An Ame (pronounced 'Amy', short for Amelia) one-shot
My new husband and father-in-law are waiting downstairs for me to change clothes. Shortly, my new husband and I will head out on a weeklong honeymoon to begin our lives together.
My new husband.
I never thought I would say those words. My new husband. Part of me feels like a sell-out; as if I've given up on a fundamental battle of my individual rights and freedoms. The larger part of me keeps saying it - My New Husband.
How did I find him? I wonder yet again. What fate or chance brought us together?
I glance at the clock; I only have another few minutes to change or we risk being late. Alex's father is probably waiting patiently. Alex is no doubt chafing at the bit. No patience. No patience, precious little self-control, and a mouth that can only truly be stopped with a gag.
And yet, I love him. I hate admitting it because it leaves me so exposed but I do. He's a willing slave to my whims, loyal and loving, and - when I release him - an animal. When he takes me, it's overwhelming. It's as if my entire being is nothing to the storm of his passion. I can let go completely - in fact, any resistance is futile. And when he is sated and spent, I replace the collar and my mad dog becomes an obedient pup again.
I wonder for just a moment, what it would be like to live the other way. With that passion free all the time, without my will controlling it.
And then like lightening, the idea takes me. Alex has no idea where we are spending our honeymoon - no idea that my suitcase contains many things but no clothes.
I could give him this week, as a wedding gift. One week of submission. Even if I wanted it, he doesn't have it in him to be cruel. He will not push my limits as I push his. Most likely, as he would say, most likely he will simply want to have sex a lot. And perhaps make me do some publicly embarrassing things. I planned to have him chained the whole week. Maybe I should test myself and spend a week with him unleashed.
I smile to myself. Alex unleashed.
The idea has at least resolved my question about what to wear to travel in. I have a light cotton dress in pastel blue - a gift from a cousin who doesn't know me well. I kept it largely because I felt a twinge of guilt throwing it away but I have never worn it. I pull it out and am relieved to discover it fits. I find a simple pair of sandals and leave my hair up. Perhaps it is pointless symbolism, but only he gets to see my hair unbound.
Alex stands as I enter the living room. I can see his face as he searches for something appropriate to say.
"You look amazing." He finally comes out with.
"Really? Is that better or worse than 'unbelievable'?" 'Unbelievable' was how he described me in my wedding dress.
"Don't answer that one, son." his father cut in, "less you wanna fight 'bout it the next twenty years."
"Right, yeah." he reaches out, stops himself and pulls himself to a more formal pose. "You looked lovely earlier and you look lovely now."
I almost can't hide the smile. Every so often, he says something irresistible.
It doesn't take us long to go from there to the car and out to the highway. The trip to the airport is far too long so I pretend to sleep so that Alex and his father can have one last man-to-man conversation before we go.
"You sure about this, son?" His father asks suddenly in the midst of discussing the family business.
"What, crew shifts? Oh, Ame. Yeah." He laughs, "I'm totally sure."
"It ain't too late. You can get this annulled."
"Dad. I'm sure. I love her. An' she really does love me."
"I gotta ask, how in the hell can you tell?"
"I just know."
"Yor Granddady never approved uh her."
"Yeah, despite the fact that she'll go out her way ta take care uh him. An' Grandma woulda loved her."
"Well. Momma woulda admired her strength, that's sure." He hesitates. "She at least, y'know, keeping you happy, right?" I can hear the quotes around 'happy'.
Alex nearly chokes laughing. "You have no idea. Every night. Twice on Saturday."
"Oh, hell, yeah. Grandma woulda loved her strength but she ain't be to cool 'bout what we done on her furniture."
"Ok, ok, let's not share too much information, right?"
"I mean, I just wanna make sure, when she paintin' yo' toenails that you gettin' rewarded fo' it." he paused, "You are gettin' rewarded fo' it. Right?"
"Dad! Yeah. Ame's not uh prude she's just quiet. Still water, right? She goes deep. Real deep."
There silence for a few minutes.
"Hey, does Mom still... ?"
"You god damned right she does."
There's a beat before they both have a fit of laughter. Then Alex remembers that I'm sleeping and they quiet down. "She's had a long day."
"Why? She ain't do much. Walk down the aisle, castrate you, had one drink, one dance an' gets ta sleep to the airport."
