This is a dialogue scene between a rape victim and her mother. It was based on an assignment to write a dialogue between two characters, in which both are talking about different things, but there’s something deeper in their conversation.
Slipping into the garden, Emma watched her mother pruning dead flowers from rose bushes. She heard the pruning shears click as dead blooms dropped into the basket her mother carried.
Emma clearer her throat and said, “Mama, can we talk?”
Her mother straightened up and smiled, but didn’t move away from the bushes. “Of course, Sweetie, I always have time to talk to you. Walk with me as I finish these.”
“Mama, the nightmares are back. The medicine Dr. Knott prescribed isn’t working. I keep seeing everything over and over again. I don’t know how to make it stop!” Emma chewed nervously at her lower lip.
Without looking at Emma, her mother moved to the next rose, gently grasping a peach colored flower. “Well, look at this! That rose your Uncle Cecil gave me is blooming again! I thought last year’s frost had killed it.”
Emma stared at the roses with their big blooms and overbearing scent that made her slightly sick. She frowned as she watched her mother working on them.
“I’m pleased they survived, Mama. I know Uncle Cecil would be happy, but you need to listen. I can’t go on like this. God knows, I tried to forget, but I’m getting worse. I can’t keep pretending everything’s okay.”
Her mother shears clicked, beheading another flower. “I have to keep after John, that young gardener I hired. If you don’t get the dead ones off soon enough, the roses can’t bloom again.”
With flushed cheeks, Emma clinched her fists. Her mother would never understand! She wanted to scream at her, “I’ve been raped and scarred! I’m not your pretty debutant daughter anymore!”
Instead, she said, “Mama, I don’t want to live like this!”
Her mother continued walking, her basket swinging. Emma had to walk fast to keep up. Without warning, her mother stopped in front of a large bush, covered in pink roses. “Emma, this rose had been here for over fifty years. Your daddy gave it to me on our first anniversary.”
She gave Emma a faint smile. Then, she clipped a few flowers from the bush and continued, “He never thought this rose would survive, but it did. It outlived him. Roses are tough, you know. People don’t often think that, but they are.”
Your turn — This is totally optional:~)
- What do you think is the deeper meaning in this conversation?
- Is there conflict and if so, what is it?
- In general terms, how would you describe these characters – try to give more than a physical description; tell me what you pick up in this conversation about their personalities.