Stage Direction

A is in his late thirties, glasses, greying face and hair. He sits overlooking a medium-sized garden, where B is throwing up piles of green-brown autumn leaves. B is six. It’s a Tuesday afternoon and inside, the smell of sawdust hands in the air. A sits on a plain, hardbacked wooden chair. He is designing something absent-mindedly at his desk. To his left, a dark corridor recedes.

A, or Steve, as he may be called, is wearing a grey-and-white checkered shirt, open at the neck to reveal a few grey chest hairs. His sleeves are rolled up. Hairy arms. He is barefoot, white paint flicked across his feet, especially his toenails. There is yearning in his eyes and he is waiting, waiting for the return of C.

B has long, raw honey hair, and is just as sweet. She kicks piles of leaves daintily in her school shoes that she never wore to school. But her heart is not in it. She sneaks a glance at A and tilts her head. B looks back, silent, yearning, a liquid smile. B tries, “Daddy?” A shrugs helplessly. “No,” he mouths.

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