Skin Deep, Iris 4

The Honeymoon Hideaway (yeah, that was really the name of the place) arranged  for a taxi to take them to the wedding chapel where their apparent ceremony had taken place. The white boy dealt with the hotel concierge and the taxi driver so Iris allowed her thoughts to wander. When she first awakened beside the white boy, all she wondered about was how their unlikely hookup had taken place. Now, with knowledge of an actual marriage license, Iris realized that there was a giant chunk of her recent memory missing.

She heard the white boy talking softly to the cab driver during the ride. Iris listened with half an ear though neither man said anything that held her attention. All too soon the taxi idled to a stop outside the chapel listed on the license. Iris waited quietly while the driver collected his fare. Maybe it was her silence that drew the white boy's attention her way. He took care of the cab and then reached out to grasp her hand. "Don't go getting your period." Iris snatched her hand away. From the beginning the white boy had been either condescending toward her or aghast at her presence. So she wasn't interested in bonding with him. She just wanted to go her separate way.

The chapel wasn't what she imagined. Maybe, Iris mused, she was expecting something in the line of the Honeymoon Hideaway. But as she wandered about the room, an unexpected air of reverence fell upon her. Whether she remembered it or not, she had taken vows here. Sacred vows. 

A wedding had never been a part of her plan. Iris couldn't see the point of spending all that money for a gown that would be the equivalent of putting pearls on a pig (her grandmother's words, not hers). No, Iris imagined herself married in a simple courthouse ceremony. Just her, her husband to be and a cousin from her mother's side of the family who had always been close.

"Welcome, welcome," a chipper voice rang out in the silence. A brown-skinned man dressed like Ike Turner did a dance step across the room and introduced himself. Apparently he was in charge of the chapel. He kept trying to offer them a discounted wedding ceremony. 

"We ain't trying to get married," Iris informed him. "We already made that mistake."

The Ike Turner look-alike, whose name was Brother Love, ruefully explained that he could not be of any help in their efforts to undo the marriage. He only handled weddings. She and the white boy were legally bound. They would have to go to the local courthouse on Monday to begin procedures to dissolve the marriage.

Iris chalked up the visit to the chapel as a wasted effort. She was surprised when Brother Love unexpectedly produced a copy of their wedding video from his files. "Ahh…," he nodded. "The Pine wedding."

Iris was too focused on the computer screen before her to protest the way the white boy pressed against her in an effort to get a better look. Her gaze ricocheted back and forth between the sight of Brother Love officiating their wedding dressed up as Beyoncé Knowles and the equally disconcerting sight of herself standing before him wearing a small blusher veil while pledging to honor and cherish the white boy as long as they lived.

A few minutes of that was enough. Iris was in total agreement when the white boy reached out and fast-forwarded through the reciting of their vows. Hearing the words aloud made the marriage more real than any marriage license could ever do. 

"That sonofabitch!" Iris gestured for the white boy to rewind the last few seconds. "Oh, I'ma fuck him up!" There on the screen, smiling directly into the camera, was Iris' ex-boyfriend, Craig. As she  watched, he smirked and mouthed something she did not catch. Without prompting, her 'husband' rewound the video and slowed it down. Craig's words were easy to decipher at the slower speed. 'You coulda had me.'

"That guy was your boyfriend?" The white boy didn't bother to disguise his astonishment when Iris informed him that Craig's interest in her was not the first time she'd been in a relationship. At the start of this experience the white boy had taken a single look at Iris and decided that, like him, the world must have considered her unlovable.

Brother Love brought their exchange to a screeching halt. He was now dressed like a brown-skinned Spock from Star Trek - complete with uniform and pointy ears. While he added the final touches to his costume, he laid out for Iris and the white boy all the steps they would need in order to begin dissolution proceedings on Monday. In exchange for that bit of knowledge (and a video copy of their 'special day'), Brother Love generously charged the white boy only fifty dollars. "Now, if you excuse me," Brother Love smiled, "I've got another wedding in a few minutes. They've requested the 'Boldly Go' package." He raised his hand in the distinctive Trek salute. "Live long and prosper."

Iris just shook her head. "You, too. Crazy ass fool." There was a note of amusement in her voice. Though she wished she hadn't met Brother Love in the manner she did, Iris still appreciated the man for marching to his own drummer. That was an attitude she could appreciate.

"So, what now?"

Iris had had enough of her "husband's" presence. She dismissed his question with a curt instruction to meet her at the courthouse as soon as it opened on Monday. When he objected to providing her cab fare for the ride home, Iris reminded him that if she was the hoe he first accused her of being, then the sexual buffet he had feasted on throughout the night was worth a hell of a lot more than cab fare. 

As she waited for her cab, Iris could tell from the white boy's glances that he wasn't satisfied with her choice to put the whole experience behind her until Monday. Well, that was just too bad. At that moment Iris wanted nothing more than to close herself inside her house, shower until she was wrinkled, have a drink or two, and think in peace about all that had happened during the past 24 hours.

The white boy chose that moment to grow a spine. He pointedly climbed into the taxi behind Iris. "We haven't had a chance to talk." His tone was laced with steel. "And calling me 'skinny white boy' over and over doesn't count."

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