"Don't worry, you look great," Sarah whispered through an involuntary smile as she tightened Mark's tie for him. Even today, as the CEO of a hot multi-million dollar startup, he still couldn't even put on his own tie.
Most days he didn't need to wear one. It was his company, his rules. Normally, he hated the constraining old fashioned suit-and-tie that he associated with his father's generation and their old way of doing business. But tonight was not a normal night. Tonight he and his girlfriend of three months had a dinner meeting with Paul Graham and his wife Jessica Livingston, the visionary founders of Y-Combinator.
Paul and Jessica were legends. Even among the greats of Silicon Valley, he was especially helpful to have on your side if you were trying to create the next big thing. If the dinner went well, he would considering investing up to $1 Billion in Mark's company. Some people had told Mark that the dinner could be the most important of his life, which is probably why he was sweating slightly through his extremely expensive suit as he and his girlfriend walked into the garage and got into his new car.
And what a car it was: The two of them were to arrive at dinner in a beautiful red Tesla Model 3, delivered to Mark just one day earlier. Not long after introductions, the hot new car in the Valley naturally became a topic of dinner conversation.
"Oh, it's AMAZING", Mark swooned. "Of course, I had to order it on the first day they started taking reservations so I've been waiting over 2 years to get it! And the waiting list to get one if you sign up today is already over 4 years long. Thank god I got mine!"
Sarah rolled her eyes affectionately. "It's all he's been talking about for the last three months! Sometimes I think he loves that car more than me!", she joked. Jessica laughed along with her. "Believe me, I know what you mean!"
Paul Graham smiled politely. He had 63 cars, 5 of which were Teslas. One of his cars could even fly. It was hard for him to see how someone could get so excited over one car, but he graciously continued the conversation anyway. "Did you get the one with the self-driving features? That, I think, is the most exciting thing about this new car".
Mark grinned like a maniac, overjoyed to have an excuse to show off a trick that he never got tired of. He pulled out a beautiful top of the line iPhone XS and opened the Tesla app. A bright red Tesla car icon shone brilliantly through the dimly lit dining room, with some controls underneath. "All you have to do is hit this button that says 'summon' and the car will come straight to wherever you are to pick you up. Right now it's in a parking lot a couple of blocks down the street but let me just... summon it... and it should show up outside the restaurant window in a few minutes!", he explained as he hit the "summon" button on his smartphone.
Within seconds the little red car animated to show itself driving down the road, slowly moving towards the restaurant on the map. "Wow!", Graham and his wife murmured excitedly. Sarah, who had seen this trick so many times it was starting to get old, zoned out until she heard a loud BOOM and CRASH coming from the smartphone. The little red car icon, moving smoothly just moments ago, exploded violently on screen in a looped animation.
"Huh? I haven't seen that before", Sarah commented stupidly, "What does that mean?". Mark started silently at the screen in shock as the word CRASHED flashed in big red letters across the top of the screen, along with a very annoying warning chime. As each of them looked out the window they could see Mark's beautiful new car, flattened and destroyed, underneath a large big rig truck. Before anyone could say anything, the truck exploded and both Mark's new car and the truck were engulfed in flames.
Graham cleared his throat. "Well," he begun attempting to lighten the mood, "I guess they haven't worked all the bugs out of that self driving software yet!"
Everyone laughed nervously except Mark, who had tears rolling silently down his face. He felt that horrible sinking feeling in his stomach that he hadn't felt since Caitlyn had left him. The bottom fell out of his world and he was left sitting there shocked, destroyed, and hopeless. Without a word he stood up and started to walk out of the restaurant.
He was almost out the door when Sarah grabbed him by the sleeve. "Mark, wait! What are you doing? This is the most important dinner of your life! I know you loved that car but get yourself together! A billion dollars!"
Mark was not full-on crying yet, but his eyes were full of tears and his voice cracked as he spoke. "Sarah, it's over. I don't love you, I never have".
"I'm sorry Sarah it's not your fault. It really isn't, you've been amazing. I'm just still in love with my ex. I have no idea why, and I wish I wasn't believe me. But I miss her every single day. I light up when her name pops up on my phone. I dream about her every night."
Sarah was crying too now, not because she was surprised but because she knew, through every little sign she had tried to ignore, that what he was saying was 100% true. In an attempt to comfort her, Mark put one hand on her shoulder and looked her straight in the eye, but somehow this only made his words a thousand times more painful.
"When I'm fucking you, all I can think about is her," Mark explained just as Sarah punched him right in the face. She walked out of the restaurant, blocked him on every social media platform there was, and never talked to him again.
