Married To A Stranger 7

Sreesha POV: 
I couldn’t help but glance at him every now and then. He was stirring the gravy with ease. I can tell this is not the first time in kitchen. He knew the exact places of the ingredients. I couldn’t stop admiring the way he sauntered around the kitchen, to each cabinet, picking the ingredients, vessels. I am a big fan of men, who knew their way around kitchen and can make some drool worthy dishes. 
The tantalizing aroma of chole paneer masala assaulted my nostrils. My hunger for food doubled by just looking at it. 
Don’t judge me, I love food. 
I’m not someone to calculate carbos in everything I eat. I just love food. Period. 
He was almost done with whatever he was doing while I’m still slicing the vegetables for salad. It’s not my fault to be distracted by his cooking skills. 
Cooking skills? Or to drool over the way his flexing muscles while he was working?
I did not look at his flexing muscles. I was just admiring his skills in kitchen. 
Or the way his chest rises and falls with every deep breath he takes? 
I did not look at his perfectly shaped body! 
How do you know it is perfectly shaped when you did not get a chance to get a glimpse of it? And you have the ‘decency’ to say you’re not drooling over him. 
I’m not drooling over him! And you did not need to get a glimpse of his skin to know he has a perfect body. Can’t you see they way his shirt hugged him like a second skin? He is perfect. Can’t you see the outline of those 6 abs? Actually I need to google to search for the strongest synonym for the word ‘perfect’ to compare him. 
And she says, she wasn’t looking at him and the wetness at the corner of her lips is not drool at all. 
Being the stupid I am, I touched at the corner of my lips only to realize I was tricked. 
I was tricked by my own conscience. 
I need help! 
“Sreesha!” Startled, I looked around for any potential threat. The knife in my hand was yanked away by Karthik, who has a troubled look on his face. The next second his eyes darkened with anger. 
What did I do now? 
How can he change his emotions in just a flick of a second? It is so unfair! 
“Do you have any idea what you were going to do?” He yelled, I shivered at the intensity of his voice. It reminded me of something. My mind started playing the glimpses of my past where my father yells at me every time I make a mistake. 
“It was my fault to ask you to help me. You almost cut your finger. Why are you zoning out every freaking minute of your life? Can’t you do one thing properly? You’re not allowed to kitchen anymore” I wasn’t listening to him anymore. Slowly his voice fade away replacing it with my father’s. 
Can’t you do one work properly? 
You’re the biggest mistake of our lives. 
Why didn’t I get rid of you the minute you’re born? 
You’re just a pathetic excuse of a life. 
You’re nothing but a failure. 
No one will love a loser like you. You deserve to rot in hell. 
A girl is supposed to be in kitchen and learn to cook but what were you doing? Studying? I’ll not allow you to job, not when I’m still alive. 
Who will marry you now? You’re just a pathetic excuse of a woman! You dare allow a guy in my home when no one is here? You disgust me. 
You’re going to marry the man of my choice no matter what. 
Karthik Shekhar. You’re going to marry him in two weeks. I can assure you he will show you where you belong. 
“Sreesha” I can hear the faint, familiar voice. I can feel someone was shaking me, I can hear him calling my name desperately. I didn’t notice that my eyes were closed until I open them. The first thing I realised, I wasn’t in my parent’s house. I’m here in Karthik’s and he was looking at me, with worried eyes. 
“Sreesha, are you okay? ” his voice cracked at the end. 
“What happened to you? Why are you looking so pale?” I couldn’t answer his questions right now. My throat was dry like a Sahara desert. 
I don’t have a clue, how I ended up in a couch with him kneeling in front of me looking concerned with my face between his palms. I glued to my place like a leech. I did not have any clue that I was crying until he wipes my tears away. 
“Are you okay now?” he asked, desperation was clear in his eyes. I know he wants to know what happened to me awhile ago but I am not ready to share my past with him. For all I know, he might be just like my father. I nodded as an answer. 
“W-water” my voice rasped. 
He quickly brought me a cup of water and placed it near my lips, which I drank eagerly. 
“Sreesha, what happened to you? Please tell me.” He literally begged. 
“It’s n-nothing. Y-you were y-yelling an -gulping- and I thought you’re going to… ”
“Hurt you” he completed my sentence. I nodded ‘yes’. 
He took a deep breath and extended his hand. I placed my trembling hand in his hesitantly and the next thing I know, I was in his embrace. 
He hugged me tightly yet gently. His one hand is around my shoulder while the other is resting on my bare waist. He tightened his grip, taking my breath away. I stilled. 
Taking a deep breath, I relaxed in his arms. Having their own brain, my hands embraced him back. 
I can feel his hot breath tickle my neck. His posture was calm and relaxed but I can feel his heart accelerates its speed when my breath hitched feeling his hot breath near my ear lobe. 
My heart skipped a beat when I heard him say “I’m sorry Sree. I really am. I was so afraid, thinking that you were going hurt yourself and yelled at you. I didn’t mean to, trust me. My mind went blank when the knife you’re holding was nearing your fingers. So I panicked. I’m sorry. I can’t believe, I make you cry. I was such an idiot, wasn’t I?” 
I was going to cut my fingers? How can I be so reckless? 
“I’m sorry” I mumbled, resting my head on his chest. He didn’t let go of me. And He apologized…. Again. 
He apologized for the things, he wasn’t at fault. I know guys will never apologize if they are not at fault. Even Tej has the same trait. He would never apologize to anyone, well other than me of course. He says that it hurts men’s ego. 
Men and their stupid ego! 
“Stop crying so much, sree. I can’t see you cry. I didn’t mean what I said earlier. Sorry” he started consoling me gently rubbing my back. 
I looked at his worried face and gave him a teary smile which he returned with a sigh of relief. 
I must look like a dying raccoon right now! 
Why are you insulting a raccoon? What if they file a case against you for hurting its feelings? 
You know what, I can’t deal with you right now! Let me enjoy my husband’s hug. Do you have any idea how comfortable it is? 
I really pity him for looking at your face right now. He must be thinking why he married a raccoon instead of human. NO OFFENCE FOR RACCOONS! 
Ughh I hate you! 
The feeling are mutual babe! 
Where is my heart when I need it’s support? 
Busy melting for every word your husband was saying? I still can’t believe it is possible to have a guy like him. And not to forget this is an arranged marriage. Don’t you think something is fishy? 
I can’t blame my heart for melting. He has the aura that comforts me. No one has ever had that effect on me not even Tej or someone I used to love. What is there to feel fishy? He is a nice guy. Didn’t you hear his mother say I quote ‘I raised my son better than you think’? I think his parents raised him well and taught him to respect women. Or did you already forgot what he said to my father? 
Yeah, I do remember. You don’t have to repeat them too.  
Much to my disappointment he released my waist, but didn’t let go me. He gave me a heart melting smile and started wiping my tears. 
How can someone be this perfect in every department? 
“Now, how about you check our backyard while I go cook for us? I still have one dish to finish” He said gently kissing the side of my head. 
How dare he try to kill me with his every kiss? If a kiss on forehead can make me tremble like a helpless leaf, I wonder what it would be like if he actually kiss me. 
The one thought is enough to wake up my melting heart alive. 
If he can melt my heart, then I’m sure he can very well turn The Sahara desert to actual cultivation land. 
“I will help you” I mumbled, making sure my eyes not meeting his. I’m sure he can read all my weird thoughts just by looking at them. I’m just that predictable. 
“No. I forbid you from kitchen from this very second. I’ll hire someone to do all the chores including cooking ” he said sternly. 
“I_ I like to cook. Please don’t hire anyone. I’ll feel bored if I don’t have work to do. Please let me help you” I pleaded him looking at the floor. 
Sighing he mumbled something under his breath and nodded. 
“Only if you promise me not to zone out while you’re working” to which I nodded eagerly “but not today. You go and relax in the backyard while I take care of our dinner” added sternly. 
I nodded like a obedient puppy. 
Clearing his throat he stepped away from me. The warmth that I feel seconds ago was gone replacing it with coldness. 
Peace. It is the exact feeling what I was experiencing right now. There are a lot of plants in the backyard but which got all my attention were Roses. 
I love roses. 
I love all the flowers but Roses have a very special place in my heart. A rose reminds me of my life. The life with full of thorns. 
Now-a-days, the Rose is quite attracted towards a particular honey bee. It can only pray to god, to not to let the bee hurt her at least not more than it can bare. 
What if he really do hurt me?  
I approached the rose plants and gently touched the soft petals. I can tell they are newly planted. Karthik must have the same taste as mine. 
Why is he being so sweet? 
I should have let Tej explain why he insisted me to marry Karthik. I really need some answers. 
Should I talk to Karthik? One day or the other he would know that I was not a virgin and leave me. I should not feel anything towards him. The more I resist him, the less I get hurt when he leave me. 
What I did was utter betrayal. I should have told him everything before our marriage but I didn’t find the courage to defy my father again. 
I have no one but Tej to blame. If only he helped me to escape my marriage or at least let me talk to Karthik, I wouldn’t be in this situation. 
Whatever happened, happened. You can’t neglect your wifely duties. You already failed to be a good wife by letting him cook for you, at least try to be less worst wife. 
You need to fulfill his wishes. 
From now, I will try to be a good enough wife for Karthik. 
When I returned from my stroll in the backyard, I was greeted by the epic scene which we usually see in daily soaps. 
My mother-in-law was having a very serious discussion with my husband which came to halt when they sensed my presence. 
I can only pray to not get in trouble for making my husband cook. 
I just gave my MIL a wonderful first impression, didn’t I? 


