A coffee lover who enjoys a good sunshine on the beach and the sea salt smell.
Ivy has always loved the feeling of the cold breeze gently brushing through her face in the early hours of the morning while gazing at the sea. The stillness before the dark sky receiving its first morning twilight and the birds chirping are the best time for her to have some ‘alone moment’ before everyone waking up and all the busyness started. While she gazed blankly at the sea, she suddenly smelled an awfully familiar scent. And within a few seconds, she felt a light touch on her right shoulder.
“Ivy?” she heard a voice from behind her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you,” he said when Ivy turned around and let out a little scream.
“Logan?! Wh-what are you doing here?!” Ivy stared at him in utter disbelief.
“I’m here for the fresh air of course,” Logan said. “And also for the beautiful sea,” he added, wittily.
“Okay,” Ivy said while trying to walk away from him.
“Wait!” he said and grabbed Ivy’s hand, signaling her to stay. “Sorry,” he said, slowly releasing his grip from her hand when he realised that Ivy frowned, staring at their hands in union.
“What it is that you want?” Ivy asked, impatiently.
“Talk. You know, catch up,” Logan replied.
“Catch up?! Like there is nothing had ever happened between us? Like we just two friends who haven’t seen each other for a while and now we just bumped into each other and happily have a nice catch up? I’m sorry, Logan. I can’t pretend not to hate you,” Ivy said furiously. Furious at what he had done to her. Furious that she was once fell head over heels in love with him and still thinking about him every single day after he had left.
“Ivy…please…can we just talk? Please?” Logan begged.
“I’m sorry. I don’t think so. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a wedding to attend,” Ivy said and left before Logan could even say a word.
“I’m coming in! Please get dressed!” Aunt Rose shouted from the other side of the door. Ivy’s Aunt Rose, or affectionately known as Mama Rose has raised Ivy like her own daughter since Ivy’s mother passed away when she was growing up.
“Mama Rose! Privacy, please!” Ivy shouted at Mama Rose who was already standing at the doorway with a tray of breakfast.
“Aww…look at you two lovebirds!” Mama Rose said.
“Good morning, Mama Rose,” Ivy’s fiancé, Andrew said and planted a kiss on Mama Rose’s cheek while still with a towel wrapped around his waist, showing out his toned muscle on the upper part of his body.
“Why are you bringing us breakfast when we are about to go down for a breakfast? And where did you get it?” Ivy asked Mama Rose when she settled down the tray on the coastal style, white rectangle coffee table.
“Oh, Michael gave it to me, and I thought you guys might want to have breakfast inside the bedroom. You know, some ‘rendezvous’ inside the bedroom,” Mama Rose said with a wink. Mama Rose was a very bold woman with her signature, carefully styled curly hair and always seen with a bright red lipstick on her lip.
“Who is Michael?” Ivy asked while pouring herself a cup of aromatic black coffee that could instantly wake her up and give her a clear mind which she needed it so badly after an uninvited ‘rendezvous’ at the backyard few miles away from their suite earlier.
“The chef,” Mama Rose said.
“You mean Mr. Murphy?”
“So now we call them by their first name?” Ivy shot Mama Rose a suspicious look.
Since her divorce few years back, Mama Rose has been very ‘friendly’ with men. No judgement. Ivy always thought that's probably because of her uncle's years of cheating on Mama Rose and this might be how she dealt with her heartache.
“Well, he's a friend now,” Mama Rose said. “Why don't I leave you two lovebirds here, enjoying your breakfast and I see you two in a bit,” she said, marching towards the door.
“Okay. Oh ya! Dad will be reaching this afternoon and Andrew will pick him up at the airport,” Ivy said before Mama Rose closed the door behind her.
“Welcome to Ambercove House & Restaurant,” Helen, who was the hostess of the restaurant greeted them.
“Good morning, Helen,” Ivy greeted back when she passed through the black wooden glass door to a grand, classic French-styled restaurant.
