On a crisp and sunny April morning, Ferris St. James stood in a beautiful chapel in the windy city of Chicago; regretting everything that had brought her to this exact moment. She was positioned in front of a full length mirror, looking at herself in the most perfect wedding gown she could have imagined ever putting on.
She wasn't happy.
This was her dream wedding in every way possible except the groom. To everyone on the outside it was a match made in heaven. Two of the most commanding families in Chicago were coming together to form the power couple of the century; but it was all a façade. It was almost as if it were an arranged marriage. She was the oldest sibling at twenty-four years old and she felt it her duty to satisfy her parents.
When she was introduced to Calvin Hudson a year prior, she knew that both sets of parents had planned it. It was something they had all been plotting since their infancy. Calvin had been in private boarding schools his whole life; none of which were remotely close to Illinois. And for the six years after high school, he was in London attending Oxford and philandering about. It was a long awaited beginning to their relationship, and at first it seemed ideal. He seemed the perfect man for her. But she soon realized that this man she was destined to be with was nothing like what she had imagined. She had always dreamed the man she married would take her on adventures, laugh with her and love her in spite of it all. The first few months were quite nice, she had thought; dinners, parties and nights out on the town. But it was too soon she had noticed his wandering gazes and his disinterest in her. He was a boring excuse for a man.
None of that stopped Calvin from asking for Ferris' hand in marriage, nor her from accepting.
If she had declined, her mother would have disowned her, or worse. She yearned for the day that Ferris became Mrs. Hudson. Calvin's family was old Chicago money, and his father was a stock broker turned entrepreneur; owning half the city in itself.
Her family didn't need any more money, but her mother wanted more power and she lived vicariously through her daughter. Ferris felt it her responsibility to fulfill her mother's wishes, since that was what she had been doing her entire life. Mother knows best.
She wanted to choose her own life; her own destiny.
So why not start now, she thought. Why not finally take the reins of her own life and steer it in the direction she longed for it to go? Away from here.
Except that this was her wedding day; not exactly the best time to choose to go your own way.
As her head swam with the hope of a wonderful marriage and the freedom of being on her own, her sister walked into the powder room and admired the beauty of her older sister. "I wish I could be you right now, Ferr. I wish I could have what you have."
"You can have him if you want," Ferris replied.
"What? Why would you say that?"
"It's not important, Sarah. Just promise me that you'll make sure you're in love before you get married."
"Of course. Aren't you in love? Calvin is amazing."
"He's perfect." She pressed her dress down over her stomach and breathed in a heavy sigh.
"What's wrong, then?"
"Nothing, Sarah. Don't you worry."
"It's almost time. Can I get you anything before we go out there?"
"Could you grab me a glass of water? I'm thirsty."
Sarah smiled and nodded. She left the room leaving Ferris alone again. Millions of thoughts were flooding her mind, but the most prominent was that she didn't love Calvin. She loathed him really, but put up with it all for her family. For what they all wanted and what they all needed. But why did she need to keep doing this? No one ever asked Ferris what she wanted and what she needed.
This is it, she told herself. It was finally time to do what Ferris wanted to do.