Held Between

By Naomi George


The Goodman Family

Elaine: Late 40s, suffers from schizophrenia.

Mila: Early 20s, her daughter.

Amos: Early 50s, her husband.

David: Mid to late 50s, a worker all his adult life. Amos’ brother.

Moira: Mid 40s, a housewife all her adult life, a hippy at heart. David’s wife.

Angelo: Late teens to early 20s. Their son.



Cain: Late 20s to 30

The Suited Man: A psychiatrist.

Orderly: A non-entity



/ signals interrupted, overlaying speech and should be read as such.

When location is ‘a space’, the character is talking to no one in particular. They address the audience in someway but essentially the speech is a physical manifestation of their thoughts.




The aftermath of the funeral of Elaine Goodman. A comfortable living room.

Mila sits staring into space. Cain is at her side. Amos watches her and drinks glass after glass of whiskey throughout the scene. Angelo, David and Moira are awkward, motionless and fussy respectively.

Moira: It was a lovely service Amos.

Amos drinks

Moira: I think people really enjoyed it. Maybe enjoy is the wrong word. I mean... What’s the word I’m looking for David?

David: ...I don’t know Moira.

Moira: You know... not enjoy, but...

Angelo: Appreciated.

Moira: Yes that’s it, appreciated. I think people really appreciated it...plenty of sausage rolls left mind you, if you wanted any. Mila, Sausage roll? ...no best not...I err... maybe we should play some music - some of Elaine’s favourite music. She’d have liked that. What’s her favourite song Amos? Amos sweetheart, are you listening?

Amos: Hmm?

Moira: Elaine’s favourite song?

Amos: What about it?

Moira: What is it?

Amos: ... I don’t know.

David: Moira, maybe we should-

Moira: Maybe we should say a few words. David what do you think?

David: I think maybe you should just stop.

Moira: Oh yeah. Sorry. I just. It’s just... the silence.

An awkwardly long pause.

I’ll clean up a bit. You want to help me Mila? ...No. I’ll just get a bin bag.

Exit Moira.

Amos: Can’t you get her to shut up David? Bloody woman. Never ending... mouth like a bloody...

David: I think you’ve had enough.

Amos: I’m completely fine.

Cain: Here give me the glass. I’ll get you some water.

Amos: No. I’ve got plenty to drink here.

David: But none of that is any good now is it?

Amos: Oh give it a rest D. I want it. I need it... to drink it. To forget.

David: You’ll never forget... But you will adjust. You just need time.

Amos: Time? What is time going to do? (To himself) Jesus.

David: Here just give it to me.

Amos: No.

David: Come on.

There is a struggle. The drink falls on the floor.

David: Oh bloody hell.

Angelo: That’s where Aunt Elaine’s going.

Amos starts to sob gently.

David: Angelo!?

Angelo: What? It’s true. If you commit suicide, you commit a mortal sin. In other words a fast track to hell, bloody or not. You told me that dad. Your words not mine.

Amos becomes even more distressed.

Along with telling me to try my best not to be a bum boy anymore because God wouldn’t like it. I’m not even making this shit up.

David: Not now Angelo.

Angelo: Fine.

David: Moira! Moira, will you come here.

Angelo: I’m just saying.

Moira enters.

David: Help me clear this up will you.

David cleans the mess while Moira deals with Amos.

Moira: Okay darling. Okay, okay Amos. Hey, hey. No use crying over spilt milk. We’ll just clean you up, yeah? Come up stairs with me. I’ll sort you out darling.

Moira and Amos exit.

Cain: (To Mila.) You okay?

Angelo: It’s genius almost. Topping yourself wearing a jester’s hat. Ha. I mean it’s the ultimate joke.

David: Angelo...

Angelo: Why is it even called committing suicide? I mean why ‘committing’. Why not just do? Doing suicide? Done suicide you know? She did done kill herself? I dunno. Committing sounds so formal.

David: Angelo. I’m not telling you again.

Angelo: What? I’m just saying. Musing.