Married To A Stranger 6

Sreesha POV: 
Karthik mentioned that he would be here at around 5pm to take me back home. And the clock seems to be taking its precious time to move. I’ve been waiting for the clock to move its small and long hands to reach 5 and 12 respectively. 
Is it too much to ask? 
That stubborn thing, I tell you… 
I even checked the wall clock hanging in the middle of living room to check if the one in my room working properly. 
Sadly, it does! 
Couldn’t it move a bit faster so I can get to meet my husband whose smile can lift my sad mood? 
After Tej left my room, my mother graced me with her presence yet with another lecture about ‘how to be a perfect wife and daughter-in-law and to avoid the further embarrassing events in front of elders’. 
From when a kiss on forehead is a crime? 
I touched the place where he kissed and couldn’t get rid of the grin appeared on my face. I can still feel the tingles created by his warm, soft lips. 
Forehead kisses means a lot than the kiss on lips. It represents the person’s care and respect, while a kiss on lips represents passion, lust and may be love too. 
I’m sure he respects me and my wishes. 
But does he care for me? 
Can I, by any chance make him fall in love with me in the mean time? 
Love? As if! 
There is nothing called love, Sreesha. Wake up from the daydream you’re currently enjoying and look around, will you? Have you already forgot what that word did to you a few years ago? It destroyed you. You better wake up before its too late. Happily ever afters are only meant for books and movies. Haven’t you learn anything from your parents married life? Hoping for love from an arranged marriage is like searching for a Oasis in Sahara desert. Don’t let your hopes high as they only ruin lives. 
Stop giving her negative vibes you monster of a non beating thing! What is wrong in expecting a little care from her husband? It’s not a crime. Every living thing and non living thing deserves to be loved. Stop crushing her dreams and let me remind you failed in every freaking theory of yours. He passed your every freaking stupid test. He is a nice guy. There is no harm in having a crush on her own husband. 
Are you sure it’s just a crush? She is literally drooling a pool of saliva just looking at him awhile ago. You stupid pumping and beating thing! You should know better than that. She is liking him. Next thing we know our poor Sreesha would be trusting that guy, which is definitely a foolish thing to do in just one day. Do you forget that I, the great brain, should deal with feelings while your work is to pump and purify the blood. So stop intervening in my business, you’re services are not needed here. 
How rude! Did you hear what it just said, Sreesha? This is the reason I had to intervene in your business. You’re plain rude and gives stupid ideas to our precious Sreesha while I give her a hope to live and love. And hello it is my business to deal with feelings too, did you forget that I will be the one who would be hurt when she faces a heartbreak. See even people call it heartbreak not brain break. 
“And here I thought my wife would be waiting for me with a beautiful smile on her face instead her face is adorned with a frown” a voice rudely interrupted the debate of my two vital organs. 
Did he actually called my smile beautiful? 
My frown deepened, did I just thought his voice was melodic? 
Only girls has the right to have a melodic voice. I forbid it, to male gender. All rights should reserve under every girl’s name in the world. 
What about aliens? 
Then the female aliens can register their names too. Is that even a question? 
“Hello, have you seen my wife wandering anywhere in your imaginary world?” Karthik! I totally forgot about him… again.
I did not have an imaginary world! I live on mother Earth thank you very much. My sarcastic side yelled inwardly. 
When will you learn Sreesha? No, don’t answer! I’m not ready yet for another debate. 
I slowly raised my eyes. Our eyes met, I can easily recognize the amusement in his eyes. 
Isn’t it a crime to have such a beautiful eyes? 
Only eyes? 
God might took his time to create a specimen like him. He blessed him with perfection. Every freaking feature of his screams perfection. Will you believe me if I say even his eyebrows are perfect with no wrong tilt? 
You need some serious help, Sreesha! 
I snapped out of my dreamland and gave him a shy smile. 
“I’m sorry. I was just…. thinking” I said trying to cover my red cheeks. 
He walked up to me without saying a word and shocked me with a big bear hug. I stilled in my place. I couldn’t move a muscle. His hands were rested on my back while his head on top of mine. I can feel his heartbeat quicken, making mine increase its pace two times. If this is how it would be every time he was near me, my heart may give up at a very tender age. 
“Are you ready to go home?” I heard him mumble inhaling the scent of my hair. My heart shut my brain completely. It knows my brain would only try to ruin the moment. 
“C-can we wait for Tej? Umm.. if it is okay with you” he sighed. 
He gently placed his palms on my cheeks. My breath hitched at the lack of place between us. 
He wouldn’t, would he? 
Taking a deep breath, he said “Sree, all you have do is, tell me that you need to talk with Tej before we leave. Just tell me what you want to do but never ever beg. You’re Sreesha Shekhar, my wife not my slave. The soon you accept it, the better”. 
How can I be so lucky? 
I heard a throat clear. My gazed shifted to the door and my eyes widened. I placed some space between Karthik and I, almost immediately. My mother stood there with a look of disappointment. 
That is what I was to them, A disappointment. 
Did I just say I was lucky? Scratch that. 
Karthik gave a small smile to my mom and greeted her. She gave him a forced smile and said Tej is waiting for me and left but not before giving me a stink eye. 
What did I do now? Can’t I hug my husband when we’re alone? She is the one who came entered without knocking. 
We took our parents blessings. Tej gave me a big hug again and I reciprocated his actions but didn’t said a word. I waved my hand at Tej as a good bye. 
Those were the luxuries he got for giving me my favourite chocolates. 
He needs to work more to get me to talk to him. 
Our ride back home was silent. After reaching home, Karthik slumped on the couch tiredly. He leaned back on the back rest and placed a hand on his eyes. I took a step towards him but stopped myself. 
What if he wants to be left alone? I don’t want to act like a clingy wife. 
I make a bee line to our room and selected a simple saree to wear as the new bride should always look good for the people who visits to see her. 
As if she was an alien from Mars! 
I snorted. 
Who am I kidding? They definitely look at the new bride like she was some new version of monkey turned into a human. 
I didn’t saw my in-laws downstairs. Where were they? Don’t they live here? I did not check the other room in this house, it must be their room. I better go, start cooking before my MIL thinks I’m incapable of doing household chores. 
I was stunned to see my husband in the kitchen, cooking. 
I’m a very bad wife, Ain’t I? 
I should’ve asked him, if he need something to eat before going upstairs. I should be the one, who takes care of him. 
I’m such a failure! 
My father was always right, wasn’t he? 
“Hey, why are you standing there? Come here” I thought he would yell at me for not doing my work but here he was smiling, melting my heart without him knowing. 
“I’m sorry. I should have asked you if you’re hungry. I thought -” 
“Sreesha, I’m not the one who is hungry” he said making my eyes wide. 
“Is it your mother? Oh my god! She might think I was a lazy girl who couldn’t cook or work. She might think I was a-” my voice muffled when I felt his finger on my lips. A shiver ran through my freaking spine making me stiff. 
“My parents won’t live with us, Sreesha. They own other house far away from here. So, no my mother will not think of you bad. She might just ask me to appoint a maid to take care of our home. My mother likes you, Sree. Stop worrying so much, will you?” His finger left my lips making me sigh in relief but a tiny part in me was disappointed. A very veryyy teeny weeny part. 
“If it is not you, then who is hungry? Do we have a guest over? ” I inquired, my eyes wide. 
“Yeah, I’ve someone over in our home. But she is not a guest. She is one of the owners of this house” 
A she? 
Who is she? 
Is this she a permanent guest? 
He said one of the owners, what if she is his ex or something? 
My thoughts were faster than a bullet train. Whoever said trains and flights are fast, just check with my thoughts and imaginations. 
It can go from one place to another with in a blink of eye. 
“And that my dear wife, is you. You’re the one who’s hungry. And don’t try to deny because I know you only ate chocolates since morning ” he gave me a stern look. 
“I- choc…. Tej insisted” I lied. Tej did insisted to have lunch with him but I ate chocolates instead. Technically I’m not lying. 
“Tej insisted you to eat chocolates? Then pray tell me why he asked me to feed that empty stomach of yours which by the way growling like a monster as soon as we reach home?” Tej said that? Did he have a death wish or what? 
My stomach growled, when I tried to deny his accusation. I did not notice my stomach was growling until now.
How embarrassing! 
“I’m sorry” I mumbled. 
“I don’t want your sorry but I do need a helping hand. Can you help me a little? ” he asked stirring something in a pan. 
“You take rest. I’ll cook for us” I mumbled and tried to take spatula from his hand but he nodded no. 
“Just cut these veggies for me. I want you to rank my cooking skills” he grinned. 
Holy freaking Himalayas! I know you are far away from where I live but listen to me and listen carefully, if you don’t melt now I’ll make sure to pay a visit to you soon. 


