THE BLACK ROSES: ACT 6

By Victoria Ntuli

SCENE: ONE

(The next day Mr Rogers’s family and Selina are seated around the kitchen table eating breakfast in silence)

MR ROGERS: (clears his throat) Did you call your dad yesterday? (looks at Selina)

SELINA: (raises her head) Yes!

MR ROGERS: Good! Finally the murderer is found. Casey can now breathe. 

(They are all quiet. Selina and Casey look at each other. They are both not eating their food) 

SARAH: (clears her throat) Yesterday must have been a traumatic experience. How are you guys feeling today?

CASEY: (looking down) Fine.

SARAH: Selina, and you?

SELINA: (looks down) Fine.

(Sarah looks at Mr Rogers not convince and Mr Rogers shrugs his shoulders)

SELINA: I need to go home now.

MR ROGERS: Oh yeah. Done eating?

SELINA: I’m full.

MR ROGERS: Okay, let me take you home.

(They both stand up and Casey also stands up to follow Selina and Mr Rogers outside the house to the parked Range Rover. Mr Rogers opens the driver’s side handle and enters inside the car. Selina moves around the car to open the passenger seat door, she then sits on the passenger seat)

CASEY: Thank you. Thank you so much!

SELINA: I’m glad I could help. At least now we will go back to our normal lives.

CASEY: (sighs) I hope so.

(Selina closes the passenger door and Mr Rogers starts the engine. Selina pulls down the window and wave at Casey. Casey waves back and watch his dad reverse the car then swirl wheels to the main road and drives off)

SCENE: TWO

(Zandra is in the holding cell. She is with 2 black females in their early thirties. The 2 ladies are seated on the cold bench and on the other hand Zandra is standing holding prison bars)

ZANDRA: (shaking bars upset) Get me out of here!  I didn’t do it! You have the wrong guy!

LADY 1: (annoyed) You are making noise. Since you got here you have been making noise. Are you not tired? 

LADY 2: No one cares and no one is coming to save you. Give up already. The officers are busy drinking tea with amagwinya

ZANDRA: (ignores them) Get me out of here! Get me out of here! Get me out of here!

LADY 2: Stop! Stop! You will make us all go crazy.

ZANDRA: (shouts) Get me out of here!

LADY 1: (shouts) You say that one more time I will slap your mouth! (clicks her tongue)

ZANDRA: (turns) Slap who? Slap who? 

LADY 1: (stands up) Slap you! Can’t you see that you are making noise?

ZANDRA: Don’t tell me what to do? Do you know me?

LADY 1: (getting close to Zandra) Do you know me? 

ZANDRA: (moves to Lady 1’s face and laughs) Well, you don’t know me and yes I know you. You are a toothless dog. I’m sure you are here because of theft. I’m here because of murder. (shouts) Murder not theft!

LADY 1: (laughs) Murder? Izwa lo uthini. Can you please tell her who Am I.

LADY 2: She a serial killer

ZANDRA: (laughing out loud) You a Serial killer? Interesting?  (knocks Lady 1 down with her head)

LADY 1: (Laying down holding her head) ouch! You hurt me!

ZANDRA: That was nothing. Stay out of my business.

SCENE: THREE

(Mr Rogers enters the living room to find Sarah and Layla watching cartoons on TV)

MR ROGERS: I’m home!

SARAH: So quick.

MR ROGERS: Layla, go call your sister and stay in your room we want to discuss something important with her.

(Layla runs to Casey’s room)

SARAH: How did it go?

MR ROGERS: Uhm.. well! They are thankful that I managed to get there in time with the police. We could be discussing something else had I not called the police.

SARAH: And Casey was wise to listen to you and turn on the location.

MR ROGERS: But I’m familiar with Sunnyside. It’s a small place.

SARAH: Still. You could have rounded the entire place like a headless chicken. Exact location helped.

MR ROGERS: It did.

(Casey walks in dragging her feet to sit on a single sofa facing both Sarah and Mr Rogers)

MR ROGERS: We need to talk about yesterday. 

CASEY: Okay.

MR ROGERS: What were you thinking playing hero? (shouts) where did you get such bravery to go confront a killer? Didn’t Mr Smith give you his numbers? Why didn’t you call him?

SARAH: (looks at Mr Rogers) Easy on her.

MR ROGERS: No! I will not be easy on her. I have been too soft for too long now. She does as she pleases, this time risking her life and I must be easy on her?

CASEY: (looks down) I’m sorry.

MR ROGERS: Sorry? Sorry doesn’t cut it. I almost lost you and all you can say is sorry?

CASEY: (snaps) You said you can’t afford a lawyer!

MR ROGERS: just because I can’t afford a lawyer, that gave you a right to go out there and risk your life?

CASEY: You left me no choice. No one believed me. I had to clear my name. I don’t regret what I did. If given another chance I would do it over and over again.

MR ROGERS: (sighs) That Zandra girl almost killed you.

CASEY: It was all worth it. I found a killer. You should be proud of me.

MR ROGERS: Promise me you will stay away from clubs, promise me you will stay away from bad crowd and promise me you will never risk your life. The Alex chapter is closed. No one in this house will ever talk about the Alex case.

CASEY: I promise. 

SARAH: (smiles) I’m glad you survived.

