< The set is barren, save for a single metal folding CHAIR and a cardboard WALL. Everything is draped in black. A single hanging BULB provides the only illumination. As the crowd settles in to the small arts theater, a dark-haired man dressed all in black walks slowly onto the stage. He places a black FOLDER on the chair, and then turns to the crowd.>
Angel: < long, soulful pause > It all really started with a girl.
< ANGEL removes a picture from the FOLDER, and pins it to the WALL. It shows a pretty GIRL of about eighteen or nineteen, with blonde hair and a lovely smile. She is waving to someone. >
Angel: I fell in love with her the first time I saw her. Looking at her, I could see the way she held her heart out for everyone to see, and I was afraid that it might get bruised.
< ANGEL pins a second picture beside the first. This is also a picture of the GIRL, but clearly taken several years earlier. In this, she doesn't look more than sixteen. >
Angel: I changed my life for her. Dragged myself out of the gutter, because I knew that I had to protect her. When she and her mother moved to another town, I followed them. The first night there, I followed her into an alley, and for the first time I actually talked with her. She was amazing. But I couldn't let her get close. So I kept to the shadows, appearing now and then to talk a few minutes before disappearing again. All she knew was my name. But I loved her. She would hang out at a local club with her friends, and after she left I would follow her home, just to make sure that she was safe. After she went to sleep at night, I would sit outside her window for hours and just watch her sleep.
< ANGEL pins a third picture to the WALL. This one is of the GIRL asleep in her bed. from the angle of the shot, it appears to have been taken from OUTSIDE the house, with a TELOSCOPIC lens. Several members of the AUDIENCE shift uncomfortably. >
Angel: Eventually, she and I grew closer together. Sometimes we'd even have conversations that lasted more than ten minutes. It was wonderful. Then, one night she was attacked outside of the club. I helped her, and we ran to her house. She bandaged my wounds, and I slept on the floor of her room, because she was afraid that if I left I might get hurt. I lay awake all night, listening to her breathing. During the day, I hid in her closet so that her mother wouldn't find me.
< In the AUDIENCE, there are a few COUGHS >
Angel: That night, we kissed, and she realized who I truly was. She was frightened, and screamed. I ran. It was horrible - to think that the one I loved so much had rejected me. All of her friends told her that she shouldn't get involved with me.
< ANGEL pins another picture to the WALL. This one shows three people: one MAN in glasses and a tweed jacket, one GIRL with red hair, and one gangly BOY with dark hair. >
Angel: But there was really no turning back. We were both in love. And the age difference was so extreme that at times we almost didn't notice it. We tried to deny our love - we avoided each other for weeks. It didn't work. There were other guys she could've dated - even guys who loved her.
< ANGEL pins up a picture of the dark-haired BOY from the previous group shot >
Angel: But she loved *me*. And for a while, our differences didn't matter. I'd still follow her around town, but she knew I was there. When I sat on her windowsill at night, she would let me in. It was wonderful. But then, on her seventeenth birthday, we made love, and I lost myself. I needed to make her feel pain, to punish her for how happy she had made me. I belittled her, tortured her mind, and even hurt her friends.
< Another picture is pinned to the WALL. This shows the blonde GIRL, crouched on the floor - CRYING. This shot also appears to be taken from outside the HOUSE, with the TELOSCOPIC lens. Several AUDIENCE members slink out. >
Angel: But she still loved me. Because our love was something special. It was destined. No matter what I did, she still loved me. Eventually, her friend cured me, but then she sent me to Hell. But I fought my way out, and she found me. She hid me from her friends, and nursed me back to health. We were together again - though we knew that we had to keep our distance. Months passed, and it was so hard being with her and having to be so careful of what I said, and how I touched her.
< ANGEL straightens his shoulders, and his voice gains a very noble, self-sacrificing tone. Well, no. His voice has had that tone this whole time. The noble and self-sacrificing aspects get even more prominent. >
Angel: We couldn't be together - it wasn't fair to her. There were so many things I couldn't give her - children, sex, sunlight, and someone to grow old beside. I left her, without saying good-bye. I told her to find someone who could give her everything that I couldn't. I stepped out of her life, telling her to find someone to love her as I could not.
< There is a long, poignant pause >
Angel: < petulently > She wasn't supposed to *LISTEN* to me!
< ANGEL pins another picture to the WALL. This shows the GIRL being embraced by a tall and good-looking BOY. The two are laughing, and appear very happy. >
Angel: < in a very whining tone > I can't believe her! I mean, I gave up everything for her! I walked nobly away, and you don't really see *me* getting together with anyone! How can she just throw away everything that we shared together? She was everything to me, and then she barely spends three months grieving before just moving on with her life! I mean, our love was *DESTINED*! It was *TRAGIC*! She actually thinks she can just move on and try to love this shmuck?
< ANGEL points at the picture for emphasis, damning the GIRL's happiness with one well-timed gesture >
Angel: I was dark! I was brooding! I still am! Look at this guy - he's well-adjusted, intelligent, attractive, and has his own career goals and ambitions! And worse - he actually has friends and a social life of his own. When I was with her, I gave 110% to that relationship. I hung out with her friends because I didn't have any friends of my own! When we made a date, the only person's schedule we had to worry about was hers!
< ANGEL paces across the stage in AGITATION. >
Angel: When I wasn't with her, I was sitting alone in the dark and brooding over the fact that I wasn't with her, reading French poetry, or staring into a fire! This guy has hobbies and activities - can you believe that? His life does not revolve around her! His list of friends is not confined to her list of friends! They can have a future together. They can have happiness, and sunlight. He's not all that likely to end up drinking her blood.
< ANGEL pauses >
Angel: Our love was destined, tragic, and immortal. Until this bastard named Riley Finn came and ruined it all.
< Reaching up, ANGEL turns off the LIGHT, symbolizing the end to the play. As the theater lights come up, the remaining AUDIENCE members stumble to the exit. >
"That was disturbing. Was anyone else disturbed?"
"He crept into that girl's room at night! Where were her parents during all of this?"
"I think when he said that he 'lost himself' after he had sex with that girl he was referring to some kind of drug habit. That would explain his actions - one long drug or alcohol-related bender. The friend probably got him cleaned up, and then the girl had to send him to rehab, or 'hell'. Then when he got out, she cared for him. Very introspective."
"Clearly this guy has some issues that should best be dealt with in therapy. Maybe some pent-up resentment against his father?"
"Can you believe that they're charging $5 for a glass of fruit punch?"
"I heard that the critics panned this show. They were right, too. Now I just wish that I'd listened to them and not wasted money on the ticket."
"Aren't there laws against stalking? Because that really looks like what this guy was doing."
"That girl did the right thing. She spent years in a relationship with that maniac, and then she was able to move on with her life after he left her. She even managed to find a stable guy."
"... but... but.... that was such a *tragic* love story!"
"I agree! She should dump that guy she's with now and go back to Angel! He's tragic and angst-ridden!"
"Are you two insane? She should take out a court restraining order against this guy!"
"Well, this was a waste of money. Come on, I heard that there's another one-man show playing down the street. It's by some guy named Wesley."