Ambercove House & Restaurant was a combination of hotel and restaurant in the countryside just a few miles away from a beautiful sea with a spectacular garden on its property which was the perfect place to hold wedding ceremony. And Ivy will be taking her wedding vow at the garden and her wedding reception at the restaurant.
“What can I get for you both ladies?” Helen asked with a warm smile.
“Orange juice, please,” Ivy said.
“Same here,” Mama Rose continued. Helen nodded and disappeared from their table.
“Here’s the menu for the reception,” Helen reappeared with a menu on hand and two glasses of orange juice. Mama Rose immediately took the menu and studied the course meal.
“Can we taste the cake first?” Ivy asked.
“Now?” Helen asked, confused. “Without the groom?”
“Yes,” Ivy replied not only to Helen but also to Mama Rose who looked at her with the same question mark. “Andrew let me choose the cake that I want.”
While both women were tasting all different types of cake and Helen was busy taking notes, a figure approached them.
“Hi, Ivy,” Logan said. Ivy was in utter disbelief.
“Ivy, do you know this gentleman?” Mama Rose asked after an awkward silence filling the air.
“Um…yes,” Ivy was baffled. “Um…this is Logan,” Ivy introduced him to them.
“Hi, Logan. I’m Rose, Ivy’s aunt,” Mama Rose sticked out her hand for a handshake. Logan reciprocated.
“These cakes seemed delicious,” Logan said with a smile, the smile that never failed to make Ivy’s heart skipped a beat.
“Yes, they do. So, we are having trouble to choose which one to be the wedding cake,” Mama Rose said.
“Ah, I see. So, whose wedding is it?” Logan asked innocently.
“It’s mine,” Ivy said flatly.
“What are you doing here?” Ivy demanded an answer from Logan. Ivy has texted Logan for a meet up at the lobby café after the dinner with her family. She wanted to know why he’s here just a few days before her wedding to invade her heart again after she has tried so hard to forget him.
“Well, I’m here for my company trip,” Logan nodded a thank you to the waiter who settled down their Mojito mocktail on the table. “So, you’re getting married,” Logan continued.
“Yes, I am.”
“Congrats,” Logan could feel the bitter in his throat when he said the word. He could feel his heart broken into million pieces when Ivy said ‘It’s mine.’ and her aunt even invited him to join them for the cake tasting. How he wished it was their cake tasting. But who he could blame for except he could only blame himself. He’d left. And Ivy deserved better.
“Thanks,” Ivy replied.
“So, who’s the lucky guy?” Logan asked.
“Andrew,” Ivy took a sip of her Mojito mocktail before continued. “So, things get better with your boss?”
“No,” Logan could see the worry in her dark brown eyes. Or was it just his imagination? He knew that Ivy was still mad at him for what had happened between them. “He was caught by the IRS for tax evasion. His business partner fully took over the company. So, I took this opportunity to leave the company,” Logan explained to ease her worry.
“So-” both said it at the same time after some moments of silence.
“Ladies first,” Logan said with a faint smile.
“So, what’re you doing right now for living?” Ivy asked.
“My friend and I started our own business. And it has steadily built up in just over a year,” Logan said when the waiter who took their orders earlier came to their table to inform them that the lobby café was closing in fifteen minutes.
“Thanks for the drink,” Ivy said when Logan paid for the bill.
“My pleasure,” Logan replied with a smile. “Let me walk you back to your suite.” Ivy hesitated for a second before accepting the offer.
“Ivy,” Logan said while they were inside the lift.
“I’m sorry for the things that happened between us,” Logan apologized.
Ivy was stunned for a second by his sudden apology. “It’s ok. It has been over a year, so it doesn’t matter anymore,” Ivy then slowly said with a polite smile. The lift to Ivy’s suite has opened before Logan could continue.
“You invite your ex to your wedding?!” Mama Rose raised her eyebrows in surprise.
