My daddy once told me that love was like a roller coaster. However, he didn’t mean it like a ride two people take together; instead, he meant that there was one person in control of the stop-and-go and one person simply tossed about like a toy.
Yesterday Mattson and I attended a wedding, a very small affair. The bride was blushingly beautiful; the groom was lanky and tall with a sort of perpetual awe in his deep-set eyes.
She was the last one of their high school crowd to marry; everyone else at the event had already been wed for a decade or more, with their children galloping around the grounds in a wild, gleeful gang.
Only Mattson and I didn’t wear matching gold bands, as I was hugged by a host of strangers.
“I’ve heard so much about you!” each one would say, over and over, before moving on to the next old friend. After the initial bout of greetings, I slowly backed away from the crush.
These were, after all, his friends, and I wanted to give him space to catch up and tell old stories. I wandered to a table crowded with wine bottles, lingering over the labels.
“Do you prefer red or white?” A lilting Irish brogue broke into my quiet reverie. I looked up to see the groom, helpfully hovering nearby.
“Well, actually I prefer Teeling, but I think a red would be fine,” I said, laughing.
“Teeling?” he replied with a start, his eyes going wide. “Teeling is an Irish whiskey!”
“Yes, the very finest,” I agreed, watching as he bent and grabbed a secret bottle from underneath the table.
“Teeling whisky,” he said, displaying the label with a flourish.
“Small batch!” I squealed, clapping my hands together. We toasted, the liquid golden in the setting sun, and I wished him congratulations once more.
In two days, he and his bride would be returning to the Emerald Isle to begin their new life together in his hometown of Dublin. I was a wee bit jealous, to tell the truth. I wished there was a future where I could fly away to a country where everyone spoke with a sexy accent, with cobblestone streets and cozy pubs.
But life isn’t a fairy tale.
At least, not my life.
Later my lover and I walked hand in hand back to his car, talking of little things.
Mattson ended his last relationship because it came down to an ultimatum–after seven years together, she wanted marriage and kids and happily ever after. Instead, he moved out, moved here. Became mine.
Seven years ago, I swore off marriage after the last disaster that nearly devoured my soul and broke me as a human being.
Outside the window, the world whirled by as we returned to our regular everyday lives, everything just the same as it was this morning.
Everything. Just the same.