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DEATH LANES.

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DEATH LANES.

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1. THE MOON LOUNGE. NIGHT

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The bar is very dirty and more than a little rundown. Hardly can any workers be seen except for the night manager Roy who is finishing up with the sales math before closing. A beautiful young woman Detter is seated on one of the couches, dead drunk.

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ROY.

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(Without paying attention, still busy in the calculations)

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Young lady, its past midnight, and we are closing up. Call someone to pick you up or kindly get a taxi home.

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DEXTER.

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(Smiling pleasantly)

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Or maybe I could go with you. Home is hell for me. My husband just passed away. His burial is tomorrow at 2 p.m.; sometimes I think it’s best if the dead bury themselves.

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ROY.

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(With sympathy, he leaves whatever he is doing and joins her at the table.)

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I am sorry I could not guess that and even more because you could be married—my condolences. Maybe I could get you home. I am Roy, the night manager, and you are?

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DEXTER.

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Janelle Dester.Could you take me to a hotel, not home? I can’t bear the mood and memories of that place. Could you be my white night tonight? It’s not every day on a fool moon do you find a handsome man to take you home when another is in a casket.

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2. SOUTH BEACH HOTEL. MID MORNING.

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(Agent and a lady knocks on the door, Dexter sluggishly opens the door. Sunrays illuminate the room with beauty)

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LADY ATTENDANT.

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(Handing over a brown cup with green fluid in it to Dexter)

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This is for your hangover and heavy breakfast for the energy you need today. Ensure to finish your food. (She hands over an expensive dress and pair of shoe to deter with a small beauty package)You will need this after you freshen up. Don’t worry; all the bills have been settled by the guy that brought you in. He is a masseur, in case you will need one. I will now take my leave.

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DEXTER.

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(To the Male attendant)Make it quick, please and thank you, guys.

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(She freshens up, does her makeup, and appears to be sunk deep in thoughts as she eats her breakfast. She looks like she is ready for her first dance in senior High school more than a funeral, just that she is in a black dress, not her favorite color. Her face glams up suddenly like she won a lottery, confidence blooms in, and a sarcastic smile. She puts on her stilettos and is ready to leave.)

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3. ST.PETER’S FUNERAL HOME.

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AFTERNOON.

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(Several people in a somber mood. A lot of high-class people with expensive cars. Their mode of dressing screams high class, and I do doubt Dester’s husband Joel was a prominent person. Three ladies, one who is Joel’s first wife Gloria, are standing at a corner. They see Detter coming in and start murmuring. They do not care at all that their voices could be quite loud. Everyone’s attention shifts to Detter, her beauty, and her dressing. Her cleavage is open through her black dress, and her strides in the stilettos are quite neat.)

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DEXTER.

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(Taking up the microphone. To her, it seems like she is acting, but she struggles to keep it real.)

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My husband Joel was the love of my life. I wish he could never leave (deep down, she knows she doesn’t mean her words.)He was like a father to my daughter Yvonne (she desires not to say those words, but she has to because it’s what the audience expects) and loved us both passionately. We were like a whole world to him. (Says this to hurt Joel’s ex-wife Gloria but in a kind way)I can’t believe life could be so short and mean. I have faith in an afterlife, and that gives me hope. Rest easy, darling, until we meet again.

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(Slow, sad music plays in the background. Dexter looks at her daughter Yvonne and doesn’t regret her actions. She breaks into deep tears, and a guy from the crowd comes to sooth her. Unbelievable, it’s Roy. Dexter wishes people could understand that its tears of joy, and she needed no shoulder to lean on. Either way, she has to keep her mask on, or no one is to know where the real her marginalizes from the mask.)

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CROWD.

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Sings a harmonious hymn, and after a brief sermon, they bury the body.

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YVONNE.

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(TO herself)

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I am not sure whether to be happy or sad. I am sad for my mom. She had a husband, someone that paid all my bills and hers. Joel gave her all the life she kept dreaming of as a single mother for quite some time. The class that came with all favors in the social status thing. I wish Detter knew Joel in his real skin. He was a monster. Sometimes I wish I could kill him with my bare hands but thank God the universe took care of it. May he go to hell and burn slow by slow to ashes?

