The Marriage Impediment
The Marriage Impediment by G.L. Hayes
We perceived the crowd before it transpired. It's malevolence seemed to permeate the air like southern humidity. Forcing Chris and I to gravitate together.
"Don't worry." Chris affirms. But I do.
How can I not?
The instant we lay eyes on the vociferous throng, we halt in my our tracks. Hundreds of wide, bloodshot eyes, focus on us and our joined hands. Their eyes, so full of accusation.
I look beyond, to our destination. Just a rocks throw away. Yet completely unobtainable. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Now I'm forced to ask myself..
Will my moment to proclaim my love ever eventuate?
Emotional Torture. Daily Trepidation. Both are familiar to me. I've always felt that my mere existence has compelled Fate's disgust. But I've always had an escape, my conducive Chris. The only person I've known as long as I known myself.
You see, our mother's shared economic woes. Which means we shared baths and bedrooms. I never cared, as long as Chris's puckered smirk graced my days.
We were often opposites. Chris vaulting through the trees while I adored the flowers below. One day my crafty charmer decorated our favorite tree with flowers. Inviting me to climb. All the while, holding my hand, guiding me. I'd look into those easy brown eyes and find reliance. I knew, even before I could tie shoes, I'd follow those eyes anywhere.
As we grew together, I became vulnerable. Transparent. Whenever my spirit was ailing, emotions splayed like spilled spaghetti, Chris would gather each noodle, one by one, and hold me together.
Chris is my complement.
The one that perfects me.
One ominous afternoon, our hands were finally pried apart. At Chris's door I'd always be greeted by one motherly smile, and one puckered smirk! But not this agonizing day. When I knocked, the door revealed. The darkness beyond failed to hide a mother's malicious scowl. It failed to conceal Chris's diffident posture. I willed those shadowed eyes to meet mine.
They never did.
"I.." Chris seizes a sob. "I'm moving away."
Three words. That's all it takes for my spirit to die like a candled flame, blown away by tired lips. I remember I convulsed like I was drowning. I reached a hand to the darkness. Took a dejected step forward. Yearned for coalescence.
To no avail. The door slammed shut. It cast a gust that whipped my hair across my face. It clung to my tears. Matted to my devastation.
Until the day fate finally had pity on me.
There was a knock at my door. Lord knew, every time there was a knock, I'd bolt to it, and every time, I was disappointed. But something felt different.
No, something smelt different! Like bark and autumn leaves! It couldn't be! I only know one person that smells like trees!
But before I opened the door, I unclenched my hand. Twenty-five pills fell to floor, where they scattered like my destructive thoughts.
Then, the fateful moment.
Outside, the sun was shining. But it wasn't bright.
It was easy brown!
"Sarah!" We both elate, then embrace. Marinate, hesitate, then separate. "Oh Sarah. There wasn't an instance that I didn't plead, scream, curse, claw or pray for you. I felt like a beached whale looking for the ocean." Chris grabs my hands and holds them like my ribs hold my heart. "I'll never let these go again. I love you like God loves you!" Never will I forget those mellifluous words.
Fast forward to the crowd impeding us. Our destination is the courthouse beyond. The mob like a sea, with signs of hatred buoying above it. A cacophony of slurs fill the air. I cringe under them and retreat. A firm grip stops me. Chris's easy brown's turn my way. What power they possess! Enough to transform the throng into nothing more then trees and flowers. Before I know it, we've traversed half the crowd.
Suddenly, we're met by a man the size of a sequoia. Seeming to be the epicenter of the crowd's animosity. He's all throbbing veins and comic book muscles. I'm instantly shaken. Chris looks at him like a tourist looks at a skyscraper. We try to pass but each attempt is blocked with a shove.
I pull Chris close. "Another day."
Those easy brown's turn definitive.
"No Sarah. Today."
I can hardly believe what happens next. I witness a knee strike a groin, then an elbow crack a chin. Suddenly, a sequoia is falling! I have the sudden urge to yell timber!
No one else impedes us.
Inside we share "I Do's" and trade a kiss that coaxes what I've missed..
A puckered smirk!
We are now Misses Sarah Golding and Misses Christina "Chris" Golding.
The state's first officially married, same-sex couple.