Thursday, August 31, 2006

This is a two part dialogue. Written in a class given by David Milch, producer and writer for NYPD Blue...

Leilani's Gift



MerryKatherine:
I had a really nice time.  Thank you for inviting me out.

Gary:
Yeah!  It was so much fun I have decided to postpone suicide until tomorrow!

MerryKatherine:
My mother committed suicide.

Gary:
Oh my God! I am so sorry.  I meant no disrespect honey.

MerryKatherine:
None taken.

Gary:
What happened?

MerryKatherine:
My mother couldn't live with the mistakes she thought she had made in her life. My father was seeing a young girl at the hospital.  And she just couldn't cope.

Gary:
Oh, honey I am so sorry.

MerryKatherine:
She married outside her culture.  She was too proud to accept that the Elders may have been right.  They warned her not to marry a haole but she followed the voice of her heart. 

Gary:
How old was she when she died.

MerryKatherine:
Let's see I was 12 so she would have been 30. She married my dad when she was 18.  She felt old.  Can you imagine feeling old at 30.  I am older now than she was when she died.

Gary:
That must have been hard on you. 

MerryKatherine:
I found her.

Gary:
What did you do?  If I am getting too personal just tell me.

MerryKatherine:
No, it's ok.  Sometimes it is good to talk about things that hurt.  I came home early from school that day.  Some kids had been taunting me.  They were calling me Hapa Haole.  We were all Kama Aina but they were full blooded Hawai'ians and I am not because of my father being English.  For some reason it really got to me that day.  I felt very vulnerable that day.  So I told my teacher that I wasn't feeling well and I wanted to go home.  I had this feeling of dread all the way home.  In the pit of my stomach, this dull, echoing emptiness. 

Gary:
They just let you leave school?

MerryKatherine:
Yes, in those days Hawai'i was still a little village in our hearts.  No one would harm anyone physically, because we were all related, or our families had grown up together for generations.  We were 'ohana.'  Family.

Gary:
I'm sorry. I interupted you.

MerryKatherine:
So, I went home early just after nutrition.  We were living in the Big House then at Haleakala. 

Gary:
House of the Sun

MerryKatherine:
Yes, House of the Sun.  I went up the drive and it all seemed so quiet. Usually when I returned from school Mamu was in the garden.  She was always in the garden.. With flowering hibiscus behind her and pikake or white ginger flowers stuck into her long raven black hair.  This day she wasn't there.  I remember standing there looking up at the house for a long time.  Then I went inside.  And I called out her name.  "Leilani" not mamu or makuahine, but Leilani.  I called out her name.  But the house was still and deathly silent.. I couldn't even hear the breeze jiggling the shojis or the blinds..

Gary:
And?

MerryKatherine:
I went looking for her.  I had entered the house  through the kitchen door.  I remember the sound of the screen door "meowing" as it shut behind me.  That was the first sound I was aware of and it seemed so earth shatteringly loud. The kitchen was empty.  The kettle was cold.  I went into  the dining room.  There on the table was the usual celadon bowl with gardenias floating in water.  They smelled so sweet.  I passed through the living room with it's rattan furniture and straw mats.  But the room was empty and the blinds were still drawn.

Gary:
Go on.

MerryKatherine:
I went out onto the lanai to see if she was in the back garden or in the cane fields beyond.  But the garden was empty.  I went back into the house and started down the hallway to the bedrooms.  It was then that I knew something was wrong.  I ran all the way down to the end of the hall screaming out her name "Leilani" and "Mamu" alternately.  The door was locked I pounded with both fists but she didn't answer. So I went through dad's study back out onto the lanai and opened the french doors to their suite.  I had to break a pane of glass with my sandal to get in.  She was lying in their big bed in a white gown.  It was the gown she was married in and the sheets and pillows were white except for where they were stained scarlet with her blood.

Gary:
She shot herself?

MerryKatherine:
No, she slit her wrists.

Gary:
What did you do?

MerryKatherine:
I relocked the French doors and climbed up into the bed with her.  I held her in my arms and cried myself to sleep.  That's how they found us.  I was covered in her blood.

Gary:
Oh, honey I am so sorry.  I had no idea.

MerryKatherine:
Would you like to spend the night?

1 Comments:

Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Sharmagne, I apologize it's been to long since I've been here. What a dynamite ending!!! Hope you are doing well.

4:42 PM  

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