Harrison sat upon the couch in a darkened room. His face laid tightly against the palms of his hands as he sobbed uncontrollably.
“How could have it gotten this far? This is all my fault,” he thought to himself.
Harrison married the love of his life, Becky, five years earlier at a small church in their hometown. They were high school sweethearts, then their college romance began to flourish into something much stronger. A week after graduation, Harrison invited Becky out on a romantic picnic by the lake.
They laid a blanket upon the grassy shore and looked out onto the shimmering water. A few boats passed by, one with a water skier in tow. The sun shone brightly that day, and hardly a cloud hung in the sky above. The color of the sky was comparable to that of a blue jay. It was the perfect setting for what Harrison had in mind.
As Becky pulled fried chicken from the picnic basket, Harrison poured them each a glass of wine. He handed a glass to Becky and offered a toast.
“To the perfect woman on this perfect day,” he said.
Their glasses clinked together, and they took a sip. As the sun began to set over the water, Harrison motioned for Becky to glance at the magnificent red and orange color spreading across the sky. As she gazed at nature’s beauty, Harrison reached into his pocket and pulled out a small velvet box. As Becky turned back toward Harrison, he was posed on one knee with his arm outstretched; the velvet box sat in his hand. He lifted the lid of the box open to reveal a stunning one carat princess cut diamond ring. Becky’s eyes lit up at the sight. She then turned her gaze toward Harrison. His smile filled his entire face as he began to speak.
“Becky, my love, it is not the air I breathe that keeps me alive, it is you. I was not truly alive until you came into my life. The only thing that could make it any better, is if you agree to become my wife. Becky Simpson, will you marry me?”
Becky was overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry. She could hardly speak, so she nodded yes repeatedly instead then gave Harrison a hug and kiss like no other he had other felt.
After spreading the good news to all their friends and family, they began the wedding plans. A college friend of Harrison agreed to be the DJ for the reception. His best friend, Roy was asked to be the best man. Becky’s sister, Jackie was to be the maid of honor, and the rest of the party would be decided later. They found a caterer that was reasonable and booked the church and hall. Everything was going smoothly until they received the wedding invitations from the printer, and they misspelled Becky’s last name. There was not enough time to have them reprinted, so they sent them out as is with the ‘p’ missing from Simpson, hoping nobody would notice.
The wedding took place at a small white church that was built in the 1950s. The priest who married them, was an elderly man who had presided over that church when they were both teenagers. His name was Father William O’Shea, a joyful man with a strong religious belief. There were many times that he had to scold teenage Harrison for his inappropriate language and behaviour.
The church only sat 250 people, so some of those attending had to stand throughout the ceremony. The hall, on the other hand, was the largest venue in town which fit up to 500 guests seated at tables.
The ceremony was beautiful. Harrison began to get choked up as Becky appeared at the back of the church in her long, lace wedding gown. He had never witnessed a more beautiful sight in his life. His heart began to pound faster, and he found it hard to believe that in moments, she would be his wife.
Becky had similar emotions, but she was also nervous as she walked down the aisle, being aware of each step so she did not accidentally trip or walk too quickly. Once she saw Harrison standing at the altar in his sharp black tuxedo, her nervousness began to ease.
After exchanging their vows, the priest announced them as husband and wife, and they began to kiss. It was at that moment, that the reality sank in, and as their lips touched, Harrison felt his knees get week and give out on him. He fell forward, slamming his head hard against Becky’s chin. She, in turn fell backward into her sister that was standing behind her. What started out as the perfect wedding, had turned into pandemonium as the best man, Roy, tried to revive his friend, and the other bridesmaids assisted Becky and pulled her off her sister.
Blood dripped down from Becky’s lip and onto her wedding gown. Becky’s mother quickly grabbed a tissue from her purse and ran up to wipe up the blood, but she only made it worse as the blood smeared deeper into the fabric. Becky grabbed the tissue from her mother and placed it on her lip instead.
By that point, Harrison had begun to regain his consciousness and through groggy eyes, he looked up to see his new bride with blood stains on her dress and a tissue pressed to her lips. Her hair had become disheveled beneath the veil during the scuffle, and strands of her blonde hair hung out of place across her left eye. She did not look happy, and Harrison realized at that moment, that he had ruined their wedding.
The honeymoon was tense at first because of the incident at the wedding, but she eventually forgave him, and they made the best of their first days as husband and wife. Their getaway was to the island of Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands. They stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, just a short walk to Seven Mile Beach where the white sand covered the shoreline. The tide washed up on shore every thirty seconds, or so, and splashed over their feet as they walked. A starfish laid upon the sand in front of them, and Becky picked it up and gently set it back into the water. They laughed and held hands and forgot all about the disaster wedding that everyone back home was still talking about.
