The International Writers Magazine: Just Married
After four months of marriage, Frank and April Bradshaw had developed a routine for Sunday mornings.
During the week both were up early, Frank to go to his job as a systems analyst and April to hers in a public relations firm. On Saturday, they were again up early, to go to the gym and to do the week’s shopping. But on Sunday they slept late, had a leisurely breakfast, made love if they hadn’t the night before, then spent the afternoon going through the New York Times.
On this Sunday morning, Frank was seated on the living room floor, his back against a chair, a cup of coffee on the floor by his side, leafing through the sports section. The baseball season would start next month. He’d been born and had grown up in the Bronx so was a life-long Yankees fan. They’d won the pennant and World Series the year before. It looked as if they’d have a good team again.
April was curled up on the sofa, looking at the Weekend Magazine. Frank stole a look at his young wife. She was a petite blonde with a triangular face, what he thought of as a cute button-nose and a small chin. He thought she was beautiful. She reminded him of a kitten curled up as she was and her green eyes enhanced this impression. Her face was serious as she read the Magazine section. Whatever she did, she did with great intensity. Her lips were pursed and there was a little line between the green eyes. Altogether, Frank thought she was adorable.
April caught him looking at her and asked, “What?”
“Nothing. I was just thinking how cute you looked.”
“Beautiful. The most beautiful wife in the world.”
“Ah, you’re just saying that because you want to get me in bed again.”
“No, I mean it. How did I wind up with you?”
“Just lucky. But you’re not too bad yourself, for a nerd, that is.”
“A nerd? You mean intelligent-looking.”
“It’s those eyeglasses, very sexy.”
“Gee, I didn’t know that. Say, mind getting me another cup of coffee?”
“Well, since you ask so nicely. I could use a refill myself.”
Frank watched as she went into the kitchen. “Hey,” she called out. “You didn’t wash your dishes again.”
“I’ll do them when I finish my coffee.”
“That’s what you always say, and you always forget them.”
“No, I don’t.”
“You do. And I have to wash out the sink.”
“Well, you always forget to put the cap back on the toothpaste.”
“I don’t. Anyway, that’s not as bad as you never picking up your clothes.
“Are you saying I don’t?”
“You say you’ll do it, then you forget, just like the dishes.”
What’s going on here? Frank thought. All I wanted was a cup of coffee. Then he remembered something he had to tell April. Better get it over with now.
“By the way, I’m going out of town next week.”
April re-appeared in the living room, holding a dish towel, without the coffee. “And when were you going to tell me? Or did you forget about that, too?”
“I just told you. It’s only for a couple of days. Our big client. I told you about them. They’re always wanting to meet face-to-face with us.”
“I suppose you’re going with that what’s-her-name, Dolores, the one with the big boobs.”
The green eyes, which were usually so soft and beguiling, were now sending sparks at him. It was amazing, Frank thought, how quickly she could change.
“As a matter of fact, she is going. And her boobs aren’t that big. Anyway, I’ve never noticed that they are.”
“Ha! How could anyone not notice? She wears blouses cut down to here.”
“She happens to be very sharp. She can’t help it if she’s attractive, also.”
“Oh, sure. I guess she can’t help coming on to you all the time.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The Christmas party.”
“She was a little drunk. We all were.”
“Are you all going to get a little drunk on your trip?”
“No, it’s business. We’ll be working all day. Speaking of Christmas parties, what about that kiss your friend Donny planted on you at yours?”
“Oh, Donny’s harmless. I suppose he has a little crush on me.”
“Didn’t you two work late last week. Any more kisses?”
“Of course not. How could you even think that?” April’s mouth tightened, then her eyes filled with tears. Then she was sobbing into the dish towel.
Frank immediately jumped up, rushed over and put his arms around her. She put her head on his shoulder and continued to cry.
“I’m sorry,” said Frank. “I didn’t mean anything I said.”
“I didn’t mean anything either.” She stopped crying and looked up at him. “I guess we’ve had our first argument.”
“I guess so.”
She made a face. “It shows we’re really married. Do you love me?”
“Of course I do.”
“I love you, too. I’ll make you a fresh pot of coffee.”
“Thank you.” Frank watched as his wife went back into the kitchen. Yes, he thought, they were really married. He wondered if this was the way their marriage would always be. He picked up the sports section again. Yep, the Yankees had a good chance of winning again.
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