The priest had begun to recite the vows and my two legs stuck to the felt, dusty carpet like molasses to paper. I eyed the church, not paying attention to what the priest had been asking of me.
Wits played their callous stir, giving odd reason, whether I should commit to her or not. Her delicate nature, yet lonesome attitude perplexed me to no end. I had to run and refuse this engaging task of marriage, but where can I go?
And he so calmly repeated, I believe for the third time, “Hanson, do you take Jemma to be your lawful, wedded wife?”
I benignly replied with the most unconventional of responses, “Maybe.”
Her bouquet hurt. It greatly did. I stood on the last step of the podium, at the ready to creep on down and make a dash for it. I felt like a mix of Runaway Bride, the male version, and An Officer and a Gentleman, (of course only for its title-worthy context). My dreams were skewed, or were they? Before flailing toward my freedom, I took notice of Jemma’s fixed grip on my nicely pressed suit.
“This tux,” I mentioned, “cost a fortune.”
Her grip only strengthened. I knew now she was never letting me go. Before I turned back to face the condescending padre, Jemma’s father offered me not one, but two middle fingers. The audience gasped when I returned the gesture. A granny in the distance began crying, as the ring bearer ate some petals off the floor, figuring no one saw. I slowly returned to my matrimonial position and Jemma let go, revealing a crease big enough to fit a shoulder pad. My ideal wedding wasn’t this. I only agreed to pay off a debt. Now, everyone is hoping this generic story comes with some ties to a drug-smuggling Mafia lord who needed his daughter to be married off and picked some Joe, or in my case, some Hanson, off the street. I sincerely apologize for the disappointment, but I am a callous man myself, a cruel, heartless individual that took this girl for a ride based on a bet.
My good Brooklyn-based friend Tony bet me twenty five thousand dollars to marry Jemma, his former college roommate. I intended to get rich, so I approached this horrible term of agreement with more haste than caution. I didn’t figure it to be realistic until I found myself buying this broad some cheap-ass roses. The champagne dinners came, the late make-out sessions lingered, I shared nothing, she shared everything including her choice to be a vegetarian. Needless to say, I found her an amusing clown rather than a potential spouse. We ate Hungarian food without the meat, she tried to convert me to vegetarianism and if not for her heaving bosom, I might’ve resorted to cannibalism. Her heaving bosom, possibly the only reason, aside from the cash, I got into this mess.
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