(Casey is cleaning the living room. All sofas are put on the side. She is now mopping the floor while singing and dancing to the POP music in the background. There is a knock on the door and Mr Rogers rushes to open the door after realising that Casey doesn’t hear the knock)
MR ROGERS: Hi Detective
MR SMITH: Hello, pleasure to meet you again.
MR ROGERS: Please wait here. (walks to Casey and shouts) Turn the volume down the detective is here.
(Casey rushes to the TV stand and turns the volume of the DVD down)
MR ROGERS: Come in detective and sorry about the noise.
(Mr Smith walks in the living room and slips not noticing the floor is still wet. He balances with a couch. Casey rushes with a dry mop to wipe the wet floor)
CASEY: Oh I’m so sorry detective. I’m still cleaning.
MR SMITH: (looks down in disgust) I could hear the music from 2 streets
CASEY: Sorry detective and dad.. uhm about the noise.
MR ROGERS: Detective, I’m not staying I’m already late for work.
MR SMITH: You can go I’m here for Casey.
MR ROGERS: Alright, alright (tip-toe to the door avoiding to slip) call if you need me (shuts the door behind him)
CASEY: Take a seat.
MR SMITH: (sits down) Celebrating already?
CASEY: As you can see I’m cleaning detective.
MR SMITH: Cleaning the evidence?
CASEY: (laughs out loud) What evidence? What a relief! The murder is finally behind bars
MR SMITH: (looks at her with a straight face)
CASEY: You are joking when you say I’m cleaning the evidence right?
MR SMITH: Am I laughing?
CASEY: Detective Smith, I thought Zandra is the killer and the case is put to rest. (sits down) Why are you here?
MR SMITH: I didn’t like what you and your friend did! What were you thinking playing detectives? You think you are clever you can do this job better than me huh? You know I can arrest you for interfering with police work do you know that?
CASEY: Sorry. I also wanted to clear my name
MR SMITH: (snaps) What name? I stopped coming, basically there was no case and you kept digging, stupid detective.
CASEY: (shocked) Just because you were quiet I should have assumed there was no case? how? Do you know how it feels to be framed? Do you know how it feels to be accused of something you didn’t do? To be a main suspect of the crime you didn’t commit?
MR SMITH: (shouts) Shut the fuck up. This is the last time you interfere with police work. One day you will die for nothing. I hope this is the last time I come visit you. Stay away from problems. Next time I come here I will arrest you.
(stands up and bangs the door leaving Casey shocked)
CASEY: What was that?
(Casey is skipping with a rope in her room. She is wearing a grey tight short with a sport crop top. There is a knock on the door)
CASEY: (still skipping) Come in
MR ROGERS: (walks in) Am I disturbing you?
CASEY: (stops) No dad, come in.
MR ROGERS: Remember this morning I said I want to talk to you about something serious
CASEY: (breathing heavily and sweating) Oh my God, you want me to be one of the bridesmaids?
MR ROGERS: No. I want us to talk about you. Let’s take a seat.
(They both sit down on Casey’s bed)
CASEY: (frowns) Oh ok
MR ROGERS: You know, life is hard without a proper education. I want to see you successful and educated. I want to see you building your career. I want you to be a good example to Layla. I know you have been through much – losing your mother and being accused of murder. I want us to correct all the wrongs we have done.
CASEY: (sighs wiping sweat) I thought this conversation was about the apartment.
MR ROGERS: Let me finish. Family is important to me. I want us to be united. I want what’s best for my children. I want you to go back to school.
CASEY: (shocked) What? Go back to school? Go back to wearing a uniform at the age of 27?
MR ROGERS: (smiles) There are many online high schools available
CASEY: But still
MR ROGERS: You can study at an online high school. No one will know that you are old except for the teachers and the principal.
CASEY: Hha! What about group assignments and presentations?
MR ROGERS: No one will see you.
CASEY: Dad, the online classes do have group works, where you connect via skype with your team mates. They will see I’m old.
MR ROGERS: Oh they do that? I didn’t know. What about a college?
CASEY: I don’t want to go to school maybe you can fund my business.
MR ROGERS: What business? I’m serious here. We are talking about your future
CASEY: I don’t know. I will think of one.
MR ROGERS: I’m not funding any business. I want you to go back to school get your matric certificate that’s all.
CASEY: Ok fine
MR ROGERS: The only way I will allow you to go back to your apartment is if you promise me that you will get your matric certificate
CASEY: What? Are you for real? Dad, I’m going back to school ASAP.