David: Well do us all a favour and do your musings in your head. Have some respect.

Angelo: Aunt Elaine always enjoyed my musings. She’d always listen to me. She didn’t mind that I liked it up the pooper. Ha, I guess that’s the end of that. (Eats a sausage roll) Eurgh, these truly are awful...don’t know why everyone is so surprised anyway. We all knew it was coming. She didn’t lock herself up in that place full of nurses and orderlies ready to jab her with needles and give her group counselling. That was him. She didn’t want to go.

David: She was ill, Angelo, and you know she was. No one wanted this to happen.

Angelo: But it did, didn’t it.

Cain: Guys...

Angelo: And what’s even worse was everyone at the funeral. People, who haven’t been here, didn’t see her ever pretending they understood about her ‘condition’. Shovelling food down their gobs, whispering, drinking in each other’s fake grief. It makes me sick. All that pity. Like it means anything. Makes them feel better if anything. Better about their little, stupid, insignificant lives. Shit today was awful.


Cain: Yeah today was very emotional, very sad.

Angelo: Sad? Fucking sad? That’s the best you can come up with? Today was a fucking mess. A fucking, efficient, ham sandwich filled mess.

Cain: Sorry.

Angelo: Don’t apologise. Why do you always do that?

Cain: I’m sorry. I mean...

Angelo: What do you mean Cain, huh? What exactly do you mean?

David: Angelo. Stop it. For once in your sorry life accept that today isn’t about you.

Angelo: I know. Don’t you think I know that?

Enter Moira.

Moira: He’s asleep. Best thing for him now. (To Mila) You okay petal? You’ll be okay. Just need to keep your chin up. Grieve as much as you need to.

Angelo: That’s it mum. Beef up the grief. Make it good. Ha.

Moira: Angelo, I was just...

Cain: Guys, we shouldn’t...

Mila: Can you all just shut up. Please.

Cain: Sorry Mila.

Mila: ...

Angelo: Yeah I’m sorry.

Moira: Do you want anything sweetheart. I’ll make you cup of tea.

Mila: No. No thank you.

Moira: No? Coffee? Okay. Best to leave you a while. We’ll go. Come on boys. She needs some time I think.

Angelo: Oh goodie. There we go with that time thing again.

Moira: I’m trying my best here.

Mila: Go. I want you all to go.

Moira: ...

David: Okay sweetheart. Are you sure? Maybe we should stay with you, make sure you’re alright... no. Okay, well we’ll see ourselves out okay. You just stay there. Chin up sweet pea.

Moira: (Kisses Mila on the head.)...We’re at the end of a phone. If you need us.

David: Carry Goodness in your heart and it’ll lead you through.

Angelo: Love you Jellybean.

David: May God rest her soul.

Mila: Love you more Bean sprout.

Cain stands to see them out.

Exit Angelo, Moira and David.

Cain sits down.

Cain: ‘Bean sprout’ and ‘Jellybean’. Cute.

Mila: I meant you too.

Cain: What?

Mila: Go.

Cain: Me? Are you sure? ...okay well call me when, if you need me... (Kisses her on the cheek.) I love you.


A car.

David drives. Moira, and Angelo are passengers.

Angelo: I swear it was a stroke of genius. Witty if anything.

Moira: What love?

Angelo: The jester’s hat. It was supposed to lighten the mood. Don’t you get it?

Moira: Don’t keep bringing that up darling.

Angelo: What too morbid for you, mum?

Moira: Angelo, you...

David: He was a bloody shadow of a man.

Moira: Don’t swear sweetheart. It’s very ugly on you.

David: Did you notice?

Moira: What?

David: Him?

Moira: What about him?

David: Him.

Moira: What love?

David: How he was, how he sounded. .

Angelo: What? Drunk and upset?

David: He sounded funny. Like...

Moira: I didn’t notice.

David: Do you think we should go back?

Moira: Why?

David: To check. See if he’s ok.

Moira: I didn’t hear anything.

