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SERIES: Knight In Shining Suit Episode 2B

Adam shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I think Bryan proposed to you because he wanted to have s~x with you. He thought marrying you is the on

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“No, no.” Adam shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. I think Bryan proposed to you because he wanted to have s~x with you. He thought marrying you is the only way he could have you. He probably even thought you two would last for a long time. But that could be just lust talking in his head. Who knows how he would feel about you afterwards?”


I stared at Adam for a long moment. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  


“It’s not easy to hear, Ash. I know you loved him. Maybe he loved you too. But then again, he’s probably more eager to bed you than to think past the commitments of marriage. If that was the case, then it wasn’t going to last anyway.”


I didn’t say anything. I took a gulp of my beer and stared ahead into the dark horizon. I heard the calming sound of the ocean. Inside, I'm a mess because I realized, no matter how hard it was for me to accept it, Adam might be right. Maybe Bryan thought marrying me was the answer to everything. We’ve been best friends for years. And we did love each other. If marrying me was the only way he could get to me, then why not? It’s not like it’s hopeless to work out, right? There is a chance that it will.


“Now… since I seem to always be the bearer of bad news, I won’t make this any easier for you. You have to know, Ash. The sooner the better.” 

I looked at him like he just grew an extra head. I didn’t get what he was trying to say.  


He was staring at me wearily. I can tell that he was measuring me, weighing what my reaction is going to be for something that he said… or worse… something that he is just about to say.


I raised a brow at him in challenge. This gave him encouragement to continue. He sighed and took an envelope from the table beside him. He handed it to me.


“Breathe, Astrid.” He whispered. 

I stared at the elegant magenta envelope in my hand. The edges were trimmed neatly and at the center, are the engraved characters “B & G”.


I recognized the envelope pretty well. I had seen it before, when I approved the sample of what would have been the invitation for mine and Bryan’s wedding. Exact same color. Exact same style.


My hands were shaking when I opened the envelope and pulled out the card inside. My breath caught in my throat as I recognized the paper material used, the fonts on the front and the elegant style of the card. I admired the card company for getting the last minute modifications I asked them. There were flowers and hearts embossed around the card. At the center, the letters B and G were engraved in the font of my choice, Vivaldi.


*Bryan and Geena*


*Bound by love forever…*

Even the words were chosen by me… but my name has been replaced.


The date was… the same date as my own wedding would have been had I not caught Bryan cheating on me. The ceremony will be in the same church where my parents were married. The reception will be at King’s Lagoon Resort, where my reception would have been.


Tears rolled down my cheeks as I crumpled the invitation in my hand.


“Easy, Ash.” Adam said, reaching out for my hand and taking the invitation away from me.

I stared at him helplessly.


“Everything’s the same…” I croaked.


Adam shook his head, trying to smile at me ruefully. “Not really. As you can see, I am no longer part of the entourage. And… well, you are no longer… the bride.”


“They stole my wedding, Adam! Bryan was supposed to cancel the arrangements!”  


“Well, apparently, marriage is Bryan’s solution to everything.” Adam said, rolling his eyes.


“How could he?” I sobbed. “How could they do this to me? Don’t they have… decency? Or conscience? How could they?”

I was going out of control. I was shaking and raging with anger. I knew I would be hyperventilating any minute now. I was losing it. 

I grabbed Adam on both his forearms and tried to shake him.


“They cannot do this to me!” I cried. “You have to stop them, Adam! They cannot do this!”

Adam took both my arms and tried to pull me to him into a tight hug.

“Sshhh…” He said. “Breathe, Ash. You need to take deep breaths!”


I shook my head and struggled to be free of him.


“I need to talk to him. I need to talk to her! To both of them! They should still feel some sort of affection for me!”


Adam shook me gently. “Astrid!” He raised his voice. “Get a grip of yourself! They’re not going to change their minds about it! Do you think they didn’t know you’d be hurt by all these? More than you’ve already been?” He shook his head. “They do! And still they chose to do it! They still chose to hurt you! They’re not going to suddenly grow a conscience for you just because you found out about it! You were meant to find out about it, Ash! That invitation was yours! Not mine!”


I stared back at him for a while, unable to believe what he was trying to tell me.


“Pull yourself together, Astrid! You’re a strong, independent woman! It’s killing me to see you torn up like this.” Adam pleaded.


“How…” My lips were shaking. Tears continued to stream down my face. “How… how…” I kept on sobbing, unable to let a comprehensible sentence out. 

