15 Minute Story #15: Marriage Counseling

Marriage Counseling 15

Paul,

I’m getting married. You’ve been married for years. What do you know that I don’t?

–          Derek

The email struck Paul as a strange question. His first thought was, ‘Well, Derek, I’m not getting married to a redhead. So I quite simply can’t help you.’  Because while Derek’s fiancé was exactly as attractive as Paul had always hoped for, she also seemed to be exactly that nuts as well.

But telling Derek his soon-to-be wife was crazy wasn’t going to cut it. Derek wouldn’t listen and it wouldn’t really be within the realm of things best friends might share with one another. So Paul pushed that out of his head. He tried to ignore the fact that Derek’s fiancé was in all likelihood going to bleed him dry of every penny he or his family ever made and approach the email from the perspective of a friend who has been asked a simple question.

So he wrote:

Derek,

What you need to know about getting married is that it changes absolutely nothing. Whatever you had in your relationship is simply amplified. If some things sucked they will suck more. Marriage doesn’t make being together better. It just makes it harder to break up.

Ignore what other people think. Your marriage is between you and your wife. What your family or her family or her friends or your friends (or me) thinks is beside the point. You made this agreement with her and that’s that.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that if things don’t work out and you get divorced, you will still be my friend. There’s this tendency for people who’ve only been married once to think that getting divorced is the end of the f*cking world. It’s not. Often, it’s the beginning.

That said, the best of luck to you my friend.

–          Paul

Paul looked at his email and thought it worked. He had managed to write something that felt sincere without mentioning that his third wife had just left him three days beforehand. He sent the email and eyed a redhead at the bar. They were trouble, but sometimes they were worth it.

Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas

About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to do NaNoWriMo every month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.

So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story.  Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma called The Nearsighted Narwhal

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