THE MEETING

About the Script

We are seated in with an Executive meeting about to make a decision on what to do with the wealth of a deceased childless billionaire. It’s meant to be charitable but it becomes more than that. The whole meeting is turned into a pity party moment and then a big surprise at the end. There are seven people whose names define their positions in life and how they feel at the moment.

Characters

  1. Middle man: One of the four men in the room. He takes things from one place and puts them in another place. Being the middle man is not as easy as it seems. He is the heaviest man in the room and every time he moves on his seat, it creeks warningly. He has a booming voice that seems to contradict his personality.
  2. Hell Lady: One of the three women in the room. She is annoyed by her routes across town and life just seems lost on her. She gestures a lot with her hands and her face is the farthest thing from a smile.
  3. Miracle man: The second man in the room. A skinny fellow who is at the moment being worn by his brand new suit. He is cheerful and accurate about unnecessary facts. But for him it has been one miracle after another.
  4. Samisung man: Another interesting man, his phone is always ringing and he always lets the melody run. He is harbored with a thick beard that covers most of his face.
  5. Love control: Pretty young lady who fidgets a lot and dazes even more. She has a love story worth listening to though.
  6. Peace still: The last lady in the room. You have never met a control freak until you meet this lady because peace will be still.
  7. Ivan: The last man in the room. An intern out to learn about the executive business. He got a chance to see if he really had any talent at all.
  8. Suited: Joins in at the end. He is in charge of the assets being given to charity.
  9. Police man: Enters at the end as well as the only living relative left.

 

SCENE

The whole scene is carried out in one room. There are seven people ‘executive-Ly’ dressed, four men and three women seated together around a large table. Cups filled with warm milky tea are passed around on individual mats. The room is quite luxurious and wonderfully decorated with elaborate paintings about wealth and wisdom. The walls are dark blue in colour and this seems to calm the occupants. The head of the table is empty however and they are all anxiously awaiting his arrival.

Middle man: (takes a long sip of his coffee.) When is this thing going to start?

Ivan: Soon, Sir.

Middles man: Sir? (Laughs) Am no sir! Well I am a man but, am no sir! (Creek, his chair when he moves)

Peace still: (whispers) what does that even mean?

Love control: (whispers) it means he is privileged to choose.

Peace still: (whispers) what, choose to insult himself?

Hell Lady: How long are we really supposed to wait? We have been in here one hour already. I mean how long. Are they going to keep us in here forever, hell no, am not going to stand for it. Hell No!

Miracle man: No bother, they will be here soon. I am really curious about what is going to happen. This is indeed a miracle. A man dies and barely two days later, here we are.

Middle man: What do you think is going to happen?

Samisung: They are going to give it to us!

Love control: What?

Samisung: The money of course what do you think. (Gleaming) It’s going to take a long time to use it all. It’s going to take even longer to get it all. They will have to divide it see. All the big people first, their drivers who might spill the beans and then us. We will get the bigger share.

Middle man: Tell me something, why would they give it to us? Why share money? I wouldn’t!

Samisung: Because it’s fifty billion dollars you fool. (Stands up and start pacing.) fifty billion real dollars…(goes back to sit again almost lost in thought.)

Miracle man: Eighty billion to be precise. Eighty real billion dollars! It is a miracle; the wealthiest man dies without stating who should get the inheritance. It is a coincidence isn’t it.

Ivan: Not quite, (clears throat) its not for you. As my boss says, the money is expected to be sent to a charity of, well, your choices.

(They all look at each other for a moment. Around the table it’s the head that remains empty, the Middle man, followed by Hell Lady, Samisung, and Ivan at the far back, Peace still on the other side, Love control and finally Miracle man who for some reason is looking around with a smile on his face.)

Middle man: Charity huh? (Creek) Of our choice? (Pretends to think hard.) Am not sure I know any charities. Charity, charity charity… (Continues to think)

Ivan: There is always the Red Cross. They are charitable.

