Who to choose?

An Indian girl never lives for herself. First 25 years she lives for her parents, next 50 for her husband, children, and in-laws. Same is my story.

I was never allowed to fall in love. My family members were open-minded yet traditional. They allowed me to fall in love but never supported when I mentioned to them about it. They always said, “Everyone should do arrange marriage then only they could live a happy life”

I have always been strong and have always stood up for myself but facing too many situations eventually breaks you and makes you weak. I have always been sorted, calm and rational person, so I was tired of being matured and I wanted to be irrational. One fine day, my that emotional moment arrived and I broke down too. That was the moment I have regretted all my life.

I was asked to get married and I said YES but actually I wanted to say NO. I was in love with a boy named Nandish who wasn’t in love with me he asked me for time. I wanted to give him time. He knew about this situation but still did not do anything more about it. I was even more furious. I loved him and wanted to marry him. I thought he was a spineless bastard. He never talked to me much. I always felt like I am trying to make it work. I had to push him to talk and share everything to me. He was just interested in getting physical with me but I still loved him a lot. My parents brain-washed me and talked ill about him. I didn’t believe them at first but eventually, I gave up on him and said YES to marry a man of their choice. I always knew that I would regret my decision but still, I was so angry that I wanted to make mistake. In all this I just said one thing to Nand on the day of my marriage that, “Always remember if you are happy, someone out there, under the sky is happy.”

I was married off to the man who has been a gem of a person to me but I was not in love with him and I never could. I am Sahira, wife of a billionaire Nilay and mother of 2 kids — Rohan and Rashi.

I have a perfect family. My husband is a CEO in a one of the companies listed in Fortune 500 companies. We shifted last year to London — my favorite city. It was childhood dream that someday I would live in London and Nilay knew that so we shifted there. He knew I loved writing and I wanted to pursue my career in that so he never said you have to stay home and be a housewife. He supported me every possible way. He has been a best friend to me in every possible way a man should be to his wife. He cooks, washes and cleans for me. He says we are equal partners for life so only you would take the burden?

He is one of the most charming, romantic, chivalrous, supporting men — a best father, best husband and best person but I could never give my heart to him. I could somehow never forget Nandish. Nilay may be, knew it but never pushed me to talk about it and I was always thankful for that. We spend 25 years together laughing, crying and caring for each other. He always used to say, “I love you Sahira”, When I reply, “I love you too Nil.” He always says, “One day for sure…” I could never understand what he meant but I never asked him, I let it pass.

One day I was on my way to office. I always stop at a café for my morning coffee. Today also I went there; Martha was ready with my coffee. As I was coming out a guy pushed me and whole coffee stained my white hoodie. As I look up and ready to shout but I saw a pair of familiar brown eyes and I forgot what I was supposed to say.

He was also shocked to speak, but somehow, he said, “Hie Sahi I am sorry”

I replied, “It’s okay Nand”

“How are you? It’s been 25 years”

“I am fine and yeah it has been 25 years, how are you?”

“I am good too”

“Great…”

For moments, we both were silent but then he said, “Do you want to sit somewhere and talk? I could buy you a coffee…”

“No Nand…”

“Please don’t say No, let me buy you a coffee…”

“You are still the same…You still don’t listen carefully…I was going to say No Nand let me buy you a coffee…”

We both laughed. He replied positively. I bought us coffee and sandwiches with some wraps. We went to the Thames, sat there and started to have our breakfast. He asked, “So, how are you? Are you married? What are you doing here? Do you have kids?”

I was just staring at him…

“Sahi…”

“Wow…You finally learned to talk and share?”

He laughed and said, “Yeah…finally”

“Well to answer your questions…I have been amazing, Yes, I am married, I stay here with my family and yes I am a mother of two — Rohan and Rashi”

“Wow”

“What about you?”

“Let’s not talk about me, let’s just talk about you…”

“Whoa Mr. Chit Chat, you are not getting off the hook that easily, common tell me…”

“I am married. I have a daughter named Sahira…”

“What…!”