MR ROGERS: (smiles) At least you will see our wedding.

CASEY: (laughs) Oh, here we go again. When is the wedding?

SARAH: (smiles) Soon.

SCENE: FOUR

(Zandra is pacing up and down in the interrogation room. The door opens and she freezes watching Mr Smith as he enters the room. Mr Smith places a docket and a tape recorder down on the table)

MR ROGERS: Let’s begin!

ZANDRA: (pulls a chair to sit down and places her elbow on the table) Yes let’s start. The sooner you find out the truth the better.

MR SMITH: (slides one hand in his pocket and presses record) That’s better. Where were you on the 29th of October 2022?

ZANDRA: Uhm I was at my apartment.

MR SMITH: Where we found you?

ZANDRA: Yes

MR SMITH: You were with Tom?

ZANDRA: (keeps quiet)

MR SMITH: Were you with Tom?

ZANDRA: Yes.. uhm No, I mean yes

MR SMITH: Yes or No?

ZANDRA: I was with Tom.

MR SMITH: Tom is your boyfriend?

ZANDRA: (mumbles) Yes. Wait is this about Tom or about Alex? Please don’t involve Tom in all of this he is innocent

MR SMITH: Oh then you are guilty right?

ZANDRA: Are you crazy? No I’m not guilty.

MR SMITH: (pulls a chair to sit) I’m not here for games.

ZANDRA: Let’s continue…

MR SMITH: (sighs) Now let’s talk about your phone and the diary.

ZANDRA: What diary?

MR SMITH: (laughs) Are you for real? You are going to deny your own diary? A diary that has your handwriting not to mention your fingerprints. Don’t do that.

ZANDRA: I’m dead serious, what are you talking about?

MR SMITH: I saw your WhatsApp conversation with Tom and Alex. So Alex dumped you and you teamed up with Tom to kill him.

ZANDRA: (with a straight face) I didn’t kill him. 

MR SMITH: Then on the diary you wrote that you are going to kill him then the next day the poor guy is dead.

ZANDRA: I think it’s enough for today. 

MR SMITH: (snaps) Says who? You? We are not done until you tell me everything, until you answer all my questions. You hear me?

ZANDRA: okay! okay! Your blood pressure is now high. I don’t what you to collapse on me. I will behave. 

MR SMITH: I no longer want to waste my time on you. We have a strong case against you even the evidence proves that you killed Alex. You have no choice but to rot in jail.

ZANDRA: (smiles) We will see about that.

MR SMITH: (stands up, takes the docket and tape recorder) Find yourself a lawyer. 

********************************

SCENE: FIVE

(Zandra dials her mother’s number and places the phone on her ear. It rings twice then her mother answers the phone)

NOVA: Yes!

ZANDRA: (Excitedly) Mom, hello. It’s me your daughter Zandra.

NOVA: How can I help?

ZANDRA: (there’s silence) I’m in trouble. I messed up.

NOVA: (sighs) What have you done this time?

ZANDRA: I need your help. It’s urgent.

NOVA: I don’t have the whole day. We are exporting today. So please don’t waste my time.

ZANDRA: Sorry Mom, I forgot that Saturdays are for shipping. 

NOVA: Come on tell me.

ZANDRA: I got arrested yesterday.

NOVA: (keeps quiet)

ZANDRA: Hello

NOVA: Okay we will fix it (hangs up the phone)

ZANDRA: Hello… Mom!

SCENE: SIX

(Back in Mr Rogers house Casey, Mr Rogers and Sarah are still seated in the living room)

CASEY: How soon? In a week’s time? A month? Two months?

SARAH: (looks at Mr Rogers) Babe, tell her.

MR ROGERS: In two weeks

CASEY: (nods) Okay. Layla knows?

SARAH: Not yet.

MR ROGERS: (looks at Sarah) Can I please have a word with Casey in private?

SARAH:  Yeah sure (stands up heading to Mr Rogers’s bedroom)

MR ROGERS: I would like to apologise for the way I have been treating you.

CASEY: We are past that now.

MR SMITH: No, I treated you badly. I should have supported you. I failed as a father. Support is not only about money. I should have been there emotionally.

CASEY: (laughs) You were drunk in love

MR SMITH: I still Am. I’m not trying to disrespect your mother or Layla’s mother. I love Sarah.

CASEY: don’t you think maybe you should have waited at least a year before you started dating again?

MR SMITH: I was lonely. And I found Sarah. I love her. I couldn’t wait any longer to be with her.

CASEY: (nods) I hear you. When are we meeting the rest of her family?

MR SMITH: I have met Sarah’s parents and her daughter.

CASEY: How old is the daughter? 

MR SMITH: She is five years old. 

CASEY: Oh she is still young. She is the only child?

MR SMITH: Yes

CASEY: That’s better

MR ROGERS: Am I forgiven? 

(Doorbell)

CASEY: (stands up to open the door) Yes, dad. 

(She opens the door to find Bob standing with Red roses. Casey pushes Bob and closes the door behind her)

CASEY: (whispers annoyed) What are you doing here? How did you know that I stay here?

BOB: I brought you roses

CASEY: (roughly takes the roses and throws them down) I don’t want your roses

BOB: (angrily) Is this how you thank me?

CASEY: How did you know I stay here? Have you been following me around?

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