"Because she's my wife!"
Michael sat silently for a minute, before busting out in hysterical laughter. "You really are in rare form today," he said waiting for John to join in the laughter.
"It's the truth," he said, clearing his throat.
"This isn't funny anymore!" Michael shouted, feeling a sense of dread.
"We're married, Mikey," John repeated feeling his brother's pain.
"How? When?" Michael asked confused. "I just saw you last month and at no time did you mention Evangeline or any other woman!"
"So you're telling me between that short period of time, you fell in love and got married?" Michael asked not allowing John to get a word in edgewise. "Is she pregnant?"
"No, she's not pregnant!"
"Then why the rush?" Michael sat staring intently at his big brother. All their lives, John had always been rational, while Michael was impulsive. There had to be something more going on and he was determined to find the answer. "So are you going to tell me the truth?"
John let out a deep sigh and knew Evangeline was going to be upset that their secret was out. But he would swear Michael to secrecy.
"I'm waiting," Michael replied tapping the table.
John told Michael about their first encounter at the Buchanan's barbecue and their second three weeks ago. Michael sat quietly noticing the change that came over his brother, when he spoke of Evangeline. There was a sense of serenity about his entire demeanor.
"I know it was sudden, but I knew in that moment that she was the one, Michael. I've spent so much time grieving and letting life pass me by. Now, not only do I have a good life, but I can share it with the woman I love," he said with a goofy grin on his face.
"You really love her don't you?"
"From the way you're smiling, she must really be something, bro."
"She's my queen," John replied proudly. "But, I'm sorry you're hurting."
"I won't deny, I'm pissed she ended up with you and not me..but the look of happiness on your face is worth the sacrifice," Michael said, patting John on the back. "I love you, bro."
"Love you too, Mikey."
They both raised their glasses and toast to John and Evangeline's long future together. Michael decided to order another round of beer for the both of them.
"Mom must have been over the moon, when you told her," Michael said.
"Mom doesn't know," John said sheepishly.
"Well, she must have enjoyed meeting Evangeline."
"Actually, they haven't met."
"Let me get this straight," Michael replied slowly. "You got married to a woman that our mother knows nothing about?"
Michael once again burst out in hysterical laughter. "Oh man! There is no way I'd want to be in your shoes when mom finds out," he laughed.
"Mom will understand," John replied confidently.
Michael stared at John in disbelief, before doubling over in laughter. "Oh sure she will. She's only been waiting her whole life for one of us to have a huge church wedding. At least you got married in a church, right?"
"Actually, we were married by in a private suite, by Al Green in Las Vegas," John said, feeling the perspiration forming on his forehead.
"Oh, this just gets better and better," Michael laughed, almost falling out of his seat. "On second thought, I do want to be there when you tell mom. Bro, she's going to kick your ass!"
"You think she's really going to be upset?" John asked, less confident. His cell phone rang, before Michael could answer. John saw Lisa Williamson's telephone number flash. "Hello!"
"John, it's me," Evangeline whispered, as Lisa stood by her side. "Mom, can I have some privacy, please?"
"What's wrong, Sparky?" he said, hearing the voices in the background.
"Baby, I'm afraid the cat's out of the bag."
"Oh give me that phone," Lisa snapped, snatching the phone from Evangeline's grip.
"Be quiet!" she demanded. "Hello John, this is Lisa Williamson. You don't know me and I definitely don't know you. But I've been rudely informed that you're my new son-in law."
"Don't talk, just listen. I suggest you hop in whatever means of transportation is at your disposal and get your butt here, pronto!
"I don't want to hear any excuses," Lisa replied not giving John a chance to back out. "The address is 542 Greenbay Road. See you tonight." Lisa handed Evangeline the phone and walked out of the kitchen.
"John hurry," Evangeline pleaded. "I'm getting the sinking feeling she might disown me."
"I'm on my way."
"What's wrong?" Michael asked noticing the worried look on John's face.
"The shit's hit the fan," John said, standing to leave. "That was Evangeline. I have to get to Philadelphia. Apparently, her mother knows about us."
"Uh oh," Michael replied. "I'll pray for you brother."
"I have a feeling we're both going to need it," John said. "Oh Mikey, there's one more thing."
"I know. Don't tell mom," Michael replied. "You're secret is safe with me."
"Thanks," John smiled, walking away.