A while ago, I found out that the "Goodbye Love," scene [deleted from the movie,] has evolved quite interestingly over time. At first, the scene was a fight turned into a lovely, sentimental but awkward "I love you," best friend moment between Mark and Roger. Later, Jonathan Larson revised it to a more violent, less loving Roger getting...more than angry, loosing it, and punching Mark in the stomach. Which, I'm sure, would have been very interesting to see played out on Broadway and in the movie. And, of course, his final revision is what was kept in the play and can be seen in the deleted scenes part of the movie.
I thought that the first two scenes seemed interesting, and decided, to, well, write them! So, here I've combined the punching/awkward exchange of "I love you"-s scenes. I've also made an attempt to work the lyrics into my story, converting them to normal dialogue, though I've stretched them around a bit, writing what I believe each character's personal thoughts were in the scene.
From the point of view of Roger, because he's...cool.
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His voice is starting to piss me off.
"I hear it's nice out there."
Shut up shut up shut up.
I swear to God.
"Restaurants and stuff." his voice cracks. Is he crying? I turn to check. No.
"Yeah. Some of the best." I amuse him. Just for now. But my own voice seems to shatter the wall of silence that I have been building up for the last few hours, trying to numb my mind, my heart.
I don't understand. After everything. How could she?
My knuckles whiten as my hand curls into a fist around the straps of my duffle bag. I stop packing, but I don't turn to face him. A silent, 'yes?' from my stillness.
"How could you?" Mark asks, voice quieter. "How could you just let her go like that?"
He's read my mind. I sigh through my nose, teeth clenched. I'm angry enough as it is without him bugging me.
"You don't know the half of it."
I continue to pack. I grab a few pairs of socks and toss them into the bottom of my duffle bag. Pairs of underwear, three pairs of jeans. I try to ignore him, but he doesn't stop.
"How could we loose her...?"
I swear, I'm about to march out of my bedroom and punch the guy in the face just before I realize that this time, he's not talking about Mimi.
"Angel was so young...how...God...why?"
I hear the pain in his voice, and wonder if he knows how I feel. Don't get me wrong, I'm not turning this into a pity party. But Angel was positive. So am I. Mark isn't. If any one of us is the next to go...
...it's a scary thought.
I close the last few drawers in my bedroom and exit. Now I can see him, leaning against the wall. Before I can look at him for too long, I enter the bathroom, fling open the medicine cabinet, re-unzipping my duffle bag.
"Why, Roger...?" This time his voice is barely over a whisper, but it's not directed at me, it's directed towards himself. He neither expected, nor wanted an answer, but I gave him one.
"I don't KNOW WHY, Mark!" I turned and yelled, suddenly losing it. The sudden anger shocks me. "I. Don't. Know!"
Mark is taken aback by my outburst, he looks at me for a few seconds, stunned, eyes widened a bit. Moments later, he comes right back with an outburst of his own.
"You know what, Roger?" He pushes himself up off the wall, standing up straight. "Maybe you'd see why if you'd stop escaping your pain! No! Why not instead, be classic Roger, running the fuck away from everything?! Jesus Christ, man! For once, for ONCE, take something out of this! You need to LEARN something from Angel's death, not run away for it, or else, she'll have died in vain!" He's not yelling, no, Mark's too soft to yell, but he's trying. His voice is elevated, the bit of color that occupied his face is now gone.
Just like him before, I'm a bit shocked at his words. But instead of yelling back, I shake my head and turn my body, proceeding to pack, tossing bottle after bottle of pills into my bag.
"Her death was in vain, Mark." I mumble, loud enough for him to hear.
There's an awkward pause. The only noise is the clinking of bottles. I grab my toothbrush.
"That's not true." Mark's voice has cracked again, I can't blame him. It's not the happiest day of our lives.
"That's not true." He repeats. "Roger, you've got so much to care about, so much to live for."
Oh joy. He's preaching.
"What about me, we're best friends - what about Mimi?"
My knuckles tighten once more, this time around my toothpaste. Unfortunately for me, the cap was off. I squirt it all over my sleeve.
"Mimi has her own problems to take care of." I reply, my tone void of emotion. I turn on the water. It takes a few seconds, and it's freezing cold.
"Yeah, well so do you!" Mark walks towards the bathroom now as I stick my sleeve under the cold faucet, flicking off bits of toothpaste with my free hand. I hold the duffle bag between my knees. "Roger, you've got more problems than you know!"
The bag falls to the floor. I angrily turn off the water and flail my arm around the bit, ridding it of water. I turn to him, angry now.
"And who the fuck are you to tell me who my am? What my problems are?"
"I'm your friend, Roger!" Mark yells back, now he's really yelling, and takes a step forward.
I laugh, just to spite him.
"A friend?" I shake my head, and reiterate, "A friend? Is that it, then? You're a fine, fantastic friend who thinks he knows fucking everything! Do you even know what they say about you, Mark?"
The last sentence causes him to falter, his mouth opens but no words pour from it. His mouth closes. He says nothing, so I continue.
"You work. That's all you do, Mark. You work and work and work, your work is your life and you live for your work. Do you like what you do, Mark?"
"I love filmmaking." his voice is quiet, but defensive. Again, I laugh.
"They say that, too. You know what I say? I say you're a coward. Bullshit you're in love with your work. You hide in your work."
His eyebrows lower. "From what, exactly?"
