Now For Something Different.

I am going to post a little assignment I did for a young African lady. I chose to go ahead with it because I waned to see if I could still write a script. well, here it is:

The Poor Gifted Girl
By Alima Rabi

Copyright 2014, Murmushi Film Productions
In collaboration with ZAFMAG

Characters
Ila
Alima
Mr. Jason
Mina
Cynthia
Williams
Vera
Bystander #1
Bystander #2
Ambulance driver
Policeman
Bystander #3
Driver of car

Opening scene:
In an opulent home in the Kwabenya Ballon Gate City community of Accra. This home is shared by two men. One rich, one poor. Both have wives. The poor man, Ila, works for the rich man (Mr. Jason) as his gateman. Since Ila lives in the gateman’s apartment, his employer has no idea that he is married and has a wife.

Such is the way of the rich when it comes to their employees. As we close in on the opening shot, we find Mr. Jason speaking with his wife (Mina) over breakfast.
Mr. Jason
I have been thinking. When I return from the States, why don’t we go and spend some time away from the city?

Mina crosses from her chair to her husband and sits upon his lap, throwing her arms around his neck.

Mina
And where will we go, My Love? The beach? The village? Or perhaps, travel abroad?
They smile at each other lovingly, kiss, and Mina rises and goes over to the decorative mantle. Looks into the small mirror that hangs above it.

Mina
(A note of longing and sadness comes into her voice, almost choking her up)
What I really want is children, Love. Lots of them. Why haven’t we been blessed with children of our own? Your brother has seven. My sisters married well and have six each. I have none.

Mr. Jason rises. Goes to where his wife is standing and slips his arms around her, hugging her trying to console her.
Mr. Jason
(Softly, lovingly) All in due time, My Beloved. It is not our time yet.

Mina turns to her husband and looks into his eyes. His are kind, understanding eyes. Hers are full of questions. He takes her face between his hands, lifts her lips to his gently, and kisses her long and lovingly. She places her hand upon his as he begins moving away from her and pulls him gently back to her.
Mina
(Impatiently) But it has been three years since we married. We have tried every night since, but have yet to have any children. Why?

Mr. Jason
(Smiles kindly) Who are we to question God? We must just accept that it is not time yet and wait patiently.

***

Cut to a scene from the gateman’s apartment. Ila and Alima are also having a discussion. But this one is very different in tone. Alima is sitting upon their bed, Ila is sitting in a chair in front of her. Here, too, resides love.

Alima
(Hesitantly) Love, I must tell you something.

Ila
(Graciously) What, my beautiful bride?

Ila takes Alima’s hand in his own. He is gentle by nature and humble in spirit. He presses it to his lips.

Alima
I am pregnant. We are going to be parents.

Ila
(Barely able to contain his joy) Praise Allah! When did you learn of this?

Alima
(Having a hard time comprehending her husband’s reaction)
Yesterday. I went to the clinic to find out why I have been so hungry and why I have been suffering from sickness every morning. Honey, we are going to have to think of how we are going to deal with this. We do not have enough to care for ourselves and a baby too.

Ila
My Beloved, Allah will provide all that we need in due time. It has been our dream to have a child, and now we are being blessed with that chance.

***

Return to interior of house. Breakfast is over and Mr. Jason is getting ready to leave for his trip.

Mina
So how long are you going to be away this time, My Love?

Mr. Jason
I will be gone for a week, My Dear. Don’t worry. I will bring you something special back when I come home.

He gives her a kiss on the cheek, then turns back to the mirror to adjust his tie. Once finished, he goes over and picks up the phone. He dials the gateman’s apartment.

Yes. Please be ready to let me out the gate, Ila. Yes. I am leaving for the States. Yes.

Mina
(With admiration) I think what you have done for that man is amazing. He came to us with nothing. You are truly a wonderful man.

They kiss and he turns to go. She watches him leave. Cut to an outside shot showing Mr. Jason getting into his car and starting down the long drive toward the gate. Pan to show Ila waiting at the gate, ready to raise it and let his employer out. Mr. Jason stops the car next to Ila and rolls down the window.

Ila
(Peering into the car to see what his employer wants) Yes, sir?

Mr. Jason
(Handing a small amount of cash to Ila) Keep a good watch on things while I am gone and you will earn more. I am going to be gone for six days. Make sure my wife has all that she needs.

Ila
(nodding) Yes Sir.
Ila backs away from the car as Mr. Jason begins to pull away. He watches as the car leaves through the gate, then closes it.

***

Cut to the airport. Mr. Jason has arrived and is getting ready to park. He takes out his cell phone and dials the gatehouse.

Mr. Jason
Yes. Ila. Please come pick up my car from the airport. Yes. Yes. I will duly compensate you for your trouble. Good. Just park it out front. The missus will probably have need of it while I am away. Yes. Thank you.

He hangs up and goes into the airport. Cut to the gatehouse. Ila pulls his bicycle out of storage. The corner it has sat for over a year, and checks the tires. A bit flat. He goes back to the corner and gets an old tire pump and airs the tires up. Kissing Alima, he wheels it outside and starts on his way.

He is whistling a tune to himself as he rides toward the airport. Just as he enters an intersection, a car hits him. He goes flying and lands hard.

Bystander #1
(Yelling) Someone call for an ambulance!

Bystander #2
(Also yelling) Someone keep the driver from leaving!

Bystander #3
(Also yelling) Someone call the police as well! They will want to know about this!

