[Scene: Caroline's apartment. Gina has just written Richard a check to cover his rent for a month and told him to quit his job]

RICHARD: Gina, maybe I wasn't quite honest with you a second ago.


RICHARD: You see, Caroline means a lot to me. Hopefully I won't sound completely clueless considering what we just went over, but do you think it would be a good idea if I asked her out?

GINA: Oh, may I ask why you've never done it before?

RICHARD: I was just a loser coloring in a comic strip for minimum wage. Caroline, you see Caroline, she's the kind of woman who can have any man she wants. She's dated all of these rich, powerful men. Businessmen, veterinarians, art brokers, you name it. And she's turned them all down because none of them were just right for her. There was never even a chance of me rising to the level of those guys. It hurt so much watching her go out with them….

GINA: Ah, I see. Perhaps it wasn't just the job that's been holding you down. It sounds like this has been eating away at you for some time.

RICHARD: Tell me about. What do you think? Would it make me a better artist, or just distract me?

GINA: Richard, that's up to you. Do whatever you think necessary to enhance your art. Caroline may have hampered you as your boss, but as your lover who knows what affect she'll have? But here's a friendly reminder that I'm invested in your art, not your relationships.

RICHARD: Oh thank you Gina! In two days you've completely changed my life!

[Scene: Later in Caroline's apartment after Gina has left]

CAROLINE: [sadly] I'm glad to see you found success.

RICHARD: Yeah, uhhh, hopefully you'll be really glad soon.

CAROLINE: What do you mean?

RICHARD: Um, Caroline, since I'm about to become a successful artist and I no longer need this job…

CAROLINE: Hey, if you're going to tell me off remember that I did get you out of that ice cream parlor!

RICHARD: No, that's not it. I love you, Caroline.

CAROLINE: [astonished] What?

[He kisses her passionately. Enter Annie]

ANNIE: Whow howww! So, all of that effort keeping her from knowing only to cave in, Richie?

[Caroline and Richard look at her]

CAROLINE: [stunned] What ? Wait, you love me?

[Richard turns to her, forgetting Annie is still there]

RICHARD: Yes, Caroline. I've had to hold it back for long, but I do love you.

CAROLINE: [softly] Oh, Richard, it was always in the back of my mind, but it's really true. Someone as deep and thoughtful as you, in love with me.

RICHARD: When I have my first showing, I want you to be the one by my side. Caroline, will you make this the best day of my life and say you feel the same way?

CAROLINE: Oh, Richard, the answer couldn't be anything less than yes!

[They kiss again]

[Scene: Remo's. Caroline and Annie are having lunch]

CAROLINE: Richard's working on a new painting right now. He's going to be meeting Gina at the Met tonight.

ANNIE: After telling you he loves you maybe he should think twice about taking another woman out like that.

CAROLINE: Oh Annie, it's for his art. It's business. Wait, what do you think took Richard so long to tell me he loves me? He said he had been holding it in for such a long time….

ANNIE: Well, this is Richard. He's so used to be a pompous ass that he may have just forgotten how to say it.

CAROLINE: Hold on, how did you know that he loved me? At my apartment when you walked through the door and saw us kissing…

ANNIE: Come on Caroline, I have intuition. I've known he loved you for months. Remember when Del proposed to you?

CAROLINE: No, you were too certain. 'All that effort to keep her from knowing just to cave in, Richie'?

ANNIE: Remo, check please!

CAROLINE: Annie, what's going on! Did Richard ever tell you how he felt?

ANNIE: In case you haven't noticed Richard doesn't tell me anything other than that I'm a whore.

CAROLINE: Then how did you know?

ANNIE: Ok, he wrote you a letter.

CAROLINE: A letter?

ANNIE: Right before you were supposed to marry Del.

CAROLINE: Wait, the last time I saw him before he left for Paris last year he kissed me, right here at Remo's…

[Remo walks up]

REMO: Ah yes, I remember. I had to make the one gentleman's meal gratis hoping to avoid a lawsuit.

ANNIE: Remo!

