Mirror Image

contract marriage

“Kiss me, my wife,” Phoenix said while he inched his face closer to hers.

She wanted to. She wanted to kiss him so bad. She wanted to kiss him, embrace him, touch his handsome face, and do so much more.

But, she didn’t have the right to do that. No.

He married Alissandra Marie Gomez. She was Alessandra Marie Gomez. He married her twin. But she, Alessandra, was the one living with him, pretending to be Alissandra.

“So, help me, God.” Alessandra prayed so hard.

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The Dilemma
“I am never enough for you, Alex.” “No. No. You are enough, Brian.” She wanted to say those words but couldn’t. She didn’t know why. She ran and she tried to reach out for him, but he was slowly moving away from her. “I am never enough for you, Alex.” His words kept on echoing while she kept running. “Brian, wait! Brian!” She could feel the tears that were slowing flowing down her cheeks. He gave her a sad smile and slowly turned his back on her. Then, he was gone. “Briaaaan!” **** She suddenly opened her eyes. It was just a dream. Thank God. A few seconds had passed before she realized that she was looking at an unfamiliar high ceiling. She sat upright and when she did, she felt pain in her head. She felt a little bit weak and disoriented. She closed her eyes for a few seconds and when she opened them, she looked around the place. It dawned into her that it was not an unfamiliar place. She had been in this room thrice this week, actually. After all, this was the room of the bride, her twin sister, Alissandra. So, why was she here? She was supposed to be at the wedding reception. She was about to leave the bed when she heard the door opened. When she looked up, she saw Phoenix – the husband of her twin. She didn’t expect what she saw next. He smiled at her! For the first time! She felt nervous and…. what? She was not sure. She was about to ignore his smile, the way he was ignoring hers for the past weeks, but he just really looked good.. and happy. “Hi.” She said while smiling. He slowly made his way to her and sat on the edge of the bed beside her. Her heart started beating a little bit fast. She felt awkward. From his handsome smiling face, he turned into a frowning man. “Hi? Is that the proper way of greeting me after making me so worried?” He was looking intently at her. His eyes seemed to memorize every part of her face. She didn’t get what he meant. She actually felt confused. “W-what?” He smiled a little. “I said, is that the proper way of greeting me, wife?” She gasped. Surely, she heard him wrong. “Wi—w-what?!” Her voice was quite loud when she uttered the words. He moved closer to her. She tried to move away from him but he suddenly put his left hand on her nape. “Wife.” Then, he pulled and kissed her.   *** A few months before   “Alex, please help me!” She could hear the crying voice of her sister over the phone. She was creating another art masterpiece and was really engrossed with it when her phone rang. She honestly didn’t want to answer her calls because knowing her sister, Alia would just tell her a lot of stories about their family friends as well as her relationship with Carlos. But she felt something which she usually felt, as well as Alia, whenever her twin sister was not okay. Her sister could be dramatic that was why she sighed and sounded bored when she replied, “Why? What’s the problem?” She heard Alia sobbing before answering her questions, “F-Father!” She put down her brush and picked up her phone. “Why?! What happened to Father?!” She felt scared. She knew her father had not been the same ever since their mother died two years ago. Alia tried to control her crying when she heard the panic in her voice. “Father is okay, Alex,” Alia said. Alex sat on her high chair before made a sigh of relief. The fear that she felt made her weak, all of a sudden. “So, what’s the problem? Why are you crying?” She asked while looking at her unfinished painting. She was thinking of finishing half of it today, but since her sister already got her attention, she might as well do it tomorrow. Alia started crying again. Alex sighed and tried to comfort her sister.  “Alia, tell me what’s wrong. If you don’t stop crying, I’ll hang up on you. Call me again if you’re ready t---” “Father wants me to marry Phoenix.” What? Who? “Are you pranking me?” Alia used to do that when they were teenagers. She might want to refresh her mind, but she was not going to buy it this time. “Of course not, Alex! I am serious! Oh God!” She heard the frustration in her twin’s voice. “For real?” She had to be sure. She was talking to Alia, after all. “Yes! Yes! You have to believe me! I wouldn’t cry like this if it’s not true! You know me!” Yes, Alia was such a happy person that she wouldn’t cry like that. She suddenly felt bad for doubting her twin. “Okay, I’m sorry. I believe you. Now, tell me again. What did Father say to you?” Between her cries, Alia told her their Father’s plan. “He called me yesterday and he told me to go to his office, which I did. When I got there, he was waiting for me. Then a few minutes after, Phoenix came.” “Who’s Phoenix?” She asked but the name sounded familiar to her. “Alex, Phoenix! The Phoenix Gareth Brayden of Centuria! Where on earth are you?!” Phoenix Gareth Brayden His family owned one of the leading construction firms in Centuria and abroad. She heard that Maximo Brayden retired two years ago and he passed over his position as president and CEO to his eldest son, Phoenix. Her father once mentioned that he was going to partner with Phoenix in the construction of family hotels and resorts in Centuria and Pavinia. Harry Gomez was known as the hotel lord in Centuria. He owned all five-star hotels in the country. He also had hotels abroad which she visited and temporarily managed whenever she had free time, which was just once in a blue moon. She stopped her train of thoughts when she heard Alia. “I thought Father was just going to have lunch with us while discussing their project. But I was wrong. He said that he was going to sell half of our hotels in the country to Phoenix.” “What?! Why would he do that?!” It couldn’t be. “That’s not all. He was also going to withdraw his deal in the construction of family hotels in Centuria and Pavinia. He said that he wanted Phoenix to finish and own whatever he has started! Could you imagine my expression that day, Alex?!” She could imagine it too well. She was having those expressions NOW. “What did Phoenix say?” She already hated the idea of his name coming out of her mouth. “Nothing! He was just staring at me! He agreed to everything, Alex!” Alia started crying again. Now, she understood the problem. Yes, it was a problem. A huge one. What’s happening, Father? Alex thought. She couldn’t understand why her father would just let go of everything that he had worked hard for someone who was not even part of their family. Part of their family. Oh, God.

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