A crowd gathers around the dying Ila. Not one checks to see how badly injured he is. Instead, they stand and simply allow him to bleed to death. The ambulance arrives, along with a police escort. The ambulance driver and the police officer move through the crowd to where Ila lays, almost dead.

Ambulance driver
(Listening to Ila’s heart beat and checking his vitals) Not good. This man is dying.

Police officer
(Bending close to Ila) Who do you work for, Sir?
Ila
(Dying) Mr. Jason. (Lets out a gasp) I am his gateman. (Dies.)

Police officer
(Taking his radio in hand) Will dispatch have someone call Mr. Jason? We have his man down here. He has been in a bad accident. (He gets a confirmation and replaces his radio back at his belt.

The airport. Mr. Jason is waiting for his flight.

Intercom
Paging Mr. Jason, telephone call for Mr. Jason. Please report to security.

He rushes to the security station to take the call.

Mr. Jason
(Taking the telephone) Hello? Yes. Oh My God!

End of Act 1

Opening scene: A small funeral is being held in honor of Ila. Not knowing that he was Muslim, Mr. Jason gives his employee a Christian burial. During the service, he glances toward the back of the church and sees Alima standing near the door, grieving.
After the services are over, he goes in search of her, but cannot find her among the crowd. This evidently bothers him and is still on his mind once he returns from the funeral. Mina notices and tries to console him.

Mina
What is the matter, My Darling?

Mr. Jason
(Obviously distracted) There was a woman at the back of the church today during the services. Did you see her?

Mina
No, Dear. I did not. I was not looking at women. (She begins to get jealous of her husband)

Mr. Jason
(Irritated) I wasn’t either. But I couldn’t help but notice the pregnant woman who stood at the back. She looked almost as if she was grieving. But she did not come forward to commune with us. You don’t suppose he had a wife, do you?

Mina
(Incredulous) Now, Honey. How would he ever afford to take care of a wife? He was poor and the apartment at the gatehouse is not big enough for two. And besides. You didn’t pay him enough to support two.

Mr. Jason
Of course not. Nor did I ask him if he was married. He was here alone and I naturally assumed that he was single. Therefore I gave him wages for a single person. Still, I must know. If he was, I need you to promise me something.

Mina
(Shrugging) What is it, My Love? I will promise you your heart’s desire.

Mr. Jason
My Love, you are always first here. I love you above any other. But if he was married, I cannot simply throw her out to fend for herself. And especially not pregnant. If he was married, My Dearest, I want you to promise that you will allow me to take her as my second wife. We can raise the child as our own and make her our eldest heir. If we should happen to be blessed with more children of our own, then they will also be our heirs.

Mina
(Shocked) If that is your heart’s desire, then who am I to stop you?

He moves toward her, but she moves away. He can see that his request has hurt her. But tradition being what it is, he is allowed to have up to eight wives. Surely she can understand that he is only trying to give her a little happiness through bringing in a child through another mother.

Mr. Jason
Look. I want you to be happy. I thought that bringing her in would give you a little joy when her baby was born. It would give us the sound of little feet around here. Plus, she would have a home and not have to worry.

Mina
(Relenting) I see you have this all thought out and decided. Do as you see fit. After all, you are the man.
He moves toward her again. This time, she allows him to put his arms around her. He kisses her neck.

Mr. Jason
You are the most wonderful woman in the world. I am glad you understand. Don’t worry, I have called and postponed my trip to the States until everything here has been taken care of.

******

Cut to a scene with Alima in the gatehouse apartment. She is alone, scared, and hungry. She has not stopped mourning the loss of Ila since she learned of his death. She blames Mr. Jason for the accident, but has no idea how she is going to survive. She is about to be discovered.
Outside, Mr. Jason is searching the grounds for clues. Looking up, he notices a light on in the supposedly vacant gatehouse apartment. He goes to investigate.

Alima
(To herself) I need to hide. I shouldn’t have turned on the light so soon. Now I will be found out.

She runs to a nearby closet and attempts to hide there. Thinking she is well enough hidden, though really not, she stands extremely still. Mr. Jason bursts in the door of the gateman’s apartment and spies her feet sticking out of the closet. He smiles to himself, sadly.

Mr. Jason
(Loudly) You can come out. I can see you. I am not here to hurt you.
(Waits until Alima is out of the closet, and standing in front of him.)
Who are you and what are you doing here?

Alima
(Nervous and fidgety) I-I am Alima. Wife of Ila. I live here.

Mr. Jason
But he never told me he was married, otherwise I would have paid him more.

Alima
We-we married shortly before we came looking for work. He thought that if he mentioned that he was married, no one would hire him.

Mr. Jason
(Dismissing the idea) Not so. Granted, there are some who would. They have no compassion for their fellow man. Not so with me. I would have paid him twice or ten times what I offered him. All he had to do was tell me.

Alima
But my Ila was a humble man and would have never accepted it.

Mr. Jason
Please do not underestimate a man in love. He will take on a hundred jobs to provide for his family. (Turning to go) Come. We must discuss your future.

Exeunt. Cut to scene within the house. It is a few minutes later and Mr. Jason is sitting in his comfy chair, Alima is sitting facing him. Mina is out, presumably buying a few items.

Mr. Jason
So have you thought of what you are going to do now? Where will you go? Who will take you in? Do you have any family?

