A man can only be played so many times before he decides he's had enough
|(A tall blonde woman, Erika, sits at a table for two by herself in a small cafe. It’s mid-afternoon on a hot summer day. She is wearing a shorter dress, not revealing or too suggestive, but enough to appear seductive. A waitress brings her a cup of coffee. She is staring at the door and fails to notice that the waitress is standing next to her until the waitress places the cup on the table. She glances to the waitress as if snapping out of a trance.)
ERIKA: Oh… thanks. (She gives a quick smile and quickly returns her gaze to the door for a few more seconds. She snaps out of her trance once more and begins to pour cream and sugar into the coffee. She takes out a spoon and stirs the coffee quickly. She’s nervous, and her gaze quickly lifts from the coffee to the seat in front of her. Cole, a tall, thin but well toned man with dark hair enters. He seems to be somewhat on edge, not angry, but irritated. He takes a casual glance around the café and finally sees Erika. He stares for a moment, glances back toward the door, and then decides to walk toward the table. Erika is still gazing directly at the seat in front of her unaware of the Cole’s entrance. She’s startled when he speaks.)
ERIKA: (glances up at first with shock, then smiles, stand up and gives him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He smiles as he hugs her, but more out of bewilderment than joy.) Oh my God, I haven’t seen you in so long.
COLE: (quickly as if not interested in his own speech) Yea, it’s been a while I guess… I’m sorry I can’t stay too long… I’ve got some things to do.
ERIKA: (lightly, but fully believing what she says) No. Bull shit, I can’t take that… I haven’t seen you in like half a year… no hun. Come on, just sit down with me for a while. So, what’ve you been up to? (she sits and he remains standing for a few seconds. He politely smiles and reluctantly sits down.)
COLE: (gives a light laugh) Not too much… probably the same kind of stuff as you… really just partying and studying.
ERIKA: Oh my God, that’s right! I know you’re jealous of the… amazing U of A, but try and pitch a few good things about Queens if you can… I hate you by the way.
COLE: (laughs politely again, clearly uncomfortable and desiring to leave as soon as possible.) Well it’s nothing like U of A, and Kingston’s nothing like the beautiful city of Edmonton… I still can’t believe you settled for that crap.
ERIKA: (still playful, she laughs heartily) Shut up! Hey… come on, Edmonton’s… gorgeous. Bastard.
COLE: Yea. So, how’s… (pauses trying to make light conversation) that going. What are you up to?
ERIKA: Cole, seriously? I’m dying. The campus is nice and stuff, but Edmonton? Fuck. (They both laugh.)
COLE: Well what are you gonna do, right? Hey, come on. You’ll get through it.
ERIKA: Yea… I guess so. (she sits looking at him for a few seconds and then smiles.) So, come on. Did you miss me?
COLE: (Rubs his forehead, and replies quite frankly) Twice.
ERIKA: (now, feeling awkward, takes a sip of her coffee and shuffles of his comment.) Come on… don’t. You know what I mean… (Cole smiles out of frustration, but does not reply.) Fine. If you won’t admit it, I will. I missed you.
COLE: What are you… are you serious? Again? Fuck off. (He gets up to leave.)
ERIKA: What the fuck?
COLE: Don’t do that.
ERIKA: Don’t do what? Tell you that I missed you? Seriously, you know what? This was obviously a bad idea, Cole. Just get out.
COLE: Yea, you know what? It really was a bad fucking idea, but it was your idea. So for once don’t turn it around on me when things don’t go exactly how you want them to. (She looks at the opposite seat again, this time with disgust.)
ERIKA: Oh, come on Cole. Why did you come? Honestly.
COLE: (through gritted teeth) Because you asked me to. You asked me to come. So I came. Now I’m leaving.
ERIKA: (firmly) Cole, sit.
COLE: Fuck you.
ERIKA: So this is how it’s going to be now? We were so close, and now this?
COLE: Don’t give me that fucking bull shit, just tell me what you want… for once, for fuck sakes! Do you want me to stay or leave?
ERIKA: I don’t know… just… (she lets out a gasp of frustration. He sits.)
COLE: You don’t know. Do you ever know?
ERIKA: Fuck you.
COLE: What did you expect?
ERIKA: I don’t know… would you just shut the fuck up?
COLE: You missed me, so naturally I should come running back to you.
ERIKA: No, it’s not like that.
COLE: Bull shit.
ERIKA: Okay, fine. That’s what you want? Yea, Cole. I missed you desperately and I couldn’t bare it any more unless I called you, seduced you, and then fucked you. That’s what you want me to say, right?
COLE: Yea, because it’s the truth. (She stares at him for a few seconds.)
ERIKA: Then why would you come if that’s what you thought? If you’re this guy who’s not really in it for the…
COLE: I don’t know.
ERIKA: Oh, come on. You must know. After all, I always have to know, but this time, you don’t know. But you should know, right? According to your logic?
COLE: Do you have any idea what you did to me? At all?
ERIKA: I told you. You knew that I…
COLE: Fuck that I did. You came on to me? Remember?
ERIKA: Fuck off, don’t pretend like you didn’t…
COLE: I didn’t. Don’t pretend like you didn’t know that. My guess is that’s why you did anything at all.
COLE: You thought you had me. For four fucking years, you thought you had me. For a good chunk of it, you did. But I couldn’t take the bull shit. The does she, doesn’t she crap. So I moved on. You saw that, and it pissed you off. So you had to have me. And I was stupid enough to let you do it to me… to trust that there was something more there.
ERIKA: You think that’s it? I was jealous?
COLE: Maybe. Either that, or you knew I was something to be had.
ERIKA: What the fuck does that mean? Something to be had, who do you think…
COLE: I was on kind of a high streak, wasn’t I? Whatever, the point is… when you did what you did the first time… breaking it off so fast, after you started it, I didn’t know what the fuck happened. Then you came back so fast, and I figured, ‘well I guess she just needed to figure some stuff out.’ Then you did it again… and it fucking tore me up. I didn’t know whether to feel guilty or angry.
ERIKA: I didn’t want it… I couldn’t handle it, Cole. I’m not like you.
COLE: I know you’re not. But now what? You call me up, ask me to come down and meet you here… I’m not a fucking idiot. It’s your itch. It’s that thing that you think you want, but it goddamn terrifies you to think that you actually want it. You go for it, but in the end you run. Why? Because you’re so fucking strong that you don’t need anyone else? Or is it because you’re too week to risk the chance that you might have your heart broken?
ERIKA: Fuck you.
COLE: You already did. Twice.
ERIKA: What the fuck are you talking about, we never…
COLE: I didn’t mean it like that. (He smiles as he stand to leave.) I’m done… it’s done. (He walks toward the door and opens it. He stops before leaving.) You know what? I think I just figured out why I decided to come.
(He then walks through the doorway and lets it close behind him. Erika sits bewildered, staring straight ahead at the door and watches him walk across the street until he reaches the other side. She then looks down at the coffee and pushes it to the other side of the table. Flustered and emotional, she puts down a ten dollar bill on the table. She looks through the doorway again as he continues to walk, now well across the intersection.)
ERIKA: I… my god… Oh, my god. (She exits through the door and walks in the opposite direction of Cole, she turns around for a brief second, hesitates, and then continues to walk in the direction she was already going.)