Married life was not all that they thought it would be. They now had responsibilities that they hardly had to worry about before, and now that they were around each other so much, they began to see the little quirks that annoyed each of them.
For Becky, she was bothered by how Harrison would leave his dirty clothes laying on the floor in the bedroom, how he would let off loud bursts of gas and laugh about it, and how he would leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight instead of washing them after each meal.
For Harrison, he didn’t like when Becky would hang her delicates from the shower curtain rod, or how she spent extensive amounts of time showering and putting on her make-up. He also discovered that she snored…LOUDLY. There were many nights that he had to wear earplugs to deaden the sound. Neither one wanted to fight, so they kept their opinions to themselves, although, it kept bothering them inside.
One day, while Becky was out with her friends shopping, her sister Jackie stopped by the house. Harrison had just got out of the shower when the doorbell rang, so he wrapped a towel around himself and went to answer the door. Jackie looked her brother-in-law over with an approving nod. Harrison told her that Becky was out shopping and would be back in about an hour but said that she was welcome to come in and wait if she wanted.
Jackie accepted the invitation and came inside. Harrison asked her to make herself at home while he got changed, and he went back upstairs. Moments after he removed his towel and continued to dry off, the bedroom door opened. Jackie stood there with a crooked smile on her face.
“You told me to make myself at home,” she stated flirtatiously.
Harrison quickly grabbed the towel and covered himself back up, but Jackie approached him and grabbed hold of the towel, trying to pull it from his grasp. Harrison told Jackie that she needed to leave, but she persisted. She began to grope Harrison and he fell victim to her daunting ways. Before he knew it, they were kissing, and the towel fell to the floor.
When Becky arrived back at the house, Harrison and Jackie were seated in the living room. Harrison began fidgeting while Jackie carried on as if nothing had happened. Becky hugged her sister and excused herself while she brought the clothes she bought up to the bedroom.
When she entered the bedroom, she saw that the bed had not been made, and it made her angry. She was tired of Harrison’s laziness, but she wouldn’t bring it up in front of her sister. As she made the bed, she could smell a familiar odor in the air, then beside the bed, she found a strip off a condom package. She searched the garbage can in the bathroom, and found a freshly used condom, and she knew why Harrison was acting nervously.
Becky rushed down the stairs, stomping her feet all the way. She had never been so angry in her life. She entered the living room and Harrison stood up to give her a hug, but she shoved him back down saying, “Don’t you touch me!” She then looked at her sister who was still grinning and called her every name in the book before telling her to get out of her house and out of her life.
Harrison tried to explain what happened, but Becky did not want to hear any excuses from him. She continued to yell at him for several minutes, then slapped him in the face and ran back upstairs. Moments later, she returned with a blanket and pillow and told Harrison that he is no longer welcome in their bed. She threw them at his face and stormed back up the stairs again, slamming the bedroom door several times. Harrison sat on the couch and listened to Becky screaming and throwing things across the bedroom above.
He tried to make it up to her by cooking a nice dinner, but she refused to come down if he was in the house. Harrison told her that he was going to leave for a while so she could come down and eat, but no reply, so he grabbed his car keys and went to visit Roy.
After filling Roy in with some of the grisly details, he began to realize how stupid he was for letting things get out of hand. Roy tried to argue that Jackie was super hot, and he wouldn’t be able to resist her either if he was in that situation, but that only made Harrison feel worse. He thanked Roy for listening, then went back home.
When he got back, the sun had already set, and the house was in darkness, but instead of turning on the lights, he quietly crept up the stairs and saw that the bedroom light was off, so he went back down and sat in the dark living room and began to ponder the events that led him to that moment. He began to cry and tried to muffle the noise by placing his face in his hands.
His crying continued for several minutes, then the living room light turned on suddenly. He removed his hands from his face and looked up. Becky stood in the entrance to the living room.
“I think we need to talk,” she said.
“Yes, I want that too,” Harrison replied.
Becky gave Harrison a chance to tell his side of the story without any more yelling. When he finished, she sat silently for a while, then held onto Harrison’s hand.
“Harrison, I am sure you know how much I am hurt by what you and Jackie did, and I am not sure if I will ever forget it, but I am willing to forgive you if you can promise me that nothing like this will ever happen again.”
“I swear to you, it will never happen again. I was so stupid,” he said.
“I am not blaming you entirely. Yes, you did allow it to happen, but I know my sister too. She has always been the manipulating type, and when she sees something she wants, she doesn’t stop until she gets it. That was how she became an executive in her company, by sleeping her way to the top. I love you beyond belief, and I want our marriage to work, so I am going to trust you, but if you give me any reason to doubt you, we are through. Do you understand?”
Harrison agreed enthusiastically. He would never let his desires get the best of him again. Becky is the only woman he had ever loved, and he felt that she would be his only love for life, and nothing from then on would stand in their way.