The following morning, I rose from a long night of working on my music. My Christine had fallen asleep late last night, her sniffles coming to an end. While she was sleeping, I dressed and washed up, ready to take my angel out for the day. The night before, she had wanted to make love, but I wasn't ready… How could I ever be ready to make love to my angel when I looked like a monster? My Christine wanted me body and soul, and yet, I couldn't give it to her. I hoped she wouldn't be feeling angry when she woke, for we were finally back together and I wanted to make everything special for her.
Deciding to let her sleep and do something nice to apologize, I left the theater and stopped at the bakery to purchase some pastries. She and I could have breakfast together, and then, afterwards if she was feeling up to it, we could venture to Coney Island. I had been living here a few weeks and had yet to visit the very place I was destined to live at. Even though I had changed my own fate, I still needed to see what this Coney Island was all about.
I called my angel's name as I sat the box of pastries down on our kitchen table.
"Christine, wake up."
My angel stirred within her sleep and rolled over, opening her eyes to face me. Oh, she still seemed so upset, but what could I do to tell her how sorry I was for the way that I had acted? She deserved so much better, not this hideous demon…
"I bought breakfast." I said, pouring her a glass of milk. "I was thinking we could have breakfast and then head to Coney Island for the day. I want to dedicate the entire day to you, my angel."
"Why bother?" she cried, burying her head back beneath the pillow. "Why bother trying to get another inch closer to me, when all you ever do is push me away?"
"No! Last night I wanted to seal our marriage, and you wanted none of it. What am I to you, Erik?"
"You are my wife…"
"By name, perhaps." She argued. "But when it comes to anything else, you shun me away. Why is it so hard for you to believe that someone like me could love a man like you?"
"Because I am unlovable!"
"You're not… I love you."
I paused, turning back to face our meal.
"Did you hear me, Erik? I said that I loved you…"
"You love nothing!"
"Why is it so hard for you to accept it?"
"Because it's always been a lie with me." I pulled out her chair. "I don't wish to argue with you, Christine. I just want to sit here and enjoy our meal."
"I won't join you in anything until you believe me."
"Christine, please…" I begged. "Don't…"
"Don't what, Erik? Don't try to love you? Don't try to be a faithful wife? I want you, Erik. I want you and all you do is push me away."
"Christine, breakfast." I ordered. "Enough of this outlandish conversation!"
"Is it only outlandish because you don't want to speak about such subjects?"
"Christine, why is it so hard for you to just come to breakfast and enjoy it? Please…I don't wish to speak about last night any longer. You are my wife by name, and that is good enough for me."
Christine stood from where she had been laying and threw a pillow at my head. It knocked the mask right off my face, causing me to become angry as hell!
"What?" she growled. "Little what? Wench? Viper? Sticks and stones, Erik! Your names do nothing for me…But when you shun me away it hurts worse than those very names… It cuts me to the core. All I want is you, Erik…You! You and nothing more. Is that so hard to ask? Please…Can't we at least try to work things out? If we try to be with one another in such a way and it doesn't work, then we can go back to the way things are now."
"Christine, let us eat our breakfast and then while we are out in Coney Island, we will continue this conversation."
I plopped down in my chair and thankfully, my angel joined me. She meant more to me than life itself, and if there was anything I hated, it was making her sad. Oh, how I loved her with all that I was!
"Breakfast looks good." She pouted as she bit into her chocolate pastry.
"The bakery in this part of town is the best."
"I can see that."
"You're angry with me, aren't you?"
Christine shrugged her shoulders. "I'm just trying to be your wife."
"And you are."
"You know what I mean, Erik. Everything with you is a fight…I can't even be intimate with you without having you argue."
"Here we go again…" I sighed and reached across the table for Christine's hand, taking it into my own. "Christine, please, let us continue this conversation another time. All I want is to be able to go to Coney Island with you today and be happy, all right? Can we please just do this one little thing together and keep this conversation for a more appropriate time?"
Christine nodded and went back to eating her breakfast.
"I have work in the morning, so I wish to spend every waking moment with you today. The beach is supposed to be excellent as well… Doesn't that sound nice, Christine?"
My angel nodded, nodded as if I were forcing her to do so. Was it so hard to abide by my wishes? Those wishes being to be left alone? To live life with her as my wife in name and nothing more? But why? Why did Christine want more? I sighed and stood up, not feeling hungry anymore.
