ETA 15 years of age
TIANA 25 years of age
JACOB 35 years of age
A room with two doors. One is the entrance and the other leads into the next room. The furniture is almost new. There is also a window, and a mirror. Opposite to the latter there is a refrigerator. The room is incredibly stuffy. The light is dim – as if it were emanated from the floor. Silence. Only the beating of the rain drops against the window can be heard. Tiana is sitting in an armchair. She stands up, approaches the window and looks into the night. Then she goes back to the armchair and sits down again. After a moment she stands up again and looks at her reflection in the mirror… for a long time.
TIANA (stands in front of the mirror; talks to her own reflection): I’m pretty.
I think I’m pretty. I’m pretty, aren’t I? Yes. (A pause.) I’m starving. That’s okay. I’ve got to be attractive for him. You look so special tonight. (A pause.) Excited? Me – excited? I’m calm and collected. (A pause.) I’ll hang myself. This will be the way to calm down my nerves. (A pause.) He won’t show up. But why shouldn’t he? He shows up every day. (A pause. She throws a glance at her watch.) No, he won’t. So, I’ll have a snack.
Goes to the fridge and opens it. Starts stuffing her face. The entrance door opens
up. Tiana has her back turned towards it. In comes a girl. She is confused, exhausted,
soaking wet and she wears too much make up. She closes the door behind her.
TIANA (shyly, avoids turning around): Don’t look at me. I feel so ridiculous. I thought you wouldn’t show up. I’ve been waiting for ages – and here you are. You surprised me. (She wipes her mouth and turns towards the girl. She looks at her in amazement.)
ETA (pensively, but yet cheerfully): You really are ridiculous. And I’m really glad that you said you’ve been waiting for me. (A pause.) The weather is disgusting. The whole city will be flooded in an hour and a half.
TIANA(confused): Who are you?
ETA: The one you’ve been waiting for. Eta. My name’s short and unusual – isn’t it, Tiana?
TIANA: And who on earth told you my name?
ETA: I took a guess. Sometimes I really think that I could make a living by guessing
names. Tiana. Tiana is a pretty name. Not as short as Eta, but still pretty.
TIANA: This must be some sort of mistake, I think that…
ETA: Tiana is a very pretty name, though I prefer short ones and I’d call you Tia, for example. Strange how other people always prefer longer names. Everybody thinks that Eta’s not my real name, that it’s short for Etasia or Etalia.
TIANA (calmed down): Eta, you must have made a mistake as you came into my flat. Things like that happen sometimes. I don’t even know you.
ETA: Wrong. You know me. Better than you could possibly imagine.But you could get to know me even better, if you only tried. (A pause.) You’re a polyglot. You speak English, French, Arabian, German, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Macedonian and Russian.
TIANA: No, not Russian.
ETA: Are you sure you don’t speak Russian?
ETA: Are you absolutely sure? I still think that you speak Russian. I’ve got this feeling. Come on, think! Be honest.
TIANA: Maybe a little bit.
ETA: That counts.
TIANA: How did you know?
ETA: That you speak Russian?
TIANA: That I’m a polyglot.
ETA: You’ve got soft hands. (A pause.)
TIANA: It would be best if you left now. I haven’t been waiting for you, but for somebody else.
ETA: But this somebody obviously hasn’t showed up yet.
TIANA: Right, but he should be any minute.
ETA: Are you sure?
TIANA: This is simply unbelievable!
ETA: I’ll stay until he gets here. We’re going to have fun, you and I. I’m great at telling stories. You’ll be listening, and I’ll do the talking. It’s true, I’m really great at telling stories. Afterwards you can tell me a story, too. I also like to listen, though I prefer telling stories.
TIANA: Maybe you like telling stories, but I certainly don’t like listening to you.
ETA: How can you say something like that, when I haven’t even started.
TIANA: I’m asking you to leave for the last time, or I’ll personally throw you out.
ETA(pleadingly): I know you’re a kind person – your eyes are giving you a way. You’re just excited – nervous and excited. You’re sweating and questioning yourself, just like I used to do. I also was nervous and excited – and happy – then. He was handsome and kind sometimes. And sometimes I loved him. He had two children and a loving wife. She couldn’t have been anything else, I believe. He thought of me as some sort of third child of his. Bearing in mind that that I’m only 15, I made a great lover. (A pause.) Believe me, you’ll be happy once you’ve started doing what I’m doing right now. (A pause.) What’s his name?
ETA: A pretty name. I’d call him Jake. I like short names. Does he tell jokes?
TIANA: I don’t know. Sometimes maybe.
ETA: Is he tall or short?
ETA(giving Tiana a thorough look, form head to toe): Then why aren’t you wearing high heels? That way you’ll suit each other more; both of you tall. Come on, come on, come on, stop staring at your shoes! Change them. He’ll like it, believe me. Tiana runs into the other room. Shoes start flying out of the latter. Yellow, green,
blue and red ones.
