Brie and Bad Advice

© Carsten Erler | Dreamstime Stock Photos
David quickly pulled another bottle of water from the cooler and handed it to Susan.  Her neatly manicured hand lightly brushed his as she took it from him.  She twisted it open and threw back two large gulps in one fluid movement.  She had the look of a model and the manners of a thirteen-year-old boy. 
            “I don’t understand what his problem is,” Susan said.  She twirled a finger around her glistening blonde hair. 
            “I don’t understand it either,” David said.  He wished he had something more interesting to say.  Despite his two day old stubble and rugged appearance, he felt as awkward as a teenager around Susan.  He hated when he tripped over his words but he didn’t want to say the wrong thing. 
            “Is there any Brie left?” Carol asked.  She smiled warmly at David, her green eyes focused on his face.  David wished Carol hadn’t come on the picnic that day but Susan had invited her sister along anyway.  Carol was nice, but he thought she was wound just a little too tight.  He tossed her the cheese from across the blanket. 
            “Maybe I should call him,” Susan said.
            “Don’t call him,” David said. 
            “Don’t call him?”
            “Just give him some space,” David said. 
            “Why would she give him space?” Carol asked. 
            “He’ll come around,” David said.  His eyes lowered to his hands.  He dug at the dirt in his cuticles.  At that moment, he wished that he were the kind of guy who scrubbed the dirt out of his fingernails in the shower. 
            “What should she do if he doesn’t come around?” Carol asked.  She leaned in closer to him.  Her hand was hovering near his knee.    
            David looked at Susan, calculating his every word.  He loved the way the sunlight highlighted her perfectly proportioned face.  “If he doesn’t come around, he’s crazy.”
            “He is crazy, isn’t he?” Susan said. 
            Alex wasn’t crazy, but David didn’t understand how anyone could cheat on someone as beautiful as Susan.  Alex was a playboy and he made no apologies for it.  David often wished that some of his best friend’s charisma could rub off on him. 
            “Are you dating anyone right now?” Carol asked.  She still hadn’t moved her gaze from David.  He paused briefly, not knowing how to answer.  She was pretty in an average sort of way.  Nothing like her sister, he thought. 
            “Should I break up with him?” Susan said.  She stared off toward the ocean. 
            “Do you want to break up with him?” David asked. 
            “You can’t break up with him,” Carol said.  She took a bite of Brie.   
            “You’re right,” Susan said.
            “She is?” David asked. 
            “I love him,” Susan said. 
            “Of course you do,” David said.  He returned to digging at the dirt under his nails. 

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