The Court of Love

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Chapter 6

Costano held the frame that had the picture of his wedding day. He remembered the day as if it was yesterday.

The wedding was beautiful.

There was no specific theme to it, but Costano and Pia had agreed they'd include sunflowers into it. They made it as simple as they could. They had many other things on their plate as well including their jobs, which had become more demanding over the course of their relationship. As well as some issues that wouldn't go away, one in particular.

Pia's bouquet, along with the decorations of the wedding, held sunflowers, white roses, baby breath, and a few other plants in the colors red and green. It was quite an odd combination of both plants and colors, but they fit and blended so perfectly together.

Out of all the flowers, she was the most beautiful, Costano thought.

Pia's wedding dress was one that she had designed and sewn herself. Before Costano had asked her to marry him, Pia had been working with a company by designing wedding dresses for their new collection. Pia had grown as a fashion designer and it wasn't long before many wanted to collaborate with her.

One day, she sat in Costano's dining table while working on the designs. She had sketched several dresses based on different trends she studied. She had several fabric ideas she had in mind and that her employers suggested as well.

Pia always worried about how important it was for one to feel comfortable, beautiful, and confident no matter what body shape or size the models and customers had.

While working on her final sketch, she struggled on many things. There were endless possibilities as to how you could design a piece of clothing.

Her head was her canvas and her imagination was her utensil. It was endlessly designing new clothes. Each with a different color, material, and style. Sometimes, she could envision a look just by having a manikin or model standing before her. Other times she could look at a piece of fabric and already know what she'd want to do with it.

It was one reason why she chose to be a fashion designer. Throughout her childhood she would draw clothing she wished she could wear.

Surely now she'd look back and wonder what she was thinking when she was drawing it. But she created her own motto that if you want something, but don't find or have it, make it yourself.

"Costano!" She called for him, hoping he'd help her. She rested her elbows on the table and buried her hands in her hair on each side of her head.

Within seconds, he walked into the room.

She wondered if he had been doing something prior. She said, "I'm sorry if I stopped you from doing something important. Did I?"

"I was just about to find you when you called me. What's wrong?" He answered. He stood behind her chair and placed a hand on both her shoulders.

"I can't decide how I want the last dress to look like," she pouted. She brought her hands down onto the table.

"You mean the wedding dresses you've been working on?" He arched an eyebrow.

She nodded. She reached for seven of the designs she had finished and showed them to him. "These are some of the ones I've finished already."

Costano grabbed them and sat beside her. "These are great, but you know I studied law not clothing," he chuckled. "I honestly don't have a clue as to how you come up with these ideas."

"I want something different from these obviously. The type of dress could be the same, just not the design." She pointed to each dress and indicated what type they were.

She continued, "don't worry about the names but which type of dress do you like best? I like to use models or manikins but since we don't have any of those here use me as your model. Which dress would you think would look best on me?"

Suddenly, Costano's heart began to race. His throat felt dry and so he cleared his throat, "you want me to imagine you in a wedding dress?"

In that moment, Pia realized what she'd said. Images of her marrying Costano filled her head. She would no doubt say yes if he asked her to marry him. She loved him and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.

She always thought he looked dashing in a suit. Just the thought of removing it off him on their wedding night created an indescribable feeling in her lower stomach.

Heat spread along her face as her cheeks and tops of her ears turned a dark shade of red. "If it makes you uncomfortable don't worry about it," she said.

Costano looked back down at her designs. His heartbeat was racing at the thought of the wedding ring he had bought for Pia Just days prior and hid in his room. His head was running all over the place just thinking about how he was going to ask her to marry him. Now she was asking him to imagine her in a wedding dress.

He hadn't even asked her if she wanted to get married someday. Was she opposed to it?

She didn't seem opposed if she asked you to imagine her in a wedding dress.

There was one type of dress that caught his eye. Upon seeing it, he thought of how Pia would look in it. He grabbed it and showed it to her.

"The mermaid dress," she smiled. "And did you have any design in mind?" She asked nervously.

"Uhm well white is a beautiful color on you. I saw how this other dress you drew has flower designs on it." He showed her the ballgown dress.

