ACT 1 , SCENE 1
(Danny is in the classroom, alone, facing the audience)
Danny: I had a friend back in the senior year of high school. When we were applying to universities by the middle of the year, she said to me, "It makes me upset when a college rejects my application. Because by rejecting, they mean to tell us that we suck". I laughed at this inside at first. I wanted to tell her that it meant the same thing when she rejected a guy who asked her out on a romantic date. But I didn't. She would probably have disagreed with me, anyway. Even I am not sure whether a girl means to say "You suck!" when rejecting a guy. Well, this is my first day at college, and I am about to find it out! Is there really a difference between "No, I am not interested", and "No, you suck"? Time to find out. Let's do this!
(Everybody except Denise and Horatio are on in the classroom. Students are all staring at their laps, not making any eye contact. Professor Dobson writes on the blackboard).
Professor Dobson: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the introductory social science class. Some of you are returning students, and some of you are new. So welcome, and welcome back to school. Let's go around the room and introduce each other. I'll start. My name is Professor Dobson. I've been teaching for fourteen years, as you can tell from the whites in my hair. I really like teaching, just like my mother. She was a high school teacher; worked in the field for forty three years! I am married, and I have a daughter, who is also an instructor; a teaching assistant in this school. That's all from me for now. Who wants to go next?
Mila: Hi, I am Mila. I am a first year student. I am taking this course as an elective. I am really excited to meet a lot of new people. University should be a lot of fun. Can't wait before we start learning stuff that will actually be useful in the future.
Tom: Hello everyone, I am Tom. I am taking this course because it is required for my program. I am also in the first year, and I am looking forward to the new school year.
Danny: (Shivering out of anxiety. Looks around the room, and starts talking slowly.) Hi. I am Danny. I am also a first year and I am very excited to start my undergraduate studies as well. I am looking forward to making a lot friends. (Then quiets down, rolls his eyes and mumbles to himself) And hopefully a girlfriend.
Jane: (Speaking in a visible foreign accent) I am Jane. I'm a fourth year student. I am here because I still needed an elective to fulfill my program requirements. This is my last year here. Looking forward to the end.
(Silence for few seconds.)
Professor Dobson: Okay then. Now that everyone introduced themselves, I will talk about the course structure, assignments, and I will take any questions that you may have. Let's begin.
(Lights fade out. Quiet background music starts playing, and curtains close.)
ACT 1, SCENE 2
(The next morning. Danny is on the stage, in classroom, facing the audience.)
Danny: Wow, did you see that? That girl, I mean. Jane it was, wasn't it? Fourth year, but she looks really young. When I first saw her, I thought she was in the first year as well...Also because she's taking a first-year course. (Then starts talking to himself.) Oops, why am I even talking about her? Is she attracting? (Blows raspberries). Hell no. Besides, even if she was, she's older than me... I guess... I... Even if I were attracted, I wouldn't... I don't know. Well, we'll see what happens. She seems like a nice person though. Wouldn't it be awesome if we became friends? Just friends? My first friend to-be here at college. I should try to get closer with her.
(The others come in. Tom and Mila sit at the back of the room, both texting and ignoring each other. Danny takes a seat in the front. Jane looks around the room, sees an empty seat beside Danny.)
Jane: (To Danny.) Hi, may I sit here?
Danny: (Turns to Jane, opens his eyes wide, and grins.) Sure, be my guest. (Then puts his hand out to shake hers.) I am Danny. And you're Jane, right?
Danny: Nice to meet you! (They shake ends.)
Jane: So, is this your first day here?
Danny: It is, yes. How about you?
Jane: No, I am in the fourth year. Just taking this first year course because I haven't completed it yet.
Danny: Fourth year? Really? You look so young.
Jane: (With a shy expression) Thank you.
Danny: So, what are you studying?
Jane: I am studying economics. How about you?
Danny: I am in accounting. They are both very useful degrees.
Jane: They are, indeed.
(Silence for few seconds.)
Danny: So, where do you come from?
Jane: I am from Korea.
Danny: Oh, awesome! Which part?
Jane: (Giggles) South.
Danny: No, I mean, which city? Obviously from South Korea.
Jane: Seoul. The capital.
Danny: Really? I really want to see Seoul. I actually want to see all the world capitals.
Jane: How about you? Where do you come from?
Danny: I was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and moved here in my early teens. Danny is the name I'm using here in Canada.
Jane: Istanbul. Nice.
Danny: You know, Turks and Koreans are blood brothers. (In a joking way.) We love each other.
