Our First Marriage (9) By Jan Cordele

Our first marriage took place in the parking lot of a Kroger grocery store in between the soaking rain of a thunderstorm that signaled the beginning of the greatest flooding of my memory. We stood outside my broken down truck and exchanged what we later termed our parking lot vows with no witnesses other than God and the tow truck driver.

It had been hardly three weeks since Edna Merle and I had connected in love when she came, reluctantly, to spend the night with me in my big house. I say reluctantly not because she didn’t want to spend the night with me but because she had made a pact with Heaven that she would never sleep with a man who was not her husband. So I immediately proposed. She laughed and said, of course, she would marry me, yet when I suggested we marry ourselves she just shook her head. I couldn’t tell if that was a yes or a no.

On the morning after we had slept together, without having sex, I arose and drove alone to get a cup of coffee for her and a Sunday paper for me. After I had driven to the Starbucks and paid $3.95 for a regular coffee, I directed my truck to the nearby convenience store. It started to protest. First the steering got tight and then the engine started chugging. Then it just died. Having left my cell phone at home, I had no choice but to walk the two miles back home, shoving the paper under my shirt and holding fast to Edna Merle’s now cool cup of coffee.

It had begun to rain, and rain hard, by this time. There were huge pools of water on the street as I trudged, head down, into some of the hardest rain I’ve ever encountered. When I walked onto my back porch, through a lake of rainwater that was choking my walkway; I noticed rolls of towels around my back door. The water hadn’t risen that far yet.

Her eyes were wild with fear as Edna Merle waited for me just inside the door. “My truck broke down, but here’s your coffee,” I said. She leaped to hug me. “I was so worried,” she said. The rain suddenly began to come down harder than ever before.

“It’s OK,” I said. “Did you think the water was going to get in?”

“Yes. I was about to start taking your stuff upstairs,” she replied.

We both laughed as the rain came down in sheets.

She drank her coffee as I dried myself off. I didn’t know what to do except wait until the rain slacked off, which took a couple of hours. When it finally stopped, the sun came out and the steam started rising from the street. I said I was going to go back and see about the truck. Edna Merle refused to stay at the house.

We started walking. The sun was so fierce that we had to open the umbrella for some shade as we made our way the two miles to where my truck sat outside the convenience store. After several attempts to get it started, and a failed effort to jump start it with my jumper cables and a stranger’s automobile, I had the brilliant idea of trying to get it to kick start by pushing it down the little hill leading to the Kroger parking lot. It didn’t work. We finally had to call Edna Merle’s brother, Lester, to find us a nearby wrecker service to come to our rescue. The dark clouds began to move in.

Sitting there in my dead truck I looked over to see the most beautiful angel who had ever been a passenger in my vehicle. Edna Merle looked so serene in the eerie light that I knew no harm would ever come to us. It was so hot; however, that I opened my door and went around to her side of the truck, where I opened the door, leaned in and kissed my angel. I pulled her out of her seat and asked her, again, “Will you marry me?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Then let’s do it now. I’ll begin” And I spoke right from the heart, telling her that she was the one I loved and would always love, and that I would always be her friend and she mine. I promised her that I would be loyal and respectful and take care of her the best I could. I pronounced myself to be her husband now and forever.

Edna Merle looked both pleased and stunned. The rain again began to fall at that moment. It came down slowly at first, and then began to come harder and harder. But I wouldn’t let her go until she spoke. Finally, looking straight into my soul, she said simply, “You are my husband and I am your wife.” I kissed her and then pushed her back into the truck. I got back in and we sat in silence for a few minutes, just staring into each other’s eyes like puppy-love teenagers do.

The wrecker truck finally came, and Edna Merle was amazed at the difference in the new towing technology. Rather than a wench pulling the truck up, the whole bed of the truck moved down and pulled the truck onto it before going back to its original position. We got in the wrecker and hauled my truck to the repair shop. The wrecker driver took us back to my house where I had just enough cash to pay for his services. I pretended I was paying a preacher for marrying us.

That night we made sweet love. Afterwards, I fell into an exhausted sleep while a storm of epic proportions raced across the city. My bed sat under a window and Edna Merle later told me she was so scared of the thunder and lightning and heavy rain. It was coming down like crazy when I finally awoke. She reached over and grabbed me and held me with such conviction that I asked her what the matter was? She replied, “Nothing, my husband.”

Parking Lot Vows

When we exchanged our parking lot vows

The sky opened up and drenched our souls

with cleansing rain

The wind sang our wedding song

as we were learning to breathe

The tow truck driver blessed us

then drove us to our honeymoon at the NTB

where the tires held a reception

We slept at the top of the mount

in a bed so large it was too small

When we exchanged our parking lot vows

God smiled

and the angels giggled

People drove past with

amused looks

The clouds roared by

bowing in approval

The traffic stopped

in respect for the newlyweds

and the birds sang our song

When we exchanged our parking lot vows

The world stopped for a millisecond

and we got off to live in our own universe


6 Responses to Our First Marriage (9) By Jan Cordele

  1. Barbara says:

And the universe , with you in it’s presence, is in awe of your happiness.

  1. Barbara says:

Happiness to some comes late in life . I knew hers would.

  1. LadyPoetica says:

This is one of the sweetest, most genuine stories I’ve read in awhile. It’s gives me hope and it makes me realize what I want love to feel like when it finally comes along

  1. John Doe says:

sounds like he found a way to get laid. please excuse me for being so blunt, hopefully you want all opinions and not just the pretty ones.

  • ednamerle says:

July 19, 2010 at 11:59 pm (Edit)

yep, he sure did!


  1. John Doe says:

July 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm (Edit)

I like you ednamerle.


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Posted on October 11, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I like you too, for saying what you really think!

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