A rocking chair sits upper right stage with three grandmother-type pillows on it. There is a pillow and blanket fort sitting on three dining room chairs. Lower left stage there are a few balls and some building blocks. There is also a doll house and two dolls.
Joan is 10 years old and plays dolls by herself. Her brother Tobey, aged six, is sitting under his fort with a teddy bear and Mother is rocking in her chair, reading. She looks at the clock, sighs anxiously and goes back at her book.
MOTHER (mutters to herself) : Why isn’t he here yet? He said he’d be back at 5:30, didn’t he?
JOAN: Mommy is sad again. Maybe she forgot?
TOBEY: Mommy only forgets when she’s sewing and she is reading today. She has to remember.
MOTHER (to herself) : Where is he? I don’t understand what’s taking so long…
JOAN: She’s making me nervous. Look how sad she’s getting?
Mother gets up from her chair and paces the front of the stage back and forth. She looks at Tobey and Joan. She smiles at them but quickly resumes her anxious pacing.
TOBEY: Mommy are you ok?
Mother looks at Tobey but doesn’t answer. Her face now changes from nervous to vacant. She moves back to her chair and resumes reading her book.
JOAN (whispers to Tobey): Did you see that? She didn’t blink or anything.
TOBEY (quietly back): Yeah. Why she like that?
JOAN: I really think she forgot. Last time she forgot was scary.
Mother shifts in her chair. She has a blank stare and looks defeated. She closes her book and starts to cry. The children stay where they are and watch their mother for a few moments in silence. Tobey then gets up and approaches his crying mother. Joan stays where she is and looks more scared then anything.
TOBEY (repeats): Mommy are you ok? You look sad.
JOAN (hisses): Get away from her Tobey! She’s acting weird!
TOBEY: Mommy is sad and I want her to feel better. (Angrily, he yells each word) I. WANT. HER. TO. FEEL. BETTER!
JOAN: She can’t feel better. She doesn’t feel anything anymore. Look! She’s not even blinking!
Mother stopped what she was doing and looked in Joan and Tobey’s direction. Not saying a word and then goes back to staring blankly at the audience.
JOAN (to herself): Weird.
JOAN: Did you see that? It was like she didn’t even hear you. Yell again Tobey, yell very very loudly.
Tobey takes a deep breathe.
TOBEY: AAAAAAAH MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!
Mother continues her mute immobility.
The doorbell rings and Mother gets up quickly. She darts to the door and sees a man.
MOTHER: Darling! Oh Darling you’re back. (They embrace) Have you got it? Did you bring it for me?
TOBEY: Bring what? Who is that? What’s going —
DARLING: Yes Dear, it will all be alright. Come to the kitchen and we will get you some water. The doctor said to take them with food or milk.
MOTHER: They have been bad today. Very bad, I can’t remember the last time it has been this terrible.
DARLING: It’s ok Dear, take them and you will feel better.
Mother exits with Darling.
JOAN: What’s going on?!
TOBEY: I don’t know Joanie, but I don’t like it. (Tobey starts to cry).
Mother and Darling come back from the kitchen. Darling sits Mother in her chair.
DARLING: Now Dear, where did we finish off last time.
MOTHER: My mood swings, Darling, we spoke of my mood swings.
DARLING: Did you see them again?
MOTHER: Only for a little bit, I saw Joanie playing dolls and Tobey was in his fort. You know how much he loves that fort don’t you dear?
DARLING: Did they speak to you?
MOTHER: No, I just saw them playing.
Joan looks astonished at her mother and this strange man.
JOAN: Who is he? How does he know who I am and where’s Daddy?!
TOBEY: I don’t remember Daddy, was he nice?
JOAN: I – I – I don’t remember…
The lights on the children fade out and all you see are Darling and Mother. Mother rocks in her chair.
MOTHER: Darling, how long has it been? How long has it been since our sessions started. How long has it been since I’ve seen that man?
DARLING: It has been almost a year since your husband smothered your children and shot himself. We have been having sessions for you to recuperate from the trauma you’ve experienced.
MOTHER: When will I stop seeing them? When will I feel whole again?
DARLING: Dear, I am afraid no one will ever fully recuperate from such a devastating loss. I can only hope, my love, that with our therapy and through our love you will be able to find peace. I can only hope that your children’s souls will find the peace and solace one can only achieve from God. (Darling pauses and pulls out two Rosary’s)
Now Dear, why don’t you start the evening prayer.
Mother takes a Rosary from Darling and closes her eyes.
MOTHER: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name…
Lights fade out and the curtains close.