Rod was walking quickly down wall street in his favorite red sweater with a gray stripe down the middle. He was flustered because things weren't working out with Ricky. See, Ricky was all about flaunting their relationship, and Rod was not ready for that yet. He preferred to keep things private. He was reading newspaper and not paying much attention to where he was going, until he walked straight into someone. The blue puppet looked up to see a young man wearing a very similar sweater and glasses just like Rod's. For a moment, he couldn't speak.
"I'm sorry… I should pay more attention to where I'm going…" Rod began, without taking his eyes off of the redhead.
"No, don't worry about it." They were about to move on, until Rod blurted something out.
"I'm Rod. I live on Avenue Q." Why did he say that? Well, he didn't know.
"I'm Mark. I live on Avenue B."
Wow, he must be prosperous, to live in the first half of alphabet city!
"I am an investment banker. What about you?" Rod, for whatever reason, was not ready to stop talking to this man.
"I'm a filmmaker. Hey, Rod, do you want to go somewhere for coffee?"
"I would love to." They made their way to the cheapest place they could find, and they told each other about living with their down-and-out best friends as roommates, and what it's like to be poor and living in New York City.
"Rod… I like your sweater," Mark said, blushing.
"Why thank you," Rod tried to hide his pleasure. "I like yours too… and your scarf. I have one just like it."
"I'm not gay!" Rod burst out without realizing it. He tended to do this when he was nervous. Of course, he was gay, but he didn't want everyone knowing it yet. So far only his best friends knew.
"Neither am I," Mark said nervously. Even though Rod had just said the same thing, he was a little disappointed to hear Mark say it. Oh, well. They could still be friends.
For an hour, Rod and Mark sat at that table and talked, really hitting it off. Rod looked at his watch and yelped. He was late for a meeting with Princeton about his investment in the Monster School.
"I'm sorry. I have to go meet a friend! I have to go now. It was really very nice talking to you," Rod said, getting up.
"Wait!" Mark blushed. "Would you like the meet here again? Tomorrow, maybe?"
"I would like that very much," Rod answered.
So almost every day for a month Rod and Mark met at the little coffee shop, telling each other all about their carefree friends, and how hard it was to be the only one in a group of people who cared about well-being. They did get into some affectionate arguments, where Mark would ask Rod how he could bear working with "the man" and being a banker. Rod, in turn, asked how Mark could bear such a serendipitous life. They were becoming very fond of each other. One day, Mark admitted something to Rod that he'd never admitted to anyone.
"You know, the first day, when I said I wasn't gay? Well, I'm not… but I'm not straight either. I am actually bisexual."
Rod blushed, though secretly he was very excited. He plucked up all his courage and told Mark that he, too, was not straight, and that he was gay. It turned out that Ricky and Rod had broken up the previous week; their relationship was just too stressful for Rod and all they ever did was argue.
"I knew something was wrong! You seemed so upset," Mark said, putting a hand over Rod's.
They both shared some horror stories about relationships concerning Maureen and Ricky, and Rod was beginning to notice more and more how perfect Mark was. They both told each other about having crushes on Roger and Nicky, their roommates.
"And then he shows up with the stripper from this nightclub from downstairs, and my girlfriend had dumped me the previous week for a woman!" Mark whined.
"No. That's terrible!" Rod said, sympathizing. But at least Nicky was dating a nice young woman.
"But it was alright. It turns out Mimi and Roger are really good for each other. And Maureen was a terrible girlfriend anyway," Mark amended.
"You deserve better, Mark," said Rod.
"You know what, Rod? Why don't you come back to my place for awhile? Just to meet my friends," he said, defensively.
Rod agreed hesitantly. They went back to Avenue B, and Rod met some of the scariest people he'd ever seen. Mimi truly made him shiver with fear, along with Maureen. Roger kind of disgusted him, being such a loser. But he liked Collins; he seemed like a really nice guy. Rod and Joanne had a lot to talk about, both being gay members of America's working class. The day, though stressful, was definitely very enjoyable. Mark walked Rod home to Avenue Q.
"You know, Rod, I really like you," Mark said, looking at the ground.
"I like you, too," Rod answered, blushing deeply.
"What do you say to coming to a party with me tomorrow night? It's celebrating Roger's new band. They'll be playing, and… well, I'd have more fun if you were there."
Rod shrugged at first, and then looked into the other redhead's eyes.
"Alright. I guess I will."
They reached Rod's building then, and hesitated outside of the door. Mark rocked back on his feet for a minute, and neither said a word. All the sudden, Rod leaned forward and kissed Mark quickly on the lips, then pulled back, astonished.
"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to do that!" he gasped.
"No, it's alright Rod… I'll see you tomorrow night. I'll pick you up here at seven." Mark turned to leave, then turned back suddenly and kissed Rod on the cheek.
"Goodnight, Mark," said Rod, dazed.