[SCENE. Twenty years on. A room furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly. A Christmas Tree is in the corner by the piano. Nora and a handsome young man are standing by the fireplace.]
BOB: And so you just shut the door closed behind you and never came back?
NORA: I had no choice.
BOB: What do you mean?
NORA: The new me could not stay in that house any more. To sleep in the same bed with a total stranger would have been a much worse disgrace for me than leaving a husband I did not love anymore, a husband who had never loved me for what I was.
BOB: But your children? How could you leave us? Or were we just the little ones without any right to play a part in this tragedy?
NORA: [tossing her head] I know you have been waiting for such a long time for me to say these words I am sorry. But I cant. You will have to understand me.
BOB: So you do not regret these twenty years we have spent apart
NORA: I do regret I had to leave you. All those nights I have lain sleepless in my lonely bed, all those bleak and tiresome days I have been trying to catch at least a glimpse of you in the street they will be my witnesses. I only want to say this to you, Bob, you must remember that I have always loved you. Do you believe me?
A [takes a step towards her, and speaks in a strained, low voice]: I I dont know
NORA: Now you must understand this: I am not sorry for what happened that Christmas because you could not have been happy with a mother like me.
BOB: How can you be so sure?
NORA: When your father betrayed my love I felt as if I had been stabbed, but that knife had also cut the strings attached to my arms and legs. I was not a puppet any more. My safe and cozy world was gone, and I found myself in a chaos of thoughts and feelings. I had to find myself in it.
BOB: And what did you do? Father has never told us about you. He got bitter and reserved though he tried hard to make us a good home.
NORA: I know. Not once did he come to plead me to return. He told me he had changed. As if he could.
BOB: You are right. He put a lot of effort into bringing my sister up. She looks a perfect doll: pretty, sweet and charming. But she lacks life. All her dreams are borrowed.
NORA: I hope one day she will have the courage to change her life the way I did. After I left your father I went to live alone in my parents house. I read voraciously. I attended all public lectures I could. I educated myself. And I also tried to understand myself so I started writing.
BOB: Do you mean a diary?
NORA: Oh no. I tried my hand at drama. It corresponded perfectly well with my purposes.
BOB: You are an amazing woman!
NORA: I wanted to write a story about myself and I wanted people to hear my own voice. And I desperately wanted to help women who found themselves walking in my shoes. They did not have to go through the same hardships as long as they could watch them on the stage.
BOB: But if your plays were staged why have I never heard your name?
NORA: Dear boy, do you think I could achieve fame being a woman? To spread my ideas I had to change my name. I picked a male pseudonym which I could put up with as long as my plays reached a wider audience. I know I have done something that will change lives.
BOB: May it be that I have seen your plays performed?
NORA: Not a long time ago I even read your passionate review of one of my plays, A Dolls House. You were ardently defending it against slings and arrows of public damnation.
BOB: No! How can it be? My mother is a famous playwright! And greatly talented at that!
NORA [meditatively, and with a half smile]: Let it be our little secret, darling. It is my guilty pleasure to think of it as an elegant mystification. Moreover, I still want to meet your sister and brother. Do you honestly believe they would approve of it?
BOB [Takes her by the hand.]: I do not know. What I believe is that today the most wonderful thing of all happened I found my mother. And I hope I will never have to listen to that dreadful sound of a door shutting downstairs.
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