Rose is sitting cross-legged on the grass in the middle of a field of wild-flowers. She is still in her pajamas, but the cut on her forehead has healed. Gentle harp music is playing.
Rose is singing. “Such peace, such joy, I’m happy to be here! What a lovely place! I’m free from turmoil and strife!
“What just happened?” she asks speaking.
Suddenly back in her apartment, she looks down at her lifeless body lying on the bed. The partially healed wound is still evident on the forehead. Derek has released his strangle hold on the neck, which bears the reddened marks of his hands. Rose’s double, invisible and inaudible to Derek, is standing nearby looking at the body.
Derek picks up the body, kisses the face and lays it down in the middle of the bed.
“Rose, I need you to come back!”
Rose’s double tries to touch Derek on the shoulder, but he walks right through her on his way to the door muttering, “What am I going to do?” Derek opens the door and exits, locking and closing it behind him.
Rose’s double says, “I am feeling sorrow and pain. I would like to go back to the field.”
Then Rose is standing in the field of wild flowers. She sits down as before, no wounds or marks of any kind in evidence.
“What have I done?”
She finds herself in a middle class living room with a view of several fruit trees through a picture window. This is her family home and Rose is having a heated discussion with her mother, Cloe.
“Derek’s mother sent you home and you’re going back to him?”
“I’m going back to him Mom. I’m just crazy about him, I don’t know what else to do. I love him, I can’t live without him!”
“Well, I think you’re making a big mistake!”
“I’m so lonely without him I could die! I’ve never felt this way about anyone else. I don’t know why, but I know I must be with him.”
Rose is back in the field of flowers crying. “Oh God she was right! I have made a big mistake! Why did I think I loved him? How was I so deceived? Why was I so attracted, so magnetized, by him, that I could not see the danger?”
Then Rose is in the living room of Derek’s family home with another memory. Rose is holding one of Derek’s nieces on her lap, 5-year-old Jasmine.
“Jasmine, you know you are just as good as anybody else, don’t you?”
“I’m scared sometimes, Aunt Rose. Sometimes people look at me really mean. Aunt Rose, their faces are scary!”
“I know it’s hard, Jasmine, I got beat up once for being with your Uncle Derek. I was scared too. But I had to stand there and take a beating knowing I had done nothing wrong.”
Now Rose is experiencing another memory. She and Derek are in a small neat living room. They have called on a friend, Agnes, in the Little Italy section of Cleveland, Ohio.
“How nice of you two to stop by! Can I get you something to drink?”
Suddenly a male voice is loudly bellowing outside.
“There’s a nigger in there!”
Derek runs to the door, then runs down the street to the left (towards Derek and Rose’s car.) Some men chase after him.
Rose, not understanding the danger she is in, gently says goodbye to her friend. “I guess I’d better go!” Rose walks to the door and goes outside. She sees Derek running to the left and being chased. She sees some nice looking shops to the right and walks to the right thinking surely she will be safe in a professional business establishment.
A male voice bellows, “She brought a nigger in!”
Someone chases after her, and Rose runs. She steps into a beauty shop where beauticians are doing customer’s hair.
“May I help you?” the receptionist asks.
“Yes, I was thinking about getting a perm…”
“She brought a nigger in!” The hate monger was right behind her!
A beautician starts hitting Rose in the face with her fists. Rose staggers outside still being hit. Her face is bleeding in several places, including her nose. Her blond hair is tinged pink with blood. A car slows down, the back door opens and Rose gets inside. Then the car drives away.
Then Rose is back in the living room of Derek’s family home. Jasmine is still on her lap.
“Were the people in the car nice to you, Aunt Rose?”
“Yes, they brought me to the police station where I met up with Uncle Derek. Someone had brought him there too. The hateful people had burned up our car, and beaten me. We cooperated with the police, but no charges were ever filed.”