Jane: Yes, I know.
(Professor Dobson comes in.)
Professor Dobson: Okay class, I'll be assigning you your first project. It'll be done individually. Here is the assignment sheet. We'll take a look at it together.
Tom: Sir, isn't it too early for us to start doing projects?
Professor Dobson: Welcome to university, dear. This is not high school anymore. You have to work harder than you did previously.
Tom: Oh, man. Okay.
Professor Dobson: Well then, let's start talking about the project. You'll be given a list of topics from which you will choose one topic to discuss in your project. All these topics will be taught to you in this course throughout the year, so your research will prepare you for that particular topic in advance. Once again, you have to work on this individually. If I suspect that you worked in groups, you will be penalized. Sharing ideas is permitted, but submitting similar assignments is not.
Tom: This is the first day of school. We don't know anybody. How do you even expect us to work in groups?
Professor Dobson: (Ignoring Tom) Were there any questions at this point?
(Nobody raises hands.) Okay then. Class dismissed.
(Professor Dobson, Mila and Tom leave one by one. Jane and Danny stand up and start walking towards the door together, talking to each other.)
Danny: So... That was a fun class, huh? Listen... I know we have to do this project individually, but would you perhaps like to work on it together? We can share ideas, review each other's work, and submit two separate projects. Dobson said we can do that.
Jane: Sure, that'd be great. How about we meet in the local public library this weekend?
Danny: Sounds good to me! (In a shy tone.) So... Can I have... Can I have your phone number, if that's okay? Just so that I can contact you.
Jane: Sure. (Jane takes out a piece of paper and writes her number down, and gives it to Danny.) Here it is.
Danny: Great, I will text you. See you on Saturday then!
(Jane nods, and smiles at Danny. They exit.)
END OF ACT 1
ACT 2, SCENE 1
(Jane and Danny are in the library, sitting at a desk, facing each other, looking down at books.)
Danny: Which book do you think I should use to cite quotations?
Jane: (Looks at the books. Meanwhile, Danny stares at Jane's face lovingly, and smiling lightly.) Umm. I guess this one is better. (Points to one of the books.)
Danny: Yeah? (Looks down at the book.) That's what I thought, too. The author sounds more credible. (Looks at Jane.) How are you doing? You found anything interesting?
Jane: I have found some information and also a couple of pictures that I can use.
Danny: (Excitedly)Oh, that's great! (In a normal tone) Hey listen, I am going to go grab some coffee. Would you like some, too? Looks like we're gonna be having a long day. (Chuckles)
Jane: That would be great. (Opens her purse and takes out coins)
Danny: Oh no, please. It's on me.
Jane: No, I want to pay for mine.
Danny: It's okay. I want to buy. We're friends, right?
Jane: (Takes on a surprised expression for a moment, as if she doesn't agree that they're friends.) If you don't let me pay, I won't drink it.
Danny: Jane, it'll be a pleasure for me. Let me buy it today. And you can buy one for me next time.
(Silence for few seconds)
Jane: Okay then. I'd like to get a medium coffee with some milk, please. No sugar. Thank you, Danny.
(Danny smiles, nods, and leaves the stage. Jane gets back to studying. Danny comes in few seconds later with two cups of coffee.)
Danny: Here you are. Enjoy it. (Danny starts reading the book, while holding a pen. A few seconds later, he turns to Jane.) I think we should leave now. The library is about to close. Maybe we can continue working on this together another day.
(They pack up their stuff, and start walking in the same direction. In the middle of the stage, Danny stops, and so does Jane.)
Danny: Today was fun, right?
Jane: I guess.
Danny: We got a lot covered for the project.
Danny: (Takes a deep breath.) Listen, Jane. You don't know how happy I felt when you agreed to work on this project together with me. (Silence for a few seconds.) Do you think we can hang out next time... like a date?
Jane: (Smiles, touches Danny's arm.) As friends is okay.
Danny: Oh, okay. No problem. (Trying to change the subject.) So when's this thing due again?
Jane: Next week. On Thursday.
Danny: Oh, okay. Cool. Still lots of time. (Smiles.) Well, I guess I'll see you later in class then.
(They exit in opposite directions.)
ACT 2, SCENE 2
(Danny are Horatio are walking in the park, and chatting.)
Horatio: I am sorry, man. But don't worry. You're not the first person to get rejected. Happens to everybody.
Danny: Yea but, she was special. I haven't even known her for that long, but I can easily tell that she's really nice.
