It is the morning of my wedding day and I have refused every single demand to get out of bed. I can’t seem to move; my limbs are not working. All I know is that this bed is safe and comfortable and I do not have to give up my entire life while I am laying inside of it.
“Devon, you are testing my patience now,” my mother sneers as she attempts once again to throw the covers from me. “Do not make me fetch your father.”
“Please,” I cry, lifting myself up to look at her. “Please don’t make me do it.”
“Stop being so emotional,” she mutters. “You are acting like a child.”
“I don’t want to marry him. Don’t make me marry him.”
“Lyle wants you,” she says. “Even if we tried to call the wedding off, the King will still force you into the marriage. It is all arranged, it is happening.”
“No,” I say, wiping my cheeks. “You have to call it off, okay? Say that I’m sick, that I have a contagious virus. They’ll have to postpone it for at least a few weeks.”
“You want me to lie to the King?” She gasps and shakes her head. “What is the matter with you? Do you know what this could do to our family? We’d be the most powerful family in the kingdom.”
“What about what it will do to me?” I shout at her. “Do you ever think about what I want? I was only in that monster’s room for a few minutes and he has already violated me. I cannot even bear to spend the night with him let alone my entire life.”
“You have one minute to leave this bed before I get your father.”
I see in her eyes that it is useless to argue with her. She folds her arms and takes deep breaths. She’s becoming impatient and that can be dangerous to be around. It doesn’t matter how old I get, until I am married then I belong to my parents. I am their property. I’ve lived in the mansion in the east side for my whole life. I grew up obedient and controlled. I was starved or punished whenever I tried to defer from their routine. My older brother didn’t receive that treatment. He was cherished and worshipped. He can pick his life. He can do whatever he wants because he isn’t a female with reproductive organs that our parents can marry off to a prince.
My mother is insufferable and dominating but she isn’t as scary as my father. She knows that I am terrified of him and the threat of having him come here is enough for me to get up.
“I know that this is happening fast,” she says softly. “And you haven’t had any time to truly adjust to it but it will get better. You just have to get through tonight. The first night is always the hardest but once you know what to expect, you won’t feel as nervous.”
I glare at her as I pace towards the window. “This isn’t just about sex, mother. He’s unhinged. My marriage to him makes his chances better but that man should never be King.”
“He is a little enthusiastic.” She shrugs. “The King sees promise in him and we have to respect that. You will be the Queen one day. Do you even understand what that means?”
“Yes,” I mumble. “He made my position very clear.”
“So why are you resisting? Do you know how many girls would kill for a chance like this? You will be envied by thousands.”
“Envied?” I say quietly. I turn around slowly. “Were you even in the same throne room as me? Did you not see the girls’ faces lighting up with joy when they left? Or were you too focused with smirking at their mothers?”
“I’m sure deep inside they were hurt,” she says.
“They were relieved. I don’t blame them. He said that if I don’t get pregnant then he’d get angry with me, that he’d. . .” I swallow.
My mother walks over to me and holds my shoulders. “Then you must make sure that you do.”
“Is getting pregnant my only purpose?” I ask her.
“Yes,” she says. “And it’s a damn good one. You will have all of the power of being Queen with none of the politics and stress. It is an amazing and rewarding responsibility.”
“Unless I can’t get pregnant and he beats me,” I say.
“You will,” she says, turning her attention to the door. “She’s ready now!”
I freeze as the door opens and a trail of servant girls come rushing in with all types of essentials. One of them carries my wedding dress attached to a hanger, covered with a thin material. My mother had that made for me a few days ago. She was that confident that Lyle would choose me that she dragged me to the best wedding dress designer in the kingdom.
I am spun around as the girls pull open the straps of my dress at the back. I hold the front in place as it becomes looser. One servant passes me a cup of herbal tea and I thank her as I bring it to my lips.
I can’t stop thinking about last night. About Lyle’s violation on my body, how calm and cool he was while his fingers measured my womanhood. He enjoyed watching me suffer, the smirk on his face was more evil than curious.
And the thought of tonight, of having to go the full way with him, almost makes the cup drop from my fingertips.