Kaitlyn looked down on her window, and she saw the glossy white Mercedes-Benz A-Class edition parked few meters away from her doorstep. Above its hood was a simple but elegantly arranged bouquet of fresh, white orchids and few green fillers, signifying that afternoon's great event. She would have been the happiest bride if only she were going to be wed to the man she had secretly loved for years. Yet, after that humiliating incident that separated them, she resigned to her belief that she could no longer love again.
Refusing to have a stylist to assist her in preparing herself, she stood up before a full - length mirror to check herself. She was an artist herself whose hands were fully capable of crafting her works closer to real-life poses. The magic her fingers could create always gave everyone the first impression that her works were all real and breathing.
She took a deep breath in satisfaction with how she made herself up today. She knew she could be this beautiful since she already tried on different strokes, shades, and styles for the whole week now. Finally deciding on hazelnut brows, soft gold smokey eyes, a light blush on, and warm neutral lip shade, she believed that no one would ever argue that she was the most beautiful bride in the whole city that day. Not even his groom, whom she had not seen yet.
She laughed at the thought of being just presented with life's irony, to be married to a stranger. Her abdominal muscles cramped at the force of her laughter, but it brought out the tears of self-pity that she tried so hard to hide.
Adorned with a diamond-studded wedding gown in a cut fitted to perfection, she was like Eve in the Garden of Eden, whose beauty knew no flaw. Perfect in shape with curves flaunted attractively in that silk creation, she was sure to be a perfect gift for a husband she had not seen yet.
Gazing at the mirror for so long while her thoughts wandered away, she remembered Manong Isko, the gardener who worked for them even before she was born.
" Kait, I'm so sorry to tell you this, but my conscience would no longer allow me to rest in peace."
She looked up to his unusually bothered expression that no one had seen in his thirty years of service. His dedication and loyalty to his work made her and her family trust him like he was a part of them.
"What is it, Manong? "
"I have overheard your fiance's parents in a conversation while I was in the garden."
"What were they talking about? "She asked innocently. Yes, she had seen them talking to her parents many times in that wooden gazebo in the garden.
"I don't understand everything they said, but I had enough to conclude that behind your wedding is revenge waiting to be carried out."
"Revenge? " Her brows instantly furrowed the moment she heard this word which seemed foreign to her ears.
"All throughout the conversation, they mentioned the tragedy of Hacienda de Luna..."
She felt her heart just did a double somersault. Many times the previous years, she heard some of her friends and even relatives stealthily made fun or curious comments of this Hacienda de Luna but would suddenly stop whenever they saw her. Whatever was the story behind this, she understood it must be something very terrible because the mere mention of it would always make her father end up in rage.
There was even once, during a birthday gathering, that a careless mention of that name by a relative made her father flare up.
"Repeat it, and you'll regret it for the rest of your life! " She remembered how unreasonably he seemed he was in his anger.
She couldn't understand why but even to herself, asking and delving into the matters behind was a great taboo. His father's words were a law in their home, and whatever his decisions were, must be followed like those were the ways to a perfect life.
Too busy herself with the career she currently focused on designing innovative and organic mannequins, she forgot about the underlying issues of Hacienda de Luna.
"Dear, as someone who sees you through from your infancy up to the present, you know I have loved you as my child. I just want you to be happy and be married to someone you love. " He gazed at her with glints of fatherly love in his eyes that mirrored her childhood days.
Her passion for designing statues and mannequins started with him. It all began when she was yet a child, and Manong Isko taught her how to mold dolls out of clay soil he graciously provided in the garden.
Just this morning, when she took a stroll to grasp in the beauty of nature through his flower garden, he saw him there, looking at her with those sad eyes.
"Dear, if ever you'll change your mind, there's a big garbage can at your exit door... "
She just stared at him and did not say a word, but he must have predicted that anytime she would change her mind.
She snapped back to her senses when Maya, their youngest house help knocked on her door.
"Ma'am Kait, do you need any help?"
Her shrill voice that hurt her ears was a high contrast to the sweet smile she was innately gifted with.
" I need five grocery bags." She smiled back; Maya's smile was just too contagious.
With a short stare and a repressed gasp in perhaps seeing her goddess-like beauty, she left, and in less than three minutes, she was back with three plastic bags in her hand.
"Is there anything, ma'am?" she asked, her black eyes sticking out into Kaitlyn's whole appearance.
"Am I beautiful, Maya? "
"Very beautiful, ma'am! Your groom couldn't surely wait to devour you. "