“Renew our vows? What?” I barely heard what he said next after those words sat in my head. “I can’t do that!” I said, a little too loudly.
He stopped saying whatever it was he was rambling about and it was quiet between us on the phone. I sat on my bed and played with my bed sheets. “I mean, think of what that entails?”
“What does it entail…that seems to trouble you? I thought you would be really excited…ready for a fresh start?”
“It makes me feel really nervous and miserable.”
Chris was quiet again, I had clearly hurt his feelings, perhaps dashed his hopes for a true reconciliation. I needed to soften the blow. “I suppose if it were a very small ceremony where we chose the vows and such…although we already did that 3 years ago. It seems a bit soon to be renewing them again but, well, I guess we could do it.”
“We don’t have to do this” he said, obvious annoyance resinating from his words. “But I had imagined us getting married in a big church in front of our families with traditional vows and beautiful rings that I can afford now and just, I want that for you and for us. I can just imagine you in a real wedding dress, like the kind you see in magazines on grocery-store racks. We never did any of that, and maybe that kicked our marriage off to a bad start.”
I thought about the pictures I had seen recently on the grocery-store magazine racks. They weren’t of wedding dresses and the memory of it made my stomach feel a bit sick. “Chris, I might have gone along with a traditional wedding three years ago. But now I would have to walk down an aisle, in front of people who all know that I cheated on you. Honestly it sounds like a walk of shame. What color dress am I supposed to wear? White? And are you planning on having me pledge to honor obey my husband? I think I’d rather kill myself.”
“You’d rather kill yourself?”
“Yes. Well I can deal with the honor, but not, obey.”
“I don’t care about that shit. I just want us to have something we can go back to if we get lost again. Our little ceremony on the beach where we just told each other how much we loved each other…there were no guidelines. On tour I just thought…oh I don’t know what I thought. I’m gonna go, Odette. I tried, but trying with you is very tiring.”
“I’ll think about it, OK?”
“OK, but don’t kill yourself over it. Our child needs a mother.”
He hung up and I sat on my bed. He was coming home tomorrow. I had been really excited but once again, l screwed things up. Oh, well. He didn’t seem too mad, and maybe we could do something to pacify this bizarre idea of his. I wondered what Evan would think about it. We were still friends, and he had said he wanted to stay friends if Chris and I ever got back together…his sole reason for not “getting involved” with me. I dialed his number in England and he picked up right away.
“Odette!” he said, I am just about to walk into a London Pub for dinner!”
“Oh, OK, I’ll call you back”
“No, no! I can always talk to you!”
It sounded like he was yelling in to the phone and that it was noisy around him. It suddenly got quieter and he said, “OK, I can talk now.”
“Where’s Luna, is she there too?”
“She went on some excersion to Edinburgh. I’ll see her again tomorrow, she’s coming here on the train.”
“OK. Um, guess what.”
“Chris thinks we should renew our vows”
“Did you just say you are going to get new cows?”
“Renew our vows.”
“I think I like the cow idea better. They could eat the sandspur plants in Luna’s yard.” He sighed a big sigh.
I said. “What do you think? Should I do it?”
“Will it make you happy?”
“Then don’t , I guess.”
“But it will make Chris happy and it is time I start making a few sacrifices and stop thinking about myself all the time. Zoe would have fun too.”
It was getting loud in the background again.
“I have to go, Odette, I’m not quite sure why you called me about this. Are you asking my permission or something?”
“No! What? I just needed a little advice!”
“Wedding crap is the kind of thing you need to figure out with your fiancé, or well, in this case, your husband. I don’t think I’m the person for you to be discussing it with.”
“I called you because you are my friend and I needed to talk about it,” I practically yelled into the phone so he could hear me behind the din on his end.
“You’re right.” He paused. “You can call me about anything. I’ll talk to you later though. I’ll call you after dinner.”
“OK, bye, Evan.
He sat there for a minute. Then he finally said, “bye, Odette.”
I hung up and wondered vaguely why I felt way worse than when I first picked up the phone to call him.
“Cause when I need a friend it’s still you”