In the hospital...
“Marmee come on. You have got to swallow it down!” I said giving mom a spoon of her syrup.
“Sweetie, no! Please take it away!” She said pushing the spoon aside.
“Mom, now you’re acting childish!” I said with a sarcastic sigh. Her forehead lines appear, forming a frown. There it goes. I give her the spoon and she drinks it with disgust.
“Yuck!” She coughs, taking the glass of water from the hospital bedside. I giggled.
“That’s my girl...” I said while mom gave a look.
“Oh sorry! That’s my mom!” I said, bursting into series of laughter. She also bursts into fits of laughter.
Meanwhile at Helia’s office…..
“Tell Helia that Krystal wants to meet him.” I said formally to Melanie, who was the receptionist. Hey there, I am Krystal Asher, 20 years old, a girl with pink hair and fair skin and soon going to be Mrs. Knightly. I am sure Helia is gonna propose me sometime; I know that he loves me like I love him. I mean, Come on! We have been ‘Best Friends’ for like eternity! We are damn close, he shares all his secrets with me and I too do the same. I entered his office after Melanie called Helia.
“Hey there!” I said dropping my bag on the couch and sitting on the chair in front of Helia’s desk.
“Hi Krystal!” He said looking out of his life, I mean laptop!
“So please, can we have our coffee ritual?” I asked. He nodded, picked up the intercom and called the butler.
“Hello Jacob, bring me two cups of coffee, please?” He said in the intercom.
“Okay!” He said nodding and kept the intercom.
“Yeah, he’ll be here in a minute or two.” He said again getting tangled in the world of work.. Work!
“Helia firstly shut that silly thing!” I said trying to shut his laptop and ended successfully. He gave me a glare. I gave an innocent smile. He too smiled at me.
“Secondly you were talking about your dad’s friend who got ill?” I asked. He nodded.
“Well she’s in observation for some days as she has recently gone through the surgery. The doctors have almost no hope that she will recover or not. I was thinking to visit her.” He said.
“Can I also go with you?” I asked for permission.
“Sure!” He said giving a “why not” look.
“I will go cancel the coffees.” He said going to the reception. After he was done he came back to the cabin.
“Let’s get going!” He said pulling me by my arm. I smirked. Helia is so so mine! And nothing can change that.
In the hospital…
Third Person’s POV:
Flora was massaging her mother’s head when the door creaked and flung open to reveal Helia. Flora smiled but got confused by seeing the girl besides him, holding a bouquet.
“How is Aunt?” Helia asked sitting on the visitor’s chair.
“Well, I am alright. But tell my daughter to stop giving me that syrup_” Rose was going to continue when Flora cut her in middle.
“She is better than before but still not fully recovered. So I am not going to stop giving her the syrup.” Flora said. Helia nodded.
“I agree with Flora. You should take your medications.” Helia said smiling.
“Two against one! Not fair!” Rose said making them both laugh. Krystal cleared her throat, sought to be introduced.
“Oh yeah, I am sorry Krystal.” Helia said getting up and going towards Krystal.
“This is Krystal, my best friend right from childhood. Krystal this is Aunt rose and this is Flora, Aunt Rose’s daughter.” Helia introduced, putting both of his palms on Krystal’s shoulder. She smiled. Flora smiled in return.
“I hope you get alright soon, Aunt Rose!” Krystal said putting the bouquet carefully on the bedside table. Rose nodded.
“Amen to that.” Helia prayed.
“So I shall take a leave! Bye!” Krystal said getting up and giving a fake smile.
“Bye Aunt, Bye Flora!” Helia said, bade them a goodbye with smile, a true one.
After a week, at Helia’s home….
“Mom, are you alright?” I asked as mom shivered.
“I am alright. Go and call your uncle.” Mom said still shivering.
“But mom, it’s going to be 1′o clock of night. They would be sleeping.” I justified.
