Elaine 2Character Profile Name: Elaine Rogers Age: 30 Occupation: Former political editor, currently unemployed. For how long: Two years. Hobbies and Interests: Writing. VAB: Feminist views Life Goal: Publish a novel. Dramatic Performance It's been two years since I was someone worth knowing. I was once such an important figure in the journalism world. Now, I'm jut a has-been. When I met Alfred Roger's, I really thought it was love, it's somewhat funny now, seeing where love got me. In books and on television, you psychologists are always saying "Let's start with your parents", so I guess that's where I'll start... I never knew my mother, she had a fling with my father and fell pregnant, she stuck around until she had me, then left me with him. Last I heard, she was working the backstreets in London selling herself. As a child I used to wonder if she ever thought about me or missed me, or if one day she'd come and get me and take me away from my father, that bas- Sorry. I do get ahead of myself sometimes, so please bear with me. My father was, for lack of a better word, a horrible man. He was a workaholic, and most nights he'd come home wound up and frustrated after having been berated by his boss. I guess he felt small, because he'd always feel the need to bring me down to feel better about himself. Fighting back would only ever make it worse. I was so young, and he was such a large man, if one could call someone on that level a man. When I was almost twelve, my father was heading home from a dinner at his work and some men tried to mug him. Of course being the type of person he was, he tried to play the hero and show them who was the boss, until one of them pulled out a knife... I still remember the police coming to the house. I was inside, cleaning up in the hope of avoiding his anger, when I heard the knock on the door. No-one would ever knock on the door to their own home. In the moment of confusion that followed, the only logical reason for the knocking was that he was testing me, to see if I'd open the door to a stranger. I didn't dare move or make a noise. I was standing stationary as though my feet had set into the floor. There was another knock, and a voice called through the door, "Police, open up!". I plucked up the courage to peek through the curtains. To my suprise, on the doorstep were two real-life police officers. I opened the door and they told me the news. My father had died. I can't remember much after that moment, and I think that's probably for the best. The sickest part, though, is that I blamed myself. I'd spent years wishing he'd die and leave me alone, and then he did. Not much can prepare you for that eventuality, let me tell you. After that I was bumped between relatives and foster homes. It seemed I was never in the one place for long enough to call it home. Having barely any male influence in my teens, most people thought I'd crash and burn. I wanted to prove them all wrong. I went to university, worked hard and became arguably one of the most cutthroat political editors England had ever seen. I feared no-one and nothing, I spoke the brutal truth that all others were afraid to say, then it all changed. From the moment I saw Alfred Rogers, I was drawn to him. When we spoke it felt like I'd known him forever. It didn't matter to me that he was twelve years older than I, I liked the man. We grew closer over time, but I will admit we probably rushed into marriage. Living with Alfred, it was as though he was a completely different person. He insisted I stop working, and focus soley on keeping the house clean, and catering to his every need. It was a woman's place, he'd say, to serve a man. That was not the only problem Alfred had. He was partial to an after-work drink, or ten. He would drink himelf comatose every night, and he became almost impossible to deal with. One night, it got too much. I was waiting for him to come home from a late night and contemplating my new life, when I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of revulsion. All of the strain on my marriage was caused by Alfred's alcoholism. I opened the liquor cabinet, and reached for the closest bottle. I threw it as hard as I could down the hall, and it smashed into the kitchen wall. Alfred never went to the kitchen, it was a woman's place, he'd always say. As soon as the glass smashed I felt a rush through my veins. It felt as though apart of me I had long since caged up had broken free. I reached for another bottle, and then another. It was a brilliant feeling, so I decided to celebrate. I would grab a bottle from the cabinet, take a large swig of the pungent fluid, then toss it down the hall. I'd never really been drunk before. Somehow, the heaviness in my feet didn't seem to register in my mind until everything went haywire. It was hard to focus my eyes and the world was spinning. I heard a car pull up in the drive and froze for a moment, then I reconnected to reality, hurriedly shut the cabinet and scurried to the kitchen to begin cooking dinner. When I heard the door open, I walked into the lounge room to greet my husband. Walking into the room, I focused on my feet, trying to stay steady. When I looked up, my eyes met with the cold, hard stare of my father. My blood chilled in my veins and I clenched my fists. It was as though I were a child again. As soon as I saw him, I was eleven, and he was a monster. I was terrified of course, but I had to hold it together. I feigned a smile and returned to the kitchen. While I was cooking his mashed pumpkin, which I despised, I had a brainwave. I excused myself to the bathroom, and began fishing through the medicine cabinet, until my hand landed on a tiny bottle of sleeping pills I'd been prescribed to deal with nightmares. The label said that the medication may cause death if it was mixed with large quantities of alcohol. My plan became clear. Sleeping pills in tow, I returned to the kitchen. After the meal, I retired to the bedroom, still unstable on my feet, and 'Daddy', tired from the late night,and possibly the spiked pumpkin, sat in his favourite armchair and reached for his trusty bottle of Brandy. The next morning, my head felt fuzzy and sluggish, my limbs were heavy and my nose was running like a tap as I made my way from the bedroom to the kitchen, expecting Alfred to have already left for work. Once I reached the kitchen, I stood just beyond the pile of glass I'd left there, end my eyes fell on Alfred's lifeless body lying in his armchair. Every memory from the night before came flooding back like some freakish horror montage flashed straight from Hell. My ankles rolled, my knees buckled and all strength deserted me. I fell to the linoleum, my knees and hands hit the glass first, then my whole left side. At first it was just a sting, then the liquor soaked into the lacerations, and my entire body felt as though it were on fire. A few seconds later, everything went black. I remember being roused from my state by the phone, but before I could answer it, either the pain would overcome me, or the sudden realisation of what I had done would. I don't know how long I sat there for. It felt like only hours had passed before two of Alfred's workmates arrived to check up on him. Alfred never missed work. The first man rushed to Alfred's side, and the second, taller man, ran to me and tried to help me stand. Not a second after I was seated upright on the floor, the first man walked into the kitchen, his face ashen grey. I heard him say that Alfred was dead. A thousand thoughts hit me all at once, some louder, some faint. The loudest of all told me, "It's over, you're through". I knew what it meant, was going to be put in a padded cell for the rest of my life, I'd just be another sob story. The thought was too much to bear. I grabbed a sticky shard of glass and crammed it into my arm. I woke up in the hospital. The police came a few times, but apparently I'm far too fragile to be alone, so here I am, in this white-washed hell-hole you call a "Mental Health Clinic". Let's be reasonable here, this is no clinic, it's an asylum, and asylums are for crazy people. Now I'm not crazy. Didn't try to kill myself because a voice in my head told me so. If I was crazy, wouldn't I have given all the little voices little names?