Everywhere I look there is lavender and blue, I used to love those colors but now all I can think of is the mistake I’m about to make. I reach up and remove the veil from my head, it’s heavy and too confining. I hate it as well as this dress, but who was I to go against Zeek and his wishes. I look down at my protruding belly and feel like the biggest cow in the world, I’m also the biggest let down to my family.
Damien’s face is forever etched into my memory and it will haunt for as long as I live. Damien is and will always be the love of my life but I thought I could love Zeek, I thought if I started dating him then I would forget about Damien, but it didn’t work. Zeek knew it too, he knew I didn’t love him but I allowed myself to get carried away and got myself pregnant, then decided without even asking me we’re getting married.
He comes from a wealthy family said it would be an embarrassment to them if I had his baby out of wedlock. I had no say in this wedding all except for maybe the color scheme, even my dress isn’t one I would pick. In fact, I look like a joke. I’m pretty sure that’s the way his family wants it, the dress is a tent and it covers my six-month belly. Heaven forbid they let the world know what a screw up their wonderful son is.
Truth be told I’m scared of Zeek and his family, I never would have gotten this far with him if my heart wasn’t still aching for Damien. I know that sounds like a pretty weak excuse but it’s the way it is. Ever since I was six years old I’ve never been alone, it was either Dan protecting me or Damien kicking someone’s ass for me. I was never without them, but now that they haven’t been around I was forced to face the world on my own. I need to learn to grow on my own and not expect someone to fight all my battles for me.
“I can’t do this,” I say over and over as I pace the bridal room. I was only allowed one person in here to help so I chose my Mom. I can’t marry someone who is so controlling and mentally abusive to me. I miss my brother, he would have seen right through Zeek and I know he did the day I told him. He was so disappointed in me and with the way his eyes kept shifting towards Zeek, he knew it was not all it was cracked up to. I wanted Zeek to leave me alone for just a minute so I could tell Dan the truth but he wouldn’t leave. He knew I was going to tell Dan everything because I’ve never been able to lie to him. Dan would never allow this to happen, my parents aren’t happy about the whole wedding thing either but they didn’t fight me. I didn’t tell them the truth about being forced into this marriage. I’m a coward for not standing up for myself. I don’t know how I can be a good example for my son and protect him when I can’t even do it for myself.
I slump into the soft plush couch and wish I could have a drink to calm my nerves, I also really wanted my Mom to come back and help me out of this suffocating dress. I reached behind me trying to reach the buttons but I couldn’t get it. Panic starts to settle in and my breath becomes shallow. With a trembling body I reach for the door and just as I’m about to open it, Zeek comes in. He looks handsome in his suit but he doesn’t hold my eye anymore.
“What were you doing? Why aren’t you ready?” He asks.
“I...I...” My mouth feels like I’ve been eating cotton so the words aren’t coming. He enters the room and closes the door. He then stalks his way to me and pushes me back until my butt hits the vanity, forcing me to sit. With my heart pounding rapidly in my chest and the way he is looking at me with pure lust, I feel like I may pass out. I see everything he wants to do to me in just that glare, he wants to hurt me and make me suffer.
“What?” He places his hands on my shoulders and pushes me back again, the back of my head smacks against the mirror and I know if I don’t say something he’s going to really hurt me. His head bends down and he places in between my neck and shoulder, he leaves a trail of sloppy wet kisses and I all but want to puke. I try to push him off me but he won’t budge.
“You weren’t thinking of running away were you?” Hot breath hits my skin and I shiver but not with excitement but with fear. “You know you can’t run away from me because I will find you.” I feel his hand reach up under my dress and his fingers on my thigh. “You know I could take you right now and no one would know the difference nor would anyone care about what happens to a little slut like you. Your brother or precious Damien aren’t here to save you anymore. They don’t care about you Emily; they left you here all alone, so that means you are mine.”
Flashes of my childhood play like a movie reel in my mind. I see my Father touching me and then I see the night he took my innocence and how helpless I was. I was only four years old at then but I’m not that girl anymore. With all the strength I reach up and slap him across the face. His hand flies to his cheek and he sends me a murderous glare. His blue eyes widened and his nostrils flared. He looked like an enraged bull ready to charge; if I wasn’t so fuming mad I might find him laughable.
