TARIQ & SARAH

Tariq Iqbal is a 15- year old Rochdale schoolboy. His father has left his mother for a white English woman. He has formed a new family and abandoned his first one.

This leaves Tariq and his sister Naveed confused and disturbed. Tariq falls in love with his 34- year old schoolteacher Sarah Michaels. She is bemused but is aware that boyish infatuation is a phase. 

Tariq becomes aware that Naveed is selling sex for financial independence. Sarah tries to help her former pupil but Naveed is also emotionally damaged by her father’s behaviour.  Brother and sister search for an answer to their distress.  Tariq becomes obsessed with Sarah. Sarah appears to be in control of her work and emotional life but Tariq touches her vulnerable situation as a woman escaping a broken marriage. She and Tariq become lovers.  However, Tariq  has a rival for Sarah’s affections. This is his classmate Johnny Gisenga, son of Zairean refugees and evangelical Christians.   Johnny, and his parents risk deportation under the government’s crack-down on illegal immigrants.  In the Pentecostal Church, Johnny declares his love of Sarah to his congregation. He reveals the affair between Sarah and Tariq. Sarah is dismissed from her job and leaves Rochdale for Manchester.

Five years later, Tariq and Johnny have become taxi drivers in Manchester. Still obsessed with Sarah, Tariq approaches her and tells her he wants her. Sarah rejects him. He becomes confused and violent. Naveed has returned to Islam and Tariq decides that the only way he can become the man of the house is to marry his cousin. In this way he believes that he can prove to be a good example of manhood and family responsibility. He wants to be the man his father is not. 

TARIQ IQBAL a l5 year old boy of Pakistani heritage

‘JOHNNY’ GISENGA a l5 year old from Zaire

The setting is Rochdale, today.

SCENE TWO – OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL

TARIQ

Look at her.

JOHNNY

Zimbabwean twat. All that toffing high school stuff, government minister’s daughter. If it’s so good there why she come to our school.

TARIQ

You think Miss’ll come out soon?

JOHNNY

No.

TARIQ

Walk behind her. See her arse. (Beat.) That bet.

JOHNNY

Yeh.

TARIQ

Dating Miss. What’s it worth?

(Johnny takes out a wallet with credit cards in it.)

TARIQ

Bloody hell. Where you get them?

JOHNNY

Found them.

TARIQ

And I’m Prince William.

JOHNNY

I swear it.

TARIQ

Shit shit shit. What I couldn’t do with those.

JOHNNY

I should give them.

TARIQ

What?

JOHNNY

Police.

TARIQ

You nicked them.

JOHNNY

Found them on the floor in the Town Hall. 

TARIQ

What you doing there?

JOHNNY

Like the building don’t I. Stained glass windows. Kind of church. 

TARIQ

You shitting me.

JOHNNY

Not my church. That’s plain.

TARIQ

You! In the Town Hall!

JOHNNY

It’s England.

TARIQ

Course it’s fucking England.

JOHNNY

I mean not like out on the street. It’s real England. White men. In suits.

TARIQ

Them cards.

JOHNNY

What about them?

TARIQ

Give them to me.

JOHNNY

Oh yes?

TARIQ

You can’t take them to the police.

JOHNNY

Why not?

TARIQ

They’ll send you back.

JOHNNY

No they won’t.

TARIQ

Illegals innit?

JOHNNY

Not illegal.

TARIQ

What then.

JOHNNY

We’re waiting to hear innit.

TARIQ

Seventy thirty.

JOHNNY

That’s generous.

TARIQ

Seventy to me that is.

JOHNNY

Not a chance.

TARIQ

What then?

JOHNNY

This deal.

TARIQ

Get on.

JOHNNY

Whoever gets a date with Miss, well he gets the cards.

TARIQ

Why would you give them to me. You could just sell them and ignore this conversation.

JOHNNY

Who to? I don’t know anyone who does that.

TARIQ

I know lots of guys.

JOHNNY

But I don’t.

TARIQ

That’s why you need me. Seventy thirty. I give you the networks you give me the cards. (Beat.) You scared I’ll win. She likes me more than she likes you.

JOHNNY

Oh yeh?

TARIQ

Looking at me innit.

JOHNNY

Looking at all of us. That’s her job you Paki twat.

TARIQ

Zimbabwe, Zambezi coon.

JOHNNY

Zairian coon.

TARIQ

She wouldn’t go with a black man.

JOHNNY

You think that?

TARIQ

She’s white. You is black.

JOHNNY

She’s not prejudiced. 

TARIQ

How you know that?

JOHNNY

All that revolution stuff she goes on about.

TARIQ

That’s just talk. When it comes to doing it.

JOHNNY

I’m not talking about porking her. Just a date. That’s the deal.

TARIQ

Don’t you want to?

JOHNNY

I dream about it.

TARIQ

Well then.

JOHNNY

I dream. But I don’t think I can do it. Not before marriage. It’s not right.

TARIQ

Too much Jesus that’s your problem. And anyway wasn’t he porking around?

JOHNNY

I’d have to marry her.

TARIQ

What for a date?

JOHNNY

Cretin. For sex. That’s the way I am.

TARIQ

You in love with her?

JOHNNY

Love’s for girls innit.

TARIQ

A love marriage. You and her! Someone roast your brain?

JOHNNY

There’s something about the way she dresses.

(Pause.)

The deal.

TARIQ

Yeh.

JOHNNY

OK?

(Johnny holds up the cards in one hand. Tariq puts his palm against them to seal the deal.)