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My life has just been turned upside down. The curtain had been pulled from underneath my feet and my world was beginning to spin. Deception and manipulation were the order of the day, and I had foolishly fallen for it. This wasn’t like the movies or the novels, this was real, like the pain tearing me apart from the inside. It was as real as the tears that fell down my eyes uncontrollably as I made my way away from all the noise, the yelling, the arguments. Or maybe I simply wanted to run away and disappear, to pretend like I never heard them, like I never found out the truth. Everything had been nothing but a lie, but I wished that we could have lived in that lie for a longer time. “How low would you go for money?” His words whipped like a viper and tears clouded my vision. I lowered my gaze, scared of my answer, scared of him, scared of everything. “I was foolish to not have been smarter, to have trusted my mom, to have trusted you.” “But let’s get this clear.” He came closer, so close, his scent and aura choked me. “You are an imposter,” his voice dimmed. “A thief,” “A liar.” “A gold digger,” “A slut and an even bigger manipulative bitch.” He chuckled. “You played your game very well,” “But you will always be an imposter, a nobody.” “And for the fucking time, you will be here as a wife that you have forced yourself to be,” he stared at me with disgust. His aura changing from hurt to scary. And I wanted to get away, from under him, from his scent, from his deadly eyes, from his wicked voice, I wanted to run. “Stay fifty feet away from me. Do not let me see you, do not let me breathe you in, do not let me hear your voice. When you see me, scram, do you understand?” I nodded my head. “Now get out…” he yelled, and I ran. However, how far could I run? From him, from fate?

Marriage to a stranger

I watched my reflection in the mirror, my heart racing. I was so different from the person I always saw in the mirror. I had a sophisticated and gorgeous look, with hair that resembled a fairytale. I appeared as though I came straight out of a fantasy or dream. A very scary dream. Everything felt surreal, from my appearance to my emotions, and the reason behind it all. It felt like I was in a dream, a beautiful one, but unlike dreams, this was terrifying. Both fear and terror consumed me.

Not long ago, I was a new graduate, thrilled to be done with school and eager to embark on a new journey. Get a job, get money, save up for my sister’s hospital bill, pay off my student loan, and make sure Ava could have a transplant. It was the very reason I worked so hard. Not to live like a billionaire or become extremely wealthy, but to have enough to save my little sister. Her kidney had been failing and drugs didn’t help. She had been on dialysis for such a long time, a child such as her had no idea what normal was like. To make things worse, my dad was laid off his job when he needed money the most, and my mom had been the sole provider for months. At a young age, I saw how quickly life could turn against you, how easily the universe could turn against you, making sure that everything you did came to nothing. How I was made to look after my sister while my parents went out for menial jobs so we could eat, take care of the bills and still take care of Ava medically. The little properties we had, we sold, and we had to move from our house to an unpleasant area when we could not keep up with the rent and my schooling. It was almost as if we were being stripped naked for the world to see. And more than anything, I wanted to clothe us. I worked so hard to get to school, worked several other jobs to see myself through. I did everything that I could to see my sister healthy, to see that smile in my mom’s eyes after so many years. It was my sole purpose. Being successful. I took out loans, worked different jobs and made sure I graduated. Nothing distracted me, nothing occupied my thoughts. I had no time for anything else except work and school. I held my life tightly, like it was bound with a thread, to keep it steady.

However, in a matter of weeks, that thread had been relaxed and uncurled before my very eyes. I was grasping for a bit of stability, yet I had spiraled so fast, so quickly, I was standing in a mirror with a wedding gown and no control over the life I had planned and held together for so long.

“Holy shit…” a shriek pulled me out of my very deep thought and I turned around to find Tiana and Tiffany running in with matching outfits.

“This is beautiful.” Tiffany was all over me in a matter of minutes. Moving around me with wide mouth and eyes till she drank in everything I wore. I did not blame her. I have been staring at myself that excessively. It was still so surreal, like a dream, a fantasy that I needed to wake up from. 

“Jordan really went all out,” Tiana smiled, admiring my gown with as much excitement in her eyes as it was in Tiffany’s. They were my only friends in the world. We’ve been together ever since I got into college and they’ve been my support system, my energy boosters, my family. 

“He did,” I smiled, feeling warmth settle in the pit of my heart. The very thought of him and the past few weeks always had that effect on me. I was getting married to the youngest, most handsome bachelor in town, according to the hot and new magazine. For a celebrity to be a celebrity, he ought to be there, no matter. And he wasn’t just a celebrity, he was a business tycoon and a bachelor. I was lucky. I knew I was lucky. Yet, that feeling that had settled at the pit of my stomach the very day we came to the hotel danced around me, taming my excitement as it grew. 

“And this dress looks like it was meant for you.” Tiffany did not stop gushing over it. 

“And your makeup and your hair and….”

“You look like a dream come through.” She complimented me. My smiled widened, and I shook my head, even when my heart melted at her compliment. 

