I heard my father say to me and I took a deep breath and exhaled deeply before raising my head to look at him.
I could see the forceful smile on his face. He was struggling to be happy but I knew it was all a lie because my father was bad at keeping a happy face when he wasn't happy.
I got up from where I was seated and lifted my wedding gown a little so I wouldn't step on it.
"You look beautiful," my father said to me and I saw the sincere smile on his lips when he said that word and I believed it.
I linked my arms with my father and began to walk with him. I felt the knots in my belly tightened and it was because I knew I was close, I was close to getting married to the man who had not failed to show me disrespect the moment he saw me.
The man who had not failed to look down on me and called my family and me a gold digger.
The truth was, we were indeed getting married so that he would save my father's company and there was no lie to his words. I wasn't after his money neither was my family but he accused me and I understood why my sister had to run.
My older sister, Sarah Cox was the one to get married to him but last week, she ran away with her boyfriend, leaving just a letter for the reason she ran away and so the wedding had to be shifted by a week so that I would come in place of my sister.
I recalled the first time I met Adrian and a lone tear slipped down my cheek. I stylishly wiped it off so as not to ruin my makeup.
When Adrian realized the bride had been changed, it gave him more reasons to hate and insult my family. He accused us of what we were not and suspected we had schemed against him and promised to find out what they were in no time.
My father and I halted at the door and my presence was announced.
I took in one last deep breath and exhaled deeply before walking down the aisle with my arms linked with my father.
I dare not raise my head because I knew I could collapse if they met my eyes of Adrian.
From the day I met Adrian, I have never seen him with a happy face, not like I was expecting it but each time I saw him, all I saw was the dislike for me or rather disgust for me in his eyes.
He never failed to correct me or find fault in whatever I did beside him.
I felt my knees weak but I kept walking. I felt the hot gaze of everyone on me and the little whispers in the room.
I forcefully swallowed the lump in my throat as my father left my side to go sit down.
Now, I was standing in front of the man who had promised to make my life a living hell.
I spaced out from everything that was going on as I didn't want to believe I was just a few minutes from being a married woman. I knew the priest was saying something but I didn't hear what he said and I could care less because I was extremely nervous.
Not only were the knots in my belly tightened but I felt my hands begin to shake and my knees felt weak too.
I heard someone say my name and I snapped out of my thoughts.
I raised my head slightly to see that it was the priest that had called for my attention. I tilted my head a little and it met the eyes of Adrian's cold stares and I felt a jolt of electricity run down my spine.
His gaze wasn't like the other times, this time they were cold and it felt as if he wasn't to kill me. If stares could kill then I would be six feet under the ground.
I did not hear what the priest said and so I didn't know what to do or what to say.
I hear the priest clear his throat.
"Miss Sophia Cox, it's time for you to say your vows," the priest said.
"Thank you," I almost whispered to him.
I moved closer to Adrian and lifted three of my fingers.
" In the name of God, I, Sophia Cox take you, Adrian Castillo to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."
"It is your turn, Mr. Adrian," the priest said to Adrian.
"In the name of God, I, Adrian Castillo take you, Sophia Cox to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."
My heartbeat began to race faster than normal and it was because I knew it was done. I was no longer a single lady but a married woman and I wasn't married to the love of my life as I imagined but to a man who had promised to make my life a living hell.
Tears began to form in my eyes but I fought it hard to not drop as I didn't want to show any sign of weakness.
It was done and I wasn't ready to accept it. I wasn't ready to leave my parents and stay with someone who doesn't like me back or will even show concern for my existence.
"With the power invested in me, I now pronounce you, husband and wife."
And that was it, the beginning of a new story for me.