Match Made

All Rights Reserved ©

FIFTEEN

In the end, it is so difficult to ask his parents to dissolve my marriage that I refuse to do it.

“Do you want me to ask them?” Christopher puts his hand on my shoulder. “You can wait in the car while I talk to them.”

“No,” I sigh. “Let’s just go.” I can’t let him break their hearts like that today. They seem to be really enjoying the concept of him being married.

“But I thought you wanted out of this,” he says to me on the way home. “We kind of have to talk to them if we want them to nullify the contract.”

“I know,” I sigh. “But your mom seemed to be having the best day. Maybe we just wait and see if finishing the Match Made stuff will let us get out of it without involving them? I feel like I’ll break her heart if I leave the marriage.”

“You can’t stay in it for them any more than you can stay in it for me,” he speaks with his hands. I’m learning that he does that when he is passionate about the topic.

“I can do what I’d like, thank you,” I try to assert my own agency, though I feel I have none. “I’m sorry, I know we made a decision and I’ll stick to it, but let’s just see if we can get out of it without them first, okay?”

“There’s nothing I can say to change your mind?”

I shake my head, “No, there is not.”

He opens his mouth to speak, but I shush him. “And that’s final.”

He laughs, pulling my finger away from his lips. “Okay, all right. So, now that we’ve met my parents, what do we have to do today?”

“I was thinking we should finish unpacking so I can find my things,” I shrug. “And maybe you can cook me dinner.”

“Deal,” he holds my hand as we walk through our yard towards the house. “As long as you promise to put away all of your books so I can quit tripping over the boxes.”

“That’s fair,” I climb the stairs ahead of him as he steadies me with his hand.

We step in the door and he takes my coat from me to hang up in our closet. I’m not sure how our closet got unpacked and set up, so I’m going to have to assume Christopher did it while I was sleeping. That man gets a lot done. Does he ever sleep?

He puts some music on the speakers and gets to work in the kitchen. I sit down on the floor to start unpacking all of my books.

“You know,” I call out in between songs, “I could just throw these all into the ocean and we wouldn’t have to put them away!”

“But then you wouldn’t have books, and that would be very sad!” he yells from the kitchen. “Do you want me to make pork or chicken?”

“Surprise me!” I call just as my phone starts to ring. “Oh, one second!” I say before picking up the phone. From the call display, I already know who it is.

“Hey, Mel,” I put the phone on speaker and Christopher pauses the music. “How was your honeymoon? And before you say anything, you’re on speakerphone.”

I continue unpacking my books as she tells me all about the beach and the drinks and the adventures. Thankfully, she leaves out all of the more personal details of what happens on a honeymoon. Do people who get married like I did usually go on honeymoons? Is Christopher expecting that?

“Aubrey, did you hear me?” she asks.

I take the out she offers, “Uh, no. You must have cut out or something. What did you say?”

“I asked if you wanted to come out with Paul and I tonight. Maybe for dinner?”

Without even thinking, I reply, “I’ll have to go ask Christopher. One second.”

“Ooh,” she sings to me, “You have to ask your husband.” If it’s possible, the word husband comes out even more sing-songey than the rest.

“Yeah, yeah,” I get up off the floor, leaving the phone on the bookshelf and walk toward the kitchen. “Christopher, have you started dinner yet?”

When I turn into the kitchen, it is clear that he had, “Oh never mind.”

“What?” he asks, sliding his headphones down off his ears. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I was trying to give you privacy for your phone call. I know you probably have a lot to tell Melody after this . . .“ he searches for the right words, “this situation.”

I chuckle, “I was just going to ask if you wanted to go out with Paul and Melody, but you have clearly already started dinner so I’ll just tell them another time.”

He stops me before I leave the kitchen, “Well, if you want, we could just invite them over here. I can easily make enough for two more.”

I hesitate, nervous that Melody might ask questions about Christopher while he’s in the room.

Seemingly reading my mind again, he adds, “We don’t have to tell her tonight if you don’t want to. Your friends, so your choice.”

“I like that,” I dance out of the kitchen and back to Melody.

“Mel?” I say as I enter the living room, “You there?”

“Yeah, so are you coming?”

“Well, Christopher just started supper so he was wondering if you guys wanted to come over here instead.”

Silence filled the line as I waited for her to respond. I check my phone to see if we have been disconnected but before I can figure it out, Melody makes a very high pitched squeal into the phone.

“I don’t even care what Paul says, I am totally coming to your house!” she claps and giggles and I can hear her ask Paul if he wants to come. When he accepts, I give her my address and she says they’ll be here in thirty minutes.

Right before the line goes dead, I can hear Paul in the background. “There’s no way we’ll get there that fast!” he tries to tell me as Melody shushes him.

I am relieved to be done with that conversation, and excited to see Mel again, but I only have thirty minutes to get ready and make a game plan with Christopher. I’d better hurry. Sorry, books, but you’ll have to wait again.

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