The night had gone just as planned. Both were veterans of the dating game and were careful to avoid early mistakes inside the dimly lit arena. He had brought a rose. She had not ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. But it was almost halftime and Ben always got nervous around halftime.
Marcus Norman hated being cold. He had tried to explain this to the new owner of Java the Cup, but was immediately met with a statistical analysis (including charts) about how the 69.4 degree temperature produced a higher rate of hot beverage sales. Marcus Norman did not much like nerds either. So now, even on warm nights, he ordered his coffee black and sat outside charting constellations in the blinking lights of the fireflies.
The first time Marcus met Superman was at the Valley View Mall on a Tuesday. Both were eyeing the same pair of shoes. (Although Marcus later became suspicious of their shared affinity for grey New Balances after he realized that an alcove of ladies dressing rooms were located on the other side of that wall.)
Wind whipped at his suit as he stood on the edge. It was simple in theory. Just take a step and gravity would do the rest. But this was no longer theory. One step would mean either life or death. It just depended on the direction he would choose.
“Happy anniversary sir.”
His reflection in the window cast a transparent smile back to her as she set the tray of coffee down on his desk. A baseball passed from hand to hand as he watched the deep orange of the morning sun sneak up behind a curtain of high-rises. He stared at the city crawling to life from high above, the way a hawk watches for its next meal.
He stood back, looking at what had just spilled out of him. He knew nothing about art, but he had never seen anything like it before.
Nine hours ago he was standing in the store when he wondered into the arts and crafts section. The blank canvas caused something to stir deep inside him. $346.79 later he was standing in his basement with a brush in his hand. At first, his strokes were cautious and filled with doubt, but gradually he became more bold. Soon the brush took on a life of its own as it slowly pealed back the façade of life and revealed something that lie hidden beneath.
“Maybe its just lust?”
A single sliver of moonlight broke through the darkness of his room. After an hour of tossing and turning he had given up hope of escaping consciousness. Flat on his back, his hands lay folded underneath his head as if signaling his surrender.
Thoughts of her slid through his mind until one stuck.