I have given you everything of me, and I have failed.

In drama scene from the one-act eplay, “Faces on the Edge of Spring,” Jeanne is on the verge of ending her relationship with Franco.

Franco drinks his drink and remains standing, facing Jeanne.

FRANCO: …I know your secrets.

JEANNE: No, you don’t.

FRANCO: Of course, I do.

JEANNE: You know what I want you to know.

FRANCO: You think I have no power to observe you?


FRANCO: That isn’t true.

JEANNE: Tell me something clever.

FRANCO: I’d rather tell you something true. (beat) You have fallen out of love with me. True?

Jeanne gets up from her chair and fixes herself a drink at the bar.

FRANCO: And it started at the beginning of spring. True?


FRANCO: And you have been wrestling inside yourself…at odds, with your heart and mind…true?

JEANNE (She looks directly at Franco.): …True.

FRANCO (smiles): So you see? I know your secret.

Franco sits.

Jeanne sits across from Franco, leaning in.

JEANNE: Why are you disloyal?

FRANCO: Most of us are.

JEANNE: Do you think it is right?

FRANCO: To give myself permission, yes.

JEANNE: And you expect me to continue loving you?

FRANCO: I expect you to accept who you believe me to be.

JEANNE: I believed I would be enough for you.

FRANCO: I have grown angry, Jeanne, violent even. Look at this place; look at us. If I don’t get outside of myself, if I don’t get out of here, I will lose my mind. These walls are thin, and we have eyes on us from all directions. I can’t live my life this way. If I have the impulse to work on something, I don’t want to have quicksand beneath my legs. I need to move. It has gotten me restless, these nights, with you and all that you’ve got going on. You are in rehearsals day and night, withdrawn, always in a world of your own, there’s no talking between us. I need to get out, to dream; imagine. There is so much life in imagination. I’m not saying that some days I’m not cloudy; I don’t always make the most accurate decision, Jeanne. My work has led me this far; without it, I am a dead man.

JEANNE: I never realized that your impulses were more important than me.

FRANCO: Neither have I.

JEANNE: There’s beauty in sacrifice, but you are too jaded to know that. You are too selfish to have something deeper, no?

FRANCO: I think you’re right, and I’m sorry.

JEANNE: Oh, please, don’t apologize to me. That is an insult!

FRANCO: What would you rather me say?

JEANNE: I’ve slept with your brother.

FRANCO: …My brother has been dead for five years, Jeanne.

JEANNE: I knew your brother well, before I knew you. We were close.

FRANCO: Don’t be ridiculous.

JEANNE: We met in a dance class many years ago.

FRANCO: Pierre never took a dance class.

JEANNE: He was very good at the tango.

FRANCO: Pierre hated dance.

JEANNE: He was good. We danced! He could have been a professional if his mind was right!

FRANCO: You’re saying this to get a rise out of me, and if you are, it’s working! My brother would never take you to bed!

JEANNE: And why’s that?

FRANCO: Because he would have known better.

JEANNE: (laughs hysterically) You f’cking idiot!

FRANCO: Even if you slept with him, SO WHAT? I met you when he was dying; I already knew you had been acquainted, but — with all your little lies and schemes…He was the one to tell me about how you’d met in the village, at the Casa Cositas, after one of your show premieres! He never told me he slept with you!

JEANNE: I couldn’t care less what he told you about us; he wasn’t a talker, but I thought you should know.

FRANCO: And you would hide this from me for all these years?!

JEANNE: It was none of your business to know about me and Pierre!

FRANCO: You are wicked.

JEANNE: Good! Does it sting?

FRANCO: He was not a well man, Jeanne.

JEANNE: I gave life to him that night. (beat) It stings, doesn’t it? Besides, where were you then? Out on your escapades, trying to find the next young, fresh thing; you couldn’t give a damn that I had eyes for you; you were waiting to see what else you could find, before you ever gave yourself to something real! You came to see me dance the Danzón one night, you couldn’t even talk; you were in love; but too much of a fool to show it! I should have known then exactly what you were about!

FRANCO: I don’t do things to try and hurt you! You are sick; everything you’ve done, you’ve done it with vengeance.

JEANNE: Ah, but you do, you do. You go around with your pants down all over this city, photographing all kinds of models, looking for anything or anyone to GRAB! You’re the wicked one, waiting for someone to validate you! You do what you do to hurt and wound me. THAT is your REAL pleasure. It is the pain you give to someone else, not LOVE, PAIN!

FRANCO: I have given you everything of me, and I have failed. That is the truth. I can’t be what you need me to be. I am not strong enough for this –

JEANNE: For, what?

FRANCO: US! This! This world is too big for me, you’re too much, too everything! I refuse to let it burden me!

JEANNE: Then why? Why did we commit to one another?

FRANCO: You never wanted any serious commitment, isn’t that what you proclaimed?!

JEANNE: I might not have wanted commitment, Franco, but I never asked for the disrespect! If you are out all night doing what you need to do, you could do it without involving me in your escapades!

  • To read the full one-act ePlay, find purchase link below:

Faces on the Edge of Spring by Joseph ArnoneIn the one-act drama, “Faces on the Edge of Spring,” Jeanne and Franco may be having a breakup that has been looming over their relationship for quite some time.  1 Woman, 1 Man.  Drama.

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Joseph Arnone