Marriage by Proxy

By: Sasha Combs

Chapter One

Wedding Blues

Carolyn and Alexandra sat in the second row of pews on the bride’s side eagerly watching as Estelle and Brian stood before the minister in the quaint Wedding Chapel exchanging their marriage vows. Estelle and Brian’s union   was the third wedding this year for Carolyn, and she was fast approaching self pity and loathing for her own bachelorette status. Estelle had worked as Carolyn’s paralegal for over seven years; blond, medium height, slightly over weight, forty years of age, never married and no children. Estelle desperately wanted to get married and she reasoned that desperate times called for desperate measures. She enlisted the aid of a Match Maker.

Alexandra Ivan was a marriage broker, for lack of a better term; but on many occasions she’d corrected Carolyn and reminded her that her business cards read “Relationship Adviser”. Alexandra had been matching men and women for over twenty years. Her successes were undeniable and she was more than happy to find the perfect husband for Estelle. Alexandra’s services didn’t come cheap and on Estelle’s meager salary the undertaking could be viewed as a risky venture. Carolyn had a measure of trepidation when Estelle hired Alexandra but despite the danger Carolyn could hardly blame her. The notion of never marrying or never baring a child terrified Estelle and if the services of Alexandra provided a remedy for her fears it would be well worth the money.

Carolyn watched as her friend and employee repeated her wedding vows as instructed by the minister to a man that she’d only met less than a week ago. Brian was a tall 38 year old man with a slender build. He had brown hair, brown eyes and facial features that weren’t displeasing to the eyes. He owned a construction company in White Haven and his home was in Waterford. The whole ceremony seemed like a farce to Carolyn, but she had to admit; all of Alexandra’s matches seemed to flourish and resist decay. Alexandra boasted this to her time and time again. She would say in her rich Russian accent making matches is my passion. It is my special ability. I know how to put the right man with the right woman; it is my gift. Carolyn’s mind began to drift as she recalled the countless conversations between her and Alexandra. Alexandra had proposed offering her services to her bachelorette friend on several occasions and with each offer Carolyn would express her opposing views regarding match making. Carolyn was tired of being single but she knew that life could express itself through many surprises. She had no doubts that one day she would marry; but her hopes were that her marriage would be one of chance and not circumstance.

As the meager crowd began to clap Carolyn was drawn back to reality. The minister was presenting the new couple as man and wife. Carolyn stood and clapped with everyone else as she looked upon her married friend with envious eyes; she thought to herself I’ve never seen Estelle look happier.

After the impromptu afternoon marriage ceremony, Carolyn had intended on going back to her law firm but Alexandra coxed her into going to a nearby café that was a favorite of hers.

“Darling when are you going to let me match you with your Mr. Right?”

“Hmm, let me see?” Carolyn looked up towards the ceiling as if she were truly searching the inner crevasses of her mind; but Alexandra had seen her do this on many occasions. “I think the answer is never.”

“Darling I saw the longing in your eyes today; you want what Estelle got today.”

“I don’t think so.” Carolyn took a sip of her tea as her eyes surveyed the room. It was not unusual for her to study her environment and examine her surroundings. She would look at the tables to see how many couples were sitting together, or how many single women ate alone. Finally she’d direct her attention to the single men; paying close attention to the third finger on their left hand.

“Carolyn, you have been single for how long?”

Carolyn was tired of this conversation. She knew exactly where Alex was going with her rehearsed rhetoric but if she didn’t entertain her questions, Alexandra would go full steam ahead and assume her “Relationship Advisor” role.

“Look Alex, I know how old I am, I don’t need you or anyone else reminding me. I also know that I’ve never been married, and I don’t have any current prospect but…” Carolyn looked her friend in the eyes as she finished her statement. “I also don’t feel that I need to pay someone to find me a husband. Things have not gotten that desperate yet.”