Scene : JOE and CASEY are waiting on the sofa, anxious. NURUL enters. Both of them stand up. NURUL’s phone rings. She takes a look at it, hit a button in dismissal.
CASEY : Nurul, are you okay?
NURUL : What makes you think I’m not?
CASEY : Well, you look…
NURUL : Did he call you? Did he tell you to make sure that I wouldn’t be doing anything stupid?
JOE : Please, Nurul.
NURUL : Oh my God. You knew it didn’t you? You knew about it all along…
JOE : It’s not what you think. I thought it would be best coming out from him… instead…
NURUL : Well, guess what! You thought wrong. It was worse, because you know what, I practically dug my heart out and I put it in his hands. And what happened, it slipped off his fingertips, no, that’s not it, he threw it away and it fell and it shattered into tiny bits of bloody pieces. Now it’s gone. I don’t have a heart anymore.
CASEY : Oh, Nurul.
NURUL : Thanks for not telling me about it. I would have kept it all inside. It would have festered and bled, but at least it’ll be here.
CASEY : (She goes to hug NURUL.) I’m so sorry, Nurul. I’m so sorry.
NURUL : No, it wasn’t your fault. It was mine. You guys have been telling me over and over again. But what did I do, I never listened. I was too obsessed with him. I created things in him that doesn’t exist. Trust? Bullshit! Respect? Nothing! Love?
CASEY : I’m sure it’s not like what you think.
NURUL : Of course it isn’t, I was so full of hope, wanting it to be real this time. I was determined to make him mine but it was a lost cause even before I started.
CASEY : But, you didn’t know.
NURUL : No, I didn’t, but maybe I didn’t want to know. It’s ironic, all these while I’m in love with a blind man only to find out that it was me who was blind. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t see the truth, right in front of me. I was too busy dreaming and hoping, I didn’t see things as they are. I’m just plain stupid. I’m so stupid.
CASEY : Don’t be so hard on yourself. He’s just another guy you’re going to get over real soon. If you ask me, I don’t think he even deserves you if he failed to realize how perfect you are. He’s just another fool that you can easily get rid of.
NURUL : No, Casey. As much as I want to believe that. He’s not just another guy. It’s not going to be that easy.
CASEY : You have to try at least.
NURUL : As much as I want to hate him for not returning my feelings, for not telling me sooner, and for other million things, I just can’t. I can’t hate him. I can’t simply throw away all this love that I have for him. And you want to know what’s worse, deep down inside, I know that he didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t even his fault.
CASEY : Well, who says that life is going to be a walk in the park anyway? You have us to help you, Nurul. We’ll make lots and lost of distractions, we won’t talk about him anymore, we won’t even mention his name. If it helps, we won’t even see him again, right Joe?
JOE : Whatever it takes.
NURUL : No, no… He’s your friend too. You can’t just ditch him like that. I won’t let it happen. I won’t destroy your friendship with him out of spite. It wouldn’t make me feel any better.
JOE : What would make you feel better, Nurul?
NURUL : If things were like it was before.
JOE : Why can’t it be like that?
NURUL : I screwed up. I said things I wasn’t suppose to say.
JOE : But, you can put it all behind you. Mikail would accept.
NURUL : No, I’m too ashamed of myself… Joe, is it possible to love someone, without expecting anything in return?
JOE : Of course, that’s what unconditional love is. You love because you want to not because you expect yourself to feel that way or you feel obligated to it.
NURUL : I used to be so happy. Whenever he’s around, I knew I was happy. It’s not the things that he did or said. It was his mere presence that would somehow brighten things up. I trusted him as much as he trusted me. We respected each other’s principles, we understood each other’s feelings. And it was enough. Being with him was just enough. It was perfect.
JOE : So how come things changed?
NURUL : I was so happy, so comfortable around him that I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to continue feeling that warm sense of security. I know now that it was just selfishness. I started to become afraid, afraid that if I didn’t do something, I might lose him. I might lose my happiness.
