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SERIES: Knight In Shining Suit (Episode 3B)

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After walking one block with my friends, I finally snapped back to reality.


“That guy was real?” I finally asked.

“Who? Dark-haired Ken Doll?” Dannie asked back.

I nodded.


“Yeah.” Dannie replied. “And he is sooooo hoootttt!” And for a while, I thought Dannie was going to cry. “I haven’t seen him before!”

“Big city. You can’t know everybody who lives here!”

Then I remembered how his arms wrapped around me. In that instant, I felt warm, comforted… safe. I felt the comfort that I have been looking for since I found out about Bryan and Geena.  


I looked at the ring that I still clasp in my hand and I remembered how Bryan made me believe his ring was real… along with his love. 

I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. I started crying again.


“It wasn’t even a real diamond!” I wailed.


“Oh, God! Here we go!” Dannie rolled his eyes and pulled me with him and Nicole.

“Did you hear what the guy said? It was worth only a couple hundred bucks!” I continued crying. “How could he do this to me? I thought he loved me then! And this ring… this ring was the symbol of how much he valued me, that wretched son of a bitch!” And I threw the ring on the street.

“What are you doing? You could have sent it back to him to tell him that you already know!” Nicole said, running after the ring.

But then a beautiful white sports car came rushing past in front of us and ran over my ring.


“Oh no!” Nicole panicked. 

“Nicole! You’re going to get yourself killed! Get back in here!” Dannie shouted.


Nicole quickly crossed the street to pick up my ring… or what was left of it. True enough, the huge stone had been smashed leaving only the gold plated band. 

“Thank you!” Nicole called after the car angrily.


“I don’t need it, Nicole!” I said to her. “This confirms what we already know. Just… throw it away!”

“You’ll never know. You just might see Bryan one day and make him… I don’t know… eat this!” Nicole said angrily. “How can he do this to you, Ash!? I thought… I thought you two were best friends. I thought you were soulmates.”


“Is this how cheap he thought I was?” 

My friends hugged me, making me feel better. Or at least they tried.


I still couldn’t believe it even until that evening when Dannie, Nicole and I went to meet up with John at Oil Rig.


John was speechless almost the whole time. He was shaking his head as he took large gulps of his beer. 

“Say something, will you?” Nicole said.


John shrugged. “I can’t really say anything except that… I thought Bryan couldn’t sink any lower!”

“A freaking cubic zirconia! He said he spent a fortune on that ring!” I said. I drank my beer. “How could he trick me like this? How couldn’t I have known? I was a wedding planner, for Christ’s sake!”


“You plan weddings, honey. Not engagement parties. Your job begins long after the ring has been placed on the bride-to-be’s finger.” Dannie pointed out.


Now I realized that for the years that we have been together, Bryan and Geena must have thought me naïve. I was this… pushover, who worshipped the land that they both walked on… like they couldn’t do anything wrong in their lives. I did almost everything they asked me to. God! I’m such a fool!


My sorry thoughts were interrupted by a phone call from my mother.

“I… have to take this call, guys.” I said. I quickly dashed to the nearest exit of the bar and answered my phone.


“Are you okay, sweetie?”

“I’ve been better, Mom.” I replied.


“Well… I’m sure… if you’re still in touch with your cousin, Adam, your invitation has reached you by now. I know it may come as a surprise.”


“Yes! It was a shocker!!!” I muttered sarcastically.


“I know what they did to you was horrible, sweetheart.” My mother said apologetically.


“There are no words for it, Mother!” Tears instantly rolled down my cheeks but I refused to let her hear me whimper.


“But sweetheart, you and Geena… you’ve been the best of friends all your lives. I mean… you can’t really miss this one time event in her life.”


“Mom? What are you saying?” I asked her. “Are you… saying that Geena and Bryan will last forever?”

“Oh, sweetheart. You aren’t… over him yet, are you?”

“Wow, Mother! It’s only been two months since I found out that my boyfriend for years has been… sleeping with my best friend for life! I’m not really made of stone, Mother!”

I heard her sigh at the other end of the line. Then she said, “This is going to be tougher than I thought.” 

“What’s going to be tougher, Mom?”

She took a deep breath and then she said, “Sweetheart… we were hoping you will come.”


“To… the wedding.”


Right that instant, I thought I was hearing things. I could not believe what my mother just asked of me. After running what she said over and over in my head, I still thought I was hearing things.

“Sweetheart… We know that it was wrong what they did to you. But… this is our family. Geena is like a daughter to us too. You grew up together. You were best friends all your lives. It’s tradition to have a reunion during big events in a family member’s life and Geena’s wedding is a big event. You may be mad and hurt about the whole thing, but you and Geena… you go a long way, sweetheart. You two will kiss and make up and you will learn to forgive Bryan. You were also best friends. You would… feel sorry someday if you missed this wedding. I heard it would be grand!”


