PREGNANCY SURPRISE 


One act play by Alfred Vassallo

 

CHARACTERS

MICHAEL KENT snr Over 60's man

MICHAEL KENT jnr A man in his 20's

PATRICIA KENT His wife in her 20's

KATIE KENT

 

Their daughter in her 30s SYNOPSIS After a hard day's work Michael Junior returns home to find his wife Patricia in a buoyant mood. When he inquired why she's so cheerful, she announced that after all the years of waiting she's finally pregnant. An announcement he regretted.
(Michael a fragile old man, is in the lounge of a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Katie is full of life but very concerned about the state of her father. She is doing her third visit to him since she arrived from Australia has she lived all her life with her adopted parents. (It would be accurate of she speaks with an Australian tongue, not compulsory)

 

OLD MICHAEL

So you’re not going to make me a granddad yet?

 

KATIE

(Smiling)

I haven’t even found a man yet dad.

OLD MICHAEL

It’s about time then. How old are you?

 

KATIE

Thirty-three, don’t you remember?

 

OLD MICHAEL

Not everything. I knew you where in your thirties but, I haven’t seen you since you were born.

KATIE

I know, I know.

OLD MICHAEL

They were very kind. I mean your parents told you about me.

KATIE

I didn’t give a choice, to tell the truth. You’re my biological father and I wanted to come and see you. At last, here I am. 38


OLD MICHAEL

You should have, really, I didn’t even know your name until you told me yourself. You were just born when they took you away.

KATIE

I know. And you know why of course?

OLD MICHAEL

Of course, I do. But now I am but not old senile. I’ve locked up in here since that the day it happened, but they don’t understand. I am not insane.

 

KATIE

Killing my mother a few hours after I was born? They had no choice dad? You did not deny it!

OLD MICHAEL

Deny it? How could I deny it. I stayed with even when she was dead. And that’s what they don’t understand. I am not mad, I know what I did and it was planned.

 

KATIE

(Taken aback)

But why dad? Why?

 

OLD MICHAEL

I had a good reason. But not a good enough reason to poison her.

KATIE

I have been in Australia all my life. And I’ve only known about you these last few years. Before I travelled over here I had to reconcile myself to the knowledge that not only my parents were not my real parents, but also that my father killed my mother after I was born. That’s a lot to take in at once. 


OLD MICHAEL

I know. To tell the truth, I truly believed, I truly hoped that you would be spared the knowledge of your birth.

 

KATIE

It doesn’t alter the fact though?

 

OLD MICHAEL

No, it doesn’t. Go and get that chair and sit properly beside me and I tell you everything.

KATIE

(She stands)

All right.

(She exits and a few seconds later she enters carrying a chair and place it opposite of Michael)

 

OLD MICHAEL

What I am about to tell you is the truth. I know your mother cannot defend herself, but, honestly, I always repeated the same story, because the story I tell is the true story. I never told a lie about it and did not say less or more and did not exaggerate. The only thing I did not say what was the real reason. I kept that to my self. First of all, I was a happy man, very much in love with your mother. We had been married for almost six years when it happened. We had a loving house which we were paying with hour hard working money. I had a decent job and we were living well. Your mother did some jobs from the house. (He pauses) Do you know that your mother was a fantastic dressmaker? I don’t know how many women I’ve seen coming to the house asking her to make them a new dress.


KATIE

No, I did not know that.

 

OLD MICHAEL

She was very beautiful but above all, I loved her truly. I was madly in love with her.

 

KATIE

Recently I’ve seen some photos of her. She was beautiful, I could see that.

 

OLD MICHAEL

We were suited to each other, we had everything going for us, except we couldn’t and struggled to have children. Tour mother wanted one badly.

 

KATIE

But……but then….

 

OLD MICHAEL

Yes, we had you…..

(He lowers his head down for a long few seconds)

That is when all the trouble started.

 

FADE OUT LIGHTS MUSIC FADE IN LIGHTS.

 

(We find ourselves on the other side of the stage. The living room of Young Michael and Patricia. Patricia is sitting and speaking on her mobile phone.)

 

PATRICIA

No, he doesn’t know yet. I didn’t want to tell him on the phone. When he comes in I tell him right away……..NO, I don’t think so……It shouldn’t make any difference……What?.…Well, it must be six years now coming March. Precisely, oh no, come off it Dorothy, of course, you’ll be the one. I promise you…..OK then. I talk to you later. Yes, I will. Bye then!

(She puts her mobile on a small table. She exits. After a short pause the mobile starting ringing again and after a while, Patricia rushes in with a towel wiping her hands and takes the phone off the table looks at it and answers.)

 

OH! It’s you.

(She sits down)

Not know, please. Yes, yes I will but not this minute, I have to go now. Why? Do you know what time it is?….. Exactly.

