Author's note: This my first attempt in writing. So please bear with me and give me a chance. I know that I have grammatical error all over, especially with usage of past and present tense. I have proof read it myself numerous times before I post it.
Warning: You might need a little more patience when reading this story as the storyline moves slowly and I am slow in updating. Some small insignificant details might have a significant influence to this story. So, here goes:
From afar, the estate was seemly brightly lighted, apparently hosting a function as fleets of vehicles drove through the grand opening of the estate. Just before entering the grounds, a few men in tux peered politely into the car from the wind down window to the passengers within. Invitation card be handed over and scanned by a machine in the palm of gentlemen in tux. The journey into the estate was enchanting as thousands of miniature Chinese lanterns exposing the astounding landscape of the estate. These lanterns ushered the moving vehicles to the great mansion.
Upon close observation, passengers in the vehicles noticed that the ground of the estate was under extreme scrutiny of the heavily armed personnel. One could possibly deduce that they were well-trained assassins. A hundred of vicious looking dogs were seen to be rounding the vicinity. These do not look like ordinary guard dogs. These dogs were trained not to disarm but to hunt and destroy. No one in their right mind would abruptly stop and get off from the comfort of the vehicle, in their exquisite attire, to enjoy the beautiful breezy night.
Approaching closer to the white huge mansion which was blushed with sheer pink due to the effect of the decorative red lanterns, car after car of various heritage were lining up at the entrance of the mansion. The valet opened the car doors to allow the crimson red carpet that flowed from within the mansion to the front step to welcome the guest. If it wasn't the fact that this was a private estate situated in the outskirt of Shanghai and no paparazzi of the rich and famous were spotted, observing the scene, anyone would thought that this entrance leads to the Grammy Awards.
At the reception hall, guests were scanned for any arm weapon or potentially arm weapon before they were ushered into the grand ballroom to their respective tables. Of course, most guests would not have left their respective houses without an arm weapon. The guests left their weapons with the receptionist as if they were leaving their coat. Most guests were comfortable enough and well assured of their own safety if they were within the vicinity, under the influence of the great host. However one can never let down its guard. Paranoid guests had its army stand by somewhere near the estate should there be any unfavorable incident. Should the police have not known the great host was holding a wedding banquet for his only granddaughter, they would have suspected that an uprising of the triads was coming in to the city of Shanghai.
Quietly, somewhere in the mansion, in a relatively small hall, well hidden from the naked eyes of passers-by, what seems like a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony was taking place. There were only a few people present in the hall. ………..
The bride smiled nervously under her red silk veil as the priest summoned the wedding ceremony. While the priest had been chanting away some phrases or what-so-ever, no one noticed that she was not paying attention to her own wedding ceremony! Her face was, after all, covered by the veil.
Her mind was running wild with the day's event and it's up coming event. 'What will it feels like having to share a life with someone for the rest of your days?' she thought to herself and blushed hard when she thought of the Chamber night.
'Will we get along well in the forth coming future?'
'What is his expectation of me when we are married?'
'Should I be indifferent after marriage? The heck that I am going to be indifferent! He will just to accept me as I am'
'Will love grow stronger like centuries old tree bonded its root to the earth? Or will we fall apart like autumn leaves?'
Questions after question had been swarming around her head for days. These questions kept on repeating themselves like some sort of chanting.
'Oh god. Help me. I think my head is going to explode on me….' With that thought, came a soft whisper to her ear, "My lady, it is time to bow"
As part of the ritual, the priest summoned the groom and bride to bow to altar of the ancestors. The air suddenly thickened as the bride did not response nor move from her statue state. The bridesmaid, who was standing by the side of the bride, immediately kneeled down next the bride and whispered to her after a look from a confused groom. The bride seemed startled by the bridesmaid action and jerked her head upward as if she had just woken up from a trance, before she finally managed to compose herself.
The groom blinked, his eyes wide, while the bride's grandfather could only shook his head at his granddaughter's stupor. None of the guests dared to utter a sound at the scene.
"Ahem... First bow to the ancestor" Motioned the priest as to bring everyone's attention back to the ceremony. Both the groom and bride bowed simultaneously to the altar.