TIANA(pointing at the green pair): These?
ETA(cheerfully): Nooo, you’d look much too gaudy that way. Why don’t you go for one colour? Wear the blue ones. Look into the mirror! Wonderful, isn’t it? Buuut, you’re a little bit pale, a little bit pale. (Sweating.) Put on some lipstick. Be seductive. You’re supposed to make love tonight,aren’t you?
A pause. Tiana gives Eta a furious look. She hardly manages to hold back the tears.
ETA: Is he your lover?
TIANA: I’m an ordinary stupid cow! Why do I even bother to talk with you! You should have gotten out of here ages ago. To a place where you belong. With someone who knows you and who you know. Your mother for instance, or your father, or your lover! If you have one. Get out! Out!
ETA(frightened and tired): Oh, I’m so tired, exhausted and sad. My head is so heavy, my body is falling down, and my soul seems to…
Eta hits the floor. Tiana runs to her. She is utterly confused.
TIANA: What am I supposed to do? I didn’t mean to hurt you, honey. I’m waiting for Jacob and I want to be alone with him. Wake up! Say something! Tell me a story! I’ll listen to you.
Tiana lifts up Eta and lays her down on the sofa. She’s looking at the latter’s palms with horror. Eta’s palms bleed.
TIANA: You’re bleeding! Your fingers are bleeding! Your nails are broken in half. (Slowly steps back.) Who are you? Where do you come from? What’s the matter with you?
Tiana runs around in the room. She approaches the entrance, grasps the door-knob, looks at Eta. She releases the door-knob and then grasps it again. She opens the door
and slams it suddenly. She approaches the window.
TIANA: I need some fresh air.
She opens the window. A burst of rain drops showers her. Gusts of water. She closes the window.
TIANA: Disgusting weather.
ETA(raises her head): Has he showed up yet?
TIANA: Did you say something?!
Tiana looks at Eta. She quickly goes into the other room and comes back with a bandage. She sits down next to Eta, and starts bandaging her hands.
ETA: You’re too concerned with your looks.
TIANA: What did you do with your hands?
ETA: I got into a fight.
TIANA: With who?
ETA: You’re asking too many questions. (A pause.) For how long have you and Jacob been together?
TIANA: Two years.
ETA: Are you afraid of losing him?
TIANA: I don’t know what you mean.
ETA: You’re too concerned with your looks and you’re too worried whether he’ll like you or not.
TIANA: I’ve always taken care of myself.
ETA: But you’ve never worn high heels.
TIANA: Hardly ever.
ETA: But today you do. How often do you wear make up?
TIANA: Hardly ever.
ETA: See, but today you do.
TIANA: We’ll be celebrating today.
TIANA: Two years of our lives spent together.
ETA: Are you married?
TIANA: No, but I will be.
ETA: Has he asked you to marry him?
TIANA: Well … actually I think that he’s going to.
TIANA: Tonight, most probably.
ETA: And you think he’ll be yours forever from now on?
TIANA: I hope so.
ETA: Don’t be too sure! He’s convinced that you’d never deceive him, and that he’s entitled to cheat on you. You got caught in his trap.
TIANA: You don’t know Jacob.
ETA: I can imagine what he’s like, if you describe him.
TIANA: I trust him. I know him.
ETA: I trusted him, too.
TIANA: You’ve been with Jacob?!
ETA: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, oh – you really are ridiculous. See how quickly people get suspicious! I don’t even know him, this Jacob. Has he showed up yet?
TIANA: Where do you live?
ETA(upset): No, I can’t go home. Don’t make me go home. I’m so exhausted! Daddy mustn’t see me like this. I don’t want to upset him today. I love my father. And he loves me. My father drinks beer yeast in the morning. Not beer, but beer yeast. It’s supposed to be good for your complexion. I never drink any of it. It causes sterility. And I don’t have problems with my complexion anyway. Neither has he. Ha, ha, funny – isn’t it? Daddy also pierced my ear lobes. He braided my hair. I’ve got beautiful hair, just like his. And he drank beer with me. Beer, not beer yeast. He used to say: “You’re beautiful. You’ve got eyes like a silver screen.” And I would feel so important. He hated my mother. One day he accidentally poured some hot water over her. I’ve never seen her since. Daddy was happy. I was happy, too. (A pause.) Who knows whether he’s still alive? I love my father. (A pause.) I was sure he loved me, too. (A pause.) My lover. I gave him my life on a platter, he greedily grabbed it and eventually became sick and tired of it. There was only one thing left for me to do: strangle him.
TIANA: You did what?!
ETA: I dug my nails into his throat. How could he say he didn’t love me anymore. I’ve been wanting to see him dead and rotten for a long time.
TIANA: You killed him?
