She. You. I.

SHE. YOU. I.

A short play

CHARACTERS:

WOMAN 1

WOMAN 2

TRAIN CONDUCTOR/ MAN

SETTING:

A train station.

DAY 1

 

(In a train station, by the rails, WOMAN 1 and WOMAN 2 stand. WOMAN 2 more forward than WOMAN 1.)

 

WOMAN 1

(Looking at WOMAN 2) She…

WOMAN 2

(Looks back at WOMAN 1) You.

WOMAN 1

(Caught off-guard) I?

 

(A train passes. WOMAN 1 and WOMAN 2 look at each other. WOMAN 2 tries to enter the train.)

 

TRAIN CONDUCTOR

All aboard!

WOMAN 1

Don’t.

WOMAN 2

What?

WOMAN 1

(Looks down) Nothing.

WOMAN 2

(To herself) Nothing… (Steps into the train. Decides otherwise and retreats. The train rushes forward.)

 

(WOMAN 1 and WOMAN 2 look at one another. WOMAN 1 sits down on a bench by her side. After awhile WOMAN 2 follows.)

 

(A silence.)

 

WOMAN 1

(Deciding to break the silence) Coming or going?

WOMAN 2

Going. (Another awkward silence) You?

WOMAN 1

Just arrived. Waiting.

WOMAN 2

O. Is that so?

(A silence.)

 

(A sudden fast exchange of premature yet unfulfilling epiphanies:)

 

WOMAN 1

I’m sorry. It’s just that… I think I know you from somewhere.

WOMAN 2

Yes, you too!

WOMAN 1

You look vaguely familiar.

WOMAN 2

So do you.

WOMAN 1

That’s why I stopped you.

WOMAN 2

That’s why I stopped.

WOMAN 1

Where did you go for high school? Saint—

WOMAN 2

(Cuts WOMAN 1 off) No. I didn’t go to a saint school. Where do you work?

WOMAN 1

In a music company. Boring job really, always wanted to quit.

WOMAN 2

O, I’m sorry, I know nothing about making music.

WOMAN 1

What do you do?

WOMAN 2

I’m still studying.

WOMAN 1

Maybe you know Jan. You look like a friend of Jan’s.

WOMAN 2

Yes, John, yes, I know him. How do you know him?

WOMAN 1

We used to go out.

WOMAN 2

You’re John can’t be my John. My John is gay. Flamboyantly gay.

WOMAN 1

Jan?

WOMAN 2

John. (Realizes the fault) Well, there are too many Johns and Jans in the world anyway.

WOMAN 1

Yes. That’s true.

(A silence.)

Maybe we don’t know each other after all.

WOMAN 2

Yeah.

WOMAN 1

Yeah.

(A silence.)

WOMAN 2

(Starting up the conversation again) So who are you waiting for?

WOMAN 1

My boyfriend.

WOMAN 2

(Chidingly) Aren’t we all?

WOMAN 1

No. No. It’s not like that. (A beat) I’m going to break up with him.

WOMAN 2

Why?

WOMAN 1

I’m not sure, really. But, that’s what I’m going to do. You? Where are you going?

WOMAN 2

To a boyfriend.

WOMAN 1

Going to break up with him too?

WOMAN 2

We’re happy.

(A brief pause.)

 

WOMAN 1

Why?

WOMAN 2

What?

WOMAN 1

Why are you happy?

WOMAN 2

I don’t know, we just are.

(The train arrives.)

 

TRAIN CONDUCTOR

All aboard!

WOMAN 1

Sorry, just making small talk.

WOMAN 2

It’s alright. I have to go, It was nice meeting you. (Shakes hands with WOMAN 1)

 

WOMAN 1

(A  sad smile on her lips) Good bye.

WOMAN 2

Bye.

DAY 2

(Train arrives. WOMAN 2 stands by the train. WOMAN 1 is still waiting on the bench.)

 

TRAIN CONDUCTOR

All aboard!

WOMAN 1

Hi. Good morning.

 

WOMAN 2

It’s you again.

TRAIN CONDUCTOR

Coming or going? Get on, get off!

WOMAN 2

Getting on?

WOMAN 1

No. Just waiting.

WOMAN 2

O. (Gets off the train. The train passes. Sits with WOMAN 1.) For your boyfriend?

WOMAN 1

You can say that.

WOMAN 2

O.

(A silence.)

 

WOMAN 1

Just coming home from yesterday?

WOMAN 2

Yes.

WOMAN 1

Did you have fun?

WOMAN 2

(Taken aback) Well…

WOMAN 1

I know it’s none of my business…

WOMAN 2

Well… It really isn’t.

(A small pause.)

 

WOMAN 1

Want half a sandwich?

WOMAN 2

Sure.

(WOMAN 1 takes a sandwich and breaks it into two.)

Thanks.

WOMAN 1

You know, I rarely give away my food. (Becomes nostalgic)

 

WOMAN 2

O, I’m sorry. Do you want it back?

