Chapter 40 - Just A Glimpse of You
I had my white cocktail dress on. It had a sweetheart neckline with a flowy skirt that reached on the knees. A red ribbon was tied elegantly around my waist for additional sophistication and as what my mom said, a tradition, and in order to distinguish me from all the other ladies in the room. I am the bride-to-be of course, so it was my night.
Together with me as I stepped inside the second-floor function room were my mother and my step-dad. Auntie Marcella arrived earlier in order to make sure that the preparations were going according to her ‘top-of-the-line’ plan.
When we examined the place, it was really of that magnitude. Rows and rows of white rose bouquets were seen in the entrance and corridor going to the specific bridal party room. Then, inside the room itself, there were numerous white vases full of white roses and Dancing Lady orchids. White balloons covered the whole ceiling except the huge crystal chandelier of the hotel. In the center of spacious room was an elevated platform that was decorated with my name in bejeweled letters and a huge gold ring in the background. Vines covered the backdrop of the platform making it very refreshing to look at. A gilded Victorian chair was placed in the center of the platform and I have a feeling that it was intended for me.
“So, how do you like the decorations, Andi dear?” Auntie Marcella asked as she approached us, smiling from ear to ear.
I hugged her immediately and said, “I like it Auntie. Thank you for this.”
She held me tightly and patted my back. “You’re welcome dear. It is my pleasure and happiness to do this.”
Afterwards, we made our way into the platform, taking pictures and chatting briefly with my guests along the way, and as soon as I sat on the gilded chair, the bridal party immediately began.
It was basically a very fun night for me. There wasn’t a time that I felt bored or unattended at all. The bridal games were very enjoyable and even the lap dances of the invited hunks were uhmm... yeah, hot-to-the-core. My mother and Auntie’s friends were even fanning their hands out of excitement.
I had to pull myself outside the room in the end just so I could have a breather with all of the hoopla going on.
Choosing to rest in a small balcony of the second floor corridor was a good choice for me. I leaned on the railing and stared at the well-kept garden outside the hotel.
It was pretty much a beautiful night. The air was cold and clean, and the overall aura of the balcony was very welcoming.
Well, at least that’s what I felt before a man’s voice suddenly broke from behind me.
“Excuse me Miss, is this red ribbon yours?” he asked.
I blinked many times and quickly turned around after seeing and realizing that my red ribbon was gone.
“Oh yeah, yes!” I exclaimed, immediately taking the ribbon from the man’s hand without even looking at him. “Goodness! How did this ribbon fell off my waist?” I muttered while hastily tying it around my waist again.
After I was done, I returned my attention back to the man and instantly as our eyes met, so did a tingling feeling run down my spine. I blushed then.
Weird now. He seems very, very familiar to me. Where have I actually seen this man?
I shook my head slightly and tried to compose myself better. “Well, uhm, thank you for noticing this ribbon in the floor Mister...”
“Asmodeus...” he promptly informed in a smooth voice.
I don’t know if it was right of me to feel this way the night before my wedding, but I really do feel dazzled by this man in front of me. He wore a chic white button-down shirt and black slim fit jeans. He looked like a customer or a resident of this penthouse hotel judging from the casual clothing he modeled.
Clearing my throat, I quickly corrected, “Yeah, uhm Mr. Asmodeus.” The name sounded foreign in my ears, but I found it very easy to speak with my tongue however weird his name was.
“No problem,” he said, smiling. He stared at me with devotion and I could feel my heart beating abnormally then. Those brown-green orbs of his evoked too much nostalgia for my taste.
“I am happy that I am able to help you dodge your mother’s sermon,” he added.
“Excuse me?” I blinked twice and questioned in confusion.
He didn’t seem offended though.
“Ah, I just assumed that your mother gave the ribbon to you. You know as the myth goes, brides are supposed to wear one in their white dress.”
I chuckled lightly with his account. “Oh, yeah, that kind of myth doesn’t fade on any bridal showers at all.”
He stepped inside the balcony and leaned on the railing exactly as what I did earlier.
