23. What If

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(Isabelle's POV)

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(Isabelle's POV)

It's been about a month since everything happened that night with Alissa. I think Zayn tried to fix things at first but I haven't heard anything about her since. Maybe he's sparing the details to protect my feelings, or maybe, he just doesn't want to talk about it. Either way, there's nothing I can do about any of it.

Thing have been picking up pace around here slightly with the wedding only being a month and away. Not surprisingly, it seems everyone is calmer about this than I am.

"Have you bought your dress yet, Isabelle?" Zayn's mother asks.

"Oh gosh, no, I haven't..."

I can't believe I forgot one of the biggest parts of the wedding. Maybe this is all just a little too underwhelming since it's not real. When I was little, I had really hoped that my wedding would be this magical day with a big poofy princess-like dress but now, I find myself not caring at all.

"Well, how about we go out and get one later today, yeah?" She suggests. "I'll go get Zayn."

"Zayn?!"

"Well, of course. I think he'd like to come!"

I was about to bring up the idea that it's usually bad luck to see the bride in her dress before the wedding day but I don't for two reasons. One, I've never been very superstitious. Two, none of this is real, so it's irrelevant if it's bad luck or not.

"Actually, you know what... I'll let you do whatever you'd like, it is your wedding after all." She smiles kindly.

"Okay, thank you." I smile back, feeling comfort from her kindness.

Eventually, after debating it for far too long, I do go to ask Zayn if he'd like to come. It's fake, so why do I care so much?

I knock on his door this time, hoping not to barge in on him like I had before. He kindly calls me in and I slip through the door, shutting it behind me.

"What's up?" He asks, seeing my probably visibly anxious stance.

"Your Mom suggested we go get my dress today... I was wondering if you wanted to come."

He seems just about as taken back by it as I was... well, still am.

"Today?"

"Yeah... today."

"Bit early, isn't it?"

"Well... not really... not for normal weddings anyway..." I stand, picking at my fingers, trying to hide my anxiety.

"Oh... I wouldn't know... would you like me to come?" He looks up at me.

Something about that question somehow made me feel a little better. Perhaps it was the way he asked it so gently, as if truly wondering if him coming would make me feel happier.

"If you'd like to, then sure." I try to smile, though it's hard right now.

"Is there something else you wanted to ask me? You seem a little... antsy."

He can see right through me.

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be. It's just... I don't know, this is all going a little quick, don't you think? I mean... it's strange, isn't it?" Why am I questioning everything?

"Yeah, I know what you mean. It feels like we just met yesterday."

"Doesn't it?!" For a second, I don't feel alone.

I go to his bed, sitting at first but then tossing myself back onto it so I lie on my back with my legs dangling off the edge of it.

"I mean, we barely know each other and now we're going to get married! My head is just spinning all the time now and I don't know what to do."

I sit up, feeling oddly uncomfortable laying on his bed and quite overbearing.

"Sorry... I shouldn't be like this..."

"It's okay... I get it, I'm scared too... well, not scared but it feels strange... strange, for sure." He admits.

"I guess I just envisioned my wedding being very different from how it will be."

"And how's that?"

"I don't know... I always liked the traditional back and white wedding and the big poofy-princess-like dresses... when I was little, at least. I just thought that when this day came I would be so sure of myself and my decision... I'd be finally... at peace... I guess. That sounds weird and I know that's not right but it's how I used to feel."

"And now?" He questions, seeming genuinely interested in the answer.

"I have no idea what I'm doing... I'm not at all sure of myself and honestly... I can't remember the last time I was 'at peace'."

I can tell he feels bad for me, not entirely what I was hoping for, maybe I was hoping he'd be so sure that it would make me more sure of myself but that's not the case.

"Well... there's no reason you can't have that wedding... with the big dress and have everything done traditionally."

"It's far from my idea of traditional..." I chuckle. "...but I guess we can... yeah, if that's what you'd like too."

"Whatever you would like works for me... the day is about getting married, right? As long as that happens, we're all good." He smiles softly.

"Yeah, I guess you're right." I smile back.

For a split second, a wave of relief fills me but is quickly swept away by the same anxious feeling I've had since I walked into the room.

"Good." He starts. "We'll get the puffiest dress you can find and make sure all the guests wear black and white! How does that sound?"

"That sounds... really nice. Thank you."

"Anything to make you feel a little better."

Suddenly, I feel better. He's being so kind to me all of the sudden... I just wonder how long this mask will last.

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