Jake – a nervous twenty-seven year old bank teller.
Rachel – a twenty-nine year old comedy writer with a quick wit.
Waitress – sassy and in her late fifties. She’s seen it all.
Curtain opens on the interior of an upscale Italian restaurant. White linen tablecloths hang from the few tables positioned onstage. The room is sparsely populated with diners, suggesting an off night. Jake has just proposed to Rachel, his girlfriend of four years. He is waiting for an answer…
Rachel: Hmm…I’m thinking.
Jake: (sarcastically) Well, by all means, take your time.
Rachel: Oh, I will. (pause) How do I know you’re the right man for me?
Jake: We’ve been dating for four years. Have you not given it any thought ‘til now?
Rachel: Oh, I’ve thought about it, I’m just not sure yet.
(the waitress approaches the table)
Waitress: Any dessert? Coffee perhaps?
Jake: Um, none for me thanks. I was considering a bottle of champagne (turns to Rachel sarcastically)…but I’m just not sure yet. Could you give us a minute?
Waitress: Absolutely. Take your time. (walks away)
Jake: (to himself) Don’t worry, she is.
Rachel: Don’t you want me to be sure?
Jake: Of course I want you to be sure. I just thought that maybe you were already at that point. It’s not like we haven’t talked about a future together. (pause) Are you having doubts about us?
Rachel: No, no doubts, really. (pause) Which reminds me, have you heard the new Gwen Stefani song? It’s a huge departure from what she did with the band.
Jake: No, I haven’t. But I’m sure it’s good. Can we get back to the conversation at hand? Please?
Rachel: And that was…(pause)…oh, that’s right, dessert. I’m thinking the Ricotta cake.
Jake: Come on, Rachel. What’s the problem?
Rachel: The problem is I can’t decide. The Ricotta cake, or the Tiramisu. They both sound so good!
Jake: You’re kidding me…
Rachel: Um, no. You know how much I love them both.
Jake: I’m talking about this whole conversation. You’re kidding about forgetting what we were discussing. You have to be.
(A long pause on Rachel’s part. She appears distracted)
Jake: Rachel? Are you even listening to me?
(Rachel holds up index finger in Jake’s direction)
Jake: For God’s sake…
Rachel: Hold on. (pause) Did you hear that? (tilts her head in the direction of a couple across the room)
Jake: No, I didn’t. (pause) I was focused on our conversation. Though I seem to be the only one.
Rachel: He just told her she means the world to him and that his life didn’t begin until the day they met. How romantic? You could take a lesson from him.
Jake: Now I know you’re kidding me!
Rachel: What? We could use a bit more romance in our relationship.
Jake: (beside himself with disbelief) What the hell do you think tonight is all about?!
(the waitress returns)
Waitress: Anything calling your name?
(Rachel turns her focus to the waitress)
Rachel: I’m leaning toward the Tiramisu. But first let me ask you. (gesturing towards Jake) Would you marry this guy?
Waitress: (turns her attention to Jake, plays along) hmm, let’s see. Not bad looking.
Jake: Gee, thanks.
Rachel: (interjects) Stand up, babe. Let her have a good look.
Jake: That’s alright.
Waitress: Decent dresser.
Jake: So glad you approve.
Waitress: Appears to have a fairly pleasant personality from what I can tell. Though, maybe a touch sarcastic.
Jake: (growing increasingly irritated) Do ya think?
Waitress: Does he have any money?
Rachel: (while shaking her head no) Yes.
Waitress: Does he treat you right?
Waitress: How is he, you know, in bed?
Jake: Excuse me? What the–
Rachel: (cuts Jake off) Adequate. I guess I can’t complain. Often. Though I could make a suggestion from time to time.
Waitress: Honey, couldn’t we all?
(laughter erupts between the two women)
Jake: Ha, ha. May I make a suggestion? That you remember who is leaving the tip?
Waitress: A little testy though, isn’t he?
Rachel: Oh, yea. He can be.
Waitress: Definitely something to take into consideration.
Jake: Well, maybe it’s because this proposal isn’t going the way I’d planned. Or hoped. I need an answer.
Rachel: I’m sorry. I just wanted a second opinion. Let’s go with the Tiramisu.
Jake: (exasperated) Son of a…somebody shoot me!
Rachel: What’s wrong, baby? You wanted the Ricotta cake, didn’t you?
Jake: (to the waitress) The Tiramisu. Please.
Waitress: Would that be with or without champagne?
Rachel: With. By all means. Can’t celebrate without it!
(The curtain closes on a smiling Rachel, and Jake, elbows on the table, head cradled in his hands)