Hi guys! I hope you've been doing well! Uh, this took me longer to write than I expected it to. Yes, it's another one-shot. I know. Don't murder me. I'm starting a new original (that one is kind of insaneeeeee) and still writing SIABCL, so yes. And school! OH MY GOD, MY SCHOOL GIVES OUT SO MUCH HOMEWORK, IT'S INSANE. LOL, yes. I wanna thank every single one of you guys for letting me know that my writing isn't terrible. Also, thanks to maxwaylandgrey, Reni Readiris, and twitter for being awesome (and other people whose name will never be mentioned, but I thank them deeply.) Enjoy! Review!
I wanna thank every single one of you guys for letting me know that my writing isn't terrible. Also, thanks to maxwaylandgrey, Reni Readiris, and twitter for being awesome (and other people whose name will never be mentioned, but I thank them deeply.)
I do not want to marry Jonathan Wayland.
He tells me to call him Jace, because he despises the name Jonathan. I keep trying to see the good in him, to look past his God-awful personality. All he's ever done since we met is he's been sleeping around with women—other women, prostitutes from everywhere. I keep yelling at him every time. It shouldn't bother me, and it doesn't, not in that way. What bothers me is that he sleeps with those girls in my house. That's what bothers me.
"Clarissa," Valentine says. I turn around from my painting. I've been staring at it, trying to figure out what's wrong. It looks too dull. "Jonathan is here."
"I do not wish to speak to him right now," I tell Father. He was the one who set us up, the one that started this nightmare I'm living in. Melodramatic? I think not.
"You must," he insists. "It's important. And you'll live with him soon enough." As if he needs to remind me.I nod slowly. "I realize that, Father, but I do not feel well enough to talk to him at the moment."
"Are you ill?"
"No. His presence just makes me sick."
"Clarissa!" he exclaims, outraged. "How dare you speak like that!"
"Father," I say, "I don't think you realize how much pain he causes me. I am afraid I cannot marry him."
"That is horrible, indeed," Valentine says mockingly. Valentine. He's so clueless. Mother died a few years ago. She was murdered, accused of adultery. She was in love with Luke, a long-time family friend. It kind of broke my heart back then, but now, I think it was for the best. Now they're together someplace else. Someplace happy, unlike here, where they had to hide from the world and from everyone they cared about.
It's just stupid.
"Father, please," I beg. "I do not like him."
"You are going to marry him, and that is final." With that, Father storms out of my room and lets Jace inside. Jace. Such a horrid name.
I hate them—Father and Jace and everyone who is forcing me to be with him. They cannot take me seriously. They will not. How can they be so foolish? Jace will never marry me. He dislikes me, too. He's said it before, that day in the garden, the day I threw him inside the fountain.
Needless to say, Father was not amused.
"Clarissa," a voice says from the door. I turn around, unsurprised to see Jace standing there, leaning against the door, arms crossed over his chest. Always confident. Always annoying.
Always a pain in the a—
"Shall we go for a walk?" he asks me. I bite my lip. There are two options. And the second one is not looking so good right now. I sigh, grab his newly outstretched hand, and walk out my door.
"So, when's the wedding?" Jace asks while we walk through my garden.
"I don't know," I reply. "Hopefully never."
"Why so bitter, Clarissa?" he says, mocking me. Must everyone mock me these days?
I sigh—I seem to be doing that a whole lot lately—and free myself from his grasp. "Well, Jonathan." He hates it when anyone calls him that. "I have to marry you. Enough said."
"Clarissa, I know we have our differences—"
"Understatement," I mutter.
"—but really, we have no choice. Can we just try to be friends?"
In any book, the girl would've said yes. Trying is important, as far as everyone knows. But I can't try if my heart's not in it. I'm not sure anyone understands what that really means, except for me and Isabelle. Well, she kind of does, but kind of does not. The thing is, she ran away with her lover, Simon, and she sends me letters every week. They're doing fine just now. She was supposed to marry Sebastian, a gentleman with money and good looks. But he was kind of like Jace, in a way, only I doubt he was as much as a pain as Jace. I really do.
