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"We have come to the end of this academic year, and due to our yearly tradition, we would like to announce the top five students with the highest scores in the academy, who have also received a big amount of scholarships, if they are seeking higher education.

"Harrison miller, with a total of 91%"

"Cesar Santiago 94%"

"Emerson Anders 95%"

"Adonis Lee Tyson, 98%"

"And...Sienna Lionel Rivers, with the Maximum score of 100%!"

"Please give a round of applause for our top 5 students, who have brought nothing but honour upon this academy, if you have heard your name, please make your way up to the stage" the principal's voice echoes throughout the assembly hall.

I sigh, dusting my skirt down as I make my way up onto the stage, is this really necessary?
the other students who had heard their name, follow shortly after me.

I step up onto the wooden platform as I make my way right into the centre of attention.

I have to admit that this was the worse Academic year I have ever been through.

The number of times, the number of fucking times they did it to me, I couldn't even count it on my fingers if I wanted to.
The number of times I got harassed, degraded, it was quite disappointing that this is, unfortunately, the world we live in.

All of these men are terrifying, sadistic monsters all living under a casual face.

And im still feeling uneasy after what happened all those nights ago.
I hate myself.

I hate all of them.

Emerson Anders was the only man who actually made an effort to befriend me.
At first, he seemed so intimidating and scary, due to his expressionless face.
And how extremely tall and bulky he is.

Never in a hundred years would I ever have imagined myself talking to him, but Mr Smith happens to have authority over picking project buddies.

But I'm glad he paired me up with Emerson, anyone else would not have gone too well, since they all see me as an object.

He, on the other hand, respects me for who I am and never not even once, attempted to underestimate me.

He kept us on the same level, equals, not mistreating me just because of my Gender.

That's why I had so much respect for him.
He was like a brother figure to me.
And after he befriended me, he let all those other jerks know that it's best for them to stay away from his sister.

Or he would personally
"deal with them"

And after that, the Sexual jokes and harassment reduced a lot, apart from Trevor, who was still eager on getting back at me.

The rest of my Class and the Class above me simply, Sexualised me, not to mention Trevor foyers, The man I had tased in the balls.

He made my life hell, to the point I felt that maybe if I just stayed home it would be better, maybe education for a woman in this town was just...not meant to be, but Emerson kept pushing me further.

Consoling me, telling me I could do it, Ever since I helped him out with Trigonometry back in the second term, he became my friend and we did our best and gave it our all, and I'm proud to say that...here we are, we've made it to the top five in all campus.

"Miss Sienna, You are obliged to give a Speech since you scored top in the whole Academy," Principal George says, pulling me out of my thoughts as he hands me the microphone.

"I always knew you could do it, good job Sienna" he congratulates me, with the biggest smile plastered across his shitty face.

Bullshit

He has been against me since day one, Stuck to the idea that a woman couldn't accomplish anything.

But now, he could eat my fucking dust.

"Thank you, Principal George" I thank him briefly as I take the microphone from him.

"I just have one thing to say..." I was going to say it, and I don't care how self-indulged or bratty it makes me sound.

"As you can see, I am a Woman, and I just happened to Score the highest above all you men here, All of you who told me I couldn't do it, feast your f-..." No...I couldn't get too carried away.

"what I'm trying to say is, You should never judge a person, or underestimate their intelligence, just because you don't approve of their appearance.
Hard work is the key to success...not a Penis"

I hand the Mic back to a terrified looking Principal george as everyone stares at me in silence, The only sound being Emerson's attempts to hold back his laughter as he holds his hand over his mouth to muffle his wheezes.

A Silence almost too loud fell upon us as they stared at me in disbelief.

If they didn't hear me, I could very much say it again.

"Ahem, well, that was...Interesting" Principal George tries to break the silence.
"Anyways...now for you Mr Tyson, what do you think about Miss River's...hmm let's say edgy speech?"

"Um, well I mean...She's not wrong..." He trails off, grabbing ahold of his Certificate, gift bag and Bouquet of flowers, whispering to himself about how he was going to just lend them over to Aisha as he heads down the stairs, paying no mind that this event was being held in his honour.

