VI. He Popped the Question
“I cannot believe it.”
I threw the chip inside my mouth.
“I really cannot believe it.”
Stephanie rolled her eyes, “Your sarcasm is not appreciated.”
Emerson and all the guys left, so it’s only the girls.
Nina, Amanda, Sarah, Stephanie, and me.
The five of us decided to go karaoke. No one sang. We just want to get away from the children.
I raise both hands, “My husband appreciates my sarcasm.”
“Your husband is forced to appreciate it,” Amanda said. “The man looks like he’s about to wet his pants whenever he’s around you.”
I point the fry at her, “My husband is not afraid of me.”
“No one said your husband is afraid of you,” she replied. “But, now that you mention it, we may have to re-think it.”
The fries taste good, so I took it all from the table. I don’t care if I look selfish, “Anyways-” I move on from my husband, who may or may not be afraid of me, “How is the wedding planning going?”
Everyone grinned wildly.
Nina exhales, “Horrible.”
“What wrong?” I pretend to sound concerned.
“Everything! How in the fuckery am I supposed to plan a wedding in three months? There are flowers, food, musicians...How am I supposed to pick between Ed Sheeran, Adele, and John Legend?”
I pat her arm, “Yes, it must be so damn hard to plan a wedding without a budget. To plan a wedding with the best wedding planners in the world and-”
“Again. Sarcasm not appreciated,” Nina said.
I shrugged, “Look. Us middle-class ladies can’t relate, okay?”
Nina looks around, “I sound spoiled, don’t I?”
Sarah smiled. She’s the nicest person here. “We all have our struggles, and yours happens-”
“Call it as you see fit,” Amanda said. I nod along.
“Yours happens to be privileged struggles,” Sarah finished.
Nina groaned, “Oh my gosh! I am spoiled!” She poured her face into her hands, “I promise not to become one of those ladies, and here I am, bitching about which celebrity singer I want at my wedding.”
“You’re not spoiled,” Stephanie said.
“You’re only siding with her because Matt paid for Kevin and your wedding,” I said. I’m not going to hold back.
“She makes a valid point,” Amanda replied. “Now, your counter-argument?”
“That’s not true,” Stephanie countered. She looks at Nina, “You’re not turning into one of those privileged ladies. And I’m not saying that because Christina Perri sang at my wedding...in Switzerland.”
I shook my head, “I cannot believe Kevin, and you got married in Switzerland. Why? You’re from Australia, and he’s from here. Why Switzerland?”
Stephanie grabs her drink, “Hey. I didn’t say anything when you got married in Las Vegas.”
“Because I didn’t know you that time, bitch,” I replied.
My wedding happens to be at the last minute. After Emerson’s proposal, our flight stopped in Las Vegas, and we decided to get married there.
Two strangers to witness the whole thing.
I think one of them was a stripper.
I had a fun time with the stripper.
Well, from what I see in the video.
I don’t remember.
However, I do remember that I woke up beside Emerson inside a shady looking motel room and missed our flight.
We spent our honeymoon in Las Vegas too.
Might as well since we’re there.
“You know,” Amanda nods, “I can see you doing that.”
“You know, I thought you were going to marry Jackso-” Sarah stops talking.
The casual air suddenly tensed with the mention of Jackson. It’s not a secret that I was obsessed with him a few years ago. From what everyone claimed, they believe that we were going to get together.
Color everyone surprised when I brought home Emerson.
A man I never once talked about.
Everyone believes that Jackson rejected me, and I got so broken-hearted that I married a stranger. After all, I never once mention the existence of a man named Emerson. And I like to talk a lot about my life.
Nina cleared her throat, “So, I was wondering-” she covers up Sarah’s slip up, “Would the four of you be my bridesmaids?”
There was a moment of silence before everyone squealed in excitement. We all gathered and embraced each other.
“Wait, is that the reason why you’re here?” Stephanie asks.
Nina nods eagerly, “Matt is asking the guys to be groomsmen right now!”
“Pause,” I said. I count the number of girls in the room. “You have four bridesmaids.”
“Oh! Yes!” Sarah claps her hands together. “On the other side, there’s Todd, Tyler, Kevin, Jackson, and Emerson. That’s five.”
Nina smiled, but it didn’t seem like one. Her thumbs twiddle around each other. “I already have a maid of honor.” Her eyes cast down, and she swallowed intently, “She...She-”
Without another word, we all know who she meant.
I hugged Nina, “Our dresses better not be fugly.”
Nina bursts out laughing, “But it’s tradition!”
After a tiring night with the girls, it was time to go home.
