The Death of Romance



DARRYL: If you’re busy, I can–

AMBER: I’m not. Particularly, just… you know, trying to keep my mind… How you doin’? Have you talked to her?

DARRYL: She doesn’t want me to talk to her–

AMBER: You don’t know that. Do you want to talk to her? That should be a factor, too–I mean, to a certain extent.

DARRYL: I don’t know if I do want to talk to her.

AMBER: Why would you not want to talk to her? Look, you’d never know if you don’t try.

DARRY: Exactly. I don’t want to know. Do I? Do you know something I don’t?

AMBER: Sorry. Look, all I know is, she hasn’t talked about you in that way.

DARRYL: Because she doesn’t feel that way about me.

AMBER: That doesn’t mean she never will, you have to open that door–

DARRYL: And endanger our friendship?



AMBER: Why do you think it’s gonna endanger your friendship?

DARRYL: Because she’ll know! And I’ll know, and it’ll be weird.

AMBER: Know what? What will she know?

DARRYL: She’ll know how I feel about her.

AMBER: And why will that be weird?

DARRYL: Because of the power dynamics! She… has this power over me, and I…

AMBER: And you don’t want her to know that she has this power? So you’re thinking of this as, like, a military operation?

DARRYL: No! It’s just… it’ll be weird…

AMBER: And you don’t think it’s weird that you have all these feelings for her and she doesn’t know? You don’t think that’s a bit creepy?

DARRYL: If she doesn’t know… If she doesn’t know, how can she feel… weird about it?

AMBER: That’s not the point.

DARRYL: Well, then what is the point?

AMBER: The point is choice. She has the right to know how you feel about her. She’s your friend. You want her to be more than a friend, but she… doesn’t even know that that’s an option.

DARRYL: It’s always an option.

AMBER: Is it?

DARRYL: She’s straight, I’m straight. How is it not an option?

AMBER: I’m straight.

DARRYL: Hold on, are you… are you saying this… right here… That this is an option?

AMBER: Are you saying this is an option? ‘Cause if all it takes is two straight people, and this is what we’ve got…

DARRYL: OK, I guess I see your point.

AMBER: How do you actually feel about her?

DARRYL: What, you mean, like…

AMBER: Say the first thing that comes into your head. How do you feel about her?

DARRYL: The first thing that comes into my head? I want her. When I look at her, I… The bounce and flow of her hair, the curl of her lips when she smiles–

AMBER: How do you feel about her?

DARRYL: I want to hold her. I want to… be close to her. I want to tell her stories and see what kinds of stories she’ll tell in return–

AMBER: OK, good. That’s good. What is your favorite thing about her?

DARRYL: The way she understanding things. I’m… I really have a lot of trouble sometimes with… expressing myself? With making myself understood? And I don’t… know… like, I’m not sure that she does always really… understand me. As it were. But she never holds it against me. Or she doesn’t seem to.

AMBER: But what do you like about her? Understanding you is one thing, but…

DARRYL: Well, it’s not just me, it’s… sorry, I got a bit side-tracked. No, it’s… We’d be in class, and… our brains are really similar, you know? I can… she says… things that… it’s the stuff that she says, OK?

AMBER: So you love her because she’s like you.

DARRYL: No, I love her because–

AMBER: Pay up.

DARRYL: I don’t know if I have a dollar on me–

AMBER: I’ll wait.

DARRYL: All right, here. Fine. Although you did use the word first.

AMBER: Not in relation to my guy!

DARRYL: I do love her, though. Now that I’ve paid, I guess I might as well say it, right?

AMBER: Do you love her, though? I mean, I know you love the way she looks, and I know you love the way she makes you feel…

DARRYL: What do you want me to say, Amber? What are you fishing for?

AMBER: Do you actually care about her?

DARRYL: Of course I do! This isn’t even about me, is it?

AMBER: A little bit, yeah.

DARRYL: One bad relationship and you’re giving up on love?

AMBER: I am not giving up on love! And it was not a “bad relationship”, we were just… He was gay. You know? It didn’t mean that we didn’t love each other. It just meant that we… Look, I care about you, Darryl. I love you. You’re my friend. And I care about her, too. I want you both to be happy.

DARRYL: And you think that we could make each other happy?

AMBER: It’s not about what I think. It’s about what you think. You have to want to make her happy–

DARRYL: Oh, is that what you were driving at?


DARRYL: You could’ve told me that!

AMBER: But that would’ve–whatever. Look, the point is… You have to want her to be happy.

DARRYL: Why do you think I don’t want to tell her? Right now, we’re friends. And she seems to like it like that. Friends seem to be… comfortable. For her. Makes her happy. If I tell her I want to be more than friends… That could make her unhappy.

AMBER: You don’t know that.

DARRYL: I don’t know anything!

AMBER: Well, at least you know that.

DARRYL: Beginning of wisdom, right? God, it all used to be so much simpler. You like a girl, you… write her a poem. Recite it at her window at night. Now…

AMBER: Have you ever tried that?


AMBER: … Really?

DARRYL: Hell, yeah. I went to high school. You gotta be a romantic at some point before you can earn the right to be a cynic.

AMBER: You’re not cynical.

DARRYL: Challenge accepted!

AMBER: Good luck! You don’t have it in you! So what happened?


AMBER: With the girl? Reciting a poem at her window?

DARRYL: Oh, she um…

AMBER: She didn’t call the cops, did she?

DARRYL: No, but she told everybody at school. I was a laughing-stock. People started calling me Romeo. Obviously. Then some guy called himself the Prince of Cats and drew a knife on me–


DARRYL: True story. I reminded him Romeo kills Tybalt in the play, and then I got suspended for three days.

AMBER: ‘Murika!

DARRYL: Oh, God.

AMBER: So, because some guy drew a knife on you one time, that means there’s no such thing as love?

DARRYL: Well, when you put it like that… no. It doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as love, it means there’s no such thing as romance. It means romance is dead.

AMBER: Or… It means you just haven’t found the right person. You don’t get to be cynical after just one try, Darryl. You don’t “get” to be cynical at all. You just have to get up, get over it. Try again. Do you feel the same way about Michelle that you did about that other girl? Did you trust that other guy?


AMBER: Then don’t go telling me things that aren’t true. Tell her. Tell her how you feel, let her make the decision.

DARRYL: I should tell her.

AMBER: You should tell her!

DARRYL: Should I write a poem?

AMBER: Do you think that she would like a poem?

DARRYL: I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you.

AMBER: I’m actually not sure that she would get it. It’s just… she might think it was a joke. Or ironic.

DARRYL: Then I was right.

AMBER: About what?

DARRYL: Romance is dead. I think Irony killed her.

About Polypsyches

I write, regardless of medium or genre, but mostly I manage a complex combined Science-Fiction/Fantasy Universe--in other words, I'm building Geek Heaven. With some other stuff on the side. View all posts by Polypsyches

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