The next morning at the Davidson mansion. Ella arrives carrying luggage. She enters the living room and looks around, and when she doesn’t see anyone she calls out to get attention.
ELLA: Where is the maid, argh! Hello! Hello!
Lucille enters the room dressed in a gown.
LUCILLE: Ella? What are you doing here?
They hug awkwardly.
ELLA: Morning, sis. I came as soon as I heard. How are you feeling? Kgosi told me you have only six months left. That’s awful. Don’t worry; I didn’t say anything to Dad. I just want you to know I’m here for you, okay? I also heard Clayton is back from rehab. Argh that boy and his drug habit. How is he doing?
LUCILLE: Clayton is just fine. Ella, I need to be alone with my immediate family right now. Can you not see how you being here would–
ELLA: (Interrupting her, shouting.) Stop talking to me like I’m a child! (Her tone softens as she pulls Lucille into a hug.) Lucille, I’m family and I love you. I’m not going anywhere. I want to be here to help take care of you.
LUCILLE: Hmmm. How about you tell me exactly what you’re really doing here?
ELLA: Must you always think the worst of me? Can’t I just be here to see my sister? One would think that we’re enemies, and not siblings.
LUCILLE: I wouldn’t say we have a conventional sibling relationship.
ELLA: And whose fault is that? If you hadn’t worked so hard to alienate your entire family maybe you and I would have some sort of relationship. Look, honestly I don’t want to fight with you, so please let me do my job as your sister and take care of you.
LUCILLE: Fine. You can stay.
ELLA: (Jumping up and down girlishly, with joy.) Yay! This is fantastic. I brought bath salts and all sorts of pampering goodies. I will get everything set up and then we can have a lovely girl’s night later. (Kissing her cheek.) I am so happy you’re letting me stay.
Ella leaves the room, humming happily to herself. Lucille sits down and takes a moment to process what just happened. Tebogo and Clayton enter, obviously coming from the gym.
TEBOGO: (Walking over and sitting next to his mom. Kisses her on the cheek) Hey Mom.
CLAYTON: (Rolling his eyes, and taking a seat on the couch across from them) Tebogo you are such a mama’s boy. (Smiling at his mother) Hello Mom.
LUCILLE: My beautiful boys. (Taking Tebogo’s hand in hers) Good morning. (Takes a deep breath.) Listen, I have something to tell you both. First of all I need you both to know that I love you. (Pause) For a very long time I have been unhappy. Your father and I tried to work through it for your sake, but every day that goes by feels like all my attempts are in vain. I’ve decided to file for divorce.
CLAYTON: What? No! I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry if my drug addiction added pressure to your marriage. Oh my god. This is all my fault! (Stands up and starts pacing while talking to himself) I am sure I can fix this. It’s my fault and I can fix it. (Fidgeting with his sweater.) I need to do something. I have to … I must fix it …
TEBOGO: (Confused) Clay, it’s not your fault. Please, calm down.
CLAYTON: It is my fault. (Looking around the room anxiously) Nothing I do is ever good enough for anyone. I tried. I tried my entire life to make all of you proud of me. I know I’ve disappointed you all, but I know I can change. (Yelling.) I mean, after all, I am the first born of the great Kgosi Mojanaga and Lucille Davidson. The whole drug addiction situation last year, then being diagnosed with bipolar triggered by the drugs …
Clayton gets up abruptly, pushes the vase off the dining room table, then screams, falling to his knees crying.
LUCILLE: (Anxiously) Tebogo, would you go get your brother’s medication quickly. And bring something to clean up this mess. (Tebogo rushes out. Lucille walks over to her son.) Clayton sweetheart, I love you, and everything that happened last year is forgiven and forgotten. (Hugging him) I wouldn’t change a hair on your head. You are perfect just the way you are.
CLAYTON: (Calming down) Thank you Mom. You have no idea how much that means to me.
LUCILLE: Now promise me you will stay on your meds. Bipolar is a serious illness baby, and I am not losing my son to some sickness. (Holding him at arm’s length) Okay? (Clayton nods in agreement.)
Thandi comes running in with a newspaper, interrupting them.
THANDI: Ma’am, you need to see this! Oh my God, what happened here?
Thandi passes the newspaper to Lucille who reads it quickly then passes the paper to Clayton to read. As they stand there in shock, Tebogo walks in and they all look up and stare at him. Thandi grabs the broom in his hand and begins cleaning up the broken glass.