“Please Flora. Do what is told to you.” Mom said. I nodded and went out to find Uncle’s room. I was searching for his room when Helia came from the other side.
“Where are you going? Is everything fine?” He asked.
“Everything is alright. Mom wanted to talk to Uncle. Where is his room?” I asked.
“It’s in the corner, but I will go call him. You should stay with Aunt.” He said. I nodded and went. After a minute or two Uncle came.
“Is everything alright?” Uncle asked worriedly.
“Yes it is. I wanted to have a talk with you. Sweetie, would you please go out?” Mom asked.
“Sure, mom.” I said going out of the room.
“Baron come and sit beside me.” I said to him. He came and sat down on my side.
“There’s no hope that I will be safe. I don’t know how many days I will be living. It is certain that I am counting my last breaths.” I said mournfully.
“Don’t say that again, sister. You will alright soon, I promise.” Baron said disagreeing me.
“I am worried about my Flora, after I die what happen to her. She should be married till I am living. I’ll be able to die easily if I see her future in good hands. Please find someone suitable for her, brother. Please solve my difficulty, make my death easy.” I said.
“Please don’t say that, sister. Don’t worry; I will get my Helia married to Flora.” He said. What?
“To Helia?” I asked.
“Yes sister, do you accept this marriage?” He asked. Could there be any man better than Helia for my daughter!
“Yes sure! Thank you so much, brother. But will Helia and Lilliana agree?” I said doubting.
“I’ll talk to Helia and Lilliana, I am sure they’ll agree. Then we will fix the wedding the date.” He said. I smiled.
“Thank you, Brother. Now I’ll die in peace.” I said relieved.
“Rose, don’t talk about dying. You’ll soon get well.” He said getting up while Flora came in.
The next day…..
I was exercising when dad suddenly came. I smiled.
“Good morning, Dad!” I wished, smiling.
“Good morning!” He wished in return.
“So let’s sit somewhere and talk!” I said ushering him towards the garden benches. He nodded and we went to it. As we sat held my hand in his. This has gotta be a manly conversation!
“Son, I wanted to ask you something.” He said.
“Yes, Dad. What?” I asked.
“Son, if you can; will you marry Flora?” He asked. What did he say just now?! Means, I don’t even know that girl except her name, how can I marry her?!
“Dad, I- I mean- how can I-” I stammered.
“It is alright. You should think about this properly. I am not only asking you to marry but also breaking the bridge to all of your desires and passions. You can give the answer to me in evening.” He said, got up and went away. I was shocked, terribly shocked. What should I do?
In the office…
I was stressed. So stressed that a horrendous headache had developed in my head.
“Good morning, busy man!” Krystal said coming in the office. I putted on a fake smile.
“Hello Krystal!” I greeted, trying to keep on the smile. She raised an eyebrow at me.
“What happened? And for god’s sake, please don’t tell that nothing happened. I know from your cranky childhood.” She said.
“Dad asked me to marry Flora.” I said straight out, looking down. She gasped in shock.
“You said no, did you?” She asked. I shook my head.
“YOU, How could you?! You can’t marry her; she is a piece of dirt! Marrying her is far away; you can’t marry any other girl than me!” She yelled in anger. My eyes widened in shock. I looked at her with a shocked face.
“Yeah, you must be intelligent, but you never got a clue that you were not just a friend but everything to me!” She said.
“Krystal-” I was saying when she stopped me.
“I love you, Helia!” She yelled like a mad person, banging the table and stomped away. I stood up in astonishment and tried to chase her but she was too fast.
I quickly ran down the stairs, got in my car, put the engine on, pressed the accelerator, slammed the door, pushed the gear, stirred the steering wheel in hurry and drove to her home in haste.
At Krystal’s home….
“Is Krystal home?” I asked the gatekeeper. He nodded. I straight away went to the indoor gardening area. She was sitting there, crying hard. I ran to her side.