Horatio: Screw her, Danny. She doesn't deserve you. You are too good for her. You deserve better ones. Her loss, don't worry about it.
Danny: Iwonder why she said no, though. Dude, I am fucking 19 years old. I've been shy all my life, and I finally gather up my courage, ask her out, and she says no. That's correct, I've never done this before... I've never asked anyone out before her.
Horatio: (Speaking loudly.) Me neither! (In a normal tone) It's just harder for some people, no big deal. You will find true love soon.
Danny: Doubtful. You don't know how pathetic I am, do you? I've never had a girlfriend before. Never even been on a date. I went to high school prom alone. Asked someone but got rejected, just like I had expected. I should go ahead and kill myself.
Horatio: Don't say that. You shouldn't lose hope. (Checks his watch.) Hey, listen mate. I gotta go now. My parents are probably expecting me for dinner. And then we're going to see this stupid play at the local theatre.
Danny: Alright no worries. Have fun! (Horatio exits. Danny turns to the audience and starts talking.) See what I am talking about? She rejected me, meaning she thinks that I do indeed suck. Or maybe not... Maybe there's another reason. But what could possibly be the reason? I don't think there is any... Yea, I guess I do suck. Well, I gotta get over it. Maybe I can try again with someone else later on. I dunno. We'll see how things progress. I hope I can find true love some day. I am already running late... A 19-year-old virgin. (Sighs.) Oh Jane... Why would you..? I mean... I... Ah...
ACT 2, SCENE 3
(Mila, Tom, and Jane are sitting in the classroom. Mila and Tom are talking to each other.) Professor Dobson is writing on the blackboard. Danny walks in.)
Danny: (Looks around the room, spots the empty seat beside Jane, walks there.) May I sit here?
(Danny sits down.)
Danny: Listen, about the other day... I just wanted to tell you that... I am sorry. I dunno what I was thinking. I shouldn't have asked you. (Stares down at his laps.) I know I'm no good.
Jane: Do you know why I said no?
(Danny looks at Jane questioningly.)
Because I am in the fourth year of college, Danny.
Danny: So? Age is just a number, right?
Jane: Well, you know, you can't really ask me on a date if you know how old I am.I used to be in political science. But when I was in my third year, I got really bored, and I switched my program to economics. And I could not transfer my credits for some reason... I had to start all over again. Do you realize what this means?
Jane: It means I am older than you by seven years. I am 26 years old. I am looking for a serious relationship. Hopefully with someone close to my age. I can't go out with you.
Danny: I really like you, though. I still think age does not matter. I know many couples where the woman is older than the man. I know, I know... Society looks down on those people, but I think it's perfectly normal. Love does not have age, Jane... (Almost crying.) You've been really nice to me. We've shared a lot with each other in a very short time. I haven't even known you for that long, but I can see that you're awesome.
Jane: I just can't date you... But don't worry. You're a very nice guy as well, and you'll soon find someone who loves you so much.
(Danny rolls his eyes as if he's saying "Yea, right!")
But we'll still be friends. We can always hang out together like two close buddies. Would you like that?
Danny: Of course I would. Nothing would make me any happier in this case.
(Jane smiles. Professor Dobson turns to the students and starts talking.)
Professor Dobson: Okay, class. Time for me to collect your projects. (Starts walking around the room, collects the projects, then writes on the blackboard.)
Danny: (Sighs.) If you change your mind...
Jane: (Takes on an angry face.) I won't, don't worry about it.
Danny: Well, if you do by accident...
Jane: (Interrupts Danny, revealing an angry face) You know what, you loser?! I said no! Just shut up already. I'm sick and tired of this question of yours. (Mocking Danny) 'You wanna date me?' I fucking don't, okay? Got it? Why don't you go ahead and play with little kids?! I said I am older than you. Who the hell do you think you are? You aren't even old enough to think about serious relationships. What do you know about love? I assume you have never been on a date, because you're a pathetic loser who has the face of a dog's anus. Just leave me alone. Get the fuck out of my life. Go to hell, and I won't give shit. Just leave me alone.
(The entire class, including Professor Dobson, is staring at Danny. Danny is in tears. He stands up, excuses himself, and leaves the room, leaving his belongings behind.)
ACT 2, SCENE 4
(Horatio and Danny are on stage, walking in the park.)
Danny: I've got so much to tell you.
Horatio: About that girl?
Danny: She's 26 years old.
Horatio: (Startled, speaking very loudly.) The one you...
Danny: Shush! Yes.
Horatio: Oh, my...
Danny: What now?
Horatio: Age's just a number.