Alima
(Bowing her head) No. Ila has always thought of those things. I have nowhere to go. No family. At least, not here. I have no one here to take me in. No income. Nothing.

Mr. Jason
Then I have a proposition for you. It will solve your problems and one of my own.

Alima
(Looking up hesitantly) What is that?

Mr. Jason
Marry me. Become my second wife. Your child will become my first heir and you will have a place to live for as long as you live.

Alima
But what of your current wife? What will she think? She will hate me for being in your life.

Mr. Jason
She has already given me her blessing on this. Besides. I cannot, in good conscience, allow you to be put out onto the streets. Before you ask, we have already agreed that your child will be first heir, whether or not we have any children together or not.

Alima
(Bowing her head) Then I have no objections. My child needs a home and it will do no good for me to be on the streets while giving birth.

Mr. Jason
Then it is decided. We get married. I will go make the arrangements.

He rises and walks over to her, kissing her on the forehead tenderly. He goes through a door into another room. Alima puts her head in her hands and begins to cry. End of scene 2.

***

Scene: A private ceremony to signify a binding marriage. Not in a church, but at the home of Mr. Jason. All that are present are a single elder and a small group of witnesses.

Elder
This union is now binding. May you have many happy years together and may you have many children. (Turns to leave.) I declare this ceremony done.

The witnesses all congratulate the lucky groom and file out behind the elder. Soon, Mr. Jason and his new wife are left alone. He spies the tears in her eyes.

Mr. Jason
(Kindly) Do not cry. I will treat you good, My Love. You’ll see. (He embraces her)

Alima
(Wiping her tears) It isn’t that, my new husband. It is that I miss him. He was all I knew for the years we had together. I was an orphan and had nowhere to go when I met him. He took me in and we became inseparable. I soon married him and we lived in the village for two of those. And they were the happiest. He believed, though, that we would be able to find our blessings in the city, so we came here.

I hid while he went in search of work. Many turned him down. Even the warehouses and stores turned him down. But you hired him and I secretly moved into the apartment with him. I had just learned that I am pregnant an hour before he was killed. I told him, and that was why he accepted each job you had for him. And that was why he died.

Mr. Jason
I see. And you blamed me for his death. Is that it?

Alima
Yes. But I know now that it was Allah’s will that he die and I become your second wife. It was Allah’s will that our child become part of your family. Please forgive me for thinking evil of you.

Mr. Jason
(Kindly) There is nothing to forgive. You merely reacted naturally. It is past. It is done. (He kisses her.) Now let’s have no more tears.

Scene: It is eight months later and Alima is in labor. There is a baby’s cry and an exasperated scream signifying that Alima has died and Mr. Jason is grieved. Moments pass while those gathered in the main room sit quietly, waiting for him to emerge. When he does, his anguish is evident.
Mina approaches him, arms outstretched. Her intent is to embrace him, but his knees buckle and she is forced to catch him before he hits the floor.

Mina
(Trying to comfort her husband) It will be alright. The child was—

Mr. Jason
(Sobbing) The child nothing! The child lives! Her mother is dead! Do you not understand? I loved her almost as much as I love you!

Mina
(Taken aback) How?…How could you possibly love her as much as me? I was your wife first. She was a charity case.

Mr. Jason
(Aghast) Is that really what you thought? A charity case? How insensitive could you be?

Mina
(Objecting to his statement) But you, yourself, said that—

Mr. Jason
I said that I could never allow her to end up on the street. I meant that my conscience would not allow me to make her leave. This was her home, Mina. Even though I knew nothing of her before Ila’s death, this was still her home. I could never force her to leave her home. Making her my second wife was only making that permanent. How could you be so cruel and heartless to ask me how I could ever love her? She was my second wife!

Mina
(Bitter) Then, why don’t you just—

Mr. Jason
(Angry) Enough!!! Just stop! Despite your feelings toward the mother, we will raise this child as our own and make her our first heir, no matter if we have other children. I owe her this and I won’t see your jealousy punish an innocent child because you cannot understand me.

Scene: A year later, Mina is pregnant and going into labor. Mr. Jason rushes her to the hospital. Perhaps this will temper her jealousy.

Mr. Jason
(Passing out cigars to his male friends) I am one proud man! A year ago, I had thought Mina and I would never have a child of our own. Now, we are to be parents!

The men around him congratulate him on his virility and on being the best husband to Mina. He is grinning from ear to ear, laughing and joking. The doctor emerges.

Doctor
Congratulations, Mr. Jason. You are the proud father of a baby girl. The mother would like to see you now. (Mr. Jason walks up to the doctor and puts his arm around him/her.) Doc, let’s go see that beautiful child.

Both turn and walk down the hospital corridor. The crowd of men and ladies in the lobby watch him disappear around a corner.

Scene: The hospital room. Husband and wife are together. Her animosity toward their adopted daughter is momentarily forgotten. She is all smiles as she holds a beautiful baby girl up for her husband to see. He smiles.

Mr. Jason
(Happily) We will name her Vera. Little Cynthia will be overjoyed to have a sister to play with.

Mina
(Smile fades from her lips) Cynthia will be happy with whatever she is given. (Her words are cold and bitter. Cruel.) And she is not Vera’s sister.

Mr. Jason
(In rebuke) Now stop it, Mina. Cynthia is our child, just as much as Vera.

Mina
(Coldly) She is not my child. You may feel she is yours, but she is not blood. She has no parents.

