I’m a hopeless romantic. I always have been. I’ve forever dreamed of the day when I would meet that special someone and ride blissfully into happily ever after. But I had come to realize the world didn’t share my idealism. Not everyone was looking for everlasting love.
I knew that there were many people who were only interested in a booty call and were more than happy to leave it at that. But I had finally found love. I was high and comfortable with him at the same time. His name was Simon. We had known each other forever, since we were babies. Our mothers had always wanted us to be together. But it was always a touchy subject for my father. Because I was black and Simon was half Chinese and half white, my dad always subtly frowned upon the idea of us having a relationship. But today was my wedding and I was marrying Simon, the man of my dreams.
I stared at myself in the full-length mirror. The long white dress with the lace bodice and the lace sleeves to match. The veil tumbled gracefully past my shoulders. I smiled and the girl in the mirror grinned back. She was glowing.
Her brown skin popped against the white of the gown. I was finally beautiful. I was finally happy. Suddenly, the doors were flung open. I yelped and whirled away from the mirror, shocked. Simon stood before me, dressed in only jeans and a T-shirt. “Simon,” I shrieked, mouth agape. “Why aren’t you dressed. The wedding starts in an hour. And you’re not even supposed to see me before the ceremony.” I moved quickly, desperately looking for a place to hide.
“No, Yvonne, there’s no need for that,” he said, stopping me in my tracks.
“What do you mean?” I looked at him in confusion.
“We need to talk.” My heart sank with those four words. I knew what he was going to say. The cold, distant look in his eyes, the determined set of his mouth. No, Simon. Please, no. Somehow I gathered the strength to speak.
“About what?” He looked at me, then looked at the ground, then back at me.
“I don’t think we should get married.” It felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I couldn’t get enough air. Tears blurred my eyes, but I pushed them back as I looked at him. The feeling of betrayal stirring deep within my gut.
“Why?” I whispered, my voice sounded foreign to me. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Because, Yvonne, we’ve just grown apart. You’re…I mean…I don’t think you’re the one for me. And I’m not…the one for you either.” I knew what he was really saying.
“Who is she?” I asked him. Simon looked at me in surprise.
“What?” he asked.
“The girl you’re in love with now,” I whispered, feeling drained.
“Who is she?” He looked at me for a few seconds that seemed like hours and finally said, “Kate.” My jaw dropped and suddenly my knees could no longer hold me up. I fell to my knees in agony.Kate. My best friend Kate. The girl who had been my best friend since first grade. My bride’s maid. My sister from another mister. The girl who never judged me. The girl I could tell anything to.
“You…and Kate?” I gasped. Simon looked at me, his eyes pitying.
“It just happened, Yvonne,” Simon said to me, frowning. “I love her.” Those words did it. They made me feel so small and useless.
“Get out,” I said, my voice quiet with rage.
“What?” he looked at me, his eyes widened with surprise.
“GET OUT!” I shouted, throwing my bouquet at him with all the force I had in my body. He dodged it and sprinted toward the door without a backward glance. As soon as he was gone and the door closed behind him, my body slumped forward and my face and body hit the ground.
“Yvonne, Yvonne sweetie,” I heard a voice call out. I couldn’t bring myself to move. I was shocked. I had been stood up a mere hour before my wedding. I closed my eyes and finally realized I was crying. No, not crying, sobbing.
A pair of big brown eyes shifted into my sight. I recognized my older brother Lucas. His eyes held silent fury as he looked at me.
“We heard,” was all he said. I wanted to respond so badly, but the sobs wouldn’t stop. I felt a warm, feminine hand on my back and my friend Kayleen spoke.
“Oh, sweetie, I’m so sorry,” she said, sounding on the verge of tears herself.
“We’ll get you out of here, okay? We’ve already told the guests. They’re leaving.” I looked toward the window and realized it was getting dark. How long had I been there crying before Lucas and Kayleen had shown up? I’ve obviously been on the floor for hours crying over that a—–e, I thought to myself as Lucas lifted me into his arms and carried me out. I concentrated on the swaying motion Lucas made as he walked and the soft clacking of Kayleen’s high heel shoes. I did my best to focus on anything but the burning hole Simon had left in my heart.