Middle man: Hmmm am not sure. Red Cross, red Cross, red Cross…(creek)

Hell Lady: Am not sure about this charity thing as well. It’s a lot of money!

Ivan: That’s why it is for charity.

Hell Lady: It’s not that, it’s that I don’t think they are used to it. They may be tempted. I mean who is going to ensure me they don’t swindle with the cash. Let’s say they took a hundred million, no one will notice. That is a hell lot of temptation. Don’t you think? (Turns to Samisung)

Samisung: I know temptation, I sell counterfeits. I have seen temptation in the eye. This is not temptation, this is obligation. It is our obligation, (sarcastic) as this fine young man still living in his father’s house was saying. Charity is the future. Let us start one, let us start our own charity. We can call it, Hope or some other name. Then, we will do as other charities do and help out seven people. (Leans forward) Those seven people, I must inform you, are present at this moment.

Peace still: Our own charity? Our own charity that has a billion dollars,…no scratch that. Our own charity that has eighty billion! Won’t everyone want to join?

Samisung: They will and we will help them. It is just we will follow our…obligation. We are a charity after all.

Ivan: Actually it’s impossible; we are only supposed to use long existing charities. (Everyone sighs.)

Love control: Wait, are they really giving eighty billion to us. Will we like, get like a check or something like that?

Miracle man: No, we won’t. We will be getting gold bars. You see, no company can house that kind of money. I am certain they will give us gold bars instead.

Middle man: Gold bars, are you dump man? Answer me this, where are the gold bars now? No they will give us bonds or assets, I don’t know, something that can represent the money.

Ivan: Charity. They are giving the money to a charity.

Samisung: How do you know this?

Ivan: I work here. I am an intern, they briefed me on everything to do with this meeting.

Peace still: (sarcastically) they briefed you? Is this Grey’s anatomy?

Ivan: Because I knew who you guys were and everything. Of course I haven’t met all of you before, but it’s my job to know your names and stuff. All of you seated here together represent the greatest minds in the business world. That’s why they brought you together, to come up with something great. That’s why am also here, you are my idols and if I could ever be half as great as you are, then maybe I could accomplish all my dreams.

Hell Lady: So we get paid for this.

Ivan: Am…not…really… sure.

Middle man: The greatest minds in business? (Looks around the table) Are you sure? I mean I am grateful for that title but am afraid it is being stretched out too thin to cover all the riff-raff.

Peace still: Riff-raff, who is riff-raff? We are all seated together around the same table.

Miracle man: So what do we do?

Ivan: if I may, we can come up with an idea of a way to spend this money that will benefit millions instantly. My guess is we reintroduce…

Hell lady: Oh hell no, hell no. No offense for all the suffering in the world but we are suffering to. Am not about to get here and then leave here empty handed. (People nod) Now tell me, is there a surveillance camera here?

Ivan: No, this room is completely not….monitored.

Hell lady: Good, (turns to the others) we are not going to come here and then go back empty handed. We came because a rich man died and he died richer than life. We came to take what is ours. We came to pocket a billion each. We came to start companies, to open businesses, to buy property, to feel good about ourselves. We came here to get rich. (Silence) Or what?

Middle man: it’s true, it’s true.

Ivan: But…

Love control: We are charity too, aren’t we, isn’t everyone? I know am a charity case. I haven’t had it easy. I was born shy twenty five years ago on this dry day and I was born, I was born with…this rare skin disease. Am charity. No one could touch me; they would get like sick too. So I was always alone, always even when I grew older. Life was cruel to me; I never knew love until I was cured. It all went away, my skin cleared and I became beautiful. But before that, I had like, fallen in love. He touched me when I was hideous and he loved me. I was excited for him to see me beautiful; he would love me more for sure. (Looks down at her cup.) He didn’t, he loved another. One with a face that would frighten fish, but he loved her and for some reason there was nothing I could do. Until I found out he had like, money problems. I found a way to get him back. If I got this money, my only friend will become my lover again. So you see, I am charity!

