Then The Conversation Starts
It was nearly the afternoon. A blue haired male walked to the swimming pool. Helia pulled his trousers up till his knees and dipped his legs into the water body. ‘These last few months have totally changed my life. Now I have a wife, more of a burden, with whom I can’t even converse. Is this what my life was supposed to be like? Even remembering the moment I made her wear the ring on her ring finger makes me want to run away.’ He thought. Suddenly his phone started to ring; he picked it up to be answered by Krystal’s voice.
“Yes Krystal, what’s up?” Helia asked.
“The ceiling.” Krystal answered, stirring the pasta, making Helia laugh. “I am okay. Actually, I was making some Italian food, so I thought you should taste it.”
“Yeah, I would have came but-” Helia said only to be cutted in between by the pink haired female.
“Okay, I know your old habit. Its fine, I won’t insist. Be a fun sucker!” Krystal argued, as Helia stifled a laugh.
“I will come, okay? Don’t fight, calm down. Just chillax.” Helia said, trying to calm Krystal.
“That’s better. Come for the dinner, sharp at 3′ o clock.” Krystal ordered.
“Yes, My Majesty!” Helia said, faking a bow. “Okay, bye.”
It was 3:30 of afternoon. Krystal’s home’s dining hall witnessed Krystal, her mother and Helia having the awesome food.
“So would you tell me how, Krystal the great, deign to honor the kitchen with her presence today?” Helia said, eating the lasagna.
“Well, I just made it! How’s the food?” Krystal asked. Helia smiled.
“The food indeed is tasty. From now we know that whatever task Krystal takes up, she finishes it with perfection.” Helia said, taking some salad from the serving bowl.
“Thanks for the honor, Your Excellency!” Krystal said, making the blue haired male and the brown haired middle aged female laugh.
“So, how are your parents, Helia?” Sara asked.
“They are in the pink of the health, Aunty.” Helia said.
“How’s Flora?” She asked, making Helia uncomfortable. ‘Why has everybody gotta ask this god damn question?!’ He thought.
“She is fine.” Helia said, without an ounce of emotion.
“Why don’t you bring her along sometime here for the dinner? Krystal, how about we host a party for them?” Sara asked, earning an uneasy look from Helia and an angry look from her daughter.
“Umm… Helia please try this? From that side.” Krystal said, offering a new variety of cheese cake invented by her.
“Why from that side?”
“Oh, okay, I will take it.” Helia said, taking a piece of the cake.
“I have got some work. You both continue to eat.” Sara said, in an unhappy tone, leaving the table, much to the dismay of Krystal.
“So… What do you call this dish?” Helia asked, trying to lighten up the mood of the room.
The grasshoppers chirped as the night came. Helia’s room was sound less, as usual. A brunette female and a raven haired male were sitting on the king sized bed, lost in their own works. Suddenly, while typing, Helia’s gaze shifted to Flora. She was writing a diary entry. ‘I didn’t know she was into writing. In fact, I too love writing. Maybe I can start a conversation now.’ He thought. He closed his laptop, placed it on the side table and sat up straight, trying to talk to the girl sitting next to him but Flora took no notice of it. This displeased Helia. How many times did he have to start the conversation and she, most of the times, didn’t answers back. ‘Is this my wife, who has taken the oath of never talking to me?!’ He thought. Then he switched off the bedside lamp on his side and pulled the covers up his body, trying to sleep. Though Flora noticed this, she continued writing her diary.
The brunette was roaming around the Knightly household, sporting a blue dress with some silver embroidery on the skirt. All of a sudden Alexa (A/N: The maid working in their house)came.
“Young Mistress, there is someone who has came to meet you.” Alexa informed her.
“Who is it?” Flora asked, quite confused that someone had came till here to meet her.
“She calls herself Aisha.” Alexa said which brought a beautiful smile on Flora’s face.
“Aisha! She’s waiting in the lounge, right?” Flora asked in an excited tone to which Alexa gave a nod. Flora then literally sprinted to the lounge. When she reached the lounge, she saw a dark brown haired female, wearing an indigo summer dress, tapping her foot in impatience.
“Aisha!” Flora called out.
“Flora, there you are! Long time no see!” Aisha said as she hugged her best friend.
