Mother and Daughter has just had a row. About Daughter being too often away from home and disappearing for days. Mother shouted and fumed; Daughter tried to say something but she felt overpowered. She stood there, shaking. Mother turned around and went to her room, slamming the door. Daughter also went to her room. Still shaky from what just happened she tried to read a book but her thoughts are racing. She wants to run away, shut the door behind her and never come back.
I hate her – she thinks. I cannot trust her it is always the same. She does not want me to be happy and have a boyfriend. She wants me to stay home with her. But I am 22! I can live with my boyfriend He has a big place and said it was OK. And if Mother does not like it, so be it. She only thinks about herself that she does not want to be alone. And what about me?
Daughter is standing by the window, looking outside. It is dark, October air is filling her room. A bright lit bus is stopping nearby and letting people out.
-I do not want to stay here a minute loger – thinks Daughter.Otherwise Mother will pick up a fight tomorrow first thing in the morning.I know her well. She has been so angry just now it will not go away overnight….I have to run now before she can stop me.
Without hesitating she picked up her bag, thre a few items into it and sneaked to the hall.She put her shoes on and grabbed her coat. As she opened the door Mother suddenly appeared in the hall.
-Where are you going at this time in the evening? Her eyes were shining in the dark hall. It’s too late, you are staying home.
With one swift movement she closed the door and turned the key. Then she took it out and put it in her pocket.
Daughter stood there, as if petrified. She did not utter a word.
-Have you heard what I just said? Go to your room and to bed. It s getting late.
Mother pushed her toward her room.
– No! Daughter made a step sideways and looked her Mother in the eye. I will not stay here tonight, no way. You scream at me so I go. Open the door! – her voice became shrieky.
For a moment it became silent.Mother seemed surprised at Daughter’s response.
But then she collected herself.
-Remember, you are going nowhere tonight, YOU ARE STAYING HOME!!! Her voice became furious.
-And if you say one more word….
-What then? Mother? Are you going to hit me?Daughter’s voice is ready to burst into tears.
A sharp slap followed. Mother’s hand on Daughter’s face. Burning feeling on the cheek, uneasiness in the stomach and a growing terror in Daughter’s eyes.
Daughter covered her face with her hands. Both women stood there facing eacht other in the darkness of the hall. None of them bothered to switch on the lights.
More hitting followed. Daughter managed to close herself in the bathroom where she sat shivering in the corner behind the bathtube.Outside Mother was raging breaking glass in bathroom door. She did not succed in opening it, though.
Then there was silence. Mother went to her room.
Daughter stayed for hours in the locked bathroom.When she did not hear Mother’s moving any more she softly opened the door and tiptoed to her room.
Then she dialled the number of police. When somebody answered she explained in a soft voice she needed help.
Putting down the receiver she sank onto a chair. Her body shivered, she felt scared and numb at the same time.
She could not believe what has just happened. Het mind was blank she could only think about the voice of police officer she spoke to just now.
When the door bell rung, Daughter rushed to the hall. She realized there she could not unlock the door because Mother took her key.
-Police, open the door! A loud voice on the other side.
Mother’s footsteps behind her.
Daughter moved away a bit but stayed close enough to the door.
-Open the door!
Silence. Daughter felt as if something was tightening a grip on het throat. Mother stood at her side, motionless.
-We have just received a call that there are some problems here. A girl called. Is it you? Police officer’s voice was loud and clear.
– Yes it was me – Dughter’s voice was coarse as if she has not spoken for days. Only….
– So please, open the door – said the voice on the other side.
Daughter felt as if she could not move. Her mother’s presence next to her paralyzed her. She felt unable to take any action.
-We received a call that you were hit by your mother. Please open the door.
Daughter felt frozen. Her body was shaking. Now was the moment to do something! She will be safe if only…..Mother breathed quickly next to her.
What if they force the door? If i tell them the truth what will happen tomorrow?
-Please go away. It is allright now. Mother’s voice sounded calm. Nothing is wrong….
Something in Daughter’s head was screaming that it was lie, that they needed to force the door and take her mother away….
Instead, she felt her mouth frozen and throat closing.
Some more questions followed. Daughter has not really heard what was said.
Mother was assuring the police that it was OK. They seemed to believe her, oh no….
Daughter heard the police talking to each other behind the closed door as if deciding what to do.
Then the officer’s voice said:
-If it is ok now then we are going away. Please call if there are more problems in the future.
Their footsteps in the staircase growing softer and softer. Nobody is there on the other side of the door….
Daughter fel dizzy and could not say a word. She still trembled cursing herself in her head.
Mother turned away and went to her room without a word.
Silence in the dark hall.
Finally Daughter managed to move – she dragged herself slowly to her room.
There she threw herself on her bed and closed her eyes. Was it a dream what juist happened?
Burning pain om her cheek and whole body.
She could not sleep was just lying awake staring at the lights outside.
It was quiet in Mother’s room, was she sleeping? Daughter was listening like a hunted deer trembling with terror in her bed. But the night passed uneventful.
When the morning came, Daughter stood up. On her way to the bathroom she noticed that the key was back in the hole.
Mother has put it back.
Daughter washed her face and looked at the mirror. A big blue plum was growing under her eye.
She grabbed het tootbrush, returned to her room and put a few items in her bag. Laced her shoes and buttoned her coat.
Nothing moved in mother’s room.
Without saying a word, she opened the door and run outside. Fresh air filled her lungs.
She saw a bus approaching the stop and hurried to take it. The bus came to a halt, Daughter stepped in. The bus drove away.
Behind the curtain Mother was looking at the empty bus stop.