Missing Fila

written by young people involved in

Southwark Intensive Surveillance & Supervision Programme (ISSP)

April 2009

 

CHARACTERS:

GRANDDAD: 75 years old.  Sad old man.  Irish accent. 

FILA:  19 years old.  Sensible young man.  South London accent.

MICHAEL: 16 years old. Dangerous to the public.  South London accent.

UNCS (Ade Jones):  42 years old.  Business man.  Big man.  African accent.

RAY:  23 years old.  A pimp.  Hides his real feelings, but shows it in his facial expressions. 

PCs LOCKWOOD & JONES:  Police detectives 

 

Scene One

Granddad is in his living room.  There’s a knock on the door.

            GRANDDAD

Come in.  It’s open.

            PC

Mr. O’Brian?

            GRANDDAD

Yeah.

            PC

I’m PC Lockwood.  We need to talk to you about your grandson.

            GRANDDAD

Which one?

            PC

Fila.  Do you have any idea where he might be?

            GRANDDAD

With his uncle, or his pimp friend.

            PC

Pimp?

            GRANDDAD

Well, that’s what people call him.  They say he’s a pimp.

            PC

Can you tell me about the last time you saw him?

            GRANDDAD

The last time I saw Fila was last week Friday.  He comes round every Friday, goes – buys my shopping, all my groceries and everything.  Brings me my medicine.  He always comes on a Friday, brings my medicine and my lunch.  I haven’t seen him, coming up just over a week.  Normally he’s around in the morning, and I haven’t seen him for the entire day.  Now it’s 6 O’clock. 

Last Friday, I saw him, he was so eager to go out at some stupid time.  I tried so hard to keep him in but it didn’t work.  He just didn’t listen.  And I kinda swore at him when he left.  And that was it.

It keeps on going through my head, thinking what’s he’s doing.  Is he ok?  Is he eating?  I know I don’t like his uncle, but I’d rather he be back here with me and his uncle.

I don’t know what I’ll do without him.  I’ll be lost and hurt.  Not hurt in a painful way.  Yeah. I got body aches.  But hurt in a love way.

 

Scene Two

Flashback to the last time granddad saw Fila. 

Granddad is sitting on the sofa watching TV.  The remote and a walking stick are beside him.  Fila walks into the room.

            FILA

Right, Granddad, I’m off out, yeah?

            GRANDDAD

Have you checked the time?  It’s one in the morning!

            FILA

Yeah, so?

            GRANDDAD

I filmed the football for you.

            FILA

I know what the scores are.  Why do I need to watch football for?

            GRANDDAD

That’s not the point.  Alright.  Fair enough.  If you’re gonan go out just roll me a few joints before you leave.

            FILA

You smoke too much!  It’s medication not for pleasure.  I’m only gonna roll you one.

            GRANDDAD

You can sit down while you’re rolling that.

            FILA

I don’t need to sit down, I can roll it with my eyes closed.

            GRANDDAD

Go on just sit down.

Fila sits and starts to roll a joint.

            GRANDDAD

Remember you telling me you wanted to follow in your dad’s footsteps.  Your dad was good in the navy.  He was a good navigator.  You could be a lot like your father, maybe even better.  When I was your age, I did get up to a bit of trouble, like a bit of mischief, you know what I’m saying.  But I found something that I enjoyed and I stuck to it.  The best thing I done was army cadets.  The training was hard but it was fun, and I got a lot out of it.  Then I met your Nan.  She was a nurse.  I met her at the hospital.  I kept on making appointments at the hospital just to see her.  She said to me, “You keep on booking appointments, but there’s nothing wrong with you.”  I end up telling her in the long run that I only come up to see her.  She asked me if I wanted to go for a meal with her.  She asked me.  She was a good woman, your Nan.  She was a very good woman.  You need to find yourself a right girl.  I can tell you, it ain’t been the same without your Gran.  Next time I see you, I want you to be doing something.  Sign up, learn all the army stuff.  Learn some discipline.

            FILA

Are you done?  I’m gone.

            GRANDDAD

You worthless piece of shit!

 

Scene Three

Uncs office.  A police officer is shown into Uncs office.

            PC 1

Hello, Mr. Ade Jones?

            Uncs

Yes.  Any problem?

            PC 2

We’re here to inform you about your nephew, Fila. 

            Uncs

What happened?  Is he in trouble?

            PC 1

No.  But he’s been missing for a week.  We’d like to ask you a couple questions right now.  When last did you see Fila?

            Uncs

When he came to get some money. 

            PC 1

What time and what day was this?

            Uncs

Last Friday, about midday. 

            PC1

What did you talk about?

            UNCS

We talked about him not following bad friends and that he should come work in my office.

            PC 1

Did you have an argument with him?

