A word that makes you blush as a kid, innocent and naive; makes you cringe as a teenager who wants to be independent and free; gives you butterflies as an adult, anxious and confused; and makes you smile as an old couple, who came to know the meaning of love and life together.
A word so beautiful, which aesthetically teaches you that love doesn't bounds you but gives you freedom of living and loving at the same time.
"Yes, you heard me right Ashley, I want Auden to marry you, by tomorrow. No actually, why tomorrow? You have to marry her today." he said with a nonchalant voice.
"And who gave you the freaking right over my life. You order your ex-brother-in-law around, I don't care, but don't dare you tell me to do something I don't want to." I snapped at him. Cole flinched a little but didn't react and stayed silent. 'Right choice'.
"I won't marry a mannerless and low class girl like her." Auden spoke after the room fell silent. “First learn manners yourself then say anything about me. You don't even know how to talk to a lady.” I spat at him, getting more and more angered by each passing second.
“You barely pass as a girl and I assure you, you can never become a lady.” He said in an impassive voice. This infuriated me.
“And I assure you, that you can never become a man if you don't know how to respect a woman.” I snapped at him as tears started forming in my eyes making my vision blurry. I raced towards the room, where I slept last night. No, I should not cry over someone's words, who doesn't mean anything to me and doesn't even know anything about me. I tried and tried yet my tears wouldn't stop. I hate being like this. I cry when I am frustrated, angry, sad or in pain.
I heard distant footsteps becoming clearer till the person reached the room where I sat near the door, crying on the floor.
“I am so sorry for what happened down there. Those weren't his words, he spoke what he had been taught since his childhood. He is unaware of the pain his words cause others, he was born like this emotionless and following whatever sh*t his parents tell him to do. It isn't his fault don't hate him. He really need someone to make him understand what is wrong and what is right. Please don't back out from this marriage,” he pleaded, I tried to understand what he was saying but the same question keeps nagging me, I don't have any valid reason to marry him. I want him to give me one real reason to marry a heartless person like him.
Finding the courage to look at his face, I asked the question, I always wanted to ask him,“Why me?” I didn't need to explain my question further, the look on his face told me that he knew what I was asking him.
He signed and helped me get up from the floor. We sat on the edge of the bed.
He remained silent for a moment then he looked at something behind my shoulder as he spoke, “I told you before about my niece, Angela, Julie and Auden's daughter. I also told you that Auden was born like this, heartless, emotionless and cold, so of course, Angela being his daughter would get some traits of him too. She is very beautiful like her mother but she was never able to get the love and care of a mother. I know Rockefeller family very well, they all are the same powerful and respectable personalities. They have money, they have power, they have everything that every person wants in his life but they don't have two things that makes us a human, they don't have humanity and kindness. I don't care about anyone in this world more than my niece, I really love her Ashley, and I don't want them to make my niece like them. I want her to learn what life is, what love is and most importantly I want her to see what a mother is. I don't want you to become a wife but a mother. The first time I saw you with that kid, I knew what kind of person you are. I know their words will cause you pain but I want you to do this for a child who really needs a mother to teach her how to respect and protect others unlike her family. Please marry him.”
I couldn't think about anything else but that little girl Cole was telling me about. She indeed needed someone to love her, her father can never do that. The way he never showed any emotions during the whole conversation made it clear that he doesn't posses any emotions at all. I don't know if I am capable of becoming that mother to her but I will try my best. I know the feeling of being motherless, I don't want anyone to go through that and if life is giving an opportunity to help someone who is suffering through the same pain as me, I would definitely help her.
“Okay, I am ready to marry him but is your offer of those 1 million dollars still up?” I asked him. Although all of this made me temporarily forget about Ryder, I still wanted money. My first priority is to save Ryder, nothing else stands first. He is my best friend, he is my family and I will only say yes to this marriage, if he agrees to give me the money,
“Yes, every month 5% of the amount will be transferred into your account.” I quickly did the maths in my head. 50,000 every month. This will be enough to pay the bills every month and for Ryder's surgery as well. 5% every month also mean that I will have to stay there for 1 year and 8 months. Oh god, what will I tell Emily, why am I marrying someone suddenly and that too the richest man of the USA. Which reminds me that I haven't talked to Emily since I went to the restaurant, telling her that I am going to have a good lunch and was bored of eating hospital food. She must be worried or even worse, she must have called the police.
“Where is my phone?” I asked frantically searching the room. He pulled out my phone from his pocket and hands it to me. “Remember, don't tell anyone about this arrangement, it will remain between our families only and the reason for marrying Auden will be between both of us. If you ever reveal our secrets to anyone, your life won't be bared.” I gulped at his threat and took the phone from his hand. He exited the room making me sigh in relief.
