Void by Elhem Loukily


A dark room

In the corner a pale, unshaven man in his mid 40's, with dark rings circling his eyes, is slouched in an armchair with an empty bottle of beer in his right hand. Flashes of light from the TV occasionally illuminate the room. Kate, a young girl in her late teens enters the room and stands between the man and the TV.

Kate: I have been meaning to talk to you for a while now but I've never been able to gather enough courage until now.

You see, I have a problem that I need to overcome, that I have been trying to evade for some time now, but I have come to realize that everything has its limits and when boundaries are crossed, enough is enough.

A pause

The problem is you. I've been trying to convince myself that this is a phase, a stage of grief, but I'm tired of concealing your behavior with my excuses.

Since mum died, there's been this void, this emptiness in you and it has been tearing you and me up. This house... this house is a sea and you’re the weight tied to my limbs dragging me down. I'm drowning and despite my best efforts to untie myself from you, I can't do it. I can't do anything. My efforts are unavailing.

Tears begin rolling down her face.

I know it's hard. You think it's been easy on me. Do you know what it's like to walk down a school corridor day by day, as masked faces of pity eye you. Do you know what it's like to be pestered with 'are you okay?' when really, they don't care. And do you know what it's like to be reminded, every time someone apologizes for saying 'mum'. NO. NO YOU DON'T BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T LEFT THIS ROOM FOR A YEAR!

(Quietly) I can't take it anymore. I need you to say something. Anything. Or you're going to lose me. Your going to lose me too, dad.

She leaves the room. The man puts the beer bottle on the floor and resumes watching TV.