Waiting in the car outside of the gym, Jennifer reflects on the reason she sits here; a conversation while attending Berkeley’s Homecoming. Bored and hoping David would want to retreat early from the alumni stories, she wanders over to the Bear’s Lair. There, while reviewing the appetizers, Lisa interrupted, “Is that a Tri-delt ring?”
“Yes it is. How’d you know? Are you a Tri-delt?” Jennifer pried.
“Of course; that’s how I knew. Although I admit I’ve never seen that design. Where’d you pledge?”
“Stanford, Omega chapter; David had this ring designed for me while we were dating. Where’d you suffer your rush humiliation?” Jennifer gibed.
“UC Berkeley; it was a foregone conclusion that I’d pledge Tri-Delta Sorority before my senior year in high school. My mother and grandmother are both Tri-delts. Any other sorority choice would’ve been considered subversive. I’ve been the subject of enough gossip with the family – no need to add to that,” Lisa assured.
“Uh Duh,” Jennifer cynically recanted. “That was a stupid question; obviously Berkeley is where you’ve pledged. After all, we are here at their Homecoming weekend.”
“By the way, my name is Mona Lisa, but please call me Lisa. I’ve tried to forget that my mother felt it necessary to bestow her obsession with Leonardo DaVinci on me. That’s how I got my name,” Lisa confessed and began feeling a slight buzz from the beer.
“I like that name; Davinci was so much more than his art represents. Have you ever seen any of his work?” Jennifer urged reflecting on her love of the Renaissance period.
“Originals? No, but that’s probably because my parents didn’t send me on international trips during the summer like you and your classmates probably went on. I worked my way through school,” Lisa justified losing decorum each time she spoke.
“A wee bit harsh don’t you think? I haven’t seen any of his original work either and believe it or not, I worked my way through school too; that’s how I met David. Not all Stanford students have silver spoons; we’re just brilliant is all!” Jennifer exclaimed.
“You wouldn't want to say that too loud here in the lair. Hey wait are you talking about blond David from the tennis team? Was that you I saw with him and Brad at the Alumni Dinner yesterday evening? I can’t remember if y’all were at the table to my right or left. I knew you looked familiar when you came in here earlier,” Lisa slurred slightly.
“Yes that was me last night. You know David?” Jennifer asked hoping Lisa was not a former girlfriend.
“Yea I know David and Brad, I used to date their team mate Jonas and always went to them for advice. After we broke up, I was still good friends with them. We’ve lost touch since graduation but it’s been good seeing them again. How do you know them?”
“Well David is my husband; we dated during undergrad and since he and Brad are best friends, that’s how I met Brad,” Jennifer casually explained reaching to sip more beer.
“David is your husband?” Lisa queried mockingly almost dropping her glass.
This woman must be drunk. Why is she acting like David and I being married is preposterous? Indeed he’s handsome, but I’ve never been hard on the eyes I’ll have you know. Look at those young guys over there that have been eyeing me since I got here. I’m even more in shape than the day he and I got married. I’m a seven on my worse day if I do say so myself. What’s with these insinuations she’s been making since first mentioning David? Clearly subtlety is not her strength. She’s been somewhat brusque as if she’s unclear on how to behave. Yet it’s apparent she doesn’t want me to sit elsewhere. I guess with all the tree hugging she’s forgotten how to treat actual people. How does one get that way? Who knows, I’m only here for the weekend thank God. “Yes, he’s my husband; surprised?”
“That depends on whether you play for the other side or not?” Lisa declared well past being buzzed. Reserve has been tossed to the wind.
“Excuse me!” Jennifer offered squinting her eyes.
“You seem confused so let me be clear and not let political correctness stand in the way. Are you a carpet muncher or a dyke?”
“How rude; absolutely not; what is the meaning of your questions Lisa?”
“You asked me was I surprised about you being married to David and I wouldn’t have been if you were gay because I’d have assumed it to be a marriage of convenience so to speak. However, since you seem to be appalled at my questions about your sexual preference, I assume you’re a card carrying member of the heterosexual club and traditional marriage; which, I might add, has me speculating about that brilliance you were hailing a few moments ago. Am I to understand you’re totally in the dark about where I’m going?”
“Not at all; I have a pretty good idea of where you’re heading and I’m disgusted. I understand you being drunk but aren’t you supposed to be his friend? Yea, you are and yet you’re trying to suggest something cruel and sadistic.”
Motioning the bartender over, Lisa gets off her stool and stands next to it and ordered, “Would you get my friend here a Pedro’s Porter?” Then turning to Jennifer she contended, “As a fellow sister of Tri Delta I’m going to ignore your condescension and give you a little advice. I can’t speak for anything that’s changed since our glory days here but I’m curious about how much you know about your husband. I haven’t seen him in years; nonetheless it seems I’m privy to some things to which you are unaware. Unlike you, David is NOT a card carrying member of the same club you are. I have never and I mean never seen him without Brad being far behind. When I saw you all last night, I assumed you were with them. I hope you haven’t convinced yourself that Brad is the third wheel. You may want to look within if the thought of outsider has ever crossed your mind when the three of you are together. I’d find all of this comical if it weren’t so sad. Oh by the way, if by some clever arrangement Brad has a woman too, don’t be naïve. They were always more than best friends and practice partners. Even the other team members knew it. Everyone ignored it because it was clear they didn’t want people to know. They’re one of the reasons I gained understanding about people who love the same sex. I had no idea it was the same as everyone else or what we like to call straight people; although one wonders about those theories. Before them, I had so many assumptions and judgments about what it meant to be homosexual. Their intensity made me want that type of devotion for myself. Now perhaps most of us here on campus were mistaken when we thought that they were more than just team mates, but I don’t believe that. As for what or who they are now, who knows? I just hope you know what you’re doing—Stanford.”
Too paralyzed to rebut, Jennifer watched Lisa settle up her tab and exit the pub. Confusion, anger and hurt simultaneously flooded her mind and it was those same emotions from that day that now deluge her mind while she sits lying in wait for David to come out of the building. Was Lisa just a drunk girl? Why would she say such things? David and Brad? Not possible, I’ve seen them together. What about Karen? She and Brad look like the perfect couple. Surely they wouldn’t do this to us. Should I wait and see before telling David my news? Maybe I should. Why am I questioning David’s intentions? He doesn’t deserve that. He’s not done anything. This is all based off the ranting of a drunk. I shouldn’t be here; I haven’t a reason to not trust my husband. We’ve not had any real bumps in our marriage. I’m letting my imagination run away and I’m not being logical.
Realizing her reason for waiting in the parking lot was not based on David’s behavior but more of the tale told by Lisa, Jennifer decides to leave and never mention the accusations made during the Homecoming weekend. Turning the key to start the silver Land Rover, Jennifer pats herself on the back for not letting insecurity get the best of her. Driving by the glass doors where gym attendees enter and exit she catches a glimmer of what looks like David embracing someone but the doors obstruct her view. Trying to be inconspicuous she slows the car down and makes a quick left into the first parking row to avoid getting to the stop sign and having to leave before confirming if it was him at the door. Half way up the first row, Jennifer looks back at the door and sees Brad exit the gym and David right behind him. Dejected and disillusioned her mind crashes and her eyes fill preventing her from seeing the female pedestrian walking with her gym bag directly in front of the truck. Coming out of the fog just in time, Jennifer quickly swerves and avoids hitting her by more than a foot. Wanting to see where David and Brad were now and wondering if they came together or in their own vehicles, she surveys the lot unaware of the concrete barriers that lie less than 50 feet ahead.
Stay tuned and find out what happens next, Monday (5/24/2010)