~5 WEEKS LATER ~
Life is meaningless. It had been five whole weeks and I still had yet to find a way to fill the gaping, burning, bleeding hole in my heart. I had thrown out all of Simon’s things and kicked him out of my apartment, but somehow I still didn’t feel better. It’s so funny how fast you can be broken. When Simon and I were together, then the world was right. I was strong and nothing could tear me down. I trusted him. I gave him all of me. And now here we were.
The harsh reality was the simple fact that the love of my life had been fooling around with my best friend for a year. I wondered how they could do what they did and still look me in the eye. He even fell in love with her. He fell in love with my best friend. I put my head in my hands and tears spilled from my eyes.
“Yvonne,” Kayleen called out in a sing song voice. I slowly raised my head to look at her. At her side stood my two other friends, Martia and Levi. They all shuffled into the room.
“Awwwww, sweetie, I heard about what happened and I rushed from England as soon as Kayleen told me.” Levi looked at me pityingly as he spoke
. “She’s such a w—e. She knew how much Simon meant to you. I don’t know why she would do that. And don’t get me started on Simon. I’m totally gonna kick his ass when I see him.”
.“Ditto,” Martia said, looking pissed.
“You take Simon and leave Kate to me. That b—h is mine.”
“Whoa, down girl,” Kayleen exclaimed, resting her hand on Martia’s shoulder. “Now while nothing would please me more than watching you beat the snot out of Kate, I’d much rather not see my mom cry when she sees my sister bleeding and in pain.”
Yes, you heard right. Kayleen is my ex-best friend’s sister. Martia grumbled and although I couldn’t understand exactly what she was saying, I’m pretty sure I caught a few obscenities.
“Listen‚ Yvonne, we’re all here because- other than work- you haven’t left this crap shack in four weeks,” Levi vented shaking his head.
“Girl put on something sexy, do your hair and makeup and let’s go. D–n. I’m fresh out of Europe. I want some crazy American fun, b—h! You owe me this.” He was right. I did owe him. I owed Levi a lot. Besides Kate, Levi was my oldest friend.
We met in second grade and we immediately clicked. And years after that in ninth grade he told me he was gay and I supported him, willing to pummel anyone who had anything to say about him. When Simon and I got together and people would complain how it wasn’t right for races to mix, Levi would jump up and tell them to shove it. He always stood by me, my protector, my friend, my brother. I should show him a good time. He came all the way from Europe to cheer me up. Besides, I was long overdue for fun.
“Okay, you’re right.” Everyone looked at me with their mouths wide open, clearly, they were expecting a different response. I looked at Levi who was grinning madly. “So where are we going?” I asked him. He looked at Martia who grinned evilly and he said,
“Just go get sexy and don’t fuckin’ worry about it.”
We ended up outside of a club. Not just any club, but a famous underground club in our town. Only celebrities and the filthy rich could afford to get in. The words Scarlet Kiss shone in bright red letters. The parking lot was filled with expensive sports cars and Range Rovers.
“Are you serious?” I shrieked, taking in the long line and the expensively dressed people waiting in it.
“Dead serious,” Levi said, his grin wicked.
“Okay, this is completely ridiculous,” Kayleen breathed, looking on the verge of passing out.
“We couldn’t even afford for one of our shoes to spend five minutes in that club.” She shook her head, looking at Levi like he had lost his marbles.
“We don’t have to pay,” Martia interjected. “The guy I’ve been seeing is a bouncer here. We’ll be getting in for free.” With that Martia marched up to the front of the line with Levi, Kayleen and I at her heels. She was confident as she wrapped her arms around a tall, handsome piece of milk chocolate. The handsome man looked at us and smiled.
“You’re friends of Martia’s?” We nodded and Levi looked like he was gonna pass out from how hot this guy was. “Come on in.” He moved aside to let us in. After Martia said her goodbyes to the handsome man she called Damien, we all headed inside.
The song thrumming through the club was some insanely hypnotic remix of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Drunk in Love remix with Kanye West. I bobbed my head to Yeezy’s verse.
We jammed to Kanye’s insane lyrics, bobbing our heads and swaying our bodies. And when Beyoncé came in and bought it home, we sang along. For those few moments as I danced with my friends, I forgot all about Simon.
