Story Time #2: Inspired By Shakespeare

“Things base and vile, holding no quantity, 

Love can transpose to form and dignity: 

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, 

And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.” 

–Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1.1

“’Suffer love’—a good epithet! I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will.” –Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5, Scene 2

Setting: Home of a Boy and a Girl. It looks like the typical college apartment. Plenty of electronics. Shelves and shelves of books. Mismatched but super comfortable furniture.  

 

There is a couch down front, facing the “tv.” (There is no tv. We, the audience, we are the tv) On this couch sit the GIRL and HER FRIEND. They are dressed to kill, but they look bored as they gaze at the television. They are waiting. And while they are waiting, they are pre-gaming Cosmos. 

HER FRIEND: I don’t think he forgot. I mean, you don’t really think he forgot, do you?

GIRL: (gives HER FRIEND the *side eye*) I absolutely do. I’m sure of it. One hundred percent positive.

HER FRIEND: (looks at GIRL sadly, feeling sorry for her)

GIRL: What?

HER FRIEND: Your boyfriend forgot Valentine’s Day.

GIRL: (sighs heavily) It’s not so much that he forgot. It’s more like he just didn’t remember. I mean, isn’t it better that he did forget? If he didn’t, then I would be stuck celebrating a Hallmark holiday with a forced dinner, too-expensive flowers and chocolate that my significant other feels obligated to waste too damn much money on, and not about to be on my way to a Justin Timberlake concert with you.

HER FRIEND: So you’re not upset if he did, in fact, forget to make plans for you on Valentine’s Day?

GIRL: (shakes head emphatically) Not at all. We love each other Every Day. I know how he feels about me. And I know how he feels about basketball. (laughs) He knows how I feel about him, and how I’ve felt about Justin Timberlake since junior high. Even though I don’t paint my face two different colors that smears into one murky, beer-smelling mess at the end of the night.

HER FRIEND: But you didn’t tell him you had plans tonight?

GIRL: (bites lip) I was just hoping it wouldn’t even come up. I mean, I’m not normally off work on Friday nights and he hasn’t noticed that I’m here, dressed up, my boobs on display. All I know is his favorite pro team is in town playing the home team and he is ridiculously excited about it. I’m not about to poke a hole in his happiness simply because of a date on a calendar that society tells us we must celebrate if we are part of a couple.

HER FRIEND: (knowingly) You didn’t want to poke a hole in your own happiness, either, I’m sure.

GIRL: Well…I don’t know. If he wanted to do something and he told me ahead of time I would maybe make arrangements to celebrate on another day, or if he had his heart set on today, I would absolutely give this ticket up. Or cage fight you for yours.

HER FRIEND: That would be a bloody fight, I promise you.

GIRL: Yeah, well, fortunately for me, this isn’t something I have to worry about. I love him, I do. I always have. Even when he’s an ass or when he smells or when he shuts up. He saves his words for his work. He lets his actions speak for him. He’s my best friend. I understand him better than he understands himself sometimes. Other times I fail him, horribly. We fail each other and even occasionally disappoint one another, but it doesn’t matter. We know how to make it up to one another.

(Brief pause)

HER FRIEND: Gross.

GIRL: Get your mind out of the gutter.

There is a commotion offstage in the bedroom USL of the couch. Suddenly the door opens and the BOY and HIS FRIEND come bursting out, dressed in home team colors with their faces painted. 

BOY: (Cheers) Woooooo! Headed to the game, babe. I’ll be in late. (Kisses her on the cheek) Love you.

BOY and HIS FRIEND breeze out the door as GIRL replies pointedly, her eyes on HER FRIEND.

GIRL: Love you, too.

When the door was closed behind them, GIRL turns to HER FRIEND. 

GIRL: I told you. Now, if you need to go to the bathroom or check your makeup, now’s the time, because we have ourselves a date with a hot ass man in a fine suit.

They quickly get their things together, bundling up for the freezing temperatures outside, and head out the door. About a half hour later the doorbell rings. And rings. And rings. Finally the door opens. In walks the BOY, who is now free of paint and dressed in a suit, carrying a beautiful bouquet of anything that isn’t roses because he knows his baby isn’t fond of roses. 

BOY: Babe, are you here? Babe? (he goes room to room calling for her) Babe?

The Boy comes back into the living room and checks his phone. There are no messages from her. He looks around in consternation, reaching into his pocket and pulling out two concert tickets, which he places on the coffeetable in front of the sofa before shucking his jacket and lying back on the sofa to wait for her. 

Lights out. The End.

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