Sybil and Chris had rented a car for the trip to Destinyville. Priscilla had left the night before the wedding to get settled, but Sybil had had to work with Rattlesnake so she and Chris left bright and early at five-thirty in the morning to get there in time for the noon wedding ceremony. Chris had spent the night trying not to listen to the woman in the downstairs apartment play Oasis songs and as such was both very tired and very grumpy. Sybil let him sleep in the passenger seat beside her as she drove them out of the city.
She had invited him to the wedding long before she had begun seeing Tobias. She had accepted the plus one Jana and Dan had so graciously offered because all of her other friends had accepted theirs, even the ones who, at the time, had been single. When she had asked Chris, it hadn’t seemed like a big deal. He was her closest male friend, probably even her closest friend. This was long before she knew about his long-time girlfriend Savannah. Now she was beginning to wonder what exactly Savannah thought of him going to some random person’s wedding as someone else’s wedding date. Savannah was either very cool and understanding or always furious.
They stopped two hours into the trip to get gas and to switch drivers. Seated in the passenger seat, Sybil checked her phone for the first time since before sunrise. She had a couple messages from Tobias, who was out of town doing a triathlon, and about four times as many messages from Scandinavian Jesus. She had no idea how he’d gotten her number. She only knew it was him because nine texts in, he had finally given her his name in a poem. It read:
“Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
It’s Alex here.
I’d like to kiss you.”
All things considered, she figured it could’ve ended on a far more horrifying note, yet it still wasn’t great. She must’ve looked appalled because Chris asked her what was wrong.
“Alex from The Mark Bell Band texted me,” she explained without really thinking it over. “I don’t know how he got my number.”
She certainly hadn’t given it to him. She had bolted from that date without a look backwards. She had been planning on ignoring him forever, even if she happened to run into him at the recording studio. And now he was sending her poorly crafted, juvenile poems via text message.
“Oh, I gave it to him,” Chris said. Sybil was glad she wasn’t driving because, in her shock, she probably would’ve sent them careening off the highway into a ditch.
“You did what?” She asked in a low, dangerous voice. She might kill him. It was convenient timing because they were heading out of town. There would be many opportunities for her to dump his body in the woods unseen.
“Well, I assume he wanted it for work purposes,” Chris shrugged, happily unaware of what he’d done. “What other reason could you possibly have for talking to that moron?”
Sybil couldn’t think of an answer so she stayed quiet. She figured it was her silence that tipped him off that something was afoot. He looked over at her a few times, clearly waiting for an answer. When none came, he drew his own conclusion.
“Is he sexually harassing you?” He demanded suddenly, irate. “Because if he is, first of all, sorry, and secondly, I’ll kill him.”
It was touching. Although there was not a chance that Chris would actually kill him. Sybil doubted he muster the drive or the upper body strength. Scandinavian Jesus was very fit, as she knew from when he lifted his shirt to show her his abs while they were out for drinks.
“That’s very kind, but no,” she said evasively. Again, he drew his own conclusion. This time it was the right one.
“I’m sorry, are you dating him?” Chris checked, looking skeptical, stunned, and faintly amused all at once.
“No!” Sybil protested loudly. “I mean, I went out with him one time, but I’m not dating him. I’m dating Tobias.”
She had already told him about Tobias, but he clearly hadn’t been paying attention because the incredulous look that he gave her was pricelessly comical.
“I want to ask about so much about that,” he said, grinning like her misfortune was the greatest thing to happen to him in months. It very well may have been.
“You’re dating someone named Tobias?” He asked anyway. “Tobias? Tobias? Tobias?!”
“End this,” she returned darkly.
“Please God, kill us both,” she said, looking up at the roof of the rented car, holding her hands in front of her like she really was praying.
“And you’re also dating Alex, the stupid guitar player from the shittiest band ever, second only to Skankhole?” Chris continued, not to be deterred so easily. Sybil considered the merits of opening the car door and then tucking and rolling. It would most likely kill her, but she had yet to determine if that would be a bad thing.
“I’ve already told you, I’m not dating Scandinavian Jesus,” she protested loudly. Giving him a nickname in front of Chris was a bad call. He looked even more delighted than he had before. She’d never seen him display so much emotion, let alone happiness, in all the time they’d known each other.
“Oh my God, he does look like Scandinavian Jesus!” He crowed, positively gleeful. “That is the single greatest thing I’ve ever heard. I cannot believe you even once dated a man who could be compared to Scandinavian Jesus. What did he do with his hair?”
“What do you mean what did he do with his hair?” Sybil returned, thrown.
“Like, when you guys were making out, what did he do with his hair?” Chris clarified. “What did you do with his hair?”
“Oh, he took it off,” she answered dryly.
“What?” Chris asked, looking over at her. She took great satisfaction in the fact that she’d managed to throw him as well.
“Nobody did anything with his hair, dumbass,” she answered. “I didn’t make out with him.”
“Because his luscious, blonde hair is too intimidating?” Chris checked. Sybil just about shoved him, but remembered that they were in the middle of a three-lane highway.
“Just so you know, I hate everything about this moment,” she informed him flatly. “I say that not because I think it’ll dissuade you in the slightest, but because I feel it needs to be said.”
“So when are you going to see him and his flowing locks again?” Chris ignored her completely.
“But just think about how Nordic your children would be,” Chris continued.
“Dear Lord, strike us dead,” Sybil said solemnly, looking back to the roof.
“That’s good, get in early with the in-laws,” Chris cut in with a shit-eating grin that made her want to hit him, but also return it.
When they made it to the hotel, they changed in their shared room. Chris was delighted with the twin double beds. He proclaimed them Ricky and Lucy beds before sprawling on the one closest to the window. It took him approximately a quarter of the time it took Sybil to get ready and it didn’t even take her that long. She prided herself in her ability to get ready quickly, especially compared to Bernie.
The wedding ceremony was being held in an old mill at the back of a golf course. It was very picturesque. It was also incredibly warm. Sybil and Chris met up with Priscilla and Keith, who were sitting in a row of white chairs, looking beautiful, but also very, very hot.
“Did you hear about Sybil’s date?” Chris asked Priscilla, leaning over Sybil to talk to her. Sybil cut him off, not wanting him to talk about it for several reasons, least of all because Keith might tell Tobias she was dating multiple people.
“For the last time, no one is dating Scandinavian Jesus!” She told him firmly and perhaps a touch too loudly. The couple in front of them turned to give Sybil matching startled looks. Chris snickered, even as the ceremony began. Sybil had to elbow him in the ribs numerous times.