"From everything. You have not made one successful film. You are alone. Mark, you're a hypocritical lying asshole!"
Again, he stares at me, his eyes narrowed in a relaxed glare, trying to stare me down. "You always tell us to live in the moment. Feel. Don't be numb." I continue, now stooping over to pick up my bag. "Bull SHIT. All this coming from the person who spends hours up here alone working on his projects, shy, super sensitive, devoted to his work, fucking Mark! Is that really why you're up here for hours on end? Your film? Or are you just depressed because you preach not to be numb, and you ARE."
I can't make much sense of what I've just said. They're thoughts I've had for quite some time, and now that I've tried to put them into words, it seems they're too complicated. I can tell Mark is confused too, because still, all he does is defend his job,
"I'm making a living!"
"Well poor - fucking - you!" Bag in hand, I march to the kitchen. Tempers have flared, my heart is pounding, head racing.
"Well what about you?" Mark is really, really yelling now. I'm kind of surprised but I try to ignore him as I pack. "Don't ever accuse someone of being a hypocrite when you're the world's biggest one!" He pauses, I think he's waiting to see if I'll say something. When I don't, he continues to yell. "Accuse me of being numb? What the fuck, Roger? You practically never left the fucking house for three months! Yeah! Your girlfriend died! That sucked, Roger, it sucked, okay?! And now guess what, asshole, so did our best friend, and I'm not about to spiral out of control! The thing is, you're afraid of commitment! You finally thought you were happy with April, and she died, yeah, that bites, I get it! But when you found Mimi and she fell in love with you, you treated her like shit, Roger! Like shit! I couldn't believe half the bullshit you put her through, and now, ever since Angel got sick, you've rejected her! She's sick too, Roger, and so are you!"
I turn around.
"Shut up, Mark."
"No! Separation isn't going to fix that! You're going to make her more depressed! She quit using for you! Mimi gave up heroin for YOU, Roger!"
"Shut up, Mark!" I take a step forward, trying to appear menacing.
"You fucked up your own life enough, I won't let you fuck up hers! You are going to be the one who drives her back to drugs! If she gets sick again, it'll be your fault!"
"MARK. SHUT UP." A few more steps forward. Blood is rushing to my head. If he doesn't stop.
"And if she dies, you'll have that on your shoulders, and this time, I'm not going to be there for you!"
"SHUT UP!" I can't control it. He's gone too far.
The next thing I know my fist is in a ball and the muscles in my upper arm tense up and swing forward. My knuckles collide forcefully with his stomach.
He shuts up.
Falls to his knees, in fact.
I step backwards, and look at him.
Both of his arms are wrapped around his middle, shoulders forwards, his whole body clenched and doubled over. He looks up a me, I can see that one or two tears have fallen from his face. His eyes make contact with mine.
His expression is what kills me.
No look of pain, or fear plays across his face.
Not the physical kind, no.
You can see it in his eyes.
Completely shocked and hurt.
And it's my fault.
Oh my God.
I just punched him.
OhmyGodOhmyGod, what did I just do?
"Mark..." I immediately fall to my knees in front of him. He turns away, a finger goes up to his face, lifts his glasses, and pushes a few tears away.
"Mark I am so sorry." I say. Now it's my voice that cracks.
I can't believe what I've just done. My best friend...
He tries to get up, and grunts when he does. I can't imagine the physical impact I've made on him, pale, scrawny Mark, just punched by ex-rockstar/junkie, hardcore Roger.
I help him, grasp his arms and help him stand firmly, though I can tell he's still in pain. He leans against the table in the middle of the room, shaking his arm loose of my grip.
"Mark, I am so...so sorry..." I grab his arms again and shake him gently, trying to get him to look at me, but he won't. And that's what hurts.
"Mark, I'm...oh my God, please, please know that I'm angry, and confused, I would never, never--"
"You just did." he cuts me off, and it's like a slap to the face.
I just physically assaulted my best friend.
I pull Mark into a hug, but he doesn't respond, his arms are limp at his sides.
"Mark, you are my best friend..." I say to him. "And...I don't say this enough, but...I love you. I really really do, and I don't know what I'd do without you."
It was awkward, but I meant it. I did.
And when I pull away, he still says nothing. Have I...have I really hurt him that much?
Too many thoughts are rushing to my head. I...I need air.
I sigh and shiver simultaneously, and look at Mark with extreme sorrow. Still, he refuses to meet my eye.
I head for the door...I turn once or twice, taking a few steps back towards him, wondering if I should stay...
...but he's right.
Everything he said was true.
I am a coward.
And right now, I just...I need air.
My arm outstretches and I open the door, and there she is. Standing there, eyes big and brown, filled with tears. In a few moments I knew she had been standing there for more than a while.
"You...heard?" I ask, my eyes meet hers, and it's too much to handle. First Mark, now her.
"Everything." she whispers.
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And you guys know how the story goes from there! I figured I'd just leave the Mimi scene as is, considering that that isn't the part of the scene that had been revised multiple times. Hope you liked, please, please, please, leave a review telling me what you thought, even if you hated it. I'll always love to know how I can improve my writing skills. Thanks a bunch!
(PS: I'm posting this now, in June of 09. I wrote this in July of 08. I read it and edited a few things in February. I feel like this should be posted now, so I'm not bothering to read over it again. I have no idea how good or bad it is.)