I was hanging out with my friends when they revealed to me that they got me something.
‘A pressie?! I love pressies! What is it?’
‘You’ll see,’ Elle says, smiling and obviously excited over the ‘present’.
I was told that my good friends pooled money together to get this extravagant gift for me. How extravagant, I wonder but I did not question further. I did make a note in my mind how lucky I am to have friends like them – it wasn’t even my birthday!
In the course of a few days, I have forgotten about it. And then, my doorbell rang one evening. I got home from work and was playing a co-op game with the bros, most probably Borderlands 2 because I was screaming at the morons that I have to kill in order to get to another stage. When I heard the doorbell, I wondered who it could be and shouted that I am on my way to open the door. When I finally managed to pull myself off my gaming, I opened the wooden door to check who my visitor was.
It was a tall, handsome man.
He was standing outside the metal gate and waving at me shyly. My eyes squinting and trying to process what was going on – we stared at each other for a few more moments. He was smiling at me and I had a rather confused look.
‘Can I help – you?’ I finally managed to ask.
‘Yes. Elaine, I am your husband and I am finally home.’
I stared at him, blankly.
Did he just call himself my husband?
‘I’m sorry. I don’t follow. Did you just say you are my husband coz I don’t remember getting married to you – AT ALL.’
‘Well, I thought you knew.’
I was beginning to feel flustered. ‘I do not know about you, believe me, good sir.’
‘I am your mail order husband. You ordered me online…’
‘…I did…what. Oh my god. Sir, you wait right there.’
‘I’m not going…’
I didn’t hear the rest of what he had to say because I slammed the door behind me. I unmuted the headphones I was wearing and with a rather agitated squeaking voice, I managed to ask my friends if the pressie they were referring to the other night was a man.
My bros laughed out loud with…happiness? They were screams of whooping and delight at the other end of the headphones.
‘Is this a joke?’ I ask them seriously and I unconsciously pawed the coffee table for my phone. I dialled Elle’s number and she answered after just one ring.
‘Did you guys order me a mail order husband?’
‘Yes, we did! It was the best decision we ever made! It’s for you! He’s perfect!’ Elle sounded so proud and so happy for me as if I did have a wedding.
‘What in the world made you guys think that this was a good idea?’
‘Well, we thought it would make you happy….is he good looking?’
‘That’s…I guess he’s good looking but that’s not the point!’
‘Whew! We didn’t see any pictures, we just ticked a couple of boxes and sent everything over,’ Elle recalls.
‘Wow. This is so weird. I have no idea what to do with him.’
‘Where is he?’
‘He’s outside my door.’
‘Why would you leave your husband outside? It’s one of the coldest month and you’re leaving him outside?!’
‘Woman! He is not my husband!’
‘He is. There’s a contract.’
‘Look, you have to speak to him. You are both legally married now. Be happy. I am hanging up.’
Elle hangs up the phone and strangely enough, my bros disconnected me from the game. I am left with no choice but to confront my so-called husband. I open the wooden door and I find him sitting in front of the metal gate, whistling. As soon as he heard the door open, he got up and waved at me. He’s not bad to look at but I was not desperate. There has got to be a way out of this.
‘Look, I don’t know you…’
‘My name is whatever you want to give me.’
‘I’m sorry…’ This is getting more bizarre by the minute.
‘You can name me. ‘
‘Why would I do that?’
‘Because you can.’
‘You are not my pet.’
‘But I can be, if you let me.’ He says this with such seriousness that I instinctively laughed. He didn’t and I felt rather embarrassed for some reason.
‘I don’t let random strangers in my flat,’ I tell him, it felt so ridiculous.
‘Then, I shall stay here if you wish.’
‘But it’s cold. You should go somewhere else, stay in a hotel or something. I can give you money.’
‘I would rather stay home.’
‘Then, it’s settled. Go home.’
‘But I am home…’
A bunch of my neighbours who are uni students pass by and they obviously saw what they like. They can’t help but greet him. He nods to them but doesn’t say anything.
‘How old are you?’ I ask, curious.
Oh my god.
‘One second…’ I dial Elle’s number but she doesn’t pick up so I text her instead.
’23? Why 23?! He’s so young!’
‘Hohoho. It’s a ripe age. *wink*’ she replies, ‘Besides, his profile says he’s independent. *wink*’
‘Why would he sell himself as a mail order husband if he’s not broke?!’
‘JUST. TALK. TO. HIM. STOP. TEXTING.ME. OVER. AND. OUT.’
I sigh, loudly. I look for my keys in my bag and I open the gate.
He gives me the biggest smile and he looks so relieved.
‘What?’ The next thing I know, he swoops me into his arms. I have to admit that it felt nice, which is weird because I do not know him. He was warm and he smells nice. He lets go and takes my hand to kiss it. I felt myself blush and I shake his hand away. ‘Stop that.’
Once we were inside my flat, I felt inclined to have a knife next to me. I didn’t know what to do. He sits across from me, smiling.
‘What would you like to do?’ he asks.
‘Well, first, I would like a name.’
‘Pick any name.’
‘No, you give me your name…before all this.’
‘Wow and I could have named you Donny or some normal name like that. Please keep your name. It’s your name.’
‘If you insist, my heart.’
‘Man, this is so strange. I barely know you and you say all these things. It would have been nice but you know, since you are mail ordered, you know, paid and all…’
‘The company does not pay us. We pay them.’
‘I’m not really sure I follow. I thought my friends paid you to come here, and be married?’
‘You are my soul mate now.’
‘Because you are mail ordered?’
‘No, because we are bonded,’ he tells me.
‘Look man, that’s funny shit but I don’t really buy into that.’
‘I can explain. Basically, your DNA is infused with mine so now, we are soul mates.’
‘Are you taking me for a fool, Corvus?’ I feel for the knife next to me. It’s getting even more ridiculous by the minute.
‘Calm down. Your brother was the one who sent me the hair. I paid the scientists and they infused a very tiny part of you to me. I have the papers. You can ask him.’
‘And if you get sick with all that infusing?’
‘It won’t because we are compatible. I am okay.’
‘Doesn’t that make us related?’
‘No, it doesn’t. Now that won’t make sense.’
‘You tell me,’ I can’t take all this in all at the same time.
‘Would you like to rest?’
‘Yes, I do but I can’t do that with you here.’ I say this but I am drifting off, everything goes hazy and I am falling asleep. He catches me as I fall to my side. I hear him fix the pillows and I feel the comfortable softness.
I don’t think I dreamt. But I felt like I slept a long time.
When I wake up, I find Corvus sitting by my feet, still watching me, dare I say it, lovingly. I was still groggy from the long nap and I try to sit up. My mouth felt dry.
My shirt felt wet. What the hell?
I pull down the cover and I saw my shirt covered in blood. I wanted to scream but nothing came. I look up to Corvus and he was still smiling at me.
‘Don’t worry. I will keep your heart safe.’