It didn’t happen exactly as it did on the silver screen. Little details like the color of Eduardo’s shirt, the shape of his haircut, the color of the walls, the too-perfect furniture…No, it didn’t happen like that. Except maybe it did but he doesn’t want to remember it that way. It had been easier when he could only see it from his own limited perspective.
This is what everyone saw in the movies:
Eduardo is standing in the rain, soaked to his skin, hair plastered to his forehead. It’s Sean that opens the door.
Eduardo is weighed down by the bags, by the exhaustion that lines his eyes, and by disappointment.
“What did you mean get left behind?”
The corridor, once loud with drunken and exuberant laughter, is silent. Moody music drifts into the scene and it’s the beginning of the end.
Only, that would be too easy.
Mark had known, had seen how it was going to end before the movie started. How’s that for spoilers?
It’s raining outside. Mark is looking out of his window, still typing because he doesn’t need to be looking to do what he needs to do. He hasn’t needed to put his full mind to it for a while now. At its very core, coding for Facebook is simple. It’s a database. Finding the mistakes and the breaks are tedious, but it can be done. There’s a definite goal, values to be inserted, code to be compiled.
Running a company is not like that. There isn’t an easy right or wrong answer. And you can’t run it to check it first. You just do it. It’s like that stupid slogan t-shirt Dustin used to wear: Life is not a dress rehearsal.
It’s raining, a steady pitter-patter, Mark is typing and typing as he watches the rivulets run down the window, connecting. A network of raindrops. He types and it keeps raining.
He wonders if what he does really matters anymore. Facebook doesn’t need him, not really. It’s nice to think that they need him for things like corporate direction and executive decisions. He owns a pretty big share. But the thing is – he made the company so it would expand. So it could be shared. Even if he is important, he is only one part of a machine. It would keep running without him and he’s not foolish or arrogant enough to want it to fail in his absence.
He wonders then how it would feel to be expendable now. Maybe there’s a thrill in that. It’s hard to know what it’s like on the other side. It’s hard to remember now what he used to do to save money. It’s hard to remember what it is like to have someone look at him like he’s someone wonderful – not because he made Facebook – but because he’s Mark.
Mark doesn’t know what makes today any different. Why he decided to just…run. It’s one of those ideas that you never think you’ll go through with but is nice to fantasize about. So he did and why not? It’s not about the money, which actually means he has more responsibilities. No. It’s because he’s not even thirty and he’s already married to work. That and he hasn’t done this for a long time. Doing what he’s not supposed to so he can chase something better.
This is how Mark finds himself on a plane to Singapore when he is supposed to be going to work.
There are so many things that one is supposed to do in life. Mark supposes that he hadn’t done this before because there’s no point in running from work when it’s awesome. Of course it is, because he made it. He created a wonderful thing.
It’s just…he doesn’t want that to be all he is. The thing about the Facebook’s success is that it overshadows everything else. It’s too good.
It’s harder to make friends now. It’s more about making connections and building on his social network. He misses having friends that aren’t just a setting in his privacy controls. Chris and Dustin have both moved on to other projects and he wishes them all the best, he does. He also misses working with them. He also wishes sometimes he could go with them. There’s the unspoken but I can’t.
Mark isn’t supposed to contact Eduardo. Well, the contract didn’t exactly say that but all of the other rules about not talking about the settlement would make any conversation pretty difficult. Not to mention being sued isn’t really conducive to friendship. Mark would be willing to let it go but he knows that Wardo isn’t the same. You need two people to have a friendship that is not creepy, Chris had told him when Mark asked him why he couldn’t be friends with Eduardo even if Eduardo didn’t want to. (Twitter lets you follow someone, Mark pointed out, but Chris also pointed out that following someone makes you a stalker, not a friend.)
It was drizzling when he touched down and now it’s full on raining. At the airport, Mark sees all the people rushing out with brightly colored umbrellas, a stark contrast to the dull luggage lagging behind them. He only has his backpack with him.
He’s always imagined turning up to Eduardo’s doorstep. It doesn’t really work that way because doorsteps are very…American. Singapore is full of skyscrapers and, of course, Eduardo had to live in a Penthouse. The security guard seems rather intimidating and Mark is almost ready to turn back. This is a mistake and that’s what people will tell him.
“I’m here to see Eduardo Saverin.” Mark considers lying about his details but he doesn’t want to start off with a lie, so he says his name.
“And is he expecting you?”
Mark never expected to come here, but it doesn’t feel unexpected at all. It feels right.
All the hope in him condenses into his answer -