Emily: Chapter Five

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KISS THE GIRL

Abbey had told Emily that the courtship period, as the time between the engagement and wedding day is often called, would be wonderful. “It’s that initial phase of discovery Em, when everything is brand new and shiny. Somehow, neither of you will be able to do any wrong. Marriage is going to taint that rosy picture a little bit and it will never again be as perfect, but it’s great being married all the same.”

Although they were able to meet only a few times before the wedding owing to Ethan’s busy work schedule, Emily loved that whenever they did meet, Ethan would hold her hand or put his arm around her waist while they walked so they were closer together. Still, she couldn’t help wishing that the two of them had a chance to become more physically intimate. “I’m wearing the diamond ring. We’re engaged. We’re getting married in a couple of weeks and we haven’t even kissed yet! How are we going to…well…you know…?” Emily asked Abbey, blushing although her sister was on the other side of an invisible phone line.

“What do you mean you haven’t even kissed yet? Do you need me to come and explain how it’s done?”

“Of course not…” and then after a brief pause, “…well, I don’t know!”

“Emily! Pull yourself together. I’ll bet anything all you’ve been wearing on your dates have been those boring faded denim jeans of yours. He’s probably wondering where that girl he first met has disappeared! Time to jog his memory. Ditch the pants for once and put on a dress for Christ’s sake!”

Emily sighed as she realized that when it came to boys; and this one in particular, Abbey had always been right. “I need to go shopping.”

A fortnight before the festivities leading up to their wedding were to begin and on the last night that the two of them would meet before they exchanged vows, Emily spent a long while looking at the crimson coloured dress she had bought. The sales girl had gone from overly enthusiastic to desperate to make a sale in the time it had taken Emily to make her choice. After trying on almost every dress in her size, she had finally settled on this particular one. “The outcomes of wars were probably decided in less time and with more loot to the victors.” the sales girl had commented to the cashier under her breath. Looking in the mirror, it was worth both the time spent and the snarky remark. It was a dress that showed off both her favourite features – her small waist and long shapely legs. She smoothed out the creases and hoped that it would have the effect that Abbey assured her it would.

Ethan and Emily had a romantic candlelight dinner at a fancy restaurant and there, as well as on the drive back home, Ethan could barely take his eyes off her. Not used to being the subject of such undivided attention, Emily’s cheeks slowly became the same colour as her dress under his intense gaze. She had to tell him to keep his eyes on the road several times as she tucked her long hair behind her ears both embarrassed and thrilled at the same time.

While they meandered back to her flat from the car park arm in arm, she wished that the night would never end. When they finally reached the front door, Emily looked at Ethan and said softly, “As always, I had a wonderful time Ethan…”

Ethan gently caressed Emily’s cheek and her breath hitched. She had lost the ability to speak. Shyly she looked into his eyes. He moved closer to her until their lips were almost touching. “I’m going to kiss you now…” Ethan whispered before planting a soft gentle kiss on her waiting lips. It wasn’t long before each second became more passionate than the one before. Soon Ethan’s hands were on her back and then in her hair and she didn’t want him to stop. All too quickly he did. Pulling himself away from her and resting his forehead on hers, he whispered breathlessly, “I need to stop now…or else I won’t be able to leave…”

“Don’t…” Emily whispered back.

Ethan drew her in for one last fierce kiss before turning abruptly and walking off towards his car, his fingers raking his thick wavy hair. Emily looked at his retreating back and leaned against the door, breathing heavily. She smiled as she thought that Abbey was wiser than she ever gave her credit. Emily, who was once unsure about marriage, could not wait to become Mrs. Mendonca.

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Hope to see you tomorrow when I publish a new chapter! If you want to catch up on the older chapters, click here.

Am posting everyday in an attempt to complete the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month.

