Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ginnie & Sebastian: May 15, age 28

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May 15, age 28

"Goodnight, my someone/ Goodnight, my love."
-- Meredith Willson

     Another wedding.  It was a…wedding.  I don’t know.  They’re all the same to me.  I’ve heard it said many times:  A girl’s wedding day is the most important day of her life.
     Oh really?
     Not me.  It’s all the days after the wedding day that I look forward to:  the smiles, the hugs, the tears, the cuddles, the apologies, the fights – the fight.  Please, my someone, come along so we can shape each other into better people.
     That’s all I want.
     But all these weddings:  this is starting to get ridiculous.  Ruth married Nicholas today, and all I could think was “Gee, it was just yesterday I was getting paid to babysit her.” 
     Not that it’s easy finding someone.  
     Although, the way my mother talks, finding my future husband is as easy as going to the dealership and selecting a new car.  When I saw my father at Christmas, it was more of the same:  “When are you going to find a guy to hitch yourself to?  Amelia” – his drip of a stepdaughter – “found someone to take care of her.”  And in walks Amelia with a basketball belly.  Oh, and pregnant too.  He put his arm around her Burberry cashmere-clad shoulder and kissed her temple.  “Yep.  Proud of my girl.”
     And moving on.
     I had a crush on Luke Chambers in high school and got over it before we even graduated.  But Annie, one of my best friends from high school, did not get over her own secret crush that she’d harbored for those same four years.  Annie and Luke married just before senior year of college.  Little Mallory is five and just started kindergarten.
     College held no prospects, and the summer after senior year, both my other two friends from high school, Erin and Kendall, were married to their respective boyfriends.
     With all these weddings, is it possible there is someone left for me?
     It’s not like I don’t know any guys. 
     There’s my friend Chris, but he’s married to Christine.  Chris’ cousin August, another dear friend of mine, has been with Liz since they were in middle school.
     August and Chris tried to set me up with Mark, whom they’d known in college.  Mark could not find one thing about me that interested him, and the feeling was mutual.
     One recent night after dinner at Chris and Christine’s, I’d confessed to what “my type” is.
     Christine kept her bottle of red wine next to her glass.  Not sure why she'd bothered with the glass at all, but she only indulges like that once in a while.  
     Chris nursed his Newcastle, and I my soda.  (I hate the taste of alcohol.)
     Christine used Chris' lap for a footstool.  My feet rested on the edge of her seat.
     And I watched them: how they ebbed and flowed.
     “You two make me happy,” I said.
     Christine snorted into her wineglass.  Chris chuckled and wiped off the wine that had splashed onto his wife’s nose.
     “Sorry,” I said.  “Just a little blue tonight.”
     “Whatever happened to that guy up in Maine?” Chris said.  “What’s his name – Gary, George, Craig?”
     “Greg?  Ha.  I’ve no idea.”  My insides clinched.  I pulled my knees to my chest.
     “Who was Greg?”  Christine said.
     “Some guy.”
     “She met this guy online.  Went up to Maine to meet him in person.  He was a lawyer or something, right?”
     “Really?  And then what happened?”
     “We had a magical three days, but by the fourth day, the ‘spark’ was gone.  So nothing.” 
     I sipped my soda.
     “Well, if Mark didn’t do it for ya,” Chris said, “and neither did this Greg guy, what does?”
     I pursed my lips and stared up at the ceiling pretending that I had to think about the answer and that I hadn’t been itching to tell someone.
     “I don’t know.”  I tried to check the embarrassed grin that threatened to surface, sure that Chris would catch it.  I breathed in an attempt to swallow the smile.  “Someone who brings out the best in me.  A good man.  Someone who finds himself better for knowing me.”
     “Who is he?”  I knew Chris would have caught the grin.
     “Sorry, GW, but Chris is taken.”  Christine eyed her lover warmly.
     “’He’ isn’t anybody yet.”
     Chris leaned forward.  The terd.  “Who?”
     I put my feet on the floor and hunched over my soda can.
     “G double-u.”  He poked my arm.  I released a dark blaze on him.  “Who?” he said unfazed.
     “A guy I knew.  Long time ago.”
     “Oh?” Chris teased.  “And have we," he indicated himself and Christine, "met this Romeo?”
     “I don’t know.  I haven’t seen him in twenty-some years.  Not since I was six.”
     Christine leaned her elbows on the table and cradled her chin.  “If you’re looking for young, why don’t you troll the nearby college campus?  Plenty of hot, young blood there.” A cheeky smile crawled across her face.
     I laughed softly.  “I suppose it’s more the idea of this guy.”
     “What?” Chris said.  “You’re so weird.”
     “Quiet, love.  I want to hear the story.  Tell us the story, GW.”
     I stared at the table again.  My cheeks were warm.  “There’s not really a story.  Just a kid I knew in elementary school.  Sometimes people picked on me; I was a little shy then.”
     Chris snorted.  “What's changed?”  Christine and I both rewarded his snarky remark with a frown.  He rolled his eyes.  “Women.  Go on, Miss Wood.”
     “At recess, he always nominated me to be the princess in whatever game we were playing.  And, I don’t know.  He was really into castles and knights and swords and stuff, and I kind of liked that stuff too.  Just, I think, if ever I’m to marry someone…it would be him; well, my idea of him.”
     “Aw.  What happened to him?”
     “Didn’t come back second grade.”
     Christine’s eyes opened in alarm.
     I laughed.  “He moved.”
     “What was his name?” Chris said.
     I slid my tongue along the thin ridges and firm grooves of the roof of my mouth.  Suddenly my tongue stuck like I’d eaten peanut butter.  I couldn’t push the name past my lips.  Christine and Chris stared at me for an eternity.
     Finally I said it.  “Sebastian Haepst.”
     “Ginnie Haepst.”  Chris stroked his scratchy chin with his fingers.  “Hm, could work.”
     “But then you wouldn’t be GW anymore,” Christine said.
     “Why not?  You use your maiden name for your middle name.  Lots of women do.”
     “When you say it out loud,” I said, “it is kind of missing that little pizzazz.  I’d miss the ring of Ginnie B. Wood.”
     “What’s your middle name?” Christine said.
     “Ginnie Beatrice Wood,” Chris said still stroking his chin.
     I laughed.  “What are you doing?”
     Christine grabbed his stroking hand and held it.
     “I think I’d hyphenate it,” I said.  “Ginnie B. Wood-Haepst.”  My nerve endings tingled and my stomach somersaulted.
     “So if ever you were to marry someone,” Chris said, “it would be Sebastian Haepst.”

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