Book cover of “That Problematic Ring“ by Ficrom

That Problematic Ring

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Ficrom
Freya Daniella Howard, the first heir of Howard Constructions, is in ‎love with her boyfriend ‎Benjamin but is scared to tell her parents ‎because she knows Benjamin will not meet ‎their expectations. When her ‎mother asks who she is dating, she, without much thought, says her best ‎friend's ‎name - Rafael. ‎ Rafael, the sole heir of Eastmond B... 

Chapter 1

I see myself in a white bridal gown, standing against my dresser's mirror. I softly touch my glowing hair, then my face. The dress is mermaid style, elegantly defining my curves. It is fitted from above then loosely drapes down, leaving a long tail behind me. The broad round neckline is adorned with small diamonds. They are possibly real.

My reflection as a bride makes me cry. I lower my head and silently sob. My wedding wasn't supposed to be like this. Mom and Dad have really crossed all the limits.

I'm unable to get hold of Rafe. I don't even know whether he knows about our wedding or not, whether he'll come today or not. I'm doubtful that it's the latter. I only know that he was on some business trip and that he has been ignoring my calls. I can imagine what he would be going through.

I grab my phone and again make a futile attempt to get in touch with Benjamin. At this point, I'm not blaming anyone for anything but myself. Everything is my fault.

I type him a message.

"Are you still angry with me? Talk to me, please."

I send it and clutch my phone in my hand. If Ben wouldn't have left my side, I wouldn't be trapped here. I swear if he would right now offer me to run away with him, I would accept it. I don't want to think about the prestige of my crazy family anymore.

"Hey sis, I'm coming inside." My fifteen year old, younger sister peeks inside my room, then steps in and closes the door.

"Geez. You're looking prett—wait...are you crying?" Her eyes stop at my face.

I look away.

"You'll ruin your makeup. You're looking pretty."

"Mia, I know you're too young to know about my foolish acts. I'm indeed a bad influence, but you should know that Rafe is not going to come today." I sniffle.

"Did he tell you by himself?" Panic flashes on her face.

"No. He's not taking my calls, but I'm sure. He is not going to take responsibility for my lies. It's my doing."

"Our parents didn't get any info about him yet so let's see what happens." She tries to stay calm.

Mom and Dad were afraid of humiliation and that is why they didn't listen to me. But now they will have to bear more severe contempt when their daughter will be left alone on an aisle.

"I'm scared for you, Freya." Mia grabs my arm, "Rafe is good, handsome and nice. I like him and I think you both make a perfect couple so you should try seeing him as your husband."

My lips curve up into a sad smile at her attempt of acting like a grown-up. "I told you everything. Rafe is not the one who gave me the ring. We never thought of each other romantically and he has a girlfriend. He loves her."

I wonder if his girlfriend Mona found out about our wedding as well? Did Rafe bear a break up too?

I'll never forgive myself.

"I'm so sorry for you, big sis." She embraces me into a hug, "You're going through a lot. I wish I could do something for you."

I rest my head on her shoulder, holding back my tears. I'm scared.

Mom breaks into my room. I wipe the water from my face before she can see me. Mia releases me.

"Girls, are you ready? The car is waiting outside for our bride."

I swallow the saliva. Sweat appears on my forehead, "Mom." My voice is shaky and weak just like my heart, "Did Rafe reach there?"

She muses, "I don't think so. His parents would have mentioned it on call about his arrival, but they said guests are already there and they are waiting for the bride."

Their groom won't come. I'm certain.

Her face flashes a smile, "Now be quick, you two. We'll be late."

Mia gives me one last despairing look. I weakly nod and she goes ahead. I feel imprisoned by my fear, forcing my trembling legs to move.

Thankfully Mom comes beside me and gives a light push to me by putting her hand on my back. I let her make me walk forward because my own limbs feel lifeless.

"My Freya, I wish you a blessed married life."

I've put a curse on my own marriage. It can never be blessed, Mom.

...

As soon as I step out of the car, I see smiling, exciting faces run to me, including my bridesmaids. Most of them are my cousins. Some people start clicking my pictures, some wave their hands at me. I just pass a mere nod to everyone. My bridesmaids take care of my dress and offer me a bouquet of white roses.

After every few minutes I press my chapped lips into a thin line and stiff my body to fight back the rising panic. I don't even know why I'm doing this? To save my family's prestige? To punish myself or just try my luck?

