The FATHER walks up to a house in a Dublin estate and knocks on the door. The CHILD runs to the window as RACHEL comes to the door.
CHILD: Daddy’s here
RACHEL: Go inside (to boy)
FATHER: Hiya Rachel
RACHEL: Stay at the gate, I’m not opening the patio door until you back up to the path
FATHER: That better?
RACHEL: Just about
FATHER: You’re treating me like I have it
RACHEL: You probably do
FATHER: I got tested, they only release you if you’ve tested negative
RACHEL: You’re not meant to be out for another 4 months
FATHER: Out on temporary release ‘cause of the virus, they probably won’t bother putting me back in
RACHEL: You’ll probably get yourself arrested again soon enough
FATHER: Never again, I’ve changed
RACHEL: I’ve heard that before
FATHER: It’s not for you I’m saying it, it’s for him
RACHEL: What are you doing here?
FATHER: It’s Friday
FATHER: I want my boy
RACHEL: Not a chance
FATHER: You can’t just change the arrangement?
RACHEL: I haven’t, the government has
FATHER: But I get him at weekends, that’s the deal
RACHEL: You got yourself arrested
FATHER: That doesn’t change the arrangement
RACHEL: It’s not safe
FATHER: Hold on, I’d never hurt my son and you know that
RACHEL: I meant it’s not safe him moving between houses
FATHER: He’ll only be coming to mine
RACHEL: Till this is thing blows over he stays with me
FATHER: But sure nobody knows when that will be
RACHEL: It’ll be gone by the end of the summer
FATHER: A whole summer?
RACHEL: At the very least by Christmas
FATHER: That’s a lifetime of memories at his age, be reasonable Rachel
RACHEL: I’m doing what’s best for him
FATHER: Not having his daddy around is what’s best for him? I’m coming in
RACHEL: I’ll call the guards
FATHER: What? You won’t let me see my boy, I’m the one who should be calling the guards!
RACHEL: Go ahead, I’m sure they’d like to know how come you’re all the way out here, what eight? ten? kilometres from home
FATHER: To get my boy!
RACHEL: Still you’re breaking the rules
The CHILD runs out to his mother at the patio door
FATHER: Hiya little man, Rachel let me see him, please
RACHEL: You can’t go out to him son
CHILD: Does daddy have the virus?
RACHEL: He might do
FATHER: Don’t be telling him bloody lies
RACHEL: You might is all I said, how am I to know?
Another man, her new BOYFRIEND, appears briefly at the door
BOYFRIEND: Come in little man
FATHER: Who’s that?
FATHER: A nobody who just called after my son!
RACHEL: He’s not a nobody
FATHER: And you’re lecturing me about breaking the rules!
RACHEL: He’s not breaking any rules
FATHER: You can’t have visitors
RACHEL: He’s not a visitor
FATHER: Then what the hell is he?
RACHEL: He’s living here
FATHER: He’s what!? You have some stranger in there raising my son!
RACHEL: You think we have the time for you to get your act together?
FATHER: No, this isn’t happening, I’m taking my boy, open this thing up!
We hear police sirens coming closer in the distance as he goes up to the patio door, starts to bang on it and tries to force the door open.
RACHEL: And we’re going back to the courts for full custody once this all blows over
FATHER: Not a chance!
RACHEL: It’s all too upsetting for him
FATHER: I won’t allow it
RACHEL: He has a stable home here
FATHER: He needs his daddy
RACHEL: He has a man around the house now, a man who won’t find himself in jail
FATHER: But he’s my son!
We hear the police car screech up as he continues to bang on the patio door. His son stares out at him.
FATHER: Did that dopey bastard ring the guards on me!
GARDA: Only out a wet minute and you’re already giving us hassle
FATHER: I just want to see my son!
GARDA: They should never have let the likes of you out
The FATHER is dragged away and put in the garda car as the CHILD looks on, crying.
Eoin Sheridan, Primary School teacher and wannabe writer.