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SOUL SISTERS by Melanie Clarke

 

TWO RIVAL GANGS RULE THEIR ESTATE AND SURROUNDING AREAS, WITH PETTY ARGUMENTS AND VIOLENT CLASHES A PART OF THEIR DAILY LIFE. NOTHING WILL BRING THEM TOGETHER, UNTIL SHARED LOSSES HELP THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES TO QUESTION AND REASSESS THEIR LIVES.

 

Sample pages:

 

Scene Five:     SCHOOL CORRIDOR

 

SAIRA:             Eh Yasmin. Just seen Asha outside Robbo’s office.  Think she mashed up Kimberley Waters.

 

SHIREEN:       Oh my god man you should have seen it. Kimberley’s weave was all over the floor and she sounded like something out of Primeval

 

SAIRA:             Asha’s mad man! She looked like she was gonna murder her or something!

 

YASMIN:          Do I wanna hear about Jackson? The fact that I have to even see her and her sad-ass crew is bad enough. She needs sorting out.

 

SHIREEN:       (looking at Saira) Who’s gonna do that?

 

SAIRA:             Yasmin ennit!... Ennit Yas?

 

YASMIN:          Yeah, I’ll keep doing the dirty work and you just bathe in the glory.

 

SHIREEN:       I’m not being funny Yas, it’s just that there’s more important thing’s to worry about isn’t there?

 

YASMIN:          Like what?

 

SHIREEN:       Boys ennit! (To Shireen) Guess who added me on MSN last night…

 

SAIRA:             Who man?!.. (They begin talking animatedly)

 

YASMIN:          Hold on. This morning, you wanting me to beat down Asha….now all you’re chattin about is boys?

 

SAIRA:             I’m not being funny Yas, yeah,  but sometimes it just gets a bit dry.

 

YASMIN:          Are you serious! You’re a waster man, who’s “gone soft” now?

 

SAIRA:             I can’t make you out sometimes…

 

YASMIN:          Yeah well, maybe we aren’t as cool as I thought we were. If you don’t get me, you need to get somewhere else…you get me!  (steps towards Saira)

 

SHIREEN:       She’s not saying that Yas, calm down man! She was just expressing her opinion! We can still hang and stuff…but…you know..

 

YASMIN:          You know what? Don’t waste my time o.k. If you don’t wanna be part of the crew anymore just say so, come on….express yourselves!

 

SAIRA:             It’s just that, this has been going on since…I can’t even remember when, how did it all even start!

 

YASMIN:          It doesn’t matter how it started…or when. What matters, is that it finishes and you’re either with me or you’re not…cos I can handle this on my one.

 

 

Scene Ten:   SCHOOL CORRIDOR

 

 

YASMIN:                        YOU’RE IN MY WAY.

 

ASHA:                          (Kisses her teeth)

 

YASMIN:                      Don’t try and come like that with me, you need to move

 

ASHA:                          Listen right, you must be confusin me with one of your little sheep. Don’t make the mistake again.

 

YASMIN:                      And what are you planning on doing about it?

 

MRS. KAUSER:         Ladies! Get to your lessons and stop hanging around the corridors….now!

 

                                          (she walks off)

 

ASHA:                          You know what, I’m ready to finish what we started earlier.

 

YASMIN:                      You sure, it’s not like you’ve got anyone with you to back you up

 

ASHA:                          It’s not like I need anyone either. You might want to ring one of your “crew” though if you like

 

YASMIN:                      Nah, I’ll have you right here, right now. (she sizes up to Asha, right in her face)

 

ASHA:                          Back off man, your breath stinks.

 

YASMIN:                      Not as bad as your mum’s breath.

 

(At this, Asha grabs YASMIN and they begin fighting. Before long a group have gathered round and fuel the fire with their jeering)

 

MRS. KAUSER:         What’s going on! Get out of the way! Yasmin Patel! Asha Jackson let go….I said let go!

 

(She grabs the two offenders and they stand opposite each other out of breath)

 

                                      The rest of you go! Lessons now!

 

                                      You two! What do you think you were doing!

 

ASHA:                          She needs to watch her mouth!

 

YASMIN:                      You need to watch your back!

 

MRS. KAUSER:         You both need to watch yourselves or you can kiss goodbye to your education. Miss Doyle, could you help me escort these two to Mrs. Roberts’s office please?

 

Scene Eleven:    MRS ROBERTS OFFICE

 

MRS. ROBERTS:       Well?

 

MRS. ROBERTS:       Fighting is not tolerated at our school and you are no exception. How dare you break the rules and set such a bad example to the other pupils? YASMIN, you have younger sisters, is this how you want them to see you? Your behaviour is disgraceful

 

ASHA:                          She’s too feisty, comin up in my face and going on like she’s something special.

 

YASMIN:                      You can give it out but you can’t take it can you, you’re all talk…

 

MRS. ROBERTS:       Right that’s enough. I can see we are not going to get anywhere. You two have no intention of apologising or trying to make things better and you seem completely unable to justify your actions. The irony is that I seem to remember you two were friends in Year 7. Clearly, not any more. I’ll be ringing your parents. You will off course be excluded.

 

ASHA:                          (under her breath) Can just watch tele for a few days then.

 

 

MRS. ROBERTS:       Your attitude is not impressive Asha. More effort with your work and less giving lip and you might succeed. You both have so much potential and it’s such a waste.

 

 

Scene Fourteen:        ASHA'S HOME

 

ASHA’S MUM:            What am I doing wrong? We used to be really close and lately it’s like there’s someone taken over her and turned her into… a monster.

