Bruce was the one who answered the door. “Hey, guys. I’m going to need you to wait out here a minute. I said I’d check with him for everyone and if I start making assumptions, it’s a slippery slope.”
Marjorie was about ready to try her luck strong arming against Bruce, but Heidi stepped half in front of her. “Of course, Bruce, we understand. We’ll wait.” Bruce shut the door again, and they head the lock click into place. “You know what Clark is like, Mar. We’ve been in situations like this before.” Heidi reminded her quietly. Heidi was right. Of course, Heidi was right, but it didn’t stop Marjorie from wanting to kick ass and take names.
They waited in the hall for just a bit longer, and then Bruce swung the door open wide. “Y’all can come in. He only wants to talk to Marj, though.”
“Sure,” Heidi reassured Bruce easily, and Marjorie finally burst through, a wave of nervous energy taking her quickly to the back of the apartment, to Clark’s dark, mostly empty bedroom. She sank down at the edge of his mattress (not even a bed–just an old mattress since his bed was at the new apartment with her) the sight of him draining the energy right out of her. She just knelt here and waited, all the patience in the world for him and only him.
Eventually, he spoke. “It was William. The ex, you know. He, well, he still loves her apparently. And she, i guess, loves him too. She thinks they’ll probably get married soon. She wanted to warn me–so it wouldn’t come as a shock if they eloped. She and I were supposed to get married in twelve days, but now she’s going to marry him.” Clark held out a closed fist in Marjorie’s general direction. She gently pried his fingers open to find The Ring–The ring he’d so carefully picked out, that he saved for and personalized just for her. Marjorie lifted the ring out of his hand, and his arm fell limply back to the mattress. Marjorie stood up and surveyed the room–finally deciding to place the ring carefully on the top of the only remaining cardboard box in the room. He’d almost been moved out. Now he’d have to move back in. That was going to be a whole new level of heartbreak.
Marjorie went back over to kneel next to the mattress. Clark looked up and fixed her with a stare that cut right to her soul. “Why?” It was the worst question Marjorie had ever heard, made even worse by the fact that she didn’t have an answer for him. She crawled onto the mattress next to him, molding herself to his side, hugging him around the center as tightly as she could. She felt his nose bury into her hair and his whole body shook with sobs. She held him as tightly as she could and let him cry, sob, and scream into her hair until he finally went quiet and his breath evened out with sleep. Marjorie didn’t dare fall asleep herself, but she also couldn’t bring herself to move, to disturb him in anyway. Instead, she planned. If there was any way to make this even a little bit better, Marjorie was going to figure it out.