Step 9 – Love Does Mean Having To Say You’re Sorry

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

Love Does Mean Having To Say You're Sorry
by John K (NY)

The setting is a coffee shop in Chelsea. Two young men are seated at a table, DAVE and ROBERT. Neither speaks as the lights come up. Dave finishes a
cup of coffee while Robert fiddles with his silverware.

DAVE: I think I'll get another cup of coffee.
ROBERT: You've had three already.
DAVE: Have I?
ROBERT: Alright, Dave. Enough already.
DAVE: You're right, I've had enough. No more coffee.
ROBERT: No, enough period. You send me a letter in the mail after two years of no contact at all. Then you call me and ask to meet for dinner at a well-lit coffee shop which, as you put it, "has no past meaning for us." 
DAVE: It doesn't have any meaning for us, does it?
ROBERT: No, none at all. It's perfectly meaningless, just like this entire evening has been.
DAVE: Oh God, you're upset. I've done it, "except when to do so would injure them or others." Or in this case it's just you I'm injuring.
ROBERT: What? Look, Dave. We've had dinner. We've discussed all the secret messages and plot devices of the X-Files movie. And you've obviously had enough coffee. So unless you want dessert I'd say this mysterious meeting is finished.
DAVE: No, not yet.
ROBERT: You want dessert?
DAVE: No, I want to say I'm sorry.
DAVE: Rob, when we were together I was pretty selfish and I didn't appreciate all the good things we shared. I took our life together for granted. I took you for granted, Rob. The affair was the last straw for you, I know.
ROBERT: Damn right it was.
DAVE: And I'm sorry. I know I hurt you and I never meant to. I was just so wrapped up in my own stuff, my own mess. Maybe I wasn't ready for a relationship at that time, I don't know. But I do know that I hurt a bunch of people in my crazy days. I've made a list of those people and you're at the top of that list. So I wanted to see you tonight just to say I'm sorry.
ROBERT: Are you expecting me to say you're forgiven and everything's okay?
DAVE: No, I just wanted you to give me the chance to say I'm sorry, and you did that. Thanks. But if you want to forgive me….
ROBERT: It'll take more than an "I'm sorry" and a cheap meal at a coffee shop.
DAVE: I know.
ROBERT: But it is a start.
DAVE: Really?
ROBERT: For two years I've been angry because I never heard you say those very words, "I'm sorry." You had the affair, I said we were finished, you said fine, and our life together ended just like that.
DAVE Yea, I remember.
ROBERT: You have no idea how long I've needed to hear you say just that…Just a simple "I'm sorry."
DAVE: I am, Rob.
ROBERT: I believe you. So what now?
DAVE: I don't know. Dessert maybe?
ROBERT: Dessert would be nice.
DAVE: God, Ali McGraw had it all wrong.
DAVE: She's dying of leukemia and she turns to Ryan O'Neal and says "love means never having to say you're sorry."
ROBERT: Not Love Story again, please.
DAVE: I thought that was the sweetest line, until now. It's not a sweet line, it's stupid, it's wrong. No, sometimes love does mean having to say you're sorry.