ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Adventures in the World of the Married Man


He thought it would never happen. He had hoped it would never happen.

But to his surprise, it had happened anyway when he wasn't paying attention. Here he was in a strange and foreboding world that was completely foreign to him; the World of the Married Man. Gob had accidentally stepped into a separate dimension from the one he had grown accustomed to, and he had no words to describe it other than 'different'. It felt different (was it guilt he felt when he looked at another woman, or was he just hungry?), it looked different (the walls of her house were a pastel pink, and there were seashells on the table; no fake turkey), it even smelled different (kind of like a sickly sweet... actually, he wasn't sure what that smell was.)

-

It was perplexing when had woken on that morning in a different bed with his clothes still on and without a woman next to him; he supposed he was just having a bad dream. Gob sat up and found a note on the pillow next to him that read

'Gob,

At Sea Land. Trying to fix huge mistake. See you later'

(What shocked him: someone had spelled his name right!)

He then remembered the events of the night before; the drinks, the dares, running from an angry convenience store owner with a shotgun, something that might have been a mild concussion, and finally, a marriage.

Oh, he'd made a huge mistake. What was worse was the fact that he didn't even have sex with her, although he'd keep that particular mistake under wraps when he complained to Michael about it later that afternoon.

-

Every time he went to break up with her, something horrible happened.

The first time, it was a stray bird that had smacked into the big window at the front of the house just as the words 'we need to talk' had slipped out of his mouth. After a frantic scramble, the bird was placed in a shoebox and buried in the garden. She moped for the remainder of the day, curled up upon the couch, hugging a stuffed seal to her chest. There were a couple of times where she glanced at the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, but he didn't think anything of it.

The second time he was at the zoo with her, where she was awaiting the birth of a baby seal and he was trying to figure out what the hell seals actually eat (turned out it was fish, which he swore he totally knew.) After the pretty disgusting seal-birth display was over, he was going to bring it up, but she was laughing and smiling with her colleagues (he couldn't believe that there was actually more than one person in the world who specialized in seal-dealing) and he didn't really have the heart to crush that (although normally he wouldn't mind.)

The third time, she was just getting off the phone with her mother, who had informed her that they would be getting a divorce in such a cheery manner even though it broke her daughter's heart. He was about to talk about their own separation when she beat him to the punch and suggested it first. It was an answer to all his problems, and although his mouth started to say 'yes', his stomach twisted in a weird way (he knew he shouldn't have eaten that hot dog that guy gave to him on the boardwalk, but he was really hungry at the time) and the words that came from his mouth sounded more like 'we're not getting a divorce' and he found himself holding her. Something he hadn't done to anyone in a while (usually he skipped that kind of thing and went straight to the fun stuff.)

She talked to him about those stupid seals, the mating habits of sea turtles, and occasionally the weird things that she'd done on dares (those stories, he at least half-listened to. Sometimes they were kind of dirty.) Her walls were pink, and she had weird pills in the bathroom that he couldn't read the name of (it was a really long word, it might have looked Spanish, but he couldn't remember.) She made him wear sweaters on California summer days. She made him wear yellow, for god's sake.

But for some reason, he wasn't so eager to get rid of her anymore. He kind of liked having someone to talk to that wasn't his family, even though she didn't listen to him any more than they did. He liked being in a house that wouldn't fall apart while you're standing in it (even if the walls were friggin' pink), and it also wouldn't make you seasick like a yacht would. He even sort of liked the hugging that one time.

Just as he had come to accept their strange and colourfully-clothed alliance, he was booted from that new and strange world unceremoniously when she told him she was in love with someone else (Her own brother? His brother? His sister's brother? He forgot who it- Oh, it was his brother in law), she joined the army, shipped off and things were back to their original state.

He lived where he pleased, he wore what he wanted, and he didn't have to think about seals (for a little while.)

And for some reason, he kind of missed her (he didn't understand it either.)

-

When they met again, things were even more different. It was many months and many women later, and he had finally worked himself up to telling the truth in order to end their marriage once and for all.

She didn't say his name properly. But to be fair, he hadn't even known hers in the first place. She was different; thinner, a little stronger-looking (he couldn't help but notice that her cans didn't look nearly as good as before, though...) Gone were the pastel colours and pearl necklaces and in their place she wore army fatigues and dog tags.

She wouldn't have pink walls in her house anymore, would she?

Even though she was lacking in the northern region now, he found her pretty attractive. After a while, he didn't really hear his own words (he was probably saying something stupid right now, she was smirking in an arrogant way) because he was really only concentrating on her.

Banter was exchanged. Somewhere in there, he didn't have his pants on (you really can wear stripper clothes anywhere; it's good to prepare for moments such as this) and he was with her on the leather couch.

-

Her lawyer stared stony-faced across the table in a way that would normally make him kind of uncomfortable, but he was still as giddy as he always was after he got laid, to it had no effect upon him. He wasn't really listening to himself again when he spoke to the judge, he might have said 'sonsummated' but he didn't really care.

She pulled out a full-size printout of a photo of Gob and herself, taken moments ago when they were in the office together (wait- who took that picture?) and presented it as evidence that they had indeed consummated the marriage. The judge raised the point that Gob's face was covered, and you couldn't tell who it was under the shirt that was pulled over his head.

"That's me, your honor! I fucked my wife!" he said with such excitement, laughing, even though he could hear Barry give a frustrated groan beside him before he left the room.

She smiled, and he was pretty sure it was because she had won the legal battle, but he didn't care and he sort of smiled back.