Dandy sits at an outdoor coffee shop with two cups of coffee resting on the table before her. She slowly lifts one of them and takes a sip.
Lion, wearing new and unfamiliar clothes, approaches the table.
LION: Hi Dandy.
DANDY: Hi grizzly Lion.
DANDY: I got you a coffee.
LION: You did. Thanks.
DANDY: A long black decaf with one.
LION: Right. That was sweet of you.
LION: Well. I’m impressed. You’re never early.
DANDY: Well… Things change. People change.
Lion looks around, uncomfortable.
DANDY: Like you. You used to say that there’s “no way in hell” you could live with anyone else but me. That you could never move from our lil’ parakeet nest in Hyland Park. And look? You’re living in a share loft Downtown.
DANDY: Nice place?
LION: It has a dishwasher. So.
DANDY: And you’ve been shopping. Never imagined I’d catch you in a denim jacket and chinos.
DION: They look. New.
LION: Well, they were on sale at Macy’s —
DANDY: — you look good, Li.
LION: How you doin? (softly) …Are you okay, Dandy?
DANDY: (demonstratively) I’m good. I’m great, actually. Yep. I stopped crying, like, 8 days ago and I haven’t looked back.
LION: I’m sorry.
DANDY: Don’t be. This is good. I needed the space more than I realized. So actually I should be thanking you. You’ve unleashed me. I’m a free woman!
LION: Ya..? Whatcha been up to?
DANDY: Who me? A bunch of things. Girls nights, Korean Spa, True Detective (you’re really missing out on that one, Li), Pilates class—really working on that pelvic floor… And I don’t sleep in anymore, Li. Nope. Not the old groany, cranky Dandy. She’s yesterday’s news. I’m a ball of energy!
DANDY: — Oh! And it looks like I may have landed this great new botanist job at Bougainvillia lab. It could see me travelling. A lot. Like they’re a chain and they have labs all over. New York, Paris, Tokyo…
LION: A job, bougainvillias, wow…
DANDY: Yeah, could be big.
DANDY: Have you slept with anyone else?
LION: Dandy, let’s not go down this road…
DANDY: Why? I’m just curious. You can tell me.
LION: No I haven’t. But if I had I still probably wouldn’t tell you.
DANDY: So you’re saying you have?
LION: No. I said I haven’t.
DANDY: But then you also said that if you had you wouldn’t tell me.
LION: I said I probably wouldn’t tell you.
DANDY: Which means there’s a 50% chance of either. Actually more like 30/70, ‘cause if you hadn’t then you wouldn’t have bothered to add the second sentence.
LION: See Dandy? This is why I didn’t want to talk about it.
DANDY: Don’t you wanna know if I have?
LION: No Dandy, I don’t. And this is exactly why I said on the phone that it’s probably too soon for us to see each other.
DANDY: Are you seeing someone?
LION : (stands) I should go.
DANDY: Don’t. I BEG YOU.
Lion sits back down.
DANDY: Do you still love me?
DANDY: Just answer yes or no.
DANDY: — for my own sanity. I need to know.
LION: I don’t know.
DANDY: I don’t buy it. I don’t think you’re being yourself. Denim jackets? Downtown?? I just can’t bring myself to buy this whole “I can live without you” bullshit.
LION: We’ve gone through this. I need this time.
DANDY: We’ve had time. Good. Well done us. Now I want you back.
LION: Dandy, don’t.
DANDY: You don’t. You made a commitment, Lion. You and me. Twin cacti. Together forever, remember?
LION: I couldn’t breathe anymore in that house. With you. And now I can.
LION: What else can I say?
Silently, big fat tears begin streaming down Dandy’s cheeks. Silently.
LION: Dandy —
DANDY: (crying) How could you, Lion? My baby Lion?? Grizzly baby Lion…
LION: Ya see..? Seeing each other just opens the wounds… Jeez…
DANDY: Wounds? You’ve killed me, Lion. You’ve successfully killed me and left me wide awake to live with it. Look at me. I’m alive but I’m dead. You say you couldn’t breathe with me. I can’t breathe without you. There’s nothing left of me besides this shell of flabby skin and three week unkept hair.
DANDY: How could you? What happened to you? You betrayed the one thing you stood for. Us.
LION: But that’s the problem. There’s more to life… For us both.
DANDY: (rocking back and forward, working into a ‘state’) NOOOOOO!!!!
LION: See?! This is what I can’t handle. You’re crazy. You’re TOO MUCH. Since being apart from you, I feel like I can feel myself again. Like, my hands. I lay in bed, by myself, and savor in the tiny sensations in my hands. Because, for the first time since I can remember, I feel alive.
DANDY: (urgent) I’ll be better. I’ll contain myself and my episodes and depressions. And when you want that tingly hand feeling, I’ll go sleep on the couch. I promise. I’ll give you all the space you want! I PROMISE.
LION: But you can be so nasty, so so mean. You’ve said things. Done things. I just don’t know If could ever go back.
DANDY: (on the ground on her knees) I’M SORRY.
DANDY: (helpless) Yes?
LION: Did you really go to the Korean spa?
LION: And do you really wake up early?
DANDY: … No, silly.
LION: You don’t have a new bougainvillea botanist job lined up either, do you?
Like a helpless child, Dandy shakes her head.
LION: I love you. You beautiful silly thing. C’mon. Let me buy you an oatmeal muffin and take you home.