“How are you?” Flora said as they headed towards the couch.
“I am fine.” Aisha said as they seated themselves.
“I can’t believe that you came to meet me: that you are sitting in front of me!” Flora said, still amazed.
“Leave the false protestations of love for later.” Aisha said.
“False protestations of love?” Flora asked. Aisha nodded. “Do you doubt my love for you?”
“Why shouldn’t I? You got married slyly without even informing your one and only friend. God bless Mom, who told me about this for you were hiding such a big matter. And she says ‘Don’t doubt my love.’” Aisha said, in a complaining tone.
“These types of wedding take place in silence.” Flora said, avoiding Aisha’s eyes.
“What happened, Flora? Why are saying such things?! You know, when I heard of your marriage, I was ecstatic.” Aisha said.
“Don’t be happy for me.” Flora said, in a saddened/ angry tone, startling Aisha. “This forced marriage, this husband I’ve acquired due to pity, this house… None of these things are something you should celebrate.”
“Was your marriage forced? But your mother, without your yes ...” Aisha said, with no words left, shocked that a mother like Rose would ever force her daughter into a marriage.
“Throughout my life, my mother taught me about self-respect and yet… left me in this degraded position.” Flora said, making Aisha more worried.
“Is your husband untoward towards you?” Aisha asked, with concern clearly seen in her eyes.
“Husband? For whom I am not esteem able enough, not smart enough; who is better then me in every essence. I was forced into his life.” Flora said, with sadness conquering her face.” Aisha, I have never dreamt beyond my status, so why is this humiliation my misfortune to bear?!”
“Did your husband tell you these things?” Aisha asked. ‘We don’t even have a proper conversation, in which form would he talk to me?’ Flora thought.
“Silence has its own language. It doesn’t matter if he says this or not but I know that I have been pushed into his life. I am not a wife to him; I am a burden which he has to carry for the entire of his life.” Flora said.
Krystal, with a cup of green tea, was walking up the stairs when her mother stopped her.
“Krystal, even today you didn’t go to the office. What’s the matter, sweet heart?” She said, making Krystal turn with a frustrated look on her face.
“Mom, you do say everything that comes to your mind. After the scene you created yesterday, Helia said that ‘Maybe Aunty doesn’t like me meeting you.’ You have no idea how embarrassed I got.” Krystal said in a cold manner, coming down from the stairs.
“Krysty, I am just trying to protect you. You need to understand Helia is married now; you can’t go after him now! You’re all I have. I can’t see your life being wasted because of a boy!” Sara said, caressing her daughter’s cheek. Krystal shoved her hand off her.
“Helia has made a mistake and I am gonna make him realize it! He will leave that piece of scum sooner or later; just wait and watch.” Krystal said, climbing the stairs to reach her bedroom. Sara, in verge of tears, saw her daughter getting crazier over a man by the passing time.
“Don’t worry, Flora; someday Helia will fall for you. Just give this marriage a bit more time.” Aisha said, as she and Flora walked on the corridors.
“I don’t know, Aisha. I think he hates me, every time I look at him, I see hatred in his eyes for me.” Flora said, playing with her light brown, silky locks.
“Flora, be positive. By the passing time he will accept you. And you know what, Helia is lucky to have a wife like you!” Aisha said, trying to bring a smile on Flora’s face.
“Aisha you are my friend that is why you see all the good qualities in me.” Flora said with a laugh.
“There is nothing like that, you are a really nice person. Sooner or later he will realize that he has got the sweetest person as his wife.” Aisha said, making Flora’s lips curl up into a smile. “Okay, I will be in Leathivia for two or three days. If I won’t be able to visit, I will call for sure. I should get going.”
“Take care of yourself.” Flora said, while hugging Aisha.
“You too! Good bye!” Aisha said, waving her hand, leaving the brunette alone.
The Prizmmy café was the most popular café in Leathivia, which was now occupied by the best friends, Helia and Krystal.
“Don’t think about what Mom said. In order to protect me, she does a lot of things.” Krystal said, trying to comfort Helia. He let out a sigh.
“I think…. Aunt Sara was right. It isn’t right for us to meet.” Helia said, trying to avoid Krystal’s eyes.
