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(On centre stage, there is a large steel rusted table) (The young female adult is dressed in ripped clothing

and is shoeless. Her eyes have dark rings under them and her hair is teased and oily. She is crouched down at the back of the stage at left corner, facing her back to the audience) Girl: (Starts to quiver. Slowly, she rises and faces the audience) It s a strange strange world. My mother used to tell me that all the time. She used to...hold me tight and wound me up in her arms telling me how she d protect me from all the harm of the world. She used to never let me go and breathe next to me, nose to nose. She was a wonderful lady, full of poise and grace. She taught me how to defend myself. I needed to have my feet stuck firmly to the ground and at the right time, punch or kick with force. (demonstrates) (Girl walks over to the table) Girl: (watching her hands trailing over the table) A couple of years later, she passed away in her sleep. The autopsy revealed nothing. Nobody knew of anything wrong in her life. The workmates gave away nothing. It...was as if she had just decided to leave me...all alone in the world. No more cuddles, no more hugs. I was...alone. My father slept next to her the night of her death. He took the death pretty harshly. He acted all weird and sad. It was...really unnatural for my father. He d been a very stern man. Able to get what he wanted. And his attitude towards the police really...surprised me. Well...I don t know! I was suspicious and curious! He never wanted mum dead or that s what I thought! He would...he would...! (girl starts to tense up) Wait...no, I don t know! (Girl sits down on the table) Girl: I remember him...on the morning of my mother s death grabbing a bottle of pills and shoving them in his pocket. He left the room really quickly. I was just...a little suspicious of his activity. That s all. I never told the police. I should ve told the police! But I couldn t tell the police! My father cared for me. He had money and I needed a home. I couldn t live in an orphanage! I d be alone and without any support! I...I just stuck by him...thinking that...you know, seeing that he...thinking that he married my mum...he d well...be able to tell me more about her. I was only 8. I was really attached to my mum, you know how daughters are. (recovers a baby blanket from her pocket) Her perfume made my heart sing...And her laughter made my heart melt. I wanted to know all these things about my mother from my dad. (chuckles) How wrong was I... (Girl goes forward to the stage, biting her nails and chewing on her hair) Girl: He wasn t a father. He wasn t even fatherly! A couple of years after my mother s death, he abused me terribly. He would (cries softly) use a stick and bang it against my back. My mother had this piercing laugh that was warm and loving. As I matured, I possessed this laugh. Whenever I watched a comedy, and laughed...he would... Ah! He would lash his baseball bat against my hand. If the baseball bat hit my head...he wouldn t care. He would just yell: Get out of here! Don t you ever dare make that hideous nois! His eyes would be like daggers. Sharp, direct and cold. He held a grudge against me...but how was I to know?! Sometimes, with no specific reason he would just slap me across the face. It was so quick and simple...and it ll hurt...so badly! So many times...It was so often that during the night it ll be swollen. (Lies down sideways on the table) And I d just clutch it and try to comfort it. It was so hard...tormenting. Every time I touched it, it would burn like fire! And swell and yell a story of pain and despair! I would just lie there, resisting the screams I had inside. Screams of the devil! Worst of all, he never let me help it. I could never get some ice...he would just

slap me again. If I said I wanted water to drink, he would assume I was going to try to cool my cheeks...so he d just slap me again. (Girl gets up and hides underneath the table) Girl: It was on November the 26th that it started to get really out of control. I often stayed at school until the sunset. Anywhere was better than home. If it was ever called a home. The counsellors never really took any sympathy. It was just a local country school...nothing serious. That night, when I returned home my father didn t take any notice of me...which was weird because he d usually come next to me and well, slap me. He did nothing that night. Until 2am. He came in and said revolting words. He called me a failure...a stupid woman. But I was no woman. I was only 15, a small girl. He started to ramble about how I was so attached to my daughter...but I had no daughter. Then he started to talk about how I was flirting through the men at work and everything. I realised soon after...that he wasn t referring to me...but to my mother. I lied there, holding back tears. My pure innocent mother...committed all these acts? My own mother would have affairs? My own mother would flirt at other men even when she d be married? It didn t seem like her! It...couldn t be her! It couldn t! I saw a side that I hadn t seen in my father for a long time. True anger. Real anger. For a second, I felt a little sorry for him. He cried...and I just lied there shivering and crying, trying to not make any noises. He came up to me... and started to stroke my hair. For a while, I thought he cared. He whispered it was going to be alright . Then, I trusted him. A fatherly side of him came out. I had never seen it before, but his compassion and love was evident throughout his movements. Ever so slowly, I opened my eyes. For a second he looked so serene and almost like the father I never had. But after a second, his face turned and twisted. He then punched me. First in the face. Then on the stomach. I looked forward into the mirror that was opposite my bed. I stared right down at my face and into my eyes. I didn t notice it before...but I looked so much like my mother. And then...and then... he raped me. (girl shuffles to the back of the table and holds onto one of the legs of the table) Girl: I don t have to say anything else. Nothing more. It s all there. Look at my bruises and scars! It is a strange world mum. Full of suffering and violence. Domestic violence. That s what they call it in society. I never knew about society. I left home 3 days later. I never knew the consequences of domestic violence. I never knew what outcomes it had. School never said anything about this. I found it all out myself, after I had to experience it. I was alone. But not for long. A week later, I started to feel sick and nauseous. I realised...I was pregnant, with my father s baby. I was tormented. I had no idea...and I had nothing to care for it. During those few weeks, I really considered an abortion. But late one night, on my birthday I realised. This baby was hope. Hope for a brighter future. (she clutches her baby blanket) I promised myself something that night. I promised myself I would raise the baby and nurture it in a safe environment. Away from violence and abuse. I promised it it would get a full stomach every night. I promised it would feel safe and secure when it fell asleep. I promised that I would always be there for it. Always. (girl walks towards the front of the stage, crouches down and looks up) Girl: Mother, I will always. (girl lowers her head with one hand on her belly and one hand clutching her baby blanket)