A Romantic Comedy
Bailey Swanson is relentlessly addicted to ice cream, hates jeans – yet thinks leggings are basically just colored sausage casings – and would be completely lost without her best friend Mark. He’s the only one that gets her, and sees through her difficult-to-love exterior.
Mark has known Bailey since they were both children. As her manager, he handles her failing acting career and is always there for her. As her friend, he’s held her hand through her most recent break up, all the while wondering if she’ll ever be whole again.
But Bailey is a disaster when it comes to romance — and while she’s trying to move on from her cheating ex, she can’t drown her sorrows forever in Ben & Jerry’s. She knows she has to get past this eventually… right? Unless a happily ever after just isn’t in the cards for her, in which case her plan to swear off all relationships forever is a good one.
Or maybe the answer is right in front of her face. Things aren’t always as they seem when it comes to the heart. That fickle little thing tends to get the best of all of us at one point or another…
“I feel better,” he says as he gets up from the swing and stands facing me. He’s standing so close, it feels like something has shifted, as if the balance has been tipped slightly in an unexpected direction. Wait a second. What am I even thinking? This is Mark, for Christ’s sake.
I take a step back and let out a deep breath. The smell of the flowers surrounding us washes over me and I feel a weight lifted. “So, where does that leave you guys? Are you going to try to be friends?”
He looks up at the sky. “We’ll never be friends. I don’t think any exes ever are. There’s always something there, lying in wait. It can be disguised, but never destroyed. You can pile as much shit on top of it as you want, but in the end, it’s always there.”
I smile at Mark. “I’m proud of you, kid.”
He rolls his eyes and replies. “Who do you think you’re calling ‘kid’? I’m four months older than you are. You’re the kid.”
“Ok then. I’m proud of you, old man.”
He laughs and walks over to me, then gives me a playful punch on the arm. “Well, I’m proud of you too, jerk.”
We spend the next few minutes standing next to each other in silence, staring at the few visible stars. That’s something I love about Mark. We can be silent together. No matter how crazy fast the world is spinning, we can always just stand still. Together.
Zoë was born in Santa Rosa, California, but spent the majority of her “growing up” years in San Francisco. After high school, she attended University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management Economics and Accounting. She tried the corporate thing, working at two of the Big Four accounting firms, but cubicles just weren’t her thing.
She’s currently living the ultimate cliche- an aspiring writer working two jobs, one as a server and one as a bartender. She’s living in San Ramon, California, spending her limited free time reading and writing. Her biggest vices are pizza and ice cream, which is why she lives in yoga pants and leggings. And she thoroughly believes jeans were invented by the devil.