By: WisdomDeath (Four)
Empress was not a fan of pink and red day also known as Valentine’s Day and yet she was in the mall shopping for a man’s suit.
Sure, let us get to the chase. Empress has a boyfriend, Christian—a nice guy who has a stable career and the looks much more mysterious than a vampire or a fallen angel. He looks like something out of a sculpture.
Lucky for her she has a date but the only reason the two of them were dating was because it was a part of their parents’ business deal. Shallow, as Empress called it, that a business deal has to be done with an additional game wherein she was one of the players.
Whenever she and Christian are together, their parents sneak and sometimes take a peek on what they were talking about during dinner or when they watch movies at the family theater—childish, immature, and pretty much disrespectful. As much as their relationship was built within a business deal, they need privacy once in a while.
They weren’t completely against it. They were friends, good friends and they got to admit that they did enjoy each other’s company.
* * *
“Chris, have you seen my purple folder?” Empress asked as she looked around for her precious red folder.
“I think I saw it on the kitchen table.” Chris answered.
“Thanks, Chris.” She replied.
She went down to the kitchen and smiled upon seeing her purple folder that was containing one of her brilliant ideas. She ran back up and hugged Christian.
“Easy there, Ems.” Christian said as he held Empress’ hand.
“What is so important with that purple envelope of yours anyway?” he asked.
“First of all, it’s a folder not an envelope. Second, it’s, so far, the most brilliant idea I have ever had for the E-Movement.” She said excitedly, still hugging Christian.
“May I see it?” he asked.
Empress nodded and handed him the purple folder then stood in front of Christian as if what he will be saying, if there is, will be such a big judgment.
Christian carefully read it. After reading the long piece of Empress’ brilliance, he closed the folder then handed it back to Empress.
Empress kept her eye on Christian as if to say, “What do you think?”
“You are brilliant, Ems.” Christian said then hugged his beloved girlfriend.
“I know I am, no need to squeeze me!” she exclaimed which didn’t make Christian stop hugging so tightly.
“Christian! You’re squeezing me too tight!” she exclaimed but all she got was a tighter squeeze.
“Chris!” She exclaimed and that was the magic word—he let her go.
“Are you trying to kill me?” she asked in a very high tone that made Christian laugh.
“Why would I want to kill someone as adorable as you?” he asked then laughed again.
The next hug was slightly tight but there was something else, it was gentle and it made Empress blush. Christian made her blush in ways that she never thought she would blush.
“You are incredible, okay? So let me drive you to work today, okay Ems?” he said.
She laughed, “Sure. We’re working in the same company anyway.”
* * *
It was a long day yet happy for Empress. Her boss, her very own father, was amazed by her idea that he even asked her to visit their home that night and she should be with Christian. It wasn’t a big deal. She lived under the same roof with Christian.
She wore the purple dress Christian bought her on their first month of dating. She let her shiny black hair hung loosely on her shoulders.
A knock on the door woke her up from staring at her reflection.
“Come in!” she said.
Christian came in wearing a suit that made him look as amazing as ever—his black hair was in a formal mess, his suit was just perfect, and there was that sweet smile painted on his face.
There were just smiles, silence and a big space between them. No words were spoken.
* * *
Upon their arrival at Empress’ parents’ house, Empress sighed. It wasn’t a sigh of relief or exhaustion, it was of sadness.
Her parents were smiling at them, and they smiled back but there was confusion.
“Before dinner, I want to talk about something.” Empress’ father said.
They both sat on the sofa opposite to her parents.
Empress’ father faced Christian, “Your father and I’s business has been growing larger and the deal’s conditions are growing larger as well and so we want the two of you to get married.”
Empress and Christian looked at each other with their eyes wide open.
Remembering that Empress’ parents were still in front of them, they faked a smile and tries to look as excited as what they were supposed to be.
During dinner, their faces were blank.
* * *
After dinner, they went back to their place and it began.
“I can’t believe what dad just said! Marriage, we’re talking about life-long commitment! Are they out of their mind?” Empress exclaimed, arms flailing in the air.
“Shh. Calm down, Ems.” Christian said as he walked towards Empress and hugged her. She started crying.
“I don’t want to take away your chance to be with someone else, Chris. I can’t. I’m afraid.” She said with her voice shaking once in a while.
“Shh.” Christian hushed her down and led her to his room.
“Stop crying, Ems. Big day tomorrow, baby.” Christian said.
“Why are you doing this?” she exclaimed, glaring daggers at Christian.
“Doing what?” he asked, confused.
“Calling me ‘baby’ and being all sweet? You’re just doing it just because my Dad and your Dad had that deal!” she exclaimed then ran off his room.
Christian was left staring at the door dumbfounded. That wasn’t what he was trying to show Empress. He loved Empress, not as a friend but more than anything. He was in love with her the first time he had laid his deep green eyes on her.
He knew what he has to do. It was time to do it.
* * *
The next day, it was the day of hearts. The fourteenth of February has finally come and it was the perfect day for Christian and so far, the worst for Empress.
Empress set her foot on the elevator and a guy gave her a rose, a red one. She was confused but the guy step out after handing her the rose.
From the eleventh floor, the elevator stopped on every floor and she was handed a rose, at the ground floor, there were rose petals laid and obviously she was supposed to follow to where it would lead and that what she did.
At the end of the rose petals was the guy she was expecting.
“Christian.” She muttered.
“Before you start shouting about how this might be connected to our fathers’ business, I’ll stop you right now. This isn’t about the deal. I love you Ems. I really do. All the sweetness and care and love that I showed you for the past year, it was all from my heart Ems. I wasn’t forced to love you. I really do love you.” He smiled.
There were tears welling up at the corner of Empress’ eyes.
He loves me. He really does.
What shocked her more was when Christian knelt, a small box on his hand, opened it and…
“Will you marry me?” he asked.
Empress wasn’t able to contain the happiness that was flowing in her system; she rushed to him and hugged him.
There was no point in lying, Empress knew her feeling so well just like the back of her hand and she was well aware that she loves Christian as well and his face was coated with love and care.
“Yes.” She whispered.
She heard his soft laugh and they both stood, smiling.
* * *
Her head was buried on Christian’s neck. Her life seemed perfect with him beside her. They already told their parents about what they truly feel and they were glad.
Their fathers’ deal was actually helpful; it brought the closer to each other.
“I love you Ems.”
“I love you Chris.”
It was the start of forever.