“Hey Sasha what about this one.” Placing the sleeveless wedding dress I had just been admiring back on the rack, I walked over to where Kelly and Ruby stood huddled together fawning over their latest find. As soon as I was within arm’s length of them Kelly thrust the dress into my face talking a mile a minute about all of its little features.
“Ok ok, Kelly. I can’t look at it if you keep shoving it in my face like that.” I laughed, gently taking the dress from her so I could see it more clearly. I gasped in wonder as I took in this beautiful A line wedding gown with long lacy sleeves, a high rounded neckline followed by a silky tulle princess line bodice. Wrapping securely around the waist was a silver jeweled belt with a simple white rose nestled snuggly in the middle. I ran my right hand down the simple flared tulle skirt that felt like silk in my hands. It was almost as though the dress had its own limelight as my eyes twinkled in awe at its majestic beauty. I knew just by looking at it that this was going to be my dress.
“You should try it on.” Ruby suggested grabbing my shoulders and steering me toward the dressing rooms at the back of the store. I could only grunt in reply as I continued to admire its beauty.
Finally I am pulled back to reality as my friends push me inside one of the rooms and close the door behind me with a snap. Glancing around me at the small mirrored room my sea blue eyes gaze back at me from every angle as the mirrors reflected my small form around the room. Walking over to the little wooden bench nailed into the wall I gently place my dress on top of it before pulling my black shirt with a heart on it over my pale shoulders. Picking up my dress I switch it with my clothes, and light blue purse, and squirm into the shimmering white dress. I huff in aggravation as I struggle to get the zipper to close. My long wavy red hair swayed from side to side as I hopped, wiggled, and squirmed. I felt fat as this beautiful size 2 dress refused to fit over my slim figure. Finally after much work I manage to force the zipper up. I can feel my lungs howling in protest as they struggled to allow air in. Forcing my legs to move I slowly made my way out of the dressing room to show my friends.
“Oh.” I hear Kelly gasp as I struggled to walk the short distance to where they sat on a metal bench by the dressing room.
“Tadah.” I weakly smiled stopping in front of them.
“Isn’t it lovely.” They exchanged a glance hesitating to answer my simple question.
“Um. It is beautiful on you but...” Ruby glanced at Kelly for help. Sighing Kelly gave me an apologetic look before responding.
“The thing is Sasha it looks a little tight.”
“No its not. I just need to get used to it is all.” I huffed my vision blurring as I swayed from lack of oxygen.
“Sasha your turning blue.” Kelly retorted.
“We just need to get a bigger size is all.” Ruby cheerfully announced jumping to her feet and walking over to the rack. Leaning against the wall I watched as she rummaged through the dresses looking for a bigger size. After a few minutes she returned empty handed with a frown on her face.
“Apparently they expect every girl to be a size 2.” She sighed unable to locate any more sizes of the dress. My eyes lost their twinkle as I gazed at my feet in sadness, hands balled into fists I clenched my teeth in frustration. I hated how the world expects women to be perfect in every way. Not allowing any room for error. This was the 10th dress I have tried on with the same result. I could feel tears of frustration welling up in my eyes as I turned my back on my friends and stumbled back into the dressing room. Pulling the zipper down I gasped as air came rushing back into my lungs once again. Placing the dress on the bench I pulled on my black shirt and dark blue jeans. Slinging my purse over my shoulders I grabbed the dress and began to head out of the room when I stopped. Gazing into the mirror I stare sadly at my hourglass figure, wishing I was smaller, before heading back to my friends. I could see them watching my every move with concern as I hung up the dress. I took one last look at it before sighing and closing the distance between us.
“Let’s just head home.” I sigh sadly feeling defeated.
“Sure Sasha, we can try another shop some other time.” Ruby soothed patting me on the back as I dragged my way out of the boutique. I can see the shop keeper watching us with disdain, her lips pressed into a thin line, as we left without buying anything. I could tell she wanted to say something harsh to us but she kept her mouth shut as we left.
“Hey I actually want to be alone right now so I am going to walk home.” I stated forcing a smile. Ruby and Kelly exchanged a glance their hands resting on the door handle of Ruby’s car.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean ditching the guards to go dress shopping with us was one thing, but walking back to the palace alone. You are still a princess Sasha.” Kelly objected frowning worriedly at me.
“It will be fine the palace is not far from here. Besides if I get into trouble I will just call my fiancé to come get me.” I reassured smiling at them as I held up my blue butterfly cell phone. They exchanged another glance obviously reluctant to leave me alone.
