Page 99 of Hate Like Ours

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I would have come with Mom earlier but she said she had everything handled. I hope I’m not a bad daughter when I say I was relieved when she said that. I can imagine the hustle and bustle that probably took place all day.

When we get to the top of the stairs and come to the doorway of the church, there’s a white carpet that leads from the door to the altar and then rows and rows of chairs are on both sides.

The decor is done in cream and white and there are flowers hanging from the ceiling over the entire room. I’m blown away with how gorgeous it all looks. It looks like a flower heaven up there.

“Your mom should be in that room,” Jonathan tells me as he points to the side. There’s a smaller building to the right of the main one and I walk away in that direction. The door is open when I get there so I walk right in.

There’s a big hall here and then doors that lead to different rooms. The space is filled with a flurry of activity. People are moving up and down and the wedding planner is on the phone, barking orders at someone.

I spot a door with the sign that readsBrideon it and make my way there. I knock and then open the door, before stepping inside and closing it behind me.

When I turn back around, I see Mom standing there, already dressed. Even though I saw her in this dress when she did the fitting, I’m still blown away at the full effect of it along with her hair and makeup done.

“Wow, Mom! You look amazing!” I tell her in awe.

She turns around to look at me and a huge smile crosses her face. “You really think so?” she asks and I shake my head.

“Jonathan won’t know what hit him!” I tell her as a laugh escapes me.

“Are you all set? Do you need your makeup or anything done?”

“No. I’m all good. I did it at home,” I tell her. She walks over to me and pulls me in for a hug. She squeezes me and then pulls back a little to look at me with her arms still resting on my shoulder.

“Are you alright, baby? You’ve been acting differently for a while and I can’t quite put my finger on it. You’ve lost some weight. I feel like something’s bothering you and I’m worried. Is it school or is it because I’m marrying Jonathan?” she questions with a furrowed brow. “I can call the wedding off if it upsets you. It’s not too late,” she says sincerely.

That would be super helpful but I don’t want to be the cause of her not being with the person she loves. Every time I’ve seen them together, it does look like they really love each other.

Plus, I love how she’s been looking so happy ever since she started dating Jonathan. I don’t want to take that away from her.

“No, Mom! Don’t worry about me. I’m fine! And it’s too late to call off the wedding, so don’t even try! And would you quit worrying! I’ve just been on a diet because I wanted to look good for your wedding. Isn’t it amazing!” I tell her with a laugh, hoping to brighten my mood for her. Hoping she’ll believe my lie. The wedding planner steps into the room and I’m saved from having Mom say anything else.

“We have about ten minutes until it’s time,” she tells Mom.

“Well, I better go outside to get set up,” I tell Mom, slowly backing away and out of the room. I breathe in a sigh of relief when I’m out of the room. I head toward the middle of the open space and stand there for a second while waiting for instructions.

Knox walks in a second later and stands next to me. We’re the only ones who’ll be walking down the aisle before Mom does.

“Are you guys ready?” Silvia, the wedding planner asks. I shake my head and then look over at Knox. He nods his head. He still looks angry, but he’s still doing this. I wonder why.

As soon as we step outside and onto the pathway that leads to the front of the church, flashes go off and I’m startled. I look up and see the paparazzi below by the steps. The flashes keep going and I’m dazed for a second. Fucking hell! I was not prepared for this, and I’m definitely not in the right frame of mind for this shit.

I try to ignore them as we make our way to the front and down the carpet to the front of the church. The place is packed with most of the town’s people. I guess I should’ve expected this since leading up to it, everyone was acting as though this was the wedding of the.

There are just a few photographers inside the church and I’m guessing those are the ones that Jonathan approved. They take pictures of us as we begin to walk inside.

We’re about halfway down the aisle when I turn my head to look up at Knox beside me. He does the same. He gives me a smirk that has nothing but evil intent shining through. That does nothing but confuse me.

Because of the confusion and not paying attention, when he lets go of my hand subtly moves his foot right in front of mine, my reflex isn’t fast enough. I go tumbling face-first onto the carpet.

I hear the gasps of people, the clicking of the cameras and know pictures of this are being taken. A moment later, the whole room is filled with the sound of laughter. My cheeks heat with embarrassment and I wish I could disappear.

“Oh my God! Are you okay?” Knox asks loud enough with fake concern, for people to hear before he moves to help me up.

I look up at him with tears brimming in my eyes. I know he can see the pain in them because I don’t do anything to hide it. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. The wedding planners rush over to us to make sure I’m okay and I let them know that I am. I tell them I just tripped over my dress.

Every time I feel like we’ve made it one step forward to put the animosity behind us, he does something to show me that we went two steps backward instead.

I don’t answer him. Instead, I start walking to the front again. Once we’ve taken our places at the altar, I stand and watch as my mom walks down the aisle gracefully.

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