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The cafe that you mention was known as the ‘square cafe’, that would be around 64-65.It was dingy and smoky, but served a good working man’s dinner, and it had a sliding door into another room, that had the juke-box

Never recall it being open in the evenings.

Drugs Over Dinner

Act 1

Scene 1

In a small living room with a sagging settee, Cee, Ryan, Harriet and Jake are sat researching their school history project.

Cee: So I was looking up some facts about our area, and apparently we have one of the biggest drug trade communities in Britain!

Ryan: Not surprising with all the druggies around here. And that dodgy corner.

Harriet: (reading) Yeah, but get this. Apparently there’s this little café, you know, that dingy one on 5th? Well according to this research forum, it’s a front.

Jake: That’s mental. My sister’s boyfriend’s stepbrother works there, and he’s not a drug lord.

Cee: Well bus boys aren’t necessarily involved in the drugs, are they. Maybe not telling them is a good thing because then if anyone asks them about it they genuinely don’t know anything.

Ryan: How do you order the drugs? You can’t ask for a load of pot every lunchtime can you? I think people might find that a bit weird…

Harriet: Yes, but its only open from 10 till 4, so maybe you go in after hours?

Jake: Wouldn’t work.

Cee: Why not?

Jake: Because if everyone know it closes after four, people might notice you knocking on the door at six.

Harriet: Maybe, you stay behind at closing and a waitress. No, maybe the manager, comes and tells you they’ll be closing soon, and you say something like, “well I don’t know, I’m not finished yet.”

Cee: Or maybe you ask for the secret menu? So they know what you’re there for.

Jake: Make sense, actually. Then there aren’t many people around and it wouldn’t look suspicious if you did go in just before closing.

Harriet: Yes! Oh, it’s all fitting in place.

Ryan: Not really.

Cee: And why’s that?

Jake: Yeah, it all makes sense!

Ryan: Because it’s all theoretical. Plus, it has nothing to do with our history project which, by the way, is the reason we’re all here.

Harriet: We know that. But it’s interesting to think about, isn’t it?

Cee: Why are you so bothered by it? We’ve nearly finished the project.

Ryan: (gets up, angrily) Oh yeah, no I’m completely overreacting.

Ryan storms out of the living room. Everyone is shocked. Jake looks worried.

Harriet: What’s gotten into him?

Jake: His dad disappeared when he was managing that place.

Silence

Scene 2

In a school hall, with Cee sat on a table, Jake slouched on a chair and Harriet sat vigorously School hall. Cee is sat at the table, Jake is slouched on a chair, and Harriet is intently reading over her Spanish homework.

Cee: What should we say?

Jake: I don’t know. I think the best thing to do is apologise.

Cee: Yeah, I mean, it was just a stupid story, right?

Jake: Yeah. Hey, Harriet?

Harriet doesn’t reply.

Jake and Cee: Harriet!

Harriet: Qué? ¿Que está pasando?

Cee: English, Harry.

Harriet: Oh, right yeah. Sorry, I just got really into my homework.

Jake: I don’t know why you bother, we all know you’ll get an A.

Harriet: No, I mean I could –

Cee: Harry! Not important.

Harriet: Right, sorry. What are we gonna do about Ryan?

Jake: Well, I was thinking, even though the theory is, well, just that, why don’t we test it out? I mean just so we can be sure.

Cee: Ryan’s coming over

Ryan approaches their table. Harriet hasn’t noticed.

Cee: Hey, Ryan.

Harriet: I think that’s a good idea, Jake.

Ryan: What is?

Jake: History project, erm, including facts about the greatest failures as well as achievements.

Ryan: Oh, cool.

Harriet: (whispering) Nice save.

Harriet: Ryan, we’re really sorry about yesterday.

Jake: Yeah, we were completely insensitive.

Cee: Can you forgive us?

Ryan: Well, actually, I thought maybe we could… test the theory?

Jake: Test the theory?

Ryan: Yeah, you know, go to the café?

Harriet: Sure, I mean, if it’s just a theory…

There’s an uncomfortable silence.

Cee: Or we could find your dad.

Ryan looks her right in the eyes, but says nothing.

Jake: Let’s do it.

Ryan: When?

Harriet: How about tomorrow night?

Jake: I can’t. Cee can’t either, we’ve got to this party.

