''You're getting what?!'' Dimitri exclaims as his eyes widen in surprise. Everyone in the restaurant has stopped talking as they turn to look at us but neither of us really cared, especially when Dimitri is the owner of the hotel.
''I'm getting married,'' I repeat before leaning on my seat after taking a sip of the red wine. My lips curve up into a smirk as he continues to look at me in disbelief which is quite true. I've told him I wouldn't want to get married until at least I reach forty but now . . . I'm a twenty-six year old bachelor who's admitting to his guy best friend about getting married.
He laughs, ''Okay . . . where are the cameras at? You got me, Aidan. You got me really, really good and I believed you,'' He says, continuing to chuckle before taking a sip of his drink while his eyes are busy wandering around to look for cameras.
With a deep sigh, I shake my head. Kenna and Dimitri are no different, thinking that I'd drag in a few cameramen to take scenes of this when I've been dead serious the whole time. I roll my eyes at the amount of annoyance overflowing in my body as I look out the window.
We're high up which makes it possible for us to see the city just by looking out the window. This has got to be the best view at night—no doubt.
''No, no, no. Wait a second,'' He raises his index finger up before leaning forward, ''You got someone pregnant, didn't you? That's why you're getting married?'' He asks, his eyes showing concern with slight worry which causes me to laugh as I lean my head back—enjoying the look on his face just by this sudden news.
''No one got anyone pregnant, okay? I'm getting married and that's it,'' I reply with a smile on my face, imagining the look on my mother's face when I tell her about this. It better be priceless because for once, I actually feel like recording her reaction, especially when I'll tell her that her daughter-in-law will be Kenna . . . her son's best friend.
Dimitri smiles, ''This isn't you, man. A week ago, your face was on the cover of the damn newspaper with some girl clinging onto your arm and now you're telling me that you're getting married which is . . . hard to believe,'' He adds.
''If you didn't get someone pregnant, why else would you end up here and saying that you're getting married? I thought I had to wait for another twenty-years,'' He continues to laugh while I listen to his remarks.
''You know my mother . . . she has been controlling my life ever since I got a bit too much with women. She has been comparing me with my brother and also setting me up on dates that I never wanted to go,'' I state the truth, ''She threatened me that if I don't bring my future wife to our family gathering this weekend, she'll ask me to marry Shin-hye,''
He bursts out into laughters before running his fingers through his dark brown hair, ''Oh my god, of course you wouldn't want to marry Shin-hye. Let me guess, you set up a contract with someone and pay her like . . . one million dollars. She agrees to be your wife for an amount of time before you two get a divorce and you'll say she cheated on you and you'd be too heartbroken to move on,'' He points which makes me scoff.
''Some of it is true except I didn't have to pay her or say that she cheated on me,'' I mutter and he squint his eyes, thinking of something else that has lead someone to agree marrying me. ''She agreed to help me and she said she'll email me the rest of the conditions tonight,'' I add.
He stays quiet for awhile, ''Who's the unlucky woman?''
I lean forward as my elbows rest on the table, ''Actually, she's our best friend and we both know there's only one . . . none other than Kenna,'' I reply and his eyes widen, again.
This time, he has accidentally dropped the glass of wine down which causes him to stand up before pointing at me without uttering a single word. My smile spreads wider into a laugh as he shakes his head in disbelief.
One of the waiter hurries to our table to wipe away and pick up the broken glass while he is left standing and staring at me. The thing is—Kenna and Dimitri have known each other since we were all in college. Dimitri and I went to the same college while Kenna went to medical school which wasn't a problem because we ended up meeting each other, frequently.
During those meetings, I brought Dimitri with me and the two got close. So, the two of them are my best friend. I mean, I can't just have a girl best friend without having a guy best friend because how am I supposed to talk some weird . . . weird stuff?
''You're fucking kidding me,'' He responds as I laugh, ''No fucking way, man. Stop laughing and start telling me the truth . . . you asshole,'' My hands go up to defend myself as soon as he starts to make his way towards me to push me on the shoulder.
''I asked for her help and she wanted to help. Besides, Kenna is the only one that I can ever trust and she's also my best friend which means I'm much more comfortable with her than I can be with anyone else,'' I try to explain as he sits on the table with a sigh, escaping his lips.
''But it's Kenna,'' He mutters.
''It's not like anything going's to happen, Dimitri. If something was bound to happen, it would have happened like years ago but I've known her for twenty-years and nothing has ever happened that would ruin our friendship,'' I add.
