Chapter Eight

"You better keep our deal intact." He said callously and he just left me standing there in an absurd state. I felt so stupid that I could go put my head in hole. I was actually leaning in towards him, what is wrong with me? I am undoubtedly going to hate myself for the rest of the day. That was just a gist of how my life will play out, why am I even doing this in the first place?

I have always wanted someone who would take every measurable step to avoid hurting my feelings. I did not envisage this scenario. It was all too much to take in and I knew why I had taken this decision, my mother would have wanted me to act maturely, and I guess I am implementing her idea here. The answer was so simple yet hard to swallow. We end up getting an entirely different life than what we dream about.

Popping back to reality, my engagement ceremonial was about to begin and I definitely needed to get my ass downstairs. I wanted to go with the flow and not strategize anything for a change. Fortunately, none of my cousins were around to bug me, I made my way down the huge staircase, with a golden hand rest along the way. It was truly beautiful and decorated with the traditional orange flowers, the typical Indian wedding style. I wondered how Sameer hadn't butted his head into the decoration as well. He would have wanted orchids instead. The Lord alone should knock some sense into that big fat head of his. Maybe I am in charge of that.

Sameer's grandmother grabbed my hand and made me sit next to him when I came down the stairs. So I guess I was going to marry this man after all. It was a small ceremony and everyone gathered around us, we were the centre of everyone's attention, yeesh! I hated that, I truly did. I kept flashing a thousand watts smile at anyone who looked at me, it was part of our deal, more like his order. Not that I liked to follow his dim-witted rules, just concerned about my uncle's wrath. Hey, I still have one more semester of college and I need the damn funds to complete my education and return his goddamned money after I get a decent job. We exchanged rings under this heart shaped flower arrangement banner. I've got to admit, the arrangements were fabulous and very pretty. My ring was studded with a pretty emerald engraved in a diamond flower, very ostentatious, just like the man who had purchased it. The ring we had gotten for him was a simple platinum band. It was elegant in its own way, I liked it a lot, a lot more than the man who was about to wear it.

That's it, I was a betrothed woman. Does that mean I cannot drool over Hugh Jackman anymore?! Nah, I shall and always will drool over the man who portrayed the legendary Wolverine.

My friends came to know of the engagement demanded that I take them out to dinner. Yeesh, it was a total pain, driving them all like a shepherd with an invisible staff. We went to Caesar's, my favorite, restaurant in the city. They have the most amazing Moghulai Chicken ever. They all hogged to their hearts content, it was delicious. I have three best friends. We are and will be inseparable. So nosy and cannot mind our own businesses. We have occasional intrusion sessions, where we council one another on what's bad for the other. It was a habit developed after watching 'How I met Your Mother', very catchy, let me tell you that.

I guess tonight was my intrusion session, Shana commenced it by the usual, "Ahem, We need to tell you something." She always had that pretentious serious look on her face when she attempts to advice someone. And I react like, "Ga Ha Ha, You Pretentious Chicken!"

"I know what you're going to say. It's alright. Shove it up your rear please." I said with such contempt and annoyance that my friends were surprised. I never use that tone, unless I am really upset, what can I say, they knew me too well for my own good.

"It's your future, you bitch. You are staking it, are you out of your frigging mind?" Shana said gritting her teeth like they would crush any second.

"She is right, where is your head, girl? We know you are not in love with this guy. So, what's the stitch?" Selene joined in, chiming along with Shana. I tucked a few strands of my hair behind my ear and cleared my throat. I did not know what to say, it was so vague. I finally got the words out, "Guy, you know I love you all right?"

And everyone started to nod their heads in a very 'hell-yeah-we-know-that' way. I smiled at their reaction, those kids knew me like a sister who hates it when the beans touch her mayo. I was grateful for having them in my life and I know I can count on them, Selene in particular. She maybe a sensible freak-show Zen-life lesson lender, but hell, she was the best.

"Yeah dumbass, you already know we love you, but that's not the matter at hand is it. We are talking about your life, a future with a man you barely know." Selene stressed. She was the worrier of the gang, a bigheaded kid, that one. Listening to this entire conversation, not even concerned to comment in a monosyllable sat my mouse of a pal, Sofia. She is not the quietest person I know on the planet, she might rip her own lungs out screaming if she'd want to, that was Sof. She observed every word we spoke and did not let her eyes get off of the plate, somehow that annoyed me. The ruddy chicken was more important than this ridiculous situation from which she had to save me. Instead she sat there, letting the juices swirl in her mouth, treating her taste buds well.

"Don't you have anything to say, Sof? I bet you got a storm cooking in that head of yours." I spoke with a cynical grin; somehow the scene turned comical to me, the female did not raise her eyes from the bloody plate, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HER.

"She wants to marry him then let her do so. Don't pester her; we all want nothing but her happiness." She finally spoke; it was like pearls shooting out of her mouth as she did. Then she slowly dragged her chair back and headed off to the restroom while I did not even lay a finger on my dinner plate. Not precisely, but hell, this was not a meal at all, it was an intrusion session! I did not answer any of them, how can I when even I don't have the answer? It was terrifying, the date of the wedding would arrive before I blink my eyes, and I know that for certain.