Second Thoughts by Martin Green.
Kyle Johnson, who was getting married the next day, lie in his bed, staring into the dark Earlier, his best man and one of his groomsmen had escorted him back to his apartment. At the requisite bachelor party, Kyle had drunk quite a lot. But now, at three in the morning, he was stone sober, and fear clutched at his heart. What was he about to do? Was he going to ruin the rest of his life?
Kyle had met Meg Richards just four months earlier. It had been one of those "cute" meetings so beloved of Hollywood. He'd been rushing to a momentarily empty table at fast-food lunch place in mid-Manhattan when he'd bumped into her. She'd been aiming for the same table. They'd laughed, taken seats at the table, exchanged names and brief life stories. Kyle, a native New Yorker, had graduated from Columbia University and had been working as a systems analyst for a large bank the last two years. Meg had come to New York from a small town in Nebraska and worked as a secretary in a publishing house. She was a petite blonde with an adorable nose and Kyle immediately fell for her. By the time they'd finished lunch, he had a date with Meg for that weekend.
Things had moved swiftly after that: dinners, movies, plays, a meeting with Kyle's family, who'd also fallen in love with Meg, and almost before he knew it, Kyle had proposed and the wedding was set. Now he was having second thoughts. Meg wasn't a dizzy blonde, but she hadn't finished college. She didn't know anything about computers. The few times he'd tried to talk about his job with her she'd said she was sure he was a genius but it was way over her head. That was fine now, but what about the future?
When they'd gone to movies he'd found out she liked films that "made her feel good," which meant he'd had to sit through romantic comedies that bored him. The same was true of television. She didn't like "Lost." because, she told him, it was too complicated for her. The one time he'd tried to explain it to her she said it didn't make any sense. Her favorite shows were those on Lifetime, the "women's channel."
Then there were her parents, who'd come to New York for the wedding a few days ago. Meg's father was a large, bluff insurance salesman who wanted to know if Kyle was happy working for a bank and said that he himself had never been satisfied working for anyone else. Her mother kept looking around and saying that she'd never seen anything like New York City before.
The more he thought about it the more convinced Kyle was that he should call off the wedding. Of course, it would be embarrassing, but what was a little temporary embarrassment compared to a lifetime of misery, married to someone who was incredibly cute but who was also entirely unsuited to him. No, he'd made up his mind. He'd tell his parents in the morning. The wedding was off.
* * *
Meg Richards lie awake in her bed. She was having second thoughts. Kyle was handsome and smart, no doubt about that, but did she really love him? The proposal had come as a surprise and he'd looked so intense she hadn't wanted to disappoint him. Then she'd been caught up in all the wedding preparations. It had all been so exciting, choosing the wedding dress, selecting a hall, a caterer, a band, the flowers, sending out the invitations, that she hadn't had time to even think about what she'd gotten herself into.
Married? She'd come to New York to have a taste of big-city life. She'd just begun to have a good time when she met Kyle. Why, she hadn't even gone up to the top of the Empire State Building or seen the Statue of Liberty. What would her life be like when she was married? Would Kyle expect her to cook for him? She didn't even know how to boil an egg. And clean. She hated cleaning up. When Kyle came home from work, would he talk about his job. She didn't really understand what he did.
Did she love Kyle enough? Did she love him at all? If she did, why did she keep having thoughts of Bill, her old boy friend in Nebraska? Maybe she wasn't cut out to be a big city girl. Maybe she should go back home. It would be horrible to call off the wedding now, but if she didn't she might be miserable the rest of her life. She'd tell her parents in the morning. They'd understand. She began to cry.
* * *
The wedding was a great success; everything went off as planned. Everyone agreed that the bride and groom were a cute couple and seemed made for each other. They'd go off on their honeymoon, return, settle in to married life, and live happily , .
. .well, maybe it was a little early to say what would happen. What do you think?
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