NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD
A No-Win Situation - Poem by NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD
(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
RORY: Daddy! Daddy! ANGELA: Daddy! Daddy! - Carry me.
BOB: (PICKS HER UP) Hullo darling. How’s my baby.......?
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.
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...?
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.
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.
BOB: I needed the work. Any work.
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-
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...
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!
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.
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