Clark ran both of his hands through his hair, scratching at the back of his head a little more viciously than he had to, before letting his hands fall to his lap. He sighed, and focused on his fiancée—ex-fiancée—for a moment longer than his temper could take.
“Why?” He snapped, a little more harshly than he wanted to.
“He’s…He’s under my skin, Clark. And I love him.” She didn’t look at Clark directly, but instead stared at the beautiful diamond ring that she’d sat on the table in front of him when she’d started to explain that she couldn’t go through with the wedding, that she was going back to William.
“So—did you love me at all? Or were you just marking time? Or using me to force William into action?”
Lisa looked hurt at Clark’s word, which only made Clark feel angrier. What right did she have to be hurt in this situation? “Of course, I love you, Clark. I never expected this to happen. It almost didn’t. I was going to marry you and I was going to be happy, but I would always think about William and the ‘what if’ of him, and I don’t think it’s fair to you, Clark. I don’t think it’s fair to you if I marry you while I’m still in love with someone else.”
“And calling off the engagement thirteen days before the wedding? You think that’s fair? Asking me to move back in with my brother while you keep our nice apartment because you can’t keep it in your pants? That’s fair.” Clark was on his feet now, pacing. He was so angry, and there were no good choices for letting that anger out.
“I never cheated on you, Clark. I never did, and I never want to, which is why I think this break up is best. And, I only suggested you live with your brother because you do have family in town while I don’t. But of course, you’re right, I’m the one at fault here, I will go stay in a hotel and you can keep the apartment.” Lisa replied calmly. She was too calm about all this. Couldn’t she at least work up some tears? Look somewhat sad that she was cutting Clark out of her life? But no—her response to anyone’s anger was to turn to stone and act logical. He hated that about her.
Well, no, he didn’t. He thought it was a nice counter balance to his life. But he wanted to hate her so much.
“Of course I’m going to Bruce’s!” He yelled, because he couldn’t have spoken calmly if his life depended on it. “I can’t afford this place on my own and you don’t have any one in the area to move in with.”
“Well then,” Lisa replied in that level voice, “I’m afraid that I don’t know what you want from me right now.”
“I want you to not be in love with anyone else. I want you to tell me this is all a really cruel joke and then go away for a couple of hours while I calm down. Then I want you to come home to our apartment and I want to marry you in thirteen days.”
Clark’s voice cracked in his rant, and it broke Lisa’s calm. “Oh, Clark. I can’t do that for you.” There was almost a desperation in her voice now. “I wish I could, but I really can’t do that for you.”
“I know!” Clark threw his hands into the air, and then fell back into his chair, picking up the diamond ring with both hands, moving it slightly to send the shadows of three-ring moving on the table. He tried to look up at Lisa, his voice calmer, “I know. I just—“It was too hard, so this time he talked to the engagement ring to a wedding that would never happen. “Here’s what you can do. You can leave, for a couple of hours or whatever. I’ll call Bruce and Diana and I’ll get all my stuff out of here tonight. None of the big furniture is mine anyway. I’ll leave my key under the mat, and I don’t want to see you for a while, Okay? I’ll call my people and you call yours, get back what you can for a late cancellation on whatever. Keep track, but don’t contact me. When I’m ready to talk to you—we’ll figure it out then, but for a while, I just can’t.” Talking to the ring was easier, but his voice was shaking. She needed to leave, now. He wasn’t going to break down in front of her.
“Take the night,” She insisted, “I’ll get a hotel for tonight, and go to work from there. I’ll stay away until 6pm tomorrow. Do you think that will be enough time?” Clark didn’t trust his voice, so he nodded, still focused on the ring. He didn’t move while she got up from the table and moved about the apartment, gathering things together. He didn’t even look up when she reappeared in the door way, looking his way. “Well, I guess, Goodbye.” She said softly. He still didn’t move, so she turned and left. He waited until he heard the lock on the front door before setting down the ring and reaching in his pocket for his phone. He wasn’t even ashamed to admit that he was sobbing by the time his brother picked up on the other end of the line.