Melody and Paul really do make it to my house in just over thirty minutes. Paul looks frazzled, though, so I suspect Melody may have driven a little too fast to get here in time.
“Hey, Mel!” I shout, running down the front steps barefoot to greet her. “It’s been forever since we saw each other.”
She hugs me when we meet at the bottom of the stairs, “I missed you!”
Christopher speaks from the top of the stairs while Mel and I hug. “Hey, you must be Paul. You want to come in while the girls catch up? I have drinks in the kitchen.”
Paul doesn’t even ask Melody what she thinks before he answers. “Yes, please. Nice to meet you,” and walked into the house.
“So, tell me everything,” I say as the door closes behind the boys.
“You first,” she sits down on the swing on our porch. “I can’t believe how fast this all happened. I didn’t even get to help you pack.”
“If it will make you feel better,” I sit down beside her, “there’s still a lot of unpacking to do.”
She laughs and I allow myself to laugh with her. It’s barely been any time at all since we saw each other, but it feels like years have passed with everything we have going on. It feels nice to have my friend back.
When we finally calm down from our fit of giggles, she repeats her question, “So tell me about you. How are you feeling?”
I take a deep breath, still unsure how much I want to tell her. “I think I’m okay. You don’t know him yet, but he’s pretty nice. I don’t know if my parents picked him well or if I just got lucky but he’s been really cool with all my worries.”
“Yeah?” she smiles as she pulls her legs up onto the swing and rubs her hands together for warmth. “So, do you like him?”
Of course she would ask that question. My explanation pours out of my mouth faster than I can keep up with it.
“Yeah, I like him. But I barely know him. I have no idea if I love him or if I would have married him under any other circumstances. I just still don’t know how I feel about being married to him. I know he’s an awesome person, though, so I’m trying to focus on that,” I shrug before adding, “it could be worse.”
Melody sits silently for a few moments, probably trying to take in the information I’ve just dumped on her.
She takes a big breath in just as Christopher opens the front door.
“You girls want to come out back? I started a fire so we’ll be a little warmer.”
“Yeah,” I answer for both of us. “We’ll be there soon. Thanks.”
He closes the door and leaves. Melody finally responds, “Well, he’s certainly not bad looking.”
“Mel!” I gasp, “He’s married! And so are you for that matter!”
“I still have eyes, don’t I?” she stands up and walks towards the front door. “So are you going to show me your house?”
I oblige and show her the entire main floor of our house before leading her through the sliding door that joins the kitchen to the backyard.
“Wow,” Melody breathes as she sees the yard. Christopher had made it more beautiful by adding several strings of lights.
“When did you do this?” I ask, just as surprised as Melody is.
“When you were fighting your books,” he takes my hand, “It didn’t take long.”
“Still beautiful,” I say.
I’m not sure what would have happened if Melody hadn’t interrupted us with a very long and drawn out, “Awe.”
I glare at her and she responds by sweetly smiling and exaggerating the batting of her eyelashes. At least now I know she’s doing it on purpose.
Christopher either doesn’t notice Mel or decides to give me some space about it, because he doesn’t acknowledge her except to ask if she wants something to drink.
“Yes, please,” she dances over towards the drinks. “I would love one.”
“I would, too,” I start to walk over, but Christopher stops me.
“I’ll get it for you. Why don’t you go grab a blanket and sit where you’re comfortable?”
He’s surprisingly good at playing husband. I really hope I don’t wreck his chances of finding a wife.
Melody’s sing-song voice greets me when she returns with her drink. “This is delicious! Where did you find him?”
Is she talking about my husband or the drink? “I didn’t! My parents did!”
She laughs and goes to sit beside her husband. I wander into the living room to find a blanket for Melody and myself, so I am the last to settle in around the fire.
“So, what’s it like being married for you guys?” Christopher asks Melody and Paul. “I imagine it’s a little different for you guys than it is for us.”
“Yeah,” Paul nods like he’s answering the easiest question in the world. “It probably is. I think we dated for, what? Five years. So we know each other pretty well. There’s not a lot of surprises anymore-”
Melody cuts him off, “But that’s kind of a good thing, I think. It’s nice to have someone you can trust and you know them as well as you know yourself.”
She must see my face fall as she speaks, because she adds, “I’m sure you guys will have that, too, but it’s probably one of the areas where our marriage is different right now. You know?” She is searching for more words to say, which will probably lead to her sticking her foot farther into it.
Thankfully, Paul comes to the rescue, placing his hand on her wrist and taking over for her. “I’m sure there’s some excitement in getting to know each other, though. I remember the beginning of our relationship. There’s a lot of new things to learn about each other and adventures to be had. If I know Aubrey at all, there will be a lot of adventures.”
Christopher laughs and I can’t decide if I should be offended or pleased, so I decide I’ll stick with pleased for the time being.
“I do love an adventure!” I reply, Christopher’s smile telling me that he remembers my adventurous date plans only the night before. We have inside jokes now.