The Unwanted Husband

The last thing she wanted was a husband, but that’s what Becky ended up with after the hen night. The whole event was a blur, but for a handful of flashes and the agonizing hangover. Becky rolled over in her double bed and her arm collided with a broad shoulder. Coming too fully, she scooted to the edge of the bed and threw the duvet away from herself and the other body.

The man groaned and rolled over, long black hair falling over his face and still shut eyes. Becky poked his nose, not sure if she was still dreaming. The man wrinkled up his face as if about to sneeze then changed his mind. Becky studied him closer. She didn’t recognise him and couldn’t recall any memory of seeing him before. However, this wasn’t the first time she’d had a late night stand and not known the details.

Shivering in a blast of cold air, she got up and went into the bathroom. Hopefully, the man would wake up and just leave, like she was use to and there’d be no further contact. Getting into the running shower, she let the burning water clear her skin and mind. As she reached for her strawberry body scrub and a wash cloth, she noticed the gold ring on her finger.

Frowning, she bought her left hand closer to her face and looked at the ring on her fourth finger. It wasn’t one of her own rings, she noticed nor was it the normal finger for her to wear anything on. She slipped it off easy and inspected it. There were no marks that she could make out and no memory came to her mind about where it had come from.

Becky placed it in the soap holder of the shower, so the ring wouldn’t get lost and carried on. She got out soon afterwards and dried off in a big fluffy pink towel. Wrapping it around herself, she padded back to her bedroom, hoping that the man had left. However, he was still in the bed as she stepped into the room. Ignoring him, she dressed in comfy jeans and a t-shirt and went to the front door. She unlocked it so his exited would be easier and went to make some coffee.

In the kitchen she also took some tablets for her headache and made some toast. Taking her coffee mug and plate into the living room, she turned on the TV and sit down. The news flickered on as she heard the shower start up again behind her. Twisting around, she tried to look through the living room door into the hallway, but she couldn’t see anything. Growling under her breath, she almost got to her feet to tell the unwanted stranger to just leave, but the clicking of the bathroom door stopped her.

No confrontations, just let him alone and he will leave soon enough, she told herself. Turning back to the TV, she had her breakfast and afterwards pulled a blanket around her shoulders and put a cushion in her lap. She hadn’t been paying any attention to the noises going on around her, preferring just to wait until her headache had cleared.

However as she was dozing, she felt eyes on her. Snapping too, she looked up and there was the man, dressed in a black shirt and trousers, holding one of her mugs in his hand. He was so tall and wide that he almost filled the doorway. His wet black hair was now swept back and she could see his handsome face. He had large blue eyes, plump pink lips forming a pleasant grin and a shadow of a beard covering his lower face.

Becky was on the verge of telling him to leave, when he held out something in his other hand and offered it to her.

‘Ya left it in the shower,’ he said in a thick American accent.

‘Wh-at?’ she stuttered, looking at the ring in his hand.

He came forward, placed his mug on the coffee table next to her’s and tried to give the ring to her, but Becky hid her hands in the blanket.

‘What’s wrong?’ he asked.

‘Stay away from me! Just leave, please,’ Becky half-shouted.

He paused, ‘Ya didn’t say that last night, Baby…’

‘Who are you?’ Becky questioned, trying to calm herself, though she was starting to feel hysterical.

‘Ya husband, Eric,’ he replied casually and as if it was the most natural thing to say to her.

‘No, no,’ Becky shouted and scrambled up from the sofa to stand before him, ‘I’m not married. God, that’s the last thing I want. My friend, Darla is the one getting married.’

‘Darla?’ Eric’s voice and face filled with confirmation.

Thank God for that! This is Darla’s husband, Becky sighed in relief, clearly he’s got us mixed up and since I’ve never meet him this makes more sense because Darla and I do look so alike. But…wait a minute.

‘Yeah, I know her. She’s my best friend’s fiancée. We were all out celebrating their last night of freedom,’ he chuckled, ‘that’s how we meet, by accident in a night club and I told ya about my Russian bride and how she’s jilted me at the alter two weeks ago.’

Becky shook her head, unable to take in what he was saying.

‘Ya felt sorry for me and said ya’d marry me,’ he added.

Eric grabbed her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger, before her reeling mind could register the movement.

‘I didn’t mean it, I was completely drunk!’ Becky screamed.

He grabbed her shoulders and rubbed her arms gently, ‘it didn’t seem that way to me. Even the Priest asked ya-’

‘Priest? I’m not religious, so there’s no way we can be officially married!’ Becky spit and yanked off the ring. She threw it at him and he caught it in both hands, ‘You’re lying! You’ve made this all up! Get out, Get!’ she screamed and flapped her arms at him.

Eric stumbled backwards and hit the wall. Desperate, half formed words tumbled out of his mouth as he tried to come up with some way to calm her down.

Becky flew out him with her fists, hitting him on the chest, arms and anywhere she could reach. The rage consumed her and she felt unable to stop, until Eric grabbed her wrists and shoved her away. Becky lost her balanced and tumbled to the floor.

‘Okay, okay!’ Eric yelled, ‘I’m sorry.’

Becky threw her hair out of her face and looked up at him through a film of tears.

‘It was just meant to be a joke. Darla and Noah asked me to trick you into thinking we had. I didn’t want to do it! But I…’ Eric trailed off and sank into the armchair that was next to him.

Becky pulled herself up from the floor and climbed onto the sofa, ‘why?’ she asked softly as she wiped the tears away and tried to compose herself again.

‘To cheer us both up, I guess,’ he answered and shrugged, ‘I wasn’t lyin’ about my fiancée nor about what ya said. I think they overheard us talking and set us up. I’m really sorry. I should go.’

He stood up and Becky listened to him gathering his things and going to the door. She bit her lip, which was already blooded and felt too guilty to let him leave like this. Slowly, she got up and moved after him. Though she was unsure what to say or why she needed to bother. Eric was at the front door, just opening it, when she appeared behind him. He made to turn towards her then stopped and went to go again.

‘I’m sorry too,’ she cut in.

He paused and turned to her.

‘I way over-reacted, but you understand why, right? Do you…want to finish your coffee? I’d like to hear more about what happened…if you want to that is?’

‘Sure,’ Eric responded and closed the door as he followed Becky back into the living room.