The Bride Who Murdered Her Groom: A Stories Collection

Beautiful and sharp-witted, Sophia Solochi—blamelessly eighteen—understands that she must not ever fall in love. If she does, any peculiar man she has adored will not live what will befall him. In unquestionable words, he will die. Fast. Surely. And frightfully. Why would he perish, you may marvel? Sophia, also true with her female descent, is cursed. Any lad whom she falls for is destined to yield up his ghost in her very own arms and care. When she moves with her mother to Brownton to begin a fresh and unimpaired life, far away from their ancient calamities and sorrows, the worst things imaginable happen to them. Sophia cannot resist falling in love with Alex Ramirez, a strikingly handsome but in-a-short-time to-be Engineering postgraduate at Brownton University. Here, whilst pursuing a Fashion and Designing degree, she furtively repeats the self-same pursuit and engagement that effected insufferable agony and bitterness in her bygone days. Falling in love is extremely perilous, she


16. Complicated

“Did Alvin tell you that we slept together last night?” I asked Chantal, furious and maddened. If he did, I give my word, I was going to hew off his head from him and leave him bleeding and convulsing to his death. Yeah. I know. Even though my pitch made it sound like we in fact did do something together, we did not. Yes, we didn’t at all. I wanted to confirm whether he had mentioned a grimy lie to Chantal or not, one that could possibly smash up and wreck my repute to other people. I was not a whore that was used to sleeping about with diverse men that she knocked into for the very first time. I was not a damn licentious bitch. Damn everything. It wasn’t all worth my valuable reputation, was it? If it wasn’t, this would not be the first time my name and being itself would be untruly tarnished black and imp-like altogether. No, it wouldn’t be.


“Why are you pointing the finger at him for that? Is it true that you…spent the night together in your room?”


“We beyond doubt did, but—”


“There is nothing to feel shameful of then, Sophia. Nothing at all.”


“Hang on there. I did not say that the two of us had sex.”


“And I didn’t say that the two of you had sex either.”


“What exactly is going on here?”


“I am just pleased that you and Alvin are getting to patch up things together. It is what I have always been wanting to see you both do.”


“Okay. But don’t you think that I am still too young…to go out with a man his age. Alvin is more full-grown and senior than me. He is the precise category of man to be seeking marriage. But me on the other hand, I am still fit for the date-as-many-college-or-high-school-boys-as-you-feel-like fad, don’t you believe?”


“What are you attempting to state by all this, Sophia? That you are not the just-the-ideal fit to my son. Is that it? Clarify yourself please.”


“Come on, Chantal. I would never insinuate that kind of thing. I know that Alvin is not my ideal age, but we are both an immaculate and irreproachable pair. That is what I think. Truthfully. It is just that…this age difference is making me become this uneasy and anxious. I can’t help it but succumb to this hideous, frightful, and repulsive feeling existing inside me. I am sorry if I offended you in any way feasible. But that is not what I was meaning to portray to you. Would it be okay with you if I go on my knees just to express how terribly and awfully sorry I am to you? Would you approve that?”


She grimaced as though she had gulped something bitter down her throat. Say plain vinegar that had not been sprinkled or spattered on anything luscious-tasting to eat. Or chili itself, a flaring and fuming red and bitter and tongue-gnawing to the extreme most core. Everything about this made me feel quiet ugly and appallingly guilty. Yes. I was to blame for her present-moment austere and unwelcoming state of my mind. Damn me and my audacity? How dare I do this to her? Of course, it must have been acutely and keenly painful on her part. Without doubt it was.


“It is fine, Sophia,” she voiced at last, buoyant and un-offended seeming. Was she being truthful and sincere with me? I hoped so; I believed so. 


Someone cleared his throat in the doorway, grunting and growling out like he had just been set free from an excruciating, unforeseen choke. We both turned around quickly to see who it was. It was him. Alvin. Flawlessly and impeccably dressed in a dark suit that seemed to be very new and worth the value of a second-hand but fleeting fast motorcycle. What could one expect from magnates? Nothing but luxury and pleasure in its finest quality. That was just it.


“Alvin,” Chantal was as much surprised as I happened to be myself. At least I wasn’t the only one who had been cast out of the blue from nowhere. Her eyes flickered and fluttered all of a sudden. A surefire sign that she was finding it quite difficult and complex to pull back out of her state of shock. Poor her. I couldn’t help it either.


