The vaguest idea of a plan had been hatched before any of the coterie knew her name. When it surfaced (the skank was called Tamara Potter), Tory figured she had the question answered.
“Tamara Potter is the reason marriages fall apart.”
“Well, not all marriages,” Mindy corrected. “She can’t be responsible for all marriages failing.”
“Of course she can.”
And that was the way it worked with Tory. Straightforward; simple. It didn’t matter if logically Tamara Potter wasn’t responsible — she was there, she was a skank, and that was all that mattered.
“No,” Jenna said, blowing up her bangs with a frustrated breath. “Mindy’s right. But Tory’s right, too. Why marriages fall apart is different for each marriage and can too easily be pinned on just one thing.”
Erica met her eyes. “We need to expand out topic of inquiry.”
Ideas were shared (several immediately shot down, some toyed with before given the kibosh) and (efficient in its own right) got nothing done before their lunch hour. They left floor seven (after promising Mindy they would do actual work when they returned) to order blinis and sparkling water at their favorite café.
Normally (say, on a day like October 1st) Cameron and Erica’s fiancee, Sam Whitney, would have joined them. But given recent events, understandably a man-embargo was placed.
“What about a study on human relationships?” Erica asked.
“No,” Mindy shook her head. “Then we’d have to cove r best-friend relationship, familial relationships, acquaintance relationships.”
“Who cares about those?” Tory asked, shoving a fork-ful of lettuce into her mouth.
“No one,” Mindy said. “We only need romantic relationships.”
“No we don’t.”
Everyone looked to Jenna. “We don’t need romantic relationships. We need to explore failed romantic relationships. And that’s not even right. We need the reason why they fail.”
“Which was the original question.”
“Whose answer is ‘men.’“
”So that’s what we need.”
“We need to study men.”
“Horrible men who ruin relationships.”
“A truly heinous specimen.”
“A lying, cheating, wife-beater-wearing dirt bag.”
“The worst man alive.”
Mindy snapped. “That’s it.”