Scene One

The fantastical retelling of a break-up.

Scene 1: This is an unrealistic memory. The lighting is dark and Kai and Charlie are in the kitchen. They are sitting down at the kitchen table, discussing Charlie’s existential confusion while sharing a slice of cheesecake. They move from the kitchen to the living room. They both stare at the misty clouds of the encroaching winter morning. They stay seated until the gentle grey sky emerges as patches of blue.

The actual events took place in the bathroom, as Kai was taking a bath and Charlie was going through their nightly routine. Their conversation went on from 10pm- 5am with an eerie like steadiness; that allowed both individuals to apply poetic licence to their retelling of the events. Both ended their enactment of their breakup with the sun rising. In reality dark clouds of rain mustered at their bedroom window.   

 Charlie is walking along the River Cam with their mutual friend Tolu, they are hungry and tired but both are aggressively indecisive. They are currently walking along the river, in the direction of Franca Manca their favourite pizza place.  Charlie is still reeling from the break-up and so they are taking the pizza back to Tolu’s where they can watch movies and eat ice cream in their pyjamas. 

Kai: Do you love me?

Charlie: Yes.

Kai: What do you love about me?

Charlie: I love your lips.

Kai: What else do you love about me?

Charlie: I love your eyes.

Kai: What else?

[Kai lifted her leg high in the air, with the gracefulness of a tired porn star. She gathered the bubbles from the bath and made a moustache. She plastered on an over exaggerated pout but her eyes were darting around the room, in anticipation.]    

Charlie: I love your mind.

Kai: What else do you love about me?

[Charlie had finished their nightly routine and was rubbing down their face with Kai’s towel. Kai had sunken further into the water and was a floating mass of black hair and brown toes. Charlie missed seeing Kai’s brown nipples and her ‘come here’ face.  Charlie hated these games. There was no beating Kai and there was no right answer.]

Charlie: I love you. What else do you want to know?

Kai: I love all those things about you too but I love all the things I cannot kiss more. I know how I feel IN your love but I want to know how YOU feel me. How you touch me- how YOU want me. I want to know. (Her voice trails off)

[Kai positioned herself cross legged in the bath and was now creating swirls along the surface of the water with her fingers. She had anticipated this conversation for weeks. She had circulated the words in her head countless times. She did not know how or when but she knew she needed to say her true feelings. Kai no longer wanted to be a blank wall to Charlie’s whims and desires. She wanted to be a partner. She wanted to feel heard.]

I love you, like how I love myself, as change. I love all the things, that don’t make sense about you.  I love how you have so many masks but none of them are right. You are ill timed and messy but you are also sweet and desirable, you’re the most beautiful when you are not even trying.  When you stare at me with those big brown eyes all I feel and think is ‘YES’.  

[I want you forever.]

You have the patience of an ox and you tell silly little lies but this is when I love you the most. It’s not romantic but it’s similar to the smell of home. Nothing needs to be the same for it to feel right.

So what do you want me to do, when the one I love desires my generality? I know I am being dramatic but I feel that you love my masks more than you love me.

[There was a deep silence. Both stared at each other in desperation.]

Charlie: I LOVE YOU. I am confused about so many things right now so I don’t have any words but I know that I want to see you’re face in the morning and kiss your lips at the end of the day.  

[Kai stood up but made no effort to reach for the towel. Charlie handed it to her.]

Kai: I love you ARE words. I love you are words that you speak; I want you to birth them. I want to feel safe.

[Kai stepped out of the bath and Charlie walked over and hugged her wet body with a soothing tightness.]

In the kitchen they both sit in silence. Kai is dominating the conversation with philosophical wonderings on love, while she avoids her feelings stealthily. Charlie speaks about the ill-fated timing of their love and how deeply they want and desire Kai. Kai is unconvinced, emotionally exhausted with the indecisive nature of their relationship.  Charlie talks about the possibilities of their love and how they are special. Kai smiles, bewildered. She wonders why Charlie speaks about their future but seems to ignore their present.

They see the sun rise and both agree that sleep is needed. Charlie kisses Kai. Kai smiles and rubs her fingers along Charlie’s many curves, holding and remembering their smell.  They twirl and play with each others bodies until they fall asleep.

Charlie: I love you.

Kai: [In a low grunting whisper] I love you too.

In Charlie’s unrealistic memory they both have hopes that they will find their way back to each other, once they have solved their existential dilemmas.  In Kai’s unrealistic memory, they both simultaneously realise at the kitchen table that the greatness of their love is similar to all great loves. A passing truth that is as honest as the time they shared.  

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