Valorie woke up with a yawn before opening her eyes to a bright and sunny day. But it wasn’t just any ordinary day, no. Today was her twenty-fifth birthday. She rolled over in her black satin sheets in her bed and checked the happy birthday text wishes she knew awaited her on her phone. Some from her friends, some from relatives until she came to a text message from her mother reading:
Happy Birthday, sweetheart! Your Father and I have some important news to tell you. Come by the house whenever you can. It’s a surprise you are going to love. Xoxo, Mum.
Valorie couldn’t help her curiosity at her parent’s surprise news. What on earth could it be? Hopefully, it was something that she liked for once, since past surprises that her parents came up with never went towards her interest but she appreciated it none the less. She got out of bed, and out of her nothing but black and red bedroom, the candles and spellbook still displayed out from last night’s cleansing before she went to bed and went to the bathroom in her one-bedroom apartment.
The apartment was a bit small, but that was the way Valorie liked it despite her parent’s wishes to get her something bigger. Her bedroom was well decorated with black walls and small red moons, along with a black nightstand where her spellbook still resided.
She looked at herself in the mirror, amber eyes meeting amber eyes, with long brunette hair that went down to the middle of her back, with plump pouty lips, high cheekbones covered with fair clear skin. People say that her beauty was remarkable, but nothing was compared to her powers. Valorie was a witch, born into a family of witches, but she was the most powerful of all. Not that she really cared about either topic, she just didn’t want that type of attention. She just wanted to be loved and be normal not just for those two reasons.
Valorie showered, got dressed in her favorite Evanescence t-shirt, black jeans, black converse, and a black beanie. She made sure her make-up, also black, was in tack, before grabbing her purse, and a granola bar from the kitchen and heading out the door.
Valorie got into her car, a 2017 Volvo S60 T5, and drove to her parent’s house, making a quick stop to Starbucks for a mocha along the way. She parked the car in the driveway, getting out of the car and walking the pathway the front door of a grand mansion, her childhood home. The mansion was two stories of creamy white, with wide French windows, and rose bushes decorated the pathway to the front door. That’s when she noticed an unknown car also parked, in front of the house. Who car was this?
She continued walking and before she even reached the first step, her mother excitedly opened the door.
“Lloyd! She’s here!” Her mother called from inside the house before hurrying down the steps to greet her daughter in a hug.
“Happy Birthday Valorie, love.”
“Thanks, Mum,” Valorie said with a smile as she embraced her mother.
Nina Wood, Valorie’s mother, had the personality of both a leader and caring individual, along with being very energetic and a bit bossy.
“It seems like only yesterday I gave birth to you, now look at you all grown up. But of course still no sense of style, I see. When are you going to grow out of this phase?” She looked up and down at Valorie’s clothes with disgust.
“I do have a sense of style, just different from yours. No one wants to wear brightly colored clothes all the time, like some unicorn puked on it.” Valorie replied as they walked up the steps and were in the foyer of the house. The house also smelled of roses, it always did since they were her mother’s favorite flower.
Valorie’s childhood home was just as she always remembered it. On the left side of the foyer was the living room and on the right was the grand dining room, followed by the kitchen. Not far off was a small ballroom where so many parties took place. Upstairs there was a library, her father’s study, her parent’s bedroom, her old bedroom and then a few other guest bedrooms.
“Miss Valorie. Happy Birthday.” Their butler, Richard, greeted with a bow and a smile.
“Thanks, Rich,” Valorie said with a smile before turning to her mother again. “By the way, who’s car is that parked in the driveway, I don’t recognize it.”
Her mother just gave her a beaming smile for an answer. Well, that answered her question, not. What was going on? What could this surprise be? She leads her into the living room, where a young man, not too far along Valorie’s age sat on the couch at one end. The living room was also known to Valorie as the gold room because most everything in it was the color gold, except for the carpet, which had a floral pattern.
The man was handsome, Valorie would give him that, with his bright green eyes, long blonde hair, and nice built face but other than that he didn’t seem like her type, but he did seem familiar. He must be who the unknown car belonged to.