(Sarcastically)

You do understand? How good of you. Right…I have to go. I insist. Tomorrow? I’m not sure yet. May the next day! Yes, OK definitely. OK bye! And please don’t phone again till then! Bye.

(She puts the mobile in her pocket and exists again with the towel too) (There is a pause. From the next exit, enters Michael carrying a briefcase, and wearing a light suit. He puts the briefcase down to on side takes off his jacket. Goes to the cupboard and takes out a bottle of alcohol and pours himself a large drink. He sits down and remove his shoes and stretches his legs while he has a sip of the drink.)

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Ah! I needed that!

(He shouts towards Patricia)

I’m home Pat! 


PATRICIA

(From inside)

Oh good! Did you have a good day?

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

As a matter of fact, I did.

 

PATRICIA 

(Enters)

Michael, she gives him a passionate kiss.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

What’s that for?

 

PATRICIA Is there a rule that a wife cannot kiss her husband when he comes home from work?

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

I suppose not. There bis not. But it means something for sure. When somebody does something she doesn’t usually do, then I have the right to ask. What’s that for?

PATRICIA

Take a look at me and see if there’s anything different about me?

YOUNG MICHAEL

(He looks and hesitates)

No, I see no difference.

PATRICIA

OH, you’re a spoilsport.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Seriously did something happen?

 

PATRICIA

Yes, something happened. 


YOUNG MICHAEL

(Getting impatient)

Well? What is it?

PATRICIA

Before I tell, let’s do something to celebrate.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

(Confused)

Celebrate what for crying out loud? What the hell are you up to tonight? Have you been drinking already?

 

PATRICIA

Of course not.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

(He laughs)

I know, I got it now….

PATRICIA

Yes….

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Your mother is emigrating?

 

PATRICIA

Don’t be stupid. Guess.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

You have won the lottery?

 

PATRICIA

NO, not the lottery.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

(He drinks his drink fast)

OK, I had enough of this. Are you going to tell me or shall I go up and change? 


PATRICIA

(She goes beside him huffing and puffing)

Sometimes I could kill you.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Are you all right Patrica?

 

PATRICIA

Yes, I am. Please be serious and try to guess.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Give me a clue at least.

 

PATRICIA

Let me see.

(She thinks)

I think I am going to be sick!

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Go to the bathroom then and don’t be sick in here!

PATRICIA

(Getting fed up and angry)

That was the clue, you ignoramus!

(She realises Michael hasn’t got a clue. She cuddles him and kisses him again. When she finishes she tells him to his face.)

I am Pregnant.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

(Pushes her away and stand up)

What? You’re joking are you?

 

PATRICIA

No, I’m not. Of course not. How can I joke about something like this?

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

How do you know? Have you tested yourself? 


PATRICIA Our doctor confirmed it this morning.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

(He takes his empty glass and takes it to the cupboard and pour himself another drink. Drinks it quickly and pours another one.)

This is impossible.

 

PATRICIA

Impossible? We’ve been trying for years.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

No, you must be mistaken and the doctor too. I cannot believe it.

 

PATRICIA

Are you not happy?

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

(Without thinking)

No!

(Then he realises his error and moves to her)

I did not mean that. Of course, I am happy.

 

PATRICIA

Then why the sad face?

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

You are imaging that. I have no sad face. I was shocked that is all. After all, we nearly gave up hope of having a child.

 

PATRICIA

OK. That is why I asked you to celebrate.

 

YOUNG MICHAEL

Where do you want to go? 


PATRICIA

I’ve already booked at that nice Italian restaurant in town. The one you like.

YOUNG MICHAEL

(Laughs)

There goes my restful evening.

PATRICIA

Oh, Michael….

YOUNG MICHAEL

I’m only joking….OK, you go and get ready.

 

PATRICIA

(She kisses him and she exits full of delight)

 

FADE OUT LIGHTS MUSIC FADE IN LIGHTS.


(Now we are back to the sanatorium and Old Michael and Katie assume the same position they were before the lights faded.)

 

KATIE

(Perplexed)

Dad, why were you not happy with the news?

 

OLD MICHAEL

I didn’t think that after six years I was ready to be a father. Also, I never thought your mother would ever get pregnant.

 

KATIE

Why?

 

OLD MICHAEL

(He hesitates)

It doesn’t matter now. The deed is done. What can I say? Then I thought about it and decided to accept what she told me and carry on. I knew she was happy even though I wasn’t. Those days I was obsessed with your mother. I wanted to do anything in my power for her and to make her life content. I always counted myself lucky to be married to a woman like your mother.

(Remembering in nostalgia)

She had everything going for her. Her face was so beautiful I never got tired looking at it. She had gripping eyes that haunted me and her figure, wow, her figure how can I explain….