Married To A Stranger 5

Sreesha POV: 
Tej, the only family who loves and cares for me. The only person in the world who have seen my best and the worst, still stayed with me. 
My brother. 
I wonder what were the reasons that lead him to marry me off, to a stranger no less, when he was so against of my father’s selection. 
He fought my every battle like it is his. He protect me like he was the elder one among us. He grew up too fast protecting me from my parents wrath and the evils who plays as angels outside the house. 
I missed him so much. I want nothing but to hug him but he betrayed me in the worst way possible. He promised me, to never let anything happen against my will yet he decided to break it himself. 
Sure, god blessed me with Karthik, who behaves like a gentleman. What if it is someone who is just like my father or worse? 
“Di! ” my heart melted when he called me ‘di’. I was pulled in to a bone crushed hug. He clutched to me in Octopus grip making it hard to breath. 
Octopus grip, seriously? 
Do you want me to degrade his huge body by comparing his hug with a leech? 
“T-Tej…. c-can’t breath” I gasped out. His gripped loosened almost immediately making me stumble back. 
“Sorry di, it’s just I missed you so much” he confessed, scratching his neck. 
I missed you too, Tej. 
“Sure you did” I said sarcastically, narrowing my eyes at him. 
“W-what? Of course I missed you” he said desperately. I rolled my eyes at him and asked him to leave. 
“Did he hurt you, di?” He asked gritting his teeth, his soft brown eyes darkened with fury. 
“Answer me, di. Did he say or do something you don’t like? ” the tone he used was dark. Never had I witnessed this side of him. Sure he was protective of me all the time but now, he looks ready to kill. 
“Of course not. He is nice to me” I mumbled, confused by his sudden change of aura. He relaxed immediately and gave me an innocent smile. 
“Good. Or I would have killed him” he said, giving a charming smile. I rolled my eyes at him, again. 
“Why are you sad then? Tell me what happened, is it father again? Or mother tried to lecture you again? ” he started his guessing game. 
“It’s you. I don’t want to talk to you. Get out of here” I ordered, gesturing to the door, making sure my voice is harsh. 
“What? What did I do?” I almost laughed at his confused stature. I forgave him already, okay? I’m bored and who doesn’t want a bit of entertainment and treated like a princess right? 
“You broke your promise remember? You said, you wouldn’t try anything against my will yet you agreed to this marriage and didn’t help me out” I scowled. 
“I- you… di. K-karthik ” he started talking in gibberish. 
“Get out now” I showed him the way out, giving a defeated sigh he left. I smirked at his back. 
Now Sreesha, ready to be pampered by your little brother with lots of love and chocolates (yum). 
Tej tried everything to get me out of my room but I turned down all his attempts. 
He asked me to have lunch with him. 
I don’t want lunch, dude. 
He begged me to watch my favorite movie with him. 
As much as I want to see him cringe with every dialogue in the movie. Nahh… I’ll pass. 
He tried to lure me to take me out but my mother rudely interrupted his proposal saying new brides can’t roam on the roads. 
This time it’s not me okay? 
Then an hour later, he knocked on my door. I wiped the grin off my face and pasted a fake frown and opened the door. He was standing there with lots of my favourite chocolates in his hands. I snatched them away from him and slammed the door on his face. 
As much as I’m feigning anger at him, I don’t want him to burden with the heavy weight of chocolates. So being the best sister in the world I am, relieved him from the burden. 
Things I do for my brother… 
Don’t get me wrong okay? What if he eat all the calories and lose his muscles which he always says as his pride? So, I kept all the chocolates in my stomach safely not even leaving the smudges on the wrapper. After licking and making the wrappers chocolate free, I opened the door to come face to face with my little brother and handed him all the chocolate wrappers safely. 
Phew! My work is done here now. 
Slamming the door on his face, again, I jumped on my bed cuddling to my almost ex a.k.a Mr. Cuddles . 
My friends named this side of me as Sreesha v 2.0. This version is only available to Tej and a few close friends. 
So don’t you dare check on play store for me. 
Sreesha v 2.0 is limited okay? 
Karthik POV: 
The only girl who had the power to make me crawl on my knees yet she is unaware of it. When my parents asked me to marry a girl of their choice I declined without thinking twice. 
A few weeks ago. 
My mom forced me to go along with them and see the girl. I hate to disappoint her but I don’t want to hurt the supposed girl. 
I’m a heartless man. I don’t have a heart to love and care if I marry this girl. I’m still not over the one who I lost my heart to. 
I hate these traditions like going to the girl’s house and examine her like she was a thing on sale. I despise each and every tradition that degrade a girl’s self respect yet here I am doing the things I hate the most. All for one woman’s happiness, my mom. 
No, I’m not going to marry the girl whose name is still unknown to me. I can’t ruin her life with mine. I’ll just say we’re not compatible and say sorry. 
We started from our house in less expensive car. We didn’t use this car from years, what in the world was my dad thinking? I let it pass, may be it is mom’s wish as she thinks it is their lucky car. I rolled my eyes at this and slipped in the passenger seat making my dad scowl. 
I gave a look that say ‘deal-with-it’. 
My dad can’t stay away from my mom. He says it’s love. If only I didn’t do what I did a few years ago… 
Don’t even go there Karthik! 
I immersed myself in candy crush game and never once look out to see where we were going. As long as they will not disturb me, I’m fine staying in one place. 
The car stopped in front of a weirdly familiar house, I brushed off the feeling and followed my parents. 
We’re invited by the person whom I hated the most. He was the reason for a loved one’s misery.
What are we doing here in this man’s house? 
Before I say or do anything my father gripped my wrist and nodded as to say no. 
I sighed harshly before following the cruel man. We were lead to the living area. I received a message from my father giving me list of lies to say. 
Karthik Shekhar. 
Manager in an MNC. 
Earns 40,000 per month. 
Have connections to the Mafia. 
Who in the sane mind would want to marry their daughter to the guy who has connections to mafia? 
‘ He would ‘ my father expression said it all. 
This is it, there is no backing away now. I had to marry this girl no matter what. But I can’t play with her life, I can’t love her like she deserve. 
Still, I answered the man to all the questions he fired at me feigning honesty. No one could read me. I always maintain a neutral look on my face. 
He nodded and gave me a small smile like he know what I am playing at. 
If only he know… 
My mother nudged me when the girl sit on the mat. One more thing that I hate the most. A girl should be treated as equal. If I’d a sister I’d have done anything she asked for and protect her from all the evils in the world. 
I ignored my mother and took out my IPhone again this time I want to play Pokémon Go and leave this house but I’m not fortunate enough to follow my heart now. 
“I don’t have a choice mom, do as you wish” I said sighing dejectedly. 
“She’s beautiful Karthik. Once look at her and say you don’t want her, we’ll leave right this moment” mom said giving me an evil smile. 
That smile is not good at all. It means trouble. I always laugh at my dad’s misery every time he get that look. 
I glanced at the girl and stood up to leave but when my eyes landed on the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen, I stilled. 
My brain stopped working. She looked exactly the same. She hadn’t change a bit. After years of waiting finally I came face to face with the girl I was in love with. 
The very girl who took my heart away without her knowing. 
My father patted my shoulder and gesture me to sit to which I obliged in no time. 
The love of my life looked at me with no hint of recognition. Of course she doesn’t know me. This is the first time we met each other officially. 
Now my anger towards the man hiked ten times. He messed with the wrong one and I intend to make him pay for his deeds. 
First I’ve to marry Sreesha and take her away from him. 
“It’s okay if you don’t like her son. I can always cancel this marriage for you. Let me have a word with her father” she feigned innocence when I very well know her sources provided her the much needed information. 
“Dare say that again mom, I’ll kidnap dad to some unknown place and cut every source of communication between you” I threatened her. 
In 26 years of their married life, they never stayed apart from each other. They’re still madly in love. That did the trick. She muttered something under her breath. 
Now I can have the same love in my life with Sreesha beside me. My love is enough for both of us for now. 
Geez I sound like a girl right now. 
Scowling at me, my mother said okay to the match and asked them to look for an auspicious date for our marriage. 
I want to talk to Sreesha desperately. When I asked her father’s permission to talk to her, he downright rejected the idea saying he would never allow a guy to talk to his daughter. 
Someone tapped on my shoulder from behind. I turned to see Sreesha’s brother. He asked me to follow him to the backyard. 
“I know who you are Karthik Shekhar” he said, making my blood froze. 
“Don’t worry, I’ll not say anything to my father but I want you to promise me my sister’s safety. I already took a lot of risk by taking your father’s advice. I knew you had a crush on my sister years ago but that doesn’t mean I trust you completely. ” Never in my life someone stood up to me let alone threaten. I like him already. 
So he was the one who was helping my dad. 
“I love her” I said, he gave me a blank stare “I love her, Tej. It’s not just a mere crush. If it is, I’d have given up on her when she had a boyfriend” I said smiling genuinely for the first time in years. 
“Good to know but you have to know what happened after the day you left” he explained how her life turned upside down and the things which made me furious. 
“Treat her well, Karthik. I share the same blood as my father, dare hurt my sister and I wouldn’t think twice to kill you if you ever did. I don’t care if you hold the power to ruin me, I’d be ready to die after killing you so, never think I care about my life than my sister’s” 
I couldn’t help but admire him. I couldn’t help but think how beautiful their relationship was. 
“I’ll protect her with my life, Tej. And I promise you to treat her like she deserves. Like a Queen. My equal. Just have a little trust in me” I said confidently. 
He gave me a brief hug and nodded calmly. But I can see that he was happy with my words. 
I asked him to move in with us after my marriage with Sreesha but he downright rejected my offer. 
Two weeks and you will be mine forever, Sreesha. 