“Yeah and I too live here with my family”

“So we all should get-together, you’re and my family, Nil will surely love that…”

“Sure… Why not?”

“So, you all come to my place tonight…”

That night Nand and his family arrived and we all had blast. Following days, I and Nand met regularly. Nil and Reena — his wife knew and were very supportive of our friendship. One day Nand called me at night, “Hello Sahi…”

“Hie Nand…”

“I want to take you out on a date”

“What?”

“Yeah remember you always wanted to go on a date with me…remember?”

“Yes, but that is impossible…it’s beyond awkward”

“I Love You…”

…..

“Sahira?”

“Yeah I am here Nand”

“I am sorry if you felt bad”

“It’s Okay Nand”

“So, will you go out on a date with me, I want to talk to you? Please don’t say NO”

“Okay”

“Okay?”

“Yes, Nand…I will go out on a date with you…tomorrow night”

“Perfect I will message you the details”

He messaged me that:

1. You need to wear something red, it’s my favorite color.

2. Ditch heels

3. I will pick you up at 7

4. Bring an overcoat, even if you won’t I will give you mind

5. Tell Nil that you will stay up late

I was smiling reading this so Nil asked, “Wow my princess is smiling (after all these years he calls me princess)”

“Nand sent me text that he wants to go out on a date with me”

“That’s great so when are you guys going?”

“Tomorrow night…Shall I go?”

“Hey, my love you don’t need my permission…You can do what is right for you…I am always there for you” He replied

“Thank you sweetheart”

“You need money for anything?” He asked

“No no, I have money”

“Okay”

“Are you okay Nil, if you don’t want I won’t go…”

“No nothing like that”

Next morning I woke up feeling amazing. I went to salon for some touch-up and hairs, bought a red dress and some matching accessories and matching ballet flats. As I took a leave from office, I started for dinner for Nil and kids. I was so jumpy that I couldn’t kill the time but somehow, I did. Clock strike 6 and kids went for self-defense classes. I went for bath and got ready. I put on a dress, accessories, dried my hairs, applied lipstick and put on my ballet flats. I took my coat and woolen scarf with me. It was 7.45 by that and Nil arrived. I opened the door and he was shocked to see me.

“You look good princess…”

“Just good?”

“You look very pretty” His eyes were wet

“Hey, are you crying Nil?”

“No ways…It’s just the dirt”

“Are you sure about me going?”

“Yes, my love…I want you to have lots of fun but no hanky panky…”

“HAHAHA…Yes, father, I know that…”

Meanwhile, Nandish arrived and Nil opened the door. They both chatted for a while and then we left. As we reached the parking, I noticed it was red open top car as we used to discuss, when we used to spend time together. I was surprised but very happy and I remembered my and Nil’s date. I felt strange. When we went near car, Nand opened door for me like a chivalrous man. I sat inside and we left for the date. I asked him, “Yesterday you said on phone…”

“…that’s true. I love you so much”

I said nothing, just smiled. We reached a beautiful farm. As we came out of car Nand tied a black belt on my eyes. He led me towards the gate and opened band. I opened my eyes and I was awe-struck with the view. It was a beautiful garden. In between, it was a beautiful pond which had a beautiful set up of a table and two chairs. As cliché and classic as it sounds, I loved it. Nand held my hand and we started to walk towards the center stage. The path was decorated with candles. As we went near the table, he pulled out a chair for me. We sat and he poured some champagne for me.

I said, “Nand I still don’t drink…”

He said, “I still remember and it is non-alcoholic champagne…”

I smiled and started having that. Then he called the waiter and we started having food. He had made arrangements of my favorite food — Mexican. It was time for a dessert. He arranged for blueberry cheesecake and chocolate pudding with rainbow sprinkles. I said, “Hey my figure will be uneven, I tried really hard to maintain it, my lord”

“No problem my lady, time for some exercise”

“Excuse me?”

“Don’t be…Time for some dance”

“Ohh…”

Will you care to dance with me, young lady?