Rose is back in the field of flowers. “So in my own small way, I made a difference! I took a stand for social justice and suffered for it! Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the opportunity to make the world slightly better when I left than it was when I arrived. So falling in love with a black man was beneficial for the evolution of humankind. But falling in love with an abuser… What was that about?”
Rose relives another memory in a dark, unadorned basement. There is a little puddle near the cinder block wall corner on the bare concrete floor. Nearby is a laundry tray and a ringer washer. There is a mirror above the laundry tray. 3-year-old Rose is standing near the puddle. She is barefoot wearing a simple dress.
She hears Dan’s angry voice yelling, “Rose!”
Rose is startled by his tone and starts to cry.
Dan squats near Rose and puts his hands on her waist. “Don’t pee on the floor!”
Rose screeches, “Mama! Ah ah ah ah!”
“I’m going to give you a lesson you won’t forget!”
Rose continues to cry and yell for her mother.
Dan picks the child up and pushes her face toward the puddle of pee.
“I’ll rub your face in it!”
Dan pushes Rose’s face into the puddle while she screams. Then he sets her down. The tip of her nose and the ends of her pale blond hair are muddy. She sits on the floor crying with ragged breaths.
Cloe picks Rose up and takes her before the mirror.
“Look at yourself, Rose!”
Rose’s mouth is open crying, her blue eyes focus for a moment on the image, then she looks away still crying.
Another memory, when she was older, is experienced in the kitchen of Rose’s family home, her mother and father, Cloe and Dan, are seated at the kitchen table, each reading a section of the paper. 15-year-old Rose enters through the kitchen door. The door slams behind her.
“Sorry! I didn’t mean to let it slam! I’ll close it more carefully next time.”
Dan comes to his feet and corners Rose in the doorway. “Every time you slam the door the nails and screws holding this house together loosen a little.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do it! I have already apologized.”
“I think you need a lesson you won’t forget!”
“I’m not going to be roughed up by you anymore, Dad. I’ve had it with your physical abuse. I am big enough to defend myself now and I will!”
Dan reaches for her and Rose shoots a knee up into Dan’s groin. Dan staggers away.
“Rose, what have you done to your father?” asks Cloe.
“I’m not going to take the physical abuse anymore, Mom. We can talk together like human beings or not, but I won’t be physically attacked!”
Rose is given a premonition of the future. An elderly Dan and Cloe sit in the consulting office with a physician.
“I am afraid I have some very bad news for you, Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Mr. Jones, the cancer has spread to both testicles. They’re going to have to be removed!”
Cloe sobs, “Oh no!”
Rose is back in the field of flowers crying profusely.
“I didn’t want to hurt him or her! I just wanted him to stop hurting me!”
Connie is on her bed leaning against a large pillow, watching a TV on a table at the foot of the bed, when Derek taps on her window from the outside.
Connie mutes the TV with the remote, annoyed. “Derek, what you want, Boy?”
“Connie, let me in, Gal!”
“Nigger, don’t you come to me all hours of the night! Have some respect!”
“Gal, it’s only 8:00.”
Derek begs, “Come on, Baby. I had a rough day. I need to nestle in your arms!”
Connie sighs, gets up, opens her door and walks down the hall to the back door, unchains and opens it. “Oh, thank you, Baby!” Derek says as he enters.
Connie secures the door as before. Derek walks down the hall, enters her room and gets on the bed leaving room for her. He picks up the remote. Connie gets on the bed next to him.
“Boy, give me that remote!” She snatches the remote out of Derek’s hands.
“Not yet, Connie, I need to talk to you.”
“About what? Your little white girl?” Connie asks sarcastically.
“Rose?” Derek asks derisively.
Rose enters through the wall unseen and unheard by either Derek or Connie.
“That gal ain’t got no sense at all! Put her to work, she give me money!”
“Reckon I ain’t got no sense neither! I be playing the fool giving your ass money too! What you want now? Wait, let me guess, a bag of dope? A pack of beer? A bottle of wine?” Connie is impatient to get back to her television show.
