His Beautiful Addiction
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"Do you know what you're bargaining for?" He asked with a mischievous smile on his face, as he watched the anxious looks on Laura's face. He knows she was battling with her mind about whether to take her sister's place or not. " You heard me, Mr. Charles. I'm taking my sister's place!" She spat out in anger, glancing at him with fierce eyes. He chuckled and adjust himself well. "Then, baby girl, you're welcome to hell" * * * Laura and Charles's world is turned upside down when they find themselves married to each other. The opposites struggle to find a balance between love and hate through their journey.
You know one of those days where you wake up super excited about something to happen but have that small nagging voice telling you something will go wrong? Well... that's exactly how I feel today.
It's the big 25 and I'm as excited as you can imagine. But I'm also suffering from the normal worry that something wrong is going to happen.
I got out of bed and walked over to the dressing mirror.
"Good morning Miss Gale," I said to my distorted reflection. "Soon to be Mrs Tobias." I added with a wide-toothed smile.
"Laura, you up?" My younger sister, Sophia, asks as she steps in.
"Yeah what's up?"
Her strawberry blonde hair is in a tight ponytail today, as opposed to the usual waves that fall around her shoulders and shape her round face. And she's dressed in grey sweatpants and a hoodie. She generally looks basic today. No bright red lipstick or colourful graphic liner. She looks... simple... beautiful.
"Mum asked if you'd like your breakfast in bed." She says. "And I was also wondering if you needed help getting ready."
I smile because this has weirdly become a family tradition. And I realise that's also why she's dressed down today. Birthdays are special and my family believes you should be in the spotlight on your birthday and no one else.
"I'm good Soph. I'll just take a shower and come down for breakfast. I'll be out in 10minutes." She stared at me in disbelief.
"No. I will not dress down, wear these sweats, and have zero makeup on for you to be out in 10minutes on your 25th birthday." She rants. "Nope. You'll be out in at least 30minutes."
This gets me laughing. "Fine. I'll be out in at least 30minutes."
"Good. And please, look mind blowing. I don't want you looking like a disaster when Tobias proposes." She warns
"If he proposes," I said.
"If the guy doesn't propose before the end of today, then he's an even bigger fool than I thought."
"Yes ma'am." I laughed. "Now, can you leave so I can get ready?"
"No. What are you wearing?"
"Nothing serious. Just jean trousers and that really cute top I got on sale at Amazon."
Sophia gave me a look of horror.
"How dare you?" She asks. "Even after my speech, you still decide to get dressed in that." She walks towards my wardrobe while I just sit at the mirror looking at her in amusement. "There has to be something, anything in here you could wear other than what you just said." She goes through my whole wardrobe and finally gives up. "It's official. That's your best bet."
I start laughing and she gives me the stink eye. I'm still recovering from my laughter fest when she suddenly smiles. I stopped laughing abruptly.
"There might be nothing for you to wear in your wardrobe. But I'm sure as hell there's something in mine." With that, she dashed out of my room.
"You could atleast shut the door." I shouted.
"No!" She shouts back.
Five minutes later, she's back with a dress in her arms, a pair of ankle boots, and some gold jewelry.
"So I know you're sorta thicker than I am, but I'm absolutely certain this will fit. And if it doesn't, we'll do it."
"Okay." I sighed. "I'll try it on. Now out."
"Fine. Whatever, I'm going." She turns to leave, but not without teasingly adding, "Mrs Tobias." And she shuts the door.
I go to the kitchen to get breakfast and no one's there. The house is awfully quiet. I was about to go check the backyard when my parents and Sophia jumped out of nowhere, almost giving me a heart attack.
"Surprise!" they shouted.
"Holy crap," I said.
"Language, young lady." My mum warned her.
"Oh come on mum. She'll soon get her own home. She's not so young anymore. And knowing Laura, she'll definitely curse." My mum gives her a stern look and she zips up her mouth.
"Told you you'd look good." Sophia whispers to me. "And the makeup. I totally approve."
I smiled because she was right.
The pale blue dress she picked defines every curve on my upper body, makes my waist look really snatched, and just flows around the bottom, giving my hips space to breathe and stopping right above my knee.
We wear the same shoe size, so the ankle boots fit like a glove and the gold jewelry just puts everything together.
My honey blonde hair is styled in lost curls and I kept my makeup to the minimum. Mild smokey eyes, some peach lipstick and a little blush.
"How're you feeling this morning, birthday girl?" My dad asked and pulled me into a bear hug.
"Well, I feel good. Just can't believe I'm this old."
"Hey! Don't call yourself old. I'll feel old too." My mum jokes.
"Aww mum. You can never be old. You're a forever blooming rose." I teased.
"You look really beautiful, by the way," she adds.
I give her a peck and she approves with a smile and goes into the kitchen store.
"Dad, could you drop me over at Tobias' when heading to work?"
"Where's your car?" Sophia asks and keeps a plate of bacon and eggs in front of me.
"Still at the mechanics."
"Sure why not? It isn't out of my way."
I hugged him and gave him a peck. "Thank you daddy."
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.." My mum came out with a huge square cake with 25 candles on it.
"Happy birthday dear Laura..." Sophia and dad joined in, "Happy birthday to you."
"Guys..." I'm already teary eyed. "Thank you so much."
"Come on. Make a wish." Mum urges.
I take in a deep breath, close my eyes and blow out the candles. They all break into a round of applause and I think my mum's way happier than I am today.
"What'd you wish for?" Sophia probs.
"That you'd lay off my back." I teased.
She just shrugs and says, "Oh well. Not all wishes come true." And everyone bursts out laughing.
After breakfast, I'm waiting for my dad to get ready and Sophia's sitting beside me, intensely watching a show.
"What're you doing today?" I asked her.
"Staying home and binge watching every reality show I can find."
She examines me like I've suddenly turned daft.
"Because, dear sister, unlike you, I wouldn't be caught dead, out of this house, with this outfit."
"Ouch! You didn't need to be so mean about it."
"Well, you should know better than to ask such questions by now." And she went back to her show.
I love Sophia, but sometimes I think she purposely tries to annoy me. And other times, she acts like she wishes she was the oldest. I mean for sure, my position in the family gives me some leverage. Late nights, freedom to go out with no questions asked and unlimited freedom.
But it also comes with a burden of responsibility she doesn't understand.
The car ride with my dad was a bit quiet, but it was not an uncomfortable silence. It's just that my dad and I barely have anything to talk about. And we're both very quiet people, so silence is more than welcome.
I looked over at my dad and noticed for the first time that his hair looked thinning and there were a few grey hairs scattered amongst his blonde hair. His hair is also shorter and he has barely noticeable creases around his eyes.
He also looks tired. Very tired. And sad. Wait! Sad? Why would he be sad? Nothing is wrong as far as I know. I tried to think of something but I came up short.
He has two amazing daughters, and a heaven-sent wife, and one of his daughters will be married soon. Ohh... I'll be married soon. I guess I kinda get why he'd be sad.
I put my hand over him and he quickly glanced over at me with a smile before looking back at the road.
"You good honey?" He says in the most cheery voice he can mu
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