Married Yo A Stranger 4

Sreesha POV: 
“Pack some essentials, you’re going to your parent’s house” he said, righting his shirt cuffs casually like he didn’t just drop a bomb on my head. 
‘I hope you’re happy now, you nasty stupid good for nothing senseless brain. Why do you always has to be right?’ 
‘Told you, not to get your hopes too high. He’s is a man, what do you expect from him? Just because he said a few good words to warm your heart doesn’t mean he is some ideal guy! Remember even Lord Rama asked Goddess Sita to prove her innocence. When god himself couldn’t hold to his promise of protecting his wife forever, how do you expect your husband, who you just met a few weeks ago not to hurt you? Marriage is bound to hurt you one day or the other. It is just matter of time. Now stop whining and do as he says before he lash out at you’ my oh so awesome brain chided at my heart. 
Even though it exaggerated a bit, I couldn’t help but agree with it. It does know a thing or two about marriage.
“Sree, what are you still doing here? Why are you looking so pale? Are you not feeling well?” He said touching my forehead to check my temperature. 
‘As if you care! ‘ my brain sneered at him. 
‘Shut up! ‘ my heart yelled at it, still recovering from the little ache he just caused. 
“Did I said something wrong?” He asked, hurt flashed in his eyes. I stared at him confused.
As if sensing my confusing stare he added “you just yelled at me to shut up”. 
Omg! I did it again! 
Would someone teach me how to talk in my head not at the person in front of me? This weird habit always drag me into some dangerous shit. 
“I-I’m sorry” I mumbled. 
“It’s okay. But tell me what’s wrong” he asked standing just a few inches away. 
“I was just yelling at my brain” I mumbled and sighed. 
He stilled at his place . 
“B-Brain?” He stuttered, I nodded vigorously. “Why?” He added recovering from my fantastic answer. 
“It always fight with my heart. And that stupid thing always has to be right, can you believe it? It always breaks my little heart saying harsh words to that poor thing. You know it even suggested me to elope with my teddy bear, to escape our marriage. I almost did as it said, if my poor little heart didn’t suggest me to think about Tej ” I said pouting. 
Karthik glanced at me from tip to toe before bursting into fits of laughter clutching both the sides of his stomach. 
You freaking Himalayas! what the heck are you waiting for? Melt down now! I don’t care if you had to ruin a few states and countries in the process. I repeat, Melt now! 
I’ve been staring at him all the time he laughed. His laugher was so infectious that I almost run to get antibacterial lotion. 
“Stop laughing at me” I mumbled half-heartedly, I don’t want him to stop.
‘Now he will definitely book a super fancy place in mental asylum for you, Sreesha. You just told him one of the biggest secrets of your life. Now he will have a strong evidence to get rid of you legally’
‘You started it! You are the reason for our stupid hopeless banters and you dare to blame Sreesha for that? Our poor Sreesha has to pay for the things you say. You heartless monster!’
‘Eww I don’t want you anywhere near me. All you try to do is creating unnecessary feelings which is not your work! Why don’t you just pump and purify the blood and function properly? ‘
‘I curse you! I curse you from the bottom of my ‘Ventricles’ ‘
‘I curse you right back from the bottom of my ‘Cerebellum’ ‘
A snap of fingers shut the both of them with so much difficulty. I sighed. 
“You’ve been making faces – smiling innocently – are they fighting again?” He said mirth playing in his eyes. I nodded helplessly. He laughed again. 
“Wish I could hear them. So I’d know what’s going on in that pretty head of yours. I admire your brain for suggesting to elope with your Teddy bear but I like your heart more for stopping you from eloping” he said grinning ear to ear. 
He said, he likes me!! I repeat he likes me MORE!!! 
And he admires me duh! 
“I know right! I Love Mr.Cuddles so much. It was a gift from Tej on my 18th birthday.” I grinned recalling those days, Tej had to save his 6 months of pocket money for my birthday gift. 
“Mr. Cuddles? ” he asked, his eyes dancing in amusement. 
“The teddy bear” I announced merrily.
He didn’t say anything. He just stood their looking at me with some unknown emotion in his eyes. There is something different about his eyes, and the way he stares at me did not give me creeps like others. It was more like assurance of comfort, security and……? 
He cleared his throat making me stumble back to the real world, where he was still waiting for me pack my luggage. 
Is it because of the rejection he faced last night? 
But he wasn’t angry at me for that, was he? 
“It is getting late, why don’t you go, pack then? ” he said pulling his IPhone out. 
He is serious about sending me to my parents, isn’t he? What did I do? Shall I ask him for a reason? What if he thinks I was defying him? 
He told you to demand him for answers, didn’t he? If you’re too afraid to demand, just plead him not to send you to your parents. 
“Please don’t send me to them. Did I do anything wrong? Please tell me what I did, so I can correct myself. But please don’t send me back.” I pleaded him. 
He drew his eyebrows together in…. confusion? What is there to confuse? 
“You think, I’m sending you to your parents forever? ” I nodded “It is a ritual, Sreesha -he sighed, shaking his head, giving me a defeated smile- You need to spend the day in your parents house as a ritual. After everything I said last night, you still think that low of me? You’re my wife Sreesha, not some rugged doll to through away when I get tired of playing with it. What should I do to make you think straight?” I blinked. 
He is not getting rid off me!!! 
That is all you heard? 
I was about to nod, but my head was locked between two palms. Heat surged through my body, making the blood rush to my cheeks which made them as red as a ripen tomato. 
He was too close to me, yet too far. His face was just a few inches away from mine. His gaze flickered to my lips making them tremble. 
I am not ready for this step yet! 
He is your husband, he can do whatever he want. 
A shiver ran through my spine….. what if…. ? 
“You’re my wife, Sreesha. You belong here, right beside me. What should I do to make you understand that? Sure, we might not like each other.. er… yet. But remember one thing, I’m not like your father and would never be like him. I don’t want to send you back to that house but mom said this particular ritual is essential. If you don’t want to go, all you have is do is, saying ‘no’. I would never force you into anything. You have every right to live your life like you want, of course with me beside you.” He ended sighing. 
Does he know how his words effect me? Of course he doesn’t! 
Does he know how he manage to raise my heartbeat ten times faster than the normal speed with just saying the words ‘my wife’? Who is responsible if I get a cardiac arrest at this early age? 
Does he have any freaking idea what he is doing to my judgemental brain with his every little speech? Of course not! 
“Now stop fighting with the most essential parts in your body and get ready, only if you want to follow the ritual or we can spend some alone time here in our home” he said giving me a knowing look. 
“I’ll go get ready” saying that, I stuttered back to his room. 
After locking his house, he extended his hand to me. He placed something cold and hard in my palm. 
“Now, it is your responsibility to care of our home” a whirlwind of emotions swirled within me. A tear slipped out without my knowledge. 
Many people may think I was exaggerating, but this one gesture gives the assurance you needed, trust being one of them. He trust me enough to provide the master key of his house. 
Our! Remember, he said Our home! 
“Don’t bother returning them, they stays with you and I’ve another set with me” he said showing me another set of keys. I nodded. 
We reached my parent’s house in his car. The car seems kind of expensive, how much he earns again? 
Karthik knocked at the door and waited. My mother opened the door and invited us inside. My father appeared just in time. We took there blessings. 
My father invited Karthik to his study and I followed my mother to the kitchen. I prepared coffee for both of them. 
I can feel my mother’s eyes on me scrutinizing my every move. I can see her raise an eyebrow from my peripheral view, while I was making black coffee. She figured it is for Karthik as no one in this house likes black coffee. 
I knocked twice before entering the study balanced a tray full of snacks in one hand and coffee tray in the another. 
When Karthik looked at me, he immediately stood up to help me. He took one tray from me and placed on the table himself. I can sense my father’s eyes narrowing on Karthik’s every move. 
“Thank you” he said smiling. That snapped my father’s last string of patience and asked (ordered) Karthik to sit and let me do my work. 
“She is your wife. There is no need to say sorry or thank you to her. It is her duty to take care of you and your needs” my father advised him. 
“She is my wife, and that is the exact reason why I thanked her. She is not my employee to order around. Yes, it is her duty to take care of me, but it is also my responsibility to take care of her as well” he replied coolly taking a seat in front of my father confidence oozing around him. 
My father glared at him and asked me to get out of the room, not so politely. 
After talking to my father, he makes his way to me and kissed my forehead before leaving me alone with me, with my parents who were looking at me like hungry vultures. 
My father muttered something about today’s generations ruining the traditions and not respecting elders. 
My mother held my wrist tightly making me hiss in pain “Didn’t I tell you to respect elders? That act that you just pulled is not allowed in this house. Don’t you ever repeat that, Sreesha. I’m serious about it” she said, gritting her teeth. I nodded before leaving her alone. 
I entered my old room, which was my safe heaven till yesterday . I lay on my bed and hugged Mr. Cuddles tightly near my heart before letting my tears fall freely. 
After crying my heart out, I lay there numbly thinking about the reasons why they are treating me like I was nothing but a worthless scum. 
A knock at my door distracted me from wallowing in self pity. 
I unlocked my door to reveal someone who I’m not ready to face, yet. 
“Tej” I said, my voice is no less than ice. 


