I’m writing a series of novels: the Seeking Scylla series. Some characters dance on the edges of the narratives. Some never make it in. In Beyond Scylla blogs, I share stories and vignettes about these characters.

—What is wrong with you?

—Wrong with me? Maybe you’re asking the wrong question. What is wrong with you, Dad? You know him. You’ve known him for years.

—Now honey,… you have to know this is… a lot for your dad and I. We’re in shock. You’re getting married? We didn’t even know you were seeing anyone.

—Shock? I didn’t see that look of… of… shock. Shock is it? You weren’t shocked until I said “Isaac.”

—But Isaac…

—He’s been one of my best friends for years. I thought you loved him.

—Well, of course, we do, don’t we, Jeff. He’s a fine, well-spoken b… young man.

—Oh my god, Mom! Well-spoken?

—How long?

—What, Dad? How long what?

—How long have you two been… you know…


—Yeah, and…

—Wow. I see where you’re going with this. Dad. We’re 23. He’ll be 24 next month. We made it official the year I finished nursing school. NOT high school… No minors involved in this story. But you know what? You know who I did have sex with when I was a minor? Joel, Dad. Remember Joel? Do you wanna go after him? I mean, he deserves it. He’s pond scum. An emotional monster. And we were still doing it when he turned 18, and I was only 17.

—Bridgette! That’s… you never told us, your dad didn’t mean that Isaac…

—The hell he didn’t. Let me ask you both something. What was your reaction when Courtney told you she was marrying Lyle?

—Well, thank goodness she didn’t because…

—Because he’s a junky and a narcissist slimeball. But that wasn’t my question. You knew Lyle had drug problems. Did you ask Courtney, “What’s wrong with you?”?

—That was different.

—Yes indeed it was. Lyle was bad news. But you were perfectly fine arranging a wedding for them in your church… I shouldn’t have come here. What’s the point anyway?… Oh, here’s the point, I’m getting married and I wanted to let you know. I wanted you to know how good Isaac is to me, how crazy in love I am with him… Silly me, I wanted you to be happy for us. I wanted to invite you.

—You’re pregnant, aren’t you?

—Again, wow, Dad, but nope. Not yet. But we plan to get pregnant right away.

—Aren’t you being hasty?

—Hasty, Mom? We’ve known each other for over a decade, dated three years…

—Three years, and you never even told us you were dating. Three years? He’s been here a dozen times in three years. You lied to us! You didn’t say a word…

—I didn’t lie. We tried, we couldn’t find the right time. And I was afraid of this… this underbelly. I didn’t want Isaac to see this side of you, Dad. The bigoted fear. He loves y’all, but I think Isaac knows. He was afraid of this, too.

—It’s still hasty.

—No it’s not, Mom. It’s time. Past time. And don’t worry. I don’t need your help, and the ceremony won’t be at your church.

—We’re not going.

—That’s not surprising, Dad. Disappointing, but maybe it’s for the better. I’m sorry we didn’t tell you sooner, so we could be on the other side of this, if there is another side.

—Wait, Bee, please. When? Even if we can’t go…

—Won’t go.

—Still, when and where will it be?

—What’s wrong with you, SueEllyn? You heard me. We’re not going.

—I’ll send you an invitation, Mom.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.