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The Bride

  • 👁 246
  • 6.5
  • 💬 53


After running away from home seven years ago to escape a loveless arranged marriage, Kyra Wilder has finally mastered up the courage to be back in her small town of Ruthwell in Washington DC. She’s ready for a second chance with her parents and the people who used to be her friends back in high school and most of all, she’s ready to tell her parents that she’s about to become a bride. But the small town she lived in hasn’t changed all that much in the past seven years and no one seems to have forgotten her betrayal, or seems anywhere near ready to forgive her for her past mistakes. Everywhere she goes, she’s met with hostility and anger and it’s thinning out her chances of redemption ever second. Now, how does she tell her parents and her friends that not only has she moved on in her life, further than anyone had ever anticipated, but she’s happy and successful in what she does? And amid all the truths and revelations, how does she tell everyone that she isn’t marrying a man, but the woman of her dreams?

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Coming Home

“Hey, babe!” Gabriella’s cheerful tone was the only thing keeping me from turning my car around and heading back the way I came. “I know you’re immensely stressed right now, and I wish I could be there with you to take the blow, share some of your pain, but you know I can’t. It’s going to make matters worse and you’ve done enough running away already. Just be careful, baby. And promise to call me at least ten times every day! I love you! And you know I’m always with you. Bye.”

I removed the phone from my ears and stared at the screen for a good five minutes. Gabby’s smiling face stared back at me. Her dark hair was blowing back from her diamond shaped face in the wind, highlighting a thousand shades of blue and her electric blue eyes were filled with joy and laughter. Her smile was contagious; it made the corner of my lips tilt upwards. But then my eyes shifted to the two storied Victorian styled house looming in the background of my phone, and my smile faltered.

This was a mistake. A huge, big, fat, f*ck*ng mistake. I was so glad to have left all this behind me when I ran but now I’m back again in dreaded Ruthwell and I have no idea what I should say or do to make everything better again. What could I possibly do to make this better?

Was there anything left to redeem? And why should I be the one feeling miserable and haunted when none of this had been my fault to begin with?

Dear God! It really has been seven years hasn’t it? Seven years since I’d felt my brothers affectionate embrace; seven years since my mother had served me her delicious home cooked meals and seven years since my father had given me an affectionate pat on the head for achieving something for myself and making the family proud.

But…has it really been just seven years?

The last time my brother had given me a hug had been when he had been going off to college twelve years ago. The last time my mom even remembered to cook me my favourite meal was on my sixteenth birthday when all of my friends from school were coming over to celebrate. And the last time my dad had given me an affectionate pat on the back was when I was in sixth grade and had won the inter-school dance competition and the prize money worth five hundred dollars.

My brother had always been the gem of the family while I’d been the unwanted offspring, the disappointment and a surprise child they never wanted. Which was why my dad hadn’t even thought twice before setting up an arranged marriage between me and his best friend’s son, without even bothering to ask me first if I wanted to get married at eighteen. Or even get married at all?

I would never forget the day that he decided to tell me his decision; it’s forever etched into my mind. Because he hadn’t asked…he had just decided…just went ahead and made the biggest decision of my life for me.

He wouldn’t listen to my pleas, nor did he even want to consider sending me to the New York Dance Academy first and develop a career before my wedding. I’d won a scholarship at an inter-state dance competition and I had been so excited to tell my parents that I’d finally made my dream come true, but instead I’d gotten the biggest shock of my life.

After that I had been forbidden to go outside of my house, even to dance classes; my father had thought that my dance teacher was putting ideas in my head. He’s always been one of those firm conservative men who believe that a woman’s place was in the kitchen and on her husband’s bed.

The next few days before the wedding, I had tried my hardest to convince him to send me to New York. I had promised to return all the money he had spent on my education and dance lessons if he did so, but he had refused all logic and reason. I was to be wed in a week and that was his final verdict.

Neither my mother, nor my brother had been of any help. My brother had straight out refused to talk to me and my mother had bowed her head and agreed to everything my dad had to say. It was on my wedding day that I’d finally decided that enough was enough and I’d taken matters into my own hands. I couldn’t stand being underestimated and treated like an object any longer.

Being married off would mean the end of my dance career and that felt like dying a thousand painful deaths before death actually came for me.

So I’d run away from home, taking whatever money that I’d made from the dance competitions that I’d participated in so far and made it to the bus station without getting caught. From there I’d called Miss Lydia Stonewall, my dance teacher, and she had arranged for me to go to New York and fulfil my dream by not only providing me monetary support, but mental support as well. It was easy to say that she had been the one to change my life completely.

