House of Frozen Brides
Act III: Shawarma in a Pregnant Wood Chipper
I’ve never seen someone eat Shawarma so fast. Vacuums eat dust-balls with more care and grace.
I turn to N. Eyes wide. He turns to his bride. He asks her something. She responds. N puts his hands over his face. Not good.
“What is it?” I ask.
N shakes his head.
“N, what is it?”
He pulls his hands from his face. He looks at me, cringing in advance.
“Your wife is pregnant.”
He shies away. The brides are looking at me, scared. The Turkish woman behind the counter scowls.
“Please tell me you’re joking.”
He shakes his head, sheepish.
I put my shawarma back on my plate. I can’t eat. My bride reaches over and grabs it. She consumes it before words can be spoken.
I stare at the empty plate for a good while. Only sounds of digestion make their way around the table. I feel sick.
I look at N, “what are we going to do?”
N thinks for a minute.
“Hold on,” he says. He takes out his phone and dials a number. The brides listen to him intently as he chats away in Russian. He hangs up the phone without saying goodbye.
“Okay, there is an option.”
“Who was that?” I interrupt.
“Your babushka?” I ask.
He gives me a slow, warning, look.
“No, my grandma. There are babushkas and there are grandmas. Very different.”
I nod more at his look than his words, but I nod. He continues.
“So, we need to find their original husbands. Make them finish what they started.”
“Great!” I say, “how?”
“No idea. We will have to leave them somewhere for a bit, call M.”
I take out my phone. N takes out a pad and paper and begins asking the brides questions.
M answers the phone instantly.
“So, N and I are in a situation.” I tell him.
“We accidentally got married.”
“We need to leave our wives with you while we find their husbands.”
“Right, so, see you soon?”
“Cool-cool.” The line goes dead.
I turn to N. He takes a deep breath.
“Okay, I’ve got what we need, or as much as I’m going to get. Let’s go.”
M is watching Orange is the New Black on his projector when we walk in.
“We didn’t say anything.”
Our brides take a seat on the couch next to M. He puts on Russian subtitles. We leave them for the kitchen.
“So,” M smiles, “how was your guy’s day? Was it…merry?”
He chuckles at his own joke. I open my hands in a helpless gesture.
N opens a beer. “We need to find their husbands. I’ve got the names. After I finish this we can get on our way.”
I put my head in my hands.
“What’s wrong with him?” M asks.
“His wife is pregnant,” N says.
“Oh,” M smiles, “mazal tov.”
The both laugh.
To be continued…