Soon after regaining consciousness Mark got up and ordered an Uber back home. He kicked himself both literally and metaphorically when he remembered what he had just done. The dinner with Paul... and Sarah... oh god. There was really no reason for him to say all that to her, except that it was true. But she was an amazing girl and he wished he hadn't hurt her. The truth, though he didn't know it at the time, was that Mark and Sarah were perfect for each other. Had he taken the time to get to know her he would have realized that, but the heart is truly a piece of shit, and all he wanted was his retarded ex-girlfriend Caitlyn. He let out a sigh with his head in his hands as an old Toyota Prius pulled up along the San Francisco street in front of him.
"ELLO MARK????", some fat Mexican guy screamed obnoxiously at him to let him know to get inside the car. Mark entered, and the car quickly sped off into the sunset while the driver continued to say more annoying things to Mark in broken English.
"Beautiful night HUH? Why you bring you to San Francisco, huh? Those Bay Area girls man...". At this point Mark was crying aggressively, his face contorted in an extremely ugly way by his tears.
"CAN YOU JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP?!? I'm sorry I don't mean to be an asshole but I'm having a really bad night and I'd just prefer to be left alone". They drove along in silence as Mark cried pointlessly, like a pussy, in the back seat. On top of that he accidentally picked "UberPool" so they had to pick up a homeless guy who wouldn't stop farting the entire rest of the way home. He stopped crying when they picked up the farting guy, because he didn't want the farting guy to ask him why he was crying.
After the Uber finally arrived he crawled slowly into his house and up the stairs towards his bedroom, throwing off various pieces of his suit along the way. He was just about to throw himself onto the mattress at high speed when he saw a familiar tuft of dirty-blonde hair sticking out from under the blanket. It couldn't be... "Caitlyn?"
Cait poked her head out from under the covers and gave him a goofy smile as she lifted her head up slowly. When they were together, he had always assumed that they would end up married one day. When he thought about how and where he would ask her (it would have be to be in some foreign country, because she loved to travel), when he pictured it finally happening, he imagined exactly this same goofy smile on her face when she said yes (if that had ever happened).
"o hi mark!", she shouted playfully at him, interrupting his thoughts. She was wearing nothing except her underwear and an old extra-large Snoop Dogg T-shirt she never returned after they broke up.
"Cait... what are you doing here... I missed you so much". Mark was at a loss for words. For months this, what was happening right now, was all he wanted in the world but faced with the reality of the moment he found himself speechless. "There are so many things I wanted to say to you but couldn't..."
"Please don't", she said firmly. She wasn't here to relive the past. "Don't be such a faggot. Let's just forget about the past and be together for a moment. You think I didn't miss you too?". Mark stared at her, confused. "Let's have sex", she pressed him as she popped a triangular red pill into his mouth. "It's called a red Tesla", she laughed, "My dealer just gave them to me, they're brand new. You'll be rolling fucking dick in 30 minutes or your money back".
She was just as beautiful as she'd ever been as she pulled him into bed, and despite everything that had happened in the past Mark still loved her as much as ever. Even though they'd been apart for months being together somehow still felt natural -- maybe even better than before. He held her tightly as he kissed her and she bit his ear, just like she used to when they first fell in love.
"What about your new boyfriend?", he asked as they started to pull off each other's clothes. "Oh, him", Caitlyn replied casually, "he broke up with me this morning. Such a piece of shit!"
Mark quickly let go of the girl that just moments ago he had wanted to hold in his arms forever. "What the fuck Caitlyn!" he exclaimed, exasperated and unable to clearly understand his own feelings.
"What? I thought you'd be happy that we broke up. You were always texting me how much you missed me when I was with him..."
"Ugh, I know dude I just... ughm", he mumbled as he banged his head against the wall. "Just please get the fuck out of my house you crazy fucking bitch".
Caitlyn didn't even seem upset as she put on her pants and walked out the door. She peeked her head back into the bedroom after she left to make one final comment: "You know Mark, you don't have to make everything so complicated all the damn time. Why does it matter what we are to each other anymore? Why can't we just fuck like we used to? You know it would have been fun". She walked out the front door without saying another word.
The fucked up thing is, Mark knew she was right. It would have been fun. For months he had thought seeing her again would be the only thing that could make him happy again. She was so cool, so cute, and so fucking funny. He wanted to run out the front door and tell her he was joking, grab her, hold her, fuck her brains out, and then watch stupid YouTube videos and laugh with her all night long. But he didn't -- he just let her go. Mark loved her more than he'd ever loved anyone, but she had never loved him. She still didn't love him today.
"God, life really fucking sucks!", Mark exclaimed out loud to an empty house as he turned on some music. He lay on his bed, rolling dick alone, waiting to die.
Moral of the story: Sometimes you lose everything you love all at once