Car 7

Mrs Sylvia Kaye

Outward appearance

Plump, red-cheeked woman in grey raincoat, scarf, good black shoes. She looks at the floor, the lower half of her face continuing to sink.

Inside information

A beautician in a salon on Kennington Road near Lambeth North. Her husband, also 38, looks years younger and now lives with an exciting 25 year old. Peter has always been outgoing, but weak. He lets their daughter Diana go clubbing with him. They smoke dope together. Diana comes back and abuses her mother. This morning Diana hit her. The red cheeks are bruised.

What she is doing or thinking

What do you do when your daughter continually calls you a bitch? When you ask her to turn down the music and she tells you to fuck off? When you ask her friends to leave at 2 am and they all just laugh?

This morning Sylvia had enough. Diana called her bitch again, and Sylvia grabbed her arms and spun her around. Diana slapped her, hard on the face. "Keep your fucking hands off me!" The girl's face was a mask of hatred. Sylvia broke down in tears.

Sylvia remembers her baby daughter's merry little face. How did it happen? Di was always cheeky, but it made people chuckle. There was no malice.

Sylvia stares glumly at the party in the car. Crushed by a sense of weakness and failure, she is immune to it. Right now laughter is for other people.

My daughter hates me, and I can't cope any more. The only question now is: how do I get her to leave?

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