Kate comes into the hospital room and puts her bag down heavily on a chair. Karen, fragile and elderly, is asleep in the bed, tubes attached. Subika, in nurse’s uniform, is tidying up. Kate gives her a nod, and picks up one of the many architect plans curled up on side tables. She picks up a pencil and holds it up quizzically.
SUBIKA: (Sofly) She’s been making some alterations.
Kate rolls her eyes. Then moves over to look at Karen.
KATE: It’s all work, work, work, isn’t it mum?
SUBIKA: She’ll probably be asleep for a while yet.
Subika continues to tidy. Kate stares at Karen.
KATE: I wish we could have talked. I mean really talked. About music, or books, or feelings. Anything really. Anything other than which firm I was going to join once my apprenticeship was over. Which commissions I was putting in for. Which she was putting in for. One last push for the big signature building that would mean she’d be remembered. Or the breakthrough for me which meant they’d remember her through me. Just once, I’d like to have talked about something else. About you, about me.
SUBIKA: I’ve heard a lot of people talk like that about their parents. But normally after they’ve died. You can still have that conversation.
KATE: I’m not sure either of us have the energy now.
KAREN’s eyes flicker open.
KAREN: Ah, Kate. How’s the tender for the Shaw House going?
KATE: Beat. I’m sorry mum, I’ve got to go, just heard – waves phone unconvincingly.
KAREN: Quite right! Go get ‘em.
KATE leaves, avoiding eye contact with Subika.
KAREN: Give me a lift up will you. I’ve got to get this glass wall right for the Bayer Building.