Special Attack

Special Attack
Marital Problems

Mur Lafferty | 29 Mar 2012 21:00
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He sounded as if he was pleased to see me, and kept calling me, "My love." (I've told him many times, "It's Dovahkiin," but he says, "I can't say 'Dovahkiin,'" and then I say, "You just did!" and then he gets sulky. It's a whole thing.) I suggested we move from his shithole tent to my manor in Solitude, and he said that would be fine.

Yes, his tent is a shithole. Look. I'm not a snob. But when you grow up in the woods and have nothing and then get caught by Imperials and almost executed and then thrown into the middle of a civil war and forced to learn the bow and magic and all this shouting business, when you get a chance to sleep in a real bed, you fucking take it. I love Derkeethus, but when I have five beds to choose from around Skyrim - and that doesn't even count my bunks at the mage's college, the Companions, and the Dark Brotherhood - I'm not going to choose a shithole tent.

I didn't call his tent a shithole tent, not to his face. I'm mad. I've been dumped. I believe I'm allowed some anger.

All right. So Ilona the Wossname and I did some adventuring and I made her some armor. I like her. Much less passive-aggressive than Lydia, and less likely to get mad about being set on fire (accidentally!) than Faendal. Then we went to Solitude to get some rest and dump our loot. And I wanted to see my husband again.

The moment we stepped inside the Solitude gates, Derkeethus was in the process of running through town, toward us. My love is coming to greet me, I thought! But no, he paid us no mind as he dashed past us and outside the gates. I was confused and hurt, so I followed him. He ran north, not toward Darkwater Crossing, and eventually got stuck on the side of a hill.

I approached him, nervous and sad. I was thinking, "What the fuck are you doing?" but somehow couldn't articulate it. He proudly told me the store was doing well, gave me 100 gold again, and another pie. He seemed so happy to be standing there, trying to climb this hill outside of Solitude, pretending as if nothing were wrong between us.

Maybe it was Solitude, I figured. Maybe we should move somewhere less ostentatious, somewhere less likely to make his tent look like a shithole. So I suggested we move to Riften. It's a long way to walk, and he's refused every offer I've given him to take one of my horses, but he cheerfully started off.

As he traveled across the country on foot (I assumed that was what he was doing,) I began looking in the cities for a marriage counselor. The closest I could get was Aerin in Riften, who drunkenly tried to give me love advice, but I laughed in his face and told him to get back to me when he had proposed to Mjoll the Lioness instead of just worshipping the ground she spills blood on.

Then I found out Derkeethus didn't go to Riften. He went back to Darkwater Crossing.

I gave up. I don't know if he has a lover there, or just likes his shithole tent. I don't know if mining all day is a better life than sleeping with me and playing cards with my housecarl while I risk my life to bring him an expensive lifestyle. Maybe he wants children with an Argonian, maybe he had second thoughts. I know I could invite him to adventure with me again, but frankly, it's too painful.

Whatever. I've moved on. I pawned my Bond of Matrimony to that slimy Belethor and will not return to Darkwater Crossing. He is welcome to his mining and his pond and his lover, if he has one. While I am happy to reside in Breezehome, or Proudspire, or Hjerim, he is content to live in Shithole.

Mur Lafferty is an author and podcaster. Her work can be found at murverse.com.

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