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Chapter 2: The Big Surprise

  • Chapter 2: The Big Surprise
  • Even with the cold drizzling weather, Diana Stevens didn't cancel her flight. She knew she had to go back to her mother, immediately, and as soon as possible. That was what her mother said, anyways.
  • "Babe, you can go tomorrow. It's already one in the morning," Aiden Rewen, her boyfriend, said as he drove towards the airport, his brown curly hair flying from the air cooler.
  • "No, babe, I have to go now! Mom said it was an emergency. I just hope she's okay." Diana had received a call from Merida telling her to come to England as soon as possible. Hearing her panicked tone, Diana couldn't wait for the following day. She had to go home. Now.
  • "Did you book the ticket?" she asked Aiden.
  • Diana was a nervous wreck and was constantly fidgeting in the passenger seat whilst checking her bag for important things she might have left in her haste.
  • "Of course I did. Everything is set. All you have to do is go and come back soon."
  • They reached the airport in a span of thirty minutes, but to Diana, it felt like hours. As soon as the car skidded to a stop, Diana scampered out. She even tripped in her haste to reach the doors, almost forgetting about her boyfriend.
  • A hand grabbed hers before she could even take a step, whirling her back. Her hair whipped the side of her face. "Wha-"
  • It was Aiden. "Come back soon, okay?"
  • Diana nodded and gave him a quick peck on the lips, feeling his soft brown curls. Then she hurried inside the airport, elbowing past strangers in order to reach the front desk.
  • "Where to, ma'am?" the woman at the counter asked. Despite having Diana's passport and ticket, she had to go and ask again. Diana knew it was the woman's job to do so, yet she couldn't help but feel irritated.
  • "London."
  • "Here you go." The woman handed Diana's belongings. Diana grabbed them and ran, quickly getting into the plane after giving away her luggage. Panic made her fast; she was sitting on her designated seat before she knew it, breathing in relief.
  • She immediately texted Aiden upon making herself comfortable on her seat.
  • Diana: I am on the plane.
  • The panic subsided, making Diana smile sadly. Actually, she didn't want to leave Aiden. Their graduation ended just a week ago, and they both planned to find jobs and settle down in the United States. Unfortunately, in Diana's world, nothing goes according to plan; she knew that their plan would be screwed up as well.
  • "I wonder what the emergency is," she muttered. Diana looked down at her phone, glancing at the wallpaper in sadness; it was a picture of her and Aiden. Bringing her finger at the screen, she gently touched his face on the screen, pretending to feel his soft skin instead of the gadget. The crinkles on the sides of his eyes when he smiled was one thing she would never forget.
  • "I will come to you as soon as possible," Diana promised. "I will."
  • Due to nine long hours of her flight, Diana fell fast asleep, feeling the drowsiness and weariness that filled her whole being. It felt as if she had just blinked when the crew cranked up the speakers to announce that she had already reached her desired destination.
  • After she took her luggage, she called her mother. It took her a few times before Merida answered, "Yes, honey?"
  • "Mom, I am in London now. I am taking a taxi and coming home. I just wanted to inform you," she breathed out. "Is everything okay? What's the emergency?"
  • She could almost imagine Merida grinning at the other end of the line. "Just come, you will find out soon." The call ended.
  • Diana sighed. Her mom had always been like that, pretending to have an urgent need to make her come home. She wouldn't be one bit surprised if the 'emergency' wasn't even that important. Either way, she flagged down a taxi and headed home. At least she had the chance to visit London, right?
  • The environment of London never changed; everything was the same as it was four years ago. The only thing Diana missed while staying in the United States was her mother. She intended to take Merida with her after she got the green card, but that might take a while.
  • Once Diana reached home and stepped onto the lawn, she instantly engulfed Merida in a hug. "Mom, I missed you so damn much!"
  • "I missed you too, sweetheart! How is everything?" Merida asked as Diana took her luggage inside their two-storied house. Diana's room was upstairs, so she headed there while Merida trailed behind her, dragging her other belongings.
  • "Everything was going smoothly until you called and said there was an emergency. What was it? You have to tell me now."
  • Merida smiled at her daughter proudly. "I will, but not now. It's a surprise for you." She handed her a garment bag. "Wear this dress, get ready, and come downstairs. I will take you to show your surprise."
  • Diana was beyond confused and irritated. She thought it was something really urgent when her mother called. It had been a long and tiring flight, so disappointment flushed over her when she heard that it was nothing but a surprise.
