Two Sides of a Coin
- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Lisa Gold
Malia turned slowly and stared at her sister, Amanda. It was almost dawn, meaning that it was almost time for the most important ceremony of her life - her marriage.
"Uh huh," Malia said, her mind miles and miles away from her situation. She heard Amanda sigh but it sounded very faint.
"Why do I feel like you're numb right now?"
Malia rose to her feet and began to pace the floors of her luxury hotel room. "Maybe because I am?"
Amanda shook her head and rose to her feet. She grabbed Malia by the shoulders, forcing her sister to pause in her tracks. Amanda stared into Malia's blue eyes which looked very vacant.
"You'll be fine. I know this."
Malia scoffed. Then she began to laugh. "Are you joking?! I'm about to be married off to a man I had no idea existed until what....three hours ago?!"
"I know this...."
"And you stand here and tell me that I will be okay?! What the heck does that even mean?!"
"Yup! I knew it. You were too calm to be okay."
Malia sighed heavily, lowering her head. Her long black hair fell over her face in long lush waves of black ink. She hugged herself, slowly rocking on the heels of her feet. "I don't know, Amy. I don't know what to do."
Amanda felt her heart break. She desperately wanted to help out her sister, but there was only so much they could do against their father. His word was final, and he often didn't think about anyone but himself. Amanda was truly shocked to hear that Malia would suffer a fate as cruel as being forcefully married off. This was because Malia was the one out of both of them who was a perfect obedient daughter, never spoke out of turn, and never went against their father.
He was truly a cruel father.
Malia groaned out loud and rose to her full height. "It's so boring here! Let's play some music!" She grabbed her phone from the bed and began playing an upbeat song. "That's more like it!" She screamed at the top of her lungs, moving her body to the beat.
"Yup, you'll definitely be okay," Amanda said more to herself. She joined her sister in dancing and celebrating. Life was shitty, but they always found a way.
Three knocks sounded on the door, interrupting the sisters' fun time.
"Who is it?!" Malia shouted, lowering the music.
"Darling," The sisters jumped upon hearing their father's booming voice on the other side of the door. Malia ran to the door and threw it open. In the doorway stood Aaron Stone, flanked by stylists. He was a tall man, with a dignified look and graying hair.
"Father," Malia said, a bit breathlessly. "Why are you here?"
Aaron laughed loudly, a deep rich sound. "Why, to see my daughters of course!"
"Are you here to tell us that Malia doesn't have to get married anymore?!" Amanda shouted, coming up beside her sister. Aaron's face twisted into a frown
"What? Of course not. Where did you get that idea?"
Amanda shrugged, meeting her father's icy blue gaze squarely and without fear. "I dunno, maybe something whispered to me that maybe you still have some human sympathy in there." Her tone was biting and cold.
"Amanda..." Malia said, already sensing storm clouds.
"Now is not the time," Aaron said sternly, glaring at Amanda. He turned to Malia and smiled brightly, a gesture that looked forced. "Get ready darling, the ceremony starts soon." He turned to the stylist, nodded, and walked out.
"What a dad," Amanda grumbled under her breath, glaring at his back till he vanished from sight.
Concealing her hurt, Malia put on a bright smile and faced the stylists. There were two of them, staring at her with a mixture of awe and pity.
"Please," She said. "Come in."
"Thank you." They said and walked into the hotel room.
Malia turned to Amanda. "That was unnecessary, you know that."
"I was looking out for you."
"You know his word is final, he can never change his mind."
Amanda rolled her eyes and walked away to help the stylists set up their materials. Malia joined them. They began work on her hair and makeup. As their skilled fingers worked, Amanda was saying something in the background. Malia slowly zoned out. Their words became muffled as she stared into her reflection in front of the mirror. All she could see was a sad bride.
She wanted to run.
But she couldn't. Something bigger than her chained itself around her neck, pinning her to the chair. She watched as her hair was made into a bridal plait, adorned with headpins of gems - rubies, diamonds, emeralds, all gifts from her father. She watched as her makeup was applied layer by layer, her lips stained red as cherries. She realized she was craving a chocolate bar, maybe a cherry-flavored chocolate bar. Amanda helped her into her wedding gown and held her shoes for her as she slipped her dainty feet into them.
Malia stared at her full-length reflection in the mirror. She looked exactly as she had imagined so many years ago, young, beautiful, and about to be wed to the love of her life. Except she wasn't, she didn't even know her husband. She felt bile rise in her throat and she swallowed forcefully. Her palms felt sweaty and hot. Her stomach fluttered with nerves, she began to breathe through her mouth. Before she knew it tears were clouding her eyes.
"Malia?" Amanda called out, concern in her voice.
Malia covered her face with her hands, her body shook with sobs. She began to cry uncontrollably.
"Oh no, you'll ruin your makeup!" One of the stylists said and rushed to her side, cradling her shoulders. Malia shook her off and reached for her sister. Amanda held her close, rubbing her shoulders.
"I'm so scared!" Malia cried, her voice ringing out through the room. "Amanda I'm scared! What am I going to do?!"
Amanda bit her lip to prevent herself from crying. "It's okay, you've got this. You'll be a wonderful wife." She didn't know what else to say, her heart was breaking. And all she wanted to do was shake her father till he called off the wedding.
Malia cried for a minute and stopped. She raised her head in a start, scaring the stylists. "Redo my makeup," She said. "I'll be late."
Amanda exchanged a look with the stylists, silently telling them to obey. They began to redo Malia's makeup silently, exchanging worried glances between themselves.
Malia stared at her reflection, she felt her eyes harden. She would do this because that's what she did. She got things done. Because she was Malia Stone, it was her identity. If it was going to benefit her family, she would do it in a heartbeat. There was no time to whine and cry like a baby. It was time for action.