October the second had been her birthday. Today was the twelfth of the same month. The sun shone down on the pair as they walked, hand-in-hand, heading south on the Las Vegas strip, entering Caesar’s Palace. It was late morning, and it was warm but not unpleasantly so. They sat down at a cafe inside the hotel. On one side was a restaurant and on the other was a convenience store. Across the walk-through area was the casino floor.
“Do they walk over and take your order?” the girl asked.
“I think so,” the man said.
“What are you gonna get?”
“An iced Americano. You?”
“I heard that. You both want large drinks?” asked the waiter who had been walking over to the couple.
The waiter brought the drinks. The girl was looking at her smart phone with a tired look on her face.
“That thing is a monster,” she said to herself, absent-mindedly.
“What are you looking at?” asked the man.
“Some article, they found a new flying dinosaur. P… P… Pterosaur, it says.”
“That’s dumb,” the man said. “Dinosaurs are fake.”
The girl looked at the man. “Well, says right here they found a fossil of one,” she said.
“Yeah, so what, they’re fake. They just made them up to sell stuff.”
“Well,” said the girl. “Maybe so. I just read the article and it sounded fake. They said this stupid lizard-bird could fly immediately when it was born. How would they even know that?”
“Yeah, it’s dumb. It’s a waste of time. You should just get rid of your phone. We’re together now. Forget about the fake flying dinosaur. That never happened.”
“Oh knock it off. We had plenty of time together last night. Who cares if I read an article about a fake dinosaur?” the girl asked. She paused. “Did we really get married?”
“Fuck, I don’t know. I mean, we did but who knows?”
“What do you mean who knows?”
“I don’t know.”
“I never said I wasn’t.”
“Great, I married a dummy.”
“Yes you did, dummy. You…”
“Stop it! I want to have a good day,” squealed the girl, excitedly.
“We are having a good day.”
“How’s your coffee? Did you have fun last night?”
“It’s okay and yes, I did. It was the best time ever.”
“Their chai is okay. Nothing spectacular.”
The girl looked out at the casino floor, across the way from the cafe.
“I can’t believe we got married in Vegas,” she said. “It’s so cliche, but it was so fun.”
“I knew we would do it once we decided to meet here.”
“Whatever you say.”
A jackpot jingle rang out from one of the slot machines fifty feet away from the couple.
“I needed some coffee,” the man said.
“Yes, we were up most of the night,” the girl said.
“Let’s hang our for a while and we can go take a nap,” the man said. “That way we can do something cool tonight. We can go to a show.”
The girl looked back at her cell phone, sending a message to someone.
“Do you want to? We can find a good show or go to a concert or just drink our faces off. But first, we take a nap.”
The girl rolled her eyes.
“Or we can get a massage or play blackjack. If you don’t want to take a nap.”
“I think a nap will be fine but let’s talk about it later. It’s dumb to talk about a nap when we just got up. Who does that? And I know what you mean by nap.”
“Okay, that’s fine.”
“Does it feel different to you?”
“I mean, being with you in person is different than what we had over the phone.”
The girl looked up from her phone and stared into the man’s eyes.
“You think we did something dumb?”
“No, we have something different. It’s better. I know it.”
“That’s what I think,” said the girl. “I think when the dust settles we will be happy.”
The man looked at the girl as she spoke. The girl looked back at the man and then looked at her ring.
“It’s weird. We actually have to do stuff now to make it all work.”
“Do you think it will work?”
“Well, yeah. Remember all the stuff we talked about? You don’t just get a connection like that. I’ve never felt anything like it.”
“I feel the same way. But then… in the next moment… I think we’re crazy.”
“Maybe. But I love you now, in real life. We love each other. Remember love week?”
“I know. But now we actually have to do stuff together, not just talk… you think it will work?”
“Let’s try it out, right now. We can take the rest of these drinks to go. Let’s go do something.”
“Ha, what do you want to do?”
“Let’s window shop while we’re here and people watch. I kind of want to hold your hand.”
“I’d like that. No homo.”
“You don’t have to be coy. It can be love week again. It’s okay,” said the man with a laugh.
“That never ended for me. I love you.”
“For me, either.”
“Okay, good. Let’s go. That sounds fun. We can look in all the stores.”
“Are you just saying that because I said it? Otherwise, we can just walk on the strip or do whatever we want. Go to a show…”
The couple stood and walked out of the cafe, toward the shopping area. The man grabbed the girl’s hand. As they walked they saw mostly foreign couples, with lots of kids. The girl seemed to be paying attention to the kids in particular. The foreigners were Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Arab, even African. There were very few Americans walking through Caesar’s Palace. Neither of them made a comment about that. The couple walked into a store selling Italian designer goods.
“It’s different looking at this stuff after last night.”
“What do you mean?” asked the man.
“Well, I don’t care as much about this kind of thing anymore. Like, shopping. I mean, I’m having fun but you know.”
“Well, we still need to do stuff or we will get bored. You didn’t like my idea of a nap,” said the man, smiling.
“I liked the idea, but not when we just left the room and walked to the coffee shop,” replied the girl, smiling.
“We can do whatever we want.”
“That’s how I feel too.”
“We don’t have to stay in Vegas.”
“But I want to. Let’s stay, just two more days. Let’s see a show,” she begged.
“Deal. I’ll need a nap, though. We didn’t sleep last night.”
“Okay, fine,” said the girl, feigning anger.
“It will be a great day.”
“We’ll have to see how you do.”
No words were spoken for the next minute.
“Does it feel awkward?” asked the man, breaking the silence.
“Not until you said that, it didn’t.”
“Wow, tough crowd.”
“Do you really think we’ll do everything we talked about?”
“Well, we’d probably have half of it done by now if you stopped asking.”
“I’m just excited. Is that annoying?”
“Are you kidding?”
“Where do you want to go next? I mean, not today, but after Vegas. We’re married.”
“I don’t know.”
“Oh, come on.”
“Well, we talked about Boston.”
“I would love that.”
“What about the other stuff? Is it gonna work?”
“Everything I do works.”
“Everything? That can’t be true.”
“How do you know?”
“It just does. Remember that stupid dinosaur article you mentioned earlier?”
“How do you know the lizard-bird existed?”
“Well, I don’t think it did,” said the girl.
“Okay, well, why do you think that?”
“Because it doesn’t make any sense. It just seems fake.”
“How do you know?”
“I just know.”
“That’s how I feel. Do you understand, now?” he asked. “I understand,” she said. “It’s all gonna work out. I know it.”