Now, we all knew that wasn’t going to work. Not for one cotton-picking minute did we think that those two could say "I do" and keep that vow until one of ’em stopped breathing.
Not unless, of course, one of ’em was the reason that the other exited this life.
"They’ll kill each other," a friend, old and wise and familiar with them both, had said. "He’s a raging Cajun and she’s just plain mean."
He thought for a minute. "It’d be hard to pick a winner amongst those two because I saw him in a bar fight one night and he cleared the room all by himself. If you ever get in a fight, you want him on your side."
Taking a long swig of water, he swallowed and said, "But I think I’d have to put my money on her."
The night she chased him out of the house with a deer rifle — hers, not his — and shot up his truck as he was fleeing at the speed of light, we figured she had won. Both of them filed a restraining order, talked ugly about the other one to anyone who would listen and swore up and down that kingdom would come before there’d be reconciliation.
The Lord didn’t return, but still he went crawling home anyway. She flung the door open and threw herself into his arms and it all began again.
There’s one word that describes them, whether they were fighting or loving: Passionate. To be honest, it wore you out to be around them for short periods of time. I don’t know how anyone can be that intense all the time.
They cuddled each other with the same kind of fierceness that they cussed each other. And I’m just here to tell you, I wouldn’t be kissing on nobody who talked to me the way that they talked to each other. Disrespect doesn’t stimulate romantic feelings for me, but I’m just kindly odd that way.
I don’t reckon she ever had another man. Most men were smarter than to take up with such a mean woman who only got meaner with each passing day.
But him? Well, he wasn’t much to look at, but for some reason, women beat a path to his door. Craziest thing you ever saw. They’d fight over his runnin’ ’round, she’d run him off and he’d take up with another woman. He’d stay gone a while then turn back up and she’d take him back.
A few times in the early years, he even got up in front of the church and asked the congregation’s forgiveness for the fool he’d been. After he’d ask the good Lord first, of course. Then after a while, he just quit asking the Lord or anybody.
They finally split up for good, but she wouldn’t give the man his peace. No siree. She’d call him up or chase him down, just to torment him. But, in all fairness, the Cajun gave up no ground to her. He gave as good as he took.
"That woman’s got anger issues," someone once said.
"Anger nothing. She’s plain, junkyard dog mean," said another. "Some people just born to bedevil folks and she’s one of ’un."
Then one day, the fighting stopped. They said he had probably been dead three or so days before someone found him in his living room, keeled over from a heart that could take no more. And wouldn’t you know it? She wailed and carried on and made something of a fool of herself at the funeral home.
My friend, who had predicted early on that they would kill each other, watched it all with great mirth.
"He didn’t die," he said with a caustic smile. "He escaped."
He winked. "Yeah, right about now, he’s probably giving the devil some tips. Things he learned from her."
Well, the truth’s the truth.