Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
In a majority of situations, marriage can be seen as a beautiful and joyous occasion. A true celebration of love where two individuals pledge their undying devotion to each other, deciding to spend their lives supporting and guiding one another. Such a passionate act can make this negative world seem worthwhile. For these reasons alone, I should be happy. My bride’s father made sure the wedding would be a memorable occasion, making sure that every penny was worth it. He hired a famed DJ, the best caterer in New York City, expensive wine imported from Italy, and had personally tailored tuxedos and gowns for the bride, groom, and their respective parties. All the extravagance alone should have been exciting. However, I wasn’t a material man. A simple courthouse ceremony with a rented tux would have made this day a tad more bearable. Yet, here I was, standing before a mirror in a luxurious penthouse given to me by my soon-to-be father in law.
Any man who would make my daughter this happy, deserves the best.
I didn’t know if I could make her happy. My world consisted of a one room apartment in a sleazy neighborhood in Queens. The living room with a single couch picked up from the side of a road doubled as a dining room. The kitchen was just a hotplate and a mini fridge filled with beer. At least, my future bride would have a penthouse versus a borderline homeless shelter. However, I was a whole lot happier in my crappy apartment than this penthouse. Much riches and beauty hold darker tales within. I’m not sure exactly how my bride truly feels about today. She seemed happy at the engagement dinner and rehearsal. The entire hour she would cling to my arm with her soft hands like I was a life raft. We mingled and made small talk with her countless blue blood relatives. All powerful people well above my social class. I didn’t feel inadequate or inferior, just… lost… like I am now.
I can’t help but feel guilty for being a liar, but my blushing bride insisted we make this seem as natural as possible. Image is everything for some individuals, so I needed to fit just like her. I almost felt sorry for her. Sometimes we forget how quickly life can change in just one night. As I looked outside the window of the penthouse, looking down at her young twenty one year old brothers, I remembered that feeling. Being twenty one and out of college, full of dreams, energy, and youth. Ready to conquer the world! However, being twenty one means that life won’t be easy. I learned that the hard way. Five years in Film school couldn’t prepare me for the hundreds of job rejections.
We’re looking for something else, something more
I’m sorry but…
We hired someone else
As much as others might enjoy an office job, ten years later sitting at a desk typing wasn’t exactly what I had imagined for myself. I have to admit though, when I did go drinking alone and pathetically at bars and clubs, I usually am responsible. I make sure to have someone to pick me up and I watch how much I drink. Yet something dark and depressing stirred in me when I saw on television an old classmate getting an Emmy for a film he directed. When I was twenty one, like my bride’s brothers, I dreamt of getting an Emmy for a film. So, that night, I drank a little more than usual. Vodka straight can transform a man and his life. Vodka straight can make a man more lascivious or more stupid. Vodka straight can make a man gain the courage to go to the club dance floor and ask the hot redhead to dance. Vodka straight can make a man grind his hips against her skin tight dress that can make anyone drool. Vodka straight can make a man say “yes” when she asks you to take her home. Vodka straight can make a man rip off his clothes and hers and tumble onto the silk sheets. Vodka straight can make a man forget to ask about protection.
Normally, after the horror of waking up after a one night roll in the hay, you would shove aspirin down your throat and leave the premises. However, two weeks later, I found her standing outside my apartment door. How she knew where I lived, I fear to find out. I remember blacking out when she shoved a positive test and ultrasound photo at me without saying anything. It’s moments like this that make me wish I was a horrible person. Yet, I’m sadly not. I know what its like for a father to say he’s getting milk and never coming back. Subjecting an unborn child to abandonment and leaving a woman pregnant and scared from mistakes you made, isn’t exactly something I’d approve of. So I agreed to marry her. Yet, somehow I had to pretend that I was her secret boyfriend. I had to pretend that I loved her. I didn’t even know her real name until weeks after we had first met. To be quite honest, I don’t know if I can love her or the baby.
So as I stood before the mirror straightening my tie, brushing back my hair, fastening the flower to my suit jacket, the picture of the baby from the ultrasound came tumbling from my pants pocket. Now I remember why I’m doing this. My life may be over now, but the baby’s isn’t. Hopefully, I can grow to love her and the baby, and be a loyal husband and father.
If not… the fifty bottles of aspirin are still waiting in my drawer.