Angelo: You never do.

Moira: What’s that supposed to mean?

Angelo: Nothing. I’m just saying.

Moira: Saying what?

Angelo: Nothing.

David: He sounded funny that’s all.

Angelo: It’s expected dad.

David: I really do think...

Moira: Well what do you want me to do about it?

David: I don’t know. Something. We should at least check.

Moira: Fine.

David: Okay... but if it’s nothing...

Moira: Do what you feel is right. It’s your side of the family love, not mine, and it’s for you to...

Angelo: What do you mean your side of the family’?

Moira: It’s rude to interrupt. How many times do I have to tell you that?

Angelo: I just wanted to know...

Moira: David, I mean your side in terms of decision. I mean it’s your choice. You know Amos better than I ever could. It’s that brotherly bond isn’t it? You boys were raised under the same roof. I mean sheep don’t go around making goats do they? You guys are all one and the same. Cut from the same cloth.

David: And what about Mila? Do you think she’s okay?

Angelo: Sheep don’t go around making goats? That’s a new one.

David: Angelo! I swear I don’t know where you get...

Angelo: Oh don’t worry dad. It’s from the other side of the family.

Moira: Mila seemed okay didn’t she?

David: I think so. Poor kid



A space.


She loved me and left me here. In a place where I can’t breathe too deep

because I feel so light I could float away,

Like an eyelash off a cheek.

Because she is...


Is so necessary to me.

She is so entirely, eternally essential to me.

‘Sorry love’ was all she said in the note. As if she’d forgotten to get the milk in for breakfast. As though she was coming back another day.


As if she could.


Before. A space.

Elaine: I am in therapy.

I talk a lot.



I take medication more than I ever have before.


There are so many I forget the names.


I do not know how I feel anymore.



In the recreation room there is a dress up box for recreation time. There is a hat like the one those people wore when they entertained royalty in the old days.


One of the nurses called it a jester’s hat.


Them up there told me to wear it at all times or else.
I like it.
It suits me.




Moira and David’s house.

Moira and David sit at a dining table.

Moira: What are you thinking?

David: Nothing.

Moira: Oh.

David: What were you thinking?

Moira: Nothing.

David: Nothing? Then why did you ask me?

Moira: Dunno. You looked like you were thinking and I wanted you to fill my head with your thoughts.

David: That’s silly Moira.

Moira: I don’t think so.

David: ...To stop your own?

Moira: To start my own.

David: Oh.


Moira: I am a good mother aren’t I?

David: Course you are.

Moira: And a good wife?

David: ...



The living room.

Mila: Can I ask you something?

Cain: Go ahead.

Mila: What are you most scared of?

Cain: What am I afraid of?

Mila: Yes

Cain: Um... snakes.

Mila: That’s your biggest fear?

Cain: Yeah. I think so.

Mila: You think. You don’t know?

Cain: No. I know. I know that I’m scared of snakes.

Mila: Oh...Do you want to know what I’m most afraid of? My biggest fear.

Cain: Do you want to tell me?

Mila: I’m not sure.

Cain: I’ll listen.

Mila: Do you want to know what I was most afraid of before all of this?

Cain: What?

Mila: Her.

Cain: Who?

Mila: Her

Cain: Your mum?

Mila: Yes.

Cain: Why?

Mila: I don’t know.


She was... because I was like her. I am like her.

Cain: What do you mean?

Mila: You know what I mean Cain.

Cain: The sickness?

Mila: (Almost laughs.) The sickness?

Cain: Sorry

Mila: Don’t be sorry. The way you say it...

Cain: What do you mean?

Mila: The way you say it, the inflection at the end like it’s a question. Like you’re not sure if it’s the right word/. Like you’re not quite sure if it’s what really happened.

Cain: I’m not sure if it’s the right word. I know it is what really happened. I know that it was a sickness. A sickness of the head. Doesn’t mean you have it.

Mila: You make it sound like flu.


Cain: What are you most scared of now?

Mila: I don’t think I want to say.

