"Aren't you excited?" my little sister Ana chirped excitedly into my ear. She was 10 and I was 16. I sighed. Today was the day I would get assigned my husband for the rest of my life.
I smiled at Ana and said, "I'm a little nervous.
She grinned back. "I can't wait for my own. 6 more years!" she said excitedly. Then her voice turned serious. "Sylvia? When you get married will you ever visit us or come for my marriage?" she said with a quivering voice.
"Of course I will. I'll never forget you. Or mom. Ever." I said pulling her into a hug. Then, I heard my mom calling me. I looked down into Ana's deep brown eyes. "I'll be right back. I'm gonna surprise you with my beautiful dress!" She nodded. I started to walk away from her, but then I turned back. She was beautiful. Her long light brown tresses were tied off her face with a messy braid. Her husband would be lucky. She was pretty. I snapped out my reverie suddenly. "Ana, come here." I called gently. She trotted over to me, her eyes innocent and trusting. "I've been meaning to give this to you as a gift. Here," I said, handing over a two wrapped presents.
She quickly tore off the wrapping paper and pulled out the locket. "Oh Sylvia," she cooed. "It's gorgeous." She opened it and smiled. I had put a picture of me and her together and a picture of our family. Ana then opened up the other gift. She turned to me. Her mouth dropped open and tears came to her eyes. "Sylvia, this..this must have cost a fortune. I've always wanted this book series!" She gently caressed the spine of The Darkness that Surrounds Me series. Ana grabbed my hand and pulled me into a hug. "Thank you so much. You don't know how much this means to me."
"Believe me, I do!" I muttered under my breath. Then, I grinned and said, "Why don't you go show mom?" Immediatly, Ana ran off to the bedroom to show mom her locket and bookseries. I sighed. I was going to miss her. She was so sweet. I remember when she was younger how she would always make me little art projects to hang in my room. I beamed at the thought.
As I was thinking this, I heard a sharp cough behind me. I saw my mom standing there. But before I could say anything, she broke the silence. "Sylvia, I know you wanted to give Ana your gifts, but couldn't it wait? The wedding is in two and half hours. You have to get ready and Ana has to get ready and..." she trailed off at my depressed expression. "Honey, it's your big day. You need to look beautiful! Now come on," she said draping her arm around my shoulders.
As we walked to the dressing room, I had ingenious idea. "Mom, mom!" I cried excitedly. "I can be a Single! I will never have to leave the house and I could babysit Ana!" Then, I saw my mom's expression. She looked positively horrified. "Uh, mom? What's wrong with that?" I asked tenderly.
"Singles are rejected by our community! I will not let my daughter be one!" she said.
I bit my lip and looked down. "I was just joking mom, I didn't know it was such a tender subject." I sighed. I really wasn't joking. I didn't want to get married to some total stranger!
"Sorry, honey. I mean of course you were joking. We have your wedding all planned!" she said gaily. I gave her a fake smile and sat there while she bustled around laying out all my makeup and dress. It was a lavender dress that had little flowers around the bottom. The veil that came with it was light lavender with little roses of the band. I thought it was beautiful the very day I laid eyes on it. But my mom thought that it was too plain. She bought it, but obviously added silver sparkly strands into the dress, so it flashed when I walked. I grimaced inwardly as I saw her get it out. I hated the strands. I sighed as my mom slipped on the dress over my lilac slip. She made me twirl and gushed, "Oh my goodness, Sylvia you look amazing!"
"Thank you mother," I managed to choke out the polite response that all citizens had to say when someone gave you a compliment. She nodded politely at me and turned away to get makeup. "Mom, wait! I want to do my own makeup and hair! Can I?" I waited for her answer. I knew that leaving my makeup to mom would result in me having heavy done eyes and too rich lipstick just so I could "stand out." My hair would probably be up in some fancy hairdo with sparkly hairspray.
I looked up at mom. She had tears in her eyes. But before I could say anything she said, "Oh my little girl is getting older! And of course you can do your own makeup and hair." She grinned and walked out of the room. I sighed in relief and reached for the makeup quickly applying a light touch of blush, eyeliner and mascara. I reached for a light sparkly shade of pink lipstick and gently pushed it over my lips. I gasped as I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked beautiful. I mean I wasn't trying to be vain or anything, but this was the first time I had had the courage to ask to do my own makeup. Now, for my hair. I pulled it out from its messy bun and let the hair tumble down my back. It went down my back all the way past my knees. I beamed. It had grown an inch! I quickly did a waterfall braid. Then I rummaged through the dresser and found my favorite bow. It was a light purple bow with a darker purple rose on the top. I clipped it on and ran my hands through my hair. I sighed. I loved my hair, but people always made fun of the way it was a light brown mixed with a dark brown. Would my husband hate it or would he like it? I sighed, very nervous. I took a deep breath and pulled open the door of the dressing room to see how my parents thought I looked. My dad was sitting by my mom on the couch, but instead of looking elated, they looked worried. "Ana won't come out of her room. She dressed up by herself, but she won't come out!" my mom said, angrily. "I'll get her, and mom don't be mad at her! She must be nervous to be a bridesmaid." I went up to Ana's room door and knocked quietly. I heard a muffled come in, so I opened the door and walked in. I saw Ana sitting on her bed with the first book of her new series. "Ana? Are you ok? Mom said that..."
"I know ok Sylvia?" Ana snapped at me. "I just don't want you to leave.."
I sighed and put my arm around her shoulders. "I don't want to leave either. But I have to, but I promise I'll come visit you.
"You swear on this locket that you will?" Ana said her voice grave.
"I promise, ok? If I don't...well you can decide that when the time comes." I said. She nodded, her eyes tearing up. I gave her another hug. "Ana, I promise, I won't let that time come. I won't ever forget you. Ever."
"You'll come to my wedding?" she said with a slight grin.
"Of course I will! We'll always be sisters!" I replied.
"Sisters forever." I stated and smiled at Ana.