Mr. Huerto grabbed Marie by the arm just before she reached the front door. “You’re going nowhere!”
“Let me go!”
“No!” He screamed. “Not until you explain yourself. Did you marry me for my money, expecting to take it and marry Joe after he returned from prison?”
She squirmed. “Joe, help me!”
Joe shook his head. “Tell the man, Marie.”
Marie shrugged her arm free. “Fine.” She let out a breath. “Yeah, maybe I did. Maybe I thought it would be the ultimate surprise for Joe when he got out. I loved him!”
“Loved?” said Joe.
She looked at Mr. Huerto, and rubbed his shoulder. “But something happened! I actually fell in love with you along the way! I don’t just want your money, I want you!”
“What about me?” Said Joe.
“Well… I still care about you! But things change! You’ve been gone for so long, Joe! What did you expect? How could you not think things would change?”
Joe grew teary eyed. “That whole time in prison, I served that sentence for you… for us!”
“Well what about me!” Cried Mr. Huerto. “I’m the true victim in all this! To think I’ve been duped, like some kind of idiot!”
“You weren’t duped!” Said Marie. “I love you! You’re my husband!”
“I”m a mockery! Our marriage is a complete sham!”
“No! It only started out that way!” Said Marie.
The door swung open, and Billy the butler rocketed in. “Good heavens!” He said, in a gasp. “What’s going on here? Who are you?” He said to Joe.
“That’s Joe,” said Mr. Huerto. “Fresh from prison.”
Billy the butler gasped again, and ran straight to Mr. Huerto. He hugged both arms around his neck. “Intruder! Don’t touch my man!”
Marie and Joe both gasped.
“Your man?” said Joe.
Mr. Huerto dropped his gaze and scratched the back of his head. He spoke solemnly. “Yes, I’m afraid it’s true.”
“What?” Said Marie, with a sniff.
“Me and Billy the butler.” He hardly managed to look back to her. “We’re in love.”
Marie slapped Billy the butler in the chest, and then he slapped her back. They both engaged in fit of wrist flickings, until Joe held Marie back.
“So our marraige IS a sham!” Cried Marie.
“Yes, but darling!” Said Mr. Huerto. “This can all be fixed!”
“How?” She said. “How can all this be fixed?”
Mr. Huerto shrugged. “Well… we can just stay married, and Joe can live here. Come night time, I’ll sleep with Billy the butler, and you can sleep with Joe.”
Everyone else shrugged as well.
An hour later, they sat before the television set, watching a feel-good movie by the fireplace. Mr. Huerto kissed Billy the butler on the cheek, and Joe kissed Marie on the lips.
“One big happy family,” said Mr. Huerto.
“I guess so,” said Joe, before winking to Marie. “We’re gonna go grab some more popcorn from the kitchen. We’ll be quick.”
As Joe and Marie walked hand and hand to the other room, Billy the butler turned and called out to them over shoulder.
“So will we!”
Everyone laughed extra laughingly.
– Thomas M. Watt