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Deep breath in, and go. Sophia began jogging slowly through Central Park as the sun shone down upon her blond hair, making it glisten. As she jogged, she began to think about her day, planning out each task she had to get completed in the day’s work. Breathing in and out, slowly and evenly, keeping her mind clear and calm before her work day started.
As the co-owner and lead wedding coordinator, everything about the wedding that each of her clients wanted had to run smoothly. She had to make sure that the couple’s requests were met as well as keeping the parents happy too. She had to prepare the guest list, help find the venue, and make sure the other wedding professionals were on board with the photography, flowers, and catering. The deliveries and services on the wedding day were also her responsibility. She had the wedding on her shoulders and if a client wasn’t happy, she would lose her business. It was always so hectic every day so the morning run helped set her mind before the craziness began.
Arriving at work, her calm mindset quickly took a turn for the worst. Phones ringing, people running around and wanting her attention. She began to feel her head steam, and her stress levels rise. “Okay everyone, quiet!” she yelled. “I’m only one person, and there is only so much I can do at one time. Just let me get settled and I will be able to answer your questions as soon as I can. For now, please go about your business and give me some space.”
She pushed through the crowd of people that had gathered around her, but stopped and sighed when her coworker Bella stood firmly in front of her. She was a very pretty, young woman. With brown hair, brown eyes and pretty pink glasses, she seemed to stand out in the crowd among all the other females in the office. Bella was one of the newer workers at the office and was having a bit of trouble starting out. She had just come out of college and was new to the whole busyness of New York City. She had gone to school in a small town in Colorado so the large city was a big change for her and Sophia’s boyfriend had helped Bella get the job because she’s his cousin. Sophia noticed that Bella could be stubborn at times, because she was new. It irritated her a bit, but she slapped a grin on her face so Bella wouldn’t notice.
“Yes, Bella?” she asked. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“I’m having a little trouble with some of my clients,” she said. “They are asking for places to get wedding supplies and I don’t know how to do that.”
“Well, that’s when you should be on your computer, searching locations and telling your clients the address,” Sophia told her. “That’s kind of your job.”
Bella looked at her, dumbfounded.
Sophia was brisk. “Look, I have client’s to prepare for and it has already been a hectic morning, so if you need any help, just stop by my office, okay?”
“Um, okay,” Bella whispered. She walked away.
Sophia headed to her office. Her office was painted Alabama crimson and hanging on the walls were paintings of Mona Lisa and The Starry Night. Collapsing into her chair and turning on her computer, she sighed. This is exhausting. She thought to herself. It’s like I don’t have a moment to breathe when I arrive at work. She looked up at her photo of her family, taken on the Highline the summer before and suddenly wished they were in the city with her. I haven’t talked to them in a while. She thought herself. I should give them a call tonight. Her vision then moved over to her photo of her and her boyfriend Tristan. It had been taken on their first date atop the Empire State Building on a beautiful moonlit night with a gorgeous view of the city behind them. It had been the most romantic night after they had taken a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and ended the night with a kiss. They posed very sweetly with Tristan’s arm wrapped around Sophia’s shoulders and Sophia leaning into him, Tristan being a foot taller than her. She couldn’t believe that picture had been taken four years before. She smiled to herself as the picture brought back the memories of that night. She was lost in thought when suddenly the sound of her cellphone ringing brought her back.
Startled, she answered. “Hello,” she said.
It was Tristan. She smiled to herself as they chatted easily, laughing as she told him about what had happened that morning. They agreed to meet for lunch at Lanza’s and that’s when Sophia heard knocking at her door and told Tristan she would talk to him later.
As she hung up, she motioned for her client to come in and sit down, and looked at her schedule for the day, realizing she was very busy for most of the day. She knew she would need her lunch break with Tristan so she wouldn’t go completely crazy. When the young couple sat down, she eagerly began to ask them questions. Where did you guys meet? Would you like the wedding to resemble how you two met? What would you like your song for your first dance to be? Have you thought of the flowers you want? Is the father giving the bride away? Have you thought of the photographer you two want at the wedding? As they talked, and the couple began to reminisce how they met at a café when they ordered the same chi tea. Sophia smiled and began to think about when she and Tristan first met and he ordered her a chi tea because she told him that it is her favorite must-have is a chi tea from Starbucks. Isn’t love grand? She told them.
Stressed and irritated, Sophia looked at her watch to see that it was a quarter till one, and she should head out to meet Tristan. She scribbled a quick note and stuck it to her door before heading out. But as soon as she stepped out of her office, there was Bella, waiting for her. “Sophia, I have a problem,” Bella told her.
