SPEAKER: [walks to the lectern and swipes over the screen of his notepad. Clears throat and faces audience]: Did you hear that Bimpe is dead?
AUDIENCE: [shocked]: Haaaa!
SPEAKER: [unfazed]: Relax. That is not the only news I have for you.
AUDIENCE: [looks at each other]
SPEAKER: [clears throat again] Judging by your first reaction, I could deduce that you didn’t know that Akin didn’t graduate.
[A man stands up from the audience]: That is impossible; he was the best student in his department. [The audience murmurs, knocking their foreheads at each other, transmitting both disbelief and surprise]
SPEAKER:[smiling. He raises his hand as a sign for them to stop murmuring while he swipes with the other. There came silence]: And lastly, I bring you the news that Blessing is in the hospital, in a coma.
A LADY: [stands abruptly from the audience]: Why all these?
SPEAKER: Good question! [His face lights up in excitement] That is the reason we are all here. For the fact that these three were once part of our team [he pauses], I have no pity to give them over their present state, or predicament.
Wickedness!! Bad leader!!! [The audience passes various unpleasant judgments].
SPEAKER: [laughing like a mad scientist who just invented a disease. He gestured for them to cool down or sit down] what happened to these three once-wise-people with great potentials and hopes hung around their neck, could, or should I say will, happen to more of you soon! [He started laughing again; that mad scientist’s kind of laughter. His voice reverberates through the speakers].
[By this time, the audience has started to rustle from seat to seat, some asking for permission to start trouble with the speaker while some were asking for calm. The speaker kept smiling, shaking his head. He leaned on the lectern with his elbow, watching the events bore before him. Several minutes later, there was calmness, and he was reluctantly urged to continue]
SPEAKER: I will ask for you to listen carefully while I speak, and no matter how you get angry while I do this, you must allow me finish, then you can start your troubles with me for rejoicing at the fall of some of our important members [He pauses for their reaction, and they urge him to be quick, and be short. He thanked them] …..Three weeks ago, when Blessing visited me at my office, right before she was plunged into a vegetative state of coma by her loving husband[short laugh], I tried to advise her to seek a legal separation in her union with her husband whom apparently, was in the wrong profession. The husband currently works as a banker, but he could have been a successful boxer. Who knows, he if was only using Blessing as a boxing practice [he chuckled]? I said, she could have gotten him a punching bag as a birthday present instead of using herself for his punching practice. But instead, Blessing talked to me about how she was the one making him angry, and how she could still make it work. I laughed as usual and told her to her face that it is impossible to change a man. You can only change what is not embedded in a gene, and not how a man was created. Apparently, she was angry, because she sent me a text later in the day [he raises his tablet] about how I wasn’t married, and I cannot understand what love means. So, I shut my mouth, only to be called by the same husband that our dear Sister lies in expectation in the hospital. And while our stupid Sister decided against protecting herself from the abusive marriage through legal separation, the husband was wise enough to protect his own image. He said our sister fell from the stairs!
AUDIENCE: Ha! [There were murmurs of anger, grieves and many more]. Wicked husband!!
SPEAKER: [Urges them to calm down by slapping his palm on the wooden lectern] silence please…please… [The noise faded out]. Like I said, that is not all [clears his throat]. I personally, will say the husband was smart. Stupidity, my friend, is a choice. On the other hand, Akin, our bright young man who joined us after the seminar we held at the University of Lagos, is now a school dropout.
A MAN: [stands up abruptly] That is impossible! [He looked around at the other audiences for their reaction before he continues] He has only one year left. He wanted our help, and we contributed for his tuition fees right here! [He shouted the last two words and slams his hand on the backrest of the seat in his front. The ‘seater’ looked back at him with in annoyance and hissed. The audience starts to murmur again, but the speaker was full of smiles].
A LADY: Surely, our leader [she points to the speaker], didn’t give him the money!
[There were shouts of ‘yes’, ‘maybe’ and several others]
SPEAKER: [Not moved by their accusations, calmly opened his clutch bag, and brings out two pieces of papers. He hands it to the usher beside him to pass it around for the audience to see].
