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If I Can't Love Her

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Lyrics in Bold

Narration in Italics

Dialouge in Plain


It’s a cold day in January. Rafael Barba is sitting in his apartment preparing for his upcoming trial. He’s getting frustrated because he can’t come up with his opening argument. It’s a brutal case. A man, Richard Johnson, raped his wife Amelia. And the defense is claiming that it can’t be rape because he loves his wife so much that it was obviously consensual, despite the fact that Amelia kept saying no over and over. The evidence and Amelia’s testimony should be enough for this case to be considered open and shut, but Rafael still wants to be prepared for everything that could be thrown at him. That’s why he needs to have the jury on his side from the beginning. He looks down to read what he already has


“Love is a selfless thing, love is an equal relationship, full of trust, it should never hurt and it should never take away your ability to say no. Love is, love is…”

Rafael finds his mind floating to Olivia, he loves her. He loves her smile, her beauty, but most of all her determination to help Amilea and so many others. He shakes himself out of his trance and he looks back and the papers spread across his table, he’s stuck. Whenever he gets stuck he reaches for his Abuelita’s crucifix to center him and he realizes it’s missing. He immediately stars to panic

Suddenly there’s a knock at the door, not wanting to be rude, he opens the door. It’s Olivia

Olivia: Hi Rafael. Carmen said you were out of the office so I brought over some files for the Johnson case


Barba: Thanks Olivia. Come in, you can just leave them on the table 


Olivia notices he’s really flustered, looking around his apartment for something


O: Is everything alright?


B: I’m sorry, I’m just trying to find something, it’s really important. 


Olivia starts to look around his apartment and sees something gold and shiny on the floor 


O: Is this it?


Olivia picks up a crucifix from the floor and turns towards Rafael


O: It’s beautiful


Rafael turns around to see Olivia holding his crucifix


B: No, don't touch that!


Olivia is startled by Rafael’s sudden speaking


O: Oh I’m sorry


As Rafael snaches it away Olivia’s finger gets stuck causing the cross to break from the chain. Rafael is furious


B: Do you realize what you've done?! That was my Abuelita’s! You had no right to touch that!


Olivia is genuinely sorry


O: Rafael I’m sorry. 


Rafael clutches his crucifix tightly, praying he’s going to be able to fix it. He turns to Olivia, his face darkened in a way she’s never seen before. Not even when in court.


B: Get out


O: Rafael I,


Olivia tries to reach out for Rafael but he’s not hearing it 


B; I said get out 


Before he realizes it, Olivia is standing there looking at him with a hand on her cheek, tears forming in her eyes. Any anger Rafael had before is gone, as he realizes he just did what he swore he would never do. He just hit a woman, and not just any woman but Olivia Benson, the woman he loves.


B: Liv I, 


Olivia runs out of his apartment without another word.

B: Liv wait, I’m sorry


Seeing that she is long gone, Rafael slams the door to his apartment,  locking it and latching the deadbolt. What did he just do?! He turns to punch the wall before stopping himself, his fist is what got him in this mess in the first place. He starts talking to himself


 B: I’m so sorry. I’m sorry, I, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I didn’t mean to hurt you. You don’t understand, there’s so little left of me. There's so little left


He turns to look in the mirror hanging in his apartment and he doesn’t recognize the man in front of him. 

B: And in my twisted face

There's not the slightest trace

Of anything that even hints of kindness


His kindness is gone now. It was gone the moment he used his fist instead of his words


B: And from my tortured shape

No comfort, no escape

I see, but deep within is utter blindness


As my dream dies


His dream of being with her


B: As the time flies

Love a lost illusion



Cold and driven

To this sad conclusion


Rafael starts to tear up and his voice starts to crack as he thinks of what this one moment has only proved to him 


B: No beauty could move me

No goodness improve me


Olivia can change just about anyone for the better, and he just hit her. What does that say about him?


B: No power on earth, if I can't love her

No passion could reach me

No lesson could teach me

How I could have loved her and make her love me too


That’s all he ever wanted in life


B: If I can't love her, then who?


Who else would love him after what he just did?


B: Long ago I should have seen

All the things I could have been

Careless and unthinking, I moved onward


He places the crucifix back on his neck and does the clasp. He clutches the cross tight like he’s asking for forgiveness, that he doubts he’ll ever get. He looks over his shoulder and is haunted by the moment where he realized he just ruined everything. Olivia is never going to want to see him again. Any love he ever had is gone, and it hurts.


B: No pain could be deeper

No life could be cheaper

No point anymore, if I can't love her


All he ever wanted to do was love her



B: No spirit could win me

No hope left within me

Hope I could have loved her and that she'd set me free



From his loneliness, from himself


B: But it's not to be

If I can't love her

Let the world be done with me.


If he can’t have Olivia in his life, then there is no point anymore. He collapses to the ground sobbing, wondering how he’s ever going to fix this.