She beamed, glancing up into his handsome face. Gracefully, he glided the 14 carat, cubic zirconia, marquise cut wedding ring onto her finger and cupped her hand in his as he leaned forward kissing the tops of her knuckles lightly. Her eyes burned bright yellow in the sun and flashed a sparkling gold with each tearful blink. Joy overcame her on this, the most wonderful day of her life. Her prince charming before her. Tall… sturdy… beautiful. Delightful sighs of glee and satisfaction were a norm these days when observing her man. The way his muscles moved against his shirt every time he reached for the top shelf. The way his short jet black locks often drooped onto his forehead when he leaned down to kiss her. The furrowed brow he carried when concentrating. So stern, so serious, and yet he possessed the sweetest smile. A soft side that hugged her so close. She had never felt so safe. Her Prince. She, his petite Princess.
They had only known each other a couple of weeks. The meet cute had happened on a cool spring morning. Aria, wrapped in a slick black coat, walked anxiously against the wind, her eyes a dull grey as she thought of another long day of taking orders and running errands. 3 Grande triple shot mocha lattes, 5 espressos macchiatos, and 2 Venti cappuccinos extra dry, she whispered to herself. Just as was expected every morning.
One side of her bright red scarf danced unevenly over her shoulder as gusts of brisk breezes pushed past her. She steadied the lumbering cardboard cup holders in both hands, her tiny arms wavering with strain as she crossed the street. On this particular morning Aria had been running late, just like Ben C. Harming. With this, faith was set in motion.
She thought she could make it. She thought she could scuttle across the main street quickly before any cars caught up to her. She steadied the coffees once more and went as fast as her kitten heals could take her. At that time, Ben glanced at his watch and gunned the 3.5L V-6 573hp hybrid gas twin turbo engine into overdrive. He wasn’t the type to be late and the calibrated horsepower was expected to get him to the office in time, were it not for a sudden flicker of red. Ben slammed on the breaks, the polished white sports car screeching to a stop.
As the tire smoke cleared he starred angrily through his windshield. Gazing back at him with deep black pupils, Aria stood shivering in shock, the coffee now coating the hood of the car. Ben’s expression softened seeing the fear oozing from beautiful features. He stepped out of the vehicle and Aria jolted back into reality, apologising profusely, using her scarf to try and soak up some of the spilt coffee. A slow twitching smile grew on his face as he sized up the clumsily awkward woman in front of him. Why was she barefoot? His eyebrows furrowed as he noticed she was only wearing one heel. Glancing around he spotted the other, she must have stepped out of during the whole ordeal. Subtly he retrieved the shoe and knelt down beside her.
Aria stopped, her heart pounding in her ears. With her chest heaving she blinked down at him, not comprehending what he was doing on the ground. He held up the shoe and her cheeks flushed a bright pink, her eyes widening as a wash of amber flickered in them. She was mortified.
It made for an excellent story at Ben’s never ending work functions and cocktail parties. They made the rounds flaunting their new love, his hand placed firmly on the small of her back all night. A territorial charm that festered unnoticeably until he put a ring on it, not long after the met.
It was the perfect wedding. The smell of money hung boastingly in the air. Guest left envious as the perfect couple joined in life and love. Their minds planning out the newlyweds future. A big house, perfect bouncing baby soon to come, summers in the Hamptons… a happily ever after in deed.
Aria knelt down in front of the washing machine. She started flinging the white shirts in, one by one. Each one of his shirt still perfectly white, even after having spent a full day in them. Desperately she shuffled through the shirts, begging for one mistake. She shook her head, despising her perfectionist husband. The husband that despised her for not being perfect.
You see, she was unable to bare his children and with that he saw her body as abnormal. Not right. Not perfect. But a divorce was out of the question. That would have meant that they weren’t the perfectly happy couple everyone chocked them up to being. It had never been about love, it had been about the image. The instagram type of love life, if you will. All smiles and longing looks on the surface, while Aira had turned to booze and Ben had turned to other women. She suspected it, but her husband was never one to slip up.
She sat amongst the white shirts. The center of her prison of a marriage. Aria thought of what she would tell her friends at lunch tomorrow. She did enjoy their envious “uuuh’s and aaaah’s” as they listened intently to her fabricated stories of romance and expensive champagne. She yearned for the to be accepted, loved, liked. If not by her husband, then anyone.
She glanced down and suddenly spotting the faintest of red marks on one of his collars. She grabbed the shirt and held it close to her face, examining the smudge. Aria couldn’t help but smile. Grinning wide as the laughter started bubbling up to the surface. Finally she had found a mistake. His mistake.