"Anyways, let's wrap this up Quickly, Congratulations Once again, and Everton Academy wishes you the best of luck with the rest of your lives" Principal George announced.

"Rest of your lives?" I scoff to myself,
this was the end of my journey, and I knew it all too well.
I knew someday it would come, but it still took me as a shock that it actually came.

I was going to be forced to marry whoever was on my Life Plan.
Those were the conditions my father made me agree to if I wanted to graduate.

Tonight instead of Celebrating my Graduation, I was supposed to be meeting my future husband.

I thankfully accepted the Gifts and received my Certificate before leaving the stage, wrapping my arm around Emerson's.

"What did I say, Clover, you did it" he chuckles, pulling me in for a hug, ignoring the number of deadly stares we are receiving.

"Clover?"

"Because you're my Lucky charm, My dumbass who has been failing school for almost my whole life, graduated at the top three, because of you" he grins as we walked towards the Car park.

It is late evening and mother and father were expecting me back home before sunset.

"Hey, guys, I'll drop her, you guys can go back home" Emerson beams.

Bouncer and Ryan share a look before nodding.
Heading back towards the car.
Taking my load of accomplishments with them.

Ryan and Bouncer trust Emerson not to do anything to me.
And if Those two guys trust him, Father trusts him.

Not that he would do anything to me.
Emerson is as Gay as it gets.

"Okay, so what do you want to eat?" He asks, helping me into his car.

Emerson's father, Mr Anders is a...with all due respect, bigoted Politician, who just so happens to think I'm Perfect for his son.

"I don't know, Ice cream?"

"Sure thing Clover" He chuckles.

Reversing out of the parking lot, heading down the back lane shortcut.
"So...what are you planning on doing? any thoughts of what you want to be?" He asks.

I scoff rolling my eyes as I turn my attention back to the blur of forests on my side of the window.
"You know I don't have a say in my future, the only reason I'm here is that...I just got Lucky" I shrug.

"Exactly what I'm saying, If you got Lucky then, I'm sure you can do it again Clover" he smiles, taking a left turn before the car comes to a halt in front of the ice cream shop.

"hmm...let me guess, All you want is a Plain Chocolate Cone?" He raises a brow, groaning in disgust.

"You never get tired of it, huh?"

"You know me all too well" I smile, Picking up my purse as I turn to get out of the car.

"Hey, what are you doing? I invited you, Sienna, so it's on me, stay here" he sends me a small smile before getting out, slipping his key and phone into his pocket as he heads into the store.

Just thinking about what is awaiting me, not too long, not too far away from here, is terrifying me.
I was going to be forced to Marry a man I barely know, a complete stranger.

And all for what?, Just because some Old Man who's most definitely dead right now, thought it to be a good idea.

In intention for guaranteeing a stable life for the women of this town, but instead just depriving us of our goals and ambitions.

I have no idea who is in My life plan, but I do hope it's not some Old toothless rich man, just like the One in Hyacinth's Life Plan.

She was humiliated, but who cared? Nobody.
Not even her own family.

Hyacinth and I go back to as long as I can remember, I and she were not that close, but she was the type of girl everybody knew.

She was a friend.

I, on the other hand, was the girl everybody knows, but never really knew...

I never let anyone get too close, even if they wanted to.

At the age of 19 Hyacinth was forced into marrying a man older than her grandfather, just for the sake of Money.

She cries herself to sleep every day.
The bags under her eyes and expressionless face were clear evidence of her unhappiness.

That she was not okay.
If she does something to herself I won't be surprised.

The death rate among women in our town was very high.

I just hope she doesn't try something stupid.

She's way stronger than I could ever be.

And as for my life on the other hand.
Emerson's dad is trying his best to get Father to replace Emerson with
Whoever is in my life plan.

But father said, I already had someone picked for me ever since I was born.
Which is quite rather creepy, if you think about it.

"Here we go, A double Chocolate with no extra toppings, I hope you like it...Your Majesty" Emerson slightly bows as he hands me my cone.

