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.
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.