7. Petty and Hypocrite
Beautiful glass candles and fairy lights dipped the room in a warm golden hue, and the soft perfume filled the atmosphere with sensual love. Rose petals and lilies were decorated everywhere, making the room seem almost magical.
The room was the definition of romantic. From the fragrance, flowers and candles to the choice of bed sheets, curtains and fairy lights, everything looked straight out of a romantic movie.
Too bad I would not experience any of that in a real sense.
In awe, I stepped inside and dipped low as I sat on the fluffy bed. Suddenly, the exhaustion of the past three days slammed on me and my eyelids felt heavy, but I resisted. I wanted to ask questions. I wouldn’t sleep, not now.
Shanaya squeezed my hand and sat beside me, her presence a silent comfort.
Manoj, Liam, and Krish walked in and wrapped their arms around me. All my best memories with them started flashing in front of my eyes and a sad smile took ahold of my lips. They were my best friends, they will always be - even if I was in a different city now.
I wanted to tell them about the note and about the truth of this marriage, but I didn’t know-how. I couldn’t bring myself to word it. I still had a small hope blooming about this being false, and I couldn’t murder it right now. I didn’t have the strength, nor did I have the strength to deal with the aftermath.
So I stayed silent, basking in their warmth as they whispered sweet nothings in my ear.
They left soon, wishing me luck and I waited with bated breath for my husband to arrive. Ten agonizing minutes later, I stopped waiting and decided to call it a night.
Removing my jewellery, I looked for the bathroom and just as I started towards it, the door started opening and I sat back down.
My husband, Aarav Singhaniya, entered the room like a lion enters his den. Power and confidence radiated out of him and he walked as if he owned the world. Well, he did own this hotel, so I guess he had the right to walk like that.
But the grace with which he carried himself was sexy, even to me.
Only now did I notice that not only was he handsome but his physique was one to comment on. He was lean with broad shoulders and mercifully proportionate. And he was tall, man, was he tall. Almost as tall as Dev, but while Dev was bulky and muscular, he was lean.
Murdering the line of thought, I stood up to greet him.
He approached me, slowly - hesitantly almost, like I was hunter hunting for him.
“I have questions”, I stated.
“Ask away”, he answered smoothly and grabbed a chair from his right to deposit himself on it.
“Who was the note for?“, I asked - a dumb, but nonetheless an important question. I was 99.99% sure that the note was for me but I couldn’t rule out the 0.1% - the little hope I had for it be false, or just a case of misplaced parcel.
His face contorted to give a mixture of condescending and pitiful expression, almost asking, “How devastating that a girl like you doesn’t even have two working brain cells”
Guess I had my answer! I ignored his silent remark and instead asked, “Who was it from? And what deal were they talking about?”
He stayed silent, probably forming an answer but when the silence stretched long, I prompted, “Hello? There?”
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to ask these questions to your parents”, he shrugged.
“No, you tell me”, I demanded.
“Why not?”, I asked furiously.
He looked to his right and stood up, dusting his dress shirt as he started moving towards the bathroom.
“Hey!”, I shouted and stood up on the bed, “Answer me. You can’t just walk off from a conversation like that. That’s rude”
His hazel eyes turned to me and with an almost tired voice, said, “I already answered. I don’t like repeating myself”
Cue an internal eye roll from me. The audacity of this man just because he had a little knowledge over my head… I clenched my fists and while I wouldn’t really have hit him, I like to believe that my rationality and curiosity were the only things that saved him today.
“Fine”, I agreed, “answer some other questions then”
I was a rational woman, after all. *‘Thou lady doth protest too much’*, snided my bitch but I ignored her.
“Shoot, and please sit down”, he said as took his seat again and I followed suit.
After I mentally went over the list of questions I had prepared, I asked, “Were you forced into this marriage?”
“Not really. I ..“, he said but before he could finish I interrupted him with another question.
“Did you know that I was being forced, I mean, pushed?”
“Yes, I did, and I..”
“Do you have a love interest?”
“Did you know that I have one?”
“Yes, I knew, I...”
I interrupted him, again, and said, “This concludes the interview, thank you for answering”
“It’s not an interview if you don’t let the interviewee speak”, he stated with an eye roll.
“Well, I got my answers”, I shrugged.
“And they are?”
“That you are an asshole”
“And how exactly, may I ask, do these answers make me an asshole?”
“You knew I was being coerced, and you still voluntarily married me. That’s asshole-y in my books”
“If that’s what it is, you could’ve decided it beforehand, without the questions”, he said as he raised his right brow.
At times I think, people are just flexing that they can do this because I can’t.
“Well, I didn’t want to judge a book by its cover; I wanted to know if what I think is actually true”
“I would say, what you did right now is essential, ‘Judge a book by its cover’ because I have found reasons are far more important that the deed itself. And before you ask why since you didn’t let me complete any of my statements, your answers are half-truth and thus, just a cover”, he said and shot out of his seat.
“Tell me, then”, I said with a pout as he turned around.
Without turning his back, he said, “No, I don’t think I will”
“Please tell me”
I ran in front of him and pleaded, “Please, Please, Please, Please, please”
“I don’t give offers once they are rejected, interrupted in this case”, he answered and moving around me took a comforter and settled on the sofa.
“Pretty please?“, I looked at him, trying the Shinchan ‘star-in-your eyes’ hack, unfortunately though - it didn’t work.
“Petty”, I muttered under my breath.
Apparently, his hearing was vampire-sharp because he answered, “I don’t want to judge a book by its cover, she says, hypocrite”, with quotation hands and in a voice that sounded like someone had pumped helium in him.
I glared at him as I retired in my bed - or his, if you take into account that he paid for it. But it was mine for the night and so I was allowed to take full advantage of the soft, fluffy, cotton bed.
I was mad at myself for judging him harshly when I hadn’t given him an option to speak.
I prided myself for the fact that I rarely, if ever, judged. Deliberate practise over the years had made it almost easy to not judge someone harshly without knowing who they were and what they were going through, but today, I did just that and I wasn’t pleased.
Yes, my brain was in overdrive, my emotions were all over the place, and I was forced into a marriage I didn’t want, but that still didn’t excuse me judging someone harshly.
I couldn’t make everyone out as assholes just because I feel down, that’s not how it works.
He wasn’t forced, true, but this marriage wasn’t going to be a very happy one so for him to agree there must be a reason and I had essentially ruined my chances of discovering it. I shouldn’t have judged him, that was wrong.
I was going to apologize first thing in the morning and ask him the same question again and again and again until he had to answer or wear earplugs constantly. And if he did the latter, I would scream the questions loudly and then, he would have no choice but to answer.
Proud of the plan for tomorrow, I closed my eyes and let the night do its magic.
Author’s note -
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