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This was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. After seven years together, Ray Mendoza had finally proposed, and Adriana Driscoll said yes without hesitation. Her ring was made of gold and decorated with diamonds and emeralds. A wedding planner was hired, which went a long way in getting things done properly. June 18th was agreed upon. A location had been found and booked in advance.


Adriana knew what her final dress choice would be as soon as she saw it; a cream colored strapless gown, with crystals on the bodice and the skirt flowing down from the waist. She chose her bridesmaids with care. The stag party and bridal shower were a whole lot of fun. Nothing got too crazy or out of hand. Surprisingly, the budget they had set aside, was totally on track. Everything looked to be under control.


However, an unforeseen tragedy happened, several weeks before the big day, which put it all on hold….


Adriana’s parents Anthony and Lauren were fatally shot in a store robbery. The two people responsible were first time offenders. They were caught rather easily. In court, both of them couldn’t keep it together. Adriana watched as the teenagers were led away. She would never forget their faces. For a moment, she wished she had a gun, to hand out her own form of justice.


Of course, it wouldn’t happen in real life, but she couldn’t help thinking about it every now and then. The inescapable fact was her mother and father had left this world. They weren’t coming back. She had to find a way to deal with her pain and not let it consume her. Easier said than done, but for them, she thought she could try her best…


###

March the 15th dawned bright and sunny. Adriana was awake early. She’d had hardly any sleep the night before. Which was totally understandable. She lay there for a bit longer, wishing this day were already over and done with. Sadly, it had only just begun. She got up and showered quickly, blow drying her blonde curls. She pulled them back into a tight ponytail.


Then she slipped on a black skirt and top, with black stockings and a button up jacket. She put on a minimal amount of make-up, mostly to hide the dark circles under her brown eyes. Her low black heels were by the door. She knew that her fiancé` Ray was worried about her, spending the night here alone, but it was something she felt she had to do.


Walking past the bedroom that used to belong to her parents was tough, but she managed. Adriana didn’t feel much like eating. A strong black coffee with three sugars would do her fine. It was 7:30 am. Her aunt and uncle would be picking her up at ten.


To pass the time, she picked up a book. This was the third in a series that her mother gifted her with on her last birthday. Sitting in her favorite spot on the couch, she turned to the first page, eager to become lost in a fantasy world, if only for a little while.


The car pulled up outside. She opened the passenger door and got in. Aunt Lacey and Uncle Jasper knew better than to try talking to her. They offered silent support. Their children were also quiet, which was a rare occasion in itself. She appreciated it all the same. The funeral was held at the only church in White Haven. The cemetery was on the premises too.


Lacey took hold of her hand when the priest began to speak. Adriana was one of the few who didn’t shed tears. She figured she would fall apart later, in private. Going through the ceremony, turned out not to be as depressing as she thought it would be. Lots of people showed up, even those she hadn’t seen for a long time. She threw in a handful of dirt and two red roses.


Everyone gathered at a distant cousin’s house. A buffet table was set up. Drinks were self-serve. Lacey piled some food onto a place and gave it to Adriana. “You must have something, love.” “Okay.” She pretty much ignored the other people in the room, while she slowly ate the chicken pasta salad. The smaller children weren’t quite aware of what was going on. They were too busy playing and running around. The adults let them be.


Adriana sighed, moving towards the bar. One drink turned into several. But she still spoke in full sentences and her head wasn’t too fuzzy. Lacey offered to sleep over when they dropped her off outside her house. She shook her head. “Thanks, but I’ll be alright.” “Call us if you need anything, we’re here for you.” The moment she was alone, her legs collapsed from under her. She couldn’t stop crying.


Nobody was there to hold her, which really hurt. Adriana remained on the floor for another ten minutes or so. Then she took off her shoes and stumbled to her feet. Her phone rang. “Hello?” “Hey darling.” Ray had promised he would call. “Fine.” “That bad huh?” “Yeah.” “Sorry I wasn’t there. It’s as I said, the boss was being a douche and refused to let me have the time off.” “I know.” “Shall I swing by once I’m done for the day?” “ Sure. I’d enjoy your company.” “Who wouldn’t? I’ll see you soon. Love you.” “I love you too.”


A FEW MONTHS LATER…

Adriana finished editing the last pages of a book entitled The Lost Gems, an adventure story aimed at young adults. It was actually rather good. The author Bradley Wright, already had another book published by the company she worked for. He seemed like an okay guy, but he could be annoying at times.


Her work colleague Helena, took him up on a night out for dinner. Since then they had been an official couple. She looked at her watch. 5:30 pm. Time to go home. She put everything back into its’ proper place and left the office, calling out goodbyes to the other workers as she passed by. There was one person in particular that she wished to avoid.


