Playwright- Ella Hickson
People talk about guilt as if it’s an instinct. That the second you do something wrong, you feel guilty. I don’t; what I’m feeling is power.
You always join the story at the bit where they’re sorry, when they’re desperately begging for forgiveness; but there’s something before that, there’s now. In the space after the act and before the consequences, when you’ve gotten away with it; when you’re walking out of an unknown door, back down unknown streets and it’s still thumping in you- dawn’s breaking, dew’s settling and your skipping back home, flying on the thrill of it, you can taste it.
Even back here, the quiet click of the door, the tiptoe in- our bed and all the stuff that makes up life, our life- and- I don’t feel like a traitor; I can lie here while another man’s saliva dries of my lips and I can remember another man’s face bearing over me- and I enjoy it, I enjoy that all this seems new again.
His alarms going off in ten minutes. He’ll roll over and grunt, curl himself round me like a monkey with its mum. Just like every morning. He won’t notice that anything’s different- he won’t see that I have mascara down my face or that my hair is wet, because I’ve been running in the rain to get back before he wakes up, he won’t notice I haven’t been here- for him, I became invisible a long time ago.
That’s not even snoring, is it? Listen? It’s definitely more aggravating than breathing, but it doesn’t quite have the conviction of a snore. Nope… just a slow dribble of air, as if it was engineered to be as aggravating as humanly possible; sort of like a tiny pony having a tantrum.
Oop- oh that’s nice isn’t it, a little wind from the baby. Having been with someone else, it’s like I’ve left the room for the first time in years, and come back in and realised… this is the manthat I once thought I might marry.