TEBOGO: Uhm … I’m not sure which bottle you wanted so I brought them all. (Noticing that they are all looking at him as he gives Clayton his pills) What’s going on?
LUCILLE: Thandi, please give us a moment (Thandi leaves reluctantly, looking over her shoulder. Lucille shouts.) Kgosi! Get in here now!
Fixing his tie, Kgosi rushes in.
KGOSI: What is it, Lucille? And what have I told you about summoning me? I’m not your child.
Lucille grabs the paper from Clayton and gives it to Kgosi. Kgosi reads the headline then gives Lucille an annoyed look.
KGOSI: Honestly! You summoned me so I could read another story about our family in the newspaper, like it’s something new in my world? (Then reads aloud.) ‘An anonymous tweet was published yesterday that claims that’ – oh my God – ‘Tebogo Mojanaga isn’t Lucille’s biological son. The tweet reads: “The Davidson-Mojanagas have closet skeletons Kgosi would rather bury. Like that he cheated on his wife and brought home a baby boy. But all secrets come out. #YouCanOnlyHideFromTheTruthForSoLong.’ Who has done this!?
TEBOGO: (Shocked and upset, looking at Lucille) Is this true? You are not my mother?
LUCILLE: Listen Tebogo honey, it’s a lot more complicated than that. (Turning to Kgosi) Kgosi how about you clean up your own mess for once. Tell him the truth.
KGOSI: That wasn’t part of the plan. Why are you throwing me under the bus we both agreed tha–
CLAYTON: (Interrupting) Could you both stop just for a moment!? Tebogo deserves to know the truth, so one of you has to tell him.
TEBOGO: (Sarcastically) Or maybe … (Shrugs) I don’t know. All of you could stop pretending I’m not standing right here.
LUCILLE: (Walking over to Tebogo and taking both his hands.) Tebogo, I’m not your biological mother. Your father had an affair and you were conceived. Your mother died after giving birth to you. I raised you as my own. This doesn’t change anything, okay? I will always love you. You are my son.
TEBOGO: Apparently I’m not, and you have been lying to me all this time. And I’m the last one to know. Someone out there sure knew it! How could you keep this from me? Clayton is right. You and Dad only care about yourselves.
CLAYTON: I think they were just trying to protect you, Tebogo.
KGOSI: Tebogo, we couldn’t let this come out. At the time the company was just starting out we couldn’t risk … uhm what I’m trying to say is we were protecting the family name, and you. We didn’t want you to be known as my … bastard child.
TEBOGO: (Angry) Figures! You kept this a secret to protect your precious company. Well I don’t want anything to do with it. I want out … (He turns to leave then stops, turning to face his brother) You know Clay, I thought you had my back, but it seems you don’t care about truth. How could you all do this to me? Liars! (Storms out)
CLAYTON: I don’t know what the two of you are going to do, but you better do it fast. I am not losing my brother over this. (He leaves.)
Lucille gives Kgosi a disgusted look and leaves the room without a word. Kgosi stands there dazed, staring at the paper. Thandi enters quickly and walks over to Kgosi.
THANDI: Kgosi, sir, what are we going to do now that Tebogo knows? I mean … can I speak to him about what happened? I just want to– (Kgosi holds up his hand to silence her.)
KGOSI: Listen here, you are lucky that I still let you see my son. Nothing has changed. Tebogo can never know the truth, so back off. I have to go to work. (Kgosi exits, leaving Thandi there alone. Ella walks in and pulls Thandi into an embrace.)
ELLA: You poor thing. Kgosi can be so cruel! Keeping secrets can be such a burden, you know. Although I think I can help you, if you tell me what you are hiding.
THANDI: No ma’am, I can’t … Mr Mojanaga would not approve. He says I should not tell anyone.
ELLA: Thandi darling, his bark is worse than his bite. And also, how long will you just let him dictate your life? Sooner or later you will have to stand up for yourself. And I can help if you want.
THANDI: I really appreciate you trying to help me. But Kgosi is a difficult man and he will never let me get away with even attempting to stand up to him. I really have to get back to work now. Excuse me. (Leaves quickly)
ELLA: (Talking to herself) I think you have hit the jackpot Ella! All you need to do now is find out what Kgosi is hiding. (Taking her phone out of her bag she makes a call.) Hello. Listen, I may be able to acquire information that could bury Kgosi, leaving Davidson Media free and clear for us to take over. (She exits while still talking on the phone.)
Tell us: Should Tebogo just accept that he is like a formally adopted child, loved by his mother?