“You are oddly alone in this part of the hotel. Shouldn’t you be inside the room?” he remarked, looking at me with no expression this time. I felt a brief cold chill then. It must probably be because of the cold air I hope.
“Hmm, nah, they wouldn’t miss me there,” I replied, shrugging my shoulders. “Those hunks would occupy their attention for now. And besides, I need a break on the noise created by their excited shouts.”
He chuckled this time, and I found it very damn sexy and enticing. “You are funny, An...dre...ahh,” he said with ease.
I immediately straightened as I heard my name. “You know my name?”
He straightened himself too and faced me, eye to eye.
“It is...written in the program sheet,” he answered curtly, and then he pointed to an overly-decorated frame standing beside the entrance door with my name in bold letters.
“Oh, huh! Would you look at that? It is almost as if Aunt Marcella is trying to advertise my name,” I remarked, shaking my head while thinking about Auntie.
“Andrea, can I ask you a question?” Asmodeus suddenly asked, catching my attention back.
“Sure? What is it?” I replied. I don’t know why, but I felt instantly calm being with this beguiling stranger. I didn’t think that any harm would befall on me if I continue talking with him, so I encouraged.
He expression went very serious when he asked, “Would you? Would you forgive a man that has hurt you?”
I raised my brows immediately. His question really did surprise me. I wonder what was bothering him so much that he had to ask a complete stranger such as myself this. Maybe he was in some kind of love quarrel or a misunderstanding with his girlfriend or lover?
I paused for a moment and kept my gaze on the floor to properly generate an answer.
“Mhhmm, probably it depends on the situation,” I answered initially. I stared back on his probing eyes and I swear I saw a quick show of sadness in it.
“If he has physically mistreated me, then it would likely leave a scar not only in my skin, but also in my heart. It would make it hard for me to forgive him.” I stared at the garden below again and smiled to myself. “I guess that’s the only definition I know of the word ‘hurt’ - basically a physical beating complete with bruises and all, but there are other situations too that would drive a man to hurt a woman, but in the end, everybody has a chance to be heard with their reasons and be forgiven right?”
I didn’t miss out his surprised reaction.
“Yes, I guess...so,” he replied after showing a serene face.
“Have I answered your question properly Mr. Asmodeus?” I asked, stepping back away.
“Yes,” he curtly stated.
“Then that makes us even,” I said with a smug smile. “Uhmm, well, I probably should get going. I think my guests are missing me by now.”
I slowly exited the balcony, but not before looking back at him and saying, “Thank you, for finding my ribbon again.”
He didn’t reply, but he did give me a warm expressive smile.
I don’t know what to say after that. My heart just leaped and I felt that a part of me was taken away; the big beating part of me.
I touched my chest by the time I entered the room and I felt the impulse of sadness making itself known once again. And this time, it actually remained in me until I returned in the mansion and covered myself under the bed blanket.
That night, I had another dream, a new dream and it was me making love with the faceless dark-winged angel here exactly in my bed.
That’s what my mind stressed the moment I opened my very groggy eyes. I guess this was one of the aftereffects of drinking wine in my bridal shower last night.
I haven’t seen Lorde since last night, but for some reason, I didn’t mind at all.
What occupied my thoughts immediately was the man I met in the balcony. What was his name again? Ah yes...
“Asmodeus...” I gently uttered and I found speaking his name made my heart skip a big beat.
But goodness! I can’t fantasize on another man right now! Especially since I’ll be married today! I had already entertained a very sexual dream last night - which was quite improper - so it would be only rightful I should clear my thoughts and think of nothing but my groom.
Suddenly, my bedroom door burst out open and in came my mother and Aunt Marcella with a very big white box. I have a feeling this was the designer wedding gown that was sewn based on my specific body measurements. Auntie had called for the designer a week ago in order to take in my measurements inside my room. She was the one most excited that time, but now there were two of them in front of me, showing white, perfectly glossed teeth.
“You will have your hair and make up in an hour from now so you better stand up there Andrea,” my mom informed, pulling the bed sheet away from me.