 

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Emily: Chapter Four

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PUT A RING ON IT

Ethan was an extremely busy junior general surgeon in another city but he always made time, even if it was only a few minutes a day, to talk to Emily. On some wonderful nights, the young lovebirds talked of nothing and everything for hours, only stopping when one of them had fallen asleep at the phone. Emily found herself dreaming of a future with the two of them sipping on hot tea, looking out on a garden teeming with all sorts of flowering plants, discussing life while their pet dog Rufus chased after passing butterflies and their children ran laughing loudly across their lawn. Even the silence that crept up every now and then had become comfortable. When Ethan talked about his work, his passion and ambition were so evident that Emily could almost see his name up in lights. She felt proud of the man who would soon become her husband and looked forward to being the woman on his arm when he achieved what he was setting out to accomplish.

It amazed Ethan and Emily how quickly things moved forward after they agreed to be married. Before they knew it, collectively, they had spent about forty manic hours shopping for clothes for their engagement and family and friends had been personally called and invited – it marked the beginning of the last of the functions in the Vaz family and the first ones in the Mendoncas. All of them promised to be grand events.

“Which tailor, of some quality, would have been able to give us a blouse in five days during wedding season? Thank the Lord that someone thought about producing ready-made blouses!” Emily said as her mother helped drape her rich emerald coloured saree for the engagement.

Mrs. Vaz nodded her head in agreement as she concentrated her efforts in pinning the heavy saree in place. When she was done, she sighed in satisfaction. “A professional might have done a better job. But, I still think you look pretty, baby girl.” She planted a kiss on Emily’s forehead before leaving her to her own devices.

Emily looked at herself in the mirror and giggled at nothing in particular. She was getting engaged! Less than a fortnight earlier, she had lost hope of that ever happening. She looked at her hand and then her ring finger, picturing her engagement ring there. She clasped her hands together and giggled again.

At the engagement function, Emily was asked to wait in the dressing room until her father came to collect her when the Master of Ceremonies called for her.

“I hate that it’s always the father’s job to give his girls away…” Mr. Vaz said wistfully as he held her hand. Of the strong and silent class of men, Mr. Vaz seldom let his emotions show and Emily had not expected to hear him say something like that with a voice so heavy with sadness. Emily had always been her father’s pet and in his eyes, she had been able to do no wrong. She was at a loss for words. She rested her head on her father’s broad chest until he reluctantly reminded her that people were waiting for them outside.

On the dais, when her father placed her hand in Ethan’s as a show of trust, he held onto her hand a little longer than needed. Emily had to give him a reassuring squeeze before he finally let go.  Emily, caught up in all the emotion, felt her eyes fill.

Don’t make those brown eyes blue” Ethan whispered melodiously into her ear, paraphrasing an old Crystal Gayle song when he saw her eyes. Emily laughed softly and felt the threat of tears pass.  “Thanks, E…” she whispered back, leaning her head against his shoulder.

As the night ended and it was time for the two families to go their separate ways, Ethan said, “I’ve got to back tomorrow Emily. I’m sorry I can’t stay longer. Getting leave from the hospital is quite difficult even for special occasions such as these.”

Emily frowned a little at her fiancé and said, “It’s alright. Go save lives. Don’t forget to call me! You know I wait for those calls don’t you?” she ended shyly.

Ethan gently stroked her cheek and smiled, showing off his yummy dimples, “Of course I will…”

As she sat in the car on the drive back home, Emily looked at the small diamond ring that adorned her finger. It was delicate, elegant and perfect. She loved everything that it symbolized.  After three long difficult years, she was finally engaged to be married.

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Please come back tomorrow to see what happens next! To catch up on the previous chapters, click here.

Am posting everyday in an attempt to complete the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Wish me luck!

Emily: Chapter Three

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A SUITABLE BOY

Mrs. Marlene Vaz clutched the large gold crucifix that dangled from the end of the rosary she was seldom seen without, said a silent prayer for her daughter, and went to answer the door. Emily was absentmindedly tracing the tiny multicoloured flowers on the course, beige sofa with her recently painted index finger. She was thinking about how one way or another, that evening would be the end of the quest for a suitable boy and was caught off guard when Mrs. Doris Mendonca bounded into the living room.

“Hello Dear!” she said in a shrill voice, pulling Emily into a hug. Now, Mrs. Mendonca was a stocky, heavy-set woman whose head barely reached Emily’s shoulders and so, it was a wonder that she was able to pin Emily’s lissome arms so tight with her own chubby ones. Emily returned the hug best she could, waited to be released and put on a smile. “Hello, Aunty. Hope you didn’t have trouble finding our place? It’s a little out-of-the-way.”