"No," I say. Trying? Not important for me at the moment.
"No?" He sounds incredulous.
"No," I state firmly.
"Well, then," he says, clearly taken aback by my response. "I should get going. But first, I must meet with your Father and come up with a date for the wedding."
I hate the way he says wedding, like it's a big accomplishment, something he deserves. Now, it's not that I'm the best woman to marry, because I'm not, but I deserve something so much better than him, and he deserves nothing. He needs a new ego, a new heart, and some new friends, if he even has any.
"Alright," I say, and then, without a word, walk up to my room.
I don't know what Jace said to Father, but it must have been really bad, because Father burst into my room an hour later, grabbed me by the arm, and pulled me out. My eyes watered. Everything hurt. Tears flowed down my cheeks as he dragged me outside, to a place I didn't know.
His study. It's where he dragged me to.
He wants me to apologize to Jace.
Apologize! As if.
"No," I say stubbornly, chin lifted. "I will not apologize to this—this man."
"You will be sorry," Father warns.
"Come on, Clarissa," Jace says, and I can practically hear him smirking. I will not look sideways. "It's not much to do. Just say the words. I. Apologize."
Even though it pains me, I say, "No," again.
"Clarissa." Father is growing desperate, frustrated. "I will give you one last change. Apologize."
I know what'll happen if I don't apologize. Jace probably does, too, the bastard. But still. "No," I whisper. Valentine snaps his fingers, and I'm being lifted, high above the ground. I don't complain. I don't mind. It's not the first time it's happened. It was always because of simple things, though. Nothing like this. If it was bad before, I don't know what it'll be like now.
I close my eyes and hope it won't be as bad.
I'm covered in bruises and scars. My reflection stares back at me. My red eyes are haunting. My skin, which is covered in red spots, burns. It burns, and no one cares.
Why should I care?
It's been two days since Jace has come to the house, but there's a knock on the door. See, I've learned to differentiate the knocks from one another. This one, the rough, desperate one, is Jace's. I don't want to open the door, but he keeps knocking. He's very persistent, I'll give him that.
"Clarissa," he says, "I know you're in there! Open the door!"
I wipe my eyes, cover up any exposed skin, and groan as I open the door. "WHAT?" I scream. I need to appear annoyed, not weak and exposed. No. I'm Clarissa Fray, the girl who decided to keep her mother's last name after she died, the girl who insults boys and doesn't have a care in the world.
That's me, Clary Fray.
Everyone calls me Clarissa, except the people that know me.
Jace is looking—no, staring—at me. It's weird. No boy has ever stared at me before, not really, unless you count those perverted boys that have no life and want to get it on with the governor's daughter. The rich girl. The girl with loads of money.
"Are you okay?" he asks me.
"I'm perfect," I say. "How about you?" My voice doesn't crack throughout the time I speak, thankfully.
"No, you're not," Jace says. "You're all down and not annoying me, and not telling me how you don't wanna get married, so there is something wrong."
"Or maybe," I say, "I'm just tired. Ever thought about that, know-it-all?"
"There she is."
"Get out," I growl.
"CLARY!" Our maid, Dorothea, yells. "YOUR FOOD IS READY! DINNER! HURRY!"
"I'M NOT HUNGRY!" I yell back, then look at Jace, and come to a conclusion that he's the reason I'm not hungry.
"YOU NEED TO EAT. YOU HAVE NOT EATEN SINCE—"
"YEAH, WELL, I'M NOT HUNGRY," I snap, even though I do not mean to at all.
"THE YELLING IS ODD!"
"ISN'T IT?" I giggle.
"KEEP COOKING," I say, smiling, then realize Jace is still here, looking at me with an amused expression on his face, and then all I want to say are curse words, but I cannot, because I am a "proper young lady," like Father says, and proper young ladies do not curse.