Miracle man: She is right. We are charity. We need charity. I was blind once but now I see. I was…deaf too and dumb. I am a miracle and everywhere I went people told me so. Because something happened…

Peace still: (sarcastically) What? You become dumb again?

Miracle man: (ignores) I woke up in a place I didn’t know. I woke up in another town!

Peace still: Hangover?

Miracle man: I woke up in a different continent all together. I was transported there by an angel (people suppressed laughs) you don’t belief me I know, I don’t belief it too. But there I was on a beach surrounded by white men everywhere, some naked. I was shocked, I was frightened but mostly I was lost. It took me ten years to finally get back home. By that time, my home, my family, my livelihood was all lost. My home was destroyed, my family was dead and I could no longer work as the young man I used to. It took me another five years living on the streets, a beggar, rolled around in filth. I asked what was the point of my being…taken there in the first place. I mean, why, why? (Holds his head) So then I realized there must be something waiting for me, something good and I will leave the streets. I am a charity case, I need charity.

(People stare at him for some time, not sure what to say. But Ivan is more startled)

Ivan: Wait a moment. YOU live on the streets? But…you own the largest pipeline systems in the world!

Peace still: He does, I should know this. I have made it my life mission to protect the world. But it takes charity, it always takes charities which as you all know, I never had. I am dedicated to what I want to do. (Looks up) I want to bring some peace in the world. I want streams to flow, I want trees to grow and I want children to play and I want clear skies all day. So I tried everything I could. When I was two I found a boy pissing in the bushes. I said stop that you fool, peace will be still and I chased him with a stick. When I was four I found a dog dying in the bushes. I said stop that you fool, (starts to shout.) peace will be still and I chased him with a stick. When I was ten I found some men cutting down a tree. I said, stop it you fools, peace will be still and I chased them with a stick. When I was sixteen I found my school mates burning down some grass. I said stop that you fools, peace will be still and I chased them with an even bigger stick. When I was twenty I found some women cutting up some fish. I said, stop that you definite fools and I chased them with a stick. I have been chasing them far longer than you know. But you see I came to realize, I have been all alone. I need charity to protect the world. I need more of it than most.

Hell lady: There is a lot of that story…that am not sure happened.

Peace still: You doubt me but you believe the transportation thing.

Miracle man: By an angel.

Hell lady: Well am not going to save the world or find meaning to whatever. I need this charity simply because I need it. You have no idea what happened to me just today. I woke up at five and I was like hell no. I wake up at five while people with less intelligence than I wake up whenever hell they want. I had no milk, hell, no milk. I couldn’t eat anything. I got to the bus station and get this; the fare is one hundred and fifty now. Hell no, I pay a hundred and fifty shillings to get to town? I only got a hundred and fifty. It’s supposed to be seventy. So they drop me off at God-knows-where and I walk in high heels the rest of the way. Then this drunk starts chasing us with poop, (looks at Peace still) I wish it was a stick instead. Hell, hell, hell, I have already blistered my feet to no return and I got to do some running too? Hell! But it doesn’t end there, I get to work and I am two hours late. Two hours and that time-maniac Francis decides, (sarcastically) you don’t have passion for what you do. I invented passion, Hell, I worked till midnight just last night, are you insane. So I get here and some people make me wait a couple more hours. I haven’t eaten since morning, it’s another one hundred and fifty shillings to get back home, my feet are killing me and now I get to wait. Hell no, hell no, Hell no, am not going to wait, am not going to wait. (Stands) No am not, but I am going to get my charity so I never have to go working again. I can move to France (sits) and sip wine in Tuscany. I need the charity.

Samisung: You need the charity? To go on living a good life?

Hell lady: Hell yes.