The skirt of it had lace with white glittery flower designs with a few see through areas. The top of the dress had a v-neck but was plain white. The dress had a ribbon covered with diamonds along the waist. The edges of the veil would have the same designs as the skirt.

As he spoke, Pia could already imagine herself wearing a wedding dress while in Costano's arms. Wouldn't that be a dream come true?

"I can already see the dress come to life," she said. "Thank you."

He rubbed the back of his neck, "just glad I could help. I'll let you get back to work."

Before he walked out of the room, Pia walked up to him and pulled him down for a kiss. It caught him off guard at first, but he then deepened the kiss and pulled her closer.

When they pulled apart, she said, "I love you."

"I love you too," he smiled down at her.

Pia looked down at his shirt and began to traced random patterns with her fingers against his shirt. "I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable about the thought of seeing me in a wedding dress. You probably thought about whether or not you wanted to get married..."

Costano felt his heart beating against his chest. He was nervous about what she'd say next. He didn't dare to speak, wanting to hear what she'd say next, and because his words got stuck on the back of his throat.

He felt trembles run against his chest, thinking it was him, until he noticed it was Pia whose hands were shaking. She took a deep breath and spoke.

"I know we haven't talked about this, but I just wanted to let you know that I have thought of getting married someday. You make me so happy Costano. I just can't see my future without you." Pia wrapped her arms around his torso and buried her face against his chest.

And just like that Costano fell even more in love with her.

He knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her at his side. But he wondered if she did. He was waiting for the right moment to bring up the topic about marriage. Now, Pia had answered his question.

He wanted to ask her right then and there to marry him, but he thought that she deserved a much better proposal. All he could think about was how her worlds sounded like a marriage proposal.

"Are you asking me to marry you Pia?" He chuckled.

Pia quickly looked up at him. She was as red as a tomato. "No! I mean... I just thought that since we've been together for sometime at some point we should talk about marriage so why not now? Unless it's something you don't want. I'm fine with us being like this..."

He gently placed a hand against her cheek and rubbed it with his thumb. "And why wouldn't I want to marry the love of my life?"

Before she could say anything else, he pulled her in for another kiss.

Since that day, Pia had began to design the dress that Costano had told her about. It was a white long sleeved mermaid dress. It was off the shoulder, but the lace, covering her arms, had a few floral designs in white while the rest was see through. The dress hugged her curves perfectly and just when it reached her knees, it opened out, spreading and surrounding the floor around her.

And after she said yes to marrying him, she knew it was the perfect wedding dress for her.

All he cared about most on their wedding day was that he was finally going to marry the woman he loved, Pia.

He remembered was how nervous he was that day. He wasn't planning on running for the hills and leaving Pia heartbroken at the alter asking herself why her fiancé ran away.

The thought didn't cross his mind.

He was nervous about something going wrong. He was nervous that someone would try to stop him from marrying Pia.

Pia's father was the first to pop in his head. He didn't like Costano and had made it quite clear since he first met him. He said things that Pia didn't like. Two of them being that Pia should leave Costano and that he would not give his blessing to their marriage.

Pia went against her father time and time again. Pia would constantly apologize on her father's behalf. It broke Costano's heart watching her break in front of him because no matter what she did or told her father he didn't want to understand that his daughter was happy and in love.

Costano didn't blame Pia for her father's actions. Of course he was angry that her father didn't try to hide his dislike for him, especially from his own daughter and after she had asked him time and time again to stop.

Thankfully, her father didn't say a word.

Sadly, Pia's mother had passed away while giving birth her and couldn't be there for the wedding neither for her entire life.

Costano's conversation with Arabella earlier in the day replayed through his head.

"Why does she look like that?"

Costano grabbed the frame and stared at it, "what do you mean? She looks happy."

"Not as happy as you. You seem like the happiest man in the world."

Arabella's words replayed in his head.

Not as happy as you.

She was happy. She was. He frowned. Was she?

Suddenly, the memory of the day he lost her filled his head. Costano was sitting behind his desk going over the case he was currently working on.

