Ooooh my new story! I'm taking a break (again) from The Angels Project to write this much more ligth hearted romance/comedy which I hope you'll enjoy (especially those who's familiar with my other work, TAP). And yes, yes, I'll definitely update TAP soo, so don't get mad please
ps. The rating of this story might change to M in the later chapter
Chapter One: The Marriage
Dad actually put sixteen candles on my birthday cake that he especially made, which I do hope that I wouldn't get food poisoning from after consuming. Dad and my next door neighbors, the Cleavers—consisting of childhood friend and life-long crush Nick, and his dad, who is my Dad's best bud—ganged up on me so early in the morning and made me blow all sixteen candles out in one go so that my birthday wish would come true (who in the world set this rule, by the way?). I nearly passed out. It was sweet of them, really, but I seriously wouldn't mind if they decided to hold my birthday celebration slightly later in the afternoon, or at night, when I wasn't half-asleep and feeling like I would die of embarrassment to be seen with messy hair and dry saliva on my chin by my beloved.
But the again, I guessed he didn't see it—or didn't care. He was probably half-asleep himself. Why, it wasn't the first time I saw him staring longingly at my bed, and it wasn't even because he wanted to put me on top of it (ha! I wish).
Oh well, at least it was good to feel loved in the bosom of one's family like this (I do not seem to have inherited the family bosom—yet. So perhaps, I should get a chest expander, or just a padded bra…). And guess what my oh-so-loving family gave me for my birthday?
A marriage certificate.
Yep, you read it right: a marriage certificate. I almost passed out again, and I wasn't even blowing any damn, pink-and-blue candle this time.
It was extremely uncool to pass out in front of the man of your life, you see, so I tried to smile at my Dad and Mr. Cleaver instead, asking them politely what in the arse do they think they are joking? And with equally bright smile and politeness, they announced loudly that the marriage certificate belongs to none other than Nick and me.
Nick choked on the cake and had to beat his chest frantically with his fist, while I stared open-mouthed at them in disbelief. I mean, I thought it was bizarre enough to get your own personal theme park for a birthday present, like what my super rich best friend Chloe got on her own sixteenth birthday (her father swore he didn't get the idea from Michael Jackson, though), but a marriage certificate? With the love of your life?
I honestly didn't know whether I should hug both Dad and Mr. Cleaver in joy for marrying me with the boy I had a crush on since, like, forever, or to weep in grief of being wed at such a young age. I mean, seriously, just how many high-schoolers in New York are married at sixteen? I thought only those unlucky bimbos who had unprotected, pre-marital sex would get married this early. And I should have said that they are lucky instead since their boyfriends didn't abandon them and all.
It was at the tip of my tongue to protest their decision, but I made the mistake of glancing at Nick. It was only seven in the morning but he already smelled so nice, and looked so good in his jeans and polo shirt it was hard to stop myself from salivating after him (okay, this was a bit gross, but still). Especially now that he had finally woken up at the mention of the marriage certificate, he looked so handsome that my heart swelled with love for him, and I found myself swallowing whatever protest that I wanted to throw earlier at my—and his—parents.
Maybe, this marriage wasn't really a bad idea. After all, it's Nick whom I am marrying. Nick! Nick Cleaver! The boy with eyes the color of a sea after a storm and hair more brown than my birthday chocolate cake. The boy whom I had been together with for as long as my life itself. The boy who I had fallen madly in love with ever since I reached puberty. The boy who I definitely wouldn't mind spending my days with for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, he didn't seem to think so.
"Dad, what kind of crazy prank do you think this is?" he shouted angrily at Mr. Cleaver, who was still smiling gleefully, "April's Fool won't be due until ten months later!"
Mr. Cleaver calmly rested his hand on his son's shoulder. "Relax, this isn't any April's Fool. You and Magenta are really married!"
My jaw dropped even further. Mr. Cleaver was actually telling Nick to relax because the marriage wasn't any joke? He really was Dad's best friend; both of them were absolutely crazy.
"But Mr. Cleaver, where did you…" I stuttered, finding myself at the lost of words finally when everyone in the room was paying me their full attention, "I mean, how did…"
Thank God Dad decided to take over, "Magenta, do you remember us saying about the new project we got?"
I nodded, recalling perfectly well how those two always gushed about a certain gigantic theme park to be build somewhere in Japan that they got to design. Well, both Mr. Cleaver and Dad were architects specialized in designing theme parks (Chloe's private theme park was one of their designs too).
"Okay, so you two are going to Japan?" I asked uncertainly.
"Yes, and we can't take you two along, that's the problem!" agreed Mr. Cleaver, although I couldn't really, er, see what was the problem with that.