He moved off me and didn’t say a word; he grabbed my arm and proceeded to guide me out of the room. If I didn’t stop him I would end up being married to a man I now despise. I bite down on my lip to hold back my scream of frustration and pull my arm from his grip, and tearing the sleeve of the monstrous dress.
“NO!” I bellow. “I’m not marrying you today or any day. I’m done being controlled and forced into a wedding I didn’t get any input on. I will not be forced to wear this hideous bag your mother wants to call my wedding dress. I also won’t be subjected to your abuse, I am pregnant with your Son, so we will always be connected but I’m walking out that door right now and I’m not looking back.” With shaky limps and a heavy heart I waddle to the door, I expected Zeek to come after me, but he didn’t.
I was just about to feel like I could breathe again when I hear an orotund voice and little hairs raise on the back of my neck. “Where do you think you’re going?” Oh, just great, not this woman. Zeek’s mother is one scary crazy ass bitch, and she scares me on my good days but not today. I turn around, plaster a smile, I won’t let her get to me, I’ve made my mind up and she’s not going to get her way, not today, not ever.
“I’m going to find my mother,” I emphasize on the word mother, Mrs. Caruthers thought she could replace my mother when we told her I was pregnant. She stepped right in and took care of everything. She told me I wasn’t allowed to talk about this to anyone but I told my brother anyway. Needless to say, I thought she was going to kill me. “I’m going to find my mother so she can help me out of this disaster.” I’m not just talking about the dress. She pierces me with a do as I say glare and went to reach for my arm. Geesh, what it is with this family and grabbing other people’s arms. Watching this god awful woman behave, it’s no wonder Zeek is the way he is.
“You will go back in there and tell my Son you are going to marry him or so help me, young lady, you will regret it.” I couldn’t help it but laughter just spilled out of me.
“You know what? I’m not scared of you and what can you do that you haven’t already done?” A malicious smile curves her puffy overdone lips. The woman has had too many Botox injections and far too much plastic surgery. She keeps trying to look twenty years younger but instead, she looks like a baboon’s ass.
“Oh, sweetie, you don’t want to know the answer to that question. I could destroy your parents and I could have your brother killed in Iraq.” I gasp at that thought. Would she really have Dan killed to make her selfish son happy? “I could also take my Son’s child from you and you couldn’t do anything about it.” I was just about to cave when she threatened my brother and my baby, but I won’t let her bully me into something I don’t want.
I stand up straight and face her. “You just openly threaten to murder someone, that won’t take too well with the courts. Do you think your idle threats are going to work on me? You’re wrong! Go ask your son how I take to being threatened. I’m done being everyone yes girl. ”
“No one is around so I guess it’s your word against mine Dear.” She’s right and if I walk out of here I could take the chance of losing Dan and my baby. She knows it too and is holding it over my head. “Now, you will go back right?” I have to do this for them; I will sacrifice my own happiness to keep Dan and my son alive.
“Yes.” I head back towards the bridal room preparing to grovel for forgiveness even at the sake of my pride.
“Wait, you don’t have to do this Em.” I let out a huge sigh of relief when I hear my hero’s voice. My Dad, I knew he would come to get me out of this and he will. He’s a great lawyer. I flip around and run toward him, I stumble over the stupid dress a few times but I make it to him. I go straight into his arms and he holds me protectively.
“You can’t force her into this marriage by bullying and threatening. I heard what you said to her and I can tell you I won’t let it go unnoticed.” The damn woman cackles.
“You are just as stupid as she is. You have nothing on me.” Dan uses his lawyer grin on her and she falters a bit. Dad only uses that grin when he knows he’s won.
“Well, I beg to differ because this little device right here says everything. I won’t take it anywhere right now but if you or Zeek come anywhere near my Daughter and Grandson I will send this to reporters so fast you won’t know what hit you. You’re not the one who holds the power plays anymore.” Go, Dad!!
Dad throws his arm over my shoulder and I lay my head on his. “Let’s get you out of here and go home.” I couldn’t agree more. I don’t have to marry Zeek but I have a feeling deep in my gut that this isn’t the last time I will see him.