Ryan and Harriet look suspiciously at the pair.

Cee: It’s a mutual family friend.

Harriet: So, the day after?

Cee: Sure, I’m not doing anything.

Jake: That’s good for me.

Ryan: Yeah, me too.

Cee: Let’s go to mine first to sort it out.

Bell rings.

ACT 2

Scene 1

Jake and Cee are walking to the party together.

Cee: Thanks for walking with me to the party.

Jake: S’all good. Why didn’t you go with your family?

Cee: I had some homework to finish. Plus, I wanted to walk with you.

Jake: Oh. Cool.

Cee: Did you bring a gift for the Morgan’s?

Jake: Yeah, I got them a vase.

Jake pulls a blue vase out of his bag.

Cee: Oh, that’s lovely!

Jake: I thought you’d like it. Blue’s your favourite colour, right?

Cee: Yeah, how did you know?

Jake: Your nails are always blue, your phone case is blue, you only ever wear blue… I connected the dots.

Scene 2

Inside the party. Cee and Jake are talking. Mrs Morgan approaches them.

Mrs Morgan: Hello! How are you guys?

Cee: I’m very well thanks. Oh, I got you this.

Cee hands Mrs Morgan an embroidered blanket.

Mrs Morgan: Oh, how lovely! Did you make it yourself?

Cee: Yeah, I’m glad you like it.

Mrs Morgan: It’s wonderful, thank you.

Jake: I, er, I got you this vase. It isn’t handmade or anything, but, er, I hope you like it.

Mrs Morgan: It’s beautiful. What an amazing colour! So, how long have you two love birds been going out?

Cee: Oh, no. No, we’re just friends.

Mrs Morgan: Nonsense. Look at how cute you look together!

Jake: (awkward) Excuse me, I need the bathroom.

Jake leaves.

Scene 3

Jake, Ryan, Cee and Harriet are sat in Cee’s living room. Jake looks worse for wear.

Ryan: What happened to you?

Jake: What? Oh, I only just got up.

Cee: Didn’t you go home straight after the party? I didn’t see you when I left.

Jake: Me and some of the lads got a bit drunk.

Harriet: Well that was very irresponsible of you, wasn’t it? Especially since you’re only 16.

Cee: I would have come with you.

Jake: (angrily) Boys only.

Harriet: You okay, Jake?

Jake: Merrrrgh.

Harriet: Good to hear it. Anyway, are we all set?

Ryan: How are we going to get there?

Cee: My brother’s going to give us a lift, he’s got to take me to my counselling session after anyway. Anyone want a drink?

The gang nod in agreement. Cee exits.

Jake: Why does she have counselling?

Harriet: Because of her anxiety. After the ordeal with James.

Jake: I hate him.

Ryan: Jake, what happened last night? Did you and Cee fall out?

Jake: Nothing, it’s just… Mrs Morgan thought we were together and Cee was so quick to say no and, I guess… I dunno.

Harriet: That you might have a chance with her?

Jake: Yeah.

Ryan: How long have you liked Cee?

Jake: Well, she held my hand last year and I felt like a spark was flying, you know?

Ryan: No.

Harriet: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Ryan: Do you?

Harriet: Erm…

Jake: With you, dumbass.

Ryan: What?

Harriet: No.

Ryan: Oh.

Jake: Oh come on, Harriet.

Harriet is embarrassed and storms off.

Ryan: Nice one, Jake.

Jake: Oh piss off.

Liz, Cee’s mum, enters with Cee, carrying glasses of juice.

Liz: Jake, Ryan! Good to see you, how are you both?

Jake: I’m good thanks, Mrs Richards. You?

Liz: Oh now, Jake. Call me Liz! And I’ve been very well thanks. How about you, Ryan?

Ryan: I’m okay thanks, er, Liz. Exam stress, you know.

Harriet re-enters.

Liz: Harriet, darling. How have you been?

Harriet: Good thanks.

Matt Richards, Cee’s brother enters through the front door.

Matt: Alright, kids. Harriet, you can sit in the front with me babes.

Harriet blushes angrily. She hates it when Matt talks to her like that.

Cee: Leave her alone, Matt.

Matt: Oh come on, she loves it.

Ryan: No, she doesn’t. It’s Harry or Tattie, not babes. She’s not an infant.

Jake: Alright, Ryan, calm down.

