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“It was during the summer.” The corners of her newly glossed lips turned upright as she began to recall every detail. “He was a college student; I was in High School. He liked classical music; I liked hip-hop. He drank wine; I drank anything I could get my hands on. He knew what love was, I, on the other hand, only knew of lust. We were complete opposites, but we fell madly in love.”
The material was soft on her hands as she straightened out her dress along the waist. It was one of a kind and absolutely beautiful. Alfred Angelo, a famous fashion designer, had created it just for that special occasion. The price would have made any other girl shriek, but it was her day and she planned to take advantage of it. The coral, empire waistline bought out the green in her eyes and added color to the simple, white dress. Little sequin, on the back of it, had been designed into a floral shaped pattern just for her.
“Just like every other day, I went for a short jog at the University Campus. It was always so peaceful there; I could sort out my thoughts and run at the same time. In a matter of seconds, just as I was about to head home, I accidentally tripped and landed into a stranger’s arms. My face started to turn red; I was mortified while the guy continued to laugh at me. It had happened four years ago, but Aaden still cracks jokes about it.”
“It’s time,” An older lady informed the girls who sat in a circle around Candice. One by one, they all formed a line in the order they would exit. Ella Rose, the maid of honor, was the first one to walk down the center aisle. With the groom’s men at their sides, the other three bridesmaids were soon to follow. All of which, wore the same coral dress that matched with the waistline of the bride’s. Their attire, also made by Alfred, drug on the white-carpeted flooring as the continued to walk. Dressed in a white, spaghetti strapped dress Ariel, the flower girl, came next. The white headband, located on top of her head, helped maintain her brown hair. She was at the age of five and, like everyone her age, she found enjoyment while throwing cream colored, rose petals on the floor. The coral bow in the back of her dress became more noticeable as she slowly approached the alter.
The back of the church was the first to rise when Candice appeared in front of the double doors with her father’s hand entwined with hers. The gleaming smile was still lingering on her face as the melody of the piano brought her down the center aisle. Unlike most brides, her feet were rather warm and the butterflies were released earlier. All eyes were on her, but she focused hers on her best friend, her soul mate, her one and only. The hairdresser had created the blond curls, in her hair, a few moments earlier. With every step she took her medium length hair, which was draped across her shoulders, swayed underneath the vale her mother had let her borrow.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and silver sixpence in her shoe. Her grandfather provided the silver sixpence, a coin made of silver and worth six pennies, while Ella gave her a new diamond tennis bracelet. The old pearls, located on her neck, had been a present from her grandmother. Around her leg, held a garter that consisted of white and blue lace, hence something blue.
She gently placed a kiss on her father’s cheek, taking her place in front of Aaden,
as she offered him a wink. “I love you.” The words softly rolled off her tongue as she glanced up at him, her emerald eyes instantly locking with his ocean blues. At that moment, she couldn’t wait to spend the rest of her life with him, but she didn’t know that jealousy would become a stronger feeling than love.
“I’d like to offer a toast.” Bryton, the best man and formally known as Aaden’s brother, raised his half filled champagne glass above his head. Lifting himself up off of the white chair, that was covered in a coral ribbon, he nodded his head towards the long- black haired woman sitting next to him with a perfect smile planted on his face, which relived a set of dimples. He turned his attention back to the bride and groom as he began to speak.
“It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home.”
The guests were seated five to a circular, white table. In the center of the table held an arrangement of red and oranges roses. Around the crystal plates, with the letters A&C engraved into them, laid extra petals that had fallen off of other roses. The reception was held outside, even though warmth of the spring sun was unable to be felt with the white tent above everyone’s head. A burst of laughter filled the air after Bryton had made his toast. As the area began to grow silence again, he continued.
“Right before the ceremony, Candice informed me that she wanted a romantic toast rather than one I created by myself. “
Extending his hand forward, he pointed to Candice who was seated beside Aaden in the front of the tent.
“This one is for both of you. My greatest wish for the two of you is that through the years your love for each other will deepen and grow, that years from now you will look back on this day, your wedding day, as the day you loved each other the least.”
Candice slightly nodded her head while she mouthed the words thank you to him to show her gratification. She figured he found the toast on the Internet or asked another woman, considering it was impossible to get Bryton to act his age or mature for that matter.
Looking around at the guest, she realized that some kind of happiness had filled the place. There were smiles on everyone’s face, including the people who were single and stuck in a dead end job, but why did she feel trapped and unable to breathe. She had made the biggest mistake in her life. She knew nothing about Aaden. Yes, she did know that his family was upper class, he was the youngest sibling out of the two, and he could make her laugh at any given moment. What about the other things? How did he like his coffee in the morning, black? Does he put his left or right shoe on first? Or would he eat cold leftovers if she didn’t feel like cooking? Distracting her from the endless questions that kept appearing in her head, Aaden reached for her hand.
“I think they want us to dance.”
