Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
“Do you love me?”
It was a question that had been asked many times. but this year Christy had a hard time answering it truthfully. She did love the things that he did for her and her daughter, this was true. She had a home and was provided for, her daughter went to college, and he provided Christy with the means to start her own business. That in itself had made her love him, but somehow she always felt cheap when she answered “yes” to the question. The question she was required to answer once a year on this very day, the question that, when it first appeared in the inbox of her email six years ago, changed her life forever.
Always on Halloween day, always worded exactly the same every year.
Do you love me?
She first got this curious email six years ago and, being in a drunken state, answered the email instead of just erasing it. Sometimes she wishes she had. Instead though, she replied.
If you can bring yourself to love someone like me, then yes, I’ll love you forever.
XOXO right back at ya sweetie.
Somehow she made some kind of pack that night, because the next morning everything changed. Money began to appear in her bank account. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to pay bills that had been mounting, and a little extra to live off of.
The first of the month, every month, the money was in her account like clockwork. All of the sudden, Christy had freedom that she never experienced before. She could work part time and spend more time with her daughter, a relationship that had been souring over the years.
Christy tried to get in contact with the mysterious Rodrick many times, not only to try and thank him but also to ask the question:why? Why help her in this way? Surely there had to be a catch? Often she imagined Rodrick showing up on her doorstep demanding some kind of proof of her affection. She had no idea what she would do if that ever happened. In her life she had done many questionable things in order to make ends meet, but never anything that would label her as a whore. It was the one thing that haunted her about what was happening, but so far it was a situation she hadn’t had to confront. Rodrick never came, nor had he ever responded to any of her emails.
The only proof that Rodrick even existed was the money that mysteriously showed up in her account month after month and, of course, the yearly email asking the same unchanging question.
Do you love me?
The first couple of years she enthusiastically left answers like:
Why of course I love you, you wonderful thing.
The last couple of years, though, had been harder to answer. The question felt as if it had become a stone tied around her neck, forever becoming heavier and heavier each year.
It became harder and harder to explain to people how a single mother lived as well as she did. Dating became almost impossible as she couldn’t truthfully explain the situation, and somehow she always felt as if she were cheating on Rodrick, even though they had never met.
It was the unknowns that weighed heaviest on Christy’s mind. There had never been any clear definition on how this all worked. No rules or demands were ever put forth. Could she date others? She didn’t know. All that was asked of her was to answer the simply question, “do you love Rodrick?” What would happen if she answered no? Does all of this just simply end or would there be more far-reaching consequences? After so many years of enjoying Rodrick’s financial patronage, would a sudden change of heart bring about some sort of retribution?
It seemed far-fetched, but not knowing anything constantly brought about a variety of imaginative possibilities.
The situation weighed heavily on Christy mind as it got closer to October. The last couple years Christy had taken to drinking a little more than she was used to as the 31st got closer. After several weeks of little-to-no sleep, she started taking sleeping pills in order to get through the night. This year she seemed to be taking more of them as they seemed to have lost their effectiveness. Sleep seemed a slim possibility, though, as she waited in front of the computer for the question she was dreading.
She didn’t love him. At least not in the way she thought the question was asking. She did love him in many other ways but that seemed like a copout. After nearly a decade of support she felt he earn an honest answer from her?
She swallowed hard the mouthful of wine she was drinking when she heard the email notification on her computer. It was that time, and she still had no idea what she would do.
Would she risk her and her daughter’s financial security just because her conscience was weighing her down?
“Do I love you?” She said out loud slurring her words. The wine clearly had started doing its job as Christy opened her email.
Do you love me?
There it was, her friend, her provider, her mental husband asking to confirm her feelings for him.
She sighed as she slowly typed. Her vision was blurring and the screen was hard to concentrate on. Obviously she had more wine than she thought she had. She shook her head trying to clear things up. She wished she hadn’t, as the question suddenly became clear.
Do you love me?
She put her hands on the keyboard. She had many things she wanted to say to Rodrick, about how much his generosity had meant to her. How just knowing that there was someone like him in the world had such a positive effect on her life. That he would always mean so much to her that she just didn’t have the words to describe it. All of these things she wanted to say to him, but in the end, she responded with one word. One word she should have used from the start, one word that carried with it unknown consequences, one word that as she typed it seemed to drain her of all her energy. In the end she simply typed the word: no.
Later that night at a Halloween party across town, Christy’s daughter Kayley sat alone in the corner as she received an unusual text on her phone. It simply asked her:
Do you love me?
Jeff Folschinsky’s plays have been seen at various theaters across North America. He is also creator and staff writer for Perilous and The Trials and Tribulations of Vicky Vixen, a serial late night soap opera spoof at the Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood, California. Jeff’s plays The Unsinkable Bismarck, A Pill By Any Other Name Is The Wrong Dosage, Rendezvous and Revelations and Kisses From Abroad are published by One Act Play Depot. His full length play Turkey Day that had it’s world premiere at The Eclectic Company Theatre, is published by both Norman Maine Play Publishing and Big Dog Play Publishing. His play he co-wrote with Tyler Tanner, The Singing Bone, is published by JAC Publishing. Jeff has written and produced the popular podcasts Virgin Falls, Pasiones Obsesionantes, The B-Movie Bastards and Cult Movie Cuisine. Jeff has also written a movie with Tyler Tanner and Stephanie Wiand called Revenge of the Bimbot Zombie Killers which was directed by Joe Camareno and is due to be released later this year.