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Little Love 13 January 2011

Adam touches his eyes. He covers them. He moves a finger to his throat and touches the middle of his throat.


Bat Eyes Barrett. The blind girl. Ok, visually impaired. Visually impaired girl we call Bat Eyes Barrett. Her name’s Jenny Barrett, but the joke’s not as good when you say Bat Eyes Jenny. Doesn’t alliterate the way we have to when we write poems in school. Alliteration, metaphor, simile. Ticking the boxes. Bat Eyes is a loser. Massively. Cares about work only, nothing else. We love to talk about her. Bat Eyes No Friends – half blind, half not. Her Dad wants her to go to a special kids’ school, the bat eyes class. One of those schools way out of town. The ones you avoid. That sad feeling. I look at her sometimes, but she won’t look at me. Well, she can’t. Bat Eyes goes crazy over poems. Not the ones we have to write in class, the box-ticking ones, but the magic ones printed in books. The ones where it’s hard to find where the alliteration is. Where it’s woven in. Delicate. But still there.

Little Love ©Jessica Bellamy, 2010  


Bat Eyes learns the magic poems, the delicate ones, by heart. You walk out of class at lunch and she stays right at her desk, listening to the poems on tape. Line after line to herself, over and over, burning them in. I walk past her, and there’s one line she’s saying to herself, “Take down this book, and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep”. And the words are welling around her eyes. Little wet ones. I stop walking. Surprised. Didn’t know tears could come out of bat eyes, especially Bat Eyes No Friends. And I stand there and watch and try to see what’s happening to her eyes, what is moving around inside them and under them to make them cry like that. And then I do something stupid. She hears me come up there and stand in front of her. She says my name. “Adam”. She knows it’s me, I don’t know how, because I don’t limp or stomp or anything. She knows my footsteps. And she knows my name, which I wasn’t sure she did til now. She knows it’s me there, and she says, “Sorry Adam. It’s just so fucking beautiful”. And then I say it. The stupid thing. “How would you know what’s beautiful? You can’t even see.” Long beat. He touches his eyes. Knows my name. Knows my footsteps. And that’s what I’ve got. It freezes. My words hang there. Bat Eyes lifts her hand, and finds them between us. Finds my mouth that shot them out. Finds my cheek, and goes, smack. He touches his cheek. She smacks, and she looks at me and her bat eyes flash. Alive. She lifts her hand off my face and blinks. Wet words everywhere now, running down her cheeks. And those bat eyes flashing. Stars. I don’t know what she’s going to do. Adam gets his index finger and very slowly places it on his forehead. He runs his finger from his forehead down to the middle of his throat – Adam’s Apple height. She stops there, finger on my throat. Pokes, strokes.

Little Love ©Jessica Bellamy, 2010  


“That’s where it’s beautiful. Tastes and sounds and feels.” And then that’s it. Circles on my throat. Mouth dry. Stars in her eyes, finger on my skin. Bat Eyes.

She lets me follow her home, right into her room. It’s a rainbow. Velvet cushions, silk bedspread, curtains made of organza. Flowers – crisp and fresh and sweet. Tinkly things and water sounds. A chugging fan. A leather desk. Things to touch and smell and hear – everywhere. And I don’t know where to start. What to touch. If I’ve imagined it all. And if I have, why am I here? Why did she invite me? All that, swimming round, while I’m looking into her bat eyes. Waiting for them to come alive again. To do something. Anything. Beat. He runs his fingers around the outline of his lips. I didn’t think that was something you do to a boy. But she does it. She touches all around my lips, and then her bat eyes flash. They really properly flash and she says, “Just once. Souvenir.” Beat. And before I can think any more, she’s pulling me on top of her. Kissing my dry mouth. Finding skin under clothes. Ready, both of us, to lose it together. The poem is moving under our skin, in our eyes – “and bending down beside the glowing bars” – words pulling us into each other. Their flash, their stars. And then it’s over. She rolls around and says “Thank you” to the wall and I don’t know what to say. I reach out to turn her round, to see her bat eyes again, and she won’t let me. There’s a bloodstain on the bed

Little Love ©Jessica Bellamy, 2010  


and she finds it with a finger. Traces the edges. Probably gross to anyone else, but not to me. “Little love,” she says. And then I know. No more Bat Eyes stuck at her desk. No burning words over lunchtime. We’ve had each other, and now we don’t. Loved each other for a minute. But over now. The stars won’t come back like that. The words won’t flash the same. And I lie on my side, and look at the back of her head, and mouth the rest of the poem to myself. “Murmur a little sadly how love fled, and paced upon the mountains overhead, and hid his face amid a crowd of stars.” And that’s it. All of it. Bat Eyes and me. Short, and little. New stars. New poems. But still, love.

      Images  from  LITTLE  LOVE:  AN  ORIGINAL  MONOLOGUE   Starring  Sam  O’Sullivan  as  Adam   Directed  by  Laura  Scrivano   More  information:   LITTLE  LOVE  is  available  with  20  other  monologues  in  THE  VOICES  PROJECT,  from  Currency  Press.  

Little Love ©Jessica Bellamy, 2010  


Little Love - The Original Monologue