Adam Yoelin

MAYA, 9, watches as her mother is laid to rest. Her father MARK is stoic; his wife Elizabeth died in the attacks on 9/11. A month later, Mark is still sleeping with Elizabeth’s nightgown. He interacts with Maya as little as possible. When she gets on the school bus her peers gawk. Mark goes to work and his co-worker EVELYN tries to comfort him; he seems to be on autopilot. When he goes home, neighbors BEN and
CAROL are waiting with some dessert. They offer their words but Mark doesn’t want to let them inside the house. Each night, he brings fast food for Maya, and they talk very little at the table. Evelyn again tries to prompt Mark to go to lunch with her and some others. He declines. That afternoon, he tries to go to Elizabeth’s grave, but leaves her bouquet at the gates. He can’t go in any further. At dinner, Mark
gets angry when Maya has the television on and the news speaks of 9/11.

MRS. MORENZ calls Mark at work the next day; she is one of Maya’s school administrators. It’s become apparent that Maya has been disappearing at lunchtime.
Mark says he’ll deal with the issue, but he doesn’t confront Maya that night. The following morning, he calls Evelyn to say he will not be going in to work, and he discreetly follows Maya when she leaves her school. She gets on a public bus, and when she gets off Mark follows her on foot. He discovers she’s headed into the cemetery. She goes inside, and Mark gains the courage to follow her. As he approaches, he sees Maya eating her lunch at Elizabeth’s gravesite. He joins her. They embrace each other; he holds her tightly. It is at this moment that they finally
communicate with each other. They miss Elizabeth but can still love each other, now more than ever.

Copyright 2005 Adam Yoelin
All Rights Reserved