2096 Words
Jessica “Why can’t you do anything right?!” I flinched when dad slammed his right fist on the table, causing for a short quake to occur. Dad, I’m good with arts. Unfortunately, that response is not something I could say in a household where money is the worshipped divinity. “Honey, I told you to stop raising your hopes, didn’t I?” mom said, followed by a disappointed sigh. “Come on. Don’t make a mess now, okay? Our lovely Penelope’s about to be engaged.” She coaxed, but I can feel her gaze of remorse despite my eyes focusing on my lap. I stopped myself from crying in front of my family, especially when tomorrow, I can’t afford to have swollen eyes. “The engagement will be tomorrow and all I asked was for you to bring your sister’s gown here in one piece! Why did you ruin it?!” he shouted again. Having no guts to answer back, I remained quiet. But then, another voice emerged from the short-lived silence. It was soft and sweet which only belongs to none other than my sister. “Are you mad that Leon chose me?” Penelope asked in a concerned, regretful manner. Slowly, I shook my head no. Fidgeting with my fingers, I bit my inner cheek to stop my tears from falling. “No one will choose a piece of scrap over a sapphire, of course it wasn’t your fault sweetheart.” Mom said, sounding so soft and mellow as if she hasn’t said anything bad about me, her other daughter. “But why did she spill ink on my gown?” Penelope innocently asked back. I want to answer. I want to tell everyone that she entered my room, picked up the gown, and spilled my marker’s ink on it. I want to tell them that all this time, it wasn’t my fault and she set everything up for she knew no one will believe me. “I-I’m sorry.”  “I didn’t mean to.” But how could I prove my innocence when everyone already has their backs turned on me? “Your words are useless!” I flinched again when dad shouted and stood up with his chair creating a loud sound. “You ruined a 30,000 gown!” the more that he yells at me, the more that I feel like I want to disappear. As much as I want to defend myself, I already know how things will end up if I will stand up to save myself. It was tiring, having to live a life with no one on my side because they all prefer someone who shines so bright, who excels in almost everything, and who can reach their expectations. They all want Penelope. “Get out.” Those were the words that dad says to me whenever he’s on the verge of resorting to physical violence. Quickly, I wasted no chance and stood up before walking away as fast as I can without meeting the gazes of any from my family. As I ran up the stairs, I can’t stop myself from crying. Covering my mouth, I shut my door close and leaned on it because all my strength seemed to be gone. Was it a sin to be born inferior? I never wished to have a light that shine only in the darkest night. I never dreamed that I will only be a mere firefly compared to my sister who was born a sun. I hope someone will save me. Please. {}{}{}  Leon was the first man whom I romantically loved. He was a person who treated me sweetly, but before I knew it, my love will never get reciprocated because he already achieved his goal: as my college classmate, he wanted to get close to my sister. And the moment she noticed him; I was left alone. Now, I will watch him get engaged to his girlfriend for six years. “Make a single mistake in the public eye and I will make sure all your paintings will be burned.” Dad warned as our driver swiftly entered the gate that leads to the venue of their engagement. “Do you hear me, Jessica?” he sternly asked, and from the faint reflection I’m seeing from the window, he didn’t spare me a glance. Numbed by both the pain of seeing him get his happy ending after using me and the pain of being treated like an uninvited beggar, I inaudibly sighed. “Yes, dad.” Finally reaching the entrance, the swarm of reporters were already readying as their cameras began to flash. With mom beside Penelope and dad beside me, the security approached us and opened the door, revealing all of us with our smiles which hides the secrets of our family. Dad went on Penelope’s right side so she can hold onto the arms of my parents. While we walk on the red carpet, they smiled at the cameras while I am behind them, waving as I try my best to not get blinded by the flashes while maintaining a smile. Once the door opened, the cold air from the AC first welcomed us, and inside were the visitors from several wealthy families whose eyes were all focused on them. “The goddess of the RH Corporation, the one and only prodigy of the Burberry family, Lady Penelope! Let’s welcome our dearest wife-to-be with a round of applause!” A goddess and a prodigy, that’s how people see Penelope. While me, I am just a younger sister whom people applaud to as a lucky woman who is born in a rich family. She gained their approvals by her talent, skills, and shown characteristics. While I, on the other hand, gained a little approval because I was nothing but a freeloader. But they’re wrong. The only problem that stops me from being recognized was people cannot accept me just being myself. As the claps echoed while they all slowly walked in, I stopped in my tracks and gestured for the door handlers to close it. Once it’s done, I faced the reporters. “I apologize for only allowing you to see our entrance. According to what our family conditioned, please turn off your cameras and kindly proceed to the exit after fixing all your equipment.” I smiled.  