Chapter Two: Together Forever
I gazed down at my stunning, diamond ring with a smile. I couldn't believe I was so lucky. I was engaged to an extremely sexy, powerful man, and I couldn't wait to get married to him. Everybody knew the famous Wall Street lawyer Daniel Lewis, but I was the only one he was going to spend the rest of his life with. The happy thought sent tingling sensations all the way down to my toes. "Just another month, Jessica," I reminded myself, trying to keep myself patient until the wedding.
Suddenly, I realized I was still at my desk in my office, daydreaming again. I returned to my work, typing rapidly at my computer. Before I could get very into it though, Daniel came striding through my office door with flowers in his hand.
"Daniel!" I squealed. "What are you doing here?" I leaned up to kiss him. "Who are those for?"
"I hear my beautiful fiancé likes roses," he offers them to me, pulling me out of my chair to kiss me again. I smiled against his mouth. "You heard right." I breathed in their fresh scent with sigh. "Let me find a vase to put these in." I opened the cabinet above my desk and began pushing things aside to reach the vase I kept at the back.
"You keep a vase at your office?" he asked, wrapping his arms around my waist. It was really distracting.
I turned around to give him a smile. "I keep it in case handsome men decide to bring me flowers."
He looked at me for a moment, appearing almost worried. "You have other handsome men bringing you flowers?"
"Just you," I assured him as I reached up to kiss him again. At that moment, my life was perfect.
Ten minutes later, I was snuggled with Daniel in a booth at Luigi's, our favorite pizza place in the entire city. We liked to sit on the same side of the booth because it put us closer together, even though most people thought it was odd.
"Excuse me sir, but are you expecting anyone else?" our waiter asked politely. He was high-school aged and looked rather nervous, as though it was his first day on the job.
"No, thank you. We're ready to order if you are," Daniel replied, threading his fingers through mine. It was like his hand was made to fit with mine. I smiled at him and squeezed his hand.
The waiter smiled. "What can I get for you?"
Daniel ordered a large pepperoni pizza for us to share, along with two waters. I gave him an annoyed look. "I'm in a business suit, and you expect me to eat pizza?"
He quickly saw I was just teasing him and he laughed. "You'll look fantastic while doing it, though."
Our order was quickly filled and we polished off half of the pizza. Daniel resolved to bring the rest of it home. Once he paid the check, I walked him out to his car. I told him I could walk back to work and waved as he started the engine and put it into gear.
He was about to drive away when he stopped and rolled down his window. "Are you sure you don't want me to drive you back to work love?"
I bent down to the window and kissed his cheek for being such a sweetheart. He was so thoughtful that way sometimes. "I can walk you know, I'm capable of it." He agreed and kissed m before driving off in the opposite direction.
Then, he was gone, just another car stuck in the New Jersey traffic. With a small sigh of disappointment I made my way back to the office, meandering through the typical lunch crowds of people. The four block walk took longer than I would have preferred, but I didn't mind because I loved staring at all of the sights and the interesting buildings around the city. It also gave me time to think about Daniel, which was definitely one of my favorite pastimes.
Daniel and I had been dating for almost two years when he proposed to me. It was so sweet; he took me to my favorite restaurant and then brought me home and put the ring on the plate with my dessert. He'd bought my favorite raspberry cheesecake from the bakery near my apartment. I was so excited about the cake I almost didn't notice the ring. But when I had, I knew that Daniel and I were meant to be, so I practically screamed my answer, which was, of course, yes. He had totally and completely swept me off my feet; I was head over heels for him.
After much debate about seasons, times, and relatives flying in, we set the wedding for March, 2013 so we could have the beautiful spring wedding I always wanted. I was unbelievably happy with the wedding preparations, and the only thing I wished for was to move the wedding closer. March was too far away, even now.
After he proposed, we packed up my tiny apartment together and I moved into his company-paid penthouse apartment, which was more than big enough for the two of us. We set to work finalizing guest lists, picking out flowers, and locating a venue for our wedding. We decided to have it in a lovely garden just outside of the city that is owned by Daniel's older brother, Jack. I wanted purple everything, and Daniel, who was always eager to please, paid for my every whim. If I wanted purple plates with gold trimmings, he would pay without complaint simply because he loves me. I tried not to ask for too much though because I didn't want to break our budget, which I'm sure he was grateful for.
Now we only had a month left, and I couldn't wait. Being engaged to Daniel had been so fantastic; I couldn't imagine what it would be like being married to him. He is the man of my dreams, and hardly anything could ruin my good mood anymore.
Later that afternoon, I was back at the office and I had another visitor. My best friend since kindergarten, Emma, came waltzing in the door, holding a big bag filled with purple tissue paper. "Surprise!" she announced, setting the bag on my desk. "I have found your wedding shoes."
