Song: “Give You Back” by Vertical Horizon from Everything You Want
KEVIN and DARLENE are sitting across from each other in large plush chairs in the corner of a dark but warm coffeeshop.
KEVIN (in mid conversation)
…and that’s why I think it is best if we just break up.
DARLENE (in a pondering tone)
Hmm…well that’s certainly one option.
An option? No, it is—
Counteroffer! We stay together! We go home together tonight, have sex, have breakfast tomorrow morning, and just forget your silly little idea.
What? No. I think you’re misunderstanding. You see, I don’t think this
He gestures back and forth to indicate “us.”
works anymore. I think it’s time to stop fooling ourselves here.
DARLENE taps her lip and then shakes her head.
I think I must be the one who’s misunderstanding. Because I can remember you telling me I was everything you ever wanted or needed. That I was perfect.
KEVIN (running his hand through his hair)
Right. Well…yes. Yes I did say that.
So you admit it! Why would you break up with someone perfect?
That’s…look, no one is really perfect. It was something—a compliment. A hyperbolic compliment based on emotion not objective reality
DARLENE (sighing heavily)
I understand that. I knew you didn’t literally consider me to be a perfect human. But you did think of me as a perfect person FOR you. So what happened there?
We got to know each other…?
You know. We got deeper. Things didn’t line up like they used to.
So, essentially, you got to know me and I stopped being right for you?
So what is it then?
What did I do that made you fall out of love with me? What was the thing that ruined me for you?
That’s not how it works. It wasn’t one thing—
So it was a lot of things then? I was disappointing in a lot of different ways?!
Yes. No. It’s not…look. When I met you all I knew about you was that you were hot, wearing very little clothing, and were very into the idea of going home with me. And that was great.
Then, I learned you were funny and liked a lot of cool bands and knew things about a lot of interesting stuff. And that was great!
Then, I learned you did not communicate that worked well with the way I communicated. And you hated the idea of having kids before you turn 40 and I think I want them soon. And you are kind of mean to people you don’t think are as smart as you.
You’re very smart, Kevin. I’ve never thought otherwise.
KEVIN (sighing, rubbing his temples)
I know that. But I have friends. I have family. People in my life you’ve made it very clear you think are, for lack of a better word, dumb.
So, you thought I was perfect when I was drunk and fun and sexy but the moment I opened my mouth—
Stop. Please. Stop. I was more (and less) when you barely knew me too. You aren’t terrible or evil or anything like that. You’re just…not for me, you know? And, I think if you’re honest with yourself, I’m really not for you.
But if no one’s perfect, if we all have faults…you’re going to have to work through problems with anyone, not just me. So why not let it be me?
Because no one is perfect or a perfect compliment. But there are people who are better or worse fits. You and I…we’re a worse fit.
DARLENE (shaking her head, sadly)
That’s not really proper English you know.
Yeah. But I think you get the point.
And there’s nothing I can do? Not even if I do that dance you like so much in that little, little outfit? Or if I call Brenda?
KEVIN (laughing a little at her half-joke)
That would be tempting Darlene. And I’m sure we’d have lots of fun. But when it was over, we’d still be in the same place.
DARLENE (glancing out the window)
So this is it? This is breaking up?
I think so. I think it’s just as complicated or as easy as we make it. And I don’t think we need to make it complicated, do you?
Can…can you go? I just…I’m not feeling great right now, you know what I mean?
KEVIN (standing and briefly touching her shoulder)
Sure. I…I get it. Night Darlene. And…well…take care.
KEVIN grabs the waitress and pays the bill away from the table, gesturing back to DARLENE. HE pauses at the door before leaving but, thinking of nothing he can say, walks out