Arranged Love - Part 2 (A short story)

Story so far: Part 1
The story ahead:
On her wedding night as she was waiting for Siddharth she was thinking about the way her life had turned topsy turvy in the last 2 weeks. She hated Siddharth for having done this to her life and it was no way that she was letting him get close to her. She was pacing up and down the room fearing the worst. After what seemed like eternity Siddharth entered the room hesitantly. He cleared his throat and looked at Koel. Koel avoided his gaze and turned towards the window. 

I can truly understand the circumstances under which we have got married. And I believe our relationship is not ready for the level of intimacy that is expected tonight. I would want us both to be friends first and begin to know each other. I would not want to force anything on you.  You are free to lead a live you were living till yesterday and not change anything at all. I assure you I will not pressurize you into anything the way you were for this marriage. ‘Saying this he took the pillow and proceeded towards the couch. Koel was zapped. How on earth did he know that she was not happy? 

Koel was tongue-tied as she continued to stare at him with wide opened eyes. ‘What a person to have understood what I wanted the most. This was the last thing I would have been able to take…. Thank God I was saved from this!!’ she wondered. That moment she suddenly felt a lot of respect towards him but at the same time was finding it difficult to forget what all had happened with her. She could not sleep that night as she tossed and turned on the bed. Suddenly a sleeping Siddharth caught her eye.

He looked so adorable’ she thought as she could not help but admire him. The faint light from a nearby bed lamp created a halo around his head making him look like an angel. ‘Is this how love feels?’ she thought for a moment and then shook her head ferociously for having thought all this.  She had no answers why she was thinking all this but she knew she was. Tired from a hectic day she fell asleep after some time dreamily. 

From that day onwards began a journey for Koel of accepting and rejecting a few things, learning and unlearning some habits. A journey; where Siddharth was always by her side on each and every step. He helped her settle down in the new place with new surroundings, get adjusted to his family and friends. He helped her in the house hold as well so that she felt too burdened with anything. 

They both were poles apart like chalk and cheese. She the eternal dreamer, while he ever practical person.  She a bold extrovert and he a shy introvert. She a live wire, chattering nineteen to dozen, laughing crazily one moment and shedding tears the other. While he, well he was a man of few words. Literally!! He believed in expressing whatever he felt in the least number of words possible. Sometimes it seemed as if he was in some competition- waiting to outdo his last number of words used this time! But Koel knew she could depend on him. Koel was a free bird and wanted to fly spreading her wings in the sky. And she very well knew that Siddharth could be the wind beneath her wings.It was this dependability maybe which started building a chord between them. She depended on him emotionally as he was the ever patient listener to her non stop jabbering. While he depended on her for adding so much colour to his otherwise dull life.

The honking of the bus brought her back in time. She realised she was blushing when the onlookers in the bus were staring at her with a quizzical look on their face. She straightened herself and started looking out of the window.  Her thoughts once again wandered back in time. Though she could never fulfill her dream of becoming a bride, though there were no proposals, though romance was eminently missing there was something definitely between them. It could be called respect, trust, faith, mutual understanding and much more but love. Or was it there?

She had reached office and was still in her thoughts as she switched on her computer. Over the past one year there had been numerous incidents where she had felt attracted to Siddharth. Yes attracted to the same guy whom she had dismissed as ‘not-so-handsome’ a year back. He was not handsome for sure, but there was something mystical about him. His eyes were alluring and his smile drew you like a magnet to him. His caring nature and understanding behavior was too sweet to be ignored. In some weak moments she even fantasized hugging him. Somewhere in the hearts of her hearts she knew Siddharth too felt the same but was scared of telling her about his feelings. She chided herself for all her thoughts when a new mail in her inbox caught her attention. It was from her school friend Neha. They were best pals throughout school and college but had eventually lost touch once she got married. She was surprised to see her mail. She quickly opened the mail anxiously.

Hey Coo (that’s what Koel was called by her)
Got your id from aunty…sorry for the vanishing act. But now I am back for good. More details later. Hope you are doing good. Got to know from Aunty about your marriage. Oooo so finally you found your Prince Charming huh? I am sure you must have gone on one knee and proposed him confessing your love. Oh… I am dying to know the story in details. I am travelling to Mumbai next week. Looking forward to catch up with you. Do reply with your number. Will call you ASAP.
Hugs
Nee

Koel smiled as she finished reading it the second time. ‘Old friends are such a solace.’ She thought. She was reading it for the third time when the line ‘I am sure you must have gone on one knee and proposed him confessing your love’ registered in her mind.  Immediately Koel’s mind raced back to her college days. She used to proudly tell everyone that the day she found her dream man she would not wait for him to propose her and waste time. Rather she would propose him herself so as to ensure she would never lose him. Her friends used to tease her a lot about it. These bickering would always end in ‘We’ll see’ from both the sides.

To be continued...

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