– a short story by Philipp M. Kroiss
“Do you think she knows about the post-wedding blues?” I asked Jack, who was preoccupied stuffing his face with buttercream cake. My sister, meanwhile, was off on the dancefloor, kicking off married life with as much swing as her puffy dress allowed. The air was thick with drunken laughter, yet I couldn’t help but feel melancholic.
“What are you talking about?” Jack asked. He used the back of his hand to clean his mouth rather than the napkin in his lap to which I shook my head. I thought about how rarely we’d seen each other in suits and while we looked quite dapper, it was unusual and felt odd. As much as I enjoyed an occasion for us to dress up and go out, I couldn’t wait until we were back home to snuggle on the couch in our PJs.
“I just want them to be happy,” I sighed. “Lots of people act on the idea that their whole life leads to getting married and once they gotmarried, that’s it. Problem solved. Life figured out. Then they realise that that isit. That married life is really not that exciting – not more exciting than unmarried life – and there’s nothing left to do. They can’t take the relationship to the next level. They’ve reached the final one. Game over. So the blues set in. They question every choice that led them to this point in their life. Marriage comes with an expectation to be happy. It’s a crushing burden. They think if they’d admitted to not living up to that expectation, they’d be a failure. They’d have failedmarriage, which is to say that they’d failed life.”
I noticed Jack fidgeting with a button on his jacket. “Do you think that’ll happen to us?” he asked, avoiding eye contact. I put a hand on his back, drawing circles with my index and middle finger. I thought about the highs and lows of our own relationship. Perhaps we were gonna bore each other to death. We could drive each other insane some day. In the worst case, we might fall out of love. Or none of these things could happen. In truth, love was a gamble. The dice had been cast and neither of us could predict where they would land. The one thing I knew was that I couldn’t wait to find out.
“We’ll just have to set really low expectations.”
“The usual, then.” He grinned, reached for my hand and gently squeezed it. “Come on,” he said, nodding his head to the direction of the dancefloor, ”We’re the only gay couple at this wedding, we better show these people how to dance.” I gladly let Jack lead me to the other dancers, knowing full well that he was the clumsiest person in the room. You could never tell where his arms, legs or head would go next. He was unpredictable that way.