Jill is dialing Tony’s number. She had not planned on dialing his number. However, she had just gotten home after a busy work day, and after flinging her purse on the couch, eating a few peanuts that were in glass jar that stood on her kitchen table, taking a short glimpse at her reflection in the mirror before loosening the tight rubber band in her hair, and collapsing on her bed, she had pulled her phone out of her pant pocket, and before she could stop herself, her fingers were the dialing the familiar number. As soon she hears the ringing she regrets her subconscious move. However hanging up would be pointless, because after seeing a missed call from her, Tony would call her back. So she braces her self to hear his voice; a voice she had not heard in almost a month.
“Hey is everything okay,” Tony asks her as soon as the ringing on the other end stops.
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m just calling because, well…, you see…, to be honest I don’t know why I’m calling. My fingers just dialed the number automatically.”
“I see we are taking the honest route today. Quite the change from the usual Jill repertoire.”
“I deserve that….. So how are things,” Jill asks, in the hopes of diverting the conversation from her faults .Tony takes the bait.
“Things are okay. Still alive, still breathing, and still living with Mark. Though the latter makes me wish the first two weren’t true.”
“I guess it gives you a chance to complain about your exes. Plot murders.”
“Yeah, we have an entire system in place. I’m going to kill Liz by boring her to death, and Mark has big plans of annoying you to death.”
“I guess the only plus of us breaking up is that I have a valid excuse to avoid your brother.”
“The only plus? What about that man you left me for?”
“He left me.”
“Wow, you’re really into this honesty thing today.”
“I am, and in the spirit of my new found honesty, I will tell you that it’s a good thing he left me. His wife just gave birth.”
“Really Jill,” Tony exclaims, his voice filled with astonishment, but not with disappointment.
“I guess I’m not as nice as you thought.”
“Well, in the spirit of the honesty that is so prevalent in this conversation, I’m going to admit that I never thought you were nice. That’s not why I loved you.”
“So why did you love me?”
“I have no idea. I don’t think it’s possible to know why we are attracted to who we are attracted to. However, it is possible to figure out what qualities you do not want your mate to have, or at the very least, what qualities they do not need to posses. That’s really the way you pick your mate. No one says, ‘I want someone faithful’. They always say, ‘I don’t want a cheater’. And I never cared if my wife was kind. I mean of course I don’t want someone who tortures kids and animals, but when it comes to everyday life, I always figured I was kind enough for the both of us.”
“That’s such a pessimistic view of relationships.”
“It’s a truthful view of relationships. By the way, do you want to have dinner sometime?”
“Yes,” Jill replies, surprising herself with her answer. A few months ago dinner with Tony was something that she wished she could avoid, but now the thought of eating food with him excites her. She listens, as if outside her body, as her voice makes dinner plans with the man whose life she had completely altered. She begins to wonder if Tony was right, if the reason she is all of a sudden attracted to him again is because he does not posses any of the the bad qualities which Scott has.