Three months went by and I had managed to, barely, stay away from Arturo. Mom had asked me a few times if I could be present during their meetings, but I had made up every possible excuse. Mom accepted the excuses as legitimate, dad, did not. He kept asking how long could I go on with my excuses. He said that, eventually, I would run out of them. I always told him that I would make as many excuses as I could, for as long as it took. I needed to avoid Arturo. I wanted to know if my feelings were real. I needed to understand them. I figured that if we did not see each other, whatever had transpired, if not real, would go away. Unfortunately, after three months, I felt the same. I thought about him every day. I wanted to see him again.
I never imagined that by wanting him to see me as a woman, I would wake up feelings in him that were just like mine. I wondered if he had felt feelings for me as the years went by. Did he love me, but thought I was too young? Did he think I was as beautiful as Maritza? Maritza would be devastated if she knew what was said that night. She could not find out. I could not let her see me around him. Women know the look. They know when another woman has desire for their man. I was in so much trouble.
What I did not know, was that Arturo and Maritza were having troubles of their own. As the wedding plans proceeded, their differences were surfacing. Maritza wanted a big embellished wedding; Arturo wanted a small one. Maritza wanted a reception for 400 persons; Arturo just wanted close friends and family. Maritza wanted a 14-day honeymoon; Arturo just wanted a 4-day getaway. I heard mom telling dad, that they even had an argument in front of her regarding the size of the cake.
“When couples argue like that, by experience, they do not last.” Mom said to dad.
Dad just nodded.
“I feel bad that this is going on. As a wedding planner, I can see that is not a good situation, as a friend my heart breaks for the Valencia’s.” continued mom.
Dad just nodded again.
“Armando, are you listening to me? Should I tell Mariana that I am concerned for Arturo and Maritza?” mom asked.
Dad answered her in an annoyed voice, “I do not think you need to tell Mariana. I am sure that she knows what is going on. Besides, all couples have trouble agreeing on wedding issues. Out of all people, you should know that. Just because you know Arturo, does not mean the situation is any different. Do you call other couples parents when they have discussions, disagreements, or arguments in front of you? No, you don’t.”
“You are right. I am taking the situation a bit more personal. They will get through this and everything will turn out just fine.” Mom said as if to convince herself.
After I heard their conversation, I wondered if their differences would escalate. Inside I hoped they would, but then I would think and realize those were not nice thoughts. If Maritza and Arturo were to be together, then I needed to be happy for them. Besides, dad is right. Couples have trouble agreeing on wedding issues.
Mom had a meeting with Arturo and Maritza that night. Although they had their differences, mom had been able to make some headways. That night they were finalizing their wedding invitations, their cake selection, the bridesmaids’ dresses, and the limousine arrangements.
After visiting various locations for their reception, they decided to have it at the Mount Sienna Resort, next to the Mount Sienna Chapel. What a dream. The resort was a small replica of the Sienna River scene, from Paris, France. It includes a cross bridge, a small stream and the sense of romanticism. On one side of the bridge, there is the Chapel. The outside of the chapel has two large marble columns. The stipple is shaped in a triangle with arched openings that provide a perfect view of the bell. The Chapel has seating capacity for 350 guests. The chapel is painted in off-white colors with earth undertones on the edges, which adds to the romantic scenery. To the right of the chapel there is an old Laurel Oak Tree, that complements the décor and ambiance. The deciding factor, according to mom was the horse carriage that would take the bride and groom from the chapel to the reception. The carriage resembles a fairy tale carriage like the ones used by the princesses in the happy ever after stories.
Mom had asked me to be there that night, because the print shop had sent the final draft of the wedding invitations for a final review. She said that Arturo and Maritza had asked if I could be there. Dad was listening when mom asked, and I could see him chuckling and had a grin on his face. He was amused, because I did not have a good excuse this time.
“Mom, at what time is your meeting? I have a meeting at work.” I said.
“Arturo has to work until seven. They will arrive around eight. I am sure your meeting will be over by then, right?” mom asked knowing that the meetings at the newspaper were always over by seven.
“OK, I will be here.” I answered her with hesitation in my voice.
I heard mom say, “That’s good because they said if you could not make it tonight, they would postpone the meeting for another day this week. They are looking forward to reviewing the final draft of the wedding invitations, and both insisted to have you present for that.”
I was not sure how I would go through the evening without calling attention to myself. I thought that everyone could see through me and I would be found out. So I thought of what to do to distract everyone from seeing my true feelings, “I know, I will do my best to hide my feelings, by wearing jeans, a big t-shirt, and no make-up. I will brush my hair just enough to look OK. My outfit will distract them and they will not pay attention to my face. My thoughts of worry were ridiculous. Why should I worry? I continued to rationalize the significance of the visit. I had not seen him in three months. I had, successfully, avoided him. I wished myself luck and waited for them to arrive.