"Fiona..." I sighed. " I think I need a little holiday". I said to her.
"Take one permanently, you are fired!" She said without blinking.
Nicole stood up in shock "fiona, you can't do that! You owe half of your success to her. She made you rich, for crying out loud, she's going through a rough patch. Anyone in her situation would be upset! I think you are being too harsh"
Fiona raised a brow at her "she deserves it, I lost two clients in one week just because of her".
"She gave you almost a thousand of them since she came to work for you". Nicole argued. "We wouldn't be where we are had it not been her".
"The reason she was that good is because I taught her well. I've given her a week to mope and cry over her broken engagement. It's been three weeks already! I can't jeopardize my business because her fiancé left her at the altar!"
"That is not true". I spoke for the first time since she fired me.
"Yes, that is not true!" Nicole agreed. "You didn't teach her anything, she was fresh,creative and dynamic. And she was the one that came up with the most ambitious concepts we ever used on the weddings we did for years. Right, Ash?" She looked at me as if she was begging me to defend myself.
I took a deep breath " what I meant was...it's not true that my fiancé left me at the altar". I said in a serious voice and Nicole looked at me unable to wipe the shocked expression off her face.
"That's great dear, at least it didn't get too embarrassing". Fiona said without a hint of emotion."Now before any other bride-to-be ends up in the same fate as you, I suggest you go. I thank you for your services, you are jeopardizing my business, I already lost two clients. I can't afford to lose more".
I don't know if I would feel heartbroken for what she said. Sure it was sad to see your boss not give you consideration, especially since she owes half of her company's growth to you. But at the same time, it was also a relief to know that I need not make another bride's dream come true. It's difficult for me since I myself was a bride-to-be but it did not last long enough for me to make it to the altar.
"Fine". I murmured. I took my bag and cellphone. "I do expect to receive my full benefits, Fiona".
She raised a brow "compared to the amount of business I would lose because of you? I'll be happy to give you your severance pay on a silver platter".
I rolled my eyes one last time and then I marched out of the room. Nicole was on my tracks the minute I got to the elevator.
"Get back in there Nic if you don't want to share my fate" . I warned her.
"You are out of your mind, Astrid!, you should fight this!, she owes you that much!" She insisted.
I shook my head. "Did you really think I didn't want this?" She opened her mouth as if to say something "goodbye Nic, I'll see you later".
"I'll talk to you later" she said as the elevator door closed behind me.
I exited the building and hailed a cab. There at the backseat alone with the cab driver as company, I lost it. I cried my heart out.
The new Mr and Mrs. Bryan Bryans! I heard the host announce excitedly. I held on to my new husband's arm happily.
Bryan smiled at me happily, his eyes were teary. He leaned forward to give me a kiss on the lips.
The place was magical. The garden outside the church was covered with moss green and brown sheets. I was warm in a pristine white gown. I wanted a long train but bryan had been afraid that he would somehow trip on it. I figured that was just his one request so I settled for a waist length one. The long lacy sleeves of my bolero jacket covered my arms. It barely showed flesh. My gown reflected the prudent, virginal bride that I am.
The cake was a perfect two tier with little green flowers as its base. The cake topper was a traditional bride and groom locked in a sweet embrace.
My bridesmaids, who were dressed in elegant moss green and brown swirled gowns, danced around us. With the two-inch heels that I wore, my violet eyes were almost the same level as bryan's brown eyes. He wasn't tall but it didn't really matter to me. He was my groom,my husband. He made this dream wedding come true. He agreed to make it exactly my way, the way I had dreamed it to be.
I danced happily in bryan's arms. Then the host announced a change of partners and I was whirled out of bryan's arms. I looked for him to find out where he had gone and then I saw him...in the middle of the dancefloor, dancing happily with a bridesmaid wearing a revealing moss green gown,a flower tucked on her right ear. She grinned at me mischievously and then she laughed the most malicious laugh I have ever heard in my entire life.
"This is my wedding! " I shouted at her, then I fell to my knees and started crying.
I felt someone reach out for me and forced me to stand up, it was my least favourite person in the world, Adam. He shook me and said "pull yourself together".
"I can't..." I said
"Will you wake up, Astrid?" He shouted at me.
I felt him shake me more intensely.
"Wake up!" He shouted.
The world whirled round me. I forced myself to open my eyes and found myself staring into a pair of intense blue eyes outlined by a handsome tanned face. I stood up from ny bed and stared at Adam.
He raised a brow at me.
"Are you okay?" He asked me.
I took a deep breath and tried to steady myself. then I slowly nodded.
"Your phone has been ringing non-stop". He told me. " I can't concentrate and I've got a pleading to submit tomorrow".
Adam is sort of my cousin but we are not really related by blood,although we grew up together He's my cousin's half brother. Ever since we were kids, we never get along too well. He's too frank, too tactless. He says what is on his mind regardless of who will get hurt or who will look like a fool.
I don't really know why I ended up in his apartment after my whole world fell apart. I shared an apartment with Geena, the beautiful barbie doll in my dreams. She is my first cousin, the closest friend I ever had since I was a kid . I've slept over in their own house more than I've slept in my own bed. That was why, it was only natural that we shared an apartment after college. Only that, it was not really my apartment, but hers. Uncle jack, Geena and Adam's rich father made sure they were well provided for.
Between the two of us, Geena was the wild one. She wasn't always smart but with her charms and looks, she survived all the challenges that came her way. Well, if she got away with humping my fiancé behind my back, she can get away with almost anything. Or maybe I was too...trusting, too naïve !
My ex- fiancé is an orthodontist. He was goal oriented and ambitious like me. When Geena needed a job that didn't really need a lot of pressure, bryan took her in. I was not worried. They both loved me. They would never betray me...or so I thought!
Back when I was still clueless, Adam had been dropping hints to me. Sometimes in a form of very a rude sarcastic remark. But since I was so used to him being rude, I just tuned him out.
But one evening, I planned to surprise bryan at work. I was about to open the door when I heard him and geena arguing.
"You have to get rid of it!" Bryan said angrily.
"I'm not going to get rid of it. I may have done plenty shameful things in my life but I won't kill my own baby!"
"Astrid will find out". Bryan argued.
"And you still plan to marry her after getting me pregnant?!". Geena said angrily.
" I already spent a fortune on that wedding she planned!, it was too extravagant. What do you want me to do? Call it off?"
"Oh really?, so you want me to call off my pregnancy instead?" Geena asked. I can't even believe you are even considering that. Perhaps, you should have considered checking your ten year old condom before jumping into the sofa with me!"
"Are you sure it's even mine?"
"How dare you bryan?" Geena fired at him. "We've been sleeping together for six months! I have never let any man touch me except for you!"
"So what do you want me to do?, choose between your pregnancy and my wedding? It's a difficult choice to make, you know?"
At that point, I couldn't take it anymore. I barged into the room which shocked them both. I stared at both of them, pasting a bored expression on my face.
"Oh sweetheart...we were just having a discussion about...a patient" Bryan struggled to lie.
I narrowed my eyes at him. "Really? Which patient?, your unborn child?"
They were both shocked to hear me say that.
"I've been standing here long enough, and I assure you, I don't need any explanations from either of you." I struggled to keep my voice calm.