A young couple, the man sun-burnt, the woman with an unusually long neck, decline the invitation. They lie side by sun beneath the sun, holding hands.
Next day. Turquoise water, setting sun, the first twinkle of stars. Pleasant murmur of voices, chink of silverware. From table to table the invitation goes—“Card games, starting soon. Finish dessert and bring your poker face.” Same couple, talking incessantly and laughing, decline. Soon they return to their room.Another day. Roiling sea, tattered clouds. Games of tennis, shopping trips, excursions to the theater with newfound friends. The young couple does not show. “Do Not Disturb” upon the door.
More days. A week in full. Airport filled with luggage and souvenirs. Sun-burnt young man holds wife’s purse uncertainly. Fellow traveler, waiting also, speaks: “These all-inclusive places are just great, aren’t they?”
Young man nods, tries to make the purse disappear.
“Always something going on,” continues the other. “Loads of fun. I met all kinds of people, had a blast.”
“Honeymoon?” asks the young man.
“Yeah. Great excuse for a vacation.”
The long-necked wife returns. Young man gratefully returns purse, bids farewell to fellow traveler. “I finally remembered what I wanted to tell you,” the wife says excitedly.
“What you forgot on our way here, a week ago? Haven’t you given that up?”
“Nope. Just popped into my head again. I read somewhere that resorts and such have needed to offer more and more programs because honeymooners get bored.”
“You know, because they’ve already….”
“I know why,” the young man says with a smile. “I just wanted to see your face.” He kisses her quickly upon the cheek, as if it were some forbidden thing. “You’re so cute when you blush.”
And he rejoiced in her coy expression.