Your Dad and Mom have sat everyone down in the living room to tell them about this girl Melanie again.
"No one ever mattered so much to us," Mom says. "Not even you kids."
"You kids owe your life to Melanie," says Dad.
"If we hadn't both fallen for her so deeply," Mom continues. "We wouldn't have felt the need to be together, to be with someone else who understands how wonderful Melanie was. That's really the only basis for our love. We share a love of Melanie."
"One day you'll have kids too," says Dad. "And you'll realize that as much as you care about them, you can't help but care just a little bit more about this girl you dated for a few weeks in college."
"I dated her for seven weeks and four days," Mom jumps in. "Your father only dated her for three weeks."
Dad gets up and storms off, slamming the bedroom door behind him. You know he only went in there to pull out the box of photos of Melanie and he's laying on his back with the photos spread over his chest like a blanket made out of the days when it was still possible to believe he deserved a girl like her.
"It all started when Melanie came running into the lobby of my dorm to escape from the rain," Mom says. She tears up when she talks about the shape of Melanie's right breast which, as you've heard a million times, was slightly more oblong than her left.
"We stayed in bed for two days," Mom continues. "In a way, I'm still in that bed. Under those covers, feeling her bare stomach against my own. In my mind, I've never left that bed. When I married your father, saying I do, my thoughts were in bed with Melanie. When I was giving birth to you kids, with every pant and push, I imagined Melanie's breath mingling with my own. Her breath smelled like apples. Always apples."
She goes on and on like that, not even thinking about signing the bank papers. Just looking back on every milestone. Your first day of kindergarten. Your high school and college graduations. Your own wedding to your husband of seven years. During all of those special momentous occasions...
"I felt Melanie's lips against the skin of my neck," Mom says.
"But something about Mom must have been lacking, and she saw something in me that filled that void," Dad says from the doorway. He's come back out, his cheeks wet with tears.
"I only started dating your father to find out why Melanie left me for him," Mom says. "I'm still not sure."
Ask them once more if they're ready to sign the bank papers. The house sold a week ago and the buyers are wondering why they haven't received the notarized documents yet.
"What if Melanie's looking for us?" Mom says.
"We've had the same address for forty years," says Dad. "What if the day after we move, she finally decides to contact us again, and tell us which one of us she loved more?"
Get angry and make them sign. They'll do as you say, and they'll move out a week later. Not twelve hours after they've left their home, Melanie will arrive on the doorstep, looking forward to seeing faces she hasn't seen in so many years. She'll knock on the door, but there won't be an answer. She'll knock again. And once more. Then Melanie will peer through the window and see that the floors are bare. She'll know she's too late, and she'll get back into her car to go visit this couple she dated for a few months in grad school (MFA in Art History).
Happy The History Of Melanie Day!