In December 2015 as part of the ‘Christmas Carol’ theatrical event at the Charles Dickens Museum, and with Equapoise Theatre, I was lucky enough to write three scenes that would be included on the big day.
The Gravedigger – in the courtyard, A mother and Son – in the wash house and Belle – in the dressing room.
Below are the words of Belle.
SCENE THREE: BELLE
She sits alone at a dressing table fixing her face and hair. She looks as if she’s attending a party. She’s wearing a wedding ring. She stares at her reflection.
BELLE: Laughter. That was the key. When the smiles and laughter drifted away, like yesterdays snow flakes, caught in a breeze, that’s when I knew. I knew he no longer cared for me, I was lost to him, and so was the world in which I lived.
She applies powder to her face.
It breaks my heart a little, when I hear people talk and gossip about him. There’s no tenderness, no warmth. I hear his name, and the man I knew, is no longer the man described in their icy voices, in their cutting words. The man I remember is but a painting in my memory.
She fixes her hair.
If I told them how he loved to dance, or how he held my hand, so softly, so full of affection. They would not believe me. They couldn’t. For the person they know is but a shadow, a darkness, concealing the true nature of the man.
Mrs. Ebenezer Scrooge.
I would not have made him happy and in turn, eventually, I would have been consumed by my own bitterness and resentment. I loved him, but it was not enough. He had grown to love something different, something new. Something shiny. She puts on her earrings. I do not doubt that he would have married me. Be it out of obligation. Duty. A love for which he once bore me. We would have lived in a fine house. I would have surrounded myself with beautiful things. Perhaps children. But only if he had learnt to share. Even with me, would he of learnt to share…?
She finds a lipstick.
But a marriage can not be built on money. Love can not be bought. Your heart beats to its own individual rhythm. It will let you know when love has entered the room, and in turn, if it should leave you. It will find a way of letting you know, of dealing with the pain, of rebuilding itself and growing even bigger, even stronger, because you have survived it. Love belongs within you, that’s where it lives and dies, it is yours and yours alone.
She applies the lipstick.
And that is where I have kept you, my darling Ebenezer. The man you once were and the thoughts, and hopes, of the man you could have been are safely stored away, locked in my imagination so that you will not be forgotten. Lost to the man you have become.
She looks at herself, checking for any last finishing touches. She puts on her gloves.
I wonder what you have done with me? If I still exist in your heart? In your memories. If I live on in anyway? If I called your name, would you hear me? Would you hold out your hand to me? Would you change… I wonder, Ebenezer Scrooge. I wonder.
She looks as if she’s about to leave. She traces a hand over her face. She slowly removes the gloves. She takes a tissue and wipes away the lipstick. She dabs off the powder. Her earrings are placed back on the table. She stares at her reflection. As if in a dream, she removes the wedding ring, and places it gently on the table. Everything is back in its place, as if trapped in the glass, she begins the cycle again, and again.