Ryan: It’s important. It’s called respect.

Matt: Maybe I should teach you some respect, Ryan.

Cee: Matt, stop it.

Matt; Stay out of this, Cecilia.

Liz: Mathew Kyle Richards, get off your high horse, get in that car and drive Cecilia and her friends to town. Alright?

Matt: Yes, mother. We’ll be back for 7.

They all exit, apart from Liz.

Scene 4

Outside the cafe. The gang are nervous.

Jake: So, we’re going in?

Ryan: Yup.

Cee: Hold my hand, Jake.

Jake: Um, ok. Sure.

Ryan: (to Harriet) Do you…?

Harriet: I’m not scared. Unless… Unless you’re scared?

Ryan: Hahaha, yeah right. I was just making sure you weren’t scared.

Jake: Ready?

Cee pushes open the door.

Jake: Woah, that smell is… overwhelming.

Ryan: So I think we were right.

Cee: No shit.

Waitress: Hello. Welcome to the Blue Bean. May I take you to your table?

Harriet: Yes, thank you. There’s four of us.

Waitress: I can count, you know.

Jake: Feisty.

Ryan: She’s at least six years older than you, and she didn’t seem interested in any of us.

They sit at their table.

Waitress: Here’s the menu. I hope you have a wonderful time at the Blue Bean. I’ll be back soon.

Cee: We should definitely tip her.

Jake: What for the lovely, oh so warm welcome?

Cee: I was going to say because she has to work here, but that too.

Ryan: Guys, we better order something she’s looking at us.

Harriet: I think it would be safest if we just got cheese on toast or something.

Jake: To share, to be safe.

Ryan waves the waitress over, with his brightest smile. She is not impressed.

Waitress: What do you want?

Jake: Two orders of cheese on toast, please and four tap waters.

Cee: Just three. Thanks.

Waitress: Ok. We close at four so you’ll have to be quick.

She walks away to the kitchen

Cee: Its 3:45, which means we have to wait 15 minutes.

Harriet: Cee, I think it’s safe for you to drink the tap water, you know.

Cee: I’m not thirsty.

Ryan: She’s coming back.

The waitress puts the plates, three glasses and a jug of tap water on the table.

Waitress: We’re closing soon.

Ryan: We’re, we’re not finished yet.

The waitress looks at him funny

Harriet: We’d like the desert menu.

The waitress understands what she means.

Waitress: We don’t serve to under sixteens.

Cee pulls out a fake ID.

Cee: We’re eighteen.

Waitress: Very well. The manager will be out soon to take your order.

She exits.

Harriet: We aren’t actually going to buy drugs are we?!

Jake: Of course not. We’ll ask to see, say we’ve changed our minds, and then leave.

Ryan: I want to know if my dad still works here.

Harriet: We’ll ask about your dad, don’t worry.

The Manager enters and walks over to their table.

Manager: May I take your dessert order?

Cee: Could we see the menu first, please?

Manager: Right, come through. But let me warn you, the ingredients of our desserts are not to be repeated to anyone.

Jake: We understand.

Scene 5

A secret room behind the kitchen.

Manager: We’re about to receive a new order so it’s a bit empty at the moment.

Harriet: That’s okay, we’ll wait until it arrives.

Manager: (to Ryan) Have I seen you here before?

Ryan: Not here. I live in Stabbo?

Manager: No, that’s not our territory.

Cee: Whose territory is it?

Manager: Bunch of kids, really. Teenagers. Michael Sutton –

Jake: Of course.

Manager: Chris Miller.

Cee: No way!

Manager: I told you, they’re just kids, really. Oh and the other one, who thinks he’s hard ‘cos he’s got a big coke supply, is Matthew, or Matt Richards.

The group are shocked.

Cee: WHAT?!

Manager: What? Know him or something?

Cee: Yeah, he –

Jake: He lives near us, that’s all.

A car horn beeps.

Manager: Aha! That’ll be the delivery. Crack, smack and meth, all smuggled in from Spain for a fraction of the price!

A tall, brooding man with dark hair walks in.

Raffaele: Alex, where do you want the –

Ryan: Dad?

Rafaele turns on his feet and runs out the way he came. Ryan follows him.

Harriet: Ryan!

Manager: You didn’t tell us he was the son of a celeb now, did ya!

Jake: He didn’t know, he thought his dad was dead.

