WHAT IF?
A Play In One Act

Scene: A police interrogation room. It is bare, there are four chairs Ė two on each side of a table. There is a tape machine on top of the table, and a black telephone. Nothing else.

A man of forty something is sitting in the far chair; he is well dressed, suit and tie. The man sitting next to him is his attorney. He too is smartly dressed; he has a briefcase by his side. The other two chairs are empty.

Second man: ARE YOU SURE YOU CAN HANDLE THIS FROM HERE?

First man: LOOK, THEYíVE GIVEN IT THEIR BEST SHOT, THEY HAVE NOTHING. ALL I CAN DO IS REPEAT WHAT IíVE TOLD THEM SO FAR, WHICH IS PRECISELY NOTHING BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING TO TELL.

Second man: IF YOU SAY SO.

First man: WHAT DO YOU MEAN IF YOU SAY SO, DO YOU BELIEVE ME OR DONíT YOU? BECAUSE IF YOU DONíT IíLL FIND ANOTHER...

Second man: (Interrupting) HEY, HEY, CALM DOWN, LISTEN, OF COURSE I DO. IíVE SEEN THIS SORT OF THING BEFORE, SOME WOMEN ARE JUST TOXIC, ESPECIALLY YOUNG ONES, THATíS WHY I DONíT HAVE ANY IN MY OFFICE.

First man: (Calming down) OKAY.

Second man: SHE COMES INTO CONTACT WITH A MAN SHE SEES AS A FATHER FIGURE, A MAN LIKE YOURSELF, NOT JUST OLD ENOUGH TO BE HER FATHER BUT POWERFUL, CHARISMATIC, HANDSOME...

First man: (Interrupting again) OKAY, IíM CONVINCED, CERTAINLY ABOUT THE HANDSOME PART.

(They both laugh. At this point the door opens and a man walks in; he is wearing suit trousers and a white shirt with tie. The second man stands up).

Third man: OKAY, DID YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO TALK?

Second man: WE HAVE, AND MY CLIENT HAS NO PROBLEM WITH MY LEAVING.

Third man: (Looking surprised) OKAY, WELL, JUST SO YOU UNDERSTAND, YOUR CLIENT IS NOT UNDER ARREST, AND IS FREE TO LEAVE AT ANY TIME.

Second man: He understands. (Turning to the first man) GOOD LUCK.

First man: I DONíT NEED LUCK.

Second man: OF COURSE. IíLL GIVE YOUR REGARDS TO MARGARET.

(The second man leaves and the third man fiddles with the tape recorder).

Third man: WHAT DO I CALL YOU, MR ER...

First man: BILL.

Third man: YOU SURE?

First man: SURE IíM SURE.

Third man: MY COLLEAGUE HAS BEEN CALLED AWAY ON AN EMERGENCY BUT HE HAS BRIEFED ME THOROUGHLY. YOUíRE SURE YOUíRE HAPPY TO CONTINUE?

First man: DEAD SURE.

Third man: OKAY, FULL DISCLOSURE, CARDS ON THE TABLE, THIS YOUNG LADY HAS MADE SOME VERY SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST YOU, BILL, SHE SAYS THAT 18 MONTHS AGO WHEN SHE WAS WORKING IN YOUR OFFICE DOING WORK EXPERIENCE THAT YOU...(he pauses).

First man: THAT I WHAT, THAT I TOUCHED HER BREAST? THAT IS NOT TRUE.

Third man: IíM AFRAID SHE GOES A LOT FURTHER THAN THAT.

First man: WHAT?

Third man: SHE CLAIMS THAT ON TWO OCCASIONS YOU FORCED HER TO HAVE ORAL SEX.

First man: SHE WHAT?! (Clearly outraged).

Third man: YOUíRE SAYING THAT IS NOT TRUE?

First man: TOTALLY UNTRUE, I WAS NEVER ALONE WITH HER, NOT FOR MORE THAN A MINUTE OR TWO.

Third man: SHE SAYS ON ONE OCCASION YOU FOLLOWED HER INTO THE STOCK ROOM, GRASPED HER AROUND THE THROAT AND FORCED HER TO PERFORM FELLATIO ON YOU.

