I wrote my daily story yesterday, but couldn’t get online to open WordPress. Never mind. Today there shall be two. I used A Story A Day In May writing prompt #19. Start in the middle of the story, and use one of the choice of sentences, “So, will you marry me or not?” Here it is.
The Right Thing To Do
“So, will you marry me or not?” he’d asked.
She’d looked up into his eyes, wanting more than anything to shout “Yes!”. She couldn’t though. She could never steal another woman’s husband. Reluctantly she drew away, lifting her hands away from his chest, knowing that she would have to tell him not to come back here. Not ever. She couldn’t bear to see his face, knowing that she could never touch it again. Not even once a week.
“Forgive me sister, for I have sinned.”
Her reverie shattered, Naomi glanced around the empty church, then at the veiled woman seated beside her.
“Are you talking to me?”
Stacy irritably yanked the black lace veil from her head and glared. Naomi edged away slightly, startled at both the beauty of the face revealed, and the venom in the sapphire blue eyes.
“Yes, I’m talking to you. I don’t see any other preacher in the room.”
Self-consciously rearranging her vestments, Naomi stood up. She seldom took an instant dislike to anyone, but this angelic looking woman with the devil in her eyes made her hackles rise.
“I’m not catholic,” she said tautly. “Neither am I a nun. We don’t do confessions here.”
She fought the urge to walk away. As a minister of her faith, it was her duty to help any soul in need of succour. She forced more gentle tones.
“However. If there is anything you’d like to talk about, I’d be more than willing to hear you out, and—.”
Stacy nodded. “It’s my husband. Rick.” Her eyes suddenly brimmed with tears. “He says he’s leaving me.”
Naomi sat down again, trying to hide the shock from her face.
“I know he won’t go. No man dumps me. You wouldn’t understand I suppose.” Her gaze moved from Naomi’s mousy hair, lingered on her distinctly round middle, and finally focused on her comfortable black brogues, eyebrow raised in distaste. “It’s just that he keeps on mumbling on about vows. Wedding vows. That’s why I thought I’d come here.”
This was familiar territory. Naomi shuffled her feet as far under the pew as she could.
“What about wedding vows? Sorry, I didn’t get your name.”
“Stacy. I’m Stacy Keans. Our vows. Our wedding vows. He says that I don’t love, honour, or cherish him. He says that I’ve broken my part of our agreement, so he’s going. Leaving me.” Her face twisted, self-pity and temper making it ugly, if only for a second. “I’ll take him to the cleaners if he does. Idiot! He won’t go though. I know what men want. He’ll soon get over whatever floozy he’s panting over. There must be a floozy somewhere.”
Naomi tried to make sense of this jumble of words. Of course she believed that marriage vows were sacred, and that leaving a wedded partner was the true breaking of those. A sin in God’s eyes. She’d tried to help struggling couples work through their problems, and stay together, no matter what. She’d heard of many reasons people gave for leaving a spouse, but never put as simply as this.
“Do you?” she asked.
“Do I what?”
“Love, honour, and cherish him?”
Stacy scowled. “What the hell has that got to do with anything? He’s my husband. He can’t just leave!”
Naomi’s mind was forming connections. This woman’s attitude, and that one sentence, had suddenly sent her thoughts in directions they’d never before taken. She said nothing, instead silently pondering the sanctity of the vows of marriage.
Stacy lost patience when a reply wasn’t instantly forthcoming. She attempted an answer.
“Nobody really means those words, do they? Old fashioned nonsense. What’s love anyway?” she said. “He’s a good looking guy. What’s not to like? He makes good money. I don’t see why I should break my back for him though. That’s what this is all about. I’m not cooking piles of food all the time and cleaning his messes. He’s big enough to look after himself. Why should I? I’m no man’s skivvy. I didn’t vow to do that!”
“I have to go.” Naomi stood up looking at her watch.
“But—. But what about my question? Is he allowed to leave me because of that? If the church says he can’t, he won’t. He’s always been a bible basher. Always moaning that I don’t go to church with him every Sunday. Why should I? I’ve got better things to do with my time. No offense. Anyway. What’s the answer? What would God say?”
Naomi looked at the people coming in for Sunday service, then down at Stacy.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I really have to go now. But maybe your answer will be right here today. The answer to saving your marriage. God works in mysterious ways. He always provides the answers. But it’s always up to us to see them.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Why don’t you stay for service? Stay right where you are, and your answers may become clear to you.”
Stacy snatched up her veil, looking with supreme disdain at the growing crowd around her. Once again her gaze ripped down Naomi’s body, but this time the minister didn’t flinch. Instead she turned to the pulpit, not bothering to see whether she stayed or not.
The murmuring and shuffling quietened, and she looked down on her congregation, finally focusing on the man who now sat where Stacy had sat. The man she had only yesterday told that they could never be together, even as her heart broke saying the words. Divorce was a sin in God’s eyes. No matter how much she loved him, the vows of marriage were sacrosanct. Now she knew that this was true. They were not meant to be broken. Their eyes locked, and her stomach lurched. She couldn’t wait till after the service to tell him. To tell him that she would vow to love, honour, and cherish him, for all the days of her life. A deal was a deal after all. And if you broke it—. Well. Then it was no vow at all. Of course she would agree to become Mrs Rick Keans. She wouldn’t be stealing a thing.
© Jo Robinson 2013
Till next time friends. xxx