Abby woke up with a terrible taste in her mouth, awful smell in her nose, and a headache that could have been deemed an eight on the Richter scale. She still hadn’t opened her eyes. And with what was going on with her other senses, she wasn’t sure she wanted to. But she had to take a peek – at least find out what that retched smell was.
Abby couldn’t believe her eyes. She was lying on a hard bench in a jail cell with five other women she did not know. She could have sworn she was in her apartment. She tried to reach into her hurting head to determine what was real and what had to be a dream. She was hoping her present situation was the latter, but unfortunately it wasn’t.
“Ahhh. Sleeping Beauty finally woke up.”
Abby looked over to see that the person addressing her was a tall, heavy-set woman who seemed mad at the world. Instead of responding Abby turned away.
“What?! You too good to speak?”
Abby still said nothing. Finally the woman walked over to her, and stood in the line of her vision. Abby tried to stare at the wall beside her out of fear and hope that the woman would go away.
“Abby Marlowe!” Abby jumped up from the bench and hurried to the front of the cell. “Let’s go! You’re being released.”
Abby was so thankful for the timing. She didn’t know what was about to happen, and with her luck thus far, it wouldn’t have been good.
After grabbing her belongings and heading towards the precinct exit, she caught sight of a man in a tuxedo and a woman in a wedding gown sitting in the waiting area. It was Agustin and his bride.
“Oh my goodness! What are you doing here?”
“Someone from the bar left a voicemail that you were being taken to jail. We thought we’d help since you were in trouble.”
“I don’t need your help.”
In the most southern of accents, “Well hun, seemed like you did.” Then with an attempt to soften the exchange, “Excuse Agustin’s manners, I’m his new wife, Madelyn. Why don’t we leave and discuss the matter elsewhere.”
“Good idea! I’ll leave, and you two can go elsewhere.” Abby moved swiftly past them and out the door.
Agustin followed with Madelyn closely behind. “C’mon, Abby! I, uh, we just want to make sure you get home safe.” Madelyn shot Agustin a barbed look, but said nothing. Finally he jogged to catch up with Abby, leaving his new wife behind out of earshot. “Abby, please. I still care about you. I couldn’t let you sit in there.”
“You could have sent someone else. Instead, I’m greeted with a man and woman that look like they belong on the top of a cake. I knew it was over Agustin, but I didn’t need the visuals. Besides, how did you convince her to come?”
“It wasn’t easy. And you’re right. I should have sent someone else. But Abby when I heard that message, old feelings kicked in. I knew you needed me and any other reasoning left my brain. It’s wrong, I know.” Agustin paused, looking up at the sky, then back at Abby. “I love my wife and I know I hurt her on the most important day of her life. Madelyn was willing to support me even when she wasn’t happy about it. Can’t you tell?”
“Actually, she seems like she’s trying out for a pageant. Too poised and polite. If the tables were turned, she would have had to just sit in jail. And if you chose to come anyway, we’d be heading to divorce court. Madelyn hasn’t really done anything.”
“I’m not surprised. She’s a patient woman. But I don’t want to put her in a position like this again.”
“You won’t.” Abby started walking back towards Madelyn with Agustin following suit. “Madelyn, thank you for coming to bail me out. I’m so sorry I ruined your special day. You don’t have to worry about me anymore.” Abby gave a heartfelt smile as she began to walk off.
Madelyn nodded. Agustin took her hand and led her towards the car, “I’m sorry.”
The married couple sat in silence with the only sound coming from the clang of the cans tied to the car bumper hitting against the street. “Just Married” painted on the back glass. Agustin hoped that in the years to come that this moment would be one of those things they could look back and laugh about.