Samisung: You are lucky if you can dream to live a good life. (Laughs) I can only dream to have an approximation of a good life. Am not lucky like you, I never was. I need the charity more; my life has been one big counterfeit after another. My mother was my sister and my sister was my brother. Yes its true, don’t laugh. My uncle was my father and my father was my grandfather. Twisted, isn’t it. Imagine how confused I was when they told me at my grandmother’s death. My grandmother who wasn’t really my grandmother, we weren’t even related. She was the boss who owned the house we lived in. Died from drinking rat poison by mistake, well I think it was a mistake. They all made it feel so real. It’s a talent, to make a lie the truth and the truth a lie. I lived with it and I knew what it felt like so that is when I dedicated my life to selling lies for truths. It was funny at first, (laughs). I got my girlfriend to believe she gave birth to a tortoise, and the silly girl believed it. I sold the real baby, he become a miracle baby. He wasn’t really mine after all; it looked just like Maina, the toothless wonder. But then I found this cool new thing, phones and television. People can actually buy anything that’s wrapped up as long as it looks like a phone. I sold the strangest things you wouldn’t know. It’s a counterfeit that’s real. It’s me, I am unreal but real.

Peace still: You are confused.

Samisung: No am smart. I know what is really out there and I prepare myself. Life is a lie, but that doesn’t mean you cannot make for yourself a little life like life. That’s what I do, what I did anyway. I bet they are looking for me now. So I need the charity. I need it mostly to…to post bail. Am gonna be free and imagine what lie like a rich man I will live. I need the charity to be free to lie again.

Middle man: You need the money to lie again, are you serious? (Creek) Well I need the charity too if it’s that way. If this money is going to be given to some loveless babe, the stick freak, X-man here who can fly and this counterfeit conman, why not me. In fact why not give me the money and let me give it to them instead. That’s what I do; I make someone’s life easier. I easen there lives by acting for them.

Love control: Like a middle man?

Middle man: (gets angry) Middle man? Shut it, am not a middle man and I resent the word. Never call me that you hear!

Love control: I won’t, am sorry.

Middle man: Middle man, calling me a middle man. Am no middle man. (Creek) Am the Main man. I do everything, I organize everything. I remember to get roses for the eloping couple. I remember to bring a gun for the runaway drug dealer. I remember to count the cattle before the sale, I don’t know why but they are always more than the buyer knows. I remember to bring sign boards for the campaign rally. I remember to get the fierce dog when we need to train for a race. I remember to contact the producers when we are out of stock. I love what I do, I do it well. I did it for that father of mine since I was five. I was silent for so long about being paid. I was never paid, I was given food instead. (Creek) But am twenty six now, am about to get married, I need the money. So I ask that daddy of mine for my share for all the years of service. He looks at me like I dropped out of Jupiter. Money, for what? You are just the middle man my son, I feed you, that’s your part of the share. (Looks at everyone in turn) you have no idea how angry I got. I shout at him, I tell him I have been working a long time here and I will continue to work an even longer time. He looks at me and says, you, continue to work? No you are not getting around quite as well as you did son. (Laughs) Of course I don’t get around as much as I do father, am fat. Am fat father, am fat. I don’t run anymore, (creek) I have been too busy getting paid in calories. (Silence. He settles down a little and sits back in his chair ignoring the warning creek. It will break soon from his weight.) He fires me, because all along I was a middle man not the main man. So I need the charity, to pay for all the emotional damage my life of easening people’s lives has cost me. I need the charity.

(There is silence in the room. Everyone looking at each other, Ivan is busy going through his papers with the most dump-founded look on his face.)

Samisung: We all need it.

Peace still: Yeah, we do. Except for you!

Love control: Why me? Mine is for love. I only long to cherish what was once mine. To sit with him filled with happiness and joy. He loved me when no one could and now he doesn’t when everyone could. It’s terrible to be me. To be loved only by a memory.

Peace still: It doesn’t make sense.

Hell Lady: Well, let us just divide it among ourselves. It’s a lot of money after all.

Miracle man: Yes it is! Eighty billion real dollars!

Middle man: Yeah let us divide it, who is in.