He breathes out before chuckling, ''You're a cocky bastard. Seriously though, I'm just worried because it's Kenna . . . and you even set up a damn contract!'' He rolls his eyes.
''A year of marriage and we'll get a divorce. Just look on the bright side, my mother will obviously believe me when I say that I can never love someone as much I've loved Kenna so she will never bring up topic of trying to get me to remarry or anything,'' I smile.
''A year is not as short as you think, Aidan. Anything can happen in five minutes so, what makes you think that nothing can happen in a year?'' He raises an eyebrow before taking a bite of his food while I furrow my eyebrows in confusion.
I clear my throat, ''What do you mean?''
''Look . . . I know that we're talking about Kenna and I know that she's our best friend but she's also a woman. You'll get to spend a year with her under the same roof, probably in the same bed . . . what makes you think that nothing will happen? Yes, you've been friends with her for twenty-years now and things have been going on just fine but you guys have never kissed or slept together before, emotions don't just fly without connection, do they?'' He stands up as he walks towards the glass window with a cheeky smile on his face.
''You're trying to scare me,'' I mutter.
''No, Aidan. I'm trying to apply what can happen in a matter of three-hundred and sixty-five days . . . anything. How can you know? Nothing is impossible,'' He sits back down.
''No matter how hard or how convincing it is whenever you say that you'll never want to fall in love or get married because women are just a waste of time, you'll still end up falling. You've been saying that because you've never yet met the right woman in your life but when the time comes, you'll be begging on your knees for that someone to stay,'' He continues to speak.
''Take me as an example. I was once the cocky bastard you are and I found love. Made her my wife the moment I'd realised that I never wanted to lose her and have myself a son. Yeah, I know that you're going to tell me that it all ended with a divorce but I don't regret it,'' He says.
I stay quiet, listening to him. ''Sure . . . she cheated on me and you were there to get me through where I am. I wasn't stable because I was hurting but I came to realise that I really did found love but I didn't find the right love,'' He breathes out.
''Your French side is showing,'' I say.
Dimitri laughs before taking another bite of his food, chewing it. He glances down at his phone with the lock-screen a picture of his son which makes me sigh, deeply.
''How can you say that?'' I ask and he raises an eyebrow, ''How can you say you found love but you didn't find the right love? You still trust women? One of them was the cause of your pain and suffering,'' My voice low.
''One of them, Aidan. Women are not the same. Yes, one woman did hurt me but that doesn't mean I can blame them all,'' He says, something glinting in his eyes.
Dimitri had gotten married when we were still in college and after graduation, he was happy because he got himself a son. He knew the risk of marrying at such a young age but he couldn't care less . . . even when his parents warned him. Unfortunately, as he grew older, he was busier with work and especially with the hotel.
It was a tragedy for him. A painful one. He found out that his wife was cheating on him with some other guy because he saw them in a hotel room, with no clothes on and they were kissing one another. He was devastated—he exploded and he'd almost killed the man.
I got there in time and I stopped him.
''About . . . Kenna, I hope she'll be able to sort out your mother. She has always been the crazy one with wanting to get you married but believe me, that's not the end. You'll have to start figuring out excuses when she starts asking for a grandchild,'' He laughs while I join him.
It's a possibility. No, it's a fact. My mother will start asking questions about giving her another grandchild and she won't stop until she gets one. She'll start giving hints or just directly ask it. There's no running from her.
''You're giving me a headache, man. I thought my problem is solved but damn . . . kids? Grandchildren?'' My lips curve up into a smirk before turning to look at a beauty who has passed, making me eye down to her legs. Both of her eyes are looking directly at me with a seductive smile appearing on her face as we both share the gaze.
Her dark blonde hair curls nicely as they fall down to her shoulders, making me stare down at her tight red dress that seems to cling onto her body perfectly before eyeing the jewellery on her neck. Then, my gaze wanders to her tanned, long legs, moving swiftly towards her table.
Dimitri follows my gaze, ''That ass.'' He mutters under his breath but loud enough for me to hear which causes me to chuckle. ''She's definitely tempting you,''
''She definitely is,'' I reply without looking away from her face as she puts the menu down onto the table. Both of her eyes remain focused onto mine before leaning forward, purposely revealing her cleavage for display, causing my lips to curve up, assuring her that it's working.
''Too late for that. You're getting married,'' Dimitri says, leaving me look away from her, immediately. He has his lips curved up into a smirk before chuckling.
Nothing is ever too late. I'm getting married but it's not something sacred between Kenna and I, besides, our marriage won't even be real. She has always been the one to understand me most and she will, too, understand me even after our marriage. I'm sure.
