That night, sulking for hours, I don't know when I slept. But wake up to the morning alarm, with golden rays beaming through my white curtains and a loud thump in my heart. As today was the big day for me.
When I dragged myself to the kitchen Pa had already finished his breakfast and was doing the dishes.
"Pa, you had your breakfast without me?" I complained.
"Uh. Yeah, and here's yours. Finish it fast." He passed me a plate filled with toast and beans.
"Fast? Why?" I raised my eyebrows.
"We need to go" he said while drying the dishes.
"Go where?" I knitted my eyes.
"To the hotel. You forgot?"
"Pa it’s a.m. We are invited for p.m."
"Don't you want to get ready for the event?"
"What?" my eyes popped out
"Do I have to get ready in that hotel?" I exclaimed.
"Yeah its complimentary."
"Is that complimentary just for me or every invitee has that honor?"
"I..I. Have an acquaintance."
"Yes.. now stop asking and just do it fast as we need to leave now."
"No buts just do as I say for once."
"Okay.." I shrugged.
We reached to the hotel in silence. My stomach was churning even though I had my breakfast, it felt like my interior parts went missing. We stopped at the gate of the hotel and I felt like a princess; the chauffeur came running to open the door; the servants bowed us as welcome. They started picking my bags and all that. The gate keeper opened the door of the hotel. As soon as the grand door opened, the view was beautiful. Royalty, richness and power. Every corner had lit with lights. Another world within the hotel. I was busy looking around; I didn't hear when they called. Pa grabbed my arm and when I looked at him he cleared his throat. Then one of the lady said,
" Mam! This way, please." I looked at Pa.
He nodded and gestured me to go with her. She took me to a room where three ladies were already present. One was fiddling with my dress. And other two arranging cosmetics and other things on the dressing table. One of them looked at me and smiled
"Please sit mam," she said.
I obediently sat beside the dressing table. They started doing their job, observing my jaw line, my skin tone, my eyebrows. The other lady took my dress and went out of the room.
"Where's she taking my dress?" I curiously asked one of them.
"Don't worry mam, she must've taken it for ironing"
But the dress was wonderful, even without ironing.
After a minute, she started putting on cream and massaged my face. This massage lasted for an hour and it was refreshing. Then she shaped my eyebrows, which was as usual Painful. Finishing their work, they left me alone. I wandered in the room, had a shower and even tried to have a nap, but my restlessness didn't allow me to sleep. Time was playing turtle walk with me. I tried to call Mia, but she didn't respond. I grabbed a magazine and flipped pages, not even reading a thing. After sometime I heard a knock and opened the door. Those three ladies were back with my dress. They covered it with a plastic bag. One of them said " it's time" I looked at the time and it was 7.05pm. She unwrapped the bag and when the dress was out, it was like a new one. They decorated it with some artificial flowers on the right side of the neckband and a small one on the left side of the waistband. She gave the dress to me and asked me to wear it. I went to the changing room and dressed in. Then one of them gestured me to sit on the chair. And then they did my makeup and hair. This was the longest day of my life, never spent an entire day pampering my self. And never looked this beautiful. While looking into the mirror I see a different self of me.
"Mirror, Mirror On The wall, tell me my daughter is beautiful from them all." Pa came in playfully reciting those words from snow white.
"Pa?" I blushed pink.
"Are you ready to go?" he asked with a smile. The question brings the hollowness in my heart, there is still time to back out. I must tell him that ‘I Am Not Ready For This’. He held out his held. I look at his extended hand and then his smiling face. I could not bring my self to say anything to break his heart. Then I gave my hand to lead me. We walk further and It felt like he was walking me to the aisle, and soon this mere thought will be the reality. Sad tears filled my eyes, making my vision blur. I forced them back, blinking few times. The moment we entered the grand hall. Every eye turned on us, weighing me more with nervousness. Maybe I was looking good, or maybe disastrous. I tried to avoid people staring at me. I didn’t mean to, but I saw a lady who looked at me and whispered something in her acquaintance's ear behind her champagne glass.
“Pa, am I not looking good?” worriedly, I asked.
“You’re looking great, just relax and smile.” He smiled, assuring me. I couldn’t bring myself to smile. I drag pa to a corner where everybody can leave me alone.
“Pa, let’s just meet the guy and leave, please.” I pleaded.
“I think he’s not here yet. They’ll be here soon. The party has just started, we should wait for them.”
He tried to convince me.
“Then we shouldn’t have enter this party this early.” I complain.
“What’s bothering you?” concerned, he asked.
“People are staring me. You know how I feel. I can’t bare their gazes.”
“Oh dear, get accustomed to these parties and public. You will not leave a lonely life from now on.” He laughs.
“What do you mean by that.? He is not a party ani.. lover, is he?” I was about to say animal but corrected at the right time.
“Well, you can say that he is.” He agreed.
“Hmm.. Equally opposite of me. Well, If this opposite characteristics continue, there is a possibility of him rejecting me.” The thought made me happy. And I smiled at Pa.
“Ha.. there is a law. Opposite attracts.” He smiled wider than me. And I crinkle my nose on his remark. We hear louder voices saying, “ they arrived, they’re here.” We looked at the door where guards were making way from media people who were blocking their way.