The Stage

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
20 minutes ago,......
Teresa’s on her way to go home.
Well, her husband, Square Bob was washing dishes in the kitchen.
Phone rang.
“yes, it’s Square Bob.”
(we can’t hear it clearly, but it’s an old woman’s voice, something like “cakes” or “kicks”, it seems that Bob is trying to recall something, then he grabbed a pen and wrote down some numbers.)
“yes, yes, of course, thank you mom, yes, very kind of you.”
Then he hung up and walked out of our sight.

Music starts. (I hope it’s Ryuichi Sakamoto’s M.A.Y. in The Backyard.)

And the light off.
39 seconds. (during which we could hear the whispers from the audiences. And we probably can see some glowing phone screens.)
And the light on.

Teresa is opening the front door. She looks tired.
“are you going out?”
“with you! Remember?”
“what are you talking about?”
“it’s Saturday, right?”
Nothing comes to her mind. She walks to the sofa and sits down and closes her eyes.

Square Bob comes out and we see him again, well, same voice, but another man, taller and older, with a dark red towel in his hand.

“you go?”
“no, I need some sleep.”
“okey. That’s fine. No problem.”

Teresa opens her eyes and finds Bob, she looks at him, there’s no disappointments, no angers, no sadness, nothing here, so she knows what they were going to do is nothing important, or maybe not, maybe it’s just because he didn’t want her to come at the first place, but she’s not sure.

“have fun.”
“yea, I will.” Bob leaves out sight again.

Light off. Music stops.

A man sitting in the third row turns back and says, “that’s my girl.” He’s smiling with eyes looking nowhere, with zero respond he turns away.
An old woman who sits on his right side says, “that’s your girlfriend?”
He looks surprised, then, “no, she’s my wife.”
“congratulation.” She pats his shoulder.
“you notice they use two actors to play Bob?”
“oh, yes. Similar to a movie I have watched before.”
“That Obscure Object of Desire.”
“yes, that’s what I’m going to say. Ese oscuro objeto del deseo.”
He turns his head,
“but she never mentioned before.”
“oh, a surprise, I guess.”

Light on.

No one is on the stage.
“this is what experimental theatre is,” he makes a wry face.
The old woman pats his shoulder again, “I hope you like it,” and then, she stands up.

Music starts. Imagine, it’s still Ryuichi Sakamoto’s M.A.Y. in The Backyard from the beginning.

She’s walking towards the stage, and Teresa comes out from left stage, she sits on the sofa again, with her eyes wide open watching the old woman climbs onto the stages with her hands and feet, quite clumsy.
The old woman makes no sound, audiences, same.
And she walks to Teresa.
“how’re you feeling.”
“I don’t know.”
“no, thank you.”
The old woman sits down, she pats her shoulder and says, “I’m hungry, I want some cake.”
Teresa stands up and walks out of our sight.

The old woman is beautiful. Red lip, angular face, no glasses, curly hair, white shirt, green jeans, bare foot.
She’s looking at him, he can tell, and suddenly, she yells, “Bob!” “Bob!” “Bob!” “Bob!” “Bob!” “Bob!” “Bob!” “Bob!”, the music stops, now, it is this moment, exactly, that he doesn’t know why but walking towards the stage.
There he is, again, sitting on her left side, he opens his mouth,
“my wife doesn’t love me.” (no worries, the audiences can hear him as he’s on the stage now.)
“go on.”
“she’s leaving me, I think.”
“she’s tired.”
“she doesn’t want a kid.”
“she doesn’t want me anymore.”
“she’s leaving me.”
“she left me.” And then he cries.
The old woman pats his shoulder.
“Square Bob?”, it’s Teresa’s voice coming from somewhere backstage.
He raises his head.
The old woman says, “go”. And he leaves, likewise, walks out of our sight.
the old woman, then, takes out her phone, and starts dialing.
“hello, there.”
“make some cakes, she’s leaving you.”
She looks at her watch and continues, “wait, take these down, eleven pm, fifty-four minutes, 5 seconds.”
“yes, that’s the exact time.”

And the light off.