I roll my eyes at his stupidities all the time.
"There is definitely something wrong with you," Jace says.
"No," I say, angry. "Why would you think that?"
"It's written all over your face," Jace replies, cool, collected, and polite.
He's always the same. I wonder if he ever gets tired of hiding who he is, because I assure you that he is not a proper gentlemen, nor is he a guy who messes around with other girls—sometimes married, often not—as he lets on. He's troubled, somewhere in between.
"No. It is not."
"Will you do me the favor to please get out of my bedroom?" I ask, impatient and frustrated.
"No," he says, suddenly too close to me, his breath hot in my ear. "I do not do favors."
But he leaves anyway. I know he only leaves because there'll come a time when I won't be able to push him away, and all we can do is bring ourselves closer together.
"Dad," I say. "I do not need a man to survive. I am perfectly happy with being a single maid."
"But I'm not," Valentine says. Today is one of the days I call him "Valentine" instead of "Dad," because he's making me royally angry. It's not fair, not at all. "You are a high society girl, Clarissa. You must start acting like one."
"No buts," he says. "Come on. We're having dinner with Jonathan's parents tonight here. Wear something pretty."
I look down at my very simple outfit, then back at Valentine, then back at the dress. "What's wrong with this one?"
He gapes at me. "Everything. Now go change."
"Fine, then." I scoff, stomp away, and when I'm upstairs in my room I almost start to cry. It's like it all hits me at once, like a bucket of water, like something from a movie or something that just isn't real. But it is. Apparently, I'm getting married in three weeks. Three. Weeks.
I cannot get married, much less in three weeks!
Tears flow down my cheeks. There are no sobs, just tears. It's barely happened to me before. I just take deep breaths and wipe the tears. That is all.
But this is different. I'm bawling because I lost my freedom to everything and oh, god, so many people have had to go through this! But they haven't wanted to be free as much as I! What can I do?
I do not know.
I sigh. There is no getting out of this. I do not know when that idea got through my mind, but it did, just now, I believe. And there's a point. I shall get married to Jace, whether I like it or not, whether it kills me or not.
I roll my eyes at my own dramatic words, even though they were not spoken out loud.
"Dorothea!" I call out. Seconds later, she is here. "Bring me some tea. Oh, and we're going dress shopping in a few."
I do not understand why Clarissa does not want to marry me.
I guess, in a way, it is understandable. I'm not the nicest man out there, and I know it. It's kind of what I let on, and it's not too far away from the truth. I am Jonathan Wayland, son of Stephen and Celine. I have my own last name, but their money. I have everything.
Which is why Clary's dad wants me to marry her.
I don't despise the girl. It's quite amusing to see how much she despises me, though. And she does—despise me, that is. She will never like me. It's just improbable.
"Jonathan," Stephen says, patting my shoulder. "We must go to Clarissa's house now."
"I'm almost ready, Father." I grabthe ring I have for Clarissa, a gift from Stephen, and go out the door.
I despise him. My father, that is. I don't know why or when it started, but I just do. Maybe it's because he hit me—a lot. He beat me up a lot when I was a kid, and he still does, now and then. It's why I want to marry Clary, to live somewhere I cannot be hit or anything.
And because she seems like an amazing girl.
Did I really just think that?
I curse mentally all the way to the carriage. Once we're inside, I sit down opposite from my parents. My mother inspects me.
"Dear," she says. "Couldn't you have picked a better outfit?"
"No," I reply bluntly.
She narrows her eyes. I messed up, and I know it.
"Jonathan Herondale," she says, and I flinch. She never calls me by my real name.
"Wayland," I correct.
"Herondale," she says, and it is just to annoy me.
"Do you want me to break off my engagement?"
"You wouldn't," she hisses.
"Jonathan Wayland," she says, and I can tell it pains her. "Don't talk back."
