Act Four, Scene One
(The stage is now divided into two, signifying a restaurant, FALLON FAMILY RESTAURANT, and its kitchen. MR. & MRS. FALLON enter, exhausted. MR. FALLON goes to the bar.)
MR. FALLON: I think we should close down for today. I’m not in the mood to receive any customers.
MRS. FALLON: I think we should.
MR. FALLON: Didn’t our daughter tell you anything? Some kind of hint?
MRS. FALLON: Darling, we need to be there for her.
MR. FALLON: We are there for her.
MRS. FALLON: She doesn’t know that. All she knows is that she is as unhappy as it is possible to be.
(MR. FALLON sighs and they embrace. Just then, EZUGO enters.)
MR. FALLON: (sees him) What is it you want?
EZUGO: I thought you might want this.
MR. FALLON: You’ve got nothing I want.
EZUGO: It’s the bill for the reception at Sheraton’s. Here is the cheque. You can cash it out of my bank tomorrow.
MR. FALLON: I don’t want your money. (EZUGO places the cheque on the bar-table near MR. FALLON, who takes it and tears into two) I want to know the truth from you. My daughter had a broken heart because of you. Why did you call off the wedding? (Just then, TINUKE enters.) Why don’t you be a man at this time, and tell the truth?
EZUGO: I’ve already told you. I cannot get married with the way I’m feeling right now. It’s my personal problem.
MR. FALLON: It’s as if I don’t even know you anymore. Just last week, we were happy. You were happy. What happened now? You got burned out last night?
EZUGO: (hesitantly) That’s what happened.
MR. FALLON: (to MRS. FALLON) You see? He is still lying. He is a bloody liar!
MRS. FALLON: (calming him down) This issue is what they have to discuss, the both of them. (to EZUGO and TINUKE) Why don’t you both go into the kitchen and talk?
(EZUGO and TINUKE enter the kitchen, EZUGO first.)
TINUKE: I want you to know how I appreciate what you’re doing.
EZUGO: (shrugs) I’m not really doing anything.
TINUKE: I mean by not telling my father the truth.
EZUGO: Well, it’s not really up to me, is it?
TINUKE: I will tell him, but not right now.
EZUGO: I guess now is not the best time to tell him.
TINUKE: He won’t understand just yet…if anyone could only understand what I did, why I did it. (long pause) I’ve just decided to go away for a while. You know, a change of environment, to get myself together again and know where I’ll go from there.
EZUGO: Yes, it’s good. I even intend to travel tomorrow myself.
TINUKE: You know, it’s good to have your old perspective back.
EZUGO: I’ll give anything to have my old perspective back. (looks at her) I wish this was all one horrible nightmare, so that I can just wake up and none of this ever happened. (looks down) But it did. And there’s really nothing we could do about it. A part of you will forever live in me, Tinuke. (turns to go) I hope…I hope you find what you’re looking for. (exits)
(TINUKE looks up to avoid tears from falling down her eyes. MR. & MRS. FALLON enter the kitchen.)
MRS. FALLON: Did you guys talk?
TINUKE: Yes, we talked.
MRS. FALLON: (seeing her state) I wish you both could resolve this.
TINUKE: (sniffing) We didn’t.
MR. FALLON: This is too much. I’m going back to try and clear this mess out. (turns to go)
MRS. FALLON: (restrains him) No, don’t!
MR. FALLON: Don’t tell me no. Something has got to be done.
MRS. FALLON: Ezugo and Atinuke have to do it.
MR. FALLON: Look, they are not talking. Or what do you suggest?
MRS. FALLON: I suggest that you go home. They have been through so much emotional trauma. You need to rest as much as they do.
MR. FALLON: (sighs) I guess you’re right. Today has been a very tiring day. (pecks her on the cheek and exits)
TINUKE: Have you told father about me?
MRS. FALLON: No.
TINUKE: He has to know, mama.
MRS. FALLON: Don’t tell him. It’ll hurt him. If you love him, you would not do this now.