Cain: You don’t have to.

Mila: ...Before, I was scared that she would pass it on. That she’d pass the ‘sickness’ on to me. That if she so much as touched me, I’d be infected. So I didn’t ever even dare to look at her sometimes not in the eyes anyway. I’d look at her neck instead. Look at the vein that poked out on the left. It moved every time she swallowed. Even when she breathed it kind of twitched. That’s where I’d look. Never in her eyes. If I did look her in the eyes, I felt it, like creeping up my legs, the sickness I mean. I felt it swirling its way into me. Up, all over me until I looked away. Until, it calmed inside me. Subsided or whatever.

Cain: Mila...

Mila: I went to the doctors once, before. I called up to say that I had a cold and I needed to see the doctor. When I called, the receptionist said it was best I stayed at home, drank plenty of fluids and slept it off. Said it was best not to come in and that these things cleared up on their own, but I lied and said that I had the symptoms for weeks and that I thought it was best I saw a doctor just to make sure. And then she, the receptionist I mean, said it really would be a good idea to just say at home and maybe try and get some sleep so that it didn’t spread. She said the doctor didn’t deal with minor ailments, that that was what cough medicine was for. Then I swore, and pretended to cough, but the cough turned into a real one and I couldn’t catch my breath and I thought I was dying. She told me to calm down so when I finally stopped coughing I said that I don’t pay my fucking taxes for nothing and I demanded, literally demanded to see the doctor. I’ve never demanded anything before. I think it felt like I hit her through the phone though because she made an appointment for me for first thing the next day. When I went into the doctor’s surgery I looked for the seat that was furthest away from everything else and sat in it waiting for them to call my name. I sat there trying not to look at anyone or breathe in too deep just in case...does that make me a bad person? Not wanting to breathe the same air?

Cain: No.

Mila: And I saw this woman with these two kids but she didn’t seem that interested in them. And they, the kids I mean, these two little African looking girls kept running up to me with their little legs that didn’t seem big enough to hold them up, and they’d look at me for a second or two and then run away laughing like it was a game. They kept doing it and it made me paranoid that they could see into me, see something inside me that made them laugh. The kids kept coming back and forth, giggling all the time, making me feel funny, and they were getting closer every time and their laughs were getting louder and louder and I was feeling worse and worse and the mum she was just sitting there. Just sitting there like nothing was happening.

Cain: And then?

Mila: And then one of them touched me on the knee and smiled at me, laughed at me and then ran away like we were playing tag. Except I wasn’t playing.

Cain: And then?

Mila: Then the doctor came out and called my name. I stood up and the girl, the one who touched me, she backed away never not looking at me until she fell into her mother’s lap. She must have thought I was going to hit her. It was silly really, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t do that, could I? I stood there and the little girl just stared back and her mother finally took notice. She spoke, said something in another language and something shifted in the air like she were judging me or something, but the truth of the matter is the kids were just brats and the mother, well she...she was empty. When I went into the doctor’s office, he sat me down and asked me what the problem was. I said the little girls kept looking at me and he said he meant physically. I told him I had a chronic cold even though I didn’t I coughed hard so he would believe me. I’m not sure if he did. He put the stethoscope to my chest and listened

Cain: Then what happened?

Mila: Nothing. Really I wanted to ask a question. I wanted to find out something.


Aren’t you going to ask what?

Cain: What?

Mila: I wanted to know if I would go crazy too. And do you know what he said? He said you don’t really have a cold do you? And I said, my mother is fucked up in the head, can I catch it? And he said, ‘it could be hereditary’. I sounded out the word, He-red-i-tary. It was almost nice to hear it out loud, put a name to the face type thing you know. It was almost nice to feel it slowly ebbing and flowing through my ears. When he said it my world should have shaken and faded away but it didn’t because I had been waiting. I’ve known it since I could know anything. I’m like her. I fucking look like her. I look in the mirror now and I notice her in me. I want to crawl in between the thing that links us and kick it open from the inside. I want to kick it out of myself, sew my mouth and my eyes shut and my fingers together to stop myself but I can’t. It’s the tendencies. I share her blood and therefore, I think, her madness, her sickness... I’ve just been hovering here, never looking in her eyes, waiting for the revelation.