Mr. Jason
(In warning) If you ever do anything to that child, I will never forgive you. Just keep that in mind. Treat her well, for in raising her, God has blessed us with a child of our own.

Scene: It is two years later. Mina is pregnant again and in the hospital. The crowd is thinner this time, mostly due to Mina’s attitude toward Cynthia. Cynthia, like her mother and father, is a very humble child. She cares for her younger sister as the whole room waits for news. Most of those in the room have adopted Cynthia as part of their own. The doctor emerges.

Doctor
(Wearily) Mr. Jason, can I talk to you for a minute?

Mr. Jason
(Worried) what is it, Doctor?

Doctor
I need to talk to you in private. Now?

Mr. Jason
Alright. (Walks to where the doctor is. Follows him out of sight. They go into a conference room. The doctor closes the door and turns to Mr. Jason.)

Doctor
Your wife has been through a lot. She will not be able to have any more children, it will not be advisable. If she was to have another child, it would kill her.

Mr. Jason
(Bowing head) I understand, doctor. Has anything been done to prevent the possibility?

Doctor
I was hoping to get your permission to do so.

Mr. Jason
Do whatever is needed. Anything that might prevent any danger or death later on.

The doctor nods and leaves. Mr. Jason is left to himself. He puts his head in his hands. He stands up and goes back out to the waiting area.

***

Scene: later that day. Mina is out of surgery. Mr. Jason is with her in her room. She is groggy and nearly incoherent. He is watching her with great affection. She looks over at him and her mood changes.

Mina
(Coldly) what are you looking at? And why am I so sore?

Mr. Jason
(Lovingly) I am looking at the most beautiful woman on this earth. They had to do surgery to prevent you from any future harm. We cannot have any more children, but it doesn’t matter to me.

Mina
(Bitterly) Of course not. You have your three. I only have two of my five. Who cares what I want. Right? Right?

Mr. Jason
It wasn’t like that. We almost lost you this time. And I do not want to risk losing you again just to have more heirs. I agreed to the doctor’s request. I am sorry if that was not your wishes.

Mina
(Selfishly) Maybe I want to die. Have you thought that? Ever since you married Alima and lost her, you haven’t loved me.

Mr. Jason
(Sternly) Mina, that is enough. You know full well that I have never loved you any less than the first day we married.

Mina
(Childishly) But you love me less than that damned child. I know it. She is a constant reminder of what you couldn’t have with me.

Mr. Jason
(Angrily, loudly) enough!!!! You have no right to be jealous of that dear, precious child. She has done nothing to you. I want you to quit.

Mina
(Bitterly) Fine. Then go away. Leave me alone.

Mr. Jason
(Disgusted) Fine. I am going. Have the doctor come and get me from the waiting area when you are ready to be civil to me.

He walks toward the door. She begins to cry. He is tempted to rush to her, but remains firm in his decision to leave. She mutters a plea for him to stay over and over as he leaves. Outside, he breaks down and cries.
The doctor brings out his new baby son, and he wipes his eyes.

Mr. Jason
Your name is Williams. Grow up to make me proud, my son. (He kisses the baby on the cheek.)

End of act two

***

Opening scene: Cynthia has begun school. She is an excellent student, when she is allowed to do her work. Mina is constantly causing the girl to be late to school and it has had an effect on her grades. The constant punishment for being late is also affecting her.

But when confronted about the lateness and Cynthia’s claims that she is the reason, Mina denies them. But things get harsher when the girl gets back home. It is on one of these days that Mr. Jason returns early from a business meeting and finds the girl crying outside the door. His heart instantly melts.

Mr. Jason
(Empathetically) What is wrong, Cynthia?

Cynthia
(Sniffing away the tears) Nothing, father.

Mr. Jason
(Doubting her answer.) Are you sure?

Cynthia
(Smiling weakly) Yes father.

Mr. Jason
(Still not buying her story) Run along then, and do your school work.

Cynthia
Yes, father. (She goes inside.)

He glances down and sees the note from the school inquiring as to why the girl is perpetually late. Picking it up, he reads it. He knows, without a doubt, that no child is always late for school. Not even when they are lazy. Something is really wrong. He goes into the house. Mina is sitting in the front room. Cynthia is doing chores instead of doing her school work.

Mr. Jason
(Angrily) What is the meaning of this?

Mina
(Jumping up, startled) I-she-I—

Mr. Jason
No more excuses. Why is she not doing what I told her to do?

Mina
She is a lazy and rebellious child. She never listens. I told you she was—

Mr. Jason
(Cross) No she isn’t. The work she is doing is work you are supposed to be doing, but aren’t. I told her to do her school work, not house work. No more lies, Mina. No more. Do you hear me?

Mina
(Bitterly) Yes, oh my king! (Bows in false obeisance, mocking him.)

Mr. Jason
Enough, Mina. Quit acting like a spoiled child. I am beginning to think I did you wrong by giving you everything you desired early in our marriage.
Mina goes to slap him, but he stops her hand. His angry stare cools her down.

Mr. Jason
Ever since you gave birth to Williams, you have been mean and hateful to everyone. Stop. There is no need for it. (Turning his attention to Cynthia) Cynthia, go do your school work. (The girl runs to her room. He turns back to his wife.) Quit using that child as a slave. She is not your slave. She is our daughter.

Mina
Your daughter. She has to pay for her room somehow. Nothing is free. Besides. She is an orphan. Orphans have to work.

