"NO I REFUSE!" I yelled, stomping out my father's office and slamming the door shut.
I ran upstairs and flung open my bedroom door. Entering, I closed the door and slumped to the ground. Tears trickled down my cheeks. I couldn't believe my father! Yes I did know this was going to happen eventually. It was quite common at Crestwood Academy for matches to be made but it was too sudden. Often there were several suitors presented and the girl was allowed to choose. My father had agreed without my consultation. In fact, he had made me sign the agreement without my knowledge. I was bound to this man for life. Who was this man that I was to marry? Oh, irony of all irony, it was James Morgan.
Mr. Morgan must've offered a large sum of money. My father would do anything for money. He loved money more than his only daughter, his only family left. My mother and my brother had died a few years ago in a car accident. When the news came, my father seemed overjoyed. I could not believe him. I was too sick, too dead inside to eat or sleep and yet he was in his office working and counting the money he got from their insurance. It was sickening to watch. Heartless... I never thought such a human can exist but he was proof enough.
"Elizabeth! The Morgans are coming today for dinner. I expect you to conduct yourself appropriately and wear a dress for once!" With that my father closed the door, leaving me in silence yet again.
This marriage was for nothing but to produce an heir. I was seen as an object, something to possess not a human being! If it were someone else other than James, I wouldn't object. I've tried to forget about James ever since I was rejected last year but I couldn't. My chest still aches when I see him but it's more regret rather than romantic sentiments. How pathetic was I, pining over some guy for three years? Just when I finally got over him, this marriage had to happen!
I deserved everything that happened with James. I hurt him. I was insecure. I wasn't sure if he actually liked me. I was scared. He didn't call me. He didn't pick up when I called. How was I to know he was in Germany? When he finally called me, I ended things with him. Three weeks later, I went out with Chris. How could I've been so stupid to fall for those sweet lies? Only when I saw James again did I realize how stupid I was and by then it was too late. I was too involved with Chris and James knew.
Just when I finished dressing, the door rang. I could hear the cheery laughter of Mrs. Morgan. Sighing and checking my reflection one more time for any blemishes, I walked down the stairs.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, James." I chirped. I turned and nodded towards the maid, signaling that I had everything taken care of. They all said there hello's and I lead them to our dining room. "Father, our guests are here." I called to my father.
"Hello, Kevin. How lovely you look, Jane. Ah, you've grown, James." My father complimented. He turned towards me and suggested, "Why don't you show James your room and get acquainted with?"
"A brilliant idea, father." I forced a smile as I turned to James. "Would you care to join me?" He nodded silently.
I lead him to my room, taking the long way, hoping to waste some time. An awkward silence engulfed us. Racking my brain to start a conversation, I noticed that James was dressed in a maroon shirt, accenting his light skin. The first two buttons were undone. Even under his shirt, I could see his well-built muscles. His blue eyes still had a glint of mischief and yet... there was something different from the way it was back when we were dating. He looked so much more mature than I last saw him. Our eyes met and I quickly looked away, a faint tint of red colouring my cheeks. I hope he didn't notice. It would be that much more embarrassing.
"So, how have you been?" I asked, breaking the silence.
"Oh fine, pretty busy with soccer. You?" James replied.
"Me? Nothing much really, I wrote a lot and studied too." I said as our conversation ended. I groped in my head to start another conversation but I couldn't think of anything. All I could keep thinking was how my heart was beating fast and how much I still cared for him.
"Well, here we are." I announced unnecessarily as we reached my room.
I opened the door and led him in. "Nice room, so ummm, how do you feel about this marriage?" James asked, glancing at me from the corner of his eyes. He walked towards the balcony.
"I... well to tell you the truth, I feel like an used object. I don't approve of this marriage even though I still like you," I said, as a surprised expression passed James. My eyes widened. I covered my mouth with my own hands, surprised as much as he was at my own words. "I mean as a friend... I know how you feel. I didn't... I didn't mean it that way." I panicked, my heart beating painfully against my chest rapidly.