Offside

(A dark hallway. The radio is on. No words exchanged in several hours. The dog yawns on the welcome mat, looks up at the letterbox, then at its owners and lays back down. The news pumps misery all over the carpet.)

Ruth: How was it today?

(She asks but doesn’t care. She scratches her belly and squeezes her eyes shut  and yawns. Then she looks around for the light switch.)

Ian: No, don’t.

(Ian is in the cack. He has sort of fallen in love with this new woman who’s started at work. This new woman likes one of the younger men. Ian hates the younger man. And he hates the new woman. He loves her though.)

Ruth: Okay…alright.

Ian: I’m just saying.

News: …several occasions this year and the rift that has been created is expected to worsen in the coming months…

(She puts the remote control down and stares through the walls. The flowers lose a few more petals onto the window sill above their heads.)

Ruth: I’m off to bed.

Ian: I’ll be up in a minute.

(He staggers down to the basement and finds his old notebooks. They are filled with love letters he never sent. He wonders where they are now, these women he loved but could never say. Darts of light flutter around the shadowy walls.)

Ruth (from upstairs): Can you switch off the lights?

Ian (to himself): They’re already off.

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