She looked to her mother for answers about Mr. Unknown, but her mother seemed like she wasn’t going to spill the beans quite yet. What was going on around here?
Valorie sat down at the other end of the couch not far from Mr. Unknown just when her father came into the living room, kissing Valorie on the cheek. Llyod Wood was somewhat the exact opposite of his wife. He was a quiet man, who said very little but his words were always final. He was also a leader just like his wife and also cared about his daughter a great deal. He sat by his wife on the couch on the other end of the room, facing Valorie and Mr. Unknown.
“Valorie, you remember Damon Hart. You two use to play together as children.” Her mother said.
Oh. That’s where she remembered him. He took her hand then and kissed it.
“Long time no see Valorie. I have to say those childhood years can’t compare to now.” Damon said.
“That’s because we were children then. But I’ll have to say, you have changed too. Different from the little boy that annoyed me to no end.” Valorie replied smiling. Damon smiled back.
Richard then came in with a tea set tray and sandwiches. Once Richard serves everyone, he left the room, Valorie couldn’t hold her curiosity any longer.
“Okay, Mum. What was the surprise of the important news you and dad wanted to tell me?”
Her mother smiled and looked at her father, who nodded, giving her the okay to spill.
“You’re getting married!” Her mother exclaimed happily.
“What?” Valorie asked in disbelief. But she guessed her mother mistook it for happy disbelief instead of shock, she nodded excitedly.
“To who?” Valorie asked but she knew she wasn’t going to like the answer.
Her mother motioned to Damon. Damon Hart. He waved. Oh no.
“Oh, it's going to be a fabulous wedding with flowers and crystal chandlers. Oh, I was also thinking about rose pink as being the color scheme.” Her mother drowned on.
Valorie didn’t like this surprise at all.
“Marriage?” Valorie said still not believing it.
“Yes.” Her father said.
“It was already decided, dear. That the Hart’s and Wood’s would be united. The two most powerful magical beings being united in marriage. I can only imagine my grandchildren already.” Her mother explained.
“Why wasn’t I apart of this?”
“You were children, love. You wouldn’t have understood. Besides its tradition anyway for the parents to pick out their children’s betrothed.” Mrs. Wood said. An arranged marriage? This is not how she wanted her life to be. Valorie turned to Damon, wondering why he wasn’t saying anything about this. Surely he was against this as must as she was.
“Don’t worry, love. I love you already and I can’t wait for this marriage to happen.” Damon said. “I’ve been waiting for you for years, but my family told me that I should wait until your parents told you the news.”
Okay, maybe not, Valorie thought.
“Anyway, maybe not rose pink as a color scheme. Maybe lavender would suit best. White and lavender that’s it. Have your dress be traditional and a long train.” Her mother continued to talk on and on, but Valorie felt that her world turning upside down. She needed to fix this.
“No.” She said in a monotone voice.
“No to the traditional wedding gown? Well, I guess we could…”
“No, I mean no to this whole arranged marriage ordeal. I’m not marrying him!” Her face was serious now with anger.
“Yes, you are.” Her father said. His voice stating that it was final. But Valorie be damned if it was.
“We all agreed to it.” Her mother said. “And it is tradition.”
“But I didn’t agree to anything. I didn’t get to agree on any of this. And I don’t. I don’t like having my life decided for me. Especially my love life.”
“It’s not your place to decide that. You can’t refuse.”
“I refuse this and I refuse to marry someone I barely know. I can give a rat’s ass about tradition.” Waves of powerful energy came off of Valorie’s body now. She stood grabbing her things to leave.
“Valorie sit down.” Her father bellowed.
“No, I’m getting out of here. You three are not going to sit here and decide who I’m going to marry and dictate my life.” Valorie yelled as she exited the mansion, slamming the door behind her. She drove out of the driveway as she speeds down the street, as she dialed her best friend’s number. She needed to vent and a strong drink.