Marlin and Parker are on their second date at the art museum, which includes dinner. Parker wasn't sure he would ask Marlin out again, but she asked him and he agreed to go. They walked around looking at art and chatting. They have decided to have a seat for a few minutes before dinner starts and they get seated at their table.
Parker: I'm sure you have a talent. Maybe you haven't discovered what it is yet or paid it much attention.
Marlin: Maybe you have a point. I should probably give it some thought. So have you been enjoying yourself?
Parker: I am having a nice time. You are good company and very outgoing.
Parker finally decides it's time to let go of the idea that he is just being difficult about dating.
Marlin (interrupting): Okay. Good. I'm glad you want to talk about it.
Parker (frowning): Marlin, I'm sorry. I honestly thought it was just because I wasn't ready for a relationship and needed to get out of my own way by giving someone a chance. And while that may be true, giving it a chance means that person still has to have something that makes me attracted to her.
Parker: This isn't going to work out in the way you'd like. I don't see us being a couple.
Parker (trying to stop her): Marlin, I don't want to be rude and interrupt you, but I think you are trying to force something and not understanding what I'm saying. You're trying to change my mind through reasoning that won't work. I didn't want to hurt you by turning down this date since you had already bought tickets and it's not like you're not good company.
Marlin turns away from Parker for a minute fighting back tears.
Parker: I truly am sorry. It's just that we are not going in the same direction. You are looking forward to getting married and I'm not there right now. Someday, but not now.
Marlin: So you do want to get married, just not to me.
Parker: Marlin, it's our second date, how would I want to marry you at this point?
Marlin: You don't want to get to that point?
Parker: With someone, yes. But I know it will not be with you. I'm so sorry for upsetting you. I didn't mean to do so.
Marlin: I just need a minute, please.
Parker sits quietly while Marlin gathers herself.
Parker: I can't say this enough, but I truly am sorry for hurting you. To use a phrase Ember used, it's not a love connection.
Marlin: What? Ember said that? Why does she care?
Parker: She doesn't, it's just a phrase she used. I was just using the phrase.
Marlin (reaching for Parker's hand to reassure him): Oh! I'm sorry. I guess I'm just being overly sensitive. You're right. It's just a phrase you heard, I guess. I'm just not taking this as well as I could. That explains it. I'm a little crazy.
Parker: No, you're not crazy. We are just not going in the same direction with the same expectations right now. It happens.
Parker: Marlin, if you have been anything, you've been nothing but clear about that. I am truly flattered that you are interested in me. But, as clichés as this sounds, you will find a man lucky enough to be with you. And you won't have to spend time and energy letting him know you're interested to get him to show you he's interested. It will come. You're a nice person and you will make someone happy.
Marlin (disappointed): Thank you.
Marlin stands up, which makes Parker stand up.
Marlin: Almost, but I would rather just end the evening right now. I don't want to keep you any longer. Would you mind taking me home?
Parker: I'd still like to have dinner if you'd like. I'm not suggesting we never speak to each other again.
Marlin: No, I honestly don't have an appetite any longer. I just want to go lie down for a while.
Parker: I understand. I will take you home, but I want you to know that I have truly had a nice time and appreciate your inviting me out for this evening.
Marlin: You're welcome.
Parker drives Marlin home so she can be in her feelings for a while. He feels bad, but relieved that he realized it wasn't just his own hesitation that has been holding him back. It was his lack of attraction to Marlin too.
Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye