They are sitting in the car, engine running, and it is cold. Outside it is even colder, but not by much. The exhaust fumes rise up into the air in thick white clouds. The old buidling they parked in front of is hardly visible.
It has been a terrible evening. Both have been longing to see their friends from college - another happy-ever-after-couple, an item for as long as they all can remember. The visit has been planned for a long time. And somehow, in all this planning and preparing, Phil and Vivian have forgotten to tell them that nowadays they hate each other and are getting a divorce. Instead of playing scrabble and drinking to the old times, they spent the evening sitting on the sofa and listening to their friends insult each other and feeling embarrassed and a little out of place.
Now they look at each other, and suddenly he switches the engine off again. "This is what happens if you lie to each other. If Phil had told Vivian he wanted to go on vacation alone instead of coming up with this bullshit about a business trip..."
"You are right."
Silence. Then she speaks again, "Let's make a deal. Let's always be honest with each other."
"I thought we always *were* honest with each other."
She sighs. "You know what I mean. All the - all these little white lies, the sins of omission, the convenient stories we tell when we are afraid the truth is not good enough."
"Okay", he agrees. "From now on."
They wait. The car engine ticks softly. It is rapidly getting colder inside.
"Is there anything we should tell each other?"
He hesists. "Well.. I can't stand your parents. Or your brother." There it is, spoken out loud.
"It wasn't that bad." And he smiles, relieved.
She consideres this for a moment. "The blue shirt I told you had gone lost somehow in the laundry... I threw it away. I thought it was ugly."
Revelations come faster now.
"Your roast beef tastes like cardboard."
"You're a lousy guitar player."
They look at each other and smile carefully. She shuffles her feet.
"When we're making love, I fake it. Most of the time."
He turns his head, switches on the car engine. Another cloud of exhaust fumes. They are still in front of the old building.
"Now, it's good we talked about it." Carefully he steeres the car onto the icy road. It is going to be a long drive home.