“It’s moreso now don’t you think?” speaks Jeffrie Phillips to sometimes/always companion Charlene Punk Brown, perhaps the best of all his girls. She puts up with a lot at the very least. “The hair, I mean.” He points to his own hair here between bites of the spinach pizza. “Blue. Whaddaya think?”
Charlene also steals a glance, trying not to be jealous. This *could* be her replacement. Why did she arrive so mysteriously in the middle of the night, as they say, on a plane originally bound for Starfish Sea, or Starfish Lake as some call it? Jeffrey said it landed just outside the town over the sim line in Siliconicus. He said he’d been meaning to put a small landing strip over there if he could only figure out how to position the anchoring prims properly, since it’s not technically his property but instead abandoned land — a lot of that in Siliconicus, which is commonplace in the beige highlands part of the continent. She *is* cute, probably as cute as she is. She’d also look good in that pink babydoll Jeffrey keeps around, she suspected. Maybe she should dye her own hair blue.
“Are (bite) you going to answer me or not, woman?”
“Woman?” Not now she isn’t. “Listen *man*–” but then bit her tongue as Jeffrey hesitated to take another bite, waiting for a lashing, which he knew he probably deserved. Sometimes he slips into old world talk, as his daddy use to say. Poor old dad: he hadn’t thought about him in a while, nor ma-ma. They didn’t approve of his playboy ways so he had to leave the family hearth. So long long ago at this point. Seems like a different lifetime.
“I’m sorry,” he ventured, then finished his bite.
“No — me. And in answer to your question it does look a little bluer. Is — she really the woman of your dreams?” She meant *in* your dreams but she let the statement stand, too ashamed to go back and correct it. She flushed a bit, even. He stared at her, trying to figure out how to get past this awkward moment so he could finish his pizza.
He couldn’t stop thinking about her as they lay in bed later, bedposts not put up yet so nowhere to hang his tie and suit. They remained fully clothed. Charlene wasn’t anxious tonight to slip into that babydoll. She was just as worried as Jeffrey was excited. “What do you think she was looking up on the interwebs over there?” he asked his likewise restless partner. “Man About Time said she was a scholar of some kind, but he didn’t know what of.”
“*I’m* a scholar,” muffled Charlene, mouth to pillow. She moved so she could more easily speak to her partner. “Perhaps you got us confused with each other. Let’s try that quiz again.”
“Okay,” he relented, knowing he may or may not pass it.
“Alright, who’s your wife? An easy one to begin.”
He knew he shouldn’t say, “you” — that never seemed to work. He remembered the roses. He remembered the checkerboard face. Or chessboard face, take your pick. “Wendy,” he said.
“Right, and where did you get married? I’ll throw that in for a new wrinkle.”
“Er… Urqhart?” He remembered a house across the road from the Illuminati place.
“Correct. And *why* did you get married… to Wendy? And, say, not *me*?”
“Because…” He couldn’t remember that part.
“Yes?” She wasn’t going to drop hints, it seems.
He simply didn’t recall that he was recently dead and had been resurrected by the power of the vows. It happened a lot when he’d just returned home.
(to be continued)