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4. JOEL’S HOME IN LOUISVILLE.NIGHT.

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YVONNE.

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Hey mom, where were you yesterday night. The police showed up saying JOEL’S autopsy was out, and they had a few questions for us.

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DEXTER.

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(Trying to be calm.)

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I was running errands. What did you tell them, sweetheart? Tell me everything.

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YVONNE.

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Nothing I told them you had been crying for long and you went out for fresh air as you grab some groceries for dinner. That aside, you and I know that wasn’t the case. Why do you have a gun under your bed? Was Joel’s accident pure, or you had something to do with it? Are you a murderer, mom? Common ‘mother, you are now dumb?

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DEXTER.

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(Filled with rage and agitated)

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You can’t disrespect your mother like that. I am not all those accusations. Go up to your room and rest. Remember to pack a bag because we are leaving first thing tomorrow. The house shall be sold later on. We need a fresh start, fresh life, and fresh memories. Don’t even dare try to think of opening up that mouth of yours to anyone. I love you so much, kid, and will do anything to ensure my baby girl is safe and happy. (Even with this statement, Yvonne still cannot understand whatever her mother could be meaning. After some time, she goes to Yvonne’s room, soothes, and settles her to sleep. She gives her a thousand kisses on the forehead and cheeks, then dims the lights for her to sleep.

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5. BLUEGRASS AIRPORT KENTUCKY. MORNING.

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YVONNE

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(With too much disappointment in her eyes as the plane takes off.)

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So, this is it. We are gone left to pretend that nothing happened. That my mother is not a cold-blood killer but a beautiful living saint.

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DEXTER.

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Once you are done expressing your grievances, you will then keep quiet. (Human voices are loud in the plane so that no one can listen to their conversation.)

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Am I the only one hiding things here? I am your mother, Yvonne. I deserve to know if anything is going south in your life. Suppose you are being bullied or anything. About the night you are asking, I was getting drunk at the moonlight lounge. I could not bear being in that house for not a second. And the gun is for protection; now that Joel is dead, I am the only one left to protect you. If I was to go back in time, it should have been that way ever since. Are you happy now that you know the truth?

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YVONNE.

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I’m a sorry mother for disrespecting you. The truth is that I felt quite suspicious. Mom.

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DEXTER.

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Yes baby…

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YVONNE.

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The truth is that I don’t know whether to be happy or sad that Joel is dead. He had started harassing me sexually. I feared telling you because I thought you were happy and did not want to take that away from you. I was still navigating myself through the issue of whether to find help or how I could tell you, and just a few days after, he died. (After these words, Yvonne sounded like she had woken up to a realization that maybe she could join the dots after all that but no unless she affirms it herself.)

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DEXTER.

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(Caressing her daughter with so much love and care.)

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It’s okay beautiful, he is now gone, and you are now safe. I shall find a therapist to help you heal, and I promise you that nothing like that will ever happen to you again to infinity.

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(The plane lands)

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6. LONDON. EVENING.

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(The breeze slaps them gently at the coast like it is meant to wipe out all negative vibes and energy. The ocean sounds are loud enough, saying, ‘London is cool and welcome to a fresh beginning. ‘Dexter smiling at her daughter Yvonne…)

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DEXTER.

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Here we shall have a new life. We are on vacation for a week, and after that, I will enroll you in the best school possible. No more men in our lives—you and me, honey pie. I shall be there for you every step of the way. It is a ladies thing now forever. Just promise me one thing, bunnies…

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YVONNE.

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What mommy…You know I can do anything for you, and I love that once again; we are together and close.

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DEXTER.

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(With vibrancy)

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No more secrets. Okay…

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YVONNE.

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Okay, mom, no secrets. Talk of that, did you kill him because you noticed that he harassed me?

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DEXTER.

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That only I cannot answer. All I can say is I can do anything to protect my sweet baby girl.

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(They get to the beach, and with birds singing melodies, they swim towards the shore as they observe the sunset. Dexter kisses her daughter on the forehead and hugs her tightly.)

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You should know you mean the world to me. I can never trade you for anything.

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