Heartfelt Rejection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A look into the miscommunication of love in the modern age.

Submitted: November 05, 2015

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Submitted: November 05, 2015

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Heart-Felt Rejection
Will Cabrera

 

CHARACTERS

TRAVIS: is a good-looking young man, dressed well. He is clean-shaven, with well-kept hair.

REBECCA: is a young, ordinary girl. She is dressed in business attire, with her hair tied back in a ponytail.

 

SETTING

Apartment living room.

 

TIME

One late afternoon in the fall.

 

 

 

AT RISE: (There is a couch set CS, with a small coffee table set DS of it. There are sports magazines strewn about, with feminine magazines stacked neatly on the table. There is an archway SR that leads to the kitchen and the rest of the apartment. To SL is the front door. Travis enters from the kitchen, with two candles. He sets them on the table and lights them. Rebecca  enters carrying an attaché  case in the other. She is struggling with her key at the door.)

 

REBECCA
(Loudly.)
Travis? Travis, are you home? Could you help me—

TRAVIS
I’m right here. Wait, don’t come in, don’t come in! Turn around, don’t look inside; did you look inside?
(He turns her around.)
Close your eyes. I have a surprise for you.

REBECCA
Can you get the key out of the—
(Beat.)
Seriously? Is this really—

TRAVIS
No, just leave it there. I need you to—

REBECCA
Travis, I told you to fix the lock, I don’t know how many times.

TRAVIS
Just turn around and close your eyes, please.

REBECCA
Fine. This had better be good.
(She turns around, eyes closed.)

(He produces a small jewelry box, and kneels in front of her, holding her hand.)

TRAVIS
Now, I know I probably should’ve done this a long time ago, and I shouldn’t have— You can open your eyes by the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is— Well, you know what I mean, or rather— I guess what I’m trying to tell you is— I mean, will you— Would you do me—

REBECCA
If you’re trying to ask me to marry you, the answer is no.

TRAVIS
I am, I mean, I— What!

REBECCA
Is that what you were trying to ask me?

 

TRAVIS
(Stands.)
Yes, but I don’t—

REBECCA
Then, the answer is no.
(She goes back to trying to pull the key out of the lock.)

TRAVIS
Why not?

REBECCA
Because you don’t mean it, Travis.

TRAVIS
I bought a ring, I think that kind of solidifies the whole—

REBECCA
Travis.

TRAVIS
Rebecca.

REBECCA
Marriage is a serious thing, a sacred event, and you have to really want to go through with it, you know?

TRAVIS
(He pulls the keys free.)
Becky, I want to be with you more than—

REBECCA
Like, why is it you can remember Jermaine Wade’s highest goals—

TRAVIS
Who’s Jermaine—
(Beat.)
It’s Dwyane.

REBECCA
Excuse me?

 

TRAVIS
Dwyane Wade. That’s the man’s name. He averages at least twenty points a game, he’s one of the best players out there.
(Bounces excitedly.)
It’s going to be an amazing season, babe.
(Whispers.)
Playoffs!

REBECCA
You see!

TRAVIS
What? What did I do?

REBECCA
You know more about him than you do about me.

TRAVIS
Come on, that’s not true.

REBECCA
Really? When’s my birthday?

TRAVIS
February, the twenty-third.

REBECCA
November nineteenth, actually.

TRAVIS
I was pretty close.

REBECCA
Yes, you were only four days off, and in the entirely wrong time of the year.
(Beat.)
Now do you see why I don’t think we should—

TRAVIS
I don’t think you understand how February and November are both pretty chilly, you know.

REBECCA
Not in Florida!

 

TRAVIS
Granted. Okay, fine, so it’s November nineteen, I got it; but it makes me wonder if you know mine.

REBECCA
The fifth of June, you were born slightly premature, three weeks ahead of schedule at about two-forty in the afternoon. Your mother told me she was in labor for almost—

TRAVIS
Okay, okay! You see, that’s not really fair, though, you talk to my mother about, I don’t know, whatever girls talk about. Hair, shoes and hygiene I imagine. I can’t talk to your mother, especially not about any of that.

REBECCA
Have you ever tried, like really tried, Travis?

