- Vol. 04
- Chapter 09
MARIA is stood, looking at JOHN, who stands completely motionless throughout the scene.
Maria I never liked this place, you know.
It was probably a blessing that I only worked here a few months.
I thought it was creepy; it’s the perfect setting for some kind of gruesome Victorian ghost story. All this tat gathering dust on the shelves. The old, peeling shop front. And you, with your tight-lipped smile and your high pitched, raspy voice like an old ghost. So weirdly proud of this place – why was that? It looks like a bomb site. Going on and on about my sales targets when we got about two customers a week. And you had the cheek to call this an antiques shop! Look at this stuff? Like this.
She picks up an object, a mass of gold fabric.
What even is this? Look. Who in their right mind is going to buy this?
Sorry, I shouldn't have said look.
You can't look. That was silly of me.
I hated it here, but I needed this job, and you knew that. You were sympathetic at first, when I told you about my dad, you understood if I was late, you didn't ask questions – I almost started to like you.
And then, that day, you were out and this old man came in – a Lord, by the way, or at least a Baron, I can't remember – and he actually wanted to buy something, for the first time in the three months I'd worked there, and he was looking at your bizarre collection of taxidermy, that owl with its beak hanging off, and I remembered that dog in the back room. And he paid a lot of money for it, you know, it's not like I gave it away – and off he went with it under his arm, and you came back and I was so proud of my first sale –
I didn't know it was your dog. I know you never believed me, but I really had no idea. Yes, I heard you talk about Percy, but I assumed he was still alive! You spoke about him as if he was still alive! It's a very easy mistake to make –
But that's where your sympathy ran out. And you turned quite nasty, actually. You said some horrible things. And said you couldn't employ me any longer. And I begged you – which I'm not proud of. But you showed no mercy.
Do you know how it felt telling my dad I could support us? Do you know how humiliating it is to go to the Job Centre every week?
I'm sorry it's had to end this way, but you really left me with no choice. I was so angry. It's quite fitting, really. You've met the same fate as your beloved Percy. It's just a shame we don't still have him here. You're just stuck here, alone, in your shop. Funny, really. Now you're just another piece of old junk.