But that had been seven years ago. Now, I was finally back in town, thanks to Gabby’s persuasion; sitting in the driver’s seat of the car that I’d rented from the hotel and debating whether or not I should go say ‘hi’ to my parents.

If only things were that easy. Ruthwell was the least forgiving town I’ve ever known and I highly doubt anyone was going to be as accepting of me as Gabby’s parents had been.

‘None of it was your fault, you know that and so do I. But from what you’ve told me of your hometown, they’re going to be very hard on you.’ Gabby had warned me.

‘Then why are you forcing me to go back there? You know I hate that place!’ I’d shouted, not understanding why she was doing this. We’d had a big argument that night but Gabby, not for the first time, had been my voice of reason.

‘Because I know you miss them, Kiki.’ She’d spoken calmly, without raising her voice for one single second. ‘And don’t you dare try to deny it. My parents love you, sometimes even more than they love me, but they’re not the people who gave birth to you. It’s unconditional love, Kyra. Make amends with them. You haven’t spoken to them for seven years now. You’ve changed so much and so have they. Show them how much you’ve grown; show them how much you’ve achieved! Make them see you.’

And I’d ended up listening to her just like I did every time. And that’s how I ended up here…in front of the house that I was born in, in the same town that I had never thought about returning to in the last seven years.

I sighed for the millionth time and rubbed at my eyes. I hadn’t been able to sleep properly for the past week just thinking about how I would face my parents. I had stayed up all night while Gabby had slept peacefully next to me. At least she was a good pretender.

I knew she’d been awake too, worrying about me, but she still hadn’t made me take back the promise I’d made to her about seeing my parents before our wedding. So I’d packed in silence, kissed her goodbye as she pretended to sleep and left our apartment as quietly as possible as the sun rose in the horizon.

Gathering all the courage that I could master at the moment, I got out of the car and locked it behind me. The cool autumn breeze ruffled my blonde hair back from my face and I pulled my jacket tighter around my body to keep me warm. My hands and legs were freezing by now, not so much from the cold as it was from nervousness and I rubbed my hands together as I forced my legs to move towards my house.

The white picket fence was spotless as I crossed the threshold and my dad’s old Mustang was still shining bright red through the open garage door. Nothing seems to have changed at all, this place looked frozen in time. And that’s how I was expecting the people inside the house to be as well. least I was trying. At least I was trying to be the better person.

I climbed up the couple stairs to the patio and rapped my knuckles three times on the wooden door. I remembered my mother always liked it when people did that, knock instead of ring the bell, but I never really knew the reason why. But maybe…now that I was here, I could ask her about it. Ask her all the things that I had missed out on all these years.

It wasn't long before I heard her soft footfalls from the other side of the door. It wasn't long before I heard her soft, melodic voice muffled through the mahogany wood.


A wave of nostalgia hit me as I felt my stomach churn with nerves. This was it. I was finally going to see my parents, my brother, after seven whole years!

How many times had I stood in this same spot, knocking on my door as I’d come back from school? How many nights had I sat on the patio stairs with my best friend and gazed at the stars in the sky? How many nights had my mother sat on these same stairs as she watched me and my friends run amuck in the gardens as she smiled her sweet smile?

It was all coming back to me now. The emotions were so overwhelming that I felt my eyes cloud with tears and then, before I could even prepare myself-

“Who is i-“

My mother stood facing me, the door partially open and a rapidly fading smile on her face as soon as she saw me.

Her hair was shorter now, just below her ears and she looked older that I could remember her. She was also a foot shorter than me in heels and her face had several wrinkles and fine lines that hadn’t been there before.

She’d ages, gotten older while I was away. And I had missed all that. I’d missed her so much!

“Mom!” I chocked out and raised my arms to embrace her-


Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Ms. Stonewall

Ms. Stonewall’s dance studio was located on top of Berkley’s Bakery. And why was that relevant?

Because she had once told us that she wants to see how well we fair against the sweet temptation lurking around the corner and still come out victorious.

It was a test to see who amongst us would get into the elite dance team. As a result, she had lost half of her initial class strength to the bakery while the other half struggled to sneak behind Ms. Stonewall’s back to grab a bite of the tempting desserts on display in front of the store. In the end, only three of us had been left standing after she had finished her little test.

Rika because she had diabetes and couldn’t have sweets; Pamela because she hated sweets and adored spicy food. And then there was me. I didn’t have any other excuses to resist temptation other than the fact that I had wanted to be on her elite team desperately.

From a very young age, danci


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