Becoming Emily - Father meets Daughter

Excerpt from Becoming Emily by Brad Havens

(formatted to fit this blog post) 


The Girl sits comfortably as she can in the stiff chair, staring off, randomly skimming her gaze across the room. She seems almost relaxed in her composure. She becomes more attentive, looking to the mirror at one side of the room. Taking a deep breath, she turns her head slowly from the mirror to the door. 

The door opens and Joe steps halfway in. He freezes. They stare for a long moment, eyes riveted to each other. 

Joe recovers himself and steps all the way into the room, letting the door close behind him. He moves cautiously, bringing the cup of water to her, leaving it on the table within her reach. The stare at each other. 

Joe remembers the chair and sits down to face her. He notices the blood on her chest. 


                    I’m Lieutenant Detective Joe Merrit. I’m leading this investigation for 

                    the moment. You can call me Joe. Did someone do that to you? 




                    What happened? 


                    Nose. Nose bleed. 

Joe nods - “oh”. The awkward tension in the room gets thicker. Joe clears his throat. 


                    Officer Delgado said he found you passed out near the crime scene. 

                    He said you were alone, and that you asked to see me. Is that right? 

                    You specifically asked to see me? Do you know something about 

                    what happened over there? Did you know either of those men we 


A long silence passes between them. She watches him closely. Joe glances at the mirror and then turns back to the Girl. 

He notices the way she’s staring at him, concentrating. Recognizing that look, although momentarily surprised, he smiles knowingly at her. Her focus breaks. Confused, surprised, she glances around the small room before looking at him again, suddenly a trapped rabbit. She controls her fear, but knows the game is up. 

Seeing this, he softens towards her a bit. 

                                                            JOE (CONT’D) 

                    Is there anything you want to ask me? 

She really seems to think about jumping before she does it. 


                    Do you know who I am? 

Joe considers how to answer the question. There’s only one way. 


                    Yes. I knew it the moment I saw you on the street back there. 

She doesn’t know if she can believe him. Joe’s affection for her grows throughout the rest of the scene. 

                                                            JOE (CONT’D) 

                    You are so much like your mother. It’s kind of scary, but it’s true. She 

                    would make that face at me sometimes - like she wants to believe me, 

                    but she doesn’t yet. And then she’d just have to wait and see. But we 

                    never lied to each other. Ever. It’s one of the things that made what we 

                    had so special. 


                    Where is she? 


                    Oh... She’s... She died. I’m sorry to have to tell you. But, you know, to 

                    be honest, that’s part of the reason - 

The door opens behind them and Mike leans in to Joe. 


                    Uh, Detective? Could I see you a moment, please? 

Joe tears himself from the Girl to look back at Mike, but Mike’s expression let’s him know he’s got to go. He looks back to the Girl. 


                    I, uh... Give me just a second, huh? I’ll be right back. 

Joe gets up and follows Mike out. The Girl’s eyes follow along the wall for a few paces from the closed door. She stares, eyes fixed at the spot.

Copyright 2020, Brad Havens. All Rights Reserved.



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