Just as I'm about to speak up, my phone begins to beep which causes me to look down at the screen. It seems like I've just received an email from Kenna:
To my best friend . . . Aidan,
Here are the conditions that you have to promise to fulfil in order for me to agree with this whole 'marriage' thing or I won't. Just take a deep breath and try to keep them in your head, okay?
1) A proper proposal—I've said this earlier and I want you to know I'm very serious about this one. Without a proper proposal . . . the wedding will never happen.
''You can help me with a proposal, right?'' I stop reading the email to look up at Dimitri. ''She emailed me the conditions and apparently, a proper proposal is on the top of them all,'' I add and he laughs, nodding his head.
He smiles, ''That's the Kenna we all know. You'll get what you want as long as she gets what she wants but fair enough, she's asking for a proper proposal. A proposal is going to determine how much you want to marry her,'' Then, he stops for awhile, ''In a fake way,''
I roll my eyes before continuing to read:
2) Of course, there's always a ring. Let me be a little demanding about this one because I'm not going to wear crap for the whole year. You need to surprise me with the best, Aidan.
''Let me guess. You need a ring,'' He says, interrupting me while I chuckle. ''Those two is like a damn package, you can't propose without a proper proposal or a ring because . . . well, you just need them both.''
3) Buy me lunch at Cafe Lalo for a whole week. It won't matter what you'll order but . . . you can't fool me by buying at someplace else.
''Aha, I know this one!'' He stops me, making me raise an eyebrow, waiting for him to keep on guessing. Kenna, she is somehow predictable. ''She wants you to buy her lunch for what . . . a week? A month? Food is her life,''
''A week. She wants me to buy her lunch for a week,'' I reply and he claps his hands, continuing to chew his food before dipping it into the barbecue sauce.
''At the one spot, Cafe Lalo.'' He adds, proudly. We know quite a lot when it comes to Kenna. She's our only female best friend so we care a bit too much for her.
4) I need my own room. Yes, this means that you will have to clear your game room and no, we will not be sleeping in the same room nor the same bed. Repeat, my own room. We can't be living under different roofs now, can we? I know how your mother will react if we do.
The last one will be a bit . . . hard for you but if you want this fake marriage to work, then you have got to put some effort. So, I'm giving you a warning. All of these conditions will not be valid if you disagree and let me off the hook but if you wish to continue, I do hope that you'll follow up with each of them.
Uh oh, I know that look on your face but no, this is not a joke. You want me to help you, right? You'll have to agree with me. Yes, it means that no sex for a year. You won't be seeing other women or even fool around with one night stands. Intolerable. I won't catch you with other women as it is considerably, 'cheating' in our fake marriage.
Don't worry, it'll go the same with me but honestly, there's nothing to worry about me though because I'm not as horny as you. Whatever, I'm sure you're able to cross four out of five, for now.
My eyes widen at the last condition before looking up at a confused Dimitri who has been eyeing me for the past couple of minutes. He puts his glass of wine down as he clears his throat at my sudden change of my expression.
''What was the last one?'' He asks, raising an eyebrow at me as he calls out for the waiter. Then, he looks back at me, trying to read my expression but I'm staring out with nothing showing on my face.
''According to the look on your face . . . it seems like she's asking for something impossible to fulfil but man, I can't read you. What was the last one?'' He continues to ask before grabbing onto my phone while I lean back, running my fingers through my hair, carelessly.
Dimitri laughs out loud, ''You're so dead.''
He reads the last one, over and over again, making me groan as I grab back my phone. ''That's something I would like to see. Aidan not having sex for a year? That's golden . . . I don't think you'll make it,'' He smirks.
My mind tries to focus back onto the conditions, especially the last one. No sex for a year. That seems like pure torture for someone like me. Kenna has got to have some mercy but then again, we are getting married.
Whether the marriage is based on a contract or not, we will still be married in front of the priest, automatically making the marriage genuine and legal. Sleeping around with other women would make myself a damn cheater. It's something that I would never do, married or not.
''I'm going to do it,'' I say, stopping Dimitri from chewing his food, ''How hard can it be? It's not like I'm slowly going to die or anything. I'm going to fulfil the conditions without alterations,'' I add, with confidence.
He leans his head back, ''You're a man of your words, Aidan. I'm willing to see how long you'll last,'' He lifts his glass of wine, chuckling lightly.
''I just need your help with something,'' I say as soon as I've realised that I've never done this before and he has. No matter how badly his marriage was or why it ended, he is still a man full of passion for women. He quite believes in second chances when it comes to love or even more.