TINUKE: What do you mean by if I love him, mama? I love my father very much. I love him a lot more than you know. (pause) It’ll hurt more if he hears it elsewhere. I could even see the headlines now: DAUGHTER OF A BUSINESS TYCOON – A PRIVATE TUTOR WITH A SECRET PAST AS A PROSTITUTE. Do you think my father would be happy when he sees it? It will definitely kill him, mama!!
MRS. FALLON: Don’t worry. I’ll tell him, sweetheart. Your mother knows how to talk with your father. (TINUKE and MRS. FALLON hug. Just then, JACK comes in from the back-door.) Yes? What do you want, young man?
JACK: Good day, ma’am. May I have the privilege of speaking with your daughter? My name is…
MRS. FALLON: I know who you are. (to TINUKE) We will work this out. Don’t worry. I’ll go meet your father. You need rest.
TINUKE: Thank you, mother. (MRS. FALLON exits.)
JACK: What was that all about?
TINUKE: (turns) She now knows.
JACK: Incredible! So, how are you feeling now?
TINUKE: Okay, I guess. Jack, I’ll be going away for a while.
JACK: (surprised) Away where?
TINUKE: I’ve got a full tank of petrol in my car. When that runs out, then I’ll decide.
JACK: Well, when that runs out, I want to be there. I can help you, get over Ezugo.
TINUKE: No, Jack. I want to be alone.
JACK: (confronts her and grabs her) Tinuke, I know who you were, I know who you are, and I still love you. Baby, you are not going to go through this alone.
TINUKE: Jack, I want to go anywhere where I can think and relax. Give me a breathing space. You and I are no more. We died a very, very long time ago. (pause) And now, everything is perfectly clear to Ezugo, thanks a million to whoever sent him that tape. Let go of me, Jack!
JACK: Not until you say I can go with you.
TINUKE: You can’t, Jack. After all, you’ve got Ajoke.
JACK: Ajoke is just a kid. She’s nothing.
TINUKE: Don’t ever say that, Jack. Better go and meet her.
JACK: I want to be with you.
(TINUKE pulls away from him.)
TINUKE: I can’t let you, Jack. Bye. (exits)
JACK: (rubs his abdomen) Gosh! Everything is going according to plan, but why do I have this bad feeling? Why do I feel so bad? (shakes his head and exits through the back-door)
(At FUNKE’S restaurant where the wide balcony is situated. A bar is set on stage and BARTENDER is serving drinks and cleaning up. TINUKE is seen drinking by the bar with AJOKE, who is found at the far edge of it, watching her maliciously. MOJI enters and sits beside her sister.)
MOJI: How’s my sister faring?
TINUKE: I keep telling everyone that I am just fine.
MOJI: But you’re a lousy liar.
TINUKE: (mournfully) I just can’t get over Ezugo. I was ready to bear his children. I was ready to be a mother. I was ready to be his wife. Oh God, I love him, Moji! And I can’t get over it.
MOJI: Then, I suggest that you go away from here for a while to cool off till things settle.
TINUKE: I know I have to go, but where to?
MOJI: My sister, you need to get away from this Lagosian noise and enjoy the quietness of Abuja.
TINUKE: Are you sure that’s the right place for someone like me?
MOJI: Of course! Your own sister will never tell you lies, dear. Sheraton is the spot.
TINUKE: You really think so?
MOJI: Yes. I’ve been there before. It’s a lovely place to relax the mind.
TINUKE: Sister, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me. I’ll go there, tomorrow. (downs her drink) I’ll go tell mother and father, and start packing. Sheraton must be a lovely hotel.
MOJI: Yes, it is. Now that’s the spirit. All I want is your happiness. You’d better start going.
TINUKE: Thanks. (pecks her and exits)
(After a while, AJOKE pays for her drink, stands up, adjusts herself and walks over to MOJI.)
AJOKE: Listen here! Tell that sister of yours that if she does not lay her hands off my man, Jack, she will receive fire and brimstone from me. Make sure you tell her that I, Ajoke, said so. (hisses and exits)
(MOJI stares after her in amazement and laughs.)