"Thank you"

"No worries, now tell me"
"Tell you what?" I look at him, puzzled as I glide my tongue over the Cone.

"What you plan on doing if everything works out..."

"Well...I've always wanted to enter the business industry and you?"

"I want to be a lawyer" he shrugs.

I stare at him for a while, taking in his appearance and words.
"What?"
"You know...it actually suits you" I smile

He chuckles, turning on the engine as he begins to drive me back home.

"Do you want me to come in with you, I think you'll need some company tonight?" he asks, a frown covering his features as he glances down at me.

"That would be quite sweet of you, thanks Em" I force a smile as we pull up in front of my house.

I really didn't want to go in there, but if I stalled, there would be major consequences.

"Hey, take a deep breath, it's all going to be Okay" he holds my hand, trying to comfort me as we head in.

Father's Mansion was always dark and gloomy, but today...It is more lively, Hundreds of cars were parked in the driveway.

Here to see who was the "Lucky" Man in Lionel River's Daughter's Life Plan.

"Sienna, they are waiting for you in the family hall, father says if you keep them waiting much longer, he won't be too happy," Aisha explains, walking up to us with a frown on her face.

She Grabs my hand and making me release Emerson's, before proceeding to drag me down the halls.

"Father she's here" Aisha pushes me in, before making her way back to the far end of the room, with Mother.

Bitch

Leaving me standing in the middle of the room, Hundreds of eyes piercing into me, as I keep my eyes downcast, avoiding their gaze.

"Sienna..." I hear my Father's voice.

"Yes, Father?"

"Please step forward and sit on that chair." He gestures to a rather unstable looking chair right in front of me.

I nod my head, seating myself in front of the crowd.
Swallowing the lump forming in my throat.

"So...how we're your results?" He asks, lighting himself a cigarette.

"They were good..."

"I'm saying how much did you score?"

"A Hundred percent" I shrug.

A certain silence takes over and i just wait for him to mock me, tell me to cut the crap.

"Is that so?...well I can say I'm quite impressed" he smirks, getting off from his seat.

"And for that, I guess you deserve this" he hands me an envelope.

"What is it?" I ask, fumbling with the letter before he interrupts me.

"You'll see it later, for now...let's get this over with... Colonel, please state the Name of the Man, my daughter is yet to be married to..." He says, sending a brief glance to the Creepy man in glasses, dressed in all black.

I had always been terrified of Colonel, he dresses like a stereotypical Vampire and creeps the hell out of me.

He nods in obedience, bringing out a leather-bound Dusty book out of a drawer.
It was a thick book, with very thin pages.
And it looks almost as worthless as my life.

He Skims through the pages, stopping right in the middle.

"hmm" he leans forward, Putting on his glasses to get a better view

"Sienna Rivers, is to be wed to...Adonis Lee Tyson" he says.

My breath catches in my throat as I scan around the room in terror.
My gaze falling on Adonis who looks much more startled than me.

He's eyes are wide with disbelief as he glares at me, seeming to be in agony.
He looked at me almost in pure disgust.
The clear dislike of me visible all over his features.

"But according to the protocols, Mr Tyson has every right to Decline this marital agreement if he's not comfortable with his pick" Colonel says.

Of course...he gets to object, but I don't.

"So what's it going to be?" He turns his attention towards Adonis, who is now staring at Aisha.

She's looking at me, tears running down her face as she tries her best to maintain her visible rage.

"I...will have to decline" he apologizes, not Altering the strong Stare he's bestowed upon her.

"But-"

"I'm sorry Sienna, you're a lovely girl and all but, Aisha is the only one for me." He replies, walking up to me, with his hands in his pockets.

Not bothered by the fact that, by him doing this, he was putting my future at grave danger.

Now they will just marry me off to some random man.

That I barely know.

Adonis was friends with Aisha ever since we were younger but...
Would he really do that to me?
Did he really not care that much...

"You fucking punk, how dare you reject my daughter?" Father grabs him by the collar, looking down at him in pure disgust.

"Sir...with all due respect, I don't have anything against Sienna, she is my friend...but I love your daughter,
Your other One."