“Good morning, Chantal,” Alvin responded at last. He looked at me; ogling at me to be straightforward; and there I stood immobilized and transfixed on the floor, ogling and making an enamored cat’s eyes back at him. I could never turn down on every good occasion marveling at his beauty and shapeliness and being awed and overpowered by him. This was the kind of man whose picture if stumbled upon in a Playboy magazine or gazette for girls exclusively—Playgirl, I do mean—would insanely make them rip it off without any second thought and stick it up in the solitude and privacy of their rooms just so to feast their eyes on him so as to quiet and soothe their lustful sensations should they ever turn up abruptly and unexpectedly before them. Of course, Alvin didn’t have to be photographed stark naked to accomplish that on their behalf. Be him fully garbed, partly swathed, or starkly disrobed, the effects and results were pretty much the same. He still was lust satisfying and appeasing. He hellfire was. Damn him and his gorgeousness! It was setting me afire. Damn everything too!


“Sophia, how did you wake up this morning?” He asked me in a very composed and sedate-like voice. Just its ringing and reverberation was as much as was necessary to vibrate and shake my bones, making me shudder and liquefy into this one, ample sum of sugar and honey and nectar all thanks to the fire blended with electricity that was running and coursing in my veins. Was this lust or love? What exactly?


“Sophia, are you okay?”


That was a hard and not-any-painful slap needed on my part to throw and hurl me back into reality from the startling and swaying world of blue. That world of shock and bliss and ecstasy and enthrallment that is. I blinked all of a sudden, breathing fast and nervously. Damn it! His breath-robbing presence had iced me up and steered me out of breath. It definitely had.


As much as I was ashamed and resilient of myself, I gathered up the courage and wit to reply back to him, “I woke up fine, Alvin. How did you wake up this morning yourself?”


“Brilliantly. Last night was wonderful indeed.”


Damn. That had Chantal gawp at me, lifting and heaving up her eyebrow as she did so. I scowled back at her, making a frustrated and thwarted face at the same time. True. The foregone night had been blissful and heavenly like. Yeah. We had both winged our way farthest up there into paradise. But that was through love and cordiality. Not through sex or love making or anything that…interrelated.


“What is there to eat?” Alvin asked coolly and composedly. If I were in his shoes, I would have done the awful and unthinkable. I would have with all haste, like greased lightning even, scampered my way to the simmering pots and thrust them open and then leave them all yawning and giving off mouth-watering and saccharine-like appetizing steam. I give you my word. That is what I would have done. Thank goodness I was not him. Neither was I willing to be him even for a split second. Hang on there, Sophia. You mean you don’t want to be in this billionaire’s shoes? Even for one snapping fast, ephemeral split second? How are you so sure about it? That fame, that godly-like privileges, that staggering and flattering swarm of attention, that envy and inclination and hate that comes each time that you crawl your way up that infinite and boundless ladder of success  and prosperity. How are you so convinced and positive that you wouldn’t want all that in the world, even for a lightning fast and flying one millisecond?


I frowned to myself in silence. My thoughts could be this niggling and soul-gnawing in case you didn’t know. Damn me and my absurd thinking! Was that how everyone in the world thought and behaved? Just like me? Of course not, you primp. You are the only one who reason and contemplate this way, ugly moron.


“What would you like me to cook you?” Chantal asked Alvin as he labored his way to her lightly and trouble-free. Oh yeah. Mother showing tremendous and sincerest affection to a gorgeous son who isn’t aware of the whole appalling and electrifying and mind-battering truth. I wondered what his reaction would be that day that he would eventually hit upon the whole pile of secreted and in-earthed history. Would that be the most wonderful and blissful day in the world for mother and son reunion and bonding? Or would it be the worst ever day of mother-versus-son alienation and warfare ever seen in the perpetual record of this world? I didn’t know which was which. But whatever the results would be, I wouldn’t be the one to make known everything to him. Alvin that is. Certainly not me.


“What would I like you to cook me? Come on, Chantal. How can you prepare for me something to eat at this precise moment when I am just about to head my way off to work? That is being delaying and belating, don’t you assume?”


“I’m sorry, Alvin. It is just that I got held up on something pretty early this morning.”


“No problem. I shall help myself to a coffee shop then once I am in town.”


“I baked some chocolate-adorned scones for you. Would you like to bring them to work with you?”


“Of course. Though chocolate is not anything much closer to my most wanted and darling thing. I will only wolf them down out of hunger and starvation. Bring them on please.”


She fetched them from the oven where they were wrapped and wound up in some glittery, durable coated plastic. Hmmnnnn. They were so wonderful smelling and delicious-seeming indeed. While chocolate was the foremost on Alvin’s crossed out list, it was the leading and primary on my best loved and choicest list. It sure was. I couldn’t resist it. No, I couldn’t.


Having nabbed the plastic of scones away, Alvin went on to embrace Chantal and then he proceeded to march over to me and said, “I am leaving now, sweetheart. Would you not hit me in the face if I make a heart-aching confession to you?” At saying that, he took a pathetic and despondent look on his face.  Of course, how would I gain the courage and strength to batter him up after he had triumphed in arousing and stirring up my sympathy. I couldn’t do that at all. No way.


