"Wow! That really sucks man," I said over the phone. One of my friends just broke down and told me the news. Divorce. He is an arrogant prick but still I felt sorry for him and his family. I had known Jake for almost ten years. I met his wife, played with his two kids, and generally got along with all of them. It came as a shock to me to hear that their marriage was over. I tried to be sympathetic. I listened to him moan and whine. 'Where did it go wrong?' 'How could she do this to me?'
Over the next few weeks I checked in with Jake. I wanted to make sure he didn't stick his head into an oven or hang himself with his pants down around his ankles. Who knows what depression will bring a person to? I encouraged him to seek some professional help. He did and they promptly put him on Prozac, the answer to all your problems!
Me? I'm single thank god. No worries about splitting assets, and child support and custody. I'm very happy thank you very much. So as the single man, I became the one with the answers and the one who apparently had the time to listen to my friends pour their hearts out about their problems. Jake wasn't the first to come to me with his divorce, and he won't be the last.
I have a bit of a reputation as a life coach. Not professionally, or anything, but I've been known to listen and give good advice and when a friend has a relationship end, I'm normally the one they point to afterwards as the person with the magic words and attitude that helped them put their life together again. That doesn't mean I take them on a weekend trip to Tijuana for a fuck and suck orgy with cheap whores or anything, but I do get them back their confidence and I might be a little too proud to say, their ego seems to be a bit stronger when I set them loose in the world of single life.
Jake had the misfortune to actually breed. He had two lovely little kids a six year old little girl named Jaden, and a four year old boy that always ignored his name of Jordan. Yeah they had a thing for J-names, although his wife's name was Karen...
So back to Jake, he was so anxious, even after the Prozac, about making sure the kids would be okay. This being a no-fault state, there was pretty much no way he would get full custody of the kids. I thought that was much better for him.
Slowly over the weeks as he would give me glimpses into the divorce and its proceedings, I discovered that Karen was not all at fault with the breakdown of their marriage. Jake, remember was a bit of a prick. It was a combination of things, but I guess in the end, they had grown apart and she had realized that he wasn't the man she thought he was. Some cruel words were exchanged in one argument and I had to drive over to Jake's apartment at one in the morning and calm him down.
The next evening I took Jake out with me to some bars. Just the two of us. No strings, no pressure. He was nervous.
"I got married so I wouldn't have to meet women anymore," he moaned.
I just smiled. "Buddy, you don't have to do anything, but staring at those four grey walls in your apartment all night long has got to stop. Come out. It'll take your mind off things, that and the liquor will at least!"
I started nice and light. The first bar was a bit dark and we ordered two beers and sat at one of the tables away from most the action.
"Okay Jake," I poured the beer down my throat. "There is something you have to remember now. It's important and something I try to tell everyone when a relationship goes bad."
He just sat there and stared at his beer.
"Are you listening?"
He nodded and met my gaze.
"You have to remember the most important word when it comes to relationships and meeting girls. It's a magic word and gives you power. It's my number one secret."
I had his attention now.
"You ready for this word?"
"Jake, this word will only have the impact on you when you are ready to hear it. Are you ready?"
"Yes," he said.
"The magic word is 'Next'," I said.
"Next what?" he asked.
"That's it. It's 'Next'," I said.
He shook his head. "I don't understand."
"I know you don't; I haven't explained it to you yet."
I got up and went back to the bar for another two beers. As I approached the bar I bumped into a nice brunette who was seated on one of the barstools.
She turned to look at who bumped her and I frowned at her.
"Watch it, punk," I deadpanned.
He mouth dropped open and she stared at me.
I ordered two beers and turned to her as she still watched me.
"I think for bumping me, you should pay for my beers."
I didn't bump you, you bumped me," she exclaimed.
I gave a real quick smile then went straight-faced again. "Look I don't even know you, maybe your little trick of bumping sexy men to get them to notice you works with others, but you have to do better than that to get to know me. Pay for my beers. That'll be a good start. I might be looking to add another friend to my list."