 

KATIE

She looked after herself well!

 

OLD MICHAEL

Precisely! The one day I heard her talking on her mobile in the bedroom./ She didn’t realise I was up there and stopped to listen. She thought I was in the garage washing the car. 


KATIE

Whom was she talking too?

 

OLD MICHAEL

I wasn’t sure at first. I thought she was speaking to her friend, you know how you woman for gossip…

 

KATIE

But you weren’t absolutely sure about it?

 

OLD MICHAEL

No. But then not only because of the phone call only, in a way, I was always jealous of her but that time I suspected something even though there was no reason. She had never given me cause to be suspicious. She looked after me well and she was a good wife in every sense of the word.

 

KATIE

What made you suspicious then?

OLD MICHAEL

A few words here and there.

 

KATIE

What happened when you confronted her with your suspicions?

 

OLD MICHAEL

Nothing. I didn’t tell her. I wasn’t sure and I did not want to upset her not when she was pregnant. The suspicious mind that formulated doesn’t make the truth.

 

KATIE

You were very wise then. 


OLD MICHAEL

Still am my dear, still, am. But you might no this, but when a suspicious mind evolves jealousy accelerate quickly. I’m afraid I started drinking heavily and argued with her all the time except that I was suspicious of her having an affair. I blamed my job instead.

 

KATIE

Why did you not ask her and rested your mind?

 

OLD MICHAEL

I couldn’t risk separating from her. And also I was waiting for some important news.

 

KATIE

News? What news?

 

OLD MICHAEL

It was make, or break news. Either way, that information could have made my life with your mother easier.

 

KATIE

But it didn’t?

 

OLD MICHAEL

No. You see I was awaiting news of a result from my GP.

KATIE Were you ill then?

OLD MICHAEL

In a way yes. I always blamed myself for your mother not conceiving so I had tested myself, we both did in fact. But nothing showed in the results. But as one day I was visiting the doctor for a routine check-up, he told me that as he was going through my records he had doubts about the results. So he sends them again to be checked, he saw something that bothered him and he was right. He apologised for not telling me earlier but told me that the results showed Scrotum Hypoplasia coupled with some blockages in the seminal vessels. I telly I have never forgotten those words.

 

KATIE

And what?

 

OLD MICHAEL

I asked him to explain it to me in plain English. In other words, he said that my nuts were raisins. When I got angry he smiled a bit and told me not to shoot the messenger.

 

KATIE

Which left you with one conclusion.

 

OLD MICHAEL

That is right my dear Katie, I am not your father after all.

 

KATIE

So she was having an affair?

 

OLD MICHAEL

Unless she was like the Virgin Mary, then yes, no doubt about it.

 

KATIE Why, but why?

 

OLD MICHAEL

Why she began an affair? Why do moths go to the flame? Maybe she chased an adventure. Who knows, maybe I was not good enough for her in….you know what I mean..All I knew that I was betrayed and wasn’t going to accept it gracefully. I thought a lot of things to do. Anger and vengeance are two powerful emotions. But I controlled myself at the time for one good reason…

 

KATIE

And that is…

 

OLD MICHAEL

You, my dear Kate, you. I did not want any harm to come to the baby. I was thinking of the baby inside her. I wanted to kill her yes, but not yet. Because if I did I would have killed you too. You were blameless.

(He looks at her)

Look at you now How could I have destroyed that which was living. (Angry)

The only regret I have is that I never found who the bastard was.

 

KATIE

So you waited until the birth was over with?

 

OLD MICHAEL

Yes. I never told her the news the doctor told me, which in a way I’m to blame too. Maybe if I did tell her she would not have had the affair because if she was caught I would have known it wasn’t mine. Like I did now.

 

KATIE

In the meantime, you were plotting to kill her?

 

OLD MICHAEL

Yes, I was. When the time came. I couldn’t live with her in those circumstances and I couldn’t let her go to another man. I couldn’t. When the time came I held her hands. She was exhausted, after you were born I went out. Then after they cleaned her and the baby they called me in. The baby was beside her in a hospital cot. I sat beside her, I’m afraid I never looked at you. Your mother’s eyes very weary and hazy, she had hard labour. She lifted her head slightly and thanked me. I smiled and stroked her head. Maybe she thought it was mine after all. I think she believed that. She asked for a drink so I pour some orange juice in a glass and mixed it with some concentrated nicotine that I had with me. It was in a small tube so I could easily hide it. She drank and grimaced because the liquid had a bitter taste. After a while, she died peacefully.

 

(Katie stands up and takes back the chair., She enters immediately and sit on the edge of the chair and cuddles Michael as she puts her head on his should and whispers)

 

KATIE

What is done is done!

 

FADE OUT LIGHTS MUSIC

 

END