"Second bow the each other" The priest continued as both groom and bride turned to face each other, bowing. And with that the couple was pronounced as husband and wife.
Then, they proceeded to the grand finale of the ritual, The Tea Ceremony. It was a short session for there was only two persons for the groom and bride to serve tea to. One of which was the Groom's Uncle and the other would be the bride's grandfather. Presumably, tea was served to all senior members of the family regardless of how distant they were in terms of blood ties. Kneeling down on your knees for hours, even if it is cushioned, was something that one would not consider enjoyable or at least comfortable. Having just two to serve, it can be count as a blessing in disguise as none of the other family members were alive to be served tea by the newly wed.
After the tea ceremony, the bride was piggy ride back to the Bed Chamber by the wedding pacifier while the rest carefully headed back to the limelight at this time- the grand ballroom. Contrary to the wedding ceremony that just took place, the banquet was simply grand. There were almost a thousand guests in the ballroom. Not all guests were invited to attend the wedding ceremony. Only important guests were invited to stand witness to the auspicious day.
The banquet was most lively with the guests having fills after fills of wine and liquor. The groom's uncle and bride's grandfather were seen to be enjoying drowning themselves with glass after glass of wine although in actually fact, both men were very warily and on guard of their surroundings. Nothing unexpected should be happening tonight, especially, bloodshed.
She sat anxiously in the Bed Chamber waiting for her husband to come to her. The room was quiet but she heard the pounding of her own heart vibrating across the room. She tilted her head downward to peer beneath her veil to her soft pale hands that were entertaining themselves in a game of tug-war with her red silk handkerchief. It had only been merely an hour and a half since she was brought to the room but the waiting was killing her slowly
On one hand, she could not wait to get things over and done but on the other, she wished that time would just pause until she managed to gather her courage to face this man whom she was going share a bed with. On second thought, she didn't think that the later option was going to help much to curb the butterflies flapping violently in her stomach. After all, she knew that this day would come since she was 16. And wasn't 7 years long enough to prepare herself for this night!
She was aware of what sexual intercourse was all about. How could she not with the all the 'modern' days education that has been taught in school and not to mention what the girls talked about over the slumber parties during their puberty bloom period. Occasionally she did indulged herself with some sappy romantic novels which define love making process as the only bliss and tranquility that human can associate with. It would be exciting to play the role of the heroine – to be swept off by her feet and be taken to the seventh heaven, but when it comes to actual scenario, it was a totally different feeling. It would be a sweet pleasurable moment if you made love when you least expected it but when you were planning on it, like it was some kind of ritual (it was a ritual to a marriage), the feeling can be quite daunting.
"My lady, you are awfully quiet today. Are you not feeling well?" Came a concerned voice, breaking the lingering silence in the room.
"I'm fine, Sou Chan." She answered simply. It was difficult and embarrassing to explain her feeling to anyone at the moment, even to her surrogate mother cum bridesmaid. Under normal circumstances, no one was allowed to be in the room except for the awaiting bride and the claiming groom. However, normal circumstances had never been applied to her life. Sou Chan was there not just to accompany her but to guard her against what-ever danger they might be expecting.
"Are you hungry? I know that they are serving your favorite prawn dish for the banquet. I could have someone to bring some over to you if you want." Sou Chan thoughtfully suggested. Sou Chan thought that food might keep her distracted from her thoughts.
'Garlic butter prawn? And risk him having to taste some of those while we kiss? I don't know think so.' "Thanks Sou Chan but I don't have the appetite for it" She answered honestly.
"Hm... My Lady, you should relax. There is no reason to be so tense. You would only make the situation more awkward and uncomfortable if you can't loosen up a bit. It's supposed to mark the beginning of a happy marriage, not a disaster. There is nothing for you to be afraid of."
'Easy for you to say. You are no the one that is going through with whole process.' "You…" She was cut off by Sou Chan's ringing phone.
"Yes. Speak" Commanded Sou Chan.
She could not see Sou Chan's expression but she could feel the air had suddenly changed as Sou Chan terminated the tele-conversation without a word.
