“I caught you again, darling,” Rosetta Graystone mentioned. “What are you thinking about this time?”
Barry Graystone smirked. “Oh, thousands of things. Anything and everything,” he replied.
“I know what you should be thinking about.”
“You should be considering your speech for your brother. He did so well at our wedding, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, he was grand.”
“Stop it. Gibson did an excellent job.”
“Was that before or after his last sip of champagne?”
“If you’re not going to beat him, at least don’t call out his drinking problem.”
Barry stood up from his study. “I’m thinking about the wedding, yes. My baby brother’s getting married. He did right by me. I’ll admit it. If I can just come up with something beautiful and funny and relatively quick, I think I might be able to pull it off.”
“I trust you to be a wonderful brother to Gibby. There is no one like the guy. He swept Yasmine off her feet and now you have the opportunity to congratulate them both with a toast.”
“What the hell was I thinking?”
“Wait, you’re not backing out are you?”
“Of course not. I’m just trying to remember my train of thought before I was so rudely interrupted.” Rosetta flicked her husband’s back of the head.
“Please keep your hands to yourself,” Barry retorted.
“I wish I could. I’ve got such a stud,” she said.
“Ha! I knew what I was going to do. I wanted to install an in-ground pool for the kids to enjoy. We can also install a jacuzzi. I was just going over the plans and logistics. I think we should have enough room to allow for the grotto and the waterfall.”
“That’s why you were in such wonderment? You weren’t considering the wedding of the decade—you’re own brother?”
“No. I have my speech down pat. There are no errors or skips and I won’t be remiss at all. But this pool and the whole work is going to cost at least $30,000. We’ve got it plus have money left over for college. They’ll love it.”
“This wedding comes before all of that. How could you be so selfish?”
“I’m selfish because they would have to be selfish, too. Their guests, their vows, their cake. Sounds pretty goddamn selfish to me. But it’s deeper and simpler at the same time. We all should be selfish and not predatory. That’s when you get into trouble.”
“Is this more of your wonderment? I married you, for you. I have nothing to gain from marrying you. I just want you to be happy. I don’t need to find happiness. If you’re going to go over plans for a backyard paradise, be my guest. You’re the one I’d sacrifice and live for, honey,” Rosetta said.
Barry started to walk away from his wife. He then picked up speed and ran the hell out of the house. He kept running until he reached the next door neighbor about a quarter mile away.
“Barry, what’s up?” Junior Cullier asked.
“I think I married an alien.”
“Rosetta? Don’t be silly.”
“No, this is like bodysnatchers, man,” Barry tried to breathe.
“Slow down, slow down,” Junior suggested. “You stay here. I’ll get you some water.”
“I’m telling ya,” Barry called to Junior in the kitchen.
“Relax, relax,” Junior assured. Barry sipped the water.
“I married the most rationally self-interested, egoistic, romantic woman I had ever known. Now, she’s an unselfish worrywort that is pounding me with information about my brother’s wedding. All I said was I wanted a pool.”
“I see. What we can do is drive over to your place and just see how Rosetta is doing now. You must have left in haste,” Junior observed.
“C’mon. We straighten this right out for you both,” Junior said.
As the two of them approached the Graystone residence, they dreaded what they saw. Rosetta had sliced her arms but not her wrists and was bleeding significantly.
“Go get some towels and hydrogen peroxide!” Junior commanded.
Barry returned with the towels and helped Junior dress Rosetta’s wounds.
“I see what you mean, now,” Junior pointed out.
“Honey, we’ve got this. You’re going to be alright,” Barry said as he phoned the emergency personnel. Before she was hauled off, Rosetta said one thing: “It’s all for you.”