Match Made

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FIVE

The whole car ride, I am unable to pay any attention to where we are or where we are going, because my eyes keep flicking back to the contract of matrimony in my hands. Every time I read a new part of it, I get more and more confused. I can practically feel my breakfast coming up, but I’m not sure if it’s the contract, the motion sickness, or the fact that I passed out not even twenty minutes ago.

When the car slows to a stop, it takes me a second to realize we have arrived at my new home. I look out the window and see a quaint little two story house with a beautiful front garden surrounded by a low metal fence. The flowers and landscaping are breathtaking. It’s quite literally my dream home. I didn’t think my parents knew me well enough to pick my dream home for me. A pleasant surprise, I guess.

At that precise moment, a young man walks around the porch from the back of the house. If it wasn’t for the situation, I would call him attractive. He is tall and well built, though not so muscular. His skin is darker than mine, though it doesn’t look like it’s from the sun. His hair and clothes are neat and well-kept. A small part of me wishes I had made more of an effort for this moment.

“Are you ready, Miss?” the driver asks as he opens my door and hands me my small bag of personal items I hadn’t wanted to send with the movers.

“Yes, thank you,” I smile at him as I accept his hand and step out of the car.

Flipping my sunglasses down off my head and onto my eyes, I try to relax before walking towards the house. I guess it’s time to meet my. . . husband. That’s weird coming out of my mouth.

Each step I take feels like it resounds in my ears. The house gets closer and closer. I am halfway up the walk when my new husband notices me. Without the benefit of sunglasses, I can see his nerves all over his face as he runs his hand through his hair and makes his way to the front steps of the house. Our house.

He walks down the stairs as I walk towards them and we meet at the base of the staircase.

“Aubrey?” his smile is uncertain, “I’m Christopher Scott. It’s really nice to meet you.”

He genuinely looked like he thought it was nice to meet me. Good thing he didn’t know me, or he’d probably think differently.

I leave my sunglasses on, but smile as I shake his hand, “Nice to meet you, Christopher. I am Aubrey James.”

I pause for a second before adding, “Or maybe it’s Aubrey Scott now. I never finished reading the contract.” I try to keep the sadness out of my voice for his sake, but it sneaks out all the same.

“It can be Aubrey James to me, if you’d like. No one will ever have to know,” he lets go of my hand and gestures towards the front door of the house. “Shall we?”

I smile honestly this time. It feels like he understands how awkward this is for me. When we reach the top of the stairs, I stop walking and turn to face him, “Is this as awkward for you as it is for me?”

He laughs slightly while touching the back of his neck with his hand, “Oh, yeah.”

“Good,” I smile at him again. “At least we have something in common.”

He offers me his hand, and I take it before stepping into our new home and looking around.

“I waited outside for you,” he follows me inside, “because I thought we could do this together.”

“I like it, though,” I’m still holding his hand as I walk towards the back of the house. “I want to see the kitchen.”

He doesn’t protest as he follows me through our house. When we finally reach the kitchen, I am amazed. It looks just like something out of a magazine. I have to admit this is always how I imagined my dream kitchen would look. This whole ‘married by my parents’ thing had precisely one perk so far: this kitchen.

“Wow,” was all that escaped my mouth.

“You like it?” he asks, trying to read my opinion of the house.

“I love it,” I smile and take my sunglasses off. “It’s how I always imagined my home would look.”

“Wow,” he says. Though I’m not sure what he is referring to.

“Shall we go check out the backyard?” I change the subject by pointing through the sliding door that leads out onto a small patio.

He lets go of my hand to open the door and we both step through it together.

“This is nice,” he brushes his hand along the glass patio table as he walks towards the large grill station to the left side of the house, “I’ve always wanted an outdoor space like this.”

There were some perks to this, I had to admit. At least while I was here, I could be happy with all of this. I wonder which of us gets to keep the house if this doesn’t work out.

“I wonder who designed the house,” I wonder aloud the very thing I have been thinking since I arrived, “because they seem to have done a great job blending what we both wanted.”

He was quiet for a moment as we both took in the sight of our new backyard. There is a small path that leads to our back gate, a vegetable garden across the back of the yard, and a small tool shed that, presumably, holds every gardening tool we could ever need.

I’m admiring the beautiful flowers in the box under the kitchen window when Christopher answers my question with the biggest shocker of the day, “I did, actually.”

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