My aunt chose a strange man to marry. The day she met him, I’d accompanied her to the grocery store (I was to live with her for a month.) He introduced himself as Larry, a regular at the place.
My aunt began to frequent the store more often, seeing now as her grocery requirements miraculously grew threefold. She blamed it on my ravenous appetite.
Well, Larry, it seemed, changed his name each day, whichever suited his fancy, Bob one day, Samuel the next, and for the entire month, aunty conceded to play the memory game with me (a game I usually won hands down, and so she refused to play). Not-Larry’s ever changing names were a constant source of admiration at home (albeit one sided, and wholly fuelled by her.)
She sighed such a sigh one day that I pointed out she had a schoolgirl crush on the guy, but she said no, it was true love.
Amongst other peculiarities, the man frequently changed his appearance, beard one day, moustache the next, once, he’d even had on an afro hair wig. Since my aunt absolutely refused to bring me along to pick up the groceries anymore, a strong set of binoculars did the spying.
I said he looked startlingly like a chimp with hair grown on, she said he was handsome no matter what he looked like.
I, being a child, had absolutely no qualms in carrying out (futile) attempts to burst her bubble, but the woman was crazy after him.
One day, it occurred to me he could be a little off his rocker, or a policeman, or a spy, or a criminal or something, but Aunt said no, he was just eccentric, and she knew all the details of his personal life. She said the man loved her and that’s why he chose to divulge information about himself to her. She even knew his real name – John.
Well, my month was up, and before leaving I made my last attempts at discouraging (what I felt was) her unhealthy relationship, but soon as I left, news came round that she’d married “Not Larry -but- John”. This was about a year ago.
Today, I attended Aunt’s funeral. She died of asphyxiation, but why it happened in the first place isn’t clear. When I asked her neighbors about her peculiar husband, they told me she had none.