by Keziah Warner
Sara and Annie at Sara’s house, they’ve just finished dinner. Sara is clearing the plates.
Jem, Sara’s daughter, sits at the table with them, playing a game on her iPad. Noise blares from it.
SARA: I’m not sure we should announce this straight away.
ANNIE: No I wasn’t thinking that we’d/
SARA: Although, not a bad time to talk about the value of motherhood.
ANNIE: I’m really glad we could discuss this outside of the office so that/
SARA: Did you like your chicken?
ANNIE: It was delicious, thank you.
SARA: Actually… maybe it’s the perfect time
ANNIE: For what?
SARA: To announce a pregnancy
ANNIE: My pregnancy?
SARA: A good news day!
ANNIE: But it’s not really news, is it?
SARA: Mums are all over the news this week
ANNIE: I mean me. Me being pregnant is just… If you were pregnant, that’d be news
SARA: True. Good optics. New motherhood, a sibling for Jem, taking my job seriously but not too seriously, do you see what I’m saying?
ANNIE: I think so
SARA: Tough on the outside, squishy on the inside
SARA: Plus any birth over 35 in politics is Jacinda-adjacent which is a real boon.
SARA: Are you over 35?
SARA: Well that won’t work then. But I still think we could spin it
ANNIE: I don’t want to/
SARA: There has to be something there – maternity leave or childcare provisions or
ANNIE: Do we have childcare provisions?
SARA: I’m sure we do.
ANNIE: I was thinking of it more as a life event than a campaign strategy
SARA: No reason it can’t be both
ANNIE: I’m not comfortable in the spotlight like you are
SARA: Oh god you are keeping it aren’t you?
ANNIE: Yes. We’ve been trying so
SARA: Good. Good, that’s great. Don’t tell anyone you were thinking of
ANNIE: Well no I wasn’t
SARA: Because in terms of talking about what has been delivered and what will be delivered, a baby really is the ultimate deliverable.
ANNIE: I’m sure, I’d just rather it wasn’t in the press before I have a chance to tell people myself. I just wanted to keep you informed as my employer so that/
SARA: Could you turn that game down a little Jemmy?
SARA: Yes. Yes. It’s your decision
ANNIE: Great. Thank you. So, just to prep for tomorrow, we’re announcing funding for three different clubhouses in your region
SARA: Actual funding or If We’re Re-elected funding?
ANNIE: One actual, two contingent.
ANNIE: So we’ll start at/
SARA: Did your mother work?
ANNIE: Yes. She was a single parent so she had to.
SARA: Mine didn’t. She was involved in committees and volunteering and things. She chaired the historical society and arranged flowers at the church and took evening classes when I was a teenager. And she was treasurer of the local cricket club and involved in a bit of union organising but I don’t think work was really for her. Not quite her thing. I suppose I do wonder about being a career woman. But then I enjoy being a role model. And Jem turned out alright didn’t she? Didn’t you?
Jem does not respond
Will you keep working?
ANNIE: Yes. Of course.
SARA: So what did your mother do?
ANNIE: She worked in a supermarket
SARA: Oh, that’s good.
ANNIE: Yes it was steady employment and/
SARA: Rags to riches
SARA: You. In parliament.
ANNIE: I’m not really/
SARA: But you aspire. You dream. You reach for the stars
ANNIE: Well I’ve had the opportunity to/
SARA: And now you’re pregnant. A working mother yourself.
SARA: An inspiration. An aspiration.
ANNIE: I don’t think/
SARA: Rags to riches. Yes. That’s perfect.
ANNIE: Maybe we can discuss it in the morning?
ANNIE: I’m ok
SARA: Go on. You’re eating for two.