"Oh come on Mark, how long has it been? 3? 4 years? Dude, so many women, so little time." Dennis was talking seriously. "Its not like the women don't throw themselves at your feet. Why don't you just give it a shot? Look, say Jenny, man, she's a goddess! She's been trying to get your attention. Or Keira? Hot-ness! Or Leslie? Geesh, if I am the single guy here, I would have jumped these ladies like a horny rabbit!"
"You're sick man, just sick. You need to see a professional" Mark replied sarcastically.
"I'm sick? You think I'm sick? Fuck you! I'm not the guy obsessing about some bitch who is already married and has a kid from another man!" Dennis piped back.
"She is not a bitch! Don't you ever call her a bitch, again, ya hear?" Mark hissed and slammed his glass on the bar top.
A couple of guys drinking nearby stopped talking.
Dennis moved closer to Mark and back-pedalled, "Hey chill dude, easy now, I'm on your side here; man, we've been friends since first grade, okay? I'm sorry, I was being an ass, but it's just that ..."
Mark cuts him in mid-sentence, "No worries man, I know, you're just being an asshole" and jabs at Dennis shoulders. They exchange shadow jabs and punches and start laughing. "Forget it bro, I'm good, really. If it happens, then it happens. Besides I have too much going on in my work now I am just too busy to get preoccupied with other things."
They both stare at the bar display. It was Mark who broke the silence, "And we're here to drink! Here's to "the man", hopefully this time you did it right and will have a boy. So he can grow up to kick his old man's ass when he needs to. For my best bud and a great Dad! Cheers!" They raise, clink and downed their double shots.
Dennis thoughtfully shakes his head, "You just worry me bro, y'know. See here I am on my 2nd kid and between us, I always thought you would make the better family guy. Ashley came into my life and I didn't waste a heartbeat. All the guys we hang out with are either married or getting a divorce, but since Catherine," Dennis pauses and breathes deeply; "Dude it's like you just stopped living."
It was Mark who wanted they get a new start, but Catherine won't have a divorce. She wanted to just run away. Mark insisted that they cut clean but each time they discussed this they ended up fighting that led to fantastic make-up sex. It's been almost four years of illicit love and Mark is feeling disheartened about the lying and hiding.
It was just one foolish night of indiscretion. Mark and his work buddies were partying on a Friday night after an Ad campaign has been approved. He had too much to drink and Leslie who always eyed Mark knew exactly when to get him and would be unable to resist her. One stupid night, a drunk man, a couple of weeds, a sinfully attractive woman, and a night of hard core banging. Mark woke up feeling brain dead, dick-impaled and dirty. It didn't take long for Catherine to know what happened.
She was frothing at the mouth and furious during their confrontation. She called off their engagement, and out of a whim, hardly six months after that night, on a desperate and senseless rebound decision, she married Brad, an ardent suitor from childhood who had the personality of a driftwood. Although wealthy, with a Harvard degree and a practicing repugnant lawyer, Catherine is his childhood conquest. However, when they finally married, he looks at Catherine as wife and mother to his kid and future children. Brad is not beastly looking but he isn't fetching either. He is rather plain and boring.
Mark on the one hand, is a drop dead gorgeous guy in his early 30's. Catherine had always considered being Mark's beau as a source of great smug-ness, an envy of all warm blooded women. But she is far from being a ravishing beauty. She has an athletic physique borne out of her gymnast days but rather comely. She makes up for this with confidence, bearing and intelligence. Plus the magic of make-up. Back in the days when she and Mark were dating, they generally fought about how her insecurities got in the way. She was always jealous of every woman who would ever come near Mark, even if this was an honest and innocent conversation. In spite of her insecurities, Catherine knew in her gut she would always have Mark. Truly, she has an overpowering influence on him.
TO BE CONTINUED