Exes

(Aaron knocks on Samira and Grace’s door. Samira is at her desk with a textbook open, typing on her computer)

SAMIRA (looks up): Come in.

AARON: Hi.

SAMIRA (looks back down): Hi.

AARON: Is Grace here?

SAMIRA: No.

AARON: Do you know when she’s going to be back?

SAMIRA: No.

AARON: Ok.

(Long silence)

SAMIRA: Yes?

AARON: I saw you’re on the interracial dating panel.

SAMIRA: Yes?

AARON: Are you going to talk about us.

SAMIRA: Maybe.

AARON: I mean, I just want to know so I can be prepared.

SAMIRA: I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to say. It’s not like I’m planning anything specific.

AARON: Ok.

(Long silence) 

AARON: Are we ever going to be friends again?

SAMIRA: You get that you broke my heart right? Like that’s a thing that happened.

AARON: I didn’t think.

SAMIRA (interrupting): You might not have been serious about wanting to be with me long-term, but I was serious about wanting to be with you.

AARON: No, I mean I was serious, I just…

SAMIRA : Got scared, yeah I know.

AARON: Hey, you said you were scared and overwhelmed too.

SAMIRA: Yes, because it was a new feeling for me. I’ve never felt like that for anyone else. So certain you know.

AARON: I just thought…

SAMIRA: Why didn’t you just ask.

AARON: I don’t know.

SAMIRA: You’re the best guy I know. You’re funny and thoughtful and sweet. And smart and talented. It was a big deal for me to fall for someone who’s not brown.

AARON: I’m Lebanese, of course I’m brown.

SAMIRA: Yeah, but you’re a fair-skinned, green-eyed Lebanese guy. You blend.

AARON: Uh, so do you.

SAMIRA: I know I know. Sorry, that came out all wrong. (pause) I guess I mean, I’m so pale already that I worry about teaching my future children about what it means to be a person of color in this country if they’re paler than I am. Or about my culture when I’m already so removed from it. How do I pass it down? So I just assumed that when I finally fell in love it would be with someone else. But then I met you and none of it mattered.

AARON: I’m sorry.

SAMIRA: Me too. (Pause) Can you go now? I’ll tell Grace you stopped by.

AARON: Tell her I need the notes from Orgo.

SAMIRA: Yeah.

(Aaron exits)

Asha SundararamanComment