The instant that Emberlyn accepted Mr. Starks’ proposal, he asked her to remove the wedding band she still wore. “That life is over,” he said. “Your new life with me is just beginning. I’m not asking you to dispose of it because I know how much he meant to you but I am asking that you put it away.”
The future was knocking on her door and she knew that she had to leave the past behind. Later that night, she slowly took off the band and said a final silent goodbye to Fez. As she put it in a small box, a tear fell.
Mr. Stark announced his retirement and during his over the top send-off party, made another announcement. He and Emberlyn were getting married. Jaws dropped and discreet glances were cast but there had been speculation for quite a while that something was going on between them.
A beautiful young girl with virtually no experience had been hired on the spot by the boss himself. The catty women in the office had always joked that she was providing a tad bit more than just speedy typing but in reality, or “Realty,” she had caught the big fish.
They had a small ceremony with only a few of Mr. Starks’ closest friends as witnesses. He had asked his children to attend but they refused and were blatantly offensive when giving their reasoning, not to mention showing their outrage when he refused to make her sign a prenuptial agreement.
Emberlyn was no stranger to the effects of May-December romances so their behavior was no surprise.
Marthas’ Vineyard was where they would honeymoon. Unbeknownst to Emberlyn, Mr. Stark had a grand house, located not far from the famous Kennedy compound. Even though she had never been fond of water, she was mesmerized by the beauty she saw as they flew over the island in Mr. Starks’ private plane.
He showed his knowledge of the islands’ history when he said “not many modern-day folks know this but for almost two centuries, hereditary deafness was prevalent on the island. It was due to a recessive genetic mutation, traced back to Kent County, England. Marthas’ Vineyard Sign Language as it was called, was used by both the hearing and the deaf. The last person who was born deaf, died in 1952 and with that, so did for the most part, the use of sign language.”
Properly impressed, Emberlyn asked how he knew this. “I like knowledge,” he said, “and I like to know the history of things I hold dear.” He knew Emberlyns’ history. She had told him that she was the bastard child of a prostitute. She had been worried that it might alter his perception of her but when she told him, he laughed and said “and you think I didn’t know that? Everyone has at least one skeleton in their closet, including me.”
Just as they were about to land, he turned to her and said “what would you like for a wedding present? Anything your heart desires, will be yours.”
Emberlyn looked at him, smiled and said, “I’d like to have a child.”
His demeanor immediately changed. He said “I already have children.”
“You do, yes” she said. “But I don’t.”
He angrily said “that was not part of our bargain.”
“Our bargain?” she asked. “We have a bargain? That’s what you call our marriage?”
“Calm down. You know that’s not what I meant,” he said. “I thought you would understand that I have already raised a family and I don’t want to raise another one.”
Emberlyn was disappointed but said nothing more. She was sure she could change his mind. It would just take a little time.
Later that evening as they dined, Mr. Stark apologized for snapping at her. “You just completely took me by surprise,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
“But you’ll think about it?” asked Emberlyn.
“I didn’t say that,” he said. “Let’s not ruin dinner and let’s not ruin our honeymoon by talking about this right now.”
Emberlyn capitulated and later admitted to herself that the rest of their time together on the island was glorious but she wanted to get back “home.” She wanted to put her own personal touch on the house so that it would feel more like hers. Mr. Stark had already told her that she could decorate as she wished and spare no expense. The only thing he asked was that his library remain unchanged.
When they returned home, Emberlyn furiously began re-decorating. She wanted the rooms to be exquisite. She decorated one of the bedrooms in shabby chic, complete with distressed white furniture and soft, pastel fabrics. That room was her favorite.
The bedroom that she would share with Mr. Stark was more cosmopolitan inspired. Clean lines, muted colors and very elegant with little to no fru fru. She didn’t particularly like that style because it looked too sterile but she did it to please him.
To be continued_______________