MR ROGERS: (laughs) Not ASAP. All schools are done with exams nows. And you still need to do research.
CASEY: So when can I move to my apartment?
MR ROGERS: (stands up) Research first then we can talk.
(Mr Rogers walks out of Casey’s room leaving her smiling)
(Back in the interrogation room, Mr Smith is standing walking around the room while Zandra is seated)
ZANDRA: Why did you call me here?
MR SMITH: So you were denied bail? Mhmm Interesting. And you still don’t want to tell the truth. Can we get over and done with this thing!
ZANDRA: The truth is I didn’t kill him
MR SMITH: (draws closer to Zandra and whispers to her ear) Tom did it right?
ZANDRA: Tom doesn’t know anything, we are both innocent
MR SMITH: (looks straight to her eyes) What if Tom is not innocent? Think about it
ZANDRA: What’s there to think about?
MR SMITH: (hits the table with a fist and drags a chair to sit next to her) You are so stubborn like your fat… (keeps quiet for a moment) You want me to spell out everything for you? Huh?
ZANDRA: You can spell. I have the whole day.
MR SMITH: (whispers) Let’s say Tom did it. Tom killed Alex. Let’s be honest, there was no way you dragged a dead body alone. Someone helped you. This skinny girl next to me could not have possibly pushed a dustbin with a dead body inside. Tom helped you. Let me paint a picture for you. You were angry that Alex cheated on you countless time with various girls. Then you dumped him and dated Tom who was obsessed with you all the years you were dating with Alex. You told Tom what Alex has put you through then Tom promised you that he will take care of everything and that is exactly what he did, correct?
ZANDRA: (mouth wide open)
MR SMITH: That’s how it happened right? If you agree I can get the arrest warrant and I can arrest him tonight. You could be released tomorrow.
(Zandra still shocked watches Mr Smith leaving the room)
(Later that night Rogers family is eating supper in silence)
CASEY: I did a small research about the online school
SARAH: (raises eyebrows)
MR ROGERS: That’s good. What did you find?
CASEY: (enthusiastic) I found “Excellence high school”. They accept all ages. They say I will have a portal which will have all my subjects, study materials, past papers, tutorial videos and many more features. They sent me a video showing their offices and teachers.
MR ROGERS: Sounds great. How much is the registration fee?
SARAH: (looks at Mr Rogers)
CASEY: Uhmm it’s a bit steep, R10 000.
SARAH: (chokes) R10 000 to register? That is a lot of money and the fees?
CASEY: (excitedly) R4000 per month.
MR ROGERS: (chewing) When are classes starting?
CASEY: Uhm second week of January 2023
MR ROGERS: Ok. Forward me their contact details. I want to talk with them.
SARAH: Don’t you think it’s best to research more schools? Maybe you may find a cheaper one.
CASEY: So I deserve cheap education?Expensive schools offer quality education.
MR ROGERS: (nods) Casey is right. I want to take her to the best online school.
(Mr Rogers and Sarah are sleeping on the bed in Mr Rogers’ bedroom. They are not facing each other)
SARAH: I think you are making bad financial decisions
MR ROGERS: Excuse me? Where does that come from?
SARAH: We are getting married soon and you are busy flashing money
MR ROGERS: Is this about Casey’s registration fee?
SARAH: Yes, so much money for registration for a mere online high school it’s not even a physical school.
MR ROGERS: (snaps) You have been nagging me to support Casey now that I finally do you have a problem with that. What do you want from me? It’s my child future we are talking about here. I can’t take chances not with her education I'm sorry.
SARAH: You are not realistic. We only received one quote for our wedding and you were already complaining not to mention honeymoon, Layla’s school fees and then Casey’s R10 000 registration fee. Where are you going to get all of that money? You are just a mechanic not a billionaire.
MR ROGERS: A manager. My children’s happiness comes first.
SARAH: (raising her voice) Oh all over a sudden your children happiness comes first after you have neglected Casey when she needed you the most. Now suddenly she comes first?
MR ROGERS: What do you want from me?
SARAH: R10 000 can pay a university registration fee. R10 000 is steep. Am saying let’s find a cheaper school.
MR ROGERS: No, I can afford my kids’ education.
SARAH: (shouts) The wedding is off.
MR ROGERS: (turns to look at Sarah to find her facing another direction) What?