Married To A Stranger 3

Sreesha POV: 
I heard a small knock on the door but turned around to sleep in peace but when I heard the rustling in the room and the small voices at the door, I sprung up to my feet thinking Tej was searching for my secret chocolate stock in my room. I panicked for a moment looking at the unfamiliar surroundings. I held my head in a hard grip when the previous day’s events, crashed my mind making it work fast than it usually do. 
Shit! I’m married! 
Shit indeed! 
I searched for a clock frantically and found it on the bedside table. It’s already 5am and I’m still in bed. 
And I am a married woman! 
A good daughter-in-law should wake up before everyone in house and do the household work herself without bothering her in-laws. My mother’s voice ringed in my ears making me jump into action. 
I was running like a mad monkey around the room to find a decent yet simple saree to wear. His mother and mine only bought sarees with heavy designs and stuff which I’m sure weigh a ton. 
When I’m in hurry, I’ve this weird habit to forget everything. The same thing is happening to me now. While I’m on my third trip from the closet to washroom I bumped into a 6 feet wall. 
In other words, my husband. 
Remember the tons of romantic novels we read and it is really happening in your life, Sreesha. You just bumped into your husband! 
Just when I thought my day wouldn’t be worse, I’d to bump into him? He held my waist to refrain me from falling flat on my butt. 
“Slow down, will you? ” he said, chuckling still holding me. His voice was deep with a hint of sleepiness. 
Is it weird to think his voice is yummy? 
“I- I… you- late… mother” I stuttered, how can I answer when he was holding me too close to him while his hand drawing circles on my waist. Was it a natural thing for his hands to draw circles on my skin? First my hand and now my waist? 
I thanked all the gods for choosing long top to wear yesterday night. 
“Why are you looking so pale? Did you had a nightmare?” He asked, frowning a little. 
How can someone be this handsome, even his frown is so cute. 
Taking a deep breath, I gestured the little awkward position we were in, with my eyes. 
When he noticed, he didn’t let go of me immediately. He loosened his grip on my waist first and after making sure I was not going to kiss the ground with my butt he let go off me. 
No one said a word, we’re just standing there facing each other. He nervously scratched his neck and mumbled something under his breath. 
“Huh? ” I looked at him but avoided his eyes. They are too dangerous to get acquainted with. 
“I’ve to go and get ready” Why is he saying this to me? I nodded, confused. 
“For that, you have to let go my shirt” he said, with a slight smirk on his face. I stumbled back a little when I realise where my hand was comfortably settled on. I’ve been holding his shirt tightly like my life depended on it. 
How can you be so stupid, Sreesha? He is your husband and you’re holding his shirt? What would your mother say when she find out about it? She would probably kill you without asking for a reason. It’s a sign of utter disrespect towards your husband. 
“Stop over thinking and wear this- handing me a saree – mom asked me to tell you to wear this saree and go downstairs as soon as possible” he said smiling. I nodded and stuttered into washroom. 
Making sure I was all alone in the bathroom, I stood in front of the mirror and banged my head to the wall. And scold myself like I always do when I did something wrong. 
When I looked at myself in the mirror, I see myself in a different light. The Sreesha I was looking at was glowing with a small and genuine smile playing on her lips, it had been a long time. 
I got ready as soon as possible and left the room to join my MIL to know the tasks I’ve to do in the house. When I reached downstairs, my MIL asked me to pray for god of fire (Agni) and then make a sweet dish. 
I prepared Kheer, as she specifically mentioned that it is Karthik’s favourite dish. I did as she said and completed all the rituals. 
When I served the sweet dish, she praised me a lot. She said that she loved it. If anyone ask me what I was good at, I would say my culinary skills. I love cooking. 
When she made sure I was settled, she left leaving me alone in the house. 
Now that I’m free, I couldn’t help but think about my MIL. She is so beautiful, no one would believe she has 25 year old son. She smiles all the time and it was genuine, her one smile can lit a dark room. The way she talk, the way she walks everything screams elegance. I laughed at myself when a thought crossed my mind. 
I thought she was royalty. 
After our marriage, I didn’t see my FIL anywhere. It was like he doesn’t live here with us. 
My MIL made sure I know Karthik’s likes and dislikes. I prepared coffee for him, his mother said he likes his coffee black and sugarless. 
His daily dose of caffeine as his mother prefers to call.   
When I was on my way to our room to give him coffee, he was descending the stairs. I couldn’t help but admire his every move. With every step he takes, my clumsy heart hammered against my ribcage to free herself from the bounds of my ribs. His steps never faltered, his eyes never left mine, his lips never stopped smiling. He walked with utmost confidence and with a bit of satisfaction in his eyes. 
Stop drooling over him, your drool might turn into floods anytime soon my rational side chided. 
But have you seen him properly? It was like a freaking model is walking towards us. My heart whispered to my brain. 
Stop giving her unnecessary thoughts you stupid thing! Your work is to pump blood not to create unnecessary attraction and feelings within her it scolded again.
I sometimes think my mother was staying in my mind, it always talks like my mother. 
Don’t you date compare me with her! I’m my own person it snapped at me. 
If somehow Karthik find out the battle between my brain and heart or more like the rational and irrational sides, he would definitely kick me out of his house. 
Or he can always book a bed for you in mental asylum! 
I sighed. If I didn’t stop now, it would lead to a big argument which I am not ready for, as Karthik is only a few feet away from me looking at me worried. 
God, he’s so beautiful! How can someone like him marry someone like you? No offence Sreesha, but look at him and look at you, he’s hot as hell while you? A plain clumsy material which needed a lot of grooming. 
I couldn’t help but agree with that annoying voice in my head.  why would someone like him will marry a girl someone like me? I’m simple and plain and did not plan to change myself unless I was forced. But I’m sure he could have got a girl more beautiful and prettier than me. 
My train of thoughts reached it’s station when a snap of fingers worked as a red flag. 
I almost face palmed when I saw a frown graced on his lips. 
I prefer to melt a glacier dude! Give me a damn smile It said again. Not my fault if that voice had its own brain. 
I almost thought I was a werewolf while I was reading werewolf books in wattpad. Sadly I’m no werewolf. It would have been so cool if I was one. 
“Whatever going on in that pretty head of yours ” Karthik asked smiling. 
Pretty? He called me pretty!!! My heart did a small hip hop. 
“N-nothing” I mumbled, offering the coffee. 
“Where is yours? ” he asked pointing at the coffee. 
“I’ll have later” I mumbled. 
“Will you please have coffee with me?” He asked cutely, making my heart race again. 
Slowdown you stupid thing! You’re a heart, not a freaking car to participate in a race! 
I nodded making one for myself. When I was seated across him, his eyes were penetrating my every move. I want to snap at him asking him to keep his eyes away from me but I couldn’t, he has every right to look at me. 
I cringed when the bitter liquid assaulted my taste buds. This was not the way I prefer my coffee, mine should be sweet and tasty not like some neem leaves juice. 
He sighed. When I dare to look into his eyes, I stiffened. His eyes were narrowed at me with a hint of irritation in them. I bowed my head not wanting to witness his rage now. 
He stood up and held my hand making me jump to my feet. He dragged me to the kitchen and started preparing coffee himself. 
He should have asked me to make one again, if he doesn’t like the one I made. What is he trying to prove stepping into the kitchen? Why would he have to make me feel pathetic? 
“Have it ” his voice pulled me to the real world again. I blinked, he was preparing the coffee for me? 
Me? His wife? 
Taking the cup in my hand, I eyed it suspiciously. The sweet smell was assaulting my nostrils urging me to take a sip. Warily I sipped, the dead taste buds on my tongue became alive. 
This is heaven! I sighed. 
“Thank you” I mumbled, he was looking at me with a weird kind of satisfaction in his eyes. His eyes suddenly flickered to annoyance. 
How can someone change their emotions in just seconds of difference? 
“Just because I prefer some thing different doesn’t mean you had to change yours, Sreesha. Either it is about food or people or something else.” He said reaching for my hand. I didn’t flinch or feel wary about his touch now. I somehow know he means no harm….. physically. 
“We’re married, Sreesha. You’re my wife, not a slave. My wife, is my equal in everything. You are my other half. You have every right on my life like I’ve on yours. You should not have to be hesitant to ask me anything, actually you have every right to demand me.” He said, looking straight into my eyes with so much of determination in his eyes. 
“Do you understand? ” he demanded. 
“Why?” I whimpered. “Fath-father said I could not-” 
“Forget what your father said, forget about your mother’s wishes or orders whatever they were. You’re not in their house to follow their rules. This is your house, Sreesha. Our house. You have the right to make the rules here. This is yours as much as mine. Everything that belongs to me is yours too. You’re free to make or break rules in here. Please don’t feel like a guest in your own home. Understand?” He said sternly. 
I nodded. I couldn’t fight my tears anymore, so I let them fall freely. He hesitantly pulled me close in an embrace and kissed my hair. 
My stupid heart did a small somersault. 
His hug explains how much he means the every word he said. For the first time in my life I feel secured in someone’s embrace other than Tej. 
But the next words from him nearly stopped my heart. 
“Pack some essentials, you’re going to your parent’s house”