“Nonsense, Emily! With Ethan at the helm, nothing’s too difficult.” she said gesturing proudly at her son who was clearly the apple of her eye. Emily shot him a look and thought thankfully that he appeared a little embarrassed. He was almost blushing and Emily, not used to seeing boys blush, found this intriguing.

The families sat down around the old teak wood dining table where most of the important Vaz family discussions took place. Emily, who was now quite used to the drill, got up after a few minutes to ask if anyone would like something to drink or eat. Following the customary “no, thank you” from everyone and subsequent to some cajoling from her parents, it was settled that she would have to make four teas, and pour out two fruit juices. Emily made her way to the kitchen as her mother was saying, “Emily has a real passion for cooking. She’s our very own master chef at home.” Emily shook her head imperceptibly and smiled.

She emerged from the kitchen with her tray laden with goodies as Mrs. Mendonca was saying, “…natural flare for most things – including cooking! Plus, unlike most boys of his generation, he has always been very neat. I don’t remember ever having to pick up after him. He’s a good boy.”

Emily could barely suppress a wide grin. However, she wiped it clean off her face as she caught Ethan looking at her, blushed a little herself, and set down the tray that she had been carrying.

“Why don’t the two of you head over to the balcony and have a little chat?” Mrs. Vaz suggested, looking pointedly at Emily.

Emily looked at Ethan, turned her head in the direction of the balcony, sighed and rose, holding her half-finished fruit juice in her hand. She could have sworn her mother gave her a small frown as she walked past. Emily assumed it was because that sigh was audible but no doubt she would find out exactly why later. Ethan followed her outside. The two of them stood gazing at the passing traffic in silence for a few minutes before Ethan, now studying the tea dredges in his cup asked, “So, you come here often?”

Emily shook her head slightly and smiled quizzically, unsure if there was some sort of joke she was missing.

Ethan hastily ran his fingers through his hair and said, “Well…erm…we have drinks in our hands. We’re…well…it’s a pickup line men use. Not that I’ve used it before. But, well, we weren’t talking and I thought someone should. And now you’re laughing….” at that juncture Ethan stopped saying anything and smiled. That was the first time she got a glimpse of his two deep dimples. Emily, whose first crush had been on Dino Morea thanks to his dimpled smile, found that she was instantly attracted to Ethan.

Conversation flowed easily after the initial hiccup and for Emily that was a first. Out of all the boys that she had met over the years her parents had been trying to get her married, Ethan was the only one with whom she could carry on a conversation for more than three minutes, without that awful, awkward silence creeping up like an uninvited guest.

When the Mendoncas were about to leave, Emily snuck her cell phone number into Ethan’s hand. “Call me, so we can talk a little more.” she whispered. “Only if you want to that is…” she added slightly panic-stricken when Ethan looked a little blank. Right then, as if on cue, a smile along with those delicious dimples appeared on his face and all was well with the world once more.

It took only a few short phone conversations before the couple decided that they could make a match of it.

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Please come back tomorrow to find out what happens next! You can read the previous chapter here.

Am posting everyday in an attempt to complete the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month.

Emily: Chapter Two

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A LITTLE HEART-TO-HEART

Abigail arrived at the old family home in the morning and was on her way to what her mother saw as her happily ever after. She had been married to Clive for five years and in the recent months; ever so often could be seen placing a hand protectively across her swollen belly. Although Emily had been more than willing to follow in her sisters’ footsteps, thus far, nothing was going according to plan.

She scowled at Abigail when she yelled at her to put on the earrings she had picked out.

“Emily Jane Vaz! If you don’t put on those damn earrings right now I’m going to pull those ears and put them on you myself!  I don’t care if it means I’ve made another hole!!”

Emily smiled. She knew that Abbey was quite capable of following through with her threat. She took the earrings in her hand and stood in front of the full-length mirror in the room the girls had shared for so many years and said, “I know! I know! Don’t think I’ve forgotten that stunt you tried to pull after watching Parent Trap.”