“Well, I’m heading out to meet Tristan for lunch, can we discuss this when I return?” Sophia asked. Clenching her teeth, she took a deep breath in, hoping she would walk away.
“I tried to look up addresses but I seem to be getting mixed up because my clients are yelling at me that the address is wrong because they tried that address,” Bella continued. “Can you help me?”
Sophia huffed. “Look, I don’t have time to discuss this. I’m going to be late for my date. We can discuss this when I get back.”
And before Bella could say another word, Sophia turned on her heel and walked out the door.
Walking through downtown Manhattan towards 1st Avenue, she breathed in the spring air, and felt the sun warm her face. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw her boyfriend, Tristan standing outside Lanza’s. He was tall, with brown hair and green eyes and perfect in every way. She ran towards him and fell into his open arms. Taking his hand then, they walked in and sat down in the busy restaurant, noticing the busy lunch rush.
“So, how’s my little cousin Bella?” he asked.
She gave him a sheepish smile. “Umm, she’s been getting on my nerves a bit lately. It’s been stressing me out a bit. She doesn’t seem to have the capability to do things on her own.”
He groaned. “Sophia, she’s my cousin. She worked really hard to get this job. If she is having trouble, help her out. I want her to work at the office because you are there, so she knows at least one person she’s working with.”
Irritated, she looked at him. “Normally the people who come to work at an office like this have some experience besides college. And I’m so busy, that it’s tiresome to have her always ask me. I’m not the only one working in the office. She should know that by now.”
Bothered, he looked away. He was getting a little annoyed with this conversation. He knew Sophia meant well, he just wanted Sophia to accept Bella for who she is and they could move on with other things. He had more important things he wanted to talk to Sophia about and this was not one of them.
“Soph, she’s my family. It hurts me that you are turning on my family,” Tristan said. “I would never turn on yours. If you truly love me, you’ll help me out here. She’s new, so just relax. She’ll learn the ropes eventually. Just give her a chance. She will show you her full potential if you let her.”
She exhaled sharply. “Okay. For you, I will.”
Finally. He thought. He looked at her, relieved. But they could both still feel the tension of the subject as they finished up their lunch.
It was the only thing on her mind after the bill was paid and she headed back to her office. It wasn’t exactly the romantic lunch she had hoped for, but it was a stressful time for both of them and she was sure when they both got home they would be able to make up. As soon as she walked into the office, she was assaulted by Bella.
“Oh my gosh, Sophia, where have you been?” she freaked. “I’ve been running into all these problems with my clients and they can’t stand me. They say I’m doing a terrible job and want to talk to you.”
Sophia took a deep breath in. Hearing Tristan’s words echo in her mind, she smiled at Bella.
“Why don’t we go discuss this in my office?” she suggested.
They went into her office and Bella explained to her what was going on. That when her clients called, she didn’t seem to understand what they really wanted, and she didn’t know who to ask for help because she was new and didn’t know anybody who worked there, except Sophia. She wanted to impress Sophia in a good way, because she’s Tristan’s cousin. Bella told her she felt overwhelmed by the job and wanted to be helpful, not cause more trouble. She admitted she didn’t know if she was ready to take on such an important role in a huge company.
Sophia sat back in her chair, listening to all this and smiled. “I appreciate your honesty, and I can understand that you are so overwhelmed. Coming from a small town to a big city is a huge change and a lot to take in all at once. And I didn’t realize you were trying to impress me. You didn’t have to feel that obliged. But I am very impressed that you are able to tell me all this.”
Bella nodded. “You are dating my cousin. So you are part of the family. I wanted you to accept me. I also didn’t want to get on your bad side.”
“That’s what Tristan has been telling me for a while now. I really don’t have a bad side, but I put it out there anyway. I should have welcomed you into the business with open arms and been a little more cautious about how much of a load you could take on. So, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do,” Sophia told her. “How about, instead of having to take all this on alone, we work together? You will be my assistant and work your way up from there. I’ll teach you the ropes and you’ll become more confident about being a wedding planner, deal?”
Bella smiled at her and nodded. She then noticed a client was waiting at Sophia’s door and got up to leave.
“Oh Bella?” Sophia called to her. Bella turned back.
“Can you forgive me for the way I treated you?” she asked.
Bella smiled at her. “I look up to you like an older sister. I could never hold anything against you. You are forgiven.”
Sophia smiled as Bella left and her next client came in. She knew she had done the right thing and couldn’t have felt better.