Emerson slept on the passenger side with Crystal passed out in the back. When I stop at a red light, my fingers move towards his hair and sway it to the side.
Emerson shifted in his seat, and his eyes cracked open. I can smell the scent of alcohol. He grabbed my palm and kissed it, “Had fun tonight?”
I nod, “Tons. You?”
He nodded, “Yup.”
“Got the question?”
He nodded, “He popped the question.”
“How can I say no?”
The light turned green. “Easy. No.”
“And allow my beautiful wife to walk down the aisle with another man? I don’t think so.” He’s buzzed. I know it. “You know he only asked some of us because we’re the husband.”
I chuckle, “I know. You two barely acknowledge each other’s existence.”
“Sometimes, I forget who he is until he stands next to your sister.”
Emerson kissed my hand over and over.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I don’t know if I feel happy right now, but I do feel content.”
He rubs his face all over my hand, “No. I mean, you’re happy, right? Still happy I didn’t give you a wedding like your sister?”
I chuckle slowly before I pinch his cheek. “Who needs that? I have the best stripper at my wedding! I don’t remember it, but she gave me a damn awesome lap dance. Plus, the bus driver let us drive his bus on our wedding night.”
There’s a video of a drunk Emerson driving a bus the night we got married.
I have no idea what the four of us did when the camera turned off.
Emerson said his memories are quite hazy too.
He only remembered up to the point where he pulled down his pants and took a pissed off some tall building with the bus driver.
According to him, we made a deal.
They pissed off of the tallest building we can get into.
The stripper and I would go topless for the rest of the night.
We wanted to ask the stripper and bus driver, but they weren’t in the motel room with us when we woke up. All that’s left was a note that said they had fun and how they took the money inside Emerson’s wallet. A portion of it used to pay the motel, and they confessed that they stole the rest.
Even took my jewelry.
We got robbed on our first day of marriage.
At least they left everything else, and our wedding rings.
“Mommy,” Crystal mumbled.
“What is it, baby?”
From pissing off of a tall building to parenthood.
The transition is steady, but nonetheless, remarkable.
She yawns lightly, “Unicorn is hungry.”
I look to my right, “Is hobo also hungry?”
Emerson nods, “Hobo is also hungry.”
I pull into a fast-food joint.
“Hello. How may I help you?” The man behind the speaker didn’t sound happy. He’s probably tired.
“Can I get a number four with chocolate vanilla shake and a number one? No soda. Apple juice.” After I ordered, paid, and picked up the food, I handed it to the two sleeping beauties.
Emerson kissed my cheek, “You’re wonderful.”
When we got home, Emerson and Crystal were asleep. I woke up Emerson and told him to tuck in Crystal so that I could clean up. Once I finished, I got inside to find Emerson flat on the bed. I shook my head and made my way towards it to take off his shoes.
“Hm,” he responded. He’s awake. Emerson is a light sleeper. He would respond with minimal sounds.
“Turn around,” I said.
He flips over.
He lifted his arms.
I took off his shirt and lay it beside me.
My fingers unbutton his pants, “Lift.”
He lifted his butt.
I pull down his pants and lay it beside the shirt.
With a single goodnight kiss, I turned off the light and made my way towards the laundry room. Out of the laundry room and into the hallway, I peek into Crystal’s room.
I made my way towards her to see her dressed in her pajamas. I tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and kissed her forehead, “Goodnight, unicorn.”
Before I could leave the room, a small hand grabbed my shirt. “Mommy?”
I sat down, “Yes?”
She turns to her side, “You love unicorn?”
I smile, “Of course, I love my unicorn.”
“And you won’t ever forget unicorn?”
I ran my hand over her head, “Why would I ever forget?”
Crystal snuggled close to my waist, “Josh said that when the baby is born, mommy and daddy will forget about me.”
I frown, “Why would your cousin say that?”
“Because Auntie Nina and Uncle Matt forget about Josh.” Her fingers curl into my shirt, “Cousin Josh is sad, mommy. Can you talk to auntie and uncle?”
I exhale, “Of course, baby.”
Crystal yawn, “I love you, mommy.”
I pat her back, “Mommy loves you too.”
After Crystal fell asleep, I pushed her off my lap. Unlike her dad, Crystal is a deep sleeper. After a little stretch, I made my way out of the bedroom.
“Holy-fuck,” I said. “Emmy. You scared me!”
Emerson pouted, “Hobo loves you too.”
I pat his back, “Hobo needs to get dressed.”
Steadily, Emerson pushed me into the door.
I laugh lightly, “What is it?”
His lips scrap against my ear, and my giggles only escalate with the feeling of his beard against my neck. “Did you think I would forget about tonight...my beautiful young wife.”