CAROLINE: And he asked me if I got the letter. I didn't know what he was talking about. He said something about a letter about being freer. Then the first time I saw him after he got back three months later he asked me if I had read the letter. He said it was a wedding limerick. Oh my God, how could I have never have put this together before?

REMO: For what it matters, Senora Annie and I did tell you…

ANNIE: Remo! Why don't you go empty the cockroach traps?

REMO: [quietly] I've found it easier to bribe the health inspector. Not with food from here, of course…

CAROLINE: But how did you know about it?

ANNIE: When we were at Vicky's, and you and Richard were delivering her baby, he threw the box of thank you notes with the letter out the window. I found it and…

CAROLINE: Annie! Why didn't you give it to me? And what was in it?

ANNIE: Will you let me finish? I was going to. I went and had 20 copies made. He said that he had strong feeling for you. It was pretty passionate and straightforward. He wanted you bad. When Richard came back to work for you I started reading a copy and…

CAROLINE: And what?

ANNIE: And he said that he didn't mean it. That he was mistaken about having feeling for you, or that if he had feeling for you then that he didn't any more, so all I'd cause with it was "needless pain."

CAROLINE: And you fell for it? How can you be mistaken about having feeling for someone? Or how can you have 'strong feeling' for someone one minute and three months later feel nothing? Come on Annie, for being a dating expert I can't believe you were that gullible!

ANNIE: Well I'm not an expert on what anti-social Ubermensch wannabees are really feeling.

CAROLINE: Ubermensch?

ANNIE: I dated a philosophy student once. He was a bit arrogant.

CAROLINE: I need to see Richard. I want to know what took him so long to tell me.

[Caroline begins to leave]

ANNIE: And for what it's worth reading that letter was the first time I knew there was something going on in Richard's head other than sadomasochism.

REMO: You know, for someone who wants the 'love she'll never have to question,' she's quite inquisitive.

[Scene: Richard's apartment. Richard is painting.]

RICHARD: If I were a rich socialite what would I want to see?

[Caroline knocks on the door. Richard answers it.]

RICHARD: Caroline!

[They kiss]

RICHARD: What brings you here? I need to have this painting ready by tomorrow.

CAROLINE: So you wrote me a letter telling me you loved me and then tried to destroy it?

RICHARD: Damn it, Annie! Isn't she busy trying to shoe off one of the furidom guys who can't get enough of seeing her in CATS?

CAROLINE: That's not an answer, Richard.

RICHARD: Maybe two or three times….

CAROLINE: You wrote a letter to me when you thought I was going to marry Del, but I never got it. What exactly did you write in it?

RICHARD: Come on, Caroline. What does that matter now?

CAROLINE: I think it does. You wrote me a letter telling me that you loved me, and you tried to cover it up. Then you never told me until now.

RICHARD: What difference does that make? I have an art sponsor, and I know that you love me, and if you love me too then there are other things to worry about right now, in particular my new painting.

CAROLINE: Why can't you just answer my question? What took you so long to tell me? Was it because I was your boss?

RICHARD: Well, yes, that was part of it.

[Caroline looks at him slightly angrily]

RICHARD: Caroline, you're a successful cartoonist, and up until yesterday afternoon my career was using coloring pencils to fill in what you drew. And you were dating Del, who for some unknown cosmic reason the Universe had made into a rich success with a Porsche I just didn't think you'd ever want a loser like me over him. And then you were dating Joe, a veterinarian who graduated how many years early, but now that I'm on the brink of an actual art career…

CAROLINE: [less angry] Richard, how could you think that? Did you really think I was that shallow? Had you told me that you loved me last week I would have been just as happy as I am now! And if this whole thing with Gina collapses I'll still love you. What you mean to me is about so much more than a career or success or money. When I came to New York I was just a girl from Wisconsin looking for someone to make me happy, and that's still who I am even with a nationally syndicated comic strip. And you're still Richard, a tortured yet sensitive artist, with or without a wealthy art sponsor.

RICHARD: So I can't change what is done, but we can make up for lost time.

[They kiss passionately. Later Richard goes to the Met with Gina and doesn't make any mistakes.]