Romance, Uncategorized

Married To A Stranger 2

​Sreesha Pov: 
“Sreesha” he called me again. A chill ran through my spine by just hearing his voice. I can sense that he was coming my way and I can feel the sweat forming in my palms. He stopped just a feet away from me, his voice didn’t do any good, I was a trembling mess. 
I gulped down the gasp, when he tried to reach my hand. Just when he was about to touch it, I flinched a little, that stopped him. 
I rejected his touch… and he is aware of it. I closed my eyes waiting for some harsh words or a slap. My mother said men can get angry when they face rejection. 
I sense the bed sink a few inches away from me. I closed my eyes tightly not willing to see his enraged face. My grip on the sheets tightened as well. 
But to my surprise his voice greeted me instead of his hand “Sreesha, please look at me” his voice was as soft as a velvet cake with a hint of huskiness to it. 
We can always compare the huskiness with some extra whipped cream *dreamy sigh*
“Please” he added. This time I accepted his wish, I can’t defy him anymore. He must be having hard time controlling his anger on me. I sent a prayer to god to lessen his rage before he starts dealing with me. 
I opened my eyes slowly like I was just out of an eye surgery and making sure my eyesight was clear. I sighed, I get these weird ideas all the times. First Velvet cake then whipped cream and now eye surgery? My conscience plays a weird role in my life from the very beginning of my life, it is the sarcastic side of me which makes appearance when its not needed the most. 
I was met with a pair of most beautiful chocolate brown eyes I had ever seen, which were looking at me curiously. I lowered my gaze immediately, remembering my mother’s words. 
Lower your gaze when you’re talking to your husband , it is a sign of disrespect. 
“Can I hold your hand, Sreesha?” He asked making my grip hard on sheets “please” he added. I nodded still not sure why he was asking me when he can do whatever he want. 
I gasped audibly when his hand met mine, I didn’t feel sparks and electricity like they mention in those Romance books. It was slightly different, I feel secured and comfortable with his touch so, just like that I released my grip on the bedsheets allowing him to take my hand into his. 
His touch was soft and caring, that is not something I imagined. I thought it would be rough, harsh or powerful. 
He started caressing the back of my palm with his thumb, igniting a small hope in my dead heart. 
Hope for what? 
“Now that you’re breathing normally, I hope you’re fine. Can we talk now?” He asked still caressing my hand. I nodded. 
“I’m sorry” he said, I almost heard the crack when I lifted my head swiftly. I sure would have sour neck tomorrow. 
Did he just said sorry? 
“I’m sorry, I didn’t ask your consent for our marriage” he said looking straight into my eyes, this time my gaze did not falter. The look in his eyes was sincere, after making sure he wasn’t joking, I nodded. I thought he would laugh at me saying it was a fake apology, but I did not find faking in his voice nor in his eyes. 
“Talk to me, Sreesha” I kept mum. 
“At least say my name” he pleaded. 
“Do you even know my name? ” there was a hint of anger in his voice which made my reflexes active. I took my hand away from him. I tried to move away but he stopped me by holding my hand. 
“Hey.. hey relax. I- I’m not going to hurt you, Sreesha. Relax okay? I just wanted to know if you by any chance did not know my name. Do you think I will hurt you?” He asked slowing, like he was talking to a child. I nodded. 
“You do?” I nodded again, hope I would not have a sprain in my neck with all this nodding. I want to talk to him too but the fear in me crushed my voice “Sreesha, I know you’re from different background and environment. Your family must have set a wrong example about marriage for you. But you’re not with them anymore, you can throw those ideal wife qualities in dustbin and be yourself. In Shekhar’s family we men treat our wives as equals. You are not Sreesha Verma anymore, you’re Mrs. Sreesha Karthik Shekhar. You’re my wife Sreesha I would not dream of hurting you. Feel free to voice your thoughts openly, feel free to point out my mistakes because a wife has every right to correct her husband’s mistakes. And feel free to tell me if you’re not ready for the next step in our marriage” his little speech made me speechless. Never had I ever thought he would say all those things.
I kind of liked the sound of Sreesha Karthik than Sreesha Verma. 
Did he just said husband and wife are equals? 
Seriously? If my father get to hear it, he would have an early death. His stone heart might get a crack listening to his words. 
How the hell my father accepted to this match again? 
‘Everything will be fine di, do as father says and I’ll deal with the rest. Just trust me’ I recalled Tej’s words. This is what he meant, he knew Karthik is a good person. That is why he did not want to stop the marriage. 
Sorry for misunderstanding, Tej. I love you I mentally announced my love for my brother. 
“Sreesha” his voice pulled me harshly from my lala land. “Will you answer me now?” 
“Ji” I mumbled. 
“I want you to say my name, Sree” Sree? “Can I call you Sree from now?” he asked rubbing his neck. I nodded. 
“K- Karthik” I stuttered. 
“What? I didn’t hear you. Sure you said something but I didn’t get to hear it” he said frowning. 
“Er.. Karthik” I said, this time a bit loudly. 
“I missed it again, I think I’m having hearing problem” he mumbled touching his ears. I feel bad for him, but I used my regular voice last time I said his name. 