Peace still: I am, definitely. For the world I am.

Love control: Me two, for love.

Miracle man: Me as well, it’s my miracle consolation.

Samisung: I wouldn’t miss it. It’s for my life.

Hell Lady: Am in, to stop this hell am in.

Middle man: So that’s six, right? (They turn to look at Ivan whose expression becomes less readable.)

Ivan: Am not sure but…a billion is a lot of money. (Thinks) A lot of money! (Looks at them) I need the charity too. (Some jubilation from the others.) I need it because, well because I have been everything, absolutely everything. I have been an actor, I have been a dancer, and I have been lawyer, a magistrate, a tax-collector, a DJ. I have even been a doctor. But nothing, nothing pleases me, nothing at all. I can’t do it right you see. I always get fired in the end; I always don’t have the right talent. When I acted, I kept laughing during a play, a live on mind you. When I danced, I sweated till the floor was wet. Someone slipped and of course, she had to break a leg. I tried to be a lawyer but those books, my goodness, those books. It wasn’t any different as a magistrate. A DJ, well, I hate music, so it was pointless after some time. I ask myself sometimes, what can I do? What? Do I have any talent? Are there really people without talent? I mean here you all are and I thought you were billionaires yourselves. So maybe there are people without talent. Well, am not sure. But maybe I can do a better job with money. Maybe that’s my talent; my talent…is…being rich.

Miracle man: Wait, how old are you?

Middle man: So it’s agreed. We divide it. (he ignores Miracle man’s question)

(Just then the door bursts open. Everyone turns towards it. Two men enter, one in a suit and the other in normal jeans and T-shirt. The suited one sits on the empty chair and the other stands beside him.)

Suited man: I am so excited to have you all here. Yesterday was a sad and tragic day.

Police man: Actually, two days ago. (says the one in jeans)

Suited man: Yes, Pardon me! Yesterday was the reading of the Will and Testament of the late Dr. Rich. At which it was discovered that he had named no one to inherit his money. Despite him having a relative in his brother’s son, this man behind me. So it all goes to charity and I have the esteemed privilege of presenting this money in whatever means you choose. When we find a way to end poverty once and for all, think of what that will mean for our future. So gentlemen and Ladies, what great ideas have you come with? Since together you form the greatest minds in the whole world, my esteemed guests. Tell me please because am dying to hear.

Ivan: Well they have been talking and…

Middle man: And, we see that the best way to achieve what we want to achieve is by… (Creek)

Samisung: By, allowing us chance to…

Peace still: To, Obtain this bond or gold bars or, you know. To obtain the…

Miracle man: The, the money and in our hands we will, we will…

Love control: We will find some use of it.

Hell lady: Indeed, we will. Together! So all we need is complete control of the assets. So that we can…well work Together.

Suited man: Interesting! Interesting! Well because you are who you are, I see no problems in handing all the assets into your name. I just want to see you achieve a great end for the government and the world. It’s just…I don’t remember Mister Tanakashi speaking English.

Samisung: But I do, I learned now I…well I speak English now.

Suited man: Well that’s wonderful; it will surely make all our business meetings easier. Hmmm, (he looks around the room a little more closely.) You have all changed from last we met.

Peace still: Well people change.

Hell Lady: They really do, hell, all the time. I mean…all the time.

Middle man: Yes, I went ahead and added four hundred pounds.

Suited man: You certainly did. Well I can’t argue with change, can I? Well then Ivan,

Ivan: Yes Sir!

Suited man: Pass this around for their final signatures; I am giving them all the assets. It’s a heavy burden on my shoulders anyway. (Smiles all around) I hope you can all achieve something good. (Ivan walks over and takes the document. He is just about to pass it on.) Wait, of course we have to hear what the brother…son in-law has to say.

All together: Of course!

Police man: I only want to know one thing. (Removes a badge) What did you all do with the real business tycoons? (A chair breaks, someone falls and a stampeded leaves the room empty except for three.)

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