“Did you have doubts before you got married?”
Sims laughed. “More like fear that we’d hate each other after a week. Now you only have a week left. Getting nervous?”
Linder frowned. The two men were in a dark corner of the bar where they had their first legal-aged drink ten years ago. In half an hour the locals would come in for happy hour—chicken wings and half-priced beer. Men he’d gone to high school with and many who worked with him at the factory would shower him with back slaps and expletives about his impending loss of freedom. Having beers with Sims, his best friend, was the final test of his true desire to marry Gina.
“Well, you asked me about doubts, so I assume something is on your mind.”
“That I’m not nervous.”
“You do want to marry Gina?”
“I wasn’t planning on asking her when I did—it came out kind of like an allergy sneeze. She said ‘yes’ and here I am.”
“You’re not queer, are you?”
“What do you think?”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“Well, Gina’s the best.”
“Maybe you should marry her.”
“I already have a wife.”
Linder stood up. “Got to go.”
Twenty minutes later he knocked on Gina’s apartment door.
“I thought you were having beers,” she said.
Linder studied her face.
“Something wrong?” she asked.
Now he could tell her. She was fun to be with, but marriage was a big step and it might not work out. He’d said he loved her because that seemed the way it should be. But his heart didn’t ache when they were apart. Please don’t cry, he thought.
Linder put his arms on her shoulders. They kissed for a long time.
When they pulled apart, Gina asked,” What was that about?”
“I love you,” said Linder.