“How can it be wrong? It wasn’t wrong before.” Krystal said, relentlessly trying to make Helia agree with her.
“Krystal, I know what you are saying and where you are coming to. But now I am married, maybe that is why Aunty is against our friendship.” Helia said, still trying to defend Sara.
“Helia, do you, by any chance, feel guilty that you are not able to spend time with Flora?” Krystal asked, but Helia remained quiet. “Spend time with her, try to give Flora what she deserves but please, for God’s sake, keep your marriage and our friendship apart. Our friendship is way longer than your marriage.”
“Helia, you’re my best friend. I can’t imagine being without you, I will fight the entire world for you!” Krystal said, bringing a smile on Helia’s upset face. Then he started to play with the knife.
“What happened, where are you lost?!” Krystal asked, waving her hand in front of Helia’s face.
“Nothing. Just thinking about Flora.” Helia said, making Krystal roll her eyes. “Sometimes I feel that, I wasn’t the only one dealt unjustly, I wasn’t the only one involved in this forced marriage.”
“Oh, come on Helia! Its only Flora’s good luck, nothing else. She couldn’t even have dreamt of a husband like you, and you know it very well.” Krystal said, like it was a matter of fact.
“It’s unfair to Helia. Mum and you have totally not done the right thing for Helia and me. Every person has their own choices and dislikes. If you take a girl and force her on the other person and say ‘Here, she is your wife from now on’; what kind of justice is this, Uncle?” Flora said, as she discussed her marriage with her Uncle.
“Flora, I was talking about you, not Helia. It seems to me that you are not happy with this marriage.” Baron said, stooped with his shoulders hunched down.
“I am obviously not happy with this relationship! And how can I even be? Mom didn’t do the right thing for me and you didn’t do well by listening to her. Couldn’t I have stayed with you, in this house, like your niece? Was it necessary that I had to become your daughter-in-law?” Flora said, in an enraged tone. But she and her uncle couldn’t get know that a raven haired male was overhearing their conversation.
“You could have looked after me like an Uncle. Then why this forced kinship? I really don’t like this situation, that I have been forced into someone’s life! I have never been to anyone’s house uninvited and now I have intruded someone’s life. I feel insulted. Helia, just because of you, is trying his best to fulfill this relationship, but I, my ego, my self respect has been shattered into tiny pieces. There is no one who needs me here! I didn’t want a rich and wealthy husband, Uncle; I just needed respect.” Flora said, letting out a heavy sigh.
Helia rolled up his shirt’s sleeve as he walked into his bedroom, deep in thought. Flora’s words repeated themselves in his mind. He was right, she was also not happy to be his wife. He wasn’t the only one who was being treated unfairly, Flora was also suffering. All of a sudden, he heard the door knob turn, he turned around to see Flora.
“Good evening.” Flora greeted, with the same, expressionless face.
“Good evening to you too. Where were you?” Helia asked, pretending that he had no idea where she was.
“I was talking to Uncle Baron.” She said, fiddling with her hand.” Shall I serve the dinner?”
“Hmm?” Helia said, coming out of his thoughts.” No, I already ate.”
“Oh, okay.” Flora said as she walked to the washroom. While Helia sat on the bed, thinking the important matters.
The Sun was starting to show up, as Helia jogged on the jogging track. Realizing that if he jogged further more, he would get a cramp, he stopped. Wiping off the sweat from his forehead, some words were going round his head. ‘I have never been to anyone’s house uninvited, and today, I have intruded someone’s life.’ Florawas not happy with the fact that she was forced onto someone’s head, and who would be? Krystal was wrong; which girl would consider a forced kinship as good fortune?! Helia had to make Flora comfortable now; after all, she was his wife. Though it was a forced marriage, he had to start to get adjusted. At least for the sake of Rose, who wanted her daughter to be happy and not feel lonesome, he had to make Flora happy, so that Rose’s soul resides in peace.
The lounge of Helia’s house was silent except the few scratching sounds that Helia’s pen gave, he was writing some points that were to be discussed in the meeting. He heard some steps coming towards the place. He turned his head around to see Flora going towards the right of the lounge, which lead to his parent’s room, with a cup of tea.
“Where are you going?” He asked, out of blue, causing Flora to stop.