Candice didn’t even notice that the piano had started playing in the background. Following him out on the wooden dance floor, which the wedding decorator created in the grass, she rested her left hand on the nape of his neck while her other hand was linked in his. Like some of the male population, Aaden couldn’t dance and had to take classes on how to do so, but everyone watching wouldn’t have been able to tell. With his hand placed right under her left arm, random answers found their way back into her head. He liked his coffee with cream, he always put his right shoe on first, and he would eat the cold leftovers just to make her happy. She didn’t make a horrible mistake; she had made the greatest choice of her life. He was everything she wanted and that made him perfect in her eyes.
“So, let me get this right, you invited another woman to our honeymoon?”
The anger exploded out of her mouth as she dropped the one suitcase of luggage, that she was carrying, in the hallway of the boat they just boarded. Their honeymoon consisted of a three-day cruise to the Bahamas where they would spend the rest of the week.
“Yes, I believe that is what I said.”
Aaden was dressed in a, button up, tropical shirt that any woman would be happy to cut up. The hairy, muscular legs of his could be seen where his tan shorts had cut off. His hands were full of suitcases that Candice couldn’t carry because of her newly manicured hands.
“Tell me Aaden, how was I supposed to react when you told me this news?”
“Ecstatic with a smile on your face. Kind of how you are acting right now.”
Dropping the suitcases to the tacky, red carpet, he reached into his pocket as he tried to locate the entry card to their room. Aaden turned around to face Candice with a coy smile on his face. Her arms were crossed as her foot tapped lightly against the ground.
“Oh, honey. That medium sized box you put you in your suitcase. You should throw it out, we are not going to be using of those this weekend.”
She turned her body the opposite way of his as she began to walk away. The knee length, yellow sundress moved from side to side while she stormed away with the white flip-flops making an obnoxious sound as they hit the bottom of her feet.
Hearing a bit of laughter in the background, Aaden turned around to discover that Bryon had been behind him during the whole argument.
“Forget about the honeymoon, I hear there is a strip club on this ship.”
Bryton reached down to help recover the bags that had been dropped on the floor. After finally retrieving the card for his pocket, Aaden ran it through the slot on the door and watched as it popped right open.
“I don’t think that is a very wise decision. I’m guessing you already saw how angry she is with me for bringing what’s her face.”
“So, we are going back to calling her that again?”
Placing the, yellow and black floral, Vera Bradley duffle onto the tan carpeting of the suite floor, Aaden swiftly shut the door while he unzipped one of the closest bags to him.
“Yes, we are back to calling her that. If Candice found out about what is going on, then I will surely be dead.”
“I don’t thing she would go that fair.” Bryton muttered under his breath while he made his way to the door.
The upper deck of the boat was far more peaceful than the middle deck was. There was less commotion along with more room to sun bathe. Reaching for the yellow material of the dress, Candice pulled it off her body, reviling a simple blue bikini. She sat down at the nearest beach chairs that were lined in along the poolside. The sun’s warmth ran across her body as she listened to a group of people wrestling in the pool. Everything seemed so perfect.
“Is this seat taken?”
A calm, unknown voice questioned, just as Candice’s eyes were growing heavy. A bit surprised, she blinked them open as she stared up at the woman. Her black, wavy hair extended to the arch in her tan back while her eyes looked like the color of the sky when it was about to rain. She looked vaguely familiar, but Candice couldn’t recall whom she looked like. With a swift movement of her head, she motioned the lady to sit down.
“Go for it.”
“I’m Olivia. And you are?”
“Candice.” She offered a fake, but shining smile to the woman.
“I absolutely love your ring.”
“Don’t get your hopes up, I don’t think your significant other could afford a wedding ring that costs half of the price of this.”
Extending her hand, her eyes scanned over the ring. It was perfect, just like Aaden.
“I don’t have a significant other, I’m just in a love triangle with a married man who likes his wife, but loves me.”
A timid smirk rolled on her face while she kept her eyes on Candice while she began to speak again.
“I highly doubt that, but did I mention that his eyes are gorgeous?”
“They wouldn’t even match up with the man I’m seeing, his are ocean blue. I swear I fall for him all over again when I look into them.”
“You are just the friend I’m looking for.”
With a simple shake of hands, Candice had found herself a new friend.
The sun found its way over to the horizon as the sky turned to a variety of colors, ranging from pink to the whole way to purple. Standing up from the beach chair, Candice pulled the sundress back over her head, offering her new friend a wave goodbye before she headed to her room. The maroon colored hallways were packed with happy couples, who were all over each other, and acquaintances that were just looking for a good time.
“Ella! What are you doing here?” A squeal ran out of her mouth as she wrapped her tan arms around the neck of her best friend.
“Well, I’m…” Her voice trailed off while she nodded to Bryton standing beside her with their hands interlocked.
“Hello Bryton, I need to burrow her for a second.” Pulling Ella’s arm, she dragged her to the opposite side of the hall, burring her face into her ear.
“What is so important?”
“I think Aaden is cheating on me. I mean, I could be wrong, but I’m never wrong. Could you help me?” Candice raised her neatly plucked eyebrows while her eyes remained on Ella.