“And after that, it’s time to wear your wed-ding gooown!” Auntie sang out, awfully in an exaggerated tune.
I laughed slightly as I stood up. “Really guys, you are more excited than I am.”
My mother sat on the edge of the bed and quickly remarked, “Of course we are Andrea! At least we could finally reminisce ourselves walking in the church altar while looking at you!”
I placed my arms akimbo and raised an eyebrow. “So your excitement is purely out of personal reasons huh?”
She quickly shook her head and went to stand up, eyes stern to reprimand. “And yours too, so go take your shower right now!”
This got me suppressing a laugh immediately.
“Yeah, yeah I will,” I answered with a turn-away smile as I headed quickly to the bathroom.
After three hours of preparing myself, I watched my reflection in front of the full-length mirror. My mother and Auntie had left me alone for a minute as what I had requested, wanting a moment’s peace.
This is it. This is really it! I am going to be wedded to my childhood sweetheart at last.
As what my mother said, I looked beautiful with the Swarovski crystal-sewn gown. There were lace and lace everywhere as far as my eyes could see. It had a plunging neckline but just enough to show modesty inside the church. It had long lace sleeves and the trail was roughly three meters long. I was glad that I requested it; otherwise, it would give me a hard time walking along the hallway and the aisle of the church.
My hair was tied delicately with flower diamond hairclips, small soft tendrils of it fell on my back and shoulder. A diamond necklace was set in my slim neck too; the centerpiece of it matched my blue sapphire engagement ring.
This last examination of myself had me almost teary eyed, but I willed my tears back so that the make-up wouldn’t smudge.
I watched the wall clock and it read thirty minutes past ten in the morning. Time to walk to my future then.
The weather was a little bit windy and cloudy when I stepped out of the foyer. There was still sunlight present, but what little left of it would probably be blocked soon. I hope that it would be after the wedding though, because it wouldn’t be great for the guests and for me and Lorde to walk out of the church with heavy raindrops welcoming us.
My mother and Uncle Marlowe were already waiting for me in the entrance door. They were all smiles on my way and I to them. She was holding a bouquet of white roses and she immediately handed it to me when I approached them.
I hugged her and said thanks, and in return she hugged me back. I could sense that she was trying her hardest to hold back her tears. Mothers always get emotional on their daughter’s wedding day and my mother was no exception.
“Andrea, you are so beautiful. Lorde is such a very lucky man,” she told me as we looked eye to eye.
“Mom, thank you,” I answered, squeezing her hand.
Uncle Marlowe cleared his throat and held up what looked like a letter in between us. I gave them a confused look and drew my attention on the letter.
“I would have wanted to give you this after the wedding, but it is the family’s tradition to give this good luck charm message before an Anthoni woman gets married,” she stated, taking the letter from her husband and handed it to me.
I took it right away and I would have opened it right then and there, but my mother stopped me.
“Open it when you are inside the car Andrea. You’re groom is already waiting for you,” she said with a smile.
“Thank you Mom,” I stated and gave her a big hug.
She adjusted my diamond necklace into place and right after, pulled the bridal veil down to cover my face.
“There, you are ready,” she expressed with delight.
“Let me escort you to the limousine dear,” Uncle Marlowe offered. I nodded and off we went to the impressive car’s side door.
As a tradition, I am the only one that sat inside the wedding car. I had my bouquet in one hand and in the other, the letter that my parents gave me. As soon as the white limousine drove out of the Winner Mansion gate, I read its contents.
I wish you luck on your married life. Always stay true to yourself and to your husband.
Protect your heart. Love and be loved. Care and be cared.
Whoever man you choose, just make sure that he is really what your heart is shouting for.
I will support you all the way, Andrea.
Always and forever.
I tried to keep myself from crying. Her words really stung my heart so much.
I know that Lorde will care and love me, and I shall do the same to him. We will be husband and wife and we will cherish each other for the rest of our lives, but I have to ask myself again, for the last time... for the very last time as the car sped its way into the local church: Would I be really happy with him then?