  • "Mom, your 'emergency' made my heart beat a marathon. Now all I get to know is that my heart ran to somewhere that was not a real race track."
  • Merida laughed at her words. "Your sense of humor is something they would die for. No wonder it was you they chose."
  • Diana made a move to interrogate her again, but her mother shushed her. "No more questions. Just get ready within two hours." Then she left her room.
  • Diana turned on the television in her room and started to check the bag. In it was a simple yet gorgeous blue dress that shouted, proclaimed, and announced glamour. She couldn't help but gasp at the beauty of it. Small stones were in the middle, making it look glossy. If it wasn't given to her by Merida, she would have believed that the queen herself sent the dress.
  • Diana smiled at her own thoughts and started to get ready. The dress fitted her body perfectly as if made by a personal designer. It even matched her taste in fashion.
  • "When did my mom's fashion sense become the same as mine?" she questioned herself while looking at the mirror, twirling to see the back.
  • Diana wore a simple pair of earrings and her favorite lucky bracelet, an accessory given to her by Aiden. To wrap up her look, she went for a light make-up. When she was wearing her stilettos while sitting on the bed, her eyes fell upon the open television announcing news.
  • "Breaking news from the palace!" a reporter announced. "The king and queen finally found the perfect girl for Prince Ivan. They will reveal this majestic lady and Prince Ivan's identity tonight! Who is this lucky girl, why was she royally chosen? Stay tuned to find out!"
  • Diana rolled her eyes at the news reporter.
  • "Seriously, 'royally chosen'? How corny can this news turn out to be?"
  • Her eyes fell on the phone, and a sudden thought drew up her mind. Her best friend Ivan really did look like the prince in the news report. Diana began texting Ivan on Instagram; he was one to never betray. He was always a great listener and understood everything nicely.
  • Diana_Stevens: Are you sure you aren't the prince? You have the same name as his.
  • She teased him, knowing his answer.
  • Fortunately, he was active. He quickly replied.
  • Ivan_Cands: Hmm... That's a tough question.
  • Diana chortled. After all, she knew he was kidding. How could he be the prince? If he was, she would have known. At least, that's what she thought.
  • "Honey, are you done yet?" Merida hollered from downstairs. Moaning inappropriate words that her mother would never allow, Diana locked her phone and went to her mother, who was waiting by the living room.
  • Merida took one look at her. "You look stunning, Princess."
  • "Princess?" she asked, arching an eyebrow. Strange. Her mother never called her that. "Whatever, Mom. Now, can you tell me where we're going?"
  • "My answer is: it's a surprise!"
  • Diana groaned once more at Merida's response. Still, she followed her mother to the car and hoped the day would end soon. After all, Diana was very tired. She hoped that whatever event they would go to, it would end early.
  • ###
  • In the palace, Ivan was heading towards the car along with his mother. He wore a blue suit, which was chosen by Suzanne.
  • "Where are we really going, Mom?" he asked at last. However, he didn't get a chance to get an answer from his parents; a servant came and handed him the suit, telling him to get ready soon as possible per the orders of the queen.
  • "We are going to meet someone special." The queen smiled. "It's a surprise. You will definitely love it."
  • "Is Father coming too?" Ivan asked. The king was a busy man after all.
  • "He will join us soon. He cannot miss the special union of two lovers." Suzanne's response made Ivan uneasy. Thinking it was probably a smart move to stay silent, he kept shut for the rest of the car drive.
  • When the car came to a stop, Ivan glanced through the window. It was a small restaurant that his family had recently bought. He didn't know the reasoning behind their buying the restaurant nor what they were doing here.
  • "This is the place where I met your dad for the first time. That's why we bought this restaurant. In this place, two lovers meet royally and get united forever. We did it with plenty of dukes and duchesses, now it's your turn to meet your lover. Come," Suzanne explained. Ivan's entire body stiffened.
  • Two lovers will meet and get united? Only one thing cut through his brain: it was a blind date! What the hell was his mother saying? Did she somehow find out about Rain? Will he meet Rain here and finally get united with her?
  • He got out of the car and walked along with Suzanne. Soon, his father followed next to him. Ivan could feel a lump in his throat that made it uneasy to swallow. Sweat had even started forming in his hands. His heart rapidly thumped with nervousness.
  • What if it wasn't Rain?
  • He entered the restaurant, and his eyes fell on a familiar brown-blonde haired girl. He couldn't believe it. What was she doing here?
  • "Diana?"
  • "I-Ivan?"