"What it is, Sou Chan?" Silence was the only reply.
She knew that something had gone wrong. Without further thought, she yanked her veil and saw Sou Chan's paled and shocked face. The moment Sou Chan noticed that she was looking at her; Sou Chan's face masked into guilty stricken looked and refused to meet her in the eye.
"What is happening? Report now." She commanded in a harsh tone leaving no room for Sou Chan to compromise but oblige.
Sou Chan still was not looking at her, carefully tried to phrase her sentence, "My lady, I.. its…"Sou Chan was lost for words.
"What it is?" Patience was running low.
Sou Chan took at deep breath and looked up,"My Lady, Young Master, he is gone. It is reported that he has left the estate. My Lady………"
'He left? He ditched me on our wedding night!'
She sat by the window pane looking into the night. The stars were twinkling into the clear sky. She was staring not into the beautiful night but into nothingness. She shut her mind to everything. She could not bear to think of anything. Afraid that the emotions would slowly build up and once again threaten to crush her already punctured heart. Although she ceased herself from thinking and not having any emotion but her tears would not stop streaming down her cheek.
She was, not in the chamber room but in another room and she had changed her clothing, not wanting to be reminded of the night's event.
There was a soft knock on the door. She did not answer. Unlike the many unanswered knocks on her door, the person behind it carefully turned the knob and walked into the room. He stopped shortly when he was greeted by the darkness of the room and a dark figure with her back facing him. The brightness of the stars were illuminating her features to him – she was crying.
He turned on the light in the room. She did not move. He moved closer to her and sat next to her, watching her sorrow yet lifeless face. It wrenched his heart to see her state of being. He gripped his fist and brought his other hand to brush away yet another pearl of tears running down her cheek.
He then hugged her and patted her back. "Darling, I am sorry for what has happened. It is my fault. I will make it up to you… I will not let him disgrace you like this. I will hunt him down and wreck his neck. He…"
"Don't, YeaYea. If you still care for the well being of your granddaughter, don't hunt him down. Let him be. He says that he will come back in his note that he has left me. When he is ready, he will come back. Just let him be…" She interrupted him.
"But darling, how could you let him do this to you? I can't let him be after what he has done… THIS will not go unanswered."
"I am after all married to him. His well being is my concern now regardless of how he treats me. As his lawful wife, I will not forgive you should anything happen to him by your hands. You do not want me to be a young widow, do you? Besides, his death would implicate another cold war. You have got enough 'civil war' on hand than you can handle." She brought herself closer to her grandfather's embrace. Shutting her eyes , she allowed the tears to flow freely.
He could not say anything else. Though her voice was choking from her tears, she knew very well the meaning of each and every word of hers. He could argue no further. It was entirely his fault to begin with. She was only being responsible and performing her end of the bargain as result of his action. He had to do something to make things right for her. He couldn't have her life ruined because of the man.
"I care enough for him. I cannot let anything happen to him. Please understand and let him be. I know that you love me. I'll be alright. I need some time to compose myself. That's all. As long as he is safe and alive, I'll be contented." She whispered softly.
"………." What have I done! WHAT HAVE I DONE!
She was still staring outside the window. Before her grandfather bid her goodnight, he had promised not to harm him. She was grateful for that although she was still numb both physically and emotionally.
Her mobile rang. Reflectively she reached out into the depth of her pocket and pulled out her mobile phone. Not even bothering to look at the caller ID, she brought the phone to her ears and answered in silent.
"Hello? Are you there?"
The so familiar voice that she had been yearning to hear snapped her into life again. She crushed to the floor on her knees with her hands clutched to the fabric covering her chest with tears formed uncontrollably in the corner of her eyes.
"Hello? Hello? Are you alright? " The man at the other end of the line voiced again with concern.
"Yes. I am here. I am alright now" She managed without choking herself. Suddenly her life wasn't as bad as it seemed anymore………
Author's Note: Thank you for bearing with me this far.
Kindly tell me what you think by reviewing. I am open to all suggestion and expecting probably a few flames as well.