Unfortunately, he was sharing the elevator going down with her. His name was Dario Salvatore. He was a total creep. She knew the stories well and believed them. It was amazing he still had a job here. His smile made her feel exposed and vulnerable, not a good thing. Truth be told, he kind of scared her. “Evening Adriana.” “Dario.”


He seemed to realize he had her on edge. “Going out tonight?” “Unlikely.” “Would you care to join me for dinner and dancing at this new club I found?” “No.” “Why?” “Did you forget about Ray?” He shrugged. She moved past him, unwilling to be in his presence a moment longer. “I was sorry to hear about your parents.” She’d never spoken a word of them to Dario.


“That was when you had the week off. Genevieve told me. You have lunch with her every so often.” It bothered Adriana that he noticed anything she did. “You guys are a thing?” “I guess you could call it dating.” “Yet you still asked me out.”


"She has no claim on me. It’s not serious between us.” “But I am well and truly taken.” She waved her left hand in his face. “Find someone else to bother.” He stood there in silence. She drove away, hoping that he would soon be transferred to another company.


####

Every couple of weeks Adriana would visit White Haven Cemetery and sit by their gravestones. Fresh flowers were always left for them, she made sure of that. The small circle of relatives she was still close to, attempted to help.


She had a standing invitation to dinner at Lacy and Jasper’s home. Her young cousins Sylvia and Lennie loved having her around. Her friends also made her feel like she didn’t have to do this alone. In those moments, she felt almost like her old self again. But it didn’t last.


The wedding had been postponed indefinitely. Ray was there for her all the way and she still loved him as much as ever. However, as the 18th of June came and went, Adriana began to feel an overwhelming sense of pain and grief. She refused to leave her bed, barely acknowledging anyone around her. Work tried to be understanding, although she did eventually lose her job.


Ray didn’t know what else he could do. He consulted a doctor on her behalf, who prescribed some pills Adriana was to take only twice a day. They perked her up a little. Her loved ones saw this as a sign that she was getting better. For a while, this seemed to be true. So nobody had any idea something was truly wrong, on the day she died by her own hand. Because of course by then, it was too late.


THE END

November 14, 2020 02:15

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8 comments

12:12 Dec 15, 2020

The ending freaked me out. Despite this,I am in love with the characters. If only they could go back in time and stop everything from going bad... Oh, how I love this story. I'm gonna read it every day now, almost! Could you do a continuation, even if it isn't that long?

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Kylie Wallis
00:28 Dec 16, 2020

Thanks. If I think I can continue it, I just might. But I don't know at the moment. So far, I have been lucky with figuring out how to use the prompts with random scribbles I've already got. Every now and then, it seems to work out when I least expect it.

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Josie Doefer
14:44 Nov 26, 2020

I feel like the interlude with Dario was unnecessary. If she had accepted his proposal then it would have been a sign of the start of a self destructive spiral. As it is it feels like a section that can just be struck out.

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Kylie Wallis
23:48 Nov 26, 2020

I can't change the post because it was already approved. Up until the wedding date, my character had convinced herself that she was doing alright and she did try to keep it all together. That day and the ones that followed were meant to be the 'triggers' , so to speak. Well, I read through the whole thing again and I decided to take that part out of my original draft of the story. Shame I can't post it a second time. Oh well.

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Elijah Faith
12:47 Nov 24, 2020

Concise and forward tho I didn't like Maya's death... Expected more. Good job all the same. Please I'll appreciate it if you could check-out my story Kylie. Thank you

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Kylie Wallis
00:04 Nov 25, 2020

I wasn't sure about how I was going to end this story at first. People do put on masks and pretend to be fine when they're really not, that's the kind of vibe I was going for with my main character Adriana. :)

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Adrian Solorio
18:58 Nov 22, 2020

Well, definitely not the ending I was expecting. Damn! I was hoping she would marry Ray and they would work through things together. Dang. This was probably more the formatting than anything else, but I got a bit confused when Adriana was speaking to Dario. The dialogue isn't spaced out. Again, probably just a formatting thing. I'm going to go and cry now, haha

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Kylie Wallis
00:08 Nov 23, 2020

Thanks. For a little while, I considered allowing Adriana to have her happy ending, but grief over loved ones dying, can hit you in different ways. I guess some handle the loss, others only think they can. I was trying to work out how to slot in the words 'by then it was too late', so that's how it ended up. If I had written that she lost Ray instead, it might have been just as bad, if not worse. Or she could have found the strength to carry on. You just never know where these stories may lead you.

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