The two women looked at each other and burst out laughing. When Emily was about six years old and Abigail all of ten, Abbey had taken a cue from Lindsay Lohan’s character in the Parent Trap movie and armed with nothing but a hot needle and half a lemon, she had tried to pierce an additional set of holes in Emily’s tiny ears. Fortunately, their mother had found them in time and was able to stop what would have definitely been a disastrous beauty enhancement experience!

Emily put on the eighteen carat gold chandelier earrings and looked at herself in the mirror. She was wearing Abbey’s sapphire blue dress with delicate floral self-thread work. Abbey insisted that the dress suited her little sister better than it ever suited her and claimed that the colour brought out the chocolate-brown richness of her eyes. The waist length hair that was usually bunched up into a messy knot on top of her head had been painstakingly blow-dried and it cascaded down her back like a magnificent black waterfall. Abbey had even done her makeup mumbling something about how Emily couldn’t possibly be related to her if she didn’t even know how to use eyeliner to add some oomph to her look. Thin gold bangles clinked together and made gentle music every time she moved her left arm. Studying her reflection, she couldn’t believe what a difference it made when Abbey took charge. Emily found that she was beginning to look forward to the meeting a little bit.

She turned and gave her sister a hug. “Thanks for the makeover Abbey!”

Abbey grinned and pulled away tapping her swollen belly; “Gently now Em, don’t want to squash Dot do you?”

Emily chuckled and then sat down on the edge of the bed, playing with her bangles. “If Number Eight does indeed agree to a second meeting, I don’t think he will recognize me when I show up without all this makeup…”, as her sister turned to glare at her, she stopped talking. Then, “Seriously though,” she continued, the smile fading from her face, “what if this doesn’t work out either?” her voice had dropped down to almost a whisper. Abbey, who had been her closest confidante for twenty-six years, looked at her intently.

“There have been so many meetings with so many hopefuls. It hasn’t worked out before. I can’t take any more rejection…or rejecting. It’s becoming too hard. I was never girlfriend material Abbey, forget wife! Didn’t have one boy look at me all through college, did I? Now, who’s to say that wasn’t a sign? I wish Ma and Dada would consider the possibility that perhaps marriage isn’t the only path to attain nirvana or whatever; or at least that this may not be my time to get married. I mean, they’ve called you in haven’t they? Ma must sense I’m stuck in a rut.”

“Well, first of all, I got roped in because while you were off playing in the dust or at sports tournaments all those years, I was learning what colours best compliment my skin tone. I spent my time buying pretty dresses, like the one you’re wearing, instead of basket balls.”

She paused to see if she could get a giggle out of Emily. When that didn’t happen, she said softly, “Since when do you believe in the right time and all of that? Ma and Dada want you to have what they have and what they believe Clive and I have. Marriage can be a beautiful thing you know, see what’s come of mine.” She paused pointing at her ever-growing baby bump. “Dot will be here soon and I couldn’t be happier. I know how much you adore babies. I could try to tell you how much you can love a child, but there aren’t enough words in all the languages that exist, including klingon, to quantify it until you have one yourself. Easier to make a baby when there’s a man around? No?

“And it’s not only about babies. Ma and Dada have been married for more than thirty years now! They’ve been together so much longer than they’ve been apart. I’m quite sure they can’t imagine life without each other and want you to experience that partnership as well. They want you to be complete and happy and completely happy too, even though it may not always seem like it.”

Emily sighed and squeezed her older sisters’ hand. “I know Abbey. I know. I’m only suggesting the idea that perhaps we could stop this whole husband-hunting business for some time. Please talk to them?”

Abbey looked into Emily’s imploring eyes. She could see the process was becoming an arduous one for her and that they probably needed to call off the search for a little while if only to give Emily a chance to see if she could find Mr. Right on her own. So she said, “Alright. If this Ethan chap who you’re meeting with today doesn’t seem like ‘The One’ for you, I’ll talk to Ma and Dada and you can go on with life the way you see fit.”

Emily threw her arms around her sister ignoring her protests, thanking her for understanding what she was trying to say.

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Please come back tomorrow to see what happens next! You can read the previous chapter here.

Am posting everyday in an attempt to complete the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month.