“Go on, Alvin. I don’t want you to get any late for work.” Damn! Arrive any bit behind time for work? Who cared? It was his own company and big business, wasn’t it? Of course, it was. So it didn’t matter that much whether he turned up in time or behind time. Who would fire him anyway? Himself without reservation.


“I am really sorry, sweetheart. I wanted to take you out for dinner tonight. I won’t be able to because I will turn back a little bit late than normal. Will you forgive me please?”


I almost laughed out raucously and in insanity at that. Alvin was apologizing to me for that? For not being able to take me out to a surprise date of his? I didn’t give a damn. To make a long story slashed short, I told him this. “It is okay. We can go out for dinner some other day and time, don’t you agree?”


He smiled leniently. “We sure can. But then I wouldn’t have to turn you down another time or else you are going to snuffle out the burning hell out of me, won’t you?”


“You are right. No more disappointments or turn downs after this. I will not stand them at all, you hear me?”


“I do, sweetheart.” Thus he went his way, in high spirits and all this smiley and jaunty looking. Oh my! Alvin and his witty, jokey-like talent. It reminded me of Ale—don’t you dare finish that name, Sophia! Yes. It was my conscious that taunted and threatened that to me. I shuddered, of course. 


I prepared to set off my way to town. Just to take a deep breath and refreshment out there. Eman was accompanying me of course. I wondered what it would be like in the car all the way on till we would make it to town. What exactly? Would it be hell and the unquenchable lake of fire itself? I didn’t know. I had no clue at all whatsoever. And I did not want to have any at all. Oh yes, I didn’t. Dummy!


“When will you be going out, Sophia?” Chantal asked, brightly smiling and all huge grinned from ear to ear. I was in my room then. Looking out the window at the broad, extensive forest. Yeah. Nature in its beyond belief wonder and most glorious height and stature and pinnacle. It was all so lovely and adorable indeed.


“About half an hour from now. I should start preparing already.”


“And what time do you plan to be back here?”


“Oh…I don’t exactly know. But it won’t be that very late either case. Why have you asked?”


“Well, nothing. There is naught reason at all.”


“Okay then.”


The water was cold and flesh-gnawing. I felt it with the tip of my toes, having stripped fully naked in the bathroom. Then I stepped my way into the tub, slowly and dallyingly tedious and mind-numbing like, and I at last sat down there to wash and scrub myself. Minutes later, I was all perfectly done. I put on a knee-high green skirt, one that had been designed and decked elaborately and beatifically and impeccably by I myself, and before the enormous mirror I combed my damp hair level and straight and smooth and well. With that accomplished, I donned on my flat shoes and then went out to look and hunt for Eman. My God. I didn’t have to look that any far. He was already there outside by my door, standing idle and stationary like the guard of a man that he really was.


“Can we take our leave now?” He asked in a friendly and welcoming voice much to my surprise and sudden shock. Goodness. A miracle, wasn’t it?


I carried my tablet to google with me. Yes. I loved google. I adored and cherished and treasured it like nothing else in this world. It was my favorite most search engine thus far. What did I google about, you may wonder? Silly and inane things of mine. Like how my much loved clothes designers gave their big businesses that first ever kick and stir that they very much and badly needed. Oh yeah. Staff and critty crattle like that.


We stopped by the LG superstore. To do what, you may query? Well, Life is Good, isn’t it? Eye-shopping is fine quality as well, isn’t it? I had no intention of buying anything but checking out what was latest and super hot on the up-to-the-minute date market. Oh yes, it was all worth knowing and being familiarized with, wasn’t it? Who-ow-wie!


Mobile phones. Fancy phones. Super phones. They are what caught my eye for the best part. Particularly that latest chat phone that you could use to help refresh your memory and do away with your lonesomeness. It wasn’t a phone that could think, but you could instruct and tutor it how to articulate and on what times and what explicit terms. My, my! That was a fabulous phone indeed, wasn’t it? You could tell it all your details and particulars so that when you are to a great extent in need of them and cannot get yourself to call them to mind, well, you could just pinch out your phone…and the rest was as you know it.


Ting…ting…ting…ting…ting. I dialed up Kris Ortiz’ number whilst still standing still in the spacious and cleanly store, all this eyeful and awe-struck with what I was seeing. “Mom, I miss you real bad, how have you been?”


“Fine, Sophia. I am pretty damn busy right this moment. No wonder I have not been finding any bit of time to call you up and tell you how much I miss you too.”


“You miss me big time as well?”


“Of course, I do, sweetie.”


“I thought you were so mad with me that you didn’t even want to have anything at all to do with me.”


“Whatever thing happens, whether I like it or not, you still are and always will be my daughter. You get that?”


“I do, mommy.”


“Good. So how has been Alvin treating you till now.”