We drank lots of alcohol as we partied, dancing with the rich and elite. Everything I had been worried about was gone.
Suddenly Martia stopped dancing and her eyes narrowed in anger as they took in something behind me. I turned around, despite the fact that Kayleen was trying to shield me from the horrid sight with her tiny body. I saw them immediately. They were expressing way too much PDA as they grinded on the dance floor.
“F—–g disgusting,” Levi mumbled in disgust.
“How’d they even get in?” Martia griped, looking murderous as she took off her earrings. Her face said she was about to whoop some ass, but I couldn’t concentrate on that. I could only see them. The hole in my heart, the one I thought was gone, came back in full force. Their appearance ruined my entire night , I thought as I pushed through the large throng of dancing bodies angrily. I heard Kayleen calling after me. And I could hear both Martia and Levi’s anger. Levi was shouting,
“I’m going to jail tonight,” while Martia yelled,
“I knew I should’ve brought my pocketknife. But my fist will have to do for now!” I finally stumbled outside. I was drunk, angry and sad. A lethal combination. I hadn’t gotten very far as I pondered how Simon and kate could even afford to get into Scarlet Kiss when suddenly I stumbled and fell. A strong pair of arms caught me. When I looked up I met a pair of deep, piercing crystalline blue eyes. His wavy blonde hair flopped softly in eyes which sparkled mischievously as he stared at me. And his lips-so soft and sensuous-were tipped up on one side in a crooked grin. And his physique had me trembling.
“What are you doing here by yourself in the middle of the night?” he asked in a deep husky voice, raising his eyebrows.
“Why do you care?” I snapped, pulling out of his arms. The image of my ex-best friend and my almost husband grinding flashed through my mind.
“Because beautiful women shouldn’t walk by themselves this late at night.” I looked at him, secretly surprised and pleased by what he said. However, I covered up that surprise with attitude.
“Well…for your information, Prince Charming, my friends are in the club.” I jerked my chin in the direction of the club.
“Why aren’t you with them?” He looked at me, his gaze unwavering. My hands balled into fists and my teeth gnashed together. I could still see Simon and Kate, grinding and kissing.
“What is this twenty f—–g questions?” I growled. He tilted his head to the side, looking vaguely amused.
“Is that,”-he gestured toward my balled up fists-“supposed to scare me?”
“I don’t give a d–n if it scared you or not.” I was officially on drunk b—h mode. Despite my bitchiness, he was calm and cool and very amused. He laughed.
“Ugh.” I pushed past him angrily. “Wait.” He grabbed my hand before I could leave him. “I’m sorry for laughing at you.” His grin said he was in fact no sorry. “But something must really be bothering you for you to go all ballistic on a strangers.” Kate and Simon flashed through my head as I closed my eyes. He was right. It wasn’t him I was mad at. I opened my eyes and looked into his beautiful blue ones.
“I’m sorry,” I finally said, letting out a sigh. “I’m just a little drunk and tired and pissed.” I sighed a second time. He looked straight at me, his eyes holding mine. His blonde hair gently picking up the breeze. I’d be lying if I didn’t say he was beautiful. I then realized he was still holding my hand. His hand looked pale against my deep brown skin. I pulled away, my face hot. He was too d–n gorgeous for his own good.
“I guess I didn’t introduce myself,” he said, smirking as if he heard my thoughts. “I’m Liam. Liam Hawke.” The name rung a bell, but I was too drunk to think at the moment so I just smiled and said,
“I’m Yvonne Michaels.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Yvonne.” He smiled. “If I were you I’d head home now, beautiful. Men are already prowling around.” He looked behind me where rowdy men laughing could be heard. I was distracted though. This was the second time he called me beautiful. I shivered as a cold breeze whipped by and he pulled off his expensive looking coat and rested it on my shoulders. “Let me drive you home,” he offered. I was so tired that I just nodded. He walked me to a sleek black Lamborghini and held the door open for me. As soon as I was in his car and my head was against the expensive leather seats, I began to drift.
“Where do I go?” he asked me, looking at me from the driver’s seat. “2300 Dawson Street,” I told him before I finally drifted to sleep.