“I was going to give Uncle his tea.” She said.
“Oh, Okay, please tell Alexa to bring my breakfast here.” He said. Flora nodded and was about to leave when Helia stopped her.” And, if you can, you too bring your breakfast here, we will have it together.”
“Okay.” Flora said with a smile, happy that they had started to converse with each other in a friendly manner.
The moon glowed in the clear sky. It was a silent night, but was interrupted by few sobs. Flora was crying, sitting on the platform adjacent to the swimming pool. Hearing the sobs, Helia walked to the place it was coming from, gently rubbing his eyes. When he saw the person who was crying, he leaned against the door. To make Flora aware of his presence, he lightly knocked the door.
“What’s wrong?” Helia asked, ‘I am concerned’ written all over his face.
“Nothing.” She said in her crackling voice. Helia arched his eyebrows. He walked to Flora and took a seat besides her.
“If nothing is wrong, then why are you still awake in the middle of night?” Helia asked but Flora didn’t reply. “Did I say something inappropriate?”
Flora shook her head, relieving Helia that he wasn’t the reason of her sorrow.
“I was just thinking of my mother, she came in my dreams.” Flora said, wiping her tears. “Did I disturb your sleep?”
“It doesn’t matter if my sleep if disturbed or not, if you want cry, laugh or stay awake but please, don’t leave the room in the middle of the night.” Helia said. “Shall we go back?”
Helia stood up. Seeing that Flora needed support, he offered his hand. “Shall we?” He said. Flora took the hand, stood up and they left.
“Oh my goodness!” Baron said, making Flora listen the stories of his childhood with Rose on the dining table.
“Seriously Uncle, was Mom really that mischievous?” Flora asked in true shock.
“It’s an understatement, dear. Mischievous doesn’t do her justice. Rose was the bane of the neighborhood!” Baron said, between laughs.
“I don’t believe this. The way Mom talked, it felt like she was always serious and sober.” Flora said.
“Good morning!” Helia said, suddenly coming in.
“Good morning to you too! Come, join us!” Baron said as Helia took a seat in front of Flora.
“Actually Alexa and your Mom are going to experiment on us by serving us a new dish!” Baron continued to say, making the two laugh. “Flora would you please pass on the tea?”
“Sure.” Flora said pouring the tea from the kettle into the cup. When she was busy doing it, Helia intently gazed at her. Flora suddenly felt his gaze; she lifted her head up to see Helia staring at her with his charming smile. ‘His smile is so sweet.’ She thought. Feeling shyness taking her over, she lowered her eyes and continued her work. Helia continued to stare at her. ‘She is kind of… pretty, especially when she acts shy. ’ He thought. He continued to stare at her, ignoring Baron’s talk.
Tired of working, Helia, at last, got up from the table. He checked his watch; it was now 3:30 p.m. ’I can’t believe it. I worked for 6 hours, non stop. Man, I think I should go home now. I will come back by 5’o clock.′ He thought. He will at least be saved by Dad’s lecture on the virtues on coming home soon. Just when he was about to leave, Krystal came in.
“You are free now?” Krystal asked. Helia nodded.
“I was thinking we could go out for the lunch, catch up a bit and have some friend fun!” Krystal said, making Helia’s face go down.
“No Krystal, actually I was going home today. I know it’s a bit early but, I think I should go.” Helia said, bringing Krystal’s hopes down, smashing them down the floor.
“Oh. Its okay, Helia. I was about to say that you should spend some time with your parents and Flora.” Krystal said, trying to sound happy.
“Thanks Krystal! Bye.” Helia said, leaving his cabin.
“Seriously, even if you come home soon, there is no one around you!” Helia said, quite irritated, taking his coat out. “Sam! Sam! Where are you?”
Suddenly Sam shows up. “Where were you, dude?” Helia said, in anger.
“Actually, I was working in the garden.” Sam said, defending himself.
“Okay… Where’s Flora?” Helia asked, now calmed down.
“She has gone for a walk with Sir Baron.”
“Yes, they go for it everyday.”
“Oh I didn’t know it. Thanks for informing me.” Helia said with genuine smile.
“You’re welcome.” Sam said, leaving Helia on his own.
