“Clark, hey,” Marjorie stepped out into the hall instead of inviting him into the apartment. That usually meant that one of her brother’s was over—and that she didn’t want him reporting back to her Mom. Her mom always got a little overzealous with the “Clark and Marjorie are getting back together” rumors. And even though that was something he wanted, Clark did not want the added pressure of Marjorie’s mother in the mix. “Was I expecting you? Did we have plans?”
“No, no. I wanted to make plans, though. I was wondering if you wanted to go out tonight or something. Something a little more formal, just the two of us?” Clark asked quickly before he could lose his nerve.
“Uh—well, No, Clark. Sorry, I don’t think that Mark would like that too much.” Marjorie said quickly
“What does Mark have to do with anything?” Clark asked, trying not to sound crabby.
“Yeah, thing is, I’ve kind of been seeing him lately. I mean, we’re not anything official or labelled, but…I’m sleeping with him. I think I’d be a little pissy if he went on a date with someone else, and vice versa. Sorry, Clark. I didn’t want to tell you—with the whole Lisa thing still being so fresh and what not. I thought it would be tactless.”
Clark took a step back before he could stop himself. Marjorie was dating someone. He was making a fool of himself. Again. “Right, No. Of course. Sorry.”
“I should have told you, I know. You’re my best friend.” Marjorie said, wisely not stepping forward.
“Yeah—Best friend.” Clark repeated.
“Oh, Come on. Don’t say it like that,” Marjorie crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back against the door.
“Best friend like it’s a curse word. You friend zoned me first, remember? We agreed that we are better as friends.”
Clark gave Marjorie his best smile. “No, you’re right. We agreed, we’re better as friends. And you have Mark. Of course.”
Marjorie relaxed. “Clark, this isn’t going to be a thing, is it? You’re going to calm down, right?”
Clark deflated a little bit. “Yeah. I’ll calm down. This isn’t going to be a thing.” He couldn’t promise that but it was what Marjorie needed to hear. And once Marjorie got what she needed to hear, he could run away to lick his wounds and hide his embarrassment. It was his best course of action.
“Okay. I should probably get back inside.” Clark finally realized she’d shut the door because Mark was in there. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
“Yeah. Later.” Clark wanted to run but he made himself walk away from her apartment like he’d done a thousand times before. He didn’t dare look, but he could hear that Marjorie didn’t go back inside until he’d hit the button for the elevator. He tried not to blush from head to toe. It was just his luck.