"Magenta, both you and Nick are in high school now," explained Dad, "Josh and I want you to concentrate on your studies here. And as you know perfectly well yourself, you haven't got any relatives here in America, so…"
"Yes?" I still couldn't see what was the problem.
Dad gave me the happiest, brightest smile. "So, if you two are married, you can live together without us worrying over you! And anyway, people wouldn't gossip over two teenagers living together since you two are officially husband and wife. Isn't that great?"
No, at least, for Nick, it wasn't. Great, I mean.
He was still trying to argue with Dad and Mr. Cleaver. "Mr. Williams, I think I'm capable of taking care of myself, so if you two really can't take us along, you don't need to go to all the trouble to marry us off!"
"But Nick, I'll be so worried to let my little girl live on her own," Dad said to Nick as if he was his son too, "And anyway, we've always wanted the two of you to get married, so…"
"But—" Nick was interrupted by Mr. Cleaver who had gripped his shoulder and turned his body to face him.
"Nick," he said, practically begging him, "This is what your mother would wish too. Please just grant us this one wish, okay?"
Nick was speechless. He always was whenever someone mentioned his mom. Like me, Nick's mom passed away a long time ago too, but unlike Nick's, my mom died giving birth to me so I didn't really know and miss her much. It must have been harder for Nick to acknowledge his mother's death since he had had memories of her.
Dad and Mr. Cleaver—no, Dad and Dad (Mr. Cleaver insisted me to call him that from today onwards) took Nick's sudden silence as a sign of agreement of the marriage and proceed to tell us about the new house that Nick and I had to move to (Dad had a friend living in an apartment we were going to move to who would be watching over us).
I glanced over at Nick again. He was still stoned. His reaction left me wondering if he really hated the idea of marrying me that much. I mean, was I really that sexually repulsive? I knew it was extremely wacky to get married at sixteen (moreover, it was a forced marriage) but he was my childhood friend! We had always been doing things together; going to the same elementary, junior high, and senior high school, went to a family picnic or having barbeque together. For all those years, not once did he show a sign of disgust or hatred towards me. Okay, maybe once when we were three and I accidentally bit off the head of his favorite teddy bear with my itchy teeth, or maybe when we were five and I unintentionally pulled down his short as I was trying to hold on something to stop myself from slipping down. But those incidents happened so long ago! He couldn't have held a grudge on me until now, could he?
"All right then, now that's solved, we should get ready, Frank!" chirped my father-in-law.
"Ready for what?" I asked.
"Ready to go to the airport, of course!" replied father-in-law incredulously, "Our flight to Japan is tonight!"
"What?!" exclaimed Nick, who had suddenly snapped out of his reverie, and I in unison.
"Well, you'll be moving to your new apartment tonight too," added father-in-law, "So why don't you run along and get ready?"
"Mr. Cleaver, er, I mean, Dad, don't you think it's a bit rushed?" I asked absentmindedly as he handed me something, "We still got school tomorrow, you know."
Father-in-law patted my head. "Yes I know, dear, but we want this news to be a surprise for you!"
I sighed, feeling completely defeated. I just couldn't seem to handle my two psychotic dads.
"Oh, by the way," Dad said as he and father-in-law walked out of the room, "The document in your hand is your marriage certificate. Don't lose it, okay?"
I stared at them for a second then looked down on the piece of paper on my hand in awe, thinking, Oh my God, this was the prove of my marriage to Nick! My marriage to Nick!
"What the hell!" shouted Nick, who I hadn't noticed had crept out from behind me to take a look at the certificate too, "When did those two old men get our thumbprints on the paper?"
"Thumbprints?" I asked, confused.
He pointed towards the space below our name, where two dark blue thumbprints could be seen.
Oh my God, my Dad and father-in-law were SO going to go to jail.
"I still can't believe it!" grumbled Nick as he munched on his pizza, "Those two have honestly go out of line."
My thoughts exactly. Who would have guessed that Dad had gotten my thumbprint without my knowledge (when I was sleeping at night, to be exact) on that marriage certificate? Father-in-law had done the same to Nick too. They wre lucky for having such reasonable children like us. If not, they would be spending a few nights in prison for what they had done.
"In any case," Nick's voice brought me out of my angry thoughts, "Now that that's done, there's nothing we can do."
I looked up at him, feeling extremely shy out of a sudden. After all, this was our first night as a married couple. We had just moved to our new apartment (it was so small if compared to my old house; one bed-room, one bathroom, living room and kitchen, that's all), and we could only manage to unpack one fourth of our things by dinnertime. The kitchen wasn't even ready yet, so we had to order take-away pizza.
"Um, Nick," I mumbled, feeling my face starting to turn red, "is this really okay with you? Staying with me, I mean."