            UNCS

Nope, not at all.  We only talked.  We had a little issue about me giving him 3 grand which he couldn’t get the day he came here.  I was gonna give it to him for his birthday. 

            PC 2

And why didn’t you give it to him?

            UNCS

‘Cos I didn’t want him to take the money and not come see me for long.

            PC 1

Ok, Mr. Jones.  If you do find him, can you get in touch please?

            UNCS

Yes.  Definitely, we will be in touch.

 

Scene Four

Flashback.  In Uncs office.  Fila enters.

            UNCS

How are you today, Fila?

            FILA

I’m good.  Fine.  Thank you.

Pause

I’m here to get the money you wanna give me.

            UNCS

Yes.  I am giving you 100 pounds.  Come get the other money on Monday.

            FILA

You told me to come get it.  Now you not giving it to me?!

            UNCS

I will give it to you.  On Monday.

            FILA

No.  You told me today.  And I got someone in the car waiting for me.

            UNCS

Who’s in the car?

            FILA

My friends.

            UCS

That same friend?  You need to stop going places with people or they will get you in trouble. 

            FILA

You always telling me how to live, but I’m gone!

            UNCS

Fila.  Fila.  Fila!

            UNCS

I promised his father that I was going to take care of him.  I wish I could turn back the clock and make stuff right.  I could have shown him more love.  I should have got up to stop him when he was leaving.             

 

Scene Five

In a police interview room.

            PC

State your name.

            MICHAEL

My name is Jim Bob.

            PC

What’s your name?

            MICHAEL

You lot should know my name.  I been in here bare times.  Innit?

            PC

What’ve you been doing since you’ve been out?

            MICHAEL

Just chillin.  With the Youth Offending Team.  I have my own place and that!

            PC

Where’s your brother, Fila?

            MICHAEL

How the fuck I knows?!  I’ve only been out 3 weeks.

            PC

Did you see him when you got out?

            MICHAEL

He didn’t visit me in jail when I was lock up, so why do I care bout him? 

            PC

Tell me about when you last saw him.

            MICHAEL

Like I said, I was in court last I saw him.  But the last time I talk to him was in the kitchen the night before court.  I was nervous because I know I was getting sent down.  Innit?

I needed Fila to talk for me in court.  Our relationship wasn’t good.  I didn’t talk to him a lot.  I was kicked out of the house when I was 13 years old and I got taken into care.  After that I didn’t see Fila that much.

Like I said, I was jamming with people that night, and I called Fila to the kitchen and I spoke to him.  Telling him to talk for me in court.  And I bribed him with 20 pounds.  But, no, he didn’t take it.  And then I told him what really happen.  Innit?

 

Scene Six

Flashback.  Fila and Michael enter the kitchen

            FILA

What is it?

            MICHAEL

I need to talk to you.  Innit?

            FILA

Talk then.

            MICHAEL

Can you come with me to court tomorrow?  Talk.  Say I’m a good boy and dat.

            FILA

You want me to lie for you!

            MICHAEL

Yeah, Bruv.  I’ll pay.  I’ll give you 20 quit, innit.

            FILA

You think I need your money?!  How bout you tell me what’s really going on?

            MICHAEL

OK.  I’m gonna be straight with you.  I am shotting drugs, but don’t get mad at me, Fila.  Please.  I need your help.  Talk for me at court.  Say I’m a good boy and that.  Just do this.  This.  What are big brothers for?   And you are my only hope, mate.  I don’t want a long stretch, mate.  And I will change my life for good.  I promise.  Just do this for me.  Please.  Please.  Please.

            FILA

Bruv, this is the last thing I will ever do for you.

            MICHAEL

Take a bit of this zoot.

Fila looks at him, angry, and walks away.

Flashback to the present with the PC.

            MICHAEL

When I got out of jail, I went to his grandfather and ask where Fila was, and he said he’s missing.   But he didn’t visit me while I was lock up, so why do I care bout him?

 

Scene Seven

In the police interview room.

            PC

What is your name, please sir.

            RAY

My name is Ray.

            PC

What are you to Fila, sir?

            RAY

I am his best friend.

            PC

Well, we are doing an investigation on Fila because he has gone missing, and we are trying our best to find him.  So, in order for his to happen, can I know when was the last time you saw Fila?

            RAY

Last week Saturday

            PC

What happened on that day when you were with Fila?

            RAY

The last time I saw Fila was at the bar two weeks ago.  We had the best time ever.  I will never forget what happened that day.  We were chilling, dancing with the girls, drinking and having a good time.  All of a sudden Fila’s mood changed.  I think it was because I ordered one of my girls to get me a drink by calling her a ‘bitch.’  Fila then called me over and said that he want to talk to me.  Then I said “Ok, what do you wanna say.”  Then he said he don’t like the way I talk to those bitches.  I said, “What’s your problem with how I treat my bitches.  You’ve been hanging round with me for a long time.  So why is it now you wanna question how I am treating my bitches?”  Then Fila got angry and started to shout at me.  Fila has never shouted at me before.  I was so shocked that day.  Everyone was even staring at me like I’m the one at fault.  I felt like an idiot that day.

