Scene : CASEY is having dinner with JOE in the restaurant. There’s a round table for two, they are both sitting opposite each other.
JOE : So she’s telling him how she feels?
CASEY : Well, at least that’s what we talked about. Knowing her, you just don’t know what to expect. One second she’d be this sturdy rock of determination, the next she’d be putting her arm on her forehead and swoon in defeat.
JOE : It’s ‘the Mikail effect’, I know. I’ve seen it too many times not to believe it actually exists.
CASEY : Oh, I know him almost as long as Nurul, he doesn’t have any effect on me.
JOE : Baby, that’s just because you saw me first.
CASEY : Really? So, are you saying that ‘the Joe effect’ is much more potent? I’m surprise that you don’t have a trail of admirers following you around.
JOE : Oh, that’s just because they are afraid of ‘the Casey effect’.
CASEY : Oh, they better run. (Laughs.) You want to know something, I’m glad that you are your honest you.
JOE : I think I know where this is leading but I’ll bite the bait anyway. What do you mean by that?
CASEY : Well, wouldn’t it be cruel if you’re exactly like Mikail?
JOE : Come on, he’s not so bad as you think. In fact, he’s not bad at all.
CASEY : I’m not saying that he’s bad. But, he’s giving her unnecessary hope, which is bad for her because the only way she will learn from it is when he finally breaks her heart.
JOE : Mikail has no intention of hurting her.
CASEY : Yeah, but he’s already hurting her with all the expectation; she’s practically obsessed with him. I hate seeing her like that, I hate seeing her so helplessly hopeful.
JOE : At least, we can be there for her, to offer anything. Comfort, support.
CASEY : But if only there was something more we could do. Maybe, if I go and talk to Mikail and find out what he’s about, then…
JOE : You know she wouldn’t want that.
CASEY : Well, if it helps, why not?
JOE : What if it’ll only make it worse?
CASEY : I don’t know. I keep telling her that perhaps he’s just not worth it. Maybe, she deserves someone better, someone who would appreciate her and doesn’t take her for granted.
JOE : What makes you think that he’s taking her for granted?
CASEY : How can he not know how she feels? Why is he ignoring it?
JOE : Maybe he doesn’t know what she wants. Maybe, he just can’t give it to her. It could be as simple as that.
CASEY : Oh come on! He might be physically blind, but you can close your eyes and still take notice of what is going on. It’s not like he can’t hear her.
JOE : Casey, you can’t put the blame on him. He’s not doing anything wrong.
CASEY : He’s not doing anything right either.
JOE : I know how you feel. I’ve known him for years and years and still I can’t figure him out.
CASEY : Joe, when you look at them, they have so many things in common; it’s like they are too perfect for each other. Whenever you see them together, you just know that they are happy. If only he could see that.
JOE : Maybe he does, but that’s just as far as it goes. Maybe he’s accepting it as it is, not more, and not less.
CASEY : What do you mean?
JOE : How should I explain this to you? Has Mikail ever told you why he’s like that, how he got to be blind? Did Nurul ever ask him?
CASEY : No, not that I know of.
JOE : Well, guess if I tell you it wouldn’t change anything.
CASEY : You mean to say that it wasn’t from birth?
JOE : No. A couple of years ago he was in a very horrible automobile accident. He suffered several injuries to the spinal cord and he was paralyzed for a long time. Doctors said that it would be a miracle for him to walk again. And it was.
CASEY : What does being paralyzed have to do with his eyes?
JOE : Nothing. His eyes were perfectly fine.
CASEY : So what happened?
JOE : He was not alone in the car, Casey. His girlfriend, his ex-girlfriend now, was in it as well. Her condition was not as bad as his; she had several broken bones. But her eyes, glass splinters scarred them during the crash.
CASEY : Are you saying that he traded his eyes for her?
JOE : Yeah, he opted for a cornea transplant.
CASEY : Why?
JOE : I asked him that once, why he did it and if it was worth it, especially after she left him.
CASEY : She left him? That bi! I’m sorry, what did he say?
JOE : He said that he did it because he wanted her to be happy and his sacrifice would mean that she wouldn’t be bitter anymore.
CASEY : Was she bitter because she lost her sight?
JOE : I supposed she was. She couldn’t accept it. She blamed him.
CASEY : What for?
JOE : He was the one who was driving the car.
CASEY : Oh, my… But, suppose it wasn’t his fault.
JOE : It wasn’t.
CASEY : Then why?
JOE : I don’t know, Casey.
CASEY : How did he take her leaving? He must have been devastated.
JOE : Actually, he told me once that he didn’t expect her to stay with him that long. She was always ambitious and driven, always wanting more.
CASEY : What made her stick around then?
JOE : Guilt, maybe. But, he knew that she couldn’t possibly want to. The break was a mutual decision. He couldn’t make her happy; she no longer wanted him so they let go of each other?
CASEY : That’s so terrible. Didn’t she have any love for him?
JOE : It’s ugly the way hearts change. But, you can’t blame her for wanting to be happy. If she thinks that Mikail couldn’t guarantee that, it’s her right. You have the right to be happy.
CASEY : God… But, he gave up his eyes for her. How is he? Do you think he’s happy?
JOE : The last time I checked, he thinks he is.
CASEY : Well, he has to be. Someone with that big a heart should be. I didn’t know he’s capable of that unconditional sacrifice. He must have really loved her.
JOE : Yes, I believe so.
CASEY : Do you think that’s why he’s not doing anything?
JOE : About Nurul?
CASEY : Yeah, if he’s not over the ex yet, that could be a reason.
JOE : Maybe… But not once did I hear him complain or regret about the past.
CASEY : Never?
JOE : Never. It amazes me how he accepts everything that has happened with ease, like he knows the reason behind everything. I’m not surprise if he actually does.
CASEY : So, he’s taking it as it is.
JOE : Are you getting what I mean?
CASEY : He accepts Nurul as she is, always being nice not because he expects anything from her, but because he wants to. Like his eyes, he really wanted his ex to have them.
JOE : Exactly.
CASEY : You want to know something. I’m glad you told me this. At least, I’m beginning to see what Nurul must have seen in him all this while.
JOE : Oh, no. I can see ‘the Mikail effect’ at work already. Not again. Damn, I should have kept my mouth shut.
CASEY : (Laughs.) Relax, baby. I’m not falling for him. Nurul would kill me if I do. Being dead wouldn’t be much fun now, would it?
JOE : Worse, she might deliberately fall for me and become obsessed to get back at you. Then, I would be torn to choose from making my girl happy by making her girl happy, to making my girl happy by not making her girl happy.
CASEY : Baby, you’re not making any sense.
JOE : Love is not about making sense.
CASEY : Oh, what is it about then?
JOE : It’s about making the most out of the time we have together. And if it includes talking about nonsense, then heck lets think of things that doesn’t make any sense.
CASEY : Think of things that doesn’t make sense. Isn’t that what we’ve been doing all along?
JOE : Nonsense!
CASEY : (Laughs.) I think you’re crazy.
JOE : I think I love you.
CASEY : I love you too and that’s even crazier.
Lights fade out.