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In a black dress hugging her body with a pair of a black stilleto and a black purse, she walked into the room with an almost blunt affect. With a pale, peach blush - on and a dark - brown lip tint, her total expression was one of a forlorn figure who came more likely for a funeral, not for an engagement party.
Laden with grief for an unspoken affection that was soon to be buried in the depths of life's forgotten chapters, she felt physically ill. She had thought of this decision a thousand times and finally concluded that this was the right one. If Dr. Jim was coming that night, it meant that he, himself, had thought and decided about this. It meant that he was prepared to forget Jia and was open to the possibility of learning to love and accept her. And she would do just the same...
In fact, before Dr.Aijohn came into her life, she was first infatuated with him. Falling back for him wouldn't be that difficult. She had been pursuing him for years, even if she only gained rejection, while she only had a short time with Dr. Aijohn. Only that, every minute spent with him, was woven with golden threads of unforgettable moments and sweet memories.
But what remained as a mystery to her until now was the surprising decision of Dr. Jim to marry her. Even if both of their parents agreed on it, Dr. Jim was not that easy to be bribed. She saw it in her eyes how he loved that woman.
Seeing everyone's eyes on her, she paused for a moment and looked towards the long table. The sight of those flowers that symbolized the supposed sweetness of a love affair made her sick. It made her instantly nauseated as she felt dizzy.
"Gracie dear, you look so lovely! " Madamme's voice echoed through the hall as she sprang up to her feet to greet her. Yet, deep inside, she felt that there must be something wrong with her. She looked pale and sad.
They all took turns in greeting her. Suddenly, the floor rolled like waves and the room spinned...She stepped backwards in staggering steps and she fell....
But before she fell midway, a hand steadied her.
"Gracie! What happened? Are you sick? "Madamme screamed as she rushed forward.
"Dr. Grace! "
They simultaneously exclaimed her name in sudden fear as they all came forward.
"Dr. Jim, thank you for coming in just the right time. You saved her from injury!"
"Son, you're such a lovely pair! "
Dr. Jim lowered his eyes in shame. Even in a situation such as this, his mind was still fixed on his obsession. Madamme Ybañez glared at him while Mr. Ybañez shook his head and silently condemned him.
"Not feeling well? "Dr.Jim looked into her eyes with a worried look.
Dr. Grace looked at him as well, still couldn't believed that he was there. He indeed came for the wedding discussion!
"I'm just a bit dizzy but I'm alright." She softly answered.
"Okay, I'll take you to your seat." Dr. Jim said as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder and guided her as they walked towards the table.
"Dr. Aijohn, please come over and take your seat." Madamme's voice mentioning Dr. Aijohn's name pierced into her daughter's ears.
Dr. Grace turned her head towards the door and she, indeed, saw Dr. Aijohn. Why was he here? He, absolutely, had nothing to do with her engagement.
All of a sudden, her heart fluttered. She was instantly conscious and embarrased that he saw her being held by Dr. Jim. In the next second, she realized that she didn't have to worry. Why would she care? Tonight, she would be officially engaged with Dr. Jim...
Soon, everyone was seated across each other in a long table. Mr. Wayne was on the far corner of the table while the Ybañez couple on the right side. Jim and Dr. Grace were seated across them while Dr. Aijohn suited himself on the opposite corner of the table.
There was a deafening silence right after they were seated. Although the room was heavily decorated into a lively and romantic set up, there was no music and dancing. No presentation of gifts. Nor, well - wishers. Neither the presence of valued guests except Dr. Aijohn.
It would just be a simple discussion about the wedding...
Finally, Mr. Ybañez broke the silence.
"Everyone, shall we start the discussion?" His eyes ran over to Mr. Wayne then to Dr. Jim and Gracie.
"Dear, are you alright now? Can we now start? There's no point beating around the bush." He said annoyingly.
From the very beginning, he was already uncomfortable of this decision when he knew that Dr. Jim was already married. Only that he couldn't decide on his own. The final say in every decision was still his wife.
"Alright, dad." Grace replied as she gave him a quick glance.
Mr. Ybañez turned to Mr. Wayne who was not affected and probably numb to the stale environment.
"Since everyone is here, I suppose that all of us are prepared and decided for the union of the
children." Mr. Wayne began as he looked at Mr. Ybañez then to Dr. Jim.
Dr. Jim just gazed at him without a word but his sharp look brought daggers into his temples. Too sharp in all edges!
"Dr. Grace, I am sure you have decided on this so I would like to welcome you ahead to the family. Just decide on the date and we sure would give you the wildest and the fanciest wedding that you desire. We can hire the best wedding planner in the country or abroad. Just state your demands and we would give everything that you desire." He said enthusiastically in a very cunning smile.
He knew that no matter how much this wedding would cost, it would only be a small fraction of the return of this investment.
Everyone stared at him with disdain in their hearts, except Dr. Grace who knew nothing about the selfish motive behind this wedding plan. She knew that both their parents were doing this matchmaking task behind her back. But she had no idea on the full extent of this plan.