while calming down. On the next line, she slowly sits down.)
WOMAN: I don’t know what happened after that, but everything was a blur anyway. I haven’t gotten to see him again until now, at this trial. I’ve listened to everything, and now it’s my turn. (By now, she is fully seated, sitting as she had at the beginning, serious and solemn, back straight against the back of the chair.) I’ve kept my eyes closed as I’ve testified against my love.
The truth is supposed to set me free, set him free, but all it does is hurt. It hurts so much. And the pain and knots in my stomach are nothing compared to the constricting in my chest.
MAN: (Offstage) One last look into your eyes, love!
WOMAN: He calls as he’s being taken away. I can’t.
MAN: (Offstage) Grant a condemned man one last wish! (During the next line, he sneaks onto the stage, downstage center, cast completely in shadow.)
WOMAN: Tears are falling from my underneath my eyelids, against my will. And, for the last time, those lids open to the bright courtroom.
(She stands and opens her eyes. Lights up on the man downstage center. His hands are held in front of him as if in handcuffs and chains. There is a deranged look on his face, as described by the woman.)
WOMAN: In front of me is a man in chains. He looks so familiar, but I can’t remember. He looks so much like him, so much like my love.
But there is a crazed look in his eye that I’ve never witnessed before. And a sly grin on his face, that of a murderer. A proud murderer.
MAN: Take care of him, for me.
WOMAN: He says—his smile and eyes turning soft before gaining a bizarre glint once again.
(His eyes follow her words.)
WOMAN: All I can do is nod. (Nods.)
(The lights begin to fade on the MAN on the next line, but he’s frozen in place.)
WOMAN: And I watch them as they haul my love away. Haul being a relative term—he comes quietly and calmly. One last smile in my direction and he faces his fate. And I watch his retreating figure, one that I will never see again, one that it will never get to see.
But that is the last thing I see. (On next lines, closes eyes and falls to the ground, as described) Everything goes dark once more and I feel hardness, the floor, against my knees, then my elbows, as I fall. I can’t hold myself up anymore. I can’t hold myself in anymore. Tears fall freely from me and I can’t hold back the sobs. The cries are wrenched from me and I am powerless.
I am pregnant with his child, the child of a murderer. I am in love with him, the murderer of my parents.
…And I am powerless to stop myself.