You see each other across the room and later across the dinner table and you know that clothes will peel off sometime in the night, you’ll feel new skin, explore a stranger’s body.
You step onto the plane home the next day with a secret smile. When your friend asks what happened, you say, I’m going to marry him.
Four years, hundreds of thousands of air miles and just enough heartache later, you do marry him. You marry him three times in two different countries. Maybe those three ceremonies can negate the three times he’s already betrayed you. Still, at the first ceremony, right before your vows, you hear an urgent voice inside your head, Stop! This is a mistake. Your stomach twists but it’s too late and this is probably normal nerves, yet there’s something like playacting about the whole thing. What do the promises, the friends, the party, the cake mean?
Now you’re one decade, two babies, several pets and mortgages in. It’s boring and miraculous, full of experiences, punctuated with spite, teetering between contentment and despair and a long road ahead to, what, the grave?
Until he finally admits the truth you’ve known in your bones for weeks: There’s someone else. They’re in love. He’s leaving.
Ten years later, the wedding words come back. They clang inside your head, emptied of everything but grief, tears and regret. You can’t hear anything but mistake, mistake, mistake.
Ten years of life evaporate, love uprooted by desolation, and you can’t see more than a day ahead. You’ve learned your lesson: The future isn’t guaranteed. [Is fate kinder when you admit defeat?]
How does a marriage end? You aren’t entirely sure. You’re going to find out.