Mr. Jason
She is our daughter, and she is not an orphan. You are jealous over nothing. And she should not have to work for her room or meals. She is a part of this family. Or have you forgotten your promise?

Mina
Here it is again. That promise. One I made to make you happy. Had I known—

Mr. Jason
Had I known how you would be, I would have asked you to leave. Can’t you be grateful for any blessing you have been given? Or are all your blessing curses to you?

Mina
Oh, I am thankful for my blessings. Both of them. But that girl is no blessing. She has taken my place in your heart, just as her mother did.

Mr. Jason
(Disgusted.) You are impossible, woman!

***

Ten years have passed. The girl (Cynthia) has grown into a fine woman and graduated from school. Still forced by Mina to do chores, she watches her siblings as they get to go out and have fun, party, and be with friends. Still humble, she refuses to complain. Her refusal to complain makes Mina even more cruel, until Cynthia finally confronts her.

Cynthia
Why are you always so cruel to me? What have I ever done to you? Haven’t I ever only done that which you have asked me to without complaint?

Mina
(Lying) You have been unwanted here from the day you arrived in that shoe box. Even your real mother didn’t want you. They knew the minute they set eyes on you that you weren’t any good.

Cynthia
But father—

Mina
(Cruelly. Still lying) He isn’t your father. He only pretended to be. He only acted like he cared so that you would remain and be our servant. You are simply worthless.

Cynthia

(Distraught) No!!!!

Mina
(Cruelly.) Yes.

Cynthia runs out the door. Mina goes to Cynthia’s room and packs her clothing, then throws it out, locking the door so the girl can’t get back in. the girl struggles with the door and then picks up her belongings and leaves. She heads down the streets looking for somewhere to stay.

Mr. Jason, meanwhile, has returned from a trip. Unaware of what has happened, he is claiming his baggage and heading out of the airport entrance. He heads to his car, and then on his way home. Getting home, he finds it strange that the door is locked. Taking out his key, he unlocks it and enters. Mina is shocked to see him so soon.

Mina
(Surprised) Dearest! I didn’t know you were home!

Mr. Jason
Where is our oldest daughter?

Mina
Vera is at school, dear.

Mr. Jason
No. I mean Cynthia. Where is she? What have you done?

Mina
(Feigning surprise) Me? Do something? Why would you think that?

Mr. Jason
(Looking at her crossly) Quit with the innocent act. I know you hate her. And for no reason. What did you do? All her belongings are gone.

Mina
(Lying) She decided we weren’t good enough for her. She ran off with the first stranger that came to the door.

Mr. Jason
Quit lying. The gates were shut. I made sure of that when I left. No one can get in unless someone lets them in. the only one who knows what to do to let someone in is you. What have you done?

Mina
(Pouty) You’re not being very nice. I made it so we are alone, and all you can do is worry about that damned girl. You want her so bad, go get her.

Mr. Jason
Look. I have had it with your jealousy and spite. I am your husband, not some plaything. Cynthia was, and still is, my responsibility. I made a promise to her mother. It was the least I could do for what the woman went through. And all you can think about is she takes up the attention you want. You ever think that your attitude has been most of our problem of late?

You blame me for your not being able to bear any more children. Fine. You blame her for being born. How dare you? Quit feeling sorry for yourself. It is unbecoming of a grown woman and a Christian. God gave you the children you were meant to have, yet you believe you have been wronged.
Look at the way you have treated the children you have. One, you have cast out because “she isn’t ours”. Vera, you coddle. Williams you protect from anything that will do him some good. Soon, both of them will have to go and look for work, then what? Tell me. What have they learned of the world?

Mina
(Angrily) Yes. I have. And I am proud of my children. They are fine children.

Mr. Jason
That is not the point, and you know it. You have been given three children. Granted the first was not our blood. But she is our child. She is a part of this family and you have been too blinded by your jealousy and hate to see just how blessed we have been because of her. You have ill-used her and tried to strip her of her portion. I am ashamed of you. (He storms out, leaving Mina standing with her mouth open in shock.)

Mr. Jason takes off to find his lost daughter, Cynthia. Mina, now realizing what she has done and the damage it has caused, sinks to the couch with her head in her hands. She begins to sob.
End, act three

***

Opening scene: Cynthia is alone. She has nowhere to go. On the streets, she is suddenly aware of the realities of life. Here, it is a dangerous place. First, she must find shelter. Then, she must find work.

Cynthia
(Standing in the middle of a busy crowd) Excuse me, sir can you—

The man walks by her without noticing

Miss, can you—

The woman walks on by. She sinks to the curb. Hungry, jobless and alone, she buries her head in her hands and begins to cry. She is startled when she feels a hand on her shoulder. She turns and finds a homeless woman behind her.

Woman
(With much care) Child, what is wrong? Why is one as beautiful as you out here? Has no man desired your hand?

Cynthia
(Sniffling) No. My mother threw me out and said a lot of horrible things to me. Now, I have no home and no work. I don’t know what to do.

Woman
(Motioning for her to follow) Come, child. We will take care of you.

Cynthia rises to her feet, turns and follows the woman away from the street corner. She is fearful as they enter a dark, dank alley somewhere within its shadows, they stop at a door. The woman points to it.

Woman
Go in there, honey. Go. No one is going to hurt you. That is our shelter. We all protect one another here. And you look as if you could use protection.

