Sat. Feb 10th, 2024

I stared at the elderly. Their words were so unexpected to me. Shock, anger, and some disappointment flowed through my veins. My life was taking a different turn that was made for me man years ago before my birth. The plan was unfolding before me.

“Yes. I do remember that promise. Do you think it’s the perfect time?” my grandfather asked Pietro for his thought. Pietro nodded his head thing that it was a perfect time. I couldn’t believe my ears. They had planned for me to marry someone who I didn’t know anything about.

“So when do you think that they can get married?” grandfather asked him. I stood up from my seat. I really didn’t think that I would ever be disrespectful to my elders especially my grandparents and his friend.

“I don’t want to marry…not right now,” I said to them. They looked at me as if they already knew my reaction. “You aren’t getting married right away. I was thinking in two months,” Pietro said to me. Two months! “You will have to meet my grandson and get to know him before the wedding,” he explained to me.

“I’m sorry to be disrespectful and everything when we had just met but, I’m too young to get married,” I told him straight up. I felt a hand on my my hand. I looked down to see my grandmother. “Sit down dear,” she said to me. I breathed in a shaky breath and sat back down in my seat.

This is too much.

“I would like to invite you three to his birthday party next week. He’s turning twenty four,” Pietro told us.

Twenty four! I didn’t expect the age gap. I didn’t mind a three to four year difference but, six year difference was above my limit.

Twenty four year old marry a seventeen year old girl? Isn’t that a crime?

“I think it is the best to marry them in two months. Vera will be eighteen by then,” grandfather said to Pietro. Pietro seemed to like the idea and had a big smile on his face. “Perfect,” Pietro said to him. Grandmother and Maria didn’t seem to mind about the marriage.

I closed my eyes and let out a sigh.

Can’t believe this . I didn’t finish my dessert because I lost my appetite. I couldn’t bring myself to processing everything. They started to talk about the wedding and some old time memories.

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Once at home, I walked to my room and closed the door. I put my stuff down on the table. I’ll put them away later . I turned my head to the bed. It looks so inviting . I took my glasses off to make sure that I didn’t scratch them when I dive into the bed. I walked over to the bed and laid down.

Why is this happening to me? What was my grandfather thinking?

For some reason, I was thinking about my parents. I didn’t want to categorize my grandfather like my parents. He wouldn’t sink to their level.

He must have a reason .

I closed my eyes to think. Wonder what he is like . My life as a teenager was over…to a certain extent. Most likely, I wouldn’t be able to attend university, hang out with friends, and go out on my own if the guy was the strict and controlling type.

I drifted off into a deep sleep thinking about my future husband.

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Two weeks later…..

What to wear?

I was trying to pick what to wear for my future husband’s wedding. I remembered that his name was Adrian. I spent the last two weeks thinking about him, wondering about his personality and his life. I didn’t know much about him.

Last week, my grandparents were telling me some of their memories of him and the family. They showed me pictures of Adrian as a baby to a four year old. To be honest, he was cute as a child. I wondered what he looked like now.

I decided to wear a maroon wrap dress that went above the knees. I wore my brown high heeled sandal that would match the dress. My hair was in a bun that was held with a comb that was adorned with crystals.

“That should do it,” I said to myself. I decided to wear my glasses in case even though I really didn’t need them. I wore them for a fashion statement. I met my grandparents at the bottom of the stairs and got into the car. We drove off to Pietro’s home. I expected that we get there at sunset.

Remember, you aren’t too eager about the marriage.

After an hour drive, we arrived at the gates of Pietro’s home. I was surprised out of my mind about the view in front of me.

Pietro lives here!

I shouldn’t have been very surprised. His outfit should have set an alarm in my head. “I should have told you, Pietro used to be a CEO of Minetti Resorts,” he told me.

Now he tells me! Why didn’t I think of that? How did I not make the connection?!

I had an idea about my future husband. In my knowledge, the Minettis had three boys. Each boy had their own reputation in business and in the spotlight. The oldest, Matthew Minetti was already married to a woman named Angela who was a fashion designer of a famous Italian fashion company, Bellezza Illuminare .

The second son, Stephen, was not married yet. I had heard rumors that he was dating a model at the moment. He was known to have a nice smile that women would faint in front of him. He loved to do charity work.

The last son, Adrian, was not married either. He had a reputation for dating many girls. No picture has ever been taken of him for some reason. Many people had tried to get his picture for years. Nobody except for a few knew what he looked like.

Grandfather drove to the front of the mansion where a butler was waiting for guests. We got out of the car. The butler walked towards us. “Welcome to Minetti Manor. You must be the Laurentis,” he said to us. “Yes we are,” my grandfather said to him.

