**trigger warning: this story contains scenes of violence, sexual and physical assault**
I am in paradise! A beautiful, luxurious resort in Hawaii to see my best friend since kindergarten get married. Kimberly and I had known each other for nearly 20 years, gone to school together right through high school and now I am going to stand up for her while she commits herself to Mark – the love of her life. He is a great guy, and I have no reservations about the life they are planning for themselves. Most importantly, he makes her happy and treats her well, and that’s all I want for her.
And knowing full well that accommodations like these are well out of my price range normally, and I was only here as a guest of Kim’s and as her Maid of Honour, I am determined to make the most of every single minute of my time here! My suite, while small, still contains a separate seating area with a sofa, chair, television, minibar and table with chairs. Behind frosted French doors is a beautiful bedroom with a king size bed and the en suite of my dreams. There is also a set of French doors in both the sitting room as well as the bedroom – both lead out to a large, private balcony that features a hot tub for two and a small sitting area around a tabletop firepit. If I only had someone to share it with – it could be perfect!
But I’m not going to let being single hold me back – knowing full well there will be several eligible men at this party, I figure I won’t lack for options should I be seeking “companionship” tonight, but that isn’t what I am looking for, or even who I am. I might find the forever after man of my dreams! One thing is for sure – I can’t wait to see my best friend off to her new future!
I return to my room after helping Kim get into her awe-inspiring designer wedding gown, leaving her in the good hands of her mom, and nervous dad. I am a second daughter to them, always welcome in their home, and in return, I love Jack and Linda like family. Being on my own now, since my own parents were killed by a drunk driver while I was in college, this relationship has come to mean even more to me and I treasure it immensely. Without this surrogate family’s support and love, I never would have finished college – or possibly have even survived the whole ordeal at all. Kim is 6 years younger than her brother Kent so he was always away at school, or too old and mature to hang out with us children, so we were never close and I would guess he could barely tolerate us for the most part! I smile to myself and feel a tear trickle down my cheek…
No! No tears – not even ones of happiness of joyful sentimentality! Too many things to do and I need to get myself ready now!
The gown Kim selected for me to wear is of course, a designer original and very expensive – but beyond all that, it is special because of the way I feel in it and I think she knew that just by looking at it. The way I feel when I’m wearing in it is like nothing I’ve experienced before – the material is silver, slinky, yet clingy and loose all at the same time – somehow managing to grab hold and drop from all of the right places on my body at the same time. The slit in the full-length skirt goes all the way to the very top of my left thigh but is designed in such a way that I can show as much – or as little, as I choose. The back is completely wide open and scooped all the way to the very bottom of my lower back while the front is very demure with long sleeves and a modest neckline. From the front – graceful sophistication, but with a twirl and a little leg… I can be as sexy as I want and I love it! The way it makes me feel about myself is amazing and that extra boost of confidence gives me some extra courage while doing my makeup and hair – having declined Kim’s offer a professional stylist. Her family having money and mine not has never been an obstacle, or a distraction – but I’ve always made the point to not take advantage of her generosity, in spite of her protestations that I never could.
I don’t overdo my makeup as I’ve never been one to wear it much at all, but I do go a little more daring then I normally would – some smoky eyes and pouty lips… if that doesn’t attract some attention tonight, I don’t know what will! I wind my thick black hair up and pin it with Baby’s Breath and tiny diamond pointed bobby pins (a gift from Kim – I’m sure they’re crystals, right?) but leave a few curling tendrils falling loosely down, cradling my face and down my back. On a whim, I take one white orchid and lily from my bouquet and pin them into my hair as well.
Just as I’m finishing that, there is a knock at my door. “Come in!” I respond.
The door opens and Kim’s handsome fiancé Mark walks in holding a small black box which he is holding out to me.
“Sorry to interrupt, but this is for you – a thank you from Kimberly and I.” He smiles as he hands it to me. Mark and I met in college and while I gave a relationship with him a brief thought – we both quickly realized we were better as friends. Then one day, he stopped by my place to drop off a book from school and Kim was over visiting so they met – the rest is history as they say.
“You two don’t need to give me anything! Seriously! The trip here? This dress? Come on!!” I smile back at him but I do feel a little uncomfortable. While I know this is small change to Kim’s family due to her Grandfather’s and now her father’s ongoing success, I am not a charity case!
Sensing how I might be feeling, Mark is quick to reply “Don’t need to give you anything? Really? Are you being serious right now? You only gave me the love of my life and the rest of my life to look forward to! I can see how that might not compare to a little jewellery…” he tapers off with a smirk on his face.
I blush, knowing I was overreacting. “Fine. I’m sorry – I don’t mean to seem unappreciative. I can’t be happier for the two of you, and in all honesty? I’m loving every minute I’m here!” I can’t help gush. Mark laughs at my honesty, and soon I’m also laughing.
“Will you accept this now Emerson?” He tries handing me the box again which I’m still looking at apprehensively – but after a brief moment of hesitation, I accept.
“Thank you, Mark, – and Kim.” He starts to laugh again.
“You haven’t even opened it yet!” I smile back at him.
“I know – but it is already the most amazing experience of my life.” I then open the box and inside is a beautiful pair of diamond earrings that match the dress perfectly. I gasp – I have never seen anything so remarkably stunning before! I quickly put them on. Mark smiles at my pleasure, and being Mark – gives me a thumbs up.
“Glad you like them. I will be seeing you soon!” and then he leaves. Taking another look at myself in the mirror, I then follow him out myself and head to the beach where the ceremony will be taking place at sunset….