Today, I’m finally getting married to the man of my dreams and my first love. I don’t remember when I first fell in love with him, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been in love with him. I wasn’t certain whether it was because of pure good luck or ill-fated misfortune that my one-sided forbidden love would be fulfilled today after I have spent countless years yearning for my twin sister’s fiancé.
I’m not even sure where to start to describe all the pain, suffering, and misfortunes that I’ve had to deal with before reaching this moment. Dressed in a very expensive designer wedding dress with a white lacy veil covering my face, my hand tightened slightly around my father’s arm as I tried to stop my legs from shaking from the mix of nervousness and overwhelming excitement.
It just didn’t feel real.
I didn’t dare close my eyes for too long for fear that when I reopened them again, I would find out that everything about this wedding was just a sweet fantasy dream that I’d had countless times before. Ever since I was a small girl, I had dreamt of my wedding day many times before. Each time, some details may have been different such as the dress that I had on or the wedding venue, or how the ceremony would play out. However, the one thing that remained constant in all my dreams was the identity of my groom. I would always marry him, and no one else.
“Don’t you dare mess this up, Dahlia…”
The deep voice that hissed those words grumpily to me belonged to none other than my father. Without wanting to, I instinctively looked up into his face to see him glaring at me with menacing eyes. I had always hated the way that he looked at me as if I wasn’t human or simply something that shouldn’t have been born. Even on this day, I had hoped that he would feel even a shred of thankfulness that I was here and once again doing his bidding for the sake of saving our family’s name and face.
Before my thoughts and mood would turn dark, I decided to face straight ahead and simply ignore him. In all the dreams that I had of my wedding, I walked proudly down the aisle to where my handsome groom was waiting for me alone. My father was never by my side just like he is now and there were more than a few good reasons for that.
“Thirty seconds and the doors will open. Please don’t forget to smile and don’t forget to kick the skirt of your dress each time you take a step forward,” one of the staff from the wedding organizer team reminded me before showing me a bright smile.
“Thank you…” I replied in a soft whisper as I nodded my head slightly in acknowledgment.
Of course, the last thing I wanted was to fall flat on my face at such a key moment like this. Although I knew that this was a wedding of convenience and necessity, I didn’t let it weigh too much on my mind. For someone as unlucky and unfortunate as me, just standing here with the chance to marry the man of my dreams felt like more than I could have ever asked for. They say it takes two to tango and that made me wonder for a split second if my groom-to-be was fine with marrying me.
‘They’ll have to. With all that they’ve done, they won’t have any other choice…’
My father’s words and the rage in his eyes came back to me as I was reminded of his response when I asked him if the groom and his family would really be fine with me. He didn’t tell me that they would be fine with it, but it may be true that just like me, they also didn’t really have a choice in the matter anymore. Without this wedding, our families and all the wealth and position that we hold may really fall apart after so many generations of success.
It was a wedding for both of our families to survive.
“3…2…1. Best of luck!” the staff member said to signal my queue to enter the church.
Snapping out of my deep thoughts, the vivid sights and sounds of the situation around me came back to me again. I quickly realized that two men dressed in polite black suits were already pushing open the luxuriously decorated large double door of the church where I would make my entry with my father. The band was already playing the wedding march to signal the entry of the bride and that bride was me.
Suddenly, the dress that I had on felt too tight around the chest and waist, and the high heel shoes that I had on felt so uncomfortable. My father tugged on my arm slightly to urge me to take a step forward into the church where all the honorable guests were waiting to witness our wedding and the eventual joining of our families.
This isn’t just about me. Although it was supposed to be, this isn’t for my family. This is for my twin sister…and for me!
This is for you, Dina.
I love you, Dina. Thank you for always loving me and being there for me.
The light from the spotlights that shone down on me to highlight my entrance into the church felt blinding. It felt quite relieving in a strange way that I wasn’t able to see the many spectators gathered in the church to witness our wedding. Relatives that shunned me almost all my life, business partners who only wanted to benefit from my family’s social standing, and unknown reporters and members of the press. Camera flashes went off as I tried my best to plaster a beautiful smile on my face while feeling thankful that my face was still partially obscured by the veil that I had on.
The walk down the aisle felt unreal, and each step felt like I was walking on clouds. Most of that was because I could barely feel my legs under me anymore. I cursed silently as I trained my eyes to stare forward while my mind wondered why the church had to be so large and the walk to my groom so long.
--To be continued…