Remembrance by LA Schmidt

Cast of Characters

MAY: A woman, still looking for that right guy.
TOM: MAY’s blind date at the coffeeshop. Not quite what he seems.
SERVER: The waiter or waitress.

Scene

New York coffeeshop

Time

Present day

* * * * *

MAY comes into the coffeeshop from the restroom.
SHE sees a man sitting at a booth in the middle of
the coffeeshop – she’s unsure if he’s her blind date
or not. TOM sees her.

TOM: May!

She turns and walks over to him.

MAY: You must be Tom.

TOM: (slight hesitation) Uh, yes. That’s me.

MAY: Nice coffee shop. Quaint. It’s kind of obscure; I’ve never even heard of it. How’d you come across it?

TOM: I’ve been here dozens of times. I’m probably one of their best customers. You should try their mocha lattes by the way. Best in New York City.

MAY: Well I am a mocha expert; I will take you up on that.

The server comes by. TOM waves him down.

TOM: (to SERVER) Two mochas please.

SERVER: I know. You always order two mochas for you and your date. They’re already making them in the back.

SERVER walks away, but MAY looks a
little uncomfortable.

TOM: I’m sorry; he doesn’t know what he’s-.

MAY: It’s okay. I understand. You’ve come here dozens of times with different girls. It’s fine. Really.

TOM: That’s not it, May.

MAY: Can we talk about something else?

TOM: Sure. If you’d rather-

MAY: You’re from Altona, right? That’s what your profile said. It’s crazy that we grew up in the same town. I can’t believe I’d never met you before.

TOM: I was born in Altona. My family moved when I was about seven years old.

MAY: Where’d you move to?

TOM: Here, New York City.

MAY: Was it for your dad’s job or something?

TOM: Something like that.

There is an awkward pause. MAY can’t think
of anything else to add.

I’m sorry. I’m not so good at these things.

MAY: It’s okay. I don’t date a lot either.

TOM: You look really nice. By the way.

MAY smiles.

MAY: Thanks. So, what do you do, Tom?

TOM: I own an assortment of small coffeeshops.

MAY: You’re kidding.

TOM: Nope.

MAY: Do you own this coffeeshop?

TOM: I do indeed. I own about twelve more scattered across the city. They’re all different, of course. I hate Starbucking local places, each one needs to be unique.

MAY: Wow. That’s amazing. (teasing) And kind of cheap.

TOM: Excuse me?

MAY: You take all the girls to your own coffeeshops. You don’t have to spend any money.

TOM: (leans in) They don’t know I own the place. I’m just a very loyal customer in their eyes.

MAY smiles.

MAY: So what made you want to be a coffeeshop conglomerate?

TOM: I like coffee. I like doing business. And I really like New York. Simple as that.

MAY nods.

MAY: Siblings?

TOM: None.

MAY: Pets?

TOM: One dog. Phillip. He’s a beagle.

MAY: How old is he?

TOM: He’s about ten now. He was originally my parents’ dog.

MAY: What are your parents’ names?

TOM doesn’t answer.

I’m sorry. I’m interrogating you.

TOM: It’s fine.

MAY: Why don’t you ask me some questions?

TOM: That’s alright. I’m good.

MAY: No. Come on. You don’t know anything about me yet.

TOM is about to say something, but then
he sighs and leans back in his chair.

What’s wrong?

TOM: I can’t do this.

MAY: What?

TOM: I’m sorry.

TOM reaches into his pocket.

You always freak out when I do this. I just… I’m not up for asking questions again.

MAY: Okay… what on earth are you talking about, Tom?

TOM: My name’s not Tom.

MAY: Oh God. I knew online dating was a terrible idea!

MAY stands up.

I should’ve listened to my mother.

TOM: May, stop! My name is Nolan Westland.

MAY stops.

MAY: Westland? Are you related to Tim and Nora Westland?

TOM: Those are my parents.

MAY: Your parents used to live across the street from me.

TOM: I used to live across the street from you.

MAY: I’d remember, Tom, Nolan, whatever your name is. Tim and Nora didn’t have any kids.

TOM hands her the photograph.

TOM: That’s me in the red shirt. That’s you in the-

MAY: Pink jacket… This can’t be you. I’d remember you.

TOM: You never do.

MAY: What the hell are you talking about?

TOM: You never remember me, May. That’s why we had to move when I was seven. Your parents thought it was strange. Mine did, too. When we were little, it was fine. It’s understandable that a two-year-old doesn’t remember her best friend’s name. But a five-year-old not remembering his name, let alone that she spent the entire day with him?

MAY: Tim and Nora didn’t have a son. Tim and Nora didn’t have any children.

TOM: My family moved away. It never happened again – no one else forgot me. It was just you and me. Whenever we weren’t in each others’ presence, you’d forget everything you ever knew about me. You’d forget I even existed.

