Thought I’d try my hand at #fridayflash since it’s about time to start warming up for NaNoWriMo. Just a quick little character study piece. I’m taking part in the Screenwriting Expo’s Cyberspace Open this weekend, so I didn’t want to get into anything too involved here. Hoping to have something a little more story-like next week. Anyway, have a good weekend, everyone!
It was a beautiful wedding. I know everyone says that, but it’s actually true in this case. And even if it weren’t, no one would dare argue with me because, firstly, it was my wedding, and secondly, I’m 87 years old and no one wants to excite me for fear of stressing my heart to its breaking point. It’s because of that second fact that the wedding even happened. Sure, there were a few hesitant questions from wilting flowers who thought I was being swindled.
“Are you sure she loves you?” they’d asked whilst wringing their hands and staring at me in a way I’m sure they thought was meaningful instead of simpering.
How does a person answer that anyway? Is anyone ever sure that another person sincerely loves them? Of course not. It’s a leap of faith, or maybe even turning a blind eye, but there’s never certainty, and it’s a fool’s errand to expect it. The truth of the matter is, if you’re not miserable, then who cares? Nonetheless, I’d always answer that question in the confident affirmative because I knew it’d make them feel better, and I’m not here to cause anyone pain when I can avoid it.
What I’d love to tell them but never would is that I know very well my new bride doesn’t love me. And I don’t care. I don’t love her either. We’re performing a service for each other. We’re symbionts. I get an aesthetically pleasing, intelligent companion with whom to spend the remainder of my days, few as they may be. She gets a provider of both financial wealth and the wisdom that can only come with the number of years I’ve lived. She should not be vilified for this, and I should not be made out to be a senile old man. But we will be.
People can’t let go of the fairytale, I guess. They can’t understand that we are simply two realistic people who know what we want. Valuing these cerebral things over hormonal attraction — which is scientifically proven to fade for most couples after two years, by the way — should not make us outcasts. And yet, we’re happy to sacrifice social acceptance, too. What we lack by way of a passionate affair we more than make up for in mutual and devoted respect for each other. “Mutual and devoted respect.” Hm. You know, that doesn’t sound so different from love after all.
© Elizabeth Ditty 2009