When we graduated high school, Emma and I planned on seeing each other all the time during college, even though she was going to college in Pennsylvania and I was going to NYU. We kept our promise, and usually every other weekend I would drive to see her or she would drive to see me. We both made other friends in college, but we stayed as close as peanut butter and jelly, which had become our fond nickname, still telling each other everything. When we graduated college four years later, Emma and I bought an apartment together until she got engaged to James Hamilton, son of Rick Hamilton, the famous car dealer, whom she'd met in college. They got married last year and I was her maid of honor.
Now, she was returning the favor and acting as my maid of honor, of course. She was just as excited about the wedding as me. She loved Daniel, and he and James were good friends.
The reason she had bought me shoes was that I have been struggling to find shoes to match my dress for months, but I just haven't found "the pair". My dress is strapless with a sweetheart neckline. It has a gorgeous, white princess skirt and a tight bodice, with a satin, purple ribbon tied around the waist. It was perfect, but I couldn't find a pair of white shoes I was crazy about.
Emma, however, apparently believed she had found them. "So, I know you've been looking forever, when it suddenly hit me. Maybe we've been thinking too plain. So naturally, I went out and bought these." She ripped open the tissue paper for me and pulled out a gorgeous pair of purple stilettos that would match exactly with the ribbon on my dress. I was sure that Emma had been sure to get the color down to the exact shade. My eyes widened, and Emma wagged her finger. "You are not allowed to say anything until you try them on. Be at my house at eight tonight." We had been keeping my dress and other wedding things at Emma's, so I agreed and smiled.
"They are really pretty shoes Emma." I told her, picking up the right shoe. "I can't wait to try them on. Where did you find them?"
"Nordstrom's shoe department, of course," she chirped, confirming my suspicion. They were probably way over the budget. Emma whisked the shoes away and put them back in the bag before giving me a tight hug. "Tell Daniel I said hello." Then she left my office, bag swinging in hand. Knowing Emma, she was probably off to do more shopping.
I sat down at my desk and picked up my phone to call Daniel. He answered on the second ring. "Yes, darling?"
"Hey love, I'm going to Emma's tonight after work because she thinks she found my wedding shoes. I'll probably eat dinner with her if you want to eat the leftover pizza from lunch today," I told him, making notes on things that I needed to finish tomorrow. It was almost 5:30, time for me to go home.
I rarely worked late at the office because I didn't want to become a workaholic. My older sister Cara and I had lost touch while I was in college, but I used the conversations with my mother to infer that Cara was constantly at work. She was a famous designer in New York City, and I was so proud of her, but she never had time for any personal life what-so-ever, let alone spending time with her family. I vowed that I would never let my work become more important than my family, and I planned on keeping that promise.
I had another sister too, named Leah. Leah and I were close, but the small age gap between us caused a rift. We fought like cats and dogs when we were teenagers. We love each other, but we hardly ever talk anymore either. She lives in northern New York, in the small town I grew up in. Last I heard she wanted to go to cosmetology school.
"Sure. I have a few things to finish at work but I'll see you tonight," Daniel responded easily. He was so easygoing about things like that, and it was so great to have an easy relationship.
"Okay. I love you." He hung up and I texted Emma to ask her if she had dinner plans. She quickly invited me to dinner with her and James to be friendly, and I said yes. I packed up my briefcase and said goodbye to my co-workers as I left the office, eager to change my clothes and go straight to Emma's so I could get my hands on those purple shoes.
One hour later, I was sitting at Emma's dining room table, wearing a black pencil skirt and a white, scoop-neck blouse. Emma had made chicken alfredo and I ate, quickly becoming full off of Emma's rich cooking. Emma was always the cook, I didn't have a single cooking skill what-so-ever. I could probably manage to burn water if I tried.
"It was delicious Emma," I declared as I leaned back in my chair. James hastily agreed, praising Emma for being such an amazing cook. Emma blushed and accepted her compliments gracefully before pulling me out of my chair.
"Let's go try on shoes!" she almost shouted, running to her closet in excitement. Emma's walk-in closet was twice the size of mine and also twice as disorganized. It was just off of the master bedroom, which of course was perfectly decorated to her taste.
She quickly pulled my wedding dress off the hanger and laid it on the bed next to the purple shoes before leaving the room, allowing me to change in private. I looked at my wedding dress for a few moments, dreaming about Daniel's face when he would see me walk down the aisle in it.
I carefully slipped on the wedding dress and let Emma come back in to tie up the back. She beamed as we observed my figure in the mirror. "You are going to look so stunning, Jess. She held out the shoes and I strapped them on before staring and realizing how amazing they looked with the dress.
"Well, what do you think?" Emma asked. "Don't make me wait all day."
I released the breath I didn't realize I was holding. "They're perfect, Emma. There's no other way to describe them.
She almost shrieked with happiness as I pulled her into a hug. "I'm getting married!" I yelled, letting my best friend dance me around her bedroom. "I'm actually getting married."