Danny: (Excitedly.) Exactly! That's what I told her. But she still says no. I guess I'm just not good enough. You can't image what she said to me the other day when I asked her out for the second time. She insulted me terribly. She told me to go to hell. She told me that I am ugly; that I reminded her... a dog. (Starts crying again.)
Horatio: You know what, I want you to feel better. Let's go have something to eat. It'll be on me.
Danny: I dunno. I don't feel like it.
Horatio: C'mon, I promise you'll feel much better.
Danny: (Stares at Horatio for a few seconds. wipes off his tears.) Okay, let's go.
(They exit. Mila and Tom come on stage.)
Tom: This is an amazing park, isn't it?
Mila: I love it.
Tom: (Silence for few seconds.) Listen, thanks for saying yes to me. You can't imagine how grateful I am. This is the happiest day of my life. You're awesome. I am having a great time and I hope you do, too.
Mila: (Grins.) I am.
(They stare at each other for a while.)
Tom: You might feel this is too quick but you can't imagine how hard I am trying right now not to kiss you.
Mila: (Happily.) Me, too.
(They kiss.) Wow, that was good.
Tom: Not just good. Awesome!
(Mila smiles, and they kiss again.)
END OF ACT 2
ACT 3, SCENE 1
(Danny, Tom, Mila, and Denise are on stage, in a different classroom. Mila and Tom are sitting next to each other. Danny is close to them, and Denise is sitting at the opposite end of the room.)
Tom: (To Danny): So, Danny. are you excited for the new semester?
Danny: (In a sarcastic way) Sure, I am. You can't believe how much.
Tom: (Chuckles) Me too. (Then turns to Mila.) How about you, dear?
Mila: Excited to be with you in the same class again.
(Tom grins, and kisses Mila on the cheek.)
Tom: (To Danny) Hey dude, check that out (Points to Denise with his head.)
Danny: Pardon me?
Tom: I said, check that out. That girl over there.
Danny: What about her?
Tom: Aren't you single?
Danny: Stop reminding me...
Tom: (Chuckles) Well, go talk to her. Man up a little, won't you?
Danny: I don't think I should.
Tom: Why not?
Danny: I mean I don't think I can.
Tom: Again, why not?
Danny: Remember Jane?
Tom: Jane who?
Danny: Jane The-Girl-Who-Was-In-Our-Class-Last-Semester,
Tom: Oh, that Jane
Danny: (Mocking Tom) Yeah, that-Jane.
Tom: Yea I remember
Danny: I asked her out.
Tom: Oh, my God! You didn't tell me that. You guys are a couple?
Danny: Hah, I wish.
Tom: She rejected you?
Tom: What an asshole.
Tom: Dude, she rejected you. It means you have all the right in the world to ask that girl out.
Danny: She'll reject me as well.
Tom: She might say yes.
Danny: Think about it. Jane rejected me. It means something's wrong with me. Why would she otherwise not say yes?
Tom: Maybe she's already taken?
Danny: She isn't.
Tom: How do you know?
Danny: I just do.
Tom: Well, go talk to her.
Danny: Who? Jane?
Tom: No, that girl.
(Danny stares at Denise for a few seconds, who is reading a textbook. She then suddenly catches Danny's eyes, and Danny looks away.)
Denise: (To Danny) Hi there!
Danny: Yes. Hi.
Tom: (Very loudly) Yes, attaboy!
(Denise looks at him weirdly. Then starts talking to Danny again.)
Denise: Should I come over?
Danny: Sure, there's an empty seat here.
(Denise walks over.) So what were you just working on?
Denise: Principles to Financial Accounting... This course is killing me.
Danny: Really? I took it before. It came fairly simple to me.
Denise: Really? Well...
Danny: I could help you study if you want.
Tom: (Whispers to Danny) Doing a good job there.
Mila: (To Tom) Shut up, leave him alone.
Denise: That would be awesome! Thank you so much.
Danny: Not a problem. So, 3 p.m. next Wednesday?
Denise: Sure, I'll be there.
Danny: I am Danny by the way. What's your name? (Smiles at Denise.)
Danny: Well Denise. I will see you on Wednesday then.
Denise: See you.
ACT 3, SCENE 2
(Denise and Danny come in the library, followed by Tom and Mila. There are two tables on stage. Denise and Danny take one of them, and Mila and Tom take the other. Danny and Denise start studying right away, not noticing the other two.)
Mila: (Whispering) I hope it goes well for Danny.
Tom: Well, having known Danny for a year now, I don't think he'll have the guts to ask her out.