“How did you know Logan is my ex?!” Ivy almost spilt out her coffee.
“Well, I have been around long enough to know a few things,” Mama Rose said. “The way both of you looked at each other the other day, it’s love,” Mama Rose continued while holding Ivy’s hand lovingly. A motherly love.
“There is nothing more than a love for a friend now,” Ivy said, hesitantly.
She thought she has already moved on after Logan had left without a word a year ago. Met Andrew and thought that finally this was the one. When Andrew proposed to her after six months of being together, she said yes without a second thought. She was so sure that she loved him. But now, she wasn’t sure anymore and this has freaked her out as their big day was only tomorrow.
“So, does Andrew know about your little extra guest?” Mama Rose asked.
“No, I don’t think he will notice an extra guest and I don’t think he really cares about it. He is kinda letting me in charge with everything,” Ivy said. Mama Rose nodded in acknowledgement.
“You look so beautiful,” Mama Rose complimented.
“Thank you, Mama Rose,” Ivy said while staring her own image on the mirror. She wore a white silk panne devore velvet wedding dress overlaid with floral-studded lace which was perfect for a Spring wedding.
“Are you ready?” Mama Rose asked. Ivy nodded while holding tightly a bouquet of bright yellow tulips.
Her father walked her down the flower-flanked aisle with Andrew waiting at the end of the aisle in a dark navy slim fit wedding suit. Her father kissed her on the cheek and gave her away to Andrew. As the priest began, Andrew suddenly gestured the priest to stop. Ivy was stunned. All eyes were looking at the bride and groom with question marks.
“I have something to say,” Andrew announced. “Ivy, I love you. Well, at least I thought I love you right until now,” Andrew said.
“Andrew, what’s going on?” Ivy almost afraid to ask. Thing was not going to be good in this kind of situation.
“When I first saw you, I think you’re smart and charming. And you have the most beautiful smile in the world. I was so attracted to you and I thought I was in love with you,” Andrew said.
“So, what has changed now?” Ivy asked.
“When Mr. Murphy came to me yesterday and told me that his son saw you and a guy at the lobby café few nights ago, I was shocked and curious. You never tell me about meeting a guy,” Andrew said.
“I’ve met the guy,” Andrew cut in before Ivy could finish her sentence. She was perplexed by the statement. “Logan has told me everything. And I was supposed to be upset or jealous like a normal person in this kind of situation, but you know what, I’m not any of that. I was calm.”
“Andrew, I am so sorry. I was supposed to tell you about meeting him. Logan is just a friend now. Trust me,” Ivy begged.
“Are you sure?” Andrew asked. Ivy didn’t reply to the question. “You might not sure how you feel about him, but I am sure how I feel about you. There is a fine line between admire and fall in love. And after meeting Logan, I have realised that I wasn’t in love with you. I admire you. And I will always do. You will always be someone who I love as a friend.”
“Oh Andrew,” tears started to well up in Ivy’s eyes.
“I am not the person who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Logan is,” Andrew said with a smile and turned to Logan who was sitting at the corner. “Logan, she’s all yours.” Slowly, Logan rose to his feet and approached the bride and groom. He stood right in front of Ivy, taking over Andrew’s place. He gently wiped off the tears on Ivy’s cheeks and took her hands.
“I’m not letting you go this time,” Logan said. “I’m so sorry for leaving without a word. Things were not going well with my boss and he has threatened me. I was afraid that things might get uglier and I cannot have you to go through all this with me. So, I left.”
“You could have just told me,” Ivy said. “No matter what had happened in the past, I don’t care anymore now that you’re here. You’re home.” Both smiled and looked into each other’s eyes.
“Ivy, my love, will you marry me?” Logan got down on one knee.
“Yes, yes!” Ivy cried.
They kissed under the beautiful sun in the garden where the flowers were blooming and butterflies were fluttering just like their hearts fluttered when they first met last spring. When spring came, he came home.
© 2021 Ashley SY