"Costano I need to speak with you," Pia stated. She walked into his office and closed the door behind her.

"What is it?" He stood up and walked to the front of his desk, leaning against it.

"Here, take it and read it," she handed him a folder. He was confused as to why she couldn't just tell him. He grabbed the folder and opened it.

Costano looked inside and instantly recognized the papers inside. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

He stared at his wife. "What is this? Please tell me this is a joke." He swallowed hard. This had to be a joke. This couldn't be real.

"It is what it is. I want a divorce." She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned her hip to the side.

"Why? We have been doing great these past two years. I treat you right. I never hurt you. I have been loyal to you and I was always there when you needed me. So why...?" His voice cracked. His vision slowly blurred as tears filled his eyes.

"I know... and you were the perfect husband, but I still want the divorce." She said with no emotion on her face.

His brows furrowed together. "You didn't answer my question. Why are you filing a divorce?"

"I don't have to answer you." Costano couldn't accept the fact that she wanted to leave him.

"Pia don't go! If there was anything I ever did wrong or anything that made you upset I'll fix it. Please just... don't go. I love you. We can go to a marriage counselor to fix this. I know we can overcome anything because we love each other."

"No Costano there is nothing to fix. You're going to have to accept it. It would be easier if you did. You have a week to sign the documents. If you don't sign them then I'll take matters into my own hands." She said before walking out of his office.

Costano threw the file at the ground. He was now in tears, sobbing. Anger and sadness fueled inside him. His heart was tearing into pieces.

He put his hands against his head. He shook his head and ran his hands through his hair. No. No. No! He couldn't believe what had just happened. He leaned against the wall and sunk down onto the floor.

In just a matter of seconds Costano's world came crashing down. He sat on the floor for some time until he finally got up, got his things, and headed out his office.

"Mr. Menendez? Is everything okay?" Asked Ms. Dunn from behind her desk. "I saw Mrs. Menendez walk out of here. She seemed distressed."

Costano stopped in front of her desk. His eyes were bloodshot and his hair was a mess. He was a mess. He couldn't look at her so he looked out the window to his left.

"I won't be coming back for a few days. Clear out my schedule and take care of things while I'm gone." His voice had no emotion in it.

"Of course sir, thank you for trusting me. I won't let you down," she nodded even if he couldn't see her.

He nodded his head and began walking towards the exit. When he got in his car, he broke down into tears again. He couldn't think about a life without Pia. He needed to fix things. He wanted to fix things. He took slow deep breaths to calm himself down. He turned the ignition on and drove home, fast.

Once at home, Costano parked his car inside the garage and quickly got out the car. He was lucky and glad that no police officer had stopped him for speeding.

He entered his house. "Pia!" He shouted.

No answer.

"Pia where are you?!"

No answer.

He began to frantically search their house. He checked every room. Every bedroom and bathroom. He checked the living room, the kitchen, the movie theater, the bar, the backyard, the pool area, but nothing.

Reality began to set. She left him.

He walked back to their room and checked their closet. All her clothes was gone. He checked her drawers and they were empty as well. He looked towards the nightstand next to her side of the bed and saw a frame with the picture of the day they got married. He sat at the edge of the bed and grabbed the frame. He stroked it with his thumb.

Anger and sadness began to consume him once again and he threw the frame at the wall. The glass shattered into pieces, falling onto the ground. Costano put his elbows on his knees and placed his hands on his head.

He cried himself to sleep that night, hoping that this was all just some twisted dream.

Costano had finally realized her intentions. Pia was a very intelligent woman. She had everything planned out since the beginning. She hired the best lawyers in the country and put them on retainers. Costano was able to hire a lawyer but she didn't have much experience.

He lost the case.

He was a lawyer and yet lost. It's funny how life works isn't it?

Since Pia won the case she gained a lot from it, well from Costano. That day Costano lost his trust, most of his finances, and his reputation. He was betrayed by the love of his life

Even after everything he had seen in his cases he still got married, he still fell in love. Love is an uncontrollable feeling. Love is a weapon that could hurt the soul and burn the heart. Love ruined Costano.

And he vowed to never fall in love again.

____

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