“Let’s play a game,” she says, leaning into his left shoulder. “Let’s find someone to marry. Whoever gets one first gets it.”
“Get what?” he kisses her forehead.
“It,” she smirks. “Get The It.”
A couple months later, he calls her.
“I got one.”
They hang up.
They need not meet for another month. But they, coincidentally, pleasantly, run into one another during a friend’s wedding. She brings her possible It. “This is Aria.”
“Pleased to meet you,” he smiles.
“Aria works at an oil company,” she replies, circling Aria’s arm.
“Ballin’.” He cheers his glass, nods, and walks away.
A few days later, unable to hide their desires, they meet at their usual two-star hotel.
“Just don’t get too personal,” she says, looking at her fingernails.
He is leaning below her, trying to catch a mosquito on her thigh. They are both in bed, cheeky red.
“I’m having brunch with her parents next week.”
“Aria is browsing for rings.”
“How do you know?”
“A woman knows these things.”
He laughs. “You’re not a woman. Nay-Nay shows me the dress she wants. You wanna see?”
“What an ugly nickname.”
“It’s better than not having any,” he tries to kiss her but she gets up from the bed. “Nadine is a better name though.”
“What kind of dress?”
“Just the kind with mermaid style,” he searches on his phone. “She got the body for it.”
“I better go,” she puts on his T-shirt. “Can I have this?”
“What am I gonna wear then?”
“Just cover yourself with a jacket.”
“Will I get an invitation?” he asks on the phone.
“Did it ever cross your mind…” she pauses, breathing harder. “Of course, you definitely will. How’s Nadine?”
They stare at each other over the phone.
“The parents are great—I never anticipated to be liked that easy.”
“She’s pretty good in bed,” he laughs, fixing his hair on the screen. “But it’s not the itch I’m looking for. Remember, I want The It?”
“Aria is away for the week. Business meeting,” she says, looking at the screen of him looking at himself. “I don’t like calling you on Facetime. You’re such a narcissistic asshole. You are not even looking at me.”
He coughs and creates an evil smirk.
“Did you remember that dress I wanted?”
“The one with the pink embroidery-like or something? You got it? That’s so great!”
She nods but he’s looking at his watch.
“What’d you say? Hey, I gotta pick up Nadine. Talk to you soon, okay?”
“I didn’t say anything,” she hangs up.
“What is it?” she says.
“Nothing. It’s just if you get married then we wouldn’t do this anymore. Then what’s the point of It?”
“Will you still come to the wedding?”
“I don’t wanna.”
“But you will? Even the church?”
“You’ll look pretty, I’m sure,” he sighs. “What kind of flowers are you getting?”
“Guess,” she says.
“You got it wrong.”
“Not even close,” she raises her voice. “You don’t remember, do you?”
“I know, I know. Roses, right?”
“You are not even trying.”
“Whatever. I don’t care,” he whispers, running out of voice. “Can I see you? Before you become the Mrs.?”
“That’ll be the only time you see me as The It.”
“But you’re not My It. I lose,” he says.
“Exactly, I lose too. I already lost long before you lose,” she fixes her hair.
“Lilacs. Always been lilacs, and always will, probably.” he hangs up.
“And I won’t ever be yours.”
And she throws her phone to the wall.
Cover Image by @jeremywongweddings