Part 13: Mark’s Distraction

Mark goes on a date. Her name is Crystal and she has curly hair. The main reason he asked her out is because she has curly hair. He wants to go out with a woman who is the complete opposite of Liz, and Liz had pin straight hair. After dinner, he walks Crystal home, and his fingers are interlaced with her french manicured ones. That is another reason he asked her out. Liz never did a french manicure  because she felt that only porn stars did their nails that way, so she usually painted her nails blue or green.

Mark and Crystal are chatting while they stand in front of Crystal’s door. “I had a really nice time tonight,” Mark says, while he mentally scolds himself for not thinking of something more original to say. He leans in and gives her a kiss. It feels good to kiss someone who is not Liz. He’s kissed several woman since Liz decided life would be better without him, but each time he was too drunk to even remember the name of the woman, and the one time he was sober he felt a paralyzing surge of guilt. He enjoys this kiss though, and although he knows nothing more will happen tonight, he looks forward to the events that will follow after the kiss.

“Would you like to go out again?” he asks Crystal, and she nods yes in reply. “I have a secret to tell you,” she says, smiling. “I was hoping that once your divorce was finalized you would ask me out.”

“Actually it has not been finalized yet,” Mark says, and immediately regrets it. He has been mentally preparing himself all day for this moment, and he has failed miserably. He knows telling her the truth is not an option so he adds, “I’m not yet divorced because of legal mumbo jumbo. I don’t even understand it. It should happen any day now.”

Crystal does not believe his lies. She stops smiling; she twists her curly hair with her manicured finger, and she says “I think we should put the second date on hold.” She turns around, unlocks her door, walks into her apartment, and slams her door shut. Mark decides he hates Liz.

The next day Mark is still very angry at Liz, so he decides to go for a walk. He realizes that he is experiencing all the cons of being married and none of the benefits. Mark has never thought of himself as the altruistic type, and he decides that Liz should have thought about her finances when she decided to divorce him. He takes his cell phone out of his pocket, and he is about to call Liz and to tell her he no longer wants to put the divorce on hold, when something distracts him. On the other side of the street, he sees his brother’s girlfriend going into a hotel, with a man who is not his brother.

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