Ellie is an older woman who is humming and enjoying herself as she tends to her garden. As she works with the garden something changes in her. She holds a flower in her hand and it brings back memories that she does not want to relive but she does. She tells us of her childhood that consisted of her father constantly beating her mother. She recounts living locked up in her room behind three locks that her mother put on the door to keep her safe. But Ellie could always count on hearing her mother run out of the house and as the door slammed she could see her from her bedroom window sinking her hands into her garden. Until one night their fight ended with Ellie seeing her father washing blood off of his hands and her mother was lying dead on the floor. It was in that moment that she lived secluded in her room as her father drunk himself to sleep nightly and she had no friends. But when her neighbor Troy begins to take interest in her, she changed, she began to grow. However, as she lets down her guard she arrives at prom and after a great night finds herself in the middle of the fight of her life during a brutal assault. She finds her way home to her drunk father who hugs her, as she stands before him bruised and bleeding and tells her she looks just like her mother. There is something about the life that the flowers give that connects her to her mother, and to her life’s tragedies.
(Ellie, an older woman works vigorously in her garden. She hums as she works, says words under her breath. She is into what she is doing, getting deep into the soil, wiping sweat and focused on her garden. She steps back for a moment and looks at her flowerbed, then to her hands. She grabs a handful of soil and lets it fall through her fingers then she picks a flower, smells it. She looks at it for a moment before breaking the flower in half and tossing it into the garden. She speaks to the audience.)
My mother always tended to a garden when I was a child. She was so into it. Every time her and my father we get into an argument, a disagreement or an actual physical fight she would run out of the house slamming the door behind her. As I listened from my room when I heard the door slam I knew exactly where I could find her, in the front yard, tending to her garden. (She looks to the flowers again.) There is something about the inner workings of how flowers grow, a certain connection to the earth and life when you feel soil falling through your fingers, when weeks go past and you watered the soil and you finally see something start to peek out from under the surface. (Beat) I never had children, so this garden you see before you is me giving life to something else. (She takes a long look at the audience.) But I… I never wanted to be a mother, I just couldn’t stomach it, I never wanted to let another flower die.