“I’m have a feeling I’m going to regret this, but what are best friends for. I’ll meet you tomorrow, I have plans for tonight.” Her glaze headed towards Bryton as a smile formed on her face.
“I have to meet Aaden, it is our honeymoon.” Walking down the familiar halls, a smirk arose on her face as she ran her card through the slot.
The interior of Candice’s suite was decorated to match the ocean view. On the wall hung pictures of ships that overlapped the starfish wallpaper. The bed was placed in the middle of the room and was neatly made with plain, tan blankets. Around the room laid suitcases that Aaden must have emptied while she was gone.
“Honey, I made a new friend today.”
Candice felt no more anger towards her husband as she kicked off her flip-flops and headed towards the couch. Without waiting for a reply, she continued.
“But when am I going to meet that woman you invited?”
A gentle laugh escaped her throat while she watched her husband sit down next to her.
“If you don’t have any plans we could meet her tomorrow morning.”
Aaden seemed lost in his thoughts as Candice, gently, bit down on her bottom lips, her emerald eyes scanning his toned figure. Even though he looked like a complete idiot in the tropical shirt, she still wanted to spend time with him.
“Aaden, I’m bored. Can you entertain me?”
With a smirk, Aaden pulled her into his lap, his fingers swiftly running down the length of her arm.
“Entertain you. How exactly do I do that?”
He chucked lightly as his finger traced the back of her shoulder briskly. With a heavy sigh, Candice tugged at the material of his shirt.
“You’re a cleaver man, I’m pretty sure you could think of something...”
Holding her gaze, she swiftly touched her soft fingers to his jaw with her perfect smile still intact.
A sudden ring of Candice’s phone had awoken both of them from their deep sleep. “I’ll get it.” She muttered to herself as she rolled over to the nightstand and propped the phone up against her ear. Without any greeting, the caller continued to talk.
“Open your door.”
The soft laugh arose from her throat when she recognized the voice. Hanging up the phone, Candice reached for her silk robe with the word, bride, imprinted on the back. She swiftly wrapped it around her body while she headed for the door. Opening it, Candice took a step outside while she faced her best friend, shutting the door behind her.
“Ella, I hope you had fun last night with Bryton.”
“You looked like you had far more fun then me.”
Ella wrapped her arms around Candice’s waist as she pulled her into a hug. They were both the only child and treated each other like their own sister. They fought together, they told each other their crushes, and they always stood together through the good times along with the bad.
“There is a room down the hall. The man is a retired cop and I saw him carry in a silver case which was obviously caring a gun. He also has black clothing and a ski mask. I don’t know why he has them, but we could break into his room.”
“That is considered premeditated murder.” A curious teenager walked past both of them, dressed in all black.
“That’s a sign.” Ella pointed towards the guy as she bit down on her pink lip.
“You are being too loud.”
Candice replied, grabbing a hold of Ella’s hand she managed to pull her into her suite and out on to the balcony, which over looked the ocean, without waking up her husband.
“For our alibis, there is a clock hanging on the wall in the ladies bathroom. If we set that back five minutes and you head to the bathroom, we will be accounted for. This plan is flawless, we will never get caught.”
“What if Aaden didn’t cheat on you? You are going to kill that innocent woman”
So many thoughts had popped into her head over night. She lowered herself into the wooden chair that stood beside her. Ella was the only person she could to talk about her situation. She obviously, couldn’t go directly to Aaden. If he didn’t cheat, he would be crushed to know that she didn’t trust him. Either way, it was a lose lose situation.
“Are you in?”
“What are best friends for?’
Both Candice and Ella were dressed in all black, which included a ski mask for their faces. They had found their attire in the unlocked room that was just down the hall from Bryton’s suite, where they thought it would be, along with gun that was stuffed into Candice’s side pocket.
“You do know we could go to jail for this.”
“We are not going to get caught. I already set the clock back, like I said this plan is flawless.”
The night was dark and the moon barely lit up the sky. It was a perfect night for a murder. Taking her place, Candice quickly ducked behind a wooden bench, hoping that no one would be able to see her. Right on time, her target appeared. Her hands began to shake as she felt guilt travel through her body. Olivia could have been talking about a different guy; it might not have been Aaden. She began to release her hands from the gun, but a shadow made her change her mind. Furry began to rush through her. The shadow was Aaden and she had been right all along. Candice held the gun up through the holes in the bench as she waited for the extra person to disappear; there was no need to kill two people. With a quick flick of her finger, the gun fired, sending the body over the railing and into the water. She could feel regret sinking in as she walked over to the railing. She quickly removed her black clothing and threw it into the ocean, along with the murder weapon. A tear slid down her face as she recalled her wedding day, that had only been two days ago.
“He was a college student; I was in High School. He liked classical music; I liked hip-hop. He drank wine; I drank anything I could get my hands on. He knew what love was, I, on the other hand, only knew of lust. We were complete opposites and opposites don’t attract.” She whispered softly to herself while she watched her husband sink into the ocean. In a way, she was doing him a favor. Death is a peaceful thing, it is easy, but life, life is harder and unsatisfying. Yes, she had done him a favor, a big favor indeed.