“Well….” That feeling didn’t last long. It remained within, growing, tightening around my stomach, sending warning all over my body. But maybe I was nervous. It had to be. Jordan wasn’t a dangerous man. We’ve been speaking in weeks and in those weeks, I had come to understand what it was like to care about someone so genuinely. And even though we’ve never met, I was sure that he cared about me, just like I was beginning to care for him. There was nothing wrong. I was just nervous, and that was normal. Especially in our case. 

“Wait a moment…” Tiffany paused and stared at me for a while. I managed a nervous smile and waited for her to access me till her eyes widened. 

“That’s the same gown.” Her eyes widened even more.

“The gown you drew…” she jumped, and I smiled. I had been shocked too. When my gown had been changed last minute, even more shocked when the address for the wedding, the cake, the décor had all been said to be changed last minute. And when I asked why, all I had been told was your husband said he wanted this and nothing else. I hadn’t understood why he wanted everything changed till I laid eyes on the gown. We had been talking on the phone one time when he asked about my dream wedding and I had given him explicit details of what I had wanted when I was young and stupid. And a child who thought that anything could come true if they just dreamed hard enough. How stupid I must have been when I dreamt like that? I even went to the extent of sketching my fantasy gown. Jordan had asked to see it, but even then, I never knew he would go to such length to make me happy. He gave me my dream gown, the tiara, the hair, the bouquet. Who knew that such a man could exist ever and that man would be the person that I would be getting married to? 

“I didn’t know, he….” Tears blurred my vision as emotions overwhelmed me. 

“Shhh. No, don’t.” Tiffany came closer, but I couldn’t help it. It was all happening so fast, there was no time to assess my emotions. And right there, all I felt was appreciation and so much happiness. I was overwhelmed and disoriented, anxiously waiting to wake up from the nightmare. I didn’t know a thing about getting married. I didn’t even prepare for this when I was dating Nate. 

“Oh, God…” the thought of him had my heart breaking. Just a few weeks ago, he was rushing me to the hospital and telling me about a surprise he had for me. And now, I was in a wedding gown, with no prior notice to him or warning. I didn’t even break up with him myself. 

“Genesis…” Tiffany took me to a seat as those tears came running down my cheeks uncontrollably. 

“What is it, love?” 

“I am so happy. Jordan did so much for this wedding. Like a dream come true, he went all out. He brought out the wish that I never thought could ever happen. I never knew wishes could easily come true.” I sniffed, trying to hold myself from losing more control of my emotions. 

“And I am grateful that he was there to settle Ava’s medical bill. She would have been dead if we didn’t find a kidney or even get the money as soon as we did.” A single tear dropped from my eyes as I thought of that day. My sister almost died and only one person could save her. That person wasn’t me. He was the one I was getting married to now. 

“All these are good, aren’t they?” Tiana asked and sat at the other side of the bed.


“But what?” 

“I am scared and confused and so lost and guilty.”

“Shhh…” Tiffany pulled me into a hug and those tears came running down again. 

“Its normal to feel all this,” Tiana stated from where she sat and I turned to her. 

“You never prepared for this. We never prepared for marriage to a wealthy man within three weeks of graduation. It wasn’t the plan, so I understand if it feels like the rug was pulled from under you. You should feel guilty and scared and confused. Hell, you will even question your sanity, the one that pushes you to marry a man who you’ve never spoken to face to face. But girl…” she pulled away and held my arms. 

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. All the dreams and goals you never even had because you were so busy thinking of Ava, you can now do that. You can do that and more. And if Jordan is as good as we assume, with all this…” she looked around. 

“Then you should be happy. So take it one at a time. No one is forcing you to be prepared or happy or comfortable. One at a time. We’ll be by your side all the same.” 

“And since you do not have a choice in the matter…” Tiffany added, and I sighed. I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I couldn’t stop time or pause or wait to get my shit together. So, I was doing this. I was getting married to a man who I only knew by voice, words, and a picture.

I took a deep breath, but my heart tightened as an uncomfortable feeling gripped me. Just in time, my eyes caught the woman standing by the door with eyes filled with guilt and hands held together in nervousness. Yet, she managed a smile, the fakest I have ever seen. 

Blessing or not?

My hands shook and turned sweaty as I watched the glass house. From where I stood on the verge of running away from my wedding, I could see the reporters, men, women, and people I barely knew. They were definitely not my people, neither were they people I invited, but they were there. With flashy clothes, cars, and the smell of wealth. Guards with glasses and suits lined up the entire place, and their shades made them extra serious. I feared for myself, for them, for my family and for what I was getting into. Yet, the view was magical. On my left, I could hear the sound of the ocean. I could smell the saltiness in the air and feel the cool air kiss my skin with every wind that blew. By my far left was a garden, filled with flowers of all kinds, kept tidy and beautifully that each blossom glowed from where I stood. I wanted to explore this, to touch the flowers, feel the lawn with my bare feet, to kiss the ocean and touch the sand. But maybe after the wedding.

The thought of t


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