Her next client that came in was a shy bride with an over aggressive mother. This bride had to call Sophia for multiple appointments because her mom was controlling and couldn’t let her plan her own wedding. She felt like it was her mom’s wedding, not her own, and although she consistently told her to let her plan her own wedding, her mom kept interfering. This was Sophia’s toughest client. After the first meeting, every time the bride would call her, Sophia would insist that the bride either come alone, with another family member, or her fiancé, but every time, she would show up with her mother and every time they would end up fighting because the mother would talk to Sophia like her daughter wasn’t in the room and leave her office in tears. But Sophia had a plan that would get the ball rolling for this wedding.
When they came in, Sophia pulled out the notes that the bride had told her she and her fiancé wanted, but with a few ideas she thought the mom would like as well. After Sophia had explained everything, she looked at that mom, and took a deep breath, hoping she’d approve.
“This is all wrong,” the mom said. “I don’t like this.”
“Well, Mrs. Taylor, this isn’t your wedding, it’s your daughters,” Sophia explained. “You need to let your daughter plan her wedding, and give input when she asks.”
Mrs. Taylor sighed. “I know. I’m just afraid of losing my daughter.”
The bride, Aubrey, looked at her mother. “That’s why you’ve been trying to plan my wedding?” she asked. “Why didn’t you just tell me that?”
“I didn’t know how to tell you,” Mrs. Taylor told her.
“Well, now that we have that settled, let’s get this wedding planned!” Sophia exclaimed.
She sighed as they began to talk and Aubrey’s mother finally began to agree to the ideas Aubrey wanted. Sophia was relieved that after five meetings, they were finally able to get the ball rolling. Another crisis finally averted.
It was five o’clock when she arrived and her and Tristan’s apartment. The appointment with Aubrey and her mother had lasted the rest of the afternoon and she was exhausted. But that exhaustion quickly disappeared and she was suddenly nervous about seeing Tristan. They hadn’t spoken since lunch and she was afraid she had really messed things up with what she said. But she was hoping that once she told him that she and Bella were finally on good terms that he would forgive her.
She had butterflies in her stomach as she sat on the couch and heard him come in the front door. She felt like a teenager again when he came into the living room and looked at her.
“Hey, how was your afternoon?” she asked.
“It was fine, how was yours?” he asked.
“It was good,’ she said.
They could still both feel the tension as they stared at each other.
“Do you want to go for a walk?” he asked. “I just need to grab something out of the bedroom.”
She smiled at him. “I would love to.”
He disappeared for a minute and came back moments later.
“Okay. I’m ready. Are you?” he asked.
She got up and headed for the door. He followed. As they stepped outside their apartment, he interlaced his fingers into hers. “Follow me,” he said.
As they walked though Manhattan, Sophia began to talk about what had happened that afternoon at work and how she had decided to really give Bella a shot for him, and was more than happy to start showing her the ropes on Monday. Then she got into how sorry she was for being so selfish and rude at lunch and that she shouldn’t have been so mean to Bella in the first place. It was after all that when she realized he wasn’t even listening to her.
“Tristan?” she asked. “I just spilled my heart out and you didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”
“Of course I did,” Tristan told her. “You are helping Bella out by showing her the ropes and didn’t mean to treat her so cruelly.”
“But you weren’t even looking at me!” she cried.
“Well, sorry love, but I wanted to make sure we were going the right way,” he said.
“Going where?” she asked.
“Look at where we are, love,” he murmured.
She looked around, and realized they were standing on the top of the Empire State Building.
“Do you remember this?” he asked.
“Of course I do,” she said. “You took me here on our first date. And it was here where we had our first kiss. That is a memory I will never forget.”
“And here’s another one you’ll always remember,’ he told her.
She looked at him, confused.
With the sun sinking down, he kneeled down and pulled a small black box from his pocket and she gasped.
Opening it to reveal a Prestige Diamond Ring, he looked up at her and smiled. “Sophia, my wonderful love, will you marry me?”
“Oh Tristan, I don’t know what to say,” Sophia said. She paused.
“Are you alright, my love?” he asked. “Is this too sudden?”
“No, of course not,” she said. “You just caught me off guard. I just need a moment.”
“Take all the time you need,” he told her.
She looked around for a moment, taking it all in. The view of the city and standing on top of the Empire State Building with the most perfect man in the world, it was all too perfect of a moment.
Finally, she turned back to Tristan.
“So?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said finally.
He slipped the ring on her finger and smiled as he stood up and leaned towards her. Kissing her passionately, they both couldn’t wait to start the next chapter of their lives together.