Forgiveness is Given, Only, a One-Act Play
Diana DeRiggs

The scene: Closing time, a tapcaf near a military base. Chairs are upturned on tables, mop and bucket are apparent. Most of the clientele are gone. A lone barman washes glasses, puts them away.

Two men sit at a dark table, nursing their drinks. One has sandy, light-brown hair and is wearing a dark red jacket. The other is dark-haired and green-eyed, wearing dark green clothing. The darker man appears to be quite drunk, though both show signs of having been drinking all night. There are glasses and small snack plates piled up on their table.

A spotlight softly opens, and illuminates the two men, while the rest of the set falls into an inky gloom.



"I wish you'd believe me. I do understand. And I'm telling you that I don't blame you."

"I still feel like some underbelly fungal growth. How can you possibly forgive me??"

"You shouldn't have drunk so fast. Or so much. Look, I'm more like you than you admit. We fight, we kill. We judge what's right or wrong, in an instant. We suffer. We revel. We love. That's how I can forgive you."

"But you've never blamed an innocent man, and sentenced him to imprisonment and death!"

"But you've redeemed him, and have proven him innocent. You made him into a hero."

"We're not equals. We are not alike. I've never been imprisoned for a murder I didn't commit."

"But your cover required that it be known you murdered six men, whether you actually did or not. You very well could have been imprisoned. You're better at hiding. But you have instincts - "

"My instincts! My Jedi heritage! My CorSec training! Why didn't I pick up on your innocence! Why was I so suspicious? What can't I believe when the truth is so plain?"

Silence.


"When will you set me free?"

"What?"

"Your guilt. It binds me. To you."

"No, it binds me. Just me. This is not about you."

Sigh.


"As long as you feel bound, I am imprisoned by you."

"What's that?"

"As long as you carry the guilt and remorse, I am compelled to help you overcome it. You're too good a man to lose this way. I want you to know: I will support you and I hold no grudge, nor do I blame you. And if I don't blame you, why should you? Don't you see? I consider myself a good man, and as long as you punish yourself over me, I'm forced to look after you."

Silence.


"But I can't forgive myself. It's too awful. I don't deserve absolution."

Silence.


"Why can't you accept that she fooled you, too?"

"Who?"

"Her. The one we killed, together."

"I survived her."

"As did I."

"She didn't fool me."

"She did. She intended it so."

"But the Jedi said I have a gift..."

"Jedi are not immune to deception. If they were, we would not have suffered Palpatine and Vader. Your gift would not have protected you from her tricks."

"But I should have known..."

"You couldn't have."

"But the evil..."

"Is not yours. The rest of us have forgiven you."

"I don't deserve it..."

"That's not for you to say or decide. Forgiveness is given, only. It can be accepted, but it can never be taken."

Silence.


"I'm grateful for your forgiveness. But I can't forgive myself."

"Are you saying we're all idiots for forgiving you?"

"No! It's just that..."

"Why don't you trust us?"

"I do... I do! But I can't let myself forget. I need to learn..."

"You'll learn nothing by wallowing. You aren't moving forward, the worst crime of all."

"Hey, I learn the way I learn! Learning is no crime!"

"You're punishing yourself, too. Just learn, then do."

"What shall I do? What could I do?"

"Do something. Don't blame yourself over and over. It's old. Do something alive and positive."

"I... I... can't..."

"You have to. You will deny the galaxy a pilot, an investigator, a warrior. And a good friend."

"Friend? You call me ... friend?"

"Yes. Shouldn't I?"

"But... But you must hate me. Deep down."

Sigh.


"Are you my friend?"

"I want to be. But I can't. No."

"No?"

"You were my victim, and I will do penance for my victimizing you. Maybe forever."

Silence.


"Perhaps. But I prefer you be my friend."

Silence.


"Friend... that's a beautiful word ... so rich and so special."

"Will you?"

"I... I would like to."

"What stops you?"

Silence.


"Could we... be... more?"

"Perhaps."

"Some day? Not today?"

"If you wish. But not tonight."

Pause.


"Will you tell?"

"No. You?"

"Never."

Pause. Whisper.


"Friend? May I... I mean... I ... I..."

"I know. And Yes."

"Thank you."

Silence.


"Yes."

The light fades to black. All is silent.



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