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A Wise Investment: Arranged Marriage Romance by Rocklyn Ryder (1)


"What the fuck do you mean, you met somebody else?"

I know I'm yelling but I just can't find it in me to give a rat's ass at this point. Of course the chicken shit bastard hangs up on me. When I call him back he lets it go to voicemail. Twice.

Despite what Andrew just said, I am not "batshit crazy--" well maybe I am. Right now. Because what woman wouldn't be a little irritated to have her boyfriend break up with her on the phone when it's obvious that his new girlfriend is sitting right next to him?

I sure as hell wasn't "batshit crazy" before he started cheating on me. I wasn't "batshit crazy" until he started hiding his phone from me and keeping it locked down with a password and lying to me about being out of town for work.

Trying to crush my phone in my hand is the only thing keeping me from throwing it out the third story window of my apartment.

Maybe I'll break down and cry about it later but right now I'm mad as a hornet and since Andrew isn't man enough to give me the chance to air my grievances I need someone who will listen to me, no matter how crazy I get.

Strike that.

I am not crazy.

* * *

"OK, Doe, but you guys were together for what? Six months? It's not like you were planning a wedding or anything."

My sister is not my first choice for a sympathetic ear, but she is the only person in my contact list that would drive over here, rum in hand, and sit at the table while I bitch. She has to, I did it for her more than once before she found her knight in shining armor.

"Most people start talking about marriage around the six month mark, Anne," I point out.

I've been pacing and yelling for the last 3 hours. The rum and pineapple juice that she's been keeping me supplied with is starting to kick in, combined with 3 hours of yelling and cursing, I'm starting to wear down.

"But were you guys talking about marriage?" Anne asks.

She's my only sister, but she's 12 years older than me. Which means she treats me more like one of her girls most of the time. That can be frustrating.

"I might have mentioned it to him," I hate it when she's all wise like this. I also know when it's time to just shut up and sit down, so I do. "I'm not getting any younger, sis," I remind her, "I'm way past the days when I was willing to just ride out a relationship and see where it goes. I told him when we started dating that I was looking for something serious that was going to have a future."

Anne nods sagely from across my dining room table, "And what did he say about that?"

I slump in my chair, "He said he was willing to consider it."

"Consider it?" Anne raises an eyebrow and I totally know what she's thinking.

"What? It's a start."

"Dorthy, I know how bad you want to find someone--"

Oh brother, here we go again.

"--but you can't push a man into marriage before he even has a chance to know if he wants a second date. You're still young, just relax and let it happen in it's own time."

"Easy for you to say," I tell her, trying not to pout like the jealous little sister that I am, "you got your happy ever after. You have four perfect children and a man who has worshiped you since the day he met you."

Anne leans back with a heavy sigh, "Yeah, but I went through hell to get here. If I'd known what I know now when I was your age, I'd have been so much better off."

My sister knows what she's talking about. She got pregnant her senior year of high school and married the father right away. It didn't last long and she was divorced with 2 children before she was 21. She spent most of my teen years going through a series of short lived relationships in a desperate search to find a husband and a father for her girls. She got married again when she was 25 and had my nephew, and then found herself divorced again just a few years later.

She didn't meet Ben till she was 32, after going back to college for her degree and finally worrying about taking care of herself and the kids on her own, without anyone's help.

It happened for her just the way she's telling me to wait for for myself.

I appreciate her advice, I really do. I get where she's coming from but we've always been such different people. Maybe it has to do with our age difference, or maybe it's just something in our DNA, but I've always been much closer to her girls than to Anne.

Unfortunately, my nieces aren't available. They're off at college, Jasmine is graduating in the spring and Rebecca is a sophomore. A few more months and they'd be the ones sitting around my kitchen table with me instead of their mom, but in a clench, I'll take what's available. Even if my sister sucks at telling me what I want to hear, I'm grateful for her advice.

"Anne," I begin, "you know I appreciate your advice, but you had kids young, you were already half way there when Ben came along. I'm working on a deadline here."

She just doesn't understand.

In Anne's eyes, I have the chance to make up for the living she lost out on. I'm 28 and still have years ahead of me to find a husband and start a family. Anne thinks I should be out with girlfriends, partying, experiencing life, traveling-- all those things she didn't get to do in her 20s.

By the time Anne's satisfied that she's done her sisterly duty and gotten me calmed down and some sense talked into me, it's after 10. I have work in the morning and she's got a family to get home to.

I try not to let that eat at me as I walk her down to her car.

"Look, Doe, all I'm saying is maybe ease up for awhile. Concentrate on doing you. It'll happen when it's meant to happen, you can't force it."

I hug my sister and thank her for the emergency rum and vent session, but I'm so relieved when she finally drives away.

She means well, but she's never understood things from my point of view. Maybe I'd see things her way if roles were reversed, but then again, if roles were reversed, I'd already have what I'm looking for.