"Let's not keep Coney Island waiting then…"
If there was anything I wanted, it was to stop fighting with Erik. But, there was one problem…My angel wouldn't stop trying to ignore me when I brought up anything about our marriage. The only thing I wanted was a regular marriage with my husband, a marriage that included everything; kissing, hugging, making love… I wanted it all, and yet, Erik tried to avoid every minute of contact. Did he not believe that I would want to be with him in such a way? That I would regret kissing him immediately after? I wouldn't! I was his wife, his and only his until death do we part.
"Coney Island is supposed to be filled with life." Erik said as we walked along the streets of New York. "You will love it, Christine. Come along, we shall take the train. You do like the train, do you not?"
He looked back at me, awaiting my answer, but the truth of it all was that I couldn't be happy, not while he treated me in such a way.
"Sure." Was all I said as we continued to walk on.
Even when we were on the train, my upset attitude did not perish. We sat there side by side, riding towards Coney Island. Erik didn't even hold my hand or act like my husband as we sat there.
"Mon ange, is something wrong?"
A while later, my angel looked my way, taking notice to my silence.
"No, nothing." I assured, looking out the window. Oh, there was indeed something wrong, but I refused to continue arguing. When our train finally arrived in Coney Island, we departed, headed towards the crowds and attractions.
"Oh, to think that such a single place would draw such crowds." He chuckled. "Look at this place…amazing, Christine."
Coney Island was indeed stunning, for as soon as we walked through the gates of Luna Park, jugglers and magicians lined the streets, freaks of all shapes and sizes drawing in the crowds. Erik seemed appalled, eyeing each freak up and down as if showing their faces were a sin.
"Ridiculous." Erik scoffed, pulling me along. "To think that people with such afflictions would willingly show their faces and bodies for money…Dispicable."
"It could have been us…You wanted to live here…You were going to."
"I'm glad we didn't."
"And why is that?" I asked. "You're the one who argued with me about living here."
"It's like one big circus." He growled. "I mean, look at this… Appalling."
"Perhaps, but it does seem fun."
"So you say…"
From out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the beach. I pulled away from Erik's grasp and ran to the end of the pier, hanging onto the railings as I looked out at the ocean. Oh, it had been so long since I last gazed out upon sand and saltwater.
Erik shouted for me as he pushed through the crowds to reach me. As soon as he was at my side again, he grabbed my arm like a child who had disobeyed their parent. Oh, how I hated being treated like this.
"Don't you run off like that!" he barked. "I could lose you!"
"Look, Erik, the beach."
"Yes…" he replied. "So it is."
"Could we walk alongside the ocean?"
"Alongside the ocean?" he repeated. "And why would you want to do such a thing? You'll get sand in your shoes."
"You're supposed to take your shoes off."
"And why would I want to do that? Absolutely not, Christine…"
"Please, Erik." I begged. "Please do this with me."
"Perhaps later, Christine. We must continue exploring Coney Island. The beach can wait."
I couldn't stop looking at the beach, for I wanted to walk on it so badly. Erik took my arm once more and began pulling me away towards the crowds again. I didn't care about exploring the rest of Coney Island. All I wanted to do was walk on the beach.
"Look at this." Erik said, pointing to a nearby building. "Fun house? Oh, we must go inside. I have to see this for myself."
"I was thinking that we could perhaps sit down and have some ice cream?"
But Erik wasn't interested. Why was it that everything I wanted to do, Erik didn't! He wasn't even trying with me, all he cared about was what he wanted to do. This wasn't how I wanted things to be.
"Ice cream?" he questioned. "We just ate breakfast."
"I didn't really eat breakfast." I confessed. "I wasn't hungry."
"Then you should have eaten breakfast, Christine. Come, let us go inside the fun house."
I couldn't take this anymore! I had hit my breaking point, so much that I broke away from Erik's grasp like an upset child.
"No!" I cried. "Go yourself."
With that, I stormed over to the end of the pier and stared out at the ocean. As the waves crashed against the shore, I twirled the ring around my finger, thinking about whether marrying Erik was the right thing to do or not. Marriage was forever, and yet, I wasn't even happy…not today at least. Was this what marriage was supposed to feel like?
Erik's voice was softer as he approached me, lifting my chin to face him.
"Christine, what's wrong?"
"You don't want to do anything I want to do." I pouted. "All you care about is yourself."
"No, that's not true."