Adam shook his head. “How could Bryan do this to you?” He shrugged. “Only goes to show the type of man you were about to marry. How can Geena do this to you?” He raised a brow. “Oh, you might be surprised just how much Geena envied you since we were kids, Ash.”

I stared back at him. “What?”


“Geena is a spoiled brat. She was not contented with what she has. Always wanted what the girl at the next table ordered. And that girl is you. She didn’t like it that you were happy with your career while she didn’t have a job. You were great at what you do and you were doing something you loved. Dad would always tell her to be more like you. Focused. Goal-oriented. When she was jumping from one boyfriend to another, Dad would always say how much he admired you for sticking it out with one guy. She was dating dropouts and spoiled rich kids… you were having a relationship with an orthodontist. She hated that. She never showed you… or you were just too naïve to notice.”


I closed my eyes. I didn’t know. I thought Geena was my best friend. I always went to her whenever I had problems. She’s seen me at my weakest. I didn’t know that she had harbored so much hatred for me. I always thought she was the lucky one. 


I, on the other hand, was just a typical girl next door. My eye color is weird and I wear dark blue contacts all the time to make it appear blue rather than violet. 

I was unpopular in high school. I was smart, but I wasn’t cute or glamorous. I had a major crush on the most popular guy in school, Kevin Moore. He was the captain of the football team, and he drove a shiny convertible. He was my lab partner. Then he was my first date, my first kiss, my first boyfriend. Since he was popular, and I wasn’t, we kept our relationship low-key. He was rich and I was middle class. I get why he wasn’t proud to be seen with me. My meeting with his rich parents was a disaster. At dinner, they were trying to be polite, but my lack of experience in using the crab cracker made his mother show her real spots. And according to her, I wasn’t posh and well-bred enough to be with her son. Kevin dumped me the next day.

“Babe, you didn’t think a guy like me would fall for you for real, did you?” He asked. “Besides, I’ve got the whole world in my hands. I need to explore!” And then he made his move from one rich girl to another.


That was the most devastating day of my life. Well, until Bryan decided to knock Geena up, of course.


Geena knew what I went through. She knew all my insecurities, all that I didn’t like about myself. She knew why I stayed away from rich, popular guys. Kevin Moore and his mother damaged my self-esteem big time!

How could she envy me? She was little Ms. Perfect! Malibu Barbie in the flesh! Every guy in this town wanted a piece of her. She never had to work for money. Her father kept her well provided for. Me? I had to live with her because I couldn’t really afford my own place. Sometimes, I jogged to work. She rode a pink convertible.


Bryan was all that made me happy. But Geena had to steal him from me. And this wedding… she knew I’ve been dreaming about this ever since I was a little girl. I had this planned out in my diary since I was ten. And she… took it all away from me.


I sat back on the chair. Adam knelt down in front of me so he can look into my eyes.


“What am I going to do, Adam?” I asked

He sighed. “Get up.” He said. “That’s the first thing that you should do. Get. Up. Get your act together. Then keep moving forward. Never look back.”


I wiped the tears from my eyes. “I don’t think I can.”

“Yes, you can. It’s difficult, I know. But you can. You can rise above this. Don’t let them defeat you, Astrid! I’ve known you all your life. You’re better than this. You are stronger than this.” He said encouragingly. “The first thing you need to do is… accept that Bryan is never coming back. Accept the fact that you have lost Geena too. Accept the fact that in this round… you’ve lost. You’re heartbroken. Acknowledge the fact that you are in pain and suffering. And then what? What are you going to do about that?

I stared up at Adam, and though my stunned brain was slow to react, I knew he was right. Nobody said this was going to be easy. But what am I doing? What have I been doing?  

I’ve been moping! I’ve been letting this whole breakup be the center of my life, with no plan or intention of moving forward. 

Bryan and Geena cheated on me. They are going to have a baby. They are going to get married. They will have the wedding that I planned for Bryan and me.   

And now what? What does the future have in store for me? I am heartbroken, I am homeless and I am jobless. What am I going to do about it now

“The pain is going to be there for a long time, Ash. It’s not going to go away anytime soon. But it doesn’t mean you won’t do something about it. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move on with your life. The pain is going to be part of it. You know what they say? If it doesn’t kill you, it should only make you stronger. And hey, what do you know? You’re still alive, aren’t you?”

I took a deep breath and then I closed my eyes.


Somehow, a light bulb seemed to have flickered inside my head… for the first time in weeks. I smiled slowly at Adam. “Yes, Adam. I’m still alive…”

To be continued 

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