Out there, you might get picked up as a prostitute, honey. Men out there know nothing but their wants and desires. Here, they cannot reach you. Go. Find a spot to set up and make yourself at home. (She chuckles)

Cynthia looks at the woman, then enters the building. She turns to thank the woman, but she is gone. Picking out a nice spot in a far corner where no one will bother her, she gets ready to head back out.

Man
Miss, would you like a bun? Found fresh today. (He offers her a crusty bun. She takes it graciously)

Cynthia
(Honestly, Humbly) Thank you, sir.

Man
(Smiles) Not a problem. All are welcome to share here.

Cynthia continues toward the door and on out into the world beyond. She badly needs work, but work is hard to find.

***

Mr. Jason is still searching for Cynthia. He has neglected everything in his search. His business is beginning to fall apart. His fortunes are dwindling. His two younger children, now adults, are unemployed.

Scene: Vera is at a club with some of her friends, drinking and partying. Hollywood decadence style, complete with paparazzi. Being rich, and a socialite, she is center of attention for the city and the nation. Her outrageous antics keep her firmly in the media.

Vera
(Drunkenly, slurred speech) what club we goin’ to nex’? The party’s jus’ started.

Entourage friend #1
(Also drunk) Anywhere you want to go, honey. We got nothin’ but time. And a whole lotta partyin’ to do! Woo-hoo!!!!

Entourage friend #2
(Also drunk) Ah, ya know it! Uh-huh!

Cheers rise from her entourage. She waves her hands wildly.

Vera
Alright, alright. As long as my daddy’s money doesn’t run out, we’ll be happy.

The group burst out in cheers and laughter. Party central heads out of the first club.

***

Scene: Williams is no good. Lazy, a thief, he haunts the back alleys and runs with the gangs in the city. Spoiled rich boy, he thinks his father will pay him out of any trouble he gets into.

As the scene opens, we find him surrounded by his hoodlum “friends” in the midst of a game of dice. Every now and then, they pause to watch the women pass on the street and make catcalls or whistle and make lewd remarks.

At the moment, though, they are looking for ‘marks’, people to rob. Their dice game is a ruse. Their spotter sees one they believe will be a good mark and signals the rest.

Williams
Come on, guys. Richard has found a good one. (He waves to his friends to follow as he heads to the mouth of the alley. Richard signals two, meaning he has spotted a couple.) We’ve hit the big time this time.

Hood #1
Hear that boys? Willie thinks we have a good chance this time. What if we get caught, rich boy? Huh?

Williams
(With bravado) Don’t sweat it! Pops will get us out of it. Come on! Time’s a wastin’.

The gang follow Williams, bats in hand, as they head out of the alley and begin to follow their marks.

Cut to the family home. Mina is now deep in depression. Her attempts to rid herself of the most hated part of her life, the evidence of the second wife, has only caused her family to collapse. Her daughter is a drunk, her son a hood. Her husband’s business is near collapse as well, and that threatens her comfort.

Feeling deep guilt, she now spends most of her time locked away in her room. All she does throughout each day is cry and sleep. Mr. Jason has taken on a personal nurse to care for her and make sure she eats and takes care of herself.

Cut to scene with Mr. Jason searching for his missing daughter. Bedraggled, he no longer looks like the well-kept man he had been.

***

Scene: A year, maybe two has passed, and Cynthia is still on the streets. She has been looking very hard for a job, but there just isn’t anything honorable out there. Not willing to compromise her principles, she avoids those she has been told run the prostitution in the city. She also avoids the gangs.

She spots Vera or Williams once in a while, but neither take notice of her.it is as if she no longer exists. She heads out every day to look for honest work. Turned down, she finds her way back to her little shelter in the abandoned storage room of the storefront. Here, she remains hidden from the world.

She is beginning to lose hope. Then, one night, she has a dream. Before her stands her mother and father.

Ila
Child, why do you mourn? What has happened? Why do you lose hope?

Cynthia
(Sadly) I was thrown out by my mother and forced to live on the streets for two long years. I have nothing. No job. No home. No way to make my life better.

Alima
Child, the woman you were being raised by was not your mother. She did not give you life and bring you into this world. She merely gave you a roof over your head and a belly full of sorrow.

The man who loves you is not your father, but was honoring me in his promises. He searches for you, but without success.

Cynthia
So who were they?

Ila
He was my employer. In his guilt, he married your mother to give you a name and a home. His wife was jealous and hated both you and your mother. She is now paying for her wickedness. Your ‘brother’ is a thief and criminal, and your ‘sister’ is a drunken lush. Neither are going to survive what will happen next if things aren’t made right. Nor will the mother live. Here. Take this. (Hands her a small book that looks like a Koran, but is oddly marked) it will tell you what to do when the time comes.

Cynthia
Then you are…?

Alima
We are your parents, dear child. We will always be there for you. (Touches Cynthia’s chest) Here in your heart.

Both vanish. The night goes on without incident. Cynthia wakes with the dawn and looks in her hand, expecting to see the book, but there is no book there. It was a dream. She finds the man with the rolls and gets one from him, then eats. At sunrise, she leaves to go in search of work.

She does not get very far. She is hit by a car in the street. A queen from one of the villages gets out, appalled at having hit a person.

Queen
(Frantic) Someone please help me get this young lady into my car! Quick! So I may take her to the hospital!