"Then prove it…" I cried. "You're pulling me along like your pet. I don't mind doing and seeing what you want to see, but at least try to do the same for me."
There was a pause, and then, Erik's voice.
"What flavor of ice cream do you want?"
"Vanilla." I said.
With that, Erik nodded and stormed off. I knew he was just trying to please me. I knew he didn't want ice cream, and that if he could, he would have continued pulling me along.
I could be cruel at times. My whole life has been filled with cruelty. Though, sometimes I am cruel and don't even notice it. Christine on the other hand, was more of a hassle than I first believed her to be. I was trying to see Coney Island, and yet, she was complaining about it every step of the way. Why? Why couldn't she just be quite and come along without a complaint? Ice cream, she wanted ice cream… My blood boiled as I played the faithful husband and ran away to get her the very treat she had requested. Sometimes, I believed it was better to be alone, but then again, I had Christine. She had agreed to be my wife, and therefore, I needed to give her everything she wanted…starting with this ice cream.
After purchasing her ice cream, I walked back to where I had left her, only to notice that she was gone. My heart stopped within my chest. Oh, where was she! Coney Island was so big that I could lose her and never find my wife again. I frantically looked in all directions, ready to run up and down the pier, but when I heard her familiar laugh, I stopped and looked in that very direction. I sighed in relief, when I saw that she was on the beach playing with a child, who was only as tall as her knee. He was dressed in his bathing suit, and throwing a ball to Christine, who would then throw it back. Oh, how she seemed so happy…Why couldn't I bring her such happiness? I stood there watching her, the vanilla ice cream melting around my fingers.
"Damn this!…" I licked around the cone to stop the ice cream from melting…It was actually pretty delicious.
"Miss Christine, throw it high." The child laughed. "Throw it as high as you can."
"All right then." Christine tossed the ball, the boy chasing it up the beach.
When the boy caught the ball, Christine ran towards him, wrestling him for it. Oh, how her laughter brought me such joy, and yet she never laughed that hard around me. When I couldn't stand there any longer, I came down the steps and approached her.
When she saw me, she stopped wrestling the boy and smiled.
"Oh, there you are." She said, taking the ice cream cone out of my hands.
"I see you've found someone to entertain you."
Christine licked her ice cream and turned to face the small child.
"Oh, Hugo? He lost his ball on the beach and I offered to help him look."
"Yes," the boy replied. "She helped me find it."
"That's good." I said.
There was a long silence, and then, my angel interlaced her arm with my own.
"Well, it was nice meeting you, Hugo." She said. "I'm going to continue exploring the island."
When my angel and I began to walk back towards the pier, I couldn't help but notice how happy she was now.
"You seem so happy…"
Christine finished her ice cream and looked up at me.
"I guess I am."
She shrugged. "I guess playing with Hugo made me realize how much I love children."
"Erik, could I ask you something?"
"I know that we've only been married a short time, but I was wondering…Oh, ange, don't you think it would be wonderful to have a baby?"
I immediatly stopped walking and looked down at my angel. Oh, damn me for leaving her alone! A baby? How absurd! Any child conceived with my seed would be a monster! This was one of the many reasons why I didn't want to consummate our marriage. No…No, no, no,no! I would never allow us to have a baby!
"Don't you think that it would be wonderful?" Christine continued. "We could take him to the beach and play in the sand… Oh, Erik, our child would be so musical and it would be the best thing to happen to us."
"No!" I broke away from her grasp. "No, Christine!"
She shuttered at my anger, but I didn't care, for I continued.
"We are not having a baby! Get that idea out of that thick skull of yours."
"No buts! Why would you even bring up such a subject?"
"But I thought…"
"I don't care what you thought, Christine. We are never having a baby…We are never having sex! Drop it…"
Tears rushed to Christine's eyes as I continued to scold her. Oh, how I hated when she cried, but I couldn't help it, for she had angered me.
"We are never having a baby! Do you hear me, Christine!" I shook her shoulders, causing her to sob harder. "Nod so that I know you understand!"
"No! I hate you!"
And then, my angel broke away from me and ran...she ran right out of my sight. And oh, how it hurt me…I was a horrible friend, a horrible husband and now, a horrible lover…
I know you are all looking for happy fluffy chapters, and I promise that they are not far behind. Christine just has to get Erik's anger out of him first and make him into the loving husband she always wished for. Please review!