“Karthik” I said a little too loudly, if my mother was outside the door she would have heard it. 
“I think I missed it again” his frown was constant but slowly it turned into smirk. He had been playing with me from the start. 
“Karthik! Stop playing with me.” I yelled, somehow he succeeded in waking up the Sreesha I buried a while ago. The evil side of Sreesha. 
Did I just yelled at him? Fear surged through me. I raised my voice at him! What would he do now? I still remember the day when my father slapped my mother for raising her voice at him. 
“Woah! I got a little tiger for a wife” he grinned. When I thought his smile would melt an ice cube make it a glacier when he grin. He can melt a freaking glacier with his grin. I was literally swooning over him right now.
He snapped his fingers before my face snapping me into reality. I frowned I want to stay in my imagination I created a while ago… at the melting glacier. 
“There is a little drool over there” he said pointing at my mouth, like a idiot I am, I wiped. Just like that he bursted into fits of laughter while I stay silent watching him. I’m planning to make the freaking Himalayas melt now. 
“Sree, oh god, I did not laugh like this much in years” he said holding his sides, still laughing at my expense.
When his laugh seized, he said “You look beautiful when you smile”. 
I did not realise that I’ve been smiling looking at him. His smile was contagious. Normally I would get angry when someone make me a laughing stock but with him, I don’t mind being a joker just to watch him laugh. 
You sound like a love sick puppy, Sreesha! Get a grip on yourself it’s only been a day you got married and you started falling for his charm? What would you do if this is all an act? 
That did it. I rebuilt the walls around my heart which he succeeded in breaking with just using a hand full of words. 
Stop being so naive, Sressha, just because he was polite doesn’t mean he did not have the power to break you. Remember we should not trust men, they always leave you when you needed them the most. My conscience talked some sense into me. 
“Are you sleepy?” He asked frowning. 
“Yes” I mumbled. 
“Okay. You sleep here, on bed I’ll take the couch” he said, while standing. Why is he acting so polite? I want to hate him for marrying me, I want to hate him for not trying to ask my consent for our marriage. 
I just want to hate him, curse him for everything that is going on in my life. Is it too much to ask? But he is making it hard to hate him with all the sweet talking and politeness. 
And he wants to take couch? Why? 
May be he didn’t want to sleep next to you? 
May be he was forced into this marriage as well? 
Or may be he was just being polite! 
“I- I’ll t-take the couch, y-you please sleep here” why the hell am I stuttering? 
“I called dibs on couch remember? Now sleep well. Mom said you have some rituals to follow early in the morning” he said making his way to couch. 
“Don’t you think that veil is too heavy? Please tell me you’re not planning to sleep wearing that heavy clothes. Sure, you look beautiful with all those things but I’m sure they will not be comfortable to sleep.” He said making his way towards a closed door “come here” he said waving his hand. 
I reached him with out stumbling on my heavy Saree. The door he was holding is a walk-in closet. 
“This is our closet, mom bought a few things for you days ago and that -pointing to the other closed door – is washroom. Please feel free to use whatever you want” he said leaving me alone to chose. 
The closet is very spacious and his clothes were arranged neatly according to the type. The other side of the closet is completely filled with dresses, Sarees, Shoes, heels, accessories, handbags, clutches and what not. This is every freaking girl’s dream. Cosmetics are neatly arranged on the table with a big sized mirror attached to it. 
I am not a big fan of shopping or flashy things but I really appreciate the effort his mother made. I should thank her for this tomorrow. I find some pyjamas and went to washroom. 
Washroom was no less compared to the closet. For a second I thought it was mine. It has everything I prefer. From my favourite soap to same branded tooth brush I use. I suppressed a laugh. 
His mother must have liked me so much to waste her time and money on these little things. 
After a nice warm bath, I slipped into the night dress I brought from the closet. Opening the door, I made my way towards the bed and slipped into the warm covers. My eyes landed on the couch, where Karthik was sleeping uncomfortably. I noticed, he changed into some comfortable clothes. 
I feel so bad for him, his 6feet or so figure is hard to adjust on that couch. I want to ask him to take the bed but stopped myself. What if he gets angry for waking him? 
I tiptoed to the closet and came back with extra blanket which I noticed while I was checking out his closet. 
My steps faltered with each step I take towards him. I was so nervous that I almost gave up on my task. 
I wrapped the blanket around him carefully, not wanting to wake him but stilled in my place when he grasped one of my hand held it against his heart. 
My heartbeat raised making it impossible to breath normally for me. I can feel his heartbeat. His heartbeat is beating matching the pace of mine. For a second I thought he was awake but he is not. I sighed in relief seeing his relaxed face. 
Taking a deep breath, I slowly loosened his grip using my other hand. I almost jumped in excitement when I completed my task without waking him. 
As soon as my head hit the pillow, I sighed in content. 
Just when I was about to fall in deep slumber, I felt a feathery touch on my forehead and heard someone say
I missed you