Cee, Jake and Harriet run after the father and son.

Scene 6

Jake: Ryan, Ryan! Come back! Slow down!

Ryan: Dad, Please! Stop!

Ryan catches up with Raffaele and grabs him, forcing him to stop. Raffaele tries to play it cool.

Raffaele: Ryan! What the hell are you doing in The Blue Bean?

Harriet, Cee and Jake catch up with them.

Jake: Buying dessert, of course.

Harriet: What about you, Mr Sole?

Raffaele: Ah, Harriet! And Jake and Cee. Still hanging on to your friends the, Ryan?

Ryan: Dad. Where have you been for the past five years?

Pause.

Raffaele: I never, ever, meant to hurt you. And now you’re mixed up in all of this too.

Cee: Mixed in what?

Raffaele: Drugs. Desserts or whatever he’s calling the Blue Bean trade now.

Harriet: We weren’t buying drugs. We wanted to see if it really was a front. And since that’s where you disappeared –

Jake: He didn’t disappear. He abandoned Ryan.

Raffaele: I never wanted to leave Ryan.

Jake: But you did it anyway. Have you got any idea what affect that had on Ryan and his mum? They thought you were dead.

Raffaele: Ryan, you. You thought I was…

Ryan: Yes. Mum said you’d never leave us, so you must be dead. That’s what she says. When people ask her where you are, she says you’re dead.

Jake: Which is better than drug dealing in Spain.

Raffaele: Let me explain, please.

Ryan: Go ahead.

Raffaele takes a minute, then he turns around and runs away.

Ryan: Dad!

Jake holds Ryan to the spot, with his arms behind his back. Tears stream down Ryan’s face.

Scene 7

Everyone storms back through the door to Cee’s living room.

Matt: (to Harriet) Harry babes, lose the face it don’t suit you.

Cee, angered, grabs Matt by the scruff of the neck and pushes him against the wall.

Jake: Cee!

Cee: THE BIGGEST COKE SUPPLIER IN STAPLEFORD, MATT?! YOU’RE EIGHTEEN! HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID?!

Liz: Cecilia! Put your brother down!

Jake and Ryan manage to pull Cee off her brother. Matt slides down the wall.

Liz: You better explain yourself right now, Matthew.

Matt: Cee’s right. I’m a coke supplier. I earn nearly three grand a month, half of that is deposited in a trust fund for Cee, then a grand is put in your bank, and I keep 500 for myself. I’m not proud of it, but its easy money.

Liz: I…I…what?! How could you be so stupid?! After everything that’s happened to this family Your dad’s in prison for the next seven years. Cee, with that damn boy who tried to –

Cee: Mum!

Liz: And now you! Dealing drugs!

Matt: Mum, its just coke –

Liz: Oh! That makes it so much better! It’s just cocaine. How long has this been going on for?

Matt: Little over a year.

Liz: A year?! Oh my god, do you know how long you could be in prison for?! You could be inside for longer than your idiot father.

Matt: Mum, I’ll stop, if that’s what you want, I’ll stop. I’ll cut all ties with my supplier, my customers. Everything. Only problem is, we may have to move.

Cee: Matt. You’ve been putting a grand and a half, in a trust fund, for me, for over a year?

Matt: Yes. There’s about 21 grand in there at the minute. I want you to have a better life than me.

Cee runs and gives Matt a hug. Liz does too.

Harriet: Matt, who’s your, supplier? And where does it come in from?

Matt: Ray Sole? Might be Rafe I suppose.

Ryan: Raffaele. My dad.

Liz: What? Ryan’s dad is a drug supplier too? I thought your mum said he was…

Jake: We thought he was dead. Until we caught him on a delivery at the Blue Bean.

Matt: He’s supplying them too?

Ryan: Yeah, for a fraction of the price.

Harriet: Matt, do you have Ryan’s dad’s number?

Matt: Yeah, why?

Harriet: Arrange a meeting with him. Then we’ll keep him there until he explains what the hell is going on.

Jake: And why he left Ryan.

Ryan: Thanks, guys. Jake, thanks for always being there. You’re not like a brother, as far as I’m concerned, you are my brother

Jake hugs Ryan.

Liz: I don’t think that’s such a good idea. You’re just kids!

Ryan: Liz, this is my Dad. I need to know why he left me.