Mila: Why do you say that? I trust him. I'm sure he'll attract her. I mean, he doesn't have class on Wednesdays, and yet he's spending his day off to tutor some girl? That's not something everybody would do, is it? Danny is really nice. She has to say yes.
Tom: Well, that's true... If he asks her out, she will definitely say yes. She has no other option.
Danny: (To Denise) So, which part are you having trouble with?
Denise: Chapters four, five, six, and seven.
Danny: Ok, let's start with chapter four.
Tom: (Talking to himself, whispering) Attaboy, Danny. You're the best.
Mila: Stop it, Tom! They'll hear you.
(Denise's cell phone goes off. Denise takes it out to answer it.)
Danny: Please put that away. We are studying here.
(Denise stares at Danny surprisingly.)
Tom: Oh, that's not good...
Mila: He just told her to turn it off. No big deal.
Tom: Yea but, you don't say that to someone you wanna date.
Mila: (Sighs) You know what, let's get out of here. I'm tired of this silly conversation. Let's wait outside.
(They both stand up and exit.)
Denise: I understand it better now. It's getting late. I guess we should end it here.
Danny: Okay, whatever you say.
Denise: Thank you so much, Danny.
Danny: Anything for you, Denise. If you have any further questions, just ask. Don't hesitate.
Danny: One more thing... Do you want to go out with me some time for a meal?
(Danny smiles broadly. Winks at the audience.)
Denise: We can invite some other people, too. Perhaps Tom and Mila, or someone else.
Danny: Oh, I was actually thinking we could go together. Just the two of us, I mean.
Denise: But more people we have, the better. We might get bored if it is only the two of us.
Danny: I was thinking we could go out like a date.
Denise: Oh, I didn't understand it at first. Sorry, my bad.
Danny: No worries. So what do you say?
Denise: I don't think it's a good idea. I like someone else.
Danny: (Stares at his laps.) Alright, don't worry. It's totally my loss.
Denise: Is that why you offered to tutor me?
Danny: No, definitely not. I did because I am a nice person. I'd do it for anybody.
Denise: Okay. Well, then. See you later.
Danny: (With a sad face) Yes, bye.
Danny: (To the audience) See what I am talking about now? Another rejection. For sure, something's wrong with me... Why would I otherwise always get rejected? I am a nice guy. Maybe I am just not good looking. I dunno. I wish I could find the true love. Someone that I can share joyous, priceless moments with; someone I can be there for when she feels sorrowful. Someone I can marry and have kids with. Why does it have to be so hard for me? Ah, I do suck, indeed. (Starts crying. Tom and Mila come in.)
Mila: Danny, don't cry over something like this, please. It's her loss. She doesn't know how awesome you are. You are one of the nicest people I've ever met.
Tom: Yes, Danny. She doesn't deserve you. Remember, there's plenty of fish in the sea. (Chuckles.) Hah! I always loved that saying.
(Mila gives a disgusted look to Tom, who then gets serious again.)
Danny: (Surprised)How did you know I'd be here?
Tom: We were sitting at the back, watching you. Then we left. And we just came back again to check on you. Again, don't worry about Denise.
Danny: Yea but, this is not the first time that someone's rejecting me.
Tom: You'll find the right person.
Mila: We believe in you, Danny.
(Tom checks his watch.)
Tom: Listen, Danny. Mila and I are going to see a movie. It starts in half an hour, so we have to leave now. Wanna join us?
Danny: No, I think I'll just go home and spend the night there. All alone. It should be just the of you; two lovers. (Sounding a little jealous.) Thanks for the offer though.
Mila: Well, if you change your mind before the movie starts, let us know.
Danny: I will.
Mila: Okay then, bye.
Danny: See you later.
(Mila and Tom exit. Danny starts talking to the audience.) Maybe I should just give up, huh? Love is the most natural feeling in the world. Everybody finds the right one and falls in love. Nothing wrong, weird, or awkward about that. There's a perfect person for everybody; everybody but me. Yes, I should indeed give up. I do suck, after all. It's just become clear to me. Fuck my life. I don't even deserve to live anymore, do I? Nobody loves me. I am going to kill myself and make certain people happy. There you go, Jane. I'm giving you what you want; I won't be around anymore. I hope you find someone good enough; someone older than me. Goodbye, Jane! Goodbye, Denise. I hope you both enjoy the rest of your lives.
(Danny leaves. Gunshot sound in the backstage. Lights fade, and curtains close.)
END OF PLAY