“It’s been way too long, my friend. Who’d have thought it would take my wedding to bring you back to town.”
Or something like that is what Charles said. I couldn’t hear much for the roaring in my head. The sight of his future bride took more than my breath; it threatened to take my sanity.
This can’t be happening.
“What’s a matter? Cat got your tongue?” Charles asks.
I dodge his good-natured punch in the shoulder and smile the best I can. How am I supposed to deal with this situation? I need some divine inspiration or something.
I have to tell him, right? I mean, I can’t keep something like this from him. He will kill me if I let him go through with the marriage and he finds out later. And he will find out. I mean, how can he not? I don’t understand how he doesn’t know already. This is the twenty first century; surely they’ve slept together already.
Oh my God! I have to get that image out of my mind.
Say something, you big dummy. You can’t just stand here staring. And it doesn’t look like the bride to be is going to be any help, just standing there looking like the ground is about to open up, which it very well may.
“Matt? Are you ok, buddy?” Charles asks, taking hold of my arm as if he’s afraid I might fall over.
“You can’t do this!”
Fool. You can’t just shout it out like that. Now he really does think you’re crazy. You have to calm down, take him somewhere private and just tell him.
“Can’t do what?” Charles asks and then laughs. “Marry the woman of my dreams.”
“No, no, no,” I stammer and grab his arm, which only alarms him more. “You can’t get married.”
“Matt, I believe you need to sit down because you’re either sick or you’re trying to be funny. I sure hope it’s the first.” Charles hisses.
I grab him by the shoulders and drag him to the side of the group. He tries to pull free but I won’t let him, I can’t let him.
Making him look me in the eye, I tell him, “You can’t marry Casey. We went to college together.”
Charles sagged with relief. “So that’s what this is about. You and Casey dated and you’re afraid it will hurt our relationship. That was a long time ago, buddy. It’s okay.”
“No, you don’t understand,” I say and stop him from rejoining the others. “Do you remember where I went to college?”
I watch as realization dawns. It’s amazing what you can see in a person’s face if you pay attention. I see my best friends whole world fall apart when he remembers that I went to Worchester Hills Community College…for men.