Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

Two months later…..

August……

Time had flown by really quickly. Maria had to call me a few time about my shoes and dress size. She was buying my wedding dress. I was told that it would be a small private wedding. Our grandparents were going to be our witness.

I had been packing my things into boxes for the past two weeks. My books had to be put in boxes. My clothes had to be folded and fit into boxes. Everything had to been put into boxes and labeled with my name. They would be sent to New York City.

Also, while I was packing my things, I had to make a phone call to my boss Linda Rosario at the cafe. I didn’t tell her the reason. She was very sad that I was quitting but, she told me that I could use her as a reference for jobs in the future. I was grateful for working with her.

Last week, I had turned eighteen. I invited Pietro and Maria to my birthday. Maria tried to get Adrian but, he was busy with work. He had important meetings to attend. I didn’t mind. I was happy to spend more time with Pietro and Maria. Plus, Maria wanted to discuss the wedding with me. Maria had everything set up for me. I had to show up on my wedding day.

Today, I was getting married to Adrian. at a Catholic church in San Francisco that the Minettis attend since they arrived in the United States. I had spent the morning hours getting ready for the wedding. Maria had helped me with the make up. I had to say that I didn’t look like a teenager. My grandmother fixed my hair.

“Let’s get your veil on you shall we.”

My grandmother walked to the table with my wedding stuff. Maria helped me with my wedding dress. I had to say that the dress was very beautiful. The dress touched the ground. When I walked around the room, the dress trailed behind me. The top half had an off the shoulder neckline that showed off my shoulder and neckline. The dressed hugged my body perfectly showing off my curves.

Wow. Maria managed to find a dress that fit me perfectly .

While Maria helped me with my dress, my grandmother came to me with the veil. “Let me put this on you,” she said to me. Carefully, she placed the veil on my head and made sure that the veil was secured. I had my hair down. Through the veil, I could see the tears forming in her eyes. I gave her a small smile.

“Don’t cry grandma,” I said to her. I reached over to her hand and gave it a squeeze. A tear slowly made it’s way down her cheek. Maria came over to us and gave my grandmother a tissue. “Thank you,” my grandmother said to her and dabbed her face so that her make up wasn’t ruined.

Maria handed me my bouquet. The bouquet was very beautiful. “I hope you like the flowers,” she said to me. “I do,” I said to her. She gave me a big smile. As I looked closer at the bouquet, I noticed something.

She used flowers that had very deep meanings. White Lilly meant purity, chastity, and innocence. Aster symbolized love, daintiness, and trusting. Red carnation meant deep romantic love and passion. Purple tulip meant forever love.

She really wants us to fall for each other huh…..

Knock…Knock….

I heard the door knock and turned around to see the door creak open to reveal a lady who I didn’t recognize. “It’s time,” she said to us. Nervousness started to spread through my body. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself down.

I can do this. I can do this…..

“Vera.”

I opened my eyes to see grandmother. “Lets go,” she said to me. I got up from my seat and proceeded out of the room to the chapel. I counted the steps and felt the nervousness grow as I got closer to the chapel.

In some ways, I felt that it was a dream and a nightmares. It was a dream to see myself in a beautiful wedding dress but, it was a nightmare because I was going to be given to a man who I was arranged to be with for the rest of my life.

Soon, we found ourselves outside the chapel doors. Grandfather was there to walk me down the aisle. He gave me a big smile. “Oh Vera. You look beautiful,” he said to me. I gave him a small smile. “Thank you,” I said to him.

My grandmother walked over to me. “I’ll see you inside,” she said to me. I gave her a nod and watched her walk to the door of the chapel. I turned my attention to my grandfather who was trying to keep his composure.

“Ready?” he asked me. I gave him a nod. We positioned ourselves in front of the doors. Once the music started in the chapel, it would be the signal for the doors to open and for us to start walking down the aisle.

Grandfather had some tears in his eyes. I couldn’t help but to feel emotional. I felt sad, relief, angry, nervous, and more. I knew that my life was going to change once I marry Adrian. Soon, I heard the music from inside the chapel.

The doors opened to reveal the chapel. The stain glass windows were shining bright by the sun’s rays. The aisles were decorated with baby blue ribbons and the same flowers in my bouquet. The music was played fluidly through the air. The combination brought the feeling of the wedding.

I looked ahead to see Pietro and Maria on the left side while my grandmother stand on the right side. They were happy to see me walk down the aisle. I didn’t see his parents. I guess they are busy to come.

In front of me, I saw him. Adrian’s appearance made me gasp internally.

Oh my….

He made himself more handsome than when I first met him. He wore a black suit with a white dress shirt. Also, he wore a metallic grey tie and polish black shoes. His hair was slicked back. As I got closer, I could see that he had shaved to make his face look good.

I cursed at myself. Don’t think that he looks good Vera. He’s the one who grandfather is giving away. Your life is being given to someone else. There won’t be freedom in this marriage. This is your new reality .

Soon, we got to Adrian. Grandfather gave my hand to Adrian. “Take good care of her,” I heard him say to Adrian. I felt tears forming in my eyes. “I will sir,” I heard Adrian say to my grandfather. Grandfather gave me a smile.

Under the veil, I gave him a small smile in return. Thank you Grandfather for raising me. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you. Grandfather stood next to Grandmother. Adrian and I faced the priest and waited for instruction.

“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sign of God – and in the face of this company – to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is commended to be honorable among all men; and therefore – is not by any – to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly – but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly. Into this holy estate these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together – let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

I didn’t turn around to look. Nobody was going to stop the wedding…though I wished that someone did come and rescue me. After a while, the priest continued to conduct the wedding. The rings were brought forward to us. We faced each other. Adrian took a ring.

“Repeat after me,” the priest instructed to Adrian. Adrian listened and repeated his words.

“I, Adrian Minetti, take you, Valeria Laurenti, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part,” Adrian said and slipped the ring onto my finger.

The priest turned to me. I listened and repeated the priests words.

“I, Valeria Laurenti, take you, Adrian Minetti, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part,” I said and slipped the ring onto his finger.

“You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. What God has joined, men must not divide. Amen. You may kiss the bride,” the priest ended.

Adrian lift my veil to reveal my face. His eyes widen for a second before his face return emotionless.

He must be surprised about my appearance.

Slowly, he lifted my face with his fingers and leaned down toward me.

Here he comes. I closed my eyes and waited for the moment. I had dreaded about the kiss since I learned about my arranged marriage to him. Honestly, I never had my first kiss with anyone. I had planned to save my first kiss to someone special….not to Adrian.

I came out of my thoughts when I felt his lips on mine. Automatically, I tightened my grip on my bouquet. I felt my cheeks burn from the touch. Goosebumps and chills gone up my arms. After a while, I responded by returning the kiss.

After a few seconds, I felt him remove his lips from mine. I opened my eyes to look up at him to see his blank face. I wasn’t too surprised about him enjoying it. I wasn’t too experienced with kissing.

The wedding was officially over.

We were now husband and wife.

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