It took me some time to process what he meant, I did get what he said. The atmosphere suddenly became tense. I waited for him to spill whatever he had to say with bated breath.
Oh God, this isn't going the way I wanted. did anything go according my plan till now? Nope. So why did I expect this one to be any different?
I regarded my half-empty coffee cup before taking a sip from it. It suddenly tasted bland.
He seemed distant. I sighed and decided to break the tense air, "Look I think we should leave this place and go somewhere else. You know they won't let us sit here forever". He merely nodded.
Seriously? I mean he was heightening the suspense more than any thriller film!
After paying we left.
There was an uncomfortable silence while he drove. "Uh...where do you want to go?" He asked suddenly. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I almost squeaked when he asked the question.
"Umm..park?" I suggested. Then I had the urge to smack myself, of all places I had to choose, it had to be the park?
He glanced at me, "Park? Okay". Again we sat in silence. Soon we came across a small park. "Stop here".
The car came to a halt. The park was not very crowded. As we walked towards it I felt anxious. But I kept a straight face. We saw an empty bench and took a seat. The sun was dim today. It was chilly. A few couples strolled while some just sat. Most of them where students I guess. It was the lover's point I think. I mentally face-palmed.
Great job Aruna. The park which also happened to be a lover's point.
"So..you wanted to say..." I started the conversation, eager to know and tell him about myself as well. The sooner this ends, the better. He seemed to snap out of his thoughts, "Huh?" I raised my eyebrows. He cleared his throat.
Gosh, how much longer will he take? What is this? a soap opera?
He sighed, "Where do I start from?" Now I was officially pissed off. "How about the beginning?" I said sarcastically. He chuckled then became serious. His gaze turned distant again.
I groaned, "I'm waiting".
"I don't believe in marriages", he stated simply as if he was speaking about the weather.
My eyes widened.
Has this guy gone nuts?
"What?! Why?" I asked incredulously. Bold of me to ask when I am also almost like him.
"Well, that's not important. I just don't". He replied in a clipped tone.
Rude, I groused mentally.
"I agreed to marry only because Granny wants me to see settled. She..." He trailed off. This guy could seriously take his sweet time. After a few moments, he continued, "She has done a lot for me. You can't fathom how much she means to me. Only because of her I agreed to meet you".
I scowled at him. Before he could continue further, I put in, "So is this a refusal?" I needed to know this. He was confusing me. If this was a rejection then it would be good for me because then I wouldn't have to divulge about my past. Also, I was starting to get a tad bit annoyed by this man.
"No! I mean I am ready to marry you but don't expect me to act like an ideal husband", he stated matter-of-factly. Finally, it occurred to me. He too wanted a marriage of convenience where he wouldn't need to act like a husband behind the closed doors.
I treaded the topic carefully now. "What about your grandma? Won't she find out? If she does can you imagine the shock she will get?" I reasoned.
Why was doing this though? I can just simply say no and walk away. Stupid me.
"No, she won't. I will see to that. But do you agree?" He asked, his eyes boring into mine. I bit my lower lip. What to do? Am I being insensitive? Wait...is this guy emotionally blackmailing me?!
"No, if you think that then you're wrong", he said in an exasperated voice. Did I say that aloud? I kept quiet. I felt my cheeks heat nonetheless.
"Do you believe in love?" I asked him all of a sudden, surprising him and myself as well.
Aru what has happened to you? Why will he believe in love when he doesn't even believe in marriage. Do you believe in love? my brain practically snarled at me. Really. Why on earth was I stretching this topic?
"No", came his obvious reply.
"Me too", I was not sure though. Mostly, I did not but being a bibliophile, sometimes I fell for the concept of love.
"Okay. Look. If you agree to marry me you need to know that you and I won't ever be a couple. I will never fall in love with you and I hope you too never harbour any feeling for me either. Are you willing to accept all these conditions?" He was so casual in stating these things. As if he was stating a certain clause regarding a business deal. He waited for my reply whereas I just kept staring at him.
While my faith in love and marriage had wavered a long time ago. I had never treated it like this. Like it was some kind of a business deal.
Was he heartless? Why was he so distant when he made such serious things seem so casual? What do I do? Agree? But I haven't told him about my past. Guess he will reject me once he hears my truth. My heart sank
"Even I have certain things to tell you", business deal or not, I wouldn't dupe him. Not anyone and especially not this man.
Happy reading 📖