Cain: Mila, the doctor said it could be hereditary. Not that it is. Nothing is for sure. You have no symptoms.

Mila: (Matter-of-factly) I don’t wish to be alive any longer.

Cain: That’s normal at a time like this I suppose. It’s okay, it’s expected that you may feel that way after the death of someone close. But it doesn’t mean you’ll act on it.

Mila: We weren’t close.

Cain: She was your mother.

Mila: Do you want to know what I’m most scared of now?

Cain: What?

Mila: Looking in a mirror. Isn’t that strange?

Cain: I’m not sure.

Mila: No. Neither am I.



The living room.

Amos is in the same chair as before drinking whiskey again. He is beginning to show the signs of inebriation. It is a sight everyone has become accustomed to.

Mila: Dad? Dad, did you know when mum was going to kill herself?

Amos: Mila...

Mila: No, it’s okay. I just want to know. I just want to know if there were signs.

Amos: Mila, I don’t want this.

Mila: I know. But I need to know. I need to know the build up.

Amos: ...

Mila: Please.

Amos: ...

Mila: Please Dad. I want to know.

Amos: You can’t just come back after all of this has happened and demand to know things. It doesn’t work like that.

Mila: I know dad.

Amos: You can’t just leave. You can’t just leave me here alone to deal with everything and then come back and demand things. You can’t do that. I won’t let you.

Mila: I didn’t leave dad. I didn’t leave once. I was always here.

Amos: No. No you weren’t. You say you were but I know you weren’t.

Mila: I never left dad.

Amos: Not physically sure. You didn’t leave with your legs. But you left.

Mila: Dad you’re drunk.

Amos: I’m not drunk. I’m not that drunk. And I know what I saw. I know what really happened.

Mila: Dad?

Amos: You left your mother. You stopped loving her.

Mila: No...

Amos: No, that’s not right. You didn’t not love her exactly but you stopped yourself. You stopped yourself from letting her love you. You avoided any of the signs she’d show you of her love. Her pure, motherly love.

Mila: What signs?

Amos: If she so much as smiled at you... yeah, yes. That’s right. That’s what pushed her over in the end. She didn’t think her own daughter could love her, and if that was true then what’s the point huh? If your own flesh and blood can’t love you then what is the point?

Mila: But I did love her.

Amos: I know you did. But she didn’t know that. You flinched if she touched you. Do you know how hurtful that is?


Do you? Do you realise how that affected her?

Mila: Dad...

Amos: Because it hurt her. It really did.

Mila: I’m sorry.

Amos: And it made it worse. All her progress, all our work to get her to where we were, gone. Gone like we didn’t even try that hard. Accept I did. I tried my best.

Mila: I know.

Amos: At the/// hospital when she was at her best, when she was lucid all she’d talk about was you. All she’d say is where’s baby Mila? Where’s my baby gone? It wasn’t easy. I could have left. I could have left many times but I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t leave you. I would never leave the two of you. Do you think you’re the only one suffering?

Mila: No...

Amos: Well you’re not. All of us are. I... I’m not a bad person. I’ve hardly done anything bad, nothing really bad in my life ever. Hardly anything. I tried always. Always. ...I mean when I was younger, I might have had temptations. Nothing I ever acted on but it’s natural to look isn’t it? To look at all the bright young things shining their ways through town, watching them glittering like gold. It would have been easy to leave, to find someone who was normal you know. Only I realised way back then that they aren’t golden are they? Just twinkling. Just polished because their still young. Like you. I realised I had all the gold I needed here with you and your mother.

Mila: And now mum is dead.

Amos: ...

Mila: I’m sorry.