He glanced at me before taking his fourth piece of Hawaiian pizza. "Well, it's not like I've got a choice. Why?"
I dropped my gaze.
Why? 'Why', he asked? Of course it was because I am in love with him, that's why I was worried if he loves me or not! So far, he had been treating this marriage as nothing but a pain on his butt, so of course I was anxious! I am a woman, after all. I wanted to have a blissful marriage with the man that I love (which is him). But he had never shown any sign of loving—not even liking—me so far, so what was I supposed to do? As much as I love him, I still couldn't just force him to be my husband, could I? I was not that desperate, you know.
"But Nick, you don't have to force yourself for my sake," I began, knowing fully well that I was going to regret what I would say to him, "You can go and live with your aunt, if you want to. My Dad has no right to force you to be my husband."
He looked at me, expressionless. No, it wasn't because he was shocked or anything. Being expressionless had always been his sole, well, expression. But he did smile sometimes! And that smile of his was what had won my heart over.
"Magenta, I know you're the forgetful type, but my aunt passed away two years ago from cancer," he replied, sipping on his coke.
"Oh" was all I could say.
He put down his glass of coke and looked at me in the eye for the first time that day, gray clashing with my green ones, and said in a somewhat serious tone, "Besides, I've already promised your father that I'll take care of you, so that's settled."
Huh, what? It was that easy?
"Well, we got one problem, though," he glanced over at the opened door to our bedroom, "There's only one bed here."
My face totally exploded when he said that.
I couldn't help it. I mean, he actually noticed it! If there was only one bed, that can only mean that we had to share it. And he is officially my husband now, so he had the right to do, ehem, that, without getting into jail or anything.
Oh gosh, what was I supposed to do? I was SO inexperienced when it came to this. I mean, I had never even been kissed yet, and now we are talking about sex?! That was certainly a big thing. I couldn't really tell if Nick was expecting me to do that with him, but still! Ah, I guess I would just die of embarrassment here.
Good thing Nick finally took notice of my flaming face, because—in a very panicky and flustered manner—he tried to reason things out. "Um, it's not like what you think, you dope! Although we're married, it's not like I'll force you to, um, er…Anyway, we'll just hand a curtain in the middle of the bed as a divider. If not, I'll just sleep on the floor!"
That was why, you see, I love him so much. He would sleep on the floor just so that I could have the bed, although I personally didn't really like the fact that he called me 'dope', and also because he had no desire for me whatsoever. But I guessed I could forgive him for that.
"Oh no, you shouldn't sleep on the floor," I tried to be nice to him, "We'll just hang the curtain, it'll be fine."
"Okay, I'll go do it now," he said, looking somewhat relieved.
"And don't try anything funny while I'm asleep, okay?" I added, intending it as a joke, but it made him froze like a snowman in Siberia instead. Except that, in his case, the snowman was pink.
"What are you saying?" he exclaimed, turning away so I couldn't see his face, "As if I want to take advantage of you! Your breasts haven't even grown yet!"
Yes, I knew that perfectly well, thank you, and maybe, I should let him know that I was thinking of striking a bargain with some evil spirit to swap his soul in exchange for bigger breasts?
My first marriage…without celebration (the birthday party didn't count!), without wedding gown, without those three stories high wedding cake, without a ring and without a kiss! I must have been the most miserable bride in the whole world.
"Oh, Magenta," called Nick from the bedroom before coming out and tossing a wrapped box to my hand, "Here's your birthday present that I've forgotten to give earlier."
I knew that my face suddenly glowed with happiness, and Nick knew it too, because he was smiling (something which was as rare as the eclipse) and looking so pleased with himself.
I opened the box, and couldn't believe my eyes. It was a bracelet! A silver bracelet with a single, lovely flower in the middle, decorated with purplish-red gemstones.
"It's not expensive or anything," he mumbled, turning rather pink, "but Chloe says girls like something like this, so… Moreover, I saw the one with your color in it, so I decided to buy it for you."
"My color?" I asked, although I already knew what he meant.
"Yes, the stones in that bracelet is purplish-red, you see," he explained, turning a deeper red of burgundy, "Purplish-red…magenta. It reminds me of you because it's just like your name."
"Thank you, Nick!" I jumped up to hug him (I had to jump because he was way taller than me), "I love you!"
Nick couldn't say anything in reply. Probably because he was suffocating with my hands wrapped around his neck so tightly, or probably because his face was burning uncontrollably. But that didn't matter. I was so happy. Too happy.
Maybe I could still be considred as unlucky to have had this kind of marriage. No wedding gown, no ring, no cake, no kiss etc. But I guessed, as long as my groom is Nick, this marriage would turn out all right in the end. As long as Nick was by my side, it was more than enough for me.
More than enough…