ETA (stands up and starts to gesticulate): When I dug my nails into his throat, I could feel them splintering one by one – I could feel how they remained stuck in his flash. He melted down into a puddle – with a “splash”. A big “splash”. It made me wet. But it was raining outside anyway. I looked at him. He looked ridiculous, stretched out like that. I laughed. Then I feared that maybe… I started running. I think that I’ve never in my live made larger steps. Enormous steps. I often turned around to see if I was being followed. I was right. If I had stayed just one more second I’d have been dead meat. Sometimes he’s really crazy. The last time I saw him he got up on his feet and started chasing me. I ran for miles, and he kept running after me. And the weather was disgusting,(looks towards the window) and it still is. (A pause.) He could barge into this room here, any minute now. Sometimes he’s really crazy. (A pause.) He was running after me for miles.
TIANA: Nobody has ever followed me.
ETA: It’s not exciting at all. It’s more exciting to wait for somebody.
TIANA: Maybe you’re right. But he’s never run after me that far. But I think I’d like it. (A pause.) I like following people. You discover things you didn’t know before.
ETA: Are you having doubts?
ETA: You don’t believe me?
TIANA: No, your story’s okay.
ETA: I’m great at telling stories. (Looks towards the window.) The whole city must be flooded. (A pause.) He may have drowned.
TIANA (smiles): Rubbish.
ETA: Are you sure he’s a good swimmer?
Tiana does not answer the question.
ETA: I hope he didn’t drown. A drowned person always has this awkward expression on his face. His face is blue and it seems as if all the blood could gush out of his mouth any moment. And such persons are so helpless.
TIANA: Nobody can help him after he’s drowned.
ETA: Would you help your lover if he was drowning?
TIANA: Yes, I hope I could help him.
ETA: Nobody can help a drowning man. (A pause.) What’s the time?
Tiana looks at her watch. She gives Eta a long look.
ETA: He’ll show up.
TIANA: I don’t think so. But he used to. He would simply barge into the room without knocking. He was always serious and a little angry. I think he’s strong. Pitiless. When I met him – that’s funny – it was raining too. That was exactly two years ago, the day we met. Since then he came to see me every day. Today he most probably changed his mind. He’s a really kind …
ETA (interrupts her): I don’t think I’ll make a mistake if I say that he’s a good lover, right?
TIANA: Most probably.
ETA: Don’t you ever make love?
TIANA: On the contrary, we do it all the time.
ETA: And he snores.
TIANA: But I simply miss his snores when I’m sleeping on my own.What
I’m trying to say is: I got used to it.
ETA: Did it ever cross your mind that you’re not the only one?
TIANA: No, there’s no need for that, he’s with me every day. And we walked through the city every day. I’m happy. I don’t want to be without him. Not ever.
ETA: You won’t be able to go for a walk today.
Tiana gives Eta a severe look.
ETA (indifferently): It’s raining. The whole city will be flooded in half an hour. (A pause.) What is he?
TIANA: A nice man.
ETA: A nice man?
TIANA: A nice man!
ETA: Is he a nice man, or just nice, or does he do something for a living as well?
They look at each other for a long time.
ETA: I could guess if you have no idea. He may be a bus driver.
TIANA: He’s delicate.
ETA: But you said he was tall.
TIANA: Tall and delicate.
ETA: Why shouldn’t a bus driver be delicate?
TIANA: I’m sure he isn’t a bus driver.
ETA: He may be digging channels for the canalisation.
TIANA: No, he’s a nice man.
ETA: Why shouldn’t somebody who’s digging channels for the canalisation be a nice man?
TIANA: He has soft hands.
ETA: He can’t be digging then. (A pause.) Could he be a businessman? He might be a businessman. There are many of them nowadays.
TIANA: He’s honest. He’s never deceived me.
ETA: Delicate, soft hands, tall, honest, slim … he’s a thief and a gambler.
ETA: But of course, he must be.
TIANA (furiously): He comes to see me every day.
ETA: Then he must be in love with you.
TIANA: That’s the way I see it.
ETA: Stand up for a second.
Tiana stands up. Eta examines her from all sides.
TIANA: Do you think I’m attractive?
ETA: You must be a great cook. Only your hips are a little too flabby.
TIANA: I’m starving.
ETA: You were eating when I arrived. You get hungry really fast.
TIANA: Yes, I eat most after…
ETA: Yeah, that’s really exhausting. (She’s startled.) Have you locked the door? He could show up any minute. He frightens me. He’s so strong. And I’m in his way. Sometimes he’s crazy. He loves somebody else.
Tiana hugs Eta. Silence. Tranquillity. For a long time. Somebody is trying to enter.
ETA (frightened): I knew he’d show up here. Don’t open the door! He’s crazy! He’ll kill us! Cold-bloodedly. First me, and then you.
A long-haired man – soaking wet – stumbles into the room.He’s wearing a smoking.
ETA: No! (She faints.)
JACOB: You’re really full of surprises! There’s a young girl lying on the floor. I’ve never seen her here before … I’m soaking wet.
TIANA (runs to him and hugs him): I thought you wouldn’t come. But you have been coming to see me every day.