Amos: I do love you, you know. And I know I don’t always show it, and I know maybe I don’t say it enough. I know. And that’s not a good way... A man should never stop saying it to his family. But I’ve acted the best I could all of my life for you Mila. And for your mother. For the both of you.

Mila: I know dad.

Amos: I hope so.


Look at you.

Mila: Were there any signs, Dad?

Amos: Every time I see you, all I see is your mother staring back at me.

Mila: Don’t.

Amos: But it’s true.

Mila: Were there signs? Was there anything that changed? I mean in the beginning. How did it start?

Amos: It just kind of started. I just started noticing the way she was.

Mila: Like what?

Amos: I don’t know. Just things she’d do, the way she was. Lots of things

Mila: Like what?

Amos: Like the way she’d fixated on certain things, I don’t know, things started to get her down. Little things she’d do. It’s not easy.

Mila: I know Dad but I need to know.

Amos: And you look just like her. (Touches her cheek)

Mila: Stop it.

Amos: Just like her when she was your age. Just when I first met her. It’s kind of hard to look at you.

Mila: It’s not my fault dad. I didn’t choose to look like this.

Amos: I know. You barely got a bit of me you know. There’s barely a touch of me in you. Strange really, the way genes work, isn’t it?


I’ve been a good Dad haven’t I? I’ve been okay.

Mila: Of course.



A space.



You were found dancing in nothing but your nightie and a blue plastic bag filled with bread on Hammersmith Broadway.


I got a call from someone we used to know. We don’t speak to them anymore, it becomes too embarrassing doesn’t it?


that’s not the right word. It’s


They turned up to the funeral though. Said they were sorry and all that.


You went out without me knowing because I fell asleep. I didn’t hear you leave.

You went out to Hammersmith Broadway in nothing but your nightie and fed the pigeons till they were everywhere at your feet. And you danced among them.


I should have got you then

but I didn’t.

I stood there watching you from across the street. You tried to pick one up but they scattered. I saw you weren’t wearing shoes.

I should have got you then

but I didn’t.


You threw out more bread till they came back..

Anyone would be forgiven for thinking you were wearing shoes.

Some people were making a conscious effort to



Most people were watching. People were laughing and pointing.

I was watching too.


Then you stopped feeding them. And you stopped dancing. And you just stood there. And people were watching you but you didn’t know. And you plucked a pigeon up from the ground with both hands. You captured a pigeon in your hands and you put it in the blue plastic bag. And it flapped and flapped but it couldn’t get out for ages. And you just stood there watching it flap about in the bag. People were screaming and staring and I just stood there. I stood there until I saw you cry and then I came and got you.


You said them up there told you they needed a sacrifice and you thought a pigeon was a good idea.



Mila’s Bedroom.

Mila: It could all just end. We could drop down dead at any moment couldn’t we?

Cain: Don’t talk like that.

Mila: We could all just drop down dead at anytime though. Dead.

Cain: Mila

Mila: Gone, like we never existed.

Cain: No. Never like we never existed. You don’t just get written out of the story.

Mila lies down on the floor

Cain: What are you doing?

Mila: Dying

Cain: Mila. Stop it. Get up. It doesn’t work like that and you know it. It doesn’t work like that. You don’t just die like that, it doesn’t happen.

Mila: You do though. She just did.

Cain: She didn’t just die. Something happened.

Mila: It would have been easy. I can speak to people. I’m good at speaking to people. She would have spoken back. Why didn’t I speak to her?

Cain: I don’t know Mila.

Mila: I could have spoken to her. Fucking hell, smiled at least.

Cain: You were scared.

Mila: Stop making excuses up for me. Dad’s right, I should have made the effort. I had every opportunity. It’s not that much. (Sits up) People used to make fun of her at school. People used to make fun of the crazy lady down the street and I would pretend that she wasn’t my mum. I said that I was adopted. I said that I didn’t know who she was. I said horrible, horrible things about her. I wished she would die.

Cain: I’m sure you didn’t mean it.

Mila: But what if I did? What if I meant it? Does that make me a bad person? Does that make me something? What if me not smiling at her, everyone not smiling at her, made her so sad that she hurt herself?

