After taking a shower, I somehow mustered the courage to walk out of the room. I walked down the stairs while towel drying my hair, just to find Asad in the kitchen, most probably cooking. He had his (pretty much shirtless) back towards me and was humming some sort of tune I had never heard. Oh god, at least let his music taste be bearable.
I made no sound. I just stood their looking at him, feeling awkward and very alone.
‘When did you wake up?’ he asked me when he turned around after a good 10 to 15 minutes.
I still didn’t know how to speak up so I just stood there silently but my gaze may have wandered a little further down than my liking. Hey, can you blame me? I might not be interested but I was still a woman. I looked away as soon as I realised and he must have noticed too because I heard a small, slightly ashamed ‘oh’ and saw him quickly put his shirt on from the corner of my eye.
‘Forget it, you are up at the right time. Breakfast is ready.’ He smiled. Why the fuck was he smiling?
I started to move towards the table, although I had no mood of being with him in the same room but I was so hungry, I swear I heard my stomach growl 3 times in a row in the last 10 minutes.
Before I could reach, Asad pushed a chair out for me to sit on. Wait, wait, what? This was 2028. This stuff did not happen anymore since the last 3 decades at least. And he smiled too. God, why can’t this man stop smiling already? I gave him a very suspicious look but sat anyway.
To make it worse, he also made my plate for me. The food was really nice considering it was cooked by a 29 year old guy, but the salt was just a little less than my liking. I took small slow bites of my omelette and did not bring my eyes up from my plate even for a moment. I knew he was looking at me. I could feel his eyes intently fixed on me, observing me and my behaviour.
Okay, no. The salt was barely there. I finally looked up just to search the table. The salt was there on his right. I tried to reach for it without letting him notice but he did.
‘What do you want, Sarah?’
That’s when I looked up into his eyes. I could see it there. He knew what I wanted because he was secretly hiding his smile. I tried to point at the salt bottle.
‘I don’t get you, what is it?’
Oh, I get it now. He wanted to hear me speak.
‘Kuch nahi.’ (It is nothing) I said.
‘Chalo, awaz tou sunli tumhari mein ne.’ (At least I have heard your voice now) he told me with a sly smile. I wanted to smack that smile right off his face. It was too much. What did this guy think about himself? He just really creeped me out with his smile and extremely cheesy and stupid lines.
He handed over the salt to me though but I refused to take it and carried on eating my tasteless omelette. Now, with bigger bites so I could leave this place and get as far away as I can from this creep. (read: my husband)
This time I didn’t take notice.
‘Please, I need to talk to you about something.’
He had a serious tone this time. I looked up at him.
‘It is about this honeymoon thing…’
As soon as I heard that word I just pushed my plate away. It made me want to throw up everything I had just eaten.
‘I know how you feel… or what you are thinking so just listen. Please.’
I could hear the hesitation in his voice so I let him carry on. However I had now diverted my gaze from his face to the wall in front of me.
‘The thing is, I’m my parents’ only son. And even I don’t know why, but they are very excited about the entire marriage thing and have already booked the tickets and everything for the coming weekend. I just don’t want to disappoint them by not going nor do I want them to feel like something is wrong between us.’
Oh, so he did know something was wrong. I cursed myself. God, any sane person would know something was wrong with ‘me.’ Not ‘us.’ I exhaled heavily. I knew how it felt. The entire ‘hurting your parents’ thing. After all, that was the entire reason I ended up getting married to this man sitting right in front of me.
‘I know how it feels.’ I spoke up in a low voice.
‘So, I see we are talking now.’ He smirked. Bastard.
I was still uncomfortable about this but I guess I’ll do this and stop thinking just about myself for once.
‘Um, I won’t make any attempts of doing anything that has to do with what you are scared of.’
‘What I am scared of?’ I arched my eyebrow at him questioningly.
‘Uh, you know… the 3 lettered most common word?’ He said looking up at the roof while running his fingers through his, I must say, very gorgeous hair.
I bit my bottom lip to stop myself from laughing. But I was really glad he didn’t just throw the word ‘sex’ on my face.
‘I love my parents, Sarah. I hate hurting them. But even then if you are not comfortable enough, I’ll just tell them no I can’t go because a business meeting came up.’ He said.
‘Shut up before I change my mind.’ I said before getting up and walking towards my room.
I pack up my stuff as soon as I can in 3 days and we head over towards our destination which as far as I remember was Miami. I had been there before and honestly, that relieved me. There had been enough ‘first times’ in my life lately.
It was quite honestly the most awkward flight of my entire life. I knew he was making every single effort that he could to make me feel more comfortable but it just wasn’t comfortable for me to manage not t let my arm come in contact with his or my foot caress his in an 18 hours long flight. But somehow I made it through.
As soon as we reach our hotel, I just look around to find the bed and just land on it. It was so soft. I could just melt in this bed and go for a deep slumber in it forever. I hear him laugh a little at my back but I didn’t care. I was so tired and I just fell asleep.
The next day, after we are done with breakfast and everything, Asad tells me, ‘We are going shopping today.’
‘Shopping? I don’t like shopping.’ I reply. ‘Moreover, men don’t like it.’
‘But you used to love shopping!’
That caught me off guard.
‘How do YOU know, I used to like it.’
I see him looking away and I ask him the same thing again.
‘I may have asked someone.’ He says.
‘You do know I hate it when someone does it, right?’
‘I’m sorry, Sarah.’
I decided to let this go too and just went to get ready.
Author’s note: I’m so sorry for prolonging this and I specifically wrote this one in a hurry. I know parts are exhausting as they are exhausting for me too. I wrote the entire draft for this back in May. Trust me, they were just 13 points and I was pretty sure I would be done with it in one go but somehow everytime I sit to write, I end up writing 4-5 paragraphs on just one point. And all kinds of new scenes just start to create in my mind so I can’t stop. I’m sorry for keeping you hanging, I promise it will soon be over. Also, this is particularly hard for me to write as I’m not much of a fiction writer and I keep the exact opposite mentality from what I’m writing about. Let’s hope it doesn’t go as bad as I’m scared for it to go. Thank you so much for all the love. No matter how messy life gets, you guys never fail to cheer me up!