And they lived happily ever after, I finish the last sentence of the fairytale I'd been reading, snap the book shut and look out the tiny airplane window at the clouds below. For some reason fairytales have always fascinated me. I never outgrew them, even now at twenty eight, I doubt that I will. The notion that the princess meets the prince, they fall in love and live happily ever after and love is the answer to whatever problem might arise has always left me feeling like my life is unfair. To some, my life would seem just like a fairytale. But I know that it is far more complicated than that. I spare a glance at my watch and notice that I have only less than half an hour before I go back to the life I've struggled hard to escape. The mental countdown comes down to zero as the plane touches down at the Dalou International airport. I get off the plane and I manage to get my expression in check as I strut out into the open arrivals area. As I had expected there is a group of paparazzi waiting to snap photos of what some think is a happy family reunion. I put on a smile for show as I walk into my father's open arms.
His hands come around me in a hug as I whisper through gritted teeth, "What do you think you are doing?"
"It's so good to see you princess," he says in a booming voice ignoring my question.
"I'm glad to be back," I lie with no shame.
When you've been raised as a Grengali some things are unavoidable, "Mr. Grengali can we get a shot."
"A comment perhaps," the paparazzi start yelling as father starts to lead me outside to a waiting limo.
I'm immediately hit by a wave of tropical heat as the one o'clock sun shines bright. I'd forgotten all about that I guess. I quickly step inside, glad for the air-conditioning. "You'll get enough photos at the party on Saturday."
I catch the last sentence my father tells them before getting in. Party?
"So party huh, when were you planning on without telling me?" I ask angry at my father's sneaky ways.
"Can we get through this car ride without fighting please," he says, but he's not really asking, as always, he's giving orders.
He remains quiet not even asking me how my journey was, or how and what I've been doing for the past ten years. It's like I just went to the mall and he's now picking me up. I take this time to stare out the window at the streets of my hometown. I had missed it at times, when I was away, but just the thought that I'd have to see my father and all these other people was enough to keep me from coming back. But I'm here now. Before I even know it, the car is slowly pulling up to the towering stone building that I call home.
The chauffeur opens the door for me and I step outside, noticing that absolutely nothing has changed. The gardens are still lush and well kept as ever. Robert, the butler, is still efficient and proper as always as he bows slightly at me as I greet him. It seems like he hasn't aged one bit. The entrance hall is filled with maids rushing about to bring in my luggage.
"Shall we head to my study?" My father poses a question that's not really a question. I follow him through the hall and take a seat across from his desk.
"New desk I see," I observe, if only you could also get a new personality, I think to myself as he would not appreciate me saying that out loud.
"Katia, I don't want to argue," he begins, "you've known all this time that this moment would come, so I need you to take your responsibilities and end your childish fantasies because life is not a fairytale."
"I know that," I reply obediently as he wouldn't accept any other answer.
"Good, then I expect you won't mind you're welcome home party this Saturday or our arrangement with the Tori's," he says and I get flashbacks from my eighteenth birthday.
He's alluding to the family that has been friends with mine for generations. A face instantly pops into my head, a particular member of that family I was hoping I wouldn't have to see.
"I won't," I say even though I would very much mind, especially 'his' presence. I get up to leave before the restraint I have on my tongue wears off and I say things I would pretend to regret later. Not exactly how I wanted the conversation to go but if there is anything I've learned in my life, it is that I can't change someone's mind with empty words. And I needed to change his mind alright, I just have to find another tactic.
"Oh Katia, it's so great to see you," my aunt Sophia says, more like shouts, as she engulfs me in a suffocating hug. I love it.
"I missed you so much auntie," I tell her when she releases me.
"As I did, tell me how was Europe?" She asks and I don't doubt that she truly wants to know.
"It was so great aunt everything was, there's just too much to tell," I say excitedly.
"I don't have that much time today, I have to plan your party; however, I'm free tomorrow," she says, a disappointed look on her face. If it were another person, I'd demand to be involved in the party planning, but I trust aunt Sophie and I'm honestly too exhausted to do anything.
"How does lunch sound?" I suggest.
"Fantastic, I'll see you then," she says as she leaves pulling out her phone to yell at her assistant. I have the cook fix me a sandwich for a late lunch and promptly I fall asleep after eating as the fatigue and jet lag catch up to me. I'm wearing a white Cinderella dress, a veil covers my face. Walking down a pathway strewn with rose petals, I notice people standing alongside me all the way down to the altar where a man stands as if waiting for me. I finally see his face, the face that's smiling at me as I reach my destination. Recognizing who he is, I turn and run, I run and run until I find myself, but inside my bedroom. I shut the door and turn around only to find him standing there. I scream. I wake up with a start from what has got to be my worst nightmare.
I dreamed of a wedding to him? I think to myself incredulously. Every girl deserves a prince right? What did I do to deserve a frog?
Well, guys, the first chapter is up. Please tell me what you think. Do you like Katia? And what about the mysterious, but not so mysterious 'him' everyone keeps referring to? Comment and tell me what you think. Love, Vee.