The designers waited for the children to reach home and took their measurements.
The triplets were intrigued.
Ellie stood on the platform with her stubby arms outstretched so the designer could wrap the measuring tape around her. Genuinely baffled, she questioned, “Miss, why are you making me new clothes? We have a lot of new clothes already.”
The designer chuckled and responded, “Your daddy and mommy are getting married! You’re one of the main characters and also the flower girl. That’s why you need new clothes!”
“Daddy and mommy are getting married? Really?” Robbie was thrilled. A bright smile bloomed on his handsome face. “When are they getting married? Why don’t I know about this?”
“It should happen soon. We’re here today to help your mommy design a wedding dress.”
“That’s amazing!” Jamie almost leaped in excitement.
“Robbie, Jamie, what does that mean?”
Ellie stared at her brothers with her head cocked to a side, her face earnest. She was still young and had not grasped the concept of marriage.
“Getting married means that daddy and mummy will become legal partners. They’ll be together forever and never be separated,” Robbie replied solemnly.
“That’s great!” Ellie clapped her chubby hands with glee. “Then we will all be together forever! Nothing will separate us!”
“That’s right.” Robbie nodded in approval.
“Yay! I’m so happy!”
The children’s cheers filled the room, making the atmosphere light and joyful. Their happiness was so contagious that the designers and maids felt happy for them.
Charlotte glimpsed the children’s bright expressions when she walked past the room. A myriad of conflicting emotions churned within her. I should feel happy as well, but—
“What’s all this excitement about?” A familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.
Charlotte whipped around to see Zachary walking down the spiral staircase. He unbuttoned his suit jacket as he approached her.
“Why are you back so early today?” Charlotte was surprised to see him. “It’s not five yet.”
“I came back to fetch you guys.” Zachary glanced at his watched and instructed, “Go change your clothes. I’m bringing everyone out for dinner.”
“Now?” Charlotte asked, taken aback.
“Yes. Will half an hour be enough for you to get dressed?” Zachary stroked her hair lovingly.
“Yes.” Charlotte stood on her tiptoes to peck his lips before rushing back to their room to prepare.
Zachary watched her adorable figure dart into the room. An amused smile played on his lips.
The children swarmed towards their father when they noticed him standing by the door.
Zachary bent down and spread his arms out wide, engulfing all three kids in a hug. He kissed their foreheads and asked, “How was it? Have you had your measurements taken?”
“Yes!” The triplets answered in unison.
“Daddy, are you and mommy really getting married?”
Robbie desperately needed confirmation. Flecks of light shone in his clear eyes as he stared up at his father.
“Yes.” Zachary smiled and nodded.
“That’s great! Yay!” His reply sent the children into another round of celebration.
“I want to be the flower girl! I want to wear a pretty dress…” Ellie’s arm shot up as she declared eagerly, “I want to stand in the middle!”
“I’m the second child, so I should be in the middle!” Jamie argued, fretting about the loss of his center spot. “Ellie, you’re the youngest; you should be the last.”
“I don’t want to!” Ellie stamped her foot in indignation. Her small face was flushed scarlet. “I’m a girl, so I have to stand in between you two! I’ll only look pretty this way.”
“Jamie,” Robbie hurriedly interjected and spread his arms out to keep his siblings apart. “We’ll walk side-by-side! No one will be in front or at the back, and Ellie can be in the middle!”
“Walk side-by-side?” Jamie repeated. He contemplated for a moment before nodding in agreement. “Alright. You can be in the middle, Ellie,” he offered generously.
“Thank you, Jamie.” Ellie beamed at her brother, her chubby face filled with unbridled joy. “Then I want to hold the ring!”
“No, I should be the ring bearer!” Ellie’s enthusiasm for the wedding sparked yet another argument with Jamie. “I already gave up the center for you. How could you—”
“I want to hold the ring!” Ellie started to become frantic. Tears brimmed in her doe-like eyes.
“Ellie, you’ll look prettier holding a flower bouquet,” Robbie, ever the mediator of the three, quickly placated his sister. “The flowers are for mommy. You’ll look beautiful holding them!”