Young Love

Dimpy thought she was being too soft on couples intending to get married. Her job as Registrar of Weddings was to facilitate their unions, she knew, but she wanted them to be lasting unions. There was no point in getting hitched, and then abandoning each other two miles down the track, like donkeys running in different directions.

She performed this job only one day per week, but she would make that day count. She would add value to people’s relationships in a way that she had not managed to do to her own. But she had learnt her lesson soon enough, and would be sure that prospective brides and grooms learnt theirs too – but in time.

“David and Ashley?” she said to the young couple cuddling and whispering on the sofa. They separated quickly and looked at her fearfully, and then both smiled. How old were they? she wondered. Fifteen? Sixteen? What on earth were they doing here? The girl looked like a sweetheart; the boy seemed a cad.

She called them into her office, introduced herself, and read them the regulatory paragraphs. She told them that national and local laws were applicable, that they should be of the age of majority, residents of the Lucerne Valley, be of sound mind, and entering into this marital union of their own accord.

They both said they were eighteen and very much wanting to get married, but after that things began to go wrong. He didn’t know her middle name was Joanne. She couldn’t name his place of birth as Golden. He didn’t know the name of her sister Megan. She wasn’t aware that he had visited Peru with his uncle and trekked the Inca Trail.

She was grilling them harder than usual, for sure. Maybe people didn’t know as much about each other as they should. Maybe they should talk less and listen more. But some of these were basic things. If they didn’t listen to each other now, what hope was there for the future? Dimpy sent David out so she could interview his fiancée further, alone. She asked Ashley how they met.

“My family moved to Lucerne when I was sixteen years old and I enrolled at the High School. I was with a group of friends in the… Oh, sorry, it was two years ago. He saw me and walked straight towards me. I was so amazed. Such a handsome guy, I knew he was popular, all the other girls liked him too, but he liked me. He said that he knew immediately. I knew too. Knew what? Oh, that he was the one for me.”

After twenty more minutes of gush, Dimpy sent her out and called in David. He related the same story but less convincingly. When Dimpy pushed him, he said, “Look, Miss Kalash. I can see that you’re suspicious of me. I know why. So I’ll be honest with you. There was a group of girls there. I’d slept with them all. Then a new girl came and I thought I’d try my luck with her. She liked me a lot but not enough to let me – you know – get to know her better. She said that she liked herself more. I couldn’t believe it. No girl had ever said that to me before. She made me rethink everything. I realized that’s what I wanted; someone who liked herself more than she liked me; who was strong that way, not needy and…”

Honesty is a good quality, thought Dimpy. He has passed.

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