"You do fucking realise that Aisha has a completely different person in her Life plan, you are never going to be with her, so fucking suck it up" he lowers his voice, gritting his teeth, as he holds himself back from leashing out, in front of all his Business partners.

"I am sorry sir...but you know, it is my right to decide my future, and i politely decline, Miss Sienna".

He states, unfazed by the whole situation.
But then again...why would he care?
He's not the one being married off to a stranger.

That's just how people are, unless they're the ones in your shoes...they will never understand what you're going through.

I didn't even realise when the tears started running down my face.
This was all too much, now what was going to happen to me?...

"Well Since he's declined the Young lady, which I may remind you doesn't happen often..." Colonel says, sparing a brief glance at Adonis, who is now averting his gaze in shame.

"We will have to ask, Is there anyone of high status, and a guaranteed Stable life, who is willing to take Miss Sienna out of this Humiliating position" Colonel asked
His eyes scanning around the crowd.

I bite my lip, looking down at my trembling hands as I try to conceal my terror.

I didn't want to Marry anyone I didn't know.

"Master, the Only person volunteering, who can actually give her a stable life is Mr Woods" Colonel states, staring at Father, who was now downing a glass of beer.
Frustration plastered all over his face.

My breath catches in my throat as my life flashes before my eyes.
Mr Woods...this couldn't be happening.

I don't know how Old that man was, but he has always looked the same ever since I was a child.

His bald head, pot belly and Rotten teeth.

That man was old enough to be my Great Grandfather.
This had to be some kind of Joke.

I got off my seat, rushing towards my father.

"Father, Please you can't, Please, I-Ive been good haven't I?, I beg of you"

"Adonis is just confused, he doesn't mean anything he said...he is going to marry me, Please-" I turned towards Adonis who is now avoiding my gaze.

"Adonis Please, you wouldn't do that to me-, right?, I'll be good, you won't even notice me, Please" my voice cracks as I clutch onto him.

"Sienna, don't make this worse than it already is" he pulls away from me.

"Okay then, it's settled, Sienna Lionel River's, is to be wed to Mr Zachariah Brow-"

"No, I won't have that"

I turn to look at father who is now staring down at me in pity.

"Is there any one else?" He asks looking up at the crowd.

A deafening silence, falling upon us, stating the obvious, nobody dares to step in, and I know just why, they are scared of forming more than an alliance with father, they saw it to be too risky.

"I'll take her" Emerson's voice echoes throughout the room.

What is this Man doing?, he is gay...

But... nobody apart from me and his sister knew that...

He is probably just trying to help me out of this situation, even if it means, stepping out of his comfort Zone.

I really appreciate him for that, but I can't do that to him...

"Yes, I absolutely agree with my son, now what do you say Rivers?" Mr Anders chuckles, starting to approach my father.

"Honey, I think this is way too much commotion, Mr brown said he would take her, that's more than perfec-" Mother cuts in, seeming bugged out about the whole situation.

I don't understand...Why does she dislike me so much?.
I was her daughter for God sake.

"Natalia, Please, I'm not in the mood for your shit right now, walk the fuck away" Father growls at her as she steps back, narrowing her gaze.

"Since none of you can come to an agreement on what to do with this young lady then, we'll have to hold an auction, The highest bidder will earn miss Sienna's hand in marriage" Colonel states.

"A-An auction, you have got to be kidding me, I am not an Object, this is ridiculous, father, please" I can almost laugh in disbelief.

"Sienna, look, at this point in declining Mr Brown, I am overstepping my boundaries, so please try to cooperate with this, it's your best chance at a good future" he crouches down to my level, patting my head.

"Between me and you, you're my favourite Child, I am trying my best, hang in there" he attempts a smile.

Where is all of this coming from?
I thought he hated me...

I stare at him, letting the tears flow down my face.
not knowing what to do at this point, I have to trust him in this.

"Okay place your bids" Colonel raises his hands, gesturing to the crowd.

My life just couldn't get any worse?, Couldn't it?, One wrong Move and I would be wedded off to some random Old man.






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