Friday, February 20, 2015

The Arrangement (An excerpt)

Below is an excerpt of "The Arrangement," the story of an unhappy marriage.

"Our families made an agreement; my guess is my family offered more than the price of a new Mercedes. The wedding was as massive as a baseball game. we sat motionless, battling to maintain the gaze. Her mother's lace dress suited her. It would have been perfect without the scowl and the sadness in her eyes. Many passed and ran their hands along the dark Tuxedo, giving me sympathetic pats. Her fingers, when she touched me were filled with an unnatural force. An effort much appreciated but not necessary.

Kissing my bride made me uneasy, almost angry. Our lips touched and no chills ran down my spine. She gripped my neck and her fingernails dug into my skin, leaving an impression of fright and uncertainty. It travelled up to my face and left a scowl which can be seen years later. There was only one question racing through my mind during our kiss. If her middle name was pronounced Le-e-s-a or L-e-e-z-a.

My bride needed a bit of flesh on her bones,her behind pressured my knees. She shifted her weight frequently as though she realized my discomfort. We smiled at the flashing camera lights, fake smiles cooed at by guests. Her fingers trembled around my neck and her eyes roamed all over, as though she was searching for an exit, a refuge, but she found none. We shared in that moment of sadness, momentarily hanging our heads in deep regret.

Sleep seemed to abandon me, and  God’s hand  kept me from punching her. The snores rose from her small lips and spun around the room. The little monsters settled before me, taunting and threatening to take me over. The pillow saved my ear, but morning refused to climb over the high, green mountains.

Crunching and chewing were the words exchanged around the dark wood table. She piled exceptionally prepared scrambled eggs on my plate, and slumped in the chair facing me.

“Please pass me the toast Sal.” I asked her. Disgust and a look of poison decorated her face

“Sally please!” Her voice rose high and the monsters sat in the centre of the table. She knocked them away when she flung the bread, and we went back to our chewing.

We both had urges, but dared not touch each other. She tried to hide her sobs over the volume of the radio, but the painful sounds travelled down the stairs and took its place beside me.

We never thought to leave each other because of custom. She stopped going to women rallies, and her voice reduced to a whisper. Her legs got fuller, much to my glee, but the pretty white dresses diminished to pale house frocks.

Work became my solitude, no longer was the scowl plastered on my face and nobody asked about us. Evenings came too quickly, and we would sit under the glow of the lamplight chewing politely and wiping crumbs from our mouths. We slept like strangers, and tension crawled in the middle at nights.

When the disease made its way into her, the uncertainty to hug her bothered me. She only sat in the couch and drank canned soups and found the weather channel interesting. The bills piled high, and my parents immediately removed that burden. Visitors piled into our living room. She looked beautiful and happy with her friends. However, mine seemed a burden and her jaws ached from smiling.

© Copyright 2014 Renee . All rights reserved.

 If you want to read the rest of the story, go HERE

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

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