"I will if I want to," I say.
She can't slap me now, because then I'd have to explain to Clary and her family why I have a red mark on my face. She huffs, then proceeds to look out the window, completely ignoring me. Good. It's what I want.
We arrive at Clary's house shortly afterward. I'm nervous, for some reason. This is a bad idea, the whole marriage. It's more than just a bit crazy.
"You made it!" Valentine greets us at the front door, Clary behind him. She looks stunning in her olive green dress. It's simple, yet elegant, kind of like her. I bet Valentine did not approve of the dress. Knowing him, he would've preferred she wore a more provocative gown. I smirk. She did not. I should be offended, maybe even disappointed, but I'm not.
What is this girl doing to me?
Here's the thing: I don't know her very well. I know about her mom, about Lucian, and about her father and what he does. But I don't know her. I know she doesn't like me, likes simplicity, and that she's a rebel at heart. But I know these things from Valentine, except for the first one. I want to get to know her. I want to hear what she likes, but I want her to tell me, not someone else.
"So," Clary says, and it takes me a moment to realize that she's speaking to me. We're outside, alone. "What is on your mind?"
"You," I blurt out without thinking. "I mean, everything about the marriage, including Valentine."
"Yeah," she says, and rolls her sleeves up. It's not too cold outside, since it's barely fall, just barely. But I see the red marks.
"Clary," I say, and her eyebrows rise. I've never called her that, but it doesn't matter. "Why do you have red marks on your arms?"
She blushes a deep shade of red and covers them again. "Nothing."
"It's something," I insist.
"No, it isn't. Listen, Jace—"
"No, you listen," I say. "What happened? Answer me."
"There is something going on."
"No," she replies. "There is not. Jace, please, stop it."
"Valentine," I say. It all makes sense now. "He hits you."
"No," she says, growing redder by the minute.
"I am so sorry," I say, and then, without thinking, I pull her into a hug. She stiffens, but relaxes after awhile, and we just stand outside, hugging. I know that Valentine and my parents would be happy if they saw this, but I don't care. What matters is that we're happy.
"Jace," she says. "We need to go inside."
"No," I say. "Let's take a walk."
"Who knew you had a good side?" she says, and I completely ignore her. I take her hand, and we start walking.
"Does this walk have a point?" she asks me.
"I want to get to know you," I say.
"What's your favorite color?" I ask. She grins.
"Black. Why are you wearing a green gown if it is not your favorite color?"
She stiffens again. "Father said it looked better."
"Oh." We fall quiet after that.
"So," she says. "This is nice."
"I guess," I say with a shrug. "I did not think you'd like it."
"You don't like me," I elaborate.
"I like you now," she says. We stop. We look at each other for a long time, but not too long, just the right time, and then I press her lips to mine. It's a beautiful night, with a beautiful girl, a girl who I'm getting married to, a girl I'm kissing. A girl that knows me like no one, even though she doesn't completely.
"That didn't make me throw up," Clary says with a grin. "It was good."
We kiss again.
It's kind of hard to believe it has been three weeks since Clary and I shared our first kiss. We've shared others. She still doesn't completely like me, but it's a step up from hate. Which is good.
"Dorothea," I say, grunting as the old woman keeps tugging at my coat. "Stop that. It fits, alright?"
She smirks. "I do not just want it to fit. It must be perfect. This is Clary's wedding."
"Aren't you supposed to be obeying me?" I say with a scowl.
Her smirk widens. "Oh, no. I'm obeying Clary's orders. She wants you to look perfect. Now that you're friends…well, I don't want to make you look bad."
"Friends?" I echo.
"Yes." She tugs at my coat once again, then pats my back. "Listen, Wayland. I—I just want to see her happy. And I know you care about her. You need to wait. Be patient. Just try, okay? She'll love you."
I'm shocked, to say the least. Dorothea knows this? She knows Clary will love her?
