How to Meet & Marry in 24 Hours
by Sylvia Hubbard
"If that's your only problem with your life Al, you're ungrateful," Earl growled nudging him playfully as the two friends sat in the bar in their usual after work ritual. Counting on his dirty fingers, Earl continued, "You're thirty-five, single, no kids, good looking -- according to the ladies -- good credit, got your own place and Jeep, and you're saying you've got a problem because you're not married?" Alvin chuckled to himself. "It's different and complicated to be single now. You got hitched right out of high school so you haven't seen the hardships we face."
"I got married because Ellen was eight months pregnant and because I love the hell out of her. You got a life that married men like me are dying for. You're with a broad that looks like a fresh faced supermodel, but old enough to teach you things I wish I knew."
Alvin shrugged. "Lisa's nice, but she's married and even if she did divorce, she's not looking to attach herself to anyone, plus she's old enough to be my mother. I want someone younger than me that I can teach a thing or two in bed." Smiling wickedly, his eyes picked up someone at the doorway, who he couldn't help noticing. "Someone like that."
She did look young and lost, but then as her eyes settled on him, she relaxed and smiled.
Earl looked in the same direction as Alvin saying, "Love and marriage ain't a bed of roses, Al."
"I didn't say I was looking for love, Earl. I said I was looking for a wife."
Earl frowned confused at Alvin. "You expect to stay married without love?"
"Friendship, man," he said pounding his fist on the bar jerking back spilling the drink out of the lovely young woman's hands he had eyed at the door.
His best friend decided to excuse himself for the night so Alvin could handle this by himself.
Apologizing profusely, Alvin grabbed a pile of napkins and started to help her wipe the drink off her shirt.
Annoyed, she knocked his hand away and snatched the napkins from him. "It's fine," she said. "I'm having a pretty messed up day anyway." Looking up at him, she said, "I shouldn't have come here."
"Then you wouldn't have met me," he said charmingly.
Snorting not impressed, she asked, "Do all your women fall for that lame line?"
He chuckled instantly attracted to her sense of humor. "Is there a way I can make it better?" he asked.
She scooped him up visually from head to toe, sighing. "Would you marry me?"
Not believing she had just asked him that after the conversation he had just had with Earl, he asked, "It's rather sudden don't you think? Why don't you tell me your troubles?"
After introducing herself as Carolyn, she began to tell him how her family and friends were constantly harassing her about getting married because she had just turned thirty-three and couldn't find a decent guy to save her life. On top of that, her parents were on the brink of divorce because her mother was cheating on her father.
Alvin hadn't noticed how much time had passed. All he knew was that Carolyn had consumed his senses with her intelligence, beauty, and sense of humor. She possessed so much compassion and was quick to laugh at herself and his humor. He couldn't believe how comfortable he felt with her.
When the bartender announced last call, they both looked startled checking their watches.
"I didn't know it was so late," she said. "I have a busy day tomorrow."
He agreed yet with hesitation to leave. "There's a donut shop near here. Would you like to grab a cup of coffee?"
Carolyn smiled warmly. "Sure Alvin."
Going out to his car, he saw the parking lot almost completely empty. "Where did you park?"
"I came with some friends," she said quickly. "They went home hours ago."
Arriving at the donut shop, he turned to her before cutting the engine off. "This may sound crazy, Carolyn, but do you want to get married?"
"Yes," she said eagerly turning to him.
"How about tonight?"
She stared at him for a moment before saying, "What about tests and paperwork?"
"We'll drive to Toledo."
Again she was lost for words.
"I know it's soon," he said excitedly. "But I've never met a woman like you. You make me feel like we could talk forever and I need that. I need you, Carolyn."
Leaning over, she kissed him passionately. "Then let's go to Toledo."
Without another minute passing, he found the nearest freeway that put them on the road to Ohio.
An hour into the trip, she laughed in disbelief. "They'll think we've gone crazy, but it feels so sane. Does it bother you that we haven't spoken about love?" she asked worriedly.
"No." He looked at her with the same question in his eyes.
"It's weird, but it doesn't bother me either," Carolyn said smiling tenderly. "It all makes sense, Alvin."
He pulled her hand to his lips and kissed her fingers. "We make sense."
By five in the morning, they were rousing a preacher out of sleep and prepared to become man and wife.
Carolyn pulled him aside just before the start of the ceremony. Alvin was sure she was about to demand to be driven home.
To his surprise, she asked, "Do you really want me as your wife knowing so little about me?"
"I'm more sure of it now that ever before. I want to spend my life with you. I want you to be my friend, my lover, and my wife."
"You'll remember you said that to me won't you?"
"Always," he vowed.
When the ceremony was over, they found a small hotel room. Alvin wasn't nervous as he made love to her as if his life depended upon making her the happiest woman. She cried, shivered, and moaned her orgasms until late into the evening.
Alvin could tell her mood had changed considerably after they ate take-out because she was oddly quiet.
"Any regrets?" he asked holding her in his arms.
"I'm thinking that I should have told you something before all this?"
His heartbeat increased as he thought of worst case. Alvin had never been so reckless before in his life and knew he should have used a condom. "Is it health wise?" he asked cautiously.
She realized what he was trying to say and shook her head smiling. "I'm healthy as a horse, Alvin. I just worried about you meeting my family. My-"
He cut her off by pressing his finger against her lips. "I know there can't be anything that we can't handle together, Carolyn, so wipe that pretty frown from your face and kiss me."
She didn't resist his orders and for the next couple of hours, he made her forget her worries.
Carolyn drove back to the city where she lived with her parents while he sat on the passenger side sleeping. They arrived in the city early in the morning.
"Maybe I should tell you about my parents before you meet them Alvin," she said with that worried expression on her face again.
"Carolyn," he persisted. "I married you because I knew there would be no other woman in the world I wanted to spend my life with."
"I want you to know that when I came in the bar, I really didn't expect anything."
"Neither did I."
The front door to her home flew open and an older man rushed out frantically. "Carolyn, is that you?" He was about Alvin's size of six feet two, but with an older build.
Carolyn got out the Jeep first and ran into her father's arms. He seemed like a man who demanded respect, but loved his daughter very much.
"Alvin, this is my father, James Moore." She looked at her father. "Daddy, meet Alvin, my husband," she introduced proudly.
James looked surprised and then wary at his new son in law. "When did you marry my daughter, Alvin?"
"I eloped, Daddy," Carolyn said as if it was her decision and Alvin or her father couldn't say a thing about it.
"I'd like to know your husband's last name if that's alright with you, Carolyn," James said.
Before Alvin could answer her father's question, a feminine voice similar to Carolyn's said, "Smith."
Alvin turned around to face the house, where the voice had come from and he couldn't believe his eyes, but the more he looked at her the more he was sure, this was Carolyn's mother.
"How did you know his name?" James asked his wife suspiciously.
Carolyn came to stand beside Alvin. "Yes, Mother, why don't you tell Daddy, how I married your lover?"
Lisa looked truly hurt, but that was nothing compared to the shocked expression on Alvin's face, as he was lost for words, not believing his lover was now his mother-in-law.
James, too, realized what was happening. Seconds later, his fist connected with Alvin's face.