USHER: [collects it, walks to the audience, and gave the papers to the first audience, who will glance through and pass it on to the next]
SPEAKER: That is the duplicate of the bank deposit slip we used in paying into Akin’s account, and the letter of acknowledgment and appreciation he sent after he confirmed the receipt of the aid. [He bit his lower lips and continues to nod his head rhythmically like he was listening to a song only him could hear.He taps his lectern playfully like beating a drum. The usher returns the papers to him]. Thank you [he collects the slips]. So, I later found out that Akin was sick, and that sickness affected his brain and could no more think properly, so, he squandered his money!
AUDIENCE: [shows pity. Most of them shake their heads, or bites their fingers]
A MAN: But why did you still say you felt no pity for him? At least, if we may conclude that Blessing allowed her own predicament, what about poor Akin, who was struck by a disease?
SPEAKER: Good question. [He gets down from the podium, and moves towards the audience]. Akin didn’t get struck by a disease that he couldn’t control. His girlfriend gained an admission but couldn’t pay her tuition fees. So, our own great Akin decided to give her his own money with the hope of securing another one before the deadline. Well, it happened that he couldn’t make it.
AUDIENCE: That is madness!
SPEAKER: [Laughs wickedly] Madness you say? But is it ‘love’, isn’t it? I bet he will be fulfilled seeing his girlfriend in school than himself. After all, he has he has tried as far as education is concerned. [He lets out a wicked chuckle again].
A LADY: That is craziness! How dumb of him! [The audience agreed]
SPEAKER: [hushes her], Do not say that! That can’t be craziness. He only helped a damsel in distress, just like we helped him raise the cash for his tuition fees. And I can tell you, unless the girl is crazy, she will get herself another man right in the school. I don’t think after she graduated, she will be glad to associate herself with a dropout! Especially [he pauses], a poor one like Akin! [He reverberates in his evil kind of laughter again]. It was solely on Akin, who wasn’t forced at gunpoint. It was his decision, and whatever the outcome, he should deal with it. The same way I wish Bimpe will not be in hell for aborting for his boyfriend!
A LADY: So, Bimpe died through abortion?
SPEAKER: Her friend said, and I quote, “her boyfriend said he wasn’t ready, so he begged her to abort it for them”. May her soul Rest In Peace, even though I knew her soul will be Reserved In Punishment!
AUDIENCE: Ha!!! You don’t have to say that now!
SPEAKER: [gets serious] Well, I don’t know what you mean by saying I don’t have to say the truth. And, yes, may the guy who survives her live on, and enjoy his life in prosperity, in the bosoms of another woman. May Bimpe’s soul….well [he shrugs], who knows? I bet she will be regretting now, I bet she will have wished clocked were turned backwards, and she would have made the right decision of abstinence, or protecting herself. I know Akin will wish he was wise, and if…if…if only Blessing will come back alive from her coma, since the doctors say they are not sure, she would have wished she listened to my advice. She would have bought her husband a punching bag, or leave the abusive union.
Love exists, but it resides only with God [he raises his finger], and that has been proven over and over again. But you guys [he pointed to the audience and moves his hand from one end to another] will never learn. You will continue to wallow in the dark outcome of this man-made love, which the wise has always wielded as a weapon against the fool. Now, who are the fools in these stories? And who will remain the fool after this story? The question will be answered in the end. You either be the wise one, or the idiot! But before your moment of madness sets in, pause and think so that you won’t do unthinkable things and claim you are in love. Be sure to know that if you fail to control that lie you tell yourself, you are not only in love, you are just a mad man, and you are lost!
[With this, I walked back to the podium, packed my notes and my tablet, and I left through the door at the side of the stage]
CURTAIN DROPS, AND ADIENCE REMAINS SILENT!
a set from my upcoming book *being in love, and avoiding all it’s relative stupidity*
(C) 2015 KINGwax
*if you will like to perform this playlet for educational purposes only (and free of charge), feel free to ask for the permission. Thank you