TRAVIS
No, but I’m not in a relationship with her, I’m interested in you. I want to know about you.

REBECCA
Really?
(Beat.)
I don’t know, I just don’t think you’re putting in as much as I am.

TRAVIS
Are you serious? I cook for you and I clean up the apartment sometimes.

REBECCA
You don’t cook, love, you burn things and moving your mountain of stuff from one corner of the room to another does not constitute cleaning.

TRAVIS
It’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?
(Beat.)
Look, in the four years that we’ve been—

REBECCA
In the five—

 

TRAVIS
In the five years we’ve been together I’ve learned so much about you, and about myself.

REBECCA
Even though you proved you can’t remember my birthday?

TRAVIS
Well, I know you’re favorite color is orange.

REBECCA
Blue, your favorite color is orange.

TRAVIS
You had a cat in high school named Princess.

REBECCA
It was a dog, named Peanut.

TRAVIS
Princess. Peanut. They both start with a “P,” how is that my fault?
(Pause.)
Okay, you’re first car was a Geo Prism.

REBECCA
It was a Mitsubishi Eclipse.

TRAVIS
You love lasagna?

REBECCA
Fettuccine, actually.

TRAVIS
Really?
(Collapses into the couch.)
I give up.

REBECCA
(Clears throat.)
Where should I start? You had a small dog as a child you named Coco, and your first car, which you still own to this day, is your father’s old Charger.
(She sits down next to him.)
Look, I’m not saying I won’t marry you—

 

TRAVIS
So, you will marry me?

REBECCA
No.

TRAVIS
(Places jewelry box on the table.)
I see.

REBECCA
(Blows out the candles.)
Travis, you’re not a bad guy. Your family does well for itself, I’ll admit, you’re easy on the eyes, and you’re not a complete idiot.

TRAVIS
Thanks?

REBECCA
(Holds his hand.)
I just don’t think we’re at the point where we can think about trying to get married.

TRAVIS
Can I say something? Look, I may not know every little thing about you, I’ll admit it, but I don’t necessarily think all those tiny details are as important as you make them out to be.

REBECCA
You and every other man.
(Grabs the jewelry box and looks at the ring.)
Travis, life is in those details. I don’t remember all those things about you because I have to, or need to, to understand who you are. I do it because it helps me connect to you. It makes me—

TRAVIS
(Answering a text message.)
But I understand you.

REBECCA
I wasn’t finished.

TRAVIS
Oh, sorry, go on please.

 

REBECCA
Those details are what make the difference between a committed relationship and casual dating.

TRAVIS
(Reading a text message.)
What does?

REBECCA
The details! Are you even paying attention to me?

TRAVIS
Yes. It’s the details.

REBECCA
Did you hear anything that I was just talking about?

TRAVIS
Yes.
(Beat.)
Kind of.

REBECCA
Kind of?

TRAVIS
I was reading this text message that I just got, so I was—

REBECCA
You were what! I know you did not just tune me out for some text message!

TRAVIS
I wouldn’t say tuned out, as mush as—

REBECCA
As much as what, Travis?

TRAVIS
I don’t know, why are you yelling at me?

REBECCA
Travis! I can’t believe you!

TRAVIS
Calm down, Becky, it's fantasy football; I don’t think there’s a need to continue yelling. I said I didn’t—

 

REBECCA
You just admitted that you practically ignored me! I think I’m allowed to yell at you right now!

TRAVIS
I think you’re blowing this out of—

REBECCA
You ignored me, Travis!

TRAVIS
We established that, can we move on? I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. I heard what you—

REBECCA
Really, you don’t?

TRAVIS
No, why, am I missing something?

REBECCA
Yes, Travis, it’s called a soul.
(Beat.)
I can’t stay here with you I feel like throwing something at you.

TRAVIS
Please, don’t.

REBECCA
Don’t what?

TRAVIS
Don’t throw something at me.

REBECCA
You’re a piece of work, you know that? I need to—

TRAVIS
Don’t leave either, please, but mostly don’t throw something at me.

REBECCA
I don’t know what to say to you.
(Beat.)
You have two minutes.

