LOVE’S PROMISE, from The Zig-Zag Woman by Steve Martin:

THE ZIG-ZAG WOMAN: You must miss her.


THE ZIG-ZAG WOMAN: How long has she been gone?

OLDER MAN: Twenty-three years. (Pause.) Divorced me, married an actor. In the beginning of something, its ending is foretold, and we met in an elevator going down. After she left, in my travels I would sit in hotel lobbies expecting her to appear, telling me what a mistake she’d made. I would land at airports, thinking that she got my flight number and would be waiting for me. When I went to a show, I would buy two tickets in case she had found out where I was and quietly joined me, nothing having to be said. I never figured out why she went away, but I did figure out this: love is a promise delivered already broken.

THE ZIG-ZAG WOMAN: I should go back in the box.