I won't get in your way.
Cheshire’s words echoed in my head as I tried to focus on the decorations. I glanced over at Raven, who was concentrating on some pink confetti, and smirked. I was hardly paying attention to my own misshapen pile of tiny hearts gathering on the table in front of me, and fluttering over my feet.
There’s something you need to know about her... And it's either gonna come from me or her so I just wanted to give you time to prepare... it's kind of something big but she'll probably wait till after the wedding and all... I know what she's like... she won't want to cause a scene...
I sliced my finger on the scissors and swore as drops of blood spilled on the pile of hearts I had been labouring over. I quickly rubbed the cut and it disappeared, leaving only a faint sting. I stared at the ruined hearts and thought about salvaging a few of them, but the words were still circling my mind and Cheshire and Aria... they suddenly seemed more important.
Sorry, Asha. I thought, knowing she could hear me coming, before I threw the scissors on the coffee table and stormed out of the room, heading for Harmony’s wedding central. I barged into the room, startling Harmony who was pinning up Sara’s dress, and made for the adjoining door to what I assumed was the dressing room. I pushed past Xavior, who was just shutting the door behind him and started banging on it, slightly manically.
“Asha? ASHA – where is she? Where’s Aria?”
“Sylvester!” Harmony appeared at my side, rather skittish about my yelling, but determined not to allow me to ruin the excitement. “That’s the bride and bridesmaid fitting room – you can’t go in there!”
I hadn’t drunk in a long time; my skin was pale and my frustration was clear. I looked her up and down rudely, and, ignoring her protests, started banging on the locked door again. “Aria, I know you’re in there.”
“Get out here! I need to talk to you!” I lowered my arm and rested my forehead against the wood of the door.
“Can’t it wait?”
“”No, it can’t wait.” I practically whispered, well aware of the fact that I had now caught everyone’s attention. I could also sense a hushed argument on the other side of the door, between Asha and Aria. Aria was reluctant to see me, but Asha was desperate to have a normal wedding. I apologised in my thoughts again to her, but told her it was important that I speak to Aria now. “Aria, please come out.”
The door opened a crack to reveal Aria’s irritated, violet eyes, “Honestly. Hold yer horses – I’ll be out in a minute.” Then she slammed the door shut again.
Harmony was shooting me evils as I left the room, understandably so, as the atmosphere was much more hostile than when I had arrived. “It won’t take long.” I said gruffly, before lowering my head and stalking into the hallway.
A few minutes later Aria popped her head out of the door, and I waved her over to where I was leaning against the banister on the staircase.
“What’s wrong?” she tried to smile, but there was a barrier. It must have had something to do with what Cheshire had tried to tell me.
“So guess who I spoke to earlier.” I said roughly, trying to avoid her eyes. “Cheshire.”
“Well that’s awful nice of you! He’s been wantin’ to apologise – ” I raised my face to hers, and her smile faded away at the sight of my scowl. “What did he tell you?”
“That there was something you had to tell me.” She seemed worried for a second, and glanced over at Cheshire’s door. “Look, whether you were planning to tell me after the wedding, or even if you weren’t planning on telling me at all, I want to know now... before anything else happens. And if you won’t tell me, Cheshire will.”
There was a gruesome silence whilst she tried to formulate a sentence, even just a word that would either console me, or break my heart.
“Aria. Which is it going to be?” She turned her big eyes on me imploringly, and I wished I hadn’t put her in such an obviously painful position. “I want to offer you so much!” I exclaimed, trying to validate my anger with compassion. “But how can I do that if I have to rely on Cheshire to tell me things you should have shared with me a long time ago!? I don’t know about you, but I... Aria, I want to leave Clara behind me. And if you wanted, you could be a part of my life.” I reached out to touch her arm lightly. “But you can’t be, not if you won’t talk to me. Aria, remember how we used to talk.”
My grey eyes felt steely, my throat was dry, and I sensed disappointment was at the tip of her tongue as she opened her mouth to speak.
There’s something you need to know...