Lorraine and I swore our undying love to one another when we tied the knot right after high school. We’d chosen each other. We knew what true love was. We were adults after all: well technically, I was an adult – 18 years old. Lorraine was only 17 and her mother had to sign before we could get our wedding license. She did and we commenced to getting on with the “happily ever after” part.
It was my 21st birthday when she came home from work and broke the news. She worked nights at the MiniMart. I worked days at my dad’s garage.
“I want a divorce Rusty,” she told me.
“What??? Lorraine, what are you talking about? We’re going camping next weekend. You can’t be serious.”
But she was serious. She explained that she had fallen in love with Mary Lou Dervowitz, her supervisor at the MiniMart. She said that they’d been stealing time with each other for a couple of years now and she just couldn’t keep living the lie. It was true love she said as she handed me the papers. She told me that she and Mary Lou had already rented an apartment not far from work and she would let me know her new number when they got the phone connected. I followed her to the front door, no doubt begging her to stay. I saw Mary Lou’s red Mustang convertible idling at the curb. Lorraine paused when she opened the front door, she turned back to me.
“We can still be friends, Rusty.” Then she skipped down the walk and got in the car with Mary Lou and drove out of my life.
I kicked myself in the ass for about three months after that. Why hadn’t I seen the signs? Why had I made such a poor choice? I tried to convince myself that she had been a bitch, but I knew it wasn’t true. I had loved her. I figured I would always love her in one way or another. My heart was broken.
A couple of weeks after I finished blaming myself I met Allison. She was an older woman. Well, she was older than me. She was sophisticated and she was 27. The physical attraction was immediate. We were both divorced. She was an adrenaline junkie. Allison loved extreme sports. No, she loved taking risks. She rode motorcycles; she skied and, went skydiving. She was a rock climber, and a scuba diver, she liked to have sex in public places. She was the perfect woman and she told me so – over and over.
It was all very heady for me and we had a whirlwind courtship. We ran to Vegas to get married in one of those drive-through wedding chapels.
Back at the hotel I sent her up to the room and I went to buy a bottle of champagne. I got a good bottle and headed for the elevators but was distracted by a lady selling flowers.
I bought a single rose for my Allison.
I pressed the call button for the lift and when it arrived Allison was on it. Allison was on it with a baccarat dealer from the casino. I think that the legal term for what they were doing is ‘in flagrante’ but I’m just a mechanic from Fontana – what do I know.
“Rusty? Hi!” she said, “This is Enzo. He’s from Italy. Isn’t he gorgeous?” She turned and looked at him, “Enzo, this is my husband, Rusty.”
“Husband?” he questioned. Then it kicked in what that meant and he stopped what he was doing and bolted from the elevator, tucking himself back in as he ran. I almost pitied the guy.
Allison tried to pull herself together as the doors shut. I stayed in the lobby and watched. As the lift began its ascent I walked to the parking garage, handing the rose to a wide eyed little girl I passed who was taking it all in, with her parents in tow. I left my luggage and my new wife in Vegas. When I got in the car I headed back west, having been married less than an hour. I drank the champagne on the drive back to Fontana.
I know that was a stupid thing to do, drinking and driving, but I wasn’t making smart decisions that day. I never saw Allison again but our lawyers communicated. She wanted the car and the dog. If I’d owned a house she probably would have wanted that too. The judge was on my side though and he annulled the marriage meaning no division of property was necessary. I still feel like I dodged a bullet with that one.
It’s been two years and I’ve made another decision. I feel strongly that this is the right one for me. I’ve decided I like living alone.
I always know where the car keys are. I can stay up late and then sleep until noon on the weekends if I want to. I can go fishing without having to ask permission. I’m thinking about buying a boat. Yeah this decision feels right. I actually enjoy my own company. Lorraine and Mary Lou are coming over for a barbeque this weekend. They’re doing great and, I’m getting back to the “happily ever after” part.