“Perfect. I mean he is the most kind and accommodating man that I have ever met in this entire world. That is being so honest and sincere of me I must add what’s more.”


“It is good to find out then. I will call you later when I get the time to, honey, do you hear me?”


“Oh yes, I do.”


“Bye. And take good care of yourself please.”


“Goodbye to you too, mommy.”


Wow. Whatever day it was that she would turn back, I could feel the dread and tremor of it threatening and intimidating me like shit. Yes. I still had to explain and make myself clear to her about that awful thing that I had recently done. And how was I exactly going to let everything go off my chest and unravel it out to her as precisely as it had come to take place? How exactly?


“How are you?” he greeted me with a happy, sly-like smile. I smiled back, doing my very best most to be as well-bred and sociable as I could get myself to be. My, my! This was the most dazzling and handsome smile ever. I loved it. I cherished it. I reveled in it even. Goodness. Alvin was this incredibly handsome indeed. Terribly and surely good-looking.


“I am fine, Alvin. How are you yourself?”


“Good. Hey, have you heard about the dance party that we will be hosting tonight?”


“I certainly have, duh.”


“I am inviting you to it. What do you say to that?”


“Brilliant. I mean it is fantastic, duh.”


“You mean you are really that much into it?”


“Oh yeah…I am so madly and insanely into this, I swear. The idea of dancing with you just makes the world around me go aw-shucks and fairy tale like. It is awesome indeed. Will you dance with me tonight?”


“Who wouldn’t resist to go dancing with a charming, angel-like girl like you, Sophia. Of course. I will hitting the dance floor with you this very night. You like it that bad?”


“I certainly do. I cannot draw away from it at all. It is totally and definitely unthinkable to do that.”


Fantasies. That is what they call them. I was fantasying about Alvin being this normal, not-stinking-rich guy who was going to invite me to some dance like a typical and knightly gentleman was supposed to do. Oh yeah. What was the point, you might be speculating? If there was one man that I ever needed to forget in this entire one big and overcrowded world of ours, it was Alex Ramirez without misgiving. I couldn’t understand why. But I on every instance found myself thinking about him in spite of doing my very best to forget him. I needed to forget him. I had to, of course. Damn me and everything that I was. What was it with him and me? Had he put me under some powerful, all invincible spell of his? Had he? Maybe. What a blatant and unashamed wizard he was then! A sorcerer even! Oh…yeah!


I wasn’t expecting Eman to crop up into view before me like that unforeseen and startling way that he did. Yeah. Belting me with electricity even. My God. He almost scared the living hell and being out of me. He almost did. What was it with him and his sneaky surreptitious movements? What exactly, huh? I scowled to myself right away, breathing in and out, steadily but high-speed. “Eman,” I voiced out in out-and-out bombshell.


He smiled apologetically. “Sophia, I am sorry for that. Pardon me please. I didn’t have it in mind to—”


I broke off him there and then. “Cut it short right there, will you please? There is no need for you to keep on grumbling and making never-ending and worthless apologies to me. I have heard you unmistakably well and I let you off what’s more importantly.”


“Thank you so much for that. You don’t know how so appreciative I am.”


“Okay, it is over now. Please, let us not bring this up again, are you in agreement with me?”


“I definitely am. I would like to ask you one favor though. Just one favor only.”


I was curious to find out what it was. “Tell me please,” I begged him.


He snuffled out first and then added on, “The boss, Mr. Morgan, I do mean, doesn’t have to find out about this. If he does, he certainly will get so angry with me and may even send me away from my job. Do you promise to not tell him this, miss?”


“I promise, Eman.” He had to get to the meatier part of this already, couldn’t he? I mean, okay, to be honest and upright with you, I was so impatient for him to just tell me whatever it was that was bothering him and shattering his peace and calmness. What could that be?


“I am now about to leave you for a little bit while. I will be going away into that Pep store outside there next to this store to obtain and get myself something. It is a suit I have been itching to own for so long a time now. Please let me go and I will return in just five minutes or less. I give you my word.”


Hmnnn. Alvin was too authoritarian and stringent with him after all, wasn’t it so? That is what I guessed and began to suspect. Anyway, I let him go and out he walked gracefully and quickly, heading off straight to the Pep store that he had just described. They were a diversity and multiplicity and likeness of clothes and shoes and fancy items as such, all seeable through the towering and plainly shimmering glass walls embellishing the huge store itself. Pep for sure. The finest and highest quality affordable. 


It was surprising after all, wasn’t it? Eman had been this icy and bitter and inhospitable to me a few days ago and now…now he was goodly and kind and congenial and likeable. It all made me wonder if back then he had been in these terrible mood sway-and-roll-and-rock-and-dangle or whether he had not been experiencing all this. I didn’t know. But whatever the cause was, it was definitely not any good and likeable. Categorically not so. 

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