“Krystal, I am sorry. I never knew you felt like that about me. But I just considered you as my best friend. I never thought about you in that way.” I said it in astonished way.
“But now you have to think about me like that because I am not letting you marry her! I am not so non-preferable that I will be rejected because of an outdated girl. That she, a lower middle class, illiterate girl would be chosen over me!” She sobbed.
“No Krystal, I never said that I agree to this marriage. In fact I would prefer you over her! But I never loved you, Krystal. There is enough frankness between us for you to tell this before.” I said.
“But there are some things that girls expect from you men. I thought you were going to propose me, even mum and Aunt Lilliana thought that. But god knew that you don’t feel the same way I feel about you.” She said getting up and walking away. I too decided to leave.
I was at the library reading a book.
“Good evening.” I heard. I turned around to see dad. Oh God! I had to answer if I wanted to marry Flora or not. My answer was obviously gonna be no. I haven’t even thought of being friends with her; how can I marry her?! God knows how her nature is!
“Dad, I have decided. I am not going to marry Flora!” I said dominantly.
“Helia, please think again. I have already promised Rose that I will get Flora married.” He said seriously.
“Dad, if it’s about marriage then can’t you get Flora married with some other man known to us? Even mom said that she had some good people who want to get their son married.” I said gesturing. He kept his hands on my shoulder.
“Son, if it would be about getting Flora married then I would have agreed to you. But it is about having her future secure. Now can I guarantee that any other boy would keep Flora happy?” He said.
“Nobody can give that guarantee, dad!” I said softly.
“But I can. I can assure Rose that my can give Flora the happiness she wants. I can assure myself too, that my son will keep her future safe.” He said.
“But Dad I don’t wanna marry her! How can you assure yourself that I’ll be able to keep her happy?” I said, disagreeing him.
“Helia, Rose is like my sister. It’s my responsibility to keep her promise. This is my promise to her that I will keep her daughter happy and safe. Please son, help me to keep this promise.” He said releasing some tears.
“No, Dad. Dad you don’t have to do this to make me agree something. You can’t be that weak!” I said trying to cheer him up. Instead his eyes swelled and more tears ran down his cheeks.
“Dad… okay, I will marry Flora.” I said defeated. He looked up with hope in his eyes.
“Yes or no?” He asked. I nodded, not quite happy. He tapped my shoulder.
“I am grateful that you helped me to keep my promise to my sister.” He said and went away.
“Shit!” I mumbled, rubbing my finger on my temples. I AM IN DEEP SHIT!
In Rose’s room…..
I was massaging mom’s feet when suddenly Uncle came in. He sat on the couch, smiling.
“Rose, Helia agreed to marry Flora!” Uncle said happily. Did I just heard that Helia to marry me? I gazed in shock towards him. Mom smiled.
“Oh! It’s nice news to hear. Did Lilliana agree?” Mom asked. Nice news?
“I will talk to her, I am sure she will agree.” He said and left. I looked at mom. Tears rolled down eyes. What am I supposed to do?
In Baron’s room….
“So, you came back, by getting news of your son getting married to a poverty stricken girl!” Lilliana said to me angrily.
“Lilliana-” I was about to say when she cut me off in between.
“Baron, how could you think of getting my son married to an illiterate girl?! Your son is not like you, he told me everything!” Lilliana said with rage.
“She is not illiterate!” I replied with the same anger.
“She might not be, but my son is better than her in every way! I have brought him up in the best manner. He has studied in the best of schools and colleges, always the first ranker and now he is forced into a marriage with a girl like her?!” She yelled in fury.
“See Lilliana, this is my home, Helia is my son, Rose is a sister to me and Flora is my responsibility after her. So you better not interfere. Tomorrow you will come with me for assuring Rose that you agree to this marriage. Or else we will simply have a divorce and you would be free to leave this home.” I said, enraged of hearing my best friend’s daughter’s insult. I saw tears falling from her eyes. But now I was far away from the mood of counseling her. I left the room.