Union Forever by Al Kratz

Years later, Christopher and Meryl divorce. Years later later, Christopher and Meryl are to re-marry.

“I’m not getting them another wedding present,” I say to Barbara, my wife, the love of my life, the woman who never does anything wrong.

“Oh yes we will, Stanley,” she says. “We’ll get them a wedding present just like we got them a divorce present, and just like we got them a marriage present the time before that. That’s what they do, and that’s what we do.”

I drive Barbara to Harrods, because that’s what I do. But I stay in the car. She walks both in and out of Harrods with a smile that doesn’t make me feel better about them, it makes me feel better about us.

The ceremony is fine. The preacher is brief. There are to be several kegs following the presentation of the bride and groom. When the new union is announced, I can’t help it anymore. I let out a sarcastic noise somewhere in the middle of a cough and a gag. My wife pinches my leg just above the knee. Really hard too, but then she whispers, “I’m sorry Stanley, you know I love you.”

Years later later later, I will ask Barbara whatever happened to Christopher and Meryl.

“People change, sweetheart,” she will say while resting her hand on my knee. “People change.”

Al Kratz is a fiction editor at New Flash Fiction Review, and writes reviews for Alternating Current. His flash fiction was awarded at the Bath Flash Fiction Award in the spring of 2016 and fall of 2017. His novella-in-flash was shortlisted at Bath in 2018. Recent work of his has been published by Hobart, Bending Genres, Reflex, and Bull.

vintage photo a well-dressed man with his arm around a well-dressed woman with skeletons in the background
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