The Mother Mystery

April 12, 2017
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Lights up in Pete and Jan’s kitchen
JAN: Pete, she’s been asking about them again...
PETE: What did you tell her?
JAN: The same as always. That we don’t know.
PETE: But we should know. It’s our responsibility as her foster parents. The Home and Owen, her social worker, said they would try and track them down themselves but they couldn’t... Where is Emma, anyway
JAN: In her room. Writing an ad for the paper. Sadly. She thinks that her parents will see it and rushing here to get her.
PETE: Poor girl. Let her write the ad. You never know. I had Owen on the phone earlier saying that an ad might do the trick...
Emma enters the kitchen
JAN: Well, dear, have you written an ad yet?
EMMA: Yes. Can I go up to the Times’ offfice now? I’ll be back for dinner.
PETE: It’s getting late, pet. I’ll run you up in the car before it gets dark. Let’s go.

Lights up in the Times’ office
RECEPTIONIST: ...and that will be €25, sir, when you’re ready.
PETE: One minute... He hands a wad of notes to the receptionist.
RECEPTIONIST: Thank you. Have a nice day, sir. You too, miss. The advertisment will go in the next edition.
EMMA: Great! I can’t wait to meet Mum and Dad!
PETE: Under his breath. Oh dear. I hope she won’t be too disapointed.

Lights up in the kitchen again. We see Pete and Jan in dressing gowns. Emma enters
JAN: Good morning, dear.
EMMA: Jan, I’ve just had my real mum on the phone!
JAN: What? Already?
EMMA: Yes, just now! Her name is Nicola de Vaughn and she says she can’t wait to meet me! She wants to come here at 2 o’clock. Is that all right?
JAN: I suppose, dear. Go and tell her so on the phone.
EMMA: Great!
She runs out
PETE: Speechless. Did that really just happen?
JAN: I’m afraid it did, love. Her mother is really coming to see her later. Her real mother. Listlessly. I suppose I had better get dressed and start cooking for lunch.
PETE: To himself. I’m going to miss her. We couldn’t have wished for a better daughter though...
Lights up in Emma’s bedroom where she is on her phone
EMMA: ...Yes, she said it was okay! Isn’t that great!... I know... This is going to be the best!... All right. Goodbye, Mum!
Lights up in Jan and Pete’s front garden
OWEN: Well, Mrs de Vaughn, here it is. The King’s house. Nice isn’t it?
NICOLA: It is rather dowdy, I think. Not a patch on my house though. Actually, it’s more of a villa I suppose. Or a mansion. It used to be a hotel in the 18th century... She rambles on about her house and we get the impression that she is very rich and worldly.
OWEN: It sounds very nice, Mrs de Vaughn. Let’s go in now. The King’s are expecting us and I expect you are dying to see Emma.
NICOLA: Yes, yes, yes. Are these King’s rich? It seems rather a wealthy district...
OWEN: Shocked. Mrs de Vaughn! Let me warn you, Emma is very down to earth and will dislike you if you appear to be prying into the King’s affairs. She has been with them for nearly 16 years and they are very close to one another.
NICOLA: Well that’s rather rude...

Lights up in Jan and Pete’s kitchen
NICOLA: ...would you like that?
EMMA: Of course! I’d love to live with you in France, Mum! When can we go?
NICOLA: I have talked to your foster parents and they say you can leave in 2 days. Now, tell me daughter, do you have an inheritance?
EMMA: But don’t you know that, Mum?
NICOLA: Of course, darling. But I need to make sure you’re not an imposter.
EMMA: Oh, I’m not, I’m not! I have an inheritance of half a million euros, as well you know!
NICOLA: Thoughtfully. Yes. Yes, you do, don’t you?
EMMA: Mum, where is Dad?
NICOLA: Oh. Darling, the thing is...your father is dead...
EMMA: Dead!
NICOLA: Yes. Dead. I’m sorry, love. But you have me, after all...