" ... Dad..."
"'Obey', boy? You promised ta love honor cherish an' obey? That's the woman's part - I don't know if you was payin' attention at any other wedding on God's green earth."
" ... She an' I agreed..."
"An' what the hell kinda uh vow was that from her? 'Do you Amelia accept this promise from Alex?' 'I do.' What the hell was that?"
" ... Dad..."
"She ain't promise you uh damn thing boy, not uh damn thing."
"No, Dad, she didn't. She won't. That's the deal." He chuckles, "I told her she could say anything she wanted so long it ended with 'I do'."
"That's where it start and end." He huffs. "She ain't even wear uh damn ring."
"Dad, look, I know she loves me 'cause I know why she ain't wanna get married in the first place. The fact that she showed up at all is proof enough fo' me. I know she ain't the woman you'd uh picked..."
" ... damn straight..."
" ... but she's the woman I love. Let me run my own god damn life. I ain't marry ma high school sweetheart..."
" ... Watch yo'self boy. Don't make 'er uh widah on her weddin' day."
" ... Dad, damn it just listen! I meant Lisa, ok, not you an' Mom. Jees! Get uh grip! I ain't never met anybody who made me feel right - just right - in my own skin. She treats me the way I want her ta treat me."
"I ain't raise you ta..."
"You an' Mom raised me fine. I'm real glad you my folks. I can't thank you enough. But, look, remember you told me once that the right answer and the answer everybody want ain't always the same answer?" My Father-in-law grunts. "Well, she's the right answer. I know she ain't what everybody want, but she's trying ta fit in, Dad. give her uh break, Ok? She's my wife."
There's more silence. I had no idea his Father felt that way about me. Other family members had been more vocal; George had always been very cordial, almost vacuously so.
We eventually arrive at the airport and Alex wakes me. I tell him which airline and send him off with the luggage. George moves to go with him but I touch his arm.
"He'll manage. May I speak with you?"
He watches Alex for a moment. "Of course, Honey. What's on yo' mind?"
"I just wanted to thank you."
"Fo' drivin' out here? Oh, that ain't nothin'. Glad ta see ya'll off. I just wish..."
"No, not for the ride, although, thank you for that as well. No. For," The words catch and again, I find myself irritated by the fact that I can't do these things easily. I can pitch million-dollar design proposals to complete strangers but I can't tell someone I love them. And thanks to Alex, I discovering that more and more often. I'm not sure if he should receive a good beating for that or not. "I mean for him." I say eventually.
"Him? Alex? My son, Alex? That him?"
"'Him' got uh name. We got uh lotta 'him's in the family. Givin' 'em all names kinda sort it all out."
"Yes, Alex, your son. Thank you for Alex."
"Just ... just ... just, thank you."
He mulls that over for a moment. "Yor welcome. When you done with him, give him back in one piece."
I consider it a moment longer, then take a breath. "George, do you know why I married him - Alex?"
"Honestly, I can't say that I do."
"My Father's death was very sudden."
"I recall that. I'm sorry he couldn't be here."
"So am I, deeply so. Dad liked Alex. He asked me frequently when I was going to break down, give in and marry him. In one of our last conversations, he told me he was going to stop asking me that because he had decided that it was a forgone conclusion. He started to call me and leave voice mails for 'Ms. McElroy' just to tease me. One day, I realized that Dad was right. That night, by sheer chance, Alex asked me again. I couldn't refuse."
We both look away from each other. George seems to realize how difficult it can be to share. "Well, I uh, guess that uh better reason than why I married Ms. Stacy." I wait a moment and he answers the unspoken question. "Knocked her up."
"Not unheard of. And given what, thirty years and you're still together, perhaps an act of fate."
"Act uh God, Ms. Ame. You gonna have ta get ta church more often, young lady, if-n you gonna be uh proper member uh this family."
"So he's told me. Often."
"Well, now you best start listenin' to yo' husband."
Which is exactly the attitude the pushed me away from marriage in the first place. Luckily, before anything can escalate, Alex returns with our boarding passes.
"'Ey mon, what you hold up me bride fo'?" He shouts exuberantly with the most appallingly bad Jamaican accent ever heard.
.... There is more of this story ...