Liz: At least let your mum know.

Ryan: Okay.

Ryan calls his mum and puts the phone to his ear. His hand is trembling.

Ryan: (on the phone) Hey, mum. I’m going to be, to be late home, tonight. I’m going to. To meet someone. Someone who’s been gone for the past 5 years. I love you, mum.

Ryan goes to put the phone down.

Ryan: Let’s do this

Scene 8

The Blue Bean. Night. Jake, Ryan, Cee and Harriet are hidden behind some bins.

 

Matt: (on the phone) We need to meet, face to face. No, I don’t need a new supply. We need to talk. I have to leave the drug trade. Okay, I’m in the alleyway. It’ll be good to actually meet you face to face.

Raffaele steps round the corner.

Jake: (whispering) He actually showed up.

Ryan: (whispering) When do we go out?

Cee: (whispering) After they’ve finished talking. He can’t know it’s a setup.

Matt: I can’t keep supplying anymore.

Raffaele: Why? I thought we had a good deal going on.

Matt: It’s tearing my family apart. I can’t lose them to some crack and three grand; my dad’s already in prison.

Raffaele: It won’t be fun without that extra cash will it? Your old man wouldn’t want you to make life difficult for your mum and sister.

Matt: Fat lot of help that’s done me. My sister will be ok, but I can’t keep doing this. Don’t you understand what it’s like? Having to leave your family?

Raffaele: You think I wanted to leave my son?

Ryan stands up.

Ryan: I don’t know dad, did you? See, you left me again, so is it really that hard for you?

Raffaele spins round to face Ryan. Jake and Matt jump on top of him and hold him to the ground.

Raffaele: Well done, Rhyan. Always knew you’d get on alright.

Ryan: Is that how you justify leaving us?

Raffaele: Drugs, are very dangerous. Not just using them, but by getting involved. It’s practically a death sentence. They were going to hurt your mum and you if I didn’t leave. I’ve saved up nearly 250 grand for you. When I die, which won’t be long with them looking for me everywhere, it will all be yours.

Ryan: Who the hell are ‘they’?

Matt: The Spanish Mafia. They’ve been out for Spanish druggies for years, it’s all stolen from them. Apparently.

Harriet: So why come back? And so close to Ryan, if you were trying to protect him?

Raffaele: I suppose, I always hoped he’d come looking for me. I did say I’d never leave my family.

Jake laughs. How could he say that now?

Raffaele: Ryan, you are my only son, my only child, and I love you so much.

Raffaele pushes Matt and Jake off him, and a mad scuffle ensues trying to pin Raffaele down.

Ryan: Dad, please don’t leave!

Raffaele turns to run away, but hears a voice calling him. It’s Ryan’s mum.

Ms Sole: Raffaele?

They all turn and look at Ryan’s mother, stood there.

Ryan: Mum? How did you…?

Raffaele: Alicia. Alicia!

Raffaele runs to Alicia, his wife, and holds her.

Alicia: You’re back.

Raffaele: I, I can’t leave, but I can’t stay.

He turns to Ryan.

Raffaele: It will be very dangerous for us, if I come back. And with no more drugs, the money would be tight.

Ryan: I don’t care.

Ryan runs to his mum and dad and they hug. They are reunited at last.

Scene 9

5 months later. The gang are at a house party.

Attie: Hey guys! So glad you could make it.

Ryan: Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

James enters and swans up to them.

James: Hey, what’s the joke, guys?

Attie: James, I told you that if you dared to turn up-

James: Oh, dear little Attie, lighten up! That’s all in the past. Right, Cee?

Jake steps forward and smashes his fist into James’ face. Blood splatters everywhere.

Cee: Jake. You didn’t have to do that!

Jake: I did, and I’ll do it to anyone who tries to hurt you. Because I love you, Cecilia Laura Richards. With all of my heart.

Cee flings herself into Jake’s arms, and kisses him with all of her being.

Ryan pulls Harriet into the corner.

Ryan: You called my mum that night, didn’t you?

Harriet: Yes, I did. I thought that maybe…

Ryan: That maybe him seeing her would make him stay?

Harriet: That was the general idea…

Ryan pulls Harriet into him, and kisses her.

Harriet: I lied. I am in love with you. So utterly and completely.

Ryan: Good. I thought it was just me.

They smile, and continue kissing.