“That all sounds good, but Connie, you mean more to me than any of that shit!”
“Hush up now, let me watch my show.”
Connie unmutes the TV. Derek puts his arm around her and she leans her head towards him.
Rose is back in the field of flowers pacing back and forth. “I am the stupidest person on earth! THE STUPIDEST! Show me a con-man and I’ll show you a fool! What the hell is my problem?”
At the foyer of Walter’s apartment. Derek has just come through the door. Walter stands near him. “Motherfucker, what you want? It’s ten o’clock at night!”
“Walter, I need your help, Bro’!”
“Well I ain’t studying, I’m goin’ back to bed with my lady!”
“Shit man, I’m in deep shit!”
“What you do this time? Fuck another 15-year-old and her parents are after you?”
“No man, worse than that shit!”
“Well I can’t help you. Got to keep my nose clean in this community and that means steering clear of you!”
“Walter, it’s your fault. You told me you fucked her!”
“Fucked who? I ain’t been with nobody accepting my lady, Ruby. She’ll tell you. Done turned over a new leaf. After I got that little gal pregnant, and she gave the baby up, ain’t done no more of that shit!”
“But you told me, Walter, you told me you fucked Rose. Got me so blamed upset I went off and killed her!”
“You done what? Oh shit, no way. No way Nigger. You get the fuck out of here! I never told you I fucked Rose! I said I HAD someone just like her. You know who, that little gal that had that baby and gave it up. I don’t know where the fuck she is now, and don’t care! Accept, I’m sorry about the baby. Brother, don’t you think I got more respect for you than to mess with someone you be messing with?”
“Well what’s done is done now. I just need some help hiding the body. But if you don’t want to mess with it, I’ll find someone else, Bro’.”
“How’d you do it? Is it a bloody, gory mess?”
“No, I choked her. No blood, no mess. I didn’t mean to do it. I just wanted to scare her, but she didn’t come back when I let go, and I waited around awhile. Looks like it’s over for her, Man. And for me too if I don’t get rid of the evidence!”
“There’s no evidence. What evidence is there that it was you? She’s not going to tell anybody. Who’s going to know? Just sit tight, say it wasn’t you that did it, and you don’t know who it was.”
“That’s easy for you to say, Walter, but they have them lie-detector things. Don’t know if I could fool one of them motherfuckers. Better that they don’t find a body and it looks like a disappearance. By the time they start asking questions I could have figured out what to say.”
“So we are going to put her in my ride, ’cause you ain’t got no ride. I’d have an awful lot of explaining to do if we are seen, or stopped. I’d like to help you, but you’re going to drag me down. I’m sorry, Man, I can’t do it.”
“Does Ruby know about Angel?”
“Well I certainly don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Angel, you remember, that little gal you met at Nick’s. Looked like you and her was getting pretty cozy!”
“So now you’re going to blackmail me threatening to tell Ruby about Angel. Go ahead and tell her! I’m sure she will see through your shit like water in the toilet.” Walter pauses a moment. “Okay lets go, lets go see what kind of trouble you got yourself into.”
Outside Rose’s apartment, Derek puts his key in the door and opens it. Inside, Rose (her physical self) is sitting up in bed.
“Derek, I want you to pick up your things, leave the key and leave.”
Derek is overjoyed. “Rose! I’m so glad to see you! Ah what a relief to see your open eyes and talking mouth! You don’t know what this means to me!”
“Give me your key, Derek. Pick up anything of yours you left here, and go. Now!”
“Baby, you don’t mean that! There is only one Derek, you will never find another!”
“I can press charges, and I will if you don’t leave nicely.”
Walter adds his voice to Rose’s. “Derek, she say, ‘Take your shit and leave the key!’ You better do what she say, Man.”
Out in the field of flowers, a light rain is falling. Rose is standing with her arms outstretched and crying.
“Oh God I understand it now. Thank you God thank you! I understand now! Wow! lI finally get it. Thank you! I love you!”