JOE : But, it’s natural to have fears in relationships. You can’t help worrying about how things would turn out in the future. It’s easy to become jealous or possessive or demanding, because you care so much, and you can hurt so much.
NURUL : It doesn’t have to be that way, you know. I wasn’t like that in the beginning. I wasn’t filled with expectations or longing, or hurt. I wasn’t even questioning it. I was just happy because being with him brought out the best of me.
JOE : So what happened?
NURUL : I’m not sure. I guess I became obsessed when I started to expect more and more out of it. I didn’t want to settle for less than I thought I deserved. I wanted him to be mine so that I won’t ever lose that sense of security. I forgot that I didn’t need to own him to be content in the first place, because I was already filled with the joy of loving someone, without obligations or expectations or fear.
CASEY : Nurul, what if all this while he also felt the same way?
NURUL : What if…
JOE : Maybe he loves you, in his own way. He was always in good spirits when you were around. He must have known it himself, and that’s why he held on. But still, he couldn’t change the fact that he had made his choice. A decision out of the love he felt for the other girl. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care at all about you.
NURUL : You’re right. He’s not the heartless monster in this case, I am. I trampled on his feelings. I made him feel bad. I should have accepted it as it is. Instead, I questioned him. How come he didn’t tell me sooner, why and all that, when it shouldn’t have mattered at all. It doesn’t change what I feel for him now. Questions are pointless.
CASEY : But I have a question.
NURUL : What is it?
CASEY : How do you feel about him now?
NURUL : Isn’t it obvious? I love him, perhaps more than I have ever felt before if that’s even possible.
CASEY : Oh, don’t you ever learn?
NURUL : No, Casey. It’s not the old obsessive me talking. I don’t need him to make me happy, because I already am. I’m happy because I have my family, my music, my books, my writings, my friends, my life, you two. I just realize that I don’t need somebody that can make me happy. I just need somebody who I am happy just being with.
CASEY : Well, I’m glad you’re returning to your cheerful self. But you’re starting not to make any sense and it’s becoming scary.
NURUL : Oh, Casey. I’m not crazy. Well, maybe I am, who cares? But, don’t you get it? Being with Mikail makes me happy because we appreciate each other’s company. We trust each other, we respect each other, and we don’t expect anything from each other except to have the most fun out of what our lives have to offer. It’s the joy of unconditional love; it is the best form of friendship, unreserved.
CASEY : Well, I’m glad that you feel that way. Because it’s not too late, Nurul.
NURUL : Are you sure?
CASEY : Yes. You’re not upset anymore, are you?
NURUL : No.
CASEY : You’re not angry with me, Joe or Mikail for not telling you about her?
NURUL : Umm… Maybe just a little. No, wait.. It’ s gone.
JOE : Can you accept things as they are?
NURUL : You mean, can I accept him with her?
JOE : Yes.
NURUL : As long as she doesn’t get in my way to have some quality time with him once in a while, there shouldn’t be any problem with acceptance.
JOE : Don’t worry, I bet he’ll make sure of it.
CASEY : So… Go ahead.
NURUL : (She takes out her phone and dials a number. She waits, full of hope, full of love. After a while, she hits the button.) He’s not picking it up.
JOE : Maybe he’s asleep. It’s late. Try again tomorrow.
CASEY : Don’t worry, he always calls back, right?
NURUL : (Smiles.) Always, even if it’s a little too late. Well, I guess I’m going to call it day. (She leaves it on the desk.)
CASEY : You’re not going to bring it to bed?
NURUL : Why? It’s not like I can talk when I’m sleeping.
CASEY : You never know who might call you, first thing in the morning.
NURUL : If it’s Mikail and I know him, he never calls when I’m asleep.
CASEY : Lucky you.
JOE : Are you implying something?
CASEY : Nope, not ever.
NURUL : Guys, I feel that I must say this when I really mean it. Thank you, for everything.
JOE : You know that we love you, right?
NURUL : Yes, Joe. Good night. (She leaves.)
CASEY : Do you think she’ll be alright?
JOE : Lets hope so.
Lights fade out.