CUE: Lights up on full stage
(Empty stage save a podium stage left. On it is a script and a bottle of water.)
(Enter our NARRATOR. Lights will dim on the "main action" through the play, but lights will always remain up on the NARRATOR.)
NARRATOR: (addressing the audience) To begin this story with 'Once upon a time' would strip it of its validity and probability. People automatically associate those four words with fairy tales and children's nursery rhymes. And yet it is those same tales in which the general population stores its faith and puts its longing. Those fables are the ones everyone really wants to see happen in..."real life." It is for that reason that the tale I weave for you now begins with...
(reading from the script) Once upon a time, there was a girl of average importance. You might have graduated from high school with her or seen her walking her dog. She's not the particularly memorable type, but, as in such cases, one day, she met a young man who struck her fancy.
(enter BOY, holding two chairs. He puts them both down, sits on one and offers the other to the GIRL. She sits beside him.)
She found his sense of humor attractive.
(GIRL laughs…too loudly.)
He was attractive in the way only funny men can be. He asked her name.
BOY: Ah, like the color.
VIOLET: (chuckling) I never thought of it that way. I always thought of the flower.
NARRATOR: She wasn't the brightest bulb on the tree. Violet and this young man, whose name was Ben, got on rather well. They had some common interests and things progressed. As is the way in these stories, he fucked her silly.
(BEN looks at VIOLET as if to say, "Well?" She appears hesitant. He pats his lap in a friendly manner. She stands and straddles him while he's on the chair. He stands, she wraps her legs around his waist.)
NARRATOR: Violet decided this was love.
(moaning from VIOLET and BEN)
She had never been in love before,
(more moaning from VIOLET and BEN)
(waves hand broadly toward Violet and Ben)
--this was it.
(on "this," BEN leans VIOLET backward and she looks toward the audience screaming, "Jesus Christ!")
Despite Violet being in love, Ben was not. Another month passed and he told her so.
(BEN and VIOLET have returned to the chairs.)
BEN: I don't love you.
VIOLET: (staring blankly) I don't understand.
BEN: (looks around the room with his eyes only) Um…I don't love you.
(Her face scrunches up and BEN stares at her, thinking about how ugly she looks when she cries.)
NARRATOR: He stared at her, thinking about how ugly she looked when she cried. Devastated, she asked if they were still friends.
VIOLET: (sniffling) Are we still friends?
NARRATOR: At Ben's nod, Violet smiled through her tears. There was still hope.
CUE: Lights dim CS as sets are moved
NARRATOR: A year passed and another quickly on its heels. Things didn't change so much as shift and by the end of those years, Ben and Violet were together again.
CUE: Lights up on CS
(BEN and VIOLET are now on a sofa together, not so much holding hands, but VIOLET'S hand is draped over BEN'S.)
However, they weren't the same people. Ben did, in fact, love Violet. He was older and decided if there was any girl who would put up with all his shit…
(BEN shoots the NARRATOR a dirty look.)
It would be Violet. And Violet was nothing if not a little more shrewd about the situation. The pair had been through their ups and downs and Violet through her fair share of pain, but she finally had what she wanted and she was going to keep a tight grip.
NARRATOR: Early on in their relationship, Ben suggested that maybe it would be better if Violet screwed some other people. Without him.
BEN: (looking at Violet) More experience.
NARRATOR: He'd said. She told him:
VIOLET: There's not anyone else I want.
NARRATOR: Which was true…at the time.
But the idea dwelt in the back of her head, festering and waiting until she met Richard.
(Enter RICHARD, exit BEN. RICHARD takes his seat next to VIOLET.)
NARRATOR: They agreed on everything. They both preferred cold Chinese food.
RICHARD: Cold chicken mei fun.
VIOLET: Wonton soup.
RICHARD: (excitedly) Yes.
NARRATOR: They both disliked any variations of their first names.
VIOLET: (nods, laughing) I know! I hate that!
NARRATOR: They both hated beer.
(VIOLET covers up her face and groans, shuddering.)
Violet wanted him. But she had Ben and Richard was already taken. She tried not to think about it when they were together. So many times, she'd been close to saying something, close to reaching out to touch his face.
(VIOLET leans her forehead against RICHARD'S. They make eye contact. She moves back.)
But she resisted. She held firm. She loved Ben…didn't she?
CUE: Lights dim CS
(Exit VIOLET. RICHARD moves to the floor, his back against the couch.
CUE: Lights up CS on RICHARD.
(RICHARD stares forward. He's watching a movie.)
(A knock at his door.)
RICHARD: Come in!
(VIOLET enters SR.)
VIOLET: (smiling) Hello.
(She ruffles his hair on her way past the TV.)
Do you want anything?
NARRATOR: She yelled from the kitchen.
RICHARD: (stares forward, but yells to her direction) No, thanks.
(NARRATOR passes the bottled water to VIOLET. She returns to the couch.)
VIOLET: So, (sips water) where's Marie?
NARRATOR: The girlfriend.
RICHARD: (indifferent) Out doing chick stuff.
VIOLET: You're funny.
RICHARD: Why's that?
VIOLET: She's chick stuff. But I'm not.
RICHARD: That is weird, isn't it?
(She sits on the arm of the couch. RICHARD pats the space in front of his lap.)
RICHARD: Sit here.
(She does. RICHARD puts his chin on her shoulder and slides his arms around her midriff. VIOLET closes her eyes tightly.)
Hard to watch the movie like that.
VIOLET: (eyes snap open) Yeah, sorry. I'm just tired.
(She turns her head to face him and their lips just barely meet. It's only a fraction of a second, but the damage is done.)
VIOLET: (a whisper) Richard. We can't.
RICHARD: We can…we just shouldn't.
(She tries to fight him off with just her gaze.)
Tell me you don't want to and we won't.
VIOLET: I can't even if I want to. I love Ben.