I quickly dialed Emily's number, she picked the call at once. “Ashley Joanna Williams, you better tell me where you are and why haven't you called me and told me before going somewhere? You just have only 5 minutes to explain.” Emily shouted at the other end of the call.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. I did not eat anything so I fainted in my way to reach the restaurant. Fortunately, a friend of mine, whom you don't know, was present at the scene and took me to his house. My phone was dead and because I was weak, I woke up in the afternoon. I am so sorry that I made you worried,” I hurriedly apologized to her.
“You are crazy, I was just going to call police. Next time you go anywhere take me with you, and how come I don't know about any friend of yours” she wondered. It was time to tell her about this.
“Em, you are my best friend, I love you and I will always love, you know that, right?” I said anxiously.
“Ash, babe what's wrong?” Emily asked with concern attached to her voice. I knew this was going to be hard.
“Nothing is wrong, I just want to tell you something. Don't freak out and listen to it carefully, Okay?” I said in a pleading voice.
“Okay, I will try,” she said hesitating a bit.
“Look, I am going to marry tomorrow-”
“What?” Emily yelled, cutting me in between the explanation. “Emily I told you to not interrupt me, while I explain,” I chided. If she keeps on interrupting me, I won't be able to lie perfectly. It needs to be done quickly.
“Sorry, please continue” Emily apologized as I prepare myself for lying to my best friend, I don't want to lie to her but on the other hand, I don't want her to get into any kind of trouble because of me.
“Remember that guy that we met at the bakery, Auden Rockefeller. You told Mia that we both were knew each other very intimately , it wasn't a lie. I truly know him more than anyone of you does.” Perfect, it wasn't a lie though, I really knew him more than they could ever know about him.
“I was having a secret relationship with him, for a year and now his family asked him to marry me, we can't wait anymore, so we decided to marry tomorrow.” As I finished my explanation, I was met with silence. Of course she is hurt, she thinks that how very unlucky she is to get a best friend like me. Technically, I will be having a secret relationship with him from now, so it wasn't totally a lie.
I heard a heavy sigh from the other end. “I am glad you got someone in your life to love you, babe. Yes, I am hurt that I didn't know about this all, but I don't blame you for that, you might have your own reasons. I am just very happy for you.” she said clearly happy for me. I wish, I could tell her the truth. I wish, I was as deserving as she thinks I am. I am not good enough to be her best friend, deserving someone who loves me unconditionally is a whole different case. She doesn't even say anything about Ryder's health and how did I decide to marry Auden, while Ryder was still fighting with death.
“So, where do I have come tomorrow, for your wedding? You know, I need to be there hours before the ceremony. I am the bridesmaid after all,” Emily gushed.
“I am sorry, Em, you can't come at my wedding tomorrow. They said that they want the wedding to get over, privately. So, no one is allowed there. I asked Auden but he refused and said that if people knew about this, they might create rumors about our relationship. Some people would even try to kill me, you just stay there safe and make sure that Ryder is safe too” I lied. I hated it, she was so excited and this deal made me burst her bubble of excitement. She loves me so much and I can't even make her happy. I am the worst friend in this world.
“Oh, it's alright. I don't want you to risk your life. Be careful, take care and don't worry about Ryder and me. We are fine. Just enjoy your day tomorrow, it's the most important day of your life don't ruin your fun because of us.” she tried to cheer me up. It indeed is an important day of my life but there was nothing fun or enjoyable about tomorrow.
“Yeah, you too take care, bye. I love you.” I replied not wanting to harm her anymore.
“Bye, love you too,” she said and I cut the call. “You are quite good at lying, aren't you?” I turned to see Auden standing by the door observing me.
“Yes, I am. You want me to teach you how to be good at lying?” I asked in return.
“No, I don't want to learn anything from a woman, not even worthy of being called a woman. Especially, not something unethical like lying,” he countered, this time I didn't flinch or react. I just stood there looking into his eyes. Anything I would say, won't change his mind about me or anything else. He was totally manipulated, I could see it in his eyes. He worked like a robot, with no emotions and acting on the commands of his master. The only difference between him and a robot was that he had flesh and blood like a human and had a heart too, which he never used. I can't change him and I won't even waste my time on changing him. I am marrying him for his children and nothing else.
“My family, will be arriving any minute. Get ready and don't even dare to do something unethical, otherwise, they won't hesitate to kill you,” he ordered and left the room closing the door.
I walked towards the closet where Cole made the workers keep my clothes.
‘Let's get ready to meet the evil family.’
Hello dear readers, hope you enjoyed your day, here are some questions
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