Artemis has known Wally long enough to accept his ’80s dance sessions as the norm. Every once in a while, he’ll just pop a CD in the stereo (because he’s dropped and broken his iPod more times than he can count) and start jamming out to Joan Jett. Y’know, “Bad Reputation” and all that. He likes the idea of a moody, kickass female rockstar. In fact, Joan reminds him of Artemis.
Not that he would ever admit to that.
Artemis will typically walk into the living room somewhere between I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation and you’re living in the past it’s a new generation. Usually, she’ll clear her throat or just walk right behind him, taking the groceries to the kitchen before he blows a speaker. And he ALWAYS blows a speaker.
Wally figures his wife thinks he’s crazy, shrugs his shoulders, and keeps dancing.
But once, just once, he comes home to discover something entirely unheard of. Artemis has popped a CD in the stereo, and it isn’t any Joan Jett classic either.
No, Artemis is listening to One Direction.
She’s standing on the top of the couch, holding a spatula in one hand and a beer in the other. Which is odd, because Artemis doesn’t drink much, and she certainly doesn’t drink cheap Budweisers at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. But she’s jumping up and down, shaking her ass to baby you light up my world like nobody else. And Wally can only stand there in the open doorway and stare.
Nelson’s having something akin to a heart attack, sitting on the floor and yapping at his mother like she’s turned into the Creature from the Black Lagoon. But she’s paying absolutely no attention, as she spins around in the air, leaps off the couch and onto the armchair, playing air guitar with the spatula.
She starts to “raise the roof,” bumping her hip against the bookshelf and sending a mass collection of magazines tumbling to the floor. She kicks them aside with one foot, as right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe.
Wally glances over at the kitchen stove, and notices that Artemis is making grilled cheese. Or, she was, until Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis infiltrated their home’s speaker system.
Sneaking past her, as she flips her hair back and forth in a headbang, Wally makes for the stove. The grilled cheese is burned, but the gas fire’s off, so it’s nice and cool by now. He lifts it gingerly, sneaking a grin back at his wife.
Positioning himself in the perfect pitcher’s stance, feet planted, knees bent, Wally winds up. He lifts his leg and everything—a real Roger Clemens.
Then he tosses a gooey grilled cheese sandwich at Artemis’ head.
It hits its target in the middle of so come on you got it wrong and to prove I’m right I put it in a song. Artemis immediately stops dancing, her body suddenly frozen and rigid. A creeping second of horror passes, but Zayn keeps singing as if all’s perfectly normal in the world.
Then Artemis whips around, sees Wally, and her face becomes the physical embodiment of “Ohhhh, crap.”
Wally grins his most winning grin, and does a little tango over to her. She just stands there like a dumbstruck baby deer, ashamed and embarrassed and windswept.
“I like the improv butt-shaking,” he tells her. “No, really. It’s quite sexy.”
“Shut up,” she mutters.
Wally grabs her by the shoulders, and twists her around to face the mirror on the wall.
“Aw, c’mon, have a look.”
The reflection is an absolute mess. Her make-up is smudged, her hair’s in tufts, and there’s cheese gooping down the side of her face.
Still, Wally kisses her cheek.
“That, babe,” he says, and points to her reflection. “That’s what makes you beautiful.”
They spend the rest of the night eating overcooked brownies and slow-dancing to the sweet, savory sound of Harry’s voice.
They never speak of this again.