Romance, Uncategorized

Married To A Stranger 1

Sreesha Pov: 
Getting married is not strange. 

Getting married is not strange at all. 
I started chanting in my head looking at the stranger who is tying a knot with me. 
The stranger who I met once, and without a word he agreed to marry me. 
Sure, he is handsome outside but what about inside? 
What if he is just like my father after all same natured people get along well. How will I survive if he treats me just like my father treated my mother all these years? 
I peeked at him through my eyelashes when he applied Sindhoor on my forehead completing the marriage ritual. He smiled in content when he was doing that, like he had been waiting for this moment all his life. 
After conducting a few more rituals, they sent me with him. I did not cry before leaving my parents house like all those girls. They hurt me too much to feel pain for leaving them. My brother Tej was looking at me with pure happiness in his eyes. He was the only one who loved me in that family but he betrayed me. He left me alone when I needed him the most. 
It was a simple marriage with just our families. Tej insisted on registering my marriage then and there. As if I can leave my husband now. 
God! That stranger is my husband now. 
And His name is Karthik Shekhar. 
After reaching his home, I was rushed to a guest room. For a manager in MNC he sure maintain his house well. It was a two storey individual house with three bedrooms and comfortable furniture. He must be earning a lot. I belong to a middle class family. 
I glanced around the room but it doesn’t have anyone’s personal touch. It is like this room belongs to no one in particular. 
“Can I talk to my daughter for a few minutes? ” I heard my mother asking his mother “alone” she added immediately to which she nodded leaving us alone. 
I felt a hard grip on my wrist, I hissed in pain “Never say No to your husband, Sreesha. You should do as he says. For us women, husband’s words should be like Bhagavad gita. Respect him. Accept his every wish whether you like it or not.” My mother said grinding her teeth. 
“Never disrespect him. Never raise your voice at him or you will have to face the consequences all alone. Never utter words like higher studies and job, see where they have landed you. Even your brother, who used to support you in everything denied your wish to work. As your father always say, work is for men, women belongs to kitchen.” My fits tightened hearing her words. Yes, my brother denied to my wishes, she doesn’t have to rub it in my face. 
“Your wedding night is few hours away, Sreesha. If I heard one word against you from your husband I will not stop your father from teaching you a thing or two this time.” Reminding the day he slapped me one too many times each time I refused to get marry. If it isn’t for Tej, I don’t know what he would have done. He saved me and asked me to trust him and do as my father says. 
‘Everything will be fine di, do as father says and I’ll deal with the rest. Just trust me. ‘ were his exact words. 
So I gave in. I trust my brother but I couldn’t just forgive him for not stopping this marriage. 
And my mother said wedding night! What am I going to say if he find out that I’m not a virgin? 
What will I do, if he blame my family for betraying him? 
What will my father do? Would he kill me? Or torture me to until I die slowly and painfully. 
I wasn’t physically abused, sure my mother or father would slap me here and there for denying them or if I messed up with work but thanks to Tej, he always had my back. Even though he is a couple of years younger than me. He was my savior. My parents loved him to death and grants his every wish, excluding one thing that I should never call them mom and dad. So, Tej did what no sibling would do, he called them father and mother because they didn’t allow me call them mom and dad. 
What are you planning this time, Tej? 
“Answer me” my mother hissed dragging me to present time. 
Right Wedding night. I nodded my head like a polite pet. 
I’m not ready for that step with him. I barely know him. Will he give me time to adjust, if I tell me I wasn’t ready for this step yet? 
The answer will be a big big NO! I know it,  everyone knows it. But there is this tiny bit of hope fluttering in my heart saying he is not what he looks like. And there must be a heart behind those cold eyes. 
But what if he wouldn’t agree to give me time? What if he force himself on me? 
What if he find out that I was not a virgin an throw a fit? 
What if he became abusive? Can I survive one more dominant person in my life? 
What if he is indeed a male chauvinist and treat me like his slave? 
His mother came with plate full of food and asked me to eat. I ate without complaining because I was so hungry as I’ve been pasting from the morning and it is like 4ish now. 
His mother doesn’t look like those evil MIL’s in daily soaps. She looks nice and took care of her appearance well. She is like those women who doesn’t have to try to be beautiful because they will look beautiful even in some rugged clothes. And she smiles all the time, it’s one of her traits to attract everyone. Beauty must be running in their family. Karthik’s father was just like him, calm, straight, cold and did I mention handsome? He did not look like a old dude at all. 
Hours later, Karthik’s mother came with a few boxes in her hands. I was handed a beautiful red colour saree to change into. They made me sit before a vanity mirror and started working on my skin. His mother experimented on my skin like I was a barbie and she was a kid to do make up and it’s hair. I’ve been in the same position for hours, stiff like a statue, not complaining about anything because I know they would do what they think is good. I don’t have to strain my vocal system to complain on a losing battle. 
I was on a verge of closing my eyes as sleep was demanding it’s daily dosage. A snap on my head is all it take to return to the real world from the entrance of my dream world. It’s my mother’s handy work after all. 
“Look at you, so beautiful” his mother beamed at me. I gave her a small strained smile. 
I actually look beautiful with all the jewellery and stuff but I want him to know the real me, not the artificial version of me. 
‘Shut up, Sreesha, you of all people know men admire beauty. Outer beauty not inner beauty. He will be just like others don’t you dare let your hopes high’ my conscience chided me. 
As they said in some advertisement ‘Men will be Men’. After all my my ex belonged to the same category. 
“It’s time to meet your husband dear” my MIL shook me gently. I nodded standing up. 
When I was in front of what I assume his room, my mother’s grip hardened on my wrist again. This time I didn’t flinch because there is a hell in the room waiting for me, what can a little pain will hurt? 
“Remember what I said earlier, Sreesha. I mean each and every word I said” I nodded again feeling numb. 
My MIL opened the doors gently leading me to a room which is decorated completely with red roses. My favourite flower. I generally love flowers a lot but Red roses make me smile every time I look at them. 
His mother made me sit on his bed arranging the saree properly. My mother covered my face with a heavy veil which weighs a ton. 
My mother left first giving me a warning look but my MIL stayed beside me standing, her eyes trained on me. 
“You don’t have to worry about anything, Sreesha. I raised my son better than you think” she said patting my shivering hand which is gripping the bed sheet like it’s life depended on it. 
I don’t know what her words meant.  she must be like those mom’s who turns blind eye on their children’s mistakes. Who knows what he had been doing all these years behind her back? 
“You will be fine” she added leaving the room, closing the door behind her. 

After few minutes,  the door to the room opened revealing a six feet silhouette as the room is dimly lit. 
I started hyperventilating. Every fear that have been haunting me were surrounded me now. I feel like I was in a small hole with limited oxygen supply. 
“Sreesha” His voice made me jump in fear. I wanted nothing but to crawl in those shadows where he would never find me.