A Play by Anthony A.

Performance: May, 2002
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Characters: Kalu the Lion, Cindy the Lion (Kalu’s mom),
& Jenny (Kalu’s sister) 
The sun is at its peak of the day.
Place:Africa, Lion City in Kalu’s home, a cave
Lion City is a suburb area with lots of grass, trees, caves, and lakes.  You have the industries hidden among the trees and the school down by the lake in the grass area.  You can feel the comfort, homeliness, and sanctuary feeling of the cave as soon as you walk in.  When you walk in you see the family room with an old couch in front of the entertainment center, which holds the stereo system and TV
At Rise: When Kalu enters the cave he goes straight to the refrigerator.  As he turns around he’s startled to see someone staring at him.  It’s his mom!



(Surprised)  What, what are you doing home?


I have some time off work, what are you doing home!

Kalu: I’m…umm…it’s lunchtime.

I’m paying for you to eat lunch at school, so why are you here!  Are you cutting school again?


No!  I mean…I don’t know.

Cindy:   Speak clearly to me. You’re already caught. I know about you not going to school.  I got the message from your principal.
Kalu:   I am speaking clearly.  (Curiously)…so what did he say?

He told me how you haven’t been going to school at all. What’s wrong? Is there something going on that I should know about?

Kalu:   No! I just can’t go to school. I don’t like it. It’s boring and it’s not for me. 
Cindy:   Well, you can’t go through life demanding things the way you want them.  And if you don’t have it like you want it, you can’t just give up and quit.
Kalu:   I know, but it’ll be different in real life.
Cindy:   This is real life! Don’t you understand? This is preparing you for the future. I really need you to succeed.
Kalu:   I understand this, but it might be too late because of all the school I’ve missed. 
Cindy:   It’s not too late. The principal said if you miss one more day of school then you’ll get kicked out. Then you won’t graduate!
Kalu:   Can’t I just go to summer school or go back next year?
Cindy:   Look! You’re selling yourself short! I don’t want you to fail! Don’t you understand?  I don’t want you to end up like your father. I won’t let you become a loser, getting into crime and selling drugs.
Kalu:   That won’t happen to me. I’m smarter than that.
Cindy:   (Aside) How can I make him understand?  I wake up every morning to prepare him food. I go to work as a housemaid for the dirtiest and most ungrateful beasts there is. I push away the feelings of grief, regret, exhaustion, and now failure everyday.  One of these days I’m gonna go crazy if things keep up like this.  Every time I look at our cave I’m reminded of the night my husband was murdered over money.  I put up with this loneliness and it hurts so much. I just don’t want Kalu to deal wit the consequences that lie ahead.
Cindy:   You know about your father. He’s had to deal with the ultimate consequence, death.  Now we’re here felling the effects of his consequence. I don’t want you to get anywhere near his path. I’m trying to accomplish something here, raising you right.

You have raised me right.  Don’t just look at the negatives when you look at me.  Look at all the good things you have done to me.  I care enough to try to make you happy.  I haven’t been going to school because I was afraid of failing.  I didn’t want to let you down.  But I guess I still have.


It’s not that, I’m just disappointed.  Your sister works and she’s younger than you.  I struggle everyday for you guys because your father failed.  He wasn’t stupid, he made bad choices.  And that’s what I’m trying to keep you from doing.


Wow. I never looked at things like that before. I didn’t realize how much I am a part of your life and how hard things are for you.
(Aside)  I can’t believe how selfish I’ve been. She really does struggle everyday going to and from work.  Even worse, she needs to put up with that ungrateful bear family that she cooks and cleans for everyday. Then she comes home and puts up with me.  All she wants is for us to do good by going to school and succeeding. I feel miserable and demoralized for everything I put on her. I didn’t want to let her down by failing in school, so I hurt her by giving up before I tried. What was I thinking?

 I’m sorry about not going to school. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’ll start going to school from now on.

Cindy:   How can I trust you? You’ve told me this before. If you say something like this in a serious situation you need to mean it.
Kalu:   I do mean it. You’ll see.  I’m not just talking to be talking.
Cindy:   If you don’t graduate school and get a good job, then we’re going to lose the cave.  I’m not doing too good financially.
 (Jenny, Kalu’s sister storms into the house and shouts)
Jenny:   I was laid off work!
 (Then goes off to her room and slams the door behind her.)
Cindy:   Things are getting worse as you can see.  If you don’t graduate this spring and get a job, then I can’t pay for your school next year.
Kalu:   If I can’t say anything to make you believe me, then do the only thing you can do, watch me.
Cindy:   Kalu… the fate of our family is in your hands…  I trust you.
    The End.