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[A couple is sitting in the corner of an elegant restaurant: their names are Emily and George, their baby is in a stroller between them. Lights are suffused, jazz music is playing in the background and most of the costumers have already left. They’re talking to each other in low voices]

E: “…and do you remember when we rented that huge boat in France and Jackson slipped in the water as he was getting on board?”

[laughing]

G: “Oh yeah, his new Rolex was dead after that dive! He was so pissed off! …When was it? Ten years ago?”

E: “Twelve actually… [silence, she sighs] …we were so young and happy”

G: “We still are”

[Emily drinks the last sip of white wine from her glass, she looks at the baby for a few seconds, then she turns back to George]

E: “Today’s been a very nice day, by the way”

G: “Yeah, we needed to spend some time together and do something special… I’ve missed you lately”

[Emily’s face blushes, she smiles looking at George. She turns again toward the baby, and her expression suddenly turns serious]

E: “…I’m worried about Angela”

G: “What’s the problem?”

E: “…I don’t know, I feel like we’re losing her”

G: “What do you mean?”

[Few seconds of silence]

E: “…She’s just one now, she needs us. But what about the future? We’re not gonna be indispensable anymore”

G: “It won’t happen. We’re her parents, she won’t ever leave us”

E: “I’m not sure about that. Look at our families: our parents are strangers to us. We started to detest them as soon as we turned thirteen… Our stories are different, but they ended up the same way…”

G: “Listen to me: we have to protect her, and the only way to make her both happy and safe is to keep her as close as possible”

E: “But what are we gonna do if she starts to show her freedom and independence?”

G: “We would both impose ourselves without any problem: we’ve always been strong and severe. It will come naturally.”

[Emily plays nervously with her hands]

E: “That’s not enough, she won’t listen. She will hate both of us, and we won’t be able to keep her in our comfortable, warm home. We’re gonna lose her presence …her love”

G: “Calm down, sweetie. I promise you everything’s fine”

[George tries to take her hand, Emily moves it away: she’s shaking, her eyes are watery]

E: “I don’t want all this to happen! She… she will go away, she will be completely alone, and we’ll be alone too.  You understand that George? I don’t want… I don’t want to be abandoned by my own daughter. I would not be strong enough to handle it”

[A tear streams down her face, she looks down sobbing. George touches her tears, caressing her cheeks]

G: “Please, don’t cry: you’ve already been sad for enough time, sweetie. That phase of our lives has passed: you’re not compulsive, depressed or obsessive anymore. And I’m so proud of you”

[Emily looks at him raising a shy smile, making sure nobody around has noticed her moment of weakness]

G: “Take a deep breath, think of something that makes you feel better. It always works”

[Silence. Her smile turns to a serious and cold expression]

G: “So, what are you thinking about?”

E: “…We should stop the time, never let Angela grow up”

[Her eyes are full of excitement, she looks directly in George’s eyes]

E: “She would be our little, lovely doll. She would never cry… nor change”

G: “…wait. Are you talking about killing her?”

[Emily doesn’t move, she keeps on looking at George silently. George smiles, and then he starts to laugh]

E: “…I’m serious! What’s wrong with you?”

[George continues to laugh convulsively, drying a tear with his hand]

G: “You’re so absent-minded sometimes!”

E: “Stop it! Why are you laughing at me?”

[He smiles sweetly to her, moving one lock of hair behind her ear]

G: “Because we’ve already killed her, darling. Don’t you remember?”

[Silent. Emily turns to her right side, looking at the corpse of her baby lying in the stroller]

E: “…Oh. You’re right”

[She takes her daughter’s hand, caressing it softly with her fingers. George looks at the scene smiling tenderly]

E: “Her hands are so small, cute and… cold”

G: “…and they will always remain so”

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