“Hey, Gloria.” Simon coughed and did his very best to sound like he had a scratchy throat. “It’s Simon. I’m coming down with something and I won’t be at work today.” Simon fiddled with the phone cord, nervous his hunch wouldn’t pay off. He had two more days until his next appointment with Dr. Bennett and he wanted to show her he was trying to find his wife. More importantly, Simon really just wanted to find his wife. He needed to explain to her that he never intended to leave things the way they were. He hoped he’d get a second chance with her.
After leaving a message with Gloria, Simon left his house and drove to the wedding chapel that was tucked in the alley behind the hotel. The last time he went there begging for information, he left empty-handed. This time, he planned on a different approach. Hopefully one that would be effective.
The closest parking spot Simon could find was two blocks away. As he neared the wedding chapel, he heard shouting. Looking up, Simon saw the preacher standing on one side of the street yelling to a couple on the other side of the street.
“I now pronounce you man and wife!” The preacher shouted. “You may kiss the bride.”
The newly married couple turned to kiss but just as their lips were about to meet, the woman pulled away, vomiting all over her husband’s shoes.
“Or not.” The preacher slapped his Bible shut and turned right into Simon.
“Oh.” Simon jumped back. “Sorry. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”
The preacher tugged at his jacket, pulling it down. “It’s all right. You’d think after seventy years of living, I’d figure out how to watch where I’m going.” He smiled at Simon.
“That was an interesting service.” Simon pointed to the married couple. The husband picked up his wife and carried her over his shoulder as he stumbled into a hotel nearby.
“Yes.” The preacher sighed. “Yes it was. A couple of dumbasses if I do say so. I give their marriage two months. Tops.” The preacher looked up at Simon.
The expression on his face had Simon wondering if he was second-guessing his sales pitch.
“They stumbled into my chapel drunk and reeking of God-Knows-What. The woman kept bumping into the pews on either side of the aisle.
“Her husband got angry – for no particular reason – and broke two of my vases.
“I told them the only way I’d marry them is if they left the chapel and stood across the street from me.”
“I bet you have some interesting stories about the people you’ve married.” Simon smiled, hoping he found a way to get information out of this man.
“Hoo-boy.” The preacher whistled through a small gap in his teeth. “The things I could tell you.” The preacher looked Simon up and down. “I don’t want to sound rude but, who are you?”
“Name’s Simon Macaby.” Simon held out his hand for the preacher to shake. “I’m a romance novelist, looking for a story. Can I buy you a cup of coffee?”
To Be Continued….