“And I Am Two and Twenty.”
It is one of those summer evenings I wish could go on forever, the kind that I dream about all winter: the day’s heat giving way to a cooler evening; the air still with an occasional soft breeze setting off the tinkling of the wind chimes; the scent of deep red and yellow roses wafting through the yard. I am in love. Barefoot, I race across the downy grass with J, who in a month will be my husband, and my brother, who is thirteen. Although we’ve only met the last September and were engaged by December after he figured out the best place to buy diamonds on a budget, I am sure that J is the person I am supposed to marry. All summer I have been shopping for my trousseau with my mother. I have starred at bridal showers, and, along with my parents, marveled that a shy, awkward teenager had metamorphosed into a slender, smiling woman — a great catch. How could there be anything wrong?
The diamond ring shines brilliantly on my finger, the wedding plans are moving along at an unstoppable pace, and we’ve already rented an apartment, which I have been decorating in blue and green. Even better, my fiancé—I love that word–is a Nice Jewish Boy who works in his father’s business, which will someday be his.
There are warning signs, but I don’t see them.