"They said I'd probably never walk again. Is that the kind of stuff you wanna hear?"
|From: The Hopes and Fears of All the Years|
|Female||Adult: Any Age||MOLLY (1998) / KITTY (1971, 1951) / ABIGAIL (1921)|
|Male||Adult: Any Age||JEREMY (1998) / MICKEY (1971, 1951) / WILL (1921)|
Mickey has returned, injured, from the Korean War just in time for the Christmas holidays. Mickey nearly lost his leg, and supports himself with a cane. Kitty, Mickey's fiancee, has had to fend for herself with Mickey's less than receptive mother in his absence, including today, waiting for him to arrive. Mickey and Kitty have managed to negotiate a way for her to stay overnight, even though it means Kitty taking a cot in Mickey's little sister Abby's room. Mickey doesn't want to dwell on the war, though the experience is still clearly effecting him. Kitty is trying to reestablish their former connection. After much maneuvering, Mickey and Kitty have finally managed to get some time alone together for the first time since he walked back in the door.
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copyright 2002 by Matthew A. Everett
With the rest of the family gone, KITTY and MICKEY are finally alone for the first time since his return.
Still, they keep their distance.
KITTYHow's your leg?
KITTYI haven't had anyone shooting at me.
MICKEYI don't have anyone shooting at me anymore either.
MICKEYKitty, the war's over.
KITTYNo. It's not.
MICKEYMy part in it is. I want to forget it. I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to think about it.
KITTYBut what happened, it's part of you.
MICKEYThey said I'd probably never walk again. Is that the kind of stuff you wanna hear? They even considered...
But I'm walking. I walked all the way from the train station, because I knew you'd be here.
KITTYIt must hurt a lot. You should --
MICKEYPain's nothing. A person can deal with pain. What I can't deal with is...
MICKEYThis. Trying to make sense of it. Kitty, when I was there, I wasn't who I was before, who I am now. I did things that the person standing in front of you would never -- Those things, they aren't a part of this world, this house, you and me. I never have to pick up a gun or a hunting knife again.
MICKEY pulls his tie off and struggles to remove his shirt as he speaks.
MICKEY (cont'd)I never have to wear -- dammit.
KITTY moves to help.
MICKEY pulls away.
MICKEY (cont'd)No. I can get it.
KITTY steps up, determined.
Her voice stills him.
KITTY (cont'd)Of course you can do it.
KITTY unbuttons MICKEY's uniform.
KITTY (cont'd)But you're home now.
You don't have to do everything alone.
Let us --
KITTY slips the shirt off MICKEY's torso. He has a green T-shirt on under the uniform.
They stand very still.
He can't get the words out.
KITTYI know. I love you, too.
He kisses her.
After a moment, MICKEY goes over and opens his box of ornaments for the tree. She folds his shirt and sets it aside.
He smiles and holds out an ornament to her, which she takes. They decorate the tree as they speak.
MICKEYNext year, you'll have a carton of your own.
KITTYOh, you don't need to do that. I can just share yours, can't I?
MICKEYEveryone in the family gets a box.
KITTYMaybe we should do that with our kids, too. Give them each their own box of things for the tree. Everybody has a place, everybody has their thing to do, no one gets left out.
MICKEYIt can get kind of territorial some times.
KITTYWell, I'm not your mother.
The second the words are out of her mouth, KITTY can't believe she said them.
(grins)Someone got feisty while I was away.
KITTYSomeone didn't have you as a buffer anymore.
MICKEYGuess I'd better watch my step.
KITTYGuess you'd better.
They both smile and decorate.
KITTY (cont'd)So what was it like, Christmas last year?
MICKEYYou have to stop that.
MICKEYI told you.
KITTYSo that entire year and a half, it's just a blank, forever? Completely off limits?
MICKEYI wrote you letters. Every day.
KITTYBut they weren't about Korea. They were about home, always here, never there.
MICKEYExactly. Those letters were the only thing that kept me sane.
KITTYEvery day I read the newspaper, looking for any detail, anything at all. They couldn't tell us much. But you, you were there, you were in the middle of it, and you weren't telling me anything either. It's like you disappeared. And that scared me. It still scares me.
MICKEYKitty, you don't need to be afraid of me.
KITTYThen why can't you talk about it? How can I help you, how can any of us help you if you won't --?
MICKEYYou wanna help?! Stop trying to help! Stop acting like something's wrong with me! Nothing's wrong! Can we please just get through this damn holiday so we can finally get back to normal again?! That's all I want!
KITTY just stares at him.
KITTYI'm going to go check on that cot in Abby's room.
KITTY leaves quickly.
MICKEY looks off in the direction she left.
copyright 2002 by Matthew A. Everett