"Grace, this cake is looking beautiful." Natalia, her friend, and colleague exclaimed while Grace was finishing it off with light blue icing.
"Thanks, Talia. I hope the soon-to-be-wedded couple like it too." She said softly.
Chris and Samantha make a lovely couple. They have been dating for about five years, and they are getting married in a few months. The couple ordered this cake for their engagement party.
"They would definitely love it. Well, I love it." Natalie said, and Grace responded with a smile.
Natalie has been a wonderful friend to her, particularly over the last month. It would be an overstatement to say that it has been a short one month since her and Jefferson's divorce because it wasn't. Even though she had diverted her attention to work, there were moments when she found herself thinking about him.
Jefferson Smith became her everything. Her entire world, her whole universe. But in the end, everything was a lie.
Was she hurt?
But she also knew that it was her fault that she had completely surrendered herself to a man she loved. But not anymore. She needs to move on in her life, and she intends to do so.
Even if it takes her a lifetime to do it.
Her mantra of moving forward with her life.
It was seven in the evening when Grace was lounging on her couch, solemnly. She was still trying to figure out how to move on with her life when the bell rang. Natalia and Aaron, two of her favourite coworkers and friends, were waiting for her when she opened the door.
"Hey guy, what are you two doing here?" She asked them, confused. She had only seen them an hour before.
"We came here to pick you up, so get ready," Aaron said while inviting himself into her apartment, followed by Natalia.
Her finances took a big hit the moment she signed those divorce papers. To begin with, she was never wealthy, but she made enough money to keep herself out of poverty. After her divorce, she couldn't afford to own a flat in the city, but renting an apartment was her safest bet. It was inexpensive and ideal for the time being. Along with that, her neighborhood was decent. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either.
"I don't really feel like going out, guys," Grace said, hoping that they wouldn't force her to go out with them.
"Grace, I do understand that you want to be left alone and sulk. But you can do that while drinking a few shots and letting yourself loose. No one expects you to get over your marriage, but we certainly don't want you to drown yourself in misery either." Aaron said.
What happened to Grace was not fair. He may not know the truth behind the divorce, but any man would be a fool to let this sweet and gorgeous woman leave his life.
"But..." Grace wanted to interject, but Natalia and Aaron were persistent.
"No, but, Grace. Come on; I am going to help you get ready. Then we are going to a bar to have a good time. We need to celebrate. The cake was a hit with Chris and Samantha." While Aaron sat on the couch, Natalia pulled her friend into her room.
Both of the girls emerged after twenty minutes. Grace was looking stunning. He wished that he had the courage to ask her out confidently, but he knew that she was not ready yet. She needed a friend, not a boyfriend.
After ten minutes, they reached the bar, 'The Chug,' where they ordered shots.
Soon after, a man approached Natalia and invited her to dance, to which she gladly agreed. Grace chuckled at this. Aaron was staring at her, and he was relieved to see her smile.
"What?" When she noticed him staring at her, she asked him.
"Nothing. You have a lovely smile. Let's dance." He reached out and offered his hand.
Grace was taken aback by the compliment, but she responded with a faint smile. Her gaze was drawn to his outstretched hand.
"Come on, Grace. It is just a dance. I am in no mood to dance with a stranger, and I would like to assume you are as well. So?" He raised his eyebrows, motioning at his hand, which she gratefully accepted after drinking another shot of her tequila.
Aaron subtly pulled her closer to him, his hands on her waist and hers around his neck. The music was not loud, but not excessively or overly slow either. After a long time, Grace was finally having fun and letting herself loose, but this didn't settle well for Jefferson, who was glaring at the person who was physically too close to his ex-wife.
Jefferson was already sitting at the opposite end of the bar, drinking beer when he saw Grace stepping inside with her two buddies. He had never met either of them. Therefore, she might have bonded with them recently after their divorce.
From where he was sitting, Grace was dancing way too closely and openly with that blonde-haired guy for his liking. His hold on the glass just tightened, and if it weren't for the bartender, he would have definitely crushed it.
"Easy there, buddy. We don't want any blood on your hands, do we know?" The bartender with the name tag Kyle said, trying to ease his customer.
"You mean murdering that blonde guy? I really won't mind getting blood on my hands then." Jefferson muttered angrily.
"I meant by breaking the bottle, but that too. If looks could kill, that guy would have been dead a thousand times." Kyle remarked.
"Try a millionth." Jefferson tried to look away from them, but it was hard. Not with the way they were dancing because his blood was boiling with rage.
"Your ex?" The bartender asked him. It was usual for him to listen to and converse with people about their stories—especially heartbreak.
"Yup," Jefferson answered.
"She dumped you?"
Jefferson responded with a chuckle. "Nope. I did."
This took Kyle by surprise. 'For dumping her, he sure looked morose.' He thought.
Instead of questioning the guy's personal life, he settled with asking him about his drink.
"Do you want something strong?"
Jefferson was staring hard at the couple on the dance floor, and he couldn't hold it any longer. Grace was dancing way too intimately with that guy for his liking, and her outfit was not helping either. Her red dress was slim-fitting, reaching her mid-thigh, and a little of her back was exposed. It hugged her body perfectly. She was wearing a lot of make-up and red lipstick, which was unusual for her. She was far too enticing for any man to ignore, and some were eagerly admiring her.
His Grace has always been simple, but this woman in front of him was not the one he had married, not that she wasn't sexy before. It was her innocence that made her out of the world. She definitely had males attracted to her whenever they went out, but she was committed to him. She was his, but not anymore.
Jefferson was well aware that that guy and his ex-wife were about to kiss. He would have to witness Grace moving on in her life at any moment. This didn't settle well with him. He stormed over and took Grace from the clutches of that unknown guy, who was staring at him with a surprised face. On the other hand, Grace was perplexed when she was separated from Aaron.
When she turned around to see the mystery person, she was appalled to find it was none other than Jefferson. Before she could even react, he grabbed her hand tightly and yanked her out of the bar. She tried to remove herself from his grip, but it was too tight.
Against her protests, he dragged her along with him fiercely.