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No Matter What
(Marissa looking into mirror/getting ready. Connor on the other side doing the same.)
Connor: I’m going to do it. / I’m going to tell her.
Marissa: I’m going to tell him. Finally, after all these years. It’s always been Connor. / I hope he understands what I’m feeling.
Connor: I hope she understands what I’m feeling. She is smart, passionate, kind and accepting. / She’s a great girl.
Marissa: He’s a great guy. He’s an amazing listener and can make anyone laugh or feel okay. He is always up for an adventure and goes along with all my crazy ideas. / He’s my best friend.
Connor: She’s my best friend. It kills me to do this to her, but you can’t help who you fall for. I know that it’s been more than friends to her for a while now, but / I just don’t feel the same.
Marissa: I wonder if he feels the same? I mean, he has to. We been inseparable since we were kids. I could sit up with him for hours on the nights we sneak out, talking about everything. He always has the dumbest, most interesting things to say. I know / this is right.
Connor: This is wrong. I wish it was her. I wish it wasn’t like this, but as terrifying as it is, I can’t make myself feel something I don’t. I have to tell her tonight.
Marissa: I’m going to tell him tonight.
Both: I can do this. Tonight could change everything.
Connor: Tonight will change everything.
(Connor enters “sneaking out from door” and sits on steps.)
(Marissa enters from house, meeting him.)
Connor: Hey Riss.
Marissa: Oh my god, you’re the worst at sneaking out. You can’t just sit on your front porch, you goofball. Come on.
Connor: My parents are out.
Marissa: This late?
Connor: They went to stay the night with Josh.
Marissa: Ah, the hotter, better brother.
Connor: (Half-hearted laugh) Shut up.
(Marissa leans her head on Connor’s shoulder)
Marissa: Oh you know I’m kidding. (beat) Kinda.
(Both laugh and then are quiet for a moment)
Connor: Have you ever lied to yourself?
Marissa: What do you mean?
Connor: Like had feelings that you pushed away because you were scared of them?
Marissa: (Looks down and laughs half-hearted) Yeah, I have.
Connor: (half-hearted) Wow, no jabs at my late-night deep talk?
Marissa: (Laughs nervously) I couldn’t think of any.
(Silence and cautious glances at each other. Both meet eyes. Marissa leans in to kiss Connor, who slightly turns his head.)
Connor: Marissa (Names said simultaneously)
Marissa: Connor, I have to tell you something.
Connor: Me too.
Marissa: I know we’ve been friends forever, and I know it’s never been more / than that--
Marissa: But you’ve been there for me like no one else ever has. When we were seven and those girls were making fun of me for being shy, you stood up to them and told them I was perfect just how / I was--
Connor: Please Marissa.
Marissa: And when my parents were fighting all the time when we were twelve, you climbed up to my room every night and sat with me until they finally / stopped and went to bed--
Connor: I have to tell you something
Marissa: And at that party last year when Brad tried to force me to do / to do things I didn’t want to do, you busted through that bedroom door and forced him out.
Connor: Riss, don’t.
Marissa: Anytime anything went wrong, you’d always say to me, “We’ll make through this, Marissa, you and me, no matter what.”
Connor: Listen to me Marissa.
Marissa: Just let me finish. I know we love each other, as much as friends can, but it’s even more than that. I can’t help how I feel. I-I’m in love with you, Connor.
Connor: (Quietly) Marissa, I’m gay.
Marissa: (half-way laughs) What?
(Connor stands up.)
Connor: I’m… gay.
(Marissa pauses, then laughs)
Connor: (hurt) Dammit, Marissa.
Marissa: Connor, I’ve known you all my life. You’re not gay.
(Turns her back to him)
Connor: I am.
Marissa: You’re not.
Marissa: (Turns back) You know what, Connor? If you don’t feel the same, you could just tell me. I just poured my heart out to you and made a fool of myself, and you just joke around that you’re gay? (pushes him) I can’t believe you.
(Marissa turns back around and begins to tear up, embarrassed and also taking in what Connor is saying.)
Connor: Marissa, please.
Marissa: No. (pause) No.
Connor: Please, look at me.
Marissa: Is it true? Are you really… gay?
Connor: Look at me. (Connor takes her hand and turns her towards him.) I’m terrified, Marissa.
(Marissa stays quiet.)
Connor: What will my parents say? You know how they feel about these things. And at school? How can I walk down those halls and face everyone?
Marissa: How did I miss this?
Connor: I’ve been hiding this for years. I pretended to be someone else for so long that I didn’t even recognize myself.
Connor: But tonight I looked in the mirror, and for the first time I felt like I was really seeing… me. And that feeling overpowered this fear I’ve felt all my life.
(Marissa sits beside Connor.)
Connor: I love you, Marissa. And just because we love each other in different ways, doesn’t mean it’s anything less.
Connor: I’m so sorry, I wish I wasn’t like this, Riss. I wish I was normal. I wish I could be the guy my parents would be proud of and the one that my friends would accept and the one that could give you the love that you really deserve.
Marissa: Connor, it’s okay. You’re okay.
Connor: This changes everything, doesn’t it?
(Marissa pauses, formulating thoughts.)
Marissa: I want to say this changes nothing. You are still that loyal, adventurous, goofy boy I met when I was four, and I’m still me and we’re still us, but yeah, this changes everything.
(Connor shifts anxiously.)
Marissa: Look at me, Connor.
(Connor looks up.)
Marissa: This changes everything because for the first time, I see you. Not the mask you’ve worn or the persona you created, but the real you. And I love you, Connor.
(Marissa takes Connors hand)
Marissa: We’ll make it through this, you and me, no matter what.
(Connor hugs Marissa tightly.)
Connor: No matter what.