Miss By An Inch – Part 2

The music changes to another stringy ballad.

Samantha:  Oh damn, time is just going by so fast.  Help me get my borrowed old new blue shit on.

She rushes to the desk and picks up a blue necklace, a ribbon, earrings and a ring and goes back to the mirror.  She hands the necklace to Barry.

Barry:  I almost asked you out to that prom.

Samantha:  Really?

Barry:  Yeah.  Neither of us had dates just yet, and I figured who else would be better to go with.  But Neil got to you first.

Samantha:  We ended up spending most of it together anyway.

Barry:  Yeah.  (Pause)  I almost asked you out dozens of times.

Sam stops putting on the little gifts.

Samantha:  Really?

Barry:  Yeah.

Samantha:  When?

Barry:  All of high school.  The one I remember the most is Valentine’s Day our senior year.  I hid roses in my locker, along with a bull fighter’s tuxedo, two of those little finger clapping things and some cologne.  We had just learned the tango in our dance class and I was going to dance up to you, with a rose in my mouth and those little clappers clicking, pick you up and dip you, take the rose out of my mouth and ask (suavely)  Do you want to go to dinner?

Samantha:  Really?

Barry:  And if you said yes, I would put the rose in your mouth, and we would’ve tangoed all the way down the hall.

Samantha:  Wow.  That would have been great.  Why didn’t you?

Barry:  I don’t know.  Chickened out I guess.  I was all dressed up, practicing my moves so I wouldn’t fall, rose all prepared, cologne making me smell like a man.  And then I saw you walk past, and I was going to go for it but . . .

Samantha:  But?

Barry:  I started on the wrong foot, or you were walking the wrong way.  Towards me.  Or away from me.  I don’t really remember.  All I know is I suddenly felt wrong, so I just hid in the corner, waited for everyone to get to class, snuck out to my locker, changed and went home.

Samantha:  Oh.  That’s sad.  You should have asked me.  I would’ve said yes.

Barry:  Seriously?

Samantha:  Yeah.  Even with Michael, no one else can take my breath away quite the way you can.

Barry:  Well . . . fuck.  Too late now.

Samantha:  Yes.  Now would not be the appropriate time to ask me on a date.  (Pause)  Do you ever regret it?

Barry:  Not asking you out that day?

Samantha:  Yeah.

Pause.

Barry:  Everyday of my life.

Pause.  Sam turns around.  They are both suddenly aware of how close they are standing next to one another.

Samantha:  What are you saying?

Barry:  Not much.  I love you.  Nothing new.

Samantha:  What type of love?

Barry:  I don’t know.  Ask Oprah.  For me, loving you has always been enough, I never questioned what type.

Sam turns around again, and looks at herself in the mirror.

Samantha:  This must be hard for you.

Barry:  No.  And yes.

Samantha:  And now it’s hard for me.

Barry:  Yeah.

Samantha:  Do you want to do this?  I can walk myself down.

Barry:  No.  Do you still want me to?

Samantha:  (Pause)  Yes.

Pause.

Barry:  Like I said, giving you away is the greatest gift I could think of.  Besides, I’m keeping the toaster I bought you, and I ain’t buying another one.

They hug each other.

Barry:  I’m sorry Sam.  I never had trouble with anything in my life, but I was always one step behind you.  Just an inch off, and I was too scared to jump it.

Samantha:  It’s all right.  I’m happy the way my life is turning out.  Are you happy?

Barry:  Yeah actually.

Pause.

Samantha:  The perfect match, missed only by an inch.

Barry:  Well, it’s only an inch.  Close enough for me.

Samantha:  Me too.

The church bells start to ring.  The time has come, the cue is up.

Barry:  Ready?

Samantha:  (wiping her eyes.)  Yes.

Barry:  Let’s go.

Barry turns to go, but Sam stays for a second.  She pulls him in to kiss him, but he stops.  She puts his hands on both sides of her face and kisses his forehead.  They hug each other.  Sam smiles, checks herself in the mirror, and then goes.  Barry stays behind, looks at himself in the mirror.

Barry:  That was you one chance to kiss her you know.

He puts his hand up to his face and measures how far his forehead is from his mouth.

Barry:  Close enough.

Barry walks out and closes the door.  The Bridal March starts.  Lights fade.

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