WOMAN 1

No. No.

WOMAN 2

Please, I didn’t know you’d be sad.

WOMAN 1

I’m not! It’s just a sandwich.

WOMAN 2

O, okay. (Takes a bite)

 

(WOMAN 1 becomes inconsolably silent. WOMAN 2 notices.)

Please have it.

WOMAN 1

No. Please… I insist.

WOMAN 2

Are you sure?

WOMAN 1

Yes. It’s just a sandwich.

(They eat in silence. WOMAN 2 takes glances to watch WOMAN 1 eating voraciously.)

(Stops in mid-sandwich) He told me I didn’t know how to share. Now, I did. It does make you feel good doesn’t it? Sharing, giving something you made with your hands, spent time on, to someone else.  O, I know it’s just a sandwich. I didn’t really spend time on it, well not that much. But it’s just like that maybe. Maybe, it doesn’t take that much time or effort. I did that. I filled a person with my hands.

WOMAN 2

(Doesn’t quite know what to say) Okay.

WOMAN 1

Do you want the rest of mine?

WOMAN 2

No. I’m full.

 

WOMAN 1

(Strangely desperate) But, I insist.

(WOMAN 2 takes WOMAN 1’s left over and swallows it all in one bite. They laugh) 

 

WOMAN 2

I never knew eating breakfast could be so fun. (A beat) It’s just less complicated this way.

(The train comes. WOMAN 1 stands and goes to the train.)

 

TRAIN CONDUCTOR

All aboard!

WOMAN 2

You coming here tomorrow?

WOMAN 1

Yes. I’ll make two sandwiches. (Smiles) Bye.

(WOMAN 1 gets on. WOMAN 2 waves as the train passes.)

WOMAN 2

What about your boyfriend? (Exits)

 

DAY 3

(WOMAN 1 is on the bench preparing the two sandwiches she made. She carefully makes sure that the squares of the sandwiches are perfectly in-line with the bench’s edges.)

 

(Finally, the train arrives, she scans the people coming and going. WOMAN 2 doesn’t arrive. It’s MAN who does.)

 

MAN

Hi.

WOMAN 1

Hi.

MAN

I never thought I would see you here. Not again.

WOMAN 1

I’ve been waiting.

MAN

(Not meaning to hurt) For three years?

(A brief pause.)

 

WOMAN 1

More than that.

MAN

O.

WOMAN 1

(In mock copy) O.

(A pause.)

 

MAN

You still make sandwiches?

WOMAN 1

Take one.

(MAN takes a sandwich and bites into one.)

 

MAN

They taste different.

WOMAN 1

No. They’re the same. Just the way you told me to make them.

MAN

So these are for me?

WOMAN 1

No. Not anymore.

(A pause. MAN wraps the sandwich as cleanly as he can.)

 

MAN

Not anymore?

WOMAN 1

I’m sorry.

MAN

No. I am. Sorry. I just felt so inadequate. So impotent. (A pause) I still love you.

WOMAN 1

It doesn’t matter anymore.

MAN

I guess not.

(A break: The two smile at one another. MAN exits. WOMAN 1 wraps the two sandwiches and places it in her bag. WOMAN 2 enters, she talks to the audience.)

WOMAN 2

(To WOMAN 1) I’m sorry. (WOMAN 1 does not respond. To the audience) That day. I really wanted to go. To the train station. To the strange girl who told me she knew me, and offered sandwiches. But something stopped me. Something, not someone. But well, I guess, it doesn’t matter. What or who stopped me. In the end, I didn’t go. (To WOMAN 1) I’m sorry.

(WOMAN 1 has finished wrapping her sandwiches and placing them inside her bag.)

DAY —

(The train enters. WOMAN 1 and WOMAN 2 get off at intervals. They meet on the bench.)

 

WOMAN 2

Hi.

 

WOMAN 1

Hi.

(A silence.)

 

WOMAN 2

You know, I used to meet a girl here.

WOMAN 1

I know.

WOMAN 2

I didn’t even know her name.

WOMAN 1

Yes.

(A silence.)

 

WOMAN 2

Would you like a sandwich?

WOMAN 1

(A smile) Yes.

WOMAN 2

Would you like to know why I didn’t go here that day?

WOMAN 1

Yes.

WOMAN 2

Would you like to know my name?

WOMAN 1

Yes.

WOMAN 2

Do you like trains?

WOMAN 1

Yes.

WOMAN 2

Would you like to kiss me?

(A long pause. The two women look at one another.)

 

WOMAN 1

Yes.

(WOMAN 2 tries to kiss WOMAN 1. A train passes. WOMAN 1, stops WOMAN 2.)

 

TRAIN CONDUCTOR

Coming or going? Get on, get off!

WOMAN 1

Coming or going?

WOMAN 2

You?

 

END.

 

                                                     BJ C. 2012

 

 

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