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NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD

Rookie (1950 / Lahore, Pakistan)

A No-Win Situation


(A WOMAN PARKS HER CAR OUTSIDE A BLOCK OF FLATS & BLOWS THE

HORN/MEANWHILE, TWO CHILDREN UNDER 5 RUSH OUT OF THE BACK

SEAT, SLAMMING THE DOORS BEHIND THEM.

FIVE YEAR OLD RORY SPORTS A BOXING GLOVE ON ONE HAND/TWO YEAR

OLD ANGELA CLUTCHES A DOLL)

RORY: Bye, Mum. ANGELA: Bye, Mom.

CLARE: Take care, darlings.

(BOB APPEARS FROM AROUND THE CORNER/THE CHILDREN RUN TO

HIM)

RORY: Daddy! Daddy! ANGELA: Daddy! Daddy! - Carry me.

BOB: (PICKS HER UP) Hullo darling. How’s my baby.......?

ANGELA: Daddy.

BOB: (EMBRACES SON) Hullo, Rory?

RORY: You didn’t take me to the football match on Saturday.

BOB: (OVERLAPPING) Oh....! I was busy. I’m sorry.

RORY: I waited and waited.

BOB: Next week-I promise.

RORY: O-Alright!

BOB: (SPOTS GLOVE) My! My! Nice glove. Grandpa, gave it?

RORY: No, Mum did.

BOB: Let’s see if you can tackle me....

RORY: I know nothing. You have to teach me.

BOB: . (KISSES DAUGHTER & SETS HER DOWN) One moment, sweetIe. I’m

going to set you down on this bench-while I tackle him-okay...?

ANGELA: Okay.

BOB: Good, baby...Now, let’s see.

RORY: (GET’S READY) You’re a champ, Dad....

BOB: (LAUGHS) That was long ago.

RORY: Still-take it easy.

BOB: Come on. Don’t worry. I’ll never hurt you.

RORY: I know.

BOB: Good-boy...(PLAYFUL TACKLE) You’ll learn fast.

RORY: Will I ever be as good as you?

BOB: Even better...! I’ll teach you the ropes-if you’re serious.

RORY: Ofcourse, I am... Everyday?

BOB: Err...I can’t say. We’ll have to ask Mum.

RORY: You ask her.

BOB: Why not you? She’s still here.

RORY: She listens to you.

BOB: But, not to you?

RORY: You - more than me.

BOB: I see. Okay. Alright. I’ll try.

RORY: Thanks, Dad

(BOB REACHES THE CAR/BOB & CLARE ARE AKWARD WITH EACH OTHER)

CLARE: I stayed to watch you interact with the kids.

BOB: I hope you approve?

CLARE: Don’t be-you know, I do.

BOB: Thank you. And, thanks for bringing the children.

CLARE: That’s okay. Just take good care of them.

BOB: That goes without saying.

CLARE: (STARTS CAR) I’ll be back by six.

BOB: Clare - wait....! Children, go and play in the garden. I want to talk to Mummy.

(CHILDREN LEAVE)

CLARE: I’m in a hurry.

BOB: This’ll only take a minute.

CLARE: What is it?

BOB: (AWKWARDLY) Soon after our divorce I was made redundant -

CLARE: Not that, again!

BOB: (GETTING HEATED) Look...! You can afford to be complacent

What do you care that I was out of work for eighteen months?

CLARE: But now - you’ve got a job.

BOB: But, it doesn’t pay half as much as before.

CLARE: Shouldn’t you have looked into that before accepting it?

BOB: It’s easy for you to say. But, what choice did I have? I had to take it.

CLARE: Well...

BOB: I needed the work. Any work.

CLARE: So...?

BOB: Listen....

CLARE: Don’t irk me. What are you trying to say?

BOB: (HESITATES) Clare - I-er...

CLARE: (STARTING CAR, AGAIN) I haven’t got all day!

BOB: Can we-perhaps-between us-err-

CLARE: Yes-yes? I’m rushed?

BOB: Could we-perhaps come to some kind of arrangement-

CLARE: Like....?

BOB: -amicable-I hope -

CLARE: I think, I know what you’re trying to say...Impossible!

BOB: (ASSERTING HIMSELF) It’s only fair that you...

CLARE: NO!

BOB: ... accept a reduction - CLARE: NO!

BOB: - in my maintainance-

CLARE: NO! What we agreed on was agreed on, in Court.

BOB: But, my circumstances have changed since then.

CLARE: That makes no difference to me!

BOB: You were always unfeeling....

CLARE: Try taking me to Court-

BOB: You know, I can’t.

CLARE: Why not?

BOB: The Lawyers have already fleeced me.

CLARE: Well then-

BOB: Each time I make an appointment-long or short-it costs me £170/-

CLARE: Same here.

BOB: I’ve already spent thousands. I can’t afford anymore.

CLARE: I hate Lawyers, too. It’s best not to deal with them.

BOB: That’s why I thought it would be great if we could agree to -

CLARE: No! Absolutely not!

BOB: Please?

CLARE: No - and, that’s final! !

BOB: I can barely afford the one-bedroom flat I share with Jill....

CLARE: Can’t you?

BOB: ...whereas, you have a four bedroomed villa -

CLARE: You’re always complaining.

BOB: Ofcourse, I’m always complaining!

CLARE: Look -

BOB: You have a luxurious swimming pool right outside your door.

CLARE: The children need it.

BOB: Whereas, I have to take them down to the Communal swimming pool because

I can’t afford to do anything else with them..

CLARE: I’ve heard all this before.

BOB: Can I afford to take them to Disneyland, Florida as you did last year?

CLARE: You’ve had enough of my time. Now, kindly move aside.

BOB: (NOT MOVING) Please Clare - Jill and I want to start our lives, together.

CLARE: Then, who’s stopping you?

BOB: She’s fedup. She’s threatened to leave me.

CLARE: (HARSHLY) If you want to reduce the childrens money - you’ll have to

face me in Court.

BOB: (DETERMINED) Very well, I will!

CLARE: If you do - I’ll make the Judge reverse the Order that makes me let the

children spend their Sundays with you!

BOB: He’s unlikely to be influenced by anything you say.

CLARE: Oh no...? You live in a filthy District -

BOB: I can’t afford -

CLARE: It’s very corrupting for the children.

BOB: (REALISING) You wouldn’t....?

CLARE: The place is teeming with hookers and drug addicts.

BOB: Please Clare, don’t...

CLARE: Then, don’t take me to Court. - simple as that!

(SHE ZOOMS OFF/A SOB ESCAPES HIM)

BOB: (MUTTERS AS HE GOES TO JOIN THE CHILDREN) I won’t! I won’t...! I'll always be in a no-win situation.



THE END

Submitted: Monday, November 23, 2009
Edited: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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