It’s nice to have company in my bed again, the smell of her has vanished, replaced now with the mixture of Yumi’s perfume and my sweat. Which is wonderful all in itself. It’s kind of surprising how quickly she was able to turn my house into her home. With a delicate touch, godly feminine, she brushes my face to wake me up. I turn over and she smiles, the bandage under her eye crinkles, my fervor of revenge ignites every time I see it. We’ve had the argument several times, but I can’t seem to be able to drop the subject. She sees it in my face and stamps it out with a peck on my forehead. She gets up and trips on one of her two suitcases that line the floor. I jolt upwards and she’s rolled over by the time I crawl my way to the corner of the bed. I laugh, and she laughs. Oh fuck, I’m in love.
We sit outside drinking coffee and eating breakfast. I try to remember the last time I didn’t have a beer in me by now. “There’s just so much life, the birds, the trees, and everything is just alive, a natural life.” She finishes by staring up at the tree branches that sway over our heads. A moment is given and taken when she quickly sets her coffee cup down and goes running inside the house. I finish my coffee and cigarette then join her. Her suitcase lies on the floor opened as if a bomb went off the shrapnel scatters the floor. Among the mess, Yumi lies on her stomach writing. I step over her to get my guns out of my safe. They sell better when they’re clean.
As we leave the gun store the car dies again so I pull to the side of the road. I pat my pockets but do not find my device. “Need a light?” Yumi asks handing me a plastic lighter. We walk smoking to the auto parts store. “So what kind of wedding are you thinking of?” I ask her, expecting something big and extravagant like the ones on TV. “I don’t know, never really thought about it.” She says handing me the cigarette. I inhale then speak as smoke leaves my mouth “So you’re telling me when you were a little girl you didn’t think of having a wedding in a big chapel and have rice thrown at you?” She stops in her tracks, I take two more steps before I notice. “People do that, just throw rice on the ground… No, I never really thought about it. I didn’t have the time to waste on something like that when I was a child.” She catches up to me and grabs the cigarette. “The wedding thing isn’t really important to me, sure it might be the first day, but it’s the days that follow that will be important.” As she finishes she flicks the cigarette into the street. I don’t mention my wants for a big wedding as we reach the store.
With the new battery in and the old one in the trunk the car comes to life. “We should go out and do something tonight, like see a movie, they’re black and white right?” I laugh to her question. “Nope, we have Technicolor with stereo sound, it’s quite amazing!” I laugh a little more but she just lights another cigarette. “How about we get dinner first, I have something else in mind for our evening.” I say. The car rumbles its way block by block when we reach this white cloth restaurant that I’ve had the desire to go to for quite some time. “I hear their duck is fantastic.” I say as I step out of the car, Yumi looks confused and expresses it. “I thought ducks were extinct?” We go inside and order, we both get a salad.
I throw the keys on the table next to the door, still hungry I snack on pretzels as Yumi tries on different shoes. I yell at her through the walls. “Are you sure this is the time you want to go? You know things weren’t easy back then!” I hear one-foot stomp to the ground as she answers me. “I’m sure, they might be harder, but I want simple.” Her other foot comes down not quite as loud. “Alight, I wouldn’t say they’re…” I stop talking as she walks into the room. “Are these quiet enough?” She asks tapping her shoes onto the floor. “They are, but you’ll probably get a lot of questions about them if we’re caught.” She slips them off and kicks them towards the liquor cabinet. “Alright, I’ll go barefoot!” she exclaims. I laugh and peel off my shoes. “Me too, we’ll be the barefoot bandits!” She spins on her hills, and I smile. Fuck, I’m in love.
The county clerk’s office is dark and damp. It smells like old books, which is odd as I’m pretty sure this was built only a year ago. Yumi bumps into a cabinet then drops the flashlight, we freeze and listen. Nothing else makes a sound, as I assume no one expects someone to break into here. I pick up the flashlight and shine it across the filing cabinet’s labels. Soon I find the one I’m looking for. I open it and it squeaks as I do. We freeze again. I don’t know if it was something with the lighting or just a random thought, but I start laughing for no reason. Yumi tries to shush me. But I continue enough to where it becomes contagious. Our laughter bellows through the entire building, I bet this is how ghost stories start. I wipe the tears that form in my eyes and pick through the files. I grab the marriage certificate and license, close the cabinet, takes Yumi’s hand, and head home.
It’s amazing how wonderful the internet is when you’re looking to forge a document from the past. However, it was quickly noticed that even forging our identities was just as hard then as it is now. Several more trips as the barefoot bandits when we have everything we need to make new people just appear. Yumi practices the signatures’ as her handwriting is better than mine. We sit at the table eating while Yumi mumbles ideas of her new name. I pick at the green beans when she mumbles the same combination over and over. With the fork in my mouth, she hops from her seat as if struck by lightning. “Cynthia!” She shouts, “I’ll be Cynthia!” I chew my food then praise her on her choice. “You know like Artemis!” I swallow then speak “You don’t have to explain everything to me.” I say going in for the mashed potatoes. “If you didn’t have that dumb face about you I wouldn’t.” She says sitting back down. “Oh, come on, you fuck’en like this dumb face of mine.” I say. She smiles. Fuck, I’m in love.
With the table cleared off, we have the papers about. Yumi does most of the documents, but I hover over her shoulder long enough for her to tell me to go away. When she gets to the paper which would say we’re married she motions me back over. She signs like practiced and the not so practiced spots. Handing me the pen I can see the excitement build in her, a building pressure of joy. I sign my name, though she still gives me grief about choosing Karl, it felt good to have it on a document of sorts. I drop the pen, and that’s that. “Do you feel different?” I ask her. “Nope, maybe heavier.” she says. With an awkward move with my hand, I hit the stereo and the radio comes to life. A Mexican song plays as we have our first dance, it was as perfect as I could have imagined it.
I sit with a beer in one hand and Yumi in my other. “We should go somewhere.” she says. I drink the rest of my beer and ask her where. “I don’t know, we do have our honeymoon after all.” The bottle cap of my next beer flies off and lands onto her stomach. With a hiccup, I pull my device out of my pocket. “You name it babe and we’ll be gone.” She looks at me as I finish the sentence and pushes my arm down. “No, let’s go for a drive.” I look at my beer, then her, was it four or five by now? “You’ll have to drive.” and at those words, she springs from me. “Come on then!” she yells back at me already grabbing the keys. Fuck, I’m in love.
She was nervous in the city, but once we reached the open road her grip on the wheel loosened. I wasn’t used to playing the part of the passenger, but I could get used to it. Soon the orange light pollution disappears and the sky is open. With her posture beginning to slouch, I point to a scenic outlook to stop at. She puts the car into park and relaxes. “Driving is hard work.” She says scooting herself to next me. “It gets easier of course… I have something.” I twist and reach behind my seat and pull out a bottle of wine. “Tada!” I say pulling it out. “Yay!” she shrieks as she claps her hands. “I know!” She comes through the passenger door as I twist the cap on the bottle. I try not to think of how long it’s been in there. It smells alright. “You know some people won’t drink wine if it has a twist cap.” I tell her as she spreads some jackets on the hood. “Seems silly to me, I mean it’s just wine, right?” I take a drink after my sentence and cringe a little at the taste. I pass the bottle to her then hop up on the hood of the car. We lay next to each other as we drink from the bottle. The sky is bright with speckles. I hold her and lay there happy, just staring at the stars.
Fuck, I’m in love.