 

 

YVONNE:                      Maybe she’s possessed.

 

ASHA’S MUM:             (laughs weakly)

 

It’s not funny Yvonne I’m serious. When Ray was ill, I promised I’d look after her. She was his baby. (smiles) If he was still alive, she’d never be allowed out let alone have time to get herself excluded. I’m not coping Yvonne. It’s hard being both parents…I’m not sure I’m even good at being one. I’ve let him down. I’ve let her down.

 

YVONNE:                    Don’t say that. You’re a brilliant mum and Asha knows that. She’s just growing up. It’s that teenage big – girl / little- woman phase. Her brain can’t keep up with her hormones. Be thankful you haven’t got boys.

 

ASHA’S MUM:            I may as well have. What’s she doing fighting? Do you know how embarrassing it is being called up to the school? I don’t even recognise her sometimes. She can be so aggressive and I don’t understand it. (pause) Do you think it’s because of her dad? I thought she was handling things well but maybe I was being naïve. She’s just a kid.

 

YVONNE:                    Exactly. She’ll come good, I promise. No matter how bad things seem right now, you and Ray did a good job. Asha knows the right way, she’s just taking a longer time to get there.

 

ASHA’S MUM:            Yeah, but I don’t know how much time I can wait for her to realise. (she is crying) I’m being stupid. Maybe this is why she doesn’t listen to me, all emotion and no boundaries.

 

YVONNE:                    Stop being so hard on yourself. People would kill to have the kind of relationship you’ve got with Asha. Talk to her. When she gets home, sit her down…and talk.

 

ASHAS’S MUM:         I’ve tried!...

 

YVONNE:                    …Try again, keep trying…that’s what we mum’s have to do even when it seems like we’re not getting through to the little…. (smiles) And listen to her, let her know how you feel. Asha’s a good girl, she’ll understand.

 

ASHA’S MUM:            You’re right. I’ll talk to her today. And anyway, what have I got to lose?

 

(They hug)

 

 Scene Twenty-Two            ASHA'S HOME

 

During this sequencer, Asha’s mother reads the letter before the pre-recorded sound of the actresses voice playing Yasmin takes over. Asha appears to her mother in a sequence to show how things could have been.

 

 

 YASMIN’S LETTER:

 

MRS. JACKSON:                     I know I’m the last person you want to hear from. I can’t begin to understand how you must feel about me. But I know you must hate me and I don’t blame you for that. I want you to know that I am so so sorry for what I did. Words aren’t enough but my apology comes right from the heart. I wish I could turn back the clock. I wish I could be fifteen again; I’d do things so differently. I wouldn’t waste my life trying to be accepted, trying to act hard, trying to pretend I hate everyone when really I was just confused about myself. If I could be a child again, I would make sure that as an adult I’d have only happy memories. I’d make sure that there was nothing I regretted. I’d make sure that my actions could never cause so much hurt and pain to another. But I can’t turn back the clock, (“Asha” disappears, leaving her mother with the letter. I can’t control time. I can only try to move forward, and I hope that you can try to do that to. You are a better person than I ever was. I wish I had given Asha the chance to be like you. From the bottom of my heart…I am sorry.

 

(She places letter back in envelope and walks out, lights fade out)

 

 

 

Scene Twenty-three:

 

ASHA'S HOUSE

 

 

ASHA'S MUM:            Could you leave me please?

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        I could. But I’d rather stay and talk….if you don’t mind.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            what would I want to talk to you about? I’ve got nothing to say.

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        I just feel like there’s so much we have to say to each other…

 

ASHA'S MUM:            Like what exactly? Sorry my daughter killed yours?

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        I know this is hard. I feel terrible, guilty. But we’re both trying to cope with loss.

 

 

ASHA'S MUM:            When I lost ASHA, I lost everything. I have nothing left.

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        I’m sorry, I am. I’ve lost two daughters.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            No, you lost one. (Bitter) Yasmin’s still alive.

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        If you can call it that. She’s lost her freedom, her family. Sonya meant everything to her.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            I'm sorry. But at least you have …

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        What, I have more? Do you think children are just replaced? That because I have other daughters that I don’t mind losing one?!

 

ASHA'S MUM:            That’s not what I meant….I just…..(breaking down) I’m so alone. There’s nothing worth living for.

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        There’s always something.  Asha  wouldn’t want you to feel like this.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            You don’t know my daughter.

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        I know what it is to be a mother.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            I can’t cope. I can’t breathe. How do you go on?

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        God gets me through. My family…gets me through.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            Where was your god when your child died?

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        I know how you feel….I cried so much my eyes were sore and I felt like my insides were being wrenched from my body. I have days when I’m on auto pilot, I do everything I need to do but I’ve no real control of what I’m doing.

 

(ASHA'S MUM joins in) I go into her room, everything is just the same as it was the day she…. and I still think I can smell her and sometimes, sometimes I think…..I will never be the same again, but I have to keep going. Because if I stop……

 

YASMIN / ASHA’S MUM:     I don’t think I could start again

 

YASMIN’S MUM:       Our daughter’s were foolish. God knows we

loved them but they were young and they thought they knew it all…they thought they could live forever. And they thought they could waste the life they had.

 

ASHA'S MUM:            We have to know better.

 

YASMIN'S MUM:        We have to. We will do.

 

(They tentatively hold hands, one placing hers above the other, fade to black)

 

 

© Melanie Clarke 2009

 

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