Written by Joe Janes
186 of 365
(Lights up on the terrace of a high society soiree. Rosa, in a beautiful evening gown, enters. She looks distraught and heads to the railing and looks out at the evening sky. Luis, in a tuxedo, enters and stands at the door.)
LUISRosa, my darling.
ROSA (not turning)Luis. No. Stay away. You must.
LUISYour lips say, “Stay away,” but your back says, “come hither.”
ROSA (turning)Damn my back and its vocabulary. Damn my back, Luis, and damn you. (Whispering) Damn you.
(They embrace. They build tension as they lock eyes and almost kiss but press their faces cheek-to-cheek instead.)
ROSA (continuing)I love you and I hate you.
LUISI love you and I hate you, too.
ROSARoberto must never know.
(Roberto enters wearing an Argentinean dress military uniform and carrying a glass of champagne. He sees Rosa and Luis and smashes the glass on the floor.)
LUISMy friend. This is not how it looks.
ROBERTOI have been a fool. My lover and my best friend.
LUISShe is yours. Take her. I don’t want her. I was just telling her how much I hated her.
ROSAHe speaks the truth, Roberto. We are in hate with one another.
ROSAWe are hate mates.
ROBERTOI should have listened to you my friend.
(Roberto starts crying and runs into Luis’s arms.)
LUISShhh, shhhh, it’s okay. It’s okay.
ROSAWhat did he mean listen to you?
ROBERTAHe said you were a tramp who would eat my heart!
LUISOr that. I may have said something like that. I think I said, “break” your heart.
ROBERTOYes, yes, “break.” He said, “break.” I said, “eat.”
(Rosa starts hitting Luis who uses Roberto to block the blows.)
ROSAI hate you even more now! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!
(Johnny, an American in a nice suit, enters.)
JOHNNYI waited for you in the taxicab, but you never came.
LUISYou were going to leave?
ROBERTOHow could you leave us like that?
ROSAJohnny and I are in love. Right, Johnny?
JOHNNYThat’s right. I’ve never loved anyone more deeply. Or quickly.
LUISWhen did you meet?
JOHNNYAbout an hour ago. At the buffet. Near the prime rib.
ROSAOh, Johnny, let’s go. Let’s go, Johnny, now. Let’s run away forever, Johnny. Sweep me up in your arms, Johnny, and take me to your America so I can be free. (pause) Johnny?
JOHNNYRight away, but first, who are these guys?
ROSAOh, how rude of me. This is Roberto, my lover and Luis, his best friend and also my lover whom I also hate.
JOHNNYIs there anyone else I should know about?
(Adolfo wearing a tuxedo and a cape enters.)
ADOLFO (cheerfully)Rosa, here you are!
ROSAAdolfo! My husband!
ADOLFO (still cheerful)You say that as if I caught you doing something other than just having a friendly conversation on the terrace with these three handsome gentlemen. How is everyone?
ROBERTOI’ve been better.
ADOLFOYou’re missing a wonderful party inside. The band has started and everyone is dancing the night away. Shall we tango, Rosa?
ROSAOf course, husband. Whatever you say.
ADOLFOYou gentlemen have a splendid evening. You look so lovely tonight, my dear…
(Adolfo escorts Rosa back into the party.)
JOHNNYWell, I feel like a real heel.
LUISI didn’t know he was so nice!
ROBERTOI didn’t know she was married. And to such a great guy.
JOHNNYShould we go join the party?
LUISI think I’d feel really awkward.
ROBERTOMe, too. Plus, Rosa was the only hottie.
LUISSure, why not?
ROBERTOThat’s how I met Rosa!