Eric’s soon to be ex-wife had banned fast food from his diet at the beginning of his sentence (which was how he was now referring to his marriage), and he had not been inside a McDonald’s in eight years.
“You said she was cute, right, the first day you met with her?” Jon queried with his mouth already busy chewing his Quarter Pounder with Cheese. “Blonde, nice legs?”
Eric nodded in agreement as he closed his eyes to form a mental image. While you might think he was trying to picture the lawyer in question, he was actually fantasizing about biting into his burger.
“Yeah. She’s about my age, which is good because the real pitfall to dating after divorce is going after someone way too young,” Eric informed his pal before taking his first bite of a Big Mac in almost a decade.
While Eric savored every bite of that burger, Jon wiped his mouth on his sleeve and took a long sip of his supersized Coke.
“Isn’t it illegal for a lawyer to date a client?” he finally asked once he had taken in about sixteen ounces of the delicious sugar water in once enormous pull on the straw.
“Don’t be an idiot,” Eric scolded as he tore open a ketchup packet and squirted the red stuff all over his fries. “Dating isn’t illegal. This isn’t the Middle East. It might be unethical, but we’re consenting adults.”
Jon nodded in agreement. “Unethical. That was what I meant.”
“I’m sure this kind of thing happens all the time,” Eric opined as he shoved a handful of french fries into his mouth. “I don’t mean with her. I’m not saying she’s a slut or anything. I meant with lawyers and clients in general.”
Jon shrugged and picked at his fries. “Just seems like she can’t have your best interest in mind if she’s thinking about dating you while she’s handling your divorce.”
Eric allowed himself one more mighty bite of his Big Mac before he replied.
“I thought about that,” Eric finally admitted after a sip of his shake. “Then I figured that if she’s into me, she’s going to do her best to make sure I come out alright in the divorce. I mean, she doesn’t want to date an impoverished guy who can only afford to live in the ghetto and has to ride the bus, right?”
Jon couldn’t find any holes in that logic, so he nodded and took another bite of his burger while eying Eric’s apple pie and wondering if he should’ve gotten one, too.
“As long as you’ve thought it through,” Jon agreed to be supportive. He knew too well how rough a divorce could be and he just wanted to be there for Eric.
“She’s not after my money since she knows I didn’t have much as it was, and now I’ve only got half of that,” Eric said with a laugh as he drowned his fries in ketchup. “She’s heard all the horrible stuff Jane had to say about me, and she’s still giving me vibes, so I’ve got to think that this is the best possible scenario for my first post-divorce date.”
“You won’t have to rehash your whole divorce story on your first date because she’ll already know it,” Jon pointed out as he furiously shoved french fries into his mouth like they were gold bricks, his mouth was the vault, and thieves had just broken into the bank.
“If this ends up being the real deal, we’ll have a great story about how we met,” Eric added as he took the lid off of his shake and chugged it without a straw like a total rebel. “Then my horrible marriage and divorce would’ve been worth it, since it brought us together.”
“Fate,” Jon suggested as he eyed Eric’s apple pie again.
Eric was working on his latest bite, so he just smiled and nodded until he had swallowed.
“Exactly. I knew you’d understand.”
“Just make sure you don’t take her out until the divorce is final,” Eric advised as he checked his wallet to see if he had enough cash to get an apple pie for the road.
“Why? It’s not like Jane can accuse me of cheating on her,” Eric shot back, so fired up that he actually put down his Big Mac just before he was about to take another bite. “In fact, I should go out with my lawyer just to make Jane jealous and rub it in her face.”
“Don’t do it, dude,” Jon continued to dispense sage advice. “If she’s still your lawyer, that means you’re paying for her services, so if you go on a date, it’s like prostitution. You could go to jail.”
Eric laughed so loud that heads turned.
“Taking your lawyer to dinner isn’t prostitution,” he retorted. “If anything, it’s a business expense and I can write it off on my taxes. This whole idea is getting better and better the more we talk it out.”
“Well whatever you do, don’t take her to McDonald’s on your date,” Jon laid down the law. “If she sees the way you fondle a Big Mac, she’s either going to get extremely jealous, or totally freaked out. Neither option bodes well for a second date.”
“Duly noted, my friend. Hey, I know you must be tired of listening to me whine about my divorce, but I really appreciate it. I know it’s not much, but I want you to have this.”
“That lawyer is one lucky woman, and your ex is an idiot,” Jon declared as he tore open the package and slid out the apple pie.
It was still warm.