She cuts me off by saying, "Yes you do, Jace. You care, and you love her."
"Not yet," I add.
"But you will, and she'll love you. It'll be hard. It is marriage."
With that, she curtsies and walks out of the room. I'm left thinking about Clary, the girl I'm going to marry in two days, the girl I'm spending the rest of my life with.
It's the day of my wedding.
I am in my room. I'm supposed to be getting dressed, but I told Dorothea I needed some alone time. Now, I'm with my writing pad, in my bed.
I want to write this so I won't forget how I felt before. I didn't like Jace Wayland. A month ago, I despised him. I despised him a year ago, when I first met him. I despised him three months ago, when our engagement was arranged. I despised him three weeks ago. In a way, believe it or not, I still despise him. It is the day of my wedding, the day I will marry Jace Wayland against my will. I feel like a prisoner, but then I also know feeling that way is unfair. Jace is not evil. He is the guy I like. Have you ever hated a person, but liked them at the same time? I don't hate him anymore. I do not dislike him, either, at least not completely. I don't love him. I don't completely like him. My feelings for him are somewhere in between. They're complicated. But I know this: Jace makes me laugh, smile, giggle, snort, and other things that Valentine finds improper. He makes my heart beat faster, my cheeks go red, and my head spin. He makes me feel alive. He likes my paintings. "I want you to paint us, together," he told me a week ago, then planted a kiss on my cheek. "I want us to be happy." Does he? He is a very complicated man. And yes, I am a very complicated girl. When I told Dorothea, she smiled. She said, "You'll love him, Clary. He'll be good for you, and you'll be good for you." And I can only hope she's right. I can only hope Jace will make me a better person, and that I'll return the favor. I can only hope he'll love me, and I him. This is why I'm writing this. Maybe, in twenty years, I'll find this and read it to my children. I'll say, "This is how I felt about life before I married your daddy!" Maybe it'll be a good thing for me to say that. Maybe I'll be a better person, less selfish. I hope so. I hope I'll get to be somebody else, somebody better. Until then, all I have is this. -Clary
Maybe this is silly. Maybe I should not write it down, all of it. But now I'm kind of happy I'm writing this, because I know I'll change my mind in years about what is written here.
Sometimes, I get this feeling. It's kind of strange. I get butterflies whenever I'm going to see him—and that is an understatement, because I do not get butterflies, I get bats.
I didn't like Jace Wayland.
A month ago, I despised him. I despised him a year ago, when I first met him. I despised him three months ago, when our engagement was arranged. I despised him three weeks ago.
In a way, believe it or not, I still despise him.
It is the day of my wedding, the day I will marry Jace Wayland against my will. I feel like a prisoner, but then I also know feeling that way is unfair. Jace is not evil. He is the guy I like.
Have you ever hated a person, but liked them at the same time?
I don't hate him anymore. I do not dislike him, either, at least not completely. I don't love him. I don't completely like him. My feelings for him are somewhere in between. They're complicated. But I know this: Jace makes me laugh, smile, giggle, snort, and other things that Valentine finds improper. He makes my heart beat faster, my cheeks go red, and my head spin. He makes me feel alive. He likes my paintings.
"I want you to paint us, together," he told me a week ago, then planted a kiss on my cheek. "I want us to be happy."
Does he? He is a very complicated man. And yes, I am a very complicated girl.
When I told Dorothea, she smiled. She said, "You'll love him, Clary. He'll be good for you, and you'll be good for you."
And I can only hope she's right. I can only hope Jace will make me a better person, and that I'll return the favor. I can only hope he'll love me, and I him.
This is why I'm writing this. Maybe, in twenty years, I'll find this and read it to my children. I'll say, "This is how I felt about life before I married your daddy!" Maybe it'll be a good thing for me to say that. Maybe I'll be a better person, less selfish. I hope so. I hope I'll get to be somebody else, somebody better.
Until then, all I have is this.