Iris: I have found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said, journeys end in lovers meeting. Oh, what an extraordinary thought! Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I’m more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I’m constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said, Love is blind. Now that is something I know to be true. For some, quite inexplicably, love fades. For others, love is simply lost. But then, of course, love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then there’s another kind of love, the cruellest kind, the one that almost kills its victims. It’s called unrequited love. Of that, I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other, but what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one-sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded, the handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space. Yes, you are looking at one such individual, and I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years, the absolute worst years of my life. The worst Christmases, the worst birthdays, New Year’s Eves brought in by tears and Valium. These years that I’ve been in love have been the darkest days of my life, all because I’ve been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh, God, just the sight of him. Heart pounding, throat thickening, absolutely can’t swallow. All the usual symptoms.
Iris’s colleague: Oh, Jasper. don't tell me you're still...
Iris: No, no, no, no, that's over. Very over.
Iris’s colleague: What's the story with you two, anyway? You were shagging him, weren't you?
Iris: More importantly, I was in love with him, truth be known.
Iris’s colleague: Yes, yes, I remember. Then you found out he was shagging that drip from Circulation.
Iris: Which is when I stopped shagging him. I don't think we should be talking about this at the office party.
Iris’s colleague: But I always see you two together. He cheated on you, but you stayed friends?
Iris: I was head over heels, you know? Everyone knew.
Iris’s colleague: Oh, no.
Iris: does it look like I'm crying right now?
Iris’s colleague: No, no, no. No, no, no. No, it just looks like it's the smoke from my cigarette. Did he ever actually tell you that he loved you back?
Iris: Yes. Three, almost four times, and when I've reminded him of that, he said that it must have been as an answer to a question, which, by the way, it absolutely was not.
Iris’s colleague: You know, Iris, when you catch your guy with another woman, you're not supposed to stay friends with him. You're supposed to never talk to the prick again. You're supposed to throw things at him, scream, call him names, not do his blooming laundry.
Iris: I don't do his laundry. Did someone tell you I do his laundry? No, no, all we do now is we e-mail. Not when he's with her, of course. Also, when he's not with her, we talk on the phone, sometimes for hours, and then there's the occasional long lunch.
Iris’s colleague: You know, I never realized how pathetic you are.
Iris: Really? Oh, God. I'm so aware of it.
Iris’s colleague: They always know just how to get us, don't they? He knows whenever he wants to come crawling back into your life...
Iris: Actually, he has made some small comments like that recently. Well, he hasn't exactly come right out and said it, but he's...
Woman: did youfile your story?
Iris: Oh, no, not yet. Oh! Down to the wire. Sorry. Better go.