I thought awhile, “I don’t know if you should come, Jem.”
“Oh, c’mon-we never got to go on a honeymoon, my Dad wanted us to settle in right away. Let’s go, I’m thinking road-trip, baby,” Jemma suggested.
She slowly massaged my shoulders and began blabbing all the things she’d do for me if I agreed to let her join in on my trip of would-be solitude. I thought and thought and finally decided she could come with me, under one condition.
“If we go road-tripping,” I said, “You have to promise to let me eat meat.”
Jemma’s look was of high-end disapproval. She vigorously shook her head side to side saying, “No flippin’ way.”
“I won’t be eating it for me,” I falsely defended, “just for the ‘road-trip’ experience-what do you say, Hun? Beef jerky, Baloney sandwiches, not even the occasional hot wings?”
“You committed to me in such a way, that I thought you wanted to disregard meat, and slaughter that leads to the foods you just mentioned. I am getting this incredibly strong vibe that we are slowly parting, remember? Say it with me, we-are-parting from-”
“From the same page,” I finished off.
“Okay,” Jemma blazingly said, “So in order to remain on the same page, we are going to continue obliging the respect of vegetarianism even though it takes more courage out of us than we expected, alright?”
I hated when she taunted me, like I was a child she’d run after preaching ‘don’t do this’, and ‘we can’t do that’ slurs, making me want to just crawl up into a hole and die.
Instead though, I forced my brows to lift, and nearly had to pry my mouth into a bright smile while the money-eager side of my brain passed along through me, articulating, “You bet, Jemma. Temptation almost had me there! Who needs meat, when we’ve got….when we’ve got tofu!”
Our route from Connecticut to New York shouldn’t have taken longer than three and a half to four hours, but the damn car kept giving us trouble. First we heard this awful racket coming from the inside of the hood-once inspected and fixed, one of our back tires let out. We waited for the horrific traffic to clear and this sudden nervousness came over me. I thought of what I’d do when I got there, how would I explain why she came along? Would I be able to get a private moment with Tony without Jemma’s eavesdropping?
To avoid any car games, or therapeutic ‘conversation time’ as our newlywed therapist suggested, I furrowed all my facial muscles to seem as if I was buried in deep thought. Truth be told I already was, but learning to take it to the next dramatic level, (with Jemma), had become so second nature, there was no off-switch at this undetermined point.
And yet, as if she sensed I finally found some distance between her and myself, she squealed, “Let’s play a car game!”
“Honey, I am really tired, and this traffic isn’t helping any, would you mind if we don’t?”
“Oh, okay.” She said smiling.
I stared at her astonished…she gave in! Jemma never gives in. Could this be a new side to her, I wondered.
Before I had a chance ponder on that awhile, I turned and gasped at what I saw.