It was a small thing, easy to miss, her virginity.
What had all the carrying on been about, she wondered, smoothing her hand down the lower part of her belly but stopping before she actually touched there. He snored. Like some kind of animal, grunting and snorting in his sleep. Lerlene wasn’t sleepy and she sure wished she could call Kimmy up and talk this over. But Kimmy was gone off to the west coast with her Marine.
Lerlene eased herself out of the narrow bed. It was always stuffy in this place and it smelled off, not bad really but off. She could find work, she was sure of it, then they could move into something decent. It’d be nice if they could afford one of those great new double-wides like her Uncle Steve had bought last year.
Maybe once Aiden got his green card now that they were married he’d be able to get back to work. He said he’d worked construction before. He might even get a union card; then they’d be set.
She fumbled around in the dark for the light switch in the bathroom. It wasn’t where it was supposed to be, so she tried the other side of the door. There. Quick like, she pushed the door closed so the light wouldn’t wake this stranger she’d gone and married. Until she got a better feel for where things stood, it was just better to play it safe. He did seem like a decent sort. He’d been careful so as not to hurt her when they were doing it; that had eased her mind some.
Mommie could be wrong.
She’d just pulled down her panties and sat on the toilet when she heard someone knocking on the back door. What the…? Whoever it was, they were pounding that door loud enough to wake the dead and it still took Aiden the longest time to answer it. Lerlene didn’t need to pee so bad now and quietly rose, pulled her panties up and went to listen by the closed door. She thought she could make out two other voices besides Aidan’s Irish roil that still had her knees going floppy.
It felt like the speakers were keeping their voices down.
Did they know she was here? How? Lerlene held her breath and crouched by the door to see if she could make out a word here or there. Whoever they were, they weren’t speaking like Aiden did. They were locals.
Then one of the voices got louder and Lerlene was so shocked she nearly fell over.
It was her Uncle Steve and he sounded pissed. Big surprise there; this was exactly why she’d made sure not to tell anyone in her family about marrying Aiden. Except Sissy Marie who’d been snooping through Lerlene’s things and found the marriage license. Lerlene should have known Sissy Marie wouldn’t keep her big mouth shut.
“What’s going on out here?”
Oh, Jesus, would you look at that, Lerlene thought. Sagging next to Uncle Steve was her dear old Dad, the son of a bitch who’d stopped paying child support when she was ten and Sissy Marie was in kindergarten.
Both men reared back like they were going to hit someone or some stupid shit like that. Typical.
“Well, would ya look at what we got here, husband mine.”
Lerlene linked her arm through Aiden’s slack one and smiled. Now everyone was just going to stand here and look like idiots. Fine with her. She just continued to smile and let them squirm. If Aiden needed to squirm too, well that was his problem.
“What’s the matter with you, girl? Go put some clothes on! We come to take you home where you belong.” This from Uncle Steve because the Good Lord knew her lousy deadbeat father had best keep that trap of his shut.
“I am home.”
“Yeah, Lerlene is my wife and this is our home.”
Aiden seemed to be gathering his wits which was welcome at this point. He was a big, strapping man and those two stupid hillbillies were not going to just drag her out of here like they apparently thought they could. Again, typical.
“You been drinking?” Lerlene already knew the answer to that one and both her father and uncle knew she knew.
“What in the hell is wrong with you two?” Now she let go of Aiden and stepped forward, hissing in fury. “You,” at the man who supposedly sired her, “since when do you give a tinker’s dam about what I do or who I do it with?” She all but spit at his feet but it is, as has already been established, her home and she’s been raised better than to be messing up her own place.
“And you,” this to big, bad Uncle Steve who’s backing away, “what business do you have coming by our home in the middle of the night trying to start trouble? You both do realize I’m 17 years old and can marry any damned man I please, right?”
“Gentlemen, I’m going to ask you to leave now.”
Aiden, bless him, seemed to think this would work. He genuinely believed these two ninnies would just up and leave because he’d asked them nicely.
Well, Uncle Steve knew when he was beat but now all of a sudden it was that skinny, old asshole, her “father” who was going to get all righteous. She could see it coming, him working up a good fit to throw.
“You got two goddamned seconds to get the hell out of our home or I’m calling the police and you,” rounding soundly on her father, “you got some nerve showing up here like this. Get your skinny ass back to whatever hole you been hiding in the past nine years.”
“Looks like I’ve gone and married me one deadly woman, I have”
Aiden’s looking at Lerlene with something new going on in those big, hazel eyes. She takes him by the hand and leads him back towards the bedroom.
This bride is home.
Photo Credit — Paul Domenick / Flickr