After the argument we had, Fila just walked off saying he don’t want anything to do with me anymore.  I tried to stop him but he got away angrily and never came back.  That was the last time I saw my boy.  I felt so sad and lonely when he left because he was the only one I like to hang around with and he is the only one I trust.

 

Scene Eight

Flashback.  Fila and Ray in the bar.  Fila brings a drink to the table.

            RAY

In the year that we’ve been hanging around together, I think this is the best, swear down.

            FILA

Yeah, it’s not bad.

            RAY

Damn, those girls are hot.  I saw you grabbing that girl’s arse.

            FILA

I was not grabbing that girl’s arse.  I’ll tell you what happened.  Her skirt split and I was helping her cover up.  I’m not like you.

            RAY

What do you mean, you’re not like me?

            FILA

You have no respect for girls

            RAY

So what?  Bitches deserve no respect.  They work for me.  They are meant to be treated like that.

            FILA

What gives you the right to treat them like shit?

            RAY

Because I’m the boss of them and they are my bitches, so I can treat them like I want to treat them.

            FILA

What, like slaves?

            RAY

No, not like that.  I helped them, cuz all these bitches that work for me, I find them sleeping on the street, in poverty, so I help them by putting them into my business and now they are happy and making money.  At least they are not in poverty any more.

            FILA

You are taking them out of poverty and putting them into slavery.

            RAY

Why are you acting like this all of a sudden?  Your acting like you don’t know how I do.  You’ve been hanging with me for a year now and you’re also in my business.  What’s with the change?

            FILA

Ray, I’m fed up with the way you treat women.  It’s so disgusting.  I can’t take it no more.  You need to change or else I will leave you.

            RAY

NO!  YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LEAVE.  YOU ARE IN THIS BUSINESS NOW.  THERE IS NO COMING OUT OF IT NOW.

            FILA

SO, YOU WANNA TREAT ME LIKE ONE OV YOUR FUCKING SLAVES TOO, YEAH?!  I’M NOT GONNA BE ONE OF YOUR SO CALLED ‘BITCHES’.  I’VE HAD ENOUGH.  I’M GONE!

            RAY

No, stop.  Don’t go.  You don’t understand why I’m dong this business and calling women bitches.

            FILA

Make me understand then.  Tell me why you’re treating women like shit and why you have no respect for them, always calling them BITCHES.

            RAY

Ok, then I’ll tell you why I’m like this.  It’s because when I was thirteen years old, I remember my mum ran away from home.  She left me a note saying that she can’t handle me anymore and that she has gone to go live in another country.  I felt so neglected and sad when I read that note.  That had to be the worse experience I had, knowing that my own mother left me to live alone.  She didn’t even say goodbye to me, which really hurt me. 

Then my uncle came to live with me, but I hated him because he didn’t care about me.  He just likes to get drunk and hang around with his stupid friends that use to take the piss out of me.  He’s always broke and never pays the bills.  I felt really upset and the only person I thought could help me and be there for me was my only girlfriend, Tia.  And she left me five months after my mum left me. 

I felt heartbroken and upset.  I felt like to commit suicide because I thought my life was over.   Since then, I thought all women were worthless bitches and I was hoping that, when I’m older, I’m gonna make sure no woman ever hurts me again.  And that I’m gonna make women respect me.  I felt so angry after that and never broke.  So, that’s what makes me who I am today.

 

Scene Nine

Split scene: as if Granddad, Michael and Ray are all hearing the news at the same time.

There’s a knock on the door.

            GRANDDAD

Come in.  It’s open.

            PC

Mr. O’Brian?

            GRANDDAD

Yeah.

            PC

I’m PC Jones.  We haven’t met before but you’ve been in contact with my colleagues at the station.  Regarding your grandson.

            GRANDDAD

Yeah.

            PC

Bad news I’m afraid.  We haven’t found his body yet.  But we found this with blood on it.  Do you recognize it?

            GRANDDAD

It’s the jumper he had on the day he left.

            PC

We’re thinking he might be dead.

            GRANDDAD

            (Angry)

You can’t come in telling me that.  This is my grandson!  This is bollocks.  Get out my house.  Don’t ever come back here.  I don’t want to hear your bullshit stories.

            MICHAEL

            (shocked)

If he was a proper brother, he would have visited me.  Why should I care. 

He might not be dead.  How do you know?

            UNCS

            Grabs the PC

No!

Uncs breaks down.

            RAY

No, that can’t be.  That’s my boy.  He can’t be dead. 

 

END OF PLAY