Cain: Mila. Your mother was very ill. She had to deal with things that were out of your control entirely. I don’t know how you were around your mother, but what I do know is that you are not to blame. Not at all.

Mila cries. Cain comforts her.


Mila’s bedroom.

Mila is in bed. It is a month since the funeral.

Enter Angelo

Angelo: Alright Jellybean.

Mila makes a noise that signals annoyance.

Angelo: Ello Beansprout, nice to see you would be a more appropriate answer babe. I bought you some grapes.

Mila: I’m not ill.

Angelo: I don’t know why I brought them. It’s just what you bring people isn’t it.

Mila: If people are ill. If they’ve had surgery or something.

Angelo: Yeah s’pose. Still I bought them out of the kindness of my heart so you have to eat them to be considered grateful. How you feeling?

Mila: Oh god not you as well.

Angelo: Sorry.

Mila: Bloody hell Angelo, I thought you of all people would’ve been more creative.

Angelo: Well it’s not exactly an everyday occurrence is it? Cain says you haven’t been outta bed for weeks.

Mila: Let’s talk about anything else yeah?

Angelo: Yeah alright. What do you want to talk about?

Mila: I dunno. You start.

Angelo: I don’t know. We could play a game.

Mila: Like what? Like I Spy.

Angelo: We could.

Mila: Don’t be ridiculous. Look Angelo, thanks for caring and all that, I really appreciate it, I do, but I just need to be left alone. Is that alright?

Angelo: I just want to make sure you’re okay.

Mila: I know, and that’s really nice of you. I just...

Angelo: I can’t just leave you now like this.

Mila: Why not? I’m happy here.

Angelo: You can’t just stay in bed all day. You have to go out. You have to see people.

Mila: Why do I have to see anyone? I’m good here. You stay in bed all day all the time.

Angelo: That’s different.

Mila: How?

Angelo: I’m a student. It’s what we do and I actually leave my house. I see people. A lot of people.

Mila: I’m happy here.

Angelo: No, you’re not. Look at you. Sorry babes but you look like shit.

Mila: Thanks.

Angelo: I’m just being honest. Who else is going to tell you the truth?

Mila: Go away.

Angelo: No.

Mila: Please.

Angelo: Mila.

Mila: Look I’m fine okay.

Angelo: Mila, I know you honey.

Mila: Oh for goodness sake. I just want to be left alone. Why is that so bad?

Angelo: Look I’m not leaving until I think you’re okay. Till I’m secure in the fact that you’re coping.


So how are you coping?

Mila: Fine.

Angelo: And Cain’s looking after you?

Mila: Yep. He’s taken time of work and comes and checks on me every half hour like I’m going to hang myself wearing a jester’s hat or something.

Angelo: That’s not funny Mila.

Mila: If I had the energy to laugh I reckon it would be hilarious. He left it forty seven minutes once. I timed it. He was on the phone I think. I heard talking. Anyways, stop being so bloody mature.

Enter Moira.

I’m the older one here.

Moira: Hello dear, just been in to see your father. David’s still in there. Bought you some of my famous apple pie. It’s in the fridge. It’s heavenly if I must say so myself. Sticks right to the hips just like a dessert is supposed to.

Angelo: Oh yeah I forgot to mention, mother dearest is here.

Mila: Thanks Moira.

Moira: That’s alright darling. (To Angelo) See I told you she would like it didn’t I? Told you it wouldn’t go to waste. Anyways, how you doing sweetheart?

Mila: (Obviously unhappily.) Fine thank you

Moira: That’s good. That’s good. You know you should spruce yourself a bit. Brush your hair.

Mila: Hmm.

Moira: So I right in saying that boy Cain is staying here then? Looking after you?

Mila: S’pose so....look I don’t mean to be rude but I’m really tired. I just want to...

Moira: Oh. Ok.

Angelo: We’re not leaving.

Enter David.

David: How’s my little princess doing?

