Part 28: Mark Argues with Liz

“So Jill is cheating on Tony,” Liz’s voice tells Mark through the phone. “Can’t say I’m surprised.”

“Really? They always seemed so happy to me.”

“Tony maybe. And that’s a big maybe. But never Jill. She always seemed restless.”

“How so?”

“Well, she would always tap her fingers against the couch , table, or any nearby surface. Her toes were always wiggling. She always gave me the impression that she wanted to get up and run away.”

“So you’re saying that because Jill had a fidgeting problem, you knew she would cheat on my brother.” Mark is surprised at how sarcastic he sounds.

“Of course not. It wasn’t just that. It was lots of things. There were many clues….. It’s hard to explain. I’m just really good at reading people.”

“You always do this Liz. I hate it when you do this.”

“Do what?”

“When someone tells you a shocking fact, you pretend that you always suspected this would happen because of your super special spidey sense.”

“And you always do this!”

“Do what? Call you out on your B.S.”

“No, get angry for no reason.”

Mark sighs. This conversation is not going the way he planned. “You know, I called you to get some advice, not to have a fight,” he says.

“I don’t see why you called. All we did was fight in our marriage. I don’t see why the divorce would be any different. You always needed to pick a fight, even when there wasn’t a good reason. Remember the salt shaker incident?”

“I know we fought a lot Liz. I still think I’m partially deaf thanks to you. I just thought with the divorce on hold…”

“Mark, you remember that the divorce is only on hold because of financial reasons. I have no plans to reconcile with you. We had a miserable time together.”

“Not the first month. Remember that month? Thirty days of laughing and love-making.”

“Yes, only thirty good days out of five years of marriage!”

“We had other good moments too.”

“Yes, moments where we forced ourselves to keep our mouths shut.”

“That’s really what you think of our marriage? That all our good memories happened on days we had been too tired to argue.”

Mark hears heavy breathing on the other end of the line. Liz is silent for a good five minutes, and then she says “No, at least not for me. I did have some genuinely happy moments with you.”

“What do you think was the breaking point in our marriage? When did you realize we wouldn’t be celebrating our 50th anniversary?” Mark regrets asking this as soon as the words fly out of his mouth. He knows what she will say, he knows how much it will hurt, and he wonders when did he become a masochist.

“When you introduced me to Belle.”

“You know I never cheated on you.”

“ I know,” Liz says. “But it was at that moment that I wished you were cheating on me, because then I would have a good reason to leave you .”

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2 Responses to Part 28: Mark Argues with Liz

  1. Pesto Sauce says:

    Some folks simply love to hate each other

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