Lights up in Emma’s bedroom
EMMA: ..and here is a photo of her. My very own mother!
SALLY: Are you sure that’s her?
EMMA: Indignantly. Of course I’m sure. She’s my mother! Why do you ask?
SALLY: Because I am nearly certain that she is my father’s friend, aho has been to our house many times. I believe she is unmarried and childless...
EMMA: What? No, I don’t believe it.
SALLY: I can text Dad the photo and see what he thinks.
EMMA: Go on then. I want the truth.
Sally takes out her phone and sends the photo. Soon, her dad replies
SALLY: He’s texted back! He says it’s her, his friend!
EMMA: Horrified. What? Oh, Sally what should I do?
SALLY: When you see her tomorrow, tell her you know she’s a fraud. Tell Jan, Pete and Owen. Don’t worry. If anyone can help you it’s Mum. She knows everyone who goes to her church and she has a memory like an elephant. I’ll ask her about the woman who have left babies there about 15 years ago. She’ll help, I know she will.
EMMA: Still shocked. Thanks. I better talk to everyone now. See you tomorow...

Lights up in Sally’s sitting room
SALLY: do you remember all the woman?
JOAN: Yes. Clear as day. There have been 2. A worried looking woman who I have never seen again and a woman who... wait! That’s it!
SALLY: What?
JOAN: Excitedly. The second woman! I knew she reminded me of somone and I couldn’t think who, but now I know! She’s the mirror image of Emma!
SALLY: Then all our problems are solved! Do you know the woman or anything about her?
JOAN: Of course! She’s the greengrocer’s wife! I know it! Come, Sally, if we are quick then we can get there before the shop closes!
SALLY: You mean we’re going now? To find Emma’s mother? I don’t think that’s a good idea. It should be Emma who goes to find her.
JOAN: I don’t think so, dear. From what you have told me, Emma needs some time alone and to talk to her foster parents and her social worker. We’ll go ourselves to find Valerie –that’s Emma’s mother- and bring her to Emma first thing in the morning!
SALLY: Great! Let’s go!

Lights up in Jan and Pete’s kitchen. Owen is there and so is Emma (in tears)
PETE: ...and we’re proud of you and Sally for figuring this out by yourselves.
JAN: Yes. And don’t worry about anything anymore. We’ll take it from here.
OWEN: And if you need any help with anything, you know where to find me...
EMMA: Thanks, Owen. And you guys. If you don’t mind I think I’ll go to bed now.
JAN: Night, love.

Lights up in Sally’s sitting room
JOAN: ...and she’s a lovely girl, Valerie, and a credit to her foster parents.
VALERIE: I hope so. I shall go over in the morning and see the dear girl. Where is your Sally? I want to thank her.
JOAN: Emma’s foster mother was on the phone a while ago. She said that Emma wanted Sally with her tonight, so I said yes and she went over there about an hour ago.
VALERIE: Oh, good. Agitatedly. I hope Emma will understand that I had to leave her. Her father just wasn’t making enough money and I didn’t have a job...
JOAN: Don’t worry. Once you explain to her, I’d say she’ll be fine. But didn’t Jan or Pete or even Emma herself ever go into your shop?
VALERIE: No. They probably got their groceries from the supermarket...

Lights up in the hallway. Jan and Pete are there as well. Sally has left
EMMA: I’m so nervous. I’m about to meet my mother for the first time.
JAN: I know, pet. You must be brave, though. Your mother needs you too, as well as you needing her.
EMMA: I know. I’m going to miss you guys so much though...
PETE: Don’t worry. You can still see us every weekend, though. You will only be moving to a flat above the greengrocer’s, you know.
EMMA: I didn’t actually. Where...where is Mum?
JAN: In the kitchen. We’ll give you some privacy...
EMMA: Here I go... She walks to the kitchen and opens the door.
VALERIE: Emma? Is that you?
EMMA: Oh, Mum... She runs to her mother and Jan closes the kitchen door.
The lights go down.

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