“Oh Mother! I am sure it would be!” I said very sarcastically. “After all, I planned the whole thing! This was supposed to be my wedding Mother! Mine and Bryan’s! The fact that you think I can get over their


“Mom… wha… what did you just say?”

“Sweetheart… We know that it was wrong what they did to you. But… this is our family. Geena is like a daughter to us too. You grew up together. You were best friends all your lives. It’s tradition to have a reunion during big events in a family member’s life and Geena’s wedding is a big event. You may be mad and hurt about the whole thing, but you and Geena… you go a long way, sweetheart. You two will kiss and make up and you will learn to forgive Bryan. You were also best friends. You would… feel sorry someday if you missed this wedding. I heard it would be grand!”

“Oh Mother! I am sure it would be!” I said very sarcastically. “After all, I planned the whole thing! This was supposed to be my wedding Mother! Mine and Bryan’s! The fact that you think I can get over their sleeping together behind my back, and lying to me for months so easily is unbelievable, Mom! Geena may have been my best friend all my life, but now… she’s just some bitch who broke my heart, stole my fiancé, and ruined my dream wedding!”

“Sweetheart… please. You can just show up for an hour at the reception. Say hi to your relatives. Say hi to Uncle Jack. It would mean a lot to him for you to be there.”

I sighed. Uncle Jack. He’s like a father to me. And whatever he gave Geena when we were growing up, he also gave me. Like when he went on trips and gave Geena a doll when he got back, I had the same one too. Even when we were in college, I was a daughter to him. And I love him. But… if he loves me, wouldn’t he understand why I couldn’t make it to Geena’s wedding?


“Sweetheart… please. If you can’t do it for Geena, please do it for Uncle Jack.”


“Mother… I’m sure, Uncle Jack would understand and forgive my absence.” I said.

There was silence on the other end of the line.


“Think about it, dear. You have another three weeks.” 

“Mom, it doesn’t matter if I had three years to think it over, I’m not going.” I went to hang up the phone but one small, vindictive part of me made me raise my phone back to my lips. 

“By the way Mom, Geena’s pregnant. That's how I found out about their affair.” I only listened long enough to hear my mother’s brief gasp and apology before I hung up the phone.


I still couldn’t believe it when I came back to our table

“What? Geena has more bad news for you?” Dannie asked, quite alarmed.


I sighed. “No. But my mother does.”

“Is everything okay?”


I smiled sarcastically. “According to her, everything will be… if I attend the wedding.”

They all groaned.

Nicole was almost furious. “Excuse me to your Mother, but what is she thinking? Does she not care about you at all?”

“I don’t think she understands how it feels like to be cheated on or to be forced to call off your wedding. Or to… see your dream wedding happening to someone else.” Tears rolled down my cheeks.

Dannie and Nicole put their arms around me

“Look up, sweetheart.” John said. “Better things are coming your way. But for now, you need to hold your chin up high.

I smiled at them. “Thanks, you guys.” I whispered

“Just make sure that when you do choose to attend that wedding, you will not be attending it alone.”

I raised my brow at John.

“Well, make sure that you do come with a guy. A date. Some guy who’s ten times hotter than Bryan and can’t keep his hands off you. We guys really hate that!”


He nodded. “You’ve dated Bryan longer than he’s ever dated Geena. He’s had the hots for you ever since. But he never had you… right?”

I rolled my eyes. “Of course! I’ve been holding it off until my wedding night.”

“So, somewhere at the back of his mind, he still wonders what it would have been like to have you… to touch you more intimately. And maybe he just might still have some feelings for you.” 

“If he had feelings for me, he wouldn’t be marrying Geena!” I muttered.


“He’s a cheapskate, Astrid! He wanted his money back! Or make the most of it, if the refund option was not available!” Nicole said crossly.


“It’s only been two months. He was madly in love with you for years. Chances are… he still has some feelings for you. It may not be what it used to be but… there’s still a shred of that emotion there. And the lust thing is definitely still there because it was never satiated.” John continued

“So, what are you saying?”

“I’m saying, show up with some guy who’s so handsome and so hot, even Bryan would want to sleep with him if he were gay. And make sure you two get too close for comfort. Send out signals that you’ve already slept with this guy.”


Dannie beamed. “That’s like a slap in the face for him, isn’t it?”

“And nobody in that wedding will ever feel sorry for you for what happened. They will think, if this is the prize you got for losing Bryan, then you were much better off.” Nicole agreed.

“Not only should he be hot, but he should be a lot more than an orthodontist.” Dannie said. He should be a third-generation millionaire, trust-funded, Ivy League graduate.”

“Wow.” I breathed. “And what does he do for a living?”

“He should be running his family business or have investments here and there.” Nicole suggested.


“And show up in at least a Boxster.” John added. “Bryan loved cars!” 

