Jan 28
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A Liar's Love Story

A Liar’s Love Story
By Daniel Viorica


Nate (to audience): So, uh, hey everyone. How’s it going? I’ve got a date. Which is first of all very exciting. Not something that happens very often. Or at all, really. There’s just a slight problem. I met her online.  And I may have... well, I catfished her. Just a little bit. Y’know, just a few basic lies. About myself. So, we’ll see how this goes.


 Elle enters the stage.


Elle: Oh my god! Nate! Sorry I was a little bit late, traf-


Nate: No, no, it’s okay! You’re Elle?


Elle: That’s me! 


Nate: Cool! My name’s Nate! That’s my name. Don’t have any other names. Nate. My name is definitely Nate. Let’s get a table, shall we?


Nate (to audience): So here’s the deal. My name’s not Nate.  And I’m not sure if I want her to find out. 


They find a table and don’t sit down, because it’s a standing restaurant.


Elle: Isn’t this new restaurant just fascinating? No idea why there aren’t chairs. 


Nate glances at audience and winks


Nate: Just fascinating! The way some things are blocked, isn’t it?  Guess we’ll have to stand, then.


Elle: Guess we will!
Nate: Nice table here, though, right?  And look! These are our drinks. Here almost as if my magic.  
Elle:  By magic.  Cheers.


There’s a moment of awkward silence.


Elle: So, uh, you’re an accountant, right? How’s that?


Nate (to audience): Nope. I’m not. I work in sales. 


Nate: Sure am! It’s a… cutthroat life. 


Elle: Accounting is cutthroat? Definitely wouldn’t have guessed it. 


Nate looks at the audience and grimaces. 


Elle (to audience): Well this is going just peachy. Here’s the deal. I’m here, on this date, and I’m really hoping it goes well, it’s the first time I’ve tried one of these things in… quite a bit, but there’s a bit of a complication. I may be lying to him just a little bit. Just some simple stuff, you know. My name’s not Elle. But it’s not like names actually matter, Shakespeare said so. An Elle by any other name would smell just as sweet. And if all the world’s a stage, now I’m just playing a new part.

Nate (to audience): So we’ve been sitting here for about 30 minutes


Elle (to audience): Just chatting and such. 


Nate (to audience): I think it’s been going pretty well.


Elle (to audience): Just the regular amount of awkward pauses.


Elle and Nate (to audience): I don’t think s/he’s figured it out. 


There’s a moment of awkward silence


Nate: So, uh, Elle...


Nate (to audience): This is one of those moments where that “questions to ask on a first date” thread that I really should have read more carefully might come in handy
Elle: Huh? Oh. Yeah. Elle. Hahahahaha. That’s me! Elle! Sorry, what were you saying?
Elle (to audience): I thought changing my name would be easier. I have a new life now, right? I’m still stuck lying about myself, and to myself... When all I want is a little bit of truth.


Nate: What’s your favorite color?


Elle: What is this, a team building exercise? You can do better than that!


Nate: Well…


Elle (to audience): Or I guess he can’t do better than that.


Elle: Let me try. 


Brief moment of silence


Elle: What’s something you’ve never told anyone before?


Nate looks at her quizzically


Elle: Seriously! 


Nate (to audience): Guess we’re going deeper into the lie well.


Nate: When I was a kid I… 


There’s a sudden moment of clarity and Nate begins talking faster and faster


Nate: When I was a kid I was afraid of birds. My aunt had this parrot and it was kind of a jerk. Whenever I went over to her house, the parrot would throw its food at me.  And sometimes it would preen and act like it wanted to be petted and I was the stupid kid who would take the bait and stick my finger in the cage. That bird bit really hard. At one point I was so scared of this parrot, I refused to go over to my aunt’s house. And that lasted, like, two years.


Elle (laughing): Just out of curiosity, how tall was this bird?


Nate: About six inches.


Elle: You were scared of a six inch tall bird that was stuck in a cage?


Nate (laughing): Shut up! Its beak was really sharp.


They laugh for a moment


Nate (to audience): That came out surprisingly true.


Elle: Now I know your thoughts on birds, but do you have any other pets?


Nate (to audience): Nope.


Nate: Yes, I actually have a dog.


Elle (to audience): Oh god I hope he isn’t a dog person.


Elle: I love dogs! What breed is he?


Nate: He’s a beagle. 


Elle: Like snoopy?


Nate: Sure!


Elle: What’s his name?


Nate: It’s Snoopy actually. I love those Charlie Brown comics!


Nate (to audience): Do you ever get to the point in a date where you realize you’ve lied about nearly everything in your life and the single moment when you didn’t lie is the only moment where you genuinely felt connected to the person you’ve been sitting across from for the past thirty minutes but you can’t tell her that you’re a liar because that would really kill the vibe and otherwise complicate the situation, potentially in ways that I really, really don’t want to deal with?


Elle: Me too! Charles Shultz is a personal hero of mine actually.


There’s a moment of silence


Nate (to audience): This is a bad idea.


Nate: I don’t have a dog.


Elle: What?


Elle (to audience): What?


Nate: I don’t have a dog. I especially don’t have a beagle named Snoopy. I really don’t like Peanuts. 


Elle (to audience): Well then...


Nate: I-I’ve been lying to you all night. I’m not an accountant, I work in sales. My name isn’t Nate. I’m Natalie. It’s my-- My parents are-- I was just so scared, you know?
 Elle: I know.
Natalie: I’m sorry for lying about… all this. And I hope it’s not something that--


Elle: Well, I’ve been with Nates… and with Natalies--


Natalie: I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lied. I’m sorry for this whole situation. I just… I don’t like myself when I’m not lying. And don’t say something like “oh you should just be yourself!” I know. I’ve heard it so many times. Being myself is… hard. But I’ll try to be better.
Elle (to audience): Do you ever get to that point in a date where you realize you aren’t alone? When you realize that there are people out there who are just as afraid of themselves as you are? When you realize that maybe, for once, you’re the one who needs to tell the person sitting across from you that everything’s going to be okay?


Elle: I think it’s ok to lie, sometimes.


Natalie: Huh?


Elle: I don’t think lying is always wrong. I mean, I lie all the time about little things! Maybe I didn’t actually like this soup! Maybe I haven’t actually seen Stranger Things. Maybe… 
Elle (to audience): Here it goes...
Elle: Maybe my name isn’t actually Elle.
Natalie: Wait what?
Elle (to audience): Maybe a little bit abrupt.
Elle: I’m not a stranger to lying, so maybe I’m a little rich in saying this but, even bigger lies have their place. Would you have been able to ask me out if you were being yourself?


Natalie: Probably not.


Elle: See! Lies brought us together. And I’m really glad they did.
Natalie: Me too....
Elle: But, I’m also really, really okay with the truth. Because the truth is a beautiful thing.
Natalie nods.
Elle: I’ve had my fair share of bad decisions. I’ve had my fair share of lying, to the people around me, to people who’ve cared about me, to people who knew my name. To myself. But I’ve never had nearly enough truth in my life. I need to be better too. How would you feel about trying to be better… together?
Natalie: I think that would be amazing.
The two sit in silence for a moment, but it isn’t depressing or awkward silence. It’s kinda happy silence.
Elle: Hey, can I tell you a secret?


Natalie: Sure?


Elle: I’m actually allergic to dogs.


Elle looks at the audience and winks.

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