Lawfully Scared (Day 2) by Ben Oakes

Day Two

Dinner with Hilary today. More rants about what ‘the bride’ wants and why our choice of wedding song isn’t appropriate for a lesbian wedding. I’m not quite sure why Something by The Beatles is inappropriate, but I don’t like to argue with the woman. She scares me a little bit, if I’m being honest.

I wake up and can see that Mary is already awake and getting ready. I groan and think about the matter at hand. Then I remember that I’m getting married in six days and I smile. God, how did I get this woman to marry me? I have no idea, but I’m glad I did.

“Morning sleepyhead,” I hear from the make-up table.
“Morning,” I reply. “How long have you been awake?”
“Not long,” she shrugs, turning around and smiling to me, “about a half hour.”
“Oh,” I yawn, “I’ll make us some coffee then shower, OK?”
“Sure, baby,” she pads along to the bed and kisses me lightly. “Six days.”
“Six days,” I repeat.

I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life. Why am I being asked to pay for a honeymoon we cancelled five months ago? We were told we wouldn’t have to pay for it, we changed to Italy for fuck’s sake. I don’t know why we changed to Italy, I wanted to go to Hawaii. I think that Mary convinced me with some sort of puppy-eyed-deal. I can’t remember, not that it really makes any difference now.

I do not want to deal with this now, I am preparing for dinner with the nightmare mother-in-law; I don’t want to have to talk to some idiot at a travel agents about how I don’t want to go on my honeymoon. I mean… you know what I mean.

“No, you see, we are still getting married but…”
“So then you’ll want your honeymoon, Miss, you and your husband will want some time after your wedding to yourselves. What’s wrong with it being abroad in Hawaii?”
“Well, it’s me and my wife actually” – Mary squeezes my leg in excitement – “and yes of course we want to have a honeymoon, and we’ve booked a honeymoon! We cancelled this one five months ago and your company told me I wouldn’t have to pay for it anymore.”
“So you want to cancel your holiday to Hawaii?”
“I was under the impression that I already had, that’s the problem.” I’m beginning to lose my patience. What is it about what I’m saying that’s so difficult for her to understand?

“Well I can do that now for you, Miss.”
“You can call me Fiona.”
“I’d rather not.” Oh what a bitch! Do people not get taught customer services these days? I’m trying to be polite. It’s their fault I’m on the phone in the first place!
“So you want to cancel your holiday for Italy?”
“Hawaii!” I almost shout. Mary’s laughing at me as she drives the car to meet her mother in the restaurant.
“No problem, I’ll do that for you. I hope your wedding is nice and you and your husband have a brilliant day.”
“Wife,” I correct her, feeling my nerve break.
“I’m getting married to a woman she will become my wife.
“Alright, no need to get snappy, you just had to say.”
“I’ll remember to open with that next time.”
“Next time?”
“Well no doubt there will need to be a next time,” I sigh, and hear a tut on the other end of the phone. “Anyway, thanks for your help.”
“Not a problem, Miss Fiona.” The line goes dead and I roll my eyes. Mary lets out yet another small giggle.

“Do you hate me for picking Italy at the last minute?” she says timidly.
“Yes,” I reply with a chuckle. “No, I could never hate you.”
“I could never hate you either.”
“Brilliant,” I comment, “that’s good to know since I’m going to commit myself to you in less than a week.”
“And I can’t wait.”
“Neither can I.”

We pull up to the dreaded target and I feel like I could almost cry with the pressure weighing down on my shoulders. I’ve known Hilary since I was fifteen years old but that doesn’t stop me being absolutely terrified of her. Things have become worse since our engagement, and every time we meet I’m faced with more and more questions about my family, my life, my job, basically all the questions I don’t want to answer to my future mother-in-law.

“Fiona! Mary!” Hilary singsongs as we walk into The Grill hand in hand. Oh, thank god, Mary’s dad is here too. With him around, Hilary might not be too critical.
“Oh, Fiona, you couldn’t have dressed up a little, could you?” Oops, spoke too soon.
Choosing to ignore her I say, “Richard, I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“I’ve learned that with weddings, it’s better to stay as far away from the preparation as possible. I know where to stand, and I know what to say, everything else will be a surprise. But yes, it’s nice to see you too, Fiona,” Richard’s eyes crease as he smiles, his bushy grey eyebrows dancing as he speaks.

“And are you looking forward to the wedding, Dad?” Mary says excitedly.
“Sure am,” he nods, “I can’t wait to see my little girl walk down the aisle. And I can’t wait to give you away.”
“Me neither, Dad.”
“That reminds me,” Hilary starts, and I feel myself wanting to cry, I hate it when Hilary gets reminded of things, “have you solved the problem of who is going to give youaway, Fiona?”
Oh good, not a particularly hard question. “Yes, my cousin.” Greg is the only person in my family who still speaks to me. I don’t really want to get into it, but I fell out with my family after coming out. It kind of sucks, but Greg is cool so I don’t really mind.
“Greg, yeah,” I nod and Hilary does too. Finally, an answer she’s happy with.

The meal is fine, no questions asked I didn’t know the answer to, apart from one about Oscar Wilde, but I told them as a history teacher, it wasn’t exactly my area of expertise. Mary and I arrive home at around three and spend the rest of the day watching films. We have a lot of stuff to do but we just don’t feel like doing it. We want to watch Dirty Dancing and Love Actually and Ten Things I Hate About You and because we want to, we do.

I love to watch Mary when she’s watching a film – I prefer to watch her than the actual movie. After fourteen years together, I think she knows I do it, but I don’t care. I love the way she fiddles with her hair and it ends up in knots. I love how one of her hands, usually the one not holding mine, drums on her thigh to some sort of steady rhythm. I love how her smile changes to a silent laugh when Baby mocks Johnny’s spaghetti arms and she ‘carried a water melon’. I just love her, and everything she does draws me to her. Perhaps that’s what it’s supposed to feel like when you’re getting married. I’d hate it to be any different.