The Waiting Game
Celia and Rob paid a weekend visit to Celia’s mom in order to break the news that Celia had invited her father, from whom her mother was divorced, to the wedding. Celia’s anxiety about this conversation was off the charts and Rob’s support had been critical to her follow through. In fact, their relationship had grown through the stress. Imagine their shock when they discovered Mom had been emailing with Dad about the wedding for weeks.
On the drive back to Canton, while Celia slept in the passenger seat, Rob reflected that the weekend had turned out better than expected and he was therefore not exhausted to face the week. Celia and her mom had spent time together on Saturday, taking a long walk together and having what Celia had reported as good conversation about things they had never discussed: her parents’ marriage and divorce. Celia returned from this walk looking at once lighter, as if a long-carried burden had been lifted; and more settled, as if frazzled threads of her life had been woven into its fabric. She looked like a woman, and he knew more than ever he wanted to marry her.
Saturday evening, Celia, Rob, her sister Catherine and her mother grilled steaks and made ice cream sundaes. When their cookout was rained out, they took cover indoors and watched old episodes of Saturday Night Live from the seventies that the three “youngsters” had never seen. Rob had never seen Celia or her family laugh so much, and he had a grand time being a part of it.
On Sunday morning, while Rob took a long jog and spent a couple hours on the patio with the newspaper and coffee, Celia and Catherine took Mom’s wedding dress apart and sketched a new design out of the remnants. Catherine had always been a seamstress and embraced the idea of recycling something old into something new. At some point Rob thought he remembered Celia overtly rejecting wearing her mother’s dress; claiming it was “some shiny fabric nightmare from the early MTV years,” which had made no sense to him, but now that some family issues seemed resolved Celia made no complaint when Mom offered it. He supposed he could appreciate a tasteless wedding dress from a failed marriage reworked into a symbol of hope, now that Celia seemed strong enough to shoulder it. It was part of the heritage they were taking into their own marriage, after all.
Celia shifted next to him and he turned his head to look at her. Their wedding was only three months away, but suddenly he was certain he could not wait any longer. Rob and Celia had chosen not to have sex before they were married – another reason Rob had been frankly distressed when Celia had refused his proposal in the fall. Perhaps tonight, rather than dropping Celia off at her apartment, she would be willing to come home with him. Marriage was only three months away, and they had waited so long...
Celia awoke and sat up, and turned to look at Rob. She smiled at him.
Rob reached over and took her hand, alternating keeping his eyes on the road and on Celia. He was watching the road when he spoke.
“Celia. Will you come home with me tonight?” he asked. Rob knew she would know what he meant.
How does Celia answer Rob?