Vanilla Bride - Part Two

3 years ago

Once the audience calmed down, Margie looked back at Og, who was flipping through the film clips of her life - lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, the clips were a representation of timeline altering moments.  There really were a lot of them, and some of them were seemingly insignificant. Like the day she argued with the used bookstore clerk:

"I don't understand, so…you can take these books, but you can't take these books."

"That is correct," the clerk said.

"Okay, but what if I just give you these books - I really don't have room in storage, " Margie offered.

"Well…."the clerk whined, "as you can see, we are REALLY busy today. We've had, like, a RECORD number of books come in, so we are only taking books we can PAY for."

"That just doesn't make sense," Margie quipped dryly, "these are really good books, old computer books…some I never even opened, and look, these are very popular film books, practically brand new."

"Yeah….well, I AM sorry." And the store clerk shoved the books back into Margie's arms, looking over her to the next person in line.

Margie looked up at Og and cocked her head, not understanding, when she caught another familiar scene:

"Wait…hold on a second, right there.  The one where I was walking in the park.  That was the park directly across from a house address listed in Pete's credit report. He said it was a mistake, but when I walked up to it, some guys in a jeep pulled up, took one look at me, and did a 180 right in the street to avoid me.

That was the night he whispered in my ear while I was sleeping…or pretending to sleep. "You are so smart," he said.

It was the only time he ever told me that…"

Og continued to flip through the images and Margie would make him stop on ones she felt needed explanation. They didn't really, it just made her feel better. Like these events weren't all in her head, they were real, they happened - she just didn't know why.

The time she discovered all of the condoms in Pete's workout bag:

"Those are from a long time ago."

"Ah, yeah okay…but why would anyone need condoms in their gym bag?"

And then they proceeded to argue the differing nuances of a gym bag and an overnight bag, and Margie relented.

One curious argument they paused on, was about Margie's departure from her job at the University. Margie'd never seen Pete so angry. She had tried for months to set a date for her departure, as she was nearing the end of her degree and needed to begin her teaching internship. So one day, she put in her notice - without telling him first, and was read the riot act for weeks.  Because the internship didn't pay as much as her job, he made her trade in the car for a less expensive model, and empty her 401 k to cover "household expenses."

"That was the year Pete made $110,000 in salary, more than enough for the both of us to live comfortably."

It didn't occur to her that there was a more important reason Pete was angry that Margie quit her job.

The final clip of the day, was of her unpacking a box from the move after their separation. It was marked as a box set to go to the Salvation Army, but was never sent. As she unpacked the things in the box, she noticed it contained several articles of clothing she thought were lost. Granted, some she hadn't been able to fit into for some time, but she'd always wondered where they went. At the bottom of the box were a set of keys. Upon closer inspection, she realized the key ring contained lost car keys, lost work keys, lost house keys and a variety of combination lock keys etc. All that she had lost over the past eight years.

They were so neatly organized.

It occurred to her, that had Pete wanted to truly get away with making her crazy by making her think she always lost keys, he would have just thrown them away.  And then she remembered…

Sometimes her lost keys would show up in the oddest of places.

The very thought of it made her laugh. That she had, over the past eight years, walked through life thinking she was the biggest space cadet. The last laugh was on Pete, however, as she had already mastered the role, having grown up as the space cadet in her family - she'd learned to blow off the lost things long ago:  the keys, the papers, the wallets, the credit cards, the checkbooks, the socks - oh my god the socks - the scarves, the single mittens, the jewelry - lots of jewelry - the pens and pencils, the cell phones, the eyeglasses, the makeup, the hairbrushes, the ponytail holders, the bobby pins, the shoes, the clothing, and of course, the most devastating, so many of her Favorite Things. They weren't typically extravagant, maybe a favorite pen, or a favorite coffee cup - but at some point, her Favorite Things would go missing.

It helped to not pick favorites.

 

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