Mila: Fine thank you uncle.

David: Good! Good news.

Mila: How are you?

David: Oh yes. I’m fine. I’m fine. How are you?

Mila: You just asked that.

David: Goodness of course I did. I meant to say something like how’d you think you’re father is coping?

Mila: I don’t know. Why don’t you ask him?

David: Oh, he doesn’t open up to me anymore.

Angelo: Dad.

David: Don’t interrupt son.

Angelo: I was just going to say...

David: I said don’t interrupt.

Angelo: Fine.

David: Always have to have the last word don’t you. Always have to be the final word.

Angelo: ... (Under breath.) No.

David: See there you go again.

Mila makes another undecipherable sound.

Moira: Oh goodness. Don’t make noises like that dear. Sounds like the cries of a madman.

David: Always the last bloody word.

Angelo: I just think Mila needs to not be stressed out at the moment.

David: Well...

Angelo: I’m not trying to disobey you or anything like...

David: Well you are. You bloody are. Shut your mouth.

Moira: Boys. We need to seriously reassess our auras right now. Do you think it’s a good idea to expose someone like Mila to such negative energy at the moment?

Angelo: Someone like Mila? She’s not her mother. She’s just grieving.

Moira: (To Mila) I know you are dear. (Whispering to Angelo such a manner that everyone in the room can hear) I’m just saying. It’s not normal is it? Lying in bed for days on end.

Angelo: Mum!

Moira: Well it’s not Mila. And I think it’s time you sorted yourself out. I’m not saying you have to get over it and forget or anything like that. I’m just saying it’s been over a month. It’s getting ridiculous. I’m only saying this because I care. You’ve got that poor boy downstairs running around after you like a little puppy. I’m sure he’s not enjoying this. I’m sure of that. And what’s more you...

David: That’s enough Moira.

Moira: I only say because I care. I really do darling. I don’t want you to go the same way as your mother.


Mila: He’s not a boy.

Moira: What dear?

Mila: Cain. He’s not a boy. He’s a man.

Moira: Right... Do you remember when you and Angelo were young and I’d come and get you after school and we’d go down to the fudge shop. And Mr Fudge-Man — I forget his real name — he would give us free samples because the two of you were so cute. Do you remember that? I just want you to know that it’s okay to be that happy again.

David: Moira...

Moira: I love the two of you, that’s all. I see you as the daughter I never had sometimes. I know I can be annoying. I don’t mean to be. I just want you to know that. I just want you to be happy.

Mila: I know. Thanks. I am. I’m ok.

Quite an excessively awkward pause.

I’m so happy I could die.

Moira: Mila!

Angelo: Err that was a joke. That was definitely meant to be a joke. You meant you could die happy right?

David: Well it definitely wasn’t funny.

Mila: (dryly) I thought it was mildly amusing.

Angelo: (To Mila.) Your mum would’ve laughed. (To Moira) You did say it mum, sheep don’t make goats.

Mila: What does that mean?

Angelo: Nothing.

Mila: Sheep don’t make goats?

Angelo: No

Mila: They make lambs?

Angelo: Yeah.

Mila: And then the lambs do what?

Angelo: Nothing.

Mila: They turn into sheep.

Angelo: Yes.

Mila: And the sheep do what?

Angelo: Nothing. It’s just a saying.

Mila: The lambs turn into sheep. The lambs turn into sheep and the sheep...the sheep lose control and top themselves.

David: Mila...

Mila: The lambs might become the sheep. The lambs do become the sheep. The lambs lose control. It happens doesn’t it?

Moira: Oh darling. Come on now. There’s nothing to worry about.

Mila: But it could happen. Angelo? Couldn’t it?

Angelo: I don’t know.

Mila: Angelo.

Angelo: Sometimes stuff happens, bad things that no one would be expected to cope with. And then a sheep or a lamb even might act in a way that was drastic and sometimes permanent. But it doesn’t have to happen.

Mila: No. sheep don’t make goats. They make lambs.