“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the person officiating the ceremony said. “You may kiss the bride.”
That was the exact phrase that brought my whole world crashing down beneath my feet. It was then that I knew I wasn’t happy. It was then that I knew I was in love with him, then when I knew that I was in love with my teammate. That time, that was when I knew I was in love with Madison.
I don’t remember how exactly I got to this point, and I really don’t want to remember, because it all hurts too much- honestly. It shouldn’t be like this- it really shouldn’t- because I’m fucking married. I’m married to the most wonderful woman that I could ever find. She is a wonderful woman that I don’t intend hurting, which is why I keep this all to myself. I don’t want to hurt her, but I really am not happy being married to her. I’ve thought about just getting up and leaving, but I am not that kind of person. I was raised better than that.
Right now, as I sit on the steps of my front porch waiting for Madison, I think about all the times it almost was. Believe it or not, we almost came close several times. Of course Madison was hammered drunk all of those times, but I was perfectly sober. I didn’t want to take advantage of it, so instead of going through with what he was suggesting, I laid him in bed and left a cup of water on the nightstand and slept on the couch. Each time he woke up was the same. He uttered some curse word and face palmed himself, immediately regretting his decision. He, then, apologized for doing whatever he did (which was often kissing my neck and feeling me up). I told him that all was okay, because really, I didn’t mind at all. The first couple of days following the incident were a bit awkward because Madison refused to make eye contact with me. It wasn’t until I got him alone and reassured him at least a dozen times that he looked me in the eyes again.
About half an hour after I had exited the house, a shiny black bmw pulled up in front. Down the window rolled and a happy Madison smiled.
“Hello,” he said. “Are you Buster by any chance? I was supposed to pick him up here, but all I see is this handsome fella.”
“Oh shut up,” I joked, trying to suppress the immense blush that was creeping on my cheeks. “Did the girls leave yet?”
“Yeah, just dropped them off at the airport.”
“So we have a whole week to ourselves?”
In silence we rode to his home, where I agreed to stay the week to keep him company. I didn’t know what to expect, but there was one thing I knew; he was bound to get hammered at least once. He wasn’t much of a drinker, surprisingly, but he took advantage of when he was away from his wife. I don’t know what the difference was, but I guess that was none of my business, only his.
“We are here,” he announced. “Welcome to your home for the week.”
“Sometimes I wonder how Ali deals with you,” I laughed before opening the door. “I really wonder how.”
The rest of the day went without much going on except Madison getting hammered. I swear, how was it possible for him to drink that much without getting alcohol poisoning? No one on this earth could fathom it, no one.
Somehow, Madison and I ended up sitting on the couch, watching romantic comedies. I didn’t see the appeal in them, personally, but deep down, I knew Madison loved them. We were somewhere in the beginning of his favorite one, The Proposal, when he started asking questions. Questions that even he could barely get out.
“Bus,” he began. “Can I ask you a question?”
“If I was being deported to Canada, would you marry me to help me stay in the country?”
“Mads, what are you going on about? You have Ali, I’m sure she’d marry you to help you stay here. Why are you asking if I would marry you?”
“Forget I ever met Ali, she doesn’t exist in this scenario. It’s just you and me. Would you marry me to help me stay or not?”
“Of course,” I began. “But to be honest, whether you were being deported or not, I would marry you.”
It was too late before I realized what I had said. Part of me wanted to be swallowed by a black hole so no one would know of me ever again, but part of me wanted to hear Madison’s reaction. He stayed silent for about a minute or two. I started to get worried because I didn’t want him to think (didn’t want him to know) that I was in love with him. After about five minutes, I turned to look at him, only to see that he had fallen asleep.
“Madison, hey buddy. Let’s get you up to bed. Come on.”
And of course, for what seemed like the millionth time, I fell for the sleeping gag. Madison wasn’t asleep at all- he was only pretending to be. He grabbed me by the waist and put me up so close against him that I could feel his collarbone poking against mine. Our faces were so close that I smelled his breath. It was something that hadn’t happened in a while that I almost forgot how to react to it. We looked into each other’s eyes, refusing to blink. Madison leaned down, pressing his lips to my ear, getting ready to speak.
“I really want to kiss you right now,” he whispered. “But I am afraid you won’t let me.”
“This,” I whispered, looking straight ahead of me. “This is so wrong, Madison, what about your wife?”
“At this point, I don’t care what happens.”