The white dress fit perfectly, caressing my chest comfortably and spreading out near the back. He told me that he’d gotten it made specially for me, having observed every detail, every curve of my body.
The bright red flowers clasped tightly between my hands were gorgeous and vivid. They stood elegantly upright as if no force nor darkness could taint their beauty. He told me they reminded him of my lips; so sweet and delicious.
The fruity perfume that filled the air was stunning, smelling lively and flavourful. It brought the occasional feeling of an overwhelming ecstasy as it would fill your nose and tamper carelessly with your senses. He told me it represented our love; young and beautiful.
The man in front of me stood confidently still, that familiar smirk plastered on his face. Oh how I hated that smirk. He was attractive; quite handsome to say the least, but I did not want to be standing there in the white dress with the bright red flowers and fruity perfume in front of him. No, it had not been my decision to be there.
I suddenly felt my heart begin to pound heavily and my head grow dizzy. This was not how I wanted my life to turn out. This was not what I desired, but I had no other choice. There was no escape.
I felt my eyes flutter shut as reality continued to sink in. I did not want to be there. I did not want to do this.
I felt him squeeze my hands gently and my eyes shot open only to be met with that wicked smile. That smile that I loathed so much.
I simply looked away and suppressed the sudden urge to let out a sob. A plea for help. A call to the Heavens. Anything.
The officiant cleared his gravelly throat, catching me by surprise. I had forgotten that he was there.
“And do you, Jasmine Lockwood, take Jonathan Keemser, to be your wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?”
I slowly turned my head to the empty rows of seats where nobody sat except for his supposed best friend in a baggy shirt and shorts. Idiot.
The room was quite dark and carried a solemn air that could not quite be described. It bore nothing more than a heavy and disheartening ambience.
I wondered whether this is how I had pictured it would be. As a young girl, had I thought that my special day would end up like this? Would I have wanted it to be like this? No. Where were all the decorations, and the family and friends? Where was the joyful mood and hopeful spirit? Where was the excitement of this new beginning and the promise of a bright future? Nowhere.
It was depressing. Bleak and depressing.
I felt him continue to squeeze my hands until it became almost painful.
I quickly snapped my head back towards him and that foul grin. I hated it! I hated him!
The officiant cleared his throat again and I could only turn my head away from the man standing in front of me, a single tear making its way down my fragile cheek.
I could feel his strong hands beginning to squeeze harder and harder as the agony emerged.
The dress began to choke me. The flowers shrivelled up hideously and died. The perfume turned foul and a sickening fragrance emerged. My heart continued to pound. My head continued to spin. There was no way out. There was no escape.
When I felt that I could no longer bear it, I took a deep breath and gritted my teeth in vexation.
“I do.” I vowed, trying not to choke on my own tears. I had no choice. There was no escape.
“Then I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Declared the officiant though he sounded rather uncomfortable; pitiful almost. He had no idea of the true darkness that lay beneath the surface.
I felt him slip the metal ring around my finger. It was cold. It was bitter.
I assumed that it would then be my turn to put a ring on his finger, but I did not want to. I only looked down at the ground. At the glistening ring. My glistening ring.
Then, I felt him grasp my jaw and lift my head to his level. His darkened eyes stared mercilessly into my soul. Into my heart. He proceeded to lead my hand towards the second ring that had been placed in the small wooden box and slipped it smoothly onto his finger with a satisfied smirk.
The officiant was obviously taken aback, but simply ended the ceremony saying “You may now kiss.”
I felt him pull my head towards his as our lips connected. His lips were soft and sweet, but I did not want to kiss him. I did not want to be there.
I did not resist nor pull back; I could not. He always got what he wanted--no matter what.
In the distance, I could hear his stupid friend cheering and laughing. What an asshole.
Once more, I could feel myself gasping for air. I wanted to cry out; call out for help! The powerful perfume filled my nose and the agonizing laughter rang distantly in my ears. My heart was pounding. My head was spinning. I did not want to do this. I did not want to be there. I had no choice. There was no escape.
I suddenly felt the floor break beneath me, cracking and shattering into millions of pieces, and I began to fall; deeper and deeper into an infinite void filled by nothing but darkness.
I’d first seen Jonathan in middle-school, though it was only near the end of high-school that he’d first approached me. It was obvious from day one that he had a profound interest, or rather obsession, with me. He would often stare in my direction and sometimes follow me around, but only at school. Once or twice, he’d left notes in my locker. They were very deep and romantic; flattering almost. He was talented. At first, I thought it was kind of...cute--nobody had ever seemed to have interest in me. However, it got worse as years went by and the innocent watching quickly turned into disturbing stalking. I would sometimes see him around my house and even at the art studio where I used to take lessons on the weekends. It began to creep me out and the rumours going around about him did not help either. People said that he was a psychopath. He was obsessive. He could be violent. He used force. He always got what he wanted.
A lot of girls used to obsess over Jonathan. They thought that he was handsome. They liked that he was mysterious. Maybe I had thought so too.
I was drunk. It was late. I was dumb. I slept with Jonathan at a party. Maybe I had been curious. Maybe I had felt bad. Maybe I had just wondered...
I had not intended to stay with him after that night. It had been a mistake; a one time thing. However, when he showed me the tape, I had no choice.
Jonathan had never hurt me, he had never forced me into anything outrageous, but I was still a prisoner; and he was the owner of the key that locked my heart.
One day, I decided to stand up. Maybe I had had enough of him. Maybe I was tired of my bindings. I told him that I didn’t care; I didn't care if he released the tape. I wanted my freedom. I wanted to be liberated.
He said that he’d kill himself if I did not comply; he even showed me the gun. I was scared, but stood my ground. He said that he’d kill my mother. I had no other option.
When he asked me to marry him, I did not have the choice to refuse. I had no choice. There was no escape.
I felt his warm lips on my neck and was suddenly pulled back into reality.
“Hello Sweetheart,” he said in a low voice when I let out a small groan “how are you feeling?”
I did not acknowledge him, letting my eyelids close once more.
The room was dark and he was nothing more than a silhouette; a figure in the shadows. The air was filled with the scent of his cologne. It was strong. Powerful. Intoxicating.
“I asked you a question, Sweetheart.” he repeated into my ear with gritted teeth, putting a firm hand on my jaw and lightly squeezing my bear thigh.
I gasped in surprise, but quickly regained my composure. “I’m fine” I mumbled quietly.
He let out a low and chilling chuckle.
“You’re all mine now, Love,” he said, continuing to trail kisses down my neck “all mine. Forever.”
I would have liked to object. I would have liked to deny it, but I knew that he was right. I did not want to do this. I did not want to be there. I had no choice. A cold tear rolled down my pale cheek. There was no escape.