MAY: This is crazy. This can’t be happening.

TOM: You went to Harvard for a semester, then you transferred to NYU to be an artist, against your parents’ wishes. You’ve always been jealous of your brother – he has a family. His daughter Debbie is the most precious thing in the world to you. You’re allergic to red dye, and you had to go to the hospital when you were three years old because your throat closed up.

MAY: That’s just stuff you could have-

TOM: You wrote an erotica novel last year and told no one. You sold the rights this week.

MAY: How did you know that? I haven’t-

TOM: You light up the darkest of rooms with your smile. I know you, May. And I’m sure it scares you. But you need to know how much I love you.

MAY considers this for a moment.

MAY: How many times have we had this conversation?

TOM: A lot.

MAY: How many is a lot?

TOM: Uncountable.

MAY: How long do they last? Our first conversations?

TOM: Sometimes minutes. Sometimes days. We had a week once. Our first conversations are always our last.

MAY: A week?

TOM: That singles cruise you took to the Bahamas? I was with you the entire time.

MAY: This is insane. This can’t be happening!

TOM pulls out his phone. He brings up a video of
MAY and him on the cruise ship.

What is this?

TOM presses play.

VIDEO VOICE MAY: Did you start recording?
VIDEO TOM: Yes. I started five seconds ago.
VIDEO VOICE MAY: Why didn’t you tell me?
VIDEO VOICE TOM: I told you now. And now we’re recording useless stuff.
VIDEO VOICE MAY: Useless? Not a chance. Here, I’ll make it more exciting. I love you, Nolan.
VIDEO VOICE TOM: I love you, too.

MAY presses pause on the video; she can’t take
any more.

MAY: I just met you. And you expect me to… to… just feel something? (pause) God, is there something wrong with me?

TOM: What?

MAY: Do I forget anyone else? How many people have I met and just forgotten?

TOM: It’s just me, May. No one else.

MAY: Just you?

TOM: You’re perfect. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.

MAY: What do I usually do – when I find out?

TOM: When you find out? I guess it depends. You’re a little unpredictable.

MAY: (pause) Why do I love you, Nolan? Why did that version of me – say that she loved you?

TOM: I don’t know.

MAY: What if I want you to leave me alone? What if I want to move on with my life? What if I want to forget you?

TOM: Is that what you want?

MAY: I don’t know. I wish I knew.

TOM: I’ll stop trying to get you to remember when you tell me that you want to forget. Until then, I will stand here loving you, May Jones.

MAY runs up and kisses TOM.
MAY pulls away.

What is it?

MAY: I’m sorry. I can’t… I can’t do this.

MAY grabs her purse.

TOM: May don’t leave. Please. I- I hate it when you leave.

MAY starts to walk away.

May!

MAY turns around. She faces TOM.

MAY: I… I can’t. I’m sorry Nolan. I can’t spend any longer with you, knowing that I’ll just forget everything – it makes it harder. I’d rather forget you now, when I don’t love you.

MAY heads out the door, crying. TOM stands
there, wishing he could go after her. TOM sighs
and heads to the counter. He talks to the server.

SERVER: Two mochas are almost ready.

He notices that MAY is gone.

The lady left early today.

TOM: Can I get the mochas to go?

SERVER nods and heads back to get the cups.
MAY comes back in through the door. She looks
around the coffeeshop. TOM sees her but doesn’t
motion her over. MAY heads to the counter.

MAY: (to TOM) Are you Tom?

TOM shakes his head “no.”
SERVER brings the two coffees back onstage.

SERVER: (to TOM) Two mochas.

TOM: (to SERVER) Thank you.

SERVER exits. TOM is about to leave
and hesitates. He approaches May.

(to MAY) Would you like a mocha latte? It appears I have two for just one person.

MAY: Date stood you up, too, huh?

MAY takes the extra coffee.

TOM: Something like that.

MAY starts to exit, then she turns around. She
walks back up to TOM.

MAY: I’m May. By the way.

TOM: Nice to meet you. I’m Nolan.

MAY: That’s a nice name.

They continue talking, no dialogue is heard.

LIGHTS FADE


LA SchmidtLA Schmidt is an undergraduate studying English–Creative Writing and Journalism–Strategic Communications at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Her plays have been performed across the Midwest at Theatre Cedar Rapids’ Underground New Play Festival, The Minnesota Fringe Festival, Iowa State University’s One Act Festival, University of Minnesota’s Playwright’s Festival, University of Minnesota’s English Undergraduate Conference, and The Girl Scouts of America Regional Conference. Her hobbies include drinking coffee, going to coffee shops, and writing about coffee shops. You can find out more about LA Schmidt at www.LASchmidt.net.

 

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