First man: (Incredulous) THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE, IT JUST ISNíT TRUE, ITíS A LIE, A GROTESQUE LIE.

(There is a knock on the door, and the third man turns to it, shouting).

Third man: NOT NOW!

(A fourth man walks in, he is dressed similarly to his colleague).

Third man: I SAID NOT NOW, GRAHAM.

Fourth man: THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Third man: IT WILL HAVE TO WAIT.

Fourth man: (Raising his voice) IT CANíT WAIT!

(He gestures violently. The third man stands up, apologising as he turns off the tape recorder).

Third man: IíM SORRY ABOUT THIS.

First man: THATíS ALL RIGHT.

(The two police officers leave the room, and the door closes behind them. There are heated exchanges, the first man strains his ear but to no avail. After about a minute of silence, the door opens and the third man enters, he is holding an opaque evidence bag. He sits down and turns on the tape recorder).

Third man: SORRY ABOUT THAT.

First man: THATíS OKAY.

Third man: MAYBE NOT. THERE HAS BEEN A DEVELOPMENT.

(The first man shrugs his shoulders).

Third man: OKAY BILL, IíM GONNA CUT YOU SOME SLACK, YOU HAD SEX WITH THIS BITCH, RIGHT?

First man: NO.

Third man: SHE LED YOU ON, BUT YOU HAD SEX WITH HER.

First man: NO.

Third man: I CAN UNDERSTAND YOU WANTING TO DENY IT, YOUíRE A MARRIED MAN, BUT THIS IS SERIOUS. SHE CAME ON TO YOU, YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID NO BUT YOU DIDNíT.

First man: THAT IS NOT HOW IT HAPPENED BECAUSE NOTHING HAPPENED.

Third man: YOU HAD SEX WITH HER.

First man: NO.

Third man: INCLUDING ORAL SEX.

First man: NO!

Third man: YOU FUCKED THE BITCH IN YOUR OFFICE.

First man: (Standing up and pointing his finger) I WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO ME. IíM GONNA SAY THIS AGAIN. I DID NOT HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN. THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE FALSE.

Third man: (Shaking his head) OKAY, THATíS ALL. SIT DOWN, BILL. (Raising his voice) GRAHAM!

(The door opens, and the fourth man enters. The two men look at each other).

Third man: (Standing up and turning off the tape recorder). OKAY BILL, LETíS GO.

First man: ITíS OVER?

Fourth man: NOT QUITE, YOU HAVE TO BE ARRAIGNED FIRST, THEN THEYíLL HAVE TO BE A BOND HEARING.

First man: (Raising his voice) BOND HEARING, BUT...

Third man: (Holding up the evidence bag). DO YOU KNOW WHATíS IN HERE, BILL?

First man: NO.

Fourth man: ITíS HER DRESS, AND IT HAS SEMEN ON IT.

Third man: YOUR SEMEN.

Fourth man: HOW COULD THAT BE IF YOUíD NEVER HAD SEX WITH THAT WOMAN, BILL?

First man: (Looking shocked) I, I...

Third man: DONíT SAY ANOTHER WORD UNTIL YOUíVE SEEN YOUR LAWYER, RIGHT BILL?

First man: I...

Third man: RIGHT BILL?

First man: RIGHT.

Third man: (To fourth man) YOU GO ON AHEAD, WEíLL BE WITH YOU IN A MINUTE.

Fourth man: YOU SURE?

Third man: YES GRAHAM, IíM SURE.

(The door closes behind the fourth man).

Third man: I GAVE YOU EVERY CHANCE, BILL. YOU CANíT SAY I DIDNíT GIVE YOU EVERY CHANCE.

First man: I KNOW.

Third man: HECK, I EVEN VOTED REPUBLICAN. (He picks up the phone and dials). HELLO, RIGHT, IíM BRINGING HIM THROUGH, MAKE SURE THE PRESS DONíT HEAR FOR NOW. YES, HE DOES HAVE A MIDDLE NAME. JEFFERSON. WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON. (He puts the phone down). OKAY MR PRESIDENT, LETíS GO.


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