Maryia Bialkovich

WOMAN What do you mean “all of us”? 

BYSTANDER (points into the darkness) I mean all of us! 

WOMAN (peers into the darkness) I can’t see anyone. 

BYSTANDER You must be in shock from what you’ve been through, not everyone can take it. (turns around and speaks into the darkness) Fuck, if she runs, they might see where she’s appeared from and come here. Maybe it would be better if we all ran together? Or shall we let her stay here? (silence) That’s right. (talks to the Woman) Listen to me. You’ll get out now and run away immediately, very quickly. Without looking back. As far away from this place as possible, so no one can see where you came from. You got it?

WOMAN (presses into the floor) I don’t want to. I don’t want to go there. 

BYSTANDER Can you guarantee that you won’t throw a fit in a minute? I can’t. You’d better go.

WOMAN I don’t want to.

BYSTANDER Go! They don’t beat women.

WOMAN But you were just asking if they had— 

BYSTANDER Well, they beat women not so often. Listen, I don’t know! But it’s easier for women. Just pull yourself together and run! Run as fast as you can and soon you’ll be home. You’ll forget about all of this, as if it were a bad dream. 

WOMAN (starts laughing softly) Home. I’m telling you that I don’t remember—  It’s fucking ridiculous. 

BYSTANDER (lifts the Woman by her arm and gives her a nudge) Run!

The Woman darts out into the street and runs very fast through the dark courtyard. There are screams coming from behind: the sound, mixing with many voices, grows and gets closer. A bright light is turned on sharply. The Woman stops.


MODERATOR Thank you, thank you! (gestures with his hand asking the audience to stop clapping) Hello everyone! (addresses people in the audience) We are very glad that you are here today, we are grateful for your interest in this topic. (turns to the Woman) And of course, we are incredibly happy that you are here today (people smile amicably). Don’t worry. Everything’s fine, you’re safe. And if you’re ready, we can get started. (People in the audience raise their hands eagerly and the Moderator points to one of them).