(Monologue of an Unlucky But Happy Girl)
First and foremost, it will be best to introduce myself. My name is Wulan. I’m from Indonesia. I escaped from my homeland because of poverty – I had no work, and I didn’t want to steal, to be a panhandler or a prostitute…. I hid in the bottom of a ship to the USA, and I succeeded in getting to America, but I soon discovered that I could not manage much easier than in Indonesia.
“I wandered in the streets of New York without any help. I had no money, no food, no work, no place to sleep.... Suddenly I got to a big park, and I glimpsed a big “hole” – a drainage pipe. But it wasn’t interesting; everything was the same for me... I sat near that drainage pipe and started crying, thinking of my sun-kissed homeland... Why was I so stupid to leave it?!
Then I felt a light hand on my shoulder. I looked up, and I saw a young woman. She asked why I was crying, and what was wrong with me. I started complaining in my not-too-good English. I told her every problem of mine. She was thinking, and then she suggested to me to join them. She said that they have a kind older leader named Father, who had, many years ago, created a separate, special world, a community under the city, and they live there helping each other. It sounded very good, so I happily told her yes.
This girl – Jamie – even told me that there was a very special man living with them, and protecting them. His name was Vincent, and he looked like a lion – or half man, half lion – but it would be silly to be frightened, because he was very kind and warm-hearted.
I was very surprised, and I was also very excited. I had every right to be, because I didn’t know whether Father would agree for me to join them – and I was also very excited thinking of that mysterious “lion man.” But I was very lucky: Father agreed, so I could join them. I swore solemnly that I would never betray them, and that I would help those who needed my help – and so on.
After that, I met Vincent...and I felt as if lightning had struck me. Frightened?! Come on! He was so handsome and interesting and special... It is true, if you see him without being prepared, the sight is surprising and a bit bizarre – but definitely NOT ugly, not disgusting or hideous! Lions are the most beautiful creatures in the world, and if somebody is a mixture of a handsome man and a lion...it is impossible for that person to be ugly! And those sky-blue eyes and that golden hair... And I haven’t even gotten to his kindness, intelligence, warmth....
I immediately claimed that I would like to take part in English lessons, because my English was not perfect, and I would like to be more educated, to learn more about Shakespeare, Dickens, and the other great English poets and writers. It was not a lie – or, to be more accurate, it was only half a lie. I really wanted to improve my English and to read Shakespeare and Dickens in their original version.... But, it would be a shame to deny that I wanted mostly to take part in that reading group because it was led by Vincent. I wanted to see him, to hear him...his raspy velvet voice...
I was very, very diligent, and if he praised me, I could hardly help weeping. I was in seventh heaven whenever Vincent told me that I had improved so much, and that I could speak better, and that I read very beautifully.
I dreamed about him every night, and I saw that there was no woman beside him. But I was too shy. I didn’t dare to tell him anything about my emotions. However, I had fallen in love with him, deeply, madly...
Whenever I heard his voice, my stomach started trembling. When I saw his sculpture-like figure, my palms started to sweat. And I have never known anybody who was more intelligent and high-brow than him. He was always so serious and kind and gentle, and you could always trust him blindly. And how he loved children – and how children loved him, too! And his strength....It was rarer than a white crow! I would have told him that he was the man of my dreams, and it was really unnecessary for him to think that he was hideous or anything like that, because he was really eye candy! But instead of saying anything, I remained silent.
He went to the city almost every night, and I was always very worried about him. I was very afraid that he would get caught Above – or something else.
One night he got home intact, but not alone... He had brought an unknown young woman with him who was seriously hurt. Some unconscionable villains had hurt her brutally. Vincent and Father nursed her until she regained her health and strength.
Later we found out that she was Catherine Chandler, an attorney from Above. And then something happened that no one would have believed: Catherine and Vincent fell in love! I felt as if a knife had been stabbed into my heart. Vincent had never noticed me as a woman. As I have already said, he had always been very kind to me, but nothing else. And now? I almost wished I could have been beaten so severely....
It was a terrible pain for me to see that Vincent, whenever Catherine got into trouble, went running like a super express train or a cheetah, to save her. There was one occasion when he ran right in front of me...and he didn’t even see me.
One day Catherine brought a young pregnant prostitute to the Tunnels, and she – Lena – also fell in love with Vincent! I confess that I gloated a bit when I learned that Vincent had refused her love because he loves Catherine.
In spite of my envy, I like Catherine, because she is a very kind girl, and helps us very much – and she makes Vincent very happy.
I heard once that a friend of Catherine’s said, “Where are the really great guys? Did they go underground?” Yes, yes! If only she knew how right she had been.
Then Vincent and Catherine had a baby. Little Jacob. Everyone was very surprised, and very happy. Even me. But it was a merciless suffering for me at the same time, thinking that this beautiful little baby could have been mine...mine, and his. The fruit of our love. But, in spite of my sorrow, I’m very happy. Yes, I am really happy, because I know, I see, and I feel that my only love, Vincent, is happy with his Catherine and his lovely little son.
Sometimes Í think that life is very unfair, and it should be me who should live with Vincent in a happy love. But the greatest love is when you don’t think of yourself, but of the one who you love. When you only want for him to be happy - with or without you, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that HE is happy and glad!
I often offer my help if somebody is needed to take care of little Jacob. Vincent and Catherine are always very grateful. And I am grateful, too. It is fantastic to hold that little one in my arms. And I am very lucky, because I can live near the man that I love – and I can see his happiness! It is true that he is not mine, but now I don’t mind.”