They were reporters that are hungry for scoops, and since my family were equally hungry for exposure, they agreed to have the entrance filmed while on the inside, only professional cameramen were present so that it will serve as the official shots and clips to be distributed to the media. And for me, my role was to make sure no reporters will sneak it as the engagement happens. “You look lovely, Miss Jessica.” One of the female reporters complimented while the rest were busy putting back their cameras on their bags. Maintaining my smile, I answered back. “Thank you, but I do believe that you’re way lovelier, miss.” “Why didn’t you accompany your sister in entering the venue, Miss Jessica?” a male reporter from the same company as her asked, earning the attention of the rest who suddenly turned to look at me. “I volunteered to stay behind to ensure that none of the parties will break their promise. If you were to sneak in, the rule that no security guard will touch you will be broken on our side.” I answered. “To make sure we both benefit, it is a must that someone must keep track of the happenings.” Believing my lies, they nodded and slowly, the crowd became little and little till the only ones remaining were the security guards, door handlers, and I. After making sure that the last reporter left through the exit wing on the right of the gate, my job is now officially done. “Can I roam around for a while?” I asked, looking at the employees who were not in sync in nodding to give me permission. Slightly lifting my gown, I smiled at them. “Thank you. I will be back after a few minutes to catch up with the engagement.” We already checked the entire venue so I know the places here. Turning to my left, I walked towards the fountain of the three goddesses. The issue with the gown was quickly resolved when dad contacted the shop where it came from and requested it to be done again since it was customized to fit only her. To be honest, his anger about wasting money on buying another gown was useless, because no matter what happens, he will always do whatever it takes to make sure that Penelope will get what she wants. Why does he have to pour his anger on me? If the sun and the clear blue sky can respond to me, I know what they will say: it’s because I am weak, and people with power likes suppressing the weak. The more that I continue walking, the more that my thoughts became sorrowful and too deep for me to dwell on. This day was an eventful day for the people who went in the engagement to either celebrate them to establish a good connection them, or to greet them and directly talk about business. But for me, this day was nothing but an official announcement that I am not a woman worthy to chosen by someone like Leon Cross. My eyes were focused on my feet, watching as my right and left foot switch places while I go to my destination. “I want you to contact the event director and-” I was surprised by a deep baritone voice which made me look up. However, it was too late for me because I already hit his chest. Moving away, I quickly looked up in fear that I may have offended someone that may pick a fight with me. “I-I’m-” “The f*ck.” My eyes went wide as I watched the man in front of me who just cursed me quickly walked towards the fountain and dipped his hand on it, causing the sleeve of his suit to be wet. “F*ck this shit.” After lifting his hand and stood up properly, I was hesitating on apologizing again because he looks very mad. “Damn it.” He tore his gaze away from the wet USB and glared at me, causing me to flinch and move a step backward. I have a bad feeling from this man. “I-uh- I am very sorry.” My eyes were all over the place as I tried to look at anywhere but him. How come this man can pressure me so much? His presence is no joke. “I was very preoccupied and I didn’t notice that you’re walking in front o-” “Tsk.” When I heard his footsteps, I quickly followed him with my gaze as he passed by me. “Wait!” I called, but he continuously walked away, causing me to quickly run towards him and hold his drenched hand, leaving him with no other choice but to look at me. Saying nothing, his silence overwhelmed me. “Get lost.” He coldly brushed my hand away before turning his back to leave again. Desperate to call his attention again, I have no choice. “I’m Jessica! Jessica Burberry!” Finally, he stopped. Then he turned to look at me for a while without saying anything, and for some reason, I kind of regret trying to bait him in noticing me by using my family name so I can apologize to him. “I, uh…” to break the tension-filled silence, I spoke. “Uhm, to compensate for the loss of the important USB file that I made you drop by accident, I would like to-” my words were interrupted when I saw him walk back towards me. His gray eyes were looking at me blankly as his jett black hair is gently brushing along with the soft wind. Stopping in front of me, he held my wrist, surprising me from the sudden physical contact. “Burberry?” his deep voice sent shivers to my spine when he mentioned my surname. “Uh, yeah?” I stared back at him, and before I could even blink because my blue eyes sting from maintaining the stare, he suddenly pulled me to walk with him. The direction? The entrance of the engagement venue.
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