“Go I will call you once I get home I promise.” Sighing they nodded and getting in the car I watched as they drove home. Stuffing my hands in my pocket I made my way down the gray cement sidewalk. A street light nearby flickered to life as the sun set behind the mountains. I frowned as a drop of rain splashed against my face. Gazing up at the sky I silently watched as the wind picked up followed by the rain. Wrapping my dark blue jacket tighter around myself I picked up the pace. I jumped as a flash of lightning struck a tree by me causing one of its large branches to come tumbling toward me. Diving out of the way I land hard on the ground ripping the knees of my jeans in the process. Shaking I pushed myself into a sitting position and glanced back at the branch now laying on the sidewalk right where I had been only moments before.
“That was a little too close.” I thought breathing a slow shaky breath as I pulled out my cell phone. Unlocking it I pull up Aaron’s number and press dial.
“Sasha where are you? Your dad is losing his mind over here wor..” I hear Aaron start to say before he suddenly cuts off as my dad snatches the phone from him. Next thing I hear is my dad screaming at me for being so reckless and ditching my guards. I haven’t heard him this mad since Conner, my childhood friend and now the head of security, and I stole the limo when I was 16 and took it out for a joyride. We ended up driving it into a lake by accident. My dad could barely speak as he yelled at us. We were both grounded by our parents for 3 months after that. Though I had it slightly worse as my dad as extra punishment made me wash every limo by hand. We had 10 at the time, though we now own 20. Princess or not that didn’t stop my dad from teaching me responsibility.
“Yes dad I understand. See you soon.” I sighed hanging up. My dad was sending the guards out to get me though I knew I was going to get more lectures once I stepped foot in that palace.
As I stood there playing on my phone waiting I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand on end as I felt eyes watching me from the shadows. Glancing nervously around me I scanned the area searching for the source of my unease. All seemed quiet as crickets chirped quietly in the bushes, while the wind howled hauntingly through the trees. biting my lip I debated whether to meet them halfway. A loud clap of thunder boomed overhead making me jump. Not wanting to stick around where I am uneasy any longer I begin walking.
I am just rounding a corner when I hear loud squealing of tires behind me. Next thing I know I am engulfed in the headlights of a blue limo. Breathing a sigh of relief I begin walking toward it. I am only a few feet away when I stop Remembering when I had to wash all the limos. We don’t own a blue limo.
I can feel the blood drain out of my face as I turn on my heel and scurry away. A door slams behind me followed by heavy foot steps as the driver hops out of the car and chases after me. Squeaking in alarm I break out into a run. I stumble as a hand closes around my arm and jerks me backwards into someone’s chest. I struggle and manage to loosen his grip enough for me to break free but not for long. As the attacker grabs me again and spins me to face him. Both his hands are locked tightly around my arms as I gaze up at his masked face. He was wearing a black ski mask over his face to hide his identity. Leaning in I shivered as I felt his hot breath against my face.
“Thought you could go and marry someone else did you? Well guess again. If I can’t have you no one can ” his deep gravelly voice whispered in my ear. I whimpered in fear as he dragged me toward his limo. Releasing one of my arms he pulls open the back seat door where a child lock had been installed. He was about to push me in when 5 pink limos come barreling toward us. Stopping behind the attacker’s limo I hear the sound of car doors slamming followed by shouts as the guard’s race toward us. The attacker groaned in frustration as he tried to quickly push me in. Bracing my feet against the bottom of the car I leaned my weight against him slowing him down as I resisted.
“Let Go of my Fiancé. ” I hear someone say before my attacker is pulled away from me. I stumble and fall to my knees as the pressure on my arms is finally released. I gaze up to see Aaron standing in front of me as he faced my attacker who I assumed was glaring at him by how his hands were balled into fists by his side.
“This is not over. I will be back, and Sasha will be mine.” He seethed pointing threateningly at Aaron before racing toward the driver’s seat. The guards attempted to intercept him but he only dodged them before jumping in the car and speeding away the backseat door still hanging open. I tried to see if I could catch the license plate number but it had been covered with a thin metal plate. I watched as it rounded a corner before disappearing into the night.
“Are you ok.” Aaron gently inquired walking up to me and extending his hand. I just stared at him still in shock over what just happened. Sighing he grabbed my arm and gently helped me to my feet.
“You’re safe now.” He soothed pulling me into a hug. Resting my head against his chest I breathed in the musky smell of his leather jacket pulling me back to reality. Looking up I gaze into his smiling face and feel my heart melt as his emerald green eyes filled with love gazed into mine.
“We should be going your dad will be wondering where we are.” I pout a little as he pulls away from me, grabs my hand, and begins leading me to the limo. Letting go of my hand Aaron opens the door and waits for me to get in. One hand on the door I gaze around me frowning as I try to figure out why the attackers voice sounded so familiar. Shaking myself I get in the car and scoot down the gray cushioned seats as Aaron climbs in after me closing the door behind him. I gaze out the window as the driver starts the car and we speed away followed on all sides by the other limos.
“Something tells me this is only the beginning. ” I think to myself as Aaron places his hand on mine comfortingly.