Vlada Khmel

W1 stands up, walks around the table, leans on it so as to look somewhere towards the chair she was sitting on in the beginning. both women are standing. 

W1: where’s her hat? 

W2: she’s wearing it.

W1: no, I saw through the window, she’s not wearing it. 

W2: so she’s not cold.

W1: what do you mean not cold! she’s a child! 

W2: if she has taken it off, it means she’s not cold.

W1: and i think it means you’re a bad mother.

long pause. W1 leaves, she’s gone.

W2: tomorrow i’ll bring all the clothes, and it will be just the furniture then. not too much: the cradle, a table and a lamp. we can put it all in my room, and move the closet to the balcony. is that okay? no, there’ll be enough space, we don’t have to unfold the couch. 

i’ll do that myself, i tell you, there’s not too much. 


i don’t want to ask him for anything. i don’t want to see him at all. 

it’s alright, two rounds on the elevator, it will all fit in. 


pause. W2 takes the glass. there’s no water left. she fidgets with it. looks ahead, then at the glass, ahead, at the glass again.

W1 comes back, puts a jug of water on the table. sits. W2 sits too. still holding an empty glass. 

W2: well, if you want my opinion, i think a child must be born into a complete family. and all the fuss with the documents after birth – why, when you could just get married at once. 

our parents gave us money at our wedding. we decided at once that we’d put it aside for baby stuff, the pram, diapers, you know. it was weird actually: no one on their side knew about the baby, just the parents, and then my mom gives me the money and speaks right to my belly in front of everyone: “well, bad luck with your parents, but grandma’s here to help” – i remember that clearly. she was just joking, of course, she’d already had a few. thank god, my husband’s father picked that up, went like “why just grandma? we all will help! who bets on a girl, who bets on a boy?” saved the situation somehow. 

but now that i’m telling this, it seems to me they all understood anyways. what a shame. 

we actually didn’t want a wedding at all. i did, of course, like all the girls, want the white dress, the cake, all that, like in the movies. but it all works in the movies, and in life, in life you get what you get. and what i got was me pregnant, no money, a husband – well, a groom back then – that i’d known for just six months, so you know what kind of relationship that was, add all his family to that. 

and all of that was not what i wanted.   

but we did have a wedding anyway. we chose a loose dress to hide the belly. though the belly wasn’t that big, you know, third month, first pregnancy, so there was almost no belly yet. but you know, just in case.