UNDER AN ORANGE TREE (A Drama)

ACT 1
The scene is under an orange tree. Yomi, a village teacher walks in from the left side. He meets Bimbo, a school student, who also comes in from the right side of the stage. Both are unaware of Segun, a popular troublemaker, running mad as a result of addiction to marijuana, who is on top the tree with a dagger, peeling and eating oranges.

Yomi:   

Bimbo, Bimbo. How were you today? (Segun stops eating oranges. He adjusts and sits calmly, watching the two)

Bimbo:

(Bends to show respect) Fine sir, but my English language teacher said it should be ‘how are you?’ and not ‘were’.

Yomi:   

(feels abashed) I just have to know if you are fine. And your English Language teacher, he or she should be forgotten now, like the fart of a mad man. The fart itself, smelling no matter how bad, doesn’t make him any better. He as well could smell more offensive than his fart. A three year old has had more baths than he.

Bimbo:

And if this village is something I know well, there is no such mad man as Segun. (Segun opens his mouth, almost as if to talk but calms down) His fart, competing with his body smell, is in a battle as good as lost. I will rather sleep in the same bed with a pig than walk on the same path with Segun. (Segun frowns)

Yomi:   

(Spits disgustingly on the floor) For me, a pig is much better a living thing than compared with Segun. That is too great a favour to grant him, and too mortifying a remark for a pig. I may have to choose my faeces over Segun.

Bimbo:

(twists her nose in disgusts). That’s bad. Well thank you Mr (mocks him), Mr Tissa. (They giggle). Shall I say I am lucky to meet you today? Or that you rather are?

Yomi:   

We are both lucky to meet each other. Well, you may want to believe that I am luckier. That is if that feminine pride of yours has not gone.

Bimbo:

T-I-S-S-A! I am not proud. And if turning you down means pride, so be it. I don’t want to get invol…

Yomi:   

(Cuts in) get involved because of what? See, this feeling is mutual, don’t deceive yourself, you love me. Or like, at least. (Bimbo tries to talk but Yomi stops her with his index finger on her lips). If you are afraid of anybody, tell me. We can make it secret and I am sure you will enjoy it.

Bimbo:

It is not that I don’t hmm…but…but…errr…err (she scratches her head). Really I don’t know what to say…

Yomi:   

What to say is not a problem, I only wish that you are mine. I don’t want you to end up in the hands of some idiots, idiots like Segun whose life is a mistake from the creator’s hands, a result of few minutes of pleasure between senseless lovers.

Bimbo:

Why are you so hard on that unfortunate boy? It is not as if I have told you he asked me out. On that day when he emerged from a bush on the way to the stream with smoke oozing out of his mouth like Sango, I had thought he would let me be but what he did was strange.

Yomi:   

Really? He asked you out? That wild beast! What was he thinking? That we normal male members of the homo sapien race do not value such an angel like you?

Bimbo:

I wonder o. He just came and touched my behin… (corrects herself). He wanted to touch me. (Segun bites his index finger) If he had not been fast enough to hold my hand, an eclipse of the world would have occurred to his eyes. More so, I didn’t want to have any struggle with him. (Yomi drops his lesson note and a cane on the floor). So, I had to say yes when he started saying nothing sensible.

Yomi:   

It is a Yoruba adage; call a mad man your husband so that he lets you go. (Segun whispers to himself; “me, mad man?)

Bimbo:

(Offended). Ah…ah, I haven’t called him my husband. He can never be my husband. Never!

Yomi:   

(Persuasively) But can I? We will be a perfect match…think of it.

Bimbo:

Tissa! See, you too know, I deserve something better, something more…

Yomi:   

(cuts in) something better than I am? (feels abased). I am educated. I have a job…

Bimbo:

Yes. You have a job. You teach. But I will never marry a teacher, not even the one who can only boast of a pair of shoes and some old clothes.

Yomi:   

(feels resentful). Does that refer to me? As in…you think  I deserve all that?

Bimbo:

(faces down). I know you feel bitter, but I have to be sincere. I want a fulfilled man. Someone who will take me out of this village to a better place, a place where I will be better educated and accomplished. Not to become another mother of Segun, or a wife to such person.

Yomi:   

But you should have hope in me. I am the best man for you here. With your brilliance, I can sacrifice all for you. And take you away from here, maybe someday. Away from rogues like Segun.  (Seguns smiles up the tree)I have good intentions for you…

Bimbo:

Good! You have good intentions but dear Mr Yomi, you are in the wrong place with good intentions, and it will never work. To be candid, you are just a little better than the likes of segun, (segun sticks his tongue out in the direction of Yomi) except that you are educated, and do not smoke, what other things. You even live in a room in his father’s house, which automatically makes him your landlord. You are good and handsome, but men must know, that it is not only handsomeness, or brilliance that solves the problems of a woman. There’s more to it. I want an accomplished man. I won’t eat love alone forever…

Yomi:

(Picks his lesson not and cane on the floor, sad and ready to leave). Thank you. I have heard enough. (Segun bites his lower lip as if to mock Yomi) But I pray you and other ladies like you will see better beyond now and farther into the future, where there lie treasures of everlasting fulfilment, and know that it takes time for a man to be fulfilled and most times, this happens with the help of his partner, his wife…until then, I will be praying for you. Promise me you will not tell anyone about this.

Bimbo:

I won’t. And please, don’t see this as some sorts of embarrassment. It is just the truth. I rather would not waste your time.

Yomi:   

(turns to leave). I have had it in mind to joke with you someday with this, but seeing now how contingent that is, let me do it now. When you get home, open you dictionary and check your name “Bimbo”. It is not to offend you though.

Segun: 

(speaks from tree top) Tissa. (Both Bimbo and Yomi are scared at the discovery of Segun’s presence) You are in trouble o. Wait for me with this knife. (he makes attempt to climb down as Bimbo and Yomi take to their heels in different directions). Make you run very well en? But make I know meet you for my papa house unless you get your six month arrears rent o…. (He climbs down and continues to laugh).

THE END

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