Gasping she didn't know how to react. The bartender brought back my beers and I motioned over to the brunette, her mouth still open and said, "She's got this."
I turned to her and winked, "I'm over at that table with a friend. You coming?"
I headed back over to Jake and the table. He had been watching me the entire time. Jake saw behind me the girl watch for a moment and then stand to follow. The bartender tapped her on the shoulder and reminded her of the bill. She quickly paid and with her drink in hand scrambled over to the table to join us. I of course didn't look back once.
"Ummm, hi," she said to Jake.
I looked back up at her and then pushed a chair out for her to sit in and join us.
She sat down unsure of herself and paying close attention to me.
"Jake here is getting a divorce," I filled her in, not looking at her.
"I'm his close friend and he needed some moral support tonight."
"Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that," she looked at Jake.
"Thank you," Jake said. I'm sure he was confused as to why this pretty woman had come to our table.
"Listen," I leaned next to her and whispered conspiratorially into her ear, I made sure to blow into her ear softly as well as I took my time. "This place is a little too dark and boring for us, we need to cheer him up and go someplace fun. Think of something fun for us to do."
She breathed raggedly, her eyes were a little glossed over.
"We need to have some fun, I know just the place! Marco's!" I said and then jumped up and pulled her up in my arms. Marco's was a pretty mellow swing dance club. It had a fun atmosphere and was pretty non-threatening. Both of them would be comfortable there.
Without waiting for them to agree I walked out of the bar, the girl still in tow and Jake rushed to catch up to us. I hailed a cab and we all three squeezed into the back seat.
"Here, sit on my lap," I told the girl. She squirmed a little as she tried to get comfortable.
"Jake, you are gonna have fun tonight, this will get your mind off your ex-wife."
I turned to the girl, "She broke his heart, you know."
She murmured some sort of soothing remark, but she was far more focused on the growing bulge in my lap.
A moment later, she seemed to regain some control over her mind and she began to speak. "I know Jake's name, but I don't know yours. I'm..."
I kissed her right at that moment, stopping her from saying her name. When I pulled back I looked her in the eyes.
"I don't want to know your name, and you don't want to know mine. This will be more fun and exciting, won't it?"
"Haven't you ever thought about this? A mysterious man with no name, he doesn't know yours ... That could happen here tonight."
She nodded, unsure of her voice. I smiled and kissed her again. She didn't hold back.
Soon we were at Marco's and as we entered the music was blaring. Looking at Jake I winked and turned to the girl.
"Be a dear and dance with poor Jake here, while I find us a table. He's so vulnerable right now, I don't want him to sit alone while we dance together."
She nodded and Jake took her out on the dance floor while I scoped out a table. The tables were all full except one large one where a group of girls were sitting enjoying the music and their drinks.
I strolled up to the table and asked if I could sit down and rest my feet. They nodded and I sat and ignored them while I watched Jake and the brunette dance with each other.
A waiter came by and I ordered three martinis. Shortly Jake and the brunette came to the table and sat down next to me. The brunette couldn't keep her eyes off me and she sat close to me while I wrapped my arm around her. Motioning to the other girls I introduced Jake to them.
"Jake's having a hard time adjusting to single life now that he's divorced. He's a good dancer though if any of you are itching to do some dancing."
They giggled but none of them made a move.
"Listen, I'm Jake's best friend and I want to dance with my lovely date here, but I can't leave him all alone. I pointed to the blonde girl on the end.
"Darlin, what's your name?"
She stammered. "Uh, Debbie," she said.
"Debbie, Jake. Jake, Debbie."
I grabbed her hand gently and pulled her up and towards Jake.
"You two behave out there on the dance floor!" I said as Debbie blushed and Jake took her hand and shrugged. They followed us out on the dance floor and we all danced.
.... There is more of this story ...