Two eager bystanders help put the unconscious Cynthia into the queen’s car. The queen, then rushes the unconscious girl to the hospital. There her injuries are taken care of and the queen waits for her to regain consciousness.

Cynthia wakes up to find herself in the hospital, the queen sitting near her bed. She starts to get up. The queen stays her.

Queen
Do not trouble yourself to get up, child. You are injured and the doctor has commanded that you remain in bed for at least a week to make sure that you are healed.

Cynthia
(Groggily) What happened?

Queen
(Embarrassed) I-I…well I hit you with my car.

Cynthia
I’m sorry. I should have been paying better attention.

Queen
Attention or not, we were supposed to meet this way. Well, maybe not this way, but we were supposed to meet. By the way, who are your parents?

Cynthia
(Looking down to hide her shame) I have no one. My parents are both dead. I was raised by a Mr. Jason and his wife, but now I have no one.

Queen
(Thoughtfully) I see. And this Mr. Jason. Where can I find him?

Cynthia
I do not know. He used to live in Kwabenya Ballon Gate City. But I do not know where now. Things might have changed.

Queen
Then it is settled. You will come with me and I will make you a part of my court. But first, you need to get better.

Cut to scene in a cemetery. Mr. Jason is standing at the graves of Ila and Alima. Tears are running down his face. He is frantic. He is worried.

Mr. Jason
(Sobbing) Please forgive me, my friends. I tried. I tried. I had all the best intentions, but Mina’s jealousy would not allow us all to be family. Cynthia, sweet Cynthia, is gone. Run off by my Mina two years ago. It has all but destroyed us. Please forgive me.

End of act four

***

Opening scene: Mr. Jason is a ruined man. His business is gone. His wealth used up by his two children. His wife, a basket case. His very home is now threatened by his slip into financial ruin. He has spent several years searching for Cynthia with no success.

He is just about ready to give up when opportunity knocks. He is sitting in his front room with a friend of his and they are talking.

Friend
So what about this Cynthia? Have you found her? Has the police found any clues on her whereabouts?

Mr. Jason
(Bows his head) No. It was as if she just disappeared. I am afraid there is nothing more I can do. She is gone. Probably dead.

Friend
Now, don’t be so quick. I hear there is a young woman in a village not far from here who has been healing families, the sick, and even blessing businesses with success. Maybe you should go and see.

Mr. Jason
(Doubtful) I don’t know what good it will do, but it surely won’t do any harm. Why not. I have nothing but time.

Friend
Good. Then I will make the arrangements. But this first time, you must go alone, understood?

Mr. Jason
Alright. But I am not going to hold my breath. It could all be a hoax.

Friend
True, but you won’t know until you get there.

Two days later, he is on the bus to the village. Though he doubts what he might find, he is still willing to go to humor his friend. As he rides the bus, he observes the other passengers. Each seem content doing what they are doing. It is a long ride.

Six hours later, the bus arrives in the village. He decides to go in search of somewhere to sleep. He does not know that Cynthia has spotted him and is watching him from a distance, hidden from his view. She is overjoyed to see him, but refrains from revealing herself. She is resolved to make him wait a bit longer.

She goes back to her home where her husband and children wait.

Husband
How was your day, My Love?

Cynthia
It was good. I have been blessed. I have a good husband and wonderful children. I am at the queen’s right hand every day and am happy. I help people when I can, but not for myself. Life could not be better.

Husband
Yes. We are truly blessed.

Cut to scene with Mr. Jason. He has found a local willing to let him have a room for the night. That night he has a dream and is restless.
Morning finds our intrepid traveler seeking out ‘the wise woman’. Though he is really going to see Cynthia, he has no idea. To him, she is just a person he was sent to see and ask questions of.

He is directed to her cottage door. Knocking, he waits. Her husband answers.

Husband
(Looking back toward where she is otherwise occupied) Love, there is a strange man here to see you.

Cynthia
(From within the cottage) Show him in, Love.

Husband
(Turning to face him) right this way. Welcome to our humble home. We are modest people, and humble servants of the queen.

Mr. Jason
I have come a long way for this. I hope that I will not go away disappointed.

Cynthia’s husband smiles, but it is hidden from Mr. Jason’s view. He seats Mr. Jason at a small table.

Husband
(In respect) Something to drink? Maybe a bite to eat?

Mr. Jason
No thank you. But thank you for the offer. I ate before I came.

The husband sits down and the two men wait for Cynthia to come back into the room. She enters a moment later, stopping short when she sees who her visitor is. Keeping her elation to herself, she acts as if Mr. Jason is just another stranger.

Cynthia
(Trying not to betray her recognition of Mr. Jason) How may I help you, friend?

Mr. Jason
(Partially recognizing the voice, but not able to place it) I have been searching for years for a young girl I raised as my own daughter. My wife grew jealous and threw her out a few years ago while I was away on a business trip. Soon after, my family began falling apart. My business failed. My wife fell ill. And my children, well, they went their own ways, causing me much grief.

Cynthia
I tell you what to do. (He nods.) Go home. Pack for your family. Come back here, and bring them with you. When you return, all will be revealed as to how to correct this problem. But you must come straight to me without searching for shelter for the night.

Mr. Jason
(In agreement) Alright. I will be back in a week’s time.

Cynthia
(Bowing in acknowledgement) As you wish.

Mr. Jason, now excited, shakes her hand. He now has hope. Rushing out, he heads for the bus station. Cynthia watches him leave.
Once he is gone, she slumps to a chair. She puts her head in her hands and begins to cry. But not tears of sadness. Tears of happiness.

