Chris – Erick’s boyfriend
Dan – Chris’s ex-boyfriend
Erick and his boyfriend’s ex-boyfriend Dan walk into Erick’s apartment. Erick is covered in pancake syrup while Dan is drenched in the remnants of three glasses of blood orange mimosas from a brunch gone to hell.
“What are we going to tell Chris?” Erick asks.
Dan scoffs. “I’m going to lie.”
Erick raises an eyebrow. “And say what?”
“I’ll say it was your fault.”
“How was it my fault?”
“Does that matter?”
“Yes. If you’re going to lie, I’m going to need an explanation for Chris.”
Dan thinks about this for a moment. “We’ll try this. I told you that Chris didn’t find you attractive when you two first met, then I went on to casually mention that, based on looks and looks alone, Chris is a bit out of your league.”
“How is that a lie?” Erick asks. “That’s what happened.”
“Not exactly. In my version, YOU 'accidentally spilled' the mimosas on me instead of April throwing them.”
“How does that help?”
“It makes me the victim.”
“How are you the victim?”
“Isn’t it amazing how things can be twisted around?”
“Yes,” Erick concurs. “But your version doesn’t explain the pancake syrup.”
“It doesn’t need to. When I tell Chris my side of the story, he’ll just assume the syrup was retribution.”
“And you’re okay with that?”
Erick throws his hands up. “Unbelievable.”
Dan places an arm around Erick. “This is survival, my friend.”
Erick’s eyes narrow. “I’m going to go change my clothes now. Try not to judge everything in this room while I’m gone,” he says as he walks into his bedroom.
Dan looks around the living room in mild disdain. “What would be the point? There’s just no more meat left on this bone.”
By the time Chris came home a couple hours later, Erick and Dan had managed to find some semblance of commonality in the form of the independent film The Broken Hearts Club, which they’re watching as he walks into Erick’s apartment.
“Hey guys, what happened to Larrabee’s?”
“Erick had a little accident at Basix, so we skipped the spa treatment and came back here.”
“What happened?” Chris asks as he walks over to the couch and sits next to Erick.
Erick pops his lips. “How does anything happen? Sometimes things just occur. And that’s what went down.”
Chris looks at Erick for a moment before diverting his attention to Dan. “Dan, what happened?”
“It’s exactly how I told you.”
“I know. Now tell me the truth.”
“What makes you think I’m not?”
“First off, popping lips is how Erick tells me not to believe something. Secondly, I got a text from April and another from Eugene saying that ‘you gots ta go.’ Now what happened?”
In mock horror, Dan rises off the couch. “You know, I have some work that I need to do tomorrow – in Chicago. I’m going to go to the airport and see if I can catch an earlier flight,” he says as he heads toward Erick’s bedroom.
“If you can’t find one, let us know,” Erick calls out after him with a heavy sigh.
“And we’ll let you know which airport hotel has the strongest wi-fi,” Chris piggybacks.
Erick smiles and gives Chris a kiss. “You’re cute but I still have aught with you.” Erick teases.
“What is ‘aught’?” Chris asks.
“It’s a holy Jesus term, but it means sleep with one eye open tonight,” Erick replies.
“For some inexplicable reason, Dan took it upon himself to tell me what you said to him about meeting me for the first time.”
Chris closes one eye and then the other as he tries to think. “I don’t remember.”
“You didn’t want to pursue anything with me because you didn’t think I was attractive enough for you.”
Chris twists his mouth. “Oh that.”
“And the only reason we went on an actual first date was because April had to convince you to do it.”
Chris rubs his hand across his forehead. “Oh that, too.”
“So it begs the question…”
“It shouldn’t. That was a year and a half ago.”
“Does it ever cross your mind?”
“Ha!” Dan yells out from the bedroom.
“More packing and less listening!” Chris yells back.
“So you’re telling me you never look at my body and wish it was less…elaborate?”
“Does it really matter? I love you. The ‘elaborateness’ is irrelevant to me. It should be to you too. If it’s not, change it.”
“What if I got bigger?”
“Then I’d widen my eyes.”
“What if I got smaller?”
“Then I’d narrow them.”
A hint of a smile crosses Erick’s face but changes quickly as another thought enters his mind. “What did April say that made you reconsider?”
Chris takes a deep breath before answering. “She reminded me that I dated a lot of Dans after he and I broke up, which is why she introduced me to you. When I told her that you weren’t really my type, she called me out on the fact that I would complain about those Dans I was trying to date but then continue to date them. And she was right.”
Chris rests his head on Erick’s shoulder. “We went out to dinner and I knew that I’d be forever indebted to April for forcing you upon me.”
Erick chuckles. “Any regrets?”
“That you have yet to see how beautiful you are.”
“You shut up your face.”
Chris laughs. “I will if this can be the last conversation we have about your body. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life trying to convince you of something you refuse to see for yourself.”
Erick scowls. “Fine. It’s a deal.”
Dan walks out of Erick’s bedroom with his travel gear in tow. “If you two are done tarnishing my good name, I’ll say my goodbyes now.”
Erick stands up. “Safe travels back, Dan.”
“Thank you Erick. And let me say this…you’re a bit fatty in the torso area – just lose a few and you won’t have to worry about how Chris really feels. Chris, stop being such a good guy. There’s bound to be some superficiality still in there somewhere. Embrace it. I’ve called a cab. Come down and wait for it with me.”
Dan opens the door and walks out. Erick scrunches his face. Chris shakes his head as he follows behind Dan. Erick reaches for his cell phone and sends Eugene a text message -- Remember when you asked me to be a guinea pig for your personal training certification? Let’s do this.