Now, I must admit that a part of me got a little bit excited about the whole thing. But then again… I’m wide awake and still sober

“That is really great, guys! But how will I ever nail a guy like that? And in three weeks? Where will I find a guy like that?”


They all fell silent after that. Whether because they thought it was impossible for me to end up with a guy born with a silver spoon or because they thought the time limit was too short, I wasn’t sure.


I took a gulp of my beer again.


“Well?” I asked finally. “I’ve lived here for years and I haven’t met a guy like that. That’s our first problem. And guys like that only seem to go for supermodels, that’s our second problem

“Think positive, Ash. You could stumble upon a guy like that, you know.” 

 “And you have to remember, I never go for the rich and famous.” I said. 

It was my thing since Kevin Moore. In my version of a fairytale romance, it’s the brave, honorable knight who took home the princess, not the spineless prince charming. The rich kids I went to school with were all bullies, with nothing to show for themselves, except for the flashy gadgets and cars that their parents gave them. I swore off guys like Kevin. He taught me not to hope that I would be enough to hold his heart or attention forever.

So I always turned down the rich jocks who attempted to ask me out after Kevin. I wasn’t impressed with their wealth. I preferred the middle class guy who was smart beyond his years, and was responsible enough to focus on long term goals. Someone who would be loyal and would make me the center of his world.


“Bryan knows that perfectly well too.” Nicole said.


“Well, then that might work out well for you too.” John said. “He’ll know how much you have changed since you broke up with him. That will make sleeping with this new guy even more believable.”

I forced a smile at them

“But… three weeks is a short notice. Even if you do find him and date him, how would you get him to be all over you in time for the wedding without giving him an impression that you’re a slut?” Dannie asked.


“I know! Love potion number nine!” I muttered sarcastically.

We sat there for a while, contemplating our scheme. I must admit that it was perfect. If I go, even for the sake of Uncle Jack, I don’t want to look like a fool in that wedding. I don’t want to be pitied. And I don’t want Bryan to think that he was better off, or Geena to think that she has taken everything away from me. I won’t be able to stand the sympathetic looks of my aunts and uncles, even of my parents and grandparents. And I will especially not withstand the sneers of Geena’s friends. 

Actually, thinking about all that, I wondered again, why is it that I am contemplating going to this wedding again? When it would be much safer to just stay at home.

“Guys, I… I don’t think I should go at all. Why are we even discussing this?” I said to my friends. “No. I will be firm about this! I will stay at home… and sulk!”


That night, I told Adam all about the ring that Bryan gave me. He didn’t even offer a reaction.


Then, I proceeded to telling him about Mom’s phone call, persuading me to attend the wedding and my friends’ suggestion to find a date for that night.

 “Your Dad would understand if I don’t go, right?” I told him. 

He shrugged. “Yeah, he would. But it would warm his heart to know that… there is hope that you will forgive Geena for what she had done to you.” 

I groaned.

“But your friends are right. You should go with someone who is like a slap in the face for Bryan. Someone that Geena herself would drool over. You already knew she had envied you all her life. Even though she has Bryan now, it’s still a hard habit to break. So, I suggest you show up happy in that wedding… should you choose to go, that is.”


“But Adam… how will I get a dream guy like that to fall for me in three weeks? Considering, I don’t even know where to find one!”


Adam chuckled and then he said, “Oh, little Astrid. Your soul is too good, you don’t know how to conjure evil plans, do you? 


“Find that guy, Astrid. Smoking hot! That’s all you need to do.”



He shrugged. “You go out more than I do. I don’t know! In bars maybe 

“Even if he’s smoking hot, he needs to be rich, smart, has a great career and he must be in love with me.”

Adam laughed so hard, I actually started to feel insulted.

“What, you jerk? Tell me!”

“He doesn’t have to be all that.” Adam replied. “He just needs to be from out of town and not know anyone in the city.”


“And then you ask him to pretend he’s rich. A nice suit would do the job. As long as he’s not dumb, had a little bit of high school education, he’s good to go. Nobody in our family questions guests scientifically. Well, except for me. But I’m on your side here. So, I’ll keep my mouth shut 

“Adam… are you insane?”

“Are you desperate?” He asked back.

I sighed and didn’t answer.


“If you can’t get him to say yes to the whole charade as a date or as a friend, pay him. I’ll lend you the money. Or better yet, I’ll pay for it myself. Whatever takes you out of this misery! Even for just a day!”

“You really are insane!” I rolled my eyes.

He shook his head and put an arm around my shoulder.


“No. Sometimes I’ve wished you were my little sister too.” He smiled at me encouragingly and gave me a kiss on my forehead. 

I sighed and then started to head to my room. Then I looked back at Adam

“Thank you, Adam. You’re a great brother.” I said and then I headed to my room.

To be continued.... 

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