Decision

INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER

               Mark sits in an easy chair reading the paper. Estelle sits
               in a matching chair, knitting. Charlotte comes into the
               room wearing jeans and a roomy plaid shirt.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              Well? Have you come to a decision?

                                          MARK
                              We have decided to take your
                              offer, and give you the money,but
                              there is a couple of conditions.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              What are they?

                                          MARK
                              As soon as the baby is born you
                              will sign adoption papers giving
                              us full unconditional custody of
                              the baby.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                                    (without hesitation)
                              Done. What's the other condition?

                                          MARK
                              After the baby is born we don't
                              want to see you ever again. You
                              will no longer be our
                              daughter. Agreed?

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              Agreed.
                                     (quietly)
                              I'll need some maternity
                              clothes,mom.

               INT. CHARLOTTE'S BEDROOM - DAY

               Two weeks later

               Charlotte  packs clothes into a big steamer trunk. She
               closes the lid and exits.

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               Estelle is washes dishes. Charlotte enters and watches her
               mother sadly for a moment.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              Are you coming with me to Aunt
                              Alice's place, at least for a
                              week?  You could help me settle
                              in. You grew up out there.

                                          ESTELLE
                              No I'm not Charlotte, and neither
                              is your father.

               Estelle dries her hands on a towel and turns to face
               Charlotte.

                                          ESTELLE
                              You agreed to this, charlotte.
                              We'll  go out there the week the
                              baby is due, but not before. I'll
                              be talking to Alice on and off,
                              but there will be no contact with
                              you at all.

               Charlotte leans against the door frame, arms folded.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              Why are you being like this, mom?
                              You don't actually expect to keep
                              me out of your life forever do
                              you?

               Estelle crosses the room, puts her hands on Charlotte's
               shoulder, and speaks angrily, voice raised.

                                          ESTELLE
                              You are selling your baby! Your
                              own flesh and blood! How are we
                              supposed to react to that? If you
                              were a friend's daughter,I would
                              stop associating with her, too.

               Charlotte pushes her mother away and paces the room. she
               also speaks angrily.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              Just because she got pregnant out
                              of wedlock?  That's really
                              tolerant of you. You go to church
                              twice aweek,  you've always
                              preached tolerance to me, and now
                              here you are, locking me out of
                              your life. How tolerant is that?

                                          ESTELLE
                              It's not the pregnancy I have the
                              problem with, it's the fact that
                              you are selling your baby like a
                              sweater that you don't like
                              anymore.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              It's not like I'm selling it on
                              the black market! It's going to
                              live with it's own
                              grandparents. I'm just giving you
                              custody, that's all.

                                          ESTELLE
                              Custody... for money. It amounts
                              to the same thing as selling. You
                              keep calling the child "it" like
                              it has no gender, no personality.
                              To you this little one is just a
                              thing you want to get rid of.

               Estelle follows Charlotte as she paces the room.

                                          ESTELLE
                              By the time I was this far along
                              with you, I already knew in my
                              heart that you were a girl. A
                              mother always shows her
                              preference by calling the child
                              he, or she, almost from
                              conception. You have no such
                              connection. You are cold,and hard
                              hearted. I cannot love someone
                              that treats my innocent unborn
                              grandchild like that.

                                          CHARLOTTE
                              Fine. Have it your way! As soon
                              as I'm out of this house, I'm gone
                              for good. Is that really how you
                              want it?

               Estelle nods and starts walking towards the door. She stops
               for a moment and faces Charlotte.

                                          ESTELLE
                              That's how I want it. Your father
                              has a neighbour boy helping him
                              put your trunks into the station
                              wagon. He'll take them to the
                              train station and book them all
                              the way through to Vancouver.
                              Your Aunt Alice and Uncle Derrick
                              will pick them up when they
                              arrive. You'll be flying first
                              class as requested. You will be
                              sent to the airport by taxi, and
                              that will be the last you will
                              see of us until the week the baby
                              is due.

               Estelle exits and closes the door quietly. Charlotte leans
               against the sink, arms folded, Glaring angrily at her
               mother as she leaves.

The End

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