I'm in a relationship. Those four little words, prior to now, seemed more like one big four letter word. Just like a fantastic pricey-pair of shoes, it felt new, slightly absurd to think about, but strangely comfortable, because you got the right fit and didn't settle for the bargain bin, the half-size smaller.
"When Finn gets out of the Navy, we could buy a fixer-upper, a yard for Zuni, his dog and-"
"Joey, you're talking like it's 1945. You're not keeping the home-fires burning and drawing seams up your gams," Will said.
I blew his remarks off with a deep sigh, but I did so enjoy my tanned "gams," as we waited for the Sayville Ferry.
"You're being ridiculous!" Will squawked, losing his patience.
"Love is ridiculous-ridiculous, nutty, foolish!" I said, twirling around him in a flutter.
"Just get on the ferry," he protested, with a small wink, pushing me forward.
My apartment held a heady odor of moist heat and a layer of week-old dust. I threw open all the widows, pushing the drapes wide apart. I never forward my mail, and the pile dropped out of my hands on to the bed. I find correspondence so much more exciting when it gathers in a heap-silly really, when most is junk mail, magazines, or bills. A gilt border, from the edge of a crisp oblong envelope peeked out.
"This gang-bang is getting to be too much, even for me," Luke blurted out. He kicked a pair of flip-flops and a beach towel out of his way. With my return from Miami, and on an obvious career-girl in-love hiatus, I moved into Will's room. Will bunked with Grady, so Finn could double with me, and Luke took the last of the small bedrooms as his. Jinx, my cat took possession of the screened sleeping porch, making Zuni, Finn's retriever, claim the only spot on the kitchen floor where the afternoon sun burned.
"Well, I have a date tonight." It was Grady who spoke.
"Shack up in Will's room: that bed is bigger then yours, Luke."
"Where are you going tonight"?
"Just out," Grady answered quickly...
"Will, tell me I'm dreaming," I requested, holding the envelope open. The room felt as if it were one hundred degrees, despite the new, fresh air.
"Quit it!" he barked.
"I'm still reading"
"You are cordially invited to attend the union of Ryan Green and Darrin Winters on August fourteenth--." Will stopped reading and looked up at my face.
"Just take a deep breath."
I saw his mouth moving, but no sound came out of it. A sudden chill washed over me, like a great big wave about to pummel me forward. My body jerked in a quick set of thrusts.
"Damn it!" Will kept hollering, and dashed into to the bathroom for a towel.
Losing my breakfast and lunch was enough to handle, but to lose Ryan Green, my first real love of five years, to a "Darren Winters" on an exquisitely engraved, hand embossed, gilt edged wedding invitation is the ultimate, death by ex..........