“I’m here to park your car sir,” he said to him. Grandfather gave him the keys to park the car. We walked up the stairs that led to the house. Once inside the house, another butler was standing near the door. He looked much older and about my grandfather’s age.

The butler looked at us with a smile. “Ah. I believe you are the Laurentis. Everyone is in the garden. I’ll escort you,” he said to us. He walked us through the mansion to get to the backyard. In the house, everything looked expensive.

Vases, paintings, and other items decorated the mansion. This place must cost a fortune. Soon, we found ourselves in the garden. The garden was very beautiful. Flowers decorated the whole backyard. Lights were already lit since the sun was setting.

Many people were talking to each other. I recognized a few to be important people from different businesses. I was starting to become very nervous. I was getting flashbacks of my family. It was a memory that I had kept hidden in the depths of my mind.

Flashback….

age 5….

It was my brother’s eleventh birthday. My parents invited the whole family to celebrate. They seemed very happy to be at my brother’s birthday. Looking around, everyone were talking to each other besides me.

I walked up to my Aunt Sarah to talk to her. She was talking to my mother. “Aunt Sarah?” I said her name. Aunt Sarah and mother looked down at me. Already, my mother wasn’t happy to see me and interrupt her conversation.

“Don’t you see I’m busy Valeria? Go away,” Aunt Sarah said to me in a annoyed tone. I felt tears forming in my eyes. I looked at mother who seemed pleased about Aunt Sarah’s manner towards me. They returned to their conversation. I walked away to find another person to talk.

I tried to talk to Uncle Martin who was drinking something. “Uncle Martin?” I tried to get his attention. “Excuse me, I need to talk to your father about some business,” he said to me. He pushed me away from him so that he could talk to my father. Nobody seemed to notice me.

I walked to the corner of the room and let the tears fall down my face.

Nobody cared about me. I was an outsider. I don’t belong.

End of Flashback…

“Vera.”

I came out of my memory to see my grandparent’s concerned faces. “Are you alright?” grandfather asked me. Slowly, I gave him a nod. “Yes. Why?” I asked him. My grandmother took out a handkerchief from her bag.

“You have tears sweetie,” she said to me. I touched my face to feel something wet. I guess the memory made me tear up. I took the handkerchief and wiped my tears away. Luckily, I didn’t wear make up.

My grandfather was looking around the backyard to find Pietro and his wife talking to another couple. I recognized the couple from many different medias. They owned a finance company in New York City.

Pietro noticed us at the top of the stairs and gestured us over. We walked over to them while the couple walked to away to another couple. “Pietro,” my grandfather said to him. As a greeting, Pietro had a smile and gave my grandfather a hug.

Maria gave my grandmother a hug and gave me a smile. “You look lovely Vera,” she said to me. I gave her a small smile. “Thank you,” I said in a low voice. Pietro and Maria were very dressed up nicely compared to my grandparents and I. They looked very formal for the occasion.

“So where is Adrian?” my grandfather asked him. Adrian! Pietro looked around the garden. He grew a smile on his face. “He’s right there coming towards us,” Pietro pointed out to us. I turned my head slowly to see Adrian.

I felt myself froze. My mind cleared of any thoughts. He looked nothing that I had thought. He was taller than I had expected. He looked five feet eleven inches tall. I was about five feet two inches. I didn’t mind the height.

He had dirty blonde hair that had been sprayed and combed neatly. He worn a grey suit that fit his frame. I could tell that he was built from his size. He seemed like a type of person to have experience with girls.

His eyes were mesmerizing. I felt my heart beating fast. Calm down Vera. I felt so many emotions. I never felt many of the emotions before. I didn’t really know how to deal with them. I was a bit scared of them.

I snapped myself out and composed myself a bit. I didn’t want him to think bad of me. Soon, he walked over to us gave a smile to his grandparents. Once Adrian saw my grandfather, he gave my him a handshake. “Nice to see you again sir,” he said to him. He’s formal.

My grandfather gave him a smile. “Do you remember me?” grandfather asked him. “Of course. You were the one who got me a toy fire truck for my fourth birthday,” Adrian said to him. Grandfather nodded his head.

He remembers grandfather when he was four!

I was surprised by the memory. I didn’t have many good memories when I was four years old. B”Happy birthday Adrian,” Grandfather said to him. “Thank you,” he said to him and hugged my grandmother. “Happy birthday,” grandmother said to him. “Thank you,” he said to her and looked at me.

I looked into his blue eyes and drowned into them.

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