“YOU ARE perfect. Just simply perfect, my dear,” the gay designer remarked. “And I’m already dying of jealousy because you are such a perfect bride for Aiden.” His name was Shawie. He was smiling from ear to ear as he took her measurements for the wedding gown. She was at Aiden’s villa in Tagaytay, the man she will marry in three months.
From the villa’s living room, she could see the beautiful view of Taal Lake. Aiden was preparing for the wedding. From her expensive wedding gown to the fairytale-like ceremony that would be held in his villa’s garden. She could not believe that she would be getting married in three months. A month ago, it was not part of her plan. But in just a snap of a finger, things changed, and she will be having a grand wedding. A wedding that was every lady’s dream.
“Hey, why aren’t you smiling?” Shawie asked as he measured her neck. “Brides are supposed to be always smiling.”
She flinched at the sound of his voice. She forced a smile as she saw the worry on his face. “I’m thinking about the wedding gown I prefer.”
“Yeah, that’s indeed a big problem,” he said and put the tape measure around her neck. Then he noted her measurement in his notebook. “Because you’ll find it hard to decide which of my gown you will wear from my amazing designs. Of course, you want a perfect fairytale gown.”
People told her that she was a modern Cinderella. She was just a mere seamstress from the town of San Luis. But now, she would be Mrs. Aiden dela Merced. She will marry the man of every girl’s dream. Aiden owned the luxury around her. He was also one of the heirs of Brava International Hotels that had branches abroad.
But she could not feel any joy in her heart, unlike other soon-to-be-brides, despite the luxury waiting for her or her almost perfect groom. Something was missing. She was not in love with her future husband.
“Shawie, has Esmeralda chosen a wedding gown yet?” Lexie, Aiden’s personal assistant, asked. She was perfect from her pixie haircut, ruffled white blouse, navy blue pencil skirt, and black pumps. She was more suited in that elegant villa than a province girl like her.
“Not yet,” Shawie replied. “I was just done taking her measurements.”
Esmeralda plopped down on the sofa weakly. It was as if she was already exhausted from standing as she got measured. She could only imagine her head exploding when it was about time to choose the design of her gown. It was one of the few things she’d have to worry about and the guests to invite since Aiden’s wedding coordinator already took care of everything.
“Can you help me choose a gown, Lexie?” Esmeralda asked Lexie softly.
“Sure. Aiden sent me here to help you out. Any designs in mind?” she asked in a formal tone as she sat beside her and opened the collection of Shawie’s design. “I am sure you have a dream wedding gown in mind.”
“T-the truth is I don’t have anything in mind. I’m too preoccupied. I just wanted a simple wedding gown.” And cheap, if possible. She did not want Aiden to spend that much. She had her own design because she was a seamstress, but nothing looked like Shawie’s design at all.
“No. A simple wedding gown won’t do. Aiden wants to make this as grand as possible. I think this off-shoulder ballgown is perfect for you.”
She smiled blandly and nodded in submission. When it comes to fashion and anything luxurious, it was up to Lexie. Aiden’s assistant was great at that. Though it looked grand to her taste, she could not do anything about it. Lexie always had the final say. It was her job to make sure that her wedding with Aiden would look expensive. It was not about her as a bride.
“Excuse me, Ma’am Esmeralda,” a helper carrying the cordless phone interrupted. “You have a call.”
Her brows furrowed. “From who?” she asked. If it was Aiden, he would have directly called her cell phone.
“From Sir Amadeus,” the helper replied, already looking pale.
Esmeralda felt cold. She could not reach for the phone when she found out who was on the other line. Amadeus dela Merced was Aiden’s brother, the CEO and President of Brava International Chain of Hotels. The helpers and Lexie could prove how cruel and rude he was. He was very different from his brother Aiden who was kind to his employees and calm most of the time.
She still did not know what to say to him when she meets him. But she was not hoping he would accept her as a sister-in-law. Because he was the reason why she and Aiden had to get married in the first place.