 

TRAVIS
Okay. Fine.
(Motions for her to join him on the couch. After a moment she does. They sit.)
Look, we’ve been together since our junior year of high school. We’ve been through a lot together, and I understand that even though I may not remember the tiniest of details that—

REBECCA
Like my birthday, my favorite color, or my—

TRAVIS
Yes, yes, all of those. Probably more—
(He kisses her hand.)
You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I’m a man, though, and I’m not trying to use that as an excuse, but we’re not built to remember the details. I’m not really a details kind of guy. If you put it on the calendar I’ll be able to see it, and make a mental note of it, but once it happens, that’s it. It’s done and I’m moving on to the next thing.
(Beat.)
I’m working and going to school, and you’re doing the same, and when I’m with you I don’t want to have to remember your best friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s birthday when it doesn’t matter to me in that moment. I mean, do they even remember ours?

REBECCA
Yes, they send us cards every year. Is this going anywhere, you have less than a minute left, and I don’t—

TRAVIS
Right, okay, all I’m trying to say is that it shouldn’t matter who had a dog or who likes what color, or whose birthday it is in February or November. When I’m with you all that doesn’t matter. I’m with you, there in that moment and those are the moments I remember, because honestly, they’re what get me through the day.

REBECCA
Yeah? Like what?

 

TRAVIS
Like that time the elevator was broken and you sprained your ankle running up the stairs; we sat in-between floors looking out at the parking lot while I massaged your feet.
(Smiles.)
Or that time we were making smoothies and you forgot to put the lid on the blender; you turned it on and made a mess of the kitchen. It still smells a little like piña colada in there.

REBECCA
Wait a second. Let me see if I got this straight.
(Beat.)
What you’re trying to tell me is that you can’t remember little things like my birthday or my favorite color, but you can remember, in vivid detail mind you, all the times something bad has happened to me?

TRAVIS
I know it kind of sounds like that, but it’s not—

REBECCA
Thanks, Travis, I’m so glad we had this discussion—

TRAVIS
Don’t you remember how much of a mess we made cleaning up though? You threw an ice cube or something at me, and I threw a strawberry at you, and you attacked me with the whip cream. It was like -

REBECCA
I did not attack you!

TRAVIS
I had to wrestle it away from you, Becky.

REBECCA
Fine!
(Beat.)
In my defense, the strawberry did hit me in the eye.

TRAVIS
Duly noted.
(He kisses her.)
I’m very sorry.

 

REBECCA
Apology accepted.
(She kisses him.)
So, why would you want to get married?

TRAVIS
With you, or in general?

REBECCA
(She elbows him in the ribs.)
With me, you jerk!

TRAVIS
I know.
(Stands, rubbing where she hit him.)
I didn’t mean it—

REBECCA
Well. . .

TRAVIS
(He kisses her hands.)
I wanted to get married, to you and only you, because I felt that it was the direction that we were heading in. I mean, who else is going to put up with you—  Or me! Who else is going to put up with me, if not you?

REBECCA
You’re lucky I have nothing to hit you with.

TRAVIS
I know, trust me.
(He pulls her close.)
All jokes aside, I mean it when I say I love you, Becky. Whether it’s in the morning over breakfast, or at night as we’re turning in for the evening. When you’re hurt and crying, or when you’re having fun and laughing, I love every moment with you.
(Beat.)
So, should I try to remember your birthday, or your favorite color, or whatever you called your dog while you were growing up? Maybe, but at least you’ll know that I will try my best to guess correctly.

REBECCA
Oh, Travis, you had me. I was ready to go, right here and now, up until that last little bit.

 

TRAVIS
Really? Even though I was being honest?
(Beat.)
I guess I can’t blame you. I didn’t know whether to keep going or not, I kind of went with my gut on that one. . .

REBECCA
I’ll give you a couple of points for trying, but your execution was a little sloppy. So judge’s score, is a low five.

TRAVIS
Five? I guess I will have to live with that.
(He kisses her.)
How about a do over? Will the judges allow that?

REBECCA
I think they could be persuaded.

TRAVIS
(He kneels in front of her, holding her hands.)
Rebecca Elise Granger, whom I love with every fiber of my being, would you do me the great honor of accepting this ring and becoming my wife?

REBECCA
No.

(Black out.)

End of play.


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