A sleek limousine pulled in front of us as we got out the reception venue and chauffeur opened the door. Ethan gestured me to go in first. To get inside the limo was a real struggle because the dress skirt was fluffy. I took fair amount of time to sit as I was holding my clutch and the gift which Chris sent for me. After a little struggle I was seated in the limo and to my utter astonishment, Ethan was already inside. I guess, he didn’t wait enough for me to sit properly first. He obviously rounded the limo to the other door to get inside. We both were in the corners, leaving a well noticeable gap between us.
Sitting in the limo, heading to my new home with husband who wore a blank look on his face, completely ignoring me. One thing was clear, he was not someone who cared about anything, maybe except himself. I was feeling like trapped in this loveless marriage.
I was scared.
I didn’t find any hope to hold upon.
And I didn’t know if I ever was going to find happiness.
I rested my head on the window and looked outside. Sun was setting down as the darkness was engulfing bright day light; may be mocking me or warning me by indicating that my life was no different than the dimming light now.
In my peripheral vision, I saw that Ethan had balled his hands into fists and he was really angry. There was way too much quiet and air around us was thick with tension.
I closed my eyes to turn blind eye to everything that happened. I was so desperate to run away from the reality.
I didn’t know when I fell asleep. A sudden shake jolted me awake from deep slumber. And it was the driver who woke me up. I was bewildered for a moment, taking my surroundings in, I looked for Ethan and he was nowhere to be seen. I guess he exited the car the moment we reached the destination. And this made me realize that I reached my new house – rather Ethan’s house; no matter what, I didn’t feel like calling his house mine.
This whole scene was extremely humiliating. Newlywed bride, left alone sitting and sleeping in the car by her husband who didn’t even have the courtesy to wake her up to spare her from the utter humiliation of getting woken up by the driver.
I nervously got out of the car and thanked the driver.
“Sorry Mrs. Reynolds. I didn’t mean to disrespect you. I tried to call you to wake you up, but it didn’t work. So, I was left with no choice other than to shake you,” he replied in nervous yet firm tone. I understood what he meant.
“It’s alright … uumm…”
“Shawn Reed, my name.”
“Thank you, Mr. Reed,” I said.
“You’re welcome ma’am. Please call me Shawn.” He bowed slightly. I was surprised to get such royalty like treatment as I was never comfortable with people treating me like I was some rich, royal queen despite the fact that I was the baby girl of a world-famous businessman. I nodded at him and stepped aside holding my clutch and Chris’s gift.
I looked up and saw the beautiful mansion which was more like a castle. There were stairs leading to the front door. I made my way to the door and find it already opened. I stepped inside thinking of a wedding ritual – husband carrying the bride over the threshold. I felt slight hurtful pinch in my heart; may be because I wanted something beautiful like that on my first day of being married. May be, I really wanted some sweet fairy tale wedding.
When I stepped inside, the lights were dim, if it wasn’t for the cruel reality of the wedding and humiliation I just faced few minutes back, I would have found this setting: simple and romantic.
I didn’t get much time to admire my surrounding because my eyes fell upon a silhouette, sitting on the chair and most probably watching my every movement studiously.
“So, slept well, Ms. Jones?” Ethan asked carelessly. And after a few seconds, upon realizing something he added “aahhh!! My bad. I meant to say Mrs. Reynolds,” catching me off-guard. There was something in his hand; it looked like a vase.
I didn’t reply him, just stood still to my place. He slowly stood up and walked towards me like a predator eying his prey. I didn’t move a bit. He came too close to me, towering me with his height.
“Seems like you’re not scared of me. Are you?” he asked, tilting his head a little to left while tossing vase in air and catching afterward in his right hand.
“No, I’m not scared of you,” I might have lied in a low tone, looking anywhere but at him.
He chuckled and stepped away from me, walking back to the chair.
In a perfect swift motion, he suddenly threw the vase in my direction, which flew over my head by few inches; it hit the wall behind me. A scream left my mouth and I dropped my clutch and the gift. In reflex action, I closed my eyes and covered my face with my hands. By then, my whole body was trembling. I was too stunned to react or comprehend this sudden violent event. A few seconds later, I felt sharp pain at the back of my upper left arm, touching it with right hand I felt something wet, then I realized that the liquid was my blood. So, it seemed like when the vase broke, a piece of it bounced back, and sliced my arm.
Tears brimmed in my eyes, partly because of the cut and more than that, Ethan’s behavior was evoking a deep fear in me. In my life, I never witnessed such thing. As for my parents and brother, they were happily married and were in love with their partner. I’d always seen blessed marriage in my home and I’d expected one for me as well.
I came out of my self-pity thoughts when Ethan placed his finger under my chin and jerked my face up to make me look into his eyes. And there, I saw fire, raging fire; like a monster which was urging him do to much worse, yet there was something a tiny softness which was holding him back.
“Now, let me ask the question again. Are you scared of me?” he leaned closer.
“Yes,” I replied in one word in trembling voice.
“Good, you should be. Because you have no idea, I can be your worst nightmare,” he retreated to his full height.
My hand was covered in blood and I was sure my dress was ruined too, Ethan had no idea that he’d hurt me because there was not enough light and also the cut was at the back of the arm which was not visible, but this was the least of my worries.
“You’ll never be my wife. So, don’t expect anything from me. This marriage is just a business deal. And you, you’re nothing but a bloody trophy wife, only for the show,” he seethed angerly.
I didn’t have the strength to fire back as I was hell tired. So, I just opted for the safe option, I kept quiet. I didn’t want the replay of any sort of violent action again. This man was dangerous.
He grabbed my right arm and pulled me closer to him almost touching our bodies.
“I really wish to throw you out of this goddamn house. But I’m helpless. For the first time, in my life, I am fucking helpless. And I’m not liking this bloody feeling. But I promise you’d leave this house and I’ll make sure of this,” he roared the last part and pushed me back, like touching me burned him.
I stumbled a bit but balanced myself, still holding my arm. He walked away from me and stopped in front of the stairs and turned around.
“And one more thing, you’re are not allowed to stay in my room. So, I’m giving you your room where you can do whatever you like to do, whether it is crying, sulking, bla .. bla.. bla.., as long as you stay away from me and my room. Your room is first on the left,” he pointed in the direction on second floor and ascended the stairs with long strides.
I was standing in the hall. The tears started to flow down my cheeks. I never thought that first day of my wedding would be like this. I never felt this alone in my entire life. I didn’t know what to do, whom to tell? Or worse, should I tell this to anybody or my family? But a part of me didn’t not agree to bad mouth about the man I just married, because it would only cause tension to my family, and media would love to cover such sham of a marriage. This could turn into a big scandal and I wasn’t comfortable with such type of attention.
Number of things were running in my brain and at that moment, I just wanted to lay down and fly away in my dream, away from bitter truth of life.