Yes, my lord…

We danced on the first song we danced. It is a title track from a Bollywood movie Hamari Adhoori Kahani. We danced for almost half an hour. I didn’t realize whether we were dancing or hugging. I remembered mine and Nil’s first dance, where he hugged me and kissed my forehead. Then we stopped and Nand said, “Want to dip legs in the pond?”

“Yes…”

As we sat and dipped the legs Nand said, “So, Sahira want to talk or watch a movie?”

“I think we don’t have time for the movie…Let’s talk and catch up on old times…”

“Okay, Sahira…I want to tell you something important…”

“Yeah sure…go ahead”

“First of all, I am so sorry…I was a spineless bastard and couldn’t gather courage to come to your parents and ask for your hand. I was childish and immature and trust me I have regretted it every damn day. When we broke up and you got married I was heart-broken and I cursed myself so much because you were the only one who understood me. You were my best friend and I screwed it up all. I am truly, heartily and extremely sorry from the bottom of my heart”

He was crying and so was I. I said, “I actually don’t know what to say…”

“It’s okay you can hug me…”

I got up and hugged him and he reciprocated. He hugged a bit extra tight. The as we let loose I stared into his eyes and he stared at my lips. I just turned around and he hugged me from the back. He started whispering sweet nothings in my ears. I suddenly started missing Nil. Nand turned me again, held me from the waist. He was about to kiss me when I stopped him.

“Sorry Nand I can’t do this to Nil. All this time I thought I was in love with you but as I sat here there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t miss Nil. I just failed to realize. I love you but I am in love with him. What I have built with him in all these years cannot be erased. I am sorry. Please just take me home.”

He just took me home without any further questions. I was getting restless. As I stepped down from car he said, “I have never experienced such a strong and right woman in my life. You were right I missed a gem and I now realize that. I am so sorry and I do love you even if you don’t. Just remember if you are happy, someone out there, under the same sky is happy too.”

As the lift came I entered and tapped my foot on the floor. Every second my heartbeat was skyrocketing. I rang bell. Nil opened door, I hugged him. He hugged me back. I asked, “Where are kids?”

“They are asleep…?”

“Good I want to talk to you about tonight…”

“Okay…Let’s go to bedroom?”

“Let’s…”

I took his hand and we went to bedroom. As we entered, I closed the door and hugged him tightly. I cling to him like a child clings to his mother and I said, “I LOVE YOU NIL”

“I love you too…what happened?”

“I want to tell you something tonight…Please hear me out first and then whatever will be your decision I will accept.”

“Okay, now you are making me nervous…”

“I loved Nandish since we got married. I knew him when we were 21. I fell in love with him at first sight but he was only interested in getting physical so we broke up. When he returned in my life I was happy. Then we came closer with each passing day. Today as he took me out on a date, he kissed me. He was as charming as always but I don’t know I didn’t feel that right. I knew it wasn’t right but I kissed him too. This time I felt like he was genuinely in love with me but I am not…I am truly, genuinely sorry…”

“…….”

“Please Nil say something…I am so sorry” I started sobbing.

“I know you are in love with me, you just needed to realize that. I was so much jealous you went on a date with Nandish but you needed to realize that you do not just love me but you are in love with me. You know I have always said One day for sure…”He said with wet eyes

“Yes…”

“…that I say for this reason only. Today when you hugged me and said I love you is the moment I was waiting for 25 years…I am not at all angry with you and I still love you and always will…and BTW Mrs. Nil, you look so hot tonight that I just want to rip off your red dress and make passionate love to you”

“Then don’t stop yourself…make love to me right now…Please”

He didn’t need to be told twice. I wiped off his tears. He kissed me and we made wild and passionate love. Next morning I woke up feeling new and full of love. I went down and Nil was standing with cake, teddy, and flowers and said, “Happy anniversary…I love you princess

“I love you too my prince charming…Happy anniversary and teddy bear seriously?”

“Yes, you are and will always be my little baby girl…”

It takes a strong woman to choose right but it takes strongest woman to choose wrong, make it right and stick by.