Introducing Beth, the fourth member of "The Lunch Club." Dan's refusal to face the reality of the job market has led to yet another fight.
“When are you going to stop being mad at me—and everything else?”
“That’s what I think, yes.”
“So—I should go into the nearest pizza place with a sign out front saying they need drivers and go in and apply?”
“You know what they pay?” He sounded both amused and incredulous.
The danger past, she relaxed and essayed a joke. “No, but I bet you’d get lots of free pizza.”
When Dan didn’t reply, Beth stood. “I’m going to bed now.” She left without waiting for him to follow.
After a few minutes, she heard him pad down the hallway. She continued dabbing on her night cream. Dan’s face loomed behind her in the mirror, like a rising moon. He watched her for a few minutes, his face devoid of expression as an egg, and then backed out, leaving her alone.
She hadn’t expected an apology—Dan never apologized—but he could at least have offered a civil “Good night,” Beth thought. She felt her eyes sting with tears. It had been so long since he had kissed her goodnight or even offered a hug. Sex wasn’t even on the horizon.
She picked up her brush drew the plastic bristles through her hair, hoping to prevent the inevitable snarls that appeared during the night. She tried to understand Dan’s reaction to her revelation that she had enjoyed her night out. He not only acted like he didn’t care, he acted like he would have been happy if she said she was leaving him. Are you going to see him again? A few months ago, the statement would have been ludicrous. Now, it showed how far they’d drifted apart.
Maybe he was tired of her. Maybe she was the symbol of his failure, and he hated looking at her, reminded of the man he’d been. Feeling old, ugly and unloved, she threw the brush down on the sink edge, not caring if the handle cracked.