Couldn't Be More Different



The tires of the cab crunched along the gravel drive as it approached quite the lavish estate, no underestimations there. The house was huge. I couldn’t help myself from gapping, my jaw hitting the floor. The front had two sets of stairs that both lead to the front doors, with a fountain sputtering out water in between. It was yellow, with huge bay windows to the left. It was unmistakably beautiful. Even the lawn was a lush green, very well taken care of.

The cab pulled up in front of the fountain, and we all got out. It was already dark, considering the drive itself was two hours. I fell asleep half of the way, but when I woke up my make-up was smudged everywhere, so Anna had to carefully fix it without screwing up as we drove over uneven road. Wouldn't want to give off the impression I was part of the circus.

The driver handed me my bag, and I paid for the fare. He slammed his door shut, and pulled away, leaving Anna and I to feel insignificant standing in front of the grand house, alone.

“We should probably go inside now…you know…make our presence known…” Anna broke the silence as she stared dumbfounded at the mansion. From my peripheral vision I could see her glancing at me, waiting for me to make a move. When I didn’t, she sighed, pulling me along by my hand.

The stairs wouldn’t have been an effort if it wasn’t for my bag. When we finally reached the door, me huffing and puffing, Anna rang the bell. Shortly after, an elderly man clad in a suit answered the door.

“Hello, may I help you?” He asked, glancing between the two of us.

I smiled, “Hi, I’m-“

“Delilah!” A shrill voice came from behind the old man, making him visibly cringe. I didn’t blame him; it was the exact same voice that had been making me cringe for years.

My face broke into a grimace, which I quickly tried to conceal as a smile, but I could only imagine how forced it looked.

“Oh, sweet heart, I’m so happy to see you!” The man was suddenly shoved aside, presenting my mother in his place. She pulled me into a tight hug, her strong perfume intoxicating my nose, making my eyes water. I patted her back stiffly. She pulled away, and held me at arm’s length, examining me.

“You look so mature. How was school?” She suddenly caught sight of Anna standing beside me for the first time.

“School was great, mom. You remember Anna, right? She came down with me last Christmas.” I watched as the recognition lighted her face.

“Ah, yes. Hello Anna,” she smiled politely, leaving Anna to smile back in return…even though it was faked.

“Shall we go inside, meet your family to be?” She sounded so excited, with the widest smile on her lips, contrasting the doom I felt inside.

I gulped and she pulled me in urgently, Anna tailing us. The doorman took my bag for me, and I smiled at him in thanks.

The inside was just as gorgeous, and I found myself in awe again. A beautiful chandelier hung from the high ceiling, its crystals reflecting gold light across the room. The floor and spiral staircase were marble. The walls were a rich cream colour. And the furnishing looked antique.

My mother glanced at me, smirking at my expression, “Beautiful isn’t it?” All I could do was nod.

Abruptly, my mother stopped in front of a door. She turned around and looked at me, tugging here and there at my dress, smoothing out my hair, propping my chin up and looking for any bats in the cage. I shook my head, releasing me from her grip. She rolled her eyes, “For goodness sake, Delilah. I’m just making sure you look perfect before meeting your parents-in-law, would not want to give them the wrong impression.” From behind me I heard Anna clear her throat, trying to conceal her snort.

She smiled, clearly happy with the result of her touch up, and opened the door. The sudden change in lightening surprised me suddenly, making me momentarily blind. I walked in after my mother; squinting my eyes.

“Mathew, Ester, I would like you to meet my daughter, Delilah,” she announced proudly, pulling me in front of her. I smiled, although I still couldn’t see anything except spots.

Suddenly a hand materialized out of nowhere, along with the voice belonging to it, “Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you. I’ve heard wonderful things,” a genuine, sweet feminine voice said, and I could picture it smiling. My vision started coming back to me, and I could see a petite woman with long, flowing dark hair standing in front of me wearing a formal gold dress that reached just above her ankles. I looked down at her hand again, taking it in mine for a brief shake. She smiled wider, glancing toward a tall, middle aged man, whom I could only assume was her husband. His hair was dark like hers, but the sides were whitening. He was clad in a dark, crisp suit. When he smiled I could see the wrinkles crease around his kind eyes. Just the way both of them carried themselves screamed 'expenssive!'

“Hi,” I smiled timidly, shaking his hand as well. He glanced behind me at Anna. I pulled her next to me, “This is Anna. She’s my best friend from London,” Anna smiled awkwardly, waving her hand curtly.

“Hello,” she said, laughing slightly from the nerves.

Both the man and the women smiled kindly at her. It was kind of hard to feel nervous around them, though. They wafted off such a positive energy; I swear the room was filled with it.

“Well, why don’t the three of you have a seat, dinner will be along shortly,” Ester guided us to the long dining table that could seat most definitely twenty people. As I pulled out a chair to take a seat, I suddenly realized I wasn’t supposed to feel this relaxed about this whole situation. I glanced around me, and realized that my husband to be wasn’t here. Which, is kind of weird. I gave Anna a pointed look, who was sitting to the left of me, then glanced around the table. She nodded, understanding what I was getting at.

“I’m very sorry, but Ethan stepped out. I’m sure he’ll be back shortly,” Ester’s cheeks were slightly aflame, most likely embarrassed that her son wasn’t even here when his presence was the sole purpose of this dinner.

Anna glanced at me, wriggling her brows. ‘Oooh, Ethan’ she mouthed to me, and I rolled my eyes. But the fact that we had to wait for him, gave the chance for my unease to build up inside me, and I couldn’t help but shift in my seat every five seconds.

“So, Delilah,” Matthew announced, breaking the silence, “you mentioned London, were you going to school there?” He asked, making light small talk. But now the attention was all on me, and I could feel my face grow hot.

I cleared my throat, “Yes, I was there for four years, studying art.”

“Well, that’s exciting. What kind of art?” Ester asked, intrigued.

“The visual arts. Anna was there studying performing arts.”

“Well-“ Unexpectedly the door to the dining room swung open. I think I jumped in my chair. All our eyes were turned to the door, just as a tall, dark haired boy stumbled in, slightly off his balance.

He chuckled, “Woooow,” and then he straightened himself up, suddenly aware of the extra company. He was clad in a white t-shirt, with a dark leather jacket on top. He was wearing jeans, and sneakers on his feet. I think he may have missed the memo of the formal dinner attire.