The raven haired male was now reading the newspaper in the garden sitting, trying to pass sometime when he heard some familiar voices talking.
“How was the ice cream?” Baron asked to Flora.
“It was really nice, Uncle.” Flora said in return.
“Okay, so tomorrow, we will try another flavor.”
“Okay, done.” Baron said. They walked till the garden to see Helia sitting on one of the benches. “Oho! Look here, such exalted beings deigned to come home early from work today and he even honored us with his presence this morning at the breakfast!”
“Good afternoon dad! You don’t have to make me sound like a villain.” Helia said making Baron laugh.
“Good afternoon to you too, son. I am just too surprised to see you this early at home.” Baron said, seeing Flora leave he stopped her. “Where are you going, Flora?”
“Would you make us both some tea? Helia, have ever drank the tea made by Flora? It’s superb.” Baron said.
“Okay, I will. Go ahead!” Helia said to Flora, who nodded and left.
About a fortnight had passed, early at the evening, in the Knightly tower (The office), Helia and Krystal emerged from the door of the conference room.
“That was a really good presentation.” Helia said, congratulating Krystal for the success.
“I already know that, but thanks for the compliment.” Krystal said, boasting herself.
“Wow, very modest of you!” Helia said, sarcastically.
“And you should be too.” Krystal said, playing along. “What’s the plan for tonight?”
“There’s a party tonight. You know my friend, Sky; he’s throwing a dinner party.” Helia said.
“Party, huh? For which occasion?” Krystal asked.
“No reason. He said he felt like throwing one.” Helia said, in a matter of fact tone.
“How’s Flora? Has she learned to say or talk anything?” Krystal asked, while Helia was checking a file.
“She is fine.” Helia said, with a smile. “Can you do me a favor?”
“Sure.” Krystal said.
“Can you have a look at this file and we’ll discuss it next morning?” Helia asked, unsure whether Krystal would say yes or no.
“Okay.” Krystal said, with a small smile.
“I am getting late! Night.” Helia said, leaving Krystal who had a displeased look on.
Flora, dressed in an indigo shirt with a yellow pleated skirt (A/N: I can be a bit weird in fashion sense), was seating on the couch in front of the television. She browsed through the channels and stopped on one of them. Helia, coming from the door, saw her. He lightly walked towards her.
“Good afternoon.” Flora greeted him as soon as she noticed him.
“Good afternoon to you too. One of my friends…. He has invited us to dinner.” Helia said and Flora listened to him attentively. “Be ready by 8:00 p.m.”
“Me? Do I have to go too?” Flora asked, confused.
“Why, yes!” Helia said, in a casual tone, taking a seat besides her.” Any reason you can’t?”
“No.” Flora said, shaking her head.
“Then be ready by 8 p.m. so that we are not late.” Helia said, leaning to the back support.
“Shall I bring tea for you?” Flora asked, happy because she had been invited.
“Sure, I don’t see a reason to not have a cup.” Helia said.
“I’ll go bring it.” Flora said as she stood up and left to the kitchen.
Wearing a black dress, with a halter neckline and embroideries all over it, Flora carefully put the diamond studded earrings into her ear holes. Once she knew she was ready, she checked herself in from of the mirror. ‘Perfect.’ She thought as she made sure her bun was not going to fall open. She didn’t have much make up on, just a bit of foundation and some mascara.
“Flora? Are you ready? I’ll be done in fifteen…” Helia said walking in but only to notice Flora, who was looking beautiful as ever. He was lost for words. She indeed looked really good. Not the usual Flora, who dressed up simply. Noticing that Helia was staring at her from last five minutes, she got a bit insecure and she pushed her fallen bang back on its place. Helia gulped hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing. At last he smiled.
“You look really pretty. There’s only one thing missing.” He said, as he moved from his place, but stopped. “May I?”
Flora nodded. He then gently pulled her bun out, letting her lustrous brunette hair fall all over her shoulders. She then brushed her hair slightly with her fingers, so that it didn’t look like she had come with her bed hair. Then she turned her eyes towards Helia, who had a big smile over his face, which again made Flora nervous. Her eyelids drop down a bit, as a light blush crept over her cheeks. Little did she know that Helia had already started to fall for her.