I met my husband in the afternoon of my father's funeral. Well, technically, I've met him long before that, but I never really gave him much thought. He was just some guy from work that insisted on calling me missus even though I wasn't married, and smiled as if it were going out of fashion. I guess he was one of those people that just flew under the radar, invisible to the naked eye.
It was a heart attack that got my father, during one of his many daily naps. No one even noticed until it was dinner time and my mother went to wake him up. I wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to feel about it all. I was in a haze of sorts, switching back and forth between dull melancholy and stark indifference. I felt a weightless anticipation, like a gust of wind would soon blow me away. Meanwhile a flurry of people would pass before me; kissing me, shaking my hand, and rushing towards the dessert spread. He came and went with the rest, and I absentmindedly nodded to his condolences, just as I had been doing all day.
Then, at around 3 p.m, just as my patience was about to reach its threshold, I felt a hand on my shoulder, "Would you like to take a walk?" he asked, and immediately lead me towards the door; tall and slender and bright as the afternoon sun.
We walked in silence. The pitter-patter of my shoes nervous against his long, calm strides. He would walk slightly behind me, purposely falling back whenever I slowed my pace. And throughout it all, the only thing I could think of was how strange it felt to have the warmth of the sun against my back; as if I've been living in perpetual nights all this time. For a moment I wondered if it was meant to be symbolic, but then I decided I'd better not attach too much meaning to the summer sun. Winter will always follow, after all.
"You didn't have to come, you know."
His pace slowly quickened, and soon I found him right at my heels, "I didn't?"
"No. I mean, thank you and all, but we're just colleagues... you didn't have to go through all the trouble."
"Oh, I'm so relieved you know who I am," he laughed, now comfortably walking shoulder-to-shoulder, "All this time I was thinking: oh god, what if she doesn't even recognize me? And I came all the way here like an idiot."
I fell silent for a few seconds, smiling a bit too widely and staring a bit too intently at him, but I just couldn't help it; there was something incredibly remarkable about his openness, his sincerity; like a child unspoiled by the ways of the world. I found myself so inexplicably drawn to him, like he was the sun and I was some planet; mercury or venus, for they were the closest, the most affected by the sun's gravity.
"I just made a complete idiot out of myself, didn't I?"
"Not at all. If anything, you've made quite the impression. Up until now you were the guy that called me missus." I turned, carefully skimming over him. He had a black mop of hair that would shiver and tremble against the mildest of winds. And a smile that was stuck to his lips; more out of force, it seemed, than choice, as if his entire face would burst into flames if he were to ever stop smiling. His eyes were so incredibly vibrant, like the green of emerald stone, and they would radiate in fluid motion; as if he had wild rivers running through them. For a minute I had to wonder if he was actually this beautiful, or whether my eyes were tipping in favor of my biases.
"Why do you do that, by the way?"
"The truth?" he asked and when I nodded, he eagerly continued, "I didn't know whether you were married or not. So I came up with this ingenious plan: I'll call her missus and see if she corrects me."
"But I never corrected you and you continued to call me missus instead of just using my name?"
He shrugged, "Well, I don't know. I guess I was hoping that you'd correct me, someday."
"Are you saying you were hoping I'd get a divorce?"
"No!" he stepped closer, moving his hands towards me, before changing his mind mid-way and dropping them stiffly to his sides, "No, no, not hoping. I was just... waiting."
"Waiting for me to get a divorce? That isn't all that better, you know."
"I wasn't waiting! Oh, god." he sighed, smiling like a child who'd just been caught with his hand up the cookie jar, "There's no way I'm turning this round, am I? I should just shut up."
I found him so incredibly endearing, then; mainly because he seemed so pleased with himself, beaming in silent mirth, and coyly leaning in so that our arms would touch, "I'm not married, by the way."
He instantly stopped, forcing me into a halt myself, "What? How come you never corrected me, then?"
"I don't know. I guess I forgot to at first, and then it was too late so I just went along with it."
He loomed over me; frowning as if I somehow did him a great unkindness. It took him a few moments of absolute silence; one that brewed over his head like grey clouds, and after a long, frustrated sigh, he smiled, "Thank you for finally correcting me, then."