Husband
(Concerned) My Love? Is there something wrong?

Cynthia
No, my Dear, Sweet Husband! Can’t you see? Everything has been made right! Today, I was reunited with the man who raised me as his own daughter. He was kind to me and I was to be his heir.

Now, all I want is to give him some peace. I know that he has been looking for me, but I could not allow him to find me. I was given a second chance by the queen and I did not want to let it go.

Husband
And you will tell him what, when he comes back?

Cynthia
I will have to tell him nothing, My Love. His wife will reveal it all for me. As will my younger siblings. You see, for the first few years I was on the streets, they knew where to find me. They kept my whereabouts secret from their father.

Mr. Jason excitedly hurries home and begins packing clothes for his wife.

Mina
(Confused) Honey? What are you doing?

Mr. Jason
We have no time to waste. We are all going on a trip.

He goes into Vera’s room, waking her up out of a drunken stupor, and packs a week’s worth of clothes.

Vera
(Groggily) Daddy, what are you doing? I’m not going anywhere.

Mr. Jason
Oh yes you are. You have no say. You spend my hard earned money and eat the food I buy. You are going on this trip with me. No arguments.

He goes into Williams’ room and does the exact same thing. Williams goes to object.

Mr. Jason
The same applies to you. No arguments. I am carrying out my instruction to the letter. You are all going with me.

In the village. Cynthia is getting ready to welcome the family into her home. Also coming is the queen, who wants to see this Mr. Jason for herself. The family friend sends a message letting Cynthia know that the family is on their way. She smiles at her husband nervously.

Five hours later, Mr. Jason arrives at her door step. The family is graciously ushered in and seated at the table. The queen is hidden from sight, but also present. Each is served a bit of a meal and something to drink. When Cynthia finally appears, Mina faints. Vera and Williams drop their drinks.
Vera
But-but you should be dead! We-we made sure daddy never found you! Mama wanted it that way

Williams
Mother always was too devious for her own good. Always wanting to save all the wealth for you and me, Ver. She didn’t think Cynthia was good enough. And she was right.

Mr. Jason
(Outraged) Enough!!! Both of you!!! The only one who was good enough had her portion stolen out from under her by a hateful mother and two spoiled little whelps that I should have punished and cut off from the money a long time ago! I gave you life and security, and you gave me nothing but grief.
You, Vera, spent my wealth on parties and your friends. You, Williams, the child I had wanted to take over my business, have done nothing but cause heartache and trouble. Why?

Why did you keep her whereabouts secret? Why did you ever listen to your mother? Why did I even trust in either of you?

Vera
I-I—

Williams
Errrrrr—

Mr. Jason
(Incredulous) Not one answer?

Cynthia has made her way around to where Mina lies, unconscious. She kneels down near her and begins to urge her to wake up. Mina opens her eyes and looks up at Cynthia.

Mina
I-I—

Cynthia
Sssshhhh. Easy now. The shock will wear off.

Mina
(Remorsefully) I am so sorry for all I have done to you. I was selfish and wrong. If I could, I would go back and change it all. (Begins sobbing)

Cynthia
(Kindly, truthfully) I forgave you years ago. Had it not been for you, I would have never become close to the queen. I would not have met my husband. And I would not have three beautiful children.

The queen steps out from her hiding place and takes her place at the head of the table. She looks at Mr. Jason.

Queen
Your daughter has been a great help to me all these years. She has never once forgotten your kindness and has often asked us to pray for your safekeeping. She has never begrudged any of what they have had, nor thought evil thoughts toward those who have wronged her.

She came here with me because she wanted a new life. And she has one. She is my top advisor, my most trusted confidant. No one knows more or has control of more than she.

Mr. Jason. I understand your business is—failing.

Mr. Jason
(Bowing his head) It has already failed, your Highness. It failed years ago. Around the time I began my search. I neglected to go on business trips and maintain good standing. I became—distracted.

Queen
As would we all. Mr. Jason. I would like to help you start again. You have found your lost daughter. All is right in the world.

Fade out. All goes black. Light comes on, all empty space, except a single person. He looks at the camera and smiles, almost as if he were looking at a friend.

Narrator
Isn’t it amazing how things tend to work out for the best? I mean, Mr. Jason-like Job-lost everything. Well, almost everything. Of course, his family didn’t die horrible deaths, but he lost them in a sense. One person does make a difference. It doesn’t matter what they believe, or who they are, or whether they are a part of the family. If one person is removed from a group, the hole created becomes the unravelling point from which everything begins to happen.

For bad or good, it changes the course of history and turns our lives around. And although Mr. Jason lost it all to begin with, when everything was made right, he regained a life worth sevenfold more than the first.

At the request of the queen, he moved out of Accra, to the village. He became her most trusted financial advisor. Mina, for all her jealousy and malcontent, repented of her evil ways and became best of friends with Cynthia.

Vera was sent to the States to enter rehab and to further her education, while Williams disappeared back to Accra, his old life calling him back to his fate. No one knows whether he is alive or dead, though there are rumors that he quit the gang and is now a mercenary fighting for right and good wherever he goes…though for a price.

As you can see, everyone lived happily ever after. And me? Well, I am a subject for another time. (waves and walks off, disappearing into the shadows at the edge of the lighted area. The light goes off. Roll credits.)

Advertisements