I guess the answer to all those questions is yes. And what if, just what if this marriage would happen? What would I and Rafe do about it? We can't survive it. My stomach churns at this thought.

I gaze around. Gloom sweeps through me as I look at the celebrating environment, floral arrangements and whimsical lights and decors.

I also dreamt of my wedding. I planned a wedding with my love Ben in my head. I thought I would design my wedding event according to my favorites, but all this has turned upside down.

Nothing is here according to my choice, not even the groom. I can't believe I'm a bride of that man whom I have never even considered as the opposite sex. We were literally and innocently just friends.

The bridesmaids take me to the rooftop where my wedding event is going to take place, saving me from reporters and enthusiastic guests. It seems like Mom and Dad have invited thousands of people. I'm seeing people in every corner.

Well, they have dug their own grave. When they will be humiliated in front of the whole town, they will understand what I have gone through because of them.

"Lucky you, cousin. I should congratulate you. Your wedding is dreamy." Garrett, my bridesmaid and my cousin says, touching my tendrils.

I move away my head from her touch because it irritates me. She irritates me. Mom always tests my patience. She knows I don't like my cousins yet she made them my bridesmaids.

"I'm not a bad person or else I would've stolen Rafe from you." She blabbers.

Please do so. I won't mind.

I mentally answer her.

"I understand now why he never responded to my flirts. You guys were secretly dating."

I hiss aloud to show her my irritation. She frowns in confusion. I leave her behind and move forward with other cousins.

I stand just at the other side of the closed doors, waiting for it to be opened. The bridesmaids leave my side and Dad takes their place, linking his hand with mine. Mia joins me from the other side. She squeezes my hand and I just give her a helpless look.

"Nicholas, I'm unable to connect to Rafe." I hear Rafe's father whispering to Dad. My blood runs cold.

"I guess we have to delay the wedding. I think he's stuck in traffic or something."

Dad turns to him, "But Freya is about to make an entrance. She can't wait for him on stage."

"We have no option. I'm calling him continuously. Don't worry. He'll be here soon." He comforts Dad.

I remain frozen. Dad unwillingly gives a pull to my arm and I start walking. Doors open and I see another massive, happy crowd in fancy attires. They turn their heads at me and cheer. I clutch the bouquet in my hands to the last level, probably breaking some of its delicate stems.

"Keep walking, Freya." Dad whispers to me and pulls my hand. He makes me walk forward.

I see the priest there on stage waiting for us. Groom is not here. The stage is empty. I blink my eyes to clear my vision. It doesn't help. They have turned misty and made me see double heads.

Dad leaves my arm once we reach the end of the aisle, but Mia stays beside me. Rafe and my parents get together and talk in private. It would be of course about the absent groom.

"Should we tell them?" Mia asks, close to my ear.

"I tried during the last few days. They're not going to believe me. For them I'm foolish and stupid."

As some time passes, I notice restlessness among the guests. They look confused and curious at the same time. I put aside my bouquet. Mia arranges a chair for me so I settle down there at one corner of the stage.

Mom comes to me. The fear has made her look pale, "Freya, Rafe is still not here. We are unable to reach him. He's not taking anyone's call. Do you have any idea about him?"

I just shake my head, too overwhelmed.

"Oh God." She says and then leaves again.

His absence is expressing his anger and rebellion. He wants to punish me through humiliation, through turning my wedding fantasies into agonies. After today people will remember me as a bride who was left alone at her own wedding.

I became a disgrace for the Howard family. Their public image will be ruined. I can't even blame my parents for it because I was the one who started this. If I wouldn't be lost in my traumas and put an eye on Mom and Dad, I would have stopped them when they started planning my wedding.

"There is no end to Rafe's carelessness." Rafe's father says out of frustration.

"We can't be sure. I hope he's alright." Dad comforts him.

Mom intervenes, "How will we handle our guests? People are already asking questions. My daughter's image is at stake."

"I'm sorry, Amanda." Rafe's mother responds with remorse, "He said he's flight is landing today. I'm sure he would've had a valid explanation. My Rafe can never be this cruel. He understands the matters of family honor."

"It's an hour already. My daughter has been waiting for an hour." Mom cries.

I observe the number of their guests start shrinking. Few families have already left, but reporters with their cameras are still there, recording each and everything.

The priest breaks his silence after some time, "It's a bad omen if a bride or groom doesn't come on time. I should leave too. We should now call off the ceremony."

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