I ventured a guess but then decided it was not my place to judge her. Karen sat on the couch right next to me and turned to face me. She sighed and said, "Okay, tell me what happened."
I retold the story I had relived in my mind a thousand times; the great dinner date at Erich's the night before, the fun day at the park, the hotdogs with the beer, how we had strolled back to her apartment holding hands, the courage I gathered to kiss her good-night and finally how Mary had reacted after my comment on her biting my still swollen lower lip from her previous kiss the night before. At this point, Karen raised her hand and asked the last question I had expected.
"How was her hair?"
"Gorgeous," I said, annoyed by the interruption, "but what's that got to do with anything?"
"Sorry," she said giggling, "I meant, was her hair down? Or was she wearing a ponytail?"
The rephrasing of the question shed no light for me on why it was relevant, but I responded anyway.
"Down, I love her hair cut, reminds me of Farrah Fawcett, except brunette."
"And the night before?"
"She was wearing a bun with one of those oriental sticks to hold it up."
"Well, then she was upset when you complained about the bite. She thought you had been kissing another girl," she pronounced with an expression as if this should have been obvious all along.
"Oh, I am a fool. Of course, that must have been it." I retorted cynically. "Just to make sure we are on the same page, can you tell me why?"
"On Saturday you dated Mary, who very unusually bit you farewell. You must have caused a very good impression. This morning you spent the day with Marion."
Some time later, Karen confessed she could not stop smiling every time she remembered the blank expression on my face when she told me this.
"O…kay…" I said very slowly, waiting on her to explain further.
"She's sick, Paul," she informed me.