“It’s got to be around here somewhere, Jamie. Maybe on the other side.”
“No, I’m positive that we put it on this side, Dex.”
“You’d be positive that the sky is green and grass is blue, but that wouldn’t make you right.”
“How would you know, you loser? You haven’t done right by me since the day we got married.”
“A problem I’d be all too happy to fix…oh, here it is.”
“See? I told you it was on this side.”
“Shut up and hand me the bolt cutters.”
Jamie Collier reached inside the oversize canvas shopping bag and pulled out their recent purchase from a local hardware store. “I can’t believe we had to fly all the way back to Montevideo for this.” She handed the cutters to her soon-to-be ex-husband, suppressing the desire to use swat him over the head.
“You read the damn legend. If we don’t do this, we’ll never be free of each other.”
“How can I forget. It was your idea.”
Dex took the cutters from her and opened the handles so he could apply the business end of them to the object of their mission.
“Never mind.” He was certain it had been her idea to put the padlock on the front of the fountain, but it would save time if he didn’t argue.
“The thing isn’t a legend, it’s a curse.” She couldn’t read the plaque’s Spanish version, but fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), it was also rendered in English. “The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked.”
“Damn, this thing is tough.”
“Come on, you big sissy. You’re always saying how much you can lift at the gym.”
“They don’t have weight machines that help you cut through a padlock, you pest.”
“Here, let me help.”
She pressed her body up against his back so she could reach around and help him squeeze the cutter’s handles. Irrationally, he started to feel aroused, but that was the only thing he found attractive about her anymore.
“Come. On. You. Son. Of. A…” They both cried out as the padlock suddenly gave and they lost their balance, falling against the fountain’s railing.
“Get off me.” Holding the tool in one hand, stood up, pushing her away from him.
“Don’t get all hot and bothered.”
“Hey, look. He pointed down. “We did it.”
“Yeah. It’s over. Five lousy years and it’s finally over.”
“I never want to see this place again.”
“You and me both. I don’t know why you wanted to have our honeymoon here anyway.”
“Me? It was you.”
“Alright, who cares? It’s over.”
“Hey, we’re drawing a crowd. Here, put the bolt cutters back in the bag. I’d hate to have some cop arrest us for vandalism or something.”
As she took the hardware and hid it away, Dex bent over and picked up the now broken lock with their initials carved on it.
“What are you going to do with that thing?”
“Toss it into the deepest part of the bay and forget we were ever married.”
“Great. I want to watch.”
“Fine. Come along if you’d like.”
“I have to. You have the keys to the rental car.”
“What do you want to do after?”
“Why do you care?”
“I could go for a bite myself, but I want to stop off at the hotel first. It’s supposed to rain later and I want to get my umbrella.”
“Might as well go back first.”
Thirty minutes later and the second they got their room’s door shut, they were ripping off each other’s clothes. They’d have to call room service for dinner since they would be naked in bed together for the next twelve hours or so. Dex and Jamie couldn’t stand being tied or locked to each other, either by symbolism or marriage, but they couldn’t live without each other, either.
I’d heard about Love Locks before, and apparently they’re popular in Europe. The idea is for a couple to carve their initials on put padlock and then lock it on some public structure. Usually it’s a bridge railing, but sometimes other locations are used, including a fountain in Montevideo, to symbolize everlasting love. But what if the couple wants to break up?
I was also reminded of the “Praying for the End of Time” portion to the song Paradise by the Dashboard Light, written by Jim Steinman and recorded by Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday) on his 1977 album “Bat Out of Hell” (lyrics HERE and YouTube video HERE).
Of course, there are couples who should never marry, but who otherwise manage to “get along” pretty well.